CHICAGO -- After opening the season with only two hits in his first nine games, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is beginning to find his groove.
The Red Sox catcher turned in his third multihomer game in Thursday's 10-3 win over the White Sox to extend his hitting streak to five games. He's hitting .476 with two doubles, three homers and seven RBIs in that stretch and also has driven in at least two runs in three consecutive games.
"Right now, I guess I'm just trying to put good wood on the ball and stay consistent with what my approach is," Saltalamacchia said.
Manager Bobby Valentine said Saltalamacchia was simply due, noting the 26-year-old has produced solid at-bats for most of the year.
"He's a good hitter. He wasn't getting any luck at all. Every ball he hit hard, really, seemed to find a glove," Valentine said. "Last night, he hits a two-RBI single and he's feeling good about himself. ... Salty's had good at-bats. For the majority of the season, his at-bats have been solid."
Valentine also mentioned he's been impressed with the way the young catcher has handled the pitching staff lately. Although Saltalamacchia has spent parts of every season in the Majors since 2007, last season was the first he played more than 93 games -- and that was in '07 -- so he's still not yet a finished product.
"He's growing," Valentine said. "I think he's a developing player."
Anderson makes first career start in left field
CHICAGO -- Lars Anderson received his first career start in left field for the Red Sox in Thursday's series opener against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Anderson, who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, is a natural first baseman and has played there almost exclusively throughout his Minor League career and during his brief stints in the Majors.
The 24-year-old played four games in left before being brought up earlier this week to fill the roster spot vacated by outfielder Jason Repko, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a separated left shoulder. Manager Bobby Valentine is comfortable having Anderson in the outfield, but he admits the Red Sox don't know exactly what they're going to get.
"I've been watching him for four days. He's good off the fungo and the reports on him are he caught everything that was hit to him when he played, so we'll see," Valentine said. "[He] hasn't been challenged and I would say the wind and big league hitters will challenge him a little more than he's been challenged before. He feels good about it."
Anderson is starting instead of Cody Ross, who left Wednesday's 7-6 win over the Twins after tweaking his left knee, which the outfielder said afterward was a "little sore." Valentine said if Boston had an off-day Friday, Ross would play in the series opener, but the manager opted not to push it.
"No need to make anything worse," Valentine said. "Try to see if we can put this little small issue in the rearview mirror."
Valentine said Ross would be available off the bench.
Hill could join bullpen this weekend in Chicago
CHICAGO -- It's "conceivable" that left-hander Rich Hill could join the Red Sox in Chicago this weekend, manager Bobby Valentine said before Thursday's series opener against the White Sox.
Valentine said Thursday he'd wait to hear how Hill, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, was feeling after pitching on consecutive days in his Minor League rehab stint with Triple-A Pawtucket.
"He's pitched very well," Valentine said. "Today's kind of an evaluation, make-sure-he-feels-good day. Maybe we'll have to plan for him."
Could the 32-year-old Hill join the club during its four-game series with the White Sox?
"Oh, I don't know," said Valentine." It's conceivable. It seems like he's pitched well enough."
Valentine wouldn't speculate on where Hill would fit into the bullpen if the lefty was promoted, mainly because he hasn't seen Hill pitch in a game situation. When the time comes, Hill would be put in various situations to see where he fits best, said Valentine.
One thing Valentine is sure of, however, is that he liked what he saw from Hill before the lefty began his rehab stint.
"When I saw him in Boston throwing from the outfield, I was amazed at what I saw," Valentine said. "I got to see right up until real game activity. Always looked good."
Boston faced Philip Humber on Thursday in the White Sox right-hander's first start since throwing the 21st perfect game in Major League history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Thursday was the second time in Red Sox history the club faced a starter in his first outing following perfection. The other time was on May 23, 1998, when Boston faced Yankees left-hander David Wells after Wells threw his perfect game on May 17 of that year. Wells beat the Red Sox that day, allowing three runs in seven innings.
Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney entered Thursday's game with a seven-game hitting streak, tied for his career high.
Red Sox reliever Franklin Morales entered Thursday's contest having not allowed a run in his last 21 road appearances, spanning 19 innings.