Henry Owens didn't have it for the Red Sox on Sunday in Detroit. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Henry Owens didn’t have it for the Red Sox on Sunday in Detroit. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

DETROIT — Henry Owens had quite a travel odyssey to reach Comerica Park in time for Sunday’s start against the Tigers. Notified at 6 p.m. on Saturday, he was immediately scratched from his start with Triple-A Pawtucket in Scranton Wilkes-Barre and drove to Philadelphia, where he caught a 6:30 a.m. flight to Detroit.

If only the journey had been worth the effort.

Owens wasn’t ready for prime time in his return to the Red Sox rotation. Filling in for Eduardo Rodriguez (hamstring), Owens delivered the type of outing typical for his frustrating Red Sox career. He walked five, struck out six, and allowed a pair of mammoth home runs to Justin Upton.

All of that damage accounted for eight runs and the Red Sox never recovered in a 10-5 defeat.

The Red Sox now head to Tampa for four games after a 5-2 start to this road trip. They lost for just the second time in their last 10 games.

This one was over early. Owens navigated the first two innings on five strikeouts and two walks, but fell apart with two outs in the third. The pivotal moment came when manager John Farrell intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera in order to face the scorching J.D. Martinez, who poked an outside offering into the right field corner for a two-run double.

Upton followed with the first of his two three-run homers and that was the end of that.

The lone highlight for the Red Sox came in the seventh when rookie Andrew Benintendi blasted the first home run of his career over the right field fence as part of a four-run frame.

Closing Time note

The Red Sox snapped a streak of 10 straight games allowing no more than four runs.


— Benintendi’s first homer was a two-run shot on a picture-perfect swing in the seventh. He went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs and is hitting .328. His other hit was a triple.

— Catcher Sandy Leon remained red-hot, stroking two more hits and pushing his average to .386.

— DH David Ortiz stroked his league-leading 39th double.


— Owens went wrong. He walked the first batter of the game and then struggled with his command, even while piling up early strikeouts. Because he lacks an out pitch, it only felt like a matter of time before the Tigers got to Owens, and they did. He allowed six hits and eight runs in five innings.

— Oh how the mighty have fallen. Setup man Junichi Tazawa was pressed into service in a mop-up role. He allowed three hits and two runs in two innings.

— Mookie Betts went 0-for-3, snapping an eight-game hitting streak.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

DETROIT — Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez remains day-to-day with a sore left hamstring, and manager John Farrell hopes he’s able to avoid the disabled list.

John Farrell

John Farrell

DETROIT — Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez remains day-to-day with a sore left hamstring, and manager John Farrell hopes he’s able to avoid the disabled list.

Speaking before Sunday’s series finale in Detroit, Farrell said the team will progress cautiously with Rodriguez, who reported last-minute discomfort at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, just hours in advance of his scheduled start.

“We have to get him through a simulated game at this point, and hopefully that’s over the next couple of days while we’re in Tampa, just to test his hamstring more than the normal in-between side bullpens, which he threw with his normal intensity, for a side day,” Farrell said. “But where he had reluctance was thinking about and envisioning trying to be 100 percent and not having complete confidence or conviction with those pitches. With that mindset, took it out of his hands and made the adjustment for Henry [Owens] today.”

Owens had a whirlwind Saturday. The Red Sox informed him around 6 p.m. that he needed to get to Detroit. There were no late flights, so he drove to Philadelphia and flew into Detroit on Sunday morning at 6:30.

“Short notice, quick travel, 1:10 start,” Farrell said.

CLAY FROM STRETCH: With knuckleballer Steven Wright pushed back until at least Wednesday, and probably Friday, right-hander Clay Buchholz will start Tuesday. Farrell believes a move to pitching exclusively out of the stretch has keyed Buchholz’s resurgence.

“There was a lot of clamoring for quite a bit of time about Clay,” Farrell said. “We’ve always felt and maintained that there’s a talented guy here. Yeah, he needed work, he needed to gain some consistency and gain some confidence. I love the fact he’s simplified it by going to the stretch and the old adage of going to the bullpen to work out your issues. That’s playing out now. To his credit, he’s worked. He’s maybe not totally agreed with the move at times, but he’s coming out the backside a more consistent pitcher. His six innings the other day were a shot in the arm for us and hopefully something that he continues to build on in the short term.”

