|David Price predicts more tension between Red Sox and Rays: ‘I’m sure it will [continue]‘||05.31.14 at 1:19 am ET|
In the first inning, Price drilled David Ortiz square in the back, nearly throwing a fastball completely behind the Red Sox slugger. That resulted in Price and the Red Sox being issued warnings by home plate umpire and crew chief Jeff Kellogg. Both benches emptied and John Farrell was ejected.
Three innings later, Mike Carp, in just his 10th career plate appearance against Price, was drilled for the third time by the Rays lefty known for his routine pinpoint control.
That resulted in Carp being awarded first base and Ortiz nearly attacking Price. The Red Sox were clearly frustrated that two batters had been hit, one in Ortiz very clearly intentionally. Could Price sense the growing frustration of the Red Sox?
“Yeah, I absolutely get it, especially with Carp. I don’t know if I’ve hit anybody three times,” Price said. “I think I’ve hit him three times in probably less than 10 at-bats. I think one was when he was with Seattle. I feel like they’ve been all in the same region [of the body]. I’ve extended apologies to him both times before. That’s not something I’m trying to do. I had six lefties in the lineup today. I have to be able to throw my fastball in and wasn’t able to do it.”
But asked about his history with Ortiz, which included a Price Twitter rant about Ortiz pimping after two home runs off him in Game 2 of the playoffs last year, Price said, “I’m fine,” and that there was “no” reason for Ortiz to be upset with the apparent retaliation. Ortiz called Price a “girl” for the way he handled himself Friday night.
Does Price expect the bad blood to continue between the clubs going forward?
“I’m sure it will,” Price predicted.
|Jonny Gomes might be a ‘spark plug’ but he admits: ‘Tomorrow is not a guarantee for me’||05.29.14 at 7:51 am ET|
No one needs to remind Jonny Gomes of his value and role on the Red Sox.
The veteran outfielder proved his worth on the club again on Wednesday night, going 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and scoring twice in a 4-0 win over the Braves. After a 10-game skid, the Red Sox are suddenly on a three-game streak in the right direction.
“Obviously not ideal but I’ll tell you what, no one truly had their head in the sand,” Gomes said. “No one was ready to throw in the white towel on the season, by any means. It was just a rough patch but this team does a pretty good job of turning the page and cleaning the slate once we leave these double doors here. Likewise on a win, what we did tonight doesn’t matter tomorrow. So, we just have to clean the slate and get back to work tomorrow.”
Gomes’ numbers this year virtually mirror those for his career across the board – .248/.343/.425/.768 – in 39 games. Gomes is batting .308 with a mighty .950 OPS against lefties this year.
What makes Gomes so valuable is his attitude, given his uncertain role from game to game. Gomes has handled the platoon situation in the outfield flawlessly, understanding that he will not be playing every day as skipper John Farrell tries to maximize his ability to mash left-handed pitching. Wednesday night, however, Gomes got the left field nod against righty Gavin Floyd and Gomes was ready as always to answer the bell.
“Play here, sit here. Sit there, play there. I just go pitch to pitch, at-bat to at-bat,” Gomes said philosophically. “Tomorrow is not a guarantee for me so I just run it out there and any way I can generate a run on the board and take one off with my defense, that’s what I’ll try to do.
“Tomorrow is not a guarantee. It can be exhausting at times but I’ve done it for a while where every pitch, every at-bat is not so much pressure but I put a lot on it and I have a lot of pride in it. If I do play sparingly, I want to affect the game somehow. That’s what I try to do.”
|Kevin Youkilis: 2004 World Series title ‘made my life’||05.28.14 at 9:46 pm ET|
He was a 25-year-old infielder wondering how long he would be toiling for the Red Sox in the minor leagues when he was called up on May 15 in Toronto to fill the void left by Bill Mueller’s trip to the disabled list. He homered in his first game against Toronto righty Pat Hentgen.
The eighth-round pick of the Red Sox in 2001 would play in 72 games in 2004, hit seven homers and drive in 35 runs. He would even get two plate appearances against the Angels in the 2004 ALDS, won by Manny Ramirez on the walk-off homer in Game 3 at Fenway Park.
But Youkilis had a seat in the dugout for the ALCS against the Yankees and the World Series against the Cardinals. With 73 games in four months for the Red Sox in his debut season, the “Greek God of Walks” had himself a World Series ring.
“For me, it changed my life,” Youkilis recalled Wednesday afternoon at Fenway. “I went from making minor league money to all of a sudden making major league money then getting a full share in the World Series. My life changed dramatically. It made my life. In the minor leagues, you’re grinding it out so much, paycheck to paycheck and then you all of a sudden get a little bit of money, it helps you out in so many ways.”
The glamour and attention would eventually lead to a wedding ceremony (never formalized) to Boston socialite Enza Sambataro. After they split, Youkilis would settle down and eventually marry and start a family with Julie Brady, the sister of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“I look around at a lot of things. That was my first season. When you’re a rookie, you don’t really know what you’re doing. They’re telling you what to do and you’re trying to not mess up as much as possible and trying to conform and make an impression. That year was such an amazing year, winning a World Series. I always joke around about everyone has said, ‘Eighty-six years of heartache,’ and it was like four months for me. This is great. Are we going to do this every year? You finally realize, after we did it again in 2007. And then you realize, later, it’s special and it’s hard to do. And you’re going to have a lot of in-between years. And for the team to do it last year was an amazing feat.”
|Shane Victorino (hamstring) heads to DL, Daniel Nava recalled||05.24.14 at 1:48 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Shane Victorino’s stay on the active roster with the Red Sox lasted just four weeks.
