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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: David Price vs. A.J. Griffin

07.05.16 at 8:34 am ET
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Struggling Red Sox ace David Price will take the hill Tuesday in the second game of a three-game series with the Rangers. Price will square off against 28-year-old right-hander A.J. Griffin.

Price may have a winning record at 8-5, but his ERA is at an unsatisfactory 4.74, and his WHIP is an unimpressive 1.24. The 2012 Cy Young winner ranks second in the American League in strikeouts (120) and fifth in innings pitched (108 1/3), yet the southpaw is 1-4 in his last seven starts. In his last outing, the 30-year-old Vanderbilt product allowed four runs on nine hits in six innings in a 4-0 loss to the Rays last Wednesday. Price did strike out 10 and walked only one vs. his former team.

“Bad, again,” Price said. “I’m just putting us behind the 8-ball early on in games. I’m not setting the tone the way that I need to. It’s tough. …  I’ve got to pitch better. That’s the way it is right now. It’s nothing else. It’s not bad luck. It’s me.”

Price has recorded 12 starts against the Rangers, totaling a 3-4 record with a 5.78 ERA, his second-highest ERA vs. any team. On June 24, Price had his worst outing of the season at Texas, lasting only 2 1/3 innings and allowing six runs on 12 hits in an 8-7 Red Sox win.

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Read More: A.J. Griffin, David Price,

Rick Porcello ‘proud’ to make it through 6 innings after 4-run first

07.04.16 at 6:35 pm ET
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Despite allowing 4 first inning runs, Rick Porcello was able to go 6 innings in the win Monday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Despite allowing 4 first inning runs, Rick Porcello was able to go 6 innings in the win Monday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Things certainly didn’t get off to the best start for Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.

The right-hander allowed four runs in the first inning, including four straight singles with two outs to put the Red Sox in a big hole against the first-place Rangers.

But, despite the first inning struggles and 47 pitches through the first two innings, Porcello was able to grind through six innings to pick up the win in the Red Sox’ 12-5 triumph over the Rangers on Monday.

“Definitely proud of that,” Porcello said. “Definitely proud of the fact I was able to go six and able to put up zeros after that. I think that was a lot of the reason why we were able to do well offensively, was shut them down after that. If they come back and get runs after that, it inflates you mentally a little bit and our team.”

Another key to the game for Porcello was his ability to get shutdown innings. The three innings after the Red Sox scored, Porcello was able to shut the Rangers down on a day the ball was flying all around Fenway Park.

“He had three opportunities for shutdown innings and converted each one,” manager John Farrell said. “That’s such a huge shift to maintain momentum on our side. They did string together the four consecutive two-out base hits, but he did bend, he didn’t break. And we’re able to get right back in it the way we’re swinging the bat.”

Porcello went six innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on 12 hits, while striking out three and not walking a better. He is 7-0 in eight starts at Fenway Park this year and has gone at least five innings in 25 straight starts, the longest streak by a Red Sox pitcher since John Lackey went 39 from 2013-14.

Farrell noted how competitive Porcello was and that’s something the pitcher feels like he demonstrates every time he pitches.

“I hope every time I take the mound he feels I show a lot of competitiveness,” Porcello said. “At the end of the day, whatever the numbers are I am always out there working my butt off to get us a win. I think a lot of went on in this game wasn’t pretty, but sometimes you just have to grind through it.”

Porcello is now 10-2 with a 3.82 ERA. His 10 wins are more than he had all of last year (9).

Read More: John Farrell, rick porcello,

Red Sox moves: Christian Vazquez optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, Ryan Hanigan activated to 25-man roster

07.04.16 at 6:21 pm ET
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Christian Vazquez

Christian Vazquez

While many saw the move coming, it became official after Monday’s 12-5 win over the Rangers.

With catcher Ryan Hanigan set to return to the big league club from a neck strain, the Red Sox have optioned Christian Vazquez back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

“He answered the durability question that we needed to see, and that was back-to-back nine innings caught,” manager John Farrell said of Hanigan. “Someone who’s been an accomplished big league catcher, particularly defensively and handling a pitching staff. It was time for him to come back to us.”

Vazquez has been struggling at the plate this season — hitting only .226 in 51 games — and Sandy Leon has been very impressive during his stint with the team since Hanigan went down. Leon went 4-for-5 with three doubles on Monday and is now batting .500 on the season.

The team can’t have three catchers on the roster and with Leon without options, the Red Sox were left with little choice but to option Vazquez.

“I think players are understanding of what goes on around them, I think they’re fairly aware,” Farrell said. “In Sandy’s case, where he’s out of options — at that position, you’re always a foul tip away from needing another guy. From the performance of Sandy in combination with the organizational depth, we felt like this was the move we needed to make.”

Additionally, Farrell announced Sean O’Sullivan will start Friday against the Rays and Clay Buchholz will pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the first half. O’Sullivan was strong in his start on Sunday, allowing two runs over five innings in earning the win over the Angels. Buchholz will give the team a long relief man out of the bullpen, something they desperately need of late with so many relievers logging a lot of innings.

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

Read More: christian vazquez, Clay Buchholz, Ryan Hanigan, Sean O'Sullivan

Closing Time: Red Sox bats come alive in 4th of July win over Rangers

07.04.16 at 5:17 pm ET
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Brock Holt's fourth home run of the season gave the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Brock Holt’s fourth home run of the season gave the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Even though the real fireworks don’t begin until the sun goes down on Monday, the Red Sox and Rangers provided an open before the big show as the teams combined for 35 hits, including 16 extra-base hits in their Fourth of July matinee.

After trailing 4-0 following the top of the first, the Red Sox rallied for a 12-5 win over the Rangers. It was their second straight win and first time they’ve won back-to-back games since June 19.

The Red Sox rallied immediately from their 4-0 deficit as they scored a run in the bottom of the first, but then the real rally came in the fourth as they plated four runs. David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back doubles and then Brock Holt hit a two-run homer into the Red Sox bullpen to put the Red Sox on top 5-4.

They would add another in the fifth, two more in the sixth, another in the seventh on a Dustin Pedroia home run and finally three more in the eighth on a Travis Shaw solo home run and a Mookie Betts two-run home run to complete the 12-run afternoon.

As a team they finished with 21 hits, which included 13 extra-base hits. The 21 hits are a season-high.

Ramirez is on fire at the plate of late as he reached base four times in the game, going 3-for-4 with two walks. In his last 12 games, the first baseman is batting .395 with six doubles, three homers and nine RBIs.

After a rough first inning, Porcello settled in nicely and made it through six innings. The right-handed allowed four runs (three earned) on 12 hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out three to pick up his 10th win of the year. He is 7-0 in eight starts at Fenway Park this year and has gone at least five innings in 25 straight starts, the longest streak by a Red Sox pitcher since John Lackey went 39 from 2013-14.

In relief of Porcello, Matt Barnes threw a scoreless seventh, Koji Uehara allowed a run in 1/3 of an inning before Robbie Ross Jr. got out of the eighth and also the ninth to complete the win.


The Red Sox are now 24-9 in games Holt starts, compared to 21-28 when he doesn’t.

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

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Read More: Brock Holt, David Ortiz, rick porcello, xander bogaerts

John Farrell acknowledges Red Sox have areas of need, but says team has ‘chance to do something special’

07.04.16 at 12:21 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

With the Red Sox sitting at 44-37 at the midway point of the season, manager John Farrell acknowledged the team has obvious areas of need, starting with pitching and also a right-handed hitting infielder, but he still believes the team has the chance to make a deep run in October.

“I feel we do have a very strong offensive team,” Farrell said. “We’ve got some pitching situations to stabilize, to correct. To point to individuals, Eddie Rodriguez is a guy, there’s a lot of emphasis on his adjustments and development to get back to where he was a year ago. That’s ongoing. The recent shift to Joe Kelly to the bullpen gives us the potential of adding a power arm to the bullpen for us. Let’s face it, we’re starting to see the physical effects of a lot of use with some guys. We have to be careful, even today with a couple of guys out there.

“It does center around pitching. Could we have a little bit more balance with a right-handed hitting infielder, that’s a possibly as you go through a wish list. There’s a lot that is going on well here and that is a young group of players that are getting more seasoned. They are performing an producing at a high level consistently. This is a good team despite obvious areas of need.”

Going into play Monday, the team is three games back in the American League East and would be in the AL Wild Card game.

“This team still has the chance to do something special,” Farrell said. “Yes, we need to improve overall on the pitching end of things. Given what’s here, we don’t have a long list of needs to go out and get or hopeful of a number of things internally that need to click for us. There are things that are playing out every day that give us every reason to believe this is a team that is built to win.”

Read More: John Farrell,

Red Sox notes: Clay Buchholz could be shifted back to bullpen

07.04.16 at 12:07 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz

After his 4 1/3 inning performance on Saturday, Clay Buchholz could be going back to the bullpen.

Although nothing official has been announced, manager John Farrell hinted Buchholz could be going back to the bullpen and Sean O’Sullivan could get another start on Friday night when the manager was asked about who might start on Friday.

“I will say one of the things that will factor into this is that we’ve leaned on a few guys in the bullpen of late,” Farrell said. “Clay would give us the ability to include him in the bullpen sooner than it would be with Sully (O’Sullivan). That’s something that has got to be sat down and talked to with each guy. That’s not part of an announcement, but is something that is being considered and factored into this. The starter on Friday is yet to be named.”

— Ryan Hanigan is back at Fenway Park after catching back-to-back games with Pawtucket the past two days as he works his way back from a neck strain. It’s possible he gets activated to the team as early as Tuesday and then it would seem Christian Vazquez could be going back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Vazquez is batting just .226 in 51 games this season and after catching Rick Porcello for 15 straight starts, Sandy Leon is catching the right-hander Monday, which Farrell said was due to “Sandy’s performance.”

— Joe Kelly will throw a bullpen on Monday before two rehab outings out of the bullpen this week. The first will come Wednesday with Portland in Manchester, New Hampshire and then the other will be next Saturday with the Lowell Spinners.

Farrell said the plan after that would be to go back to Pawtucket, but if the need arises for him to join the big league club after the All-Star break, that could be an option.

— Blake Swihart took some fly balls in left field for the first time on Monday since spraining his ankle on June 5. Farrell said he isn’t ready for much change in direction, but was a good sign that he was able to get out on the field just a month after suffering the injury.

Read More: blake swihart, Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, Sean O'Sullivan

Red Sox lineup: Brock Holt playing back-to-back days vs. Rangers on 4th of July

07.04.16 at 10:16 am ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

For the first time since his return from a concussion, Brock Holt will play back-to-back days.

Holt will be in left field as the Red Sox go up against Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez on the Fourth of July from Fenway Park. After not starting Sunday, Travis Shaw is back at third base.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Brock Holt, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Sandy Leon, C
Rick Porcello, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

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Monday Red Sox Farm Report: Henry Ramos hits walk-off HR for Pawtucket; Eduardo Rodriguez takes solid first step in start

07.04.16 at 9:53 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (43-41): W, 5-4 in 16 innings, vs. Columbus (Indians)

— Sunday’s extra-innings contest was the longest since Pawtucket played a 16-inning game on April 12, 2015. Henry Ramos was the one to end it, blasting a two-run home run off Clippers shortstop Yhoxian Medina, who was forced to the mound due to a lack of Columbus relievers.

“Before I stepped to the plate, [Rusney] Castillo told me, ‘This is like BP, so go and hit it far,’ and that is what I did,” Ramos told MILB.com after hitting his third home run of the year.

Ramos, 24, now is slashing .282/.319/.429 in 67 games this season with Pawtucket and Portland. Boston’s N0. 22 prospect at MLB.com has collected 14 RBIs in his last 10 games.

— Eduardo Rodriguez got his first start since being assigned to Pawtucket from Boston, and he was able to deliver a very solid outing. The 23-year-old southpaw tossed seven frames of scoreless ball, giving up just two hits and striking out four. He also retired 11 consecutive batters.

“I was working my pitches on both sides of the plate and didn’t throw it right down the middle like when I was in the big leagues,” Rodriguez said. “I just used my slider, my changeup, and used them on different counts.”

Rodriguez has started six games each with the Red Sox and PawSox. He is 1-3 with an 8.59 ERA with Boston, and 0-3 with a 2.83 ERA in Pawtucket.

— With the game seemingly never going to end, pitcher Justin Haley came through for Pawtucket, as he pitched the last six innings and allowed just one run. He gave up four hits and fanned five in his first Triple-A relief performance. Called up to Pawtucket from Portland on June 17, the 25-year-old Haley is 2-2 with a 4.07 ERA with the team.

— On the day after his 28th birthday, Chris Marrero drilled his 13th home run of the season in the second inning to put Pawtucket on the board. He is tied for the team lead in homers, and he also was the man on for Ramos’ walk-off blast. Marrero is batting .272/.334/.459 in 78 games.

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Read More: algenis martinez, brad stone, bryan hudson, Chris Marrero

Monday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Nick Martínez

07.04.16 at 8:53 am ET
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In the first game of a three-game series with the Rangers, the Red Sox will send Rick Porcello to the mound to face off against right-hander Nick Martinez.

In his second year in a Red Sox uniform, Porcello is 9-2 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. The righty has the fifth-most wins in the American League, and hasn’t lost since a May 17 defeat at Kansas City. He last started in an 8-2 win at Tampa Bay last Tuesday, Boston’s only win in the three-game series. The 27-year-old let up only one run on five hits in six innings and walked three. He recorded eight strikeouts, his most in an outing since he fanned nine batters on April 20 vs. the Rays.

“You look at three other no-decisions consecutively when he’s left with low-run games,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s been everything we could’ve hoped. You look at a starting pitcher that can go out and be consistent every fifth day, he’s been a model of that for us.”

In eight career starts against the Rangers, Porcello is 4-4 with a 5.86 ERA and 1.72 WHIP. His ERA when facing Texas is his third-highest in the American League. It’s been over two years since Porcello has appeared vs. the Rangers, tallying a 6-0 win on June 26, 2014, as a member of the Tigers. Porcello pitched a complete-game shutout, giving up just three hits and striking out six.

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Read More: Nick Martinez, rick porcello,

Celtics asked David Ortiz to reach out to Kevin Durant; DH also talked to Al Horford

07.03.16 at 6:44 pm ET
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David Ortiz said he had never been asked by a team to execute what the Celtics requested. But once approached, he was happy to oblige.

Following the Red Sox’ 10-5 win over the Angels Sunday afternoon, Ortiz told WEEI.com that the Celtics requested the Sox’ designated hitter to reach out to Durant in an attempt to help recruit the free agent forward to Boston.

And while he couldn’t join the Celtics’ meeting with Durant in the Hamptons Saturday because of the Red Sox’ game (although he said he would have attended if there wasn’t the commitment), Ortiz did manage to fire off a tweet, encouraging the forward to commit to the Celts.

“Boston deserves it, man. Fans here deserve that,” Ortiz said. “They deserve the best athletes to come around and perform for them. Fans here are real fanatics. I have played in different cities and what you get here is special from the fans.

“When something like that is to be put in place, I’m down with it. My people are here. There are real fans here.”

Ortiz said he wasn’t surprised that Tom Brady was in attendance at the meeting because he “already heard he was going to be there.”

The slugger also talked to his longtime friend Al Horford prior to the forward agreeing to his four-year deal with the Celtics.

“I talked to Horford before about free agency and stuff. He pretty much wanted to go to a team that could compete, and Boston is a pretty good place,” Ortiz said.

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