Help may be on the way for the Red Sox

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Help may be on the way for the Red Sox

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- The Red Sox beleaguered bullpen may be getting help at some point in the form of Pawtuckets Alex Wilson. The right-hander was scheduled to start the PawSox game against the ScrantonWilkes-Barre Yankees on Tuesday. Instead, Brandon Duckworth got the start with Wilson working out of the bullpen for the first time in his four-season career.

However, if Wilson is going to help, it wont be immediately. Tuesday was the first of his 69 professional appearances working out of the bullpen since being selected by the Sox in the second round of the 2009 draft. Earlier that season, though, he made 16 relief appearances, with two saves, for Texas A&M.

In his first appearance out of the PawSox pen, he pitched one inning, giving up a run on two hits with a strikeout. He faced five batters, throwing 19 pitches, 12 for strike.

There are adjustments to be made.

Its a little different, said Wilson, who turned 25 in November and is in his first full season at Pawtucket.. Its been about four years since Ive done that but its exciting. Its fun. Its something that I look at it as a good opportunity for me right now at this point in time.

Its just a matter of trying to figure out when to start getting loose, try not to throw too much but not throw too little down there warming up in the bullpen. And its just going to take a couple of outings and get the feel back, and really learn my body again for this kind of situation.

Wilson, who had made three starts this season, posting a record of 1-0 with a 5.52 ERA, was told after Mondays doubleheader of the organizations plan for him.

I was sat down and told they were going to they were going to make the switch, he said. The front office came to the decision to go ahead and slide me back there, not to look at it as a demotion but as an opportunity, and thats all. Im going to take that and run with it.

Against the Yankees Tuesday, Wilson gave up consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly, accounting for the run, before retiring the next two batters, including Jayson Nix on a strikeout looking, to end the inning.

He did a nice job, said PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler. We talked early about hisbullpen routine and he seemed to get up and wait and do what he was supposed to do. He didnt throw down there forever. He just got up and went in, and did what he does. I thought he did a nice job of getting the ball down.Thats where hes going to have to be to have some success, and thats what he hasnt been consistently this season.

Wilson said his repertoire lends itself well to a change to the bullpen.

I pretty much pitch the same way, he said. Ive always been a guy that comes right at you, fastball, slider, and changeup, if I need it, kind of deal. So I think itll play well into my game, actually.

Still, it will be a while before Wilson, who is not on the 40-man roster, is fully acclimated to his new role. He started an inning on Tuesday, but the Sox would like to get him into a variety of relief situations, including back-to-back appearances, and entering during an inning with runners on base.

Im lucky enough to have kind of done it before, so I know what its going to be like going into it, he said. But the biggest thing for me is not the physical aspect. Its the mindset of being ready every day. Ive been used to having four days off, not having to worry about game action or anything like that. So for me to be ready day in and day out, thatll be the biggest adjustment.

Up till this point he considered himself a starter. Now, hes a reliever. With an opportunity.

So its going to be an interesting year, he said. I didnt expect this but welcome it with open arms and hopefully itll work out well for the best.

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

BOSTON -- The Red Sox scored runs in bunches in tallying four consecutive victories. They leaned on pitching and defense to earn their latest.

Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners for their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third win in a row for Rodriguez (4-1), who gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

"I just go out there and pitch," Rodriguez said. "I'm never really thinking about numbers. I just go out there and throw my pitches and do the best I can do."

That effort is producing one of the best stretches of his three-year career.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span. He hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings and only 11 runs in his last 49 1/3 innings. His ERA is just 2.01 over that same period.

"He was amazing," Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "Put zeroes on the board all night long. And he made the big pitch when he needed to."

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Manager John Farrell said his 24-year-old pitcher is in a "very good place" right now.

"He was powerful tonight," he said. "It's just a matter of his abilities coming together. This has always been an extremely talented young guy. We've talked about his maturity, we've talked about his progression. It's been on display here for a good number of starts consecutively."

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs.

"The whole night obviously wasn't consistent," he said.

Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help defensively. Bradley had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBIs in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

MISSING: OFFENSE

Mariners manager Scott Servais said they are doing everything they can to find production from an offense that has gone missing.

"Offensively, we struggled to put innings together. That's kind of been the story here for the last week or so, we just haven't gotten the line moving at all, for whatever reason," he said. "Guys are frustrated by it, we all are. We know we're better than that, offensively. It's not happening right now."

Seattle was held scoreless for the fourth time this season.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his first major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.

Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.  

The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.

The full lineups: 

MARINERS
Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C

Yovanni Gallardo RHP

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP