ARLINGTON, Texas — Eduardo Rodriguez isn’t going anywhere.

Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

ARLINGTON, Texas — Eduardo Rodriguez isn’t going anywhere.

One day after the rookie made a sensational big league debut with 7 2/3 shutout innings in a 5-1 victory over the Rangers, manager John Farrell announced that he’ll start against the Twins on Wednesday at Fenway Park as part of a six-man rotation.

The Sox will stick with the extra starter for just one turn, Farrell said, before deciding who gets bumped, but for one more start, anyway, Rodriguez is penciled in.

“He was very good,” Farrell said. “I think when the initial reasons, factors we brought in ‘€“ get his first start out of the way ‘€“ the poise he demonstrated and what we’ve come to know of him, a guy that in Eddie’s case is very self confident but in a respectful way. He carries himself like that, he pitched like that last night. He pitched very much at ease last night and was very impressive.”

The Red Sox initially turned to Rodriguez simply to build in an extra off day for the rest of the rotation during a busy 20-game stretch, but they also knew there was a chance he’d force their hand, which he did.

“We’re not thinking that we would go to a six-man rotation,” Farrell said. “I’m not a fan of it, but I know there are merits to it for short periods. Our goal is to get back to a five-man rotation and a full complement on the bench.”

Rodriguez gives the Red Sox rotation something it has lacked ‘€“ a power arm with command of secondary pitches. Right-hander Joe Kelly throws upwards of 100 mph, but his fastball is hittable. Rodriguez, conversely, produced defensive swings with his fastball and also showed a surprisingly effective slider that rendered his strong changeup his third pitch, at least for a night.

“What we saw early on was a slider that was maybe better than advertised,” Farrell said. “But then when he got deep in the game the changeup became a key pitch.”

With Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley, and Rick Porcello secure, the final two spots in the rotation are up for grabs between Rodriguez, Kelly, and knuckleballer Steven Wright, who was scheduled to start in Texas on Friday night.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

For a second straight game, David Ortiz will start the game on the bench, with Hanley Ramirez serving as the Red Sox‘ starting designated hitter against Texas righty Yovani Gallardo Saturday night in Arlington, Texas.

For a second straight game, David Ortiz will start the game on the bench, with Hanley Ramirez serving as the Red Sox‘ starting designated hitter against Texas righty Yovani Gallardo Saturday night in Arlington, Texas.

Red Sox manager John Farrell had noted that the plan was to give Ortiz a couple of days off to work on his swing, with an expectation that he would be back in the starting lineup Sunday.

Also starting once again is Rusney Castillo, who mans right field and hits ninth.

Here is the rest of the Red Sox’ lineup with Steven Wright on the mound for the visitors:

Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mookie Betts CF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Brock Holt LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Blake Swihart C
Rusney Castillo RF

For all the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

David Ortiz has been here before.

David Ortiz has been here before.

In May of 2009, the Red Sox arrived in Seattle for a three-game series with Ortiz in tow, but he didn’t appear in a game. Instead, manager Terry Francona gave his struggling slugger the entire series off to work on his swing and try to fix what had been the worst start of his career.

Ortiz had just gone 0 for 7 in a 12-inning loss to the Angels to drop his average to .208. Even with the time off, it would get worse before it got better. Ortiz ended May hitting .185 before catching fire in June. He blasted 27 homers over the final four months to salvage an otherwise lost season.

Six years later, Ortiz is similarly struggling and manager John Farrell has delved into the playbook of Terry Francona by giving him time off during the team’s current series with the Rangers to sort out a slump that has Ortiz hitting .216.

“Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” Ortiz said on Thursday night. “For me, it worked once. I’ll try it again now and go from there. I’ve just been thinking too much and overdoing things. Sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn’t. I know this ballclub needs me, and now we have a long season ahead. I’m just going to try to pull the best out of this.”

For Ortiz, that might mean altering the formula that has made him successful.

“A guy like myself, I always have to be on top of my game because every night I see the best coming out of everyone,” he said. “So the minute I walk away from my game, this is exactly what happens. The pitcher be like, ‘just keep that monster down there sleeping. Don’t wake him up. Bury him.’ So in my case, I’ve got to figure out how to execute better. There’s always a Plan B. There is always a Plan B that you’ve got to put in play. Once the Plan B stops working, that means you don’t have it anymore, so that’s another step you’ve got to take. I’m just going to put in play the Plan B.”

And what might that be?

“Come back and rake,” he said.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
Steven Wright

Steven Wright

Trying to build on a solid win Thursday night, the Red Sox send knuckleballer Steven Wright out to face Yovani Gallardo in Game 2 of Boston’s series with the Rangers on Friday night.

Wright (2-1, 3.68 ERA) last took the mound Saturday opposite the Angels, recording his first major league win as a starter with 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball. The righty surrendered just four hits and walked one while striking out a pair.

“For me, it’s just another day,” Wright said after the 8-3 victory. “If you try and put too much pressure on yourself you’re just going to disappoint and you’re going to try and over do things, over work. For me, I am going to try and go in there and throw quality knuckleballs in the strike zone. They are going to put it in play, it’s a contact pitch. Today we were fortunate to get balls right at some guys, guys made some good plays. I went as deep as I could.”

The win came during Wright’s second stint as a member of the rotation. While he has been in that role, he has given up four earned runs, five total, on nine hits over 11 1/3 innings. That’s good for an ERA of 3.18 and an opponent slash line of .209/.244/.249.

Wright has faced every team in the AL West except the Rangers, posting a 3-1 record in eight games vs. that division. He has allowed 16 earned runs in 34 2/3 innings against AL West teams for an ERA of 4.15.

Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo

Gallardo has made three starts against Boston with a 5.52 ERA and a 1-2 record over 14 2/3 frames. He has given up 12 runs to the Red Sox, nine of which were earned, on 26 hits. Of those hits, 12 have been for extra bases. Gallardo has a 1.909 WHIP when he pitches vs. the Sox and he received a loss at Fenway Park on May 19 in a four-run, five-inning effort. Overall, Boston slashes .366/.384/.662 when Gallardo is on the hill.

On the season, the right-hander is 4-6 with a 4.13 ERA. His most recent start came Sunday when he snatched a win over the AL East-leading Yankees. Gallardo allowed two earned runs in the first inning, but that was all he conceded for his six frames, giving his team a chance to come back and win, 5-2.

“I was able to use my curveball on first pitch to get ahead of hitters or behind in the count,” Gallardo said. “When I did leave my fastball over the plate, the hitters’ timing was off just a little bit.”

Over his last three starts, Gallardo has relinquished more than two earned runs just once, and prior to that he strung together four consecutive starts in which he gave up three earned runs. Through 10 appearances this season, Gallardo has logged time in 56 2/3 innings, striking out 40 and walking 16 while registering a WHIP of 1.32.

Red Sox vs. Gallardo (RHP)

Pablo Sandoval (25 plate appearances): .208 AVG/.240 OBP/.333 SLG, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (11): .300/.364/.400, 1 double, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (9): .444/.444/.889, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 RBI

David Ortiz (8): .571/.625/1.000, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk

Mike Napoli (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (6): .167/.167/.333, 1 double

Xander Bogaerts (5): .400/.400/.600, 1 double

Brock Holt (4): .500/.500/.500, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Mookie Betts (3): .333/.333/.333

Blake Swihart has a strikeout in two plate appearances against Gallardo.

Rangers vs. Wright (RHP)

Carlos Corporan (2 plate appearances): .000/.000/.000

No other Rangers batters have faced Wright.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

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:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (24-24): Scheduled off day. Next action Friday vs. Louisville (Reds)

— In a reverse of a roster move on May 25, Boston swapped relief pitchers again as Heath Hembree was sent back to Pawtucket while Robbie Ross Jr. was recalled. In 14 games with Boston over two stints, Ross has a 5.14 ERA with a 9 K/6 BB ratio in 14 innings pitched. Ross had just one appearance in his recent stay with Pawtucket, a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and two walks. Hembree pitched just one inning as well during his three days away from the PawSox, a scoreless frame against the Twins in Minnesota on Monday.

Justin Haley

Justin Haley

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (21-27): L, 2-0, at Binghamton (Mets)

— The tough luck for 6-foot-5 right-handed starter Justin Haley continues. Haley, 23, pitched his fourth straight game in which he allowed just two earned runs. However, he’€™s lost three of those four games to drop his record to 1-6. Haley’€™s line on Thursday: 5 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. The first five innings were scoreless, before a two-run Binghamton double in the sixth inning ended Haley’€™s day. Over his last four starts (and since coming off the disabled list May 11) Haley’€™s ERA is 3.32. Last year in 17 combined starts between High-A Salem and Portland, Haley combined to go 10-6 with a 2.35 ERA.

— Lefty reliever Robby Scott continued his fine year with two scoreless innings in relief to lower his ERA to 2.75. Scott, 25, has thrown 7 1/3 shutout innings in his last four outings, and has been particularly tough on left handers, with southpaw bats hitting just .143 against him in Double-A. Scott has been up the ladder to Pawtucket three times already this season (3 ER/10 IP), and combined between the two levels has 28 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings of work.

— With an opposite-field double in the first inning, Portland third baseman Jantzen Witte pulled into an Eastern League tie for the most two-baggers, while Witte also recorded his 11th double in the month of May. A 2-for-4 day for Witte brought his average up to .329, good for fourth best in the league. The 25-year-old Texan now has an on-base percentage of .399, seventh best among his league peers. In the field it was Witte’€™s ninth start at third base, as he’€™s played most of the year (34 games) at first base.

Kevin Heller

Kevin Heller

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (25-22): W, 7-2, at Frederick (Orioles)

— Salem jumped on Frederick with a three-run first inning, highlighted by Kevin Heller’€™s two-run home run, then tacked on two more in the second frame on its way to winning a fifth straight game. Heller, playing right field and batting cleanup, was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored, raising his Salem average to .345. It was Heller’€™s second homer in as many days. The 25-year-old Amherst College grad has reached base in 16 straight in High-A since being demoted from Portland, where in 13 games he hit just .132.

— The early lead was plenty enough for Salem starter Ty Buttrey as the 6-foot-6 righty faced the minimum with just one hit allowed through his first five innings. Buttrey surrendered two runs in the sixth but earned the victory to improve to 4-0. Since his promotion from Low-A on May 1, Buttrey has won four of his five outings and surrendered just eight earned runs in 30 innings (2.40 ERA), with a .243 opponent batting average and no home runs allowed.

— Deiner Lopez had a three-hit night in his first appearance in the leadoff spot for Salem. Lopez, a 20-year-old switch-hitting Venezuelan, cracked two doubles and scored two runs. Lopez is off to a 6-for-14 (.463) start in High-A since being promoted from Greenville on May 19. With Salem he has started three games in left field, with most of his work as a second baseman during his time in Greenville. Last year Lopez made just two errors in 142 attempts (98.6 percent) playing second. Wendell Rijo has been anchoring second base for Salem so far this season.

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (28-19): W, 5-4, at Lexington (Royals)

— Rafael Devers, at ESPN the Red Sox’ No. 2 prospect and MLB’s No. 14 prospect, had three more hits to raise his average to .342 and extend his hitting streak to nine games. The 18-year-old Dominican, signed as an international free agent in the summer of 2013, has become one of the most exciting bats in the Boston system. Last year Devers had a fantastic .322/.404/.506 slash line split between the Dominican Summer League and the Gulf Coast League in his first professional action.

— With the excitement around Devers and Boston’€™s top prospect Yoan Moncada (1-for-5 on Thursday), another talented teenager has flown under the radar as 19-year-old Javier Guerra has excelled in Greenville. Guerra, another international signee (July 2012) by Boston, was 3-for-4 on Thursday to raise his average to .310 and his on-base percentage to .375. A shortstop, Guerra has been consistently slotted in the seven-hole of the Greenville lineup and recently was ranked Boston’€™s No. 16 prospect at MLB.com.

— Four of Greenville’€™s five RBIs came off the bat of Nick Longhi (Boston’€™s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) on Thursday, as the right fielder had two-knock singles in the fifth and sixth innings. Longhi, who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts (but moved to Florida as an infant) is hitting .257 this year in Low-A after hitting .330 last season in the New York Penn League. Longhi’€™s 2014 season in Lowell ended early as he tore a ligament in his thumb while sliding.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

ARLINGTON, Texas — You want eventful? We’ve got eventful.