|07.27.15 at 9:17 am ET|
With their first series win of the second half taken care of in an 11-1 victory over the Tigers on Sunday night, the Red Sox will move on to the White Sox for a four-game set beginning Monday evening. The second act in a three-series homestand, Chicago comes into Fenway Park on a four-game winning streak.
But like the Red Sox, the White Sox started the second half on a bit of a skid, though Chicago lost five of its first six compared to Boston’s seven straight. The Red Sox managed to right their stumbling with a 2-1 walkoff win on Friday in their first game with Detroit off a single from Xander Bogaerts.
“Much needed, that’s for sure,” Bogaerts said after the game. “We had a tough road trip. We have a long homestand right now — just try and win as many games as possible and you never know what can happen.”
Not including Sunday’s rout, the Red Sox have struggled to score runs over the past 10 games, averaging 1.78 per contest in their first nine tilts back. Their 27 runs in those games puts them at the fourth fewest in the majors during that span. The White Sox, on the other hand, have scored 44 runs since the break — eighth most in the league — 4.4 per contest. During their winning streak, they’ve averaged 6.5 runs per game.
“We have to win ballgames,” pitcher John Danks said Wednesday after Chicago’s most recent loss. “There’s not really any time left. We have to go. I feel like we have played better than our record shows this first week, but at the end of the day it’s all about wins and losses.”
Still four games under .500 and 12 1/2 games behind the first-place Royals, the White Sox have a ways to go. They’re five games back of the wild card spot and are situated fourth in the division, trailing the third-place Tigers by one game. And though Chicago swept the Indians in Cleveland, the White Sox‘ 22-28 road record doesn’t necessarily bode well for their slate with the Red Sox.
|07.27.15 at 8:43 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-61): L, 11-10, vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays)
— Pawtucket lost its eighth straight game, this time blowing a six-run lead, as Buffalo scored three in the seventh inning and four more in the eighth to complete the sweep. The PawSox have a 3-19 record in July.
RHP Matt Barnes pitched a scoreless sixth in relief, but he walked the first two batters of the seventh inning before allowing a three-run home run that brought Buffalo within 10-7. That snapped a string of seven straight scoreless innings for Barnes, Boston’s 19th overall pick in the 2011 draft.
In the eighth, LHP Edwin Escobar (Boston’s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com) retired two batters but left two aboard as he gave way for RHP Ronald Belisario. After a single and an error by shortstop Marco Hernandez plated two Buffalo runs, Belisario allowed a game-tying RBI double and then walked in what proved to be the winning run.
— The defensive miscue marred what was a nice offensive night for Hernandez, as he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored. His double in the second inning scored Jonathan Roof, and a third-inning double scored Travis Shaw and Garin Cecchini (Boston’s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com). The error was the first charged to Hernandez since he joined Pawtucket, coming on a backhand in the hole that he initially gloved and then bobbled. In 10 games with the PawSox the 22-year-old Hernandez is hitting .306 with a homer and three doubles, eight runs and six RBIs.
— Second baseman Jeff Bianchi went 4-for-6 with two doubles for Pawtucket, driving in three runs. Shaw finished 2-for-4 with a walk. First baseman Allen Craig and right fielder Rusney Castillo each reached base twice, as did Cecchini who had a single, a double and two RBIs.
— Infielder Jemile Weeks, the brother of major leaguer Rickie Weeks, was called up to Boston and added to the 40-man roster as second baseman Dustin Pedroia was placed on the disabled list. Weeks has played 28 games at second base and 16 at shortstop this year with Pawtucket; at the plate he’s hit just .207 in 51 games. A first-round draft pick of the A’s in 2008, Weeks was acquired by Boston in 2014 from Baltimore with Ivan DeJesus Jr. in exchange for Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar.
In a corresponding roster move, RHP Noe Ramirez was optioned back to Pawtucket. Ramirez made three appearances with Boston, allowing three earned runs, including two homers, in five innings of work.
|07.27.15 at 8:21 am ET|
Nabbing their first series win since the All-Star break, the Red Sox will change out the Tigers for another AL Central team in the White Sox. Joe Kelly will get the ball for Boston on Monday while John Danks will pitch for Chicago in the opener of a four-game set at Fenway Park.
Kelly made his return to the big league rotation Wednesday in Houston. He wasn’t able to earn the win for the Sox, tossing 5 1/3 innings while allowing four earned runs on six hits, a walk and half a dozen strikeouts. However, all of the Astros’ runs that evening in a 4-2 loss came off the three home runs that Kelly conceded — two to left fielder Preston Tucker and one to designated hitter Evan Gattis.
“I thought he made some big pitches with his fastball,” manager John Farrell said. “He gets a couple of called strikes looking. I thought he changed eye level with some fastballs. But a couple pitches out over the plate. And in an unforgiving ballpark such as this, you pay for it.”
