A.J. Pierzynski Displays Instincts; Other Notes From Red Sox’s Win


Adrian Beltre, A.J. PierzynskiBOSTON — The Red Sox didn’t lose four games in a row all of last season. On Monday, they made sure it didn’t happen for the first time this season.

The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak Monday with a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park. John Lackey again was solid, and the offense pounded 14 hits.

Felix Doubront will look to keep things rolling Tuesday, but let’s first go over some notes from Monday’s day at the yard.

– Lackey was outstanding. The Rangers’ only run was an unearned run in the fourth inning.

Lackey struck out five and walked two while throwing 95 pitches (65 strikes). The right-hander frequently got ahead in counts and made some big pitches in key spots.

The biggest out of the night came with runners at second and third in the seventh inning. Lackey got J.P. Arencibia to hit a ground ball to second base, ending the inning and keeping Boston’s one-run lead intact.

– Chris Capuano pitched a scoreless eighth inning with the Red Sox leading 2-1. Clearly, Boston’s confidence in the veteran lefty is growing.

– Koji Uehara shockingly yielded two hits before closing the door. But it still was a scoreless outing — something that’s been the case in 36 of Uehara’s last 37 outings dating back to last season.

– Jackie Bradley Jr., Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski each collected three hits.

Pierzynski’s three-hit game was his first since Aug. 19, 2013. It snapped an 0-for-8 drought.

Napoli’s three-hit game was his first of 2014. He had six such games last season.

Bradley’s three hits matched a career high. He also produced three hits against the New York Yankees on June 1, 2013.

– Bradley drove in Boston’s first two runs. And as good as he was offensively, he was equally as impressive defensively in right field.

– Pierzynski was involved in a couple of successful hit-and-runs. The catcher won’t win many races, but he showed great instincts on the bases while going from first to third on two separate occasions.

“He’s an instinctual player,” Farrell said. “We know he’s aggressive. We try to take advantage of that aggression at the plate when we can. … He reads each play well.”

– Grady Sizemore crashed into the center field wall while trying to flag down a fly ball in the third inning. It was one of those hold-your-breath moments — evident by Farrell’s major exhale when asked about the play — but the 31-year-old stayed in the game without any issues.

“He’s going to lose that battle every time. That wall’s not going anywhere,” Farrell said. “But that’s the style of player he is. He doesn’t leave anything to chance. He’s going to give you everything he’s got. It’s been somewhat of a characteristic of his entire career, and thankfully he came out of tonight without any major issues.”

– Infielder Ryan Roberts, who was signed Monday, likely will start at third base Tuesday, according to Farrell.

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