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Valentine not buying Fenway struggles

Valentine not buying Fenway struggles

Valentine not buying Fenway struggles
BOSTON -- After the Red Sox couldn't hang on to three different leads against the Orioles on Friday night, eventually losing, 6-4, in 13 innings, their record at Fenway Park this season fell to 4-8.

They've lost a series, 2-1, to the Oakland A's, were swept in three games by the Texas Rangers and lost both games of a rain-shortened series against the Yankees, blowing a 9-0 lead to the Bronx Bombers during one of the losses. The only series the Sox won at home was a three-game sweep of the Rays in April.

But manager Bobby Valentine believes his team is actually playing quite well in its home park, despite the won-loss record.

"We have played well, we just haven't won the games," said Valentine. "I thought yesterday was a good game. We had a couple leads, came back, pitched well in the bullpen for lots of innings -- that's a pretty good game. [We] just didn't get the bloop or ground ball that eluded their infielders. And they cleared a ground ball that eluded ours."

In the American League, the Red Sox rank second in home batting average (.279) and on-base percentage (.344), while leading the league in slugging (.487). But their team ERA of 6.11 is worse than every team in the Majors at home, even the Rockies (5.35), who play their home games at the homer-friendly Coors Field.

Starters Felix Doubront (6.00 ERA), Clay Buchholz (7.32) and Jon Lester (11.25) have particularly struggled at Fenway this year, allowing a combined total of 11 home runs in 42 2/3 innings. But Valentine said he isn't concerned.

"You have to look at the little victories when you play well," he said. "What are you going to do, discount the little things that went well and say, 'Oh well, we lost, so all the good things don't count?'

"I think a lot of good things happened, and guys have to not lose sight of that. Just keep doing the good things."

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