After coming back from a right hamstring injury in April, the outfielder aggravated the same injury Friday night while running out a ground ball in the ninth inning of a 1-0 loss to the Rays. He was replaced by Jonny Gomes. Victorino was 0-for-4 Friday and is hitting .242 with one home run and 10 RBI in 91 at-bats.
Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated Friday that the team believes the injury is not as serious as the one he sustained in the club’s final spring training game in March.
Taking his spot on the roster is Daniel Nava, who was impressive his four-week stay at Triple-A Pawucket.
Nava, 31, rejoins the Red Sox for his second stint in the majors this season. He appeared in 17 games for Boston this year before being optioned to Pawtucket on April 22. With the PawSox, Nava has hit .253 (21-for-83) with three doubles, three home runs, and 14 RBI in 24 games.
In the majors in 2014, Nava has batted .149 (10-for-67) with two doubles, two home runs, and three RBI. Defensively this season with Boston, he has played 15 games in right field (14 starts), three games in left field (1 start), and two at first base (both starts).
|David Ortiz, Mike Napoli (injury) sit vs. David Price||at 1:30 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The road continues to get more difficult for the Red Sox.
Entering Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay ace David Price and stuck in an eight-game skid, the Red Sox will be without one of their best right-handed power bats as Mike Napoli will sit out with an injured finger.
Also sitting out Saturday is David Ortiz, as he has historically struggled against the Rays’ powerful lefty.
Here is the Red Sox lineup:
Brock Holt 3B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Mike Carp 1B 1B
Jonny Gomes RF
A.J. Pierzynksi DH
Jackie Bradley CF
|On 7-game skid, Red Sox have ‘no time to be down in the dumps’||05.22.14 at 9:36 pm ET|
When you’re the defending World Series champions and you lose seven straight, there’s some patience and latitude given. But after Thursday’s 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays, the urgency of a turnaround is becoming more and more apparent in the Red Sox clubhouse.
“There’s no time to be down in the dumps,” A.J. Pierzynski said after the Red Sox completed just the second 0-6 homestand in their 114-year history. “There’s a long way to go, over 100 games to go, so there’s plenty of time to turn it around. We just need to do it [Friday]. We can’t waste any more time. [Friday] is a new day in Tampa and hopefully we go down there and play well, win the series. That starts [Friday].”
Manager John Farrell echoed those sentiments and added that John Lackey – Friday’s starter at Tampa Bay – needs to step up and pick up a starting rotation that was shelled during the series sweeps at the hands of the Tigers and Blue Jays.
“Everyone in our uniform is aware of what’s taking place currently,” Farrell said very matter-of-factly, in a business tone devoid of any panic. “We have to remain positive in our daily work and our approach. The guy that takes the mound [Friday] night, John Lackey, we’re going to look to him to set the tone and stabilize things.”
David Ortiz, one of the hottest hitters in the American League when the Red Sox were 20-19 last week, went hitless in four at-bats Thursday, extending his hitless streak to 17 at-bats and capping a 2-for-22 homestand that included four walks.
‘It’s just one of those times where we go through a bump in the road and you just have to bounce back tomorrow and execute better,” Ortiz said, speaking to both individual and team struggles.
What’s his take on the attitude in clubhouse after a seventh straight loss?
‘I don’t know, but I can tell you about mine and I am going to come back tomorrow and kick some ass,” he said.
|A.J. Pierzynski on Red Sox offense: ‘It’ll turn, and when it does, someone’s going to pay’||at 12:01 am ET|
Red Sox players, coaches and management are all fully aware of the ugly numbers concerning the team’s offense, especially with runners in scoring position. During the three-game sweep at the hands of the Tigers, they were 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position.
During Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the Blue Jays, they were 3-for-14. In the first seven innings Wednesday night, they failed in their first four chances, dropping them to 4-for-37 before getting two hits in their final two chances in Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays.
But sometimes when things are bad, you need to have the utmost confidence in your own abilities and those of your teammates when the statistics tell another story, an ugly one at that.
A.J. Pierzynski has been around long enough to feel comfortable with confidence in the face of the struggles that come with a six-game losing streak. Pierzynski himself was 0-for-11 on the homestand before lining a single to left-center to open the sixth inning. He raised his arms in exultation as he trotted down to first base. He would later single in the eighth inning as part of a three-run uprising that fell just short of wiping out a 6-1 hole.
“The bottom line is we keep getting guys on base, eventually we’re going to get hits,” said Pierzynski, who singled again in the ninth with two outs before being forced out at second to end the game. “We have too many good hitters, too many good players and too many guys who have done it for too long for it to stay like this. I think that as long as we have the opportunity, keep getting guys on base and keep having the at-bats, the people here are grinding it out, man.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone here is trying. Nobody has changed anything. Everyone is working their tails off. It’ll turn, and when it does, someone’s going to pay.”
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