Boston Red Sox – Press Herald Sun, 25 Jun 2017 00:16:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Red Sox pound Angels Sat, 24 Jun 2017 02:43:35 +0000 BOSTON — Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon each hit a two-run homer Friday night, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-4 to cap a night in which David Ortiz’s number became the latest retired at Fenway Park.

It was the 250th career home run for Ramirez, a good friend of Ortiz who was also born in the Dominican Republic. Leon finished with three hits and four RBI.

The homers helped provide a nice cushion for Rick Porcello (4-9), who gave up four runs and struck out eight in 61/3 innings to earn the victory. It was the 13th straight start Porcello has gone at least six innings.

Angels starter Alex Meyer (3-4) allowed five runs and five hits in 31/3 innings.

Los Angeles scored three runs in the seventh but cooled off after Porcello left.

Boston got out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, scoring on an RBI double by Xander Bogaerts and then getting two more runs on wild pitches.

Ramirez gave Porcello a 5-1 lead in the fourth with his two-run shot to right field.

This could serve as a needed confidence boost for Porcello, who had been 0-4 with a 7.92 ERA in his previous five starts, allowing 47 hits and 27 earned runs.

He had command of his pitches early, holding the Angels scoreless until the fourth, when a catching error by Leon at home allowed Albert Pujols to cross the plate.


RED SOX: Infielder Josh Rutledge was a pregame scratch because of left hip soreness. Dustin Pedroia, who was only expected to play on an emergency basis, returned to the lineup a day earlier than expected after missing three straight games because of a bruised back.


ANGELS: Right-hander J.C. Ramirez will be making his 14th start of the season and seventh on the road in 2017. He made four relief appearances last season against Boston. He’s tossed 21/3 scoreless innings in two career games at Fenway.

RED SOX: Left-hander David Price held the Angels to eight scoreless innings the last time he faced them in late July last season. He is 5-5 with a 3.26 ERA over 13 career starts against Los Angeles.

]]> 0 Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox takes out shortstop Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angels in an attempt to break up a double play Friday night at Fenway Park. Umpires ruled that Bogaerts interfered with Simmons.Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:16:23 +0000
Emotional Papi watches No. 34 join the legends Sat, 24 Jun 2017 02:00:52 +0000 BOSTON — David Ortiz stepped up to the microphone, wiped the tears from his eyes and waited for the sold-out Fenway Park crowd to shout “Papi!” a few more times.

The Red Sox waited at the top of their dugout. The Los Angeles Angels tipped their caps. Friends, family and dignitaries from two countries lined the infield. And three World Series trophies glistened in the twilight sun.

Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Pedro Martinez, Wade Boggs and Jim Rice – whose numbers preceded Ortiz’s to the Fenway facade – were the only ones who could know how he felt.

“It’s an honor to get to see my number right next to all those legends,” Ortiz said before his No. 34 was unveiled Friday night along the right-field roof boxes.

“I remember hitting batting practice on this field; I always was trying to hit those numbers. But I never thought about having my number up there,” he said. “Every player that is up there did things that are very, very special for this ballclub and this community.”

Ortiz retired last season as one of the most productive offensive players in franchise history, and the single-most important player to wear a Red Sox uniform in a century.

With three World Series titles, including the 2004 championship that ended an 86-year drought, Ortiz dragged the ballclub out of its dynasty of disappointment and gave a fresh generation of Bostonians reason to fall in love with the Red Sox anew.

But it was Ortiz’s defiant speech after the Boston Marathon bombings that cemented him as a civic hero and helped prompt the Red Sox to retire his number less than a year after he retired.

As a nod to his foul-mouthed challenge to those who would test the city’s resolve, Ortiz took the microphone Friday with the welcome, “This is his (pause) city.”

“There wasn’t an empty seat,” Ortiz said afterward.

“It made me feel like one of the important games we had where the fans wanted to be there from the very beginning and show love and support. It was pretty amazing.”

Ortiz is the 10th Red Sox player to have his number retired, and he was joined by four of the others, as well as family representing the ones who couldn’t be there.

Also recognized during the ceremony were representatives from the Dominican Republic, the city of Boston, and family of Minnesota Twins Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, from whom Ortiz adopted both his No. 34 and his ever-present smile.

“Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to give Boston the greatest gift ever: my compadre, David Ortiz,” said Martinez, who helped convince the Red Sox to sign Ortiz in 2003 and then joined with him the next year to win the title.

“You are a great ambassador of the game. I don’t have enough words to say today how proud I am, and how proud of a papa I feel today. “Yes, he is ‘Big Papi.’ But I feel like ‘Grampa.’ ”

Current second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Ortiz’s teammate on the 2007 and 2013 World Series champions, came out of the dugout to be enveloped in a giant bear hug.

“You’re not our teammate, you’re not our friend. You’re family,” Pedroia said. “And it will be like that until the day you die.”

With that, Ortiz broke out the handkerchief.

“Man, the little guy made me cry,” he said. “Wow.”

Much like it was last season, when Ortiz went on his farewell tour, the ballpark was decked out in his honor, from a five-story silhouette hanging from the concourse ramp outside to the No. 34 mowed into the outfield grass.

Fans were given posters with the No. 34 and it was painted onto both on-deck circles.

After both the Dominican and U.S. national anthems – each accompanied by a giant flag covering the Green Monster – Ortiz took a ball from a former teammate, Tim Wakefield, and threw (somewhat wildly) to former catcher Jason Varitek.

Ortiz shook hands with virtually everyone on the field as he left, accompanied by video from the careers of the other 10 players with their numbers retired. (Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 has been taken out of service by every team in baseball.)

Although the Red Sox have offered Ortiz a spot in the organization, he said he stayed away from the team since his retirement to avoid being a distraction.

“I told myself, ‘Give everybody their space,’ ” he said. “But it’s going to happen.”

]]> 0 Ortiz, who played a pivotal role as the Boston Red Sox snapped an 86-year title drought, then helped the team win two more championships, couldn't hold back his emotions Friday night as his No. 34 was retired by the Red Sox before their game against the Los Angeles Angels.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 10:35:27 +0000
Major League notebook: Red Sox hoping Fister will bolster pitching staff Sat, 24 Jun 2017 01:10:48 +0000 BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox claimed right-hander Doug Fister off waivers in a move to provide depth to a rotation that has struggled with injuries.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced the move Friday.

Manager John Farrell said Fister is slated to make his first start in Sunday’s series finale against the Los Angeles Angels. Boston hopes he can provide help with starters Steven Wright out for the season after left knee surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez rehabilitating a right knee injury.

Fister, 33, was released from his minor league contract with the Angels at his request on Thursday. He was pitching with their Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City, but had a clause in his deal to opt out if he wasn’t added to the major league roster by June 21.

He spent 2016 with the Astros, going 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA.

The Red Sox also signed infielder Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league contract. Peralta, a three-time All-Star, was hitting just .204 with no extra-base hits and no RBI in 54 at-bats when he was released by the Cardinals on June 13. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

TIGERS: Francisco Rodriguez was released, one day after the 35-year-old reliever allowed a grand slam to Robinson Cano in his latest rough outing.

Rodriguez saved 44 games for the Tigers in 2016, but he is 2-5 with a 7.82 ERA this year.

ROYALS: Chris Young, Kansas City’s winning pitcher in the 2015 World Series opener, has been designated for assignment.

Reliever Neftali Feliz agreed to a one-year contract with the Royals, four days after he was released by Milwaukee.

Young had a 7.50 ERA in two starts and 12 relief appearances.

MARLINS: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the team, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.

Bush has joined forces with businessman Tagg Romney in a group trying to buy the Marlins, sources said. Tagg Romney is the son of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

]]> 0 Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:36:46 +0000
Big Papi has Boston street named for him Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:29:01 +0000 BOSTON — Ted Williams waited 24 years after his last at-bat before the Boston Red Sox hung his No. 9 from the Fenway Park facade. Bobby Doerr and Joe Cronin waited 37 years, and Carlton Fisk and Jim Rice 20.

David Ortiz’s No. 34 will join the others Friday night – 265 days after he walked off the Fenway field for the last time as a player.

“That short amount of time is a symbol,” team president Sam Kennedy said Thursday, “of how everyone … feels about the player who was the most important player in the history of the Red Sox.”

The Red Sox will retire Ortiz’s number Friday night before their game against the Los Angeles Angels. It will be the 11th number on the facade and the third in three seasons.

And yes, it will be less than a year after the player beloved as “Big Papi” walked off the field for the final time.

Ortiz’s farewell last year was a season-long affair in which he was showered with gifts on the road and celebrated for an entire weekend at Fenway. Among the honors was the announcement of a quick turnaround before he would be back for a number retirement ceremony this summer.

Things got started a day early, with Mayor Marty Walsh stopping by Fenway on Thursday afternoon to help rename the street from the ballpark to the nearest train station “David Ortiz Drive.”

Taking the podium in front of a crowd of high school ballplayers, with Red Sox employees hanging out the windows and watching from the Fenway roof across the street, Ortiz said, “This city means a lot to me. This city got me to where I am.”

A giant No. 34 also will line the way, joining those previously retired by the team (and the No. 42 retired by all of baseball for Jackie Robinson).

Ortiz retired at the age of 40 with one of the best seasons of his career, hitting .315 with 38 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI. In his career with the Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, he finished with a .286 average, 541 homers and 1,768 RBI.

His late-inning heroics helped the Red Sox rally from a 3-0 deficit in the 2004 ALCS and win their first World Series in 86 years. He then added two titles – the only player on all three Boston championship teams this millennium.

But most importantly, he also is remembered for rallying the city after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, when he grabbed a microphone on the Fenway mound and declared, “This is our (expletive) city.”

“In one of the darkest moments of the city, he was somebody that lifted us right up,” Walsh said, right before a pair of school buses drove by, with students hanging out the window and yelling “Big Papi!”

Noting that he’s watched Ortiz work both on and off the field, Walsh said, “he has a heart as big as our city.”

]]> 0 Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, left, shares a laugh with team president Sam Kennedy during a gathering where part of Yawkey Way was renamed David Ortiz Drive on Thursday outside Fenway Park in Boston. Ortiz's No. 34 will be retired in a ceremony prior to Friday night's game.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 00:44:22 +0000
On Baseball: Sox prospect Michael Chavis heading to Sea Dogs Thu, 22 Jun 2017 16:02:36 +0000 While the Boston Red Sox are searching for an answer at third base, the Portland Sea Dogs are scheduled to begin play Friday with two of the best third-base prospects in the game.

The Red Sox promoted Michael Chavis to the Portland Sea Dogs from advanced Class A Salem, the Salem franchise announced Thursday. Also promoted was infielder Chad De La Guerra.

Chavis, 21, comes to Portland as the hottest hitter in the Red Sox minor league system, leading in OPS (1.029) and home runs (17). He’s batting .318.

Twelve of Chavis’ home runs were hit in Salem’s pitcher-friendly stadium, which is a franchise record.

While the Sea Dogs are receiving Chavis, third baseman Rafael Devers is still on the Portland roster. Devers, 20, considered Boston’s No. 1 prospect, is hitting .297. He is second to Chavis among Boston minor leaguers in OPS (.924) and home runs (14).

Meanwhile, in Boston, the Red Sox third basemen have a combined OPS of .577, worst in the major leagues.

The speculation is that Devers will be given a shot at the major league job sometime in August. But he needs more polish.

Frankly, it’s surprising that the Chavis move did not correspond with a promotion for Devers to Triple-A Pawtucket.

One plausible reason for Devers staying with the Sea Dogs is Boston is waiting for the All-Star break to promote him. Devers should be named to the MLB Futures Game on July 9, as well as the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 12.

It’s conceivable that Boston hasn’t figured out what to do with Devers. Are the Red Sox desperate enough to jump him straight to the majors? I doubt it.

Having Devers and Chavis on the same team isn’t a big deal – they both played third base for low Class A Greenville in 2015. One will play third while the other is the designated hitter. Both are sure to get plenty of action in pregame workouts. I wouldn’t be surprised to see roving infield instructor Andy Fox at Hadlock this weekend.

Devers’ rise in the Red Sox system has been expected. He’s been a touted prospect since signing with Boston when he was 16 for a $1.5 million bonus.

Chavis’ journey through the organization has had its bumps. Drafted out of high school in the first round (26th overall) in 2014, Chavis entered this season with a career .235 average and 25 home runs in 229 games.

Still, Boston kept promoting Chavis and he responded this year in Salem.

“He’s shown some specific adjustments that’s led to that improved performance,” said the Red Sox director of player development, Ben Crockett, last month. “He’s shown a really consistent approach at the plate, making adjustments with two strikes, being aggressive to his pitch.

“It hasn’t been a hot streak or flukiness. We’ve seen some good work being done.”

Chavis was named the Carolina League All-Star Game MVP this past Tuesday. His two-run double provided the only RBI in a 2-0 game.

After the game, Salem Manager Joe Oliver told the Roanoke Times that “it’s been pretty special to see a guy who’s finally put some things together that are legitimate … Pretty astounding how he’s maintained the same approach.”

So what happens if Chavis keeps developing and is close to the majors in a year or two? Boston, with Devers and Chavis, could go from dearth to abundance at third base.

Wouldn’t that be a nice problem? Chavis, by the way, was a shortstop in high school. He could conceivably also play second base.

De La Guerra, 24, was also a Carolina League All-Star. He was batting .294/.832 in Salem while playing shortstop and second base. He was a 17th-round draft pick in 2015 out of Grand Canyon University.

The Sea Dogs’ roster will need to be adjusted with the addition of Chavis and De La Guerra. One move might be the promotion of utility player Tzu-Wei Lin. In his second year in Portland, Lin is batting .299/.840.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Red Sox third base prospect Michael Chavis is being promoted to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs after having a breakout season with Class A Salem. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images via AP Images)Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:53:43 +0000
Eighth-inning grand slam sinks Red Sox in 6-4 loss to Royals Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:04:10 +0000 KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Salvador Perez borrowed a Miguel Cabrera bat from Kansas City Royals teammate Drew Butera for the first time Wednesday.

“It’s a magic stick,” Butera said.

It was magic for Perez, who hit his first career grand slam, connecting in the eighth inning to rally the Royals over the Boston Red Sox 6-4.

“Miggy gave the bat to Butera when Detroit was playing here,” Perez said. “Drew doesn’t use it. It’s too heavy for him. Today, coming into the clubhouse, I put it in my locker. I like the bat.

“Today was the first day I used it and I’ll use it Friday, too, before you ask me. I don’t want to break that one. I’ve got to call Miggy and say, ‘You’ve got to send me some more bats.'”

The Royals have won nine of 11 and moved within a game of .500.

Perez homered over the Kansas City bullpen in left field on the ninth pitch from Robby Scott (0-1). With Boston leading 4-2, reliever Matt Barnes started the inning by walking Jorge Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain on 12 pitches.

“We uncharacteristically lost the strike zone,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “For a group that has been so good at not issuing too many walks over the course of the year, we had an inning that got away from us. Matt was up in the zone. He couldn’t get the ball down.

“This one stings because that group has been so good, so consistent for the better part of the whole season.”

Scott was summoned to face Eric Hosmer, but walked him on four pitches to load the bases for Perez. The All-Star catcher fouled off three full-count deliveries before hitting his 15th homer of the season.

“I was happy with where the pitch was, but it was too good,” Scott said. “There’s not much else to say about it.”

Perez went 3 for 3 in the win.

Jorge Soria (3-2) worked a spotless eighth. Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances.

Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts hit successive home runs in the Boston fourth off Ian Kennedy.

Benintendi’s drive was estimated at 454 feet and landed in the right-center waterfall. The leadoff homer was Boston’s first hit, and the 100th of Benintendi’s career.

Five pitches later, Bogaerts went deep to left, tying the score at 2. It was the fourth time this season the Red Sox have hit back-to-back homers.

“I tried to go inside and the ball just ran back over,” Kennedy said of the homers.

Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz worked 61/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits.

Kennedy was removed after 42/3 innings, giving up four runs, two earned, three hits and three walks. He has just one victory in his past 17 starts.

Errors by Kennedy and first baseman Cheslor Cuthbert helped Boston score twice in the fifth.

NOTES: The Red Sox will retire David Ortiz’s No. 34 in a pregame ceremony Friday at Fenway Park. “When you consider the careers that are on that facade, the numbers that are up there and the fact that his being done so soon after retiring, I think speaks volumes,” Farrell said. “What he’s meant to the city, what he’s meant to the organization. To see him at the ballpark, see the smile, to hear the booming voice, it will be a good day for us.” … Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia missed his third straight game with rib soreness after being hit by a pitch Sunday. “When he went down to swing in the cage, there’s still some restriction,” Farrell said. “Hopefully he’ll be back in the lineup Friday.” … LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right knee subluxation) will throw a 30-pitch two-inning simulated game Saturday.

]]> 0 Royals' Salvador Perez watches his grand slam in the eighth inning Wednesday. The home run, Perez's first career grand slam, gave Kansas City a 6-4 win over the Red Sox.Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:33:22 +0000
Red Sox sign first-round draft pick Tanner Houck Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:03:40 +0000 The Boston Red Sox announced that they have signed their first-round draft pick, right-handed pitcher Tanner Houck from the University of Missouri. He will report to the Red Sox short-season minor league team in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Houck, 20, was the 24th selection overall in the Major League Baseball draft last week. The Red Sox did not release Houck’s signing bonus, Jim Calis of reported that Houck received $2.6 million.

With Houck, the Red Sox have signed five of their draft picks so far. First-baseman Zach Sterry (eighth round), infielder Tanner Nishioka (ninth), outfielder Jordan Wren (10th) and right-handed pitcher Lukas Young (21st) had already signed.

]]> 0 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:51:20 +0000
Sale sharp, Red Sox move into 1st with romp over Royals Wed, 21 Jun 2017 03:31:34 +0000 KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chris Sale shut down the Kansas City Royals while pitching into the ninth inning, and a rag-tag bunch of Boston Red Sox filling in for injured starters pounded their way to an 8-3 victory Tuesday night that moved them into first place in the AL East.

Sale (9-3) gave up a homer to Mike Moustakas in the second and a two-run shot to Jorge Bonifacio in the ninth before departing two outs shy of his second consecutive complete game. He allowed four hits and fanned 10, pushing his major league-leading strikeout total to 146 this season.

More importantly, he got a win after going the distance in a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia last week.

Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon each drove in a pair of runs for Boston, which got plenty of production from a lineup missing Pablo Sandoval, Dustin Pedroia and Mitch Moreland to various injuries.

First baseman Sam Travis and third baseman Deven Marrero, recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier in the day, drove in early runs to get the Red Sox off and running. Mookie Betts and Chris Young also had RBIs as the new division leaders kept piling on.

Boston jumped a half-game ahead of the rival New York Yankees, who have lost seven in a row for their longest slide in a single season since April 2007.

Most of Boston’s damage came against Royals youngster Matt Strahm (2-4), who struggled to follow up his dazzling first career start. The left-hander with a delivery eerily similar to Sale was hammered for five runs on seven hits and a walk before leaving with nobody out in the fourth.

Strahm allowed one unearned run in five innings last week against the Angels.

Sale dominated a Royals lineup that had slugged its way to eight wins in nine games, striking out the side in the fifth for good measure. The long, lean left-hander was finally lifted after Bonifacio’s homer and a base hit by Brandon Moss, ending his outing after 110 pitches.

The dominant performance came after Sale twirled a complete game in his last start at Kansas City, allowing two earned runs while striking out 10 in a 7-4 victory last Sept. 16 for the Chicago White Sox.


RED SOX: LHP Drew Pomeranz tries to build on a solid start at Houston in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Pomeranz allowed one run while pitching into the seventh inning against the Astros.

ROYALS: RHP Ian Kennedy will be coming off his first win since Sept. 11 when he starts for Kansas City. Kennedy retired the first 17 hitters he faced in a 3-1 victory over the Angels.

]]> 0 Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale throws during the first inning Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo. Associated Press/Charlie RiedelTue, 20 Jun 2017 23:40:10 +0000
Red Sox place Pablo Sandoval on DL with ear infection Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:02:20 +0000 BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox have placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list with a left ear infection.

The team also optioned right-hander Austin Maddox to Triple-A Pawtucket before Tuesday night’s game in Kansas City.

Infielder Deven Marrero and first baseman Sam Travis were recalled from Pawtucket.

After appearing in just three games last season, Sandoval is batting .212 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 32 games this year. In three seasons since signing a five-year, $95 million contract with Boston, Sandoval has batted .237 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs while appearing in just 161 games.

]]> 0 Sandoval A key player, or on the downslope?Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:31:19 +0000
Royals take lead in 7th and hold on to beat Red Sox, 4-2 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 03:53:58 +0000 KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Whit Merrifield drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer and the Kansas City Royals beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 on Monday night for their eighth win in nine games.

Jason Hammel (4-6) pitched seven sharp innings before turning it over to Mike Minor, who loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth. No. 9 hitter Christian Vazquez proceeded to send a slow bounder toward third base that Cheslor Cuthbert fielded cleanly and fired to first to end the threat.

Kelvin Herrera worked around Andrew Benintendi’s triple in the ninth for his 16th save.

Red Sox reliever Blaine Boyer (0-1), who wriggled out of a jam in the sixth, gave up Merrifield’s bouncing RBI single in the seventh. Boyer was lifted after Lorenzo Cain added an insurance run with a single, the second straight night Boston’s stingy bullpen has allowed a pair of runs.

Red Sox relievers had thrown 26 straight scoreless innings before the slump.

Hammel scattered seven hits without a walk, stranding seven along the way, and the only damage against him came in the fourth inning. That’s when he gave up a leadoff single to Hanley Ramirez, and hot-hitting Jackie Bradley Jr. sent a 1-0 pitch over the bullpen in right field for a two-run homer that tied the game.

It was the third straight start in which Hammel pitched into the seventh.

Boston right-hander Hector Velazquez was nearly as good as Hammel in his second career start, carefully navigating a bunch of baserunners during the first two innings. Hosmer finally dinged him in the third with an estimated 446-foot shot to center, a line drive that cleared the seats and landed in the fountains.

Velazquez turned it over to his faltering bullpen after giving up five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Dustin Pedroia was out of the lineup after getting hit in the ribs by a pitch Sunday in Houston. An MRI came back negative, and manager John Farrell said Pedroia is day to day.

]]> 0 Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. dives but misses a fly ball by the Royals' Drew Butera, who got a triple on the seventh-inning play and later scored what proved to be the game-winning run.Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:33:19 +0000
Major League notebook: Pedroia out of lineup after getting hit by pitch Tue, 20 Jun 2017 02:27:16 +0000 KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was out of the starting lineup for Monday’s series opener against the Kansas City Royals after getting hit by a pitch in Houston that caused him to spit up blood.

Pedroia was hit in the left ribcage by a 92 mph fastball from James Hoyt in the seventh inning Sunday. He played two more innings in the field before leaving the game and getting X-rays that came back negative.

He had an MRI exam Monday that confirmed he did not fracture any ribs.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell said Pedroia is day to day, but it’s unlikely he will play before the series finale Wednesday.

ORIOLES: Shortstop J.J. Hardy was placed on the 10-day disabled because of a broken bone in his right wrist, an injury that will keep him sidelined four to six weeks.

Hardy was injured Sunday when he was hit by a pitch from Lance Lynn in the fourth inning of Baltimore’s 8-5 win over St. Louis. Surgery will not be required.

INDIANS: Cleveland placed outfielder Michael Brantley on the 10-day disabled list because of a sprained right ankle.

Brantley injured the ankle earlier this month and aggravated it last week. Upon returning from the paternity list Monday, he was moved to the DL.

TWINS: Minnesota sent pitcher Phil Hughes on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester as he recovers from a right shoulder injury.

Hughes was placed on the disabled list a month ago because of biceps inflammation and tightness in his shoulder.

YANKEES: Top prospect Gleyber Torres has a torn ligament in his non-throwing elbow and will have Tommy John surgery that is expected to sideline him until spring training.

A 20-year-old infielder who was promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in May, Torres was injured Saturday on a head-first slide into home plate.

REDS: Cincinnati placed Bronson Arroyo on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained right shoulder, one day after the 40-year-old right-hander said his career might be over.

Cincinnati also put shortstop Zack Cozart on the 10-day DL because of a strained right quadriceps.

GIANTS: Reliever Hunter Strickland began serving a six-game suspension for brawling with Bryce Harper after his appeal was denied by Major League Baseball.

The penalty stemmed from a benches-clearing incident on May 29.

A RECORD $203 million was spent on international amateur free agents in the just-ended signing period, nearly $50 million more than the previous high and a figure that will plummet when a hard cap on spending starts July 2.

]]> 0 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:31:49 +0000
Red Sox edge Astros Mon, 19 Jun 2017 04:19:51 +0000 HOUSTON — Xander Bogaerts went deep twice for the first multihomer game of his career and had four RBI to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 6-5 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday night.

Bogaerts had just two homers entering Sunday’s game. He ended an 0-for-14 skid when he connected off Joe Musgrove (4-6) to make it 1-0 with two outs in the first inning.

A two-run shot by Bogaerts in the sixth put the Red Sox up 3-2. Jackie Bradley Jr. added a two-run double later that inning.

Houston cut the lead to 5-4 with homers from Jake Marisnick and George Springer in the sixth, but an RBI single by Bogaerts added an insurance run in the seventh.

Boston tied the New York Yankees atop the AL East. David Price (2-1) got the win despite tying allowing eight hits, three walks and three runs in five-plus innings. Craig Kimbrel allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.

Catcher Christian Vazquez caught Houston’s Derek Fisher stealing to end the game.

The Astros cut the lead to 6-5 on an RBI single by Carlos Beltran with one out in the eighth inning. Jose Altuve was thrown out at home on that play by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, and then Yuli Gurriel struck out looking to end the inning and was ejected after arguing the call.

Carlos Correa, Marisnick and Springer each hit a solo homer for the Astros, who went 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position and lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Marisnick ended Price’s night when he launched a fastball onto the train tracks beyond left field to start Houston’s sixth. Price was replaced by Heath Hembree, who ended a streak of 26 straight scoreless innings by Boston’s bullpen when he allowed the homer to Springer to get Houston within 5-4.

James Hoyt plunked Mookie Betts in the right knee with one out in the seventh before hitting Dustin Pedroia in the back with a pitch. That caused home plate umpire Greg Gibson to issue warnings to both benches as Pedroia glared and yelled at Hoyt. Both managers came onto the field as Pedroia continue to scream and pointed at the mound before calming down and heading to first base.

Betts was hit by a ball on his right elbow diving back to second base later in the inning and was favoring it the rest of the game.

The RBI single by Bogaerts off Chris Devenski came next to make it 6-4.

Musgrove yielded six hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Correa sent Price’s first pitch of the fifth inning into the seats in left field for his 13th home run to put Houston up 2-1.


RED SOX: Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who has been out since injuring his knee on June 1, was doing well on Sunday, a day after throwing his second bullpen session, and could increase his activity in the upcoming days.

ASTROS: Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (pinched nerve in neck) will begin to play catch on Monday for the first time since going on the disabled list on June 5. … Right-hander Lance McCullers (back soreness) will throw a bullpen session Monday or Tuesday, and if that goes well he could come off the DL next weekend in Seattle. … Right-hander Charlie Morton (strained back muscle) will also throw a bullpen session on Monday and could begin a rehabilitation assignment soon after that. … Right-hander Collin McHugh, who hasn’t played all season because of an elbow injury, will go to Florida to begin training for several weeks before hopefully starting a rehabilitation assignment. … Outfielder Josh Reddick (concussion) will take batting practice on Monday and will likely return to the lineup Tuesday.


RED SOX: Hector Velazquez (1-1, 6.48 ERA) is scheduled to start for Boston in the first of three games at Kansas City on Monday. He’ll make his second major league start after allowing one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in his last outing to get his first major league win.

ASTROS: Brad Peacock (3-1, 3.00) will start for Houston in the opener of a four-game series at Oakland on Monday. He allowed two hits and one run while striking out a season-high 10 in 4 2/3 innings in his last start.

]]> 0 Bogaerts, right, celebrates with Mitch Moreland after hitting a solo home run in the first inning Sunday night against the Houston Astros. Bogaerts homered twice and had four RBI in Boston's 6-5 win.Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:44:22 +0000
Red Sox roughed up by Astros, 7-1 Sun, 18 Jun 2017 03:13:19 +0000 HOUSTON — Jose Altuve hit a solo homer, Carlos Beltran had a two-run shot and three RBIs, and the Houston Astros beat the Boston Red Sox 7-1 on Saturday night.

Altuve led off the third with his homer off the train tracks above the left-center field facade, and Beltran followed three batters later with his ninth home run of the season to put Houston ahead 6-0.

Houston jumped on Boston starter Rick Porcello (3-9) for three runs in the first. Altuve had an RBI double, and Brian McCann and Beltran followed with sacrifice flies.

Yuli Gurriel scored on Norichika Aoki’s double play in the sixth to give the Astros a 7-1 lead.

David Paulino (1-0) allowed one run and three hits with four strikeouts in six innings for his first career win.

Chris Young led off the fifth with a solo home run for Boston.

Porcello gave up seven runs and 10 hits in six innings. Last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner lost his fourth straight – his second four-game losing streak this season – and has allowed five or more runs in three straight outings.


Red Sox: 1B Hanley Ramirez was out of the lineup for a second straight day with a spasm in his neck. … RHP Tyler Thornburg had successful surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder Friday and is expected to return in 2018, Boston announced Saturday.

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (lower back discomfort) played catch Saturday and could start on Houston’s upcoming road trip, manager A.J. Hinch said. “There’s still some things he needs to do in order to satisfy everyone that he’s ready to start, but certainly the initial goal would for him to start on the road trip,” Hinch said. … RHP Charlie Morton (right lat strain) will go with the team on the upcoming road trip and could go on a rehab assignment.


Red Sox: LHP David Price (1-1) will try to build on his last outing when he allowed three runs in six innings when he starts the finale of the three-game series Sunday night.

Astros: RHP Joe Musgrove (4-5) will start for the 12th time this season and second since coming off the DL on Monday when he starts Sunday. Musgrove will be looking to even his record after taking the loss in his last start, allowing two runs in 4 2/3 innings against Texas.

]]> 0 Beltran celebrates with Astros teammates after his two-run homer off Red Sox starter Rick Porcello during the third inning of Houston's 7-1 win Saturday. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Sat, 17 Jun 2017 23:25:55 +0000
Betts homers in 8th inning as Red Sox edge Astros, 2-1 Sat, 17 Jun 2017 03:38:16 +0000 HOUSTON — Mookie Betts hit a tie-breaking home run in the eighth inning, sending the Boston Red Sox over the Houston Astros 2-1 Friday night.

Betts hit his team-leading 12th homer, and third in three games. He led off with a drive into the Crawford Boxes in left field, connecting against Will Harris (2-2).

Brian McCann tied for Houston in the seventh, homering into the upper deck in right field off Drew Pomeranz.

Joe Kelly (3-0) got two outs for the win. He retired Norichika Aoki on a liner to third with runners on second and third to end the seventh.

Craig Kimbrel threw a perfect ninth for his 19th save.

Mitch Moreland gave Boston a 1-0 lead with a single in the third that drove in Betts.

Pomeranz allowed four hits and struck out four in 61/3 innings. He rebounded nicely after allowing six runs in 41/3 innings in his last start.

Mike Fiers allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts in seven innings. He set down his final 10 batters.

The right-hander continued his string of good outings, allowing two runs or less in each of his last four starts.

NOTES: INF Hanley Ramirez was out of the lineup Friday with a muscle spasm in his neck. . Moreland is playing through a fractured big toe on his left foot. . RHP Carson Smith (Tommy John) will not make his scheduled rehab start Sunday due shoulder inflammation, manager John Farrell said.

]]> 0's Mookie Betts celebrates his go-ahead home run off Houston reliever Will Harris with Xander Bogaerts during the eighth inning of Friday night's game in Houston.Fri, 16 Jun 2017 23:48:44 +0000
Sale’s stellar again, but gets no support in 1-0 loss to Phillies Fri, 16 Jun 2017 01:50:03 +0000 PHILADELPHIA — Nick Pivetta figured that if the Phillies were going to end their losing streak he needed to keep up with Boston ace Chris Sale.

Pivetta did just that with the best performance of his young career in a pitchers’ duel with Sale. Pinch-hitter Ty Kelly doubled home the only run in the eighth inning to lead the Phillies to a 1-0 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night.

“It was the first time I faced a guy like that,” Pivetta said. “It was really exciting. I tried to go toe to toe with him and stay with him as much as I can.”

Sale (8-3) was cruising until a one-out single by Andrew Knapp set the stage for Kelly’s winning hit that ended the Phillies’ eight-game losing streak. Kelly lined a slider into the left-field corner. Andrew Benintendi’s throw sailed over the cutoff man and was a tad late, allowing Knapp to score from first for the only run of the game.

Kelly said the hit was in the top five moments of his big league career.

“It feels good,” he said. “Maybe more of my friends will text me tonight.”

Sale allowed four hits with 10 strikeouts, upping his major league-leading total to 136. It was his 44th career double-digit strikeout game and ninth this season.

