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Ice-cold Clay Buchholz (six, runs, 13 hits) struggles badly as Red Sox fall in 11 at frigid Fenway

04.05.14 at 11:33 pm ET
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Mike Napoli's 3-run homer in the third put the Red Sox back in the game Saturday against Milwaukee. (AP)

Mike Napoli‘s 3-run homer in the third put the Red Sox back in the game Saturday against Milwaukee. (AP)

Clay Buchholz was as ice-cold as the elements Saturday night.

Back-to-back doubles from Khris Davis and Logan Schafer in the 11th inning off former Brewer Burke Badenhop broke a 6-6 tie and led Milwaukee to its second straight interleague win over the Red Sox, 7-6, Saturday night in a four-hour, 23-minute marathon at a frigid Fenway Park. Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in order in the 11th to send Boston to its second straight loss at home and drop them to 2-3 on the very young season.

The game began just after 7 p.m., with a temperature reading of 48 degrees and a wind chill in the upper 30s. By the 10th inning, Fenway was less than half-full and the temperature had dipped into the upper 30s.

Buchholz, the Red Sox starter, allowed a career-high 13 hits and lasted just 4 1/3 innings. The Brewers used two long home runs from Mark Reynolds and Carlos Gomez off Buchholz and clutch hitting to race out to a 6-2 lead heading into the bottom of the third.

“I missed with a lot pitches and when I did they seemed to put the barrel on it and find some holes,” Buchholz said. “Obviously, the couple of home runs they hit were pitches not where they were supposed to be. Just a lot of mistakes that they found holes for.

“I felt fine. It took a little bit to get loose. It was pretty cold out there. But other than that, it was just basically missing in the middle of the plate or missing up [in strike zone] and that’s where their hits came off of. I don’t think I threw one good pitch that was hit, that I look back on and I don’t think he should’ve hit that pitch. That’s the way it goes.”

Buchholz is slated to pitch next Thursday in the Bronx in the opener of a four-game series against the Yankees.

“I’ve been around for a little bit so you can’t dwell on your last start,” Buchholz added. “To do that, it’s probably not going to work out too well for you. Just put in the work that I have to do to get ready for that start against the Yankees.”

Buchholz was bailed out by his offense and did not figure in the decision. Buchholz, who managed only 72 pitches on the night, didn’t allow more than eight hits in any start in 2013 and had never allowed more than seven hits in any game at Fenway.

“You don’t want to give up that many hits ever,” Buchholz said. “But they were swinging early and that’s what I want teams to do, I want them to swing, I want them to put balls in play. I have to do a better job of limiting that and obviously putting pitches where I want to. I wasn’t able to do that at all tonight, really. That’s the way the game goes some times. I have to figure it out before the next time out.”

The Red Sox, playing without David Ortiz (rest), Will Middlebrooks (right calf) and Mike Carp (back) in the starting lineup, managed to battle back as the Brewers started to self-destruct, namely third baseman Aramis Ramirez and shortstop Jean Segura.

With one out, Dustin Pedroia reached on a fielding error by Ramirez. The next batter, Daniel Nava, hit a routine grounder to Segura at short that appeared to be tailor-made for an inning-ending double play. But instead of a 6-4-3 DP, Segura bobbled it and retired only Nava at first.

Mike Napoli followed with a rocket to the center field bleachers off Brewers starter Wily Peralta that cut Milwaukee’s lead to one, 6-5.

The Red Sox used more Milwaukee mayhem in the field to tie the game in the sixth. The Brewers appeared ready to escape a first-and-second, none-out jam when A.J. Pierzynski grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Jonathan Herrera grounded softly to Segura at short. Segura bobbled and couldn’t recover as Xander Bogaerts scored from third.

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, mike napoli

Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz’s night off ‘planned down day’

04.05.14 at 5:19 pm ET
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Prior to Saturday night’s game at Fenway Park against the Brewers, Red Sox manager John Farrell said sitting David Ortiz was planned. Ortiz has experienced some calf tightness, but, according to Farrell, the physical issue wasn’t the primary reason for the day off.

“He deals with a little bit of tightness from time to time,” said Farrell of the calf. “As much as anything, this was more of a planned down day.”

With Ortiz out, the Red Sox have put Grady Sizemore in the lead off spot, with Daniel Nava hitting third, Mike Napoli serving as the designated hitter and Mike Carp playing first.

“Looking at the schedule, the late-night travel, yesterday’s situation — we’ve got to, with all of our players, just rotate guys through, but Grady in the leadoff spot, he’s obviously gotten on base here with some regularity, in a spot he’s been familiar with his entire career,” said Farrell, referencing Sizemore, who will likely get Sunday off. “He’ll give us a spark at the top of the lineup.”