Buchholz sees the benefit, and also recognizes what it could mean down the road as far as proving he can pitch in relief.

“Having done it a little this year, it might’ve opened some other doors for later in my career if that’s the case,” he said.

GIVING UP CINCO OCHO: Reliever Fernando Abad has worn No. 58 for most of his career. The Astros gave him the number when he reached the big leagues in 2010, and he kept it when he went to Washington in 2013.

After briefly giving it up in Oakland for No. 56 — teammate Evan Scribner offered to give it to him, but Abad declined — he’s wearing it again in Boston.

“It’s the first number that I have when I got called up the first time,” Abad said. “I love the number because it was my first number.”

It’s a well-known number in Red Sox history, thanks to former closer Jonathan Papelbon. Though the longer Papelbon stays unsigned, the more likely it appears he just won’t play this year, if Papelbon decides to join the Red Sox, Abad said he’d give up the number in a second.

“Of course I’d give it to him,” he said. “I have no problem with that. I have so much respect for him.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
Henry Owens

Henry Owens

The Red Sox will send Henry Owens to the mound Sunday afternoon to face Tigers veteran Justin Verlander as they conclude their four-game series in Detroit.

Owens was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, where he had been scheduled to start Saturday night, as an emergency fill-in for Eduardo Rodriguez (hamstring tightness).

Owens started the season with the PawSox, joined Boston on April 24, then returned to Triple-A on May 6. With Boston he started three games and went 0-0 with a 5.11 ERA and 2.11 WHIP. Although his overall numbers in Triple-A aren’t eye-catching — 8-6, 3.70 ERA, 1.40 WHIP — he’s pitched well of late, allowing just four earned runs over his last five appearances, spanning 23 innings. In his most recent start, Aug. 15 against Lehigh Valley, Owens went seven innings and allowed one run on five hits and one walk with two hit batsmen while striking out six.

Owens has faced the Tigers once, last Aug. 9. It was his second game in the majors and turned out to be his first major league win. He went five-plus innings, allowing one run on three hits and four walks with two strikeouts as Boston took a 7-2 decision in Detroit.

Verlander has posted a 12-7 record with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.046 WHIP in 25 starts. Last Tuesday against the Royals, Verlander was handed his second consecutive loss after pitching seven innings and giving up five runs (three earned), four hits (three home runs) and one walk with six strikeouts in Detroit’s 6-1 defeat.

“You think it’s going to be a real pitchers’ duel and it really was,” Royals manager Ned Yost said (via MLB.com). “Verlander gave up three or four hits, and it just so happens that we were lucky enough that three were home runs. ”

Verlander is 4-5 with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.166 WHIP in 14 starts against the Sox. Verlander last saw the Sox on July 25. In that outing, a 4-2 Detroit win, the 33-year-old righty pitched six innings, allowing one run, five hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Red Sox vs. Verlander (RHP)

David Ortiz (36 plate appearances): .344 AVG./.417 OBP/.656 SLG, 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (22): .095/.136/.095, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Aaron Hill (17): .313/.294/.438, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (9): .333/.333/.444, 1 double, 2 strikeouts

Brock Holt (9): .375/.444/.375, 2 RBIs, 1 walk

Mookie Betts is 0-for-7 with 1 strikeout.

Travis Shaw is 1-for-5 with 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk and 3 strikeouts.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is 1-for-3 with 1 RBI and 2 walks.

Sandy Leon is 0-for-2 with 1 strikeout.

Tigers vs. Owens (LHP)

Ian Kinsler is 2-for-3 with two doubles.

Victor Martinez is 1-for-2 with an RBI and a strikeout.

J.D. Martinez is 0-for-1 with a walk.

James McCann is 0-for-1 with a walk.

