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Royals acquire former Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava from Angels

08.30.16 at 11:06 am ET
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Daniel Nava

Daniel Nava

The Royals, fighting to claim a wild card spot, acquired former Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava from the Angels on Monday night for cash or a player to be named later.

Nava, 33, is expected to report to Triple-A Omaha. He had a disappointing season in Anaheim, where he hit .235 with one homer and 13 RBIs in 45 games. He also missed 46 games with a strained groin.

He could bolster the Royals as a September call-up, and he has pennant-race experience. His best season came in 2013 with the Red Sox, when he hit .303 with 12 homers, 66 RBIs, and an .831 OPS.

His signature moment came on April 20 of that season, in the first game at Fenway Park after the Marathon bombings, when his three-run homer off Kelvin Herrera with two outs in the eighth lifted the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory.

Read More: Angels, Boston Marathon bombings, daniel nava, Red Sox

David Ortiz choosing Mookie Betts for American League MVP: ‘I’ll take a Silver Slugger’

08.30.16 at 10:44 am ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

David Ortiz has as good a case as anybody for American League MVP this season. Yet when asked after the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Rays Monday night who would be his pick right now for the award, he identify the other candidate in the clubhouse.


When asked why, Ortiz was also decisive in his explanation of taking Betts. “He’s having a great season.”

Reminded that the designated hitter’s candidacy is right up there with the Sox’ outfielder, Ortiz said, “I’ll take it, too, but I don’t play defense. If you don’t play defense, it doesn’t help you unless you double everybody’s numbers and hit like 60 homers and have 200 RBIs. I’ll take a Silver Slugger.”

Ortiz has never won the American League MVP, finishing second in 2005, third a season later and fourth two other years. This year, however, he is leading in doubles (42), slugging percentage (.632) and OPS (1.038), while totaling the third-most RBI (101) and fifth-best batting average (.318).

To read more about how Betts’ MVP candidacy is being viewed — including Xander Bogaerts’ spring training prediction that the right fielder would win the award — click here.

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Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Chris Marrero drives in 4 runs for Pawtucket; Ryan Hanigan 2-for-4 in rehab assignment with Lowell

08.30.16 at 9:32 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (71-64): W, 9-3, at Syracuse (Nationals)

— Right-hander Sean O’Sullivan paved the way with 6 1/3 scoreless innings. The 28-year-old gave up five hits and four walks while striking out five. O’Sullivan has won his last two starts and is 8-6 with a 4.14 ERA in 18 minor league starts.

— The PawSox collected 16 hits, led by Ryan LaMarre, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. He finished the series against the Chiefs 7-for-16 with four RBIs and five runs. The 27-year-old outfielder, who has played five major league games with the Red Sox this year, has five multi-hit performances in his last seven games. He is slashing .308/.374/.457 in 82 games with the PawSox.

— Chris Marrero finished the night 2-for-4 with four RBIs and a run scored. It is his first four-RBI game since July 7. Marrero, 28, has collected two hits in each of his last three games. He now is batting .287/.344/.501 in 467 at-bats.

— Noe Ramirez pitched the last 1 2/3 innings for Pawtucket, holding Syracuse hitless while fanning two. The 26-year-old right-hander now has three consecutive outings without an earned run. He is 2-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 29 appearances.

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Read More: Chris Marrero, dakota smith, jake romanski, kevin mcavoy

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Drew Pomeranz vs. Jake Odorizzi

08.30.16 at 8:57 am ET
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In Tuesday’s middle game of a three-game series with the Rays, Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz will get the start opposite Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Odorizzi for the second time in six days.

Pomeranz sits at 10-10 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 25 starts with both the Padres and Red Sox. The 2016 National League All-Star has not given up more than two runs in each of his last five starts, but still picked up the loss in his last appearance, a 2-1 loss to the Rays on Thursday. The 27-year-old gave up two runs on seven hits through six innings while striking out a career-high 11 batters.

“A lot of strikeouts. Sometimes I like that, sometimes I don’t,” Pomeranz said. “I could have took a few quick outs in places to get a couple more innings out there.”

Pomeranz has faced the Rays three times in his six-year career. He is 1-1 with a 1.54 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

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Read More: Drew Pomeranz, Jake Odorizzi,

Source: Red Sox 1st-round pick Jason Groome to start Friday with Lowell Spinners

08.30.16 at 7:30 am ET
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On Tuesday, Red Sox first-round pick (No. 7 overall) Jason Groome will join short-season Single-A Lowell and then will get on the mound in a game just a few days later.

According to a source, the plan is for Groome to start for the team Friday in Norwich, Connecticut, against the Connecticut Tigers, as long as his bullpen session leading up to the game goes as planned. It will be Groome’s third professional start, as his first two came in the Florida Gulf Coast League.

In his previous two outings, he’s allowed a run in four innings with eight strikeouts. He’s gone two innings in each of those starts as he’s been on a pitch count and that will once again be the case Friday.

Lowell’s season ends Monday, but there’s a chance he pitches in the postseason, so Friday might not be his only outing with the team.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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Closing Time: Rick Porcello continues Fenway Park dominance with win over Rays

08.29.16 at 10:22 pm ET
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Rick Porcello became the majors first 18-game winner, Monday night. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello became the majors first 18-game winner Monday night. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello was coming off an outing in which he threw more pitches than in any game of his career. Would he be worn down coming into his start Monday night? It didn’t look like it.

Porcello appeared to be the pitcher Fenway Park fans have been accustomed to witnessing this season, allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings in the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Rays. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter, while throwing 102 pitches.

The Sox starter is now 13-0 at Fenway this season, with the Red Sox having won all of Porcello’s 14 home starts. The righty is just the fifth major league pitcher since 1913 to begin a season 13-0 at home, joining Dallas Keuchel, Dave Ferriss, Tex Hughson, and Larry Benton. He also becomes the major leagues first 18-game winner.

“I think you deal with ups and downs in baseball, and here in Boston, the downs can seem to be a little bit deeper than most places and all the ups are obviously really high, too,” Porcello said. “You learn to ride that wave and keep an even-keel and continue to work hard and keep your head down until you accomplish the goals you want to accomplish.”

With the win, the Red Sox remain two games in back of first-place Toronto, who claimed a 5-1 win over Baltimore at Camden Yards. The Orioles drop to four games back in the American League East.

For a complete box score, click here.

Closing Time note

With his two RBIs, Mookie Betts is now just four shy of 100. Once at the milestone, the outfielder and David Oritz are trending toward becoming just the second set of Red Sox teammates with at least 30 homers, 40 doubles and 100 RBI. Ortiz and Manny Ramirez accomplished the feat in 2004.


– Betts launched his 30th homer of the season over the left field wall to kick off the scoring. The solo shot was his seventh since being moved to the cleanup spot on Aug. 10, the second-most of any No. 4 hitter during that span (only behind Chris Davis’ eight homers). Betts added to his RBI total in the fifth inning, driving home Ortiz with a double.

– Despite coming into the night with the second-worst batting average with the bases loaded in the American League (.211), Brock Holt managed to reverse the trend. The second baseman, who was filling in for Dustin Pedroia for a second straight game, rifled a single into left field, scoring Chris Young. The two-out hit couldn’t plate a pair, however, with Sandy Leon getting thrown out at the plate on a throw from left fielder Corey Dickerson to end the inning. (To watch Holt’s single, click here.)

– Young gave the Sox a two-run lead in the fourth inning, lining a two-run double into the left field corner with nobody out. The hit, which scored Hanley Ramirez and Travis Shaw, was the outfielder’s first RBI against a righty pitcher since June 11. Holt followed in the fourth with his second RBI of game, doubling in Young.

“Each day gets better,” Young said. “When I first came back, it was a process of getting your timing back and things like that. No matter if I’ve felt great, I feel like I’ve been able to go out and battle. And when you first come back, that’s ultimately the goal, to go out there and be competitive and find yourself as fast as possible. And until you find yourself, just try and grind out at-bats and get as good a feel as possible. That’s pretty much where I’m at right now. But I’m feeling more and more comfortable each game.”

– Xander Bogaerts made the defensive play of the game with one out in the fifth inning, ranging into the hole behind second base on Logan Forsythe’s grounder, scooping it up, twisting his body around and finally firing a one-hopper to Ramirez at first. While the play was initially called an infield single, a replay revealed Forsythe was out. Dickerson did score from third on the play for the Rays’ third run.

– Shaw managed just his second multi-hit game for the month, and first since Aug. 4, coming away with three hits.

“It’s nice to go home at night and feel like you’ve contributed to something,” Shaw said. “It’s been a while since that’s happened. It just feels good to actually do something positive for the first time in a while.”

The third baseman also admitted he had been putting too much pressure on himself of late. “I’ve got to try to stop pressing,” he said. “It felt like I was trying to do too much there. You get in a little slump and feel like you’ve got to get a hit every single time you come up to the plate. The last couple days, I’ve felt pretty relaxed and not trying to do too much. I’m just trying to stay there as much as I can.”

– Leon got going after hitting a bit of a dry spell of late, notching two hits, including a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning. It was the catcher’s first multi-hit game since Aug. 21, having claimed seven games with two hits or more more in the first three weeks of Aug.


– The Red Sox had two runners thrown out at the plate in the second inning, with Hanley Ramirez going from third base on contact on Young’s one-out grounder to third base. Leon would end the inning with his failed attempt at reaching home.

– Porcello couldn’t keep the lead for long, with the Rays scoring a pair in the third inning.

– Clay Buchholz, who had limited hitters to just one hit in 22 at-bats while pitching in relief since July 27, gave up a run on two hits and a walk in a 29-pitch eighth inning.

Jackie Bradley Jr. isn’t buying that move to No. 9 spot in Red Sox batting order turned things around

08.29.16 at 6:30 pm ET
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Jackie Bradley Jr. isn't crediting his recent move in the batting order to turning things around. (Winslow Townsend/USA Today Sports)

Jackie Bradley Jr. isn’t crediting his recent move in the batting order to turning things around. (Winslow Townsend/USA Today Sports)

Jackie Bradley’s take on the matter wasn’t hard to decipher.

Would you say you don’t care where you hit in the lineup?


Do you care?

“I don’t make the lineup. I just play. You obviously get more opportunities in the top and middle of the lineup.”

Does hitting ninth matter?

“I’ve never heard of a spot in the order that swings the bat. I’ve never heard a pitcher talk about certain sequences with a number in the order. They pitch to hitters no matter where they are in the order. For example, I had a 3-2 splitter in the game yesterday. If I’m the No. 9 guy why don’t you throw me a fastball? You don’t pitch to a number in the batting order. You pitch to tendencies. You pitch to each batter individually. If you hit David in the No. 9 spot he’s going to hit one [home run]?”

Judging by his comments before Monday night’s game, it’s pretty clear that Jackie Bradley Jr. isn’t running into John Farrell’s asking to be kept in the lineup’s No. 9 spot. But, for the time being, that’s where the center fielder finds himself. Why? Because one he went back to the bottom of the order, Bradley Jr. started getting on base again.

“Seems to be,” said Farrell when asked if there was a correlation to Bradley Jr.’s recent comfort at the plate and the shift in the order. “His at-bats have been better. He walked a couple of times last night. It’s a really interesting conversation to see or suggest there’s a different mindset based on the number in the lineup in which you’re hitting at. But I think there’s something real to that for certain individual. But Jackie’s had good production in a lot of different places in the lineup this year. He’s going through a little bit of a spell where maybe he’s getting a little bit too pull oriented. I know the work continues to be concentrated to stay inside the ball, use the whole field. That’s there in BP. Does it allow him to see the ball deeper, track the ball better? That might be evident in the walks last night. All in all, multiple times on base the last couple of nights, and certainly that’s a positive.”

After going through 2-for-25 with 13 strikeouts, Bradley Jr. was moved to the No. 9 spot. Since the switch he has reached base five times in eight plate appearances.

For the season, Bradley Jr. came into Monday night hitting .371 with a 1.044 OPS in his 108 plate appearances hitting ninth this season. The production has helped the Red Sox carry far and away the best OPS of any team in the No. 9 slot (.793), 82 points higher than the second-best club, Kansas City. (They are vying to become just the seventh team in Major League Baseball history to have the ninth spot in its order to carry an OPS of .800 or better.)

But Bradley Jr. isn’t buying there is a tangible difference when it comes to either the pitchers’ approach, or how hitters have to look at things.

“Obviously they know certain times when you’re scuffling a little bit. They want to attack you more. But they’re still not wanting to miss their spots,” he said They’re not going to be like, ‘Oh, I’m going to throw this pitch down the middle.’ They’re still going to pitch to their scouting report. I’m just trying to hit, no matter where it is. Everybody tries to stereotype a certain number in the order. I think the main goal is to hit, produce. If you’re producing, it don’t matter.

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Reliever Koji Uehara nearing return for Red Sox

08.29.16 at 6:19 pm ET
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Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

Reinforcements could be arriving for the beleaguered Red Sox bullpen.

Veteran Koji Uehara, whose season appeared in doubt following a pectoral injury on July 19, threw a 25-pitch bullpen on Monday and could activated as soon as the weekend, according to manager John Farrell.

“He came out of today’s work session in good fashion,” Farrell said. “It was 25 pitches to hitters with good intensity, both his fastball and his split. He may have mixed in an occasional cutter, but it’s been impressive to see how he’s handled the volume, and now three times on the mound the intensity to his bullpens and the BP.”

The next step for Uehara is another bullpen on Wednesday, followed by one on Saturday in Oakland before the Red Sox face the A’s. He could be activated shortly thereafter, if all goes according to plan, particularly since the minor league seasons end next Monday, depriving him the opportunity for a rehab assignment.

“I don’t know that we would send him to a playoff team in Salem to get any additional work,” Farrell said. “We’ll re-assess where he is after Sunday. I wouldn’t rule out activation after the BP. Again, I think in fairness to Koji, what we’ve done is just review how he feels after each work session and we’ll take it from there.”

Uehara, 41, is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA. He’s in the midst of a his worst season as a big leaguer, but if healthy, he’d still represent a considerable upgrade for the Red Sox, who have struggled in relief all season, with Sunday’s 10-4 loss to the Royals the latest example.

“It makes no sense to rush at this point in time so I’ll try to be ready when I’m ready,” Uehara said through a translator, adding, “I think the biggest hurdle is getting over the hurdle mentally. I think I’m pretty good where I am physically.”

Read More: Koji Uehara, Red Sox,

Dave Dombrowski offers insight to likelihood of Yoan Moncada, Christian Vazquez call-ups

08.29.16 at 12:10 pm ET
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Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

Listening to Dave Dombrowski Monday morning, it sure sounds like Yoan Moncada might not be spending his September in the majors. Christian Vazquez? That’s another story.

Speaking with the Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Show during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, Dombrowski explained that part of the decision regarding whether or not to promote Moncada when rosters expand on Sept. 1 will have to do the opportunity for playing time. And right now, that would seem to be hard to come by for the infielder.

“First of all, if you’re going to bring a guy like that up, you want to make sure he has a chance to play some,” said Dombrowski of Moncada, who has been primarily working out at third base, of late. “It doesn’t do you much good if you’re going to bring him up and he just sits and doesn’t play. That doesn’t do you much good. For example, when [Andrew] Benintendi came up he played. We put him right out there in left field. That’s one thing with Moncada. The second thing is that you do have some roster situations, how you work with that with the 40-man roster (which currently has 39 players on it). I wouldn’t let that stop him from being brought up if he was going to play. But those are the conversations that we still need to have over the next day. We’ve talked a lot of generalities.”

The one opening Moncada might fit on the big league roster would be as a pinch-runner. But Dombrowski warned of jumping to the conclusion that just because of the infielder’s minor-league success stealing bases (44-for-56 this season, but just 8-for-12 with Double-A Portland), that doesn’t mean he will become a viable base-stealing threat in the majors during the Red Sox’ pennant race.

And while Dombrowski is on the lookout for potential base-stealing options to add to the big league club, finding the right player, he explained, might not be an option.

“The unfortunate part is that clubs have gotten pretty smart on that so there’s not a lot of those guys available like they used to be at the end,” he said. “It’s a situation where it’s difficult to find those speed guys. For us, a lot of times too you want to get guy who can steal a base. If you can’t find that you want to have a guy who can score from first on a double. We have a lot of those type of guys, so we’re in pretty good shape in that regard.

“Even if you look at Moncada, who, in my estimation, is going to be a great player. He’s going to be an exciting player. He’s going to steal a lot of bases at the big league level. But he’s learning that art at the upper-levels. He hasn’t stole as many bases at Double-A as he did in A-ball. In A-ball his speed just took over. You’re working with him, but he hasn’t stolen quite as many bases yet at the Double-A level. And I do think he will do that at the big league level, eventually.”

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Dave Dombrowski doesn’t sound optimistic Jonathan Papelbon will be option for Red Sox

08.29.16 at 11:25 am ET
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Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon

The Jonathan Papelbon Watch has lingered for most of August, and figures to continue to do so until the end of the month.

But with Papelbon still not choosing to sign with a team since his release from the Nationals Aug. 13, time is becoming a major factor when it comes to the idea of the reliever joining the Red Sox. It’s a point Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski reiterated when appearing with the Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Show during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. (To donate, click here.)

“We had interest in him, and we expressed that to him,” Dombrowski said Monday morning. “John Farrell spoke with Jonathan Papelbon, and I think a couple of our players spoke to him, too. For his own personal reasons, he’s just decided so far not to sign. I’m not sure if he’s going to sign or not. I know he has a lot of strong feelings about Boston if he decides to sign. It’s just more of a situation where his agent says he’s not ready to make a decision.

“And now it becomes complicated because he hasn’t thrown in a game since Aug. 6. So you’re in a position where you just can’t thrust him out there. I don’t know what he’s been doing as far as throwing is concerned. I would doubt that he’s been throwing a lot. So you would have to go back out there and build up his arm strength and be in a position to face some hitters. It’s not just inserting him like it would be if you signed him right off the bat.”

Another fly in the ointment is the deadline for Papelbon to be added to an organization in time for postseason eligibility. The pitcher would have to be signed by the Red Sox before Sept. 1 for such a qualification.

“I’m sure he and his representatives know that. But I think it’s more of his own personal situation that he’s decided,” Dombrowski said. “It has nothing to do with a club interest. It’s just more, for whatever reason, his own decisions are like that.”

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