|Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez hits walk-off 3-run homer as Red Sox stun Yankees||09.15.16 at 11:06 pm ET|
While Sunday’s back-and-forth battle with the Blue Jays was deemed the biggest win of the season, Thursday night might have topped it.
With the Red Sox trailing 5-2 entering the ninth inning, they scored five runs to stun the Yankees, 7-5.
With two outs and two on, Hanley Ramirez crushed a three-run homer to dead-center field off closer Dellin Betances to give the Red Sox a walk-off win.
The Yankees used two different pitchers — Tommy Layne and Blake Parker — before Betances entered the game with a runner on first and one out. David Ortiz got the rally started with a two-out RBI bloop single and then Mookie Betts singled home Xander Bogaerts to make it a 5-4 game.
A wild pitch set up second and third with two outs and Ramirez’s heroics came on a 3-1 count.
“I was trying to go to the moon,” Ramirez said. “That’s why I was sitting on a fastball the whole time. … Just stay back and let it rip.”
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struggled as he allowed two runs in the first and then two more in the third before being lifted from the game. The left-hander departed after just 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He didn’t walk or strike out a batter. The 23-year-old didn’t have much command as most of his pitches were left over the plate and the Yankees bats took full advantage.
It was the third time in the last five games where the Red Sox starter has failed to make it out of the third inning.
“This turn through, it’s been less than,” manager John Farrell said. “We went a long stretch where our rotation has been very steady, very consistent and while the three guys have scuffled this last turn through, our bullpen has stepped up and just been dynamic. Tonight was a big lift. Each guy that came to the mound, they did their job, kept the game under control and fortunately we scored enough late to overcome it.”
Given his age and the long season, David Ortiz has needed a few down days along the way this year. Going into Thursday, the designated hitter has missed 11 games in total this year, but hasn’t started in a few more to later come in as a pinch-hitter.
Ortiz didn’t play (he pinch-hit once) in any of the three games in San Diego last week and it appears like that will be enough to make him available for the remaining 16 games of the season after Thursday.
“I’m sure there’s been some benefit to it,” manager John Farrell of the three games plus an off-day last week. “Any time this time of year a player regardless of who you are gets a little bit of a breather, it helps. I think there was some at-bats up in Toronto where he worked to get his timing back a little bit more sharp and consistent. Hopefully that set him up to be available every game remaining. No one wants to be out there daily more than David. We’ll take a step back if needed, but right now there is nothing to suggest he will need a day.”
Since the down time, Ortiz is hitting .240, but like Farrell said, it has taken some time to get his timing back. Farrell said Ortiz is feeling pretty good at the moment, but he will continue to check on him daily like they have all year.
“I think he feels — I can’t say as good as he has at any point in the season — but we had 23 games remaining after the Padres series,” Farrell said. “We do have a day off scheduled, [Sept. 26] in New York. I think that if the turnaround time of a given day — we have a couple of Sunday night games coming up that are going to present a little bit of a challenge, but as we’ve done all year that will be daily communication and we’ll work through it as best we can.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|Closing Time: David Ortiz victimizes Joaquin Benoit again as Red Sox claim wild win over Blue Jays, open 2-game lead||09.11.16 at 4:56 pm ET|
David Ortiz owns two career home runs against Joaquin Benoit. Red Sox fans will never forget the first. We may look back at the second as the biggest of this season.
Three years after his grand slam off of Benoit saved the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, Ortiz once again victimized the reliever, this time blasting a three-run homer to erase an 8-7 deficit and propel the Red Sox to an 11-8 victory on Sunday that restored their two-game lead in the American League East.
The Red Sox finished a brutal nine-game road trip with a 6-3 record, including two of three in Toronto. When they left for Oakland last week, they trailed by two games in the division. Now they lead by two games. They begin a seven-game homestand against the Orioles and Yankees on Monday.
“The two things that come to mind, one, we never rolled over,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Toronto. “We kept grinding, kept finding a way to come back. Two, this was about one guy picking up another. Clay [Buchholz] exits early, we go to the bullpen, the offense climbs right back into it. Every out by guys coming out of the bullpen was key, all the way down to Noe Ramirez’s one out to set it up to piece together the fifth inning. Just a dramatic home run again from David, against Benoit, that, you know, a few years ago, there was another memorable one. This might not have been the same stage, but where we are against that team, really no less important.”
Ortiz’s three-run bomb in the sixth capped a wild back-and-forth contest that was billed as a pitcher’s duel but instead devolved into an old-fashioned Sox-Jays slugfest. It also brought back pleasant memories of 2013, when Ortiz’s Game 2 grand slam off of Benoit kept the Red Sox from returning to Detroit in a 2-0 series hole.
“A little bit, yeah,” Ortiz told reporters when asked if this homer reminded him of that one. “And I thought I was getting a different menu, but he threw me a hittable — I mean, it wasn’t that bad. It was in the bottom of the strike zone, right where the pitcher wanted to make that pitch. I guess I put a good swing on it.”
|David Ortiz on Donald Trump’s comments about Latino immigrants: ‘When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face’||09.06.16 at 11:48 am ET|
Donald Trump might count Tom Brady among his friends, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be invited to David Ortiz’s retirement party.
In an interview conducted in Spanish with USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz, the Red Sox slugger — who normally avoids getting involved in politics — said Trump’s comments about immigrants hit a nerve with the Dominican Republic native.
Trump has said he wants to build a wall along the Mexican border to stop people from entering the United States illegally, and his famous remark that Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the U.S. “didn’t sit well” with Ortiz.
“When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face,” Ortiz said. “I walk around sometimes, and I see Mexican people trying to earn a living in an honest way. And to hear somebody make those kinds of comments, it hits you. I think as Latin people we deserve better. Things have gotten much better in that regard. … As Latin people we deserve respect, no matter where you’re from. And especially our Mexican brothers, who come here willing to do all the dirty work.
“Latin people here in the United States are the spark plug of the country’s economy. Whoever opposes that is going to lose. And not just Latin people but immigrants. I’m talking about people who come from Africa, from Asia, other places. All those people come here with one goal, to realize the American dream, and you have to include them in our group.”
On a more positive note, Ortiz said he is hoping to leave a legacy as a star who was always willing to help younger players.
“That matters to me more than any home runs I’ve hit. It may inspire some of the young players coming up to try to emulate the things I’ve done right,” Ortiz said, adding: “If [my sons] ever get up here [to the majors], I want people to say to them, ‘I knew your dad, and he was a guy with huge power. But there was something better about him. He was a good person, a good guy.’ That’s what I care about the most.”
Added Ortiz: “I like doing that. It’s my nature. When I see young guys put some advice you gave them into work and they’re doing well, it makes me feel like I accomplished something.”
|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz sits, Drew Pomeranz gets start vs. former team as Red Sox reunite with Don Orsillo in San Diego||09.05.16 at 1:38 pm ET|
As promised by manager John Farrell, DH David Ortiz is out of the starting lineup vs. the San Diego Padres for Monday’s Labor Day matinee.
Ortiz will not start any of the three games in the National League Park, Farrell said, because it would require playing in the field, and the last time Ortiz did that — vs. the Dodgers — he ended up leaving the game early with soreness, which indirectly led to knuckleballer Steven Wright pinch running a day later and injuring his shoulder.
Monday’s game also represents Drew Pomeranz’s return to San Diego, where he made an All-Star team before being shipped to the Red Sox in July.
The game will also be a reunion with former NESN play-by-play man Don Orsillo, who now calls games for the Padres.
Here’s the lineup:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Brock Holt LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Yoan Moncada 3B
Bryan Holaday C
Drew Pomeranz P
|Closing Time: Travis Shaw, Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, lead Red Sox to rout of A’s||09.03.16 at 1:37 am ET|
Travis Shaw isn’t giving up his job without a fight.
Marginalized by the arrival of top prospect Yoan Moncada, Shaw responded with his fourth five-RBI game of the season by doubling twice and blasting a three-run homer to lead the Red Sox to a 16-2 victory over the A’s.
Shaw wasn’t the only offensive star of this one. Contributions came from up and down the order. David Ortiz (2-for-2) drove in three runs. Dustin Pedroia (2-for-5, 2 runs), Hanley Ramirez (2-for-4, 3 RBIs), and Sandy Leon (2-for-3) recorded multiple hits as the Red Sox pounded 17 hits total.
Even Moncada got in on the fun, walking in his first big league plate appearance and scoring on Shaw’s second double. He also made a nice play after entering as a defensive replacement at third base in the seventh, making a strong throw across the diamond.
All of that offense supported left-hander David Price, who picked apart the worst lineup in the American League over seven innings to win his fifth straight start and improve to 14-8 while lowering his ERA to 3.92. He allowed four hits and two runs.
Add it all together, and the Red Sox improved to 75-59 with 28 games remaining. They pulled within a game of the Blue Jays in first place in the American League East after Toronto fell to Tampa.
The Red Sox blew the game open in the fifth (4 runs) and sixth (6 runs), with Shaw’s three-run homer the big blow.
Before the game, manager John Farrell made it clear that Moncada will get most of the at-bats against right-handed pitching, with Aaron Hill playing against lefties.
“Where that puts Travis?” Farrell asked. “He’s not a forgotten guy, I can tell you that.”
On Friday night he made sure of it by going 3-for-6 with five RBIs. He also drove in five against the A’s on May 10 in Fenway Park. In the process, the Red Sox scored at least 13 runs against the A’s for the fourth time in four games this year.
|Closing Time: Eduardo Rodriguez, Matt Barnes fall apart in 6th inning as Royals rout Red Sox||08.28.16 at 11:34 pm ET|
Shutdown innings are something to which the Red Sox play close attention. Unfortunately for the Sox and starter Eduardo Rodriguez, the sixth inning Sunday night wasn’t a good example of one.
After scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Red Sox took a 4-2 lead. However, that lead lasted all of half an inning as they allowed eight runs in the top of the sixth and the Royals ended up routing the Red Sox, 10-4.
Kansas City took two of three in the weekend series.
Rodriguez started the sixth inning by walking Eric Hosmer. Following a double and a walk, the Royals had bases loaded with no outs and the left-hander clearly was laboring. After getting a fly out, Rodriguez left the game with the bases still loaded. Unfortunately for him, reliever Matt Barnes couldn’t bail him out.
In fact, he did even worse.
Barnes pitched to five batters and didn’t record an out. He finished by allowing five runs on three hits with a hit batsman. The big blow was a bases-clearing triple from No. 9 batter Raul Mondesi. Robbie Ross Jr. eventually got out of the inning, but not before the Royals plated a season-high eight runs in the frame.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I would have hoped,” Barnes said. “I thought I made a good pitch to [Alcides] Escobar. He hit the 30-foot chopper and didn’t have a plan on anybody. Next hitter Mondesi, he jumped a first-pitch heater, and I went back and looked and I thought the pitch was to him maybe not a good pitch, but in the grand scheme I thought it was on the outer corner of the plate. Jumped a first-pitch heater. Let a couple of balls go. Didn’t think I threw terrible pitches, maybe a combination of bad luck and obviously they squared some balls up. That one is on me. I have to do a better job of securing that lead and getting out of that inning.”
In his first time back after being skipped due to hamstring tightness, Rodriguez finished the night going 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits while walking four and striking out one. The four walks tied a season high.
|Closing Time: David Price, streaking Dustin Pedroia get Red Sox back on track in win over Royals||08.27.16 at 10:13 pm ET|
David Price looked like a Cy Young candidate. Dustin Pedroia looked like an MVP.
The Kansas City Royals didn’t have a chance.
With Price delivering one of his most encouraging outings of the season and Pedroia extending his consecutive-hit streak to 11 with his second straight four-hit night, the Red Sox cruised to an 8-3 victory that ended their modest losing streak at three games and dealt the Royals just their fourth loss in 20 games.
Staked to an immediate 2-0 lead against Royals starter Danny Duffy, Price gave it back in the second on a homer by Salvador Perez and an RBI double by Alcides Escobar. But the Royals advanced no further, because Price locked in.
Featuring perhaps his best fastball of the season, Price didn’t need to fool the Royals so much as overpower them. His final pitch — a 95 mph fastball at the knees over the outside corner — froze Alex Gordon looking as Price’s seventh strikeout victim.
“Everything was working for me in the first two innings,” Price said. “It’s just, I didn’t make pitches. I felt good, I left a cutter in the middle of the plate to Salvador with some fastballs as well as to Escobar and Alex Gordon as well. But after that I just moved forward and made pitches.”
Meanwhile, the offense teed off on Duffy, who had won 10 straight decisions dating back to June 11. The American League’s ERA leader was tagged for seven runs on nine hits in five innings, including home runs by Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez that prompted Duffy to mouth, “No way,” on the mound. His ERA climbed from 2.66 to 3.01.
The offensive star was once again Pedroia. He recorded three singles and a double while lifting his average to a team-high .321. He reached base in 12 straight plate appearances (11 hits, one walk) before grounding into a double play to end the eighth.
|Closing Time: Steven Wright struggles in 1st inning, Red Sox can’t convert chances once again in loss to Royals||08.26.16 at 10:25 pm ET|
The return of the Red Sox to Fenway Park and the return of Steven Wright to the mound didn’t go as either would have liked.
Wright allowed five runs in the first inning and the Red Sox struggled with runners in scoring position once again, as they fell to the Royals, 6-3 Friday night at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox have now lost three straight games for the first time since July 27.
The knuckleballer allowed two homers in the first to account for the five runs. Eric Hosmer took him over the Monster for a three-run shot, and then after a single, Alex Gordon also hit one into the Monster seats to give the Royals a 5-0 lead with only one out recorded in the game. Wright ended up by throwing 40 pitches in the inning.
“Yeah, I think I got a little antsy,” Wright said. “Too much adrenaline in that first inning. The walks killed me. I mean, you go out there and walk a couple of guys against a team like that, Hosmer gets one that gets out and I’m right there with three runs. If I would have been able to hold them to that, it would have been good, but I gave up the other home run. When you start off with a five-run spot in the first, that’s a tough deficit to overcome for any offense, especially against a team like the Royals.”
To Wright’s credit, the knuckleballer settled in and didn’t allow a run after the first and just three more hits. He finished the game going six innings, allowing the five runs on seven hits, while walking three and striking out one. He threw a total of 95 pitches.
Afterwards, Wright said his shoulder felt good — perhaps not as strong as it once was, but he was able to find the right release point after the first inning.”
Junichi Tazawa allowed a home run to Lorenzo Cain in his second inning of work in relief for the sixth Royals run. Fernando Abad pitched the final two innings following Tazawa.
Once again, the Red Sox couldn’t do much with their chances as they left the bases loaded in the first, and first and third in both the third and fifth innings. They also had first and second with no outs in the ninth with David Ortiz up, but he hit into a double play. The Red Sox ended the game with runners on second and third.
The Red Sox’ first run came in the first inning when Mookie Betts drove in Dustin Pedroia with a single to left. They added another in the sixth when Pedroia singled home Brock Holt and another in the ninth when Betts had an RBI single.
Overall, they were 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
“We continually do a great job of creating opportunities and I am confident this will turn,” Farrell said. “I can’t say that we expanded the strike zone with men in scoring position or the bases loaded. Kennedy challenged us and we came up empty with a number of scoring opportunities.”
Betts led the offense with a 5-for-5 performance with five singles. The five hits were a career high.
Ortiz’s double was the 625th of his career, which allowed him to pass Hank Aaron for 10th all-time.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox loss:
Two superstars in their respective sports were together Friday night at Fenway Park as USA gymnast Aly Raisman threw out the first pitch to David Ortiz.
Raisman, a Needham, Massachusetts native, helped the U.S. team win gold with impressive performances on the vault, balance beam and floor routine. Raisman won a silver medal in the individual all-around competition, while also winning silver again in the individual floor exercise.
Before throwing out the first pitch she let Ortiz wear all three of her medals.
As if Papi needs more bling! 🏅 https://t.co/zVn5rP6cRp
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) August 26, 2016
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