“He was outstanding once again,” Boston Manager John Farrell said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball.”

Said Sale, “It was fun, but I would have liked to have gotten the win.”

Pat Neshek (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Pivetta and Hector Neris earned his sixth save in seven tries with a scoreless ninth to help Philadelphia win its first interleague game of the season.

“That was nice to see,” Phillies Manager Pete Mackanin said.

The Phillies salvaged a game in the four-game home-and-home series with the Red Sox to improve to 1-8 in interleague games.

Pivetta went past the fifth inning for the first time in his seventh start. He allowed four hits in seven innings and nearly matched Sale with nine strikeouts against two walks.

“He just pounded the strike zone,” Mackanin said. “He didn’t get in trouble and start nitpicking.”

The Red Sox threatened in the eighth against Neshek when Sale led off with a double, his first career extra-base hit that drew the large contingent of visiting Red Sox fans to their feet. Sale went to third on Mookie Betts’ lineout to right field, but Neshek struck out Dustin Pedroia and got Xander Bogaerts to pop out in foul territory to first baseman Tommy Joseph to end the threat.

NOTES: Pedroia finished 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, ending his streak of five straight multi-hit games. … Sale became just the fifth Boston pitcher to record an extra-base hit, joining Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Derek Lowe and Jake Peavy. … The game continued in the fifth inning despite a fire alarm that rang loudly throughout the stadium and a message on the scoreboard that asked fans to leave the ballpark. The alarm stopped just before Sale struck out Daniel Nava for the first out. …1B Mitch Moreland returned after he was out of the lineup on Wednesday after getting hit by a pitch on the left foot in Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia. … RHP Carson Smith will begin a rehab assignment on Sunday at Triple-A Pawtucket. Smith hasn’t pitched this year after having Tommy John surgery last season.

]]> 0 Sale throws a pitch in the first inning for the Red Sox against the Phillies Thursday night in Philadelphia.Thu, 15 Jun 2017 22:40:01 +0000
Red Sox reliever Thornburg out for season Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:59:07 +0000 BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox said reliever Tyler Thornburg will have season-ending right shoulder surgery.

Thornburg, a right-hander, will be treated in St. Louis for thoracic outlet syndrome. The condition results from the compression of nerves or blood vessels between the neck and the armpit.

Thornburg hasn’t pitched for Boston since he was acquired in an offseason trade with the Brewers for Travis Shaw.

In five seasons with Milwaukee, Thornburg had a 14-9 record with 13 saves and a 2.87 ERA in 144 career appearances.

He’s expected to be ready for the 2018 season.

]]> 0 Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:59:44 +0000
Betts homers twice as Sox drop Phillies 7-3 Thu, 15 Jun 2017 02:47:21 +0000 PHILADELPHIA — The Red Sox sure didn’t look like a team that didn’t get to bed until the sun came up Wednesday.

Mookie Betts homered twice, Xander Bogaerts had three RBI and the bullpen continued to be lights out as the Boston Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 for their third straight win.

It would have been understandable if Boston were sluggish in this game after travel issues didn’t have their plane land in Philadelphia until 4 a.m.

But the Red Sox weren’t looking for excuses and came out from the first pitch and pounded the Phillies.

“It just kind of happened,” Betts said. “One guy follows the guy in front of them and it just kind of worked out. It feels great after all the things that went into getting here. I’m happy we did it under four hours and we can get a little rest before tomorrow.”

Betts had four hits and drove in three to lead an offensive barrage off Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson (5-5). Boston tagged him for six runs on nine hits in just five innings.

Betts led off the game with a single, had an RBI double in the second, but his biggest hit was a solo home run, his 10th of the season, in the fourth inning after the Phillies had scored three runs to close within 5-3.

He had a chance to get the cycle in the ninth inning, but instead of a triple connected for home run No. 11 to put the game out of reach. It was his eighth career multihomer game.

“When Mookie gets a lead off base hit we were trying to create some energy because of the time we got (into town),” said Red Sox Manager John Farrell. “We were able to string a bunch of hits together and Mookie had some big swings to get it started and we were able to build a five-run lead.”

Betts was dazzling defensively as well, and made a stellar diving catch in right field to rob Howie Kendrick of a hit in the fifth inning.

Bogaerts was also impressive, with a two-run double off Hellickson in the first and a single that scored Betts in the second. He also had a fine defensive play robbing Hellickson of an infield hit, squashing a potential Phillies rally in the fourth.

Andrew Benintendi drove in the other Red Sox run with a sacrifice fly.

Both teams had multiple highlight plays defensively. Aside from Betts and Bogaerts, Benintendi made a leaping catch in foul territory taking a ball out of the stands, Pablo Sandoval made a pair of diving plays at third, Dustin Pedroia stretched his errorless game streak to 88, which included some difficult chances and Jackie Bradley Jr. made a running, over-the-shoulder grab to end the game.

“We made a number of great defensive plays tonight,” Farrell said.

For its part, Philadelphia did a fine job defensively as well, turning four double plays.

The Phillies scored three runs off Boston starter Brian Johnson in the third inning on a two-out single by Kendrick and a two-run home run by Aaron Altherr, his 10th of the season.

Johnson left the game with an arm injury, but the Red Sox bullpen shut the door on the Phillies, as four relievers combined to allow just two hits over the final 61/3 innings. Hector Velazquez (1-1) was credited with his first major league win.

The Boston bullpen has now gone 211/3 consecutive innings without allowing a run.

Not much is going right for the Phillies who have the worst record in baseball. They have lost eight consecutive games as well as all eight interleague games this season, matching a franchise record for consecutive interleague losses since games between the two leagues started in 1997.

]]> 0's Mookie Betts celebrates with Xander Bogaerts after Betts hit a solo home run off Philadelphia's Jeremy Hellickson in the fourth inning Wednesday night in Philadelphia.Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:55:52 +0000
Red Sox beat Phillies, 4-3, in 12th inning Wed, 14 Jun 2017 04:08:30 +0000 BOSTON — Andrew Benintendi singled to right in the 12th inning driving in Xander Bogaerts from third for the winning run as the Boston Red Sox outlasted the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Mitch Moreland hit one homer and barely missed another in the 12th with a long single off the Green Monster, allowing Bogaerts to advance to third and set up Benintendi’s first career walk-off hit. The ball bounced over the short wall in right, but was officially still a single.

It didn’t matter much as the Red Sox beat the Phillies in extra innings for the second straight night, extending Philadelphia’s losing streak to seven straight.

Fernando Abad (2-0) pitched the 11th and 12th for Boston, which blew great opportunities in the first two extra innings before finally cashing in after Louis Garcia (1-1) walked Bogaerts with one out in the 12th.

Boston left 12 runners on base and was just 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position until Benentendi finally put an end to it, then got doused with an ice bucket in front of the Boston dugout.

Aaron Altherr hit a two-run homer for the Phillies, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit and also had some late opportunities to take the lead near the end.

Benintendi threw out Howie Kendrick at home as he tried to score the go-ahead run in the eighth when Maikel Franco hit a line drive off the Green Monster in left.

Ben Lively pitched seven solid innings in his third career start, digging himself out of some early trouble and holding Boston to three runs and eight hits. He walked two, struck out two and hit a batter but did not allow a run after Moreland’s solo homer to center in the third put Boston up 3-2.

David Price made his home debut for the Red Sox and needed just six pitches to put the Phillies down in the first. But the Phillies forced him to throw 36 pitches in the second inning when they loaded the bases with one out. The Phillies didn’t score until the third when Altherr drove a pitch from Price all the way out of the ballpark, clearing the Green Monster and signs above it to tie it at 2-all.

After Moreland put Boston back up with his ninth homer of the season, Philadelphia tied it in the sixth when Michael Saunders ran out a fielder’s choice, just avoiding a double play and allowing Tommy Joseph to score. Joseph reached on a ground-rule double to right off Price with one out.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the first but only got one run out of it. After walking Benintendi with the bases loaded to put Boston up 1-0, Lively got out of the early jam.

]]> 0's Andrew Benintendi is doused by Jackie Bradley Jr. and others after his game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 12th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park on Tuesday. The Red Sox won 4-3.Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:22:53 +0000
Major League notebook: Red Sox make their choices Wed, 14 Jun 2017 02:33:19 +0000 The Boston Red Sox selected six college players and two from high school on the second day of the major league draft Tuesday.

Rounds 3 through 10 were conducted, with the remainder of the 40-round draft to be held Wednesday.

The six college players chosen by the Red Sox were second baseman Brett Netzer, Charlotte; starter Jake Thompson, Oregon State; reliever Zach Schellenger, Seton Hall; first baseman Zach Sterry, Oakland; second baseman Tanner Nishioka, Pomona-Pitzer; and outfielder Jordan Wren, Georgia Southern.

The two high school players, taken in rounds five and seven, were starter Alex Scherff, Colleyville, Texas; and outfielder Tyler Esplin, Lake Bluff, Illinois.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, selected University of Texas first baseman Kacy Clemens – the son of Roger – in the eighth round.

The younger Clemens hit .305 for the Longhorns this season, with a team-leading 12 home runs and 49 RBI. There could be another Clemens taken Wednesday: Kacy’s younger brother Kody, a redshirt sophomore shortstop who hit .241 with five homers and 23 RBI for Texas.

DODGERS: First baseman Adrian Gonzalez has a degenerative disk in his back that will keep him out indefinitely.

BLUE JAYS: Second baseman Devon Travis had surgery to clean out cartilage in his right knee and is expected to be out a while, according to Manager John Gibbons.

TWINS: Minnesota recalled right-hander Ryan Pressly from Triple-A Rochester, the latest change in its chewed-up bullpen.

MARINERS: The team and Safeco Insurance said they will end their stadium naming rights partnership after the 2018 season.

BREWERS: Infielder Travis Shaw was reinstated after being out since June 8 because of a family medical emergency.

METS: New York placed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera on the 10-day disabled with a left thumb sprain.

]]> 0 Tue, 13 Jun 2017 22:49:02 +0000
Former Red Sox coach Lovullo thriving as manager of Diamondbacks Tue, 13 Jun 2017 23:35:50 +0000 PHOENIX — Love is not a word you hear often from coaches in any sport.

Torey Lovullo uses it often.

The 51-year-old first-year manager of the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks has developed a symbiotic relationship with his players that’s at the core of the team’s strong start this season.

“I know that I want to be here for these guys,” Lovullo said, “to listen to them, accept them, love them and, if they want it, advise them and do the best thing I possibly can for helping them be successful on the field.”

So far, so good.

The Diamondbacks are 39-26, two games behind first-place Colorado in the NL West. They have been especially dominant at home, where they have won 11 of their last 12 games for an overall record of 26-9, best in the majors.

Last year, the Diamondbacks didn’t win their 26th home game until Sept. 12.

Lovullo managed in the minors for nine years, followed by two seasons as first base coach in Toronto. When Blue Jays Manager John Farrell moved to Boston in 2013, he took Lovullo with him as bench coach.

Lovullo was interim manager for the final 48 games of Boston’s 2015 season while Farrell left for cancer treatment. With Farrell’s health still a question, Lovullo signed a contract that prohibited him from taking another job for a year.

Finally, when Red Sox GM Mike Hazen became GM in Arizona, he hired Lovullo to lead a Diamondbacks team that had sputtered through a 69-93 2016 season.

Four-time All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said Lovullo deserves a big share of the credit.

“You hear everyone say communication and I think he’s a great communicator,” Goldschmidt said, “but I kind of see it in a different light. He does a great job of putting himself in the shoes of whoever he’s talking to. When he talks to me, it’s almost like he knows what I’m thinking.”

Lovullo traces his communication skills to his father, Sam, who produced the hit television show “Hee Haw” for 25 years.

Described by his son as “a roly poly Italian,” Sam Lovullo died in January.

Players love his approach.

“He comes around and asks you, ‘How are your kids doing? How’s life going? How are things going?’ You get the sense that he genuinely cares,” catcher Chris Iannetta said. “People can check boxes and be like, ‘Hey, how are you?’ and move on, and that’s it. But you get a sense of the people in your lives – friends, family, whoever it may be – that genuinely care how the person is doing regardless of the baseball player.”

Reliever Archie Bradley used Lovullo’s own words to describe why the players trust him so much.

“He said this to me so this is a direct quote from him,” Bradley said. “‘I’ll never forget how hard the game is.'”

Bradley pointed to the way his transfer from starter to the bullpen was handled.

“It was huge, just the communication, explaining the role I was in, how it was going to play out, how it shifted and just everything,” Bradley said. “He’s been up front. I’ve been in the loop from the get-go.”

The hard-throwing Bradley has been electric as a late-inning reliever with a 1.26 ERA, 35 strikeouts and six walks in 282/3 innings.

Pitching has been the most unexpected part of Arizona’s success. The Diamondbacks’ 3.58 ERA is second-best in the majors, behind only the 3.21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.20 ERA) is pitching like his old self and left-hander Robbie Ray (7-3, 2.62) might be the best pitcher in baseball right now. In his last five games, Ray is 5-0 with an 0.24 ERA, allowing one run and striking out 48 in 37 innings.

“We’re all Robbie-watching in the dugout,” Lovullo said. “… I’ve become a fan, too. I’m just watching in amazement.”

Lovullo was a two-time Pac-12 player of the year at UCLA but that never translated into a successful major league career.

He said he “limped along,” spending parts of nine seasons in the majors.

“I started to sit on the bench a lot and I started to pay attention a lot,” Lovullo said. “I started to realize there was something inside of me that felt like I could manage. … I thought about being the leader of a team that could win a World Series. That became a goal of mine.”

]]> 0 Manager Torey Lovullo has built a great rapport with his players in his first season, and they appreciate his genuine approach.Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:41:07 +0000
Tom Caron: Weak in the East, Red Sox may not stand pat Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 There were 100 games remaining for the Boston Red Sox when they played the Phillies on Monday night at Fenway Park.

Boston, which opened a two-game home series with Philadelphia, was four games in back of the first-place Yankees – the largest lead New York has held this season.

There’s no doubt the American League East is the best division in baseball. It’s the only division with four teams at .500 or better. The Blue Jays were the only team in the division with a losing record – and they were just a game under .500.

Yes, it’s a very good division. No, the Red Sox have not matched up favorably with the beasts of the East. At least not yet. Boston is 13-15 in the East this season, 21-12 against everyone else.

Overall, the Red Sox feel they are trending in the right direction, and rightly so. They entered the week having won 13 of 20 games and have the third-best record in the American League. Yet in that 13-7 stretch they were 3-4 against the Yankees and Orioles. Another reminder that the chasm between the East and The Rest is wide indeed.

The good news here is the Sox get their next four games against the team with the worst record in the major leagues. The Phillies arrived at Fenway Park with a five-game losing streak and a long road ahead in their efforts to rebuild.

The bad news is the Sox have more games remaining within the division than any other AL East team. They have 44 intradivisional games remaining, including 14 against the Yankees.

Last week the Sox lost two of three in The Bronx, and were outscored 17-1 over the final two games. It was a humbling visit to New York, and a reminder that the so-called Baby Bombers are for real. Aaron Judge has hit a major league-leading 21 home runs this season, including a 495-foot shot on Sunday – the longest homer in the majors this season. Catching phenom Gary Sanchez hit his 10th on Sunday.

Meantime, the Red Sox don’t have a single player with 10 homers. They expected to compete based on the strength of a strong starting rotation led by the Big Three of Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello. That trio was just a game over .500 after Porcello’s start Monday night. That’s not good enough for a top of the rotation that was hyped to be one of the best in the game.

Could President Dave Dombrowski find himself looking for a starting pitcher before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline? He might have to. A far more important need might be third base, where the Sox have committed more errors than any other team. It was glaring that Pablo Sandoval – with two years and $36 million left on his contract after 2017 – was kept out of the lineup for two straight nights against the Tigers as he worked on infield defense with Coach Brian Butterfield.

Adding a third baseman with power would provide a tremendous boost to the offense, but Dombrowski doesn’t want to lock up a long-term solution to that problem with Rafael Devers rapidly working his way up through the system. He’ll also be careful not to clear out much more in the way of prospects, after trading away 18 of them in the last two years.

Those trades were made to build a team that could contend now. At this point they’ve shown they can beat weaker teams with regularity. Sometime soon they’ll have to prove they can beat the mettle of the AL East. In the coming weeks Dombrowski will need to provide some help for them to do it.

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

]]> 0 after the problems they've had with Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox are keeping an eye on Rafael Devers' weight, but that's one of the few things holding him back.Mon, 12 Jun 2017 22:51:22 +0000
Red Sox come from behind, beat Phillies in 11 innings Tue, 13 Jun 2017 03:47:06 +0000 BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia singled home the winning run in the 11th inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.

Pablo Sandoval opened the inning with a single off Casey Fein (0-1). Deven Marrero pinch-ran and moved up on a sacrifice. After Mookie Betts was intentionally walked, Pedroia hit a ground single to right and Marrero beat the throw from Aaron Altherr with a headfirst slide on a close play.

Hanley Ramirez had tied the game 5-5 in the eighth with a homer. Betts had four hits with three doubles and a single, and Andrew Benintendi also hit a solo homer for Boston, which has won three of four.

Tommy Joseph had a two-run single and former Red Sox Daniel Nava three hits for the Phillies, who have lost 10 of their last 12 games in Fenway Park.

Matt Barnes (5-2) pitched two scoreless innings of relief with five strikeouts.

Philadelphia’s Jerad Eickhoff remained winless after 13 starts, giving up four runs on seven hits in six innings. He was in line to get the win before Ramirez homered over the Green Monster off Joaquin Benoit. Cliff Lee was the last Phillies’ pitcher start a season winless in his initial 13 starts, opening 2012.

Eickhoff entered with the majors’ lowest run support at 2.37 per game, but the Phillies took care of that right away, jumping ahead 4-0 in the first when Joseph’s two-run single sparked the fast start.

Rick Porcello gave up five runs on 10 hits in six innings.

Boston rallied with a run in the second, two in third and one in the fourth. Benintendi hit his homer into the center-field bleachers in the second and had an RBI single the next inning.

Betts’ third double of the game, a liner into the left-field corner, tied it.

]]> 0 Pedroia is lifted by Hanley Ramirez after his game-winning RBI single in the 11th inning of Monday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:05:38 +0000
Red Sox Farm Report: Boston picks big pitcher with big sinker Tue, 13 Jun 2017 02:47:43 +0000 As the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft took shape, the Boston Red Sox watched other prospects snatched. But the big man with the big sinker was there when Boston was ready to draft with the 24th overall pick.

Boston chose 6-foot-5, 200-pound Tanner Houck of the University of Missouri. Houck is known for his sinking fastball, between 90 and 95 mph.

In the second round, the Red Sox chose Cole Brannen, a high school outfielder from Georgia.Houck, according to scouting reports, needs work on his slider, and his change-up is developing.

This year, his junior season, Houck went 4-7 with a 3.33 ERA. He struck out 95 and walked 24 in 942/3 inning. Opponents his .220 against him.

Houck started his Southeastern Conference schedule with seven shutout innings of one-hit ball against Alabama. His season was up and down from there.

The Red Sox had not chosen a college pitcher this high since they picked Connecticut’s Matt Barnes 19th in 2011. In 2006, Boston chose North Carolina’s Daniel Bard 28th. Both Barnes and Bard eventually became relievers. Barnes is still in the Red Sox bullpen.

Houck may also become a reliever, depending how his secondary pitches develop.

Early on Monday night, players that the Red Sox were rumored to want, were picked by other teams. California-Irvine second baseman/outfielder Keston Hiura, considered the best college hitter despite elbow problems, was drafted No. 9 by the Brewers.

Some mock drafts had Boston wanting Missouri State third baseman Jake Burger for his power. But the White Sox liked him, too, and picked him 11th.

University of South Carolina pitcher Clarke Schmidt just had Tommy John surgery. But he’s still a talent and the Yankees chose him 16th.

Left-handed pitcher David Peterson was a high school draft pick of the Red Sox, but he chose Oregon. Now eligible for the draft again, the Red Sox did not get a chance at him. The Mets picked him at No. 20.

University of North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth may someday play in the American League East, but it will be with the Blue Jays (22nd).

IN PAWTUCKET, Hector Velazquez has rebounded from his horrible major league debut on May 18 (six earned run, five innings). Since coming back to Triple-A, he is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in four appearances (15 strikeouts/three walks).

IN PORTLAND, first baseman Nick Longhi enjoyed the recent six-game homestand: .428 with six doubles, a home run and nine RBI … Outfielder Danny Mars does not hit the ball far, but he hits it often, and is now batting .310 … Utility player Tzu-Wei Lin is coming back from his wrist injury and is back over .300 (.306) … Rafael Devers hit .410 with five doubles and two home runs over the last 10 games. He’s batting .307/.907. The Sea Dogs begin a nine-day trip Tuesday. It will be curious to see if Devers is still with the team when it returns to Portland.

IN SALEM, five Red Sox players were named Carolina League All-Stars – pitchers Dedgar Jimenez (8-1, 3.27) and reliever Trevor Kelly (five saves, 1.69 ERA), and infielders Michael Chavis (.335/1.078), Josh Ockimey (.302/.884) and Chad De La Guerra (.318/.896) … Chavis hit his 16th home run on Sunday … Jimenez, 21, is a left-hander from Venezuela. Signed for $175,000 in 2012, he had not done much until this season. He has 64 strikeouts in 631/3 innings … The All-Star Game is in Salem on June 20. In previous years, some All-Stars have been promoted after the game.

IN GREENVILLE, Bryan Mata is getting more and more intriguing. Another pitcher from Venezuela (only a $25,000 bonus), Mata skipped two levels of the minor league ladder (Gulf Coast League and Lowell) and was assigned to Greenville on May 26 – just three weeks after his 18th birthday. He has shined in four starts – 1-0, 1.71 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 20 strikeouts/five walks in 21 innings. After being limited to three innings his first start, he has gone six for the next three.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Mon, 12 Jun 2017 23:40:21 +0000
Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy says he has cancer for the 5th time Mon, 12 Jun 2017 22:54:04 +0000 BOSTON — Boston Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy said Monday he has been diagnosed with lung cancer for a fifth time and will have surgery to treat it in two weeks.

The 64-year-old Remy, who’s been a part of NESN’s Red Sox broadcast team since 1988, spoke to reporters before working the opener of Boston’s two-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“It’s obviously disappointing to me, but it’s something that I’ve been through a number of times,” he said. “It has not spread. It’s located in one spot and surgery will remove it. They’ll be a recovery time after surgery.”

Remy plans to work up until the surgery and expects to return after the All-Star break.

The former Red Sox second baseman known on broadcasts as “RemDawg” said the cancer was detected during his regular three-month exam.

“The point I’m trying to make to everybody is that you should go see your doctors,” Remy said. “This is the fifth time I’ve had cancer, but each time I’ve had it, it’s been caught early. It is what it is, I’ll deal with it, but my message to people at home is if you don’t go to your doctor, you don’t have much of a chance to find out. They can really help you.”

Remy played for Boston from 1978-84 and is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame. He has been a popular Red Sox television analyst since 1988.

Remy was originally diagnosed with cancer in 2008. He said baseball has kept him busy as he’s gone through treatments each time, and that each brings a new challenge.

“I’ve had cancer five times. Enough is enough,” he said. “The fact is other people can avoid it, it’s not fun. It wears you down. I’m not going to lie, it wears you down.

“There’s a lot of people a lot worse than me, so I consider myself lucky at the stage that I’m at.”

Remy has received an outpouring of support since his announcement, and he couldn’t thank the fans enough for reaching out.

“The fans have been great, they’ve been behind me since Day 1,” he said.

“My Twitter has been blowing up today and it’s nice to know that people care. But I also want to try to teach people that the stuff that I’m going through, they need to take care of themselves, too.”

]]> 0 This June 30, 2010 file photograph shows Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy prior to a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston. Remy said he has been diagnosed with lung cancer for the fifth time and will have surgery to treat it in two weeks. The 64-year-old Remy was at Fenway Park and spoke with reporters before he worked Monday's opener of Boston's two-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Tue, 13 Jun 2017 09:52:02 +0000
Red Sox can’t finish sweep Mon, 12 Jun 2017 04:22:06 +0000 BOSTON — Justin Upton hit a grand slam off the right-field foul pole, Nicholas Castellanos hit a two-run homer and the Detroit Tigers averted a sweep with an 8-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night.

The Tigers halted a three-game losing streak in a contest that lasted 4 hours, 6 minutes. Boston had won 13 of 19 overall and seven of eight in Fenway Park.

Daniel Norris (3-4) held Boston to two runs over five innings, giving up seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

Drew Pomeranz (6-4) was tagged for six runs and eight hits in 41/3 innings, snapping his career-best three-game winning streak.

Hanley Ramirez had an RBI single and Dustin Pedroia hit a run-scoring double for Boston.

The first six innings took just over three hours, sending a large portion of fans streaming for the exits after the final out of the sixth.

The Red Sox had 12 hits and drew six walks but stranded 12 men on base.

]]> 0 Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:22:41 +0000
On Baseball: Hard to predict who Red Sox will draft Mon, 12 Jun 2017 01:57:17 +0000 The buzz is barely audible as the Major League Baseball draft begins Monday night. There is no “who will the Red Sox take” excitement; not like that other draft the following week when the Boston Celtics own the NBA’s No. 1 pick.

We hear the Fultz-or-Ball debate, but nothing about Peterson or Hiura.

Then there’s the fact that the Red Sox pick late in the first round – No. 24. In three of the previous four years, Boston had the seventh, seventh and 12th pick. One of those (outfielder Andrew Benintendi) went from the 2015 draft to the 2016 major league roster by Aug. 2.

But there can be gold when picking in the 20s.

In 2004, the Red Sox had the 23rd pick, and Jacoby Ellsbury helped Boston win two World Series titles.

The year before, in 2004, the Red Sox did not have a first-round pick (surrendered when they signed Keith Foulke). But, in the second round, Boston got a fiery but short infielder from Arizona State. Dustin Pedroia is still around.

Who will the Red Sox get this year? Even the Red Sox aren’t sure – not like when they had earlier selections.

“If you’re picking seven or 12, it’s much easier to target a specific group of players,” said Boston’s amateur scouting director, Mike Rikard, during a conference call over the weekend. “You’re able to go back two, three and four times to see them play.

“Many times, when you’re picking at the end of the first round, you don’t have that same luxury.”

Rickard said they target players they think might be around – or might slip due to circumstances like poor performance or injury.

In 2011, the Red Sox kept their eye on a premier college outfielder – the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 College World Series. Jackie Bradley seemed a sure first-rounder but, in his junior season, he began with a slump and then injured his wrist, requiring surgery.

There were 39 players drafted before Boston chose Bradley.

This year, draft experts have associated Boston with a group of college pitchers. That sounds good, maybe.

Here’s a group of seven players – four pitchers, two shortstops, and one infielder/outfielder – who Boston could be keeping an eye on:

Second baseman/outfielder Keston Hiura of the University of California-Irvine leads the NCAA in batting average (.442) and has a 1.260 OPS. The only problem is his elbow is damaged and he had to DH all year. Tommy John surgery could be in his near future.

 Left-handed pitcher David Peterson of the University of Oregon was a Red Sox draft pick out of high school (28th round, 2014), and Boston is likely still interested (140 strikeouts, 15 walks in 100 innings).

 Right-handed pitcher Tanner Houck of the University of Missouri was once considered a top-10 pick, but he slumped early in the season. He has a sinker that may play well.

 Shortstop Logan Warmoth of the University of North Carolina is a good fielder with some pop (10 home runs). Also, he played well in the Cape Cod League.

Shortstop Nick Allen, from a high school in San Diego, could be an exceptional choice, except for his 5-foot-8 height. But the Red Sox have no problem with short infielders.

 Right-handed pitcher Clark Schmidt of the University of South Carolina might be a bigger gamble that Hiura. He underwent Tommy John surgery last month. Until then he was dominant, with 70 strikeouts in 60 innings.

 Left-handed pitcher Seth Romaro, formerly of the University of Houston, is a long shot. While he’s a gifted pitcher, he was suspended, then thrown off the Houston team for separate incidents. Some team will figure his fastball/slider/change-up mix is too good to pass up.

Any of the above could be on Boston’s radar, provided they are still there when the 24th pick comes along.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Sun, 11 Jun 2017 22:33:40 +0000
Red Sox notebook: Slumping Sandoval getting some time off Sun, 11 Jun 2017 23:46:53 +0000 Maybe a couple days off will do Pablo Sandoval some good.

The slumping third baseman was held out of the Red Sox lineup for Saturday night’s game against the Tigers, even though Detroit was starting right-hander Justin Verlander. Sandoval had been playing against righties while sitting against lefties.

And get this: Sandoval had two homers in seven career at-bats against Verlander.

Josh Rutledge was in at third base, and with the Tigers starting lefty Daniel Norris Sunday, Sandoval was out of the starting lineup again.

Manager John Farrell explained that with Chris Sale on the mound for the Red Sox last night, he wanted a more trusted defender at third base.

“We’re taking the opportunity to continue to work with (Sandoval),” Farrell said. “We know that there’s been some plays that have been a little bit of a struggle for him. With another left-hander on the mound (Saturday night) against a predominantly right-handed hitting lineup, more of a ground-ball pitcher, yeah I guess there’s some strategy involved with that, certainly.”

Since a 3-for-4 game in Baltimore in his first game back from the disabled list, Sandoval is 2 for 23 with eight strikeouts, one walk and one home run. While he’s made the occasional impressive play, it’s fair to say he’s in a defensive slump as well, with his throws causing most of the issues.

“There have been some times when just redirecting his body, if he’s going to his glove side, to get back in line to deliver the ball through the target – that’s taken an added step,” Farrell said.

It’s been 10 days since Eduardo Rodriguez slipped and hurt his right knee in the bullpen before a start, and the Red Sox feel the lefty could get back on the mound soon. Rodriguez played catch from 130-140 feet before Saturday’s game.

“He’s made, I think, very good progress in the days since being examined by Dr. (James) Andrews,” Farrell said. “We’re taking this in five-day work increments. He’s coming up on this first five days. We’ll map out increases in physical activity, agility work, all that, after (Sunday). We would hope in the coming days, he’s back on the mound here soon.”

Rodriguez said he wasn’t given a specific timetable by Andrews, but emphasized that he was told to take his recovery slowly, since he has dislocated the knee several times before.

Carson Smith is inching closer. Saturday the righty reliever faced hitters in competitive at-bats for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery a little over a year ago.

Smith threw 25 pitches to hitters in a session that Farrell described as a “good workday.”

“He’s progressing toward games,” Farrell said. “Once he comes in (Sunday), goes through his normal workday, we’ll get a better sense at that point if it’s an additional ‘sim’ game or more clearly when rehab games are approaching.”

]]> 0 Sun, 11 Jun 2017 20:00:56 +0000
On Baseball: No reason for Red Sox to fast-track pitcher Trey Ball Sun, 11 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 As the Boston Red Sox prepare for baseball’s amateur draft on Monday night, they must wait their turn, with the No. 24th overall pick.

In recent years, thanks to horrible seasons in 2012, ’14 and ’15, the Red Sox had earlier selections in the following year’s draft.

That 2013 draft had the Red Sox wondering what they would get at No. 7. The last time Boston drafted that high was in 1993, taking a high school outfielder named Trot Nixon, who played eight seasons for the Red Sox.

It’s often a gamble taking a high school player; his development is harder to predict. Still, in 2013 the Red Sox chose high school left-handed pitcher Trey Ball.

Ball, who turns 23 late this month, is still grinding through the minors, in his first season with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.

Heading into Saturday night’s start, Ball was 1-5 with a 5.77 ERA. He’s pitched well is spurts but usually has a breakdown. He did put together back-to-back impressive starts (12 innings, eight hits, one earned run) in early May.

“The stuff’s there. The potential is still there,” said Sea Dogs pitching coach Kevin Walker. “It’s just the consistency of executing pitches.”

Turning a high school project into a fine-tuned pro is the challenge.

“When you draft a guy out of high school like that, you’re projecting a time frame, with patience,” said Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski.

Dombrowski was not with Boston when Ball was drafted. He was still running the Tigers (Dombrowski drafted college pitcher Jonathan Crawford with the 20th pick that year and later traded him).

Dombrowski has done well drafting college pitchers, including an Old Dominion right-hander named Justin Verlander in 2004 (second overall).

Of course, Dombrowski drafted college pitcher Andrew Miller with the sixth overall pick in 2006. The Dodgers were up next and they went after a high school pitcher. Clayton Kershaw has worked out for Los Angeles.

The next year the Tigers did draft a high school pitcher in the first round (27th overall) – Rick Porcello.

High school firsts

When you look at the best pitchers over the past five years, based on Cy Young Award voting, 10 of the top 20 were drafted out of college, two were international free agents and eight came out of high school – Kershaw, Porcello, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Jose Fernandez, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester and Max Scherzer. All but Lester were first-rounders.

The Red Sox picked Lester in the second round in 2002. He was in Portland in 2005, named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year at age 21. He reached the majors the next season.

Obviously the Red Sox had hopes for a high-ceiling pitcher when they chose Ball.

“We viewed Trey as one of the most complete players available in this year’s draft,” said Amiel Sawdaye, then the Red Sox director of amateur scouting (and now with Arizona).

The 2013 draft was not deep. Even some of the can’t-miss selections have missed. The Astros took Stanford right-hander Mark Appel with the first pick. He was considered a lock but still hasn’t reached the majors, now toiling in Triple-A with the Phillies. Houston’s miss was the Cubs’ gain, since they chose University of San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant.

Minnesota drafted the first high school player, right-handed pitcher Kohl Stewart with the No. 4 pick. He’s in Double-A.

Not a lot of first-round players have broken out, although shortstop Tim Anderson, chosen out of a community college, is starting for the White Sox.

The surprise selection of 2013 came with the 32nd pick – meaning every team passed on him the first time. But the Yankees, with their second pick, chose college outfielder Aaron Judge, who leads the majors in home runs.

Here was the Baseball America report on Judge before the draft: “Judge puts on jaw-dropping batting practice displays, but some scouts worry that his power won’t translate to games.”

The 2013 draft didn’t seem too bountiful. None of Boston’s picks have played in Fenway yet. Second-rounder Teddy Stankiewicz, a junior college pitcher, is in his second year with the Sea Dogs.


Ball is 6-foot-6 and from New Castle, Indiana. Naturally he played basketball but gave it up after his sophomore year in high school.

Ball focused on baseball, where he was both a star pitcher and outfielder. Before the draft, teams debated what position he would play.

“I was a pretty decent hitter,” Ball said. “Before the draft, there were a lot of teams 50-50 – pitcher or hitter. Whatever the team wanted, I was going to commit 100 percent to that.”

Most liked his arm. According to Baseball America’s 2013 draft preview: “He has excelled on the mound to the extent he would go in the first five picks … (He’s) the top left-hander available … he has plenty of room to add strength and velocity.”

Boston chose Ball and signed him for $2.75 million. The next year, although Ball was only 19, the Red Sox sent him to low Class A Greenville. He took a pounding at first but settled in for the second half with a 4-4 record and 3.36 ERA.

Ball struggled in Salem in 2015 (4.73 ERA) and returned there in 2016. Ball developed a slider to go with his low 90s fastball, curve and change-up. He had a 3.84 ERA (which was 2.64 if you throw out an atrocious July).

“Last year was a bit of a turning point for him,” said Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett. “He has a nice four-pitch mix. The slider has become more prominent, and he’s done a better job of understanding how to best use his stuff.”

Ball is taking his time.

“It’s just a process you have to go through,” he said. “Being young coming out, there’s a lot to work on.

“It’s coming together. A lot of work, trusting the process, being consistent and trusting yourself.

“It’s easy for me to be patient. I’ve always been a patient guy when it comes to baseball.”

Boston can take its time with Ball. He does not become a minor league free agent until after 2019.

Meanwhile, Boston is being patient with another lefty drafted out of high school. Henry Owens, now 24, showed promise but is still in Triple-A – 40 walks and 47 hits in 531/3 innings this year.

Owens was drafted 36th overall in 2011. Most of the high school pitchers taken early in that draft have reached the majors, including Orioles starter Dylan Bundy (fourth overall).

With the No. 7 pick in 2011, Colorado chose high school right-handed pitcher Archie Bradley. He reached the majors in 2014 but struggled as a starter. The Rockies made him a reliever this year, and he’s dealing with a 1.35 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.

Maybe the bullpen will be Ball’s eventual spot. Meanwhile the lessons continue.

“Once he starts making his pitches when he needs to, his stuff’s going to play. It’s going to be fine,” said Walker, the Portland pitching coach. “It’s a work in progress, definitely.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Ball says he's a patient young man, one who's not discouraged about being a Portland Sea Dog four years after being drafted by Boston in the first round.Sat, 10 Jun 2017 17:44:09 +0000
Major League roundup: Sale wins again for Red Sox Sun, 11 Jun 2017 03:22:30 +0000 BOSTON — Chris Sale outlasted Justin Verlander to win his seventh straight decision in a matchup of big-name pitchers Saturday night, and the Boston Red Sox pulled away late to beat the Detroit Tigers, 11-3.

Mitch Moreland’s tiebreaking, two-run double sparked a three-run seventh inning and Boston added five in the eighth for its second straight late-inning victory against the Tigers. The Red Sox have won 13 of 19.

Sale (8-2) pitched seven solid innings, giving up three runs on nine hits, striking out seven without issuing a walk.

Verlander was gone with a high pitch count after five innings, allowing three runs and four walks with three strikeouts after leaving his previous start following two innings because of a tight right groin.

Detroit has lost 4 of 5.

With runners on first and second, Moreland doubled off the Green Monster against Warwick Saupold (1-1). Josh Rutledge added an RBI single.

Andrew Benintendi had a two-run single in the eighth and finished with three RBI. Moreland also had an RBI single in a two-run third.

The Tigers made it 2-2 in the fifth, but the Red Sox regained the lead that inning on Benintendi’s sacrifice fly.

Detroit retied it on Mikie Mahtook’s RBI single an inning later.

Sale escaped a jam in the third with runners on the corners and no outs by striking out three straight, including Miguel Cabrera looking with a 96 mph fastball on the inside corner.

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. helped Sale out of trouble in the first with a diving catch of J.D. Martinez’s sinking liner.

ATHLETICS, RAYS SPLIT: Sean Manaea won his fifth consecutive start to help Oakland split a rare scheduled doubleheader with a 7-2 win at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Tampa Bay won the opener 6-5 on Evan Longoria’s RBI single in the 10th inning that completed a 3-hour, 56-minute game.

ASTROS 3, ANGELS 1: Mike Fiers had another solid start and Brian McCann homered to lead Houston to a win at home.

Fiers (4-2) allowed a season-low two hits and one run, which was unearned, in a season-high 71/3 innings to get his third straight win after managing just one win in his first nine starts.

WHITE SOX 5, INDIANS 3: David Holmberg allowed two runs in five innings for his first win in two years, Jose Abreu had an RBI single in a three-run first and Chicago won at Cleveland.

Holmberg (1-0) recorded his first victory since July 30, 2015, when he pitched for Cincinnati against Pittsburgh. He was making his third start and 11th appearance of the season.

YANKEES 16, ORIOLES 3: Rookie Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 19th home run and New York connected five times in all, battering Chris Tillman and visiting Baltimore for its fourth straight win.

Starlin Castro, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Matt Holliday also homered in New York’s biggest offensive show this season.

National League

METS SWEEP BRAVES: Steven Matz pitched seven impressive innings in his season debut, Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer and New York won 8-1 at Atlanta to sweep a doubleheader.

Yoenis Cespedes made a smashing return in the first game, hitting a grand slam to celebrate his return to the lineup following a six-week stint on the disabled list.

The Mets won the opener, 6-1.

PIRATES 7, MARLINS 6: Jordy Mercer hit a tying two-run triple in the eighth and John Jaso followed with a go-ahead double, lifting host Pittsburgh over Miami.

ROCKIES 9, CUBS 1: Mark Reynolds and Charlie Blackmon homered, rookie Jeff Hoffman pitched neatly into the seventh inning and Colorado won its seventh straight, in Chicago.

CARDINALS 7, PHILLIES 0: Carlos Martinez struck out 11 in a shutout and St. Louis won at home against Philadelphia.


RANGERS 6, NATIONALS 3: Robinson Chirinos nearly put Texas ahead during a ninth-inning rally that tied it, then hit a three-run homer in the 11th that sent Texas to a win in Washington.

ROYALS 12, PADRES 6: Lorenzo Cain hit two homers, including a grand slam that capped a nine-run rally in the eighth inning that sent Kansas City to a win in San Diego.

TWINS 3, GIANTS 2: Brian Dozier and Kennys Vargas hit home runs, leading Jose Berrios and host Minnesota over San Francisco.

]]> 0 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 23:24:40 +0000
Bradley’s 2-run homer in 8th helps Sox come back to top Tigers, 5-3 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 03:04:21 +0000 BOSTON — Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run homer in the eighth as Boston rallied for three runs in the inning and beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 on Friday night.

Bradley drove a towering shot to right off reliever Alex Wilson (1-3), clearing Detroit’s bullpen and reaching the stands to break a 3-all tie with two outs in the eighth.

Mitch Moreland also scored on Bradley’s homer after driving in the tying run with a single to right after Xander Bogaerts’ leadoff single. Moreland led off the fourth with a homer for Boston, which rallied from a 3-0 deficit to open a five-game homestand.

Matt Barnes (4-2) pitched one inning of relief and got the win and Craig Kimbrel picked up his 18th save.

Wilson, who started the eighth with Detroit up 3-2, took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits. He also made an error on a wild pickoff attempt that put Bogaerts on second and in position to score easily on Moreland’s third hit of the game.

Moreland went 3 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored. Bradley, who drove in a run with a single in the fourth, was 2 for 4 with three RBI.

Nicholas Castellanos and Mikie Mahtook hit solo homers for the Tigers, who lost their third straight.

Jordan Zimmermann pitched six solid innings for Detroit, holding Boston to two runs on six hits, striking out three and walking three.

Brian Johnson, recalled by Boston earlier in the day from Triple-A Pawtucket, settled in after a rocky start and pitched 41/3 innings. He allowed eight hits, four of them in the first inning, and left trailing 3-2 with one out in the fifth.

It was Johnson’s first start in the majors since he pitched a five-hit shutout May 27 against Seattle.

Castellanos homered with one out in the first and Detroit added another run with two outs on consecutive singles by Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton. Mahtook put Detroit up 3-0 with a leadoff homer in the fourth.

Moreland led off the bottom of the fourth with a homer to right, just out of J.D. Martinez’s reach and into the bullpen. Andrew Benintendi followed with a single and scored on Jackie Bradley’s single to left. Boston still had two runners on and one out, but the rally ended when Sandoval hit into a double play.

Moreland nearly homered again in his next at-bat with a double off the wall in center, but the Red Sox failed to get the run home. Andrew Benintendi and Ramirez grounded out and Zimmerman got Bradley swinging for the third out.

NOTES: 2B Dustin Pedroia returned to the lineup after a stint on the 10-day DL with a sprained left wrist. … The Red Sox optioned 1B Sam Travis and RHP Brandon Workman to Triple-A Pawtucket.

]]> 0's Jackie Bradley Jr. hits a two-run home run in the eighth inning Friday night at Fenway Park.Sat, 10 Jun 2017 00:06:35 +0000
Sanchez homers twice as Yanks clobber Red Sox, 9-1 Fri, 09 Jun 2017 02:53:32 +0000 NEW YORK — Gary Sanchez homered twice to drive in five runs and the New York Yankees pounded David Price again in a 9-1 victory Thursday, one night after the Boston Red Sox ace had an angry exchange with a reporter.

Michael Pineda (7-3) rebounded from a rough outing with seven brilliant innings, and New York took 2 of 3 from its rival in their first series at Yankee Stadium this season. On the strength of stingy starts by CC Sabathia and Pineda, the Yankees outscored Boston 17-1 in the final two games and increased their AL East lead to three games over the second-place Red Sox.

Making his third appearance this season since recovering from a strained left elbow, Price (1-1) was tagged for six runs, eight hits and four walks in five innings. He served up both of Sanchez’s homers, a three-run shot in the third and a two-run drive in the fifth.

Minutes after Wednesday night’s game, Price got into a heated argument with a Red Sox beat writer just outside the team’s clubhouse. According to reports, Price cursed at the reporter and then two others when they asked to interview him.

“I can’t say he was not disrespectful,” Boston Manager John Farrell said Thursday.

Farrell said he didn’t think the altercation would affect Price on the mound. The manager said Price would be spoken to and the situation would be “handled” at another time because he didn’t want to distract the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner on a day he was pitching.

“Obviously, it was an emotional conversation,” Farrell said. “There will be follow-up, yeah.”

Whatever the reason, Price wasn’t sharp in a ballpark that’s been nothing but trouble for him lately. He threw back his head in disgust after giving up Sanchez’s three-run homer and dropped to 14-11 with a 4.70 ERA versus New York, which batted .373 against him last year. He has a 3.01 career ERA against all other big league teams.

Price was 1-3 with a 7.89 ERA in five outings against the Yankees last season, including 0-3 with a 8.10 ERA in three starts in the Bronx. He has made 36 career starts against the Yankees, 11 more than he has against any other team.

Pineda yielded four hits and struck out eight. He did not permit an earned run after getting knocked around last Friday in a loss at Toronto that ended a long run of solid starts.

Brett Gardner hit his 13th homer and an RBI single for New York. Aaron Judge had three hits and a walk, scoring twice.

NOTES: 2B Dustin Pedroia is expected back in the lineup Friday night against Detroit. The four-time All-Star and 2008 AL MVP has been on the disabled list since May 30 with a sprained left wrist. … LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right knee) was set to play catch for the second consecutive day. Rodriguez went on the 10-day DL last Friday. “There’s growing confidence in the stability that he deals with,” Farrell said. “This has been a pretty good advancement here in these 48 hours.”

]]> 0's David Price walks near the mound as New York's Gary Sanchez trots around the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning Thursday night in New York. It was Sanchez's second homer of the game.Thu, 08 Jun 2017 23:22:20 +0000
Sabathia, Yankees shut down Red Sox 8-0 Thu, 08 Jun 2017 02:00:49 +0000 NEW YORK — CC Sabathia had just gotten the first out of the fourth inning when he pulled up his right pants leg, then unstrapped and unscrewed the large black brace that has supported his knee during starts since September 2015. The strap had broken, and the burly 6-foot-6 lefty would have to pitch without it.

“I was watching every pitch on his landing leg,” New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said later. “Yes, it did make me nervous.”

Sabathia allowed an infield hit but got out of the inning with a double-play grounder. He went on to win his fifth straight start and beat Rick Porcello in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners, an 8-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

“That was really weird. It was scary,” Sabathia said. “But I didn’t feel any pain.”

Chris Carter drove in four runs with a three-run homer and an RBI single. Sabathia (7-2), who had last won five in a row in April 2012, allowed five hits in eight innings, his longest outing since April 2015.

Yankees head athletic trainer Steve Donohue repaired the brace in time for the fifth. Josh Rutledge led off with a drive to center field for a triple, but Sabathia then retired his final 12 batters. He walked none and struck out five – four of them looking.

A month from turning 37, Sabathia hasn’t been dominant since the last of his six All-Star seasons in 2012. He had a bone spur removed from his left elbow that October and right knee surgery in July 2014.

“Being hurt was the biggest thing and just not knowing my future, especially at my age,” he said.

After an inconsistent 2016 and mixed results in his first seven outings this year, he has a 1.11 ERA during his streak, rediscovering an ability to throw his cutter inside to right-handed hitters.

“It helps with the backdoor slider and the change-up,” he said.

All five wins followed losses by Masahiro Tanaka

“There’s a lot of heart in that guy,” Girardi said. “He’s always been that guy that is a fierce competitor, and when you have that in you, you have the ability to make changes and to figure things out.”

Sabathia made a bare-hand grab of Jackie Bradley Jr.’s fifth-inning comebacker after Rutledge’s triple, a ball that came off the bat at 98 mph.

“That was the big turning point in the game,” Girardi said.

Jonathan Holder followed Sabathia with a perfect ninth. Boston’s final 15 hitters went down in order.

Didi Gregorius hit a go-ahead home run starting the third and Carter homered for the second straight day, a fourth-inning drive that followed Starlin Castro’s leadoff triple and an RBI single by Gary Sanchez.

Boston right fielder Mookie Betts robbed Carter of another homer in the sixth, leaping and getting his glove above the 8-foot wall for a sparkling catch. A fan touched the ball before it landed in Betts’ glove, and umpires concluded Girardi did not ask for a video review within the 30-second window.

“I felt I was going to catch it, regardless of hitting the guy’s hand or not,” Betts said.

Carter, New York’s No. 9 batter, had three hits, including a run-scoring single off the left-field wall in a two-run eighth. New York stopped Boston’s three-game winning streak and reopened a two-game lead over the second-place Red Sox in the AL East.

Porcello (3-8) lost his third straight start, giving up six runs – five earned – and eight hits in 61/3 innings. On Monday, he attended the dedication of Porcello Field at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, New Jersey, where he was 10-0 as a senior in 2007.

“It’s execution of pitches,” Porcello said. “I haven’t been very consistent.”

NOTES: LHP Brian Johnson is to be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and start Friday against Detroit, his first big league appearance since a five-hit shutout against Seattle on May 27. Johnson slipped and injured his left hamstring while pitching for the PawSox on Saturday but threw a successful bullpen Tuesday and passed agility tests Wednesday. He takes the place of LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, who injured his right knee slipping on a bullpen mound before a 7-5 loss at Baltimore on June 1. Boston manager John Farrell said Rodriguez threw from 120 feet on flat ground Wednesday. … RHP Carson Smith threw about 20 pitches to batters who didn’t swing, his first time facing batters since Tommy John surgery on May 24 last year. He is to throw batting practice again Saturday.

]]> 0 Sabathia of the Yankees threw eight scoreless innings Wednesday night in beating the Red Sox 8-0 at Yankee Stadium.Wed, 07 Jun 2017 23:51:44 +0000
Major league notebook: Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy apologizes for comment on translators Wed, 07 Jun 2017 14:37:18 +0000 NEW YORK — Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy has apologized for his on-air remarks that pitchers such as Yankees star Masahiro Tanaka shouldn’t be allowed translators on the mound.

Remy apologized on Twitter a day after he said during the NESN telecast of the game between Boston and New York that pitchers such as the Japanese-born Tanaka should “learn baseball language.”

His comments quickly drew sharp criticism on social media.

“I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments during the telecast last night,” Remy tweeted Wednesday.

The Red Sox and NESN released statements distancing themselves from Remy’s remarks. “We do not share the views expressed by Jerry Remy during last night’s broadcast,” a spokeswoman for the team said.

After Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild spoke with Tanaka in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game, Remy said to play-by-play man Dave O’Brien, “I forgot with Tanaka they take out a translator. I don’t think that should be legal.”

When asked by O’Brien about his objection to the interpreter, Remy, who played for the Red Sox and is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame, said, “Learn baseball language. It’s pretty simple. You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a long period of time.”

O’Brien replied, “I would say that probably they’re concerned about nuance being lost in some of these conversations.”

Remy, a popular figure among Red Sox fans, began working the team’s broadcasts in 1988. When asked about his remarks after Tuesday’s game, the 64-year-old Boston-area native told the Associated Press, “I’ve got no comment on that. Really.”

According to the Institute for Ethics and Diversity in Sport, MLB’s Opening Day rosters this year featured a record-high percentage of players, 29.8, born outside of the United States. They hailed from 19 countries and territories, and while Latino players increased from 28.5 percent in 2016 to 31.9 percent, Asian players increased from 1.7 percent to 1.9 percent.

MLB has been allowing on-field interpreters since 2013, and as of last year, it has required teams to employ full-time Spanish interpreters.

Tanaka reportedly speaks English well enough to carry on informal discussions with his Yankee teammates, but according to a 2016 Associated Press story, the team relies on his interpreter, Shingo Horie, “for detailed baseball conversations.” Rothschild told the AP that Horie helps with “the little nuances of the language.”

FUTURES GAME: Two long-ago Portland Sea Dogs – Charles Johnson and Edgar Renteria – will manage in the All-Star Futures Game on July 9 at Marlins Park as part of festivities surrounding the All-Star Game. Both are members of the 1997 Marlins’ World Series team.
Johnson will lead the U.S. team and Renteria the world squad, the commissioner’s office said.

YANKEES: Two weeks after sustaining a concussion, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury isn’t sure when he will return.
Ellsbury was hurt when he crashed into the wall catching a drive by Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar on May 24. He is batting .281 with four homers, 14 RBI and eight stolen bases in 39 games.

ORIOLES: Right-hander Edwin Jackson, 33, will resume his career with the Baltimore – his 12th team – after the Orioles selected his contract from Triple-A Norfolk.
Jackson, 33, broke into the big leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003.

PIRATES: Catcher Francisco Cervelli was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list after taking a foul ball off his mask in Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to the Orioles.

]]> Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy works during the seventh inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in New York. Remy said pitchers such as Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka shouldn't be allowed translators on the mound. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)Wed, 07 Jun 2017 22:43:50 +0000
Moreland, Ramirez, Benintendi homer as Red Sox top Yankees, 5-4 Wed, 07 Jun 2017 03:03:42 +0000 NEW YORK – Mitch Moreland and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back home runs and Andrew Benintendi later connected off struggling Masahiro Tanaka, powering the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees 5-4 on Tuesday night.

The Red Sox made their first visit of the season to Yankee Stadium, and the matchup between the longtime rivals and top teams in the AL East had the feel of October, mostly because of the raw weather – low 50s, windy and damp.

Overpowering closer Craig Kimbrel struck out five in 1 1/3 innings to seal the win. He fanned one batter on a wild pitch, and struck out big-hitting rookie Aaron Judge on a 99 mph fastball to finish it.

Boston began the day next-to-last in the majors with just 53 homers, but manager John Farrell said before the game that he thought his team would soon pick up the power pace.

Playing at the new Yankee Stadium for the first time without now-retired slugger David Ortiz on the roster, the Red Sox launched a trio of long balls and moved within a game of first-place New York.

A lefty-swinging cleanup hitter, same as Big Papi, got it going when Moreland delivered with a long two-run drive to right-center field in the fourth inning. Ramirez followed with a liner to left for a 4-1 lead.

Benintendi padded the lead with a second-deck shot in the fifth.

Tanaka (5-6) lost his career-worst fifth straight start. He’s been tagged for 27 runs and 11 homers in 22 2/3 innings during that span.

Drew Pomeranz (6-3) labored through a career-high 123 pitches in five innings to win his third start in a row.

Kimbrel posted his 17th save in 18 chances. He took over with a runner on third and two outs in the eighth, and struck out Didi Gregorius – but the ball bounced for a wild pitch and catcher Christian Vazquez slipped trying to corral it, allowing a run to score and Gregorius to reach.

Kimbrel then walked Chase Headley before striking out Chris Carter.

Carter hit a solo home run in the fifth.

Judge made an outstanding catch in right field, banging his head and shoulder into the wall to rob Jackie Bradley Jr. of extra bases and drawing chants from the crowd. Judge also lined a double.


RED SOX: RHP Rick Porcello (3-7, 4.24 ERA) starts Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner has thrown at least six innings in each of his last 18 road starts, the longest active streak in the majors. The next-longest string is seven, by Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner.

YANKEES: LHP CC Sabathia (6-2, 4.12) has won four straight starts, giving up four earned runs in 24 1/3 innings. He is 13-13 in 35 career starts vs. Boston.
More AP baseball:

]]> 0 Red Sox's Hanley Ramirez (13) celebrates with Christian Vazquez after hitting a home run during the fourth inning Tuesday in New York. (Associated Press/Frank Franklin II)Tue, 06 Jun 2017 23:18:20 +0000
Remy says translators should not go to mound Wed, 07 Jun 2017 02:48:01 +0000 Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy says pitchers such as Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka shouldn’t be allowed translators on the mound.

Remy’s comments Tuesday night during the NESN telecast of the Boston-New York game quickly drew criticism on social media.

The Red Sox analyst made his remarks on air after Tanaka was visited by Japanese translator Shingo Horie and pitching coach Larry Rothschild in the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium.

Remy said pitchers should “learn baseball language,” adding that “it’s pretty simple.”

RANGERS: Mike Napoli is the latest Rangers veteran to head to the disabled list.

The struggling Rangers first baseman, hitting just .192 for the season, has a back strain that will likely keep him out about a week, but with upcoming interleague games this weekend, the Rangers want a roster at full strength. Napoli was held out of the lineup on Sunday because of the issue and did not report significant progress.

TWINS: The team plans to welcome Hall of Famer Rod Carew back to Minnesota next month.

The Twins said Tuesday that Carew will return to Minnesota on July 3. It’s his first trip to the state since receiving a heart and kidney transplant in December.

PHILLIES: Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt says Philadelphia center fielder Odubel Herrera can be a team leader as he “becomes more comfortable with the language.”

Schmidt drew criticism Tuesday for saying in a radio interview that Herrera’s language barrier prevented him from being a player the Phillies can build their team around.

BRAVES: Atlanta placed right-hander Bartolo Colon on the 10-day disabled list with a strain in his left side.

The move comes one day after Colon allowed eight runs in 32/3 innings in an 11-4 loss to Philadelphia.

]]> 0 Tue, 06 Jun 2017 23:17:48 +0000
Red Sox Farm Report: Rafael Devers could be promoted to Triple-A soon. Real soon Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 With Boston Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski in office for less than two seasons, it’s hard to figure out his timing for moving up prospects. The Theo Epstein/Ben Cherington regime had been fairly predictable.

That said, Rafael Devers’ days in Portland seem numbered – if not already up.

The Sea Dogs begin a homestand Tuesday night. Who will be at third base? Devers? Veteran Mike Olt? Rising prospect Michael Chavis?

Devers, 20, who signed with Boston less than four years ago, out of the Dominican Republic, is the No. 1 prospect in the Red Sox system. Because of his age, and only 49 games at the Double-A level, the Red Sox could play it safe and let him build his confidence in Portland.

But there are plenty of reasons to bump him up to Triple-A Pawtucket. Here are five:

n Devers is batting .308 with a .371 on-base percentage and .544 slugging average (for a .915 OPS). He shows power (10 home runs), patience (19 walks) and ability to make contact (only 39 strikeouts in 182 at-bats).

Compare that to two other recent, young prospects from the Caribbean:

Yoan Moncada had just turned 21 when he came to Portland last June. In 45 games (177 at-bats), Moncada batted .277/.910 OPS with 11 home runs and 64 strikeouts. He was playing with Boston by September.

Xander Bogaerts began the 2013 season in Portland at the age of 20 (he also played 23 games with the Sea Dogs in 2012). In 2013, Bogaerts batted .311/.909 in 219 at-bats, with six home runs and 51 strikeouts. He was promoted to Pawtucket and reached Boston by August.

 Devers has demonstrated an ability to adapt. Every player has adversity. Can he bounce back? Devers began 2016 in a slump in Salem and worked his way out of it. This year, his average dropped 42 points over 17 days in May. Since then, he’s 10 for 19 with a double, triple and two home runs.

 There is no one keeping Devers from Triple-A. Journeyman Matt Dominguez (.210/.576) is Pawtucket’s current third baseman.

 Seeing if Devers hits Triple-A pitching will give Boston an indication if he could help the big-league team later this year. Third base has been a sore spot all season.

 Moving Devers up would make room for Chavis, who is tearing up the Carolina League, batting .337/1.091, with 14 home runs. Chavis, recovering from a sprained thumb, is playing third base nearly every day now.

If there is a concern about Devers, it is his fielding.

He began showing improvement last year, and has looked solid enough in Portland, although with seven errors in 42 games at third.

The glove is good enough. There is some pop in the bat. Time for Devers to move on.

IN PAWTUCKET, Bryce Brentz continues his comeback from oblivion. On May 19, he was batting .162 with four home runs. Since, Brentz is batting .349 (15 for 43) with five home runs … Left-handed starter Jalen Beeks, just promoted from Portland, had a rough debut Sunday. He gave up four runs in the first three innings, but settled down to allow only one hit and no runs over the next three innings. … Ty Buttrey, also just promoted, relieved Beeks. He gave up a single and, after a stolen base and a wild pitch, gave up an RBI single. Buttrey then induced a 4-6-3 double play and retired his final four batters.

IN PORTLAND, free-agent outfielder Jeremy Barfield is fitting in well, with a .318 average/.970 OPS and four home runs in his first 11 games.

IN SALEM, right-handed starter Michael Shawaryn (fifth-round draft pick last year), made his Carolina League debut Sunday. He gave up seven hits and two runs over five innings, with six strikeouts and one walk. … First baseman Josh Ockimey is batting .313/.923 with seven home runs.

IN GREENVILLE, shortstop C.J. Chatham (second-round pick last year) remains on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring. He strained it in spring training, came back for one game May 19 and injured it again. … Right-handed starter Bryan Mata, who turned 18 last month, is the youngest player in the South Atlantic League, having been called up May 26. In two starts, Mata has allowed seven hits and two runs over nine innings, with 10 strikeouts and four walks.

ELSEWHERE, the Red Sox made the lopsided trade for reliever Tyler Thornburg look even worse on Monday, naming shortstop Yeison Coca as “the player to be named later” in the deal. Boston already sent Travis Shaw, Mauricio Dubon and Chad Pennington to Milwaukee for Thornburg, who has yet to pitch this year because of a sore shoulder. Coca, who turned 18 two weeks ago, was one of Boston’s top-rated middle-infield prospects (batting .308 in the Dominican Summer League last year).

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Devers is regarded as the top prospect for the Boston Red Sox, and he'll be starting the season with the Portland Sea Dogs – who open on April 6 at Hadlock Field.Mon, 05 Jun 2017 21:23:18 +0000
Tom Caron: Red Sox-Yankees rivalry takes on a youthful look Tue, 06 Jun 2017 00:33:55 +0000 The Boston Red Sox open a three-game series Tuesday night in New York – against the first-place Yankees. It’s a battle of two organizations that have rebuilt themselves with young talent in recent years and are setting their sights on winning the American League East.

The Yankees enter the series with a two-game lead over Boston. They’ve arrived at the top of the division far quicker than anybody expected. Just a few months ago, General Manager Brian Cashman seemed to be taking a step back and rebuilding for the future.

Last year, the Yankees won 84 games and finished nine games behind the Red Sox. Cashman found himself in the unusual position of selling off players. Before the season was through, he got rid of Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran. Brian McCann was traded away after the season.

In exchange, Cashman rebuilt a farm system that had been decimated. More importantly, he opened the way for younger players to step into the Yankee Stadium limelight. The “Baby Bombers” have filled out a lineup that has become one of the most potent in the game. Rookie Aaron Judge leads the major leagues with 18 home runs, and Gary Sanchez has returned from injury to make an impact on offense.

While we thought this was the start of a long-term overhaul, Cashman clearly knew his club was closer to contending than many thought. So he added veterans Matt Holliday and Chris Carter before spring training and brought Chapman back with the most lucrative contract ever given to a reliever.

It was a shrewd move by a GM who somehow managed to energize the organization’s long-term future while improving its short-term chances. It’s a striking turnaround in one year.

In 2016, the Red Sox rode a young lineup to a division title and returned to the playoffs for the first time in three years. Team president Dave Dombrowski didn’t have to rebuild. He entered the offseason looking to add the finishing touch to the defending AL East champs – and pulled off a huge trade for pitcher Chris Sale.

The Sox came into this season feeling good about themselves and the Killer B’s: Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.

Benintendi was rated the sport’s top prospect by Baseball America heading into the season. Yet it’s Judge who has become the rookie to watch. In last week’s All-Star voting update, he was second among AL outfielders. Yankee Stadium now features the “Judge’s Chambers” in right field.

Meanwhile, Benintendi was going through the expected adjustment period of his first full season, dealing with a couple slumps that dropped his batting average about 80 points. However, he tuned up for his visit to New York with a pair of home runs Sunday in a 7-3 win at Baltimore.

The Red Sox have yet to prove themselves in the best division in baseball. They’re 12-13 against AL East teams but have played the fewest divisional games of any AL East team. They’ve only played the Yankees twice, losing a pair of games at Fenway Park in April.

Boston won’t face the Yankees again for more than a month, making this three-game set in The Bronx an important early season series. The Red Sox are in second place despite a sluggish start. They could make a statement with a series win. And maybe a showdown for first place is what this age-old rivalry needs to get reignited in a new generation.

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

]]> 0 fielder Aaron Judge, one of the Yankees who was playing with Trenton at Hadlock Field just two years ago, is showing his power in the majors.Mon, 05 Jun 2017 22:23:12 +0000
Former Red Sox outfielder Piersall dies at 87 Mon, 05 Jun 2017 02:03:43 +0000 BOSTON — Former major leaguer Jimmy Piersall, who bared his soul about his struggles with mental illness in his book “Fear Strikes Out,” has died. He was 87.

Piersall died Saturday at a care facility in Wheaton, Illinois, after a months-long illness, according to the Boston Red Sox, for whom Piersall played for seven of his 17 seasons in the majors.

Piersall’s on-field antics when he first broke into the majors with the Red Sox full-time in 1952 cracked up fans and provided fodder for newspaper columnists. In one game against the St. Louis Browns, he made pig noises and mocked the odd throwing motion of aging Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige.

But Piersall also had furious arguments with umpires, broke down sobbing one day when told he wouldn’t play and got into a fistfight with the New York Yankees’ Billy Martin at Fenway Park, followed minutes later by a scuffle with a teammate.

“Almost everybody except the umpires and the Red Sox thought I was a riot,” Piersall said in the 1955 autobiography, later made into a movie starring Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden.

“My wife knew I was sick, yet she was helpless to stop my mad rush towards a mental collapse.”

He played 56 games in the majors before being admitted to a mental hospital with what was later diagnosed as bipolar disorder. He wrote in his book that he had almost no memory of the season or his time in the hospital. He returned to the majors in 1953 “sound and healthy” thanks to “shock treatments, faith, a wonderful wife, a fine doctor and loyal friends.”

]]> 0 Jimmy Piersall played seven of his 17 major league seasons with the Boston Red Sox.Sun, 04 Jun 2017 22:08:50 +0000
Benintendi powers Red Sox past Orioles Sun, 04 Jun 2017 21:00:10 +0000 BALTIMORE — The next time the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox meet, summer will be winding down and football season will almost be here.

Until then, each team will do its best to be in contention when the next series between these AL East foes gets under way.

Andrew Benintendi hit two home runs, Chris Sale pitched six innings to earn his sixth straight win and Boston beat Baltimore 7-3 Sunday for a split of the four-game series.

The Red Sox broke a sixth-inning tie by scoring two unearned runs on a throwing error by catcher Francisco Pena. Benintendi’s second homer made it 6-3 in the seventh.

With the victory, the Red Sox improved to 6-7 against the Orioles. Nearly a quarter of Boston’s first 56 games were against Baltimore, but the teams won’t play again until Aug. 25. That’s why the Red Sox were delighted to win the final two games to get a split.

“We’re neck-and-neck with this team and this division is going to be bunched up for the foreseeable future,” Boston Manager John Farrell said. “To get out of here even instead of being down 3-1, it’s a big swing day for us.”

Speaking of big swings, Benintendi hit two solo shots before adding an RBI single in the ninth. It was the first career multihomer game for the rookie, who entered in a 1-for-21 skid.

“He has a gift of being a very even-tempered guy,” Farrell said. “Through these couple of dry spells, he’s kept his head on his shoulders.”

Sale (7-2) struck out nine to increase his major-league leading total to 119. The left-hander is 6-0 in his last seven starts, a streak that began with a win over Baltimore on May 2.

His outing came on the heels of a similarly effective outing by David Price on Saturday night.

“Winning those first two games and trying to take a shot at those two guys, it’s a challenge,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said.

Chris Tillman (1-3) kept the Orioles even until the sixth. After a single and two walks loaded the bases with one out, Sandy Leon struck out. With Deven Marrero at the plate, Tillman bounced an 0-2 pitch that glanced off Pena’s shoulder and into his glove.

As Mitch Moreland edged down the line, Pena launched a throw that sailed wide of third base, allowing Moreland and Jackie Bradley Jr. to score.

“I just tried to be too quick, tried to put a perfect throw, and I messed it up,” Pena said.

After Boston jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Sale yielded three runs and three hits in the bottom half. Chris Davis drove in two runs with a single to left and scored on a double by Jonathan Schoop.

“I really had to kind of refocus after that and not let my emotions get the best of me,” Sale said.

Benintendi tied it with his sixth home run.

NOTES: Boston leadoff batter Mookie Betts got his 500th career hit with a swinging bunt to open the game. He is the seventh Red Sox player in the last 100 years to reach the 500-mark before his 25th birthday. He joined Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Bobby Doerr, Tony Conigliaro, Jim Rice and Xander Bogaerts. … Pitcher Brian Johnson left his Triple A start on Saturday with a cramp in his right hamstring. He’s an option to fill the void in the rotation left by Eduardo Rodriguez being placed on the disabled list.

]]> 0 Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi follows through on a single against the Orioles in the ninth inning Sunday in Baltimore.Sun, 04 Jun 2017 21:05:47 +0000
On Baseball: Numbers can lie, and Sox-Orioles rivalry proves it Sun, 04 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 The Boston Red Sox have a better batting average than the Baltimore Orioles. They get on base more, score more runs. Boston’s ERA is better, among both the starters and relievers.

So why can’t the Red Sox shake free of the Orioles and be the sole contender to the Yankees for the American League East title?

The simple answer is the Orioles are more efficient.

The Red Sox have a lineup full of hitters. Baltimore is more productive.

Heading into Saturday night’s game, Boston has scored 20 more runs (playing one more game) than Baltimore.

But the Red Sox should be scoring even more with a .267 batting average and .340 on-base percentage – among the league leaders – compared to Baltimore’s .255/.311 numbers.

Counting hits and walks, Boston has had 66 more baserunners than the Orioles.

Here are some glaring numbers.

Baltimore’s batting average is 12 points less than Boston but with runners in scoring position, Baltimore is 13 points better – .305 to .292.

Boston is not bad in the clutch but also squanders chances, grounding into a league-best 29 double plays. Baltimore ranks 14th with 34.

And the power numbers speak volumes. Boston is last in home runs (50), Baltimore sixth (75).

Getting on base is nice but homers make a difference – 49 percent of the Orioles’ run production comes from home runs, compared to 31 percent of Boston’s.

In Baltimore’s victories against Boston on Thursday and Friday, nine of the Orioles’ 10 runs came from homers.

With that said, here is the obligatory mention of David Ortiz – who not only provided Boston with 38 home runs in 2016, but hit .342 with runners in scoring position.

I also add the obligatory complaint of trading Travis Shaw, who has nine home runs with Milwaukee.

Boston’s pitching has been good for the most part, and usually better than the Orioles, in ERA (3.89 to 4.31), starters’ ERA (4.34 to 4.61) and relievers’ ERA (3.02 to 3.87).

But the Orioles play better defense behind their pitchers than Boston.

They turn more double plays (54 to 38) and commit fewer errors (31 to 40), which has resulted in fewer unearned runs (12 to 20).

If Boston is going to contend, it needs to do better.

Maybe the Red Sox can’t simply turn on the power. They still need better production.

The pitching is performing well – and yes, it can always do better.

The errors must be reduced.

Boston looked better in May, but still hasn’t broken out of the pack. Without improvement, the Red Sox will have a season full of excellent individual efforts but not a championship.

ONE OF THE individual performers to watch in Boston, Mookie Betts, is close to another milestone. Betts, 24, has 497 hits through Friday. Only six Red Sox in the last 100 years have reached 500 hits before they turned 25 – Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Bobby Doerr, Tony Conigliaro, Jim Rice and Xander Bogaerts.

Betts also is one of the two leading defensive players in the American League, according to Fangraphs. Under “defensive runs save,” Betts scored a 10, as did his teammate, Jackie Bradley Jr.

SAM TRAVIS is batting .500 (7 for 14), with two doubles, heading into Saturday night’s game. He’s not playing every day but if Travis keeps hitting, the Red Sox can’t simply send him down, can they?

SPEAKING OF Travis Shaw, he’s batting .287 with an .848 OPS (Boston’s third base production is .211/.610). Shaw has made four errors in 47 games at third base (Boston has 14 errors at third in 54 games). … Shaw was dealt in the trade for reliever Tyler Thornburg (on the disabled list indefinitely with a sore shoulder). Another player in that trade, former Portland Sea Dogs infielder Mauricio Dubon, is still in Double-A, batting .293/.722 for the Biloxi Shuckers.

THE SEA DOGS are back in town Tuesday against the Akron Rubber Ducks (still have a hard time typing that without a chuckle). Mookie Betts bobblehead dolls will be given out to the first 1,000 fans. The Sea Dogs are now in summer time, with weekday games usually starting at 7 p.m. (although this Thursday is at 11 a.m.), and Saturdays at 6 p.m.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

]]> 0 Sat, 03 Jun 2017 21:52:31 +0000
Price impresses as Red Sox win Sun, 04 Jun 2017 03:02:53 +0000 BALTIMORE — David Price took a three-hitter into the eighth inning to earn his first win of the season, Hanley Ramirez homered and drove in three runs and the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Saturday night.

Price (1-0) allowed one run over seven-plus innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list with a strained left elbow. After belatedly launching his 2017 season with an uneven outing against the White Sox on Monday, Price looked every bit like a five-time All-Star against Baltimore.

The left-hander gave up three hits, struck out seven and did not allow a runner past first base until Manny Machado led off the seventh with a home run. That was the only flaw in an otherwise sparkling performance that enabled Price to improve to 12-5 lifetime against the Orioles, including 7-0 at Camden Yards.

Craig Kimbrel gave up a ninth-inning run, but picked up his 16th save in 17 tries.

Boston took the lead for good in the fourth inning when Ramirez lined an 0-2 pitch from Dylan Bundy into the left-field seats after Xander Bogaerts drew a leadoff walk.

Bundy (6-4) threw 100 pitches over five innings in his fourth start this season against Boston. He’s 2-2 in those games.

After Machado connected in the seventh, the Red Sox went up 4-1 in the eighth against Ubaldo Jimenez. Bogaerts hit a run-producing grounder and scored on a double by Ramirez.

The victory – Boston’s first in a four-game series that concludes Sunday – lifted the Red Sox past Baltimore into second place in the AL East.


Four of Ramirez’s seven HRs this season have come against the Orioles. … Baltimore fell to 19-9 at home. … Red Sox rookie OF Andrew Benintendi ended an 0-for-19 skid with a sixth-inning single. … Boston’s Mookie Betts got two hits and now has 499 for his career. … RH batters were 0 for 47 against Kimbrel this season until Mark Trumbo singled in the ninth.


Orioles RHP Alec Asher was so impressive Friday night against Boston (6 1/3 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs) that manager Buck Showalter named him the starter Thursday in Washington. Asher has thus far started twice since replacing Jimenez in the rotation.


Red Sox: INF Josh Rutledge was a late scratch due to dehydration. … Manager John Farrell said 2B Dustin Pedroia’s injured wrist continues to improve. Pedroia was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday. “We project that his first day eligible, he’d be ready to go,” Farrell said. . Reliever Matt Barnes was unavailable while attending a personal matter, but is expected to return Sunday.

Orioles: C Welington Castillo could end up spending the minimum time on DL after sustaining a testicular injury Tuesday night. “I’m hoping the last day or two of the 10 days that he’s a go,” Showalter said.


Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (6-2, 2.77 ERA), who has won his last five decisions and leads the majors with 110 strikeouts, gets the start in the series finale Sunday.

Orioles: Making his sixth start since coming off the DL, Chris Tillman (1-2, 5.87 ERA) seeks to rebound from a rocky outing (2 2/3 innings, 5 runs) against the Yankees on Tuesday.

]]> 0 Sat, 03 Jun 2017 23:07:48 +0000
Orioles hit two first-inning homers to beat Red Sox, 3-2 Sat, 03 Jun 2017 02:23:44 +0000 BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles didn’t waste any time scoring against Rick Porcello.

It’s a good thing, too, because the 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner got a whole lot sharper as the game wore on.

Seth Smith and Manny Machado hit first-inning home runs to back a redemptive pitching performance by Alec Asher and help Baltimore beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 Friday night.

Jonathan Schoop had two hits and scored a run for the Orioles, who have won 4 of 5 following a seven-game losing streak.

After hitting four home runs in the series opener Thursday, the Orioles used the long ball to take control against Porcello (3-7). Smith drove a 3-2 pitch into the right-field seats for his third career leadoff homer, and Machado pulled a fastball into the second deck to make it 2-0.

Baltimore never relinquished the lead.

“Against guys like Porcello, if you get a little pop at them early you’d better take advantage of it because they’re going to settle in,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said.

Porcello allowed just one more run over the next five innings before departing.

“I felt better as the game went on, but it’s definitely not the way you want to start a ballgame,” Porcello said. “That kind of set the tone.”

Asher, in contrast, retired 16 of the first 17 batters and ended up allowing two runs and three hits over 61/3 innings. It was his second start since replacing Ubaldo Jimenez in the Baltimore rotation; in his first try, Asher (2-3) yielded six runs over two innings in loss to Houston on Sunday.

“It’s nice to rebound and have a good game,” he said. “But winning the game, that’s the No. 1 goal.”

Brad Brach, the third Baltimore reliever, got three straight outs for his 11th save in 14 tries.

Pablo Sandoval homered for the Red Sox, 4-7 against the Orioles after losing two straight in this four-game series between AL East foes.

“Give credit to Asher,” Manager John Farrell said.

Porcello went 22-4 last year but this season has allowed at least eight hits in seven of 12 starts – including each of the last five.

“I thought as the game went along he got much better,” Farrell said. “He’s a little snake-bit right now, to be honest.”

After Sandoval hit a solo shot in the third inning, Schoop singled and scored on a double by Hyun Soo Kim in the fourth.

The Red Sox chased Asher and closed to 3-2 in the seventh. Xander Bogaerts hit a leadoff double and Jackie Bradley delivered a two-out RBI single off Mychal Givens.

NOTES: Boston RF Mookie Betts went 0 for 4 to remain three hits short of 500, but he made a sensational diving catch of a sinking liner hit by Adam Jones in the seventh inning.

]]> 0's Caleb Joseph is caught between Boston second baseman Josh Rutledge, left, and first baseman Mitch Moreland after trying to advance to second on a pitch that got away from Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon in the second inning Friday night in Baltimore.Fri, 02 Jun 2017 23:43:57 +0000
Major league notebook: Red Sox place Rodriguez on disabled list Fri, 02 Jun 2017 23:44:14 +0000 BALTIMORE — Boston Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday after reinjuring his knee on a fall from the bullpen mound.

Rodriguez slipped off the mound during the latter stage of his warmup for Thursday night’s start against the Baltimore Orioles. He declared himself OK but ended up allowing a career-high tying four home runs in Boston’s 7-5 loss.

“We put him on the disabled list after some swelling emerged overnight,” Manager John Farrell said.

Rodriguez missed Boston’s first 51 games last year while on the disabled list with a right patella (kneecap) subluxation.

To fill the spot on the 25-man roster, the Red Sox recalled right-hander Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket.

MARINERS: Seattle placed shortstop Jean Segura on the 10-day disabled list with a right high-ankle sprain. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz won’t be joining him on the DL despite being hit on his left hand by a pitch.

Manager Scott Servais said it would probably be a week before Segura is re-evaluated. Segura is tied for the AL lead with a .341 batting average.

RANGERS: Sam Dyson was designated for assignment after the latest loss by the former closer.

Texas made the move two days after Dyson gave up two home runs and three runs in the 10th inning of a loss to Tampa Bay. It was the sixth loss of the season for Dyson. He was removed from the closer role in early May, and has blown all four of his save chances this season.

BRAVES: Atlanta activated left-hander Eric O’Flaherty and infielder Adonis Garcia off the disabled list.

Atlanta also called up infielder Johan Camargo from Triple-A Gwinnett. He’s in his third stint with the Braves.

PIRATES: Pittsburgh optioned infielder Gift Ngoepe to the minor leagues about a month after he debuted as the first African-born player – from South Africa – in the majors.

]]> 0 Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez waits for Baltimore's Mark Trumbo to finish rounding the bases on a two-run home run during the first inning Thursday night in Baltimore.Fri, 02 Jun 2017 20:26:41 +0000
Orioles smack four homers to top Red Sox, 7-5 Fri, 02 Jun 2017 02:10:29 +0000 BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles hit four home runs off Eduardo Rodriguez, and that turned out to be just enough offense to beat the Boston Red Sox.

Such is life in the hard-hitting AL East.

“There’s not a recipe every night, but you’re going to have to score runs in our division,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said after Baltimore’s 7-5 victory on Thursday night.

The Orioles used the long ball to build a 7-1 lead in the sixth inning – then held on.

“When everyone is kind of in a good place, that’s the kind of offense you’re going to see,” said Mark Trumbo, who started the outburst with a two-run drive in the first inning.

Chris Davis and Adam Jones went deep for a second straight night and Jonathan Schoop capped the surge with a three-run drive in the sixth.

After taking 2 of 3 from the AL East-leading New York Yankees, the Orioles opened a four-game series against another division rival with a feel-good victory.

“We’ve got to win these games to play in the postseason,” Baltimore starter Wade Miley said. “These games are very important.”

Miley (2-3) gave up five hits and a walk against the team he pitched for in 2015. Seeking his first win since April 14, the lefty did not allow a runner past first base after the second inning.

Rodriguez (4-2) surrendered seven runs in 52/3 innings, and the four homers tied a career high. The former Orioles’ farmhand came in with a four-game winning streak and a career 1.34 ERA in six starts at Camden Yards.

The left-hander tumbled off the mound in the bullpen during warm-ups before the game but did not use that as an excuse.

“I just missed my pitches,” Rodriguez said. “With those guys, when you miss, that will happen. They make contact and hit homers.”

Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning and Christian Vazquez had two RBI for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in 11 games.

Manager John Farrell gave credit to Miley for keeping Boston off balance.

“When he gets into that rhythm, he picks up the pace, works quick and doesn’t let anyone really settle in,” Farrell said.

When the Orioles visited Boston during the first week of May, a series of brushback pitches and harsh words in both clubhouses led the commissioner’s office to intervene with instructions to end a feud that began in April with a spikes-high slide by Baltimore’s Manny Machado into Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Before this game, Showalter expected no residual ill will in a series between two teams within baseball’s most competitive division.

“Your hands are full trying to stay with these guys as opposed to bringing in some unneeded drama,” he said.

There was no drama after Jones led off the sixth with a home run and Schoop chased Rodriguez in the same inning.

Earlier, Davis made it 3-1 in the fourth with his team-high 12th home run , the first long ball allowed by Rodriguez to a left-handed batter since Brett Gardner of the Yankees last July.

NOTES: Mired in an 0-for-12 skid, rookie OF Andrew Benintendi did not start. “There’s going to be some ebbs and flows to the season. He’s in one of those now,” Farrell said. Benintendi flied out as a pinch hitter … LHP Robbie Ross Jr. was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and placed on the 10-day DL with left elbow inflammation. Ross was optioned to Pawtucket on May 18 and did not pitch because of discomfort in his elbow. … Pedroia (left wrist sprain) appears to be on the mend. “The range of motion is starting to get there,” Farrell said. .. Orioles Ryan Flaherty, of Portland, who went on the DL on May 19 with a right shoulder strain, should begin throwing next week.

]]> 0 Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez waits for Baltimore's Mark Trumbo to finish rounding the bases on a two-run home run during the first inning Thursday night in Baltimore.Thu, 01 Jun 2017 23:26:09 +0000
Sandoval returns, gets 3 hits as Pomeranz, Red Sox top White Sox 4-1 Thu, 01 Jun 2017 03:31:37 +0000 CHICAGO — Pablo Sandoval hit a tie-breaking single in Boston’s four-run sixth inning and Drew Pomeranz struck out eight in his second straight win, helping the Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.

Sandoval went 3 for 4 in his first game since he was activated from the disabled list Tuesday after being sidelined by a sprained right knee. It was an encouraging sign for the Red Sox, in need of some help at the plate with Dustin Pedroia sidelined by a sprained left wrist.

Chicago wasted a great start by Mike Pelfrey in its second consecutive loss after winning four of five. The big right-hander struck out five in pitching five scoreless innings of two-hit ball, leaving him with a 1.13 ERA over his last three games.

Anthony Swarzak (2-1) replaced Pelfrey, and the Red Sox jumped all over him, loading the bases with one out in the sixth. Josh Rutledge beat out a potential double-play grounder, tying it at 1, and Sandoval followed with a single to left.

After the runners moved up on a wild pitch, Christian Vazquez hit a two-run double into left-center to give Boston a 4-1 lead. Swarzak had allowed just three earned runs in 231/3 innings this season coming into the game.

That was more than enough for Pomeranz (5-3), who allowed one run and seven hits in a season-high seven innings. The left-hander also pitched well in his previous start, striking out 11 over six innings in a 6-2 victory against Texas.

Matt Barnes tossed a perfect eighth before Craig Kimbrel struck out the side for his 15th save in 16 chances, finishing Boston’s eighth win in 10 games. Kimbrel also saved Tuesday’s 13-7 victory, throwing 27 pitches while pitching 11/3 innings.

Tim Anderson and Avisail Garcia had two hits apiece for the White Sox, who closed out a 4-3 homestand. Anderson doubled home Garcia in the second.

NOTES: White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson announced he plans to retire after doing 20 games next year in his 34th season in the booth. Harrelson, a colorful character known for his folksy sayings and unbridled enthusiasm for his longtime team, will work primarily Sunday home games in 2018. After he finishes his TV duties, the 75-year-old Harrelson will serve as a team ambassador for the 2019 season. … Red Sox RHP Carson Smith (Tommy John surgery) is progressing toward facing hitters Tuesday in New York, according to Manager John Farrell

]]> 0's Christian Vazquez hits an RBI double against the Chicago White Sox in the sixth inning Wednesday night in Chicago.Wed, 31 May 2017 23:50:49 +0000
Red Sox give Sale plenty of support in 13-7 victory Wed, 31 May 2017 04:20:46 +0000 CHICAGO — Chris Sale made a shaky return to his former home, but Deven Marrero hit two of Boston’s season-high six home runs and the Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 13-7 on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland also went deep. The Red Sox won for the seventh time in nine games after an anticipated duel between aces never materialized.

Sale (6-2) got a warm reception from the crowd and a rude welcome from his old team. The five-time All-Star gave up six runs and 10 hits — both season highs — over five innings in his first appearance against the White Sox.

Marrero drove in five runs and doubled his career home run total. After hitting two in his first 59 major league games, he went back-to-back with Betts in a four-run second inning and chased Jose Quintana (2-7) with a three-run drive in the third that made it 7-3.

Bradley Jr. bumped the lead to 10-6 in the fifth with a three-run drive off Dan Jennings after Chicago cut it to one.

Bogaerts added a solo homer in the eighth and finished with four of Boston’s 16 hits. Moreland knocked a two-run homer off Juan Minaya in the ninth to make it 13-7.

Craig Kimbrel worked the final 1 1/3 innings for his 14th save in 15 chances, and the Red Sox picked up the win after dropping two in a row.

Todd Frazier and Tim Anderson homered for Chicago, but the White Sox took the loss after winning four of five.

Dealt to Boston last winter for a package of prospects that included highly regarded slugger Yoan Moncada, Sale got a standing ovation when he trotted to the mound in the first inning. But it was a rough night overall for the lanky left-hander.

He threw 111 pitches and was consistently behind in the count, though he finished with nine strikeouts and two walks.

Quintana got pounded for seven runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. It was his shortest outing since he lasted one inning against the New York Yankees on Sept. 2, 2013.

The 2016 All-Star has allowed 15 runs, 18 hits and four homers in his past two starts. And his ERA has jumped from 3.92 to 5.60.


RED SOX: The Red Sox placed 2B Dustin Pedroia on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist and activated 3B Pablo Sandoval from the DL on Tuesday.

WHITE SOX: Manager Rick Renteria had no specific timetable Tuesday for right-handers James Shields (right lat strain) and Nate Jones (elbow inflammation) beginning rehab assignments. Shields threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Monday and Jones threw 25 in a bullpen session.

]]> 0 Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale allowed five earned runs in five innings in his first start against his former team, the Chicago White Sox, on Tuesday in Chicago. The Red Sox won 13-7.Wed, 31 May 2017 00:24:09 +0000
Red Sox farm report: Once lost, pitcher Jake Cosart thinks he’s found his stuff Wed, 31 May 2017 00:00:06 +0000 He relieved in only eight games last year for advanced Class A Salem, so it figured pitcher Jake Cosart would be back in Virginia in 2017.

But the Boston Red Sox like Cosart’s arm. Despite his inexperience, he began this season in Portland.

“I was out there, a little confident, happy that I’m in Double-A. But it catches up. Wham,” Cosart said.

Wham is a good way to put Cosart’s debut. It’s not that Cosart was getting hit – he wasn’t because he couldn’t throw a strike.

Cosart, 23, a third-round draft pick in 2014, entered the third Sea Dogs game of the season, tied in the eighth inning.

First batter: four pitches, walk.

Then, after a sacrifice, five more pitches and another walk.

A full count and another walk to load the bases.

The next batter didn’t walk. He was hit by a pitch. One run in.

Full count on the next batter; Cosart issued his fourth walk, and another run. Portland trailed by two and Cosart was pulled from the game.

What happened to the prospect with a 2.05 ERA in Greenville last year, then 1.00 in Salem?

In his first 10 appearances with the Sea Dogs, Cosart walked at least three batters five times.

“There are obviously ups and downs, but the feeling of being lost out there – it was tough,” Cosart said.

Yes, it’s cold in Portland – “I’m not one for excuses but I’m from south Texas,” he said. “I had a real good spring (training), and then I get up here.”

On May 10, Cosart had a 4.82 ERA and a 2.79 WHIP (walks/hits per inning). He was a wreck on the mound and it wasn’t just because of the weather.

“Stuff like getting demoted creeps into your mind,” he said. “Stuff like, ‘Am I letting the team down?’ And just letting yourself down. Didn’t I just really work hard to get here?”

Separately, Sea Dogs pitching coach Kevin Walker, Red Sox pitching coordinator Ralph Treuel and relief pitching instructor Keith Foulke told Cosart the same thing: Trust your talent.

Reliever Jake Cosart has allowed one hit and two walks over his last nine innings as he’s adjusted to Class Double-A. Courtesy of the Portland Sea Dogs

“They said, ‘We know how good your arm is, and how hard you work. Just stick with it,’ ” Cosart said.

“Easier said than done. I’m pretty hard-headed.”

Cosart reached out to his brother, San Diego Padres starter Jarred Cosart, “and he said the same thing: ‘Stick with it.’ ”

Walker saw the potential. For all of Cosart’s horrible numbers, batters were hitting only .152 against him.

“It wasn’t hits. Just walks,” Walker said. “We talked about focusing on one pitch and not letting the situations that happen dictate the next pitch.

“He really worked on slowing the game down. He’s really simplified it.”

In Cosart’s last four outings, he has allowed no runs, one hit, two walks and a hit batter over nine innings, striking out six.

“It took me a while to listen but I stuck through it,” Cosart said.

“I feel comfortable out there. I’m confident. I think the results are starting to show.”

Of course they are.

“It’s all about gaining some confidence and getting on a roll,” Walker said.

“With him, his arm works so fast. He has such a special arm. It’s so easy. He’s deceptive. Good fastball and a good curveball off it.”

The fastball is usually in the mid-90s. The curve is improved and a splitter is being worked on.

Not bad for someone who has been pitching for only four years or so.

Cosart, an outfielder in high school, was switched to pitcher during the fall season of his freshman year at Duke. But that didn’t work out.

“They said I couldn’t play Division I,” said Cosart, who transferred to Seminole College, a two-year school near Orlando, Florida. He struck out 67 in 64 innings. The Red Sox saw potential and drafted him.

After his solid numbers last year, Baseball America included Cosart in its ranking of Red Sox prospects, at No. 16.

“He’s starting to turn the corner and put those numbers up again,” Walker said.

IN PAWTUCKET, Bryce Brentz is on a tear. Through May 19 he was batting .162. Since then he’s on a six-game hitting streak through Monday, batting .450 (9 for 20) with three doubles and two home runs. … Utility player Ryan Court, who was supposed to begin the season in Portland, continued to lead Pawtucket in hitting at .287/.819 OPS.

IN PORTLAND, third baseman Rafael Devers, 20, is batting .288/.859, despite a recent slump (.135 in his last nine games). Trenton Manager Bobby Mitchell, who has seen Devers in four series this season, is impressed. “I really like Devers,” he said. “He’s a good hitter. He’s a good third baseman. He seems to have a great demeanor about him. No panic. He’s young, too. He’s one of the top prospects in this league.”

IN SALEM, third baseman Michael Chavis was named the Carolina League Player of the Week for the second time. Chavis, 21, batted .462 with a 1.231 OPS, including a double and two home runs. For the season he’s hitting .357/1.130, with 12 home runs. … First baseman Jock Ockimey, 21, is batting .309/.922 with seven home runs.

IN GREENVILLE, right-handed reliever Steve Nogosek, a sixth-round draft pick last year out of Oregon, already has 10 saves in 12 chances. He has a 2.30 ERA/1.10 WHIP, and 37 strikeouts and 10 walks in 271/3 innings.

]]> 0 Jake Cosart has allowed one hit and two walks over his last nine innings as he's adjusted to Class Double-A.Tue, 30 May 2017 22:26:27 +0000
Tom Caron: The reports of John Farrell’s demise were greatly exaggerated Tue, 30 May 2017 23:08:36 +0000 What a difference a week makes in the life of a major league manager.

A week and a half ago the Boston Red Sox had just returned from the West Coast after losing 3 of 4 to the last-place Oakland Athletics. There were rumors that John Farrell was on the hot seat;’s Ken Rosenthal reported he wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox made a managerial change.

Starting the next day the Sox won six straight. It was their longest winning streak of the season. And the rumors of Farrell’s managerial death proved to be greatly exaggerated. At least for now.

Appearing on the NESN pregame show last week, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said the rumors of a potential move were false.

“We won a divisional crown last year,” said Dombrowski. “He managed very well for us at the time. I think that John, as well as everybody else, is frustrated by our performance and that we haven’t taken off – but we’re not buried, either. I mean, we’re four games out of first place (as of last Tuesday) and we really haven’t been in a flow ….

“I think we’re in a position where he’s managed well. He’s managed divisional champions. I think we’re in a position (where) we have a good club. We just need to get in a better flow of things.”

There are two reasons to fire a manager during a season. The first is that he is clearly the cause of the team’s disappointing performance. Dombrowski detailed that he doesn’t think that’s the case.

The other is to make a change just to create some energy. This is like pulling a goalie in the middle of a hockey game even though you know he had nothing to do with the breakdowns in front of him. You do it to send a message to the entire team, to shake things up.

Beginning with the win on May 21 in Oakland, the Sox have shaken things up on their own. They have played more aggressively, and their pitching has come together. Sox starters have been on their best run of the season, and the hope is that David Price’s return will make that rotation even better.

Price wasn’t great in his first start, lasting only five innings and giving up three runs. Yet he hit 97 mph with his fastball and was able to limit the damage after hitting two batters in the fifth. There were promising signs from his outing.

It was the right move to have Price make the start. Farrell could’ve easily asked him to make one more minor-league appearance before returning.

Over the weekend, Farrell told me that getting 90 pitches from Price was better than anything he’d get from any of his minor league options. Having seen Hector Velazquez get shelled in Oakland, it’s hard to argue.

Let’s give Farrell credit where it’s due. On Wednesday night he sent pinch hitters to the plate in consecutive at-bats and was rewarded with two hits on the way to a seven-run seventh inning in a comeback win against the Rangers.

In that same game Farrell gave Sam Travis his first big-league start, and Travis delivered with his first two big-league hits. A night later, he used five pitchers and they combined to tie a major league record with 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game.

This being Boston, no manager’s job is safe from public opinion. However, after the best stretch of Sox baseball this season, the hue and cry for Farrell’s job has quieted down. For now.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN.

]]> 0 John Farrell has won a World Series and led the Red Sox to the AL East title last year, but some suggested he be replaced after a frustrating start this season.Tue, 30 May 2017 22:52:02 +0000
Red Sox place Pedroia on DL, activate Sandoval Tue, 30 May 2017 19:31:56 +0000 The Boston Red Sox have placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained wrist and activated third baseman Pablo Sandoval from the DL.

Pedroia sprained his left wrist when he tumbled over White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu in Chicago on Monday. He returned to Boston for tests. He missed three games earlier this season after being spiked in the leg.

Sandoval was placed on the DL on April 25 with a sprained right knee and made seven rehab appearances at Triple-A Pawtucket. He is batting .213 with three homers in 17 games with Boston this season.

]]> 0 Tue, 30 May 2017 15:31:56 +0000
Red Sox lose in Price’s return Mon, 29 May 2017 21:52:54 +0000 CHICAGO — David Price felt healthy and strong. Dustin Pedroia had a swollen left wrist after an awkward tumble.

Reasons for hope and concern for the Red Sox.

Price lasted five innings in his season debut in Boston’s 5-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Monday, but the left-hander’s encouraging outing took a back seat to another injury for a key teammate.

Pedroia bounced to first in the first inning and Jose Abreu slid into the bag for the out. Pedroia went right over the top of the big first baseman while trying to beat out the grounder for a hit, putting his hands on the ground to brace for the fall .

The Red Sox then pulled Pedroia in the second with a sprained wrist, and Manager John Farrell said the 2008 AL MVP was headed back to Boston for tests.

“It’s hard to say right now, and I think until we get the information, we’ll know more then,” Farrell said. “But I think anytime you’re dealing with a position player’s wrist, a hitter’s wrist, that’s always cause for concern.”

Melky Cabrera homered and drove in four runs for the White Sox, who rallied for their fourth win in five games. Juan Minaya (1-0) and Tommy Kahnle each pitched a scoreless inning before David Robertson earned his eighth save in nine chances.

Price, who missed the first part of the year with a strained left elbow, walked two, hit two batters and surrendered Cabrera’s three-run homer in the third. But the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed just two hits and struck out four while throwing 88 pitches, 58 for strikes.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Price, in the second season of a $217 million, seven-year contact. “I felt good. Just command the baseball a little bit better with my fastball and I think things will take off for me.”

NOTES: Pablo Sandoval (sprained right knee) remains on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket, and Farrell said they will take a look “where things are” with the third baseman after the series against the White Sox. … RHP Carson Smith (Tommy John surgery) threw a bullpen session Sunday and is scheduled for another one on Tuesday.

]]> 0 Price allowed three runs on two hits in five innings in his first start of 2017, but the Boston Red Sox allowed two runs in the seventh inning and lost to the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Monday in Chicago.Mon, 29 May 2017 22:44:52 +0000