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Red Sox rotation can get away with not having an ace, lacking reliability another issue

04.15.15 at 7:05 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz allowed a career-high 10 runs in Sunday's loss to the Yankees. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Clay Buchholz allowed a career-high 10 runs in Sunday’s loss to the Yankees. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The Red Sox took two out of three games from the Nationals in their first homestand of the season and are off to a 6-3 start overall.

But, this doesn’t mean everything is clicking for the team.

After allowing eight runs over 31 1/3 innings the first time through the rotation, through four games the second time around Sox starters have allowed 28 runs in just 18 1/3 innings.

Clay Buchholz allowed 10 runs Sunday night against the Yankees. Rick Porcello allowed four in the home opener Monday. Justin Masterson allowed seven in his return to Fenway as a Red Sox Tuesday, and Wade Miley allowed seven on Wednesday in his first home start.

“We come away with a series win. I will say we have the capability from a starters standpoint to keep a game under control and that needs to be more consistent than this time through the rotation,” manager John Farrell said after the game Wednesday.

Miley lasted just 2 2/3 innings Wednesday. Buchholz 3 1/3 innings Sunday, and Masterson 4 2/3 innings Tuesday. This meant the Red Sox‘ bullpen was used way more than it should have been, and with the team not having a definitive long-relief man in their bullpen, there is some cause for concern if the trend continues.

Anthony Varvaro threw 50 pitches on Wednesday, three shy of his career-high. Alexi Ogando went two innings or more just three times last season. Former starter Robbie Ross Jr. has looked much better in short stints, rather than longer outings, as evident by his 5.70 ERA as a starter, and 3.22 ERA as a reliever (going into Wednesday).

There are options in Pawtucket for long relief help in Steven Wright, Matt Barnes (who was a reliever in spring training and now a starter in Triple-A), or even prospect Brian Johnson (if the organization thought he was ready for the big leagues).

Farrell said making a roster move isn’t an option, as it’s on the shoulders of the starting rotation to turn things around.

“Again, this goes to the rotation and the need to get deeper into games is going to be required,” Farrell said. “We have the capability of doing that. We’ve shown it. There’s track record of that being done, but to say that we’re going to make a roster change because of the rotation that is not in the works.”

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Brandon Workman receives PRP injection after visit with Dr. James Andrews

04.15.15 at 5:50 pm ET
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Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman came away from a visit with Dr. James Andrews without needing surgery, but that doesn’t mean it was all good news.

After being placed on the disabled list with a right elbow strain, Workman went to visit with Dr. Andrews for a second opinion. He left the visit receiving a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection in the elbow.

“He received a PRP injection today,” manager John Farrell said after Wednesday’s game. “That is going to take some time to recover from that. There’s no estimate time to return to a throwing program. He’s en route back from seeing Dr. Andrews today.”

Getting a PRP injection is an alternative to surgery. A number of players have had it recently including Orioles first baseman Chris Davis for an oblique injury and left-hander Zach Britton on his shoulder.

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

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Closing Time: Red Sox can’t overcome Wade Miley’s poor start, Nationals avoid sweep

04.15.15 at 4:47 pm ET
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Wade Miley allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings, the third-shortest outing of his career. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Wade Miley allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings, the third-shortest outing of his career. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

One turn through the Red Sox‘ rotation couldn’t have gone much better. As for the second one — not so much.

The first time through the rotation Sox starters allowed eight runs over 31 1/3 innings. Through four games the second time around they’ve allowed 28 runs in just 18 1/3 innings.

Wade Miley was the latest to fall, allowing seven runs in just 2 1/3 innings, leading to the Red Sox‘ 10-5 loss to the Nationals Wednesday afternoon. Washington avoided a three-game sweep with the win.

“Things unraveled pretty quick on him,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “As sharp as he was in New York, he was almost the flip side of it, as was the whole turn through the rotation this time through. They squared up some fast balls to the opposite field. A couple of sliders that didn’t get to the spot. One to [Ian] Desmond, one to [Wilson] Ramos. As quick as he works, that third inning kind of sped up on him and sped up on us.”

The Red Sox scored five runs against Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez, but the hole they were put in was too big to overcome. But, even down by six runs in the third inning, the Red Sox offense did show they will rarely be out of any game this season, as they have the ability to score runs in bunches at any time.

After seeing their lead fall to 8-5, Tyler Moore belted a two-run home run in the seventh inning to extend the Nationals lead to 10-5, thus putting the game out of reach.

Despite the loss, the Red Sox have won the first three series’ of the season for the first time since 1952.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Wilson Ramos. The Nationals catcher went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, while also scoring two runs. It was his best game of the season, as he came into the game batting just .167 on the year.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox loss:

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia, hanley ramirez, wade miley

Red Sox pause game in remembrance of Boston Marathon tragedy

04.15.15 at 2:50 pm ET
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At the request of Mayor Marty Walsh, Wednesday’s Red Sox-Nationals was paused at 2:49 p.m. for a moment of silence to remember those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. Wednesday is the two-year anniversary of the tragedy and April 15 has been declared One Boston Day.

The game was paused in between the third and fourth innings.

“We as Red Sox are so fortunate to part of the fabric of this city in the connection that was even galvanized further two years ago,” manager John Farrell said before the game. “I think it’s an extremely worthy pause in today’s game — whenever that will be. Whether it is in the midst of an at-bat, between innings, whenever 2:49 falls on, I think we will all pause for that moment and recall where we were at that specific moment.”

The Red Sox also had a pregame ceremony to recognize the two-year anniversary.

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Emotions high in tribute to Boston Marathon bombing victims and Jackie Robinson

04.15.15 at 1:08 pm ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell has seen so many highs and lows over his two-plus years in Boston.

Wednesday afternoon, on a perfect sun-splashed day at Fenway, he and everyone else at Fenway Park will take time to recall one of the tragic lows. At 2:49 p.m., the Red Sox and Nationals will stop what they’re doing and pay tribute to the exact moment two years ago when hundreds of lives were permanently altered and devastated by the Boston Marathon bombings.

“We’re fortunate that we play in front of a fan base that is so in tune with every team,” Farrell said. “The way they not only pay attention but react positive or negative. They’re passionate. We as Red Sox are so fortunate to be a part of the fabric of this city and the connection that was even galvanized further two years ago, I think it’s an extremely worthy pause in today’s game, whatever that will be. Whether it’s in the midst of an at-bat or between innings, wherever 2:49 falls on, I think we’ll all pause at that moment and recall where we were at that specific moment.”

It is ironic that the same passion for unity and community will also share the stage with Major League Baseball‘s annual tribute to the day 68 years ago that Jackie Robinson broke the sport’s color barrier. The effort today, according to Farrell is to expose more of the African-American community to the sport.

“I think there are some initiatives being taken,” Farrell said. “That’s through the RBI program, for one. But I think we all recognize there are a tremendous amount of athletics that are migrating towards football and basketball. To create more space in the inner city is one possible way to do it. I think we have to continue to find ways to make our game appeal to young people across all walks of life. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Marathon, Boston Marathon bombing, Boston Red Sox, Jackie Robinson

Rusney Castillo has ‘no specific timeline’ for return, but ‘relieved’ shoulder injury isn’t serious

04.15.15 at 12:36 pm ET
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Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo can’t seem to catch a break in his short time as a member of the Red Sox, as he’s dealt with three injuries since signing a seven-year, $72.5 million contract last August.

He suffered a thumb injury during the Arizona Fall League, an oblique injury at the start of spring training and now a shoulder injury while diving for a ball in Saturday’s game with the PawSox. The latest injury has him on the minor league disabled list.

“€œI wouldn’€™t say it’€™s frustrating,”€ Castillo said through a translator Wednesday. “€œObviously, you’€™d like to have more consistency, string some more at-bats together. But sometimes things happen for a reason and it’€™s kind of important to stay strong-willed and keep the bigger picture in mind and move forward.”

Castillo returned to Boston Monday for a full exam on the shoulder, which showed no structural damage.

“There’€™s no specific timeline,” Castillo said on when he will return. “€œI know I’€™m going to miss some time, but to be able to give any exact dates or timeline, I can’€™t do that. I just hope to be out there pretty soon.”

There was relief for Castillo when he learned it wasn’t a major injury.

“Like anything else, you get a little nervous, I guess a little scared that you think it’€™s going to be a serious injury,” said Castillo. “€œBut definitely a little relieved after they told me it wasn’€™t anything too serious.”

The outfielder was 5-for-12 in the three games he played this season with Pawtucket.

Read More: Rusney Castillo,

Red Sox pregame notes: Xander Bogaerts ‘ready to go’ following MRI, normal down days for David Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval

04.15.15 at 11:51 am ET
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There was cause for concern with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and his knee after missing Tuesday’s game and going for an MRI, but those concerns were lifted with a negative result of the MRI and Bogaerts getting back in the lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against the Nationals.

“The way he presented some of the symptoms, sure there was concern,” manager John Farrell said. “That was why the MRI was taken. It came back clean. He felt a little bit more loose even during the game last night and then reported today with all the stress tests that were given and movements he was put through with no ill affects. Clean bill of health.”

“Bogey is ready to go,” he added. “He went out — not only after getting examined this morning, went out through some running, change in direction, some work on the field, so he is a full go.”

Bogaerts is the team’s best hitter to open the season, as he’s 13-for-30 (.433) with seven RBI.

The news may not be as good for reliever Brandon Workman as it was for Bogaerts.

Workman is seeing Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his right elbow, after being placed on the major league disabled list with a right elbow strain.

“They are actually meeting right now,” Farrell said. “We should have something sometime during the game. I don’t know a definitive update right now.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

— After leaving Tuesday’s game after being hit by a pitch on his left foot, Pablo Sandoval is out of the lineup Wednesday, but not because of the foot — just a down day.

“Panda [Sandoval] is actually ready to go, but felt like this was an opportune time to give him a day off,” said Farrell. “Give us a little bit more of a right-handed lineup even though that puts Brock Holt at third base.”

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Read More: David Ortiz, John Farrell, Pablo Sandoval, xander bogaerts

Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts returns; Pablo Sandoval, David Ortiz sit vs. Nationals

04.15.15 at 10:43 am ET
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Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

After missing Tuesday’s game with a knee injury, shortstop Xander Bogaerts is back in the lineup Wednesday afternoon for the series finale with the Nationals.

Bogaerts injured the knee in Monday’s win, but when he came to the park on Tuesday he had increased symptoms and went for a MRI. The results were negative and he’s back in the lineup Wednesday against Nats left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

Pablo Sandoval is out of the lineup after being hit on the left foot Tuesday night and leaving the game. Following the game manager John Farrell said all tests came back negative. David Ortiz also sits, likely just a down day for the designated hitter.

Allen Craig gets the start at first base, while Mike Napoli will DH in place of Ortiz.

For a complete breakdown of the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Hanley Ramirez, LF
4. Allen Craig, 1B
5. Mike Napoli, DH
6. Shane Victorino, RF
7. Xander Bogaerts, SS
8. Brock Holt, 3B
9. Sandy Leon, C
Wade Miley, LHP

Read More: Pablo Sandoval, xander bogaerts,

Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘Numbers don’t match the talent’ for Clay Buchholz

04.15.15 at 10:04 am ET
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ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning to respond to the criticism he’s been facing for his comments about Clay Buchholz. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling has received some backlash for what he said last week about Buchholz lacking the internal drive. The remarks drew criticism from the likes of NESN analyst Steve Lyons, who said Schilling should have taken Buchholz under his wing and told him what to do when they pitched together like Roger Clemens had done with Schilling.

Schilling said he talked to Buchholz but that he noticed a difference between young pitchers and how he came up in the game.

“You can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do, and one of the things that you do as a veteran pitcher is you try and kind of lay a path of multiple options out for young [pitchers], ’cause there’s no one way to do this thing,” Schilling said. “I obviously was big into preparation and video and all that stuff and I would always pass that stuff along, but the thing that got me, and it wasn’t just Clay, but a lot of the new, younger generation of pitchers, when I was at the end of my career, they didn’t ask questions. It felt like the game stopped at the water’s edge, like, when they went home the game was over and now I have to go do stuff.”

Schilling also wanted to clarify that his initial comments had nothing to do with him rooting against Buchholz.

“I was just obviously giving my opinion,” he said. “But I think one of the things I always had issues with with younger players was the desire to win, to be great, and you don’t have to go throw stuff and yell and cuss and be a tough guy when you lose to want it. It’s just, it’s actions. What do you do between your starts? What do you talk about? And I’m not sure I ever really had a conversation about pitching with him.

“And that doesn’t mean anything,” he added. “That doesn’t mean he didn’t go to somebody else. … And Clay’s not a loudmouth like me. I mean, he wasn’t talkative, he was a young player, and he did right as far as trying to know his place and stuff, but again, I’m trying to think of an example. There are players who come up who the game just consumes them, and they’re grabbing somebody and talking and every piece of advice they can get. I used to ask everybody questions. We’d go to Baltimore, I’d ask Jim Palmer, and we’d be in Cleveland and I’d find [Bob] Feller would be at the park and [Bob] Gibson, everybody, [Sandy] Koufax and [Don] Drysdale and that was I just was trying to figure out why the best were the best.”

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, Curt Schilling,

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Nationals matchups: Wade Miley vs. Gio Gonzalez

04.15.15 at 8:16 am ET
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Wade Miley

Wade Miley

The Red Sox will close out a three-game series against the Nationals looking for a sweep as Wade Miley takes the mound opposite Gio Gonzalez at Fenway Park on Wednesday.

In his first outing of the season, Miley got a no decision against the Yankees in a game that would become the longest by time in Red Sox history. The 28-year-old lefty, who came over from Arizona in the offseason, pitched 5 1/3 innings out of 19 that were played before the Red Sox won, 6-5. Miley left the game in position to get a win, but New York tied the game in the ninth. Miley allowed two runs — one of which scored as an inherited runner when Robbie Ross took over in the sixth — on four hits and two walks while striking out six.

Prior to that start, Miley had some good outings in spring training, posting a 3.71 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP and 11 strikeouts over 17 innings.

Miley has faced Washington four times in his career, going 1-2 with a 2.03 ERA and a 1.613 WHIP. In his lone outing against the Nationals last season, Miley threw 6 2/3 shutout innings, allowing eight hits and six walks while striking out four.

Wednesday will mark Miley’s first career start at Fenway.

Miley’s opponent on the mound will be Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star left-hander. In his first outing this season, the 29-year-old Florida native took the loss against the Phillies. Through 6 1/3 innings he allowed three runs on five hits, four walks and a hit batsman while striking out four.

Last season with the Nationals, Gonzalez went 10-10 with a 3.57 ERA, a 1.197 WHIP and 162 strikeouts. He has a 3-1 career record against the Red Sox.

In four career starts at Fenway Park, Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 4.84 ERA, a 1.567 WHIP and 23 strikeouts and 22 1/3 innings.

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Read More: Gio Gonzalez, Red Sox, wade miley,
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