|08.15.16 at 4:16 pm ET|
As he’s done for years, David Ortiz put the Red Sox on his back, with the heroics this time resulting in a 3-2 win over the Indians in Cleveland on Monday afternoon.
The Red Sox offense couldn’t find any answers through the first two-thirds of the makeup game from April 7. But in the sixth inning Ortiz delivered a one-out, no-doubter home run into the right-field bleachers, giving the Red Sox a lead they would never relinquish.
The dinger brought Ortiz into a tie for 10th in the league for home runs with 27.
Two batters later, Jackie Bradley Jr. drilled his 19th homer of the year into right-center field.
The sixth-inning power surge helped starter Drew Pomeranz earn his first win in a Red Sox uniform. Aside from a fourth inning solo shot to Rajai Davis, the lefty was impressive, going 7 2/3 innings and allowing a pair of runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
By and large, Pomeranz showed ability to get himself out of potentially volatile situations, most notably forcing Carlos Santana into a 5-4-3 double play after walking Mike Napoli to start the seventh inning.
He did put himself in trouble in the eighth, however, allowing a double to Chris Gimenez, who later scored on a Davis double to let the Tribe climb within one. Fernando Abad came in to relieve Pomeranz, getting Jose Ramirez to fly out to left.
After allowing a leadoff double to Francisco Lindor then a walk to Mike Napoli to start the ninth, Craig Kimbrel struck out Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Jose Almonte to fly out to earn his 20th save of the year.
|08.15.16 at 10:56 am ET|
Following Sunday’s win, the Red Sox announced several roster moves.
Right-hander Steven Wright was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore shoulder and also placed first baseman Hanley Ramirez on the three-day bereavement list in addition to sending left-hander Roenis Elias back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Prior to Monday afternoon’s game in Cleveland, the team made the three corresponding moves.
Infielders Deven Marrero and Marco Hernandez as well as right-hander Heath Hembree were recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and will be in uniform for the game.
Hernandez is batting .303 in 52 games with the PawSox, while Marrero is having a tough year batting just .196 in 87 games. Both will give the team options off the bench in the infield.
Hembree has seen extensive time in the majors this season with the Red Sox and is 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|08.15.16 at 10:35 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (64-57): L, 5-2/L, 2-1, at Buffalo (Blue Jays)
— In the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader (with both games shortened to seven innings), right-hander Sean O’Sullivan picked up his fourth straight loss, giving up five runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out one and walked a season-high six batters. He has allowed 13 second-inning runs in his last four starts. O’Sullivan is 6-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 15 starts with Pawtucket.
— Chris Young went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored in the second game of his rehab assignment with Pawtucket. He is working his way back to Boston after injuring his hamstring rounding first base on July 23. The left fielder was slashing .277/.338/.508 in the majors before the injury.
— William Cuevas pitched six innings in a complete-game effort in Game 2, letting up two runs on four hits. He struck out one and walked two. Cuevas, 25, has held opponents to only five runs in his last three appearances. He now holds a 6-6 record with a 4.31 ERA in 21 minor league outings.
|08.15.16 at 10:19 am ET|
A day after hitting three home runs for the second time this season, Mookie Betts will do something he hasn’t done in his career — bat cleanup.
Betts is batting fourth as the Red Sox take on the Indians for just a one-game series, which is a makeup game from Opening Day that was postponed because of rain.
With Hanley Ramirez on bereavement list, Travis Shaw will play first base and Aaron Hill will play third base as the Red Sox go up against Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin.
Bryan Holaday will catch Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Mookie Betts, RF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Aaron Hill, 3B
Travis Shaw, 1B
Bryan Holaday, C
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Drew Pomeranz, LHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|08.15.16 at 9:28 am ET|
The Red Sox are in Cleveland to make up a postponed game on Monday afternoon. Drew Pomeranz will start for Boston, while 31-year-old right-hander Josh Tomlin will take the mound for the Indians.
Pomeranz sits at 8-9 with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He hasn’t won since July 7, when he was a member of the Padres. The National League All-Star is 0-2 in five starts with the Red Sox since his trade. His last start came in a 9-4 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday. Pomeranz held New York to one run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked just one.
Pomeranz has pitched five games against the Indians, totaling a 3.00 ERA in those outings. He last faced Cleveland on Aug. 1 of last season as a member of the Athletics. He fanned two in two-thirds of an inning of work in a 5-1 Oakland win.
|08.14.16 at 6:32 pm ET|
Mookie Betts continues to astound, and it’s enough to make you wonder if the Red Sox have a chance to claim their first MVP since Dustin Pedroia in 2008.
A case can be made that Betts has been as good as any player in the American League this season, a case he bolstered on Sunday by recording his second three-homer game of the season in a 16-2 pasting of the hapless Diamondbacks.
Betts blasted a two-run homer in the first, a three-run homer in the second, and another three-run homer in the fifth. His first two shots came off of former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke, who failed to keep Betts in the ballpark with an inside fastball in the first and a darting slider over the outside corner in the second. Betts ripped both of them over the left field wall.
His numbers are getting ridiculous. He’s hitting .313 with 26 homers, 84 RBIs, and 91 runs after driving in a career-high eight. He’s on pace to slam 37 homers, drive in 118, and scored 128. Only two players in the last 10 years have reached those totals and one of them, Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees in 2007, was named MVP. (The other, 2011 Curtis Granderson, finished 4th).
“You know, we play the game to win a World Series, so I’m just trying to do that,” Betts said. “All the other stuff can come and go, whatever, but my main focus right now is just to make the playoffs and win a World Series.”
Betts has some stiff competition for MVP. Former MVP Mike Trout, who has never finished worse than second in the voting in his four previous full seasons, is once again a WAR machine. Same goes for diminutive Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who’s trying to win the batting title by more than 50 points.
They’re the only two players in the AL with a WAR over 7.0, but Betts is sure to increase his 6.1 after Sunday’s heroics. He also gets a small boost against Trout and Altuve because if the season ended today, he’d be the only one of the three in the playoffs.
There’s also Orioles shortstop Manny Machado and defending MVP Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays, who are attempting to win the AL East. Donaldson is a threat with slightly better overall numbers than Betts.
But here’s where Betts might separate himself — he’s catching fire in the second half. Fresh off a Player of the Month Award for July, he’s heating up again in August. He’s hitting .385 with five homers and 15 RBIs.
“He’s been great all year,” said second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “He’s a great player. There’s nothing on the field he can’t do. He can take over a game in a lot of ways.”
|08.14.16 at 6:05 pm ET|
The Red Sox made a host of roster moves after Sunday’s 16-2 win against the Diamondbacks, led by All-Star knuckleballer Steven Wright being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore shoulder.
They also placed first baseman Hanley Ramirez on the three-day bereavement list and sent left-hander Roenis Elias to Triple-A Pawtucket. They did not immediately announce corresponding roster moves, pending notification of the players involved.
Wright was injured last weekend while pinch running against the Dodgers when he dove awkwardly onto his right shoulder while getting back to the second base bag. He skipped his start on Saturday and hoped to be ready to go on Thursday in Detroit, but after tossing on flat ground before Sunday’s game, he declared himself a no-go and the Red Sox reacted accordingly.
Clay Buchholz will once again take his spot in the rotation.
“Shutting it down,” Wright said. “It’s just not progressing the way I thought it was going to. It just hurts, man. I don’t want to go out there and throw with too much pain, because I don’t want to start compensating. If it’s hurting as much as it has been on flat ground, you start adding the mound and all that, adrenaline, the last thing I want to do is hurt myself even more.”
Wright believes he won’t need much time on the DL to heal.
“I’m super confident,” he said. “The stuff that I’ve been doing with [the training staff] from the first time when I came in on Tuesday until now, it’s been significant gains. It’s just not where we need it to be. Now that we can take a couple of extra days to really get after it, I’m sure I’ll be fine.”
Wright is 13-5 with a 3.01 ERA in 22 starts. He leads the American League with four complete games.
As for Ramirez, he somberly received a stream of well-wishing teammates in the clubhouse after the game, but there’s immediate word on why he’ll be taking bereavement leave.
|08.14.16 at 4:25 pm ET|
Mookie Betts is earning himself some serious MVP consideration. He might even win it, if he keeps going at this rate.
The former leadoff hitter, shifted to the third spot in the order by manager John Farrell last week, delivered in a big way during Sunday’s 16-2 demolition of the Diamondbacks at a steamy Fenway Park.
He ripped three homers and drove in a career-high eight RBIs. He homered twice off of former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke and once off of reliever Adam Loewen, blasting two three-run homers and one two-run shot. He’s now hitting .314 with 26 homers, 84 RBIs, and 91 runs.
Those are MVP numbers.
“Yeah it’s pretty spectacular when you see the first couple of innings,” manager John Farrell said. ” This is the third time this year he’s had home runs in the first couple innings of the ballgame. Second time he’s hit three home runs in a game. Just electric bat speed against a very good pitcher in Greinke. Just one hell of a day for Mookie.”
Betts made a winner of right-hander Rick Porcello, who won his career-high 16th game and remained unbeaten at Fenway Park this year with seven effective innings.
“Guys swung the bats tremendous today against one of the best pitchers in the game,” Porcello said. “We got off to a big lead, and I didn’t want to mess it up. We just went after it, tried to throw strikes, tried to get us back in the dugout as quickly as possible. Can’t say enough about the way they swung the bats today. It was a lot of fun to watch.”
The Red Sox didn’t need much else, though they got plenty of offense anyway, including a home run from Jackie Bradley Jr. and five hits from leadoff man Dustin Pedroia.
This one was over early. Betts drilled a two-run homer in the first and helped chase Greinke with a three-run homer in the second, when the Red Sox scored seven runs. Greinke delivered one of the worst outings of his career, allowing 10 hits and nine runs in just 1 2/3 innings, jumping his ERA to 4.31.
Betts joined Ted Williams as the only players in franchise history to record multiple three-homer games in the same season. Williams did it in 1957.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Mookie. Monstrous.
— Porcello remained unbeaten at home, improving to 12-0 and running his record to 16-3 overall. He has already reached a career-high for wins and has a legitimate shot at reaching 20. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits and striking out four.
— Pedroia isn’t wearing down in the heat. He recorded five hits for the fifth time in his career. That’s the most five-hit games in team history. He also scored three runs and drove in two.
“This is one of the best organizations in all of baseball,” he said. “I’m definitely proud of that.”
— Bradley made his one hit count, launching a three-run homer in the second that officially marked the end of Greinke’s day.
— The Red Sox not only completed the sweep, they won their first series since sweeping two games from the Giants on July 19-20.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Rookie Andrew Benintendi continued to struggle a bit in left field, overthrowing second base on the first batter of the game and missing a catchable ball in the eighth. Are we really talking about what went wrong in this blowout, though? That was it.
|08.14.16 at 12:58 pm ET|
The Red Sox look to sweep the Diamondbacks on Sunday behind their best pitcher, Rick Porcello.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts will get the day off after battling recent fatigue. Bogaerts is batting .203 in his last 18 games, dropping his batting average to .313, the lowest it has been since May 8.
“Like anybody, he needs a little bit of a day to get some fresh legs,” manager John Farrell said before the game. “He’s scuffling at the plate right now a little bit where he might lunging at times, he might be caught in between at times. Maybe a day to kind of catch his breath a little bit is needed.”
As for Porcello, he’s looking to improve upon the best home record (11-0) in the game. The Red Sox have won all 12 of his starts at Fenway Park.
“Rick in his own right may be on the path to his best year as a major-league pitcher himself,” Farrell said. “Rick has been extremely comfortable in Fenway, extremely successful. We’ll need it based on what the matchup suggests.”
What has been the difference for Porcello?
“There’s a few reasons, but I think it starts with him being in his second year in Boston,” Farrell said. “He’s more comfortable. He’s certainly comfortable on the mound here. I just think the environment, the expectation, it’s more of a known commodity to him this year than it was a year ago. It’s allowed, that relaxation to let his natural abilities come out. That filters over to his execution which has been probably as consistent as any point in his career — the fewest walks per nine innings allowed. He’s not beat himself. He’s put the ball on the ground at a pretty good rate.”
Here’s the lineup, with the Red Sox facing Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke:
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Brock Holt
RF Mookie Betts
DH David Ortiz
1B Hanley Ramirez
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
3B Aaron Hill
C Sandy Leon
LF Andrew Benintendi
|08.14.16 at 9:28 am ET|
In the Red Sox-Diamondbacks series finale on Sunday afternoon, Boston will send its most consistent starter, Rick Porcello, to the mound opposite veteran right-hander Zack Greinke.
Porcello is 15-3 in 23 starts with 3.40 ERA and a 1.079 WHIP. The 27-year-old is looking to become the first Red Sox pitcher to start the season 12-0 at home since Dave Ferriss went 13-0 in 1946. The right-hander is 7-1 with a 2.53 ERA since June 28. Porcello has allowed more than two walks only once this season. In his last start last Tuesday, Porcello pitched eight innings, allowing two runs, seven hits and one walk with six strikeouts in a 5-3 win over the Yankees. It was Porcello’s 100th career win.
“It was a big win for us,” Porcello said (via MLB.com). “We came off a long, tough road trip, so we definitely needed to start the homestand off the right way. It was a good way to start the series.”
Porcello is 0-1 in two career starts against the Diamondbacks with a 5.11 ERA and a 1.135 WHIP. Porcello last faced the Diamondbacks in 2014 as a member of the Tigers. In that start, Porcello went seven innings, allowing three runs, five hits and no walks with five strikeouts.
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