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Thursday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Rich Hill vs. CC Sabathia

10.01.15 at 8:31 am ET
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After extending their season-high winning streak to six games Wednesday night via a 9-5 win in 11 innings, the Red Sox have the opportunity to complete a sweep at Yankee Stadium for the first time since June 2011 and again keep New York from clinching a postseason berth.

The finale will be a battle of 35-year-old veterans, as the Sox will send the resurgent Rich Hill to the mound to counter CC Sabathia.

Hill (2-0, 1.17 ERA) has proven to be a remarkable comeback story since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Sept. 8. The left-hander, who had not started a major league game since 2009, has yet to lose in his three outings, holding batters to a .127 average.

Hill is the first pitcher since 1900 to make a debut in September or later and have 10 or more strikeouts in each of his first three starts that season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Milton native most recently saw the Orioles last Friday, throwing a complete-game shutout. He allowed just two hits and one walk during Boston’€™s 7-0 win.

“For a guy that has resurrected his career in the way that he has, it’s very, very impressive,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said following the game. “You’re starting to get the feel that this is a little bit of a habit.”

Hill has yet to see the Yankees this season, but has faced them nine times (one start) over the course of his career, going 0-1 with a 8.31 ERA over 8 2/3 innings.

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Read More: C.C. Sabathia, rich hill,

Clay Buchholz appears on verge of cementing return to Red Sox in 2016

10.01.15 at 1:42 am ET
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NEW YORK — After Wednesday afternoon’s bullpen session, it sure looks like that $13 million option for 2016 is going to be picked up.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has told the media, Clay Buchholz and his agent that if the pitcher is deemed healthy at the conclusion of the 2015 season, picking up Buchholz’ ’16 team option for $13 million would be the team’s likely course of action.

Well, it appears as though Buchholz has done his part.

Buchholz threw what was likely his last bullpen session of the season prior to Wednesday night’s Red Sox win, coming through the exercise without incident.

“I feel good,” Buchholz said. “I had the same conversation (regarding picking up the option) with Dave a while back so I completely understand where they’€™re coming from on the business side of it. Whenever I’€™m healthy and in the field, the last couple years haven’€™t been a full season, but I feel I give the team a good chance to win. Whenever I’€™m able to follow a certain pattern and stay on schedule with the bullpens.

“I feel good and I’€™ll talk to Dave again before we head out for Cleveland and go from there.”

Option or no option, Buchholz has already achieved what he set out when he started coming back from his right elbow issue.

“Even when I started playing catch I felt the difference from the last game I was in,” he said. “Going forward I followed the protocol laid out and that was going to be everything was going to be fine. It’€™s always good going into the offseason knowing you’€™re not nursing anything and sort of treat it like a regular offseason rather than having to start rehab at a certain point. And then you get to that point it makes everything sort of monotonus and dry in the offseason. Looking forward to getting going into a normal time period off.”

Now, Buchholz can plan on a normal offseason, one which paves the way to a return to Fort Myers in early February.

“I’€™ve talked to our doctors and that’€™s what they’€™ve told me,” said Buchholz of having the same sort of offseason training regimen as a year ago. “It should be a normal run start throwing in November. I feel like when you start throwing then I’€™ll go to spring training a couple weeks early to throw a bullpen down there with our guys rather than throw them anywhere else.”

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox,

How some pregame pizza delivery led to four Red Sox homers

10.01.15 at 12:29 am ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

It might have been strictly a coincidence. Then again, maybe it wasn’t.

One night after Blake Swihart hit two home runs in the Red Sox‘ Tuesday night win over the Yankees, Mookie Betts repeated the feat in the Sox’ 9-5, 11-inning victory at Yankee Stadium.

What did they have in common? Pizza and selflessness.

“Me and Blake yesterday when we got to eat we had a pizza left and he said the night before he had given it to a homeless guy and he hit two home runs so I had a pizza and I gave it to a homeless guy and hit two home runs so maybe pass it onto the next person,” Betts said.

While it has yet to be determined who will be offering refreshment to the less fortunate prior to the series finale, we do know that Betts’ homers represented more than just culinary coincidence.

For one, with the outfielder’s 17th and 18th homers of the season, he becomes the youngest player in Red Sox history to launch multiple homers at Yankee Stadium.

And, just for good measure, the blast into the wind, over the left field wall, off of Dellin Betances in the seventh inning was identified by Betts has the longest ball he’s ever hit.

“I’ve never hit one that far,” said the 22-year-old regarding his 427-foot homer. (In fairness, according to hittrackeronline.com the blast ties his career-best, previously set on a June 21 homer in Kansas City.)

“That’€™s one of the best balls I’€™ve seen hit since I’€™ve known him,” said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo.

Read More: mookie betts, Red Sox,

Closing Time: Rolling Red Sox tee off on Yankees in 11th behind Mookie Betts, Travis Shaw, win sixth straight

09.30.15 at 11:21 pm ET
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Travis Shaw is congratulated after hitting a 3-run homer in the first . (Elsa/Getty Images)

Travis Shaw is congratulated by Xander Bogaerts (center) and David Ortiz after hitting a 3-run homer on Wednesday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The quest for .500 lives. If only there was more season to go along with it.

The Red Sox won their season-high sixth in a row on Wednesday, beating the Yankees 9-5 in 11 innings.

The winning run came off the bat of rookie Deven Marrero, who sliced a hit-and-run single up the middle to score Travis Shaw from third. Outfielder Mookie Betts later added his second homer of the game, and 18th of the season, to put it away.

The Red Sox improved to 78-80 with four games remaining. If they can win three more, they’ll finish 81-81, an impressive feat for a club that was 14 games under .500 as recently as Aug. 17.

For the second game in a row, a youngster gave the Red Sox an immediate lead. On Tuesday night, it was Blake Swihart mashing a three-run homer. On Wednesday, Shaw turned the trick, ripping a Masahiro Tanaka offering deep into the first section of right field bleachers for a three-run shot of his own.

That looked like it would be more than enough for Wade Miley until the fifth, when the left-hander allowed three runs that tied the game at 4-4, with Carlos Beltran‘s RBI double the big blow.

The game stayed knotted until the sixth, when Alex Rodriguez homered to left off of reliever Matt Barnes to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. But Mookie Betts got the run right back in the top of the seventh with a two-out solo homer of his own, an impressive blast to left against a 96 mph fastball from indomitable Yankees reliever Delin Betances.

Offensive standouts for the Red Sox included DH David Ortiz, who went 2-for-2 with a double, run, and RBI before being lifted for a pinch runner in the sixth, as well as Swihart and Shaw, who recorded two hits apiece.

But the biggest bat once again belonged to Betts, who has smacked three homers in his last two games and four in his last five. He became the youngest player in Red Sox history (22) to hit two homers in a game at Yankee Stadium. With two more homers, he could become the 16th player in history to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases in a season before age 23 (5 players — Mike Trout, Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, Cesar Cedeno, and Vada Pinson — did it twice).

As for Miley, his final start of 2015 pretty much summed up his season. Staked to leads of 3-0 and 4-1, he couldn’t make them stand and left after five innings. He allowed nine hits and four runs, striking out three and walking four, including three in New York’s three-run fifth.

Read More: mookie betts, Red Sox, Yankees,

Padres announce hiring of NESN’s Don Orsillo as broadcaster for 2016 season

09.30.15 at 8:00 pm ET
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Don Orsillo is officially a Padre.

The Red Sox broadcaster, whose de facto firing caused a firestorm in New England, will join the Padres next season as a TV and radio broadcaster, the team announced. He’ll shift to TV full-time in 2017 after broadcasting icon Dick Enberg retires.

“We are excited to add Don to our broadcast lineup,” said Padres president and CEO Mike Dee in a statement. “Over his 15 years broadcasting Major League Baseball, Don has established himself as one of the premier play-by-play men in the game. We look forward to both his fun-loving personality and outstanding play-calling ability resonating with Padres fans during what we expect will be a very long career in San Diego.”

NESN informed the 46-year-old Orsillo that it would not renew his contract for next season, instead handing the reins to WEEI radio broadcaster Dave O’Brien. Fans reacted angrily, with a petition demanding Orsillo’s reinstatement garnering over 60,000 signatures.

Orsillo was born in Melrose, raised in New Hampshire, and graduated from Northeastern. San Diego always felt like a natural fit, because Dee is a former Red Sox COO, and Padres chief marketing officer Wayne Partello worked for Entercom Boston prior to joining Dee with the Dolphins.

Read More: Don Orsillo, NESN, Padres, Red Sox

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Wade Miley vs. Masahiro Tanaka

09.30.15 at 9:18 am ET
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Wade Miley

Wade Miley

Winning five straight games for the first time in 2015 following Tuesday’s 10-4 win over the Yankees, the Red Sox continue to play the role of spoiler in this series. In the first two games the Sox have kept their rivals from clinching a postseason berth while also denying New York its 10,000th franchise victory. The Sox will send Wade Miley to the hill Wednesday night to oppose Masahiro Tanaka in the third game of the four-game set.

Miley (11-11, 4.39) is coming off a 4-2 loss last Thursday against the Rays. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and four runs with a walk and three strikeouts. Miley did not allow a run until the three-run sixth inning.

“I just didn’t execute pitches,” Miley said following the game. “I was in situations where I was in pretty good counts and just didn’t make a pitch I needed to make. Obviously [the Rays] made me pay for it.”

The 28-year-old left-hander has been durable for the Sox, going six or more innings in each of his last 10 starts. He has not gone less than five innings in a start since June 11.

Miley is seeing the Yankees for the fourth time this season, carrying an 0-2 record with a 5.60 record over 17 2/3 innings. He last saw New York just before the All-Star break on July 12, when he was tagged for six runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out two and not allowing a walk in Boston’s 8-6 loss.

He has yet to earn a decision at Yankee Stadium over two starts, with a 3.75 ERA and a .186 opponents batting average.

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Read More: Masahiro Tanaka, wade miley,

Padres to announce Don Orsillo hiring Wednesday or Thursday

09.29.15 at 10:47 pm ET
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According to multiple sources, the Padres will announce the hiring of Don Orsillo either Wednesday or Thursday.

Orsillo will be participating in both the team’s radio and television broadcasts for the 2016 season. He will then transition to strictly TV for the remainder of his contract.

The plan to integrate the current NESN Red Sox play-by-play announcer into radio stems from Dick Enberg’s commitment to still do approximately 60 television games in ’16, along with a desire to allow for a consistent presence from Orsillo in his new market.

The 46-year-old Orsillo had been the Pawtucket Red Sox radio announcer prior to joining NESN in 2001.

He joins a Padres organization that is led by executives with Boston roots, with former Red Sox COO Mike Dee currently serving as San Diego’s CEO, and Padres chief marketing officer Wayne Partello having worked for Entercom Boston prior to following Dee to the Dolphins.

Read More: Don Orsillo, Red Sox,

Closing Time: Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts lead youth brigade to 2nd straight over Yankees

09.29.15 at 10:08 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts slides in safely with a run on Tuesday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts slides in safely with a run on Tuesday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The future continues to look bright for the Red Sox.

The 2015 season isn’t going to go down as one to remember, but these final two months have given Red Sox fans a reason to hope.

On Tuesday night in New York, the Red Sox rode two home runs from catcher Blake Swihart and one from outfielder Mookie Betts to a 10-4 victory that moved them a half-game ahead of the rained-out Orioles for sole possession of third place in the American League East for the first time since May 20.

The Red Sox also won five straight for the first time all season.

Both teams did the bulk of their damage in the first inning. The Red Sox put up six runs before the Yankees even stepped to the plate. Betts led off with his 42nd double as six of the first seven hitters reached. David Ortiz missed a home run by inches off the top of the right field fence, but Swihart got just enough of his Pineda offering to reach the first few rows of the right field seats for a three-run shot that gave Rick Porcello a commanding lead.

Unfortunately, Porcello gave two-thirds of the lead right back, Jacoby Ellsbury leading off with a double of his own to kickstart a four-run frame. Dustin Ackley belted the big shot, a two-run homer with two outs.

The two starters settled down from there, with Porcello gutting out eight effective innings. He allowed six hits and four runs, striking out eight.

Betts added a solo homer, his 16th, leading off the fifth. Swihart completed his five-RBI night with a two-run blast to right in the eighth.

New Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto left his mark on Red Sox over last 2 months

09.29.15 at 6:36 pm ET
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NEW YORK — It was one of the more unique, and potentially important, pieces of the Red Sox puzzle over the last two months: Jerry Dipoto evaluating the organization’s minor league talent as a hired consultant.

The importance of Dipoto arguably became more vital to the Red Sox once Dave Dombrowski came on as the team’s president of baseball operations, with Dombrowski having to spend the majority of his time and efforts with the big league club.

But now Dipoto’s stretch with the Red Sox has come to an end thanks to his new job as the Mariners general manager.

“I wish he would have been able to stay,” Dombrowski said. “I figured once Seattle started interview him it was probably a long shot. But, sure, I wish he would have been able to stay.”

Even thought it was a relatively short tenure with the Red Sox, Dipoto did leave his mark with the organization. It’s an influence that may very well have a significant impact on how the Sox approach this offseason.

“His basic task was to review our personnel in the organization and then report on them, which he did. He would have continued to watch us in the Instructional League, but that’s obviously over now,” Dombrowski said. “So he did all of that. He did a great job, had a very thorough assessment of our talent, and gave me the information. He also, when he was around, contributed to other ways in talking about general baseball. But we never got a chance to pursue any of that because of the circumstances.

“It was great. He supplemented the information I already had from people in the organization, so the combination of getting that from within, but while also getting it from an outside observer, was great. It was very good and really good information. And now I obviously have all that information for future reference.”

The 47-year-old Dipoto was introduced as the Seattle GM Tuesday morning, replacing Jack Zduriencik, who held the job from 2009 until this season. Dipoto had been the Angels general manager before resigning July 1.

Read More: Dave Dombrowski, Jerry Dipoto, Red Sox,

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Michael Pineda

09.29.15 at 10:09 am ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

After claiming the series opener against the Yankees, 5-1, on Monday night, the Red Sox, who have allowed just one run in the past 38 innings, will look to continue to play spoiler against a Yankees team that is looking to clinch a postseason berth (which would require the Astros and Angels losing their games as well) and its 10,000th career victory. To do that, the Sox will rely on Rick Porcello as he counters Michael Pineda.

Porcello (8-14, 5.04 ERA) is coming off his 14th loss of the season last Wednesday, a 6-2 setback vs. the Rays. With the loss, Porcello surpassed a career worst for losses in a season. He went seven innings in the outing, allowing three runs (two earned) on 11 hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

“He gave up his first run in the seventh,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said about the start. “He did a really good job giving us a chance to win. Our offense just couldn’t get any momentum.”

Porcello returned from the disabled list Aug. 26 after missing 27 days with a strained right triceps. Since then, the 26-year-old right-hander is 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA over six starts and 42 1/3 innings.

“I’ve been happy with the way it’s been going since I got off the disabled list,” Porcello said following Wednesday’s start. “I feel like I’ve done well since I came off the DL.”

He’s seen the Yankees just once this season, taking the loss on Sept. 1 despite a remarkable eight-inning outing in which he allowed one earned run (three overall) on five hits and a walk while striking out a career-best 13 batters.

Porcello is 0-2 with a 5.29 ERA over three career starts at Yankee Stadium. He’s 4-4 with a 3.55 ERA over 10 career starts against the Yankees.

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Read More: Michael Pineda, rick porcello,
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