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Jason Groome: ‘It still feels like a dream’ being member of Red Sox

09.16.16 at 7:36 pm ET
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Jason Groome met with reporters after shagging fly balls and throwing in the Fenway Park outfield. (WEEI.com)

Jason Groome met with reporters after shagging fly balls and throwing in the Fenway Park outfield. (WEEI.com)

For the first time since signing with the Red Sox, 2016 first-round pick Jason Groome was on the field at Fenway Park in full uniform.

Prior to Friday’s Red Sox-Yankees game, Groome shagged fly balls and played catch in the outfield, as well as getting to speak with members of the current team and coaches in the outfield.

This is something the Red Sox typically do after their top picks first sign, but since Groome signed close to the deadline, he headed right to Florida for the Gulf Coast League.

“It still feels like a dream,” Groome said in the Red Sox dugout after batting practice. “I never thought I would be playing for the Red Sox and having my family here, it’s their first time in Boston. It’s a great feeling.”

One of the players who Groome talked to the most was Rick Porcello, as both grew up in New Jersey. The 18-year-old also said he got to meet David Ortiz, which was a huge thrill for him as he grew up with the Red Sox being his favorite team.

“It kind of feels a little weird because like I just got drafted, I am at the end of the ladder and they are all the way at the top, but it’s just like another group of teammates,” he said. “You get to meet them now and hopefully I remember your face when I get up here.”

Groome made two starts in the Gulf Coast League before two more in short-season, Single-A Lowell. Over the four starts, he allowed three earned runs in 10 innings (one run in each of his final three appearances). He was kept on a pitch count with his longest start being 3 1/3 innings. Going from the Gulf Coast League to Lowell was a big adjustment.

“Mainly just how pro ball is structured,” Groome said. “Time management was a big thing for me, so I mean, I do what I needed to do and got where I needed to be on time. That was a big step and and just the transformation from the GCL to Lowell was it felt more like professional baseball because being in Lowell still in Massachusetts there’s ton of Boston fans so actually pitching in front of a crowd now is pretty surreal.”

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Red Sox notes: John Farrell says bullpen not auditioning for playoff roles

09.16.16 at 6:20 pm ET
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Left-hander Robby Scott had a great outing on Thursday night. (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports)

Left-hander Robby Scott had a great outing on Thursday night. (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports)

With there only being 16 games left in the regular season and the Red Sox with a good chance of making the postseason, it’s never too early to start thinking about a potential playoff roster and who will be on it.

The Red Sox bullpen has a 0.74 ERA in the month of September — the best in baseball — with a number of players stepping up to deliver strong performances.

Given the number of great individual outings and players performing better than earlier in the year, there will be a lot of competition for the final bullpen spots, but manager John Farrell said the remaining games will not be considered an audition.

“No, it’s about what to we need to do to win tonight,” Farrell said. “Not to short-circuit the answer, but I don’t anyone is looking beyond today. And honestly, that’s the mentally we have to maintain until the last out is made whenever and wherever that is.”

One of the pitchers who has made a name for himself is left-hander Robby Scott, who was added to the roster when rosters expanded on Sept. 1.

In two appearances, Scott hasn’t allowed an earned run over four innings, which included a three inning appearance Thursday night against the Yankees, which proved key to keep the Red Sox within striking distance prior to Hanley Ramirez’s walk-off home run.

Scott made his major league debut this month as the 27-year-old has had a long journey to the big leagues.

“It was, but yet the other day in that sim game we had him throw an inning just to tune him up, sharpen him up, just to get him on the mound,” Farrell said when asked if the team took an inning-by-inning approach on Thursday with him. “As he was going through that game last night — and even if you set aside the final outcome — those three innings were key just to preserve staying away from certain guys when you’re down on the scoreboard.

“Just an incredible personal story on his part from where he’s come from, the way he’s made adjustments this year to make himself even that much more unique — all credit to him for the work that he’s put in, but I think the thing that stands out is maybe that he’s starting in Yuma, Arizona and the Independent League trail that he’s followed, there’s no fear on his part. Just a good strike-thrower with maybe not the most overpowering stuff, but the change of angles and the fearlessness certainly plays out.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, jackie bradley jr., John Farrell, robby scott

Red Sox lineup: Chris Young starts in LF, Andrew Benintendi sits vs. Yankees

09.16.16 at 3:24 pm ET
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Chris Young

Chris Young

The Red Sox will look to make it two in a row and extend their lead even more in the AL East following Thursday’s dramatic walk-off win.

Chris Young will get the start in left field and Andrew Benintendi will rest as the Red Sox go up against right-hander Luis Cessa. It’s likely the Red Sox wanted to give Benintendi a down day after his first game back in over three weeks on Thursday.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

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

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

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Rays reportedly not planning special ceremony to honor David Ortiz

09.16.16 at 2:10 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

It’s been a tradition this season for teams to honor David Ortiz with a special pregame ceremony with gifts as a way to pay tribute to him during his final game in that particular city, as he is set to retire at the end of the this year.

This type of ceremony apparently won’t happen in one city in the American League East.

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays aren’t planning any special ceremony, just a short video tribute to be shown prior to the second inning in next Sunday’s series finale. The story notes every team in the league has honored Ortiz to this point in the year with the exception of the Braves.

Even the Yankees are reportedly planning some sort of ceremony.

Rays officials declined to give a reason to Topkin for the story.

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

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Friday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Luis Cessa

09.16.16 at 8:05 am ET
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Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz

The Red Sox will dispatch Clay Buchholz to face rookie right-hander Luis Cessa on Friday night in the second game of the Red Sox-Yankees four-game series.

Buchholz is 7-10 with a 5.31 ERA and a 1.396 WHIP in 34 games (18 starts). His last time out against the Blue Jays on Sunday was unimpressive. In only three innings of work he gave up six runs, four hits (two home runs) and four walks with three strikeouts in an 11-8 Sox win.

Against the Yankees, the right-hander is 5-9 with a 6.19 ERA and a 1.647 WHIP in 18 games (17 starts). Buchholz last saw the Yankees on Aug. 10. In that appearance, he replaced starter Drew Pomeranz in the sixth inning and went on to get Starlin Castro to ground into an inning-ending double play. His last start against the Pinstripes came in July of last season, when he went 3 1/3 innings before having to leave the game with an elbow injury. Before departing, he allowed three runs (one earned), six hits and no walks with three strikeouts.

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David Ortiz: ‘I’m not really focused on personal numbers, I’m focused on winning’

09.16.16 at 12:42 am ET
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David Ortiz passed Mickey Mantle on the all-time home run list on Thursday. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

David Ortiz passed Mickey Mantle on the all-time home run list on Thursday. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Prior to the Red Sox’ ninth inning comeback win over the Yankees, David Ortiz reached yet another milestone.

With his solo home run in the eighth inning, he surpassed Mickey Mantle for 17th on the all-time home run list, as he now has 537.

After the game, the slugger was asked what it was like to pass a legend like Mantle, but Ortiz said all he cares about is winning.

“I’m not really focused on personal numbers, I’m focused on winning,” Ortiz said. “We need to win right now. We need to do whatever it takes to win. The race right now is very close. Look at the standings, every one matters right now. It’s great to be part of the history, but right now I’m focused on winning.”

Thursday was one of the biggest wins of the year for the Red Sox as they scored five runs in the ninth inning against Yankees closer Dellin Betances to stun the Yankees 7-5, as Hanley Ramirez hit a two-out, walk-off three-run homer to dead-center field.

“Man, this game pretty much was on their side and it’s huge,” Ortiz said. “Hanley is a guy that — he has been doing some unbelievable things with the year he’s happening. You can’t ask for much more than that. He’s coming in every day to do something to make things happen. That’s how it is.”

With Ortiz starting the ninth inning rally with a two-out single for the third run, it was a similar feeling to the magic of 2004 when Ortiz had several clutch hits in the postseason.

“Our games against the Yankees are unbelievable games,” Ortiz said. “Coming from behind against a guy like Betances is huge. Betances is super nasty. He has some of the best stuff in the game. It’s big. It’s pretty big.”

The Red Sox now have a two-game lead in the AL East over the Orioles and a five-game lead over the Yankees with the Blue Jays sandwiched in the middle.

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Hanley Ramirez on walk-off home run: ‘I was trying to go to the moon’

09.16.16 at 12:32 am ET
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Hanley Ramirez hit a three-run walk-off home run Thursday night against the Yankees. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Hanley Ramirez hit a three-run walk-off home run Thursday night against the Yankees. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

With the Red Sox trailing 5-4 with two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Hanley Ramirez stepped to the plate against Yankees closer Dellin Betances.

After a bad swing-and-miss, Ramirez worked the count to 3-1 and got a fastball he could drive.

Ramirez didn’t miss it, crushing a three-run homer to dead-center to give the Red Sox a 7-5, walk-off win. The Sox entered the ninth inning trailing 5-2.

“I was trying to go to the moon,” Ramirez said. “That’s why I was sitting on a fastball the whole time. … Just stay back and let it rip.”

It was the Red Sox’ third walk-off win of the season and was the first walk-off homer by a member of the Red Sox since Mike Napoli on May 18, 2014.

“That’s unbelievable. I’ve been saying it the whole year. We don’t give up,” Ramirez said. “We play 27 outs. And everybody just going out there and give everything we got every day. We play as a team, we win as a team and we lose a team.”

Ramirez has been swinging a hot bat of late as he has five home runs in his last eight games and eight in his last 15. Since July 23, he has five, two-out, go-ahead home runs at Fenway Park. Since 1974, no player has had more two-out, go-ahead home runs with multiple runners on base at his home ballpark.

“The whole team. In September, we’ve been playing good baseball as a team,” Ramirez said. “That’s why we are who we are right now. Not just me, everybody. The pitching, bullpen, offense, defense. We just have to keep going.”

The entire team flew out of the dugout before mobbing Ramirez at home plate after the hit. He said it was the most fun he’s had on a baseball field since the Dominican Republic won the World Baseball Classic in 2013.

With the win, the Red Sox now have a two-game lead in the American League East over the Orioles, who lost earlier in the night. While it was a satisfying win, Ramirez won’t be completely satisfied unless the Red Sox win the World Series.

“You know me, I’m not satisfied,” Ramirez said. “We haven’t got the job done yet. We have to keep going and I’ll be talking to you after November. And then I’ll answer the question.”

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Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez hits walk-off 3-run homer as Red Sox stun Yankees

09.15.16 at 11:06 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez hit his sixth career walk-off home run as the Red Sox stunned the Yankees. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Hanley Ramirez hit his sixth career walk-off home run as the Red Sox stunned the Yankees. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

While Sunday’s back-and-forth battle with the Blue Jays was deemed the biggest win of the season, Thursday night might have topped it.

With the Red Sox trailing 5-2 entering the ninth inning, they scored five runs to stun the Yankees, 7-5.

With two outs and two on, Hanley Ramirez crushed a three-run homer to dead-center field off closer Dellin Betances to give the Red Sox a walk-off win.

The Yankees used two different pitchers — Tommy Layne and Blake Parker — before Betances entered the game with a runner on first and one out. David Ortiz got the rally started with a two-out RBI bloop single and then Mookie Betts singled home Xander Bogaerts to make it a 5-4 game.

A wild pitch set up second and third with two outs and Ramirez’s heroics came on a 3-1 count.

