Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.

TRIPLE-A PATWUCKET RED SOX (23-24): L, 11-4, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)

Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

TRIPLE-A PATWUCKET RED SOX (23-24): L, 11-4, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)

— It was a rough day for PawSox starter Henry Owens. In the first inning Owens let up two singles, a double, two walks and a sacrifice fly and he hit a batter before getting out of the inning. Owens was pulled from the game after 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits (including a home run) and five walks with two strikeouts, and he hit two batters. Since rejoining Pawtucket after a brief stint with Boston, Owens has had trouble locating the strike zone. In three of his last four starts he has walked five batters. Owens is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Red Sox farm system, but he has struggled this season. With Pawtucket the 23-year-old-left-hander is 3-2 in seven starts with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. In three starts with the big league club Owens has not recorded a decision in 12 1/3 innings with a 5.11 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP.

— Rusney Castillo and Ryan LaMarre hit home runs for the PawSox. Castillo finished the day 2-for-5 with a strikeout and two runs scored. He now is hitting .254/.310/.331 in 33 Triple-A games this season. LaMarre went 3-for-4 with a strikeout and now is hitting .313/.358/.434 in 23 games with the PawSox.

— The bullpen was unable to help salvage the game for the PawSox. Robby Scott came on in relief for Owens and lasted 2 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits (two home runs) with three strikeouts. The 26-year-old left-hander has appeared in 11 games for Pawtucket this season, posting a 3.21 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Wesley Wright followed and allowed two runs on three hits (one home run) with one strikeout in two innings. Noe Ramirez closed things out with a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit and recording a strikeout.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (16-30): L, 5-4, at Harrisburg (Nationals)

— The Sea Dogs have lost two games in a row by walking home the winning batter. On Thursday it was Simon Mercedes who was unable to find the strike zone in the ninth inning. After walking the first batter of the inning, Mercedes, a Dominican Republic native, got one out on a sacrifice bunt, but then he walked the next three batters, allowing Harrisburg to get the win. The 24-year-old right-hander is 2-3 this season with a 9.45 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP.

— Ryan Court’s bat was hot on Thursday, as he went 3-for-4 with two triples, a long solo home run and three RBIs. The 27-year-old shortstop is hitting .246/.361/.393 in 19 games with Portland this season.

— Ty Buttrey got the start for the Sea Dogs. Buttrey lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on three hits and five walks with no strikeouts. In eight starts for Portland this season the 23-year-old right-hander is 0-6 with a 5.85 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (31-16): L, 9-6, at Potomac (Nationals)

— Salem pitchers combined for nine walks on Thursday, and five of those walks came from starter Dedgar Jimenez. Jimenez, a native of Venezuela, gave up five runs on six hits with no strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. The season the 20-year-old left-hander is 2-3 with a 6.35 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP.

— Nick Longhi drove home two of Salem’s runs. Longhi finished the day 1-for-4 with one run scored and one strikeout. He has hit .296/.372/.396 this season with Salem. Rafael Devers gave Salem three more runs with an estimated 435-foot three-run home run. Devers has hit .188/.268/.313 this year.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (22-24): L, 7-4, at Rome (Braves)

— Drive starter Marc Brakeman pitched four innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts. Brakeman is 1-4 this season with a 6.48 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP.

— Roldani Baldwin gave the Drive a 4-1 lead in the third inning with a solo home run. Baldwin is hitting .244/.248/.402 with three home runs.

— The Greenville pitchers were unable to preserve the lead. The Braves were able to score two runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Reliever Adam Lau pitched two innings of relief after Brakeman was pulled and gave up two runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Austin Glorius finished the game by pitching two scoreless innings.

Blog Author: 
John Hand

On Friday night the Red Sox will be north of the border to start a three-game series with the Blue Jays. Boston will begin the series by sending Joe Kelly to the mound, while Toronto will be depending on the right arm of Aaron Sanchez.

Kelly (2-0) will be making his second start for the Sox after a stint on the DL with a right shoulder impingement. Kelly had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning in his first start back from the DL last Saturday against the Indians. In that start it didn’t appear Kelly needed much time to get used to facing big league hitters again, as he began the contest by retiring 13 straight. Kelly ended up throwing 6 2/3 innings and giving up just one hit, no runs and three walks while striking out seven. Kelly’s stellar comeback outing lowered his ERA from 9.35 to 5.28 to go along with a 1.82 WHIP.

“Overall command of the fastball was very big today,” Kelly said after the start. “I was throwing it to both sides of the plate. I just felt super strong out there. All the work we’ve been putting in since I went on the DL of getting the shoulder stronger in the training room, it’s just good to go out there and not even think about it and get a little more extension on the fastball and all the other pitches with that strong shoulder.”

Kelly currently is enjoying a 10-game winning streak, dating back to last season. It is the 16th time in Red Sox history that a pitcher has a 10-game winning streak, and Kelly’s streak is the longest since 2013 when Clay Buchholz won 11 straight. Over his last eight starts at Fenway, Kelly is 7-0 with a 2.41 ERA. Toronto’s Rogers Centre has been far less accommodating for Kelly, however. Kelly has started three games at Rogers Centre in his career and in those starts he is 0-1 with a whopping 9.20 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP. Kelly has faced the Blue Jays six times in his career, going 1-1 with 6.96 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. The 27-year-old right-hander faced Toronto in his first start of the 2016 season. Kelly didn’t begin the year the way he wanted, as he gave up seven runs, one home run and three walks with four strikeouts in just three innings.

Something to keep an eye on is who will be catching for Kelly. Ryan Hanigan is supposed to get the start, but it is unclear if he is fully healthy after leaving Wednesday’s game with an illness. If Hanigan is unable able to go, Blake Swihart could get the start behind the plate. Swihart came up through the Red Sox system as a catcher, but has been playing left field for the Sox since his call-up from Pawtucket last week.

Sanchez will make Friday’s start with some extra rest. The Blue Jays starter was pushed back a day in order to try to preserve him over the course of the season. The 23-year-old has never thrown over 130 innings, and if he is kept on his current pace he would hit 130 innings by July.

Sanchez began 2015 in the starting rotation before he missed seven weeks with a lat strain. After the injury Sanchez, who was the 34th pick in the 2010 draft, finished the year as a full-time reliever. Sanchez was returned to the starting rotation at the beginning of this season. So far in 2016 Sanchez is 4-1 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. His last start was a 9-3 victory over the Twins in which he pitched seven innings and gave up eight hits but just two runs and no walks while striking out seven.

Sanchez has appeared in 11 games (three starts) against the Red Sox in his three years in the majors. In those outings he is 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. His last outing against the Sox came in April when he went seven innings and allowed no runs on six hits and two walks while recording six strikeouts in Toronto’s 5-3 win.

Red Sox vs. Sanchez (RHP)

Xander Bogaerts (13 plate appearances): .077 AVG./.077 OBP/.077 SLG, 2 strikeouts

David Ortiz (11): .500/.636/.625, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 walks

Dustin Pedroia (11): .250/.455/.250, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

Mookie Betts (10): .333/.400/.444, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Travis Shaw is 0-for-7 with 2 strikeouts and 2 walks.

Hanley Ramirez is 0-for-6 with 3 strikeouts.

Chris Young is 2-for-5 with 1 double and 2 strikeouts.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is 3-for-3.

Marco Hernandez is 1-for-2 with 1 walk.

Blake Swihart is 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts.

Christian Vazquez is 0-for-1.

Blue Jays vs. Kelly (RHP)

Russell Martin (21 plate appearances): .294 AVG./.381 OBP/.529 SLG, 1 double, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Josh Donaldson (19): .529/.579/.706, 1 hHR, 6 RBIs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jose Bautista (17): .154/.353/.385, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts

Edwin Encarnacion (17): .364/.529/.727, 1 double, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts

Kevin Pillar (14): .273/.429/.455, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Darwin Barney (9): .500/.556/.500, 2 RBIs, 1 walk

Ryan Goins (9): .222/.222/.333, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Michael Saunders (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Troy Tulowitzki is 0-for-6 with 2 walks.

Devon Travis is 2-for-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout and 1 walk.

Justin Smoak is 2-for-3 with 1 triple and 1 RBI.

Jimmy Paredes is 0-for-2 with 1 strikeout.

Blog Author: 
John Hand
Mut recaps the Sox 8-2 loss to the Rockies.
Mut recaps the Sox 8-2 loss to the Rockies.

Clay Buchholz can't even look as Dustin Garneau rounds the bases after homering Thursday.</p>
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Joe and Tim are joined by the man of the hour, Wade Boggs, on the night where the Red Sox retired his number 26. Wade talks about his career in baseball and how it feels to have his number retired.
Joe and Tim are joined by Red Sox legend and baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski about his time with the Red Sox and his thoughts on the 2016 team.

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Clay Buchholz doesn't know what hit him as Dustin Garneau circles the bases after hitting a homer on Thursday. (David Butler II-USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz doesn’t know what hit him as Dustin Garneau circles the bases after hitting a homer on Thursday. (David Butler II-USA Today Sports)

It became apparent this wouldn’t be the Red Sox’ night on the first Red Sox at-bat of the evening.

Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., looking to extend the longest hitting streak in the majors to 30 games, launched a Jon Gray offering deep to right field. What looked like a surefire homer off the bat instead nestled into the glove of Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez.

Bradley would hit another ball to the base of the center field wall later in the game with the same result, bringing to an end one of the most uplifting stretches of baseball in recent Red Sox history and halting his hitting streak at 29 games.

On the flip side, right-hander Clay Buchholz saw a streak of his own continue, and it might cost him his spot in the rotation. Buchholz allowed a trio of two-run homers and got booed off the field, taking the loss in an 8-2 defeat.

The Red Sox didn’t have a chance in this one because Buchholz didn’t give it to them. After David Ortiz gave the Sox a 2-0 lead with his 12th homer of the season in the first, the Rockies tied it on a Carlos Gonzalez homer in the fourth, and then took control with consecutive two-run homers leading off the fifth as Buchholz saw his ERA climb to 6.35.

The only drama thereafter was whether Bradley could extend his streak. He got his last chance leading off the eighth, but grounded out routinely to second on the first pitch. The game ended with Bradley on deck.

Closing Time note

Buchholz has now allowed 28 runs on the 12 home runs he has surrendered. Only two of the 12 have been solo shots.


— David Ortiz stayed smoldering with a two-run homer in the first, his 12th of the year, and he later added his league-leading 22nd double. He also leads the league with 45 RBIs.

— Bradley’s hitting streak may have ended, but shortstop Xander Bogaerts extended a streak of his own with a single in the first. He has now hit in 19 straight.

— Right-hander Heath Hembree gave the Red Sox three innings of one-run (unearned) ball, leaving the bullpen intact for a series that opens in Toronto on Friday.


— Ugh. Buchholz. He went five innings, allowing seven hits and six runs. The home run once again proved his undoing, as he allowed three of them, all two-run shots.

— Bradley’s hitting streak ended, even though he crushed the ball twice.

— Third baseman Travis Shaw made his sixth error of the season, leading to an unearned run.

— The rampaging offense was surprisingly silenced by right-hander Jon Gray, who started the night with a 6.75 ERA, but limited the Sox to five hits over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three.


Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Say goodbye to Clay Buchholz?

Taking the mound with his spot in the starting rotation on the line, the Red Sox right-hander instead imploded against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, done in by his nemesis — the long ball.