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Closing Time: Red Sox lose Hanley Ramirez, bats go silent in loss to Rays

05.04.15 at 10:21 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez left Monday's game with the Rays in the first inning with a left shoulder sprain. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Hanley Ramirez left Monday’s game with the Rays in the first inning with a left shoulder sprain. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Things just aren’t going the Red Sox‘ way right now.

On a night where Clay Buchholz overcame a tough first two innings where he allowed four runs, the right-hander settled down going 6 1/3 innings and allowing five runs, but the Red Sox‘ bats couldn’t come through as they fell to the Rays 5-1.

It was the second straight series opening loss for the team, who opened the year winning seven straight. The result wasn’t even the worst news of the night, as Hanley Ramirez left the game in the first inning after running into the wall with what the team called a left shoulder sprain.

With two outs in the top of the first James Loney lofted a ball down the left field line, which Ramirez ran hard after and simultaneously caught the ball and hit the padded wall jarring the ball out. The play went for a double and Ramirez immediately left the game. Evan Longoria followed with a double of his own, and then David DeJesus singled to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.

“I felt good,” said Buchholz. “I felt good the first two innings. Left a change up up, it’s unfortunately with Hanley out there. Definitely don’t want to lose him for an extended period of time. Whenever things aren’t going good you don’t get breaks. We’re scuffling a little bit right now, but we have a lot of good players in here. Pretty confident we’ll bounce back.”

Joey Butler hit his first major league home run in the second inning, a two-run shot, putting the Rays up 4-0. Buchholz did settle down after that, as he went 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits, while walking two and striking out seven. In hindsight, if Ramirez could have held onto the ball, it would have saved Buchholz two runs.

“I felt like I settled in fairly decent,” said Buchholz. “There were a lot of pitches I didn’t feel like I got the benefit of the doubt on on the strike zone, but you can’t let that affect you. There’s going to be a lot of times thats the way you feel about it. For the most part I felt like I threw the ball well, the line doesn’t show for it and the loss is not good either.”

The Red Sox scored their lone run of the game in the second inning on back-to-back triples by Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts. Both were to right field, where Steven Souza Jr. had difficulty playing the ball.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Rays starter Jake Odorizzi. The right-hander went seven innings allowing one run on seven hits, while not walking a batter and striking out six. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.

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

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, hanley ramirez, tampa bay rays

Hanley Ramirez leaves with left shoulder sprain

05.04.15 at 7:20 pm ET
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Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez was forced to leave in the top of the first inning of his team’s game Monday night at Fenway Park with what the team announced as a left shoulder sprain.

Ramirez injured himself running down a fly ball off the bat of James Loney with two outs in the first. The left fielder initially made the catch, but then crashed into the padding along the left field line, forcing the ball out of his glove.

Ramirez managed to get over to the ball and throw it into the infield, but then crumpled to the ground. Red Sox training staff and manager John Farrell immediately tended to the outfielder, ultimately walking him off the field.

Ramirez has had surgery on his left shoulder on two separate occasions, once in 2007 and again in ’11.

The Rays took advantage of the Loney two-out double, notching a pair of first-inning runs after Evan Longoria‘s double and Dave DeJesus’ RBI single.

Allen Craig replaced Ramirez in left field.

Who wants to step up and play right field for the Red Sox?

05.04.15 at 5:31 pm ET
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The Red Sox are searching for someone to step up and claim the starting right field job.

Through the first 25 games the team has had four different players appear at the position — Shane Victorino (12 games), Daniel Nava (9), Allen Craig (5) and Brock Holt (4). Unfortunately for the team, none of the four have done much with their opportunity.

The right field position has combined to hit .128/.240/.174, which is good for the worst average and slugging percentage, as well as the second to worst on-base percentage in all of baseball.

Victorino was getting the majority of the starts, but he was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 25 with a right hamstring strain. Even with his absence, the team still has capable players of performing.

“We feel like it was going to be matchups,” manager John Farrell said of how the team was looking to replace Victorino. “We’€™re still looking for ways to keep Allen Craig in the mix, try to get him going. The guys that we’€™re rotating through there, there’€™s some track records to each. You run with a guy for a while, let them have it, see what they’€™re going to produce. And then, at the same time, trying to keep everyone in the mix as best possible.

“That has been a position where it’€™s certainly open for someone to jump up and take it.”

Victorino will likely rehab with Portland on Friday and Saturday, with the possibility of Sunday as well. He’s eligible to return Friday, but with the team playing on the new turf in Toronto, that was never really an option. All things point to him returning in Oakland a week from Monday.

“It’€™s been a little bit more volatile in terms of who’€™s played there than we anticipated going into the start of the season or would otherwise like,” Farrell said of the right field position. “But trying to get some left-handed production, particularly against right-handed starters. That’€™s where we are.”

Victorino was hitting just .143 before going on the disabled list. Craig has just five hits in 37 at-bats this season (.135) and is striking out in almost 25 percent of his at-bats. Holt got off to a hot start to the year, but has cooled off as he’s 0 for his last 5 and 1-for-14 on the homestand.

With how powerful the Red Sox‘ offense is, having a position batting .128 isn’t going to last long, so despite the number of players vying for the position, it’s out there for the taking.

Read More: Allen Craig, Brock Holt, daniel nava, Shane Victorino

Red Sox officially add INF Luis Jimenez to roster, RHP Dalier Hinojosa optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket

05.04.15 at 5:02 pm ET
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Dalier Hinojosa

Dalier Hinojosa

The Red Sox made another roster move Monday — their seventh roster addition since April 26.

The team activated infielder Luis Jimenez to the roster and to make room optioned right-hander Dalier Hinojosa back to Triple-A. With the move the team is back to the standard 13 position players and 12 pitchers.

“He’ll be in reserve and a utility guy for us,” Farrell said of Jimenez. “Has played all infield positions, most of those games played a third base, but has the ability to move around. That’s the role that he’s in coming over from Milwaukee.”

“Unfortunately, Jeff Bianchi’s injury at Pawtucket has slowed him some, so in the event we have a need here in case someone goes down here’s a guy that is on our roster and available to us,” Farrell added. “It’s a matter of trying to find ways to strength our roster as best as possible.”

Jimenez was claimed off waivers Sunday after he was designated for assignment by the Brewers.

He’s appeared in 15 games for Milwaukee this season, going 1-for-15 with a run scored and a walk.  Both of his starts came at third base (seven total games) and he also appeared defensively at second base once. He’€™s been in the league for three seasons, his first two coming with the Angels. Lifetime, over 67 games, he’€™s a .218/.255/.269 hitter.

Hinojosa appeared in Sunday night’s game and didn’t allow a run in 1 2/3 innings in his major league debut. The first batter he faced was Alex Rodriguez and he struck him out.

“Good stuff, some arm strength,” said Farrell. “The willingness to attack the strike zone. For his debut, walking into that situation was not a lay up by any means. Didn’€™t back away from it.”

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

Read More: dalier hinojosa, Luis Jimenez,

Red Sox lineup: Blake Swihart rests, Brock Holt gets start in right field vs. Rays

05.04.15 at 3:22 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

After being swept by the Yankees over the weekend, the Red Sox will look to get back on the winning track Monday against the Rays.

Blake Swihart will rest after starting the first two games he was active for, as Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

With the Red Sox going up against Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi, Brock Holt will get the start in right field. Holt is in a bit of a slump, as he’s 0 for his last five and 1-for-14 on the homestand.

For a more extensive look at the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Mike Napoli, 1B
7. Brock Holt, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Sandy Leon, C
Clay Buchholz, RHP

Source: David Ortiz suspension appeal ruling will take ‘a day or two’

05.04.15 at 3:12 pm ET
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The fate of David Ortiz‘s appeal will have to wait a couple more days.

According to a major league source, Ortiz had his hearing Monday, but the ruling from Major League Baseball will come in a couple more days.

The hearing lasted almost two hours, and surprisingly also included an incident from two seasons ago. The other topic broached by the representatives from Major League Baseball was when Ortiz smashed the dugout phone at Camden Yards in late July, 2013. The DH appealed the the fine of $5,000 at the time, a case that evidently wasn’t broached until Monday.

Ortiz was appealing his 1-game suspension after supposedly making contact with home plate umpire John Tumpane in the Red Sox‘€˜ April 19 game at Fenway Park against the Orioles.

The designated hitter doesn’t remember exactly what happened.

“I have to watch that video to see what point I touched him because I don’€™€™€™t remember, to be honest with you,” Ortiz told WEEI.com. “I don’€™€™€™t really remember. And I wasn’€™€™€™t even arguing with him. I was talking with the third base umpire. If it happened, I don’€™€™€™t know when it happened and I didn’€™€™€™t try that because trust me, I know. It might be one move that I made or whatever. But I don’€™€™€™t know.”

For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.

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David Ortiz on his autograph being offered for Alex Rodriguez HR ball: ‘That is not OK with me at all’

05.04.15 at 1:04 pm ET
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Alex Rodriguez hit home run No. 660 Friday night against the Red Sox. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Alex Rodriguez hit home run No. 660 Friday night against the Red Sox. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

After Alex Rodriguez tied Willie Mays for fourth on MLB’s all-time list with his 660th home run, which went over the Green Monster on Friday, the Red Sox fan who caught it was offered memorabilia signed by David Ortiz in exchange for the ball.

Not only was the trade turned down, but on Saturday, Ortiz expressed his disappointment that his autograph was offered without his permission.

“That is not OK with me at all,” Ortiz said. “That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. They’re supposed to ask me before any of my [expletive] get offered to anyone.”

Ortiz has reason to hesitate in helping out A-Rod, as Rodriguez’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, appeared to allude to Big Papi when defending his client’s use of performance-enhancing drugs in an interview last year by implying steroid use was more widespread, saying: “I’m not going to start naming all the other players, but some of them are god-like in Boston right now, and people seem to forget that.” Ortiz and Rodriguez used to be friends but, according to Ortiz, have not spoken since that incident.

However, Ortiz said that he is not concerned with the exchange itself, but with the fact that his signature was offered without permission at all.

“It’s not because they were doing this for A-Rod‘s ball,” Ortiz said. “It’s because they’re supposed to ask for my [expletive] before they do something like that.”

Read More: Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz,

Red Sox-Rays series preview

05.04.15 at 12:59 pm ET
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Kevin Kiermaier (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Kevin Kiermaier has eight hits in his last 24 at-bats as the Rays head to Boston for a three-game series. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Having spent the last week at home, the Red Sox will finish up their homestand at Fenway when the Rays cruise into Boston. Like the Sox, Tampa also dropped its weekend series, though the Rays at least picked up one victory against the Orioles.

Boston finished up the weekend without a win in three games against the Yankees, getting outscored 15-9 in the process. The Red Sox are 3-7 in their last 10 games and have sole possession of fourth place in the division, falling below .500 for the first time this year. The third-place Rays only have a one-game advantage over Boston, but they have a more encouraging 6-4 record in their last 10.

While the Sox were dealing with New York, the Rays welcomed the O’s to Tropicana Field. Originally scheduled to take place at Camden Yards, the series was moved to Florida to avoid the unrest in Baltimore. Tampa picked up a 2-0 win to start the series but was shut out the following night, 4-0, and then lost 4-2 in the rubber game.

The area in which Tampa has struggled most so far this season, as evidenced by the four runs it scored in three games, is offense. Clocking in at sixth worst in the league in runs scored and seventh worst in hits, the Rays have a team batting average of .230. Only five teams have a worse time at the plate.

“I think we’ll break out of it. We’ve just got to keep working,” first baseman James Loney said of his team’s offense. “Our pitching’s been good. We’ve got to help them out.”

For all the trouble the Rays have with offense, as Loney pointed out, they have some of the best pitching in the league. Allowing an MLB-low 105 hits, Tampa’s rotation has given up just 51 earned runs, third best among all 30 teams. The Rays’ team ERA of 3.34 ranks fifth and their team WHIP of 1.08 is tops in the majors. Tampa also holds opponents to a .210 batting average, a full .13 below the Pirates’ second-best .223.

The Rays relievers haven’t been quite as dominant, posting a combined 4.03 ERA in 87 innings pitched, the fifth-most work logged by any team. They’ve given up 39 earned runs, eighth most in the league, but also have a ninth-best WHIP of 1.18. Batters are hitting .219/.301/.359 against the Tampa bullpen compared to the .210/.280/.329 slash line the starters force. If the Sox hope to come out of the series with a win, they need to get past the Rays starters.

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Read More: Kevin Kiermaier, Logan Forsythe, tampa bay rays,

Monday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Jake Odorizzi

05.04.15 at 11:00 am ET
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The struggling Red Sox, coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees, open up a three-game home set with the Rays on Monday night. Clay Buchholz will take the mound against Jake Odorizzi.

Buchholz (1-3) joins the rest of Boston’s starting rotation with a very inconsistent first five starts. He has gone six innings or more in three of his outings and did not allow more than two runs in any of those games. However, the 30-year-old did not receive much run support in those starts, and received a no-decision in one and a loss in another. In his other two starts, however, he made it through just 3 1/3 innings and 2 2/3 innings while allowing 15 runs (13 earned) in total.

Buchholz is sitting on a 5.76 ERA, which is second worst among Red Sox starters. He also holds the worst WHIP (1.56) and batting average against (.295) in the rotation. He leads Boston starters with 33 strikeouts and eight walks.

In his last start, Buchholz was hit hard by the Blue Jays and received a loss. Through just 2 2/3 innings he allowed five runs (four of them earned), six hits and one walk while striking out four. Buchholz was given a 4-0 lead by the offense going into the third before giving Toronto the lead. He was pulled after 62 pitches in a game that the Red Sox eventually lost 11-8.

“Whenever the team gives you a four-run lead you’re supposed to come out a lot better than that,” Buchholz said after the game. “Went out there with a game plan of throwing strikes, let them put the ball in play and get outs. Walked the first guy. All the contact that they made — they hit the ball hard and it wasn’t at any of our players in the field. I have to do a lot better job than that.”

In 19 career starts against the Rays, Buchholz is 8-6 with a 5.71 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, 120 strikeouts and 39 walks.

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, Jake Odorizzi, Red Sox,

John Farrell: ‘We need to pitch more innings as a starting group, that’s obvious’

05.04.15 at 1:35 am ET
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Joe Kelly went just 4 2/3 innings allowing five runs taking the loss Sunday against the Yankees. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly went just 4 2/3 innings allowing five runs taking the loss Sunday against the Yankees. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly entered Sunday’s start against the Yankees with tremendous numbers against them — 3-0 in three career starts with a 3.43 ERA, including allowing one run over seven innings in his first start of the season in New York April 11.

The right-hander wasn’t good Sunday, allowing five runs in 4 2/3 innings, taking his first loss of the season, as the Yankees swept the Red Sox with a 8-5 win.

The poor performance was on par with the rest of the rotation through the first five turns of the season. Six times (24 percent) the Red Sox‘ starter has failed to pitch five complete innings. It isn’t just one starter either, as four of the five starters have done that twice. Rick Porcello is the only one who has gone at least five innings in all his starts.

“I’m aware of how many innings our starters have given us,” manager John Farrell said. “We come off of a stretch of three games where it felt like we were starting to settle in a little bit. Tonight wasn’t the case. We need to pitch more innings as a starting group, that’s obvious.”

The Yankees jumped on Kelly early, scoring five runs in the first three innings. An issue for Kelly was the inability to establish all of his pitches, especially his slider and curveball. According to Brooksbaseball.net, he threw 15 curveballs in the game and only seven sliders. This comes following his last start where he threw 27 sliders.

Getting swing-and-miss was also an issue for Kelly. He only recorded four total swing and misses in the game. Prior to Sunday his lowest in any game was eight, April 22 against Tampa. His high was 12 against the Yankees in his first start of the year.

“I had a feel for it. Just something that we didn’€™t go to,” Kelly said of his curve. “Like I said, by the time we started going to it it was probably a little bit too late. Obviously, we had given up all the runs. It was something I’€™m going to try to work on and try to get that offside going, even if it’€™s the first inning. I’€™ve got to show these guys all my pitches. It’€™s something I’€™ve got to do.”

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Read More: Joe Kelly, John Farrell,
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