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Closing Time: Troy Tulowitzki single forces Red Sox to start postseason on road

10.02.16 at 6:31 pm ET
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The Blue Jays celebrate Edwin Encarnacion scoring the game-winning run Sunday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Blue Jays celebrate Edwin Encarnacion scoring the game-winning run Sunday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox will have to start their postseason run on the road.

Thanks to Troy Tulowitzki’s two-out, RBI single over the outstretched glove of second baseman Dustin Pedroia in the eighth inning, the Blue Jays claimed a 2-1 win Sunday.

The Sox loss, coupled with the Indians’ 3-2 win over Kansas City, means John Farrell’s team will start the best-of-five American League Division Series at Progressive Field on Thursday.

After the Red Sox and Indians open things up with a Trevor Bauer vs. Rick Porcello matchup, the teams will then play Friday, with David Price taking on Corey Kluber. The series returns to Fenway Park for Game 3 on Sunday and, if necessary, Game 4 on Monday.

With the win, the Blue Jays clinched a home wild card game against the Orioles on Tuesday.

A positive for the Red Sox was the performance of starter David Price, who rebounded from his Yankee Stadium downturn by allowing just one run on four hits over five innings. Price’s only major miscue in the 80-pitch outing was the solo homer allowed to Devon Travis with two outs in the fifth inning.

For a good stretch, it appeared as though Price would be outdueled by Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez, who was unhittable through the first 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two walks. But then came Hanley Ramirez.

The first baseman not only broke up Sanchez’s no-hitter, he tied the game with a two-out blast just inside the left field foul pole. After a one-minute, 21-second review, the initial call by the umpiring crew held up, giving Ramirez his 30th homer of the season.

But in the eighth inning, with Brad Ziegler on the mound, Tulowitzki came through with runners on first and third and two outs by hitting a line drive just over the reach of Pedroia, allowing Edwin Encarnacion to score the game-winner.

A positive for the Red Sox was the brief outing by Drew Pomeranz, who came on to strikeout Michael Saunders with a 96 mph fastball to end the eighth before going to pitch a scoreless ninth. It was Pomeranz’s first relief outing of the season.

“Yeah, it felt like it so I was happy it felt like that and I could see it,” said Pomeranz of seeing the radar gun reading.

The Red Sox finish with a record of 93-69, winning 15 more games than in 2015. It’s the largest increase, year to year, of any club in the majors.

For a complete box score, click here.

David Ortiz might be retiring, but Jonny Gomes still isn’t

10.02.16 at 5:32 pm ET
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Jonny Gomes seemed perfectly at home mingling with the other retired former Red Sox players at the Fenway Park pregame celebration for David Ortiz. But that doesn’t mean he is ready to be lumped in with those having put their playing days in the rear-view mirror.

Gomes, who didn’t sign on with a major league club this season after returning from Japan, reiterated his stance to WEEI.com that he hasn’t yet retired.

“I guess to be retired you have to file your papers,” Gomes said. “Before you file your papers you have to mentally be there. I’ll tell you what, 10 or 15 years from now, when I’m on my third job description and you asked me if I wanted to play I would probably say, ‘Yes.’ Painters paint, firefighters fight fires and baseball players play baseball. At the same time, knowing where the game is, where it’s young and it being results driven and knowing my biggest asset that I could bring is helping. Are organizations looking for help with a guy in uni? I’ll be in the game. That’s all I know is the game.”

Gomes last played in the big leagues in 2015, winning another World Series ring as a member of the Kansas City Royals. The 35-year-old spent 13 years in the majors, playing for seven different organizations.

Asked if his plan was to keep eyeing an opportunity to play in 2017, Gomes said, “Yes, but at the same time if I were to stop working out or if I was to get a job elsewhere in the game, I would still workout and hit just in case. Those are my hobbies. That’s what I like to do.”

Gomes, who has long professed a desire to one day manage in the major leagues, did also say, however, that if another opportunity in the game presented itself he would have to listen.

“Yes, definitely,” said Gomes when asked if he would be interested if something outside the lines might come up. “Even with that side, I’m going to have to pick a path to I want to take. Is it helping the youth? Collegiate? Is it minor leagues? Is it front office? Advance scouting? On the field, coaching or managing? That’s probably a lot bigger decision I’ll have to make.”

