As the Red Sox have begun to expose their outfielders to other outfield spots with Rusney Castillo debuting in left field Wednesday, Mookie Betts could be the next to play either left or right field.

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

As the Red Sox have begun to expose their outfielders to other outfield spots with Rusney Castillo debuting in left field Wednesday, Mookie Betts could be the next to play either left or right field.

“That will be the next part of this and Mookie’s been working hard in left and right,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “Once again Arnie [Beyeler] will sign off on that when he thinks the timing is right. Also get something from Mookie to make sure he’s comfortable and ready. There all very athletic guys. They are all very gifted with their movements in any direction. We feel it’s going to be a lot sooner than later.”

As for Castillo, he’s been working with outfield coach Arnie Beyeler for almost two weeks and he and Castillo felt the timing was right.

“Arnie has been with him since the middle of last homestand and Arnie signed off on it,” Lovullo said. “We decided that he was going to be the lead dog in the situation. Get some feedback from Rusney and mentally see what he’s doing and also verbally see where he’s at. Everything checked out. Rusney was ready for that challenge and we thought the timing was right today.”

— With Matt Barnes (elbow) and Steven Wright (concussion) unable to pitch, the Red Sox haven’t been able to go to a six-man rotation like they had hoped. With the off day Thursday they will keep their starters in line over the weekend and not skip anyone.

Discussions are taking place of how they can get a six-man rotation, as they monitor Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez’s innings.

“We’re talking about that right now,” Lovullo said. “We’re trying to figure out if there is another candidate. We’re trying to see if those two guys can’t go then maybe there’s a bullpen day. We’re throwing a lot of different options at one another. Obviously the two candidates are [Barnes] and Steven [Wright]. We’ll see where they’re at.”

With the team having only one Thursday game in the month of September, there were off days built in, but even with those Lovullo and the team want to have a six-man rotation.

“We were aware of those day off, but we wanted to also throw in that sixth guy despite those days to give them a little bit more time in between and monitor the workload,” Lovullo said. “We were aware of that. We built those in and still decided to try the six-man thought. Obviously we’re trying to find the right candidate right now.”

Clay Buchholz (flexor strain) has begun his throwing program. Wednesday he was throwing 75 feet — 25 times. Lovullo was asked where they would like to have him at the end of the year. Lovullo said he would like to see him throw an inning in a game.

“It would be great if he could throw one inning to see where he’s at from a mental standpoint just to give him some confidence going into the offseason,” Lovullo said. “That’s all continent on him feeling good, getting the right amount of time and building him up to that.”

Buchholz hasn’t pitched in a game since July 10.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

On Tuesday interim manager Torey Lovullo said the younger Red Sox outfielders could see time at other spots in the outfield other than their accustomed ones and that will begin Wednesday with Rusney Castillo debuting in left field.

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

On Tuesday interim manager Torey Lovullo said the younger Red Sox outfielders could see time at other spots in the outfield other than their accustomed ones and that will begin Wednesday with Rusney Castillo debuting in left field.

The Yankees and Red Sox each have a chance to take the series, as both have picked up wins in the first two games.

Jackie Bradley Jr. will play right field, while Mookie Betts will stay in center field as the Red Sox go up against right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Henry Owens.

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Here is a complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, CF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Travis Shaw, 1B
Rusney Castillo, LF
Brock Holt, 2B
Blake Swihart, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
Henry Owens, LHP

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

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

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

Chris Marrero

Chris Marrero

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (55-83): W, 10-2, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)

— The PawSox tied a season-high with eight extra-base hits. Left fielder Chris Marrero had three of them, going 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two doubles. Marrero is hitting .270 on the season with seven home runs and has homered in three of his last five games.

— Second baseman Marco Hernandez and first baseman Garin Cecchini also posted three-hit games for the PawSox. Hernandez finished the day 3-for-5 with a triple, three RBIs and a run scored. Cecchini went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two RBIs.

— Shortstop Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Catcher Luis Martinez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

— Left-hander Rich Hill earned the win with a seven-inning performance. He allowed both Lehigh Valley runs on solo home runs but gave up just two additional hits and two walks and struck out a season-high nine batters. Hill improved to 5-3 on the season with a 2.06 ERA. He has posted a 3-1 record in four starts since joining the PawSox and has a 1.37 ERA in those four outings.

— Right-hander Dayan Diaz relieved Hill in the eighth and pitched a perfect frame. Righty Pat Light tossed a perfect ninth to close out the win.

Simon Mercedes

Simon Mercedes

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (50-86): L, 5-2, at New Hampshire (Blue Jays)

— Simon Mercedes took the loss after giving up four earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning. The 23-year-old righty came in for the bottom of the seventh and was unable to escape the frame, allowing five hits. He dropped to 3-3 on the year after 35 relief appearances and his ERA rose from 4.40 to 4.83.

— Right-hander Mike McCarthy started for the Sea Dogs and went six innings, giving up one earned run, six hits and one walk with three strikeouts. McCarthy has pitched in 28 games for Portland this season, including 17 starts, and is 6-8 with a 4.38 ERA.

— The Portland offense was led by catcher Jordan Weems, who hit a solo shot in the seventh inning and finished the day 2-for-3 with a walk. Weems has hit safely in each of his last four games. Designated hitter Tim Roberson and second baseman Carlos Asuaje also posted two-hit games for the Sea Dogs, both finishing 2-for-4.

Franklin Guzman

Franklin Guzman

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (61-72): W, 6-5, at Lynchburg (Indians)

— Right fielder Franklin Guzman hit a pair of home runs to lift the Red Sox. He notched his sixth homer of the season on a solo shot to left in the top of second and recorded the seventh on a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. He finished the game 3-for-4 with a walk and now is hitting .222 on the year. Guzman is the first Salem hitter to record a multi-homer game this season.

— Left fielder Yoilan Cerse went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two RBIs. Shortstop Mauricio Dubon went 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Center fielder Mike Meyers and third baseman Deiner Lopez finished with matching lines, going 2-for-5 with one run scored.

— Starting right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz earned the win with a five-inning effort. He gave up five runs — four earned — on eight hits and one walk. He also struck out three. Stankiewicz improved to 4-11 after 24 starts for Salem this season and now has a 4.22 ERA.

— Righty German Taveras pitched three scoreless innings of relief and righty Chandler Shepherd tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his sixth save of the year.

J.T. Watkins

J.T. Watkins

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (69-65): W, 9-3, at Rome (Braves)

— The Greenville offense posted 15 hits, led by catcher J.T. Watkins. Watkins carried the offense with a four-hit game, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Shortstop Javier Guerra went 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. Right fielder Joseph Monge went 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Designated hitter Rafael Devers also collected two hits, going 2-for-5 with a run scored.

— Lefty Dedgar Jimenez was victorious in a seven-inning effort, allowing three runs — two earned — on seven hits and one walk. He also struck out three. The 19-year-old from Venezuela improved to 9-9 after 22 starts for Greenville this season and now has a 4.30 ERA.

— Righty reliever Kuehl McEachern pitched two scoreless innings to close out the victory, allowing just one hit. The 22-year-old has made 32 relief appearances this season and has a 7-4 record with nine saves and a 2.65 ERA.

Josh Ockimey

Josh Ockimey

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (35-35): W, 6-5, vs. Hudson Valley (Rays)

— Designated hitter Josh Ockimey drove in two runs and finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored to lead the Lowell offense. The 19-year-old Philadelphia native raised his average to .263 and has hit safely in his last three games.

— Left fielder Kyri Washington went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, an RBI and a run scored. First baseman Tucker Tubbs went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Second baseman Chad De La Guerra also recorded a pair of hits for the Spinners, finishing 2-for-4.

— Dioscar Romero improved to 3-3 on the season after picking up the win. He allowed two earned runs on five hits and one walk with three strikeouts over five innings of work. The 20-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic has made 13 starts for Lowell this year and has a 3.91 ERA.

— Lefty reliever Logan Boyd allowed three earned runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts in two innings. Left-hander Bobby Poyner relieved Boyd and tossed two scoreless frames to earn his 10th save of the season.

Blog Author: 
Emily McCarthy
Henry Owens

Henry Owens

The Red Sox and Yankees will wrap up their three-game set Wednesday afternoon when rookie Henry Owens toes the rubber against Masahiro Tanaka.

Owens has lived up to his billing through five big league starts. Projected as a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm to potential No. 2, he’s gone 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.

Over his last couple of outings, Owens has settled in to his spot on the big league staff. In his last 13 innings, he’s given up just nine hits and two earned runs while striking out 10. Those numbers are good enough for a 1.38 ERA and a .191/.269/.298 opponent slash line. After Owens beat Johnny Cueto and the Royals with an eight-inning, two-run performance, interim manager Torey Lovullo lauded the left-hander’s chemistry with fellow rookie Blake Swihart.

“Quality outing for Henry,” Lovullo said. “What’€™s there not to say about what he did? Eight innings, one earned run, got into a great rhythm. Him and Blake were solid together. A two-pitch, at times three-pitch mix. It just seemed to really all click for him. He got into a great flow and a great rhythm. We wanted him to touch the eighth inning, those were some of the conversations we were having in the dugout, but he was so efficient that he worked through the eighth inning. That was a special night for him.”

Against the Mets last Friday, Owens was ineffective but successful. In five innings of work he scattered five hits and four walks that produced just two New York runs. He did, however, strike out six and draw 15 swinging strikes, his second most during his limited time in the majors.

Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka

Owens won’t have an easy path to a win Wednesday as Tanaka takes the bump for the Yankees. The Japanese right-hander is 23-11 in his two-year career with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. This season he’s regressed a bit, but it could be due to a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow. He sports a 10-6 record and a 3.62 ERA in 2015, while his strikeouts per nine have dropped a full whiff since last year, from 9.3 to 8.1.

Tanaka, 26, had his ups and downs early in the year, but he has been a model of consistency in the second half. In eight outings since the All-Star break, he’s allowed more than three earned runs just once, on July 29 vs. the Rangers when he allowed four. His ERA over this span reflects this consistency as its identical to his season mark, 3.62. One issue area Tanaka has struggled with since the break is the long ball. He’s served up 10 in 54 2/3 innings of work.

Tanaka’s last outing was less a reflection on his aptitude and more a tribute to the Yankees‘ explosive offense. Facing the Braves last Friday, he went seven innings and gave up three runs. Meanwhile, the Bronx Bombers plated a whopping 15 in a 15-4 victory and Tanaka’s 10th win. Before the game began, Tanaka explained what he needed to do to get his team back in the plus column.

“[I] just basically have to try to go out there and to give the best to always give the chance for the team to win,” he said.

Tanaka has won both of his starts against the Red Sox this year, despite a less-than-mediocre 4.91 ERA. In his latest outing vs. the Sox, he posted a quality start by giving up three runs over six innings in a 13-3 drubbing.

Yankees vs. Owens (LHP)

Jacoby Ellsbury (3 plate appearances): .000 AVG/.000 OBP/.000 SLG, 2 strikeouts

Alex Rodriguez (3): .500/.667/1.000, 1 double

Chris Young (3): .667/.667/.667

Carlos Beltran is 0-for-2 against Owens.

Didi Gregorius is 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against Owens.

Chase Headley is 1-for-2 against Owens.

Brian McCann is 0-for-2 against Owens.

Brendan Ryan is 0-for-2 against Owens.

Mark Teixeira is 0-for-2 with one RBI against Owens.

No other Yankees have faced Owens.

Red Sox vs. Tanaka (RHP)

Xander Bogaerts (13): .154/.154/.231, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

David Ortiz (13): .182/.308/.545, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Brock Holt (10): .200/.200/.300

Jackie Bradley Jr. (8): .143/.125/.143

Hanley Ramirez (6): .200/.167/.800, 1 HR, 2 RBIs

Pablo Sandoval (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Mookie Betts (5): .500/.600/.750, 1 double

Alejandro De Aza (5): .250/.400/.250

Ryan Hanigan (5): .200/.200/.200, 2 strikeouts

Blake Swihart is 1-for-2 with an RBI against Tanaka.

Rusney Castillo has a walk in one plate appearance against Tanaka.

Josh Rutledge and Travis Shaw have not faced Tanaka.

Blog Author: 
Justin Pallenik

Dave O'BrienDon 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.