BOSTON – Since joining the Red Sox at the trading deadline, Yoenis Cespedes has made his presence known, especially in back-to-back games earlier this week. Overall this season, he is hitting .257/.302/.466 -- .256/.303/.464 in 101 games with the A’s, .268/.286/.488 in 10 games with the Sox.
He hit his first two home runs with the Sox on Sunday and Tuesday – a three-run shot and a two-run shot, respectively, that each provided the difference in the Sox’ wins.
According to Elias, Cespedes is the first Sox batter since Reid Nichols (at Seattle) on Aug. 23-24, 1992, to hit a game-winning home run in the eighth inning or later in two consecutive games.
Cespedes is riding an eight-game hitting streak, and has hits in nine of 10 games since joining the Sox.
“He’s had some home runs in timely moments,” manager John Farrell said. “There’s a lot of bat speed. Obviously there’s strength. You see that. There’s some fearlessness, after [the Reds’ Jonathan] Broxton tries to knock him down he gets back and takes him deep on the next pitch. I think he thrives in the moment, in big moments in the game. He doesn’t fear those situations; I think he embraces them, and that’s played out with the timeliness to the home runs.”
• Xander Bogaerts is not in the starting lineup, with Brock Holt playing shortstop and leading off. It’s just a day off for Bogaerts, Farrell said.
• Right-hander Alex Wilson was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, with Anthony Ranaudo, who got the win Wednesday in Cincinnati, going back to the PawSox.
• Allen Craig, on the disabled list since Aug. 2 with a left foot sprain, could begin a rehab assignment in the next few days. Farrell was hoping Craig could take on-field batting practice today. He is eligible to be activated on Sunday.
• Catcher David Ross has been on the DL since Aug. 2 with right plantar fasciitis. Farrell was hoping Ross could catch a bullpen session today and/or Friday, which would help the team begin to plan for a rehab assignment for him.
• Since the All-Star break, Sox pitchers have walked a major league-high 70 batters in 144 1/3 innings over 24 games, with no intentional walks. Of those 70 walks, 28, or 40 percent, have scored.