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David Ross on Felix Doubront: ‘You have to … prove yourself on a nightly basis’ 07.29.14 at 1:10 am ET
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Felix Doubront allowed six runs on six hits in 2/3 of an inning out of the bullpen. (AP)

Felix Doubront allowed six runs on six hits in two-thirds of an inning out of the bullpen Monday night. (AP)

Felix Doubront stood on the pitcher’s mound with his hands on his hip, glove on his right hand and ball barely hanging onto the tip of his left hand. Slowly, the boos began to make their way around Fenway Park as the crowd at hand for Monday’s 14-1 loss to the Blue Jays expressed its displeasure for Doubront’s six-run, six-hit, two-walk, no-strikeout performance in just two-thirds of an inning.

Manager John Farrell made his way up the dugout steps, signaling to the bullpen for righty Burke Badenhop to take Doubront’s spot on the mound and follow up on a performance that would not present itself as a challenge to top. As Farrell emphatically took the ball away from Doubront, the southpaw looked away, seemingly avoiding eye contact with the skipper while leaving behind the wreckage of a 13-0 deficit for his team in the sixth inning.

It was only when Doubront no longer had the ability to affect the outcome of the game that the Fenway crowd cheered.

The feeble performance came only a day after Doubront, who declined to comment after Monday’s game, told Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com that he wouldn’t mind a trade from the Red Sox.

“€œThe thing is, if the [Red Sox] say I have to prove myself, I already did, man. €It’€™€™s [messed] up,” Doubront said. “So if these guys say I have to pitch to prove whatever, no, they already know what I have. I showed them what I have, as a reliever and as a starter.

“€œFor me, they don’€™€™t see the numbers, they don’€™€™t care what I’€™ve done in the past. It’€™€™s hard to be happy like that with these guys.”€

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Red Sox pregame notes: John Farrell communicating with players before trade deadline, Allen Webster to make start on Saturday 07.28.14 at 7:44 pm ET
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It’s that time of year for manager John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox. With the trade deadline this upcoming Thursday and the Red Sox seemingly in a position to sell off some of their more desirable assets.

Given the recent trade of Jake Peavy, the team’s 48-57 record and the team’s position 10 1/2 games out of the American League East, a number of players, notably Jon Lester, Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller and Jonny Gomes have reportedly drawn interest from other teams.

With only three days until the deadline, Farrell says that the team is constant communication with players on their status of the trade market.

I think it’s out of professional courtesy or respect to the player,” Farrell said. “Ben has been very much involved in this as well, trying to keep guys up to date if there is anything that has legitimacy to a given guy or the fact that in many cases, it’s a rumor and to put their thoughts at rest. I think everyone just wants to know where they stand and what they might anticipate. That being said, that’s the purpose behind it, to allow them to go about their work with a clear mind.”

Farrell, who says no trades are imminent, says the team tries to keep an open line of communication with players in regards to trade possibilities. Farrell says he is in constant communication with general manager Ben Cherington on the state of the team.

“If we need to make roster changes with guys coming from Pawtucket or if there are situations that make sense for us as an organization going forward, there is conversation,” Farrell said. “Ben has got a complete staff to pull form and a draw from and trust. This is about a group of people led by Ben trying to do what’s right for organization.”


– Allen Webster will make the start for the Red Sox on Saturday against the Yankees. While there was speculation that Workman could make the start after his uniform was seen in his locker in the Red Sox clubhouse, Farrell put those thoughts to rest.

“Everything points to Allen making that start,” Farrell said. “There is no plan right now to make any changes in our rotation.”

What did Red Sox do during All-Star break? 07.17.14 at 12:40 am ET
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With Jon Lester and Koji Uehara the lone All-Star representatives in Minnesota for the Red Sox (besides the coaching staff), many members of the team had a chance to relax before the grind of the second half of the season gets underway. Some decided to share their activities on social media.

