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Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia back in despite early exit on Friday

08.16.14 at 3:22 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup Saturday night for the third game of their four-game series against the Astros despite leaving Friday’s game early after fouling a ball off his right foot in the third inning.

The second baseman left in the bottom of the eighth after running out a ground ball. Manager John Farrell said after the game that they would decide whether or not to play him Saturday.

Brock Holt will man third base, giving Will Middlebrooks the day off. Daniel Nava will play in right field.

RED SOX LINEUP

Brock Holt, 3B

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

David Ortiz, DH

Yoenis Cespedes, LF

Mike Napoli, 1B

Daniel Nava, RF

Xander Bogaerts, SS

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Christian Vazquez, C

Rubby De La Rosa, SP

Read More: Dustin Pedroia,

Red Sox minor league roundup: Deven Marrero’s slump deepens; Eduardo Rodriguez dominates; Trey Ball shelled; Kevin McAvoy, groundball machine

08.16.14 at 3:08 pm ET
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For the first time this year, Henry Owens has allowed four runs in back-to-back starts. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)

For the first time this year, Henry Owens has allowed four runs in back-to-back starts. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-1 LOSS VS. SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)

(BOX)

– While Deven Marrero could well end up emerging long term as the Red Sox shortstop, any idea that such a turn of events is imminent overlooks his offensive struggles in Pawtucket. Marrero went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts on Friday. He’s 0-for-13 with five punchouts in his last four games, and in 17 games since July 27, he’s hitting .131/.182/.230, with both his average and OBP the lowest in the International League during that time. The slump has dropped his Triple-A line to .235/.281/.324, a far cry from the .291/.371/.433 line he posted in Portland prior to his promotion.

It’s worth recalling that, a year ago, Marrero struggled after his mid-year promotion to Double-A, hitting .236/.321/.236 in 19 games. By the time he returned to Portland for the start of this year, he was ready to hold his own as a hitter. (His defense is considered a given, as he’s already an above-average big league defensive shortstop.) So, he’ll have to prove himself in similar fashion next year in Pawtucket to open the year. If he can do that, then depending on the Sox’ needs, Marrero could position himself for a midyear call-up. But for an organization that endured lineup vulnerability thanks in part to the struggles of players who were at a very early stage of their transitions to the big leagues, the idea of being patient with Marrero in Triple-A has obvious logic.

– Left-hander Henry Owens allowed four runs on six hits in six innings. It marked the first time all season that the 22-year-old has allowed three or more runs in back-to-back outings (he also permitted four in his previous start on Aug. 10). Though he permitted some hard contact in the form of a pair of homers, Owens did attack the strike zone in noteworthy fashion, throwing 60 of 84 pitches (71 percent) for strikes, getting 12 swings and misses, punching out seven and walking none. In three starts spanning 17 2/3 innings, Owens now has a 4.08 ERA with 21 punchouts and just five walks. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: eduardo rodriguez, henry owens, keury de la cruz, kevin mcavoy

Saturday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Brad Peacock

08.16.14 at 3:05 pm ET
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Rubby De La Rosa

Rubby De La Rosa

The Red Sox play the third game of their four-game series against the Astros on Saturday night when they send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound against Brad Peacock.

De La Rosa (4-4, 3.21 ERA) is on a streak of three straight quality starts after an exceptional performance against the Angels last Sunday. The right-hander pitched into the eighth inning the day after the Sox exhausted their bullpen in a 19-inning marathon, and remained strong deep into the game. De La Rosa’s only run allowed came on a leadoff home run by Mike Trout that ended his outing. He scattered five hits, walked three and struck out eight for the win.

“We needed Rubby to go deep, and he did,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “He pitched with a lot of poise. He threw three pitches for strikes.” 

After getting torched for seven runs over four innings in Toronto on July 24, De La Rosa appears to have turned the corner, allowing five runs in his last 19 innings. Most importantly, he’s finally shown he can pitch away from Fenway, posting a 1.38 ERA in his last two starts on the road.

De La Rosa should enjoy being back at home, however. The 25-year-old is 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA in five starts at Fenway this season. He hasn’t faced the Astros since a scoreless inning of relief in Houston last season in which he struck out two. De La Rosa is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three appearances (one start) against the Astros, with the first two appearances coming in 2011.

After giving up 15 combined runs in consecutive starts, Peacock (3-8, 5.25 ERA) bounced back nicely in his start against the Twins on Monday. The righty gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits over five innings in a no-decision. He walked one and struck out five.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Peacock, rubby de la rosa,

Defensive miscues cost Red Sox in frustrating loss

08.16.14 at 2:59 am ET
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It seemed as if everything was in place for a Red Sox victory Friday night.

Clay Buchholz gave his team a chance to win, holding the Astros to just two earned runs over seven innings of work, while Brock Holt‘€™s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh gave Boston a late 3-2 lead.

However, both the lead and the game quickly changed course in the top of the eighth, all due to a head-scratching and bizarre series of defensive mistakes.

With runners on first and second for Houston with two outs, Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez hit a liner that jumped up in front of Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts, looking to end the inning, attempted to get the out at second, but Dexter Fowler beat the force out.

Dustin Pedroia then immediately threw to home in an attempt to nab Gregorio Petit, who was attempting to score on the play. Christian Vazquez caught the ball and attempted to tag out Petit in a rundown, but took an odd angle that allowed Petit to avoid the tag and sneak past the Sox catcher on the basepaths.

“It’€™s a tough play. … [Pedroia] threw the ball to home plate and I was running to the runner to do a rundown and he came on the other side,” Vazquez said.

Vazquez then flipped the ball to reliever Burke Bandenhop at home, who fumbled the throw, allowing Petit to score and tie the game at 3 runs apiece.

“A strange play with two outs,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after the game. “Fowler, at first base, does a good job of getting to second base in short order, but Dominguez hits a little bit of a humpback liner that Xander’€™s got to lay back on, and if the anticipation might have been where the speed of Fowler doesn’€™t give him a shot at the feed at second base, then does he possibly take the throw across the infield to get Dominguez, who is probably a little bit of a below-average runner.”

“But then I think [Pedroia] makes a heads-up play, even after the safe sign is called, and Christian’€™s aggressiveness to run him back to third base, his momentum takes him inside the third-base line and gives Petit enough room to elude a tag, and unfortunately that’€™s a tie ballgame in that spot.”

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Read More: Astros, christian vazquez, Red Sox, xander bogaerts

Dustin Pedroia leaves game after fouling ball off foot

08.16.14 at 12:05 am ET
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After fouling a ball off his right foot in his second at-bat (third inning), Dustin Pedroia was forced to exit the Red Sox‘€™ Friday night game.

The second baseman left what resulted in the Sox’€™ 5-3 loss after running out a ground ball in the bottom of the eighth inning.

‘€œHe fouled a ball off the right foot. He came out, obviously, he’€™s sore,’€ said Red Sox manager John Farrell. ‘€œWe’€™ll check him in the morning to see, or when he reports tomorrow, to see if he’€™s available. He’€™s a little bit sore after [Saturday night].’€

After the game, Pedroia underwent a Fluoroscan that proved negative. In 2010, he underwent surgery after fouling a ball off his left foot.

Closing Time: Astros snap Red Sox’ four-game win streak in extra innings

08.15.14 at 10:58 pm ET
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David Ortiz and the Red Sox saw their four-game win streak come to an end. (Getty Images)

David Ortiz and the Red Sox saw their four-game win streak come to an end. (Getty Images)

Entering Friday night, the Astros had a career record of 0-8 at Fenway Park, while the Red Sox possessed a bizarre mark of 0-14 on actor Ben Affleck‘s birthday dating back to 1997 – the same year that “Good Will Hunting” was released in theaters.

Something had to give.

In the end, the Astros were able to come away with the win, as Houston right fielder  Jake Marisnick drove in two runs on a ground-rule double in the 10th inning to give the Astros a 5-3 victory at Fenway Park. The loss snaps Boston’s brief four-game win streak.

Starter Clay Buchholz put together another encouraging outing, holding Houston to seven hits, two earned runs and two walks over seven innings while striking out nine Astros batters.

‘€œClay was outstanding once again,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after the game. “He was crisp, he had a very good curveball to put hitters away with, to lead guys off with strikes. A lot of strikes overall. He was very efficient.’€

Houston starter Dallas Keuchel got off to a good start against the Red Sox lineup, striking out four and only surrendering an infield single through the first three innings.

Boston was finally able to get on the board in the fourth inning, as Yoenis Cespedes laced a slider from Keuchel into the Green Monster seats for a two-run homer, giving Boston a 2-0 lead.

Houston left fielder Robbie Grossman almost single-handedly helped the Astros get back into the game, collecting an RBI single off Buchholz in the fifth before jumping on a first-pitch cutter from the Sox starter in the seventh and driving it into the right-field seats for a solo home run, knotting the game at two runs apiece.

Boston would quickly regain the lead in the bottom of the seventh, as Holt singled home Christian Vazquez to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead, but a bizarre defensive breakdown involving Xander Bogaerts, Vazquez and reliever Burke Badenhop in the eighth allowed the Astros to once again tie the score, 3-3. Vazquez, who was attempting to tag out an advancing Gregorio Petit at home, received a throwing error on the play after botching a throw to Badenhop at home, allowing Petit to cross the plate.

The game would remain tied until the top of the 10th. After Craig Breslow allowed the first three Houston batters to reach base with no outs, the Astros capitalized, as Marisnick lofted a 2-0 fastball from Junichi Tazawa into right field that bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double, scoring two and giving the Astros a lead that they would not renounce.

‘€œYou can’€™t defend a bloop double on the line,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œTazawa comes in, we’€™re trying to stay away from him for the third consecutive day and being forced to use him. ‘€¦ Marisnick dumps a double just inside the line for the difference.’€

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 55-66 on the year.

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Read More: Astros, Clay Buchholz, Red Sox, Yoenis Cespedes

Red Sox pregame notes: Allen Craig to begin rehab assignment soon; David Ross making ‘adequate progress’ with plantar fascia injury

08.15.14 at 9:23 pm ET
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Allen Craig‘€™s eventual return to the Red Sox lineup draws closer and closer.

The right fielder has only played in one game with Boston after being acquired on July 31 in a trade-deadline deal with the Cardinals that send Craig and Joe Kelly to the Red Sox for John Lackey.

In his debut with the Red Sox on Aug. 1, Craig tweaked his ankle in his final at-bat while attempting to run out a grounder at first. Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Friday’s game against the Astros that he expects Craig to begin an assignment down in the minors within the next few days.

“€œWe’€™re hopeful that he goes out on a rehab assignment early this coming week -€“ possibly as early as Monday,” Farrell said. “€œHe came out of yesterday’€™s work of full BP, some running in the outfield, in good fashion. He’€™ll go through three more days of work prior to heading out.”

– Catcher David Ross, sidelined since Aug. 2 with a plantar fascia tear, continues to improve after taking part in a variety of baseball activities over the last few days.

While Farrell said that it’€™s looking more and more likely that Ross will not need to take part in a rehab assignment, he added the veteran catcher still has some big milestones to reach before he is able to return behind the dish.

“We’€™ve still got to get some steps accomplished with David,” Farrell said. “He’€™s set to catch a bullpen or two today. He started to do a little bit more running yesterday and came out of it feeling OK, so he’€™s making adequate progress as well.”

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Read More: Allen Craig, David Ross, John Farrell, Red Sox
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