Blog Author: 
John Hand

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

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (66-61): L, 4-0, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

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

Chandler Shepherd

Chandler Shepherd

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (66-61): L, 4-0, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

— With Henry Owens a late scratch due to his call-up to Boston, right-hander Chandler Shepherd made a spot start — his first start this season and just the second of his three-year professional career — and threw a season-high 56 pitches (45 for strikes). The 23-year-old from Kentucky pitched well through three innings, striking out three batters in the first and recording a 1-2-3 third. In the fourth he allowed singles to three of the first four batters, loading the bases, and was removed. Right-hander Noe Ramirez proceeded to allow a bases-clearing double, with all three runs charged to Shepherd. Ramirez also gave up an RBI single in that frame, with that run charged to him.

— After Ramirez’s 1 2/3-inning stint, right-hander Kyle Martin pitched three scoreless innings, allowing four hits while fanning three. The 25-year-old Martin, who has allowed one run in nine innings pitched this month, is second among International League relievers with 11.15 strikeouts per nine innings, and he carries a 3.23 ERA.

— Chris Young, continuing his rehab stint, played all nine innings in left field for the second consecutive game and went 1-for-4. He’s 5-for-23 in seven games with the PawSox.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (49-75): W, 10-8, at Binghamton (Mets)

— Shortstop Mauricio Dubon went 4-for-5 to lead Portland’s 16-hit attack. The 22-year-old Dubon, who scored four times, is hitting .332 in 49 games with the Sea Dogs since his promotion from Salem.

— Outfielder Cole Sturgeon went 3-for-5 with a walk, two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. He’s now hitting .274 in 102 games with Portland.

— First baseman Cody Decker went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, and catcher Danny Bethea went 2-for-4 with one RBI.

— Right-hander Keith Couch started and allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts in three innings. Righty Taylor Grover pitched the next three innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits and four walks with a strikeout, picking up his second win in the process. Righty Ty Buttrey went two innings and allowed one run on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Righty Ben Taylor picked up his fifth save after pitching a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit and one walk while fanning two.

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (77-47): W, 4-2/W, 3-2, at Winston-Salem (White Sox)

— Salem rallied for two runs in the final inning of the nightcap, tying the score on a Jordan Betts home run and plating the winning run on a Rafael Devers RBI triple, and the sweep of the two seven-inning games extended Salem’s winning streak to nine games, the franchise’s longest since 2007.

— Devers (2-for-4) and right fielder Jayce Ray (2-for-2, one walk) were the only Red Sox with multiple hits in the second game.

— Left-hander Trey Ball started and pitched six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He’s now 7-5 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. Right-hander Jamie Callahan pitched a scoreless seventh, walking one and fanning one, and picked up his sixth save in nine chances.

— In the opener, Nick Longhi (2-for-3) broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning with an RBI double, and Jose Sermo hit a sacrifice fly later in the frame to cap the scoring.

— Left fielder Mike Meyers went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and center fielder Joseph Monge hit a solo home run.

— Left-hander Matt Kent started and pitched six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He’s now 9-6 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 23 starts with Salem. Righty Yankory Pimentel pitched a scoreless seventh, giving up one hit and fanning one, for his fourth save in five opportunities.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (66-58): W, 6-4, at Charleston (Yankees)

— Left fielder Kyri Washington went 2-for-4 and scored a run for the opportunistic Drive, who made the most of their eight hits. Austin Rei and Derek Miller (who doubled) scored in the second inning on an errant pickoff throw. Second baseman Mitchell Gunsolus had an RBI single in the sixth inning, and a second run scored when the right fielder misplayed the ball.

— Left-hander Emmanuel De Jesus started and pitched five innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Right-hander Stephen Nogosek then pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and fanning three. He was followed by righty Gerson Bautista, who pitched one inning and gave up one run on one hit and a walk. Righty Victor Diaz closed things out with a perfect ninth inning (three groundouts) for his 10th save in 12 chances.

Josh Pennington

Josh Pennington

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (35-25): W, 4-1, vs. Brooklyn (Mets)

— Right-hander Josh Pennington pitched six strong innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts. The 21-year-old is 3-3 with a 3.35 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 11 starts.

— Righty Matthew Gorst was similarly impressive, tossing three shutout innings for his first save as a pro. Gorst allowed just one hit and struck out four. In 10 appearances, he’s 1-0 with a 2.04 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.

