Adrian vows to go deep, questions ump

Adrian vows to go deep, questions ump

Adrian vows to go deep, questions ump
ST. PETERSBURG -- First baseman Adrian Gonzalez has gone 103 at-bats without a home run, but he predicts the drought will end on Thursday -- the one-month anniversary of his last long ball.

"I'll start hitting home runs. I'll hit a home run tomorrow," Gonzalez said after the Red Sox's 2-1 loss to the Rays.

Gonzalez has just two home runs this season, the most recent coming on April 17 against the Rangers at Fenway.

In Wednesday's loss, Gonzalez had a chance to tie the game with a home run in the eighth. Instead, he struck out on five pitches against Joel Peralta. What really irked Gonzalez was the first pitch, a splitter, that was called a strike by home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.

"It wasn't even close," Gonzalez said. "You're up there trying to have a professional at-bat and look for a pitch to hit and that's called? Yesterday there were a couple of pitches that weren't close and were called strikes and it put me in two strikes, and then you have to protect. It's just unfortunate. You wish you could keep them on the plate and force them to come in, but that doesn't happen anymore."

Perhaps Gonzalez would be more tolerant of calls like that if his power numbers were up to par.

Does Gonzalez think calls like that have been habitual from umpires this season?

"Not every time," Gonzalez said. "Just at times. When they're good, you can be comfortable up there. You know what the strike zone is. When they're not, you have to go up there and hack. It's frustrating."

Gonzalez knows that arguing with umpires won't win him any favors.

"It doesn't do any good," Gonzalez said. "You say something and then you start letting it get into your head and then it starts messing with your at-bat and your approach and what you're trying to do. You get thrown out -- I'm the one who gets punished for it. It's not him for not making the wrong call."

Slugger David Ortiz was happy to hear the news that Gonzalez was expecting to go deep on Thursday.

"Good. That's good stuff. I can't wait," said Ortiz. "I know my pinata killer is going to be fine. I've got money on him. I've got money on the killer, because I know that pinata at some point is going to have to drop down."

Gonzalez likes to joke with all of his teammates that he hits high pitches out of the park because of all the pinatas he tried to knock down at parties during his youth.