Adding bullpen depth not the biggest deal


Adding bullpen depth not the biggest deal

BOSTON They were not the trades that had generated speculation over the last few weeks, but the Red Sox completed two deals before the 4 p.m. non-waiver trading deadline Tuesday afternoon.

The Sox received lefthander Craig Breslow from the Diamondbacks for right-hander Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik.

Breslow, who turns 32 Aug. 8, is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 40 games out of the Diamondbacks bullpen this season. This will be his second stint with the Sox. He also pitched for Boston in 2006, going 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA in 13 games out of the bullpen.

Breslow, from Trumbull, Conn., was selected in the 26th round of the 2002 draft by the Brewers out of Yale. In parts of seven seasons, with the Padres, Red Sox, Indians, Twins, As and Diamondbacks, he has compiled a record of 14-17 with a 3.02 ERA and six saves in 335 games, all in relief.

Breslow is coming to give us that left-handed depth in the bullpen, manager Bobby Valentine said. Hes had a nice year. And I havent seen him pitch too much but I know hes been in the American League before. Im confident hes going to help us win games.

We had been looking for another lefty, said general manager Ben Cherington. We felt like early in the year when we had three lefties in the pen it was when our pen was really rolling the best and give bobby a chance to match up and use all three guys. Certainly also gives bobby some flexibility for the rest of the year if we need to use morales as a starter. So hopefully a couple of benefits to the move. We felt like Albers has done a great job for us. We felt like we had enough other right-hand options that we can afford to flip the righty for the lefty.

The Sox also traded power-hitting first basemanoutfielder Lars Anderson, who had been one of theirhighly touted prospects a few years ago, to Cleveland for knuckleballingrighthander Steven Wright, who has been assigned to Double-A Portland.

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.