“I was trying to go to the moon,” Ramirez said. “That’s why I was sitting on a fastball the whole time. … Just stay back and let it rip.”

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struggled as he allowed two runs in the first and then two more in the third before being lifted from the game. The left-hander departed after just 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He didn’t walk or strike out a batter. The 23-year-old didn’t have much command as most of his pitches were left over the plate and the Yankees bats took full advantage.

It was the third time in the last five games where the Red Sox starter has failed to make it out of the third inning.

“This turn through, it’s been less than,” manager John Farrell said. “We went a long stretch where our rotation has been very steady, very consistent and while the three guys have scuffled this last turn through, our bullpen has stepped up and just been dynamic. Tonight was a big lift. Each guy that came to the mound, they did their job, kept the game under control and fortunately we scored enough late to overcome it.”

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Read More: David Ortiz, eduardo rodriguez, hanley ramirez,

Padres GM A.J. Preller suspended 30 games after MLB investigation into trade of Drew Pomeranz to Red Sox

09.15.16 at 5:32 pm ET
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Padres GM A.J. Preller was suspended 30 days for withholding medical information in the Drew Pomeranz trade. (Jake Roth-USA Today Sports)

Padres GM A.J. Preller was suspended 30 days for withholding medical information in the Drew Pomeranz trade. (Jake Roth-USA Today Sports)

On Thursday, Major League Baseball announced Padres general manager A.J. Preller has been suspended 30 games without pay following an investigation into the July 14th trade in which Drew Pomeranz was traded from the Padres to the Red Sox for pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Padres instructed their organization’s athletic trainers to maintain two distinct files of medical information on their players — one for industry consumption and the other for the team’s internal use. Trainers were told in meetings during spring training that the distinction was meant to better position the team for trades.

This is Preller’s second suspension. He was also suspended for violations while running the Rangers’ international operations, reportedly for negotiating with a suspended player in 2009.

Here’s the league’s full statement:

Major League Baseball has completed an investigation into the July 14th transaction in which pitcher Drew Pomeranz was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Boston Red Sox. MLB’s Department of Investigations conducted the thorough review, which included interviews with relevant individuals from both Clubs. The findings were submitted to Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.

As a result of this matter, Major League Baseball announced today that A.J. Preller, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Padres, has received a 30-day suspension without pay.

MLB considers the matter closed and will have no further comment.

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

Read More: A.J. Preller suspended, Drew Pomeranz, Padres, Red Sox

Red Sox notes: David Ortiz expected to play in every game rest of season

09.15.16 at 5:17 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

Given his age and the long season, David Ortiz has needed a few down days along the way this year. Going into Thursday, the designated hitter has missed 11 games in total this year, but hasn’t started in a few more to later come in as a pinch-hitter.

Ortiz didn’t play (he pinch-hit once) in any of the three games in San Diego last week and it appears like that will be enough to make him available for the remaining 16 games of the season after Thursday.

“I’m sure there’s been some benefit to it,” manager John Farrell of the three games plus an off-day last week. “Any time this time of year a player regardless of who you are gets a little bit of a breather, it helps. I think there was some at-bats up in Toronto where he worked to get his timing back a little bit more sharp and consistent. Hopefully that set him up to be available every game remaining. No one wants to be out there daily more than David. We’ll take a step back if needed, but right now there is nothing to suggest he will need a day.”

Since the down time, Ortiz is hitting .240, but like Farrell said, it has taken some time to get his timing back. Farrell said Ortiz is feeling pretty good at the moment, but he will continue to check on him daily like they have all year.

“I think he feels — I can’t say as good as he has at any point in the season — but we had 23 games remaining after the Padres series,” Farrell said. “We do have a day off scheduled, [Sept. 26] in New York. I think that if the turnaround time of a given day — we have a couple of Sunday night games coming up that are going to present a little bit of a challenge, but as we’ve done all year that will be daily communication and we’ll work through it as best we can.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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