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Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia returns, Mookie Betts in right field again

09.19.15 at 1:14 pm ET
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With the Red Sox continuing to manage Dustin Pedroia‘s return from his hamstring injury, the second baseman returns to the lineup against the Blue Jays a day after sitting out the series opener.

As scheduled, Mookie Betts will once again be back in right field, with Jackie Bradley Jr. manning center field.

Here is the entire lineup against Toronto starter R.A. Dickey, who faces off with Red Sox lefty Wade Miley:

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Travis Shaw 1B
Rusney Castillo LF
Brock Holt 3B
Blake Swihart C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

For all the matchups, click here.

Saturday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Wade Miley vs. R.A. Dickey

09.19.15 at 8:07 am ET
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Wade Miley

Wade Miley

The Red Sox send Wade Miley to the hill Saturday afternoon in Toronto against a familiar opponent in knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who will pitch against the Red Sox for the sixth time this season.

Miley (11-10, 4.41 ERA) last pitched eight days ago, allowing three runs on seven hits in seven innings against the Rays. He left with a 4-3 lead, but the Boston bullpen could not hold it, as Tampa Bay scored five in the eighth for an 8-4 decision.

The left-hander is 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two starts against the Blue Jays this season, both in Toronto. On July 2 he picked up the win despite allowing four runs on seven hits and seven walks in five innings. He previously faced the Jays on May 8, a 7-0 Boston loss in which he allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings, with eight strikeouts.

In three career starts vs. Toronto, Miley has a 9.24 ERA.

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Closing Time: Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays dispatch Rick Porcello, Red Sox

09.18.15 at 9:40 pm ET
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Rick Porcello throws in a loss on Friday night. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Rick Porcello throws in a loss on Friday night. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Blue Jays have something to play for and the Red Sox do not. Those opposing circumstances were made clear in Toronto’s 6-1 victory on Friday night.

With the opportunistic Jays exploiting errors and misplays, the Red Sox went quietly as they play out the string on 2015.

“Dana [LeVangie] and I were talking in the seventh inning that had we played our typical baseball, the score could have been 3-1,” interim manager Torey Lovullo told reporters in Toronto. “That’s just how this game is and that’s what makes it so great. We were down 6-1 and we needed to make up some ground and we couldn’t do it. You have to give [Marcus] Stroman a little bit of credit. He came in, he was very, very effective. He was aggressive with several pitches and he kept a very offensive team in check.”

This one was basically over in the fourth, when a Brock Holt error at third opened the floodgates on a three-run inning against starter and loser Rick Porcello.

Justin Smoak followed with a laser of a two-run double to left-center, and Ryan Goins hammered a hanging changeup off the right field wall for an RBI triple. Goins’ hit sailed over the head of Mookie Betts, making his season debut in right, giving the Jays a commanding 4-0 lead.

That was more than enough for Stroman, making just his second start of the season after a surprising recovery from a torn ACL suffered in March. Stroman was expected to miss the season, but he’s back for the stretch run and the diminutive right-hander looked like his old self, mixing low-90s heat with an effective slider.

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Red Sox lineup vs. Blue Jays: Mookie Betts in right field, Dustin Pedroia gets night off

09.18.15 at 4:01 pm ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

The Red Sox just released their lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto, which pits right-hander Rick Porcello vs. gutsy Jays righty Marcus Stroman, who is making his second start of the season since completing a surprise return from a torn ACL suffered in March.

In the outfield, Mookie Betts makes his season debut in right after 127 games (124 starts) in center. Jackie Bradley Jr., a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder, gets the start in center.

With Rusney Castillo in left, the Red Sox are trying to determine their ideal starting outfield alignment for next season. While Bradley’s arm profiles in right, his overall coverage makes him an ideal center fielder. Either way, the Red Sox boast an impressively athletic outfield.

Dustin Pedroia, fresh off Wednesday’s two-homer game against the Orioles, will receive the night off. The Red Sox have advanced cautiously with him since he returned from a hamstring injury, playing him no more than two days in a row.

Here are tonight’s matchups.

Mookie Betts RF
Brock Holt 3B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Travis Shaw 1B
Rusney Castillo LF
Blake Swihart C
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley CF

Friday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Marcus Stroman

09.18.15 at 2:57 pm ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

The Red Sox head to Toronto on Friday for a matchup with the AL East-leading Blue Jays, and they’ll send Rick Porcello to the mound opposite Marcus Stroman in the opener of a three-game series.

Porcello (8-12, 5.06 ERA) is 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA in four starts since returning from a stint on the disabled list (strained right triceps). In his last outing on Saturday against the Rays — best known as the night David Ortiz hit his 500th home run — Porcello pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts. He picked up the win as the Sox cruised to a 10-4 victory.

Porcello last faced the Jays on Sept. 7 and recorded the win after allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks in 7 1/3 innings as the Sox rolled to an 11-4 victory. In his last start in Toronto on July 1, an 11-2 Red Sox loss, Porcello allowed seven runs in two innings on seven hits and a hit batsman.

In four career starts north of the border, Porcello is 1-3 with a 7.65 ERA.

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Source: No serious issues with Joe Kelly’s shoulder

09.17.15 at 11:51 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

According to a major league source, the examination conducted by the Red Sox medial team in Boston Thursday revealed that there was no serious issues with Joe Kelly’s right shoulder.

It was determined the pitcher is simply dealing with some inflammation in the shoulder, which had stiffened up on him during his start against the Orioles Tuesday night.

Kelly exited his start in Baltimore in the third inning, explaining after the game that he was having difficulty getting loose. The starter’s fastball to start the game was sitting at just 89-90 mph, well below his average.

Red Sox interim manager suggested Wednesday that Kelly would not be pitching the rest of the season due to the ailment.

Coming into his last start, Kelly had turned his season around, winning eight starts in a row. During that stretch he totaled a 2.59 ERA.

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Red Sox slated to play exhibition games in Montreal

09.17.15 at 10:12 am ET
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According to a major league source, the Red Sox will be playing the Toronto Blue Jays in a pair of exhibition games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, April 1 and 2.

The official announcement of the games will take place on a Friday conference call, with Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, Blue Jays president Paul Beeston, Jays general manager Alex Anthopolous and Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy participating on the call.

The games will be the final exhibition contests for the Red Sox, who are slated to open the 2016 regular season in Cleveland on April 4.

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Red Sox Minor League Notebook: 2015 end of year power rankings, No.’s 1-5

09.17.15 at 9:09 am ET
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With the 2015 Red Sox minor league season coming to a close, we’€™ll take a look at the top prospects who have yet to appear in a major league game. Last week we unveiled No.’s 6-10 and this week is No.’s 1-5, as this is the final Red Sox Minor League Notebook of the season. 

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

1. Yoan Moncada

The Red Sox knew they had a special talent when they inked Moncada to a contract with a signing bonus of $31.5 million on March 12. The Cuban second baseman came over to the states and spent an extra month at extended spring training before getting the call up to Single-A Greenville in the middle of May.

He struggled at first, as prior to the All-Star break he batted .200 with just one home run. Greenville manager Darren Fenster and the rest of the organization remained patient with the 19-year-old and didn’t panic.

“You take into account, throw out baseball, and you take into account a kid that gets taken out of his upbringing in Cuba and has to learn a completely different culture and he is away from his family and away from his friends — that’s not an easy thing to handle,” Fenster said recently. “Just in life in general. You throw that on top of a kid who had obviously unrealistic expectations that just came with the number that he signed for. I think some people that with what he signed for thought he was a major league player out of the gate, and he was in Greenville for the same exact reason everyone else was in Greenville.

“He was in Greenville because he had work to do to get better. Everything that we introduced to this kid was different from everyone else because it was his first year in the organization, it was all brand new. To his credit, during that first month and a half of his struggles he never wavered from trying to get into that routine like everyone else. The 24 other guys in that clubhouse, those guys were used to the expectation that our staff held to everyone everyday and to Yoan’s credit he fell in line with everyone else.”

Once getting acclimated to the states and his new team, Moncada caught fire in the second half where he hit .310 with seven home runs. He was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team and named the Most Outstanding South Atlantic League MLB prospect.

Fenster described him as being one of, if not the most athletic players in all of minor league baseball.

“He stands out as an elite athlete,” he said. “I don’t know if we have a better athlete in the entire organization, which I’m sure is saying a lot. It would be hard pressed to find a player in all of minor league baseball who is a better pure athlete. With that being said, for athletic as he is, there are aspects of his game for when he signed were incredibly raw. We had to build a foundation defensively for example just staying consistent with fielding routine ground balls.

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Read More: anderson espinoza, Andrew Benintendi, rafael devers, Red Sox Minor League Notebook

Dustin Pedroia puts pressure on Arizona State admissions, Orioles pitchers

09.16.15 at 10:56 pm ET
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BALTIMORE — Dustin Pedroia is feeling good about himself, and his alma mater.

Thanks to a smooth double play with Red Sox shortstop Deven Marrero, Pedroia got a chance to put the pair’s alma mater — Arizona State University – on a pedestal it might not have been on prior to the Red Sox‘ 10-1 win over the Orioles Wednesday night.

“That was pro,” said Pedroia of Marrero’s work in turning the 6-4-3 double play. “There’€™s only a select few of us that get a chance to go [to Arizona State], so it’€™s pretty cool. He played great. He’€™s a great player. Defensively, he knows what he’€™s doing, and his at-bats have been really good. He’€™s picking and choosing when to drive the ball. It was pretty cool to watch.”

Marrero — who notched three hits — was in the lineup to give shortstop Xander Bogaerts a rest. Pedroia was in just because he’s back to feeling like his old self.

The Sox second baseman continued to exhibit the kind of offensive prowess he had prior to injuring his hamstring June 24.

After launching his 11th and 12th homers of the season, Pedroia is now hitting .379 (11-for-29) with a 1.212 OPS since coming off the 15-day disabled list.

“I feel good. I just feel strong, I feel healthy,” he said. “It’€™s just a matter of getting back to the rhythm of the game and stuff like that.

“I’€™m just feeling normal. That’€™s how I felt before I got hurt. That’€™s the frustrating part, sometimes you get hurt and miss some time. The biggest thing for me is just being out there, feeling good and being able to help us win.”

While the right hamstring was the thing holding Pedroia back for much of this year, perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the 32-year-old’s game is the ability to generate power with his hands.

“Shoot, ‘€™13? I think I was sixth in the MVP voting so that was a pretty good year,” said Pedroia when asked about overcoming his issues of two seasons ago. “I’€™m over the hand stuff. I got that fixed. It just felt good to be out there and help us win, just helping out.”

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Closing Time: Henry Owens makes another positive impression in Red Sox win

09.16.15 at 9:58 pm ET
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Henry Owens

Henry Owens

BALTIMORE — Henry Owens is making things interesting for the Red Sox.

Once considered a pitcher with potential, but one who might not have enough of a fastball and too much wildness, has left quite a mark over his eight games with the big league club. And it was his latest outing — a 7 2/3-inning gem in which he didn’t allow a run or walk while striking out four — that might have been his best resume-builder.

Owens’ 113-pitch gem led the Red Sox to a 10-1 win over the Orioles Wednesday night at Camden Yards, and put him in an even more interesting position heading into the offseason.

“I think so,” said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo when asked if he thought this was Owens’ best big league effort. “No runs, no walks. Seven and two-thirds. I think he scattered six hits. Nothing was really driven. He just didn’€™t look like he was in trouble. And on a night like tonight, as I just said, those are tough times for pitchers to pitch. They get distracted by the score. They get distracted by the silliness that starts to take place in the dugout. I can remember turning around several times seeing him very focused, ready to go out and throw up another zero.”

The lefty now owns a 4.33 ERA, having allowed three runs or less in all but two of his starts.

“I had a couple outings where I had to learn some lessons and I’€™m trying got roll into each out and learn as much as I possibly can for the time I’€™m here,” said the 23-year-old, who is now 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA in his four road starts this season. “I’€™m pleased with tonight and I’€™m just going to work harder tomorrow and try and bring it into the next outing.”

Helping the rookie feel at ease in the series finale was a Red Sox offense that was all over Baltimore starter Michael Wright.

Thanks in large part to a pair of home runs by Dustin Pedroia, along with David Ortiz‘ 35th blast of the year, the Sox jumped out to a 9-0 lead after four innings and never looked back. Pedroia finished with five RBI.

For a complete box score, click here.

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