|Red Sox DH David Ortiz looking forward to final visit to Minnesota, where his career began||06.09.16 at 9:59 am ET|
David Ortiz is about to come full circle.
The 40-year-old slugger returns to Minnesota on Friday for the final time as a player, 19 years after he made his big league debut for the Twins, as the Red Sox open a three-game series.
“Just going to go over there and have fun,” Ortiz told reporters in San Francisco after the Red Sox dropped a 2-1 decision to the Giants on Wednesday. “Try to win some games, get back into the mojo, see some of my boys. I hear some of my boys are going to be there, that will be fun, see some of my boys.”
Ortiz believes former Twin Torii Hunter, who retired before this season, might be there. The two came up together as 21-year-olds in 1997. Reliever LaTroy Hawkins, another member of that team, did some coaching for the Twins in spring training after hanging up his cleats this winter, as well. And of course, Twins manager Paul Molitor, now 59, was finishing up his career when Ortiz started, too.
Ortiz, who will retire at the end of the season, is still going strong at age 40, though he has no idea why the Red Sox were forced to fly to San Francisco for two games.
“It is what it is, you just have to get used to this [BS], coming here across the country to play two games,” he told reporters. “I don’t see the point. But it is what it is. Ever thought about that, coming this far to play two games? I feel like I played five games here.”
Ortiz didn’t have the best experience in Minnesota, getting buried on Tom Kelly’s bench. His best season came in 2002, when he hit .272 with 20 homers and 75 RBIs, his season curtailed by a broken wrist. The Twins released him that offseason and the rest is history.
Ortiz hit 58 of his 519 (and counting) lifetime homers in a Twins uniform, so the city will always hold a special place for him. He hopes to leave it with one final reminder of what might have been. He’s a lifetime .323 hitter with a 1.042 OPS against them.
“I just try to do something and I have good success in Minnesota through the years,” he told reporters. “Hopefully that will continue through the last game that I play.”
|John Farrell on David Ortiz: ‘I don’t want to risk losing him’||06.07.16 at 9:15 pm ET|
For the ninth game this season, David Ortiz began a game on the bench.
At first glance, the rest Tuesday night in San Francisco would seem to be a product of not having a designated hitter in the Red Sox’ interleague game against the Giants.
But, as Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters prior to his team’s series opener, the move also is being made in an attempt to manage what has become a somewhat tenuous situation involving Ortiz’s Achilles tendon and heels.
“I don’t want to risk losing him,” Farrell told the media at AT&T Park. “David’s been great as far as days where he’s not felt 100 percent but he’s pushed it. That was even on the homestand just completed. I can’t say this is a situation that’s worsening, but we’ve got to be mindful of the wear and tear that he’s gone through as a 40-year-old.”
Farrell’s cautious approach toward Ortiz was on display in the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ game against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. Even with the Sox trailing by three runs and one out, the manager chose to pinch-run for the designated hitter after his run-scoring double.
“We’re in a situation right now where late in games we’re taking him out in maybe situations we wouldn’t have previous,” Farrell explained to reporters. “Just in communication with the entire medical staff, [such as] Dan Dyrek, who’s very hands-on with David. The volume that he’s increased to, we felt like he’s best-served for pinch-hit situations here.”
|Closing Time: Red Sox nearly no-hit, Eduardo Rodriguez (4 HRs) knocked around, rally falls short in loss to Blue Jays||06.05.16 at 4:21 pm ET|
Well that was a weird game.
On one side, Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez allowed four hits — all homers — and failed to record a strikeout for just the second time in his career. On the other, Jays starter Marco Estrada took a no-hitter into the eighth before Chris Young ended it with a one-out solo homer into the Monster seats.
But just as quickly as the Red Sox looked dead, they put the tying run on second base with two outs in the ninth before pinch hitter Marco Hernandez struck out to end it. The Sox scored three times in the ninth off of closer Roberto Osuna, but when it ended, the Jays had claimed a 5-4 victory to take two out of three.
“We continue to battle right through the final out,” said manager John Farrell. “We’re one swing of the bat away from tying that ballgame up, potentially going ahead. I love the fact that our guys don’t ever quit. They keep coming. There’s a tremendous amount of character in that room. You tip your hat to a quality start by Estrada, but still, we’re four outs from this one being over and against one of the better closers in the game, we took very good swings against a really good fastball and we had some momentum built late.”
The Red Sox haven’t been no-hit since April 22, 1993 by Seattle’s Chris Bosio. They last time they were no-hit at home was July 20, 1958 by Detroit’s Jim Bunning.
Estrada looked like he had a chance through seven, striking out four and walking three, aided by a pair of nice catches in center by Kevin Pillar, as well as a running over-the-shoulder grab by right fielder Jose Bautista to end the seventh.
But Young left no doubt with his blast. Estrada was lifted after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth in favor of closer Osuna, who allowed doubles to Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Hanley Ramirez, and singles to Bradley and Young before rallying from a 3-0 count to strike out Hernandez to end it.
On the other side, Rodriguez allowed home runs to Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Darwin Barney, and Russell Martin. Encarnacion’s was a two-run shot.
Though his velocity crept up to 93-94 mph, Rodriguez frequently found himself behind in the count as he nibbled at the corners, trying to keep the ball from the middle of the plate.
The Blue Jays entered the game ranked fourth in the American League in strikeouts, but E-Rod didn’t manage one. His only other start without a K came last July in an 11-1 loss to the Angels when he didn’t finish the second inning.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— The Red Sox offense stagnated, remaining hitless until Young’s homer in the eighth. “Estrada kept us off balance,” Young said.
— E-Rod looked shaky, allowing a first-inning homer to Bautista and lacking a put-away pitch thereafter. He allowed four hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out none. “I feel like I missed the spot all four times — two with a changeup, two with a heater,” he said. “The Martin one was right in the middle. The third one, I feel like it was a good pitch. He just put a pretty good swing on it. That’s the whole thing — I just missed spots four times.”
— With two on via walk in the first leading off against Estrada, AL batting leader Xander Bogaerts chose to bunt. Lead runner Mookie Betts was cut down at third and the Red Sox didn’t sniff another rally until the eighth.
“He saw something there. He sees Dominguez playing back a little bit,” Farrell said. “Thought he might be able to put one down. I’m sure that if he were to revisit things, down a run, nobody out, he’s trying to move runners. He sees something there, but certainly not going to take the bat out of his hands.”
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— DH David Ortiz stroked his league-leading 26th double in the ninth to drive in the second Red Sox run.
— Young raised his average to .286 with his fourth homer of the year. He’s due for increased playing time with catcher Blake Swihart sidelined by a severe ankle sprain. “When you’re not starting you find yourself trying to playing manager in your head to see what kind of situation is coming up for you to bat, trying to get loose throughout game, try to pick opportunities you may go in the game,” Young said. “I’m happy about it, I’m happy about any opportunity I get, any time I’m playing, I’m a happy guy.”
— Relievers Heath Hembree and Clay Buchholz combined to throw 3 1/3 hitless innings, striking out five.
|Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts, Travis Shaw lead Red Sox over Blue Jays to end 3-game losing streak||06.04.16 at 7:13 pm ET|
Although the Red Sox have scuffled of late — losing three straight and six of their last nine going into the game — they still have yet to lose four in a row this season.
Led by the offense, the Red Sox snapped their skid with a 6-4 win over the Blue Jays Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Like they have all season, the Red Sox were able to get to Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. The offense scored in five straight innings against him, as he departed with the Red Sox on top 6-4 in the sixth.
David Ortiz had a two-run single in the third and Travis Shaw added a two-out RBI single in the fifth. They added another in the sixth on a very close play at the plate involving Blake Swihart trying to score from first on a Mookie Betts double. He was originally called out, but following a challenge the call at home was overturned and Swihart was ruled safe.
Xander Bogaerts paced the offense with three hits, while Shaw and Betts each had two.
“[Bogaerts] with another big day,” manager John Farrell said. “After being stopped last night, he picks up three base hits today. I thought we did an outstanding job of running the bases — taking an extra 90 feet. Blake [Swihart] scoring from first. [Bogaerts] going first-to-third on a groundball out. Some heads up base running for sure. David with another key base hit for the two RBIs off Stroman. Each time they were able to put a run on the board, once again we were able to answer right back. That continues to be a characteristic of this team.”
In relief of Red Sox starter Steven Wright, Matt Barnes allowed a run over two innings, Junichi Tazawa threw a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel closed things out in the ninth. Overall, the Red Sox’ arms limited the Blue Jays to just four hits in the game.
Wright was pulled after the fifth inning and throwing 111 pitches. The knuckleballer allowed three runs, but none of them were earned because of passed balls. Two scored in the fifth on one passed ball when Michael Saunders struck out and beat the throw to first, which allowed both Ryan Goins and Jose Bautista to score. The Red Sox led 4-1 going into the inning.
Ryan Hanigan and Swihart left the game in the seventh inning. Hanigan left with a neck strain and Swihart departed with a left ankle injury suffered hitting the wall hard in left field on a foul ball. He was helped off the field by a trainer and Farrell.
Dustin Pedroia has now hit safely in 25 straight games against the Blue Jays, tying the second longest streak in MLB history (Jerry Remy, 26, 1977-82 and Vladimir Guerrero, 25, 2001-06).
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
On the day following Muhammad Ali’s passing, many have recalled their memories of one of the greatest boxers of all-time.
David Ortiz was one of them, as he gave his thoughts on Ali before Saturday’s game with the Blue Jays.
“[He] was a person, his career, the way he did things, the way things went down … nobody is ever going to forget that,” Ortiz said to reporters.
Ortiz added even people who weren’t alive during Ali’s greatest years will find out just how great and impactful he was.
“I think right now with all the ways people have to learn and get to know things, especially on a day like today, the day he passed away, the younger people that don’t know much about it, they are going to be Googling his name and figuring things out,” he added.
Manager John Farrell also shared his memories of the boxer.
“I can remember as a kid, 9 or 10 years old, my dad was a fan of boxing, so to see some of his matches being televised — he was certainly a controversial figure in some people’s minds,” Farrell said. “He was clear to talk about how good he was. But the thing you remember most is, it’s almost like every big match he had had its own name, whether it’s ‘The Fight,’ or ‘The Thrilla in Manila,’ anything like that.”
“Personally, not knowing what Islam was about and to see someone change his name and become so familiar with that — that was a major shift in trying to get an understanding of what (Islam) was as a kid,” Farrell added. “It was very different, very unique.”
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. all starting vs. Blue Jays||at 12:27 pm ET|
It is a standard Red Sox lineup when facing a right-hander Saturday afternoon against the Blue Jays, as the Red Sox look to avoid losing four straight games for the first time all season.
Blake Swihart is in left field and Travis Shaw is at third base as the Red Sox go up against right-hander Marcus Stroman. After getting hit by a pitch in the first inning Friday night, David Ortiz will start.
Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox knuckleballer 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, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Blake Swihart, LF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Steven Wright, RHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|John Farrell on D&H: ‘I don’t have an exact date’ for Brock Holt to return||06.01.16 at 4:03 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell called into the Dale & Holley show Wednesday afternoon to talk about the latest news with his team. To hear the interview, go to the D&H audio on demand page.
In Baltimore for the third game of a four-game series with the Orioles, Farrell addressed a wide range of subjects regarding his team, from player development to injury updates. The fourth-year manager had plenty to say about outfielder Mookie Betts, who is on pace for a historic season as a leadoff hitter. Most recently, Betts hit three home runs in a 6-2 Red Sox win Tuesday night.
“I think everything that’s been written, everything that’s been seen, is consistent with how Mookie has been ever since the minor leagues,” Farrell said. “People walking into the ballpark, they’re going to see a young, athletic guy and they may be surprised by the power, but two full seasons in the minor leagues [he] … led the organization in slugging percentage and extra-base hits. The fact that he hits three [home runs] in one night, sure, those obviously stand out. But we’re talking about a dynamic leadoff guy that can run the bases at an elite level, and to have that kind of injection of energy quickly as he did last night to lead the game off, he’s a special player.”
Farrell also talked about making projections for young players like Betts or second baseman Xander Bogaerts.
“You look at their skills, and you start to look at your own roster, and even the days where they’re off, they stand out,” Farrell said. “Their performance now at this point in time, June 1, is showing that. When you start to look at their skills package, they profile the top third of the order type of hitters, Mookie is a hitter who can steal bases, we know. But the on base percentage, that’s the one thing you really start to hone in on, and all have a very good idea of the strike zone, they see the ball well, they’re patient, and they can handle multiple types of pitches on either side of the plate.”
Farrell also had an update on Brock Holt, who has been out with a concussion since May 18.
“He took live BP today for the first time,” the manager said. “The drill work continues to progress, he’s been working in left field yesterday, working at shortstop. He’s making strides, but I don’t have an exact date in which he’s going to return to us. He’s going to need to see some live pitching on a rehab assignment, but that day is approaching, he’s making progress, his symptoms are diminishing by the day, so he’s making positive strides but no return yet.”
The first All-Star voting update was released on Wednesday, and the Red Sox are well-represented.
Designated hitter David Ortiz and shortstop Xander Bogaerts lead their respective positions, while Ortiz is the second-leading vote-getter overall, with his 963,076 votes trailing only Royals catcher Salvador Perez (1.09 million).
Other Red Sox making the rankings include first baseman Hanley Ramirez (4th; 296,276) second baseman Dustin Pedroia (4th; 339,139), third baseman Travis Shaw (5th; 240,730), and outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr. (4th; 554, 887) and Mookie Betts (7th, 400,700).
As was the case last year, the Royals are well-represented, ranking in the top two at every position, and leading at catcher and first base (Eric Hosmer).
Ortiz and Bogaerts have earned their respective leads. At age 40, the former leads the league in doubles (23), RBIs (47), slugging percentage (.716), OPS (1.132), and total bases (126). Meanwhile, Bogaerts leads the AL in hits (76) and batting average (.350) and is currently in the midst of a 24-game hitting streak.
The Red Sox should be well-represented offensively, since they lead the AL in runs (308) by more than 50 over their nearest competitors (the Mariners have 256).
|David Ortiz scratched from Sunday’s series finale against Blue Jays with sore left foot||05.29.16 at 12:51 pm ET|
About half hour prior to Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays, David Ortiz was scratched from the Red Sox lineup with a sore left foot and is considered day-to-day, via reports from Toronto.
Ortiz was hit by a pitch in the left foot during Saturday’s 10-9 loss. Ortiz finished the game 2-for-5 and appeared to hit the game-winning home run in the ninth inning before the Blue Jays won it in the bottom half.
In 44 games this season, Ortiz is batting .339 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs.
Here is the updated Red Sox lineup against Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey as Hanley Ramirez will DH, Travis Shaw will play first base and Josh Rutledge will play third base.
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Travis Shaw, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Jackie Bradley Jr.
Josh Rutledge, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Blake Swihart, LF
David Price, LHP
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Closing Time: Clay Buchholz gets crushed, Jackie Bradley’s hitting streak ends in loss to Rockies||05.26.16 at 10:04 pm ET|
It became apparent this wouldn’t be the Red Sox’ night on the first Sox at-bat of the evening.
Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., looking to extend the longest hitting streak in the majors to 30 games, launched a Jon Gray offering deep to right field. What looked like a surefire homer off the bat instead nestled into the glove of Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez.
Bradley would hit another ball to the base of the center field wall later in the game with the same result, bringing to an end one of the most uplifting stretches of baseball in recent Red Sox history and halting his hitting streak at 29 games.
On the flip side, right-hander Clay Buchholz saw a streak of his own continue, and it might cost him his spot in the rotation. Buchholz allowed a trio of two-run homers and got booed off the field, taking the loss in an 8-2 defeat.
The Red Sox didn’t have a chance in this one because Buchholz didn’t give it to them. After David Ortiz gave the Sox a 2-0 lead with his 12th homer of the season in the first, the Rockies tied it on a Carlos Gonzalez homer in the fourth, and then took control with consecutive two-run homers leading off the fifth as Buchholz saw his ERA climb to 6.35.
The only drama thereafter was whether Bradley could extend his streak. He got his last chance leading off the eighth, but grounded out routinely to second on the first pitch. The game ended with Bradley on deck.
Buchholz has now allowed 28 runs on the 12 home runs he has surrendered. Only two of the 12 have been solo shots.
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