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

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

Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (25-24): W, 1-0, vs. Louisville (Reds)

–€” Brian Johnson struck out nine over six perfect innings to earn his sixth win of the season. The 24-year-old southpaw started in place of Eduardo Rodriguez, who was called up to Boston and made his major league debut Thursday night. Johnson was working under a pitch limit Friday and was pulled after throwing 74 pitches despite his stellar performance. The 2012 first-round draft pick improved to 6-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.60.

— Right-hander Miguel Celestino tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning before giving up a one-out single to Eugenio Suarez in the eighth. Suarez would be Louisville‘€™s only baserunner of the night.

–€” Heath Hembree recorded his sixth save of the year, relieving Celestino in the eighth and tossing a perfect 1 2/3 innings with one strikeout to close out the one-hitter. Hembree’€™s ERA is 0.98 in 18 1/3 innings with Pawtucket.

— Shortstop Deven Marrero drove in the lone Pawtucket run with a bases-loaded single in the second inning. Allen Craig scored after leading off the frame with a walk. The RBI was Marrero’€™s first in his last 10 games.

Keury De La Cruz

Keury De La Cruz

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (22-27): W, 12-10, at Trenton (Yankees)

— Portland scored a season-high seven runs in the seventh inning to overcome a 9-5 deficit, highlighted by left fielder Keury De La Cruz’€™s go-ahead two-run double. The 23-year-old lefty hitter went 4-for-6 with with two doubles and four RBIs. De La Cruz is hitting .245 with 13 doubles and 23 RBIs.

— Shortstop Marco Hernandez tied a franchise record with three doubles Friday night. The 22-year-old finished 3-for-6 with three RBIs and is now batting .305.

— The Sea Dogs recorded a season-high total of 18 hits. Six starters, including De La Cruz and Hernandez, notched multi-hit games.

— Right-hander Mike McCarthy secured the win after relieving starter Luis Diaz, who was tagged for eight runs in just 2 1/3 innings. McCarthy, who has started eight games for Portland this year, went 3 2/3 and allowed one run on three hits and three walks with four strikeouts. He improved to 4-3 on the season.

— Pat Light recorded four outs en route to his third save of the season. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out two and allowed one walk and no hits.

Trey Ball

Trey Ball

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (25-23): L, 5-4, at Frederick (Orioles)

— Left-hander Trey Ball suffered the loss, allowing all five Frederick runs — three earned –€” on eight hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings. The 20-year-old began his outing giving up a one-out, two-run home run to Trey Mancini in the first inning. Ball, the Sox’ 2013 first-round draft pick, fell to 3-5 on the season and now has a 4.79 ERA.

— Second baseman Jose Vinicio paced the offense, going 2-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. The 21-year-old switch-hitter is batting .263.

–€” First baseman Sam Travis went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI, and center fielder Cole Sturgeon went 3-for-5 with two runs scored.

— Right-handers Keuhl McEachern and German Taveras were solid out of the bullpen. McEachern went 1 2/3 innings of relief, allowing just one hit and one walk with two strikeouts. Taveras pitched the ninth inning, giving up one hit and also recording two strikeouts.

Jordan Procyshen

Jordan Procyshen

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (28-20): L, 10-3, at Lexington (Astros)

–€” Catcher Jordan Procyshen went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. The 22-year-old lefty hitter is batting .282 with 17 RBIs in 32 games in Greenville this season.

— Now riding a 10-game hitting streak, third baseman Rafael Devers improved his South Atlantic League-leading batting average to .344. The 18-year-old third baseman went 2-for-4 Friday and is batting .400 in his last 10 games.

— Left-hander Dedgar Jimenez fell to 3-2, taking the loss after allowing five runs on 11 hits, including two home runs, in just four innings. The 19-year-old walked one and struck out three. He now has a 3.90 ERA in 30 innings of work over six starts with Greenville.

— Lefty Williams Herez pitched three innings of relief, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Righty Mario Alcantara closed for Salem, striking out two but giving up three runs and four hits in the ninth inning.

Blog Author: 
Emily McCarthy
Wade Miley

Wade Miley

The Red Sox will play the third game of a four-game series against the Rangers in Texas on Saturday night. Wade Miley gets the call for the Sox while the Rangers will send Chi Chi Gonzalez to the mound for his major league debut.

Miley comes into Saturday’€™s game with a 4-4 record and 4.47 ERA. He has been on his game of late. Against the Angels in his last start on Sunday, Miley threw eight masterful innings, allowing just one run on four hits and earning the victory.

“It comes down to fastball command. Even he when he’€™s gotten a couple of guys on base, he hasn’t overthrown as we saw maybe back in April,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Miley after that game. “He’€™s turned things around personally this month. That’s pretty clear. He’s back to a quick pace but a comfortable one for him, and he’s commanding his pitches.”

Miley, 28, has experienced an impressive turnaround since a tough start to the season. Through his first six starts, Miley was 1-4 with an ugly 6.91 ERA. Since then, he has won his past three starts, turning in impressive outings in each.

