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Closing Time: Red Sox pitching struggles spoiling strong offensive night in loss to Tigers 07.26.16 at 10:43 pm ET
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Steven Wright didn't have it Tuesday as he allowed eight runs in taking a no-decision. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Steven Wright didn’t have it Tuesday as he allowed eight runs in taking a no-decision. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Even though the Red Sox offense showed plenty of fight coming back from four and three-run deficits in the game, it still wasn’t enough to beat the Tigers.

Detroit scored a run in the seventh inning off left-hander Robbie Ross Jr. to break a 8-8 tie and it was able to hold on for a 9-8 win over the Red Sox Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

Ross was able to record the first two outs of the seventh inning with no issues, but allowed a hit-by-pitch, a single and back-to-back walks to walk in the eventual game-winning run.

The Red Sox had the tying run on the ninth, but Ortiz hit into a game-ending double play.

“It is frustrating when you put that many runs up on the board and come away on the wrong side of it,” manager John Farrell said.

The seventh inning wasted a valiant comeback effort by the Red Sox, which included two home runs. They now have 31 since July 4, which leads the majors in that span.

Trailing 8-5 going into the sixth, the Red Sox scored three times in the inning to tie the game at eight. Jackie Bradley Jr. got the scoring going with a solo homer to lead the inning off, then later Dustin Pedroia had an RBI single and Xander Bogaerts beat out a potential double-play ball to plate the tying run.

It was the worst start of the year for knuckleballer Steven Wright, but because of the Red Sox offense took a no-decision. He allowed eight runs on nine hits in just 4 2/3 innings of work, while walking three and striking out two. His eight earned runs were a career-high.

The most frustrating thing for Wright was the Red Sox had rallied to take a 5-4 lead after the fourth inning, but Wright walked two batters to open the fifth and would go on to allow four runs in the frame.

“Early on didn’t have the same, or typical violence and action to his knuckleball,” Farrell said. “They nick him for a couple of runs in each of the first two innings then I thought he got the touch and feel for it. Started to have his typical action to the pitch and then in that fifth inning, couple of walks to lead things off and we contributed inside the inning with an extra out. A couple of balls found their way through a hole.”

Trailing 4-0 after two innings, the Red Sox rallied with three in the third courtesy of David Ortiz’s 25th home run of the season and then scored two more in the fourth to grab a 5-4 lead at the time.

Closing Time note

Ross Jr. has stranded his last 10 inherited runners.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Ortiz, mookie betts, Robbie Ross Jr., steven wright
Red Sox squander ‘golden opportunity’ to win game in 9th inning vs. Twins 07.22.16 at 11:28 pm ET
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David Ortiz grounded into a double play in the 9th inning Friday night. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz grounded into a double play in the 9th inning Friday night. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Even though the Red Sox had just two hits through the first eight innings, it looked like the Red Sox had the Twins right where they wanted them in the ninth.

After Kyle Gibson was pulled after 96 pitches, Brandon Kinzler entered for the ninth with the Red Sox trailing 2-1.

They loaded the bases with no outs and had David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez due up next. The stage was set for another magical Ortiz moment, but it didn’t go as the Red Sox planned, or expected.

Ortiz grounded into a 4-2-3 double play and Ramirez lined out to right field to end the game with the tying and game-winning runs in scoring position.

“Loved our chances,” manager John Farrell said afterwards. “Loved the chance to tack on some runs in the first inning as well. Stage was set, golden opportunity. David rolled into a ground ball double play and then the line out to finish it. We had quality at-bats in the ninth inning. Up until that point Gibson was very good. Changed speeds, good sinker. Unable to really mount any threat through the first eight innings.”

Ortiz, who has been on fire of late, said he was looking to end the game with one swing.

“Looking for a home run right there,” he said. “The pitcher made good pitches. That’s the name of the game. Made a good pitch, got himself out of the situation.”

Added Ortiz: “Just another game man, you know. Pitcher, he tried to get us out and that’s what they are there for. The game wouldn’t be that easy you know. It wouldn’t be the way it is. They know how to get hitters out. They know how to get stuff done. It’s not always gonna work out our way. It’s not always gonna work their way too. That’s what they’re there for. I let it go.”

The Red Sox finished 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and snapped a seven-game home winning streak.

Read More: David Ortiz,
David Ortiz after hitting 24th homer of season: ‘I’m feeling good at the plate’ 07.21.16 at 11:00 pm ET
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David Ortiz hit his 24th homer of the season in the Red Sox' rout of the Twins. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz hit his 24th homer of the season in the Red Sox’ rout of the Twins. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Prior to the game, David Ortiz hit a ball so hard into Pesky’s Pole it got got stuck in between the wires.

The designated hitter followed that up by crushing a two-run home run 420 feet well over the Red Sox bullpen and into the bleachers in the eighth inning to punctuate a 13-2 win over the Twins Thursday night.

Ortiz said he hit the ball that hit the foul pole harder, but his eighth inning blast was still hammered.

It was his 24th home run of the season, which is the most by a player 40 years or older since Raul Ibanez in 2013, who hit 29. The slugger now has 79 RBIs on the year, which are the most by a major leaguer 40 years or older since Edgar Martinez had 98 in 2003. As it relates to the rest of the majors at the moment, they are the second-most in baseball to Edwin Encarnacion’s 86.

“I’m feeling good at the plate,” Ortiz said after the game. “I told [John Farrell] that if I got on base just pinch-run for me. Everything is going well right now and I am feeling good at the plate and wanted to take advantage of it.”

Ortiz has now homered in five of his last seven home games. He’s also now reached base in 48 of his last 50 games at Fenway Park. Even at 40 years old, he continues to produce at an extraordinary level.

“Just the consistency to the at-bats, the hard hit is really mind-boggling at this point in the season,” manager John Farrell said. “We talked about the last swing of spring training and it hasn’t stopped. Extra-base hits, quality at-bats, on base seemingly a couple of times every single night.

“You don’t want this run to end.”

Read More: David Ortiz,
Closing Time: Red Sox offense (3 home runs), Steven Wright lead Sox over Twins in 13-2 rout at 9:54 pm ET
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Steven Wright was outstanding once again for the Red Sox Thursday night against the Twins. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Steven Wright was outstanding once again for the Red Sox on Thursday night against the Twins. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

When the Red Sox put a heap of runs on the Giants on Wednesday, it ended up being integral those runs were scored with way their pitching went.

The monsoon of runs continued Thursday, but the pitching followed this time on the way to the Red Sox’ 13-2 win over the Twins.

Steven Wright took a perfect game 4 1/3 innings before Max Kepler singled to left field just over the outstretched arm of Travis Shaw at third base in the fifth. Wright threw just 51 pitches in that stretch before surrendering a pair of runs (only one of which being earned) in the frame.

The 31-year-old knuckleballer ultimately went eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. The nine strikeouts matched Wright’s career high.

“My goal is just to go as deep as I can until they tell me I’m done. Today I was lucky enough to eight, but it makes it easy when guys score 11 runs, 12 runs,” Wright said.

The Red Sox found a way to score early yet again — even earlier than Wednesday, in fact — with Mookie Betts taking Twins starter Tyler Duffy 410 feet into the Monster Seats on the first pitch of the bottom half of the first. The dinger turned out to be a sign of what was to come, as the Red Sox put two more runs on the board in the inning, adding another trio in the third.

“That’s the first time I’ve swung at the first pitch this year,” Betts said. “[Wright] had a quick inning and I figured I might as well just ride the momentum going into our first at-bat.”

Betts noted he swung at the first pitch of the game six times last year and was 0-for-6, but Travis Shaw convinced him to try it again this year.

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Read More: David Ortiz, jackie bradley jr., mookie betts, steven wright
Closing Time: David Ortiz, Rick Porcello lead Red Sox over Giants 07.19.16 at 9:53 pm ET
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David Ortiz hit his 23rd home run of the season in the Red Sox' win over the Giants. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz hit his 23rd home run of the season in the Red Sox’ win over the Giants. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

All the Red Sox needed Tuesday night against the Giants were two swings of the bat.

Brock Holt’s solo home run in the third inning followed by David Ortiz’s three-run home run the following inning would be more than enough for Red Sox starter Rick Porcello as the Red Sox beat the Giants, 4-0 Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

With two outs in the third, Holt took Giants starter Jake Peavy deep into the Red Sox bullpen and then after the first two runners in the fourth reached, Ortiz crushed a first-pitch home run well into the bleachers over the Giants bullpen.

For Ortiz, it was his 23rd homer of the year and career home run No. 526. It was also his 1,383rd career run scored, which tied him with Tony Gwynn for 98th on the all-time list. The home run traveled 451 feet according to ESPN Stats and Info, which is his longest of the season.

“What David continues to do for us is remarkable,” manager John Farrell said. “What he’s meant to our overall offense as a team — comes up in a big spot, first pitch over the plate for a three-run homer.”

Porcello was once again dominant at Fenway Park. The right-hander picked up his 12th win of the season and improved to a perfect 9-0 at home. The last time a Red Sox starter started 9-0 at home was Dennis Eckersley in 1978.

He went 6 1/3 shutout innings, while scattering four hits, walking two and striking out three on 108 pitches. His ERA is down to 3.37 on the year.

“He was at his best right after the first couple of lead off base hits,” Farrell said. “Great  job putting up a zero with three consecutive strikeouts. Two opportunities for shutdown innings, which he converted. As we talked before the ballgame, very comfortable in this ballpark. Was in complete control of the ballgame here tonight. Outstanding work on his part.”

Robbie Ross Jr. got out of the seventh inning by enduing a double play, newly acquired right-hander Brad Ziegler tossed a scoreless eighth. In the ninth Koji Uehara struck out the first batter, but had to leave with an apparent shoulder injury after that. Tommy Layne recorded the final two outs of the game.

After the game, it was revealed Uehara felt something in his pectoral muscle. It’s unclear the severity of the injury.

“I’m just praying that it’s not that serious,” he said through a translator.

The Red Sox have not allowed a run in their last 25 innings at Fenway Park.

Closing Time note

Ortiz is now batting .514 with three home runs when swinging at the first pitch this season.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brock Holt, David Ortiz, rick porcello,
MLB reportedly expected to look into David Ortiz’s Edwin Encarnacion comments for tampering 07.14.16 at 2:32 pm ET
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David Ortiz made it clear he wants the Red Sox to go after Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion after the season, but maybe he shouldn’t have made it so public.

“The Red Sox know that they need to reinforce the middle of the lineup,” Ortiz said after Tuesday’s All-Star Game. “And sorry Blue Jays, but who better than Encarnacion to do that?”

But, according to Sportsnet in Canada, Major League Baseball is expected to look into the comments for possibly being tampering.

The story also noted, according to the MLB’s rules and regulations “there shall be no negotiations or dealings respecting employment, either present or prospective, between any player, coach or manager…unless the Club or baseball employer with which the person is connected shall have, in writing, expressly authorized such negotiations or dealings prior to their commencement.”

Read More: David Ortiz, Edwin Encarnacion,
American League wins All-Star Game, David Ortiz goes hitless in final appearance 07.12.16 at 11:27 pm ET
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David Ortiz Red Sox All-Star Game

David Ortiz salutes the fans during Wednesday’s All-Star Game. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox made their impact on the All-Star Game, but there were no final fireworks for David Ortiz.

The retiring Red Sox legend went 0-for-1 with a walk in his final All-Star appearance, with the real heroics reserved for a pair of Kansas City Royals.

Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez ripped homers three batters apart in the second inning to account for three of the American League’s runs in a 4-2 victory over the NL that ensures home field advantage for the AL in the World Series.

Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts scored ahead of Perez’s homer after singling in the second. Teammate Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-2 with a double in the third off of NL reliever Jose Fernandez, while Jackie Bradley Jr. recorded a pair of hits without making overwhelming contact — he beat out a swinging bunt in the second and rolled a broken-bat single to left in the fourth.

The NL jumped to a 1-0 lead on a homer by Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant in the first. The AL took the lead in the second on Hosmer’s solo homer and Perez’s two-run shot, and scored another in the third on a Hosmer single after Bogaerts had doubled Edwin Encarnacion to third. The AL had a chance for more, but Betts grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The NL got a run back in the fourth on an RBI single by Miami’s Marcell Ozuna. Its best chance to take the lead came in the eighth, when it loaded the bases on two singles and a walk against Yankees reliever Andrew Miller, but Houston’s Will Harris came on to strike out Cardinals infielder Aledmys Diaz looking on a full count to escape the threat.

The Ted Williams MVP Award was given to Hosmer.

Read More: 2016 All-Star Game, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, Eric Hosmer
David Ortiz wants Jose Fernandez, Edwin Enarnacion to join Red Sox at 10:44 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

Although Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski makes the baseball decisions with the organization, David Ortiz made it clear what he would like to see happen.

The designated hitter would like the Red Sox to trade for Marlins ace Jose Fernandez and then sign Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

“He has incredible stuff,” Ortiz said to reporters after the All-Star Game of Fernandez. “I thought he was gonna end up playing with me this year. I mean, you never know. I want him in my starting rotation. I mean, we need a little bit of help and hopefully that happens at some point, who knows?”

With the Marlins in the thick of the National League playoff race, it seems unlikely they would trade their star pitcher, who has two years remaining on his contract.

The other player he would like to see in a Red Sox uniform is Encarnacion, who currently leads the majors with 80 RBIs and is a free agent after this season.

Ortiz sees him as his potential replacement.

“The Red Sox know that they need to reinforce the middle of the lineup,” Ortiz said. “And sorry Blue Jays, but who better than Encarnacion to do that?”

(This isn’t the first time Ortiz has pushed for Encarnacion, as back during the first week of the season Ortiz told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford the Blue Jays slugger was who he wanted to replace him.)

Read More: David Ortiz, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Fernandez,
David Ortiz addresses American League All-Star team: ‘Let’s go out there and whoop some ass’ at 8:01 pm ET
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Apparently David Ortiz is taking Tuesday night’s All-Star Game seriously.

Ortiz addressed the American League All-Star team prior to his 10th and final Mid-Summer Classic. Besides thanking everyone for his farewell tour this season, he talked about how he wanted to win the game.

“On my behalf, I really want to say thank you to all of you,” Ortiz said. “You guys have embraced my through the year and it’s been an unbelievable ride. Tonight, let’s go out there and whoop some ass because playing at home, there’s nothing like playing at home. Let’s go out there and do like we know how and make sure this game goes to the American League. Thank you guys.”

(For video, click to the bottom of the post.)

Apparently there was more to the speech than shown in the video, as Jackie Bradley Jr. told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal it was “from the heart” and about the future of the game.

“What I could tell you about that speech is you could tell it was from the heart,” Bradley Jr. told Rosenthal. “He just shared in order to be kind of great in this game, even when your body is telling you no, you have to have that mindset every single day to say, yes, I am going to make a difference for my team and he wants the game just to get better as a whole. He knows he has children coming up and he wants to pass on the knowledge to the younger players and as long as everyone continues to work hard everything is going to go the way it is supposed to.”

Read More: David Ortiz, jackie bradley jr.,
Marlins ace Jose Fernandez says he will ‘groove 3 fastballs’ to David Ortiz in All-Star Game at 2:02 pm ET
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Jose Fernandez says he will groove David Ortiz three fastballs in the All-Star Game. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Jose Fernandez says he will groove David Ortiz three fastballs in the All-Star Game. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

It’s no guarantee Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez will face David Ortiz in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, but if he does, expect three pitches Ortiz can hit.

On Monday, speaking to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Fernandez said he is going to groove three fastballs down the middle so Ortiz can “hit a monster home run” in his last All-Star Game.

This may upset some people as the game determines home field advantage in the World Series and should be taken seriously, but it’s also a game to celebrate the best players in the game and what better way for Ortiz to go out in his 10th and final All-Star Game than hitting a home run.

Ortiz is starting the game batting cleanup for the American League and Fernandez will come in out of the bullpen.

It wouldn’t be the first time either, as Derek Jeter was grooved a fastball for a double in his final game and Cal Ripken Jr. was grooved a fastball so he could hit a home run in his final Mid-Summer Classic.

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

Read More: David Ortiz, Jose Fernandez,
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