— First baseman Tucker Tubbs went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI. Center fielder Matt McLean went 3-for-4. Designated hitter Bobby Dalbec went 2-for-4 with a double to up his slash line to .380/.424/.684.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

DETROIT — The Red Sox will push back left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for at least one day after he reported lingering soreness in his sore left hamstring. With Rodriguez scratched, left-hander Henry Owens will start Sunday’s finale against the Tigers.

Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

DETROIT — The Red Sox will push back left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for at least one day after he reported lingering soreness in his sore left hamstring. With Rodriguez scratched, left-hander Henry Owens will start Sunday’s finale against the Tigers.

“I feel it’s still a little bit tight,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t want to get in the game tomorrow and do something wrong and get that crazy or get in the game and not focus on throwing strikes and focus on whether I can still feel that. I had that feeling before with my knee. I know it’s going to be something wrong. It doesn’t make the pitch where I want it or give up a lot of runs. That was the decision that was made.”

Manager John Farrell said there are no plans to put Rodriguez on the disabled list, nor is there a corresponding roster move for Owens.

Rodriguez left his last start against the Orioles after only four innings with the sore hamstring. He threw a bullpen on Friday and hoped he’d be ready to go on Sunday, but after throwing Saturday, brought his concerns to Farrell.

“After his bullpen here today, he continued to feel some uncertainty in the hamstring,” Farrell said. “He didn’t feel like he could make the pitches necessary with the conviction required. When he talked about it, I didn’t want to put him out there with that frame of mind.”

Rodriguez is 2-5 with a 5.11 ERA. Owens is 0-0 with a 5.11 ERA in three big league starts. He has walked 13 in 12 1/3 innings.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Red Sox owner John Henry has been the silent partner this year, but he gave an interview to the Boston Herald’s Mike Silverman via e-mail that includes a number of interesting tidbits. Here are some highlights:

David Ortiz is congratulated after blasting a two-run homer against the Tigers on Saturday. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

David Ortiz is congratulated after blasting a two-run homer against the Tigers on Saturday. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

DETROIT — The Red Sox suddenly look like one of the best teams in baseball again.

They continued what is turning into a season-defining road trip with their eighth victory in nine games, beating the Tigers 3-2 despite a pair of lengthy rain delays that entrusted the final four innings to their beleaguered bullpen, which delivered.

The star of this one was once again David Ortiz. Honored before the game with framed photos of his appearance at the 2005 All-Star Game in Comerica Park, Ortiz once again proved a discourteous guest by blasting a two-run homer in the fifth as part of a three-hit night.

The homer, his 29th of the season, made a winner of left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who delivered five effective innings before a 72-minute rain delay ended his evening prematurely after just 51 pitches (39 strikes).

The Red Sox remained a half game behind the Blue Jays, who rallied to beat the Indians. They moved two games ahead of the Orioles for the first AL wild card spot, and dropped the Tigers 5 1/2 games behind; not even two weeks ago, the Tigers led the Red Sox by a game.

The bullpen did its job, with Heath Hembree allowing a solo homer, but Brad Ziegler, Matt Barnes, and closer Craig Kimbrel combining to take the Red Sox home.

Red Sox skipper John Farrell managed aggressively, summoning Kimbrel with two on to face former MVP Miguel Cabrera with two outs in the eighth. Kimbrel responded by inducing a lineout to left before delivering a heart-attack ninth that featured Justin Upton missing a game-tying homer to dead center by inches. But he struck out Casey McGehee on a nasty curveball to end it.

Closing Time note

Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single.


— Ortiz continues to astound. He now has 97 RBIs and is just one homer and three RBIs away from producing the first 30-100 season by a player in his 40s in history.

— Pomeranz looked sharp and appeared poised to pitch deep into this one until the rains came. He allowed four hits and a solo homer in five innings, striking out three and walking none.

— Xander Bogaerts continues coming alive at the plate. He stroked two more hits and scored on Ortiz’s homer.

— Farrell said earlier in the week that he wouldn’t use Kimbrel for more than four outs. The closer responded in the eighth.


— The Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the third, but Mookie Betts grounded into a run-scoring double play, short circuiting what could’ve been a big inning.

— Reliever Matt Barnes walked two batters in the eighth, necessitating the call to Kimbrel.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase