Saturday, May 10, 2014
Victorino talks foul play; Bogaerts OK
By Travis L. Brown | Special to ESPNBoston.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's a play that seems so common, but when it happens, its rarity becomes apparent.
In the third inning of Friday's game against the Texas Rangers, Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino darted to his left, tracking a pop fly off the bat of Rangers right fielder Alex Rios.
There was one out in the inning with runners on first and third and an 0-2 count on Rios at the time.
The pop fly continued to fade toward foul territory before landing in Victorino's glove outside of fair territory, allowing Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus to tag and trot home easily.
Victorino's natural instinct on the play was, of course, to get the out, manager John Farrell agreed was the right call, that early in the game, with the Rangers leading just 2-0 at the time.
But the play did make Victorino percolate on a situation where he might allow that ball to drop foul: a ninth-inning, one-out-or-less scenario with a runner on third and the game tied.
"I might think about letting that ball fall foul and hopefully our pitcher is on it," he said.
Through conversation about those situations Victorino said he could only think of one instance in his baseball career where he saw an outfielder drop a ball in foul territory on purpose. The situation didn't end as that outfielder hoped as the next pitch was a walk-off hit, leaving the fielder on the hook.
All that being said, Victorino did say, with a chuckle, the competitor in him was a little frustrated after the play.
"It might have been the easiest tag up and score I've allowed," he joked.
• Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is fine and in Saturday's lineup after taking a hard slide in Friday night's game by Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin.
On a steal attempt of second, Martin's cleats met Bogaerts' left knee, causing the shortstop to hop off in obvious pain and drawing the training staff out of the dugout.
Bogaerts remained in the game, but had some nifty cuts around his left knee to show from the incident.
Farrell said Saturday that no one was at fault; it was just the nature of the quick play.
"I don't know if he necessarily dropped his left knee to block the bag," Farrell said. "It was a bang-bang play. We're going to teach our middle infielders to straddle the bag to receive the throw on a stolen base. Because of the closeness of the play, he was in the middle of it."
• Red Sox catcher David Ross starts Saturday for catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Jonny Gomes starts in left field. Gomes is batting .250 against left-handed pitching this year; Rangers LHP Martin Perez gets the start Saturday. In seven at-bats against Perez, Gomes is batting .286. Grady Sizemore, whom Gomes is replacing from Friday's lineup, is batting .208 against left-handed pitching this season.
• The Red Sox currently sit in a tie for second with the Yankees in the AL against lefty pitching with a .667 winning percentage (8-4). They are bested by Detroit with a .818 win percentage (9-2).