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Friday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: David Price vs. Nick Martinez

06.24.16 at 10:46 am ET
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The Red Sox will hand the ball to David Price on Friday night to begin a three-game series with the Rangers, who will counter with right-hander Nick Martinez.

Price, who is 8-4 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.124 WHIP, is coming off of one of his best starts of the season on Sunday against the Mariners. In a 2-1 Red Sox win, Price pitched eight innings, giving up just one run (a home run) on eight hits and no walks with seven strikeouts.

“I think he’s just settled into what’s been his normal delivery for a number of years,” manager John Farrell said (via MLB.com) after the start. “You look at what he’s done over the last eight starts, it’s progressively getting better. He’s been more efficient with his pitch, not only his pitch mix, but the number of pitches thrown. He’s been quality locations throughout. It’s great to see a guy out and work like he does.”

“Unbelievable,” David Ortiz added about Price. “He’s pitching great. He’s one of the best pitchers in the game so it doesn’t surprise me. I knew things were going to get better and it was just a matter of time.”

Earlier in the season Price had ample support from the Sox offense, but over Price’s last four starts Boston has scored just seven runs.

Against the Rangers, Price is 3-4 in 11 career starts with a 5.15 ERA and a 1.361 WHIP. Price’s last start against the Rangers was in August of last year when he was a member of the Blue Jays. In that outing, Price went six innings, giving up two runs, five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

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Source: Bryce Brentz joining Red Sox in Texas

06.24.16 at 9:08 am ET
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A source tells WEEI’s Mike Mutnansky that outfielder Bryce Brentz has been summoned by the Red Sox to join the team in Arlington, Texas, where the Sox begin a three-game series against the Rangers Friday.

Once activated, Brentz would replace Chris Young, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list after experiencing a right hamstring injury Thursday.

The 27-year-old Brentz is hitting .261 with a .726 OPS and four home runs with Triple-A Pawtucket. The right-handed hitter has previously played in nine major leagues games.

Brentz is already on the 40-man roster.

How can Red Sox fix struggling bullpen internally?

06.23.16 at 11:50 pm ET
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Heath Hembree could see himself in more high leverage situations coming up. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Heath Hembree could see himself in more high leverage situations coming up. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

If this week’s series against the White Sox said anything, it’s that the Red Sox cannot count on Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara as much as once thought.

On Wednesday night, Uehara entered with the Red Sox leading 6-4 in the eighth inning and allowed two home runs to depart with the Red Sox trailing 7-6. Then in the seventh inning on Thursday, Tazawa entered with the Red Sox leading 5-4 and allowed a three-run home run to Jose Abreu and departed with the Red Sox trailing 7-5.

With Carson Smith out for the season with Tommy John surgery, some expected one of the two to slide into the set up role, but it doesn’t seem like that will be the case. Uehara has a 4.78 ERA in 26 1/3 innings, while Tazawa has a 3.18 ERA in 28 1/3 innings.

The way the current starting rotation is constructed, they cannot have the bullpen blowing many leads and need to find dependable relievers to lead into closer Craig Kimbrel.

Right-hander Heath Hembree took a step in the right direction in doing that on Thursday as he tossed a scoreless eighth inning to keep the Red Sox within striking distance and was able to get Adam Eaton out with the bases loaded to end the frame.

“Quality strikes in a key moment — and against a good hitter,” manager John Farrell said. “That might be a breakthrough moment for Heath. Bases loaded, really no other place to go, threw some pitches in some different locations than [other times] against lefties.”

The right-hander has been dominant against righties, as they were batting just .127 against him going into the day, but lefties were crushing him batting .475. The hope is Thursday will help build some momentum into more high leverage situations.

Another option could be down the road on I-95 in Pawtucket in hard-throwing right-hander Pat Light.

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Read More: heath hembree, junichi tazawa, Koji Uehara, pat light

Rick Porcello’s kryptonite is 1st inning of late

06.23.16 at 11:17 pm ET
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Rick Porcello has some strong thoughts on how MLB is approaching the PED problem. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello had some first-inning issues once again Thursday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello’s Thursday afternoon didn’t start the way he had envisioned it when he arrived at the ballpark.

The inning started with the right-hander letting up a single, hitting the next batter with a pitch and then watching the following hitter reach on an infield single that loaded the bases.

The next batter hit into a double play, but a run scored, and then the second run of the inning scored on a wild pitch to put the Red Sox in a 2-0 hole before they even stepped to the plate.

“I think lately it’s just been the first inning, honestly. A couple of starts I have been able to recover from it, but today I felt like I was a little sloppy,” Porcello said. “I didn’t help myself out by not fielding that ball, I think that was a pretty big play, and the wild pitch was big, too. I had a guy up in that situation that I felt like I could get out and just overcooked it with the slider and it resulted in two runs, and some things I need to be a little cleaner with.”

Porcello’s last start against the Mariners had an almost identical situation. Porcello loaded the bases before he was rescued by a double play, but he was forced to surrender a run in the process. In Porcello’s last three starts, he has allowed a first-inning run in all three. Porcello has allowed five runs on 14 hits in the first inning this season.

The Red Sox offense hasn’t been the same as of late, batting .274 in the month of June, and being down early hasn’t helped the situation.

“We are a very good offensive team. That was something special, though,” Porcello said. “Everybody was firing on all cylinders. It is baseball, you know that, that is not going to happen the entire season. We are still putting up runs, but it is not happening as early as it was. We’ve got to do a better job of setting the tone and not let them get on the board first and really set the tone with some zeros early in the game and give our guys a chance to settle in with their approaches and do what they do.”

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Craig Kimbrel redeems himself with 2 scoreless innings in win over White Sox

06.23.16 at 11:13 pm ET
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Craig Kimbrel earned the win Thursday against the White Sox. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Craig Kimbrel earned the win Thursday against the White Sox. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel was ready to redeem himself in Thursday afternoon’s game following suffering a loss against the White Sox on Monday night.

After throwing eight pitches to keep the Red Sox tied with the White Sox in the ninth inning, Kimbrel walked back into the Red Sox dugout and told manager John Farrell that he wanted to pitch the next inning.

“Our bullpen, we have been pitching a lot and I felt like throwing eight pitches I need to go back out and do a little bit more work,” said Kimbrel.

After the Red Sox left two men stranded on base in the bottom of the ninth inning, Kimbrel emerged from the dugout to pitch the top of the tenth. The move symbolized neither pitcher nor manager was thinking back to Monday’s outing. To make matters more interesting, Kimbrel entered the tenth having never pitched two complete innings in his career and also being 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA in non-save situations this season.

The decision to have Kimbrel pitch the tenth inning seemed immediately regrettable. The 28-year-old right-hander walked the first batter he faced, gave up a single to the next hitter and then walked another batter to load the bases with nobody out.

“In a situation like that you have to get just take it one pitch at a time,” said Kimbrel.

With his back against the wall, Kimbrel was able to get the next batter to pop out before striking out the next two batters to get out of the inning without any damage.

“With the first pitch pop out that was pretty big, I think that put everybody in a better mindset. We were one pitch away from a double play,” said Kimbrel. “I was able to get two strikeouts and get out of the inning. This was a good game. It was a back and forth game, a hard fought game. There were a lot of situations where guys came up big and that is the reason we won the game.”

“A lot has been talked about when he comes in, in a non-save situation. Twice in a very rare relief appearance for him, two innings,” added Farrell. “After eight pitches in the first inning he was still in great shape with a lot in the tank. In a bases loaded situation nobody out, find a way to get a pop up and a couple of strikeouts. Just a hell of a job on his part given the situation.”

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LF Chris Young (hamstring) to disabled list, corresponding move not yet known

06.23.16 at 7:27 pm ET
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Chris Young will go on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Chris Young will go on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox outfield took another hit Thursday when Chris Young pulled his hamstring rounding first base after ripping a ball off the Green Monster in the second inning in the Red Sox’ 8-7 extra innings win over the White Sox.

Young fell to the ground in serious pain grabbing the back of his right leg and needed help off the field from the trainer and manager John Farrell.

It was a severe enough strain that the team was able to already say he would be going on the 15-day disabled list after the game.

“This is significant enough that we can make the DL call right now,” Farrell said.

Young is hoping it isn’t as serious as it looked in the field at the time and he will feel a little better when he wakes up on Friday.

“I have never had it before. I have never had that feeling before, so I really don’t know how it is going to respond,” Young said. “I mean it feels OK right now, so I mean I think that is a positive. Coming off the field I didn’t think I would be able to feel like I feel right now, so I am trying to be as optimistic as possible and see how it feels in the morning.”

As for his spot on the roster, Farrell said the team didn’t know who that would be, although he did rule out Brock Holt, who is still rehabbing with Triple-A Pawtucket as he works his way back from a concussion.

Another player it won’t likely be is Andrew Benintendi, as the 2015 first-round pick had just 456 minor league at-bats and just 123 in Double-A prior today. Given what has happened in the past with the organization in rushing players to the big leagues, it would seem they will take their time with him and thus he’s not an option.

The more likely player is Bryce Brentz, who is currently on the 40-man roster, and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski name-dropped him on Monday following the demotion of Rusney Castillo as an outfielder who is performing well. Brentz came into Thursday batting .278 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in 38 games with Pawtucket this season.

Also, the team will likely only need this roster spot for a few days as Holt is set to play nine innings over the weekend and if everything goes as planned and he comes out of it feeling good, it appears he could be ready for a return early next week.

But, on a larger scale, Holt is not best served as an everyday left fielder. He’s better off as a utility man, so with the injuries to Young, as well as Blake Swihart, the team could be adding left field to their list of needs before the trade deadline.

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Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts’ single gives Red Sox wild walk-off win over White Sox

06.23.16 at 6:00 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia helped lead a comeback Thursday against the White Sox. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Dustin Pedroia helped lead a comeback Thursday against the White Sox. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how it goes, as long as it’s a W in the standings and that was the case Thursday for the Red Sox.

Even though the bullpen looked very vulnerable, the Red Sox were able to rally from 4-1 and 7-5 deficits to come away with a 8-7, 10-inning win over the White Sox to avoid a four-game sweep and their first four-game losing streak of the season.

Following two walks, Xander Bogaerts singled up the middle scoring Mookie Betts for a wild walk-off win.

This came after Craig Kimbrel got out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the top half of the inning.

After rallying from a 4-1 deficit entering the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 5-4 lead after the frame, Junichi Tazawa promptly allowed the White Sox to regain the lead in the top of the seventh as he allowed a three-run home run to Jose Abreu.

Tazawa’s performance comes following Wednesday night when Koji Uehara took the loss as he allowed two home runs when he entered the game with a 6-4 lead. The bullpen has now allowed seven runs in the last two games with three coming on homers.

The home run gave the White Sox a 7-5 lead, but once again the Red Sox wouldn’t go down without a fight as they scored a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Travis Shaw and then tied it in the eighth when Dustin Pedroia singled home Marco Hernandez who doubled with one out.

After White Sox starter James Shields departed in the top of the sixth, the Red Sox plated four runs in the inning (three charged to Shields) to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 5-4 lead and things were looking good at that point.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Hanley Ramirez hit a weak ground ball to second base that Brett Lawrie overthrew first base and two runs scored on the play. Then, pinch-hitter Sandy Leon singled to tie the game at four and the next batter Hernandez hit into a fielders choice to plate Ramirez as the go-ahead run at the time.

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello didn’t have his best stuff. The right-hander went just 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while walking one and hitting two. He had a season-low two strikeouts. It was also his shortest start since May 17 when he went five innings in a loss to the Royals.

The White Sox scored quickly against Porcello, putting two runs in the board in the top of the first inning before most settled into their seats. He allowed a lead off single, hit the next batter and then Jose Abreu singled to score Tim Anderson for the first run of the game. The second run scored on a Melky Cabrera double play.

Porcello would give up two more runs — one in the fourth and another in the sixth. In the sixth, he allowed a lead off triple to Cabrera and he scored on a sacrifice fly from Todd Frazier.

Closing Time note

It was the second walk-off win of the season for the Red Sox.

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

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Read More: Dustin Pedroia, hanley ramirez, junichi tazawa, rick porcello

Chris Young leaves game in 2nd inning with right hamstring strain

06.23.16 at 2:31 pm ET
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The Red Sox need Brock Holt back as soon as possible.

After hammering a ball off the Green Monster in the second inning, Chris Young rounded first base and abruptly stopped before falling to the ground in serious pain grabbing his right hamstring.

He was helped off the field by a trainer and manager John Farrell. The team announced the injury as a right hamstring strain and is being evaluated further.

Young was doing a nice job playing every day in left field since Holt and Blake Swihart went down with injuries. He entered the game batting .271 with six home runs and 15 RBIs.

Ryan LaMarre replaced Young in the lineup.

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

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Red Sox pregame notes: Blake Swihart (ankle) ‘fairly far ahead’ of what team expected

06.23.16 at 12:24 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Prior to the Red Sox-White Sox series finale on Thursday afternoon, Red Sox manager John Farrell gave injury updates on several of the wounded members of the team.

— Left fielder and catcher Blake Swihart suffered a severe left ankle sprain and is expected to miss several weeks because of the injury, but he appears to be trending in the right direction, as Farrell said Thursday that Swihart will be switching from a walking boot to a brace.

“[Blake Swihart] had a very good re-exam yesterday,” said Farrell. “He will come out of the boot and go to a brace. He is making steady progress. He will begin to get into more of a regular throwing program now that he can be weight bearing without a boot on, but still we are not at the point of putting him back where there is some twerking or twisting or rotation technical movement on that foot.

“But still, him getting into a brace and beginning to throw is probably fairly far ahead of what we first anticipated coming out of the injury. Encouraging, but still a ways to go.”

Before getting hurt, Swihart was hitting .258/.365/.355 in 74 plate appearances.

— Farrell also announced Travis Shaw will be available to pinch hit on Thursday after leaving Wednesday’s game in the third inning with a right shin contusion after fouling a ball off of his right ankle area on Tuesday night.

“Coming out of the game last night, even after we did some early work, I felt like he was good to go, it started to tighten up on him during the ball game, so I had to remove him,” said Farrell.

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Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada goes 3-for-5 in 2nd Double-A game

06.23.16 at 11:35 am ET
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Here’s what was happening in the Red Sox system on Wednesday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-35): L, 6-4, vs. Syracuse (Washington)

— Down 4-2, the PawSox put together an impressive two-run rally in the eighth inning, but were unable to close the deal Wednesday night. The Chiefs added a pair of runs that proved to be the winning margin in the ninth off of reliever Roman Mendez.

— The PawSox performed well at the dish, with six of nine starters recording at least one hit, while going 3-for-9 as a team with runners in scoring position. Jantzen Witte and Ryan Court each had two-hit games. Court, who was playing his fourth game since being called up Monday, is 6-for-13 with a triple and two RBI, good for a .462 average.

— Down 3-0 Henry Ramos parked a solo home run in the fourth inning to put the PawSox on the board. Ramos ultimately went 1-for-4 on the night.

— The pitching was average at best for Pawtucket. Starter Aaron Wilkerson went three innings, allowing only one run on four hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. Wilkerson’s ERA is now 2.12. Wesley Wright came in and tossed 3 1/3 innings of relief, surrendering three runs on six hits while striking out five and walking three. Mendez, who was saddled with the loss, went 2 2/3 innings allowing one hit and two runs — neither of which being earned — with three walks and two strikeouts.

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