|Closing Time: Jackie Bradley Jr., David Ortiz homer in Red Sox’ third straight win||06.30.15 at 10:11 pm ET|
Is it too soon to say the Red Sox may be building some momentum and turning a corner?
For just the third time all season (79 games) the Red Sox have won three games in a row as they held on to beat the Blue Jays, 4-3 Tuesday night in Toronto. It was also their ninth win in their last 14 games.
The Red Sox scored two runs in the first inning without even recording a hit against Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada. The right-hander walked four, including two with the bases loaded as the Sox grabbed a 2-0 lead before the Blue Jays even stepped to the plate.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Ortiz each hit solo home runs in the second and third innings respectively to force Estrada from the game after just 2 1/3 innings. Ortiz’s was absolutely crushed — 468 feet to right field for his 13th home run of the season.
Eduardo Rodriguez faced the Blue Jays just over two weeks ago and allowed nine runs in 4 2/3 innings, but Tuesday the left-hander got some revenge. The rookie went six innings allowing one run on four hits, while walking two and striking out four. He threw 97 pitches with a season-high nine swing and misses.
Rodriguez improved to 4-2 with a 3.92 ERA on the year.
Tommy Layne relieved Rodriguez for the seventh inning and allowed a two-run homer to Jose Reyes, which cut the Red Sox lead to one at 4-3, but the Red Sox bullpen was able to hold on. Koji Uehara earned his 18th save with a perfect ninth inning. It was his third appearance in the last three days.
The Red Sox have now took the first two games of the four-game series.
Here’s what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
Ramirez was sent back to Boston when the team was in Tampa Bay, but rejoined them in Toronto. Rusney Castillo is in Toronto part of the “taxi squad,” which allows him to be with the team for a day in case a move was to be made with Ramirez. But, it appears he won’t be needed.
“Hanley has had a good day so far,’ Sox manager John Farrell said to reporters before the game. “He’ll take regular BP here today. He swung in the cage earlier so he’s making pretty solid progress over the last 24 hours.”
Alejandro De Aza gets another start in left field, as he’s made the most of his playing time. Jackie Bradley Jr. once again starts in right field as the Red Sox lineup goes up against right-hander Marco Estrada.
Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Jackie Bradley Jr. shines at plate, in field; Marco Hernandez continues to rake in Portland||06.24.15 at 8:33 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (35-37): W, 5-3, vs. Rochester (Twins)
— Jackie Bradley Jr. had another great night for the PawSox, going 3-for-4 with a double, walk, RBI, run scored, stolen base and sensational catch in center field. Racing into the gap in the second inning, Bradley helped limit the Rochester damage to just one run as he leaped for a catch to take away extra bases. In the bottom half of the frame, Bradley doubled home Deven Marrero. In the bottom of the seventh, Bradley singled and scored the winning run as Carlos Peguero drove him in to break a 3-3 tie.
Over 50 games with the PawSox this year Bradley’s slash line is .325/.403/.475. Bradley, a lefty hitter, is batting .338 against right-handed pitchers, to go with .293 against southpaws. Over the past three contests Bradley is 6-for-11 with three walks, two RBIs and three runs scored.
— Peguero’s two-run single in the seventh proved to be the difference. The 28-year-old outfielder has driven in 12 in just six games in Pawtucket, going 9-for-23 (.391) with three homers and two doubles. Peguero did commit his first error with Pawtucket, leading to an unearned run in the second inning.
— Catcher Ryan Hanigan went 2-for-3 with a walk as the DH in his second rehab game for the PawSox. The veteran backstop had been on the disabled list since May 2, undergoing surgery to repair a fractured finger on his right hand.
— RHP Keith Couch (3-7, 4.96 ERA) had a no-hitter through six innings before allowing his first hit, a single, to the leadoff batter in the seventh. Couch was touched up for two earned runs in the frame before giving way to RHP Dalier Hinojosa, who recorded the final out via strikeout and earned the win (3-0). RHP Dayan Diaz pitched two scoreless innings for his second save.
|Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen on D&C: ‘Nobody’s happy where we’re sitting here today’||06.18.15 at 10:13 am ET|
Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the Sox, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr. and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Having lost eight of their last nine after dropping Wednesday’s game to the Braves 5-2, falling to last in the American League, Hazen said the mood around the baseball operations people is nothing short of disappointed.
“I think we’re remaining optimistic about the team,” he added. “I think nobody’s happy where we’re sitting here today. You know, it’s unfortunate, and we deserve to be where we are. We haven’t played very well on the course of the season. We need to work to at least see this through for the moves that we made that we believe in, that we think these guys are going to continue to perform and get better, and we need to continue to look at the roster and ways that we, at least as a baseball operations side of things, can impact this.
“What moves can we make to the roster, how can we make additions, are there things that we need to look at as we move into the trading deadline season, all those things. So that’s sort of the focus as we’re shifting forward, but the fact remains we need to play better, and we need to do a better job in the front office and we haven’t done that yet.”
During Wednesday night’s game, Pablo Sandoval’s Instagram account liked a picture, but Hazen said he had no knowledge of the situation. There is no confirmation that it was in fact Sandoval, as many times athletes have other people run their social media accounts.
“This is the first I’m hearing about it,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing but great things from Pablo, nothing that I’ve seen. He’s a great teammate, and he plays his butt off. I was in the clubhouse last night during the game, I didn’t see him so I’m not really sure, but I’m sure we’ll find out more about that today.”
A lot was said of outfielder Rusney Castillo when he signed a $72.5 million contract last summer, but he’s had some trouble producing consistently at the major league level. In his past 22 games, Castillo is 16-for-70 with a .229/.260/.286 slash line and just two extra-base hits.
“Obviously we love the speed, the defense, the ability to impact the ball from a raw strength standpoint, but this guy’s still trying to get his timing down,” Hazen said. “I realize the commitment that was made from a financial standpoint, so results are expected right away. It’s still a guy within the first 100 plate appearances of this season at the major league level. As we watch guys move into that phase at the major league level, as they’re getting attacked a lot differently than they do when they’re either in triple-A, or somewhere else or even September last year when you’re facing a lot of September call-ups in a lot of cases, this is a more challenging environment.
|Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Allen Craig homers; Aaron Wilkerson impresses again; Sam Travis on fire||at 8:47 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:
— The PawSox had a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning, but could not hold it as right-hander Noe Ramirez surrendered a three-run home run on the second pitch he threw in relief of Zeke Spruill. The first two Charlotte batters had reached via a walk and a fielder’s choice, the latter a comebacker that Spruill threw into the back of the lead runner digging for second base. Spruill was not charged with an error as second baseman Mike Miller didn’t initially break to cover the bag, leading to hesitation on Spruill’s throw.
For Ramirez, a fourth-round draft choice of Boston in 2011, it was the first homer he had allowed since August 6, 2013, a span of 59 appearances and broke a string of four straight scoreless outings since he came off the DL on May 28 (right forearm strain). The updated numbers for Ramirez on the season are: 20 2/3 IP, 16 H, 6 ER, 9 BB, 19 SO. Opposing hitters are hitting at just a .219 clip against him.
The Charlotte long ball was the second of the game for Trayce Thompson, as he also had a two-run shot in the fourth off of Pawtucket starter Jess Todd (4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO). Thompson also had a two-homer game against the PawSox on June 8 in Pawtucket.
— Allen Craig had tied the game at four with a leadoff home run in the sixth inning, before Pawtucket then took the lead in the seventh on a Jackie Bradley Jr. double and a Bryce Brentz RBI single.
For Craig, it was his third home run as a member of the PawSox since his arrival on May 12, an opposite field line drive on an outside fastball on the first pitch of the sixth. Craig has hits in 20 of his 27 games with Pawtucket with a slash line of .296/.406/.426. Craig ended the game as he was called out on strikes with a runner aboard.
|Saturday Red Sox Farm Report: Pawtucket walks off in 12th inning on Jackie Bradley Jr. double; Javier Guerra hits 2 home runs in Greenville win||06.13.15 at 8:22 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (31-31): W, 3-2 (12 innings), vs. Toledo (Tigers)
— After Deven Marrero walked to lead off the bottom of the 12th inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. drove him in with a two-out, walkoff double to bring the PawSox back to .500. Bradley Jr. finished 2-for-2 with two doubles, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, a sacrifice bunt and the game-winning RBI. In 41 games with Pawtucket this season, he is hitting .333 with four home runs, 15 doubles and 14 RBIs.
– Travis Shaw is riding a five-game hitting streak, going 2-for-5 Friday. Shaw, who played third base, is hitting .251 in 55 games with Pawtucket this season.
— Right-hander Keith Couch started for Pawtucket, going six innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Left-hander Edwin Escobar pitched the seventh and eighth innings in a rehab appearance, allowing just one hit and striking out two. Dalier Hinojosa came on in the ninth and pitched three scoreless innings, tying a season high. The righty gave up two hits and two walks and struck out one.
— Noe Ramirez recorded the win with a scoreless 12th inning. The 25-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 11 appearances this season.
|Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Jackie Bradley homers; Travis Shaw adjusts; Sam Travis an All-Star||06.12.15 at 8:19 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (30-31): W, 5-3, vs. Toledo (Tigers)
— Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. drilled his fourth home run of the season to tie the game at 3 in the fifth, pulling a 1-2 pitch over the right-center wall. It was the second time this season Bradley has homered off Toledo right-hander Buck Farmer. Bradley also walked twice. Since returning from a brief Boston stint in late May (after Rusney Castillo’s call-up), Bradley has started 16 straight games for the PawSox, hitting 18-for-61 (.295) with three homers and four doubles. His .325 season average is third best in the International League.
— Travis Shaw (Boston’s No. 21 prospect at MLB.com) stayed hot, perhaps aided by Toledo center fielder Xavier Avery, as Shaw tripled off the base of the wall on a ball that Avery lost in the Pawtucket twilight in the fifth inning. Shaw is 7-for-16 in his last four games and has raised his average from .217 to .248 over an 11-game span.
In an interview with WEEI.com on Tuesday, Shaw admitted he’s had a different feeling at the plate lately.
“Pretty confident the past three or four weeks,” Shaw said. “I’ve felt a lot more consistent at the plate. I’m coming in with a plan every single day, and I’ve been able to execute it. I’m trying not to get too anxious. When you’re pushing for results you tend to swing at a lot of things. Trying to stay within myself, look for a certain pitch in a certain zone, especially early in the count.”
Shaw was a third baseman in college at Kent State, but most of his time in professional baseball has been across the diamond at first base. But this year Shaw has begun to play a lot more at third again, including Thursday’s game.
“They’ve thrown me back over there this year,” Shaw said of getting third base reps back. “I’ve gotten more and more comfortable. Maybe not an All-Star caliber, but I think I’m good enough to play it. I prefer first, but I know third will benefit me more, especially at the big league level.”
— RHP Pat Light, a converted starter and the closer for Double-A Portland before his promotion on Monday, made his Triple-A debut Thursday and retired the heart of the Toldeo order on nine pitches to earn his first Pawtucket save. Light, a first-round draft pick by Boston in 2012 out of Monmouth University, struck out cleanup hitter Steven Moya on a split-finger fastball falling out of the zone, then got two shallow fly balls outs to end the frame. That’s now 18 of 21 appearances on the season for Light without allowing an earned run.
|Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Henry Owens struggles, Jackie Bradley Jr. extends hitting streak in PawSox loss; Jake Romanski notches 4 RBIs in Salem rout||06.05.15 at 8:29 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (27-28): L, 4-1, at Rochester (Twins)
— Left-hander Henry Owens started Thursday, going five innings and allowing all four Rochester runs on four hits and three walks. The 22-year-old also struck out seven, bringing his strikeout total for 2015 to 49. Owens fell to 2-4 and has a 3.49 ERA in 11 starts this season.
— Pawtucket’s only run came in the first inning as shortstop Deven Marrero hit a one-out double to left and scored on a single by Allen Craig. It was the only damage against Rochester starter Taylor Rodgers, who allowed six hits in eight-plus innings. Craig had two of those hits, going 2-for-4 to improve his average to .319. The first-inning double was Marrero’s only hit of the game, as he finished the day 1-for-4.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his hitting streak, now at nine games, with an eighth-inning single to left field. He is hitting .348 in 34 games with Pawtucket.
– With Thursday’s loss, the PawSox fell below .500 for the first time this season.
|Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Jackie Bradley Jr. extends hit streak; Portland walks off with win; Yoan Moncada struggling defensively||06.04.15 at 8:33 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday, June 3:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (27-27): L 5-1 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)
— It was a bullpen day for Pawtucket as starter Brian Johnson (WEEI.com Pawtucket Player of the Month for May) was skipped in the rotation to ease his workload, a move Red Sox manager John Farrell described as a “typical approach taken with all starters“. Farrell said he expects Johnson to make his next scheduled start next Monday at McCoy Stadium. In Johnson’s place on Wednesday Miguel Celestino made his first start since 2012, taking the loss despite allowing just one run in three innings of work.
— Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. had a hit to extend his hit streak to eight games. Despite his recent surge and his season long Triple-A average of .351, another call-up of Bradley to Boston does not appear imminent. Farrell was asked about Bradley at his pregame press conference Wednesday and responded, “Swinging the bat well. Everything that I have says he’s swinging the bat as he has when camp broke and that is an all field approach. There’s nothing that says he’s on his way back here, though.”
— Pawtucket’s offense managed just one run and three hits in the afternoon affair as Yankees’ prospect Bryan Mitchell (New York’s No. 13 prospect MLB.com) overcame seven walks to pitch six scoreless innings. Pawtucket catcher Matt Spring hit a solo home run in the seventh for the PawSox’ only run of the ballgame, and their final hit of the day. It was Scranton’s seventh win in the last eight against Pawtucket.
— Pitcher Kyle Kraus was promoted from Double-A Portland and made his PawSox debut, closing out the game with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Kraus, a 5-foot-11 righty, struck out two and did not walk a batter. A seventh round draft pick by Boston in 2012, he’s made nine appearances in Portland this year, mostly in long relief work, giving up 21 earned runs in 29 2/3 innings.
|Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Brian Johnson, Jantzen Witte among top players in May; Jackie Bradley Jr. has eventful night for PawSox||06.03.15 at 9:04 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday, along with the WEEI.com picks for May Players of the Month:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (27-26): L, 3-2, at Scranton/Wilke-Barre (Yankees)
After an impressive 14-8 record in April the PawSox had their share of team struggles in May with a 12-17 record. The squad hit just .229 with 19 home runs. Despite taking 17 defeats, however, the pitching staff did collectively have a 3.30 ERA with just 13 home runs allowed.
The WEEI.com PawSox Player of the Month for May, pacing the starting rotation, is Brian Johnson. In six starts, Johnson (Boston’s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com) had a 3-2 record with a collective line of: 34 1/3 IP, 14 R, 14 ER, 33 SO, 8 BB, good for a 3.67 ERA. The first start of the month was a clunker for Johnson as he allowed seven runs on May 3 and lasted just 2 2/3 innings. Over his final five outings, however, Johnson’s ERA was just 1.99, including finishing with six perfect innings in his May 29 start in a nine-strikeout performance.
May honorable mention:
Henry Owens, P (1-2, 2.43 ERA, 6 starts, 33 1/3 IP, 23 SO, 18 BB, .209 BA against)
Dana Eveland, P (1 Save, 0.00 ERA, 11 2/3 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 11 SO, 2 BB, .178 BA against)
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF (.400/.438/.600, 11 games, 2 HR, 3 2B, 5 RBI, 7 R)
Allen Craig, RF (.328/.431/.443, 16 games, 1 HR, 4 2B, 4 RBI, 6 R)
Travis Shaw, 1B (.255/.336/.402, 27 games, 4 HR, 3 2B, 15 RBI, 13 R)
— Tuesday certainly was an interesting night for Jackie Bradley Jr., as he was involved in four failed Pawtucket scoring opportunities. In the first, Bradley had a leadoff double to extend his hit streak to seven games, but he was stranded. In the third, Bradley popped out with runners on second and third. Bradley singled but was stranded at third base in the sixth after Pawtucket had loaded the bases. And in the seventh with two aboard and two outs, Bradley was called out on batter’s interference as he picked up a ball in play off the catcher’s mitt that Bradley thought he had fouled off. Over his hit streak, Bradley is 12-for-28 (.428) with two home runs and two doubles.
— Bryce Brentz crushed a two-run home run to right-center on a 2-0 count in the eighth inning to pull Pawtucket within a run. After hitting .297 in April with 10 extra-base hits, Brentz struggled in May as he hit just .175 with four hits for extra bases. Tuesday’s home run was the first for Brentz since May 18. Brentz, Boston’s No. 22 prospect at MLB.com and a first-round draft pick in 2010, has had strikeout problems as he’s whiffed at least once in 40 of 45 starts this year.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Red Sox sign five more draftees, including first-round pick Benintendi
- 2015 Annual Drive - Help Keep SoxProspects Free! (close to goal)
- Cup of Coffee: Margot helps Portland earn split as part of crazy Monday schedule
- Weekly Notes: Top prospects on the move
- Cup of Coffee: Salem, Greenville bullpens fall apart, Pawtucket wins in extras
- Cup of Coffee: Margot homers in Hadlock debut
- Cup of Coffee: Dubon, Miller shine in Salem debuts
- Notes from the Field: Margot's Double-A debut and more
- Cup of Coffee: Portland welcomes new call-ups, Moncada has big night
- Dubon promoted to Salem, Jerez to Portland in series of roster moves