Boston Red Sox

Red Sox announce 2013 non-roster invitees

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Red Sox announce 2013 non-roster invitees

BOSTON, MAGeneral Manager Ben Cherington announced today that 19 players will attend the Red Sox Major League Spring Training camp as non-roster invitees.

Pedro Beato, RHP Beato went 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA in four relief appearances with Boston after being acquired from the New York Mets on August 16.

Xander Bogaerts, INF Bogaerts comes into camp as Bostons No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America. He was named Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year after he hit .307 with 20 home runs and 81 RBI in 127 games between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland.

Jackie Bradley, OF The 22-year-old hit .315 with nine home runs and 63 RBI in 128 games between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland last season. Bradley was named the Red Sox Minor League Defensive Player of the Year

Chris Carpenter, RHP Carpenter posted a 2.08 ERA in 21 appearances between the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, Greenville, Portland, and Pawtucket.

Anthony Carter, RHP The 26-year-old Carter posted a 4-6 record with a 4.60 ERA in 39 appearances for Triple-A Charlotte in the White Sox organization.

Jose De La Torre, RHP De La Torre went 9-1 with a 2.80 ERA in 46 appearances for Double-A Akron, Triple-A Columbus, and Pawtucket.

Jonathan Diaz, INF Diaz hit .221 with four home runs and 40 RBI in 134 games between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas in the Blue Jays system.

Terry Doyle, RHP Doyle was in both the Twins and White Sox organizations last year. He returned to the White Sox organization where he pitched for Triple-A Charlotte where he went 6-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 12 games.

Mark Hamilton, INFOF Hamilton spent last year with Triple-A Memphis in the Cardinals organization where he hit .231 with 15 home runs and51 RBI90 games with Triple-A Memphis in the Cardinals organization.

Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF In 121 games between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket last season, Hazelbaker combined to hit .273 with 19 home runs and 67 RBI.

Justin Henry, INF Henry played for Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers organization where he hit .300 with one home run and 38 RBI in 131 games.

Chris Hernandez, LHP Hernandez pitched for both Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in 2012 and combined to go 5-12 with a 3.26 ERA in 26 games.

Juan Carlos Linares, OF Linares hit .316 with 16 home runs and 62 RBI in 110 games between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket last season.

Mitch Maier, OF Maier, split the 2012 season between Triple-A Omaha and the Kansas City Royals. Maier hit .172 with two home runs and seven RBI in 32 games with the Royals. In 38 games for Triple-A Omaha, he hit .288 with four home runs and 17 RBI.

Deven Marrero, INF The Red Sox first-round selection in the 2012 Draft, Marrero hit .268 with two home runs and 24 RBI in 64 games for Single-A Lowell.

Lyle Overbay, INF Overbay, split the 2012 season between the Diamondbacks and Braves, where he hit .259 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 65 games.

Drew Sutton, INF Sutton, In his 42 games between the Pirates and Rays, he hit .254 with one home run and 13 RBI.

Ryan Sweeney, OF Sweeney batted .260 with 16 RBI in 63 games for the Red Sox before his season was ended after he punched a wall in the dugout.

Oscar Villarreal, LHP Villarreal, went 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 37 games for Triple-A Norfolk in the Orioles minor league system.

Eight of the 19 invitees have previous major league experience. Beato, Carpenter and Sweeney all saw action for the Red Sox in 2012.

Drellich: How should Sox handle Sale's pursuit of Pedro's strikeout record?

Drellich: How should Sox handle Sale's pursuit of Pedro's strikeout record?

BALTIMORE — Baseball records are so precise. When to pursue them, when to value them even if minor risk is involved, is not nearly as clear cut.

The Red Sox, Chris Sale and John Farrell have stumbled upon that grey area, and it will continue to play out in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Sale reached a tremendous milestone on Wednesday night, becoming the 14th pitcher in major-league history to reach 300 strikeouts in a single season. No one else has done it in the American League this century. Clayton Kershaw was the last to get there in the National League two years ago.

“It was really fun,” Sale said of having his family on hand. “My wife, both my boys are here, my mother-in-law. Being able to run out and get a big hug from him and my wife and everybody — it was special having them here for something like this . . . I’ll spend a little time with them before we head to Cincinnati.”

Now, there’s another mark ahead of Sale: Pedro Martinez’s single-season club record of 313. And the pursuit of that record is going to highlight the discussion of what matters even more.

The tug-of-war between absolute pragmatism and personal achievement was on display Wednesday, when Farrell gave ground to the latter. 

The manager was prepared for the questions after a celebratory 9-0 win over the Orioles. His pitchers threw 26 straight scoreless innings to finish off a three-game sweep of the Orioles, and the Sox had the game well in hand the whole night.

With seven innings and 99 pitches thrown and 299 strikeouts in the books, Sale went back out for the eighth inning.

If you watched it, if you saw Sale drop a 2-2 front-door slider to a hapless Ryan Flaherty for the final strikeout Sale needed and his last pitch of the night, you surely enjoyed it. Records may not be championships, but they have their own appeal in sports that’s undeniable. 

But Sale could have recorded strikeout No. 300 next time out. Surely, he would have. He needed all 111 pitches to do so Wednesday.

In this case, the difference between 299 and 300 wound up being just 12 pitches. 

It’s doubtful those 12 pitches will ruin Sale’s postseason chances, particularly considering he was throwing hard all game, touching 99 mph. 

Nonetheless, the Sox hope to play for another month, and they've been working to get Sale extra rest. So, why risk fatigue, or worse, injury?

“The two overriding factors for me,” Farrell explained, “were the pitch counts and the innings in which he was in control of throughout. Gets an extra day [for five days of rest] this next time through the rotation. All those things were brought into play in the thinking of bringing him back out.

“We know what the final out of tonight represented, him getting the 300 strikeouts. Was aware of that, and you know what, felt like he was in complete command of this game and the ability to go out and give that opportunity, he recorded it.”

If Sale makes his final two starts of the year, he’ll break Martinez's record of 313. At least he should. But he might not make his projected final start, in Game No. 162, so that he’s set up for Game 1 in the Division Series.

(So, if he could do reach 314 Ks in his next start, he’d make this discussion disappear — but 14 Ks in one outing is not easy.)

When should exceptions be made to let someone get to a record? Where do you draw the line? 

Would it be reasonable to get Sale an inning or two against the Astros in Game 162 if he was a few strikeouts away, even though he may face the Astros in the Division Series?

Letting the Astros get extra looks against Sale is a different matter than Sale throwing 12 extra pitches. But neither is really a guarantee of doom. They're small risks, of varying size.

Consider that if Sale is on, he should rough up the Astros no matter what.

What's 12 pitches Wednesday for a guy who leads the majors in average pitches thrown per game? Not enough to keep Farrell from letting Sale have a go at one milestone.

Will the Sox work to put Sale in position for the next?

Records don’t usually fall into such a grey area. Outside of the steroid era, anyway.

Red Sox rout Orioles, 9-0, and clinch playoff spot when Angels lose

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Red Sox rout Orioles, 9-0, and clinch playoff spot when Angels lose

BALTIMORE -- Chris Sale was at his very best - right down to his momentous last pitch - in another meaningful victory for the Boston Red Sox.

Sale struck out 13 to become the first AL pitcher in 18 years to reach the 300 mark, and the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth hours after beating the Baltimore Orioles 9-0 on Wednesday night.

Boston (88-64) was assured at least a wild card and its second consecutive trip to the postseason when the Los Angeles Angels lost 6-5 to the Cleveland Indians. Of course, the Red Sox are looking for much more than that. They lead the AL East by three games over the rival New York Yankees with 10 to play as Boston pursues its third division title in five years.

"Given where we are in the standings and what is at stake, every win is important," manager John Farrell said. "Just getting into the playoffs is not our goal."

Sale (17-7) reached the milestone on his 111th and final pitch, a called third strike against Ryan Flaherty to end the eighth inning. The last AL pitcher to fan 300 batters in a season was Boston's Pedro Martinez in 1999, when he set a club record with 313.

Farrell sent Sale back out for the eighth inning to give him a shot at getting No. 300.

Thing is, the left-hander had no idea he was at 299 when the inning started.

"No, I didn't," Sale said. "I went out there and struck out the last guy and everyone started losing it. I knew I was close, but I didn't know I needed just one more."

Mookie Betts and Deven Marrero homered for the Red Sox.

After winning two straight 11-inning games over the skidding Orioles, Boston jumped to a 6-0 lead in the fifth and coasted to its 11th win in 14 games.

Betts and Marrero hit two-run homers in the fourth against Wade Miley (8-14), and Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the fifth.

Sale allowed four hits and walked none in matching his career high for wins.

"A dominant performance after a year that has been a dominant one," Farrell said.

Sale reached double figures in strikeouts for the 18th time this season. He is the 14th pitcher in the so-called Live Ball Era (1920-present) to ring up 300 strikeouts in a season.

It was his 10th scoreless outing of the season, tying the team record held by Babe Ruth (1916) and Martinez (2000 and 2002).

"It was fun. I felt good tonight," he said.

Sale faced a Baltimore lineup that was lacking two of its better hitters. Manny Machado was held out with an illness that manager Buck Showalter said the third baseman had been dealing with for nearly two weeks, and shortstop Tim Beckham was unavailable after having a wisdom tooth removed.

Not that it would have made much of a difference against Sale.

"He's one of the best pitchers in the game and couple in the fact that we're not really operating on all cylinders offensively, you end up with a shutout," Showalter said.

In a streak that began in the sixth inning Monday night, Baltimore has gone 26 straight innings without scoring. The Orioles (73-80) were in the playoff hunt before losing 12 of their last 14 games.

SLUMP BUSTER

Boston's Dustin Pedroia doubled in two runs in the eighth inning to snap an 0-for-18 skid. He missed Tuesday night's game with a bruised nose.

PRICE CLOSING?

The Red Sox have plenty of pitchers in the bullpen, perhaps none more accomplished than former Cy Young Award winner David Price.

Price has been pitching in relief since returning from the DL on Sept. 14.

"He is available for multiple innings of relief tonight," Farrell said before the game. "I wouldn't be surprised if he were closing the game out."

FILLING OUT THE FIELD

Boston joins AL Central champion Cleveland and AL West champion Houston in the American League playoffs, which begin next month. Two spots are still up for grabs.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Eduardo Nunez (knee sprain) fielded grounders and did some running but still has a way to go before returning to the lineup. "While the hitting and fielding portion has improved, we find that the running portion is going to take longer than we first anticipated," Farrell said.

Orioles: Closer Zach Britton will likely be shut down for the season. He's going to get a stem-cell injection in his left knee, and it would probably be foolish to test him again in a season that's gone south. "The most important thing for me is to be healthy going into next season," he said.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: After a day off Thursday, Boston sends 17-game loser Rick Porcello to the mound in the opener of a three-game interleague series at Cincinnati.

Orioles: Gabriel Ynoa (1-2, 4.18 ERA) helps Baltimore launch a four-game series Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, who - like the Orioles - remain only mathematically alive in the playoff chase.