BOSTON Although he gave a up a first-inning run, continuing a disconcerting trend by Red Sox pitchers, Felix Doubront held the White Sox scoreless over the rest of six-inning outing Wednesday night, as the Red Sox beat Chicago, 10-1 at Fenway Park. Doubront improves his record to 10-4 with a 4.24 ERA.Doubront, who spent spring training vying for both a roster spot and spot in the rotation, is the first Sox pitcher to reach the 10-win plateau this season. On a staff that included presumptive elite pitchers, that fact does not go unnoticed. It has surprised even Doubront.A lot, he said. But since I came to spring training I was working so hard to be here and to be in this spot. Just working to get more wins and whatever happens Im going to keep fighting to get more wins.Felix Doubronts been our most consistent pitcher all year. Obviously he has 10 wins, manager Bobby Valentine said. I guess coming out of spring training, Vegas would have given you pretty good odds that he would not have been the first one on our staff with 10 wins. But hes been consistent.Doubront opened the game with consecutive singles to Alejandro De Aza and Kevin Youkilis before getting Adam Dunn to ground into a double play. But Paul Konerko, playing in his 2,000th career game with the White Sox, singled to drive in De Aza.Doubront held the White Sox at bay the rest of the way. In six innings, he gave up just one run on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts.He got the double play ball in the first inning and got upset that he let the two-out hit fall in there and then he shut the door, Valentine said. His changeup was really good. He wasnt afraid to throw inside when he had to. Had his two-seamer working. Hes a good pitcher.In a season when those presumptive elite pitchers have been inconsistent, Doubront has provided a measure of consistency. In 18 outings he posted his 10th quality start of the season, tied for most on the staff, while becoming the staff stopper. In eight starts following a Sox loss, including Wednesday, he has posted a record of 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA. The Sox are 7-1 in those games.He caught my eye in his first bullpen that I ever saw because he was kind of off the radar, Valentine said. He had pitched some winter ball so he was a little ahead of the other guys. So it was easy for him to stand out. But he maintained really good bullpens, as I remember, really good outings. His two-inning outings, his four-inning outings. He was a slam dunk to make the team as far as I was concerned.Doubront has been the beneficiary of tremendous run support. He leads all major league qualifiers with an average of 8.38 runs of support per start. Knowing he is likely to get that kind of support can only help his approach on the mound, even when working with a quick deficit.Sox pitchers have given up a total of 76 first-inning runs this season, their highest total of any inning. They have allowed at least one run in the first inning in 15 of the last 17 games at Fenway, including the last 10 in a row.I know the team is going to score runs, Doubront said. We got a good team, great hitters. I wasnt worried about that. Just good pitching. I figured out a couple things. In the first inning I was a little bit off.Its amazing... to see a lot of scoring, that helped me to keep throwing the ball and get confidence to stay for six or seven inningsIn trouncing the White Sox, Doubront was backed by Cody Ross two three-run home runs, and four RBI from Adrian Gonzalez.Felix was outstanding tonight, said Ross. He got himself in a little trouble, in a bind early in that first inning and managed to get out of it and then was just dominant after that. Flipping his curve ball over, getting some swing and misses on that and getting a lot of ground ball outs. He pitched outstanding and the bullpen came in and did an outstanding job.Doubront is now 5-0 with a 2.97 ERA against American League Central teams this season.When a team gets a lead like that, and a pitcher gets a lead like that, hes taught to go out there and really pound the strike zone, said Konerko. He got better after he got that big lead and thats what youre supposed to do.
Right-handed starter Doug Fister, who opted out of his contract with the Angels, has been claimed off waivers by the Red Sox, CSN Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich has confirmed.
The news was first reported by Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, who writes that Fister, 33, will join the Red Sox immediately.
Doug Fister is headed to the Red Sox after opting out of his deal with the Angels: https://t.co/zCFOCAmoRy— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 23, 2017
Fister opted out of with the Angels after three Triple-A starts in Salt Lake City, where he allowed seven runs on 16 hits with five walks and 10 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings.
With Eduardo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson on the DL, the Red Sox need immediate starting pitching help. Triple-A Pawtucket call-up Hector Velazquez made a spot start earlier this week in the fifth spot behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price and Drew Pomeranz.
Fister will receive $1.75 million in the majors from the Red Sox, with $1.2 million available in additional incentives, according to Cotillo.
Fister has pitched eight seasons in the majors, including 2016 with the Astros, going 12-13 with 4.64 ERA in 180 1/3 innings. His best season was 2014 with the Nationals (16-6, 2.41 ERA).
BOSTON — It took until 2015, apparently, but David Ortiz now knows Dustin Pedroia’s full name.
The couple days leading up to the jersey retirement ceremony tonight for Ortiz have been packed. Around lunch time Thursday, Ortiz had a street near Fenway Park named after him — a bridge wasn’t enough — the street formerly known as Yawkey Way Extension. (It’s between Brookline Avenue and Yawkey Station.) On Friday morning, he was at Logan Airport where JetBlue Gate C34 was designed with a new theme to honor Ortiz.
Tonight's the big night, so to speak. But Thursday night will probably go down as the most entertaining.
Ortiz was roasted at House of Blues on Thursday, joined on stage by Pedroia, Rob Gronkowski and a handful of actual comedians. Bill Burr was the biggest name among the professional joke-tellers. It was a charity event to benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which helps to provide lifesaving surgeries for children.
All the comedians — Lenny Clarke, Sarah Tiana, Anthony Mackie, Josh Wolf, Adam Ray (a young man dressed up as an old Yankees fan) — ripped on everyone on stage, including Pedroia. Naturally, Pedroia was mocked for being short over and over and over.
When he took the podium, Pedroia said it was a good thing the height of the microphone was adjustable. If he had to stand on his wallet, he said, he’d be up to the roof.
Most jokes were not suitable for print or broadcast. But the story Pedroia told about being in the on-deck circle when a catcher needed a ball once was a highlight. It's from just two years ago.
“So I had already played with David for, I don’t know, nine years?” Pedroia said. “And I hit right in front of him for nine years.”
The Red Sox were playing the Indians at home. The umpire had to use the bathroom and the ball rolled near Pedroia. So the catcher said hello to Pedroia, using the second baseman’s first name.
“David walks over and goes, what the [expletive] did he call you?” Pedroia said.
“I said, ‘Dustin,’” Pedroia said.
Ortiz was confused. “’Why’d he call you that?’” he said.
“I go, that’s my [expletive] name,” Pedroia said. “He goes, 'Oh, is that right?’
"I’m like, ‘Yeah, bro. I’ve had 1,600 games with you. They’ve actually said it 5,000 [expletive] times: now batting, No. 15, Dustin Pedroia.’”
“I thought it was Pee Wee," Ortiz went.
“This is dead serious,” Pedroia said. “Now the umpire comes back — I’m standing there, I got to hit...and I’m looking at him, ‘You thought my parents would name me [expletive] Pee Wee?’
“And he’s just looking at me, and we’re having a conversation. The umpire’s yelling at me, the catcher’s laughing at me because he can hear kind of what he’s saying.”
No jersey retirement speech will be that funny.