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

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

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-59): L, 2-1, vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays)

— Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, the PawSox got leadoff singles from Rusney Castillo and Travis Shaw and scored a run on a Garin Cecchini sacrifice fly, but stranded the potential tying run at second base and fell by a final score of 2-1. The PawSox have lost six games in a row and are just 3-17 in July.

Shortstop Marco Hernandez was the final batter of the game, striking out on a 3-2 fastball as Pawtucket batters finished 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Hernandez, 22, singled in the game but finished 1-for-4 with three strikeouts and has whiffed 10 times in the seven games since his promotion from Double-A on July 16. The 6-foot lefty bat led the Eastern League with a .326 average at the time of his call-up, with just 49 strikeouts in 68 Double-A games.

— Castillo, 28, returned to the lineup for the first time since July 19 as he sat out four games in Norfolk. Castillo scored Pawtucket’€™s only run of the game and reached base twice, putting his season long slash line at .282/.337/.389 through 38 games in Triple-A with three homers and seven doubles.

— Allen Craig, in the DH spot on Friday, and second baseman Jemile Weeks both reached base twice for Pawtucket. Weeks led off the sixth inning with a double, but was stranded at third as Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out with one gone in the inning and Castillo grounded out to end the frame.

— LHP Edwin Escobar (Boston’€™s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com) pitched two scoreless innings, allowing a bunt single and a walk but retiring six batters on balls put in play. It was the first action for Escobar since July 19 when he pitched the final three innings with one run allowed. Acquired last summer from the San Francisco Giants in the Jake Peavy trade, the 6-foot-2 Venezuelan has lowered his ERA from 12.54 to 8.40 over his last three outings after allowing runs in a stretch or five out of six appearances. Escobar’€™s season began on June 9 after starting the year on the DL with elbow inflammation.

— RHP Heath Hembree made his third straight scoreless appearance, striking out one while also hitting his first batter of the year as he worked the top of the ninth. Hembree, 26, was the other return piece in the Peavy trade from last July and is currently on a rehab assignment (shoulder inflammation). In 24 2/3 innings with the PawSox this year, Hembree has struck out 24 while walking just four with just five earned runs allowed.

Tim Roberson

Tim Roberson

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (37-63): W, 10-5, vs. New Hampshire (Blue Jays)

— Portland had a season-high 21 hits — 17 singles and four doubles, as the Sea Dogs jumped out to a 10-0 lead by the fourth inning. Seven different players had multi-hit games, including third baseman Oscar Tejeda (4-for-4 with a double, walk, RBI, and two runs scored), shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin (3-for-5 with two runs scored), DH David Chester (3-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored), and catcher Tim Roberson (3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored).

“€œOur record might not show it,”€ Roberson told the Portland Press Herald, “€œbut we’€™ve got good players in this locker room and they can swing the bat.”

— First baseman Sam Travis (Boston’€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-5 for his fourth multi-hit game in his last six and raised his season-long Double-A slash line to .294/.357/.402 through 27 games. The 21-year-old Travis, selected by Boston in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University, is hitting .341 in July with a .402 on-base percentage, driving in 13 runs and scoring 10.

— RHP Simon Mercedes (Boston’€™s No. 26 prospect at MLB.com) continues to struggle, as the reliever retired just one of the six batters he faced, walking the first two batters, with two wild pitches in the mix, and then allowing a three-run homer deep to right field. Signed for $800,000 in the 2011 international signing period, Mercedes has allowed earned runs in five of six appearances made this month. On the season Mercedes is 2-2 with a 4.53 ERA, striking out 44 in 59 2/3 innings with 58 hits allowed to go with 28 walks.

Trey Ball

Trey Ball

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (51-48): W, 9-4, vs. Wilmington (Royals)

— LHP Trey Ball (Boston’€™s No. 9 prospect at MLB.com) picked up the victory (8-8, 3.69 ERA) with a final line of: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO. Ball allowed two runs in the first on three hits and then a solo home run to leadoff the second before settling down to retire nine of the next 10 batters he faced. An unearned run scored in the fifth after an error and two singles, but Ball left the bases loaded as he got a foul pop-out to close out the inning.

Selected by Boston in the first-round (seventh overall) of the 2013 draft out of high school in Indiana, Ball is 2-3 with a 3.48 ERA over six starts post All-Star break, with 17 strikeouts to 15 walks over those 33 2/3 innings. Ball’€™s eight wins are tied for the second-most in the Carolina League, with his ERA ranking 11th. His 45 walks this season are the third highest total in the league.

— Kevin Heller, batting cleanup as the DH, hit a bases loaded double in the bottom the first to plate three runs and give Salem a 3-2 lead, as Heller at that point had reached base in nine straight at-bats in the series against Wilmington. Heller, 25, finished 1-for-3 to put his slash line in Salem this year over 55 games is .310/.418/.435. In July, the outfielder has surged to a .349/.481/.460 line with 13 RBIs and eight runs scored. Selected by Boston in the 40th round of the 2012 draft out of Amherst College, Heller has spent time with Double-A Portland in each of the past three seasons, hitting just .132 there in 13 games to start 2015 before being demoted back to Salem.

— Right fielder Cole Sturgeon blasted a two-run home run in the third inning to give Salem a 6-3 lead, his first homer since April 23. Sturgeon was demoted from Double-A Portland on July 22 after hitting just .213 over 30 games with the Sea Dogs. Selected in the 10th round last year out of the University of Louisville, Sturgeon has a five game hitting streak.

— Eight of nine Salem starters had a hit in the game, including: catcher Jordan Weems (3-for-4, two runs scored), third baseman Jordan Betts (2-for-4, run scored), and center fielder Forrest Allday (1-for-2 with three walks, two runs scored)

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (50-48): L, 8-3, at Augusta (Giants)

— Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston’€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) hit his fifth home run of the season and fourth in his last 10 games, a solo shot to left-center field. Moncada finished 1-for-4 with a walk, putting his season slash line at .270/.362/.423. Moncada, 20, has reached safely in 10 straight games and is hitting .325 in July with a .427 on-base percentage, 20 runs scored, 11 RBIs, and nine steals. The switch-hitting Cuban is hitting .270 against both right-handed and left-handed pitchers.

— RHP Ben Taylor, Boston’€™s seventh-round draft pick this year, made his second start for Greenville and pitched three innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks to go with a strikeout. After a perfect first inning, Taylor allowed a double and hit a batter to start the second and then walked two including one with the bases loaded. Taylor, a 6-foot-3 22-year-old, was drafted out of the University of South Alabama and was promoted quickly from Short-Season Lowell after just four outings there where he struck out 17 in 10 innings of work out of the bullpen.

— Catcher J.T. Watkins reached base twice, finishing 1-for-3 with a run to stretch his hitting streak to six games. Watkins, 25, is off to a .379 (11-for-29) start with Greenville in his first seven games with three doubles, three RBIs, and five runs scored. Drafted by Boston in 2012 in the 10th round out of the United States Military Academy at West Point and is a commissioned second lieutenant in the Army. Watkins played 17 games with Lowell in 2012 before returning to military duty, and although he has been granted opportunity this season to pursue his baseball career, Watkins may be recalled for active military duty at any time over the next six years.

Jake Cosart

Jake Cosart

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (17-17): L, 5-3, vs. Auburn (Nationals)

— RHP Jake Cosart (Boston’€™s No. 21 prospect at MLB.com) had a no-decision final line of: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO (74 pitches, 49 strikes). The 21-year-old Cosart allowed a leadoff home run in the first and a run in the second after a double and two wild-pitches. Cosart recovered to strand the bases loaded, and then finished his day by retiring 10 of the final 11 batters he faced. Selected by Boston in the third round of the 2014 draft out of Seminole State College, Cosart has limited damage in three of his last four outings, going five innings and allowing two earned runs or less around a start on July 13 where he was touched up for five earned runs.

— Center fielder Andrew Benintendi, Boston’€™s first-round pick in this year’€™s draft, went 1-for-2 with two walks from the third spot of the batting order and has now reached base safely in 11 straight games. The winner of the Golden Spikes Award this year, given to the best amateur player in the country, the 21-year-old Benintendi is now 16 games into his professional career and has put together a slash line of .255/.435/.529 with four home runs and a triple.

— Boston’€™s third and fourth-round selections in this year’€™s draft, catcher Austin Rei and right fielder Tate Matheny, have struggled at the plate to start their professional careers. Rei did have his first double Friday on a 1-for-4 night, but the 21-year-old backstop is hitting just .108 (4-for-37) out of the gate for the Spinners. The 21-year-old Matheny went 0-for-5 Friday and is hitting .203 (12-for-59) with three doubles in his first 16 games.

Mariano Rivera Jr., the son of the legendary New York Yankees‘€™ closer, pitched the final two innings for Auburn and earned his first professional save. Rivera has allowed 14 earned runs over his first 16 minor league innings, but did hit 94 mph on the LeLacheur Park radar gun as he allowed an unearned run and one hit in his two innings to close out the Spinners on Friday.

“€œI’€™m very happy. First professional save — that’€™s really cool,”€ Rivera told the Lowell Sun. “€œI’€™ve had three bad starts but I’€™ve been doing well out of the pen.”

Rivera was drafted this year in the fourth round out of Iona College by the Washington Nationals.

ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (19-8): Postponed due to rain vs. GCL Twins. Next action on Saturday (doubleheader) vs GCL Twins.

For more, check out the weekly WEEI.com Red Sox Farm Report Podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird
Steven Wright

Steven Wright

After snapping their eight-game losing streak with Friday’s 2-1 win in 11 innings, the Red Sox will trot Steven Wright to the hill Saturday to take on Alfredo Simon and the Tigers.

Wright enters the day with a 3-3 record and 4.84 ERA on the season. The knuckleballer has a 5.42 FIP and 1.303 WHIP.

Wright has had a roller coaster of a season, making multiple trips to and from Triple-A Pawtucket and pitching as both a starter and reliever for the big league Red Sox. He has made 12 appearances in the majors this season and started five of them.

Due to the elbow injury of Clay Buchholz and the struggles of other pitchers like Justin Masterson and Joe Kelly, the Red Sox rotation has become muddled and disorganized. That has created an opportunity for Wright to rejoin the Sox as a starter.

After being sent to Pawtucket in late June, Wright was called back up to start against the Angels in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Angels. His reintroduction to major league hitters was not a great one.

Wright lasted five innings and allowed six runs on six hits and three walks. He gave up a pair of homers to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and the Sox ended up taking a 7-3 loss.

“I felt like I was maybe I was overthrowing (the knuckleball) just a little bit, but it was definitely moving more than it has in a while,” Wright said after the loss. “So it definitely gets frustrating, because when you can’t throw it for strikes, it does limit your options.”

Alfredo Simon

Alfredo Simon

In this his first season with the Tigers, Simon has a record of 8-6 through 18 starts. He has an ERA of 4.63 to go with a 4.02 FIP. His WHIP is an unseemly 1.476, as he allows 10.1 hits per nine innings.

A year ago, Simon was an All-Star with the Reds, posting a 3.44 ERA and 15-10 record before being traded to Detroit. He, like many others in the Reds rotation (including current trade rumor subject Johnny Cueto), becomes a free agent after the 2015 season and thus motivated Cincinnati move him this offseason.

Simon’s season has been very inconsistent. Through his first 12 starts, he had posted a 2.58 ERA and a 7-3 record. Opponents hit just .231 against him.

In the following six outings, the 34-year-old has a combined 10.16 ERA, with opponents hitting for an astronomical .390 batting average and 1.102 OPS.

In his last start Monday, Simon pitched to a no-decision against the Mariners. The right-hander threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks. With the help of the bullpen (3 1/3 scoreless frames) and two Ian Kinsler homers, the Tigers were able to claim a 5-4 victory.

While this was not a remarkable start by any means, it was a marked step forward from the previous outing in which Simon pitched just 2 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits to the Twins.

“It was a better outing, overall,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said after Simon’s start against Seattle. “But I think he can be sharper, like he was earlier in the season.”

Red Sox vs. Simon (RHP)

David Ortiz (9 plate appearances): .167 AVG/.444 OBP/.167 SLG, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (8): .333/.500/.833, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Pablo Sandoval (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Ryan Hanigan (3): .000/.000/.000

Hanley Ramirez (3): .333/.333/.333

Brock Holt is 1-for-1 with a double against Simon.

Mike Napoli is 0-for-1 against Simon.

Daniel Nava is 0-for-1 with a strikeout against Simon.

No other Red Sox have faced Simon.

Tigers vs. Wright (RHP)

Marc Krauss (4): .333/.500/.333, 1 walk

Anthony Gose (2): .000/.000/.000

No other Tigers have faced Wright.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

Rick Porcello was on his his game Fridy against the Tigers.</span></p>
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Xander Bogaerts' second career walkoff hit gave the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Tigers Friday night. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts’ second career walkoff hit gave the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Tigers Friday night. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

What a difference a year makes for Xander Bogaerts.

Maybe the last player the Red Sox would want up in a key situation last year, he’s now the player they want up the most this year.

Bogaerts continued his impressive season with a walkoff single in the 11th inning in the Red Sox’ 2-1 win over the Tigers, which snapped an eight-game losing streak.

After batting just .153 with runners in scoring position last year, Bogaerts is hitting .410 with runners in scoring position this year, which leads the American League. Furthermore, since June 7 he’s hitting .513.

“He’s grown up a lot,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s learning from the challenges of a year ago, he’s learned about himself and the confidence has certainly come back to allow him to be the player that maybe some lofty expectations last year held over his head. He’s playing a very good game right now.”

Bogaerts stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning with Mookie Betts at second base and one out with the struggling Pablo Sandoval on deck against Tigers reliever Blaine Hardy.

With the count 2-2, Bogaerts got a changeup that he was able to send up the middle and into center field to score Betts. It was the previous pitch (a changeup) and Bogaerts’ development as a hitter which played a part in the second walkoff hit of his career.

“I thought he wasn’t going to throw me any good pitches,” Bogaerts said. “I was a bit aggressive early on in the count swinging at bad pitches. I mean, with that 2-1 pitch, he told me what he was going to do with the next pitch. I was ready for it.”

Overall for the season, he’s batting .310 with three home runs and 47 RBis.

The 22-year-old has come into his own this season and has some of his teammates marveling.

“He’€™s incredible,” Justin Masterson said, who picked up the win. “He’€™s been the best. I mean, you saw ‘€” that fly ball, I think Koji was pitching there was a fly ball that De Aza, it hung up there forever, right in front of the wall, and Xander was almost out there and could have caught that. That’€™s where he’€™s supposed to be, in case it ricochets and gets there, but those are the little things that beyond the incredible defense he’€™s been playing, he’€™s become a high-caliber shortstop, and with the hitting that he’€™s done ‘€” he’€™s doing those little things and getting out there and backing up, especially here at Fenway, that’€™s how you play Fenway, but it takes effort to do that.

“He’€™s just been coming through and doing his thing. It’€™s been pretty impressive to watch, especially for the young kid that he is.”

And don’t think Bogaerts believes the Red Sox are out of it, as he acknowledged he was scoreboard watching prior to his 11th inning at-bat.

“I think before that inning I saw the Yankees were losing to be honest, so I’m like if we get a good win tonight that definitely would be good,” he said.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Joe and Dave talk with Xander after he hits the walk-off single that snapped the Red Sox losing streak as they beat the Tigers in 11 innings.

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[0:02:04] ... in the opposite Brad auspices. On these and 403 with runners in scoring position and get a base open. The guy go for sixteen left hand bat exactly I mean everything kennel leads to a walk that guy bit he decided not to and Red Sox are grateful. How's that is certainly an emerging stars he's the era that two to one win away going to Masterson. ...


After eight straight losses and nine of 10, the Red Sox were able to snap the skid with a 2-1 walkoff win over the Tigers in 11 innings Friday night at Fenway Park.

Rick Porcello gave the Red Sox his best start in quite some time Friday night. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Rick Porcello gave the Red Sox his best start in quite some time Friday night. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)


After eight straight losses and nine of 10, the Red Sox were able to snap the skid with a 2-1 walkoff win over the Tigers in 11 innings Friday night at Fenway Park.

Mookie Betts led the inning off with a walk, Brock Holt bunted him over to second and he scored on Xander Bogaerts’ single up the middle on a close play at the plate.

It was the Red Sox’ third walkoff win of the year.

The rally was keyed by a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play to end the top of the 11th when Justin Masterson struck out Victor Martinez and Ryan Hanigan threw out Ian Kinsler trying to steal third.

The Tigers threatened in the eighth against reliever Junichi Tazawa as Kinsler tripled and was the go-ahead run at third, but after a long battle, Tazawa struck Yoenis Cespedes out swinging to end the threat.

The Red Sox had their chance to win it in the ninth inning as they had the winning run on second and Mike Napoli smoked one right back up the middle, but it went right into Al Alburquerque’s glove to end the inning.

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello had his best start in quite some time, as the right-hander went seven innings, allowing one run on five hits, while striking out six. He didn’t walk a batter and it was his longest start since going eight innings on June 3 against the Twins.

His six strikeouts were the most since May 16 against the Mariners and his 105 pitches were the most since his second start of the season. The one earned run was the fewest he’s allowed since he shutout the Rays over seven innings back on May 5.

Detroit scored its only run against Porcello in the third inning when Kinsler singled home former Red Sox Jose Iglesias, who had doubled to leadoff in the inning.

The Red Sox responded in the bottom of the third inning when Brock Holt came through with a two-out RBI single up the middle, plating Shane Victorino who had singled earlier in the frame.

Tigers starter Justin Verlander allowed one run over eight innings and was as impressive as Porcello, if not more.

David Ortiz (scheduled off day) and Dustin Pedroia (hamstring) both missed the game.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:


— Napoli went 1-for-4 to extend his hit streak to five games. Since the All-Star break he’s 8-for-22.

— With his single in the fourth inning, Hanley Ramirez extended his hit streak to four games.


— Betts was 0-for-4. Since the All-Star break he’s batting just .107.

— Pablo Sandoval was 0-for-4 in the game. Overall, he’s now 0 for his last 16 and since June 19 he has just three extra-base hits.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

It’s becoming clear the Red Sox will be after top of the line starters at the trade deadline and one of the teams with some of the best young starters in the game is the Indians.

It’s becoming clear the Red Sox will be after top of the line starters at the trade deadline and one of the teams with some of the best young starters in the game is the Indians.

So, it should be no surprise that according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox are one of the teams who have asked the Indians about their starters. Rosenthal says the Indians “aren’t motivated to act” and it would need to be a “very compelling deal.”

One of the starters the Indians would be most likely to deal is Carlos Carrasco. He also fits what the Red Sox want as he is 28 years old and under team control until 2018 with team options for 2019 and 2020. The right-hander is 10-7 with a 3.94 ERA this season.

The Indians also have Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar, and Trevor Bauer — all under team control — but it would seem Carrasco would be the player the Indians would be most likely to give up.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable