There aren’t too many big leaguers older than David Ortiz at this point, but the struggling Red Sox designated hitter figures he might as well take inspiration from one of them.

There aren’t too many big leaguers older than David Ortiz at this point, but the struggling Red Sox designated hitter figures he might as well take inspiration from one of them.

“If Bartolo Colon can get a hit,” Ortiz told reporters in Minnesota on Tuesday afternoon, “I probably can too.”

The portly Mets right-hander, who leads the National League in victories (7) at age 42, actually has two hits this season. That’s 32 fewer than Ortiz, but it doesn’t feel that way with the 39-year-old slugger off to one of the worst starts of his career.

Ortiz is hitting .221 with six homers and a .694 OPS. He’s also mired in a 2-for-23 slump, which prompted manager John Farrell to drop Ortiz to fifth in the order for Tuesday’s game against the Twins, hoping the shift from third and fourth will spark him.

“I’m swinging like [expletive] so once I figure things out, probably I’ll go back to third, right?” Ortiz said.

Ortiz guaranteed he’d find his way out.

“For you guys who always ask me, how much longer I can do it and I make it look easy ‘€“ it ain’t that easy,” Ortiz said. “Baseball players, we have to go through struggles to figure things out. Once again, it shows you guys that I’m not Superman. You know what I’m saying? It’s part of the game, man. I keep on working. I’m going to keep on working as long as I play baseball and I will find a way to get out of it once again.”

Ortiz said he appreciates the chance to step back and re-evaluate from lower in the order. Back in 2009, manager Terry Francona dropped Ortiz to seventh in the order, and he responded by going 4-for-6 with a pair of home runs.

“Actually, I feel like John is trying to give me some breathing room and walk into the groove that I used to be and try to get me out of the attention of everyone and just try to go back to where they need me to be,” he said. “It happened to me before. And it wasn’t nice that feeling, I was going down to seventh or eighth, something like that. But it doesn’t matter where they put me. I’m the one that has to come in and get things done and try to be consistent at what I do when I’m at my best. I have the confidence it’s going to happen at some point.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

MINNEAPOLIS — With righty Mike Pelfrey on the mound for the Twins, David Ortiz slides to fifth in the Red Sox batting order for Tuesday night’s game.

MINNEAPOLIS — With righty Mike Pelfrey on the mound for the Twins, David Ortiz slides to fifth in the Red Sox batting order for Tuesday night’s game.

The last time Ortiz hit fifth on a regular basis was 2011, when he filled the spot in 108 games. The Red Sox DH is currently in an 0-for-16 slump.

With Ortiz dropped down, Pablo Sandoval slides up into the No. 3 spot. Also in the lineup will be Rusney Castillo, who mans right field.

Here is the Red Sox lineup with Clay Buchholz on the mound for the visitors:

Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mookie Betts CF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Hanley Ramirez LF
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Rusney Castillo RF
Sandy Leon C

For all the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli’s monster homestand has earned him American League Player of the Week for the week ending May 24.

Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli’s monster homestand has earned him American League Player of the Week for the week ending May 24.

Napoli batted .429 (9-for-21) with six runs scored, five home runs and 10 RBI over six games to claim his third career AL weekly honor, last winning with the Red Sox on September 8, 2013. Napoli led all major league hitters in home runs, slugging percentage (1.190) and total bases (25).

Among AL batters, he finished first in RBI, tied for first in on-base percentage (.500), tied for second in runs scored and fifth in batting average.

By homering in three straight games, he became the first player since David Ortiz did from July 21-23, 2014 at Toronto (also four homers in three games). No Red Sox player had homered in at least three consecutive home games since Ortiz accomplished the feat from June 10-20, 2012, and he is the first to do so in three consecutive days at home since Jason Bay from August 10-12, 2009.

