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Justin Masterson likely headed to disabled list, ‘not real happy’ about the decision’ 05.13.15 at 2:53 pm ET
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OAKLAND — It looks like the Red Sox‘ starting rotation will finally have a different look.

After Justin Masterson‘s second straight poor outing, John Farrell said it is likely the righty will be headed to the 15-day disabled list.

“We’€™re moving towards a likely DL for him,” the Red Sox manager said. “After he went through a full exam and workup here this morning, the medical staff, there’€™s not one specific area to the arm or shoulder that is a cause or reason why we’€™re seeing reduced velocity and reduced action. There’€™s some fatigue that’€™s involved. I think it’€™s important that we allow this to calm down. We’€™re going to need the test at a full speed at some point in the near future here, but Sunday is out as far as Masterson is concerned. We haven’€™t made a determination who that’€™s going to be on Sunday but by the time we open up tomorrow night in Seattle, that will all be resolved.”

It is probable that Steven Wright be taking the start Sunday, contingent on how he came through his 5 2/3-inning, 110-pitch relief appearance.

Masterson lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing six runs, Tuesday night against the A’s, necessitating Wright’s outing. That came after the starter’s previous outing in which he gave up four runs and seven walks in 4 1/3 frames.

The pitcher said prior to Wednesday’s series finale he was not pleased with the team’s

“I’m not real happy about it. I’m mad,” Masterson said. “Like I said [Tuesday night], I hold true — just the fact that I felt like we could make the adjustment and get back out there and really be fine. It didn’t happen. It comes a time with this team when we’re starting to pick it up, but it’s one of those where if we’re doing great, I probably get a little more leeway. The last two starts have been different than the first five. I can’t deny that fact. By all means, as I told [Farrell], I’m not real happy about the decision.”

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Is John Farrell setting stage to replace Justin Masterson in rotation? 05.13.15 at 1:44 am ET
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OAKLAND — After his team’s 9-2 loss to the A’s Tuesday night, John Farrell officially opened the door for the Red Sox to potentially change their starting rotation for the first time this season.

Even before Farrell spoke to the media after the defeat, it wouldn’t have taken a leap of faith to suggest Justin Masterson‘s spot in the rotation was tenuous. The Sox starter allowed six runs in just 2 1/3 innings, pushing his ERA to 6.37.

But when the manager introduced the possibility that at least part of Masterson’s issues have to do with a physical issue, the likelihood of somebody else making the Sox start Sunday in Seattle grew quite a bit.

“The last two times out for Justin have not been anything close to what he’€™s even shown this year, set aside everything to the start of 2015,” the manager said. “Clearly, he’€™s not right. Whether that’€™s physical, whether that’€™s delivery-wise, the ball not coming out of his hand as he’€™s shown for the better part of this year. We’€™ve got to gather some information overnight. We’€™ve got to check on him when he comes in in the morning, go through a full work-up and just kind of get a better assessment of where things are.”

Then asked about Masterson’s physical status, Farrell responded, “Just talking with the medical staff right now and talking with Justin himself, it’€™s not anything glaring or an area of the body that could be identified to say that this is the primary reason. To what extent he feels anything that might subconsciously be in there to not allow him the freeness and the ability to cut the ball loose, that’€™s what we’€™re trying to cut to the bottom of.”

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Closing Time: Justin Masterson, Red Sox hitters fall on tough times in loss to A’s 05.13.15 at 12:40 am ET
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Justin Masterson retired just seven outs in his start Tuesday night. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Justin Masterson retired just seven outs in his start Tuesday night. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

OAKLAND — The good times for the Red Sox came to a screeching halt Tuesday night.

After winning two straight, the Sox fell upon hard (and familiar) times, dropping an 9-2 decision to the A’s at O.com Coliseum. Unfortunately for John Farrell‘s team, the defeat was born from a familiar equation: terrible work from its starter and the inability to hit lefty pitching.

The most noticeable issue for the Red Sox was the struggles of starting pitcher Justin Masterson, who allowed six runs over just 2 1/3 innings.

He was replaced by Steven Wright, who also gave up a pair of hits before finishing off the third inning with the Red Sox in a 7-0 hole after three frames.

The outing pushed Masterson’€™s ERA to 6.37, having given up 10 runs on 13 hits with seven walks over 6 2/3 innings in his last two starts. It marked the seventh time a Red Sox starter has gone fewer than five innings.

The other issue continuing to face the Red Sox is their trouble handling lefty pitchers, in this case Oakland starter Drew Pomeranz.

The Sox came into the game hitting just .190 against lefties, a number that didn’t get any better in the second game of the three-game series. The only hits against Pomeranz came from Dustin Pedroia (2), Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino. The Oakland starter finished his night allowing two runs on four hits while striking out three and not walking a batter over seven innings.

Of those on the Red Sox’ active roster, only one [Hanley Ramirez] has a batting average of better than .225 against southpaws. After facing Oakland ace Sonny Gray Thursday, the Sox are slated to go up against three lefty starters in their four-game set in Seattle over the weekend.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Former Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick managed four hits, including a home run, to boost his average to .346. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.

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Justin Masterson exits after getting just 7 outs 05.12.15 at 11:17 pm ET
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OAKLAND — Justin Masterson‘s time in the Red Sox rotation may be coming to an end.

The Red Sox starter suffered through another subpar outing, this time allowing six runs on six hits in just 2 1/3 innings against the A’s Tuesday night. He would be replaced by Steven Wright, who also gave up a pair of hits before finishing off the third inning with the Red Sox in a 7-0 hole.

The outing pushed Masterson’s ERA to 6.37, having given up 10 runs on 13 hits with seven walks over 6 2/3 innings in his last two starts.

It marked the seventh time a Red Sox starter has gone fewer than five innings.

For the box score, click here.

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David Ortiz on NFL’s punishment of Tom Brady: ‘I think it’s ridiculous’ 05.12.15 at 10:33 pm ET
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Tom Brady has the support of David Ortiz during these turbulent times for the quarterback. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Tom Brady has the support of David Ortiz during these turbulent times for the quarterback. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

OAKLAND — David Ortiz isn’t unlike any other Patriots fan — he’s pretty upset over the NFL’s decision to suspend his quarterback.

“I think the decision was very poor,” said the Red Sox DH regarding NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s mandate that Tom Brady miss the first four games of the 2015 season. “You’€™re not just talking about any football player. You’€™re talking about probably the best player in the game, so what is the message you’€™re sending? I don’€™t think the message they’€™re sending is good. They want to send a strong message to who? The NFL players? How about the fans. What we think of it doesn’t matter?”

Ortiz (who says he knows Brady a little) couldn’t get his head around the NFL’s choice to penalize Brady for his role in Deflategate.

Speaking before his team’s game against the A’s Tuesday night, the DH made the point that such an approach wouldn’t seem to be in the best interest of anybody.

“I don’€™t really like the whole thing,” Ortiz said. “They are going to do some damage to their sport, believe it or not. We’€™re talking about the world champion and the face of the franchise, face of the NFL. Doing that to him? That’€™s critical. I don’€™t think you’€™re going to make too many people happy.”

Ortiz, like others unhappy with the outcome, is also quick to point to perceived inconsistencies by the NFL.

“I think the NFL has been very poor in making some decisions,” he said. “I don’€™t think they have been strong enough putting up with [domestic violence]. I’€™m not talking about now, but I’€™m talking about through the years. You see all the cases popping out and I’€™m pretty sure somebody knew about it before. You have to wait for it to happen for people to know about it? That’€™s sort of weird.