Photos: David Ortiz Weekend at Fenway Park

10.02.16 at 4:44 pm ET
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David Ortiz played his final regular-season series at Fenway Park this weekend, and the Red Sox, fans and all kinds of special guests honored him over the course of three days. Check out some photos from the weekend here.

David Ortiz, with his father by his side, thanked Red Sox fans on Sunday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today)

David Ortiz, with his father by his side, thanked Red Sox fans on Sunday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today)

MLB gave Red Sox opportunity to reverse Drew Pomeranz trade with Padres

10.02.16 at 3:39 pm ET
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Drew Pomeranz

Drew Pomeranz

The Red Sox declined an opportunity to rescind the trade that sent left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the Padres for top prospect Anderson Espinoza, commissioner Rob Manfred said on Sunday.

Speaking at Fenway Park before the David Ortiz retirement ceremonies, Manfred said the Red Sox were given the chance to nix the deal over the Padres’ failure to disclose Pomeranz’s full medical history. The Red Sox declined, he said, because doing so after the trade deadline would’ve left them no way to fill a starting pitching void.

“We offered early on the opportunity to seek rescission in the trade and for good baseball reasons, the biggest one being we were past the trading deadline, they elected not to seek rescission,” Manfred said.

Padres general manager A.J. Preller ended up being suspended for 30 days over the deceptive practice of maintaining two separate injury databases — one for view by other clubs in potential trade discussions, and a more detailed one for the team’s use.

In the case of Pomeranz, the Padres reportedly hid the use of anti-inflammatories to treat a sore elbow. Pomeranz was recently removed from the Red Sox rotation because of a forearm injury, leaving his postseason status as a reliever in doubt. He went 3-5 with a 4.68 ERA in 13 starts with the Red Sox.

The Padres had two issues at the trade deadline. They sent right-hander Colin Rea to the Marlins, but had to take him back after he left his first Miami start with an elbow injury.

“For a very, very long time, there has been a rule in baseball that if something happens in terms of lack of complete information or disclosure with respect to the trade that the remedy is to rescind the trade,” Manfred said. “And you saw that baseball rule operate. Unfortunately, again with the Padres, and again with their trade with the Marlins.”

That leaves one question unanswered: Could the Red Sox have sought some other relief for the trade beyond simply undoing it? Manfred said no. Their only option was taking back Espinoza, a talented young right-hander who went 1-3 with a 4.73 ERA in seven starts at Class-A after the deal.

“Once that happens the rule in baseball has always been that we do not reconfigure trades,” he said. “And why is that? Every institution, even the Commissioner’s office, as fond of I am of the institution, has limitations. And to figure out once the player has moved, begun playing for another franchise — his physical situation may evolve. Figuring out exactly what happened when is extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible. And even if we can figure that out, we are not institutionally capable of deciding who would have traded what for what. Even in retrospect. It’s just something that the institution can’t do. That’s why we have the rescission in the first place.”

Read More: A.J. Preller, anderson espinoza, Drew Pomeranz, Padres

Red Sox announce David Ortiz’s number will be retired in 2017

10.02.16 at 2:47 pm ET
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Leo Ortiz joins his son, David, in celebrating the slugger's final regular season game. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Leo Ortiz joins his son, David, in celebrating the slugger’s final regular season game. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

As part of ceremony honoring David Ortiz prior to Sunday’s regular season finale, the Red Sox announced Ortiz’s No. 34 would be retired in 2017.

The ceremony also included …

– Third base coach Brian Butterfield giving Ortiz a pair of L.L. Bean boots.
– The presentation of a solid gold bat by president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and physical therapist Dan Dyrek, who Ortiz credits for getting him physically able to play for the past few years.
– The announcement by Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker and Boston mayor Marty Walsh that the bridge on Brookline Ave leading to Fenway Park, and the street on the way to the Fenway T stop would both be named after Ortiz.
– A check of $500,000 the David Ortiz Foundation, which was matched by the Red Sox’ ownership, pushing the total to $1 million.
– A cavalcade of former Red Sox teammates, along with the three World Series trophies. Some of those in attendance included Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Jonny Gomes and J.D. Drew.

Sunday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: David Price vs. Aaron Sanchez

10.02.16 at 8:06 am ET
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David Price

David Price

In Sunday afternoon’s regular-season finale at Fenway Park, Red Sox left-hander David Price will prepare for the postseason when he gets the start against Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez.

Price is 17-9 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.200 WHIP. He leads the league with 34 starts and 225 innings pitched. In his last start on Tuesday, Price saw his nine-start unbeaten streak come to an end in a 6-4 loss to the Yankees that delayed the Red Sox’ AL East title. Price went 6 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on 12 hits (including three home runs) and a walk with two strikeouts.

“I’ve been throwing the baseball well the past couple of starts and to have a chance to clinch the division for us here, that’s not acceptable,” Price said (via MLB.com). “If our offense scores me four runs, I feel like I like I should go out there and be able to win. That hasn’t been the case a lot of the times this year, and that wasn’t the case tonight.”

Price has faced Toronto thrice this season — the last time on June 3 — going 1-1 with a 2.66 ERA and 1.180 WHIP. In 24 career appearances vs, the Jays, Price is 17-3 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.078 WHIP.

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Read More: Aaron Sanchez, David Price,

Everything you need to know as Red Sox head into final regular season game

10.02.16 at 2:07 am ET
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David Price will close out the regular season for the Red Sox Sunday. (NIck Churiaro/USA Today Sports)

David Price will close out the regular season for the Red Sox Sunday. (NIck Churiaro/USA Today Sports)

They’ve played 161 games. They still need another.

This we know: the Red Sox are in the postseasons, winners of the American League East division. They will be playing Cleveland in the AL Division Series, which starts Thursday.

After that, there is still plenty to digest as we wait for the Red Sox to finish off their regular season schedule, Sunday afternoon …

– When everybody wakes up Sunday morning, the Red Sox (93-68) will be 1/2 game in back of the Indians (93-67). But, the Sox own the tie-breaker with Cleveland. That’s important when trying to decipher who might end up with home-field advantage in the upcoming best-of-five showdown.

If the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, they will force the Indians to win both their Sunday tilt with Kansas City and a make-up game in Detroit in order to have the ALDS start at Progressive Field.

If the Red Sox lose Sunday, and the Indians beat KC, the series will start in Cleveland.

If the Red Sox lose against the Blue Jays, and Cleveland loses Sunday, the Indians would play Detroit Monday. Terry Francona’s team would then decide its own fate because of the tie-breaker.

– The Red Sox will have David Price going for them in the regular season finale, although manager John Farrell noted prior to Saturday’s game that his pitch count should be somewhat limited.

– Sunday’s game means a whole bunch to the Blue Jays, who are tied with Baltimore for the top Wild Card spot, with Toronto owning the tie-breaker. The Jays and O’s are 1 1/2 games in front of the Tigers, so even if Toronto loses to the Red Sox it is guaranteed at least another game, which would be against the Tigers if they won Sunday and Monday.

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Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox confident closer can turn things around for postseason

10.01.16 at 11:46 pm ET
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Craig Kimbrel believes he can turn things around for the postseason. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Craig Kimbrel believes he can turn things around for the postseason. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Although closer Craig Kimbrel has had major issues of late, the Red Sox remain confident he can get things right for the postseason.

Kimbrel entered Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays in the ninth inning with the score knotted at three, but walked the lead off batter in Jose Bautista. Then, pinch-runner Dalton Pompey advanced to second on a sac bunt, third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice fly for the game-winning run as the Jays beat the Red Sox, 4-3.

“I think it’s frustrating to struggle at any time,” Kimbrel said. “It doesn’t matter when it is in the season, but we have one more game tomorrow then we have a few days off going into the series. Hopefully in the next few days we’ll get it worked out then get a little rest and I’ll be good to go.”

Kimbrel has allowed six earned runs in his last four appearances, which includes six walks over three innings. His biggest meltdown came Wednesday in New York when the Red Sox cliched the AL East by way of a Blue Jays loss, but the Red Sox led 3-0 in the ninth and eventually lost 5-3 on a walk-off grand slam.

The Red Sox believe they have identified what the main issue is for their closer.

“Just the view from the dugout and film review and what exactly what continues to be worked on is he gets a little side-to-side and when you see the misses where he yanks to his glove side and will miss up and away to his arm side,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s not staying behind his arm as consistently as he has in many of his other outings. That’s an area we continue to work on as he’s getting loose and a throwing program.”

Kimbrel hasn’t totally been the same since returning from knee surgery in July. Before July 1, the right-hander hadn’t walked a batter in three straight outings since 2013. Since then, he’s done it twice. He also has a 5.12 ERA in non-save situations this year with 14 walks in 19 1/3 innings.

Despite this, Farrell said he is confident in him as the team’s playoff closer and he wouldn’t shy away from using him in non-save situations.

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Read More: Carl Willis, Craig Kimbrel, John Farrell,

Exclusive: Dustin Pedroia’s farewell message to David Ortiz

10.01.16 at 11:19 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz have been teammates since 2006. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz have been teammates since 2006. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

(The following is a note written by Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia to David Ortiz for WEEI.com.)

David, you’ve meant so much.

You’re one of the guys that taught me to be a major leaguer, respect the game, show up and play to win every day. That’s the reason you’re so great. It’s your preparation, and the way you show to work every single day. This has constantly inspired me.

You’ve always been team first, all about playing hard and wanting to win above everything else. That has rubbed off on every single player. I will always appreciate that. There’s a reason we’ve won and done some great thing, because of the presence and attitude you have brought.

I can’t think about what life is going to be like without you around. I’ll tell you this: I’m not looking forward to it. It is obviously going to be a huge hole. When you leave, there isn’t going to be anybody who will be able replace you. Nobody. Ever. And there’s nothing we we can do about that except just learn from the things you left with this organization.

David, you have made every single person in here better, including yours truly.

Now let’s go win a World Series!

Closing Time: Craig Kimbrel allows run in 9th inning as Blue Jays top Red Sox, 4-3

10.01.16 at 10:38 pm ET
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Craig Kimbrel had anothe rough ninth inning Saturday night. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Craig Kimbrel had another rough ninth inning Saturday night. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Welcome to October baseball.

Although it isn’t officially the postseason, the Red Sox and Blue Jays battled in what felt like a playoff game with the Jays eventually coming on top, 4-3.

As he has for much of the season, Craig Kimbrel struggled in a tie game once again.

The closer entered in the top of the ninth and walked the lead off batter Jose Bautista. Pinch-runner Dalton Pompey advanced to second on a sac bunt, third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice fly for the game-winning run.

“I think it’s frustrating to struggle at any time,” Kimbrel said. “It doesn’t matter when it is in the season, but we have one more game tomorrow then we have a few days off going into the series. Hopefully in the next few days we’ll get it worked out then get a little rest and I’ll be good to go.”

The Red Sox’ magic number for homefield advantage in the ALDS over Cleveland remains at two.

Trailing 3-2 in the eighth, the Red Sox were able to tie the game in surprising fashion. The Sox had runners on first and second with no outs, but then a 4-6-3 double play set up a runner on third with two outs for Jackie Bradley Jr., but closer Roberto Osuma balked, giving Bradley Jr. home.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was at 102 pitches after the fifth inning and his night could have been done there, but he was brought back out for the sixth where he walked the lead off batter and was pulled from the game, but that run did hurt as Russell Martin scored on Kevin Pillar’s single up the middle to snap a 2-2 tie at the time.

Like they did Friday, the Red Sox wasted no time scoring as they scored two runs in the bottom of the first. Jays starter J.A. Happ walked three batters in the inning to load the bases with two outs and Chris Young came through with a two-out, two-RBI single to center field.

The Red Sox couldn’t hold the lead for long as Rodriguez promptly walked the first three batters of the second inning and the Jays got two runs on a Pillar two-RBI single to tie the game at two.

In his final game before the postseason, Rodriguez went five-plus innings, allowing three runs on three hits, but walked five batters and struck out nine.

Closing Time note

Dustin Pedroia snapped a 30-game hit streak against the Blue Jays. It was the longest ever against the club.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:

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Read More: Chris Young, Craig Kimbrel, eduardo rodriguez,
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