Red Sox trade for Seattle catcher Quiroz

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Red Sox trade for Seattle catcher Quiroz

SEATTLE -- At least Guillermo Quiroz didn't have far to go when he learned he'd been traded Tuesday.

The Red Sox obtained Quiroz from the Mariners for cash considerations. For Quiroz, the relocation meant merely walking down the concourse from the Mariners' home clubhouse to the visiting clubhouse occupied by the Sox, several hundred feet down the hall at Safeco Field.

"It was something I wasn't expecting, that's for sure," said Quiroz.

Quiroz gives the Red Sox a third catcher at the major league level, joining Ryan Lavarnway and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Sox didn't have another catcher on their 40-man roster, with Dan Butler catching at Pawtucket.

This gives Bobby Valentine some flexibility, especially since the manager has been using both Lavarnway and Saltalamacchia in the same starting lineup -- one behind the plate and the other often at DH.

Under the old set-up, if Valentine had to move the catcher who was serving as DH behind the plate, the Sox would lose use of the DH the rest of the game, to say nothing of not having a backup on the bench.

Quiroz has been with Toronto, Seattle, Texas and Baltimore and has played in 101 games at the major league level, though not at all since 2010.

"I've been around for a little bit," said Quiroz, who is 30. "I've gotten a little bit of service time so I guess they're counting on (having some experience)."

The challenge for Quiroz will be learning the pitching staff in a hurry.

"I'll have to do my best to get to know them," Quiroz said. "Tendencies, pitches they use to get people out . . . The best way to do it just catching them in the bullpen and try to talk to them. That's how you create your relationships."

The Red Sox haven't announced the rotation past Wednesday, the final game of the road trip. The Sox have off-days in the schedule Thursday and again Monday, giving them a chance to re-shuffle the rotation as they choose.

"We're looking at it," said Valentine. "We'll look at what happens the next time through."

Valentine worked out utility man Ivan DeJesus in the outfield Tuesday afternoon in the event he's needed to cover the position. DeJesus told Valentine he's comfortable playing either left field or right field.

Franklin Morales played catch Tuesday. He remains on the DL for another week with shoulder weakness. The Sox expect he'll return to the rotation when his 15-day stint is up this weekend.

Monday's Red Sox vs. Orioles lineups: Ortiz back from sore foot

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Monday's Red Sox vs. Orioles lineups: Ortiz back from sore foot

David Ortiz makes his return to the Red Sox lineup after being a late scratch on Sunday due to a sore left foot is sore after getting hit by a pitch Saturday. However, Hanley Ramirez is getting the day off, with Travis Shaw getting the start at first.

The lineups:

ORIOLES:
Adam Jones CF
Hyun Soo Kim LF
Manny Machado SS
Chris Davis 1B
Mark Trumbo DH
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Nolan Reimold RF
Ryan Flaherty 3B
Caleb Joseph C
--
Tyler Wilson P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 1B
Blake Swihart LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Marco Hernandez 3B
---
Steven Wright P

Red Sox haven't allowed opponents to break out the brooms

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Red Sox haven't allowed opponents to break out the brooms

Through the first sixteen series of the season, the Red Sox are 9-5-3 (two ties coming from two-game sets) en route to their AL East leading 30-20 record.

Boston’s only mustered up two series sweeps -- taking two in Atlanta and three from the Yankees at Fenway -- but they’ve avoided the dreaded broom in each of their five series losses.

In fact, in four of their five series losses the Red Sox earned their lone victory in the final game, with Sunday being the most recent instance.

None of the series finale, sweep-defying wins were cakewalks either. Three of the four were decided by three runs or less -- the other being decided by four.

Boston’s MLB-leading 5.9 runs per game offense scored below its average each time -- so Red Sox pitching didn’t have the same gigantic cushion it’s used to.

Prior to his injury, Joe Kelly was the first savior, chucking five innings allowing two earned runs against a Baltimore Orioles team that was undefeated at that point in the season’s youth. Fast forward to the series at Yankee Stadium and Steven Wright nearly through a shutout, holding the Yankees to one run through nine innings.

In the two most recent cases, David Price’s turn came in the lineup -- and he’s answered the call. Boston’s ace held down both the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays -- on the road -- limiting both offenses to two runs each. Both starts have come the day after one-run losses, too.

So while Price’s “stuff” hasn’t been at its best, admitting Sunday it usually isn’t against the Blue Jays, he’s displayed the intangible aces are supposed to have – guts.

Now on any other team, they might be in trouble given Boston’s offense is the best in baseball. Because a bad scoring day for the Red Sox is better than almost half the league’s average day. But they aren’t on any other team, so that’s not the issue.

For all the struggles the Red Sox’ starting pitchers have dealt with, they’ve managed to get the job done when they’ve needed it.

Those wins add up, too.

If the Red Sox are swept in these four series, they sit at 26-24 right in the middle of the AL East -- and this season has an entirely different feel to it.

In an age where numbers have become the central focus of the game, Boston’s starting pitchers have managed to lock-in when the club needs it most -- and must continue to do so.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter @ngfriar.