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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Giants matchups: Drew Pomeranz vs. Matt Cain

07.20.16 at 8:26 am ET
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Recently acquired starter Drew Pomeranz will get his first chance in a Red Sox uniform on Wednesday when the Sox take on the Giants to close out a two-game series at Fenway. Pomeranz will match up against veteran righty Matt Cain.

Pomeranz, who was traded to Boston from San Diego on Friday for pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, is 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. The 27-year-old left-hander was named an All-Star and hasn’t lost since June 14. In his last start on July 7, Pomeranz threw seven shutout innings in a 6-0 win over the Dodgers. He let up just two hits and struck out six.

“Pomeranz used his curve a lot more, threw cut fastballs in to righties, elevated the fastball late in counts,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He got us earlier this year, pretty much the same. He’s had a really nice first half. We couldn’t get any momentum.”

Pomeranz has had nine outings against the Giants in his five-year career, recording a 1-4 record with a 4.54 ERA. He faced San Francisco on May 23 of this year, pitching seven innings of shutout ball in a 1-0 Padres loss. He struck out and walked four.

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Koji Uehara leaves Red Sox game in 9th inning with pectoral injury, return uncertain

07.19.16 at 10:50 pm ET
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Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

The Red Sox shut out the Giants, 4-0, at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, but the victory did not come without a cost.

Interim closer Koji Uehara, thrust back into the role by Craig Kimbrel’s knee surgery, left the game in the ninth after throwing just one pitch to the second batter he faced. He left the game with what manager John Farrell described as a strained right pectoral and will be reevaluated on Wednesday. It’s too soon to say how long he will be out.

“I’m just praying that it’s not that serious,” Uehara said through translator C.J. Matsumoto.

Uehara entered with a four-run lead because Farrell likes giving him clean innings and didn’t want to have to bring him in with runners on base if another reliever got into trouble. Uehara hadn’t pitched since saving a victory over the Yankees on July 16.

He struck out Brandon Belt leading off the ninth, but threw just one pitch to catcher Buster Posey before motioning toward the dugout while pointing to his chest. He was replaced by Tommy Layne.

“It’s just some soreness that I feel,” Uehara said. “I thought it was just soreness. Muscle soreness. It’s the first time [he had felt it.]”

Uehara added that he “wasn’t surprised” to be pitching in a four-run game.

Joe Kelly, who struck out the side in an inning at Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, would be a logical candidate to replace Uehara in the pen, with newly acquired Brad Ziegler becoming the closer, though it’s possible Uehara’s injury isn’t serious and he’ll only miss a day or two.

Read More: Giants, Koji injury, Koji Uehara, Red Sox

Closing Time: David Ortiz, Rick Porcello lead Red Sox over Giants

07.19.16 at 9:53 pm ET
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David Ortiz hit his 23rd home run of the season in the Red Sox' win over the Giants. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz hit his 23rd home run of the season in the Red Sox’ win over the Giants. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

All the Red Sox needed Tuesday night against the Giants were two swings of the bat.

Brock Holt’s solo home run in the third inning followed by David Ortiz’s three-run home run the following inning would be more than enough for Red Sox starter Rick Porcello as the Red Sox beat the Giants, 4-0 Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

With two outs in the third, Holt took Giants starter Jake Peavy deep into the Red Sox bullpen and then after the first two runners in the fourth reached, Ortiz crushed a first-pitch home run well into the bleachers over the Giants bullpen.

For Ortiz, it was his 23rd homer of the year and career home run No. 526. It was also his 1,383rd career run scored, which tied him with Tony Gwynn for 98th on the all-time list. The home run traveled 451 feet according to ESPN Stats and Info, which is his longest of the season.

“What David continues to do for us is remarkable,” manager John Farrell said. “What he’s meant to our overall offense as a team — comes up in a big spot, first pitch over the plate for a three-run homer.”

Porcello was once again dominant at Fenway Park. The right-hander picked up his 12th win of the season and improved to a perfect 9-0 at home. The last time a Red Sox starter started 9-0 at home was Dennis Eckersley in 1978.

He went 6 1/3 shutout innings, while scattering four hits, walking two and striking out three on 108 pitches. His ERA is down to 3.37 on the year.

“He was at his best right after the first couple of lead off base hits,” Farrell said. “Great  job putting up a zero with three consecutive strikeouts. Two opportunities for shutdown innings, which he converted. As we talked before the ballgame, very comfortable in this ballpark. Was in complete control of the ballgame here tonight. Outstanding work on his part.”

Robbie Ross Jr. got out of the seventh inning by enduing a double play, newly acquired right-hander Brad Ziegler tossed a scoreless eighth. In the ninth Koji Uehara struck out the first batter, but had to leave with an apparent shoulder injury after that. Tommy Layne recorded the final two outs of the game.

After the game, it was revealed Uehara felt something in his pectoral muscle. It’s unclear the severity of the injury.

“I’m just praying that it’s not that serious,” he said through a translator.

The Red Sox have not allowed a run in their last 25 innings at Fenway Park.

Closing Time note

Ortiz is now batting .514 with three home runs when swinging at the first pitch this season.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win.

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Red Sox lineup: Brock Holt in left field batting 9th vs. Jake Peavy, Giants

07.19.16 at 5:19 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

For just the fourth time all season, Brock Holt will be batting ninth for the Red Sox.

Holt will start in left field as the Red Sox go up against the Giants and former Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy Tuesday night in the first of a two-game series.

For the Red Sox, Sandy Leon will catch Rick Porcello.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Sandy Leon, C
Brock Holt, LF
Rick Porcello, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

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Red Sox notes: Blake Swihart, Junichi Tazawa, Chris Young injury updates

07.19.16 at 5:10 pm ET
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Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

Although the Red Sox are fairly healthy in terms of their core players, some of their role players are still working their way back from injuries.

Left fielder Blake Swihart continues to go through full baseball activities after suffering a severe ankle sprain back on June 4. Manager John Farrell said there is no set timetable on a rehab assignment, but the fact that he’s going through full baseball activities should mean that will be coming soon

Swihart was batting .258 in 19 major league games this season. Farrell said over the weekend it’s unclear if he will catch at all the rest of the season.

He also added utility infielder Josh Rutledge is in a similar spot, as he rehabs from a knee injury, but he might be delayed in coming back a bit because of being on the 60-day disabled list and when he’s eligible to come off of that.

Reliever Junichi Tazawa (shoulder) could return to the Red Sox roster by Friday, as he was placed on the disabled list (retroactive to July 4) last Thursday. The right-hander threw a simulated game on Tuesday and was able to throw all of his pitches.

The news isn’t as good for left fielder Chris Young as he hasn’t yet begun ground-based running as he works his way back from a groin strain, which saw him go on the disabled list on June 24.

Farrell acknowledged the MRI showed a bit more than a Grade 1 strain. He added the team has “to be careful” with his rehab.


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Red Sox minor leaguer Nick Longhi continues to live out childhood dream

07.19.16 at 11:44 am ET
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Nick Longhi

Nick Longhi

As sports fans, almost all of us fantasize of being a member of our favorite team. Red Sox fans imagine themselves hitting the go-ahead run over the Green Monster, Celtics fans visualize hitting the game-winning 3-pointer on the parquet floor, and so on. Of course, for most of us those dreams are far-fetched.

So we’re left to wonder; what does it feel like to get the chance to become a star for the team we grew up idolizing?

For an answer to that question, look no further than High-A Salem first baseman Nick Longhi, a Springfield native and lifelong Red Sox fan. Longhi, 20, may have moved to Florida as an infant, but he had no problem staying loyal to the stars of Fenway Park. He even remembers crying himself to sleep back in 2003 after Aaron Boone hit a walk-off home run off Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the ALCS.

“It really wasn’t that difficult for me [to stay a Red Sox fan] because of the fact that I was brought up in that environment with my dad loving all Boston sports,” Longhi said. “And that’s something that we took an interest in. We bonded through sports my whole childhood and my whole life. Obviously, as a kid, that’s the team your dad roots for, that’s who you want to win, too.”

Not only has Longhi dreamed of becoming a Boston legend, he is moving closer and closer to his goal every day. Through Monday, Boston’s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com is slashing .290/.360/.398 in 84 games. His 56 RBIs are sixth best in the Carolina League, and he ranks second among current Salem batters in batting average. He’s collected 24 multi-hit games this year and continues to enhance his game after batting .330 with Lowell in 2014 and notching 62 RBIs in 115 games with Greenville last season.

Although Longhi’s home run numbers are down — he currently has two home runs after totaling seven last year — Salem manager Joe Oliver believes the drop-off is normal.

“I think his power will eventually evolve,” Oliver said. “Playing at Salem typically knocks down a lot of guys power numbers just because they’re playing so big. This hasn’t been a good season for his home runs, but he’s definitely showing clutch hitting, driving in quite a few runs.”

Drafted by the Red Sox in 2013, Longhi now has been a member of the Red Sox organization for four years, working his way up from the Gulf Coast League to the Carolina League. Longhi currently is thriving, but he came dangerously close to passing by an opportunity most of us can only dream about.

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Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada homers twice for Portland; Michael Kopech fans 9 for Salem

07.19.16 at 9:36 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (50-46): L, 7-5, at Toledo (Tigers)

— The PawSox fell to Toledo despite totaling 13 hits, including four from Ryan LaMarre. The 27-year-old had three doubles in the game, the most two-baggers in a game from a Pawtucket batter in the last two years. He also had an RBI and two runs scored.

LaMarre, who is averaging .517 in his last eight games, also has safely reached base in the past 25 games. He is slashing .339/.410/.508 in 49 games with Pawtucket. His batting average leads the team.

— Right-hander William Cuevas received the loss, giving up six runs (five earned) on 11 hits, both season highs, in six innings. He did strike out five without walking a single batter. Monday’s game was the first loss for Cuevas since June 14. The 25-year-old is 6-4 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He leads all Pawtucket pitchers in innings pitched (96 2/3).

— Infielder Mike Miller went 3-for-4 with a walk. He now has hit safely in his last four games and in eight of his last 10. The 26-year-old is batting .257/.320/.311 in 61 games with both Pawtucket and Portland.

— Chris Dominguez drilled a solo home run in the third inning to score the game’s first run. It was his eighth homer of the season, good for second best on the team. Dominguez, 29, is averaging .371 in his last 10 outings and is hitting .243/.271/.446 this season.

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Read More: aneury tavarez, Bobby Poyner, Chris Dominguez, Chris Madera

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Giants matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Jake Peavy

07.19.16 at 9:22 am ET
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The Red Sox will send Rick Porcello to the mound on Tuesday to kick off a two-game series against the Giants. He will be opposed by former Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy.

Porcello has been quietly efficient for the Red Sox, recording an 11-2 record with a 3.66 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. His 11 wins are fourth best in the American League, and he has yet to lose a start at Fenway this season. He has won his last three starts, with his most recent victory coming against Tampa Bay on July 9. The right-hander gave up just one run on six hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking none in a 4-1 Red Sox win.

“There’s no question he feels comfortable on the mound here,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “His sinker works well here, and more than anything, his walk rate is at a career low. He’s doing a great job at limiting the overall baserunners.”

In three career starts vs. the Giants, Porcello is 1-1 with a 6.19 ERA. His last game against San Francisco was on June 7 of this season, when he let up three runs on five hits in six innings while striking out six in a 5-3 Red Sox win.

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Anderson Espinoza: ‘It was scary’ being traded from Red Sox to Padres

07.18.16 at 10:46 pm ET
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Anderson Espinoza

Anderson Espinoza

Being just 18 years old and in his first professional season, Anderson Espinoza was scared.

The right-hander had just been traded from the Red Sox to the Padres in exchange for All-Star pitcher Drew Pomeranz. All he had known professionally was the Red Sox and now he was on the other side of the country.

But, after fully realizing what happened, Espinoza is now taking the trade as a positive.

“It was scary because I didn’t know what was going on after I heard that,” Espinoza told reporters in Fort Wayne, Indiana through a translator, including Jessica Starbard with WANE. “What is going to happen to me now? After talking to my agent and my family and they said every change is for you to be better. It’s going to be better for your life and your career so I started feeling a little bit better with that and I started to get happy because I know this trade is going to be big for me and give me a big chance to be in the big leagues.”

Espinoza is now with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Class-A affiliate of the Padres. He will make his Padres debut on Wednesday night. With Single-A Greenville this year, Espinoza was 5-8 with a 4.38 ERA, while totaling 72 strikeouts in 76 innings. He was limited to 85-90 pitches per outing.

At just 18 years old, he was the Red Sox’ best pitching prospect and now is the best prospect in the Padres system according to Baseball America.

“I don’t think too much about that,” he said. “I just go out there and compete. I don’t read much like Instagram, Twitter, whatever they say about me. I know I am good. I am just happy to know that I am very good. Whenever I pitch I don’t think about it.”

Ironically, Pomeranz will make his Red Sox debut Wednesday night as well.

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Angels claim infielder Sean Coyle off waivers from Red Sox, hope history can repeat itself

07.18.16 at 3:19 pm ET
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Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle

The Angels claimed infielder Sean Coyle on waivers from the Red Sox on Monday, hoping perhaps lightning can strike again 16 years later.

In 2000, the Red Sox placed infielder David Eckstein on waivers to add WEEI’s own Lou Merloni to the roster. The Angels scooped up the diminutive Eckstein, and a year later he finished fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting before embarking on a successful 10-year career that included two All-Star Games with the Cardinals and two World Series titles — one with the Angels in 2002 and another with the Cards that saw Eckstein named World Series MVP in 2006.

Listed at just 5-foot-6 and 170 pounds, Eckstein overcame size limitations to carve out a nice career. Coyle hopes to do the same. Generously listed at 5-8, 175, Coyle broke out at Double-A Portland in 2014, mashing 16 homers and compiling an .883 OPS.

He has struggled since, however, and hit just .125 at Triple-A Pawtucket this year. The 24-year-old was designated for assignment last week to make room for utilityman Michal Martinez on the 40-man roster.

The odds of Coyle’s career following in the footsteps of Eckstein’s may be low, but the Angels felt he was a worthy gamble to stash at Triple-A, particularly since they lack middle infield depth.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network was the first to report the move.

Read More: Angels, David Eckstein, Red Sox, sean coyle
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