|Red Sox get good return on Felix Doubront, thanks to Marco Hernandez||05.30.16 at 6:18 pm ET|
The player the Red Sox received from the Cubs in exchange for the lefty pitcher on July 30, 2014, Marco Hernandez, made his presence felt for the big league club Monday afternoon.
With the Red Sox holding a two-run lead over the Orioles with two outs in the eighth inning, Marco Hernandez tore into a pitch from Baltimore reliever Mychal Givens for a three-run home run, all but cementing the Sox’s 7-2 win.
It was Hernandez’s first major league home run.
“It was amazing,” said the 23-year-old, who is 4-for-15 with a walk in his first 10 big league games. “To hit my first home run, to pull on top of the ball for three runs, it’s awesome, man. David [Ortiz] gave me a tip. He said, ‘Trust your hands, and go out there with a plan, and trust your hands.’
“I just got to go there and hit a fastball. When you’re a fastball hitter, you can go ahead looking for breaking ball because if he throws you a fastball you can react. I tried for the fastball early in the count. Be aggressive early in the count … As soon as I touched first base, I saw the ball in the stands and I said, ‘Yeah, that’s gone.'”
Hernandez was playing third base with Travis Shaw moving over to first to supplant Hanley Ramirez, who got the day off.
The rookie fielded his new position cleanly, having spent a considerable amount of time practicing at the spot prior to the game with infield instructor Brian Butterfield.
“Early in the year was tough because I had never played there,” Hernandez said. “Now I’ve been working hard to prepare for that situation. It’s different because it’s shorter. At shortstop, you can wait and read the hop. But third base, you have to react. Prepare early, set up early and react to the contact.”
Hernandez hit .579 with a 1.514 OPS in 21 plate appearances in spring training, carrying over the success to Triple-A, where he managed a .333 batting average with an .827 OPS.
|Red Sox send down Heath Hembree to make room for Eduardo Rodriguez||05.30.16 at 5:59 pm ET|
That was answered following the Red Sox’ 7-2 win over the O’s Monday afternoon when Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Heath Hembree was being optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Despite allowing a game-tying home run to Jose Bautista Sunday, Hembree showed he can be of value to the Red Sox’ bullpen, totaling a 2.14 ERA over his 12 big league appearances this season. In 21 innings, the righty struck out 18 and walked five.
Hembree has been particularly tough on righties, holding that side of the plate to a .170 batting average.
The Red Sox bullpen is now made up of Craig Kimbrel, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Robbie Ross Jr., Tommy Layne, Matt Barnes and Clay Buchholz.
|Red Sox prospect Sam Travis out for season with torn ACL||05.30.16 at 5:39 pm ET|
The Red Sox announced Monday that top prospect Sam Travis has suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and will be out for the remainder of the 2016 season after undergoing surgery. He is expected to be ready for the 2017 campaign.
Travis, who was leading the International League in RBIs (29), was hurt making a tag on a rundown during the third inning of the Pawtucket Red Sox’s game Sunday. The 22-year-old — who impressed the organization with a .469 batting average and 1.147 OPS in spring training — was hitting .272 with a .756 OPS for the PawSox.
Travis is thought to be a candidate to compete for a major league job heading into the 2017 season if the Red Sox decide to slide Hanley Ramirez off first base and into David Ortiz’s designated hitter spot.
|Closing Time: Steven Wright, homers lead Red Sox past Orioles||05.30.16 at 4:39 pm ET|
BALTIMORE — Steven Wright appears to be the real deal.
The knuckleballer did it again, allowing two runs over nine innings in leading the Red Sox to a 7-2 win over the Orioles, Monday afternoon at Camden Yards. Wright, who is one of four pitchers to claim three complete games this season, lowered his ERA to 2.45.
Wright also joins Roger Clemens as the only two pitchers to have pitched at least three consecutive complete games on the road, with Clemens have notched five straight from Sept. 26, 2015 until May 9, 1992.
Since July 30, 2015, Wright has totaled a 2.41 ERA, earning quality starts in 11 of the 13 appearances.
“I thought [Monday] he had probably the best touch with changing speed,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell, whose team is now two games ahead of the second-place Orioles. “He threw the slow knuckleball a number of times to really keep people off strides. We could talk all day about him. An outstanding performance on his part.”
After the outing, Wright admitted he’s living his dream.
