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Friday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Rich Hill vs. Kevin Gausman

09.25.15 at 8:53 am ET
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The Red Sox start their final home series of the season Friday night against the Orioles, sending Rich Hill to the mound to face Kevin Gausman.

Hill (1-0, 1.93 ERA) is making his third start of the year after being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this month. After having not started a major league game since 2009 with Baltimore, Hill has been stellar in his return to the rotation, shutting down both the Rays and Blue Jays on the road. In the two starts he has allowed eight hits and three runs with 20 strikeouts (10 in each outing) over 14 innings. He is the first Sox pitcher to have 10 strikeouts in his first two starts with the club.

Hill’s last outing was Sunday against the Jays. He went seven innings and allowed three runs while striking out 10 in Boston’s 4-3 win.

“He’s been really special these past two outings,” center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said following the game. “It’s fun playing behind him, that’s for sure.”

The 35-year-old left-hander is seeing the Orioles for the first time this season, but he has seen them on 10 other occasions in his career, pitching six innings and allowing five hits and one run with six strikeouts.

Hill is making his first home start of the year. He has a 1-0 record with a 2.45 ERA over 18 1/3 innings in his career at Fenway Park.

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Clay Buchholz gets clearance to keep pursuing his 1 inning

09.24.15 at 10:58 pm ET
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It doesn’t seem like much — pitching one inning in the Red Sox‘ last game of the season in Cleveland — but it would be something for Clay Buchholz.

With the final days of the regular season dwindling down (with 10 games remaining), Buchholz got the news that he would be able to keep pursuing his goal of pitching in Cleveland.

“Basically we sat down with Dave [Dombrowski], [trainer] Brad [Pearson], [pitching coach] Carl [Willis, and Torey [Lovullo], and tried to map out a little plan,” Buchholz told WEEI.com Thursday. “The first step is going to be tomorrow.”

That first step will be throwing off a mound for the first time since injuring his right elbow July 10.

The clearance was a product of a call from Dr. James Andrews to Red Sox physical therapist Ray Mattfeld on Wednesday. Then Thursday, Buchholz would then talk to Andrews, whom the pitcher had conferred with twice since his injury.

“[Andrews] said he was completely fine with me doing it this way. So that’s how we’re going to do it,” Buchholz said.

Buchholz will throw between 20-25 pitches, at about 50 percent effort level, with the catcher standing on the plate. The next session would allow for around 25-30 pitches, with the catcher in his usual position.

“That’s basically how I’ve thrown my bullpen the last years anyway,” he said. “Just fastballs and maybe a couple of changeups and see how everything responds to that.”

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Closing Time: Wade Miley dominant early, struggles late to take loss vs. Rays

09.24.15 at 9:50 pm ET
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Three times through the Rays order proved one time too many for Wade Miley. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Three times through the Rays order proved one time too many for Wade Miley. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Through the first five innings Red Sox starter Wade Miley was cruising, but the third time through the order proved to be too much for the left-hander.

The Rays scored four times in the sixth and seventh innings to complete a come-from-behind 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Fenway Park. The Rays took two of three in the midweek series.

With the Red Sox leading 2-0, Miley got two outs in the sixth before Evan Longoria crushed a solo home run over everything in left. Logan Forsythe then singled and was driven in on a Asdrubal Cabrera double. Cabrera then scored as Steven Souza Jr. doubled, which gave the Rays a 3-2 lead.

Miley struggled in the seventh as well, with Kevin Kiermaier leading the inning off with a solo home run to right and then Luke Maile ripping a double, which ended Miley’s night.

The left-hander went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out three.

The first two times through order Tampa batters went 2-for-17, but the third time they were 6-for-9 with two homers.

“I think tonight Wade was outstanding for the first two times through the order,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “Just started to make some mistakes over the middle of the plate. I’ve seen a couple of replays and he was trying to throw a ball in and missed middle. Trying to throw something soft and ended up in the middle of the plate.

“When you make mistakes like that against some of the good hitters that they have you’re going to pay for it. It was the middle of their lineup that did most of the damage — three, four and five got after us tonight. All in all I thought Wade threw the ball really good. It came down to a couple moments where he missed with those pitches and gave up some runs.”

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Mike Hazen knows Dave Dombrowski will make final baseball decisions, not concerned with power

09.24.15 at 7:12 pm ET
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New GM Mike Hazen (right) knows his role working with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (left). (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images).

New GM Mike Hazen (right) knows his role working with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (left). (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images).

With Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations, the Red Sox‘ general manager job is different than most in baseball, as in they don’t have the final say with baseball decisions.

Dombrowski noted that when discussing the process in ultimately deciding on Mike Hazen as his GM. Hazen said he is well aware of the power structure, but it isn’t something they talk about.

“Obviously, the role of general manager will be a little bit different here with Dave, but power’€™s not something that any of us talk about or look at,” Hazen said at his introductory press conference. “Dave is going to be making the decisions in the end. I believe that the things that we’€™ve done here underneath the hood on the major league team and player development, and amateur scouting and international scouting and all those other things, we’€™ll continue to drive that forward and help put Dave in the best position possible to make the best decisions possible for the Red Sox.”

Dombrowski and Hazen have worked together during the past month with Dombrowski coming on board and the baseball operations staff, led by Hazen with Ben Cherington gone, to get him caught up on the entire organization.

Hazen said he feels the two have developed a good connection.

“I’€™m excited as we look forward, we move forward in a new direction under Dave, we –€” I think even in the first month so far — I feel like there’€™s been a good connection between Dave and I, between what I think we’€™ve done well here and knowing things we need to improve upon moving forward,” Hazen said. “Dave’€™s experience is tremendous, we’€™ve seen that already, and I look forward to working with him and our operations staff on leading the Red Sox back to the World Series.”

It’s been a difficult and unpredictable past five weeks for the organization with manager John Farrell battling lymphoma, Dombrowski being hired, Cherington leaving and now Hazen being promoted to general manager.

Hazen is hoping to eventually turn all the negatives into positives in 2016.

“We’€™ve gone through a period of change,” Hazen said. “Dave has helped out with that quite a bit. The way he’€™s gone about it, not just with this particular situation but with a lot of others that probably have gone more under the radar. Dave has repeatedly recognized those director level positions in other places that have done a very good job. The Red Sox have put the minor league system, put the young players on the field, the field staff that has gone out there since what has happened to John [Farrell], carried on and really played well these last five weeks.

“I think you’€™re starting to see the building blocks of next year’€™s team, which is starting to turn that negative into a positive and one that we hope can continue through the end of the season and into next year.”

Read More: Dave Dombrowski, mike hazen,

Hanley Ramirez (right shoulder) shut down for season; Pablo Sandoval has pneumonia

09.24.15 at 6:34 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez hasn’t played in a game since Aug. 26 and he won’t for the rest of the season.

Interim manager Torey Lovullo said Thursday Ramirez has been shut down for the season with right shoulder inflammation. He was getting work at first base as the team would like him to transition there for next season and the hope was he would get there at some point before the end of the year, but that will no longer happen.

“Unfortunately his shoulder just wasn’t responding the way we wanted it to,” Lovullo said. “His effort, his focus, his interest in playing first base never ever wavered, it was just a matter of his right shoulder not responding to what he was asking it to do. As a result we felt like it was most important at this point to look towards 2016 and give him the proper rest he needs.”

Lovullo was asked if surgery was at all a possibility and he said that is “not at all likely.”

“I think anything is a possibility, but I think a right shoulder surgery is not at all likely,” he said. “Not at all likely. It’s more of a shutdown with rest right now.”

Speaking afterwards at a press conference announcing Mike Hazen as general manager, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he and the organization remain confident he will be able to play the position next season.

