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Final: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 30, 2013 01:43 PM

Game over: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4: The Red Sox stole one here, With one out Brandon Snyder, playing third base, singled. After Jacoby Ellsbury walked, Shane Victorino who had made a spectacular catch in the top of the inning before Koji Uehara blew the save, hit a ball hard to first which could have been an inning-ending double-play grounder, but Josh Thole flubbed it, scoring the winning run.

The game was played in 3:10 before 37,425. The Red Sox took three out of four and quieted Toronto which had come into the series winning 12 out of 14.

Top 9th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 4: Koji Uehara's nice streak ran out. After Shane Victorino made an outstanding sliding catch toward the right field railing to rob Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista hit one against the Sports Authority sign to tie the game. It was his 19th and third homer in the last two days. It was a fastball which Uehara mislocated over he plate. Edwin Encarnacion followed with a single, but Uehara escaped further damage.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Dustin McGowan, a tremendous story in perseverance from injuries, pitched well again. Nava singled with two outs.

Top 8th: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: A single by Izturis, otherwise nothing doing for the Jays.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3 - Dustin McGowan pitches a solid 1-2-3 inning for the Jays.

Top 7th: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3 - Jose Reyes led off the inning with a homer just into the Monster seats in left field off Breslow. Alex Wilson replaced Breslow. he allowed a single to center by Bautista. After Edwin Encarnacion popped out to second base, Andrew Miller replaced Wilson. He struck out Thole and Davis in two more awful at-bats by Jays hitters.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 2 - Iglesias singled with two outs. But that was all.

Top 6th: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 2 - An absolutely pathetic inning by the Blue Jays. Bases loaded, nobody out. No runs. Dempster walked Thole, allowed singles to Davis and Rasmus. The Blue Jays popped out into two infield fly rules during the inning. That's hard to do. He got Arencibia to pop out to shortstop. Craig Breslow came on and got the next two batters - one on a pop out to shortstop. Awful.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 2 - Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single to center, and avoided a double-play when he took off on the pitch to Shane Victorinto, who grounded out to third base with Ellsbury advancing to second. After Dustin Pedroia struck out, Jonny Gomes doubled off the wall scoring Ellsbury.

Top 5th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2 - A Jose Bautista single was erased when Encarnacion hit into yet another 6-4-3 double-play.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2 - The bottom of the Red Sox order goes down.

Top 4th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2 - Dempster ran into a little trouble as Edwin Encarnacion and Rajai Davis sandwiched singles around an out by Josh Thole. Rasmus singled in Encarnacion. Davis stole third. Arencibia drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Izturis grounded to Nava, who had a little trouble getting the ball out of his glove. He managed to knock down the lead runner, but the slight problem getting the ball out enabled Izturis to avoid the double-play and score the second run. Kawasaki tolled out to second for the final out.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 0 - Sox go down in order.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 0 - with two outs, Dempster allowed a single to Munenori Kawasaki, playing his first game at second base, and walked Reyes. But he retired Bautista on a tapper back to the mound.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 0 - Red Sox rally against Buehrle who can't seem to locate. Napoli and Nava start the inning with singles and Ryan Lavarnway gets one run home with a ground-rule double to right on a ball down the line which kicked into the stands. After Iglesias struck out, Brandon Snyder hit a double high atop the centerfield wall to score two runs. Ellsbury was hit with a pitch, but Buehrle managed to retire the next two batters.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0 - Dempster has retired the first six batters.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0 - Fast-working Mark Buehrle got two quick outs, walked Dustin Pedroia but got today's cleanup hitter, Jonny Gomes to tap back to him for the final out. Buehrle has pitched better and better this season. In his last seven starts he has a 2,72 ERA.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0 - Ryan Dempster has a 1-2-3 inning. He starts the game striking out Jose Reyes with a split-fingered pitch.

Red Sox give David Ortiz a day off

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 30, 2013 11:29 AM

David Ortiz has a day off today against Toronto's Mark Buehrle even though he's a .358 career hitter against the lefty with three homers and 13 RBIs in 67 at-bats.

John Farrell said the two discussed the day off in anticipation of the Monday off-day which would give Ortiz two full days to rest what appears to be general soreness of his body.

"With tomorrow being an off-day as well a chance for both he and Salty to get consecutive days down, we thought it was a good time. [Ortiz] has gone about 23 straight for us which probably exceeds what we thought when he first came back in terms of consecutive games we’d be able to get from him this early in his return," Farrell said.

Farrell said he's gotten so much more out of Ortiz (.317/16/57) than he had anticipated.

"Not just in terms of the daily activities, but the way he’s run the bases. There’s been no hesitation. Couple of triples and stolen bases, things that we didn’t anticipate when he came back. He’s responded to that stress and obviously the presence in the middle of our lineup speaks for itself," Farrell said.

Tough to keep him out against Buehrle?

"The way he’s feeling and the need for an off day, overrides that. As we talked about this as week progressed and knowing we had off-day coming, this one was the one he was hopeful for because of the way he’s felt the last couple of days. It’s just general soreness and it's not the Achilles or the heels specifically. Generally, he needs a day," Farrell explained.

In other news:

• Stephen Drew (right hamstring) is still considered day-to-day. The Sox said on Saturday they did not believe Drew would require a stint on the disabled list.

"Just range of motion activity, no running as of yet, but that’s the latest," Farrell said. "There’s no projected time right now."

• Closer Koji Uehara is back in the mix after being used three straight games. He had yesterday off. Uehara has held opponents scoreless in his last nine games. Farrell said he would have gone with Craig Breslow if the Sox needed a closer Saturday, but that never developed in the loss.

"Not to say [Andrew] Bailey wasn’t going to be in the mix. But we went into the situation that matchups was going to determine that," Farrell said.

• Farrell said he felt comfortable with Brandon Snyder at third base today. "Yeah just looking at the tough pitcher we’re going up against today, this might be a better fit. He has [taken ground balls at third] and he has played third base at Triple-A."

• Clay Buchholz was throwing from 75 feet today after starting a throwing program on Saturday.

"He's fine. Today he’ll go through his 75-foot distance and begin a little more structured program going forward," Farrell said.

• Pawtucket second baseman Brock Holt will be able to play again on Monday after being out with an oblique injury. Don't be surprised if Holt is called up as the utility infielder fairly soon.

• Jon Lester seems fine after his hip scare. "He's scheduled for a bullpen today in line for start Wednesday. No lingering affects on the hip," Farrell said.

Lester will continue to use his new windup where his hands are belt high rather than up near his face where he starts his delivery.

Game 84: Blue Jays at Red Sox

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 30, 2013 10:00 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (49-34)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Gomes LF
Napoli DH
Nava 1B
Lavarnway C
Iglesias SS
Snyder 3B
Pitching: Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.15).

BLUE JAYS (40-40)
Reyes SS
Bautista RF
Encarnacion DH
Lind 1B
Davis LF
Rasmus CF
Arencibia C
Izturis 3B
Kawasaki 2B
Pitching: Mark Buehrle (4-5, 4.72).

Game time: 1:35 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI-FM.

Red Sox vs. Buehrle: Ortiz 25-71, Pedroia 9-27, Gomes 6-18, Ellsbury 5-17, Napoli 3-16, Victorino 5-14, Drew 1-5, Nava 1-3, Saltalamachia 0-3.

Blue Jays vs. Dempster: Bonifacio 5-20, Encarnacion 3-17, Bautista 4-15, Rasmus 2-14, Reyes 4-12, Arencibia 1-6, DeRosa 0-6, Lind 1-5, Thole 1-5, Johnson 0-4, Kawasaki 1-3, Davis 0-1, Izturis 0-1.

Stat of the Day: With a win, the Red Sox would be the first American League team to 50 victories, something they haven’t accomplished since 2009.

Notes:The Red Sox wrap up their four-game series with the Jays today with a chance to win their major-league best 17th series this season … The Sox are 8-2 in their last 10 home games … Ryan Dempster is making his third start against Blue Jays this season. He is 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA in 11 innings against them … Dempster has given up 17 home runs this season. Fifteen of them have been solo shots … He will face Mark Buehrle who is 0-1 with a 3.95 ERA in two starts against the Sox this season … After going 2 for 5 yesterday, Jacoby Ellsbury has a 10-game hit streak, his third double-digit streak this season. He’s hitting .400 with 5 doubles and 7 RBIs in his past 10 games ... Dustin Pedroia is riding a six-game hit streak that’s seen him bat .560 (14-for-25) with 2 doubles, a triple, homer, 6 RBI. He’s had multiple hits in 5 of those 6 games … Shane Victorino has hit in all 5 games of the homestand, going 9 for 22 (.409) with four doubles and 4 RBI.

Song of the Day: ”Struttin' on Sunday” by Aaron Neville.

Beckett needs surgery, done for season

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 11:22 PM

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that righthander Josh Beckett will undergo season-ending surgery next month.

Beckett will have a rib removed to relieve pressure on a compressed nerve that caused him to lose the feeling in his right hand. The surgery is similar to one Jarrod Saltalamacchia had in 2009.

Beckett, the 33-year-old former Red Sox pitcher, was 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts for the Dodgers this season at a cost of $15.75 million. He is under contract for the same amount in 2013.

Two decisions backfire on the Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 09:46 PM

Since the earliest days of spring training, Red Sox manager John Farrell and his coaches have promoted the idea of putting pressure on the opposition by running the bases aggressively.

It is a strategy that has paid off. The Red Sox have the best record in the American League, along with the most runs, doubles, triples, and stolen bases.

Saturday's 6-2 loss against Toronto was one of the rare games this season that approach was more frustrating that fruitful.

Let's look at two key decisions during the game:

Decision 1: Toronto 2, Red Sox 0. Bottom of the 6th inning: Shane Victorino doubled to start the inning. When Dustin Pedroia hit a low line drive to right field, Victorino paused to make sure the ball was not caught by the second baseman.

With no outs and David Ortiz coming up, third base coach Brian Butterfield sent Victorino to the plate. Jose Bautista, who has one of the best outfield arms in the game, threw him out by two and a half steps.

Victorino’s only recourse was to plow into catcher J.P. Arencibia, but he held onto the ball.

“You’d like to have that one back. The fewer of those, the better. It’s the nature of the beast,” Butterfield said.

Ortiz singled but Blue Jays starter Esmil Rogers struck out Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava.

Farrell says: “We look to put pressure on the defense. In that situation Bautista’s ranging to his right, comes up and throws about a 260-foot strike. … I’ll live and die with every decision [Butterfield] makes at third base. He’s an outstanding third base coach."

The argument for: The Sox have been aggressive all season, Victorino has good speed, and they hadn't scored all day.

The argument against: Ortiz would have been at the plate with runners at first and third and no outs. You like your chances of scoring a run.

Decision 2: Toronto 2, Red Sox 0. Bottom of the 7th inning: Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and went to third when Jose Iglesias bunted for a single and the Blue Jays threw the ball away.

With runners on the corners and no outs, Farrell called for a safety squeeze bunt.

Jonathan Diaz, a career minor leaguer who made major league debut on Saturday, bunted the ball back to 42-year-old pitcher Darren Oliver and Saltalamacchia was thrown out at the plate on a close play.

Farrell says: “Looking to force Darren Oliver to move off the mound and he makes a do-or-die play. Barehands it, throws it sidearm. Fortunately throws a strike for them."

The argument for: Oliver isn't especially spry. A better bunt scores the run easily.

The argument against: Salty is running. You're asking a player in his third major league plate appearance to execute a play. The Sox would have been better served to have Jonny Gomes or Mike Carp at the plate.

Oliver has struggled against lefthanders this season, so Carp could have been the choice.

A few notes:

• Napoli struck out four times, leaving three runners on. He is 13 of 57 (.228) in his last 15 games with one extra-base hit and seven RBIs. Napoli’s last home run was June 1.

The Sox were convinced Napoli would hit well at Fenway. But his road OPS (.818) is better than it is at home (.755).

“I’m not feeling the best at the plate. You go through that,” Napoli said. “I’m getting deep in counts but I’m not getting it done.”

• Junichi Tazawa has allowed six runs on eight hits — four of them home runs — in six appearances and 5.1 innings against Toronto this season. The Sox need some relief help or he's going to get worn down.

• After two days off to rest his sore right shoulder, Clay Buchholz played catch. The Sox are hopeful it’s the start of a program that will get him back on the mound within a few weeks. Buchholz has not pitched in a game since June 8 because of a sore trapezius muscle and inflammation in the bursa sac. Rookie Allen Webster will stay in the rotation.

• The Red Sox finally announced the signing of their second-round draft pick, junior college righthander Teddy Stankiewicz. Baseball America reported on June 10 that Stankiewicz agreed to a $1.1 million bonus. The player reported to Rookie League Lowell four days later and started working out.

• The Red Sox had scouts in Tijuana on Friday to watch righthander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, a Cuban defector who will soon be a free agent. Because Gonzalez is 26, his contract will not come under the international spending limits. There is speculation that Gonzalez will receive at least $30 million.

Final: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 2

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 04:13 PM

Game over: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 2: The Red Sox bowed to the Jays in 3:05 before a sellout of 37,437. Jose Bautista was a force with two homers and also threw a Red Sox runner out at the plate. Boston trailed most of the game until they tied it 2-2 on Shane Victorino's two-run single, but Bautista's two-run homer in the 8th sealed it for the Jays who added two more in the 9th on some sloppy infield play by the Red Sox.

Top 9th: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 2 - Jose Reyes knocked in Arencibia with the fifth run after Arencibia reached on an infield nit to first and error by Napoli whe n he let the ball get by him. Arencibia went to second. Jose Bautista's hot grounder went through Jonathan Diaz's legs enabling the second run to score.

Bottom 8th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 2 - A shutdown inning for Steve Delabar, who struck out Napoli, Nava and Saltalamacchia.

Top 8th: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 2 - Jose Bautista hit his second homer of the game with Jose Reyes (single) aboard to give the Jays the lead again. The hits came off Junichi Tazawa.

The Jays missed a chance for more. Adam Lind tripled to the triangle with one out, but pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio couldn't lay down a bunt to execute the suicide squeeze and grounded out to first where Napoli was able to hold the runner and make the play. Rajai Davis then hit a foul pop to Saltalamacchia.

Bottom 7th: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 2 - Rogers was out after six shutout innings and left Darren Oliver came on. Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled off the wall and moved to third when Iglesias bunted for a base hit and Izturis threw the ball passed first for an error. Diaz then attempted a bunt, but Oliver fielded it and knocked down Salty at the plate, again Arencibia with a nice block and tag.

Ellsbury greeted new pitcher Steve Delabar with a single to left to load the bases with one out. Shane Victorino then singled to left scoring two to tie the game. Sox had a chance for more, but Pedroia flew out to right and Ortiz struck out stranding two runners.

Top 7th: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 0 - Rajai Davis was issued a walk and stole second, but the Jays couldn't get him in. Doubront exited after the first out and Alex Wilson took care of the rest. Doubront went 6-1/3 innings, allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeout outs.

Bottom 6th: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 0 - Shane Victorino doubled to right and was thrown out at the plate by Bautista after Dustin Pedroia's single. Victorino and JP Arencibia collided, but the catcher held on to the ball after he blocked the plate to record the out. Ortiz continued with a single up the middle. Napoli ran the count to 3-2 before Rogers struck him out. With runners at first and second and two outs, Nava struck out on a slider.

Top 6th: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 0 - Jose Bautista launched his 17th homer and 200th of his career to lead off the inning.

Bottom 5th: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - Colby Rasmus has looked shaky on a couple of balls to center in this series, but not in his flying outstretched catch of Jonathan Diaz' liner to center which saved a run. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had singled and moved to second on a wild pitch.

Top 5th: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - A Colby Rasmus (6-for-15 vs. Doubront) single and then Doubront got the next three batters.

Bottom 4th: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - The Red Sox just had one of those kick themselves moments, too. Pedroia lead off with a double off the wall. There he stood. Ortiz hit a check-swing grounder to third, Napoli struck out and Nava tapped back to the pitcher.

Top 4th: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - Mark DeRosa knocked into a double-play after an Adam Lind infield single. Jarrod Saltalamacchia caught Rajai Davis stealing later in the inning.

Bottom 3rd: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - With two outs, Jacoby Ellsbury reached on an infield single to second base. But Shane Victorino tapped back to the pitcher.

Top 3rd: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - Jays go down in order.

Bottom 2nd: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - A two-out walk by Daniel Nava was the extent of Boston's offense.

Top 2nd: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - One of those kick myself later moments for the Jays. Rajai Davis doubled off the wall in left center. he stole third base without a throw, Doubront then struck out Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia and gor Maicer Izturis to ground out to short.

Bottom 1st: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - Esmil Rogers has been surprisingly good for the Jays in six starts. He's indirectly connected to John Farrell. The Red Sox traded Mike Aviles for Farrell and the Jays sent Aviles to Cleveland for Rogers. He retired the side in order in the first inning.

Top 1st: Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0 - With one out, Jose Bautista drew a walk from Felix Doubront. He got a huge jump and stole second base, but Edwin Encarnacion hit a ball back to the mound which trapped Bautista between second and third.

He was eventually tagged out on a rundown as Encarnacion went to second base. with two outs, Adam Lind stroked a single between the 5-6 hole to score the first run of the game.

Tom Werner: Ownership gratified by success of Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 02:41 PM

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner was a baseball fan before he became an executive. And that side of him enjoys watching the team this season.

"Everybody is very pleased about the fact the team has really come together. It's a fun team to watch," Werner told the Globe this afternoon. "Last night the ballpark was sold out, today's it's sold out, tomorrow it's sold out. There's a real feeling that people are excited about the team and that's gratifying.

"That's the feeling, that it's gratifying. Last year was incredibly painful and this year is just the opposite."

Werner and principal owner John Henry will be in Anaheim next week for the three-game series against the Angels.

"We enjoy watching this team play. It's exciting. Everybody seems to be contributing. It's exciting to see Jonny Gomes get that hit last night. I get a particular kick out of seeing players like Daniel Nava. I couldn't be more pleased with David [Ortiz] and how he came back healthy. He's running well, too. [Dustin] Pedroia's playing great. It's all good.

"They've been very competitive. I have no illusions about the second half. We've played beautifully the first half and we're only three and a half games in front. It's a very tough division. We have to keep playing well."

Pedroia's gamers, ready to go

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 02:36 PM

15bats.jpg

The bat racks at Fenway Park are as utilitarian as they come. They're basically metal grates, rusty in some cases, wedged into a corner of the dugout.

Here's an iPhone shot of Dustin Pedroia's spot. He has his batting gloves and three game-worthy bats ready to go for today's game. The bats may look dirty but Pedroia spends time every day preparing them until they're just sticky enough for his satisfaction.

The big, shiny photographs of Fenway Park are great. But the dirty little corners have their own charm, too.

Red Sox call up Diaz to start at third base

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 01:17 PM

The Red Sox made two roster moves this morning. They purchased the contract of 28-year-old infielder Jonathan Diaz from Triple A Pawtucket and designated righthander Clayton Mortensen for assignment.

The Sox do not feel that Stephen Drew (right hamstring) will need to go on the disabled list. Because Will Middlebrooks has not been in Pawtucket for 10 days, he was not eligible to return.

The Sox didn't want to bring up 20-year-old Xander Bogaerts for what may only be a few days.

Mortensen had a 5.34 earned run average over 24 appearances and has not pitched as well this season as he did last. He also was a victim of an inflexible 40-man roster.

The Red Sox have five catchers on their 40-man roster and Daniel Bard, who has not pitched in a minor league game since May 15.

The 5-foot-9 Diaz has no major league experience. He was drafted by the Blue Jays 2006 out of North Carolina State and spent seven seasons in their organization, reaching Triple A. He signed with the Red Sox as a minor league free agent.

Diaz is familiar with the defensive system because of his experience with John Farrell, Brian Butterfield and Torey Lovullo during his time in Toronto. Diaz is career .228 hitter in the minors with only 47 games of experience at third base, 12 this season.

Diaz also can play shortstop, something the Red Sox valued.

Game 83: Blue Jays at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 12:10 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (49-33)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Saltalamacchia C
Iglesias SS
Diaz 3B
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.33).

BLUE JAYS (39-40)
Reyes SS
Bautista RF
Encarnacion DH
Lind 1B
DeRosa 3B
David LF
Rasmus CF
Arencibia C
Izturis 2B
Pitching: RHP Esmil Rogers (3-3, 3.46).

Game time: 4:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Rogers: Drew 3-6, Gomes 1-2, Napoli 2-4, Pedroia 2-4, Nava 0-1, Ortiz 0-0 (BB), Salty 0-1.

Blue Jays vs. Doubront: Encarnacion 5-12, Rasmus 5-13, Bautista 2-12, Davis 2-12, Arencibia 2-10, Reyes 6-9, Lind 0-6, Bonifacio 1-3, Izturis 1-2, DeRosa 1-1.

Stat of the Day: The Sox have 11 triples this month, their most in a month since they had 15 in June of 2003.

Notes: The Sox have won four straight and are 7-4 against the Blue Jays. ... The Jays have lost four of five. ... The Sox have won eight of their last nine at home. ... Doubront is 2-2, 5.40 in 10 career appearances against Toronto. He faced them on April 5 in Toronto and allowed three runs over five innings. ... Rogers has faced the Red Sox four times in relief this season, allowing six runs on six hits over 2.1 innings. ... New Sox closer Koji Uehara has pitched three days in a row and could be unavailable tonight. ... Ellsbury has hit safely in nine games at 16 of 41 (.390) with five doubles and seven RBIs. ... Nava is 7 of 15 with four RBIs in his last four games. ... Pedroia is 14 of his last 30 with seven RBIs. ... The Sox have scored 30 runs on 54 hits over 32 innings in the first four games of their homestand. They are 24 of 55 with runners in scoring position and have 17 extra-base hits.

Song of the Day: "Groovy Times" by The Clash.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 11:02 AM

Jonny Gomes had the big hit and Fenway was abuzz as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, 7-5.

The struggles continued for Andrew Bailey as he allowed a game-tying home run in the seventh inning. Julian Benbow has the story.

The notebook has five Red Sox players helping out some Little League kids.

Gomes gives the Red Sox an 'exciting' win

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 12:40 AM

If you were at Fenway tonight or watching on television, did you notice the crowd and the level of excitement in the last few innings?

The Sox aren’t just a first-place team, they’re a fun one. The passion was evident at the park after a 7-5 victory against the Blue Jays.

“I was a fan at one time, big baseball fan still,” said Gomes, who drove in the winning run in the seventh inning. “I wasn’t here last year and the year before. But I definitely understood maybe how the fans think. But I think this is a different ball club and with that being said, it’s a pretty exciting ball club.

“We’ve got power; we’ve got defense; we’ve got some prospects; we’re putting a pretty good show on in between the lines.”

Jarrod Saltalamacchia drew a bases-loaded walk after Gomes singled. Andrew Miller was the winner with new closer Koji Uehara getting his third save in as many nights. He has not allowed a run in his last 8 2/3 innings, putting two runners on base and striking out 13.

Uehera, the game’s most excitable 38-year-old, came off the mound after the final out like he wanted to high-five all 36,383 of the fans.

And why not? The 49-33 Sox are 16 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. They have the best record in the American League and have won eight of their last nine at Fenway.

“It’s great,” Uehera said. “It really is."

Andrew Bailey can't shake struggles

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 29, 2013 12:38 AM

Bailey.jpg

Everything seemed fine to Andrew Bailey when he took the mound in the seventh inning of the Red Sox 7-5 win over the Blue Jays.

"I feel like my [velocity] was getting better, that life was there," he said. "I felt like it was coming out of my hand better. Just been working on some different things, but when I get out there it's just all about being aggressive in the zone and challenging guys."

But seeing Edwin Encarnacion launch his 94 mile-per-hour fastball to the centerfield bleachers let him know it wasn't. It was the seventh homer he's allowed this season and the fifth he's allowed in his past five appearances. He's allowed runs in each of his past five games, the longest streak in his career, and in his past six outings, his ERA (16.62) is a bulging from the seams.

The cruel twist is that the homer to Encarnacion was a result of the same aggressiveness that helped him strike out Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista to start the inning.

"We got the first two guys and just tried to challenge the third guy," he said. "I'm not going to get away from my success over my career. I'm not going change anything. Still got to be aggressive, man. You've still got to throw strikes to get people out and now it's just when they're hitting me, they're hitting me hard."

It was only his second time taking the mound since being demoted June 21.

"This is a very frustrating time, but I know that I still have confidence but I'm not going to change things out there," Bailey said. "Obviously, I have to execute pitches a little bit better, but that's really ally I have to change and I'll get out of this for sure."

Drew hopes to miss only a few days

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 28, 2013 08:30 PM

Stephen Drew hit the ball so well in the fourth inning tonight that he was sure it would be high off the wall. When the wind knocked it down, he had to speed up to get to second base.

That's when his right hamstring grabbed.

“It tightened up real bad,” Drew said.

The Sox will wait until Saturday to decide whether a roster move is needed. Third baseman Jose Iglesias can replace Drew at shortstop. But that would leave Brandon Snyder as the only third baseman on the roster. He has one major league start at that position.

Drew hopes the injury will only keep him out for a few days.

“Hamstrings are funny. But I’m staying positive,” he said. “Maybe one or two games and go from there.”

Drew missed the first seven games of the season recovering from a concussion. He has missed only two games since because of injury, those coming May 18-19 when he strained his lower back. He is fifth on the team in games played with 66.

Final: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 5

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 28, 2013 06:54 PM

Final, Red Sox 7 ,Blue Jays 5: Although he said he'd check to see how Koji Uehara was feeling before sending him out to shut the door for a third straight day, John Farrell always seemed pretty confident that Uehara could do it without any issues -- and he did.

He caught Maicer Izturis staring at a fastball. Then after Emilio Bonifacio put up a fight that lasted eight pitches, he got him to chase a splitter, down and away. To close it, he got Jose Reyes to bounce out to Jose Iglesias at short.

That makes in nine straight scoreless appearances for Uehara.

With the win, the Sox are 16 games over .500 for the first time since 2011.

FULL ENTRY

Lester expected to make next start

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 28, 2013 04:45 PM

Jon Lester, who came out of his start Thursday with a sore right hip, is expected to make his next start on schedule, according to Sox manager John Farrell. That would be on Wednesday against San Diego.

The Sox are off Monday, so Lester would get an extra day of rest.

"He came in and checked in as he would after any other start," Farrell said. "He feels improved, so we're considering today similar to any other Day 1 following a start. He does get the advantage of an extra day of rest this next time, through. We fully expect him to be on the mound against San Diego next week."

Lester had allowed two runs on three hits through seven innings Thursday, his best performance in weeks. After giving up two singles in the eighth inning, he slipped on the mound and jammed his hip.

Lester felt better shortly after the game was over. The lefthander mentioned having hip pain in the past. But Farrell doesn't feel it's a major problem.

"Based on all the maintenance work he currently does and the strength exams he goes through, range of motion is good," the manager said. "There's nothing that is glaring, There are times when, if the stride direction is a little across his body, he'll pinch it. I can't say that there's the need for some kind of intervention to correct something that's damaged. That's not the case.

"The one thing I want to be clear here is that we're not dealing with a damage situation. He has something that will rear its head every now and then and we'll move on."

Also:

• RHP Clay Buchholz, who was shut down for a few days to rest his sore shoulder, will start playing catch again Saturday or Sunday.

"He's feeling improved," Farrell said. "This is a prescribed time period to not throw. Everything is pointing towards this weekend to initiate that."

• Farrell did not rule out using closer Koji Uehara for a third consecutive night. If Uehara is not available, the Sox will go with the best matchup in the ninth inning. There is no designated backup closer.

• LHP Franklin Morales, on the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle, played catch this afternoon with head athletic trainer Rick Jameyson. He won't be back any time soon but the Sox wanted to get his arm moving again.

• RHP Daniel Bard, who has not pitched for Double A Portland since May 15, has recovered from what the Red Sox said was an abdominal strain. He could pitch in a game soon.

Game 82: Blue Jays at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 28, 2013 02:30 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (48-33)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Saltalamacchia C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: RHP Allen Webster (0-2, 11.25).

BLUE JAYS (39-39)
Reyes SS
Bautista RF
Encarnacion DH
Lind 1B
Rasmus CF
Davis LF
Arencibia C
Izturis 3B
Bonifacio 2B
Pitching: RHP Josh Johnson (1-2, 4.60).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Johnson: Victorino 14-41, Drew 3-11, Gomes 2-8, Pedroia 2-5, Ortiz 1-6, Saltalamacchia 0-6, Ellsbury 1-3, Napoli 1-4, Nava 1-4, Iglesias 0-0 (HBP).

Blue Jays vs. Webster: No history.

Stat of the Day: Saltalamacchia has 19 doubles in 218 at-bats. He had 17 doubles in 405 at-bats all last season. His career high is 23.

Notes: The Sox have won three straight and the Jays have lost three of four ... The Sox start the day with a 3.5-game lead in the division and have matched their season high of 15 games over .500 ... The Sox are 6-4 against the Jays this season and 21-14 against the AL East ... Webster is making his fourth start. The rookie has had issues in the first inning (3 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 3 BB) in his starts. He does have 12 strikeouts in 12 innings ... Johnson is 1-0, 3.15 in three career starts against the Sox, including one on April 5 during which he allowed four runs (three earned) in six innings ... The Sox have won seven of their last eight at Fenway and 13 of the last 17.

Hot Sox: Victorino is 14 of 37 in his last nine games with six extra-base hits and nine RBIs ... Nava is 5 of his last 12 with four RBIs ... Pedroia is 11 of his last 25 with seven RBIs ... Drew is 8 of his last 25 with four extra-base hits and six runs ... Uehara has thrown 7.2 scoreless innings in his last eight appearances, allowing two runners to reach base and striking out 11.

Song of the Day: "You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon.

Lester not worried about hip injury

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 27, 2013 09:28 PM

Jon Lester left tonight's 7-4 Red Sox win over the Blue Jays in the eighth inning after allowing hits to Rajai Davis and Maicer Izturis.. He went 3-and-0 to Emilio Bonifacio before Jarrod Saltalamacchia called the trainer and John Farrell out.

Lester left the game limping a tad. The diagnosis after the game was a "jammed (right) hip."

Lester said he was fine afterward, but the tell-tale sign would be if there was any sorenesss in the hip when he woke up this morning. As of now, Lester said he was making is next start and wasn’t worried about the hip and he said the doctors were also not worried.

“I slipped a little bit,” Lester said. “The doctors call it a jammed hip; kind of a zinging sensation down my leg. It’s something I’ve had before. It happens when you slip or overslide. This was a little different - in the part of the game we’re in there’s no point in messing around with it at that juncture.

“I feel fine now,“ he added. “Walking off the field it kind of stayed with me a little bit. After the doctor looked at it, I started to feel normal. Hopefully that will carry over tomorrow and I won’t have to worry about it.”

Lester threw 94 pitches and allowed four runs and five hits over seven innings. The Red Sox scored seven runs in the second inning.

Final: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 27, 2013 07:17 PM

Game over: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4: The Red Sox scored all seven runs in the second inning against Chien-Ming Wang, but held on to beat the Blue Jays in the first of a four-game series against the Jays. Koji Uehara earned his second consecutive save with two strikeouts. Jon Lester improved to 8-4, but left the game in the eighth with an injury. The game was played in 2:34 before 34,750 at Fenway.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4 - Salty doubled with two outs, but Steve Delabar struck out Stephen Drew.

Top 8th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4 - Jon Lester came out of the game with an injury after allowing a pair of hits to Davis and Izturis and going 3-0 to Bonifacio. Junichi Tazawa has come on. We'll keep you posted.

Tazawa inherited a 3-0 to Banifacio and walked him. Bases loaded, nobody out, the Jays didn't capitalize as well as they could have. Reyes' sacrifice fly to center scored a run as did Jose Bautista's grounder to short. Encarnacion drove a liner to left on which Nava made a nice leaping catch to save a double and another run.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2 - Since their seven-run outburst in the second inning, the Red Sox have been shut down by the superb Blue Jays bullpen. Victorino doubled and Pedroia walked with two outs, but Ortiz struck out.

Top 7th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2 - Lester dealing. Retired the side.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 0 - Thirteen straight Sox go down. Nice job by lefty Juan Perez.

Top 6th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2 - The top of the Jays order - Reyes, Bautista and Encarnacion go down in order in a good rebound inning by Lester.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2 - Ten straight Red Sox have gone down.

Top 5th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2 - Lester gave up his first hit of the night to Melky Cabrera with one out. Rajai Davis singled with two outs and Maicer Izturis doubled in pair of runs. Lester has a big lead but his two-out woes continue.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 0 - Two consecutive 1-2-3 innings for the Sox offense.

Top 4th: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 0 - Bautista walks with one out but Edwin Encarnacion knocks into a double-play, his second of the game.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 0 - Sox go down in order. Salty sends one deep to center which Rajai Davis awkwardly catches.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 0 - Jon Lester has retired the last eight batters. Looking more like his old self.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 0 - What a turn of events here. Wang fell apart. He walked Ortiz and Carp. Nava singled off the wall scoring the first run. With runners on first and third, Saltalamacchia singled up the middle scoring Carp. Stephen Drew sent a fly ball to right field which Jose Bautista butchered but it was ruled a double. Two runs scored.

Jose Iglesias reached on an infield hit to short which scored another run. Ellbsury singled to center driving in the fifth run. Following a double-play grounder by Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia homered just over the lip of the Monster. That was the end of Wang. He pitched 1-2/3 innings, allowed sx hits, seven runs and two walks.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0 - Lester has a strong inning, retiring DeRosa, Cabrera and Arencibia (strikeout).

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0 - Chien Ming Wang threw three ground ball outs. The former Yankee sinkerballer, throws his fastball at 88 mph, but he's incorporated a splitter to reinvent himself.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0 - Jon Lester walked leadoff hitter Jose Reyes, but Jose Bautista flew out to short left field and Edwin Encarnacion knocked into a double-play to end the first inning.

Clay Buchholz to be shut down 2-3 days

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 27, 2013 05:10 PM

Buchholz062713.jpg

With lingering soreness in his right shoulder, Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz will be shut down for two to three days, manager John Farrell said.

An MRI taken Wednesday showed inflammation in the bursa sac area, according to Farrell, but no structural issues.

“I think that's the most encouraging thing at this point,” Farrell said.

Farrell hopes to have Buchholz start a throwing program this weekend. The shoulder pain caused Buchholz to cut short a bullpen session Wednesday after about 18 pitches.

“He had two good work days with more intense throwing,” Farrell said. “So there's small amounts of improvement, but yet we've got to take a little bit of a step back here before we pick it back up again.”

Buchholz, who is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA, has said he doesn’t want to pitch until he feels completely comfortable.

“He's a fierce competitor and wants to be on the mound, and as well as he's been pitching this year, I think everybody in our organization wants him on the mound,” Farrell said.

“The start-and-stop and the hanging on to the incremental improvements that were taking place, then he was feeling like he was getting closer and then a step back -- there's some frustration there.

"But I think coming out of yesterday, there's a lot more peace of mind knowing there's nothing structurally going on here and it looks to be something that will be dealt with in a very near term.”

The last time Buchholz took the mound was June 8 against the Angels, when he injured the shoulder fielding a comebacker.

With the All-Star Game 15 days away, Farrell hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Buchholz returning to the mound before the break.

“I don't know that we're ready to say that yet,” Farrell said. “But when he puts the ball back in his hands, and how he feels and how we move through that first phase or two of the throwing program, then we'll have to backtrack how many days it's been since the last outing.

"We have a template that we will use with number of days down and the prescribed number of days going forward to get back into the game. Whether that means one rehab start, whether that means two, that's to be determined.”

Game 81: Blue Jays at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 27, 2013 01:58 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (47-33)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Carp 1B
Nava LF
Saltalamacchia C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (7-4, 4.57).

BLUE JAYS (39-38)
Reyes, SS
Bautista, RF
Encarnacion, 1B
DeRosa, DH
Cabrera, LF
Arencibia, C
Davis, CF
Izturis, 3B
Bonifacio, 2B
Pitching: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (1-0, 2.18).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/radio: NESN / WEEI

Red Sox vs. Wang: Ortiz 16-37, Gomes 4-25, Pedroia 5-18, Victorino 2-6, Ellsbury 1-4, Drew 0-3, Napoli 0-2, Saltalamacchia 0-1.

Blue Jays vs. Lester: Bautista 11-50, Arencibia 7-35, Cabrera 9-33, Encarnacion 5-30, Davis 6-27, Lind 3-29, Izturis 7-24, Rasmus 3-15, DeRosa 2-11, Bonifacio 1-8, Reyes 1-6.

Stat of the Day: The Red Sox start the day with a 3.5-game lead in the AL East. It's their largest lead in the division since June 29, 2009.

Notes: The Sox are coming off a two-game sweep of the Rockies. The Jays have won 12 of 14 to get back over .500 after a 10-21 start ... The Sox are 5-4 against Toronto this season ... Lester was 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA in his first nine starts. He is 1-4 with a 7.30 ERA in seven starts since. Lester is 2-0, 2.05 in three starts against the Jays this season. Over 22 innings, he has allowed only five earned runs. Lester is 13-7, 3.61 in 25 career starts against the Jays ... Wang was 54-20 with a 3.79 ERA for the Yankees from 2005-08. Foot and shoulder injuries changed the course of his career from there. He is 8-12 with a 5.83 ERA in 36 major league games since 2009. Wang is 6-6, 4.98 in 16 career appearances against the Sox, the last coming in 2009 ... Ellsbury has an extra-base hit in five consecutive games and has hit safely in 21 of the last 24 games. He is 13 of 30 in the last seven games ... Victorino was 5 for 9 in the Rockies series ... Napoli is 7 of 12 with two doubles, two homers, and 20 RBIs with the bases loaded this season.

Song of the Day: "Come Back" by The J. Geils Band.

Pitching matchups for the Blue Jays series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 27, 2013 10:00 AM

Thursday: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (1-0, 2.18) vs. LHP Jon Lester (7-4, 4.57), 7:10 p.m., NESN.

Friday: RHP Josh Johnson (1-2, 4.60) vs. RHP Allen Webster (0-2, 11.25), 7:10 p.m., NESN.

Saturday: RHP Esmil Rogers (3-3, 3.46) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.33), 4:05 p.m., NESN.

Sunday: LHP Mark Buehrle (4-5, 4.73) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.15), 1:35 p.m., NESN.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 27, 2013 09:51 AM

John Lackey pitched like an ace as the Red Sox beat the Rockis, 5-3.

Nick Cafardo hits some big points as the red-hot Blue Jays arrive at Fenway.

The notebook has Clay Buchholz suffering a setback.

An impressive day for John Lackey

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 26, 2013 09:37 PM

How good was John Lackey for the Red Sox Wednesday? Well . . .

• Lackey allowed two runs and struck out 12, matching his career best. Not only didn’t he walk a batter, he went to a three-ball count only three times.

• The last Red Sox pitcher to strike out 12 batters without a walk was Pedro Martinez in 2003. Not since Curt Schilling in 2004 had a Sox pitcher struck out a dozen at Fenway.

• Outside of Josh Rutledge, Lackey fanned every Rockies hitter at least once.

• He commanded a fastball that was consistently 92-94 miles per hour and touched 95. When needed, Lackey froze hitters with a slider. “He was outstanding,” John Farrell said.

• Lackey needed only 98 pitches to complete his seven innings and 73 of those were strikes. He threw first-pitch strikes to 22 of the 29 hitters he faced.

Lackey waved off all the impressive statistics that came out of his 133d career win.

“All the little numbers, I’m kind of past all that in my career,” he said. “I just want to win, man. I’m here to try to win a ring. All the little numbers that they like to talk about, I’m not really all into.”

The velocity was eye-catching and hinted at what could be further improvement for Lackey as he moves further away from the elbow surgery that caused him to miss all of last season.

“Been feeling pretty good,” he said. “Feel like I’m still getting stronger. It’s been a gradual process, a lot of work. It’s still building. I’m pretty excited about that, really. Honestly, my second halves of my career have usually been better than the first.”

Lackey is 5-5 on the season but 4-1 in his last eight starts with an earned run average of 2.49. That has dropped his season ERA to 2.99.

The Red Sox, 47-33 with the season one game away from the midway point, open a four-game series against Toronto on Thursday night. The Blue Jays have won 12 of their last 14 games and recovered from a slow start.

Final: Red Sox 5, Rockies 3

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 26, 2013 04:22 PM

Game over: Red Sox 5, Rockies 3 Koji Uehara's first opportunity after being named Andrew Bailey's replacement, went well. He retired the Rockies in order (two strikeouts) in the 9th to protect a 2-run lead for John Lackey, who pitched seven strong innings and struck out 12. The game was played in 2:36 before 34,632. Toronto comes in for four games starting Thursday.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 3 - After three strikeouts, Jarrod Saltalamacchia drew a walk, but Jose Iglesias grounded into an inning-ending double-play.

Top 8th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 3 - Michael Cuddyer homered again, this time hitting the Sports Authority sign.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 2 - Victorino doubled for his third hit. After David Ortiz was walked intentionally with one out, the Sox went down.

Top 7th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 2 - Rockies go down in order vs. Lackey. The big righthander is done after seven, allowing two runs, no walks eight hits and 12 strikeouts. He threw 98 pitches.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 2 - Stephen Drew tripled around the railing in right, but was gunned down at the plate on Jose Iglesias' grounder to shortstop with the infield drawn in.

Top 6th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 2 - Michael Cuddyer hit a mammoth homer off the Advil sign in leftcenter. His 12th homer extended his major league high hitting streak to 23 games. which also tied a Rockies record (Dante Bichette)..

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 1 - Dustin Pedroia singled to lead off the inning, but that was it for Sox.

Top 5th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 1 - A single by Yorvit Torrealba was all Lackey allowed. He picked up his 9th strikeout.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 1 - Sox go down in order.

Top 4th: Red Sox 5, Rockies 1 - Always thought Helton would have done major damage had he played in Boston. Three years ago Theo Epstein thought about it, but didn't like the contract. Anyway, Helton doubled off he centerfield fence with one out. Lackey has 8 strike outs.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 5, Rockies 1 - Red Sox just killing Colorado pitching. They loaded the bases on singles by Victorino and Pedroia and a walk to Ortiz. Mike Napoli singled to right scoring the fourth run and Daniel Nava's sacrifice fly scored the fifth run. The Sox made two outs after that to get Oswalt out of the inning.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 3, Rockies 1 - Lackey allowed a bunt single to Carlos Gonzalez, but nothing else.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 3, Rockies 1 - Sox retired in order by Oswalt. Iglesias tried two unsuccessful bunt attempts in the at-bat and popped a bunt back to Oswalt.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 3, Rockies 1 - Lackey has an impressive inning striking out the side.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 3, Rockies 1 - Red Sox got it right back and more. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled off the left field wall and scored on Shane Victorino's single to left. David Ortiz continued with a double high atop the left field wall scoring Victorino. Daniel Nava sent a grounder up the middle which hit the second base bag, scoring Ortiz with the third run.

Top 1st: Rockies 1, Red Sox 0 - The Rockies scored on John Lackey when Carlos Gonzalez singled, stole second and scored on Wilson Rosario's single to right.

Buchholz: 'I want it to be gone'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 26, 2013 03:16 PM

Clay Buchholz hasn't ruled out pitching for the Red Sox before the All-Star break. But he made it clear on Wednesday that he will not pitch until the discomfort in his right trapezius muscle had cleared up.

"It's not something that's a terrible feeling," said Buchholz, who cut short a bullpen session this afternoon because of lingering discomfort. "It's just I want it to be gone. I don't feel like pitching and going out two starts and having it flare up again.

"I'm going to stand strong on before I pitch again or before I get off a mound in a game situation, I'm not going to feel anything. That's where we're at right now."

Buchholz has been told that the issue has nothing to do with his rotator cuff. He also feels fine when he plays catch. The pain comes when he follows through on pitches thrown from the mound.

Buchholz was hoping that's today's session would lead to another on Friday and then a rehab game. Now he's been pushed back again.

"It was a letdown," he said. "Fortunate enough that we have a really good team and I'm not having to stress getting back any quicker than I need to be fully recovered because we're struggling or we need arms. That's not the case with this club. Everybody's going out and doing their job and having a bunch outings out of our starters is key.

"It could be more stressful and more frustrating. But not at this point. That's where I'm at. Definitely don't want to be stuck at this point for any longer than I have to be. Just got to find a way to deal with it."

Buchholz said his all of his pitches felt good while he was on the mound and he could theoretically go out and pitch with the injury. But the fact that it feels uncomfortable on the mound is a concern.

Buchholz was injured fielding a comebacker in his last start on June 8. At the time, he had just gotten over a sore AC joint in his shoulder.

"I don't feel like it's right for me to go back out and pitch when I'm 80 percent. I think I'm doing the team an injustice and I'm risking further injury," he said.

Because he has never had an arm injury before, Buchholz is worried the trap would cause him to alter his mechanics to compensate and lead to a more serious injury.

