Joe & Dave talked to Rubby De La Rosa after the rookie pitcher went seven innings in the one-run win against the Royals at Fenway.

[0:00:45] ... plays we thought there should have been made him. Some miscommunication by Jonny Gomes and and Brock Colts is that hard to do is it tough to pitch through that when mistakes are made. Know what ...
[0:01:47] ... knew it was going to be close what was your reaction when Mike Napoli. Hit the ball that he hit which I don't think his come down yet it's still traveling out to some. And I have good hitters so well against this Knight who were found to hug island -- and so. I feel like a little TV you know Romer told the whole muscle does -- his mind knowing you also thinking I can. You know that rowand also -- good for us to put them together than with -- you think you'll hear from Pedro Martinez tonight that's for sure. What is Pedro say four -- -- no little boy went out and keep your head up and ...




Entering Saturday’€™s game against the Royals, the Red Sox had only scored two runs over starter Rubby De La Rosa‘€™s last four starts, equaling out to an unsightly 0.73 run support average.

The Red Sox won in Shane Victorino's return from the disabled list. (AP)

The Red Sox won in Shane Victorino‘s return from the disabled list. (AP)

Entering Saturday’€™s game against the Royals, the Red Sox had only scored two runs over starter Rubby De La Rosa‘€™s last four starts, equaling out to an unsightly 0.73 run support average.

Boston was able to double that run total on Saturday night, and while two runs isn’€™t much, it was enough for De La Rosa, who spun seven brilliant innings of one-run, five-hit dominance en route to a 2-1 Red Sox victory.

Boston has now won two-straight series while also earning their first series victory against a team over .500 since the team took two out of three games from the Yankees on June 27-29. Boston’€™s last eight wins at home have all been decided by one run.

De La Rosa has now allowed three runs or less in five of his seven starts on the year while improving his ERA at home to 1.53 in four starts (4 earned runs/26 innings).

The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the sixth inning, when Mike Napoli took a 92 mph fastball from Royals starter Danny Duffy and deposited it over the Green Monster to give the Sox a one-run lead.

Shane Victorino, playing in his first game with Boston since May 23 after battling hamstring and back injuries for almost two months, was solid at the plate, going 1-for-3 while showing no limitations both in the field and on the basepaths.

With the win the Red Sox move to 45-52 on the year and have now won six of their last seven games.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

 – Mike Napoli helped give the Sox the lead in the sixth inning, blasting a 3-1 offering from Duffy into left field for a solo home run. It was Napoli‘€™s first home run since June 28 against Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees, and his first at Fenway Park since going deep at home on June 18.

Jackie Bradley Jr. impressed many in the press box prior to Friday’€™s game when he threw a ball from home plate into the first row of the center field bleachers, a distance of at least 410 feet. Bradley put his impressive arm on display again in the first inning Saturday. With Jarrod Dyson on first, Kansas City second baseman Omar Infante hit a fly ball out to center that Bradley easily collected for the out. However, Dyson was almost at second base by the time Bradley caught it, and was rather routinely thrown out at first on the throw from the Red Sox centerfielder.

It was Bradley’€™s 11th assist on the season, leading all MLB center fielders. It was also Bradley’€™s sixth double play on the year. No other outfielder in baseball entered today with more than three double plays credited to their name.

– De La Rosa continued his impressive stretch on the mound this season, holding the Royals to just one run over seven innings while striking out two batters. De La Rosa has been one of the best young hurlers in baseball this season, posting a 1.92 ERA over his last three starts. Entering Saturday’€™s game, De La Rosa was 11th in the AL in ERA (2.89) for pitchers with at least six starts this season while also tied for sixth in WHIP (1.04).

