Red Sox

Notes: Lackey pays for mistakes


Notes: Lackey pays for mistakes

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON After finally pushing his record above. 500 for the first time all season in his last start, John Lackey could not extend that against the Indians -- who have won just twice in their last 10 games -- Monday night at Fenway Park. Lackey went 6 23 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. He was not involved in the decision, though, as the Sox lost 9-6. It was the first time in 18 starts this year he has not been the pitcher of record.

Lackey tied a season high with two home runs, giving up back-to-back homers in the seventh -- a two-run shot to Asdrubal Cabrera and a solo homer to Travis Hafner. It was the first time he has allowed consecutive home runs while with the Sox. The last time he did so was Aug. 9, 2008 while with the Angels to the Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi.

In retiring the first eight batters he faced before giving up a single to Ezequiel Carrera in the third, Lackey recorded a 1-2-3 first inning for the first time this season.

The 17 starts with a decision was a career high. No other pitcher in the majors has had as many decisions to start the year. The last Sox pitcher with at least 17 consecutive decisions in starts was Time Wakefield, who went 16-10 in his first 26 starts in 2007.

I thought he threw the ball really well, said manager Terry Francona. I thought his fastball was crisp, I thought his changeup, as has been of late, was really good. He made some mistakes and paid for them. Tried to get a breaking ball down under a left-hander's bat and left it too much of the plate. Went away to Hafner where hes had a lot of success. Probably throwing too many in a row or didnt quite get it where he wanted to. He hit it a long way. As a staff tonight we paid for our mistakes.

Red Sox pitchers gave up four home runs in the game, with Daniel Bard giving up a go-ahead two-run shot to Cabrera and Matt Albers giving up a ninth-inning solo homer to Jason Kipnis. The four homers allowed tie the Sox season-high for the fourth time this season, and the first since April 9 against the Yankees.

I thought Lackey was good, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I thought he was sharp. Couple of pitches that he left over the plate that they were able to hit. They didnt miss the pitches. But he was sharp. We used all his pitches. I thought his velocity was good, curveball, changeup. So, to me I thought he was really good.

His line did not jibe with how Lackey felt about his outing.

I thought I was better than five runs, he said.

Left-hander Erik Bedard, acquired at the trading deadline Sunday from the Mariners, is scheduled to make his his first start for the Red Sox Thursday against the Indians.

Bedard started Friday for the Mariners against the Rays. He gave up five runs in 1 13 innings, throwing 57 pitches (28 strikes), allowing three hits and four walks with two strikeouts. It was his first start since June 27, after going on the disabled with a sprained knee. He is 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA in 16 starts for the Mariners this season.

The Sox do not have an off-day until Aug. 11, and then have another on Aug. 15, before a doubleheader with the Rays on Aug. 16. Starting Bedard Thursday gives him an extra day rest and allows manager Terry Francona to give his other starters an extra day of rest, as well.

That way we can back up Jon Lester, give him an extra day, Francona said. So everybody slides back a day. We dont have a day off until we leave to go to Seattle on Aug. 11. So up to that point well kind of stick with six starters. Andrew Miller will be in the bullpen Thursday. Bedard I think threw 57 pitches in an inning and one-third. It was almost like he hadnt pitched in a month. The way we interpreted it from the Seattle guys is if he had pitched on Wednesday, they were going to hold him to about 75 or 80. So we probably need to somewhat stick with that also. So well have Andrew out there just to keep an eye on our bullpen. if Miller doesnt pitch in that game, hell take his normal turn Monday in Minnesota. If he does, hell pitch Tuesday in Minnesota and Tim Wakefield will stay on his normalWe can flip-flop those two.

Bedard, a sxith-round pick of the Orioles in 1999, is expected to arrive in Boston on Tuesday.

I talked to him Sunday a little bit, Francona said. He was terrific. Said he was looking forward to it and we talked about his day to pitch sohe can get himself settled when he gets here and everything. We look forward to getting him going. The one thing we have to recognize is he hasnt pitched a lot the last month so we got to kind of want to get him ramped up so we can . . . get the most out of him. Well keep an eye on him.

Francona likes Bedards breaking ball.

The way its been explained to me, he can wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning and he spins his breaking ball. Hes also done it in the American League East, which is something to think about. Ive seen what hes done to us, so were excited.

Francona said Bedards knee would not be an issue.

Hes got the brace on but hes OK, Francona said.

Saltalamacchia went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, extending his hitting streak to nine games, tying a career high.

I feel good, fell comfortable at the plate, he said. For me just putting quality plate appearances together, feeling comfortable at the plate is good. But its not as good if you dont get the win.

He now has 36 RBI this season, a new career high. He hit his 10th home run of the season in the sixth, a two-run, broken-bat shot to right, scoring Carl Crawford. The splintered end of Saltalamacchias bat landed just past first base.

I was looking at the ball because I hit it on the good part of the bat, he said. I felt the bat break, but I saw the ball still going. So I was kind of trying to see if it was going to hook around the pole or keep going or what.

Marco Scutaro left in the middle of the fourth inning because of dizziness. After the game he said he felt light-headed during batting practice, saying an energy drink could have caused it.

Im feeling batter now, kind of calmed down. Was a little dizzy, he said after the game.

I just felt kind of dizzy and my heart beat was kind of fast, a little shaky, he said.

It started during BP and then I came up here to the clubhouse and I ate something, and feeling kind of good. But when the game started, I start kind of feeling like that again. But it wasnt as bad as like BP time. And I just told them, they check and everything was fine.

Francona said Scutaro was examined during the game and checked out fine but will be re-examined on Tuesday.

Just not something to play with, Francona said.

Mike Aviles pinch-hit for Scutaro in the fourth, making his Fenway debut as a member of the Sox. He also took Scutaros place at shortstop.

Jed Lowrie, on the DL since June 17 with a left shoulder strain, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket Monday night, going 0-for-2, playing the first three innings at shortstop. He is expected to serve as the PawSox DH on Tuesday.

Everything was fine physically, Francona said.

Adrian Gonzalez went 1-for-4, extending his hit streak to 11 games, his longest of the season. He is batting.511, going 24-for-47 with three doubles, a home run, 12 RBI, 10 runs scored and 4 walks in that span.

Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-5, extending his home hit streak to 23 games since June 4. He is batting .419 in that span. It is the third longest home hitting streak by a Sox batter since 1919, and the longest since Nomar Garciaparras 31-game stretch from April 20 June 28, 2003.

Carl Crawfords third-inning home run was his seventh of the season and first since June 8 at Yankee Stadium. It was just his second home run of the season at Fenway. The other was June 5 against the As.

There is no official word on right-hander Clay Buchholz, who was examined by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles Monday. It is believed the right-hander has a stress fracture in his back and could be shut down for the season. The teams medical staff, general manager Theo Epstein, and Buchholz were expected to talk about Watkins findings. Francona said there could be some news after Mondays game or on Tuesday.

The scheduled pitching match-ups for the series against the Indians are John Lackey and Cleveland right-hander Josh Tomlin Monday night, Josh Beckett and left-hander David Huff on Tuesday, Tim Wakefield and Carlos Carrasco (who will appeal his six-game suspension) on Wednesday, and Bedard and right-hander Justin Masterson on Thursday. Lester, Lackey, and Beckett are expected to start the three games against the Yankees at Fenway Park this weekend.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins


Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

He was dubbed "Closer B" by Red Sox manager John Farrell when acquired at the trade deadline last summer, now Addison Reed is "Closer B Gone" the Twins.

The right-handed reliever, 29, has agreed to a two-year, $16.75 million free-agent deal with Minnesota, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and reports. 

Reed began last season with the Mets and had 19 saves and a 2.57 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox, where he had a 3.33 ERA in 29 games (27 innings) without a save as a setup man for Craig Kimbrell.  

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration


Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

The Red Sox and star right fielder Mookie Betts intend to go to an arbitration hearing in February, and there were signs this was coming even a year ago.

Betts was the only arbitration-eligible player on the Red Sox who did not settle on a contract with the team on Friday, when a deadline arrived for all teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange 2018 salary figures. Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Drew Pomeranz were the biggest names to avoid hearings.

Betts filed for a $10.5 million salary and the Red Sox filed at $7.5 million.  Betts and the Red Sox agreed previously that if no figure could be settled on by the Friday deadline, they would proceed to a hearing, assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran said. 

A three-person panel of arbitrators therefore is set to determine what Betts makes in 2018: either the $7.5 million figure the Sox filed or the $10.5 million figure Betts' camp submitted. The arbitrators won't settle on a midpoint for the parties. 

O'Halloran noted to the Globe there are no hard feelings involved.

Nonetheless, such a large gap would seem to provide incentive to settle. The parties technically could still decide to do so, but that would take a change of course from the present plan. The idea was to settle any time before Friday, and they did not. 

Betts is asking for near-record money for a first-year arbitration eligible player. Kris Bryant set the record Friday with a $10.85 million settlement.

The hearings can be difficult for player-team relations because teams have to make the case in front of the player that he is worth less money than he wants.

Betts, 25, hit .264, with 24 homers, 102 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a .803 OPS in 2017, numbers that fell from his American League MVP runner-up performance in 2016, but were nonetheless very strong and coupled with first-rate defense.

This offseason is Betts' first of arbitration eligibility. In the first three years of service time in a players' career, there's no recourse if you don't like the salary a team is offering. Teams can pay players anything at league minimum or above. 

The only option a player has in those first three years is to make a stand on principle: you can force the team to technically "renew" your salary, which notes to everyone that you did not agree to the salary. Betts and his agents did that in 2017 when the Sox paid him $950,000, a very high amount relative to most contract renewals.

Some of the standard thinking behind forcing a team to renew a contract is that if an arbitration case comes up down the road — and one now looms for Betts — it's supposed to show the arbitrators that the player felt even in seasons past, he was underpaid.

Still, the Sox may have effectively combatted that perception by paying Betts almost $1 million on a renewal. Per USA Today, that $950,000 agreement in 2017 was "the second-highest one-year deal ever for a non-arbitration-eligible player with two-plus years of big league service." Mike Trout got $1 million in 2014.