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Fenway Park brings out best in Podsednik

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / September 11, 2012
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Red Sox outfielder Scott Podsednik has hit .373 in his career at Fenway Park. That is the highest batting average at the park for active players with at least 125 plate appearances.

The last player to hit that well at Fenway was Fred McGriff, a .377 hitter at Fenway from 1987-2001. Going back to 1921, only five players have a higher batting average at Fenway than Podsednik.

Podsednik laughed when he heard about the statistic.

“I wish I had a reason for you,” he said. “I can’t think of a good one. But I do like hitting here.”

Podsednik is 26 of 65 (.400) in 19 games at Fenway this season, hitting safely in 15 of the 17 games he has started.

The 36-year-old played his first game at Fenway in 2005 with the White Sox and singled to center in his first at-bat, facing David Wells.

Podsednik’s sparkling statistics at Fenway are partly a product of a small sample size. But once he pondered it a little, Podsednik said there are factors that have made Fenway one of his favorite places to swing a bat.

“There’s always a lot of energy here and I like that,” he said. “The fans get you going and I think I feed off that.

“Once I came here to play for the Red Sox, I like the way you can prepare for a game here. The facilities are first class in terms of the hot tubs and cold tubs and everything else. You can get your body ready to play and that’s big for me.”

Podsednik started the season in Triple A with the Phillies. The Red Sox acquired him May 11 as depth and he has played in 47 games, far more than expected.

The Sox traded Podsednik to Arizona July 31 but he refused an assignment to Triple A Reno, became a free agent, and signed with the Sox Aug. 10.

For the season, Podsednik is hitting .323 with a .340 on-base percentage and has eight stolen bases in 10 attempts. Whether it’s with the Red Sox or somewhere else, he hopes to continue his career next season.

Teixeira out

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who has driven in 18 runs in nine games against the Sox this season, won’t be playing in the series that starts on Tuesday at Fenway Park.

Teixeira, the Yankees said, was examined by team physician Chris Ahmad in New York on Monday and was found to have an irritation of a Grade 1 strain in his left calf.

Teixeira will miss 10-14 days. He has played one game since Aug. 27, going 1 for 4 against Baltimore Saturday and reinjuring is leg on the final play of the game.

PawSox in IL finals

Triple A Pawtucket starts the International League Governors’ Cup Championship series at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at McCoy Stadium with righthander Steven Wright facing the Charlotte Knights (White Sox).

Game 2 will be at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.

The best-of-five series shifts to Charlotte Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

Castiglione advances

Joe Castiglione advanced to the second round of voting for the Ford C. Frick Award, given annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

Castiglione, who has been calling Sox games on the radio for 30 years, was one of 41 broadcasters still under consideration for the award. Fans will vote online through the Hall’s Facebook page through Oct. 5. The three top vote-getters will be placed on the final ballot with seven other finalists determined by a Hall of Fame committee.The winner will be announced during the winter meetings in December.

Yankees killer

Third baseman Pedro Ciriaco is 15 of 32 (.469) with four extra-base hits and seven RBIs in eight games against the Yankees this season. Ciriaco is hitting a modest .265 against other teams and is 6 of 47 (.128) in his last 13 games with one RBI . . . The Yankees called up outfielder Melky Mesa from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 25-year-old hit .264 in 101 minor league games this season with 23 home runs . . . The Yankees are 27-28 since the All-Star break . . . The Red Sox are 1-7 in September. “I think we’re going to win a lot of games this last month,” Bobby Valentine said Sept. 1 . . . The Sox are 32-41 at Fenway, one loss from their first losing record at home since going 39-42 in 1997 . . . The Sox have been outscored, 83-31, in their last 12 games.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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