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Offensive woes continue for Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  May 15, 2013 12:22 AM

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A few notes:

• The Sox did not have a single tonight. Amazingly, it's the third time this season that has happened. Prior to that it had not happened since June 19, 2009.

• The Sox have been held to five or fewer hits in eight of 39 games (20 percent) this season. It happened 16 percent of the time last season.

• Rays pitching retired 26 of the final 31 Sox batters. None advanced beyond second base.

• The Sox are 4 of their last 40 (.100) with runners in scoring position. Over 11 games it's 14 of 83 (.169).

• Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, who ran into a wall in right field at Fenway Park on Sunday, sent a text message of support to Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who went face-first into a wall at Dodger Stadium on Monday night.

Harper left the game and needed 11 stitches. Victorino stayed in the game for three more innings. X-rays on his ribs were negative and he played on Tuesday.

Victorino said it’s a fine line between playing hard and playing reckless.

“You can’t run into walls for the sake of running into a wall,” he said. “You have to feel like you can make a play. I thought I was pretty close.”

Right field at Fenway is sometimes difficult because of the chest-high fences, Victorino said.

“When you go back and look up, you can usually see a wall and prepare yourself,” he said. “Your peripheral vision doesn’t really see the wall when it’s that short. And the wall comes up on you fast at the bullpen.”

• Felix Doubront threw in the bullpen before the game and will start on Thursday against Alex Cobb. The lefthander has been hit hard in his last two outings, giving up 12 earned runs on 23 hits over nine innings.

The Red Sox had Doubront skip a start to give him some time to work on his mechanics. John Farrell said Doubront has “direction issues” in his delivery.

“We felt like there are times when he starts going to home plate, he can be a little bit off line,” Farrell said. “That’s affected, I think, some of the overall consistency with location to his stuff. That’s what ‘s been worked on with the multiple bullpens that he and Juan Nieves have gone through.”

• David Ortiz has only been to one Bruins game in person. But he is friendly with several of the players, Shawn Thornton in particular, from charity events.

Like so many others, he was captivated by their comeback and overtime victory on Monday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ortiz is a man who can appreciate a team coming back after the events of 2004.

“That was nice. It was great to see,” Ortiz said. “It reminded me of what we did.”

• David Ross, who went on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Sunday, remained back in Boston recovering. He hopes to join the team in Minnesota on Friday. Ross was concussed with he struck with two foul tips on Saturday.

• Major League Baseball changed a scoring call from Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays and awarded Dustin Pedroia a single and an RBI in the eighth inning. The play was originally ruled an error for Toronto shortstop Munenori Kawasaki.

• Ever-creative Rays manager Joe Maddon invited a four-piece Latin band, Sol Caribe, to play in the clubhouse before the game. He also had plantains hung in the lockers.

• Ortiz's first-inning home run was his 27th Tropicana Field for Ortiz, the most by a visiting player. His 67 RBIs are second for a visitor behind Manny Ramirez’s 72.

• Ortiz said after the game that he has been dealing with a strained oblique muscle on his left side.

"Hopefully it can't get any worse. But it bothers me on some swings that I take," he said.

The injury, Ortiz said, has caused him to hook balls he has been trying to pull.

"I've got to play," he said. "I have enough time off."

On Sunday, Farrell said Ortiz had a planned day off. But tonight he admitted it was an attempt to manage the oblique issue.

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