“I’€™m confident,” Dombrowski said. “You’€™d prefer to see him play in a game, but we’€™ve watched him move around a bit. He’€™s an infielder. He’€™s going to have some growing pains but I think he’€™s in a position where he’€™s going to be able to play the position from what I’€™ve seen. But I also think it will benefit for him to go through six-seven weeks of spring training. I think you also have to have a secondary plan, but I think the reality is he will be able to do it.

“He’€™s committed to doing it. We had a great meeting with him today as far as heading into next year. I think the important thing with Hanley, that’€™s why we made this decision, we really wanted to get him ready for 2016. I think he’€™ll be able to do it.”

After missing three straight games and two last weekend in Toronto, Pablo Sandoval has been diagnosed with pneumonia. Earlier this week it was called a significant upper respiratory infection, but Wednesday it was found out to be worse.

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After 30 candidates, 2 interviews, Mike Hazen beat out Quinton McCracken for Red Sox general manager

09.24.15 at 6:13 pm ET
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Dave Dombrowski (left) announced the hiring of new general manager Mike Hazen (right) on Thursday. (WEEI.com)

Dave Dombrowski (left) announced the hiring of new general manager Mike Hazen (right) on Thursday. (WEEI.com)

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski officially joined the Red Sox on Aug. 19. In just over a month on the job, his first major responsibility was hiring a general manager to report to him and that position was filled Thursday when the team promoted assistant general manager Mike Hazen to general manager.

Dombrowski said he had a list of 30 names, but interviewed only two — Hazen and Quinton McCracken, the current Astros director of player development. Ultimately after working with Hazen for just over a month he felt he was the right man for the job.

“This is the way I describe it,” Dombrowski said at a press conference Thursday. “I made a long list of names of about 30 names. I had phone calls with a lot of people on that list. I knew almost every person that called me very well. This job is a little bit different than some other jobs because sometimes when people want to be a general manager they’re in the final decision making process — we’re a little bit different here. They’ll be very involved in working together. I’ve been involved with and I guess with Mike, it’s been a good part, it could have been a part bad, but it was a good part. He’s been interviewing everyday since I’ve been here per se.

“When I looked at that list and I knew the people, I really interviewed two people very thoroughly. I interviewed Mike and I interviewed Quinton McCracken. There were a lot of other people I could have interviewed, but I knew people on that list extremely well. I like how people say bring I some veteran presence — that’s what happens when you’ve been around the game awhile and you have gray hair. You’ve been around people and you get to know them. I think it’s a good part of it too. I’ve been very impressed with Mike since I’ve been here.

“I’ve been very impressed with Quinton McCracken. I called him today and I called Jeff Luna too — Quinton McCracken is going to be a general manager, no doubt in my mind. He’s got a lot of great qualities, but I think for me hanging on to Mike’s experience that he’s had already at the major league level, but he’s in a position that he’s been part of the organization. We can promote from within and we have good people. I’ve been pouring over that list and taking phone calls. From the day I was announced people have been calling me and I’ve been working on those names.”

The president of baseball operations did say some of the people in the list of 30 could end up as advisers.

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Red Sox promote Mike Hazen to general manager

09.24.15 at 4:37 pm ET
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Mike Hazen

Mike Hazen

The Red Sox on Thursday named Mike Hazen their general manager, replacing the departed Ben Cherington with his top lieutenant.

Hazen, 39, joined the Red Sox in 2006. His promotion by new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski should provide stability and continuity to a front office that otherwise could’ve faced upheaval.

In his new role, Hazen will report to Dombrowski, who will oversee the entire department. He previously served as assistant GM. He has also worked in player development and amateur scouting with the Red Sox.

“Over his 10 years with the Red Sox, Mike has proven to be an invaluable member of the baseball operations department,” Dombrowski said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have him in this position and I’m excited to have him working with me on every aspect of baseball operations.”

Hazen was a two-time all-Ivy League selection as an outfielder at Princeton. The Padres selected him in the 31st round of the 1998 draft, and he spent two years in their farm system before joining the Indians’ scouting department.

