Boston Red Sox

Jackie Bradley Jr. to get MRI after hurting thumb on slide

Jackie Bradley Jr. to get MRI after hurting thumb on slide

CLEVELAND — Jackie Bradley Jr. will head back to Boston on Wednesday morning for an MRI after he hurt his left thumb sliding into home plate in Tuesday’s 9-1 win over the Indians. X-Rays taken after Bradley was removed from the game at Progressive Field were negative.

Bradley was racing home in the seventh inning and went into a feet-first slide angled to the outside of the plate when he hit his hand awkwardly on the ground. Catcher Yan Gomes didn’t get the tag down in time.

“I’m not worried about it, no,” said Bradley, who will return to Cleveland later Wednesday, but is not expected to play right away. “Right now, it feels alright. I guess, as good it can be kind of after the injury. But, I feel like I’ll be alright.”

Bradley, who earlier in the game hit his 14th home run of the season, decided to change his slide at the last minute.

“As I was coming around third, a few steps before home plate I wanted to slide headfirst because I could control it,” Bradley said. “I wasn’t going to slide anywhere near him. I was going to slide headfirst and just have my hand just kind of reach around. But as I was approaching I kind of could see him gather it. He started coming to kind of block off the plate, so I kind of had to redirect my slide. 

“I actually slid feet first, but I also slid to the outside part of the plate, tried to avoid the tag and then slapped my hand at the back of the plate. And as I slapped the back of the plate, his glove kind of got me in the forearm, and my thumb got caught with the ground and kind of bent in all directions I guess.”

Sox manager John Farrell wasn’t pleased with the lane Gomes allowed Bradley.

But it’s hard to see what Gomes did wrong, by the rules, which state “it shall not be considered a violation of [the rule] if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in a legitimate attempt to field the throw.”

Gomes didn’t end up fully blocking the base line and he made what looked like a normal effort to get the ball where it was thrown. 

The initial safe call was challenged by the Indians and was upheld. Farrell was going to ask the umpires to look at a different aspect had the call been overturned

“He’s got to give a lane, didn’t feel like there was a lane being given at all,” Farrell said. “He had to reach back and unfortunately it puts him in a position where the thumb is exposed.”

Can't rush Carson

Carson Smith isn’t going to be rushed back because of Matt Barnes’ trip to the disabled list. Smith may pitch with just one day of rest in between Triple-A Pawtucket rehab outings this week, but he’s not in a position to race back after so much time missed.

Drew Pomeranz may get extra rest with velocity still down

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Drew Pomeranz may get extra rest with velocity still down

BOSTON — There doesn’t seem to be concern in Red Sox camp that Drew Pomeranz’s velocity is down because he’s hurting. 

Manager John Farrell and Pomeranz appear to be approaching the situation like a fact of life: this is the stuff Pomeranz has at this point in the year. He has 167 2/3 innings under his belt, putting him just three away from matching his career-high a year ago. That takes a toll, but diminished stuff is alarming considering how important Pomeranz is to the Sox’ playoff hopes.

The Sox’ projected Game 2 starter in the American League Division Series was pulled Monday night after just two innings in a 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays, allowing five runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out none.

Pomeranz’s fastball was around 89-91 mph, after he averaged 92.74 mph on it in August, per BrooksBaseball.net. Pomeranz's regular heat wasn't quite there in his previous outing in Baltimore, either, sitting at 89.29. But the dip goes beyond the last two times, to the last four. On Sept. 8, he sat at 90.11 mph, and on Sept. 14 was 91.19 mph.

Farrell left open the possibility that Pomeranz could get extra rest. The lefty's next and last scheduled regular season start is Saturday against the Astros.

“If the opportunity presents itself, I certainly wouldn’t rule that out,” Farrell said of rest. “We recognize the innings total, how he’s climbed over the last couple years in particular. But we notice the velocity has dropped somewhat, so it’s got to come down to being able to locate more consistently which he did in Baltimore. He was pinpoint control that night. Tonight, not so much.”

On Monday, Pomeranz noted what he did after the Baltimore start: that when he needs to hump up for the extra heat, he’s got it.

“I don’t know, I’ve been fine,” Pomeranz said when asked if extra rest may benefit him. “My velocity dipped a few times in the last few outings, but then I get right back up when I need it. So I really didn’t have a chance to get settled in and work some of those higher velocities in there.”

The Sox trailed 5-2 when Pomeranz left.

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Donaldson, Blue Jays stop Red Sox winning streak at six

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Donaldson, Blue Jays stop Red Sox winning streak at six

BOSTON - Josh Donaldson homered and drove in three runs, powering the Toronto Blue Jays past the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Monday night.

Boston's six-game winning streak was snapped and its magic number to clinch a second straight division title remained at three. The Red Sox lead the second-place New York Yankees, who beat Kansas City earlier in the day, by four games with six remaining.

Eduardo Nunez and Mookie Betts both left with injuries for Boston. Nunez aggravated a right knee injury that sidelined him for 13 games, and Betts came out with pain in his left wrist.

Ryan Goins hit a solo homer and Teoscar Hernandez had a two-run double for the Blue Jays. Brett Anderson (2-2) allowed three runs in five innings.

Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz (16-6) had his shortest start of the season, giving up five runs and seven hits in two innings.