|Red Sox Lineup: Xander Bogaerts gets day off as Rick Porcello, Red Sox seek to complete sweep of D’backs||08.14.16 at 12:58 pm ET|
The Red Sox look to sweep the Diamondbacks on Sunday behind their best pitcher, Rick Porcello.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts will get the day off after battling recent fatigue. Bogaerts is batting .203 in his last 18 games, dropping his batting average to .313, the lowest it has been since May 8.
“Like anybody, he needs a little bit of a day to get some fresh legs,” manager John Farrell said before the game. “He’s scuffling at the plate right now a little bit where he might lunging at times, he might be caught in between at times. Maybe a day to kind of catch his breath a little bit is needed.”
As for Porcello, he’s looking to improve upon the best home record (11-0) in the game. The Red Sox have won all 12 of his starts at Fenway Park.
“Rick in his own right may be on the path to his best year as a major-league pitcher himself,” Farrell said. “Rick has been extremely comfortable in Fenway, extremely successful. We’ll need it based on what the matchup suggests.”
What has been the difference for Porcello?
“There’s a few reasons, but I think it starts with him being in his second year in Boston,” Farrell said. “He’s more comfortable. He’s certainly comfortable on the mound here. I just think the environment, the expectation, it’s more of a known commodity to him this year than it was a year ago. It’s allowed, that relaxation to let his natural abilities come out. That filters over to his execution which has been probably as consistent as any point in his career — the fewest walks per nine innings allowed. He’s not beat himself. He’s put the ball on the ground at a pretty good rate.”
Here’s the lineup, with the Red Sox facing Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke:
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Brock Holt
RF Mookie Betts
DH David Ortiz
1B Hanley Ramirez
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
3B Aaron Hill
C Sandy Leon
LF Andrew Benintendi
|Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez (3 home runs) tees off, Drew Pomeranz implodes, and Red Sox beat Giants in wildest game of year||07.20.16 at 10:57 pm ET|
Hanley Ramirez gave the Red Sox a night to remember on an evening Drew Pomeranz hopes to forget.
Ramirez delivered the first three-homer game of his career and made a trio of outstanding defensive plays to overcome an absolute implosion by Pomeranz in his debut as the Red Sox claimed a wild 11-7 victory over the Giants in a possible World Series preview.
With the victory, the Red Sox also moved into sole possession of first place in the American League East for the first time since June 4.
“The crowd, that was probably the most electric atmosphere we’ve had this year, and since I got called up,” said third baseman Travis Shaw. “The crowd was into it, they were loud, you could feel the energy tonight. It was different than any other game we’ve played.”
Ramirez put a charge in the place by hitting homers to right, center, and left while driving in six runs. His final homer came two innings after he appeared to vow, “I’ll get you back,” to Giants reliever Albert Suarez, who had drilled him in the fourth. He also made the defensive play of the game, starting a 3-2 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning of an 8-7 game.
“I never expected this, but it’s a great feeling, it’s a great feeling, especially to end up with a W,” Ramirez said. “This team doesn’t give up. They keep adding runs and runs. We’ve got to continue to score more runs than them.”
This one had a little bit of everything. The Red Sox raced to an 8-0 lead on Ramirez’s first two homers and a monstrous two-run blast by Shaw.
Pomeranz, who was clean through the first three innings, fell apart in the fourth. He failed to retire any of the seven batters he faced and was lifted after allowing a three-run homer to Mac Williamson and a two-run shot to Trevor Brown. His final line read three innings, 8 eight hits, five runs and four strikeouts.
“By tonight, I’ll flush everything,” Pomeranz said. “That’s not me out there.”
|Closing Time: Red Sox open 2nd half on Wright foot with victory over Yankees||07.15.16 at 10:14 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Steven Wright is determined to prove he’s no flash in the pan.
The Red Sox knuckleballer took a no-hitter into the fifth and a shutout into the sixth to lead the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Yankees in the first game of the second half.
Wright dazzled the Yankees until running into trouble in the sixth, but by that point the Sox had opened a 5-0 lead on homers by catcher Ryan Hanigan, third baseman Travis Shaw, and shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
“What’s so important to that, you come off of a stretch of days where you’ve been inactive, and the ability to keep a game under control, put up zeroes until we can get an opportunity to score some runs, that’s invaluable,” said manager John Farrell.
The game pitted two teams headed in opposite directions. The Red Sox just acquired left-hander Drew Pomeranz from the Padres in a major deal that bolsters their rotation for the second half. The Yankees, meanwhile, are reportedly holding internal deliberations over whether they should be buyers or sellers come the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
They dropped to 44-45, the first time they’ve been below .500 in the second half since 1995.
The Red Sox looked like the better team on Friday night. Fresh off not pitching in the All-Star Game, Wright set down the first 14 Yankees he faced before Alex Rodriguez beat out a chopper toward third that died on the infield grass with Wright unable to make the barehanded play.
“I felt really good going out there,” Wright said. “I worked a lot with [Tim] Wake[field] before the break on trying to simplify and get my timing back and my rhythm and I felt like today we were able to do that. Hanigan helped me out a lot to make sure I stayed in that rhythm.”
|American League wins All-Star Game, David Ortiz goes hitless in final appearance||07.12.16 at 11:27 pm ET|
The Red Sox made their impact on the All-Star Game, but there were no final fireworks for David Ortiz.
The retiring Red Sox legend went 0-for-1 with a walk in his final All-Star appearance, with the real heroics reserved for a pair of Kansas City Royals.
Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez ripped homers three batters apart in the second inning to account for three of the American League’s runs in a 4-2 victory over the NL that ensures home field advantage for the AL in the World Series.
Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts scored ahead of Perez’s homer after singling in the second. Teammate Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-2 with a double in the third off of NL reliever Jose Fernandez, while Jackie Bradley Jr. recorded a pair of hits without making overwhelming contact — he beat out a swinging bunt in the second and rolled a broken-bat single to left in the fourth.
The NL jumped to a 1-0 lead on a homer by Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant in the first. The AL took the lead in the second on Hosmer’s solo homer and Perez’s two-run shot, and scored another in the third on a Hosmer single after Bogaerts had doubled Edwin Encarnacion to third. The AL had a chance for more, but Betts grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The NL got a run back in the fourth on an RBI single by Miami’s Marcell Ozuna. Its best chance to take the lead came in the eighth, when it loaded the bases on two singles and a walk against Yankees reliever Andrew Miller, but Houston’s Will Harris came on to strike out Cardinals infielder Aledmys Diaz looking on a full count to escape the threat.
The Ted Williams MVP Award was given to Hosmer.
|Xander Bogaerts admits he was motivated after not making 2015 All-Star team||07.10.16 at 5:23 pm ET|
Xander Bogaerts will soon be boarding a plane to San Diego for the 2016 All-Star Game for his first All-Star appearance, but he very well could have made his first appearance last year in Cincinnati.
In 2015, the shortstop slashed .304/.338/.411 with three home runs and 43 RBIs in the first half of the season, but did not get invited to the game.
Brock Holt was the only member of the Red Sox to get the invite and the other American League shortstops were Alcides Escobar and Jose Iglesias.
A year later, Bogaerts admitted he was motivated by not making the team.
“A little bit. A little bit,” he said following Sunday’s 4-0 win over the Rays to close out the first half. “That definitely helped my second half, but this is a new year and I am thankful.”
Bogaerts was even better in the second half as he slashed .337/.372/.431 with four home runs and 38 RBIs. He’s carried it over into 2016 as going into the break he’s batting .329 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs. The home runs and RBIs are the most by a Red Sox shortstop at the All-Star break since Nomar Garciparra back in 2003.
Since the start of last year, his 313 hits are the second-most in the majors.
Even with his tremendous first half and first All-Star nod, Bogaerts feels there are still ways he can improve in the second half.
“I’m swinging at a lot of balls out of the zone, but that would help a lot definitely,” he said. “I would like to go the other way more in the second half so that’s something I have a lot to do on since I’ve been pulling it as of late. Hopefully I just can go back that.”
|Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts, Rick Porcello lead Red Sox over Rays||07.09.16 at 6:49 pm ET|
The Red Sox seem to be putting things back together again.
Saturday was a solid team win as they got a good performance from their starting pitcher, some timely hits and the bullpen did its job as the Red Sox beat the Rays 4-1.
They have now won three straight for the first time since May 31 and have won five out of their last six games overall.
Trailing 1-0 early, the Red Sox were able to rally as they took a 2-1 lead on one swing of the bat when Xander Bogaerts hit his 10th home run of the season — a two-run shot over the Green Monster in the fourth inning. The Sox added two more in the fifth when Dustin Pedroia ripped a two-RBI single to center field.
Rick Porcello closed out his first half of the season with another solid performance. The right-hander went seven innings, allowed one run on six hits, while not walking a batter and striking out five on 94 pitches. He ran into trouble in a few innings, but made a few big pitches to get out those jams.
“Anytime you can pitch deep in the game, keep runners off base and give our guys a chance to go to work at the plate it’s ideal,” Porcello said.
The right-hander improved to 8-0 over nine starts at Fenway Park this season. He is one of three major league pitchers to not have lost in any of their first nine home starts joining Chris Tillman and Stephen Strasburg.
With Junichi Tazawa unavailable, Matt Barnes threw a 1-2-3 eighth and Koji Uehara picked up his second save in as many days to close out the win.
Porcello has gone at least five innings in 26 straight starts, the longest of his career and longest by a Red Sox pitcher since John Lackey went 39 games from 2013-14.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win.
|6 Red Sox named All-Stars: David Ortiz, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts, Steven Wright, Craig Kimbrel||07.05.16 at 8:01 pm ET|
The All-Star rosters have been announced and the Red Sox are well-represented with four starters on the American League team and six players overall, with the possibility of a seventh.
Leading the way is franchise icon David Ortiz, who was voted the starting DH on Tuesday. He’ll make his 10th All-Star appearance in his final season.
The 40-year-0ld will be joined in the starting lineup by three first-timers: shortstop Xander Bogaerts, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., and right fielder Mookie Betts.
On the pitching side, knuckleballer Steven Wright will be making his first appearance after an outstanding first half, while closer Craig Kimbrel was a relatively surprising selection after a solid first half.
Meanwhile, second baseman Dustin Pedroia is up for the Final Five voting for the last spot on the roster.
“Well, we’re going to have a great representation of the Red Sox — and deservedly so,” said manager John Farrell. “I think what’s great about the guys that are going to be participating in that game, we’ve got a number of starters, and I think that’s more validation around the country for the votes that they’ve generated, not just by our fans. Whether they’re young players, a veteran as David is, this is a great combination of players that we’re going to be sending to San Diego.”
— Ortiz began the night hitting .339 with 19 homers, 66 RBIs and a league-leading 1.112 OPS. The 40-year-old announced last fall that this season will be his last.
“Having a break is great, you know what I’m saying, but it’s not like I’m going to go to another All-Star Game as a player,” Ortiz said. “It is what it is. Getting around 3 million votes, that’s a lot of people that would like to see you out there. That’s something I really appreciate, that people take their time to vote for myself and my teammates and want us to be there as a massive group. Four days to rest and be chilling is good, but this All-Star Game, I’m going to try to enjoy it the most. This is going to be my final year playing. There’s not going to be another time. I’m going to go out there and have fun and make sure that the fans that voted for David Ortiz enjoy watching me.”
|Closing Time: Red Sox bats come alive in 4th of July win over Rangers||07.04.16 at 5:17 pm ET|
Even though the real fireworks don’t begin until the sun goes down on Monday, the Red Sox and Rangers provided an open before the big show as the teams combined for 35 hits, including 16 extra-base hits in their Fourth of July matinee.
After trailing 4-0 following the top of the first, the Red Sox rallied for a 12-5 win over the Rangers. It was their second straight win and first time they’ve won back-to-back games since June 19.
The Red Sox rallied immediately from their 4-0 deficit as they scored a run in the bottom of the first, but then the real rally came in the fourth as they plated four runs. David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back doubles and then Brock Holt hit a two-run homer into the Red Sox bullpen to put the Red Sox on top 5-4.
They would add another in the fifth, two more in the sixth, another in the seventh on a Dustin Pedroia home run and finally three more in the eighth on a Travis Shaw solo home run and a Mookie Betts two-run home run to complete the 12-run afternoon.
As a team they finished with 21 hits, which included 13 extra-base hits. The 21 hits are a season-high.
Ramirez is on fire at the plate of late as he reached base four times in the game, going 3-for-4 with two walks. In his last 12 games, the first baseman is batting .395 with six doubles, three homers and nine RBIs.
After a rough first inning, Porcello settled in nicely and made it through six innings. The right-handed allowed four runs (three earned) on 12 hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out three to pick up his 10th win of the year. He is 7-0 in eight starts at Fenway Park this year and has gone at least five innings in 25 straight starts, the longest streak by a Red Sox pitcher since John Lackey went 39 from 2013-14.
In relief of Porcello, Matt Barnes threw a scoreless seventh, Koji Uehara allowed a run in 1/3 of an inning before Robbie Ross Jr. got out of the eighth and also the ninth to complete the win.
The Red Sox are now 24-9 in games Holt starts, compared to 21-28 when he doesn’t.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
|Early-morning Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts returns, David Price on hill as Sox look to finish road trip strong||06.29.16 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
|John Farrell on D&H details team meeting following Monday’s blowout loss to Rays||06.28.16 at 3:01 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell made his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton on Tuesday to discuss a number of things surrounding the team, including the team meeting that was held following Monday’s 13-7 loss to the Rays. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
The Red Sox have now lost three straight games and six of their last eight, which made Farrell feel the need to call a team meeting after Monday night’s game.
“I felt like there were some things that needed to be expressed to our team both things that have remained positive, which the way we’ve demonstrated the way to come back probably far too often,” Farrell said. “There were some things highlighted that we’re continuing to do well. I love the effort. I love the energy. I love the work our group is putting in and the way it is showing up offensively in between the lines in game.
“I think there were some obvious things that needed to be addressed and the one thing that we’ll continue to work towards is there is no divide, no split, no pointing of fingers, that we are a team that will win together and lose together. Yes, we have areas that we need to continue to sure up and continue to improve upon. Without getting more specific, those were the things that needed to be addressed.”
Farrell also said Xander Bogaerts will get Tuesday night off as they will go up against Rays right-hander Chris Archer. The manager pointed to facing lefties both Monday and Wednesday for the shortstop playing in those games and not Tuesday. Marco Hernandez will start at shortstop in his place.
The manager also said Steven Wright would not throw a bullpen prior to Tuesday’s game and be available out of the bullpen in relief if need be.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
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