|Closing Time: David Price, Red Sox drop rubber match to Rays to finish disappointing road trip||06.29.16 at 3:00 pm ET|
Here we go again.
The momentum the Red Sox hoped to build after Tuesday’s 8-2 victory in Tampa lasted about 12 hours before the Rays sent the Sox crawling back to Boston with a 4-0 shutout that completed a disappointing 2-4 road trip.
David Price couldn’t stop the bleeding, allowing four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out 10, but that was hardly what the Red Sox were looking for against the worst offense in the American League, which entered the series having lost 11 straight before taking two of three from the Red Sox.
“Bad. Again,” Price told reporters in Florida. “I’m just putting us behind the eight-ball early on in games. I’m not setting the tone the way that I need to. It’s tough. I’m so much better than this. I’ve just got to get better. It’s crushing me right now, but I’ll get there.”
Price wasted little time surrendering runs, starting with a Brandon Guyer 366-foot homer in the second inning in his first at-bat off the disabled list. In the third, the Rays went on a base hit spree, driving in three runs via singles and doubles.
With the home run to Guyer, Price has now allowed a homer in nine consecutive starts.
Price allowed a worrisome amount of hard contact, starting with Logan Forsythe’s ground-rule double leading off the first, though Price at least stranded him at third. From there, the Rays continued to tee off, with five of their nine hits going for extra bases.
Price (8-5) dropped to 1-4 this month.
“It’s been my worst year. It’s unacceptable,” Price told reporters. “I don’t care if I’m a rookie. It’s unacceptable. I’ve got to get better, and I will.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Early-morning Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts returns, David Price on hill as Sox look to finish road trip strong||at 10:04 am ET|
The Red Sox get little time to celebrate Tuesday’s 8-2 victory over the Rays, because they’re right back at it at noon in Wednesday’s finale.
Xander Bogaerts returns to the lineup after getting Tuesday off with what he has described as tired legs. The rest of the lineup remains unchanged, with Christian Vazquez catching David Price as the Red Sox look to finish an eventful road trip with a 3-3 record before returning to Fenway Park for a long homestand that kicks off Fourth of July weekend.
Bradley Jr. CF
|Closing Time: Rick Porcello, Travis Shaw help get Red Sox turned in right direction||06.28.16 at 10:21 pm ET|
It took nearly 30 days, but the Red Sox finally have their 10th win of June.
The Sox claimed an 8-2 victory over the Rays in the penultimate game of what has been an abysmal month.
This one didn’t fall any of the recent patterns. The Red Sox scored first. Starter Rick Porcello pitched well. Travis Shaw homered as part of a five-RBI night. The bullpen wasn’t overtaxed.
It was a refreshingly easy victory in a month when everything has been hard.
David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Shaw each recorded multiple hits. Shaw smacked his first homer in exactly 100 plate appearances. The Red Sox went 5-for-14 with runners on base.
They finally got on the board first, too, improving to 8-1 all-time against Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer.
“We need it. We need it,” Ortiz said. :We haven’t been able to dominate much this road trip, but a win is a win.”
Shaw hit his first home run in a month to put the Red Sox on the board in the second. He later added a two-run double and two-run single for his third five-RBI game of the season. The middle of the lineup each added RBIs of their own, with Ortiz, Ramirez and Bradley plating runs.
Porcello’s quietly impressive 2016 campaign continued, albeit against an unimpressive Rays lineup. The righty went six innings, allowing five hits and one run with eight strikeouts and three walks, improving to 9-2 with a 3.78 ERA. The righty remained unbeaten over his last eight starts, improving to 3-0 in that span.
“We take a lot of pride as a starting rotation in being effective and setting the tone for our team,” Porcello said. “But more important is for our team as a whole. We need to get wins, need to get back on the right page, and that’s the biggest thing, just getting wins however we can get them right now until we start rolling.”
The biggest threat for the Rays came in the fourth, when Porcello allowed the first four batters to reach base, three via walks. Nick Franklin’s free pass forced in a run to put the Rays on the board.
But, with Matt Barnes warming up, Porcello escaped the jam by sandwiching strikeouts of Hank Conger and Brad Miller around Logan Forsythe’s fly out to center field.
While Junichi Tazawa allowed a seventh-inning homer to Brad Miller, he combined with Koji Uehara and Matt Barnes to close out the final three innings. Uehara pitched a perfect frame one game after giving up a two-run homer.
The top six batters in the Red Sox lineup went 11-for-24 with four doubles, a home run and eight RBIs, while the bottom three went 0-for-13 with seven strikeouts.
The Red Sox hadn’t won by more than a run since a 6-2 victory over the Mariners on June 18.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Bryce Brentz made a great sliding grab in left field to end the sixth inning, completing a 1-2-3 inning.
— Shaw’s home run wasn’t a cheap one, flying 449 feet into the edge of the seats in right-center field. He recorded multiple hits for just the fifth time this month. His last three-hit game came on May 17 in Kansas City.
— Porcello allowed no more than one run for the first time since blanking the Yankees over seven innings on April 30. He recorded eight strikeouts, one off his season high.
— DH David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI and his league-leading 31st double.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— The Red Sox struggled to see pitches on occasion, striking out 11 times. A third of the lineup had at least two strikeouts, with Brentz striking out three times.
— The fourth inning was a frightening one for Porcello, throwing 39 pitches and walking three batters. He got out of it with moderate trouble, however, allowing just one run.
“I couldn’t tell you,” said Porcello regarding his bout of wildness. “I was a little off mechanically. It was really tough for me to regain my focus. I was doing everything I could to slow the game down and step off the mound, think about executing a pitch, and for whatever reason I struggled with a couple of hitters throwing strikes. That was it. Once I could get back into it and get that one strikeout, I was able to regain some confidence and be a little bit more effective.”
— Miller blasted a home run in the seventh off of Junichi Tazawa.
Rob Bradford contributed to this report from St. Petersburg, Fla.
|Closing Time: Eduardo Rodriguez implodes, Dustin Pedroia gives him an earful in brutal loss to Rays||06.27.16 at 10:39 pm ET|
The state of the Red Sox pitching staff has reached DEFCON 1 status.
One night after Clay Buchholz put the Red Sox in an immediate hole in a loss to the Rangers, Eduardo Rodriguez did him one better with a five-run first against the lowly Rays.
The Red Sox never had a chance thereafter against one of the worst offenses in baseball, dropping a 13-7 decision that will be remembered for Dustin Pedroia’s animated mound visit with Rodriguez in the second that saw the former MVP share a number of choice words with his floundering teammate, who was optioned to Triple-A after the game.
Rodriguez looked lost. The Rays sent nine men to the plate in the first en route to five runs. They added four more against him before they were done, chasing him with a pair of homers in the third, ending an 11-game losing streak and sending the reeling Red Sox to their 10th loss in 15 games.
The loss resulted in Red Sox manager John Farrell calling a team meeting following the game, during which even the clubhouse attendants were asked to wait outside.
“The bottom line is he’s capable of more, we’re capable of more, we need to get better, and we had a chance to share that here after the game tonight,” Farrell said. “You know what, we collectively have to get better. To continue to fall behind as much as we are of late, we’re more talented than that. We have the capability of executing pitches at a higher rate. We can’t continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes, as we’ve been. We’ve got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are.”
This one got ugly in a hurry. Logan Forsythe led off the first with a single and the Rays recorded five more hits from there, including RBI doubles from Taylor Motter and Nick Franklin. Forsythe, Desmond Jennings, and Nick Franklin all homered for the Rays, who entered the game last in the AL in runs (295), but smacked a season-high 18 hits.
Things got interesting in the second when Rodriguez hung his head after allowing an infield single. Pitching coach Carl Willis jogged out to the mound, but Pedroia took control of the meeting, waving his hands in Rodriguez’s face to make his point before yelling what looked like, “Let’s go!” as he left the mound.
The Red Sox tried to rally, but it wasn’t happening. They now sit a season-high 4 1/2 games behind the Orioles in the AL East.
Red Sox pitchers have allowed the opponent to score first in 11 of their last 13 games, including eight times in the first inning. The Sox starters have also combined for a 13.20 ERA on the current road trip.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— You’re kidding, right? OK, fine — catcher Sandy Leon stayed hot by blasting his first homer of the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Start with Rodriguez. He allowed 11 hits and nine runs in just 2 2/3 innings, lacking confidence in his fastball and allowing the Rays to sit on his offspeed offerings. Just ugly all around. His ERA now stands at 8.59. His minus-five “Game Score” was the lowest by a Red Sox starter since Doug Bird on May 24, 1983.
— Left fielder Bryce Brentz stroked a two-run double in the fourth as part of a three-hit night, but was thrown out trying to take third, ending the frame.
— The Red Sox fell to three games under .500 against the American League East. The Orioles are 22-13, in contrast.
— The Rays entered the game ranked last in the AL in runs (295). They reached 15 hits for just the third time this season.
— Reliever Koji Uehara continues to struggle with his splitter, allowing a mammoth two-run homer in the eighth while getting some work as his ERA climbed to 5.08.
(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from St. Petersburg, Fla.)
|Dustin Pedroia chews out Eduardo Rodriguez on mound in midst of miserable start as Red Sox dig hole against Rays||at 8:29 pm ET|
The time for niceties is over and it looks like Dustin Pedroia has seen enough.
With Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez imploding vs. the Rays — he allowed five runs in the first inning alone on Monday night — Pedroia decided it was time for some tough love. As the following Vine illustrates, Pedroia did not mince words with Rodriguez during a mound visit in the second.
Dustin Pedroia with some choice words for Eduardo Rodriguez in midst of another meltdown. https://t.co/8STRgXfPeA
— John Tomase (@jtomase) June 28, 2016
The second baseman’s final words after the animated discussion appeared to be, “Let’s go!”
The speech didn’t have its desired effect. Rodriguez came back out for the third and allowed nine runs before being lifted. His entire evening was a disaster against one of the worst offenses in baseball. The Rays scored five in the first by sending nine men to the plate.
They then knocked Rodriguez out in the third with homers by Desmond Jennings and Logan Forsythe. Rodriguez’s line: 2 2/3 innings, 11 hits, nine earned runs, and one tongue-lashing from his All-Star second baseman.
|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz sits, Bryce Brentz at DH||06.26.16 at 1:17 pm ET|
ARLINGTON, Texas – With lefty Martin Perez on the mound for the Rangers, David Ortiz is starting the Red Sox’ series finale against Texas on the bench. Filling in for Ortiz at DH will be Bryce Brentz, with Ryan LaMarre getting the start in left field.
Manager John Farrell told reporters before the game that Ortiz needs a maintenance day, but that he’ll be available to pinch hit. The big DH is hitting .335 with a league-leading 30 doubles and 1.109 OPS.
“As we’ve had to manage his heels and ankles and feet situation, it was a recommendation to have the day off,” Farrell said. “He’s available to pinch hit and I would hope and anticipate he to stay ready for all three games in Tampa.”
Here is the Red Sox lineup with Clay Buchholz pitching for the visitors:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Bryce Brentz DH
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Ryan LaMarre LF
|Fan who grabbed potential Bogaerts homer: ‘The ball wasn’t coming in [as] a home run’||06.22.16 at 11:10 pm ET|
Wednesday night started innocuously enough for Dave Gallagher and his father, David. Dave, a native of Bristol, N.H., who now lives in Georgia, made his annual trip north to see a Red Sox game. He even had a Father’s Day surprise for his dad — four tickets in the front row of the Green Monster.
Then things got interesting.
With the Red Sox down 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth after an implosion by reliever Koji Uehara, Xander Bogaerts clubbed a pitch to left-center field, directly at the Gallaghers.
Dave reached down. The ball glanced off his hands and dropped onto the field. Bogaerts stopped at second with a double. And then the Gallaghers found themselves in the center of an unexpected controversy.
“The ball wasn’t coming in [as] a home run. It wasn’t,” Dave Gallagher told WEEI.com and the Boston Herald. “It wasn’t going to be — it wasn’t going to hit the top of the wall coming to me. So I had to reach out to get it.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell complained, the umpires conferred, and after a five-minute delay, ruled both fan interference and a double, but no home run.
“When we went to replay, replay said the original call is overturned,” crew chief Dana DeMuth told a pool reporter. “A fan did touch it. However, placement of the runners was it’s not a home run. The fan did not prevent it from being a home run.”
That was no consolation to the Gallaghers, who were promptly ejected by stadium security. That meant no ninth inning for Dave, his father, Dave’s uncle Ron, or a fourth member of the group who declined to be identified.
“They said if you touched it you’re out,” Dave Gallagher said. “They said if you touched any part of it, you’re out. And it didn’t make any sense to me. If it touched us, and we held on to it and grabbed on to it as a home run, it would have been fine.”
Dave spent roughly $200 per ticket, running him north of $800, plus the cost of airfare. Whatever the cost, it’s safe to say it turned out to be a night none of them would forget, though he wondered, “Are we going to be the bad guys?”
“I’m actually from Georgia,” he added. “I came up for the game and they kicked me out. So that’s a story to tell.”
|Closing Time: Koji Uehara implodes, fan potentially keeps Red Sox from tying homer in brutal loss to White Sox||at 10:50 pm ET|
Koji Uehara allowed a pair of eighth inning home runs to blow a lead and Xander Bogaerts lost a potential tying blast on fan interference as the Red Sox suffered a wild, demoralizing 8-6 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday night.
Summoned to protect a 6-4 lead, Uehara hung a pair of splitters that got crushed. Melky Cabrera hit the first out to right field for a game-tying two-run homer, and then Brett Lawrie launched the game-winner over everything in left.
The Red Sox looked like they had potentially tied the game when Bogaerts lifted his third hit of the night towards the Green Monster, but it skipped off the top of the wall for a double. On replay, however, it appeared that a fan reached over the fence and touched the ball, possibly keeping it from clearing the red line that would make it a homer.
After a lengthy review, umpires left Bogaerts on second. There was more drama two batters later when Chris Young launched a potential three-run homer to left, but it drifted just a couple of feet foul in the gap between the pole and the roof box seats. Young then struck out.
Uehara’s implosion erased a solid start from left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 7 Ks), who featured his best fastball of the season, routinely hitting 95-96 mph. It also negated a strong night from the offense, which got multiple hits from the first three members of the order and a home run from struggling first baseman Hanley Ramirez.
Ramirez’s homer into the Red Sox bullpen in the sixth on a 1-2 count broke a 4-4 tie.
But Uehara had nothing on his splitter, which spun in the heart of the strike zone, and the White Sox made him pay while dealing the Red Sox their third straight loss and seventh in 10 games.
It did not take long for the Red Sox to find their stroke against one of the American League’s best pitchers. Jose Quintana began the night with a 2.63 ERA, but the Red Sox posted a four-spot in the third on a Sandy Leon walk and five singles.
After combining for 11 hits and two runs in the first two games of the series, the Red Sox put together ten hits and six runs on Wednesday night alone.
Eduardo Rodriguez showed much needed improvement, going six innings with his old delivery. Rodriguez’s last four starts were marred by a modified delivery that did not pan out well in addition to possibly tipping his changeup.
However the 23-year-old found what had made him successful in previous outings and let it take care of itself from there. He was blowing his fastball by batters in the 95 to 96 mph range, and occasionally subtly and effectively mixed in his changeup as well. He established the pitch early by starting the game with three consecutive changeups to leadoff hitter Tim Anderson, who took Clay Buchholz long on a first-pitch fastball to start the game Tuesday night.
However he was not exempt from exhibiting flashes of what’s gone painfully wrong for him this season. He left a fastball right over the heart of the plate to Todd Frazier, who hit his second home run in as many nights into the Monster seats. He also allowed a pair of hard doubles, including an RBI two-bagger to Cabrera.
Wednesday was Rodriguez’s first start of more than 100 pitches this season, tossing 102. It was his first outing north of 100 pitches since September 14 of last season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Mookie Betts went 2-for-5 with a double to record his 30th multi-hit game of the season.
— Ramirez hit his sixth home run of the year and his second in eight games. He hit a 1-2 pitch into the Red Sox bullpen to give Boston a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
— Eduardo Rodriguez brought his velocity back up consistently, clocking 95 to 96 mph routinely.
— Dustin Pedroia (2-for-4) and Bogaerts (3-for-5) recorded multiple hits, raising their averages to .306 and .351, respectively.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Koji. The formerly reliable reliever saw his ERA climb to 4.78 after he allowed three runs on two homers.
— Reliever Heath Hembree allowed an insurance run in the eighth.
— The Red Sox lost a pair of home run challenges, first on Bogaerts’ blast, and then on Young’s near go-ahead shot in the eighth.
— Sandy Leon got picked off at third base in the fourth inning with one out, killing all momentum for the Sox in the frame.
— Travis Shaw exited the game in the fourth inning with a right shin contusion, no doubt a holdover from the ball he fouled off his leg on Tuesday.
The Red Sox need pitching help and Eduardo Rodriguez took his first real step on Wednesday towards being a solution.
Featuring last year’s delivery for the first time this season, the 23-year-old southpaw put together an encouraging outing in an 8-6 loss to the White Sox. Featuring a fastball that routinely reached 96 mph, he allowed just three earned runs on four hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking two.
The numbers may not jump off of the stat sheet, but Rodriguez looked increasingly like a viable fourth starter as the game progressed.
The four hits allowed tied his season low, while the seven strikeouts were his season high.
“I thought Eddie tonight was a step in the right direction,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Better power, better overall stuff, a lot of swing-and-miss to what I thought at times was an explosive fastball.”
Before Wednesday’s game, he opted to revert his delivery to his form of last season, when he went 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA. The payoff was more fastballs consistently thrown at 95 mph, which he used to his advantage against the White Sox. Seventy-seven of Rodriguez’s 102 pitches were heaters, which produced 12 swings and misses.
“You saw his delivery go back to what he used prior to the knee injury,” Farrell said. “I think it allowed him to gain a little rhythm and momentum over the rubber. He kept himself together [and was] able to generate better power overall. [It] translated into velocity, and I think it also translated into some swing-and-miss for him.”
Rodriguez’s outing, however, was far from perfect. Of the four hits he allowed, three went for extra bases, and one left the park. He allowed a sixth-inning blast to Todd Frazier that tied the game 4-4. Farrell lifted him after the frame.
“I just wanted a fastball away, and I just missed right in the middle of the plate,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez may still have plenty to work on, including his offspeed pitches, but he’s feeling — and looking — more like his old self with each start.
“I think it’s working better,” Rodriguez said. “You can see the velocity’s back, [I was] consistent with both sides of the plate better, so I think it’s coming back, day-by-day.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell explained why Hanley Ramirez will be dropped from fifth to seventh in the order for Wednesday’s game against the White Sox.
Ramirez is hitting just .179 with 11 strikeouts in 18 games in June. Since homering on June 15 to end a 35-day drought, Ramirez has gone 4-for-24 with six strikeouts.
As a result, he’ll be hitting as low as seventh for the first time since his rookie year of 2006. Chris Young moves up to the fifth spot in his place.
“Hanley has been working through some things to try and get his timing on track,” Farrell said. “Players are going to kind of tell you where they hit in the order. Chris has done an outstanding job this year, particularly against left-handed pitchers. And while Hanley works through the timing issues, well, we needed a little bit of a jumpstart or a spark potentially.”
Ramirez’s June 15 homer was his first since May 10 and one of the first true displays of hard contact Ramirez had shown in some time — a positive indication for Farrell.
“Even if it wasn’t a home run, you saw hard contact, and really that’s kind of what you’re looking for,” Farrell said. “When timing is a little bit more consistent or on the mark, the fact that it went out of the ballpark in my mind is irrelevant. The leg kick, the timing, the bat path, that’s all being worked on.”
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