|Monday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Aaron Sanchez||04.27.15 at 12:07 pm ET|
The Red Sox open up a homestand with a three-game set against the Blue Jays beginning on Monday with Joe Kelly pitching against Aaron Sanchez.
Kelly leads Boston starting pitchers with a 4.08 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and a .200 batting average against. Through 17 2/3 innings over three starts, the 26-year-old has struck out 18 while walking five. Kelly owns a 1-0 record and has been one of the most consistent Red Sox starters after three times through the rotation.
Kelly’s last outing was his worst of the season. In five innings against the Rays, he allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out seven. He gave up his second home run of the year, a solo shot to Steven Souza Jr., in the first inning. Kelly had a four-run lead entering the sixth inning but gave all four of those runs back to Tampa Bay before exiting the game.
“Didn’t get ahead of the hitters,” Kelly said after the game. “I fell behind with my fastball, which was pretty good for me tonight. That sixth inning, tried to get too fine with it and fell behind hitters, and kind of threw it down the middle from then and they put some good swings on balls and got some good hits. … Just got a little wild. Just missed with some pitches around the zone, and, like I said, I had to come back and throw a strike and not walk somebody, and threw it down the middle.”
In his only career start against Toronto, which came in 2014, Kelly went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four and walking two. He got a no-decision in the outing.
|Red-hot Brock Holt sits as Red Sox face Orioles||04.25.15 at 3:37 pm ET|
One night after blasting the game-winning three-run homer against the Orioles, Brock Holt finds himself on the bench on Saturday as the Red Sox face the O’s in the middle game of their three-game set.
Xander Bogaerts gets the start at short for the Red Sox, who begin the day tied with the Yankees for first place in the American League East. Also new to the lineup is right fielder Allen Craig, who gets the nod over Daniel Nava with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen on the mound.
Here’s the lineup.
1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
7. Allen Craig, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Ryan Hanigan, C
Justin Masterson, RHP
The Red Sox will send Justin Masterson to the mound at Camden Yards for his second straight start against the Orioles on Saturday. His opponent will be Miguel Gonzalez, whose last start also was against the Red Sox.
Masterson is the only Boston pitcher with two wins, but his numbers don’t necessarily reflect his 2-0 record. He has gotten good run support from the Red Sox offense, as the Sox have scored 21 runs in his three outings. The 30-year-old owns a 5.74 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP and a .233 batting average against. He has not thrown more than six innings and has gone past five just once. Masterson is the only member of the starting rotation who is yet to give up a home run.
In his last start, a 7-1 Red Sox win against Baltimore in a rain-shortened game, Masterson went five innings, allowing one run on three hits, three walks and six strikeouts. The Orioles’ lone run came in the second inning on an RBI double by Ryan Flaherty.
“The slider was working real good,” Masterson said after the game. “That’s what helped me in 2013 and helped me to be a better pitcher. The best way to do that is to throw it for strikes in good counts. It will be beneficial for me just like it was when I had success.”
In nine career games and seven starts at Camden Yards, Masterson has a 2-4 record with a 7.71 ERA, a 1.738 WHIP, 42 strikeouts and 17 walks.
|Mike Napoli, Pablo Sandoval remain flipped in Red Sox order against Orioles||04.24.15 at 4:26 pm ET|
The Sox lost two of three in Tampa to the Rays, including Thursday night’s walkoff defeat. For the third straight game, first baseman Mike Napoli will bat fifth and Pablo Sandoval sixth, in an effort to keep teams from bringing in a left-handed reliever to face David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, and Sandoval.
Also, with Shane Victorino battling a sore hamstring, Daniel Nava gets the start in right field. Click here for a series preview, and also read up on why Porcello has been questioning his pitch selection of late. Here’s the lineup.
|Red Sox-Orioles series preview||at 11:38 am ET|
The Red Sox will make their first trip of 2015 to Camden Yards for a three-game weekend series with the Orioles starting Friday night. The two teams split their first series of the year at Fenway Park last weekend. Boston currently is in a three-way tie for first in the AL East, but the top and bottom spots in the division are separated by just two games.
Despite the division lead, the Sox have struggled on the mound and have not had the offensive consistency many expected at the beginning of the season. The pitching staff is ranked 23rd in the league with a 4.31 ERA, 13th with a 1.26 WHIP, and 11th with a .239 batting average against. No Red Sox starter has an ERA below 4.00, and Joe Kelly (4.08) and Clay Buchholz (4.84) are the only starters with an ERA below 5.50.
