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Saturday Red Sox Farm Report: Joe Kelly allows 4 hits in PawSox loss; Andrew Benintendi makes pro debut

07.04.15 at 11:55 am ET
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-45): L, 3-0, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

— Joe Kelly suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs on four hits and four walks. The righty struck out seven and now is 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA after two starts in Pawtucket.

— The Pawtucket offense combined for just five hits. Left fielder Carlos Peguero notched the only extra-base hit, doubling to left in the bottom of the second. He finished the day 1-for-4 and now is hitting .259. Jemile Weeks, Quintin Berry, Rusney Castillo and Travis Shaw all recorded singles.

— Daniel Nava, on a rehab assignment, went 0-for-2 with a walk, while Allen Craig went 0-for-4.

— With Friday’€™s loss, the PawSox have dropped a season-high six consecutive games.

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Read More: Andrew Benitendi, Joe Kelly, teddy stankiewicz,

Red Sox pregame notes: Steven Wright recalled, Noe Ramirez optioned; When might Dustin Pedroia return?

07.04.15 at 11:47 am ET
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Steven Wright

Steven Wright

After allowing four runs (two earned) in the 10th inning of Friday’s 12-8 loss to the Astros, Noe Ramirez, who was making his major league debut at the time, was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket and Steven Wright was recalled.

“High number of innings out of the bullpen — we need a fresh arm and someone capable of going multiple innings,” manager John Farrell said before Saturday’s game.

It is Wright’s fourth stint with the Red Sox this season.

Wright started for the PawSox on Wednesday, going five innings and threw 95 pitches so he wasn’t available to pitch Friday, which was the reason he wasn’t called up yesterday. Despite being on two days rest, the knuckleballer is available Saturday.

“He’s available for a couple of innings today,” Farrell said.

With the Red Sox this season, splitting duties between long reliever and a starter, Wright is 3-2 with a 4.15 ERA.

Dustin Pedroia (hamstring) is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday against the Yankees and while he’s progressing, the team is weighing the risk-reward of playing him for three games, or giving him an extra three days off leading into the All-Star break.

“Hit again yesterday in the cage,” Farrell said. “Yesterday was a good day for him where the intensity to his running started to increase more. We will get a clearer view on this as we get through the Miami series. What we’re going to come down to is what is the risk-reward for activating him in the final series later this week on the homestand, or do we take advantage of those four days. We’re not clear — the next few days will give us more clarity on that.”

— With the two off days next week and issues some starters have had of late, Farrell had no update on the rotation as who would start when or who may be skipped. He said he would have that information Sunday.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, noe ramirez, steven wright,

Red Sox lineup: Shane Victorino returns vs. Astros

07.04.15 at 11:33 am ET
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For the first time since May 23, Shane Victorino will start a game for the Red Sox.

The right fielder (left calf) was activated from the disabled list prior to Friday’s game, but will make his return Saturday against Astros right-hander Collin McHugh.

Other than Victorino, it’s a standard Red Sox lineup with Sandy Leon catching Clay Buchholz.

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, CF
Brock Holt, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, LF
Pablo Sanodval, 3B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Shane Victorino, RF
Sandy Leon, C
Clay Buchholz, RHP

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Saturday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Collin McHugh

07.04.15 at 11:31 am ET
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After dropping the first game of a three-game set to the Astros, the Red Sox will send right-hander Clay Buchholz to the mound to face Collin McHugh Saturday afternoon.

Buchholz enters Saturday’s game with a record of 6-6 and sporting a 3.48 ERA. He has struck out 96 in 16 starts on the season, and has a WHIP of 1.24.

In his last start, Buchholz dominated the high-octane Blue Jays offense to the tune of eight innings and one run. He scattered five hits in a 3-1 Red Sox victory.

“He’s been on a really strong run through the entire month, and tonight tops off the month that he’s had,”€ said manager John Farrell of Buchholz. “€œEight very strong innings for us. On a night we needed a starter to go deep, he provided it. But he was outstanding. He threw four pitches for strikes. He threw some quality two-seamers in to their big right-handers to keep them honest. It was a constant mix, staying out of the middle of the plate. He was outstanding tonight.”

Buchholz has been far and away the best starter in the Red Sox rotation this season and has in many ways been better than his ERA indicates. In his past nine starts, the 30-year-old has accrued a 2.13 ERA and opposing hitters have hit just .235 against him. He has earned a 1.03 WHIP during that span, dating back to May 15.

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, Collin McHugh,

John Farrell reminds Mookie Betts that ‘overaggressive’ baseball is not sound baseball

07.04.15 at 12:57 am ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

It was the singular play that symbolized a horrendous night of baseball for the Red Sox.

Mookie Betts has shown more often than not, in his first full season with the team, that he is not just a highly-skilled player with multiple tools, but a smart one as well. Friday night, he did not show those qualities in a brutal 12-8 loss in 10 innings to Houston at Fenway Park.

Down a run with one out in the bottom of the eighth and the Red Sox threatening against Astros reliever Pat Neshek, Betts thought he had a good enough lead from second base to take off for third on his own.

Astros catcher Jason Castro fired a bullet to Luis Valbuena that caused Valbuena to lose balance over the bag. But not before the Houston third baseman caught the ball and snapped his glove down to easily nab Betts for the second out. Xander Bogaerts walked and David Ortiz put a perfect swing on a tailing outside fastball from Neshek to drive it off the Monster for a game-tying double. But it should have been the go-ahead and eventual game-winning double.

With Xander Bogaerts at the plate, why in the world was Betts stealing?

“I had a sign, it was a tough at-bat for a righty, I was trying to force something and I shouldn’t have,” Betts admitted. “I was trying to put points together pretty much and didn’t have the right points. In hindsight you can always make the right decision. If I’m safe it’s a great play, since I’m out it’s terrible, so you just have to live and learn from it.

‘€œObviously, I know I messed up. The game continues. You’ve got to cheer on Bogey, have to forget it.”

“Overaggressive,” Red Sox manager John Farrell lamented. “Ill-advised. Overaggressive. We sacrifice him to get into scoring position because Neshek is under is under 1.15 seconds in his unloading times [to the plate]. Overaggressive decision on his part to attempt to steal.”

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, hanley ramirez, John Farrell, mookie betts

Why Junichi Tazawa didn’t pitch in Friday’s 12-8 loss to Astros

07.04.15 at 12:44 am ET
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Junichi Tazawa

Junichi Tazawa

Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa has been used in 36 of the 82 games this season, by far the most on the team and tied for 11th-most in the American League.

After not appearing in a game since June 28 and the Red Sox being in a tie game in both the eighth and 10th innings, it was quite a surprise not to see Tazawa used in a game the Red Sox fell 12-8 to the Astros.

Following the game it was unveiled why.

“He needed the series off in Toronto given how much the work load was in Tampa Bay He threw a bullpen earlier today. After the bullpen he was deemed OK and yet advised not be be used tonight — to not get him warmed up or hot twice in one day,” manager John Farrell said. “He will be available for tomorrow, but that was what the plan laid out to get on the mound today, but not be available tonight. Otherwise he would be in the eighth or the tenth, either of those situations.”

The Astros scored a run in the eighth inning on a leadoff home run by Carlos Correa off Craig Breslow and then tagged Noe Ramirez, who was making his major league debut, for four runs in the 10th inning, as he took the loss.

“It was the coaches’ decision to have some rest. It was all in the coaches’ hands,” Tazawa said through a translator following the game.

Overall, Tazawa is 0-3 with a 2.62 ERA on the year. He hasn’t allowed a run over his last four outings, spanning five innings.

For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.

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Closing Time: Astros plate 4 runs in 10th inning to beat Red Sox in back-and-forth affair

07.03.15 at 11:34 pm ET
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The Astros got the last laugh in Friday's wild 9-8 win over the Red Sox. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Astros got the last laugh in Friday’s wild 9-8 win over the Red Sox. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

While it wasn’t quite the Fourth of July (just yet), the Red Sox and Astros provided some fireworks in a wild game, which saw two lead changes and the game tied another three times, along with some bizarre plays over the four- hour and 23 minute affair.

In the tenth inning with Noe Ramirez making his major league debut, he allowed four runs (two unearned courtesy of Mike Napoli‘s error) as the Astros were able to get the last laugh in a back-and-forth game, winning 12-8 Friday night at Fenway Park.

In the eighth inning, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa hit a towering solo home run off Craig Breslow to leadoff the frame giving the Astros an 8-7 lead, but that was short-lived as the Red Sox would again tie the game in the bottom half of the inning on a David Ortiz opposite field double. The double could have given the Red Sox the lead, but Mookie Betts was thrown out trying to steal third base for the second out of the inning.

“Our offense did a great job tonight,” manager John Farrell said. “Three times we battled back by being down. A number of good swings. David obviously with a big one, the eighth inning to tie it. We continue to battle back. Our offense is swinging the bat well, we’re scoring a good number of runs. The larger concern is just getting deeper into the games that are starting out the ballgame.”

In the top of the seventh inning, Matt Barnes loaded the bases, but struck out Alex Presley for the second out of the inning, but the next batter, Jose Altuve, singled up the middle, giving the Astros a 7-5 lead.

Once again, the Red Sox would come right back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at seven. Pablo Sandoval singled with the bases loaded scoring a run and then Alejandro De Aza’s fielders choice plated the tying run at the time.

Trailing 5-2 entering the bottom of the fifth, the Red Sox scored three times to tie the game at five. Ortiz singled home Brock Holt and then Xander Bogaerts scored on a fielder choice when Ortiz broke up a potential double play by taking the ball off the helmet sliding into second base. Hanley Ramirez advanced to second on the play and then scored on a two-out RBI single by Sandoval, against lefty reliever Tony Sipp.

Red Sox starter Justin Masterson allowed five runs on seven hits in the fourth inning, not even finishing the inning as he was removed after 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander didn’t allow a hit the first time through the Astros order, but Houston lit him up the second time around.

“First three innings he was solid and then in the matter of 13 pitches there’s three runs on the board and seven hits in the fourth inning, so they went early in the count,” Farrell said. “When he did try and alternate with a first pitch slider was a ball and they would fight back in the count, but they were aggressive and took him the other way. I thought he came out early, I thought he had good life to his stuff, but to close out the fourth inning, couldn’t happen.”

The Red Sox did play some spotty defense in the fourth, particularly in the left field as Ramirez appeared to have some trouble fielding two balls hit off the wall and getting the ball back in to the infield.

Ramirez gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with a towering homer in the second inning and then the Sox scored another on a Betts single.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:

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Read More: David Ortiz, hanley ramirez, justin masterson, matt barnes

Red Sox lineup: Alejandro De Aza starts in right field; Ryan Hanigan behind plate

07.03.15 at 5:46 pm ET
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Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan

The Red Sox will have a standard recent lineup Friday night when they host the Astros for the first of three games this weekend.

Even with Shane Victorino activated Friday, Alejandro De Aza gets the start in right field, although manager John Farrell said he would play Saturday. Farrell will stick to Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez No.’s 3-5 against Astros right-hander Dan Straily.

Ryan Hanigan will make his first start at Fenway Park since breaking his finger May 1 against the Yankees. He will catch Red Sox starter Justin Masterson.

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here. For a series preview, click here.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, CF
Brock Holt, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, LF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Alejandro De Aza, RF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Justin Masterson, RHP

Read More: Alejandro De Aza, Ryan Hanigan,

Blake Swihart (toe) placed on 15-day DL, Shane Victorino activated headline Red Sox roster moves

07.03.15 at 5:30 pm ET
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Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

The Red Sox made a few roster moves prior to their weekend series with the Astros.

Shane Victorino was taken off the disabled list and added to the active roster, although he won’t start Friday night. He had been on the disabled list with a left calf injury since May 25. In a corresponding move, Blake Swihart (toe) was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Right-handed reliever Noe Ramirez was selected from Triple-A Pawtucket for the active roster and in turn, outfielder Jackie Bradley was sent back down to Triple-A. To make room on the 40-man roster for Ramirez, reliever Zeke Spruill was designated for assignment.

Swihart had suffered the toe injury a few weeks ago and took a few days off, but wasn’t fully able to recover. He had played just once since Sunday. The 15-day DL stint will be backdated two days.

“With Blake, he had been playing with some pain as we know,” manager John Farrell said. “The injury that he suffered to that small left toe is obviously still there. The symptoms never really subsided to the point where the recommendation at the time with the number of days needed initially, we kind of took a shortcut initially to get him back in the lineup. But we’re afforded the ability to give him so added rest right now.”

Farrell is excited about getting Victorino back on the field as he’s played in just 50 combined games the past two seasons. He will share time in right field with Alejandro De Aza, but Farrell said it wouldn’t be a strict right/left platoon and it is expected Victorino will play Saturday.

“[Victorino] as we all know, brings a tremendous amount of energy,” Farrell said. “He talks the game, he’s always seeing game situations as they unfold on the field and talking it in the dugout. I know Vic feels more comfortable in speaking his mind when he’s active and on the field and contribution. His in-game decisions are outstanding. And defense in this ballpark in right field, he plays it as good as anyone has played it. And we’re looking forward to having that back.”

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Read More: blake swihart, jackie bradley, noe ramirez, Shane Victorino

David Ortiz on All-Star voting: ‘We need to take this more serious’

07.03.15 at 11:57 am ET
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David Ortiz has been an American League All-Star nine times, so he’€™s intimately familiar with the selection process and the game itself.

That’€™s why he doesn’€™t like what he’€™s witnessed this year.

“We need to take this more serious when it comes to picking guys for the All-Star Game,” the Red Sox designated hitter said.

Like the rest of baseball, Ortiz has witnessed how fan voting (which closed Thursday night) has unfolded, with Royals players either leading, or close to leading, virtually every position on the AL roster.

According to the most recent results, second baseman Omar Infante (.231 batting average, .547 OPS) and Alcides Escobar (.273, .664) of the Royals would be starters if the game was played today.

Other KC players garnering enough votes to start at last glance are outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon, and catcher Salvador Perez. In second place at their positions are DH Kendrys Morales, first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas.

Ortiz joins the voices saying enough is enough.

“I know that MLB always wants to get the fans involved in this because as a fan you want to see your favorite players. But the reality is the way I know All-Star Games are for whomever is playing the best in the first half. Now you see all these things that’s happening with Kansas City and their players. I saw that coming. I saw that coming a long time ago. I knew it was going to happen,” the DH said.

“I think the reality is that they need to go back to the old days and choose the players who are playing the best in the first half. Even us as players are like, ‘These guys are making the All-Star Game with these numbers?’ It’s questionable. I don’€™t think it’€™s fair to some of the players.”

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Read More: All-Star Game, David Ortiz, Red Sox, royals
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