Theo Epstein and the Cubs were honored by President Obama in the White House in January.</p>
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Count Pedro Martinez among those who wants David Ortiz to come back.

In an interview Friday on OM&F, the first ballot Hall of Famer said he thinks Ortiz should’ve kept playing for one more season.

Pedro Martinez says he thinks David Ortiz should've played for one more season. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Pedro Martinez says he thinks David Ortiz should’ve played for one more season. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Count Pedro Martinez among those who wants David Ortiz to come back.

In an interview Friday on OM&F, the first ballot Hall of Famer said he thinks Ortiz should’ve kept playing for one more season.

“I’ve been trying so hard to get David back and help out these kids,” he said. “I thought they needed one more year to kind of realize what they have to do. But you can’t blame David, either. You go through the struggles of baseball, the day-to-day–– the stuff that you have to do –– it gets to a point where you just get tired. You just get tired of the same routine, and all of that.”

Following the Red Sox’s 3-0 loss to the Yankees Thursday, shortstop Xander Bogaerts acknowledged Ortiz’s presence is missed. The Red Sox are 13th in the American League in runs scored.

Martinez explained how Ortiz’s leadership would’ve been valuable to the young players on the club this season.

“Those guys are at a level where they’re good, they’re going to perform, but they need to realize why they perform,” he said. “That’s what David was probably going to be able to relay in one more year. One more year of experience around those kids would be exactly leaving those kids graduated from college. They needed one more year to graduate.”

Perhaps the biggest positive for the Red Sox in the first month of the season has been the electric performance of Chris Sale, who’s doing his best Martinez impression every time he takes the mound. It’s quite a difference from David Price’s first month in Boston last season, in which he posted a 5.76 ERA.

Martinez said the biggest difference between the two hurlers is attitude.

“Chris Sale is somewhat a throwback kind of player, someone that’s not going to be watching what the papers say,” Martinez explained. “He’s not going to pay attention to what the fans might say if he doesn’t perform. I mean, this is a guy who’s very unusual. He’s not intimidated by anything, this is a guy that’s out there to show you and say to you, ‘This is how I am. This is who I am. This is what I’m here to get.” And it’s all around the pitcher’s mound. That’s what his business is.”

The other big story surrounding the Red Sox this week was Dustin Pedroia’s criticism of teammate Matt Barnes for throwing at Manny Machado’s head Sunday. When asked his feelings on the matter, Martinez said he doesn’t fault Barnes for the way he handled the retaliation.

“As much as I love Machado, who’s one of my boys –– I love him dearly –– I would’ve [gone] and hit him square in the ribs or maybe in the butt cheek. I honestly think I have to protect my players,” Martinez said.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer

Here is what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (8-10): L, 5-3 and W, 4-2  vs. Indianapolis 

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Here is what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (8-10): L, 5-3 and W, 4-2  vs. Indianapolis 

— Brian Johnson pitched four-plus innings and gave up three runs, eight hits and four walks in the first game of a doubleheader. Blaine Boyer got the loss when he came into the game in relief and gave up two runs on three hits.

— Indianapolis got an early 2-0 lead, but the PawSox tied it up in the fourth. Rusney Castillo got on base on an error and reached third after a pair of wild pitches. He ultimately scored on a Bryce Brentz groundout. Brentz also hit a solo homer in the sixth to tie the game at three, but Indianapolis regained the lead for good in the eighth.

— Henry Owens got the start in the second game and threw six innings with five strikeouts and gave up five hits and two runs. Brandon Workman followed up with a scoreless seventh inning and got the save.

— Deven Marrero hit a double in the third to put two men on base before Ryan Court hit a three-run homer to take a 3-2 lead. Brentz also hit a solo home run in the fourth for the 4-2 win.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (9-6): Scheduled day off 

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (12-8): Postponed due to rain 

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (14-7): W, 8-5 at Augusta 

— With Greenville down 4-0 in the fourth, Nick Lovullo smacked a three-run home run to put the team on the board and start a rally. The Drive scored four more runs in the sixth and another run in the seventh to extend their win streak to five games.

— Daniel Gonzalez got the win after giving up just one run in three relief innings.

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge

The Red Sox miss celebrating with David Ortiz (34), but he's not coming back.</p>
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One day, the Red Sox will score a run for Chris Sale. And when they do, that day will be glorious.

But until that day comes, we’re left with nights like Thursday, when Sale was nearly perfect until the ninth and it didn’t matter, because the Red Sox offense turned Masahiro Tanaka into . . . Chris Sale.

Red Sox starter Chris Sale delivers against the Yankees during another tough-luck loss on Thursday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Red Sox starter Chris Sale delivers against the Yankees during another tough-luck loss on Thursday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

One day, the Red Sox will score a run for Chris Sale. And when they do, that day will be glorious.

But until that day comes, we’re left with nights like Thursday, when Sale was nearly perfect until the ninth and it didn’t matter, because the Red Sox offense turned Masahiro Tanaka into . . . Chris Sale.

The Red Sox had averaged one run of support with Sale on the mound in his first four starts, and they didn’t even reach that number in Thursday’s 3-0 loss.

Sale reached 10 strikeouts for the fourth straight start. He reached 98 mph with his fastball. He didn’t walk anyone. He froze hitters with sliders and blew them away with heat while working at his trademark relentless pace, lowering his ERA to 0.72 through eight innings before coming back out for the ninth and allowing three straight hits and a run. An inherited runner later scored, leaving his final line at eight innings, eight hits, two runs. His ERA climbed to 1.19.

His only “mistake” until then, such as it was, was crossing up catcher Sandy Leon with a slider that ended up sailing practically through Leon and to the backstop, advancing Aaron Hicks to third, where he’d score the game’s only run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Otherwise, Sale was practically untouchable. He recorded seven strikeouts in the first three innings and left the Yankees feeling like contact counted as a moral victory.

Unfortunately, the Red Sox had even less success with Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, who matched Sale zero for zero while allowing only three hits in the complete-game shutout. Tanaka barely broke 91 mph, but it didn’t matter against the punchless Red Sox, who didn’t even benefit from the return of second baseman Dustin Pedroia atop the order.

This marks the fifth time in their last seven games that the Red Sox have failed to top two runs, and the third time in that span they’ve been shut out — one each by division rivals Toronto, Baltimore, and now New York. They began the night ranked 13th in the American League in runs, and their ranking didn’t improve.

The thing is, Tanaka didn’t even enter the game on some kind of epic run. He was 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA, though he has gotten progressively better since allowing eight runs on Opening Day against the Rays.

But with the Red Sox ranked dead last in home runs and basically reduced to a singles-hitting team, Tanaka went to work by throwing first-pitch strikes. The Red Sox started the night leading the American League in average and on base percentage, but ranked only 10th in slugging, and that ranking didn’t improve.

Will this problem fix itself with the arrival of warmer weather? Maybe. But David Ortiz is retired and that’s not going to change, which means if this is to flip, it will have to come from within.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Carson Smith’s return from Tommy John surgery has suffered another setback.

The right-handed reliever hasn’t thrown off a mound in two weeks because of soreness in his surgically repaired elbow, manager John Farrell said. It’s his second setback since the start of spring training.

Carson Smith

Carson Smith

Carson Smith’s return from Tommy John surgery has suffered another setback.

The right-handed reliever hasn’t thrown off a mound in two weeks because of soreness in his surgically repaired elbow, manager John Farrell said. It’s his second setback since the start of spring training.

Smith underwent Tommy John last May 24. He began throwing in spring training, but had to back off after feeling soreness. He resumed throwing from a mound earlier this month, but once again had to draw back.

“Once he got on the mound with some aggression and good intensity, he was throwing the ball well,” Farrell said. “As a result, there’s been some soreness that has reared its head. We’ve had to back him off, back into long toss. We’re hopeful that in the very near future that mound progression resumes.”

The hope had been that Smith would be ready to return by June, but that assumed a perfect progression in his rehab. He was instead moved to the 60-day disabled list on Thursday to make room for new addition Chase d’Arnaud.

The Red Sox claimed the infielder/outfielder off waivers from the Braves, who had recently designated him for assignment. The 30-year-old is a lifetime .231 hitter, but he has experience at second, third, short, and all three outfield spots. He also bats right-handed.

Farrell said d’Arnaud would serve in a utility role. With Dustin Pedroia (knee) banged up but returning to the lineup, and Brock Holt (vertigo) on the 10-day DL, the Red Sox have a need for infield depth.

“Given the injuries that we’ve sustained of late, some temporary situations with other guys that are — there’s some maintenance involved,” Farrell said. “We feel like his versatility to move around the infield, it gives us a little bit more flexibility in-game if that situations does arise. A guy that’s served in this role for a few years at the big league level, more than anything just to create some depth and overall versatility”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase