Eduardo Rodriguez allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings vs. the Tigers. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Eduardo Rodriguez allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings vs. the Tigers. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Wednesday afternoon was a reminder of everything that had gone awry this homestand for the Red Sox, as the Tigers completed the sweep in stunning fashion with a ninth inning home run from slugger Miguel Cabrera, winning 4-3

With the ever-reliable Brad Ziegler on the mound to keep the game locked up at three, Ziegler left an 84 mph sinker over the plate that Cabrera took just barely out of the park. The ball hit off the top of the wall in right field into the bullpen.

The Red Sox had Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. up in the ninth, but couldn’t record a base runner.

With the loss, they were swept for the first time this season.

Down 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, things looked grim for the Red Sox until Travis Shaw singled to start the inning and was moved to third by a Sandy Leon sacrifice and a Brock Holt ground out.

Mookie Betts then blasted a line drive into the center field triangle just beyond the outstretched arm of Tyler Collins to score Shaw and tie the game. With the throw in the air to the cutoff man while Betts was nearing third and looked to be eyeing an inside-the-park home run, but was held up by third base coach Brian Butterfield.

Starter Eduardo Rodriguez had a modest outing, allowing three runs on 9 hits over 5 1/3 innings of work. He also struck out six — the third highest total for the Venezuelan this season — while walking three.

Two of the Tigers runs came in one swing of the bat from Victor Martinez, driving in Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias after the Red Sox intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera to load the bases.

The 23-year-old lefty then allowed a home run to James McCann in the top of the sixth, and his day was over a batter later.

Things initially looked promising for the Red Sox, with Dustin Pedroia driving 11th home run of the year 408 feet into the black tarp covering the seats in dead center field in the first inning. The Red Sox fell off the pace at that point, surrendering three runs and putting themselves in a two-run hole.

Xander Bogaerts smacked his 12th homer of the year into the Monster seats in the sevemth inning to bring the Red Sox within one.

Closing Time note

Wednesday marked the second time this season Rodriguez threw more than 100 pitches in a game, throwing 101. He tossed 103 pitches against the White Sox on June 22.

Here’s what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Leon tested Tyler Collins’ arm in the third inning and wound up on the losing end of an attempted sacrifice fly that ended the inning, getting thrown out at home.

— The Red Sox had trouble keeping runners on base, grounding into two double plays — three including the Leon double play.

— After giving up just one hit in his first six appearances as a member of the Red Sox, Ziegler surrendered a dagger of a home run in the ninth.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Though Rodriguez put himself into a jam with runners on in multiple innings, he escaped most of them without much damage, stranding seven Tigers runners on base.

— By starting his day with a home run, Pedroia brought the tally to 30 consecutive games that he’s reached base safely in.

— Clay Buchholz tossed just six pitches in relief in the eighth, not allowing a hit nor run.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

There’s no question Steven Wright runs into trouble when he has difficulty gripping the baseball because of the elements, whether it’s rain or heat and humidity.

John Farrell hinted Steven Wright may need to be scratched in games with rain, heat. (David Butler/USA Today Images)

John Farrell hinted Steven Wright may need to be scratched in games with rain, heat. (David Butler/USA Today Images)

There’s no question Steven Wright runs into trouble when he has difficulty gripping the baseball because of the elements, whether it’s rain or heat and humidity.

That is what happened Tuesday night in the 90-degree weather when Wright had his worst outing of the year, allowing eight runs and not even making it out of the fifth inning in the Red Sox’ loss to the Tigers.

This goes along with other poor starts this season when he allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros on May 13, a game played in the rain, and also June 25 when he allowed eight runs (three earned) in 4 2/3 innings in the heat in Texas.

In discussing Wright’s latest outing on the WEEI Red Sox Radio Network pregame show with Tim Neverett on Wednesday, Farrell hinted if things cannot be corrected in those elements, Wright may need to be scratched in such games.

“The action to the knuckleball was not what we’ve seen, particularly in the first two innings,” Farrell said. “They score a couple of runs in both the first and second and we’re down 4-0 and I thought he started to settle in and have some of the similar action that he’s had.

“If we’re in a situation where there is a little bit of moisture or the temperature is 90 degrees, it almost leaves us at a point where I have to scratch him if it ends up being a situation where the results are what they are, but we have to figure out a way to maintain some kind of grip whether it’s wearing sleeves, using rosin. He’s done a very good job for us, no questions about that. But, in those elements we have to find a way to adjust and make the most of them.”

Wright isn’t a fan of the rosin bag because of the impact it has on his grip.

“The rosin creates a sticky feeling in the fingers and that is not the normal touch that Steven prefers,” Farrell said. “In the end, those elements are going to rear their head again and we have to figure out a way to improve upon them.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Tim Neverett talks with Red Sox manager John Farrell before game 3 of their series with the Tigers. John talks about the struggles Steven Wright has had in inclement weather or days with high heat and humidity and how that might factor in to giving Wright the start on a particular day.

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Tim Neverett talks with Red Sox manager John Farrell before game 3 of their series with the Tigers. John talks about the struggles Steven Wright has had in inclement weather or days with high heat and humidity and how that might factor in to giving Wright the start on a particular day.

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Red Sox president Sam Kennedy joined the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Wednesday to discuss David Price’s pitching struggles and other team news.

Sam Kennedy

Sam Kennedy

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy joined the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Wednesday to discuss David Price’s pitching struggles and other team news. To hear the interview, visit the OM&F audio on demand page.

Price, the 30-year-old former Cy Young winner who signed a seven year, $217 million deal with the Red Sox this offseason, has not yet lived up to those expectations, totaling a 9-7 record and 4.51 ERA and allowing the most hits in the American League. Despite this struggle, Kennedy has been impressed with Price’s accountability and says he believes the lefty will make the adjustment and turn his season around.

“As an organization, when you give out a contract like this you have a certain level of expectations,” Kennedy said. “When you fall short of expectations it’s disappointing for everybody. One of the things I love about David Price is just how accountable he is, and I know you can say, ‘Look, we’re tired of hearing I’ve got to do better, I’ve got to be better,’ but that’s him. He owns it, he’s knows he’s not performing at the level that we all expect him to perform at. We truly feel that he’s going to get better.

Added Kennedy: “If you look back to 2006 when Josh Beckett came in and he had that ERA over 5.00 and he really struggled in that first year with us, then helped march us to a World Series in 2007. I think there is an adjustment period, this is not an easy place to play, it’s a difficult market, and it’s hard. … I really do think he’ll get better, and we expect a lot out of David Price, obviously the commitment that we made. He’s been accountable, we own it, and let’s hope that he turns things around here.”

Kennedy added that plenty of stars go through tough periods in their careers, including a former Boston ace who is now in the Hall of Fame.

“I remember when Pedro [Martinez], maybe the greatest right-handed pitcher on the planet, went through periods where he struggled in the first inning and second inning,” Kennedy recalled. “I remember sitting around the office and saying ‘Boy, if we could start the game in the third inning, Pedro would throw a no-hitter every single day.’ He went through difficult periods, it’s hard. This game can be so confounding. You look at what [White Sox pitcher] James Shields has done the last four or five outings, the guy’s got like a 1.70 ERA and he had like an 11.00 ERA. This sport is harder than any other sport. … It really is difficult, and we don’t have all the answers, we work hard to try and put as much of an effort forward to put these players in a position to succeed. When they don’t, we own that, that’s on us, and we need to do everything we can to get better, and I can tell you we’re working hard to do that.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, check out the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and the moves that he has made: “When we were talking to Dave about joining the organization back last August, just about a year ago, one of the things he was focused on was just how great a job our scouting and player development has done. … To compete at the major league level, you’ve got to be able to part with assets from your minor league system, you’ve got to be able to play in free agency, you’ve got to be able to scout, draft, develop well. We’ve been able to do that, and he’s come into an organization with incredible talent, young talent, veteran players, and we do have pieces in the minor leagues, and if you make the right moves and convert those into major league pieces, hopefully that’s a recipe for success. So this was a very attractive situation for Dave Dombrowski to come into, and he’s done so far a great job at making moves and we’ll see what happen. Six days left, lets see how this plays out, because the market can change right up until the last minute. There’s only a few teams really that are ‘sellers.’ With the addition to the second wild card, sometimes it goes to the last minute with the trade deadline. I think it could be a very interesting five or six days coming up.”

On what the players need to do mentally to prepare for the upcoming stretch of road games: “That’s up to the staff. … These guys have a really, really tough job to prepare our guys to play night in and night out. … Earl Weaver used to talk about deep depth. You cannot win a World Series championship without deep depth. You have to have 35, 40 guys that you rely on coming up from Triple-A, maybe Double-A to help out. It’s really hard, 162 games in 180 days, it’s a grind, and managing all of those moves is really difficult. That’s what we’ve been able to do here at the Red Sox in our 15 years. We’ve had three World Series championships and we’ve had a lot of postseason appearances, and every time we’ve had success and gotten it done, it’s because we’ve had contributions from all over the organization. Not just the major league level, but minor leaguers coming up to help out and spell guys and good trades at the right moment. It’s a challenge, we love it, we absolutely love it. This is what you want, we are in a position 100 games in to go for it and make a run for a World Series championship. We’re excited, and we recognize that things could be a little bit better. … Our job is to take a step back and have some perspective about just how great the position that we’re in right now. It’s exciting, this is what you want to do in Boston and Major League Baseball.”

On the balance of winning baseball games and creating business after the Chris Sale scandal: “It’s communication, it always is. We had an example like this in spring training, Dave Dombrowski and I sat down with David Ortiz and members of the team and said, ‘Look, we’re here to win a championship this year, it’s David’s last year, we want to appropriately celebrate him, but make sure we don’t lose sight on winning.’ We want to win baseball games, that is the priority, and that takes precedent. That’s what we’re all about, and that’s what we do. But it’s communication with the players. You see Dave in the clubhouse all the time, you see [general manager] Mike Hazen down there, they need to know what’s going on. Yes, we do need to do things to market the game and generate revenues and all of that, but all of that is done so we can win baseball games, that’s why we’re there.”

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is Monday, and the Red Sox have been mentioned in rumors involving White Sox ace Chris Sale. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning to discuss the possibility of Sale coming to Boston.

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is Monday, and the Red Sox have been mentioned in rumors involving White Sox ace Chris Sale. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning to discuss the possibility of Sale coming to Boston. To hear the conversation, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“I think the beginning of a package for Chris Sale with the Boston Red Sox would involve both [Yoan] Moncada and [Andrew] Benintendi. I think those are the first two players in the deal. I think if the Red Sox could get Chris Sale for less than those two at a minimum, I’d do it,” Schilling said. “Now do you look at Mookie Betts as more valuable than those two? I do because he is already in the big leagues and you know he is going to be a star. The only player — and I don’t say this lightly because I love the guy — the only player I think on the roster that I may consider parting with would be Jackie [Bradley Jr.] in a deal. I think that’s the deal that the White Sox would ask is Benintendi, Moncada and Bradley Jr.”

Added Schilling: “You’re looking at probably one of the three most dominant pitchers in the game. You’re looking at a bona fide legit ace. The only thing you would question — well, let’s put it this way: Would you do it for Madison Bumgarner? … I think a lot of people would say yes to Bumgarner. What is the difference in Bumgarner and Sale? I think the one thing is Bumgarner has got an October track record that would put him in a very different league.”

Sale made headlines over the weekend when he cut up the throwback uniforms the White Sox were supposed to wear the night of his start because he didn’t like them. Sale was suspended five games for the incident, but Schilling said the situation has been overblown.

“I think things like that tend to grow into a life of their own sometimes,” Schilling said. “I can tell you that I spent a couple of years in Philadelphia, ’97, ’98, I think ’99, where I was discussing with the general manager — I had a no-trade clause — I was discussing the ability for them to trade me, and somehow that story turned into I was demanding a deal to be out of Philadelphia. I don’t know the circumstances around the whole tearing up the uniforms or whatever. I just know that first of all, I would be offended, I’m not a fashion guy to begin with, but if someone asked me to wear a uniform with a collar on it I would be bothered ’cause I think those are the ugliest uniforms in the history of the game. I don’t know. I wonder if it wasn’t a move or a ploy on his end to try and possibly get dealt. I know he despises [executive vice president] Kenny Williams, and I don’t know how much that affects him. I don’t generally tend to worry about stuff like that. I dealt with Manny [Ramirez] as a teammate and other guys as teammates. At the end of the day, every fifth day when he goes out there and does his job and works his butt off to be better than everybody else, at the end of the day that’s all you care about.”

Added Schilling of the uniform controversy: “I was very detailed-oriented. In Arizona, when I first got traded to Arizona, Buck [Showalter] let us, the starting pitcher that day, pick the uniform. I picked the same uniform every single time because it was the most comfortable uniform that we had. I liked it better. That may sound stupid, but I always believed in that kind of minutiae. If it made me feel better then that is what I was going to do that day. But I don’t know, it’s one of those things that is going to be made up a whole lot more than it is anyway.”

David Price continues to disappoint, now at 9-7 with a 4.51 ERA and a 1.275 WHIP, but Schilling sees a guy whose contract has overshadowed his performance as he enters a pivotal time in his career.

“It is not complicated. I think a lot times we tend to make things out to be more complicated than they are. His stuff has been good, not great. I think he’s just been inconsistent. I think the problem is unless he was 22-0 right now, how do you not have a disappointing season when you’re making $31 million a year from an expectations perspective,” Schilling said. “If you listen to him he is not being accountable because it is the right thing to say, it’s who he is. He really is accountable. He’s disappointed, he’s frustrated, he’s upset, he’s all the things you would hope he would be. I think we all just expected him to ‘fix it.’ He’s a different pitcher. He’s not the 96-98 [mph] guy anymore. With his secondary stuff, which I have always felt was OK, certainly not above average, as you start to lose your fastball velocity you start to have a lot of trouble if you don’t make that quick adjustment. In some cases he’s pitching with the stuff he used to have instead of the stuff he has, and that can be a challenge.”

If Schilling were the Red Sox pitching coach he would recommend one change to help Price.

“I think his biggest concern, his biggest issue from a control perspective is the end of his delivery,” Schilling said. “He is very much a recoil guy. I have never ever seen — if you look at every great pitcher, and he should be one of those great pitchers, they don’t do it. It affects his command, if affects his velocity, it affects his stamina, it affects everything. To this day, I have not seen someone try and fix that. That to me is, I don’t know if confusing is the right word, but one of the things you wonder is, and I don’t think this is the case, but some guys get to a point in their career where pitching coaches are tentative in coaching them or apprehensive in giving them, ‘Hey, listen, this is what you need to do.’ I certainly got to a point in my career where I had to make sure my pitching coaches knew, ‘Listen don’t stop coaching me. I don’t care how old I am or how much experience I have gotten, or any of that stuff. If you see something, say something.’ I think mechanically that’s his biggest flaw right now.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On the Democratic National Convention: “The amount of times I threw up in my mouth over a half-hour period was beyond revolting. It has been a train wreck since the opening speech, and it is one that you just can’t look away from. They put people on stage whose children were criminals. They are advocating violence against police officers. Think about the people they are running up there. Michael Brown was a criminal. I am not belittling or diminishing the value of a life. But these people are the worst of the worst. Elizabeth Warren, are you kidding me? That speech in its self was fun to listen to. Just because some of the stuff that was coming out of her mouth. She is talking about Donald Trump rooting for an economic failure so he could benefit, when George Soros funds that entire campaign, that entire party. That guy made his money off the crash of this country. I can’t get over it.”

On progress being made in finding a cure for ALS: “It’s the first good news ever. It potentially from everything I have heard and been listening to is a path to a cure. Now we are talking about potentially not just halting the disease, but possibly turning back effects, which would be, for those affected with it now would be like being cured. It is pretty staggering news.”

Blog Author: 
John Hand

Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Tigers, Red Sox manager John Farrell provided a number of updates on injuries and looming rehab assignments.

Craig Kimbrel had his second successful bullpen session Wednesday and barring any unforeseen residual soreness Thursday, he will begin a rehab stint in Pawtucket on Saturday.