"I sort of feel that's how all this happened in the first place, me compensating for the AC joint and maybe throwing at a little higher arm slot than I usually do," he said.

Buchholz offered no prediction about when he would pitch again. He hopes it will be before the break.

"I want to try to figure it out and get off the mound and do whatever I need to do to get well," he said.

Also:

• Shortstop Xander Bogaerts (World Team) and righthander Anthony Ranaudo (United States) were selected for the Futurs Game at Citi Field on July 14. Garin Cecchini was selected as a finalist for the Fan Vote.

• As expected, the Red Sox activated Clayton Mortensen from the disabled list and optioned Pedro Beato to Pawtucket. The Sox have made 17 roster moves involving their pitchers since June 11.

• Farrell said that Andrew Bailey is now in "the middle relief group" and could be used in low-leverage situations.

Another setback for Clay Buchholz

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 26, 2013 01:22 PM

Clay Buchholz threw off a mound today for the second time since June 8. But he cut short his session after only about 18 pitches and was sent for an MRI.

Buchholz is on the disabled list with what the Red Sox have said is a sore trapezius muscle.

"When he got on the mound and started to really get into his bullpen, he still feels some restriction in that same area," manager John Farrell said.

Farrell said it was a positive that Buchholz has thrown with "some intensity" for two consecutive days. But the fact he could not complete a bullpen session is troubling.

"He's not at the point of a normal bullpen in advance of any rehab start," Farrell said. "His own words were, 'It's not ready.' "

The MRI will be to "better understand" what Buchholz is dealing with according to Farrell.

It seems surprising that Buchholz has not previously had an MRI given that he was injured two weeks ago. The righthander is 9-0 with a 1.71 earned run average. The Sox are 11-1 in the games he has started.

The Sox still believe it's a trapezius issue and not something more serious.

"By all his symptoms and what's been discovered through exam, yes," Farrell said.

Buchholz will need to throw at least two pain-free bullpen sessions before getting into a minor league game. He also could need more than one rehab game to regain his arm strength and command.

Given those requirements, Buchholz may not rejoin the rotation until after the All-Star break.

"Until he's symptom free, then we can plan accordingly," Farrell said.

Game 80: Rockies at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 26, 2013 12:15 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (46-33)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Saltalamacchia C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (4-5, 3.03).

ROCKIES (39-39)
LeMahieu 2B
Gonzalez LF
Cuddyer RF
Rosario DH
Helton 1B
Arenado 3B
Colvin CF
Torrealba C
Rutledge SS
Pitching: RHP Roy Oswalt (0-1, 7.20).

Game time: 4:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN, MLB Network/ WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Oswalt: Drew 9-28, Victorino 5-15, Gomes 1-2, Napoli 0-3, Ellsbury 0-1, Pedroia 1-1.

Rockies vs. Lackey: Cuddyer 6-21, Torrealba 3-11, Gonzalez 2-8, Helton 3-7, Herrera 1-4.

Stat of the Day: If Iglesias did not get a hit in his next 50 at-bats, his batting average would still be .301.

Notes: This two-game series comes to an end with two veteran starters facing each other. Lackey and Oswalt have combined for 664 appearances and 295 victories in their careers. ... Oswalt, 35, is making his second start of the season and is facing the Red Sox for the only the second time in his career. He threw 1.1 innings of relief for Texas at Fenway Park last Aug. 8 and allowed four runs. ... Lackey is 3-1, 2.42 in his last seven starts. He has registered a quality start in eight of his 12 starts this season. ... Ortiz is 13 of his last 30 and Drew 6 of his last 17. ... The Sox have a +76 run differential, tied with the Tigers for the best in the American League. ... Only the Cardinals (48-29) and the Pirates (47-30) have a better record than the Sox. ... The Sox have committed six errors in their last two games. ... The Sox are 24-15 at home with wins in five of their last six games and 11 of the last 15. ... The Rockies are 2-8 against the AL East. Today is the last game of Colorado's nine-game road trip. They are 2-6 so far.

Streaking on: Cuddyer has hit safely in 22 straight games at 40 of 93 (.370). He is one shy of tying Dante Bichette for the team record. Bichette, who is Colorado's hitting coach, had his streak in 1995. Cuddyer also has reached base safely in 41 consecutive games. ... Iglesias is riding a streak of 27 straight games of reaching base safely.

Song of the Day: "Take a Walk" by Passion Pit.

Dempster delivers as Red Sox roll

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 26, 2013 12:45 AM

Ryan Dempster was wearing a blue United States Postal Service cap after the game Tuesday night. Perhaps it was an unintentional metaphor about his reliability.

On a night when the Red Sox had a season-best 20 hits in an 11-4 victory against the Colorado Rockies, their starting pitcher also stood out by going six strong innings. Dempster allowed two runs on six hits.

Dempster has gone at least six innings 11 times in 16 starts and his 95 1/3 innings are the second most on the team, only six fewer than Jon Lester.

In his last six starts, Dempster has a 3.40 earned run average. On a team struggling to find consistent starters at the top of the rotation this month, old veterans Dempster and John Lackey have come through.

“We have an incredible offense,” Dempster said. “You just go out there and worry about doing your job. The wins come both as a team and as an individual. That’s all I care about, is I when I start we win the game. I want to give us a chance to win the game.”

Dustin Pedroia was 3 for 5 and drove in four runs. On the day the Sox demoted former third baseman Will Middlebrooks to the minors, new third baseman Jose Iglesias was 3 for 5 with a double and one RBI.

“It's good to get an idea that you're going to play a lot, hopefully every day. I'm just happy to be here,” Iglesias said. “I've always been a confident guy and tried to stay positive as much as possible and it's been very good for me so far.

“It's good to have an opportunity to play every single day. It kind of surprised me. I never thought about playing third in my life and now, I'm getting a chance to play here.”

Including the 2007 World Series, Pedroia is 11 for 26 with three doubles, four homers and 13 RBIs in 10 games against the Rockies.

See the Globe on Wednesday for more on Dempster.

Final: Red Sox 11, Rockies 4

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 25, 2013 06:56 PM

dempster062513.jpg

The Red Sox opened their nine game home stand by pounding the Colorado Rockies, 11-4. Jacoby Ellsbury (3 for 5, three runs), Dustin Pedroia (3 for 5, three RBIs) and Jose Iglesias (3 for 5, two RBIs and a run) poured it on for the Sox, who came in having lost four of their past five games.

In easily his shortest outing of the season, Rockies starter Juan Nicasio was roughed up by the Sox, who tagged him for seven runs on 12 hits over a disastrous 2.1 innings.

Meanwhile, with the Sox offense clicking, Ryan Dempster was able to work comfortably through six innings, giving up just two runs on six hits while striking out four to up his record to 5-8.

FULL ENTRY

Ross placed on 60-day disabled list

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 25, 2013 06:30 PM

The Red Sox moved backup catcher David Ross to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday, acknowledging that he faces a lengthy recovery from two concussions.

Ross will not be eligible to return until Aug. 18. But he expects to be ready by then according to agent Ryan Gleichowski.

“He’s very optimistic about that and he’s doing well,” Gleichowski said. “David wanted to try and push through it, but he understands you have be careful with these things.”

A specialist, Dr. Michael Collins of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, examined Ross on June 20. He recommended Ross leave the team and return to his home in Florida to recover. Collins will examine Ross again on July 9.

Also:

• Rookie righthander Allen Webster is scheduled to start on Friday, the second game of the series against Toronto. He is 0-2 with an 11.25 earned run average in three starts.

The Sox could have called up Alfredo Aceves or Rubby De La Rosa for the start. But John Farrell likes the matchup against the Blue Jays, a team Webster pitched well against in spring training.

• Given his halting progress to date, predicting when Clay Buchholz will next pitch for the Red Sox is tricky. But there is some clarity to the situation.

Buchholz, who is on the disabled list with a strained trapezius muscle, played long toss and threw some pitches from flat ground. Farrell said the throwing sessions were “aggressive.”

The hope is that Buchholz will throw in the bullpen on Wednesday and again on Friday. Barring a setback, Buchholz could pitch in a minor league game on Sunday or Monday.

• Lefthander Franklin Morales was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left pectoral muscle, an injury similar to the one he had in early April. Righthander Pedro Beato was recalled from Triple A Pawtucket. But his stay could be brief. Righthander Clayton Mortensen is eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday and the Red Sox intend to activate him.

• Shane Victorino, who left Sunday’s game in the eighth inning because of a sore back, returned to the lineup. He was treated on Monday and had no lingering soreness.

Middlebrooks sent to Triple A Pawtucket

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 25, 2013 05:29 PM

Middlebrooks.jpg

Will Middlebrooks was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after sitting out five of the past six games

Will Middlebrooks was summoned into John Farrell’s office around noon to hear news that, judging by his body language in recent games, he could sense was coming.

The third baseman had watched five of the past six games from the dugout, sinking in a sea of inconsistency at the plate. Meanwhile, Jose Iglesias was making it impossible for Farrell to keep him out of the lineup.

It had become clear to Farrell that, even though he still envisioned Middlebrooks as an important part of the Red Sox’ future, at present the Sox were a better team with Iglesias in the lineup.

With Farrell acknowledging that Iglesias had earned the job as the team’s everyday third baseman, the Red Sox optioned Middlebrooks to Triple A Pawtucket Tuesday. There is no timetable for how long he will be there, and no performance-based checklist that Middlebrooks can meet to ensure his return.

The only goal is to get Middlebrooks the kind of consistent at-bats that will hopefully allow him to rediscover the swing that made him a .288 hitter a season ago.

“First of all, his skills haven't gone backwards,” Farrell said. “He's still a very talented player. The consistent work will allow him to reproduce the swing that he showed last year and showed throughout the course of spring training, recognizing that this year there were some struggles for him.”

It was just a year ago Monday that the Sox traded Kevin Youkilis to make room at third for Middlebrooks, who has hit .192 with 9 home runs and 25 RBIs this season.

“But this isn't uncommon for a young player, and to take a step back now for the bigger picture, he's finding his way to becoming a major league player, and part of that sometimes takes a step back, and this is exactly what's taking place," said Farrell.

Middlebrooks will be in the PawSox’ lineup Wednesday night against the Toledo Mud Hens.

“This became about Will getting regular at-bats,” Farrell said. “He's an important part of us today as he is going forward, and for him to get back on track, to make an impact with us, he needs everyday at-bats, and that's where he's headed right now.”

The Sox purchased the contract of PawSox third baseman Brandon Snyder as an extra infielder.

A call-up was the last thing on Snyder’s mind after he went 2 for 14 over three games in Toledo.

“I was talking to my wife today about it and I was like, 'Man, that was a really bad one. I'm just happy to be home,’ ” Snyder said.

His phone rang, and when he realized it was PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina, he was bracing for bad news.

“My heart kind of sank,” he said.

Snyder was told he was heading up.

“It was obviously a good feeling,” Snyder said. “God works in mysterious ways. Definitely, this is probably the craziest one so far.”

While middle infielder Brock Holt might have seemed like a candidate, Farrell said he wanted a righthanded bat and someone who had been in this same in-case-of-emergency role before. Having been in this spot before with Texas and Baltimore, Snyder understands his role and knows better than to amplify it.

“It's more or less me trying to fill that little role here or there,” Synder said. “It's not trying to look at the big picture, just trying to fill in when they need it. Obviously, they've got a good thing going, they've got a lot of guys who have big roles, and I'm just trying to fill in when they need somebody."

When Middlebrooks was in Pawtucket earlier this month, he had the locker next to Snyder’s. On a trip Syracuse, they got a chance to talk over lunch.

“I know that he just needs to be able to play every day,” Snyder said. “I think once he does that, he'll be able to prove himself and he'll be back before you know it.”

Middlebrooks optioned; Snyder added to bench

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 25, 2013 03:30 PM

The Red Sox have optioned third baseman Will Middlebrooks to Triple A Pawtucket and purchased the contract of infielder Brandon Snyder.

Middlebrooks is hitting .192 this season with a .617 OPS and lost his position to Jose Iglesias after going on the disabled list with a lower back strain in May. He had not played in five of the last six games.

The 24-year-old was expected to be a middle-of-the-order hitter for the Sox this season but never got on track. Sitting on the bench in the major leagues was restricting his development.

The Sox hope that Middlebrooks can get on track playing every day in the minors. Middlebrooks also has a good relationship with Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina, who managed him in rookie ball in 2008.

Synder, 26, was the 13th overall pick of the 2005 amateur draft by Baltimore but never developed into a major league regular. He has played 56 games with the Orioles and Rangers in his career, hitting .276. Snyder hit .277 with a .755 OPS in 40 games for Texas last season.

The Rangers released him out of spring training and Snyder was signed by the Red Sox. He has hit a modest .267/.338/.470 over 63 games with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs. He has played 40 games at first base and 23 at third.

Snyder has started one game at third base in the majors. Most of his experience has come at first base with three starts in right field and one in left.

Snyder has hit .212 in Pawtucket this month with a .572 OPS. He has struck out 20 times in his last 66 at-bats.

In time, the best option for the Red Sox bench could be Brock Holt, a utility infielder with some speed. Holt has not played for Pawtucket since June 16 because of an oblique injury. He is hitting .271.

Game 79: Rockies at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 25, 2013 02:45 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (45-33)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Saltalamacchia C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: RHP Ryan Dempster (4-8, 4.23).

ROCKIES (39-38)
Fowler CF
LeMahieu 2B
Gonzalez LF
Cuddyer RF
Helton 1B
Rosario C
Dickerson DH
Arenado 3B
Herrera SS
Pitching: RHP Juan Nicasio (4-3, 4.78).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Nicasio: No history.

Rockies vs. Dempster: Helton 10-24, Gonzalez 5-9, Fowler 2-5, Herrera 0-2, Torrealba 0-2.

Stat of the Day: Since starting 20-8, the Sox are 25-25.

Notes: The Sox have lost two straight and 4 of 5. They start a nine-game homestand with a 2.5-game lead in the division. ... The Sox are 2-2 in interleague games this season, all against the Phillies. ... Ryan Dempster is 2-3 in his last five starts despite a 3.48 ERA. He is 5-4, 6.96 in 18 career appearances against the Rockies, the last coming in 2011. ... Juan Nicasio is facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career. ... Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer enters the game with a 21-game hit streak, the longest in the majors this season and the longest for the Rockies since 1999. Cuddyer is 32 of 87 (.368) in the streak. He has reached base in 40 consecutive games, the longest streak in the majors this season. ... Jose Iglesias has reached base in 26 consecutive games. ... Jacoby Ellsbury has hit safely in 19 of his last 22 games at 37 of 97 (.381) with 19 run scored. The hot streak has raised his batting average from .278 to .289. ... David Ortiz is 12 of his last 28. ... The Sox are 3 of their last 24 with runner in scoring position. ... Andrew Bailey's last 6 games: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 4 HR.

Song of the Day: "Good Times Bad Times" by Led Zeppelin.

Welcome back to baseball season

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 25, 2013 09:45 AM

Welcome back, hockey fans. Here's what you missed with the Red Sox since the Bruins started the playoffs on May 1:

• The Sox are still in first place in the AL East. But they are 25-25 since May 3.

• Jose Iglesias is playing every day on the left side of the infield, just like you wanted. But he's the third baseman. That's right, the best shortstop in the organization plays third. Don't ask how that came to be, but it's working out pretty well. He's now a productive hitter, too. Again, don't ask. It's hard to explain.

• Andrew Bailey is no longer the closer. Koji Uehara is, but he hasn't had to close a game yet. Stay tuned.

• John Lackey is the team's most reliable and consistent starter at the moment.

• Jacoby Ellsbury is playing well (.289/.353/.400) after a slow start. He is hitting .381 in his last 22 games. He steals a lot of bases but doesn't hit home runs any more.

• Clay Buchholz hasn't pitched since June 8. Nobody is sure when he will pitch again. He literally has a pain in the neck.

• David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia will probably be All-Stars. Buchholz could be, too. That is assuming he'll be ready to pitch by then.

• Jon Lester is 1-4 with a 7.30 ERA in his last seven starts. He is 17-21 with a 4.80 ERA in his last 55 starts. That's nearly two seasons.

• Remember Pedro Ciriaco? They traded him to the Padres.

• There have been 15 roster moves involving pitchers since June 11. There will be another two today when Franklin Morales goes on the disabled list and somebody else comes up.

• John Farrell is the AL manager of the year to this point. The Red Sox play with a sense of purpose and generally play the game the way you'd like to see a team play.

• Remember that Xander Bogaerts kid you reading about in spring training? He was promoted to Triple A.

• Pedroia is having the best defensive season of his career. He makes some sort of remarkable play roughly once every game and a half.

• Shane Victorino has played Gold Glove defense in right field. But he keeps smacking into walls and hurting his back.

• Mike Napoli has a lot of doubles (21), RBIs (50) and strikeouts (97). All in all, he's been a bargain and his hips have held up.

• It seems like the Red Sox had a good draft. They took a tall high school lefty in the first round and signed him pretty quickly. People who are paid to know such things believe the high school catcher they took in the third round is pretty good, too.

• NESN's Jerry Remy was out sick a while but he'll be back in the booth tonight.

• Finally, every team in the AL East is in contention and the season is just about to the halfway point. Summer is just starting and the local nine is in first place. Sports never stops in this town.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 25, 2013 09:09 AM

Jose Iglesias can't come out of the lineup because of all the contributions he's making to the Red Sox.

The notebook looks back on the trade of Kevin Youkilis.

Morales headed to DL; Victorino improved

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 24, 2013 07:25 PM

The Red Sox are expected to place lefthander Franklin Morales on the disabled list on Tuesday with a strained pectoral muscle. He was examined by team doctors today.

Shane Victorino, who left Sunday’s game in Detroit with a sore lower back, was feeling better on Monday and is expected to remain on the active roster.

Meanwhile, today marks the one-year anniversary of the Red Sox trading Kevin Youkilis to make room for Will Middlebrooks.

It was a deal that didn't work out too well for any of the players involved so far. Consider:

• Youkilis has hit .232 in 108 games for the White Sox and Yankees with a .335 on-base percentage. The 34-year-old is on the disabled list for the second time this season with the Yankees. He underwent back surgery in California last week to repair a herniated disc and is expected to miss at least 10-12 weeks.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the team does not expect Youkilis to return before the final weeks of September — if then.

• The Red Sox received righthander righthander Zach Stewart and infielder Brett Lillibridge from Chicago in return for Youkilis. Stewart pitched poorly in two starts and was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates after the season for Kyle Kaminska, a minor league lefthander who played in six games and retired.

Lillibridge was traded to the Indians in July, released in November and signed by the Cubs. They traded him to the Yankees last week — ironically to improve their depth at third base because of the loss of Youkilis.

The only peripheral return on Youkilis for the Red Sox is righthanded reliever Jose De La Torre, who was obtained from Cleveland for Lillibridge. He has pitched in three games for the Sox but spent most of the season with Triple A Pawtucket.

• Since the day Youkilis was traded, Middlebrooks has hit .210 with a .646 OPS. He broke his right wrist last Aug. 10 when he was hit by a pitch and missed the rest of the season.

Middlebrooks started slowly this season and lost his job to Jose Iglesias. He has not played in five of the last six games.

Pitching matchups for the Rockies series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 24, 2013 09:45 AM

Tuesday: RHP Juan Nicasio (4-3, 4.78) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (4-8, 4.23), 7:10 p.m., NESN.

Wednesday: RHP Roy Oswalt (0-1, 7.20) vs. RHP John Lackey (4-5, 3.03), 4:05 p.m., NESN, MLB Network.

Red Sox wives hosting book drive

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 24, 2013 09:15 AM

The Red Sox Wives will host a children’s book drive at Fenway Park on Friday before the 7:10 p.m. game against Toronto. The book collection will benefit Room to Grow, the non-profit organization which seeks to enrich the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of development.

Fans are asked to bring children’s books appropriate for kids 0-3 years old. The organization has a special need for board books in both Spanish and English.

There will be a table located outside of each Fenway Park gate from the time gates open at 5:40 p.m. through the 2nd inning of the game.

Red Sox fuming after loss in Detroit

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 23, 2013 09:15 PM

DETROIT — Avisail Garcia hit a fly ball deep to right field to start the bottom of the eighth inning for the Detroit Tigers on Saturday afternoon, a routine play in what had been anything but a routine game to that point.

Daniel Nava, just inserted into the game, ran it down. The ball was at his waist when he turned, so Nava flipped his glove up to catch it. The ball plopped in and the Red Sox had one out.

Umpire Mike DiMuro disagreed. Because Nava dropped the ball when he went to transfer it to his left hand, DiMuro ruled there was no catch.

Garcia reached second on the error. The Tigers went to score three runs in the inning and beat the Sox, 7-5, to take three of four games in the series.

The Red Sox played one of their poorest games of the season. Their pitchers were inefficient, the defense made a series of mistakes, and the offense left 11 runners on base, six of them in scoring position.

But most of the postgame talk centered on the call in right field and the latest controversy involving major league umpires.

“Clearly the call was missed,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell, who was ejected by DiMuro.

“It’s unfortunate,” Nava said. “I know what happened.”

Crew chief Ted Barrett defended the call.

"To have a catch, you have to have complete control and voluntary release,” he said. “[DiMuro] had him with control, but did not have the voluntary release. When he flipped the ball out of his glove, he never got it into his hand. That's not voluntary release.”

Nava said he caught the ball, secured it in his glove, and dropped it after he went to throw it back in.

Nava was playing with his left thumb heavily taped but he didn’t believe that contributed to the ball being dropped.

“The ball was in there. I guess [DiMuro] didn’t have a good angle, unfortunately,” said Nava, who sprinted in to plead his case. “I knew that he caught it.”

DiMuro checked when the other umpires and when the call stood, Farrell was ejected for the first time this season.

“When you spend the rest of the game in the clubhouse you probably have a difference of opinion,” Farrell said.

Farrell also thought first base umpire Scott Barry should have made the call.

“Why it was called by the second base umpire, I don’t know,” he said.

Said Barrett: “With no one on base, that is certainly [Dimuro's] jurisdiction."

The Sox have lost four of their last five games and are off on Monday before starting a nine-game homestand. They have a two-game lead in the American League East but the five teams are separated by only five games.

Also:

• The Red Sox may have lost Shane Victorino to injury again. The right fielder, who has missed 30 games this season with back and hamstring injuries, was pinch hit for in the eighth inning of Sunday’s 7-5 loss against the Tigers.

Victorino injured his lower back in the fourth inning when he ran into the corner in right field to make a catch to end the inning and leave two runners stranded. He crashed into the wall and stayed in the game for three innings before leaving.

Farrell said Victorino would get a full examination from team doctors on Monday.

• Dustin Pedroia was 0 for 16 against Justin Verlander in his career before he reached on an infield hit in the third inning. Replays showed he was out by a half step, but Pedroia singled he was safe as he crossed the bag and Barry agreed. Pedroia was for 0 for 11 against Mariano Rivera before a single on May 31. Pedroia’s longest career 0-for is now 0 for 16 against Dan Haren.

• Jose Iglesias was 0 for 3. But he was hit by a pitch in the second inning and that extended his streak of reaching base successfully to 26 games.

• Red Sox pitchers allowed 27 runs (23 earned) over 33 innings in the series.

Umpires defend call in 8th inning

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 23, 2013 05:42 PM

DETROIT — Here's what umpire crew chief Ted Barrett said about the call in the eighth inning today involving Daniel Nava in right field:

"To have a catch, you have to have complete control and voluntary release. [Second base umpire] Mike [DiMuro] had him with control, but did not have the voluntary release. When he flipped the ball out of his glove, he never got it into his hand. That's not voluntary release."

Is that normally the second base umpire's call? "Yes. With no one on base, that is certainly his jurisdiction"

Have you seen a replay? "Yes. He never got the ball into his hand, therefore there was no voluntary release and no catch."

Final: Tigers 7, Red Sox 5

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 23, 2013 01:20 PM

Game over: Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: The Red Sox dropped three out of four with the loss today after a bad call by umpires in the bottom of the 8th opened the floodgates for three Tiger runs.

The call was an error on Daniel Nava on a fly ball to right field by Avisail Garcia which he caught and then lost on the transfer. Umpires ruled he didn't have possession, which was wrong.

The Red Sox shot themselves in the foot in the seventh which helped in squandering their 4-3 lead when Andrew Miller hit Jhonny Peralta with a pitch with the bases loaded and an 0-2 count after the Red Sox messed up a double-play and settle for one out when Mike Napoli didn't know the rule.

Pedroia dropped Hunter's liner and Austin Jackson stayed on the base. The Red Sox got one out by Napoli stepping on first but he should have tagged out Hunter and then stepped on first and he would have had a double-play. The Red Sox scored one run in the ninth on Jonny Gomes' single to right. The game was played in 3:47 before a sellout of 41,507.

Bottom 8th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 4 - Umpires blew a call here. Avisail Garcia's fly ball to right was clearly caught by Daniel Nava and dropped on the transfer, but ruled an error and Garcia was on second. Miller fielded a bunt by Holoday and threw wide of first, pulling Dustin Pedroia off the bag. After Hunter Jackson walked, Hunter's sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run.

Cabrera was then walked intentionally with runners at first and third to load the bases. The Red Sox brought Craig Breslow in, but Prince Fielder went right back iup the middle to drive in two more runs. Farrell was ejected for the first time this season arguing the Nava call.

Top 8th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 4 - An Ellsbury single and stolen base (32nd) with two outs wasn't enough.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 4 - Tigers had their best chance to catchup and break it open. They settled for catching up. Bases loaded, one out. Andrew Miller allowed a leadoff single to Miguel Cabrera after Andrew Bailey allowed singles to two of the three batters he faced. Victor Martinez struck out and then 0-2 on Jhonny Peralta, throwing 98 mph, he hit Peralta with a pitch to force in the tying run.

Big play of the inning came on a liner by Hunter that Pedroia dropped. Jackson stayed on the base and the Sox got one out. First baseman Mike Napoli should have tagged the runner and then stepped on the bag and that would have been a double-play.

Top 7th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 - Pedroia and Ortiz with back-to-back singles, but the next three Red Sox batters make outs off Smyly.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 - Peralta with a leadoff walk, but nothing else off Junichi Tazawa.

Top 6th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 - Drew Smyly replaced Verlander who allowed seven hits and four runs in five innings. Smyly got Boston in order.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 - The Tigers go down in order in what is Felix Doubront's last inning. He's at 106 pitches. Doubront allowed four hits, three runs, two earned, four walks, and two strikeouts.

Top 5th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 - Ortiz and Drew single, but Lavarnway can't get it done. Verlander probably done for the day.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 - A couple of walks and an error (Stephen Drew) and bases loaded, but the Tigers can't get a run across.

Top 4th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 - A Ryan Lavarnway walk and Ellsbury double to right allowed Shane Victorino's grounder to short to get the lead run in. Verlander doesn't look like an imposter. A shadow of himself.

Bottom 3rd: Tigers 3, Red Sox 3 - Best inning for Doubront, who retires the side efficiently

Top 3rd: Tigers 3, Red Sox 3 - Sox even it up. The Tigers are a good team but two major flaws - bad back end of bullpen and poor infield defense. It appeared as if Mike Napoli had knocked into an inning-ending double-play, but Infante threw the relay into the stands to score the tying run.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers 3, Red Sox 2 - Austin Jackson doubled Bryan Holoday to third and then Holoday scored on Ryan Lavarnway's passed ball.

Top 2nd: Tigers 2, Red Sox 2 - Justin Verlander coughed up his two-run lead. Napoli singled, Drew walked and Ryan Lavarnway singled up the middle for the first Sox run. After Jose Iglesisas was hit with a pitch, Ellsbury hit a fly ball to center which got Drew home for the second run.

Bottom 1st: Tigers 2, Red Sox 0 - Oh boy, after the gem he pitched his last time out (three-hitter over Tampa Bay in eight innings), Felix Doubront sure struggled out of the gate. He walked the first two men he faced - Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter - and watched Miguel Cabrera hit a scorching ground-rule double to center over Jacoby Ellsbury's head that one-hopped the fence.

After Prince Fielder's grounder to first scored the second run. It took two nice plays - by Iglesias at third and Ellsbury in center to get Doubront out of further hot water.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Tigers 0 - Tough task ahead for the Red Sox facing Justin Verlander who was roughed up for seven hits and five runs over by the Orioles in a 5-2 loss in his last time out. Verlander is a mortal 8-5, with a 3.72 ERA this season. He walked Dustin Pedroia with two outs.

No roster moves for Red Sox today

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 23, 2013 11:40 AM

DETROIT — With a day off coming Monday, the Red Sox held off on adding a relief pitcher to their roster today.

But a transaction is in the works with the loss of lefthander Franklin Morales to an injury on Saturday night. Morales felt pain in his left pectoral muscle on his penultimate pitch of the night. The next pitch he threw was hit over the fence by Omar Infante.

Morales had a similar injury in April and missed three weeks. He will be checked out by doctors back in Boston on Monday. There was no improvement in his condition today.

Also:

• Farrell said that as of now, rookie righthander Allen Webster remains in the rotation. That would make his next start on Saturday against Toronto. The Sox could change their plans and use Alfredo Aceves.

• Rubby De La Rosa would ostensibly be a candidate for a start. But he was cut short at six innings and 63 pitches on Saturday night because the Red Sox wanted Clayton Mortensen to pitch two innings in his rehab stint.

The development of De Le Rosa is secondary to getting Mortensen some innings?

"That was the priority," Farrell said.

• Will Middlebrooks is out of the lineup for the fifth time in six games. At some point — Tuesday? — it would seem to make more sense for him to play every day in Pawtucket. The Red Sox have utility infielder Brock Holt on the 40-man roster.

• Daniel Nava (3 of his last 29) is dealing with a sore thumb and is out of the lineup. Jonny Gomes gets to face Justin Verlander in the sunlight.

Game 78: Red Sox at Tigers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 23, 2013 09:15 AM

Good morning. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (45-32)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Gomes LF
Drew SS
Lavarnway C
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.38).

TIGERS (41-32)
Jackson CF
Hunter RF
Cabrera 3B
Fielder 1B
Martinez DH
Peralta SS
Infante 2B
Garcia LF
Holaday C
Pitching: RHP Justin Verlander (8-5, 3.72).

Game time: 1:08 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Verlander: Ortiz 8-24 (2 HR), Napoli 6-20 (1 HR), Ellsbury 4-20, Pedroia 0-16, Salty 2-15, Drew 2-13, Gomes 0-6, Carp 0-5, Nava 1-3, Victorino 0-2, Middlebrooks 1-2.

Tigers vs. Doubront: Infante 2-6, Cabrera 0-3, Fielder 0-3, Pena 1-3, Dirks 0-2, Peralta 0-1, Hunter 1-1.

Stat of the Day: The Tigers have won 58 of their last 82 games at Comerica Park. That's a .707 winning percentage.

Notes: The Sox have dropped two of three in the series and now face Verlander. He is 3-4, 3.38 in 10 career starts against the Sox and was 0-2, 3.79 in three starts last season. ... Doubront has a 2.81 ERA in his last seven starts and one victory to show for it. He is coming off eight shutout innings against Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Doubront has faced the Tigers once in his career, that coming last May 28 at Fenway. He allowed two runs over six innings. ... The Sox are off Monday then start a nine-game homestand on Tuesday. ... The Sox are 15-7 in day games, the best record in the majors. ... Iglesias has reached base safely in 25 consecutive game. For the season, he has reached in 57 of 117 plate appearances and is 46 of 105. He has a .500 batting average on balls in play. ... Ellsbury home run watch: 270 at-bats since April 7. He hit 32 home runs in 660 at-bats in 2011 and has five in 600 at-bats since. On the positive side, he has hit safely in 18 of his last 21 games at 35 of 93 (.376) with 19 runs, 12 extra-base hits, nine RBIs and 17 stolen bases. ... Ortiz is 9 of 23 in his last six games with two homers, two doubles and six RBIs. ... Sox pitchers have allowed 20 runs on 34 hits (five home runs) in 25 innings in the series.

Song of the Day: "Life In The Fast Lane" by The Eagles.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 23, 2013 09:13 AM

Allen Webster has another rough inning as the Sox well to the Tigers, 10-3.

Nick Cafardo writes that it has been a tough second season for Will Middlebrooks.

The notebook has Clay Buchholz still not ready to pitch.

In the Sunday Baseball Notes, Nick writes that Yadier Molina is a player to build around.

Praise for Webster despite some ugly numbers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 23, 2013 12:00 AM

DETROIT — Allen Webster is 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA after three major league starts. He has allowed 16 runs (15 earned) on 19 hits and six walks over 12 innings. He has allowed five home runs.

In his last two starts, Webster gave up four runs in the first inning.

That all sounds pretty grim and it is. The Sox gave Webster a 2-0 lead Saturday night and he gave it back and then some in a span of five batters as Victor Martinez belted a grand slam. He had to be better than that.

But here's what colleague Nick Cafardo learned when he went to the Tigers clubhouse after the game.

Miguel Cabrera said Webster's changep was a “nasty pitch."

“Electric stuff,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

Martinez, the former Red Sox catcher, believes Webster has a bright future.

“That kid has great stuff. I watched the video on him. Facing him you see a lot of movement on the fastball and he's got a great changeup,” he said. “That kid is going to be a very good pitcher in the major leagues.”

Why do they think that? Webster had 21 swing-and-misses with his pitches Saturday night, which is an extraordinary number. To put that in some sort of perspective, Max Scherzer is 11-0 and he hasn't done that this season. Clay Buchholz's best was 17.

Now, certainly, a swing-and-miss isn't much good if the next pitch sails over the fence. But it speaks to the potential Wilson has.

“He’s got all the pitches and raw stuff you’re going to look for in a young pitcher. It’s a matter of consistency. It’s a matter of repetition, particularly at this level,” John Farrell said.

With Buchholz still not ready to come off the disabled list, the Red Sox will need a starter for Saturday’s game against Toronto at Fenway Park. Farrell was non-committal about the idea of Webster staying in the rotation, saying the Red Sox had some decisions to make.

Rubby De La Rosa may be a better choice. The 24-year-old threw six shutout innings for Triple A Pawtucket at Toledo on Saturday night, allowing one hit. He struck out seven without a walk. Or the Sox could give the newly reliable Alfredo Aceves another shot.

But Webster will be back. A young pitcher who can impress somebody like Cabrera is worth keeping an eye on.

Morales may be headed back to the DL

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 11:50 PM

DETROIT — Franklin Morales left Saturday night's game in the seventh inning after allowing a home run by Omar Infante. He felt pain in the front of his left shoulder in the area of his pectoral muscle.

Manager John Farrell indicated that Morales would likely be placed on the disabled list on Sunday.

Morales said the injury was similar to the one he suffered in April while pitching in a minor league game. That set him back for three weeks.

“I feel it one pitch … the pitch to Infante,” Morales said.

The Sox could recall RHP Pedro Beato, who was optioned earlier today. Or they could go with RHP Jose De La Torre. Alfredo Aceves is another candidate.

Also:

• David Ortiz drove a fastball nearly halfway up the bleachers in right field in the first inning. It was Ortiz’s third career home run against Max Scherzer, his 16th of the season and No. 417 of his career.

Ortiz has 18 home runs at Comerica Park, the most for a visiting player. He had been tied with Jim Thome and Paul Konerko. Ortiz has played 48 games at Comerica, Thome 70 and Konerko 107.

Ortiz has 55 RBis in 58 games this season. He nearly homered again in the sixth inning but a blast to center was tracked down at the fence by Austin Jackson.

• Jose Iglesias was 2 for 3, raising his batting average to .438. He has reached safely in 25 consecutive games. It’s the second longest such streak in the majors to Miguel Cabrera, who has reached in 37 straight games.

Iglesias has at least one hit in 21 of his last 22 games.

Final: Tigers 10, Red Sox 3

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 07:26 PM

Game over: Tigers 10, Red Sox 3 - What looked promising from the outset - two runs against Max Scherzer in the first inning - turned into a bummer for the Red Sox who were beaten badly by the Tigers.

Scherzer improved to a major league best 11-0 with seven strong innings while rookie Allen Webster allowed a first-inning grand slam to Victor Martinez and allowed five runs over 4-1/3 innings to take the loss. He's now 0-2. In 12 innings over three starts, he's allowed 19 hits, 15 earned runs, six walks and struck out 12 for an 11.25 ERA. Jarrod Saltalamacchia knocked int the third run.The game was played in 3:05. .

Bottom 8th: Tigers 10, Red Sox 2 - Alex Wilson is on. He allowed a leadoff single to Austin Jackson, a single to right to Torii Hunter and a walk to Miguel Cabrera. Fielder knocked into a double play, but scored Detroit's 10th run Nava made a nice catch against the wall to rob Martinez.

Top 8th: Tigers 9, Red Sox 2 - Drew walked and Iglesias singled to center. But the good times stopped there. Ellsbury flew out to left,, Victorino struck out and Pedroia flied out deep to center against reliever Al Alburquerque, who relieved Max Scherzer after seven innings. Scherzer, who spotted the Red Sox two runs in the first, pitched seven, allowed six hits, two runs, walked none and struck out six. .

Bottom 7th: Tigers 9, Red Sox 2 - Franklin Morales came out of the game after Omar Infante homered scoring Victor Martinez ahead of him. Morales left with a Red Sox trainer. We'll see if there's an injury.

Top 7th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 2 - Not much hapening with Sox offense tonight.

Bottom 6th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 2 - Cabrera singled but that was all.

Top 6th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 2 - Jacoby Ellsbury slapped a double down the left field line, but didn't advance. David Ortiz hit a long fly ball to center that Austin Jackson tracked down about 415 feet away.

Bottom 5th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 2 - Allen Webster retired the first batter in the fifth and was gone. Franklin Morales took his spot. Morales walked Fielder, allowed an RBI double to Victor Martinez and an RBI single to Jhonny Peralta.

Top 5th: Tigers 5, Red Sox 2 - With two outs, Jose Iglesias singled to right and had successfully got to second for a double, but overslid the bag and was tagged out by Jhonny Peralta after Torii Hunter's throw from right.

Bottom 4th: Tigers 5, Red Sox 2 - The Tigers added to Max Scherzer's lead when Dirks opened the inning with a single against Allen Webster. he stole second base and was driven home by Austin Jackson's two-out single up the middle.

Top 4th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 2 -Mike Carp got to third on a throwing error after a being credited with an infield hit with two outs, but Nava flew out to left..

Bottom 3rd: Tigers 4, Red Sox 2 - Webster struck out two more - five Ks through three innings. He walked Victor Martinez.

Top 3rd: Tigers 4, Red Sox 2 - The Sox go down in order.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers 4, Red Sox 2 - Webster got the benefit of a double-play grounder by Austin Jackson with Brayan Pena on first base. After Torii Hunter reached on an infield single to third base, he was caught stealing by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Replay showed it was not the right call.

Top 2nd: Tigers 4, Red Sox 2 - Scherzer settled down and retired Nava, Saltalamacchia and Drew.

Bottom 1st: Tigers 4, Red Sox 2 - In a first inning that took 29 minutes, the Tigers made their wait worthwhile. Victor Martinez belted a grand slam to right field against rookie Allen Webster, who had mixed results as he also struck out three batters. He allowed opening singles to Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter and walked Miguel Cabrera. He struck out Prince Fielder, but didn't have the sane fate vs. Martinez who pulled a pitch low and away on a 1-1 count. Andy Dirks singled and Omar Infante struck out.

Top 1st: Red Sox 2, Tigers 0 - Big doings for the Red Sox who pounced on 10-game winner Max Scherzer. Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino hit back-to-back singles to put runners at first and third. Dustin Pedroia's double-play grounder scored the first run. David Ortiz struck for a long solo homer to right on a 2-1 pitch, his 16th and his 18th at Comerica Park, the most by any opposing player in the park's history.

Farrell: Buchholz return 'slower than we anticipated'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 07:12 PM

DETROIT — Clay Buchholz will not come off the disabled list to start for the Red Sox on Tuesday and as a result will need at least a one start in the minor leagues before he does return to the rotation.

The righthander was scheduled to throw in the bullpen on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park. But lingering discomfort in his right trapezius muscle limited him to throwing in the outfield.

The Sox were hoping for Buchholz to throw 45-50 pitches in the bullpen as preparation for a start on Tuesday against the Rockies.

“Basically what we’re doing is going as tolerated with throwing,” manager John Farrell said. “It’s likely that at some point, we’re probably going to get him out on a rehab assignment, at least one start for now. But there’s no timetable for that. We’ve got to get him on a mound first.”

Buchholz has not pitched since June 8. The Red Sox did not put him on the disabled list until June 18 (retroactive to June 9) because they didn’t believe the injury was serious. Now it’s uncertain when he will pitch again.

Buchholz is 9-0 with a 1.71 earned run average in 12 starts. The Sox are 11-1 in the games he has started.

Buchholz played long toss and did some pitching from flat ground. He told the trainers that he felt “restriction” when he followed through. The trapezius is a muscle at the base of the neck.

Farrell thought that Buchholz would be back by now. But it has been a slow process.

“While he feels improved over [Friday, it’s still a very slight improvement day by day,” Farrell said. “I don’t know that we had a point in time on the calendar where he felt like he’d be back. But we feel like it’s going a little slower than we anticipated.”

See the Globe tomorrow for more on Buchholz.

No progress for Clay Buchholz

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 04:43 PM

DETROIT — The Red Sox were hoping Clay Buchholz would throw off the mound in the bullpen today. It did not happen. Buchholz threw only in the outfield.

That would seem to eliminate him from starting on Tuesday. It also could trigger the need for a minor league rehab assignment given his lack of innings this month. Since June 2, Buchholz has pitched in one game.

Also:

• Will Middlebrooks is out of the lineup for the fourth time in five games. It's clear that Jose Iglesias is the third baseman now. Given his hot streak, the Red Sox would be foolish not to play him every day.

“Anyone in here wants to play every day,” Middlebrooks said. “I’m a competitor. I want to compete. Do I understand the circumstances? I do. [Iglesias] is playing his ass off. He’s a good player. He deserves every bit of the playing time he’s getting right now. I’m more disappointed in myself. I didn’t take advantage of the opportunities I’ve had.”

• The Red Sox optioned righthanded reliever Pedro Beato to Triple A Pawtucket to make room on the roster for Allen Webster.

• How about those Blue Jays? That's 10 in a row and they're tied with the Rays. Jose Reyes will be back soon, too. Every team in the AL East is over .500 and only the Jays (-2) have a negative run differential.

Game 77: Red Sox at Tigers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 02:39 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (45-31)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Carp 1B
Nava LF
Saltalamacchia C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: RHP Allen Webster (0-1. 11.74).

TIGERS (40-32)
Jackson CF
Hunter RF
Cabrera 3B
Fielder 1B
Martinez DH
Peralta SS
Dirks LF
Infante 2B
Pena C
Pitching: RHP Max Scherzer (10-0, 3.08).

Game time: 7:15 p.m.

TV/Radio: FOX / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Scherzer: Napoli 1-13, Ortiz 6-10 (2 HR), Pedroia 3-10 (2 HR), Ellsbury 3-6 (1 HR), Salty 5-9 (1 HR), Drew 1-7, Carp 1-2, Gomes 0-3, Middlebrooks 0-3, Nava 1-3, Victorino 1-3.

Tigers vs. Webster: No history.

Stat of the Day: The Sox are on a pace to score 823 runs this season. That would be 89 more than last season, more than a half a run per game.

Notes: So which Max Scherzer will be on the mound today? There's the guy who has sterling record this season and has been particularly dominant of late, going 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last six starts. Or will it be the guy who is 1-3, 9,21 in six career starts against the Red Sox? Three of those starts came last season and Scherzer allowed 15 runs on 22 hits and six walks over 15 innings. ... Meanwhile the 23-year-old Webster gets the call to replace Clay Buchholz for the game. This will be his third start of the season. He was 5-1, 2.98 in 10 starts for Triple A Pawtucket. The Tigers are hitting .302/.369/.453 at home and averaging 5.48 runs, so this will be a big test for Webster. ... Iglesias has reached base in 24 consecutive games. As this marks the fourth time in five games that Will Middlebrooks is out of the lineup, it's safe to say Iglesias has won the job. ... Nava is 2 of 25 in his last seven games and 11 of 60 in his last 15 with 14 strikeouts. ... The Sox are 31-20 against righthanded starters. ... Elllsbury has hit safely in 17 of his last 20 games at 33 of 89 (.371) with 18 runs scored, 11 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.

Song of the Day: "Allentown" by Billy Joel.

No hangover for Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 22, 2013 12:20 AM

DETROIT — Jonny Gomes said bad losses like the one the Red Sox suffered on Thursday night can be like a hangover that ruins the days that follow.

“You see it all the time. You need to nip that stuff in the bud, let it go 30 minutes after the game. Done. Come back the next day and it’s the new game," the veteran outfielder said.

The Sox were able to do that on Friday. They beat the Tigers 10-5, pounding five pitchers for 17 hits. Shane Victorino was 4 for 5 with a home run and five RBIs.

Stephen Drew and Jose Iglesias added three hits each and combined to score five runs at the bottom of the order. Drew had a double and Iglesias a triple.

The offense was so potent that a still-shaky Jon Lester won despite allowing five runs over 5.2 innings.

“Tonight was a good one for us, to come back and get that ‘W.’ You have to look at that,” Lester said. “The offense picked me up and that was huge, to score a bunch of runs.”

Catcher Jared Saltalamacchia, who scored two of the runs, has been on Red Sox teams in recent years that turned one rough night into a losing streak.

“In the past we allowed that to affect us a little but. This year has definitely been a lot different,” he said. “With the guys brought in here, just the atmosphere all together. It’s fun to show up and talk baseball and play baseball.”

With the Tigers starting Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander the next two games, it was an important win for the Sox.

Also:

• It was the 11th extra-base hit in 31 games for Iglesias. He had 11 extra-base hits in 88 games for Triple A Pawtucket all last season. Iglesias has reached base safely in 24 consecutive games and has at least one hit in 20 of his last 21 games. He is hitting .431 with a 1.060 OPS.

• It was another rough night for Lester (7-4), who allowed five runs on nine hits.

Lester took a five-run lead into the fifth inning and appeared to be in control of the game. But that vanished quickly as he allowed four runs.

Andy Dirks led off with a home run to right field. Brayan Pena singled, as did Torii Hunter with one out. Miguel Cabrera followed with a home run to left center field on the first pitch he saw.

“Probably throw the best changeup I’ve ever thrown in my life to a guy that’s on a whole other playing field,” Lester said. “Wish he’d quit and go to a different league, maybe a league that’s especially for him.”

Cabrera was 4 for 4 and is hitting .368 with 20 home runs and 74 RBIs in 72 games. He is 10 of 16 against Lester in his career.

Final: Red Sox 10, Tigers 6

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 21, 2013 07:20 PM

Game over: Red Sox 10, Tigers 6 The Red Sox didn't need to use new closer Koji Uehara with a five-run lead in the ninth, so Andrew Miller was able to handle the task. The Red Sox won despite another lackluster outing by Jon Lester, who got the win despite allowing nine hits and five runs in 5.2 innings.

Shane Victorino had four hits and knocked in five runs. Miller put two on base and a run scored on a Prince fielder grounder. Game was played in 3:16 before 41,126 at Comerica.

Top 9th: Red Sox 10, Tigers 5 - The Red Sox hold on to their four-run lead as we enter the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Drew singled and scored on Jose Iglesias' single to center and error by the center fielder. Iglesias and Drew with three hits.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 9, Tigers 5 - Craig Breslow pitches a second consecutive effective inning.

Top 8th: Red Sox 9, Tigers 5 - A Salty walk and Drew double set the stage for a lot of activity at the plate. After Ellsbury was walked intentionally to load the bases, Victorino reached on a fielder's choice grounder when Salty was called safe on a throw to the plate. Replay showed Pena blocked the plate and prevented his hand from getting in, but Salty was called safe. Drew then scored on a wild pitch on another close play at the plate.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 7, Tigers 5 - Miguel Cabrera singled (and almost got thrown out at first base by Shane Victorino), but The Tigers couldn't do much more against Craig Breslow.

Top 7th: Red Sox 7, Tigers 5 - Nothing doing for Red Sox.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 7, Tigers 5 - Lester leaves after two outs and 106 pitches. He struck out two batters before he left but had walked Andy Dirks who was on first base and Junichi Tazawa in to pitch. He got Omar Infante to fly to center to end the inning.

Top 6th: Red Sox 7, Tigers 5 - Shane Victorino is now 4-for-4 with four RBI after driving in Jose Iglesias (triple) with a cushion run.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 6, Tigers 5 - Nice comeback by the Bengals. Andy Dirks led off with a solo homer to right. Brayan Pena popped a single to right and with two outs. Hunter singled to setting the stage for Miguel Cabrera's 20th homer. He now has 74 RBI.

Top 5th: Red Sox 6, Tigers 1 - Napoli singled but then got doubled off first on Nava's fly ball.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 6, Tigers 1 - Prince Fielder has now made four outs in his last two at-bats. Another grounded-into double play.

Top 4th: Red Sox 6, Tigers 1 - Back to back hits by Salty and Drew and an infield single by Jose Iglesias, this 14th of the season loaded the bases. Ellsbury knocked in two with a double and Victorino and Pedroia singled to score two more.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 2, Tigers 1 - Sox re-take the lead after Ellsbury and Victorino hit back-to-back singles with one out. The run scored on Pedroia's ground ball out.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 1, Tigers 1 - Brayan Pena owns Jon Lester. After a 2-out RBI single he's now 5-for-12 with 4 RBI. Lester allowed an infield single to third by Victor Martinez as Iglesias made a fine play deep at third but his throw was on one-hop which Mike Napoli couldn't scoop, Peralta, Thursday's hero, singled. But Lester got the next two batters and appeared to be getting out of it before Pena struck.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0 - The Red Sox mustered a leadoff single by Mike Napoli, but the next three batters made outs.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0 - Torii Hunter doubled to left and moved to third on Miguel Cabrera's single, but Jon Lester was bailed out on a ground ball double play by Prince Fielder.

Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0 - Shane Victorino homered off Doug Fister. Dustin Pedroia also singled.

Farrell picks Uehara as his latest closer

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 21, 2013 05:55 PM

First there was Joel Hanrahan. Then it was Andrew Bailey. Now the job of closing out games for the Red Sox belonge to Koji Uehara.

"If there's a save situation tonight it'll be Koji," Farrell said this afternoon. "Had a chance to talk to he and both Andrew and that's just where we're at. Feel like Andrew needs to kind of back out and get some opportunities where he gets a little momentum. We did this before with he and Joel as well. Other players go through stretches where things aren't happening for them. So that's our approach right now."

Bailey has blown saves in three of his last five chances, allowing seven runs one eight hits over four innings. He spoke confidently about returning to form and regaining the job.

The 38-year-old Uehara has pitched well as a set-up reliever all season, allowing 19 hits over 30 innings and striking out 42. He was Baltimore's closer for part of the 2010 season and saved 13 games.

Farrell said that experience was the deciding factor in choosing Uehara over Andrew Miller.

The downside is the Red Sox have said since spring training that Uehara needs to be regularly rested to be effective. Farrell's goal has been not to use him on consecutive days, although that has happened on six occasions and Uehara has not allowed a run.

"Hopefully we have save opportunities every night," Farrell said. "If he's not available. we have confidence that it could be Junichi [Tazawa], it could be Andrew Miller and in time Andrew Bailey."

When asked about the idea of trading for a reliever, Farrell said he has confidence in the depth of the bullpen.

"We're staying internal right now," he said. "I know Ben [Cherington] is always on the outlook to improve the team however he can."

Also:

• David Ross was diagnosed with a second concussion and has been shut down indefinitely. He will return to his home in Florida to recover and is not scheduled to see Dr. Michael Collins at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center until early July.

Because Ross suffered two concussions in a relatively short period of time, it's unclear how long he will be out.

• Farrell said earlier this week that Will Middlebrooks would play the first two games in Detroit. But he is out of the lineup today. Farrell said Jose Iglesias has proven he deserves to play and is winning the competition for the job.

• Clayton Mortensen has started a rehab assignment with Triple A Pawtucket. He was placed on the disabled list on June 11 with what the team said was a groin strain.

• The Red Sox have promoted third baseman Garin Cecchini to Double A Portland. A fourth-round pick in 2010, Cecchini hit .350/.469/.547 for Single A Salem with 33 RBIs over 63 games. He also stole 15 bases in 22 attempts.

• Allen Webster joined the team, although he won't be on the roster officially until Saturday, when he starts against the Tigers.

Under a new rule put in last season as part of the new labor agreement, players are allowed to join teams a day in advanced of being added to a roster so they can work out. In previous seasons, players weren't allowed to be in uniform until the day they were activated.

• Righthander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, a Cuban defector soon expected to be declared a free agent, pitched for major league executives and scouts on Thursday in Tijuana, Mexico.

According to Fox Sports, Cherington was the only general manager to attend. Nearly every team was represented, however.

Gonzalez, 26, played in Cuba’s top league for several years and was a member of their national team. But he missed much of the last two seasons serving a suspension related to an earlier attempt at defecting.

"I played with him in Havana for two years. He's very good," Jose Iglesias said. "I think he could succeed in the big leagues."

The 6-foot-3 Gonzalez will be a free agent once he receives clearance from the U.S. government. He also would not be subject to international spending limits because of his level of experience.

The Dodgers and Cubs are among the teams expected to bid for Gonzalez.

Game 76: Red Sox at Tigers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 21, 2013 02:57 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (44-31)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Saltalamacchia C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (6-4, 4.37).

TIGERS (40-31)
Infante 2B
Hunter RF
Cabrera 3B
Fielder 1B
Martinez DH
Peralta SS
Garcia CF
Dirks LF
Pena C
Pitching: RHP Doug Fister (6-4, 3.21).

Game time: 7:08 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Fister: Ortiz 5-16, Napoli 1-11, Nava 3-8, Pedroia 1-7, Salty 4-6, Ellsbury 1-3, Drew 0-4, Gomes 1-3, Middlebrooks 1-2, Carp 0-2.

Tigers vs. Lester: Peralta 7-24, Hunter 10-23, Cabrera 8-14, Jackson 2-10, Pena 4-11, Fielder 3-9, Martinez 5-9, Santiago 0-3, Tuiasosopo 0-2.

Stat of the Day: Through 70 games, Cabrera had 100 hits and 71 RBIs. The last player to do that was Ted Williams in 1948.

Notes: The Red Sox have dropped three of five and six of their last 10 following a stunning loss on Thursday night. They are a game up on the Orioles in the division. ... The Tigers are 24-12 at home with wins in 57 of their last 80 games at Comerica Park. ... David Ortiz has 54 RBIs since being activated off the disabled list on April 20, the most in the majors. Ortiz’s home run on Thursday was the 17th of his career at Comerica Park, tied with Jim Thome and Paul Konerko for the most by a visiting player at the ballpark. Big Papi has five homers off lefthanders this season. That's second among lefthanded American League batters to Baltimore's Chris Davis, who has six. ... Lester is 0-4, 7.20 in his last six starts. His last win was May 15 and the team is only 9-6 in his starts. He is 0-2, 4.78 in five career starts against the Tigers but allowed only five earned runs over 13.2 innings against them last season. ... Fister is 1-4, 4.09 in six starts against the Sox. He is 1-3 in his last five starts despite a sterling 2.61 ERA and an 0.92 WHIP. ... The Sox are 24-13 against the Tigers since the start of the 2008 season but have lost five straight games at Comerica Park. ... Hard to believe but true: The Sox lead the American League in triples (18) and stolen bases (59). ... Ortiz is 7 of 16 with three extra-base hits and five RBIs in his last four games. ... Middlebrooks is 4 of 29 since coming off the DL.

Song of the Day: "Loose Ends" by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Change in closer coming for Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 21, 2013 12:40 AM

DETROIT — Red Sox manager John Farrell demonstrated his faith in embattled closer Andrew Bailey on Thursday night by sending him out to protect a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Tigers.

Those days, temporarily at least, are over. Bailey didn’t get an out, walking Victor Martinez before Jhonny Peralta belted a home run to left field that sent the Sox to a crushing 4-3 loss.

The Red Sox clubhouse was pin-drop quiet after the game. They took a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning on a single by David Ortiz and were poised to win the opener of a four-game series between two division leaders.

John Lackey had pitched seven strong innings to that point. Farrell went to Koji Uehara and he retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth. Bailey came out for the ninth inning. In two batters, the game was over.

“It’s hard, man,” Ortiz said. “But the hardest thing is to watch a guy like Bailey struggle. That guy has a lot of enthusiasm and he works hard. He goes out there with an attitude. It’s just hard to watch him like this.”

Bailey has blown three of his last five save chances, allowing seven runs on eight hits — four of them home runs — and five walks over four innings. Thirteen of the last 23 batters he has faced have reached base.

“Obviously he’s snake-bit right now,” said Farrell, who agreed with the idea that a new closer is needed, if only to give Bailey a chance to regain his form by pitching in a lesser role.

Sox officials spoke after the game to discuss their options and even Bailey seemed to understand what is coming.

“I haven’t talked to [Farrell] about that. If he feels that need is necessary, that’s his decision,” the righthander said. “I’ve got to go out there and get people out, that’s the bottom line. Whatever situation he wants that in is his call.

“I’ve had success in this league. I know how to get people out. I’ve got to get back to doing it.”

It was stunning how quickly Bailey unraveled this time. He walked Martinez on five pitches, missing badly four times.

“Any time there’s a save opportunity, it’s a cardinal rule. You can’t let the first guy reach base, let alone the tying run,” Bailey said. “Just not being myself out there.”

That has been a problem all season for Bailey. The first batter he faces has reached 11 of 24 times.

With Andrew Miller warming up, Bailey got ahead of Peralta 0-and-2. He threw a fastball high that Peralta took. The next pitch was supposed to be a cut fastball in the dirt.

It was left up and over the plate and Peralta didn’t miss it.

“I had him set up. I just didn’t execute the right pitch,” Bailey said.

Putting hitters away has become an issue for Bailey. He struck out 20 over 12.1 innings before going on the disabled list on April 29 with a biceps strain. In the 11 games since, Bailey has struck out 10 over 10 innings and seen his velocity dip.

“There’s peaks and valleys in this game with velocity and outings. Right now I’ve got a little but of both going, Bailey said.

Bailey says it’s not a physical issue.

“And yet the results are what they are,” Farrell said.

As to what happen now, it seems telling that Miller was the man warming up behind Bailey. Maybe he'll get a shot at closing. Junichi Tazawa was the temporary closer for a few days earlier this season, although he never got a save chance. Koji Uehara could handle it, too.

A bigger question is whether the Sox will try to kick-start the trade market and get a closer that way. One way or another, moves are coming. Farrell made that clear.

“Yeah, I think so," he said. "Whether that’s backing him out of that to get him some work to get untracked a little bit more.

"What the other internal options are … in fairness to Andrew and others down there late in the game, we’ll talk about that more internally to make a potential change."

Final: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 20, 2013 07:19 PM

Game over: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 Andrew Bailey surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Jhonny Peralta on a 1-2 pitch down the middle of the plate after he had walked Victor Martinez to lead off the inning. The game was played before 36,939 at Comerica Park.

Top 9th: Red Sox 3, Tigers 2 - Shane Victorino managed a double off Tiger lefty Drew Smyly with two outs and he stole third, but couldn't score. This set the stage for Andrew Bailey.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 3, Tigers 2 - Prince Fielder made a bid to tie the game but flew out to deep to center right in front of the wall to Jacoby Ellsbury facing Koji Uehara.

Top 8th: Red Sox 3, Tigers 2 - David Ortiz was 1 for 15 against Phil Coke, but he singled to right passed Prince Fielder, who couldn't bend over in time to field the ball scoring Shane Victorino with the go-ahead run..

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 2, Tigers 2 - Another solid effort by Lackey, who through seven has allowed seven hits and two runs with one walk and five strikeouts. He's thrown 98 pitches, which could put him in line for at least one more inning. In the seventh, he allowed a leadoff hit to Dirks, but then escaped.

Top 7th: Red Sox 2, Tigers 2 - The Tigers are already into their bullpen. Sox retired in order.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 2, Tigers 2 - Prince Fielder singled to right, then half-ran to second base and made no attempt to break up the double-play that the very disappointing Victor Martinez hit into.

Top 6th: Red Sox 2, Tigers 2 - The Red Sox went down in order.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 2, Tigers 2 - The Tigers loaded the bases when Dirks walked, Pena singled to right and Jackson reached on an infield hit with two outs. Hunter then blooped a single to center scoring two runs.

Top 5th: Red Sox 2, Tigers 0 - Torii Hunter, normally an outstanding outfielder, misplayed what should have been a Jose Iglesias single into a triple when he took a bad angle to the basehit and allowed it to travel to the rightcenter wall which jetted out. Jacoby Ellsbury drove him in with a single to center.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0 - A one-out Miguel Cabrera double to right and a subsequent wild pitch put Cabrera at third base, but Lackey again stopped the damage getting Prince Fielder to fly out and Victor Martinez to ground out to first base.

Top 4th: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0 - David Ortiz hit a first pitch slider by Jose Alvarez over the fence in rightcenter to give the Red Sox their first lead. It was Ortiz' 15th homer. Ryan Lavarnway later doubled, but the Sox couldn't get any more.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 0, Tigers 0 - Tigers got a one-out double down the left field line from Omar Infante with one out, but Lackey threw a pair of ground ball outs to keep the game scoreless.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 0, Tigers 0 - The Red Sox left the bases loaded when Dustin Pedroia flew out to right field. with two outs Jose Alvarez walked Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury and hit Shane Victorino off the pant leg.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 0, Tigers 0 - Fielder, Martinez and Peralta set set down by Lackey, who has retired the six batters he's faced.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Tigers 0 - David Ortiz struck out to open the inning. Mike Napoli blooped a single to center, but was erased on an inning-ending double-play by Jonny Gomes.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Tigers 0 - John Lackey struck out Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera in a 1-2-3, 13-pitch inning.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Tigers 0 - Former Red Sox farmhand Jose Alvarez retired the Red Sox in order and also struck out Dustin Pedroia to end the inning.

Webster to start against Tigers on Saturday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 20, 2013 06:11 PM

DETROIT — The Red Sox named Allen Webster as their starter on Saturday.

The 23-year-old had two starts this season. There was a quite good one against the Royals on April 21 (6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) and a quite hideous one against the Twins on May 8 (1.2 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 2 K).

Webster is 5-1 with a 2.98 earned run average in 10 starts for Pawtucket.

Also:

• No report yet on David Ross, who was examined by concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh earlier today.

• Mike Carp (hamstring) has been fully cleared. Look for him to start a game or two this weekend.

• The Sox are hoping Clay Buchholz starts Tuesday. If not, he'll need a minor league rehab assignment. The plans call for a long bullpen session on Saturday, a simulated game of sorts.

Game 75: Red Sox at Tigers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 20, 2013 02:50 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (44-30)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Gomes LF
Lavarnway C
Middlebrooks 3B
Iglesias SS
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (4-5, 3.08).

TIGERS (39-31)
Jackson CF
Hunter RF
Cabrera 3B
Fielder 1B
Martinez DH
Peralta SS
Tuiasosopo LF
Infante 2B
Pena C
Pitching: LHP Jose Alvarez (1-0, 1.50).

Game time: 7:08 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN, MLB Network / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Alvarez: No history.

Tigers vs. Lackey: Hunter 11-49, Peralta 11-28, Martinez 10-23, Cabrera 3-9, Infante 2-9, Santiago 2-9, Fielder 2-3, Kelly 2-3, Pena 2-3, Tuiasosopo 0-3.

Stat of the Day: Gomes is 11 of 29 in his last six games with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs.

Notes: The Sox carry the best record in the American League into Comerica Park and a four-game series against the Central-leading Tigers. The Sox were 5-5 against the Tigers last season and are 24-12 against them over the last five seasons, 10-7 at Comerica. ... Lackey is facing the Tigers for the first time since May 16, 2010. He is 6-2, 4.01 in 10 career starts against Detroit, 5-1, 4.09 in five starts at Comerica. ... Alvarez was originally signed by the Red Sox out of Venezuela in 2005. He was traded to Florida after the 2009 season (along with lefthander Hunter Jones) for outfielder Jeremy Hermida. The trade did not work out particularly well for any of the trio. Jones was released by the Marlins in 2010 and is now playing independent ball. Hermida was released by the Sox in August of 2010 and has played with four organizations since. Alvarez never made it beyond Double A with the Marlins and was signed by the Tigers over the winter as a minor league free agent. He was 5-4, 2.78 in 13 starts for Triple A Toledo before being called up. This is his second start. ... The Tigers are 23-12 at home and have won 56 of their last 79 games at Comerica. ... The Sox are 21-15 on the road this season with a run differential of +52. ... Iglesias had his hit streak snapped on Wednesday. But he has reached base safely in 22 consecutive games. That's tied with Pedroia for the longest such streak by a Red Sox player this season.

Song of the Day: "Devil With the Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly" by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels.

Pitching matchups for the Tigers series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 20, 2013 07:29 AM

Thursday: RHP John Lackey (4-5, 3.08) vs. LHP Jose Alvarez (1-0, 1.50), 7:08 p.m., NESN, MLB Network

Friday: LHP Jon Lester (6-4, 4.37) vs. RHP Doug Fister (6-4, 3.21), 7:08 p.m., NESN

Saturday: TBA vs. RHP Max Scherzer (10-0, 3.08), 7:15 p.m., FOX.

Sunday: LHP Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.38) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (8-5, 3.72), 1:08 p.m., NESN.

Greetings from Gate A-16

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 20, 2013 05:09 AM

Good morning from Logan Airport. We're waiting for a 6 a.m. flight to Detroit and a four-day Red Sox road trip. Quick turnaround from covering the game last night, but a window seat on the plane will provide a chance to nap.

The Red Sox (44-30) at the Tigers (39-31) should be a fun series because the teams lead their respective divisions. Plus getting to see Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder play for four days is a treat.

“I think we felt coming into this month this presented … a very strong test for us,” John Farrell said. “We’ll get four full days of them. They’ve got a couple of pretty good players over there. We’re going to get challenged in Detroit. We know that. But I’d like to think they’re probably going to feel the same when we leave there.”

Lots of Bruins jerseys in the airport this morning. This is certainly an interesting time in Boston sports with the Bruins in the Cup, the Red Sox with the best record in the American League and the Celtics seemingly on the verge of trading Doc Rivers.

Thanks for following along. Check back later for the lineups and game preview.

Lots of innings, little luck for Dempster

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 11:28 PM

The Red Sox signed righthander Ryan Dempster to a two-year, $26.5 million contract based largely on his reliability. The 36-year-old has thrown 200 or more innings seven times in his career, four times in the last five seasons.

Their belief was that if Dempster maintained that level of consistency, he would be a productive No. 3 starter.

Dempster has done his part. He and Jon Lester are the only Sox starters to make all of their starts this season and his 89.1 innings are second on the team.

“He’s the pitcher we fully anticipated when we signed him,” Sox manager John Farrell said.

But the expected success hasn’t followed. Dempster pitched effectively for six innings on Wednesday night, putting the Sox in a position to win. But the result was a 6-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays before a crowd of 35,710 at Fenway Park.

Dempster is 4-8 and the Sox are 6-9 in the games he has started. The Sox are 16 games over .500 in games starter by Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront and John Lackey.

“I just wish we were winning more of the games that I’m starting,” Dempster said. “That’s all I care about, is the day I pitch that we win and we’re not winning those right now.”

Wednesday marked the 11th time the Sox have scored three or less runs with Dempster on the mound. This from a team averaging just over five runs a game.

“Seemingly there’s a guy on each staff that might be pitching on the wrong day,” Farrell said. “That’s probably been the case with Ryan on a few occasions. But that’s something completely out of his control. But yet at the same time we’re in position to win most every time he walks to the mound.”

The Sox lost for only the third time in 12 games against the Rays this season. Tampa Bay had 15 hits and won for the first time in six games at Fenway this season.

Dempster’s experience tells him his record will even out over time if he continues to pitch deep into games.

“That’s the hope, you know? Or pitch even better. Make better pitches,” he said. “The games that are in the past are in the past.”

Final: Rays 6, Red Sox 2

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 07:16 PM

Game over: Rays 6, Red Sox 2: The Red Sox offense was held in check by Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) who outpitched Ryan Dempster (4-8). The game was played 3:21 before 35,710 at Fenway.

Top 9th: Rays 6, Red Sox 2 - A couple of singles by the Rays against Pedro Beato do not yield any add-on runs.

Bottom 8th: Rays 6, Red Sox 2 - Nothing doing for Red Sox who will need some 9th inning heroics to pull this off.

Top 8th: Rays 6, Red Sox 2 - Sean Rodriguez pinch-hit for Matt Joyce and singled to left field with two outs, but Desmond Jennings struck out to end the inning.

Bottom 7th: Rays 6, Red Sox 2 - Jose Iglesias walked with two outs. Interestingly, Iglesias' 17-game hitting streak could end tonight if he doesn't come up again. Ellsbury ended the inning with a line out to third base.

Top 7th: Rays 6, Red Sox 2 - Desmond Jennings began the Rays' three-run rally with one out with a single to left against reliever Craig Breslow. After the second out was secured, Evan Longoria drove in the first run with a long single to left field off the wall. James Loney doubled to left sending Longoria to third. That marked the end of Breslow's reign. Alex Wilson was greeted with a two-run double by rookie Wil Myers.

Bottom 6th: Rays 3, Red Sox 2 - Hellickson is pitching one of his better games this season. He got Ortiz to fly out to right then struck out Napoli and Saltalamacchia.

Top 6th: Rays 3, Red Sox 2 - With two outs, Kelly Johnson walked and Jose Molina singled, but Dempster got Yunel Escobar to fly out to center.

Bottom 5th: Rays 3, Red Sox 2 - Jacoby Ellsbury reached base for a second time with a single to center and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Nava struck out and Pedroia grounded out to third.

Top 5th: Rays 3, Red Sox 2 - With two outs and Jose Molina at first base following a single, Desmond Jennings worked a walk and Ben Zobrist singled in Molina on a close play at the plate where Jacoby Ellsbury was able to skip a throw in that almost nailed the slow-footed catcher..

Bottom 4th: Rays 2, Red Sox 2 - Jarrod Saltalamacchia showed no signs of being tired when he hammered a Hellickson pitch off the centerfield wall for a double with two outs. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Gomes continued his hero act lining a ball to third that Longoria leaped for, knocked down, but couldn't recover to make the play scoring Salty with the tying run.

Top 4th: Rays 2, Red Sox 1 - Another strong, efficient inning for Dempster who struck out two.

Bottom 3rd: Rays 2, Red Sox 1 - A leadoff single by Jacoby Ellsbury, erased on a double play grounder by Daniel Nava.

Top 3rd: Rays 2, Red Sox 1 - Dempster retired the heart of the Rays order - Jennings, Zobrist and Longoria - in order.

Bottom 2nd: Rays 2, Red Sox 1 - Sox score when David Ortiz doubled to deep center and eventually came in on Jonny Gomes' infield singe to third, that Evan Longoria fielded but couldn't transfer for the throw. Stephen Drew singled to right with two outs to put runners on at first and second.

Top 2nd: Rays 2, Red Sox 0 - Rays missed a big chance to add to their lead when Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar each singled with one out. But Matt Joyce knocked into his first grounded into double play of the season in 210 at-bats.

Bottom 1st: Rays 2, Red Sox 0 - Sox go down in order against Jeremy Hellickson.

Top 1st: Rays 2, Red Sox 0 - Ryan Dempster wasn't fooling Rays hitters here in the first. Matt Joyce flied to deep center and that was followed by desmond Jennings' solo homer. After Evan Longoria singled to right, James Loney's sacrfice fly got the second run home.

For Ball, Red Sox were an easy choice

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 06:45 PM

300treyball.jpg

Ron Ball grew up in Indiana rooting for the Yankees because Don Mattingly was from Evansville. But on Wednesday, Ball stood on the field at Fenway Park proudly wearing a blue Red Sox polo shirt.

His loyalties took a sharp turn on June 6 when the Red Sox drafted his son, Trey, with the seventh overall pick of the amateur draft.

“When the call came that Boston was interested at seven, that surprised us,” Ron Ball said. “We were thinking he might go 10-15th, somewhere in there. I told Trey that was an incredible opportunity.”

Trey Ball, a 6-foot-6 lefthander from New Castle (Ind.) High, was in Boston on Sunday to take his physical and Wednesday signed a contract that will pay him a bonus of $2.75 million. That’s below the assigned slot value of $3.2 million and gives the Red Sox the flexibility to sign some other picks.

Ball was uniform for batting practice and at one point played catch with Clay Buchholz. When he visited the clubhouse, several of the Red Sox had fun joking around with him. Dustin Pedroia told Ball to hurry up and get to Boston so he could retire.

“They were giving me a hard time,” Ball said. “It was a good time.”

Sox manager John Farrell watched the scene and got a good laugh from it.

“He got a taste of some of the guys in our clubhouse too. And to his credit, he handled it great,” Farrell said. “You’ve got an 18-year-old kid who walks in with a jacket and a tie, who obviously comes from a good family. You can see that. And he did his family proud given what he heard.”

Ball was not hard to spot on the field. He wore his socks high and looked painfully thin next to the big leaguers as he shagged fly balls. Ball leaves Thursday for Fort Myers and the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. He hopes to start pitching in July.

“We’re going to take it slow. I haven’t been pitching lately,” Ball said.

Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Ball was a player who “checked all the boxes” when he was evaluated.

“Very athletic kid with a good combination of makeup, athleticism, stuff, projectability” Cherington said. “We got to know him very well and this is a good kid with a great work ethic. Highly competitive.”

Ball is the team’s highest draft pick since Trot Nixon was taken seventh overall in 1993.

Ball also is an accomplished hitter with good power and speed and rated high on draft boards as an outfielder. But he’ll give that up to pitch.

Ball will give up the knuckleball he threw in high school. Ball said it was an out pitch for him until he picked up a curveball until his junior year.

“I’ve had it since Little League,” he said. “It was fastball, changeup and then I threw that in. I’ve thrown it ever since. … It worked for me.”

Ball’s parents, other members of his family and his girlfriend joined him in Boston on Monday. They took a duck boat tour of Boston.

“The whole thing has been a great experience. Very exciting,” Ball said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

Jerry Remy to return on Tuesday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 04:37 PM

A few pregame Red Sox notes:

• NESN's Jerry Remy says he will be back on Tuesday.

• Mike Carp is available as a pinch hitter.

• John Farrell said Jarrod Saltalamacchia feels fine after catching 18 innings Tuesday. He'll get Thursday off against Detroit lefty Jose Alvarez.

• David Ross is going to Pittsburgh Thursday to get checked out by concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

• Will Middlebrooks will pay third base Thursday and Friday. Jose Iglesias will play shortstop Thursday against the lefty.

• Farrell again pledged his fealty to Andrew Bailey as the closer but said several times that work needs to be done on both his fastball and location of his breaking ball. Farrell said he has given no consideration to using anybody else as the closer.

• Shane Victorino "is a little beat up" and is getting a day off.

Red Sox sign first-round pick Trey Ball

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 03:13 PM

The Red Sox have signed their first-round draft pick, lefthander Trey Ball of New Castle, Ind. He was the seventh overall selection.

The agreement was first reported by Alex Speier of WEEI.com.

Ball will work out with the Red Sox at Fenway Park, then report to Fort Myers, Fla., and the Gulf Coast League Red Sox next week.

From the team's release:

"Ball was the top draft-eligible lefthanded pitcher according to Baseball America. The 6-foot-6, 175-pounder was named the Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year after his senior season at New Castle High School, where he went 6-0 with a 0.76 ERA. Ball had 93 strikeouts and only 13 walks in 46 innings. Also a lefthanded hitting outfielder, Ball batted .329 with nine home runs, 28 RBI, 40 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases, to help lead New Castle to a school-record 22 wins.

"Ball was selected to participate in the Under Armour All-American Game and both hit and pitched in the Perfect Game All-American Classic. He was also named an Aflac All-American and an Under Armour All-American as a junior in 2012."

The Red Sox also said they signed:

OF Forrestt Allday (eighth round)
RHP Kyle Martin (ninth round)
RHP Taylor Grover (10th round)
INF Carlos Asuaje (11th round)
C Jake Romanski (14th round).
OF Bryan Hudson (15th round)
RHP Joe Gunkel (18th round)
INF Reed Gragnani (21st round)
INF Jantzen Witte (24th round)
C Daniel Bethea (34th round)

It has been widely reported the Red Sox also have agreed to terms with RHP Teddy Stankiewicz (second round), C Jon Denney (third round), and LHP Corey Littrell (fifth round). The team has not finalized the details, apparently.

Stankiewicz and Littrell both indicated on Twitter that they signed and were assigned to Lowell. Denney wrote on Twitter today, "Headed to Florida!! Starting Rookie ball."

Game 74: Rays at Red Sox

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 19, 2013 03:03 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups.

RED SOX (44-29)
Ellsbury CF
Nava RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Gomes LF
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: RHP Ryan Dempster (4-7, 4.21).

RAYS (36-34)
Joyce LF
Jennings CF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Myers RF
Johnson DH
Molina C
Escobar SS
Pitching: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 5.67).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Hellickson: Pedroia 5-25, Ortiz 7-19, Salty 6-20, Ellsbury 4-20, Middlebrooks 1-12, Napoli 2-8, Nava 1-7, Carp 2-7, Drew 2-5, Gomes 1-5, Victorino 0-3, Iglesias 0-1, Lavarnway 0-1.

Rays vs. Dempster: Loney 3-22, Johnson 1-12, Escobar 1-11, Scott 3-7, Longoria 1-5, Wright 2-5, Jennings 0-3, Joyce 1-3, Zobrist 0-2, Lobaton 0-2.

Stat of the Day: In five games at Fenway Park this season, the Rays have scored five runs and hit .148.

Notes: The Sox are 9-2 against the Rays, outscoring them 49-32. They have not won a season series against the Rays since 2007. ... The Sox have won three of four and the Rays have dropped 6 of 7. ... Dempster is 3-4, 3.88 in nine career starts against the Rays. He dominated them on April 15 (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K) but did not get a decision. ... The Sox are 23-14 at Fenway with four straight wins. ... Iglesias has an 18-game hit streak, matching the best in the AL this season. ... The Sox have not been 16 games over .500 since the end of the 2011 season. ... Hellickson is 3-2, 4.26 in 11 career appearances against the Sox. He faced them April 15 and allowed two runs over seven innings.

Song of the Day: "One Step Closer" by U2.

Closing time: Where should the Red Sox turn?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 12:25 PM

Red Sox manager John Farrell said on Tuesday night that Andrew Bailey was his closer, even after the righthander blew his second save in three appearances. What else was he going to say right after a game?

But the Red Sox clearly demonstrated what they thought about Bailey on Dec. 26 when they traded for Joel Hanrahan. On the day they announced the trade, Farrell said that Hanrahan was his closer and that there would be no competition in spring training.

The Sox liked Bailey. But they liked him more as a set-up man.

Six months later, the only thing that has changed is that Hanrahan blew out his elbow and needed season-ending surgery. Bailey is still the same pitcher.

That is not to dismiss Bailey. When healthy, he was a very effective closer for Oakland. He also has pitched pretty well for the Red Sox this season if you take a dispassionate look at the numbers.

22.1 innings
17 H
10 BB
30 K

That's very good. However, he has allowed five home runs and the first hitter he faces is hitting .381 with a 1.244 OPS. Of the 23 batters Bailey has started out with, 10 have reached base. That's not closer material.

It's also fair to say that Bailey can't be trusted to stay healthy. There are 89 games left in the season and the odds of his staying off the disabled list are slim given his history.

Here are the closer options for the Red Sox:

1. Bailey: For now, he's probably the guy. They can work on getting him fixed mechanically and take their time finding a long-term solution. Farrell might even challenge him. Give Bailey two weeks to show he deserves the gig.

2. Junichi Tazawa: He has the stuff but has never worked as a closer in his career. Does he have the mentality for the job? That's hard to gauge.

3. Koji Uehara: He has done the job before (for Baltimore in 2010) and is pitching tremendously, too. But at 38, Uehara is demonstrably better when he gets proper rest. The Sox have tried to avoid using him on consecutive days and that doesn't fit the profile of a closer.

4. Other internal options: Craig Breslow has always handled righthanders well. He also has the unflappable personality for it. ... Alex Wilson throws strikes and isn't afraid of a challenge. But that would be asking a lot of a rookie. ... Andrew Miller has the stuff, but control issues always arise.

5. Jonathan Papelbon: The big-ticket solution. But how realistic is it? He has $33.2 million left on his deal through 2015 plus an easily obtainable $13 million option for 2016. The Phillies also won't give him away. They'll want high-end prospects in return. If the Red Sox didn't want to pay Papelbon big money back in 2011, why would they give it to him in 2013?

6. Trade TBD: Come July 31, teams out of the mix will be looking to obtain a closer or at least somebody who can close. Jesse Crain of the White Sox would be an example of a reliever who could be on the market.

7. Out of the box ideas: Sign Brian Wilson and hope he can come back from surgery. Tellingly, no team has tried that so far. ... Convert a starter in Pawtucket (Rubby De La Rosa?) and see if he can handle the job. ... Don't name a closer. Play matchups and use whoever is available that day. It would take some guts to do that, however.

Here is the good news: The Giants won the World Series last season with Sergio Romo closing. The Cardinals won in 2011 with Jason Motte, who had nine saves during the season. You don't need an Established Closer to win in the postseason.

But you do need some sort of roles established in the bullpen to win in the regular season. Relievers like knowing how and when they'll be used.

The Sox have come this far and are still in first place. They can't let this derail them.

Final thoughts after a long day at Fenway

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 19, 2013 12:17 AM

A few thoughts from 18 innings and a three-hour rain delay:

1. The Closer: We said here for a while that Andrew Bailey has to prove himself over a full season as a closer. So far, he hasn't. Teammates can talk about "picking each other up" but nothing can tear down a team quicker than a closer who can't close out games. Bailey allowed a solo shot to Kelly Johnson to tie it in the ninth spoiling Felix Doubront's splendid eight innings in one of his best performances as a Red Sox.

Why didn't John Farrell let Doubront finish with 93 pitches through eight?

"Yeah, there was some thought of that, particularly knowing that (James) Loney’s going to come up in that inning. He handled everyone in that lineup well tonight. But that’s Andrew’s job. Felix more than did his work and an outstanding effort on his part tonight," Farrell said.

But Farrell emphasized afterward about Bailey: "He’s our closer. We’ve got some work to do. It’s the same pitch that he’s been beat on with the long ball the last two times out and we’ve got to get him more consistent, no doubt. But he’s our closer."

Shouldn't he say "For now?"

"He’s been beaten on the fastball up," Farrell explained. "Hitters are going to go in and look up with him. And right now there’s not that second gear that we’ve seen with his fastball, where he’s beaten a number of hitters with some velocity up in the strike zone, they’ve taken a number of borderline breaking pitches. So two things, one is to get the fastball own and be a little bit more consistent with his secondary pitch to get them off just looking hard all the time in the at-bat."

2. Clay Buchholz: On the 15-day DL. Farrell didn't think they could get him ready for a Saturday in Detroit. Buchholz would have to do a bullpen session and evidently there isn't enough time so perhaps next Tuesday? He can come off the DL on Monday [off day] after being backdated to June 9.

So the Sox go into Detroit without Buchholz and with a still shaky Jon Lester.

3. Alfredo Aceves: He was really almost late for a start because of traffic? Huh? How can you cut it that close anyway? Nevertheless, Aceves pitched well — five innings, one run and it's adios back to Pawtucket. Maybe this is the best way to get the most out of Aceves. Maybe he likes Pawtucket.

4. Jarrod Saltalamacchia He started both games of a doubleheader, catching all 18 innings because David Ross suffered concussion symptoms again and had to be placed on the seven-day concussion DL. The Sox weren't able to get Ryan Lavarnway up for the start of the game (though he made it during the game). Salty was the first Red Sox catcher to start both ends since the late John Marzano caught 22 innings on August 14, 1992 which included a 13-inning first game...

5. The old reverse stats: Jonny Gomes batted in the ninth in a situation normally reserved for Mike Carp, who sat out both ends to rest cramps in his hamstring. Carp was available to hit, but Joel Peralta has held lefthanders to .175 average coming in and .176 to righties. So Farrell figured, what's the difference? Gomes batted and won the game.

6. Speed: Thought it was exciting to see back-to-back triples by Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino in Game 1. The more you see Victorino the more you see what a good player he is.

7. Daniel Nava: He homered in the second inning of the second game and also drew a key walk against Peralta ahead of Gomes' homer. Nava also started at first base.

8. Jose Iglesias: The rookie has hit in 18 straight games. Could he break Joe DiMaggio's record? Of his 40 hits, 13 are infield hits including the one in Game 2.

9. Rays phenom Wil Myers: The much-hyped outfielder made his major league debut and collected his first major league hit in his fifth career at-bat in Game 2, a single to left in the second inning.

10. Quote of the night: "Two people in this league who aren’t going to struggle this year - one is the MVP and the other is the Cy Young winner. Everyone else is going to got through peaks and valleys." — Jonny Gomes on Andrew Bailey's struggles.

Final: Red Sox 3, Rays 1

Posted by Staff June 18, 2013 08:00 PM

Final Red Sox 3, Rays 1: And it's the sixth walkoff win for the Red Sox this season. This time, the hero is Jonny Gomes who smacks a two-run shot over the Green Monster. It is his fifth home run of the season.

Top of the 9th: Red Sox 1, Rays 1: Andrew Bailey jogs out of the bullpen to his entrance song, "Shipping up to Boston," and the crowd cheers. Two minutes and two pitches later, they were silent. Johnson hits a home run on the second pitch he saw and the game is tied. Bailey blows yet another save opportunity. Bailey escapes the rest of the inning unscathed, but the Sox will need to provide some more offense or this is going to extras.

Bottom of the 8th: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: The Red Sox don't generate any offense aside from a Pedroia walk and it appears Bailey will come in for the ninth. Final line on Doubront: : 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 6 K, 0 BB on 93 pitches.

Top of the 8th: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: And Doubront is out there to begin the eighth, for the first time in his career. He enters the inning with 82 pitches, retiring the last 14 batters. He exits this inning having retired 17 straight, now with six strikeouts on 93 pitches.

Top of the 7th: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Alas, Doubront reaches the seventh inning for the first time this season. He enters this inning allowing just three hits on 71 pitches. Zobrist flies out on his first pitch, Longoria flies out on four pitches and Escobar strikes out on four. At this pace, Doubront will likely make it to the eighth -- and then?

Bottom of the 6th: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Victorino flies out, Pedroia grounds out but that's going to be it for starter Jake Odorizzi. Alex Torres comes in from the bullpen and right away allows a double to Ortiz, who turns up his speed a notch between first and second, but arrives with ease. Nava grounds out to end the inning.

Top of the 6th: Red Sox 1, Rays 0:Johnson grounds out and Jennings flies out. Saltalamacchia catches a high fly ball in foul territory to end the inning. As Doubront continues to plow through this Rays lineup, there appears to be some activity in the Tampa Bay bullpen. Perhaps a new pitcher for next inning.

Bottom of the 5th: Red Sox 1, Rays 0:Saltalamacchia flies out to left field. Then Drew, who was straddled in a 1-for-23 slump and hitless today, hits one off the Green Monster for a double. And Boston's hottest hitter, Jose Iglesais, extends his hitting streak to 18 games with a single. Drew advances to third. It amounts to nothing as Ellsbury grounds into a double play.

Top of the 5th: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Through five innings, Doubront has only thrown 59 pitches. Four strikeouts and no walks. Very impressive.

Bottom of the 4th: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Victorino strikes out swinging on a 90 mile per hour fastball. Pedroia and Ortiz work back-to-back singles, but the Red Sox do not cash in. After a coaching visit on the mound, Nava and Gomes both fly out to end the inning.

Top of the 4th: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Two groundouts and a fly out for Doubront, who has allowed only three hits so far.

Bottom of the 3rd: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Drew pops out. Iglesias, who did not play in the morning game, hits one to the warning track but it is caught. Ellsbury, too, flies out to end the inning.

Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Kelly Johnson leads off with a single, a line drive to center field. Jennings hits the first pitch he sees (89 mile per hour fastball) and it's a fly out to right field. Sean Rodriguez works a seven pitch at bat, but grounds into a double play.Through three, Doubront has thrown 34 pitches, 24 for strikes.

Bottom of the 2nd: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: David Ortiz flies out. Then Daniel Nava hits a home run to right center field. It's his 10th of the season and it came on a 2-2 count. He is now second on the team in home runs, trailing only Ortiz. The Sox will not plate any more this inning as Gomes strikes out and Saltalamacchia flies out to center.

Top of the 2nd: Rays 0, Red Sox 0: Escobar flies out to center. Then Wil Myers, the 22-year-old many consider to be baseball's top prospect, records his first major league hit. It's a line drive to center field. Myers went 0-for-4 in the first game today. He does not advance as Scott grounds out and Lobaton is caught looking at a 90 mile per hour fastball.

Bottom of the 1st: Rays 0, Red Sox 0: Jacoby Ellsbury grounds out, Shane Victorino lines out and Dustin Pedroia flies out. Each batter faced only three pitches.

Top of the 1st: Rays 0, Red Sox 0: Doubront allows a lead off single to Desmond Jennings, the first pitch he threw. Doubront settles from there, retiring the next three batters on a combined 11 pitches. It is highlighted by striking out Evan Longoria to end the frame.

