|09.12.16 at 6:04 pm ET|
The injured outfielder (left knee) will execute his last task before most likely being activated for the upcoming Yankees series when he participates in a simulated game at Fenway Park Wednesday afternoon. Monday, he cleared another final hurdle, practicing sliding into second base using his new knee brace.
After going through the entire process, Benintendi sure sound confident that he can continue the run he was riding before spraining his knee at Tropicana Field Aug. 24.
“Health-wise, I feel 100 percent,” the outfielder told WEEI.com before Monday night’s game against the Orioles. “I honestly couldn’t tell you which leg it is if I didn’t know. I got pretty fortunate.”
As for the specially-designed brace Benintendi will continue to wear, the 22 year old insisted it’s something he doesn’t have to think about anymore.
“At first it was pretty uncomfortable because I had never worn one before, but I’ve been trying to wear it every day, even in the dugout and everything,” he said “So right now it feels pretty normal. At first I thought about it because it was pretty uncomfortable. Now I’m used to it. It’s a little different. I don’t think I get as full a range of motion running-wise, but it’s minimal and something I can deal with.
“I don’t feel it at all when I hit. I think if it was my front leg it might be different. But it’s my back leg, so it’s good. I’ll wear anything to start playing again. I’m going to have to deal with it the rest of the season.”
With Benintendi’s health seemingly back to where it needs to be, another part of the equation when it comes to offering the same image as in his first 21 major league games is maintaining his well-publicized hair.
Having not gotten a haircut since January, the somewhat superstitious left fielder said there is no turning back now when it comes to growing out his black locks.
“It’s start to get kind of annoying, but I’ve got to keep it going,” Benintendi said. “It’s the longest it’s ever been. I feel like if I cut it it might mess something up. I’m a pretty superstitious guy so I have to keep it going.
“I’ve had it long before. But at this point it doesn’t get longer, it just gets thicker. It goes into a fro if I don’t wear a hat.”
The only issue? He’s on the verge of having to change out his 7 1/4-sized hat for a bigger one.
“It’s getting tough because this my first and I want to keep it,” he said.
|09.12.16 at 5:34 pm ET|
The Red Sox appear to be running out of time with knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Speaking before Monday’s series opener at Fenway Park with the Orioles, manager John Farrell said that Wright hasn’t begun a throwing program since suffering a setback with his injured right shoulder.
“We’re hopeful to get a throwing program initiated,” Farrell said. “I don’t have an exact date when that will take place. He’s showing improvement through the range of motion. The discomfort is diminishing. I also recognize where we are in the calendar, and that’s going to present a challenge here going forward.”
Wright hasn’t even been able to long toss or play catch. With only 20 games remaining in the season, there’s no telling when or if Wright will pitch again this season.
He injured the bursa sac in his right shoulder diving awkwardly into second base as a pinch runner against the Dodgers on Aug. 6. He missed three weeks, made two largely ineffective starts, and was shut down again after allowing four runs in four innings against the Rays on Aug. 31.
“He didn’t play catch on the end of the road trip,” Farrell said. “As we stated the other day, hopefully to get back here, that throwing program would initiate, but that hasn’t begun today.”
NO BP FOR PEDROIA: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that he has stopped taking batting practice for the last two months, because, “I’ve been around long enough to know hitting BP is irrelevant.”
Farrell backed up his second baseman.
“There’s a routine he goes through that’s not on the field,” Farrell said. “It’s not like he’s showing up and just putting his uniform on and walking out for the first pitch. There’s work that goes on that might be condensed, that is condensed. I think he’s confident in his daily work routine that if he doesn’t take X number of swings on the field, he’s not prepared. He’s long past that. He understands his body more than anyone. So while he’s been banged up, he knows where to pick his spots. So the work routine in the cage early in the afternoon and then just prior to the game, he’s more than prepared, and I think his performance has probably reflected that.”
In 29 games since moving to the leadoff spot on Aug. 10, Pedroia is hitting .445. His .329 average ranks second in the American League behind Jose Altuve’s .340.
|09.12.16 at 3:11 pm ET|
The Red Sox will open a big seven-home homestand Monday night against the Orioles as they currently have a two-game lead in the AL East with both Baltimore and Toronto having identical 78-64 records.
With the Orioles sending left-hander Wade Miley to the mound, righties Aaron Hill (third base) and Chris Young (left field) will each get starts for the Red Sox.
Other than that, it’s a standard lineup with Sandy Leon catching Red Sox starter David Price.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Mookie Betts, RF
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Aaron Hill, 3B
Chris Young, LF
Sandy Leon, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
David Price, LHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|09.12.16 at 12:58 pm ET|
The Red Sox open a three-game series with the Orioles on Monday night at Fenway Park by sending David Price to the hill to face former Sox lefty Wade Miley.
Price is 15-8 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.204 WHIP in 30 starts. Over his last six starts, Price has yet to lose and has posted a 2.14 ERA. In his last appearance on Wednesday, he pitched seven innings, allowing two runs, six hits and no walks with eight strikeouts in a 7-2 win over the Padres.
“I knew it was going to happen,” Price said (via MLB.com). “I knew good things were going to happen to me. I just want to keep it going.”
Against the Orioles, Price is 9-5 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.160 WHIP in 22 starts. In three starts against the Orioles this year, he is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA and a 0.842 WHIP. The southpaw’s last start against the O’s came on Aug. 17. He went six innings, giving up no runs, two hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in a 8-1 Sox win.
|09.11.16 at 4:56 pm ET|
David Ortiz owns two career home runs against Joaquin Benoit. Red Sox fans will never forget the first. We may look back at the second as the biggest of this season.
Three years after his grand slam off of Benoit saved the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, Ortiz once again victimized the reliever, this time blasting a three-run homer to erase an 8-7 deficit and propel the Red Sox to an 11-8 victory on Sunday that restored their two-game lead in the American League East.
The Red Sox finished a brutal nine-game road trip with a 6-3 record, including two of three in Toronto. When they left for Oakland last week, they trailed by two games in the division. Now they lead by two games. They begin a seven-game homestand against the Orioles and Yankees on Monday.
“The two things that come to mind, one, we never rolled over,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Toronto. “We kept grinding, kept finding a way to come back. Two, this was about one guy picking up another. Clay [Buchholz] exits early, we go to the bullpen, the offense climbs right back into it. Every out by guys coming out of the bullpen was key, all the way down to Noe Ramirez’s one out to set it up to piece together the fifth inning. Just a dramatic home run again from David, against Benoit, that, you know, a few years ago, there was another memorable one. This might not have been the same stage, but where we are against that team, really no less important.”
Ortiz’s three-run bomb in the sixth capped a wild back-and-forth contest that was billed as a pitcher’s duel but instead devolved into an old-fashioned Sox-Jays slugfest. It also brought back pleasant memories of 2013, when Ortiz’s Game 2 grand slam off of Benoit kept the Red Sox from returning to Detroit in a 2-0 series hole.
“A little bit, yeah,” Ortiz told reporters when asked if this homer reminded him of that one. “And I thought I was getting a different menu, but he threw me a hittable — I mean, it wasn’t that bad. It was in the bottom of the strike zone, right where the pitcher wanted to make that pitch. I guess I put a good swing on it.”
|09.11.16 at 7:45 am ET|
The finale of the Red Sox-Blue Jays series on Sunday afternoon will feature the resurgent Clay Buchholz taking the mound opposite right-hander Aaron Sanchez.
Buchholz is 6-10 with a 4.99 ERA and a 1.364 WHIP in 33 games (17 starts). Over the last four games he has gone 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA, which helped him regain a spot in the starting rotation. Buchholz put together another solid outing on Tuesday against the Padres, pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing one run, eight hits and no walks with six strikeouts.
“I still feel like I can pitch and help this team out,” Buchholz said (via MLB.com). “Regardless of the role, it’s a part of the game, and whenever my name is called, I try to go out there and give the team the best chance I can to win. I’m feeling good right now.”
In 31 games (28 starts) against the Blue Jays, the 32-year-old right-hander is 14-9 with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.222 WHIP. Buchholz last saw the Jays in June when he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning in 5-4 Sox loss. His last start against Toronto came in April, when he threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing no runs, six hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
|09.10.16 at 11:10 pm ET|
With former Red Sox Rich Hill pitching a perfect game through seven innings, the Dodgers manager chose to err on the side of caution with his starter, taking the lefty out after throwing 89 pitches.
Roberts’ reasoning behind the move was based in his concerns for a recurrence of the blister issue that kept Hill out from July 17 until Aug. 24. Since joining the Dodgers, the 35 year old lefty starter hasn’t allowed a run over three starts (19 innings).
It was the second time this season Roberts removed a pitcher who hadn’t given up a hit, having taken Ross Stripling out of his April 8 start despite having not allowed a hit through 7 2/3 innings and 100 pitches.
The Dodgers ultimately beat the Marlins Saturday night, 5-0, with relievers Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen coming in to close things out. Blanton and Dayton each allowed a hit.
Through 17 starts this season, Hill has gone 12-3 with a 1.80 ERA, allowing a 1.81 batting average against.
Roberts: "Nothing in my opinion is worth compromising our opportunity to win a championship"
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 11, 2016
Roberts: "I just can’t say how bad I feel for Richie and his family. After we’re holding that trophy up — it’ll feel a lot better."
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 11, 2016
|09.10.16 at 4:09 pm ET|
Now it’s just about winning the series.
Fresh off Friday’s 13-3 demolition of the Blue Jays, the Red Sox took a step back on Saturday afternoon, getting shut down by J.A. Happ and the Toronto bullpen in a 3-2 loss.
One day after recording 18 hits, the Red Sox were no-hit into the fifth and held scoreless until Dustin Pedroia’s homer leading off the sixth. They managed just four hits overall and were outlasted by a Blue Jays squad that had lost four in a row and six of seven, but now finds itself just a game out of first in the AL East.
The Blue Jays took control early against Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his last start. This time, he allowed his first hit a lot earlier, with leadoff man Devon Travis singling in the first.
The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the second when Russell Martin walked and B.J. Upton launched a two-run homer to left-center.
The Jays pushed their lead to 3-0 in the third when Travis led off with a double before being erased at third on replay review on a Josh Donaldson fielder’s choice. The Red Sox gave that out right back, however, when Edwin Encarnacion reached on an error by third baseman Aaron Hill and Jose Bautista singled to short.
The Red Sox clawed back. Pedroia got one run back with the homer, and the Red Sox added another in the seventh on a Jackie Bradley Jr. sacrifice fly. The Sox might’ve done even more damage, but Bautista made a nice leaping catch before slamming into the wall on Bradley’s sac fly with runners on the corners.
Opponents fell to just 2-for-36 against reliever Matt Barnes with two outs after he ended the seventh by inducing Edwin Encarnacion to line out to right.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who started the day batting .455 out of the leadoff spot, gave the Red Sox their first run with a line drive solo homer to left in the sixth.
— After a slow start that included a two-run homer by B.J. Upton, Rodriguez ended up limiting the Jays to four hits and two earned runs in six innings, striking out five.
— With a walk, right fielder Mookie Betts extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 27.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Third baseman Aaron Hill was charged with an error on an Encarnacion grounder in the third, leading to Toronto’s unearned run.
— Rodriguez was drilled in the shin by a comebacker, but remained in the game.
— With Jason Grilli on the mound in the eighth and the top of the order due up, the Red Sox failed to score when Mookie Betts popped out with pinch runner Yoan Moncada on first.
— Speaking of Moncada, the rookie committed an unpardonable sin by losing track of the outs in the eighth and failing to run on Betts’ inning-ending flyout.
|09.10.16 at 12:11 pm ET|
Benintendi, who could be seen chasing fungoes from outfield instructor Ruben Amaro in Rogers Centre’s left field an hour before Saturday’s game, execute one more test before rejoining the Red Sox’ lineup. That will come Tuesday when the outfielder participates in a simulated game at Fenway Park started by Henry Owens.
“He’ll continue to go through baseball activity here,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “When we get home is when we’ll run him through some sliding. We’ll, Tuesday, likely put together a sim game that has Henry on the mound, probably some other pitchers that haven’t been in games will be able to get some at-bats for Andrew and other guys. We’ve got a taxi squad here. We can build that out. Once we get through and get him through half a dozen at-bats at least on Tuesday, we might be in a position where we could see him on the field shortly after that.”
Farrell did start to define how he envisioned Benintendi’s playing time upon the 22 year old’s return.
“If we’re going to have a left-handed hitter in left field and Andrew is healthy [he will start],” the manager stated.
– Heading into Saturday, Yoan Moncada had struck out in eight straight plate appearance, cementing a shift in the Red Sox’ approach toward third base. It appears going forward that they will be going back to their previous rotation of Travis Shaw starting against right-handed pitching and Aaron Hill getting the nod vs. lefties.
“He’s swung the bat well. Much like he did the first month or six weeks of the season,” Farrell said of Shaw. “When he’s in this type of run offensively, he’s got a bat that can almost carry the team when he gets hot. We’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs with Travis throughout the course of this year. And if competition has found that edge for him, somehow or someway, even better for us.”
As for Moncada, the rookie remains a work in progress.
“This is a great learning experience for Yoan,” Farrell noted. “But like I said I think while he got a boost of confidence by coming to the big leagues, you get challenged a little bit and you have to take a step back to rebuild that. Still, our primary goal is to win. Development in this situation does not take a front seat.”
– Farrell explained the decisions that went into starting Ryan Hanigan behind the plate with Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound Saturday afternoon.
“Well, one, day after night, schedule had a lot to do with this,” the manager said. “And when Ryan’s been back behind the plate, there’s no denying his ability to run the game. That’s been proven over time. Left-hander on the mound. Obviously he’s got a working relationship with Eddie [Saturday]. Still, Hanny’s done an excellent job in terms of running the game. You look at our win-loss record, it’s pretty obvious that he’s added a lot to the lineup on the day he’s in there.”
It’s the first start for Hanigan since he came off the 15-day disabled list, having totaled three at-bats heading into Saturday. The Red Sox are, however, 25-7 in games the catcher has appeared this season.
“Setting aside the record, the number that’s probably more indicative is the overall pitchers ERA (3.42) when he’s behind the plate,” Farrell said. “That’s a clear indication of his game-calling. The ability to navigate the dirty innings. That’s probably the biggest thing. That’s where his experience comes into play and there’s been many games where he’s put up quality at-bats and contributed in some form or fashion.”
|09.10.16 at 8:21 am ET|
On Saturday afternoon the Red Sox and Blue Jays will play the middle game of their three-game series with the Sox sending Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound to face veteran left-hander J.A. Happ.
Rodriguez is 2-6 with a 4.83 ERA and a 1.305 WHIP in 15 starts. The southpaw is coming off one of the best starts of his career. On Sunday against the Athletics he carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning with two outs. Then Marcus Semien hit a ground ball up the middle hit off Rodriguez’s foot and Semien barely reached first ahead of Rodriguez’s throw. Rodriguez finished the game going eight innings, giving up no runs, one hit and two walks with five strikeouts.
“In the bigger picture, Eddy’s start today is extremely important to us as we continue to build out this rotation over the final three to four weeks here,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said (via MLB.com).
The 23-year-old Venezuelan is 1-2 with an 8.27 ERA and a 1.469 WHIP in three career starts against the Blue Jays. In his one start against Toronto this season, a 5-4 loss on June 5, Rodriguez threw 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on four hits — all home runs — and three walks with no strikeouts.
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