|Mike Moustakas wins American League All-Star Final Vote, Xander Bogaerts 4th||07.10.15 at 6:51 pm ET|
The Red Sox will have just one representative next week in Cincinnati.
MLB announced Friday Mike Moustakas won the American League Final Vote with 19.3 million votes and he will earn the final roster spot. The Twins’ Brian Dozier finished in second, followed by Yoenis Cespedes and Xander Bogaerts. Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner was removed from the ballot on Thursday after being named to the team as an injury replacement.
“I know how much the fans tried, the Red Sox organization, they tried really, really hard,” Bogaerts said. “Fans here and also back at home in Aruba really tried. Kansas City fans this year have been pretty crazy for their players. I mean I appreciate all the help folks gave me.”
The final vote numbers for the non-winners were not released. In the National League, Carlos Martinez of the Cardinals won with 14.1 million votes.
Utility man Brock Holt will represent the Red Sox.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Red Sox pregame notes: When will Dustin Pedroia return? Mike Napoli with ‘an opportunity to get back on track’||07.10.15 at 4:52 pm ET|
Friday was the first day Dustin Pedroia was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain suffered on June 25, but his return will need to wait.
The second baseman ran the bases for the first time since the injury Friday, but still the team and Pedroia weren’t ready to make a move to activate him yet.
“I don’t have the exact percentage of the intensity, but it is the first day that he has run he bases,” manager John Farrell said. “Baseball activity continues to improve. Not active today. Obviously we’re getting to that point, what’s the risk-reward — the potential four additional days of recovery, so no roster move today.”
Farrell was asked about a possible rehab assignment if he were to miss the entire weekend series, but the manager didn’t want to go there.
“We haven’t approached that yet,” he said. “We’re looking at Pedey’s heath and well-being first. Again, he’ll be on the field as soon as he’s available.”
If Pedroia doesn’t return this weekend, his first game back would be July 17 against the Angels — just over three weeks since the injury occurred.
Mike Napoli is back in the Red Sox lineup for the first time since last Saturday. The first baseman has missed the last three games trying to get back on track at the plate, as he’s hitting .192 on the season and is 0 for his last 9 and 2 for his last 27.
Napoli did a lot of work with hitting coach Chili Davis over the last week.
“A week of work,” Farrell said. “We gave him a little bit of a blow as we know with the two off days and the two days down against Miami and at some point we knew there was going to be a need to get him back into game after the work and gaining some confidence through that work. Tonight is a chance for that.
“His production has been clear. Yeah, there’s been streakiness, there’s been a stretch of time that he’s been challenged of late, but when you look at the big picture, we’re going to need his production and tonight is an opportunity to get back on track.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|Red Sox lineup: Mike Napoli returns vs. Yankees||07.10.15 at 3:12 pm ET|
Napoli, who is hitless in his last nine at-bats and batting just .192 this season, does hit well against the Yankees. He’s slugging .634 against the Yankees, the second-highest mark by an opposing player since 2013. Napoli and the Red Sox lineup will be facing right-hander Michael Pineda.
It’s a standard Red Sox lineup as Sandy Leon will catch Clay Buchholz.
Here is a complete Red Sox lineup:
|Red Sox Minor League Notebook: Who is the next Brian Johnson, Henry Owens?||07.09.15 at 1:32 pm ET|
It’s an exciting time for top Red Sox pitching prospects as Eduardo Rodriguez has already made his presence felt in the majors and Brian Johnson and Henry Owens are knocking on the door in Triple-A.
With Johnson and Owens both being drafted by the Red Sox and rising through the farm system, the time spent working on developing each pitcher is now paying dividends with one day each potentially helping the big league club win games.
Every year new, talented players come into the organization, mostly via the draft, and begin their attempt of climbing up the ladder of the minors leagues with the ultimate goal of reaching the majors.
While they may not have the name recognition as Owens, Rodriguez or Johnson, the Red Sox have a new wave of pitchers in the lower levels of the system poised to be the next big name waiting for their chance in the majors.
Double-A Portland doesn’t have many standout hurlers, but there some up and coming prospects in the lower levels with the potential to be considered the next Owens, Rodriguez or Johnson.
Here are four pitchers to keep an eye on in the next few years:
Trey Ball, LHP, High-A Salem
A 2013 No. 7 overall pick out of New Castle High School in New Castle, Indiana, Trey Ball is by far the highest pick of the group and is starting to come into his own with Salem this season.
Ball is 3-6, but has a respectable 3.68 ERA. He had a string of six straight starts allowing three earned runs or less.
“I think the season is going pretty well,” Ball said. “I think I’ve progressed a lot over the year and I’m trying to make it continue.”
|Ryan Hanigan playing major part in turning Rick Porcello around: ‘I want him to get to a point to dominate the game’||07.08.15 at 11:35 pm ET|
Even with Rick Porcello entering Wednesday’s start with a 6.09 ERA, the lowest among qualified AL starters, manager John Farrell was looking forward to seeing Porcello work with catcher Ryan Hanigan for the first time since Hanigan came back from his broken hand suffered on May 1.
With Porcello not recording a win since May 16, it was important for the right-hander to go into the All-Star break on a high note, which is exactly what happened as Porcello earned the win in the Red Sox‘ 6-3 win over the Marlins.
Porcello went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits while walking a batter and striking out four. He lowered his ERA to 5.90, which is still the worst among AL starters, but it was a step in the right direction nonetheless. The win snapped a career-long seven straight losing starts.
“I though he and [Hanigan] worked well,” Farrell said. “They changed up some sequences depending on left and right and multiple times through the order. A lift for Rick for sure, and a start that we needed out of him.”
The numbers don’t lie — Porcello is a better pitcher with Hanigan behind the plate.
In four starts with Hanigan behind the plate this season, Porcello has a 3.60 ERA with seven walks and 21 strikeouts over 25 innings. In 13 starts with either Sandy Leon or Blake Swihart behind the plate, Porcello has a 6.70 ERA with 16 walks and 58 strikeouts over 75 2/3 innings.
“It’s huge,” Porcello said of having Hanigan catch him. “Experienced, veteran catcher, I trust him.”
“With Porcello, we had a good thing going before I got hurt so I think that is a little bit of a bond we built,” Hanigan added. “Nothing against the way these other guys are doing their job, they are doing a good job. I feel in a groove with him. I like catching him. I was really happy for him tonight. Quality start and we’ll build from it. I want him to get to a point to dominate the game and have some really shutdown games. One step at a time and tonight was a good start.”
The Red Sox as a team are 14-8 when Hanigan starts. This doesn’t come as a surprise to Farrell.
|Closing Time: David Ortiz, Rick Porcello lead Red Sox over Marlins for 4th straight win||07.08.15 at 9:51 pm ET|
After 86 games, the Red Sox did something for the first time all season — win four games in a row.
Led by a four-run third inning, the Red Sox beat the Marlins 6-3, taking both games of the two-game series. With the win, they became the last team to put together a four-game win streak in the majors this season. Overall, they have won nine of their last 12 games.
The four second inning runs came courtesy of an error by starter Tom Koehler as all four runs were unearned. Ryan Hanigan worked a one-out walk and then Mookie Betts reached on the error as Koehler air mailed his throw to first base.
Brock Holt drove Hanigan in with an RBI groundout followed by an RBI infield single from Xander Bogaerts. The big blow came from the next batter, David Ortiz, as he crushed a homer over the Green Monster — his second opposite field homer of the year.
“He’s been swinging the bat well and better swings against left-handers,” manager John Farrell said. “It’s good to see him drive the ball out of the ballpark the other way. He gets a breaking ball from Koehler and then the line drive ground rule double. There was a lot of hard contact from him tonight. Solid outing for him.”
The biggest story coming into the game was Rick Porcello and his 6.08 ERA, but the right-hander bounced back from his seven runs in two innings last week in Toronto. He went six innings allowing two runs on eight hits, while walking one and striking out four.
Porcello once again had trouble in a “shutdown” inning, as after the Red Sox scored the four runs in the third, the right-hander allowed two runs in the top of the fourth. The Marlins recorded five straight hits in the inning, but thanks to a nice defensive play by himself on the mound with the bases loaded, he was able to escape further damage.
The right-hander picked up his first win since May 16.
|With Red Sox’ recent bullpen issues, Joe Kelly could return as reliever||07.08.15 at 5:43 pm ET|
Despite the Red Sox‘ recent hot streak — winners of 13 of their last 20 — there has been some areas of concern, particularly in the bullpen.
In the month of July, Red Sox relievers have an ERA of 5.56, compared to 4.15 in June and 3.20 in May. Aside from Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara, there aren’t many players manager John Farrell can trust out of the bullpen.
Craig Breslow has allowed three home runs in his last two outings. Over his last seven outings, Matt Barnes has allowed nine earned runs. Tommy Layne hasn’t been as sharp as he was at the beginning of the season, giving up multiple hits in two of his last three outings. Robbie Ross Jr. has allowed runs in three of his last four appearances and Alexi Ogando snapped a season-long scoreless inning streak Sunday when he allowed back-to-back homers.
If the Red Sox remain in the hunt in the American League East, they would certainly be in the market for a reliever to help Tazawa bridge the gap to Uehara.
But, what if they could get a reliever from within their organization and don’t have to make a trade?
That remains possible with Joe Kelly who is currently starting with Triple-A Pawtucket.
“I think at some point he’s an option to come back in that role, but to say that there is a prescribed number of starts that we have to see certain things work out and we make the decision from there,” manager John Farrell said. “We haven’t said that there’s X number of starts before we would alter his path. But, he’s got major league experience at the major league level. Yeah, there have been times where the work load has [been monitored] very close with Alexi [Ogando], Junichi [Tazawa] and Koji [Uehara]. Yeah, that conversation — some of that has been had.”
|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz back at 1B, Hanley Ramirez DH vs. Marlins||07.08.15 at 3:20 pm ET|
After Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Astros with David Ortiz playing first base, the Red Sox will have the alignment once again Wednesday against the Marlins in the second game of a two-game set.
With Ortiz at first base, Hanley Ramirez will serve as the designated hitter. Alejandro De Aza will play left field and Shane Victorino will play right field as the Red Sox go against Marlins righty Tom Koehler.
Mike Napoli remains out for a third straight game as he continues to work on his issues at the plate.
Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, CF
Brock Holt, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Shane Victorino, RF
Alejandro De Aza, LF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Rick Porcello, RHP
|After missed opportunities early, Xander Bogaerts bails out Red Sox with clutch hit||07.07.15 at 11:45 pm ET|
The Red Sox couldn’t get a hit when they needed it Tuesday night against the Marlins — that is until Xander Bogaerts stepped to the plate in the seventh inning.
The Red Sox had first and second with one out in the second inning, but Mookie Betts hit into his first double play of the season. In the third inning, the Sox had second and third with no outs and their best three hitters up in David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, but they couldn’t score in that inning either.
Then came the seventh inning with the bases loaded and no outs. Brock Holt struck out against weird-throwing reliever Carter Capps, which left it up to Xander Bogaerts who came through with a three-run single to put the Red Sox on top 4-3, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“Right man, right spot,” manager John Farrell said. “Against a power arm with a very unorthodox delivery, who has been dominant in his time in the big leagues here with them. But, to put up an eight-pitch at-bat like he did, fought off a number of fastballs. The key to me in that spot was we get to a 3-2 count and Mookie has a chance to be on the move. That’s why we’re able to score three runs on a base hit. Like I said, right man, right spot for Xander.”
Capps, whose delivery looks almost like he’s jumping at the hitter, was touching 99 mph, but Bogaerts remained calm, even when the count went from 3-0 to 3-2, fouling off a number of pitches before he lined a fastball with the runners off with the pitch into the right center field gap. With the runners off with the pitch, Betts was able to score the winning run from first base.
“You don’t even know what you’re doing up there against that pitcher,” Bogaerts said. “You don’t want to stay inside, outside, you just want to hit it. He’s throwing 100 so, just put the ball in play. All I was thinking was just tough it and hit it hard, not swing hard, just try and hit it hard. Sort of just touching it.”
|Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts’ clutch bases-clearing single leads Red Sox over Marlins||07.07.15 at 9:55 pm ET|
Facing arguably the five biggest games of the season leading into the All-Star break, the Red Sox kicked those games off in style.
Trailing 3-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Red Sox scored three times to take a 4-3 lead and held on for the win over the Marlins in the first game of a two-game series. It was their third straight win and they now have won eight of their last 11.
Stepping to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh against odd-throwing reliever Carter Capps, Xander Bogaerts fouled off multiple pitches and worked a full count before lining a single to right center field, which scored all three runners who were off with the pitch for what proved to be the game-winning hit. Per Elias Sports, it was the first three-run single by a Red Sox hitter since Gary Allenson in 1982.
Bogaerts came into the at-bat the Red Sox‘ best hitter with runners in scoring position, hitting .379, the fourth-best mark in the American League. The runs were unearned as Mookie Betts was able to reach on an error earlier in the frame.
“Right man, right spot,” manager John Farrell said afterward. “Against a power arm with a very unorthodox delivery, who has been dominant in his time in the big leagues here with them. But, to put up an eight-pitch at-bat like he did, fought off a number of fastballs. The key to me in that spot was we get to a 3-2 count and Mookie has a chance to be on the move. That’s why we’re able to score three runs on a base hit. Like I said, right man, right spot for Xander.”
Junichi Tazawa threw 1 1/3 perfect innings and Koji Uehara came on for a perfect ninth to earn the save.
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