Pregame: Here for game two of the doubleheader between the Red Sox and Rays. First pitch is at 8:07 -- a late start as the first game was interrupted by a 2 hours and 59 minute rain delay in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Sox have now won eight of their last 10 games against the Rays. Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.91 ERA) will take the mound. Stay tuned for updates.

Buchholz, Ross placed on disabled list

Posted by Staff June 18, 2013 07:59 PM

The Red Sox placed pitcher Clay Buchholz on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 9.

Buchholz has not pitched since he left a start on June 8 with neck stiffness. He has a sore trapezius muscle.

The Red Sox need a starter for Saturday’s game in Detroit. Earlier Tuesday, manager John Farrell said the team narrowed in on two candidates as potential fill-ins: Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster. Webster is likely to be the choice as De La Rosa is not eligible to return unless he replaces a player going on the disabled list.

Buchholz needed to throw a successful bullpen session on Tuesday if he was going to start on Saturday. Farrell said the team would monitor his throws to determine his availability.

“For [Buchholz] to be able to make that start, he would need to bullpen today, Thursday, and then start Saturday,” Farrell said earlier. “If the bullpen can not be executed today, then we will make a move.”

Buchholz threw some pitches in the bullpen before Tuesday night's game. The announcement was made in the bottom of the first inning.

In other roster moves, backup catcher David Ross was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Catcher Ryan Lavarnaway and righthanded pitcher Alex Wilson were called up and are available to play Tuesday night.

Game 2 lineups

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 18, 2013 07:55 PM

Here are the lineups for today's second game.

RED SOX
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Nava 1B
Gomes LF
Saltalamacchia C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.91)

RAYS
Jennings CF
Rodriguez 1B
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Escobar SS
Myers RT
Scott DH
Lobaton C
Johnson LF
Pitching: RHP Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 8.03)

Game time: 8:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Odorizzi: No history

Rays vs. Doubront: Zobrist 3-13, Escobar 4-12, Johnson 3-11, Longoria 3-8, Rodriguez 3-11, Jennings 2-8, Scott 3-8, Loney 1-5, Joyce 1-2, Lobaton 0-2, Molina 0-0.

Final: Red Sox 5, Rays 1

Posted by Staff June 18, 2013 12:50 PM

Final: Red Sox 5, Rays 1: Breslow needs just three pitches to retire Myers (pop up) and Scott (ground out). Molina reaches first on a bloop hit to the left field line. But Escobar grounds out to end it. The Sox win in a game that technically took three hours and 10 minutes. They have now defeated the Rays eight times in their last 10 meetings. Will be back soon for game two of the doubleheader.

Bottom of the 8th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1: Ramos retires the side (Middlebrooks, Drew and Ellsbury) for a quick inning. Last licks here for the Rays in a game that has now spanned six hours. Breslow will pitch the ninth.

Top of the 8th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1: Koji Uehara in and he allows a leadoff walk to Joyce. Saltalamacchia and Uehara chat quickly on the mound, before he faces Jennings. Jennings falls behind 0-2 in the count then grounds out, though it advances Joyce to third base with one out. After a nine-pitch at bat, Zobrist walks. Longoria pops out as Uehara's pitch count reaches 22 and Craig Breslow begins warming up in the pen. Another long at bat (nine pitches) but Uehara finally catches Loney swinging on a slider.

Bottom of the 7th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1: Cesar Ramos in for the Rays, and he strikes out Ortiz on three pitches. Since the rain delay, there have been eight strike outs. Napoli singles on a line drive to left field but Nava pops out and Saltalamacchia strikes out swinging.

Top of the 7th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1:Miller in to pitch. He strikes out Myers in four pitchers. The 22-year-old is now 0-for-3 in his major league debut. Scott, too, strikes out. He was caught swinging on an 87 mile per hour slider. Molina bangs one off the top third of the Green Monster, a two-out single. Escobar grounds out.

Bottom of the 6th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1:Should have noted before that Lueke --Tampa Bay's pitcher who was warming up as the game was delayed -- stayed in for the Rays. Here in the sixth, he strikes out Middlebrooks in four pitches. Two pitches later, Drew grounds out to second. And then Ellsbury rips a ball into the right field corner, a solid triple. He just needs a home run for the cycle. He has one home run in more than 300 plate appearances this season but hey, given today's wackiness, I wouldn't rule anything out. Victorino hits the ball in nearly the same exact spot. Back-to-back triples and the Sox grab a four run lead. Pedroia strikes out.

Top of the 6th: Red Sox 4, Rays 1: Aceves day is done. His final line: 5 IP, 3H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K and 75 pitches. Likely could have kept pitching if not for the nearly three hour delay. Junichi Tazawa gets the call for the sixth. Pace of game issues are definitely at play here -- it's tough getting back into it after spending three hours holed in the club house. Tazawa, though, has no such issues. He retries the side in 12 pitches, including back-to-back strikeouts to start things off. Andrew Miller is warming up in the pen.

Bottom of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Rays 1: The rain delay ends, after two hours and 59 minutes. (Second) first pitch is at 5:57 p.m. Saltalamacchia ends the inning striking out. The crowd here is pretty sparse and it appears ushers have blocked off the bleacher area altogether.

5:24 p.m. update: The skies are brightening and the tarp has been removed. The Red Sox have announced they expect to resume game one of the double header at approximately 5:55. Game two of the doubleheader would begin 35-45 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Fans who have tickets to game one are allowed to stay for game two if they wish.

Rain delay:At 2:58, the umpires called for the tarp. Reliever Josh Lueke was just warming up. There were two outs in the bottom of the fifth with bases loaded. The Sox were up, 4-1. Lightning was spotted at 3:10 so it could be a bit before we get started again. Stay tuned and we'll keep you posted on game one of today's scheduled doubleheader.

Bottom of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Rays 1: Still a cloud, still moving in, still no rain. Ellsbury flies out to deep center field. And it looks like maybe there's a few drops falling as fans file to the concourses. But we play on as Victorino reaches first on a throwing error by Loney, the first baseman. It's definitely raining now. Pedroia walks. Runners on first and second with one out for Big Papi as a local flash flood warning appears on my phone. Bad omen for Ortiz? Not quite. He smacks an RBI single to right field. That's his 17th of the month, which leads the American League. Conference on the mound for Tampa Bay and there's activity in the Rays bullpen. Archer (nearing 100 pitches) stays in for now and Napoli strikes out. Runners on the corner with two outs for Nava, who walks. Bases loaded and that'll do it for Archer, who threw 109 pitches (64 for strikes). His final line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K. Josh Lueke warms up but he will not pitch. It's really pouring. Rain delay! Stay tuned...

Top of the 5th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Aceves enters the inning on 66 pitches. He needs just three more to entice Molina into a groundout to begin the fifth inning. Escobar singles on a hit to center field. Joyce, too, grounds out. And with a runner on second with two outs, Jennings grounds out as well. Aceves exits the inning with 75 pitches, 43 for strikes.

Bottom of the 4th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Semi-regular weather report: There's a really dark cloud looming over the park. But no rain yet (hope I didn't just jinx it) so we're still playing. Saltalamacchia strikes out swinging and Middlebrooks grounds out softly. Drew makes it a 1-2-3 inning by striking out swinging on a slider.

Top of the 4th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Loney grounds out. Myers' second big league at bat is a bit better than his first: He draws a full count, but flies out. Scott grounds out to end the inning.

Bottom of the 3rd: Red Sox 3, Rays 1:Top of the order for Boston, too, and Ellsbury leads off with a single. Victorino also singles and the speedy Ellsbury scoots to third, easily. Another conference for Archer as Pedroia looms on deck. Pedroia works a 3-1 count when Victorino darts for second, stealing his seventh base of the season. Pedroia lines out bringing Ortiz up with runners on second and third with no outs. Big Papi cashes in with a two-run single down the middle. With the shift, nobody was close to fielding it. Napoli and Nava strike out to end the inning. Semi-regular weather report: It's getting pretty windy here.

Top of the 3rd: Rays 1, Red Sox 1:It's the top of the order for Tampa Bay, and Joyce grounds out to lead things off. Jennings strikes out. Zobrist doubles on a hard hit ball to the edge of the Tampa Bay bullpen, but Longoria grounds out to end the inning. Should be noted the lights came on about halfway through the inning as dark clouds loom. Storm coming?

Bottom of the 2nd: Rays 1, Red Sox 1: Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer, like Aceves, walks two straight batters (Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava) to start the second inning. That calls for a Tampa Bay conference at the mound. And hey, just like Aceves, whatever was said seemed to have worked -- Saltalamacchia, the next batter, grounds into a double play. Middlebrooks then walks, bringing runners on the corner with two outs. Of the game's first 17 batters, six have walked. But Drew grounds out to end the inning.

Top of the 2nd: Rays 1, Red Sox 1:Evan Longoria works a full count and eventually a leadoff walk. Aceves then throws four straight balls to walk James Loney, as well. Then it's Wil Myers, whose much-anticipated first big league at bat is, well, unmemorable. He pops out to shallow center field for Aceves' first out of the inning. Myers swung on his first pitch -- probably not what you want to do after a pitcher yields back-to-back walks but hey, he's new at this. Luke Scott hits one down the right field line for an RBI double. Jose Molina walks. That's Aceves' third walk of the inning and prompts a quick mound conference from Nieves (30 seconds, tops). Whatever was said worked -- Yunel Escobar grounds into a double play to end the inning.

Bottom of the 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Fenway Park is perhaps two thirds full, a byproduct of today being a makeup game and today being a work day. Regardless, those who are here cheer loudly as Jacoby Ellsbury leads off with a double, hitting the Green Monster right by the W.B. Mason sign. Ellsbury advances to third on a flyout from Shane Victorino. Dustin Pedroia hits one deep to center field. Another 10 feet -- maybe less -- and it would have gone over the fence. It was caught, but it's an RBI as Ellsbury easily tags home. David Ortiz flies out to end the inning.

Top of the 1st: Rays 0, Red Sox 0: Steady start for Aceves, who strikes Matt Joyce out looking at a 94 mile per hour fastball. Will Middlebrooks makes an athletic play look easy, as Desmond Jennings grounds out. Then Ben Zobrist pops out for a quick, 10 pitch inning for Aceves, looking to build off his past two strong starts. Should be noted last week Joe Maddon commented on Aceves and said: "We can't hit that guy."

Pregame Welcome to Fenway Park. Emily Kaplan here to provide update for today's doubleheader between the Rays and the Red Sox. It's a rare two-day homestand for the Sox who are coming off a four-game series in Baltimore and will head to Detroit later this week. Alfredo Aceves (3-1, 5.58 ERA) will start the first game. Aceves has posted quality starts in his past two outings (both spot starts) going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. Over those two games, Aceves allowed only two runs -- both on solo home runs. A big story to follow is the big league debut of Wil Myers for Tampa Bay. Myers, 22-years-old, is considered one of the top -- if not the top -- prospects in baseball The outfielder (.286 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 64 games at Triple-A Durham this season) was the big return in the December trade that sent pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City. How will he fare? Stay tuned for updates throughout the game.

Mike Napoli, Mike Carp returning to action; Clay Buchholz to be evaluated

Posted by Staff June 18, 2013 10:45 AM

Mike Napoli is back at first base for the Red Sox today.

Napoli exited Thursday's game in Baltimore in the third inning because of illness. He did not play the rest of the four-game series, and returned to Boston on Saturday to be examined by team doctors when his symptoms continued.

"He's obviously improved to the point to be in the lineup today," John Farrell said.

The manager also expects Mike Carp to be available tonight. Carp left Sunday's game in Baltimore in the seventh inning with a cramp in his right hamstring.

Clay Buchholz (sore right trapezius) will throw on today and it will be "increased intensity" compared to what he threw in Baltimore, Farrell said. The coaching staff will evaluate the pitcher's progress to determine whether he will be available later this week or is headed for a stint on the disabled list.

Buchholz has not pitched since he left a start on June 8 because of the issue.

"Today would be the day for him to get off the mound if he's going to be eligible sometime later this week," Farrell said. "If not, we're probably looking at a roster move."

Farrell said it is "not likely" the roster move would occur between games on Tuesday.

The Red Sox need a starter for Saturday's game in Detroit, whether it's Buchholz or somebody else.

"For [Buchholz] to be able to make that start, he would need to bullpen today, Thursday, and then start Saturday," Farrell said. "If the bullpen can not be executed today, then we will make a move."

Farrell said the organization has narrowed in on two candidates as potential fill-ins: Rubby De La Rosa or Allen Webster.

Games 72-73: Rays at Red Sox

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 18, 2013 10:00 AM

Good morning. Here's a preview of today's doubleheader.

GAME 1
RED SOX (42-29)

Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Saltalamacchia C
Middlebrooks 3B
Drew SS
Pitching: RHP Alfredo Aceves (3-1, 5.58)

RAYS (36-33)
Joyce LF
Jennings CF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Myers RF
Scott DH
Molina C
Escobar SS
Pitching: RHP Chris Archer (1-2, 4.80)

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Archer: Ellsbury 4-4, Nava 1-4, Pedroia 1-5, Salty 0-3, Carp 1-2, Drew 0-2, Iglesias 0-1, Middlebrooks 0-1, Napoli 0-2, Ortiz 0-1.

Rays vs. Aceves: Longoria 1-9, Zobrist 1-10, Rodriguez 1-9, Scott 0-9, Jennings 2-7, Joyce 1-8, Escobar 2-6, Johnson 0-6, Molina 1-5, Fuld 1-3, Lobaton 0-2, Loney 0-3.

GAME 2
Red Sox starter: LHP Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.91)

Rays starter: Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 8.03)

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI

Red Sox vs. Odorizzi:
No history

Rays vs. Doubront: Zobrist 3-13, Escobar 4-12, Johnson 3-11, Longoria 3-8, Rodriguez 3-11, Jennings 2-8, Scott 3-8, Loney 1-5, Joyce 1-2, Lobaton 0-2, Molina 0-0.

Stat of the Day: The Red Sox lead MLB in runs (363), but are only 16th in runs scored in day games (102).

Notes: The Red Sox have lost three of their last four, but still lead the AL East by two games. The Rays are five games behind the Red Sox ... Rays prospect Wil Myers will make his MLB debut in Boston. The outfielder had a .354 batting average with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in his last 23 games in Triple A ... The Rays are among the major league leaders in batting average with runners in scoring position at .294, though they've hit just .141 in those moments while losing seven of nine to the Red Sox this season ... Jim Rice, Peter Gammons, Tom Caron, and Rob Bradford, in that order, will fill in for Jerry Remy on the next four Red Sox game broadcasts on NESN.

Material from Stats Inc. included in this report.

Jerry Remy to miss another week

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 18, 2013 09:37 AM

NESN announced that Jerry Remy will miss the Red Sox games this week. Remy has been out since May 28 because of illness.

Remy wrote on Twitter on May 28 that he was suffering from allergies and would be out for three games. That was followed with an update on June 5 saying he had pneumonia.

There have been no updates on the condition of the broadcaster since.

Remy was treated for lung cancer in 2008 and missed much of the 2009 season recovering. In April, Remy said he was treated for cancer again during spring training.

Jim Rice (Game 1) and Peter Gammons (Game 2) will join Don Orsillo for today's doubleheader. Tom Caron will work with Orsillo on Wednesday.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 18, 2013 09:19 AM

You know how Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava got to the majors. Here's what he did to come back a second time — and stay.

The notebook has Mike Napoli set to return to the team.

Pitching matchups for the Rays series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 17, 2013 03:46 PM

Tuesday, Game 1: RHP Chris Archer (1-2, 4.80) vs. RHP Alfredo Aceves (3-1, 5.58), 1:05 p.m., NESN.

Tuesday, Game 2: RHP Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 8.03) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.91), 7:10 p.m., NESN.

Wednesday: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 5.67) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (4-7, 4.21), 7:10 p.m., NESN.

Note: The Red Sox are asking fans attending Game 1 Tuesday to strongly consider public transportation. Originally unscheduled weekday afternoon games quite often lead to traffic and parking issues around Fenway Park.

Also: The Rays announced they are calling up outfielder Wil Myers for the series.The 22-year-old hit .286/.356/.520 for Triple A Durham with 14 homers and 57 RBIs in 64 games. Myers is one of the top prospects in baseball.

In a December trade, the Rays obtained Myers, Odorizzi, LHP Mike Montgomery, and INF Patrick Leonard from the Royals for RHPs James Shields, RHP Wade Davis, and INF Elliot Johnson.

Napoli, Carp possible for Tuesday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 16, 2013 07:00 PM

BALTIMORE — A few updates before leaving Camden Yards:

• Mike Napoli came out of Thursday’s game in the third inning because of an illness and hasn’t played since. He was scheduled for further tests in Boston on Sunday but showed significant improvement. John Farrell said he hopes that Napoli will be able to play on Tuesday.

• Mike Carp left the game in the seventh inning with a tight right hamstring. He was injured going to second base after a double to left field. “I think it’s more of a cramp than anything else. Based on how I feel and what the medical people said, it’s not something serious,” Carp said.

Carp had strength testing done when he came out and it was close to normal.

“Hopefully with the day off, he’d be available again on Tuesday,” Farrell said. “It wasn’t a pull, it was more of a cramping sensation. Probably because of the humidity.”

• Daniel Nava batted third for the first time this season and the fourth time in his career. He was 0 for 4, although he did drive a ball to the wall in left field in the sixth inning. Nava is 1 for 15 without a RBI batting third.

• Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado doubled in the first inning to extend his hit streak to 14 games. He has 32 doubles this season. The Baltimore record is 56 by Brian Roberts in 2009. Earl Webb of the Red Sox set the major league record of 67 in 1931. The 20-year-old Machado was 9 for 19 in the series with four doubles and three RBIs.

• Jose Iglesias started at second base for the first time in his career. He handled three chances without any issues and was 1 for 4 at the plate. That extended his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest for a rookie in the majors this season. Iglesias is 26 of 61 (.426) in his streak with six extra-base hits and eight runs scored.

Final: Orioles 6, Red Sox 3

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 16, 2013 01:55 PM

Game over: Orioles 6, Red Sox 3: The Red Sox lost three out of four to the Orioles at Camden Yards. Once again, Jon Lester had a poor outing allowing five runs in five innings. The Red Sox got closer when Will Middlebrooks produced a three-run homer in the seventh inning, but the Baltimore bullpen took care of things as Jim Johnson got the save before 41,311. The Red Sox' seven game road trip ended 3-4 vs. Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

Bottom 8th: Orioles 6, Red Sox 3 - The Orioles threaten but do not score. Valencia and Markakis singled off Miller, but Machado grounded out to shortstop with a force at second base.

Top 8th: Orioles 6, Red Sox 3 - Jose Igesias extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a single in the shortstop hole. But the Red Sox couldn't capitalize as Nava flew out deep to left, Ortiz lined out hard to right all against lefty Brian Matusz. Jonny Gomes flied out to deep right.

Bottom 7th: Orioles 6, Red Sox 3 - JJ Hardy drove in Nick Markskis with a single for an insurance run. Markakis started the inning with a double - his third hit. Jones hit a ground-rule double off Tazawa, but Andrew Miller came on to strikeout Davis and Wieters to end it.

Top 7th: Orioles 5, Red Sox 3 - Will Middlebrooks blasted a three-run homer to right field to close the gap in a hurry. Mike Carp had doubled to open the inning, but he had to come out of the game for a pinch-runner when it appeared he injured his knee. Carp has been icing the knee for days but when asked about it always said "maintenance." Saltalamacchia singled to create a first and third for Middlebrooks who stroked the home run to right field. That marked the end of Miguel Gonzalez' night.

Bottom 6th: Orioles 5, Red Sox 0 - Pedro Beato, just recalled from Pawtucket, continued his dominance in Pawtucket against the Orioles.

Top 6th: Orioles 5, Red Sox 0 - With one out, Ellsbury singled to center and Iglesias reached on an error by Machado at third. Nava flew out deep to left and and Ortiz lined out to first.

Bottom 5th: Orioles 5, Red Sox 0 - Nick Markakis, who doubled to open the inning, scored on Manny Machado's single to center. He went to thrid on Mike Carp's throwing error. With two outs. Chris Davis produced an opposite field double to left scoring Machado. Lester struck out three in the inning.

Top 5th: Orioles 3, Red Sox 0 - Middlebrooks knocked into a double play to put a hurting on a potential Boston rally.

Bottom 4: Orioles 3, Red Sox 0 - Lester pitches a 1-2-3 inning. Great play by Middlebrooks.

Top 4th: Orioles 3, Red Sox 0 - Sox go down in order. Gonzalez locating very well today.

Bottom 3rd: Orioles 3, Red Sox 0 - Rough inning for Lester as the woes continue to mount. He allowed a leadoff single by Nick Markakis, who advanced to second on Manny Machado's long fly ball to left. After Hardy flew out to center, Adan Jones dropped a double to left field with Jonny Gomes playing toward leftcenter. Chris Davis then uncorked his 100th career homer, a long shot to the back side of the iron railing in right center.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - The Red Sox out two runners on base with a salty walk and a since to center by Ellsbury, but couldn't score.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - The Orioles strung together hits from Matt Wieters and Danny Valencia, but Lester got the bottom of the order - Pearce to strike out and Casilla to ground out to end the threat.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - Gonzalez strikes out Gomes and Carp in another effective inning.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - Manny Machado doubled down the third base line, but Jon Lester was able to escape.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - Miguel Gonzalez had a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Dustin Pedroia gets a day off

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 16, 2013 12:28 PM

BALTIMORE — A few Red Sox notes:

• Dustin Pedroia is getting a day off, his first of the season. With the team off on Monday, he'll get two full days to rest. Pedroia is 3 of his last 19 and committed his first error of the season on Saturday.

• Jose Iglesias will be making his first start at second base. He does have four innings there.

• RHP Pedro Beato was added to the 40-man roster and called up from Pawtucket. Rubby De Rosa was sent back and will start on Monday for Pawtucket. The Sox wanted to keep him on his routine.

• If Clay Buchholz doesn't throw in the bullpen on Tuesday, he's almost surely headed for the disabled list. If he does, he could start Saturday in Detroit. If Buchholz can't go, that Saturday starter could be De La Rosa or Allen Webster.

• Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront will start the doubleheader (order to be determined) with Ryan Dempster on Wednesday. Salty will catch Aceves.

• No real update on Mike Napoli. He's just sick it seems like. The Sox are hoping he can avoid the disabled list.

Game 71: Red Sox at Orioles

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 16, 2013 09:30 AM

Good morning and Happy Father's Day. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (42-28)
Ellsbury CF
Iglesias 2B
Nava LF
Ortiz DH
Gomes LF
Carp 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Middkebrooks 3B
Drew SS
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (6-3, 4.12).

ORIOLES (39-30)
Markakis RF
Machado 3B
Hardy SS
Jones CF
Davis 1B
Wieters C
Valencia DH
Pearce LF
Casilla 2B
Pitching: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (4-2, 3.71).

Game time: 1:35 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Gonzalez: Pedroia 2-8, Saltalamacchia 1-5, Nava 2-4, Ellsbury 1-3, Iglesias 1-3, Ortiz 0-1, Middlebrooks 0-1.

Orioles vs. Lester: Markakis 11-55, Jones 11-42, Wieters 13-34, Hardy 6-15, Davis 0-13, Valencia 1-9, Casilla 0-6, Pearce 0-4, McLouth 0-4, Teagarden 0-4, Machado 0-3.

Stat of the Day: Baltimore relievers have walked one and struck out 23 in 23.2 innings against the Red Sox this season. They have a 1.52 ERA.

Notes: The Sox lost two of the first three games of the series and are 3-3 on a road trip that ends today. ... Lester is 0-3, 6.90 in his last three starts. But the Orioles are a team he has owned. He is 14-1, 2.63 in 21 career starts against Baltimore; 7-0, 2.52 in 10 starts at Camden Yards. He did lose his last start against the O's, however. That was last Sept. 21. ... Gonzalez is a former Red Sox minor leaguer (2010-2011) who was signed by the Orioles as a free agent when they saw him pitch in the Mexican Winter League. He is 13-6, 3.43 in 29 appearances over two seasons, 2-0, 2.76 in three games (two starts) against the Sox. ... The Sox are 21-28 against the Orioles since Buck Showalter became Baltimore's manager. That includes losses in 23 of the last 33 games and 13 of the last 18. ... The Sox are 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position in each of their last four games. ... Koji Uehara has struck out the last six batters he has faced over a four game stretch. ... Iglesias has a 16-game hitting streak, matching the longest in the majors by a rookie this season. He is 25 of 57 (.439) in the streak with six extra-base hits, five RBIs, eight runs scored and six walks. ... Pedroia (3 of 19) and Ortiz (3 of 22) are slumping a bit. ... Gomes is 8 of his last 17. ... The Sox have not taken two straight from the Orioles since July 7-10, 2011 when they won four in a row. ... The Sox are a major-league best 14-6 in day games.

Song of the Day: "Father and Son" by Johnny Cash (with Fiona Apple).

Happy Father's Day

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 16, 2013 09:15 AM

BALTIMORE — I was sure we had taken a wrong turn the first time my dad took me to Fenway Park. This old building made of bricks couldn't be the ballpark, could it? It sure looked a lot different on Channel 38.

There were no colorful signs outside the park back in those days and Yawkey Way was just a plain old street. Can't recall if there were sausage carts, but I remember a guy on the corner of Van Ness Street who yelled out "Peanuts! Pistachios! Popcorn!" over and over again.

(We always got peanuts, by the way. Never pistachios. I have no idea why.)

The ramps leading into the park were dark and it wasn't until you walked up through one of the portals and into the grandstands that Fenway opened itself up. Two colors are indelibly burned into my memory from that day: the bright white home uniforms and the green grass.

We sat down the right field line in Section 14. The Sox were playing the Indians and I got a program on the way in because I read everything about baseball I could get my 9-year-old hands on. My dad told me to pick a red pencil out of the box, too. It was 10 cents.

Once the game started, he taught me how to score the game and by the seventh inning or so, I delighted in telling the people sitting around us that Yaz was 2 for 3 with a double and that Dewey had already walked twice. To this day, no matter whether I'm working or not, I have to score the game. It's a force of habit.

At some point that day, my dad pointed up at the press box (which was a lot lower than it was now) and said that was where the guys from the newspapers sat. We got the Globe in New Bedford every morning and I'd read every word Peter Gammons wrote. Dad was a Ray Fitzgerald fan.

My dad explained the infield fly rule, why lefty pitchers were so tough to hit and told me to pay attention to how the infielders got in front of groundballs. We didn't have box seats very often, but sometimes we'd sneak down closer at the end of the game.

I got Juan Marichal's autograph in 1974. He was signing for kids one day and my dad told me to run over and get my program signed because that guy was going to be in the Hall of Fame some day.

Oh, and we never left before the last out. Never once. If the idea even came up, I'd complain. I was going to fill out that scorecard no matter what happened. Dad always patiently waited through rain, cold and lopsided games.

Those games and the love of baseball he instilled in me eventually led to a summer job at my hometown paper. I'd score Little League, high school and Legion games, write up a story and get $10. My mom drove me around around on weekdays, but dad liked doing it on the weekends. We'd sit there at games, talk about baseball and I'd keep track of how the kids from Fairhaven High were doing against Old Rochester.

Inexplicably, it led to a real job. I covered college basketball for a while then baseball in New York City for 10 happy years. When the Globe called, getting to write for the paper my folks read every day seemed perfect.

Every time I walk into a ballpark, I think about those games and buying those 10-cent pencils to keep score. It was a gift that changed my life, even if I didn't know it at the time.

So if you'll excuse me, I've got a phone call to make. Dad is going to want to know if I think Jon Lester will pitch well today and whether his man Jose Iglesias is in the lineup.

Thanks, Pop. Happy Father's Day.

Baseball coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 16, 2013 09:08 AM

The Red Sox, thanks in part to a phantom foul tip, beat the Orioles, 5-4.

Nick Cafardo writes that Mike Carp is following the same path as David Ortiz.

The notebook has Mike Napoli returning to Boston because of an illness.

In the Sunday Baseball Notes, Nick writes that the trade market will revolve around pitchers.

Older professional athletes are persevering like never before. Shira Springer has the story.

Fans are against PEDs and want the game cleaned up according to a poll taken by Stan Grossfeld.

Phantom foul tip helps Red Sox beat Orioles

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 15, 2013 09:39 PM

BALTIMORE — A few notes from an interesting day at the ballpark:

• It's the little things that count. The Red Sox had not scored in 18 consecutive innings when Dustin Pedroia stepped to the plate in the fourth inning. The Baltimore Orioles had a two-run lead at that point and the many Red Sox fans in the crowd at Camden Yards were growing restless.

Dustin Pedroia appeared to strike out on a curveball in the dirt from Freddy Garcia. But Pedroia turned to umpire Jeff Nelson and said he ticked the ball with his bat.

Nelson ruled it a foul ball. Orioles manager Buck Showalter argued the call, as did Garcia. Nelson, after checking the ball, said his decision stood.

Pedroia flicked the next pitch into center field for a single. Two batters later, Mike Carp hit a home run to right field. The Sox took the lead later in that inning and went on to a 5-4 victory.

It was a big break for the Red Sox — especially because Pedroia never actually made contact with the pitch. He only thought he did.

“The last four or five games, the ball looks like a baby aspirin coming in. I actually thought I did hit it,” Pedroia said. “I swung and felt something and I'm like, 'Could have swore I fouled that ball off.' And then I didn't. That's kind of how locked in I am at the plate.”

Garcia never recovered. Jonny Gomes singled to left field after Carp’s home run and scored on a double by Stephen Drew. Pedroia drove in a run in the fifth inning then Gomes homered in the sixth.

“That was a really bad call and I lost a little of my concentration,” Garcia said. “It shouldn’t happen. … When you face a lineup like that, one thing can change the game.”

• John Farrell felt the first inning was the key to the game. With two runs in, two on and nobody out, John Lackey didn't allow another run.

“Can’t really do too much about a couple of guys getting on once they’re on,” Lackey said. “You’ve got to minimize it as best you can, locate it a little better.”

Lackey had more good work in the fifth inning. Taylor Teagarden led off with a grounder to third base that Jose Iglesias booted. It was charitably ruled a hit. McLouth followed with a grounder to second base that went through the legs of Pedroia for his first error of the season.

Lackey, aided by Jarrod Saltalamacchia throwing out McLouth trying to steal second, didn't allow a run.

Pedroia had gone 97 consecutive games without an error, one shy of matching his own team record. Lackey said the ball going through the second baseman’s legs was one of the more surprising things he’s even seen on a baseball field.

“I told him that I’ll probably not have to worry about seeing that again. I’ll be gone before that happens,” Lackey said. “It’s always satisfying to pick up a teammate and not let that guy score.”

Lackey has a 3.08 ERA after 11 starts.

• Mike Carp is hitting .320 with a 1.052 OPS in 103 at-bats. He has driven in 25 runs. Not bad for a guy who was purchased from Seattle a few days into spring training after he was designated.

• Andrew Bailey blew a save Monday and nearly again today when some rock-headed base-running saved him. He has decent numbers (21.1 IP, 16 H, 9 BB, 30 K), but the first batter he faces has gotten on base nine times in 22 attempts.

• The Sox have not won consecutive games against the O's since taking four straight from July 7-10, 2011. Jon Lester takes the mound Sunday against Miguel Gonzalez.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the hockey. Go B's.

Final: Red Sox 5, Orioles 4

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 15, 2013 04:14 PM

Game over: Red Sox 5, Orioles 4: The Red Sox ended their two-game skid against the Orioles with a win today before 42,422 at Camden Yards.

The Red Sox overcame a 2-0 deficit after one inning and John Lackey settled down to pitch seven full innings to get the win. Mike Carp hit a two-run homer and Stephen Drew drove in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning. Jonny Gomes also homered and had two hits. Andrew Bailey allowed a two-run homer to Matt Wieters and then a single to J.J. Hardy to make this a nail-biter, but he Orioles helped him out.

Ryan Flaherty knocked into a game-ending double play on a liner to right field which pinch-runner Alexei Casilla thought had dropped in for a base hit. Casilla kept running and the Sox doubled him off first base end the game.

Top 9th: Red Sox 5, Orioles 2 - Jose Iglesias walked with two outs and was caught stealing.

Bottom 8th:Red Sox 5, Orioles 2 - Koji Uehara mows down the Orioles. It reminds us that the Orioles sent Uehara to Texas on July 30, 2011 for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis. Pretty good deal.

Top 8th: Red Sox 5, Orioles 2 - Ortiz, Carp and Gomes go down in order.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 5, Orioles 2 - A Hardy basehit is erased by a line to first double-play by Flaherty.

Top 7th: Red Sox 5, Orioles 2 - Victorino with a two-out hit, stolen base, but stranded

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 5, Orioles 2 - Lackey still effective as Orioles go down in order.

Top 6th: Red Sox 5, Orioles 2 - Jonny Gomes belted a long homer to centerfield off Garcia, who exited after the blast.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 4, Orioles 2 - Missed opportunity for the Orioles. Taylor Teagarden reached on an infield single to third base on a hard-hit ball thatate up Jose Iglesias. Then the unthinkable - Dustin Pedroia made an error. His first. The ball, hit by Nate McLouth, went right through his legs. But things improved for the Sox. Jarrod Saltalamacchia made a terrific throw to catch McLouth stealing. Machado then tapped back to Lackey for the second out. And Markakis flew out to left for the final out.

Top 5th: Red Sox 4, Orioles 2 - Red Sox play small ball to manufacture a run. Ellsbury singled to right, stole second base and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Victorino. He scored on a ground out by Pedroia.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 3, Orioles 2 - Lackey allows a two-out walk to JJ hardy, but gets the weak-hitting Flaherty to ground out.

Top 4th: Red Sox 3, Orioles 2 - It was just a matter of time before the Red Sox made something happen against Garcia. Pedroia singled after distracting Garcia by asking for a scuffed ball be thrown out of play. This seemed to irritate Garcia and even brought Buck Showalter out to have a word with umpire Jeff Nelson. Pedroia stole second on Ortiz' strike out and rode home on Mike Carp's linedrive homer to right, his 8th this season. Gomes single and Stephen Drew doubked to right scoring Gomes.

Bottom 3rd: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Manny Machado singled to right, but he was caught stealing. Lackey retired the side after that.

Top 3rd: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Jose Iglesias extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a infield single to short that he hustled to beat out. Jacoby Ellsbury hit into a double-play. Victorino struck out to end the inning. Garcia is tricking the Red Sox with his offspeed stuff.

Bottom 2nd: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Lackey rebounds with strikeouts vs. No. 8 and No. 9 hitters Ryan Flhaerty and Taylor Teagarden and a ground ball out to first by McLouth.

Top 2nd: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - The Red Sox offense missed a golden opportunity to score some runs. David Ortiz tripled to center to leadoff the second inning. After Mike carp walked, the Red Sox messed this up big time. Jonny Gomes fouled out to first base. Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out. Stephen Drew popped out to shortstop after workign the count to 3-2. Awful.

Bottom 1st: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Not a great start for John Lackey, who was roughed up for 10 hits and four runs in 5-1/3 innings in his last start vs. Tampa Bay. Nate McLouth led off with a single off Lackey's right foot. He came home on Manny Machado's double to left. McLouth was running on the pitch. Nick Markakis singled to right to put runners at the corners. Adam Jones reached on an infield single to shortstop, scoring the second Orioles run. Lackey retired Chris Davis for the first out, but the runners advanced to second and third. Lackey got a big out when DH Matt Wieters popped out to shortstop, JJ Hardy then flew out to right. The Orioles stranded runners at second and third.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - Orioles starter Freddy Garcia retires the Red Sox in order in the first.

Napoli returns to Boston for exam; Buchholz scratched for Tuesday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 15, 2013 03:02 PM

BALTIMORE — Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoil has been sent back to Boston to be examined by team medical director Dr. Larry Ronan. He left Thursday's game in the third inning because of an illness and has not played since.

Napoli has been dizzy and on Friday felt nauseous. But the Sox do not feel he has a concussion after consulting with Dr. Michael Collins, a brain trauma specialist.

"There's a pretty high level of confidence that he's not dealing with anything concussion related," John Farrell said.

Several other Red Sox players are sick, so perhaps Napoli's illness is connected to that. But his symptoms have lingered and been more severe. Ronan, an internist, will examine Napoli today.

"We want to be sure that he's in a safe place and we can get to the bottom of it," Farrell said.

Farrell was asked whether Napoli has vertigo or whether his illness could be related to the medication he is taking for his hip condition. He didn't know.

The Red Sox have had Will Middlebrooks taking grounders at first base to increase their depth at the position.

Meanwhile, Clay Buchholz has once again been pushed back because of a sore trap muscle on his right side. The righthander told the Sox he does not feel ready to throw in the bullpen on Sunday and as a result will not start on Tuesday.

"He's not to the point physically where he feels like he can get on the mound [Sunday] without the potential of a setback or irritating of the trap muscle he's feeling it in," Farrell said. "It's restricting him from greater intensity."

Buchholz last pitched a week ago. So the next step could be to place him on the disabled list retroactively. Felix Doubront will start one of the games of Tuesday's doubleheader. Ryan Dempster would then start on Wednesday.

Buchholz has made just one start since June 2. The longer he stays out, the more likely it becomes that he will need a rehab assignment before he returns to the majors.

Buchholz is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA.

Game 70: Red Sox at Orioles

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 15, 2013 11:47 AM

Good afternoon from Baltimore, where it's a beautiful day. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (41-28)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Carp 1B
Jonny Gomes LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Stephen Drew SS
Jose Iglesias 3B
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (3-5, 3.14).

ORIOLES (39-29)
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Taylor Teagarden C
Pitching: RHP Freddy Garcia (3-3, 4.47)

Game time: 4:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN, MLB NetworK / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Garcia: Ortiz 14-44, Pedroia 5-16, Ellsbury 5-15, Salty 1-7, Carp 3-9, Drew 2-8, Napoli 0-5, Nava 1-5, Ross 1-4, Gomes 1-1.

Orioles vs. Lackey: Markakis 15-42, Jones 6-29, Davis 8-17, Wieters 5-18, Casilla 1-11, Hardy 1-8, Teagarden 1-6, Dickerson 0-2.

Stat of the Day: Jose Iglesias has a 15-game hit streak. It's the second longest for a rookie in the majors this season. Marcell Ozuna had a 16-game hit streak for Miami.

Notes: The Sox have lost the first two games of the series. It's part of a trend. The Sox are 1-4 against the Birds this season and have lost 13 of 17 and 22 of 30 in the series. ... The Sox are 12 of 74 (.162) in the series with five extra-base hits. ... The Sox scored two runs in the seventh inning on Thursday. They are scoreless in the 15 innings since, going 3 for 47 at the plate with one runner getting to third base. . ... Lackey is 11-4, 3.35 against the Orioles in 19 career starts. He is facing them for the first time since 2011. ... Garcia is 10-4, 4.51 in 25 career appearances against the Sox. The Chief first faced the Sox back in 1999. The Orioles are the sixth team he has played for. Garcia had a 5.23 ERA in four games against the Sox last season. ... The Sox are 13-6 in day games, the best record in baseball.

Song of the Day: "Hungry Heart" by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 15, 2013 10:21 AM

The Red Sox came up empty against the Orioles again. That has been happening a lot lately.

Nick Cafardo writes that the Sox need to get their lineup going.

The notebook has Rubby De La Rosa being called up.

The woes against the O's

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 11:57 PM

BALTIMORE — The Red Sox scored two runs in the seventh inning on Thursday night before losing a game that went 13 innings. They haven’t scored since.

Friday was a 2-0 loss as the Sox were held to three hits by Chris Tillman and three relievers. They advanced only one runner beyond second base.

That’s 15 consecutive shutout innings for the Orioles with the Sox going 3 for 47 at the plate.

“That team gets excited for us. I watched almost all of the at-bats from their last few series and they didn't pitch that way,” said David Ortiz, who was 0 for 3.

“Tillman didn't give us anything. He was throwing me backdoor breaking balls and change-ups in hitters' counts and hitting the spot. Their bullpen, the same thing. They execute against us.”

Ortiz then muttered a curse.

“Been that way for a few years,” he said.

He’s right. The Sox are 1-4 against the Orioles this season and have lost 22 of 30 games against Baltimore going back to that fateful final month of the 2011 season.

The second-place Orioles have won five of their last six games and trail the Sox by 1½ games with two games left in the series.

Also:

• Ryan Dempster deserved a better fate after allowing two runs over 7 2/3 innings. The Red Sox have scored three or fewer runs in 10 of his 14 starts. Friday was the fifth time they scored one or fewer.

“For me, it’s not about me. It’s about us as a team,” Dempster said. “We’re just trying to win games however we can get them.”

• Jose Iglesias doubled to start the seventh inning. Orioles manager Buck Showalter called in Darren O’Day, a righthander with a drop-down delivery. He got Will Middlebrooks to pop to second and struck out David Ross before Jacoby Ellsbury flied to center.

Middlebrooks and Ross, both righthanded hitters, did not get good swings. John Farrell had switch hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia available but was committed to the idea of giving him a full night off after he caught all 13 innings on Thursday. He also passed on pinch hitting lefthanded hitting Stephen Drew for Middlebrooks.

Saltalamacchia doubled in his only career at-bat against O'Day. Drew is 1 for 2 with a home run against him. That's not much to go on. But Middlebrooks was 0 for 4 against O'Day and Ross was facing him for the first time. The lefties probably had a better chance.

• Middlebrooks is 3 for 18 since being activated off the disabled list.

• Iglesias was 2 for 4 and is up to .451. Iglesias has 10 infield hits and is hitting a totally unsustainable .522 on balls he puts in play. But there is no denying his confidence and improved approach. Sitting him down now is essentially a disservice to the rest of the team.

• Two things come to mind after watching 20-year-old Orioles third baseman Manny Machado for a few days. One is that he may be even better than Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. The other is whether the Red Sox might want to throw 20-year-old Xander Bogaerts into the mix before the summer is over.

Bogaerts was 3 for 7 with a home run, two runs scored and a walk in a doubleheader Friday night as he made his Triple A debut.

Final: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 07:23 PM

Game over: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0: The Red Sox were defeated for the second straight night, unable to mount any offense against starter Chris Tillman, reliever Darren O'Day or closer Jim Johnson before 49,158 at Camden Yards. Ryan Dempster did a superb job for the Red Sox in going 7-2/3 innings and throwing 122 pitches in helping preserve the bullpen at least. The Orioles got a solo homer from Chris Davis in the second inning and infield single for an RBI by Adam Jones in the third. That was it. Game was played in 2:43.

Bottom 8th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Koji Uehara struck out J.J. Hardy with the bases loaded to prevent a further cushion for the Orioles.

Top 8th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Red Sox can't do anything tonight against Orioles pitching. In danger of losing to the Orioles for the second straight night.

Bottom 7th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Orioles went down in order against Dempster. Daniel Nava made a nice sliding catch in foul territory for the third out.

Top 7th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Jose Iglesias roped a double to left field for his second hit to lead off the inning, but the Red Sox missed a golden opportunity as the next three Red Sox made outs vs. Darren O'Day who relieved Tillman.

Bottom 6th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Dempster continues to pitch a very good game. He's managed to keep the Orioles at bay, but the Sox haven't been able to catch up.

Top 6th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Another rapid-fire 1-2-3 inning by Tillman. Ortiz, Carp and Nava all make outs.

Bottom 5th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - McLouth walkd and stole second base with two outs. A Markakis grounder to first base got him over to third, but Jones flew out to center.

Top 5th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - The Red Sox' top of the order went down 1-2-3 against Tillman, who has baffled the Red Sox tonight.

Bottom 4th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - A walk to Hardy and a subsequent wild pitch, put the Orioles in business for more. But Dempster was able to rebound to strike out Chris Dickerson and got Ryan Flaherty to ground out to first base.

Top 4th: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - What looked like a promising inning soon fizzled for the Red Sox. They had runners at the corners after Mike Carp walked, advanced to second on Daniel Nava's ground out and went to third on Jose Iglesias' infield hit to third base to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. But Middlebrooks flew out to right and David Ross struck out stranding the runners.

Bottom 3rd: Orioles 2, Red Sox 0 - Dempster walked McLouth and allowed a single to Machado after one out. Markakis flew out to center. But Jones reached on an infield hit on a slow roller to third. Middlebrooks didn't get a good jump on the ball off the bat. Jones beat it out, scoring the second run. Chris Davis lined out to second base and left two Orioles on base.

Top 3rd: Orioles 1, Red Sox 0 - A Shane Victorino walk was all the Sox offense could muster vs. Tillman.

Bottom 2nd: Orioles 1, Red Sox 0 - Chris Davis homered to left center on an 0-1 pitch to give Baltimore the early lead.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - Daniel Nava worked a walk from Chris Tillman. Nava leads all American League outfielders in OBP (.391). However, his teammates weren't able to advance him or score him.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - Ryan Dempster allowed a double to the left field corner by Manny Machado, but the Orioles failed in capitalizing as Dempster retired the next two batters.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - The Red Sox put two men on base with a Shane Victorino single and a David Ortiz walk, but couldn't score off of Chris Tillman.

Napoli under the weather and out of the lineup

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 06:19 PM

BALTIMORE — A few Red Sox updates from Camden Yards:

• Mike Napoli remains under the weather with a virus of some sort. He didn't take batting practice and won't play tonight.

• Rubby De La Rosa is here and will be available in relief if needed. Ideally, manager John Farrell said, it would be to start an inning. De La Rosa and Alfredo Aceves are candidates to start one of the games Tuesday when the Sox host a doubleheader against the Rays.

• Jose Iglesias volunteered to pitch on Thursday night. Not happening, Farrell said. If it ever comes to that, Jonny Gomes would be the choice.

• Clay Buchholz played long toss today and had a more intense throwing session than in previous days. He's set for a bullpen session on Sunday and, if that goes well, will start Tuesday.

• Farrell thought Andrew Miller looked as good as he has all season in his two innings Thursday. Hard to dispute that. He fanned four, walked two, and didn't give up a hit.

• David Ross is catching because Jarrod Saltalamacchia caught all 13 innings Thursday.

• Farrell said he was looking to get Stephen Drew a day off. Left unsaid was that Drew is really struggling. If Iglesias has another big night at the plate, could they sit him down again?

Game 69: Red Sox at Orioles

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 02:17 PM

Good afternoon Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (41-27)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Carp 1B
Nava LF
Iglesias SS
Middlebrooks 3B
Ross C
Pitching: RHP Ryan Dempster (4-6, 4.40).

ORIOLES (38-29)
McLouth LF
Machado 3B
Markakis RF
Jones CF
Davis 1B
Wieters C
Hardy SS
Dickerson DH
Flaherty 2B
Pitching: RHP Chris Tillman (6-2, 3.89)

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

TV / Radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Tillman: Pedroia 5-14, Salty 1-10, Ellsbury 2-9, Nava 2-7, Napoli 3-6, Iglesias 0-4, Ortiz 0-3, Carp 1-3, Middlebrooks 0-3, Victorino 1-3, Drew 0-2.

Orioles vs. Dempster: Hardy 2-28, McLouth 6-22, Markakis 2-6, Machado 0-6, Davis 0-5, Jones 3-5, Wieters 1-5, Dickerson 1-3, Pearce 1-2, Flaherty 0-2.

Stat of the Day: Dempster has spent 16 seasons in the majors and pitched in 560 games. Tonight will be his first appearance at Camden Yards.

Notes: The Red Sox are 2-2 on their six-game road trip and start the day with a 2.5-game lead on the Orioles ... The Sox are 1-4 against the Orioles this season and 8-21 against them going back to September of 2011 ... Dempster is 1-0, 1.47 in three career appearances against the Orioles. He faced them at Fenway on April 10 and allowed three runs (one earned) over five innings. He walked two and struck out seven ... Tillman has pitched very well against the Sox in his career (1-1, 2.97 in six starts). In his last five starts against them, he has allowed six earned runs over 29 innings. That includes April 11, when he gave up two earned runs over 5.1 innings ... Jacoby Ellsbury has stolen a base in six straight games and has 17 in the last 14. He has 30 overall, tied for the major league lead with San Diego's Everth Cabrera.

Song of the Day: "The Night Is Still Young" by Billy Joel.

Red Sox have signed eight draft picks

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 12:54 PM

BALTIMORE — The Red Sox haven't announced any signings of draft picks, but according to Baseball America, eight players have agreed to terms.

As was previously reported, second-round pick Teddy Stankiewicz, a junior college RHP, signed for $1.1 million.

The Sox also signed OF Forrestt Allday (eighth round), RHP Kyle Martin (ninth round), RHP Taylor Grover (11th round), SS Carlos Asauje (11th round), C Jake Romanski (14th round), LHP Gabe Speier (19th round), and 2B Reed Gragnani (21st round).

Speier is an interesting acquisition in that the Sox paid a premium ($200,000) for a player selected fairly low in the draft. Speier was set to attend Cal-Santa Barbara and was considered worthy of a higher selection.

Ciriaco traded to Padres

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 12:40 PM

According to Peter Gammons, the Red Sox will trade utility player Pedro Ciriaco to the San Diego Padres for a player to be named later.

Ciriaco was designated for assignment on Monday. He hit .216 in 28 games for the Sox as an infield backup. Ciriaco is a career .287 hitter in parts of four seasons with the Pirates and Red Sox.

Ciriaco is out of minor league options and will be on San Diego's major league roster. The Padres need infield depth with Jedd Gyorko on the disabled list.

Red Sox latest addition: De La Rosa

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 12:14 PM

BALTIMORE — Righthander Rubby De La Rosa, one of the top prospects in the organization, has been added to the Red Sox roster. The 24-year-old will be available out of the bullpen tonight.

De La Rosa was acquired from the Dodgers last August. He was 4-5 with a 3.96 earned run average in 14 appearances (10 starts) with Los Angeles from 2011-12.

De La Rosa missed most of last season recovering from elbow surgery and the Red Sox have been methodically building up his workload at Triple A Pawtucket this season. In 11 starts, he has thrown only 38.1 innings. De La Rosa is 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA for Pawtucket. He has allowed 25 hits, walked 20 and struck out 38.

In his last eight starts, De La Rosa has a 1.41 ERA.

De La Rosa can touch 98 with his fastball and sits comfortably at 94-95. But his best pitch might be a changeup that drops through the strike zone. Pedro Martinez, De La Rosa's mentor, worked closely with him in spring training and has visited Pawtucket for further sessions during the season.

De La Rosa's third pitch is a slider. Some projections have him becoming a late-inning reliever. But the Red Sox will first seek to develop him as a starter. How that slider progresses could determine that.

Alex Wilson has been sent back to Pawtucket after throwing 2.2 innings on Thursday night and taking a hard-luck loss in 13-inning 5-4 setback against Baltimore.

This marks four consecutive days the Red Sox have promoted a pitcher from Pawtucket.

Red Sox once again need pitching help

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 12:53 AM

BALTIMORE — The Red Sox played a doubleheader on Saturday, a 14-inning game on Monday and now a 13-inning game on Thursday.

The bullpen has been beaten up and the transactions are mounting.

Tuesday: Called up RHP Jose De La Torre, who pitched 3 1/3 innings and was then optioned back to Triple A Pawtucket.

Wednesday: Called up RHP Alfredo Aceves, who pitched 6 innings and was then optioned back to Pawtucket.

Thursday: Called up RHP Alex Wilson, who pitched 2 2/3 innings and will likely be optioned back to Pawtucket.

"We've got to get an arm in here given how much we've taxed the bullpen this week," John Farrell said tonight.

Let's look at the possibilities . . .

The Sox have Daniel Bard, Drake Britton, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Steven Wright on the 40-man roster. Bard is on the disabled list in Portland and hasn't pitched in a month regardless.

Britton threw seven innings on Tuesday. Wright threw six innings on Tuesday. They're probably out. De La Rosa and Webster are fresh, so they're in the mix.

The Sox also have an opening on the 40-man roster. So they could add a pitcher from Pawtucket to the 40 and call him up. The list of possibilities would include Pedro Beato, Chris Carpenter, Anthony Carter, Terry Doyle, Chris Martin and Ryan Rowland-Smith.

Rowland-Smith is a lefty who has pitched very well for Pawtucket and has big league experience. But the Red Sox already have three lefties in their bullpen. Beato and Carpenter have some big league experience. Martin is a former independent league pitcher who has risen through the organization.

A few other notes:

• The Sox had 47 plate appearances without a walk Thursday night. They did not have a hit after the seventh inning.

•Jacoby Ellsbury had swiped 18 consecutive bases before Matt Wieters nabbed him in the seventh inning. But Ellsbury got a bag off Wieters in the 10th.

Ellsbury has at least one steal in six straight games. The last Red Sox player to do that was Tris Speaker in 1913.

• Mike Napoli left the game feeling nauseated. Farrell seemed to think he could play on Friday.

• The Orioles are 22-8 against the Red Sox since Sept. 2011.

• The Orioles are an amazing 40-17 in one-run games the last two years.

• Steven Drew had a sac fly. But he is 4 of his last 30 with 14 strikeouts. He's down to .218. Farrell professed his faith in Drew before the game. But that faith is being tested.

Thanks to everybody for reading. Long day but back at it Friday.

Wilson earns respect but takes a tough loss

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 14, 2013 12:46 AM

BALTIMORE — Alex Wilson woke up 6 a.m. Thursday in Providence. Nearly 18 hours later, he was standing on the mound at Camden Yards with the game on the line in the bottom of the 13th inning.

Wilson made the pitch he wanted to Baltimore’s Chris Davis, a fastball inside. Davis didn’t hit the ball well, but well enough to get it over the infield for a single that gave the Orioles a 5-4 victory against the Red Sox.

“Right where nobody could get it,” said third baseman Will Middlebrooks, one of the three Sox players who chased the ball in vain. “That’s how it goes sometimes.”

Wilson got two quick outs in the 13th before walking Nick Markakis. Adam Jones then singled to right. Davis cracked his bat when he was jammed, but placed the ball perfectly.

“It comes down to being a competitor and sometimes when you don’t feel like you got beat it’s kind of disappointing obviously,” Wilson said. “He did his job. It worked out well for him. They played a hard game just like we did.”

Wilson has pitched well for the Sox, posting a 2.61 earned run average in 17 appearances. He will probably be sent back to Triple A Pawtucket because the weary Red Sox bullpen will need a fresh arm for Friday. But Wilson earned the right to pitch in other tight situations later this season.

He also won the respect of his teammates. Several approached him in the quiet clubhouse after the game to give words of encouragement.

“I thought he threw the ball outstanding,” manager John Farrell said.

Wilson pitched 2 2/3 innings and threw 40 pitches, every one of them with the result in the balance. This after his flight was delayed four hours, so long that he considered taking a train here.

“It’s been a long day,” he said after a game that lasted four hours and 35 minutes.

It’s been a long week for the Red Sox, who beat the Rays in 14 innings on Monday. That game featured a big lead lost, several comebacks and nearly a brawl. It was a much more sedate affair against the Orioles as the teams barely seemed awake as the night dragged on.

Final: Orioles 5, Red Sox 4 (13 innings)

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 07:07 PM

Game over: Orioles 5, Red Sox 4 (13 innings): The Red Sox lost a tough one here in the bottom of the 13th when Chris Davis blooped a single to left to score Nick Markakis with the winning run against Red Sox reliever Alex Wilson.

The Red Sox had tied the game 4-4 in the seventh inning and the teams battled one another until the 13th when Wilson, who did yeoman work, walked Markakis with two outs. After Adam Jones singled to right, Davis, the slugger, blooped the single over shortstop. The game was played in 4:35 before 20,018 at Camden Yards.

Top 13th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Troy Patton shuts down the Red Sox again. Ten straight Red Sox have gone down.

Bottom 12th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Valencia doubled to left field with two outs, but the Orioles couldn't do anything with it against Alex Wilson, who pitched a second effective inning of relief.

Top 12th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Closer Jim Johnson has an easy inning with two tappers back to the mound and a ground out to second base.

Bottom 11th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Alex Wilson had an impressive inning taking care of Markakis, Jones and Davis. Markakis flew out deep to left where Gomes made a nice leaping catch near the wall, but Jones popped up to the catcher and Davis struck out swinging.

Top 11th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - After retiring Dustin Pedroia on a ground out, Buck Showalter took O'Day out and brought lefty Troy Patton to pitch to Ortiz, who hit it hard, but a liner caught by center fielder Adam Jones. John Farrell then brought up Jonny Gomes to pinch-hit for Mike Carp, who hit a hard grounder to Manny Machado at third. Machado's throw was scooped nicely by Chris Davis to secure the third out.

Bottom 10th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Craig Breslow replaced Junichi Tazawa after he had retired Valencia with a fly ball out. Breslow walked leadoff man Nate McLouth, but got Manny Machado to ground out into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

Top 10th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Sidearmer Darren O'Day came on to relieve Tommy Hunter. After recording two quick outs, Jacoby Ellsbury battled him to a 3-2 count before Wieters was called for catchers interference when his glove hit Ellsbury's bat. Ellsbury quickly stole second base, his 30th steal. Victorino also had a tough at-bat vs. O'Day, who finally struck him out to end the inning.

Bottom 9th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Matt Wieters tried to win it for the O's with a two-out double to right field, but Junichi Tazawa served up three pop up outs in the inning to send this into extras.

Top 9th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - As tough as Andrew Miller has been for the Red Sox, Tommy Hunter has matched it for the Orioles. He's retired six straight.

Bottom 8th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Andrew Miller tough to crack for the Orioles. He did walk McLouth, but Orioles couldn't get around on him.

Top 8th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Tommy Hunter does a very effective job against Victorino, Pedroia and Ortiz, making quick order of the meat of the Red Sox order.

Bottom 7th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Andrew Miller struck out the side and also allowed a walk to J.J. Hardy.

Top 7th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 4 - Three straight hits by Nava, Salty and Middlebrooks loaded the bases. Drew drove in a run with a long sacrifice fly to center and Ellsbury nixed an inning-ending double-play when he hustled down the line to beat the throw while the tying run scored. Both runs came off Matusz.

Bottom 6th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 2 - O's out a couple of runners on base with one out, but can't capitalize off Franklin Morales.

Top 6th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 2 - Gausman finally came out after allowing a single to Pedroia. Brian Matusz came on and popped out Ortiz and struck out Carp.

Bottom 5th: Orioles 4, Red Sox 2 - Matt Wieters knocked in the fourth run off Doubront. Will Middledbrooks committed an error on a slow roller which opened the floodgates. Doubront hit Adam Jones with a pitch, and after Davis struck out, Wieters singled to left to score the run. Doubront walked JJ Hardy and that spelled the end of the night for him. Franklin Morales came on.

Top 5th: Orioles 3, Red Sox 2 - A Salty double wasted as Gausman bears down to retire the next two hitters.

Bottom 4th: Orioles 3, Red Sox 2 - Doubront allowed a double to Valencia, but stranded the runner there with two straight strikeouts by Flaherty and McLouth.

Top 4th: Orioles 3, Red Sox 2 - Back-to-back homers by David Ortiz and Mike Carp to center field, have brought the Red Sox back to within one run. Carp entered the game in the third as a replacement for Mike Napoli, who left the game because of sickness.

Bottom 3rd: Orioles 3, Red Sox 0 - Danny Valencia, who had a cup of coffee and danish with the Red Sox, homered to give the O's the early lead. Ryan Flaherty followed with a double to left. He was advanced to third on a sac bunt by Nate McLouth and scored on Manny Machado's single to center. The redhot Chris Davis singled in another run. Doubront eventually got out of the jam and limited the damage to two runs.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - Gausman baffled Boston in spring training and has been pretty tough so far as he retired the side including his fourth strikeout.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - Chris Davis was hit off the right shoulder by Felix Doubront with one out, but he retired Wieters on a foul pop to Dustin Pedroia and a tapper back to the mound by JJ Hardy.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - A Mike Napoli double down the right field line didn't yield anything As young Steve Gausman struck out the side including the final two batters after the double - Nava and Saltalamacchia.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - Doubront gets out of the gate well. A 1-2-3 inning.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Orioles 0 - A one-out single by Shane Victorino was erased when Dustin Pedroia lined into a double-play to Manny Machado at third base.

Lester gets the start on Sunday against Orioles

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 05:50 PM

BALTIMORE — The Red Sox will start Jon Lester against the Orioles on Sunday afternoon. There was a possibility of Clay Buchholz getting the start but that idea was scratched when he played catch Wednesday and still felt some stiffness.

Then there is this: Lester is 14-1, 2.63 in 21 starts against Baltimore, 7-0, 2.52 in 10 starts at Camden Yards.

The tentative plan now is for Buchholz to start Tuesday at Fenway Park against the Rays.

"I wouldn't say it's going to be a concrete thing for Tuesday, but we feel like two additional days would be an adequate time to get over the soreness," manager John Farrell said. "But we won't put him out there until he's symptom-free."

Also:

• The Red Sox optioned Alfredo Aceves back to Triple A Pawtucket after his strong six innings against the Rays Wednesday. Righthanded reliever Alex Wilson was recalled.

Wilson pitched well (16 appearances, 18 IP, 19 H, 5 ER, 9 BB, 15 K) during his stint with the Sox. He was optioned May 28 when Franklin Morales came off the disabled list.

"He did a good job, threw strikes," Farrell said. "He seemed to attack lefties and righties both. He was starting to get his feet on the ground for a young guy."

• Aceves and RHP Rubby De La Rosa are the candidates to be the 26th man for the doubleheader on Tuesday. The player picked would start one of the games.

• Farrell on 20-year-old Xander Bogaerts being promoted to Triple A: "It's exciting. We get the daily reports and kind of read up on how guys are doing, guys you've been exposed to in spring training. Certainly all the attention, and rightfully so, that he's generated across the game, not only inside out own organization, this looks to be a pretty special player. He's well ahead of the age curve."

Bogaerts made a big impression on Farrell and the major league coaches during spring training.

"You see the ability," said Farrell. "But you get to know the guy and see how he acts. The guy lights up a room when he walks into it. He's got that charisma. He's got a lot going for him."

Game 68: Red Sox at Orioles

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 03:30 PM

Good afternoon from Camden Yards, still one of the best ballparks in the majors. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (41-26)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Saltalamacchia C
Middlebrooks 3B
Drew SS
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.84).

ORIOLES (37-29)
McLouth LF
Machado 3B
Markakis RF
Jones CF
Davis 1B
Wieters C
Hardy SS
Valencia DH
Flaherty 2B
Pitching: RHP Kevin Gausman (0-3, 8.84).

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

TV, radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Gausman: No history.

Orioles vs. Doubront: Jones 2-12, Davis 5-10, Wieters 0-10, Hardy 0-9, McLouth 1-7, Machado 3-5, Markakis 3-4, Pearce 0-2, Valencia 0-2, Dickerson 0-1.

Stat of the Day: Stephen Drew is 4 for his last 26 with 13 strikeouts.

Notes: The Red Sox are playing the Orioles for the first time since April 8-11 at Fenway, when the Orioles took two of three. ... Doubront has a 3.10 ERA in his last five starts but only one win to show for it. He is 0-2, 3.12 in six career appearances against Baltimore ... Gausman, the fourth overall draft pick in 2012, is making his fifth star in the majors ... Jacoby Ellsbury's last six games: 11 for 27, eight runs, three extra-base hits, eight stolen bases. He has an 11-game hit streak ... The Sox are 20-12 on the road ... The Sox are three games up in the division, matching their largest lead of the season ... Dustin Pedroia has reached safely in 21 straight and in 62 of the 67 games this season.

Song of the Day: "I'm Like A Bird" by Nelly Furtado.

Xander Bogaerts promoted to Triple A

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 01:20 PM

BALTIMORE — The Red Sox have promoted their top prospect, 20-year-old shortstop Xander Bogaerts, to Triple A Pawtucket.

Bogaerts will be in uniform tonight when Pawtucket hosts Buffalo at McCoy Stadium.

According to the Paw Sox, Bogaerts would be the youngest position player in team history. Righthander Jeff Suppan was 11 days younger when he made his debut with Pawtucket in 1995.

Bogaerts hit .311/.407/.50 in 56 games for Portland with 24 extra-base hits and five stolen bases. He leaves Portland with hits in 14 of his last 33 at-bats. Bogaerts reached safely in 51 of 56 games this season.

Some analysts believe the 6-foot-3 Bogaerts will become too big to play shortstop. But the Red Sox are not in that camp and based on watching him in spring training, they're correct. Bogaerts is very smooth at shortstop and shows no signs of outgrowing the position.

The natural question is what will happen down the road with Jose Iglesias, Deven Marrero and some of the other shortstops in the system. Those things will play themselves out one way or another (position switches, trades, etc.). For now, being deep at a premium position is hardly a problem.

Next prospect to keep an eye on: High Single A third baseman Garin Cecchini. The 22-year-old is hitting 351/.468/.541 at Salem and could land at Portland soon.

Ask Nick: Are Red Sox built to succeed in playoffs?

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 13, 2013 12:00 PM
Hey, what happened to all of you “stop touting Jose Iglesias” readers?

Miss you guys. Seem a little quiet now. No worries, it’s a long season and I’m sure I’ll hear from you again.

Have a
question?

100x150asknickmugshot.jpg Submit your question here to be considered for the next edition of Ask Nick.
While I don’t agree with making Jose Iglesias a utility player because he should be the starting shortstop (and throw away the key), at least he’s still on the team and flashing great defense.

I'm not sure how long his current 14-game hitting streak will continue with less playing time, but the fact manager John Farrell has created competition on the left side of the infield with Iglesias, Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks, is a great idea.

You have to fight to keep your job, and that creates a positive competition internally.
In a perfect world, Middlebrooks would be the power-hitting middle-of-the-order hitter he should be and Drew would hit more consistently.

Drew has played a good shortstop, but Iglesias would have scooped up some balls that Drew can’t get to and created outs.

Drew could become a trade chip. On June 15, he’s eligible to be traded. Doubt the Red sox do anything that drastic this early. But there are a few teams out there who would love either Drew or Iglesias.

As the team continues on in first place, the other concerns are the health of Clay Buchholz, the recent ineffectiveness of Jon Lester and the big question of whether Andrew Bailey can handle the closer role for the long run.

We address these subjects in the latest mailbag:

The Red Sox look like a team with one ace, a very good offense, and four average starting pitchers. I think a lot of teams would kill for this, and it's not bad for a rebuilding year, but I have a hard time being confident about the playoffs. Do you think this is a valid concern? And if so, what could a team that doesn't want to shed any prospects really do?
Tyler, Charlottesville, Va.
A valid concern, but nothing to panic about just yet. You want consistency out of Jon Lester and right now he’s not giving you that as the team’s ace going into the season. He certainly got off to an excellent start, but now he’s hitting a bump in the road. The key is to limit the bumpy outings and try to get through them with limited damage. That didn’t happen Tuesday night. At some point, sometime before the trading deadline and depending on how things go for the next month, the Red Sox may be in the market for a starting pitcher.

Injuries aside, who has been the Red Sox biggest disappointment so far?
Justin, Fairhaven
I would say Will Middlebrooks. I know he’s had injuries, but he hasn’t been the dynamic player he was as a rookie. That’s not to say he won’t be, but I figured him to be a middle-of-the-order hitter with power. He’s flashed the power, but he hasn’t had consistent at-bats even when he was healthy early in the season. Plenty of time though.

I know the team is paying Drew a lot of money, but with Iglesias on fire and Middlebrooks coming back, is there a chance he'll sit and 'rest' so the kids can play?
Brent, Sunnyside, NY
I think because of the left side competition that John Farrell has opened up between Drew, Middlebrooks and Iglesias, you’d better “skate your wing” or you might be out of a job. I think we all know who the best shortstop is – Iglesias. He may also be their best third baseman. So he has to play. This stuff about playing three or four times a week is nonsense. He needs to be in there regularly because he saves you runs defensively and he’s hitting. I don’t think you’ll ever see a complete benching of Drew, but his time in the field could decrease if he doesn’t become more consistent offensively.

Click the full entry button for more Q&A

FULL ENTRY

Red Sox trainer Jameyson named to All-Star staff

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 11:42 AM

Major League Baseball announced today that Red Sox head athletic trainer Rick Jameyson was named to the American League staff for the All-Star Game.

Jameyson has been with the Red Sox for two years after spending 20 seasons in the Indians organization, the last 10 with the major league team as the assistant athletic trainer.

AL manager Jim Leyland selected Robin Ventura (White Sox) and John Gibbons (Blue Jays) as coaches along with his own coaching staff.

Pitching matchups for the Orioles series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 10:00 AM

Thursday: LHP Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.84) vs. RHP Kevin Gausman (0-3, 8.84), 7:05 p.m., NESN.

Friday: RHP Ryan Dempster (4-6, 4.40) vs. RHP Chris Tillman (6-2, 3.89), 7:05 p.m., NESN.

Saturday: RHP John Lackey (3-5, 3.14) vs. RHP Freddy Garcia (3-3, 4.47), 4:05 p.m., NESN, MLB Network.

Sunday: TBA vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (4-2, 3.71), 1:35 p.m., NESN.

Note: The Red Sox will start either LHP Jon Lester (6-3, 4.12) or RHP Clay Buchholz (9-0, 1.71) on Sunday.

Farrell, Lester headline charity events

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 09:45 AM

Here's information on two charity events:

• Red Sox manager John Farrell, Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, Connecticut Sun coach Anne Donovan, and Boston College football coach Steve Addazio headline a panel discussion at Fenway Park on June 18.

The second annual Coffee with the Coaches breakfast at the State Street Pavilion benefits PCA-Boston, the local chapter of the national nonprofit Positive Coaching Alliance.

PCA facilitates live group workshops and online courses for school and youth sports coaches, parents and athletes.

The event is 7-9 a.m. Tables of eight are available for $5,000. Individual tickets are also available for $400. All proceeds benefit Positive Coaching Alliance’s Boston Chapter.

Email andy_crossley@positivecoach.org or call 339-237-8923 for reservations.

• NVRQT Night, the second annual fund-raiser hosted by Jon Lester and his wife Farrah, will be July 29 at the House of Blues in Boston.

The guest list last season included several Red Sox players, Shawn Thornton of the Bruins, Kevin Faulk of the Patriots, and NESN's Jenny Dell.

Tickets are $200 for 6 p.m. VIP admission that includes a part. Or $100 for general admission. Food and beverage included.

Go to http://www.pcrf-kids.org/houseofblues for information.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 06:23 AM

Daniel Nava had an All-Star performance as the Red Sox beat the Rays, 2-1.

Nick Cafardo takes a deeper look at what Jon Lester is going through lately.

The notebook has the Red Sox in a hairy situation.

Daniel Nava keeps playing like an All-Star

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 13, 2013 12:30 AM

bcbf504dcb8a9813340f6a70670021cc.jpg

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Daniel Nava deserves votes for the All-Star Game given how well he has played for the Red Sox this season.

If only it was that easy.

Nava isn’t on the ballot, so voting for him would require writing his name in. When the ballots were prepared before the season, the Red Sox submitted Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino as their candidates.

Nava wasn’t even guaranteed of being on the roster at the time. He had to make the Sox in spring training and then prove himself worthy of playing time in the outfield.

Nava is indispensible now and showed why again on Wednesday night. His two-run home run was the difference as the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-1.

That’s nine homers and 44 RBIs for Nava along with a .299 batting average and an .870 OPS.

Nava is first among American League outfielders in on-base percentage, second in RBIs, second in batting average and fourth in OPS. Then there’s the versatility. Nava has started 30 games in right field, 20 in left, and one at first base.

“He’d get my vote,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

That Nava is even in the conversation is an accomplishment. The former independent league player was a part-time player for the Sox until this season and didn’t even merit an invitation to major league spring training in 2012.

Now he could be worthy of being introduced at Citi Field in New York on July 16.

“It’s not even something I’m thinking about,” Nava said, “If I get in, that would be great. But if I don’t go, it’s the last chance I get to see my wife before we have our baby.”

Rachel Nava is expecting the couple’s first child, a girl, in August in California. The Sox end the first half of the season in Oakland on July 14.

“We’ll be right there,” Nava said. “Either way, it’s a win-win. She could come to New York with me. But I’d be fine with staying at home with her.”

Before this season, Nava was best known for hitting a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the majors. That came on June 12, 2010. Three years later, his two-run homer required a lot more patience.

With Ellsbury on third base and two outs in the third inning, Rays starter Chris Archer fell behind Nava 3-and-0. Nava took the next pitch for a called strike then fouled off five consecutive pitches before jumping on a slider over the plate and driving it over the fence in right field.

“I was looking for something middle and trying to stay up the middle. It was just reactions right there,” Nava said.

The two runs provided by Nava were enough for Alfredo Aceves (3-1) and four relievers. They held the Rays to six hits and struck out 10 as the Sox took two of three.

The Sox are 7-2 against the Rays this season.

Also:

• Aceves was called into Farrell’s office after the game and told he would be returning to the minors. But the Sox plan to call him up back up on Tuesday to face the Rays again in one of the games of a day/night doubleheader at Fenway Park. Under a new rule, teams can add a 26th player to their roster for doubleheaders.

• David Ortiz said he will not participate in the Home Run Derby, even if asked by AL team captain Robinson Cano. "I'm too old," Ortiz said with a chuckle. "I'm just happy when I hit one in a game."

Ortiz and Cano are close friends, but Ortiz said he was happy to leave the event to others. Ortiz won the Home Run Derby in 2010. He has been in the event six times.

• Ellsbury has hit safely in 11 straight games at 22 of 50. He also has stolen at least one base in the last five games and has 16 swipes in the last 13 games. Ellsbury has 29 steals, more than 11 teams have.

Final: Red Sox 2, Rays 1

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 12, 2013 07:02 PM

Game over: Red Sox 2, Rays 1: The Red Sox pitched their way to a one-run victory. Daniel Nava's third-inning two-run homer was all the Red Sox needed. Alfredo Aceves gave the Sox six strong innings. Andrew Bailey stranded a runner at second in the 9th to earn the save. The game was played in 3:22 before 15,091.

Top 9th: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 - Sox can't add to lead after the third inning. Hold on now as Andrew Bailey enters the game.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 - A double by Kelly Johnson with two outs goes by the boards as Longoria fans vs. Koji Uehara.

Top 8th: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 - A Mike Carp single - his second of the game - was about all Boston could muster in the offense-less game.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 - Aceves out after 84 pitches, one run, four hits, four walks, three K's. Nice spot start.

Top 7th: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 - The top of the Red Sox order - Ellsbury (strikeout), Nava (strikeout) and Pedroia (lined to right) go down.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 - Longoria spoils Aceves' shutout bid with a home run.

Top 6th: Red Sox 2, Rays 0 - Red Sox went down in order as Aceves has pitched really well.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 2, Rays 0 - The Rays couldn't use a pair of hits vs. Aceves to score a run as Aceves keeps shutout in tack.

Top 5th: Red Sox 2, Rays 0 - Mike Napoli was hit with a pitch and stole second base. Yes, not a misprint.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 2, Rays 0 - The Rays go down in order.

Top 4th: Red Sox 2, Rays 0 - The Red Sox had a great chance to extend their lead, loading the bases on a pair of walks by Middlebrooks and Ellsbury and a leadoff single by Carp. But Nava struck out with the bases loaded.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 2, Rays 0 - Matt Joyce walked and advanced to third on Ben Zobrist's single to right. But Aceves got a big strikeout on Kelly Johnson and then got evan Longoria to ground into a inning-ending double-play.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 2, Rays 0 - Daniel Nava hits his 9th homer with Jacoby Ellsbury aboard. Ellsbury reached on a single, stole second base (his 29th) and advanced to third on a throwing error by Jose Lobaton before Nava struck.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 - The Rays loaded the bases as Aceves walks three, but he got Yunel Escobar to ground out with the final out.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 - Archer struck out two Red Sox in a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 -Alfredo Aceves returned for another cameo appearance to start. He retired the Rays in order.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 - Jacoby Ellsbury drew a leadoff walk and stole second, but Rays starter Chris Archer got Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to make outs.

Buchholz could be pushed back to Tuesday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 12, 2013 05:50 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox had tentative plans to start Clay Buchholz against the Orioles on Sunday. But now it appears he will not pitch until Tuesday at the earliest.

Buchholz left his start on Saturday in the seventh inning because of a stiff neck. He played catch today and still felt some discomfort.

"Nothing bad, but it's still kind of stiff after not doing anything for a few days," he said. "We'll see how it goes."

Manager John Farrell said Jon Lester would start on Sunday if Buchholz does not show "marked improvement" in the next 24 hours.

"The fact that he's still feeling some stiffness, we've got to factor that in," Farrell said. "This would only be two additional days. ... We'll go when he is ready."

Farrell said that decision would have to come early in the afternoon on Thursday so Lester could start preparing for the Orioles.

Buchholz has made only one start since June 2 because of assorted minor injuries. He had one start delayed because of a sore AC joint in the front of his right shoulder. Then came the neck issue. Buchholz believes they are related.

Buchholz is 9-0 with a 1.72 earned run average and the Sox are 11-1 in his 12 starts. They don't take any risks with the pitcher who has become their ace.

"If there's any question with Clay, Jon will start on Sunday. That's where we are right now," Farrell said. "We're not going to take any chances."

Also:

• Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves met with Lester this afternoon to discuss his recent woes. The lefthander is 0-3 with a 6.90 ERA in his last five starts. Over 30 innings, Lester has allowed 38 hits — six of them home runs — with 18 walks.

"Get back to some basics and re-establishing what his strengths are," Farrell said. "That is his four-seam fastball to his glove side. That's not to say that every pitch is in that location. But that establishes release point in the event that he needs to go that area to get back into a count. It has an effect on all the pitches that he throws."

Lester couldn't get through the fifth inning on Tuesday against the Rays, giving up seven runs on eight hits and seven walks. Farrell said it was evident that he was searching to get some consistency.

"Typically you'd like to go into a game and establish your fastball and work off of that," Farrell said. "We've got to get back to some basics."

Farrell said it's not atypical for pitchers to go through down periods.

"This is not any different from some things he's run into before or what any other pitcher will go through," Farrell said. "But it's work that needs to be addressed."

Farrell believes Lester has to take what he does in his side work between starts into games with better consistency.

• Farrell called Bruins coach Claude Julien to wish him well in the Stanley Cup.

Game 67: Red Sox at Rays

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 12, 2013 02:40 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (40-26)
Ellsbury CF
Nava RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Carp LF
Saltalamacchia C
Middlebrooks 3B
Drew SS
Pitching: RHP Alfredo Aceves (2-1, 6.57).

RAYS (35-29)
Joyce RF
Zobrist 2B
Johnson LF
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Jennings CF
Scott DH
Lobaton C
Escobar SS
Pitching: RHP Chris Archer (1-1, 4.91).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV, radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Archer: Ellsbury 3-3, Pedroia 0-3, Iglesias 0-1, Nava 0-1, Saltalamacchia 0-1.

Rays vs. Aceves: Rodriguez 1-9, Longoria 0-7, Zobrist 0-7, Scott 0-7, Jennings 2-5, Joyce 0-6, Molina 1-5, Escobar 1-4, Fuld 1-3, Johnson 0-3, Lobaton 0-1.

Stat of the Day: The Rays have hit eight home runs in the series, the Red Sox none.

Notes: The rubber game of the series will feature Aceves, who was called up from Pawtucket for the start and could well be going right back afterward Aceves made a spot start against the Phillies May 27. He allowed one run over six innings ... Aceves is 4-2, 4.73 in 13 career starts, and 2-1, 2.39 in 19 career appearances (all in relief) against the Rays ... Archer is making his third start of the season. The 24-year-old faced the Red Sox last Sept. 19 and allowed three runs over five innings ... The Sox are 6-2 against the Rays this season ... Saltalamacchia is 6 of his last 11 with seven RBIs and three extra-base hits, and 15 of his last 37 with nine extra-base hits and 13 RBIs in his last nine ... Drew is 4 of his last 22 with 12 strikeouts ... Sox pitchers have allowed 16 runs on 27 hits over 22 innings in this series ... Ellsbury has reached safely in his last 15 games, has a 10-game hit streak, and has scored a run in his last nine games.

Song of the Day: "Ace of Spades" by Motörhead.

Red Sox call up Alfredo Aceves

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff June 12, 2013 02:08 PM

The Red Sox Wednesday recalled righthander Alfredo Aceves from Triple A Pawtucket and optioned righthanded reliever Jose De La Torre to Pawtucket.

Aceves is scheduled to start tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

De La Torre pitched 3.1 innings on Tuesday.

Lester lets Red Sox down

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 11:30 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox needed Jon Lester to go deep into the game Tuesday night and give them a chance to win after Monday's marathon at Tropicana Field.

He failed. The lefty gave up seven runs on eight hits and seven walks, which matched his career high. He threw 98 pitches over 4 2/3 innings.

“I let the team down when we needed a big start tonight. That solely rests on me, nobody else,” Lester said.

A bigger concern is the sharp downward turn Lester’s season has taken.

He was 6-0 with a 2.72 earned run average in his first nine starts of the season. The Sox won seven of those games. The lefthander is 0-3 with a 6.90 ERA in the five starts since. Over 30 innings he has allowed 38 hits — six of them home runs — with 18 walks.

Clay Buchholz has twice had starts pushed back this season because of minor injuries and now Lester is struggling. A Red Sox rotation that once looked strong is showing signs of wear at the top with 60 percent of the season still to play.

“All good players are going to go through peaks and valleys,” manager John Farrell said. “This is a turn through the rotation we’re having to grind a little bit."

Control issues often indicate a pitcher is dealing with an injury and Lester has thrown 115 or more pitches in six of his starts. But he said with conviction that he feels fine.

“I honestly do,” Lester said. “I know pitch count has been a thing this year. But tonight I felt great, probably the best I’ve felt all season.”

Said Farrell: “It’s nothing physical. We’re still seeing consistent velocity. It’s just the overall consistent command.”

All seven runs the Rays scored came with two outs. In his last five starts, opponents have hit .438 against Lester with two outs.

But Farrell believes that is coincidental. Lester needs across-the-board fundamental improvement, he said.

“To the naked eye, to sit there and say that there’s one exact thing at this point, that’s pretty difficult to pinpoint,” Farrell said. “We’ve got some work to do with Jon.”

Also:

• Jose Iglesias was 2 for 4 and raised his batting average to .449. His 14-game hit streak is the longest for an American League rookie this season.

• Righthander Jose De La Torre, summoned from Triple A Pawtucket to shore up the bullpen replaced Lester and finished the game, throwing 52 pitches. Although the move was not announced, he will probably be returned to the minors to make room for Alfredo Aceves, who starts Wednesday.

“It was good that I finished the game and nobody had to come in,” De La Torre said.

As De La Torre spoke to reporters, Lester interrupted briefly to shake his hand.

“Good job,” he said. “Thanks for picking me up.”

• Mike Napoli had a two-run single after David Ortiz was intentionally walked in the third inning. He is 2 for 3 with two homers, a walk and seven RBIs after Ortiz is intentionally walked this season.

Final: Rays 8, Red Sox 3

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 07:00 PM

Game over: Rays 8, Red Sox 3: The Rays took advantage of a lackluster Jon Lester and pounded the Red Sox for 10 hits and eight runs. Lester walked seven batters and had no feel for pitching tonight. Desmond Jennings hit two homers Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce one each.The game was played before 16,870 in 3:06. Roberto Hernandez got the win for the Rays. Reminded me of a younger Fausto Carmona.

Bottom 8th: Rays 8, Red Sox 3 - Jose De La Torre is serving his purpose - keeping John Farrell from using his main bullpen pieces. De La Torre allowed an infield single and a walk, but the Sox got a pickoff to help the pitchers cause.

Top 8th: Rays 8, Red Sox 3 - Dustin Pedroia was hit with a pitch and went to second on Ryan Roberts' error on David Ortiz' hard-hit ground ball. But Mike Napili struck out, Nava tapped back to the pitcher and Stephen Drew popped to center.

Bottom 7th: Rays 8, Red Sox 3 - After De La Torre retired the first two batters, Joyce walked. he stole second and went to third on a terrible throw by David Ross, who seemed to lose a grip on the ball which sailed to center field. Farrell and the trainer came out to check on Ross. De La Torre got out of the inning.

Top 7th: Rays 8, Red Sox 3 - Jose Iglesias reached on a bloop single to right. Ellsbury knocked into a double-play and Victorino popped out.

Bottom 6th: Rays 8, Red Sox 3 - De La Torre settled down and retired the side.

Top 6th: Rays 8, Red Sox 3 - After a David Ortiz single Napoli (strikeout) and Nava went down. Stephen Drew walked but David Ross popped out.

Bottom 5th: Rays 8, Red Sox 3 - Not Jon Lester's night. All seven runs came after two outs. He's out after 4-2/3 inning allowing eight hits and seven walks. Matt Joyce's two-run homer after Lester had picked off a runner was his last batter. Jose De La Torre is in. Lester's last five starts: 30 IP, 38H, 23ER, 18BB, 6HR. De La Torre surrenders a solo homer to Desmond Jennings, his second of the night. He then walks Sean Rodriguez, but gets out of the inning.

Top 5th: Rays 5, Red Sox 3 - Nothing doing for the Sox.

Bottom 4th: Rays 5, Red Sox 3 - Evan Longoria homered to the opposite field.

Top 4th: Rays 4, Red Sox 3 - Hat trick for the Red Sox as Roberto Hernandez shows flashes of Fausto Carmona and strikes out the side.

Bottom 3rd: Rays 4, Red Sox 3 - The Rays evened it up and took the lead on a Ryan Roberts single up the middle after Ben Zobrist singled and Yunel Escobar walked. Lester had struck out the tough James Loney for the second out, but Roberts came through. Jose Molina blooped a single to center to score the go-ahead run. The Rays loaded the bases when Matt Joyce reached on an an infield hit, but Desmond Jennings grounded out to end the inning.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 3, Rays 2 - The Red Sox re-took the lead. After Jose Iglesias extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single between third and second and Ellsbury reached on a fielder's choice where James Loney fielded his grounder and threw wide of second as both runners were safe, Shane Victorino bunted them over. After an intentional walk to David Ortiz, Mike Napoli blooped a single over shortstop to score two runs.

Bottom 2nd: Rays 2, Red Sox 1 - Leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings belted a solo homer to leftcenter that just scaled the wall, right after Matt Joyce hit a deep ball to center, caught by Ellsbury.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 1, Rays 1 - A Daniel Nava leadoff single was erased on Stephen Drew's double-play ball. David Ross struck out.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 1 - Jon Lester had loads of trouble with command so he's fortunate to have escaped with one run. He walked four batters, including James Loney with the bases loaded to force in the run. He got the benefit of a double play and also made a nice fielding play on Ryan Roberts who shot one up the middle which Lester snared or else it would have cost him two runs.

Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 0 - The top of the Red Sox order generated a run when Jacoby Ellsbury singled and stole second and went to third on Shane Victorino's single. Dustin Pedroia's foul fly ball in the right field corner, scored Ellsbury. Victorino stole second base, but Roberto Hernandez was able to retire the next two batters to limit the damage.

Red Sox patch up their pitching

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 05:42 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox made some roster moves today following the 14-inning game on Monday.

Righthander Jose De La Torre is here from Triple A Pawtucket to add some depth to the bullpen. But his stay could be brief. The Red Sox need a starter for Wednesday and that will be Alfredo Aceves.

De La Torre could well be optioned to make room for Aceves. Farrell indicated another roster move could come before the series in Baltimore starts on Thursday. That could be Aceves going back and another reliever (Alex Wilson?) coming up.

Clayton Mortensen was placed on the 15-day disabled list with what the Red Sox are saying is a right groin strain.

Also:

• Clay Buchholz will throw a bullpen session in Baltimore on Friday. Barring a setback, he would start on Sunday.

The rotation for Baltimore appears to be Felix Doubront, Ryan Dempster, John Lackey and Buchholz.

• Draft picks Jordon Austin (OF, 6th round) and Mike Adams (LHP 7th round) are at Tropicana Field with northern Florida area scout Tom Kotchman and watched batting practice from the field.

Game 66: Red Sox at Rays

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 02:55 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (40-25)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Drew SS
Ross C
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (6-2, 3.60).

RAYS (34-29)
Jennings CF
Rodriguez LF
Zobrist RF
Longoria 3B
Escobar SS
Loney 1B
Roberts 2B
Molina C
Joyce DH
Pitching: RHP Roberto Hernandez (3-6, 5.03).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN, MLB Network / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Hernandez: Ortiz 8-21, Napoli 5-19, Pedroia 3-16, Ellsbury 3-13, Salty 3-10, Gomes 0-8, Carp 0-2, Victorino 0-3, Drew 1-1, Nava 1-1, Ross 0-1.

Rays vs. Lester: Longoria 11-50, Zobrist 8-42, Escobar 9-29, Rodrguez 4-20, Molina 7-21, Jennings 6-19, Johnson 0-12, Scott 0-11, Roberts 3-8, Lobaton 0-7, Fuld 1-6, Joyce 2-5, Loney 1-3.

Stat of the Day: Nava is fifth in the American League in OBP (.396), 15th in OPS (869) an tied for 10th in RBIs (42).

Notes: The Sox have the second-best record in baseball behind the Cardinals and have won seven of nine. They are 6-1 against the Rays this season, outscoring them 36-21 and are 19-11 on the road. ... The Sox need a long outing from Lester after Monday's 14-inning, bullpen-draining victory. The good news? Lester has thrown 14 innings in two starts against the Rays this season, allowing three earned runs. The bad news? Lester is 0-2, 5.68 in his last four starts this season and averaged 6.1 innings. ... Hernandez (the former Fausto Carmona) is the facing the Sox for the first time since May 24, 2011. He is 2-4, 3.63 in nine career appearances against Boston. ... Hot Sox: Pedroia has a 14-game hitting streak. .. Ortiz has 13 RBIs in his last eight games. ... Saltalamacchia (getting a day off after catching all 14 innings on Monday) is 15 of his last 37 with nine extra-base hits and 13 RBIs. His batting average has climbed from .252 to .285. ... The Sox have 71 runs in their last nine games.

Song of the Day: "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" by The Beastie Boys.

Red Sox fortifying pitching staff

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 10:20 AM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After going 14 innings and using seven relievers on Monday, the Red Sox stayed up late working on their pitching staff. Here is what's known so far:

Alfredo Aceves was the scheduled starter for Triple A Pawtucket on Monday night when their game at Syracuse was rained out. But Steven Wright and Terry Doyle are listed as the starters for today's doubleheader.

Nothing official from the Red Sox, but Aceves could be their starter on Wednesday in place of Franklin Morales, who went two unexpected innings on Monday.

Righthander Jose De La Torre is headed to Florida and will be on the roster for tonight's game according to team sources. Clayton Mortensen could be placed on the disabled list according to CSNNE's Sean McMcAdam.

One possibility: De La Torre is on the roster Tuesday and optioned Wednesday to make room for Aceves.

Regardless of what happens, the Red Sox need John Lester to go deep into the game tonight.

Win tickets to Saturday's Portland game

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 10:16 AM

Interested in seeing the Portland Sea Dogs for free on Saturday?

Go over to the On Deck blog, our man Craig Forde has a little contest going.

Make sure you bookmark On Deck. Craig is doing an excellent job with information on the Red Sox minor leaguers.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 10:05 AM

The Red Sox beat the Rays, 10-8 in 14 innings on Monday after blowing a big lead.

Nick Cafardo writes the Red Sox need to be cautious with Clay Buchholz.

The notebook has Will Middlebrooks returning to the Red Sox and Jose Iglesias sticking around in a new role.

Maddon has harsh words for Lackey

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 02:33 AM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Rays manager Joe Maddon was coaching with the Angels when John Lackey had some of his best seasons. The two are friends and have been for a while.

But Maddon had some harsh words for Lackey on Tuesday.

It started in the first inning when Matt Joyce hit a long home run off John Lackey. When he came up in the second inning, Joyce took a big swing at a 3-and-0 pitch and hit the ball deep into the seats down the line but foul.

Joyce flipped his bat like he hit a home run and watched the ball. Lackey looked askance at Joyce and when that inning ended, several of the Rays shouted at Lackey from the dugout.

"They've got some guys who like to yell, yeah," Lackey said.

In the sixth inning, with two outs and nobody on, Lackey drilled Joyce in the back with a fastball. It was a classic retaliation pitch: two outs, nobody on, fastball in the back.

Joyce pointed at Lackey and when he took a step toward the mound, Jarrod Saltalamacchia got in his way. Mike Carp got in there, too.

The benches cleared, but no punches were thrown. Lackey then allowed a double by Ben Zobrist and was taken out of the game after 93 pitches.

As Lackey walked back to the dugout, Joyce yelled at him from third base. Third base coach Tom Foley stepped in front of Joyce to maintain the peace.

Lackey said it was not intentional, as did John Farrell.

“Trying to come in there get him off the plate,” Lackey said.

After the game, Maddon came out swinging against Lackey.

"So he intentionally hit him when he did, there’s no question in my mind that he did, and the sad part is that I’ve always considered Lackey a good teammate, but right there he can get one of his own players hurt," Maddon said.

"I really did sense among the group of Red Sox that they were totally not into that moment because they knew it was inappropriate to hit Matt on purpose, and furthermore because one of them can get hurt. So that’s being a bad teammate as far as I’m concerned. In the past, he was always a good teammate. That was really a bad moment for him tonight.

"I’ve always considered him a friend and I still want to consider him a friend, but when it comes to baseball and us playing them, that was a really inappropriate gesture on his part. … He could have been ejected immediately.’’

Said Joyce: "I don't know if he was so upset that I swung 3-0. It was more so the bat drop after I hit it. For me, I never really feel like I show anybody up. I never try to pimp anything or anything like that. I felt like I got a really good pitch to hit and missed it and was upset. But to hit somebody for that, I think that's absolutely ridiculous."

Joyce said it was a “pretty bush league move” by Lackey to hit him.

Umpire Bill Hallion warned both sides and no retaliation followed by the Red Sox.

Maddon was a bit over-the-top with his comments. But the Rays are a team that looks for any scrap of incentive.

One thing for certain: Among the players, the Red Sox and Rays are far more of a heated rivalry than the Red Sox and Yankees are these days.

Red Sox need pitching help in a hurry

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 11, 2013 02:10 AM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox have some roster decisions to make after tonight's 14-inning game.

Here are the issues:

• Their bullpen is wrecked. Andrew Bailey has thrown 56 pitches in the last two days and Koji Uehara 47. They need Tuesday off at least, probably Wednesday, too.

• Andrew Miller and Craig Breslow have worked three days in a row.

• Franklin Morales, the scheduled starter for Wednesday, pitched two innings and threw 35 pitches tonight.

So five of the seven relievers really could use a day off or two.

“We’ve got to get some arms in here,” John Farrell said.

The issue is roster management. Clayton Mortensen has not had a particularly good season (5.34 ERA, 1.58 WHIP), but the Sox value his versatility. He does not have any minor league options left.

The only relievers who do are Bailey, Junichi Tazawa and Uehara. But when a player is optioned, they have to stay in the minor leagues for 10 days unless they are replacing somebody on the disabled list. The Sox would not want to lose any of those pitchers for 10 days.

Clay Buchholz could go on the disabled list given that his next start is being pushed back. But is it worth losing one or two starts from your best starter for the sake of a bullpen arm?

Jose Iglesias has options. The Sox could drop him down and add a bullpen arm for a few days. With a spot open on the 40-man roster, the Sox could call up Brock Holt once they need another bench player.

As to who the replacement arms could be, there are assorted choices: Alfredo Aceves, Alex Wilson, Jose De La Torre, Steven Wright, Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa are on the 40-man roster and pitching in Pawtucket.

Jon Lester is starting Tuesday. Maybe the Sox can get seven innings out of him and piece together two innings from Breslow, Miller, Tazawa and Mortensen.

Final: Red Sox 10, Rays 8 (14 innings)

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 10, 2013 07:04 PM

Game over: Red Sox 10, Rays 8 (14 innings): Franklin Morales allowed a single but got Escobar to ground into a double play to end a game that lasted five hours and 24 minutes.

Top 14th: Red Sox 10, Rays 8 - Red Sox broke it open on RBI singles by Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Shane Victorino singled and tagged up on a fly ball to right by Pedroia. He scored from there on Nava's broken-bat single over shortstop.

Bottom 13th: Red Sox 8, Rays 8 - Franklin Morales has to come on, likely forgoing his Wednesday night start. He walked pinch-hitter Ryan Roberts but got out of the inning.

Top 13th: Red Sox 8, Rays 8 - Singles by Salty and Drew, but Middlebrooks grounded into a double play.

Bottom 12th: Red Sox 8, Rays 8 - Koji Uehara has retired six straight Rays batters. Franklin Morales is up in the Sox bullpen and appears to be the next pitcher which would likely end the idea of starting him on Wednesday.

Top 12th: Red Sox 8, Rays 8 - Red Sox go down in order. Cesar Ramos throws 12 warm-up pitches as Joe Maddon claims Kyle Farnsworth came out with an injury. Farrell challenges, but rebuffed by home plate umpire Tom Hallion.

Bottom 11th: Red Sox 8, Rays 8 - A 1-2-3 inning for Koji Uehara who had thrown 31 pitches in his outing on Sunday.

Top 11th: Red Sox 8, Rays 8 - Sox strand Jacoby Ellsbury at third after he walked and stole second and third base. Dustin Pedroia took a called third strike on a Kyle Farnsworth pitch on the outside corner.

Bottom 10th: Red Sox 8, Rays 8 - The Rays tied it off Andrew Bailey when Jose Lobaton homered and then two walks and single by Ben Zobrist loaded them up. Bailey walked Kelly Johnson to force in the tying run and then the Sox got a big 4-2-3 doubleplay. Sam Fuld tried to win it dragging a bunt with runners at second and third but it was snuffed out by Dustin Pedroia.

Top 10th: Red Sox 8, Rays 6 - Jarrod Saltalamacchia's two-run single hitting lefthanded drove in Pedroia and Nava to give Boston their first runs since the first inning.

Bottom 9th: Red Sox 6, Rays 6 - James Loney singled with one out, but Clay Mortensen did a nice job retiring the side to keep the game tied.

Top 9th: Red Sox 6, Rays 6 - Fernando Rodney dominating striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 8: Red Sox 6, Rays 6 - It seemed a matter of time before the Rays would come even in this game ans it happened here. A one-out double by Yuniel Escobar and advancement to third on a ground ball out set the stage for Junichi Tazawa wild pitch where Escobar slid under Tazawa's tag to score the tying run. Aphenomenal catch by Dustin Pedroia on a pop up in no man's land near the mound to end the inning.

Top 8th: Red Sox 6, Rays 5 - Jake McGee very tough, throwing 97 mph, strikes out two.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 6, Rays 5 - James Loney hits a long homer off Andrew Miller.

Top 7th: Red Sox 6, Rays 4 - Dustin Pedroia walked against Joel Peralta, but Big Papi knocked into a double -play.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 6, Rays 4 - Kelly Johnson struck out against Craig Breslow with runners in scoring position after Lackey hit Matt Joyce in the back with a pitch and emptied the dugouts for some pushing and shoving. After Lackey allowed a double to Ben Zobrist, Farrell took Lackey out for Breslow.

Top 6th: Red Sox 6, Rays 4 - Alex Torres gave up a two-out single to Jacoby Ellsbury, but that's all.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 6, Rays 4 - Lackey throws his first 1-2-3 inning to preserve a two-run lead.

Top 5th: Red Sox 6, Rays 4 - A very confident lefty Alex Torres comes on to replace Alex Cobb and strikes out the side while also allowing a single to Mike Carp.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 6, Rays 4 - Chip, chip away. The Rays scored one on Ben Zobrist's RBI single to left on a 3-2 pitch after Lobaton and Escobar started the inning with singles. Lackey was able to retire Evan Logoria with runners at second and third to end the inning.

Top 4th: Red Sox 6, Rays 3 - Cobb winds up striking out the side as Shane Victorino is stranded at third base following a walk, error on first baseman James Loney on a pickoff and and wild pitch by Cobb, who ended the inning with 98 pitches.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 6, Rays 3 - The Rays scored when they put Ben Zobrist (single) and Kelly Johnson (single) on base. The run eventually scored on a fielder's choice by Luke Scott.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 6, Rays 2 - Cobb settles down, retired the Sox in order.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 6, Rays 2 - Rays get two runners on but can't score against Lackey. Joyce hits a foul home run after taking Lackey deep in the first.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 6, Rays 2 - Cobb gets the first two outs and then walks two, but Mike Carp flew out to center.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 6, Rays 2 - John Lackey serves up meatballs to leadoff hitter Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria - both homered - as the Rays cut the gap to four.

Top 1st: Red Sox 6, Rays 0 - What a beating the Red Sox gave Alex Cobb in the first inning. Six runs on seven hits.here were two-run hits by Dustin Pedroia and Mike Carp and RBI hits by Daniel Nava, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks as 10 Red Sox came to the plate.

We're about to begin here at The Trop. Not a very large crowd in stands so far.

A new role for Iglesias as Middlebrooks returns

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 10, 2013 05:07 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Red Sox manager John Farrell had an unusual task on Monday. He had to inform one of the hottest hitters in baseball that he was coming out of the lineup.

Will Middlebrooks was activated off the disabled list and is in the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays. That put Jose Iglesias and his outrageous .446 batting average on the bench.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever had that kind of conversation when you’re talking about someone who has performed as well as Jose has,” Farrell said.

Iglesias played third base when Middlebrooks was out. Now he will become a utility player who plays somewhat regularly.

“We’ll do everything we can to get him three days a week on the left side of the infield,” Farrell said. “Everyone is aware of that plan going forward.

“We don’t see Jose as strictly a utility guy. He’s got a bright future ahead of him. In this situation we’re in right now, he’s going to find himself at third; find himself at short [and] possibly at second on a given day.”

Iglesias is riding a 13-game hit streak and has a 1.075 OPS in 22 major league games. While his statistics are somewhat a product of small sample size and an astronomically high batting average on balls in play (.508), Iglesias’ improved patience at the plate and added strength are no fluke.

“Of course you want to play,” Iglesias said. “But, bottom line, I’m happy to be here.”

The arrangement will cut into the playing time of Middlebrooks and shortstop Stephen Drew. Iglesias could sub for Middlebrooks once or twice a week and replace Drew against certain lefthanders.

“That’s out of my control,” Middlebrooks said. “I can’t worry about what’s out of my hands. I can worry about what I can do, my focus and my routine.”

With the Sox in first place, Farrell’s plan stands a better chance of being embraced by those affected.

“First things first here, we want to win ballgames and win a World Series. That’s what it’s about,” Middlebrooks said. “If that means putting the best guy out there that day, that’s what it’s about. I’m here for this team. Obviously you’re here for yourself also. But I’m here for this team and I want to win.”

See the Globe on Tuesday for more on this decision.

Also:

• Middlebrooks was 5 of 27 with two home runs and six RBIs in a five-game rehabilitation assignment with Triple A Pawtucket. He was eligible to b activated on Saturday but the Sox held him back for two days to get some extra at-bats.

“I had some good at-bats, worked on some things. I feel a lot better,” said Middlebrooks, who also had been playing with some cracked ribs.

• The Red Sox were not deterred by Franklin Morales’ poor relief outing on Friday and will start the lefthander against the Rays on Wednesday night. Morales faced the Rays six times last season and threw nine shutout innings. He started against them on July 13 innings and allowed two hits over five innings.

• The Red Sox signed second-round draft pick, righthander Teddy Stankewicz, according to Baseball America. The righthander from Seminole State (Okla.) Junior College agreed to a bonus of $1.1 million. MLB’s value for 45th pick was $1,229,600. The Sox can use the difference to assist in signing other players.

• Farrell’s son, Luke, has agreed to terms with the Royals and will report once he is finished with classes at Northwestern. Luke Farrell, a righthanded pitcher, was selected in the sixth round.

• NESN analyst Jerry Remy missed his 10th game because of illness and will not work the entire road trip. His status beyond that is uncertain. Remy wrote on Twitter on May 28 that he was suffering from allergies. On June 5, Remy said he had pneumonia. Nick Cafardo of the Globe filled in on Monday. Rob Bradford of WEEI will be on Tuesday and Wednesday. Dennis Eckersley will handle the four games in Baltimore.

• Mike Napoli, 3 for 21 in the previous six games, was out of the starting lineup.

• Long-time Red Sox batting practice pitcher Ino Guerrero underwent spinal surgery and will be away from the team while he recovers. Babson College coach Matt Noone, who fills in when needed, will join the team on a regular basis.

• Two of the best lefthanders in the game, Jon Lester and Matt Moore, met with young cancer patients on the field before the game. Lester has organized similar events in other cities as part of his work with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

Buchholz feeling better, but no word on next outing

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 10, 2013 05:06 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —Clay Buchholz says his stiff neck feels better, but he still has no idea when he will pitch.

Buchholz was likely scheduled for Friday in Baltimore, but will take the next few days to determine whether he can get back on the mound quickly.

“It feels better right now than I did before my last start,” Buchholz said. “I’d rather take care of it now. Mixing and matching a little bit with our staff. I still haven’t talked to the medical guys about moving forward. I think the three days here in Tampa will give us a better read.”

Buchholz said his approach has been to let things heal and not go out unless you’re 100 percent or close to it.

“I want to be out there and help the team win,” he said. “I feel in sync right now. Me going out there at 80 percent isn’t gonna help anybody because there’s gonna be an apprehension of me throwing a pitch. It’s not gonna help anybody.”

Buchholz said that some of his line of thinking is related to suffering through a tough back injury two seasons ago.

“That was borderline career threatening,” he said. “I definitely learned something from that. I know that not everybody is going to be able to play baseball forever. I’d rather be healthy and not have anything hampering going forward. So that’s my mindset.”

Buchholz, who has had a couple of weeks of stiffness and soreness in his collarbone/neck area, believes they’re all related, but feels better since the medical staff has ruled out ligament damage in his shoulder. Buchholz said there are no new tests scheduled.

“They did all strength testing yesterday,” Buchholz said. “The strength is as good as its been since we started playing games. It has nothing to do with ligaments in the shoulder. That was their baseline choice decision to check that out first.

That was the best result we could have gotten out of it. I’m just gonna wait until there’s nothing there before I go out.”

Game 65: Red Sox at Rays

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 10, 2013 02:22 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (39-25)
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Nava LF
Carp 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Middlebrooks 3B
Drew SS
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (3-5, 2.79).

RAYS (34-28)
Joyce RF
Zobrist 2B
Johnson LF
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Scott DH
Jennings CF
Lobaton C
Escobar SS
Pitching: RHP Alex Cobb (6-2, 2.39).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN, ESPN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Cobb: Pedroia 3-12, Salty 1-8, Ellsbury 2-10, Nava 1-9, Drew 2-7, Napoli 2-7, Victorino 2-6, Ortiz 1-4, Middlebrooks 1-4, Iglesias 0-3, Carp 1-3.

Rays vs. Lackey: Longoria 8-28, Zobrist 8-23, Scott 7-18, Joyce 5-15, Escobar 7-13, Molina 2-13, Loney 4-13, Johnson 2-12, Jennings 0-8, Rodriguez 2-5, Fuld 0-3.

Stat of the Day: The Red Sox have hit home runs in eight consecutive games, connecting 17 times in that span.

Notes: The Red Sox take the best record in the American League on the road for seven games against the Rays and Orioles. ... The Sox are 5-1 against the Rays this season, outscoring them 26-13. ... The Sox have a +80 run differential, third in baseball behind the Cardinals (+98) and Tigers (+82). ... The Sox are 18-11 on the road with a shocking +59 run differential. ... Lackey faced the Rays on May 14 at the Trop. It was his worst start of the season as he allowed five runs on nine hits over 4.1 innings. He is 2-1, 1.44 in four starts since. ... Cobb is 3-1, 1.26 in his last four starts. That includes one run over 6.1 innings against the Sox on May 16. ... Ortiz has four home runs and 13 RBIs in the last seven games. ... Salty is 11 of 30 with five doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs in his last eight games. ... Pedroia has hit safely in 13 straight games at 17 of 51 (.333). ... Iglesias has hit safely in 13 straight games at 33 of 74 (.446).

Song of the Day: "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World.

Middlebrooks returns to Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 10, 2013 02:14 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox have activated third baseman Will Middlebrooks from the disabled list. Infielder Pedro Ciriaco, who is out of minor league options, was designated for assignment.

Middlebrooks is in the lineup tonight at third base. Jose Iglesias is on the bench.

The Red Sox have been consistent in saying that Middlebrooks is their third baseman. They believe his righthanded power brings a balance to their lineup that will be needed over the long term.

We'll hear more from John Farrell later on about how this will work. But it looks like Jose Iglesias will become a super-utility player with starts at shortstop (especially against lefthanders), third base and possibly even a game or two at second.

Middlebrooks was 5 of 17 with two homers and six RBIs in five games during his injury rehabilitation assignment. He walked four times and struck out three times.

Pitching matchups for the Rays series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 10, 2013 09:30 AM

Monday: RHP John Lackey (3-5, 2.79) vs. RHP Alex Cobb (6-2, 2.39), 7:10 p.m., NESN, ESPN

Tuesday: LHP Jon Lester (6-2, 3.60) vs. RHP Roberto Hernandez (3-6, 5.03), 7:10 p.m., NESN, MLB Network.

Wednesday: TBA vs. RHP Chris Archer (1-1, 4.91), 7:10 p.m., NESN

Final: Red Sox 10, Angels 5

Posted by Staff June 9, 2013 01:22 PM

Final: Red Sox 10, Angels 5: Hamilton strikes out and Pujols pops out. Trumbo walks to extend the inning, but Kendrick struck out to end the game. Bailey threw 24 pitches. That does it for this home stand. The Sox will begin a three game set in Tampa Bay tomorrow.

Bottom of the 8th: Red Sox 10, Angels 5: Pedro Ciriaco in, though he grounds out. He is hitless in his last six at bats. Ortiz grounds out and Napoli strikes out. Andrew Bailey will come in to close this out.

Top of the 8th: Red Sox 10, Angels 5:Koji Uehara in to pitch. Trumbo grounds out but Kendrick advances as he is hit by a pitch. Callspo grounds into a force out. Uehara has been so good lately, allowing just one earned run in the past 11 innings. Though he struggles here as he issues two straight walks and then a single to Shuck, which scores two runs. Andrew Bailey comes in, though, and comes out of the jam unscathed.

Bottom of the 7th: Red Sox 10, Angels 3: Pedroia flies out. Ortiz and Napoli draw back-to-back walks. And then Saltalamacchia blows it open by scoring both on a three run home run. It's the fourth career multi home run game for the catcher, who rested in the night cap of yesterday's doubleheader. Carp flies out. Drew records a two-out single and Iglesias doubles on a line drive. Ellsbury walks to load the bases. But, with Scott Downs now pitching, Nava lines out to end the inning.

Top of the 7th: Red Sox 7, Angels 3:Breslow is in now for the Sox, pitching on no days of rest for the second time this season. He allows a one-out double to Trout but gets out of the jam, retiring Hamilton and Pujols.

Bottom of the 6th: Red Sox 7, Angels 3: Back-to-back home runs by Saltalamacchia and Carp lead off the inning. Carp's was on his first pitch. Remarkable that they were hit in nearly the same exact location over the center field wall. Fifth time this season the Sox have hit back-to-back homers. And that will do it for Blanton (5 IP, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). Michael Kohn in to pitch. Drew hits the ball toward second and arrives safely at first as Kendrick commits an error scooping it up. Drew advances to second on a wild pitch. Iglesias and Ellsbury both fly out. Nava strikes out swinging.

Top of the 6th: Red Sox 5, Angels 3:Dempster records his 2,000th career strikeout on a splitter to Callaspo. He swung. Aybar flies out and Dempster is now at 105 pitches. Craig Breslow, who threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings last night's win, is warming up in the bullpen. The inning ends with Iannetta, too, striking out. Six hits and six strikeouts for Dempster on 110 pitches. If his day is indeed over, this will be Dempster's third straight quality start.

Bottom of the 5th: Red Sox 5, Angels 3: Pedroia pops out to second base. Ortiz, two for two already today, is called looking on a 92 mph fastball, just third pitch he saw. Napoli, too, is called on strikes. Blanton is at 91 pitches (60 strikes).

Top of the 5th: Red Sox 5, Angels 3: A leadoff double for Trout, who sends the ball deep to left field. Hamilton strikes out and Pujols, who hit a solo shot in the first, flies out to shallow center field. Trout scores on a two-out, RBI single for Trumbo. Kendrick grounds out.

Bottom of the 4th: Red Sox 5, Angels 2: Carp reaches first on a throwing error. Drew strikes out swinging. It's his sixth strikeout over the past three games. In Iglesias' at bat, Blanton throws a wild pitch which allows Carp to advance all the way to third. Iglesias flies out past the first base line in foul territory, too shallow for Carp to tag home. But with two outs, Ellsbury rips a ball to deep right field. The center fielder, fresh off the DL with a groin injury, turns it into an RBI triple -- losing his helmet somewhere before he hits second base. Nava flies out and the inning is over.

Top of the 4th: Red Sox 4, Angels 2: Callaspo leads off with a solo shot to right field -- his first in nearly a month and fourth of the season. Aybar lines out to left field, Iannetta pops out to shallow center field and Shuck flies out to left field to end the frame.

Bottom of the 3rd: Red Sox 4, Angels 1: Once again, the Sox lead off with a hit. This time it's Iglesias with a slow, hoppy ground ball to left field for a leadoff single. Iglesias' hit streak is now at 12 games. He is called out at second as Ellsbury grounds into a force out. Ellsbury repents by stealing second during Nava's at bat. The risk pays off as Nava singles to right field, allowing Ellsbury to score. Pedroia singles to left (his hit streak is now at a season-high 13 games) which prompts a conference one the pitching mound for the Angels. Apparently it didn't solve Blanton's issues. Ortiz hits his second home run in as many games -- this one a three-run shot that falls in the Sox bullpen. Rally ends as Napoli is called on strikes and Saltalamacchia grounds out.

Top of the 3rd: Angels 1, Red Sox 0: Shuck finds a gap in deep centerfield, doubling to begin the inning. Trout grounds one out right to Dempster and Hamilton sends a blooper to right field for the second out. Pujols, who homered last time up, is the victim of a 90 mile per hour fastball. The pitch hits Pujols under his left shoulder and the slugger walks slowly to first base, but appears to be fine. Dempster's next pitch escapes Saltalamacchia's reach, which allows Shuck to advance to third. Makes that hit by a pitch look less intentional, huh? Trumbo draws a walk, loading the bases. Kendrick hits one hard toward left field, but a nice defensive play by Drew seals the last out.

Bottom of the 2nd: Angels 1, Red Sox 0: David Ortiz leads off with a single to right. Napoli strikes out in three pitches. Saltalamacchia (who enters with three hits in four career at bats against Blanton) also strikes out. Carp draws a two-out, four pitch walk. Drew takes his first pitch and pops it up just left of the third base line. Ortiz is stranded.

Top of the 2nd: Angels 1, Red Sox 0: Albert Callaspo jumps ahead to a 3-0 count and, despite taking two strikes, earns a walk. Aybar grounds into a double play then Chris Iannetta strikes out swinging (Dempster's third K of the day) to end the inning.

Bottom of the 1st: Angels 1, Red Sox 0: Newly returned leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury slices a nice, hard-hit ball to left field but a nice scoop by J.B. Shuck sends him back to the dugout. Daniel Nava, too, gets a nice piece of the ball but it's caught by Trout in center. Pedroia grounds out to third. For Blanton, 11 pitches used (seven were strikes).

Top of the 1st: Angels 1, Red Sox 0: Four strikeouts to go for Dempster in his quest for the 2,000 milestone. He catches Trout looking at a slider. Josh Hamilton grounds out before Albert Pujols, on a 2-1 count, hits his 10th home run of the season to the left corner of the Red Sox bullpen. Mark Trumbo, on a 3-2 count, hits a line drive down the center, which bounces and sails just inches above Pedroia's glove. A single. But the inning ends with Dempster creeping closer to his milestone, catching Kendrick swinging late on a splitter.

Pregame: Emily Kaplan here at Fenway Park as the Red Sox (38-25) take on the Angels (27-35) in the third game of a three-game set. The Sox have won seven of their last 10 games here, outscoring opponents 68-38 over that stretch. They earned a split yesterday in the doubleheader. Ryan Dempster (3-6, 4.39 ERA) takes the mound -- just five strikeouts shy of 2,000 for his career. He has gone seven or more innings and allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last two starts. Joe Blanton (1-9, 5.53) starts for the Angels.

Farrell provides updates on Buchholz, Middlebrooks and Victorino

Posted by Staff June 9, 2013 10:48 AM

Buchholz still sore

Clay Buchholz arrived at the Red Sox club house on Sunday morning and still felt sore, manager John Farrell said.

The pitcher, who exited Saturday's outing after 104 pitches and 6 2/3 innings with neck tightness, had said "he hopes" he won't have to miss a start.

Farrell was cautious when providing an update on Sunday. He said it was "anticipated" and "not uncommon" that Buccholz is still experiencing stiffness about 12 hours after the injury. Buchholz will be examined by a team doctor some time on Sunday, Farrell said, which will provide more insight on the injury's severity.

Victorino's availability

Shane Victorino is not in the lineup on Sunday as the Sox close out their three game series with the Angels.

Farrell said it was a scheduled off day for the outfielder, who was activated from the disabled list (left hamstring strain) in between Saturday's doubleheader and played in the night cap.

Farrell said there is no set schedule for Victorino -- such as a one game on, one game off routine. The coaching staff will determine Victorino's availability depending on how he responds in upcoming games.

On Monday, the Sox begin a three game series in Tampa Bay. Farrell said the turf on Tropicana Field is something the coaching staff will consider when determining Victorino's status, though he noted every player responds to the playing surface differently.

"We know that we need to give him time off between a stretch of games," Farrell said. "Whether that's every other day, every third day -- that's what we'll work on."

Mulling over Middlebrooks

Farrell said he has no specific timetable of when third basemen Will Middlebrooks will return to the lineup.

"But soon," the manager said.

Middlebrooks went 0 for 3 with a walk on Saturday for Pawtucket.

"Another game where it was more timing," Farrell said. "Good swings, but not that results that he's had."

Middlebrooks is 4 for 12 with two homers and six RBIs in four games in Pawtucket. He was eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday.

"When we outlined this, it wasn't a matter of his batting average to get him back here," Farrell said. "It was a matter of getting him back in the flow of the game and getting him some momentum."

Middlebrooks' replacement, Jose Iglesias, is hitting .429 over his last 12 games with three doubles, a home run and five RBIs.

Farrell said Iglesias' hot streak has no factor in when Middlebrooks will return.

"Will's our third baseman," Farrell said. "We have said that.

"But at the same time, Jose is doing a great job. Once Will returns and the roster decision is made then, if the scenario is Jose is our utility guy, then we have to make sure we rotate him through there to keep him in the mix."

Morales still considered

Franklin Morales could not find the strike zone on Saturday. He also could not get out of an inning. Morales walked three straight batters in the pivotal seventh inning on Saturday afternoon, including two bases loaded walks on a combined eight pitches.

But Farrell didn't sound too concerned the pitcher is a long-term liability. It was just a bad day.

Farrell said Morales is still a candidate to start on Wednesday against the Rays.

Game 64: Angels at Red Sox

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 9, 2013 10:43 AM

Good morning. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (37-25)
Ellsbury CF
Nava RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Carp LF
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: RHP Ryan Dempster (3-6, 4.39)

ANGELS (27-34)
Trout CF
Hamilton RF
Pujols DH
Trumbo 1B
Kendrick 2B
Callaspo 3B
Aybar SS
Iannetta C
Shuck LF
Pitching: RHP Joe Blanton (1-9, 5.53)

Game time: 1:35 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI

Notes: In his last 50 games against the Angels prior to this series, David Ortiz has hit .326 (60/184) with 17 homers and 47 RBI ... Daniel Nava ranks third among major-league switch-hitters with an .871 OPS (minimum 3.1 PA per team game), and he is second with 38 RBI (Carlos Beltran -- 40). ... Mark Trumbo is hitting .342 (27/79) in the seventh inning and later this season, fourth in the American League (minimum 75 PA). In five lifetime games at Fenway Park, Trumbo is hitting .316 (6/19) with three homers and eight RBI.

Notes provided by Stats Inc.

Buchholz to be examined after leaving with neck stiffness

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 9, 2013 12:45 AM

buchholz0608091.jpg

The bobbling, falling, rolling, diving, stretching play Clay Buchholz made to tag Alberto Callaspo in the fourth inning left him with few ill effects. The awkward throw he made to first in the sixth inning after chasing down a Howie Kendrick line drive that was so hot it buzzed is glove off, however, caused a stiffness in the right side of his neck that forced him to leave the Red Sox 7-2 win over the Angles after 6 2/3 innings, even though he was spinning another gem.

After a night of a constantly hopping off the mound to make plays, Buchholz said, "Figured that was enough, didn't want to push my luck any more with that."

An irritation in his AC joint forced him to miss a start just a week ago, and although Sox manager John Farrell said it wasn't related, he was still cautious.

"It was almost a combination of a couple things that led to the stiffness there," Farrell said. "We don't feel at this point that it's any way related to the AC irritation that he was feeling previously. So he'll go through a full exam here tonight and I'm sure once he arrives at the ballpark tomorrow."

Buchholz finished out the sixth but with two outs in the seventh, he called for Farrell and trainers to meet him on the mound and left the game after throwing 104 pitches.

"It was just a little nagging there for a couple innings," Buchholz said. "That was right after that ball that hit off my glove I threw it to first base and that's when it sort of tightened up a little bit."

It was unclear whether the neck stiffness could possibly cause Buchholz to miss a start.

"I hope not," he said. "It's definitely not what I want, but I haven't even spoken to the doctors about it."

With the win, Buchholz became the first Sox pitcher to start a season 9-0 since since Josh Beckett in 2009. The only other Sox pitcher to go 9-0 over his first 12 starts is Roger Clemens.

"That's what it's all about," Buchholz said. "You get on rolls and you've got to ride them as long as you can. I think when you go out there and you get hit around a little bit, you've got to respond to it. Hopefully it doesn't happen all year, but sooner or later it does. It happens to everybody. So I'm going to try to ride it as long as I can."

Middlebrooks rehab update

Posted by Staff June 9, 2013 12:04 AM

Will Middlebrooks 0 for 3 with a walk for Triple A Pawtucket on Saturday. In four games there, he is 4 for 12 with two home runs, there walks and three strikeouts.

Saturday was the first day Middlebrooks was eligible to be activated from the disabled list. It is unclear when the Red Sox will bring him back.

Before Saturday's game, manager John Farrell was asked about Middlebrooks' progress.

"He's doing a very good job and as we outlined upon his rehab beginning, we want to be sure that he gets some momentum going," Farrell said. "He's doing a good job of getting that started."

Final: Red Sox 7, Angels 2

Posted by Staff June 8, 2013 07:03 PM

Game over: Red Sox 7, Angels 2: The Sox snapped their nine-game losing streak to the Angels by winning this one. Tazawa allowed a leadoff hit but pitched an otherwise flawless final inning. Big storyline after the game will be to assess what happens to Buchholz, who left the game with neck tightness. Is it serious? Will it cause him to miss his next start? Updates will be posted to Extra Bases later.

Bottom of the 8th: Red Sox 7, Angels 2: Gomes pops out, Pedroia grounds out but Ortiz reaches second on a fielding error -- though it was a tough play. The ball was high and long down the left field line, and right under the lights, to boot. The inning ends, though, with Napoli striking out swinging. It appears Breslow -- 1.1 scoreless innings -- will be done and Tazawa will come in to close this out.

Top of the 7th: Red Sox 7, Angels 2: Buchholz is taken out of the game in the middle of the inning, showered by cheers from the crowd. His final line: 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 K and 1 BB. He threw 104 pitches, 77 for strikes, and obviously is in line for the win, should the Sox hang on. Breslow secures the final out.

Bottom of the 6th: Red Sox 7, Angels 2: Wilson, who allowed three earned runs on eight hits in five innings, is done for the night. Jerome Williams in to pitch. Iglesias continues his career-long hitting streak to 12 games as he leads off with a single -- and makes it to second a few minutes later as Trumbo misses a catch at first (error). Victorino works a full count, but swings and misses for a strikeout. Gomes pops out to the infield and Pedroia, with a full count, singles on a line drive to score Iglesias. And then Ortiz -- who else? -- blows this one open by sending a ball (0-1 pitch) to right field for his second homer in the past three games. His 12th of the season. Napoli grounds ou tto end the inning.

Top of the 6th: Red Sox 4, Angels 2:Buchholz surrendered a leadoff double to Hamilton and was tagged for a run when Hamilton scored on a sac fly. He also experienced a scary moment as a ball hit his arm. After an injury delay though, and Buchholz shaking it off insisting to trainers he was fine, the pitcher finishes strong. He uses a 91 mph fastball to strike out Hawe to end the inning.

Bottom of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Angels 1: Ortiz grounds out. Napoli singles then advances to second on a throwing error. Nava flies out before Ross has a bloop hit to center field whihc scores Napoli. Drew strikes out for the third time tonight to end the inning.

Top of the 5th: Red Sox 3, Angels 1: Buchholz, too, produces a 1-2-3 inning. Victorino catches another fly ball in center -- this one much easier.

Bottom of the 4th: Red Sox 3, Angels 1: A 10-pitch, 1-2-3 inning (Victorino, Gomes and Pedroia retired) for Wilson -- his shortest yet.

Top of the 4th: Red Sox 3, Angels 1: Fresh off the DL, Victorino doesn't seem to be having trouble running. He tracks down Kendrick's long fly ball in center field, using great speed to make the catch. Buccholz strikes out Hawe and ends the inning with a remarkably athletic play. He misplays a Callaspo chopper to the infield, bobbling it while falling to the ground, but has the wherewithal to tag the runner before he hit the bag -- while he's still on the ground.

Bottom of the 3rd: Red Sox 3, Angels 1: The crowd gives a nice ovation to Bill Lee, shown on the big screen between innings. Nava singles and advances to second on a David Ross. Drew works the count against Wilson and as his pitch count nears 70 there appears to be movement in the Angels bullpen. One pitch from Wilson is awfully close to Drew's head, but the eight-pitch at bat ends with Drew caught looking at a slider. Nava is stranded on second as Iglesias flies out to center.

Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 3, Angels 1: Conger leads off with a double and advances to third on a groundout by Aybar, who worked a 10-pitch at bat. A Trout line drive skips over Napoli's reach and scores Conger. Hamilton lines out. The crowd cheers as Pujols -- who has worked a full count -- seemingly strikes out, but the home plate ump says the ball is tipped. Pujols ends up walking. Trumbo sends one deep to center field but it is caught, and the inning is over.

Bottom of the 2nd: Red Sox 3, Angels 0: Back-to-back groundouts from Iglesias and Victorino begin the inning, but these Sox haven't gone away quietly today. Gomes singles, Pedroia walks and Ortiz drills an RBI double to left field to give the Sox another run. Ortiz hit the first pitch he saw. Inning ends with a Napoli strikeout but something to keep an eye on: Wilson is already at 56 pitches through just two innings. The Angels used four relievers in the earlier game today.

Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 2, Angels 0: Boston gets revenge on Mike Trumbo, who punished the Red Sox with a two-out hit in the seventh which kept the inning alive (and began the unraveling of Franklin Morales). Here, in Game 2, Buchholz strikes out Trumbo to begin the second. Kendrick singles, but Buccholz rebounds by striking out Hawpe on a 92 mph fastball. Callaspo flies out to end the inning.

Bottom of the 1st: Red Sox 2, Angels 0: Welcome back to the lineup, Shane Victorino. Fresh off the disabled list, the center fielder leads off with a single to left field. The Red Sox stranded 14 runners on base in the first game today, going 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position overall. They're off to a much better start. Jonny Gomes doubles off the left field wall to send Victorino home, then Pedroia doubles to score Gomes. Ortiz flies out and Napoli strikes out but Nava walks to keep the inning alive. David Ross walks, too, and Wilson's pitch count is already at 27. With bases loaded, Drew strikes out to end the inning.

Top of the 1st: Angels 0, Red Sox 0:A 1-2-3 inning for Buchholz, retiring Trout (pop out), Hamilton (groundout) and Pujols (pop out) with just eight pitches, six of them strikes. Doesn't get much better than that.

Pregame: Emily Kaplan back at Fenway Park for the night cap of Saturday's doubleheader between the Angels and Red Sox. Los Angeles won the first game, 9-5. This should be good pitching matchup as Clay Buchholz (8-0, 1.62 ERA) looks to remain perfect while C.J. Wilson (4-4, 3.93) makes his first career appearance at Fenway Park. Big news, of course, is that Shane Victorino is activated from the disabled list. Look for him to play center field tonight. Stay tuned for updates.

Red Sox draft results for Day 3

Posted by Staff June 8, 2013 06:37 PM

The Red Sox were busy on the third day of the draft. Here are a list of the picks:

323 - Carlos Asuaje - Nova Southern University (FL) - 5-foot-9 SS
353 - Jake Drehoff - Southern Mississippi - 6-foot-4 LHP
383 - Jordan Sheffield - Tullahoma HS - 5-foot-11 RHP
413 - Jake Romanski - San Diego State - 5-foot-11 C
443 - Bryan Hudson - Mill Creek HS (GA) - 6-foot-1 OF
473 - Jalen WIlliams - Westminister Christain Academy (LA) - 6-foot-4 RHP
503 - Joseph Monge - Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy - 6-foot RF
533 - Joe Gunkel - West Chester University (PA) - 6-foot-5 RHP
563 - Gabe Speier - Dos Pueblos High (CA) - 6-foot LHP
593 - Derek Burkamper - Muscatine HS (IA) - 6-foot-2 RHP
623 - Reed Gragnani - University of Virginia - 5-foot-10 2B
653 - Ryan Boldt - Red Wing HS (MN) - 6-foot-2 CF
683 - Jimmy Allen - Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (CA) - 5-foot-10 2B
713 - Jantzen Witte - TCU - 6-foot-2, 3B
743 - Derik Beauprez - Cherry Creek HS (CO) - 6-foot-5 RHP
773 - Mauricio Dubon - Capital Christian HS (CA) -6-foot SS
803 - Mark Nowaczeski - Edward C Reed HS (NV) - 6-foot-4 RHP
833 - Nick Zammarelli - Lincoln Senior HS (RI) - 6-foot-1 3B
863 - Jeff Driskel - U Florida - 6-foot-4 OF
893 - Nick Longhi - Venice HS (FL) - 6-foot-2 OF
923 - Ryan Rippee - Jefferson Col (MO) - 6-foot-5 1B
953 - Matt Thaiss - Jackson Memorial HS (NJ) - 5-foot-11 C
983 - Andrew Rosa - Owasso HS (OK) 6-foot-2 SS
1013 - Daniel Bethea - St. John’s (NY) - 6-foot-1 C
1043 - Rafael Oliveras - Loziza Cordero Del Rosario (Puerto Rico)- 5-foot-1 3B
1073 - Pat Goetze - Wake County Home School NC) 6-foot-6 RHP
1103 - Max Watt - Hillsborough CC (FL) - 6-foot-8 RHP
1133 - Trever Morrison - Archbishop Murphy HS (WA) - 6-foot SS

Also of note: Willie Allen, a Newton South grad, was selected at No. 496 by the Washington Nationals. Allen is 6-foot-2 and is in his second season playing at the JuCo level. He is an outfielder.

Victorino activated, Bradley sent down

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 8, 2013 06:02 PM
The Red Sox announced they've officially activated Shane Victorino prior to the second game of their doubleheader vs. the Angels, a move manager John Farrell suggested was possible earlier Saturday.

Victorino is in the starting lineup in center field tonight. Jacoby Ellsbury, who started the first game in center, was not in the starting lineup for the nightcap.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket to make room for Victorino.

Lineups for Game 2

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 8, 2013 05:59 PM

Here are the lineups for Game 2

RED SOX (37-25)
Victorino CF
Gomes LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava RF
Ross C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (8-0, 1.62).

ANGELS (25-34)
Trout CF
Hamilton RF
Pujols DH
Trumbo 1B
Kendrick 2B
Hawpe LF
Callaspo 3B
Conger C
Aybar SS
Pitching: LHP C.J. Wilson (4-4, 3.93).

Game time: 7:15 p.m.

TV/Radio: FOX / WEEI.

Final: Angels 9, Red Sox 5

Posted by Staff June 8, 2013 04:34 PM

Note: Due to technical difficulties, we were not able to update the live blog during this afternoon. The problem has been solved and we will update Game 2 of the doubleheader as it unfolds. Here is the rundown of what happened in game one:

Game over: Angels 9, Red Sox 5: Well, the Sox made it interesting -- though not many fans were left at Fenway Park to see it. Pedroia and Ortiz post back-to-back groundouts to begin the inning. With two outs, Napoli and Saltalamacchia post back-to-back singles to give the Red Sox -- who have struggled with runners in scoring position all day -- some life. And then Mike Carp, who hit a home run earlier, singles on a line drive to center field, sending Napoli home. Drew doubles off the Green Monster for two more runs and Iglesias singles -- and steals second -- to keep the inning alive.

Ernesto Frieri replaces Garrett Richards on the mound, but the inning ends with Ellsbury striking out. Time of game: Four hours, even. The teams will get back at it soon for the nightcap.

Top of the 9th: Angels 9, Red Sox 2:Clayton Mortenson, who came in to relieve Morales, is tagged for two more runs (one earned). Fenway is emptying out. Not many will be on hand as the Sox attempt for last licks.

Top of the 7th: Angles 7, Red Sox 2: And it all unravels for the Red Sox, largely because of Franklin Morales. The oft-injured reliever intentionally walked Pujols to get runners on first and second with two outs. The move does not payoff as Trumbo doubles. Franklin's day ends by walking his final three batters, the last two with bases loaded (on a combined eight pitches). His final line is .2 IP, 4 ER, 4 BB and 0 K.

Bottom of the 6th: Angels 3, Red Sox 2:Hanson's day is done after 114 pitches (four walks, four strikeouts, one home run to Mike Carp). Iglesias leads off with a walk but Ellsbury grounds into a force out. Though Nava singles, Pedroia grounds into a double play to end the inning.

Top of the 5th: Angels 3, Red Sox 2: Doubront is having a bit of trouble locating his fastball. He walks Shuck to lead off the inning.

Bottom of the 4th: Angels 3, Red Sox 2: The Red Sox get on the board after Carp, down 1-2 in the count, sends one over the right field wall. His fifth homer of the year. Drew and Iglesias both pop out. Ellsbury draws a walk, steals second, then scores on a Nava line drive to right field. Hamilton fumbles the play and Nava advances to second on the error. Nava advances to third on a wild pitch, Pedroia walks and there’s activity in the Los Angeles bullpen. But Ortiz grounds out to end the inning.

Top of the 4th: Angels 3, Red Sox 0: Doubront retires the Angels in order. He only throw 10 pitches and struck out Iannetta on an 82 mile per hour changeup.

Bottom of the 3rd: Angels 3, Red Sox 0: More RISP for the Sox as Nava and Pedroia lead with back-to-back singles. Big cheers as Thursday night’s star David Ortiz steps up to plate. He strikes out. Then Napoli strikes out. Saltalamacchia takes his first pitch and doesn’t do much to it -- a soft pop out to third base to end the inning. Sox now 0-for-8 with RISP.

Top of the 3rd: Angels 3, Red Sox 0: The great Mike Trout doubles off the Green Monster to begin the third. This is his fourth trip here -- he hit .429 at Fenway in his past three appearances. Josh Hamilton walks bringing Albert Pujols to the plate with runners on first and second with no outs. Make that runners on second as third as Trout and Hamilton pull off a double steal. Pujols smacks one just foul of the left field wall, but settles for a sac fly to center. Trumbo grounds out, but sends home Hamilton. Kendrick f lies out to end the inning. Pitch count for Doubront: 55 (36 strikes).

Bottom of 2nd: Angels 1, Red Sox 0: Jarrod Saltalamacchia leads off with a walk -- the catcher’s first walk in the past nine games. Mike Carp flies out to center but Stephen Drew also walks giving Boston runners in scoring position again (they were 0-for-2 in the first). Saltalamacchia reaches third on a Jose Iglesias fly out but stays there as Ellsbury grounds out. Boston is 12-20 when opponents score first this season and 0-for-5 with RISP today. Tommy Hanson isn’t doing too great. Just 20 of his 41 pitches are for strikes and of his 21 fastballs, only nine are strikes.

Top of the 2nd: Angels 1, Red Sox 0: A two out, RBI single by Erick Aybar puts the Angles on the board. Doubront rebounds by striking out J.B. Shuck (third strike he was caught looking on a 91 mph fastball). Doubront had an up and down start to the season (he was taken out of the rotation after a poor start on May 3). He showed signs of turning it around over his past three starts, going 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA, striking out 17 and limiting opponents to a .242 average in that span. See if he can build off that or regresses to his early season struggles.

Bottom of the 1st: Angels 0, Red Sox 0: A leadoff single by Jacoby Ellsbury (and subsequent steal) doesn’t amount to anything as he’s picked off at third on a fielder’s choice. Dustin Pedroia doubles to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, but the inning ends with David Ortiz -- a spectator at last night’s Bruins game -- striking out and Mike Napoli grounding out. Ellsbury also has a hitting streak -- seven games now. He’s hitting .551 in that stretch.

Top of the 1st: Angels 0, Red Sox 0: Felix Doubront (4-2, 4.88 ERA) with a 15-pitch first inning (10 were strikes). He consistently hit 90-91 miles per hour on his fastball and coaxed the great Mike Trout into a groundout to begin the inning.

Shane Victorino may return for nightcap

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 8, 2013 12:30 PM
Shane Victorino could be in the Red Sox’ lineup Saturday night.

Manager John Farrell said the outfielder, who has been out since May 20 with tightness in his left hamstring, could be activated on Saturday afternoon from the disabled list.

The Red Sox host the Angels in a day-night doubleheader.

“He’s still on the DL,” Farrell said on Saturday morning. “Would be an option for us in between games for potential activation tonight.”

C.J. Wilson, a lefthander, is slated to pitch the nightcap for the Angels.

“With a lefthander going tonight, there’s a scenario that has Shane in center field tonight,” Farrell said.

The manager said Victorino is “running fine” and his “timing at the plate is good.”

Games 62-63: Angels at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 8, 2013 09:20 AM

Good morning. It'll be a busy day of baseball at Fenway Park. Here's a preview:

GAME 1

RED SOX (37-24)
Ellsbury CF
Nava RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Carp LF
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (4-2, 4.88).

ANGELS (26-34)
Trout CF
Hamilton RF
Pujols DH
Trumbo 1B
Kendrick 2B
Callaspo 3B
Ianetta C
Aybar SS
Shuck LF
Pitching: RHP Tommy Hanson (2-2, 4.19).

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Hanson: Drew 4-11, Carp 0-3, Pedroia 0-3, Ellsbury 0-2, Gomes 0-2, Ortiz 1-2.

Angels vs. Doubront: Hamilton 3-7, Aybar 0-1, Callaspo 0-1.

GAME 2
Red Sox starter: RHP Clay Buchholz (8-0, 1.62).

Angels starter: LHP C.J. Wilson (4-4, 3.93).

Game time: 7:15 p.m.

TV/Radio: FOX / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Wilson: Napoli 5-22, Pedroia 7-15, Gomes 3-12, Ortiz 1-13, Ellsbury 3-10, Ciriaco 2-7, Saltalamacchia 0-6, Carp 1-4, Drew 2-3, Iglesias 0-3, Nava 0-1.

Angels vs. Buchholz: Aybar 3-24, Kendrick 5-18. Callaspo 4-17, Hamilton 1-15, Trout 2-6, Pujols 4-6, Trumbo 1-4, Harris 1-5, Iannetta 3-5.

Stat of the Day: The Sox were 0-6 against the Angels last season, getting outscored 47-29. They were 15-3 against Los Angeles the previous two seasons.

Notes: The Sox have won four of five and start the day with a two-game lead in the division. ... The Angels are the Red Sox of the West, a former contender fallen on hard times in recent years. Like the Sox, they have not made the postseason since 2009. The Sox have recovered this season. But the Angels arrive at Fenway leading only the woebegone Astros in the AL West. Los Angeles has dropped five of its last six, those games coming against the Astros and Cubs. ... Doubront pitched an inning of relief against the Angels in 2010 and hasn't faced them since. The lefty got off to a shaky start this season. But he is 1-1, 2.74 in his last four starts with the Sox winning three of the games. Over 23 innings, Doubront has allowed 19 hits and struck out 24. Doubront has faced only 10 batters in the seventh inning in his nine starts this season. In the first game of a doubleheader, the Sox need him to go deep. ... Hanson is making his seventh start of the season. He allowed seven earned runs over 11.1 innings in his last two. The Angels obtained him from the Braves in November for Jordan Walden. ...Buchholz is 5-3, 4.85 in nine career starts against the Angels. They hit him hard in two starts last season (12.1 IP, 11 ER). ... Wilson is 17-14, 3.85 in two seasons with the Angels since signing a five-year, $77.5 million deal. He is 5-1, 2.62 in 19 appearances (seven starts) against the Red Sox in his carer. ... Hot Sox: Iglesias has hit safely in 10 straight at 14 of 34 with four extra-base hits and five RBIs. ... Pedroia has hit safely in 10 straight as well. He has reached base safely in 56 of 61 games and has yet to make an error this season. ... Ellsbury is 15 of his last 28 with seven extra-base hits.

Song of the Day: "It Takes Two" by Marvin Gaye.

Victorino could rejoin Red Sox on Saturday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 07:52 PM

Triple A Pawtucket also was rained out Friday, so third baseman Will Middlebrooks and outfielder Shane Victorino had a day off in their rehab assignments.

Middlebrooks has played three games for Pawtucket, going 4 for 9 with two home runs and six RBIs. He will be with the PawSox for their series in Syracuse over the weekend.

Middlebrooks is recovered from the back injury that landed him on the disabled list but the Red Sox want him to show some offensive consistency before he is activated.

Victorino was 2 for 4 with a home run in his first rehab game Thursday. He will be at Fenway Park Saturday and could be activated for the second game against the Angels. Victorino has been out with hamstring and back injuries.

Royals select Luke Farrell in sixth round

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 03:45 PM

Red Sox manager John Farrell is surely a proud father today. His youngest son, Northwestern righthander Luke Farrell, was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the sixth round of the amateur draft. Luke also turned 22 today.

Farrell was selected one pick after the Red Sox made their selection in the sixth round. Farrell told the Globe last week that he preferred his son go to a different organization.

Farrell was second-team All-Big 10 as a senior at Northwestern. In 2009 and 2011, Farrell had benign tumors removed from the right side of his jaw. But he returned to pitch well and now has a chance at pro ball.

John and Sue Farrell have three sons and all were drafted. Jeremy, an infielder, went to the Pirates in 2008 in the 8th round after playing at Virginia. He now plays in the White Sox organization.

Shane, a righthander out of Marshall, was taken in the 46th round by the Blue Jays in 2011. He now works for the Cubs in their baseball operations department.

Red Sox take catcher in third round

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 02:26 PM

The second day of the draft is well underway. Here are the players selected by the Red Sox:

3rd round: C Jon Denney, Yukon (Okla.) HS: Denney was generally listed as a player worthy of a late first-round or second-round pick. So the Red Sox appear to have done well by selecting him with the 81st overall pick.

Denney was considered a tough player to sign because of a commitment to play at Arkansas. But Denney wrote this on Twitter a short time ago: "I'm so happy to be an official Red Sox baseball player in their organization thank you friends and family for the support!"

That was followed by: "This is awesome I have been a Red Sox fan my whole life! Ever since I started watching MLB baseball, now I'm a part of their organization!"

That certainly sounds like he has a deal in place.

The Red Sox are well-stocked with catchers (Ryan Lavanway, Christian Vazquez, Blake Swihart), but is a position where depth never seems to last. Denney has the bat that would allow him to play first base.

4th round: RHP Myles Smith, Lee University (Tenn): Smith, a Detroit native, has bounced around in his career. He started out at Missouri then switched to Miami-Dade Junior College before landing at Lee, a NAIA school.

At 6-foot-1, he is smaller than the usual righthanders the Red Sox select. But he throws in the mid-90s according to Baseball America and had a terrific season for Lee (11-3, 1.51 ERA).

5th round: LHP Corey Littrell, Kentucky: Littrell had a good summer with Harwich in the Cape Cod League. He does not have overwhelming stuff, but a polished major college lefthander certainly has value to an organization.

His father, righthander Jack Littrell Jr., pitched in the Los Angeles Dodgers (1977-78) and Montreal Expos (1980) organizations. Grandfather, Jack Littrell Sr., appeared in 111 big league games as an infielder for the Philadelphia Athletics (1952, 1954), Kansas City Athletics (1955), and Chicago Cubs (1957).

6th round: OF Austin Jordon, Forest HS (Fla): He is 6-foot, 195 pounds and also played football well enough in high school to merit scholarship offers as a linebacker or safety. Jordon runs a 4.4 40-yard dash according to media coverage of his high school career.

7th round: LHP Mike Adams, U. of Tampa: A reliever for the Division 2 power, Adams may be viewed as a fresh arm who can made into a starter. He throws a good curveball according to scouting reports.

8th round: OF Forrestt Allday, Central Arkansas: He averaged 1.04 walks her game, third nationally. That led to a .486 OBP. He is a senior with junior eligibility.

9th round: RHP Kyle Martin, Texas A&M: He's a senior who didn't have a very good season (3-4, 4.91) as a reliever and occasional starter. He is 6-foot-7, 220 pounds so their scouts must see physical tools that can be polished.

10th round: RHP Taylor Grover, South Carolina-Aiken: The Sox closed the first day of the draft with four consecutive seniors. That was similar to the strategy they employed last season. Because seniors have no negotiating leverage, they can be signed below their slot value and the money saved can go to better prospects.

Denney, in particular, could be the player who benefits from this.

Best player available was Red Sox' strategy with top pick

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 01:26 PM

By definition, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said, the decision to take lefty high school pitcher Trey Ball with the team's highest pick in 20 years was last-minute. Six players were already off the board. The Sox presumably had eyes for some of them, including outfielder Clint Frazier and third baseman Colin Moran. But once they were on the clock, they went with the best player available.

"I know that's something we say all the time, but this works out," director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye said. "The way the board shakes out, Trey Ball's the best player available and that's who we take. We don't target a certain area. When you start to do that you probably become a little reckless and give up a few names that might not be the best player. So I think you have to take the best player on the board."

Ball was one of a handful of players the Sox targeted last summer and followed through the spring. At 6-feet-6, Ball had the size and athleticism they liked in pitchers. He was a two-way player. When they went out to Indiana to watch him pitch, usually in harsh weather conditions, he would typically play doubleheaders on Saturdays, playing center field in the first game and pitching the second.

He had upside both as a pitcher and a position player, but with three pitches (a 94 mile-per-hour fastball, a curveball that was able to spin despite only having thrown it for nine months, and a changeup that he an advanced feel for) there were strong signs of how much potential he had on the mound.

"Coming into the year, we like him equally as a pitcher and a hitter," Sawdaye said. "He's a really good hitter, so he's a guy that as we spent more time with him in the spring, we realized that as a pitcher he was probably more advanced and somebody we thought really had a lot of upside. Granted, he has upside on both sides of the ball but really when he's on the mound, we saw the upside as a starting pitcher – left-handed, size obviously and the athleticism.

"Then when you looked at the overall arsenal, this guy's fastball was up to 94, sitting mostly 90-94 in his games pitching. Typically when we would see him it was a Saturday. He was pitching on Saturday, second game of a doubleheader, which is a little unique when you think about it. He would play center field the first game and then pitch the second game. Typically, in most cases, the prospect would end up pitching the first game. When you look at the weather in the midwest area, the fact that he's playing a position before he's pitching, there probably is some untapped potential there."

In choosing Ball, they added to the collection of strong arms already developing in their farm system. They did the same in the second round when they took Teddy Stankiewicz, a right-handed power pitcher in the second. They had history with him going back to last year's Team USA tryouts and kept an eye on him after he decided not to sign with the Mets after being taken in the second round a year ago and instead chose to go to junior college at Seminole State in Oklahoma.

"We've had a lot of interest in him and watching him progress," Sawdaye said, "He's a big physical pitcher. He's got probably for me one of the best deliveries in the draft. His arm works really well. He throws three pitches and can really command his fastball. I think one of the interesting things about Teddy is he's 19 years old and he's a junior college pitcher, but you can kind of consider him pitching like a college junior.

"We felt like if this kid were at an SEC school like Arkansas, where he was slated to go last year, there's a chance this kid would be pitching like a college junior. He attacks the strike zone. His changeup has really improved from last year to this year. His breaking ball has gotten better. So we've kind of seen a little bit of the improvements from year to year. And his fastball's up to 96 this year. Really consistent, he's hitting in the low 90s. So I think he's a guy that we really felt comfortable with and we trusted. He had really good mound demeanor and he's a guy that's going to go out, throw a lot of strikes and can compete at the lower levels right away."

After taking the pitching duo on Day 1 of the draft, the Sox took their first position player in the third round, grabbing 18-year-old catcher Jon Denney out of Yukon High School in Oklahoma, one of the top hitting prospects in the draft.

Red Sox rained out; day/night doubleheader on Saturday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 12:54 PM

The Angels-Red Sox game Friday night was postponed by rain. The teams will play a day/night doubleheader on Saturday at Fenway Park.

The first game will be at 1:05 p.m. (NESN) with the second game at 7:15 p.m. (FOX). Tickets for Friday's game will be good for admission to the first game on Saturday.

The Sox will pitch Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz in the doubleheader. Ryan Dempster is set for Sunday. With no day off scheduled until June 17, the Red Sox will need an extra starter at some point and that will probably be Franklin Morales.

Pitching matchups for the Angels series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 11:42 AM

Friday: RHP Tommy Hanson (2-2, 4.19) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (4-2, 4.88), 7:10 p.m., NESN.

Saturday: LHP C.J. Wilson (4-4, 3.93) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (8-0, 1.62), 7:15 p.m., FOX.

Sunday: RHP Joe Blanton (1-9, 5.53) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (3-6, 4.39), 1:35 p.m., NESN, TBS.

One pitch to Papi later, Red Sox walk off as winners

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 7, 2013 12:36 AM

The Texas Rangers challenged David Ortiz to beat them and he did, driving a three-run homer to right field that gave the Red Sox a 6-3 victory.

“That’s why he is who he is,” said Mike Napoli, who was on deck and had a feeling he wouldn’t be getting up. “There’s only one Big Papi. He’s the man in that situation.”

It was the 11th career walkoff home run for Ortiz, his 10th with the Red Sox. He has 12 with the Sox if you count the 2004 postseason, which certainly does count in these parts.

Texas sent lefthander Michael Kirkman out to start the ninth inning and Jonny Gomes doubled to the gap in left on the first pitch. Rangers manager Ron Washington intentionally walked the righthanded-hitting Dustin Pedroia to get to Ortiz, who hits lefthanded.

Ortiz was surprised he was given the opportunity. His last walkoff hit was in 2010.

“They don’t like to mess with Papi late in the game,” Ortiz said. “They stopped doing that. … To have lefty against lefty, I don’t think there was anything wrong with that. That’s part of the game. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Kirkman had faced Ortiz on Tuesday and struck him out. He started Thursday's at-bat with a sinker that was supposed to stay inside but came back over the plate.

“They were pounding me in all night. I kept on missing pitches but I was sticking with my plan,” Ortiz said.

The ball landed in the Texas bullpen. Ortiz watched it fly, sauntered around the bases, and lowered his shoulder as he approached a mob of joyous teammates.

“I was just thinking the beating that was waiting for me at the plate,” Ortiz said. “You don’t feel anything at the time but it happens the next day when you wake up. You’re all beat up. But it’s good. That means you won the game.”

See the Globe tomorrow for more on the game and Ortiz's reaction.

Also:

• Jacoby Ellsbury was 4 for 5 with two doubles and two runs in his first game back after missing five games with a strained left groin. Ellsbury is 20 of 45 in his last 11 games, raising his batting average to .280.

• Jose Iglesias was 1 for 1 with three walks and scored a run. He has hit safely in 10 consecutive games and reached base safely in 18 of the 19 games he has played this season. Iglesias had walked six times in 149 major league plate appearances before Thursday, never more than once in a game.

Iggy is hitting .435/.486/.581. It's only 19 games. But then again, it is 19 games.

Here's the thing about Iglesias: At least now the Red Sox know he is capable of hitting in the majors. Before this season, there was no evidence of that. It's going to be extremely interesting to see how it shakes out with Iglesias, Xander Bogaerts, and Deven Marrero down the road.

• Shane Victorino was 2 for 4 with a home run for Triple A Pawtucket in his first injury rehabilitation game. He started in right field and played seven innings in a 10-5 loss against Charlotte. Victorino is expected to play one or two more games for Pawtucket.

Will Middlebrooks was 1 for 4 with a home run. The third baseman is 4 for 9 with two home runs through three games on his rehab assignment. Victorino is on the disabled list with with a left hamstring strain. Middlebrooks is out with a back strain.

Red Sox draft Indiana pitcher Trey Ball with seventh pick

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 6, 2013 07:23 PM

Trey Ball.jpg

With their highest pick in 20 years, the Red Sox took lefthanded pitcher/outfielder Trey Ball out of New Castle (Ind.) High School with the seventh selection in Thursday night's first-year player draft. Ball was touted as one of the best two-way players in this draft.

With a long 6-foot-6-inch frame and a fastball that tops out at 94 miles per hour, Ball went 6-0 with a 0.76 ERA and 93 strikeouts as a senior, being named the Indiana Player of the Year and earning a scholarship to Texas.

Though he also finished with a .300-plus batting average, the Sox selected him as a pitcher, adding to a farm system loaded with arms.

They brought in another in the second round when they took right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz with the 45th pick. Stankiewicz was drafted by the Mets out of Ft. Worth (Texas) Christian High School in the second round last year, but didn't sign and instead went to Seminole State College, where he struck out 70 in 60 2/3; innings over nine starts this past season.

Taking Ball with the seventh pick was somewhat surprising as the Sox passed on outfielder Austin Meadows, a center fielder out of Grayson (Ga.) High School who was thought to be on their radar. He instead was taken two picks later by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"We had a lot of contact with them in the spring," Ball said. "They sent in multiple guys to come visit and have meetings with me. They sent in the site guys, so I've had a lot of contact with them. I think coming in I'd heard mostly between eight and 14 and being picked seventh by Boston it's great. I'm kind of speechless. It's kind of surprising. I had no idea where it was coming from. I guess it was a last-minute decision, I'm not for sure. But it's a moment of greatness and I'm very excited, very happy."

The Sox had not picked this high in the draft since 1993, when they took Trot Nixon, who wound up playing in Boston for nine seasons and was a key part of the 2004 World Series-winning team.

Ball committed to the Longhorns, and his Twitter account still says he's headed to Texas). He said he's still has a decision to make.

"Right now, it's still open," he said. "We haven't shut the door on anything, but it's the best fit for me and my family. Anything can happen, but I feel that Boston is right for me."

Being taken by the Sox caught him off guard, but it was a pleasant surprise.

"I honestly had no clue at all," Ball said. "So I think the moment they did pick me was such a relief and exciting because I didn't know it was coming. We hadn't really heard much from any of the top six above Boston. We had mainly heard between eight and 14, eight and 15. So it was very shocking. I'm speechless still about it."

Ball was the first of two selections the Red Sox were scheduled to make on the night. They also have the 45th overall pick.

Final: Red Sox 6, Rangers 3

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 6, 2013 06:59 PM

Game over: Red Sox 6, Rangers 3: The Texas Rangers intentionally walked Dustin Pedroia in the bottom of the ninth inning to get to David Ortiz on Thursday night. It was a move that made sense. It also was a huge mistake.

Ortiz belted the first pitch he saw into the Texas bullpen in right field and the Red Sox came away with a 6-3 victory before a crowd of 35,353 at Fenway Park

It was the 11th career walk-off home run for Ortiz, his 10th with the Red Sox.

The Rangers sent lefty Michael Kirkman out to start the inning. Jonny Gomes (4 for 5) belted his first pitch to center for a double. Pedroia was intentionally walked. Ortiz then won it.

Andrew Bailey (2-0) went an inning for the victory. The Red Sox have won four of their last five games.

Jacoby Ellsbury was 4 for 5 with two doubles and two runs scored in his first game back after missing five games with a strained left groin. Ellsbury is 20 of 45 in his last 11 games, raising his batting average to .280.

Jose Iglesias was 1 for 1 with three walks. He has hit safely in 10 consecutive games and reached base safely in 18 of the 19 games he has played this season. Iglesias had walked six times in 149 major league plate appearances before Thursday, never more than once in a game.

It was the fifth walk-off victory of the season for the Red Sox.

Middle of the 9th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 3: Bailey leaves a runner stranded. If the Red Sox win this, it'll be a walk-off. Gomes, Pedroia and Ortiz due up against Michael Kirkman, a lefty.

Middlebrooks, Victorino go deep: Shane Victorino was 2 for 4 with a home run for Triple A Pawtucket in his first injury rehabilitation game. He started in right field and played seven innings in a 10-5 loss against Charlotte. Victorino is expected to play one or two more games for Pawtucket.

Will Middlebrooks was 1 for 4 with a home run. The third baseman is 4 for 9 with two home runs through three games on his rehab assignment. Victorino is on the disabled list with with a left hamstring strain. Middlebrooks is out with a back strain.

Top of the 9th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 3: Uehara had a perfect inning. Iglesias drew his third walk in the bottom of the frame but was stranded. Iglesias had walked six times in 149 major league plate appearances before Thursday, never more than once in a game.

Bailey in now.

Top of the 8th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 3: The seventh inning started with Ellsbury’s second double of the night, this one coming off Robbie Ross. Gomes then had his third hit, a single to left. Pedroia struck out swinging on four pitches.

Ortiz walked to load the bases. Jason Frasor, a righthander, came in to face Mike Napoli. The former Ranger grounded to first base. Berkman skipped his throw to shortstop. Elvis Andrus made a nice play to field it but his throw back to first was late and Ellsbury scored to make it 3-3. Nava had a chance to give the Red Sox the lead but struck out.

Top of the 7th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: Lester worked around a leadoff double by Pierzynski. The Red Sox then squandered another chance. Nava walked with one out. Iglesias then singled with two outs. A wild pitch moved the runners up before Ciriaco (0 for 3, hitting .220) struck out.

Top of the 6th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: The Sox wasted a chance in the bottom of the inning. Ellsbury (3 for 3 and 19 of his last 43) doubled and went to third when Gomes singled. When Pedroia grounded to first, Ellsbury was thrown out at the plate. Ortiz then grounded into a double play.

Top of the 5th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: Lester walked Gentry and Andrus singled before he escaped the inning. Ross singled and Iglesias walked with two outs in the bottom of the inning. But Ciriaco grounded out.

Top of the 4th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: Beltre homered to center for Texas as Lester is having another rough night. The Red Sox came back with two off Holland. Iglesias walked and Ellsbury (2 for 2) singled ahead of Pedroia's two-run double to center with two outs. Ortiz then grounded to first.

Draft update: The Red Sox took LHP Trey Ball with the seventh overall pick. He's from New Castle, Ind.

Top of the 3rd: Rangers 2, Red Sox 0: Pierzynski had a ground-rule double to right. Then Baker homered into the Monster Seats. He is 7 for 9 against Lester in his career. Napoli led off the bottom of the inning with a line drive to the gap in right and was thrown out going to second by roughly a mile.

Top of the 2nd: Rangers 0, Red Sox 0: Berkman walked with two outs. Beltre hit the ball so hard off the wall that Berkman had to stay at second. Cruz then fanned. The Sox opened with singles by Ellsbury and Gomes. But Pedroia went 6-4-3 and Ortiz grounded into the shift.

Pre-game: Greetings from Fenway Park, where it's overcast for the final game of the series and a bit chilly at 65 degrees for June 6. The Sox face a challenge in lefty Derek Holland, who has owned them since he came to the majors in 2009.

Jon Lester has struggled in his last three starts (19.1 IP, 13 ER) and needs to come back from that.

We'll have updates all game. So hang out and feel free to leave your comments.

Ellsbury returns to Red Sox lineup

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 6, 2013 05:45 PM

Jacoby Ellsbury is back in the Red Sox lineup after missing five games with a groin strain. Daniel Nava did a commendable job batting leadoff in his absence, hitting .364 with a .375 on-base percentage.

"Yesterday after his work on the field, he didn't experience any additional stiffness or soreness," said manager John Farrell. "Actually, throughout the game last night, a couple of conversations with him, he felt confident he'd be ready to today and in fact he is."

The question now becomes to what degree the Red Sox will have to manage Ellsbury's health by giving him days off.

"It's something that we'll continue to talk with him about as he comes out of each game, monitoring it," Farrell said. "Kind of left it in his hands a far as how aggressive he'll be on the basepaths.

"But the fact that he was able to at least show some explosiveness on the field yesterday, otherwise we wouldn't have put him in there. We don't want to restrict him completely of any kind of base-stealing opportunities. But all things considered, we'll balance all of that and monitor how he comes out of each game."

Also:

• Former Celtic Jason Collins will throw out the first pitch tonight. Read more about what Collins is doing in Boston in this story by Shira Springer.

• Supposed to rain on Friday. Having LHP Franklin Morales stretched out could prove beneficial if there's a doubleheader against the Angels Saturday or Sunday.

• Amusing scene from batting practice: There was a slow country song playing over the loudspeakers at Fenway Park when David Ortiz came out of the dugout. He looked up at the control room and shouted, "Hey!" Within seconds, a Snoop Dogg song came on.

Now that is power.

Game 61: Rangers at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 6, 2013 03:28 PM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (36-24)
Ellsbury CF
Gomes LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava RF
Ross C
Iglesias SS
Ciriaco 3B
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (6-2, 3.53).

RANGERS (36-22)
Andrus SS
Murphy LF
Berkman 1B
Beltre 3B
Cruz RF
Pierzynski C
Baker DH
Gentry CF
Profar 2B
Pitching: LHP Derek Holland (5-2, 2.81).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/radio: NESN, MLB Network / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Holland: Ellsbury 5-15, Pedroia 2-17, Ortiz 3-11, Napoli 3-9, Gomes 1-7, Ciriaco 3-7, Carp 1-4, Drew 1-3, Saltalamacchia 0-3.

Rangers vs. Lester: Andrus 5-22, Beltre 7-22, Cruz 10-19, Pierzynski 4-16, Murphy 3-11, Baker 6-8, Berkman 1-6, Gentry 1-3, Soto 1-3.

Stat of the Day: Pedroia has played 60 games without an error, the longest such streak by a Red Sox second baseman to start a season.

Notes: The teams with the two best records in the American League split the first two games of the series ... Ellsbury returns to the lineup after a five-game absence ... Lester has been a little off in his last three starts (19.1 IP, 23 H, 13 ER) and could use a rebound game. He is 3-3, 4.57 in 11 career starts against the Rangers. That includes facing the Rangers in Texas on May 4. He allowed three runs in five innings in that game ... Holland bamboozled the Red Sox on May 3 in Texas. His line: 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K. He is 5-1, 2.41 in six career starts against the Sox ... The Sox are 1-4 against Texas this year, and have losses in 10 of their last 13 meetings and 29 of the last 42 ... Iglesias has hit safely in nine straight games at 13 of 33 with four extra-base hits and five RBIs ... Daniel Nava has hit .364/.375/.591 in five games at leadoff, with six runs ... Pedroia has hit in nine straight at 11 of 35. That actually dropped his batting average from .333 to.330.

Song of the Day: "Vacation" by the Go-Go's.

Rangers call up McGuiness, one-time Red Sox prospect

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 6, 2013 03:23 PM

Texas today placed first baseman Mitch Moreland on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and purchased the contract of first baseman Chris McGuiness from Triple A Round Rock.

That name may sound familiar. McGuiness was drafted by the Red Sox in the 13th round in 2009. He was one of three prospects sent to Texas at the trade deadline in 2010 for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

McGuiness, 25, is in the majors for the first time. He was hitting .275 with six home runs, 19 doubles, and 34 RBIs over 55 games for Round Rock. Cleveland selected McGuiness in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft, and he spent the bulk of spring training with the Indians before he was returned to the Rangers on March 27.

Draft day arrives and it's a critical one for the Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 6, 2013 09:30 AM

Today is the most important day of the year for the Red Sox.

The Rule 4 Draft starts at 7 p.m. with the first two rounds. The Sox select seventh overall, their highest pick since 1993. This is the reward for all that suffering last season.

Because that reward is not immediate like the NBA or NFL, casual baseball fans often dismiss the draft. Very few amateur baseball players are prominent names on the sports landscape and it often takes three or four years for a player to emerge from the crucible of the minor leagues and impact the major league team. That is if they emerge at all.

But it's a crucial day for the Red Sox because such a high pick brings with it a better chance to add a player who can impact the franchise for years to come.

"When you look at it historically, the odds of getting a good player are higher the higher you pick," general manager Ben Cherington said Wednesday. "That's relative to year and whatnot. We'll know five years from now how good this draft is. But it's an opportunity to choose from a different pool than we normally would, and we've got to take advantage of that opportunity."

What adds to the importance of the selection is the trend in baseball of teams signing the stars they draft and develop to long-term contracts before they reach free agency. With a few exceptions, finding an All-Star caliber player below the age of 30 in free agency will be increasingly difficult.

The best route to a talented roster — and the most economical — is to draft a player, develop him, get inexpensive production out of him at a young age and then sign him to a long-term contract. Think Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester.

So who is that player at No. 7?

Unlike other sports, it's not quite so easy to project. Ideally, the best prospect would go to the team with the first pick. But MLB's complicated structure assigns each team a pool of money to spend on its picks and places a specific value to each pick in the first 10 rounds.

If a team can sign a player to a bonus below that value, the money saved can be used to sign a player above the slot price in a later round. A significant segment of draft strategy is finding players who will take less. Last year, the Red Sox and other teams selected college seniors with no negotiating leverage in some early rounds to save money for high school players later in the draft.

Scouting director Amiel Sawdaye indicated strongly on Wednesday that he would prefer to take the best talent available regardless of financial concerns.

"That's the way I've been taught. That's the way we've tried to proceed here in the last 10 years, 15 years," Sawdaye said. "That's the way we'll continue to do it. Do the new rules change some things where in the past you were able to spend some money a little bit later? Yeah. But I still think, at the end of the day, you're going to take the best player on the board."

It's hard to imagine the Red Sox gambling on a lesser player at No. 7 to improve the depth of their overall draft. This high pick represents a unique opportunity.

Cherington and other team executives have spent plenty of time in Georgia scouting high school outfielders Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows. Frazier is a talented and confident hitter with advanced skills but a stockier body. Meadows is the better athlete and perhaps has a higher ceiling.

The Sox also have had success in recent drafts with college pitchers. That could lead to them selecting Braden Shipley (Nevada), Ryne Stanek (Arkansas) or Alex Gonzalez (Oral Roberts). All are righthanders.

RHP Kohl Stewart of Houston is a possibility. He has a football scholarship to Texas A&M to play quarterback. But $3.2 million, the slot value of the No. 7 pick, would likely change his commitment to football.

The projection here is that the Sox will take Stewart if he falls to them. If not, then either Frazier or Meadows.

However North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran is a candidate to fall in the draft. His almost freakish plate discipline is a quality the Red Sox value and would find hard to resist.

A prediction? Meadows is their pick.

When Cherington and his staff make that pick tonight, the Red Sox and Rangers will be down on the field at Fenway playing. This is one night when the game won't be the most important event at Fenway Park.

Lackey strong but Red Sox fall to Rangers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 6, 2013 12:38 AM

How many of you watched the Sox score 17 runs on Tuesday and thought they would probably score two on Wednesday? That's baseball for you.

A few notes from tonight's game:

• John Lackey deserved a better fate after holding the team with the best record in the AL to one run on five hits over six innings. He struck out five without a walk.

Lackey has a 2.79 earned run average though nine starts. On five occasions this season, he has allowed one earned run or less. Among Red Sox starters, only Clay Buchholz (six times) has done that more often.

“He walks to the mound each time knowing he’s got an opportunity to work deep in the game with low runs allowed,” John Farrell said. “I felt even in the offseason, this is one guy that had a chance to impact our team as much as anyone. Still feel the same and maybe even more so today.”

Said Lackey: “Fastball command was pretty good tonight. Was able to work in and out with my fastball quite a bit. Pretty happy with it for the most part.”

• The Red Sox challenged Will Middlebrooks to go to Triple A and prove himself. Challenge accepted. He was 2 for 3 with a walk, a home run, and five RBIs for Pawtucket against Charlotte on Wednesday. He played seven innings at third base.

Middlebrooks is 3 for 5 with two walks so far.

• The three-day amateur draft starts Thursday with the first two rounds. The Red Sox pick seventh and 45th. General manager Ben Cherington and scouting director Amiel Sawdaye looked a bit haggard during a meeting with reporters. Cherington said team officials have spent 18 hours a day in their draft room for a week ranking players.

“And eating bad food,” he said.

The Sox have their highest pick since picking Trot Nixon seventh in 1993. Projecting their pick is difficult, but the Sox have been linked to outfielders Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows, who attend different high schools in Loganville, Ga.

Cherington, we're told, was in Lawrenceville last week to meet with Frazier and Meadows.

It is not a particularly deep pool of prospects in New England. The best prospect is outfielder Thomas Milone of Monroe; Conn. Lefthander Steven Hathaway of Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire also has attracted scouts.

Northeastern outfielder Aaron Barbosa is considered the top prospect in Massachusetts by Baseball America.

• NESN analyst Jerry Remy has not called a game since May 26 and is not expected to return until next week at the earliest. Remy said last week he was out because of allergies. On Wednesday he wrote on Twitter, “I've caught a little pneumonia and it has to run its course. It's not due to anything else, hope to be back soon.” Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley is filling in.

• Triple A outfielder Alex Hassan, who has been out all season recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot, has started playing and was assigned to Single A Greenville for rehab.

• Lefthander Franklin Morales is available in the bullpen after starting against the Phillies last Thursday. He could get a start in the day/night doubleheader against the Rays on June 18.

• The Tufts softball team, which won the NCAA Division 3 national championship last month, was recognized on the field before the game. Assistant coach Kim Miner, who works for the Red Sox as a Fenway ambassador, helped arrange the trip.

• The FBI and the American Football Coaches Association recognized Jonny Gomes for donating $25,000 toward the purchase of 12,500 child identification kits for distribution at Fenway and throughout Boston.

Final: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2

Posted by Staff June 5, 2013 06:50 PM

Game over: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: The Rangers still have the best record in the American League. Boston's three-game winning streak is over. Joe Nathan retired the Sox in order (groundouts from Iglesias, Bradley and Nava) to end the game. Thanks for following along.

Top 9th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: Andrew Bailey pitching now. Retires Baker (line out to left) and Profar (fly out to right) with ease, effectively rotating through three pitches (fastballs, cutters and curves). However he relies heavily on the fastball against Gentry (six of seven pitches) and struggles with control. Gentry walks. But the inning ends as Gentry is caught stealing. Last licks now for the Sox.

Bottom 8th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: Righty Tanner Scheppers is in. Pedroia flies out to center bringing up David Ortiz (0-for-2 with a walk). Big Papi, who spent most of batting practice today hanging with Little Papi, grounds out. Napoli walks for the second time tonight (and fifth time in the past two days) to extend the inning. Saltalamacchia rings one down the right field line, which scores Pedroia. An RBI double for the catcher, who was previously 0-for-3 tonight. And now the first all-stadium "Lets Go Red Sox!" chant of the night. It doesn't last long as Drew grounds out to end the inning.

Top 8th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 1: Junichi Tazawa in for the Sox. Retires the first three batters (groundout, strikeout, fly out) in just eight pitches, with his fastballs consistently hitting 92 and 93. On to Sweet Caroline and likely another Rangers relief pitcher.

Bottom 7th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 1: Drew leads off with a walk and Cotts' night is done. Robbie Ross, a 23-year-old lefty, warms up on the mound as Queen's "Under Pressure" plays in Fenway (a song recorded before he was born). Iglesias (also 23) singles to right field. But Bradley (another member of the 23 club) strikes out swinging to leave runners on first and second. Nava grounds out softly, allowing the runners to advance. Jonny Gomes, pinch hitting, flies out to center field.

Top 7th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 1: Lackey's night is done as Breslow will begin the inning. Lackey's final line: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. Over his past four games, Lackey's ERA is 1.44. Also hot? The Sox bullpen, which enters tonight with a 1.69 ERA over the last five games.

Breslow surrenders a hard-hit double by Moreland, which bounced down the right field line. Profar attempts a sac bunt but it's a fail as he is called out at first base and Jeff Baker (pinch running for Moreland) can not advance. Martin walks and Breslow will be sent to the dugout as Koji Uehara is in to pitch for the Sox. And that great bullpen ERA I mentioned? It's going to go up. Andrus swings at his first pitch -- and it's a really good swing. A two-run double to center field. Uehara retires the next two batters but the Sox are behind, yet again.

Bottom 6th: Rangers 1, Red Sox 1: Arguably the loudest cheer of the night (so far) occurs in the middle of the sixth inning as the scoreboard flashes some highlights from the Bruins game (B's are up, 1-0, on the Cup favorite Penguins and could take a shocking 3-0 lead in the series). Back at this end of town, Ogando retires Nava and Carp on a combined four pitches. And then the Red Sox showed life. Remember when I said the Bruins drew the largest cheers so far? Consider them upstaged. Pedroia sends a 92 mph cutter high, and long and -- over the Green Monster. That one seemed to float in the air for a while.

That's Pedroia's fourth homer of the season and that's it for Ogando tonight. His line: 5.2 IP, 3H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO and one home run, which ultimately was his unraveling. Neal Cotts comes in relief. Ortiz and Napoli draw walks but Saltalamacchia strikes out (93 mph fastball) to end the inning. The catcher is now 0-for-3.

Top 6th: Rangers 1, Red Sox 0: Lackey begins the inning with 96 pitches, though Craig Breslow is warming up in the bullpen before he has a chance to throw 97. Lackey lures back-to-back fly outs from Berkman and Beltre, but hits Cruz with a pitch (who later steals second base). But Lackey will exit the inning at 108 pitches, retiring Pierzynski with a groundout.

Bottom 5th: Rangers 1, Red Sox 0: Saltalamacchia flies out to deep and Drew strikes out to lead off. But Iglesias saves the Red Sox from registering another 1-2-3 inning by drawing a four-pitch walk. That was Iglesias' second walk in the majors. Doesn't amount to much as Bradley strikes out. Pitch count for Ogando is 83, but there looks like there was some movement in the Texas bullpen toward the end of that inning.

Top 5th: Rangers 1, Red Sox 0: A 20 pitch inning for Lackey which includes two ground outs, two singles and a strikeout (not in that order). Lackey is now at 96 pitches (67 are strikes) but seems to be losing some velocity. He hit 92 mph on his fastball just twice and is drawing some long at bats.

Bottom 4th: Rangers 1, Red Sox 0: When Ogando faced the Sox earlier this season (a 5-1 Rangers win), Boston struggled with sending runners home. The Sox went 1-for-9 with RISP that game. Tonight, they're off to a similar start. Batting second, Mike Carp sent a ball deep to center field. It was, perhaps, inches from becoming his fifth homer of the season. He had to settle for a double. Pedroia drew a walk leaving Ogando with a daunting task: retire David Ortiz with one out and runners on first and second. Ogando delivers, as Ortiz swung and missed on a 96 miles per hour fastball. Carp and Pedroia advance to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch but Napoli strikes out to end the inning. A handful of Ogando's fastballs were clocked at 96 on the Fenway scoreboard. He's in good shape so far with only 66 pitches through four innings.

Top 4th: Rangers 1, Red Sox 0: Lackey finishes the inning with his pitch count at 75. The number rose after Murphy began the inning with an eight pitch at bat. Berkman followed by drawing seven pitches before striking out looking on a 92 miles per hour fastball. Both at bats were perhaps omens that Lackey, who seems to be extremely reliant on his fastball tonight, is breaking down a bit. Sure enough, the next batter is Adrian Beltre, who -- on a 1-2 count -- hits his 12th homer of the season and the Rangers are on the scoreboard first. Cruz follows it up with a double but Pierzynski ends the inning by striking out.

Bottom 3rd: Rangers 0, Red Sox 0: Between innings the scoreboard zoomed in on a familiar face. Carlton Fisk -- wearing a baseball hat and polo shirt -- receives a nice ovation as he waves to the crowd. Meanwhile, Stephen Drew leads off the inning with a line drive to center field. A solid single, but Drew tried to stretch into a double. Risk didn't pay off. He's called out, which draws boos from the crowd and a "conversation" between Farrell in the ump. Saw the replay and think Drew had a good case. Regardless, inning is over as Jose Iglesias and Jackie Bradley Jr. can't get on base.

Top 3rd: Rangers 0, Red Sox 0: Mitch Moreland is the first Texas batter to crack Lackey. After falling behind 0-2 in the count, Moreland works an 11-pitch at bat which culminates in a double off the Green Monster. Moreland advances to third on a Jurickson Profar groundout. Moreland stays at third as Leonys Martin also grounds out and is eventually stranded as Andrus flies out to right field to end the inning.

Bottom 2nd: Rangers 0, Red Sox 0: David Ortiz sent a fly ball to center field on his second pitch, but Mike Napoli worked the count to earn a walk, marking the first baserunner of this (young) game. He didn't advance far. Jared Saltalmacchia grounded into a double play and that will do it for the inning.

Top 2nd: Rangers 0, Red Sox 0: Nelson Cruz has pretty good numbers at Fenway. Entering tonight, he was 26-for-63 in 16 career games here, with four home runs and 14 RBI. But batting second in the inning tonight, Cruz was the latest victim of Lackey's good start. Cruz struck out swinging on -- you guessed it -- a fastball to highlight another 1-2-3 inning for Lackey.

Bottom 1st: Rangers 0, Red Sox 0: Alexi Ogando saw what Lackey did in the top of the inning. And then he went out there and matched him. Ogando retired the Sox in order. Daniel Nava grounded out, Mike Carp swung and missed on an 84 miles per hour slider then Dustin Pedroia smacked one to right field, but not hard enough. Ogando exited the inning throwing just 13 pitches, nine of them strikes.

Top 1st: Rangers 0, Red Sox 0: That was a quick top of the first. Lackey retired Texas' first three batters -- Elvis Andrus, David Murphy and Lance Berkman -- in order. He needed just 16 pitches to do it. Of those 16 pitches, 11 were strikes. His fastball topped at 94 miles per hour and caught Murphy looking with a 94 mph fastball on an 0-2 count.

Pregame Good evening from Fenway Park. This is Emily Kaplan, the Globe's summer intern, and I'll be manning the blog tonight as the Red Sox (36-23) face the Rangers (35-22) in the second game of a three game set. A win tonight would spring Boston ahead of Texas for the best record in the American League -- a scenario most thought was unfathomable a few months ago. The Sox are looking for their fourth-straight, and they've fared well at Fenway lately -- winning five of their last six games here while outscoring opponents 48-21 in that stretch. The run differential is a bit skewed, of course, after last night's offensive outburst which included a season-high 17 runs, four homers and 13 extra base hits (one triple from the always-speedy David Ortiz).

Some personnel notes: Jacoby Ellsbury will miss his fifth-straight game and Daniel Nava will remain in the leadoff spot. On the mound, it's righty Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.08 ERA) for Texas and John Lackey (3-5, 2.96) for Boston. Over his last three starts, Lackey is 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .141 off him in that stretch. Will he post another solid outing? Stay tuned for live updates.

Victorino starts rehab Thursday; Ellsbury a DL candidate

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 5, 2013 05:06 PM

Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino starts a rehab assignment tomorrow with Triple A Pawtucket. It's expected to last three or four games with Victorono building up his innings, first going five, then DH'ing and then playing right field.

"Spoke to Shane, and upon his return, we'll manage how many consecutive games he plays a little more religiously than previously," manager John Farrell said.

Farrell said Victorino, who placed on the 15-day disabled list May 24 (retroactive to May 21) with a left hamstring strain, wanted to go out today, but the team held him back.

In other news:

• Farrell said that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was still unavailable.

"He went out and did some more field activities with running. We’ve got to get him to the point of being 80 percent or better intensity level before we can consider putting him back in the lineup," the manager said. "As we did with Shane, we look at that eighth day of a 15-day [period] as kind of a threshold to make a decisions roster-wise. Right now we’re still not thinking about putting him on the DL, but if this continues obviously we got to get to that point."

The Red Sox originally thought Ellsbury would be back for the New York series. This seems more severe than anticipated.

"Yeah, I agree with what you said. We were hopeful that it would be when we came back off the road. But yet in the interest of him and his health, until he’s ready to go, we can’t push it," Farrell said.

"He’s not at 80 percent," Farrell said when asked where he was at. I can’t give you an exact number but he’s not quite there yet."

• There was a lot of focus on Will Middlebrooks, who went 1 for 3 for Pawtucket on Tuesday at the start of his rehab assignment.

"As sat down and talked with Will before the rehab started, that this was not only a chance to make sure that the health issue is 1, behind him, which everything points to that being the case, 2, he’ll get his timing back, but also, let’s use this as an opportunity to get a little momentum going before he comes back," Farrell said.

"We’re hopeful that that is sooner rather than later. Saturday’s still the day in which he’s eligible to be first activated. It could very well be Saturday. It could be shortly thereafter. I think the most important this is our need for right-handed bats in this lineup to balance out our left side of the plate. He’s a vital part of that, and want to be sure he’s got some momentum coming back to us with."

Farrell said Middlebrooks' return will be based on whether he has some offensive momentum.

"This isn’t going to be based on batting average," Farrell said. "I think it’s more important that as he was showing more consistency before the injury the ability to drive the ball into right-center field. We kind of, as we talked many times over, that’s when he’s at his best. And just to take his normal, natural approach and repeat it. That’s what we’re looking for."

Farrell said Middlebrooks was understanding. But, "like any player, I think they’re anxious to get back here. And the one thing I want to be careful of is that we just don’t pin ourselves to a calendar date or X number of at-bats and say ‘OK, I’m ready.’ He tell us when he’s ready by his actions."

Farrell 'shocked' if Red Sox players involved in Biogenesis inquiry

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 5, 2013 05:00 PM

Red Sox manager John Farrell said he's confident that his players will not be a part of any Major League Baseball investigation of the Biogenesis clinic, which allegedly sold and distributed performance enhancing drugs to major league players.

"Confident, yes," Farrell said. "I know there’s been some preliminary notice that none of our players are on it, but knowing them first hand as we do, I certainly would be shocked if anybody showed up on it based on how well we know them.The only thing you can say about it is it’s an ongoing investigation. We are asked to abide and required to abide by testing and consequences that might come about as a result of it. I’m sure the course it will take will be to get to the bottom of it, as rightfully so."

He added about those who have taken the substances, "It’s unfortunate that the decision has been made as often as they’ve been. Whether or not they’re proven guilty remains to be seen, but the one thing that been so great about this game is whether it’s the steroid situation or work stoppages, it’s a resilient game and its come back from the temporary black eyes that it suffers."

Game 60: Rangers at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 5, 2013 02:45 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (36-23)
Nava RF
Carp LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Bradley Jr. CF
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (3-5, 2.96).

RANGERS (35-22)
Andrus SS
Murphy LF
Berkman DH
Beltre 3B
Cruz RF
Pierzynski C
Moreland 1B
Profar 2B
Martin CF
Pitching: RHP Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.08).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN, ESPN2 / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Ogando: Ellsbury 1-8, Ortiz 2-7, Napoli 1-7, Pedroia 0-7, Drew 2-4, Salty 2-5, Carp 1-4, Nava 1-2, Gomes 0-2, Ciriaco 0-1.

Rangers vs. Lackey: Beltre 12-58, Pierzynski 11-49, Cruz 6-27, Andrus 4-25, Murphy 7-16, Berkman 2-6, Moreland 2-8, Gentry 1-3, Martin 1-1.

Stat of the Day: Nava is 8 of 17 batting leadoff the last four games with a walk, six runs scored and three extra-base hits.

Notes: The Sox have won three straight, four of five and eight of 11. ... Lackey and Ogando faced each other on May 5 in Texas. Lackey allowed three runs on six hits in six innings. Ogando gave up one run in six innings. ... Lackey has allowed three earned runs over 19 innings in his last three starts and struck 18. ... Lackey is 12-15, 6.14 in 37 starts against the Rangers. ... Ogando is 2-2, 3.93 in nine career appearances against the Sox, two of them starts. ... Pedroia has hit in eight straight at 10 of 32. ... Iglesias has hit in nine straight at 12 of 30 with four extra-base hits, five RBIs and five runs scored. He has reached base safely in 16 of 17 games this season in the majors. ... Napoli has driven in a run in four straight games. ... The Sox are 18-12 at home and have won four of five at Fenway.

Song of the Day: "Little Know It All" by Iggy Pop.

Farrell: Middlebrooks must prove himself

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 5, 2013 02:44 PM

Will Middlebrooks is technically on a minor league rehabilitation assignment. But Red Sox manager John Farrell made it clear today that isn't really the case.

During his weekly spot on WEEI, Farrell said that Middlebrooks would have to get his swing back in order to rejoin the Red Sox. So while he is eligible to be activated on Saturday, that won't necessarily be the case.

Middlebrooks was hitting .201/.234/.408 when he went on the disabled list. He had 20 extra-base hits in 174 at-bats, but also 54 strikeouts against seven walks.

Teams can keep position players on rehab assignments for 20 days. After that, they must either be activated. Middlebrooks could be activated and then optioned at that point.

Also:

• Shane Victorino will start a rehab assignment with Pawtucket on Thursday.

• Jacoby Ellsbury is out of the lineup for the fifth consecutive game. Here is the weird part: On Friday in New York, he was in the original lineup posted in the clubhouse then taken out. At the time, Ellsbury was said to be "day to day" and he said he hoped to play on Saturday.

Now it's Wednesday and the center fielder remains out.

The amazing run of Jose Iglesias

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 5, 2013 10:04 AM

Jose Iglesias woke up this morning hitting .431 with a 1.038 OPS. Among players with at least 50 plate appearances this season, Iglesias has the highest batting average in the majors. Miguel Cabrera is second at .370.

Iglesias had four extra-base hits in 119 at-bats Triple A. He has seven in 58 ABs in the majors. The people in Pawtucket must be scratching their heads.

Iglesias is 25 of 58. On balls that he puts in play, Iglesias is hitting .511. The average batting average on balls in play is around .300.

(As an example, Dustin Pedroia has a career batting average on balls in play of .315. Over a full season, it has ranged from .297 to .333 in his career.)

In other words, Iglesias has been pretty fortunate so far unless you believe he has developed a magical ability to will the ball to open spots on the field.

There is something to be said for luck. Baseball is full of players who had incredible weeks and months. The Sox should ride Iglesias as long as this goes.

But there is a fall coming, that is obvious. So the idea that the Red Sox should change the long-term makeup of their team based on 58 at-bats doesn't make much sense.

The Sox have the second-best record in the American League with Stephen Drew playing shortstop and sitting him down would be foolish and based more on emotion than reason. The Sox will need Drew over the course of the season and throwing him on the bench now is not conducive to his being productive over the course of the season.

Drew, by the way, has a .749 OPS. That is fourth among AL shortstop with at least 175 plate appearances. Drew also has a 4.4 UZR at shortstop. That is fourth in the majors. UZR is far more indicative over a full season, but that is what we have to go on at the moment.

You may not care to believe this, but Drew is an above-average shortstop offensively and defensively. That is a statistical fact.

The Red Sox also can't just give up on Will Middlebrooks. He has had a poor season to date, but was dealing with injuries. This was a productive player last season and he deserves the chance to return to that level. Again, he is somebody the Red Sox will need over the course of the season.

Once Middlebrooks comes back, Iglesias should stay on the team and play more than average backup. He could play shortstop against some lefthanders, third base once a week maybe and maybe even get a game or two at second base over the course of the season. Even the ever-scrappy Pedroia would benefit from a day off now and then.

Having too many good players is never a problem. These things always sort themselves out.

But for now, enjoy the Iggy Show. Imagine, a player who gets hits half the time he puts the ball in play.

Red Sox not notified of any player linked to Biogenesis scandal

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 4, 2013 10:08 PM

Don't read anything into the fact that the Red Sox haven't been notified of any of their players being involved in the Biogenesis scandal in Miami which could cost about 20 players suspensions for performance-enhancing drug use according to a story on ESPN's "Outside The Lines."

That's because, until Major League Baseball has interviewed Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch and they have hard evidence to suspend the player, they are likely not contacting individual teams. To this point, one Major League Baseball official said he didn't think individual teams had been contacted.

Most of the names appear to be out. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun and Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz are among the big names on a list ESPN has received along with documents who were linked in purchasing PED's from the clinic.

But there are also some "coded names" which have not been revealed that Bosch has agreed to help MLB investigators with, according to OTL report.

MLB is expected to interview Bosch this week and they could be announcing suspensions as early as two weeks from now according to the report.

Final: Red Sox 17, Rangers 5

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 4, 2013 07:18 PM

Game over: Red Sox 17, Rangers 5: The Red Sox slaughtered the tough Texas Rangers, who had swept the Red Sox in Arlington last month. The Red Sox hit four homers, Ryan Dempster pitched well and embattled shortstop Stephen Drew came up with four hits. Daniel Nava, Mike Carp and Jarod Saltalamacchia each had three hits. Jackie Bradley Jr., hit his first major league homer. Ryan Dempster pitched seven inning to improve to 3-6. The game was played in 3:10 before 32,035 at Fenway.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 17, Rangers 5 - Mike Carp got his first MLB ejection for arguing.

Top 8th: Red Sox 17, Rangers 5 - Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer for the Rangers.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 17, Rangers 3 - The Red Sox piling on. With two outs,. Salty singled, Drew doubled for his fourth hit (and one base shy of the cycle). Jose Iglesais knocked two runs in with a single to center.

Top 7th: Red Sox 15, Rangers 3 - Dempster retired the Rangers in order.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 15, Rangers 3 - Salty hits a righthanded homer. Jackie Bradley's grounder knocks in Stephen Drew. Drew has three hits tonight against lefthhanders. Daniel Nava and Mike Carp hit back to-back sac flies.

Top 6th: Red Sox 11, Rangers 3 - Nelson Cruz goes deep for No. 14.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 11, Rangers 2 - Mike Carp homers.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 10, Rangers 2 - Stephen Drew, who amasses the bulk of his production in individual games, homered to right. Earlier he had double to left.

Top 4th: Red Sox 9, Rangers 2 - Jeff Baker stroked a two-run homer with A.J. Pierzynski with two outs off Dempster.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 9, Rangers 0 - Red Sox add another run. Daniel Nava reached base for the third time with a ground-rule double to right and scored on Mike Carp's single to center. The Red Sox have 11 hits through three innings.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 8, Rangers 0 - No bounce back for the Rangers. In fact Dempster struck out two of his old teammates in a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 8, Rangers 0 - Pretty grim situation for the Rangers. Jose Iglesias doubled to right and Jackie Bradley Jr. stroked his first major league home run on a 2-1 pitch from Justin Grimm over the Texas bullpen.That wasn't all.. Daniel Nava singled, Mike Carp walked. After Dustin Pedroia lined out, David Ortiz tripled to the triangle scoring two more runs. Ortiz, completely out of breath, scored on Mike Napoli's sacrifice fly. After Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled off the left field wall, Grimm got the news he was out. Replaced by Tex Kirkman. Stephen Drew greeted him with an RBI double off the top of the center field wall.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 2, Rangers 0 - A.J. Pierzynski reached on an infield single, but Dempster struck out two (Jeff Baker and Leonys Martin) of the next three batters to escape.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 2, Rangers 0 - Justin Grimm was a former Red Sox draft pick who didn't sign with the Red Sox. The Sox made him pay, knocking him around in the first. Daniel Nava walked, Mike Carp singled to right sending Nava to third. After Dustin Pedroia struck out, David Ortiz pounded a double off the wall sending Carp to third. After Mike Napoli walked to load the bases, another former Ranger, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, grounded out to first base scoring the second Sox run.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0 - The Rangers put two on vs. Ryan Dempster when Dempster hit David Murphy with a pitch and Lance Berkman beat the shift with a hit to the left side of the infield. All that with one out but Dempster retired Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland.

Jacoby Ellsbury could return Wednesday

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 4, 2013 05:23 PM

Ellsbury060413.jpg

Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury could return to the lineup as early as Wednesday after groin tightness forced him to sit out the entire three-game series against the Yankees over the weekend.

Ellsbury did some running in the outfield and took batting practice in the cage before Tuesday night’s series opener with the Texas Rangers.

“Jacoby was on the field today,” said manager John Farrell. “Did some running, some more functional activity. We're hopeful that this takes a complete turn over the next couple of days, and that's not ruling out his being in the lineup tomorrow.

"We had to get him through some functional testing today, then see how he responds to that and how he feels tomorrow. So tomorrow is still a possibility for him to be back in center field.”

With an off day Monday, Ellsbury had four days to nurse the injury. Farrell said it’s unlikely that Ellsbury will need a stint on the disabled list, which is already more crowded than the Sox would like.

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who was placed on the disabled list May 24 with a low back strain, will begin a four-game rehab assignment in Pawtucket Tuesday night. He is eligible to be activated Saturday, and Farrell said the team will evaluate him at the end of the week.

After initially testing out his strained left hamstring in New York, right fielder Shane Victorino was on the field as well Tuesday, doing sprints. Victorino was placed on the disabled list retroactive to May 21.

“Shane got up to about 80 percent intensity today,” Farrell said. “We're hopeful that he's out on a rehab assignment sometime here before the week is out.”

Game 59: Rangers at Red Sox

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff June 4, 2013 03:00 PM

RED SOX (35-23)
Nava RF
Carp LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Drew SS
Iglesias 3B
Bradley Jr. CF
Pitching: Ryan Dempster (2-6, 4.45).

RANGERS (35-21)
Andrus SS
Murphy LF
Berkman DH
Cruz RF
Moreland 1B
Pierzynski C
Baker 3B
Profar 2B
Martin CF
Pitching: Justin Grimm (5-3, 3.93).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI-FM.

Red Sox vs. Grimm: Drew 1-1.

Rangers vs. Dempster: Berkman 20-68, Pierzynski 8-25, Beltre 3-3, Baker 0-2.

Stat of the Day: Since 2009, the Rangers have gone 28-12 against the Sox, the best record of any Sox opponent over that span.

Notes: After a five-game swing through Philadelphia and New York, the Sox open up a six-game homestand with the Rangers … The Sox have a 2 ½ game lead in the AL East after taking two of three from the Yankees … The Red Sox and Rangers are tied for the AL lead with 35 wins each … The Sox have won seven of 10 … The Rangers have won six of 10 … The Rangers swept the Sox in three games in Arlington last month. The Sox were outscored 16-4 … This is the Rangers’ only trip to Boston this season … Ryan Dempster will make his first ever start against the Rangers, with whom he spent the second half of last season, going 7-3 with a 5.09 ERA in 12 starts … Dempster is coming off a pitcher’s duel against the Phillies Cliff Lee where he allowed just two runs on six hits through seven innings, but took the loss … Dempster hasn’t recorded a win since May 2 against Toronto … Grimm, 24, is making his first career start against the Sox … Grimm was taken by the Sox in the 13th round of the 2007 draft, but the righty decided to go to the University of Georgia … Grimm leads all AL rookies with five wins … The Red Sox are 23-13 against righthanded starters … Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre missed Sunday's game because of a left hamstring strain … Rangers rookie Jurickson Profar is hitting .324 in 10 games since being called up to replace injured 2B Ian Kinsler. Profar has 12 hits, 6 RBIs and 2 HR … Jose Iglesias has reached base in 15 of 16 games this season.

Song of the Day: "4" by Gold Panda.

Ask Nick: Why is Gomes hitting second?

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff June 4, 2013 10:00 AM

Have a
question?

100x150asknickmugshot.jpg Submit your question here to be considered for the next edition of Ask Nick.
The Red Sox begin a short homestand tonight with the Texas Rangers, and face a tough rest of the month ahead on the schedule, so we’ll see what the Red Sox are made of.

Readers' concerns this week include playing time for Jose Iglesias once Will Middlebrooks gets back, possible deals, Jacoby Ellsbury’s future and Jonny Gomes’ tough start.

Let’s get to the questions:

With Jonny Gomes struggling so much, why is he batting second? I think Gomes is a good hitter, but right now (much to my surprise) I would move Iglesias to the second slot and Gomes to eighth or ninth.
Steven, Broomall, Penn.
Hit .330 with 7 homers and 16 RBI as a No. 2 hitter last season for Oakland. I wouldn’t put that kind of pressure on Iglesias. I still think when all is said and done Pedroia should hit No. 2 and move everyone else up.

This is a big IF, but if Jackie Bradley Jr. starts to consistently hit, and Jacoby Ellsbury proves he can come out of his slump, could the Sox try trading Ells before the deadline?
Ethan, Westport, Conn.
Don’t think so. Ellsbury is too valuable to deal. If you think you can win with this team, Ellsbury must stay. You roll the dice, take the draft picks and move on. But to eliminate a major player during a pennant drive doesn’t seem logical to me.

The Red Sox have a few good shortstops in the minors. What are the chances that Xander Bogaerts is moved to third and Will Middlebrooks either moved to first, or traded by 2014?
Jim, California City, Calif.
Possible. I think Bogaerts could be moved to the outfield if they feel Middlebrooks is their man at third, which I think they do.

Click the Full Entry button for more Q&A

FULL ENTRY

Pitching matchups for the Rangers series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 4, 2013 09:30 AM

Tuesday: RHP Justin Grimm (5-3, 3.93) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (2-6, 4.45), 7:10 p.m., NESN, MLB Network

Wednesday: RHP Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.08) vs. RHP John Lackey (3-5, 2.96), 7:10 p.m., NESN, ESPN2

Thursday: LHP Derek Holland (5-2, 2.81) vs. LHP Jon Lester (6-2, 3.53), 7:10 p.m., NESN, MLB Network

Police investigate apparent suicide of crew member aboard John Henry’s yacht

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 3, 2013 05:05 PM

Boston Police are investigating the apparent suicide of a crew member aboard a yacht owned by Red Sox owner John Henry that was docked at Rowes Wharf Monday.

Boston Police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca said firefighters and police responded to the yacht Iroquois for a medical emergency around noon.

Fiandaca said rescuers found a 28- to 30-year-old male in cardiac arrest. Efforts were made to revive him, but he was later pronounced dead.

The Red Sox issued a statement saying a “crew member ... apparently took his life aboard the vessel” and noting that no one except for crew was aboard at the time.

“Mr. Henry and the members of the Boston Red Sox are saddened by the news and send deepest condolences to his family,” the team said.

The 164-foot vessel is docked at 30 Rowes Wharf, behind the Boston Harbor Hotel. In 2011, Henry sought to sell the yacht for $28 million, Forbes magazine reported.

(This report is from the Boston.com Metro Desk blog.)

Ortiz leads in All-Star voting at DH

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 3, 2013 04:02 PM

David Ortiz is first in voting for the designated hitter position for the American League in the All-Star Game. Ortiz has 1,045,283 votes so far. Lance Berkman of the Rangers is in second place with 672,547 votes.

Ortiz is hitting .333 with a 1.023 OPS, 10 home runs, and 36 RBIs in 39 games. He is an eight-time All-Star and four times was elected as a starter.

The All-Star Game is July 16 at Citi Field in New York. Voting can be done inside ballparks up until June 28 and online until July 4 at 11:59 p.m (EDT). The rosters will be announced July 7.

Mike Napoli is third in the voting at first base with 380,448 votes. He trails Chris Davis of the Orioles (1,176,016) and Prince Fielder of the Tigers (1,059,300).

Dustin Pedroia is third in the voting at second base with 642,419 votes. He trails Yankees star Robinson Cano (1,235,230) and Ian Kinsler of the Rangers (656,827).

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is fifth among catchers.

Jacoby Ellsbury (ninth) and Shane Victorino (14th) are well behind in the outfield voting.

Ortiz was the only Red Sox player on the All-Star team last season. Ortiz, Napoli, Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester would appear to be strong candidates this season.

On Deck blog has minor league coverage

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 3, 2013 09:18 AM

If you haven't already, bookmark Craig Forde's excellent blog On Deck.

He has daily updates on Red Sox minor leaguers and recaps of games. For instance, did you know that Xander Bogaerts has hit safely in seven straight games? He is 11 for 23 with nine RBIs and six runs in that span.

Craig is getting after it with the minor league news and his blog is well worth your time.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 3, 2013 09:08 AM

In a game called by rain in the sixth inning, the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 3-0.

Dan Shaughnessy writes that Clay Buchholz is the best pitcher in baseball right now.

Nick Cafardo writes that the Red Sox have some tricky decisions to make about their infield.

The notebook has Jackie Bradley Jr. maintaining his confidence.

Red Sox storm to victory in the Bronx

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 3, 2013 01:30 AM


NEW YORK — One of the attractions of baseball is that you never can be quite sure what is going to happen when you come to the park on a given night. But the events at Yankee Stadium on Sunday were beyond unusual.

The 8 p.m. game did not start until 8:45 because of the threat of rain. The tarp was down, but nary a drop fell.

In the sixth inning, actual rain came and the game was delayed for 37 minutes. When play started again, four minutes (and two outs) elapsed before it started pouring again and the umpires stopped play.

This time the delay lasted 45 minutes before the game was called at 12:10 a.m.

During the delay, there was a bolt of lightning that seemed right over the stadium. The resulting clap of thunder was so loud that several players scattered from their respective dugouts. One sports columnist (OK, it was our man Dan Shaughnessy) nearly ducked under a table in the press box. Trust me, you would have, too. It was that loud.

As puddles formed in the outfield, the game was mercifully called.

“Three rain delays, a fake one and two real ones,” David Ortiz said. “What else can you do? Stick around and see how things are going to end.”

At 35-23, the Red Sox are 12 games over .500 for the third time this season. They dropped the Yankees (31-25) into third place in the American League East. New York has lost seven of its last eight games.

The Sox are 4-2 against the Yankees this season, outscoring them, 32-15, and winning two series, both in New York.

“That’s how you get yourself closer to the playoffs, winnings series, winning series, winning series. At the end of the season, you say, ‘Wow, we’re in the playoffs,’ ” Ortiz said.

Monday is a well-earned day off for the Red Sox, who were 13-7 in a stretch of 20 games in as many days in five cities. They open a three-game series with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Fenway Park. The Rangers have the best record in the American League at 35-21 and swept three games from the Sox in Texas from May 3-5.

A few notes:

• Clay Buchholz gets credit for a shutout ("That's awesome," he said) after going five innings and allowing two hits. He is 8-0 with a MLB-best 1.62 ERA after 11 starts. The Sox are 10-1 in the games he has started.

Buchholz has the lowest ERA after 11 starts for a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez had a 1.44 after 11 starts in 2001.

“I’m just trying to ride the wave. It’s been fun,” Buchholz said. “Once you get complacent with it, that’s when it turns. So I’m trying to do everything the same in between each start.”

• Ortiz and Jose Iglesias hit home runs and both were impressive. Iglesias lined a hanging fastball well into the seats in left field. He has reached base safely in 15 of 16 games this season and is hitting .434 with a 1.041 OPS. Sixteen games and 53 at-bats is a small sample size to be certain, but there seems to be something to the idea that Iglesias is motivated and focused in the majors in ways he is not in the minors.

Ortiz hit a boomer of a home run in the sixth inning, the blast going to right field. Bald Vinny Milano, leader of the Bleacher Creatures, wrote on Twitter that it was the third ball he has seen fly that far at the Stadium. He would know.

Ortiz also flipped his bat so far he should throw the javelin for the Dominican Republic in the next Olympics.

Ortiz has now hit at least 10 home runs in each season since 2000. Only Paul Konerko and Alex Rodriguez can potentially join him. Konerko has five this season and A-Rod has yet to play. Big Papi also has 36 RBIs in 39 games. Next time he's in New York it should be for the All-Star Game.

• Andrew Miller was called into the game and officially gets credit for an appearance even through he didn't throw a pitch.

• Sunday’s game was the 906th Dustin Pedroia has played at second base for the Sox, tying Marty Barrett for third in team history. Only Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr (1,852 from 1937-51) and Hobe Ferris (983 from 1901-07) have played more at the position. Pedroia has started the first 58 games of the season. The last Red Sox second baseman to do that was Barrett in 1988. He started the first 66 games that season.

Wow, what a night. Time to head for the 4 train at 1:30 a.m. Thanks for reading, everybody.

Final: Red Sox 3, Yankees 0 (5½ innings)

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 2, 2013 08:25 PM

Game over: Red Sox 3, Yankees 0: Following a 45-minute delay, the third of the game, the game was called in the middle of the sixth inning. The Red Sox took two out of three with Clay Buchholz improving to 8-0. Jose Iglesias and David Ortiz homered.

Weather update: Game resumed after a 37-minute rain delay. Boone Logan got a pair of outs in the top of the sixth. The bottom of the inning never started, as heavy rains returned. Play was stopped at 11:25 p.m.

Top 6th: Red Sox 3, Yankees 0 - Heavy rains begin right before David Ortiz strokes a home run to right. Game has now been delayed.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 0 - Buchholz stellar. Yankees have two hits. Right now, they can't touch him.

Top 5th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 0 - Jose Iglesias homered to left field off Kuroda. Iglesias now 13-for-22 vs. Yankees. That's .590.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 1, Yankees 0 - Buchholz is rolling. He struck out Teixeira and Hafner and got Wells to ground out.

Top 4th: Red Sox 1, Yankees 0 - Singles by Pedroia and Ortiz and a fielder's choice grounder by Napoli produces the first run of the game vs. Kuroda.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 - Neither team can seem to get anything going. Austin Romine singled to leadoff the inning, but the Yankees couldn't do much vs. Buchholz as Robinson Cano, the Yankees' best hitter knocked into an inning-ending double play.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 - Kuroda has a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 - Approaching 40, Ichiro can still run, beats out an infield hit with two outs vs. Buchholz. but the Buck stops here.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 - The Red Sox staged a rally against Kuroda with Napoli and Salatalamacchia each with singles. But Jose Iglesias tapped out to Kuroda to end the threat.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 - Only four batters, but a long inning for Buchholz, coming back from that AC joint stiffness. He walked Robinson Cano and fell behind leadoff hitter Brett Gardner. He came back to struck out Mark Teixeira.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 - Hiroki Kuroda, who was 6-3 with a 2.39 ERA coming in, retired the Red Sox in order. Nava, Carp and Pedroia, who has been 7-for-15 vs. the righty, flew out to center.

Game resumed after a 45-minute rain delay which was void of rain.

Game is supposed to start at 8:50 p.m. Tarp is off, grounds crew is working on the field. It never rained.

Start of game is delayed

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 2, 2013 07:44 PM

NEW YORK — The start of tonight's game will be delayed. The tarp is on the field at Yankee Stadium and team officials said storms are in the area.

Radar shows a line of storms to the west, but it looks fairly clear beyond that. We will keep you posted.

UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: Yankees announce an 8:50 p.m. start time.

Ellsbury out again; Victorino's return delayed

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 2, 2013 06:46 PM

NEW YORK — Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will miss his third consecutive game with a strained left groin. He was injured on Thursday in Philadelphia stealing second base.

With the Red Sox off on Monday, Ellsbury will get four consecutive days to recover.

“It improved, yet not ready to go today. We’re shooting for Tuesday,” Farrell said.

On Friday, the Red Sox were confident that Shane Victorino would come off the disabled list on Wednesday, the first day he is eligible. But that will not be the case.

Victorino did some short sprints in the outfield before the game and said he was running at only 60 percent. Victorino said he strained left hamstring has healed but he needs time to build up to game speed.

“I can’t play running at 60 percent,” he said. “My legs are a big part of my game. I need to get back to the point where I can run normally.”

Farrell was on the field to watch Victorino run.

“At times he was [tentative]. He’s not running at 100 percent,” Farrell said. “The one thing that we’re being cautious with here is that based on experience of having him come back and play successive games and he’s had a couple of those setbacks prior to going on the disabled list, we want to be sure that there’s a gradual improvement, which he’s showing.

“To say he’s going to go on a rehab assignment [Monday] or [Tuesday] is probably a little premature at this point. We’re just being a little bit more overly cautious.”

Victorino said he would need at least a few minor league games before returning.

“There’s been no setbacks; there’s been no re-aggravation of it. It’s just a matter of when he tries to get to that explosiveness; he doesn’t have quite the confidence. We’re honestly telling him to more gradually get into it. What we don’t want to do is turn this into an extended period.”

Victorino also had a back injury last month. But that is no longer an issue.

“It’s all the leg,” he said. “But it’s getting better.”

Game 58: Red Sox at Yankees

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 2, 2013 03:32 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (34-23)
Nava LF
Carp RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Drew SS
Saltalamacchia C
Iglesias 3B
Bradley Jr. CF
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (7-0, 1.73).

YANKEES (31-24)
Gardner CF
Cano 2B
Teixeira 1B
Hafner DH
Wells LF
Youkilis 3B
Suzuki RF
Nix SS
Stewart C
Pitching: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-3, 2.39).

Game time: 8 p.m.

TV/Radio: ESPN / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Kuroda: Drew 8-24, Ellsbury 5-16, Pedroia 7-15, Ciriaco 3-12, Salty 3-12, Nava 3-9, Gomes 0-8, Napoli 1-6, Carp 2-6, Ortiz 2-3, Iglesias 1-4, Bradley 0-0 (1 HBP).

Yankees vs. Buchholz: Wells 7-29, Overbay 7-25, Cano 12-28, Teixeira 4-19, Boesch 3-19, Gardner 2-15, Suzuki 2-10, Hafner 3-9, Nix 0-5, Brignac 0-3, Youkilis 1-3, Stewart 0-2.

Stat of the Day: Iglesias and Bradley are 16 of 38 (.421) against the Yankees this season.

Notes: The Sox and Yankees split the first two games of the series. ... The Sox are in first place in the AL East by two games. They are 2-2 on a road trip that ends tonight. ... The Yankees have lost six of seven. ... The Sox have won six of nine. ... The Sox are 3-2 against the Yankees this season, outscoring their rivals 29-15. ... Buchholz is pitching for the first time since May 22 because of a sore AC joint. He is 3-5, 6.41 in 10 career starts against the Yankees. But he pitched well against them on April 3, allowing one run over seven innings. ...Kuroda is 2-2, 3.71 in seven career starts against the Sox. He lasted only 1.1 innings against the Sox on April 3 after being struck in the right middle finger by a line drive off the bat of Shane Victorino. ... Sox relievers have been stellar on the road trip (10.2 IP, 1 ER, 15 K) so far. ... The Sox are 12-7 in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. They are off on Monday then start a six-game homestand against the Rangers and Angels.

Song of the Day: "A Sunday Kind of Love" by Etta James.

Unlikely outfield helps Red Sox to an easy victory

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 2, 2013 12:10 AM

NEW YORK — Consider the three outfielders the Red Sox started against the Yankees Saturday night:

Daniel Nava, the former independent league player, batted leadoff and played left field. Once considered a defensive liability, Nava now covers ground well enough for the wide-open spaces in that corner of Yankee Stadium.

Jackie Bradley Jr., a rookie hitting .111, started in center field.

The right fielder was Mike Carp, a player who had never started a major league game at that position.

“It was kind of fun,” Bradley said after the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 11-1, before a sellout crowd of 48,784. “We went out there to win the game.”

The unlikely outfield trio had nine hits, five RBIs and scored five runs, contributing heavily to an 18-hit attack.

A few notes on the game:

• With the Sox up, 1-0, in the third inning and two runners on, Yankees manager Joe Girardi played the percentages and had David Ortiz intentionally walked to get to Mike Napoli.

There was sound reasoning behind it. Ortiz was 9 of 21 against Yankees starter Phil Hughes in his career with five extra-base hits. Ortiz also has hit close to .400 against righthanders this season.

But the percentages backfired this time. Hughes went after Napoli with mostly high fastballs and the fifth one was driven over the fence in right center.

It was Napoli’s second grand slam of the season, the fifth of his career. Napoli has had four plate appearances following intentional walks to Ortiz. He has driven in eight runs with two home runs and a sacrifice fly.

“That’s a good feeling. My job is to be his protection. When something like that happens it feels good to come through,” said Napoli, who has nine home runs and 44 RBIs this season.

• Felix Doubront went six solid innings for the win, allowing one run on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Doubront is 2-1 with a 2.32 in five career starts against the Yankees. He is the first Red Sox pitcher since at least 1920 to register quality starts (at least six innings and no more than three earned runs) in his first five career starts against the Yankees.

“It’s the adrenaline. I have a lot of respect for those guys,” Doubront said. “There’s a lot going on in my mind. I went out there with a lot of conviction.”

• Nava had a three-run homer in the eighth inning. He was 4 for 6 with four RBIs and two runs scored. That came a night after he was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts batting leadoff.

“Just an outstanding offensive performance by him,” John Farrell said.

Nava was fuming after the game on Friday with the floating strike zone of umpire Lance Barksdale. But he was smiling on Saturday.

“Things are a lot better, that’s for sure,” he said. “Getting a win is huge. Getting a chance to win the series tomorrow. It was one of those nights you had a good feel.”

Nava is hitting .296 with an .883 OPS, nine home runs and 37 RBIs. Not bad for $500,000. Carl Crawford is hitting .301 with an .828 OPS, five home runs and 13 RBIs for $20.8 million.

• Jose Iglesias was 2 for 5 with one RBI and two runs scored. He is 11 of 20 against the Yankees this season with multiple hits in all five games against them.

• Bradley was 3 for 5 with two doubles and two runs scored. He is 5 of 18 against the Yankees this season with three doubles and six runs scored. He has played a major role in three victories against the Yankees this season.

Thanks to everybody for reading. Catch you for the series finale on Sunday night.

Final: Red Sox 11, Yankees 1

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff June 1, 2013 06:56 PM

Game over: Red Sox 11, Yankees 1 The Red Sox win it with power ball tonight. A third-inning grand slam by Mike Napoli off Phil Hughes pretty much turned this into Boston's game early on. Daniel Nava hit a three-run shot in the eighth and Stephen Drew with a solo homer in the 9th.

Nava went 4 for 6 with four RBI. Felix Doubront pitched well and is now 4-2. The game was played in 3:25 before a sellout of 48,784.

Top 9th: Red Sox 11, Yankees 1 - Red Sox are piling on. Stephen Drew homered. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a ground rule double and scored on Jose Iglesias' single. Jackie Bradley doubled to left field before Nava grounded out as the 11th run scored. That's four RBI for Nava.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 8, Yankees 1 - Yankees trying to catch final period of Bruins-Penguins. Go down 1-2-3. Nice quick hands by Jose Iglesias at third on slow grounder by Vernon Wells.

Top 8th: Red Sox 8, Yankees 1 - Daniel Nava caps off quite a night with a three-run homer. Nava went 4-for-5 with three singles and a homer. He's now driven in 36 runs with his eighth home run.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 1 - Tazawa with a strong inning. Strikes out Youkilis who has three Ks on the night.

Top 7th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 1 - A single by Napoli was quickly erased on Drew's double-play grounder. Game has really dragged since Napoli grand slam.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 1 - Doubront handles the Yankees again.

Top 6th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 1 - A pair of two-out hits by Nava and Carp, but the rally stops there as Pedroia pops to right.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 1 - The Yanks can't do anything against Doubront, who strikes out Youkilis and Teixeria. Doubront has good stuff tonight.

Top 5th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 1 - Two hits (Pedroia and Drew) and three strikeouts (Ortiz, Napoli, Salty). Preston Claiborne is a pretty good talent.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 1 - Back-to-back singles by Jayson Nix and David Adams produces a sacrifice fly by Chris Stewart for the Yankees' first run.

Top 4th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 0 - The Red sox got a single out of Daniel Nava, but no more off Hughes.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 5, Yankees 0 - Doubront allowed a single but he struck out two.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 5, Yankees 0 - Mike Napoli hit a grand slam to rightcenter off Phillip Hughes on a 2-2 pitch. It was after the Yankees had walked David Ortiz intentionally to load the bases. The Sox scored their first run when Mike Carp drove in Jackie Bradley who led off the inning with a double deep to center. Daniel Nava also reached with a single. After Pedroia struck out, Ortiz was walked.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 - Doubront labored and was fortunate to get a double-play grounder while walking two and allowing a single to Ichiro in the inning.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 - Mike Napoli reached on a single to center and advanced on a wild pitch by Hughes. But Hughes got the next three hitters as the Red Sox stranded the lead run.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 The Yankees put two on against Felix Doubront but the lefty was able to strike out Vernon Wells to escape the damage.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 - The Red Sox batted against Yankees starter Phil Hughes. He walked Mike carp, batting second in the Red Sox order, but retired the rest of the side including a called third strike of David Ortiz.

We'll bring you updates from the Red Sox-Yankees game throughout the night. The pregame buzz was over Bernando LaPallo who is 111 years old and doesn't look a day over 70. I guess we can call LaPallo the longest living Yankee fan. He was born in 1901. I asked what his secret to his long life was and he said that he kept away from wild women, alcohol and meat. His face barely has a wrinkle on his face and claims applying olive oil on his face after he shaves is the key there.

Red Sox considering Iglesias for bench role

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 1, 2013 06:48 PM

NEW YORK — Jose Iglesias started at third base for the Red Sox again on Saturday night and seems sure to stay there until Will Middlebrooks is activated off the disabled list.

Middlebrooks is eligible to return on June 8 and is on track to do so. His back strain has healed to a point where he will take batting practice on Sunday.

But Iglesias may not be headed back to Triple A Pawtucket. Sox manager John Farrell gave strong support to the idea that the 23-year-old could remain on the roster as a utility player.

“We haven’t ruled out that he would remain here,” Farrell said. “He’s been exposed more to third than he has been to second. Obviously we’re more than comfortable with him at shortstop.”

The Sox have cut back on the playing time of backup Pedro Ciriaco. He had eight plate appearances and one start from May 20-31.

Ciriaco was a surprising contributor last season after being signed a minor league free agent. But he has hit .239 this season and committed seven errors in 121 innings in the field.

Iglesias would offer the Sox a more reliable glove off the bench and more offensive potential based on his performance to date. Iglesias was hitting .435 in 14 major league games through Friday with a .460 on-base percentage.

His production at the plate as been a surprise given that Iglesias is a career .257 hitter in the minors, .244 in parts of three seasons at Triple A.

Farrell can’t explain the metamorphosis. In general, he said, perhaps there is a greater focus from pitch to pitch.

“I do know this: The one thing that he’s not doing, as we saw in spring training or even last year, is he’s not chasing the breaking ball as much,” Farrell said. “That’s a sign of maturity, of better pitch recognition and what opposing pitchers are trying to do to him. But there’s no denying he’s swung the bat very well here.”

Iglesias would likely play less in the majors than he would at Pawtucket, which could slow his development. But the needs of the team could outweigh that.

“Before that decision is made on whether he’s on the roster, we’re probably more open-minded to less than everyday at-bats than maybe we were previously,” Farrell said.

See the Globe tomorrow for more on Iglesias.

Ellsbury out again; return uncertain

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 1, 2013 06:41 PM

NEW YORK — Jacoby Ellsbury is out of the Red Sox lineup for a second consecutive night because of a left groin strain.

The center fielder was injured in Philadelphia on Thursday when he stole second base in the eighth inning, giving him a team record five steals in the game.

“Still day to day. He’s improved, but yet not ready to go,” Farrell said.

The team is off on Monday, so the Sox could give Ellsbury four consecutive days off and hope he returns on Tuesday against Texas at Fenway Park.

“The improvement that Jacoby has shown today over yesterday is very encouraging” Farrell said. “Not ruling out [Sunday] as his availability. But, still, we’ve got to monitor and check in on him each day he comes to park here. The improvement is encouraging today."

Also:

• Shane Victorino, out since May 21 with hamstring and back injuries, took batting practice on the field and is tentatively scheduled to start a minor league rehabilitation assignment on Monday, likely with Pawtucket.

“The thing that we’re gong through right now is just reconditioning,” Farrell said. “That lower back, left hip, left hamstring, that’s all being tested with increased activity. How he responds to that running, that will have a direct impact on when and how long his rehab assignment will take place.”

Farrell said the concern is rushing Victorino to a point where he has a setback. But he remains on track to be activated on Wednesday.

“As he ramps up the intensity, we’re going to adjust if need be to how he responds to that,” Farrell said.

• Will Middlebrooks took BP in the cage and then grounders on the field. He will take BP on the field on Sunday. He remains on track for a return from the DL on June 8, the day he is eligible.

Game 57: Red Sox at Yankees

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 1, 2013 02:29 PM

Good afternoon. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (33-23)
Nava LF
Carp RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Drew SS
Saltalamacchia C
Iglesias 3B
Bradley Jr. CF
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (3-2, 5.29).

YANKEES (31-23)
Gardner CF
Youkilis DH
Cano 2B
Teixeira 1B
Wells LF
Nix SS
Adams 3B
Suzuki RF
Stewart C
Pitching: RHP Phil Hughes (2-3, 4.97)

Game time: 7:15 p.m.

TV/Radio: FOX / WEEI.

Red Sox vs. Hughes: Pedroia 6-24, Ortiz 9-20 (5 extra-base hits), Ellsbury 6-16, Salty 2-13, Nava 1-10, Carp 4-8, Ciriaco 4-9, Napoli 3-7, Gomes 0-3, Ross 1-2.

Yankees vs. Doubront: Cano 0-11, Teixeira 2-9, Nix 0-5, Suzuki 1-5, Youkilis 1-3, Gardner 0-2, Hafner 1-2, Overbay 0-1, Romine 0-1, Wells 1-1.

Stat of the Day: Red Sox reserve infielder Pedro Ciriaco has hit .415 (22 of 53) in 14 games against the Yankees since joining the Red Sox with a .436 on-base percentage, a .566 slugging percentage, seven RBIs and 12 runs scored. In 85 games against other teams, Ciriaco is hitting .258 (65 of 252) with a .291 on-base percentage, a .353 slugging percentage, 16 RBIs and 25 runs scored.

Stat of the Day II: Red Sox pitchers have 504 strikeouts, second in the major leagues. Red Sox batters have struck out 467 times, third in the major leagues. Red Sox batters have 2,157 plate appearances this season and their pitchers have faced 2,107 batters. So 971 of the 4,264 plate appearances involving the Red Sox this season have resulted in a strikeout. That's just under 23 percent.

Notes: The Red Sox and Yankees have split four games this season, all played at the big stadium in the Bronx. ... Doubront has allowed six earned runs over 17 innings in his last three starts, dropping his ERA from 6.40 to 5.29. He is 1-1, 2.73 in eight career appearances against the Yankees, four of them starts. ... Hughes is 5-6, 4.95 in 20 career appearances against the Sox. But he was 3-1, 2.03 in four starts last season. Hughes didn't get out of the first inning against Seattle on May 15. He allowed three earned runs over 13 innings in the two starts that followed. ... Iglesias has reached safely in 13 of the 14 games he has played this season. ... If Ellsbury does not play, it would be the 240th game he has missed since the start of the 2010 season. That would be 44 percent of the games played. ... The Sox have dropped four of their last six road games.

Song of the Day: "Saturday" by The Enemy.

Jimmy Fund Fantasy Day at Fenway is June 15

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff June 1, 2013 10:30 AM

The John Hancock Fenway Fantasy Day to benefit the Jimmy Fund will be June 15.

Fans can pick from a variety of packages to take batting practice or field balls at Fenway Park. Former Red Sox closer Keith Foulke will make an appearance at the event.

For more information, to purchase a package or learn how to fundraise your way on to the field, visit www.jimmyfundfantasyday.org.

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