Boston Red Sox

Red Sox beat up Blue Jays in series finale, 10-4

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Red Sox beat up Blue Jays in series finale, 10-4

BOSTON Down by one run going into the home half of the first, the Red Sox offense wasted little time getting all over Jays starter Ricky Romero.

The Sox sent 10 batters to the plate in the first, scoring six runs on four hits and two walks, on their way to a 10-4 win over the Blue Jays at Fenway Park Wednesday afternoon.

Jon Lester was the beneficiary of the offensive barrage, earning the win to even his record at 5-5. Lester went seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with no walks, four strikeouts and two home runs. He snapped his streak of four straight quality starts, as his ERA rose from 4.48 to 4.53.

David Ortiz walked in his first three plate appearances, scoring each time when Adrian Gonzalez drove him in. But in his fourth plate appearance, he drove a Jesse Chavez fastball into the stairwell behind the Sox bullpen in the center field bleachers for his 21st homer of the season and 399th of his career.

Leading off the eighth, Ortiz had a chance to reach the 400-home run milestone. But, with the Fenway crowded chanting "Lets go, Papi," hoping to witness the milestone before the Sox leave for a seven-game road trip to Seattle and Oakland, Ortiz struck out swinging.

Ortiz finished the day going 1-for-2 with four runs scored, an RBI, three walks, and a strikeout.

Romero took the loss for the Jays, going three innings plus two batters in the fourth, giving up nine runs, eight earned, on seven hits and six walks with one strikeout.

The Sox finish the nine-game homestand with a record of 7-2.

STAR OF THE GAME: David OrtizOrtiz went 1-for-2 with a home run, three walks, four runs scored, and an RBI. He walked in each of his first three plate appearances, scoring each time when Adrian Gonzalez drove him in. In his first official at-bat, he crushed a Jesse Chavez fastball into the stairwell behind the Red Sox bullpen in the center field bleachers. It was his 21st home run of the season, 399th of his career, and 341st with the Red Sox.The home run moves him past Dale Murphy, at 398, and into a tie with Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline for 49th on baseballs all-time list.In his final plate appearance of the game, Ortiz led off the eighth inning looking for career home run No. 400. Instead, he struck out against Luis Perez.The four runs scored tie a career high for the fifth time (the last was Aug. 12, 2008, against the Rangers).HONORABLE MENTION: Jon LesterLester earned the win, going seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with no walks, four strikeouts, and two home runs. His record improved to 5-5, although his ERA crept up from 4.48 to 4.53.Lester snapped a streak of four straight games with a quality start. But in that streak, he was 1-1 with two no-decisions, while the Sox were 1-3 in those games.He has a 3.41 ERA in four day games this season, with 23 strikeouts in 29 innings, holding opponents to a .204 average.
THE GOAT: Ricky RomeroGiven a one-run lead after the first inning, the Blue Jays lefty quickly gave that back, and more. He faced 10 batters in the first inning, with six scoring as the first five batters reached base before the Jays could record an out.He lasted just three innings, plus two batters in the fourth, giving up nine runs, eight earned, on seven hits and six walks with one strikeout. He threw 90 pitches, 48 strikes, as his record fell to 8-2, and his ERA climbed from 4.34 to 4.94.Romero tied his career high, allowing nine runs, which he had done previously against the Sox on July 9, 2010. It was the fifth time in his career he has allowed six or more runs in an inning -- it was the most runs he has ever allowed in the first inning.This was his shortest outing since lasting just 2 13 innings against the Sox in the July 9, 2010 game.It was the second time hes allowed six or more walks in an outing this season.
THE TURNING POINTTrailing by a run entering the first inning, the Sox offense sent 10 batters to the plate, with six scoring. The first five batters reached base safely, with all eventually scoring. Romero set the tone quickly by walking lead-off batter Daniel Nava on four pitches.
STAT OF THE DAY: 7.12Romero now has a career ERA of 7.12, giving up 34 earned runs over 43.0 innings in eight starts, with a record of 3-4.
QUOTE OF NOTEWho doesnt (enjoy watching him)? Its awesome. Thats what he does. Thats why he should be here for a lot longer. Adrian Gonzalez on David Ortiz

Drellich: Red Sox role-d once again by Farrell's bullpen usage

Drellich: Red Sox role-d once again by Farrell's bullpen usage

CLEVELAND -- John Farrell is fighting himself. More than he might realize, he’s willing to mix up his bullpen usage in a way that’s smart. But in some of the most crucial innings, Farrell will stubbornly and perhaps reflexively revert to tradition and a false sense of role -- one that actually runs counter to the logic the manager employs at other times.

Look at the big cat, Craig Kimbrel, who was again left in the bullpen Monday night as the eighth and ninth innings deteriorated in a 5-4 Red Sox loss to the Indians. 

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It’s all about the inning with Kimbrel, you see -- or in Monday’s case, it's a matter of when Farrell would have been forced to use him.

“[If] I use Kimbrel tonight, [he'll] need . . . one, if not two days off,” Farrell said. “That's why you need the contributions from everyone.”

But the indication was Kimbrel was available for a save, or perhaps the 10th inning when the lineup turned over again. If he needs rest, rest him. Farrell did not say that Kimbrel was down entirely.

But the eighth inning? No, that’d be lunacy.

“I know that there’s this overriding thought that you can just drop Craig Kimbrel in anywhere from the sixth inning to the ninth inning,” Farrell said Friday. “And with all due respect, there’s a lot more that goes into it than just that. We’ve used Craig for four outs or more this year. And there’s a willingness to do that. 

“But when we’re completely rested down there, there are roles [in which] guys have performed very well . . . And there’s a reason why our bullpen has excelled to the point they have. There are roles that are established and they pitch to them.”

Seriously, what roles? The roles change as often as Farrell’s logic defending them, aside from Kimbrel’s overwhelming need to be in save situations.

The Sox were not “completely rested” on Monday, for one. Addison Reed was unavailable entirely.

But step back for a moment, and look at the overall usage of the reliever who initially got the Red Sox into trouble Monday in the eighth, Matt Barnes. 

The righty this year has pitched in the sixth inning three times. He’s been used in the seventh inning 18 times and the eighth inning 29 times, including Monday. 

Another nine times, Barnes has pitched in the ninth or later. Fourteen times, he’s made multi-inning appearances.

Does that sound like a rigid role to you?

When Farrell spoke recently of his plan for using Reed and Barnes, it sounded pretty darn progressive.

"Addision, we’ve initially said it’s the eighth inning," Farrell said. "We’ve used him accordingly based on where we are in the lineup and based on the potential of running threats . . . As we map out the seventh and eighth inning, it’s going to be Barnes and Addison and we’ll see where the right matchups provide themselves.”

So what matters more, lineup position and running threats, or what inning it is?

Depends which reliever Farrell is talking about on which night, or maybe which way the wind is blowing.

For Monday night, Barnes all of a sudden was a reliever with a role.

“On a night when not everyone's available, [Barnes is] the one that has had the most experience in the eighth inning against both lefties and righties,” Farrell said.

Experience in a particular inning, now that’s the primary factor for Barnes? What about the fact Barnes has been terrible on the road lately?

What about the fact that Brandon Workman has a 1.40 ERA, or that Farrell said before the game Workman is now in the high-leverage mix?

Workman gave up a leadoff double on Monday in the ninth inning. He might have blown the eighth inning anyway. Farrell also prefers a clean inning for Workman, and wanted to avoid using the righty Monday for workload reasons as well.

But Workman was, indeed, available. So why let extra innings or a tie game in the ninth force you to use him, as opposed to pitching him at a time he perhaps could have protected the lead?

Workman in the eighth could have thrown in place of either Barnes or Heath Hembree. The latter’s done worse than anyone on the Sox with inherited runners and came on to try to clean up Barnes’ mess. Workman has six inherited runners this year and none have scored.

But Workman has a role. Except he doesn’t. Or if he does, it’s as loosely defined as everybody else’s, save for the guy who can only get saves.