Sizemore, who hadn’t hit leadoff in any of the previous four games, has hit leadoff 705 games in career.

- Shane Victorino continues to battle flu-like situations while coming back from a right hamstring issue.

“He was here for a brief time yesterday,” Farrell said. “He’s not around the team. We’ll likely bring him in here during game time to continue to get treatment but not be around the majority of the players for the flu-like symptoms, the flu that he’s dealing with. He’s still in that phase. I don’t have an update on how long his separation from the team will be. That’ll be dependent upon how quickly he gets through the flu.”

- Craig Breslow, who was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list, may get some more work with Triple-A Pawtucket.

“Continues to improve. He’s getting closer,” Farrell said. “Yesterday was his fifth overall appearance. We’ll sit down and talk with Craig a little bit more specifically on what the next step is. … All of it is a possibility.”

Read More: David Ortiz, John Farrell, Red Sox, Shane Victorino

Red Sox lineup: Grady Sizemore mans leadoff spot; David Ortiz out; Will Middlebrooks, Mike Carp late scratches

04.05.14 at 3:04 pm ET
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With Brewers’ right-hander Wily Peralta on the mound (see video below showing Peralta doing a face-plant during Friday’s introductions), Grady Sizemore gets the call to hit leadoff. The move was also facilitated by the absence of David Ortiz in the lineup, with Mike Carp playing first base and Mike Napoli serving as the designated hitter.

UPDATE: Carp was scratched due to lower back tightness, with Jonny Gomes filling in at left field and Daniel Nava at first while Will Middlebrooks was scratched with a tight right calf. He was replaced by Jonathan Herrera at third.

(For all the matchups, click here.)

Here is the Red Sox‘ lineup in Game 2 of their three-game set with Milwaukee:

Grady Sizemore CF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Daniel Nava 1B

Mike Napoli DH

Xander Bogaerts SS

Jonny Gomes LF

A.J. Pierzynski C

Will Middlebrooks 3B

Jackie Bradley Jr. RF

Clay Buchholz P

Read More: Brewers, David Ortiz, grady sizemore, Red Sox

Jared Remy brought up charges of assaulting fellow inmate

04.05.14 at 2:56 pm ET
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According to a statement by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, Jared Remy — son of Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy — has been accused of assaulting a fellow prisoner in Middlesex Jail.

The incident reportedly occurred at the Cambridge detention facility Thursday, leading the 35-year-old to be charged with with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Remy, who has been isolated from the other inmates will be arraigned on the new charges April 24 in Cambridge District Court.

Related audio:

Jerry Remy joins Dennis & Callahan talking about why he is returning to NESN booth.

Saturday’s Red Sox-Brewers matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Wily Peralta

04.05.14 at 9:27 am ET
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The Red Sox will look to bounce back after a ninth-inning loss to the Brewers on Friday when they send Clay Buchholz to the mound against Wily Peralta Saturday evening.

Buchholz heads into his first start of the year after an offseason in which he rested his shoulder and did not pick up a baseball from the World Series until December. The 29-year-old righty missed more than three months of the 2013 season with an inflammation in the bursa sac of his right shoulder before he came back in September and pitched through the postseason.

Over the course of spring training, Buchholz pitched an increasing amount of innings, pitching a total of 19 during March and going 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA and a WHIP of 0.95.

“Obviously, it’€™s taking a little bit longer to get the innings in for the simple fact that I started a little bit late, but for the most part it’€™s worked out pretty nicely for me and to be able to go out there and have a pitch limit set or an inning limit set during the game,” Buchholz said.

Buchholz, who has never faced off against the Brewers, last pitched on Oct. 27, 2013, in Game 4 of the World Series. In four innings on the mound, Buchholz gave up one unearned run on three hits while striking out two and walking three in what was ultimately a 4-2 Red Sox win over the Cardinals.

Like Buchholz, Peralta has never pitched against the team he’ll face Saturday. The 24-year-old, who is in his third season with Milwaukee, comes into the game after the best spring of his career. Peralta went 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in six appearances in spring.

Peralta’€™s last outing of the 2013 season came in late September when the righty picked up his 11th win of the year after he gave up three earned runs on five hits and five walks against St. Louis.

Brewers vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Lyle Overbay (32 plate appearances): .250 AVG/.344 OBP/ .286 SLG, 1 double, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts

Mark Reynolds (17): .250/.412/.583, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Carlos Gomez has two strikeouts in three plate appearances vs. Buchholz.

