|08.29.16 at 9:40 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (70-64): W, 6-0, at Syracuse (Nationals)
— Roenis Elias helped the PawSox record their 16th shutout of the season, a new team record. The southpaw tossed six scoreless innings for his team-leading 10th victory. He let up just three hits and struck out six while walking three. Elias, 28, has won three of his last four starts, and now is 10-5 with a 3.78 ERA in 20 appearances with Pawtucket.
— Rusney Castillo led the way at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a triple, a double, an RBI and two runs. He now has three multi-hit performances in his last four games. The 29-year-old outfielder is having a great August, batting .365 with five triples in 22 games this month.
— William Cuevas came in to pitch two scoreless innings after Elias left, letting up no hits and striking out one. It was the first scoreless outing for Cuevas since May 7. He is 6-7 with a 4.27 ERA in 24 appearances.
— Chris Marrero went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. He now has back-to-back multi-hit games, but he has not homered since Aug. 15. He is slashing .285/.344/.501 with 23 home runs in 123 games.
|08.29.16 at 8:35 am ET|
Rick Porcello will take the mound for the Red Sox on Monday in the opening game of a three-game series with the Rays. Porcello will start opposite second-year righty Matt Andriese for the second time in six days.
The 27-year-old Porcello leads the American League in wins with 17. He has a 3.23 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. The right-hander has lost just once in his last 18 starts, totaling 11 victories in that span. He did not get a decision in his last start, Boston’s 4-3 loss to the Rays on Wednesday. Porcello let up three runs on nine hits through 7 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking none.
Porcello was in line to pick up his 18th win of the season, until he let up an eighth-inning home run to Evan Longoria that tied the game at 3.
“Obviously, I wish I had thrown that curveball in a different spot than I did to Longoria,” Porcello said. “Other than that, we played hard, top to bottom. We came up just short.”
In 15 career starts against the Rays, Porcello is 8-4 with a 2.90 ERA. He is 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA in four starts vs. Tampa this season.
|08.29.16 at 12:43 am ET|
The Red Sox were looking good after coming back from a 2-1 deficit to take a 4-2 lead after the fifth Sunday night against the Royals, but then things all came crashing down in a hurry in the top of the sixth.
The Royals turned a 4-2 deficit into a 10-4 lead with an eight-run top of the sixth, taking away all the momentum the Red Sox had created in the half inning before in their 10-4 rout.
“Obviously, always the biggest inning is the shutdown inning after we take the lead,” manager John Farrell said.
The “biggest inning” was anything but big.
Things didn’t start right as starter Eduardo Rodriguez walked the lead off man, Eric Hosmer. Then he allowed a double to Kendrys Morales, followed by a walk to Salvador Perez to set up bases loaded with nobody out where hardly ever good things happen for the defense.
“I think going through the at-bat against Hosmer in pretty good shape,” Farrell said. “He’s not getting to his fastball. He throws a 3-2 slider for the walk. Morales is a darn good hitter, particularly from the right side of the plate, so the walk kind of set the tone for the inning.”
After getting a fly out to shallow left, Rodriguez departed after 98 pitches, but didn’t leave reliever Matt Barnes in the best shape as the bases were still loaded with one out and unfortunately for Barnes, he couldn’t get out of the jam — actually, he made it worse.
The first batter Barnes faced — Alcides Escobar — hit a high chopper in front of the plate that Barnes had no play on to plate the first Royals run in the inning and then came the big blow when No. 9 batter Raul Mondesi cleared the bases with a three-run triple to right-center.
And the Royals didn’t stop there.
Paulo Orlando was then hit by a pitch to set up first and third with one out. Cheslor Cuthbert followed with another high chopper that left the Red Sox with no play and saw another Royals run cross the plate. Then, Lorenzo Cain ended Barnes’ night with a single to center.
|08.28.16 at 11:34 pm ET|
Shutdown innings are something to which the Red Sox play close attention. Unfortunately for the Sox and starter Eduardo Rodriguez, the sixth inning Sunday night wasn’t a good example of one.
After scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Red Sox took a 4-2 lead. However, that lead lasted all of half an inning as they allowed eight runs in the top of the sixth and the Royals ended up routing the Red Sox, 10-4.
Kansas City took two of three in the weekend series.
Rodriguez started the sixth inning by walking Eric Hosmer. Following a double and a walk, the Royals had bases loaded with no outs and the left-hander clearly was laboring. After getting a fly out, Rodriguez left the game with the bases still loaded. Unfortunately for him, reliever Matt Barnes couldn’t bail him out.
In fact, he did even worse.
Barnes pitched to five batters and didn’t record an out. He finished by allowing five runs on three hits with a hit batsman. The big blow was a bases-clearing triple from No. 9 batter Raul Mondesi. Robbie Ross Jr. eventually got out of the inning, but not before the Royals plated a season-high eight runs in the frame.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I would have hoped,” Barnes said. “I thought I made a good pitch to [Alcides] Escobar. He hit the 30-foot chopper and didn’t have a plan on anybody. Next hitter Mondesi, he jumped a first-pitch heater, and I went back and looked and I thought the pitch was to him maybe not a good pitch, but in the grand scheme I thought it was on the outer corner of the plate. Jumped a first-pitch heater. Let a couple of balls go. Didn’t think I threw terrible pitches, maybe a combination of bad luck and obviously they squared some balls up. That one is on me. I have to do a better job of securing that lead and getting out of that inning.”
In his first time back after being skipped due to hamstring tightness, Rodriguez finished the night going 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits while walking four and striking out one. The four walks tied a season high.
|08.28.16 at 6:47 pm ET|
It’s been a tough year for Blake Swihart.
After transitioning from catcher to left field early on this season, Swihart was injured going for a ball down the left field line at Fenway Park in early June. The plan was for him to return this season, but the ankle didn’t respond the way it was hoped to and thus he had surgery on Aug. 15, officially ending his season.
Swihart was in the Red Sox clubhouse before Sunday night’s game and indicated he would be getting his cast off on Monday.
“My ankle feels good. I’m not in any pain at all,” Swihart said. “I think in the middle of the offseason I’ll be able to get into baseball shape.”
Typically players who miss this much time during the season would be candidates to play winter ball, but given the length of the rehab process, manager John Farrell doesn’t seem to think that will be possible.
“It’s going to be rehab-based,” he said. “We expect him to be ready to go in spring training, but he’s in a pretty delicate phase right now allowing that surgery to mat down or bend down to heal. Once he comes out of being immobilized, then the next phase of that rehab and range of motion starts to kick in. I don’t that winter ball is likely to make up for any lost at-bats. An unfortunate injury that’s cost him quite a bit of time this season.”
Swihart said he will be working as both a left fielder and a catcher while rehabbing and doesn’t have a preference to one or the other.
“Whatever gets me on the field,” he said.
The 24-year-old is disappointed not being able to play down the stretch, but will be rooting on his teammates from the dugout.
“It’s hard, I want to be out there with them, but at least I get to come in and be there with them during the whole thing,” Swihart said. “It’s a lot of fun seeing them, the way they’re playing. It’s awesome.”
|08.28.16 at 6:04 pm ET|
One of the features of the Red Sox’ September and October rosters in recent years has been having a player who can come off the bench and be a base stealing threat.
In 2004 that was Dave Roberts and in 2013 it was Quintin Berry.
Manager John Farrell said the team is still looking for that player for this season.
“Yeah, and we’ve been on the look out for that,” he said. “Whether it’s external or someone internally that would serve that role that remains to be seen, but yeah, we’ve had discussions about that particular and specific role. Again, I don’t know who that name is going to be to fill that spot.”
One player internally who could fill that role is Yoan Moncada.
The 21-year-old has 44 stolen bases in 56 attempts this season — the most in the entire Red Sox organization. Also, last year he had 49 stolen bases in 52 attempts. Most of the talk around Moncada has been his recent transition to third base in Double-A, but Farrell did acknowledge the team has discussed calling him up once rosters expand, but haven’t made a final decision.
“I would say the talk around Yoan has been about moving obviously to third base,” Farrell said. “He’s just getting some reps at that position. Whether or not he comes up in a role that would be either mixed in, he’s obviously been much better as a left-handed hitter this year, if he’s mixed in that capacity. Does he give you a base stealing threat coming off the bench is a possibility. Those are the types of things we’ve talked about. Whether or not he comes up here is yet to be determined.
“We know he’s an exciting young player with tremendous talents. Whether that time is 2016 or sometime after, that’s yet to be determined.”
It’s also worth noting Berry is currently a free agent. In order for him to be eligible for the postseason, he would need to be signed by Aug. 31.
|08.28.16 at 3:31 pm ET|
According to the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia will no be available for Sunday night’s game, with the second baseman having to attend to a family matter.
“He’s left the team to attend some services for a member of their family,” manager John Farrell said. “Our condolences go out to both Dustin and Kelli and their families. And we would expect him back later later tomorrow night — after the beginning of the game. We’ve not put him on the bereavement list. That requires a minimum of three games missed, so we’ll play a man short here.”
“Based on his texts, he’s envisioning a walk-off hit in the ninth,” Farrell added. “Much like Pedey fashion, that was his parting text this morning before he left.”
Pedroia has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball, having collected hits in 11 consecutive at-bats — one shy of the major league record — before grounding out to second in the eighth inning of the Red Sox’ 8-3 win over the Royals Saturday night.
In his last three home games, Pedroia has 13 hits, having become the first player since 1913 to notch four or more hits in three straight Fenway Park contests.
Brock Holt will start at second base for Pedroia.
Here is the entire Red Sox lineup with Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound for the hosts:
Brock Holt 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Sandy Leon C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
The Boston Herald was first to report Pedroia’s absence.
|08.28.16 at 8:27 am ET|
In Sunday night’s series finale at Fenway, the Red Sox will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound while the Royals will dispatch right-hander Yordano Ventura.
Rodriguez is 2-5 with a 5.11 ERA and a 1.398 WHIP in 13 starts. On Tuesday, Rodriguez threw a three-inning simulated game, as he works his way back from a hamstring injury suffered on Aug. 16. Part of Rodriguez’s rehab also has been making sure he is confident pitching despite suffering a injury.
“The thing is I had that experience before with my knee. I went out there and was just thinking about my knee and when I threw the ball, remember what happened here? I gave up nine runs because I was thinking of my knee and every pitch was right down the middle,” he said Monday. “I don’t want to think about it. Because I had that experience before with my knee.
“I want to feel 100 percent. And I don’t want to think about it. Like I do right now, now I’m not thinking about my knee and I just throw the ball so I can get 100 percent and I’m not thinking about it.”
Rodriguez missed his last start on Sunday, but the last time he was on a mound, Aug. 16 against the Orioles, he pitched four innings of no-hit baseball before leaving the game with the hamstring injury.
In two starts against the Royals, Rodriguez is 1-0 with 2.19 ERA and a 1.135 WHIP. The last time the 23-year-old lefty pitched against the Royals was in August of last season. In that start, Rodriguez threw six innings, allowing four runs (two earned), seven hits and no walks with one strikeout.
|08.28.16 at 7:39 am ET|
Here’s a look a the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (69-64): L, 7-2, at Syracuse (Nationals)
— Catcher Dan Butler had half of his team’s hits, going 4-for-4 with a double. The 29-year-old bumped his average 16 points to .305 in 43 games with the PawSox.
— Center fielder Ryan LaMarre and first baseman Chris Marrero had Pawtucket’s other hits, as they both went 2-for-4. LaMarre hit a solo home run in the third inning, his 10th of the season.
— Left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched four innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits (three home runs) with two strikeouts. He was touched up for five runs in the fourth. Right-hander Chandler Shepherd relieved and pitched three innings of shutout ball, allowing one hit and a walk with four strikeouts. Lefty Robby Scott pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
|08.27.16 at 11:35 pm ET|
The schedule is still subject to change, but the original blueprint for the 2017 Red Sox regular season should be a conversation-starter.
According to Major League Baseball sources, the Red Sox are slated to kick off next season at home against the Pirates. They would then head to Detroit for the second series of the year.
It would be the first time the Red Sox began their season at home since 2010, when they played the Yankees in an April 4 meeting. It would mark just the fourth time since 1996 the Red Sox have kicked off the schedule at Fenway Park.
The meeting with the Pirates would mark the Sox’ second National League Opening Day opponent, having played the Phillies in Philadelphia in 2015.
While the 2017 schedules have been presented to the teams in MLB, the plans could change, particularly with time of games and scheduling being a focal point for the players in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
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