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David Ortiz on 9th inning potential fan interference play: ‘We played with 26 players tonight’

07.02.16 at 1:06 am ET
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It appears the Red Sox may have caught a huge break in their 5-4 win over the Angels Friday night.

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Mike Trout was on first base and Daniel Nava at the plate. He lined a shot into the right field corner off closer Craig Kimbrel that bounced up against the wall and skipped back out into play where a fan appeared to grab the ball.

The play was ruled a ground-rule double meaning Trout had to stop at third base instead of scoring. The Angels challenged the play, but the ruling of a ground-rule double stood. The next batter C.J. Cron grounded out to third base ending the game. If the play was not ruled a ground-rule double, Trout would have scored to tie the game at five.

Many of the Red Sox players and coaches felt they may have caught a break.

“We didn’t get a clear explanation, but obviously fan interference came into play,” manager John Farrell said. “Whether or not they challenged if that ball was going to stay in fair territory or not, you might say we caught a break right there.”

Added David Ortiz: “That was huge. We played with 26 players tonight.”

Right fielder Mookie Betts was the closest player to the fan in right field and he too felt like the Red Sox may have caught a break.

“We were joking, we’re going to have to take him out to dinner because I think that ball was going to come back in play,” Betts said. “I think obviously Trout would have scored on that ball. Tough situation there, but fortunately, he has pretty good hand-eye coordination.”

Angels manager Mike Scioscia was not happy with the call, telling reporters it was “a brutal call” and “absolutely wrong.”

Below is video of the play.

Read More: David Ortiz, John Farrell, mookie betts,

Closing Time: David Ortiz (home run), Brock Holt lead Red Sox in win over Angels

07.02.16 at 12:20 am ET
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Dustin Pedroia reacts to Brock Holt throwing out a runner at second base in the Red Sox' win. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia reacts to Brock Holt throwing out a runner at second base in the Red Sox’ win. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox were able to survive both the Angels and the rain Friday night.

Leading 5-0 going into the sixth inning, the Angels scored four runs to make it a one-run game, but the Red Sox were able to hang on for a dramatic 5-4 win Friday night at Fenway Park.

The game was delayed 1:35 in the middle of the sixth inning due to a rain storm that passed through dumping quite a bit of water on the field.

Starting with Matt Barnes in the sixth, the Red Sox bullpen tossed four scoreless innings to preserve the one-run lead. Junichi Tazawa needed 31 pitches, but didn’t allow a run in the seventh, Koji Uehara threw a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel sealed the deal in the ninth to earn the save.

It wasn’t an easy ninth inning as the Angels stranded runners at second and third. Mike Trout would have scored from first on a Daniel Nava double with two outs, but it bounced into the stands meaning Trout had to stop at third base.

“We didn’t get a clear explanation, but obviously fan interference came into play,” manager John Farrell said. “Whether or not they challenged if that ball was going to stay in fair territory or not, you might say we caught a break right there.”

The Red Sox’ big inning came in the fifth when after leading 2-0, they scored three runs and all the runs came with two outs.

David Ortiz started the scoring with a solo home run to right field to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. Jackie Bradley Jr. singled and scored on a Brock Holt double. Then Holt scored on a Christian Vazquez RBI single after Travis Shaw was intentionally walked, which forced Angels starter Jhoulys Chacin from the game.

For Red Sox starter Steven Wright, it was a matter of pitching when it was raining and when it was dry.

After not allowing a run through five innings, the rain came and the knuckleballer allowed the first three batters of the sixth to reach and then allowed a grand slam into the Monster seats off the bat of C.J. Cron ending Wright’s night. It’s become clear Wright struggles when his hands are wet and he cannot grip the baseball.

Afterwards, Farrell said the plan was for Wright to throw a knuckleball on the 3-2 pitch to Cron, not a fastball that ended up over the Green Monster.

“There was a trip to the mound by Carl [Willis], who said stick with the knuckleball, don’t give in here,” Farrell said. “Then even prior to the 3-2 pitch there was a meeting between [Vazquez] and Steven and opted to go for a fastball on the inside part of the plate that ends up being the four-run swing.”

Wright also admitted also he would have liked to have that pitch back and he would have thrown a knuckleball as even if it were a ball, it would have only been one run and not four.

The knuckleballer finished the game going five-plus innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while walking three and striking out three. Despite the poor sixth inning, he still was able to pick up his ninth win of the year, but did see his ERA go from 2.18 to 2.42.

Closing Time note

The Red Sox scored a first inning run for the first time since June 11, spanning 17 games.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:

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Read More: Brock Holt, David Ortiz, steven wright,

John Farrell understands speculation surrounding job status

07.01.16 at 5:18 pm ET
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John Farrell understands the questions surrounding his job status. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

John Farrell understands the questions surrounding his job status. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

After the Red Sox wrapped up the month of June where they went 10-16 and now sit five games out of first place in the AL East, some have questioned over the last few days whether John Farrell is the right man to lead the team for the rest of the season.

On Friday, Farrell was asked directly if he feels he has the support of management.

“We’ve come off a tough month,” Farrell said. “Finished with a disappointing trip through Texas and Tampa. I can understand that question, the potential speculation that is out there. Our expectation is to win. That doesn’t change. The focus daily is that — is to go out and put together an effort to win. My communication with Dave [Dombrowski] is very consistent. I think he’s confident in my focus and that is to win each and every day. That’s where we stand. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to starting this final homestand before the break, so that gets underway tonight.”

Following Wednesday’s 4-0 loss there was some contradiction between his comments and David Price’s comments on the left-hander’s stuff in the game. Farrell stuck by what he said after the game, reiterating he thought Price had good stuff. (Price told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford Friday he understands why Farrell said the left-hander had great stuff when Price said after the game he had his worst curveball of the year.)

“The commentary was here was a guy that was coming off an outing where he had his best velocity he’s shown all year — up to 97 [mph], strikes out 10 over six-plus innings,” Farrell said. “He made some mistakes in the middle of the plate. In terms of just raw stuff, I thought he showed a curveball that showed had more consistent depth to it than recent starts. In terms of raw stuff, I thought it was one of his better outings of the year. The execution, no maybe that wasn’t as consistent as the game maybe in San Francisco or the game against Seattle. Whether that is a differing opinion of someone else, that was my view, just the raw stuff.”

Read More: David Price, John Farrell,

Red Sox notes: RHP Sean O’Sullivan to start Sunday; Blake Swihart (ankle) ‘improving’

07.01.16 at 5:05 pm ET
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Sean O'Sullivan

Sean O’Sullivan

With Eduardo Rodriguez being sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket, the Red Sox needed a fifth starter for Sunday’s game. Many thought that starter would be Aaron Wilkerson, but instead it will be right-hander Sean O’Sullivan making his third start of the season for the big league club.

Manager John Farrell said that was the recommendation of the Triple-A staff.

O’Sullivan pitched May 7 in relief, then started on May 10 and May 15, including earning the win May 10 against the Athletics. Overall, he’s 1-0 with a 7.94 ERA this season.

With Triple-A he was named to the Triple-A All-Star Game where he’s 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 starts. He leads the PawSox in victories and his ERA is eighth-best in the International League.

Wilkerson on the other hand, is 6-2 with a 2.00 ERA in 16 starts between Portland and Pawtucket.

“He’s pitching his way into consideration, there’s no question,” Farrell said. “Statistically he’s doing a very solid job there.”

Farrell also provided a number of injury updates on his players battling ailments.

— Brock Holt (concussion) will be checked daily as he returns Friday after missing a month with a concussion. The plan for him as of now is to play Friday night and Sunday, both against righties. Farrell said as long as Marco Hernandez is on the roster, Holt will play primarily in left field.

— Blake Swihart (sprained ankle) is “improving,” according to Farrell. He’s begun walking on a treadmill, but there hasn’t been any jogging or running yet. There still is no timetable for him to begin baseball activities.

— Ryan Hanigan (neck strain) will play nine innings with Pawtucket Saturday and Sunday and the team will decide the next step on Monday. If everything goes well, it would seem he would be ready to be activated.

