Scioscia cancels batting practice

Scioscia cancels batting practice

BOSTON -- Trying something new during trying times, manager Mike Scioscia canceled batting practice before Wednesday night's game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

After watching his team go 3-for-28 with runners in scoring position in the previous five games, Scioscia said he figured it couldn't hurt to put them back in a youthful American Legion frame of mind where they'd "show up, stretch and play."

"We've been grinding," Scioscia said. "We've got guys who need to relax. Hopefully they'll go out and have a good day. Sometimes when you have a team that is struggling, less is more. We had extra batting practice yesterday along with regular BP. If anything, our guys are working a little too hard. Sometimes when you take BP in the cage, it gives you a different perspective."

Reggie Willits, hitting .279 with a .353 on-base percentage, was in center field for Peter Bourjos, the ultra-swift rookie who is struggling to find hits while playing superb defense. Torii Hunter remained in right, where he made a spectacular catch in the series opener to rob Adrian Beltre of a home run.

"Once he gets comfortable, he will contribute from the offensive side," Scioscia said of Bourjos, who is batting .122 in 12 games. "Any experience a guy gets in the Major Leagues has to help him. We have Reggie as an option to take a little pressure off Peter. Peter's going to play most of the games in center field."