Red Sox vs. Peralta (RHP)

No current Red Sox batters have faced Peralta.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Wily Peralta,

Red Sox minor league roundup: Christian Vazquez is more than just a glove; Anthony Ranaudo brings back power; Mookie Betts remains outrageous

04.05.14 at 9:01 am ET
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Christian Vazquez (AP)

Christian Vazquez (AP)

Over time, Christian Vazquez has developed a reputation as one of the top defensive catchers in the minors, someone whose arm behind the plate is a game-changing weapon that has earned the 23-year-old comparisons to perennial Gold Glover Yadier Molina. But increasingly, Vazquez is starting to earn more far-reaching comparisons to the Cardinals All-Star not just for his defense but for the trajectory of his offensive development.

As a hitter, Molina was something of a late bloomer, putting up solid but unspectacular numbers in the minors (.278/.335/.368) and struggling in his first three big league seasons (.238/.291/.342 through his age 23 season in 2006) before taking a leap forward as one of the top two-way catchers in baseball, hitting .297/.353/.422 from 2007-13.

It remains to be seen what kind of hitter Vazquez ultimately becomes, but his progress commands notice. In 2012, he walked 48 times and struck out 79 times; last year, he walked the same number of times (48) but cut his strikeout rate roughly in half (44) while posting a .287 average, .375 OBP and .391 slugging mark. His approach passes the eye test as a hitter who does not expand the strike zone and whose hand-eye coordination permits him to hit line drives to all fields.

This spring, there were signs that Vazquez’s improved knowledge of the strike zone could permit him to make more of an offensive impact as he takes some chances pulling the ball. He crushed a couple of homers in big league spring training, offering a glimpse of a catcher who could have the ability to hit for average, get on base and deliver a bit of sneaky pop — in short, a player who may be ready to challenge his perception as a defense-first player whose limited offensive skill set profiles as that of a backup or a below-average everyday catcher.

On Friday, Vazquez went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles — one to right, one to left. While the one-year deal for A.J. Pierzynski resulted in a sense that Vazquez could emerge as the Sox’ catcher by 2015, his offensive improvements suggest a player who will be ready before that if the need arises.

“In my mind, he’s ready now,” manager John Farrell said of Vazquez on WEEI’s Down on the Farm.

Programming Note: Sunday on Down on the Farm: Red Sox hitting coordinator Tim Hyers will discuss Vazquez and other Red Sox prospects, and ESPN’s Keith Law will discuss the shape of the different farm systems among American League East teams. Listen to the show on WEEI on Sunday morning from 8:30-9 a.m.



– Left-hander Craig Breslow, pitching in the second of back-to-back games, logged a scoreless inning in which he allowed a double and struck out a batter. On Friday, Breslow said that it was his hope that he would be ready for activation from the disabled list after his second Triple-A outing, though he will meet with team officials on Saturday to make the determination of whether he will make any further rehab appearances. Breslow threw eight of 12 pitches for strikes, getting two groundouts and a punchout. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: anthony ranaudo, christian vazquez, Craig Breslow, mookie betts

Ryan Braun on his Fenway reception: ‘The more you deal with it, the easier it becomes’

04.04.14 at 9:59 pm ET
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Ryan Braun heard boos from Fenway fans all day during his first road game since a PED suspension. (AP)

Ryan Braun heard boos from Fenway fans all day during his first road game since a PED suspension. (AP)

Ryan Braun wasn’t about to kid himself.

This wasn’t going to be like Monday in Milwaukee when an adoring crowd welcomed him back to the majors from a PED suspension with a rousing ovation.

He knew Fenway was going to give him a different kind of reception, the one that Alex Rodriguez and other suspected PED users got in the past.

Starting with the lineup introductions Friday afternoon, every time Braun’s name was announced over the Fenway P.A. system, fans serenaded him with boos, boos that got louder and louder each time he came to the plate.

“I’ve dealt with it for the last couple of years,” Braun said. “It’s not something that’s new to me. I’ve had plenty of experience dealing with it and I think, regardless of how challenging anything is, the more you deal with it, the easier it becomes to deal with it.

“So, I dealt with it in 2012. Had my best year last year. I was off to a good start before my early departure.”

Braun’s “early departure” of course was mandated by MLB when he admitted to PED use and was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season.

“All I can do is focus on things I can control, focus on trying to prepare myself in helping my team win games. I’m happy we were able to win. Obviously, an incredible team over there. It was a special day for them, getting to enjoy what they were able to accomplish last year. Certainly, I wasn’t anticipating a reception like I got in Milwaukee. Just focus on the things I can control.”

On Friday, Braun went 0-for-5 with a strikeout and didn’t really contribute as his team scored four times in the ninth to break a 2-2 tie and walk away with a 6-2 win over the Red Sox.

“It always makes it so much better,” Braun said. “I think I’m at a point in my career where I’ve had a lot of individual success and this game is always so much more fun when the team is winning. It’s really not an enjoyable job or profession when you’re not winning. The more games we’re able to win, the more that what I do individually doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on me.”

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, peds
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