Merloni: Farrell will have big impact on pitching staff


Merloni: Farrell will have big impact on pitching staff

Lou Merloni is live from Fort Myers, FL for Red Sox Spring Training and joins Mike Felger on Sports Tonight to talk about the Sox pitching staff.

The staff was a disaster last year, but the hope is that new Sox manager, and former Sox pitching coach, John Farrell can change things. Merloni is on board with that way of thinking.

"I think he can have a big impact. Listen, the last time he saw these guys, a lot of them were on top of their game. Whatever liberties they took with Terry Francona, and the last couple of pitching coaches, I think that does go away. There was that fear factor with John Farrell; he does have that presence."

Merloni and Felger also tackle the news that John Lackey has arrived in camp having lost a ton of weight. Merloni doesn't seem to care much, but Felger thinks it's a good signs.

The two do agree on Jon Lester's recent comments regarding another "level" he can reach as a pitcher.

Check out the video.

Homers by Trey Mancini, Jonathan Schoop carry Orioles past Red Sox, 4-2

Homers by Trey Mancini, Jonathan Schoop carry Orioles past Red Sox, 4-2

Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop homered in succession off knuckleballer Steven Wright, Jayson Aquino won his first big league start and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.

Baltimore will seek to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday. The Orioles have not lost a series this year and own the best record in the majors (12-4).

Aquino (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings to earn his first career victory. The 24-year-old lefty previously pitched three times in relief, all last year with Baltimore.

Mychal Givens followed with two perfect innings, Donnie Hart got two outs in the ninth and Darren O'Day finished for his first save.

Jackie Bradley Jr. homered for the Red Sox, who were without injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Wright (1-2) gave up four runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. Just 10 days earlier, the right-hander got only four outs and yielded eight runs against Baltimore at Fenway Park.

Bradley put the Red Sox up 2-0 in the third with his first home run, a shot onto Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard. Boston came in with only seven home runs, fewest in the big leagues.

Limited to three singles over the first three innings, Baltimore hit two singles, two doubles and two homers in a four-run fourth.

Chris Davis doubled and Mancini and Schoop homered before Adam Jones chased Wright with an RBI single.

It was Mancini's team-high fifth long ball of the year. He has eight homers in 17 big league games over two seasons.


Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph snapped an 0-for-23 skid with a third-inning single and added a double in the fourth.

Joseph's slump began last September and included 12 at-bats this season. He's still looking for his first RBI since the 2015 season.


Red Sox: Pedroia missed the game with a sore left knee and ankle but hopes to return Sunday. The injuries occurred when he was spiked by Manny Machado on Friday night.

Orioles: All-Star closer Zach Britton (forearm strain) will be examined by a hand specialist Monday and could resume throwing on that day. ... RHP Chris Tillman(shoulder) allowed three runs over 3 2/3 innings against Harrisburg in a rehabilitation outing with Double A Bowie. ... OF Joey Rickard (sprained finger) took soft-toss swings in a session manager Buck Showalter called "very encouraging."


Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 4.76 ERA) takes the mound Sunday in the series finale. He came to Boston in 2014 in the trade that sent LHP Andrew Miller to the Orioles.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 7.23) makes his fifth start of the season. He's allowed 26 hits in 18 2/3 innings and opponents are batting .329 against him.


More AP baseball:https://apnews.tag/MLBbaseball

David Ortiz says Chris Sale is 'going to continue striking out 20 per game'

David Ortiz says Chris Sale is 'going to continue striking out 20 per game'

When it comes to Chris Sale, David Ortiz is apparently having a hard time believing.

“Unbelievable man, unbelievable,” Ortiz said Saturday night at The Charmed Foundation gala at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. “Unbelievable. But I know it was coming. I knew it was coming. That’s why I got so excited when we got him. He’s an unbelievable pitcher, he’s going to help us out a lot. 

“You know, (David) Price, whenever he gets back. It’s just the beginning of the season. … Everybody’s going to be fine, we’re going to start winning ball games. Sale’s going to continue striking out 20 per game. It’s fun to watch man.”

Ortiz dodged a question of how Sale compares to Pedro Martinez. 

Ortiz talked baseball only briefly on Saturday, when he arrived at a charity event to surprise Maverick Schutte, the young Wyoming boy battling through myriad medical problems whom Ortiz befriended last April. 

Ortiz promised Schutte, who has a congenital heart condition and lung defect, that he would hit a home run for him against the Yankees — and Ortiz followed through in the eighth inning of a 4-2 win on April 29.

The two were reunited Saturday.

“It was wonderful,” Ortiz said of the home run. “Me and Maverick we go way back. It’s always good seeing him.”

Big Papi said he’s watched the 2017 Red Sox a few times, and that the questions haven’t stopped about his playing status.

No, he hasn’t changed his mind.

“It’s over, you know?” Ortiz said. “I’m going Hollywood now.”

“I’ve been busy man. I‘ve been all over the place. Whenever I have some time off, I’m just at home chilling.”

If retirement was supposed to make Ortiz fat and slovenly, he's avoided that look thus far, looking trim relative to his build.

"I’m trying man," Ortiz said. "I’m trying to keep it real."

Ortiz didn’t say much about the current team, except that he thinks there’s chemistry brewing.

“Got a good ball club,” Ortiz said. “I think everybody’s going to be fine. Can see good chemistry going on in the dugout.

“To me that’s very important and I’m pretty sure they’re going to bounce back and it’s going to be alright.”

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy told CSNNE earlier this month he thinks an official job for Ortiz with the Red Sox could wait until later in the year, if not next year. Ortiz didn’t hint otherwise.

“We’re talking,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been so busy right now. We’re talking. … I want to have time for it.”

Charmed stands for Children and Athletes Regenerative Medicine. Schutte and Ortiz on Saturday were named co-recipient son the foundation’s Courage Award. The foundation wants to accelerate the development of regenerative therapies to help the body heal itself.