Toucher & Rich

BOSTON (CBS) – Don’t look now but the Red Sox have won three of their last five games and remain just 4.5 games out of the second wild card.

Red Sox catcher David Ross loves talking to 98.5 The Sports Hub Toucher & Rich show after a win, and that’s exactly what he did Friday morning.

Despite the sub .500 record, Ross says the attitude around the clubhouse has been mostly positive and everybody’s still putting the right amount of work in. Ross feels like last night’s win over the Indians was a step in the right direction.

“We’re not as consistent as we’d like to be right now. A game like last night was nice to see. It was pretty much a clean baseball game. Some big hits, great plays — Jackie Bradley made a great play. It was a fun baseball game last night to play in. It was nice to be a part of,” said Ross.

The leadoff spot in the batting order has been an area of weakness this season for the hometown team, and while they were on the subject of “steps in the right direction,” the guys were curious to hear Ross’ opinion of Brock Holt and how he’s been able to provide some stability at that position.

“[Brock] has been a huge lift for us. We’ve been looking for somebody to solidify the leadoff role since Jacoby [Ellsbury] left last year. Brock’s done that for us. He’s done a good job. He’s played left field, he’s played third. He’s one of those guys that would throw on the catching gear if he had to and figure it out. He’s a good young player that really understands his role and just wants to contribute to the team winning,” said Ross.

The conversation shifted gears and Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado was brought up. The 21-year-old was suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing his bat into the field of play.

Ross admits he’s never been part of an ugly incident like that, although he’s seen them play out on television before. The 37-year-old veteran catcher has a hard time figuring out how the league determines suspension length, noting the six-game suspension for Brandon Workman intentionally hitting Evan Longoria with a baseball, and Machado’s five-gamer for throwing a bat.

The Red Sox have a historically bad outfield and offense has been the team’s biggest problem through 66 games. By and large the starting pitching has been fine, even with Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront on the sidelines.

Ross talked about Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa filling that void.

“I think they’ve done great. They’ve been a big shot in the arm with some guys that have been a little inconsistent and trying to get their stuff going in Buchholz and Doubront. I think Workman is coming into his own. I really like the way he competes. It’s fun to watch him go out there.

“Rubby is night and day from last year. He has a lot more command of his pitches. I still think Rubby can make some strides with his fastball command, but both guys have made huge strides since last year. People forget that Workman pitched in Game 6 of the World Series, so there’s a lot of confidence there from our manager John Farrell.”

When asked if general manager Ben Cherington needs to make any moves to help the team, Ross said “I try not to play GM” and he’d like to see everybody back and healthy before making that assessment.

Listen below for the full interview:

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