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April 20, 2008
Boston 6, Texas 5
By Joe McDonald
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON _ Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia spent most of the day sitting on a water cooler in the corner of the dugout while his teammates fell behind five runs to the Texas Rangers today at Fenway Park.
Pedroia had been given the day off by manager Terry Francona since he has played in all 19 games of the regular season. Make that all 20 games now because Pedroia delivered a pinch-hit RBI-double that tied the game and he later scored the eventual game-winning run en route to a 6-5 victory over the Rangers.
“It was a good game, a good win,” said Pedroia. “I was just trying to get a pitch out over the plate. I know (Rangers reliever) C.J. Wilson throws real hard, so I didn’t try to pull it because he would jam me. I ended up getting a pitch where I wanted it and hit it well.”
The Red Sox were in the midst of a comeback and were down a run in the eighth inning when the No. 4 spot in the order came up. Usually Manny Ramirez is locked into the clean-up spot, but he was ejected in the second inning for arguing with the home-plate umpire. Joe Thurston, who replaced the slugger in left field, was 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch. He was scheduled to come up with two outs in the eighth, but Francona elected to give Pedroia an at-bat.
He lined an RBI-double to left-center field that scored David Ortiz from first base to tie the game at 5-5. Boston then loaded the bases before Sean Casey drew a bases-loaded walk, providing the eventual game-winning run.
“That guy is an absolute gamer,” said Casey. “You’re proud to say he’s your teammate. You feel he’s going to come through every time; he has the presence about him. He’s fun to play with and fun to watch.”
The Red Sox have now won four in a row.
“It’s just how we drew it up,” said Francona with a roll of his eyes. “We didn’t have the lead for very long, but we seemed to get it at the right time. There’s something to be said for just plugging away and some good things happened. Actually, some great things happened.”
Part of what the manager was talking about was the play of Pedroia and rookie infielder Jed Lowrie.
Francona also called Pedroia’s pinch-hit at-bat the game-changing play, saying he’s the right guy to have in that situation.
“He has the perfect mentality for everything,” said Francona. “He just likes to play. He’ll play at 11 o’clock in the morning or 11 o’clock at night. He doesn’t care.”
The manager was also very impressed with the way Lowrie has handled himself since his call up from Pawtucket. He went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles, one RBI and two runs scored. Overall, he’s now hitting .417 with three doubles and five RBI in five career major-league games.
Francona is always careful with his words when it comes to rookies no matter how much of an impact they have early in their careers in Boston. He’ll say “Let’s not put them in the Hall of Fame just yet.” That statement hasn’t been used, yet, when talking about Lowrie, but everyone has been impressed with his abilities.
Lowrie is a true professional in every sense of the word. The versatile infielder was called up from Pawtucket on April 10 to replace Alex Cora, who was placed on the DL with an elbow strain. Lowrie has now played second, third and short for Boston and has contributed in a big way every game he’s played.
“To get an opportunity like this, especially at the beginning of the year, you want to do well,” he said. “I’m not trying to impress everybody. I’m just going out and playing my game. You can try too hard sometimes, and I’ve had to learn to stay within myself and that’s part of the development process.”
Casey, who has been playing first on a regular basis since third baseman Mike Lowell was placed on the DL with a sprained left thumb, will have Monday off. Kevin Youkilis will shift back to first and Lowrie will play third.
“He has a great glove. He has a great bat. He’s a great kid,” said Casey. “He can play anywhere. You can tell the guys who have it – he has it.”
The future was on display today with the effort and ability in which Pedroia and Lowrie delivered.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:37 PM | Permalink
Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez has been ejected from today's game against the Rangers by home-plate umpire Paul Emmel.
Ramirez was called out on strikes and as he left the batter's box he said something to Emmel. Put it this way, you don't have to be a good lip reader to figure out what Ramirez said.
It's the fourth time in his career he's been tossed. Joe Thurston is now playing left field.
Manager Terry Francona said earlier today that he was planning to give Ramirez Monday off. We'll see if that holds true now.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 2:08 PM | Permalink
Flu bug forcing Sox to make roster move?
PawSox pitcher David Pauley was a last-minute scratch from his scheduled start today at McCoy Stadium. The right-hander was seen in the clubhouse prior to today's game ready to pitch, only to be lifted in favor of Edgar Martinez.
No word if there's been, or will be, a roster move today.
Clay Buchholz (0-1 with a 3.27 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday against the Rangers.
The flu bug is making its way around the Sox' clubhouse, so keeping Pauley on standby only makes sense. He 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA in three starts for Pawtucket this season. He made his major-league debut with the Sox in 2006 when he made three starts in place of the injured David Wells.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 1:17 PM | Permalink
Kielty disabled, Pritz activated
Pawtucket officials have just announced that outfielder Bobby Kielty has been placed in the disabled list.
Kielty had been playing through pain in his left hand. When the PawSox returned from their road trip Saturday, Kielty went to a doctor. He was sent to another doctor today and the team announced as this afternoon's game against Buffalo was beginning that Kielty was being placed on the seven-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday.
Outfielder Bryan Pritz, who spent most of last season with Portland, was activated to take Kielty’s spot. Pritz had been on the PawSox DL since the start of the season.
The Pawtucket game has begun with another surprise. David Pauley, the scheduled starting pitcher, did not take the mound. No reason was given. Pauley was in the clubhouse before the game. Edgar Martinez, normally a reliever, made the start for him. PawSox officials said an explanation will be provided when the game is finished.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 1:10 PM to PawSox
, Projo Sox Crawl
Ramirez could get Monday off
It appears slugger Manny Ramirez will be given his first day off on Monday. If Coco Crisp (hamstring) is able to play then Francona will give Ramirez a rest. The manager said it won’t be an easy decision due to the fact the Rangers are starting left-hander Kason Gabbard. Plus, Ramirez is so locked in right now it’s crazy.
“Manny has played every game and there’s certain days that are better to give a guy a day off, and to me, Monday is the perfect day,” Francona said. “But we have to have Coco available and we’re hopeful that will be the case.”
Posted by Joe McDonald at 11:32 AM | Permalink
Pedroia gets a day off
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has played all 19 games so far this season. So, manager Terry Francona informed him after Saturday's game that he will have today off. As a result, Jed Lowrie will play second.
“Thought it would to his advantage,” said Francona. “A lot of times when I look at days off, or a player not starting a game, it’s not so much who is pitching, it’s more of rest, recovery and what does a guy’s body some good.”
Francona is the type of manager who will tell a player the day before that he won’t be in the lineup. There have been a few occasions with Pedroia when the manager will tell him he’s getting a day off, but because the second baseman is playing so well, especially at the plate, he’s never given that rest.
“He laughs when I tell him because he’ll say ‘If I get three hits there goes that day off.’ I think telling guys in advance actually helps them because they relax a little bit. I don’t know if it helps them get hits, but I think it helps knowing what the plan is for them.”
No one likes to be out of the lineup and Pedroia is a perfect example of that. He said jokingly that he plans to be a pain in the butt in the dugout during the game.
Pedroia, last year's Rookie of the Year, is hitting .325 with one homer, eight RBI and six doubles.
Lowrie can play second, shortstop and third base. Before his call up from Pawtucket he played mostly short for the PawSox and has not played second since spring training. The right side of the infield isn't unfamiliar for the rookie. He was an All-American second baseman at Stanford.
He and Pedroia, who went to Arizona State, played against each other in college. Ironically, Pedroia played shortstop.
Since his promotion to Boston, Lowrie has played three of the four infield positions.
"Being able to play more than one position is a position," he said.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 10:59 AM | Permalink
Posted by Joe McDonald at 10:55 AM | Permalink
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