After a sluggish start offensively following the All-Star break, the Red Sox offense has turned a corner.

Travis Shaw recorded his first major league extra-base hit and first major league home run in the Red Sox' win over the Rays. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Travis Shaw recorded his first major league extra-base hit and first major league home run in the Red Sox‘ win over the Rays. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

After a sluggish start offensively following the All-Star break, the Red Sox offense has turned a corner.

Coming out of the break the Red Sox averaged 1.77 over the first nine games, but since they have scored at least seven runs in five of their last seven games, including Saturday’s 11-7 win over the Rays.

It was the Red Sox’ third straight win, their first three-game winning streak since their four-game win streak that ended July 8.

The Red Sox scored early and often against Rays left-hander Matt Moore. They scored a run in the first and exploded for four in the second before adding another in the third to make it a 6-0 game after three innings.

Travis Shaw, who was called up Saturday morning, paced the offense going 4-for-4 with a walk with two home runs, a double and three RBIs — finishing a triple shy of the cycle. He recorded his first career extra-base hit and then he followed with his first career homer. He also scored five runs, which is the most by a Red Sox player since August 12, 2008.

It was his third professional two-homer game, as he had two in the minors.

Boston’s offensive took advantage of going against Moore, who entered with a 7.61 ERA. Moore lasted just three innings and allowed six runs on nine hits.

Although the Sox jumped out to a 6-0 lead, the win didn’t come easy.

Red Sox starter Joe Kelly got off to an excellent start, as after allowing a single to John Jaso to open the game, he retired the next nine batters until falling apart over the next three innings.

In the fourth, Kelly allowed the first four batters to reach, but did settle down to limit the damage to only two runs. Then in the fifth, after allowing four straight batters to reach and two more runs, he retired the final two with runners on first and third to escape. He allowed another run in the sixth, which ultimately ended his day.

Kelly finished the game going five-plus innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. Justin Masterson came on in relief and allowed an inherited runner to score and a run of his own to make it a 7-6 game at the time.

The Sox added some insurance runs in the sixth as Rusney Castillo drove in two with an RBI single to right and then two more in the eighth on Shaw’s second homer of the day.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Xander Bogaerts went 4-for-5. It’s his fifth four-hit game this season, which is the most in all of baseball.

— Ryan Hanigan’s single in the second inning extended his hit streak to six games, which is a season-high. He has now reached base in 17 of 18 home games this season.

— Brock Holt extended his hit streak to five games with his single in the first inning. Over that span he’s batting .400.

— Castillo went 3-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt and four RBIs. It was his third career three-hit game.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Kelly has yet to prove he can be a consistent starter in the major leagues. He hasn’t gone longer than 5 1/3 innings in any of his last five starts and it seems more and more his stuff was play better as a reliever (shorter stints), as evident by the start he got off to in the game. It’s the eighth time in 17 starts he’s allowed at least five runs.

Mike Napoli went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts after his game-winning homer Friday night.

— Jean Machi, making his Red Sox debut, allowed a solo homer to Logan Forsythe in the ninth.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:

Marco Hernandez

Marco Hernandez

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (42-64): L, 2-1 in 13 innings, at Buffalo (Blue Jays)

— The Pawtucket offense continued to struggle, scoring just one run on five hits over 13 innings as the PawSox lost on a walkoff double to finish July with a record of 4-22. Second baseman Marco Hernandez (Boston’€™s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) drove in the lone Pawtucket run in the fourth as he scored DH Garin Cecchini (Boston’€™s No. 14 prospect at MLB.com) who had walked with two outs.

First baseman Allen Craig was the only batter with multiple hits for the PawSox, finishing 2-for-6 with three strikeouts.

— RHP Jess Todd, RHP Matt Barnes, and RHP Ronald Belisario combined to pitch 11 innings with just one unearned run crossing the plate, after back-to-back errors from Hernandez in the fifth.

With a runner at first, a slow chopper to second caused confusion as shortstop Deven Marrero cut in front of a charging Hernandez who then couldn’€™t come up with the ball. The next batter hit a broken-bat grounder to short that could have been a double-play, but Hernandez threw high and wide to first allowing a run to score.

Todd finished with a no-decision line of: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. Barnes pitched three scoreless, allowing just two hits with a strikeout and Belisario pitched two scoreless with just one hit allowed.

— RHP Noe Ramirez suffered the loss in extra innings (4-1, 2.20 ERA), as after retiring the first five batters he faced he allowed a two-out single and then game-winning double into the corner in left field. The double snuck between the third-base bag and third baseman Mike Miller, who was playing close to the line, and the relay form left fielder Jeff Bianchi to Marrero to catcher Humberto Quintero was not in time.

Henry Ramos

Henry Ramos

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (40-67): L, 9-4, vs. Harrisburg (Nationals)

— Right fielder Henry Ramos (Boston’€™s No. 27 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI single, a walk, and two runs scored to lead Portland’€™s offense. Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin was the only other Sea Dogs’ batter with multiple hits, as Lin finished 2-for-4 with an RBI-single. Portland stranded nine runners on base, finishing 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position on the 10-hit night.

Ramos is hitting .233 in 23 games with Portland this season as he returns from offseason knee surgery. The 23-year-old Puerto Rico native, selected by Boston in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, hit .326 in 2014 over 48 games in Double-A after hitting 12 home runs in 2013 with High-A Salem. Ramos has hits in eight of his last 10 games and is hitting .361 (13-for-36) over that span with four doubles and five runs scored.

— Center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston’€™s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) and first baseman Sam Travis (Boston’€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) each doubled, with Travis extending his hitting streak to eight games. Travis, 21, is slashing .308/.370/.415 over his first 34 games with Portland. The 20-year-old Margot, who also walked, is at .252/.305/.378 through his first 35 games in Double-A.

— RHP Justin Haley took the loss (4-12, 5.32 ERA) despite a quality start, with a final line of: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB (93 pitches, 65 strikes). Fielding errors by third baseman Oscar Tejeda and left fielder Aneury Tavarez led to an unearned run in the first, and then Haley allowed a solo homer and a two-RBI double in the third as Potomac took a 4-1 lead. Haley, 24, recovered to retire eight of the final nine batters he faced. Selected by Boston in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Fresno State University, Haley has struck out 72 in 91 1/3 innings this year while allowing 40 walks.

Kevin McAvoy

Kevin McAvoy

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (52-54): W, 5-1, at Potomac (Nationals)

— RHP Kevin McAvoy pitched a career-high seven innings, allowing just one unearned run on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts, earning the victory to improve to 6-9 with a 4.12 ERA through 20 starts. The 22-year-old McAvoy had his sinker working to produce 12 ground ball outs, including three double plays to give him a Carolina League-leading 23 on the year. The 6-foot-4 McAvoy was selected by Boston in the fourth-round of the 2014 draft out of Bryant University and has now produced back-to-back quality starts after allowing eight runs in 3 2/3 innings on July 21.

— Catcher Jordan Procyshen, playing in his first game since July 23, went the opposite way to double home two runs in the second and brought in another run in the fourth on a ground out to finish with three RBIs on a 1-for-3 night. The 22-year-old had an All-Star first half with Greenville, hitting .285, but has hit just .213 through 17 games since his promotion to Salem on June 26. A Canadian native and lefty bat, Procyshen was selected by Boston in the 14th round of the 2014 draft out of Northern Kentucky University.

— Right fielder Kevin Heller homered to leadoff the second inning and finished 2-for-4 with a walk to raise his slash line to .315/.437/.460 in 61 games with Salem this year. It was Heller’€™s fifth home run this season and capped off a sensational month of July where Heller hit .354 with a .510 on-base percentage and 17 RBIs, reaching base safely in 23 of 26 games during the month. The 25-year-old Heller was selected by Boston in the 40th round of the 2012 draft out of Amherst College.

— Second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston’€™s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com), DH Cole Sturgeon, third baseman Jordan Betts, and first baseman Mario Martinez all had multi-hit games for Salem as they compiled 13 total hits. Betts had a double while Martinez finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored.

Bryan Hudson

Bryan Hudson

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (53-51): W, 4-2, vs. Lexington (Royals)

— Center fielder Bryan Hudson made a terrific diving catch to end the game in the top of the ninth on a ball headed for the deepest part of the ballpark at Fluor Field, to the notch just right of center. With two outs and runners on first and third, RHP Kuehl McEachern allowed the shot ticketed for extra bases and potentially the tying run only to see Hudson fully extend and haul it in for the game-winning catch.

The 20-year-old Hudson also walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, and is slashing .304/.360/.343 with Greenville through his first 26 games since his promotion from Lowell on June 26. Selected by Boston in the 15th round of the 2013 draft out of high school in Georgia, 27 of Hudson’€™s 31 hits have gone for singles with four doubles and seven stolen bases in eight attempts.

— Right fielder Joseph Monge gave Greenville a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-RBI double off the center field wall, and the Drive picked up sixth inning RBIs from catcher J.T. Watkins and left fielder Mike Meyers. Shortstop Javier Guerra (Boston’€™s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, and DH Rafael Devers (Boston’€™s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) went 1-for-4 with a double. Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston’€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) was 0-for-3 with a walk, in addition to being a part of three double plays in the field.

— LHP Dedgar Jimenez used those double plays and another to give him four in all to his advantage and picked up the victory (6-7, 3.93 ERA) with a final line of: 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO (92 pitches, 61 strikes). Jimenez, 19, allowed two solo home runs but pitched his deepest into a game this season for his first win and first quality start since June 20. All told this season, the 6-foot-3 Jimenez has made 16 starts, striking out 53 with 16 walks over 87 innings.

Victor Acosta

Victor Acosta

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (21-19): W, 9-3, at State College (Cardinals)

— Third baseman Victor Acosta broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning with a two-RBI double that scored shortstop Jeremy Rivera and second baseman Chad De La Guerra and Lowell went on to break the game open with a six-run inning. Acosta would come around to score in the inning on an RBI triple from DH Kyri Washington, who then scored along with first baseman Tucker Tubbs on catcher Austin Rei’€™s (Boston’€™s No. 18 prospect at MLB.com) two-RBI two-bagger.

Lowell pounded out 12 hits in the game, including four for extra bases, with Acosta, Rivera, center fielder Luis Alexander Basabe (Boston’€™s No. 30 prospect at MLB.com), and left fielder Brandon Magee having multi-hit games.

— Magee, 24, finished 3-for-4 with his first professional triple and double to go with an RBI and run scored. Magee is playing his first year of professional baseball after being drafted by Boston in the 23rd round of the 2012 draft out of Arizona State University, but deciding initially on a football career. Magee spent time as a linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before re-joining the Red Sox organization this year. Through 16 games Magee is 8-for-38 (.211) with four RBIs and six runs scored.

— RHP Jose Almonte pitched a no-decision line of: 5 1/3 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO (79 pitches, 46 strikes). Almonte, 19, struck out the side around a walk in the first, and had faced just one over the minimum through three innings before allowing a run in the fourth. The 6-foot-2 Almonte was removed after two walks in the sixth. Signed by Boston for $610,000 during the 2012 international signing period out of the Dominican Republic, Almonte is now 2-2 with a 4.58 ERA this season through eight starts, with 31 strikeouts and 23 walks in 35 1/3 innings. Opposing batters are hitting just .140 against him.

— LHP Matt Kent closed the game out and picked up the victory (3-0, 1.98 ERA) with 3 2/3 scoreless innings of work, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out three. Kent allowed a single in the sixth to score a run, charged to Almonte, but struck out two in the frame and stranded runners in the seventh and eighth as well. Selected by Boston in the 13th round of this year’€™s draft out of Texas A&M University, the 22-year-old Kent has allowed just four earned runs in his first 26 innings as a professional with 21 strikeouts and six walks.

Gerson Bautista

Gerson Bautista

ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (21-11): L, 10-2, vs. GCL Twins and W, 1-0, at GCL Twins

— In Game 1 of a doubleheader, the make up of a July 24 postponed game, the GCL Red Sox lost 10-2 in seven innings.

RHP Kevin Kelleher, Boston’€™s 12th-round selection in this year’€™s draft out of the University of New Orleans, started in his professional debut but only recorded one out as he walked four consecutive batters and was replaced after facing just five hitters. The 6-foot-3, 22-year-old Kelleher racked up 71 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings this year in college, finishing with seven starts and 25 total appearances and a 3.98 ERA.

The GCL Red Sox offense managed just five hits in Game 1, all singles, with DH Raiwinson Lameda picking up the team’€™s lone RBI on a groundout in the first to score leadoff batter Andy Perez, who had reached on an error.

— In Game 2 of the double-dip, the GCL Red Sox won a 1-0 seven inning affair thanks to a combined one-hit shutout from RHP Gerson Bautista and RHP Nick Duron.

Bautista, a 6-foot-2 Dominican native pitched four hitless innings with four walks and three strikeouts. Two of his four walks came in the fourth inning, but the 20-year-old Bautista struck out the final two batters of the frame to escape the jam. After two more walks to leadoff the fifth, Bautista was removed. Bautista is 1-2 with a 3.26 ERA through seven starts this year, with 20 strikeouts and 17 walks in 20 1/3 innings and an opposing batting average of just .204.

Duron, a 6-foot-4 California native selected by Boston in the 31st round of this year’€™s draft out of Clark Community College, allowed just one hit over three innings while striking out four and hitting one batter. The 19-year-old Duron has now made eight relief appearances in the Gulf Coast League and has a 1.50 ERA with just two earned runs allowed in his first 12 innings as a professional, with 16 strikeouts to two walks.

— The lone GCL Red Sox run in Game 2 came after a leadoff double from right fielder Tyler Hill and ensuing RBI single from catcher Isaias Lucena. Selected by Boston in the 19th round in the 2014 draft, Hill is slashing .233/.356/.260 through 22 games this season.

— Sean Coyle (Boston’€™s No. 17 prospect at MLB.com) began a rehab assignment and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and a walk batting from the third spot in the batting order as the DH. The 23-year-old second baseman hit .295 over 96 games with Double-A Portland in 2014, hitting 16 home runs, but struggled in the first half with Triple-A Pawtucket this season hitting just .159 with five homers over 39 games before being placed on the disabled list in late June. Coyle, a third-round selection by Boston in the 2009 draft, also spent time on the DL from May 15 through June 7 of this year with left elbow inflammation.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

With the uncertain status of third baseman Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox were forced to make a move to get some infield depth.

The team recalled first/third baseman Travis Shaw from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned reliever Jonathan Aro back to Triple-A.

Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

With the uncertain status of third baseman Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox were forced to make a move to get some infield depth.

The team recalled first/third baseman Travis Shaw from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned reliever Jonathan Aro back to Triple-A.

Sandoval was hit by a pitch on the wrist/forearm on a strikeout by Chris Sale Thursday night. He was spotted in the clubhouse after Friday’s game wearing a brace.

“With Panda’s situation being day-to-day we needed some infield depth,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s at third base today. Panda is showing some improvement. He’s going to try and swing a bat here a little bit later this morning, but the soreness and swelling still persists. Whether or not he’s available in this series remains to be seen.”

Shaw is 3-for-15 in 18 major league at-bats this season.

Farrell said the team has not set its rotation for the upcoming series with the Yankees beginning Tuesday. There’s a thought Brian Johnson or Henry Owens could be called up to make one of those starts.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

After missing Friday’s series opener with soreness after fouling two pitches off himself Thursday, Hanley Ramirez returns to the Red Sox lineup for Saturday’s afternoon game against the Rays.

Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

After missing Friday’s series opener with soreness after fouling two pitches off himself Thursday, Hanley Ramirez returns to the Red Sox lineup for Saturday’s afternoon game against the Rays.

Pablo Sandoval will miss his second straight game after taking a fastball to the wrist/forearm area on Thursday.

Going up against Rays lefty Matt Moore, the Red Sox outfield will have Ramirez in left, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center and Rusney Castillo in right.

Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox starter Joe Kelly.

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Brock Holt, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Rusney Castillo, RF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Joe Kelly, RHP

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Winners of two straight, the Red Sox will look to keep building momentum Saturday as they send Joe Kelly to the bump to take on Matt Moore and the Rays.

The 2015 season has not been kind to Kelly, who owns a 2-6 record and 5.94 ERA. His ERA is the second highest in the American League among pitchers with more than 80 innings pitched (behind only Detroit’s Shane Green at 6.97, and narrowly ahead of fellow Red Sox starter Rick Porcello’s 5.81 mark).

Kelly has posted a 1.512 WHIP in his 16 starts this season and opponents have hit a whopping .281 with a .798 OPS against him. Kelly was sent to Triple-A to work on things for about a month before returning July 22. In two starts since reentering the Red Sox rotation, Kelly’s struggles have only continued.

In 8 2/3 innings pitched in two starts, Kelly has surrendered eight earned runs on 13 hits, good for an ERA of 8.31. Opponents have hit .342 and tallied a 1.127 OPS against him while knocking three homers, two doubles and two triples.

His last outing was a loss to the White Sox on Monday. Kelly pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits. The right-hander allowed back-to-back triples and a double on the game’s first five pitches.

“Rough outing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his starter’s performance. “A lot of elevated pitches in the strike zone. There were strikes, but the command within the strike zone was lacking. A lot of hard contact early.”

Moore has made just five starts since returning from Tommy John surgery in early July and has struggled to return to form. He has a 1-2 record and sports a 7.61 ERA across 23 2/3 innings of work. He has amassed a 1.901 WHIP.

The left-hander is one of an ever-growing group of pitchers to go under the knife for Tommy John. His recovery took the better part of a season and a half; Moore made just two starts in 2014 before his injury and didn’t return until this past month. In his last full season, he showed much promise as a young starter coming up in the Rays organization.

Moore, 26, was an All-Star in 2013 and finished ninth in the AL Cy Young award voting. He finished the season 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA, striking out 8.6 batters per nine innings. Moore has not yet been able to return to that pre-surgery form.

In an effort to limit the strain on his arm, Moore has yet to throw more than 88 pitches in an outing this year, and has pitched no more than five innings in a start. His last outing was a loss to the Orioles on Sunday in which he hurled five frames, allowing eight hits and five runs. He walked two, hit a batter and struck out four. Like Kelly, he was pounced on early, to the tune of three first-inning runs.

“I’m frustrated,” Moore said after the loss. “I feel way more excited for these games and way more up for what’s about to happen. Being in there after a loss, giving up three early like that, it’s not where I want to be. But I think I’m encouraged by the way I feel physically and just to see the way our guys, we were threatening more than two or three innings there.”

In five career appearances against the Red Sox, Moore is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA and .989 WHIP. Three of those outings came at Fenway, where Moore is 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA.

Rays vs. Kelly (RHP)

Asdrubal Cabrera (6): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Logan Forsythe (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk, 1 RBI

Evan Longoria (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Steven Souza (3): .667/.667/2.000, 1 double, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Kevin Kiermaier (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Reve Rivera (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

No other Rays have faced Kelly.

Red Sox vs. Moore (LHP)

David Ortiz (14 plate appearances): .462 AVG/.500 OBP/.846 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 walk

Alejandro De Aza (9): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Mike Napoli (6): .200/.333/.200, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts

Josh Rutledge (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 HR, 1 RBI

No other Red Sox have faced Moore.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

Talk about irony.