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Red Sox-Cardinals game scheduled to start at 8:15 p.m.

08.07.14 at 6:57 pm ET
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The scheduled start of the Red Sox‘ game against the Cardinals in St. Louis, originally scheduled for 7:15 p.m., has been delayed due to inclement weather. The game is now expected to start at approximately 8:15 p.m.

Red Sox option Mookie Betts, set to activate Kelly Johnson

08.07.14 at 4:08 pm ET
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The Red Sox have optioned Mookie Betts back to Triple-A Pawtucket in order to clear a roster spot for newly acquired corner infielder/left fielder Kelly Johnson.

Betts started twice in five games after being summoned back to the big leagues on August 1, going 2-for-7. For the year, in 13 contests, he’s hitting .244/.279/.366 in 44 big league plate appearances.

The 21-year-old has shredded the minors, however, for a .342/.429/.530 line with 11 homers and 30 steals in 88 games, including a .321/.408/.496 line in Triple-A Pawtucket. With something of a roster crowd in the big leagues that has the Sox rotating outfielders in and out of the lineup, the team wanted to ensure regular playing time for Betts at this stage of his professional development by having him return to the minors rather than dealing with fitful playing time in the big leagues.

Johnson, acquired from the Yankees for Stephen Drew just before last Thursday’s trade deadline, went 0-for-6 with two walks and three strikeouts during a two-game rehab assignment with Double-A Portland in which he saw time at first and third base. Prior to the groin injury that landed him on the D.L., Johnson was hitting .219/.304/.373 in 77 games for the Yankees.

Read More: Kelly Johnson, mookie betts,

Red Sox lineup: Jackie Bradley Jr., Will Middlebrooks return; Daniel Nava sits

08.07.14 at 3:57 pm ET
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As the Red Sox prepare for the finale of their three-game series against the Cardinals, they will rotate a number of players back into their lineup against right-hander Adam Wainwright. David Ortiz, who sat out of Wednesday’s game in favor of Mike Napoli, is back in the lineup and batting third. Jackie Bradley Jr. will start for the first time in the three-game series, with Daniel Nava getting a day off. And Will Middlebrooks, who sat in favor of Brock Holt on Wednesday, is back in the lineup at third, with Holt in right field.

RED SOX LINEUP

Brock Holt, RF

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

David Ortiz, 1B

Yoenis Cespedes, LF

Xander Bogaerts, SS

Christian Vazquez, C

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Brandon Workman, SP

Red Sox minor league roundup: Williams Jerez’s prospect rebirth; Sam Travis mashing; Keury De La Cruz goes for a rare walk

08.07.14 at 12:55 pm ET
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A brief look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Thursday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: OFF DAY

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-4 WIN AT BOWIE (ORIOLES)

(BOX)

– Outfielder Keury De La Cruz, who entered the game with three walks and 39 strikeouts in his first 47 games of the year, went 1-for-2 with a double and matched a career-high with three walks, thus matching his season total. It was his first game with multiple walks since 2012, and his first with three walks since playing in the Dominican Summer League in 2009. It is worth noting that two of the walks (including one of the intentional variety) came against a knuckleballer.

Still, though De La Cruz’s swing early and often approach makes him vulnerable to pitchers with command, the double underscored his ability to impact the ball when swinging at strikes, particularly against right-handed pitchers. The 22-year-old owns a .340/.366/.509 line this year against righties, with an overall .282/.303/.395 line in 48 games with Portland.

– Catcher Carson Blair, making his Double-A debut at 24, delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning to cap a 1-for-3 day in which he reached twice by walk. Blair hit .261/.385/.471 in 67 games with Salem, in his first opportunity at being a primary catcher in his professional career. He performed well enough to suggest the potential tools of a late-coming big leaguer, though the fact that he ended up on the disabled list underscored concerns about whether he can withstand the physical wear of catching to the point that it will enable him to reach the big leagues. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: dayan diaz, jhonathan diaz, michael kopech, williams jerez

Red Sox reportedly part of bloc of owners supporting Tom Werner, opposed to Rob Manfred as next commissioner

08.07.14 at 11:29 am ET
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When initial reports broke that Red Sox chairman Tom Werner was one of three finalists for the job as Major League Baseball commissioner, there was widespread speculation that he was not a candidate to be taken too seriously.

Rob Manfred remains the favorite to take over the job from his boss, the retiring Bud Selig, but there apparently is a group of owners that opposes Manfred’s hiring. That group is said to include Red Sox principal owner John Henry, White Sox boss Jerry Reinsdorf and Angels owner Arte Moreno. According to The New York Times, that group chose Werner to be an alternative and is attempting to recruit other owners (specifically those from the Nationals, Athletics, Diamondbacks and Reds) in an attempt to get enough votes to block Manfred’s election.

MLB executive Tim Brosnan is the third candidate, be he appears to have far less support.

The vote is slated to take place at the quarterly owners meetings next Thursday in Baltimore. A candidate needs support from 23 of the 30 owners to be elected.

The Times report indicates that Reinsdorf and Selig, longtime friends, have had a falling out because of the issue of Selig’s successor. Reinsdorf has told other owners that Selig has not been transparent enough as commissioner, and Manfred would continue that trend.

“The next eight days will be about Bud versus Jerry,” a senior baseball official told the Times. “Bud is dismayed.”

Manfred supporters told the Times that the Red Sox oppose Manfred because they want a larger share of profit from their local television contract. They also said that Werner has been promising positions to other owners in a bid to gain votes.

Read More: Bud Selig, Rob Manfred, Tom Werner,

Ben Cherington on D&C: John Lackey ‘did a lot for the Red Sox, and I think he’s happy where he is now’

08.07.14 at 9:51 am ET
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Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the state of the team and the fallout from the trade deadline fire sale. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

There has been some speculation that John Lackey pushed for a trade because he was not happy in Boston, upset with his contract that calls for him to be paid the major league minimum next year. The pitcher was sent the Cardinals last Thursday.

“Mostly what led to [the trade] is that he’s a really good pitcher and he’s on a unique contract, and that made him valuable to a team like the Cardinals, who understand that value, understand that having a guy who’s capable of pitching like that and making the minimum next year is a valuable guy to have,” Cherington said. “So they were willing to give up — we wouldn’t have traded both [Jon] Lester and Lackey without getting a) major league talent back and b) at least one major league starter back. That was sort of the standard.

“We’re all getting new information, and you get new information every day. I think John is happy where he is, and we wish him well. He did great things for us, certainly towards the end of the deal. He was on the mound for the clinching World Series game. I certainly hope that Red Sox fans and everyone around Boston’s sort of lasting memory of John Lackey is helping us win a World Series. That will be what mine is.”

Asked directly if Lackey wanted to leave, Cherington replied: “Look, I’m not going to get into every conversation I had with John Lackey. He did a lot for the Red Sox, and I think he’s happy where he is now.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Allen Craig, ben cherington, henry owens, john lackey

Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts, Joe Kelly make mark in Red Sox’ win over Cardinals

08.07.14 at 12:23 am ET
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For Xander Bogaerts, Wednesday might have marked the beginning of an important road back. In one of his most impactful games since June, the 21-year-old drove in both Red Sox runs while playing strong defense at shortstop to lead his team to a 2-1 win over the Cardinals.

Bogaerts slammed an RBI double to the fence in deep left-center with two outs in the top of the fourth to tie the game, 1-1, then lined a bases-loaded, no-out, first-pitch sac fly to center in the top of the ninth. The ability to hit the ball with authority to all fields has been increasingly evident in recent games, with Bogaerts once again coming closer to resembling the dazzling performer who looked so impressive last October in St. Louis and throughout the postseason.

With his two run-scoring plate appearances, Bogaerts shed some areas of season-long futility. He entered the night hitting .156/.239/.219 with runners on base and two outs prior to his double; in 17 plate appearances with runners on third and less than two outs, he had been 1-for-15 with just three RBIs (two on sac flies), no walks and three strikeouts before his game-winning sac fly on Wednesday.

On defense, he made a pair of solid defensive plays in the second inning, initiating a double play with a quick transfer and flip on a slow roller and then making an inning-ending diving play on a ball to his left for a force at second that kept a run off the board.

In a season where wins and losses will mean little in their own right over the next two months, the sight of Bogaerts serving as a game-changer en route to a win was nonetheless significant.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Joe Kelly, xander bogaerts,
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