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To nobody’s surprise, John Farrell has named Rick Porcello his Opening Day starter 03.15.17 at 11:40 am ET
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Rick Porcello will start on Opening Day. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello will start on Opening Day. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — You win a Cy Young Award, the honors keep coming.

Before facing the Rays on Wednesday, Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed that Rick Porcello will start on Opening Day against the Pirates at Fenway Park. Farrell said Chris Sale will start the second game, and that the rest of the rotation would be determined by camp, with Eduardo Rodriguez potentially in line for the third spot.

It will be the first Opening Day start for Porcello, whom Farrell informed of his decision upon arriving at spring training. It didn’t require extensive debate.

“No. There really wasn’t,” Farrell said. “We had three candidates that were certainly worthy and capable, but I think there’s a lot to be said for the year Rick had, the leader he’s become on our team, and the dependable pitcher that he is. All of those factors, that was something in some brief discussions with some other guys in the offseason, but as I mentioned to both David Price and others, we need to get deeper into camp. This conversation will happen at the appropriate time. We felt like if everything played out with no issues, Rick would be the guy.”

Porcello went 22-4 last year with a 3.15 ERA to surpass former teammate Justin Verlander in the Cy Young Award voting. Both Price and Sale have maintained since the start of camp that Porcello should get the ball on Opening Day.

“You pitch really well, you earn the Cy Young Award or are voted the top pitcher in the league, i think that carries a lot of weight in the minds of other pitchers,” Farrell said.

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Rick Porcello hit on hand by comebacker, says he’s OK after leaving start against Mets 03.08.17 at 4:17 pm ET
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Rick Porcello hurls on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello hurls on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Red Sox rotation already battered by injuries to David Price, Drew Pomeranz, and Steven Wright could ill-afford to lose defending AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, too.

So everyone in Red Sox colors at Tradition Field on Wednesday held their collective breath when a fourth-inning comebacker by Yoenis Cespedes drilled Porcello in the right thumb.

With manager John Farrell and the training staff on the field, Porcello waved them off before throwing two warmups and remaining in the game. He promptly allowed a home run and long double before departing for the afternoon, but all that mattered was how he felt, and on that count he seemed OK.

“It happens quickly, so immediately I’m just trying to get the sting out of it,” he said. “I was able to throw a couple pitches, and the second warmup pitch I was able to get it down in the zone. There wasn’t anything I felt was going to affect me making pitches.”

Porcello’s thumb wasn’t wrapped or iced in the clubhouse. He wasn’t sure if the thumb played a role in the final two hits.

“There’s no way of telling,” he said.

As for the performance itself, Porcello went three innings, allowing five hits and four runs. He also struck out four. Three of the runs scored after he was hit.

“I felt really good,” Porcello said. “Obviously up until the fourth there when there were some loud hits, the ball was coming out of my hand a lot better. A couple mechanical things I’m still battling a little bit. As far as the ball coming out — sinker, four seamer, curveball, changeup — everything is feeling good. The biggest thing today is I fell behind a bunch of guys early in the game and kind of throughout. I’ve got to get back to attacking the zone early in the count, strike one, and go from there.”

As for the day’s other big story, Porcello struck out Mets DH Tim Tebow on four pitches.

“I don’t know anything about him, so I do what I do against all guys I’ve never faced before: attack with my fastball until they show they can hit it,” Porcello said with a shrug.

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Red Sox manager John Farrell not ready to name Opening Day starter 12.06.16 at 6:32 pm ET
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Chris Sale

Chris Sale

On a team with two former Cy Young award winners — including the reigning champ — what happens when you add a pitcher everyone assumes will claim the award himself one day?

If you’re Red Sox manager John Farrell, the first question you’re asked is who starts on Opening Day?

Conducting his annual press conference at the Winter Meetings in Maryland on Monday, Farrell told reporters he doesn’t know which if his aces will take the hill when the Red Sox open the season in April against the Pirates.

It could be defending Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. It could be $217 million former winner David Price. Or it could be potential future winner Chris Sale, acquired from the White Sox in a blockbuster earlier in the day.

“Oh, geez. Are you sitting in for Jonny Miller or what?” Farrell joked of the long-time WBZ reporter who likes to ask tough questions. “We’ll have plenty of time to figure that out. But the way that Rick emerged last year — first of all, just you think about Chris Sale as an addition, you think about the returning guys, another year in the progression of Eddie Rodriguez, I think as he continues to understand who he is as a pitcher and what makes him the most effective, David Price obviously, Steven Wright, get him back on track. And that’s not to leave out Drew Pomeranz or Clay Buchholz.

“There’s a surplus right now, but when you think about the high end of it, this is an exciting group.”

Where Sale slots into the rotation will be fascinating to watch. He’s probably the most talented of the three, though Farrell will have plenty of time to sort out the answer to that question.

Read More: chris sale, David Price, MLB trade rumors, opening day starter
Rick Porcello of Red Sox named American League Comeback Player of the Year 11.29.16 at 2:53 pm ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

The honors and accolades keep rolling in for Rick Porcello.

The Red Sox right-hander, who earlier this month claimed the American League Cy Young Award, on Tuesday added Comeback Player of the Year to his resume.

Porcello finished first in balloting among the 30 beat reporters from MLB.com. He was joined by National League winner Anthony Rendon of the Nationals.

Porcello, 27, went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA and nipped former teammate Justin Verlander of the Tigers in the Cy Young voting. His 22 victories led the big leagues and were the most by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez won 23 in 1999.

Porcello’s numbers were a far cry from 2015, when he debuted with the Red Sox by going 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA.

Porcello is the first Red Sox player to win the award since outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury claimed it in 2011.

Read More: AL Comeback Player of the Year, anthony rendon, Jacoby Ellsbury, pedro martinez
Kate Upton goes crazy on Twitter after Rick Porcello, not fiance’ Justin Verlander, wins AL Cy Young Award 11.16.16 at 7:19 pm ET
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Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award by five points over Justin Verlander despite Verlander getting more first-place votes, 14-8.

Verlander’s fiancée Kate Upton immediately took to Twitter and went insane. Here are some of her tweets. Visit her Twitter page for more.

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Rick Porcello wins American League Cy Young Award at 7:01 pm ET
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Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award. (Neville E. Guard/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award. (Neville E. Guard/USA Today Sports)

For the first time since Pedro Martinez in 2000, the Red Sox have a Cy Young Award winner.

Announced Wednesday night, Rick Porcello won the 2016 AL Cy Young Award. Porcello barely beat out Justin Verlander as Porcello had 137 points and Verlander had 132.

The five-point differential is the second closest of any election since ballots permitted voting for more than one pitcher in 1970. Verlander had more first place votes, 14-8.

Porcello went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA, while striking out 189. The right-hander was exceptional at home as he went 13-1 with a 2.97 ERA at Fenway Park.

It is the seventh time a Red Sox pitcher has won the award. It’s worth mentioning the award is voted on before the postseason.

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

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Mookie Betts (MVP), Rick Porcello (Cy Young) named AL awards finalists; David Ortiz, John Farrell are not 11.07.16 at 7:27 pm ET
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Mookie Betts (right) is an MVP finalist, but the man he's high-fiving, David Ortiz, is not. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Mookie Betts (center) is an MVP finalist, but the man he’s high-fiving, David Ortiz, is not. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Mookie Betts could win his first MVP award in just his second full season. David Ortiz now knows he will never take home that hardware.

Major League Baseball announced its award finalists on Monday night, and a pair of Red Sox were represented.

Betts was named a finalist for MVP, while right-hander Rick Porcello is in the running for the Cy Young Award.

Betts, 24, will be joined by former winner Mike Trout, who has finished no worse than second in four previous seasons, as well as Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who won the batting title.

Those three squeezed out Ortiz, who finished his career with the greatest offensive walk-off season in history. Ortiz mashed 38 homers and drove in a league-leading 127 runs to claim the Hank Aaron Award, given to the best hitter in each league.

On the pitching side, Porcello is a finalist for the first time. He’ll be matched up with a pair of former winners — Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Detroit’s Justin Verlander. Porcello led the league with 22 wins and a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

On the manager side, Red Sox skipper John Farrell was not a finalist, beaten out by Cleveland’s Terry Francona, Baltimore’s Buck Showalter, and Texas’s Jeff Banister.

Read More: AL Cy Young, AL Manager of the Year, al mvp, David Ortiz
Rick Porcello desperately wants chance to redeem himself following tough Game 1 10.10.16 at 3:54 pm ET
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Rick Porcello will start a potential Game 4. (David Richard/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello will start a potential Game 4. (David Richard/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello knows his Game 1 start wasn’t who he is as a pitcher, as he allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss.

The right-hander desperately wants the Red Sox to win Game 3 so he can redeem himself in a potential Game 4, as he was named the starter prior to Monday’s Game 3. He will take the place of Eduardo Rodriguez.

“Definitely excited to get back out there,” Porcello said. “I don’t think for me the first game and for ourselves as a team the first two games represent who we are as a ballclub and how good we are. For me, I can’t wait to get back out there and throw the ball the way I know I am capable of. Obviously, we have to take care of business tonight, but I am excited to get a start here at Fenway.”

Porcello is 13-1 with a 2.97 ERA at Fenway Park this year, while Rodriguez is 0-4 in nine starts with a 6.02 ERA. Manager John Farrell also pointed to the fact that it’s been awhile since Rodriguez pitched last as the reasons for going with Porcello over the left-hander.

“I think our mindset is to not look beyond today. If we get there tomorrow, Rick is the starter,” Farrell said. “He’s been extremely successful here at Fenway Park and hasn’t gone the 10-12 days in between starts as [Eduardo Rodriguez] has. That’s the plan tomorrow provided we get there.”

Although Porcello allowed three solo home runs in one inning during Game 1 and Indians hitters looked comfortable all game long, he said he won’t change his approach.

“No. Obviously that is something I addressed in thinking it through a different way I need to attack these guys, but I think the biggest thing is getting ahead in the count,” he said. “I didn’t do that in a bunch of scenarios and I didn’t establish that very well from the get-go. The first inning I was able to get out of it basically by throwing my best fastballs, but it wasn’t necessarily how I was setting things up. That was just how it played out. I think it’s more how I establish my game plan and go out there and execute my pitches. That is going to be the difference.

“I am not going to let a couple of swings dictate or alter the things I do well. I just have to get back to doing that. That’s really it. [I] gave up three solo home runs in one inning. Hasn’t happened to me very often. I think if you look at those, it’s just a case-by-case basis on a not very well executed pitch and getting into counts I don’t want to get into. I don’t think you go back and completely revamp the game plan. Just be cleaner with your approach.”

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Closing Time: David Ortiz hits 2-run homer in 7th inning to snap tie, give Red Sox win over Blue Jays 09.30.16 at 11:00 pm ET
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David Ortiz's two-run homer in the seventh inning proved to be the game-winner in the Red Sox' win over the Jays (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz’s two-run homer in the seventh inning proved to be the game-winner in the Red Sox’ win over the Jays (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

You couldn’t have scripted it any better.

In the first game of the final series of the regular season dedicated to honoring David Ortiz in his final season, he hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to snap a 3-3 tie and give the Red Sox a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays snapping a four-game losing streak in the process.

With the win, the Red Sox remain half a game ahead of the Indians for the No. 2 seed in the American League and hold the tiebreaker as well.

For Ortiz, it marked the 39th time he’s hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later with 36 of them coming with the Red Sox.

“On a night that begins a weekend celebration, I don’t think you could write a script any better for what David did here tonight offensively,” manager John Farrell said. “A long at-bat in the first inning and takes a pitch on the outside of the plate from [Marco] Estrada for a RBI single. And then in a 2-1 count against Cecil, who had some decent success against him, turned this place upside down given the time of the game, what was needed. Almost a storybook night for David Ortiz.”

Trailing 3-1 in the seventh, the Red Sox scored four times to take the lead. Andrew Benintendi led the inning off with a double and then scored on a Dustin Pedroia tapper in front of the plate as Russell Martin’s throw got past first baseman Justin Smoak and stuck in the tarp.

After a Brock Holt ground out, Mookie Betts tied the game with a RBI single up the middle. The Blue Jays then brought in left-hander Brett Cecil to face Ortiz and he made them pay.

“Focus man,” Ortiz said. “Just want to go out there and do something when I step up to the plate. Be patient and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Toronto threatened against Koji Uehara in the eighth with runners on second and third with one out, but he was able to get out of it, retiring Josh Donaldson for the final out of the frame. After his tough outing in New York Wednesday night, it wasn’t the smoothest of ninth innings after walking two, but he got the save.

With his scoreless seventh inning, Brad Ziegler picked up the win.

The Red Sox led 1-0 until the fifth inning and things unraveled a bit for starter Rick Porcello. It started with a Devon Travis double off the Monster then an infield single and a Donaldson sacrifice fly to tie the game at one. Porcello was one out from getting out of the inning, but Jose Bautista crushed a two-run home run over the Monster into a stiff wind and mist.

Porcello wasn’t at his best as he went six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out six. For anyone else this would be considered a decent start, but the right-hander came into the game with a 13-1 record at Fenway Park this year and a 2.88 ERA.

“I thought he’s been throwing the ball as he’s been so many times out for us,” Farrell said.

Ortiz also got the Red Sox on the board with a two-out RBI single to left field in the first inning.

Closing Time note

By going 3-for-5, Pedroia now has 201 hits on the season. It is his second career 200-hit season, the other being his MVP year in 2008.

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

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Friday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Marco Estrada at 9:41 am ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

The Red Sox open their final series of the regular season Friday by welcoming the Blue Jays to Fenway for a three-game set. Rick Porcelllo will cap off the best regular season of his career with a final start against Marco Estrada.

Porcello is 22-4 with a 3.11 ERA and a 0.991 WHIP in 32 starts. In his last start on Saturday, he threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, eight hits and one walk with nine strikeouts in a 6-4 win over the Rays.

“I feel like I had good stuff. I definitely made a lot of mistakes, especially early on in the game and the inning when they scored those runs,” Porcello said (via MLB.com). “I had to settle back down and start executing my pitches better, but definitely had a better four-seam fastball, and it had some more life on it today than in some previous starts.”

Since June 28, the right-hander has gone more than six innings in every outing, which has contributed to him going 14-2 with a 2.49 ERA in his last 16 starts.

Against the Blue Jays, Porcello is 7-7 with a 5.07 ERA and a 1.224 WHIP in 16 games (15 starts). This season against the Jays, he is 3-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP in four starts. His last outing against Toronto was on Sept. 9. He threw seven innings, surrendering just two runs, six hits and one walks with seven strikeouts in a 13-3 Sox win.

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