|Closing Time: Drew Pomeranz struggles, Red Sox can’t get clutch hit in loss to Orioles||09.13.16 at 10:38 pm ET|
Tuesday night went almost the opposite as it did Monday for the Red Sox and Orioles.
On Monday the Red Sox knocked Orioles starter Wade Miley out of the game after 1 1/3 innings, and on Tuesday the Orioles knocked Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz out of the game after two-plus innings.
Unlike the Orioles on Monday, the Red Sox made it a competitive game, but they still fell 6-3.
The Red Sox went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, the Blue Jays also lost, so now both Toronto and Baltimore trail the Sox by two games in the AL East.
After a 1-2-3 first inning, Pomeranz allowed five runs in the second inning, including two home runs. J.J. Hardy started the scoring with a three-run shot and then after a Drew Stubbs walk, No. 9 batter Nolan Reimold hit a two-run homer.
Pomeranz made it out of the inning, but then was pulled after allowing a lead off single in the third. The two-plus innings made it the second-shortest start of his career.
“A very long inning offensively on their part. 45 pitches is a high number,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “A couple of walks mixed in on a couple of 3-2 pitches that were up in the strike zone. Fastball to Hardy, 3-2 curveball to Reimold. Two swings of the bats, as they are very capable of doing at any point in the lineup, is to drive the ball out of the ballpark.”
|Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez, Chris Young lead offense while David Price dominates in Red Sox’ rout of Orioles||09.12.16 at 9:50 pm ET|
You know the Red Sox offense had a good night when David Price allowed two runs over eight innings and he wasn’t the biggest story.
The Red Sox scored early and often against Orioles starter Wade Miley and never looked back in a 12-2 rout where they scored in every inning but the eighth.
With the win, they remain two games up over the Blue Jays and increase their lead to three games over the O’s in the AL East.
Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young led the offense as the two combined to go 6-for-7 in the middle of the Red Sox order. As a team, the Red Sox finished with 16 hits.
The Red Sox scored five times in the first inning, four coming before they even recorded an out. The inning started with three straight singles, but could have been even more as Orioles left fielder Steve Pearce misplayed a David Ortiz fly ball and the runners needed to hold.
With the bases loaded and no outs Mookie Betts crushed a two-run double to left field and then Ramirez singled to left field, scoring Ortiz, but that wouldn’t be the only run to score on the play as Betts alertly raced home after Pearce lobbed the ball back into the infield. Aaron Hill would later score on a sacrifice fly for the fifth run of the frame.
They then loaded the bases again in the second inning with one out, but only managed one run coming on a Ramirez walk to set the tone for the game.
On any other night Price would have been the story as the left-hander went eight innings, allowing two runs on just two hits, while not walking a batter and striking out nine to pick up his seventh straight win. Price allowed three base runners all night, two of which came on home runs and the other on an error.
|Red Sox notes: Steven Wright running out of time; why Dustin Pedroia doesn’t take BP anymore||at 5:34 pm ET|
The Red Sox appear to be running out of time with knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Speaking before Monday’s series opener at Fenway Park with the Orioles, manager John Farrell said that Wright hasn’t begun a throwing program since suffering a setback with his injured right shoulder.
“We’re hopeful to get a throwing program initiated,” Farrell said. “I don’t have an exact date when that will take place. He’s showing improvement through the range of motion. The discomfort is diminishing. I also recognize where we are in the calendar, and that’s going to present a challenge here going forward.”
Wright hasn’t even been able to long toss or play catch. With only 20 games remaining in the season, there’s no telling when or if Wright will pitch again this season.
He injured the bursa sac in his right shoulder diving awkwardly into second base as a pinch runner against the Dodgers on Aug. 6. He missed three weeks, made two largely ineffective starts, and was shut down again after allowing four runs in four innings against the Rays on Aug. 31.
“He didn’t play catch on the end of the road trip,” Farrell said. “As we stated the other day, hopefully to get back here, that throwing program would initiate, but that hasn’t begun today.”
NO BP FOR PEDROIA: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that he has stopped taking batting practice for the last two months, because, “I’ve been around long enough to know hitting BP is irrelevant.”
Farrell backed up his second baseman.
“There’s a routine he goes through that’s not on the field,” Farrell said. “It’s not like he’s showing up and just putting his uniform on and walking out for the first pitch. There’s work that goes on that might be condensed, that is condensed. I think he’s confident in his daily work routine that if he doesn’t take X number of swings on the field, he’s not prepared. He’s long past that. He understands his body more than anyone. So while he’s been banged up, he knows where to pick his spots. So the work routine in the cage early in the afternoon and then just prior to the game, he’s more than prepared, and I think his performance has probably reflected that.”
In 29 games since moving to the leadoff spot on Aug. 10, Pedroia is hitting .445. His .329 average ranks second in the American League behind Jose Altuve’s .340.
|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.”
|Closing Time: Red Sox offense goes silent in close loss to Blue Jays||09.10.16 at 4:09 pm ET|
Now it’s just about winning the series.
Fresh off Friday’s 13-3 demolition of the Blue Jays, the Red Sox took a step back on Saturday afternoon, getting shut down by J.A. Happ and the Toronto bullpen in a 3-2 loss.
One day after recording 18 hits, the Red Sox were no-hit into the fifth and held scoreless until Dustin Pedroia’s homer leading off the sixth. They managed just four hits overall and were outlasted by a Blue Jays squad that had lost four in a row and six of seven, but now finds itself just a game out of first in the AL East.
The Blue Jays took control early against Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his last start. This time, he allowed his first hit a lot earlier, with leadoff man Devon Travis singling in the first.
The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the second when Russell Martin walked and B.J. Upton launched a two-run homer to left-center.
The Jays pushed their lead to 3-0 in the third when Travis led off with a double before being erased at third on replay review on a Josh Donaldson fielder’s choice. The Red Sox gave that out right back, however, when Edwin Encarnacion reached on an error by third baseman Aaron Hill and Jose Bautista singled to short.
The Red Sox clawed back. Pedroia got one run back with the homer, and the Red Sox added another in the seventh on a Jackie Bradley Jr. sacrifice fly. The Sox might’ve done even more damage, but Bautista made a nice leaping catch before slamming into the wall on Bradley’s sac fly with runners on the corners.
Opponents fell to just 2-for-36 against reliever Matt Barnes with two outs after he ended the seventh by inducing Edwin Encarnacion to line out to right.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who started the day batting .455 out of the leadoff spot, gave the Red Sox their first run with a line drive solo homer to left in the sixth.
— After a slow start that included a two-run homer by B.J. Upton, Rodriguez ended up limiting the Jays to four hits and two earned runs in six innings, striking out five.
— With a walk, right fielder Mookie Betts extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 27.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Third baseman Aaron Hill was charged with an error on an Encarnacion grounder in the third, leading to Toronto’s unearned run.
— Rodriguez was drilled in the shin by a comebacker, but remained in the game.
— With Jason Grilli on the mound in the eighth and the top of the order due up, the Red Sox failed to score when Mookie Betts popped out with pinch runner Yoan Moncada on first.
— Speaking of Moncada, the rookie committed an unpardonable sin by losing track of the outs in the eighth and failing to run on Betts’ inning-ending flyout.
|Closing Time: Rick Porcello wins 20th, Hanley Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts homer as Red Sox pummel Blue Jays||09.09.16 at 10:33 pm ET|
TORONTO — The Red Sox visited Toronto on Friday intent on growing their lead in the American League East.
They did so in overwhelming fashion.
Right-hander Rick Porcello won his 20th game and Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts homered to pace an offensive explosion as the Red Sox destroyed the Blue Jays, 13-3, to open a two-game lead in the AL East.
“It’s definitely a huge honor,” said Porcello, whose first order of business was to call his parents. “It’s hard to win one game in the big leagues let alone 20. I’m very proud of that. At the same time it’s collective. We had to swing the bats and play defense. It’s a complete team effort. Sharing this with all 25 guys. Or 40 now that we’re in September.”
“Well, what Rick has done for a long stretch now, his game-plan that he prepares and he executes it,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “That’s the thing, his execution has been outstanding because he’s pitching with average velocity but his location is tremendous. He knows when to elevate and he’s been able to use breaking balls in certain counts that have worked to his advantage. More than anything, he doesn’t add baserunners by the walk. One walk again here tonight. Like I said, he knows what he’s doing. He’s got complete conviction to each pitch he throws and it’s evident by the bottom-line results.”
Porcello, blessed with overwhelming run support all season, was staked to a 1-0 lead in the first, 2-0 in the second and 4-0 in the third. He cruised from there, improving to 20-3 and lowering his ERA to 3.21. He allowed six hits and two runs in seven innings, striking out seven and walking one.
The Red Sox entered the game with the best offense in the American League and they did nothing to dispute that notion.
They struck quickly in the first. Dustin Pedroia led off with a single and scored on Mookie Betts’ two-out double.
They added another run in the second on Pedroia’s RBI single and two more in the third on Travis Shaw’s sacrifice fly and an error by left fielder B.J. Upton.
Devon Travis got two of the runs back with a single in the third, but the Red Sox kept piling on. They scored one in the fourth on a Pedroia sacrifice fly and then exploded for sixth in the seventh to build an 11-2 lead.
Bogaerts and Ramirez both homered in the frame.
But Friday, was Porcello’s day.
“He’s probably the MVP of our team right now,” said Jackie Bradley Jr. of his starting pitcher. “He’s tremendous on the mound.”
The last Red Sox pitcher to win 20 games was Josh Beckett in 2007.
“They do it differently,” said Farrell when asked to compare the two pitchers. “I think Rick is probably more of a four-pitch pitcher where Josh was primarily fastball-curveball and changeup. Might not have the power that Beckett did, but still, when you’re talking about sending a guy to the mound that’s going to go deep in ballgames, the similarity is the wins obviously. Still, they do it a little bit differently in their own way.”
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Porcello was once again on top of his game, easily out-dueling Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada, who was bounced in the third inning.
— Second baseman Dustin Pedroia remained red-hot. He recorded three more singles and drove in four runs.
— First baseman Hanley Ramirez has saved his best baseball for the end of the season. He blasted a three-run homer in the seventh to blow the game open.
— Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, mired in a lengthy slump, stroked two hits, including a solo homer to get things started during a six-run seventh.
— Five members of the starting lineup recorded multiple hits (Pedroia, Bogaerts, Betts, Ramirez, Leon, Jackie Bradley Jr., Ramirez).
— The Red Sox outfielders tried a little something new in their celebration after the win. “We’re mixing it up a little bit. It was the debut of the ski jump today,” said Bradley Jr.
Have only seen vines so here is gif form. pic.twitter.com/XpmrVCxb2E
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) September 10, 2016
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Second baseman Deven Marrero made an error in the eighth, leading to an unearned run.
|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.
|Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia returns to the lineup, will continue batting leadoff||08.30.16 at 3:41 pm ET|
Following a two-game absence for a funeral, Dustin Pedroia is back in the lineup and will continue batting leadoff.
Pedroia has thrived in the leadoff spot this season, hitting .458 in 72 at-bats with 9 RBI. Brock Holt — who took Pedroia’s place in the leadoff spot the past two games — will stay in the lineup, hitting seventh and playing left field.
Sandy Leon will also get the night off, with Bryan Holaday getting the start.
Here is the Red Sox’ lineup with Drew Pomeranz on the mound.
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Brock Holt LF
Bryan Holaday C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
|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:
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