Dave O'Brien and Joe Castiglione talk with Big Papi after he hits a three run blast to propel the Red Sox to a 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

[0:02:23] ... to and -- to the last out. Like great pitching today from Jake Peavy and hope we can a peace keepers really do. You think of minutes of that shadow to. And I he was locating pitches really well. And that's what winning. David let's go celebrate for now on when you went like that we're just gonna watch you. You let -- let you know yes I don't know them that encourages. Are. Guys always say is whatever questions about it probity and a national committee hitter knows you know and especially guy whose whose committees David Ortiz. And he's got the same view is the umpire really looking down the line much better the -- from a year. First ...



The Red Sox appeared primed for another home contest in which a listless lineup spelled their undoing and spoiled a strong performance by the rotation. But in the bottom of the eighth, the team rallied with a walk by Jackie Bradley Jr. and a single by A.J. Pierzynski that put runners on first and second for the heart of the order.

David Ortiz launched a game-winning homer in the eighth inning. (AP)

David Ortiz launched a game-winning homer in the eighth inning. (AP)

The Red Sox appeared primed for another home contest in which a listless lineup spelled their undoing and spoiled a strong performance by the rotation. But in the bottom of the eighth, the team rallied with a walk by Jackie Bradley Jr. and a single by A.J. Pierzynski that put runners on first and second for the heart of the order.

Dustin Pedroia laced a hard grounder to Elvis Andrus, but the Rangers shortstop rushed it. He still managed to get a force play, but the Sox thus had one out with runners on the corners rather than two outs and a runner on third. In the latter scenario, perhaps the Rangers would have pitched around David Ortiz with an open base. As it was, they brought in left-hander Neal Cotts — against whom Ortiz was 0-for-5 in his career with five strikeouts — to face the Red Sox DH.

Ortiz flipped the script, taking a pair of sliders (one a ball, one a strike) before unloading on an 89 mph meatball down the middle. He crushed it, sending an arcing shot that went well beyond the Pesky Pole, with the only questions being whether the blast was fair or foul. First base ump Jerry Meals gave an emphatic signal that it crossed the pole in play, a three-run homer that gave the Sox a 4-2 victory and allowed them to salvage a series victory over the Rangers. The Sox to head to New York having won two of the three series they’ve played this year.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

David Ortiz‘s launch was the 21st of his Red Sox career in the eighth inning or later that gave his team the lead. He also drilled his second double to center in as many days.

– The Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy to stabilize their rotation last summer, at a time when Clay Buchholz was on the disabled list, and he did that. The veteran delivered solid performances throughout the regular season. But he never seemed truly dominant.

As such, Peavy’s performance on Wednesday proved eye-opening. The right-hander showed swing-and-miss stuff unlike anything he’d featured since last year’s deadline trade, delivering 6 2/3 innings in which he punched out eight — tied for his most strikeouts with the Red Sox. His slider and changeup were particularly sharp, and he also elicited at least one swing and miss on his curve, on a day when he had an 88-92 mph fastball.

However, Peavy’s effort went unrewarded, as the right-handed absorbed a no-decision. With the Sox unable to muster more than one run of support for him, Peavy managed to stay on the tightrope until the top of the seventh, when he gave up a massive solo homer to Mitch Moreland off the back wall of the visitor’s bullpen on a poorly located fastball. Still, that was one of just two mistakes made by Peavy (the other being a fastball down the gut on the first pitch of the game that Shin-Soo Choo walloped to center for a double), in an otherwise dominant performance that saw him yield one run on three hits with four walks and the eight punchouts.

It was the second straight strong outing from Peavy, who permitted two runs in six innings in his season debut against the Brewers last Friday. Though he’s 0-1 following Wednesday’s no-decision, the right-hander has an impressive 2.18 ERA.

Jackie Bradley Jr. — who hadn’t walked entering Wednesday’s game — accepted a pair of free passes from Rangers starter Robbie Ross. It was the second multi-walk game of his career — with the other having come in his big league debut against the Yankees last April 1.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– Aside from taking pitches, the Red Sox offense could do absolutely nothing against Rangers starter Robbie Ross. The team collected just one hit — a Dustin Pedroia swinging bunt that went no more than 40 feet — through the first five innings and squandered the many opportunities to hit with runners on base (courtesy of Ross’ walks). Though Ross walked six, the Sox couldn’t capitalize, as they went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Shin-Soo Choo remained a source of constant frustration to the Red Sox, reaching base three times on a double and two walks. He reached in nine of his 13 plate appearances in the three-game series.

 Xander Bogaerts walked twice, but he gave an out to the Rangers when he overslid second base on a stolen base attempt. Had he not overslid the bag, Bogaerts would have claimed his second career stolen base and first of 2014.

Daniel Nava was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, all looking.

Andrew Miller gave up what was a go-ahead run in the eighth inning before Ortiz bailed him out.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

The start of the 2014 season has been unkind to Shane Victorino.

Shane Victorino has been doing little chest-thumping since being afflicted with the flu. (AP)

Shane Victorino has been doing little chest-thumping since being afflicted with the flu. (AP)

The start of the 2014 season has been unkind to Shane Victorino.

The outfielder thought he had timed his recovery from a variety of afflications — offseason thumb surgery, core strengthening, then soreness in his left side — at a pace that had him ready for Opening Day. But then, in the final game of the spring, hours before the Red Sox broke camp from Fort Myers, he suffered a hamstring strain. He flew with the team to Baltimore, but the next day, he had to jump on a subsequent flight to Boston for an MRI that revealed a Grade 1 hamstring strain and an Opening Day placement on the DL. He flew back down to Baltimore in hopes of at least being with the team for the Opening Day introductions and the visit to the White House.

On that return flight, however, Victorino came down with a brutal case of the flu that left him bedridden for most of the week, unable to take part in Opening Day or the White House reception at which President Barack Obama saluted Victorino, his fellow native of Hawaii. He was bedridden and quarantined from his teammates, and didn’t even have the energy to watch the visit on TV.

“I didn’t get to see it. Those first three or four days was awful. Other than the energy to watch the game, that was all I had in me,” Victorino, who dropped 8-12 pounds during the illness, grimaced. “It was brutal. I wish this upon nobody, I’ll put it that way. I don’t want nobody to have the flu I had.”

He had little contact with the team during his illness, and when he did show up in the clubhouse, he had to wear a mask to limit the potential for infecting his teammates. Though he’s moved beyond that now, but there was a physical toll that delayed his return from the disabled list. He only recently resumed cardio activity, and on Wednesday, for the first time since landing on the disabled list, he took part in some baseball activities — including some modest work in the outfield (such as throwing out to 120 feet) and taking light swings in the batting cage — while trying to work his way back into playing shape. He could not say when he might be ready to play again in the big leagues. While he’s eligible to come off the disabled list next Monday (an off-day preceding Tuesday’s series opener in Chicago), there’s a virtual certainty that he won’t be ready by that point.

“The timetable, I don’€™t know where were at. Obviously I want to get back as fast as I can. These last couple days with the flu didn’€™t help the cause regards to me getting out and doing baseball activity,” said Victorino. “But we’€™re going to take it one day at a time and today was a step in the right direction, getting out there, jogging, doing some agility stuff and getting physically moving again.”

He did emphasize the need to recover completely from his hamstring injury in the rehab process, given that his value is created in no small part by his ability to be an impact baserunner and defender.

“My game is my legs. It’€™s important for me to understand that and not want to rush to get it back,” said Victorino. “I want to get it back as quick as I can. I know I’€™m able to come off soon but having the flu the set me back a few days. We’€™re going to set out to get back on time if everything goes accordingly, hopefully that works out the way we want it to.”

Victorino anticipates a relatively short rehab assignment, feeling that once he builds up to being able to play nine innings, he won’t need any more time in minor league games. So, he expects to require just two or three games in the minors before returning to the Red Sox.

“They asked me a couple days ago what I would want to play, game-wise. I said I’d like to get two to three games under my belt, just in regards to timing. And they asked me, ‘What about the physical gain of you getting into baseball shape?’ I said, ‘If I want to go down there and get in baseball shape then I might as well do it [in the big leagues],’ ” Victorino said. “And when we say that, yeah, it’s different. I can go and be scheduled to play five innings. I can be scheduled to play seven. But to me, once I set out and get out there and play games, five, seven, nine [inning], and hopefully I’ll be back. That’s what I told them.”

So, while Victorino may not be back after a minimum 15-day stint on the D.L., the possibility exists that his time on the sidelines won’t be too much longer than that. All the same, that there is an absence of any length represents a considerable disappointment to the 33-year-old.

“Very frustrating. You work and you set out in the offseason to do all these kind of things, and having the thumb surgery, you try to make that feel better. Coming into spring training, working on strengthening the things that nagged us last year, and then have that happen,” said Victorino. “I think, to me, the frustrating part was, as I said, physically I felt good. My hamstring, everything felt great, and just out of nowhere, that’s the part for me, the frustration aspect. But, hey, you know, if life was that easy, we all would be happy, but sometimes you see these things happen. Just another stepping stone to want to work harder, continue to work harder to get back out there and be with the guys.”

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
The Sox skipper checks in with the boys before they face off in the rubber game with the Texas Rangers. We discuss the Sox outfield including Grady Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr., as well as the pitching staff and a slow start for the bats with runners in scoring position.

[0:00:02] ... a -- we will connect with a manager of the Red Sox John Farrell and just a couple of minutes. Sox wrap up their three game series with the Texas Rangers this afternoon here at Fenway ...
[0:02:12] ... original plan to adjust -- all that much. John let's talk about Grady Sizemore at the plate he looks very comfortable. -- what you what you see from him in the field and how would you ...
[0:03:16] ... the game was the possibility of an outfield alignment that would have Grady Sizemore Jackie Bradley junior. And Shane Victorino are you looking at that pretty actively at this point. You don't you know. You look ...
[0:06:27] ... know the other day you were talking about for instance when. When John Lackey was pitching a fly ball pitcher uses that part of the of the outfield. A pretty effectively do you adjust that based on the pitcher pretty much game to game as well well. Very calamity is just -- uses the plays that went down different. So what would. Now -- right -- in that Jackie and senator that that's the alignment not so much Jake Peavy being on the mound but it's this -- the day that we had targeted for. For Brady to be off his feet and them with a left -- go on you know what. Jonny Gomes in left field you that that's where our linemen -- today. No we haven't had a chance to talk to you since ...






The Red Sox will try to salvage a series against the Rangers at Fenway Park before they hit the road for their first encounter of the series with the Yankees. For the latest news, analysis and updates from the pressbox, join the live blog below:

 

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Once Shane Victorino works his way back from a hamstring injury (and a case of the flu), the Red Sox outfield may get a little crowded. Both Jackie Bradley Jr.

Brandon Workman got optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following his strong outing on Tuesday night. (AP)

Brandon Workman got optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following his strong outing on Tuesday night. (AP)

With reliever Craig Breslow being activated from the disabled list prior to Wednesday’€™s game, Brandon Workman, who delivered four innings of one-run ball in long relief on Tuesday, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Workman, who made two starts in spring training, will be stretched out as a starter in Pawtucket.

Manager John Farrell said that the right-hander will slot into the PawSox rotation and will likely make his first start on Monday. After tossing 50 pitches in Tuesday’€™s outing, he’€™s expected to go five or six innings as he gradually ups his pitch count.

“€œYou’€™d like to think he’€™s gonna be in that 70-pitch range, hopefully get him through five into the 6th inning,”€ said Farrell. “He’€™s not that far removed from being extended, so he should pick back up here quickly.”

Workman has performed well in his three relief appearances this season, allowing just one earned run and four hits over 6 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out seven. But the Red Sox prefer to stretch Workman out as a starter who could make a spot start if the opportunity arises.

“This is someone who’s pitched well, whether it was last year in either role, or the three appearances he’€™s made so far this year,” said Farrell. “€œWe fully expect him to be back up here at some point and he’€™ll contribute some big innings for us.”

The Red Sox would like to keep Workman in the rotation for the time being, even if there’€™s a need in the bullpen.

“€œAs he goes back to starting, that’€™s where we need to be careful of changing the role again,”€ said Farrell. “€œIf we could script it, he’€™d remain as a starter, and if the need were to arise he’€™d be back here pitching for us in that role.”

Workman will likely make his first start on Monday night in Rochester against the Twins’€™ Triple-A affiliate, the Red Wings.

Blog Author: 
Katie Morrison
Grady Sizemore could move to left field once Shane Victorino is activated. (AP)

Grady Sizemore could move to left field once Shane Victorino is activated. (AP)

Once Shane Victorino works his way back from a hamstring injury (and a case of the flu), the Red Sox outfield may get a little crowded. Both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Grady Sizemore have been playing well, and manager John Farrell said that the Red Sox are contemplating scenarios that would feature all three of those outfielders once Victorino is activated, given the possibility boost such a grouping would have on the team’s run prevention.

“All of those alignments are thought of,” said Farrell. “How we get to that point remains to be seen with roster adjustments. The one thing that continues to bear out is the outfield defense and placing a premium on that.”

An alignment of Bradley, Sizemore and Victorino would undoubtedly give the Red Sox one of the defensive outfields in the league, but carrying all three would require some roster shuffling, with Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp all part of the outfield mix. If Bradley and Sizemore remain in the big leagues when Victorino is activated, the Sox will likely have to make a move to clear one of those other three outfielders off the 25-man roster.

For more on the Sox’ incentive to feature a Sizemore/Bradley/Victorino alignment, click here.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

Craig Breslow will join the club after being activated from the disabled list after Tuesday night’s game. The left-hander made three appearances for the PawSox, allowing just one hit in 2 2/3 innings. He’ll join Andrew Miller and Chris Capuano as southpaw options available to Farrell.

“Initially we’€™ll probably get him in some lower leverage situations, just to see he gets in the flow of things,” Farrell said prior to Wednesday afternoon’s game. “But as Craig has shown for quite some time, there’€™s a dependability of strike-throwing, with the upcoming series and the number of left-handers in given lineups, that’€™s going to be a plus for us to have that third left-hander.”

– One of the aforementioned left-handers the Red Sox will be seeing tomorrow is Jacoby Ellsbury, playing against his former team for the first time as a Yankee. The Red Sox will need a game plan to contain Ellsbury, who has gotten off to a hot start with his new club.

“Obviously, the biggest thing is to keep him off the bases. He can create a lot of havoc,” Farrell said. “It was fun to see him in your own uniform, and as dynamic a player he can be, he’s going to benefit from the dimensions in that ballpark, but I think we’ve got a pretty clear understanding of where his strengths are, and how we execute to that will be the key for us trying to control him.”

– Victorino and Will Middlebrooks both continue to make progress with their respective leg injuries.

“[Victorino] is on the field today with  some ground base conditioning work,” Farrell said. “Both he and Will, their baseball activities will start to ramp up over the weekend.”

Middlebrooks has done some running in a pool and some cardio work, and both are in what Farrell refers to as “that pre-baseball activity conditioning phase.”

There is no timetable for either’s return, but both will travel with the team on the road trip.

Blog Author: 
Katie Morrison