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Extra Bases

Ortiz, Red Sox Not Satisfied, But Getting Close To Putting It All Together

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With Wednesday night’s rainout, the Red Sox lost a chance to even their record. They finished March/April at 13-14. It is the first time their record for a month has been below .500 since September /October of their abysmal 2012 season when they went 7-22.They closest they came to falling below .500 last season on their way to a World Series championship was in May, when they went 15-15.

“This first month is just one of those months where a lot of things happened,” said David Ortiz, “But I think it was ok. I didn’t think it was that bad. It could be worse. It kind of evens things out. If you look at this division, everybody’s pretty much in the same boat. So everybody got stronger this offseason, everybody got better teams. So it’s not like it’s easier.

“April is always a tough month. You got to deal with a lot of things. You got to deal with the new faces, the weather, you got to deal with new players coming from other leagues. There’s a lot of things that you got to make adjustments. So I always call April the month of adjustments that you got to do to continue to be successful thru the year.”

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The unseasonably cold weather has not helped anyone. Wednesday’s game against the Rays at Fenway Park was postponed because of inclement weather, with a doubleheader scheduled for Thursday.

“Man, Mother Nature, what’s going on?,” Ortiz said, as he looked up, holding his hand aloft, as if in prayer. “The weather heat up, Papi heat up.

“I hit a ball [Tuesday] night that I want to cry, it was so cold. But it is what it is. You don’t want to use the weather as an excuse but it is an excuse because you definitely don’t play the same way as when it’s 70, 80 degrees. But we’re going to get there.”

Ortiz said he and his teammates are not satisfied with their April performance. But, he believes they are close to turning a corner. Getting Will Middlebrooks (Thursday) and Shane Victorino (Friday) off the disabled list will help, he said.

“Definitely,” Ortiz said. “Those guys are some of the secret weapons that we’ve got and they always help us out to win games, help make the team better. They’re going to put the team in a better way.

“Vic hitting second, he’s the kind of guy that he always hit at the top of the lineup. He got speed. He’s a good hitter. He’s a good on-base guy. So you definitely want to have a guy like Vic hitting at the top of the lineup.”

And despite the Sox’ record, they are still in the hunt, at 2 ˝ games out, behind the first-place Yankees. The Rays, who have been reeling lately – at 11-16 overall, losing six of their last seven – are still just 4 ˝ games out.

“This is the division that it definitely got stronger,” Ortiz said. “We’ve already played Baltimore, the Blue Jays, the Yankees, Tampa. Every year it seems like everybody gets stronger….you’re always going to have to fight.

“It’s early. We’ve only played about a month. We still got five months left…we’ll see.”

His team hasn’t quite been able to fire on all cylinders yet, Ortiz said. When it can do that, things will be different.

“It’s a combination of good pitching and good offense,” he said. “And the [games] that we have lost is a combination of not consistent pitching with not consistent offense. Winning games is a combination. We pretty much played all the games against our division, which is the strongest division in baseball.

“Winning is a combination of pretty much everything and I think that’s what’s happening. Most of the games that we have lost we haven’t’ been able to execute [everything] combined.”