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Reliever Ben Taylor optioned to make room for Saturday’s starter Brian Johnson 05.26.17 at 11:21 pm ET
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Brian Johnson will get the start on Saturday. (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

Brian Johnson will get the start on Saturday. (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

In order for Brian Johnson to start Saturday against the Mariners, the Red Sox needed to make a roster move.

Following Friday’s 3-0 win, the team optioned reliever Ben Taylor back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

In 11 games this season with the Red Sox, the right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.59 ERA and one save. He has 14 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings pitched. Taylor made the Opening Day roster, but there just isn’t a need for him in the bullpen right now.

For Johnson, it will be his second major league start of the season, as he allowed four runs in five innings against the Blue Jays to get the win on April 18.

With Pawtucket this year, the left-hander is 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA in seven starts. He’s much more confident than he was last season, or even two seasons ago.

It likely will be just one start for Johnson as David Price will be re-joining the rotation on Monday.

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

Read More: Ben Taylor, brian johnson,
Red Sox 3, Mariners 0: It’s time to start giving Eduardo Rodriguez the credit he deserves 05.26.17 at 10:21 pm ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez was excellent once again on Friday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Eduardo Rodriguez was excellent once again on Friday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Through the first 47 games of the season, much of the talk with the Red Sox starting rotation has been about left-handers Chris Sale and David Price, but for much different reasons.

Well, maybe it’s time to start talking about another left-hander — Eduardo Rodriguez, but in a good way.

Rodriguez was excellent once again Friday night, as he led the Red Sox to a 3-0 win over the Mariners at Fenway Park. It was the Red Sox’ fifth straight win.

(Click here for a complete game recap.)

The left-hander went six shutout innings, scattering five hits, walking three and striking out four. He’s now won his last three starts, and it was his seventh straight quality start, the second-longest streak among American League pitchers.

Rodriguez certainly didn’t have his best stuff by any means, but he was able to make the big pitch when he needed to. The Mariners stranded a runner at third in both the second and the third, and Rodriguez was also able to get out of a first and second jam in the fifth. He didn’t have a 1-2-3 inning, but was always able to escape damage.

“Like I say, just go out there and try to do the best i can do, just throw my pitches, try to get outs and get zeros,” Rodrigiez said. “That’s what I try to do all the time.”

Following the outing, Rodriguez’s ERA is currently 2.77 on the year. That puts him ahead of some of the best starters in baseball including Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, Ivan Nova, Yu Darvish and Zack Greinke.

During his seven-game quality start streak, he has an ERA of 2.25. Furthermore, after allowing six runs in his first six innings of the season, since then he has posted a 2.01 ERA

While it may be a little early in the season to start thinking about it, if Rodriguez continues this pace he is making a case for himself to be on the American League All-Star team. Not bad for a pitcher who was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket at one point last season to work on not tipping his pitches. Last year Rodriguez went 3-7 with a 4.71 ERA.

“I don’t think there’s any one thing you can point to,” manager John Farrell said when asked about his turnaround. “He’s generated a lot of talk because of the run that he’s on and doing a very good job, that’s clear. But it’s been a combination of a lot of things that’s culminated in increased confidence, pitching very relaxed with very good stuff.”
With the issues to start the year for the Red Sox rotation, the team desperately needed this from Rodriguez who has given the middle of the rotation some stability behind Sale and Rick Porcello.

And with David Price coming back on Monday, the rotation will now have Rodriguez as its No. 4 starter and could have the best in baseball if everyone pitches to their capabilities.

Shattering Perceptions Game Note Image

Hanley Ramirez was 0-for-9 on the homestand until he led the second inning off with a double and later scored the first run of the game. He finished the game 2-for-3.

Read More: eduardo rodriguez,
Red Sox notes: Brock Holt (vertigo) won’t play in games for foreseeable future; Pablo Sandoval (knee) progressing 05.26.17 at 5:47 pm ET
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The Red Sox are taking a step back with Brock Holt. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Red Sox are taking a step back with Brock Holt. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Don’t expect to see Brock Holt on the field for quite some time.

Holt was placed on the disabled list April 21 with vertigo and even though his symptoms have gotten better, they haven’t completely gone away.

The Red Sox recalled Holt from his rehab assignment on Tuesday without activating him because he wasn’t going to meet the 20-day deadline players receive for rehab assignments.

He then had a mandatory five days before his rehab clock could reset, so the Red Sox sent him for a checkup with concussion specialist Dr. Micky Collins in Pittsburgh.

It was there the plan for Holt changed, as he will not play in games until his symptoms completely go away.

“Yeah, after the exam with Dr. Collins, taking a little bit of a change in course here,” manager John Farrell said. “Some additional maintenance work dealing with the symptoms that are there. We’re going to hold him out of playing for the foreseeable future, for the time being until he gets past these symptoms completely. He’ll remain with us. He’ll keep working out. I think until he puts a little distance behind him with some of the things he’s been dealing with, that is when we’ll get him back in game situations. I don’t have a timeframe on that right now.”

Farrell doesn’t expect it to end his season. Holt has has a history with concussions, which is why there was some concern.

“No, and I say no because of the confidence that Dr. Collins has in taking this approach right now,” he said. “He’s going to need a little bit of time to get away from game activity. We’ll still maintain the work on the field with all the drills, the BP, the defensive work, that will still remain, but just hold him out of competition.”

— Pablo Sandoval (knee sprain) is still rehabbing with Triple-A Pawtucket, but getting closer to a return. The plan is for the third baseman to play nine innings back-to-back days Friday and Saturday and then make a decision from there.

“We’ll get a better read after the next couple of days,” Farrell said. “And I think more, in fairness to Pablo, we need to sit down and talk to him. So there’s no decision imminent or announcement at this point. But the fact is the other night he swung the bat good, he’s moving around well, those are all encouraging signs.”

Sandoval is 3-for-13 in four games, but did go 2-for-4 in his last game on Wednesday.

— The Red Sox announced Marco Hernandez underwent a successful left shoulder open stabilization (Latarjet) procedure. The surgery was performed by Dr. Tom Holovacs at Massachusetts General Hospital. Hernandez is anticipated to be ready for the 2018 season.

Read More: Brock Holt, Pablo Sandoval,
Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia (knee) out vs. Mariners 05.26.17 at 3:17 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup on Friday. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup on Friday. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

After leaving Thursday’s game against the Rangers as a precaution with a knee injury, Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup Friday against the Mariners.

Manager John Farrell said it was mostly due to the wet conditions, but perhaps there’s something more to it keeping him out on Friday.

“He’s out of the lineup tonight,” Farrell said. “We took him out last night for precautionary reasons. I don’t see the surface is going to be a whole lot improved given the additional rain here tonight. I’ll be honest, he wanted to get in the lineup, but more precautionary I am holding him out. Not going to take any further risks, particularly with all the work he’s gone through on that knee. He’s available, but staying away from him.”

 

Josh Rutledge will get the start at second base and Deven Marrero at third against Seattle righty Yovani Gallardo. Andrew Benintendi will hit second with Pedroia out.

Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup.

Mookie Betts, RF
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Josh Rutledge, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Christian Vazquez, C
Deven Marrero, 3B
Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP

Read More: Dustin Pedroia,
Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Michael Chavis hits his 11th home run; Logan Boyd’s gem leads Drive to victory 05.26.17 at 10:01 am ET
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Logan Boyd

Logan Boyd

Here is what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (17-24): Postponed due to rain

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (21-20): Postponed due to rain

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (30-17): W, 5-4 at Buies Creek; W, 5-1 at Buies Creek 

— In Game 1, Venezuelan lefty Dedgar Jimenez picked up his fifth win of the season, throwing five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and striking out five. His 48 strikeouts lead the team.

— Designated hitter Michael Chavis added to his impressive 2017 stat line, going 3-for-4 and driving in three runs. His team-leading 11th home run in the third inning gave the Sox a 4-0 lead.

— Right-handed starter Daniel Gonzalez impressed in his second start of the year in Game 2. The 21-year-old went five innings, struck out five and only allowed three hits. His ERA sits at 2.25 for the season.

— First baseman Josh Ockimey broke the scoring open in the first inning with his ninth double of the year, which drove in his team-leading 40th run.

— Chad De La Guerra’s two-run homer in the seventh inning gave the Sox a 5-0 lead. The shortstop has a .311 average and .405 OBP this season.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (29-16): W, 1-0 at Charleston

— The Drive shut out the RiverDogs thanks in large part to Logan Boyd’s six scoreless innings. The southpaw struck out four and only allowed three hits, lowering his ERA to 3.49 on the season. He now sits in second place in the South Atlantic League with six wins.

— Stephen Nogosek closed the game with a five-out save, striking out two, walking two and allowing no hits. He now owns a 2.22 ERA and 10 saves on the season.

— The only scoring came in the top of the first, as left fielder Tyler Hill drove in second baseman Santiago Espinal following his double – the lone Drive extra-base hit of the night.

Read More: Chad De La Guerra, daniel gonzalez, dedgar jimenez, josh ockimey
Why Dustin Pedroia was pulled from the game Thursday night 05.26.17 at 12:06 am ET
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Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia

When the top of the sixth inning rolled around Thursday night, there was no Dustin Pedroia on the soaked Fenway Park field.

That suddenly filled what had been a damp and dreary night with some immediate intrigue.

But a few innings later, the team did everything they could to temper any fears that Pedroia’s absence was due to something serious. The announcement came that the second baseman had left the game with left knee pain, but it was purely precautionary and solely Red Sox manager John Farrell’s decision.

After the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Rangers, Farrell explained how everything went down.

“With the conditions tonight … Pedey wanted to stay in the game,” Farrell said. “Made the decision to take him off the field. Didn’t want to do anything given what he’s gone through on that knee. When they dump the tarp, there is a lot of water that stands behind second base and when they’re in an over shift he’s right in the middle of it. While he could have continued, just wanted to be sure this is more precautionary. And the conditions, he felt a little soreness. He wanted to stay in the game but wasn’t going to take any chances with it.”

The knee, of course, was the same one Pedroia had surgery on in the offseason, and had damaged during Manny Machado’s hard slide in Baltimore April 21.

Josh Rutledge came on to replace Pedroia, who walked and scored a run before his exit.

Red Sox 6, Rangers 2: They can live with this Drew Pomeranz 05.25.17 at 11:02 pm ET
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Drew Pomeranz (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Drew Pomeranz (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Drew Pomeranz looked like a pitcher that was out to prove something. The Red Sox starter came out of the gate against the Rangers Thursday night and struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced.

But by the time Pomeranz exited his outing, walking off the soaked Fenway Park field, the dominance had dwindled somewhat. But it was still good enough, both for the short term — a 6-2 Red Sox win — and the long haul. (For a complete recap, click here.)

There were no outs to be had in the seventh inning, once again, with Pomeranz now getting outs in the frame just twice in his 22 starts with the Red Sox. But when it was all said and done, the six-inning, two-run win — in which he finished with 11 strikeouts and one walk — was something John Farrell and Co. can live with going forward.

Pomeranz pitched with a much improved pace, while introducing his cutter (as promised) appreciably more than usual. It was a different feel from when we last saw the pitcher trudge his way through four innings Oakland, culminating with a dugout disagreement with his manager. It was also just the third time in his nine starts this season he had made it through six innings.

If Pomeranz can do this, and David Price’s return eventually works to the Red Sox’ benefit, this team might actually be on their way to finally stabilizing this starting rotation.

The Red Sox have now won four games in a row, having crept back to three games in back of first-place New York. During the four-game run, Red Sox starters have gone at least six innings in each outing, giving the bullpen a much needed breather.

And, once again, the bullpen did its part when called upon, with Heath Hembree, Robby Scott and Craig Kimbrel tossing three innings of shutout ball. In eight innings during the win streak, the relievers have only given up a single run while not walking a batter.

The punctuation this time was Kimbrel striking out four batters in one inning, giving the Red Sox pitchers 20 for the game. The closer joined Tim Wakefield as the only two Red Sox pitchers ever to fan four in a single frame.

Perhaps the biggest difference in this win for the Red Sox was that they actually managed to hit a few balls out of the ballpark. The last two wins, even though they scored a combined 20 runs, there had been no home runs.

First came Xander Bogaerts’ initial homer of the season in the third inning.

And then Deven Marrero hit his second career long ball to cap off the scoring in the eighth.

Chris Sale explains why the criticisms of David Price are unfair 05.25.17 at 6:01 pm ET
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Chris Sale (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Chris Sale (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Chris Sale is going to get a chance to finally share a rotation with David Price.

