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It’s official: Andrew Benintendi has returned to Red Sox

09.13.16 at 5:55 pm ET
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Andrew Benintendi meets with the media Tuesday afternoon. (WEEI.com)

Andrew Benintendi meets with the media Tuesday afternoon. (WEEI.com)

When Andrew Benintendi walked off the Tropicana Field Aug. 24, the idea that he would be returning to the Red Sox’ active roster with 19 games to play didn’t seem realistic.

But here is.

After participating in a simulated game at Fenway Park Tuesday afternoon, Benintendi was activated by the Red Sox 20 days after spraining his knee.

“I think it just goes to show you how hard our training staff works,” Benintendi said prior to the Red Sox’ game against the Orioles. “We were working every day trying to get back as soon as possible. We dodged a bullet and now I’m glad to be back.

“It’s a really exciting time. It seems like everybody is right there and we’re playing really good baseball right now. Our pitching has been pitching really well. We’re coming up with timely hits and scoring a lot of runs. Hopefully we’ll continue to do that. When I get back in there I’m going to try and contribute any way I can and help the team win.”

While there hasn’t been a definitive plan put in place as to when Benintendi will play, Red Sox manager John Farrell did insinuate on the recent road trip that the outfielder would be the primary option against right-handed pitching, particularly with Brock Holt nursing a banged up right shoulder.

Prior to the injury, Benintendi was hitting .324 with an .850 OPS in 21 games and 74 plate appearances. The Red Sox were 12-9 in games he appeared.

“I think we all held our collective breath,” Farrell reflected. “Any time you see a non-contact play or a non-contact injury and someone goes down, you fear the worst. Sam Travis went through almost the same dynamic in a way, where it was a rundown and he ends up tearing his ACL. When you see someone go down in a heap like that, you fear the worst. Thankfully he’s got youth and maybe some quick healing on his side. He’s wearing a brace to protect himself. We all know, with all the work he’s put in and all the tests we’ve run him through, he’s been given clearance by our medical staff, and thankfully he’s back at this time. To say that, with two and a half weeks left in the regular season, this is much earlier than we initially anticipated.”

Yoan Moncada named 2016 Baseball America Minor League Player of Year

09.13.16 at 5:46 pm ET
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Yoan Moncada was named the 2016 Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year. (WEEI.com)

The Red Sox’ No. 1 prospect won another award on Tuesday as Yoan Moncada was named Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year for 2016.

The last player to win the award playing for the Sea Dogs was Josh Beckett in 2001.

“I feel very happy about it because it’s an award that I got based on the hard work that I’ve been putting in this year in the minors,” Moncada said through a translator Tuesday at Fenway Park. “It’s an exiting time for me and I am very proud of that success.”

In the minors this season between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland, the switch-hitter batted .294/.407/.511 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs while stealing 45 bases. Prior to getting promoted to the Red Sox, he was hitting .277/.379/.531 with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs with the Sea Dogs. He transitioned from second base to third base a few weeks beforehand.

Since arriving to Boston, things haven’t gone the way he would have liked.

While he’s 4-for-19, he has struck out in nine straight at-bats (one shy of a major league record). Manager John Farrell said he won’t completely go away from him, but it appears like he won’t be starting games the rest of the season and will be regulated to blow outs like Monday night against the Orioles.

“This time spent here is invaluable to him, regardless of what the bottom line results,” Farrell said. “He was brought here to hopefully inject some offense at third base as we scuffled at that position. Maybe the first couple of games it was there. We know what he’s going through right now. Through the challenges — the game is the greatest teacher we have. If he’s getting challenged right now, which he is, he’s got a benefit for it at some point down the line.

“Not going to run from him. If those opportunities like last night continue to present themselves, he’s going to get them. For two years we talked about young players and how they might have scuffled. We might be realizing the benefits of those struggles over the course of two years. Yoan is no different.”

Moncada is still learning just being around the team and getting his pregame work in with the major league coaches.

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Red Sox lineup: Travis Shaw, Ryan Hanigan starting vs. Orioles

09.13.16 at 3:40 pm ET
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Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan

The Red Sox will look to keep the momentum going Tuesday night against the Orioles.

Following Monday’s 12-2 win, the Red Sox will roll out a similar lineup on Tuesday. The only differences are Ryan Hanigan will catch starter Drew Pomeranz and Travis Shaw will play third base against Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy.

It’s worth noting the Red Sox are 48-31 in Hanigan’s starts since 2015, including 31-13 in his last 44.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Mookie Betts, RF
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Chris Young, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Drew Pomeranz, LHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Drew Pomeranz vs. Dylan Bundy

09.13.16 at 8:44 am ET
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The middle game of the Red Sox-Orioles three-game series on Tuesday night will feature Drew Pomeranz against rookie right-hander Dylan Bundy.

Pomeranz is 10-11 with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.153 WHIP in 27 starts. Since coming to Boston via trade from the Padres in July, the lefty is 2-4 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.324 WHIP in 10 starts. Last Monday against his former team, Pomeranz threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs, six hits and two walks with five strikeouts in a 2-1 Sox loss. It was his first start at Petco Park since the All-Star Game.

“I had the most adrenaline last time I was here in the All-Star Game, so I’m just out there trying to get outs,” Pomeranz said (via MLB.com). “It doesn’t really matter what park I’m at, at this point. I’m just trying to give us a chance to win.”

Pomeranz is 0-1 in three relief appearances totaling 4 2/3 innings against the Orioles with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.429 WHIP. His last appearance against Baltimore came in August of last season when he was a member of the Athletics.

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Yoan Moncada strikes out for 9th straight time, one shy of major league record

09.12.16 at 11:54 pm ET
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The consensus is Yoan Moncada is going to have a promising major league career. Unfortunately for the infielder, he has already made the wrong kind of history.

Pinch-hitting for David Ortiz in the seventh inning, Moncada swung and missed at a changeup from Orioles reliever Brian Duensing. It was the rookie’s ninth straight strikeout, a streak no hitter in Red Sox history had gone through.

Moncada now stands just one plate appearance shy of the major league record for most consecutive strikeouts by a non-pitcher, set in 2013 by Rick Ankiel.

The MLB record for most consecutive strikeouts in a season is held by pitchers Dean Chance (1968) and Roy Halladay (2013), who both whiffed 13 straight times.

David Price’s run (7 straight wins) coming at perfect time for Red Sox

09.12.16 at 11:13 pm ET
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David Price won his seventh straight game Monday night. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

David Price won his seventh straight game Monday night. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

David Price is proving why the Red Sox signed him to a $217 million contract last December.

September and October are when the most important games of the season are played and the Red Sox’ ace is pitching the best he has all season.

His latest effort game Monday night when he allowed two runs on two hits (both home runs), while not walking a batter and striking out nine in a 12-2 Red Sox rout of the Orioles at Fenway Park.

It was the left-hander’s seventh straight win — the first time he’s accomplished the feat in his career.

“Execution. Sticking with it. That’s what it is,” Price said to what the key has been.

Over those seven starts dating back to Aug. 12 he has an ERA of 2.16, but Price’s run goes back to the middle of May following a poor start to the season. Since May 12, Price has an ERA of 2.99 and currently his ERA sits at 3.81, the lowest it has been since after the first game of the season.

It’s hard to imagine that on May 7 his ERA was 6.75.

Price’s recent success has come at the same time as the success of the overall team as they have finally put everything together at once (hitting, starting pitching bullpen) to open a two-game lead in the American League East.

“We’re playing well, for sure,” Price said. “We all have that feeling in the clubhouse, out in the dugout. This is a very close-knit group of guys. That is what you want to be part of. That is what makes 162 games plus spring training that much fun. That’s why I am here. I knew the veterans that we had and the young guys that we had and how tight they were in that clubhouse. That’s not work. This is all fun.”

Specific to Monday’s game, the Red Sox got on the board early as they put up a five-spot in the first inning, giving Price plenty of room to work with against one of the best lineups in the game, but the left-hander still pitched like it was a 0-0 game.

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Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez, Chris Young lead offense while David Price dominates in Red Sox’ rout of Orioles

09.12.16 at 9:50 pm ET
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The Red Sox opened their homestand in style with a rout of the Orioles. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox opened their homestand in style with a rout of the Orioles. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

You know the Red Sox offense had a good night when David Price allowed two runs over eight innings and he wasn’t the biggest story.

The Red Sox scored early and often against Orioles starter Wade Miley and never looked back in a 12-2 rout where they scored in every inning but the eighth.

With the win, they remain two games up over the Blue Jays and increase their lead to three games over the O’s in the AL East.

Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young led the offense as the two combined to go 6-for-7 in the middle of the Red Sox order. As a team, the Red Sox finished with 16 hits.

The Red Sox scored five times in the first inning, four coming before they even recorded an out. The inning started with three straight singles, but could have been even more as Orioles left fielder Steve Pearce misplayed a David Ortiz fly ball and the runners needed to hold.

With the bases loaded and no outs Mookie Betts crushed a two-run double to left field and then Ramirez singled to left field, scoring Ortiz, but that wouldn’t be the only run to score on the play as Betts alertly raced home after Pearce lobbed the ball back into the infield. Aaron Hill would later score on a sacrifice fly for the fifth run of the frame.

They then loaded the bases again in the second inning with one out, but only managed one run coming on a Ramirez walk to set the tone for the game.

On any other night Price would have been the story as the left-hander went eight innings, allowing two runs on just two hits, while not walking a batter and striking out nine to pick up his seventh straight win. Price allowed three base runners all night, two of which came on home runs and the other on an error.

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John Farrell confirms David Price in line to start game No. 162 of Red Sox season

09.12.16 at 7:56 pm ET
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David Price

David Price

Should the Red Sox need to win the final game of the season to make the playoffs or clinch the division title, manager John Farrell has lined up his rotation so he can turn to left-hander David Price.

“He falls on 162, yes,” Farrell said before the Red Sox faced the Orioles on Monday night with Price on the mound.

Price carried a 15-8 record and 3.87 ERA with him into Monday’s start. While much has been made of his postseason struggles (2-7, 5.12), it’s worth noting that when the Rays needed to win a one-game playoff with the Rangers to reach the 2013 postseason, Price delivered a complete game in a 5-2 victory.

Depending on where the Red Sox are in the standings, Price could skip that final start to prepare for the playoffs. It’s also possible he could pitch that game and then be pushed back in the postseason rotation.

He entered Monday’s start with six straight wins, and that was before the Red Sox staked him to a 6-1 lead in the second against the Orioles.


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Andrew Bentintendi says he’s 100 percent healthy, explains why he won’t cut his hair

09.12.16 at 6:04 pm ET
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Andrew Benintendi (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Andrew Benintendi (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Andrew Benintendi is ready to pick up where he left off.

The injured outfielder (left knee) will execute his last task before most likely being activated for the upcoming Yankees series when he participates in a simulated game at Fenway Park Wednesday afternoon. Monday, he cleared another final hurdle, practicing sliding into second base using his new knee brace.

After going through the entire process, Benintendi sure sound confident that he can continue the run he was riding before spraining his knee at Tropicana Field Aug. 24.

“Health-wise, I feel 100 percent,” the outfielder told WEEI.com before Monday night’s game against the Orioles. “I honestly couldn’t tell you which leg it is if I didn’t know. I got pretty fortunate.”

As for the specially-designed brace Benintendi will continue to wear, the 22 year old insisted it’s something he doesn’t have to think about anymore.

“At first it was pretty uncomfortable because I had never worn one before, but I’ve been trying to wear it every day, even in the dugout and everything,” he said “So right now it feels pretty normal. At first I thought about it because it was pretty uncomfortable. Now I’m used to it. It’s a little different. I don’t think I get as full a range of motion running-wise, but it’s minimal and something I can deal with.

“I don’t feel it at all when I hit. I think if it was my front leg it might be different. But it’s my back leg, so it’s good. I’ll wear anything to start playing again. I’m going to have to deal with it the rest of the season.”

With Benintendi’s health seemingly back to where it needs to be, another part of the equation when it comes to offering the same image as in his first 21 major league games is maintaining his well-publicized hair.

Having not gotten a haircut since January, the somewhat superstitious left fielder said there is no turning back now when it comes to growing out his black locks.

“It’s start to get kind of annoying, but I’ve got to keep it going,” Benintendi said. “It’s the longest it’s ever been. I feel like if I cut it it might mess something up. I’m a pretty superstitious guy so I have to keep it going.

“I’ve had it long before. But at this point it doesn’t get longer, it just gets thicker. It goes into a fro if I don’t wear a hat.”

The only issue? He’s on the verge of having to change out his 7 1/4-sized hat for a bigger one.

“It’s getting tough because this my first and I want to keep it,” he said.

Red Sox notes: Steven Wright running out of time; why Dustin Pedroia doesn’t take BP anymore

09.12.16 at 5:34 pm ET
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Steven Wright

Steven Wright

The Red Sox appear to be running out of time with knuckleballer Steven Wright.

Speaking before Monday’s series opener at Fenway Park with the Orioles, manager John Farrell said that Wright hasn’t begun a throwing program since suffering a setback with his injured right shoulder.

“We’re hopeful to get a throwing program initiated,” Farrell said. “I don’t have an exact date when that will take place. He’s showing improvement through the range of motion. The discomfort is diminishing. I also recognize where we are in the calendar, and that’s going to present a challenge here going forward.”

Wright hasn’t even been able to long toss or play catch. With only 20 games remaining in the season, there’s no telling when or if Wright will pitch again this season.

He injured the bursa sac in his right shoulder diving awkwardly into second base as a pinch runner against the Dodgers on Aug. 6. He missed three weeks, made two largely ineffective starts, and was shut down again after allowing four runs in four innings against the Rays on Aug. 31.

“He didn’t play catch on the end of the road trip,” Farrell said. “As we stated the other day, hopefully to get back here, that throwing program would initiate, but that hasn’t begun today.”

NO BP FOR PEDROIA: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that he has stopped taking batting practice for the last two months, because, “I’ve been around long enough to know hitting BP is irrelevant.”

Farrell backed up his second baseman.

“There’s a routine he goes through that’s not on the field,” Farrell said. “It’s not like he’s showing up and just putting his uniform on and walking out for the first pitch. There’s work that goes on that might be condensed, that is condensed. I think he’s confident in his daily work routine that if he doesn’t take X number of swings on the field, he’s not prepared. He’s long past that. He understands his body more than anyone. So while he’s been banged up, he knows where to pick his spots. So the work routine in the cage early in the afternoon and then just prior to the game, he’s more than prepared, and I think his performance has probably reflected that.”

In 29 games since moving to the leadoff spot on Aug. 10, Pedroia is hitting .445. His .329 average ranks second in the American League behind Jose Altuve’s .340.

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