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Red Sox pregame notes: Jacoby Ellsbury ‘on target'; taking stock of Sox’ Fenway success; Jake Peavy fine; Jose De La Torre to the Brewers 09.13.13 at 5:46 pm ET
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Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, whose right foot was put in an immobilizing boot last week with what was diagnosed as a small, non-displaced compression fracture in his foot, took a step forward in his rehab on Friday. He’s receiving ongoing treatment for his foot, but on Friday, he was able to commence physical activity, including some work outside of the boot,” said manager John Farrell. “Based on the exam and second opinion, this was the day, the first date we could begin that. So he’€™s on target.”

Ellsbury, who suffered the injury when he fouled a ball off his foot on Aug. 28, has now sat out for eight days. The Sox remain hopeful that he will be able to return to games within the remaining 16 days of the regular season.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

— The Red Sox are entering their final regular season homestand of 2013 with the best home record in the American League, a gaudy 47-25 mark (.653). Interestingly, while the team does have a better batting line at home, hitting .287 with a .356 OBP and .469 slugging mark (as compared to a .265/.341/.421 line on the road), the difference in the team’s bottom-line scoring average has been negligible, with the Sox scoring 5.22 runs per game at home and 5.17 per contest on the road. That perhaps underscores the notion that the Sox weren’t built for Fenway Park, per se, with the exception of the signing of Shane Victorino to provide center field-caliber defense in Boston’s expansive right field. Still, the Sox were mindful of the bigger picture fit of players in Boston.

“The bigger picture was who would embrace the environment here, the challenges that are presented,” said Farrell. “And that’€™s probably common through the eight or nine free agents that were signed.”

The Sox would have to go 9-0 on this homestand in order to match the 2009 team’s 56 wins at Fenway Park. However, that team went 56-25 at home while struggling to a 39-42 mark on the road.

— Farrell said that there is no fixed formula regarding whether the team needs to see a starter in the bullpen before using him in a relief role in the postseason.

“That depends on who that might be,” said Farrell. “Going with a four-man rotation versus five, who is the guy that comes out? Has there been some experience there before? Do we trim back a pitcher because we’€™ll need an extra position player? That’€™s kind of a sliding scale to a point right now.”

Jake Peavy felt no residual effects from taking a liner off his right wrist at the end of his game against the Rays on Thursday.

— Right-hander Jose De La Torre — who was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Clay Buchholz on Tuesday — was claimed off waivers by the Brewers. The 27-year-old right-hander had a 6.35 ERA with 15 strikeouts and 10 walks in 11 1/3 innings in the big leagues this year. He had a 2.75 ERA with 10.1 strikeouts and 4.6 walks per nine in 52 1/3 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket.

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Jose De La Torre shows he is in hunt for more permanent reliever role 07.23.13 at 1:01 am ET
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With the Red Sox close to the trade deadline and Andrew Miller and Andrew Bailey out for the rest of the season with injuries, the expectation is that the Red Sox will try to acquire a reliable relief pitcher to stabilize their bullpen as they make a push for the playoffs. However, Drake Britton and Pedro Beato both let Red Sox management know that they are ready to contribute when they each pitched a scoreless extra inning to help the Red Sox top the Yankees 8-7 Sunday night.

They are not the only youngsters making a name for themselves though, as rookie Jose De La Torre followed suit with what Britton and Beato in Monday night’€™s loss to the Rays.

De La Torre only allowed one run while striking out three in 2 2/3 innings of relief Monday, and kept the Red Sox close with the Rays until the very end of the game.

‘€œHe is another young guy who is learning each time he goes to the mound, but tonight was probably the most impressive outing he has had for us,’€ Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ‘€œHis ability to attack the strike zone got some early outs and gave us two-plus innings of much needed relief.’€

The performance was an important one for the Red Sox, even if they did not come back to at least tie the game. De La Torre chewed up nearly the rest of the game after starter Brandon Workman left the game after six innings, giving the bullpen a necessary rest.

De La Torre was the only member of the bullpen not used in Sunday night’€™s win over the Yankees. So when he took the mound Monday night, finishing the game without another reliever having to pitch was a goal for him.

‘€œIn my head I was just ‘€” ‘€˜Finish the game, I can do it,’€™’€ De La Torre said. ‘€œI got two outs in the ninth. I just wanted to finish the game and give those guys a rest because they have been pitching a lot lately.’€

Perhaps some of the success De La Torre had in the outing stemmed from his experience with facing the Rays lineup. In his five outings at the major league level, De La Torre has faced the Rays three times, allowing two runs on three hits through seven innings while striking out eight.

The 27-year-old first made an impression in the World Baseball Classic this past spring, when he struck out 12 batters through 5 2/3 innings while pitching for Puerto Rico. He kept that success going into his time with Triple-A Pawtucket this year, where he has a 1.74 ERA with 49 strikeouts through 41 1/3 innings pitched.

De La Torre said he is feeling more comfortable on the mound with each major league appearance. That is good news for the Red Sox, who have several internal options at relief pitcher ‘€” including De La Torre, Britton, Beato, Steven Wright, and Rubby De La Rosa. That type of pitching depth is a testament to the quality of the Red Sox scouting department according to Beato.

‘€œObviously the scouting department here has done a great job of drafting a lot of great players, and it shows,’€ Beato said. ‘€œIt shows with the guys who are growing up here and the guys they are getting externally’€¦ We just can control what we can and just get people out. After all this is said and done this is up to the front office to decide what they are going to do.’€

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Closing Time: Red Sox have no answer for Matt Moore, Rays in shutout loss 07.22.13 at 10:04 pm ET
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The Red Sox had no answer for Matt Moore Monday night, as the lefty made quick work of Boston’€™s lineup on the way to a 3-0 win for the Rays in the teams’ series-opener Monday night at Fenway Park.

With the loss the Red Sox’ lead in the American League East over Tampa Bay shrinks to just 1/2 game. Since June 29, the Rays are now 18-2. It was the seventh time the Sox have been shutout this season, first occasion in which they have succumbed to a complete game blanking by the opponent’s starter.

Moore needed just 96 pitches to get through eight innings on the way to his two-hitter . (The effort was similar to that of Cliff Lee on May 28, who only allowed one run on four hits through an eight-inning, 95-pitch effort at Fenway Park.) The performance marked the sixth straight start in which Moore came away with a win, and his first career complete game.

Boston has struggled against left-handed pitching on the year compared to its performance against righties. While it was batting .285/.356/.463 against right-handed pitching entering Monday night, it was only batting .257/.334/.400 against left-handed pitching.

The poor offensive output spoiled a quality start from rookie Brandon Workman, who only allowed two runs through six innings and gave the Red Sox an opportunity to expand its lead in the American League East.

Here is a look at what went wrong (and right) for the Red Sox, who drop to 60-41:

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– The Rays second run could have been prevented had Ben Zobrist not beaten out an infield single in the fifth inning. However, in a close play, Zobrist outran the a throw from a charging Jose Iglesias, giving the Rays an extra opportunity to score Yunel Escobar.

The play only amounted to one extra Rays run, but with Moore looking unbeatable in the game, the extra run was a valuable insurance run for Tampa Bay.

– Workman was hit early, as Rays tagged him for one run on three hits through 33 pitches in the first inning. His early struggle did not continue over the ensuing three innings, as he only threw 42 pitches over that span. However, the early trouble made his outing significantly shorter than it could have been, and Workman had to come out of the game after six innings despite only allowing two runs.

The heavy pitch count did not ultimately hurt Boston as much as it could have, but Workman had a chance to go deeper into the game and preserve the bullpen even more than he did. Considering the heavy use of the bullpen in the Sunday’€™s Red Sox win over the Yankees, that would have set the Red Sox up nicely for the rest of the series.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

– Workman had a strong first start at Fenway, only allowing two runs on seven hits through six innings pitched. Workman attacked the strike zone, as he threw 66 percent of his 103 pitches for strikes.

While Workman’€™s debut as a reliever did not go very well, the 24-year-old has shown the ability to be an effective major league starter through his first two starts. As a starter, he has a 2.92 ERA and has pitched 12 1/3 innings having allowed only four runs on nine hits while striking out nine and walking three.

– Workman allowed a base hit to Desmond Jennings to start the game, but picked him off at first base. It was the third time a Red Sox pitcher has picked off a runner this season, as Craig Breslow and Felix Doubront have also done it once apiece.

– Mike Napoli was once again the best Red Sox hitter on the night, as he was the only Red Sox batter to reach base through the first five innings. Napoli hit a single off of Moore before walking in the fifth. The offensive success is a part of a recent upward trend for Napoli, who was batting .333/.368/.833 over his last five games entering Monday’€™s game.

– Jose De La Torre turned in a solid relief outing, pitching 2 2/3 innings before ultimately allowing the third Rays run in the ninth. The 50-pitch appearance helped save the Red Sox’ bullpen, which only had to use a four-pitch showing from Breslow to finish things off.

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Red Sox place Andrew Bailey on the DL, recall Jose De La Torre 07.19.13 at 4:06 pm ET
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The Red Sox have placed reliever Andrew Bailey (shoulder) on the disabled list for a second time this season. Taking his place on the roster is Jose De La Torre, who will be available and ready for Friday’s opener against the Yankees.

In 30 games this season, Bailey went 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA with eight saves. In 28 2/3 innings, he allowed 12 earned runs. After Joel Hanrahan went down with season-ending Tommy John surgery, he was tabbed the team’s closer. But after blowing three of six chances, Koji Uehara replaced him in that role and manager John Farrell confirmed that Uehara will stay there on Thursday.

De La Torre is being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. In four appearances with the big league club this season, De La Torre has allowed six runs on seven hits and six walks. In seven innings he has fanned nine. In 24 games with the PawSox, De La Torre has yielded eight earned runs over 41 1/3 innings.

Peter Gammons was first to report the news on Friday.

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Red Sox minor league roundup: Will Middlebrooks turns back the clock; Garin Cecchini unfazed; Travis Shaw, Keury De La Cruz streaking 07.01.13 at 12:14 pm ET
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A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-6 LOSS VS. SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)

(BOX)

Will Middlebrooks had an encouraging contest, going 2-for-4 with a pair of long homers — one to left, one just to the right of center — and a walk. Middlebrooks now has hits in each of his five games since returning to Pawtucket, though the two longballs were his first two extra-base knocks since being optioned. He’s 6-for-21 with a pair of walks, three strikeouts and the two homers since re-joining the PawSox, a line of .286/.348/.571.

Here’s the homer to center:

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Brandon Workman endured his worst results of the year, getting tagged for four homers (a career-high; he’d never before yielded two) and season highs in hits (8) and runs (6) while matching his season-high yield in earned runs (5) and lasting just four innings. As impressive as Workman has been all year — even with Sunday’s struggle, he’s 8-2 with a 3.42 ERA on the year, and 3-1 with a 3.41 mark in Pawtucket — the homers offered a reminder that Workman is a fly ball pitcher whose fastball, when up in the zone, does leave him vulnerable to homers at times. He’s yielded 12 homers in 94 2/3 innings this season (1.1 per nine innings) beween Portland and Pawtucket. Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox place Clayton Mortensen on disabled list; Clay Buchholz expected to avoid DL 06.11.13 at 3:38 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox have placed right-hander Clayton Mortensen on the 15-day disabled list due to a right hip impingement that he has been managing since April. The 28-year-old is 1-2 with a 5.34 ERA this year with 6.2 strikeouts and 4.7 walks per nine innings this year. He threw a scoreless inning on Monday, continuing a year where he’s been outstanding on the road (1.69 ERA) while struggling at Fenway (9.42 ERA).

Mortensen said that he’s been dealing with the impingement since a series against the Orioles in early April. He appeared on April 11, taking the loss while allowing a run in 1 2/3 innings. Starting with that appearance, he has a 5.81 ERA. Prior to that, he’d allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and one walk.

With Mortensen out, Jose De La Torre has returned to the big leagues. The 27-year-old has a 2.17 ERA, 9.9 strikeouts and 5.3 walks per nine in Triple-A this year. He’s given up two runs in two big league innings.

Meanwhile, Red Sox manager John Farrell, in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, suggested that right-hander Clay Buchholz may have his scheduled Friday start against the Orioles “pushed back a couple of days,” but the team expects him to avoid the disabled list. Presumably, the team will free a roster spot for a spot starter — most likely Alfredo Aceves, though Farrell also cited Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa as candidates — on Wednesday by returning De La Torre to Pawtucket. Read the rest of this entry »

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Source: RHP Jose De La Torre set to join Red Sox at 10:13 am ET
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Following Monday night’s 14-inning victory over the Rays in which they used seven relief pitchers, the Red Sox have put in a call to Triple-A reliever Jose De La Torre to join them in St. Petersburg, Fla., according to a league source.

De La Torre, acquired from the Indians last July, had no major league experience until he was called up last month. The 27-year-old right-hander pitched two innings over two games. He allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits and a walk in a 12-4 loss to the Blue Jays on May 14, then he closed out a 9-2 win over the Rays on May 15 with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out the last two batters.

In 16 games with the PawSox this year, De La Torre has a 2.17 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 29 innings.

De La Torre pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic this spring, appearing in six games and striking out 12 while walking only one in 5 2/3 innings.

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