MINNEAPOLIS — Red Sox lefthander Chris Capuano started the season with 15 consecutive scoreless innings over 12 appearances. He allowed only eight hits and struck out 15 in that span.
In four appearances since, Capuano has lasted 2⅔ innings, allowed five earned runs on seven hits, and struck out two.
Capuano acknowledges there is some simple regression going on. But he also believes there are some adjustments he can make to fix that.
“I’ve been working on my motion out of the stretch,” Capuano said. “I’m trying to be quick to the plate and not sacrifice anything on the pitches, the quality of the pitches. I’ve always been comfortable in the windup. The last couple of years, when holding runners on, that’s when I’ve made some mistakes”
Capuano entered Friday’s game against Texas in the fifth inning with two runners on base and allowed an RBI single by Mitch Moreland, followed by a two-run homer by Leonys Martin.
“Some teams have been super-aggressive, swinging right away,” Capuano said.
Manager John Farrell has been using Capuano in different situations, including in the middle of innings with men on base.
“That’s going to make me better because I have to be on from the first pitch,” he said. “All the work I’ve done on the side has been from the stretch. I’m putting a lot of time into that. I know I need to work through all that.”
Target on radar
The Sox open a three-game series against the Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field. It will be their first time seeing Minnesota since the six meetings in spring training.
Felix Doubront, who starts the first game of the series, had a 6.00 earned run average in his first five starts this season. He has had some success in the last two, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits over 11⅓ innings.
Doubront made one start against the Twins last season and give up six runs on 11 hits over 5⅓ innings May 8 at Fenway Park. Tonight will be his first appearance at Target Field.
The Red Sox are 9-3 at Target Field, with wins in their last six games there and eight of the last nine.
Monday was the fourth scheduled day off the Red Sox had over a 15-day period. They are off again next Monday.
After that, the Sox are scheduled for 36 games in 37 games.
“Where’s the logic to it?” Farrell said. “Sometimes that definitely does not prevail. I don’t worry about it, but it’s not ideal. The schedule is given to you. We can’t change it. If it were our preference, we’d like to spread it out a little more evenly.”
The Sox discussed adjusting their pitching staff so that their best starters wouldn’t be as spread out. But with the busy stretch starting next week, the decision was made to stay in line.
Xander Bogaerts is 1 for 16 in the last four games in which he has had an at-bat. That has dropped his batting average from .280 to .252 . . . Dustin Pedroia was 4 for 11 in the Texas series and is 14 of 41 (.341) this month with five doubles and two home runs. Through Sunday, Pedroia’s 14 doubles were tied for second in the American League. Only Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer, with 15, had more.