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Joe Kelly to get shot at relieving for Red Sox, taking place of Heath Hembree

07.24.16 at 1:04 am ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

After the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins Saturday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell reported Heath Hembree would be sent to Triple-A Pawtucket after allowing a run on three hits in just 1/3 innings.

“He’s not a confident pitcher right now, and we just did option him to Pawtucket,” said Farrell of Hembree following the loss. “The corresponding move will be announced [Sunday]. As good as Heath has been for the vast majority of this year, really the whole first half, the four times out since the break has been the other side of that. We need to add another reliever, there’s no doubt, and a guy that’s able to go multiple innings. That’ll be the move for [Sunday].”

According to a source, that move will be promoting Joe Kelly.

Kelly will be joining the Red Sox bullpen after making the transition to reliever while with Single-A Lowell and Triple-A Pawtucket. In the minors, the righty made seven outings, only allowing two runs, while striking out 14 and walking two.

While Kelly hasn’t pitched in the majors out of the bullpen since Sept. 29, 2013, he does have extensive experience as a reliever.

After not pitching much at all in high school, he served as Cal-Riverside’s closer for three years before being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. It was in the St. Louis minor league system Kelly made the transformation into a starter.

Closing Time: Red Sox squander lead, fall for 2nd straight night to Twins

07.23.16 at 11:22 pm ET
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Eddie Rosario sends a message to the Red Sox during the Twins' five-run seventh inning. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Eddie Rosario sends a message to the Red Sox during the Twins’ five-run seventh inning. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

At multiple points in Saturday night’s game, it seemed like nothing could top how topsy-turvy the windy weather was. What transpired on the field during Red Sox’ 4-hour, 11-minute, 11-9 loss to the Twins proved otherwise.

And it was all highlighted by one of the most frustrating innings of the Red Sox’ season.

Carrying an uncomfortable, 8-5 lead the seventh, the Red Sox squandered their advantage in a big way, starting with a misread fly ball by Michael Martinez in deep right field that resulted in an RBI triple for Max Kepler. Brock Holt followed up with a misread fly ball of his own in left field, sliding to early to try to make the catch with the ball instead deflecting off his glove for an RBI double.

“Our guys have been in that spot where they’ve converged on that ball numerous times. Brock [Holt] tries to make a sliding catch, it goes off the heel of his glove, I can’t say whether the ball was jumping around on him in pursuit.” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “I thought Clay deserved better in that spot.”

Things started looking up as Jackie Bradley Jr. appeared to throw out Kennys Vargas at the plate to end the inning, however a review of the play showed otherwise, tying the game.

Eduardo Nunez then provided a pivotal two-run single to put the Twins up by what would be the final margin.

The Red Sox utilized Clay Buchholz, Tommy Layne and Heath Hembree in the seventh inning alone.

“We try to space out the work as best possible, but on a night when Barnes is unavailable, that’s a guy that’s missed on a night like this,” Farrell said. “And with Junichi [Tazawa] coming off the DL, you have to be careful with his overall usage, but in a situation where both Tommy [Layne] and Robbie [Ross Jr.] are going four out of five days, yeah, that goes back to the depth of the … rotation and being able to work deeper into games.”

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Sources: White Sox still showing no inclination to deal key players

07.23.16 at 9:53 pm ET
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Chris Sale

Chris Sale

Even after cutting up his team’s uniforms, don’t count on Chris Sale coming to the Red Sox.

According to multiple major league sources, the White Sox still have shown no inclination to deal some of their key players, such as pitchers Sale or Jose Quintana.

It is a posture the Red Sox have taken into account when planning a strategy heading into the non-waiver trade deadline, and in making the decision to act early with the acquisition of starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz.

The White Sox came into Saturday’s game against Detroit at 46-50, seven games out of the final American League Wild Card spot and 10 1/2 games in back of Cleveland in the A.L Central.

Sale’s availability has been the topic of conversation throughout baseball in recent weeks, and only gained steam after the lefty was scratched from his Saturday start due to a dispute about wearing the White Sox’ throwback uniforms.

But with Sale still under team control through the 2019 season, making no more than $13.5 million per season, there isn’t a strong motivation for the White Sox to deal the 27-year-old old.

Quintana (also 27 years old) is in a similar situation, with the White Sox controlling his contract through the 2020 season. Under the current deal, the most he will be making is $10.5 million for a single season.

Chris Sale scratched from start after not wanting to wear throwback uniforms

07.23.16 at 8:24 pm ET
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White Sox ace Chris Sale was scratched from his start Saturday after what the club defined as a “clubhouse incident.” The issue, according to multiple reports, involved Sale’s refusal to the 1976 throwback uniforms scheduled to be donned by Chicago in it’s game against Detroit.

Matt Albers started in the place of Sale, who came into the day with a 14-3 record and 3.18 ERA. He was coming off an eight-inning gem against Seattle in which the lefty allowed just one hit.

Jerry Remy hit in head with monitor during broadcast

07.23.16 at 8:09 pm ET
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The strong winds at Fenway Park Saturday were reeking havoc with more than just the play on the field.

Jerry Remy was forced to leave the NESN broadcast in the second inning after a gust of wind blew a television monitor into his head. The longtime Red Sox color analyst exited the broadcast booth to be evaluated by medical personnel, with Steve Lyons taking over for the remainder of the game between the Red Sox and Twins.

NESN personnel reported Remy checked out OK and is expected to return to the booth for Sunday’s series finale.

Red Sox notes: Craig Kimbrel progressing rapidly; John Farrell ‘hopeful’ Koji Uehara will return this season

07.23.16 at 5:17 pm ET
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Craig Kimbrel experienced his first trade exactly one year ago. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)

Craig Kimbrel is making signficant progress in returning from his right knee injury. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)

The prognosis was that Craig Kimbrel’s return would be 3-6 weeks. Judging by how the reliever has progressed since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, it sure seems like he might be coming back sooner rather than later.

Red Sox manager John Farrell reported that the plan is to have Kimbrel throw a 20-pitch bullpen session either Sunday or Monday, with another planned before the team heads to the West Coast after Wednesday’s afternoon game.

“I think we’ll have a better idea when he gets through the two bullpens,” Farrell said. “We need to get some PFP [pitchers fielding practice] involved here, some change of direction to field the position and those types of things. Cut in terms of amount of time missed and the fact he’s able to get as aggressive right now in long toss, I would think it’d be on the shorter end of number of appearances even if it’s more than one.”

The manager added, “He feels very good. If he wasn’t making the ultimately decision medically he’d probably say give me the ball tonight. That’s how good he feels. That’s encouraging but still we have to get him through proper steps to get him there.”

After the bullpens, the Red Sox may conduct a simulated game for Kimbrel, although a rehab appearance isn’t out of the question. “We’re not scripting it out past Wednesday because we could go one of two ways here.”

Kimbrel hasn’t pitched since July 6, having injured his right knee while going over to field a ball in batting practice July 9.

– The news doesn’t sound quite as optimistic for Koji Uehara, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle on his right side. The reliever is currently recovering from a PRP [Platelet Rich Plasma] injection, administered Friday.

“It’s more to tolerance, and it might depend on the area in which it’s administered. This is mostly muscle,” Farrell said. “There’s not a ligament involved here where, if it was an elbow, you’d be looking at a little bit of a longer period, but, still, there’s no number of days that says Koji is going to put a ball back in his hand. It’s going to come through strength. It’s going to come through range of motion and the rehab. Right now he’s just getting back from the soreness of the injection itself.”

Asked if the organization is counting on Uehara returning this year, Farrell said, “We’re hopeful of that. To give you a time frame, it’s too early to tell on that.”

– Besides the time off given to Mookie Betts (for more on the outfielder’s injury click here), Farrell also presented the Sox’ plans when it comes to playing time for the rest of the homestand.

“We’re trying to rotate guys all the way through,” he said. “We’ve got a little bit of a different look here today. (For a complete lineup, click here.) I’d anticipate Hanley [Ramirez] DHing tomorrow and David [Ortiz] being down one of two for David this coming week. A day off his feet to manage all the situations so with Mookie being down want to be careful we’re not void of three of our top four guys in the lineup in a give night.”

Mookie Betts feeling ‘pretty good’ after leaving Friday with a sore knee

07.23.16 at 4:51 pm ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

After leaving Friday night’s game with a sore knee, it appears Mookie Betts’ absence won’t be long, nor serious.

Speaking prior to Saturday’s game, the Red Sox’ right fielder indicated that though the pain had been somewhat persistent, as of recently, the treatment he has been receiving has been beneficial in his recovery.

“I feel pretty good today,” Betts said. “[Going to] do some treatment on it and make sure everything’s good and hopefully get back out there.”

“Still day to day,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell prior to Saturday night’s game. “Structurally everything is sound. There’s no cartilage issues. There’s some slight swelling in the area and we’ve got to work to get that out of there so day to day is the status. It may take a couple before he’s back to us but everything points to this being a short-term situation.”

Betts will not start for the first time this season and will be replaced by Michael Martinez in right field and Brock Holt in the leadoff spot.

“I always want to be in there in play,” Betts said. “We have a pretty good team and I think everyone will be fine and hopefully I can get back in there pretty quick.”

The 23-year-old said Saturday was a good treatment day and that he would reevaluate again Sunday morning. The injury was suspected — and eventually confirmed by Betts — to have worsened when he sprinted into shallow right field to throw out Brian Dozier at second base during the top of the fourth inning. The soreness is not new, however, as Red Sox manager John Farrell cited Betts had been dealing with the pain since the All-Star break.

“After the play with Dozier, I felt I couldn’t run full speed so I just didn’t want to make anything worse and was precautionary,” Betts said also noting that he had felt the pain prior to the game but rubbed it out and felt better.

Betts’ is listed as day-to-day, with his treatment so far consisting of mainly ice He did receive and MRI as well, which he said showed only fluid.

“Structurally everything is perfectly fine, just fluid around there, that’s all. Just trying to get it out,” Betts said.



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Red Sox lineup: Brock Holt leads off with Mookie Betts out

07.23.16 at 3:26 pm ET
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For the second time this season, the Red Sox will have a different leadoff hitter.

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

With Mookie Betts sidelined with a knee injury, Brock Holt slides up to take the top spot in the batting order. Filling in for Betts in right field will be Michael Martinez, who replaced the outfielder after his exit Friday night. Jackie Bradley Jr. has previously been the only other member of the Sox to leadoff this year.

Here is the Red Sox’ lineup against Twins righty Ricky Nolasco on the mound for the visitors, and David Price going for the Sox:

Brock Holt LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Sandy Leon C
Michael Martinez RF

For all the matchups, click here.

Saturday Red Sox Farm Report: Andrew Benintendi debuts in left field with no issues; Luis Alexander Basabe continues hot July

07.23.16 at 11:16 am ET
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Here is the look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (51-49): L, 2-0, at Columbus (Indians)

— The two runs Columbus scored in the bottom of the first were all the runs scored in the game as they shutout the PawSox. Robby Scott made a spot start after Roenis Elias was scratched a couple hours before the game and allowed two runs, on six hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. The two runs came courtesy of a Yandy Diaz two-run homer. He was followed by Roman Mendez who threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

— Joe Kelly pitched the bottom of the eighth and while he allowed a double, he didn’t allow any runs and struck out two. With Pawtucket, Kelly hasn’t allowed a run in five innings and has struck out nine.

— At the plate, the PawSox finished with just three hits. Ryan LaMarre had a double, while Jantzen Witte and Henry Ramos added singles.

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Saturday’s Red Sox-Twins matchups: David Price vs. Ricky Nolasco

07.23.16 at 8:28 am ET
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In the third game of the Red Sox-Twins series on Saturday night, the Red Sox will send ace David Price to the mound, while the Twins call upon right-hander Ricky Nolasco.

Price is 9-7 with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.231 WHIP in 20 starts. He was cruising through his last start on Sunday against the Yankees until the fourth inning when he gave up three runs. The 30-year-old left-hander lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, 11 hits and one walk with one strikeout. The lone strikeout tied a season low for Price.

“No, I’m definitely not satisfied,” Price said. “It was a bad fourth inning. Even when I was ahead, I couldn’t execute whatever pitch I was throwing to get an out. That’s tough. They gave me a lead there in the first inning with a home run by [Dustin Pedroia] and I couldn’t capitalize.”

Price has faced the Twins 15 times (14 starts). In those games, Price is 9-3 with a 2.12 ERA and a 0.974 WHIP. Price’s career 2.12 ERA against the Twins is the lowest he has against any team with at least 10 starts. Price last faced the Twins in August of last season when he was a member of the Blue Jays. In that outing, Price went eight innings, allowing just one run, three hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts in a 5-1 Toronto win.

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