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David Ortiz shares the stage with Tom Brady and world championship hardware

04.14.15 at 6:19 pm ET
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Tom Brady and David Ortiz show off their world championship trophies after Monday’s opening day ceremonies at Fenway Park.

Brady, Ortiz & a couple of world championships.

A photo posted by New England Patriots (@patriots) on

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Shane Victorino on sporadic playing time: ‘I get it’

04.14.15 at 4:21 pm ET
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For the fourth time this young season, Daniel Nava got the start over Shane Victorino in right field, hitting seventh against Washington and its righty starter Stephen Strasburg.

Victorino has now started half of the Red Sox eight games, totaling 23 plate appearances. (He did enter the lineup halfway through the Sox’ 19-inning game in New York, resulting in four at-bats.)

The 34-year-old said the approach toward playing time isn’t what he anticipated, but it’s a dynamic he has come to understand.

“We talked about it,” said Victorino regarding conversations with manager John Farrell. “Obviously we discussed what was going on because the first couple of times I did get that call or text that, ‘€˜You’€™re down tonight,’€™ what’€™s my reply? But it was explained to me what was going on. And even from a medical standpoint they’€™ve spoken to me about it. I get it. Every athlete or every human being who wants to play every day is saying, ‘€˜No, no, no. Let me go.’€™ But I’€™m getting to the point in my career where I kind of understand. Of course people are going to think if this is going to be a platoon, or is this going to be a situation. If that is what people want to think … I’€™m not looking at this way.”

The Red Sox had wanted to remain conservative in regards to Victorino’s playing time early on in the season, even with the outfielder showing no ill effects from last season’s back surgery.

Helping that approach has obviously been the production of Nava, who is 4-for-9 against right-handed pitching entering Tuesday.

“They say I’€™m the type of player you have to put the reigns back on, so if they don’€™t do it I’€™m just going to keep going. That’€™s their biggest fear is breaking down,” Victorino said. “Getting my body and back into physical shape slowly but surely, and then riding into the sunset.

“I didn’€™t know what the plan is. Obviously now I have an idea. Going into it it wasn’€™t discussed that this was going to be our plan, this is what we’€™re going to do. That just shows the depth on our team that they’€™re able to say, ‘€˜We’€™re going to play you but we don’€™t want to break you down, have you break down June or July.’€™”

With his health staying steady, Victorino’s biggest concern at this stage is finding the at-bats needed to rediscover his way as a full-time right-handed hitter.

He heads into Tuesday with just two hits and three walks, with both singles off righty pitchers during the third game in Philadelphia.

“It’€™s hard to get in a rhythm, but I’€™m not going to use that as an excuse as a reason why I’€™m not swinging the bat or feeling good at the plate,” Victorino said. “It will happen for me. It’€™s just 20 at-bats, that’€™s all.”

In terms of pitchers approaching him differently now that he’s not a switch-hitter, the outfielder said, “I noticed it last year, so now it’€™s just an adjustment I have to make. My timing’€™s not there. I’€™m still trying to work on that process. I’€™m still trying to work on being comfortable at the plate. I’€™ve been away from the game for a year, so it’€™s just a matter of working on things and feeling comfortable and then seeing it all fall into place. That’€™s important for me. That’€™s the biggest thing is the health. The rest of it I feel is going to come.”

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Red Sox injury updates: Brandon Workman seeing Dr. James Andrews, Xander Bogaerts getting MRI

04.14.15 at 4:02 pm ET
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Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman

The Red Sox already had a major injury with Christian Vazquez a few weeks ago, now they are hoping to avoid another.

Reliever Brandon Workman, who was on the DL with Triple-A Pawtucket, had his option reversed Monday and was placed on the major league 15-day DL (retro to April 3) with a right elbow strain. Tuesday, manager John Farrell revealed he’s getting a second opinion with Dr. James Andrews.

“It goes back to the location where the injury took place,” Farrell said of why his option was reversed. “The soreness emerged after his final outing in spring training with us. He attempted to throw a bullpen after he was optioned and there was some discomfort there. He was recalled and put on the major league DL and he’s actually getting a second opinion with Dr. Andrews right now.”

Farrell acknowledged there is some concern.

“Any time someone goes and gets a second opinion with Dr. Andrews there is some concern,” he said. “To what extent there’s damage or injury remains to be seen and what the follow up treatment will result [also remains to be seen].”

There are major implications for Workman being on the major league DL versus the minor league DL, if he were to miss the season. By being on the major league roster his salary would be $539,000. If he was in the minors it would be $213,000. Also more importantly, by being on the major league DL he gets a full year of service time.

The Red Sox wanted to have him on the major league DL, and needed approval from MLB to do so, which was why he was originally on the minor league DL and stayed there until Monday.

The other concern is with Xander Bogaerts.

The shortstop slipped rounding third base in Monday’s win and hurt his right knee, but stayed in the game. He came in Tuesday with increased symptoms according to Farrell, and it was then decided he would go for an MRI.

“Bogey had a little right knee soreness coming out of yesterday’s ballgame,” Farrell said. “He’s actually getting a full workout as we speak.”

“We’re just hopeful that Bogey gets through this with any major issues,” he added.

Bogaerts is currently 13-for-30 on the year (.433).

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Red Sox lineup: Daniel Nava gets start in right field, Brock Holt at shortstop

04.14.15 at 2:32 pm ET
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Daniel Nava

Daniel Nava

With Washington putting right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the mound for its second game against the Red Sox, Red Sox manager John Farrell starts lefty hitting Daniel Nava in right field. It marks the third start of the season for Nava.

Last season Strasburg finished with slightly reverse splits, with lefties hitting .234 and right-handed hitters coming in at .254.

Here is the Red Sox’ lineup against the Nationals with Justin Masterson on the mound for the hosts:

Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez LF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Mike Napoli 1B
Daniel Nava RF
Ryan Hanigan C
Brock Holt SS

Rusney Castillo to go on minor league disabled list, will need ‘little bit of time’

04.14.15 at 10:48 am ET
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Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo is going on the disabled list, manager John Farrell confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

After diving for a ball and leaving Saturday’s game while playing for Triple-A Pawtucket, Castillo returned to Boston on Monday to be examined further. The exam determined he needs “rest and rehab.”

“With Rusney, he made a diving play a couple a nights ago with Pawtucket and jarred the right shoulder,” Farrell said. “He has some inflammation in the right shoulder. The MRI has revealed no structural issues. It’s going to be a little bit of time with rest and rehab. What length of time remains to be seen. That is not to suggest this is long-term thing — he’s going to need a little time to get back to 100 percent.”

Castillo didn’t make the 25-man Opening Day roster as the Red Sox currently have Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts, Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava and Allen Craig in their outfield. Castillo was 5-for-12 in the three games he’s played so far this season with Pawtucket.

A team source earlier in the day said the prognosis is good. It is not expected to be a lingering problem.

Alex Speier of the Boston Globe was first to report the news of Castillo expected to go on the DL.

This isn’t the first injury Castillo has dealt with in his short time in Boston. He has sustained injuries to his thumb, oblique, and now shoulder.

“He’€™s an aggressive player,” Farrell said. “We see the movements. It’€™s an explosive type of player. I can’€™t speak to his body type and does that pre-dispose him to a greater injury of risk or risk of injury? He went and dove for a ball and unfortunately he’€™s got to take some time down right now.”

Ryan Hannable contributed to this report.

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Nationals matchups: Justin Masterson vs. Stephen Strasburg

04.14.15 at 8:41 am ET
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Justin Masterson will make his second start of the season on Tuesday against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals at Fenway Park.

In his first outing, Masterson beat the Phillies and gave Boston its third quality start in a row to start 2015. The 30-year-old threw 95 pitches in six innings and only gave up three hits and two walks while striking out seven. He allowed two runs on a wild pitch and an RBI single by Chase Utley in the third inning, but the Red Sox offense already had scored six runs by that point (Masterson himself contributed two hits and an RBI in the game). He was able to get out of the third without allowing further damage.

“€œI don’€™t even know what the strikeout totals were, but just being able to see that slider, being able to mix that slider in for strikes, is a really good equalizer for me,” Masterson said after the game. “That really helped out, being able to mix in some sinkers, change that speed a little on those guys and have a little bit of command, it’€™s just good. It was tough for them.”

Masterson’s outing in Philadelphia extended a stretch of solid pitching that started during spring training, when he went 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Masterson has made two career appearances and one career start against Washington. The start, which came in 2013, was a seven-inning, one-run gem for Masterson, who struck out 10 Nationals.

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Sandy Leon: ‘It was amazing’ playing at Fenway Park against former team

04.13.15 at 10:52 pm ET
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Sandy Leon

Sandy Leon

Monday was Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon’s first start on Opening Day, overall or at home. It was made even more special as Leon got to go up against the team that traded him away just a few weeks ago.

Following Christian Vazquez’s elbow injury, the Red Sox needed a catcher and were able to work out a deal with the Nationals for Leon. Leon made the Red Sox‘ Opening Day roster, and then after seeing Fenway Park for the first time ever Monday morning started against his former team later in the afternoon.

Leon played a big part in the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Nationals by going 3-for-4. It was his first three-hit game of his career.

“It was amazing,” said Leon. “I feel amazing. At Fenway Park, [the Red Sox] gave me the opportunity to play today and I am going to do whatever I can to [help the team win].”

The 26-year-old catcher also called a great game behind the plate for Rick Porcello, as he went eight innings allowing three earned runs to pick up the win. Porcello gave a lot of credit to Leon.

“€œHe was tremendous,” said Porcello. “I’€™ve never thrown to him before except for today. For him to call the game that he did and do the job that he did back there says a lot about how he was prepared. He was easy to work with, he was really good.”

His performance behind the plate also got his manager’s attention.

“What’s most impressive is how quiet he receives balls in the dirt, and there were several over the course of the game that he had to block,” manager John Farrell said.

In three years with Washington, Leon played in 34 games and hit just .189.

Coming over to the Red Sox, Leon will now have a much bigger role, sharing the catching duties with Ryan Hanigan.

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Hanley Ramirez not expected to miss time after fouling ball off foot

04.13.15 at 9:47 pm ET
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It was a near perfect afternoon at Fenway Park in Monday’s home opener for the Red Sox, although there was one instance where Red Sox fans had to hold their breath.

In the eighth inning left fielder Hanley Ramirez fouled a ball off his right foot. After they saw him hobbling around manager John Farrell and the trainer went out to check on him. He stayed in the game and eventually worked a walk, but was in noticeable discomfort getting down to first base. He was removed for a pinch-runner, Daniel Nava.

Even though he left the game everything is expected to be fine.

“I’ll be back in there tomorrow,” Ramirez said. “Just fouled it on top of my toe. But we took an X-ray and everything is good.”

Ramirez went 0-for-2 with two walks and was hit by a pitch in the Red Sox’ 9-4 win.

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

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Rick Porcello on first Fenway Park start as member of Red Sox: ‘Something I’ll never forget’

04.13.15 at 8:13 pm ET
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Rick Porcello went eight strong innings in his first start at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox Monday. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Rick Porcello went eight strong innings in his first start at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox Monday. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Pitching in the Red Sox‘ home opener at Fenway Park is hard enough, but having that start be in your first home start as a member of the Red Sox makes it even harder.

That was the task Rick Porcello faced Monday afternoon, but he didn’t bat an eye as he helped lead the Red Sox to a 9-4 win over the Nationals.

“I obviously wanted to go out there and put up a good start,” Porcello said. “The guys swung the bats great and really I didn’€™t have to do a whole lot but throw strikes and keep the ball down. Definitely had some butterflies early on, I was pretty excited, but it was a lot fun.”

Given a 3-0 lead after two innings and a 8-0 lead after three innings, the pressure was off Porcello, but he didn’t even need all that support as he went eight strong innings allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits while walking one and striking out six.

He did allow two home runs, a solo shot to Ryan Zimmerman in the fifth and Danny Espinosa in the eighth.

Even with the strong start he still feels like he can get better.

“€œI feel good. I think I’€™ve got some room for improvement in consistency,” he said. “Hit a little hiccup in the fifth but I feel good.”

Porcello was born in Morristown, New Jersey and has a family vacation home in Southern Vermont, so he knows the history of Fenway Park very well. Pitching at Fenway Park in a Red Sox uniform for the first time was something he will never forget.

“It was special for me. Something I’€™ll never forget,” Porcello said. “It was a lot of fun. I can’t really put it into words right now, but it was exciting.”€

Porcello took even more satisfaction in the start after the Red Sox’ 10-run defeat less than 15 hours prior to Monday’s game Sunday night in New York against the Yankees. He made sure the team didn’t lose back-to-back games for the first time this season.

“I think it’€™s good,” Porcello said. “We had a rough night last night but we got in and then we came in this morning, everybody had energy somehow and we were ready to go.”

The right-hander seems to enjoy pitching at Fenway as he is now 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last two starts, going eight innings in both of them as well.

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David Ortiz: Mookie Betts’ 2 stolen bases was ‘the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in baseball’

04.13.15 at 7:43 pm ET
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Mookie Betts stole two bases on one play in the first inning in Monday's win. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Mookie Betts stole two bases on one play in the first inning in Monday’s win. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

David Ortiz has been around the game of baseball a long time, so when he says something was the craziest thing he’s ever seen, it must be pretty good.

What Mookie Betts did in the first inning against the Nationals in Monday’s home opener was that good.

After robbing Bryce Harper of a home run in the top of the first inning, Betts led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk. After Dustin Pedroia flied out to center and Ortiz was batting — and the Nationals were in a shift — Betts took off for second and barely beat shortstop Ian Desmond’s tag.

Then, because of the shift, no one was in the area of third base so he took off and beat pitcher Jordan Zimermann to the bag, albeit a close play once again.

The Nationals challenged the play, but after a lengthy review both plays stood.

“That was fun. That was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in baseball,” Ortiz said. “We were talking about it and I was explaining to him what he did because I don’t think he knows. I mean, I know because when I was telling him what he did he was like, ‘Really?’ I was like, ‘Bro, not even in a few practices you can do that.’ I asked him what he was thinking and he was like, ‘I know they play with a shift so I kind of got up right away and I knew they weren’t catching to catch me.’

“He said he saw where the pitcher was and that was the reason why he started moving to  third. I told him, ‘Like a second after the shortstop stopped tagging you that you got up and went, like the shortstop was breathing on you.’ It was unbelievable. That kid is an unbelievable athlete and he’s going to be a star.”

Ortiz himself had a pretty impressive home opener going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a solo home run in the sixth inning. It was his second home run of the season.

This was Ortiz’s 13th Opening Day at Fenway Park, so he is no stranger to the Fenway crowd. But for some, like Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, it was their first taste to the loud roars and electric atmosphere.

Ortiz said he talked to them about it afterwards.

“It’s a fun Opening Day, man,” Ortiz said. “I kind of talked to some of the new guys about it and how they feel about Opening Day. They were like, ‘It’s out of control.’ I was like, ‘Well, that is how it is every day so get used to it.'”

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