The Red Sox‘ starting pitching roller coaster keeps on rolling.

Wade Miley

Wade Miley

The Red Sox‘ starting pitching roller coaster keeps on rolling.

This time the group’s downturn came in the form of Wade Miley’s 2 1/3-inning horror show. This time the lefty second sub-three-inning outing of the season led to a 18-7 Orioles rout of the Red Sox.

Miley was forced from the start in the third inning, in which the hosts put up a six-spot on the scoreboard. The Sox starter was ultimately charged with seven runs (six earned) on five hits and two walks. His ERA now stands at 8.62, having not pitched past 5 2/3 innings in any of his four starts.

It marks the sixth time in 19 games the Red Sox starting pitcher has allowed five or more runs. The rotation carries a 5.94 ERA, worst in the major leagues, with Joe Kelly leading the way with a 4.08 ERA, followed by Clay Buchholz (4.84), Justin Masterson (5.16) and Rick Porcello (6.48).

The loss hands the Red Sox a 2-4 road trip, having won the first game of both their series against the Rays and Orioles before dropping the final two. The Red Sox starters finished the two-series swing with a 5.31 ERA, coming away with three quality starts.

The Red Sox head home out of first-place, standing at 10-9, as Tampa Bay (11-8) holds that top stop, which has won five straight after losing its season opener to the Sox.

Not helping matters was the ineffective work of the bullpen after Miley, with newly-recalled Heath Hembree taking the brunt of the damage, giving up 11 runs in 6 2/3 innings. The righty let the game get out of hand, giving up six runs in 1 1/3 frames.

It marked the fifth straight game the bullpen gave up at least one run. For the road trip, Sox relievers pitched 20 2/3 innings and allowed 17 runs on 31 hits.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: The entire Orioles lineup. The group batted around twice, with every starter but one coming away with a multiple hit day.

Here’s what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ latest loss:

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Besides Hembree, other members of the Red Sox bullpen to surrender runs were Anthony Varvaro (2 runs, 1 2/3 innings), Robbie Ross Jr. (run, inning), and Craig Breslow (2 runs, 2/3 innings).

– The Red Sox only managed two runners in scoring position against Orioles starter Bud Norris, who finished his day allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings.

– Mookie Betts, Allen Craig and Xander Bogaerts all went hitless. Betts also made his first error of the season, misplaying a ball he seemed to have lost in the sun.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– The Red Sox managed three home runs, coming from Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, his first as a member of the Red Sox. The Sox came in with the fifth-most homers in the majors and now have 23 on the season. Ramirez hit his second home run — a three-run shot in the ninth.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

It was a short stay in the majors for right-hander Matt Barnes.

Heath Hembree

Heath Hembree

It was a short stay in the majors for right-hander Matt Barnes.

Needing an extra arm in the bullpen to give the group a rest, the team called Barnes up for Saturday’s game against the Orioles, as he was scheduled to start with Triple-A Pawtucket earlier in the day. Barnes went two scoreless innings, while surrendering just two hits.

Following the game, the team sent Barnes back to Pawtucket and called up reliever Health Hembree. Hembree was acquired from the Giants in the Jake Peavy trade last summer. The right-hander pitched in six games with the Red Sox last season, allowing five runs over 10 innings (4.50 ERA).

‘€œHembree, who has been throwing the ball well, gives us another multi-inning guy with some power out there,’€ Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Baltimore.

Barnes will go back to Pawtucket and be inserted back into their starting rotation.

The team still has only three players available off the bench as they have 13 pitchers, and 12 position players.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

After falling in extra innings Saturday night, the Red Sox will look to take the rubber match of the weekend series Sunday afternoon in Baltimore against the Orioles.

David Ortiz will get the day off, this after going 0-for-5 in Saturday’s loss.

After falling in extra innings Saturday night, the Red Sox will look to take the rubber match of the weekend series Sunday afternoon in Baltimore against the Orioles.

David Ortiz will get the day off, this after going 0-for-5 in Saturday’s loss.

Hanley Ramirez will take his place as the designated hitter and Brock Holt will get his first start of the season in left field. Allen Craig remains in right field with Shane Victorino on the disabled list. With Ortiz out of the lineup, third baseman Pablo Sandoval slides up to the No. 3 spot in the order.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Wade Miley as their lineup will go up against Orioles right-hander Bud Norris.

For an in-depth look at the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
4. Hanley Ramirez, DH
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Brock Holt, LF
7. Allen Craig, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Sandy Leon, C
Wade Miley, LHP

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Wade Miley

Wade Miley

In the last game of the Red Sox‘ second series with the Orioles in less than a week, Boston has a chance to rebound from an extra innings loss on Saturday when Wade Miley and Bud Norris get the start for their respective clubs Sunday.

Miley escaped his last start Tuesday against the Rays with a win after tossing 5 2/3 innings of three-hit baseball in which he did not give up a single run. A combined effort with the bullpen, specifically Alexi Ogando (1 IP), Robbie Ross Jr. (1/3 IP), Junichi Tazawa (1 IP) and Koji Uehara (1 IP), kept Tampa Bay off the board. The Rays’ staff would have held Boston scoreless too were it not for an unearned run the Sox gained after an error from second baseman Ryan Brett in the third inning. With Sox pitching holding down the fort, Boston was able to squeak out a 1-0 win.

“As we’ve expected, [Miley] was down in the zone pretty consistently throughout the time on the mound,” said manager John Farrell. “I think his two-seamer and changeup was good against nine right-handed hitters.”

The unblemished start lowered his season ERA from 10.57 down to 6.08.

Miley hasn’t seen the Orioles all that much, having started just one game against them before, a 103-pitch, no-decision outing on Aug. 12, 2013. In seven innings against Baltimore, the lefty gave up seven hits, four runs, a homer, a walk and recorded three strikeouts.

Bud Norris

Bud Norris

While Miley recovered from his shaky second start on Tuesday, Norris has been unable to do so. Lasting just three innings on April 10 against the Blue Jays, Norris exited his first start of the season with an ERA of 24.00 after allowing eight runs on seven hits. His April 15 start against the Yankees was an improvement, as he allowed three runs on five hits in as many innings, but Tuesday’s start in Toronto saw him surrender nine runs on six hits, managing just 2 1/3 innings.

Norris has five starts against the Red Sox to his name and a 1-2 record to go along with them. Holding Boston to a .216 batting average when it sees him, Norris has a 3.41 ERA and gave up 25 hits in 31 2/3 innings pitched. His 1.263 WHIP against the Sox is his fifth best among teams he’s started at least five games against, and his 10.2 strikeouts per nine against them is his third best among individual team splits.

In 2014, Norris had two starts against the Red Sox for 14 1/3 innings. In that time, he posted an ERA of 2.51 and a record of 1-1, giving up four runs and preventing the Sox from hitting any better than at a .163 clip.

Orioles vs. Miley (LHP)

Everth Cabrera (21 plate appearances): .476 AVG/.476 OBP/.762 SLG, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 home run, 3 RBI, 6 strikeouts
Steve Pearce (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout
Chris Davis (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Adam Jones (3): .000/.000/.000
Manny Machado (3): .333/.333/.333
Alejandro De Aza (2): .000/.000/.000

Red Sox vs. Norris (RHP)

Allen Craig (21 plate appearances): .400 AVG/.429 OBP/.750 SLG, 1 double, 2 home runs, 7 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia (15): .222/.533/.444, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 6 walks, 2 strikeouts
Ryan Hanigan (14): .250/.357/.250, 5 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Pablo Sandoval (13): .200/.385/.300, 1 double, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Mike Napoli (12): .167/.167/.167, 1 RBI, 7 strikeouts
David Ortiz (12): .250/.250/.500, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Hanley Ramirez (12): .500/.500/.833, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBI
Shane Victorino (11): .375/.545/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
Daniel Nava (9): .375/.444/.625, 2 doubles, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Brock Holt (7): .333/.429/.667, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Xander Bogaerts (6): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

If Koji Uehara continues to falter, Jonathan Papelbon sure would look good closing out games in Boston again. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)Hello, Ruben? It's me, Ben. We need to talk.



Do we have a Koji problem?

Red Sox closer Koji Uehara was tremendous in 2013 and an All-Star in 2014, but the warning signs haven’t been hard to spot over the last few months.

Justin Masterson hurls against the Orioles on Saturday night. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Justin Masterson hurls against the Orioles on Saturday night. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Do we have a Koji problem?

Red Sox closer Koji Uehara was tremendous in 2013 and an All-Star in 2014, but the warning signs haven’t been hard to spot over the last few months.

First there was the implosion late last season that cost him the closer’s role, though no one really cared, since the Red Sox were hopelessly out of contention.

Then there was the hamstring injury that robbed him of most of spring training, though he hadn’t pitched well to that point in Fort Myers anyway. Coupled with his 40th birthday in April, it was enough to make Red Sox fans at the very least wonder how viable Uehara would be come the start of the season.

And now? Now it’s time to wonder if the Red Sox will be redirecting some of their resources to the closing market in the next couple of months.

Throwing 85 mph fastballs and hanging his formerly devastating splitter, Uehara blew a 4-3 lead in the 10th on Saturday night and allowed David Lough’s walkoff solo homer in a brutal 5-4 loss.

The Red Sox had no business even being in the game after getting shut down by left-hander Wei-Yin Chen for eight innings, but they rallied to tie in the ninth on some atrocious fielding by the normally sure-handed O’s, and then took the lead in the 10th on Xander Bogaerts’ leadoff solo homer.

But Baltimore came right back off of Uehara, who wasn’t helped at all by right fielder Allen Craig, whose diving attempt at Adam Jones‘ leadoff bloop instead sailed over his outstretched glove and rolled into right for a leadoff triple.

But even if Craig had wisely pulled up and held Jones to a single, Uehara didn’t have the stuff to close out the O’s without help. Because his fastball velocity is down 4 mph from last year, he has relied almost excluslively on his splitter, which isn’t nearly the weapon it should be if there’s no fastball behind it.

Chris Davis lofted the game-tying sacrifice fly to left before Lough won it by launching a hanging splitter to right on a full count. He had flailed at two better splits earlier in the count, but Uehara has no margin for error, and when he missed the 76 mph offering up in the zone, the light-hitting Lough pounced.

And so now the Red Sox have lost three of four, with Uehara’s night overshadowing a big hit by Bogaerts, a strong start from Justin Masterson, and an opportunistic rally.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Lough entered the game with nine lifetime homers and a .347 OPS this season, but he made his second hit of the year count, taking Uehara deep to make a winner of the O’s.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

‘€“ After crushing six home runs in spring training, Mike Napoli started the season without a sniff of a long ball. That finally changed in the second when he ripped a two-run shot off the right field foul pole to tie the game at 2-2.

‘€“ Masterson started slowly, allowing two runs in the first, but settled down from there to give the Red Sox more than enough to win. He went seven innings, allowing three runs, earning his second quality start of the season.

‘€“ Right-hander Matt Barnes, summoned in the morning from Pawtucket to replace the injured Shane Victorino on the roster, escaped a jam of his own making in the eighth, stranding runners at second and third with one out. He was then in line for the win after a 1-2-3 ninth.

WHAT WENT WRONG

‘€“ Koji. The closer had nothing.

‘€“ Where’s the offense? Besides Napoli (3 for 4), the Red Sox did zilch with the bats. Two of their eight hits were infield gifts in the ninth.

‘€“ Mookie Betts’ struggles continued. The leadoff man went 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts as his average fell to .203.

‘€“ David Ortiz went 0 for 5 and struck out with the tying run on in the ninth, dropping his average to .194.

‘€“ Craig didn’t necessarily make a poor decision when he dove for Jones’ leadoff blooper in the 10th, but he executed it horrifically, letting the ball sail over his glove and roll into no-man’s land for a leadoff triple.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase