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Matt Barnes throws 7 no-hit innings for PawSox

08.02.14 at 9:10 pm ET
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Red Sox right-hander Matt Barnes, in the strongest outing of his professional career, fired seven no-hit innings for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday night. Barnes punched out 10 for his fourth career outing of 10-plus strikeouts and his first of 2014 (indeed, his prior season-high had been just six strikeouts), and had just one ball hit out of the infield against him — a fly ball to center by the last batter he faced. Prior to that, his first 20 outs broke down as 10 strikeouts, five groundouts and five infield pop-ups. He walked two.

According to one evaluator at the game, Barnes was up to 97 mph with a curveball (a pitch that has yet to develop into a consistent offering for him) that was a weapon with power break. He was able to generate swings and misses with all three of his offerings (fastball, curve, change), according to the evaluator. MiLB.com’s GameDay had him with 18 swings-and-misses among his career-high 106 pitches, 66 of which (62 percent — a lower-than-expected percentage given the dominance) found the strike zone.

Though Barnes received a no-decision, the start continued what has been a strong beginning to the second half for the 24-year-old. After he entered the All-Star break with a 5.06 ERA, Barnes has a 1.96 ERA with 18 strikeouts and seven walks in 18 1/3 innings to open the second half in Pawtucket.

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Closing Time: Allen Webster loses control as Sox lose to Yankees

08.02.14 at 8:03 pm ET
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It was looking like another good day for the post-trade-deadline Red Sox.

The Sox had a three-run lead after the second inning and Allen Webster was off to a solid start. Thursday’s roster overhaul was not only looking like a starting point for the 2015 Red Sox, but this year’s club was beginning to look more exciting.

Then the third inning happened.

Webster crumbled, the Sox’ bats went cold and the Yankees came away with a 6-4 win Saturday at Fenway Park.

Holding a 3-0 lead, Webster was chased from the game after a disastrous, four-run third inning in which the rookie issued five free passes to Yankee hitters. Webster lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, two hits and six walks for the loss.

At a time when the Red Sox are evaluating their young pitchers to see if any of them can offer reliable performance in 2015, Webster’s loss of the strike zone represented a considerable red flag. His stuff can be electrifying, but if he can’t keep it in the strike zone, it won’t matter.

The loss dropped the Red Sox‘ record to 49-61 for the season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Everything appeared to be going well for Webster by the end of the second inning. He had already tossed a pair of clean innings and was given a three-run lead after an offensive outburst off Yankees starter Shane Greene. That all changed for Webster in a horrendous top of the third inning. The rookie gave up four runs on just two hits to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. Webster faced the entire New York order before being replaced by Burke Badenhop with two outs in the inning. Read the rest of this entry »

Kelly Johnson given ideal circumstances in surprise trade to Red Sox

08.02.14 at 7:06 pm ET
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The oddity of Kelly Johnson‘s situation is apparent every time he leaves for the ballpark.

On Thursday, Johnson was traded to the Red Sox. But he didn’t have to travel far to join his new team, because the Yankees — the team that dealt him — were in town for a three-game set at Fenway Park.

All Johnson had to do was change uniforms and clubhouses. What he didn’t change was where he sleeps. Johnson is still staying in the Yankees‘ team hotel. So the rest of the weekend will be spent surrounded by his former teammates and newest opponents.

“Just bizarre to happen to be here also and just kind of walk across the field so to speak,” Johnson said while addressing the media in the Red Sox‘ clubhouse. “It’s funny to be on the same floor as the whole team and walk out and I’m over here.”

Johnson didn’t just change teams Thursday. He swapped places with good friend Stephen Drew, whom the Yankees acquired for Johnson.

The two were teammates in Arizona from 2010-11 and became close in that time. After hearing the news, Johnson and Drew exchanged text messages. Johnson then went over to Drew’s home to visit.

To make the matter more absurd, Johnson took Drew’s old No. 7 with the Red Sox and Drew took Johnson’s No. 33 Yankees uniform. Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox notes: Why Yoenis Cespedes is in left field; Allen Craig rests his ankle

08.02.14 at 4:48 pm ET
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It comes as little surprise that in his Red Sox debut on Saturday, Yoenis Cespedes will take aim at the Green Monster. What does come as some surprise is that Cespedes will also be playing in front of it.

The Red Sox acquired Cespedes with the intention of having him be, in the words of John Farrell, “our everyday right fielder” — a role that he can claim without difficulty given that Shane Victorino appears likely to undergo season-ending surgery on his lower back. But on Saturday, Cespedes, who has yet to play a game in right field since making his big league debut in 2012, will instead patrol left field given his familiarity there and his lack of exposure to right, particularly at Fenway Park.

“Out of fairness to Yoenis, we need to get some early work in, particularly in Fenway here,” said Farrell. Read the rest of this entry »

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After learning of trade on Twitter, Joe Kelly embraces new opportunity with Red Sox

08.02.14 at 3:54 pm ET
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Newest Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly exemplified the life of a major leaguer in 2014 on Thursday.

Kelly was in the training room with former Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski before the Cardinals’ afternoon game that day when he struck up a conversation with his teammate about the latest trade deadline rumors. The most recent report involved their team.

“Hey, it looks like the Cardinals are going to get [John Lackey],” Kelly told Pierzynski.

“Oh yeah, really? How do you know?” Pierzynski asked.

Kelly responded: “I’ve got a source on Twitter.”

Said Pierzynski: “Oh yeah, because everything on Twitter is true.”

Kelly checked Twitter again about 15 minutes later and found out not only had St. Louis traded for Lackey, but he and Allen Craig were the ones going to Boston in return.

“I went over to A.J. and said, ‘I told you Twitter is true,’ ” Kelly said. Read the rest of this entry »

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David Ross lands on DL, Dan Butler called up

08.02.14 at 3:44 pm ET
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It is a strange injury when a tear is described as a positive outcome.

Catcher David Ross suffered what the Red Sox believe was a tear of the plantar fascia on Friday — an injury that actually represents a positive development, as his case of plantar fasciitis had become constantly painful. With the tear, the team is hopeful that Ross’ foot will heal in a fashion that permits him to play without pain.

“Everything points towards that tendon having let go last night, which, in this case, is a positive,” said Sox manager John Farrell. “How many days it takes to recover, we’ll see, but the 15 days should hopefully help this quiet down to the point of him returning.”

With Ross sidelined, the Red Sox called up Dan Butler, a 27-year-old who signed with the organization as an undrafted free agent in 2009 out of the University of Arizona while playing in the Cape League. Butler (hitting .227/.306/.338 this year in Pawtucket, after amassing a .262/.350/.479 line at the same level last year) is described in the organization as a “grinder” who kept his head down and, despite lacking typical prospect status conferred upon a player who signed for a significant bonus, forced his way to the big leagues by showing good defensive skills and the ability to lead pitching staffs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shane Victorino gets ‘news that I didn’t want to get’ about potential surgery

08.02.14 at 3:26 pm ET
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For Shane Victorino, a year of injuries and frustrations seems like it may be nearing a conclusion under a surgeon’s knife. The 33-year-old, on the disabled list for the third time this year after he left Wednesday’s game with discomfort in his back, underwent an MRI on his lower back on Friday that suggested that he might need surgery. He will visit Dr. Robert Watkins, a back specialist in Los Angeles for a second opinion before settling upon a definitive course of action.

“I’€™m definitely disappointed, news that I didn’€™t want to get. Obviously I think we need another opinion, see where we’€™re at and we’€™re going to go from there,” said Victorino. “Obviously [the MRI] showed some signs of some things going on with my back that obviously it’€™s important for us to get a second opinion. We’€™ll go and see what happens and go from there. … Any time you have to go and see someone like [Watkins], it’€™s never what you want to hear. You’€™re just hoping that what you see in an MRI doesn’€™t come out with that kind of information. We’€™ll get that second opinion and see how it goes.” Read the rest of this entry »

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