Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Winners of 10 straight, the Red Sox close out their three-game series vs. the Rays on Sunday afternoon by sending out Eduardo Rodriguez opposite right-hander Jake Ordorizzi.

Rodriguez is 3-7 with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.303 WHIP in 18 games. On Tuesday he went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in a 5-2 win over the Orioles. It was the southpaw’s first win since July 16.

“When you are capable to stop the Baltimore offense, that means you’ve got good stuff,” David Ortiz said of Rodriguez (via MLB.com). “Those guys can swing the bat. We know what we’ve got in [Rodriguez].”

In three career starts against the Rays, the 23-year-old Venezuelan is 0-1 with a 9.88 ERA and a 2.195 WHIP. Rodriguez’s last start against the Rays was one of his worst of the season. On June 27 he lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing a whopping nine runs, 11 hits and one walk with two strikeouts in a 13-7 Rays win.

Jake Odorizzi

Jake Odorizzi

Odorizzi is 9-6 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.198 WHIP in 31 starts. After a rough first half of the season, the former first-round draft pick is 6-1 with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.095 WHIP in his last 12 starts. In his last start on Sunday he went six innings, allowing one run, five hits and no walks with three strikeouts in a 2-1 loss to the Orioles. Sunday’s game was yet another no-decision for the 26-year-old right-hander. Odorizzi’s 16 no-decisions are among the most in the majors. Furthermore, 20 times this year he has given up two runs or less and 12 of those games have been no-decisions.

“No-decisions happen,” Odorizzi said (via MLB.com). “They just seem to happen a lot this year. It’s a funky thing, but no-decisions are a lot better than losses, last time I checked. That’s a good thing.”

Odorizzi is 3-3 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.245 WHIP in 12 career starts against the Sox. In four starts against the Sox this year he is 1-1 with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.409 WHIP. His last outing against Boston was on Aug. 30, when he went six innings, allowing three runs, five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

Red Sox vs. Odorizzi (RHP)

Xander Bogaerts (31 plate appearances): .348 AVG./.452 OBP/.609 SLG, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBIs, 4 walks and 3 strikeouts

David Ortiz (27): .167/.222/.333, 1 double, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (25): .375/.400/.583, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Mookie Betts (24): .263/.375/.316, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts

Brock Holt (18): .294/.278/.706, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 5 strikeouts

Jackie Bradley Jr. (15): .133/.133/.133, 5 strikeouts

Travis Shaw (13): .308/.308/.462, 2 doubles, 5 strikeouts

Chris Young (12): .273/.333/.636, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (11): .400/.455/.800, 1 double, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 1 walk

Sandy Leon is 1-for-6 with 1 double, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.

Aaron Hill is 0-for-5 with 1 strikeout.

Bryan Holaday is 1-for-5 with 2 strikeouts.

Christian Vazquez is 1-for-3 with 1 walk and 1 strikeout.

Ryan Hanigan is 1-for-3.

Rays vs. Rodriguez (LHP)

Logan Forsythe is 3-for-7 with 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 2 walks and 1 strikeout.

Evan Longoria is 4-for-7 with 1 double, 1 RBI and 1 walk.

Mikie Mahtook is 3-for-6 with 1 double, 1 RBI and 2 strikeouts.

Curt Casali is 0-for-5 with 2 strikeouts.

Kevin Kiermaier is 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts.

Richie Shaffer is 0-for-2.

Nick Franklin is 2-for-2 with 1 double and 3 RBIs.

Blog Author: 
John Hand

Winning their 10th in a row was something. So was clinching a playoff berth spot, and cutting the magic number for an American League East title to three.

But there was bit of news that separated itself at Tropicana Field Saturday: Pablo Sandoval might actually play for the Red Sox again this season.

Pablo Sandoval could actually return to the Red Sox this season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Pablo Sandoval could actually return to the Red Sox this season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Winning their 10th in a row was something. So was clinching a playoff berth spot, and cutting the magic number for an American League East title to three.

But there was bit of news that separated itself at Tropicana Field Saturday: Pablo Sandoval might actually play for the Red Sox again this season.

Here is what John Farrell dropped on reporters when asked about Sandoval prior to the Red Sox’ 6-4 win over the Rays: “Could he return this year? I’m not ruling it out.”

Sandoval, who hasn’t played April 10 due to his surgically-repaired left shoulder, was with the Red Sox in St. Petersburg, Fla., having driven up from the team’s training facility in Fort Myers, Fla. He has been working at at JetBlue Park, having already participated in two instructional league games as a designated hitter.

Prior to Saturday night’s game, Sandoval took batting practice and fielded ground balls with the rest of the Red Sox.

“He’s got to go through some steps in instructional league. That’s first and foremost,” Farrell said. “But, again, you can never forecast injury, you can never forecast what takes place ahead. Nothing has been ruled out with Pablo, particularly how he’s responded. He’s well ahead of schedule in terms of his recovery. We’ll see.”

While it would still seem unlikely Sandoval would be an option to be placed on a Divisional Series roster, he could be a legitimate backup plan if the Red Sox suffered any injuries. Farrell could also be throwing the possibility of more competition at the position to spur on the current group of candidates, Travis Shaw, Brock Holt and Aaron Hill.

Another possible benefit of Sandoval being proclaimed healthy enough to contribute is in regards to Sandoval’s offseason trade value. Showing his shoulder isn’t an issue would go a long way toward convincing potential suitors the 30-year-old should be of some worth.

At last check, Sandoval had lost 22 pounds, working out six days a week at JetBlue Park while also integrating a bike-riding regimen.

“At the time of the surgery, it was all looking at the start of next spring training,” Farrell said. “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves here, but, at the same time, I want to compliment him for the work he’s put in, the way he’s responded to the rehab, the way he’s worked himself back into better condition. We’re staying open-minded.”

– The medical update for Steven Wright (right shoulder) wasn’t as encouraging, with the knuckleballer not able to participate in his scheduled bullpen session Sunday at Tropicana Field.

“He got through his 120 feet here today. But it was not to the point where he felt like he was going to throw his bullpen here [Sunday],” Farrell told reporters. “So he’ll remain in Ft. Myers and continue to progress. Logically, the days continue to come off the calendar, so where that puts him in terms of getting back on the mound, getting back to us, that becomes with each passing day a little bit less likely.

“Just feeling like the symptoms aren’t completely gone, diminished,” Farrell added. “We’ve been taking this very much as a day to day type situation. So the way the throwing program was built out was to get to the point of throwing 120 feet, which he did yesterday, hopefully get through a second consecutive day of that, and then be here to throw a bullpen tomorrow. Felt like coming out of [Saturday], that wasn’t going to be the case.”

– The way the Red Sox have their starting rotation lined up, David Price will pitch the final game of the regular season and then Game 2 of the Division Series. Rick Porcello is still on target start what figures to be the Red Sox’ first postseason game.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Dustin Pedroia has experienced his fair share of meaningful September baseball. Six of his 10 Septembers as a major leaguer have had some sort of importance attached to them.

But it would be hard to find a bigger September hit than the one Pedroia supplied in the seventh inning Saturday night.

Dustin Pedroia watches his fourth career grand slam clear the left field fence Saturday night. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia watches his fourth career grand slam clear the left field fence Saturday night. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia has experienced his fair share of meaningful September baseball. Six of his 10 Septembers as a major leaguer have had some sort of importance attached to them.

But it would be hard to find a bigger September hit than the one Pedroia supplied in the seventh inning Saturday night.

With the Red Sox trailing by a run against the Rays, two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Pedroia launched the decisive blow for the visitors. The second baseman took Tampa Bay reliever Danny Farquhar over the left field fence for his fourth career grand slam, leading Sox to a 6-4 win over the Rays.

The win was the Red Sox’ 10th straight, and cut their magic number to win the American League East to three with the second-place Blue Jays also winning.

Earning his 22nd win of the season was Rick Porcello, who allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings to put his ERA at 3.11. All three runs against Porcello came in the third inning. He becomes the first 22-game winner for the Red Sox since Pedro Martinez’s 1999 campaign, in which he won 23.

The pivotal seventh inning started with back to back singles from Hanley Ramirez and Brock Holt. After a Chris Young ground out, the Sox loaded the bases on a walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. Sandy Leon failed to get the runners home, hitting into a fielder’s choice for the second out, but keeping the bases loaded.

Then came Pedroia’s 14th homer of the season, punctuating an eight-pitch at-bat.

The Rays did manager to get the potential game-tying run to the plate in the seventh inning. But Brad Ziegler’s one-out outing resulted in a fly out off the bat of Evan Longoria, who was followed by Brad Miller’s line-out to right against Robbie Ross Jr.

Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel closed things out in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Despite giving up a ninth inning homer to Logan Forsythe, Kimbrel recorded his 30th save. The closer now has six straight 30-save seasons.

For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Dustin Pedroia watches his fourth career grand slam clear the left field fence Saturday night. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia watches his fourth career grand slam clear the left field fence Saturday night. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia has experienced his fair share of meaningful September baseball. Six of his 10 Septembers as a major leaguer have had some sort of importance attached to them.

But it would be hard to find a bigger September hit than the one Pedroia supplied in the seventh inning Saturday night.

With the Red Sox trailing by a run against the Rays, two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Pedroia launched the decisive blow for the visitors. The second baseman took Tampa Bay reliever Danny Farquhar over the left field fence for his fourth career grand slam, leading Sox to a 6-4 win over the Rays.

The win was the Red Sox’ 10th straight, and cut their magic number to win the American League East to three with the second-place Blue Jays also winning.

Earning his 22nd win of the season was Rick Porcello, who allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings to put his ERA at 3.11. All three runs against Porcello came in the third inning. He becomes the first 22-game winner for the Red Sox since Pedro Martinez’s 1999 campaign, in which he won 23.

The pivotal seventh inning started with back to back singles from Hanley Ramirez and Brock Holt. After a Chris Young ground out, the Sox loaded the bases on a walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. Sandy Leon failed to get the runners home, hitting into a fielder’s choice for the second out, but keeping the bases loaded.

Then came Pedroia’s 14th homer of the season, punctuating an eight-pitch at-bat.

The Rays did manager to get the potential game-tying run to the plate in the seventh inning. But Brad Ziegler’s one-out outing resulted in a fly out off the bat of Evan Longoria, who was followed by Brad Miller’s line-out to right against Robbie Ross Jr.

Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel closed things out in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Despite giving up a ninth inning homer to Logan Forsythe, Kimbrel recorded his 30th save. The closer now has six straight 30-save seasons.

For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Dustin Pedroia watches his fourth career grand slam clear the left field fence Saturday night. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia watches his fourth career grand slam clear the left field fence Saturday night. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia has experienced his fair share of meaningful September baseball. Six of his 10 Septembers as a major leaguer have had some sort of importance attached to them.

But it would be hard to find a bigger September hit than the one Pedroia supplied in the seventh inning Saturday night.

With the Red Sox trailing by a run against the Rays, two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Pedroia launched the decisive blow for the visitors. The second baseman took Tampa Bay reliever Danny Farquhar over the left field fence for his fourth career grand slam, leading Sox to a 6-4 win over the Rays.

The win was the Red Sox’ 10th straight, and cut their magic number to win the American League East to three with the second-place Blue Jays also winning. They also clinched at least a berth in the Wild Card playoff game.

“It’s obviously big, it’s the position we wanted to be in this last week in September,” said Saturday night’s winning pitcher, Rick Porcello. “We definitely want that division, so we’re going for it.”

Earning his 22nd win of the season was Porcello, who allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings to put his ERA at 3.11. All three runs against Porcello came in the third inning. He becomes the first 22-game winner for the Red Sox since Pedro Martinez’s 1999 campaign, in which he won 23.

The pivotal seventh inning started with back to back singles from Hanley Ramirez and Brock Holt. After a Chris Young ground out, the Sox loaded the bases on a walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. Sandy Leon failed to get the runners home, hitting into a fielder’s choice for the second out, but keeping the bases loaded.

Then came Pedroia’s 14th homer of the season, punctuating an eight-pitch at-bat.

The Rays did manager to get the potential game-tying run to the plate in the seventh inning. But Brad Ziegler’s one-out outing resulted in a fly out off the bat of Evan Longoria, who was followed by Brad Miller’s line-out to right against Robbie Ross Jr.

Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel closed things out in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Despite giving up a ninth inning homer to Logan Forsythe, Kimbrel recorded his 30th save. The closer now has six straight 30-save seasons.

For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Red Sox manager John Farrell said the last few regular seasons games might determine who would get the majority of playing time at third base when the postseason rolled around. (He said that, of course, without specifically mentioning the Red Sox might be in the playoffs.)

Judging by Saturday’s lineup, that continues to be the case.

Brock Holt

Brock Holt

Red Sox manager John Farrell said the last few regular seasons games might determine who would get the majority of playing time at third base when the postseason rolled around. (He said that, of course, without specifically mentioning the Red Sox might be in the playoffs.)

Judging by Saturday’s lineup, that continues to be the case.

With right-hander Matt Andriese on the mound for the Rays, Brock Holt gets the start at third base. Holt is 2-for-8 against Andriese, while the other lefty-hitting option, Travis Shaw, is 1-for-6. Shaw is coming off a start Friday night in which he went 0-for-4.

Chris Young gets the nod in left field, having not started since Tuesday.

Here is the Red Sox’ lineup with Rick Porcello on the mound for the visitors:

Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Brock Holt 3B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
For all the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

With the Red Sox looking for their 10th straight victory, Saturday evening’s matchup will feature Cy Young contender Rick Porcello against Rays right-hander Matt Andriese.

Porcello is 21-4 with a 3.08 ERA and a 0.978 WHIP in 31 starts. The sinkerballer picked up his 21st win against the Orioles on Monday with a complete game, giving up two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts in what ended up being a 5-2 Sox win.

“Rick Porcello was outstanding,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said (via MLB.com). “He threw a high number of first-pitch strikes. He was able to induce ground balls. He elevated at appropriate times. He had four pitches working for strikes tonight. He was in complete command for this one.”

The 27-year-old right-hander is 9-4 with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.134 ERA in 16 career starts against the Rays. This season Porcello is 4-0 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.038 WHIP in five starts vs. Tampa. His last start against the Rays was on Aug. 29. In that outing he threw seven innings, allowing three runs, six hits and no walks with seven strikeouts in a 9-4 Sox win.

Andriese is 8-7 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.229 WHIP in 27 games (17 starts). On Saturday he threw 5/3 innings, allowing two runs, six hits and no walks with three strikeouts in a 5-2 win over the Orioles.

“Good win, a Rays win,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said (via MLB.com). “We pitched well. Everybody came in and did their part. Andriese started it. He had some nasty stuff going, you could tell from the side.”

Against the Red Sox, Andriese is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.220 WHIP in five games (three starts). In three games (two starts) against the Sox this season, Andriese is 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA and a 1.658 WHIP. On Aug. 29, the 27-year-old right-hander lasted just four innings, giving up seven runs, 10 hits and one walk with four strikeouts in a 9-4 Sox win.

Red Sox vs. Andriese (RHP)

Mookie Betts (11 plate appearances): .455 AVG./.455 OBP/.818 SLG, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Xander Bogaerts is 1-for-9 with 4 strikeouts.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is 0-for-8 with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.

David Ortiz is 3-for-9 with 1 double, 1 home run, 2 RBIs and 2 strikeouts.

Brock Holt is 2-for-8 with 1 double, 2 RBIs and 3 strikeouts.

Sandy Leon is 3-for-8 with 1 double and 3 strikeouts.

Travis Shaw is 1-for-6 with 1 double and 1 strikeout.

Dustin Pedroia is 2-for-3 with 2 walks and 1 strikeout.

Chris Young is 1-for-4 with 1 double, 2 RBIs and 1 strikeout.

Andrew Benintendi is 0-for-2 with 1 strikeout.

Hanley Ramirez is 2-for-2 with 1 double.

Aaron Hill is 0-for-1. 

Deven Marrero is 1-for-1.

Rays vs. Porcello (RHP)

Alexei Ramirez (56 plate appearances): .164 AVG/.164 OBP/.273 SLG, 2 home runs, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Evan Longoria (45): .238/.267/.381, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts

Logan Forsythe (29): .296/.345/.370, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Kevin Kiermaier (28): .222/.250/.259, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Brad Miller (19): .222/.263/.778, 1 double, 3 home runs, 5 RBIs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Corey Dickerson (16): .313/.313/.688, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Nick Franklin (16): .200/.250/.267, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Bobby Wilson (11): .364/.364/.455, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Curt Casali is 1-for-7 with 2 strikeouts.

Mikie Mahtook is 0-for-1 with 1 strikeout.

Luke Maile is 1-for-1 with 1 double and 1 RBI.

Blog Author: 
John Hand