The 2015 season has been far from kind to the Red Sox. Their spot in the standings far removed from the playoff picture, forcing them not to consider trading for short-term rentals before Friday’s deadline.

The 2015 season has been far from kind to the Red Sox. Their spot in the standings far removed from the playoff picture, forcing them not to consider trading for short-term rentals before Friday’s deadline. Instead, the team reportedly is interested in starting pitchers that are under team control long term.

That interest has taken hold in a couple young starters of note, including Carlos Carrasco of the Indians and Tyson Ross of the Padres.

The Padres are firmly in the camp of sellers at this season’s deadline and own many movable players and contracts. One of those is flamethrowing reliever Craig Kimbrel, who has been linked to multiple teams, including the Red Sox.

The Yankees and Astros also are said to have shown interest in Kimbrel. The Padres reportedly were interested in Yankees shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo, who at one time had been viewed as untouchable.

Elsewhere, the Mets are interested in acquiring an outfield bat, particularly after their almost-trade with the Brewers for Carlos Gomez fell through. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Mets are interested in the Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

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

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

Allen Craig

Allen Craig

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (42-63): L, 6-1, vs. Norfolk (Orioles)

— The Pawtucket offense had nine hits, eight of them singles, but finished just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and scored just one run. The lone PawSox run came in the ninth inning on an RBI single by right fielder Jonathan Roof, scoring DH Allen Craig. Pawtucket’€™s July record fell to 4-21, with an 0-8-1 record in nine series played during the month.

— Craig finished 1-for-3 with a walk, putting his season-long slash line at .263/.373/.338 with three home runs and eight doubles in 63 games played. After hitting .328 in May, Craig has connected at just a .240 (40-for-167) clip combined in June and July with two homers. The 31-year-old righty bat has particularly struggled against right-handed pitching this year, hitting just .227 on the season compared to .354 against lefties.

— Shortstop Marco Hernandez went 2-for-3 with a double, the lone Pawtucket extra-base hit, to put his average at .298 through 13 games played in Triple-A. It was the third multi-hit game for Hernandez since his promotion from Double-A Portland, where he led the Eastern League with a .326 average. The 22-year-old Dominican was charged with his third Triple-A error as he dropped a throw from pitcher Zeke Spruill at the second base bag after a comebacker in the third.

— Spruill took the loss (4-7, 4.54 ERA) despite allowing just one earned run through six innings of work. His final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO (96 pitches, 60 strikes). Spruill also hit two batters. The 25-year-old was making his seventh start of the season, after his first 18 came in relief. As a reliever, the 6-foot-5 Spruill had a 4.21 ERA in 36 1/3 innings pitched. As a starter, he is now 0-5 with a 4.88 ERA. Boston acquired Spruill in a December 2014 trade from Arizona; the Red Sox designated him for assignment and off their 40-man roster on July 3.

Aneury Tavarez

Aneury Tavarez

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (40-66): W, 5-4, vs. Harrisburg (Nationals)

— Right fielder Aneury Tavarez led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run to give Portland its eighth walkoff win of the season and fifth this month at Hadlock Field. Tavarez fouled off an attempted bunt on the first pitch of his winning at-bat, then fouled off two two-strike pitches before launching one over the right-center wall for his fourth homer of the season.

The 23-year-old Tavarez was on the temporary inactive list from July 8 through July 21 for the Pan-Am Games, and since his return has delivered three homers, a triple, a double and six runs scored in eight games played. The 5-foot-9 Dominican native was signed by Boston for $80,000 during the 2010 international signing period.

— Left fielder Keury De La Cruz went 3-for-4 with a double and a bases-loaded RBI single in the sixth that tied the game at 3. De La Cruz also scored a run in the second on a wild pitch. The 23-year-old Dominican has a four-game hit streak, going 7-for-16 over that span. On the season, however, De La Cruz is slashing just .219/.268/.333 through 87 games after hitting .295 last year in 70 games with Portland. De La Cruz was signed by Boston in 2009 as an international free agent.

— First baseman Sam Travis (Boston’€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to seven games and raise his average to .312 through 33 games in Double-A. The 21-year-old Travis has reached safely in 23 of his last 27 contests and is hitting .356 (37-for-104) over that span with 16 RBIs. Selected by Boston in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University, Travis was a first-half Carolina League All-Star with High-A Salem this year, hitting .313 through 66 games.

— Thursday’€™s game was delayed by rain for an hour and 38 minutes, causing starter William Cuevas to be replaced by reliever Heri Quevedo after getting in just two innings of work before the delay. Cuevas allowed three earned runs on five hits. Quevedo pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out one and walking two.

