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Curt Schilling on D&C addresses ESPN firing, where might he land next

04.28.16 at 10:11 am ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Former ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday to discuss his firing from ESPN and where he will might land next. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling believes he wouldn’t have been fired if he had made liberal comments.

“I’ve actually spoken with and communicated with quite a few people there since it happened and to a person, everyone said the same thing,” Schilling said. “One of the things that I said was, if I had come out and said transgenders are the greatest people in the world and if you disagree you’re a MF’er, they would say please don’t use that language in public. It’s well-known. I think people knew when I was there, I talked to people about it. Like I said, we move on.”

The former MLB pitcher also said there are people at ESPN who say some racist things, but don’t get into trouble.

“I think there are a lot of people at ESPN that play the race card often,” he said. “I back that up by saying I don’t have a problem with it in the sense that I think there a lot of those conversations that need to happen. For some reason, a lot of people believe that you need to just talk sports and not talk about the social issues that go on. I think those two things are actually intertwined in a very intimate way. It’s one of the many conversations that should be happening.”

Added Schilling: “Nothing behind the scenes. One of the comments I will never forget is listening to Stephen A. Smith talk about the fact that Robert Griffin wasn’t playing quarterback for the Redskins because he was black. It was because he sucked and he wasn’t playing. It was obvious. Things like that. Those were the comments that as this went along — everybody talks about [I] was warned multiple times. Everybody got the same memo. It was sports people stick to sports, not politics and other stuff. It felt like I was the only one that was held to the rule. I think a lot of what happened was very discriminatory. Like I said, if I had made a liberal point of view, I don’t think this would have ever happened.”

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Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Andrew Benintendi’s homer keys 10-run eighth in comeback win for Salem

04.28.16 at 9:40 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-8): Off day. Next game is Thursday night at Syracuse.

Ty Buttrey

Ty Buttrey

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (6-15): L, 6-0, at Binghamton (Mets)

— The Mets scored four runs in the first inning off Portland starter Ty Buttrey and never looked back. Only one run of the four was earned. Buttrey went 2 2/3 innings and allowed four runs (one earned) on four hits, while walking two and striking out one. He fell to 0-4 on the season.

— In relief of Buttrey, Heri Quevedo went 3 1/3 innings and allowed only one run on two hits. Williams Jerez tossed a scoreless seventh and Rob Wort allowed an unearned run in the eighth.

— At the plate, the Sea Dogs couldn’t get anything going as they finished with just four hits as a team and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Of the four hits, three came from the final three spots in the batting order.

— Wendell Rijo, Jordan Weems, Ali Solis and Tzu-Wei Lin recorded hits in the loss.

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, Ty Buttrey,

Thursday’s Red Sox-Braves matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Jhoulys Chacin

04.28.16 at 8:29 am ET
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Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz

Looking for a sweep of their four-game set with the Braves, the Red Sox send Clay Buchholz to the mound Thursday night against right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.

Through four starts, Buchholz has yet to register a win. His record sits at 0-2 to go with a 6.33 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He has just one quality start this season, and has allowed five earned runs on three occasions. In his last start Saturday against the Astros, he took the loss after going 5 2/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out six as the Red Sox went on to lose 8-3.

The turning point in the game came in the fifth inning with the bases loaded, when Buchholz appeared to miss his spot on a fastball to Colby Rasmus, who took full advantage by knocking it out of the park for a grand slam.

“It’s a really good pitch whenever you’re able to throw it where you want to, but the ball was moving a lot today,” Buchholz said after the game. “For the most part felt like I did a pretty good job with executing the pitches I was throwing at times. Me and Colby faced each other a lot, he got me today.”

In two career starts against the Braves, Buchholz is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.900 WHIP. He has walked nine and struck out seven in 10 innings.

Chacin has only one decision through three starts this season, as he is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. In his last outing Saturday against the Mets, the 28-year-old Venezuelan took a loss while giving up three runs over 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five as the Braves wound up losing 8-2.

An eight-year major leaguer who played his first six seasons with the Rockies before appearing in five games for the Diamondbacks last season then signing as a free agent with the Braves in the offseason, Chacin has started two games against the Red Sox in his career. He is 1-1 with a 5.91 ERA and 1.875 WHIP. He has seven walks and eight strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings of work.

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Read More: Braves, Clay Buchholz, Jhoulys Chacin, Red Sox

Closing Time: Steven Wright, Dustin Pedroia (2 HR) lead Red Sox in rout of Braves

04.27.16 at 10:12 pm ET
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The Red Sox had their straight night of scoring nine or more runs in their win against the Braves. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox had their second straight night of scoring nine or more runs in their win over the Braves. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Steven Wright continues to be the most consistent starter in the Red Sox rotation.

The knuckleballer was in control once again Wednesday night, keeping the Red Sox in the driver’s seat in a game they would go on to win 9-4 over the lowly Braves.

The Red Sox have won the first three games of the series and will go for the sweep Thursday night.

In his longest outing of the season, Wright went seven strong innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits. Wright has had a quality start in all four of his outings this season, the only Red Sox pitcher to do so.

“For me, I just try to stay under control,” Wright said following the outing. “I just try to throw quality pitches over the plate. When you’ve got a defense like we have, and we have the potential to keep, it makes it easier for me to just to throw the pitch over the plate, because if they put it in play there’s a pretty good chance it’s going to be an out. So for me, it gives a lot of confidence knowing that those guys are so good behind me, so I can just keep attacking the zone no matter what.”

Wright’s eight strikeouts are a season high, and of his 116 total pitches, 76 were strikes. He walked three batters, which has been the only chink in his armor so far in 2016.

“His dependability, in a word, is what continues to solidify itself,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “We hand him an early lead, and he makes it stand up for seven innings tonight.”

The Red Sox offense provided plenty of support for Wright, pouring on eight runs through the first four innings.

A key moment came early when Dustin Pedroia turned Braves starter Bud Norris’ 93 mph fastball into an opposite-field grand slam, with the ball dinging off Pesky’s Pole. This gave Wright a 6-1 lead in the second inning, and he never looked back.

Because of the Sox’ offensive onslaught, the Braves bullpen was busy quite early. Following Pedroia’s blast, David Ortiz ripped a double off the Green Monster and that was the last straw for Norris, who was removed.

The Red Sox would go scoreless for four straight innings before Pedroia hit his second homer of the game in the eighth. Atlanta plated a run in the ninth off reliever Matt Barnes to round out the scoring.

Closing Time note

Pedroia’s grand slam off Pesky’s Pole was just the third home run of his career — out of 121 — hit down the right field line.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, steven wright,

Video: Red Sox CF Jackie Bradley Jr. makes diving catch against Braves

04.27.16 at 9:45 pm ET
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While the Red Sox got off to a fast start offensively in Tuesday night’s game against the Braves, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. provided some impressive defense as well, making a diving catch of a Daniel Castro liner to right-center in the first inning.

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Joe Kelly making small steps toward return from disabled list

04.27.16 at 6:13 pm ET
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A MRI revealed no structural damage in Joe Kelly's shoulder. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports0

Joe Kelly has begun rehabbing his injured right shoulder. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright was far from a shoo-in to make the starting rotation coming into the 2016 season. Through three starts this year, heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Braves, he has been a pleasant surprise with a 1.40 ERA, the lowest for any starter on the team. With Joe Kelly making steps toward his return from the disabled list, it remains to be seen if Wright will be the one bumped out of his spot.

Manager John Farrell certainly was not ready to deem him the odd man out upon Kelly’s return.

“Those things work themselves out,” Farrell said. “Not knowing when Joe Kelly’s availability to us will be — who he is making solid progress, Joe is. But Steven is doing everything within his power and opportunity to stay in that spot.”

Kelly has been sidelined since his April 19 start against the Rays, when he suffered a right shoulder impingement. As far as his progress to this point, Farrell explained he has already begun taking steps toward his return to full strength.

“He’s played catch out to 120 feet, and will do so over the coming days,” Farrell said. “I don’t have a date in which he’ll get back on the mound for the first time yet.”

One encouraging sign for Red Sox pitching has been an increased number of strikeouts this season. While some of that can be attributed to David Price’s arrival in Boston, it has also been due in large part to the success of the Red Sox bullpen.

According to Elias, the Red Sox lead the majors with 10.44 strikeouts per nine innings, and the team’s total of 210 are the most for any big league team through 20 games since 1900.

“David’s going to get his strikeouts, he has a track record of that,” Farrell said. “But I think the greatest improvement has been in our bullpen. I think somebody brought to my attention the other day that per nine innings, I think our strikeout rate is four more right now currently than we were the last couple of years. Anytime late in the game you can put less balls in play, certainly the better, and we’re starting to really build upon our bullpen and that hasn’t been the case the last couple years.

Read More: Joe Kelly, Red Sox Notes, steven wright,

Dave Dombrowski on OM&F: John Farrell is a ‘good manager and we’re fortunate to have him’

04.27.16 at 5:23 pm ET
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Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday to talk about the latest with the Red Sox, especially manager John Farrell. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

Many in the media have been heavily critical of Farrell over the first 20 games of the season, questioning a number of decisions he’s made within each game. Dombrowski offered his support for the Red Sox manager.

“I think that John Farrell has done a fine job for us,” Dombrowski said. “I think he is a good manager. I think people that spend time micromanaging moves usually are the ones that are going to micromanage any manager’s moves. … I think John Farrell has done a fine job managing this team. I think he has done a good job managing this team. I think he is a good manager and we’re fortunate to have him.”

Added Dombrowski: “He has my support. He knows he has my support and so I don’t really need to tell him that on a daily basis. We work together very well. I am happy he’s our manager.”

As it relates to Pablo Sandoval, Dombrowski confirmed the team never gave Sandoval a weight mandate before he could play in games again, nor did the third baseman asked to be traded if he wasn’t going to be playing full-time.

Sandoval is set to go back to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his injured shoulder on Monday, which comes after a previous visit two weeks ago where a full exam couldn’t be performed because of how sore he was.

“Well, I’ve had it happen before,” Dombrowski said. “It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen once in awhile. I think it is also a situation where it’s not for me and I don’t find too many people to question what Dr. Andrews says. He’s about as quality of a source when it comes to medical aspects of Major League Baseball and injuries in general. When he recommends something, that is generally the practice we follow. I think we have always followed it. That is what he recommended so that’s what we’ve done.”

Read More: Dave Dombrowski, John Farrell, Pablo Sandoval,

Red Sox injury updates: Sandoval feeling better, headed to see Andrews; Carson Smith on track to return soon

04.27.16 at 5:06 pm ET
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Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

Carson Smith

Carson Smith

A couple of injury updates from Fenway Park, where the Red Sox are preparing to open a two-game series against the Braves as part of a home-and-home with their “natural” rivals from Atlanta.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval said he’s feeling better and is on track to be examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday in Pensacola, Fla. He’s on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain and had to postpone his first visit with Andrews last week because he was too sore to be examined.

“A lot better,” Sandoval said. “A lot better. It’s still sore, but we’ll see what’s going on. The inflammation at least went down, it’s to a good point, so now we’re going to see what’s going on there.”

Sandoval has been limited athletically since suffering the injury on April 14.

“What am I doing? Nothing,” he said. “Just cardio, icing. That’s the only thing I can do.”

Sandoval isn’t sure if he’ll avoid surgery. He’s waiting to hear what Andrews says.

“I don’t know. I’m not a doctor,” he said. “I’m going to let them make the decisions. I don’t know if I’m going to get surgery or not. At least I can move it around. The inflammation went down. I hope they can look at it and see what’s going on.”

In other injury news, right-hander Carson Smith was in the clubhouse, one day after throwing a simulated inning against hitters at Triple-A Pawtucket following a rainout.

“I did get rained out yesterday, but I was fortunate enough to get some work in in the bullpen with some hitters standing in,” Smith said. “We tried to emulate a game as best we could.”

The plan is to send him to Double-A Portland on Friday and see if he can bounce back again and pitch on Saturday before determining the next step. The Red Sox have suggested he could return next week, and he sounds confident he avoided a serious injury in spring training when he left the mound with elbow tightness.

“I’m very confident I’m ready to go,” Smith said. “The velocity is there, the movement is there, so I’m happy.”

Smith was injured on March 21 in Jupiter and feared the worst.

“It’s a big relief,” he said. “When you have elbow problems, I think any pitcher can say that’s the biggest scare, hearing all the Tommy John stories. I’m glad I dodged that bullet and am healthy now and will continue to do things to dodge that bullet.”

Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz returns, Ryan Hanigan catches Steven Wright

04.27.16 at 3:24 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

After sitting out the two games in Atlanta, David Ortiz will return to the Red Sox lineup Wednesday night.

It is a standard Red Sox lineup against a right-hander with Brock Holt in left field and Travis Shaw at third base. The Braves will send Bud Norris to the mound in the third game of the four-game series.

Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox starter Steven Wright.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Brock Holt, LF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Steven Wright, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

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Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi extend hitting streaks to 15 games

04.27.16 at 11:41 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-8): Game vs. Syracuse (Nationals) was postponed due to inclement weather. Next game is Thursday night at Syracuse.

Teddy Stankiewicz

Teddy Stankiewicz

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (6-14): L, 3-2, at Binghamton (Mets)

— Starter Teddy Stankiewicz threw six solid innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on just two hits with three walks and two strikeouts, but he did not wind up factoring into the decision. He lowered his ERA to an impressive 1.13 to go with a 0.79 WHIP. Opponents are hitting just .183 against Stankiewicz this season.

— Binghamton, which took a 1-0 lead in the third on a throwing error by Sea Dogs first baseman Tim Roberson, scored the winning run in the eighth inning on a two-out RBI single from Dominic Smith that scored Kyle Johnson, who had led off the inning with a walk. Lefty reliever Nik Turley (0-1) took the loss. He pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed one hit and two walks with three strikeouts. Lefty Luis Ysla came on to record the final out of the eighth.

— The PawSox collected just three hits all game against Binghamton starter Andrew Barbosa (7 1/3 innings) and reliever Akeel Morris, who closed things out to get the win. Right fielder Bryce Brentz had the most significant hit of the game for the Sea Dogs, a two-run double in the sixth inning that gave his team the lead. He finished 1-for-4 with the double, two RBIs and two strikeouts. Designated hitter Henry Ramos and shortstop Jose Vincio each contributed a hit as well.

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, Farm Report, teddy stankiewicz, yoan moncada
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