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July 21, 2013

Meet new Red Sox reliever Matt Thornton

BOSTON — Meet new Red Sox lefty reliever Matt Thornton, who was traded to Boston a few days before the All-Star Break for prospect outfielder Brandon Jacobs.

Thornton, 36, entered Friday with a career 3.54 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 169 holds.

He was an All-Star in 2010 when he posted a 2.67 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 21 holds in 61 relief appearances.

He has struggled some this year with a 4.08 ERA in 41 appearances entering Friday, but does have 18 holds and just one blown save.

Lefties are batting just .173 against Thornton this year.

Thornton went one-on-one with Eagle-Tribune baseball reporter Christopher “Smitty” Smith.

Smitty: What left-hander throughout the history of baseball would you like to talk with the most?

Thornton: Sandy Koufax. I’ve never had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him. But obviously what he did was amazing. I got a chance to talk with Randy (Johnson) when I was young in Seattle. New York came into town, and I got chance to talk to him about being a tall lefty and different things that go on out there for a taller guy.

Smitty: Talking about Koufax, have you ever been to the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Thornton: I went by it for the first time in my life when I was driving in yesterday. I saw the exit. It was tempting, but I needed to get into Boston to get settled in. It’s the first time I’ve ever come close to it.

Smitty: Is it more difficult to maintain a consistent delivery because of your height (6-6)?

Thornton: Yeah, easily things can get out of sync. There’s more things moving. You have more range from your leg kick to your arms to your body. You have to have everything driving real well to the plate and confidence goes along with that, too.

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