“And now this Tom Brady thing, I think it’€™s ridiculous. I think it’€™s ridiculous. I don’€™t know if the commissioner is trying to send a big message. Then to who? To the players? I’€™m a football fan and when I don’€™t see Brady on the field I’€™m going to have questions. And then the answer is he deflated some freaking balls? Prove that. Prove it.”

Asked what it will be like to watch that first Patriots game next season without Brady involved, Ortiz matter-of-factly responded, “It’s going to be [expletive] up.”

He added, “I don’t think it will do anything to his legacy. Brady is on another level, you know? What I think is going to happen is the sport, in general, is probably going to lose some fans. I’m a football fan. Next year, when I don’t see Brady playing out there, I’m going to have questions. And the answer you’re going to give me is that ball thing. That’s the reason he ain’t playing? It don’t make no sense. I think the best way to deal with that was, let’s have some regulation for now, and whoever violates it, we go from there. But it’s just like that. I don’t see it right.”

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Red Sox lineup: Shane Victorino starts again in right field 05.12.15 at 6:15 pm ET
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OAKLAND — With another lefty on the mound for the A’s, this time Drew Pomeranz, Shane Victorino gets the start for the Red Sox Tuesday night at O.co Coliseum.

In his first game back from the 15-day disabled list (hamstring) Victorino went 0-for-4, ultimately being replaced by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the field for the final three innings of the Red Sox’ 5-4, 11-inning win over Oakland.

Here is the Red Sox’ lineup with Justin Masterson starting for the visitors:

Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez LF
Mike Napoli 1B
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Shane Victorino RF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Blake Swihart C

For all the matchups, click here.

Closing Time: Clay Buchholz, home runs help Red Sox bounce back 05.10.15 at 3:46 pm ET
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TORONTO — New pitching coach. New Clay Buchholz. And, perhaps most important, a new offense.

All of it added up to just the second win this month for the Red Sox, a 6-3 decision over the Blue Jays Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

With newly-hired Carl Willis looking on for the first time as the Sox’ pitchers’ mentor, Buchholz turned in one of his better outings of the season. The righty improved to 11-3 for his career at the home of the Jays, where he came into the series finale carrying 2.16 ERA.

This time around, Buchholz allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking three. It lowered his ERA to 5.73 for the season.

“It stinks to lose, regardless of the level you play at, it stinks to lose but I think everybody here takes it to heart,” Buchholz said. “We’re the Boston Red Sox and this team’s built around winning. When you’re not doing that or you’re not getting the breaks, it sort of wears on you. But from the first at-bat, [a triple from Mookie Betts], the ball could have been caught but it wasn’t so we took that as a break and started using that to our advantage and staying positive in there. Guys had really good at-bats.”

Helping the Red Sox starter was a Red Sox offense which jumped out to a rare first-inning lead. Thanks in large part to Mike Napoli‘s three-run blast, the Sox totaled a 4-0 advantage off of Toronto hurler R.A. Dickey before Buchholz even took the mound.

When it was all said and done, every Red Sox starter except Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley had reached base, with Dickey having allowed six runs in his six innings.

For an offense that had scored two or fewer runs in six of its eight games this month, it was a welcome change.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Buchholz. While he wasn’t spectacular, the righty allowed the Red Sox to hang on to their early lead without much worry. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Napoli‘s home run was a welcome sight for the Red Sox. Not only did it drive in both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, but it suggested the first baseman might be escaping his season-long slump. It was Napoli’s third homer of the season, pushing his RBI total to 10. He has now reached base in five straight games.

“The way we played today is the way we know we can play,” Napoli said. “Contributions from everybody ‘€” defense, offense, the pitching. That’€™s the way we should play the game. That’€™s the way we expect to play the game every day. Hopefully this means good things to come.”

– Sandoval’s two-run blast in the fifth inning gave the Red Sox and Buchholz some much-needed breathing room. The rocket over the right field fence was his third homer of the season, and continued his torrid pace against right-handers. The third baseman came into Sunday hitting .380 with a .968 OPS against right-handed pitchers.

– Junichi Tazawa managed to escape his 1 2/3-inning outing without much incident, which is saying something considering his struggles at Rogers Centre. Coming into Sunday, the righty reliever had totaled a 7.88 ERA at the home of the Jays, with opposing hitters claiming a 1.265 OPS against him. This time he gave up just one hit.

– Koji Uehara picked up his sixth save of the season, pitching a ninth inning in which he walked one.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– The Red Sox did manage to score two of their runners in scoring position — on Dustin Pedroia‘s RBI ground out, scoring Mookie Betts (who had led off the game with a triple), and Napoli’s homer — but stranded four others. For May, the Sox are now 7-for-65.

– Betts was picked off first base in the ninth inning by Toronto reliever Brett Cecil. It was the first time a Red Sox baserunner has been picked off this season.

– Buchholz rolled his ankle a bit in the fifth inning, but proclaimed himself OK after the game.

“Pretty sore, but all right,” he said. “Going toward first base to cover first, ball hit to Nap and my left foot landed in the hole I was landing in going to home plate. Had my ankles taped fortunately so I think that saved me from being too bad.”

Red Sox notes: No rotation shake-up yet; Jackie Bradley to enter right field mix 05.10.15 at 3:09 pm ET
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TORONTO — The arrival of a new pitching coach didn’t mean there was a new starting rotation … yet.

Prior to his team’s series finale against the Blue Jays Sunday, John Farrell said that the Red Sox didn’t have any immediate plans to shake-up the starting rotation, although he wouldn’t rule it out in the near future.

“Not at the present moment,” said Farrell regarding any changes to the starting rotation. “Now, that’€™s always up for review and we’€™ll see how we continue to progress through the rotation another turn or two.”

One potential candidate for a move to the bullpen could be Joe Kelly, who carries a 6.35 ERA in six starts after allowing six runs on four hits and seven walks in his 5 2/3-inning stint Saturday.

“For the time being,” said Farrell when asked if Kelly would remain in the starting rotation. “Partly because of a chance for [new pitching coach] Carl [Willis] to get involved with him and yet we don’€™t deny the stuff that’€™s there. Despite the high number of walks, uncharacteristic number of walks yesterday, there’€™s no denying his stuff. It’€™s a matter of how we can make him most effective.”

Kelly does have history in the bullpen, spending 30 games as a reliever during his time with St. Louis. In that role he posted a 3.25 ERA, striking out 49 and walking 14.

“We’€™re well aware of his track record or experience with pitching in both roles, but we’€™re not making a change to the rotation as of today,” Farrell said.

– With the promotion of Jackie Bradley, talked turned to what role he might play.

Bradley, who was hitting .343 with an .857 OPS with Triple-A Pawtucket, started in right field Sunday. It’s a spot he might find himself in more times than not with the Red Sox easing Shane Victorino back into action.

“When Vic gets back to us Vic is going to get the left-handed starters if not more,” said Farrell of Victorino, who was scheduled to fly with the team to Oakland Sunday night. “But Jackie’€™s arrival here gives us a premium defender. Certainly like him against a lot of right-handed pitching so we’€™ll find the right matchups. I’€™m not going to say it’€™s a strict platoon situation by any means but I think it’€™s important for us to find when we’€™ve got a situation or matchup we’€™ve got to take advantage of.”

When asked before the game what he was succeeding at on a more regular basis than a year ago, Bradley said, “Making contact.” With the PawSox, he struck out just 15 times in 105 plate appearances. With the Red Sox last season, the outfielder fanned 121 times in 415 trips to the plate.

– A day after joining David Ortiz in leading a players-only, post-game meeting, Dustin Pedroia sent another message Sunday morning. The second baseman was in full uniform nearly three hours before first pitch.

“I you never know, they might start the game early,” he quipped.

Hanley Ramirez on shoulder injury: ‘It’s a work in progress’ 05.10.15 at 2:25 pm ET
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TORONTO — Hanley Ramirez is back in action, but he admits that the left shoulder strain he suffered last Monday is still an issue.

“It’s a work in progress,” the Red Sox left fielder said prior to his team’s game against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre Sunday afternoon. “They need me on the field, so I have to be on the field and try and help the team win games.”

Then, when asked what baseball activity was most hindered by the shoulder ailment, Ramirez responded, “Losing the game.”

Ramirez was making his second start since leaving the Sox’s May 4 against the Rays in the first inning, injuring his shoulder while colliding with the Fenway Park wall along the left field line.

In his first three at-bats Sunday, Ramirez grounded to shortstop twice and rifled a single to left field. It followed up his four at-bats Saturday, in which he went hitless while striking out once.

After his second at-bat in the series finale, Ramirez could be be seen wiggling his left shoulder after running down to first base. He remained in the game and hit the line-drive base-hit in his next time up.

The question now is this: will the ailment — which is on the same shoulder he has had a pair of surgeries — become a lingering issue?

“I hope not, but I don’t try and think about it,” said Ramirez, who said the injury isn’t the same as what he went through in 2007 and ’11. “I keep doing my exercises and getting treatment every day. We’re going to stay on top of it.”

It was very evident what kind of hole Ramirez leaves in the lineup when not playing, particularly with some key elements in the middle of the order (David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Pablo Sandoval) struggling against left-handers.

In the four games Ramirez did not not see an at-bat, the Red Sox hit .169 with a .575 OPS. Ramirez entered Sunday hitting .271 with a .910 OPS and 10 home runs.

“We’€™re here to win. It’€™s a long season and you’€™re going to have ups and downs,” he said. “When you get down you have to keep your head up, try and get out of hit and go from there. Things happen for a reason. I’€™m just trying to keep working and I’€™m happy to be on the field.”

Red Sox add Jackie Bradley, Steven Wright; option Allen Craig, Robbie Ross Jr. 05.10.15 at 10:08 am ET
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Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

TORONTO — In wake of the Red Sox‘ three-game losing streak, and seven of their last eight, they have attempted to shake things up.

Jackie Bradley has joined the team in Toronto for Sunday’s game, and Allen Craig has been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket (he did have options, which made the move possible).

Bradley was hitting .343 in 24 games with Pawtucket this season, while Craig was hitting just .135 in 52 at-bats. Craig will get everyday at-bats in Triple-A as the organization hopes to get him back to his days in St. Louis where he hit over .300 in three straight seasons.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright has also joined the team, with reliever Robbie Ross Jr. being optioned. Ross Jr. didn’t record an out Saturday, allowing three runs on four hits. Wright, who has a few years of major league experience, has an ERA of 3.66 in 11 games.

Before Sunday’s series finale, Red Sox manager John Farrell explained the moves.

“With Robbie we felt the need existed a couple times for some added length and that’€™s why Steven Wright is here to provide that,” Farrell said. “With three lefthanders in the bullpen we felt we like we could go back to a guy with a little bit more length in steven so the move was made there.

“With Allen, not an easy decision. I think more importantly when we sat and met at the outset of spring training we talked about focusing on spring training and getting him back to the best hitter he can be and reestablish his strengths and felt like we were able to get some momentum going. When spring training was coming to an end we knew the role was going to be different. We knew it was going to be more of a reserve role and how he best fit into getting his at-bats and try to maintain the momentum created in spring training that’€™s been a difficult thing for Allen. We set him out to try to get back on track and get more regular and consistent at-bats, not only for his own production but maybe get him into a situation where he can come back in here and help us. This is as much about Allen as it is about us and the current stretch we’€™re going through and felt like the best and and most clear path to get us back on track was to have every player hopefully preforming to the best of their abilities and for allen that means more regular at-bats at triple-a for the time being.”

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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