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Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: David Price vs. Jake Odorizzi

04.21.16 at 8:20 am ET
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David Price

David Price

David Price will face off against the team he played most of his career with on Thursday afternoon, when the Red Sox host the Rays for their series finale. He will be opposed by Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi.

Price will look to build on the success he had in his last start against the Blue Jays on April 16. He went seven strong innings (his longest outing in three starts this season), allowing two runs on six hits. He walked none and struck out nine in a game the Red Sox would win 4-2. Price improved to 2-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 4.50. Red Sox fans finally saw their $217 million offseason acquisition live up to expectations after a slow start to the season.

“Absolutely, I hadn’t thrown the ball the way that I know that I can the first two starts,” Price said after the win. “To throw the baseball the way I did today against the Blue Jays, which is an extremely good hitting team, feels good.”

In three career starts against the Rays, Price is 1-2 with a 5.15 ERA and 0.895 WHIP. He’s struck out 19 and walked three in 19 innings of work.

Odorizzi has been relatively solid this season but only has factored into one decision for the Rays. He was a hard-luck loser in his last start on April 15 against the White Sox, as he threw seven shutout innings and let up just four hits. He walked one and struck out six. Despite the dominating performance, the Rays could not muster a run of offense and lost the game 1-0.

“Really happy with the way [Odorizzi] threw the ball tonight,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said after the game. “Big for him and big for us. He had some not-so-good misses early on on, but after about the third or fourth inning he kicked it in second gear. The positive spot of the night is he kind of locked it in.”

Odorizzi is 2-2 against the Red Sox in eight career starts. He has posted a 3.43 ERA and 1.164 WHIP, while walking 12 and striking out 37 in 44 2/3 innings.

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Closing Time: Mookie Betts, David Ortiz, Rick Porcello lead Red Sox over Rays

04.20.16 at 10:10 pm ET
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Rick Porcello pitched well once again as the Red Sox took down the Rays. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello pitched well once again as the Red Sox took down the Rays Wednesday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

A day after finishing with just one hit over 10 innings Tuesday, the Red Sox completely flipped the script.

The Sox scored five runs in the first two innings in their 7-3 win over the Rays on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

After the Red Sox scored three runs in the first inning, two on an RBI double by David Ortiz, Mookie Betts crushed a laser over the Green Monster seats for two more runs in the second inning. It was his third home run of the season.

That would be more than enough offense for Rick Porcello. The right-hander went seven innings and allowed three runs on six hits, while walking a batter and striking out nine. He improved to 3-0.

“He’s been very consistent with one, staying out of the middle of the plate,” manager John Farrell said. “I think his changeup continues to refine itself. He’s getting some swing and miss. He’s putting away a couple of right-hander’s tonight with a right-on-right changeup. We stake him to a five-run lead and knowing we needed a deep start he gave us everything we could have asked for, but more importantly, staying in command of the count and using his secondary pitches effectively — curveballs early in the count at times — but the fastball-chanegup combination very good for him.”

Junichi Tazawa pitched the eighth and Noe Ramirez the ninth to close out the win.

The Red Sox were able to continue to add to the poor start to the year for the Rays’ Chris Archer. The Tampa ace went 4 1/3 innings and allowed six runs on eight hits, while walking three and striking out six. After four starts he has a 7.32 ERA and is 0-4.

Closing Time note

Porcello has gone at least six innings in 11 straight starts dating back to Aug. 15, 2015. It’s the longest such streak of his career and the longest active streak in the American League.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, mookie betts, rick porcello

Xander Bogaerts optimistic after leaving game with left quad tightness

04.20.16 at 9:09 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

The Red Sox suffered their second injury in as many days.

A night after Joe Kelly was forced from the game with the Rays with a right shoulder impingement, shortstop Xander Bogaerts had to exit early.

Bogaerts was driven from the Sox’ Wednesday night tilt with left quad tightness, experiencing the injury while scoring from first on David Ortiz’s fifth-inning double.

The good news for Bogaerts and the Red Sox was that after the game the shortstop didn’t feel like the injury would be something that would sideline him for long.

“If I feel the same way I feel right now I probably will,” he said when asked if he planned on playing Thursday. “If John [Farrell] wants to put me in the lineup I’ll be ready to go if I’m feeling the same way I feel right now.”

He was replaced at shortstop to start the sixth inning by Brock Holt, with Chris Young taking over in left.

Bogaerts was attempting a steal of second at the time of Ortiz’s line drive into the right field corner, going on to easily score standing up.

The discomfort first started before his stolen base attempt.

“I probably felt it my first at-bat when I got that base hit and Papi hit the double that I scored on,” said Bogaerts, who noted he has never previously experienced a quad injury. “That’s when I started feeling it and with the cold weather it just didn’t get better. The second time I scored from first I just felt like a little tightness right there, a little grab.”

The Red Sox led the Rays 6-0 at the time Bogaerts was replaced. He had gone 2-for-3 with an RBI.

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MRI reveals no structural damage in Joe Kelly’s right shoulder

04.20.16 at 5:00 pm ET
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A MRI revealed no structural damage in Joe Kelly's shoulder. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports0

An MRI revealed no structural damage in Joe Kelly’s shoulder. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox got some good news Wednesday afternoon on Joe Kelly’s right shoulder.

An MRI revealed no structural damage after the pitcher was removed from Tuesday’s start following just 23 pitches and four batters. He was immediately placed on the disabled list with right shoulder impingement. There is no timetable on his return.

A lot has been made of Kelly taking the mound to start the game as he revealed afterward he felt some discomfort warming up, but he thought he would work through it.

Manager John Farrell defended his pitcher.

“I can’t fault him for wanting to get to the mound. If he doesn’t take the ball, then we’re chastising him for not being tough,” Farrell said. “Here’s a guy that — OK, not even a little sore out off his last start, but he was making progress. Felt like he was in the safe zone to make his start and unfortunately he didn’t get through it. Thankfully, based on the MRI this afternoon it reveals the impingement. There’s no changes to the stricture from the MRI that was taken last September and now we have to let it quiet down.”

Farrell also added based on what the medical staff has told him, Kelly did no further damage trying to pitch through it.

The manager also noted it’s not uncommon for pitchers to feel discomfort and work through it. He hopes and believes they know the difference between soreness and pain.

“There’s an individual threshold, I guess you could say on the difference between soreness and pain,” Farrell said. “Typically with guys at this level they have dealt with this from time and time through the minor leagues. They’ve dealt with it from time-to-time here. When they reach that point, or that threshold that this isn’t just stiffness, it’s something more than that — then yeah, it’s their career that we’re talking about and you want them to be candid and honest. A player’s health is first and foremost for us.”

In his first two starts of the year, Kelly posted a 1-0 record and 9.35 ERA.

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Red Sox manager John Farrell on D&H: Says Joe Kelly was in a Catch-22 with injury

04.20.16 at 3:14 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Red Sox manager John Farrell made his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley Wednesday and provided more insight into the injury that sidelined Joe Kelly in the first inning on Tuesday.

While the team has taken some criticism for not realizing how hurt Kelly was before he took the mound, Farrell explained it was a “Catch-22″ for the pitcher, who was placed on the disabled list with a right shoulder impingement.

“If Joe says he can’t go, well, we’re saying, ‘What’s wrong with him? Is he not a tough guy?'” Farrell said. “On the other hand, if he takes the ball, he’s going out to think he can work through it, and now we’re chastising him because he didn’t speak his mind. He went out and tried to give us everything he could.”

Farrell noted that starters pitching through some discomfort, particularly early in the season, isn’t unusual. He said that Kelly made it through his normal bullpen two days after his last start, which is usually the key hurdle between starts.

Kelly’s absence required the Red Sox bullpen to throw more than nine innings on Tuesday, and so roster changes were made, with right-handed relievers Noe Ramirez and William Cuevas getting the call, and infielder Marco Hernandez returning to Triple-A Pawtucket. Farrell said he did not yet have a starter in mind for Sunday’s outing against the Astros, which is when Kelly’s turn comes around again.

Farrell touched on a couple of other topics as well, noting that the organization hasn’t given up on Blake Swihart as a catcher, even though he’ll start playing some left field at Pawtucket and could return to Boston in a slash role.

“Catching is not done,” Farrell said. “He’s an injury away from being right back here, a foul tip away from being right back here. . . . We’re not closing the shop on him being a catcher.”

 

 

Red Sox lineup: Brock Holt, Christian Vazquez return

04.20.16 at 3:14 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

After being down the last three games, Brock Holt returns to the Red Sox lineup as they go up against right-hander Chris Archer in the second of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

Christian Vazquez, who sat Tuesday, will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello and other than that, it’s a standard lineup.

Travis Shaw will play third base and Hanley Ramirez will play first. The Red Sox will look to bounce back following Tuesday’s 3-0 loss — the first time they were shutout at home in 63 games.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

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

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

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Red Sox make series of roster moves to help bullpen

04.20.16 at 2:11 pm ET
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Noe Ramirez

Noe Ramirez

After Joe Kelly only lasted 23 pitches and four batters Tuesday night, the Red Sox bullpen needed some help.

And with that, the team made a series of roster moves to address the need prior to Wednesday’s game against the Rays.

The Red Sox placed Kelly on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder impingement, recalled reliever Noe Ramirez and selected right-hander William Cuevas from Triple-A Pawtucket.

To make room for Cuevas on the 40-man roster, they designated for assignment Edwin Escobar, who was with Triple-A Pawtucket.

In addition, the team optioned utility infielder Marco Hernandez back to Triple-A.

Cuevas is a starter so it appears he will be the long reliever for the time being. Also, the team must have liked what they saw out of Heath Hembree (3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Kelly) as he is staying on the roster after being recalled Tuesday.

It would appear the team still needs to make another move to its roster to fill Kelly’s spot in the rotation, but that doesn’t take place until Sunday. Henry Owens seems like the logical fit.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Joe Kelly, noe ramirez, william cuevas,

Wednesday Farm Report: Sam Travis collects 4 hits, 2 RBIs in PawSox win

04.20.16 at 11:06 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.

Sam Travis

Sam Travis

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (8-5): W, 9-4 at Rochester (Twins)

— Sam Travis had another monster night at the plate in the cleanup spot, going 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and three runs. He led the way offensively in a game where the PawSox racked up nine runs. This was his third consecutive multi-hit game, and he now is batting .327 through 13 games, with two home runs and 10 RBIs.

— Left fielder Justin Maxwell was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs, while fellow outfielder Chris Marrero went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning.

— Rusney Castillo was 2-for-5 with two singles. Blake Swihart was just 1-for-5. Castillo is batting .381 since being sent down to Triple-A, while Swihart is right on the Mendoza line at .200.

— Starting pitcher Sean O’Sullivan picked up the win after a solid outing in which he went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on just three hits. The right-hander struck out five and walked two.

— Roman Mendez went 1 1/3 innings in relief, allowing two earned on one hit and two walks. Pat Light (Boston’s No. 18 prospect on MLB.com) came in for the ninth and set Rochester down in order, striking out two of the three batters he faced.

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Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘I was kind of blindsided’ by criticism about view on transgender issue; due for discussion with ESPN bosses

04.20.16 at 10:37 am ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling once again finds himself in the middle of a controversy for opining about a highly charged political issue, but he told Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday that he doesn’t understand what he did to draw people’s ire in this latest incident. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

On Tuesday, Schilling reposted a graphic that pictured a burly man dressed in suggestive women’s clothing with the words: Let him in! To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!

He followed that by writing in a separate post: A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.

The posts are a response to the controversy in North Carolina, where a law was passed directing individuals to use bathrooms based on their biological sex. Companies and entertainers have responded by boycotting the state or threatening to pull their business.

Schilling downplayed his comments, insisting he did not mean to stir up trouble.

“That wasn’t my post,” he said of the graphic. “I commented on that. … I replied to the post. I didn’t post that. I made a comment paraphrasing it would be people that go to the bathroom standing up use one, and people that go the bathroom sitting down use the other. That’s turned into somehow I’m transphobic. I don’t know.”

Schilling has been suspended by ESPN for past comments, but he said when he got a phone call Tuesday it caught him by surprise.

“I got a call late yesterday. I don’t know how you guys saw this thing. I was kind of blindsided by this one. When I got the call I was like, ‘I don’t get this. How did this become that?’ I assume I’ll be talking with some people today.”

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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Chris Archer

04.20.16 at 8:31 am ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

The Red Sox will send Rick Porcello to the mound on Wednesday night at Fenway Park in the middle game of a three-game series against the Rays. He will face off against Chris Archer in a battle of righties.

Porcello will look to continue his winning ways, as he has come out with a victory in each of his first two starts this season. In his last outing on Friday against the Blue Jays, Porcello went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on just two hits (both home runs). He walked one and struck out eight in a game the Red Sox would win 5-3.

“It was a good win for us,” Porcello said after the game. “Good way to open up the series. Keeping guys off base, trying to eliminate big innings and multiple runners on the bases. I can’t say enough about the job Christian [Vazquez] did back there blocking balls, calling the game — he was tremendous.”

Said Red Sox manager John Farrell of Porcello’s outing: “He did a really nice job of throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate. Against a powerful right-handed hitting lineup, I thought he pitched in effectively. He used enough secondary pitches to set up his fastball. He and [Vazquez] hooked up well and the execution on Rick’s part was very, very good here tonight.”

In 11 starts against the Rays, Porcello has a career record of 5-4 with a 3.01 ERA. He has 13 walks to go with 57 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.179 in 74 2/3 innings.

Archer has struggled out of the gate for the Rays, losing all three of his starts this season. In his last outing against the Indians last Thursday, he went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned). He walked three and struck out six, as the Rays could not find any success at the plate and went on to lose 6-0. One area of concern for Archer has been his inability to get deep into games. His 5 1/3 innings against the Indians was actually his longest outing of the season.

“The one thing that I want to do, beyond give up two runs, is pitch a little deeper into the game,” Archer said after the loss. “If you look at what the other starter did vs. what I did, there’s not much difference, and I’m sure they’re over there talking about how great of a start he had.”

In 11 starts against the Red Sox, Archer is 1-6 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.643 WHIP. He has 68 strikeouts and 35 walks in 56 innings of work.

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