— Joe Kelly (groin) threw a 20-pitch bullpen on Wednesday and will likely throw another one Saturday. Farrell said he would need at least two more bullpen sessions before the team would have him pitch in a game.

Read More: blake swihart, Brock Holt, Ryan Hanigan, Sean O'Sullivan

David Price could understand why John Farrell said pitcher had great stuff Wednesday

07.01.16 at 4:39 pm ET
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David Price allowed four runs in his fifth loss of the year Wednesday to the Rays. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

David Price allowed four runs in his fifth loss of the year Wednesday to the Rays. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

In the 48 hours since David Price and John Farrell broke down the starter’s loss against the Rays, much has been made in regards to the conflicting analysis of Price’s performance.

While Farrell said Price, “had probably his best stuff of the season,” the pitcher surmised his changeup was “the worst I’ve had in a month,” and that his curveball was “awful.”

Speaking to WEEI.com prior to Friday night’s game, Price said he was unaware of anything Farrell said after the Red Sox’ 4-0 loss to the Rays Wednesday. (“I don’t watch postgame interviews, I don’t read the stories that are written. So honestly I have zero idea of what he said,” the pitcher said.)

But the lefty did offer an explanation of why Farrell might have taken such a stance.

“I think he might have been relating stuff to velo. That was the best velo since I’ve been here,” Price said. “My stance on velo is that it might allow you to get away with a couple more mistakes. But other than that, everybody at this level has proven they can hit a fastball at a range of velocities.”

Price also suggested that the best perspective of how a pitcher’s stuff is playing is always going to be on the mound and behind the plate, and not necessarily the dugout.

“It’s his view from the side. At times that can be misleading,” Price noted. “You’re from the side, guys throwing strikes and not getting calls or throwing balls and they’re actually strikes. It’s tough to really evaluate a game from the side. It’s something after they go back to watch it, or see it from down below and you get that real angle from it. That gives you a better perspective. However he wants to handle it, that’s his decision. That’s not for me to me to worry about.”

Price also offered his perspective on how Farrell has approached the pitchers compared to other managers he has had. The Red Sox skipper is the first former pitcher or pitching coach the starter has had, having previously pitched for Joe Maddon, Brad Ausmus and John Gibbons.

“Just watching bullpens,” said Price when explaining one of the differences. “Some managers will go out and watch a bullpen when a guy is coming back from the DL. But John makes his way out there pretty regularly to watch your bullpens to see your work on Day 2 or that Day 3 whenever you decide to throw that bullpen. That’s probably the pitching coach in him.”

Price did say, however, that most of the messages when it comes to the execution of pitching still come from pitching coach Carl Willis.

“Carl is a very good talker,” he said. “He’s able to get his point across, what he’s trying to say. That’s good. I feel like every pitching coach at this level have their idea of what makes this guy successful. It’s that ability to relay that message to the pitcher in terms of what he’s trying to say. Carl’s very good at what he does.”

Price’s record stands at 8-5 with a 4.74 ERA, having allowed 10 runs over 8 2/3 innings in his last two outings.

Red Sox lineup: Hanley Ramirez out, Brock Holt returns

07.01.16 at 3:10 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez

After leaving Wednesday’s game with an injury to his right side, Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez is out of the lineup Friday night against the Angels. He’s said to be day-to-day.

Travis Shaw will play first base in his absence and Marco Hernandez will get the start at third base as the Red Sox go up against Angels right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.

Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter Steven Wright.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Brock Holt, LF
Travis Shaw, 1B
Christian Vazquez, C
Marco Hernandez, 3B
Steven Wright, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: Brock Holt, hanley ramirez,

Red Sox activate INF/OF Brock Holt, option INF Mike Miller to Triple-A Pawtucket

07.01.16 at 3:04 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

After more than a month on the disabled list with a concussion, Brock Holt is back with the Red Sox.

Prior to the team’s weekend series against the Angels, the team activated Holt and in the corresponding move optioned infielder Mike Miller back to Triple-A. Holt will start in left field Friday night.

In eight rehab appearances with Pawtucket, the left-handed batter went 8-for-25 (.320) with two runs, two doubles, five walks, and a .433 on-base percentage. With the Red Sox this year, he holds a .239 batting average (27-for-113) with four doubles, three home runs, 19 RBI, and 17 runs scored over 35 games with the major league club this season.

Miller appeared in one game as a pinch-hitter during his stint and grounded out.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Brock Holt, Mike Miller,

Reports: Red Sox banned from signing international amateur players for next year

07.01.16 at 11:49 am ET
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According to multiple reports, the Red Sox have been banned from signing international players for the next year and had five of their prospects declared free agents after a MLB investigation found a violation of signing rules last year.

The Red Sox were limited to spending a maximum of $300,000 on a prospect last year and manipulated that by using “package deals” where an agent would have two players sign and give some money that was said to be all for one player to that other player. They had the $300,000 cap because it exceeded spending limits the year before when they signed Yoan Moncada.

The five players declared free agents are outfielders Albert Guaimaro and Simon Muzziotti, infielders Antonio Pinero and Eduardo Torrealba, and right-handed pitcher Cesar Gonzalez. They can sign with any other team as of Saturday, the start of the new international signing period.

The Red Sox can still sign major league international free agents, but this will certainly be a huge blow to their developmental system as they have a number of talented international minor leaguers in their system, including top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza and third baseman Rafael Devers.

Baseball America was first to report this was a possibility Thursday night.

Friday Red Sox Farm Report: C Dan Butler sparks PawSox; CF Joseph Monge collects 3 hits, 4 RBIs for Salem

07.01.16 at 11:06 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (42-39): W, 6-4, vs. Columbus (Indians)

— Catcher Dan Butler went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs to lead the PawSox attack. Butler, who smacked a three-run home run in the third inning to put Pawtucket ahead to stay, is hitting .299/.393/.455 in 27 games this season.

“He’s been terrific and he keeps himself ready,” manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com). “He’s done a nice job as far as handling the staff, but the offensive production has definitely ticked up here.”

— Left fielder Aneury Tavarez went 2-for-3 with a walk, his first multi-hit game in Triple-A. Tavarez, 24, has played five games for the PawSox since being called up from Double-A Portland.

— Right fielder Henry Ramos was 0-for-2 but picked up two RBIs on a pair of sacrifice flies.

— Right-hander William Cuevas started but was on a low pitch count as he returned to the Pawtucket rotation after making two relief appearances for Boston last weekend. Cuevas was touched up for two runs on four hits in three innings, although he retired the final four batters he faced, including three via strikeout (he had five strikeouts in all).

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Read More: Dan Butler, daniel mcgrath, joseph monge, Tate Matheny

Friday’s Red Sox-Angels matchups: Steven Wright vs. Jhoulys Chacin

07.01.16 at 9:37 am ET
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The slumping Red Sox will send knuckleballer Steven Wright to the hill Friday night to open a three-game series against the visiting Angels, who will counter with 28-year-old right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.

Wright heads into the Los Angeles series with an 8-5 record, 2.18 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. The 31-year-old All-Star candidate ranks near the top in the American League in numerous pitching categories, including first in ERA, 10th in innings pitched (103) and tied for first in complete games (3). Wright has been the strongest arm for the Red Sox this season, but he will look to bounce back from a tough outing Saturday vs. the Rangers. The right-hander let up eight runs (three earned) on seven hits in only 4 1/3 innings in a 10-3 defeat at Texas. It was his first loss since a 3-2 setback vs. the Royals on May 18.

“I had a tough time throwing the knuckleball for a strike,” Wright said afterward. “I felt like I couldn’t throw a good one over the plate. I had to rely a lot on my fastball. When I do that, it’s usually not going to be a good day for me.”

Wright has faced the Angels just twice in his four-year career, going 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. His ERA against Los Angeles is his highest against any team. His last game vs. the Angels was on July 20 of last season, when he surrendered six runs on six hits through five innings in a 7-3 Red Sox loss.

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Read More: joulys chacin, steven wright,
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