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Red Sox place Justin Masterson (shoulder tendinitis) on 15-day disabled list, recall Robbie Ross Jr.

05.14.15 at 2:33 pm ET
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After John Farrell hinted at it following his start Tuesday night, the Red Sox officially placed Justin Masterson on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis on Thursday.

In the corresponding move, the team has recalled reliever Robbie Ross Jr. from Triple-A Pawtucket.

The team also announced Steven Wright will make Masterson’s scheduled start on Sunday. Wright threw 5 2/3 innings in relief of Masterson on Tuesday allowing three runs and striking out four.

Ross Jr. is back with the team after being sent down to Pawtucket over the weekend. The left-handed reliever has made 13 appearances, including eight scoreless outings, and posted a 6.17 ERA.

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Red Sox-Mariners series preview

05.14.15 at 10:59 am ET
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Felix Hernandez (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Felix Hernandez is the only righty starting pitcher the Red Sox will face in their four-game series against the Mariners. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

After taking two of three games from the A’s and picking up their first series win since April 29, the Red Sox continue their West Coast road swing with a trip up to Safeco Field to play the Mariners. Having now won three of their last four games, the Sox certainly have momentum going into Seattle, but the Mariners might have something to say about that.

Seattle just had its four-game winning streak snapped by the Padres on Wednesday night in a 4-2 defeat at home. The Mariners had grabbed a win in the first of their two-game stint with San Diego and swept the A’s prior to that. Despite the recent surge, Seattle is still the owner of a 15-18 record, just one fewer win than Boston’s 16-18.

On Tuesday, the Mariners finished with an 11-4 victory over the Padres in which they hit six home runs over the course of the night. The M’s now are tied for third in the league with 43 total homers, though they’ve scored the second-fewest runs in the American League (130).

“It was just one of those nights, I guess,” first baseman Logan Morrison said of all the home runs. “I didn’t hit mine that well, but good enough to get it over the fence. I’ll take it.”

Seattle has the 10th-best batting average in the AL at .243, while the Sox have a second-worst .230. However, Boston has the advantage in on-base percentage, as the Mariners rank 13th out of 15 teams with a .301 total compared to the Red Sox‘ ninth-best .312. That might have something to do with the fact that Seattle has the drawn just 88 walks on the year, 22nd in the majors, while Boston has a second-best 128 base-on-balls total. In terms of slugging percentage, Seattle ranks seventh in the majors with a .415 mark while the Sox sit at 26th (.362).

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Read More: Danny Farquhar, felix hernandez, Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners

Red Sox Minor League Notebook: ‘Born to close’ starter turned reliever Pat Light thriving in new role

05.14.15 at 10:07 am ET
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Pat Light in succeeding in his new role as a reliever with Double-A Portland. (Photo courtesy of Porland Sea Dogs/365DigitalPhotography.com)

Pat Light is succeeding in his new role as a reliever with Double-A Portland. (Photo courtesy of Portland Sea Dogs/365DigitalPhotography.com)

With just a week left in spring training, it wasn’t something Red Sox pitching prospect Pat Light expected to hear.

After three years in the organization as a starter, the 2012 first-round pick was told he would be changing roles and throwing out of the bullpen when he reported to Double-A Portland to open the year.

“They just said pretty much it was a good opportunity for me,” Light said via phone, noting how strong the rotation in Triple-A Pawtucket is.

Appearing in 11 games this season as a reliever with the Sea Dogs, Light has posted a 3.50 ERA over 18 innings of work, and has struck out 21 batters, while walking just five.

“The role change was interesting,” he said. “It happened the last week of spring training and it was a little nerve-racking at first because I had a maybe six days left before heading out to whatever affiliate they were going to send me to. So far the transition has gone pretty smoothly. A few bumps in the road, but I am pretty happy with how well things have gone so far.”

Light suffered a torn hamstring in 2013, which slowed his development and he wasn’t completely the same pitcher as he was pre-injury. The move to bullpen should benefit the hard-throwing right-hander long-term, and fortunately for Light it isn’t the first time during his career he’s been a reliever.

A product of Momnouth University, Light was a reliever for 2011 Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod League. His Chatham coach, John Schiffner, had an inkling he would be better served in that role even then.

“I have this term, I say born to close — BTC — and he was that guy,” said Schniffner via phone. “There’s no question everything about Pat was a closer. His body makeup, his arm slot, the whole thing. ‘I’m going, yeah, that guy has a chance to be a big league closer.’ Who the hell am I to say that, but I just thought there he is. He was a very good starter in college. We saw him start a few times for us and it was OK, there’s no question it was OK.

“Obviously he didn’t get a chance to extend himself, but I personally really thought this guy has a chance to be a closer because of all the intangibles. He liked to take the ball. He had that right-handed arm slot, a little below 3/4, all the stuff with a power fastball, power breaking pitch. I always thought that is a guy that has a chance to be a really good closer at the next level.”

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Thursday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Roenis Elias

05.14.15 at 8:21 am ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

The Red Sox will begin a four-game series against the Mariners on Thursday evening when Joe Kelly pitches against second-year hurler Roenis Elias.

After two starts allowing fewer than three runs to open the season, Kelly has gone four straight outings in which he’s given up at least five earned runs, the most recent of which was on Saturday against the Blue Jays. In a 5 2/3 inning effort, Kelly surrendered six earned runs on four hits, issuing a career-high seven walks throughout to just three K’s. The Sox were in a 2-0 hole in the fourth inning before Kelly walked both Devon Travis and Jose Bautista. With two on, Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer to extend the Toronto advantage.

“Despite the number of walks early on, we’re in a two-run game,” said manager John Farrell. “But still, puts a couple of guys on via the walk, and then the third consecutive breaking ball to Encarnacion kind of spreads things to a five-run game.”

When Kelly, who owns a 1-2 record with a 6.35 ERA through 34 innings, takes the mound in Seattle on Thursday, it will be just his second career start opposite the Mariners. His only other appearance was a five-inning campaign in 2014 in which he gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out five. Kelly faced 19 batters and walked away with a 0.800 WHIP and a perfect 0.00 ERA.

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Closing Time: Led by Wade Miley, Red Sox squeak past Athletics, 2-0

05.13.15 at 6:12 pm ET
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Wade Miley threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in the Red Sox' 2-0 win over the A's. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Wade Miley threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in the Red Sox‘ 2-0 win over the A’s. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Things didn’t look good at the start for Red Sox starter Wade Miley — walking the first two batters of the game on nine pitches.

But, the Athletics didn’t score in the inning, setting up the theme of the game for Miley — getting into trouble, but being able to get out of it.

Led by Miley, the Red Sox were able to outlast Sonny Gray and the A’s, taking the rubber game of the series, 2-0.

Miley went 6 2/3 innings without allowing a run on five hits, while walking four and striking out one. The left-hander picked up his first win since April 21, after he came into the game a loser in his last three starts. Although the A’s threatened in many innings, Miley was able to escape damage with the A’s going 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

“Three starts ago I really felt like I was getting a better feel for where I wanted to be with my mechanics and I was trying to build off that,” Miley said. “[Wednesday] was one of those days, just a grind. They were hitting some pitches, finding some holes, getting on base. The first inning I didn’€™t really help, walking the first two guys, but after – I definitely am going in the right direction.”

“I think you look at the last three, there’€™s been more consistency, there’€™s been, I thought, better stuff in the bottom of the strike zone,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Even the game in Toronto in which he came away with a loss, I thought he pitched better than the line. Today that showed up to be the case.”

Gray picked up a tough loss as he went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits, while striking out nine. The A’s ace retired last 13 batters he faced. It was his first loss of the season, as he entered the game 4-0.

The Red Sox scored their first run of the game in the second inning. Hanley Ramirez led the inning off with a single and after two strikeouts, Ramirez advanced to second on a wild pitch and was driven in on a two-out single by Daniel Nava.

The visitors were able to add an insurance run in the eighth inning when Nava scored on an error with two outs by shortstop Marcus Semien, as his throw on a ground ball in the hole air-mailed first base. It was ruled a single with Nava scoring on the error.

It was the Red Sox’ first series win since April 29 at home against the Blue Jays. Overall they are 2-6 in their last eight series’ after starting the year 3-0-1.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Nava. His two-out RBI single in the second inning proved to be the difference. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.

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Read More: daniel nava, hanley ramirez, Sonny Gray, wade miley

Rusney Castillo leaves Triple-A Pawtucket game with ankle injury

05.13.15 at 5:23 pm ET
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Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

After just returning from a shoulder injury just over a week ago, Rusney Castillo had to leave Wednesday’s Triple-A Pawtucket game with an ankle injury, although at least for now, it doesn’t appear to be serious.

The outfielder left after tweaking his left ankle on an awkward slide during a steal of second base. Manager Kevin Boles said he was removed as a precaution and he left stadium without a limp or any kind of wrap or bandage on the ankle.

“After the history here and seeing that slide, it was pretty scary. We just want to make sure we err on the side of caution,” Boles told reporters. “He came in afterward and said he’s ready to go. We’ll see how he checks out.”

Castillo is hitting .271 in 12 games with Pawtucket this year. He’s still working his way back from a shoulder injury suffered the first weekend of the season. He hasn’t played three consecutive games this year, so he will need to get back to full strength before being considered as a possible call up.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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Deciphering why Ben Cherington is with team on road trip

05.13.15 at 5:19 pm ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

OAKLAND — When Ben Cherington showed up at O.co Coliseum Monday, all kind of theories regarding his presence started swirling, including that the Red Sox general manager was scouting A’s starter Scott Kazmir for a potential trade.

It is a rite of passage, after all, to raise some eyebrows when any decision-maker shows up somewhere other than his home park. (A notion solidified in the movie “Slap Shot” when Charlestown Chiefs GM Joe McGrath jumps aboard the team bus.)

But, as Cherington points out, the real reason for his presence isn’t nearly as intriguing as some would hope.

“You try to do it about once a month and I tend to take all the New York ones, because it feels like it’€™s the right thing to do,” he explained. “Personally I think it’€™s probably best the GM isn’€™t there all the time.”

As for the notion that trips like this one have a specific purpose, Cherington said, “I know a couple of people do [think that], but I never know why. It’€™s just part of the schedule.

“If something is going I need to be there for I’€™ll go, but 99 percent of the time it’€™s just what is scheduled. As GM, I don’€™t remember ever being with the team on the road where it just hasn’€™t been part of the schedule.”

So, why go at all?

The team almost always has a representative from the front office at each road series, with assistant GM Mike Hazen having joined the team in Toronto and scheduled to link up with them again in Seattle.

“It’€™s a little easier on the road to have conversations with staff and players because at home there’€™s just more going on,” Cherington said. “Everybody is in the same place on the road. It just depends on what’€™s going on. I’€™m trying to support the staff, talk through things and touch base with players.

“You can pretty much do this job from anywhere. You just need a laptop and a phone no matter where you are.”

Besides making the current trip to the West Coast, this time of year Cherington and other general managers) will have to hit the road a bit more than usual due to the June amateur draft.

But, as he explained, even the GM’s presence when watching potential draftees can be overstated.

“Somebody will make a deal of me being somewhere to see an amateur player. It’€™s almost never about seeing that player, but rather that’€™s the opportunity to go spend some time with your scouts and connect with them,” said Cherington, who will go out about 10 times a season to watch amateurs. “I’€™m not sitting in the draft room and saying, ‘€˜I saw this guy on May 13 and this is what he did.’€™ I’€™m just not doing that.”

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Justin Masterson likely headed to disabled list, ‘not real happy’ about the decision’

05.13.15 at 2:53 pm ET
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OAKLAND — It looks like the Red Sox‘ starting rotation will finally have a different look.

After Justin Masterson‘s second straight poor outing, John Farrell said it is likely the righty will be headed to the 15-day disabled list.

“We’€™re moving towards a likely DL for him,” the Red Sox manager said. “After he went through a full exam and workup here this morning, the medical staff, there’€™s not one specific area to the arm or shoulder that is a cause or reason why we’€™re seeing reduced velocity and reduced action. There’€™s some fatigue that’€™s involved. I think it’€™s important that we allow this to calm down. We’€™re going to need the test at a full speed at some point in the near future here, but Sunday is out as far as Masterson is concerned. We haven’€™t made a determination who that’€™s going to be on Sunday but by the time we open up tomorrow night in Seattle, that will all be resolved.”

It is probable that Steven Wright be taking the start Sunday, contingent on how he came through his 5 2/3-inning, 110-pitch relief appearance.

Masterson lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing six runs, Tuesday night against the A’s, necessitating Wright’s outing. That came after the starter’s previous outing in which he gave up four runs and seven walks in 4 1/3 frames.

The pitcher said prior to Wednesday’s series finale he was not pleased with the team’s

“I’m not real happy about it. I’m mad,” Masterson said. “Like I said [Tuesday night], I hold true — just the fact that I felt like we could make the adjustment and get back out there and really be fine. It didn’t happen. It comes a time with this team when we’re starting to pick it up, but it’s one of those where if we’re doing great, I probably get a little more leeway. The last two starts have been different than the first five. I can’t deny that fact. By all means, as I told [Farrell], I’m not real happy about the decision.”

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Buster Olney on MFB: Ben Cherington ‘going to have to make hard decisions’ soon

05.13.15 at 1:30 pm ET
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Buster Olney

Buster Olney

ESPN’s Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Wednesday to talk Red Sox and other baseball news, as well as offer his thoughts on Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Red Sox continue to plod along, a few percentage points away from last place in the American League East 1 1/2 months into the season. General manager Ben Cherington has come under fire, and it doesn’t help that the team has $17 million worth of outfielders in Rusney Castillo and Allen Craig playing in Pawtucket while the Sox offense struggles.

“I’m sure that based on what we know about how ownership has gotten involved in the conversion with Ben in the last week, I’m sure that that type of question has been asked,” Olney said. “I think probably what Ben has been doing is trying to maximize the value of all of his assets. In other words, he knew that in the winter if he traded Shane Victorino he was going to get pennies on the dollar. If you trade Allen Craig a week ago you’d get pennies on the dollar. So he kept everything in a holding pattern. And if the team was winning, then you could continue that. But I do think he is probably going to get smoked out a little bit in that strategy as long as the Red Sox continue to lag behind in the standings.

“At some point he’s going to have to make hard decisions about what to do with Victorino, about what to do with Allen Craig, about what to do with other parts of this team. The fact that there doesn’t appear to be a dominant team in the division does buy them perhaps a little bit more time.”

Justin Masterson, signed as a free agent in the offseason, had another rough outing Tuesday night, giving up six runs in just 2 1/3 innings in a 9-2 loss to the Athletics. Afterward, manager John Farrell suggested something is physically wrong with the right-hander.

“There’s no question that Masterson’s not right,” Olney said. “Whether it’s a physical issue or just an issue of performance, the Red Sox are going to have to answer that for themselves. But I can tell you — and I think I told you guys in spring training — when I talked with evaluators of other teams, they were a) surprised at the Red Sox’ commitment to Masterson, the signing, and b) they wondered if he can get the ball down. I was looking at it this morning, his ground ball ratio is at a career low right now. . . . When you throw from that angle, and your whole thing is being able to generate ground balls, if he’s not generating ground balls, he doesn’t have a lot of use to them — certainly not in a starting pitcher role.

“Let’s face it, with his ERA over six, with the team having the worst rotation ERA in baseball, with the ownership now involved and asking questions about what’s going on, you’ve got to believe they’re going to talk about either minor league options or maybe they’ll be one of the teams that’s aggressive in calling up Oakland and saying, ‘Hey, you know what, what’s it going to take to get Scott Kazmir?’ Because he presumably is going to be one of the first guys on the move in the trade market this summer.”

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Read More: ben cherington, buster olney, John Farrell, justin masterson

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Athletics matchups: Wade Miley vs. Sonny Gray

05.13.15 at 8:31 am ET
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Wade Miley

Wade Miley

Wade Miley will take the mound for the Red Sox on Wednesday to close out a three-game series in Oakland against Sonny Gray and the Athletics.

Miley has had a rough start to the 2015 season and finds himself last among Red Sox starters with a 6.91 ERA. He also holds a 1.53 WHIP and a .286 batting average against, both of which are much worse than his career averages. He has received a loss in each of his last three outings. The silver lining may be that the 28-year-old’s last two starts marked the only times that he went at least six innings this season.

Miley’s last outing resulted in a 7-0 Red Sox loss in Toronto. He went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out eight Blue Jays. Two of Toronto’s four tallies against the lefty came on solo home runs, one by Josh Donaldson in the first inning and one by Chris Colabello in the second. After that, Miley settled down and did not allow another run until the sixth inning, when he gave up two.

When asked about his outing after the game, Miley told reporters that it was “not very good.”

“The way we’re going right now, offensively, two runs seems like a big gap, to be honest with you,” manager John Farrell added.

The loss dropped Miley’s record to 1-4. He has not faced the A’s in his career.

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