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Closing Time: Eduardo Rodriguez implodes, Dustin Pedroia gives him an earful in brutal loss to Rays 06.27.16 at 10:39 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia (2nd from right) lays into pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (2nd from left) on Monday. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia (2nd from right) lays into pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (2nd from left) on Monday. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

The state of the Red Sox pitching staff has reached DEFCON 1 status.

One night after Clay Buchholz put the Red Sox in an immediate hole in a loss to the Rangers, Eduardo Rodriguez did him one better with a five-run first against the lowly Rays.

The Red Sox never had a chance thereafter against one of the worst offenses in baseball, dropping a 13-7 decision that will be remembered for Dustin Pedroia’s animated mound visit with Rodriguez in the second that saw the former MVP share a number of choice words with his floundering teammate, who was optioned to Triple-A after the game.

(For Pedroia’s explanation of the mound visit, click here.)

Rodriguez looked lost. The Rays sent nine men to the plate in the first en route to five runs. They added four more against him before they were done, chasing him with a pair of homers in the third, ending an 11-game losing streak and sending the reeling Red Sox to their 10th loss in 15 games.

The loss resulted in Red Sox manager John Farrell calling a team meeting following the game, during which even the clubhouse attendants were asked to wait outside.

“The bottom line is he’s capable of more, we’re capable of more, we need to get better, and we had a chance to share that here after the game tonight,” Farrell said. “You know what, we collectively have to get better. To continue to fall behind as much as we are of late, we’re more talented than that. We have the capability of executing pitches at a higher rate. We can’t continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes, as we’ve been. We’ve got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are.”

This one got ugly in a hurry. Logan Forsythe led off the first with a single and the Rays recorded five more hits from there, including RBI doubles from Taylor Motter and Nick Franklin. Forsythe, Desmond Jennings, and Nick Franklin all homered for the Rays, who entered the game last in the AL in runs (295), but smacked a season-high 18 hits.

Things got interesting in the second when Rodriguez hung his head after allowing an infield single. Pitching coach Carl Willis jogged out to the mound, but Pedroia took control of the meeting, waving his hands in Rodriguez’s face to make his point before yelling what looked like, “Let’s go!” as he left the mound.

The Red Sox tried to rally, but it wasn’t happening. They now sit a season-high 4 1/2 games behind the Orioles in the AL East.

Closing Time note

Red Sox pitchers have allowed the opponent to score first in 11 of their last 13 games, including eight times in the first inning. The Sox starters have also combined for a 13.20 ERA on the current road trip.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— You’re kidding, right? OK, fine — catcher Sandy Leon stayed hot by blasting his first homer of the season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Start with Rodriguez. He allowed 11 hits and nine runs in just 2 2/3 innings, lacking confidence in his fastball and allowing the Rays to sit on his offspeed offerings. Just ugly all around. His ERA now stands at 8.59. His minus-five “Game Score” was the lowest by a Red Sox starter since Doug Bird on May 24, 1983.

— Left fielder Bryce Brentz stroked a two-run double in the fourth as part of a three-hit night, but was thrown out trying to take third, ending the frame.

— The Red Sox fell to three games under .500 against the American League East. The Orioles are 22-13, in contrast.

— The Rays entered the game ranked last in the AL in runs (295). They reached 15 hits for just the third time this season.

— Reliever Koji Uehara continues to struggle with his splitter, allowing a mammoth two-run homer in the eighth while getting some work as his ERA climbed to 5.08.

(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, Dustin Pedroia yells at Eduardo Rodriguez, eduardo rodriguez, Rays
Dustin Pedroia chews out Eduardo Rodriguez on mound in midst of miserable start as Red Sox dig hole against Rays at 8:29 pm ET
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The time for niceties is over and it looks like Dustin Pedroia has seen enough.

With Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez imploding vs. the Rays — he allowed five runs in the first inning alone on Monday night — Pedroia decided it was time for some tough love. As the following Vine illustrates, Pedroia did not mince words with Rodriguez during a mound visit in the second.

The second baseman’s final words after the animated discussion appeared to be, “Let’s go!”

The speech didn’t have its desired effect. Rodriguez came back out for the third and allowed nine runs before being lifted. His entire evening was a disaster against one of the worst offenses in baseball. The Rays scored five in the first by sending nine men to the plate.

They then knocked Rodriguez out in the third with homers by Desmond Jennings and Logan Forsythe. Rodriguez’s line: 2 2/3 innings, 11 hits, nine earned runs, and one tongue-lashing from his All-Star second baseman.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, Dustin Pedroia yells at Eduardo Rodriguez, eduardo rodriguez, Rays
Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts’ single gives Red Sox wild walk-off win over White Sox 06.23.16 at 6:00 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia helped lead a comeback Thursday against the White Sox. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Dustin Pedroia helped lead a comeback Thursday against the White Sox. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how it goes, as long as it’s a W in the standings and that was the case Thursday for the Red Sox.

Even though the bullpen looked very vulnerable, the Red Sox were able to rally from 4-1 and 7-5 deficits to come away with a 8-7, 10-inning win over the White Sox to avoid a four-game sweep and their first four-game losing streak of the season.

Following two walks, Xander Bogaerts singled up the middle scoring Mookie Betts for a wild walk-off win.

This came after Craig Kimbrel got out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the top half of the inning.

After rallying from a 4-1 deficit entering the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 5-4 lead after the frame, Junichi Tazawa promptly allowed the White Sox to regain the lead in the top of the seventh as he allowed a three-run home run to Jose Abreu.

Tazawa’s performance comes following Wednesday night when Koji Uehara took the loss as he allowed two home runs when he entered the game with a 6-4 lead. The bullpen has now allowed seven runs in the last two games with three coming on homers.

The home run gave the White Sox a 7-5 lead, but once again the Red Sox wouldn’t go down without a fight as they scored a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Travis Shaw and then tied it in the eighth when Dustin Pedroia singled home Marco Hernandez who doubled with one out.

After White Sox starter James Shields departed in the top of the sixth, the Red Sox plated four runs in the inning (three charged to Shields) to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 5-4 lead and things were looking good at that point.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Hanley Ramirez hit a weak ground ball to second base that Brett Lawrie overthrew first base and two runs scored on the play. Then, pinch-hitter Sandy Leon singled to tie the game at four and the next batter Hernandez hit into a fielders choice to plate Ramirez as the go-ahead run at the time.

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello didn’t have his best stuff. The right-hander went just 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while walking one and hitting two. He had a season-low two strikeouts. It was also his shortest start since May 17 when he went five innings in a loss to the Royals.

The White Sox scored quickly against Porcello, putting two runs in the board in the top of the first inning before most settled into their seats. He allowed a lead off single, hit the next batter and then Jose Abreu singled to score Tim Anderson for the first run of the game. The second run scored on a Melky Cabrera double play.

Porcello would give up two more runs — one in the fourth and another in the sixth. In the sixth, he allowed a lead off triple to Cabrera and he scored on a sacrifice fly from Todd Frazier.

Closing Time note

It was the second walk-off win of the season for the Red Sox.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, hanley ramirez, junichi tazawa, rick porcello
Closing Time: Clay Buchholz allows 2 home runs, Red Sox bats quiet again in loss to White Sox 06.21.16 at 10:04 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz allowed three runs in five innings in his first start since May 26. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz allowed three runs in five innings in his first start since May 26. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It was not going to take much to send Fenway Park into a cacophony of boos with Clay Buchholz on the hill Tuesday night, and he didn’t keep them waiting.

Seconds after the first pitch left Buchholz’s hand in his first start since May 26, it was over the Green Monster for White Sox leadoff batter Tim Anderson’s first career home run — a fitting omen to begin what ultimately turned into a 3-1 loss for the Red Sox.

Following Anderson’s homer was a double off the wall for Adam Eaton, who would later be driven in on a Melky Cabrera sacrifice fly.

“When somebody jumps ship on you the first pitch of the game there’s not a whole lot you can do about it,” said Buchholz. “I’m worried about throwing a first-pitch strike right there, he put a good swing on it. Second pitch, pretty good pitch away. I guess looking back now if I start in against Eaton throw a cutter or something first pitch to him. But that was a pretty good pitch so you’ve got to tip your cap to both of those.”

In the fourth, Todd Frazier parked a home run of his own into the Monster seats.

When the dust settled, Buchholz went five innings, allowing four hits, and three runs, while striking out five and walking one. With the exception of the Frazier home run, Buchholz did put together a more solid outing after the first, allowing two hits and one run with four strikeouts over the next four innings.

“Well they smacked him in the face the first two pitches he threw,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “But he did settle in. … I felt he kept the game under control, [he] continues to build upon the most recent relief outing and then tonight. So unfortunately against a guy like Sale, two runs becomes a pretty surmountable deficit.”

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, hanley ramirez,
Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia returns, David Ortiz out vs. White Sox at 3:24 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

While Dustin Pedroia returns after not starting on Monday, the Red Sox will be without David Ortiz Tuesday night against White Sox ace Chris Sale.

For his career, Ortiz 5-for-13 against the left-hander.

Hanley Ramirez will serve as the designated hitter in his absence, Travis Shaw will slide over to first base and Deven Marrero will start at third base.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Chris Young, LF
Travis Shaw, 1B
Sandy Leon, C
Deven Marrero, 3B
Clay Buchholz, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia,
Red Sox pregame notes: Brock Holt to begin rehab Monday, Ryan Hanigan could soon follow 06.20.16 at 5:40 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

Prior to Monday’s game, Red Sox manager John Farrell provided updates on the injuries to Brock Holt and Ryan Hanigan, as well as addressing the work being done to prepare pitcher Clay Buchholz for his start Tuesday — his first since being relegated to the bullpen in late May.

Holt is scheduled to make his first rehab start with the PawSox Monday in left field. The start will be his first game action following a concussion suffered while diving for a ball on May 10.

“He’ll go on a couple of days and then off a day then go back on for a couple of days with some innings progression building up to nine innings,” said Farrell. “That third game, we’ll get some left side of the infield work involving both short and third base. So we’ll reexamine things at the end of the week and see where he’s at.”

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Holt would play five innings Monday, seven innings Tuesday, nine innings Thursday and then be reevaluated.

With Holt’s imminent return, Farrell commented on how he will be reinstated in the lineup—especially with the success Chris Young has had in left field.

“Chris Young has done an excellent job in left. We’ll match up somewhat in left field, but I can’t say it’s going to be a strict platoon because it also gives us some flexibility to move Brock around the field,” said Farrell. “I think first and foremost getting Brock back would be a boost.”

In Hanigan’s case, a rehab stint could be due in the coming days after being placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 5 due to a neck strain that caused a bulging disk.

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Read More: Brock Holt, Clay Buchholz, Criag Kimbrel, Dustin Pedroia
Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia on bench to start vs. White Sox at 3:21 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia

It appears Dustin Pedroia will sit out the first game of a four-game series with the White Sox.

Pedroia is not in the starting lineup Monday night as the Red Sox go up against White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez. Marco Hernandez will get the start at second base.

Christian Vazquez will catch knuckleballer Steven Wright.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Chris Young, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Marco Hernandez, 2B
Steven Wright, RHP

Read More: Dustin Pedroia,
Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley power Rick Porcello, Red Sox to victory over Mariners 06.18.16 at 7:00 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts (right) celebrates a homer with David Ortiz Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts (right) celebrates a homer with David Ortiz Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

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.

Closing Time note

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.

Read More: christian vazquez, Dustin Pedroia, jackie bradley, Mariners
Red Sox 1st-round pick Jason Groome living a dream: Dustin Pedroia his favorite player, Red Sox his favorite team 06.09.16 at 11:10 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia

Jason Groome may have been raised in a Yankees household in Yankees country, but that didn’t stop the New Jersey high schooler from loving the Red Sox.

Boston’s first-round pick in Thursday’s draft, 12th overall, the left-handed pitcher sounded beside himself in a conference call with New Jersey reporters after being selected.

“It’s a crazy feeling, just hearing my name get called, especially by the Red Sox,” he said. “It was the best experience of my life. Me and my family had no idea and when they called our name, we went crazy. It was a dream come true.”

So how did Groome end up a Red Sox fan?

“Me and my dad, I always liked Pedro  Martinez and Manny Ramirez,” he said. “I always liked Fenway Park. Everyone in my family is a Yankees fan. I always tended to like the Red Sox fans a little bit better. I’ve just taken them as my best team. Dustin Pedroia is my favorite player just because of his work ethic, and David Price, who I like to model myself after as well. It’s just awesome ending up with Boston. I couldn’t ask for a better team to go to. I’m so comfortable because they’re my favorite team. It’s just a dream come true.”

Some analysts considered Groome the most talented player in the draft, blessed with an upper-90s fastball and devastating curveball. He slipped because of signability concerns — he just withdrew a commitment to Vanderbilt in favor of junior college, which will make him eligible for next year’s draft, should he fail to sign — as well as some maturity issues, though it’s important to note he’s only 17.

“I really didn’t feel that bad because everything  happens for a reason,” Groome said. “I always said I just wanted to end up somewhere I’m comfortable and feel protected. Like I said, there’s no other spot to do that than Boston. They’re my favorite team.”

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Read More: David Price, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Groome, mlb draft
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
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The Red Sox snapped their three-game losing streak on Saturday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox snapped their three-game losing streak on Saturday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

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.

Closing Time note

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: blake swihart, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, mookie betts
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