Boston Red Sox

Red Sox call up Johnson to start vs. Jays tonight, send Travis, Scott down

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Red Sox call up Johnson to start vs. Jays tonight, send Travis, Scott down

Left-hander Brian Johnson will make his fifth major league start this season for the Red Sox tonight against the Blue Jays after he was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket as part of a series of roster moves.

The Red Sox also recalled right-hander Hector Velázquez from Pawtucket and sent first baseman Sam Travis and left-handed reliever Robby Scott to Triple-A.

Johnson, 26, was 2-0 with a 4.29 ERA in four Red Sox starts in 2017, including a five-hit shutout of the Seattle Mariners at Fenway on May 27. He left his start with an injury June 14, went on the 10-day DL and returned to pitch at Pawtucket. He pitched seven shutout innings in his most recent Triple-A start on July 13.

Velázquez, 28, has made three appearances (two starts) for Boston this season, going 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA. He is also 6-1 with a 1.48 ERA (11 ER/67.0 IP) and a .200 opponent batting average in 12 starts with the PawSox, striking out 48 batters and walking 14. 
 
Travis, 23, a right-handed hitting first baseman, hit .279 (12-for-43) with five doubles and a .380 on-base percentage in 18 games (12 starts) for the Red Sox, including .379 (11-for-29) with a 1.003 OPS versus left-handers.
 
Scott, 27, made his first career Opening Day roster in 2017 and has appeared in 38 games for the Red Sox, the most among American League rookie pitchers. He has a 3.75 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP while holding opponents to a .190 batting average, recording 18 strikeouts against 10 walks. Left-handed batters have hit only .103 (4-for-39) against him, tied for the fourth-lowest mark in the majors among pitchers who have faced at least 40 lefties.


 

Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

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Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

CINCINNATI - Mookie Betts doubled with the bases loaded to tie it in the eighth inning and dashed home from second base on an infield single, rallying the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Reds that moved them closer to the AL East title.

By winning 14 of its last 17 games, Boston has left virtually no opening for the second-place New York Yankees to catch up. The Red Sox, already assured a playoff spot, completed an 8-1 road trip that put them in excellent position to win a second consecutive division crown for the first time in franchise history.

Coupled with New York's 9-5 loss in Toronto, the Red Sox reduced their magic number to three. They lead the Yankees by five games with seven to play.

That means Fenway Park can start preparing for a potential celebration. Boston finishes the regular season at home with three games against Toronto and four vs. Houston.

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A's Maxwell becomes first MLB player to kneel during anthem

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A's Maxwell becomes first MLB player to kneel during anthem

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics became the first major league baseball player to kneel during the national anthem Saturday, pulling the sport into a polarizing protest movement that has been criticized harshly by President Donald Trump.

Before a home game against the Texas Rangers, Maxwell dropped to a knee just outside Oakland's dugout, adopting a protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in response to police treatment of blacks. The 26-year-old rookie catcher pressed his right hand against his heart, and teammates stood in a line next to him. Teammate Mark Canha, who is white, put his right hand on one of Maxwell's shoulders, and the two hugged after the anthem finished.

"Everybody watches sports and so everybody loves sports, so I felt this was the right thing for me to do personally," Maxwell said.

Maxwell's protest comes after Trump blasted football players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen Curry in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes.

"That's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for," Trump said of kneeling through the anthem. He added, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, `Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired."

Maxwell informed A's manager Bob Melvin and general manager David Forst of his intention to kneel before Saturday's game. He also held a team meeting in which he addressed questions from teammates. Maxwell did not play in Oakland's 1-0 win.

Canha approached Maxwell after the meeting to offer his support.

"I could tell he was getting kind of choked up and emotional about his beliefs and how he feels about the racial discrimination that's going on in this country right now," Canha said. "I felt like every fiber in my being was telling me that he needed a brother today."

The Athletics released a statement on Twitter shortly after the anthem, saying they "respect and support all of our players' constitutional rights and freedom of expression" and "pride ourselves on being inclusive."

The league also issued a statement: "Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together."

Maxwell was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, while his father was stationed there in the Army, but he grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, which is where Trump made his statements at a rally Friday.

"The racism in the South is disgusting," Maxwell said. "It bothers me, and it hits home for me because that's where I'm from. The racism in the South is pretty aggressive, and I dealt with it all the way through my childhood, and my sister went through it. I feel that that's something that needs to be addressed and that needs to be changed."

League executives and star players alike condemned Trump's words on Saturday, and Maxwell predicted on Twitter that athletes would begin kneeling in other sports following "comments like that coming from our president."

A few hours later, he followed through.

"This now has gone from just a BlackLives Matter topic to just complete inequality of any man or woman that wants to stand for Their rights!" Maxwell wrote.

Maxwell is decidedly patriotic and comes from a military family. His agent, Matt Sosnick, told The Associated Press that "the Maxwells' love and appreciation for our country is indisputable."

"Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump's response to a number of professional athletes' totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

"Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion."