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Red Sox lineup: Mike Napoli back at first base, Brock Holt at shortstop

07.12.14 at 12:25 pm ET
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With left-hander Brett Oberholtzer on the mound for the Astros, the Red Sox will have the presence of Mike Napoli back at first base after his day off in the teams’ series opener Friday night. Stephen Drew also sits against a lefty again, with Brock Holt getting the start at shortstop.

The following is the Red Sox’ lineup with Jake Peavy on the hill for the visitors:

Brock Holt SS

Dustin Pedroia 2B

David Ortiz DH

Mike Napoli 1B

Jonny Gomes LF

Xander Bogaerts 3B

David Ross C

Jackie Bradley CF

Mookie Betts RF

For all the matchups, click here.

 

Saturday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Brett Oberholtzer

07.12.14 at 12:24 pm ET
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The Red Sox continue their three-game series against the Astros in Houston Saturday afternoon when they send Jake Peavy to the mound against Brett Oberholtzer.

Peavy (1-7, 4.64 ERA) will take the mound Saturday knowing his days with the Red Sox may be numbered. The right-hander has been the subject of trade rumors as the deadline approaches and the Sox continue to slide, and acknowledged what appears to be an inevitable reality when he addressed the media Tuesday night. But he said unless a deal is actually in place, his focus will be on beating the Astros in his upcoming start.

‘€œIt’€™s an unfortunate situation to have to sit here and talk about the reality of the situation we’€™re in,” Peavy said on Tuesday. “But at the end of the day, I want everybody to know, as my teammates know, when you have to have this, there’€™s obviously going to be talk. My focus and every bit of my energy will be spent giving my effort to beat Houston Saturday night. I got ready for Houston today, threw a bullpen in preparation for that.”

One thing that hasn’t been in question is the way Peavy has pitched in his last two starts. Coming off a seven-run clunker in Seattle June 24, Peavy has bounced back with a pair of strong outings despite not getting the final result he was looking for. He’s given up four runs in his last 12 innings with 10 strikeouts and just two walks. However, he’s yet to get a win since April 25.

The Red Sox have lost Peavy’s last seven starts, including Sunday’s six inning effort against the Orioles. He held Baltimore to two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks, but took a no-decision as the Sox lost the game 7-6 in 12 innings.

Peavy is 7-4 with a 2.31 ERA in 14 career starts against Houston, but hasn’t faced the Astros since 2008 when he was pitching for the Padres. The Houston lineup has changed significantly since then. Peavy hasn’t faced a member of the current Astros lineup in his career.

Oberholtzer (2-7, 4.66 ERA) has spent much of the season bouncing between Triple A and the major leagues. On Saturday, he makes his return to Houston to start for the injured Collin McHughRead the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brett Oberholtzer, jake peavy,

Red Sox minor league roundup: Rafael Devers unstoppable; Joseph Monge’s huge day; Michael Chavis is officially a run-producer

07.12.14 at 10:18 am ET
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Red Sox first rounder Michael Chavis drove in the first run of his career on Friday. (Twitter.com/MichaelChavis11)

Red Sox first rounder Michael Chavis drove in the first run of his career on Friday. (Twitter.com/MichaelChavis11)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Sunday on WEEI’s Down on the Farm, with Henry Owens and Sean Coyle set to play in the All-Star Futures Game, the scouts who signed the two players — Tom Battista with Owens and Chris Calciano for Coyle — will discuss the scouting process and reports that led the Sox to the duo. Tune in from 8:30-9 a.m., or check the extended interviews in the podcast at WEEI.com/podcast.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-3 LOSS (11 INNINGS) AT TOLEDO (TIGERS)

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– Third baseman Will Middlebrooks went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts while playing nine innings. He has hits in seven of eight contests since resuming his rehab, hitting .259/.310/.481. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: joseph monge, michael chavis,

Closing Time: Christian Vazquez helps Red Sox blow out Astros

07.11.14 at 11:38 pm ET
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Christian Vazquez, in his second career game, collected three hits and drove in three runs. (AP)

Christian Vazquez, in his second career game, collected three hits and drove in three runs. (AP)

He can hit, too.

Christian Vazquez‘s carrying tool on the way to the big leagues, of course, was his defense. But along the way, he picked up some offensive skills that transformed him from a potentially strong defensive backup to a player with a chance to be an everyday catcher in the big leagues. On Friday night, he punctuated the point.

Vazquez went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles while driving in three runs, helping to jumpstart the Red Sox offense en route to an 8-3 victory over the Astros. It marked just the third time this year (and first since May) that a Red Sox catcher had multiple extra-base hits in a game, and the second time this year (and first since April) that a Sox catcher drove in three runs. He became the first Red Sox since Nomar Garciaparra in 1996 to have a three-hit game in one of his first two career games, and the first Sox catcher to do so since Russ Gibson in 1967.

The Red Sox now have their third winning streak of three or more games this year.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX Read the rest of this entry »

Red Sox-Astros series preview

07.11.14 at 7:19 pm ET
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It was quite the eventful end to the lengthy homestand for the Red Sox. The club shook up their roster, designating veteran backstop A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and adding rookie Chrisitan Vazquez. Since the move on Wednesday, they’ve won twice in dramatic fashion with two walkoff wins in a row. Brock Holt was the hero on Wednesday while Mike Carp came through with a pinch-hit RBI on Thursday, but the victories were team wins, all-in-all.

Despite the thrilling victories, the Red Sox still had an ugly homestand, going 3-7 over the 10 games. They go to Houston occupying the cellar of the AL East, their 41-51 record leaving them 9 1/2 games behind the division-leading Orioles. But the Red Sox hope the youth movement will give them a spark to get back into the race.

“I know they’ve got a couple of different guys in the lineup, but for the most part the main guys are still there,” Scott Feldman, who will start in the series opener for the Astros, told MLB.com. “I think it’s a matter of time before they get hot. I know they’re a few games under .500 or whatever, but looking up and down their lineup, they still have a lot of good hitters in their lineup.”

In a rather surprising turn of events, the Astros aren’t in last place. They’re 19 1/2 games out of first, but the Rangers sit a half-game below them in the standings. The Astros are another team committed to youth, with several highly-touted rookies, like George Springer and Jon Singleton, becoming mainstays in the lineup. They’re coming off of a sweep of the Rangers after they’d lost seven games in a row. They even tagged Rangers ace Yu Darvish for six runs on 10 hits in the series finale.

“I think this is getting back to how we were playing in May and early June, and obviously when you’re swinging the bat, you’re always in the game,” Springer said, according to MLB.com. “We’ve got three good starts from our guys and they held an extremely good team over there to three, four, five runs, and that’s obviously big.”

The Astros and Red Sox have yet to meet this season, but the Sox have taken six of seven contests since the Astros moved to the AL last season.

Here are the pitching matchups for the weekend set, the last series before the All-Star break:

Friday: John Lackey (9-6, 3.84) vs. Scott Feldman (4-5, 3.86)
Saturday: Jake Peavy (1-7, 4.64) vs. TBD
Sunday: Clay Buchholz (3-5, 6.11) vs. TBD

WHO’S HOT: RED SOX Read the rest of this entry »

Red Sox lineup: Mike Napoli sits, Mike Carp cleans up

07.11.14 at 5:01 pm ET
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Mike Napoli, hitting just .188 (with a .350 OBP) and .250 slugging mark in the month of July, will get the day off as the Red Sox open a three-game series in Houston against the Astros. In his place, Mike Carp will clean up and get the start at first base. Xander Bogaerts, who sat out of Thursday’s series finale against the White Sox, is back in the lineup at third base. Mookie Betts will get the day off, while Christian Vazquez will be behind the plate for John Lackey.

RED SOX LINEUP

Brock Holt, RF

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

David Ortiz, DH

Mike Carp, 1B

Daniel Nava, LF

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Xander Bogaerts, 3B

Stephen Drew, SS

Christian Vazquez, C

John Lackey, SP

Red Sox minor league roundup: Shane Victorino back on comeback trail; Anthony Ranaudo keeps cruising; Perk up; Speier wins

07.11.14 at 1:32 pm ET
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Shane Victorino struck out in both of his at-bats on Thursday with the Lowell Spinners. (AP)

Shane Victorino struck out in both of his at-bats on Thursday with the Lowell Spinners. (AP)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Thursday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 11-2 WIN AT TOLEDO (TIGERS)

(BOX)

– Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo became the second 10-game winner in the International League, allowing one run on six hits (one double) and a walk in five innings while punching out four to improve to 10-4 with a 2.62 ERA. The outing marked the seventh straight in which Ranaudo has allowed two or fewer walks. One evaluator noted that he’s been pitching with less slightly less velocity (typically 92-94 mph) this year than he did a year ago in Portland, but speculated that he might be doing so intentionally as he becomes more comfortable with the craft of pitching.

– Outfielder Corey Brown went 2-for-3 with a homer, two walks and a steal. He has four homers in his last seven games and 13 on the year with a .222/.293/.435 line.

Jonathan Herrera went 3-for-6, and he’s now 7-for-15 with a double since the Red Sox optioned him to Pawtucket. He has multiple hits in each of his three games with the PawSox.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 13-3 LOSS AT BINGHAMTON (METS) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: gabe speier, Kendrick Perkins, luis diaz, reed reilly
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