— RHP Madison Younginer pitched the final three innings and earned the win (5-4, 2.91 ERA), allowing a run in the seventh that tied the game at 4 but recovering to retire the side in order in the eighth and ninth. The 6-foot-4 Younginer has allowed just the one earned run over his last three appearances, a total of eight innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Younginer was selected by Boston in the seventh round of the 2009 draft out of high school in South Carolina.

Aaron Wilkerson

Aaron Wilkerson

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (51-54): L, 6-5, at Lynchburg (Indians)

— RHP Aaron Wilkerson struggled with his command in a no-decision start, with a final line of: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO. Wilkerson, 26, walked the leadoff batter in three of his four innings, escaping a jam in the third after two free passes by picking off the lead runner between second and third. The 6-foot-3 Wilkerson is 7-2 with a 2.96 ERA this season over 17 appearances with Salem, 12 of those starts. He has struck out 85 in 79 innings, with 21 walks.

— Right fielder Cole Sturgeon went 2-for-2 with two walks, three runs scored, and two stolen bases. It was Sturgeon’€™s first multi-hit game since being demoted from Double-A Portland on July 22. Sturgeon scored in the fourth after a leadoff walk, a steal, and a sacrifice fly from shortstop Mauricio Dubon. Sturgeon was also brought home in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from left fielder Yolian Cerse, with Cerse driving him home again in the eighth to tie the game at 5.

Selected by Boston in the 10th round of the 2014 draft out of Louisville, Sturgeon is slashing .241/.286/.330 in 54 games this year with Salem, with 30 games in Portland producing a .213 average.

— Dubon (Boston’€™s No. 27 prospect at MLB.com) went 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. DH Kevin Heller drove Dubon home twice, on a single and a fielder’€™s choice, finishing 1-for-3 to go with two walks and his 10th stolen base of the year. Heller has reached safely in eight straight games and is slashing .311/.433/.444 through 60 games with Salem.

Michael Chavis

Michael Chavis

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (52-51): L, 8-4, vs. Lexington (Royals)

— RHP Ben Taylor impressed with his first professional quality start, compiling a final line of: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO (70 pitches, 54 strikes). Taylor retired the first 11 batters he faced, allowing lone singles in the fourth and fifth before surrendering his lone mark in the sixth on an RBI double. Selected by Boston in the seventh round of this year’€™s draft out of South Alabama University, Taylor earned a quick promotion from Lowell to Greenville and in three starts with the Drive has struck out 10 in 13 innings, allowing four earned runs and four walks.

— DH Michael Chavis (Boston’€™s No. 8 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for-4 with a homer and two doubles while driving in three runs. A Chavis double in the sixth brought home second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston’€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) and center fielder Joseph Monge to gave Greenville a 2-1 lead. Then in the eighth, Chavis launched a leadoff blast, coming on a 1-1 offspeed pitch, over Fluor Field’€™s Green Monster in left to put the Drive within a run at 5-4.

It was the 10th home run of the season for Chavis, selected by Boston with the 26th overall pick in the 2014 draft. It was also the fourth home run in July for Chavis, who is hitting .221 on the season with 30 of his 69 hits going for extra bases.

— Monge reached base twice, with an RBI double and a walk, to bring his July slash line to .295/.333/.397. For the season Monge is hitting .234 with Greenville through 79 games played.

— Moncada finished 1-for-4 with the run and his 22nd stolen base of the season, and he has reached safely in 14 straight games. Moncada is slashing .326/.425/.543 in July with four homers, six doubles, 23 runs and 13 RBIs.

Jake Cosart

Jake Cosart

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (20-19): W, 5-2, at Williamsport (Phillies)

— RHP Jake Cosart (Boston’€™s No. 21 prospect at MLB.com) had his best start of the season and first quality start as a professional, with a final line of: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO (67 pitches, 49 strikes). Cosart retired the side in order in the first, second and fifth innings, allowing a single run in the third and sixth frames. Selected by Boston in the third round of the 2014 draft out of Seminole State Junior College, Cosart is 2-2 with a 5.62 ERA over eight starts this season after starting seven game in 2014 in the Gulf Coast League.

— Center fielder Andrew Benintendi went 1-for-2 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored before being removed from the game in the sixth inning. A sacrifice fly by Tate Matheny brought home Benintendi in the first after his one-out triple, and a Kyri Washington sacrifice fly scored Benintendi in the sixth to give Lowell a 3-1 lead. Benintendi, selected seventh overall by Boston in this year’€™s draft out of the University of Arkansas, has hit safely in 10 of his last 13 games with a season-long slash line of .229/.396/.471 through 21 games as a professional.

— Second baseman Chad De La Guerra was the lone Lowell batter to have two hits, going 2-for-4 to raise his average to .282 through 27 games played this year. De La Guerra, 22, has hit safely in 21 games with 12 extra-base hits. Selected by Boston in the 17th round of this year’€™s draft out of Grand Canyon University, the left-handed-batting De La Guerra is hitting .289 against right-handed pitching.

Tyler Hill

Tyler Hill

ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (20-10): L, 5-4 in 11 innings, at GCL Orioles

— Right fielder Tyler Hill went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, including a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth, but the GCL Red Sox couldn’€™t hold the lead and lost in extra innings. Hill, who also reached on a hit-by-pitch, had an RBI single in the third to tie the game at 1. Hill, 19, is 6-for-17 over his last six games with seven walks to raise his on-base percentage to .370 through 20 games this season. Hill was selected by Boston in the 19th round of the 2014 draft out Delaware Military Academy.

— DH Raiwinson Lameda had the lone extra-base hit for the GCL Sox, a triple in the eighth that would later produce a run on a wild pitch. Lameda, getting his first action since July 4, also walked in the 10th inning but was stranded at third base as first baseman Jerry Downs grounded out with the bases loaded. Lameda, 19, is hitting .375 over 10 games this year in the Gulf Coast League. He was signed by Boston out of Venezuela during the 2011 international signing period.

— Downs was 0-for-2 but walked three times, as did third baseman Rafael Oliveras.

— LHP Logan Allen, selected by Boston in the eighth round of this year’€™s draft, made his second professional appearance and pitched two innings, allowing a run in the second on a single, stolen base, Downs’€™ throwing error and RBI groundout. Allen, 18, was drafted out of high school in Bradenton, Florida, and was signed away from a commitment to the University of South Carolina with a $725,000 bonus.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird
Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Avoiding their third sweep in four series Thursday night, the Red Sox took the final game of their four-game set with the White Sox by a score of 8-2. With the Rays next on the docket, Eduardo Rodriguez will pitch for Boston against Erasmo Rodriguez on Friday evening.

Rodriguez has provided the Sox with a solid option in the rotation, though he’s fallen victim to the occasional bad start. In 11 starts so far this season, the lefty has recorded seven outings in which he’s allowed one or zero earned runs. He also has had three starts lasting fewer than five innings with six or more earned runs. Two of those three came at Fenway Park, but the most recent one was on the road vs. the Angels on July 20, a 1 2/3-inning effort with seven earned runs on six hits.

Most recently, Rodriguez put up seven innings on Sunday, giving up just one earned run, a home run, on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts. After that win, the rookie’s season ERA is 4.26 while his record is 6-3.

“I think [against the Angels], I tried to go too quickly to home plate and made my fastballs in the strike zone,” Rodriguez said Sunday. “Today I just got under control to control my fastball where I want. That’s what I think made it go better.”

In his young career, Rodriguez has not yet faced the Rays, the only team in the division he hasn’t seen. Against other AL East teams, the 22-year-old has a 6.08 ERA in 26 2/3 innings, a number that’s bloated because his other two shaky starts were against the Blue Jays (4 2/3 innings, nine earned runs) and Orioles (3 2/3 innings, six earned runs). The Rays slash .256/.329/.429 vs. left-handed starters compared to their .232/.293/.364 line opposite righties.

Erasmo Ramirez

Erasmo Ramirez

Ramirez is in the middle of his first season with the Rays, having been traded by the Mariners in March of this year. He’s fairly familiar with the Red Sox, as he has three career starts against them and four appearances total, the latest of which was a relief stint on May 4 at Fenway Park. The Rays won that game 5-1 and Ramirez was in to close it out in the ninth, registering a hitless, scoreless frame.

During his starts, however, the right-hander has never managed more than 4 2/3 innings against Boston, totaling 11 2/3 in his four-year tenure as a major leaguer. His nine earned runs in all 12 2/3 frames he’s been opposite them gives him a 6.39 ERA without any decisions. The two home runs and 11 overall hits he’s conceded to the Sox give Boston batters a .229/.356/.354 slash line with him hurling to them.

So far this year, Ramirez has split time serving as a bullpen man and as a starter. Seven of his first nine appearances in 2015 were of the relief variety, and he was converted to a full-time starter on May 14. He now has an 8-4 record with a 3.74 ERA in 15 starts and 22 total appearances. The 25-year-old has pitched 91 1/3 innings and has a 1.08 WHIP, holding opponents to a .219 batting average.

Until his last start Saturday vs. the Orioles, Ramirez had posted six straight outings in which he gave up one or zero runs. Even when he surrendered five earned runs while the O’s were in Tampa Bay last weekend, he still went 7 1/3 innings. He did earn the loss as the Rays mustered just one run of support, though.

“It was tough because you don’t want to let the other team go to far from the score,” Ramirez said. “Even down 4-0, [our offense] can wake up and do everything, but it didn’t happen today. I just put it in my mind to forget about the scoreboard and just try to execute pitches and get deeper into the game.”

