|09.03.15 at 8:42 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (56-83): W, 6-5, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
— Right fielder Aneury Tavarez, playing in just his second game in Triple-A since his Sept. 1 promotion, ended the game with a leaping catch at the wall in the top of the ninth inning to preserve the one-run victory. With a runner aboard and moving on contact as the ball was lofted to right, the 23-year-old Tavarez retreated a few steps and as he reached the warning track jumped and made a backhanded catch. At the plate, Tavarez had a hit for the second straight game and in his fifth overall, driving in center fielder Jonathan Roof to tie the game at one in the second inning.
Signed by Boston out of the Dominican Republic during the 2010 international signing period, the 5-foot-9 Tavarez slashed .226/.261/.355 over 67 games with Portland this year before his promotion with five homers and 13 doubles, while leading the Sea Dogs in outfield assists with seven.
— Third baseman Carlos Rivero gave Pawtucket the 6-5 lead with a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning. After two outs, catcher Luis Martinez walked, shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston’s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com) singled and second baseman Marco Hernandez (Boston’s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) also walked before Rivero’s free pass. Rivero was 1-for-3 with two free passes and two RBIs on the night, as he also drove in a run on an RBI single in the fifth inning.
— Every member of the PawSox lineup had a hit. Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run from the leadoff spot, while Chris Marrero finished 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored for his third straight multi-hit game. Roof finished 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
|09.02.15 at 10:29 pm ET|
Arguably its top player, 17-year-old right-hander Anderson Espinoza has been promoted to Single-A Greenville, according to sources.
Espinoza pitched in four games in the Dominican Summer League this summer, allowing two earned runs in 15 innings, while striking out 21 and walking just three. In late June he was promoted to the Gulf Coast League where he pitched in 10 games (only four innings each, as the organization monitors his innings) and had an ERA of 0.68 with 40 strikeouts and nine walks in 40 innings.
The 17-year-old was signed as an International free agent last summer.
Greenville has just five games left in their regular-season as they battle for a playoff spot.
|09.02.15 at 7:39 pm ET|
Facing a team currently in the postseason for the fourth time in six big league starts, Henry Owens was due for a stinker.
Owens breezed through the first inning — a 1-2-3 inning on 12 pitches, but then blew up in the second. He started out the inning by striking out Carlos Beltran, but then the next eight hitters reached, leading to his departure.
Greg Bird and John Ryan Murphy hit back-to-back home runs to put the Yankees on top 3-1 at the time and the Yankees would then add two hits, a walk and two singles, as following Alex Rodriguez‘s RBI single Owens’ day was over.
“I felt when I was mechanically sound I could command the fastball on both sides of the plate the first inning and a little bit of the second,” Owens said.” There were some counts I fell into where maybe not going to an off speed pitch to get my back on track mechanically I tried to stick with the fastball. Mental lapse on my part and I’ve learned from it.
Ryan Cook entered the game in relief and the first batter he faced — Beltran — greeted him with a two-run homer, giving the Yankees a 8-1 lead after two innings.
Owens finished the game going 1 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out two. He threw 41 pitches in the second inning and recorded just two outs.
“It wasn’t his best day, we all know that,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “Started off very strong and then I think he got a little erratic with his fastball. He started to spray it around, fell behind in counts. It happened pretty quick where they jumped on it.”
The short start snapped a string of 30 games where Sox starters went at least five innings. It was the team’s longest stretch since Aug. 31, 2004.
Cook wasn’t much better as he allowed four runs in just 1 1/3 innings of work, including two home runs. His ERA on the year is now 21.13. Heath Hembree allowed a run over two innings of relief and then Craig Craig Breslow allowed a run over 2 1/3 innings. Alexi Ogando finished the game tossing a scoreless 1 1/3 innings.
The Red Sox offense was highlighted by Xander Bogaerts’ solo home run in the sixth inning, his fifth of the season. He finished the game 3-for-5 and since May 31, he leads the majors in hitting as he’s batting .346. He also leads the team with 45 multi-hit games this year.
Trailing 12-2 at one point, the Red Sox scored two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to make it a more respectable outcome. It also forced the Yankees to call upon Dellin Betances to get out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth. The Sox added another run in the ninth before closer Andrew Miller shut the door.
For the Yankees, Stephen Drew was the star as he finished the game 3-for-4, a triple shy of the cycle.
Masahiro Tanaka started and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits, while walking a batter and striking out five to pick up his 11th win of the year.
|09.02.15 at 2:19 pm ET|
As the Red Sox have begun to expose their outfielders to other outfield spots with Rusney Castillo debuting in left field Wednesday, Mookie Betts could be the next to play either left or right field.
“That will be the next part of this and Mookie’s been working hard in left and right,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “Once again Arnie [Beyeler] will sign off on that when he thinks the timing is right. Also get something from Mookie to make sure he’s comfortable and ready. There all very athletic guys. They are all very gifted with their movements in any direction. We feel it’s going to be a lot sooner than later.”
As for Castillo, he’s been working with outfield coach Arnie Beyeler for almost two weeks and he and Castillo felt the timing was right.
“Arnie has been with him since the middle of last homestand and Arnie signed off on it,” Lovullo said. “We decided that he was going to be the lead dog in the situation. Get some feedback from Rusney and mentally see what he’s doing and also verbally see where he’s at. Everything checked out. Rusney was ready for that challenge and we thought the timing was right today.”
— With Matt Barnes (elbow) and Steven Wright (concussion) unable to pitch, the Red Sox haven’t been able to go to a six-man rotation like they had hoped. With the off day Thursday they will keep their starters in line over the weekend and not skip anyone.
Discussions are taking place of how they can get a six-man rotation, as they monitor Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez’s innings.
“We’re talking about that right now,” Lovullo said. “We’re trying to figure out if there is another candidate. We’re trying to see if those two guys can’t go then maybe there’s a bullpen day. We’re throwing a lot of different options at one another. Obviously the two candidates are [Barnes] and Steven [Wright]. We’ll see where they’re at.”
With the team having only one Thursday game in the month of September there were off days built in, but even with those Lovullo and the team want to have a six-man rotation.
“We were aware of those day off, but we wanted to also throw in that sixth guy despite those days to give them a little bit more time in between and monitor the workload,” Lovullo said. “We were aware of that. We built those in and still decided to try the six-man thought. Obviously we’re trying to find the right candidate right now.”
|09.02.15 at 12:37 pm ET|
On Tuesday interim manager Torey Lovullo said the younger Red Sox outfielders could see time at other spots in the outfield other than their accustomed ones and that will begin Wednesday with Rusney Castillo debuting in left field.
The Yankees and Red Sox each have a chance to take the series, as both have picked up wins in the first two games.
Jackie Bradley Jr. will play right field, while Mookie Betts will stay in center field as the Red Sox go up against right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.
Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Henry Owens.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is a complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, CF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Travis Shaw, 1B
Rusney Castillo, LF
Brock Holt, 2B
Blake Swihart, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
Henry Owens, LHP
|09.02.15 at 10:01 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (55-83): W, 10-2, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
— The PawSox tied a season-high with eight extra-base hits. Left fielder Chris Marrero had three of them, going 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two doubles. Marrero is hitting .270 on the season with seven home runs and has homered in three of his last five games.
— Second baseman Marco Hernandez and first baseman Garin Cecchini also posted three-hit games for the PawSox. Hernandez finished the day 3-for-5 with a triple, three RBIs and a run scored. Cecchini went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two RBIs.
— Shortstop Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Catcher Luis Martinez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
— Left-hander Rich Hill earned the win with a seven-inning performance. He allowed both Lehigh Valley runs on solo home runs but gave up just two additional hits and two walks and struck out a season-high nine batters. Hill improved to 5-3 on the season with a 2.06 ERA. He has posted a 3-1 record in four starts since joining the PawSox and has a 1.37 ERA in those four outings.
— Right-hander Dayan Diaz relieved Hill in the eighth and pitched a perfect frame. Righty Pat Light tossed a perfect ninth to close out the win.
|09.02.15 at 8:31 am ET|
The Red Sox and Yankees will wrap up their three-game set Wednesday afternoon when rookie Henry Owens toes the rubber against Masahiro Tanaka.
Owens has lived up to his billing through five big league starts. Projected as a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm to potential No. 2, he’s gone 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
Over his last couple of outings, Owens has settled in to his spot on the big league staff. In his last 13 innings, he’s given up just nine hits and two earned runs while striking out 10. Those numbers are good enough for a 1.38 ERA and a .191/.269/.298 opponent slash line. After Owens beat Johnny Cueto and the Royals with an eight-inning, two-run performance, interim manager Torey Lovullo lauded the left-hander’s chemistry with fellow rookie Blake Swihart.
“Quality outing for Henry,” Lovullo said. “What’s there not to say about what he did? Eight innings, one earned run, got into a great rhythm. Him and Blake were solid together. A two-pitch, at times three-pitch mix. It just seemed to really all click for him. He got into a great flow and a great rhythm. We wanted him to touch the eighth inning, those were some of the conversations we were having in the dugout, but he was so efficient that he worked through the eighth inning. That was a special night for him.”
Against the Mets last Friday, Owens was ineffective but successful. In five innings of work he scattered five hits and four walks that produced just two New York runs. He did, however, strike out six and draw 15 swinging strikes, his second most during his limited time in the majors.
|09.01.15 at 11:21 pm ET|
Since coming off the disabled list Aug. 26 after missing about a month with a right triceps injury, Rick Porcello has been a different pitcher.
In the 15 innings he’s pitched over the two games, he’s allowed just one earned run. Despite taking the loss in the Red Sox‘ 3-1 defeat to the Yankees Tuesday night, he may have pitched his best game of the year.
The right-hander went eight innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits while walking a batter and striking out a career-high 13. He became the only pitcher in last 100 years with at least 13 strikeouts and one earned run or fewer allowed while taking a loss against the Yankees.
“Yeah, I think this year it’s definitely been the most consistent stuff that I’ve had,” Porcello said. “We were moving the ball around well. Blake [Swihart] called a great game back there. He was on the same page as me the entire night and we were able to execute pitches.”
Of Porcello’s 13 strikeouts, nine were looking, a sign he was on top of his game. His sinker was working well, which has been a main reason for his success over the last two starts.
“I’m basically forcing myself to throw it. That was kind of the commitment after I came off the DL — I’m going to throw my sinker and find it,” Porcello said. “If I get beat with that pitch, then so what? In order for me to have some success over here in the long run, I’ve got to find that pitch. I just took the pressure off and said, ‘Screw it, I’m throwing it.'”
The difference in the game came in the fifth inning. With the Red Sox leading 1-0, two outs and a runner on first, first baseman Travis Shaw couldn’t handle a routine Didi Gregorius grounder, as it went into right field setting up second and third with two outs.
Former Red Sox Stephen Drew made Shaw and the Red Sox pay as he lined a double into the left-center field gap scoring two runs and proving to be the difference in the game.
“That’s 100 percent on me,” Porcello said. “It was just a poorly executed pitch.”
|09.01.15 at 9:53 pm ET|
With the Red Sox leading 1-0, two outs and a runner on first in the fifth, first baseman Travis Shaw couldn’t handle a routine Didi Gregorius grounder, and it went into right field, setting up second and third with two outs.
Brett Gardner hit a solo homer in the eighth off Porcello for the third Yankees run.
Despite taking the loss, Porcello delivered his second straight great start. The right-hander went eight innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits, while walking a batter and striking out 13. The 13 strikeouts were good for his fourth career double-digit strikeout game and a career-high. Since coming off the disabled list, he’s allowed one earned run in 15 innings.
“Overall, he’s been great since he’s returned,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate. From where I was in the dugout you could see it had angle. I know there were a number of called strikeouts, and that just shows you how locked in he is. He’s hitting spots with a little bit of movement and deception.”
|09.01.15 at 9:26 pm ET|
Hanley Ramirez‘s days as an outfielder are over.
“I do not,” Lovullo said.
The plan, Lovullo said, is for outfielders Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts, and Rusney Castillo to cycle through each spot in an effort to determine where each should play next season. And once they pick a spot, they’ll stay there.
That leaves no room in the outfield for Ramirez, which is just as well, since he has not played well there. Of course, there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to play first base, either. He’s trying to learn that position now.
With Ramirez recovering from injuries to both shoulders and his hand, he’s in a holding pattern. But Lovullo does expect him to play first in the big leagues before the season is over.
“I am hopeful that he will,” Lovullo said. “I feel like what I’ve seen him do defensively in his work, I feel like there’s a chance he could play first base before the year is over. Now, is that a lock? His health will determine that.”
Lovullo said Ramirez hasn’t faced live pitching in about a week, and there’s no timetable for his return.
“He’s a tough guy,” Lovullo said. “He’s a strong-bodied, tough guy and he knows his body and I think he’s very well aware of what bothers him through the course of a swing. Some players will just go up there and swing hard and they don’t know what they’re feeling. Hanley can analyze himself pretty well physically. If he’s complaining about that, I think it’s lingering. Is it hindering him? I haven’t had that type of a conversation with him.”
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