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Jacoby Ellsbury fires back at Edward Mujica, Red Sox after HBP: ‘I didn’t even feel it. … He’s just lucky I didn’t steal 2 bases off him’

05.04.15 at 1:30 am ET
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Jacoby Ellsbury stares out at Edward Mujica after getting drilled Sunday night in the 8th inning. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jacoby Ellsbury stares out at Edward Mujica after getting drilled Sunday night in the eighth inning. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t charge the mound or incite a fight after getting hit on the right butt cheek in apparent retaliation for the drilling of Hanley Ramirez in the sixth inning of Sunday night’s 8-5 Yankees’ win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Ellsbury, instead, chose a postgame jab session with reporters to fire back at Ramirez, Edward Mujica and the Red Sox.

“We’re definitely [not] trying to throw at Hanley,” Ellsbury said of the two-out beaning of Ramirez on the left hip in the sixth, with the Yankees leading 8-1. “I don’t know why he got all riled up in the first place.”

Ramirez dropped his bat and stared at Yankee starter Adam Warren before slowly taking his base. Mujica would exact a measure of revenge in the top of the eighth, drilling Ellsbury in the backside, after coming up and in on two of the three pitches.

“You throw one up and in and then 3-0, you come at me,” Ellsbury said. “I don’t really care what they’re trying to do over there but [just what] we’re trying to do, so I just took my base and let them know I didn’t appreciate it.

“I don’t need to get thrown out. I don’t need to miss any games. I realize my importance to my team. It didn’t hurt anyway. If it hurt … I didn’t even feel it. He’s just lucky I didn’t steal two bases off him.”

Said Yankees manager Joe Girardi: “I thought it was a little bit fishy. But only Mujica knows for sure.”

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, Edward Mujica, hanley ramirez, Jacoby Ellsbury

David Ortiz: ‘I think our pitching will be fine’

05.04.15 at 1:06 am ET
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The Red Sox were swept at home by the Yankees in a series lasting three games or more for the first time since August of 2006. The team is in a bit of a funk, losing 10 of their last 15 games to fall under .500 for the first time all season.

The biggest issue is the pitching, specifically the starting rotation. The starters had a collective ERA of 5.52 going into play Sunday, the worst in baseball, and got even worse with Joe Kelly allowing five runs in just 4 2/3 innings.

Slugger David Ortiz isn’t worried.

“I think our pitching will be fine,” Ortiz said. “It’s just a matter of time. We have a lot of young talented pitchers and for a lot of them this is a new division. They are pitching against guys that they probably haven’t seen before. I’m pretty sure they will make adjustments at some point.”

Despite the struggles on the mound, the Red Sox’ offense has been able to keep them in many games. Through the first 25 games the team is averaging 4.88 runs a game. Their grit was on display Sunday night when they rallied from a 8-0 deficit with a five-run sixth inning, and then loaded the bases in the ninth, before ultimately falling 8-5.

“Yeah. I mean, you never check out until the game is over,” said Ortiz. “We’ve always been able to do that and that’s the game. You have to be able to fight through it all the way until the end of the game.”

With the team now four games behind the Yankees for first place in the AL East and in fourth place overall, Ortiz said the team just needs to get back to how they were playing to open the year.

“We got to back to start playing better,” he said. “That’s the only way you can bounce back and go back to the old days just like the beginning of the season.”

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Closing Time: Red Sox comeback bid from 8-0 deficit falls short as Yankees complete weekend sweep

05.04.15 at 12:00 am ET
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The Yankees completed their first sweep of three or more games at Fenway Park since 2006 with their win over the Red Sox (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Yankees completed their first sweep of three or more games at Fenway Park since 2006 with their win over the Red Sox (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With how powerful the Red Sox‘ offense is, they rarely are out of any given game, but when they have to make up an 8-run difference, that’s asking too much.

Red Sox starter Joe Kelly couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning as he allowed five runs before being removed with two outs in the fifth, as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 8-5 Sunday night.

The Yankees swept the weekend series — it was their first series sweep of three or more games at Fenway Park since August 21, 2006.

The right-hander went 4 2/3 innings allowing five runs on nine hits, while not walking a batter and striking out three. It was the second time over his five starts where he didn’t make it out of the fifth inning, and now four out of the five Red Sox starters can say the same.

Tonight, once again Joe [Kelly] had very good stuff,” manager John Farrell said. “They fought off a number of pitches that were quality pitches within the strike zone. Anytime he made a mistake on the plate he paid for it with the two-run homer, two-run double. Once he got his curveball into the mix there were some seemingly easier innings for him and slowed them down quite a bit. But through the first three innings he had a hard time getting any secondary pitches over for strikes to get a hitter, their timing a little disrupted.”

Trailing 8-0, the Red Sox scored five times in the sixth inning to make it interesting, capped by a three-run home run by Mike Napoli. The homer cut the deficit to three at 8-5, and snapped a 1-for-11 slump, but that was the closest the Red Sox could get, although they did load the bases against Andrew Miller in the ninth.

The Red Sox couldn’t get much going off Yankees starter Adam Warren until the five-run fifth. Warren finished going 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits. It was his third straight going 5 2/3 inning, the longest he’s gone in a start in his career.

“But I felt we showed tremendous fight, tremendous comeback,” Farrell said. “We scored five in the bottom of the inning after we’re down 8-0, right down to the final swing of the night. Load the bases against Miller and we kept battling back all the way through. We didn’t give any at-bats away. There’s still a strong competitive spirit in that room.”

Warnings were issued to both benches in the top of the eighth after Edward Mujica hit Jacoby Ellsbury with a pitch. This comes after Hanley Ramirez was hit in the top of the sixth. Ramirez took exception, walking slowly to first base with home plate umpire Jeff Nelson and firing his bat against the wall.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Ellsbury. The former Red Sox reached base six times as he went 4-for-4 with a walk and was hit by a pitch, while scoring two runs. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:

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Read More: Adam Warren, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Joe Kelly

Before Alex Rodriguez could reach big leagues, he needed to unseat Torey Lovullo

05.03.15 at 7:20 pm ET
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Torey Lovullo

Torey Lovullo

Torey Lovullo owns a very tiny footnote in the agate type of history ‘€“ when Alex Rodriguez debuted at Fenway Park with the Mariners in 1994, Lovullo was the player jettisoned to make room for him on the roster.

Just call it Six Degrees of Torey.

“It’s a little bit of useless information: I was the guy sent down for A-Rod to start his career,” the Red Sox bench coach said before the team hosted Rodriguez and the Yankees on Sunday night.

Lovullo was coming off the best season of his career with the Angels in 1993 (.251-6-30) when California waived him at the end of spring training. The Mariners signed the utilityman on April 1 and he remained in the big leagues until July 8, when manager Lou Piniella summoned Lovullo to his hotel room in Boston to break the news that he’d be heading to Triple A Calgary.

“I was obviously a guy that was on a different career path than A-Rod at the time,” Lovullo said. “I was in the big leagues and the young kid was doing well. I think he came up from Double A to the big leagues to start his career and it worked out great until the strike.”

Because Lovullo spent that spring with the Angels, he had never seen A-Rod in person, but the 18-year-old’s reputation preceeded him.

“He was a great prospect,” Lovullo said. “Nothing but good things were in his future and it was time to start his clock. I was very well aware of who he was. It was going to be a short time before he got to the big leagues. It came at my expense, unfortunately.”

Their paths would cross once more later that season. With the strike looming, the Mariners recalled Lovullo and sent Rodriguez to Triple A, where he could continue to develop. Two years later, he was an All-Star and batting champ at age 21.

“The major league side of things in 1994 went on strike, the minor league side was still playing, business as usual,” Lovullo said. “In order for him to keep playing, they once again flip-flopped us and put me in the big leagues to go on strike and put him in the minor leagues to keep playing.”

Nearly 20 years later, with Rodriguez closing in on his 40th birthday and looking for career home run No. 661 and sole possession of fourth place on the all-time list, the two are once again together in Boston.

“I don’t think he even knows my name, to tell you the truth,” Lovullo said. “Obviously it worked out pretty well for him, right?”

Red Sox pregame notes: Luis Jimenez likely added to roster Monday, Shane Victorino’s return pushed back

05.03.15 at 6:17 pm ET
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After the Red Sox claimed infielder Luis Jimenez off waivers on Sunday, it’s likely the former Milwaukee Brewer gets added to the 25-man roster on Monday.

With Jimenez being added, the team would be able to get back to the standard 13 position players, with the corresponding move likely a pitcher.

“Right-handed utility guy that we like the defense particularly at third if that comes into play,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s also played some second, he’s played some first. Feel like he can play shortstop in a short look. it gives us some more flexibility with Brock [Holt] and Daniel Nava and hopefully the chance to get back to 13 position players.”

Jimenez appeared in 15 games for Milwaukee this season, going 1-for-15 with a run scored and a walk.  Both of his starts came at third base (seven total games) and he also appeared defensively at second base once. He’€™s coming off a career year at Class AAA Salt Lake in 2014, hitting .286 with 21 home runs and 76 runs batted in.

Farrell added Pawtucket utility infielder Jeff Bianchi is coming off an injury, so the need for another utility infielder in the system was there.

With Jimenez added, Farrell noted one of the benefits is it gives Holt more opportunity in the outfield, not having to worry about backing up any of the infield positions.

“It gives us that flexibility, yes,” he said. “I can’t say that that’s the definite approach going forward, but at least it provides the opportunity or the option available.”

Shane Victorino (hamstring) is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday in Toronto, but that won’t happen. The team was never really considering that an option with the new turf and the reported affects of playing there.

He will likely rehab next weekend in Portland — Friday and Saturday for sure, with the possibility of Sunday as well.

“With the schedule both Pawtucket and Portland on the road, we’re probably going to push Vic’s live game at-bats back a little bit later in the week, but it will also allow us to ramp up the intensity and the volume over the next couple of days here at Fenway,” Farrell said. “There’s been a lot of discussion, what would be best, getting three at-bats in the DH role or really ramp up the volume. And we’re going to keep him here. It still allows us to look at the second leg of the road trip as an activation.

“We didn’t really have any thoughts of activating Vic in Toronto because of the turf and the reports of what’s affecting players’ legs and low back with the new turf up there. So we didn’t want to risk that. So that kind of points more toward Oakland provided there are no setbacks.”

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Red Sox lineup: Blake Swihart makes 2nd straight start, Daniel Nava in RF in series finale vs. Yankees

05.03.15 at 4:17 pm ET
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Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

After making his major league debut Saturday, Blake Swihart is back behind the plate again Sunday night against the Yankees. The Red Sox will be looking to avoid a three-game sweep.

Daniel Nava will start for the first time this weekend in right field against Yankees right-hander Adam Warren, who is 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA.

Otherwise it’s a standard lineup for the Red Sox, who will send Joe Kelly to the mound.

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Mike Napoli, 1B
7. Daniel Nava, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Blake Swihart, C
Joe Kelly, RHP

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Red Sox claim infielder Luis Jimenez off waivers, Ryan Hanigan transferred to 60-day DL

05.03.15 at 2:40 pm ET
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On Sunday the Red Sox claimed infielder Luis Jimenez after the 27-year-old was designated for assignment by the Brewers on Saturday. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox transferred catcher Ryan Hanigan to the 60-day disabled list after having surgery Saturday on his fractured finger.

On Saturday, manager John Farrell indicated it was unlikely Hanigan would be able to return prior to the All-Star break.

Jimenez appeared in 15 games for Milwaukee this season, going 1-for-15 with a run scored and a walk.  Both of his starts came at third base (seven total games) and he also appeared defensively at second base once.

He’s been in the league for three seasons, his first two coming with the Angels. Lifetime, over 67 games, he’s a .218/.255/.269 hitter. He’s coming off a career year at Class AAA Salt Lake in 2014, hitting .286 with 21 home runs and 76 runs batted in. He does not have any options remaining.

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Sunday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Adam Warren

05.03.15 at 10:29 am ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

The Red Sox close out their series with the Yankees with Joe Kelly on the mound against Adam Warren on Sunday night at Fenway Park.

In a rotation plagued by inconsistency, Kelly (1-0) is no exception. However, he arguably has been the most effective of the five starters. His lone win came in his first start against the Yankees. Since then, however, Kelly’s production has dipped, as he has allowed five runs in each of his last two starts. The 26-year-old has a 4.94 ERA on the season and leads Red Sox starters with a 1.10 WHIP, a .207 batting average against, and seven strikeouts per start.

In his last outing, Kelly went six innings against the Blue Jays, giving up five runs on five hits and three walks. Toronto jumped on him early, with three runs in the first inning. Kelly allowed a run in the third on a home run to Devon Travis and one run in the fourth. The good news in the start was the 10 strikeouts that he tallied, which was his season high. He was also able to keep the ball on the ground more often than in previous starts, with seven balls in play being hit on the ground and just five in the air.

“The positive is you’re not going to find better arm strength, better velocity,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “At times he may over throw occasionally and mis-locate such as the 0-2 pitch to [Devon] Travis [home run]. It’s electric stuff and as he begins to harness it and understand when he’s most effective. And that is when he’s using his secondary pitches as well, he’s got big-time stuff.”

In three career starts against the Yankees, Kelly is 3-0 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. He has struck out 17 while walking eight in 21 innings of work.

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Read More: Adam Warren, Joe Kelly, Red Sox,

Despite loss, Wade Miley’s performance ‘something good to build off of’

05.02.15 at 5:52 pm ET
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Wade Miley's start Sunday was the third straight quality start for a Red Sox starting pitcher. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Wade Miley’s start Sunday was the third straight quality start for a Red Sox starting pitcher. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Although the Red Sox fell to the Yankees 4-2 Saturday afternoon, it was another sign the Red Sox’ rotation may be turning a corner.

Wade Miley, who entered with a 8.62 ERA, went seven innings and allowed three runs, which gave the Red Sox their third start quality start — and more importantly for him, he went the longest he’s gone in a game this season. In two of his four starts prior to Saturday he went just 2 1/3 innings.

“Obviously the last couple outings haven’t been the best, but I wanted to get deep in the game and give them a chance,” Miley said. “I was able to get through the seventh. Something good to build off of, for sure.”

Miley went seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, not walking a matter and striking out three. He retired the final seven batters he faced.

It could have been an even better start for the left-hander, as he almost escaped the fifth inning without any damage. With runners on second and third with two outs, Miley had two strikes on Yankees No. 2 hitter Brett Gardner, but the left-hander fought a pitch off and lined it into shallow left field for a two-RBI single, which held up as the difference in the game, as the hit gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead at the time.

“It’s a big situation there — second and third, two outs. It was a pitch I think I had a 3-2 count and if I could do it all over again maybe stay hard in or get the slider off the plate a little bit,” Miley said. “He capitalized on it, that’s it.”

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Ryan Hanigan has surgery on fractured finger, out until at least All-Star break

05.02.15 at 5:03 pm ET
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Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan

The Red Sox will be without catcher Ryan Hanigan for quite some time.

After fracturing his finger Friday night, the catcher had surgery Saturday and isn’t expected to return until at least after the All-Star break.

“He had surgery today,” manager John Farrell said. “There were some pins inserted. It’s going to be a lengthy recovery time. I wouldn’t anticipate him back before the All-Star break.”

With Blake Swihart making his major league debut Saturday, the team has he and Sandy Leon as the only catchers. Farrell doesn’t know how the exact split of time will go.

“I don’€™€™t have an exact split on it,”€ Farrell said before the game. “Blake is a darn good prospect. And yet, he’€™€™s going to get a lot of exposure. We’€™€™ll ease him in and out and divide the time as we feel appropriate. The most important thing is he just comes up and gets his feet on the ground and learns the guys on the mound starting today.”

Swihart went 1-for-3 with a run and a walk in his major league debut.

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