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Friday Red Sox Farm Report: LHP Brian Johnson solid in PawSox loss; Portland RHP Teddy Stankiewicz tosses 6 shutout innings

09.02.16 at 8:49 am ET
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Here’s a look a the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (71-67): L, 2-1, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)

— Left-hander Brian Johnson pitched well in his final start of the season, allowing one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old, a first-round draft pick in 2012, walked three and struck out three. After allowing two of the first three batters to reach base, he retired 16 of the next 18.

“He worked with a consistent tempo, his delivery was repeatable and he attacked the zone,” manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com).

In 15 games with the PawSox, Johnson is 5-6 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He has allowed one run or fewer in five of his last seven starts.

— Right-hander Williams Cuevas relieved and was charged with the loss after surrendering the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. He finished his night allowing five hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Righty Heath Hembree came on to record the final out of the ninth with runners on the corners.

— The PawSox had just four hits, with Rusney Castillo, Ryan LaMarre, Bryce Brent and Allen Craig recording one apiece. Chris Dominguez drove in Pawtucket’s lone run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

— Second baseman Mike Miller made a nice leaping catch in the ninth inning to keep the score close, snagging a soft liner with runners on the corners and two outs.

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Friday’s Red Sox-Athletics matchups: David Price vs. Andrew Triggs

09.02.16 at 8:27 am ET
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After a day off, the Red Sox begin a four game series in Oakland Friday night by sending David Price to the hill to face 27-year-old rookie right-hander Andrew Triggs.

Price is 13-8 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.225 WHIP in 28 starts, which is among the most in the majors. The southpaw picked up his fourth win in as many starts with a win over the Royals on Saturday. In the outing, Price pitched six innings, allowing two runs, five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

“I thought tonight he was more powerful than the last time over in Tampa,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Price (via MLB.com). “They put up some good at-bats against him. A lot of foul balls, ran the pitch count up. Six innings was his night tonight. But still, it’s the offspeed stuff that’s really making a difference for him.”

After the stellar start, Price’s ERA dropped below 4.00 for the first time since April 5.

“I haven’t thought about my ERA in a long time,” Price said. “That ship has sailed. I want to go out and pitch as deep into the ballgame as I can and give up the least amount of runs. I don’t worry about my ERA. I don’t worry about my wins and losses. I want the Red Sox to win every day and especially the days that I’m out there.”

In eight career starts against the Athletics, the 31-year-old is 3-2 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.106 WHIP. The last time Price saw Oakland was in 2015 when he was a member of the Tigers. In that start, Price pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

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Red Sox add Joe Kelly, Ryan Hanigan, Deven Marrero, Yoan Moncada as September call-ups

09.01.16 at 11:07 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

The Red Sox plan to make four September call-ups while also activating catcher Ryan Hanigan from the disabled list.

The team announced that it will recall right-hander Joe Kelly and infielder Deven Marrero from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. The Red Sox will also select left-hander Robby Scott to the roster from Pawtucket, as well as make official news we’ve known for more than a day now, that top prospect Yoan Moncada will join the team from Double-A Portland.

Kelly went 2-0 with a 7.62 ERA in Boston. He experienced far more success in relief at Pawtucket after returning there on July 15, posting a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings and striking out 25 while walking just two.

Scott, who just turned 27 on Monday, will be making his big league debut after six years in the Red Sox system out of independent ball. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder went 4-3 with a 2.54 ERA at Pawtucket, striking out 73 in 78 innings. He has made six starts this year and 26 relief appearances.

Marrero is a standout defender at shortstop who has hit .210 in the big leagues since making his debut last season.

Hanigan is hitting .158 this season. He has been sidelined since Aug. 6 with left ankle tendinitis.

That leaves Moncada, whom WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford profiled here.

Read More: Joe Kelly, Red Sox, robby scott, September call-ups

Red Sox minor league notebook: Jason Groome ‘ecstatic’ to be with Lowell Spinners after eventful draft process

09.01.16 at 10:48 am ET
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No. 12 overall pick Jason Groome will start for the Lowell Spinners Friday night. (WEEI.com)

No. 12 overall pick Jason Groome will start for the Lowell Spinners Friday night. (WEEI.com)

Highly touted 18-year-old left-hander Jason Groome finally can breathe a sigh of relief.

Groome was drafted No. 12 overall by the Red Sox in June’s MLB draft, signed a professional contract, started two games in the Florida Gulf Coast League and now is preparing to start for the short-season Single-A Lowell Spinners on Friday night.

On the surface it sounds like a pretty seamless and exciting process, but it was anything but smooth for Groome.

“I’m ecstatic now. I am finally living out my career,” Groome said Wednesday.

It was evident as a high school sophomore that Groome was a special talent pitching for Barnegat High School in Barnegat, New Jersey. The lefty helped Barnegat to its first 20-win season when he went 6-2 with a 0.57 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings.

With Groome being so talented, it was thought IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, would be the best place for him as he could get some of the best instruction in the country and potentially get more exposure than he would pitching in New Jersey.

Groome transferred there for his junior season and went 5-0 with a 0.98 ERA and 77 strikeouts against nine walks in eight starts. From a baseball perspective Groome loved it, but from an off-the-field perspective, something was missing. So he transferred back home following just one season.

“The baseball side of it and the strength part of it were 110 percent awesome,” Groome said. “You can’t get that training anywhere else. It’s second to none. Overall, I just felt like I needed to come back and be with my family for the last year before I was going off to pro ball or college. I just felt like I had to be around my family a little bit more. Down there we couldn’t compete for a state championship, so I figured why not come back and try and win the first one in Barnegat history.”

It wasn’t an easy transition returning home as the Barnegat team had to forfeit some of its games early in the season because of a transferring issue with Groome’s address. On the mound, he posted a 0.77 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 15 hits allowed in 39 2/3 innings. On April 11, he recorded 19 strikeouts in the first no-hitter in school history, facing the minimum number of batters over seven innings.

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Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Michael Kopech doesn’t make it out of 1st inning; Aneury Tavarez goes 4-for-5

09.01.16 at 10:12 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.

Chris Marrero

Chris Marrero

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (71-66): L, 4-3, at Lehigh Valley (Phillies)

— A three-run sixth inning was not quite enough for the the PawSox, falling short to the IronPigs. Down 3-0, Chris Marrero drove in two with a double to right field, advancing to third on the throw. Jantzen Witte proceeded to drive in Marrero with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at three. The 28-year-old Marrero is hitting .286 for Pawtucket this season with a .842 OPS.

— The lead was immediately squandered in the bottom half of the inning, with Andrew Knapp leading off the inning with a solo home run off of Henry Owens. Owens was modest overall, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk.

The 24-year-old lefty is 9-7 this season with a 3.64 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and an opponents batting average of .220. He did find some form in August, putting together a 1.82 ERA in five starts during the month.

“He showed a lot of weapons and hitters were very uncomfortable against him tonight,” said manager Kevin Boles via MiLB.com.

— Joe Kelly and Roman Mendez were solid in relief, combining to allow no runs or hits over 2 1/3 innings of work, with Kelly striking out a pair.

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What you should know about Yoan Moncada and his promotion

09.01.16 at 12:01 am ET
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Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Remember when Yoan Moncada stated at his introductory press conference he wanted to be in the major leagues within a year? Turns out he wasn’t that far off.

It took 537 days. Not bad. (The Red Sox announced they would be promoting Moncada Friday.)

Along the way, there was questions about his position, his switch-hitting, and even his cars. But here we are, getting ready to see Moncada in a Red Sox uniform when they begin their three-game series in Oakland against the A’s.

You know the Red Sox allocated $63 million to win the services of the infielder, and that Moncada has been deemed the organization’s top prospect. But there is so much more to soak in when it comes to one of the most anticipated promotions of this Major League Baseball season.

(To read about the Red Sox’ pursuit of Moncada, click here.)

Why now?

It was difficult to read between the lines in the last few weeks when trying to decipher the Red Sox’ intentions in terms of bringing up Moncada. The doubt about a Sept. promotion only grew when the infielder suffered a sprained ankle while playing for Double-A Portland.

But what became evident was the need on the major league club for a jolt, particularly at third base, where Travis Shaw and Aaron Hill had slumped badly in August. As Red Sox manager John Farrell stated Wednesday morning, one could draw a “direct comparison” to what Moncada might do for the 2016 season and the boost given to the ’07 club by Jacoby Ellsbury and Xander Bogaerts’ impact in ’13.

“The one thing for those who have been around this team for a number of years, teams that have had success have always had an injection of young players late in the season that have helped carry the team to the postseason,” Farrell said. “I think Yoan would be in a similar category for when Pedey [Dustin Pedroia] and Jake came to the big leagues. When Bogey came to the big leagues. And [Andrew] Benintendi is obviously already here. I wouldn’t separate him out from that comparison at all. In fact, he’s a direct comparison.”

(To read more of Farrell’s comments, click here.)

The Red Sox could have waited for the conclusion of the minor league season, which ends Monday, but then they would be risking injuring a player they suddenly have postseason plans for.

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Red Sox announce Yoan Moncada joining big league club

08.31.16 at 10:34 pm ET
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John Farrell hinted at it Wednesday morning. Eleven hours later, the Red Sox made it official.

The Sox announced that they will be adding Yoan Moncada to the active major league roster Friday, one day after rosters can expand. The infielder will still have to be added to the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 39.

Farrell said during his pregame media briefing Wednesday that Moncada’s role would not be strictly as a pinch-runner, with the 21-year-old slated to get regular time at third base. He has been manning the position with Double-A Portland for the past few weeks, having also played the spot for two years in Cuba.

(To read all of Farrell’s comments from Wednesday morning, click here.)

Moncada entered Wednesday hitting .295 with a .935 OPS in 44 games with Double-A Portland.

Steven Wright after rough start: ‘There are still some lingering effects definitely going on’

08.31.16 at 7:13 pm ET
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Steven Wright

Steven Wright

This wasn’t the Steven Wright followers of the Red Sox had come to expect this season.

Prior to injuring his right shoulder in a baserunning incident at Dodger Stadium Aug. 5, Wright was 13-5 with a 3.01 ERA, having come off a complete game shutout.

Now, after struggling through four innings against the Rays Wednesday afternoon in which he allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks, Wright is offering a completely different image. Making it worse was this presented a step back from the last outing, in which he gave up five runs in the first inning and then settled down for the next five.

It has left the knuckleballer searching for answers.

“The team battled today. For me, it was really hard,” said Wright after the Red Sox’ 6-4 win. “The last couple outings, I’ve been really trying since I got hurt to get back to my rhythm and my timing. It’s just been off. It was hard for me to throw a pitch with conviction. A little bit is trusting the arm to make sure that it’s good. It feels OK. Our guys really battled. The bullpen came in and did a great job. The defense saved me.”

Wright added, “Taking three weeks off in the middle of the season is not easy for anybody. For me, it was the first time I’ve had anything go wrong with my shoulder. The biggest thing is just trusting that it’s strong and healthy. The big mental thing for me is just trying to get over the fact that I can go through my five-day routine trusting that it’s good. There are still some lingering effects definitely going on. It’s been tough, both mentally and physically to go out there on a day-to-day basis to try to perform. That’s kind of what went on. The last game, I got lucky those last five innings, where the Royals put a lot of balls in play and the defense did a great job. Today, same thing. I just feel like I didn’t have my best stuff. It was hard for me to get the same life and the same action that I had pre-injury. I’m just trying to get back to where I was.”

Wright’s knuckleball was noticeably not up to par Wednesday, with Red Sox manager John Farrell taking him out after throwing 84 pitches even with a depleted bullpen.

Now the recently-turned 32 year old will spend the off day driving to Santa Cruz with his wife and daughter before trying to figure things out heading into his next start, Tuesday in San Diego.

“It feels fine most of the time, but with any injury, there’s going to be lingering,” Wright said. “It’s the fact that you’ve got to trust that it’s good and just let it get back to where you were before. It’s the first time I’ve ever had anything with my shoulder, so I’ve just got to get over that mental hump and trust that it’s good.”

John Farrell explains thinking behind not using Craig Kimbrel for 4 outs

08.31.16 at 6:37 pm ET
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Junichi Tazawa ran into trouble in the eighth inning Wednesday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Junichi Tazawa ran into trouble in the eighth inning Wednesday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox boarded the bus for their West Coast road trip the owners of an 8-6 win over the Rays Wednesday afternoon.

But it was an eighth-inning decision by John Farrell, to bring in Junichi Tazawa with the bases loaded, two outs and the Sox leading by a pair in the eighth inning, that was a major topic of conversation following the victory.

With Brad Ziegler not with the team due to Type A influenza, and Clay Buchholz having pitched in three of the last four days, Farrell was presented with the choice of either bringing in the struggling Tazawa, or use closer Craig Kimbrel for a four-out save.

The manager turned to Tazawa, who had allowed two hits in the seven previous at-bats against Rays’ righty hitter Logan Forsythe. It was far from the ideal situation considering the struggles of the reliever, who had allowed at least one baserunner in each of his last five outings, and owned a 10.00 ERA, and .341 batting average against, for August.

The move backfired with Tazawa jumping out to an 0-2 count, just missing on his third pitch, and then allowing a two-run, game-tying single to Forsythe.

“I was aiming to the outside, a little bit high,” Tazawa said through a translator. “But the pitch before was called a ball so I was thinking a little bit inside. I caught too much of the plate.”

So, why not Kimbrel for four outs?

The problem was that the closer had thrown 22 pitches in the Red Sox’ 4-3 loss to the Rays Tuesday night. Prior to that he hadn’t pitched since Aug. 24.

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Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez, Aaron Hill rescue Red Sox in win over Rays after Steven Wright, bullpen, falter

08.31.16 at 4:51 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez (right) is congratulated by Dustin Pedroia after a grand slam on Wednesday vs. the Rays. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez (right) is congratulated by Dustin Pedroia after a grand slam on Wednesday vs. the Rays. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

With one swing, Hanley Ramirez seemingly sent the Red Sox to the West Coast on a high, at least until the bullpen struck again in the eighth inning.

But Aaron Hill picked a good time to snap an 0-for-20 slump with a tie-breaking single in the eighth as the Red Sox overcame blowing a 6-4 lead to pull out an 8-6 victory over the Rays.

In danger of losing for the fourth time in sixth games before embarking on a lengthy road trip, the Red Sox erased a 4-1 deficit on Ramirez’s fifth-inning grand slam. They appeared ready to cruise to victory before Fernando Abad loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth and manager John Farrell opened himself to a massive second guess by turning to Junichi Tazawa for the final out of the frame instead of closer Craig Kimbrel for a four-out save.

Tazawa allowed the tying two-run single to Logan Forsythe, but the Red Sox rallied in the bottom of the frame on a Hanley Ramirez walk, Sandy Leon sacrifice, and Brock Holt single before Hill untied the game with a sharp single to left.

Kimbrel blew away the Rays in the ninth for his 24th save.

Ramirez’s blast came off of Rays starter Drew Smyly, who cruised into the fifth before faltering. Jackie Bradley led off with a single. Red-hot Dustin Pedroia followed with another single, and after Xander Bogaerts (strikeout) and David Ortiz (fly-out) left Smyly on the verge of avoiding damage, Mookie Betts worked a long walk before Ramirez jumped on a first-pitch fastball and blasted it into the Monster seats.

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