Rays vs. Rodriguez (LHP)

No current members of the Rays have faced Rodriguez.

Red Sox vs. Ramirez (RHP)

David Ortiz (7 plate appearances): .000 AVG/.571 OBP/.000 SLG, 4 walks, 1 strikeout

Brock Holt (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 HR, 3 RBIs

Mike Napoli (6): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Alejandro De Aza (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk

Xander Bogaerts (2): .500/.500/.500

Jackie Bradley Jr. (2): .500/.500/.500

Pablo Sandoval (1): .000/.000/.000

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

Justin Masterson, pictured in 2009, was as shocked as anyone to be traded that year.</p>
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Dustin Pedroia continues to try and come to grips with the Red Sox' lot in life. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)The season is weighing on Dustin Pedroia. Make that seasons.



Steven Wright gave the Red Sox a much-needed win over the White Sox Thursday night. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Steven Wright gave the Red Sox a much-needed win over the White Sox Thursday night. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

For obvious reasons Steven Wright is most known for his knuckleball, but Thursday night it was his fastball that was able to get him his fourth win of the season.

Wright went seven innings allowing two runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out a career-high eight in the Red Sox’ 8-2 win over the White Sox snapping a three-game losing streak.

Making the win even more impressive was Wright and the Red Sox were going up against ace Chris Sale.

The Red Sox knuckleballer was able to keep the red-hot White Sox offense in check by mixing his fastball and knuckleball more than in any other start this season. According to Brooksbaseball.net, Wright threw a season-high 21 fastballs. His previous high in any other start this season was seven.

“It’s one of those things I don’t go out there thinking I am going to throw fastballs tonight,” Wright said. “The scouting report that I’ve seen on those guys — they are pretty patient early on and I wasn’t throwing a lot of strikes at the beginning so I thought it was a good opportunity to do some fastballs so I tried to get ahead in the count and then later on in the game me and Blake [Swihart] were able to mix it in in good situations to really keep them off the knuckleball. I just go out there and feel it out. Sometimes I throw more than other times. Today I mixed it in a little bit more in the past.”

Things got off to a rocky start as he allowed a two-run home run to Jose Abreu in the first inning, which meant all four Red Sox starters allowed multiple runs in the first inning in the series. But, Wright settled in and didn’t allow a run after that.

The win evens his record at 4-4 after he was winless over his last four starts. It was his first win as a starter since May 23.

“Early on I thought he mixed his fastball in well,” manager John Farrell said. “Not exclusively to the use of his knuckleball. I think he needed it because he didn’t have a real good feel for it the first couple innings. Once he did get the feel for it — the consistency, the violence, the action in the strike-throwing ability improved across the board. Slowed him down. As they came into this series, we saw for three nights what they did. Started things off the same way, but he settled in and pitched a very solid outing for us.”

Wright threw a career-high 116 pitches, but you’d never know it by the way he was talking after the game.

“I throw knuckleballs, man. I just throw all day,” he said.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

This one came out of nowhere.

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

This one came out of nowhere.

Having won just three of their last 16 games, while sitting on the verge of a four-game sweep at the hands of the red-hot White Sox, Thursday night’s series finale didn’t seem promising for the Red Sox. Add in that John Farrell‘s team had to reverse its course against Chris Sale, one of the top pitchers in the American League, and the Sox best chance would seem for the rain to pick up steam from 7 p.m. and on.

But the rain did let up, resulting in just a 51-minute delay, and as it turned out the Red Sox were glad it did.

The Sox jumped all over Sale, handing the skinny southpaw with the 2.85 ERA one of his worst starts of the season. The end result was the Red Sox tagging the White Sox starter for seven runs on 12 hits over five innings on the way to an 8-2 win at Fenway Park.

The night marked the most hits ever allowed by Sale, who was chased from the game after not retiring an out in the sixth inning but being charged with four runs in the frame.

Sale’s counterpart, Red Sox starter Steven Wright, conversely turned in one of his best big league outings, giving up just two runs (both coming in the first inning) over seven innings. The knuckleballer finished with career-highs in innings pitched and pitches thrown (115).

Much of the damage done against Sale was surprisingly from some of the Red Sox’ lefty bats, including David Ortiz, who finished with three hits. Coming into the game, Ortiz was just 2-for-10 against the lefty, and hitting .162 vs. southpaws for the season.

Another encouraging performance against Sale came from Jackie Bradley Jr., who rifled an RBI single up the middle in the sixth against the Chicago starter.

Other offensive performances of note for the Red Sox were Xander Bogaerts’ three-hit night (raising his batting average to .316), and Rusney Castillo’s homer into the center field seats.

For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford