Jonny Gomes joined Joe & Dave after the win, in which his pich homer gave the Sox the lead.

[0:00:07] ... of all time Red Sox original brown was 61 behind number one Ted Williams. Yeah I guess rumor has it that. You know let me know and I'm not trying to chase to -- and that ...
[0:02:29] ... the tough times in the stands to be a very great -- confidence booster for him. Yeah absolutely no you're talking. You know you're talking just hanging in there here the big leagues. We kind of put a lot of weight you know on both -- you know playing third base here you know -- Boston Red Sox in the world championship team. Everyone's well you know you got to go check his birth date you know and realize that ...




A couple weeks ago, a three-run deficit in the sixth inning seemed almost insurmountable for the Red Sox.

On Friday night, it was anything but.

Jonny Gomes' two-run, pinch-hit home run was the difference Friday night. (AP)

Jonny Gomes’ two-run, pinch-hit home run was the difference Friday night. (AP)

A couple weeks ago, a three-run deficit in the sixth inning seemed almost insurmountable for the Red Sox.

On Friday night, it was anything but.

Jonny Gomes and Xander Bogaerts supplied the power in the Red Sox‘ 5-4, come-from-behind win against the Royals to kick off the unofficial second half of the season. It was a great start for a team in an interesting position. Every game counts now, as the Red Sox need to start stringing together wins if they hope to make a run at the postseason.

Gomes, who has come through in many clutch situations for the Red Sox over the past couple years, did it again on Friday, pinch-hitting for Jackie Bradley Jr. in the sixth inning and launching a go-ahead two-run home run with two outs in the inning. Though he’s been with the Red Sox for less than two years, Gomes moved into sole position of second place on the Red Sox all-time pinch-hit home run list with six since coming to Boston. Only Ted Williams has more pinch-hit home runs in a Red Sox uniform.

But it was Xander Bogaerts’ home run that pulled the Red Sox a little closer earlier in the inning, a solo shot to dead center. The blast was a much-needed one for the 21-year-old, who had not had an extra-base hit since June 14, going 94 plate appearances in between home runs and extra-base hits. He was batting just .115/.141/.115 since then.

Clay Buchholz was hit hard in his first start of the second half, allowing four runs on 10 hits. Though he was hit hard at times, Buchholz managed to limit the damage and escape a couple of jams. He lasted six innings, striking out three and, for the fourth time in five starts since coming off the disabled list, he didn’t walk a single batter.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX:

- Brock Holt drove in the Red Sox’ first run of the evening,

Holt [as of RBI in B2] 16-for-47 with runners in scoring position – RBI single between the third baseman and shortstop in the bottom of the second tied the game at one…9-for-25 with RISP and two out

Stephen Drew had a couple of hits on the evening, including a ground-rule double that bounced into the Red Sox bullpen. Though the hits have not been coming frequently for Drew, four of his last seven hits have gone for extra bases, and he’s slugging .533 since he homered in back-to-back games of a doubleheader on July 5.

- The Red Sox were able to control the running game of the Royals, who finished the first half with an American League-leading 79 stolen bases. David Ross caught Hosmer, the only runner who tried to steal, in the first inning. He’s thrown out [29] percent of runners on the year.

- Koji Uehara earned his 19th save, stranding a runner on second in the ninth inning.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX:

- It was relatively smooth sailing for Buchholz through the first three innings; he allowed a run in the first, but was able to limit the damage and retired seven straight through the end of the third. But the heart of the Royals lineup tagged Buchholz for two runs in the fourth with a barrage of four straight hits to open the inning. Buchholz was able to induce a couple of ground balls and retire the next three batters, but the Royals tacked on another run an inning later.

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was troublesome for Buchholz all night, going 3-for-3 with a double and a pair of RBIs against the Red Sox right-hander. Hosmer had been hitless in four at-bats against Buchholz coming into the game.

However, Buchholz continued to show improved command. He’s allowed just one walk in 35 2/3 innings since coming off the disabled list (as compared to 26 strikeouts). For some context – Buchholz had walked 18 in 24 1/3 innings in his last five games before hitting the DL, which includes that eight-walk catastrophe against the Braves on May 26.

- David Ortiz was stymied by starter James Shields, going 0-for-3 against the Royals starter. He popped out on the first pitch he saw from Shields, fouling out to the catcher with one out and a runner on first. He also popped out to the infield in his second at-bat, a high fly that almost resulted in a collision around the pitcher’s mound. He also grounded into a double play.

The rough night for Ortiz is especially unusual seeing as how he’s hit Shields very well in the past, batting .302/.380/.603 with three home runs and 10 doubles in 63 at-bats prior to Friday night.

Ortiz was happy to see Shields out of the game, though. He finished the night 1-for-4 with a double, a line shot down the right field line off of reliever Kelvin Herrera, though he was caught between second and third a batter later when he got a bad read on a ground ball up the middle that was snared by the pitcher.

 

 

Blog Author: 
Katie Morrison

While the Red Sox only managed to post a 9-12 record in the 21 games that he played this season in the majors, there’€™s no denying that Shane Victorino brings a certain amount of panache to the table that the Red Sox have sufficiently lacked this

Shane Victorino could be activated for Saturday's game against Kansas City. (AP)

Shane Victorino could be activated for Saturday’s game against Kansas City. (AP)

While the Red Sox only managed to post a 9-12 record in the 21 games that he played this season in the majors, there’€™s no denying that Shane Victorino brings a certain amount of panache to the table that the Red Sox have sufficiently lacked this season.

Whether it be his proficiency in patrolling right field (25.0 UZR in 2013, first amongst all right fields in AL ), talent at the plate (.294/.351/.451 line last season) or skills on the basepaths (23-for-26 in stolen base attempts with Boston), Victorino has certainly left a void on the roster during the 74 games that he’€™s missed this season with hamstring and back issues.

“€œWe’€™ve missed his energy, we’€™ve missed his talents, his in-game decision, his instincts on the basepaths, we’€™ve missed a very good player for a majority of the year,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell before Friday’€™s game against the Royals.

However, it appears that the 33-year-old outfielder will not be sidelined for much longer, as Farrell stated that there’€™s a definite scenario that he could be activated before Saturday’€™s game. Victorino played all nine innings of Triple-A Pawtucket’€™s game against Buffalo Thursday, going 2-for-4 while showing no hesitancy to test his hamstring both out on the field and on the basepaths.

“He came out of last night in good shape physically, he ran the bases aggressively, went first to third a couple of different times, slid headfirst, a couple of base hits, made three plays in right field, so last night was a very good night for him and we anticipate him getting through tonight in a similar fashion physically and there’€™s a scenario which has him active for us tomorrow,” Farrell said.

Other Red Sox notes:

Will Middlebrooks is also inching closer to returning to Boston, as Farrell noted Thursday that the ailing third baseman will resume his rehab with Pawtucket Friday and could potentially see some time in left field as well. Middlebrooks, who has posted a line of .232/.283/.339 in 17 games with the PawSox, could potentially be back up with the club before they embark on a crucial seven-game road trip against AL East opponents Monday, according to Farrell.

“€œWe’€™re hopeful Will is fully healed over the things that he’€™s been battling – the wrist, the finger -€“ and he gets back to us a productive player,”€ Farrell said.”œI can’€™t tell you sitting here right now that that would be tomorrow.”

When asked whether Middlebrooks could return before the upcoming road trip, Farrell added: “That’€™s possible, but I think with either move [for Middlebrooks or Victorino], there’€™s corresponding moves and we’€™ve got to work through those.”

– The Red Sox have a potential season-deciding stretch coming up to open up the second half, as 13 of Boston’€™s next 16 games come against AL East opponents. While the Red Sox sit 9 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East and have just a 5.8 percent chance of making the playoffs (according to FanGraphs), both Farrell and catcher David Ross said that they were encouraged with how the Red Sox played entering the break and expressed enthusiasm of continuing theie success going forward.

“€œWe’€™ve played better, and I think it’€™s still going to start with who’€™s on the mound on a given night and how they keep the game under control, and that will be the case as we begin the second half,” Farrell said.

“We know we’€™ve got an uphill battle, but we can’€™t look at the big picture,”€ Ross said. “We’€™ll try to be a team that brings our A-game every night, play the best we can that night to beat that team and we prepare to beat the Kansas City Royals today and win or lose, we try to come back and do the same thing tomorrow.”

Ross continued: “I think [it'€™s] just getting back to playing consistently good baseball. I thought our at-bats cleaned up towards the end of the first half. We’€™ve been getting solid pitching all year, I think that’€™s one of our strong points of our team, but I think we’€™re excited.”

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

David Ross will be behind the plate to catch Clay Buchholz in the opener of the second half. Stephen Drew — a career 5-for-8 against Royals starter James Shields — will start at shortstop, with Xander Bogaerts at third, Brock Holt in right field, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center and Daniel Nava in left. Mookie Betts will sit.

For a complete batter vs. pitcher breakdown, click here.

RED SOX LINEUP

Brock Holt RF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

David Ortiz DH

Mike Napoli 1B

Daniel Nava LF

Xander Bogaerts 3B

Stephen Drew SS

David Ross C

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Clay Buchholz SP

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
Shane Victorino played nine innings for the first time since going on the DL in May. (AP)

Shane Victorino played nine innings for the first time since going on the DL in May. (AP)

A (very) brief look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Thursday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-2 WIN VS. BUFFALO (BLUE JAYS)

(BOX)

– Right fielder Shane Victorino played a full nine innings for the first time in this rehab assignment while also collecting his first hits, going 2-for-4 and scoring a pair of runs. The Sox want to see Victorino play nine innings in back-to-back games before activating him, and so Friday’s contest will represent a key marker in his rehab.

– Left-hander Drake Britton had one of his best outings in months, earning the save with a perfect ninth inning that included a pair of strikeouts. After a stretch of five straight outings without a strikeout, Britton now has four strikeouts in his last two outings spanning three innings.

– Left fielder Alex Hassan went 2-for-3 with a homer and a walk, Since returning to Pawtucket from the big leagues, he’s looked like a big leaguer playing against Triple-A competition, leading the International League in average (.375) and OBP (.457) while slugging .643 with four homers and 21 extra-base hits in 30 games. For the year, he’s now hitting .284/.377/.447.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 3-2 LOSS AT NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS)

(BOX)

– Right-hander Luis Diaz allowed two runs in five innings while punching out seven. He allowed seven hits (including a solo homer and double) while walking two. In his last three starts, the 22-year-old has punched out 22 in 17 2/3 innings — a sharp contrast to the 11 punchouts he accumulated in his first three Double-A starts, which spanned 20 innings. He’s allowed two or fewer runs in five of his six starts with Portland, and he’s walked two or fewer in each of his six outings. Diaz is 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA in Double-A and 9-5 with a 3.08 overall between Salem and Portland.

Michael Almanzar drove in a pair of runs for the second straight day, going 1-for-4 with a homer. Even as the 23-year-old works to regain his timing following a three-month stretch in a Rule 5 twilight zone of virtual inactivity (9 games) in the Orioles system, he’s made some immediate impact, hitting .271/.364/.438.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 5-3 LOSS VS. FREDERICK (ORIOLES)

(BOX)

– Right-hander Pat Light saw his streak of three straight excellent outings come to a halt, allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings. Light struck out two and got eight outs on the ground. Prior to Thursday, he’d allowed two earned runs in 17 innings over his previous three starts.

Carson Blair went 1-for-4 with a triple, extending his streak of consecutive games reaching base by hit or walk to 27. If the catcher had enough plate appearances to qualify, his .402 OBP would rank second in the Carolina League.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 6-4 LOSS AT ROME (BRAVES)

(BOX)

– Right-hander Jake Dahlstrand, working in the piggyback starter role, allowed one unearned run on two hits and a walk while punching out four in three innings. In his last seven appearances, the 22-year-old has allowed one or no earned runs, forging a 0.71 ERA in that time.

Manuel Margot has been sidelined with knee soreness and is considered day-to-day.

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 4-3 LOSS AT BATAVIA (MARLINS)

(BOX)

ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 1-0 LEAD (SUSPENDED AFTER 3 INNINGS)

(BOX)

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 4-1 LOSS VS. DSL CARDINALS

(BOX)

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
Rob Bradford takes the place of Kevin Millar and disucsses the sense of urgency in the Red Sox clubhouse and possible moves at the trade deadline.

[0:05:57] ... changed how they viewed the trade deadline were worth thinking about trading Ervin Santana and decided not to. So lot I think it is fairly realistic -- guys. I've never seen an instance never -- where ...
[0:08:28] ... I do I can't let's go -- -- bringing up a little Cole Hamels is yeah. First of all do you buy into is 32 is there any. Fired the smoke. I have Padilla Cole Hamels is that the reds like exacted on him awhile ago. And and you know just to see where the Phillies were -- ...
[0:09:07] ... it's a realistic thing for the Red Sox to be trading for Cole Hamels mostly because the Phillies really. Don't wanna do it if they don't wanna do it that you probably go over -- if you wanna get in on it. So let me ask you it and this is sort of multiple choice ranking. Got a question. What does Cole Hamels or another pitcher of equivalent caliber you have three choices. You play it out to the end and you try to sign Jon Lester. Or you'd trade Jon Lester now and get another pitcher in advance. Or you'll allow yourself to just say we're gonna lose Jon Lester and we take the compensatory pick what's -- today the NC what's. All of you leg out PP. And what I mean by that I think they have to put. Someone at their best foot forward. In regards to -- -- Jon -- before the end of the month and in so far that it has been a science they're gonna do that. It is that you got to find out we're Jon Lester that and if there's no hope in and out of our. Trending toward thinking that they just don't wanna go to waved on -- is gonna end up. There's no hope you have to at least explored trade -- yet. Get something back. And I left it lets you still think you're in the last few gonna run -- that we need Jon Lester for the stretch. Even though we know he's gonna walk because that topic can be valuable guy they go back to. From ...
[0:11:16] ... back in spring training or not can be last place so celebratory Jon Lester. This has to be considered now because they are in last place. Are absolutely no it would never recovered patient them. I've ...






The Red Sox have reason to feel positive going into the unofficial second half of the season. The Sox won five of their last six games before the All-Star break and took three out of four against the lowly Astros last weekend. The success was capped off by an 11-0 win on Sunday highlighted by a complete-game shutout by Clay Buchholz. The run moved the Red Sox into a tie for last place with the Rays in the American League East standings at 43-52.

The Royals lost some ground in the in the AL Central race after dropping three out of four to the division-leading Tigers before the break last weekend. At 48-46, Kansas City is 6 1/2 games behind Detroit and 2 1/2 back in the wild card race. When they’re at their best, the Royals are led by younger hitters in Salvador Perez, who leads the team with 11 home runs, and shortstop Alcides Escobar, who’s batting .283 for the year.

Kansas City is led on the mound by right-hander James Shields, who’s starting Friday night. Shields (9-5, 3.65 ERA) has battled some inconsistencies as of late but was back to form in his last two starts, allowing two runs and 10 hits in his last 14 innings.

The Sox and Royals haven’t met this season. Kansas City won five out of seven meetings against the Red Sox in 2013.

Here are the pitching matchups for the three-game set.

Friday: Buchholz (4-5, 5.42 ERA) vs. Shields (9-5, 3.65 ERA)
Saturday: Rubby De La Rosa (2-2, 2.89 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (5-9, 2.76)
Sunday: Jon Lester (9-7, 2.65 ERA) vs. Yordano Ventura (7-7, 3.22 ERA)

WHO’S HOT: RED SOX

– Buchholz continued his surprise turnaround last Sunday with a dominant performance against the Astros entering the All-Star break. The righty allowed just three hits and struck out 12 over nine shutout innings in an 11-0 Sox win. Buchholz is 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA in four starts since coming off the disabled list last month. He has 23 strikeouts to just one walk and has shrunk his ERA from 7.02 to 5.42 in those starts.

– Rookie Christian Vazquez has made the most of his opportunity since being called up to the big leagues last Wednesday. The 23-year-old is hitting .455/.417/.727 in 11 at-bats over three major league games. He had three runs, five hits and five RBIs in two games against the Astros last weekend and received much praise from his starting pitchers for his work behind the plate.

Brock Holt continues to find way to impress the Red Sox and their fans this season. Not only did Holt hit .448 in the six games before the All-Star break and drive in the winning run against the White Sox July 9, but he also upped his super-utility status after playing a pair of games at shortstop.

WHO’S HOT: ROYALS

– The Red Sox may be getting Shields at the wrong time. After a stretch of allowing three or more runs in eight of nine starts, Shields, most known around Boston as the former ace of the Rays, had two of his strongest starts of the season heading into the break. He’s had 18 strikeouts to just one walk in his last two outings while scattering 10 hits over 14 innings.

– Perez continues to be one of the leaders at the plate for the Royals as well. He’s hitting .283/.329/.437 with a team-high 11 home runs and 36 RBIs. He made his first start in the All-Star Game on Tuesday for the AL squad. It was his second straight All-Star selection.

– At 32 years old, Omar Infante continues to be as reliable as they come. Infante hit .464 in the seven games before the break. He’s hitting .276/.317/.698 with a team-high 46 RBIs for Kansas City this season.

WHO’S NOT: RED SOX

– Xander Bogaerts showed some signs of life offensively for the Red Sox in Houston but has yet to regain that consistency at the plate or in the field. Prior to his 2-for-4 effort last Saturday, Bogaerts was hitting .105/.142/.140 in his previous 30 games. The Sox playing Holt at shortstop for Stephen Drew against a pair of lefties may also be a sign that Bogaerts will remain at third rather than his preferred shortstop position anytime soon.

Mookie Betts is still trying to find his way at the plate. The rookie had a pair of doubles in the Sox’ 5-4 win over Chicago on July 9, but those have been his only hits in his last 11 at-bats. Betts is still adjusting to being a major league outfielder as well. Betts got a glove on Houston’s Jason Castro‘s deep fly ball last Saturday but failed to come up with it. Instead, it was a key home run in the Sox’ 3-2 loss.

– Pitching has rarely been an issue for the Red Sox this season, but Burke Badenhop has turned into a liability out of the bullpen as of late. He’s allowed seven runs in his last 1 2/3 innings, a far cry from the effectiveness he showed back in June.

WHO’S NOT: ROYALS

– After a career year at the plate in 2013, Eric Hosmer has had a down fourth season in the major leagues. The 24-year-old is hitting .268/.315/.382 after posting a career-high .302 batting average last season. His numbers this season had been worse, but he’s recently been lifted by a 13-game hitting streak. This weekend’s series against the Red Sox could be crucial in determining whether or not he can stay to form. While not relatively significant, Hosmer has had a down year at first base as well, committing six errors through 94 games in 2014. His career-high is nine committed in 2012.

Mike Moustakas is also having the worst season of his young career. Through 75 games, the 25-year-old is at a career-low in batting average (.192) and on-base percentage (.257). Moustakas has had just one multi-hit game in July.

– As designated hitter for all 93 games played this season, Billy Butler hasn’t possessed the type of power expected of him or any player at that position. Not only is his .273 batting average a career-low, but he’s only hit three homers and 36 RBIs in 341 at-bats this season. The 28-year-old Butler had a 29 home run, 107-RBI season in 2012, dropped off in 2013 and is at his worst in 2014.

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas

John Farrell made a name for himself as one of the best pitching coaches in the game when when landed on Terry Francona‘s staff in 2007.