|07.23.16 at 8:28 am ET|
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.
|07.22.16 at 11:56 pm ET|
For the first time in his professional career Andrew Benintendi started in left field Friday night. While this may seem like just a minor thing, it’s setting the stage for something bigger.
Benintendi, the Red Sox’ No. 7 overall pick in last year’s draft, had been a center fielder his whole life, but with Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field with the Red Sox, that position was blocked. The Red Sox clearly believe in him and want to put him in the best position to succeed, thus the need for the move.
It should be noted, Benintendi likely won’t be playing left field every day, but will be getting early work done there and taking fly balls during batting practice as well.
“Aware of position changes, aware of the potential estimated timeline of arrival,” manager John Farrell said. “Again, the player is going to determine when he is most ready. As we’ve seen with a number of guys, we haven’t been hesitant to move them around on the field, change positions. With Andrew going to left, we are looking down the road a little ways. When that day comes that he’s a left fielder here in Boston, remains to be seen, but the way he’s swung the bat, the way he’s advanced this year, you start to prepare for that eventual day.”
Benintendi is batting .277 in 54 games with the Sea Dogs, which comes after hitting .341 in 34 games with High-A Salem to start the year.
It certainly isn’t out of the question for him to play in Boston this year, as two current prominent members of the team — Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts — played in Double-A the same year they made their professional debuts.
Betts’ case is particularly worth examining as he too changed positions — second base to outfield — while in Double-A. Betts played center field for the first time 37 games into his Double-A career, while it took Benintendi 54 games to play left field for the first time. Then, 15 games later Betts was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket and then after 23 games there, he was promoted to the big league club.
|07.22.16 at 11:28 pm ET|
Even though the Red Sox had just two hits through the first eight innings, it looked like the Red Sox had the Twins right where they wanted them in the ninth.
After Kyle Gibson was pulled after 96 pitches, Brandon Kinzler entered for the ninth with the Red Sox trailing 2-1.
They loaded the bases with no outs and had David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez due up next. The stage was set for another magical Ortiz moment, but it didn’t go as the Red Sox planned, or expected.
Ortiz grounded into a 4-2-3 double play and Ramirez lined out to right field to end the game with the tying and game-winning runs in scoring position.
“Loved our chances,” manager John Farrell said afterwards. “Loved the chance to tack on some runs in the first inning as well. Stage was set, golden opportunity. David rolled into a ground ball double play and then the line out to finish it. We had quality at-bats in the ninth inning. Up until that point Gibson was very good. Changed speeds, good sinker. Unable to really mount any threat through the first eight innings.”
Ortiz, who has been on fire of late, said he was looking to end the game with one swing.
“Looking for a home run right there,” he said. “The pitcher made good pitches. That’s the name of the game. Made a good pitch, got himself out of the situation.”
Added Ortiz: “Just another game man, you know. Pitcher, he tried to get us out and that’s what they are there for. The game wouldn’t be that easy you know. It wouldn’t be the way it is. They know how to get hitters out. They know how to get stuff done. It’s not always gonna work out our way. It’s not always gonna work their way too. That’s what they’re there for. I let it go.”
The Red Sox finished 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and snapped a seven-game home winning streak.
|07.22.16 at 11:16 pm ET|
It doesn’t appear Mookie Betts’ knee injury is too serious.
The right fielder was removed from Friday’s 2-1 loss against the Twins with right knee soreness. Manager John Farrell said it was as a precaution and he’s day-to-day. There’s even the possibility he is back in the lineup as early as Saturday.
“He got a little soreness, a little stiffness as the game went on,” Farrell said. “Felt like he couldn’t run as normal. Precautionarily we got him off his feet. We’ll check him when he comes in tomorrow to see if he’s going to be available. Right now, day-to-day.”
It was thought perhaps Betts injured the knee on a play in the fourth inning when he threw out Brian Dozier at second base on a shallow single to right where he made the throw on the run, but Farrell said it wasn’t because of one particular play and he’s been dealing with something minor since the All-Star break.
“This isn’t the result of a slide or any one event,” he said. “He just felt like there was some soreness starting to come on. At the time that was the decision made.”
Added Farrell on if it’s been lingering: “A little bit. I wouldn’t say it was to the point of a no-go. This is something that there’s been some treatment on occasion, but not to the point where he needs X number of days to get past this.”
Betts has started in 94 of the 95 games so far this season and homered to lead off the bottom of the first inning for the second time in as many nights on Friday. It’s the second time this season he’s led off the first inning with home runs on two straight days and has five total on the year.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|07.22.16 at 10:10 pm ET|
Apparently the Red Sox offense can’t be red-hot every night.
Coming into the game batting .316 as a team in the month of July, the Red Sox managed just four hits as a team in their 2-1 loss to the Twins Friday night at Fenway Park.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson was very effective as the Red Sox didn’t record a hit after the first inning against him, spanning 24 batters with a walk and an error mixed in. Gibson went eight innings allowing just one run on 96 pitches.
The Red Sox threatened in the ninth with the bases loaded with no outs against Brandon Kinzler, but David Ortiz hit into a double play and Hanley Ramirez left the tying and winning runs in scoring position.
“Loved our chances,” manager John Farrell said. “Loved the chance to tack on some runs in the first inning as well. Stage was set, golden opportunity. David rolled into a ground ball double play and then the line out to finish it. We had quality at-bats in the ninth inning. Up until that point Gibson was very good. Changed speeds, good sinker. Unable to really mount any threat through the first eight innings.”
Eduardo Rodriguez was solid for the second straight outing despite the loss.
The left-hander went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out eight, which were a season-high. He was pulled from the game with one out in the sixth at 95 pitches, suggesting perhaps he was on a pitch count.
Rodriguez was pulled after allowing a one-out walk in the sixth and was replaced by Heath Hembree. Hembree allowed a walk and a double to the only two batters he faced, which allowed the go-ahead run to score as the game was tied at one when he entered.
“Yeah, with those two guys coming that was the spot for Heath and felt like it had makings of a low-run game,” Farrell said. “Where we were in the bullpen, Eddie getting to the point where his night was getting near the end, felt like that was the right time to make a move. Unfortunately, the walk and the double is the difference.”
The first run of the game came in the second inning when Rodriguez allowed a solo homer to Brian Dozier.
For the second time in as many nights, Mookie Betts led the bottom of the first inning off with a homer. Friday it was on the second pitch after Thursday it was on the first pitch. It was his 20th home run of the season.
It was Betts’ fifth lead off homer of the season, but it wasn’t all good news as he left the game in the fifth inning with right knee soreness. Nothing stood out as to how the injury occurred, but perhaps in the fourth inning when he charged a bloop single and threw out Dozier at second base trying to extend it into a double.
The Red Sox have homered in 13 straight games, their second-longest streak of the season.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss.
|07.22.16 at 8:31 pm ET|
The last thing the Red Sox need is another injury to an outfielder, especially an All-Star outfielder.
Right fielder Mookie Betts left Friday night’s game with right knee soreness prior to the top of the fifth inning with the game tied at one. He’s day-to-day.
Betts was replaced by utility infielder/outfielder Michael Martinez.
It isn’t exactly clear when the injury occurred, but may have happened on a play in the fourth inning when he charged in on a bloop Brian Dozier single and threw him out at second base. It appeared it was a bit of an awkward throw with him being on the run.
Betts led the bottom of the first off with a home run for the second straight day. It was his 20th homer of the year.
He’s started 94 of the 95 games this season.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|07.22.16 at 5:20 pm ET|
The biggest news as it relates to the Red Sox organization on Friday didn’t take place at Fenway Park, it took place in Double-A Portland.
Highly-touted prospect Andrew Benintendi will be making his first professional start in left field, shifting over from his natural position of center field.
Manager John Farrell was aware of the change.
“Aware of position changes, aware of the potential estimated timeline of arrival,” Farrell said. “Again, the player is going to determine when he is most ready. As we’ve seen with a number of guys, we haven’t been hesitant to move them around on the field, change positions. With Andrew going to left, we are looking down the road a little ways. When that day comes that he’s a left fielder here in Boston, remains to be seen, but the way he’s swung the bat, the way he’s advanced this year, you start to prepare for that eventual day.”
It seems like it will be a gradual shift as per source, he’s not expected to play there every day, but will get early work and reps during batting practice there. It also seems likely a potential promotion to Triple-A could come in the coming weeks.
The 2015 first-round pick, No. 7 overall out of the University of Arkansas is batting .277 with six home runs and 31 RBIs over 54 games in Double-A. He started the year in High-A Salem, but was promoted after batting .341 in 34 games.
Farrell added the shift to left field had nothing to do with Blake Swihart’s recent setback in his ankle rehab.
It seems likely the Red Sox are preparing for September when the rosters expand and also looking towards the future as Benintendi is blocked in center field with Jackie Bradley Jr., but left field is up for grabs.
|07.22.16 at 5:03 pm ET|
If you were expected Koji Uehara to return from the disabled list after the 15 days, think again.
Manager John Farrell said the reliever received a PRP injection on Friday, which suggests he will be out an extended period of time. Uehara was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a right pectoral strain.
“That is going to require a little bit of down time to recover from that,” Farrell said. “Still it doesn’t lend to a return date or really to put a ball back in his hand as of yet. That’s really the most update I can give you.”
While nothing is official, Sept. 1 seems like a good general target date for his return.
The Red Sox will get another reliever back Friday in Junichi Tazawa, who is returning from shoulder impingement. Farrell said there are no physical restrictions for him, but as they do with all relievers, the team will monitor his work load.
“We’ll pick a spot. If Eddie [Rodriguez] goes deep in the game — again, I think it’s all going to be game dependent,” he said. “The leverage to it, the stress to it — put it this way, going into tonight there is no physical limitations. That will be the guide.”
Farrell added he would like to stay away from Matt Barnes again Friday night after he went three innings on Wednesday.
|07.22.16 at 4:02 pm ET|
The Red Sox will look to keep on rolling Friday night against the Twins in the second game of a four-game weekend series.
It’s a standard lineup against a right-hander with Brock Holt in left field and Travis Shaw at third base as the Red Sox are facing the Twins’ Kyle Gibson.
Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
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
Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|07.22.16 at 3:55 pm ET|
As expected, reliever Junichi Tazawa is back on the active 25-man roster as he was activated prior to Friday’s game with the Twins. As the corresponding move, Noe Ramirez was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Tazawa was on the disabled list with shoulder impingement since July 14, retroactive to July 4. He has made 35 relief appearances for the Red Sox this season, going 1-1 with a 3.62 ERA and 37 strikeouts against only eight walks. Opponents are hitting just .215 this season.
Ramirez didn’t appear in a game during his few days with the club. The right-hander has made 11 relief appearances over seven stints with the Red Sox this season, posting no record and a 6.55 ERA with 11 strikeouts. He has has also made 18 appearances with Pawtucket this year, earning three saves and going 1-3 with a 2.36 ERA and 25 strikeouts compared to eight walks.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
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