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Xander Bogaerts: ‘It’s pretty hard to hit in the cold’ 04.14.17 at 11:48 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts seems to have found his swing. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts seems to have found his swing. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox offense hasn’t been as advertised to start the season.

Though the first 10 games, the Red Sox are averaging 4.4 runs a game, but have scored three runs or less in three of them.

While 4.4 runs isn’t all that bad, there have been games where they should have had more and several players are getting back into a rhythm after being out with the flu, or for other reasons.

Following Friday’s 10-5 loss to the Rays, Xander Bogaerts admitted it’s not easy hitting in April, especially home runs.

As a team, the Red Sox have just four so far this season.

“I mean in April it’s not easy to hit home runs,” Bogaerts said. “You’re playing in Boston. I know the wall is right there but it’s pretty hard to hit in the cold in general. We’ll hit some home runs, especially when it starts warming up. Looking forward to a lot of home runs from a lot of guys.”

Personally, Bogaerts has seemed to have found something at the plate after a slow start, as he went 3-for-4 with a walk in the loss. It was his third straight multi-hit game.

“I mean the cold is good and bad for me,” he said. “The good part is that it helps me do a little bit less. My effort level goes down because it’s kind of cold. But when it warms up I start swinging a bit bigger. You feel stronger because of the sun and whatever. The cold is good because I just try to do more contact, don’t want to get jammed or off the end for my hands to feel pretty bad.”

While for many players they are not where they want to be at the plate, fortunately the weather is warming up and with that they hope are their bats.

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Red Sox 4, Pirates 3: Offense comes alive in nick of time to complete delayed sweep behind Hanley Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts 04.13.17 at 5:24 pm ET
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Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez pitches against the Pirates. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez pitches against the Pirates. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox are getting their team back from the flu, and on Thursday it belatedly translated into runs.

Shut down for seven innings, the Red Sox finally broke through in the eighth, with Xander Bogaerts’ clutch two-out single driving in Hanley Ramirez with the go-ahead run in a 4-3 victory.

The Red Sox had done nothing offensively to that point, but they finally pieced things together in the eighth to overcome a 3-1 deficit. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out for Ramirez, and the DH responded with a blast to deep center that eluded Pirates outfielder Starling Marte.

Dustin Pedroia scored easily, but Andrew Benintendi had retreated to second to tag up. Mookie Betts, running right on Benintendi’s heels, tried to elude the tag of catcher Chris Stewart at the plate and was originally ruled safe before the call was overturned.

That set the stage for Bogaerts with two outs, and he responded by lining a single to right.

Craig Kimbrel then closed it out in the ninth, aided by catcher Christian Vazquez gunning down the potential tying run trying to steal.

For most of the afternoon, it didn’t look like the Red Sox would manage anything offensively. Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl shut them down for 6 1/3 innings and Andrew McCutcheon’s two-run homer in the first appeared to be all the offense the Pirates would need.

Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez came out flat, walking leadoff hitter Jordy Mercer before McCutchen launched a first-pitch fastball over the Monster in left.

Gregory Polanco and David Freese followed with singles before a visit from pitching coach Carl Willis calmed Rodriguez, who struck out Josh Harrison and Josh Bell to escape further damage in the 33-pitch frame.

E-Rod was on point from there. He ended up striking out eight over 5 1/3 innings, allowing four hits, four walks, and three runs (2 earned).

Meanwhile, other than Mitch Moreland doubling in his team-record seventh straight game, the Red Sox mustered little offensively. Their first run came in second, when Moreland doubled and scored on a Marco Hernandez single.

With a day game following a night game, Red Sox manager John Farrell mixed things up with his starting lineup, subbing Marco Hernandez for struggling third baseman Pablo Sandoval and inserting Brock Holt into left field instead of Chris Young.

Shattering Perceptions Game Note Image

When Vazquez caught Starling Marte stealing in the second inning, it left Red Sox catchers a perfect 5-for-5 nabbing opposing thieves on the season. That run came to an end in the sixth, however, when Gregory Polanco stole third on Vazquez and then scored when the throw sailed into left field.

Read More: Craig Kimbrel, hanley ramirez, Pirates, Red Sox
Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts batting 6th vs. Orioles 04.12.17 at 3:27 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts is batting sixth against the Orioles. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts is batting sixth against the Orioles. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It will be virtually the exact same lineup on Wednesday as the Red Sox had in Tuesday’s win over the Orioles. The only difference is Sandy Leon will be behind the plate catching knuckleballer Steven Wright.

Xander Bogaerts will continue to bat sixth, as he has the entire season. The Red Sox will be facing Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.

Pablo Sandoval gets the start at third base and Andrew Benintendi continues to man center field with Jackie Bradley Jr. on the 10-day disabled list.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup.

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Andrew Benintendi, CF
Mookie Betts, RF
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Chris Young, LF
Sandy Leon, C
Steven Wright, RHP

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Red Sox lineup: Hanley Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts return for series opener vs. Orioles 04.11.17 at 3:30 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez will return to the lineup Tuesday night. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez will return to the lineup Tuesday night. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox will get two of their better players back for their second home series of the year against the Orioles.

Hanley Ramirez, who missed the series in Detroit with the flu, and Xander Bogaerts, who also missed the series because of being on the bereavement list, are both in the lineup Tuesday night against Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy. Bogaerts will hit sixth like he did last week.

With Jackie Bradley Jr. on the disabled list, Andrew Benintendi appears to be getting the starts in center field with Chris Young in left.

Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz, who is making his season debut.

Here’s the complete Red Sox lineup:

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Andrew Benintendi, CF
Mookie Betts, RF
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Chris Young, LF
Christan Vazquez, C
Drew Pomeranz, LHP

Read More: hanley ramirez, xander bogaerts,
Red Sox make roster moves in advance of series with Orioles, including Jackie Bradley Jr. to DL at 3:23 pm ET
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Jackie Bradley Jr. was placed on the 10-day disabled list. (Winslow Townsend/USA Today Sports)

Jackie Bradley Jr. was placed on the 10-day disabled list. (Winslow Townsend/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox are getting a few players back, but also losing another. Prior to the series against the Orioles, the Red Sox made a few roster moves.

Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was placed on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to April 9) with a right knee sprain, Xander Bogaerts was activated off the bereavement list and Drew Pomeranz was activated off the 10-day disabled list.

To make room for these players on the roster, Deven Marrero was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Bogaerts is in the lineup Tuesday night and Drew Pomeranz will make his season debut on the mound.

Without Bradley Jr., it appears Andrew Benintendi will get the majority of the playing time in center field. By all accounts it appears Bradley Jr.’s trip to the disabled list will not be longer than the 10 days.

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

Read More: jackie bradley jr., xander bogaerts,
Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts out after flight to Detroit is cancelled 04.10.17 at 9:41 am ET
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Xander Bogaerts remains out of the lineup. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts remains out of the lineup. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox will take on the Tigers in the final game of a four-game weekend set in Detroit Monday afternoon and they will continue to be without a few of their stars.

Hanley Ramirez (flu), Jackie Bradley Jr. (knee) and Xander Bogaerts (bereavement) remain out of the lineup, as the Red Sox will go up against Tigers righty Justin Verlander.

Bogaerts was originally supposed to be in the lineup, but his flight to Detroit was cancelled.

With Bradley Jr. out, Andrew Benintendi will play center field and Chris Young will play left field. Brock Holt gets the nod at third base, while Pablo Sandoval will serve as the designated hitter.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Chris Sale.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup.

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Andrew Benintendi, CF
Mookie Betts, RF
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Chris Young, LF
Brock Holt, 3B
Sandy Leon, C
Marco Hernandez, SS
Chris Sale, LHP

Read More: Andrew Benintendi, xander bogaerts,
Red Sox notes: What will bullpen roles be leading to closer Craig Kimbrel? 04.03.17 at 12:20 pm ET
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Joe Kelly could be a potential eighth inning guy to start the season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Joe Kelly could be a potential eighth inning guy to start the season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

With top relievers Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith starting the year on the disabled list, how the Red Sox get to closer Craig Kimbrel remains to be seen.

Besides Kimbrel, the Red Sox have right-handers Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, Joe Kelly and Ben Taylor and then left-handers Robbie Scott, Fernando Abad and Robbie Ross Jr. in the bullpen.

Speaking prior to the opener on Monday, manager John Farrell said the team doesn’t have defined roles as of yet, but the hope is to find them as quickly as possible.

“Without a returning lock-down eighth inning guy, we’re about settling into some roles as quick as possible,” Farrell said. “There’s going to be a little bit more matching up right now before we bridge to Kimbrel in the ninth. You take some of the momentum that certain guys have coming out of spring training with how they are throwing the ball — Hembree and Barnes from the right-handed side have probably been the most consistent. Robbie Scott and Fernando [Abad] from the left side have probably had more momentum coming out of spring training.

“We’ve got to settle into the roles as quick as possible, but that is what we’re looking at to bridge to Kimbrel right now in a lead situation.”

Farrell said all relievers are capable of coming out of the bullpen in the middle of an inning.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

— When looking at the Red Sox’ lineup, one of the things that stands out most is Xander Bogaerts batting sixth. The shortstop is coming of a season where he hit .294 with 21 home runs and 89 RBIs.

Farrell said Bogaerts hitting sixth is a case of the depth of the lineup, as well as keeping a left-right balance in the batting order. He also added it doesn’t mean he will be hitting sixth the whole year.

“First of all, you have a two-time Silver Slugger award winner that is dropping down in the order,” he said. “That is more a product of the depth of the group that we have. We have four or five guys that are capable of hitting in the two or three-hole on this team. To keep some left-right balance throughout and potentially not allow some obvious matchups in opposing bullpens, Bogey going to the sixth hole is the choice made. I am sure we’re going to have many different looks over the course of the year with the lineup, but this is where we start.”

Read More: Craig Kimbrel, Fernando Abad, heath hembree, Joe Kelly
Xander Bogaerts gets off to good start at WBC as Netherlands beats South Korea 03.07.17 at 9:43 am ET
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While his teammates were sleeping, Xander Bogaerts helped Team Netherlands beat Team South Korea, 5-0 in their first game in the WBC Tuesday morning.

Bogaerts went 1-for-4 with a triple, while playing third base. He hit third in the order behind Andrelton Simmons and Jurickson Profar.

The Netherlands scored two runs in the first inning and didn’t look back. They are in Pool A with South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Israel.

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Dave Dombrowski: Red Sox would like to have Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts for long time, but aren’t in rush to extend them 02.23.17 at 10:59 am ET
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Dave Dombrowski isn't in a rush to extend Mookie Betts or Xander Bogaerts. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Dave Dombrowski isn’t in a rush to extend Mookie Betts or Xander Bogaerts. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts are two Red Sox players who are potential superstars and obviously the team would like to have them part of their long-term future.

Bogaerts is a free agent after the 2019 season, while Betts is a free agent after 2020.

Appearing on Kirk & Callahan Thursday morning, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the organization would like them to be with them for a long time, but aren’t in any rush to strike a deal.

“We would like them to be Red Sox for a long time,” Dombrowski said. “But, I have also learned throughout the years any time you have contract negotiations with players they are best kept between you and the player. That is how I have always handled those types of situations.”

Bogaerts is a Scott Boras client and he’s been known not to sign contracts before a player hits free agency. Dombrowski noted he’s been able to strike deals beforehand with Boras clients on a few occasions and sometimes it is up to the player to overrule Boras and make a decision on their own.

“I think first of all, let’s just use those two because they are specific, there’s not a rush per se,” Dombrowski said regarding an extension. “It’s not like they are [free agents] at the end of this year. I’ve run into those scenarios. You can occasionally still throw out that we have interest. I think what’s interesting throughout the years, I’ve dealt with Scott Boras many, many times for 30 years basically, and ultimately it is the player’s life. They need to step up at times and make their decisions and I have had players that Scott will say, ‘We’re really not interested,’ and he will talk to the player and at one point he may come back and the player may say, ‘I want to make this decision.'”

Dombrowski also noted that Bogaerts seems to enjoy being a member of the organization.

“I think Xander likes it here a great deal,” he said. “I think he is in a position where he would like to be a Red Sox. He appreciates the organization and the way he’s been treated. You never can tell what can happen with those things.”

Read More: Dave Dombrowski, mookie betts, xander bogaerts,
Xander Bogaerts believes playing in the World Baseball Classic could once again be a good omen for Red Sox 02.15.17 at 10:50 am ET
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Xander Bogaerts hopes the WBC pays off in 2017 like it did in 2013. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts hopes the WBC pays off in 2017 like it did in 2013. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On the surface, Xander Bogaerts’ decision to play in the World Baseball Classic appears questionable.

Bogaerts began wearing down towards the end of the first half last year and never stopped. His OPS dropped over 130 points from the first half (.863) to the second (.729), and he ended the year on fumes, hitting just .230 after Aug. 1 while playing a career-high 157 games.

So why travel halfway around the world to Korea to play for the Netherlands in the first round of the WBC next month? Because last time it worked out pretty well for Bogaerts and the Red Sox.

“Probably the main reason is in 2013, we won it all,” Bogaerts said of the surprising World Series title that ended that season. “I went there and I played. Hopefully we can have the same results this year. Those guys I grew up playing with, playing against all the time now, because I’m from Aruba, they’re from Curacao,  we always used to play against each other. This is a chance I could play with them now on a team and hopefully make it far for our country.”

Bogaerts was just a kid in 2013 and the WBC opened his eyes.

“It helped me, to be honest, in 2013 because I never played in a big crowd,” he said. “I remember playing in Japan in the Tokyo Dome. It was so packed. You could barely hear the guy next to you because all the fans were so loud, especially when you are playing the home team. It’s going to help you because of that crowd, the way you can learn how to dominate it or play through it, it will help you.”

Bogaerts also believes playing competitively early in camp could help him lock in his swing. He expects to leave Red Sox camp in about two weeks.

“I mean, I always have issues with my timing, regardless of whether I stay here or go there,” he said. “I always have a time before I get going. That’s always the way I’ve been. I tend not to stress too much on that because I kind of know myself by now. I think to get going quicker this year would definitely help us reach pretty far over there.”

With David Ortiz gone, Bogaerts said his goal is to steal more bases. As for the team, it’s no surprise that he hopes to surpass last year’s first-round playoff ouster.

“[Management] want us to go out there and be the best,” he said. “They want us always to have a chance in our division, go on, and go deep into the playoffs. Winning is always No. 1 here. That’s always how it’s been since I’ve been in this organization.

“Reaching [the playoffs] is not even easy. There are a lot of good teams out there. It’s not something easy to do, or something you can do annually. I mean, the Patriots do it, but they’re football. I’m just going to go out there and compete and trust ourselves and our coaching staff and the guys that are in here and enjoy the moment, because it doesn’t come often.”

Read More: Red Sox, WBC, world baseball classic, xander bogaerts
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