|09.04.16 at 8:53 pm ET|
OAKLAND — It was a tough act for Craig Kimbrel to follow. And in the end, it proved too tough.
The Red Sox closer was charged with the responsibility of keeping his team tied with the A’s after Eduardo Rodriguez pitched eight innings of one-hit, shutout ball. But it didn’t go well.
After warming up throughout the top of the ninth inning, Kimbrel was called upon by Red Sox manager John Farrell to face the heart of the A’s lineup to begin the home half of the frame. It wasn’t ideal considering Kimbrel’s struggles in non-save situations — having given up 10 runs in 17 1/3 innings (5.19 ERA) while walking 12 — but considering who were coming up for Oakland, the righty was deemed the choice to keep things close.
“Middle of the order. We’ve used him in tie games on the road previous,” Farrell said when asked of the decision to bring in Kimbrel. “Didn’t want to get into a potential matchup and walking through our bullpen to try to get the appropriate matchup. Where we were, middle of their order, the power they had, Kimbrel was the guy to go to. The fact that their closer [Ryan Madson] was already on the mound for an inning, we felt like we could match up inning to inning and withstand some extra frames. Our bullpen was in great shape in terms of rest and performance. It didn’t happen.”
What happened was a leadoff walk to Danny Valencia, and then Khris Davis’ line-drive into left field. Sox left fielder Brock Holt mishandled the carom off the wall from Davis’ hit, giving the A’s the walk-off win.
“I was ready. Just all over the place with Valencia, leadoff walk, fastball in [to Davis],” said Kimbrel, who hadn’t pitched since Wednesday. “Guess I it didn’t get in far enough and that’s game over.”
The Sox closer added, “It’s the meat of their lineup, tie ballgame. Save, non-save at this point it doesn’t matter, winning ballgames is what matters and wasn’t able to do that today.”
|09.04.16 at 8:24 pm ET|
OAKLAND — Eduardo Rodriguez might have ended up making unofficial history Sunday afternoon.
The Red Sox starter now owns the most frustrating way a no-hitter had ever been broken up with two outs in the eighth inning in major league history.
Rodriguez came a foot away from heading into the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ 1-0 loss to the A’s with a no-hitter, but saw that opportunity slip away thanks to a most bizarre play.
Oakland’s Marcus Semien hit a 2-1 changeup from Rodriguez back up the middle for a grounder that appeared headed into the outfield for the host’s first hit. But the pitcher managed to swing his right leg around and stop the ball, leaving it on resting on the mound.
“I got a good jump, but he hit it out in front,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “I would have got to it, but I don’t know if I would have been able to throw it out.”
Rodriguez looked around for the ball with catcher Sandy Leon yelling, “Los pies! Los pies!” (“The feet! The feet!”) and first baseman Hanley Ramirez shouting “Right there!”
The lefty quickly found the ball in time to make a play of it at first base.
“It was a little bit crazy, looking down for where the ball is and then finding it,” Rodriguez said of the play, which came on his 107th pitch. “But like I said, he was a fast runner.”
|09.04.16 at 7:20 pm ET|
Eduardo Rodriguez lost a no-hitter on an overturned call in the eighth inning. The Red Sox lost a game two batters into the ninth.
And so goes their topsy-turvy season.
After pummeling the A’s 27-4 over the first two games of the series, the Red Sox found themselves in a dogfight during Sunday’s series finale, which the A’s ultimately won, 1-0, on Khris Davis’s walkoff double.
Rodriguez, the young left-hander whose season has been a disappointment because of injuries, delivered his most inspired performance of the year, taking a no-hitter into the eighth.
The no-no ended with two outs when Marcus Semien hit one that Rodriguez athletically kicked down before corralling it and firing to Hanley Ramirez. Semien was initially ruled out, but the A’s challenged and the call was overturned, ending the no-no. Rodriguez then induced an inning-ending ground out. (To read more about Rodriguez’s outing, click here.)
The Red Sox weren’t so lucky in the ninth. Closer Craig Kimbrel walked leadoff man Danny Valencia and Davis followed with a double to left, but left fielder Brock Holt committed an error and Valencia scored, giving the A’s a walkoff victory and dropping the Red Sox a game behind the Blue Jays in the American League East. Toronto salvaged its series finale with Tampa to remain in first in the division.
“Just got to the wall, trying to get it in quick,” Holt said. “It kicked off the wall a little bit harder than I thought it was going to. Spinning around, just kind of rushed it. Obviously should’ve caught that ball cleanly and got it in, hold Valencia there at third. Just trying to get it in fast and it kicked off the wall a little bit harder than I expected and hit the heel of my glove.”
“The fact that we walk off the field with a loss bothers me,” Kimbrel said. “But the leadoff walk was what led up to it. Eddie threw such a great game and it’s disappointing. I felt like we should have had a sweep here. Winning two out of three is great but it’s a little disappointing.”
(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from Oakland)
|09.04.16 at 3:15 pm ET|
It is still unknown when Wright will receive a second opinion on his injured right shoulder, with the examination likely to take place during the Sox’ three-game series in San Diego.
Buchholz, who threw a bullpen session Sunday at Oakland Coliseum, hasn’t thrown since Tuesday. In his three starts previously filling in for Wright, the righty totaled a 2.70 ERA, with the last such outing coming Aug. 23.
– After coming through Saturday’s simulated game in good shape, Koji Uehara will be activated from the disabled list Monday, although he won’t be available for duty until Tuesday’s night game in San Diego.
Uehara hasn’t pitched since straining his right pectoral July 19.
– Andrew Benintendi is slated to receive his new knee brace in San Diego, having started amping up his baseball activities over the weekend.
“There’s been a little bit of dry swinging. He still is gradually introducing exercises and getting a little more diverse with the workouts and the rehab,” Farrell said. “I would suspect, once we get to San Diego, there might be a little bit more of an increase in the volume and the type of activity. That’s going to be dependent upon the brace and how he feels with it. All in all, he’s making steady progress.”
Farrell noted the outfielder will most likely have to see game action before re-entering the big leagues.
“We would, and we’ll have ample ability,” said Farrell when asked if Benintendi would play elsewhere before rejoining the Red Sox. “I don’t have the exact dates for instructional league, but if there were a couple of days down there, in advance. We still don’t have an exact return date, so whether it’s something we have to construct and put together here pregame or in Florida, that’s still open.”
The Red Sox also figure to use the instructional league to keep at least one minor league starting pitcher throwing.
– Travis Shaw took some fly balls in left field prior to Sunday’s game.
|09.04.16 at 10:22 am ET|
Here’s a look a the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (72-68): W, 2-1, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)
— Right-hander Sean O’Sullivan started and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and three walks with eight strikeouts — his most in a game since the opening month of the season.
“I thought he had a good use of his cutter and he spun some breaking balls that were effective,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com).
In his last three starts, spanning 17 innings, O’Sullivan has allowed just two runs.
— Right-handers Roman Mendez, Austin Maddox and Heath Hembree combined to pitch 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
— Rusney Castillo doubled home Jose Vinico (double) in the third inning for Pawtucket’s first run. In the fifth, Castillo reached second base on a Syracuse error, then scored on a broken-bat single by Ryan LaMarre.
— Chris Marrero reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks.
|09.04.16 at 9:02 am ET|
Sunday afternoon’s Red Sox-Athletics series finale will feature Eduardo Rodriguez opposite 25-year-old right-hander Kendall Graveman.
Rodriguez is 2-6 with a 5.35 ERA and a 1.405 WHIP in 14 starts. The Venezuelan left-hander last pitched on Sunday against the Royals, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing five runs, four hits and four walks with one strikeout in a 10-4 Sox loss. It marked his return to the rotation after skipping a start due to hamstring tightness.
“I thought Eddie came out and was trying to establish his release point,” manager John Farrell said. “He was a little erratic early on. A couple of pitches found their way to the middle of the plate, particularly [Salvador] Perez, a first-pitch fastball to get them on the board. But then he settled in. Innings 3-5, he was throwing the ball extremely well. He was efficient putting the ball on the ground. A lot of bad contact in that three-inning stint. Then the two walks inside of the sixth inning to get things started for them and as hot as they are with the momentum that they’ve been able to create, just a tough, tough sixth inning obviously when they put eight runs up on the board.”
Rodriguez has never faced the Athletics.
|09.04.16 at 12:08 am ET|
OAKLAND — The Red Sox find themselves back in first place thanks to a tried and true formula, beating up on the A’s.
Once again, the Red Sox routed Oakland, this time claiming a 11-2 win at Oakland Coliseum on Saturday night. With the victory, and another Rays win over the Blue Jays, John Farrell’s team is all knotted up with Toronto atop the division.
With the 10 runs the Sox now have 67 in their five games against Oakland this season, totaling 82 hits after the 17 Saturday night. This time they jumped out to a nine-run lead after just three innings, with Hanley Ramirez highlighting the attack with a three-run home run.
David Ortiz led the attack with three hits before being replaced by a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. Others claiming multiple-hit games were Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Sandy Leon.
Another noteworthy offensive performance came from Yoan Moncada, who claimed his first major league hit in his second at-bat of the night. Moncada managed to inside-out an outside breaking ball to hit a hard shot down the third base line, resulting in two-run double. He also claimed a ninth-inning single hitting from the right side.
The star of the game, however, might have been Rick Porcello, who carried a perfect game for 5 1/3 innings. The starter saw his perfection come to an end when Jake Smolinski lined a double just over the outstretched glove of left fielder Chris Young.
“Obviously knew the situation, but five innings, still have a lot of baseball to be played,” Porcello said. “My whole mindset was once we had that big inning in the third was throw strikes and work as quickly as I could and just try to get outs. Probably one of the furthest games I’ve gotten into that situation but still have a lot of game to go. I was more trying to get everything moving and throw strikes.”
Porcello became baseball’s first 19-game winner, giving up two runs on four hits in seven innings. He becomes the first Red Sox ever to win at least 19 of his first 22 decisions and is 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA in his last five starts.
The Red Sox have won 15 of their last 22 games, winning their last nine games against the A’s.
|09.03.16 at 7:45 pm ET|
Prior to Saturday night’s game John Farrell announced that Wright would not be making his scheduled start against the Padres Tuesday night. The Red Sox manager said Clay Buchholz would most likely take the spot in San Diego.
Wright, who has made two starts since coming back from his right shoulder injury, is scheduled to have a second opinion in Los Angeles in the coming days.
“It’s OK, it’s not great,” said Wright of his shoulder, which he injured pinch-running against the Dodgers Aug. 7. “Trying to throw through a lot of the pain and the discomfort and it’s not getting better. I’m no help going out there at 50 percent. The last two games I didn’t have the same effectiveness with my knuckleball, I had some pain throwing, I tried throwing through it and it’s at that point where I need another set of eyes on my shoulder, hopefully it’s nothing more serious.”
Wright said his shoulder feels just 50 percent, a number he was banking on being much higher at this point in the recovery process.
“I thought I could pitch again and I thought I could be effective with that but it was more that I thought I was more but I just couldn’t get more,” the pitcher said. “It felt like I was going out there 50 percent and it was one of those things that I thought mentally I could get through because that’s the biggest thing when you’re talking about injuries is the physical aspect but it’s more the mental aspect and throwing through pain is something something I’ve done before but it’s been gradually built not sustained in one specific incident. So I think that’s the hardest thing mentally to get over is that it’s structurally fine it’s just the feeling that I’m getting is that it doesn’t feel right and it doesn’t feel like stuff I’ve had before and that’s why it’s getting shut down for right now.”
|09.03.16 at 5:42 pm ET|
OAKLAND – After coming in to get his first two major league at-bats Friday night, Yoan Moncada will now experience a spot in the Red Sox starting lineup.
Moncada, who walked, scored a run and struck out in the series opener, will hit eighth and play third base Saturday night.
Here is the Red Sox lineup against theA’s with Rick Porcello in the mound for the visitors:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Yoan Moncada 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
|09.03.16 at 9:19 am ET|
Here’s a look a the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (71-68): L, 1-0 (10 innings), vs. Syracuse (Nationals)
— In a scoreless game in the 10th inning, reliever Chandler Shepherd allowed a lead off walk, a stolen base, and then two straight singles to allow the game-winning run to score. It was his second inning of relief and he took his second Triple-A loss of the year.
— Starter Roenis Elias was great as he threw six shutout innings, while scattering just three hits, walking two and striking out nine. His ERA is now 3.60 on the year. Behind him, Noe Ramirez threw two perfect innings of relief with three strikeouts.
— The PawSox offense couldn’t do much at the plate, as they finished with just three hits as a team. First baseman Chris Marrero had a double, while both Rusney Castillo and Jose Vinicio had singles.
— As a team the PawSox went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
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