An Abington native, Hazen continues a trend of full-time Red Sox GMs being New England natives, beginning with Lou Gorman in 1984 and continuing through Dan Duquette, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Cherington.

Hazen lives in Westwood with his wife and four sons.

Red Sox lineup: Brock Holt starts at third base with Pablo Sandoval out again

09.24.15 at 3:25 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

With Pablo Sandoval still out with an illness, Brock Holt will start at third base in the series finale against the Rays Thursday night at Fenway Park. It is the sixth time in seven games Sandoval has been out of the lineup.

Mookie Betts will play his fourth straight game in right field at Fenway Park with Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field and Rusney Castillo in left field, as the Sox go up against Erasmo Ramirez.

Ryan Hanigan will catch Wade Miley’s final Fenway start of the season.

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Travis Shaw, 1B
Rusney Castillo, LF
Brock Holt, 3B
Ryan Hanigan, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Wade Miley, LHP

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Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Wade Miley vs. Erasmo Ramirez

09.24.15 at 9:18 am ET
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Wade Miley

Wade Miley

After losing their second straight to the Rays on Wednesday, the Red Sox send Wade Miley to the hill Thursday night to square off against Erasmo Ramirez as they look to split the four-game series.

Miley (11-10, 4.34 ERA) is coming off a solid start on Saturday against the Blue Jays, going 6 2/3 innings and allowing three hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in the no-decision in front of a sellout Rogers Centre. The Red Sox went on to a 7-6 win.

Miley has pitched well in his last three starts, allowing three runs or less each time out.

Acquired by the Red Sox last offseason, the 28-year-old left-hander has seen the Rays more than any other team this season and has experienced modest success, putting together a 1-1 record with a 2.45 ERA over 25 2/3 innings. He has struck out 20 Rays while allowing seven runs.

Miley is 7-4 with a 4.20 ERA over 13 starts and 85 2/3 innings at Fenway in 2015.

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Closing Time: Rick Porcello, Red Sox can’t keep pace with Drew Smyly, Rays

09.23.15 at 10:40 pm ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

What happened to the prolific Red Sox offense?

Wednesday night did offer another reminder that all isn’t completely peachy heading into 2016. For the second straight game, Tampa Bay pitching befuddled Red Sox hitters, this time resulting in a 6-2 win over the Sox at Fenway Park.

This from a Red Sox attack that came into the game with the second-most runs of any American League team throughout the current month, and the third-highest scoring output in the majors since Aug. 1.

While the two-run showing from Tuesday, coupled with the latest offensive downturn, isn’t the be-all, end-all when gauging what the Red Sox might have to offer, some individual performances are worth keeping an eye on.

Perhaps the most notable slump continues to belong to Jackie Bradley Jr., who went hitless in three at-bats and is now 4-for-46 since Sept. 8. (He did walk in his final at-bat.)

During that same stretch, Blake Swihart has gone 4-for-32 after finishing 0-for-3 with walk Wednesday night.

Perhaps this drought was simply a product of the fine pitching of Rays starter Drew Smyly, who didn’t give up a run while scattering five hits over 6 1/3 innings.

The lack of production against Smyly was unfortunate for Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, who allowed a bunch of hits (11), but just two earned runs over seven-plus innings. The righty lowered his ERA to 5.04, striking out seven in the process.

Porcello didn’t allow a runner to reach third base until the seventh inning, not surrendering an extra-base hit until the eighth. He is now 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA in six starts since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 28.

“He’€™s been exactly what we thought, especially since his return from the disabled list,” said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo. “There’€™s a lot of confidence there. He stands on the mound, knows that he can make a pitch and get an out. He can make two or three different pitches and get an out. That’€™s the guy that we’€™ve seen flashes of in the first half. But he’€™s really done a good job of re-establishing himself and using all of his pitches very, very effectively.”

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Read More: Drew Smyly, Rays, Red Sox, rick porcello
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