First baseman Mike Napoli had dinner with some long-time friends in the North End.

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Shane Victorino: Traffic caused rehab schedule adjustment 07.13.14 at 9:29 pm ET
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When Shane Victorino‘s rehab assignment for the Portland Sea Dogs on Saturday was scratched, it seemed reasonable to assume that the outfielder may have suffered another setback, considering how his recent attempts to rehabilitate his injuries have been cut short due to discomfort.

That, however, was not the case. Victorino said that the reason he was scratched on Saturday had to do with the fact that he was stuck in traffic on his car ride from Boston to Portland.

“Yesterday was one of those things where the drive took me almost 2 1/2 hours to get an hour and a half still away,” Victorino said. “It was supposed to be a two-hour drive and it was going to turn into a three-hour-plus drive. They said that being in the car that long and then trying to play in the game was probably not the smartest decision. That was the only thing. I left as early as I could thinking that it wasn’t going to be that bad, but that was my first time ever trying to go down to Portland, Maine, and I understood with all of the beauty of the beaches and the coastline and the beauty of the weekend, it wasn’t the smartest choice.”

According to Victorino, he drove about as far as Salisbury, Massachusetts, before he called Red Sox physical therapist Dan Dyrek regarding his issues with traffic.

Victorino said that the scratch had nothing to do with any physical issues.

“That was the thing that happened yesterday,” Victorino said. “It wasn’t anything due to pulling me back from playing. The thing about at-bats is that’s the part that I’ve still got to get adjusted to. We’ll figure it out. I’m a professional hitter and I should figure it out sooner rather than later so I can’t sit here and worry about trying to get more at-bats. I’ve got to get ready to be physically ready to go and continuously play. Everything is going according to plan.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Closing Time: Clay Buchholz hurls complete-game gem, Red Sox win last game of first half 07.13.14 at 5:30 pm ET
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It looks like Clay Buchholz might have finally figured things out.

Buchholz turned in his best of the start of the season Sunday against the Astros, going nine innings and allowing three hits and no runs with a career-high 12 strikeouts. It led the way in the Red Sox‘ 11-0 win over the host Astros.

It was the first time since Sept. 15, 2013, against the Yankees that Buchholz did not allow an opponent to score. The outing also marked since May 11 against the Blue Jays that Buchholz went more than seven innings. 

Buchholz threw his last complete game on Aug. 10 against the Indians, when he allowed two hits and one run (on a home run), with six strikeouts.

Since coming off the disabled list on June 25 and heading into Sunday, Buchholz posted a 3.92 ERA with an opponent batting average of .230, an opponent on-base percentage of .260, 11 strikeouts, one walk and nine earned runs in 20 2/3 innings pitched.

Also highlighting the Red Sox win was Brock Holt‘s five hits.

The Red Sox capped off the first half of their season with a 43-52 record. Through 95 games in 2013, the Red Sox were 58-37. During the Bobby Valentine-led 2012 season, the Red Sox were 48-47.


– Holt continues to be the savior of the 2014 Red Sox and adding to his list of conquests. Against Astros starter Brad Peacock, Holt hit a leadoff home run into the upper deck of Minute Maid Park to give the Red Sox a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning. Holt went 5-for-6. Heading into Sunday, Holt was hitting .277/.306/.340 as the first batter of the game.

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Finally: Mike Carp takes advantage of long-awaited opportunity with walkoff 07.10.14 at 11:44 pm ET
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Mike Carp delivered the first walkoff hit of his career on Thursday. (AP)

Mike Carp delivered the first walkoff hit of his career on Thursday. (AP)

For nearly a month, first baseman Mike Carp sat on the couch of the Red Sox clubhouse in pain. The pain was not so much the result of the broken bone in his right foot that left him in a walking boot, but instead from his inability to help the team in situations that normally called for his skill set. There was nothing Carp could do except sit and cheer on his teammates, despite his desire to help the team through its struggles. As the team struggled through the month of June, winning 12 and dropping 16 games, all Carp could do was wait until his foot healed.

“Some of the nights, you almost have to turn the TV off when those situations come because you can’t be there to help,” Carp said. “It hurts so bad to see your brothers struggling and want to be able to contribute and fill your role.”

On Thursday, Carp finally got that opportunity and made the most of it, delivering a walkoff single in the bottom of the 10th that sent the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory.

After Daniel Nava reached on a pinch-hit walk to lead off the 10th, Mookie Betts advanced Nava to second base with a sacrifice bunt. White Sox manager Robin Ventura decided to intentionally walk Stephen Drew, owner of a .128 batting average, with David Ross due to hit next. Instead of Ross, Red Sox manager John Farrell decided to pinch-hit Carp. With the winning run at second base in the form of Nava and the score tied in the 10th inning, Carp felt that he had a feel for how White Sox reliever Ronald Belisario would attack him.

“€œI figured that [Belisario] was going to come in,” Carp said. “€œHe attacked me heavily the whole series. I only got three at-bats, but after he went away on the 1-2 pitch, I assumed something would be out over the plate.”€

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Closing Time: Red Sox claim second straight walkoff win thanks to Mike Carp 07.10.14 at 7:33 pm ET
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Second straight walkoff. Second straight win. With one out in the 10th inning, Mike Carp singled in Daniel Nava from second base, handing the Red Sox a 4-3 win over the White Sox. The heroics helped make up for an uneasy ninth inning from Koji Uehara.

Conor Gillaspie, who came into the four-game series with one home run, hit his third long ball since arriving at Fenway Park this week. This time the two-run, ninth-inning blast off Uehara took a win away from Sox starter Jon Lester, tying the game at 3-3.

Lester continues to build up more reasons why someone, whether it is the Red Sox or not, will give him a massive contract. The lefty turned in one of his strongest starts of the season, going seven innings and allowing seven hits, no walks and one run and striking out 12 while throwing 76 of his 105 pitches for strikes (72.3 percent).

Throughout the outing, Lester displayed strong command of his entire arsenal, mixing in a terrific cutter, changeup and curveball to keep White Sox hitters off balance. The only blemish on Lester’s day came in the first inning when Jose Abreu knocked in Adam Eaton from first base after left fielder Jonny Gomes slightly misplayed a low fly ball while slamming into the Green Monster.

Lester’s stellar performance on Thursday left him with a 2.65 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, a .243 opponent batting average, 134 strikeouts and 29 walks in 129 innings pitched over 19 starts. The performance marked the 20th double-digit strikeout game of Lester’s career and the third of the 2014 season. After Thursday’s performance, Lester has the third most games of 10 or more strikeouts, trailing Pedro Martinez (72 games) and Roger Clemens (68 games).

The Red Sox are riding a two-game winning streak heading into their last series before the All-Star break against the Astros.


– Having not collected a hit through five-plus innings, the Red Sox put two runners on base through walks from White Sox starter Jose Quintana. With the Red Sox‘ first opportunity to score their first run of the game, Jackie Bradley Jr. stepped up to the plate and delivered, breaking up the Quintana’s no-hitter and shutout. Bradley has hit well in July thus far, hitting .353/.421/.471 with two doubles and three runs in five games coming into Thursday.

David Ortiz knocked in two runs in the sixth inning to push the Red Sox ahead 3-1. Ortiz has started off the month of July hot, hitting .360/.469/.560 with five doubles, four RBIs, six walks, one strikeout and two runs.


Mike Napoli extended his recent struggles with an 0-for-4 performance. In the month of July, Napoli is hitting .188/.350/.250 with 12 strikeouts, eight walks and two doubles.

Mookie Betts turned in an 0-for-3 performance. While Betts has provided a spark for the Red Sox, he has hit .217/.258/.379 in eight games in the majors.

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