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Tuesday night was reminder that Travis Shaw has come a long way, and played a lot of games 06.29.16 at 1:34 am ET
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Travis Shaw has participated in every one of the Red Sox' games this season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Travis Shaw has participated in every one of the Red Sox’ games this season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – When it became clear that Travis Shaw might actually make the Red Sox in the early days of spring training, the next logical line of questioning was how he might handle playing every third or fourth day.

It seemed logical at the time, anyway.

Now, 77 games into the 2016 season, Shaw has participated in every single game, doing so while even getting to go into, and seemingly come out of, his first major league slump.

“I didn’t know about it until somebody pointed that out, but I take pride in durability,” Shaw said. “I think I still have the longest streak since Pedey in 2010 or 2011. It means a lot to me, especially for their trust to put me out there every single day, one way or the other. Being able to play every single day this year means a lot.

“For me, it’s more durability and showing I’m an everyday player and can do multiple things, not just one spot. I do take pride in that.”

As gratifying as hitting his first home run in 100 plate appearances was during the Red Sox’ 8-2 win over the Rays Tuesday night, the opportunity to show that he had emerged from his recent struggles offered the greatest sense of satisfaction.

After Tuesday night’s three-hit performance, Shaw has now become the first player in the majors with three games of five RBI or more, and is hitting .273 with a .792 OPS and eight home runs. This after hitting .219 with a .590 OPS and not a single homer in his previous 28 games.

After Tuesday night’s win, in 553 plate big league plate appearances, Shaw is hitting .271 with an .802 OPS and 21 home runs.

“I was sitting there, thinking about it the other night. If you look at it, I hadn’t swung the bat well in a month and was still hitting .270. I’ll take that,” Shaw said. “You weather a whole month – three and a half, four weeks – and you’re still treading water at .270, .275, it could have been way worse.”

Could Pat Light follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Papelbon, Justin Masterson, Daniel Bard? 06.28.16 at 8:32 pm ET
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Pat Light

Pat Light

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It’s a longshot, but it’s worth a conversation, nonetheless.

Could Pat Light actually ultimately be the kind of relief pitcher the Red Sox are looking for to help in the seventh and eighth innings?

For previous Red Sox’ runs toward the postseason, some of their best non-waiver trade deadline additions have come from their own system. Jonathan Papelbon (2005), Justin Masterson (2008) and Daniel Bard (2009) all proved to be the kind of high-leverage arms those teams desperately needed straight through their playoffs existence.

Now, with Carson Smith’s injury leaving Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa perhaps a bit overexposed, the Red Sox find themselves looking for something similar.

Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree have put their hats in the ring, but have been met with somewhat uneven results.

Now it might be Light’s turn.

While it would seem a stretch that the Red Sox might lean so heavily on a pitcher that had such an uneven stretch in spring training and earlier this season, Light might actually represent something much more valuable than the first glance would suggest.

Before his promotion to the big leagues — the second for him this season — Light hadn’t allowed a run in any of his 10 outings with Triple-A Pawtucket. And with the fixing of his pitch-tipping problems, along with an alteration in mindset, the former first-rounder has harnessed his 100 mph to the tune of a 2.05 ERA and .161 batting average against.

“I came up with something in April that I started working on which was not trying to throw the ball as — every time I struggle, it’s my body that’s been leaking and my arm can’t catch up,” Light said. “Me and [Pawtucket pitching coach Bob Kipper] Kip sat down in Triple-A and tried to figure out what the issue was and tried to figure out a solution to it. We kind of figured out something mentally, a little click in my head that gets me going. I was able to work through that, got that started right before I debuted. Wasn’t quite there yet. And then after that, since then it’s gotten better and better and I’ve been able to get on a little bit of a roll down in Pawtucket.”

The performance, and the mindset, certainly seem a long way from when his first go-round with the Red Sox. During that brief sting, Light gave up two runs over an inning against the Braves.

“Last time when I got the call, it wasn’t quite as, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to the big leagues.’ It was more, ‘Let’s go do it, see if I can put together a few outings and start playing well up here,” he said.

“He’s commanding his fastball much better,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “At least he’s had the first adrenaline rush of the big leagues out of the way while in Atlanta. Rather than getting back into a count with his split, he’s been able to put hitters away with it. That’s been the biggest key for him. Looking forward to that being on display here.”

John Farrell explains bullpen usage at end of blowout 06.28.16 at 12:13 am ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — According to Red Sox manager John Farrell, he was out of options.

With the bullpen having to pitch 18 of the Red Sox’ hurlers 33 innings on the current road trip, with Monday night’s starter Eduardo Rodriguez going just 2 2/3 innings in the what turned into a 12-7 loss to the Rays, the relieving situation got a bit uncomfortable for the Sox’ manager.

Farrell was forced to bring in each of his high-leverage relievers — Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel — for an inning each. Tazawa ended up throwing 17 pitches, while Uehara and Kimbrel each finished tossing 26.

Prior to the trio, Robbie Ross Jr. went 1 1/3 innings, while Tommy Layne also pitched an inning.

“We had five innings, max, out of the bullpen tonight,” Farrell explained. “That’s a game typically when we’re not going to see those guys come to the mound. On a night when [Matt] Barnes was still a little sore, Heath Hembree, there was no way he was able to get to the mound, guys who have been giving us multiple innings, that’s why Eddie [Rodriguez] was still on the mound when he was, trying to get as many innings as possible, even in a situation where we’re down. Unfortunately, we had to turn to everyone to get through the eighth inning.

Farrell added, “Koji and obviously Craig had not pitched since Friday. Three days down, or hadn’t pitched in three days, it was a chance to get him to the mound. Yeah, you don’t like to see him throw 20-plus pitches.”

While Tazawa didn’t allow a run, Uehara surrendered a two-run blast off the bat of Nick Franklin. Kimbrel also gave up a run on three hits.

After the game the Red Sox optioned Rodriguez, who allowed nine runs on 11 hits, to Triple-A Pawtucket, most likely opening the door for the promotion of another reliever for Tuesday.

Dustin Pedroia on conversation with Eduardo Rodriguez: ‘I was talking to him about baseball’ 06.27.16 at 11:52 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The conversation was there for everyone to see, and seemingly offered a microcosm of the Red Sox’ frustrations.

During a third-inning mound visit Monday night, Dustin Pedroia could be seen having a pointed conversation with struggling starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

After the game, the second baseman predictably downplayed the exchange.

“What did I say to Eddie? Do you honestly think I’m going to tell you that? I was talking to him about baseball,” Pedroia said after the 13-7 loss to the Rays. “I talk to all my teammates, every day. That’s about it.”

When asked about Pedroia’s message to Rodriguez, Red Sox manager John Farrell said, “Well, not getting into the mentality of it, the bottom line is he’s capable of more, we’re capable of more, we need to get better, and we had a chance to share that here after the game tonight. You know what, we collectively have to get better. To continue to fall behind as much as we are of late, we’re more talented than that. We have the capability of executing pitches at a higher rate. We can’t continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes, as we’ve been. We’ve got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are.”

Pedroia was also asked about the team meeting conducted by manager John Farrell after the game. The message, according to Farrell, that the Sox needed to be better. When asked if he agreed, the second baseman said, “Yeah, absolutely. I can’t really elaborate on that. Yeah, I do think we’re better than this.”

The Red Sox are now 12-18 wince May 26, falling 4 1/2 games out of first-place in the American League East. Their starters have combined for a 13.20 ERA on the current road trip.

Rodriguez lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up nine runs on 11 hits. He was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after the game.

“It’s part of the game. I knew going into the season, you go into every season it’s not going to be an easy,” Pedroia said. “It was you wouldn’t play all the games, you just show up at the end and it would be fun. It’s a grind. That’s part of it. You have to show up every single day prepared and ready to work and that’s how you get through it. You’re going to have good days. You’re going to lose by 10 runs and you’re going to win by 10 runs. You’re going to have days like that. You play a lot of games so the main thing that we’ve always gone about here is that it shouldn’t change how you act day to day. You should pride yourself on showing up and trying to win every single day. Sometimes you’re going to get your ass kicked, but then you’re going to show up the next day and try and give it right back. That’s it.”

He then added, “I think guys are playing hard. Hell, our shortstop ran a 3.9 down the line in the ninth inning down seven runs and then went first to third. So, yeah, that was pretty cool.”

Eduardo Rodriguez optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after tough start 06.27.16 at 11:39 pm ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to start putting changes in motion after their 13-7 loss to the Rays Monday night.

Following an outing in which Eduardo Rodriguez gave up nine runs on 11 hits over 2 2/3 innings, a team source confirmed the starting pitcher Eduardo would be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Rodriguez saw his ERA climb to 8.59 after the outing, having started the night at 6.41. His “Game Score” (a metric devised by Bill James to evaluate a starting pitcher) was the lowest by a Red Sox starter since Doug Bird on May 24, 1983.

It was the sixth start for Rodriguez since coming back from a right knee injury, with three of the outings going 4 2/3 innings or less. Rodriguez’s batting average against also proved problematic, sitting at .315, with opposing hitter totaling a .993 OPS.

“Very surprising,” said Farrell of the Rodriguez outing. “On a night, again, as we’ve been going to that bullpen so extensively, we needed to get some innings. Felt like he was back to a place after his start five days ago that would carry him through. They bunched a number of hits together. They squared up a number of baseballs, a number of pitches tonight. It was disappointing.”

Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. still trending toward All-Star starts 06.27.16 at 6:45 pm ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — They’re one week away.

For the last time before the final voting is announced, Major League Baseball released the leaders in All-Star balloting. And, as it stands, the Red Sox seem well-positioned to boast at least four position players as starters for the American League.

Both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts currently are in the top three in voting for outfielders, only trailing Mike Trout. Betts is just ahead of both Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain and Mark Trumbo of Baltimore.

“It’s definitely cool. You can’t say you never dreamed about,” Betts said. “It’s definitely something I would love to be a part of. We’re kind of struggling right now so my mind is kind of somewhere else right now. But I’m going to do the best I can and in doing that the All-Star voting will take care of itself. Just take care of business, and that business will take care of itself.”

Both shortstop Xander Bogaerts and designated hitter David Ortiz have comfortable leads at their respective positions.

Dustin Pedroia resides in third-place in the race for the second base spot, while Hanley Ramirez is the fifth-highest vote-getter at first base.

Here is the complete voting:

Allstars

Red Sox notes: Brandon Workman eyeing return to majors; Brock Holt targeting weekend return; Clay Buchholz stays in rotation 06.27.16 at 6:23 pm ET
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Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — We have a Brandon Workman sighting.

The reliever, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, made an appearance at Tropicana Field Monday, throwing a bullpen session in front of Red Sox manager John Farrell. Workman has been participating in games in Fort Myers.

“I’ve been throwing about on a five-day schedule down there, but I just recently took some time off, and now I’m starting to ramp back up and start pushing forward through it,” said Workman, explaining that his time off was an opportunity to fix some mechanical issues.

“I’d just been working full steam ahead for a while there, so it was a breather to catch my breath and get everything back where it needs to be, and now I’m ramping back up again.”

“He threw the ball good,” said Farrell of the bullpen session. “Typical with a Tommy John recovery, there’s going to be some ups and downs with some arm strength as you go through those rehab outings. He’s been in games up to three games while in Fort Myers. We’re hopeful that soon he gets out on a rehab assignment to begin that 30-day clock. To do that, felt like there were some minor adjustments in his delivery work to get past some muscular soreness in the lat area that’s been taking place.”

Workman hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since Sept. 18. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list coming out of spring training in 2015, attempting to avoid surgery with a PRP injection in his right elbow. But after two months, it was determined surgery would be needed.

The 27-year-old is eyeing a rehab assignment in the coming weeks, most likely starting in Single-A Lowell. And if all goes well, Workman is hoping to contribute to the major league’s team run in the final month or two.

“That’s been my goal from the time I got surgery through today,” he said. “I’ve been working, trying to get myself in a position where I can come back sometime this year and be a contributing part.”

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Dave Dombrowski is not alone in his analysis of current trade market 06.27.16 at 11:49 am ET
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Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — People want this thing fixed. But, as Dave Dombrowski pointed out early Sunday evening, it’s not an easy task.

Perhaps the easiest way to stop slipping in the American League East standings — where the Red Sox are four games out of first-place for the first time since mid-April — is simply by taking the trip to Tropicana Field. There they will find a Rays team that has lost 11 games in a row. That is then followed by third-worst team in the American League, the Angels.

But, what then?

You have to seemingly find another starter who offers the chance of pitching in a postseason game if presented the opportunity. There still needs to be a bullpen arm that would take some of the eighth-inning heat off of 41-year-old Koji Uehara. And then there is the discomfort of not knowing when your left fielders will return, and if the most important bat in your lineup (David Ortiz) can keep his foot/heel in working order for the season’s second half.

When presented the problems by the media following his team’s 6-2 loss the Rangers, Dombrowski offered a dose of reality.

“The thing you have to remember is that you have two clubs to make a deal, and most clubs, as I’ve said all along and it hasn’t changed whatsoever, really are not prepared to move towards 2017 and be in a position where they’re willing to move,” he said. “There are probably five clubs that have been looking at that all year long, and I think those five clubs are the ones that remain.”

Dombrowski added, “It’s still early. I can tell you I’ve done a great deal of work and there’s five clubs that are willing to talk about it, and it’s the same five clubs who have been at it all year. So it’s still a little early for that type of situation. We’ll see what happens.”

If you think the Red Sox president of baseball operations is alone in his thinking, he’s not. Just ask another general manager who finds himself in a similar situation.

“In this market, there’s not a lot of pitching, in general,” said Rangers GM Jon Daniels. “That dove-tails with the free agent market being as weak as it’s going to be. There just aren’t a lot of top guys who are scheduled to have their contract expire this year. We’ll see who ultimately comes available, but from our standpoint we have to get our guys healthy. We’re not going to have anybody than our own guys who are coming back.”

Sound familiar?

The lesson to be learned is right now there aren’t a lot of teams who are ready to move on from 2016, and those who are don’t have a whole lot to offer.

Last year, there was a bevy of high-end pitching trade targets whose contracts were ready to run out at season’s end. And there were even some, like Cole Hamels, whose contract still had some length but were clearly made available.

Even then the deals made before the last week of July were few and far between.

The trades made in June last year included Alejandro De Aza going to the Red Sox, the Mariners getting Mark Trumbo, reliever David Carpenter joining Washington, and the Braves lockage up Bronson Arroyo.

The first significant starter dealt? Scott Kazmir to the Astros July 23.

“Last year there were a ton of guys, which almost flooded the market where you saw guys not get traded, like Ian Kennedy,” Daniels said. “Supply and demand plays a big role.”

Right now, there’s too much of the latter and simply not enough of the former.

For now, they will have to rely on the Rays and Angels.

Dave Dombrowski: Clay Buchholz anticipated to make next start; Trades unlikely right now 06.26.16 at 7:37 pm ET
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Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

ARLINGTON, Texas — After a lengthy meeting with manager John Farrell following the Red Sox’ 6-2 loss to the Rangers, Dave Dombrowski offered the media assembled a dose of reality.

His team’s starting pitching just finished a three-game series in which it allowed 19 runs in 12 1/3 innings, with the Red Sox falling four games back in the American League East race. And, in the latest loss, Clay Buchholz struggled once again in the No. 5 spot, allowing five runs over 5 1/3 innings.

But Dombrowski offered the fly in the ointment when it came to making a deal to help fix the problem.

“The thing you have to remember is that you have two clubs to make a deal, and most clubs, as I’ve said all along and it hasn’t changed whatsoever, really are not prepared to move towards 2017 and be in a position where they’re willing to move,” he said. “There are probably five clubs that have been looking at that all year long, and I think those five clubs are the ones that remain.”

Dombrowski added, “It’s still early. I can tell you I’ve done a great deal of work and there’s five clubs that are willing to talk about it, and it’s the same five clubs who have been at it all year. So it’s still a little early for that type of situation. We’ll see what happens.”

Some of the teams it would appear Dombrowski was referencing are the Braves, Phillies, Padres, Brewers, Reds, Rays, Diamondbacks, and Twins.

When asked if he believed some of the solutions might come internally, Dombrowski referenced the rash of injuries the organization finds itself with, both in the majors and minors.

“First of all, we’ve got nine guys on the disabled list, plus we have guys on the disabled list on the minor league level, too, that we would normally bring up,” he noted. “So we’re scuffling for positional players at this point. The depth of our lineup, that doesn’t help. So you only have so many players in the organization who are capable the big league club at a particular time.

“The problem you run into is that some of those players are anticipated to be back soon relatively soon, so you can’t go out and make a trade for some positional player and gives up one of your top prospects that somebody asks for a two-week, or a week, type of situation. Our pitching, we had a bad series pitching-wise. Most of the guys did. I don’t want to say all of them because some of the guys threw the ball well out of the bullpen. We need to pitch better, we need to play better.”

As for Buchholz, who now has a 6.31 in 12 starts, Dombrowski surmised that the righty would still be in the rotation when his next turn comes up.

“I anticipate he’ll start for us again,” he said. “I anticipate, but you’re asking me questions and we haven’t even had a chance to get showered, basically, so we still have time to sit down and visit and have all those types of discussions. But I anticipate he will.”

Closing Time: Hole gets deeper for Clay Buchholz, Red Sox after loss to Rangers 06.26.16 at 6:13 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz struggled once again in his loss to the Rangers Sunday. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz struggled once again in his loss to the Rangers Sunday. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Things continue to trend in the wrong direction for Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox.

The pitcher the Sox were not only relying on to fill the fifth spot in their rotation, but, in the short term, help relieve a taxed bullpen, came up short once again. Buchholz allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings, leading to a 6-2 loss for the Red Sox at the hands of the Rangers.

The outing marked the seventh time in 12 starts that Buchholz has allowed five or more runs, with his ERA as a starter now standing at 6.31.

The loss drops the Red Sox four games out of first place in the American League East for the first time since April 12.

It seemed miraculous that Buchholz lasted as long as he did after suffering through a horrific first inning. The Sox starter kicked off his outing at Globe Life Park by allowing the first six Texas batters to reach via four singles and a pair of walks.

Buchholz escaped the first giving up three runs after leaving the bases loaded via fly out to left field off the bat of No. 9 hitter Bryan Holaday.

The righty has now allowed 13 earned runs and 21 hits in his 12 first innings this season.

“Velocity has been up a little bit. I feel good with basically all my pitches,” said Buchholz. “It’s the pitches that you miss with that beat you, and I missed a couple of times today, but there weren’t very many hard-hit balls, as far as the misses go. I feel good. I’ve got to keep going and hopefully the results change.”

The Sox starter settled down to allow just one hit over his next four innings. But in the sixth inning, after a throwing error from shortstop Xander Bogaerts on Adrian Beltre’s grounder, Prince Fielder rocketed a line-drive into the right field corner and over the 349-foot sign for his seventh homer of the season.

“He’s tired. He needs a day,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell of Bogaerts, who has made three errors in the last four games. “No other way to put it. He’s been going pretty much every game and we need to find him a day to get off his feet.”

After a trip to the mound from manager John Farrell, Buchholz would stay in to get Rougned Odor on a ground out to second. But a subsequent walk to Elvis Andrus ended the starter’s day, forcing the Red Sox bullpen to final eight outs. For the series, Sox relievers were forced to pitch 12 2/3 innings.

For the three-game series, the Red Sox starters allowed 19 runs (13 earned) in 12 1/3 innings.

For a complete recap of the series finale, click here.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Farrell’s plan to intentionally walk Nomar Mazara with two outs and Shin-Soo Choo at third base backfired. Playing the notion that reliever Heath Hembree would fare better against Adrian Beltre, considering righty hitters were hitting just .132 against the hurler. Beltre responded by ripping an RBI single into left field, increasing the hosts lead to five.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– Bryce Brentz hit his first major league home run, a solo blast in the sixth inning that cut the visitors’ deficit to two at the time.

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