|08.17.14 at 4:46 pm ET|
The Red Sox have found just about every way possible to lose this season. But the way they fell Sunday is as frustrating for a team as it gets.
The Sox took an ugly 8-1 loss to the Astros Sunday thanks to a six-run second inning highlighted by a pair of inexcusable fielding gaffes.
Yoenis Cespedes made the first one with two on and no outs. The outfielder failed to read a catchable Carlos Corporan fly ball to left field that instead sailed a couple feet over his head and hit the bottom of the Wall. That gave the Astros a bases loaded situation that resulted in a pair of runs.
Later in the inning, with two on and one out, Xander Bogaerts had seemingly gotten starter Joe Kelly out of the inning with limited damage by turning an inning-ending double play on a routine ground ball to short. However, the replay showed the ball left Bogaerts’ hands on the throw to first a half-step before he stepped on the bag, which kept the inning alive.
It proved to be a major setback for Kelly, who soon after gave up a grand slam to Jose Altuve and had his worst outing in a Red Sox uniform. Kelly allowed seven runs on seven hits in four innings for his first loss with the Red Sox. He walked six, struck out three and threw just 49 of his 91 pitches for strikes.
The loss drops the Sox to 56-67 for the season.
|08.17.14 at 2:48 pm ET|
A brief look at Saturday’s action in the Red Sox farm system:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-4 LOSS VS. SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)
– Feats of Mookie: Getting primed for center field. Mookie Betts went 0-for-4 but walked and stole a base (his 11th in 15 attempts in Triple-A). He also once again started in center, where he’s made nine of his 10 starts — the other came at DH — after being sent down to Triple-A following a week-long callup in early August. The everyday role in center reflects both upon the fact that the Sox have more crowding in Triple-A in the corner outfield spots with Bryce Brentz back in Pawtucket, but more significantly, it underscores the notion that the Red Sox see Betts’ likeliest path to the big leagues with them as that of an everyday center fielder, particularly in light of the struggles of Jackie Bradley Jr.
– At the time of his first big league callup on Memorial Day weekend, Alex Hassan was hitting .217/.318/.303. In 56 games since that first exposure to the big leagues, he’s hitting .328/.414/.529 following a 3-for-5 performance on Saturday that included his seventh homer and 26th extra-base hit in that stretch, boosting the 26-year-old’s overall line to .281/.373/.433.
– Catcher Blake Swihart went 2-for-4 and, for the first time in his nine Triple-A contests, walked. He also stole a base. The 22-year-old is hitting .297/.316/.486 with four extra-base hits, one walk and 10 strikeouts with the PawSox.
– Derrik Gibson continues to perform like someone who now has a major league future. The second baseman/center fielder went 2-for-4 with a walk on Saturday. He’s hitting .313/.352/.521 with five extra-base hits, three walks, eight strikeouts and two steals in 13 Triple-A games. He’s a good runner who can play multiple positions and who, despite limited power, can spray the ball around the field, particularly against lefties. In short, after seemingly stalling out in Double-A in 2012 and 2013, Gibson has reasserted himself as a player who has performed his way into a potential big league role at the age of 24, long after he’d disappeared from the Red Sox‘ top prospect lists. Read the rest of this entry »
|08.17.14 at 12:22 pm ET|
The Red Sox will be without their customary right side of the infield for the final of their four-game series against the Astros, as Dustin Pedroia (flu-like symptoms) and Mike Napoli (scheduled day off) will both sit against the Astros and right-hander Collin McHugh. Brock Holt will play second, while Kelly Johnson will play first.
RED SOX LINEUP
Brock Holt, 2B
Daniel Nava, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Kelly Johnson, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Dan Butler, C
Joe Kelly, SP
|08.17.14 at 11:55 am ET|
The second baseman has a reputation of playing through pain and soreness, one he’s maintained throughout this season. Pedroia has played in 119 of the Sox’ first 122 games in 2014, and was in the lineup Saturday despite leaving Friday’s game early after fouling a ball off his foot.
Sunday will be one of those rare occasions where Pedroia can’t go.
“He felt it during the game last night, it worsened to the point where he can’t go at all today,” Farrell said of Pedroia’s condition.
Farrell said Pedroia showed up to the ballpark Sunday and was given antibiotics by team doctors.
“Hopefully this is a short-lived situation,” he said.
Pedroia’s presence in the lineup will be missed Sunday. The second baseman has five hits, two RBIs and four runs scored in the first three games of the series against the Astros, which concludes Sunday afternoon.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
– The Red Sox called up pitcher Steven Wright from Triple-A Pawtucket and designated outfielder Corey Brown for assignment, according to Farrell. Read the rest of this entry »
|08.17.14 at 10:10 am ET|
David Ortiz, however, is a rare exception. And he verified that with another landmark night on Saturday.
The slugger launched home runs No. 400 and 401 in a Red Sox uniform in a six RBI showcase against the Astros, becoming just the third player in club history to reach that mark.
The other two players to reach that milestone? Williams (521 home runs) and Yastrzemski (452).
“It’s an honor to be up there mentioned with those legends,” Ortiz said after his 3-for-5 night that led the Sox to a 10-7 win. “You’re not expecting to be mentioned with those guys.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said what’s most impressive about Ortiz’s accomplishment is the pace in which he did it. Ortiz is in the midst of his 12th season with the Sox and reached the 400 home run mark in the third inning of career game No. 1,630.
Williams reached that plateau in the middle of his 15th season. Yastrzemski in his 19th.
“When you consider how many fewer games he’s done it in is really remarkable,” Farrell said. “He’s in rare company with the two other guys he’s now linked to. To see it in roughly 60 percent of the games with one and almost half the games of the other. It’s amazing what he’s been able to do here.” Read the rest of this entry »
|08.17.14 at 8:13 am ET|
The Red Sox will close out a four-game series at home against the Astros Sunday, sending Joe Kelly to the mound against Collin McHugh.
After pitching on the road during his first two starts with the Red Sox, Kelly (0-0, 2.08 ERA) will be making his first career start at Fenway Park. It will also stand as the first time this season that the 26-year-old righty faces off against an American League opponent.
“I’m excited to pitch in front of the home crowd and see how the mound is and the surroundings,” Kelly said. “I’m definitely excited to get out there for my first start.”
Kelly was solid in his last start Tuesday against the Reds, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out four over six innings of work en route to a 3-2 Red Sox victory.
“I thought he had very good stuff tonight, better stuff tonight than his first start in St. Louis,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after the game. “He might’ve pitched a little bit fine early on, the two walks came back to haunt him, but I thought he settled in well and really got into a good rhythm. He has three-plus pitches for strikes tonight with very good fastball velocity.”
Kelly has been impressive since being traded to Boston on July 31, allowing just three runs over 13 innings of work in two starts with the Red Sox.
In two career relief appearances against the Astros, Kelly surrendered two hits and no runs while striking out two in 1 1/3 innings.
|08.16.14 at 11:01 pm ET|
The lefty slugger hit a pair of two-run home runs, including one in the fifth that started a four-run rally, and a two-run double in the eighth to lift the Sox to a 10-7 comeback win over the Astros Saturday night at Fenway Park.
Ortiz went 3-for-5 for the game with a career-high six RBIs, the fifth time he’s achieved that single-game feat in his career.
The homers were Ortiz’s 400th and 401st in a Red Sox uniform, making him just the third player in club history to reach that mark behind Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski, who had 521 and 452, respectively. Saturday marked his fourth multi-home run game of the season and 45th of his career.
While the blast on an 0-2 changeup in the bottom of the third was the milestone, the second one proved to be most important.
A poor outing from starter Rubby De La Rosa left the Sox in a 6-3 hole entering the fifth. But Ortiz ignited a rally with a homer just inside the right-field foul pole to cut the deficit to one.
The Sox had luck on their side in the inning as well. Yoenis Cespedes reached second one batter later after Houston first baseman Jon Singleton dropped an easy pop fly on the infield grass. Cespedes stole third and scored on an RBI single by Daniel Nava to tie the game. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to left.
The Red Sox improved to 56-66 with the win.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
Read the rest of this entry »
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