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Sunday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Brandon Workman vs. Corey Kluber 06.15.14 at 9:48 am ET
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The Red Sox will close out their four-game series against the Indians on Father’€™s Day, as Brandon Workman will face off against Corey Kluber at Fenway Park.

Workman (1-0, 2.86 ERA) was brilliant in his last start against the Orioles on Tuesday, holding Baltimore to just one hit and no runs over 6 2/3 innings. The Texas native had a no-hitter in the works until Ryan Flaherty broke it up with a single in the sixth inning.

“I was not really thinking about it,”€ Workman said after the game. “€œI was just trying to stay in the moment and keep executing pitches and keep working each batter. Not getting ahead of myself.”

Workman could have pitched deeper in the game, but two rain delays prompted Boston manager John Farrell to pull him in the seventh after just 67 pitches.

Workman has proven himself to be a more than capable starter at the major league level, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.90 ERA in seven career starts with the Red Sox.

Workman was solid in his last start against the Indians on June 4, giving up four hits and three earned runs in five innings of work. Sunday will mark Workman’€™s second career appearance against Cleveland.

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Read More: Brandon Workman, Corey Kluber, Indians, Red Sox
Jake Peavy’s promising (if not taxing) start wasted by Red Sox bats, bullpen at 8:09 am ET
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On most occasions, allowing 11 men to reach base in an outing would spell doom for any starting pitcher.

That was not the case for Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy Saturday, who battled and maneuvered his way through six high-pressure innings against the Indians, churning out his best start in over a month.

And yet, in a cruel twist of fate that only a game as unpredictable as baseball can produce, Boston’€™s normally lockdown bullpen, coupled with an anemic lineup, ultimately could not help deliver Peavy his second win of the season, as the Red Sox fell to the Indians, 3-2, snapping their abrupt two-game winning streak.

It was a disheartening affair for Peavy, as the former Cy Young Award winner labored through two separate bases-loaded situations while stranding seven Cleveland runners in scoring position, only to ultimately come up short.

“€œWins and losses are all that matter, and we lost,” Peavy said after the game. “€œObviously, there’€™s disappointment.”

Scanning through most of Peavy’€™s final stat line was certainly not easy on the eyes:  six innings pitched, seven hits, two walks, two hit batters. However, what mattered most was just one earned run allowed – a mark that Peavy has not been able to do since April 25 against the Blue Jays.

“I thought Jake did a great job with making a number of big pitches with men on, men in scoring position,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after the game. “€œThere were opportunities on both sides that came up empty. You can credit good pitching on both sides to make a key pitch. Jake gave us a quality start.”

While Peavy (1-4, 4.53 ERA) has struggled to find his bearings for most of the 2014 campaign, the Mobile, Ala., native has excelled in navigating through danger in his outings. Batters are hitting just .189 (7-for-37) against Peavy with two outs and runners in scoring position this season.

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Read More: A.J. Pierzynski, Indians, jake peavy, John Farrell
Closing Time: Sox bullpen falters, Indians snap Boston’s seven-game home win streak 06.14.14 at 7:31 pm ET
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Entering Saturday’€™s game, the Red Sox bullpen posted a collective 2.90 ERA – good for sixth lowest in baseball this season.

However, Boston’€™s usually stout relief corps would cost the team Saturday, as the Indians scored two runs off of lefty Craig Breslow in the seventh en route to a 3-2 win at Fenway Park.

The loss snaps Boston’€™s brief two-game win streak and seven-game home winning streak, which originated on May 28 against the Braves.The Red Sox are now 8-15 this season in one-run games this season.

With the Red Sox leading 2-1 going into the seventh, Breslow entered the game and surrendered two-straight singles to Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley, putting runners at the corners with no outs.

Jason Kipnis followed with a groundout to Dustin Pedroia, who proceeded to throw home in an attempt to retire the advancing Cabrera. While the throw was in time, Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski mishandled the ball, allowing Cabrera to score and put runners on first and second.

After walking David Murphy to load the bases, Breslow was pulled for Junichi Tazawa, who proceeded to walk Carlos Santana, forcing in a run and giving Cleveland a 3-2 lead. It was the first time that Tazawa has walked in a run in his major-league career.

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Read More: Craig Breslow, Indians, jake peavy, junichi tazawa
Red Sox pregame notes: Stephen Drew faces ‘biggest test’ in BP; Brock Holt starts in right field at 2:56 pm ET
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It was going to be judgment day for Stephen Drew. That, however, will have to wait until Sunday.

The beleaguered Red Sox shortstop, who hasn’€™t appeared in a game since Sunday after suffering a right oblique injury, took part in batting practice before today’€™s game -€“ an important stepping stone in his eventual return to field.

After the Red Sox‘ 3-2 loss to the Indians, manager John Farrell said Drew would be available Sunday. The shortstop suggested the verdict regarding his availability would be determined after seeing how he feels prior to the series finale.

Speaking to the media after his afternoon workout session, Drew seemed encouraged, albeit vague, on the progress of his injury.

“€œIt’€™s alright, we’€™re still working through it. So far, it’€™s pretty good,” Drew said. “€œI’€™m still working through things, I’€™m going to test some other things out and go from there.”

Drew acknowledged that the BP session went as he thought it would, adding that his return is still a work in progress.

“€œI mean, I’€™ve never had this [injury], so I’€™m just trying to work through it like I said and see where we’€™re at and we got to do some more things and go through some tests, so we’€™ll see where we’€™re at at the end,”€ Drew said.

Drew added: “To start with, it wasn’€™t tolerable (when the injury first occurred). These extra days and stuff, it’€™s obviously I could swing a bat and stuff like that. Like I said, just working through things, trying to get at game speed and go from there.”

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Read More: Brock Holt, Indians, John Farrell, Red Sox
Friday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: John Lackey vs. Justin Masterson 06.13.14 at 8:20 am ET
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The Red Sox and Indians will face off in the second game of a four-game series on Friday, as John Lackey will face off against Justin Masterson at Fenway Park.

Lackey (7-4, 3.18 ERA) was great once again in his last start against the Tigers on Sunday, surrendering just three runs (two earned) over eight innings of work. However, the righty was in line for a loss, as his team trailed 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning.

Lackey’€™s great performance would be saved by David Ortiz, who crushed an offering from Joba Chamberlain into the right-field bleachers for a three-run home run, giving Boston a 5-3 lead that the team would not relinquish.

“We have that sense pretty much every time he hits,” Lackey said after the game. “He’€™s special. It’€™s funny, you almost expect it.”

Lackey received the loss in his last start against the Indians on June 2, despite pitching a complete game. He allowed eight hits and three earned runs over eight innings.

In 18 career starts against Cleveland, Lackey is 7-8 with a 3.93 ERA.

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Read More: Indians, john lackey, justin masterson, Red Sox
Closing Time: Jon Lester, Red Sox bats bounce back at Fenway Park in taking series opener against Indians 06.12.14 at 10:19 pm ET
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Thursday night, Jon Lester did what aces are expected to do — get their teams moving in the right direction.

Coming off arguably his worst outing of the season, Saturday in Detroit, Lester dominated the Indians through five innings at Fenway Park. The lefty escaped after a pair of runs in the sixth to lead the Red Sox, finishing with a strong 7 2/3-inning outing, and lifting the Red Sox to a 5-2 win over Cleveland.

Lester struck out three of the first four batters he faced and never looked back. He allowed two runs — one earned — on eight hits, with one walk and four strikeouts to improve to 7-7 with a 3.33 ERA this season. He threw 72 of his 109 pitches for strikes.

The Red Sox returned home after an ugly 2-7 road trip, finally showing some life at the plate. The Sox’ five runs were more than they scored in the entire Baltimore series, having scored just once in three games against the Orioles. The hosts collected eight hits off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin.

David Ortiz hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning for the Sox’ second and third runs of the game. Mike Napoli was 2-for-4 and scored Boston’s first run in the second inning. Daniel Nava was 3-for-5 and is 9 for his last 22 since his return to the Sox June 2.

Brock Holt‘s hitless night Wednesday ended his 10-game hitting streak, but he got a new one started Thursday with a 2-for-4 night that included a two-run double to left field in the sixth to score Jonathan Herrera and Jackie Bradley.

The Red Sox improved to 30-36 for the season with the win. Here is what went right (and wrong) for John Farrell‘s team:

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Read More: Indians, Jon Lester, Red Sox,
Tuesday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Jake Peavy vs. T.J. House 06.03.14 at 9:02 am ET
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The Red Sox will face the Indians in the middle game of a three-game series on Tuesday, sending Jake Peavy to the mound against rookie southpaw T.J. House.

Peavy (1-2, 4.50 ERA) was efficient in his last start on May 29 against the Braves, holding Atlanta to three earned runs over a season-high eight innings. It was a return to form for the former Cy Young Award winner, as Peavy had allowed a total of 16 earned runs over his three previous starts.

“Peavy was great,” said catcher David Ross after the game. “I thought Peavy was as good as you’re going to get for him. I mean, he threw really well.”

Despite his solid start, Peavy was in line for the loss, as the Red Sox trailed 3-1 in the eighth inning. Peavy would be saved from a loss in the bottom of the frame, as Boston rallied for two runs to tie the game. The Sox would score again in the bottom of the ninth, as a Xander Bogaerts single and an error from Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. to score, giving Boston the 4-3 victory.

“The boys battled hard,” Peavy said. “Their guy [Braves starter Mike Minor] did a really good job, but we stayed in it, caught some breaks early and got some big hits late and caught some breaks there in the ninth.”

Peavy’s last start against the Indians came on April 14, 2013, when Peavy was still a member of the White Sox. In that appearance, Peavy was dominant, holding Cleveland to just one run over seven innings while striking out 11.

In 11 career starts against the Indians, Peavy is 5-3 with a 3.93 ERA.

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Read More: Indians, jake peavy, Red Sox, T.J. House
Power Rankings: Rating potential Red Sox postseason opponents 09.17.13 at 9:48 am ET
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“We still have work to do.”

This has become Red Sox manager John Farrell’s mantra leading into the final 11 games. But the reality is that the work to be done isn’t about the regular season, but rather what awaits come Oct. 4. That’s when the Sox will kick off their best-of-five American League Division Series against some yet-to-be-determined team.

So, with the reality of a playoff series looming, let’s take a look at which teams the Red Sox will most want to face, and which ones they’ll probably want to steer clear of:

 1. Athletics

The A’s have the second-best record in the American League, standing three games in back of the Red Sox. But the reason why they get the nod over the ultra-talented Tigers is for the simple reason that Bob Melvin‘s club is red hot. Sure, they got blown out by the Angels on Monday night, but since Aug. 26 they are 16-5 and had won eight of nine games before their latest loss.

Record vs. Red Sox: 3-3

Why Red Sox won’t want to play them: During the A’s recent run (starting on Aug. 26), they have three pitchers with ERAs under 2.00 — Bartolo Colon (4 starts, 1.13 ERA), Sonny Gray (3 starts, 1.83 ERA) and Dan Straily (4 starts, 1.90 ERA). Colon, in particular, has given the Sox trouble, allowing two runs in 13 2/3 innings this season. The A’s also possess the same kind of opportunistic success that has characterized the Red Sox, carrying a .342 batting average with runners in scoring position over the last 21 games.

Why Red Sox will want to play them: Two of the A’s hottest pitchers (Gray, Straily) are, for all intents and purposes, rookies. They haven’t faced a Red Sox lineup that has fared quite well against newbie hurlers this season. Also, during Oakland’s hot stretch, its bullpen hasn’t exactly been lights out, carrying a 4.81 ERA in that span, with hitters managing a .314 batting average against closer Grant Balfour in the last three weeks of games.

2. Tigers

Considered by many as the American League’s most talented team from top to bottom, the American League Central-leading Tigers are one game behind Oakland and four games in back of the Sox. After treading water in recent weeks, Detroit has managed to find something of a groove lately, winning five of their last six games (albeit with three of the wins coming against the Mariners and the White Sox). Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Athletics, Indians, Rangers, Rays
For Shane Victorino, visit to Cleveland represents what could have been 04.16.13 at 3:30 pm ET
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Shane Victorino was coming off the worst season of his career. But when he reached free agency, it didn’t feel like it. The 32-year-old encountered considerable interest in multi-year deals from multiple teams, with two positioning themselves as his most aggressive suitors.

He ended up signing, of course, with the Red Sox, who gave him a three-year, $39 million deal. However, he only landed in Boston after giving considerable thought to the possibility of joining up with the Indians, who had a four-year, $43 million deal on the table.

Cleveland made a strong pitch to Victorino, suggesting that he was part of an offseason strategy that would yield an aggressive approach to the free agent market. New Indians manager Terry Francona was part of the pitch.

“I didn’t know who was going to come calling [in free agency], but I took every offer seriously, took everything in perspective. In the end, I chose [Boston], but no hard feelings against Cleveland,” Victorino said on Monday. “You look at the moves [the Indians] made after I signed here, throughout the offseason, that made their team better — [Michael] Bourn, [Nick] Swisher. Having Terry as their manager now, a guy that has managed World Series teams’€¦ Obviously, there was definitely hopes of being a winning team there and turning things around, so there was some definite interest. There was no hard feelings anywhere. I just thought Boston might be a better fit for me.”

Victorino talked to Francona early in the free agent process. Immediately, the outfielder could understand the appeal of playing for the former Red Sox skipper. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Indians, Shane Victorino,
It appears Daisuke Matsuzaka will begin season in minor leagues 03.18.13 at 6:02 pm ET
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Daisuke Matsuzaka‘€™s career hit another bump in the road Monday.

The former Red Sox pitcher was told by former Red Sox manager Terry Francona that he would not be making the Indians’€™ major league team. The Indians manager also informed veteran Matt Capps he also wouldn’€™t be breaking camp with the big league team.

Both Matsuzaka and Capps were with the Indians on minor league deals.

‘€œJust didn’€™t want to create any unrealistic expectations, thought it was respectful to tell them,’€ Francona told reporters.

Matsuzaka only pitched eight innings in spring training, totaling a 2.25 ERA while allowing 10 hits. He was recently battling leg cramps.

There is a strong possibility the right-hander will remain in the Cleveland organization, possibly pitching for Triple-A Columbus.

‘€œHaving Tito here is big,’€ Matsuzaka told reporters through translator Jeff Cutler. ‘€œIn speaking with Tito and [Cleveland general manager] Chris [Antonetti] this morning, they told me that they want me on this club and they see me on this club. Having heard that directly from them, definitely made me feel comfortable staying here.’€

Scott Kazmir, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber are contending for the Indians’ fifth starter spot.

If Matsuzaka had made the major league roster, the 32-year-old would have made $1.5 million with the chance to bump that up to $4 million with incentives.

‘€œThis is not the end,’€ he told reporters. ‘€œThis is definitely not the end.’€

Read More: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Indians, Terry Francona,
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