|07.05.14 at 5:10 pm ET|
After their dramatic walk-off, 3-2, win over the Orioles in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Red Sox made a few changes to their lineup for Game 2.
Most notably, third baseman Xander Bogaerts will sit after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Game 1 and is currently 0 for his last 27 and 2 for his last 50. After missing Game 1 due to traveling back from his daughter’s graduation in the Domincan, David Ortiz is in the lineup going up against O’s right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
Brock Holt will take Bogaerts’ place at third base as the Red Sox outfield will have Jonny Gomes in left, Mookie Betts in center and Daniel Nava in right.
John Lackey will take the mound for the Sox seeking his 10th win of the year.
RED SOX LINEUP
Brock Holt, 3B
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Jonny Gomes, LF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Mookie Betts, CF
John Lackey, RHP
For a complete look at the matchups, click here.
|07.05.14 at 4:32 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 3-2 WIN (10 INNINGS) AT SYRACUSE (NATIONALS)
– Knuckleballer Steven Wright continued his outstanding work since joining Pawtucket, tossing eight innings — the fifth time in his last six starts that he’s recorded seven or more innings — while permitting two runs. He walked one and struck out three, giving him an impressive 8.0 strikeouts per nine with just 1.8 walks per nine. He threw 67 of 98 pitches for strikes on Friday, in line with a season in which he’s thrown strikes with 67 percent of his offerings. In seven starts, the 29-year-old is 3-1 with a 2.40 ERA.
– Center fielder Andres Torres went 4-for-5 with a double. The 36-year-old is 8-for-22 with two doubles and a homer in six games with the PawSox.
– Outfielder Alex Hassan went 2-for-5 with a double. Since returning to Pawtucket from a two-week stint in the big leagues, Hassan is hitting .342 with a .438 OBP and .539 slugging mark with 12 extra-base hits in 21 games.
– Newcomer Deven Marrero kept his doubles machinery intact, going 1-for-4 with his first two-bagger in three games since joining the PawSox as well as a walk. Between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, he now has 20 two-baggers in 71 games, matching his total from 104 games in the 2013 season, and he has two more doubles and three more homers than he hit last year, resulting in a slugging boost from .317 to .430. The 23-year-old is 3-for-11 with a double and walk in his three games in Pawtucket.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: RAINED OUT
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 7-6 LOSS (10 INNINGS) AT CAROLINA (INDIANS) Read the rest of this entry »
|07.05.14 at 3:51 pm ET|
After being swept at home in a three-game series by the Cubs and being tied with the Orioles in the ninth inning following another strong start from Jon Lester, the Red Sox needed a clutch hit to end the skid. That hit came from one of the unlikeliest players — Jonathan Herrera.
His pinch-hit, bloop single in the ninth inning gave the Red Sox a 3-2, walk-off win over the Orioles.
Pinch-hitting for Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes reached on an infield single to lead-off the inning. David Ross followed with a sacrifice bunt advancing Gomes to second to set up Herrera’s first career walk-off hit.
“Veteran guys, they know their role,” manager John Farrell said of the ninth inning. “We had anticipated a lefty being on the mound in the ninth inning so we had some lead time to give them a chance to prepare. As Jonny (Gomes) has done many times — late in the game, finds a way to get on base. Great execution of a sac bunt by Ross and a broken bat base hit by Jonathan (Herrera). Guys stayed prepared, they understood the game and executed well.”
Although he wasn’t as dominant as in his last few starts and received poor defense behind him (three errors), Lester still gave the Red Sox another terrific pitching performance.
The left-hander went eight innings, allowing two runs (unearned) on five hits, while not walking a batter and striking out seven. He faced just one batter over the minimum batters over his final three innings, forcing a key double play to end the top of the eighth inning.
Lester threw 118 pitches, four shy of a season-high. It was Lester’s second straight start going eight innings without allowing a run. The only other Red Sox pitchers since 1988 to accomplish that feat are Roger Clemens (five times) and Pedro Martinez (twice).
“That is what I try and pride myself on,” Lester said of going deep in games. “The bullpen knowing coming into my starts that I’m going to go seven innings ‘ I’ve always tried priding myself on innings and going deep in every start. I know at times you cant control that, but I am going to go as long as John (Farrell) lets me and see what happens at the end.”
Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez was solid as well, tossing eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and striking out six.
Koji Uehara threw a perfect 1-2-3 top of the ninth inning with two strikeouts to pick up the win.
Here is what went right (and wrong) for the Red Sox in the win:
|07.05.14 at 3:27 pm ET|
The outlook of the 2014 season looks grim for the Red Sox.
Entering Saturday’s doubleheader with a 38-47 record, Boston sits eight games behind first-place Toronto in the division standings and only have three more victories than the team with the worst record in baseball – the Diamondbacks.
The prospect of October baseball in Boston looks slim at this point. According to Fangraphs, Boston has just a 7.5 percent chance of making the playoffs, with a minuscule 0.8 percent chance of winning the World Series.
As the Red Sox continue to slide in the standings, the possibility of Boston accepting the role of “seller” and trading away veteran players in order to rebuild for future seasons has become a scenario that could easily become a reality in the coming weeks as the July 31 trade deadline draws closer.
Just don’t tell any of that to Jonny Gomes.
While Boston was only one game ahead of the Rays for last place in the AL East heading into Saturday, Gomes said that he’s not ready to jump ship on the 2014 campaign, adding that the main goal for the club is to just get an opportunity to make it to the postseason.
“I think, where we’re at right now, if you think this team and this organization should sell, therefore to throw in the white towel in 2014, you don’t know much about the history of the game,” Gomes said. “If we were to win the division – maybe not win the division – but one of the Wild Cards, we’re going to make history.
“Plenty of teams have done this – plenty, plenty, plenty. Plenty of teams have won the World Series by winning the Wild Card. It’s not about going in the front door, there’s side doors and back doors too now. There’s not one person in there whose goal has changed of winning the division and winning the World Series. Do we have our work cut out for us? Sure. And the people at the top got their work cut out for them too [with] targets on their back.
“Listen, I’m not going to be a seller. I don’t want this team to be a seller. I think, in any situation, the attitude to have is add versus subtract. … Like I said, from my past places and my past years of experience, I’m scarred to be Positive Pete. Granted, the end goal for everyone is to win the World Series, but just getting in is the first goal.”
|07.05.14 at 3:19 pm ET|
After a run of six straight quality starts, Lackey (9-5, 3.62 ERA) has slipped in his last two outings. The right-hander has surrendered 11 earned runs in his last 8 2/3 innings, spiking his ERA from 2.96 to 3.62.
Fortunately for Lackey, he got the necessary run support to overshadow a tough night a Yankee Stadium last Sunday. He gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings, but the Sox offense came alive in an 8-5 win. Two of the six hits Lackey allowed were solo home runs to Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran in the fourth inning. He walked one and struck out two.
“When you’re a strike-thrower, you can almost, when you’re not throwing precisely, you can almost throw too many strikes,” Lackey said after the game. “Guys kind of jumped on me early in counts when I wasn’t locating exactly and took advantage of it.”
Saturday will be Lackey’s third start of the season against the Orioles. He has a 6.35 ERA in 11 1/3 innings vs. Baltimore in 2014, and was especially bad in his most recent outing against the O’s on April 18. He gave up six runs, 10 hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings in an 8-4 loss at Fenway Park. Lackey is 14-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 25 career starts against the Orioles.
Jimenez (3-8, 4.31 ERA) is coming off his best start of the season Monday against the Rangers and has allowed two runs or fewer in three of his last four starts. The righty held the Rangers to one unearned run over eight innings to lead Baltimore to a 7-1 victory. He gave up four hits, one walk and had seven strikeouts in the win.
“There’s no doubt about it. I know it’s been really tough for me in the first half, but I have a lot of confidence, a lot of faith, that things are going to change,” Jimenez said after the game. “They changed before. So, I understand that. I always come in every day with a positive mind. That things are going to change.”
|07.05.14 at 12:13 pm ET|
With the Red Sox set to take part in their second doubleheader of the season, the team added reinforcements before their day-long tilt against the Orioles.
Red Sox manager John Farrell announced that PawSox reliever Tommy Layne will be added to the roster as the team’s 26th player for Game 2 of the doubleheader (per MLB rules on day-night doubleheaders), giving Boston some needed depth in the bullpen.
Layne will be available to pitch in the second game of Saturday’s set at Fenway Park.
Layne, who signed a minor-league deal with Boston on November 15, 2013, has been one of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen for Pawtucket this season, posting a 5-1 record with a 1.51 ERA in 30 appearances.
The 29-year-old southpaw has been dominant this season against left-handed hitters, holding them to a minuscule .138 average, with 23 strikeouts in 17 innings.
Despite his stellar numbers against lefty batters, Farrell said that Layne has been more than just a left-handed specialist this season.
“He’s continued what he did in spring training, and that has been [being] very successful against left handers, he’s had decent ability to get good right-handed hitters out, so he’s not solely a situational type of lefty reliever,” Farrell said. “But the performance has been very consistent.”
|07.05.14 at 10:54 am ET|
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will miss Game 1 of Saturday’s double-header against the Orioles with A.J. Pierzynski serving as the designated hitter in his place. Ortiz is returning from a previously scheduled family commitment in the Dominican Republic.
“He is returning from a family commitment that has been scheduled for quite some time in the Dominican,” manager John Farrell said Saturday morning. “He was going to miss yesterday’s game, but it just happens that it turns into the first game of today. Fully expect him to be in the lineup tonight.”
Ortiz posted on his Twitter account a picture of him and his daughter at her graduation.
Happy and proud dad At my baby girl graduation… pic.twitter.com/O452zI5zVk
Mookie Betts will get the afternoon off after starting in four straight games. The outfield will have Daniel Nava in left, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center and Brock Holt in right going up against O’s right-hander Miguel Gonzalez. David Ross will get the nod behind the plate with Jon Lester on the mound.
RED SOX LINEUP
Brock Holt, RF
Daniel Nava, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
A.J. Pierzynski, DH
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jon Lester, LHP
Latest from Bleacher Report
- The Write-Up: Henry Owens
- Cup of Coffee: Owens falters in Futures rematch; Shaw leads PawSox
- Cup of Coffee: Martinez, Heller, Weems lead Salem bats in win
- Cup of Coffee: Light shines bright for Salem
- Players of the Week, 7/14-20: Michael Almanzar & Trey Ball
- Cup of Coffee: Acosta scores four in GCL Sox sweep
- Weekly Notes: Betts returns to Pawtucket, Owens wins ninth straight
- 2014 Draft recap: Sox sign 31 players, with impact potential at the top
- Cup of Coffee: Ranaudo, Johnson impress, Stankiewicz fans nine
- SoxProspects.com Podcast #61: Wild Turkeys, July 2, and the Draft