Boston’s bats have been able to win some games for the team, but have yet to live up to what was expected of them. They are tied for sixth in baseball with 77 runs and tied for 10th with 15 home runs, but there have not been enough base runners to expect this productivity to continue. The Sox are ranked 19th with a .230 team average and 18th with a .669 OPS. Just two Red Sox hitters (Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts) have averages over .263 and only three (Holt, Bogaerts, Ryan Hanigan) have OBPs of at least .350. Over the last seven days, just Holt and Hanigan have an average over .250.
Shane Victorino is listed as day-to-day with hamstring tightness.
|Wednesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Nathan Karns||04.22.15 at 8:16 am ET|
Kelly leads all Red Sox starters in ERA (2.13), WHIP (0.711) and batting average against (.119). In 12 2/3 innings over two starts, Kelly has allowed just three runs and five hits while striking out 11 and walking four. He got the win against the Yankees in his first outing but was handed a no-decision against the Orioles last time out as the Sox scored just two runs until the bullpen was called on. Kelly and Justin Masterson are the only two Boston starters who have not been charged with a loss this season.
In the outing against the Orioles, Kelly threw 5 2/3 innings of two-run baseball, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out three. One of the hits was the righty’s first home run allowed, a solo shot to Caleb Joseph. He threw 118 pitches in the start after throwing 93 in seven innings in the outing against the Yankees.
“He had great stuff,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “They did a good job of staying within the strike zone, not chasing some fastballs just off the edge. A number of foul balls that run the pitch, or run some deeper counts. I thought once he got into the fifth inning he started to use his curveball a little bit more to slow some hitters down. He still maintained his stuff throughout the 118 pitches thrown. Probably a little bit more than I would have liked to take him tonight but still he kept his power throughout.”
Wednesday will be Kelly’s first start against Tampa Bay.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Miguel Gonzalez||04.19.15 at 8:10 am ET|
Porcello has had two good outings to start the season, which is something that the rest of the Red Sox pitching staff cannot claim. He has given up three runs in each game and has put up a 3.86 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, 10 strikeouts and three walks. One area of concern is the home run ball, as Porcello has allowed three. Even with the home runs, however, Porcello has been doing a good job of keeping balls in play on the ground. His ground out to air out ratio is 2.09, and opponents are hitting just .185 against him.
Porcello’s last start was the home opener, in which he went eight innings in a victory over the Nationals. He gave up just three earned runs while striking out six and walking one. It was his first start at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox.
“I obviously wanted to go out there and put up a good start,” Porcello said after the game. “The guys swung the bats great and really I didn’t have to do a whole lot but throw strikes and keep the ball down. Definitely had some butterflies early on, I was pretty excited, but it was a lot fun.”
In nine career starts against the Orioles, Porcello is 3-5 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.335 WHIP.
|Red Sox-Orioles series preview||04.17.15 at 12:22 pm ET|
The Red Sox continue their homestand with a four-game set against the Orioles starting Friday. Boston has started the year having won its first three series for the first time in the designated hitter era. They have taken two of three games from the Phillies, Yankees and Nationals to start the season.
The first time through the rotation for the Sox was a pleasant surprise for fans as each starter recorded a quality start and looked good on the mound. In four games since then, however, the starting pitching has left a lot to be desired. Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson and Wade Miley combined for just 10 1/3 innings in their second starts, while Rick Porcello provided the lone bright spot with his eight-inning victory. As a whole, Boston’s pitching could do with some improvement. It is ranked 28th in the league with a 4.75 ERA and 29th in runs allowed with 50.
The offense has made up for the inconsistent pitching with 56 runs and 54 RBIs, both of which are best in baseball. The Red Sox offense also is in the top 10 in hits (89), triples (2), home runs (11), steals (7), average (.253), walks (41) and on-base percentage (.340). It has scored at least five runs in all but two of its first nine games, and has not lost when scoring more than five runs.
The Red Sox went 8-11 against Baltimore in 2014.
Nine games into 2015, the Orioles are 5-4, tied for second at one game behind Boston. This series will mark the fourth straight against AL East teams for Baltimore, which took two of three games from the Rays, one of three from the Blue Jays, and two of three from the Yankees to start the season.
The Orioles find themselves in a similar position to the Red Sox. Their offense has been winning games for them, while their pitching has been inconsistent. Baltimore leads the league in home runs with 15, is sixth with 47 runs, and seventh in average at .270. The O’s have only been held below five runs twice, once being a shutout at the hands of Tampa Bay.
The pitching staff, on the other hand, holds a 26th-ranked ERA of 4.61 and has allowed the eighth-most home runs (10). In the Orioles’ four losses this year, opponents have scored a combined 30 runs while only putting up 16 total runs in games that Baltimore has won.
|Red Sox Minor League Notebook: What has Yoan Moncada been doing at extended spring training?||04.16.15 at 5:26 pm ET|
One of the most hyped players of Red Sox spring training isn’t even on a minor league roster yet.
Yoan Moncada is still in Fort Myers for extended spring training, as the 19-year-old gets settled into playing baseball stateside after signing a minor league contract that featured a $31.5 million signing bonus on March 12.
The infielder hadn’t played organized baseball since the end of 2013, thus needing more time to get back into the swing of things, as well as learn what it’s like to play professionally in America.
Reached via phone on Thursday, Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers broke down Moncada’s start and praised his talent and athleticism.
“He’s getting more reps, getting comfortable identifying pitches and being able to repeat his swing,” Hyers said. “Going through the process of working out with a lot of teams, it wasn’t that day-to-day active action and facing live pitchers. It’s making the daily adjustments and seeing pitches again and matching his AB’s. Probably most of all is getting the feel back in the batters box, being able to have a consistent swing with what he wants to do with the baseball.”
Hyers worked extensively with Moncada during the first few weeks after he signed in Fort Myers. He was headed back down there Thursday to get another look at the 19-year-old sensation.
“He’s definitely a gifted athlete that has a ton of potential,” Hyers said. “We’re excited to have him and he’s worked really hard so far. It’s a big adjustment jumping into professional baseball. I think he was out for a period of time and he’s he’s getting accustomed to the daily work and process of becoming a major league player. They are really happy with him so far and excited to watch him develop.”
Things got off to a good start for him in game action, as he ripped a triple to deep right-center on one of the back fields at JetBlue Park in his first at-bat of extended spring training on Monday.
Hyers said he could turn out to be a power hitter, or a guy who hits for average. He possesses traits for both and it’s too early in his career to project.
“I think he’s got both in him,” he said. “Right now, which one is going to be the better of the two? I think it’s pretty early in his career. He’s shown flashes of both so far.”
As for where and when he’ll get his first taste of competitive professional baseball, there’s no exact timetable.
“I would assume possibly (Single A) Greenville,” said Hyers. “I don’t know — that’s for Ben [Cherington] and the guys up top to kind of watch him day-to-day and see what fits his development. I just know that Junior [Zamora] and Iggy [Suarez], our hitting coaches, have said a lot of positive things about him. Each day he’s getting better and getting him accustomed to the day-to-day work. Getting his body back in shape, his hands back in shape, just swinging that bat on a daily basis. Where he’s headed next month, I don’t know, it’s more for me just concerned about every day trying to help him understand what we expect.”
Added Hyers: “It could be any day. It could be a month, I’m not sure. There haven’t been any discussions with me yet. It’s been take it slow with him and make sure he feels comfortable and understands what we expect and how to prepare for the game.”
|Wednesday’s Red Sox-Nationals matchups: Wade Miley vs. Gio Gonzalez||04.15.15 at 8:16 am ET|
In his first outing of the season, Miley got a no decision against the Yankees in a game that would become the longest by time in Red Sox history. The 28-year-old lefty, who came over from Arizona in the offseason, pitched 5 1/3 innings out of 19 that were played before the Red Sox won, 6-5. Miley left the game in position to get a win, but New York tied the game in the ninth. Miley allowed two runs — one of which scored as an inherited runner when Robbie Ross took over in the sixth — on four hits and two walks while striking out six.
Prior to that start, Miley had some good outings in spring training, posting a 3.71 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP and 11 strikeouts over 17 innings.
Miley has faced Washington four times in his career, going 1-2 with a 2.03 ERA and a 1.613 WHIP. In his lone outing against the Nationals last season, Miley threw 6 2/3 shutout innings, allowing eight hits and six walks while striking out four.
Wednesday will mark Miley’s first career start at Fenway.
Miley’s opponent on the mound will be Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star left-hander. In his first outing this season, the 29-year-old Florida native took the loss against the Phillies. Through 6 1/3 innings he allowed three runs on five hits, four walks and a hit batsman while striking out four.
Last season with the Nationals, Gonzalez went 10-10 with a 3.57 ERA, a 1.197 WHIP and 162 strikeouts. He has a 3-1 career record against the Red Sox.
In four career starts at Fenway Park, Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 4.84 ERA, a 1.567 WHIP and 23 strikeouts and 22 1/3 innings.
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