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Guyer scores winner on Holt's error in 9th, Indians top Red Sox, 5-4

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Guyer scores winner on Holt's error in 9th, Indians top Red Sox, 5-4

CLEVELAND -- Andrew Miller wasn't among the Cleveland Indians chasing Roberto Perez around the infield, flinging water and white powder to celebrate a wild win over an American League rival.

The Indians relief ace - a pivotal piece during Cleveland's run to the World Series last season - may miss a few more big moments this season, too.

Miller's injury put a damper on a 5-4 walk-off victory Monday night over the Boston Red Sox, a game that ended when first baseman Brock Holt threw away Perez's bunt in the ninth inning, allowing Brandon Guyer to score from second base.

Miller left in the seventh after aggravating the patellar tendinitis in his right knee. Miller spent over two weeks on the disabled list with the injury before returning Friday. This was his second appearance since.

Manager Terry Francona said Miller will be evaluated Tuesday, but it seems likely that he'll return to the DL.

"Hope for the best and hope that it's not a big deal," Miller said. "It stinks missing any time. I've already missed 12 days or something like that. I don't want to do it again. We'll find out more (Tuesday). See how I wake up."

"That's not what we were hoping for, but we'll let the medical people put their heads together and see what they can do," Francona said.

Miller began the seventh by walking Red Sox star Mookie Betts on six pitches - including a number of fastballs that failed to reach 90 mph - and then threw one pitch to Andrew Benintendi before walking off the mound. Francona and a team trainer had a brief conversation with Miller, who then left the field.

Miller said he was optimistic that he had turned the corner with the injury, but that changed when he entered the game.

"It was kind of not really crisp the first pitches," he said. "But the pitch I pulled inside to Mookie, I kind of felt it. And I threw one more and it was the same thing."

The left-hander is 4-3 with a 1.65 ERA and has 79 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings.

After Guyer's leadoff double against Brandon Workman (0-1) in the ninth, Holt fielded the bunted ball and tried to throw out Guyer at third. Guyer slid into the bag as the throw skipped past third baseman Rafael Devers, then got to his feet and raced across home plate.

"It was just a routine play," Holt said. "I couldn't get it out of the glove, fumbled it a little bit, and then tried to rush the throw, and made a bad one."

Holt replaced Mitch Moreland, who was a late scratch because of a sore neck. Moreland took a forearm in the back of the head from Holt on a play Sunday. Manager John Farrell said Moreland passed concussion tests, but he decided to hold him out of the lineup.

Perez also had a three-run homer in the second inning.

Cody Allen (1-6) allowed Christian Vazquez's leadoff single in the ninth, but retired the next three hitters. The inning ended when shortstop Francisco Lindor ran down Betts' popup in center field with his back to home plate.

Boston led 4-3 behind two-run homers by Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi before Edwin Encarnacion tied the game in the eighth with an RBI single.

Eduardo Rodriguez allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings for Boston. Mike Clevinger allowed both homers and gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings for Cleveland.

Jay Bruce was 1 for 4 in his first home game since being acquired from the New York Mets on Aug. 9.

MORE NOTABLE INJURIES

Plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt was struck on the mask by a warmup pitch in the sixth inning from Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly. Wendelstedt finished the inning, but left while Miller was warming up, which led to a 10-minute delay as second base umpire Alan Porter changed his gear.

Indians first baseman Carlos Santana also left the game with an injury, exiting in the eighth inning with lower back tightness.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (back spasms) says he's on schedule to start Wednesday after a bullpen session Monday. He left his start against the Yankees on Friday in the fourth inning. "I feel pretty good," he said. "The progression is a little better every day, so I'm looking to keep getting that improvement."

Indians: OF Michael Brantley (sprained right ankle) is hitting and playing catch but hasn't started running. He's on the disabled list for the second time this season with the injury.

UP NEXT

RHP Doug Fister will face Cleveland for the third time in his last four starts Tuesday. He defeated the Indians on July 31, allowing two runs in 7 2/3 innings, but gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings and got the loss Aug. 14. RHP Carlos Carrasco didn't make it out of the second inning against Boston on Aug. 2, allowing five runs.