Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Pregame notes: Bogaerts on a roll
By Kyle Brasseur
A few quick hits from Fenway Park, where the temperature is 22 degrees colder than it was on this day last year and the Red Sox are set to face the Tampa Bay Rays in their 1,000th franchise game as the Rays:
* Rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts looks to run his career-high hitting streak to 11 games as the Sox face former Red Sox starter Erik Bedard on Tuesday night. During his streak, Bogaerts has hit .324 with a home run and 5 RBIs. It’s the longest streak by a Red Sox player this year and the longest in a single season by a Red Sox player age 21 or younger since Tony Conigliaro hit in 13 straight back in 1966.
“Even when he’s squared some balls up that have not fallen in, he’s not trying to overswing the bat to make up for it,” manager John Farrell said. “He does a very good job of keeping every at-bat an individual event and not letting a previous at-bat leak into the following ones.”
* Since missing two starts following left wrist discomfort that required a cortisone shot, second baseman Dustin Pedroia has hit .314 over his last 12 games -- with six of his nine extra-base hits (all doubles) on the season. Of his six doubles, four have been hit to left field.
“There’s been more ability to the pull side, so what that tells us is not only is the aggressiveness there [but] he’s feeling pretty much freed up mentally,” Farrell said. “He doesn’t complain of anything with the wrist, he’s 100 percent full to go.”
Pedroia is only one home run shy of joining Carl Yastrzemski as the only players to hit at least 100 home runs and steal 100 bases (120) with the Red Sox.
* Despite facing the left-handed Bedard on Tuesday night, manager John Farrell decided to stick with A.J. Pierzynski at catcher instead of going with David Ross.
The start will be Pierzynski’s fourth against a left-hander this season while Ross has started behind the plate in the team's other six games against southpaws. Each has had success against Bedard, although Pierzynski (9-for-21, two home runs) has had much more experience than Ross (2-for-4, two home runs) facing the 35-year-old.
Farrell said that Pierzynski's success with Tuesday's starter John Lackey played a role in his decision.
* Tuesday night’s game will be the Red Sox’s 11th consecutive game against an AL East opponent dating back to April 18 against the Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox have seen each of their opponents during the division streak and have gone 5-5 in the previous 10 contests.
* Tampa Bay Rays catcher and Andover High School alum Ryan Hanigan will be making his first career start at Fenway Park.
Here are lineups for tonight:
1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. Jonny Gomes, LF
6. Xander Bogaerts, SS
7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
8. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
9. Jackie Bradley, Jr., CF
John Lackey, P
1. Ben Zobrist, 2B
2. Desmond Jennings, CF
3. Matt Joyce, LF
4. Evan Longoria, 3B
5. James Loney, 1B
6. Wil Myers, RF
7. David DeJesus, DH
8. Yunel Escobar, SS
9. Ryan Hanigan, C
Erik Bedard, P