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Closing Time: Brad Ziegler allows 9th inning homer to Miguel Cabrera as Red Sox get swept by Tigers 07.27.16 at 4:32 pm ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings vs. the Tigers. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Eduardo Rodriguez allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings vs. the Tigers. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Wednesday afternoon was a reminder of everything that had gone awry this homestand for the Red Sox, as the Tigers completed the sweep in stunning fashion with a ninth inning home run from slugger Miguel Cabrera, winning 4-3

With the ever-reliable Brad Ziegler on the mound to keep the game locked up at three, Ziegler left an 84 mph sinker over the plate that Cabrera took just barely out of the park. The ball hit off the top of the wall in right field into the bullpen.

“I really didn’t,” Ziegler said when asked if he thought the ball would go out. “I knew he hit it good but I thought there was a chance that it would get over Mookie’s head in between him and the fence. Just watching it in the air, it kept getting further and further away. … He’s a great hitter and he’s made a really good living doing damage like that in games.”

The Red Sox had Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. up in the ninth, but couldn’t record a base runner.

With the loss, they were swept for the first time this season.

Down 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, things looked grim for the Red Sox until Travis Shaw singled to start the inning and was moved to third by a Sandy Leon sacrifice and a Brock Holt ground out.

Mookie Betts then blasted a line drive into the center field triangle just beyond the outstretched arm of Tyler Collins to score Shaw and tie the game. With the throw in the air to the cutoff man while Betts was nearing third and looked to be eyeing an inside-the-park home run, but was held up by third base coach Brian Butterfield.

“I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go’, but I’m not as fast as I used to be, so it was just a triple,” said Betts.

Starter Eduardo Rodriguez had a modest outing, allowing three runs on 9 hits over 5 1/3 innings of work. He also struck out six — the third highest total for the Venezuelan this season — while walking three.

“I thought [Rodriguez] minimized damage for the most part,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s in a tough spot with second and third, just one out middle of the order which, Cabrera and [Victor] Martinez the damage they created today was obvious. Still I thought he showed three defined pitches. His slider continues to improve. On a day where he didn’t give up a lot of hard contact … I thought he threw the ball well against a quality right handed-hitting lineup.”

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Read More: Brad Ziegler, Dustin Pedroia, eduardo rodriguez, mookie betts
Closing Time: David Price falters, Red Sox bats go silent in loss to Yankees 07.17.16 at 11:39 pm ET
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Red Sox left-hander David Price leaves the mound after a disappointing performance vs. the Yankees on Sunday. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Red Sox left-hander David Price leaves the mound after a disappointing performance vs. the Yankees on Sunday. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

NEW YORK — If David Price is planning to embark on a dominant second-half run, as he suggested to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford recently, it didn’t start Sunday night.

Once again tasked with protecting a slim lead, Price once again faltered against the Yankees. He allowed three runs in the fourth and generally struggling to put away one of the more pedestrian offenses in the American League in a 3-1 loss that snapped Boston’s six-game winning streak.

“The finishing pitch might not have been there as it was the last few times out for him but still, despite the combination of hits in that one inning, he kept the game very much under control,” manager John Farrell said. “He might not have been as sharp or as powerful as recent times out, but they string together 11 hits, got to go to the bullpen to shut things down and we did.”

Price needed to be perfect to outduel Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. After Dustin Pedroia gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the first, Price struggled right from the start, allowing a line drive to left by leadoff Brett Gardner that Brock Holt snared with a diving catch.

The Yankees peppered Price for 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings, including two each from Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran atop the order.

That said, the Red Sox carried a 1-0 lead into the fourth before Price faltered. Didi Gregorius started things with a one-out single and scored on Starlin Castro’s double to left. Price had a chance to keep the game tied, but after striking out Rob Refsnyder, he allowed RBI singles to Austin Romine and Ellsbury.

Price was lifted with two outs in the sixth after allowing singles to Gardner and Ellsbury, leaving the mound after a disappointing performance that left his ERA at 4.36 and at least temporarily dashed hopes that he’d start the second half the same way he finished the first, with eight strong innings against the Rays.

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Read More: David Price, Dustin Pedroia, Masahiro Tanaka, Red Sox
Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts, Rick Porcello lead Red Sox over Rays 07.09.16 at 6:49 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts hit his 10th home run of the year as the Red Sox beat the Rays on Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts hit his 10th home run of the year as the Red Sox beat the Rays on Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox seem to be putting things back together again.

Saturday was a solid team win as they got a good performance from their starting pitcher, some timely hits and the bullpen did its job as the Red Sox beat the Rays 4-1.

They have now won three straight for the first time since May 31 and have won five out of their last six games overall.

Trailing 1-0 early, the Red Sox were able to rally as they took a 2-1 lead on one swing of the bat when Xander Bogaerts hit his 10th home run of the season — a two-run shot over the Green Monster in the fourth inning. The Sox added two more in the fifth when Dustin Pedroia ripped a two-RBI single to center field.

“He missed in the middle of the plate and I just put a good swing on it,” Bogaerts said. “If he puts the ball where he wants to that might not have happened, but it leaked over the middle.”
Bogaerts’ 10 home runs and 55 RBIs before the All-Star break are the most for a Red Sox shortstop since Nomar Garciaparra in 2003.

Rick Porcello closed out his first half of the season with another solid performance. The right-hander went seven innings, allowed one run on six hits, while not walking a batter and striking out five on 94 pitches. He ran into trouble in a few innings, but made a few big pitches to get out those jams.