“The fact that I’m a starting pitcher on the Boston Red Sox, it’s unbelievable,” he said. “I definitely sometimes pinch myself like, ‘Man, is this real?’ But you know, in the end of the day, it’s still a game. It’s just you’re playing against better hitters, better competition and better fields. But in the end, it’s still 60 feet, 6 inches, and if you make your pitch, more times than not, they’re going to get themselves out.
“But you can’t be too fine. Sometimes I get too fine, I try to pitch away from contact, and that’s when I fall behind. I’ve just got to tell myself, very rarely will I try to go for a strikeout. More times than not, doesn’t matter if it’s 0-2, 0-0, I’m going to try to throw a knuckleball down in the zone and try to get some good movement. Because in the end, you throw a good knuckleball, the chances of them hitting it are very slim. But if they do hit it, all right, you’ve just got to move on to the next.”
Giving the Red Sox the lead for good was Jackie Bradley Jr., whose sixth-inning solo homer off of Baltimore starter Tyler Wilson broke a 2-2 tie. Bradley Jr. had come into the series opener with horrific results at a visitor in Camden Yards, going 2-for-22 with 10 strikeouts before the home run.
The Red Sox added four runs of insurance in the eighth innings thanks to homers by David Ortiz and Marco Hernandez. For Ortiz, it was his 14th of the season, and marked the 18th time in his career he has homered in three straight games. For Hernandez, it was the first homer of his career.
Xander Bogaerts continued to offer his daily dose of offensive excitement, extending his hitting streak to 23 games with a third-inning double. (To read more about the continuation of Bogaerts’ stretch, click here.)
|Xander Bogaerts extends hitting streak to 23 games||05.30.16 at 2:40 pm ET|
While Jackie Bradley Jr.’s 29-game hitting streak ended Thursday, Xander Bogaerts continues to keep the excitement alive. The Red Sox shortstop extended his consecutive games of garnering at least one hit to 23 thanks to a third-inning, RBI double down the left field line.
Bogaerts, who was out on a swinging bunt in his first at-bat against Orioles starter Tyler Wilson, has now hit safely in 35 of his last 37 games.
The 23-year-old leads the majors with 270 hits since the start of the 2015 season, carrying the American League’s best batting average (.351) coming into Monday’s game against the Orioles.
According to Elias, the Red Sox are the first team in A.L. history to have two different players record a hitting streak of at least 20 games before June 1.
Bogaerts’ RBI, which scored Mookie Betts from second, gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz makes his return, Hanley Ramirez sits||05.30.16 at 11:35 am ET|
Also of note, Hanley Ramirez starts on the bench, with Travis Shaw starting at first and Marco Hernandez manning third.
Here is the Red Sox lineup in the first of a four-game set against the Orioles, with Steven Wright on the mound for the visitors:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 1B
Blake Swihart LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Marco Hernandez 3B
|Monday Red Sox Farm Report: Sam Travis leaves PawSox game with injury; Andrew Benintendi stays hot for Portland||05.30.16 at 10:17 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (24-26): L, 8-2, vs. Indianapolis (Indians)
— Pawtucket starter Keith Couch let up a six-run inning, blowing the game wide open. It tied the most runs the PawSox have allowed in a frame all season. Couch, who returned to Pawtucket from Double-A Portland before the game, let up six hits that inning, two of them home runs, to receive his second loss of the season with Pawtucket. Before that inning, the right-hander let up only one run and two hits in the first three frames, totaling a strikeout in the process.
The performance gives Couch a 3-2 record with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in seven games with both Pawtucket and Portland. The 26-year-old has struck out just 21 batters in 40 innings of work this year, and batters are hitting .273 against him.
— Relieving Couch was Robby Scott, who impressed in 3 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out four and allowed only three hits and an earned run in his appearance. Following him was Anthony Varvaro, who also whiffed four batters in the final 1 2/3 innings.
Throughout the season, both Scott and Varvaro have been reliable bullpen members for Pawtucket. Scott, 26, is 3-0 with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP, while the 31-year-old Varvaro is 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Varvaro is second on the team in ERA among pitchers who have appeared in at least ten games, and Scott’s 29 strikeouts ranks second among relievers.
— Besides the loss, some more bad news for Pawtucket, as first baseman Sam Travis left the game in the third inning with a leg injury. Travis, who leads Pawtucket in RBIs (29), was chasing down a baserunner to apply the tag when he stumbled and fell to the ground. He stayed down for a few minutes before being helped off the field by trainers.
Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles told the Patriot Ledger after the game that Travis was having “left leg discomfort” and would be undergoing evaluation.
Boston’s No.7 prospect on MLB.com, Travis is having a solid year, batting .272/.332/.434 in 47 games. Drafted by the Red Sox in 2014, the 22-year-old was struggling at the plate as of late, going 1-for-13 in his last four games.
|Monday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Steven Wright vs. Tyler Wilson||05.30.16 at 8:54 am ET|
The Red Sox will open a four-game series at Baltimore when they send Steven Wright to the mound Monday afternoon. The Orioles will counter with Tyler Wilson in what will be a battle for first place in the American League East.
Wright comes into Monday’s game with a 4-4 record to go along with a 2.52 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. The knuckleballer’s ERA is fifth best in the American League, and he is coming off his fourth win of the season. He allowed two earned runs and seven hits and struck out seven in seven innings on Wednesday against the Rockies.
“There was violence to the knuckleball,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “Hot night and [no wind]. Ball is going to have a lot of violence to it, but when he needed to he was able to get back in the strike zone, and that’s a very good fastball-hitting team and he was able to disrupt timing.”
Wright, 31, has faced the Orioles just twice in his career. He’s yet to earn a decision with a 1.59 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. His last appearance against the team came last season, when he pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief, allowing one run and one walk and striking out two.
|Clay Buchholz after picking up win in relief: ‘I’m glad I could contribute today’||05.29.16 at 8:26 pm ET|
On Sunday, Clay Buchholz did something he hadn’t been able to do in about three weeks — earn a win.
After being demoted to the bullpen at the end of last week, Buchholz made his first appearance out of the bullpen in the 10th inning against the Blue Jays.
The right-hander allowed a hit and struck out a batter in the bottom of the 10th and then after the Red Sox scored two runs in the 11th, he was pulled and Koji Uehara picked up the save giving Buchholz his third win of the year and the Red Sox a 5-3 win to avoid a weekend sweep in Toronto.
It was Buchholz’s first relief appearance since 2008.
“It definitely felt a little different,” he told reporters. “That’s the position I’m in. I’ve got to help the team any way I can. It’s just like when you’re starting, but you don’t know when you’re pitching out of the bullpen, so it’s a little different. That’s part of it, part of the adjustment I’m going to have to make for the time being. I’m glad I could contribute today.”
Manager John Farrell acknowledged Buchholz would have gone out for the 11th inning if the game remained tied. After the game, Buchholz addressed being moved to the bullpen for the first time.
“I needed a breather from everything,” he said. “It’s part of the game. Pitching is pitching. Out of the bullpen, you just don’t know when you’re pitching, and that’s the biggest thing I’m going to have to adjust to. It’s a good team win today. These guys are swinging the bat really good. It’s fun to go extra innings and win and not get swept, especially here in the division. It’s a good team win.”
Added Buchholz: “[Farrell] understands how I’ve felt about the whole situation. I don’t think anybody would be human as a baseball player if they didn’t take it as a slap in the face or you’ve got to get better, and that’s how I took it. He understood that. I had to come in in a situation, extra-inning ballgame on the road, and it’s a different situation for me to be in, and I think that’s why he did that, to show me that he saw the work going into it, an awkward situation, but able to get through it.”
|Closing Time: Clay Buchholz picks up win in relief as Red Sox beat Blue Jays in extra innings||05.29.16 at 5:25 pm ET|
It wasn’t easy, but the Red Sox came away with the win.
With the game tied at three in the 11th inning, Dustin Pedroia hit a ground-rule double scoring Blake Swihart who walked to open the frame and that was followed by a RBI ground out from Xander Bogaerts as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 5-3 in 11 innings.
Clay Buchholz picked up the win in his first appearance since 2008. The right-hander threw a scoreless 10th inning and Koji Uehara earned the save with a scoreless 11th.
Buchholz and Uehara were able to save the Red Sox bullpen, which blew a lead earlier in the game.
With the Red Sox leading 3-2 in the eighth inning, Edwin Encarnacion laced a solo home run to tie the game at three off reliever Heath Hembree. This spoiled David Price’s start as he gave the Red Sox the start they needed coming in losers of three straight.
Making his first start in Toronto against his former team, Price was solid. The left-hander went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three. The three strikeouts were tied for the fewest in a game this season. His only mistake came in the fifth inning when he allowed a two-run home run to Bautista.
With Bautista coming up with one out and the tying run at second base in the seventh inning, Price was removed from the game in favor Hembree. Hembree was able to strike Bautista out and then retire Josh Donaldson to get out of the jam.
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