|05.23.15 at 10:05 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:
— First baseman Travis Shaw paced the PawSox offense, going 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored. Shaw has hit safely in 10 of his last 13 games since his major league call-up on May 8. The 25-year-old has recorded multiple hits in his last three games, bringing his average up to .218. Luke Montz, who was the designated hitter Friday, went 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and three RBIs.
— Right-hander Keith Couch pitched a season-high seven innings en route to his second win of 2015, allowing just two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Couch has struggled this season, posting four straight losses after opening the year with a win. He is now 2-5 with a 4.53 ERA in eight starts and one relief appearance.
— John Cornely earned the save in his first appearance with Pawtucket after he was acquired Wednesday from the Atlanta Braves for cash considerations. The righty pitched a perfect two-thirds of an inning, getting one out on a grounder back to the mound before striking out the final batter.
|05.23.15 at 12:06 am ET|
There were no chairs thrown, no yelling or screaming, but the message was clear, the Red Sox not happy with the way things are going.
They are now 8-12 at home, and even with the five runs scored, they are only averaging 2.45 runs per game in May with 13 of the 20 games scoring two runs or fewer.
“Everybody’s pissed. Obviously not playing well,” Dustin Pedroia said.
Overall the Red Sox are 19-23 on the year, 7-13 in the month of May and 10-18 over their last 28 games. They’ve have had a few team meetings over the past few weeks with Pedroia speaking at least one of them. The second baseman seemed like it was past the point of holding another meeting.
“Less talk more play,” he said.
“We’ve all been around long enough to know that doesn’t work,” he added. “You have to show up day in and day out and have the right process. If everybody plays together then we’re winning. Right now all aspects of our game aren’t together and when they aren’t together you’re not going to win.”
On a night where the Red Sox scored more runs than they had in their previous nine games, they didn’t get the performance from the mound they had been accustomed to from Rick Porcello, who allowed seven runs in just 4 1/3 innings after the team had won his last five starts. Red Sox starters had a string of eight straight games going at least five innings and allowing two earned runs or less.
“There’s definite frustration,” manager John Farrell said. “That’s shared by all in our clubhouse and who work day in and day out. We all know and we expect more from ourselves — that is a given, that’s repeatedly discussed and talked about and in the moment we have to go out and execute more consistently and do a better job all the way around.”
|05.22.15 at 10:46 pm ET|
How about some consistency?
After the Red Sox scored one run or less in four of their last six games and came in averaging 2.34 runs per game in the month of May, they finally had a good offensive night, scoring five runs, but it wasn’t enough as they couldn’t continue their string of strong games from the mound, as the Angels took the first game of the weekend series, 12-5.
Red Sox starter Rick Porcello just didn’t have it. He couldn’t control any of his pitches and the Angels made him pay, especially in the fifth — a half inning that lasted over 37 minutes, and saw three pitchers combine for 46 pitches and nine runs.
Porcello walked the first two batters, and then Mike Trout singled to short left on a ball that barely got by Brock Holt at third, but a second run scored when Xander Bogaerts tried to get Johnny Giavotella at third base and the throw went against the Angels dugout. Albert Pujols then grounded out, but Trout would steal third on a tremendous slide, eluding Holt’s tag (he was ruled safe after a video review). Kole Calhoun then singled to score Trout and David Freese doubled scoring the fourth run of the inning, which was Porcello’s departure.
Matt Barnes came in relief and was even worse. He walked the first batter he faced and then allowed a three-run homer to Chris Iannetta. Marc Krauss then hit a routine fly ball to right field that Rusney Castillo, in his first major league game of the season, dropped. Two batters later Erick Aybar hit a two-run homer sending Barnes to the showers.
Robbie Ross Jr. then came on and after a harmless Trout single retired the next two batters to mercifully end the inning. It was their worst inning of the season as their previous high in an inning was seven — when Clay Buchholz allowed seven in the first against the Yankees on April 12.
Adding insult to injury (literally), Hanley Ramirez left the game in the sixth, two innings after taking a pitch off the hand. The Red Sox announced he left because of left hand soreness. Every Red Sox starter recorded a hit, besides Ramirez.
For Porcello it was his shortest outing of the season, as his fine line was 4 1/3 innings, seven runs on seven hits, while walking three and striking out four.
Trailing 11-3 going into the seventh, the Red Sox showed some fight scoring two runs, forcing Angels starter Garrett Richards from the game, and could have scored even more if it weren’t for Daniel Nava hitting into a double play with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Red Sox have now lost four of their last five games and fall to 8-12 at home this year.
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Trout. The centerfielder put on a show, as besides going 3-for-6 at the plate, he made a tremendous throw from deep left center field to throw out Napoli trying to score from first in the fourth and had a great slide to avoid a tag at third on a stolen base attempt in the fifth. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.
Here’s what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
|05.22.15 at 9:23 pm ET|
The Red Sox may have another injury to deal with.
“We’ll check him when he comes in tomorrow,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “After the hit by pitch, had a difficult time gripping the bat and had to get him out of there.”
Farrell said the initial scan was negative.
Ramirez is currently hitting .259 with 10 homers this season.
The left fielder missed three games two weeks ago with a shoulder injury after running into the left field wall at Fenway.
|05.22.15 at 6:04 pm ET|
The Red Sox are looking for a spark offensively as they come into their weekend series with the Angels averaging only 2.32 runs per game in 19 games during the month of May.
Looking to create one, the team has called up outfielder Rusney Castillo, who will play right field and bat eighth. They also moved Xander Bogaerts out of the No. 8 spot in the order up to No. 5.
Pablo Sandoval remains out because of his knee after being hit by a pitch Tuesday and Brock Holt will once again play third base, as the Red Sox go against Angels right-hander Garrett Richards.
Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.
Here’s the complete Red Sox lineup:
|05.22.15 at 5:50 pm ET|
After being a late scratch with “general soreness” mostly in the left calf Thursday, Victorino remains out of the lineup Friday. He went 2-for-2 as a pinch-hitter Tuesday.
“He’s day-to-day, that’s the best I can tell you right now,” manager John Farrell said.
“We don’t anticipate this being a long-term situation,” Farrell added. “Hopefully he’s back to us soon because he was swinging the bat well.”
Also on Friday the Red Sox added outfielder Rusney Castillo and sent down Jackie Bradley. Even prior to the injury this week, Farrell said he sat down with Victorino to explain he would now be at least partially sharing right field with Castillo as well as Daniel Nava and Brock Holt.
“There’s a scenario that I have already sat and met with [Victorino] prior to the calf injury with Rusney’s arrival there was going to be a rotation with Rusney between both right field and center field,” said Farrell. “That wasn’t going to put [Victorino] on the bench by any means. When [Victorino] is fully capable that will take place, that rotation.”
Sandoval (knee) was expected back at third base Friday, but after pregame work taking ground balls, running, etc. it was determined he would miss his third straight game after being hit by a pitch in the knee Tuesday night.
“He doesn’t feel like he’s ready to go,” said Farrell. “There’s limitation to the range, there’s limitation to him being able to plant that left leg to execute a strong throw. Baserunning was going to be limited. All that added up to him needing more time.”
Brock Holt will take the place of Sandoval once again at third.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|05.22.15 at 5:23 pm ET|
On Friday the Red Sox recalled outfielder Rusney Castillo from Triple-A Pawtucket, and optioned back Jackie Bradley.
Castillo started the season with Triple-A Pawtucket, and suffered a shoulder injury the first weekend of the season. He got back with Pawtucket April 29 and started 0-for-11, but over his last 10 games there he was hitting .302 with two homers and seven RBIs, with hits in his last four games, including two, three-hit games.
After a few days of paternity leave earlier in the week, the outfielder returned to play for Pawtucket Thursday night before being promoted Friday.
“I think when we came out of spring training, we really felt like everything that he had done to that point, including last year, but also, spring training, had just confirmed for us the reasons why we signed him in the first place and that was because we felt and still feel that he is going to be a very good major league player and help us,” general manager Ben Cherington said to WEEI.com prior to Friday’s game.
“At the end of spring training we made a decision to give some other guys some opportunity first and then there was sort of a side benefit that it was going to allow him to go and play every day professionally — it was the one thing he hadn’t done yet because of his circumstance last year. And then he got hurt and missed two weeks, whatever it was, so that was a little bit of a speed bump. We had to get him back and get him back playing. Then he had a baby, so he missed a couple of days this week.
“We’ve always felt he’s a major league player and capable of helping us. We wanted to get him on some kind of roll, comfortable, get his timing and all that stuff. Hopefully that has mostly happened in Pawtucket and no he’s here. We’re trying to create the deepest lineup we can with the guys we have on a given night and we felt like he could be part of that. Now it’s up to John [Farrell] and how he is going to write the lineups out with these guys. I am sure he will get a chance to play, as I am sure other guys will play. He brings a lot — he can play defense, he can run, he has power. Hopefully he’s another piece to hopefully extending our lineup a little bit and building a deep lineup and make things a little tougher on the pitcher.”
|05.22.15 at 4:54 pm ET|
Rusney Castillo wants Red Sox fans to understand one thing: he’s no savior.
The Cuban outfielder who signed a $72.5 million contract last summer was summoned to make his 2015 debut for the Red Sox on Friday night. He’ll start in right field and bat eighth as the Sox open a three-game series against the Angels.
With the offense floundering and the team’s right field production the worst in baseball (.496 OPS), Castillo will be given a chance to give the team a spark.
“It’s obviously something you’ve heard about, but it’s not really something I’ve keyed in on or thought about too much,” Castillo said through translator Adrian Lorenzo before the game. “I’ve tried to stay in my lane and continue with my preparation. Obviously, you see the offense has been struggling a little bit, but in terms of being a savior, that’s definitely not what I’m thinking about.”
Castillo hit .293 with a pair of homers in 18 games at Triple-A Pawtucket. He also stole six bases and compiled a .781 OPS. To make room for him on the roster, the Red Sox demoted outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
“Obviously, I’m very excited, but right now it’s just important to keep in mind the job at hand and try to keep the same momentum I had at Triple A,” Castillo said. “Hopefully just to add the same kind of energy I was bringing in Triple A.”
This has been a good week for Castillo, who celebrated the birth of a daughter before getting called to Fenway.
“Obviously it’s been very hectic, but very exciting,” Castillo said. “I’m very blessed that my wife gave birth to my daughter the last couple of days. I feel blessed that it’s all coming together at the same time, me coming up here, and thankfully everything went all right with her. It’s been hectic, but in a very positive way.”
Castillo, who battled an oblique injury in spring training and an ankle sprain at Triple-A, declared himself 100 percent healthy.
“To me, I’m 100 percent, mentally and physically,” he said. “I thought I did a good job in Triple A of trying to get to that place. I feel good about where I’m at.”
|05.22.15 at 2:05 pm ET|
After hosting the Rangers at Fenway, the Red Sox wrap up a six-game homestand with a series against the Angels this weekend. The Sox have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games and lost the series to the Rangers. While the Red Sox starters have started to improve recently, the offense has continued to sputter.
In their past nine games, the Red Sox have scored more than two runs only once. The Sox sit at 19-22, in fourth place in the AL East. They are 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Rays.
Meanwhile, the Angels are second in the AL West, sitting 5 1/2 games behind the surprise Astros. Los Angeles has a 21-20 record after winning seven of its last 10 games.
The Angels lost Thursday night by an 8-4 score to the Blue Jays but won the series by way of victories in the first two games.
While the Red Sox offense certainly hasn’t been good as of late, it has produced more runs than the Angels. The Angels have scored just 151 runs, ranking 14th in the American League and 27th in the majors. The team batting average of .233 is the third worst in baseball.
The team’s pitching has allowed the Angels to get above .500 despite such an anemic offense. The pitching staff has a 3.57 ERA overall, good for fourth in the American League. With a .232 batting average against, the Angels rank third in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have a .259 batting average against, ranking 21st in baseball. On the season, the Angels have allowed one more run than they have scored, as they have played lots of close games.
“It’s better to win them than lose them, but we’re playing an incredible amount of one- and two-run games and holding our own,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of his team’s performance in close games. “It points to the job our starting pitchers have done keeping us in games while pitching with their backs against the wall, and what Joe Smith and Huston Street have done.”
|05.22.15 at 8:48 am ET|
After a three-game series with the Rangers, the Red Sox begin another three-game set Friday at Fenway against the Angels. Boston will send Rick Porcello to the mound in the opener, opposing Garrett Richards.
Porcello enters the game with a 4-2 record, having won his last three decisions. Porcello’s 4.26 ERA is the lowest among qualified Red Sox starters, which helps to demonstrate the general mediocrity of the Sox staff thus far.
However, like the Red Sox pitching staff as a whole, Porcello has shown promise as of late. His most recent outing came Saturday against the Mariners and their ace, Felix Hernandez. Porcello went 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out six. Porcello outdueled King Felix, and the Red Sox got the win by a margin of 4-2.
“I feel good,” Porcello said following the win. “I feel like I have a good fastball. It changes throughout the course of the season, from year to year. Some years you’ve got more behind it, and this year I feel that way, so we’re using the fastball more.”
The 27-year-old righty has allowed no more than three runs in his past four starts. That span has seen him concede just six runs in 25 2/3 innings combined, earning a 2.10 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. The Red Sox have won each of Porcello’s last five starts.
Porcello has not fared particularly well in the past against the Angels. In 11 career starts against them, he is 4-4 with a 6.52 ERA.