|Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley power Rick Porcello, Red Sox to victory over Mariners||06.18.16 at 7:00 pm ET|
It was only a matter of time.
The Red Sox offense has struggled at times recently, but Adrian Sampson was only going to keep it down for so long.
Held in check for their first two turns through the order, the Red Sox broke through against Sampson during a three-run fifth, driving the rookie from his first big league start and cruising to a 6-2 victory.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts stroked two more hits, including his ninth home run of the season to give the Red Sox an insurance run and make a winner of right-hander Rick Porcello who scattered eight hits over six innings in a solid performance that bordered on terrific after a rough start.
Slumping catcher Christian Vazquez also contributed a pair of hits, while outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. added his 12th homer of the season.
The game started poorly, with the first three Mariners recording singles before Porcello settled down and coaxed a double play grounder out of the dangerous Nelson Cruz with the bases loaded.
Porcello would repeat that pattern throughout his six innings, weaving in and out of trouble, but ultimately only allowing two runs in six innings.
He gave the offense enough time to get untracked. Consecutive singles by Chris Young, Vazquez, and Mookie Betts tied the game before a Dustin Pedroia double play grounder gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Bogaerts followed with a two-out homer to give the Red Sox some breathing room, and an inning later, Vazquez added an RBI double.
A year after going 5-7 at Fenway Park, Porcello improved to 6-0 here this season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Porcello effectively managed trouble, scattering eight hits over six innings, the only other damage an Adam Lind solo homer. He didn’t walk anyone and induced a pair of double plays.
— Bogaerts just continues to mash. He went 2-for-4 to raise his league-leading average to .352. He also now has two more homers than the seven he managed all of last season.
— Hustlin’ Hanley Ramirez scored from second after an errant throw on a grounder rolled into short left. He ran straight through the stop sign of third base coach Brian Butterfield before sliding home safely and celebrating with a karate pose.
— Vazquez recorded his first two hits since June 10 after extensive work with hitting coach Chili Davis.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Second baseman Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-4 and grounded into a pair of double plays, giving him 12 on the season.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Allen Webster vs. Hisashi Iwakuma||08.24.14 at 10:12 am ET|
Webster (3-1, 4.73 ERA) has turned in three straight quality starts for Boston, compiling a 3.86 ERA with a .239/.333/.388 line during that stretch.
In his last start Tuesday against the Angels, Webster gave up seven hits and three runs with three strikeouts over six innings of work in what was eventually a 4-3 Los Angeles win.
“When he’s right like for the vast majority of tonight, put the ball on the ground, ground balls,” manager John Farrell said. “It’s good to see him continue to back up outings in a positive way and build some momentum and I’m sure some confidence in his own right.”
While Webster has settled down after his shaky debut this season, the third inning has continued to be a thorn in the side of the 24-year-old. Twelve of the 15 earned runs that Webster has allowed this season have come during the third.
Webster was rocked in his only career appearance against the Mariners on July 9, 2013, surrendering six hits and seven earned runs over just 2 1/3 innings.
Iwakuma (12-6, 2.57 ERA) has been extremely effective as of late, posting a 7-2 record with a 1.63 ERA over his last 10 starts.
In his last outing Tuesday, the 33-year-old shut down the Phillies for eight innings, holding his opponents to just four hits and no runs while racking up 11 strikeouts.
|Brandon Workman’s latest struggle raises questions about rotation future||08.23.14 at 11:43 pm ET|
Although his time in the majors has been brief, Red Sox starter Brandon Workman already has seen his career marked by two vastly different stretches of play.
Through his first eight big league starts, Workman looked like he belonged in the Red Sox rotation, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.91 ERA. He became the first Red Sox pitcher to make eight straight starts of five or more innings and three or fewer runs allowed since World War II.
Unfortunately for the 6-foot-5 righty, the last eight outings have been a far cry from his stellar debut, with an 0-8 record and a 6.75 ERA bloating his career numbers during the second half of the 2014 season. He now has achieved history of another sort, becoming the first Sox pitcher since Red Ruffing in 1929 to absorb a loss in eight or more consecutive appearances.
Workman’s latest outing fit his current trend of ineffectiveness, as the 26-year-old was torched for 10 hits and seven earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings against the Mariners on Saturday in what eventually resulted in a 7-3 Red Sox defeat.
Despite his discouraging box score, Workman began the game on a good foot, holding Seattle scoreless through the first three innings, including a 1-2-3 inning in the third.
“It was a quick inning,”Workman said. “I threw strikes, made some good pitches, got ground balls. … I didn’t execute like that in the fourth.”
However, this collapse came much earlier than the ninth inning.
The culprit Saturday was Red Sox starter Brandon Workman, who was tagged for 10 hits and seven earned runs in a nightmare of a fourth inning that proved to be the difference maker in a 7-3 Mariners win.
The Red Sox have now lost seven games in a row, marking the second-longest losing streak for the club this year, behind only 10 straight contests from May 15 to May 25.
Boston got off to a promising start Saturday afternoon against Seattle, scoring a run off of Mariners southpaw starter Chris Young in each of the first three innings to build up a 3-0 cushion for Workman. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox pregame notes: Xander Bogaerts continues to be evaluated for possible concussion; Joe Kelly feels ‘no ill effects’ after exiting early from Friday start||at 1:50 pm ET|
Xander Bogaerts‘ status going forward with Boston is uncertain in the wake of the 21-year-old taking a Felix Hernandez pitch off the helmet in Friday’s loss to the Mariners.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Bogaerts — who is not in the lineup for Saturday’s game against Seattle — still needs to undergo additional evaluations to rule out the potential for a concussion.
“Anytime you get hit in the head like he did last night and get removed from the game, he’s got to go through a protocol, which he’s going through today, just to see if there’s any concussion symptoms,” Farrell said. “So that’s what’s taking place this morning.”
While it appeared that Bogaerts was healthy enough to remain in the game after being struck in the head by the 89 mph changeup, it became apparent to Farrell that his shortstop was beginning to lose focus as the game dragged on, leading to his removal from the game.
“The eye tests, the walking in a straight line, having him stand there with his eyes closed, all those were negative results, so it was determined at that point that he continue, based on his response to questions and all that our trainers put him through in the moment,” Farrell said. “But it’s not uncommon, as time goes on, that you start to feel the onset of symptoms and that was the case last night and that’s when he was removed.”
Even though no results have been released in terms of Bogaerts’ latest series of tests, he told WEEI.com’s Alex Speier Saturday morning that he felt better and hopes to play Sunday in the series finale against Seattle.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
— Another Red Sox player was removed early from Friday’s game, as starter Joe Kelly was lifted after five innings despite only throwing 86 pitches. Kelly said after the game that he felt a slight sensation in his shoulder after delivering a curveball in the fifth inning, but that his exit was merely precautionary.
Farrell agreed with Kelly’s claims, adding that he expects no limitations for the right-hander going forward.
“Joe came in and felt no ill effects from last night after a battery of tests that he went through after the game that didn’t reproduce any of the symptoms,” Farrell said. “It was followed up with him feeling well this morning and he’s on target to start in five days.”
|Koji Uehara suffers through worse relief outing of career||at 12:50 am ET|
What no one really expected was the culprit behind the collapse.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara entered the ninth as perhaps the closest thing that Boston has had to a sure bet this year, compiling a 1.53 ERA and .080 WHIP with 26 saves on the season.
Uehara seemed to be in prime position to put Seattle away, forcing Endy Chavez into an 1-2 count with two outs and Logan Morrison on first. Chavez would eventually battle back and work the walk to put runners on first and second.
Pinch hitter Chris Denorfia would then single on a soft line drive to right field to load the bases for Austin Jackson, who doubled on a sharp line drive to left that drove in two, cutting Boston’s lead to just one run. Seattle quickly grabbed their first lead of the night in the next at-bat, as Dustin Ackley forced a bloop single into left field between shortstop Brock Holt and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, driving in two more runs to give the Mariners a 4-3 lead.
Robinson Cano would tack on an additional run with an RBI single before Red Sox manager John Farrell emerged from the dugout to take the ball away from Uehara - but the damage was already irrevocably done. Uehara was charged with five hits and five earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning as the Red Sox fell to the Mariners, 5-3.
“To me, the key at-bat in the ninth inning was the Chavez walk,” Farrell said after the game. “We’ve got two outs, a man at first base and a 1-2 count, and he battles his way back into the count and works out a walk and then the 0-2 pitch to Denorfia, he pushes a base hit to right field, 0-2 pitch to Jackson for the double and unfortunately, Ackley finds kind of the Bermuda Triangle out there to drive in the two go-ahead runs. Maybe a lack of finish to Koji’s splitter was the difference tonight.”
Friday night made for one of Uehara’s worst outings in his MLB career. It was the most runs that the 39-year-old has allowed in an outing since surrendering six runs with the Orioles during a start against the Rays on May 5, 2009.
|Friday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Felix Hernandez||08.22.14 at 8:33 am ET|
The Red Sox will close out their 11-game homestand when they host the Mariners for a three-game set at Fenway Park. Boston will send Joe Kelly to the mound against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in the series opener Friday.
Kelly (0-1, 5.29 ERA) will be looking to rebound from a rough Fenway debut Sunday, as the righty gave up seven hits and seven earned runs while walking six in just four innings against the Astros.
“Plenty of stuff. Plenty of power. Plenty of action to his secondary pitches,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell when asked about Kelly’s outing after the game. “Just his command was not as its been in the first two outings for him.”
While Kelly has turned in both promising and discouraging outings during his brief Red Sox career, one recurring trend for the 26-year-old has been issues with command. Kelly has walked 13 batters in his last 17 innings of work.
Friday will stand as Kelly’s first career start against the Mariners.
Hernandez is the clear frontrunner to secure his second Cy Young Award this season, as the right-hander leads the league in ERA and WHIP (0.87) while ranking second in innings pitched (185 1/3), wins (13) and strikeouts (197).
|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Erasmo Ramirez||06.24.14 at 8:30 am ET|
While Peavy (1-5, 4.52 ERA) has not earned a win since April 25, he has been the victim of bad luck on multiple occasions. Peavy has only received 3.33 runs of support per game this season — the third-lowest mark in the American League — while Boston has only won four of the 10 games in which Peavy left with the team winning, tied or trailing by just one run.
In his last start Thursday against the Athletics, Peavy took the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) over 6 1/3 innings while throwing 117 pitches — his highest total since Sept. 5, 2013. It was the fifth consecutive loss for Peavy, equaling the longest losing streak of his career.
“Just physically I didn’t feel very good, to start,” Peavy said after the game. “Just not in sync. It’s no excuse, but I’m just stating the facts. Physically, I wasn’t good and on point there for a bit.”
Peavy’s last appearance against Seattle was on June 4, 2013, when the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner was still a member of the White Sox. Peavy was rocked in that outing, surrendering six earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings. In 10 career starts against the Mariners, Peavy is 5-2 with a 3.03 ERA.
Ramirez (1-4, 4.62 ERA) has struggled of late, posting a 0-4 record with a 4.97 ERA over his last nine starts. The 24-year-old righty has not won a game since his first start of the season back on April 1.
|Red Sox-Mariners series preview||06.23.14 at 3:03 pm ET|
Boston is coming off a discouraging four-game set against the Athletics in which the Red Sox only scored six runs through the first three games. Saturday’s 2-1 loss marked the eighth straight game in which Boston had scored three runs or less.
The Red Sox finally broke out of their offensive drought Sunday, scoring seven runs and collecting 13 hits, but it took a 10th-inning home run from David Ortiz to give the Red Sox a win and prevent a sweep in the Bay Area.
“Despite the last three days, our guys are still fighting, they’re still putting together as tough at-bats as they can,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after Sunday’s game. “This was a hard-fought series, and it’s good to salvage one out of it.”
After dropping two of three to the feeble Padres last week, the Mariners got back on track over the weekend, sweeping one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Royals, in three games.
In Sunday’s game, catcher Mike Zunino blasted a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead that it would not relinquish.
“Whenever you put at-bats together or you’re playing well it’s one of those things that definitely carries over,” Zunino said. “It’s nice that we can turn around and play again [Monday against the Red Sox], and hopefully we can build on [Sunday].”
Here are the pitching matchups for the three-game series.
WHO’S HOT: RED SOX
— Lackey has been one of the few bright spots this season for the Red Sox. He has been the most consistent pitcher in the Boston rotation thus year, posting an 8-4 record with a 2.96 ERA. The 35-year-old righty has been even better in June – going 2-1 with a 2.27 ERA in four starts.
|Seattle GM: ‘No idea’ that Red Sox so close on Mike Napoli||12.03.12 at 11:41 am ET|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ‘ Shortly after news that Mike Napoli had reached a three-year, $39 million agreement with the Red Sox, the general manager of one of the Sox’ chief competitors in the pursuit of the free agent, Jack Zduriencik of the Mariners, talked about missing out on the catcher/first baseman.
‘You never know,’ Zduriencik told WEEI.com at the Opryland Resort. ‘We had discussions with him, but at the end every player has to make their own decision, and I respect that. You never know if you’re close or not. You have good dialogue going, but in the end, who knows? At the end the player decides what he feels is best for him. Mike’s a great guy and it’s a good fit for Boston, so congrats.’
When asked he had any clue that Napoli was close to a deal with the Red Sox heading into the winter meetings, Zduriencik said, ‘I had no idea. None at all.’
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