|07.26.15 at 11:23 pm ET|
After scoring just three runs in the first two games of the series and averaging 1.77 runs a game since the All-Star break, it was a matter of time before the Red Sox offense exploded.
Led by David Ortiz‘s two home runs and career-high seven RBIs, the Red Sox beat the Tigers 11-1 Sunday night at Fenway Park. As a team, the Red Sox finished with a season-high 20 hits with every member of the starting lineup recording one.
With the game tied at one in fifth, Ortiz crushed a Shane Greene offering over the Tigers bullpen for a three-run homer, giving the Sox a 4-1 lead at the time. Ortiz added another homer in the seventh, this one over the Green Monster for another three-run homer. It was his first multi-home run game of the season and 48th of his career.
Ortiz finished the game 4-for-5 with seven RBIs. The seven RBIs were a career-high and he became the first Red Sox player to have seven RBIs in a game since Will Middlebrooks last September.
“Big night for David, big night for us offensively overall,” manager John Farrell said. “But, David was all over the baseball. Two beautiful swings on those two, three-run homers. Maybe it’s somewhat fitting for Boston baseball today with Pedro’s induction and then David with the seven RBIs as he climbs up higher on that list. Good to see him swing the bat like he did.
“Once again, Bogey all over the baseball. Just a good night offensively.”
The Red Sox scored a total of four times in the fifth, three in the sixth and three more in the seventh. Mike Napoli had RBI hits in both the fifth and sixth. The first baseman has reached base in nine straight games and over his last seven games he’s batting .429.
The impressive offensive showing took some of the spotlight off Eduardo Rodriguez, who bounced back nicely after a tough outing last Monday against the Angels where he allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings.
|07.26.15 at 10:04 pm ET|
Rounding first base hasn’t been too kind to Red Sox second basemen this season.
After Dustin Pedroia injured his hamstring rounding first base in a game last month, Brock Holt appeared to injure his left knee rounding first base during Sunday’s game. He left the game after the fifth inning with left knee tightness.
The Red Sox‘ lone All-Star appeared to injure the knee in the first inning when he awkwardly rounded first base after a single. Manager John Farrell and the trainer came out for a visit, but he stayed in the game. Holt left after the game after he singled again in the fifth and came around to score on David Ortiz‘ three-run home run.
“He hyperextended his knee and it gained some tightness throughout the game,” Farrell said. “We got him off his feet. We’ll check him tomorrow. Day-to-day. We don’t feel like this will be a time missed situation.”
Holt entered the game batting .280 on the season. New utility man Jemile Weeks took his place at second base.
|07.26.15 at 7:16 pm ET|
According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pirates have “looked into” both Napoli and Victorino.
The Pirates are currently six games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central, but lead the NL Wild Card.
‘ Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) July 26, 2015
|07.26.15 at 7:05 pm ET|
Ortiz, like everyone else in the baseball world, watched Sunday’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“Pedro was special,” Ortiz said. “Unbelievable competitor. Best stuff I’ve ever seen in a pitcher and the most important thing, an incredible human being. I think a lot of people misjudge Pedro because of the way he was goes about his business. Besides that, Pedro is a very Christian person and person that has much love for everyone. I don’t think you can be around a better human being than what he is. I was watching the whole thing and it was very emotional. It was I was expecting.”
In seven seasons with the Red Sox, Martinez was 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA and a 0.978 WHIP in 201 starts. Ortiz knew even then he would one day be in the Hall of Fame.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “I think Pedro was going to be a Hall of Famer at some point because his numbers, they were ridiculous. … His winning percentage and the way he carried himself was something you only see in Hall of Famers.”
Martinez is only the second player from the Dominican Republic to get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ortiz, who is also from the Dominican, said it shows just how hard getting into the Hall of Fame is.
“I can remember Victorino asked me, ‘Man, it’s crazy, all the great players we have in the Domincan, there’s only two Hall of Famers.’ I’ve never thought about that,” Ortiz said. “Victorino told me and I told Victorino, ‘That’s how good of a player — you need to achieve some good numbers to get into the Hall of Fame. Getting into the Hall of Fame isn’t an easy thing to do. It doesn’t matter if you were one of the best players of you’re era. You still need to stack up numbers.”
With the Hall of Fame being discussed, Ortiz was asked if he had given thought of himself getting in as a designated hitter. As expected, Ortiz didn’t have much to say.
“I don’t know. I don’t vote,” he said.
|07.26.15 at 6:46 pm ET|
With Dustin Pedroia going on the disabled list prior to Saturday’s game, the Red Sox needed some infield help. With their bullpen in better shape that it was a few days ago, the team optioned Noe Ramirez back to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled utility man Jemile Weeks.
“All over the infield as well as he’s played a couple of games in the outfield,” manager John Farrell said of Weeks. “So kind of a super-utility that gives us some flexibility all around the diamond.”
It’s the 28-year-old’s first appearance in the majors this season.
In 51 games with Pawtucket this season, Weeks has a slash line of: .207/.307/.310. He came to the Red Sox last season from the Orioles along with Ivan DeJesus, Jr. in exchange for Michael Almanzar and Kelly Johnson.
Ramirez was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three games with the Red Sox.
With the Red Sox entering play Sunday 12 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and 12 games below .500, the team will likely be active at the trade deadline. Their focus has shifted towards 2016 and trying to get a head start on building next year’s team.
“There’s a couple things that quickly come to mind. One, that you’re always looking for additions,” Farrell said of how the team will approach this week. “You’re looking for ways to improve your team. You’re looking for guys that might come in to sure up an area that’s in need of. Like I said, I think the temperature in the clubhouse can be different depending on the intensity of some of the rumors. Our guys are smart. They’re aware of what’s going on whether it’s communication from their agent or otherwise. But again, I’d like to think that we’ve got enough veterans that stay focused on what we’ve got to do tonight.”
With a few names already rumored of being shopped around, there could be some distractions leading into Friday’s deadline, but Farrell hopes that won’t become an issue.
“You’d like to think that the attention and focus is on today’s work and preparation for tonight,” Farrell said. “Sure it’s a natural thing to start to see players get traded. Every day there’s probably going to be a prominent name that changes uniforms. But I don’t know that there’s been a lot of rumor surrounding any guys in our clubhouse. If there’s any talk, what has been handled in the past is that there’s some communication with the player that you try to stem some of those distractions or thoughts. But we’re not at that point.”
|07.26.15 at 6:21 pm ET|
After struggling to catch knuckleballer Steven Wright behind the plate on Saturday, Blake Swihart is back behind the plate Sunday night in the series finale against the Tigers as he will catch Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
Alejandro De Aza will start in right field for a second straight day as the Red Sox will face Tigers right-hander Shane Greene.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
|07.26.15 at 5:40 pm ET|
From 1998 to 2004, Martinez pitched for the Red Sox. In 1999 and 2000, Martinez authored two of the greatest seasons in baseball history on the mound, going 41-10 with a 1.90 ERA and a 0.830 WHIP in 58 starts. He won back-to-back Cy Young awards.
In seven seasons with the Red Sox, he was 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA and a 0.978 WHIP in 201 starts.
“Boston, I don’t have enough words to say how much I love you,” Martinez said during a 30-minute speech that began in English and ended in Spanish, as he addressed a huge Dominican audience that showed up with flags and shirts to honor one of the country’s greatest athletes.
“It’s great honor to be here. It’s great moment not only for me, for my family, it’s a great moment for the Dominican Republic and Latin America,” he said.
Martinez was as grateful to those writers who voted him in on his first year of eligibility as he was the fans who cheered him on.
“In ’99, I had a little stretch when I felt you didn’t like me, but you made it up and showed me you cared when it really matters,” Martinez quipped with his trademark charismatic smile.
|07.26.15 at 9:48 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-60): L, 6-0, vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays)
— Right-handed starter Jess Todd suffered the loss, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts over five innings of work. Todd fell to 3-5 and has a 5.47 ERA after 21 appearances — 12 starts — for the PawSox this season.
— Reliever Pat Light had a rough outing out of the bullpen. After right-hander Dayan Diaz tossed two scoreless innings of relief, Light allowed two earned runs on five hits in the final two innings. The righty walked none and struck out three. Light has an 0-2 record and two saves with a 7.63 ERA in 14 appearances for Pawtucket.
— The Pawtucket offense combined for just six hits. Allen Craig went 2-for-4 and Rusney Castillo, Humberto Quintero, Garin Cecchini and Jemile Weeks all singled.
— Saturday’s game marked the seventh straight loss for the PawSox.
|07.26.15 at 7:25 am ET|
Rodriguez is coming off of the worst start of his brief career. Facing the Angels last Monday, he lasted just 1 2/3 innings after giving up six hits and seven runs. He was taken deep twice, once each by Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols. After the game, speculation mounted that Rodriguez had gone back to tipping his pitches, but Red Sox manager John Farrell dismissed the possibility.
“No. I thought early on in the first inning he was a little quick with his delivery. He had trouble with command and pushed some changeups,” Farrell said. “The second inning some pitches down the middle and they struck quickly. It wasn’t a matter of tipping. That has been rectified.”
According to Rodriguez, he simply could not command his pitches the way he would have liked.
“I missed my spots with the slider, changeup and fastball. I didn’t throw it where I wanted to,” he said. “It was all about the location, not the pitch itself.”
The southpaw heads into Sunday’s start with a 5-3 record and a shoddy 4.64 ERA. He’s given up four home runs over his last two starts and he’s issued eight free passes since June 30. Command certainly is Rodriguez’s top priority going forward if he has resolved his pitch-tipping.
|07.25.15 at 11:24 pm ET|
Pedro Martinez received enough of an education in the Dominican to realize he’s not wasting his time with Colin Cowherd.
The former ESPN radio host was let go by the network on Friday, one day after questioning the intelligence of Dominican baseball players to make a point about baseball’s relative lack of complexity.
Martinez, one of the most well-spoken bilingual superstars in the game’s history, told reporters in Cooperstown on Saturday that he’s proud of where he came from and that Cowherd spoke from a place of ignorance.
“It’s only going to be an insult to anyone that falls to that level,” Martinez said. “I’m not at that level. I’m dealing here with polite people, people that understand human rights, people who understand who we are and these are the people I’m paying attention to.
“That person, I don’t even know, I never heard of him, I don’t want to know him. I want to know the people that represent something, that mean something to us, the people that understand how we can get better. Yes, we are a Third World country. Yes, we don’t have the resources to be more educated, but you know what? Every once in a while you’re going to get one like me, that’s not afraid to face you guys, to tell you how educated or uneducated I am, how proud I am of becoming who I am. We’re not going to stop and go back to probably the third world country that we were 30 years ago. We want to go forward, we’re looking forward.”
Speaking one day before his Hall of Fame induction on Sunday, Martinez invoked the name of one of baseball’s great humanitarians.
“I want to look up to you guys, the voters, the seniors who are here, the Hall of Famers who are here, and hopefully set the bar high like Roberto Clemente did,” he said. “I want to set the bar high for every other players that’s coming from my country, and not only that, but the human beings that are coming over. I hope that we get people in the government, I hope that we grow to be a power. Thirty percent of the Dominicans in the government, in the industry, all over ‘ we don’t want to look down to the people who don’t know, who are probably less educated than the people he’s trying to mention. No, we don’t want to fall to that category. We are way up here ‘ Hall of Fame starters. That’s where he needs to get. If he can’t get here, I’m sorry, he’s not going to talk to me.”
The subject means a lot to Martinez, because he considered himself an ambassador not just for the game, but for his home country when he was playing. And he takes particular pride in helping bridge a racial divide in Boston, too.
“I just want to say, whatever I am doing, I didn’t do it for Pedro,” he said. “I didn’t do it to get the credit as an individual. I think we all chipped in through the years. Luis Tiant. We have to think about Roberto Clemente. Roberto Clemente set that bar really high for all of us. Guys like Luis Tiant, Jim Rice and those guys that were able to mix in in Boston and remain in Boston actually took the first steps.
“But guess what? That’s what we were supposed to do. We did not overachieve anything. We did what we were supposed to do as ballplayers and representatives of baseball and different countries. We did what we’re supposed to do. I don’t want any of that to go on my resume. I’d like to be remembered as someone who chipped in and brought hope to those people. I’m glad I was the bridge to have every culture mixed in at Fenway Park. I’m extremely honored to have done that, but I was only doing what I was supposed to do. And that’s what we all need to do ‘ we need to chip in and be contributors to better relationships and use baseball if we have to as a bridge to get everybody together.”
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