BOSTON — With frustration mounting at the Fens after suffering a four-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox are hoping to turn over a new leaf as they welcome in the Texas Rangers for a three-game set.
This is no time for the Sox to look back, fold or make excuses, according to manager Terry Francona — this is a time for the local nine to shine.
“It’s human nature — it’s our job,” he said when asked if he has been thinking of ways to turn this team around. “It’s our job to try to get the most out of our team. This is a chance for us to try and stand tall.
“We talked to the players in the very first meeting about our season. How it will be defined is how we handle frustration: Are we going to be tough and are we going to dig ourselves out of it or are we going to make excuses? We’ll find out. This is a time for us to show what we’re made of. And I believe that.”
In a move designed to perhaps shake things up, Francona bumped Victor Martinez down to the fifth slot in the batting order on Tuesday, with Dustin Pedroia hitting third and J.D. Drew hitting second. Martinez is hitting just .212 with one homer and four RBIs. The backstop has bounced into a team-high six double plays and is just 2-for-13 (.154) with runners in scoring position.
“We’ve been through this so many times,” he added. “I do believe in being very patient and I think that’s what helps players, but at the same time, what we were doing wasn’t working.”
Hindering a turnaround was news about center fielder Mike Cameron landing on the DL with an abdominal strain. The Sox called up Josh Reddick from Triple-A to fill the void and Francona is wasting no time using the young outfielder, who is playing center field and batting ninth Tuesday against Texas.
The 23-year-old Reddick, who hit .169 with two homers and four RBIs in 27 games (59 at bats) in 2009, is hitting just .179 with a homer and six RBIs in nine games for the PawSox this season.
“He had a great spring training,” Francona said of the 17th-round pick in the 2006 draft. “He played a lot and he looked like he hit every fastball in sight. He’s a young player that’s very athletic and can play all three outfield positions. He went down to Triple-A and got off to a slow start, but as we’ve seen, he came [up] last year and was an immediate impact with his bat and his outfield play.”