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Resilient Red Sox show shades of 2013 late-game heroics in comeback win 04.21.14 at 12:41 am ET
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With a 5-0 lead in the sixth inning, the Orioles were supposed to finish the job. They were supposed to have taken a big enough lead to coast through the rest of the game and get a few extra minutes of sleep before the 11:05 a.m. game on Marathon Monday. After all, the Red Sox came into the game batting .235 as a team and only managed four baserunners through the first five innings of the game.

But then, a team that looked very much like the 2013 Red Sox showed up.

One Jonny Gomes three-run shot, 3 1/3 innings of shutout relief pitching and three Baltimore errors later, Boston went home celebrating a walk-off win on Easter Sunday. Last year’€™s club won 11 games in walk-off fashion, so Sunday night’€™s Red Sox win was a reminder of good times for the fans at Fenway Park.

“It was crazy, but at the end of the day that’€™s how the boys win,” said starting pitcher Jake Peavy, who allowed five earned runs through 5 2/3 innings. “€œI think you certainly saw that 2013 spirit still exists with the boys. We scratched and clawed tonight, got a big hit from Jonny and gets us back in the ball game. We scratched and clawed and found a way to come out on top.”

The framework for the comeback was set early, when the Red Sox batters drove Ubaldo Jimenez‘€™s pitch count up. Jimenez only faced four batters in the first inning, but had to throw 25 pitches to retire the side. By the time Gomes hit his home run in the sixth inning, Jimenez had thrown 107 pitches and was taken out of the game.

The Red Sox saw an average of 4.65 pitches per plate appearance against Jimenez on Sunday night. The league-leader in average pitches per plate appearance in the majors is Carlos Santana of the Indians, who sees an average of 4.58 pitches. The 2013 Red Sox were among the best in the major leagues at driving up pitch counts and saw the most pitches in the majors (25,667 pitches).

“It goes back to our approach at the plate,” said manager John Farrell. “Seeing a lot of pitches, driving up pitch counts, getting into their bullpen, trying to get some favorable matchups on our part, I think the last two games in [Chicago] carrying through to this series, it has been a much more consistent approach.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox remember last year’s Boston Marathon tragedy in moving pregame ceremony 04.20.14 at 7:39 pm ET
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The scene at Fenway Park during the National Anthem following their pregame ceremony paying tribute to last year's Boston Marathon. (WEEI.com)

This was the scene at Fenway Park during the national anthem following the Red Sox‘ pregame ceremony paying tribute to last year’s Boston Marathon. (WEEI.com)

On the eve of the 118th Boston Marathon, prior to their game against the Orioles, the Red Sox recognized last year’s Boston Marathon bombing victims and heroes in a moving and emotional pregame ceremony.

Following a video montage showing how far many of the survivors have come and how much support the city has received, the UMass marching band played “Highland Cathedral” to remember Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu and MIT officer Sean Collier as well as to honor the first responders and medical personnel with police, doctors and nurses joining the band on the field.

Following them onto the field were some of the survivors, led by Jeff Bauman and Carlos Arredondo appearing from left field all wearing “Boston” jerseys. Finally, led by Dick and Rick Hoyt, runners ran toward the infield from center field, joining the half circle formed along the infield.

Lining the outfield warning track during the ceremony were canvases bearing inscriptions of good will from all 50 United States, along with all Major League Baseball teams and members of Congress.

The first pitch was thrown by One Fund President Jim Gallagher to David Ortiz, as prominent government officials including Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino stood behind.

The ceremony concluded with the Red Sox and Orioles lining the first and third base lines, joining the marching band and the Boston Pipers Society as well as the fans at Fenway Park in the singing of the national anthem.

It was just the latest in what the Red Sox have done in wake of last year’s tragic event.

Read More: Boston Marathon, Red Sox,
Red Sox pregame notes: Red Sox prepared for quick turnaround between Sunday night and Monday morning at 5:51 pm ET
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Win or lose Sunday night, it is unlikely that the Red Sox get a good night’€™s sleep.

With Sunday’€™s game starting at 7 p.m. and Marathon Monday’€™s beginning at 11:05 a.m., there will not be much of a turnaround between games. Farrell insisted that the team will not be looking ahead to Monday heading into Sunday night’€™s game, but he did not hide that the schedule is an inconvenience to the team.

“[Pre-game warmups] will be abbreviated tomorrow,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Any work that we would do hitting-wise will be done in the cage.

“Marathon Monday is the traditional start time, but this is the first time coming off a night game. We are thankful for ESPN on most occasions, but we have to deal with the schedule given to us.”

The game before the 11 a.m. start is typically a day game in which the Red Sox have done well in recent years, as they have won eight out of their last nine pre-Marathon Monday contests. Boston has not lost the game before Marathon Monday since 2010, when it fell 7-1 to the Rays.

This year’€™s short break between games represents a new challenge though, and it is one that comes at a bad time early in the season. After all, the Red Sox have struggled out of the gate and are currently last in the AL East. The minimal rest comes right before nine games in 10 days against more division opponents, including the Yankees starting Tuesday.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

- Shane Victorino (hamstring) will be making at two more rehab appearances with Pawtucket before the team reassesses his status on Tuesday. During those two games, Farrell said the team is looking for him to get four at-bats Monday and play nine innings on Tuesday. Victorino went 0-for-3 Saturday in his first rehab game.

As for the corresponding roster move when he returns, that remains a discussion in the works.

“€œ[Conversations about a roster move] have been ongoing,” Farrell said. “They are not going to initiate once he is getting ready to come back. We have looked at every available combination of outfielders.”€

- Will Middlebrooks (calf) will be joining Victorino in Pawtucket Monday as he works toward his return from the DL. His tentative schedule is to be playing Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before the team re-evaluates his status.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: mike napoli, Red Sox, Shane Victorino, Will Middlebrooks
Red Sox lineup: Grady Sizemore starts three consecutive days for first time this season at 3:15 pm ET
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Grady Sizemore will make his third straight start for first time this season. (AP)

Grady Sizemore will make his third straight start in three straight days for first time this season. (AP)

Grady Sizemore will do something Sunday night he hasn’t done all season long — start three straight games in three straight days.

The Red Sox outfielder had played in three straight games until this point, but never started in all three on three consecutive days as the outfielder comes back from missing two full seasons. He will hit lead off against the Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. When hitting first this season, Sizemore has a line of: .115/.148/.115.

After getting ten straight starts in center field Jackie Bradley Jr. will get the night off as the Sox will go with Sizemore in center, Jonny Gomes in left and Daniel Nava in right. Xander Bogaerts also returns to the lineup after sitting out his first game of the season on Saturday.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Grady Sizemore, CF

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

David Ortiz, DH

Mike Napoli, 1B

Jonny Gomes, LF

Daniel Nava, RF

Xander Bogaerts, SS

A.J. Pierzynski, C

Brock Holt, 3B

Jake Peavy, P

For a complete look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: grady sizemore, Red Sox,
Closing Time: Brock Holt, Felix Doubront lead the way in Red Sox win over Orioles 04.19.14 at 4:24 pm ET
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Brock Holt turned in quite a game Saturday afternoon. (AP)

Brock Holt turned in quite a game Saturday afternoon. (AP)

It’s just been two games, but Brock Holt is certainly making his presence felt.

The newly-promoted third baseman followed up an impressive Friday night with the biggest hit of Saturday’s tilt between the Red Sox and Orioles at Fenway Park. Holt rifled a one-out triple into the right-center field gap in the seventh inning, scoring Mike Carp with the go-ahead run from second.

Holt proceeded to race in for the Red Sox’ fourth run on a perfectly executed bunt single down the first base line, getting in under the tag of Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters.

The end result was a 4-2 win for the Red Sox.

Earlier in the seventh, there was some spice added to the day when the benches cleared after David Ross took exception with Orioles pitcher Bud Norris coming close to his head on three bunt attempts. Neither collection of players got near each other, with Ross ultimately striking out two pitches later. The next batter up, Holt, however, offered the ultimate payback for the Red Sox.

Felix Doubront bounced back and gave the Red Sox a solid start, allowing two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings. Doubront threw 106 pitches after tossing 33 in the first inning in the seven-strikeout, two-walk outing.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ eighth win of the season:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

- The Red Sox knotted the game at 1-1 thanks in part to the Jonathan Schoop mishandling a grounder off the bat of Mike Napoli. If fielded cleanly, the Orioles might have been able to execute a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play. Instead, Dustin Pedroia — who drew his fourth walk in the last four games — came across to score.

-Holt continued to play stellar defense, this time charging and short-hopping a slow roller off the bat of Steve Lombardozzi to end the second inning.

- David Ortiz launched his third home run of the season in the fourth inning, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. The blast curled around the right field foul pole and marked the designated hitter’s second hit of the day, having singled off the left field wall in the first.

- Pedroia reached base three times via a single, double and walk. It marked the third time this season the second baseman has reached that many occasions.

- The bullpen came through again for the Red Sox, with Junichi Tazawa holding the Orioles hitless through 1 1/3 innings and Koji Uehara picking up the save, striking out the side.

WHAT WENT WRONG

- Doubront allowed his first first-inning run of the season, giving up a two-out RBI single to Nelson Cruz, scoring Nick Markakis. After reaching via a leadoff singled, Doubront has allowed the leadoff hitter to face seven of 10 times.

- Doubront was cruising after the first until the sixth inning when the Orioles knotted the game at 2-2. Initially it appeared as though the lefty might escape his bases-loaded, two-out jam. But Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter was successful in his first challenge of the season, disputing Nelson Cruz initially being called out on a close play at first after his grounder down the third base line. It was the second RBI of the day for Cruz.

Read More: Brock Holt, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, felix doubront
Red Sox to re-evalute Koji Uehara Sunday 04.12.14 at 1:59 pm ET
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Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

NEW YORK — John Farrell said prior to his team’s game Saturday that the Red Sox‘ plan to see how Koji Uehara comes out of a throwing program Sunday before making any further decisions on the closer.

Uehara reported stiffness in his throwing shoulder prior to Friday night’s game. It’s an issue he experienced during the 2012 season while with the Rangers, having it linger for more than two months after a setback while on the 15-day disabled list.

“Anytime you’ve got a pitcher unavailable, there’s immediate concern,” Farrell said. “We’re also getting to know — this is the first time we’ve had to deal with him being unavailable. We’ve got to respect how he reacts to the discomfort that’s there, the tightness that’s there. We also know that when he was in Texas, there was a setback during the time that he was on the DL, so to say this is a direct comparison to two years ago, it’s probably a little bit too early, but we’ll take every precaution to get him back fully when he’s able to return.”

Farrell noted that the plan continues to be having Edward Mujica fill in as the Red Sox’ closer until Uehara is cleared. Mujica threw a perfect ninth inning in picking up his first save as a member of the Sox, Friday night.

“One of the main reasons we signed [Mujica] in the offseason is history last year showed us the need for multiple guys that could close games out in the event of a situation that arose [Friday] night,” said Farrell, who said the set-up situation leading up to the ninth will still be somewhat dependent on match-ups. “A guy that saved 30-plus games. He walks to the mound in the ninth inning very comfortable. We have got complete confidence in him.”

 

Read More: Koji Uehara; Edward Mujica, Red Sox,
Koji Uehara sits out Red Sox win after experiencing shoulder stiffness 04.11.14 at 11:16 pm ET
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Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

NEW YORK —  The injuries keep coming for the Red Sox.

Just moments before what turned out to be a 4-2 Red Sox win over the Yankees Friday night, it was determined that Koji Uehara wouldn’€™t be available for duty after experiencing right shoulder stiffness during pregame.

“We felt it was best to stay away from him,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Just precautionary. This will be a day to day type of things and we’€™ll check on him tomorrow and his availability.”

Farrell noted Uehara€“ hadn’€™t been dealing with any sort of stiffness prior to Friday.

“Based on what Koji’s expressed as far as the stiffness, this doesn’t seem to be a one-pitch injury type thing,” Farrell said. “He just felt some stiffness and we wanted to stay away from him.”

The reliever did mention after the game that he had similar tightness two years ago while pitching with Texas, an issue that he said took two months to overcome after it resurfaced.

“It’s not something I feel all the time,” he said. “It’s not pain. It’s tightness when I throw. I feel it.”

Replacing Uehara in the closers role Friday night was Edward Mujica, who set the Yankees down in order in the ninth inning to pick up his first save as a member of the Red Sox. Mujica had served as the Cardinals’€™ closer for much of the 2013 season, having made the National League All-Star team after picking up 26 first-half saves.

“He’s got a lot of success in that closer’s role,” Farrell said. “He pitches with a lot of confidence in that ninth inning.”

“When I signed with this team they told me ‘We’re going to have a lot of opportunities in the bullpen,’”Mujica said. ‘€œThe job I did last year they said, ‘Mujica can do the job if Koji goes down.’ But everybody is ready to go to do whatever role.”

There were no plans at this time for Uehara to return to Boston for a further examination.

Read More: Edward Mujica, Koji Uehara, Red Sox, Yankees
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