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Will Middlebrooks: Hamstring ‘wasn’t 100 percent … but I was good enough to go’

08.21.14 at 11:35 pm ET
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Will Middlebrooks

Will Middlebrooks

Will Middlebrooks, out since Monday due to an injured hamstring, wasn’t scripted to be a part of Thursday’s game — or at least, not as early as the fourth inning, when he came in as the Red Sox third baseman. Manager John Farrell had said that Middlebrooks would be available off the bench, but his early entry became necessary when outfielder Yoenis Cespedes had to leave the game after the third inning due to what was described as a family medical emergency.

Mike Napoli was unavailable to play first, and David Ortiz had a scheduled full day off. With Allen Craig already in the game as DH, the team couldn’t put him at first base (moving Kelly Johnson to third) without losing its DH.

Enter Middlebrooks, who went to third base, with Brock Holt shifting from third to right field and Daniel Nava heading from right to left. The third baseman said that his hamstring was feeling “a little tight. Wasn’€™t 100 percent coming into the game but I was good enough to go. It was fine, just a little tight.”

And Middlebrooks ended up helping the Red Sox to preserve a measure of dignity, as his two-out, seventh-inning double to left off Angels starter Matt Shoemaker proved Boston’s lone hit in a 2-0 loss.

“As a guy on the bench you start getting loose around the sixth inning for a possibly pinch hit, maybe the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth inning,” Middlebrooks said of his rushed entry. “In the third it was kind of out of nowhere. I had to get as loose as I could and get out there to try to help us win.” Read the rest of this entry »

John Farrell: Yoenis Cespedes left game due to ‘family medical emergency’

08.21.14 at 11:12 pm ET
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Yoenis Cespedes left Thursday’s game after the third inning due to what the team deemed a “personal matter.”

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

Red Sox manager John Farrell echoed similar sentiments after the game, saying the outfielder was removed from the game because of a “family medical emergency.”

“[It's] a personal matter that he’s dealing with and we’re hopeful he would be back in the lineup tomorrow, but that’s probably the most I can tell you right now,” Farrell said.

Farrell wouldn’t go into further details about Cespedes’ situation, opting to keep the situation private.

“I think at the appropriate time, if there are questions that Yoenis feels like he’s willing to answer — I think at this point we probably need to respect his privacy at this point,” he said.

Cespedes struck out in his lone plate appearance in the Sox’ 2-0 loss to the Angels Thursday. He gunned down Josh Hamilton at the plate in the first with a strike from left field off a single by Howie Kendrick.

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Closing Time: Matt Shoemaker shuts down Red Sox offense as Angels complete sweep

08.21.14 at 10:24 pm ET
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Matt Shoemaker

Matt Shoemaker

Rubby De La Rosa was strong for the Red Sox Thursday night. But he couldn’t match the masterful effort of Angels starter Matt Shoemaker.

Shoemaker outdueled the Red Sox righty with a one-hit shutout over 7 2/3 innings to lead the Angels to a 2-0 win to complete the four-game sweep of the Sox.

Shoemaker worked a no hitter into the seventh inning before Will Middlebrooks broke it up with a two-out double in the seventh. The Sox avoided being no-hit for the first time since April 22, 1993, when Chris Bosio achieved the feat for the Mariners. The last pitcher to come that close was Cubs pitcher Jake Arietta, who lost a no-hitter in the eighth June 30 at Fenway Park. Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman no-hit the Sox through six innings July 26.

It was another tough night offensively for the Red Sox, who managed just three baserunners for the game and were shut out for the 12th time this season. They were outscored 18-8 over the four-game series against the Angels.

Shoemaker dominated a shorthanded Red Sox offense that was without three of its best sluggers for most of the night – David Ortiz had an off day, Mike Napoli continues to be day-to-day with back spasms and Yoenis Cespedes left the game after the third inning for what the team called a “personal matter.” The undrafted pitcher out of Eastern Michigan University walked one and struck out nine. It was the lowest single-game hit total in a major league start for Shoemaker.

It was an especially disappointing outcome for De La Rosa, who bounced back nicely coming off an outing last Saturday in which he gave up six runs over four innings to the Astros. De La Rosa gave up two runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings Thursday night. He struck out a season-high eight batters for the third time this season and walked just three. He threw 111 pitches for the game, marking the third time he’s reached the 110-pitch mark in his last five starts.

The loss is the Red Sox’ fifth straight, dropping them to 56-71 for the season.


– Brock Holt was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the first inning, and the Red Sox didn’t have a hitter reach base over the next 20 plate appearances.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Matt Shoemaker’s wife calls Will Middlebrooks a ‘butthole’ for breaking up no-hitter

08.21.14 at 10:22 pm ET
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While most of Fenway Park was applauding Will Middlebrooks for breaking up Angels starter Matt Shoemaker‘s no-hitter with a two-out double in the seventh, Shoemaker’s wide, Danielle, wasn’t a pleased. She took to Twitter to express her feelings toward the Red Sox third baseman.

Her husband’s effort was impressive nonetheless. The right-hander pitched a one-hit shutout over 7 2/3 with nine strikeouts.

Yoenis Cespedes leaves game due to ‘personal matter’

08.21.14 at 8:20 pm ET
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Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes left Thursday’s game against the Angels after three innings. The Red Sox announced that he left the game on “a personal matter” and was not injured. Before exiting, Cespedes had uncoiled a rocket of a throw to nab a runner (attempting to score from second on a two-out single to left) at the plate and had struck out against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz finds little satisfaction in milestones; Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli day-to-day

08.21.14 at 6:59 pm ET
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It was another impressive night for David Ortiz on Wednesday in the midst of what has been yet another impressive season for the Red Sox‘ slugger.

Ortiz was 4-for-4 with three singles and hit his 30th home run of the season, was set for his fifth at-bat in the Sox’ 8-3 loss to the Angels Wednesday night.

Instead, up came Alex Hassan.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game Ortiz was dealing with some “general soreness” after spending most of his night on the base paths. On Thursday, Farrell said the decision to pinch-hit for Ortiz was meant to “get him off his feet.”

According to Farrell, Ortiz is out of the lineup for Thursday’s series finale against the Angels on a planned off day with the Sox in the midst of a stretch of 17 games in 17 days. He said Ortiz’s removal from Wednesday’s game and his status Thursday is unrelated.

“We’ve got a scheduled off day next Thursday prior to opening up a series in Tampa, so rather than running him a stretch of 17 consecutive, that’s where today comes in,” Farrell said. “But there are some periodic off days throughout September that we’ll have a chance to catch up on.”

Ortiz is 14-for-26 (.538) with five multi-hit games through the first seven games of the Sox’ 11-game homestand. Thursday’s homer marked his eighth 30-home run season, tying him with Ted Williams for the most in Red Sox history. Read the rest of this entry »

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John Farrell: Surgery not ruled out for Allen Craig’s foot

08.21.14 at 5:35 pm ET
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Allen Craig was supposed to be getting his at-bats in Pawtucket Thursday night.

Allen Craig

Allen Craig

However, injuries and other circumstances have opened up a need. So instead, he’ll be the designated hitter in his second-career game with the Red Sox.

Craig, who was acquired by the Red Sox from the Cardinals for John Lackey, injured his ankle Aug. 1 in his Red Sox debut, and hasn’t played since.

The outfielder was scheduled to rehab in Pawtucket at DH Monday and play right field Wednesday and Thursday, but with Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli battling injuries and David Ortiz on a scheduled off day, Red Sox manager John Farrell said it would be just as valuable to give Craig those at-bats with the major league club.

Craig played right field and went 1-for-3 with a two-run single for Pawtucket Wednesday night. Farrell said Craig played with “no hesitations” over his two games with the Triple-A club.

“Went first to second on a base hit and overthrow after a couple RBIs, wasn’t too challenged in right field with many opportunities, but came out of it physically fine with some change in direction to his running and some acceleration to what would be full speed,” Farrell said. “So he’s passed at least two days of the physical test.”

That, at least, is the case with the ankle injury that Craig suffered in his Red Sox debut on Aug. 1, when he tweaked his foot while crossing first base. Still, questions remain about another injury with his foot.

Craig suffered a Lisfranc injury last September that ended his 2013 regular season and kept him out for the early part of the Cardinals’ World Series run. St. Louis and Craig opted to let the injury heal naturally with rest rather than surgery.

“We do know this: the injury he had last year was something that was given rest and recovery rather than a repair, probably as much to do with their stretch and postseason run. I guess it’s debatable whether a repair was needed or recommended, but they chose a conservative path,” said Farrell. “I can’t say, ‘Is there still some involvement?’ That is above me. He turned the ankle and foot here on the base, so what he was feeling wasn’t a result of the actual previous injury. But does the previous injury still give some instability? That’s, again, debatable.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Allen Craig, Cardinals, John Farrell, lisfranc
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