Mortensen ‘Pitched with Conviction’ with Boston

The Red Sox have to be pleased with what they’ve seen from Clayton Mortensen this year. In his two stints with Boston, the right-hander has put together a 1.35 ERA (3 ER/20.0 IP) over eight appearances while walking just two and striking out 15.

Following five innings of long relief in Oakland because Daisuke Matsuzaka experienced neck stiffness, Mortensen was optioned back to Pawtucket to make room for recently promoted Justin Germano.

“I thought I went up and did what they asked me to do,” Mortensen said about his recent time with the Red Sox. “It was nice to get back there and reiterate that I can help the team out when needed. I’ve been happy with the way I’ve thrown the ball up there.”

While his numbers with the PawSox have been solid (4-2, 2.39 ERA with 12 walks and 24 strikeouts), Mortensen has appeared locked-in during his two trips to the Big Leagues this season. A familiar stage, the righty has appeared in the Majors in each of the last four seasons with St. Louis, Oakland, Colorado, and now Boston.

In 32 career Major League games (13 starts), Mortensen is 4-8, 4.46 ERA with 41 walks and 65 strikeouts. (Kelly O’Connor)

“I think up there you seem to dial it in a litte more and throw each pitch with more conviction because there is more riding on the line,” Mortensen explained. “You really try to emphasize location and mixing [your pitches] and being able to get some bad contact.”

“The one thing down in Triple-A you always have to remember is that it doesn’t matter if you’re down here or up there, you have to attack with the same mentality. You don’t want to go up [to the Major Leagues], get your number called, and then all of a sudden change your mindset of how you’re approaching hitters.”

In his first year with the Red Sox, Mortensen has noticed something he never experienced with his previous Major League teams.

“When you have ‘Red Sox’ across your chest, you’re one of the big teams in the league. Everyone gets up to play Boston and you know that you’re going to see the other team’s very best. It’s a great feeling because if you play well, you know that you had success against another team at its best.”

Mortensen rejoins a PawSox club that aims for its 50th win of the season tonight in Rochester. Televised on NESN, Tony Pena Jr. (9-6, 6.23) will be opposed by Jeff Manship (4-1, 2.79). On the radio side of things, pre-game coverage begins at 5:50, first pitch is set for 6:05.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

The Red Sox traded shortstop Marco Scutaro to Colorado for Mortensen on on January 21, 2012.

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