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Red Sox notes: Matt Barnes drops appeal of 4-game suspension, will be out until Sunday vs. Cubs 04.26.17 at 5:07 pm ET
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Matt Barnes dropped the appeal of his suspension. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Matt Barnes dropped the appeal of his suspension. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

After MLB suspended Matt Barnes for four games on Monday for throwing in the head area of Manny Machado, Barnes said he would appeal, but two days later the reliever has dropped the appeal and will begin serving his four-game suspension Wednesday night against the Yankees.

“People are going to think what they want,” Barnes said after the game. “All I know was I was trying to go up and in, trying to get some weak contact with [Adam] Jones on first. Unfortunately one got away from me, and like I said I would never intentionally throw at somebody’s head. That’s potentially life-changing and that’s unacceptable.”

The four-game ban will have him out until Sunday night against the Cubs.

Since Barnes was suspended, the Red Sox can not call up a reliever, so they will be down a man in the bullpen. It will be a setup man by committee leading to Craig Kimbrel until Sunday.

In other news, Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup for a third straight game following the hard slide from Manny Machado last Friday night in Baltimore. Manager John Farrell noted the wet conditions played a factor in the decision. On Tuesday, Farrell said he would have played if they had a game, but woke up more sore on Wednesday.

“Pedey is still dealing with some soreness in the left knee,” he said. “After some work he did yesterday here before the game, or the would be game, felt like there was still some lingering symptoms there. I will be honest with you, with the wet grounds tonight I wasn’t going to take any further risk for potential misfooting to put him at risk further. He’s day-to-day and hope he will be back in the lineup tomorrow.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

— David Price will indeed face batters for the first time since spring training Saturday at Fenway Park. He had a good work session Wednesday.

“Threw the ball well,” Farrell said. “A normal bullpen that would be in between starts type of bullpen. He’s on tap to face hitters on Saturday here.”

— Brock Holt, who is on the DL with vertigo is progressing, but hasn’t been able to get on the field due to the weather.

“We haven’t been able to get on the field the last three days,” Farrell said. “The day off, the rain even today keeping us off the field for any work. We’re looking at another day or two of early work to go through all fielding drills before we get him out on a rehab assignment. The symptoms that caused the onset of the vertigo, that seems to be cleared up. The virus had some effect on that. He’s getting closer to getting out into some games.”

— Reliever Tyler Thornburg hasn’t got on the mound yet as he works his way back from a shoulder injury suffered in spring training. Farrell admitted it is taking longer than expected.

“You know, he’s throwing long toss out to 120 feet,” he said. “No change from what we talked about prior to the rain out yesterday. He’s still in the long toss phase. We’re hopeful to get him to at least 150 feet before we would introduce the mound. I think even by his own account this has taken longer than he even anticipated. He’s in that long toss phase and he will be on the mound as soon as first available.”

Read More: Brock Holt, David Price, Dustin Pedroia, matt barnes
Matt Barnes suspended 4 games for throwing pitch ‘in the area of the head’ of Manny Machado 04.24.17 at 7:07 pm ET
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Matt Barnes was suspended four games on Monday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Matt Barnes was suspended four games on Monday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

A day after the incident, MLB has came down hard on Matt Barnes.

Barnes has received a four-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing a pitch in the area of the head of Manny Machado in the bottom of the eighth inning of Sunday’s game.

The reliever is appealing the suspension and thus will be available Tuesday night when the Red Sox host the Yankees.

Barnes was seeking retaliation for what happened Friday night when Machado took Dustin Pedroia out on a slide at second base. Pedroia missed the final two games of the series with knee and ankle injuries. As of Monday afternoon, he is considered day-to-day.

“People are going to think what they want,” Barnes told reporters after the game “All I know was I was trying to go up and in, trying to get some weak contact with [Adam] Jones on first. Unfortunately one got away from me, and like I said I would never intentionally throw at somebody’s head. That’s potentially life-changing and that’s unacceptable.”

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: manny machado, matt barnes,
Orioles closer Zach Britton criticizes Dustin Pedroia’s leadership 04.23.17 at 9:52 pm ET
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Zach Britton took a shot at Dustin Pedroia. (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports)

Zach Britton took a shot at Dustin Pedroia. (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports)

After Orioles third baseman Manny Machado took out Dustin Pedroia at second base Friday night, the Red Sox appeared to seek revenge on Sunday.

Reliever Matt Barnes’ fastball in the eighth inning went behind Machado’s head and he was immediately ejected from the game. The Red Sox reliever said he didn’t mean for the pitch to end up where it did.

“People are going to think what they want,” Barnes told reporters after the game “All I know was I was trying to go up and in, trying to get some weak contact with [Adam] Jones on first. Unfortunately one got away from me, and like I said I would never intentionally throw at somebody’s head. That’s potentially life-changing and that’s unacceptable.”

Afterwards, Pedroia didn’t appear to be thrilled with what Barnes did.

“I just told him I didn’t have anything to do with that,” Pedroia said. “That’s not how you do that, man. I’m sorry to him and his team. If you’re going to protect guys, you do it right away. ”

“It’s definitely a mishandled situation,” he added. “There was zero intention of [Machado] trying to hurt me. He just made a bad slide. He did hurt me. It’s baseball, man. I’m not mad at him. I love Manny Machado. I love playing against him. I love watching him. If I slid into third base and got Manny’s knee, I know I’m going to get drilled. That’s baseball. I get drilled, and I go to first base. That’s it.”

Word of Pedroia’s comments got over to the Orioles clubhouse where closer Zach Britton, who is currently on the disabled list, took a shot at Pedroia and his leadership.

“Dustin, him telling Manny, ‘Hey, that didn’t come from me’ may be even more frustrating,” Britton told BaltimoreBaseball.com. “Because he’s the leader of that clubhouse and if he can’t control his own teammates, then there’s a bigger issue over there.”

Added Britton: “As a player that doesn’t have the most service time in this room, when a guy like Adam Jones tells me to do something or not to do something, I’m going to do [what he says]. Same with Chris Davis or Darren O’Day, the guy in my bullpen. If they tell me, ‘Don’t do this or that,’ I’m going to listen to them because they’ve been around the game and they’ve seen things I haven’t seen. And you respect their leadership.”

This doesn’t appear to be over between the two teams and they will meet a week from Monday at Fenway Park.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, manny machado, matt barnes, Zach Britton
What went wrong in disastrous 8-run 6th inning for Red Sox 08.29.16 at 12:43 am ET
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Matt Barnes allowed five of the eight runs in Royals scored in the sixth inning. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Matt Barnes allowed five of the eight runs in Royals scored in the sixth inning. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox were looking good after coming back from a 2-1 deficit to take a 4-2 lead after the fifth Sunday night against the Royals, but then things all came crashing down in a hurry in the top of the sixth.

The Royals turned a 4-2 deficit into a 10-4 lead with an eight-run top of the sixth, taking away all the momentum the Red Sox had created in the half inning before in their 10-4 rout.

“Obviously, always the biggest inning is the shutdown inning after we take the lead,” manager John Farrell said.

The “biggest inning” was anything but big.

Things didn’t start right as starter Eduardo Rodriguez walked the lead off man, Eric Hosmer. Then he allowed a double to Kendrys Morales, followed by a walk to Salvador Perez to set up bases loaded with nobody out where hardly ever good things happen for the defense.

“I think going through the at-bat against Hosmer in pretty good shape,” Farrell said. “He’s not getting to his fastball. He throws a 3-2 slider for the walk. Morales is a darn good hitter, particularly from the right side of the plate, so the walk kind of set the tone for the inning.”

After getting a fly out to shallow left, Rodriguez departed after 98 pitches, but didn’t leave reliever Matt Barnes in the best shape as the bases were still loaded with one out and unfortunately for Barnes, he couldn’t get out of the jam — actually, he made it worse.

The first batter Barnes faced — Alcides Escobar — hit a high chopper in front of the plate that Barnes had no play on to plate the first Royals run in the inning and then came the big blow when No. 9 batter Raul Mondesi cleared the bases with a three-run triple to right-center.

And the Royals didn’t stop there.

Paulo Orlando was then hit by a pitch to set up first and third with one out. Cheslor Cuthbert followed with another high chopper that left the Red Sox with no play and saw another Royals run cross the plate. Then, Lorenzo Cain ended Barnes’ night with a single to center.

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Read More: eduardo rodriguez, matt barnes,
Closing Time: Eduardo Rodriguez, Matt Barnes fall apart in 6th inning as Royals rout Red Sox 08.28.16 at 11:34 pm ET
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The Royals scored eight runs in the sixth inning to beat the Red Sox. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

The Royals scored eight runs in the sixth inning to help beat the Red Sox. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Shutdown innings are something to which the Red Sox play close attention. Unfortunately for the Sox and starter Eduardo Rodriguez, the sixth inning Sunday night wasn’t a good example of one.

After scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Red Sox took a 4-2 lead. However, that lead lasted all of half an inning as they allowed eight runs in the top of the sixth and the Royals ended up routing the Red Sox, 10-4.

Kansas City took two of three in the weekend series.

Rodriguez started the sixth inning by walking Eric Hosmer. Following a double and a walk, the Royals had bases loaded with no outs and the left-hander clearly was laboring. After getting a fly out, Rodriguez left the game with the bases still loaded. Unfortunately for him, reliever Matt Barnes couldn’t bail him out.

In fact, he did even worse.

Barnes pitched to five batters and didn’t record an out. He finished by allowing five runs on three hits with a hit batsman. The big blow was a bases-clearing triple from No. 9 batter Raul Mondesi. Robbie Ross Jr. eventually got out of the inning, but not before the Royals plated a season-high eight runs in the frame.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I would have hoped,” Barnes said. “I thought I made a good pitch to [Alcides] Escobar. He hit the 30-foot chopper and didn’t have a plan on anybody. Next hitter Mondesi, he jumped a first-pitch heater, and I went back and looked and I thought the pitch was to him maybe not a good pitch, but in the grand scheme I thought it was on the outer corner of the plate. Jumped a first-pitch heater. Let a couple of balls go. Didn’t think I threw terrible pitches, maybe a combination of bad luck and obviously they squared some balls up. That one is on me. I have to do a better job of securing that lead and getting out of that inning.”

In his first time back after being skipped due to hamstring tightness, Rodriguez finished the night going 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits while walking four and striking out one. The four walks tied a season high.

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Read More: David Ortiz, eduardo rodriguez, matt barnes,
3 possible solutions for a Red Sox bullpen in shambles after another demoralizing loss 08.19.16 at 11:13 am ET
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Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon

The Red Sox had all the pieces in order for a rousing victory on Thursday afternoon in Detroit, but as has so often been the case over the last month, the bullpen wouldn’t let it happen.

Entrusted with a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning, right-hander Junichi Tazawa once again imploded, opening manager John Farrell to a massive second guess about why he didn’t go to Brad Ziegler instead. But the reality is Ziegler represented a sub-optimal option in that situation as well, leaving the Red Sox in a precarious position — who pitches the eighth inning?

With former closer Koji Uehara sidelined by a pectoral injury and Tazawa scuffling horribly, it’s unclear whom the Red Sox should pair with right-hander Matt Barnes. Here are three options, none of them necessarily great, but all worth considering in light of recent crushing losses to the Yankees (twice) and Tigers, all undone in the late innings.

1. Jonathan Papelbon

The longer Papelbon remains unsigned, the fairer it is to wonder if he’ll sign at all. Perhaps he sits out the rest of the season and tries to find a job over the winter. Or perhaps he’s just taking a couple of extra days to assess his options. In any event, Farrell is on record that he’d like to see Papelbon in Boston, and even if his fastball (91.7 mph) isn’t what it once was, he knows how to pitch in the late innings. He lost his job in Washington for a reason (4.37 ERA), so he’s no savior, but he’d give the Red Sox some experience and swagger.

2. Clay Buchholz

This is a tough one, because Buchholz just delivered his best start of the season (6 IP, 1 ER) with nothing to show for it, and uncertainty over both Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez means he’s probably needed in the rotation. But with Buchholz finding his groove pitching exclusively from the stretch, he’d clearly be an upgrade on Tazawa and probably even Ziegler, since he can face lefties and righties when he’s on his game. Jerking him back and forth between the bullpen and rotation isn’t a recipe for success, and he’s no longer a strikeout pitcher (5.5/9 IP), but with all due respect to Heath Hembree, Buchholz is the best option on the roster. “I’ll do whatever they want me to do,” Buchholz said. “That’s what I get paid to do.”

3. Joe Kelly

The Red Sox made the long overdue move of sending Kelly to the bullpen after he posted an 8.46 ERA in six starts. He has since compiled a 1.64 ERA with 16 strikeouts and three walks in 11 innings of relief at Triple-A Pawtucket. Kelly has the stuff for the late innings, with a fastball that has reached 100 mph. The Red Sox sent him to the minors to pitch exclusively from the stretch and eliminate some of the moving parts in his delivery. They also wanted him to build endurance, because he has already spent time on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. With Kelly pitching well in Pawtucket, however, his time may be coming sooner than later. He pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings on Thursday, striking out two.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, John Farrell, Jonathan Papelbon
Craig Kimbrel on knee after brutal outing: ‘It’s something I’m going to battle with until it’s all gone’ 08.10.16 at 12:30 am ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell (right) lifts closer Craig Kimbrel (46) in the ninth on Tuesday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Red Sox manager John Farrell (right) lifts closer Craig Kimbrel (46) in the ninth on Tuesday against the Yankees. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

After one of his worst outings of the season, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel revealed that his surgically repaired left knee continues to give him trouble.

He certainly didn’t look right in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Yankees, walking four to force in a run before being lifted in favor of right-hander Matt Barnes, who nailed down the victory with a strikeout of Mark Teixeira to earn the first save of his career.

“I walked four guys,” Kimbrel said. “I mean, I was out there watching the same game y’all were. I didn’t have my best stuff tonight. In that situation I tried to make pitches to get strikeouts, I didn’t really want them to put the ball in play. Bad day, bad night. But, on the positive side, we still won the game. We put this outing behind us and we go into tomorrow.”

The performance wasn’t as concerning, in some respects, as what Kimbrel said after. He acknowledged that his knee continues to give him trouble, a month after surgery, though he stopped short of blaming it for Tuesday’s woes. He had never walked four batters in less than an inning.

“When you’re sore, does it affect you?” he said. “I wouldn’t say it affected me in my performance, but I definitely, it’s something I’m going to battle with until it’s all gone. I’m still four weeks out of surgery. I’m good enough to pitch, I’m good enough to play, but it’s not going to affect me each and every night.”

Barnes, meanwhile, got the job done, continuing a breakout season as one of manager John Farrell’s most reliable arms.

“With the two left-handers coming, just wanted the power, particularly against Teixeira where we’ve seen that power kind of works as a better matchup,” Farrell said. “And how he [Barnes] has been with men on base this year. He has been outstanding as far as stranding inherited runners. No more important time than tonight.”

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Read More: Craig Kimbrel, John Farrell, matt barnes, Red Sox
Red Sox pregame notes: Blake Swihart’s ankle ‘is starting to talk back to him’ 07.21.16 at 5:31 pm ET
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Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

Prior to Thursday’s Red Sox game against the Twins, manager John Farrell discussed the status of Blake Swihart’s ankle rehab and how pivotal Matt Barnes has been for the team.

After weeks of steady progress, Swihart reached a setback in his ability to make cuts while running and exploding when starting.

“As he’s ramped up the intensity and the different cuts, his ankle is starting to talk back to him a little bit here,” Farrell said. “Much like it was when he first started to initiate some movement, then got into a pretty good stretch where he was making some good gains on it. As that intensity’s picked up, he’s going through a phase now where he’s got to quiet some things down.”

Swihart has been on the 60-day disabled list after being transferred there July 9 following severely spraining his ankle on June 4.

After saving a potentially disastrous situation Wednesday night, getting Tommy Layne out of a bases loaded, no out jam, Farrell discussed Barnes’ effectiveness in critical situations.

“He’s pitched in some of the highest leverage, non-ninth inning situations that we’ve had, and we’ll continue to do so. Given the current makeup of our bullpen, he’s probably going to be a one-plus inning type of guy in those key moments,” Farrell said. “We don’t have the three guys in New York. We don’t  the three guys that are in Kansas City where regardless of the score, who’s coming up, here, run it out. So to have the flexibility to use a guy like Matt, whether it’s in the seventh because it’s you’re in the heat of their lineup, that flexibility is in the current makeup of this bullpen.”

Part of what has made Barnes successful has been his ability to distance himself from his previous habit of surrendering multiple walks. After giving up a combined 14 walks in April and May, he’s allowed five in June and July combined.

“That’s one of the key contributors,” Farrell said when asked if limiting his walks has made him successful as of late. “The other is his percentage of his curveball is being thrown for strikes. And when he’s missed he’s backed it up with a strike curveball to keep some hitters from rushing out to get his fastball. And since early May, the velocity has climbed to the upper-90’s and he’s one of the premier arms in any bullpen around the country.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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Read More: blake swihart, John Farrell, Koji Uehara, matt barnes
Matt Barnes gives Red Sox best relief performance of year in win over Giants at 12:39 am ET
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Matt Barnes gave the Red Sox three scoreless innings Wednesday night. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Matt Barnes gave the Red Sox three scoreless innings Wednesday night. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

It wasn’t the easiest of situations to come into.

Tommy Layne allowed the bases to be loaded with no outs in the sixth inning with the Red Sox clinging to a 8-7 lead over the Giants and manager John Farrell called for Matt Barnes out of the bullpen.

The UConn product delivered as he was able to get out of the jam with no runs. Barnes got pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco to hit into a 3-2 double play as Hanley Ramirez stepped on first base and fired home to get the runner at home on a close play at the plate. Then, Barnes got another pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie to fly out to first base and get out of the inning with no damage and keep the Red Sox on top.

The inning proved large as the Red Sox scored two runs in the bottom half of the frame on their way to a 11-7 win. Barnes earned the win, his third of the season, which tied a career-high.

“It’s not easy, but it’s kind of fun,” Barnes said. “It’s kind of the excitement of it and knowing that one, you’re coming through for your team and two, you get to pick up another guy in the bullpen.”

Added Barnes: “In a situation like that you have to take it one pitch at a time. You can’t try and do too much or make the second pitch without making the first one. You have to stay relaxed and execute pitch-by-pitch and hopefully the results are in your favor.”

Barnes wasn’t done there as he then pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing just two hits in the three total innings.

Manager John Farrell called it the best relief performance of the season.

“Yeah, I would say it is,” he said. “Given that he comes in in a bases loaded situation and going into tonight’s game, the plan was for him to pitch the eighth. I didn’t think he would pitch the sixth, seventh and eighth. He held his stuff throughout. He’s done a great job with inherited runners and shutting down threats. That three innings or work, given the high stress of the first inning that he pitched, an outstanding effort on his part.”

If not for Hanley Ramirez and his three home runs, the MVP of Wednesday night would been Barnes, but certainly he and the Red Sox will take the win.

Read More: matt barnes,
Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez (3 home runs) tees off, Drew Pomeranz implodes, and Red Sox beat Giants in wildest game of year 07.20.16 at 10:57 pm ET
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Fenway Park explodes after Hanley Ramirez blasts his third homer of the night Wednesday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Fenway Park explodes after Hanley Ramirez blasts his third homer of the night Wednesday against the Giants. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez gave the Red Sox a night to remember on an evening Drew Pomeranz hopes to forget.

Ramirez delivered the first three-homer game of his career and made a trio of outstanding defensive plays to overcome an absolute implosion by Pomeranz in his debut as the Red Sox claimed a wild 11-7 victory over the Giants in a possible World Series preview.

With the victory, the Red Sox also moved into sole possession of first place in the American League East for the first time since June 4.

“The crowd, that was probably the most electric atmosphere we’ve had this year, and since I got called up,” said third baseman Travis Shaw. “The crowd was into it, they were loud, you could feel the energy tonight. It was different than any other game we’ve played.”

Ramirez put a charge in the place by hitting homers to right, center, and left while driving in six runs. His final homer came two innings after he appeared to vow, “I’ll get you back,” to Giants reliever Albert Suarez, who had drilled him in the fourth. He also made the defensive play of the game, starting a 3-2 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning of an 8-7 game.

“I never expected this, but it’s a great feeling, it’s a great feeling, especially to end up with a W,” Ramirez said. “This team doesn’t give up. They keep adding runs and runs. We’ve got to continue to score more runs than them.”

This one had a little bit of everything. The Red Sox raced to an 8-0 lead on Ramirez’s first two homers and a monstrous two-run blast by Shaw.

Pomeranz, who was clean through the first three innings, fell apart in the fourth. He failed to retire any of the seven batters he faced and was lifted after allowing a three-run homer to Mac Williamson and a two-run shot to Trevor Brown. His final line read three innings, 8 eight hits, five runs and four strikeouts.

“By tonight, I’ll flush everything,” Pomeranz said. “That’s not me out there.”

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Read More: Drew Pomeranz, Giants, hanley ramirez, jackie bradley jr.
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