August 27, 2016

G129: Royals at Red Sox, 7 PM

Royals  - 
Red Sox - 
Danny Duffy / David Price
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Ortiz, DH
Betts, RF
Ramirez, 1B
Leon, C
Young, LF
Hill, 3B
Bradley, CF
Elias:
Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts both reached base in all five of their plate appearances [on Friday night] ... Pedroia had four singles and a walk in the leadoff spot for Boston, while cleanup hitter Betts notched the first five-hit game of his major-league career. ...

Pedroia and Betts are the first leadoff/cleanup combo in Red Sox history to go 9-for-9 or better at the plate in a game. The last duo on any team to achieve that feat did so over 94 years ago. On July 10, 1922, in the first game of a doubleheader at Pittsburgh, Dave Bancroft went 5-for-5 atop the New York Giants lineup, while cleanup hitter Irish Meusel went 4-for-4 in the Giants' 19-2 pummeling of the Pirates.

August 26, 2016

G128: Royals 6, Red Sox 3

Royals  - 500 000 010 - 6  9  0
Red Sox - 100 001 001 - 3 15  0
Steven Wright had a rough first inning, walking two men and giving up a three-run homer to Eric Hosmer. Then he allowed a single and two-run dong to Alex Gordon. Wright did settle down, however, and blanked the Royals over the next five innings (6-7-5-3-1, 95).

In the bottom of the first, the Red Sox had a run in and the bases loaded with only one out. But Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley both struck out to squander that opportunity.

Boston also wasted a 1st-and-3rd/no-outs situation in the third, as Hanley Ramirez popped to short and - yes, once again - Leon and Bradley both struck out.

The Red Sox rallied in the bottom of the ninth and with two outs had the potential tying run at the plate, but Leon grounded to second.

Some Good Things: Mookie Betts went 5-for-5, with two RBI. Dustin Pedroia was 4-for-4 with a walk, a run, and an RBI. Xander Bogaerts had three hits and David Ortiz hit his 41st double (but when the Red Sox needed him to be clutch, he grounded into a double play in the ninth).

Elsewhere: The Blue Jays pummeled the Twins 15-8 to claim sole possession of first place. The Yankees routed the Orioles 14-4.
Ian Kennedy / Steven Wright
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Ortiz, DH
Betts, RF
Ramirez, 1B
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
Shaw, 3B
Holt, LF
Steven Wright returns after missing three starts when he injured his right shoulder sliding into second base as a pinch runner on August 7. His last start was on August 5. .. In addition to activating Wright, the Red Sox optioned Heath Hembree to Pawtucket.

Clay Buchholz is headed back to the bullpen, as Eduardo Rodriguez will start on Sunday night.

It's a very tight three-team race with only 35 games to go in the regular season:
BOS 71-56 ---
TOR 71-56 ---
BAL 70-57 1.0
AL East: BAL/MFY and MIN/TOR.

August 25, 2016

G127: Rays 2, Red Sox 1

Red Sox - 000 001 000 - 1  7  0
Rays    - 000 001 10x - 2  7  0
Boston allowed only nine runs in the four-game series and could manage no better than a split.
Drew Pomeranz / Jake Odorizzi
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Betts, RF
Ramirez, DH
Bradley, CF
Young, LF
Hill, 3B
Shaw, 1B
Holaday, C
Andrew Benintendi is expected to have an MRI on his left knee today.

Update: Benintendi was placed on the disabled list. It is too early to tell if the injury is season-ending.

This Week's Sign Of the Apocalypse

The Chicago White Sox will be playing next season in Guaranteed Rate Field.

DNAInfo:
The White Sox and Guaranteed Rate, a national mortgage lender, have signed 13-year naming rights deal, according to the Sox. But the name could last even longer — the Sox have an option of extending the deal past 2030. ...

As for a logo for the park, Boyer said the team is working on one and that it likely won't copy that of Guaranteed Rate's, which is an arrow pointing down.

August 24, 2016

G126: Rays 4, Red Sox 3 (11)

Red Sox - 201 000 000 00 - 3  9  1
Rays    - 002 000 010 01 - 4 12  0
Heath Hembree's fielding error on what should have been the final out of the eleventh inning allowed Luke Maile to score the winning run from second base. Tampa Bay had runners at first and second and two outs when Kevin Kiermaier chopped the ball to Travis Shaw at first base. Shaw underhanded the ball to Hembree, but the pitcher dropped it. He recovered quickly, however, and fired the ball home. It was a low throw, but it seemed to be in time and home plate umpire Ryan Blakney started to make the "out" sign. He changed that to "safe" when he saw that catcher Sandy Leon had not been able to hang onto the ball.

Rick Porcello (7.2-9-3-0-8, a career-high 123 pitches) could not hold a 3-0 lead. The Rays' win came after the Red Sox bullpen escaped several late-inning jams, as Brad Ziegler left the bases loaded in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel struck out two batters in the ninth with the potential winning run at second. Unfortunately, the Boston bats went AWOL after the seventh inning. The Red Sox were retired in order in the eighth, ninth, and tenth innings, and managed only a one-out walk in the eleventh.

David Ortiz came into the game batting .542 on the first pitch this season - and he improved on that by launching a first-pitch two-run home run off Matt Andriese (6-7-3-1-8, 92) in the first inning. Dustin Pedroia had begun the game with a single and stolen second base. In the third, Pedroia walked and stole second and scored on Mookie Betts's single.

Porcello, who had left baserunners at second and third in the second, was not so fortunate in the third. Two singles put Rays on first and second with one out. Porcello struck out Evan Longoria and went to 0-2 on Brad Miller. But Miller worked the count full and ripped a double down the right field line that brought in both runners.

Porcello also escaped a jam in the fourth. With runners at second and third and two outs, Logan Forsythe grounded to the left side. Third baseman Brock Holt ranged to his left, speared the ball, spun around, and fire to first in time to end the inning. That must have inspired Porcello because he set down the Rays in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. Also, he was at 80 pitches through four innings and he suddenly got economical, throwing only 25 pitches over the next three frames.

Porcello got the first out in the eighth, but gave up an estimated 440-foot home run to Longoria that tied the game. Miller followed with a blast to deep right that Betts caught with his back against the wall. After Matt Duffy singled, manager John Farrell went to the pen. Robbie Ross walked Logan Morrison. Ziegler gave up an infield single to load the bases, but struck out Corey Dickerson to end the threat.

In the eleventh, Hembree - who had pitched a perfect tenth - retired the first two Rays on outfield flies. But Maile doubled into the right field corner and Forsythe walked on five pitches. Then Kiermaier chopped a 1-1 pitch to Shaw.

Also: Home plate umpire Blakney's poor ball-strike calls took the Red Sox out of a potential scoring opportunity in the sixth. Ortiz singled and two outs later Leon doubled. Brock Holt took an outside pitch on a 3-1 count that should have been ball four (and loaded the bases). Instead Blakney miscalled the pitch a strike, and Holt swung and missed the next one, ending the inning.

And: Andrew Benintendi sprained his left knee in the seventh inning. He had doubled and was caught off the base when Pedroia grounded right at Duffy, Tampa Bay's shortstop. Duffy had no trouble tagging Benintendi and throwing to first for a double play, but Benintendi, in trying to avoid the tag, stumbled and twisted his knee (and ankle). He was helped off the field and replaced by Chris Young.
Rick Porcello / Matt Andriese

August 23, 2016

G125: Red Sox 2, Rays 1

Red Sox - 002 000 000 - 2  5  0
Rays    - 000 010 000 - 1  6  1
Clay Buchholz (6.1-5-1-2-9, 94) set a season-high in strikeouts and Mookie Betts made the play of the game, gunning down Kevin Kiermaier at third base in the eighth inning, as Kiermaier tried stretching a one-out double into a triple. Craig Kimbrel allowed a baserunner with two outs in the ninth, but got Steven Souza on a fly to left to preserve the victory.

Andrew Benintendi hit the first of his two singles to begin the top of the third. He went to second on Dustin Pedroia's grounder to second. Xander Bogaerts struck out, but David Ortiz singled to right, scoring Benintendi. Betts followed with a single to right and Souza committed an error, as his throw to third to get Ortiz sailed into the Red Sox dugout, allowing Big Papi to score Boston's second run.

Buchholz allowed Tampa Bay's leadoff batter to reach base in five of the first six innings, but was burned only once. Corey Dickerson singled in the fifth, went to second on a wild pitch, and came around on Kiermasier's two-out double.

Buchholz struck out the first batter in the seventh and turned the ball over to Robbie Ross, who retired the next two Rays. Brad Ziegler was the pitcher in the eighth when Betts made a perfect one-hop throw to third to nail the greedy Kiermaier. Kimbrel fanned the first two batters in the ninth before hitting Logan Morrison (on the replay it looked like the ball hit the dirt first). Souza's fly to Benintendi in left was routine.

The Blue Jays beat the Angels, so both Boston and Toronto remain tied for first (71-54).
Clay Buchholz / Chris Archer
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Ortiz, DH
Betts, RF
Ramirez, 1B
Bradley, CF
Leon, C
Shaw, 3B
Benintendi, LF

August 22, 2016

G124: Red Sox 6, Rays 2

Red Sox - 000 200 103 - 6  9  0
Rays    - 000 000 002 - 2  5  1
David Price was superb (8-2-0-2-8, 116), Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run home run in the ninth to put the game on ice, and Andrew Benintendi make a remarkable over-the-fence catch with no one out in the eighth inning, robbing Steven Souza of a home run - and then nearing tumbling over the wall with the ball in his glove - that would have cut Boston's lead at the time to 3-2.



The win put Boston into a first place tie with Toronto - both teams are 70-54.

Boston scored two runs in the fourth, but left the bases loaded so it still felt like a bit of a squander. With one out, Hanley Ramirez walked and Sandy Leon ground a single into right field. Chris Young smacked a first-pitch double into the left field corner that scored Ramirez. Aaron Hill walked to load the bases and Benintendi hit a sac fly to left. Dustin Pedroia walked, re-loading the bases and ending Blake Snell's night (3.2-4-2-5-3, 94 (including 40 in the partial fourth inning)). Xander Bogaerts ended the inning with a grounder to third.

Ramirez brought in a run in the seventh with a sac fly. In the ninth, Pedroia reached second on a throwing error by pitcher Danny Farquhar. Bogaerts then hit his 15th homer. After David Ortiz grounded out, Mookie Betts singled and Ramirez doubled. Leon nearly beat out an infield hit and Betts scored on the putout.

Matt Barnes pitched the ninth and gave up a two-run bomb to Evan Longoria.

Price did struggle a bit in the middle innings, throwing 23 pitches in each of the fifth and sixth innings. He needed only nine pitches in the seventh and then Benintendi saved his bacon in the eighth.

Ortiz doubled to deep center in the first inning, his 40th double of the season. It was also the 624th double of his career, tying Hank Aaron for 10th place all-time. Ortiz is sure to hit at least one more double this year and claim 10th place as his own (ninth place (Honus Wagner, 643) is not within reach).
David Price / Blake Snell
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Ortiz, DH
Betts, RF
Ramirez, 1B
Leon, C
Young, LF
Hill, 3B
Benintendi, CF
Outfielder Chris Young, after seven rehab games with Pawtucket, is back with the Red Sox. Henry Owens was optioned to the PawSox to make room on the 25-man roster. Young had been on the disabled list since June 24 with a right hamstring injury. Young has a 1.042 OPS against left-handers this season.

AND: 40 Years Ago Today: I went to Fenway Park for the first time!