Boston Red Sox – Press Herald Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:18:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Red Sox lose in Cleveland as bullpen can’t hold lead Tue, 22 Aug 2017 03:25:59 +0000 CLEVELAND — Brandon Guyer scored when first baseman Brock Holt threw away Roberto Perez’s bunt in the ninth inning, lifting the Cleveland Indians over the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Monday night in a matchup of first-place teams.

After Guyer’s leadoff double against Brandon Workman (0-1), Holt fielded the bunted ball and tried to throw out Guyer at third. Guyer slid into the bag as the throw skipped past third baseman Rafael Devers, then got to his feet and raced across home plate. Teammates ran onto the field and doused Perez with water and white powder.

Perez also had a three-run homer in the second inning.

Cody Allen (1-6) allowed Christian Vazquez’s leadoff single in the ninth, but retired the next three hitters. The inning ended when shortstop Francisco Lindor ran down Mookie Betts’ popup in center field with his back to home plate.

Cleveland relief ace Andrew Miller left in the seventh inning after aggravating the patellar tendinitis in his right knee. Miller recently returned after over two weeks on the disabled list with the knee injury.

Boston led 4-3 behind two-run homers by Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi before Edwin Encarnacion tied the game in the eighth with an RBI single.

Holt replaced Mitch Moreland, who was a late scratch because of a sore neck. Moreland took a forearm in the back of the head from Holt on a play Sunday. Manager John Farrell said Moreland passed concussion tests, but he decided to hold him out of the lineup.

Ramirez’s fifth-inning homer made it 4-3. Benintendi hit his homer in the first.

Plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt left the game after being hit on the mask by a warmup pitch in the sixth inning from Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly.

Indians first baseman Carlos Santana also left the game with an injury, exiting in the eighth inning with lower back tightness.

Eduardo Rodriguez allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings for Boston. Mike Clevinger allowed both homers and gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings for Cleveland.

Jay Bruce was 1 for 4 in his first home game since being acquired from the New York Mets on Aug. 9.

]]> 0 Ramirez rounds first base after hitting a two-run home run off Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger in the fifth inning to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.Mon, 21 Aug 2017 23:42:43 +0000
Remy honored by Red Sox Mon, 21 Aug 2017 02:09:50 +0000 BOSTON — If the Boston Red Sox needed anymore inspiration for their game against the New York Yankees or the rest of their season, they got it Sunday from Jerry Remy in his first visit to Fenway Park since lung surgery in June.

“(I’m going to) be back in that booth next year when the Red Sox lift that pennant for another year,” Remy said near the conclusion of his speech that capped a pregame ceremony to celebrate his 30 years as a broadcaster.

Remy, who began as a color commentator for NESN in 1988, will start chemotherapy Tuesday as part of his fifth battle with cancer. He hasn’t worked any games since just before the surgery, and he has avoided watching games while he’s been out.

“It’s not because I’ve lost interest, it’s just I feel guilty when I’m not here doing my job,” Remy said. “So I kind of follow it through my phone, check the final scores, check the box scores. That’s how I’ve been following.

“They’ve been pretty exciting wins and it’s kind of got the makings of something big could happen here.”

Remy said he’s felt better the last couple weeks after feeling lousy for more than a month after the surgery. The 2006 Red Sox Hall of Fame inductee’s spirits were helped by the ceremony, which began less than 15 minutes before first pitch so that almost all of the 36,911 fans on hand could give Remy a rousing ovation.

“It means you’ve done something for a long time that people appreciate and like. It means that all the hard work you’ve put into your job has paid off in some way,” he said. “It just makes me feel like I’m part of the Red Sox for life. It really does. And that’s a special feeling.”

During his 30 years in the NESN booth, Remy has shared his on-field knowledge and his off-field trials and tribulations. His frankness has endeared him to the public in ways all broadcasters hope they can connect.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell joked that he only gets to hear Remy after he’s been ejected.

But Farrell has an idea why Remy appeals to Sox fans.

“The same can be said for my interactions with Jerry, is that he’s very real, he’s very candid,” Farrell said. “He doesn’t pretend to see something that’s not there. And he calls it like he sees it. … He’s got so much personal experience playing to draw upon, and I don’t think he takes himself too seriously. He has fun with it and that’s what makes him approachable … and real.”

The Red Sox presented Remy with a Waterford crystal vase, a new watch, a pair of Fenway Park seats (one red, one blue, both number 2) and a gigantic new television, which elicited a celebratory jig by Remy.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia presented Remy with an oversized autographed baseball glove, and the Mass. General Hospital staff that’s helping Remy with his fight was introduced. Then Remy, who admitted that he was nervous, made his speech and threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Now he’ll focus on his treatment and his attempt to be back for Opening Day 2018.

“It’s a new challenge in my life,” he said. “My life has been full of challenges, I totally expect to beat this again, and hopefully this treatment will wash it away for good because I am really tired of it, and I just want to get back to work.”

]]> 0 Sox broadcaster and former player Jerry Remy waves during a pregame ceremony Sunday recognizing his 30 years in the television booth.Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:19:47 +0000
On Baseball: Red Sox can’t afford to become complacent Mon, 21 Aug 2017 01:13:19 +0000 BOSTON — Cy Young winner Rick Porcello may be turning it around just when this Boston Red Sox rotation needs a lift.

Jackie Bradley Jr. showed he could be the best No. 9 hitter in the game.

And the Red Sox lead the New York Yankees by five games in the AL East standings, following Boston’s 5-1 win Sunday afternoon.


“We would much rather be in this position than be five games back. That’s for sure,” Porcello said. “Everyone knows there is a lot of baseball to be played, especially in this division. No lead is big enough.”

If you think Porcello is playing the cliche game, he knows something about this only being August on the baseball calendar.

“I’ve been on a team where we had a six-game lead going into September and it didn’t work out,” Porcello said.

That was the 2009 Detroit Tigers in Porcello’s rookie season. The lead became seven games on Sept. 8, but Detroit collapsed and then lost a one-game playoff to Minnesota in 12 innings.

So, what’s a five-game lead on Aug. 21?

Yankees veteran outfielder Brett Gardner said his team was still in “striking distance,” noting that a five-game deficit could be gone within two weeks.

The Red Sox visit Yankee Stadium the weekend after next for a four-game series.

New York did not feel overwhelmed by Boston the last two weekends – each series won by the Red Sox, 2-1.

“We probably had a chance to win four of the six (games) and we won two of the six, so that’s frustrating,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said in his postgame press conference.

“But I still think we’re playing pretty decent baseball and we need that to continue.”

The Yankees have Monday off and then visit the struggling Tigers. New York gets starter Masahiro Tanaka back from the disabled list Tuesday. Other reinforcements are expected to arrive soon from the disabled list – designated hitter Matt Holliday, first baseman Greg Bird and second baseman Starlin Castro.

This could be a dangerous New York team in September.

Boston Manager John Farrell, in his postgame press conference, was asked about the upcoming series against Cleveland – a team Boston might see in the playoffs for a second straight year.

“We’re not thinking about the playoffs,” Farrell said. “We’re not thinking about what transpired a year ago.

“We’re in a stretch of games for the better part of a month where the schedule is tough. Our guys are handling that challenge great, but we know we’re going in to play a very good team in Cleveland.”

The Red Sox are sizzling, with 12 wins in 15 games. They also have players on the DL, with David Price out indefinitely and Dustin Pedroia possibly a week or two away. But they keep winning.

“We definitely feel like we’ve been trending in the right direction,” Bradley said.

Bradley certainly is. Not only was he 5 for 10 with six RBI in the three-game series, but he’s batting .600 this month (9 for 15) with runners in scoring position.

“He’s in a good place,” Farrell said. “We’ve talked about his streakiness in the past. He’s on the good side of one of those right now.”

Speaking of a good place, Porcello (8-14) has won his last four starts. And in his last eight starts, he has a 3.38 ERA.

“His location remains consistent. That’s the biggest key for Rick,” Farrell said.

Porcello’s reemergence comes at a time when Price appears like he might be done for the season. His left elbow is still sore, and Farrell said his return “can’t really begin to get attached to a date.”

But the team has Chris Sale, Porcello, Drew Pomeranz (who the team hopes won’t miss a start after leaving Friday’s game because of back spasms) and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Rodriguez goes Monday night in Cleveland. It’s another big series.

Just don’t start thinking too far ahead, Red Sox fans. Remember those 2009 Tigers.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Sox starter Rick Porcello throws in the first inning. He pitched into the seventh inning but didn't get a decision as the game went 11 innings.Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:22:24 +0000
Bradley Jr. lifts Red Sox past Yankees Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:24:23 +0000 BOSTON — Does Jackie Bradley Jr. consider himself a No. 9 hitter?

“Tricky question,” Bradley said. “I like to consider myself a hitter who can produce at any part of the order.”

Bradley produced Sunday afternoon. He knocked in three runs with a triple and a single to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 5-1 win over the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.

Sandy Leon’s two-run double in the eighth provided insurance for Boston (71-52).

The Red Sox won the weekend series against the Yankees for the second straight weekend and now have a five-game lead over the Yankees (66-57) in the American League East.

And maybe the batting order doesn’t matter, when you consider the 7-8-9 hitters – Mitch Moreland, Leon and Bradley – were a combined 6 for 10 with five RBI and three runs.

“The bottom third of our lineup was outstanding,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “And combine it with a good, strong day from the guys on the mound.”

Rick Porcello (8-14) got the win with six innings of three-hit ball. He gave up a Brett Gardiner homer in the fifth.

It was Porcello’s fourth straight win.

“Mix of different pitches. Nothing in particular was really on fire,” Porcello said. “The walks (three) were a little concerning. We were able to pitch out of it.”

Boston’s bullpen was perfect.

Brandon Workman relieved Porcello and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.

Addison Reed had a 1-2-3 eighth, with a strikeout of Aaron Judge.

Craig Kimbrel, in a non-save situation, struck out two in the ninth.

Boston beat New York’s newly acquired starter, Sonny Gray (7-8), who lasted five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks. For the first time in his career, he did not strike out anyone.

“The offense was really able to grind their starter down,” said Porcello, whose teammates drove up Gray’s pitch count to 106 pitches.

Gray gave up three hits in the second inning – singles by Xander Bogaerts and Leon, and then Bradley’s two-out, two-run triple into the triangle in center field.

“I got a 2-0 fastball and was able to handle it,” Bradley said.

Adam Warren relieved Gray in the sixth. Moreland lined a one-out single, advanced on a wild pitch and a groundout, and scored on Bradley’s line-drive single to right-center.

Leon’s two-run double came off Tommy Kahnle.

NOTES: It looks like Drew Pomeranz might make his next scheduled start on Wednesday in Cleveland. Farrell said Pomeranz is feeling better after leaving Friday’s game because of back spasms. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday. … Farrell juggled the rotation, moving Doug Fister back another day until Tuesday. Eduardo Rodriguez will pitch Monday. … David Price (sore elbow) and Dustin Pedroia (sore knee) will not make the trip to Cleveland. Price’s throwing program has been shut down because of continuing soreness, while Pedroia is hoping to resume baseball activities this week.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Bradley Jr. watches the flight of his two-run triple in the second inning of the Red Sox' 5-1 win over the Yankees on Sunday in Boston.Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:22:03 +0000
Major League notebook: Red Sox lefty Price halts throwing program Sun, 20 Aug 2017 03:05:18 +0000 BOSTON — David Price, on the disabled list with elbow problems for the second time this season, hasn’t thrown since Tuesday and won’t throw again anytime soon, Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell said Friday.

Price has been playing catch on a daily basis but stopped throwing on Wednesday, when he began feeling some “stiffness,” according to Farrell.

Farrell said he did not know when Price would pitch next, but he would stop throwing for the time being.

With just 40 games left in the regular season, it’s going to be difficult for Price to make a comeback. It’s been almost a month since he’s pitched and he still hasn’t thrown off a mound.

A day after John Henry suggested his team should lead the process to rename Yawkey Way, Pumpsie Green stood behind the owner.

In a statement to The Providence Journal, Green, the first African-American player in Red Sox history said he would support changing the name and that “naming the street after David Ortiz is a very good choice.”

Green joined the Red Sox in 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.

MLB UMPIRES wore white wristbands during games Saturday, protesting “abusive player behavior” after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for his recent verbal tirade against ump Angel Hernandez.

The World Umpires Association announced the action, saying the union strongly objected to the response by the commissioner’s office. Kinsler said this week that Hernandez was a bad umpire and “just needs to go away.”

DODGERS: The team acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson and cash from the New York Mets for a player to be named later or cash in a deal completed early Saturday morning.

The 36-year-old Granderson is hitting .228 with 19 home runs and 52 RBI this year.

Yu Darvish was placed on the 10-day DL after just three starts with his new team.

The team said Darvish has lower back tightness, which he first noticed after a recent start in Arizona and mentioned again after making his Dodger Stadium debut last Wednesday.

PADRES: San Diego demoted one of its top young players, right fielder Hunter Renfroe, to Triple-A El Paso on Saturday.

Manager Andy Green said the Padres want Renfroe to work on plate discipline and getting on base more consistently.

]]> 0 Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:10:21 +0000
Yankees hold off Red Sox, 4-3 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 02:48:39 +0000 BOSTON —Tyler Austin hit a three-run home run, Todd Frazier added a solo homer and CC Sabathia retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced as the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Saturday night.

Sabathia (10-5), returning from a stint on the disabled list because of sore right knee, retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced on the way to improving to 3-0 in three starts against Boston this season. He allowed two runs and four hits to earn his first victory since July 21. Dellin Betances got the last three outs for his ninth save.

The Yankees won for the fifth time in six games and snapped Boston’s three game winning streak to pull within four games of the first-place Red Sox in the AL East.

Chris Sale (14-5) struck out nine, but was tagged for the four runs and seven hits. He is still looking for his first victory in the rivalry. He had allowed three runs or more only once over his previous six starts and had a 1.19 ERA in three starts against the Yankees.

The Yankees needed all four runs to preserve the win.

The score was 4-3 the eighth when Andrew Benintendi struck out, but advanced to first on a wild pitch by reliever David Robertson. Hanley Ramirez followed by lining a double to left field. The Yankees then intentionally walked Chris Young to load the bases.

But Robertson was able to settle down and struck out Xander Bogaerts on three straight knuckle curves.

Boston got within a run an inning earlier when Rafael Devers got ahold of reliever Adam Warren’s fastball, driving it just over the center-field boundary for a home run. It was confirmed after an umpire review. Devers’ eighth homer was the latest highlight in the rookie’s remarkable run since being called up to the majors July 24.


Yankees: Placed INF Garrett Cooper on the 10-day disabled list with left hamstring tendinitis and recalled INF Tyler Austin from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … Todd Frazier took an 81 mph slider from Chris Sale off left shin in second inning. He briefly got attention from the training staff, but was able to stay in the game. He then scored on Austin’s homer.

Red Sox: Manager John Farrell said LHP Drew Pomeranz, who left mid-batter with back spasms in the fourth inning of Friday’s win, was still experiencing some soreness on Saturday. But Farrell said that “He’s of the mindset he’s going to be ready to go for his next start.” For now Pomeranz is in a “day-to-day situation,” but the team is equally optimistic he won’t miss his next scheduled appearance.


Yankees: RHP Sonny Gray is 5-4 with a 1.88 ERA over his last nine starts. It is the majors’ second-lowest ERA since June 25.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello has won each of his last three starts, but is 0-3 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts against the Yankees this season.

]]> 0 starting pitcher Chris Sale stands on the mound as Tyler Austin of the Yankees rounds the bases after his three-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:19:52 +0000
On Baseball: Sox-Yankees rivarly reinvigorated by youth Sun, 20 Aug 2017 01:26:27 +0000 BOSTON — From every indication, going back to when he played at Hadlock Field as an outfielder with the Trenton Thunder, Aaron Judge is a likable fellow.

But when he came up to bat Friday night at Fenway Park, the boos rained down.

Nice guy? Who cares. He’s a New York Yankee, and a good one at that.

The Boston Red Sox are in first place in the American League East, and the Yankees are their greatest threat. A rivalry has been reignited.

“You could tell the fans were really into it, on both sides,” said Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. “The atmosphere was great.”

Bradley said beating the Yankees is “just another win” and, technically, that is true. But victories are sweeter when they come against the Bombers.

“It’s different. We all know that,” Boston Manager John Farrell said before the series began.

Mitch Moreland, the veteran who came over from the Texas Rangers in the offseason, said the Yankees are simply the opponent this weekend. “Right now, they’re another team we’re trying to beat … it doesn’t matter who is in the other dugout, we’re going to try to go out and beat them.”

Either Moreland, 31, has not been indoctrinated into the rivalry, or he’s playing it cool. I’ll go with the latter.

Veterans know they can’t let the hyped games get to them. But what about the kids?

Rafael Devers, 20, is owning the Yankees. Through Friday night, he was batting .400 (6 for 15) with two home runs in four games versus New York.

Andrew Benintendi, 23, has hit four home runs against the Yankees this year. On Friday, he had a key RBI single, keeping the seventh inning alive, and made a superb diving catch in left field.

“There have been some faces that have changed on both sides that are starting to get their teeth sunk into these series,” Farrell said of the young talent for both teams.

Bradley, a grizzled veteran at 26, was introduced to the rivalry on Opening Day in 2013. Now he’s watching Devers and Benintendi jump right in.

“Great rookies,” Bradley said. “They’ve been like ‘cheat codes’ on a video game. They’ve been able to come in and get the job done.”

Cheat codes? Kids these days … back in the early- to mid-2000s, I don’t remember Trot Nixon or Gary Sheffield referring to video games.

For the uninitiated (including me), Wikipedia defines a cheat code as a code “created by the game designers and hidden within the video game itself that will cause any type of uncommon effect that is not part of the usual game mechanics.”

Uncommon. Who expected Devers, who played the first half of the season in Double-A Portland, to play such a crucial role in this rivalry so soon?

The rivalry goes back for generations, of course, and peaked in 2003 and 2004 when the teams met in the American League Championship Series, going seven games both times.

Both franchises are wealthy and can sign big-name free agents. But now, success is fueled through their farm systems.

Devers and Benintendi have been Boston’s counter moves to the Yankees’ see-the-light youth movement. Instead of trading the Aaron Judges of his organization, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has groomed his best prospects.

New York’s roster features Judge (25 years old), Gary Sanchez (24), Luis Severino (23) and Clint Frazier (22), and soon will include Greg Bird (24), who is coming back from an ankle injury but hit two home runs in a minor-league rehab game Friday.

Boston has Bradley, Benintendi, Devers, Xander Bogaerts (24), Mookie Betts (24), Christian Vazquez (26) and Eduardo Rodriguez (24).

The youth should fuel this rivalry for years. Every game will have heightened importance.

“It’s big,” Vazquez said after Friday’s victory, before falling into the “just-another-game” mentality, saying, “every win is big for us.”

But if Boston can beat the Yankees – and beat them out for the American League East title – there will be extra joy in New England.

A rivalry is on the way back.

“There is a different intensity in there,” said Farrell, despite his players downplaying it.

“Make no mistake, there is a difference. You feel the difference when we play New York.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Devers celebrates his two-run homer Friday night against the New York Yankees. Devers, 20, went into Saturday night's game with seven home runs and a .356 batting average in his first 19 games for the Red Sox.Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:33:31 +0000
Red Sox blow lead, then rally to top Yankees, 9-6 Sat, 19 Aug 2017 03:29:35 +0000 BOSTON — Neither bullpen could hold a lead Friday night as the Boston Red Sox came back to beat the New York Yankees 9-6 at Fenway Park.

Mitch Moreland’s two-run single capped a four-run seventh inning, putting the Red Sox ahead again after Boston let a 3-0 lead slip away.

Jackie Bradley Jr.’s two-run single in the eighth added insurance.

Boston (70-51) leads the Yankees (65-56) by five games in the American League East.

The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead on home runs by Rafael Devers (with a runner on base) and Christian Vazquez off Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery.

Boston starter Drew Pomeranz looked to be in control until he left the game with one out in the fourth inning because of back spasms.

Brandon Workman relieved and kept the 3-0 lead through the fifth inning.

But then the bullpen faltered.

Matt Barnes gave up a two-run homer to Todd Frazier in the sixth and allowed two more hits. Joe Kelly relieved with two outs and hit Aaron Hicks to load the bases.

In an electric matchup between Kelly’s 100 mph fastballs and Aaron Judge’s power, Judge fouled off four offerings and worked a full count before grounding out to shortstop.

But Gary Sanchez led off the seventh with a towering home run, and New York scored three more runs in the inning against Kelly, Heath Hembree and Robby Scott.

Addison Reed (1-1) got the final two outs of the inning and pitched a scoreless eighth before Craig Kimbrel closed out the win in the ninth.

In the bottom of the seventh, Christian Vazquez singled with one out and Jackie Bradley Jr. walked to chase reliever Chad Green. Tommy Kahnle (1-1), one of the relievers obtained from the Chicago White Sox just before the trade deadline, allowed an infield hit by Eduardo Nunez on a dribbler toward third base. Mookie Betts drove in Vazquez with a sacrifice fly to center and Andrew Benintendi singled home Bradley.

After Hanley Ramirez walked, Moreland pinch hit for Chris Young. He fell behind 0-2, missing two change-ups. He got a third change-up and lined it to center field for a two-run single and a 7-6 lead.

NOTES: Red Sox Manager John Farrell said David Price did not throw again Friday because of stiffness in his sore left elbow. His last threw on Tuesday after throwing three times on flat ground last week.

“He has to build up to an aggressive long-toss situation and build back to the mound. That’s going to take some time. I don’t have a return date at all,” Farrell said.

]]> 0's Andrew Benintendi, right, and Eduardo Nunez celebrate after scoring on a two-run single by Mitch Moreland in the seventh inning Friday night against the Yankees at Fenway Park.Fri, 18 Aug 2017 23:31:13 +0000
On Baseball: Red Sox need a healthy Pomeranz Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:59:50 +0000 BOSTON — Such is the unpredictable nature of this 2017 Boston Red Sox team that David Price has been hardly missed. But when the trainer went out to the mound Friday night to check on Drew Pomeranz, there was a gasp at Fenway Park.

Who knew Pomeranz would become so valuable?

The left-hander left Friday night’s game in the fourth inning because of back spasms. We will have to wait to see if this will be a lingering problem.

Pomeranz pitched 31/3 scoreless innings. That gives him a 2.61 ERA since May 20. Only Cleveland’s Corey Kluber (1.85) has been better among American League starting pitchers (Chris Sale is at 2.72).

“He’s more certain with his pitch mix as far as attacking the strike zone,” Boston Manager John Farrell said. “He’s worked at a quicker pace.

“And I think, as he has put (positive) outings under his belt, he’s grown with a lot of confidence.”

The pace used to be slow, the strike zone elusive. Pomeranz’s pitch counts elevated fast. There was the notorious May 20 start where Pomeranz was seen arguing with Farrell in the dugout because he was yanked after throwing 97 pitches in four innings.

Since then, Pomeranz has been in control.

“He’s done an outstanding job with men on base,” Farrell said. “He’s found a way to navigate through a potential big inning and has minimized it.

“That’s been one of the biggest things that has shown up – his ability to get out of the big inning.”

On Friday night, the Yankees were 1 for 8 against Pomeranz with runners on base, and the hit was a harmless Aaron Judge single with two outs in the third inning.

With runners on first and second, Pomeranz struck out Gary Sanchez on a wicked curveball that dropped like a shot put into the dirt as Sanchez swung through it.

It was Pomeranz’s second strikeout of Sanchez. The Yankees slugger was hitting .462 (6 for 13) with three home runs against Pomeranz.

Pomeranz got Sanchez to chase a curve in the first inning, too. His other two strikeouts came on elevated fastballs, against Aaron Hicks and Didi Gregorius.

Pomeranz began the game with six straight fastballs to leadoff hitter Brett Gardner, who lined a single into center field. Then Pomeranz began using his curveball.

He ended up throwing 23 fastballs (90 to 93 mph), 25 curves and just enough cut fastballs (eight) to make it a legitimate mix.

“He has confidence in all his weapons,” Farrell said.

In the fourth, though, Pomeranz’s first pitch was an 89-mph fastball that Gregorius lined to left, but it landed in the glove of a diving Andrew Benintendi.

Chase Headley stepped up, and Pomeranz threw two pitches for balls – an 87 mph fastball and a curveball that sailed outside and to the backstop. Second baseman Eduardo Nunez jogged in to check on Pomeranz, then first baseman Hanley Ramirez joined them. Soon, Farrell and the trainer were out of the dugout.

After a chat on the mound, Pomeranz threw a warmup pitch, then headed toward the dugout.

This isn’t the first time Pomeranz has left a game this year because of an injury.

On March 19, Pomeranz left a spring training start because of tightness in his left triceps muscle. He made his next start five days later.

On May 14, the triceps muscle tightened again and Pomeranz lasted only three innings. Still, he made his next scheduled start.

The Red Sox need Pomeranz to come back. Did Boston fans think they would ever be saying those words? After Dave Dombrowski traded prized pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza to San Diego for Pomeranz last year, there was angst. It did not help that Pomeranz had a 4.59 ERA in his 14 games with Boston.

It didn’t get better when Pomeranz’s ERA was 5.29 in mid-May. But now he’s on a roll. The hope is that his early exit Friday was a cautionary move.

Boston is suddenly having bullpen issues, and David Price may not come back this season. Pomeranz’s health is a priority.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Pomeranz, center, has been Boston's second-best starting pitcher this season, but now his health status is uncertain after he left Friday's game against the New York Yankees in the fourth inning because of back spasms.Fri, 18 Aug 2017 23:03:54 +0000
For the Red Sox, the Impossible Dream team of 1967 changed everything Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:22:03 +0000 BOSTON — Carl Yastrzemski stood at Fenway Park among his 1967 Boston Red Sox teammates Wednesday, laughing, joking with Ken Harrelson. Yaz took a seat, peered into the cameras and in his signature abrupt way gave us his view of the 50th anniversary of the “Impossible Dream.”

“What do I think?” he said. “It’s going by too quick.”

Yaz looked around.

“We’re all gray.”

Oh, but so much of the Impossible Dream will always be in vivid colors. Like the soft popup by Rich Rollins of the Twins that shortstop Rico Petrocelli caught over his head that Sunday the Red Sox clinched the pennant, sending hundreds of fans onto the field at Fenway Park.

“My claim to fame,” Petrocelli said. “Rollins got jammed a little. It was no problem but I made sure I squeezed that ball so hard. I’ve watched that play hundreds of times. Thank God I caught that ball. Think about it. I would have been shot.”

Rico laughed.

“Man, that year was fun,” he said.

The fans descended on winning pitcher Jim Lonborg. The Red Sox wouldn’t clinch until later that afternoon when the Angels beat the Tigers, but already there was pandemonium. The fans tore at Lonborg’s uniform. Does he still have a piece of it?

“No,” said Lonborg, who won 22 games and the Cy Young Award that season. “They used to rehab those things down to Triple-A and then to Double-A. The only thing I have left is the glove.”

And the memories. Yes, he has the colorful memories.

“We sparked the fire,” Lonborg said. “That fire is now Red Sox Nation.”

The Red Sox hadn’t averaged 20,000 fans since 1948. In 1965, they averaged 8,052. The first major league game I ever attended in 1966, there were barely 11,000 fans at Fenway. They averaged 10,014 fans that season.

“My father brought me to a game once when I was smaller,” said pitcher Gary Waslewski, who grew up in Berlin, Connecticut. “There was hardly anybody here.”

“How many people showed up for Ted Williams’ last game?” Yastrzemski asked. The answer: 10,454 on Sept. 28, 1960.

“How many people did we have Opening Day in ’67 (8,324)?” Yastrzemski said. “I know my previous six years we hardly had 10,000 people on a Friday night. We brought fans back to the ballpark.”

“It flipped,” Waslewski said. “It went from ‘ho hum, do you want to go to the ballpark?’ To ‘we’ve got to go to the ballpark.’ Now you can’t get a ticket hardly.”

A team that couldn’t attract a million fans a year drew 1.7 million and an average of 21,331 in 1967. Yet the Impossible Dream would be so much more than the number of fans pushing through the turnstiles. Empty seats became full hearts.

The Red Sox hadn’t had a winning season since 1958. They finished ninth in 1965 and 1966. They were a sad-sack country club, awoken by an acerbic rookie manager named Dick Williams. Sarcasm, Lonborg said, was one of Williams’ defining characteristics. They also were only 42-40 on July 13.

That would change. Lonborg, Petrocelli, Yaz, they talked about returning from Cleveland to Logan Airport on July 23. They had swept a doubleheader to extend their winning streak to 10 games. Something was up, the pilot said, upon landing.

“It was a weird experience, especially when you think about airport travel now going through security,” Lonborg said. “We went down the runway and the pilot said we can’t stop here.”

Out of nowhere, there were 10,000 fans awaiting the team.

“It was a big pat on the back for us to realize all of a sudden we have a following here in Boston,” Lonborg said.

“Yeah, I think that’s when we knew,” Yaz said.

Yeah, the Summer of ’67 in New England was the Summer of Yaz, the summer a baseball team demonstrated, yeah, anything was possible.

“It gave everybody hope that something could happen when you least expect it,” Lonborg said.

“Players that were here in previous years all of a sudden started thinking differently,” Yastrzemski said. “Instead of being losers, they started thinking being winners. That’s how it all changed.”

Seventeen former players were honored before the game Wednesday. Yaz, of course, got the greatest reception from the 37,181 fans. In winning the 1967 Triple Crown, hitting 44 homers, he produced one of the great sustained performances in baseball history as the Red Sox emerged from an unforgettable four-team pennant race.

“Yaz had the most impactful season on a franchise in the history of the game,” Harrelson said. “It was a renaissance of baseball in New England.”

Game after game, hit after hit, catch after catch, Yaz lifted a team, lifted a region.

“Look, the ’67 team, we never claimed we were great,” Petrocelli said. “The big thing was it brought people back to the ballpark, families, kids were excited. But Yaz was everybody’s hero, including us. That was the key to the ballclub.

“We couldn’t wait for him to get up at the plate. He had it all going. A tremendous swing. He started pulling the ball, hitting homers. He used to hit to left field a lot. All of a sudden, wow, he hit shots over the bullpen in right.”

Petrocelli played his entire career with the Red Sox. He still lives in the area. He watches every Red Sox game.

“I love this team,” he said. “I love the young guys. (Rafael) Devers, Mookie (Betts, Andrew) Benintendi, all of them, there’s great future. I look at the pitching. There’s 2004, of course, but this could be one of the best staffs in a long time.”

Waslewski, who started Game 6 of the 1967 World Series against the Cardinals, a game the Red Sox won, lives half the year in Southington, Connecticut, and half in Arizona.

“Summers to see the Red Sox, winters to see the Cardinals, I miss the UConn guys and girls,” said Waslewski, who went to UConn for a year.

No, he doesn’t know Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes, another UConn pitcher. He does know this much as a fan.

“He frustrates me at times when he starts overthrowing,” Waslewski said. “He has great stuff if he’d just relax and let it go.”

Waslewski didn’t know it at the time, but he would find out later that schools in his home town had recessed classes and the intercom piped in the broadcast of the ’67 World Series games. That Game 6 he started was on a Wednesday afternoon.

“It was interesting to hear that some of the schools were even stopping classes to see what was happening,” Waslewski said. “My dad grew up in Wallingford (Connecticut). Waslewski wasn’t always spelled the same but I saw a lot of kids were named after me after what happened in 1967. That was cool.”

From Reggie Smith to Hawk Harrelson, everybody had a story, colorful memories.

“Oh, man, what laughs we’ve been having,” Petrocelli said. “But we’ve lost a lot of guys. Outstanding ballplayers and great men. We talked a lot about that, too.”

George Scott, Joe Foy … 14 players from the 1967 Sox have passed.

“That’s the thing that’s the hardest when you get a gathering like this,” Lonborg said. “But a lot of good life has been lived, grandkids born, a lot of good things have happened in Boston.”

The Red Sox finally won a World Series in 2004, breaking a curse of 86 years. They won again in 2007 and 2013. Yet it is the 1967 team that killed the greatest curse of all: A lack of interest.

Winning begot winning. The Red Sox got to the World Series in ’75 and ’86. Crowds got bigger and bigger. Television ratings got bigger and bigger. The Red Sox became a dominant New England narrative.

“I don’t think some of the magic of this Impossible Dream team would have had the same feeling had we won everything,” Lonborg said when asked about the Game 7 World Series loss. “The fact that we got so close and didn’t win almost was a better ending than having won it all, and just expecting things to be perfect after that. It was bittersweet but if I was a writer, I would have written that (loss) into the script.”

]]> 0 played on the Red Sox team that not only won the pennant in 1967, but turned around baseball in Boston. On Wednesday they reunited at Fenway. Left to right are Ken Harrelson, Rico Petrocelli, Jim Lonborg and Carl Yastrzemski.Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:41:13 +0000
Red Sox consider name change for Yawkey Way Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:16:41 +0000 BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox will ask the city to rename Yawkey Way, the street alongside Fenway Park, to erase what owner John Henry called a haunting reminder of the team’s history of racial intolerance.

Henry told the Boston Herald on Thursday that he welcomes changing the name of the street that honors his predecessor, Tom Yawkey, an inductee in the baseball Hall of Fame, and is the mailing address for the ballpark and team offices.

Under Yawkey, who owned the club for four decades, the Red Sox were the last team in the major leagues to cross the color barrier while choosing not to sign black players, including Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays.

“It’s a continuation of John’s strong feelings about tolerance and inclusion, and making sure that everyone in Boston and New England feels welcome at Fenway Park,” said the Red Sox president, Sam Kennedy.

“This is just the beginning of a process that will involve the community.”

Henry didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Kennedy said a change would require a discussion among the property owners along Yawkey Way. In addition to the Red Sox, that would mean the owner of a large souvenir stand across the street from Fenway Park as well as a hamburger restaurant on the corner, he said. (The owners of the souvenir shop told the Herald they wouldn’t be opposed to a name change.)

“The different property owners would need to get together and discuss this,” Kennedy said. “You need a consensus to petition the city.”

Yawkey came into his inheritance in 1933 at age 30 and promptly bought into the all-white sport of major league baseball.

Then he did what he could to keep it that way.

As other teams abandoned the color barrier, the Red Sox held out, giving Robinson a tryout and scouting Mays but opting to sign neither. The club eventually signed Pumpsie Green as its first black player in 1959 – more than a decade after Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers and after even Willie O’Ree took the ice for the Boston Bruins as the first black player in the NHL.

Yawkey owned the club until his death in 1976, when his wife, Jean, took control. She died and left the ballclub in the care of a foundation that bore their name; a trustee, John Harrington, ran the team until it was sold to Henry and his partners in 2002.

“When we got here in 2002, one of the first things (Henry) did was acknowledge the shameful past in terms of race relations and inclusion,” Kennedy said.

Still, the team has struggled to accomplish its goal of making Fenway more welcoming to minorities.

In May, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said a fan called him a racist slur; Kennedy apologized. The same week a fan was banned from the ballpark for life for using a variant of the N-word while speaking to another fan about the national anthem singer.

The Red Sox also distanced themselves from their flagship radio broadcaster, WEEI, where hosts doubted Jones’ version of the events; former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling also said Jones was lying.

Henry told the Herald that he previously approached the city about changing the name, but Mayor Tom Menino “did not want to open what they saw as a can of worms.”

The Yawkey Foundation, which was funded largely by the $700 million Henry’s group paid for the team, has been a philanthropic force in Boston for the past 15 years.

“The Yawkey Foundation has done a lot of great things over the years that have nothing to do with our history,” Henry told the paper.

Among the things in Boston named for Yawkey are an athletic building at Boston College and the Red Sox Most Valuable Player Award bestowed by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Henry told the paper he would like to see the street renamed for David Ortiz; the city already has named an extension of the road after the former Red Sox slugger, who retired last year.

“That’s a conversation for another day,” Kennedy said.

]]> 0, 17 Aug 2017 21:07:24 +0000
Red Sox score three in the 9th to edge Cardinals, 5-4 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:13:16 +0000 BOSTON — Mookie Betts lined a two-run double off the left-field wall with two outs in the ninth inning, capping a three-run rally that lifted the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.

Xander Bogaerts hit a solo homer for the AL East-leading Red Sox, who won for the 12th time in 14 games and maintained their 41/2-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees.

Kolten Wong had three hits, including an RBI single in St. Louis’ four-run second inning, and Lance Lynn held Boston’s offense down with six solid innings before the Red Sox rallied.

It was just the third loss in 11 games for the Cardinals, who were swept in the two-game series, their first visit to Fenway Park since the 2013 World Series.

Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny was ejected by home plate umpire Chris Segal in a wild ninth inning. Trevor Rosenthal gave up Bogaerts’ homer into the Green Monster seats. Zach Duke (0-1) struck out a batter and walked one before John Brebbia gave up Betts’ hit, with Jackie Bradley Jr. beating a relay home with a headfirst slide for the winning run as catcher Yadier Molina dropped the throw.

