|Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Joe Kelly solid in relief for PawSox||07.21.16 at 9:42 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the minors on Wednesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (51-47): L, 3-2, vs. Toledo (Tigers).
— The PawSox got their only two runs of the game in the ninth inning, squandering solid efforts from starter Keith Couch and reliever Joe Kelly.
— Couch went seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. The 26-year-old righty is now 1-3 with a 4.50 and 1.36 WHIP in five appearances (four starts) with Pawtucket.
— Kelly tossed a scoreless eighth inning of relief, allowing one hit and one walk with a pair of strikeouts. The 28-year-old has appeared three times for the PawSox since returning from Lowell on a rehab assignment, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out eight of the 16 batters he’s faced.
— Christian Vazquez and Brennan Boesch hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to provide the only two runs for the PawSox.
— Jantzen Witte was the only member of the PawSox to get two hits in the team’s six-hit effort; however Boesch and Chris Marrero both smacked doubles.
|Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Christian Vazquez 3-for-4 for PawSox; LHP Matt Kent tosses 8 scoreless innings for Salem||07.20.16 at 11:08 am ET|
Here is a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (51-46): W, 4-2, at Toledo (Tigers)
— Catcher Christian Vazquez’s bat was red hot Tuesday night. The 25-year-old was 3-for-4 with a three-run home run and two runs scored. Vazquez was sent down to Pawtucket on July 5 after hitting .226/.278/.305 in 51 games in the big leagues. Since being demoted, Vazquez has been hitting .295/.415/.409 in 13 games.
— Starter Justin Haley pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs, 10 hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The 25-year-old right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in seven games (six starts) with the PawSox. Haley has been with Pawtucket since June 17, when he was promoted from Portland.
— In relief of Haley, Robby Scott pitched two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit with two strikeouts. Following Scott, Roman Mendez came into the ninth inning to throw five pitches and get the save.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (35-60): L, 3-2, at Trenton (Yankees)
— Mitch Atkins recorded his sixth quality start of the season, pitching six innings and allowing two runs, three hits and two walks with six strikeouts. In 21 games (12 starts), Atkins is 2-4 with a 5.15 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.
— Andrew Benintendi and Nate Freiman each went 2-for-4. In the sixth inning with Mauricio Dubon on base, Benintendi hit an RBI triple to center field. Freiman then hit a single to left to score Benintendi. Freiman is hitting .271/.341/.453 in 53 games, while Benintendi is hitting .282/.346/.487 in 52 games.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (56-38): W, 1-0 in 11 innings, vs. Potomac (Nationals)
— With one out in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 11th inning, Rafael Devers and Nick Longhi hit back-to-back doubles to win the game. Longhi has the second most doubles on the team with 23 and Devers is third on the team with 22. Devers finished the game 3-for-5 with two doubles and Longhi went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.
— Left-hander Matt Kent threw eight scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks (one intentional) with eight strikeouts. Kent reached career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts. Kent was the first Salem pitcher since Teddy Stankiewicz on May 25, 2015, to throw eight full innings. The 23-year-old is 8-4 in 17 starts with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
— Jamie Callahan picked up the win after pitching three scoreless innings of relief and allowing just one hit while recording three strikeouts. In 23 games this season Callahan is 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (48-45): No game scheduled.
— Greenville wills start a three-game series at Greensboro (Marlins) on Wednesday night.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (19-13): L, 4-2, vs. State College (Cardinals)
— Brian Johnson made his second rehab start in Lowell on Tuesday. Johnson threw six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and one walk with six strikeouts. In Johnson’s two rehab starts he has not allowed an earned run and only seven hits in 11 innings pitched.
— Chris Madera and Carlos Tovar each went 2-for-4, while Robby Scott and Andy Perez each drove home a run.
|Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Joe Kelly tosses scoreless inning of relief with Lowell; Christian Vazquez goes 1-for-4 with Pawtucket||07.07.16 at 9:59 am ET|
Here’s a look at what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (45-42): L, 8-6, vs. Charlotte (White Sox)
— Power was not an issue for the PawSox Wednesday with Henry Ramos, Chris Marrero and Chris Dominguez all parking homers in the game. With the exception of Deven Marrero and Rusney Castillo, each Pawtucket starter had at least one hit, with Chris Marrero grabbing a pair of them.
— Henry Owens went six innings and allowed five runs on five hits, while walking four and striking out six. The 23-year-old lefty is 5-5 on the year with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
— The only other pitcher for the PawSox — Wesley Wright — got handed the loss in release, falling to 0-2 this year. In two innings of work, he allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout.
— In his first game back with Pawtucket since April 12, Christian Vazquez was 1-for-4 on the night with a strikeout.
|Red Sox moves: Christian Vazquez optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, Ryan Hanigan activated to 25-man roster||07.04.16 at 6:21 pm ET|
While many saw the move coming, it became official after Monday’s 12-5 win over the Rangers.
With catcher Ryan Hanigan set to return to the big league club from a neck strain, the Red Sox have optioned Christian Vazquez back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
“He answered the durability question that we needed to see, and that was back-to-back nine innings caught,” manager John Farrell said of Hanigan. “Someone who’s been an accomplished big league catcher, particularly defensively and handling a pitching staff. It was time for him to come back to us.”
Vazquez has been struggling at the plate this season — hitting only .226 in 51 games — and Sandy Leon has been very impressive during his stint with the team since Hanigan went down. Leon went 4-for-5 with three doubles on Monday and is now batting .500 on the season.
The team can’t have three catchers on the roster and with Leon without options, the Red Sox were left with little choice but to option Vazquez.
“I think players are understanding of what goes on around them, I think they’re fairly aware,” Farrell said. “In Sandy’s case, where he’s out of options — at that position, you’re always a foul tip away from needing another guy. From the performance of Sandy in combination with the organizational depth, we felt like this was the move we needed to make.”
Additionally, Farrell announced Sean O’Sullivan will start Friday against the Rays and Clay Buchholz will pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the first half. O’Sullivan was strong in his start on Sunday, allowing two runs over five innings in earning the win over the Angels. Buchholz will give the team a long relief man out of the bullpen, something they desperately need of late with so many relievers logging a lot of innings.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Closing Time: Craig Kimbrel allows 2-run double in 10th inning as Red Sox fall to White Sox||06.20.16 at 10:42 pm ET|
When it mattered most, the Red Sox could not cash in.
A two-run 10th inning for the White Sox off closer Craig Kimbrel sealed the Red Sox’ fate, as they fell 3-1 in the first game of a four-game set against the White Sox on Monday night at Fenway Park.
Multiple elements of the Red Sox’ performance rested on both ends of the good vs. bad spectrum at some point during the game.
Starter Steven Wright was slightly erratic the first two innings, but ultimately turned in a great performance. The defense committed a pair of errors in the first, but was stout the rest of the night. The offense had its moment but ultimately could not produce when needed.
The Red Sox looked most threatening in the ninth inning, starting off with patience at the plate. Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr. worked the count full and walked to put runners on first and second base with no outs. Then Chris Young loaded up the bases on a five-pitch walk of his own.
But after a strikeout from pinch-hitter Dustin Pedroia and fielder’s choice from Christian Vazquez that got Ramirez at the plate with Chicago playing a five-man infield, Ryan LaMarre stepped in to pinch hit for Marco Hernandez. After quickly digging himself an 0-2 hole in his first at-bat in a Red Sox uniform, he struck out against Zach Duke to send the game into extras.
“We created a golden opportunity for ourselves,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Bases loaded via the three walks, you think that where we are with the guys coming up, particularly we get some matchups that are in our favor. Duke, give him credit. He made a couple of pitches to get a couple of key strikeouts.”
|Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley power Rick Porcello, Red Sox to victory over Mariners||06.18.16 at 7:00 pm ET|
It was only a matter of time.
The Red Sox offense has struggled at times recently, but Adrian Sampson was only going to keep it down for so long.
Held in check for their first two turns through the order, the Red Sox broke through against Sampson during a three-run fifth, driving the rookie from his first big league start and cruising to a 6-2 victory.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts stroked two more hits, including his ninth home run of the season to give the Red Sox an insurance run and make a winner of right-hander Rick Porcello who scattered eight hits over six innings in a solid performance that bordered on terrific after a rough start.
Slumping catcher Christian Vazquez also contributed a pair of hits, while outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. added his 12th homer of the season.
The game started poorly, with the first three Mariners recording singles before Porcello settled down and coaxed a double play grounder out of the dangerous Nelson Cruz with the bases loaded.
Porcello would repeat that pattern throughout his six innings, weaving in and out of trouble, but ultimately only allowing two runs in six innings.
He gave the offense enough time to get untracked. Consecutive singles by Chris Young, Vazquez, and Mookie Betts tied the game before a Dustin Pedroia double play grounder gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Bogaerts followed with a two-out homer to give the Red Sox some breathing room, and an inning later, Vazquez added an RBI double.
A year after going 5-7 at Fenway Park, Porcello improved to 6-0 here this season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Porcello effectively managed trouble, scattering eight hits over six innings, the only other damage an Adam Lind solo homer. He didn’t walk anyone and induced a pair of double plays.
— Bogaerts just continues to mash. He went 2-for-4 to raise his league-leading average to .352. He also now has two more homers than the seven he managed all of last season.
— Hustlin’ Hanley Ramirez scored from second after an errant throw on a grounder rolled into short left. He ran straight through the stop sign of third base coach Brian Butterfield before sliding home safely and celebrating with a karate pose.
— Vazquez recorded his first two hits since June 10 after extensive work with hitting coach Chili Davis.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Second baseman Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-4 and grounded into a pair of double plays, giving him 12 on the season.
|Red Sox pregame notes: ‘Potential [roster] changes upcoming'; Clay Buchholz still viewed as starter||06.15.16 at 5:32 pm ET|
Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Orioles, Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged that roster moves are on the horizon and updated the status of Clay Buchholz.
Between a lack of depth on the bench — especially from the left side of the plate — and pitcher Roenis Elias to be called up from Pawtucket on Friday, moves are expected to be made in the coming days that will shake up the look of the roster in Boston.
“We’re trying to get a left-handed compliment, and while Chris Young has done an outstanding job since taking over the everyday duties, we’re looking at how can we best match up if those needs arise late in games. And those alternatives are talked about internally,” said Farrell. “And with Roenis coming to us on Friday, we’ve got a little bit of roster — I don’t want to say shuffling — but some potential changes upcoming.”
Farrell added that while the team waits for the return of Brock Holt (concussion), they are looking at options in Pawtucket to fill their immediate needs on the bench.
He also commented on Buchholz as a reliever, and his progress to eventually find his way back into the starting rotation. Buchholz has appeared four times since being moved to the bullpen, pitching 6 1/3 innings for a 1-1 record with a 4.26 ERA. He has also held batters to a .174 average in that stretch, but did not get the nod for Friday’s start.
“I still view Clay as a starting pitcher, and yet performance is going to dictate that.” Farrell said. “He was disappointed by not being inserted in the rotation this turn through and I can respect that, but the reasons were given as to why. I will say this, since going to the bullpen, there’s every effort on his part being made to how to rectify the situations. … You see the physical abilities, the pitch mix, he’s got the tools to start, and yet the consistency was not there and that’s why he’s in the bullpen.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|John Farrell on D&H: Travis Shaw to start on bench against Madison Bumgarner; Christian Vazquez in ‘learning phase’ regarding pitch-calling||06.08.16 at 2:52 pm ET|
Speaking during his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Travis Shaw will start Wednesday night’s game on the bench, with Josh Rutledge getting the start at third base against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Shaw has played in all 58 Red Sox games this season. Besides the fact that the lefty Bumgarner will be on the mound, the Sox third baseman has struggled of late, hitting just .182 with a .521 OPS over his last 19 games.
Farrell noted that he had no news on Joe Kelly’s injured groin, pointing out that the pitcher was being evaluated at Fenway Park Wednesday.
Kelly left his start in Pawtucket Tuesday night with two outs in the fifth inning, favoring his right leg while backing up home plate on a sacrifice fly. The starter had given up three runs over 4 2/3 innings.
He also relayed that no decision had been made in regard to who might make the start on June 18, which is thought to be the next time the Red Sox need a No. 5 starter.
“We’re looking at internal candidates, all of them,” Farrell said. “If you look at the matchup against Seattle, you see some strengths against the right-handers, you see maybe some advantages you can take if it’s a left-handed starter. We’re looking at every internal candidate to make that start.”
Asked about Christian Vazquez’s pitch-calling, Farrell noted how that the catcher still is in a “learning phase” when it comes to such execution, particularly with runners on base.
“There’s been times where its been a learning curve for him,” Farrell said. “One of the things that we’ve looked at and looked at internally is the number that he’s caught by bigger innings that we surrendered. That is something that we’ve got to continue to manage a little better and that comes down to maybe at times going less than more. What I mean by that is if you go offspeed vs. just your power, where hitters are maybe geared up a little bit more, try to use that aggressiveness to our advantage. Again, as we talked about with Eddy [Rodriguez], Christian is in that learning phase, and that’s on all of us to continue to work to improve upon.”
|Red Sox lineup: Blake Swihart back in left field, Christian Vazquez catching David Price||05.29.16 at 9:58 am ET|
It is a standard Red Sox lineup for Sunday’s series finale with the Blue Jays as the visitors look to snap a three-game losing streak overall and avoid a series sweep.
Blake Swihart will be back in left field after Chris Young got the start on Saturday, which was a tough 10-9 walk-off loss.
Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter David Price as the Red Sox lineup will go up against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Blake Swihart, LF
David Price, LHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|Christian Vazquez heeds Chili Davis’ advice, hits longest home run of life||05.02.16 at 1:19 am ET|
As Jackie Bradley Jr. said after witnessing the event from a few feet away, while waiting in the on-deck circle, “One pitch in, one pitch out.”
It seemed simple. And maybe that’s why Christian Vazquez was able to hit Dellin Betances’ 97 mph fastball onto Landsowne Street to propel the Red Sox to an 8-7 win over the Yankees on Sunday night. It was a ball the catcher proclaimed was the longest home run of his young life.
For Red Sox hitting instructor Chili Davis, it certainly didn’t seem complicated. And that’s why he offered Vazquez some important advice before the youngster went up to face Betances with two outs in the seventh inning and the game tied.
“Just trying to get him aggressive,” Davis said. “Just basically said, ‘Hey, I don’t think this guy is going to respect you. He’s going to come right at you early. Let it go. Let it fire.’ Just trying to get him aggressive early in the at-bat, which he was. He got the first-pitch heater and he jumped on it.”
Two nights before, Ortiz had launched a two-run homer over the left field wall on the first pitch he saw from Betances. But that came on a curveball. This one was the very pitch the reliever threw Sunday night, and wasn’t going to be the same approach with the light-hitting catcher up.
“He’s not going to fool around,” Davis said. “David knew curveball was coming because that’s how he’s pitches David. But for someone like Christian, or someone he doesn’t really know or hasn’t done what David has done, what is he going to do? He’s going to try and get ahead.”
Said Ortiz: “There’s not guessing in this game. Every time I try to guess, I guess wrong. You pick what you think you can hit. If you don’t hit breaking balls you don’t pick breaking balls. If you don’t hit fastballs you don’t pick fastballs. … Let me tell you, whenever you step up to the plate with a bat, you have a chance. That was a 98 mph fastball. That [expletive] ended up on the moon.”
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