“Anytime you can pitch deep in the game, keep runners off base and give our guys a chance to go to work at the plate it’s ideal,” Porcello said.

The right-hander improved to 8-0 over nine starts at Fenway Park this season. He is one of three major league pitchers to not have lost in any of their first nine home starts joining Chris Tillman and Stephen Strasburg.

With Junichi Tazawa unavailable, Matt Barnes threw a 1-2-3 eighth and Koji Uehara picked up his second save in as many days to close out the win.

Closing Time note

Porcello has gone at least five innings in 26 straight starts, the longest of his career and longest by a Red Sox pitcher since John Lackey went 39 games from 2013-14.

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

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Read More: Dustin Pedroia, mookie betts, rick porcello, xander bogaerts
Red Sox notes: John Farrell says Steven Wright likely won’t start All-Star Game, but could get up to 2 innings 07.06.16 at 5:17 pm ET
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Steven Wright likely won't start the All-Star Game, but could get up to two innings of relief. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Steven Wright likely won’t start the All-Star Game, but could get up to two innings of relief. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

With his 2.42 ERA entering his start Wednesday, knuckleballer Steven Wright could be viewed as a candidate to start the All-Star Game next Tuesday night in San Diego.

Manager John Farrell said prior to Wednesday’s game he has spoken to American League manager Ned Yost and it doesn’t appear he will start the game, but could see a good amount of action.

“There’s been some communication there, yes,” Farrell said. “I don’t think he’s going to start the game, but they asked if he was able to pitch up to two innings, which he will be given the number of days rest between tonight and next Tuesday.”

With Wright the Red Sox have a total of six All-Stars and could get a seventh if Dustin Pedroia can win the Esurance final vote. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Pedroia was in third place in the American League trailing Michael Saunders and George Springer.

Farrell believes Pedroia deserves to be an All-Star now that he’s healthy for an extended period.

“Most importantly he’s healthy,” Farrell said of Pedroia’s success. “He came into camp in great shape and has continued his performance throughout. Despite what some people might point to as a high number of ground ball double plays, still you’re looking at a guy who is hitting well over .300 and has for the better part of the season. From Day 1, he’s been a leader in our uniform and that means going back to his rookie year. That continues. He’s well-deserving to be in San Diego.”

The six selections are the club’s most since 2008 when they also had six. No Red Sox team has had more seven, which happened in 2002.

“Talented group, guys are performing well,” Farrell said. “The fact that we had four guys voted in the starting lineup I think speaks volumes that their performance is recognized around the country, not just here in Boston or fans of the Red Sox. I think it’s fantastic we have the number of guys we do in the starting lineup and certainly six in total. It’s a very good group to add to and build around.”

For David Ortiz, it will be his 10th All-Star game as well as his last. Farrell said he expects it to be just like the first half of his final season where he’s played loose and free, batting .337 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs entering Wednesday.

“I would say equal to the way he’s enjoyed this first half of the season,” Farrell said. “We feel like he’s been a different guy in the fact that — we talk about Mookie [Betts] and Jackie [Bradley Jr.] playing free of mind, I think David epitomizes that with the announcement he made last November. The enjoyment he is taking each and every day with his teammates and the success that he’s having and we’re having as a group. Next Tuesday and in the whole All-Star celebration, well-deserved on his part.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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Read More: blake swihart, Chris Young, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia
John Farrell: ‘Honestly, we’re embarrassed by tonight’s ballgame’ 07.03.16 at 12:19 am ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

The Red Sox self-admittedly were embarrassed by their 21-2 loss to the Angels Saturday night.

The Angels scored five runs in the fifth to lead 9-0 and then really poured it on by scoring 11 times in the seventh inning. The Red Sox surrendered 20 or more runs for the 14th time in franchise history and the first since Aug. 31, 2012 coming against the Athletics. They hadn’t allowed 20 more runs at Fenway Park since Aug. 21, 2009.

“Too many extra outs, far too many extra-base hits. Honestly, we’re embarrassed by tonight’s ballgame. There’s really no other way to put it,” manager John Farrell said afterwards. “We got kicked around the ballpark tonight and we need to put this behind us with an opportunity to win the series tomorrow.”

The pitching wasn’t there, evident by the 21 runs allowed. The defense wasn’t there as they committed four errors and the hitting wasn’t there, as they managed just one run against Angels starter Hector Santiago who entered with a 5.27 ERA.

The Red Sox have now dropped eight out of their last 12 games overall and just aren’t playing solid baseball.

“Absolutely we need to get out of it,” Dustin Pedroia said. “We need to play better, but going into the year, we knew we were going to have a stretch like this. If everyone thought we were going to show up and win 140 games, that’s not how baseball works. You’re going to have bumps in the road. What makes your team is how you find a way to get out of it and limit the losing streaks or bad plays. We’ve got to show up tomorrow and win the series. Chip away and win series at a time. That’s how you get out of it. I know we lost by 21 runs, but we win tomorrow, we’re starting out the homestand pretty darn good. I don’t care if we lost by 20 or whatever. That’s what we’ve got to focus on.”

The second baseman noted they are just 4 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East and they have plenty of time to turn things around.

“We’re four games out of first place. Dig in,” he said. “Show up to work tomorrow and try to win. I’m not embarrassed to be a Boston Red Sox. By no means. We lost by 21 runs, or whatever the hell it was. So? There’ll be better days.”

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, John Farrell,
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:

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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,
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