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Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Henry Owens throws 1-hit shutout for Pawtucket; Yoan Moncada makes Double-A debut

06.22.16 at 12:59 pm ET
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Here is a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-34): W, 2-0, L, 3-2, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)

— In Game 1 of a doubleheader, Henry Owens allowed only one-hit and no runs in seven innings of work. The left-hander started the game on a strong note by retiring the first 11 batters he faced. He didn’t allow his first hit until there was one out in the seventh inning.

“It felt really good and it’s definitely getting better every start,” said Owens via MiLB.com. “The game plan was just to attack the zone from the first pitch to the last and I think [catcher Ali] Solis did a great job of putting down some good pitches and we just kind of rolled with it from the first inning on.”

“He had better command of the zone and I thought his overall mix was better,” added manager Kevin Boles. “He established the fastball, threw it for more strikes and he did a terrific job.”

Owens went all seven innings (doubleheaders are seven inning) allowing no runs, one hit and three walks with five strikeouts. The 23-year-old lefty is 5-3 in 12 starts with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.

— The PawSox’ two runs came when Justin Maxwell drew a walk in the fourth inning and eventually came around to score on a Jantzen Witte single and then in the sixth inning, Maxwell hit a double to right field that scored Chris Marrero. Maxwell is hitting .230/.325/.337 in 55 games this season.

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Eduardo Rodriguez not tipping pitches

06.22.16 at 11:07 am ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning where he discussed all things Red Sox, including his belief that Eduardo Rodriguez is in fact not tipping pitches. To hear the complete interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page. 

“[Rodriguez] is not pitching on a short leash for his life in the sense that you think. What you don’t want to do is to continue to allow a young pitcher to completely loose his confidence. It is hard. He is struggling,” said Schilling. “He is basically a two-pitch pitcher right now, which is a big problem. He isn’t tipping his pitches. You get tired of hearing stuff like that. He is struggling right now and that is normal.

“The problem is, and you have to know your players, you don’t want a guy to pitch his way into thinking he can’t get anyone out and I think that is where he is right now. He is struggling mentality and you can see it by the body language, you can see it by the facial expressions. He doesn’t have a lot of confidence. I can tell you that is the scariest thing that happened to me. I was struggling to the point where I was afraid to throw strikes because I was afraid if I threw a strike it was gong to be a double.”

Added Schilling: “I watch him throw. He is not [tipping pitches]. If you are going to want to watch a guy tip his pitches there are two things to look at. One is how he positions his glove on every pitch because when guys generally tip their pitches their glove will be held at a different height or a different angle because they are trying to grip a ball differently. Or you watch their head or glove hand. He isn’t tipping his pitches, I’m watching him. Here is the thing: you have to tip your pitches early enough for the hitter to know, so it can’t be right in the middle of your delivery when you are doing a certain thing and the hitter says, ‘Oh my god curveball.’

“I’ll give you an example. In game six of the 2001 World Series. Andy Pettitte tipped every pitch he was throwing with a runner on base. You knew as soon as he set exactly what was coming. That is how you tip your pitches. We scored, I think, 16 runs, we beat them like 16-2 … We saw it the first inning. Someone got on and he was setting his hands high and low. High was breaking ball and low was fastball or it might have been the other way around.”

(It’s worth noting Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo confirmed Rodriguez is in fact tipping pitches when he was on with Mike Giardi and Rob Bradford over the weekend.)

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Torey Lovullo: Eduardo Rodriguez has been tipping pitches, but it’s something that can be fixed

06.22.16 at 10:58 am ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo acknowledges youngster Eduardo Rodriguez has been tipping his pitches, but also says that it’s a fixable issue.

Appearing with Mike Giardi and Rob Bradford on WEEI over the weekend, Lovullo said it’s something that Rodriguez continues to work though, and remains optimistic that “good things” will happen for Rodriguez.

“He’s been tipping his pitches and he’s been working on delivery, some mechanical things to eliminate the tipping of the pitches. When a major league hitter knows what’s coming by something that you’re doing your delivery before your delivered the pitch they can square up anything. They can hit any pitch in any time, any location. They know it’s coming. That’s how good these guys are. So we’re trying to eliminate that.”

He added: “It’s been a tough course for him. But you know we’re not going to turn our back on him. We’re going to continue to give the ball he’s going to continue pounding the strike zone, and we look for good things to happen.”

Lovullo said eliminating the tipping doesn’t involve a “mechanical adjustment.” Instead, it’s far simpler.

“It’s not like he’s changed a release point or he is, you know, changing his direction stride or direction. Those are hard fixes. Those are things that take an offseason to work through,” he said. “This is just simply when he puts his hand into the glove and grips the ball, he is turning his glove or moving his glove or manipulating his forearm in a way that hitter — and it’s so specific — can see what he’s going to throw. So five seconds before the pitch is delivered hitters preparing knowing a fastball is coming. And he’s got a very, very aggressive fastball.

“He’s trying to cure it. He’s trying to fix it. But when their stimulus and he’s ready to make a pitch he forgets about it any revert back to it. So, we’re trying to add stimulus. We’re trying to get him in that mindset in between these starts to say, ‘Hey look this is where you are. Slow it down. Don’t do this anymore.’ And that’s hard to do. It takes a little bit of mindset. So, he’s changing that a little bit and has nothing to do with the delivery. Once he starts his delivery, he’s perfectly fine. He just has to take care of the business.”

Rodriguez is set to start Wednesday night against Chicago’s Jose Quintana.

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

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Wednesday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Jose Quintana

06.22.16 at 8:48 am ET
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The Red Sox will give Eduardo Rodriguez another chance to cement his place in the starting rotation when they send the southpaw to the mound Wednesday in the third game of a four-game series against the White Sox. Opposing Rodriguez will be left-hander Jose Quintana.

Since finishing a rehab assignment in Pawtucket in late May, Rodriguez has struggled in his four starts, going 2-1 with a 6.97 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. His most recent outing resulted in a 5-1 loss to the Orioles on Thursday. The Venezuela native allowing five runs and eight hits in only 4 1/3 innings.

“It comes down to the consistent execution,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the loss. “There were a number of at-bats when he would get ahead in the count and would misfire on the plate to give a guy a chance to put a ball into play. Then when he did get behind in the count, he found himself in some hitter counts that were being squared up.”

Wednesday’s game will be the first for the 23-year-old Rodriguez against the White Sox. He is 4-0 in six starts against AL Central teams.

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Closing Time: Clay Buchholz allows 2 home runs, Red Sox bats quiet again in loss to White Sox

06.21.16 at 10:04 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz allowed three runs in five innings in his first start since May 26. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz allowed three runs in five innings in his first start since May 26. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It was not going to take much to send Fenway Park into a cacophony of boos with Clay Buchholz on the hill Tuesday night, and he didn’t keep them waiting.

Seconds after the first pitch left Buchholz’s hand in his first start since May 26, it was over the Green Monster for White Sox leadoff batter Tim Anderson’s first career home run — a fitting omen to begin what ultimately turned into a 3-1 loss for the Red Sox.

Following Anderson’s homer was a double off the wall for Adam Eaton, who would later be driven in on a Melky Cabrera sacrifice fly.

“When somebody jumps ship on you the first pitch of the game there’s not a whole lot you can do about it,” said Buchholz. “I’m worried about throwing a first-pitch strike right there, he put a good swing on it. Second pitch, pretty good pitch away. I guess looking back now if I start in against Eaton throw a cutter or something first pitch to him. But that was a pretty good pitch so you’ve got to tip your cap to both of those.”

In the fourth, Todd Frazier parked a home run of his own into the Monster seats.

When the dust settled, Buchholz went five innings, allowing four hits, and three runs, while striking out five and walking one. With the exception of the Frazier home run, Buchholz did put together a more solid outing after the first, allowing two hits and one run with four strikeouts over the next four innings.

“Well they smacked him in the face the first two pitches he threw,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “But he did settle in. … I felt he kept the game under control, [he] continues to build upon the most recent relief outing and then tonight. So unfortunately against a guy like Sale, two runs becomes a pretty surmountable deficit.”

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Clay Buchholz allows homer on first pitch of night against White Sox

06.21.16 at 7:22 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz

There are inauspicious debuts, and then there’s how Clay Buchholz opened his return to the rotation on Tuesday night against the White Sox.

Facing Chicago’s Tim Anderson leading off, Buchholz served up a 426-foot homer to left field on his first pitch of the game.

The pitch, a high fastball, was supposed to be down, but Buchholz missed up and in, and Anderson crushed it over the Monster.

Buchholz followed by allowing a double to Adam Eaton on his second pitch before a Jose Abreu groundout and Melky Cabrera sacrifice fly gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead.

Buchholz walked Todd Frazier before striking out Brett Lawrie swinging to end the frame.

Making his first start since May 26, Buchholz ended the inning with a 6.04 ERA.

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Yoan Moncada: Being promoted to Double-A Portland ‘just another step towards the big leagues’

06.21.16 at 7:20 pm ET
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Yoan Moncada with play his firs Double-A game Tuesday night. (WEEI.com photo)

Yoan Moncada with play his firs Double-A game Tuesday night. (WEEI.com photo)

Moncada Mania has now reached Portland, Maine.

Just over 13 months ago it was in Greenville, South Carolina. At the beginning of this season it was in Salem, Virginia and now it’s in Portland, Maine as Yoan Moncada will make his Double-A debut Tuesday night.

“Pretty excited for the promotion,” Moncada told reporters in Portland through a translator, via Mike Antonellis. “Happy to be here. Keep doing what I am doing from there.”

In 61 games with High-A Salem this season, he slashed .307/.427/.496 with four home runs and 34 RBIs. He also stole 36 bases and was caught just eight times.

Coming over from Cuba at the beginning of last season before being signed by the Red Sox, Moncada said he’s never heard of Maine, but knew all along he wanted to play there because it is a step on the way to the majors.

“Never really hard of the state or the city,” he said. “I did plan on coming here because I did plan on coming to Double-A. There’s not much I am planning on doing besides playing baseball. This is just another step towards the big leagues, which is my goal.”

It wasn’t the easiest of transitions for the second baseman as he struggled early on with Greenville last year. In his first 25 games last season he batted .200 with one home run, but in his final 56 games he batted .310 with seven home runs.

Moncada said he took a mental break during the All-Star break last year, which was very beneficial and helped clear his head. Like last year, Moncada has had picked it up as the year has gone on, hitting .345 in June before being promoted Sunday.

He was named to the Carolina League All-Star team, but won’t play in the game.

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Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz lingering foot/heel issues are ‘real situations’

06.21.16 at 5:25 pm ET
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David Ortiz dealing with lingering foot/heel issues. (Mark Baer/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz dealing with lingering foot/heel issues. (Mark Baer/USA Today Sports)

Prior to Tuesday’s game, Red Sox manager John Farrell addressed some injury concerns festering the team, including one that was suspected to not be as bad as it actually is in David Ortiz’s heel and foot.

Ortiz is not in the lineup for Tuesday’s game in order to recuperate physically, as the 40-year-old is fighting off lingering foot and heel problems.

“The heel and the feet, those are real situations that he’s managing,” Farrell said. “He’s putting forth every effort with the training staff to get him ready to keep him on the field. We also monitor the number of times he’s been on base.”

Ortiz currently leads the league in extra-base hits with 48 (29 doubles, and one triple). Through June 20th of last season, he was at 21.

“When he hits the ballpark he’s going to jog,” Farrell said. “Base hit he’s probably going to go easy. It’s the home to second or first to third that’s where it really starts to pile up on David.”

Farrell added that in the Red Sox’ two remaining road interleague series this season it would be highly unlikely to for Ortiz to take the field defensively. He also noted that he has a habit of checking in on Ortiz during the middle innings to assure he is feeling okay.

The Red Sox skipper also commented on the status of injured starter Joe Kelly, currently with Triple-A Pawtucket, who is expected to start throwing off the mound this weekend.

The righty was placed on the disabled list with a Grade 1 groin strain on June 12, retroactive to June 9 while in Pawtucket following his demotion on June 2.

Said Farrell: “Long toss continues. There’s improvement with the injury that he sustained, but the bullpen is hopefully this weekend.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia returns, David Ortiz out vs. White Sox

06.21.16 at 3:24 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

While Dustin Pedroia returns after not starting on Monday, the Red Sox will be without David Ortiz Tuesday night against White Sox ace Chris Sale.

For his career, Ortiz 5-for-13 against the left-hander.

Hanley Ramirez will serve as the designated hitter in his absence, Travis Shaw will slide over to first base and Deven Marrero will start at third base.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Chris Young, LF
Travis Shaw, 1B
Sandy Leon, C
Deven Marrero, 3B
Clay Buchholz, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

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Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts among AL All-Star voting leaders

06.21.16 at 3:16 pm ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

It looks like the Red Sox will be well-represented in San Diego for the MLB All-Star Game next month.

The latest voting numbers released Tuesday afternoon have Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts two and three respectively in terms of outfielders (Mike Trout is first), Xander Bogaerts leading at shortstop and David Ortiz leading at DH. This means these players would start the game if voting ended today.

Dustin Pedroia is third at second base, while Hanley Ramirez is fourth at first base.

Online voting ends June 30.

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

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