With Price scheduled to make his 2017 major league debut Monday in Chicago, Sale can appreciate the path his first-year teammate has taken to come back from his left elbow ailment.

“That’s not an easy road for anybody,” Sale told WEEI.com before Thursday nights’ game. “He’s got a lot of critics, too. It’s going to be fun to watch out there. Everybody knows he wants to be out there.

“If he’s not the first one here every day, he’s one of the first ones. That’s for damn sure. He’s been the same guy. A lot of times when you’re on the DL or hurt or something like that, you kind of get down a little bit and you kind of get a little closed off. I haven’t seen that one time.”

So, after witnessing Price over the past few months, does Sale agree with the narrative that Price is one of the game’s best teammates?

“No doubt,” the Sox ace said. “It’s true.”

That, of course, leads to the question if Sale is surprised by the aforementioned criticism of Price.

“It’s 2017, man. We’ve got Twitter. A lot of people with voices that don’t deserve it. I don’t think anybody in here is going to say anything bad about him,” he noted. “He’s worked his butt off. You look at his track record, it speaks for itself. Nobody is more excited than him, but we’re all in here in second-place waiting for it. It’s going to be fun. It’s been a long road. It’s been a long time. When you can’t do what your supposed to do, it’s tough. But he hasn’t’ changed throughout it all and that speaks a lot about his character and who he is as a teammate and who he is as a competitor.”

To read Price’s comments about making his first start of the season, click here.

David Price is making his return to the big leagues Monday 05.25.17 at 5:26 pm ET
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pricestareAfter 2 1/2 months of living life as a major leaguer on the mend, David Price is getting a chance to once again re-acclimate himself as a member of the Red Sox starting rotation.

Red Sox manager John Farrell announced before Thursday night’s game that Price will make his first start of the 2017 season Monday in Chicago against the White Sox,.

The decision is somewhat of a surprise considering Price’s struggles in his two minor-league rehab outings with the Pawtucket Red Sox, allowing nine runs (6 earned) on 12 hits over 5 2/3 innings. In his most recent start, Wednesday night at McCoy Stadium, he gave up six runs (3 earned) in 3 2/3 innings, throwing 89 pitches.

The Red Sox and Price, however, point to a 96 mph fastball and the use of all his pitches without hesitation as enough of a reason to make his next start in the big leagues.

“A lot of pitches, in a short amount of time,” Price said. “I think that is more of a test to being healthy as opposed to going out there and throwing five or six in 90 pitches. to do what I did in both of my rehab outings, I don’t think you can do that if you’re not healthy.”

He later added, “Stuff wise, I felt really good in both of them with all of my pitches, fastball, changeup, curveball and the cutter. They all felt good.”

In terms of doubts leading into the Monday start in Chicago, Price referenced the last time he went from minor league rehab outings to the major leagues in 2013 as an example of why it can work out. (Although he might have been downplaying his effectiveness when making his two outings for Single-A Charlotte, having allowed two runs on four hits over 7 1/3 innings.)

“I wasn’t very good when I made my rehab starts in 2013 either, and I came back and threw the ball very well,” said Price, who totaled a 1.40 ERA with 44 strikeouts and just two walks in his first eight starts back from his ’13 injury. “There’s no replacing the feeling and the adrenaline you’re going to have at his level. To me, this is home, this is my comfort zone, this is where I want to be. It doesn’t matter what level you make rehab starts at, it’s not going to feel the same as up here.”

“Even if he goes out and gives us the 90 pitches in the first few outings, and obviously there’s going to be a little tighter reign on him with the workload initially until we continue to build him out, but like I said adding David Price to your rotation is always going to be a positive and that starts Monday,” Farrell said.

Coolest Play of the Week: Sam Travis gets first career hit 05.25.17 at 4:31 pm ET
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Each week, we will be picking the F.W. Webb “Coolest Play of the Week.” This week’s play comes from the Red Sox’ 9-4 comeback victory over the Texas Rangers Wednesday night. Rookie first basemen Sam Travis made his Major League debut and recorded his first career hit in the fifth inning. Check out the hit below.

F.W._Webb_Company_logo200Enter to win the Coolest VIP Baseball Experience including the chance to watch batting practice and visit the WEEI Broadcast Booth at Fenway! Click here to enter to win.

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