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Andrew Benintendi may be ready for return during next homestand

09.07.16 at 8:05 pm ET
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Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

SAN DIEGO — Andrew Benintendi is getting close.

The rookie outfielder, who has been sidelined with a left knee sprain since Aug. 24, continues to progress ahead of schedule, as was evident by his work prior to Wednesday night’s game. Using his new knee brace, Benintendi has picked it up to a pace where a return to the big leagues is now in sight.

“A good work day today,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “The work in the outfield, the change of direction, the increase in running, the intensity continues to climb, he’ll go through his normal BP here today. And I would suspect that once we get to Toronto and we get another work day under our belt, we may be at the point where if there’s at-bats to be had somewhere, that’s a possibility if a team is still in playoff activity. He’s responded very well to the work so far.”

Ideally, the Red Sox would like to get those minor league at-bats with either Single-A Salem or Lowell. But there are no certainties in using those organizations to get the lefty hitter at-bats.

But, no matter how he continues the rehab process, Benintendi appears to be on target for a return to the lineup before the next road trip comes around.

“Yeah, based on what’s transpired over the last three, four days, we would anticipate that he would be available at some point when we get off the road,” said Farrell, whose team starts a seven-game homestand Monday against the Baltimore and the Yankees.

In 21 games before his injury, Benintendi was hitting .324 with an .850 OPS.

John Farrell on D&H: Clay Buchholz’s resurgence ‘couldn’t come at a better time’

09.07.16 at 3:57 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Red Sox manager John Farrell made his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton on Wednesday to discuss the team — Clay Buchholz and Yoan Moncada in particular. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Buchholz exited to a standing ovation from a San Diego crowd littered with Red Sox fans on Tuesday night after allowing one run on eight hits with six strikeouts and a walk over 6 2/3 innings. Since slowly reentering the rotation, Buchholz has been one of the Red Sox’ most reliable starters.

“It’s not an easy task to go back and forth, but I think what it speaks to is … Clay’s willingness to do what’s asked,” Farrell said. “And let’s face it, early on he makes 13 starts or thereabouts and the performance kind of put him in the bullpen. But to his credit, he’s made some subtle adjustments. I think pitching out of the stretch exclusively has helped with his consistency. But given where we are right now this time of year he’s pitching at his best this season and it couldn’t come at a better time.”

Suffice to say that the past handful of seasons have been forgettable at times for 32-year-old, but just when all hope seemingly had been lost, Buchholz found his way back into the Red Sox’ good graces.

“He’s never pitched or consistently pitched over 200 innings as you would expect of a top of a top of the rotation guy,” Farrell said. “I can tell you this, he give you what you have, or he gives you what he has. So when he’s been healthy, when he’s performed as he’s doing now and he’s got the ability to spin the baseball and manipulate multiple types of pitches. And because there’s a creative side in there, and I think it was on display again last night, where a hitter can never really sit in one count on one particular pitch.

“So that creativeness, the touch and feel that he has to execute different types of pitches, there are large stretches of individual seasons where he goes out and pitches like he is. And that is like a top of the rotation type of guy. Sure we’d all love it to be 200, 220 innings every single year. But you know what? I think we’re all glad we didn’t part ways at some point earlier in the season.”

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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Padres matchups: David Price vs. Jarred Cosart

09.07.16 at 8:24 am ET
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The Red Sox wrap-up their three-game series with the Padres on Wednesday night by sending David Price to the mound to face right-hander Jarred Cosart.

Price is 14-8 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.217 WHIP in 29 starts. After being inconsistent for most of the season, Price has gotten hot lately. He is undefeated in his last five starts, during which time he has posted a 2.06 ERA. In each of his last four starts he has allowed two runs or fewer. In the southpaw’s last outing on Friday, he pitched seven innings, allowing two runs, four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in Boston’s 16-2 rout of the A’s.

“He was outstanding,” manager John Farrell said of Price (via MLB.com). “He set the tone for us here tonight. He was strong; he had some good swing-and-miss with some fastballs. By setting the tone, he put up three zeros and allowed us to get on track offensively.”

Price has never faced the Padres. In interleague play this year, he is 3-2 with 3.25 ERA and a 1.139 WHIP in five starts. The 31-year-old’s last start against the National League was Aug. 12 against the Diamondbacks. Price pitched eight innings, allowing three runs, 10 hits (two home runs) and one walk with eight strikeouts.

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Closing Time: Clay Buchholz cements spot in starting rotation with win over Padres

09.07.16 at 4:31 am ET
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Clay Buchholz received a hearty round of applause after his start Tuesday night. (Jake Roth/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz received a hearty round of applause after his start Tuesday night. (Jake Roth/USA Today Sports)

SAN DIEGO — It took until Sept. 6 at Petco Park for Clay Buchholz to get the crowd reaction he had been banking on since getting his first start exactly five months before.

It was a boisterous standing ovation from the sea of red making up a good chunk of the 30,000 Southern California fans, celebrating Buchholz’s 6 2/3-inning outing against the Padres.

“Yeah, I hadn’t had one of those in a while,” Buchholz said of the applause. “It’s like I’ve said — good times, bad times. I still feel like I can pitch and help this team out. Regardless of the role, it’s a part of the game, and whenever my name is called, I try to go out there and give the team the best chance I can to win. I’m feeling good right now.”

He has officially made it back.

With no further clarification in regards to Steven Wright’s recovery, and just 24 games left in the regular season, Buchholz is a virtual lock to remain in the starting rotation the rest of the way. No more bullpen. No more bouncing back and forth. He has not only joined what has been the American League’s best starting rotation for the last month, but cemented himself as an integral part of the group.

Coming into Tuesday, Buchholz had already re-established his value both in the bullpen and when getting a crack at starting. Since July 27, the righty has totaled a 2.20 ERA. As a starter during that stretch he has a 2.31 ERA in four outings.

The latest might have been his best of the year, weaving in and out of a Padres lineup that boasted seven left-handed hitters using an equally effective changeup, curveball, cutter and mid-90’s fastball. When the 87-pitch evening was done, he had given up just one run while striking out six and not walking a batter.

“Very proud of him,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell, whose team drew even with Toronto for first-place in the American League East with the win. “Proud of the resiliency that he has shown. And he’s not stopped working. He could have … when you move to the bullpen, you can take it one of two ways. For him after maybe going through the news the first time, he’s taking it in the right way and has worked to get better. You know what, the results are showing.”

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After second opinion, Steven Wright optimistic but still uncertain about return

09.07.16 at 2:53 am ET
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Steven Wright is still uncertain if he will pitch again this season. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Steven Wright still is uncertain if he will pitch again this season. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

SAN DIEGO — The trip to Los Angeles Tuesday for the second opinion on his ailing right shoulder was just what the doctor ordered for Steven Wright.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache agreed with the findings of Red Sox team doctor Dr. Peter Asnis when it came to Wright’s shoulder, reaffirming to the pitcher that there was no structural damage despite continued discomfort.

“I didn’t want them to find anything different from what they already found. They were just making sure there’s nothing more there,” Wright said. “[Dr. ElAttrache] was super thorough. We were there for two hours. He answered all of our questions and concerns and basically everything he said was the same thing that Dr. Asnis said. So that’s encouraging for sure.

“It’s definitely more peace of mind more than anything because having two doctors explain to you the same exact thing from looking at the same MRI, it’s definitely encouraging. So now it’s just a matter of tolerating the pain and taking it day by day and not getting too far ahead of ourselves. I’m just looking forward to that.”

Now comes the obvious next question: Does Wright expect to pitch again this season?

“I’m just trying to take it day by day and working on getting all the strength back,” he said. “If it happens, great. If not, it’s one of those things I’m not going to say yes and know that I’m going to pitch because I don’t know. It’s day by day. Hopefully, but you never know.”

Wright still wasn’t planning on getting any kind of cortisone shot, although he also didn’t know of any drastic from what he had been doing during the recovery process.

After coming off the 15-day disabled list, the knuckleballer continued to have tightness in his shoulder throughout his last two starts, with the issue failing to improve with time.

“People heal different,” Wright said. “It’s one of those things where bursitis is definitely in there and he didn’t really know. As long as though there is no structural damage and just inflammation, sometimes it takes a little more time than others.”

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Yoan Moncada to get Wednesday off after striking out 7 straight times

09.07.16 at 2:36 am ET
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Yoan Moncada's first week in the big leagues has been rough. (Jake Roth/USA Today Sports)

Yoan Moncada’s first week in the big leagues has been rough. (Jake Roth/USA Today Sports)

SAN DIEGO — It’s time for the Red Sox to call an audible when it comes to the integration of Yoan Moncada into the big leagues.

After the third baseman struck four more times Tuesday night, making it seven straight at-bats he has fanned, Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed that the original plan to play Moncada in all three games against the Padres has been altered. The rookie will sit the series finale out, with Travis Shaw likely to get the start against San Diego righty Jarred Cosart.

“He’s getting pitched to,” said Farrell after his team’s 5-1 win. “He’s seeing some things here for the first time. Three-two breaking balls for strikes. Backdoor breaking balls from left-handers that I’m sure in Portland and in the Eastern League, he’s not going to see all that often. Not uncommon that some of these firsts are going to be challenges for him. These are growing opportunities for him.”

“These won’t be my first strikeouts and they won’t be my last,” said Moncada through translator Daveson Perez. “Just got to keep moving forward and know that the players that strike out are players that are actually playing in the game. Just take each game individually and I’ll move forward from there.”

After the game, Moncada received words from encouragement from various corners of the Red Sox’ clubhouse, including president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and designated hitter David Ortiz.

“[Dombrowski] just told me to keep my head up and keep working hard because the big leagues are tough for someone who’s knew this is something that happens,” Moncada said.

As for Ortiz, the infielder said, “He just told me that first of all, that happened to him when he first broke into the league, he struck out four times in one game. And that the game’s not easy, it’s a process and to just stay focused on getting better and playing my game.”

During Monday’s game, only three of the 17 pitches Moncada saw were fastballs. Tuesday, there were a few more fastballs (11 of the 20 pitches he saw), but the results weren’t any different. The switch-hitter was left guessing, watching seven strikes while swinging and missing three times.

“They’ve thrown a lot of them and it’s been throwing me off a little bit but just have got to work on seeing them better and making contact,” said Moncada of the offspeed pitches.

“It’s probably a day to kind of take some things in,” Farrell said. “Give him a little bit of a breather and begin to rebuild and regroup a little bit.”

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Yoan Moncada explains why it took so long to show off throwing arm

09.06.16 at 1:29 pm ET
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SAN DIEGO — There was a lot about Yoan Moncada that people were anxious to witness.

Hitting from each side of the plate. Speed on the basepaths. Ability to field his new position.

But after four games, there has been one aspect of the third baseman’s game that stands out: his throwing arm.

So, now that we have seen what appears to be a Manny Machado-esque arm, the question has to be — Why was a player with this kind of ability to throw a baseball playing second base? With the help of translator Daveson Perez, Moncada explained.

“The only reason I was at second base was because the Cuban team needed me to be there,” he said. “But now that I’m at third I get the chance to show the arm that I’ve always had.

“I’ve always had a good throwing arm, it just so happened they moved me to second base so I was throwing a lot softer. But the arm has always been there.”

Moncada, who did pitch as an 11 year old, seems genuinely relieved to play a position where his throwing arm can be highlighted.

“I’ve always liked third base and now that I’m there I get a chance to showcase the arm that I’ve always had,” he said. “Third base has always been a position I’ve enjoyed. Now is a chance to show what I’ve got.”

“Previous, you’re always seeing it from a different arm angle, a different arm slot, because of the position of second base,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Seeing it across the field, seeing it carry and the power to the throw, he’s explosive. And it plays out in a number of different ways, including his arm strength.”

David Ortiz on Donald Trump’s comments about Latino immigrants: ‘When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face’

09.06.16 at 11:48 am ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

Donald Trump might count Tom Brady among his friends, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be invited to David Ortiz’s retirement party.

In an interview conducted in Spanish with USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz, the Red Sox slugger — who normally avoids getting involved in politics — said Trump’s comments about immigrants hit a nerve with the Dominican Republic native.

Trump has said he wants to build a wall along the Mexican border to stop people from entering the United States illegally, and his famous remark that Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the U.S. “didn’t sit well” with Ortiz.

“When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face,” Ortiz said. “I walk around sometimes, and I see Mexican people trying to earn a living in an honest way. And to hear somebody make those kinds of comments, it hits you. I think as Latin people we deserve better. Things have gotten much better in that regard. … As Latin people we deserve respect, no matter where you’re from. And especially our Mexican brothers, who come here willing to do all the dirty work.

“Latin people here in the United States are the spark plug of the country’s economy. Whoever opposes that is going to lose. And not just Latin people but immigrants. I’m talking about people who come from Africa, from Asia, other places. All those people come here with one goal, to realize the American dream, and you have to include them in our group.”

On a more positive note, Ortiz said he is hoping to leave a legacy as a star who was always willing to help younger players.

“That matters to me more than any home runs I’ve hit. It may inspire some of the young players coming up to try to emulate the things I’ve done right,” Ortiz said, adding: “If [my sons] ever get up here [to the majors], I want people to say to them, ‘I knew your dad, and he was a guy with huge power. But there was something better about him. He was a good person, a good guy.’ That’s what I care about the most.”

Added Ortiz: “I like doing that. It’s my nature. When I see young guys put some advice you gave them into work and they’re doing well, it makes me feel like I accomplished something.”

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Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: PawSox LHP Henry Owens finishes with strong effort, ‘turned a corner’ in season’s final month

09.06.16 at 8:55 am ET
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Here’s a look a the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (74-68): W, 4-2, vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays)

— Left-hander Henry Owens wrapped his strong final month in Triple-A with another impressive outing, pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts as the PawSox ended the season with a win.

“This year, there’s been a lot of adjustments mechanically and I thought I turned a corner in my last four or five starts here,” Owens said (via MiLB.com). “I’ve been more consistent with my delivery and I just want to keep working every day and develop that muscle memory and stay within the strike zone.”

Owens, who struggled in his four starts in Boston this year, went 4-2 with a 1.73 ERA in his final six starts with the PawSox, and he finished the year at 10-7 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 24 starts.

“He had a couple of hiccups but he was able to settle in and give us some length today,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com). The best is yet to come with him, I believe that.”

Owens is slated to join the major league team later this week and serve as an emergency starter.

— Kyle Martin pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and no runs in recording his sixth save in six chances. The 25-year-old went 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 36 appearances this season.

— Right fielder Bryce Brentz had the game’s big hit, a three-run home run in the first inning. Shortstop Jose Vinicio was the only PawSox batter with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a double.

— Designated hitter Allen Craig went 1-for-2 with a walk and a triple, finishing his injury-shortened Triple-A season at .173/.250/.280 in 22 games. Center fielder Rusney Castillo was 1-for-4 and finished with a line of .263/.309/.354 with two home runs and 34 RBIs in 103 Triple-A games.

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Padres matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Paul Clemens

09.06.16 at 8:35 am ET
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The Red Sox will send Clay Buchholz to the mound to face Paul Clemens on Tuesday night in the middle game of Red Sox-Padres three-game series in San Diego.

Buchholz is 5-10 with a 5.20 ERA and a 1.373 WHIP in 32 games (16 starts). The right-hander will be getting the start in place of Steven Wright, who remains out with a right shoulder injury.

Buchholz threw a bullpen session Sunday in Oakland, as he has not pitched in a game since last Tuesday. In one inning of work against the Rays, he allowed a go-ahead home run to Evan Longoria while recording three ground outs.

The 32-year-old has made three starts in place of Wright, compiling a 2.70 ERA in those games. The last start Buchholz made was on Aug. 23 against the Rays. In 6 1/3 innings he gave up one run, five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts as Boston took a 2-1 decision.

“That’s probably as good a fastball as he’s had in quite some time,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said (via MLB.com). “He got down and underneath some left-handers’ swings. He was never really challenged with a long pitch count in a given inning. It was an outstanding job on his part.”

Buchholz has never faced the Padres in his 10-year career.

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