The start pushed Kelly’s season record to 2-6 and his ERA to 5.74, and with Farrell confirming his stay in the rotation for the time being, he’ll have another chance to improve those marks on Monday when he squares off against Chicago for the first time.
|07.27.15 at 1:15 am ET|
Back on May 27, David Ortiz was batting .216 with six home runs and 18 RBIs and the designated hitter was benched for the first two games of a series in Texas with the hope of finding his swing.
Even with some people in and around the game doubting him, Ortiz has figured things out and is looking like the player many expected to see going into the season.
Following the left-handed slugger’s 4-for-5, two homer, career-high seven-RBI performance against the Tigers Sunday night, his average is up to .243 and he’s hit 19 home runs and has 54 RBIs this season.
Since those two games down, he’s batting .269 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs over 46 games.
Manager John Farrell had no doubt at the time Ortiz would return to his usual self.
“No, personally there was no doubt because while some might suggest — because of his age there were a lot of comments around decreased bat speed. We didn’t see that,” he said. “It was more timing and getting his front foot on the ground a little more consistently. He’s hit left-handers better of late as well, but no, there was no concern that he at the end of the year when you look back, his numbers would be close to where they’ve been year in and year out.”
While his numbers have gotten much better of late, Ortiz said he doesn’t put much stock in them. He says it’s all about winning.
“I don’t really worry about my numbers. I worry about winning,” Ortiz said. “I worry about being able to walk out with a ‘W.’ That doesn’t just go for me, it goes for everybody in this room. It doesn’t matter if I go deep every night. If we end up not winning, who cares? The one thing that we always look for is having somebody doing something different every night to win ball games. Hopefully this thing carries over to tomorrow and the couple months that we have left.”
|07.27.15 at 12:53 am ET|
Hours after the Red Sox pitching great was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Ortiz, inspired by a 30-minute bilingual speech from Martinez, drove in a career-high seven runs, belted two three-run homers, scored three runs and went 4-for-5 in an 11-1 pasting of the Tigers at Fenway Park.
“I was very emotional today looking at the induction,” Ortiz said. “It’s something that was remarkable. You never know what is going to pop out. Pedro, I got tears coming out when I saw Pedro talking because I know the man. I know everything that he went through in his career. I used to see that with Pedro after games. He starts telling me stories about things. All the stories he used to tell me made me a better human being, made me a better player. He was good. He wrote a book about it.
“He let it fly during the speech because for a lot of people, I know some of the fans, fans that don’t follow him. They thought that Pedro was as crazy as he looks sometimes when he was pitching. Pedro was the most unbelievable human being I have been around. Pedro is a Christian man. He is a man that thanks God every single minute of his life. Just watching during the speech, there was no doubt about the human being that I know that was out there letting people know how the game gets to be played.”
The magnitude of the night wasn’t lost on Ortiz’s manager, John Farrell.
“Maybe it’s somewhat fitting for Boston baseball today, with Pedro’s induction and then David with the seven RBI’s as he climbs up higher on that [career] list,” Farrell said.
Ortiz has struggled this season, as has the team. But on a night like Sunday, Ortiz could only imagine what Martinez would be doing to him in the dugout.
“He’d be hugging me all night,” Ortiz said. “Pedro, man, I’m telling you, he’s special. He’s somebody I always love having around because Pedro is nothing but positive stuff coming out. I’m pretty sure everybody in New England enjoyed his induction today.”
|07.27.15 at 12:41 am ET|
As manager John Farrell put it after Sunday’s game, it’s been an “interesting” first two months in the major leagues for left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.
But, minus three poor outings in which he’s battled tipping pitches, Rodriguez is making history.
The left-hander went seven innings, allowing one run on just three hits while walking one and striking out six in picking up his sixth win of the season in the Red Sox‘ 11-1 rout over the Tigers on Sunday night.
With that performance, Rodriguez’s ERA sits at 4.26, but if you take away his three poor starts in which he’s allowed 22 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, his ERA is only 1.23 over eight starts.
“This has been an interesting roughly two months that he’s been here,” Farrell said. “He’s been challenged at times in between the lines and it’s the greatest teacher that we have. There’s been some adjustments in his delivery. That’s an ongoing situation, and he continues to adapt and evolve. It shows his aptitude and his attitude to make those adjustments.”
After allowing seven runs, including two home runs, over 1 2/3 innings in last Monday’s loss to the Angels, Rodriguez responded in a big way Sunday. He only allowed one hit to the first 14 batters he faced and his only mistake came in the fourth inning when he allowed a solo homer to Nick Castellanos.
“I think the last one I tried to go too quickly to home plate and made my fastballs in the strike zone,” Rodriguez said. “Today I just got under control to control my fastball where I want. That’s what I think made it go better.”
In six night games this season Rodriguez is 5-0 with a major league-leading 1.14 ERA (min. 30 innings). Rodriguez has allowed one earned run or less in seven of his first 11 starts in the majors, becoming the first AL left-hander to do so since at least 1918.
“I just go start to start,” he said. “That’s what I think makes me change after the other start. Just thinking, continue to throw strikes and try to get outs.”
|07.26.15 at 11:23 pm ET|
After scoring just three runs in the first two games of the series and averaging 1.77 runs a game since the All-Star break, it was a matter of time before the Red Sox offense exploded.
Led by David Ortiz‘s two home runs and career-high seven RBIs, the Red Sox beat the Tigers 11-1 Sunday night at Fenway Park. As a team, the Red Sox finished with a season-high 20 hits with every member of the starting lineup recording one.
With the game tied at one in fifth, Ortiz crushed a Shane Greene offering over the Tigers bullpen for a three-run homer, giving the Sox a 4-1 lead at the time. Ortiz added another homer in the seventh, this one over the Green Monster for another three-run homer. It was his first multi-home run game of the season and 48th of his career.
Ortiz finished the game 4-for-5 with seven RBIs. The seven RBIs were a career-high and he became the first Red Sox player to have seven RBIs in a game since Will Middlebrooks last September.
“Big night for David, big night for us offensively overall,” manager John Farrell said. “But, David was all over the baseball. Two beautiful swings on those two, three-run homers. Maybe it’s somewhat fitting for Boston baseball today with Pedro’s induction and then David with the seven RBIs as he climbs up higher on that list. Good to see him swing the bat like he did.
“Once again, Bogey all over the baseball. Just a good night offensively.”
The Red Sox scored a total of four times in the fifth, three in the sixth and three more in the seventh. Mike Napoli had RBI hits in both the fifth and sixth. The first baseman has reached base in nine straight games and over his last seven games he’s batting .429.
The impressive offensive showing took some of the spotlight off Eduardo Rodriguez, who bounced back nicely after a tough outing last Monday against the Angels where he allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings.
|07.26.15 at 10:04 pm ET|
Rounding first base hasn’t been too kind to Red Sox second basemen this season.
After Dustin Pedroia injured his hamstring rounding first base in a game last month, Brock Holt appeared to injure his left knee rounding first base during Sunday’s game. He left the game after the fifth inning with left knee tightness.
The Red Sox‘ lone All-Star appeared to injure the knee in the first inning when he awkwardly rounded first base after a single. Manager John Farrell and the trainer came out for a visit, but he stayed in the game. Holt left after the game after he singled again in the fifth and came around to score on David Ortiz‘ three-run home run.
“He hyperextended his knee and it gained some tightness throughout the game,” Farrell said. “We got him off his feet. We’ll check him tomorrow. Day-to-day. We don’t feel like this will be a time missed situation.”
Holt entered the game batting .280 on the season. New utility man Jemile Weeks took his place at second base.
|07.26.15 at 7:16 pm ET|
According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pirates have “looked into” both Napoli and Victorino.
The Pirates are currently six games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central, but lead the NL Wild Card.
‘ Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) July 26, 2015
|07.26.15 at 7:05 pm ET|
Ortiz, like everyone else in the baseball world, watched Sunday’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“Pedro was special,” Ortiz said. “Unbelievable competitor. Best stuff I’ve ever seen in a pitcher and the most important thing, an incredible human being. I think a lot of people misjudge Pedro because of the way he was goes about his business. Besides that, Pedro is a very Christian person and person that has much love for everyone. I don’t think you can be around a better human being than what he is. I was watching the whole thing and it was very emotional. It was I was expecting.”
In seven seasons with the Red Sox, Martinez was 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA and a 0.978 WHIP in 201 starts. Ortiz knew even then he would one day be in the Hall of Fame.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “I think Pedro was going to be a Hall of Famer at some point because his numbers, they were ridiculous. … His winning percentage and the way he carried himself was something you only see in Hall of Famers.”
Martinez is only the second player from the Dominican Republic to get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ortiz, who is also from the Dominican, said it shows just how hard getting into the Hall of Fame is.
“I can remember Victorino asked me, ‘Man, it’s crazy, all the great players we have in the Domincan, there’s only two Hall of Famers.’ I’ve never thought about that,” Ortiz said. “Victorino told me and I told Victorino, ‘That’s how good of a player — you need to achieve some good numbers to get into the Hall of Fame. Getting into the Hall of Fame isn’t an easy thing to do. It doesn’t matter if you were one of the best players of you’re era. You still need to stack up numbers.”
With the Hall of Fame being discussed, Ortiz was asked if he had given thought of himself getting in as a designated hitter. As expected, Ortiz didn’t have much to say.
“I don’t know. I don’t vote,” he said.
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