|07.07.15 at 8:19 am ET|
Miley, who spent the first four years of his career in Arizona, has righted the ship since a rocky beginning to the season. Over his last four starts, he is 3-1 with a 3.04 ERA and just one home run allowed.
The southpaw has gone 8-7 on the year with a 4.53 ERA and a 0.8 HR/9 ratio, his lowest mark since his All-Star campaign of 2012. He also maintains a 4.10 FIP, indicating that he has pitched better than his standard numbers suggest. However, Miley is giving up baserunners at the highest rate since his rookie season as he owns a 1.44 WHIP.
In his latest start against the Blue Jays last Thursday, Miley did not pitch his best, but the offense still bailed him out. The 28-year-old lasted just five innings, allowing four runs and tying a career worst with seven walks. Fortunately for the Louisiana native, the Red Sox brought their big sticks to the ballpark. They knocked out Blue Jays starter Matt Boyd before he could record an out and went on to earn Miley the victory in a 12-6 drubbing.
“Wade turned in what I would consider a blue-collar night,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He didn’t have much command, anywhere consistent to where he’s been, but found a way to make some big pitches.”
Miley cannot expect the same kind of run support vs. Haren, one of the strongest veteran pitchers in the majors.
|07.06.15 at 10:11 pm ET|
Jon Lester lost two no-hit bids on Monday night against the Cardinals, and one of them has been a long time coming.
In the second inning against former teammate John Lackey, Lester lined an infield single off of Lackey’s shin, legging out the first hit of his career.
Lester had started his career 0-for-66 (with another 0-for-5 in the World Series) before he finally ended his record run of futility. It was the longest hitless streak to start a career in big league history.
Lester had another no-hit bid end in the seventh when Jhonny Peralta lined a single off the glove of third baseman Kris Bryant with one out. A Bryant error extended the inning, and the Cardinals went on to score two runs to take a 2-0 lead in support of Lackey.
Win or lose, at least Lester doesn’t have to worry about getting that first hit anymore.
|07.06.15 at 8:38 pm ET|
Brock Holt wasn’t the only member of the Red Sox to be named an All-Star on Monday.
After being optioned back to Triple-A last week, outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was added to the International League All-Star team. He had received the most votes prior to his big league call up on June 25.
Bradley, Jr. is hitting .319 in 54 games for the PawSox this season. He is currently second in the International League in batting (.319), second in on-base percentage (.396) and third in slugging percentage (.460). He also leads the PawSox with 18 doubles and has four home runs to go along with 16 RBIs.
The PawSox also announced left-hander Brian Johnson, who was elected to the International League All-Star Team, will not participate as he would have been unable to pitch in the game as his next PawSox start is July 11.
The Triple-A All-Star Game is slated for Wednesday, July 15 at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
|07.06.15 at 7:43 pm ET|
The Red Sox have their All-Star representative and as expected, it’s shortstop Xander … wait a minute, it’s Brock Holt?!?
In what goes down as a surprise even to Holt himself, Royals manager Ned Yost chose the utilityman as Boston’s lone All-Star representative among the reserves announced on Monday night.
“What impressed me is his versatility,” Yost said on the selection show. “Super-utility guys should be celebrated.”
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, widely expected to be the team’s lone All-Star, will instead appear on the five-man final-player ballot, where he’ll square off against Detroit’s Yoenis Cespedes, Minnesota’s Brian Dozier, New York’s Brett Gardner and Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas.
While the choice is a surprise, Holt isn’t undeserving. The 27-year-old is hitting .295 with an .807 OPS while appearing at every position except pitcher and catcher.
“It’s pretty surreal,” Holt said in a conference call. “I’m just honored to be able to represent the Red Sox and the organization at the All-Star Game. I’m humbled and it’s something I didn’t expect coming into the year, but I’m glad it happened, and I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Holt open the season on the bench in a reserve role, but basically became a full-time starter in early May, albeit one without a set position. He has started 30 of 32 games since June 3, hitting .303 with a home run and 10 RBIs. Included in that stretch was the game of his life against the Braves on June 16, when he hit for the cycle in a 9-4 victory.
He said he never expected to play the role he has filled in Boston, figuring he’d spend his time at second and short if he ever made the big leagues at all.
“I had never played outfield at all at any level until last year,” he said. “I had never played first base ever. Obviously, I didn’t expect growing up like, hey, I’m going to play outfield and first base in the major leagues. It’s just something that happened, and everything kind of happens for a reason. I’ve found a home here in Boston. It has helped me as a player to find a place and kind of stick. It’s been a huge thrill for me to be able to do that.”
|07.06.15 at 8:05 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-47): L, 4-1, at Syracuse (Nationals)
— LHP Henry Owens (Boston’s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) had just one trouble inning, with less-than-perfect defense played behind him, but it was enough to saddle Owens with the loss and drop his record to 2-7 on the season while tarnishing his final line: 6 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO (102 pitches, 65 strikes).
In the third, a leadoff walk and double against Owens gave Syracuse a 1-0 lead. After a bunt single put two aboard, Owens induced back-to-back ground balls to third, the second of which probably could have been a double play if not for a drop on the exchange by second baseman Mike Miller. Instead, another run crossed the plate and Owens then allowed a two-run homer to center by Syracuse cleanup hitter Kevin Keyes.
Owens, 22, recovered to retire 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. The seven strikeouts tied a season high for Owens, as did the four earned runs allowed. A 6-foot-6 lefty from Huntington Beach, California, Owens was selected by Boston with the 36th overall pick of the 2011 draft out of high school. In 2014 Owens was 17-5 with a 2.94 ERA over 26 combined starts between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket.
— RHP Dayan Diaz made his sixth straight scoreless appearance out of the bullpen, adding 1 1/3 spotless innings of action to his ledger on Sunday. The 26-year-old Colombian, signed by the Red Sox as a minor league free agent in 2013, was promoted to Triple-A this year on May 11 after striking out 17 in 15 2/3 innings with Double-A Portland. Since June 13 Diaz has pitched 12 1/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts to four walks.
— The PawSox offense managed just four hits in the game, including one from rehabbing right fielder Daniel Nava (sprained thumb). The 32-year-old Nava also stole a base and now is 2-for-8 through three rehab games. The final 14 Pawtucket batters were retired in order on Sunday.
— Center fielder Rusney Castillo went 0-for-3 with a walk, as did Allen Craig as the DH.
|07.05.15 at 7:33 pm ET|
It wasn’t the greatest of Eduardo Rodriguez’s first eight starts in the majors, but even with the average performance he was still able to keep the powerful Astros offense in check.
While he needed 101 pitches to get through five innings, struggling with his command at times, the left-handed rookie allowed only one run on six hits while walking two and striking out a career-high eight batters taking a no-decision in the Red Sox‘ 5-4 win.
With Sunday being his eighth start, going 4-2 with a 3.69 ERA in those starts, he’s starting to feel more comfortable being in the big leagues.
“Yeah, I feel way better now here with everybody,” the soft-spoken Rodriguez said. “They try to teach me like how to pitch, all the starting pitchers try to help me a lot, so that’s what I feel right now.”
With allowing only one run, Rodriguez became the first Red Sox player in the live ball era (since 1920) to allow one run or less in six of his first eight starts. He’s also the first left-handed pitcher in the live ball era to record seven or more strikeouts and allow one run or less four times over his first 18 starts.
Catching Rodriguez for the first time in a game, Ryan Hanigan came away very impressed.
“I got a chance to catch a couple bullpens when I was coming back and he was just on point. Then [today] it was awesome,” he said. “When he was missing, he was just missing, so his pitch count got a little high by the fifth. His command, his execution, just his stuff in general is pretty impressive for a guy his age, for sure.”
“It’s fun,” Hanigan added. “His stuff is explosive. When he shakes, I always have a lot of confidence in him because he just knows what he’s doing out there. He can read swings, he can read hitters timing. He can do different things with his pitches. It’s fun to catch him, for sure.”
Rodriguez liked working with Hanigan for the first time as well.
“It was pretty good,” Rodriguez said. “He called the right pitches — what I wanted to throw, when I wanted to throw. He was pretty good behind home plate with me.”
The left-handed also said he’s put the tipping pitches stuff behind him.
“I can’t control that now, don’t tip pitches anymore,” he said.
With allowing now allowing one earned run or less in six of his eight starts, Rodriguez has every right feel like a big leaguer.
|07.05.15 at 7:11 pm ET|
The odds may have been stacked against Hanley Ramirez in the seventh inning — down 1-2 in the count and in midst of an 0-for-9 slump facing Astros reliever Tony Sipp with a runner on first and the Red Sox trailing 4-3.
But, with one hand, he lined a changeup that just cleared the Green Monster, giving the Red Sox a 5-4 lead and proved to be the game-winner, as the Red Sox earned a series win over the Astros.
“I saw a couple changeups and I just figured he was going to throw another one,” Ramirez said. “I tried to wait on it but like I said I put a good follow through.”
“I think it just tells you how strong he is,” manager John Farrell added. “Once he gets the barrel of the bat, even the first at-bat in this series, he drives the ball out of the ballpark on Friday night. Still, when he’s able to make solid contact, he’s got the ability to drive the ball out of any park. But even if he is fooled, because his plate coverage is so good, he’s able to give us a lead and a big one at that.”
Ramirez is now batting .367 in 44 career games against the Astros, the highest active mark against the franchise (minimum 150 plate appearances). Six of Ramirez’s 18 homers this season have given the Red Sox the lead in the game at the time.
What may go unnoticed is in the at-bat prior to the home run, David Ortiz forced Sipp to throw 11 pitches, before he was able to work a walk. Ramirez said that played a role in his homer.
“That’s everything right there,” he said. “He put up a good at-bat and got on first so it’s up to me now.”
|07.05.15 at 6:30 pm ET|
David Ortiz has built his reputation on putting fear in opposing pitchers with his clutch power hitting late in games.
But with one out and none on and the Astros leading 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, fear was not on the mind of lefty Tony Sipp, who was brought in by Houston manager A.J. Hinch to face Ortiz.
“I got ahead. I was just trying to go right at him, do anything but walk him,” Sipp said. “I got the 1-2 slider and it started backing up on me. I couldn’t get the one that was sharp that looked like a strike and then [would] fade out of the strike zone. That’s why he kept fouling off and he was a little disappointed because he was missing some of my mistakes.
“Right there at the end, I threw a ball that was a little bit too low and walked him. That was the last thing I wanted to do, was walk him. He’s not hitting the best right now so I wanted to at least make him put it in play. If he’s swinging the bat well, then it’s not a bad thing to do, to walk him. But right now, he’s not the same Big Papi.”
Ortiz is hitting just .228 this season, but still with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, and an OPS of .744.
Sipp’s frustration was compounded when he gave up the go-ahead and game-winning home run on a splitter to Hanley Ramirez.
“It was down but just not out [outside] like I wanted,” Sipp said. “He put the swing that I want him to put on it but he caught it out front and had enough pop to get it over the wall. I think that’s just how it goes. Sometimes they’ll hit a good pitch. He’s pretty good and caught a good pitch. Location wasn’t bad, just down the middle.”
If Sipp watched Ortiz circle the bases, he could plainly see Ortiz pumping his fist around second base, adding more salt to the wound.
“I felt like I was throwing the ball well,” Sipp said. “I got ahead of both Big Papi and Hanley but I just couldn’t put them away.”
|07.05.15 at 5:37 pm ET|
Hanley Ramirez stepped to the plate with the Red Sox trailing 4-3 and a runner on first in the seventh inning in the midst of an 0-for-9 skid, but with as good of a hitter as he is, that didn’t matter one bit.
The slugger lined a two-run homer into the Monster seats, proving to be the difference in the Red Sox’ 5-4, come-from-behind win over the Astros.
They took 2-of-3 in the series and have won three straight series for the first time since the first three of the season. Overall, the Red Sox have won four of their last five series’ — all coming against teams with records over .500.
The seventh inning homer was Ramirez’s 18th home run of the season and he has five homers over his last 10 games.
“Well first of all we’ve come back multiple times in this series and the way our offense is starting to come together, we’re capable of doing that more frequently,” manager John Farrell said. “But obviously a timely two-run homer by Hanley. He gets a changeup out front that he hits with one hand. But you look at the 11-pitch at-bat [with David Ortiz] prior to Hanley may have taken a little bit out of [Tony] Sipp in that moment. Still, a key win here today; good series win.”
Junichi Tazawa (win) tossed a scoreless eighth inning and Koji Uehara pitched the ninth, earning his 19th save, working around a Brock Holt error to open the inning.
Things didn’t look good for the Red Sox before Ramirez’s homer, as they blew a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning.
Leading 3-1, reliever Alexi Ogando allowed back-to-back home runs into the Monster seats. With two outs in the inning, 20-year-old phenom Carlos Correa lined a shot over the Monster for a two-run homer to tie the game at three and then the very next batter, Evan Gattis, hit one to almost the exact same spot giving the Astros a 4-3 lead.
This all came after the bottom of the sixth when the Red Sox scored two runs to take a 3-1 lead at the time.
With the game tied at one in the sixth inning, the Red Sox took advantage of some spotty Astros defense. Ramirez reached on an error to open the frame and came around to score on Pablo Sandoval’s double to left, which was bobbled by left fielder Evan Gattis, allowing Ramirez to score from first.
Then with two outs, Ryan Hanigan slapped a RBI single to right, scoring Sandoval and giving the Red Sox a 3-1 lead.
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez didn’t have his best stuff — needing 101 pitches to get through five innings, but he only allowed one run. The rookie left-hander went five innings, allowing one run on six hits, while walking one and striking out eight. The eight strikeouts were a career-high.
Rodriguez was able to get out of couple jams, as he stranded a runner at third base to end the second and recorded back-to-back strikeouts with a runner at second to end the fifth. He became the first pitcher since at least 1914 to allow one or no runs in at least six of his first eight major league outings, all starts.
“I got a chance to catch a couple bullpens when I was coming back and he was just on point,” Hanigan said. “Then tonight it was awesome. When he was missing, he was just missing, so his pitch count got a little high by the fifth. His command, his execution, just his stuff in general is pretty impressive for a guy his age, for sure.”
The Red Sox got their first run in the second inning on a Hanigan RBI single, which plated Sandoval who had singled earlier in the inning.
Here’s what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
|07.05.15 at 11:57 am ET|
With a struggling Mike Napoli, 1 for his last 17, he gets the day off with Ortiz playing first base at Fenway Park for the first time since July 16, 2005 and the first time in an non-interleague game since August 5, 2006. Hanley Ramirez will serve as the designated hitter.
“Today’s lineup I think gives us the best lineup we can put on the field,” manager John Farrell said. “Recognize it’s been quite some time since David has played first base in an American League game. Also gives us the ability to have [Alejandro] De Aza in left field. It’s about putting best lineup on the field today.”
Napoli is going through arguably the toughest stretch of his career, batting just .168 since June 1 with only eight extra-base hits in that time. He’s also walked 10 times, compared to 35 strikeouts over 113 plate appearances.
“He’s obviously in a stretch right now where he’s grinding through some things,” Farrell said. “You’ve seen him work counts, you’ve seen him go early in the count. The hard contact has been inconsistent. I think there’s been times where he’s looked for a certain pitch in the count and not got it and has resulted in a located pitch by a pitcher. He fully recognizes where he’s at and continues to work at getting this thing turned around. Felt like today was a day to give him a little bit of a breather with tomorrow being the off day and a couple of days to regroup.”
Ortiz playing first base doesn’t appear to be something which happen often. It was an opportune time with Monday being an off day, as well as another on Thursday.
“I don’t know how frequently we would see this going forward,” Farrell said.
In other news, Farrell announced Wade Miley and Rick Porcello will start Tuesday and Wednesday against the Marlins and Justin Masterson will pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the first half.
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