For the season Napoli is now batting .211 with eight home runs. The first baseman raised his average 41 points during his impressive week.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

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

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (24-22): L, 2-0, vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

— Left-hander Henry Owens took the loss despite giving up just one run on four hits, although he did allow four walks. The 6-foot-6 southpaw also fanned four in the six-inning effort. Owens fell to 2-3 in nine starts this season, but lowered his ERA to 2.98.

–€” Righty Miguel Celestino pitched two innings of relief, giving up the second Scranton run. He allowed one hit and one walk with three strikeouts. Dana Eveland tossed a scoreless ninth inning despite allowing two hits and a walk.

— Allen Craig, the designated hitter Monday, hit a single to left field in the ninth inning. He has now hit safely in his last four games.

— The PawSox managed just four hits in their fifth shutout loss of the season.

Carlos Asuaje

Carlos Asuaje

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (19-26): W, 8-2, vs. Reading (Phillies)

— Portland scored six runs on home runs, as second baseman Carlos Asuaje hit a solo shot in the third inning and then followed with a three-run home run in the seventh. Designated hitter David Chester also hit a two-run shot in the seventh. It was the Sea Dogs’€™ first multi-home run game of the season.

Asuaje is hitting .287 with three home runs and 24 RBIs in 41 games. Chester raised his average to .138 and now has three home runs and eight RBIs.

–€” Mike Augliera improved to 2-7 on the season, pitching seven scoreless innings. The righty allowed four hits and one walk with three strikeouts. The 24-year-old had given up at least one earned run in his prior eight starts, but lowered his ERA to 4.44 after Monday’€™s performance.

— Center fielder Aneury Tavarez notched his first Double-A hit with a single in the bottom of the second. The 23-year-old lefty finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

— Shortstop Marco Hernandez and catcher Danny Bethea also had success at the plate. Hernandez went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run scored and Bethea went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored.

Teddy Stankiewicz

Teddy Stankiewicz

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (23-22): W, 4-0, vs. Winston-Salem (White Sox)

— Right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz earned his first win of 2015 in dominant fashion, allowing just two hits and one walk with four strikeouts over eight innings. Selected 45th overall by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2013 draft, the 21-year-old is now 1-5 with a 3.52 ERA in nine starts with Salem this season.

— Wendell Rijo put Salem on the board in the fifth inning with a bases-loaded infield single on a swinging bunt. The 19-year-old second baseman finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Kevin Heller also drove in two runs, going 3-for-3 with a triple, a double, a walk, and a run scored.

— Righty German Taveras closed the game for Salem with a scoreless ninth inning, lowering his ERA to 5.56. The 22-year-old struggled in relief appearances earlier this season, but has allowed just one earned run and three hits in six innings of work over his last three outings.

Mauricio Dubon

Mauricio Dubon

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (26-18): W, 5-3, at Augusta (Giants)

–€” Mauricio Dubon propelled the offense with a four-hit night, going 4-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. The 20-year-old California native is now hitting .295 with 21 RBIs.

For the season Dubon is hitting .295 with three home runs and 21 RBIs.

— Left-hander Jalen Beeks earned the win, pitching six innings with seven hits, three earned runs, one walk, and two strikeouts. Picked by the Red Sox in the 12th round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Arkansas, Beeks is now 4-1 with a 3.63 ERA in eight starts this season.

— Williams Jerez recorded a three-inning save, striking out four and allowing just one hit and one walk. The 23-year-old from Brooklyn has three saves on the season with a 2.16 ERA.

–€ No word on Yoan Moncada’€™s status after the Cuban infielder was out for the second straight game with a hamstring injury he suffered sliding into third base on Saturday, but a DL stint appears unlikely.

Blog Author: 
Emily McCarthy

The Red Sox will send Clay Buchholz to the mound Tuesday to face Mike Pelfrey and the Twins at Target Field for the middle game of their three-game set.

Buchholz, who holds a 2-5 record and a 4.58 ERA, comes into Tuesday’s game with a streak of three consecutive quality starts. His latest outing came against the Rangers last Thursday, when he pitched 7 1/3 strong innings, limiting the Rangers to two earned runs. Unfortunately for Buchholz, the Red Sox could not figure out Texas left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, mustering only one run and handing Buchholz the tough-luck 3-1 loss.

“I thought Clay certainly gave us a chance to win this ballgame,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “They score a second run on an attempted double play in the first to give them a 2-0 lead and then a cutter that stayed on the outside of the plate to [Mitch] Moreland is the extent of their offense. Going into the eighth inning, kept his pitch count well in check, and through the middle innings I thought he did an outstanding job to get that deep.”

Since his loss to the Rays on May 4, Buchholz has shown the stuff that made him a dark-horse Cy Young candidate back in 2013. Over his last three starts, the 30-year-old has logged 21 2/3 innings, notching 18 punchouts and limiting opposing hitters to a paltry .200/.250/.333 slash line. Buchholz finally has begun to find his swing-and-miss pitch, as 16 percent of his strikes over these three starts have come off of the whiff.

The Texas native has made eight career starts vs. the Twins, posting a 3-1 record and a 4.25 ERA. He has struggled with limiting baserunners against Minnesota, walking 19 batters in 48 2/3 innings pitched. Facing a 2015 Twins team that owns a .308 OBP, 11th in the AL, Buchholz hopes to find better success against Minnesota this time around.

Mike Pelfrey

Mike Pelfrey

Toeing the rubber for the Twins will be 6-foot-7 Mike Pelfrey, who has seen a career resurgence in Minnesota this year. The right-hander owns a 3-1 record and a 3.00 ERA, a drastic departure from his 4.49 career ERA.

Pelfrey has struck gold this season, not with the strikeout pitch but rather by limiting opponents’ big hits. The former Met has given up just three long balls in 45 innings this season, or 0.6 per nine. Last season, Pelfrey allowed 1.9 HR/9, or 1.3 more than this season.

In his most recent outing last Wednesday, Pelfrey hurled six strong innings vs. the Pirates in an interleague matchup. He allowed one earned run and whiffed five as his team rolled to a 4-3 victory. Pelfrey threw just 92 pitches during this start, 61 of them for strikes, showing his improvement in pitch location.

“I’m always pretty calm,” Pelfrey said after the game Wednesday. “Early in my career there would be times where the game sped up. Now I get crucified sometimes for taking too much time out there, but that’s me breathing and not allowing the game to get too fast, especially in big situations.”

Pelfrey has made one career start against the Red Sox, tossing seven innings of two-run ball while striking out six. The Wichita, Kansas, native will look to earn his first career win vs. the Red Sox when he takes the bump Tuesday.

Red Sox vs. Pelfrey (RHP)

Hanley Ramirez (51 plate appearances): .213 AVG/.275 OBP/.277 OBP, 1 home run, 7 strikeouts

Pablo Sandoval (17): .235/.235/.294, 1 double, 3 strikeouts

David Ortiz (3): .000/.333/.000

Dustin Pedroia (3): .667/.667/.667

No other Red Sox have faced Pelfrey.

Twins vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Torii Hunter (25): .143/.280/.190, 4 strikeouts, 4 walks

Joe Mauer (19): .438/.526/.625, 3 doubles, 3 walks

Trevor Plouffe (15): .077/.200/.154, 5 strikeouts

Kurt Suzuki (15): .533/.533/.600, 2 RBIs

Brian Dozier (14): .167/.214/.167

Aaron Hicks (9): .250/.333/.375, 1 double

Eduardo Escobar (6): .500/.500/.667

Eduardo Nunez (3): .500/.667/.500

No other Twins have faced Buchholz.

Blog Author: 
Justin Pallenik

David Ortiz has the continued support of Red Sox manager John Farrell despite the designated hitter's struggles.</p>
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MINNEAPOLIS — Unfortunately for the Red Sox, it seemed like old times.