Red Sox third-round pick Austin Rei officially signed Tuesday. (Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

Red Sox third-round pick Austin Rei officially signed Tuesday. (Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

To say it’s been an up-and-down few months for Red Sox third-round pick Austin Rei would be an understatement.

Rei went from the most frustrated he’s ever been back in February, to now fulfilling his dream of being a professional baseball player.

After a 41-17 season during his sophomore year and a trip to the NCAA Regionals, the catcher couldn’t wait for his junior season with the Washington Huskies, especially having two years under his belt in the Pac-12 where he hit .314 overall with two home runs and 28 RBIs as a sophomore.

But, just five games into this past season Rei suffered a UCL injury in his left thumb on Feb. 19 and was limited to just 25 games.

“It was probably the most frustrating thing baseball related, injury related, thing ever,” Rei said in Lowell last weekend before he officially signed Tuesday. “I knew I had good sophomore season. Going into this year I was extremely excited about my opportunities — both for myself and for the University of Washington. It was the end of the fifth game of the season. Just so early. We didn’t know what we had, I personally didn’t know what I had.

“I was out eight weeks. I was in a little cast. Had to use a bag when I was in the shower, but I couldn’t watch batting practice. It was so frustrating for me not being able to hit. Eight long weeks before I could hit and 12 before I could catch. It was some of the longest weeks ever. It was pretty bad.”

With the team not doing as well as the Huskies and Rei would have liked and just how hard it was watching from the sidelines, he returned for the final month of the season, even if it was a little too soon, which he admitted was the case.

“I absolutely did,” he said. “We weren’t doing so well. After my sophomore season, coming off a 40-win season, it was nice to be used to winning. Losing as many as we did and the way that we did, all the one-run losses, it was tough not to be able to contribute. I definitely think I rushed back into it, but I had all the confidence in the world that I was safe in the hands of my trainers, strength coaches and all that. They were really helpful with me.”

Despite coming back from the injury, Rei still put up very respectable numbers, playing in 20 of his 25 games after the injury. Overall, he hit .330 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs on the year.

Going into the season some pegged Rei as a potential first-round pick. While he said coming back from the injury too soon likely didn’t affect his draft selection, maybe the injury in general did, which he completely understood.

“No. I really don’t,” he said when asked if coming back too soon caused him to drop in the draft. “I came back pretty strong right away, so I don’t think it affected my draft stock in a negative way. I think the injury in general might have. It’s completely understandable. It’s a big question mark, especially for a catcher — a thumb injury. I couldn’t really feel more healthy right now, so I am really excited about it.”

Rei was selected in the third-round, No. 81 overall by the Red Sox. He’s excited to join an organization which puts as much emphasis on the defensive part of catching as the Sox do because that is what he’s known for and excels at.

The right-handed hitter said growing up he idolized Ivan Rodriguez.

“Defensive guys, sometimes they don’t get the recognition,” Rei said. “[Yadier Molina] does it better than anyone out there and he gets a lot of recognition, but there are so many other good catchers that get overlooked I think. I hold a lot of pride in my defense and whatever come offensively is just a bonus.”

After being drafted back on June 9, Rei finally was able to travel to the East Coast and visit Fenway Park as part of the signing process. While at Fenway last week he had all kinds of medical tests done during the day and then was able to take in a Red Sox-Orioles game at night. It was his second time at Fenway.

“I actually took a tour after the Field of Dreams tournament at Cooperstown,” Rei said. “We drove down to Boston and took a tour before the game started, so I actually didn’t get to see a game. A couple days ago I saw any doctor associated with the Red Sox. Took a couple MRI’s to make sure everything was good. A couple physical tests, but I got to see really every part of Fenway. Inside, outside. The interns had a suite box up top next to the press box and that was very cool. That was awesome.”

Before and during the game he also got to go down into the clubhouse and meet some of the players, including David Ortiz, which was something that meant a great deal to him. He stressed how the players acted just like any other baseball player, not ones in the major leagues.

“Watched the game from the clubhouse with Papi — that was pretty cool,” Rei said. “[Mike] Napoli, Joe Kelly, Daniel Nava. It was cool to meet those guys. They are unbelievably good at what they do, but they are normal guys. They are completely normal guys. We see them on TV and they are God’s to us in a way and they are a couple stages ahead of us and obviously playing in the best league and the best game in the world. They are incredibly good at what they do and I absolutely look up to them in that regard.”

While just a few short months ago it seemed things couldn’t get any worse, now it’s almost like they can’t get any better — being at Fenway Park as an official member of the Red Sox.

“It was absolutely amazing,” Rei said of being at Fenway. “Knowing who has played there. Who has hit balls over the Monster. All the guys that have come through the organization since it started, it’s surreal to think about it and it’s pretty darn cool to be a Red Sox.”

Teddy Stankiewicz

Teddy Stankiewicz

TOUGH LUCK TEDDY

For all the tough luck that High-A Salem stater Teddy Stankiewicz has had to deal with this season, it couldn’t have happened to a player with a better attitude.

The 2013 second-round pick has a 2-8 record, but has pitched much better than the record would indicate as his Salem team hasn’t given him much run support. In nine of his 14 starts he’s allowed two earned runs or less, but is just 2-6 in those games.

“That’s just part of the game,” Stankiewicz said. “You can throw well some games and give up some runs and some games you’re just not going to get run support, which is completely normal. You can’t get runs every single time. It’s not really a problem, just how the game is.”

For the year, the right-hander has a 4.00 ERA as he’s a contact pitcher not known for racking up the strikeouts totaling just 39 over 83 1/3 innings. Even though the wins aren’t there, he’s pleased with how things have gone.

“I feel like I am doing well,” he said. “Just putting a few more little things together. Mechanically, I’m not pulling out and making sure I am facing the plate. Everything else is coming along good. I feel like I am throwing well, just sometimes it just doesn’t happen, which is baseball. It’s going to be a good rest of the season.”

The biggest adjustment Stankiewicz said he had to make since turning pro was his mental game. Without being mentally tough, it’s tough to be a successful professional pitcher.

“For anybody being mental is going to get your over the top faster than other people,” he said. “Being in professional baseball you have to be as mentally tough as anyone. You’re going to have outings where you feel great and get ripped — it’s just how it is. Then days where you don’t feel good you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ It just happens. You have to be mentally tough, stay in the game and be ready at all times.”

Stankiewicz is now in his second full season in the Red Sox organization, moving up a level each year. He said it’s something he doesn’t think about because once he does there’s a good chance he won’t be at his best.

“I am hoping to get [to the majors] one day, but if you’re thinking about that it’s going to get you off track,” he said. “You have to think about what you’re doing right now and if you get moved up, you get moved up fantastic, but you can’t think of ‘What if I get moved up?’ You can’t think like that. You have to focus on what you’re doing and not let your mind wonder off.”

For more Red Sox minor league coverage, listen to this week’s Red Sox Farm Report Podcast featuring special guest Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-43): L, 8-4, at Rochester (Twins)

— Knuckleballer Steven Wright allowed six runs, although only three of those runs earned, in five innings of work as Rochester snapped a 3-3 tie with three unearned runs in the fifth inning and rolled to complete a four-game series sweep of the PawSox. Wright’€™s final line was: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO (95 pitches, 64 strikes). Wright’€™s flutter ball also caused two wild pitches and two passed balls charged to catcher Matt Spring.

Wright was on the mound in the fifth with a runner aboard with two outs when the game’€™s pivotal error was charged to first baseman Allen Craig as he ranged towards the foul line a few paces to his left but could not handle a hard-spinning grounder. A run scored and the inning continued, with three hits and two more runs to follow, ending Wright’€™s evening.

The 30-year-old Wright, who also allowed a home run in the third inning, has made six starts for Pawtucket this year, in addition to having three different stints in Boston. Wright is 2-3 with the PawSox with a 3.00 ERA over 39 innings, striking out 34 while walking 13. In Boston as a starter, Wright allowed three earned runs or less in all four of his starts and he has now done the same in five of his six starts with Pawtucket.

— Center fielder Rusney Castillo reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk, while also scoring a run on a Travis Shaw single in the third inning. The 27-year-old Castillo now has hits in five of his six games since re-joining Pawtucket on June 24, with four of the six contests being multi-hit games. Castillo’€™s season-long batting average in Triple-A sits at .310 to go with a .364 on-base percentage.

— Second baseman Jeff Bianchi also reached base three times, as the 28-year-old utility man went 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk. Bianchi’s triple was down the right field line to leadoff the third inning and he came home to score on a Quintin Berry ground out. Over 21 games with the PawSox this year, Bianchi is hitting .311 with a .382 on-base percentage.

Marco Hernandez

Marco Hernandez

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (28-51): L, 2-0, vs. New Hampshire (Blue Jays)

Eastern League All-Star selections were announced on Thursday, with Portland getting five players selected to the game set for Wednesday July 15, to be played at the Sea Dogs’€™ home park, Hadlock Field. Portland’€™s five All-Stars are: shortstop Marco Hernandez, second baseman Carlos Asuaje, third baseman Jantzen Witte, RHP William Cuevas, and LHP Robby Scott. Portland manager Billy McMillon and his staff will lead the Eastern Division at the event.

— Hernandez continued his All-Star caliber first half on Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with a double to raise his average to .313, currently sixth highest in the league. Hernandez has hit in 13 of his last 14 games, as well as 22 of his past 25. It was also the 18th double of the year for Hernandez, five off the Eastern League pace.

Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers joined the WEEI.com Farm Report podcast on Wednesday and raved about Hernandez, who was acquired by Boston last year as the player to be named later sent from the Chicago Cubs in the Felix Doubront trade.

“€œGreat addition,”€ Hyers said. “[The] first time I met him was spring training, and he came in with a great attitude. Very confident. Another guy who loves to play, incredible work ethic. Good teammate. [His success] is not a surprise, I saw a really quick bat, a guy who didn’€™t swing at a lot of bad pitches in spring training. [He] had a plan going into the season really trying to work gap-to-gap [and] keep the ball up the middle, and I think that focus and that plan really helped him adapting to Double-A. Recently he’€™s really picked it up and been really consistent. You look at his splits, being a left-handed hitter vs. left handed pitching, it doesn’€™t fall off. He hits lefties, righties, and the last month has been really consistent for us.”

Hernandez this season is hitting .315 against left-handed pitching and .312 against right-handed pitching.

— RHP Luis Diaz hurled a quality start, but got no run support as his record dropped to 0-7 (6.37 ERA) with a final line of: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO (93 pitches, 53 strikes). Diaz, 23, has allowed three earned runs or less in four of his last five starts. The 6-foot-3 Diaz was promoted to Portland in 2014 and made 13 starts for the Sea Dogs, going 3-4 with a 3.72 ERA. However, Diaz won three of his first four starts with Portland in 2014 and he has now gone 24 starts without a victory dating to last year.

Ty Buttrey

Ty Buttrey

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (40-37): L, 8-7, at Myrtle Beach (Cubs)

— RHP Ty Buttrey (Boston’€™s No. 27 prospect at MLB.com) had his worst start of the season in terms of runs allowed giving up seven, five of them earned, in five innings of work as Salem dropped their fifth straight game. Buttrey (6-2, 3.13 ERA) got through two innings scoreless, but ran into problems in the third and fourth as he allowed a combined five hits and two walks, to go with hitting a batter, a balk, and a wild pitch. A fielding error by first baseman Jordan Betts in the third inning didn’€™t help matters, as Betts could not field a slow, high chopper that he was charging.

It could have been even worse for Buttrey as it appeared Salem got the benefit of an erroneous runners’€™ interference call at the plate on a throw home from shortstop Mauricio Dubon to catcher Jordan Procyshen, who dropped the ball before a sliding runner could get to the plate. The runner was ruled out and in two ensuing showdowns with the home plate umpire, Myrtle Beach had both their manager and assistant coach ejected.

Buttrey, 22, had allowed just two earned runs over his last three starts, a total of 18 innings with 14 strikeouts over that span in late June. A fourth-round draft pick by Boston in 2012, Buttrey has now made 10 starts for Salem after being promoted from Single-A Greenville in late May.

— Right fielder Kevin Heller had a big night at the plate, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs. Heller had a two-run single in the third, plus run-scoring singles in the seventh and ninth as he raised his average to .310 on the season. Heller has an eight-game hitting streak going, which he’€™s raised his average 44 points. A 40th round draft pick by Boston out of Amherst College in 2012, the 25-year-old Heller began the year in Double-A Portland but was demoted after hitting just .132 in 13 games.

— Three of Boston’€™s former international signees had strong offensive nights as well, as the Salem offense piled up 15 hits in the loss:

Third baseman Jose Vinicio, a 21-year-old international signee by Boston in 2009 for $1.95 million, went 3-for-4 with a double and now has a seven-game hit streak over which he’€™s raised his average 26 points to .294.

Second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston’€™s No. 16 prospect at MLB.com), a 19-year-old international signee by Boston in 2012 for $575,000, smacked two doubles and now has 19 two-baggers on the season, tied for third-best in the Carolina League.

DH Tzu-Wei Lin, a 21-year-old international signee by Boston in 2011 by Boston for $2 million, was 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to five games and pick up his fourth multi-hit game over that span. Lin has raised his average from .267 to .283.

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (41-36): L, 4-3 in 10 innings, at Hickory (Rangers)

— Third baseman Rafael Devers (Boston’€™s No. 4 prospect at MLB.com) gave Greenville a short-lived lead in the 10th inning with a solo home run, his sixth of the season, before Hickory came back with two runs in the bottom of the tenth for the win. Devers, 18, finished 2-for-5 and is hitting .305, 10th best in the South Atlantic League.

— Shortstop Deiner Lopez had a chance to end the game in the bottom of the 10th, but could not cleanly field a potential double-play ball and had to settle for one out at first base. A few batters later, RHP Ryan Harris allowed a two-run walkoff bloop single to left that fell between three defenders and Harris was charged with both a blown save and a loss.

— Yoan Moncada (Boston’€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) went 1-for-4 with a walk, playing second base and hitting in the leadoff spot of the order. Moncada, a 20-year-old Cuban who was signed in March for $31.5 million, did strike out twice, but he has now reached base in five of his last six games and has raised his average from .200 to .230 over that span.

Tim Hyers also weighed in on Moncada’€™s progress on the WEEI.com Farm Report podcast this week.

“We’€™ve talked about managing the strike zone, managing your swing, preparing every day to be a professional and to go and compete,”€ Hyers said. “I think he’€™s learning a lot about himself, learning some of his strengths and some of his weaknesses. The biggest adjustment I’€™ve seen with his balance, body control, and overall control at the plate, which is getting better, and some of his numbers are starting to turn around now because of that. It’€™s a big learning curve for him because it’€™s that day-to-day battle, new competition, and he’€™s responded well. Working really hard. He’€™s starting to ask a lot of the right questions in seeing how the game is played over here.”

Victor Acosta

Victor Acosta

SHORT SEASON LOWELL SPINNERS (10-3): L, 5-2, at Connecticut (Tigers)

— Third baseman Victor Acosta singled, to go with a stolen base, and now has hits in all nine games he’€™s played this season as he’€™s started, going 15-for-35 to lead the New York-Penn league with a .429 average. A 19-year-old Venezuelan, Acosta was 6-for-16 in the playoffs last year with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox as he helped that team win a championship. In 2013, Acosta hit eight home runs for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox, the most by a Boston prospect in that league since statistics started being kept in 2006.

— It was a sloppy defensive effort for Lowell on Wednesday, as Acosta picked up his third error of the season, and more significantly errors by right fielder Jordon Austin and first baseman Josh Ockimey in the fifth inning led to three unearned Connecticut runs, charged to starter Daniel Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, a 19-year-old, 6-foot-5 RHP, Gonzalez finished four innings with five runs allowed on six hits, one a home run. Through three starts this year Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA.

— Center fielder Luis Alexander Basabe had the only multi-hit game for Lowell, going 2-for 4 along with swiping his third stolen base. Basabe, signed along with his twin brother Luis Alejandro Basabe for $450,000 each out of Venezuela in 2012, has hits in 9 of his last 10 games and is hitting .286 after an 0-for-8 start to the year.

ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (9-0): W, 3-1, vs. GCL Orioles

— Third baseman Rafael Oliveras went 2-for 3, picking up RBIs on a sacrifice fly and a ground out, to go with a run scored. A 20-year-old Puerto Rican who was drafted in round 35 by Boston in 2013, Olvieras has four multi-hit games out of his seven games played this season, and is off to a 10-for-23 (.435) start to the year with five RBIs and seven runs scored.

— RHP Carlos Caceres pitched three scoreless innings of relief and struck out five batters, giving him seven strikeouts in six innings with the GCL Red Sox this season. Last year with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox Caceres made 17 appearances and went 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA, striking out 25 over 28 2/3 innings with six saves.

Check out the weekly WEEI.com Farm Report podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird
Wade Miley

Wade Miley

In the final game of a four-game set, Wade Miley will take the hill for the Red Sox against rookie left-hander Matt Boyd of the Blue Jays. Winners of the first two games before Wednesday’s loss, the Sox look to clinch a series victory on Thursday.

Miley will take the mound at Rogers Centre the owner of a 7-7 record and 4.38 ERA. He has been solid in the middle of the Red Sox rotation recently and has posted a 3.96 FIP, better than his ERA would indicate.

In his last outing on Saturday against Tampa Bay, Miley did not receive much help from his offense en route to a losing effort. The left-hander hurled 6 1/3 innings and allowed only two runs on five hits. He struck out eight, tying his season high. However, the Sox dropped the game by a score of 4-1 to the Rays.

The two runs allowed by Miley came off the bat of Jake Elmore, who knocked a home run into Tropicana Field‘€™s 162 Landing and gave the Rays a 2-0 lead they did not relinquish.

“I think we did a good job early and really the whole time,” Miley said following the game. “Me and [catcher] Sandy [Leon] did a good job of mixing up the pitch selection and we were able to execute. It was really just that one slider. I was trying to bounce it, and I just left it up and [Elmore] did a good job.”

After being acquired from Arizona in the offseason, the 28-year-old struggled to get his feet under him in Boston at the beginning of the year. Since then, he has settled in nicely as a mid-rotation starter.

In his last nine starts dating back to May 13, Miley has posted a record of 6-3 and a 3.07 ERA across 55 2/3 innings of work. Miley has been the best of the starting pitchers the Red Sox added this winter, clearing the admittedly low bar set by Justin Masterson (5.58 ERA) and Rick Porcello (5.54 ERA).

Matt Boyd

Matt Boyd

In his only career appearance, Boyd took the loss against the Rangers on Saturday. The 24-year-old tossed 6 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on nine hits. He struck out seven along the way, as the Blue Jays got shut out 4-0.

The southpaw was done in by the long ball, allowing three solo home runs to Rangers hitters.

“Definitely something to build off of,” Boyd said after his debut. “You have a goal at the start, you always want to get deep in the game and put your team in a position to win the game. Some of those home runs, I know I could’ve made a few pitches a little differently and just executed them a little better.”

Boyd was selected by Toronto in the sixth round of the 2013 draft and made his way quickly through the farm system. He started 12 games at Double-A New Hampshire this season, then made two starts for Triple-A Buffalo before getting called to the major league squad.

Between the two stops in the minors in 2015, Boyd was impressive, earning a 7-2 record and 1.26 ERA over 85 2/3 innings pitched. He posted a combined WHIP of .805 and opponents hit just .171 against him.

Red Sox vs. Boyd (LHP)

No Red Sox hitters have faced Boyd.

Blue Jays vs. Miley (LHP)

Russell Martin (12 plate appearances): .250 AVG/.250 OBP/.333 SLG, 1 double, 1 RBI, 6 strikeouts

Jose Reyes (8): .500/.500/.500, 1 RBI

Edwin Encarnacion (5): .750/.800/1.250, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Kevin Pillar (4): .333/.250/.667, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Jose Bautista (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Chris Colabello (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Josh Donaldson (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Justin Smoak is 1-for-3 against Miley.

Devon Travis is 0-for-3 with a strikeout against Miley.

Danny Valencia is 2-for-3 with an RBI against Miley.

Ryan Goins is 0-for-2 with a strikeout in his career against Miley.

Tedd Redmond walked in his only plate appearance against Miley.

Ezequiel Carrera and Dioner Navarro have not faced Miley.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

It's hard to choose the worst Red Sox contract between (from left) Pablo Sandoval, Rick Porcello, and Hanley Ramirez. (Getty Images)Like choosing a favorite Beatle (as long as it's not Ringo) or flavor of Ben and Jerry's (Cookie Dough!



TORONTO — If losing 11-2 to the Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon wasn’t bad enough, along came the punctuation for the Red Sox‘ blowout loss.

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

TORONTO — If losing 11-2 to the Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon wasn’t bad enough, along came the punctuation for the Red Sox‘ blowout loss.

With two outs in the sixth inning and Josh Donaldson at third base, Edwin Encarnacion lofted a fly ball to center field, which Mookie Betts camped under. But instead of simply catching the ball and running into the dugout Betts launched a throw home.

Betts had become the second Red Sox outfielder in the last four games to lose track of the number of outs, this time thinking Donaldson was tagging up from third.

“I just lost focus for a second,” Betts explained. “At least I caught it, so that’s three outs.” When asked about the miscue again, the center fielder said, “It was three outs. Sometimes you have mental breakdowns, especially after a long game. I messed up.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell was a bit more pointed in his analysis of the play, having to watch Jackie Bradley Jr. make a similar mistake on the final out of Sunday’s win over the Rays.

“There’€™s no excuse for that,” said Farrell of Betts’ mistake. “Losing track of the outs in the inning is not something ‘€“ it can’€™t be accepted.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The Red Sox acquired Rick Porcello this winter in the hopes that he could be a stopper. In a sense he has delivered, except what he’s stopping is any hope of a winning streak.

 Jose Bautista circles the bases with Jose Reyes after homering on Wednesday. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Jose Bautista (left) circles the bases with Jose Reyes after homering on Wednesday. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Red Sox acquired Rick Porcello this winter in the hopes that he could be a stopper. In a sense he has delivered, except what he’s stopping is any hope of a winning streak.

In what goes down as his worst start in a season full of them, Porcello didn’t remotely give the Red Sox a chance on Wednesday afternoon in Toronto. The Blue Jays tagged him for seven hits and seven runs in just two innings, including three home runs. Porcello added three walks and a wild pitch for good measure, throwing just 44 pitches before being lifted to start the third in an 11-2 loss.

Porcello saw his ERA rise to 6.08, fourth-worst in baseball among full-time starters. He also halted the momentum the Red Sox had built by winning four of five and pulling within six games of first place in the AL East. He also denied the club its first four-game winning streak of the season.

And make no mistake, even on an afternoon when the offense managed to do nothing against crafty left-hander Mark Buehrle, this one was all on Porcello.

He allowed a line single to Jose Reyes leading off before Josh Donaldson followed with a bunt single leading off the game. Jose Bautista struck out looking, but Edwin Encarnacion didn’t get fooled, launching a three-run homer to left.

Porcello then hit catcher Russell Martin before Justin Smoak launched a two-run homer that made it 5-0. It could’ve been worse, but Porcello picked off Kevin Pillar following a double.

If the Red Sox harbored any illusions that Porcello had settled down, Bautista dispelled them in the second with a two-run homer to left-center.

That was it for Porcello. Robbie Ross replaced him to start the third and promptly allowed Smoak’s second homer of the day.

Offensively, the Red Sox were held in check by the soft tosses of Buehrle, who limited them to four hits and one run in seven innings, strike out seven.

Mookie Betts provided the Red Sox with their only offensive highlight with a solo homer in the eighth that made it 9-2, but by that point the damage had been done, courtesy of Porcello.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Justin Smoak entered the game hitting .261 with seven homers, and he improved on both of those numbers significantly by going 3-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Outfielder Mookie Betts smacked a solo homer in the seventh.

— Nothing else.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Porcello.

— Continuing a disturbing trend, Betts lost track of the outs in the outfield, just as Jackie Bradley Jr. had earlier on the trip, Hanley Ramirez did previously on the bases, and Wade Miley did on the mound.

— Reliever Jonathan Aro allowed six hits and three runs, including a two-run homer to Josh Donaldson, in three innings of mopup work.

— The Red Sox did nothing offensively with Buehrle.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Wednesday afternoon to talk about the attention drawn to Eduardo Rodriguez tipping pitches and the flexibility of Clay Buchholz‘s cont