Notes: Saltalamacchia, Varitek banged up


Notes: Saltalamacchia, Varitek banged up

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BALTIMORE -- The Sox suddenly find themselves thin in the catching department.

Varitek tried to do some running before the game and the decision was made that he wouldn't start. He was hit in the right knee by a pitch in the fifth inning Sunday night in New York, then left the game two innings later when the knee stiffened up.

"We were going to try (to have me play)," said Varitek, "get treatment all day and see what we could do."

Saltalamacchia started in his place Monday night, but, he, too, was injured when he was struck in the left collarbone by a foul tip.

Ryan Lavarnway replaced Saltalamacchia for the final inning behind the plate.

"He got hit pretty good," said Varitek of his teammate. "I think it went through the chest protector. It was the angle."

"The loss was a lot worse than the stinger," said Saltalamacchia, who underwent x-rays after the game that proved negative. "(The foul tip) missed (all the padding). It didn't touch the chest protector and hit me right on the collarbone.

"I want to (play Tuesday), get treatment and throw and see how it feels. It's pretty sore right now. Hopefully, it gets better overnight."

Asked if he thought he could play Tuesday if Saltalamacchia couldn't, Varitek said, "Let's just get to (Tuesday); that's all I can say."

It was the catch that wasn't.

Jacoby Ellsbury raced back to the warning track when Robert Andino golfed a pitch from Beckett with two on and two out in the sixth.

Ellsbury gloved the ball, but then immediately collided with the wall, jarring the ball from his glove as Andino circled the bases with three runs scoring.

"I figured if anyone could catch, it would be (Ellsbury)," said Beckett.

Said Ellsbury: "I hit (the wall) about as hard as I could while running and looking up at the ball. Right as I hit it, I caught it and the ball popped up."

Ellsbury had a long way to go just to catch up to the ball, since the Sox play Andino shallow as a matter of course.

"I thought I had a good shot at catching it off the bat," said Ellsbury. "I knew it would be close. I knew right as I went for it, I was hoping I had a little more room, but I hit the wall."

Ellsbury said he had the wind knocked out of him "for a split second."

It's becoming increasingly clear that Kevin Youkilis is probably through for the year, whether the Red Sox make the playoffs or not.

Youkilis has been trying to play through a hip injury and a sports hernia, but the pain and discomfort has been too great.

"He's trying so damn hard, but he's pretty sore," said Francona. "He did some light running (Sunday), but he's pretty sore. I don't think we've pulled the plug (on his season), but realistically, we're probably fighting an uphill battle."

Clay Buchholz threw 18 pitches in a simulated game in the Instructional League in Fort Myers.

"He did really well,'' said Francona. "He gave up a double but health-wise, did really good. He was a little bit rusty facing hitters, which I think is (natural).''

The plan calls for Buchholz to join the team here Tuesday and get re-evaluated by the medical staff.

If the Sox have clinched a playoff spot by Wednesday, Buchholz will make an appearance. If the game means something, however, he'll return to the Instructional League for another outing.

Scott Atchison, who suffered a right groin strain in the afternoon game Sunday, was "more sore than we had hoped,'' according to Francona and was unavailable.

Francona said the Sox expected to have most of their bullpen -- including closer Jonathan Papelbon, who threw a season-high 2 13 innings -- for Monday night. Franklin Morales, who threw the final two innings was ruled out, however.

Dan Wheeler, who has been out for the last two weeks with a forearm strain, was scheduled to throw on the side.

J.D. Drew was back in the starting lineup for the second straight game, but will likely be out Tuesday when the Sox face lefthander Zach Britton.

"We'll take any help anywhere we can get it,'' said Francona.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season


Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:


"It's one of those freak things. You don't plan on it happening, but it's one of those things. So we'll just see what the results say and move on from there.'' - Andrew Benintendi on his knee injury.

"That's kind of a routine 3-1 play. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when you've got two outs and a guy on the move. But that's a routine play.'' - John Farrell on the deciding play in which Heath Hembree couldn't hold onto the ball at first.

"I felt good. I felt strong.I felt good out there the whole game.'' - Rick Porcello, asked how he felt going back out for the eighth inning.

"I think everybody in the ballpark knew that that ball was leaving.'' - Porcello, on the hanging curveball to Evan Longoria.



* The loss snapped a five-game winning streak against the Rays for the Red Sox.

* Three of the four Red Sox walk-off losses this season have occurred because of errors.

* The homer by Evan Longoria was his first off Rick Porcello in 40 career at-bats.

* Rick Porcello has now pitched seven innings or more in six straight starts, the longest run for a Red Sox starter since John Lackey did it in 2013.

* David Ortiz is now the oldest player to ever hit 30 homers in a season

* Ortiz has now reached the 30-homer, 100-RBI level 10 times with the Red Sox, including the last four years in a row.

* The loss was the first of Heath Hembree's career, in his 67th major league appearance.

* Dustin Pedroia tied a career high with two stolen bases, the 12th time he's swiped two bases in the same game.



1) Evan Longoria

The Rays were down to their final five outs when Longoria struck, hitting a game-tying homer off Rick Porcello.

2) Brad Miller

Miller's two-run double in the third enabled the Rays to stay close until Longoria's homer tied things up five innings later.

3) Rick Porcello

Porcello gave the Sox length and was brilliant in getting out of some early jams before settling in through the middle innings.


Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Dan Shaughnessy joins Sports Tonight to discuss Rick Porcello giving up a game-tying homerun in the 8th, and explains why John Farrell has been very unlucky with any decision he makes.

First impressions: Benintendi injured in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays


First impressions: Benintendi injured in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:


The injury to Andrew Benintendi looked ominous.

Benintendi's left leg buckled as he tried to elude a tag on the bases in the seventh inning. He left the game with the help of two trainers, hobbling badly.

The Sox later announced that Benintendi suffered a left knee sprain, and will be further evaluated Thursday.

It's impossible to determine how serious the injury is. The prognosis could be anywhere from a few days, to, potentially, a season-ending issue.

Regardless, it's a blow to the Sox, who clearly have benefited from Benintendi's athleticism and energy in the three weeks since he's been promoted from Double A.


Rick Porcello is gobbling up innings in the second half.

Porcello gave the Sox 7 2/3 innings Wednesday night, allowing three runs. It marked the sixth straight start in which Porcello provided the Sox with a minimum of seven innings.

Through the end of June, Porcello had pitched seven or more innings just four times. Since the start of July, he's done it seven times -- and came within an out of doing it in another start.

Porcello also extended his streak of pitching at least five innings to 34 straight starts, dating back almost a calendar year to Aug. 26 of last year. Of those 34, he's pitched at least six in 31 of those.

In fact, Porcello leads the majors in innings pitched since that streak began.


David Ortiz continues to amaze

In the first inning, Ortiz walloped a pitch into the right field seats for his 30th homer, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead three batters into the game.

The homer was significant beyond that, too. With it, Ortiz reached two milestones -- 30 homers and 100 RBI for the season.

It marked the fourth straight season in which Ortiz has reached both, and it also marked the 10th time as a member of the Sox that he had hit both plateaus.

The homer also meant that Ortiz is now the oldest player - at 40 years, 280 days old -- to hit 30 homers in a season. And finally, it gave Ortiz 100 RBI seasons with the Sox, passing Ted Williams, with whom he had shared the record of nine.

And, remarkably, there's more than a month left in the season to add on to those achievements.