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Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia sits in series finale against Blue Jays

07.24.14 at 9:18 am ET
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Dustin Pedroia will get a day off as the Red Sox look to earn a series split against the Blue Jays on Thursday. Brock Holt will get the start at second base, with the outfield featuring Daniel Nava in left, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center and Shane Victorino (batting second) playing right.

Pedroia went 1-for-4 on Wednesday; he’s now 2-for-24 (.083) in six games to open the second half. Meanwhile, the start represents a landmark of sorts for Holt, who has now started at all four infield positions and all three outfield positions this year, thus becoming the first Red Sox player ever to start at every infield and outfield position in the same season.

Christian Vazquez will be behind the plate to catch Rubby De La Rosa for the matinee game.

RED SOX LINEUP

Brock Holt, 2B

Shane Victorino, RF

David Ortiz, DH

Mike Napoli, 1B

Daniel Nava, LF

Stephen Drew, SS

Xander Bogaerts, 3B

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Christian Vazquez, C

Rubby De La Rosa, SP

Clay Buchholz ‘dazed’ but ‘fine’ after taking grounder off head

07.23.14 at 11:10 pm ET
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TORONTO — The first inning Wednesday night was a nightmare for Clay Buchholz.

Not only did he allow the Blue Jays to claim three runs in the frame after the Red Sox had busted out with three in the top of the first, but the Red Sox starter also experienced another uncomfortable incident in the middle of it all — a baseball off the side of his head.

With two outs in the first, Munenori Kawasaki hit a one-hopper up the middle that somehow avoided Buchholz’ glove, hitting the pitcher in the right side of the head. The play resulted in some anxious moments, with manager John Farrell and trainer Brad Pearson running to the mound to tend to Buchholz, who had just risen to his feet upon their arrival.

“Just probably as a pitcher, when ball’s hit at you, it looks like it’s coming back either a thousand miles an hour or really slow,” Buchholz said. “Felt like I got my glove up and I was sort of falling away from it and it went over my glove.”

When asked what went through his mind at the time, Buchholz said, “Well, it didn’t get me in the face. That was the first checkpoint. It dazed me, for sure. Any time that you get hit with the ball it’s going to take you a second, but yeah, once I got up and once I got my bearings straight, I felt fine.”

The initial diagnosis after the grounder wasn’t good for Buchholz, who immediately allowed an RBI ground-rule double to light-hitting Josh Thole.

The good news was that, for the most part, Buchholz settled down the rest of the way.

With the starter fighting to stay out of the bad mechanics that had plagued him for much of the season’s first few months, Buchholz rebounded from the three-run first to hold the Blue Jays scoreless until the sixth.

“Definitely was coming out of it, jumping a little, and that’s what causes your pitches to miss,” Buchholz said of his mechanics. “Just couldn’t seem to correct it for the duration of the game. Felt like I’d get through it really good for a couple of hitters and then fall back into it. Just something that happens sometimes. Got to do a better job taking care of it.”

Said Farrell: “There was a tendency to fly open occasionally. He missed some pitches to the arm side maybe a little bit more today than we’ve seen of late, but I don’t think it was anything that was glaring. He threw some very good curveballs. He threw some changeups and mixed that in. But the overall sharpness wasn’t what it’s been the last four times out.”

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Xander Bogaerts learns yet another valuable (and painful) lesson

07.23.14 at 10:48 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

TORONTO — Every once in a while, you get a reminder that Xander Bogaerts is 21 years old. Wednesday night was one of those occasions.

The talent of Bogaerts was on display in the fifth inning when he doubled in Daniel Nava for what was at the time the go-ahead run for the Red Sox. After that, youth won over … and not in a good way for the third baseman or his team.

With two outs in the sixth inning and the Blue Jays having already tied things up at 4-4, Jose Reyes hit a routine grounder that Bogaerts was forced to take a few steps to his left on before gobbling up. With the speedy Reyes running, Bogaerts immediately transferred the ball to his throwing hand and fired it to first baseman Mike Napoli.

The problem came as soon as Bogaerts released the ball, as he pulled it just enough to make it a one-hopper that Napoli couldn’t stretch and gather in. The result was the go-ahead run scoring and the Blue Jays taking the lead for good instead of the teams heading into the seventh all knotted up.

“It was a ball in the dirt. Just tried to pick it. I’€™m pretty good at picking balls and didn’t come up with it,” Napoli said, adding, “I was kind of falling over a little bit. it’€™s a play I’ve made in the past and I expect to make and I didn’t make the play.”

Another sign of Bogaerts’ youth came after the game when he ducked out of the clubhouse before the media’s availability. (It’s a small item, but one veterans frown upon since they’re the ones who end up having to answer for the rookie.)

“He could see it in front of him, you’€™d have to ask him,” Napoli said when asked if Reyes’ speed factored into the hurried throw. “But you have to be quick with it. Him being quick down the line, it’€™s a play you have to get your feet under you and be quick.”

Bogaerts has taken his lumps this season while playing his new position at third base (making eight of his 15 errors at the position), although Red Sox manager John Farrell said it’s not for a lack of trying.

“I recognize that there’s a number of errors there at third base in the games he’s played,” Farrell said. “I can’t say it’s for exactly one reason that links them all together. It’s not because of effort and intensity with which he goes about his play.”

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Closing Time: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox can’t hold off Blue Jays

07.23.14 at 9:46 pm ET
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TORONTO — So much for momentum.

Things were looking downright rosy for the Red Sox in the first inning of their Wednesday night tilt with the Blue Jays. David Ortiz launched a three-run homer against Toronto starter R.A. Dickey, giving the visitors a three-run lead before the Jays could even get an at-bat.

The good times for the Red Sox, however, quickly were derailed.

The Jays also scored three times in the first inning, and then came back to take the lead for good with two runs in the sixth inning. The end result was the Red Sox‘ second straight loss at Rogers Centre, this time a 6-4 decision.

The eventual winning run for the Jays came when third baseman Xander Bogaerts threw away what appeared to be an inning-ending grounder off the bat of Jose Reyes in the sixth. The miscue allowed the Blue Jays to score the eventual winning run against the Sox and starter Clay Buchholz, who took his sixth loss of the season (5-6).

Buchholz finished his six innings giving up five runs (four earned), striking out one and walking four. Andrew Miller surrendered a run in relief while pitching the seventh.

The Red Sox finished the night going just 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position, with Jackie Bradley stranding three runners while going 0-for-4.

Daniel Nava joined Bogaerts as the only two Red Sox to claim multiple hits. It was Bogaerts’ fifth-inning double that plated Nava, briefly reclaiming the lead for the Sox.

Ortiz’s home run set a record for most home runs by a visiting player at Rogers Centre (37).

Koji Uehara, Red Sox haven’t talked contract extension

07.23.14 at 8:14 pm ET
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Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

TORONTO — Normally news that there hasn’t been any negotiations between a 39-year-old relief pitcher in the final year of his contract might not be worth mentioning. But Koji Uehara isn’t your ordinary 39-year-old relief pitcher.

Uehara told WEEI.com prior to the Red Sox‘ game against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night that his representation (SFX) has not spoken with the Sox about an extension beyond the 2014 season.

“So far, there have been no talks,” Uehara said through translator C.J. Matsumoto. “I’ll leave it all up to my agent, but right now I haven’t heard anything.”

There is some thought that despite Uehara’s age, the Red Sox might consider offering the pitcher a qualifying offer in the coming offseason (estimated to be around $15 million for one year). If such a strategy was employed by the Sox, Uehara undoubtedly would accept the offer, guaranteeing the Red Sox his services for another season.

The more likely scenario would be to extend the reliever a deal that either guarantees a second year or builds in a vesting option for a second season.

Uehara is making $4.25 million for the ’14 season, the highest annual income of his six-year major league career.

Since becoming the Red Sox closer on June 26, 2013, Uehara has saved 40 of 44 regular-season games, striking out 118 and walking just eight. His ERA over that span is 1.00 with a batting average against of .139.

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John Farrell on D&H: Dustin Pedroia ‘playing at 100 percent as far as I know’

07.23.14 at 4:18 pm ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell joined Dale & Holley on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Jake Peavy‘s performance on the mound, Dustin Pedroia‘s health and Christian Vazquez‘s reputation behind the plate. To listen to the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

If anyone would want the opportunity to hit the reset button on the 2014 season, it would have to be Peavy, who is 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA over 20 starts this year. Peavy has lost nine consecutive decisions, tying for the most ever by a former Cy Young Award winner.

Despite his lackluster numbers, Peavy often has been done in by the Red Sox lineup, as the righty is last in the AL in run-support average at 3.15.

“We recognize full where the record stands, but there’s been a number of games in which he’s carried a quality start into the seventh or eighth inning with really not much to show for, and I can’t say it’s just because of a lack of run support,” Farrell said. “Have there been things on a shared responsibly? Without question. But I can tell you that he’s pitched better than the record that he’s showing today.”

Farrell continued: “You look at the last start he made down in Houston where he’s walking out into the eighth inning in a one-run game or 2-2 tie, things don’t happen quite right. We leave 13 men on base. If there’s a base hit somewhere in there, we’re probably not having this same conversation, but that’s the reality of things. I thought through five innings last night, Jake probably had his best breaking ball of the season.”

While ESPN’s Buster Olney noted earlier Wednesday that rival scouts are concerned that Pedroia‘s all-out play could have an negative effect on his career, Farrell said that Pedroia is healthy, despite dealing with an 0-for-17 skid.

“He’s playing at 100 percent as far as I know. I see him every day; every player has got maintenance work that they do in the training room, which he goes through,” Farrell said. “Is his style of play more taxing physically? It might be. But I know that seeing him when he gets to the ballpark here at 1 in the afternoon, the early work that he goes through, that’s tapered off as we get deeper into the season. … Dustin’s got an off day coming up here as well. Even though we’re coming out of the All-Star Break, we’ve still got to be mindful of the number of consecutive days, and that’s part of the balancing act when it gets to this part of the season.”

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Red Sox lineup: Brock Holt takes break for first time in two months

07.23.14 at 3:30 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

TORONTO — The Red Sox will have somebody besides Brock Holt at the top of their lineup since May 22, with the utilityman getting the day off and Shane Victorino sliding up to the batting order’s leadoff spot.

Since being inserted in the lineup’s top spot, Holt has more hits than any other leadoff man (77). He did, however, go hitless in Tuesday night’s game after going on a seven-game run in which he went 16-for-34 (.471).

Here is the rest of the Red Sox lineup with R.A. Dickey on the mound for the Blue Jays, and Clay Buchholz getting the start for the visitors:

Shane Victorino RF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

David Ortiz DH

Mike Napoli 1B

Daniel Nava LF

Xander Bogaerts 3B

Stephen Drew SS

Christian Vazquez C

Jackie Bradley CF

For all the matchups, click here.

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