Xander Bogaerts is 12-for-32 in his last eight games. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)Perhaps, finally, the corner has been turned.

The Red Sox are now one loss away from officially being eliminated from the American League East.

Jose Bautista's three-run homer was all the Blue Jays needed Sunday afternoon. (Getty Images)

Jose Bautista’s three-run homer was all the Blue Jays needed Sunday afternoon. (Getty Images)

The Red Sox are now one loss away from officially being eliminated from the American League East.

While such a fate has been a forgone conclusion for some time, coming on the short end of a meeting with the Blue Jays offered at least a bit of surprise. This was a Toronto team, after all, that had dropped the first two games of the teams’ series, having lost one of their best players — Melky Cabrera — for the season Friday night.

But some of the same old issues came back to haunt the Sox Sunday, with Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey teaming with relievers Chuck Cecil and Casey Jannsen to hold the hosts to just six hits en route to a 3-1 loss for John Farrell‘s club to the Jays.

Not helping matters for the Red Sox was their continued inability to get runners in from scoring position, going 1-for-9 in such situations. They also were held to one or fewer runs for the 28th time this season after finishing ’13 with 20 such games.

Dickey pitched into the eighth inning, allowing one run on six hits while striking out four and now walking a batter. He also found himself going up against fellow knuckleballer Steven Wright after the Red Sox reliever replaced starter Rubby De La Rosa in the fifth.

De La Rosa was driven from the game after allowing the biggest blow of the game, a three-run shot off the bat of Jose Bautista. Wright finished his five-inning relief outing allowing just two hits, not allowing a run while striking out six and not walking a batter.

De La Rosa is now winless in his last five starts, dating back to Aug. 16. He finished allowing three runs on seven hits over four innings, matching his shortest outing of the season.

The only Red Sox run came in the sixth inning when Xander Bogaerts singled in Daniel Nava. Bogaerts joined Mookie Betts as the only two Sox hitters to come away with multiple-hit afternoons.

The bottom four hitters in the Red Sox lineup — Allen Craig, Will Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley and Christian Vazquez — went a combined 0-for-13.

The Red Sox finish with a 7-12 mark against the Blue Jays this season, including going 2-7 at Fenway Park.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

With the Patriots getting off to a rough start to begin their season — losing to the Dolphins, 33-20 — talk will surface over the coming days regarding where things went wrong. What do you think?

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What’s next for Rusney Castillo?

After the Portland Sea Dogs’ season game to an end Sunday thanks to an 8-5 loss to Binghamton, Castillo will now be moving on to Triple-A.

Rusney Castillo will either stay with Double-A Portland or move to Triple-A Pawtucket this week. (Getty Images)

Rusney Castillo will either stay with Double-A Portland or move to Triple-A Pawtucket this week. (Getty Images)

What’s next for Rusney Castillo?

The recently signed outfielder is currently with Double-A Portland. After an 0-for-3 game on Saturday, he’s 4-for-14 with two walks, two doubles and a strikeout in his first five minor league games since joining the Sox system. Red Sox manager John Farrell said that if Double-A Portland wins its win-or-go-home Game 5 in the first round of the Eastern League playoffs, Castillo will remain with Portland for the championship series. If Portland loses, Castillo will join Triple-A Pawtucket. Either way, the Sox will try to get him as many plate appearances as possible as a prelude to a call-up later this month.

“It’s a matter of him getting his timing down,” said Farrell. “The reports have been favorable, just with the overall explosiveness, the speed, the bat speed, but still, we’re looking at roughly 14, 15 at-bats.”

Farrell said that he’s simply been following reports on Castillo rather than spending time looking at video footage of the 27-year-old.

“I don’t want to make too much out of the number of at-bats that he’s had already,” said Farrell. “But, just talking to those who have been there in the ballpark during games played, he looks to be an exciting player.”


Mookie Betts has shown improved comfort in center field in this callup as opposed to his previous ones, showing better jumps on the ball and more direct routes. He has looked better in center — where he’d spent part of his amateur career and had most of his minor league experience this year — than in right. Jackie Bradley Jr., on the other hand, has looked tremendous in every outfield position.

That being the case, it was worth noting that Farrell elected to have Bradley enter Saturday night’s game in the ninth inning in center, with Betts moving to right. On Sunday, with both in the lineup, Bradley is in center and Betts in right.

“I still go by the higher number of balls are going to be in center field, and I think we’d be hard-pressed to find a better defender than Jackie Bradley in center field, whether it’s in our uniform or in anyone else’s uniform, in the major leagues,” said Farrell. “I think he’s the best center fielder in the game. That’s a position that he’s comfortable with. Mookie, while he has just a handful of games in right field, I feel like he’s athletic enough to move over to right field for a short stint, or at least today.”

More goes into Gold Glove voting than defensive performance alone, of course. Reputation matters, and part of reputation derives from offense (with Bradley’s line of .216/.288/.290 entering Sunday representing one of the worst lines in the big leagues). Bradley has also played in just 113 games, with 102 starts, and his recent two-week demotion to Triple-A, coupled with his uncertain role down the stretch, could impact his standing with voters.

“As someone who votes on those, I don’t know how others might look at the break in service time,” said Farrell, who does have a vote but cannot vote for his own players for the Gold Glove. “He’d get my vote based on what we’ve seen.”

– Both Mike Napoli and Brock Holt remain out of the lineup while dealing with flu-like symptoms. David Ortiz is out on Sunday both because he’s been dealing with some pain management after fouling a ball off his foot a couple of weeks ago and because the Sox are amidst a stretch of 17 games in as many days.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

The Portland Sea Dogs face a winner-take-all Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against Binghamton after suffering a home loss on Saturday. That was the lone game in the Sox’ system, with Pawtucket’s opener of the Governor’s Cup Finals set for Tuesday.



– Second baseman Sean Coyle continued his recent resumption of mashing, going 1-for-2 with a double. He has a seven-game hitting streak that spans the end of the regular season and the start of the postseason during which he is 8-for-20 with three doubles and three homers while amassing a robust .320/.370/1.000 line. However, he left the game after being hit by a pitch on the wrist and did not return. He is not in the Portland lineup on Sunday.

Rusney Castillo went 0-for-3 with a pair of flyouts (one to right, one to center) and a comebacker while playing six innings in center. He’s now 4-for-14 with two walks and a strikeout in his five minor league contests. Thus far, he’s remained true to — Catcher Carson Blair went 1-for-4 with a homer to improve to 5-for-15 with a walk in the series. He now has 12 homers in 88 games this year — one fewer than the 24-year-old had in parts of six seasons spanning 189 games entering the year.

– Right-hander Madison Younginer, promoted to Portland following High-A Salem’s elimination on Friday, tossed three scoreless innings of relief in his first Double-A appearance. He allowed one hit and struck out a batter. The 23-year-old, who will pitch in the Arizona Fall League this winter, had a 4.08 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 25 walks in 57 1/3 innings for Salem this year.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
Rubby De La Rosa

Rubby De La Rosa

The Red Sox conclude their three-game home series against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, as Ruby De La Rosa will battle with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

De La Rosa (4-5, 3.89 ERA), who started off the year in Triple-A Pawtucket, has found a spot in the major league rotation. Boston fell in his last start against the Rays last Monday, but De La Rosa delivered a quality performance. He went 5 1/3 innings, struck out four and walked none while allowing three runs. Manager John Farrell said after the game that De La Rosa’€™s good start could be attributed to good offspeed pitches.

“He’s powerful, he had better secondary stuff than last time out,”€ Farrell said. “I thought he made a number of quality pitches. So many foul balls, which is a product of very good stuff. That ran the pitch count up and we’re not at the point where we’re looking to extend him too far. I thought he kept composure. I thought he repeated his delivery well. That was a solid 5 1/3 innings of work today.”

Previously, De La Rosa pitched against the Blue Jays on Aug. 27. De La Rosa was bailed out by the Boston bats in that one, as he pitched just 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. Jose Reyes was one of Toronto’€™s top performers in that game against De La Rosa with two hits in as many at-bats. Reyes also had one hit against De La Rosa in a July 24 start in Toronto. In that game, De La Rosa was charged with seven runs on nine hits in the loss.

Most of the 25-year-old right-hander’s issues have come on the road, while he’€™s pitched well in the confines on Fenway Park. At home, De La Rosa has pitched to the tune of a 3.16 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, while on the road his ERA and WHIP are 4.57 and 1.50, respectively.

R.A. Dickey

R.A. Dickey

Like his signature pitch, Dickey (11-12, 3.94 ERA) has been unpredictable over the last two seasons with Toronto. However, his last two outings, including one against the Red Sox, have been solid. He beat Tampa Bay last Tuesday with seven innings and six strikeouts while allowing two runs, and on Aug. 26, Dickey struck out six and allowed just one run in a six-inning no decision against the Red Sox in Toronto.

While Dickey got off to a good start to the year, he hasn’t pitched as well since the All-Star break, carrying an ERA over four since the Midsummer Classic. He especially struggled in August with a 1.47 WHIP, his highest mark this season in a month where he started at least five games.

Slugger David Ortiz has some of the most success against Dickey out of any Red Sox. He carries a .333 average and two home runs into Sunday afternoon’€™s contest. Will Middlebrooks also has two homers against the knuckleballer. Dustin Pedroia, on the other hand, has only four hits in 25 career plate appearances against Dickey.

Blue Jays vs. De La Rosa (RHP)

Jose Bautista (10 career plate appearances): .286 average/.500 OBP/.286 SLG, 2 walks

Jose Reyes (10): .400/.400/.500, 1 double

Melky Cabrera (9): .375/.444/.500, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 double

Juan Francisco (7): .667/.714/1.667, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 triple, 1 double

Munenori Kawasaki (7): .500/.500/.500, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Dioner Navarro (6): .400/.500/.400, 1 walk

Ryan Goins (5): .400/.400/.600, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Anthony Gose (5): .250/.250/.500, 2 RBIs, 1 double

Danny Valencia (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Edwin Encarnacion (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI

Dan Johnson (3): .333/.333/.333

Adam Lind (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double

Colby Rasmus (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 home run, 1 RBI

Kevin Pillar is 0-for-2 and Josh Thole has one walk in two plate appearances against De La Rosa.

Red Sox vs. Dickey (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (25): .167/.200/.292, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (20): .333/.400/.444, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 3 RBIs, 2 doubles

David Ortiz (20): .300/.400/.444, 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 6 RBIs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

Yoenis Cespedes (16): .250/.250/.625, 5 strikeouts, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 triple, 1 double

Daniel Nava (15): .214/.200/.286, 2 strikeouts, 1 RBI, 1 double

Will Middlebrooks (12): .364/.417/1.091, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs, 2 strikeouts, 2 doubles

Jackie Bradley (11): .200/.273/.500, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk

David Ross (9): .125/.222/.125, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk

Xander Bogaerts (8): .500/.500/.750, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

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

Christian Vazquez (5): .400/.400/.400, 2 strikeouts

Allen Craig (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jemile Weeks (4): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Mookie Betts (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano

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Joe & Dave talked to the Sox rookie catcher, who caught five different pitchers and knocked an RBI double high off the Monster in the 4-3 win.

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