Don Orsillo got hosed, no question, but he's not the only one who deserves better. So does Dave O'Brien.



Rick Porcello delivered his second straight strong start despite the Red Sox' loss to the Yankees. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rick Porcello delivered his second straight strong start despite the Red Sox‘ loss to the Yankees. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Since coming off the disabled list Aug. 26 after missing about a month with a right triceps injury, Rick Porcello has been a different pitcher.

In the 15 innings he’s pitched over the two games, he’s allowed just one earned run. Despite taking the loss in the Red Sox‘ 3-1 defeat to the Yankees, he may have pitched his best game of the year.

The right-hander went eight innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits while walking a batter and striking out a career-high 13. He became the only pitcher in last 100 years with at least 13 strikeouts and one earned run or fewer allowed while taking a loss against the Yankees.

“Yeah, I think this year it’s definitely been the most consistent stuff that I’ve had,” Porcello said. “We were moving the ball around well. Blake [Swihart] called a great game back there. He was on the same page as me the entire night and we were able to execute pitches.”

Of Porcello’s 13 strikeouts, nine were looking, a sign he was on top of his game. His sinker was working well, which has been a main reason for his success over the last two starts.

“I’€™m basically forcing myself to throw it. That was kind of the commitment after I came off the DL — I’m going to throw my sinker and find it,” Porcello said. “If I get beat with that pitch, then so what? In order for me to have some success over here in the long run, I’ve got to find that pitch. I just took the pressure off and said, ‘Screw it, I’m throwing it.'”

The difference in the game came in the fifth inning. With the Red Sox leading 1-0, two outs and a runner on first, first baseman Travis Shaw couldn’€™t handle a routine Didi Gregorius grounder, as it went into right field setting up second and third with two outs.

Former Red Sox Stephen Drew made Shaw and the Red Sox pay as he lined a double into the left-center field gap scoring two runs and proving to be the difference in the game.

“That’€™s 100 percent on me,” Porcello said. “It was just a poorly executed pitch.”

Despite the loss, Porcello has pitched extremely well since coming off the disabled list. It started last week in Chicago against the White Sox when he went seven shutout innings. Tuesday night marked the second time all year where he’s had back-to-back starts of allowing one earned run or less.

“Overall, he’s been great since he’s returned,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate. From where I was in the dugout you could see it had angle. I know there were a number of called strike outs and that just shows you how locked in he is. He’s hitting spots with a little bit of movement and deception.”

Whether it’s being motivated by having a new president of baseball operations in Dave Dombrowski, the man who traded Porcello from Detroit to Boston this past offseason or not, whatever Porcello is doing on the mound is working.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Even with outstanding performances from Rick Porcello and Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox couldn’t take down the Yankees for a second straight night.

Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his hot stretch at the plate Tuesday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his hot stretch at the plate Tuesday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Even with outstanding performances from Rick Porcello and Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox couldn’t take down the Yankees for a second straight night.

The Yankees scored two unearned runs off Porcello in the fifth inning, which would be the difference as the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 3-1 Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

With the Red Sox leading 1-0 and two outs and a runner on first in the fifth, first baseman Travis Shaw couldn’t handle a routine Didi Gregorius grounder, as it went into right field setting up second and third with two outs. Former Red Sox Stephen Drew made Shaw and the Red Sox pay as he lined a double into the left-center field gap scoring two runs and proving to be the difference in the game.

Brett Gardner hit a solo homer in the eighth off Porcello for the third Yankees run.

Despite taking the loss, Porcello delivered his second straight great start. The right-hander went eight innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits, while walking a batter and striking out 13. The 13 strikeouts were good for his fourth career double-digit strikeout game and a career-high. Since coming off the disabled list, he’s allowed one earned run in 15 innings.

After Bradley Jr. doubled in the third inning he came around to score when Pablo Sandoval drove him in. Bradley Jr. finished the game 2-for-3 with two doubles. Since Aug. 9, he’s the best hitter in the majors as he’s batting .438 with 19 extra-base hits.

The outfielder did come to the plate with two on and two out in the seventh inning, but he struck out on three pitches. David Ortiz also had his chance for a big hit, as he stepped to the plate with two on and one out in the eighth, but the Red Sox tried a double-steal and Mookie Betts was thrown out at third base and then Ortiz struck out on the next pitch.

Yankees starter Michael Pineda limited the Red Sox to one run on four hits over six innings, as he earned the win.

A night after hitting home run No. 495, Ortiz went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Hanley Ramirez‘s days as an outfielder are over.

Hanley Ramirez‘s days as an outfielder are over.

That was certainly the message from interim manager Torey Lovullo on Tuesday before the Red Sox played the Yankees. Lovullo was asked if he expected Ramirez to play the outfield again this season.

“I do not,” Lovullo said.

The plan, Lovullo said, is for outfielders Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts, and Rusney Castillo to cycle through each spot in an effort to determine where each should play next season. And once they pick a spot, they’ll stay there.

That leaves no room in the outfield for Ramirez, which is just as well, since he has not played well there. Of course, there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to play first base, either. He’s trying to learn that position now.

With Ramirez recovering from injuries to both shoulders and his hand, he’s in a holding pattern. But Lovullo does expect him to play first in the big leagues before the season is over.

“I am hopeful that he will,” Lovullo said. “I feel like what I’ve seen him do defensively in his work, I feel like there’s a chance he could play first base before the year is over. Now, is that a lock? His health will determine that.”

Lovullo said Ramirez hasn’t faced live pitching in about a week, and there’s no timetable for his return.

“He’s a tough guy,” Lovullo said. “He’s a strong-bodied, tough guy and he knows his body and I think he’s very well aware of what bothers him through the course of a swing. Some players will just go up there and swing hard and they don’t know what they’re feeling. Hanley can analyze himself pretty well physically. If he’s complaining about that, I think it’s lingering. Is it hindering him? I haven’t had that type of a conversation with him.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
Sam Travis

Sam Travis

Six members of the Red Sox have been assigned to the Arizona Fall League. They are as follows: first baseman Sam Travis, second baseman Carlos Asuaje, shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin and pitchers Chandler Shepherd, Kyle Martin, and Aaron Wilkerson.

They will likely get another infielder and pitcher added before the league begins Oct. 13.

Travis has been very impressive this season, which includes being promoted from High-A Salem to Double-A Portland. Between the two teams the Red Sox’ second-round pick in last year’s draft out of Indiana University has hit .304 with nine home runs and 75 RBIs.

Wilkerson is the other name that stands out, as the right-hander is 26 years old and currently with Double-A Portland. He’s pitched for Greenville, Salem and Portland this year, both as a starter and a reliever. Between the three teams he’s 10-3 with a 3.22 ERA. At age 26, he’s not like other prospects where they can be patient, as the peak of his career is nearing.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

With the news that Hanley Ramirez won’t play the outfield again in 2015, it opens the door for the younger Red Sox outfielders to get exposure at other outfield positions as the team looks to find the best alignment possible for 2016.

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

With the news that Hanley Ramirez won’t play the outfield again in 2015, it opens the door for the younger Red Sox outfielders to get exposure at other outfield positions as the team looks to find the best alignment possible for 2016.

Mookie Betts has just played center field, so he will get some work at left and right field. Rusney Castillo has played center and right field so he will get some work in left field, while Jackie Bradley Jr. has already played all three.

After sitting down with all three, it was determined the work will take place pregame until outfield coach Arnie Beyeler feels they are ready for game action.

“We’re going to mix and match those moving parts and until that time where we put them in the game they need to get out there with Arnie to get some work done,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “So you’re going to see Mookie getting some reps in left and right in pregame. You’re going to see Rusney gets some reps in left field. Jackie obviously is very good at all three so we’re going to wait for the go sign from Arnie that he feels comfortable with these guys moved in game situations into different positions.

“We’re going to explore that. We haven’t yet clearly defined who is playing where, but once we make that decision we’re going to leave those guys there. We’re not going to mix and match for their entire career. We’re going to try and piece together the best outfield for the Boston Red Sox in 2016.”

While the experimenting will take place during the final month of the year, a final determination on those players’ positions likely won’t come until next spring.

“I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to get a look, put it in our minds, let us see what it looks like to make those conversations go in a good direction,” Lovullo said. “Then you’ll see a little bit more of it in spring training. That’s the initial thought — see a little but more of it in spring training and then once we get moving towards April of 2016 we’re going to try and have that firm up and have it stay put.”

As for if this move means the three players won’t be traded this offeason, Lovullo said that decision is above him.

“That is not in my department,” he said. “I do know I love those three kids out there. I feel very comfortable when they are in the outfield playing the way they are now. That’s above my level determining of they available for a trade or not.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

— Allen Craig was one of the players who the Red Sox added to their roster as the rosters expanded on Sept. 1. Craig slashed .274/.368/.350 in 93 games with Triple-A Pawtucket this year. Lovullo said he discussed with Craig what his role would be.

“When we talked about September call ups, we wanted to make sure those guys that were coming up were going to have a chance to play and not just come up here and sit on the bench for 30 days,” Lovullo said. “Nobody wants to do that. The initial plans are to have him play a little bit of first base and spell [Travis Shaw] at times. He’s our extra outfielder right now to spell one our younger players so he’s going to get a few at-bats. I had a chance to explain that to him and he’s ready.”

Dustin Pedroia (hamstring) is still progressing towards a return around Sept. 10.

“Dustin did good today,” Lovullo said. “He was out running some poles, some long distance stuff and then he got on the bases. He was sprinting to second base. We had to pull him back a little bit. He wanted to go really, really hard and aggressively and we had to pull him back and just tell him to slow play this. He’s ready to go. He’s ready for the next challenge each day. I know he’s going to take BP and ground balls. A really good frame of mind and right where he needs to be physically.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada is capping a tremendous second half of the season for Single-A Greenville and with his performance he’s been named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team and was also selected as the league&