Shane Victorino made his presence felt at the plate during his return to Boston, finishing the night 1-for-3 while playing a part in Boston’€™s first run of the game. In the bottom of the fourth, Victorino stepped to the plate and a hit a ground ball to shortstop that Alcides Escobar misplayed and skidded by him, allowing Napoli to score from second to put the Red Sox on the board.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

Xander Bogaerts did little to build upon his impressive showing Friday night at the plate (1-for-3, 1 home run, 2 RBIs), finishing the night 0-for-3 while leaving four men on base in the process. Entering Saturday night, Bogerts ranked last amongst all MLB hitters with a .128 average (10-for-78) with RISP.

– He may have been the hero Friday night, but Jonny Gomes served as the scapegoat Saturday due to his performance out in the field. In the top of the fourth, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas popped a fly ball into shallow left field under which Gomes and shortstop Brock Holt converged. There appeared to be a miscommunication between the players, as Gomes loudly called for it and lunged for it right next to Holt before the ball bounced off his glove and onto the field, allowing Moustakas to reach second. Gomes was given an error on the play.

Just one inning later, Gomes was at it again, as he apparently lost a fly ball off the bat of Omar Infante that fell no more than 10 feet in front of him, giving Infante an easy double.

While both of Gomes’€™ misplays were ugly, they were relatively harmless, as both occurred with two outs in the inning and both were followed up with a De La Rosa strikeout.

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

Shane Victorino‘€™s message to the media prior to Saturday night’€™s game against Kansas City was both simple and direct:

He is not going to be the savior for this team.

However, he can certainly play a big part in a second-half turnaround for the Red Sox.

Victorino addresses the media in the Red Sox dugout before Saturday night's game.  (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

Victorino addresses the media in the Red Sox dugout before Saturday night’s game against the Royals. (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

Shane Victorino‘€™s message to the media prior to Saturday night’€™s game against Kansas City was both simple and direct:

He is not going to be the savior for this team.

However, he can certainly play a big part in a second-half turnaround for the Red Sox.

“I’€™m not the guy, I’€™m not the answer,” Victorino said. “€œI’€™m not the guy that’€™s going to carry the load, but I’€™m going to try to be as good as I can be and help this team win.”

The 33-year-old outfielder was called back up to Boston Saturday after being sidelined since May 24 with a hamstring injury. Victorino — who hit .242 with one home run and 10 RBIs in just 21 games with the Red Sox this season –€“ had a long and frustrating road back to the big leagues, suffering multiple setbacks with both his hamstring and his back injury while rehabbing in Pawtucket.

After being on the shelf for almost two months, Victorino acknowledged that he was excited to finally be back out patrolling the Fenway outfield going forward.

“œIt’€™s what it’€™s all about,” Victorino said. “You work hard, you try to do what you got to do to get back as quick as you can. Unfortunately, there were some setbacks, but I’€™m here, I’€™m at this point where I worked hard to get back to where I’€™m at. As I said, I’€™m just going to continue to work hard and try to be the best player I can be and go out there and do what I can to help make this team better.”

Victorino played six games with Triple-A Pawtucket over an almost month-long stretch following his hamstring injury. The ailing outfielder was shut down from June 24 through Wednesday due to multiple hindrances to his rehab, but after playing a total of 16 innings over Wednesday and Thursday’€™s games with the PawSox and showing no physical limitations, Victorino was ready for the call back up to Boston.

“He’€™s played the last couple of days consecutively in Pawtucket,”€ said Red Sox manager John Farrell before Saturday’€™s game. “Anytime we get [Victorino] back into our lineup, it’€™s going to give us a boost, and that’€™s not short-changing anyone else that’€™s here or has been here, but [Victorino'€™s] defense in right field has been well-documented on how well he plays it, the energy he brings, the intelligence on the basepaths. The thing that we’€™ll continue to balance going forward is how many consecutive days will he play initially and monitor that day in and day out.”

Farrell, who added that he expects the initial workload for Victorino to be around five games a week, said that it’€™s tough to gauge what kind of production the outfielder could have given the team during his injury, but focused more on the positives of what Victorino could bring the Red Sox during the stretch run this season.

“It’€™s hard to say what his production would have been over those two months, but you take a Gold-Glove right fielder who probably played to the peak of his career last year and it’€™s been a loss, so all we can do is focus on today and going forward and we’€™ve got a very good player back to us,”€ Farrell said.

The Red Sox have finally shown some signs of life recently, winning five out of their last six games. While Victorino’€™s skills both at the plate (.294/.351/.451 in 2013) and in the field (25.0 UZR in 2013) could make a major impact on the team, Victorino again remained adamant that he’€™s is not here to be the guy that saves the season for the Red Sox.

He just wants to be Shane Victorino.

“I’€™m just going to be myself,’€ Victorino said. “œI don’€™t know what they’€™ve missed, what I haven’€™t added to the team, all I can say is that I’€™m going to go out there and be the best player I can be and have fun doing it. I’ve been watching from afar with pom-poms in my hands, trying to be the best cheerleader I can and keep these guys as positive as they can.

‘€œThey’ve done a great job. The thing I love about this team is that they’€™ll never give up, and that’€™s the one thing, coming back to this team, I just want to be a piece of that and a part of that. As I’ve said, I don’€™t want to try to be the savior; I don’€™t want to try to put all the load on my back. As a player, you want to go out there and have fun, and that’€™s what I’€™m excited to do.”

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

While the return of Shane Victorino would seem to be good news for most involved with the Red Sox, the same likely can’€™t be said for youngster Mookie Betts, who was optioned down to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room on the roster for the veteran outfielder.

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

While the return of Shane Victorino would seem to be good news for most involved with the Red Sox, the same likely can’€™t be said for youngster Mookie Betts, who was optioned down to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room on the roster for the veteran outfielder.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said prior to Saturday’€™s game against the Royals that he was impressed with Betts, who posted a line of .235/.278/.382 in 10 games with the Red Sox, but also noted that the 21-year-old outfielder/infielder needs more seasoning and regular playing time elsewhere.

“€œI thought he managed his at-bats well,”€ Farrell said. “€œI thought he showed very good presence, or at least composure, for a guy who’€™s flown through our system. He’€™s a work in progress defensively, particularly in the outfield and he’€™ll continue to get exposure in center and in right field in Pawtucket while also playing some second base, so that’€™s the plan going forward for him defensively.”

Farrell acknowledged that it is unclear what the future holds for Betts in terms of finding a home on the diamond, as the established second baseman has seen most of his time in the Sox outfield this year due to both injuries and Dustin Pedroia holding the position for the foreseeable future.

“I don’€™t know that there’€™s a clear-cut answer to that right now,” Farrell said of Betts’ expected long-term position. “œI think there’€™s going to be a number of things that contribute to that final positioning -€“- how the bat plays, how he further develops defensively, if it’€™s a good that potentially moves around to a number of positions. I wouldn’t rule that out, but to sit here today and say, ‘€˜Mookie is going to be at this position for the next 10 years,’€™ I don’€™t have that answer or that crystal ball.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES:

While Victorino may have gotten his call back up to the big leagues Saturday, third baseman Will Middlebrooks will have to remain in Pawtucket for a bit longer.

Middlebrooks, who’€™s been sidelined since May 17 with a fractured finger, has posted a line of .224/.281/.328 with one home run and 5 RBIs in 18 games with the PawSox.

While Farrell said Friday that there was a possibility that Middlebrooks could be back up with the Red Sox before the team’€™s seven-game road trip begins Monday, he stated today that he wants the 25-year-old slugger to remain in Triple-A for the time being in order to get more regular at-bats.

“€œHe’€™ll continue to play everyday at third base at Pawtucket,” Farrell said. “I think there’€™s been a little confusion with some of the messages that’€™s been interpreted that he’€™s going to be activated this weekend or the same time [as Victorino]. I think the one thing that we want to be sure of, that Will continues to get everyday at-bats, and for the time being, that’€™ll take place at Pawtucket.”

– Sox starter Rubby De La Rosa continues to stand out as one of Boston’€™s most impressive young players this season. Just one year removed from posting an 0-2 record with a 5.56 ERA, De La Rosa has looked like a completely different pitcher on the mound, boasting an ERA of 2.89 — the 11th-lowest mark of AL pitchers with at least six starts this season — with a WHIP of 1.04.

While the Red Sox have only given the 25-year-old righty two runs of support over his last four starts (24 2/3 innings), De La Rosa has kept his team in the game and especially at home, compiling a 1.42 ERA over his last three starts at Fenway this season.

For Farrell, De La Rosa’€™s success on the hill this year is a direct result of the fact that the righty has not been bogged down with rehab issues as has been the case in years past. De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2011 and took quite a while to get back to 100 percent.

“€œI can only speak for the time he’€™s been with us, and last year was a rehab year, and I think there was, from my view, it was almost a physical exercise that he was going out to throw this number of pitches in this outing and this year, in comparison, he was going out to compete, to pitch, to earn his way back to the major leagues and there’€™s been a noticeable difference in the demeanor on the mound and the way he’€™s more consistent executed his pitches,” Farrell said. “Along with that has come some added confidence, and I think he’€™s shown that in his body language.”

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

The Red Sox have activated outfielder Shane Victorino from the disabled list after the outfielder missed most of two months with hamstring and back injuries. To clear a spot on the roster, the Sox optioned Mookie Betts back to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he will play center field, right field and some second base.

The Red Sox have activated outfielder Shane Victorino from the disabled list after the outfielder missed most of two months with hamstring and back injuries. To clear a spot on the roster, the Sox optioned Mookie Betts back to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he will play center field, right field and some second base.

For more on both players, click here.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
Rubby De La Rosa

Rubby De La Rosa

The Red Sox continue their three-game series with the Royals at Fenway Park Saturday when they send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound against Danny Duffy.

De La Rosa (2-2, 2.89 ERA) was effective in an outing in which he was limited to just 84 pitches over five innings last Wednesday after pitching for Triple-A Pawtucket three days prior. He gave up three runs on six hits and no walks for a no-decision in an eventual 5-4 Red Sox win over the White Sox. De La Rosa’s start may have been stronger if it weren’t for the solo home runs he surrendered in the first and second inning.

“When you miss a location, you pay the price,” De La Rosa said after the game.

De La Rosa’s outing was strong enough to keep him in the rotation for his first start after the All-Star break. Saturday will be the right-hander’s first-career start against the Royals. His only appearance against Kansas City came in a one-inning relief appearance last season. He gave up a pair of solo home runs in the inning.

Duffy (5-9, 2.76 ERA) has been more reliable for the Royals this season than his win-loss record indicates. The lefty started the season in the bullpen while still re-establishing himself after 2012 Tommy John surgery, but he has proven to be an effective starter since cracking the rotation. Duffy has allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts, but has lost his last two.

Duffy got a bad break in his most recent outing last Saturday. He allowed two runs (one earned), five hits and no walks to go with six strikeouts over six innings, but was outdueled by Anibal Sanchez in a 2-1 loss to the Tigers.

Saturday will be Duffy’s first start against the Sox since May 8, 2012. He gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision. Duffy is 0-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three career starts against the Red Sox.

Royals vs. De La Rosa (RHP)

Danny Valencia (4 plate appearances): .000 AVG/.000 OBP/.000 SLG, 1 strikeout

Danny Duffy

Danny Duffy

Raul Ibanez (3): .333/.333/.333

Billy Butler hit a solo home run in his lone plate appearance.

Alex Gordon, Omar Infante and Mike Moustakas are all hitless in their lone plate appearances.

Red Sox vs. Duffy (LHP)

Dustin Pedroia (8 plate appearances): .429 AVG/.500 OBP/.857 SLG, 1 triple, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk

David Ortiz (5): .600/.600/1.200, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs

Mike Napoli (4): .667/.750/2.000, 1 HR, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes struck out in both of his plate appearances.

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas