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Coolest Play of the Week: Sam Travis gets first career hit

05.25.17 at 4:31 pm ET
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Each week, we will be picking the F.W. Webb “Coolest Play of the Week.” This week’s play comes from the Red Sox’ 9-4 comeback victory over the Texas Rangers Wednesday night. Rookie first basemen Sam Travis made his Major League debut and recorded his first career hit in the fifth inning. Check out the hit below.

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John Farrell starts ‘Farrell’s Fighters’ ticket program for lymphoma patients

05.25.17 at 1:20 pm ET
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John Farrell announced on Thursday he has started a program called “Farrell’s Fighters” to invite patients battling lymphoma and their families to a Red Sox game each month throughout the season.

The program includes VIP seats, a tour of the ballpark, a meeting with Farrell, a meal in the Dell EMC Club restaurant and a chance to watch batting practice.

Farrell is a lymphoma survivor who was diagnosed with and successfully treated for the disease in 2015. Farrell’s Fighters will launch with patients from Massachusetts General Hospital, where Farrell was treated, and will expand to include patients from other hospitals in the area.

“I hope this program can provide a positive, momentary break for the patients and their families from the daily rigor of treatment, and for baseball to be a tonic for them, as it was for me,” Farrell said in his statement.

The first patient set to take part is 42-year-old Nate Bouley of Sudbury. Bouley was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2015 and is in remission for the third time. He will attend the Red Sox-Mariners game on May 28 with his wife and two children.

 

Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Price struggles, while Sandoval looks good in rehab starts

05.25.17 at 10:50 am ET
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Pablo Sandova (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

Pablo Sandova (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

Here is a look at what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (17-24): W, 13-6 vs. Louisville

– David Price made his second rehab start for Pawtucket on Wednesday night. Price lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs, three earned runs, seven hits, one walk, while striking out four. The $30 million-a-year southpaw threw 89 pitches, 60 of which were for strikes. The good news for Price is that his velocity stayed in the 93- 95 MPH and he finished his outing strong by sitting down seven of his final eight batters.

“Price said he felt good after his outing. Obviously, he burned through his pitch count. Command is not what he was looking for. I think if you asked him that,” said PawSox manager Kevin Boles. “Overall, he said he felt good. I thought the stuff was actually pretty good, it’s just the command and location, which is to be expected. He is coming  off an injury.”

– Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval was also making a rehab start as he works his way back from a knee sprain. Sandoval played seven innings at third base, but was most impressive at the dish, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, a RBI, walk and a strikeout. Sandoval had been just 1-for-13 in four rehab games prior to Wednesday.

“[Sandoval] played well,” Boles said. “It looked like he swung the bat well. Impacted the ball. Looked fine, comfortable running the bases. … He said he felt good also.”

– In relief of Price, Marcus Walden threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up no runs, just two hits and two walks with two strikeouts, while picking up his second win of the season. In nine games this season, the righty has a 2.31 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

– Left fielder Bryce Brentz supplied three runs by going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run.

– Brian Bogusevic also had a successful day at the plate going 2-for-4 with a two-run home run.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (21-10): W, 4-3 vs. New Hampshire

– Rafael Devers went 1-for-4 with a RBI. Devers is hitting .300/.365/.514 and leads the Sea Dogs with 24 RBIs.

-J acob Dahlstrand entered the game in the fourth inning and picked up the win after throwing four innings, allowing no runs, three hits and no walks with two strikeouts.

– Starter Jalen Beeks went three innings, giving up three runs, four hits, four walks and three strikeouts. In eight starts this season, Beeks is 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA and a 1.16 ERA.

– Designated hitter Mike Olt went 1-for-4 with a home run.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (28-17): L, 8-3 @ Buies Creek-

– Salem and Buies Creek were supposed to play a doubleheader due to rain on Tuesday, but more rain on Wednesday forced the first game of the doubleheader to go only five innings and the second game be cancelled.

– Daniel McGrath lasted only 2 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs, five earned runs, eight hits and three walks with two strikeouts. The southpaw is 0-4 in nine starts with a 7.46 ERA and a 2.26 WHIP.

– Catcher Austin Rei went 1-for-2 with a double and a RBI.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (27-16): L, 2-1 @ Kannapolis; W, 6-3 @ Kannapolis (Makeup from Tuesday)

– Kyle Hart threw 5 innings, giving up just one run, two hits and two walks, while striking out four. In three games (two starts) this season, Hart is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP.

– Isaias Lucena went 2-for-3

– In Game 2, starter Michael Shawaryn went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, four hits and one walk, while striking out a whopping 11 batters. Shawaryn was one strikeout short of his season high (12), which he reached on May 6.

– Lorenzo Cedrola went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and two RBIs. The Venezuelan native is hitting .276/.319/.409.

– Santiago Espinal was 1-for-5 with two RBIs, while Ryan Scott was 3-for-4 with a home run.

Read More: David Price, Pablo Sandoval,

Red Sox 9, Rangers 4: It was the night man on the hot seat pushed all the right buttons

05.24.17 at 10:09 pm ET
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Josh Rutledge came through with one of two pinch-hits for the Red Sox Wednesday night (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Josh Rutledge came through with one of two pinch-hits for the Red Sox Wednesday night (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

About seven hours before the Red Sox mounted their seven-run seventh inning on the way to a 9-4 win over the Rangers, John Farrell sat with the guys from the Dale, Holley and Keefe Show and addressed the FoxSports.com report that he might be on the hot seat.

“I’ll be honest with you, there’s been a lot more reports than just today or yesterday,” Farrell said. “It doesn’t change my focus and that is to put forth the effort to win and focus on the behalf of this team. So that has never changed my approach towards a game tonight or a game yesterday or what’s upcoming tomorrow.”

At least for this game, it’s approach that worked out.

While rolling out Chris Sale and a lineup that ultimately put up nine runs on the Rangers doesn’t usually necessitate the Bobby Fischer of baseball, there were moments in the Red SOx’ 24th win of the season that deserves a tip of the chapeau to Farrell.

The first came in the third inning when Deven Marrero singled with two outs, representing the first Red Sox’ hit off of Texas starter Martin Perez. With the count going to 2-2, Farrell put Marrero in motion, resulting in a stolen base and runner in scoring position. Now, with the count at 3-2, Mookie Betts singled for the first run of the game.

The Red Sox could have waited around for the count to run full on Betts and then give Marrero the green light, which would seem the safe move considering the only runner who attempted a stolen base off Perez this season had been thrown out. But they didn’t, and it paid off.

Then came the pivotal seventh inning.

With the Chris Sale surprisingly allowing the Rangers to grab the lead with a two-run fifth inning — (which, by the way, made it 10 runs allowed by the ace in the fifth, compared to a total of eight in all the other frames combined) — Perez was finally driven from the game thanks to one-out singles from Andrew Benintendi and Sam Travis.

(Just implementing Travis into the lineup was another action item that worked out, with the rookie becoming the first Red Sox to claim a pair of hits in his first big league game since Will Middlebrooks in 2012.)

Texas manager Jeff Banister replaced Perez with righty Sam Dyson, paving the way to two straight pinch-hitting moves by Farrell. The first came in the form of Mitch Moreland, who replaced Sandy Leon, the switch-hitter who was hitting just .209 from the left side. That led to an RBI single. The next was Josh Rutledge for Marrero, both right-handed hitters. That led to another base-hit, tying the game at 3-3.

After the two pinch-hit singles, the Red Sox officially jumped to the top of the heap in the majors when it came to pinch-hitting efficiency, having gone 8-for-19 (.421).

From there, the meat of the Red Sox order took over, finishing out the seventh with six hits, three walks and the seven runs.

The last semi-debatable move Farrell had to make involved Sale, who would fail to strike out 10 batters for the first time this season, landing at six for the night. With the comfortable four-run lead, Sale found himself sitting at 97 pitches with a run in after two eighth-inning hits.

So, for the first time in his Red Sox career, Sale exited his outing having throwing fewer than 100 pitches, giving way to Joe Kelly. The righty reliever came on, retired Elvis Andrus and Jonathan Lucroy to keep the spread at four runs heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Three straight wins will cool off any hot seat, but so will some well-timed decisions along the way.

Shattering Perceptions Game Note Image

David Price allows 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings in rehab start with PawSox, leaves without speaking to reporters

05.24.17 at 7:50 pm ET
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David Price wasn't sharp for the second straight outing. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

David Price wasn’t sharp for the second straight outing. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — David Price’s first rehab start with the PawSox didn’t go very well, and neither did the second.

Price allowed six runs (three earned) on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings of work on Wednesday night. He walked a batter and struck out four, while needing 89 pitches (61 strikes) to record 11 outs.

This comes following Price’s first start last Friday in Buffalo when he allowed three earned runs in two innings of work.

Price did not speak to the media afterwards, as he left McCoy Stadium before reporters could speak to him.

“Price said he felt good after his outing,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles said. “Obviously, he burned through his pitch count. Command is not what he was looking for. I think if you asked him that. Overall, he said he felt good. I thought the stuff was actually pretty good, it’s just the command and location, which is to be expected. He is coming off an injury.”

“Well the next step will be, we’ll sit and talk with him tomorrow,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after his team’s win over the Rangers Wednesday night. “He came out of tonight’s game feeling fine physically. He got to maybe the goal number of pitches thrown. A couple of extended innings early once again. But we had a scout there that liked what he saw in terms of the physical stuff. The line score isn’t going to be what we’ll see going forward, but from just answering the physical side of it, I think he’s answered that tonight. But we’ll check him in the morning, make sure there’s no physical ailments — which we don’t expect any, and we’ll sit with him and map out the next step.”

The left-hander didn’t have a problem with his velocity on Wednesday, as his fastball was consistently hitting between 93-95 miles per hour (he did hit 96 once in the first), but he didn’t have the best of command. On a few occasions he would get two strikes on a batter, but then take several more pitches to record an out.

He wasn’t helped much by his defense, as only three of his six runs allowed were earned and a few of the hits he allowed may have been fielded by major league players.

His first inning was by far his worst as he allowed four runs, but only two were earned. His first inning went: double, pop up to pitcher, single, walk, error first base, fly out to right field, double, strikeout.

Price then allowed another run in the second inning before not allowing a run in the third and his two batters faced in the fourth. He retired the final three batters he faced.

It will be interesting to see what the Red Sox do with him next, as ideally he would make his next start with the big league club, but he hasn’t been very sharp in his two minor league outings.

“That is not for me to tell,” Boles said of what is next. “Again, our job is to make sure he gets through healthy. Boston is going to make those final decisions in terms of where he is at. Again, if you talk to David he is pretty upbeat as far how he is feeling physically, so that is what we are taking from this.”

John Hand contributed to this report.

Read More: David Price,

Hanley Ramirez won’t be playing 1B in near future

05.24.17 at 5:00 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

John Farrell stopped by the Dale & Holley show for his weekly appearance on Wednesday afternoon before the Sox took for the second game of six-game homestand. For the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

With first baseman Sam Travis set to make his major league debut on Wednesday night against Rangers lefty Martin Perez, Farrell discussed Hanley Ramirez’ potential to play first moving forward.

“If it’s available to us, yeah,” Farrell said when asked whether he wants to see Hanley play first against American League ballclubs. “But I think at the same time, you know, if physically that’s creating some issues for him, what I don’t want to do is jeopardize and miss at-bats in the DH slot.”

Ramirez has only started one game at first all season, and while Farrell indicated two weeks ago on D&H that he hoped to see Hanley play first against left-handed pitching, discomfort has stood in the way.

“There have been times when he got out there and he got injured over in Milwaukee,” Farrell said.

Farrell made the distinction that this is not a matter of choice, but rather one of “physical well-being.” That being said, Farrell said that he would like to play first at some point.

“While he’s been successful at the DH slot, you know, we’re going to take the best of what each player can give us as well.”

As of right now, that seems to be utilizing Mitch Moreland, who is tied for the MLB lead in doubles with 16, while also mixing in some at-bats for Travis.

“Sam Travis was swinging the bat extremely well over past seven-eight games,” Farrell said. “We get him here, we got four consecutive series where we’re going to have one possibly two, left-handed starters in some of those series, and I felt like this was a chance to get his first exposure at the big leagues.”

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

Read More: Dale & Holley, hanley ramirez, John Farrell, Martin Perez

John Farrell on D&H: ‘Our players are pretty clear that I do have their back’

05.24.17 at 4:55 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

John Farrell joined the Dale & Holley show for his weekly appearance on Wednesday afternoon and addressed concerns surrounding his job security. For the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Farrell responded to Fox Sports insider Ken Rosenthal’s piece on Tuesday that indicated a managerial change could be imminent if the 23-21 Sox didn’t turn things around. Rosenthal also noted that dating back to 2013, some players have privately expressed concerns about Farrell’s inability to strongly defend his players when they come under media scrutiny.

“I think our team, our players are pretty clear that I do have their back, and I think there are plenty of examples to indicate as such,” Farrell said.

When asked whether reports such as Rosenthal’s change the way he manages game to game, Farrell answered emphatically.

“I’ll be honest with you, there’s been a lot more reports than just today or yesterday,” Farrell said. “It doesn’t change my focus and that is to put forth the effort to win and focus on the behalf of this team. So that has never changed my approach towards a game tonight or a game yesterday or what’s upcoming tomorrow.”

Dave Dombrowski downplayed the cloud of uncertainty surrounding Farrell’s job when he appeared on the NESN pregame show on Tuesday night.

Following a four-game set in Oakland, during which the Sox dropped three of four games, Dombrowski and Farrell sat down with upper management to discuss what Farrell referred to as a team “on the mend.” While this was an opportunity to assess the state of the team at the quarter-mark, Farrell noted that he has a constant dialogue with Dombrowski.

“My conversation with Dave is basically a never-ending one,” Farrell said. “Regardless of the day, the time of the day, the situation that is at hand, the roster decisions that need to be made, that’s an ongoing conversation. That’s the relationship between a general manager and a manager. That’s the one I’ve always known, whether it was Ben [Cherington] or Alex Anthopoulos or whoever it might have been, that’s an ongoing conversation so it’s not a matter of – I don’t walk up to his office and knock on the door and say, ‘Give me an assessment, say how I’m doing.’ Our record is that, the way our team plays, the effort that they give, the preparation that we go through, and while we’re not a perfect team, we have areas to improve upon as I mentioned, but there’s a lot of good things in place and this is a roster that has a lot of talented players on it.”

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

Read More: ben cherington, Dale & Holley, Dave Dombrowski, John Farrell

David Ortiz gives advice to Wheaton College baseball players during special graduation

05.24.17 at 3:29 pm ET
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David Ortiz called into a special graduation Tuesday.  (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

David Ortiz called into a special graduation Tuesday. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

David Ortiz continues to make his way across the college graduation circuit.

Two days after receiving an honorary diploma from Boston University, Big Papi phoned into a special graduation Tuesday for six Wheaton College baseball players who missed their school’s commencement because they were playing in a tournament in Pennsylvania.

Since the Wheaton Lyons will be playing in the Division III national championships, Ortiz offered the players three pieces of advice:

No. 1: “Don’t try to overdo things. Be you. Whatever you did to take it to where you’re at, you should continue doing it.”

No. 2: “Play as a team.”

No. 3: “When you’re on that field, act like you’re the best of the best and nobody can beat you. Carry that with you, and I guarantee you, you’re going to have some good results.”

Ortiz was a little more subdued at the BU ceremony Sunday. After receiving his honorary Doctor of Humane Letter, he said, “Thank you very much.”

Read More: David Ortiz,

Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Allen Craig goes 2-for-3 with 1st RBI since April

05.24.17 at 11:03 am ET
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Here is what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.

Allen Craig

Allen Craig

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (16-24): L, 7-4 vs. Louisville

— In the second inning, Allen Craig was put in the game after Rusney Castillo was hit by a pitch and was forced to leave the game. Craig would leave his mark by going 2-for-3 with a two RBI double. It was Craig’s first RBI since April 12.

— Shawn Haviland went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs, six hits, two walks with three strikeouts. The righty has gone at least 5 2/3 innings in every start this season. Haviland, a graduate of Harvard, is 2-4 in eight starts this season with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

— Jamie Callahan threw 1 2/3 innings of relief, allowing four hits, one run and one walk with four strikeouts. Callahan was promoted to Pawtucket from Portland on May 11. The righty has 25 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched between Double-A and Triple-A.

— Both Steve Selsky and Dan Butler went 2-for-5 at the plate in the loss.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (20-20): L,5-2 vs. New Hampshire; L, 3-2 vs. New Hampshire (Makeup from Monday)

– -Travis Lakins threw 4 1/3 innings giving up five runs, seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts in Game 1. Lakins was promoted to Portland from High-A Salem on May 11. In Salem, the righty was 5-0 in seven starts with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.

— Designated hitter Nick Longhi was 2-for-4 with a home run in the loss.

— In Game 2, Taylor Grover got the start and went four innings, surrendering two runs, two hits and no walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is 1-1 in 11 games (three starts) with a 6.04 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.

— Mike Olt hit a RBI double in the top of the second. Olt finished the game going 1-for-2 with two walks.

— William Jerez threw three innings in relief of Grover, allowing no runs, one hit, one walk and three strikeouts

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (28-16): Postponed due to rain at Buies Creek

— The Red Sox will make Tuesday’s game up with a doubleheader on Wednesday.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (27-15): Postponed due to rain at Kannapolis

— The Drive will make up Tuesday’s game with doubleheader on Wednesday.

Read More: Allen Craig, Minor league baseball, Rusney Castillo,

Mike Napoli on Bradfo Sho talks leadership in Red Sox clubhouse, keeping his place in Boston, putting girls names on bats

05.24.17 at 10:52 am ET
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napolishirtFormer Red Sox, and current Texas Rangers, first baseman Mike Napoli joined the Bradfo Sho podcast and discussed his time under manager John Farrell, whose job security has been a hot topic in Boston. (To hear the full interview, click here.)

“He was great with us,” Napoli said. “That’s just the nature of the beast. You’re expected to have a really good year every year. You had some, you know, trades and you are supposed to be really good coming off a really great year. The presence of Papi not being in that clubhouse and his production, it’s tough. To have someone that everyone looks up to, kind of keeps everyone together. He’s able to get into somebody’s ass if he needs to. He can control so many different things over there. When you lose guy like him, it’s tough. It’s hard for someone to step up and have that role. It’s just cut dry and done. Until they come together and someone steps up to that role it’s going to be tough.”

Napoli also talked about the clubhouse dynamics while he was in Boston.

“It was a totally different team though. We lost the entire middle of our [order]. We had Pedroia, but take away Stephen [Drew], take away Ellsbury, Salty was gone. It was just a different feel,” Napoli said. “You had young guys coming in that are trying to get their feet wet and stay in the big leagues and tryin’ doing what they have to do, so they can stay there. You got people going in different directions. It was a totally different team [in 2013] to where we had all veterans. We had Will [Middlebrooks] was probably our young guy. It was all about us winning. No one cared about anything but winning. We knew how to pick each other up, we knew how to lean on each other. It was one of the coolest teams that could be assembled chemistry wise through every single person.” (9:50 mark)

Following are more highlights from the conversations. For more Red Sox news, go to weei.com/redsox

Napoli on how he tried to get out of a slump in 2014: “I might have had a couple lady friends’ names on the bats. Whatever, whenever I would get a hit I would just keep using that one. It took a while to find which one had hits. It was just a funny thing to do mess around with the guys, they thought it was great. I guess just trying to slump bust it.” (16:30 mark)

Napoli on what he misses in Boston: “I miss the city. I actually really enjoyed being around the city. I said it before it’s like me the people in the city. Blue collar, you know, that’s how I grew up. To be able come to this park and play here every day was so cool. It’s a packed house every night. You are expected to do well and if you don’t do well they will let you know about it. I really enjoyed those things.”

TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE PODCAST, CLICK HERE

Read More: Brado Sho, John Farrell, mike napoli,
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