|Closing Time: Red Sox offense goes cold in David Ortiz’s final game in Yankee Stadium||09.29.16 at 10:26 pm ET|
On the heels of their second AL East crown in four years, the Red Sox called off the dogs.
With Henry Owens making just his fifth start of the year and a host of regulars resting, the Red Sox dropped a 5-1 decision to the Yankees on Thursday that completed New York’s sweep.
One night after the Red Sox clinched the division, Owens allowed four hits and two runs in 4 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out six. It was a serviceable effort, all things considered, from a pitcher who hadn’t made an appearance in three weeks.
It didn’t take long for the Yankees to jump on the 24-year-old, however, as cleanup hitter Starlin Castro doubled to plate Jacoby Ellsbury in the first inning. In the fifth, Ellsbury smacked an RBI double of his own to put the Yankees back up 2-1.
The Red Sox offense made C.C. Sabathia look like he was in his mid-2000’s form, managing four hits and a run off the lefty over seven innings while striking out eight times. Xander Bogaerts served as one of the few sources of offense, driving his 21st home run of the season in the fourth inning.
David Ortiz struck out and walked in his final game against the Yankees before being replaced by Brock Holt. Ortiz was honored before the game by former opponent Mariano Rivera, as well as with a book full of testimonials from Yankees greats.
David Ortiz’s eight strikeouts at Yankee Stadium this season are the most of any ballpark outside of Fenway.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— The bullpen didn’t do its part in the game in the sixth. After Heath Hembree allowed a walk and single, Robby Scott loaded the bases and proceeded to walk in a run and let another in on a passed ball.
— The battery of Owens and Ryan Hanigan had trouble catching baserunners, allowing a pair of stolen bases.
— The Red Sox grounded into a pair of double plays.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Bogaerts tied the game with a solo shot in the fourth inning. The 21st dinger for the 23-year-old keeps him fifth on the team in home runs.
— After allowing a single to start the inning, Junichi Tazawa shut down the rest of the Yankees batters in the seventh, including a strikeout of slugger Gary Sanchez.
The Red Sox and Yankees will face each other for the final time in the regular season on Thursday night. The Sox will send Henry Owens to the mound, while the Yankees will counter with veteran left-hander CC Sabathia.
Owens is 10-7 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in 24 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket. With the Sox this year, the southpaw is 0-1 with a 7.79 ERA and a 2.13 WHIP in four starts. Owens will be making the start in place of Drew Pomeranz, who will not make any more starts this season because of forearm soreness.
Owens’ last start in the majors was on Aug. 21. In that outing, the 24-year-old threw five innings, allowing eight runs, six hits (two home runs) and five walks with six strikeouts in a 10-5 loss to the Tigers.
“I worked tirelessly trying to command the fastball and I’ve been better lately, so I’m not going to be negative here, I’m going to continue to be positive and work hard and try to find that consistency,” Owens said after that game (via MLB.com).
Against the Yankees, Owens is 0-2 with an 8.53 ERA and a 1.816 WHIP in three starts. He last saw New York on April 29, pitching six innings and giving up eight runs, six runs, five walks and six strikeouts in a 4-2 Sox win.
|Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: PawSox LHP Henry Owens finishes with strong effort, ‘turned a corner’ in season’s final month||09.06.16 at 8:55 am ET|
Here’s a look a the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (74-68): W, 4-2, vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays)
— Left-hander Henry Owens wrapped his strong final month in Triple-A with another impressive outing, pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts as the PawSox ended the season with a win.
“This year, there’s been a lot of adjustments mechanically and I thought I turned a corner in my last four or five starts here,” Owens said (via MiLB.com). “I’ve been more consistent with my delivery and I just want to keep working every day and develop that muscle memory and stay within the strike zone.”
Owens, who struggled in his four starts in Boston this year, went 4-2 with a 1.73 ERA in his final six starts with the PawSox, and he finished the year at 10-7 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 24 starts.
“He had a couple of hiccups but he was able to settle in and give us some length today,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com). The best is yet to come with him, I believe that.”
Owens is slated to join the major league team later this week and serve as an emergency starter.
— Kyle Martin pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and no runs in recording his sixth save in six chances. The 25-year-old went 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 36 appearances this season.
— Right fielder Bryce Brentz had the game’s big hit, a three-run home run in the first inning. Shortstop Jose Vinicio was the only PawSox batter with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a double.
— Designated hitter Allen Craig went 1-for-2 with a walk and a triple, finishing his injury-shortened Triple-A season at .173/.250/.280 in 22 games. Center fielder Rusney Castillo was 1-for-4 and finished with a line of .263/.309/.354 with two home runs and 34 RBIs in 103 Triple-A games.
|Closing Time: Henry Owens pummeled as Tigers salvage split with Red Sox||08.21.16 at 4:19 pm ET|
DETROIT — Henry Owens had quite a travel odyssey to reach Comerica Park in time for Sunday’s start against the Tigers. Notified at 6 p.m. on Saturday, he was immediately scratched from his start with Triple-A Pawtucket in Scranton Wilkes-Barre and drove to Philadelphia, where he caught a 6:30 a.m. flight to Detroit.
If only the journey had been worth the effort.
Owens wasn’t ready for prime time in his return to the Red Sox rotation. Filling in for Eduardo Rodriguez (hamstring), Owens delivered the type of outing typical for his frustrating Red Sox career. He walked five, struck out six, and allowed a pair of mammoth home runs to Justin Upton.
All of that damage accounted for eight runs and the Red Sox never recovered in a 10-5 defeat.
“This one came down to base on balls and Justin Upton,” manager John Farrell said.
The Red Sox now head to Tampa for four games after a 5-2 start to this road trip. They lost for just the second time in their last 10 games.
This one was over early. Owens navigated the first two innings on five strikeouts and two walks, but fell apart with two outs in the third. The pivotal moment came when manager John Farrell intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera in order to face the scorching J.D. Martinez, who poked an outside offering into the right field corner for a two-run double.
Upton followed with the first of his two three-run homers and that was the end of that.
“It’s a pick your poison situation with Cabrera and J.D. Martinez,” Farrell said. “Load the bases, he’s working through the at-bat with Martinez in pretty good shape, he gets in a 1-2 count. Martinez ends up putting the bat on the ball on a changeup that was off the plate away, and pokes it inside the first base bag. We’re sitting there in a two-run ballgame, and then all of a sudden it’s the Upton show at that point.”
|Eduardo Rodriguez scratched from Sunday’s start with sore hamstring, replaced by Henry Owens||at 1:27 am ET|
DETROIT — The Red Sox will push back left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for at least one day after he reported lingering soreness in his sore left hamstring. With Rodriguez scratched, left-hander Henry Owens will start Sunday’s finale against the Tigers.
“I feel it’s still a little bit tight,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t want to get in the game tomorrow and do something wrong and get that crazy or get in the game and not focus on throwing strikes and focus on whether I can still feel that. I had that feeling before with my knee. I know it’s going to be something wrong. It doesn’t make the pitch where I want it or give up a lot of runs. That was the decision that was made.”
Manager John Farrell said there are no plans to put Rodriguez on the disabled list, nor is there a corresponding roster move for Owens.
Rodriguez left his last start against the Orioles after only four innings with the sore hamstring. He threw a bullpen on Friday and hoped he’d be ready to go on Sunday, but after throwing Saturday, brought his concerns to Farrell.
“After his bullpen here today, he continued to feel some uncertainty in the hamstring,” Farrell said. “He didn’t feel like he could make the pitches necessary with the conviction required. When he talked about it, I didn’t want to put him out there with that frame of mind.”
Rodriguez is 2-5 with a 5.11 ERA. Owens is 0-0 with a 5.11 ERA in three big league starts. He has walked 13 in 12 1/3 innings.
|Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Henry Owens shines for Pawtucket; Jake Cosart continues to dominate for Salem||08.16.16 at 9:53 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (65-57): W, 5-1, at Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
— The PawSox opened a three-game series against the IronPigs with a big win, led by starting pitcher Henry Owens. The southpaw held Lehigh Valley to one run on five hits in seven strong innings, allowing a season-low one walk and striking out six. In his last four outings, the 24-year-old has recorded a 1.57 ERA with 29 strikeouts. He is 8-6 with a 3.70 ERA in 21 minor league starts.
— Chris Marrero led the way on offense, going 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBIs. He is 14-for-21 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in five games at Lehigh Valley this year. He crushed his league lead-tying 23rd homer of the season in the third inning to give Pawtucket a 2-0 lead. Marrero, 28, now has three home runs in his last five games. He’s slashing .288/.345/.519 with 61 RBIs in 113 games.
— Jose Vinicio went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. He crossed home plate in the seventh inning on a doubled from the rehabbing Chris Young. The 23-year-old infielder is batting .260/.288/.321 in 60 games with both Pawtucket and Portland.
— Joe Kelly took the mound in the ninth inning to secure the win for Pawtucket. He gave up a leadoff single but struck out the next batter then induced a double play to end the game. Kelly, 28, has not allowed a run in his last three appearances. He’s 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 15 minor league outings.
|Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: LHP Henry Owens tosses 6 shutout innings for PawSox; Rafael Devers extends hitting streak to 11 games with Salem||08.10.16 at 1:07 pm ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (61-55): W, 3-1, vs. Durham (Rays)
— The PawSox relied on six shutout innings from Henry Owens to come away with the win. The southpaw let up only three hits while striking out seven and walking four. He has fanned 23 batters in his last three starts.
“I’ve just been trying to be consistent and hone a delivery that I can repeat over and over again,” Owens said (via MiLB.com). “Since the second half, I’ve felt pretty comfortable, more consistent and more under control.”
The shutout was Owens’ fourth of the season, and the win was his first since July 16. The 24-year-old has pitched much better in Pawtucket after being sent down from the Red Sox. Overall, he is 7-6 with a 3.85 ERA in 20 minor league starts. Opponents are batting just .218 against him.
— Brennan Boesch drilled a two-run home run over the bullpen in right field in the second inning for his fourth long ball of the season. Boesch, 31, has crossed home plate in three straight games and is slashing .240/.287/.404 in 27 games with Pawtucket.
— Christian Vazquez also went deep for the PawSox, hitting a line drive over the right field fence in the fourth inning to push Pawtucket’s lead to 3-0. It’s his second Triple-A home run of the year.
“He’s quieted things down with his lower half and he’s shown better management of the strike zone,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said of his catcher. “When he’s right, he’s looking to right center, and I think he’s done a real nice job.”
Vazquez, 25, is 6-for-9 with five RBIs in his last three games. He is batting .278/.365/.400 in 26 minor league games.
— Rusney Castillo went 2-for-4 to record his eighth multi-hit performance in his last 12 games. He is hitting .412 over that span. The 29-year-old outfielder has bumped his minor league batting average up to .259 for the season.
|Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Rusney Castillo goes 3-for-5 for PawSox; Rainel Rosario hits grand slam for Portland||08.04.16 at 11:57 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the minors on Wednesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (57-54): L, 3-2, vs. Rochester (Twins)
— A second-inning RBI ground out proved to be the difference in the PawSox’ loss Wednesday night. After each team scored a pair of runs in the first inning, the Twins added the aforementioned run in the second and proceeded to hold on the remainder of the game.
— In the final four innings alone, Pawtucket stranded nine men on base.
— PawSox starter Henry Owens went five innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. He also allowed a first inning home run to Wilfredo Tovar. The 24-year-old lefty is now 6-6 this season with a 4.06 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting .222 against him.
— Lead off hitter Rusney Castillo had a solid night at the dish, going 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored. The 29-year-old Cuban is hitting .247 in Pawtucket this season.
— Marco Hernandez, Chris Marrero and Chris Dominguez each had a pair of hits.
|Red Sox minor league notebook: How Yoan Moncada could potentially help big league club this season||at 7:00 am ET|
1. With Andrew Benintendi being promoted to the Red Sox this week, the next question is when will it be Yoan Moncada’s turn?
The two are a little different as Benintendi was a two-year college player, while Moncada just came to the United States from Cuba last year. The second baseman also needs to likely begin playing another position — which he already has started by getting pregame work at third base and in the outfield — so there will be some time before he’s in Boston, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen this year.
A likely scenario is Moncada gets promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket in the very near future and then once major league rosters expand in September, Moncada could get his first taste of the big leagues. It’s also unlikely he gets any meaningful every day playing time, but the Red Sox could use his speed as a pinch-runner off the bench.
It’s worth mentioning president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was asked in Seattle this week about that being a possibility and he said he doubted it would work out that way, but it’s still over a month away and a lot can change between now and then.
It just wouldn’t make sense to have a player like Moncada and his speed not used to the Red Sox’ benefit.
The Red Sox were 11th in baseball in stolen bases going into Wednesday, stealing 63 bases and Moncada alone has 44 in 54 attempts between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland this year. Last year he stole 49 bases in 81 games with Single-A Greenville.
As it stands now, Moncada has the most stolen bases at any level in the Red Sox’ organization this season and by a good margin as the next highest is Danny Mars’ 27 with High-A Salem.
“His first step is unbelievable on the bases and defensively,” Portland manager Carlos Febles said to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford of what makes him such a good base stealer in addition to pure speed. “He’s a beast.”
|Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Brennan Boesch hits walk-off HR for PawSox; Jose Sermo hits 3 homers for Salem||07.27.16 at 11:46 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (53-51): W, 4-2 in 11 innings, vs. Rochester (Twins)
— With one out in the 11th inning of a tie game and a runner on second base, Brennan Boesch came through, smacking a two-run walk-off home run for Pawtucket’s second straight come-from-behind win.
“You don’t even get opportunities to get up in those situations a lot,” Boesch said after pulling the full-count breaking ball over the fence in right, “so when you come through, whether it’s a hit or a homer, it feels good.”
Boesch also doubled in the game and crossed home plate twice. The 31-year-old has three multi-hit performances in his last five games. He’s batting .268 in 17 games with Pawtucket.
— Henry Owens stuck out a season-high-tying nine batters. He allowed two runs on five hits in five innings, and his two walks tied a season low. Owens, 24, has lasted at least five innings in his five previous starts. He is 6-5 with a 4.17 ERA in 18 minor league starts.
“He had some swing-and-miss weapons and better command overall,” manager Kevin Boles said. “But he just burned through his pitch count and they worked deep counts on him.”
— Relievers Kyle Martin and Noe Ramirez combined to pitch six shutout innings. Martin kept Rochester hitless for three innings after replacing Owens, and Ramirez struck out five and let up just two hits in three innings of work. Martin, Boston’s No. 25 prospect at MLB.com, has allowed only one run in his last nine outings, while Ramirez now has 26 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched.
— Jantzen Witte went 2-for-4, tying the game in the seventh with an RBI double. The 26-year-old is averaging .387 in his last eight games, with five multi-hit outings in that span. Overall, he is slashing .270/.350/.395 in 85 games.
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