Here’s what was happening in the Red Sox system on Wednesday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-35): L, 6-4, vs. Syracuse (Washington)

— Down 4-2, the PawSox put together an impressive two-run rally in the eighth inning, but were unable to close the deal Wednesday night. The Chiefs added a pair of runs that proved to be the winning margin in the ninth off of reliever Roman Mendez.

— The PawSox performed well at the dish, with six of nine starters recording at least one hit, while going 3-for-9 as a team with runners in scoring position. Jantzen Witte and Ryan Court each had two-hit games. Court, who was playing his fourth game since being called up Monday, is 6-for-13 with a triple and two RBI, good for a .462 average.

— Down 3-0 Henry Ramos parked a solo home run in the fourth inning to put the PawSox on the board. Ramos ultimately went 1-for-4 on the night.

— The pitching was average at best for Pawtucket. Starter Aaron Wilkerson went three innings, allowing only one run on four hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. Wilkerson’s ERA is now 2.12. Wesley Wright came in and tossed 3 1/3 innings of relief, surrendering three runs on six hits while striking out five and walking three. Mendez, who was saddled with the loss, went 2 2/3 innings allowing one hit and two runs — neither of which being earned — with three walks and two strikeouts.

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (26-44): L, 9-6, vs. Harrisburg (Washington)

— The Sea Dogs never gave themselves much of a chance to win Wednesday night, courtesy of a 7-0 deficit by the conclusion of the top of the fourth inning.

— The Senators jumped on starter Keith Couch, who went 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits with two walks, including a grand slam to Isaac Ballou in the fourth inning. The outing sent his ERA up to 4.81.

— The brightest spot came in the form of Red Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada. Moncada went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. The Cuban second baseman is 4-for-10 in two games with Portland.

— Andrew Benintendi, though improving at the plate as a whole, had a tough night going 0-for-4.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (43-26): No game scheduled.

— They will open the second half of the season Thursday against Frederick.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE (37-32): No game scheduled.

— They will open the second half of the season Thursday against Lakewood.

CLASS-A SHORT SEASON LOWELL SPINNERS (6-0): L, 9-6, vs. Hudson Valley (Tampa Bay)

— The Spinners keep rolling to start the season, winning their sixth straight game Wednesday against Hudson Valley.

— Starter Daniel Gonzalez tossed a solid outing, going 5 2/3 innings allowing one run on four hits with seven strikeouts. The bullpen was equally stout, with Kuehl McEachern, Algenis Martinez, and Brad Stone combining for one run on no hits with five strikeouts and five walks over 6 1/3 innings.

— Andy Perez and Carlos Tovar each went 2-for-5, with Tovar smacking a double and two RBI.

— The Spinners are now hitting .254 as a team, and are third in the league in runs scored with 30. On the pitching end, the team ERA is 1.86, good for fourth in the league.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

After leaving Wednesday night’s game with a shin injury, third baseman Travis Shaw is out of the lineup in the series finale Thursday afternoon against the White Sox. The Red Sox will be looking to avoid a four-game series sweep.

Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

After leaving Wednesday night’s game with a shin injury, third baseman Travis Shaw is out of the lineup in the series finale Thursday afternoon against the White Sox. The Red Sox will be looking to avoid a four-game series sweep.

For the second straight game Hanley Ramirez will hit seventh. It paid off Wednesday night as the first baseman hit a homer. Marco Hernandez will get the start at third base in place of Shaw.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Chris Young, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Christian Vazquez, C
Marco Hernandez, 3B
Rick Porcello, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

John Farrell lifts Koji Uehara after a meltdown Wednesday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)The Red Sox don't have a manager problem.

The finale of the Red Sox-White Sox four-game series will take place Thursday afternoon with the Red Sox sending Rick Porcello to the mound and the White Sox calling upon struggling right-hander James Shields.

Porcello is 8-2 with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.094 WHIP in 14 starts. Porcello finally added a win to his record in a 6-2 Red Sox victory last Saturday against the Mariners. It was the first time in four starts that Porcello got a decision. It was Porcello’s sixth straight victory at Fenway. In the victory against the Mariners, Porcello threw six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and no walks with six strikeouts.

“I had a good one in the bullpen, so I knew it would be good, but I didn’t want to show it too early,” Porcello said of his changeup. “It was the difference-maker.”

Against the White Sox, Porcello is 10-8 in 21 career starts with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.273 WHIP. Porcello made his last start against Chicago in August of last year. That outing was Porcello’s first after a stint on the DL with a strained right triceps. In a 3-0 Red Sox win, Porcello threw seven innings, allowing no runs, five hits and no walks with five strikeouts.

Shields is 2-9 in 14 starts with a 6.28 ERA and a 1.697 WHIP. He will be making his fourth start for Chicago after being traded from San Diego. With Chicago, Shields is 0-2 in three starts with a whopping 21.81 ERA and a 3.808 WHIP. Since the trade Shields has allowed 33 baserunners in a mere 8 2/3 innings. In the first inning, Shields has allowed at least three runs in every start for Chicago (12 runs total). In Shields’ last start against Cleveland he lasted only 1 2/3 innings and gave up eight runs on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts in a 13-2 White Sox loss.

“I’ve got to get better, bottom line,” Shields said after the start. “You want to come into your new team and pitch well. Play well for these guys. I mean, I’ve said it before. This is a special team and I see these guys want to win every single night. It’s disappointing.”

Shields is 9-13 in 26 career games against the Red Sox with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.297 ERA. Shields made his last start against Boston in July of 2014 when he was a member of the Royals. In that outing Shields pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and one walk with three strikeouts in a 5-4 Red Sox win.

White Sox vs. Porcello (RHP)

Melky Cabrera (27 plate appearances): .560 AVG./.593 OBP/.840 SLG, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Avisail Garcia (19): .389/.421/.444, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Jose Abreu (12): .273/.333/.545, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 walk

Adam Eaton (12): .333/.333/.833, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Brett Lawrrie (8): .375/.375/.375

J.B. Shuck is 1-for-6 with 1 double.

Tyler Saladino is 1-for-4.

Alex Avila is 1-for-3 with 1 strikeout.

Dioner Navarro is 0-for-1 with 1 strikeout.

Red Sox vs. Shields (RHP)

David Ortiz (68 plate appearances): .300 AVG./.382 OBP/.600 SLG, 9 doubles, 3 HR, 16 RBIs, 8 RBIs, 8 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (63): .293/.349/.431, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (37): .265/.297/.382, 1 double, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts is 1-for-3 with 1 home run and 2 RBIs.

Chris Young is 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

Blog Author: 
John Hand
The Red Sox currently have no plans to move Yoan Moncada to another position. (Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox currently have no plans to move Yoan Moncada to another position. (Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports)

1. As soon as Yoan Moncada was promoted to Double-A Portland, you knew the question was coming: When will the second baseman be exposed to a new position?

Double-A is typically the level where positional players typically begin the shift to new positions and with Dustin Pedroia being under contact until 2021, Moncada likely will not stay at second base his entire career.

“We don’t have a specific time frame for him being ready,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday. “He’s a very good offensive player. He drives the ball. He hits for an average. He’s walked a lot this year. He probably [needs to work on] just his overall skills of the game. He probably needs to work defensively rather than offensively. He’s a situation where he’s a fine offensive player. He steals a lot of bases — probably going to learn some of the nuances of stealing bases.

“He’s a fine skilled offensive player and he has defensive abilities too, but the thing is as time goes on the question is inevitable, well, where are you going to play him? We’ll just wait and see that. We’ll probably get his feet wet at Double-A at second base, the position he’s most familiar, and those are questions that we’ll tackle in the future.”

One of the best examples of a player getting to Double-A and moving positions is Mookie Betts, who transitioned from second base to center field. He began his Double-A career at the start of the 2014 season and after roughly 35 games, he started playing center field for the first time.

“You have to kind of get acclimated to hitting first,” Betts said this week. “Before you make a position change you need to be fully acclimated to everything that is going on first before that change. They know what they are doing.”

It would seem that is the same approach the organization is taking with Moncada because as of now, there are no immediate plans to have Moncada be exposed to other positions.

“We don’t have any plans at this point,” Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett said. “I think we’re kind of taking it one step at a time and he’ll be playing second base here in Portland as he makes that transition.”

“Any time you move into a new level I think having some familiarity of where you are playing defensively is important,” he added. “When you’re in a more challenging environment on the field, as you’re making that initial adjustment, you’re not making an adjustment to a new position.”

This is a big step in Moncada’s development as many view Double-A as the level to truly gauge just how good a prospect can be. Crockett is one of those people, but also is quick to point out even if a player struggles early on, it doesn’t mean the player will struggle for good.

“I think Double-A is a challenging level and making that jump to A-ball to Double-A is an important one with these guys,” Crockett said. “It doesn’t mean their initial performance at that level is indicative of who they are going to be, but I think it is a challenging level. I think you start to have older players mixed in a bit more — older guys with more experience. The more talented pitchers that are able to mix a little bit more and be more creative than they are at A-ball.”

2. Many thought once Andrew Benintendi was promoted to Double-A Portland, Moncada would soon follow, but it took a few weeks before that happened. The 21-year-old Moncada was struggling a bit at the plate, as he hit just .277 in the month of May, but it didn’t take much longer for Moncada to get things back into high gear.

In 14 June games with Salem, Moncada slashed .345/.438/.618, so it was clear he was ready to join Benintendi in Portland.

“He got a chance to struggle a little bit there for a stretch and was able to make some adjustments and finish June in Salem strong,” Crockett said. “That was definitely a positive. I think for us, he also continued to work hard on the defensive side of things and that was an important piece of what we’re looking at and what we’re stressing to him as a player.”

Moncada has greatly improved his defensive skills. He made 23 errors in 71 games last season with Greenville, but with hours and hours of pregame work on his footing and positioning, he’s miles from where he was last year at this point.

“A significant difference,” Crockett said. “The athleticism has always been there. The ability to make plays has always been there. He’s more consistent in doing those things. There’s still adjustments that he’s making and he works really hard to be even more consistent, but from where he started in spring training last year to where he’s now, there is a marketed difference.”

3. Henry Owens desperately needed Tuesday night.

The left-hander had struggled of late, posting an ERA of 5.71 in his last seven starts with 26 walks in 34 2/3 innings. Over that time, Owens worked extensively with Pawtucket pitching coach Bob Kipper and even got visits from minor league pitching coordinator Ralph Treuel to try and get him back on track.

Finally, he was able to put it all together on Wednesday as in Game 1 of a doubleheader Owens tossed a one-hit, seven-inning shutout with three walks a five strikeouts.

“He has worked his ass off,” Treuel said. “It’s almost at the point that sometimes he was trying too hard. For me, trusting his stuff, being aggressive, trusting his delivery. Everything picked up [Tuesday night]. All his stuff was better.”

Even though Owens hasn’t made the most of his big league appearances in the last two seasons, there is still time to work through things as he is just 23 years old.

“It’s better that he’s 23 than 28, obviously,” Treuel said. “Henry always has had these hiccups. He just needs to get out of it quicker. That is the big thing. He’s a big tall pitcher and I know we can always use that as an excuse, but sometimes it takes those guys longer to develop sometimes.”

4. For the first time since last July, Michael Kopech stepped on a mound pitching in front of a crowd last Friday night in Lowell.

After being suspended 50 games for using a performance-enhancing drug last year and then missing all of spring training this year with a broken hand following an altercation with a teammate, the 2014 first-round pick returned to the mound for the first time in live game action in the Spinners’ season opener.

Although he wasn’t overly impressive — going 4 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering four hits, walking four and striking out five — he showed the minor league brass what they needed to see.

“Good arm. Really good stuff,” Treuel said. “He was just over-throwing that night for me. Didn’t really pitch. He wasn’t the same guy that I saw last year during the instructional league.”

Treuel was in attendance along with Crockett and other minor league front office members and they felt based off the performance the next step would be having him join his teammates from last year in High-A Salem for his next start.

Given his stuff — high 90s fastball and a sharp curveball and being one of the top pitching prospects in the system — the organization wants him to be challenged.

“With a guy with that type of ability, you have to challenge him,” Treuel said. “As the hitters get better, he’ll refine his stuff. He will realize he can’t throw the ball past guys like he did in extended spring and in Lowell for the one outing.”

5. It’s been a special few weeks for the Lovullo family as Red Sox bench coach Torey had his son Nick drafted in the 20th round out of Holy Cross two weeks ago in the MLB draft. Nick signed almost immediately and was assigned to short-season, Single-A Lowell.

Nick made his debut this past Sunday and given the 5 p.m. start, Torey was able to make the short drive from Fenway Park after the Red Sox’ afternoon game and see most of the game. Nick recorded his first professional hit and after the game presented his dad with a special Father’s Day gift.

The younger Lovullo walked out of the clubhouse and handed his dad the baseball from his first hit and said, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad.”

“It’s hard to describe exactly how touching that was,” Torey said. “It was one of those moments where you learn to appreciate special moments that is created by your children and for him to have an awareness to have it happen the way he did was really, really amazing. I had to fight back the tears. It was a moment I could have broke down because it was a special moment between me and him.”

6. After dominating all of last year, things have come back to Earth for 18-year-old Anderson Espinoza with Single-A Greenville — and it’s totally OK and expected.

The right-hander is 4-5 with a 4.06 ERA and has totaled 57 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings.

“He’s 18 years old. He’s one of the youngest guys in the league. He’s had really good moments and then he’s had other moments that he pitches like a high school senior,” Treuel said. “That’s basically what it is like. The stuff is good. This is a challenge for every first-year guy regardless coming out of college, high school — it’s their first full year. We have to do everything we can to maximize their ability to make those 24-25 starts this year.”

At the Single-A level it’s OK to have poor outings, but the most important thing is how a player can bounce back.

“All of the young guys do it. They are going to have the struggles,” Treuel said. “We don’t want to see them struggle consistently, but we want to see how they revert. How they adjust and they come back after a bad outing. I think Anderson has shown he’s usually good after a bad outing. He comes back and works hard in between and has a better outing.”

7. Shortstop Mauricio Dubon represented High-A Salem in the Carolina League All-Star Game Tuesday night in California. Dubon, perhaps overshadowed by Moncada and Benintendi, has put together a solid season for himself.

The right-handed hitter is slashing .306/.387/.379 and in all likelihood will join Double-A Portland Thursday coming out of the All-Star break.

“He’s been very good,” Crockett said. “I think he’s got recognition within the organization, obviously. He’s a good player. He’s continued to progress and make improvements and adjustments from last year. He just continues to improve. He’s done a really nice job.”

Besides what he does on the field, Dubon is a leader among his teammates. He’s helped out with Moncada behind the scenes with helping him get comfortable in the states, as well as on the field with positioning and things of that nature.

“Mauricio is a good team player,” Crockett said. “He gets along with his teammates very well. I think he’s a leader within that group and I think that does not over shadow the quality of a player that he is on the field.”

8. It wasn’t the best of starts to the season for 19-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers with High-A Salem. He had a great year with Single-A Greenville last year, even being named to the Futures Game, but was in a prolonged funk to open the year.

Devers batted just .138 in the month of April, .245 in May, but has really started to figure it out this month as he’s hitting .339 and looking more like the player he did for all of last year.

“[Devers] has worked really hard to make a couple of adjustments with Nelson Paulino (Salem hitting coach) and Greg Norton (minor league hitting coordinator),” Crockett said. “He’s done a really job of returning to some of the consistency he showed last year of using the whole field, controlling his effort level, things like that that have allowed him to be such a good hitter last year. Very young play at that level, one of the younger players in the league, I think this was an adjustment period.”

9. One of the biggest trends within the Red Sox minor league system has been moving starters to the bullpen. These have included: Jake Cosart, Ben Taylor and the latest being Ty Buttrey.

This transition can be quite easy and is better suited for hard-throwers and they can now let all their pitches go given the shorter outings, instead of holding back some.

“I don’t think it’s been a significant change in philosophy, but I do think based on the group of guys that we’ve had in certain roles — I think there’s been a better fit for that transition,” Crockett said. “Once you get to Double-A, Triple-A, those are the times when in the past we’ve made those transitions. I think there have been a few that have happened sooner than that this year. It’s kind of case-by-case, but obviously there is a premium on successful arms in the big leagues and within these group of guys we’ve transitioned we’ve felt there is upside with these guys in this role.”

10. Pawtucket first baseman Sam Travis suffered a torn ACL on May 30 and will miss the rest of the season. About a month after the injury, he’s progressing well with his rehab and there have been no surprises during his rehab in Fort Myers.

With Hanley Ramirez struggling of late and the number of injuries the Red Sox are dealing with, it’s worth wondering whether or not Travis would have potentially been called up if he was healthy.

But, the good news is he’s on track for 2016 and he will likely be one of the options for the starting job at first base.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Mut recaps the Red Sox 8-6 loss to the White Sox.
Mut recaps the Red Sox 8-6 loss to the White Sox.

[0:10:55] ... Dombrowski is going to retool this thing but he's got to give John Farrell some more. Some more weapons of more versatility. At the end of the bench. As promised your phone 6177797937. A phone number ...
[0:13:49] ... they need. To reevaluate the bench and eventually aerial left fielder. Because. Chris young's a nice player he's not the everyday left field the rest the way. And I got might end up being Andrew Ben ...
[0:24:04] ... Simply put tiger being nicer than I would be affects your call. Brian Butterfield is a good third base coach he is even a better man it was. It was Wendell Kim. Esque. Is what that ...
[0:24:35] ... price of the world's. Op that was an awful awful sent by Brian Butterfield. I think you Brian butter fuel was asked me disaster after the game tonight. If you would send Ortiz again he'll probably ...

Wednesday night started innocuously enough for Dave Gallagher and his father, David. Dave, a native of Bristol, N.H., who now lives in Georgia, made his annual trip north to see a Red Sox game. He even had a Father’s Day surprise for his dad — four tickets in the front row of the Green Monster.

Then things got interesting.

Xander Bogaerts lost a potential homer in controversial fashion on Wednesday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts lost a potential homer in controversial fashion on Wednesday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Wednesday night started innocuously enough for Dave Gallagher and his father, David. Dave, a native of Bristol, N.H., who now lives in Georgia, made his annual trip north to see a Red Sox game. He even had a Father’s Day surprise for his dad — four tickets in the front row of the Green Monster.

Then things got interesting.

With the Red Sox down 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth after an implosion by reliever Koji Uehara, Xander Bogaerts clubbed a pitch to left-center field, directly at the Gallaghers.

Dave reached down. The ball glanced off his hands and dropped onto the field. Bogaerts stopped at second with a double. And then the Gallaghers found themselves in the center of an unexpected controversy.

“The ball wasn’t coming in [as] a home run. It wasn’t,” Dave Gallagher told and the Boston Herald. “It wasn’t going to be — it wasn’t going to hit the top of the wall coming to me. So I had to reach out to get it.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell complained, the umpires conferred, and after a five-minute delay, ruled both fan interference and a double.

That was no consolation to the Gallaghers, who were promptly ejected by stadium security. That meant no ninth inning for Dave, his father, Dave’s uncle Ron, or a fourth member of the group who declined to be identified.

“They said if you touched it you’re out,” Dave Gallagher said. “They said if you touched any part of it, you’re out. And it didn’t make any sense to me. If it touched us, and we held on to it and grabbed on to it as a home run, it would have been fine.”

Dave spent roughly $200 per ticket, running him north of $800, plus the cost of airfare. Whatever the cost, it’s safe to say it turned out to be a night none of them would forget, though he wondered, “Are we going to be the bad guys?”

“I’m actually from Georgia,” he added. “I came up for the game and they kicked me out. So that’s a story to tell.”

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen