Red Sox

Sox shell Gallardo in 12-3 win over Brewers

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Sox shell Gallardo in 12-3 win over Brewers

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON The Red Sox dispatched the Brewers from Fenway Park with a 12-3 shellacking Sunday afternoon in the finale of their three-game set.

The Brewers could do little with Tim Wakefields knuckleball. He gave up just three hits and a walk in eight innings, striking out six. Two of the hits he allowed were home runs, accounting for all the Brewers scoring.

Wakefield earned the win, improving to 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA. He threw 12 pitches in the first inning, 11 strikes. He struck out Milwaukees first two batters, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart, on a total of six pitches to start the game.

His only blemishes came on a two-run homer to Nyjer Morgan in the second, after Casey McGehees double, and a Prince Fielder homer leading off the seventh.

Wakefields offense rewarded him handsomely in the bottom of the inning, scoring six runs on six hits as 11 batters went to the plate. Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo like Shaun Marcum on Friday night threw 46 pitches in the first inning.

Gallardo allowed the first six batters he faced to reach base before he could record an out. His record fell to 8-4 with a 4.11 ERA. The six runs Gallardo gave up in the first were the first are the most hes allowed in the first inning of a game in his career.

Gallardo went three innings, his shortest outing this season, giving up eight runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The right runs tied Zack Greinke (on July 16 in Wrigley Field) with the most runs allowed by a Cubs starter this season.

Kevin Youkilis three-run homer in the first, scoring Dustin Pedroia, who reached on a single, and Adrian Gonzalez, who reached on Gallardos error, was the big blow in the first.

Dustin Pedroia, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, homered to lead off the fourth, his sixth of the season. Marco Scutaro had a two-run shot, scoring David Ortiz, in the sixth, his second of the season.

Adrian Gonzalez, who fell a triple shy of the cycle Friday night, recorded his 1,000th career hit in the sixth a triple. He now has three triples this season, 11 in his career.

Although Wakefield threw just 98 pitches (74 strikes), Dan Wheeler came in for the ninth, giving up one hit with one strikeout, to secure the win.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Tim Wakefield
Wakefield went eight crisp innings against the Brewers, improving to 4-2 (4.26 ERA) recording his 197th career win. He needed just 98 pitches (74 strikes), holding the Brewers to three runs on three hits (two home runs) and one walk with a season-high six strikeouts. He set the tone early, needing just 12 pitches (11 strikes) in the first inning. He struck out Milwaukees first two batters Rickie Weeks swinging and Corey Hart looking on a total of six pitches.

The outing was Wakefields longest since going eight innings on July 2, 2010, against the Orioles.

He was excellent, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. That's probably the best stuff I've seen from him all year that I've caught him. Even in the bullpen I was having trouble just because the ball was moving everywhere. He was really just kind of throwing it for strikes, too. Getting ahead, but obviously it's a tough pitch to hit as it is anyways.

HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Youkilis
Youkilis three-run homer into the Monster seats in the first, his 11th of the season, was the big blast in the six-run uprising. It was his third home run in his last seven games. Youkilis has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games, with 14 RBI.

THE GOAT: Yovani Gallardo
Gallardo wasted no time letting the game get out of hand. After starting lead-off batter Jacoby Ellsbury 0-2 (both called), Gallardo couldnt put Ellsbury away. Just as he couldnt put away any of the first six Sox batters he faced.

Gallardos first inning looked like this: Ellsbury single, Dustin Pedroia single, Adrian Gonzalez error to Gallardo, Ellsbury scores, Kevin Youkilis three-run homer, David Ortiz single, J.D. Drew single, Marco Scutaro groundball out, Jarrod Saltalamacchia strike out, Josh Reddick walk, Jacoby Ellsbury ground-rule double, Ortiz and Drew score, Pedroia fly out. Gallardo needed 46 pitches to get through the inning.

His record fell to 8-4 with a 4.11 ERA. The six runs Gallardo gave up in the first were the first are the most hes allowed in the first inning of a game in his career,

Gallardo went three innings, his shortest outing this season, giving up eight runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The right runs tied Zack Greinke (on July 16 in Wrigley Field) with the most runs allowed by a Cubs starter this season.

THE TURNING POINT
The first inning set the tone of the game for both teams. Wakefields first inning 12 pitches, 11 strikes, striking out the first two batters on a combined six pitches -- let the Brewers know they werent going to have an easy time with his knuckleball.

Gallardos sloppy first inning 11 batters, six runs allowed, 46 pitches was all the offense the Sox would need although they would go on to do further damage. Coming out of the inning in a 6-0 hole was more than Gallardo and the Brewers could overcome.

STAT OF THE DAY: 44321
Tim Wakefield earned the win, going eight innings with six strikeouts, at 44 years, 321 days old. The last American League pitcher that age to earn a win throwing as many innings with as many strikeouts was Nolan Ryan at 45 years, 155 days on July 4, 1992 against the Yankees while with the Rangers.

With the win Wakefield improved to 4-2 (4.26 ERA) with 197 career victories.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
I think his role is exactly what hes doing. We talked about it going in, that theres probably going to be starts for him. Dont know where theyre going to be. And because of his versatility hes filled that role and hes filled it unbelievable. I think youre fortunate on a staff when you have a guy like that. And going into the season he knew what his role was. In all honesty, you dont know when the starts are going to be. But he prepared real well and hes really helping us out.

--Manager Terry Francona on Tim Wakefields performance this season

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Dombrowski on Stanton: 'We called at the end, we were not on his list'

Dombrowski on Stanton: 'We called at the end, we were not on his list'

We can go through all the handwringing we want with the Red Sox and Giancarlo Stanton and the pursuit or the lack thereof. The bottom line is twofold.
 
One, the Sox clearly didn’t want to take on the money, even if they tiptoe around it publicly.
 
“There’s a lot of things that are involved in that, not only position, finances, futures, there’s a lot that’s involved in those things,” Dombrowski said when asked about roster flexibility.
 
Two, Stanton preferred to go elsewhere, although we’ll never know what would have happened if push came to shove and the Sox and Marlins struck a deal.

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“We were not on his immediate list,” Dombrowski said. “We called at the end, we were not on his list. So they were going somewhere else. Yeah, we did all our homework on Stanton. In fact, I know a couple of you guys saw me talking to [Marlins general manager] Mike Hill during the general managers’ meetings. … I knew exactly where everything was, what they were looking for, dollars that were involved. Just was not where we were at that particular time. 
 
“And you have to remember that the guys they [would have received in deals Stanton blocked with] St. Louis or San Francisco … might have been a little bit better than what they ended up getting in their own minds. And then they switched off and at that point, [Stanton] had given them the four clubs that he wanted to go to and we weren’t one of the four.”
 
Stanton preferred to go to one of the Yankees, Astros, Dodgers or Cubs.
 
“Those are the clubs that they were concentrating on at that time,” Dombrowski said. “As soon as that changed, they jumped into the Yankees situation. … I mean I knew exactly when St. Louis and San Francisco were out of it.”
 
The early asking price was a turn off for the Red Sox. But, the package the Yankees ended up sending did not include the team’s very best prospects. It did include a major league contributor that the Yankees’ strong farm system and relatively low payroll can readily replace in Starlin Castro
 
“But the early asks for him were not things that we were interested in,” Dombrowski said of Stanton. “And then as a time went on the end, there were no conversations based upon — I mean, he was traded, I had a pulse of, they had a deal done with St. Louis. They had a deal done with San Francisco. At that point, when I reached out, they were in the midst of dealing with the Yankees at that point.
 
“[I reached out] to Mike Hill last week, yeah. But he was in the midst of the Yankee deal at that point.”
 
Dombrowski was asked if based on the final offer the Marlins accepted if he would have liked to make a revised offer, with the leverage lessened for the Marlins.
 
“Those are the things that are really in a confidential basis,” Dombrowski said.
 
Dombrowski said there’s no change to Red Sox plans because of the Yankees. The plan was already to make the Red Sox as strong as can be. 
 
“You’re not only trying to beat the clubs in your own division, but to to have the best club in the league and the best club overall,” Dombrowski said. “So we’re already tying to do that.”
 
Stanton’s agent Joel Wolfe on Monday noted the Red Sox told him they were focused on pitching, referring to relief pitching in particular. Dombrowski gave his remembrance of the conversation with Wolfe.
 
“No, and I never said that to him. I might have said we were looking at people for relief pitching,” Dombrowski said. “We’re not prioritizing pitching. I think that their basic conversations with us, they looked at our outfield and thought they probably really weren’t a fit with our ball club.
 
“We’re looking for a middle of the order bat, that hasn’t changed. First base or DH.”
 
Dombrowski did not handicap whether an addition was more likely via free agency or trade. He also shot down the idea of adding two bats. Hanley Ramirez is penciled into play one of first base or DH.
 
“I’ve read that, but I don’t know where we’d play these two bats,” Dombrowski said. “I’m trying to figure that one out. So, but I would say we’d be more limited to probably one bat. I can’t say that, I don’t know I guess if we went for a platoon type guy or something somewhere else. But I don’t really know where the second bat would play. Middle of the order type.”
 
Dombrowski said that the trade of Stanton and signing of Shohei Ohtani has opened up the market “tremendously.” It was hard to get a phone call last week, Dombrowski said. Now, there’s a lot going on, although he’s not necessarily convinced something gets done at the winter meetings.
 
“It’s been since yesterday afternoon nonstop,” Dombrowski said of conversations.

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Stanton agent: 'Boston never had any interest in him'

Stanton agent: 'Boston never had any interest in him'

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Giancarlo Stanton’s agent, Joel Wolfe, said on Monday afternoon that the Red Sox were never presented to him and his client as a possible trade destination. 

“To my knowledge, Boston never had any interest in him,” Wolfe said after the Yankees introduced Stanton at a winter meetings press conference. “Not that they don’t love him as a player, but they never tried to make a deal with the Marlins.”

Asked if there were any other obstacles to Stanton potentially coming to Boston, Wolfe said no.

"I didn't really have a thought on it," Stanton said of potentially going to the Red Sox.

The Red Sox did have some level of interest, but as with anything, it was a matter of price. It became clear previously that the salary was not something the Red Sox were comfortable with.

Wolfe said he was not surprised the trade talks didn’t get to a point where Stanton would have had to think more seriously about coming to Boston.

“I wasn’t,” Wolfe said, “Because they have a tremendous outfield, and we were told at the GM Meetings that they were looking for pitching and other areas.”

The Red Sox are widely known to be looking for relief pitching -- which is what Wolfe was referring to -- in addition to a power bat.

The Yankees still intend to stay under the luxury tax threshold in 2018, owner Hal Steinbrenner said on Monday. They can do that even with Stanton. The Red Sox roster, with some big, cumbersome contracts, doesn’t have the flexibility the Yankees roster does -- and clearly, Red Sox ownership and management didn’t think it wise to take on such a huge deal.

That's not what most of the Sox fan base wanted to hear -- not at all. 

The Yankees are to pay $265 million of the $295 million remaining on Stanton’s contract.

“I think [the salary is] a significant issue with everyone, yeah,” Wolfe said. “For sure. But I don’t know if that was the reason (the Red Sox didn't pursue Stanton) or not. But I mean, [Andrew] Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, those guys are under control and studs.”

In a long session with reporters, Wolfe said he discussed all 30 teams with Stanton, whose list of four teams he preferred to be traded to came into shape late in the season. (They were the Cubs, Yankees, Astros and Dodgers.) Asked specifically if he talked to Stanton about the Red Sox, Wolfe reiterated there wasn’t really a need to go down that road.

“We didn’t talk about it much for you know the reason I was just saying, with the three studs they had out there [in the outfield] and the depth, it just didn’t look like it was going to be a priority,” Wolfe said. “They were prioritizing pitching.”

And hitting, too. They'll have to find some somewhere else to satiate a fan base that just watched the Yankees add the National League MVP and best home-run hitter in the game.

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