It certainly wasn’t the best played game, but at least it provided some mild entertainment.

Joe Kelly allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings taking a no-decision in the Red Sox' loss Monday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings taking a no-decision in the Red Sox‘ loss Monday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

It certainly wasn’t the best played game, but at least it provided some mild entertainment.

After three lead changes and three ties, the White Sox outlasted the Red Sox, 10-8 Monday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox now haven’t won two straight games since their seven-game win streak ended July 8.

With the game tied at seven in the seventh, the White Sox scored two runs off Red Sox reliever Robbie Ross Jr. He had allowed a run in the sixth as well, as he finished allowing three runs over two innings of work to take the loss.

Tommy Layne allowed another White Sox run in the ninth. The Red Sox scored one run in the ninth — a Pablo Sandoval single — to make it a two-run game, but that was all they could get as they had the tying run on first base.

Chicago jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Red Sox even stepped into the batters box. Joe Kelly allowed four first inning runs, as the first six batters of the reach reached base, including three extra-base hits (back-to-back triples) to open the game.

The Red Sox battled back and tied the game at four after two innings. David Ortiz hit another home run in the first inning, a two-run shot (his third in two games) and then Jemile Weeks and Mookie Betts each had RBI singles in the second.

Kelly allowed another run in the third inning, which would ultimately be his last, as the right-hander went 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits, while striking out two. It was the second time in his last three starts where he failed to make it out of the fourth inning.

But once again the Red Sox fought back, taking the lead in the fourth inning. Betts had an infield single and they scored another when third baseman Tyler Saladino booted a Hanley Ramirez grounder.

Craig Breslow allowed a run in his only inning of relief of Kelly, which allowed the White Sox to tie the game at six at the time. The teams then traded runs, as the Red Sox scored an unearned run in the fifth and the White Sox scored a run off Ross Jr. in the sixth making it a 7-7 game until Ross allowed the two seventh inning runs.

The two teams also combined for three errors.

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

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Kelly was brutal. After just five pitches he had allowed three extra-base hits and two runs. His ERA now sits at 5.94, which is the second-worst in the AL (min. 80 IP). It’s hard to imagine Kelly makes his next start in the rotation, as there’s a chance he gets shifted to the bullpen.

— The Red Sox bullpen wasn’t much better, as it allowed runs in three straight innings — the fifth through the seventh. Alexi Ogando, Breslow and Ross Jr. all allowed at least one run before Junichi Tazawa threw a scoreless eighth inning. Layne couldn’t keep the good vibes going as he allowed a run in the ninth.

— Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-4 in the game, including 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. He came into the game leading the American League, hitting at a .405 clip.

Mike Napoli was ejected from the game after striking out looking in the first inning by home plate umpire Toby Basner.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Ortiz has been swinging a hot bat of late, as evident not only by his three home runs in two games, but the way he is hitting them. His second one Sunday night was to left-center and his homer Monday was to dead-center. Before being benched for two games in Texas after 43 games to find his swing, he had just six homers, but in the 47 games since he has 14.

— Betts went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. He came into the game 2-for-14 on the homestand. The game marked his sixth three-hit game of the year and first since July 2.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Red Sox fans had two questions after Shane Victorino was traded to the Angels on Monday: who did the team receive in ret

Josh Rutledge

Josh Rutledge

Red Sox fans had two questions after Shane Victorino was traded to the Angels on Monday: who did the team receive in return, and why did Rusney Castillo get the call to play right field instead of Jackie Bradley Jr.?

General manager Ben Cherington answered both queries in a conference call.

First, he provided a scouting report on infielder Josh Rutledge, a former Rockies middle infielder who didn’t make the Angels out of spring training and has spent the year at Triple-A Salt Lake City, where he’s hitting .274.
Cherington said Rutledge would probably join the big league roster and described him in terms somewhat similar to utilityman Brock Holt.

“Josh is a guy we’€™ve had interest in back to his Colorado days,” Cherington said. “He got to the big leagues really quickly with Colorado and then fell behind some other infielders they had. . . . He’€™s an offensive infielder with some defensive versatility.”

Rutledge hit .259 from 2012-14 with the Rockies after being drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft out of Alabama.

“With Pedroia out for a little bit, there should be some playing time in the infield with us,” Cherington said. “We’€™ll get to know him better. He’€™s a guy who’€™s now in his third organization, but has had some offensive success, he has some defensive versatility. He’€™s a guy we can envision as a part of the team going forward, but we’€™ll get to know here the rest of the year.”

As for Castillo vs. Bradley, Cherington said the club wants to give the former an extended look in the majors.

“We just want to see him continue to get comfortable and get acclimated at the big league level,” Cherington said. “This is a guy we believe in and believe will be a good major league player. Hopefully there’s an opportunity to get him a good amount of playing time between now and the end of the season.”

The Red Sox aren’t giving up on the $72.5 million man, who has appeared overmatched at times early in his big league career.

“What we see is a guy who’s got great bat speed, strength,” Cherington said. “He’s still just adjusting to North American, major-league style of pitching, in terms of what pitchers are trying to do, and learning how to use his style and strengths in a way that works at the major-league level. We’ve seen flashes of really good stuff, but he’s still a guy that’s making adjustments.”

So where does that leave Bradley, a Triple-A All-Star this year with Gold Glove abilities in center and an improving bat?

“Jackie is doing well,” Cherington said. “He’s made a real adjustment. There is still merit, and certainly there’s consideration to try and create opportunity for him, too. Today, it’s Castillo, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Trading Shane Victorino wasn’t easy for Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. But it was the right move.

Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

Trading Shane Victorino wasn’t easy for Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. But it was the right move.

With the Red Sox out of contention and Victorino’s contract expiring at the end of the year, the Red Sox wanted to get something for the Flyin’ Hawaiian before he departed in free agency, so they shipped him to the Angels on Monday for former Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge.

“It came together this weekend,” Cherington said on a conference call. “We talked to Shane this afternoon during batting practice, before it became official. It was tough for everyone. John and I were in there with Shane and he’s meant a lot. It’s stating the obvious that he was a part of something very special in 2013, and a part of a lot of great moments that October. As you guys know, he’s always, not just with the Red Sox, but throughout his career, played with incredible passion. He’s a passionate person who cares a lot. It was a difficult conversation.

“I think on the one hand, he’s happy to have an opportunity to go to a contender and hopefully have a chance to play meaningful games down the stretch. On the other hand, this is an important part of his career, being in Boston. We expressed to him how grateful we are for everything he’s done. We wish him the best. He leaves a mark on the Red Sox and the people still in that clubhouse.”

Cherington praised Victorino’s fearlessness in right field, as well as the aggressiveness he brought to the field on a daily basis after signing a three-year, $39 million deal before the 2013 season.

Victorino supplied no shortage of highlights, chief among them the grand slam against the Tigers in the ALCS that sent the Red Sox to the World Series.

“My opinion is that we wouldn’€™t have won the World Series without him in 2013,” Cherington said.

The issue for Victorino thereafter was health. He missed most of last season with an assortment of injuries to his back and legs, appearing in only 30 games. He has played in just 33 games this year.

“Obviously the DL time got in the way of making the same kind of contribution in the last two years, unfortunately,” Cherington said. “I think just what he did in 2013, I think makes us feel anyway like it was a worthwhile deal. We can dice up the contract, values, and all that, but what I think about is a guy who may be one of the more passionate baseball players I’€™ve ever been around. He played with incredible grit, a tough, smart player, and we wish him well.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Mike Napoli‘s games as a Red Sox are likely numbered and one of his last few will only last one inning.

The first baseman was ejected after striking out looking in the first inning by home plate umpire Toby Basner.

Mike Napoli‘s games as a Red Sox are likely numbered and one of his last few will only last one inning.

The first baseman was ejected after striking out looking in the first inning by home plate umpire Toby Basner.

Napoli dropped his bat and helmet and the helmet bounced and hit Basner, likely unintentionally, and it was then Basner ejected the Red Sox first baseman.

Prior to Monday, he had reached base in nine straight games, while hitting .367 in those contests.

Napoli has been rumored in trade talks as Friday’s deadline nears.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Brock Holt

Brock Holt

With Dustin Pedroia going back on the disabled list and Brock Holt leaving Sunday night’s game with a hyperextended knee, the Red Sox are pressed for infield depth.

Fortunately for the team, Holt’s injury is not serious and the utilityman will likely return to the lineup Tuesday, according to manager John Farrell.

“He’s improved today, yet at the recommendation of the medical staff, another day was needed. Everything is hopefully pointing to him returning to the lineup tomorrow, but felt like another day would do him well,” Farrell said. “In an emergency, we’d probably use him but we’d prefer to give him a day of rest if we could.”

After struggling mightily for much of the season, Mike Napoli has begun to heat up at the plate since the All-Star break. Farrell has been impressed with his first baseman’s improvement at the dish.

“What’s been most encouraging is that pitches in the strike zone he’s squaring up that he’s not missing. He’s still taking his walks but I think he’s more confident, he shows more confidence at the plate. There’s at-bats where he’s offering at the first pitch and putting good swings on some pitches that’s, I think, putting some doubt in a pitcher’s mind,” Farrell said.

David Ortiz had one of the best night’s of his career on Sunday, going 4-for-5 with two homers. He set a new career-high with seven RBIs. Farrell liked what he saw from the hulking designated hitter, especially Ortiz’s second home run, which was launched into the Monster seats in left-center.

“The most encouraging swing last night, to me, obviously, is the home run he hits to left-center field. That allows him to lock in on left-handers as well. … Home runs come by virtue of a good swing, not by virtue of trying to hit home runs. I think those were two situations last night that reflect that,” Farrell said.

After being called up early Sunday, Jemile Weeks took over at second base after Holt left with an injury. Weeks went 1-for-2 and will start at second Monday. He has not been great at Triple-A Pawtucket this season, hitting .207 with just a single home run and five RBIs in 51 games. Farrell recalled liking what he saw from Weeks in spring training as well as his performance Sunday.

“Jemile was very impressive in spring training. Moving all over the field, hitting from both sides of the plate. He’s on short-notice, obviously, with Brock’s situation last night. He jumps in, he puts up two quality at-bats. Fought off a pitch with two strikes the other way for a bloop base hit. It’s a half a game played last night but in our eyes .. He picked up right where he left off in spring training,” Farrell said.

Over the first 99 games of the season, the Red Sox have often not been efficient offensively. Farrell addressed the team’s inconsistencies at the plate, saying that a lot of the struggles have resulted from poor situational hitting.

“I think there’s been times we have not hit to the situation. What that means is not using the whole field as much as we could in RBI situations. … We started to turn things around on that trip to Toronto before we went out West. We started to hit the ball all over the field rather than become a little bit too pull-oriented,” Farrell said. “We rolled with that approach for the better part of a month and it reflected in our overall record. We’re trying to get back to that.”

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin
Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

Following the late-breaking news of Shane Victorino‘s trade to the Angels, outfielder Rusney Castillo was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. Castillo will play right field and bat seventh in the Red Sox lineup on Tuesday.

Castillo has hit .230 with one home run and six RBIs in 26 games this season with the Red Sox. In 40 games with Pawtucket, he has hit .282 with three homers and 17 RBIs.

Here is an updated look at the Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, CF
Hanley Ramirez, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Rusney Castillo, RF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Jemile Weeks, 2B
Joe Kelly, RHP

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin