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Closing Time: David Ortiz’s 2 clutch hits lift Red Sox over Astros in extra innings 05.14.16 at 5:21 pm ET
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David Ortiz homered and tied the game in the ninth inning with a triple. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz homered, tied the game in the ninth inning with a triple and won it with an RBI double in the 11th. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Saturday’s game belonged to David Ortiz.

After Xander Bogaerts singled with two outs in the 11th inning, Ortiz crushed an RBI double off the wall in center field to give the Red Sox a dramatic 6-5 win over the Astros.

It was a questionable decision to pitch to Ortiz with first base open after Bogaerts advanced to second on a wild pitch.

And that wasn’t his only big hit of the game.

Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth and two outs, Jackie Bradley Jr. was on first and Ortiz at the plate. The slugger ripped a triple to left-center off Astros closer Luke Gregerson to tie the game at five.

But then even more bizarre than Ortiz hitting a triple, Hanley Ramirez tried to bunt with the game-winning run 90 feet away and was out with plenty of room to spare at first base.

“What makes David so good in those spots is, he never comes out of his approach,” manager John Farrell said. “His heart rate I don’t think really elevates that much — maybe at times when a strike is called against him. He’s hitting in those moments with such clarity. He’s done it so often that he’s extremely confident in those key spots.”

Ortiz finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs, falling just a single short of the cycle.

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, hanley ramirez, jackie bradley jr.
Saturday Red Sox Farm Report: Justin Haley throws complete game shutout for Portland 05.14.16 at 10:41 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (16-18): Rain out. Doubleheader on Saturday vs. Gwinnett (Braves).

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (112-23): W, 1-0, at vs. Binghamton (Mets)

— The Sea Dogs got a strong performance from starter Justin Haley as the right-hander went all seven innings and didn’t allow a run. He allowed only one hit and walked three, while striking out five. He’s putting together a solid season as in seven starts he is 3-2 with a 1.93 ERA.

— Portland got its only run of the game in the bottom of the seventh for a dramatic walk-off win. Nate Freiman, who had his contract purchased earlier in the week, ripped an RBI single to score lead off man Henry Ramos. Ramos paced the offense with two hits and also made one of the better catches you’ll see in the outfield.

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, Justin Haley, luis alejandro basabe, Travis Latkins
Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia sits, Jackie Bradley Jr. moves up in order 05.14.16 at 10:16 am ET
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Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia

With Dustin Pedroia getting the afternoon off, Jackie Bradley Jr. and his 19-game hit streak will slide up in the order to the No. 2 spot against the Astros.

Bradley Jr. has started one game in the No. 2 spot in the order, while playing in four with seven at-bats and is 0-for-7.

“Down day for [Pedroia]. He and I had a chance to talk early in the week and picked this day as the logical one — day game after a night game and the way Jackie has been swinging the bat, obviously speaks for its self,” manager John Farrell said. “So split up the two right-handers at the top of the order and gives us some continuity and some balance throughout.”

Josh Rutledge will get the start at second base against Astros right-hander Collin McHugh. Brock Holt gets his second straight start in left field with another righty going. Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Josh Rutledge, 2B
Brock Holt, LF
Christian Vazquez, C
Clay Buchholz, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, jackie bradley jr.,
Joe Kelly to make another start with Triple-A Pawtucket 05.13.16 at 11:40 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly’s return to the Red Sox’ rotation will have to wait.

Following Friday’s loss to the Astros, manager John Farrell said the right-hander will start Monday with Pawtucket. It will be his third rehab start as he comes back from shoulder impingement.

Kelly may have been ready to come back to the big leagues, but with the number of off days coming up, it may have been difficult to find a place for him to slot in to.

In his two rehab starts, Kelly has allowed two runs in eight innings, while striking out six. The most encouraging thing for Kelly was he hit 98 mph in his last start.

He’s made three major league starts this year and is 1-0 with a 9.35 ERA.

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

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Closing Time: Reliever Matt Barnes takes loss as Red Sox’ win streak ends at 5 games 05.13.16 at 10:59 pm ET
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George Springer's two-run home run off Matt Barnes proved to be the game-winner. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

George Springer’s two-run home run off Matt Barnes proved to be the game-winner. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Well, it was going to end sometime.

Coming into the game winners of five straight and scoring double-digit runs in four straight, the Red Sox came back to Earth in a 7-6 defeat to the Astros Friday night.

With the game knotted at five in the sixth, George Springer took his UConn teammate Matt Barnes into the Monster seats for a two-run home run, which proved to be the game-winner.

Barnes allowed two runs in 1 1/3 innings of work to take the loss.

“As strong as he’s been, he’s going through that inning, even with a  man on, in pretty good shape,” manager John Farrell said. “He retires [Jose] Altuve and then Springer. The top of their order did a lot of damage tonight.  He works the count full and a breaking ball doesn’t get to the spot he’s looking to get to, stays up in the middle of the plate, and he covers it pretty good. Matt has been so good for us in those tight spots in the middle innings. He’s been strong. We’ve been in a in a stretch where we haven’t really taxed bullpen. Thought he was fresh. On the 3-2 pitch, it didn’t really work out.”

Travis Shaw hit his fifth home run of the season in the bottom half of the inning, but the Red Sox couldn’t score again.  The Red Sox actually led 5-1 in the game, but the Astros scored six straight runs to take the lead for good.

Astros starter Lance McCullers, who was making his season-debut, walked two straight batters to load the bases with no outs in the second. Ryan Hanigan ripped a two-RBI double to the right-center field gap. Then, Jackie Bradley Jr. had an RBI double of his own to extend his hit streak to 19 games. A wild pitch and a Mookie Betts single played the fourth and fifth runs of the inning.

It was Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright’s worst start of the season as he went a season-low 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs nine hits, while walking two and striking out three. Four of the five runs came in his last inning — the fifth. He departed with the game tied at five.

The outing snapped Wright’s streak of going at least five innings and allowing two runs or fewer in nine straight starts. The rainy conditions likely didn’t do him any favors.

“Huge factor. Got to a point where I couldn’t keep anything dry and when you’re trying to throw a pitch with your finger tips, it makes it a little slippery, hard to get finger pressure,” he said. “They swung at some good pitches to hit. The ball wasn’t moving much because of the finger pressure issue. We have a five-run lead, I felt like have to be able to hold that and try and get a little deeper into the game and turn it over to the bullpen.”

Added Wright: “It kind of stayed the same. It got to the point I couldn’t keep dry. My pants were wet, my jersey was wet. It was tough to keep anything dry out there. It just makes it a little bit harder to keep feel for the knuckleball.”

Closing Time note

The Red Sox have now homered in 14 straight games, which is their longest streak since August of 1996.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:

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Read More: jackie bradley jr., matt barnes, Ryan Hanigan, steven wright
Eduardo Rodriguez’s 4th rehab start pushed back to Saturday 05.13.16 at 4:47 pm ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

With the PawSox game Friday night being rained out, Eduardo Rodriguez’s fourth rehab start will have to wait a day.

Rodriguez will start Game 1 of the PawSox’ doubleheader on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. Even though the game will only be seven innings, he likely will still get the 100 pitches the team would like to see.

In his three previous rehab starts, he has posted a 0-2 record with a 4.70 ERA. His most recent start came Sunday when he allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.

With Joe Kelly making his second rehab start Wednesday night, these are two pitchers getting closer and closer to returning to the Red Sox’ rotation. Manager John Farrell was asked if there is any extra pressure on Clay Buchholz for his start Saturday and the manager said there wasn’t.

“Go out and pitch to his capabilities,” he said. “He had a very good bullpen [Thursday]. We have a couple of guys who are getting closer in their progression to get back to us, so no, it’s just ‘Clay, go take the ball and pitch to your capabilities and everything will work out.'”

As for the Red Sox’ game Friday night, despite rain in the forecast, the team expects to play — although there may be a delay at the start.

Read More: eduardo rodriguez,
Red Sox lineup: Jackie Bradley Jr. stays in No. 9 spot vs. Astros 05.13.16 at 3:27 pm ET
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Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

If it isn’t broke, why fix it?

With the Red Sox scoring double-digit runs in four straight games and Jackie Bradley Jr. on a 18-game hit streak, the center fielder is still batting ninth in the second of a four-game series with the Astros.

Brock Holt is back in left field against right-hander Lance McCullers after sitting the past two games as the Red Sox have gone up against a string of lefties. Ryan Hanigan catches Red Sox starter Steven Wright.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 1B
Brock Holt, LF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Steven Wright, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: jackie bradley jr.,
Going, going, gone: Red Sox hitting home runs at record clip 05.12.16 at 11:40 pm ET
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The Red Sox have hit 29 home runs since April 25, which leads the majors during that span. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox have hit 29 home runs since April 25, which leads the majors during that span. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It isn’t just scoring runs at a historic clip for the Red Sox of late, it’s also the number of home runs they’ve hit.

Following the Red Sox’ 11-1 win over the Astros Thursday night where they hit two home runs, they have now homered in 13 straight games and have hit a total of 42 home runs in the first 35 games of the season.

The 13 straight games is the longest active streak in the majors and the team’s longest since the end of the 2007 season carrying into 2008, which was also 13 games. The last time the team homered in more than 13 straight games was the end of the 2001 season carrying into 2002 when they hit home runs in 15 straight.

“We’re in a good stretch,” manager John Farrell said. “That goes without saying. It’s just the relentlessness up and down the lineup. And that’s the one word we try to take pride in, that means you’ve prepared, that means you’ve not given at-bats away or innings away from the mound. The more we can make that customary, we’re probably in pretty good shape.”​

Going into Thursday, the Red Sox were fifth in the American League in home runs, but they have 29 home runs in their last 17 games beginning on April 25, which is the most in the majors during that span.

The Red Sox could be on their way to a historic month of May when it comes to home runs.

As of Thursday (May 12), the Red Sox have 23 home runs in the month, which already equals their total for the entire month of May last season. Also, they’ve already surpassed May of 2014’s total of 20. The overall team record for most home runs in a month is July of 2003 when they hit 55, which will be extremely hard to break, but at this current pace who knows what can happen.

Hitting home runs isn’t something the Red Sox have been known for as they haven’t finished in the top five in the American League in homers since 2011 when they were third, but no one is complaining.

“It’s unbelievable, man,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this, to be honest. I wish it could continue, but the chances of that continuing, 10 runs every game, is pretty tough. Hopefully it continues. It’s unbelievable to be part of right now.”

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Read More: jackie bradley jr., xander bogaerts,
Closing Time: Red Sox offense continues hot streak, David Price improves in win over Astros 05.12.16 at 10:06 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts hit his third home run of the season in the Red Sox' win. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts hit his third home run of the season in the Red Sox’ win. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It doesn’t matter who is on the mound against the Red Sox of late, they are going to get to them.

Thursday night it was 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, as the Red Sox roughed him up for eight runs in six innings as the Red Sox beat the Astros 11-1.

It was the Red Sox’ fifth straight win, which is their longest win streak of the season. They have scored double-digit runs in four straight games, which is the first time any major league team has done so since the Red Sox in 2007.

As has been the case of late, the Red Sox scored twice in the first inning courtesy of a two-run home run into the Monster seats by Xander Bogaerts. It was his third homer of the season. Since April 11, the Red Sox have outscored opponents 40-11 in the first inning.

After the Astros scored a run in the top of the second, the Red Sox responded with a run of their own in the bottom half on a Jackie Bradley Jr. single up the middle. They scored two more in the third inning on back-to-back doubles by David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez then scored on a wall-ball single from Chris Young.

Mookie Betts added a three-run home run in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach and then the Sox added three more in the late innings.

Putting his new mechanics to work for the first time, David Price seemed to find something. Price was reaching the mid-90s consistently with his fastball and most importantly, was getting late action on all of his pitches.

Although it wasn’t dominant by any means, it was a big step in the right direction for the left-hander. Price went 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on six hits, while walking a batter and striking out 12. He struck out four straight batters at two different points of the game and also recorded the first six outs of the game via strikeout.

“He obviously struck us out a lot,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “We had a hard time making contact against him, even in situations where contact would have benefited us. He was attacking the strike zone very early. He had his fastball and his changeup going. He didn’t throw a ton of breaking balls, he didn’t have to. He was really the aggressor tonight and threw a good game.”

In relief of Price, Junichi Tazawa went 1 1/3 scoreless innings before handing the ball over to Heath Hembree for the ninth.

Closing Time note

The Red Sox are now 13-6 when facing former Cy Young Award winners since the start of last season. Those pitchers are a combined 2-11 with a 5.18 ERA in those games.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:

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Read More: David Price, jackie bradley jr., mookie betts, xander bogaerts
Red Sox notes: What’s next for Joe Kelly? 05.12.16 at 5:09 pm ET
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Joe Kelly made his second rehab start Wednesday, but nothing has been decided on his next step. (Dan Kelly/USA Today Sports)

Joe Kelly made his second rehab start Wednesday, but nothing has been decided on his next step. (Dan Kelly/USA Today Sports)

Red Sox starter Joe Kelly made his second rehab start Wednesday night with Triple-A Pawtucket. The right-hander went five innings and allowed one run on five hits, while walking a batter and striking out three.

Given it was his second rehab start and was hitting 98 mph on the radar gun, there’s a chance he could be ready to rejoin the Red Sox rotation, but manager John Farrell wouldn’t say and left the door open for him to make another start in Triple-A.

“He’s with Pawtucket right now. He’ll be back here tomorrow,” Farrell said. “He will go through a full workout and then we’ll have a chance to sit down and talk with him at that point. As I mentioned yesterday, the off days upcoming, that’s going to give us an opportunity to be flexible with the rotation going forward. We don’t have a set date when Joe will make his next start, whether it is here or back at Pawtucket. All that will be discussed with him in person.”

The roster still has 13 pitchers and only 12 position players. Farrell said ideally by the end of the weekend they would like to get back to the standard 12 pitchers and 13 positional players.

“We’re at a point where we’re kind of going day-by-day in terms of if the need for an additional arm is there,” Farrell said. “The goal is will be to get back to four bench players. We’ve been on record a number of times. We’ll look to go day-to-day through the weekend and I would look anticipate something — an adjustment as we get to Kansas City.”

He added the positional player will likely be a left-handed bat, but likely won’t be Blake Swihart as he is still adjusting to left field.

“He’s got to keep playing,” Farrell said. “He’s got to keep swinging the bat too. He’s taking on a new position so that is going to take added concentration on the defensive side. I know he swung the bat a little bit better last night. That still has to come for him.”

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Read More: hanley ramirez, jackie bradley jr., Joe Kelly,
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