Koji Uehara allowed a pair of eighth inning home runs to blow a lead and Xander Bogaerts lost a potential tying blast on fan interference as the Red Sox suffered a wild, demoralizing 8-6 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday night.

White Sox infielder Brett Lawrie is pumped after hitting the game-winning homer in the eighth on Wednesday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

White Sox infielder Brett Lawrie is pumped after hitting the game-winning homer in the eighth on Wednesday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Koji Uehara allowed a pair of eighth inning home runs to blow a lead and Xander Bogaerts lost a potential tying blast on fan interference as the Red Sox suffered a wild, demoralizing 8-6 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday night.

Summoned to protect a 6-4 lead, Uehara hung a pair of splitters that got crushed. Melky Cabrera hit the first out to right field for a game-tying two-run homer, and then Brett Lawrie launched the game-winner over everything in left.

The Red Sox looked like they had potentially tied the game when Bogaerts lifted his third hit of the night towards the Green Monster, but it skipped off the top of the wall for a double. On replay, however, it appeared that a fan reached over the fence and touched the ball, possibly keeping it from clearing the red line that would make it a homer.

After a lengthy review, umpires left Bogaerts on second. There was more drama two batters later when Chris Young launched a potential three-run homer to left, but it drifted just a couple of feet foul in the gap between the pole and the roof box seats. Young then struck out.

Uehara’s implosion erased a solid start from left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 7 Ks), who featured his best fastball of the season, routinely hitting 95-96 mph. It also negated a strong night from the offense, which got multiple hits from the first three members of the order and a home run from struggling first baseman Hanley Ramirez.

Ramirez’s homer into the Red Sox bullpen in the sixth on a 1-2 count broke a 4-4 tie.

But Uehara had nothing on his splitter, which spun in the heart of the strike zone, and the White Sox made him pay while dealing the Red Sox their third straight loss and seventh in 10 games.

It did not take long for the Red Sox to find their stroke against one of the American League’s best pitchers. Jose Quintana began the night with a 2.63 ERA, but the Red Sox posted a four-spot in the third on a Sandy Leon walk and five singles.

After combining for 11 hits and two runs in the first two games of the series, the Red Sox put together ten hits and six runs on Wednesday night alone.

Eduardo Rodriguez showed much needed improvement, going six innings with his old delivery. Rodriguez’s last four starts were marred by a modified delivery that did not pan out well in addition to possibly tipping his changeup.

However the 23-year-old found what had made him successful in previous outings and let it take care of itself from there. He was blowing his fastball by batters in the 95 to 96 mph range, and occasionally subtly and effectively mixed in his changeup as well. He established the pitch early by starting the game with three consecutive changeups to leadoff hitter Tim Anderson, who took Clay Buchholz long on a first-pitch fastball to start the game Tuesday night.

However he was not exempt from exhibiting flashes of what’s gone painfully wrong for him this season. He left a fastball right over the heart of the plate to Todd Frazier, who hit his second home run in as many nights into the Monster seats. He also allowed a pair of hard doubles, including an RBI two-bagger to Cabrera.

Closing Time note

Wednesday was Rodriguez’s first start of more than 100 pitches this season, tossing 102. It was his first outing north of 100 pitches since September 14 of last season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Mookie Betts went 2-for-5 with a double to record his 30th multi-hit game of the season.

— Ramirez hit his sixth home run of the year and his second in eight games. He hit a 1-2 pitch into the Red Sox bullpen to give Boston a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

— Eduardo Rodriguez brought his velocity back up consistently, clocking 95 to 96 mph routinely.

— Dustin Pedroia (2-for-4) and Bogaerts (3-for-5) recorded multiple hits, raising their averages to .306 and .351, respectively.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Koji. The formerly reliable reliever saw his ERA climb to 4.78 after he allowed three runs on two homers.

— Reliever Heath Hembree allowed an insurance run in the eighth.

— The Red Sox lost a pair of home run challenges, first on Bogaerts’ blast, and then on Young’s near go-ahead shot in the eighth.

— Sandy Leon got picked off at third base in the fourth inning with one out, killing all momentum for the Sox in the frame.

— Travis Shaw exited the game in the fourth inning with a right shin contusion, no doubt a holdover from the ball he fouled off his leg on Tuesday.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen
Eduardo Rodriguez lasted just 3 2/3 innings in Thursday's loss to the Orioles. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a season-high seven in a loss to the White Sox. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

The Red Sox need pitching help and Eduardo Rodriguez took his first real step on Wednesday towards being a solution.

Featuring last year’s delivery for the first time this season, the 23-year-old southpaw put together an encouraging outing in an 8-6 loss to the White Sox. Featuring a fastball that routinely reached 96 mph, he allowed just three earned runs on four hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking two.

The numbers may not jump off of the stat sheet, but Rodriguez looked increasingly like a viable fourth starter as the game progressed.

The four hits allowed tied his season low, while the seven strikeouts were his season high.

“I thought Eddie tonight was a step in the right direction,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Better power, better overall stuff, a lot of swing-and-miss to what I thought at times was an explosive fastball.”

Before Wednesday’s game, he opted to revert his delivery to his form of last season, when he went 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA. The payoff was more fastballs consistently thrown at 95 mph, which he used to his advantage against the White Sox. Seventy-seven of Rodriguez’s 102 pitches were heaters, which produced 12 swings and misses.

“You saw his delivery go back to what he used prior to the knee injury,” Farrell said. “I think it allowed him to gain a little rhythm and momentum over the rubber. He kept himself together [and was] able to generate better power overall. [It] translated into velocity, and I think it also translated into some swing-and-miss for him.”

Rodriguez’s outing, however, was far from perfect. Of the four hits he allowed, three went for extra bases, and one left the park. He allowed a sixth-inning blast to Todd Frazier that tied the game 4-4. Farrell lifted him after the frame.

“I just wanted a fastball away, and I just missed right in the middle of the plate,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez may still have plenty to work on, including his offspeed pitches, but he’s feeling — and looking — more like his old self with each start.

“I think it’s working better,” Rodriguez said. “You can see the velocity’s back, [I was] consistent with both sides of the plate better, so I think it’s coming back, day-by-day.”

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier
Eduardo Rodriguez lasted just 3 2/3 innings in Thursday's loss to the Orioles. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a season-high seven in a loss to the White Sox. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

The Red Sox need pitching help and Eduardo Rodriguez took his first real step on Wednesday towards being a solution.

Featuring last year’s delivery for the first time this season, the 23-year-old southpaw put together an encouraging outing in an 8-6 loss to the White Sox. Featuring a fastball that routinely reached 96 mph, he allowed just three earned runs on four hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking two.

The numbers may not jump off of the stat sheet, but Rodriguez looked increasingly like a viable fourth starter as the game progressed.

The four hits allowed tied his season low, while the seven strikeouts were his season high.

“I thought Eddie tonight was a step in the right direction,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Better power, better overall stuff, a lot of swing-and-miss to what I thought at times was an explosive fastball.”

Before Wednesday’s game, he opted to revert his delivery to his form of last season, when he went 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA. The payoff was more fastballs consistently thrown at 95 mph, which he used to his advantage against the White Sox. Seventy-seven of Rodriguez’s 102 pitches were heaters, which produced 12 swings and misses.

“You saw his delivery go back to what he used prior to the knee injury,” Farrell said. “I think it allowed him to gain a little rhythm and momentum over the rubber. He kept himself together [and was] able to generate better power overall. [It] translated into velocity, and I think it also translated into some swing-and-miss for him.”

Rodriguez’s outing, however, was far from perfect. Of the four hits he allowed, three went for extra bases, and one left the park. He allowed a sixth-inning blast to Todd Frazier that tied the game 4-4. Farrell lifted him after the frame.

“I just wanted a fastball away, and I just missed right in the middle of the plate,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez may still have plenty to work on, including his offspeed pitches, but he’s feeling — and looking — more like his old self with each start.

“I think it’s working better,” Rodriguez said. “You can see the velocity’s back, [I was] consistent with both sides of the plate better, so I think it’s coming back, day-by-day.”

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier
Hanley Ramirez has been struggling to find his timing at the plate.

Hanley Ramirez

Red Sox manager John Farrell explained why Hanley Ramirez will be dropped from fifth to seventh in the order for Wednesday’s game against the White Sox.

Ramirez is hitting just .179 with 11 strikeouts in 18 games in June. Since homering on June 15 to end a 35-day drought, Ramirez has gone 4-for-24 with six strikeouts.

As a result, he’ll be hitting as low as seventh for the first time since his rookie year of 2006. Chris Young moves up to the fifth spot in his place.

“Hanley has been working through some things to try and get his timing on track,” Farrell said. “Players are going to kind of tell you where they hit in the order. Chris has done an outstanding job this year, particularly against left-handed pitchers. And while Hanley works through the timing issues, well, we needed a little bit of a jumpstart or a spark potentially.”

Ramirez’s June 15 homer was his first since May 10 and one of the first true displays of hard contact Ramirez had shown in some time — a positive indication for Farrell.

“Even if it wasn’t a home run, you saw hard contact, and really that’s kind of what you’re looking for,” Farrell said. “When timing is a little bit more consistent or on the mark, the fact that it went out of the ballpark in my mind is irrelevant. The leg kick, the timing, the bat path, that’s all being worked on.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

— Catcher Ryan Hanigan worked out Wednesday and could begin a rehab stint as soon as Thursday. Hanigan has been on the disabled list since June 5 with a neck strain that resulted in a bulging disk.

— Farrell said Brock Holt (concussion) will go seven innings Thursday in Pawtucket, alternating between third base and shortstop. He is expected to do a full nine innings in left field Friday. Holt has been out since being injured diving for a ball on May 10.

— Blake Swihart (left ankle sprain) is able to bear weight in the boot on his left foot. Farrell said Swihart will be reevaluated when the boot comes off in the next couple of days. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 5.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

It’s no secret the Red Sox are struggling at the plate. They’ve scored no more than three runs in five of their last eight games, which has focused the spotlight on manager John Farrell and some of his late-game decisions.

John Farrell

John Farrell

It’s no secret the Red Sox are struggling at the plate. They’ve scored no more than three runs in five of their last eight games, which has focused the spotlight on manager John Farrell and some of his late-game decisions.

The numbers suggest the issue isn’t managerial, however, but personnel-related — specifically, the bottom of the lineup.

The seventh, eighth, and ninth spots were a strength for two months. Brock Holt hit .306 batting seventh. Bradley flourished in the nine-hole, batting .363 in 26 starts.

However, faced with injuries to Holt (concussion), Blake Swihart (ankle) and Hanigan (neck), Farrell has been forced to use inexperienced batters in high-pressure situations, with predictably poor results, which have landed the manager on the hot seat.

“You’re trying to create some matchups in your favor,” Farrell said before Wednesday’s game. “I think that the entire intent is to get the right matchup. It’s clear that’s debatable for some, but still, you’re in a situation where you’re reliant on multiple guys, not just one individual. Not every decision was inside a vacuum, it’s within the context of the lineup, who’s available to you, and what the bottom line score is.”

An obvious example comes from Boston’s 3-1 loss to the White Sox in 10 innings on Monday night. With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, Farrell pinch hit Ryan LaMarre for Marco Hernandez. LaMarre, summoned from Pawtucket on Saturday, struck out on three pitches in his first at-bat this season.

Another example came Tuesday night, another 3-1 loss. Hernandez pinch hit for Deven Marrero with two outs in the ninth, and struck out swinging to end the game.

Farrell has had a difficult time navigating the bottom of the order since the injuries began to pile up. Hernandez is hitting .188 batting eighth or ninth. Marrero is 0-for-3 in the ninth spot, and LaMarre struck out his only at bat at the bottom of the order.

The Red Sox need Holt and Swihart back to bolster depth. Holt began his rehab assignment in Pawtucket on Monday, going 2-3 with two doubles. Swihart remains in a walking boot and will need to be reexamined before he is given a date to return.

“Particularly in Brock’s case, his versatility, his competitive at-bats and his baserunning, he made an impact when he was on the field,” Farrell said. “Unfortunately, injuries take guys away from you, and how guys step up to contribute in their absence, that’s a key for our team. Both guys are on the mend, looking forward to getting them back.”

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier

Hitting out of the seventh spot is certainly not familiar territory for Hanley Ramirez. It’s a spot he hasn’t occupied since his rookie season 2006.

But after Red Sox manager John Farrell putting Ramirez in the No. 7 position in the batting order Wednesday, the first baseman still seemed unfazed by the move.

Hanley Ramirez. (Steve Mitchell/Getty Images Sports)

Hanley Ramirez. (Steve Mitchell/Getty Images Sports)

Hitting out of the seventh spot is certainly not familiar territory for Hanley Ramirez. It’s a spot he hasn’t occupied since his rookie season 2006.

But after Red Sox manager John Farrell putting Ramirez in the No. 7 position in the batting order Wednesday, the first baseman still seemed unfazed by the move.

“I’m playing. That’s what’s important,” Ramirez said prior to taking batting practice, adding, “We have to win. Why not? Try some changes.

“Whatever John decides. He’s the manager. Wherever he thinks I can help the team win.”

Ramirez came into the third game of the series against the White Sox hitting .179 with a .541 OPS. For the season, he is hitting .265 with a .711 OPS and five homers.

Ramirez also insisted his shoulders, or any other physical ailment, aren’t issues when it comes to his struggles.

“That’s the main thing I’m concerned with,” said Ramirez of his health. “That’s why my mind is relaxed.”

Asked what would be key in turning things around, Ramirez responded simply, “Don’t miss my pitch.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski called in to the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Wednesday to discuss Boston’s bench and other team news. To hear the full interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

The Red Sox offense has fallen quiet as of late, scoring less than three runs in five of the team’s last eight games. Part of the funk at the plate is due to a thin bench coming in to pinch-hit late in games. However, Dombrowski believes there is no rush to bolster the  team’s depth.

“I don’t think you immediately have to do anything,” Dombrowski said. “I think it’s a situation where we’ve been hit by injuries, there’s no question, and sometimes it’s hard to make moves while you’re still waiting for guys to come back. We’ve been tested by the depth of the organization, we have Brock Holt on the DL, Josh Rutledge, who did a good job for us early is on the DL, Blake Swihart’s on the DL, Ryan Hanigan is on the DL, so you do get tested at times like this. It’s something we’ll keep an eye on as time progresses, but I think it’s a situation from an immediate perspective, you have to kind of let those guys play themselves back. We want to see how quickly Brock can get back [from his rehab assignment in Pawtucket], he’s played two games, he’s had a good couple of days. He’ll be off today, going to play again tomorrow, so it’s something we’ll stay on top of and continue to visit the topic.”

Besides the cold hitting streak, the Red Sox are still searching for a reliable starter to put int the rotation. Dombrowski said that the team’s front office is more focused on the starting rotation than upgrading any other part of the roster.

“I think we’re still in our starting rotation perspective,” Dombrowski said. “I think tonight’s performance against [the White Sox] is very important, with Eduardo Rodriguez pitching. We think Eduardo can be an important part of our rotation, but he does have to go out there and he has to do it. His stuff keeps getting better, his velocity has picked up, so that’s not a problem. I’m anxious to see him tonight to see how his delivery is, he is going back to his old delivery. … We’re very happy that he’s going back to his old delivery. He pitched very well for us last year, it’s hard to find guys like Eduardo Rodriguez out there with their ability.”

Added Dombrowski: “So he’s the real key because when you look at Price, who is pitching very well for us right now, Wright’s been outstanding, Porcello has been consistent, the four and five spots have been the parts that we need to look. Eduardo can step forward, but we’ll see. Clay Buchholz pitched better yesterday, he’s still not quite there, but he did pitch better so I think it’s a matter of, we need to have one of those guys step forward and be a real solid four for us.”

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

On the team’s plans for Rusney Castillo: “It’s a situation that’s not a clear-cut answer because there’s two factors in here. One is that when you’re in my spot, you got 40 men on your roster, 40 man roster spots … they can be very valuable to you, because you know at times when you have injuries you have to move guys on there. So you’re in a spot where the reality is that you look at a player in times and their performance, and in this case in Rusney’s performance, he makes a lot of money, he has not produced from an offensive perspective. His situation doesn’t really change from our organizational perspective by optioning him off of our roster. … Is there still hope? Yes, I think we’re still in a spot where we hope he can make the adjustments necessary … We just felt it was one where he wouldn’t clear waivers and we’d been in a position to create a roster spot.”

On Eduardo Rodriguez tipping his pitches: “Nowadays, its amazing how much time people spend focusing on guys tipping their pitches, more so than ever. Some cases they’re very obvious, other times it’s just a little nuance. … [With] Rodriguez, there’s no question he has struggled at times with tipping his pitches. It’s something they have worked with him on, we worked on it now between his last start and this start, he has been able to make the adjustment. The thing that you’re only concerned about is if the game speeds up in regular play that they don’t fall back into some bad habits. That’s something up to the staff that they have to continue to watch. He has done that, he’s done it in the past last year, he’s done it again this year, it’s something they’ve worked on and hopefully when he goes in there today they’ve addressed it enough into his own mindset that he won’t be doing it tonight.”

On whether Joe Kelly will join the Red Sox bullpen after he heals from a groin injury: “I don’t really know that at this time, it is something we’ve discussed, I  think the unfortunate part for us is he’s still not ready to throw off of the mound 100 percent, so until he gets to that point will be a time in which we discuss it ot see where we are from a pitching perspective. It;s not something that’s out of the question, but it is something that we will need to talk about and finalize ourselves and in turn talk to him about.”

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier