|07.19.15 at 10:37 pm ET|
ANAHEIM — Sunday night’s game between the Red Sox and Angels was postponed due to rain, resulting in a doubleheader scheduled for Monday.
The third game of a four-game series between the teams was delayed from its 8 p.m. start time before being called just before 10:30 p.m. The Sox and Angels will play Monday at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST.
The Red Sox‘ scheduled starter for Sunday night’s game, Eduardo Rodriguez, will pitch the first game, with Steven Wright going in the nightcap.
Sunday’s rainout marks the first time the Angels have been rained out at home in over 20 years, with the last occurrence on June 16, 1995.
“I’m serious man. Wherever we go, we bring rain,” said David Ortiz. “Every series we go there’s some rain going on. So I’m not surprised about that.”
The doubleheader makes an already challenging schedule a bit more uncomfortable for the Red Sox, who are traveling to Houston Tuesday morning. The team is expected to go straight from the airport to Minute Maid Park, where the Sox are slated to arrive about 2:30 p.m.
“We have a stupid schedule were we have to travel on the day we fly that we play,” Ortiz said. “I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but we’ll see.”
|07.19.15 at 4:21 pm ET|
Here is the Red Sox batting order with Eduardo Rodriguez going for the visitors:
|07.19.15 at 12:45 pm ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-53): W, 5-1, at Durham (Rays)
— LHP Henry Owens (Boston’s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) struck out nine for the second start in a row, earning the victory (3-7, 3.26 ERA) with a final line of: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO (96 pitches, 59 strikes). Owens was removed after a leadoff double in the seventh inning, with Owens’ only allowed run coming in to score with reliever Matt Barnes on the mound (a wild pitch and ensuing sacrifice fly scored the run).
Owens, 22, walked two batters with two outs in the second but used a 77 mph offspeed pitch on a 3-2 offering to get out of the jam. In the fourth, Owens had his ranging velocities on display as he struck out the side, whiffing the first two on fastballs that registered 89 and 90 mph on the Durham Park radar gun, then ending the frame with a big, slow 73 mph curveball.
It was the eight start this season that Owens, a 6-foot-6 lefty, has allowed one earned run or less while going five or more innings. A first-round selection by Boston in the 2011 draft (36th overall), Owens has pitched six or more innings in seven straight outings, with a 2.73 ERA (46 IP/ 14 ER) over that span while striking out 43 and walking 12. Owens’ 94 strikeouts this year are the second most in the International League.
— Shortstop Marco Hernandez scored Pawtucket’s first run after a single in the third, keeping his hitting streak alive at 16 games as he’s hit in each of his first three games in Triple-A. Hernandez, 22, was leading the Double-A Eastern League with an average of .326 when he was promoted after the All-Star break. So far in Pawtucket he’s gone 6-for-13 (.462) with a homer, a double and five runs scored.
— Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and right fielder Rusney Castillo had multi-hit games for the PawSox, with Bradley going 3-for-5 and Castillo 2-for-4. Bradley’s single in the seventh scored two and gave Pawtucket a 4-0 lead; his .317 average is third best in the International League.
— RHP Ronald Belisario made his Pawtucket debut and pitched a perfect ninth, striking out a batter on a 94 mph fastball. The 32-year-old Belisario was designated for assignment by Tampa Bay earlier this month after pitching much of the season for Triple-A Durham. Belisario pitched in just six games in the majors this year and recently was placed on waivers after giving up seven earned runs in eight innings. The veteran has pitched in 341 major league games in his career with the Dodgers, White Sox and Rays, earning a lifetime 3.85 ERA over 339 innings dating back to 2009.
|07.19.15 at 10:03 am ET|
Two southpaws will toe the rubber Sunday night in Anaheim, as Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox look to get back on the winning track against AL All-Star Hector Santiago and the streaking Angels.
Rodriguez has had an up-and-down rookie season to date. He came on strong with a 0.44 ERA through three career starts, but in the three starts following, he sported more earned runs than innings pitched.
One of the issues that has troubled Rodriguez through his rough patch is pitch-tipping. From the stretch, Rodriguez would hold his head differently depending on whether he was throwing a fastball or an off-speed pitch. His veteran teammates and coaches alerted him to the problem and he has since taken measures to prevent it.
“Working on all those four days before today. I tried to work on not tipping pitches to the hitters,” Rodriguez said after his June 30 start against the Blue Jays, a six-inning, one-run performance. “Working in my bullpen, every time I threw the ball, I worked at that, so that’s what I did better today.”
Since correcting his pitch-tipping issue, Rodriguez has gone 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three outings. He’s improved his season record to 5-2 and has brought his ERA down from 4.33 to 3.59. During his last start before the All-Star break on July 11, Rodriguez held the Yankees to just two runs over 6 1/3 innings pitched en route to a 5-3 victory.
“One of the things that really stood out, a couple times he gives up solo home runs and he executes a first-pitch strike to the next hitter,” Farrell said. “He didn’t fear the strike zone. He attacked the strike zone with quality stuff. A lot of stuff and for the most part was in command of the count.”
|07.18.15 at 11:45 pm ET|
Perhaps the weather would offer a sign that things might be a bit different.
Prior to the game, the rarest of sights could be seen — the Angel Stadium tarp on the field. It was an image former Angel Mike Napoli had witnessed just one other time, with Red Sox manager John Farrell, who also played here, never remembering such an occasion.
And while the game did start on time, even whispers that this might be the first rainout at the park since 1995 offered some intrigue.
But then, unfortunately for the Red Sox, things reverted back to normal.
The Sox were shutout for a second straight game, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Angels thanks to the standout pitching performance of Garrett Richards. The Los Angeles starter held the Sox to just two hits, both coming from Pablo Sandoval.
Richards finished with a complete game shutout,
It marked the seventh time the Red Sox were shutout this season.
While the Red Sox were coming up empty against Richards, the Angels — and Kole Calhoun in particular — weren’t having such difficulties against Sox starter Rick Porcello.
While the Angels’ initial run came via Porcello’s eighth wild-pitch of the season, allowing the hosts to score without notching a hit, there was nothing subtle about LA’s next two runs. Those were plated thanks to a pair of solo homers from Calhoun, in the third and fifth innings, respectively.
Calhoun, who came into the game 3-for-6 against Porcello, reached base in all four of his plate appearances.
“It was just falling behind in the count,” said Porcello of the two Calhoun home runs. “Obviously with the guys coming up behind him I dont want to walk him. Was hoping to execute some sinkers down and away, get a rollover into the shift and he put a good swing on both pitches.”
One positive for the Red Sox was the relief work turned in by Justin Masterson, with the righty giving up just one hit over his three innings, striking out four.
“Tonight was very encouraging for him,” Farrell said of Masterson. “Better stuff, more consistent late action to his two-pitch mix. He’s thrown twice out of the bullpen now, and tonight was better stuff all the way around. More velocity, more late action.”
The Red Sox remain 7 1/2 games in back of the first-place Yankees, who lost to Seattle earlier in the day.
“We just had a tough three games, that’s all it is,” Porcello said. “We can turn it around tomorrow and go on a 10-game run. You never know you just have to keep playing.”
“We’ve been having those times where it doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t work out,” said Red Sox DH David Ortiz. “We finished the first half good, and hopefully we can blame things to the four days off. We’ll see how it goes but hitting is something it’s a continuation of what you do the day before, you know what I’m saying? That’s only way you can stay consistent. Seems like four days off pretty much affected pretty much everyone around here so hopefully tomorrow we bounce back and have a better game.”
|07.18.15 at 8:11 pm ET|
Manager John Farrell announced prior to this team’s game Saturday night against the Angels that Steven Wright would be getting the start in the series finale Monday night.
It will be the second time this season Wright has pitched against the Angels, having turned in a 6 1/3-inning outing May 23 at Fenway Park in which he surrendered two runs on four hits while getting the win.
In his four starts this season with the Red Sox, Wright has compiled a 3.91 ERA, totaling 23 innings, 12 strikeouts and three walks.
“Even at the time when he was optioned out he was throwing the ball well and the choice was to go with Joe Kelly at the time,” Farrell said. “But with our approach to keep Justin Masterson in the bullpen, Steven was the next guy to come to us and will.”
The knuckleballer last pitched July 12, allowing four runs over seven innings for Triple-A Pawtucket against Lehigh Valley. In eight starts for the PawSox this season, Wright’s ERA stands at 3.81.
– Farrell also offered an update on the progress of Joe Kelly, who allowed two runs over five innings Friday night. Kelly has a 2.84 ERA in four starts with Pawtucket, striking out 18 and walking six.
“First two innings were efficient, powerful,” the manager said. “The last three innings, the pitch count climbed, more deep counts. But all in all, he pitched into right-handers more effectively, which was part of the intention when we sent him out to build that into his game. But powerful stuff. but a lot of foul balls in deep counts the last three innings.”
The manager noted that if it was determined that Kelly should be transitioned to the bullpen, he wouldn’t need time at Pawtucket to adjust the role considering he served as a reliever for 30 games with St. Louis after spending his entire college career in the bullpen.
One reason the Red Sox may currently be hesitant to move Kelly out of his role is due to the team’s lack of starting depth with the promotion of Brian Johnson and Wright, along with Clay Buchholz‘ elbow injury.
– One reliever who did get the call back to the majors is Noe Ramirez, who pitched in one big league game — July 3 against Houston — before being shipped back out to Pawtucket.
In the outing against the Astros, Ramirez took the loss after allowing four runs on three hits while pitching the 10th inning.
Ramirez takes the place of Travis Shaw, who was sent back to Triple-A.
“I dont know if it’s swing and miss, it’s just a contrast of styles,” Farrell said of the right-hander. “The arm slot is unique to the other guys in the bullpen and there’s a fit, particularly when you get into more heavily right-handed laden lineups. We have that here this series, there’s a spot particularly in the middle of the order where Houston is and Detroit on top of that. There will be some right-handed hitting lineups that the additional right-hander we’re seeking to spread out the workload. He’s a candidate for that.”
– Comparing Mike Trout‘s skill-set is a tall task these days. But Farrell still gave it a try …
“He’s unique in a way,” the manager said. “You see a guy that’s that strong, that explosive. He didn’t play two sports, but when you think about Bo Jackson and that type of baseball player, he’s got a lot of similar skills.”
– For the first time since heading out to San Francisco in 2013, the Red Sox will fly the same day as their game, leaving for Houston Tuesday morning.
“The tradeoff is you get into the next city at six in the morning, and you start to weigh, is it best to sleep then? You’re not going to sleep much on a plane in a pressurized cabin,” Farrell said. “There’s a number of effects on the body.”
|07.18.15 at 5:15 pm ET|
Getting the start at first base will be Brock Holt, while Alejandro De Aza will man right field.
Here is the Red Sox lineup with Rick Porcello pitching for the visitors:
|07.18.15 at 12:37 pm ET|
In the second game of the season’s unofficial second half, the Red Sox will send Rick Porcello to take on Garrett Richards of the Angels.
The Red Sox hope that a few extra days of rest over the All-Star break will allow Porcello to right himself for the remaining 2 1/2 months of the season. The first half of Porcello’s first season in Boston was abysmal, as the right-hander struggled to a 5-9 record and a 5.90 ERA.
After trading for Porcello in the offseason and subsequently signing him to a four-year, $82.5 million contract, the Red Sox have seen that their investment has not yielded worthwhile returns to date. Among qualified starters, Porcello’s ERA is the highest in the American League and third highest in all of baseball.
Despite owning some ugly stats thus far, Porcello was able to record a win in his final start before the break on July 8. Prior to that contest, his last victory came on May 16, a span of almost two full months. Porcello, 26, snapped a streak of eight straight winless starts, during which he lost seven consecutive decisions.
The win came against the Marlins, a game in which Porcello hurled six innings and allowed two runs while striking out four. He did allow eight hits, but none went for extra bases and Porcello was able to work his way around baserunners while limiting the damage. The Sox won by a 6-3 margin and swept the two-game set against Miami.
For Porcello, the game was the first opportunity to work with Ryan Hanigan since the catcher returned from a broken hand. Porcello had pitched better with Hanigan behind the dish prior to the injury, and the pattern continued against the Marlins. In four starts with Hanigan, Porcello has a 3.60 ERA as compared with a 6.70 ERA in 13 starts with either Sandy Leon or Blake Swihart catching.
“With Porcello, we had a good thing going before I got hurt so I think that is a little bit of a bond we built,” Hanigan added. “Nothing against the way these other guys are doing their job, they are doing a good job. I feel in a groove with him. I like catching him. I was really happy for him tonight. Quality start and we’ll build from it,” Hanigan said afterward.
|07.18.15 at 12:17 pm ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (40-53): W, 13-4, at Durham (Rays)
— Joe Kelly picked up his first win in a Pawtucket uniform with a five-inning effort Friday, giving up two earned runs on four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. The righty is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA after four starts for the PawSox.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a pair of home runs, a two-run shot in the first inning and a solo home run in the sixth, and finished the day 3-for-5 with a walk. Bradley is hitting .311 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs in 61 games for Pawtucket this season.
— Marco Hernandez, playing in just his second game with Pawtucket since his promotion from Portland, picked up where he left off in Double-A, going 4-for-5 with a three-run home run in the third inning. The 22-year-old shortstop also doubled and scored three runs. Hernandez, who has five hits in nine at-bats in his first two games in a PawSox uniform, was hitting .326 with five home runs and 31 RBIs through 68 games with Portland.
|07.18.15 at 12:36 am ET|
“I was trying to go a little bit more outside than that pitch,” said Uehara, who threw back-to-back fastballs to Trout. The Angels’ star slugger came into the game 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Uehara.
“I was trying to go way outside,” said Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan. “If you saw where I set up, it was three or four inches off. It just kind of came back.”
It was the first home run allowed by Uehara since May 19, with the closer not having allowed a run in his previous 10 outings.
Prior to Trout, it was Wade Miley who was the game’s headliner.
The Sox starter carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, having thrown 84 pitches. To that point he had only allowed one baserunner, walking Chris Iannetta with one out in the sixth.
But Miley’s big moment was ruined when Kole Calhoun jumped on a 90 mph, first-pitch fastball to lead off the seventh, finding the center field wall for a double and the hosts’ first hit.
“Trying to go down and just left it up a little bit,” Miley said.
To Miley’s credit, he kept his composure and got out of a tricky situation later in the frame. Calhoun had reached third after a Mike Trout sacrifice fly, but a pop up to shallow right field by Albert Pujols would be followed with Erick Aybar’s inning-ending ground out to shortstop. (The inning-ending play was made possible by Xander Bogaerts’ fine execution of the grounder in the third base-shortstop hole.)
“That’s a play he doesn’t make a year ago,” said Farrell of Bogaerts’ back-handed stab. “To preserve a scoreless tie to end the seventh inning, he ranges far to his right to get a speedy runner by a good step, that’s an outstanding major-league play.”
Miley would finish his outing having gone seven innings and one batter, being replaced by reliever Junichi Tazawa after the starter issued a leadoff walk in the eighth inning to David Freese. He ended up throwing 101 pitches, striking out six.
The outing marked just the second start in Miley’s career he allowed only one hit, having held the Marlins to the same offensive output April 29, 2012. Against the Angels this season, the lefty has allowed just one run on five hits over 15 innings.
“We had a plan, it was a little unconventional but the lineup’s tough so we’ve got to create some things, read their swings and see what they’re trying to do,” Hanigan said. “We were able to be one step ahead. And he executed, obviously.
“We threw five, six changeups in a row at one point. Three or four heaters in in a row. I was going off what I thought they were looking for, what they were trying to do. It was fun.”
While Miley was dominating, the Red Sox were finding moderate success against Angels starter C.J. Wilson, managing at least one baserunner in each of the lefty’s eight innings. But the Sox never could mount any serious threats against Wilson, who didn’t allow any runner to reach third.
“Wade was outstanding,” Farrell said. “That was a well-played game, and unfortunately we come up on the wrong side of a 1-0 score. He was aggressive. He threw a lot of strikes. There were some at-bats he got behind in the count but found a way to get back to salvage an at-bat. He makes a big pitch a couple of times on 3-2 counts. He was very good. But like I said, a well-played game and unfortunately we come up on the short end.”
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