Red Sox

Papelbon unworried about latest spring struggle

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Papelbon unworried about latest spring struggle

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After he turned in a clean inning Friday against the Yankees, it appeared as though Jonathan Papelbon had turned the corner from his poor outing a week ago against Minnesota, when he walked three in one-third of an inning.

Then again, perhaps not.

Papelbon struggled again Thursday in the Red Sox' 8-5 win over the New York Mets, giving up two hits and two walks, leading to four runs. Papelbon couldn't finish the inning and even one of the two outs he recorded required a nice running catch by Juan Carlos Linares.

The Sox' closer has been either very bad or very good this spring. In four of his outings, he's had clean innings and hasn't allowed a baserunner. In his other two, however, Papelbon has walked five and given up seven runs on four hits.

Papelbon insisted that he wasn't concerned despite the two rocky outings in the last week.

"No . . . nope . . . not one bit," he said. "I'm just basically trying to find my delivery and iron out the kinks before the season rolls around. That's basically it.''

Ironically, only weeks ago, when the Red Sox were still based at the Player Development Complex, Papelbon said he already felt locked in with his delivery, and remarked how unusual it was to feel that so early in camp.

"I don't feel I've fallen out of it,'' he said of his delivery. "I still feel very locked in. Right now, I'm just a tick off my mechanics. I'm not searching. I know exactly what's going on. I can feel it in my delivery.

"For me, it's not a big deal at all because I know it's a minor little detail for me.''

Papelbon said the spring training atmosphere, with little context or adrenaline, was perhaps a factor ('no question,'' he said) and one talent evaluator agreed, noting that Papelbon looked "disinterested'' on the mound Thursday.

"I thought today he just got out in front and was a little quick in his delivery,'' said Terry Francona. "Everything flattened out a little bit and his fastball started wandering a little bit. I think everything was flat today and good hitters don't need help elevating the ball.

"You fall behind and the ball's flat. That's what it looked like to me.''

"It's spring training,'' said Papelbon, "and I'm trying to get my delivery where it's perfect every day and right now, it's just not. It's still spring. It is what it is.''

Francona said Papelbon's next outing will probably involve throwing two innings at the minor-league complex.

"I think that will be good for him,'' he said.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Red Sox can't solve Leake, lose to Mariners, 7-2

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Red Sox can't solve Leake, lose to Mariners, 7-2

BOSTON - Mike Leake pitched eight shutout innings, Mitch Haniger drove in three runs and the Seattle Mariners snapped a season-high five-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

Nelson Cruz had three hits and scored twice a night after hitting two homers and driving in seven runs for Seattle, which went on its skid after beating Boston two straight at home last weekend.

Leake (8-4) gave up three singles, struck out five and walked two six days after he allowed five runs and took the loss against the Red Sox at Safeco Field. Edwin Diaz gave up two runs in the ninth.

J.D. Martinez had two singles for Boston after going 4 for 5 with five RBIs when the Red Sox collected a season-high 20 hits in a 14-10 victory Friday.

Eduardo Rodriguez (9-2) gave up five runs, four earned, in four innings, snapping his personal six-game win streak. The Red Sox were 13-1 in his starts this season.

Playing on a cool, misty night, the Mariners managed to close out the Red Sox after blowing two five-run leads during their slide, including Friday.

Seattle broke it open with three runs in the fourth. Haniger made it 4-0 with a two-out, two-run double off the Green Monster. He scored from second on Kyle Seager's infield hit when Rodriguez slipped covering first and turned late for the plate.

Haniger also had an RBI double in the first.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Red Sox call up Lin as protection for Bogaerts' injury

Red Sox call up Lin as protection for Bogaerts' injury

With Xander Bogaerts out tonight - he was called day-to-day by manager Alex Cora - after injuring his left index finger, the Red Sox have called up infielder Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Bogaerts injured the finger sliding into second while stealing the base in the 14-10 victory over the Mariners on Friday night. Left-handed reliever Robby Scott was sent to Pawtucket to make room for Lin.

Lin was hitting .299 for the PawSox after falling as low as .188. He had a 16-game hitting streak that ended June 14.

Scott was called up this week to make his 2018 Red Sox debut. He appeared in one game, he took the loss against the Twins Tuesday night when he walked a batter and hit a batter - who both came around to score - when he started the eighth inning with the score tied at 2. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE