ATLANTA — The Red Sox should be getting some clarity on the Pablo Sandoval situation in less than a week.

ATLANTA — The Red Sox should be getting some clarity on the Pablo Sandoval situation in less than a week.

Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

ATLANTA — The Red Sox should be getting some clarity on the Pablo Sandoval situation in less than a week.

Red Sox manager John Farrell reported before his team’s game against the Braves Tuesday night that Sandoval is slated to return to Dr. James Andrews Monday for a full exam on his ailing right shoulder. The third baseman wasn’t able to conduct the originally scheduled second opinion due to discomfort in the area.

In the meantime, there were some questions that needed to be answered. Here are some of the answers …

THE TEAM WAS AWARE OF SANDOVAL’S SHOULDER HISTORY

Through reviewing Sandoval’s medical history with the Giants, and the physical the Sox conducted at the time signing the free agent, the Red Sox did have what they considered enough information on the player’s shoulder, which given him problems in 2011. But the nature of the injury wasn’t considered anything more than the kind of ailments many position players deal with.

IT WASN’T BAD ENOUGH TO CONSIDER INSURANCE

When free agents sign, and there is a part of their body which might be of some concern, teams often take out insurance. In John Lackey’s case, the insurance was a clause in his contract that stated if he missed any significant time due to his injured right elbow, his team option would be for the major league minimum salary. In the Jason Bay controversy, the Red Sox asked the player to pay half the insurance policy due to concerns over his knee. The Marlins couldn’t get insurance on Josh Beckett’s shoulder because of its condition prior to the player’s trade to the Sox. The Red Sox looked at Sandoval’s shoulder, however, and decided going the insurance route wasn’t necessary.

YES, THE REDS SOX DO TAKE OUT INSURANCE

Because of past conflicts with Lloyds of London when it came to insuring players, Red Sox principal owner John Henry had often tried to stay away from insuring injuries. (For more on Henry’s prior approach, click here.) But, according to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, there has been no such mandate, and the decision to insure players is a “case by case” basis.

THERE HAS BEEN NO WEIGHT MANDATE

Contrary to a Yahoo! Sports report that the team told Sandoval it had “no intention of playing him unless he loses weight,” according to a major league source, there has been no such directive. The Red Sox have been monitoring Sandoval’s progress while on the 15-day disabled list, and have been encouraged by his approach — and results — the last two weeks.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

One way for David Price to end a thoroughly disappointing first month with the Red Sox: tying his career high in strikeouts in his longest outing in a Boston uniform.

Making his fifth start for the Sox, Price fanned 14 batters over a season-high eight innings and received ample run support in an 11-4 win over the Braves that saw Travis Shaw drive in five runs.

One way for David Price to end a thoroughly disappointing first month with the Red Sox: tying his career high in strikeouts in his longest outing in a Boston uniform.

Making his fifth start for the Sox, Price fanned 14 batters over a season-high eight innings and received ample run support in an 11-4 win over the Braves that saw Travis Shaw drive in five runs.

Price settled down from a busy first inning to have what turned out to be a very strong performance against a Braves offense that entered Tuesday 27th in the league with a .227 batting average.

The veteran left-hander loaded the bases in the first inning after allowing an RBI single to Jeff Francoeur, but he escaped without further damage by striking out Drew Stubbs to end the inning.

Price followed up the first by turning in back-to-back 1-2-3 innings with a pair of strikeouts in each. He ran into trouble again in the fourth inning, once again loading the bases and surrendering the Braves’ second run.

From there, Price essentially put the game away by allowing just one hit and walking none over his final four innings. He struck out six of the last seven hitters he faced, all of which he retired. Furthermore, nine of Price’s last nine outs were strikeouts. He finished with a line of six hits and two earned runs allowed over eight innings, striking out 14 and walking two.

Though runs allowed have been a concern in his early starts (7.06 ERA entering Tuesday), strikeouts have not. Price has now struck out at least eight hitters in four of his first five outings with the Red Sox. Price was coming off a season-low five strikeouts in what was his shortest and worst outing of the season, a 3 2/3 inning performance in which he allowed two homers and eight earned runs against the Rays.

With Tuesday’s win, Price is now 3-0 on the season with a 5.76 ERA. The Sox improved to 11-9.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– Three of Shaw’s RBI came in the form of a first-inning home run that was longer than The Revenant.

Shaw added to his night with a two-run double to deep center in the eighth inning.

(After a Google search, turns out The Revenant was only two hours and 36 minutes. Really? It was good but it felt about an hour too long.)

– Xander Bogaerts had a strong showing both at the plate and on the basepaths. In addition to going 3-for-5 with an RBI double and two runs, Bogaerts stole second base after his second-inning single and swiped third in the seventh.

– Thanks to Jackie Bradley Jr.’s triple in the eighth inning, all eight of Boston’s non-pitching starters registered hits on Tuesday.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Pat Light made his major league debut, pitching the ninth inning. It wasn’t particularly smooth, however, as he surrendered base hits to the first two batters he faced and then walked a batter to load the bases before recording an out. Light then allowed three straight groundouts, the first two of which scored runs and the third of which ended the game.

The 25-year-old right-hander had a 4.05 ERA in five games for Pawtucket this season.

– Hanley Ramirez escaped an ugly night at the plate with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. Prior to that hit, Ramirez had just two hits over 13 at-bats in three games. On the season, Ramirez is hitting .266/.286/.380, though perhaps the most alarming statistic is that he still has just one homer run, which came in the second game of the season.

– Pitchers don’t like allowing offensive contributions to their counterparts, so Price likely wasn’t a happy camper in the fourth inning. After Francoeur singled to left, Price allowed a one-out walk to Drew Stubbs and a single to Erick Aybar before Atlanta starting pitcher Matt Wisler hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Francoeur and giving the Braves their second run of the game.

– As for Price’s hitting, he drew a five-pitch walk in the fourth inning, but was doubled off first base after Daniel Castro made an impressive catch on a Mookie Betts blooper that looked like it was going to fall in.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Travis Shaw's first inning home run keyed the Red Sox' win over the Braves. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Travis Shaw had a career-high five RBIs in the win. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

That’s more like it.

After allowing eight runs in just 3 2/3 innings last Thursday against the Rays, David Price was able to pick up the win Tuesday night in Atlanta as the Red Sox took down the Braves, 11-4.

They have now won three games in a row and went 4-1 on the road trip.

Although he didn’t have his best stuff early on, Price was able to figure it out as he went eight innings and allowed two runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out 14, which tied a career-high.

The left-hander got more dominant as the game went along as he struck out eight of the final nine batters he faced.

Atlanta entered the game scoring the fewest runs in all of baseball.

Travis Shaw and the offense gave Price a 4-0 lead before he even took to the mound as Shaw crushed a three-run home run in the first inning and then Brock Holt doubled home Jackie Bradley Jr.

The Sox added single runs in the fifth, seventh and then put up a five-spot in the ninth.

Hard-throwing right-hander Pat Light made his major league debut in the ninth and allowed two runs, but it didn’t make much difference with the Red Sox holding such a big lead.

Closing Time note

Holt has now reached base in all 16 games he’s played in this season. It is the longest streak by a Red Sox player to begin a season since Dustin Pedroia reached base in 18 straight in 2013. Overall, he’s reached base in 20 straight games dating back to last season, the third-longest active streak in the majors.

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

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Shaw’s home run in the first inning traveled 418 feet. Back at third base, Shaw finished the game 2-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs. Of Shaw’s last 23 hits, 10 have gone for extra bases.

— Xander Bogaerts paced the offense going 3-for-5 to extend his hit streak to six games. The shortstop has four extra-base hits in those games.

— Pedroia had a solid night at the plate as he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. It appears the second baseman has found his swing, as on the road trip Pedroia hit .391.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Hard to find something wrong in this game, but Price did load the bases twice against a poor Atlanta lineup.

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Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

David Price

David Price

ATLANTA — It wasn’t just one whisper. There were shouts that David Price wanted to sign with a National League team so he could participate in one of his favorite activities, hitting.

When such a notion is brought up now, Price smiles and lets a quick chuckle.

“Obviously, that didn’t happen,” he said, later adding, “I don’t know if it ever entered the discussion. I enjoyed hitting. I enjoy facing a pitcher more than I enjoy hitting. No, it never came up.”

But it’s undeniable that Price isn’t the norm when it comes to living life as a major league pitcher. He just likes taking batting practice too much.

Price, who hit a home run in his last high school at-bat, has never let the love for swinging the bat go. According to those who have played with the pitcher, it isn’t uncommon to find his way into batting practice groups, even with no inter-league action in site.

“It’s fun,” Price said. “I can’t turn down BP in a major league park.”

Is he a good hitter?

“In BP I am,” he responded.

There is proof of that. There was the blast the lefty hitter sent into the second deck at Washigton’s Nationals Park. Or the one that Price hit over the “Belle Tire Blast Zone” in right field at Comerica Park in Detroit.

“Miggy [Miguel Cabrera] said he the only lefty he’d see do that was Prince [Fielder],” Price said.

Price hit one up into Section 240 at Target Field, an upper-deck landing spot. And, of course, there the well-known avenue sitting just before the warehouse at Camden Yards.

“I definitely hit a ball onto Eutaw Street,” he noted. “It might have gone through the fence, but it made it to the street.”

The batting practice hasn’t necessarily translated to real, live game action. Heading into his latest opportunity, Tuesday night’s start against the Braves, Price is 2-for-37 with two walks and 17 strikeouts.

Despite notching a hit in his first major league at-bat (as was also the case with rotation-mate Rick Porcello), Price hasn’t gotten a hit since 2010.

That’s not going to deter him from keeping at it.

“It’s fun,” Price said. “You get to be a part of the baseball game both offensively and pitching. It takes you back to being a kid and I enjoy it.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

ATLANTA — Last May, David Ortiz was animated in his defense of Tom Brady when word came down the NFL had suspended the quarterback for four games.

Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.

William Cuevas

William Cuevas

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-8): W, 5-0, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)

— Starter William Cuevas, back with the PawSox after a brief stint in the Boston bullpen, was dominant in his return to Triple-A. The Venezuelan right-hander threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits. He walked three and struck out four in improving to 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.

“I felt really good with all my pitches and kept a good tempo tonight,” Cuevas said after the game (via the PawSox website).

Said manager Kevin Boles: “He was terrific, very efficient. He induced contact early and I thought his tempo and pace with [catcher Blake Swihart] was terrific.

— Marco Hernandez (Boston’s No. 19 prospect on MLB.com) played left field and went 3-for-5 with a double and one strikeout. Swihart also finished with three hits, going 3-for-4 with a double, one RBI and one walk.

— Sam Travis had another multi-hit performance, going 2-for-5 with two doubles. He added one RBI and two strikeouts. His average now sits at .306 to go with two home runs and 14 RBIs. Designated hitter Jason Maxwell went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Jantzen Witte was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a walk.

— Reliever Kyle Martin threw two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and striking out four to finish off the shutout.

Jake Romanski

Jake Romanski

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (6-13): L, 6-4, at Binghamton (Mets)

— Catcher Jake Romanski was the lone member of the Sea Dogs with multiple hits, as he went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .340. Third baseman Jordan Betts homered but struck out in his other three at-bats.

— Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin only had one hit, but he made it count, doubling in two runs.

— Starter Kevin McAvoy pitched just 1 2/3 innings, allowing one unearned run. He did not allow a hit but struggled with his control, walking six while only recording five outs. Reliever Mitch Atkins had the longest outing of the day, going 3 1/3 innings. He allowed one earned run on four hits while striking out five.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (11-7): Did not play. Will play Frederick (Orioles) on Tuesday night.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (10-8): Did not play. Will play Delmarva (Orioles) on Tuesday night.

Blog Author: 
Travis Upham
David Price

David Price

Red Sox ace David Price will look to bounce back on Tuesday night in Atlanta when he takes the mound opposite young righty Matt Wisler and the Braves.

While Price has not yet lost a game this season (his record sits at 2-0 through four starts), his ERA sits at a disappointing 7.06 and he has a 1.38 WHIP. This is due largely in part to his last outing on April 21 at home against the Rays. After the Red Sox offense gave him a five-run lead in the first inning, he lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits. He walked two, struck out five and served up two home runs in the outing.

“That’s the best I’ve felt in my four starts here,” Price said after the game. “To me, that’s the most disappointing thing. To feel the way that I felt, [I just didn’t] get the results that I expect.”

In three career starts against the Braves, Price is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA despite a 1.526 WHIP. Price last faced the Braves on Sept. 16 of last season and led the Blue Jays to a 9-1 win, pitching seven innings of one-run ball, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out nine.

Wisler is 0-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 0.93 WHIP through three starts and one relief appearance this season. In his last start on April 21 against the Dodgers, he lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run (none earned) on four hits. The 23-year-old walked two and struck out six, while the Braves offense could only muster one run of support. Wisler wound up with a no-decision despite an impressive performance, as he came close to outdueling 2014 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.

“He matched pitch-for-pitch one of the premier pitchers in our era, arguably, in Kershaw,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said postgame.

Wisler, who has never pitched in a game against the Red Sox, made his major league debut last June 19 and wound up pitching in 20 games (19 starts), going 8-8 with a 4.71 ERA and 1.459 WHIP.

A seventh-round draft pick of the Padres in 2011, Wisler was traded to Atlanta last April in the deal that sent current Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel to San Diego.

Matt Wisler

Matt Wisler

Red Sox vs. Wisler (RHP)

No Red Sox batters have faced Wisler.

Braves vs. Price (LHP)

Nick Markakis (55 plate appearances): .275 AVG/.309 OBP/.353 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts

Erick Aybar (32): .267/.290/.333, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

A.J. Pierzynski (22): .200/.238/.400, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Kelly Johnson (17): .176/.176/.353, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 5 strikeouts

Jeff Francouer and Drew Stubbs both are 3-for-6. Francouer has a double and two strikeouts, while Stubbs has a triple, one RBI and two strikeouts.

Freddie Freeman has one hit in six plate appearances, with one RBI and three strikeouts.

Tyler Flowers is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts.

Daniel Castro is 1-for-4.

Adonis Garcia is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

Blog Author: 
Travis Upham