Is it too soon to say the Red Sox may be building some momentum and turning a corner?

For just the third time all season (79 games) the Red Sox have won three games in a row as they held on to beat the Blue Jays, 4-3 Tuesday night in Toronto. It was also their ninth win in their last 14 games.

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Rusney Castillo may be in Toronto, but that doesn’t mean Hanley Ramirez is going on the disabled list just yet.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Tuesday night’s game against the Blue Jays that Ramirez continues to make progress from a sore left wrist in the batting cages, and the Red Sox are holding out hope the slugger will avoid the DL.

To protect themselves, they brought Castillo to Toronto for a day to be ready in case Ramirez couldn’t play.

“Rusney is here as part of a taxi squad, which we’€™re allowed for a day provided by MLB,” Farrell said. “In addition to that, Hanley has had a good day so far. He’€™ll take regular BP here today. He swung in the cage earlier so he’€™s making pretty solid progress over the last 24 hours.”

Castillo was recently sent to Pawtucket and needs to spend at least 10 days in the minors before he’s eligible to return to the big leagues, though the Red Sox would get an exemption in case of an injury to Ramirez.

Farrell said that the time off has helped Ramirez. He has yet to play on this road trip after getting hit by a Xander Bogaerts liner last week.

“Hands to a hitter are vitally important,” Farrell said. “The fact that he was able to get some peace of mind to the MRI results, followed up with some work already today, yeah, things are coming together as we hoped they were.”

In other news . . .

— Catcher Ryan Hanigan took a scheduled day off Tuesday from his rehab assignment and could rejoin the team as soon as Wednesday, Farrell said.

— Outfielder Shane Victorino needs at least a couple of more rehab appearances, Farrell said. When he does rejoin the team, he could potentially join a platoon with outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who is batting .390 over his last 11 games.

— One area of Rodriguez’s game to watch tonight will be whether he’s tipping pitches. Pitching coach Carl Willis believed that to be the case after he got bombed out of the stretch against the Orioles in his last start.

“It was a tale of two outings inside of one,” Farrell said. “When he got to the stretch position, I think there were some nuances that probably suggested he might be throwing one type of pitch or another. When you dominate the first 10 hitters as he did and then don’t record an out, it makes you start to look a little bit deeper. It’s not uncommon for pitchers to fall into certain habits that they give some information to the opposition.”

(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from Toronto)

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

The Red Sox announced they have officially signed first-round and No. 7 overall pick, center fielder Andrew Benintendi. According to a source, he signed for the slot value of $3,590,400 first reported by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

He will begin his professional career with short-season, Single-A Lowell.

The Red Sox announced they have officially signed first-round and No. 7 overall pick, center fielder Andrew Benintendi. According to a source, he signed for the slot value of $3,590,400 first reported by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

He will begin his professional career with short-season, Single-A Lowell.

Benintendi won the 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes award, which goes to the top amateur baseball player in the country. As a sophomore he hit .376 and ranked third in the nation in slugging percentage (.717). He led the country in home runs with 19 and was the only college baseball player to record 20 home runs and 20-plus stolen bases this year. In the clean-up spot, he generated 85 hits, 57 RBIs and placed third in total bases (162).

“It was a good feeling not just for me, but for Arkansas and all the people that helped me to get to that point,” Benintendi said to WEEI.com in Lowell before the signing became official on winning the Golden Spikes award.

His Arkansas team made it to the College World Series before falling to Miami. The Razorbacks went 40-25 overall on the year.

“It was a great experience playing in front of 25,000 [people],” Benintendi said of playing in the College World Series. “Sharing that was my teammates because we worked so hard to get to that point. Definitely a great experience.”

As a freshman, the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder had a slash line of .276/.368/.333 with one home run and 27 RBIs, but really took things to a new level for his sophomore season. The biggest difference he said was putting on 15 pounds of muscle going into the year.

“I knew what to expect going into this year from my freshman year,” he said. “I think I prepared well and it paid off.”

The 20-year-old admitted he was a little surprised at the attention he received from scouts this past season and that the Red Sox were the team involved the most, so he wasn’t surprised when his name was called at No. 7.

He visited Fenway Park last Thursday and watched the Red Sox take on the Orioles from behind home plate. It was his first time visiting the park.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “That stadium has a lot of history so seeing that in person was pretty cool.”

“Top-notch,” he added of his experience. “Coming here, great guys all around. I am very happy to be here.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez is out for a sixth straight game with a left wrist injury as the Sox take on the Blue Jays in Game 2 of a four-game series Tuesday night.

Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez is out for a sixth straight game with a left wrist injury as the Sox take on the Blue Jays in Game 2 of a four-game series Tuesday night.

Ramirez was sent back to Boston when the team was in Tampa Bay, but rejoined them in Toronto. It’s been reported Rusney Castillo is in Toronto, so it’s possible there’s a DL move to be made.

Alejandro De Aza gets another start in left field, as he’s made the most of his playing time. Jackie Bradley Jr. once again starts in right field as the Red Sox lineup goes up against right-hander Marco Estrada.

Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Mookie Betts, CF
Brock Holt, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Alejandro De Aza, LF
Blake Swihart, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-41): L, 6-0 and L, 3-0, at Rochester (Twins)

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday:

Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-41): L, 6-0 and L, 3-0, at Rochester (Twins)

— The first game of Monday’€™s doubleheader was a continuation of the June 5 contest suspended due to rain after two innings with Rochester leading, 1-0. That would be all the offense Rochester would need as the PawSox managed just five hits — all singles.

— Right-hander Keith Couch pitched all six innings in Game 1, allowing nine hits and five earned runs. He walked one and struck out one. Righty Zeke Spruill, who started the game June 5, suffered the loss and fell to 3-2 on the season.

— Left-hander Brian Johnson started the second game of the doubleheader, but left after throwing just five pitches. According to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, Johnson left due to illness, not injury. Johnson took the loss, as the only batter he faced walked and scored on a sacrifice fly. The 2012 first-round draft pick is 8-5 with a 2.68 ERA in 15 starts.

— Righty Dalier Hinojosa took over for Johnson and allowed one earned run on four hits in four innings of work. Hinojosa is 3-1 with a 3.31 ERA in 35 1/3 innings over 17 games with Pawtucket this season.

–€” The Pawtucket offense struggled again in Game 2, combining for just four hits. Allen Craig notched two of them, going 2-for-3 with a double.

Reed Gragnani

Reed Gragnani

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (28-49): W, 5-4 and L, 6-1, vs. Reading (Phillies)

— Second baseman Reed Gragnani hit a single to center in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1 that scored Manuel Margot and gave the Sea Dogs their third walkoff win of the season. Gragnani went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the first game and Margot went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.

— Ryan Hanigan continued his rehab assignment, playing both games of the doubleheader. Hanigan went 0-for-3 with a walk in Game 1 as the catcher, but went 2-for-3 with a double in the second game as the designated hitter.

— Right-hander Madison Younginer grabbed the win in Game 1 after tossing three innings of relief. Younginer is now 3-3 with one save and a 3.02 ERA in 41 2/3 innings over 22 games this season.

— Left-hander Robby Scott made a spot start for the Sea Dogs in the second game, taking the loss after going 2 2/3 innings. He allowed two earned runs on three hits and one walk and struck out two. Scott has a 1-1 record and a 2.04 ERA in 20 appearances for Portland this year, including two starts.

— Keury De La Cruz accounted for Portland’€™s only run in Game 2, as the left fielder hit a two-out solo shot to center in the bottom of the seventh inning. The 23-year-old lefty has hit safely in his last five games and is hitting .219 with five home runs and 28 RBIs on the season.

Kevin McAvoy

Kevin McAvoy

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (40-33): L, 3-1, vs. Lynchburg (Indians)

— Third baseman Jose Vinicio extended his hitting streak to six games, going 2-for-3 with a triple. The switch-hitting 21-year-old has a .283 average with eight doubles, three triples and 11 RBIs in 45 games with Salem this season.

— Right fielder Kevin Heller drove in the lone Salem run on a single to left in the bottom of the first inning. Second baseman Tzu-Wei Lin scored after doubling to center with one out in the frame and advancing on a Yoilan Cerse groundout.

— Right-hander Kevin McAvoy started for Salem, tossing six innings and giving up one earned run on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts. McAvoy is 4-6 with a 4.06 ERA in 14 starts this year.

— Chandler Shepherd relieved McAvoy in the seventh inning and suffered the loss, allowing two runs in the eighth inning. He gave up four hits and no walks. The 22-year-old right-hander is 0-2 with one save and a 4.56 ERA in 23 2/3 innings over 10 games.

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (41-34): L, 4-1 and W, 4-2, vs. Charleston (Yankees)

— Dedgar Jimenez pitched the first complete game of the season for Greenville but suffered the Game 1 loss. The 19-year-old southpaw gave up four runs –€” only one earned –€” on seven hits and one walk with two strikeouts. Jimenez is now 5-4 in 11 starts and has a 3.32 ERA.

— Second baseman Yoan Moncada went 2-for-4 in game one and scored the Drive’€™s only run. He went 0-for-4 with a run scored in the second game and is hitting .229 with five doubles, one triple, one home run and 11 RBIs through 30 games.

— Left fielder Carlos Mesa hit a two-run home run in the third inning that was the difference in game two. Mesa is hitting .267 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in 39 games for the Drive this year.

— Starting left-hander Jake Drehoff allowed just two runs on six hits and struck out five in 4 1/3 innings in game two, but right-hander Jamie Callahan earned his first win of the season with 2 2/3 innings of relief. Callahan is 1-5 with a 6.48 ERA in 15 appearances –€” six starts –€” for Greenville this season.

Josh Ockimey

Josh Ockimey

SHORT SEASON LOWELL SPINNERS (9-2): W, 5-3 and L, 1-0, at Vermont (Athletics)

— Designated hitter Josh Ockimey led the offense in Game 1, hitting the Spinners’€™ first home run of the season. He finished the game 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. The 19-year-old played first base and went 0-for-3 in the second game but is hitting .387 with nine RBIs in nine games this season.

— Right-handed starter Dioscar Romero earned the win in Game 1 with a five-inning effort. He allowed four hits, two earned runs and one walk and struck out six. The 20-year-old Dominican is 1-1 with a 7.94 ERA after two starts.

— Luis Ramos pitched a six-inning, one-run complete game in Game 2 of Monday’€™s doubleheader but the Lowell offense combined for only three hits. The 20-year-old left-hander gave up just one earned run on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Ramos is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three starts.

Blog Author: 
Emily McCarthy
Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

The Show will not be any kinder to Eduardo Rodriguez on Tuesday, when he heads north of the border to face Marco Estrada and baseball’s most prolific offense in the Blue Jays.

Since his three-start debut to the majors which saw him go 2-0 with a 0.44 ERA, Rodriguez has come crashing down to Earth. In his last three starts, the 22-year-old southpaw has thrown 14 2/3 innings and has given up 21 hits, 16 earned runs and a .339/.382/.516 opponents’ slash line.

Part of Rodriguez’ misfortune can be attributed to a .380 BABIP, but he’s also lost some of the trademark control that made him the talk of Red Sox Nation in early June. Over his last three starts, Rodriguez has thrown just 58 percent of his pitches for strikes and opponents have tagged him for a 33 percent line drive rate.

Rodriguez’s latest outing against the surging Orioles last Thursday was absolutely brutal. The native Venezuelan lasted just 3 2/3 innings, as he allowed six runs on seven hits with the big blow coming off the bat of Matt Wieters, a two-run shot that gave the Orioles a 3-1 lead. Rodriguez never recovered from the blow and took the loss in an 8-6 slugfest.

“This game, it’€™s a faster pace than the minor leagues,” teammate Clay Buchholz said after the game. “Competition from minor leagues to the big leagues — there’€™s a lot of good players in Triple-A, but here there’€™s constant study on your delivery, if there’€™s any sort of thing they can hint on to cancel out pitches. There’€™s a couple of things we’€™re going to sit down and look at over the next couple of days just to look and clear his mind because it’€™s not easy going out there, especially the first three innings throwing as well as he did and then something happen like that.”

Rodriguez, 3-2 with a 4.33 ERA on the season, will have to tread carefully against the Blue Jays, who average a whopping 5.45 runs per game and slug .445 as a team, both MLB-leading marks. In a start against the Bluebirds on June 14, Rodriguez had the worst outing of his young career when he gave up nine runs in just 4 2/3 innings pitched en route to a 13-5 Red Sox loss. No doubt, that start will certainly be fresh in his mind Tuesday in Toronto.

Marco Estrada

Marco Estrada

Opposing Rodriguez will be Estrada, who has made a splash of late by taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning for two consecutive starts. Estrada has lowered his ERA from 4.24 to 3.45 in these last two outings and he is among the hottest pitchers in baseball.

In his most recent outing against the Rays last Wednesday, Estrada proved dominant. The right-hander tossed 8 2/3 innings of two-hit ball while punching out 10 batters. He flirted with perfection through the seventh, but with one out in the bottom of the eighth, Logan Forsythe reached first base on a weak ground ball to third baseman Josh Donaldson. After review, the play was upheld and Forsythe was credited with a hit, breaking up the perfect game and the no-no for Estrada.

“Marco is on some kind of roll,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after the 1-0 win. “He just keeps ploughing along. It was a tough, emotional ball game on both sides and got down to a matter of what’€™s going to give.”

For the year, Estrada carries a modest 5-3 record and and a 3.45 ERA in 10 starts. He last faced the Red Sox on June 14 against Rodriguez, benefiting from the 13-run outburst his offense issued to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. He gave up five earned runs in that start, however, it hardly mattered, and since then he has been nearly untouchable.

Red Sox vs. Estrada (RHP)

David Ortiz (9 plate appearances): .286 AVG/.444 OBP/.714 SLG, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 walks

Pablo Sandoval (9): .222/.222/.444, 1 triple

Hanley Ramirez (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 RBI

Xander Bogaerts (7): .000/.000/.000

Brock Holt (7): .000/.143/.000, 2 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (3): .000/.667/.000, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Alejandro De Aza is 0-for-2 with a strikeout against Estrada.

Sandy Leon is 0-for-2 with a strikeout against Estrada.

Blake Swihart is 1-for-2 vs. Estrada.

Mookie Betts has one plate appearance vs. Estrada with a walk and an RBI.

Jackie Bradley has not faced Estrada.

Blue Jays vs. Rodriguez (LHP)

Jose Bautista (3): .333/.333/.333

Chris Colabello (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI

Josh Donaldson (3): .500/.667/.500

Edwin Encarnacion (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 RBI

Russell Martin (3): .667/.667/1.000, 1 double, 2 RBIs

Jose Reyes (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Ryan Goins is 1-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs against Rodriguez.

Kevin Pillar is 1-for-2 with an RBI against Rodriguez.

Danny Valencia is 0-for-1 with a walk against Rodriguez.

No other Blue Jays have faced Rodriguez.

Blog Author: 
Justin Pallenik