|05.26.16 at 8:57 am ET|
In the Red Sox-Rockies series finale on Thursday night the Sox will send out Clay Buchholz in hopes of completing the sweep, while the Rockies turn to young right-hander Jon Gray to try to salvage a game in the series.
Eduardo Rodriguez made a quality rehab start on Tuesday in Pawtucket, pitching seven innings and allowing one run while striking out seven, which leads to speculation that Rodriguez will be joining the big league club soon and manager John Farrell will have to make an adjustment to the starting rotation. If Farrell decides to keep a five-man rotation, someone will get ousted. Buchholz has struggled this season and he will need a strong start Thursday to prove he should remain in the rotation.
Buchholz is 2-4 with a 5.92 ERA, one of the worst ERAs in the American League, and a 1.47 WHIP. In five of his nine starts Buchholz has allowed at least five runs. In his last time out he lasted six innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts in a 4-2 loss to the Indians. In the third inning Buchholz gave up a three-run home run to Jason Kipnis and a sacrifice fly to Jose Ramirez. It was the fourth time this season that Buchholz has given up at least four runs in one inning.
“All in all it wasn’t a terrible outing, but it’s hard to swallow getting beat on home runs every time out,” Buchholz said afterward. “Keep pushing along and find a way to get through it.”
The 31-year-old right-hander will be making his first career start against the Rockies. In 12 career interleague starts Buchholz is 6-2 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Buchholz’s last interleague start came in April against the Braves. Buchholz went 6 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits, five runs and three walks while recording two strikeouts in a 5-3 Sox loss.
|05.25.16 at 10:20 pm ET|
Same old story.
Red Sox score a bunch of runs. Steven Wright pitches well enough to hold the lead. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts get some hits.
This time the formula added up to a 10-3 win over the Rockies, giving the Red Sox their 13th win in their last 15 games at Fenway Park. It marked the Sox’ fifth straight home series win.
It was Bogaerts who once again defined the hosts relentless attack, kicking off a four-run fourth inning with his fifth homer of the season, launching a Chad Bettis offering well over the left field wall.
The homer extended the shortstop’s hit streak to 18 games, and increased his American League-leading hit total to 66.
Bradley Jr. also once again did his thing, stretching his hitting streak to 29 games with an opposite field single in the fourth inning. He would add a seventh-inning double to boost his batting average to .350, tops in the American League. and just slightly ahead of Bogaerts’ .349. (For more on JBJ’s hitting streak, click here.)
Also doing his part was Wright, who kept his ERA at 2.52 after allowing two earned runs over seven innings. He struck out seven, and walked two in throwing 117 pitches (the second-most the knuckleballer has totaled this season).
It was the seventh time this season Wright has allowed two or fewer earned runs while pitching 6 2/3 or more innings. With the outing, the Red Sox starters have now managed a combined 2.83 ERA over their last seven appearances.
Wright did, however, have three wild pitches, to go along with Ryan Hanigan’s four passed balls.
|05.25.16 at 9:03 pm ET|
Dustin Pedroia left Wednesday night’s game in the fifth inning as what the Red Sox termed as a “precaution” due to right hamstring tightness. It is the same hamstring that sidelined Pedroia for much of 2015.
Pedroia exited the contest after doubling down the left field line to start the inning. He would be pinch-run for by Marco Hernandez.
“I just came in — I grounded out to third and I felt a little cramp, and then Russ [Nua], one of our guys on the staff, stretched me out, and my training staff saw that. I usually don’t have a good stretch,” Pedroia said. “They asked me, ‘What’s going on? Are you tight?’ You know me — I was like, ‘Yeah, no [expletive], that’s why I’m getting stretched. This isn’t rocket science.’ Then everybody was like, ‘Be smart. Don’t push anything. Don’t run hard.’ I hit the ball down in the corner, so I jogged to second, and I was out. I don’t know. I’m fine. I appreciate John [Farrell] and everybody looking out. We obviously don’t want anything to happen like last year. But I’m good.”
In his previous two at-bats, the second baseman flew out to right field and grounded out to third base. He is hitting .304 with an .834 OPS. Pedroia has played in all but two of the Red Sox’ games this season.
When asked if he was planning on playing Thursday, Pedroia said, “Yeah, unless I get benched.”
Ryan Hanigan also was forced to leave the game early, exiting in the fourth inning due to illness. Prior to being replaced by Christian Vazquez, Hanigan had allowed four passed balls while catching knuckleballer Steven Wright.
“You know, he’s done such a great job,” said Farrell of Hanigan. “He battled and gives you everything that he has. So for Hanny to come out of that game, something is going on there. Again, ball was darting in both directions. There’s no consistency to it in terms of to be able to anticipate the direction it’s going to be able to move. It’s almost like he’s defending himself in a way trying to receive it. But after the four innings, it was time to get him out of there.”
|05.25.16 at 8:38 pm ET|
Jackie Bradley Jr. is still going.
The Red Sox outfielder extended his hitting streak to 29 games with a fourth-inning single against Colorado starter Chad Bettis. The opposite-field single came on the first pitch Bradley saw in his second at-bat.
“I wouldn’t say hard to imagine,” Bradley Jr. said. “It’s pretty cool, definitely excited and hopefully you can just keep it going.”
Bradley’s streak now is the fourth-longest in Red Sox history, surpassing Wade Boggs’ stretch in 1985. The only Sox players ahead of the lefty hitter are Dom DiMaggio (34 in 1949), Nomar Garciaparra (30 in 1997) and Tris Speaker (30 in 1912). He is tied with Johnny Damon, who also managed a streak of 29 in 2005.
In his first at-bat of the night, Bradley grounded out to the pitcher.
Coming into Wednesday night’s game, Bradley had led the majors in batting average (.412), slugging percentage (.784), OPS (1.271), RBI (29), and triples (3) since the streak started on April 24.
He is the first major league player to hit in 29 straight games since Denard Span did it in 2013.
|05.25.16 at 1:19 pm ET|
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday to talk the latest with the Red Sox, including the bullpen with Carson Smith being lost for the season. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
With Eduardo Rodriguez nearing a return, the Red Sox will be faced with six starters for five spots. Both Dombrowski and manager John Farrell have said a six-man rotation is not an option so it seems like one pitcher will have to shift to the bullpen.
While no specific conversations have been had, as the team waits for everything to come into place, it seems like Dombrowski would be hesitant to move Joe Kelly, who naturally felt like one of the top options, to the bullpen.
“Well, for me first of all you look at performance,” Dombrowski said. “It is a situation the way he pitched the other day was outstanding and he has outstanding stuff. He’s a guy that can shutdown good hitting clubs with not only his fastball velocity when he commands it, it’s also a situation with his breaking ball, his changeup. I saw him pitch just when I came in over the last 6-7 weeks of the season (last year) and he was outstanding at that point. I think he won eight straight starts and he pitched very similarly to the other day.
“When you look at a Joe Kelly — I know a lot of people talk about maybe throwing him into the bullpen, but the way he’s throwing the ball at this point and the way he’s been in the situation in the past, over that last 6-7 weeks, I think it’s really tough to take him out of the rotation. He’s pitched so well that I think he’s earned a spot.”
The Red Sox will be looking internally at options to fill Smith’s role and Dombrowski specifically mentioned Matt Barnes, noting his recent uptick in velocity as a potential player to do that before they looked outside at a trade.
Also with Smith going down, the usage of Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa comes into play and Dombrowski said as he’s done all season, Farrell will keep a close eye on those two pitchers.
|05.25.16 at 12:22 pm ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (22-23): W, 2-1, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
— Eduardo Rodriguez made his fifth rehab start for Pawtucket. In Rodriguez’s first four starts for the PawSox he did not last longer than six innings, striking out no more than three batters and allowing three runs in each of those starts. Tuesday was a different story for the 23-year-old left-hander. After waiting through a 29-minute rain delay, Rodriguez went seven strong innings, giving up just four hits and one run while striking out seven and walking none. Rodriquez retired the Lehigh Valley batters in order in three of the first four innings.
“Today was a step forward,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said. “He looks more comfortable, the delivery has better pace and rhythm to it, and it looked like he was more athletic on the mound.”
In Pawtucket this season Rodriquez is 0-3 with a 3.54 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP. Rodriquez was fitted for a knee brace after dealing with soreness in his right knee after his last start on May 14. He hadn’t pitched since that start. Rodriquez originally hurt his knee during spring training this year. He has yet to make a start for the big league club. In 21 starts with the Sox last season, Rodriguez was 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
— In the bottom of eighth inning Chris Marrero stepped up to the plate with nobody out, Sam Travis on first base and Pawtucket down 1-0. On a 2-1 count, Marrero crushed a home run into to the PawSox bullpen past left field to put Pawtucket ahead to stay.
“[Frank Herrmann] left a pitch up, I put a good swing on it, and I’m glad I was able to help the team receive a win,” Marrero said.
The home run was Marrero’s ninth of the season and his seventh in the month of May, which leads the leads the International League. As DH on Tuesday, Marrero went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a strikeout. He’s now hitting .293/.346/.544 on the season.
— Anthony Varvaro picked up the win after pitching a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two. Varvaro is 2-1 in 17 2/3 innings pitched with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Pat Light came on in the ninth to get his third save in as many appearances.
|05.25.16 at 11:41 am ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning and said he is buying into the Red Sox offense, predicting it will carry Boston to a World Series appearance against the Cubs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
“It is legit,” Schilling said of the Sox bats. “I don’t see a large regression to the mean. Jackie Bradley Jr. is good. I think all the things everyone talked about him when he first came up are the reasons he came to be now. I don’t see a reason he can’t win a batting championship. You look at [Xander Bogaerts] and Mookie [Betts] and you start wondering where is the hole, because Travis Shaw can hit. Is it Christian Vazquez? Because he can pick his spots. This is a lineup with no letup. You are going to see a lot of middle relievers facing the Red Sox this year.
Schilling said the Sox’ hot start is no fluke, and he’s ready to place the Sox in the World Series.
“I’m saying right now Cubs-Red Sox World Series, with Theo [Epstein] breaking the Cubs’ curse,” Schilling said.
The Sox may be in the market for another reliever after losing Carson Smith for the year following Tommy John surgery. Schilling, however, said the Sox should add another dependable starter before they try to add a reliever.
“I think if you want to win a World Series [you need a starter],” Schilling said. “Do you think on any day they can outpitch the Mets? Those are the teams you are going to see in October. I think the back of their bullpen is wonderful, but that is not a matchup you worry about before you worry about starters. … There is probably no team other than the Cubs better positioned to get that guy at the deadline.”
|05.25.16 at 8:30 am ET|
Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright will take the mound Wednesday night opposite Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis in the second game of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
Wright heads into the game with a 3-4 record, 2.52 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in eight starts. Despite the losing record, the knuckleballer ranks fifth in the American League in ERA and has two complete games. His last start last Wednesday resulted in a 3-2 loss at Kansas City. The right-hander went eight innings, allowing three earned runs and five hits while striking out six.
“He was outstanding once again,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He settles in after the first inning. … He retired a number of guys consecutively. He’s been very steady for us all year long, very good.”
Wednesday’s game will be Wright’s first start against the Rockies in his four-year career.
|05.25.16 at 12:31 am ET|
Good news out of Pawtucket, where left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez delivered the best start of his rehab stint.
After failing to top six innings or allow fewer than three runs in any of his first four rehab starts, Rodriguez went seven innings and allowed four hits and a run on a solo homer. He struck out seven and walked none with a low-90s fastball in a 2-1 victory over Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. He did not figure in the decision.
It was his first start since a minor setback in his injured knee caused him to skip his last scheduled rehab start last week.
“Today was a step forward,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles told reporters, including from MiLB.com. “He looks more comfortable, the delivery has better pace and rhythm to it, and it looked like he was more athletic on the mound.”
Rodriguez took the mound after a 29-minute rain delay and retired the side in order in three of his first four innings. His night ended with a strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out in the seventh.
Rodriguez threw 102 pitches and 69 strikes. He still has 10 days remaining on his rehab clock, so the Red Sox don’t have to rush him back to the big leagues. He started the year on the disabled list with an injured right knee.
|05.24.16 at 10:08 pm ET|
The Red Sox have made it look easy for a while now, and Tuesday night was no exception.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts extended their respective hitting streaks, ageless wonder David Ortiz drove in four more runs, and David Price delivered his third straight solid start to pace an 8-3 rout of the Rockies.
“The offense has been there right from pretty much the first week of the season,” said manager John Farrell. “The way we get out to early leads, if our starters throw strikes, they can manage some big innings and they’re going to have a pretty good chance to be right in the mix if they get into the middle-to-late innings of a game. It’s fun to watch. Our guys are confident and we’re never giving at-bats away.”
Wasting no time getting on the board, the Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead after four batters, with Ortiz driving in Dustin Pedroia (3 hits) and Bogaerts with one out in the first inning.
The haste did not just come with the scoring, either. Both Bradley (28) and Bogaerts (17) extended their hitting streaks in their first at-bats, while Price struck out four of the first 12 batters he faced.
Price climbed to 7-1 and dropped his ERA from 5.53 to 5.34, giving up three runs and five hits while striking out six over seven innings. Once again, he was the beneficiary of huge run support.
“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s something I’ve gotten I think every start. We’ve done a tremendous job of scoring a lot of runs early, especially in the first inning. To go out there and know you don’t have to be perfect every pitch, it definitely takes a lot of stress off the starting pitcher. It’s huge.”
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