Notes: Reyes having control problems for Sox

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Notes: Reyes having control problems for Sox

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

CLEVELAND -- Dennys Reyes wasn't assured of a spot on the Red Sox' Opening Day roster until the day before the team left Florida. If he doesn't start pitching better soon, he may be the first player out the door.

Reyes had made three appearances before Tuesday night and though he was unscored upon, he had allowed the leadoff batter to reach in two of them.

For a lefty specialist, utilized mostly to get a key hitter or two, that's a recipe for disaster.

But Wednesday night was a new low for the veteran lefty. He entered the game in the bottom of the sixth, hit two batters and walked a third. Of the 12 pitches he threw, 11 were balls.

"He's not commanding,'' said Fracona. "We're all looking for that two-seam movement down in the zone, get some ground balls. But everything seems like it's up to his arm side. He's missing by a lot. He's just not commanding.''

"I couldn't command anything,'' said Reyes. "I was throwing behind my body. My mechanics were gone today. I take the fault for today's game. They gave me the game with the game close and I let it get away.''

The Sox have at least two other left-handed options at Pawtucket: Rich Hill and Hideki Okajima.

Outfielder Carl Crawford had his second two-hit game in the last three, but what stood out was his aggressive style when he got on base.

Crawford, hitting second for the second straight game, singled off pitcher Mitch Talbot's glove with one out in the second, then stole second.

In the fifth, he walked, stole second and took third on a groundout to the right side. Finally, in the seventh, he had an infield single to short and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's first homer as a member of the Red Sox.

The two steals were his first with the Red Sox. It marked the 57th time in his career that Crawford had a multi-steal game.

"When he gets on,'' said Francona, "he'll start using his legs and hopefully create some havoc. That's what he used to do against us.''

Daisuke Matsuzaka was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits. Like Josh Beckett the night before, Matsuzaka's night was cut short because of a high pitch count.

In five innings, Matsuzaka threw 96 pitches, nearly matching the 106 thrown over five frames by Beckett Tuesday night in the series opener.

''It took him until about the fifth inning before he was actually throwing more strikes than balls,'' said Francona. "That's just a hard way to pitch successfully. He didn't give up a ton of runs, but again, he's almost at 100 pitches after five. That's a hard way to stay out there.''

The loss was the first in Matsuzaka's career in Cleveland during the regular season. Before Tuesday night, he had made two starts, won them both and held the Indians scoreless over 15 innings.

Adrian Gonzalez hit his first homer as a member of the Sox, a two-run shot in the seventh off Frank Hermann. Gonzalez also had a double. Of the 10 extra-base hits the Sox have collected over the first five games, Gonzalez has three of them . . . Dustin Pedroia was 0-for-3 and saw his hitting streak snapped at four games.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox got the bullpen help they were seeking Tuesday, but it came at a steep price.
     
The Sox obtained righthanded reliever Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers, but it cost them infielder Travis Shaw, highly regarded shortstop prospect Mauricio Dubon and pitching prospect Josh Pennington, according to an industry source.

In Thornburg, 28, the Red Sox get a hard-throwing reliever whom they control for the next three seasons. He became the Brewers' closer after the trade deadline last year and recorded 13 saves while posting a 2.15 ERA and avergaing 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
    
He will serve as the Red Sox' primary set-up option to get to closer Craig Kimbrel.
     
One potential issue for Thornburg is that he's dealt with some elbow issues in the recent past. As recently as 2014, it was thought that he might require Tommy John surgery, but he instead underwent PRP (platelt rich plasma) treatment and has remained healthy.

Given that the last set-up reliever obtained by Dombrowski, Carson Smith, underwent Tommy John surgery last season, Thornburg's injury history raises a caution flag.

In dealing Shaw, the Red Sox are now expecting Pablo Sandoval to be their primary third baseman -- at least in the near term.

Sandoval missed all but a few games in 2016 with a shoulder injury and his conditioning has been an issue since signing with the Red Sox two years ago.

The Red Sox have Brock Holt to help out at third in 2017, with both Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers waiting in the wings.

Dubon is the second top prospect to be dealt by Dombrowski in the last 13 months. He included Javier Guerra in a package with three other prospects to obtain Kimbrel in November of 2015.

Dubon posted a .912 OPS in half a season at Portland last year and recently played in the Arizona Fall League. He has limited power, but strong athleticism and makes good contact.

Pennington is 20, a hard-throwing (94-98 mph) righthander who could profile either as a late-inning weapon or a starter. He's years away from the big leagues and has already undergone Tommy John surgery.

The Boston Herald was the first to report that the teams had made a trade. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com was the first to report the details.

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

When it comes to Pablo Sandoval and his weight, a picture is worth a thousand words.

During spring training it wasn’t a good thing. Sandoval made headlines when a number of photos revealed significant weight gain for the Red Sox third baseman.

But the last two images have been more positive for Sandoval.

In October, a noticeably thinner Sandoval was photographed at an FC Barcelona game.

On Monday, Dan Roche of WBZ tweeted a more recent picture of the new-look Sandoval.

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.