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Heath Hembree to be optioned to Triple-A after stellar Red Sox debut

08.10.14 at 4:49 am ET
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — After throwing the most innings since sophomore year of college (four), Heath Hembree could take satisfaction that he made quite an impression in his Red Sox debut.

He also had to soak in the reality that Sunday he would be back in Triple-A.

Hembree kept the Red Sox in what turned out to be their 5-4, 19-inning loss Saturday night/Sunday morning with four shutout relief frames, in which he allowed just a pair of hits. Previously, the righty’s longest professional stint had been just two innings.

“It was fun. It was a crazy game tonight,,” said Hembree, who pitched innings 15-18. “That was definitely the longest outing of my career. Just trying to catch my breath and keep going.”

He added, “Honestly I was getting a little tired, but I was just trying to give everything I had and just empty the tank. There wasn’t that much adrenaline, per se. I was just out there pitching, and it just happened I had to go four innings tonight.”

The 25-year-0ld, who came over to the Red Sox in the Jake Peavy trade, had appeared in just nine major league games prior to Saturday night, having totaled 7 2/3 innings of relief for the Giants.

Perhaps Hembree’s most impressive moment came in the 17th inning when the righty was faced with bases loaded and just one out. But, after issuing his second intentional walk of the inning, the reliever came back to induce a shallow fly ball from C.J. Cron and a fielder’s choice grounder by Chris Iannetta to end the threat.

“He was outstanding,” said Farrell of the former fifth-round pick. “We backed them in a corner with a couple of intentional walks there. He’s still able to make the key pitch. We make a good play defensively to prevent a run from scoring with Cespdes throw. He was very good. Swing and miss with his fastball, didn’t feat the strike zone. A very positive first outing.”

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