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Red Sox game to start at 7:45 p.m.

07.07.14 at 6:41 pm ET
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The Red Sox announced that the start of Monday’s game against the White Sox has been delayed by the threat of severe weather. The Red Sox had already asked fans to clear the uncovered seating bowls at Fenway Park due to lightning in the area. At this time, the starting time of Monday’s game isn’t known. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

UPDATE: The team announced that the game is now scheduled to start at 7:45 p.m.

Red Sox lineup vs. White Sox: Mookie Betts sits, Brock Holt in right

07.07.14 at 3:19 pm ET
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For the third time in four games, Mookie Betts is not in the Red Sox starting lineup, on a night when Boston will face right-handed starter Scott Carroll of the White Sox. The outfield will feature Daniel Nava in left, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center and Brock Holt in right. A.J Pierzynski will be behind the plate to catch Clay Buchholz.

RED SOX LINEUP

Brock Holt, RF

Daniel Nava, LF

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

David Ortiz, DH

Mike Napoli, 1B

Stephen Drew, SS

A.J. Pierzynski, C

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Xander Bogaerts, 3B

Clay Buchholz, RHP

Red Sox minor league roundup: Three years later, Henry Owens keeps checking all the boxes; Pawtucket trade candidates; Trey Ball showing signs

07.07.14 at 1:56 pm ET
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Henry Owens was a lanky left-hander who nonetheless convinced the Sox to use a first-round pick on him in 2011. (Gregg Forwerck / Courtesy Team USA Baseball)

Henry Owens was a lanky left-hander who nonetheless convinced the Sox to use a first-round pick on him in 2011. (Gregg Forwerck / Courtesy Team USA Baseball)

Over the last dozen years, the Red Sox have rarely dedicated their earliest picks to high school pitchers. The team did it with its top selection in 2002, drafting Jon Lester with its first overall pick (a second-round selection), but after that, the instances of taking a pitcher with a first- or sandwich-round pick were few.

Entering 2011, the Sox had used a first- or supplemental first-round selection on a high school pitcher just three times. There was Michael Bowden in the supplemental first round in 2005, Caleb Clay in the supplemental first round in 2006 and Casey Kelly in the first round of the 2008 draft. That was it for the first eight Red Sox drafts under GM Theo Epstein, during which the Sox had 19 picks in that top round of the draft, and there was a reason.

“High school pitching, our approach was we wanted to have really high standards in some areas that were important to us because the bust rate is so high with high school pitching,” Epstein explained this weekend on the Minor Details podcast. “We felt like if we were going to miss on high school pitching, let’s at least miss on somebody who checks all of our boxes, who does the things that we think, through a lot of trial and error and a lot of collective wisdom, does the things that we feel are really important.

“With high school pitching, it wasn’t enough to just have a good arm or to have a swing-and-miss pitch. We really wanted size, projectability, athleticism, makeup, command of the fastball, some movement or other swing-and-miss quality to the fastball, we wanted to see the present ability to spin the baseball and not just projection, we wanted to see feel for a changeup, we wanted to see intelligence and acumen, we wanted to see work ethic, we wanted the arm to work well, we wanted to have a certain kind of arm action, we needed to see ease in the delivery and a repeatable delivery, a delivery that worked. We had a long checklist that we looked for in high school pitching. That’s why we didn’t take much pitching at the top of the draft, and you’ll notice that the Cubs don’t either. It’s a rare pitcher that can check a lot of those boxes.”

But Owens checked enough of them to convince the Sox: This was the high school arm worth a pick, at a time when a lot of high-ceiling talent remained on the board.

“Owens was not one to immediately wow you with his stuff, but the closer you looked at him, you realized he did check a lot of the boxes. He was a really gangly kid, huge kid but very skinny who had massive feet and massive hands, and really showed command beyond his years. He showed the ability to spin the ball, even though it was a really soft curveball at the time, the ball spun well, had the changeup, was able to locate his fastball. He threw better, probably, on the showcase circuit the summer before than he did his senior year in high school.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: henry owens, mike carp, Ryan Roberts, Trey Ball

Red Sox-White Sox series preview

07.07.14 at 1:13 pm ET
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Rookie Jose Abreu is one of two White Sox named to the American League All-Star team. (AP)

Rookie Jose Abreu is one of two White Sox named to the American League All-Star team. (AP)

The Red Sox dropped a heartbreaker in 12 innings on Sunday, storming back from a 6-1 deficit with a five-run seventh inning only to fall in extras. With the defeat, the Red Sox fell to 1-5 on the homestand and to a season-high 10 games below .500 at 39-49. With the Rays claiming victory Sunday, the Red Sox now occupy the cellar of the AL East, nine games behind the first-place Orioles.

The White Sox managed to close in on the AL Central lead in June, pulling within 2 1/2 games of the top spot, but have since faltered and fallen to fourth place, eight games behind the division-leading Tigers. They come in at 42-47, fresh off of a series win against the Mariners.

The White Sox have dropped 14 of their last 19 contests against the Red Sox. Boston took two of three in Chicago earlier this season.

As the All-Star Game rosters were announced on Sunday evening, it was revealed that Jon Lester would be the sole representative in the game for the Red Sox (except, of course, manager John Farrell), while Alexei Ramirez and rookie Jose Abreu will represent the White Sox. Starter Chris Sale is an option in the final vote, where fans choose one of five players to round out each team’s roster.

Here are the pitching matchups for the four-game set.

Monday: Clay Buchholz (3-4, 6.22) vs. Scott Carroll (2-5, 5.05)
Tuesday: Brandon Workman (1-2, 4.17) vs. John Danks (7-6, 4.12)
Wednesday: TBD vs. Chris Sale (8-1, 2.16)
Thursday: Jon Lester (9-7, 2.73) vs. Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.20)

WHO’S HOT: RED SOX

– Though these last few series haven’t been pretty for the Red Sox, they can take away some positives, like the awakening of Dustin Pedroia‘s bat. The second baseman hadn’t looked like himself at the plate for a while, hitting just .222 with a .292 OBP and just five extra-base hits from June 1-18. But his offensive output has picked up considerably over the last couple of weeks; he’s batting .375 over his last 16 games, good for the fifth-best average in the majors since June 19.

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Jackie Bradley Jr. sparks Red Sox with glove, arm, bat

07.07.14 at 12:43 pm ET
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At the time, it looked like a nice play with little significance to the game.

Caleb Joseph hit a fly ball to center field with one out and Manny Machado on third in the top of the seventh. The Orioles already had scored four times in the inning to push their lead to a convincing 6-1 and were trying to add to it with a sacrifice fly.

Jackie Bradley Jr. got under the ball and made the catch, and Machado tagged up as expected. But for the first time in the inning, something went the Red Sox‘ way as Bradley made a pinpoint throw to catcher David Ross to gun down Machado and end the inning.

Sure, the play saved a run and was Bradley’s 10th assist of the season, tied for most among American League outfielders. But it seemed to be nothing more than a footnote in an otherwise ugly day at the ballpark for the Sox to that point.

Instead, the play proved to be key as the Red Sox emerged with a five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to even the score at 6-6.

“[I] saw it up in the air, tried to get some momentum going and try to keep it down, try to fire the best strike I could,” Bradley said.

By the end of the game, the 8-2 double play wasn’t even Bradley’s biggest defensive gem of the day.

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Monday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Scott Carroll

07.07.14 at 8:41 am ET
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The Red Sox begin a four-game series with the White Sox on Monday when they send Clay Buchholz to the mound against Scott Carroll.

Buchholz (3-4, 6.22 ERA) was strong once again in his second start since coming off the disabled list on June 25. He allowed just one run on five hits and had no walks over 6 1/3 innings, but lacked enough run support to earn a decision in a 2-1 Cubs win last Tuesday. Whatever issues Buchholz was having earlier in the season seemingly have disappeared. He’s given up just five runs in 13 2/3 innings and hasn’t walked a batter in the two starts since his return to the Red Sox‘ rotation.

Monday will be Buchholz’s second start against the White Sox this season and the eighth of his career. The right-hander took a no-decision in a solid outing in Chicago on April 16. He gave up three runs (two earned), six hits and two walks to go with six strikeouts over six innings in a 6-4 Red Sox win. Buchholz is 2-2 with a 4.10 ERA in his career against the White Sox.

After beginning the year as a starter, Carroll (2-5, 5.05 ERA) settled nicely into his long-relief role with the White Sox. The righty posted a 1.83 ERA in six relief appearances for Chicago and seemed bound to stay in the bullpen until the struggles of starter Andre Rienzo forced the White Sox to make a change to their rotation yet again.

Carroll, however, has struggled in two starts since returning to the rotation. He’s allowed 12 earned runs on 19 hits over 11 innings in a pair of losses, including a clunker against the Angels last Tuesday. Carroll gave up seven runs, 10 hits and three walks over six innings in a 7-5 Chicago loss at home.

“You’re seeing the lineup more times, you’re throwing a lot more pitches and going deeper into games, so I need to be more efficient and make better pitches,” Carroll said after the game. “I’m trying to get to the point to where I’m consistent and translate what I had into the bullpen over.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Scott Carroll,

Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz explain being thrown out on bases in 1-run loss to Orioles

07.06.14 at 9:11 pm ET
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With the Red Sox‘ 7-6, 12-inning loss to the Orioles on Sunday, Boston has lost 19 one-run games this season — the most in the American League.

In close losses, players always look back on a few plays here or there that could have gone differently and changed the outcome in the game. A few of those plays occurred for the Red Sox on Sunday, especially on the bases.

In a 6-6 game with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Dustin Pedroia lined a single to right-center. With David Ortiz up, Pedroia attempted to steal second base and was thrown out on a close play by catcher Caleb Joseph. The Red Sox challenged the call but lost.

“In that situation [Pedroia] probably slid a little bit early,” manager John Farrell said. “I think, in that situation, we’€™re trying to be aggressive, trying to add 90 feet. We had a key on [Brad] Brach, the pitcher on the mound at the time. Unfortunately we came up a half a hand short.”

There were some questions asked after the game if attempting to steal was the right decision, as if Pedroia reaches second base the Orioles could have intentionally walked Ortiz with first base vacant.

“I’€™m trying to score, man,” Pedroia said. “If they walk David, whatever. Trying to get into scoring position to win the game, that’€™s it.”

Farrell also defended the move, noting the club was just trying to get a runner into scoring position for the game-winning run.

“No guarantee of a base hit in that situation, but we’€™re trying to get a man in scoring position when we’€™re in the middle of the order,” Farrell said.

Ortiz then walked and Mike Napoli struck out to end the inning.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia,
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