Craig Kimbrel (5-0) pitched one hitless inning for the win.

Lynn allowed two runs – one earned – and seven hits, walking and striking out three.

Eduardo Rodriguez gave up four runs and eight hits in 51/3 innings.

The Cardinals jumped ahead 4-0 when Wong and Matt Carpenter sandwiched RBI singles around Luke Voit’s run-scoring double. Wong scored on Christian Vazquez’s passed ball.

Vazquez scored on a throwing error in the third when Lynn fired the ball wildly past first on Eduardo Nunez’s infield hit. Betts added his sacrifice fly.

NOTES: Manager John Farrell said LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) rested after throwing Tuesday. … LF Andrew Benintendi returned to the lineup after getting hit by a pitch and leaving early Tuesday. …The Red Sox honored their 1967 AL champs – known as the Impossible Dream team. Led by Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski – a Triple Crown winner that season – there were 18 former players honored during an on-field pregame ceremony. It’s known as the team that triggered fan interest in Boston after years of small crowds. “I think we were the ones that sparked the fire and the fire is now ‘Red Sox Nation’ – and it’s great to be a part of that,” said Jim Lonborg, who won the ’67 Cy Young Award.

]]> 0 Betts is doused after his walk-off two-run double in the ninth inning Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. Betts' two-out double gave Boston a 5-4 win.Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:19:30 +0000
On baseball: For those in the know, Devers’ success was inevitable Wed, 16 Aug 2017 02:43:28 +0000 Aroldis Chapman had already blown away Hanley Ramirez on three pitches when the Red Sox rookie stepped in Sunday night.

A month before, Rafael Devers represented the Portland Sea Dogs in the Eastern League All-Star Game.

“Now he’s in Yankee Stadium, 46,000 fans, national TV,” said Sea Dogs Manager Carlos Febles, who knows about playing in Double-A and the major leagues the same year (1998 with the Royals).

“Once you get to the big leagues, you elevate your game.”

That defines Devers, who played 3½ months for the Sea Dogs, before stopping by Triple-A Pawtucket (nine games), and on to Boston, where his name is coming up in conversations alongside players like Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro.

In his first 17 games with Boston, Devers is hitting .348 with six home runs and 13 RBI.

“It’s nothing out of the ordinary. That’s Devers,” said Sea Dogs catcher Jordan Procyshen, a teammate for three seasons.

But it has been extraordinary, especially that at-bat against Chapman. The Red Sox trailed 2-1 in the top of the ninth. Chapman is brutal against left-handed batters (.130 average, one homer allowed in his career).

Chapman’s first pitch was a called strike at 102.4 mph.

Devers didn’t back down.

“I think he’s not going to let any moment be too big for him,” said Sea Dogs teammate Mike Olt, a former major leaguer with the Cubs and White Sox. “His natural ability will take over.”

Devers took a ball, then fouled off a high pitch. Both fastballs were also 102 mph.

Then Devers did what has made him such a dangerous hitter. He adjusted.

According to Jeff Sullivan of, Devers made a slight change for the next pitch to catch up with Chapman’s heat.

“He tweaked to a quieter, up-the-middle approach,” wrote Sullivan. “The feet didn’t open and the hips didn’t open.”

Chapman came with a 102.8 fastball, elevated, inside in the strike zone. Devers met it square for a home run to left-center, tying the game that Boston would win in the 10th inning.

Boston lost Monday night but Devers still hit two home runs, one over the Green Monster, the other golfed on a diving curveball, launched into the visiting bullpen in right field at Fenway Park.

“That’s very unique for any hitter of any age,” Manager John Farrell said.

Devers is only 20. In the last 100 years, only two other Red Sox players under age 21 hit two home runs in a game – Williams and Conigliaro.

Former teammates said they saw it coming.

“I don’t know what people are surprised about this,” tweeted former Sea Dogs infielder Mauricio Dubon (now in the Brewers’ organization). “He’s been doing this since he signed!”

The Sea Dogs usually play at the same time as the Red Sox and later catch highlights of Devers. “We’ve been watching him every step of the way,” Olt said.

Was this much success honestly expected?

“It’s hard for me to say yes but from what we saw here, it’s not hard to believe,” Febles said. “He doesn’t just want to be good. He wants to be great. And he works hard at it.”

Febles praised Devers’ defense, which has greatly improved since 2015, when he was considered a liability at third base.

Now he’s making plays, including the calm way he began a triple play Tuesday night.

And his bat is helping Boston in the stretch run.

“It’s a testament to his development and his preparation,” Sea Dogs hitting coach Lee May Jr. said. “He prepared himself for this moment from the time he’s been here.

“That’s the way Carlos sets things up – preparing guys to go and perform at Fenway. (Devers) took that to heart and that’s the way he went about his business.”

Febles has sent four players to the bigs – Devers, Andrew Benintendi, Tzu-Wei Lin (now in Pawtucket) and Yoan Moncada (traded to the White Sox).

When the White Sox traded Chris Sale to Boston, Chicago reportedly wanted Devers. The Red Sox said no and Moncada was dealt.

Interestingly, the Sea Dogs sponsored a Moncada bobblehead night Tuesday (the dolls were ordered before the trade).

Can you guess one of the bobblehead giveaways next year at Hadlock?

]]> 0, 15 Aug 2017 23:19:11 +0000
Red Sox use triple play, 8-run inning to down Cardinals, 10-4 Wed, 16 Aug 2017 02:28:06 +0000 BOSTON — Xander Bogaerts had three hits, Hanley Ramirez, Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. all added two RBI and the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-4 on Tuesday night.

Boston blew the game open courtesy of a wild fifth inning, totaling eight hits and eight runs against Cardinals starter Mike Leake and reliever Matt Bowman. It came an inning after the Red Sox turned their first triple play in six years .

The Red Sox have won 11 of their last 13.

With runners at first and second in the fourth, slow-footed Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina grounded sharply to Rafael Devers at third base. He stepped on the bag and threw to second baseman Eduardo Nunez, who relayed to Mitch Moreland at first, where Molina was out on a close play.

It was the first triple play for Boston since Aug. 16, 2011, in Game 2 of a doubleheader against Tampa Bay.

Rick Porcello (7-14) was mostly able to cruise, giving up eight hits and three runs over seven innings to pick up the victory. He has won his past three starts after going winless for more than a month.

Leake (7-11) got the loss and has failed to win in his last four starts. He’s yielded 28 hits and 15 earned runs in 151/3 innings over his last three outings.

Nearly everyone had a hand in the Red Sox’s offense in the fifth.

Nunez and Mookie Betts reached on consecutive singles with one out, then Leake loaded the bases by hitting Andrew Benintendi’s left knee with a pitch.

Benintendi needed a few moments to shake off the pain before jogging to first to load the bases for Ramirez. He then doubled off the Green Monster to drive in Nunez and Betts.

Leake intentionally walked Devers, loading the bases again, and Bogaerts and Moreland followed with RBI singles to put Boston up 5-0.

Bowman replaced Leake after Moreland’s single and allowed a two-run double by Leon, Boston’s 10th hit of the game and sixth in the inning, bringing up Bradley for the second time in the inning.

Bradley, whose fly to left remained the only out of the inning, singled to right, bringing in two more runs, and Nunez followed with his second single of the inning.

Betts popped out to first for the second out, ending a run of 10 straight batters reaching base.

NOTES: Benintendi was pulled after the fifth inning and replaced by Chris Young. … Manager John Farrell said Dustin Pedroia, who went on the disabled list Aug. 12 with left knee inflammation, continues to do strengthening exercises to stabilize it. But Farrell said he expects his absence to last longer than 10 days. … Eduardo Rodriguez, who starts Wednesday, has allowed two earned runs over his last 12 innings.

]]> 0 left, Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and second baseman Eduardo Nunez, celebrate after turning a triple play on a ground out by St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina during the fourth inning Tuesday in Boston. Associated Press/Charles KrupaTue, 15 Aug 2017 23:23:44 +0000
Encarnacion homers twice as Indians beat Red Sox 7-3 Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:47:20 +0000 BOSTON — Edwin Encarnacion homered twice to help the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians earn their fourth straight victory, 7-3 over the East-leading Boston Red Sox on Monday night.

In a rematch of last year’s ALDS, which Cleveland won in a three-game sweep, Trevor Bauer (11-8) struck out 11 over 6 2/3 innings for his fourth consecutive win. He allowed three runs — all on solo homers by

Red Sox rookies. Rafael Devers had two and Andrew Benintendi one.

The Indians improved to a season-high five games in front of the second-place Minnesota Twins, who were idle. The Red Sox lost for just the second time in 12 games.

The quick visit to Fenway Park by the Indians was to make up an Aug. 2 rainout that came two days after Doug Fister (2-6) shut out Cleveland into the eighth inning. But this time he allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks, striking out five in 4 1/3 innings as his two-game winning streak ended.

Bauer gave up seven hits and two walks. Encarnacion had his 28th career multihomer game, third this season.

Devers, who made his major league debut on July 25, also homered in the ninth inning off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman on Sunday night to send the game into extra innings. Still two months from his 21st birthday, Devers became the third-youngest Red Sox player to have a multihomer game.

Only Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro were younger when they did it.

Eduardo Nunez had three singles for Boston.

The Indians scored three in the second, but Encarnacion popped out with the bases loaded to end the inning. When he came up again in the fifth, he cleared the Green Monster and the seats above them for a two-run homer that broke a 3-all tie. The next inning, his second two-run shot of the game made it 7-3.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell said it was too early to determine whether LHP David Price would need a rehab start in the minors. He last pitched on July 22 before going on the DL with elbow inflammation.

]]> 0 Sox starting pitcher Doug Fister delivers during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians Monday.Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:25:54 +0000
Tom Caron: Could Benintendi win AL Rookie of the Year? Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:58:13 +0000 Everybody needs a summer vacation.

Baseball players don’t get to take one. They play 162 games in 184 days. If you’re a big league ballplayer, your only chance to catch a breath is if you’re not named to the All-Star team.

Unless your manager decides to give you a break.

That’s what Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell decided to do with Andrew Benintendi last month. Benintendi was struggling as pitchers adjusted to his swing, so Farrell sat him down. As July turned to August, the rookie phenom was not in the starting lineup three times in five games. He got a total of one pinch at-bat in those three nonstarts, giving him plenty of time to think about what he needed to do when he returned to the starting lineup.

What he’s done is remind us why he was among the favorites to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award entering this season.

That award has been essentially handed out to New York Yankees Baby Bomber Aaron Judge. As Judge bashed his way to the Home Run Derby title at the All-Star Game, many said he was both the Rookie of the Year and the MVP.

Perhaps we judged him too soon.

Benintendi has been the far better player in the second half of the season so far, and that was made obvious over the weekend in New York. We don’t give out series MVP awards for regular-season matchups, but if we did Benintendi would’ve come home with a trophy. He hit three home runs and drove in nine runs in the three-game series. He delivered in the 10th inning to seal Sunday’s remarkable come-from-behind win over the Yankees, giving the Red Sox their biggest lead in the AL East this season.

Meanwhile, Judge did little to lift the spirits of his fans wearing black robes and white wigs in the “Judge’s Chamber” in right field at Yankee Stadium.

Here’s a comparison of the two rookies since the All-Star break, entering Monday’s games:

• Batting average: Benintendi .281, Judge .165.

• OPS: Benintendi .817, Judge .663.

• Home runs: Benintendi 4, Judge 5.

• Extra-base hits: Benintendi 8, Judge 6.

• RBI: Benintendi 15, Judge 12.

• Stolen bases: Benintendi 5, Judge 1.

• Strikeouts: Benintendi 21, Judge 46.

The Rookie of the Year Award is handed out based on an entire season, and Judge still leads the American League with 35 home runs. Chances are he will win the award.

Could Benintendi win it? It’s not out of the question. With seven weeks remaining in the season there is plenty of time for the gap to close in the overall statistics. And the final AL East standings could factor into the decision of some voters. If the Sox finish first, Benintendi will be a big reason why.

The Benintendi-Judge showdown has sparked the Boston/New York rivalry once again. It’ll be back on center stage this weekend at Fenway Park, and again on Labor Day weekend in the Bronx. By the end of that holiday weekend we’ll know who’s the favorite to win the division – and who’s the league’s best rookie.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

]]> 0 Red Sox's Andrew Benintendi, right, celebrates with Chris Young after his solo home run off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer during the third inning of a baseball game in Boston, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:24:36 +0000
Watch a Yankees fan deflate during Devers’ home run Mon, 14 Aug 2017 19:31:54 +0000 New York was leading Boston 2-1 Sunday night and things were looking good for Yankees fans. Former Sea Dog Rafael Devers – who played in Portland as recently as June – faced an 0-2 count against Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning when the dynamics changed.

Chapman unleashed a 102.8 mph fastball and Devers tagged it, drilling a solo home run over the centerfield fence to tie the game. This fan’s reaction sums it up nicely:

And there’s a little icing on the cake for Sea Dogs fans: Andrew Benintendi, who played with Portland last season, hit the game-winning single in the 10th inning.

]]> 0, 14 Aug 2017 15:43:44 +0000
Rookies rescue Red Sox Mon, 14 Aug 2017 04:13:02 +0000 NEW YORK — Rafael Devers hit a tying home run in the ninth inning and Andrew Benintendi singled home the winning run in the 10th as the Boston Red Sox pulled out a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday night.

The Red Sox extended their AL East lead over the Yankees to 5 1/2 games after they nearly wasted another brilliant outing by ace Chris Sale, who left after seven innings with the score tied 1-1. The Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the eighth against Matt Barnes on two walks, a single by Aaron Judge and a sacrifice fly to center by Todd Frasier.

But Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman couldn’t protect the lead in the ninth. With two outs, Devers hit a 103 mph fastball over the left-center field fence – only the second home run Chapman has allowed to a left-handed batter in his eight-year career.

Chapman (4-2) stayed in for the 10th but was removed after he hit Jackie Bradley Jr. and walked Eduardo Nunez with one out. Mookie Betts drew a walk from Tommy Kahnle to load the bases, and Benintendi followed with a line drive to right that drove in Bradley.

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel (4-0) retired all four batters he faced after he came in with two out and a runner on third in the ninth.

Sale was dominant over the first seven innings, as he struck out 12 and allowed only four hits. But one of those hits was line drive deep to right by Austin Romine that was misplayed by Betts and resulted in a game-tying RBI triple in the fifth inning.

Boston, meanwhile, was held to two hits through eight innings by Jordan Montgomery, David Robertson and Dellin Betances. But the Red Sox pushed across a run in the top of the fifth when Brock Holt walked, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Bradley’s single to left.

]]> 0 Sale recorded his 16th double-digit strikeout game of the season Sunday night but wound up with a no-decision as the Red Sox and Yankees played into extra innings.Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:16:57 +0000
Major League notebook: Pedroia goes on the disabled list Sun, 13 Aug 2017 01:34:12 +0000 NEW YORK — Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is on the disabled list for the third time this year because of knee trouble, but Manager John Farrell said there’s no indication he won’t play again this season.

The AL East leaders put Pedroia on the 10-day DL because of inflammation. The move was retroactive to Thursday. Left-hander Robby Scott was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket before the team’s game against the Yankees.

Pedroia has been hobbled by knee problems since being injured on a late slide by Manny Machado at Baltimore on April 21.

Farrell said Pedroia needs more time for his irritation to subside, and there is no timetable for his return.

“There’s nothing we have right now that suggests he won’t be back,” Farrell said.

Pedroia had surgery last October to clean up his left knee. He came back strong this season, and the 33-year-old leads the team with a .303 batting average and a .378 on-base percentage. The former AL MVP has six home runs and 54 RBI.

CARDINALS: That didn’t take long: the team has announced a Rally Cat Night promotion for its Sept. 10 game against Pittsburgh.

A cat trotted on the field Wednesday with the Cardinals trailing Kansas City 5-4. After a short delay, Yadier Molina hit a grand slam on the next pitch, and St. Louis went on to an 8-5 win.

The cat was placed outside the ballpark and was picked up by a fan, who intended to take it home. But the feline jumped from her grasp and ran off. After a lengthy search, the cat was discovered in downtown St. Louis on Friday.

The team said Saturday that fans will be able to purchase a special ticket for the Sept. 10 game that will include a rally cat T-shirt. A portion of each ticket sold will go Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach. La Russa managed the Cardinals from 1996-2011.

The Cardinals are currently making arrangements to care for the cat on a long-term basis.

NATIONALS: Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make a minor league rehab start Monday at Class A Potomac.

Strasburg has been on the disabled list since late July because of a right elbow nerve impingement. Pitching coach Mike Maddux said Strasburg is likely to throw about five innings and 75 pitches in his first rehab outing.

ROCKIES: Colorado agreed to a minor league contract with first baseman Ryan Howard, who will report to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Ryan, 37, hasn’t played in the majors this season but could be a September call-up.

]]> 0 Sat, 12 Aug 2017 21:36:43 +0000
Benintendi’s 2 home runs, 6 RBIs power Red Sox past Yankees Sat, 12 Aug 2017 23:38:54 +0000 NEW YORK — For a rookie who began this month on the bench, Andrew Benintendi is putting up a monster August.

Benintendi rocketed a pair of three-run homers Saturday off Luis Severino and the Boston Red Sox bounced back from a tough loss, roughing up the New York Yankees, 10-5.

“Two beautiful swings,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said.

A day after blowing a late lead, Boston battered Severino for a career-worst 10 runs. Drew Pomeranz pitched the Red Sox to their ninth win in 10 games and restored their 41/2-game lead over New York.

Boston began bruising the Yankees staff before the first pitch.

Jordan Montgomery was hit in the head by a fly ball while he signed autographs as the Red Sox took batting practice. He bled from a cut on his ear but is still scheduled to pitch Sunday night against Chris Sale in the series finale.

Montgomery was nailed despite standing behind a protective screen in foul ground down the right-field line.

“Just a freak accident,” Montgomery said. “I was behind the net. I mean, there’s a one in a million chance it curves over like that.”

Said Boston catcher Sandy Leon, who hit the ball: “Of course I was watching. I wasn’t trying to hit anybody. It just happened.”

Benintendi, who also homered Friday night, is on a tear. He’s 15 for 31 with four home runs and five steals this month, reaching base 20 times in eight games.

Benintendi went into a slump after the All-Star break, and Farrell sat him for two games.

“A mental break,” Benintendi said.

Benintendi lined a drive off the top of the right-field wall to cap a five-run burst in the third. Third baseman Todd Frazier’s first error in 22 games since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox came on a potential double-play grounder that would have ended the inning without a run scoring.

Benintendi hit a no-doubt drive to right in the fifth for his 16th home run. He matched a career best with six RBI in his third multihomer game this season. He’s also 6 for 11 against Severino lifetime.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Benintendi is the youngest Red Sox player to drive in six runs against the Yankees since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920.

“I guess that’s cool,” he said.

Benintendi’s performance came in front of his grandfather, who turned 85 this weekend and grew up in Brooklyn as a Yankees fan.

Severino (9-5) was 4-0 with an 0.83 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break. He became the first Yankees pitcher to give up 10 runs at the new Yankee Stadium since it opened in 2009.

Severino was tagged for eight hits and eight earned runs in 41/3 innings.

“Every starter has a bad day. I mean, we’ve seen it for years and years and years,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. “He just didn’t have good stuff. He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been.”

Rafael Devers hit a two-run double that made it 10-2 in the fifth. Mookie Betts had a two-run single for Boston, now 4-7 against New York this season.

Benintendi and the Red Sox solved one of their biggest problems against the Yankees: They started the day just 3 for 64 with runners in scoring position this year, then went 4 for 11.

Pomeranz (12-4) won a career-best fifth straight decision, giving up three runs in 62/3 innings. He also topped his high for wins; he won 11 games for San Diego and Boston last year.

Gary Sanchez hit his 19th homer for the Yankees, a two-run drive in the first. Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury hit consecutive homers in the ninth off Robby Scott, called up by Boston from Triple-A before the game.

NOTES: David Price (elbow) threw in the outfield before the game for the second straight day. Farrell said Price would be checked before Sunday night’s game to see what’s next in his recovery.

]]> 0's Mookie Betts, left, celebrates with Andrew Benintendi after Benintendi hit a three-run home run during the third inning of Saturday;s game against the Yankees on in New York. Benintendi had a pair of three-run hoomers for the Red Sox.Sun, 13 Aug 2017 17:06:46 +0000
Bullpen collapse in 8th inning sinks Red Sox in New York Sat, 12 Aug 2017 03:09:24 +0000 NEW YORK — Aaron Hicks awoke a dormant offense with a two-run homer that sparked a five-run eighth inning, then threw out a runner at third in the ninth inning to help Aroldis Chapman get out of trouble, and the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Red Sox 5-4 Friday night and stop Boston’s winning streak at eight.

Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi homered off Jaime Garcia, and Eduardo Rodriguez handed a 3-0 lead to his bullpen in the seventh. But in the first of 10 key games between the AL East rivals in 24 days, Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier followed Hicks’ home run with RBI singles and Ronald Torreyes hit a sacrifice fly as the Yankees took a 5-3 lead and rebounded to close within 3½ games of the Red Sox.

Boston and New York met while 1-2 in the division this late in the season for the first time since 2011. A sellout crowd filled Yankee Stadium in anticipation, but it was quieted by Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who allowed two hits in six scoreless innings.

Matt Barnes pitched a hitless seventh that extended the scoreless streak by Boston’s bullpen to 19 innings.

And then the drama began.

Pinch-hitter Brett Gardner was nicked on his back foot by a pitch from Addison Reed (0-1) leading off the eighth, a call originally missed by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth and overturned on video review. Reed had gone 1,005 batters without hitting one since plunking the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon on March 23, 2014.

Hicks returned Thursday from an oblique injury that had sidelined him since June 25, and he followed with a high drive down the right-field line that stopped the Yankees’ shutout streak at 16 innings.

Gary Sanchez singled, went to second on a wild pitch and Aaron Judge walked.

Joe Kelly relieved, Gregorius blooped an opposite-field hit to left, and Frazier was strong enough to muscle another single to left on a pitch that jammed him. Torreyes added a sacrifice fly.

Adam Warren (3-2) allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and Chapman walked the bases loaded with no out.

Benintendi, whose bases-loaded walk against Chapman gave Boston a July 14 win at Fenway Park, hit a sacrifice fly to left that Hicks caught in front of the left-field warning track. The strong-armed Hicks made a one-hop throw to Frazier at third base, and he tagged out former Yankee Eduardo Nunez trying to advance from second.

Mitch Moreland flied out, giving Chapman his 15th save in 18 chances.

Boston got off to a quick start when Mookie Betts walked with one out in the first and Ramirez drove a fastball into the Boston bullpen in left-center with two outs. Benintendi homered into the second deck in right field in the fifth. His 16th major league home run was his first off a left-handed pitcher.


Dustin Pedroia could be headed to the DL for the third time this season. Pedroia’s left knee was too inflamed for him to play, two days after he went 0 for 4 as a DH at Tampa Bay in his first game since July 28.

]]> 0 Sox manager John Farrell takes relief pitcher Addison Reed out of the game in the eighth inning, which proved disastrous for Boston. Reed failed to get anyone out and a 3-0 lead vanished.Fri, 11 Aug 2017 23:22:14 +0000
Red Sox notebook: Swihart back, at multiple positions Fri, 11 Aug 2017 02:15:17 +0000 Blake Swihart caught a game Wednesday for the first time since going on the disabled list in early July.

Swihart, who’s been on the disabled list for Triple-A Pawtucket with left ankle inflammation, has been rehabbing with the Rookie Gulf Coast League Red Sox.

He served as designated hitter in his first three games in the Gulf Coast League, then played first base earlier this week before catching for the first time Wednesday.

Swihart was 0 for 3 at the plate and caught just five innings as the Red Sox look to ease him back into partial catching duties.

In six Gulf Coast League games, Swihart is 3 for 22.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell said Wednesday that the club is trying to get Swihart regular at-bats in rehab.

“While he’s working back from the ankle, we’re going to take a look at him at multiple positions, but it’s a matter of getting as many at-bats as possible,” Farrell said.

As noted a few weeks ago, Swihart likely will play winter ball to make up for lost time on the disabled list this season.

Swihart landed on the DL with ankle inflammation related to surgery he had during the 2016 season. The inflammation resulted from too much playing time crouching in the catching position.

“The stress of catching is not allowing him to catch as a regular, everyday catcher,” Farrell said a few weeks ago. “We’re going to begin moving him around the infield. He’s going to take ground balls at first and take some at third. He’ll still catch some. But the ankle is a limiting factor right now as far as how many games consecutively he would catch.”

As for September, the Red Sox haven’t ruled out adding Swihart as a late-season call up, but Farrell said it will depend on how much progress he’s made.

For almost three innings Wednesday night, Rick Porcello was a strike-thrower and only a strike-thrower.

He didn’t throw a ball.

Starting with the final two pitches of the third inning until the first pitch of the sixth in an 8-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays, Porcello threw 19 consecutive strikes.

The fifth inning lasted nine pitches – all strikes. Porcello struck out Trevor Plouffe, Wilson Ramos and Mallex Smith for a rare immaculate inning.

“I didn’t even know,” Porcello said. “It’s hard to keep track if you don’t throw a ball or anything like that. I didn’t realize it until Blaine Boyer came up and said, ‘I got that ball for ya.’ I said, ‘What ball are you talking about?’ He said, ‘The immaculate inning.’ That was pretty cool. It’s hard to do. So it’s a nice little moment.”

It was the fourth immaculate inning in Red Sox history and second this year.

Craig Kimbrel had one earlier this year, Clay Buchholz threw one in 2012 and Pedro Martinez had the organization’s first such inning in 2002.

“Maybe sometimes you don’t see it too much from a starter,” Farrell said. “In Craig’s case, a power reliever comes in and you’re fresh and you’re powerful with some swing and miss, but I think that speaks to the command Rick had early on. … Just a good assortment of pitches, good command up through that point.”

Porcello threw six-plus innings, allowing two runs and striking out seven.

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said Thursday there’s “a really good possibility” that rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery will be recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start Sunday night against the Red Sox in place of left-hander CC Sabathia.

Sabathia left Tuesday’s loss at Toronto after three innings because of soreness in his arthritic right knee. A scan Wednesday showed no new damage, but Girardi said his inclination was Sabathia wouldn’t be able to face Boston. The 17-year veteran is 9-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 19 starts.

]]> 0 Swihart, who may be called up to the Boston Red Sox for the September stretch drive, will work as a corner infielder as well as a catcher during his comeback, and will receive as many at-bats as possible.Thu, 10 Aug 2017 22:24:01 +0000
Commentary: The MVP belongs to Chris Sale, no question Fri, 11 Aug 2017 01:22:11 +0000 The race for most valuable player typically is headlined by a position player among the top of the leaderboard in one or more of the Triple Crown categories (average, home runs and RBI).

But every once in a while, a pitcher comes along and throws a wrench into the works. This year that pitcher is Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox.

Sale is in the midst of a monster season. The 28-year-old ace is setting career highs in strikeout percentage (36.5 percent of batters faced, a major league high), WHIP (0.880) and ERA (2.57, lowest in the American League).

Sale is buzzing through the league with four pitches in his arsenal – a four-seam fastball, a sinker, a slider and change-up – with the fastball and slider accounting for 213 of his major league leading 229 strikeouts this season. His 15 games with 10 strikeouts or more this year is a major league best in 2017; only Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan had more games with double-digit strikeouts than Sale at this point of the season.

Sale also has a good chance of recording 300 or more strikeouts. Clayton Kershaw (301 in 2015) is the only pitcher in the last 15 years to reach that milestone.

Sale’s historic performance should make him the runaway choice for the AL Cy Young, but there are some purists who feel that because a pitcher plays every fifth day, he shouldn’t be in the conversation as the league’s MVP.


Sale is having a better season than Kershaw (2014) or Justin Verlander (2011) did when they won MVP awards. Sale has been the most valuable player in baseball this season – and it isn’t close. His seven wins above replacement (WAR) is one more than sluggers Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve, and two more than Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer, the next two most valuable pitchers in baseball.

Leading the league in Fangraphs WAR is significant. The National League MVP has ranked No. 1 in that category in eight of the past nine seasons. The AL doesn’t have as strong a track record at rewarding the league leader in WAR, but the first-place finisher has been named the MVP four times since 2007 and in two of the past three seasons.

And Sale still has between nine and 10 starts remaining – including Sunday night at Yankee Stadium – giving him a chance at between 8.9 and 9.2 WAR in 2017.

Not only would that be the highest among any of the 22 pitchers who have been named the league’s MVP, it would be the most by a pitcher since 2006, the first year MLB initiated its leaguewide drug testing program.

Perhaps there was a time when a pitcher’s workload relative to a position player’s needed to be taken into account, but the data and technology we have at our disposal has made that reasoning a thing of the past. Now a pitcher’s performance can be looked at side by side with a hitter, giving us a clear picture of value, leaving no doubt that Sale should be the league’s most valuable player.

]]> 0 SALEThu, 10 Aug 2017 21:27:51 +0000
Red Sox topple Rays 8-2 for 8th straight win Thu, 10 Aug 2017 02:51:32 +0000 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jake Odorizzi limped off the field after Eduardo Nunez lined a single off the pitcher’s foot leading off the fifth inning. The Boston Red Sox beat up the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen, scoring five runs in the inning and taking advantage of defensive sloppiness to extend their winning streak to a season-high eight.

Rick Porcello won consecutive starts for the first time this year, an 8-2 victory on Wednesday night.

Struck on the right foot, Odorizzi was face down on the mound for several seconds. He hobbled off with one arm wrapped around Rays Manager Kevin Cash, the other around assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker. Tampa Bay said Odorizzi sustained a bruise and X-rays were negative.

“I was kind of expecting the worst, but we got the best news,” Odorizzi said. “I should be good to go for my next start. … It will be nice to avoid some baseballs moving forward. It’s been a tough year for getting them hit back at me.”

Porcello (6-14) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, throwing 82 pitches. He was 22-4 last year, when he won the AL Cy Young Award. Boston is on its longest winning streak since taking 11 in a row last September.

“We seem to be firing on all cylinders,” said Porcello, who threw 19 consecutive strikes at one point. “I feel like I did my job, and as much as I’d like to throw 110 or 115 pitches every start, sometimes it doesn’t call for that. More than anything, I’m happy to come out with a win and keep this momentum going.”

Pitching for the first time since July 23 after being sidelined by a lower back strain, Odorizzi (6-5) gave up two runs – one earned – and four hits. Tampa Bay made a pair of errors, threw a pair of run-scoring wild pitches and had a run-scoring passed ball.

Andrew Benintendi had three hits and put Boston ahead in the third inning when he doubled and scored with two outs when Mitch Moreland hit a sharp grounder down the first-base line. Trevor Plouffe made a diving stop, dropped the ball and then threw to first only for Odorizzi to drop the ball for an error.

Dan Jennings relieved Odorizzi and gave up a single to Benintendi and an RBI single to Mookie Betts. After an intentional walk to Hanley Ramirez, Benintendi scored on a passed ball on a low pitch off the glove of Wilson Ramos, and Betts came home when Jennings threw a wild pitch that bounced away from Ramos. Sandy Leon’s two-run single boosted the lead to 6-0.

Adeiny Hechevarria and Brad Miller homered off Porcello. The Rays have scored four runs in their last five games.

Plouffe threw wildly past pitcher Sergio Romo at first base as Brock Holt scored in the seventh, and Romo threw a run-scoring wild pitch.

]]> 0 Bay's Brad Miller tags out Boston's Hanley Ramirez, who was caught trying to score from third on a fielder's choice in the fifth inning Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:36:58 +0000
Sale strikes out 13 Rays as Red Sox win seventh straight Wed, 09 Aug 2017 02:28:21 +0000 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Chris Sale allowed two hits in eight innings and struck out 13, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday for their seventh straight victory.

Sale (14-4) reached double digits in strikeouts for the 15th time this season, the first time that’s been done since Randy Johnson in 2002.

The win pushed Boston’s AL East lead over the New York Yankees to four games.

Dustin Pedroia, back in the Boston lineup as a DH after a stint on the disabled list with left knee inflammation, scored the first run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth. A bad throw by Austin Pruitt (6-3) prevented a possible inning-ending double play on Rafael Devers’ chopper to the mound.

It was the only run allowed by Pruitt in his fourth major league start. He pitched 61/3 scoreless innings in a win at Houston last Wednesday.

Sale (14-4) gave up singles to Wilson Ramos in the fifth and Peter Bourjos in the sixth. The Rays did not get a runner to second base until the seventh, when Sale followed a walk to Logan Morrison with a wild pitch. It was his only walk.

Sale, who leads the majors with 229 strikeouts in 23 starts, has struck out at least 12 in four straight starts against the Rays.

Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Boston’s other run with the third single off reliever Ryne Stanek in the ninth.

Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 28th save.

Eduardo Nunez and Xander Bogaerts each had three of Boston’s 12 hits.

NOTES: LHP David Price, on the 10-day disabled list with elbow inflammation, threw nearly 30 fastballs on Tuesday and will be re-evaluated Wednesday. … 1B-DH Hanley Ramirez, sidelined since Friday with a sore oblique muscle, might be in the lineup Wednesday night. … Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs joined play-by-play man Dave O’Brien in the NESN broadcast booth.

]]> 0 Red Sox starter Chris Sale pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Fla. Associated Press/Steve NesiusTue, 08 Aug 2017 23:31:43 +0000
Red Sox notebook: Infield’s fine while Pedroia mends Tue, 08 Aug 2017 03:44:34 +0000 BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia started his work day at Fenway Park more than three hours before the start of Sunday’s game.

Boston’s second baseman played catch in short right field, took 35 swings in the batting cage and ran the bases. He fielded groundballs at his usual position ranging to both his left and right, feeding double-play partner Xander Bogaerts at second and flipping short throws to first.

Pedroia was upbeat in the clubhouse following the 45-minute session, and Red Sox Manager John Farrell felt the same when addressing the media regarding Pedroia’s status going forward. His left knee is responding to the point where Pedroia could be healthy enough to come off the disabled list Tuesday night at Tampa Bay.

“Today was a key day in his return – in his potential return,” Farrell said, perhaps betraying future plans with a brief slip of the tongue. “Today was a really strong day for him.”

Pedroia stepped into the cage under the watchful eye of Boston hitting coach Chili Davis and promptly began pulling line drives to left field. His eighth swing resulted in a shot off the wall and his 18th crashed into the third row of the Monster Seats. Pedroia dropped his bat, started jogging lightly and simulated taking leads off all three bases before returning for another round at the plate.

Similar to the much-discussed role setting up closer Craig Kimbrel in the Red Sox bullpen, Pedroia would return to what appears to be a bit of a logjam in the infield. Farrell said he’s committed to keeping third baseman Rafael Devers and utility man Eduardo Nunez in the everyday lineup, seemingly filling a pair of spots.

Bogaerts could find himself the odd man out at shortstop thanks to a .431 OPS over his last 30 days, perhaps not coincidentally dating back to a July 6 loss against the Rays where he was hit on the right hand by a Jacob Faria fastball.

“Having good players at your disposal is a positive,” Farrell said. “We’re probably going to have to get back to a normal number of relievers that we typically carry. That’s a full bench of four (position players) rather than three.”

That calculus would seem to be a positive for Brock Holt’s immediate future, as he and Nunez give Boston a pair of reserves who could be used in multiple roles.

Nunez has sizzled since being acquired in a deadline deal from San Francisco, pounding out seven extra-base hits and driving in 11. Devers has settled in quickly at the hot corner, becoming just the sixth player age 20 or younger since 1913 to collect 14 or more hits through his first nine games.

“In this game we also know things work themselves out,” Farrell said. “We’ll get there by Tuesday.”

The Red Sox had the benefit of three off days in an 11-day span. Farrell said Pedroia’s activation and availability will depend on pain management, and the extra opportunities to rest and recover could prove useful. Farrell also didn’t rule out using Pedroia as a designated hitter, something that could be necessary while Hanley Ramirez continues to battle a sore oblique.

“This is the first time that I can recall a schedule where we’ve got four off days in a matter of two weeks,” Farrell said. “I think that’s going to give us a chance, in some cases, to give that breather that’s needed.”


Eduardo Nunez is in pretty good company, as in the Hall of Fame variety.

Although rating overall impact is always subjective, a strong argument can be made that Nunez has gotten off to the best start in a Boston uniform of any midseason trade pickup since George Kell in 1952, among hitters at least.

The Red Sox have acquired some significant offensive players in midseason trades going back to Yoenis Cespedes in 2014. Victor Martinez (2009), Jason Bay (2008), Orlando Cabrera (2004) were all important offensive players gotten around the deadline in recent years.

None of them, though, had the immediate impact of Nunez.

Nunez hit his fourth Sox homer Sunday afternoon and is batting .400 with the four homers and 12 RBI in nine games with Boston. The Sox are 7-2 since his arrival from San Francisco.

All of Nunez’s five home runs here, including the one he hit off Josh Beckett in 2011 playing for the Yankees, have been hit either into or over the Monster seats.

“From what we’ve seen so far on this homestand,” Farrell said, “his swing path plays real well in this ballpark.”

Kell, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983, came over from Detroit in a June trade – the deadline was earlier then – involving Johnny Pesky in 1952 and batted .471 with two homers and six RBI in his first nine games with Boston.

]]> 0 by an injured left knee, Dustin Pedroia could come off the disabled list as early as Tuesday, but if so could find a logjammed infield due to Boston's recent acquisitions.Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:30:12 +0000
Tom Caron: Boston suddenly has become the slugging Sox Tue, 08 Aug 2017 02:24:37 +0000 The Boston Red Sox are suddenly a team that Earl Weaver would have loved.

Weaver, the legendary manager of the Baltimore Orioles in the 1970s, once described his managing style as “pitching, defense and the three-run homer.”

Weaver didn’t play small ball. He didn’t bunt a runner along or try to manufacture runs. He let his hitters swing for the fences, hoping they would do maximum damage when they connected.

In other words, his offensive philosophy was the exact opposite of the Red Sox style of play from April to July. The Sox were last in the American League homers and scratched and clawed for a run or two to prop up an excellent pitching staff.

Then came August and the arrival of the long ball at Fenway. The Sox arrived in Florida on Monday leading the major leagues in homers per game this month. Not coincidentally they were also riding a six-game winning streak, matching their longest of the year. They are 27-4 when they hit more than one homer in a game.

“We’re in a pretty good place,” Manager John Farrell told reporters after Sunday’s 6-3 win over the last-place Chicago White Sox. “When we do hit a couple (home runs) within a game, the win-loss is pretty astounding.”

That “good place” has been Fenway Park, where the Red Sox have the best home record in the American League. Now they’ve got to channel that production on the road. Boston opens up a five-game trip against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night, the first of five straight games against the two teams directly behind them in the American League East standings.

That stretch winds through Yankee Stadium this weekend. It’s the first of two straight weekend series between two old rivals who once again have their sights set on first place. The Yankees were far more active than the Sox before the nonwaiver trade deadline and are bashing their way to wins.

When New York traded for Todd Frazier and two relievers, many Sox fans waved the white flag and thought the strength in the AL East had shifted to the Bronx. Instead the Sox called up wunderkind Rafael Devers and traded for Eduardo Nunez. The two have triggered an offensive spark that has Boston 14 games above .500, matching its best mark of the year.

Winning is important, but winning with a little power at the plate is fun. Suddenly, a team dubbed unlikable by many fans is becoming a team we can like. A team we’ll like a lot more if they adhere to Earl Weaver’s philosophy in the weeks ahead.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

]]> 0 Sox rookie Rafael Devers hits a home run as Kansas City Royals catcher Drew Butera looks on in the fifth inning Sunday in Boston. The homer gave Boston a 3-1 lead, but the Royals rallied for a 5-3 win.Mon, 07 Aug 2017 22:38:58 +0000
After 6-game streak, Red Sox look like they’re for real Tue, 08 Aug 2017 01:09:17 +0000 Wait, don’t go.

Just when we were starting to put names to faces, just when we were starting to remember what a home run looked like and just when we were starting to get used to all the winning – so much winning – the Red Sox left town Sunday nearly unrecognizable from the motley crew that dragged into town at the start of their homestand.

Who are these guys?

For one, the Red Sox are on a six-game winning streak after a 7-2 homestand, which when combined with the New York Yankees’ downturn landed them back in the top spot of the AL East with a solid three-game lead.

Two, the home run amnesia is over. Chris Young had two on Sunday, Eduardo Nunez added his fourth in nine games with the Red Sox. Eight hitters account for the last 10 homers, and the Red Sox have 17 in their last 11 games.

Three, the overall offense is alive again, scoring six runs on average here per game on the homestand, which was capped by Sunday’s 6-3 win over the White Sox.

Four, the trading deadline came and went last week and now Nunez, Rafael Devers and Addison Reed have joined the band as smoothly as Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood and Nils Lofgren.

Five, the band is playing with one smooth, jamming sound now that the David Price sensitivity crisis has subsided, hopefully for good.

The Red Sox are leaving for a five-game foray against the two closest competitors in the division – two games with the Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida, and three against the Yankees in the Bronx.

The Red Sox are playing their best baseball at the absolute best spot in their schedule.

In one week, they’ll be back at Fenway. By then, we should have a very good handle on their real and true identity.

“I think we knew that in spring training – we have a good squad and the pieces that we’ve added throughout the year have all been amazing, all the way to (Doug) Fister (claimed off waivers in late June),” said Young. “Guys are coming in with the right mentality.”

It’s good for the narrative to note that ever since president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski pointed out, facetiously, right after the trading deadline that the big-splash Yankees had become the Golden State Warriors of baseball and would never lose again, it’s the Red Sox who have not lost a game while New York has gone 3-4.

Starts like the one Fister put up Sunday – three runs allowed over 61/3 innings – is just the kind of workaday output any team would want from its fifth starter. He is just the latest in a line of pitchers who are meeting or exceeding all expectations.

That’s been the secret sauce to the Red Sox’s nearly season-long flirtation with being near or at the top of the division, but it’s strained belief at times in the worthiness of the team because its offense was so inconsistent.

Now, when the offense starts to click like it has with the deceptively simple additions of Nunez and Devers, the Red Sox start to look complete. Manager John Farrell said that even when Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez return to the lineup, likely on this coming trip, he will find a way to keep both Nunez and Devers in the lineup.

Of course he will. He has to.

The Red Sox are better with the new guys.

That’s the way baseball organizations should work: Baseball operations put the best talent in the hands of coaches, who find the best ways to put the talent in the best position to succeed.

It’s taken 112 games for the Sox to look as good as they think they are, but there’s no denying the shiny-new-car feeling with this team right now.

]]> 0 Doug Fister deserves a tip of the cap from the Fenway faithful.Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:30:27 +0000
Red Sox beat Chicago, 6-3 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 20:33:53 +0000 BOSTON — Red Sox Manager John Farrell’s decisions worked out very well.

White Sox Manager Rick Renteria, though, made one move and the game was lost.

Chris Young hit two homers, including a tiebreaking three-run shot after the batter in front of him was walked intentionally, to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

“Yeah, you definitely feel better if you get the job done in that situation,” Young said. “If you don’t get the job done, you feel a little worse than if the game’s kind of going as it normally does.”

Inserted into right field by Farrell with All-Star Mookie Betts getting the day off, Young added an RBI double and had a solo homer off starter Mike Pelfrey to help the AL East-leading Red Sox complete a four-game sweep of the White Sox.

“You go by what Mookie’s needs were and when you start to put the lineup together you see where Chris has had decent success coming into today’s game against Pelfrey – and it held true to form,” Farrell said.

Young improved to 10 for 24 in his career against Pelfrey, but it was his first homer and RBI against the righty.

With the score tied in the fifth, Sandy Leon was on second with two outs after a leadoff double when Renteria intentionally walked left-handed batting Andrew Benintendi to have Pelfrey face the right-handed hitting Young, who already had a homer over and double off the Green Monster.

Young belted the second pitch just inside the left-field foul pole.

“I’ve got to make a better pitch to the next guy after that,” Pelfrey said. “I failed to do that obviously and he made me pay for it, just like he did in the first inning.”

Renteria felt it was the best matchup.

“That’s basically what it was,” he said. “I knew that Young had obviously done a little damage against him in his previous two at-bats, but I still thought that that matchup gave us the best chance.”

Chicago lost its sixth consecutive game, and 23rd in its last 27. The White Sox were swept in a four-game series in Fenway Park for the first time since July of 1988.

Doug Fister (2-5) allowed three runs and eight hits over 61/3 innings, striking out a season-high seven for his second straight win. Craig Kimbrel, the third reliever, pitched the ninth for his 27th save.

Pelfrey (3-10) gave up six runs and eight hits in 52/3 innings. He’s 0-5 with a 7.78 ERA in his last eight starts.

The White Sox opened the second with four straight hits to take a 3-2 edge. Yolmer Sanchez and Tim Anderson had consecutive RBI singles before Alen Hanson’s sacrifice fly.

Young’s double tied it at 3.


White Sox: Third baseman Matt Davidson was a late scratch after being listed as the DH, missing his fifth straight game with a bruised right wrist. Tyler Saladino took his place and doubled his first at-bat.

Red Sox: Farrell said Betts got: “A well-deserved” day off. Betts has played in 107 of the club’s 112 games. DH Hanley Ramirez missed his second straight with soreness in both obliques, but Farrell said: “This is not a DL situation.”


It was Boston’s season-high fifth consecutive multi-homer game, and the 15th of Young’s career.

The Red Sox went ahead 2-0 in the first on homers by Eduardo Nunez and Young.

Nunez’s went into the center-field bleachers and Young’s completely left Fenway.


The White Sox took infield practice that wrapped up about 90 minutes before the first pitch.


Following an off-day, LHP Chris Sale (13-4, 2.70) is slated to take his major-league leading 216 strikeouts into the opener of a two-game series Tuesday at the Tampa Bay Rays. The ace is coming off a rough outing when he gave up seven runs in five innings against Cleveland.

]]> 0 Sox's Chris Young is welcomed into the dugout after hitting a three-run home run off a pitch by Chicago White Sox's Mike Pelfrey in the fifth inning Sunday in Boston.Sun, 06 Aug 2017 21:09:51 +0000
On Baseball: Son of Red Sox instructor finds ‘sanctuary’ at ballpark Sun, 06 Aug 2017 08:00:00 +0000 A doctor’s visit Tuesday and an orthodontist appointment Wednesday delayed Drew Epperson’s trip to Hadlock Field.

“He was angry because he was missing out,” said his mom, Anne Epperson.

Drew, 18, knows too well the realities of multiple medical appointments. He also knows the joy of a baseball field.

He missed batting practice Wednesday but arrived in time to be in uniform, and walk out of the Sea Dogs’ clubhouse with his father, Chad, to watch the starting pitcher warm up.

Chad Epperson, 45, is the Boston Red Sox roving catching instructor. He visits each of Boston’s minor league teams, including Portland, several times a year. Often, Drew is next to him. Been that way for about 14 years.

“Those two, two peas in a pod,” Anne Epperson said. “They’ve always been together.”

“In (Drew’s) world, this is the best thing ever,” his father said. “He loves this time of year when he can go to the ballpark and be with the guys and do his thing.

“This is kind of his sanctuary. Gets him away from the real world.”

The real world has been full of challenges, starting when Drew was born on the first day of spring training in 1999. His dad was a minor league catcher in the Red Sox system, but baseball wasn’t on Chad Epperson’s mind that day.

“(Drew) was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate,” he said. “The severity of it – on a scale of one to 10, was like an eight. … He had no top lip. Had only one nostril, barely.

“There were some internal things that had to be taken of. His heart is on the right side of his body, not his left. His ribs were tangled together. A lot of digestive issues.”

Eating was a problem and Drew’s physical development slowed. He’s catching up but as he prepares to enter the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Drew stands 5-foot-9, weighing 108 pounds.

“He’s had 22 surgeries in his life,” Chad said. “He’s behind the 8-ball physically.”

The physical difference is evident when Drew sees Red Sox minor leaguers at the lower levels.

“They’re my age or younger,” he said.

“This has definitely made me stronger. There have been some tough times. It never affected me as far as school or baseball, or socially. It was more like, ‘You’ve got to go through it.’

“You think you’re done (with surgeries) and you’re not. You don’t realize when you’re young.”

Many of Drew’s surgeries were cosmetic, but they made Chad a wreck.

“Not good,” Chad said. “You see this kid, this innocent, helpless kid, and he just has to go through this. Every surgery I would say ‘Anne, I don’t care what he looks like down the road.’ But Anne was the strong one, saying, ‘Chad he’s got to do this.’ It was tough. My wife is incredibly strong.

“I could not have gotten through it without her, and big faith in God.”

Anne often scheduled the lighter surgeries when Chad was on the road. But soon Chad would be around more often. His playing days ended in 2000, having peaked in Double-A. He eventually turned to coaching.

In 2003, as hitting coach for Class A Sarasota, Epperson was tutoring Kevin Youkilis while beginning to bring Drew along.

When Chad became manager of low Class A Augusta (Georgia) in 2004, Drew became more of a fixture. The players took to him.

“Chad taught him from early on how to act,” Anne said. “He’s always been accepted by the players, which has been amazing.”

Anne recalled a moment this past spring training. “We’re standing around and Jackie Bradley Jr. runs by and yells ‘Hey, Drew.’

“Drew gets along really well with the players. It helps him forget about everything else going on.”

Drew has friends in school. He said he wasn’t picked on. “I would get looks and stares, but not so much lately because it’s been fixed more.”

After the stares, or another round of doctor appointments, Drew could look forward to returning to the ballpark, helping his dad.

“I do whatever they need – whether it’s getting coffee or a bucket of baseballs, or help out with the drills,” Drew said. “Sometimes I’m fortunate enough to take batting practice.”

Drew blends in when he’s at Hadlock, whether sitting in Manager Carlos Febles’ office – “great kid,” Febles said – or talking to a player.

“Drew? He’s awesome,” said Portland catcher Jordan Procyshen. “Really good dude. He’s been around the game long enough. He understands where he needs to be. He’s one of the guys.”

That familiarity with players began back in 2004 when his dad was managing a young prospect named Dustin Pedroia.

“He’s been good to Drew,” Chad said.

“Every time (Drew has a surgery), Pedey would send him something – bats, jerseys, batting gloves. Drew’s idol is Pedroia. He wears 15 on all his team jerseys.”

Drew played youth baseball and a little ball at Andover High in Massachusetts. He will be joining the UMass-Lowell baseball program as a student assistant.

“I’ve already met with the coach,” he said. “I’ll do whatever they want.”

Drew will major in business, with his eye on getting into the front-office side of baseball.

He’s already grown up in the game.

“He has such a passion for it,” Chad said. “He loves being out here.”

But it’s not only because of the baseball.

Chad Epperson knows his son well, but Drew’s idol is not a player.

“These moments I’ll never forget, spending time with my dad,” Drew said. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

“He’s always asking me, ‘What could I do better (as a dad)?’ Honestly, I have nothing to tell him. He’s always around. He’s my best friend. I love him to death.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

]]> 0 peas in a pod, said Anne Epperson of her son and husband. Drew Epperson, left, who has had 22 surgeries in 18 years, is best friends with his dad, Chad, a Red Sox minor league instructor.Sat, 05 Aug 2017 19:28:07 +0000
Red Sox shut down White Sox, 4-1 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 01:58:35 +0000 BOSTON — Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit two-run homers, and Drew Pomeranz won a career-best fifth straight decision Saturday night to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox, 4-1.

Pomeranz (11-4) gave up Tim Anderson’s homer on the second pitch of the game but didn’t allow another run before leaving with a 4-1 lead with one out in the seventh. Since starting 3-3, Pomeranz has lost once in 15 starts.

Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 26th save as the AL East-leading Red Sox won for the seventh time in nine games.

James Shields (2-4) took the loss for the White Sox, who have dropped five straight games and 22 of their last 26.

Pomeranz held Chicago to seven hits and a walk, striking out eight and lowering his ERA to 3.36. Anderson smacked a 1-0 pitch out to left-center, but Benintendi made it 2-1 in the bottom half of the first.

Mitch Moreland, who homered in the bottom of the 11th for the winner Friday night, doubled with one out in the second. Bradley followed one out later with a shot over the bullpens in right field to make it 4-1.

Shields was charged with four runs – three earned – five hits and an intentional walk, striking out six in six innings. He is 1-4 with a 7.63 ERA since spending two months on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his back.

NOTES: Alen Hanson was doubled off first to end the seventh inning on Anderson’s short line drive to right. Mookie Betts caught the ball while running in and Hanson was too far off to get back in time. … Roger Clemens, who won three Cy Young Awards and as many games (192) in a Boston uniform as Young himself, visited the ballpark. He spent time in the broadcast booth talking about the importance of the Jimmy Fund. … Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez has soreness in both sides. “I can’t tell you how long it will be. At this point I don’t see it being a DL,” Manager John Farrell said. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (left knee) is on schedule to return Tuesday.

]]> 0's Andrew Benintendi celebrates his two-run home run during the first inning of Saturday's 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox in Boston, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (Sat, 05 Aug 2017 22:46:07 +0000
Moreland’s homer gives Red Sox 3-2 win over White Sox in 11 innings Sat, 05 Aug 2017 03:19:23 +0000 BOSTON — Mitch Moreland homered with two outs in the 11th inning, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

Moreland, a defensive replacement in the 10th, drove a pitch from Aaron Bummer (0-2) over the Green Monster for his 14th of the season. It was Boston’s second game-ending homer this week.

The AL East-leading Red Sox earned their fourth consecutive victory and moved three games ahead of the second-place Yankees, who lost 7-2 at Cleveland.

Christian Vazquez, who hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 12-10 victory against the Indians, helped preserve the tie in the top of the 11th when he picked off Nicky Delmonico at second for the second out. Chicago had runners at first and second with nobody out, but failed to score.

The White Sox were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base while losing their fourth in a row.

Eduardo Nunez hit a tying solo homer for Boston in the sixth, and Heath Hembree (2-3) got three outs for the win.

Chicago left-hander Carlos Rodon matched a career high with 11 strikeouts in 72/3 innings.

Boston had only one hit before opening the fifth with three straight singles. Chris Young drove in Rafael Devers with a single to left, and the Red Sox loaded the bases with one out when Jackie Bradley Jr. reached on an infield hit.

Rodon then got Mookie Betts to bounce into a fielder’s choice and struck out Andrew Benintendi to end the inning.

Chicago struck first on Delmonico’s two-run double with two runs in the fourth. It was the first career double for Delmonico, who hit his first homer Thursday night.

Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six innings for Boston. He allowed four hits and struck out five on a season-high 118 pitches.

NOTES: 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) started light workouts and could return from the 10-day DL on Tuesday against Tampa Bay. … LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) did not throw Friday because of soreness. Price has been on the DL since July 25.

]]> 0's Mitch Moreland, center right, celebrates his walk-off home run with teammates, including Mookie Betts, second from left, in the 11th inning Friday night at Fenway Park.Fri, 04 Aug 2017 23:37:03 +0000
Devers homers again as Red Sox win 9-5 Fri, 04 Aug 2017 02:51:58 +0000 BOSTON —  Rick Porcello wasn’t getting carried away after ending a four-game losing streak with his first win since June.

The reigning AL Cy Young winner knew he had plenty of help as Boston tagged Chicago for 15 hits and the Red Sox beat the White Sox 9-5 on Thursday night.

“We’re swinging the bats well. We’ve got to continue throwing the ball well. That’s the recipe right there,” said Porcello, who survived a rough stretch in the second and third and pitched into the sixth.

Porcello (5-14) was winless in his last six starts, losing four straight before the Red Sox capitalized on the White Sox’s woes with seven runs in the first two innings. He allowed five runs and seven hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings.

“Obviously my performance wasn’t as good as I would want it personally,” Porcello said. “At this point I don’t really care. We got the win. We started a four-game series with these guys on the right note and that’s all that matters.”

Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer in the first inning for Boston and Mookie Betts added a two-run shot in the second. Andrew Benintendi went 3 for 3, scoring twice and driving in a run as the Red Sox won their third straight. Benintendi reached base all five times he batted, getting hit by a pitch and walking once to go along with two doubles and a single.

Nicky Delmonico hit his first career homer, a three-run shot in the third, for the White Sox. Chicago lost its third straight and fell to 3-15 since the All-Star break.

The White Sox did manage to turn around the early rout and kept pressure on Porcello.

“Our guys don’t quit. They have been this way all season,” Manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s easy to lose sight of the fact most clubs have a tendency to lay down when they get down big early.”

The fast start was enough to help Porcello end a skid of going winless in his last six starts won for the first time since the Red Sox beat the Angels on June 23.

Benintendi, who sat out the last two games, surged out of an 8-for-54 slump with a ground-rule double to the triangle in center field in the first. Miguel Gonzalez (5-10) hit him with a pitch in the second, followed by a leadoff double in the fourth and an RBI single in the fifth.

Benintendi’s single to right in the fifth drove in Mitch Moreland, who doubled to lead off the inning and added an RBI double in the sixth to put Boston up 9-5. Boston got to Gonzalez right away with four runs and four hits, including Devers’ three-run homer to center. After Chicago got two runs back in the second to cut the lead in half, the Red Sox struck again for three in the third. Betts hit a two-run homer and Hanley Ramirez beat out an infield single, allowing Benintendi to score by sliding around Omar Narvaez’s tag at the plate.

Delmonico, who singled and scored in the first, belted a shot out to right with two on in the third for his first career homer.

“I went too fast running the bases and didn’t really register that I did it, but it was awesome,” said Delmonico, who made his big-league debut Tuesday and was playing in just his third game.

Gonzalez threw 53 pitches without making it out of the second inning. He allowed seven runs, seven hits and hit a batter, before he was replaced by Gregory Infante with two outs in the second.
“They capitalized early and hit every single mistake,” Gonzalez said.

NOTES: Benintendi acknowledged that the time off, two games plus a rainout Wednesday, probably helped him clear his head a little.
“I know there’s a book on me and I’m trying to figure out what it is. It goes both ways. I’ve got a scouting report on the pitcher, so it’s kind of a game,” he said. “It’s always going to be changing, so you just have to adjust.” …. Boston has won three straight for the first time since winning six in a row from June 29-July 4. Despite a shaky July, the victory Thursday combined with Cleveland’s win over the Yankees gave the Red Sox a two-game lead in the AL East. “We haven’t been playing as well as we know we’re capable of playing. Hopefully our best baseball is in front of us right now,” Porcello said. … RHP Joe Kelly (strained left hamstring), on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket, could be activated on Saturday, Manager John Farrell said.

]]> 0 Devers celebrates his two-run home run off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez in the first inning Thursday night at Fenway Park.Fri, 04 Aug 2017 00:44:17 +0000
Red Sox notebook: Weird win might be the type that turns a season around Thu, 03 Aug 2017 02:28:55 +0000 BOSTON — The steady drone of a baseball season can manifest itself in a certain kind of banality. In order to succeed during a season in which there’s a game every day, one has to avoid emotional peaks and valleys. Any win is a good win, any loss is a tough loss; outliers are rare.

Tuesday night was an outlier at Fenway Park. Boston’s 12-10 win over the Indians was the type of game even the most circumspect players will tell you leaves a mark. The Red Sox recognized in the course of the back-and-forth affair that this could be a special win.

“This is a PlayStation game, you know?” Xander Bogaerts said. “That’s exactly what we needed. The Yankees lost today. So it was a perfect win tonight for us.”

“We haven’t had a game like this in a long time,” Manager John Farrell said.

Indeed, this is the kind of win that registers as a proverbial turning point. For a Red Sox team that plodded through July, with on-field struggles and off-field drama dominating the conversation around the club, August started, well, perfectly.

Christian Vazquez’s walk-off home run to straightaway center immediately brought to mind the similar three-run shot hit a season ago by Hanley Ramirez – the catalyst for an 11-game winning streak that put the A.L. East on ice in September.

Four years ago to the day the Red Sox scored six in the ninth to beat the Mariners – confirming their presence as a legitimate contender for the World Series they eventually claimed.

“July?” Bogaerts said when asked about whether this could shift momentum after Boston’s worst month of the season. “I don’t know that month.”

Tuesday’s was also a game that contained more or less everything a baseball game can hold. Let’s take a look at some of the weirdest elements of a decidedly weird Red Sox win.

Chris Sale allowed four runs in all of July. He had yielded four or fewer hits in four of his five July starts. He gave up three runs on four hits in Tuesday’s first inning – matching his first-inning total in his first 21 starts.

In only five of Boston’s past 23 games entering Tuesday had the offense scored more than five runs – the number it posted in Tuesday’s second inning.

It was the first time all season the Red Sox had two different innings of four or more runs.

All four of Craig Kimbrel’s blown saves have come on leadoff home runs. The Red Sox have come back to win three of those games.

Kimbrel’s four blown saves are twice as many as he had in 2016, even as he’s pitching significantly better.

Rafael Devers had two more hits to go along with a walk. Devers has contributed 0.6 WAR in seven games.

Christian Vazquez doesn’t hit many home runs, but he has a flair for dramatic ones. He only has four career dingers, but all of them have put the Red Sox ahead. Tuesday’s was his second to win a game in the eighth or later.

On this homestand, Vazquez is 10 for 18 with five extra-base hits. Before this homestand, Vazquez had five extra-base hits in the previous two months.

WEDNESDAY’S GAME between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox was postponed because of rain.

A makeup date was set for Aug. 14 at Fenway Park, starting at 6:10 p.m.

Thunderstorms came into the area around 4 o’clock. The grounds crew never took the tarp off before the game was called more than two hours after it was supposed to begin.

Boston opens a four-game series at home against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

]]> 0, 02 Aug 2017 22:33:52 +0000
Homer in the ninth caps a wild win for Red Sox Wed, 02 Aug 2017 03:37:35 +0000 BOSTON — Christian Vazquez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Boston Red Sox pulled off the final rally of a wild game Tuesday night, beating the Cleveland Indians 12-10 despite an astonishing catch by center fielder Austin Jackson.

In the fifth inning, Jackson robbed Hanley Ramirez of a leadoff homer with a leaping grab in the right-center triangle at Fenway Park. Jackson reached way above the wall and tumbled head over heels into the Red Sox bullpen, steadying himself by holding onto the fence with his right arm. Following a soft landing, Jackson stood up and showed umpires he indeed had the ball, to the amazement of players on both sides.

A replay review confirmed Jackson held on for the catch.

Cleveland tied it on Francisco Lindor’s leadoff homer in the top of the ninth and took a 10-9 lead on Craig Kimbrel’s bases-loaded wild pitch with Jackson at the plate. But the Indians, who led 5-0 after two innings, blew the lead for the third and final time in the bottom of the ninth as Boston moved back into first place in the AL East.

Indians closer Cody Allen (0-6) threw a wild pitch on a strikeout that allowed Mitch Moreland to reach first base and extend the inning for Vazquez. He delivered the game-ending shot to center and celebrated with teammates at home plate.

Moreland also homered for the Red Sox, who trailed 7-5. The comeback lifted them a half-game ahead of the rival New York Yankees, who lost 4-3 to Detroit.

Chris Sale started for the Red Sox, but lasted just five innings. He allowed eight hits and seven earned runs.

NOTES: The Red Sox may have more bullpen reinforcements on the way soon.

Joe Kelly, who has been out since the All-Star break with a left hamstring strain, will throw one inning in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell said the club his hopeful Kelly can be activated from the disabled list this weekend.

Meanwhile, Carson Smith is expected to face hitters for the first time since June on Thursday.

Farrell said that if all goes well in the session against hitters, that Smith could begin a minor-league rehab assignment this weekend.

Smith, who had Tommy John surgery in May 2016, faced hitters in mid-June and was set to begin a rehab assignment then, but experienced shoulder discomfort and was shut down.

]]> 0 Red Sox's Christian Vazquez is doused with energy drink after his three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday at Fenway Park. Associated Press/Charles KrupaWed, 02 Aug 2017 00:08:27 +0000
Major league notebook: Red Sox place Pedroia on disabled list Tue, 01 Aug 2017 19:22:32 +0000 BOSTON — Second baseman Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with inflammation in his left knee.

The team also added reliever Addison Reed to the roster, one day after obtaining him in a trade with the New York Mets for three minor league pitchers.

Pedroia, who leads the Red Sox with a .307 batting average, is on the DL for the second time this season. He missed nine games in early June with a sprained left wrist.

ATHLETICS: Oakland released reliever John Axford.

The right-handed Axford pitched in 22 games for Oakland this season, going 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA.

WHITE SOX: Second baseman Yoan Moncada was relieved to learn he probably will miss just a few games after bruising his right knee in a frightening collision with outfielder Willy Garcia.

Moncada said he expects to be out two or three days. Garcia was put on the seven-day disabled list because of a concussion after Monday’s accident.

MARLINS: Manager Don Mattingly said right-hander Edinson Volquez and shortstop J.T. Riddle will miss the rest of the season because of injuries that may require surgery.

Volquez is sidelined by a left knee injury, and Riddle by a left shoulder injury.

NATIONALS: Minnesota had an off-day Monday in San Diego ahead of a two-game series against the Padres, so reliever Brandon Kintzler was sightseeing when he got word that he had been traded Washington.

“I was in the middle of feeding a rhino and a giraffe (at the zoo),” Kintzler told Casey Stern and Brad Lidge on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.

“Have you ever fed a rhino before?”

]]> 0 Boston Red Sox placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 10-day disabled list with left knee inflammation. Pedroia has missed the Red Sox last three games.Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:58:54 +0000
Devers gets 4 hits, Fister gets first win as Red Sox beat Indians Tue, 01 Aug 2017 02:21:15 +0000 BOSTON — Doug Fister took a shutout into the eighth inning, rookie Rafael Devers went 4 for 4 and drove in a run and the Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 6-2 on Monday night.

Mookie Betts stopped his mini-slump by driving in three runs with two singles, and Eduardo Nunez added three hits and two RBIs for the Red Sox, who won for the third time in nine games.

Bradley Zimmer hit a two-run homer for AL Central-leading Cleveland, which lost its second straight after a season-high nine-game winning streak.

Fister (1-5), claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on June 23, was pulled after giving up Zimmer’s homer with two outs in the eighth. He allowed two runs and five hits, walking two and striking out five.

Brandon Workman got the final four outs.

Mike Clevinger (5-4) gave up five runs on seven hits in three innings.

Betts, the runner-up for last season’s AL MVP award, flied out with the bases loaded to end a loss Sunday and was 3 for his last 27 without an RBI.

Before the game, both clubs beat the non-waiver trade deadline and added bullpen help. The Red Sox picked up right-hander Addison Reed from the Mets for three 22-year-old right-handed pitching prospects.

The Indians acquired righty Joe Smith from Toronto for two minor leaguers.

Betts’ two-run single sparked a three-run second. He scored on Nunez’s double.

In the fourth, Betts added another RBI single, and Nunez added a run-scoring single.

Devers’ RBI single made it 6-0 in the seventh.

Dustin Pedroia missed his third straight game because of a sore left knee. Manager John Farrell said the improvement has been “slight” and he’s scheduled to see a specialist Tuesday.

Dave Dombrowski said: “The problem with Dustin is he has a bad knee. He’s had it for years and he’s had to have to deal with that.”

]]> 0 Betts connects for a two-run single in the second inning of Monday night's game against Cleveland. He finished with two hits and three RBIs in the game.Mon, 31 Jul 2017 22:32:03 +0000
On Baseball: In search of reliability in bullpen, Sox acquire reliever from Mets Tue, 01 Aug 2017 00:49:54 +0000 Maybe the addition of Addison Reed does not overwhelm Boston Red Sox fans.

You look at the New York Yankees adding two starters, including Sonny Gray; along with two relievers and a third baseman earlier, and you wonder if the Red Sox can keep up.

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski jokingly called the Yankees the Golden State Warriors of baseball – which is the same reference Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman used for Boston in the offseason, when the Red Sox traded for Chris Sale.

What the Red Sox really needed at the trade deadline was a power hitter, but Dombrowski told the media in Boston that “we didn’t feel there were any impact bats to make us better.”

You never know with the power guys. The Yankees got White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier, a guy Boston wanted. In 11 games, Frazier is hitting .212/.669 with one home run.

The Red Sox traded for infielder Eduardo Nunez and promoted third baseman Rafael Devers last week. They both have two homers.

But why add Reed to a Red Sox bullpen that ranked second in the American League in both ERA and WHIP (walks/hits per inning)?

One word: Reliability.

While other teams were improving, notably the Yankees’ pitching staff, Boston was fading. That Boston bullpen, which had only six blown saves in the first three months, had six more in July alone.

A 5-3 loss to the Royals on Sunday may have been the convincer to trade three minor league pitchers for Reed.

With the Red Sox up 3-1 in the eighth, Matt Barnes allowed four straight baserunners – one by error, then three singles. With the score 3-3, Robby Scott relieved and gave up a two-run triple.

The loss was eerily similar to a 6-4 defeat in Kansas City June 21 – Boston lead 4-2 in the eighth before Barnes walked two and then Scott allowed a walk and a grand slam.

Other losses in July had Barnes and Heath Hembree giving up leadoff walks that eventually scored, or Hembree and Joe Kelly allowing critical home runs.

Boston’s offense is struggling enough. To cough up leads late in the game is not something this team can overcome.

Therefore, Reed will join the Red Sox on Tuesday. Reed, 28, has converted 19 of 21 save opportunities. He has a 2.57 ERA and 1.12 WHIP – which now ranks third among Sox relievers, behind closer Craig Kimbrel (1.24/0.60) and Kelly (1.49/1.10).

Kelly has been good, but used sparingly, going back-to-back days only twice. He’s been out since July 9 with a sore hamstring, but is scheduled for a rehab appearance in Pawtucket on Wednesday.

Kelly, with his 100 mph fastball, is effective. Reliable?

Barnes showcases swing-and-miss stuff with 57 strikeouts in 50 innings. But he also has walked 22. Reliable?

Hembree shows more control (52 strikeouts/11 walks in 481/3 innings), but he gets hit (.286 opponents’ average; .349 by left-handers). Reliable?

“That one guy who will pitch the eighth just has not been there on a consistent basis,” Dombrowski told reporters in Boston.

Enter Reed. He has a 92 mph fastball, an 85 mph slider – and he throws strikes (48 strikeouts and only six walks in 49 innings). Right-handers are hitting .250 against him, and lefties only a little better (.263).


With Reed and Kimbrel at the back end, Red Sox Manager John Farrell can match up more in the earlier innings. One right-hander who is emerging is Brandon Workman, finally back to form after Tommy John surgery in 2015. In July, Workman has a 1.69 ERA/0.84 WHIP and 10/2 strikeout/walk rate.

Reed is a rental: He is a free agent after the season, so Boston did not give up any impact prospects.

All three were minor leaguers were 22-year-old, right-handed relievers. The best of the bunch was Jamie Callahan, who nearly made the major league team out of spring training (in a four-way battle won by Ben Taylor). Callahan was briefly assigned to Portland, where he shined for 10 games (1.38/0.62) before going to Pawtucket. He struggled in Triple-A (4.03/1.41) but had a 2.89 ERA for July. He also had 36 strikeouts in 29 innings.

A second-round draft pick out of high school in 2012, Callahan is a competitor with a fastball/split combination. He was expendable with Boston’s depth with right-handed relievers – Taylor, Austin Maddox (just called back up to Boston), Kyle Martin and Chandler Shepherd in Pawtucket, and Ty Buttrey in Portland.

The other two pitchers both come from advanced Class A Salem – Stephen Nogosek (4.08/1.42) and Gerson Bautista (5.16/1.81). Nogosek was a sixth-round draft pick out of Oregon in 2016. Bautista was an international free agent from the Dominican Republic.

While the trade deadline passed, players can still be obtained in August – but they must pass through waivers. Plus, Boston could take a chance on a couple of its sluggers in the minors. Bryce Brentz is hitting .278/.882 with 21 home runs in Pawtucket. Jeremy Barfield is hitting .305/.967 with 18 home runs in 61 games with Portland. He just broke a franchise record with 12 homers in July.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearThe Bases

]]> 0 York Mets closing pitcher Addison Reed works against a San Diego Padres batter during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 25, 2017, in San Diego. The Mets won 6-5. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Mon, 31 Jul 2017 21:04:32 +0000
Tom Caron: Even without big splash, Red Sox boosted by newcomers Mon, 31 Jul 2017 21:10:10 +0000 Not every deal is a blockbuster. This time of year, they don’t have to be.

On Monday, Boston acquired reliever Addison Reed from the Mets for three minor league pitchers, trying to bolster a bullpen that gave up four runs in the eighth inning Sunday afternoon as the Red Sox blew a 3-1 lead to fall to 8-13 in their last 21 games.

Three days earlier, newcomer Eduardo Nunez was introduced to the home clubhouse at Fenway Park. The Red Sox traded for Nunez earlier in the week, sending a pair of minor-league arms to San Francisco in exchange for the 30-year old utility man.

By the end of the weekend, Nunez was a fan favorite.

He had two hits in his Red Sox debut Friday, and followed that with two homers in an extra-inning win Saturday. When the weekend was over, he had gone 5 for 12 in three games against the Royals.

In the clubhouse, Nunez flashed his contagious smile to reporters who asked about his journey to Fenway Park. He has an infectious personality and a truckload of energy, traits that will come in handy for a team that has struggled to score runs and win games since the All-Star break.

Nunez joined a team answering questions about clubhouse leadership in the wake of an incident between David Price and analyst Dennis Eckersley on a team flight. The incident has lingered for weeks, with Price and Dustin Pedroia answering questions about the makeup of this clubhouse as recently as this weekend.

While all that was going on, Nunez was doing more than just smiling. He was hitting.

He capped Saturday’s game by driving in the winning run on a groundout in the 10th inning, the second walk-off RBI of his career. The first came less than two weeks ago against Cleveland, making him the first player with walk-off RBI for two different teams in such a short period since 1989.

Utility infield/outfield types don’t usually electrify a fan base. Nunez might be different. In addition to hitting, he was able to start at second base while Pedroia was taking time off with a sore knee. He will also spend time at his natural position, shortstop, if Xander Bogaerts shows signs of tiring as he did late last season.

Nunez is expected to spend most of his time at third base, but that might change as Rafael Devers continues to show that he is a 10-year veteran trapped in the body of a 20-year old.

Devers hit his second home run Sunday, following up on the homer he hit in Seattle on Wednesday for his first major league hit. He is the youngest Sox hitter to homer since Tony Conigliaro in 1965.

The combination of Devers and Nunez brought a breath of fresh air to a clubhouse that desperately needed it.

As the clock ticked toward Monday afternoon’s non-waiver trade deadline, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski had to decide if that was enough. Dombrowski has a reputation as an executive who likes to shake up a club with a big trade, but it was clear he still believes the team has enough talent to finish off a stretch run.

The Yankees, sensing an opportunity to put together a run and challenge the Sox in the AL East, added Jaime Garcia to add to their rotation Saturday. This came after an earlier trade acquiring third baseman Todd Frazier and two relievers to stabilize a struggling bullpen. Fortified, the Yankees reeled off eight wins in 10 games leading up to the trade deadline.

They reclaimed first place in the process, and reminded the Red Sox that this is going to be a battle to the wire.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman then added starting pitcher Sonny Gray from Oakland just before Monday’s deadline.

As for Boston, Nunez – and Devers – seem ready to help. Neither player came in a blockbuster deal. Yet both were important additions to a roster built to contend for a title now.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

]]> 0's Eduardo Nunez rounds first base on one of his two home runs Saturday versus Kansas City at Fenway Park. Nunez is 5 for 12 so far with the Red Sox. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Mon, 31 Jul 2017 21:42:43 +0000
Red Sox get reliever Addison Reed from Mets for three minor leaguers Mon, 31 Jul 2017 15:12:52 +0000 The Boston Red Sox acquired New York Mets reliever Addison Reed on Monday for three minor league pitchers.

Reed, 28, has a 2.57 ERA with the Mets and a 1.12 WHIP while striking out 48 and walking only six in 49 innings. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

In exchange for the veteran right-hander, the Red Sox sent three right-handed relievers to the Mets, including Jamie Callahan, who began the season with the Portland Sea Dogs.

Callahan, 22, was in Boston’s major league spring training camp until the last day. He was a second-round draft pick out of high school in 2012.

Callahan pitched 10 games for the Sea Dogs (1.38 ERA/0.62 WHIP) before being promoted to Pawtucket. He’s struggled (4.03 ERA/1.41 WHIP), although he lowered his ERA to 2.89 for July.

The other two pitchers are also 22, and both come from advanced Class A Salem – Stephen Nogosek (4.08/1.42) and Gerson Bautista (5.16/1.81). Nogosek was a sixth-round draft pick out of Oregon in 2016. Bautista was an international free agent from the Dominican Republic.

Reed usually pitched the eighth or ninth innings for the Mets, recording 19 saves. He features a 92 mph fastball and 85 mph slider. Left-handers hit .263 against him, and right-handers .250.

The 2017 trade deadline for non-waiver deals is 4 p.m. Monday. To make room for Reed on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox transferred infielder Josh Rutledge to the 60-day disabled list.

]]> 0 York Mets closing pitcher Addison Reed works against a San Diego Padres batter during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 25, 2017, in San Diego. The Mets won 6-5. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:04:54 +0000
Red Sox fall to Royals, 5-3 Sun, 30 Jul 2017 21:07:04 +0000 BOSTON — Knowing they’ve completely recovered from their rough first two months of the season, the Kansas City Royals are having a lot of fun.

Alex Gordon’s two-run triple capped a four-run eighth inning, and the Royals rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, a day after their season-high, nine-game winning streak was snapped.

Alcides Escobar added a two-run single in the eighth and drove in three runs for the Royals, who lost in extra innings late Saturday night after taking the series opener.

“The vibe’s good right now,” winning pitcher Jason Hammel said. “The vibe’s real good.”

The Royals ended May in last in the AL Central – eight games under .500. They’ve taken off and now trail first-place Cleveland by two games after the Indians lost 3-1 to the White Sox in Chicago.

A few cheers went up in the clubhouse when the White Sox won.

Rookie Rafael Devers hit a solo homer for Boston and starter Drew Pomeranz gave up one run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings in his 100th career start.

Hammel (5-8) allowed three runs on seven hits to end a six-start winless streak. His last victory also came against the Red Sox, at home on June 19.

Kelvin Herrera got the final three outs for his 23rd save, getting Mookie Betts to fly out with the bases loaded.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts booted Lorenzo Cain’s grounder for an error to open the eighth and Eric Hosmer hit a hard single off the right hand and body of Matt Barnes (6-3). Salvador Perez then loaded the bases with a single.

“It opens the door, and then all of a sudden there’s life instead of the potential of an out, nobody on, against a team that is aggressive, playing with a lot of momentum,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said of the error.

Escobar followed with his game-tying single before Gordon greeted reliever Robby Scott with a hit that rolled into the left-center gap and bounced off the edge of the bullpen wall in right-center, making it 5-3.

“It’s been an up-and-down season. Early on, everybody was talking about getting rid of all these players and what not, and then we just kind of took it upon ourselves to play better,” Gordon said. “It’s been a heck of a year and we like where we’re at right now.”

Before the game, the Royals acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera from the Chicago White Sox for two minor league pitchers in a bid to bolster their offense. Cabrera could take Gordon’s spot in the lineup. Gordon entered the day hitting just .201 with five homers and 32 RBI; the switch-hitting Cabrera is batting .288 with 13 homers and 56 RBI.

Boston moved ahead 2-0 in the second inning on consecutive RBI singles by Mitch Moreland and Christian Vazquez.

The Royals sliced it to 2-1 on Escobar’s double before Devers hit his second career homer, a drive that barely cleared the top of the Green Monster and bounced onto the field.

Umpires originally ruled that the ball was in play off the wall but was changed from a double to a home run after a brief replay review.


RED SOX: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia missed his second straight game because of a sore left knee.


The Red Sox honored their 2007 World Series champion team on the field before the game.

Recently retired slugger David Ortiz was asked if the current club could use his bat for the stretch run.

“Not me, man. I’ve been doing nothing but slow cycle, bro,” he said, laughing. “I sit down and watch the game now and say, ‘Man, that’s hard.’ I view the game differently now.”

Former lefty reliever Hideki Okajima flew from Japan on Saturday to be a part of the event.

Mike Lowell, the 2007 World Series MVP, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former catcher Jason Varitek.


Kansas City is 17-7 in its last 24 day games after losing 11 of its first 12.


Barnes had a bandage on his right hand after, but credited the Royals.

“I didn’t think I made terrible pitches,” he said. “I didn’t think I was leaving the ball middle and I was getting hit. I thought that they kind of did what hitters are taught to do with pitches away.”


RED SOX: Left-hander Danny Duffy (7-6, 3.56 ERA) is slated to start the opener of a three-game series Monday in Baltimore.

RED SOX: Right-hander Doug Fister (0-5, 7.46) is in line to start Monday when Boston hosts AL Central-leading Cleveland in the first of three.

]]> 0 Sox rookie Rafael Devers hits a home run as Kansas City Royals catcher Drew Butera looks on in the fifth inning Sunday in Boston. The homer gave Boston a 3-1 lead, but the Royals rallied for a 5-3 win.Sun, 30 Jul 2017 18:29:32 +0000
Red Sox rally, beat Royals in 10th Sun, 30 Jul 2017 04:04:51 +0000 BOSTON — Sandy Leon certainly looked nifty at the right time.

The stocky Leon slid into home plate and avoided catcher Drew Butera’s tag on Eduardo Nunez’s ground out in the 10th inning Saturday night, lifting the Boston Red Sox past Kansas City 9-8 to end the Royals’ nine-game winning streak.

“I saw him reach for the ball, so the right side was wide open so I decided to go for it without him touching me,” Leon said. “It was close, but he didn’t touch me.”

Nunez also hit two solo homers over the Green Monster for the Red Sox, improving to 5 for 9 in two games since being acquired from San Francisco for two minor-league pitchers earlier in the week.

Lorenzo Cain hooked a three-run homer around the right-field pole and Whit Merrifield had a career-best four hits – all singles – for the Royals, who were looking to match their longest win streak since June 2014.

The Red Sox won for just the second time in seven games and remained one-half game behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees.

Leon opened the 10th with a double off the Green Monster against Mike Minor (5-3). After Mookie Betts was intentionally walked, both moved up on a wild pitch before Nunez hit a grounder that shortstop Alcides Escobar made a diving stab of and threw to first. Leon, who halted on the play, headed home on the throw to first and beat Eric Hosmer’s throw by slipping his hand around the tag.

“He made a very instinctive play and an athletic slide. I know that seems kind of odd because that’s Sandy,” Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield said. “But he made an athletic slide.”

After a delay to confirm the call, the Red Sox celebrated.

“I didn’t know what was going on. I was running so hard, I was mad when he dove so I didn’t know what was going on,” Nunez said. “When I see Leon going to home plate, I was like, ‘What’s going on? Why is he there?’ What’s going on?”

Royals manager Ned Yost waited and knew it was over after a replay.

“We missed the tag at the plate, but (Escobar) made a great play stopping it and wheeling and throwing to first and (Hosmer) got rid of it as quick as he could,” he said. “It was just a tough play. It was a great slide.”

Matt Barnes (6-2) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

Boston tied it on Betts’ sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Trailing 6-4 in the sixth, Kansas City scored four runs on two hits, two walks and the two errors. Reliever Blaine Boyer also had a wild pitch and Christian Vazquez a passed ball.

Third baseman Rafael Devers booted Escobar’s grounder to open the inning and Alex Gordon walked. Both moved up on the wild pitch. Merrifield and Jorge Bonifacio had consecutive RBI singles to tie it. After Nunez threw high on an attempted force at second and a run scored, Salvador Perez’s sacrifice fly made it 8-6.

The Red Sox had moved ahead by scoring twice in the fourth and fifth. Vazquez had an RBI double and scored on Devers’ single. Nunez hit his second homer leading off the fifth, and the other scored on Mike Moustakas’ fielding error.

Cain’s homer cleared the short wall and Betts’ glove as he leaped, slipping into the first row to make it 4-2.


Royals: C Perez was in the lineup after taking a foul tip off his left thigh that sent him to the ground late in Friday’s win. He had left Tuesday’s game and sat out Wednesday with soreness on his right side.

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia was scratched because of soreness in his left knee after being in the original lineup. “There’s days where it will act up a little bit,” manager John Farrell said. Nunez, originally set to start at shortstop, was moved to second and Xander Bogaerts back in to short.


In Bogaerts’ first two times up, he came to the wrong “walk-up song.” Luke Bryan’s ‘Country Girl’ was played over the PA instead of his usual ‘Gonna Give it to Ya’ by DMX.

He was thrown out on the bases after reaching both times.


Kansas City starter Trevor Cahill gave up eight hits and five runs over four innings in his Royals’ debut.

He was acquired in a six-player trade with San Diego on Monday.

“Not very good,” he said. “The offense did a good job of coming back. But it’d be nice to throw some more zeros up there because they’re making the other pitcher work and putting some good at-bats together.”


The Red Sox traded minor league LHP Luis Ysla to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday for cash considerations. He was 1-5 with a 5.05 ERA with Double-A Portland.


Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (4-8, 4.81 ERA) is set for the series finale. He’s winless in his last six starts, but beat Boston for his last victory on June 19.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (10-4, 3.59) looks to extend his career-best streak of winning his last four decisions.

]]> 0 Sox newcomer Eduardo Nunez, center, celebrates with Hanley Ramirez after his second home run of the game Saturday night against the Kansas City Royals.Sun, 30 Jul 2017 16:20:15 +0000
Red Sox notebook: Price still critical of Eckersley Sun, 30 Jul 2017 03:20:52 +0000 BOSTON — Red Sox pitcher David Price remains frustrated with TV analyst Dennis Eckersley over his critical comments about some of his teammates.

Speaking to reporters before Saturday night’s game against Kansas City at Fenway Park, the ace left-hander said he would speak to the Hall of Famer when he comes into the clubhouse.

“If Eck was around, he’d know who we are. He’s never in the clubhouse,” Price said. “He’s the one guy I’ve seen in my career that never shows his face in the clubhouse.”

Price, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday because of left elbow inflammation, also said he doesn’t think his injury is anything near what sidelined him from early March until the end of May.

The Boston Globe first reported late last month that Price confronted Eckersley on a team flight.

Price was upset Eckersley didn’t make himself available to the players after what they felt were harsh comments.

“If you’re going to say what he said, come around, show your face,” Price said Saturday. “If guys have a problem with it, pull him aside. That ain’t how it’s done. That ain’t the first time it’s happened here regarding Eck. It’s unfortunate.”

Price said he was standing up for his teammates. He also said opponents have commented to him and his teammates about Eckersley’s analysis.

“Every team that we play here, whenever they hear our broadcast, everybody in here is always getting text messages that (say): ‘He has to never be around,”‘ he said. “People know what’s going on.”

Price signed a $217 millon, seven-year contract before last season. He went 17-9 with a 3.99 ERA in his first year with the Red Sox.

He is 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA this season. He hopes to return soon.

“It’s nowhere near where it was (in spring training),” he said. “I feel like it’ll be more than 10 days. We did all the strength tests and arm tests and my strength and grip were both stronger than where they were in spring training, all the signs are really good.”

]]> 0 Sox starting pitcher David Price was relegated to the dugout for Friday night's game against Kansas City after he was placed on the disabled list with a recurrence of his elbow injury.Sat, 29 Jul 2017 23:23:12 +0000
Royals win ninth straight, drop Red Sox to second place in AL East Sat, 29 Jul 2017 02:46:52 +0000 BOSTON — Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas homered off emergency starter Rick Porcello, who took over when David Price went back on the disabled list because of inflammation in his left elbow, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Red Sox 4-2 Friday night for their season-high ninth straight win.

Boston has lost 5 of 6 and 9 of 14, dropping out of the AL East lead for the first time since June 29 and falling a half-game behind the New York Yankees.

Price started the season on the DL and didn’t make his first start until May 29. The 31-year-old left-hander, winner of the 2012 AL Cy Young Award, is 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA.

Porcello (4-14), who had been scheduled to pitch Saturday, leads the major leagues in losses. He allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings.

Jason Vargas (13-4) gave up one run and five hits in six innings. Vargas, who had been winless in three starts since June 30, is one shy of his career high for wins, set in 2012 with Seattle.

Kelvin Herrera pitched a one-hit ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances, getting rookie Rafael Devers to hit into a game-ending forceout after Andrew Benintendi’s two-out single.

Kansas City, which has rebounded from a 7-16 start, is 15-8 in July and on its longest winning streak since nine consecutive victories from last Aug. 14-23. The Royals have outscored opponents 67-27 during the streak.

Perez homered over the Green Monster in the second and Moustakas made it 4-0 in the fourth. He hit his 30th homer in his 92nd game, the fastest to reach the mark in team history, and he is six homers shy of the Kansas City season record set by Steve Balboni in 1985.

Jorge Bonifacio had singled leading off, and Eric Hosmer beat the shift with a single to left that put runners at the corners.

Three days after his big league debut, Devers went 1 for 2 in his first home game for the Red Sox. He doubled down the right-field line in the fifth and scored on Mookie Betts’ single, and at 20 years, 277 days became the youngest Boston player with a hit at Fenway Park since Mike Garman in 1969.

Chris Young tripled off Mike Minor leading off the seventh and scored on Sandy Leon’s groundout.

NOTES: Robby Scott was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Price’s roster spot.

]]> 0 Sox starter Rick Porcello walks away from the mound with a fresh baseball as Kansas City's Salvador Perez rounds the bases after a solo home run in the second inning Friday night at Fenway Park.Fri, 28 Jul 2017 22:48:24 +0000
Red Sox notebook: Price stratched from Red Sox start, placed on disabled list Fri, 28 Jul 2017 15:35:08 +0000 Left-hander David Price was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday by the Boston Red Sox because of a recurrence of the left elbow inflammation that sidelined him for three months earlier this year.

Price was scheduled to start Friday’s series opener against the Kansas City Royals – his first time on the Fenway mound since details of his confrontation with Hall of Famer and team broadcaster Dennis Eckersley last month came to light.

Instead, Rick Porcello got the start, working on regular rest after Thursday’s off day. Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz are scheduled to start the final two games of the series.

Price’s injury has short- and long-term ramifications. In his 11 starts this season, he has a 5-3 record and 3.82 ERA, and he was pitching extremely well until his start last Saturday. With Price following Chris Sale, Boston appeared poised to carry the American League’s best starting rotation into the postseason, should it get that far.

Boston recalled left-handed reliever Robby Scott from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill Price’s spot on the roster.

DUSTIN PEDROIA, in a session with reporters prior to Friday’s game, addressed criticism that the Red Sox lack leadership in the clubhouse and denied he was one of the players who applauded David Price’s tirade against Dennis Eckersley during a team flight on June 29.

“Nothing is going to divide this team,” Pedroia said, according to Alex Reimer of “For whatever people say from the outside: ‘we don’t have a leader.’ I’m standing right here. I’ve been here for a long time. We’re in first place. That’s it. Write what you guys want. Here I am. See anybody else standing here doing this? Do you? Nope. That’s a fact. There’s your source. From the mouth.”

Price hasn’t apologized to Eckersley for his outburst, but Pedroia said the pitcher plans to do so as soon as he has a chance to speak one-on-one with the Hall of Fame pitcher, who is in Cooperstown this weekend for this year’s induction ceremony. Eckersley wasn’t with the team for its West Coast trip that ended Wednesday.

“In this clubhouse we have two rules: (be) on time and be professional,” Pedroia said. “After that incident, obviously we talked about it. And that’s it. We’ve kind of moved on from that. I’m sure he’s going to have a conversation with Eck whenever he sees him – he hasn’t seen him since that. That’s it. All the other stuff is a distraction. We’re trying to play baseball and win ballgames. It was kind of an argument between two guys – two grown men – and he’s passionate about what he does. He’s emotional. That’s it.”

]]> 0 Price got the start for the Red Sox on Saturday in Boston, entering the game with a 2-1 record and a 5.10 ERA. The game did not end before deadline.Fri, 28 Jul 2017 23:25:28 +0000
Red Sox notebook: Rafael Devers makes a case to stay in Boston Fri, 28 Jul 2017 01:33:07 +0000 SEATTLE — Rafael Devers was so excited he could barely walk when he got back to the dugout after rounding the bases in the third inning.

The 20-year-old Red Sox rookie had just homered for his first major-league hit.

“It was surreal,” he said after Boston’s 4-0 win in Seattle on Wednesday.

Devers, the youngest player in the majors by 73 days (the Dodgers’ Julio Urias is the second-youngest), has hardly looked rattled in his first two days with the Red Sox.

On Tuesday night, Devers debuted and went 0 for 4 but drew two walks and made a handful of impressive plays in the field.

On Wednesday he collected his first two hits, the home run in the third and then a single up the middle off a left-handed reliever in the seventh.

Devers became the youngest Red Sox player to homer since Tony Conigliaro in 1965. He was also the first Red Sox player to record a home run as his first hit since Daniel Nava in 2010.

“The only time I felt a little uncomfortable was in the first inning of (Tuesday’s) game,” Devers said. “Ever since that inning passed by, I’ve felt very comfortable.”

“He’s got something special in that bat,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “This is not an easy ballpark to hit a ball out to center field regardless nighttime, daytime, well-struck, then he gets the left-hander and stays in the middle of the field for the line drive. So he’s been impressive in the two days he’s been on the field, last night defensively and today offensively at the plate.”

The Red Sox have yet to announce their plans for Devers following the acquisition of third baseman Eduardo Nunez, but Devers seems to have provided a spark to Boston’s offense.

“He hasn’t hurt his cause by any means with what he’s done in a very short look,” Farrell said. “We’ve talked quite a bit recently about the need to get offense and today is a display of what he’s capable of doing so he’s taking care of what he can on his end.”

Devers, who played 77 games for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and just nine games in Triple-A Pawtucket before his promotion, said he’s tried not to think about what he needs to do to stick in the majors.

“I haven’t really thought much about what’s to come but the way I’ve always been, wherever they put me to play, I’m going to give 110 percent and the cards are going to fall where they may,” Devers said.

“It’s been less than 24 hours that he’s been on the field but it’s been positive results, it’s been great contribution on his part,” Farrell said. “You know what, he looks very much at ease whether defensively or in the box.”

OVER THE COURSE of his eight-year career, Chris Sale has been slightly better in the first half with a 2.74 ERA and .208 average against in the first months of the season compared to a 3.22 ERA and .238 average against in the latter months.

This year seems different.

In three starts since the break, Sale has yet to allow a run.

The 28-year-old dazzled once again on Wednesday against the Mariners, allowing just three hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings. He struck out 11, bumping his major league-leading strikeout total to 211.

“We’re watching one of the better years ever pitched by a major league pitcher in the American League and we’re fortunate it’s in our uniform,” Farrell said after Boston’s 4-0 win.

In three starts since the All-Star break, Sale has allowed just 10 hits and five walks while striking out 33 batters in 202/3 innings.

]]> 0 third baseman Rafael Devers is jokingly ignored by teammates in the dugout after hitting his first career home run during the third inning against Seattle. Devers is the youngest player in the major leagues by 73 days.Thu, 27 Jul 2017 21:37:31 +0000
Commentary: Price isn’t the leader that Red Sox really need Fri, 28 Jul 2017 01:32:20 +0000 When David Price toes the pitching rubber Friday night at Fenway Park, his head is bound to be filled with disparate hardball thoughts.

In a perfect world, Boston’s $30 million man would step in against Kansas City and be laser-focused on retiring Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and the rest of the lineup. He’d only be concerned with helping the inconsistent Sox stay ahead of the Yankees and Rays in the tight American League East race.

But Price’s mind is a busy place these days. And his world is far from perfect, thanks only to himself.

The unique pressure that comes with playing – and starring – for the Red Sox offers a challenge that different players handle in different ways. Some thrive in the spotlight, others shrink. A select few are so ill-fitting they sink to an ignominious level and are jeered as they slink out of town. Carl Crawford and Edgar Renteria come to mind.

Price hasn’t sunk to those lows but he’s begun the walk on that checkered path. In a quest to stick up for his teammates, Price fell into a heap of trouble nearly a month ago when he confronted Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley on the team’s plane. It seems Eck, easily the best analyst that NESN offers Sox fans on its telecasts, had the audacity to utter the word “yuck” on air when the uneven stats of a rehab start by pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez were flashed on the TV screen.

According to a revealing report of the incident in the Boston Globe this week, several people on the plane say Price stopped Eck in the aisle and proclaimed “here he is – the greatest pitcher who ever lived! The game is easy for him!”

When Eck began to respond, Price dismissed him with “Get the (expletive) out of here!” Many Sox players then applauded, according to the report.

When word of the incident broke the next day, Price defended his actions and would only say “some people just don’t understand how hard this game is.”

In some baseball cities, news of the dust-up wouldn’t even break. In Boston, it’s become as important as the games. A wave of Price-bashing has dominated talk radio all week and you have to wonder just how this bright, Vanderbilt-educated, nine-year veteran could be so short-sighted.

Stunningly, some important people in the Red Sox organization see little problem with a star pitcher treating a Hall of Famer with such disregard. Now Price is being painted as the latest petulant, thin-skinned Red Sox and a poster boy of a team that can be downright boring, and is clearly searching for some star power in the wake of David Ortiz’s retirement.

A few days ago Manager John Farrell was asked on WEEI radio if he or Price has seen the need to apologize to Eckersley. He said he met with Price but left the apologies to others in the organization. Price has confronted other media members this season and earlier in his career, and clearly feels he’s sticking up for himself and teammates. That’s more than fair game, but he’s falling short of handling his responsibilities with the class and professionalism required in a major market like Boston.

“Eck is critical, as are many commentators. But that’s the world we live in,” Farrell said. “We’re not always going to appease everyone. There will be criticism that does come our way. He happens to be a little more direct and unfiltered. There have been some situations that have come up where players have maybe gone to him directly.”

Price’s approach of Eckersley was hardly direct. Instead he tried to bully a legend, a move that only makes him look small. Farrell is praised for “handling” his clubhouse in a professional manner but Price seems like a loose cannon. Maybe that’s why Boston is his fourth team in five years. He should thank heaven for Chris Sale, the dominant, Cy Young-worthy pitcher the Sox traded for in the offseason. Imagine if Sale was still with the White Sox and the beleaguered Price was Boston’s ace, the pitcher the franchise relies on to not only be the stopper but a stand-up guy?

What Price needs to realize is he has no equity in Boston. Last October he embarrassed himself in a playoff (31/3 IP, 5 runs) loss to the Indians and is now winless in nine career playoff starts. He showed up to spring training in February with an arm injury and will face immense pressure if the Sox find a way into the postseason this October.

Standout pitching will ease the minds of most fans. Winning can trump stupidity, after all. Price may be the highest-paid Red Sox but if he is propped up as a leader of this team, the franchise is heading in the wrong direction.

]]> 0 Price returns to the Fenway Park mound Friday night after being targeted on talk radio for a week.Thu, 27 Jul 2017 21:37:35 +0000
Devers hits homer for first hit as Red Sox win, 4-0 Wed, 26 Jul 2017 22:46:16 +0000 SEATTLE — When Chris Sale woke up Wednesday, he was unaware the Red Sox were on a four-game losing streak.

“I actually fell asleep before the end of it. I woke up this morning and heard the news,” Sale said of Boston’s 13-inning loss the previous night.

Sale was brilliant, pitching seven innings of three-hit ball in a 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners that featured a home run by 20-year-old Rafael Devers , a member of the Portland Sea Dogs earlier this month who became the youngest Boston player to hit a home run in more than 50 years.

Sale headed back to the team hotel early on Tuesday night to be rested for a day game. He didn’t know about Seattle’s two-run rally in the 13th inning, shortly after midnight.

About 12 hours later, the Red Sox got exactly what they needed from their ace to avoid being swept. He struck out 11, the 14th time this season he reached double digits. Sale allowed doubles to Jean Segura and Guillermo Heredia, and a broken-bat single to Ben Gamel, but none of the three to reach base via hit ever advanced.

“It’s deception, it’s angle. He does a lot of things well,” Gamel said.

Sale (13-4) has struck out at least nine batters in each of his 12 road starts this season, the longest streak dating to 1913. He’s won five of his last six decisions and became the first AL pitcher with 13 wins.

In two starts on Boston’s trip, Sale allowed seven hits in 13 innings and struck out 20.

“We’re watching one of the better years ever pitched by a major league pitcher in the American League,” Boston Manager John Farrell said. “We’re fortunate it’s in our uniform.”

A day after his major league debut, Devers led off the third inning by sending a 2-1 fastball from starter Andrew Moore out to center field for his first hit in the majors. At 20 years and 275 days old, Devers was the youngest Red Sox player to homer since Tony Conigliaro in September 1965. Devers added a single in the seventh inning.

“It was surreal. When I got back to the dugout I could barely walk to be honest with you,” Devers said through an interpreter. “I was just so happy about it. It was just a good moment.”

Moore (1-3) was solid, but the long ball was his problem. Along with Devers’ shot, Moore gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Sandy Leon in the fourth inning. Moore hung a 1-2 curveball and Leon hit his sixth homer of the season. Moore was able to save Seattle’s bullpen by lasting 62/3 innings.

“He’s learning. Certainly, I like his competitiveness. He just didn’t have that pitch to finish them today and the home run ball got him,” Seattle Manager Scott Servais said of Moore. “I do like the way he’s able to make adjustments in-game, he’s done that a number of times.”

Boston recorded its fifth shutout of the season and second in the past two weeks. Oddly enough, three of Boston’s shutouts came against Seattle; the teams played just six times in the regular season.

NOTES: Boston’s Mookie Betts and Seattle’s Robinson Cano, both All-Stars this year, got a break from the starting lineup with each team having a day off Thursday. Cano’s only duty was catching the ceremonial first pitch from Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. … Boston placed right-handed pitcher Ben Taylor on the 10-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his ribs. The move was retroactive to July 23. The Red Sox activated right-hander Blaine Boyer from the disabled list. Boyer had been out since July 16 with an elbow strain.

]]> 0 Devers hits a single in the seventh inning Wednesday at Seattle. Devers homered earlier in the game for his first major league hit.Wed, 26 Jul 2017 22:58:42 +0000
Red Sox get Eduardo Nunez from Giants to provide help at third base Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:59:37 +0000 SAN FRANCISCO — The Boston Red Sox acquired utility man Eduardo Nunez from the San Francisco Giants late Tuesday night in exchange for minor league pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

The deal was finalized during San Francisco’s 11-3 win over Pittsburgh and announced after the game.

“It’s exciting,” Nunez said while standing outside of manager Bruce Bochy’s office. “You’re going to go (play) for a championship. That’s why we’re here. That’s the focus right now.”

Nunez started at third base, hit a two-run double and scored twice before he was removed for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning.

The 30-year-old hit .308 in 76 games with San Francisco this season and has reached base safely in 40 of his last 42 games. He started 47 games at third base for the Giants, 18 games in the outfield and 10 at shortstop.

Eduardo Nunez scores against the Cleveland Indians in San Francisco on July 18. Associated Press

“A right-handed bat, a proven guy, hitting for a high average, he can play multiple positions,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said from Seattle, where Boston lost 6-5 in 13 innings. “We’ll work him in.”

Nunez drove in 31 runs and had a team-high 17 stolen bases despite being slowed by a hamstring injury this month.

He could provide a boost for Boston at third base, where the Red Sox have had the worst production of any team in the major leagues (.595 OPS). On Sunday, Boston promoted prospect Rafael Devers from Triple-A Pawtucket. He started at third base Tuesday night in Seattle and went 0 for 4 with two walks in his debut.

“He’s very talented and that’s why a lot of clubs wanted him,” Bochy said. “He can run, he’s a good hitter, he can play anywhere. I’m going to miss him because this guy was exciting. He’s got a chance to get to the postseason so I’m happy for him. He’ll help that ballclub.”

Nunez did not rule out the possibility of re-signing with San Francisco in the offseason when he’s scheduled to become a free agent. For now, Nunez said he’s intent on helping the Red Sox maintain their lead in the AL East.

“I never listened really the last two week where I was going,” Nunez said. “I just focused on playing. I don’t read that much Twitter and those things. I am focused on who’s pitching tonight, who’s pitching the next day.”

Boston general manager Dave Dombrowski said Nunez wouldn’t report to the Red Sox until Friday.

“He’s versatile for us, gives us another that we feel can help us give us some offense, which we do need at this time,” Dombrowski said. “I think he’ll play a lot for us. He’s a good major league player.”

Anderson was pitching at Class A Salem and Santos was playing in the Dominican Summer League.

The move could clear the way for the Giants to recall Pablo Sandoval from the minors, although Bochy said that’s not likely to happen. The 2012 World Series MVP with the Giants, Sandoval signed a minor league contract with San Francisco last weekend after he was released by Boston, which signed him to a $95 million, five-year deal after the 2014 season.

He hit just .237 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs during 21/2 injury-decimated seasons with the Red Sox. Sandoval has played for Class A San Jose and Triple-A Sacramento since rejoining the Giants organization.

“We’re not going to bring Pablo here until we think he’s ready,” Bochy said.

]]> 0 Francisco Giants' Eduardo Nunez scores against the Cleveland Indians during the sixth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:50:34 +0000
Red Sox strand multiple runners on way to 13-inning, 6-5 loss to Mariners Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:39:39 +0000 SEATTLE — Guillermo Heredia provided the early punch with a home run, then turned an extra 90 feet into the winning run for the Seattle Mariners some four hours later.

Heredia went from first to third on a wild pitch and then came home when Jean Segura rolled an RBI single up the middle with two outs in the 13th inning to cap a two-run rally and give the Mariners a 6-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in a game that ended early Wednesday morning.

“In my opinion, the biggest play in the game was him going from first to third on the wild pitch, keeping his up head up there and taking the extra base, which allowed him to score the winning run,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “A lot of crazy plays in that game, but it says a lot about the effort of our ballclub.”

Mitch Haniger walked with one out in the 13th off Doug Fister (0-5), pitching his third inning, and was forced at second on Ben Gamel’s fielder’s choice. Heredia, who had a three-run homer in the second, singled Gamel to third. Gamel scored on a wild pitch to tie it, with Heredia advancing all the way to third. Mike Zunino then walked. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts fielded Segura’s roller behind second, but his off-balance throw was way late.

Dustin Pedroia hits a two-RBI double in the 6th inning Tuesday night. Associated Press/Ted S. Warren)

“Obviously, I didn’t know right away. I was aggressive on the play,” Heredia said through a translator. “Once I looked back at the catcher, he was a little careless on it, I took off for third.”

The Red Sox, who stranded two runners in the eighth, ninth and 11th innings, had taken a 5-4 lead in the top half when Sandy Leon singled home Hanley Ramirez with two outs off Tony Zych (5-2).

“Our bullpen did a great job of extending it, we had opportunities throughout, we fight back from 3-0, unfortunately the ending is what it is,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “It’s a tough loss, particularly the way we’ve scuffled offensively for a period of time now.”

Zunino opened the seventh inning with his 15th home run to bring Seattle even at 4-4.

The Red Sox capitalized on a sudden loss of command by starter Felix Hernandez for three runs in the sixth to erase a 3-1 deficit.

Highly touted prospect Rafael Devers, making his debut, walked to open the inning and Andrew Benintendi drew a one-out walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Dustin Pedroia followed with a two-run double. Pedroia advanced on Ramirez’s flyout and came home on Bradley Jr.’s single.

Heredia’s three-run homer off starter Drew Pomeranz staked the Mariners to a 3-0 lead in the second.

Ramirez cut it to 3-1 in the fourth with 17th home run, a two-out shot to left.

“We knew it was going to be a tight game. It got a little longer than we expected, but we’ll take it,” Servais said.

The 20-year-old Devers, who began the season at Double-A and then was called up Monday after just nine games at Triple-A Pawtucket, flied out to center in his first at-bat, walked, hit into a double play in the seventh, and walked again in the ninth. He struck out in the 11th to end the inning with the go-ahead run at third and flied out to center to end the 13th. He finished 0 for 4 with two walks.

Seattle Mariners’ Jean Segura is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walk-off RBI single in the 13th inning to score Guillermo Heredia and give the Mariners a 6-5 win over the Red Sox just after midnight (Seattle time) Wednesday. Associated Press/Ted S. Warren

“In the first inning I was very nervous, but thank God I was able to get my feet under me,” Devers said through a translator. “For me, it’s just going out there and playing my brand of baseball and having fun out there, that’s what I was trying to do and I think I did that. I’m not happy that we lost, but I’m happy for my first big-league game.


Boston acquired INF-OF Eduardo Nunez from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for minor league RHPs Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos, GM Dave Dombrowski announced mid-game. Nunez, 30, hit .308 with 20 doubles, four home runs, and 31 RBI in 76 games for the Giants this season.


Dombrowski also announced several moves following the game. LHP Luis Ysla, currently at Double-A Portland, was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. RHP Blaine Boyer is expected to be activated off the 10-day DL (right elbow strain) on Wednesday. … RHP Ben Taylor is scheduled to be placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Sunday.


Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly, on the 10-day DL (left hamstring strain) is getting closer to returning. “That was an encouraging bullpen by Joe today, 25 pitches, 80 to 85 percent,” manager John Farrell said. “His next bullpen will be on Friday when we get back home, so he’s making pretty good progress.” Kelly likely will need at one least rehab outing before returning, Farrell said.

Mariners: CF Jarrod Dyson, who sustained a hyperextended toe when crashing into the wall Saturday, missed his third straight game, but was improving.


Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (12-4, 2.58) closes out the three-game series Wednesday afternoon. Sale has gone at least six innings in all but one of his 20 starts. He has not allowed an earned run in three of his last four starts. Sale leads the AL with 200 strikeouts.

Mariners: RHP Andrew Moore (1-2, 5.70) has not won in four starts since a victory in his debut on June 22. Moore, the Mariners’ second-round pick in 2015, has allowed nine home runs in 30 innings.

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