Mortensen fails to finish in Red Sox loss

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Mortensen fails to finish in Red Sox loss

BOSTON -- Once again, Clayton Mortensen had Josh Beckett's back.
Mortensen saved the day back on July 31, when he took the ball from an injured Josh Beckett and turned in 2.2 scoreless innings to pick up the win over the Detroit Tigers. Mortensen came into a one-run game with bases loaded on that day. On Wednesday afternoon against the Texas Rangers, the story was a little different.
Beckett wasn't hurt. He just wasn't any good.
Mortensen relieved Beckett of his duties on Wednesday, after the Red Sox starter allowed his third home run of the game. It was a two-run shot by Geovany Soto, and it gave the Rangers an 8-5 lead.
As he did in Beckett's last start against the Tigers, Mortensen came in and ended the inning cleanly.
"He did an unbelievable job, unbelievable," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "They've got a great lineup, and he gave us a chance and kept us in the game."
Mortensen -- who was called up before the game to replace the injured Vicente Padilla -- kept the Red Sox in the game. No question about it. But unlike the last time Mortensen saw action out of Boston's bullpen, he couldn't finish with a clean slate.
He went on to allow a two-out, solo home run to Nelson Cruz in the seventh, and then came the backbreaker.
With the game tied at 9-9, Mortensen walked the lead-off hitter -- Elvis Andrus -- in the top of the ninth. He then allowed a Josh Hamilton single that put runners at the corners with no outs.
That forced Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to make the call to the bullpen, bringing in Alfredo Aceves.
But an Adrian Beltre sacrifice fly to center field scored Andrus easily from third to put Texas up 10-9. It ended up being the game-winning run.
"It's frustrating giving that pitch to Hamilton ... but I was more upset that I walked the lead-off hitter," said Mortensen after taking the loss.
Mortensen came out to start the ninth inning -- after already pitching three innings -- because of a short bullpen, according to Valentine after the loss.
"Everybody else was basically cut down today," said Valentine. "So I was going to try to squeeze, to see if we could get Clay to get Hamilton to swing at something out of the zone, which, he has those pitches, and Hamilton's an aggressive hitter. It didn't work.
"It was a very short bullpen today. And Mortensen did great job ... If Clay doesn't have what he gave us today, then it would have been a catastrophe. He did a great job."

Saturday's Red Sox-Angels Lineups: Pomeranz makes Red Sox road debut on west coast

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Saturday's Red Sox-Angels Lineups: Pomeranz makes Red Sox road debut on west coast

Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 7.00 with Boston) makes his return to the west coast in his first road start in a Red Sox uniform. The lefty is coming off a six-inning start where he gave up two runs, but was on the wrong end of a 4-2 contest against the Tigers.

The Angels answer with Hector Santiago (9-4, 4.28). He shut out Boston for six innings on 7/2 -- the same day the Red Sox staff gave up 21 runs.

The lineups:

RED SOX

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Aaron Hill 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Bryce Brentz LF
Sandy Leon C

Drew Pomeranz LHP

ANGELS
Yunel Escobar 3B
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols DH
Jefry Marte 1B
Andrelton Simmons SS
Jett Bandy C
Johnny Giavotella 2B
Gregorio Petit LF
Shane Robinson RF

Hector Santiago LHP

Report: White Sox scouting Red Sox' minor league affiliates for possible trade

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Report: White Sox scouting Red Sox' minor league affiliates for possible trade

Though the chances are slim the Red Sox and White Sox make a blockbuster trade before the MLB trade deadline, Chicago is at least sending resources to Boston's minor league affiliates to scout their prospects.

ESPN Boston's Scott Lauber first reported Friday the White Sox were scouting Double-A Portland (home of Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi), but Ken Rosenthal adds they were also at their Single-A and Triple-A affiliates.

Though one would assume the Red Sox are seeking prospects for a potential return on Chris Sale, Rosenthal thinks it could be "for reasons other than Sale" and that some believe the White Sox are "simply laying groundwork for off-season trade."

Stay tuned for more.

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

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Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:

QUOTES

* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.

NOTES

* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.

STARS

1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.