Over those three outings, Miley has pitched a total of 21 2/3 innings and accrued a WHIP of 1.02 with an ERA of 1.25.

The left-hander has been fortunate to hold batters to a BABIP of .229 in his past three starts, but he has been able to force ground balls. His opponents’€™ line drive rate is a low 17 percent, and he has gotten batters to hit at least nine grounders in each of his past three starts.

Chi Chi Gonzalez

Chi Chi Gonzalez

For the home team, Chi Chi Gonzalez will take the mound for the first start of his career.

This season at Triple-A Round Rock, Gonzalez has started eight games and tallied a 3-5 record. The 23-year-old Florida native has a 4.15 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. While those numbers may not jump off the page, Gonzalez has pitched better of late.

In his past three starts, the right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA. In 16 1/3 innings over that span, he has allowed four earned runs and struck out 13.

Gonzalez, the Rangers’ first-round pick (23rd overall) in 2013 out of Oral Roberts University, is ranked as the team’s€™ fifth-best prospect and MLB’s 88th overall by MLB.com.

Red Sox vs. Gonzalez (RHP)

No Red Sox have faced Gonzalez.

Rangers vs. Miley (LHP)

Elvis Andrus is 0-for-7 with a strikeout in seven plate appearances against Miley.

Shin-Soo Choo (7 plate appearances): .000 AVG/.286 OBP/.000 SLG, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Adrian Beltre (6): .167/.167/.167, 3 strikeouts

Prince Fielder (4): .500/.500/.750, 1 double

Robinson Chirinos (3): .333/.333/1.000, 1 triple, 1 RBI

Delino DeShields is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Miley.

Thomas Field (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts.

Josh Hamilton is 1-for-3 against Miley.

Mitch Moreland (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Carlos Corporan (2): 1.000/1.000/2.500, 1 home run, 2 RBIs

Leonys Martin and Adam Rosales have not faced Miley.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

ARLINGTON, Texas — David Ortiz‘s break is over. Now it’s time to see if this little two-day science experiment yielded any breakthroughs.

ARLINGTON, Texas — David Ortiz‘s break is over. Now it’s time to see if this little two-day science experiment yielded any breakthroughs.

After Friday’s 7-4 loss to the Rangers, Red Sox manager John Farrell said “everything points” to Ortiz rejoining the lineup for Saturday night’s game. The slumping slugger has had the last two games off to work on his swing. Did he find a fix?

“We’re about to find out,” he said. “I’ve been in the Ortiz laboratory.”

Ortiz has been mired in a 3-for-31 slump that has dropped his average to .216. Earlier in the week, he said that if he can’t find his old swing, he’ll move on to Plan B, which is to, “come back and rake.”

“A guy like myself, I always have to be on top of my game because every night I see the best coming out of everyone,” he said on Thursday. “So the minute I walk away from my game, this is exactly what happens. The pitcher be like, ‘Just keep that monster down there sleeping. Don’t wake him up. Bury him.’ So in my case, I’ve got to figure out how to execute better. There’s always a Plan B. There is always a Plan B that you’ve got to put in play. Once the Plan B stops working, that means you don’t have it anymore, so that’s another step you’€™ve got to take. I’€™m just going to put in play the Plan B.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

ARLINGTON, Texas ‘€“ Josh Hamilton picked a bad time to reprise his role as unstoppable killing machine.

ARLINGTON, Texas ‘€“ Josh Hamilton picked a bad time to reprise his role as unstoppable killing machine.

Josh Hamilton and the Rangers took care of the Red Sox on Friday. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Josh Hamilton and the Rangers took care of the Red Sox on Friday. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, Texas ‘€“ Josh Hamilton reaffirmed on Friday night that he is a destroyer of Red Sox. Two winters ago, he considered joining them.

The Rangers slugger shared one meeting with general manager Ben Cherington at the 2012 winter meetings, and though the sides never exchanged proposals, he was more than intrigued.

It turns out he loves Fenway Park.

“It was just good to sit down and talk with them,” he said after slamming his first two homers of the season in a 7-4 victory. “You think about places you’d like to go and play, and you get an opportunity to meet with people, when you want to go somewhere like that, just to think about the history that’s been there, that’s what’s always intrigued me, since the first time I walked out of the clubhouse on the wooden pallets underneath the tunnel and I went to the field. That was the only place I ever got nervous, my first season, playing with the Rangers.”

Hamilton’s first at-bat in Fenway was against Daisuke Matsuzaka, in 2008.

“The first pitch, I fouled it down the right field line,” Hamilton said. “I ended up striking out, but I remember I stood in the box and I was just shaking. So I won’t ever forget that.”

Hamilton never drew serious interest from the Red Sox, who were looking to sign veterans to short-term deals. A three-year deal for Hamilton, an MVP coming off his fifth straight All-Star berth, might’ve started at $90 million.
He instead signed a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels, which ended disastrously when he suffered a drug relapse before being traded this spring.

But back when he met with the Red Sox, he was on top of his game.

“It was just cool to meet them and talk with the guys,” he said. “It’s been such a prestigious organization throughout the years, a lot of good players come through there. They’ve won some championships of recent. It was basically an honor for me to sit in there and talk with them and think it could be a possibility. It was good. It didn’t work out, but it was good to talk to them.”

The Red Sox might’ve signed him just to keep him away from their pitching. With his two homers on Friday, Hamilton has now driven in 53 runs in 56 starts against them lifetime, with a .314 average and an OPS of over .950.

He’s had a number of impressive games against the Red Sox, including a towering home run in 2012 off Mark Melancon.

“That is the longest ball I’ve ever seen hit at Fenway,” said Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan, who was with the Red Sox at the time. “Some guys asked me recently the longest home run I’ve ever seen hit, and I told them it was that one.”

Hamilton’s homers didn’t travel that far on Friday, but they still did damage.

“I don’t know why, but I’ve always played pretty well against them,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know if it’s because I like playing at Fenway, because I do. It’s one of my favorite places to play. I’ll think about it.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
Josh Hamilton and the Rangers took care of the Red Sox on Friday. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Josh Hamilton and the Rangers took care of the Red Sox on Friday. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, Texas ‘€“ Josh Hamilton picked a bad time to reprise his role as unstoppable killing machine.

Only two months after narrowly escaping a season-long suspension following a drug relapse with the Angels, Hamilton was up to his old tricks with the Rangers on Friday night, smashing a pair of home runs off knuckleballer Steven Wright that proved the difference in Boston’s 7-4 loss.

Hamilton used to destroy the Red Sox with regularity ‘€“ his 2012 home run in Fenway off of Mark Melancon still hasn’t come down ‘€“ but he only made his 2015 debut in Thursday’s series opener.

Two games are apparently all he needed to find the range, and his blasts were too much for the inconsistent Red Sox offense to overcome.

Fresh off a galvanizing 5-1 victory on Thursday in Eduardo Rodriguez’s debut, the Red Sox squandered any chance to build momentum by stranding XX runners and hitting into a pair of Rusney Castillo double plays.

That made a loser of Wright, who is fighting to maintain his spot in the rotation with the Red Sox carrying an extra starter through the next turn. He didn’t pitch horribly, limiting the Rangers to three hits in 5 2/3 innings, but two of them left the park, and that was enough.

Wright gave the Red Sox enough to win, but they were stymied by Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo, whom they stroked 10 hits against during a 4-3 win in Boston on May 19.

This time, Gallardo limited them to four hits and just one earned run in six innings, striking out five.

The killer inning was the fourth, when a single, walk, and error loaded the bases with no outs. Xander Bogaerts put a charge into one, but it went as a long sacrifice fly to deep right. Catcher Blake Swihart followed with a game-tying single to left that put runners on the corners, but Castillo grounded sharply into the first of his two double plays.

Hamilton then homered with two outs in the bottom of the frame, and that was the ballgame.

The Red Sox tried to mount a rally in the eighth, with Hanley Ramirez‘s two-run homer drawing them within a run, but the bullpen gave the two runs right back in the bottom of the frame.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Josh Hamilton entered the game a lifetime .309 hitter against the Red Sox with a eight homers and a .908 OPS, and he improved on all of those numbers with his two homers. He has now driven in 53 runs against the Red Sox in 56 career starts. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

‘€“ Catcher Blake Swihart continues to come along offensively. His opposite-field single tied the game in the fourth.

‘€“ Center fielder Mookie Betts stole his seventh base in eight tries in the eighth, and was also robbed of a hit by a leaping Leonys Martin against the center field fence.

‘€“ Shortstop Xander Bogaerts allowed everyone to breathe a sigh of relief by returning to the lineup one night after getting hit in the wrist.

‘€“ Left fielder Hanley Ramirez smashed his second home run in as many nights, a two-run opposite field blast in the eighth.

‘€“ At Triple A Pawtucket, left-hander Brian Johnson tossed six perfect innings in a 1-0 win against Louisville before being lifted for pitch count reasons at just 74 pitches. Like Rodriguez, Johnson could end up giving the rotation a boost before the season is through.

WHAT WENT WRONG

‘€“ Rusney Castillo grounded into a pair of inning-ending double plays to kill rallies.

‘€“ Asked to keep the deficit at 3-2, reliever Alexi Ogando allowed three hits and two runs. His night could’ve been even worse, but he picked Mitch Moreland off second after a leadoff double, a call that was only made after consulting the replay.

‘€“ Relievers Craig Breslow and Matt Barnes combined to allow four hits and two runs in the eighth after the Red Sox had pulled within a run.

‘€“ First baseman Mike Napoli and manager John Farrell were ejected after arguing balls and strikes with home plate ump Todd Tichenor, who also ejected Jason Varitek and Terry Francona in the same game in Minnesota in 2009.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

ARLINGTON, Texas — Eduardo Rodriguez isn’t going anywhere.