Full Count
A Furiously Updated Red Sox Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Closing Time: Joe Kelly injured; Orioles outlast Red Sox, 6-5, in 13 innings

09.15.15 at 11:30 pm ET
By   |   Comments
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts found himself in-between on this swing. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts found himself in-between on this swing. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly’s momentum came crashing to a halt early. It took the Red Sox quite a bit longer to fall.

One of baseball’s hottest pitchers didn’t make it out of the third inning against the Orioles on Tuesday night because of injury. Kelly lasted just 53 pitches before leaving with shoulder fatigue in the third.

The Red Sox lasted 13 innings before Chris Davis‘s single lifted Baltimore to a 6-5 victory.

Kelly, who sought his ninth straight victory, didn’t look like the same pitcher who had dominated since the start of August. His first two fastballs of the night were only 89 and 90 mph, and he lacked command, especially in the third, when he allowed five hits in a span of six batters, including a two-run homer from Steve Pearce, before leaving the mound with a trainer.

“He just couldn’t get loose and it was something that didn’t get better for the couple innings that we sent him out there,” said interim manager Torey Lovullo. “We just decided it was the best thing to do that we pull him out and reevaluate him tomorrow. It was just some shoulder fatigue. He felt like he couldn’t get extended and get loose.”

“No there was no one pitch or anything,” said Kelly, who didn’t think an MRI would be necessary Wednesday. “Warming up in the bullpen I felt tight. Something that usually goes away and it didn’€™t go away throughout my warm up pitches, throughout my first inning, throughout the second inning, tried going the third inning — like I said I just couldn’€™t get through anything on my fastball, my shoulder was restricted and I felt tight.”

The pitcher added, “I wanted to stay in that game as long as I could but the shoulder and the arm just weren’€™t letting me be. Just a lot of inconsistent firing. Just was super tight. I tried to let go a fastball here and it’€™d be 88, I tried to let go a fastball again and it’€™d be 94, let go a fastball and it’€™d be 92. Just a lot of inconsistencies. They saw that and decided it’€™d be best for us to go out of the game with a little tightness and fatigue.”

That could’ve been the end of the Red Sox, particularly after the Orioles pushed their lead to 4-1, but since the club went young in August, it has demonstrated better resilience than the team that opened the season with a rapid descent into last place.

The Red Sox tied things with three in the fifth. Mookie Betts opened with a single and took third on Dustin Pedroia‘s double. Xander Bogaerts plated one run with a single, and David Ortiz drove in another with a sacrifice fly. It looked like the Red Sox would do more than tie the game when Pablo Sandoval drove one to left, but after admiring his drive at the plate before it struck the base of the wall, he was erased at second on replay.

The Orioles reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the frame on a Manny Machado homer, but Travis Shaw answered with a homer of his own in the eighth to knot things at 5-5.

The Red Sox bullpen was particularly impressive in relief of Kelly, retiring 17 of the first 18 hitters it faced after he departed.

In extra innings, neither team really threatened until the winning rally. Bogaerts made sure the game went to extra frames with one of his best defensive plays of the season to erase Matt Wieters in the ninth with a sidearm flip from deep in the hole.

The Orioles won it after reliever Jonathan Aro walked leadoff man Gerardo Parra and Manny Machado singled to center. Robbie Ross entered and promptly allowed Davis’s soft liner to right past a drawn-in infield to end it.

(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from Baltimore)

Red Sox starter Joe Kelly leaves game with right shoulder tightness

09.15.15 at 8:42 pm ET
By   |   Comments
Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly will not win a ninth straight start.

The Red Sox right-hander, one of the hottest pitchers in baseball since the start of August, was removed in the third inning against the Orioles in Baltimore on Tuesday with right shoulder tightness and fatigue.

Kelly had allowed hits to five of the six batters he faced in the frame, including a two-run homer to Steve Pearce. He threw just 53 pitches and didn’t quite have his usual fastball life, working in the low-90s instead of the mid- to upper-90s.

Kelly left the mound with a trainer after allowing a single to Adam Jones. He is expected to undergo further examination. The Red Sox are already utilizing a six-man rotation to ease the workload on rookie Eduardo Rodriguez. It’s unclear what Kelly’s injury could mean for that plan.

(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from Baltimore.)

Read More: Joe Kelly,

Sources: Mike Hazen interviews with Angels, perhaps another team

09.15.15 at 6:02 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Mike Hazen

Mike Hazen

BALTIMORE — While he awaits his fate with the Red Sox, assistant general manager Mike Hazen is at least exploring other opportunities.

According to multiple major league sources, Hazen has interviewed with the Angels for their general manager job. Bill Stoneman is currently acting as Los Angeles’ GM after having taken over for Jerry DiPoto.

One source said that there is a very good possibility Hazen will soon be interviewing with another big league club for a GM job. Other teams needing to fill the position are Philadelphia and Seattle, along with the Red Sox.

Hazen is still considered a candidate to remain with the Sox, working under president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times was first to report Hazen’s interview with the Angels. DiGiovanna reports that five others candidates have also interviewed with LA.

Dustin Pedroia returns to lineup as Red Sox face Orioles with Joe Kelly seeking ninth straight win

09.15.15 at 3:36 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Red Sox haven’t lost two straight since the first two days of September, and they’ll look to extend that streak on Tuesday when they face the Orioles in Baltimore.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia returns to the starting lineup after a day off. Since rejoining the team on Sept. 8 following a hamstring injury, Pedroia has stuck to a schedule of two days on, one day off.

The Red Sox dropped a 2-0 decision in the series opener on Monday, and they’ll look to get the bats going tonight against Ubaldo Jimenez. On the mound, right-hander Joe Kelly seeks his ninth straight win. Here’s the lineup:

Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Travis Shaw 1B
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Rusney Castillo LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Jackie Bradley RF

Fenway Park to host AIG Fenway Hurling Classic, Irish Festival on November 22

09.15.15 at 11:03 am ET
By   |   Comments

November is turning out to be Irish month at Fenway Park.

Following the Boston College Eagles taking on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in football Nov. 21 at Fenway, the next day the park will host the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival, as 2015 All-Ireland finalist Galway will take on Dublin in an exhibition comprising some of the top hurling players from the Emerald Isle.

“Hurling is one of the most electrifying sports in the world and we think fans are going to enjoy watching all the fast-paced action as two of the most accomplished and talented teams compete right here on the pitch at Fenway Park,” said Fenway Sports Management president Sam Kennedy in a press release. “€œWe are always looking for opportunities to bring new and exciting events into Fenway and whether you’€™re a fan of hurling or new to the sport the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival promises to be a great event.”

“Boston and Ireland have such a strong connection and it is thrilling to see one of the country’€™s native games will be played on our city’€™s most beloved ball park,” added Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “€œHurling is among the most exhilarating games played in the world and our city is proud to host one of Ireland’€™s most traditional sports.”

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

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Ubaldo Jimenez

09.15.15 at 8:17 am ET
By   |   Comments
Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Red-hot right-hander Joe Kelly squares off against Orioles righty Ubaldo Jimenez on Tuesday night in the middle game of the Red Sox‘ series in Baltimore.

Kelly (10-6, 4.70 ERA) has continued his dominance from August into September, going 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two starts this month. Kelly has won eight straight starts and will look to become the first Sox pitcher to win nine straight starts since Pedro Martinez in his incredible 1999 campaign. In Kelly’s last start on Wednesday against the Blue Jays in Toronto, he went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

“We’re playing really, really great defense, and obviously the hitters are crushing the ball,” Kelly said after the game. “It’s fun to watch when all around the team is doing great. It’s fun to be out there, especially when we’ve got guys playing their butts off, making diving plays, throwing people out. It gets me fired up out there and it’s fun to be a part of.”

Kelly has faced Jimenez twice already this season. On June 23 he allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings of the Red Sox‘ 6-4 loss at Fenway Park. On April 17 he went 5 2/3 innings, surrendering two runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts in a game the Red Sox won 3-2 on Xander Bogaerts’ walkoff hit in the ninth inning.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Joe Kelly, ubaldo jimenez,

Closing Time: Eduardo Rodriguez sharp again in Red Sox loss, facing innings limit

09.14.15 at 10:06 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

BALTIMORE — The Red Sox lost, 2-0, to the Orioles Monday night at Camden Yards. But that wasn’t the evening’s most important takeaway.

While the Sox bats went silent against Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman, it was Eduardo Rodriguez who once again allowed his team to leave the premises with some sort of optimism.

Rodriguez continued a stellar run by Red Sox starting pitchers, allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings while striking out a career-high nine batters.

The Red Sox starting pitchers have now given up more than three earned runs in just four of their last 25 games, going back to Aug. 18. They gave up two earned runs or less in 18 of those contests.

The only run allowed by Rodriguez came in the first inning, when Nolan Reimold scored on an error by Red Sox second baseman Josh Rutledge.

Rodriguez has now surrendered one earned run or less in 11 of his 19 starts. The rookie’s ERA stands at 3.94. He may, however, have just one start remaining this season due to the innings limited implemented by the Red Sox. The lefty has 109 2/3 innings in the majors this season, along with 48 1/3 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket.

“We have a couple things mapped out,” said interim manager Torey Lovullo. “He wasn’€™t going to pitch beyond the sixth inning. That was going to be it. But we have to limit the innings he’€™s going to start for the games he’€™s going to start in and then limit the amount of starts he’€™s going to have. We have it mapped out.”

“I feel great. Everything feels great. Now I just have to wait for what they say,” Rodriguez said. “I understand why, why they took me out of the game. It’s just hard because you want to play.”

The only other Orioles run came off the bat of Adam Jones, whose seventh inning double off of reliever Jean Machi scored Chris Davis with the hosts’ insurance run.

The Red Sox managed just three hits, with Mookie Betts’ 19-game hit streak coming to an end. It marked the first time in 51 games they’ve been shutout.

“It happens,” said David Ortiz of the shutout. “But we’€™ve been hitting really well so hopefully it doesn’€™t continue happening. I’€™m happy with what I’€™ve been seeing.”

Rich Hill contemplating keeping momentum going in Winter Ball

09.14.15 at 8:56 pm ET
By   |   Comments

BALTIMORE — If his regular season wasn’t interesting enough, Rich Hill‘s offseason promises to be equally as intriguing.

The 35-year-old who offered one of the Red Sox‘ season’s best stories — allowing just one hit over seven innings in his first big league start since 2009 — is setting himself up for the kind of Hot Stove season he couldn’t have previously imagined.

Hill continues to draw interest from Japanese teams, but with his recent success as a starting pitching the potential of entering next year with the chance of joining a major league rotation has him thinking.

It’s why Hill is strongly considering pitching in Winter Ball (perhaps Puerto Rico) in order to keep his momentum going.

“It’s a real possibility, but at the same time we’ll have finished the season with about 12 starts, which is a nice base heading into spring training,” said Hill of playing this winter, which he hadn’t done with 2008. “Hopefully I can be on a staff starting the season.

“I really wouldn’t mind going through an entire offseason continuing to throw because you want to keep that feel.”

When not pitching in any organized league this winter, Hill will be working out with trainer Mike Boyle in Woburn, as was the case last offseason.

The idea of Hill linking up with a team heading into next season should be an intriguing one. While his starting success has been a small sample size (with just the Independent League Long Island Ducks, Triple-A Pawtucket, and now the Red Sox), the lack of wear and tear on his arm over the past few years might play to his advantage.

There is also the wisdom he is bringing to the table this time as a starter he might not have possessed when attempting the role six years ago.

“Getting back into it with the knowledge and education from other major league pitchers, I’€™ve been able to benefit from that now,” he said. “As opposed to when I was younger and trying to develop my own routine. A big thing is taking from things other pitchers do.

“I’m more patient. I’€™m not in a rush to make results happen because it is a pitch to pitch process. Watching the other starters, and watching the ebb and the flow of the game, there’€™s no rush to make things happen.

“I learned how guys worked. For me it was about trying to do as much as I can to get ready for my next start, but that’€™s not smart. I’€™m not saying I didn’€™t go about my business the right, I just wasn’€™t efficient. There was more quantity rather than quality.”

Read More: rich hill,

Clay Buchholz still eyeing pitching one inning before end of season

09.14.15 at 8:15 pm ET
By   |   Comments

BALTIMORE — It doesn’t seem like much, but as Clay Buchholz explained Monday pitching just one more inning this season, “would go a long way.”

Buchholz, who is recovering from a right elbow strain and hasn’t pitched in a game since July 10, continued his rehab progression at Camden Yards, throwing out to 120 feet prior to the Red Sox series opener against the Orioles.

The righty has also begun to throw breaking balls on the side, although no timetable has been presented as to when he might return to the mound.

But, as he explained, as long as he keeps going down his current path, the goal of coming out of the Red Sox bullpen for one game this season remains intact.

“We just out want to get out there and see what it’s like to ramp up to 100 percent effort level in a game,” Buchholz explained. “But I don’t have enough time to start.”

New president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had previously said that he didn’t envision Buchholz pitching again this season. Yet the insinuation by both interim manager Torey Lovullo and Buchholz that his season might not be completely over, the target seemingly remains pitching in that final series in Cleveland.

Buchholz started 18 games, compiling 7-7 record and 3.26 ERA, before succumbing to the strained right flexor in his elbow.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox,

Good times keep rolling for David Ortiz, named AL Player of the Week

09.14.15 at 3:40 pm ET
By   |   Comments

BALTIMORE — As if hitting his 500th career home run wasn’t enough …

David Ortiz was named American League Player of the Week Monday after leading the major leagues with a 1.111 slugging percentage while hitting an American League-best 20 total bases.

Here is the rest of the release announcing Ortiz’s honor:

Ortiz ranked among league leaders in hitting (2nd, .444), on-base percentage (2nd, .545) and RBIs (2nd, 9), and was tied for second among AL hitters with three home runs. The veteran slugger hit his 499th and 500th career homers in Saturday’€™s 10-4 victory at Tampa Bay, becoming the 27th player in major league history to reach the 500 home run plateau.

Ortiz joined countryman Albert Pujols (April 22, 2014) as the only players in history to reach the mark with a multi-home run game. He became the fourth player to hit his 500th career blast in a Red Sox uniform, joining Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx (Sept. 24, 1940) and Ted Williams (June 17, 1960), as well as former teammate Manny Ramirez (May 31, 2008). Ortiz is now one of four players with 500 or more career home runs and three World Series championships under his belt, joining Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Reggie Jackson. Ortiz also homered in Wednesday’€™s contest against Toronto at Fenway Park, collecting three RBIs in the 10-4 victory over the division leaders. Ortiz, who now has 34 homers on the season, has reached the 30-homer threshold for the ninth time in his career. With 95 RBIs, he is just five shy of his ninth 100-RBI campaign. This is his sixth career Player of the Week honor and his first since the week of May 30-June 5, 2011.

Other noteworthy performances last week included Ortiz’€™ Boston teammate Mookie Betts (.429, 6 R, 12 H, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .679 SLG, .467 OBP); Kansas City’€™s Mike Moustakas (.292, 2 HR, 11 RBI, .542 SLG); Toronto’€™s Ben Revere (.407, 7 R, 11 H, 4 RBI, 3 SB, .467 OBP); Colby Lewis (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG, SHO, 4 SO, 9.0 IP) of the Texas Rangers;
and Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 0.60 ERA, 17 SO, 15.0 IP) of the New York Yankees.

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, David Ortiz will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.

Read More: David Ortiz,
Red Sox Box Score
Red Sox Schedule
Mercedes Benz
Red Sox Headlines
Red Sox Minor League News
Red Sox Team Leaders
MLB Headlines
Tips & Feedback