Friday’s Red Sox-Tigers matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Justin Verlander

Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

The Red Sox return home Friday still searching for their first win of the second half. Having been swept by the Angels and the Astros on their seven-game road trip, the Sox host the Tigers this weekend for a three-game set. To start things off, Rick Porcello will get the start against Justin Verlander.

Porcello, who will make his first career start against his former team, has had his fair share of trouble on the mound this season but has shown some improvement as of late. In his last two starts, totaling 11 innings of work, the righty has allowed five runs overall, four of which were earned. Since his disastrous two-inning, seven-run outing against the Blue Jays on July 1, Porcello has lowered his season ERA from 6.08 to 5.79. It’s still seventh worst among pitchers with at least 10 starts this season and he has a 5-10 record, but his 3.27 ERA in those last two contests is a step in the right direction. His WHIP hasn’t improved much in that time, however, increasing to 1.41 and plateauing there.

Though he got the loss in Saturday’s game vs. the Angels, Porcello didn’t get a lot of help from his offense as the Sox were shut out. Over five innings, the 26-year-old was able to hold the Halos to three runs — two earned — on four hits, three walks and five strikeouts. However, two of those hits exited the ballpark, and both were off the bat of right fielder Kole Calhoun.

“I was just falling behind in the count. Obviously with the guys behind him [Mike Trout and Albert Pujols], I don’t want to walk him,” Porcello said. “I was hoping to execute some sinkers down and away and get him to roll over into the shift. He just put a good swing on both pitches.

“We were in some tough spots [Saturday] and able to limit the damage. It kept us in the game. That is the biggest thing moving forward. We did that [Saturday],” he added. “I’m just making better pitches and not getting beat on offspeed stuff up in the zone.”

Verlander has also been in a bit of a rut this season. Six starts in, the right-hander has yet to grab a win, posting an 0-3 record with a 6.62 ERA thus far. He last took the hill Sunday against the Orioles, hurling 3 2/3 innings and allowing seven earned runs on eight hits with a walk and four K’s. Like Porcello, Verlander also conceded a pair of home runs in his last outing.

“I need to do a better job,” he said . “A lot of guys need to do a better job at being consistent. It really starts with looking in the mirror at myself. I need to be more consistent.”

On the year, Verlander has three starts with at least six earned runs and three with two or fewer. So far, every other start for him has been trouble. If the pattern continues, he’s due for a better outing than the one he had last time out.

In 11 starts and 74 1/3 innings against Boston, Verlander has a 3.63 ERA and a 3-4 record, though he hasn’t faced the Sox since 2013 and hasn’t gotten a win against them since 2011, despite seeing them four times in that span. The Red Sox slash .237/.300/.330 when Verlander gets the ball and have collected 66 total hits against the Tigers pitcher. They’ve also struck out 66 times vs. him, though, giving Verlander an average of eight strikeouts per nine innings. That goes up to 8.9 SO/9 when he pitches at Fenway Park, but so do his ERA (3.97), WHIP (from 1.197 to 1.259) and opponent slash line (.244/.310/.356).

Tigers vs. Porcello (RHP)

Ian Kinsler (11 plate appearances): .600 AVG/.545 OBP/.900 SLG, 1 double, 1 triple, 4 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Rajai Davis (7): .429/.429/.714, 1 triple, 1 RBI

Marc Krauss (7): .333/.429/.667, 2 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Anthony Gose (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Victor Martinez (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Yoenis Cespedes (3): .000/.000/.000

Red Sox vs. Verlander (RHP)

Alejandro De Aza (34 plate appearances): .226 AVG/.294 OBP/.516 SLG, 2 double, 1 triple, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts

David Ortiz (30): .370/.433/.741, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (22): .222/.364/.389, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (19): .056/.105/.056, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (6): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (4): .333/.500/.667, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Hanley Ramirez (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk

Ryan Hanigan has two strikeouts in three plate appearances vs. Verlander.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Henry Owens stays solid; Portland walks it off again with 4-run 9th

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday:

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-58): L, 5-4, at Norfolk (Orioles)

— LHP Henry Owens (Boston’€™s No. 2 prospect at had his third straight quality start and seventh in his last eight outings, with a final Thursday afternoon pitching line of: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO (106 pitches, 74 strikes). Owens, 23, gave up two runs in third after a walk, a misplayed grounder by first baseman Matt Spring, a bloop single into shallow right field, and a two-RBI double to left. The 6-foot-6 Owens struck out the final two batters of the third to strand two in scoring position, getting whiffs on a high fastball and a slow breaking ball that fell out of the strike zone into the dirt.

Owens had a total of nine straight retired before he hit more adversity in the the sixth inning, with another run scoring after three singles, including a bloop to left and a slow roller up the middle. Owens left the game after six complete with a 4-3 lead.

Selected by Boston in the first round of the 2011 draft (36th overall), Owens is 3-7 this season with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over 20 starts. His 100 strikeouts are five shy of the International League lead, with his ERA ranking 10th and his WHIP tied for third. Owens’€™ 116 1/3 innings of work is the fourth-highest total in the league this year, and his walk total of 55 remains a league high.

— RHP Jonathan Aro (Boston’€™s No. 30 prospect at was charged with a blown save as he entered with a one-run lead in the seventh and gave up three hits including a two-RBI double ripped to left that gave Norfolk a 5-4 lead. Aro, a 6-foot, 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic, has been scored upon in three of his six outings with Pawtucket since returning from his major league debut in late July with Boston where he allowed runs in all three of his appearances.

— Pawtucket took a 4-0 lead in the first inning on two-RBI doubles by Allen Craig and Humberto Quintero after leadoff walks to Quintin Berry and Jackie Bradley Jr. started the frame. The PawSox would have just three more hits after the first, with Quintero and third baseman Travis Shaw the only players finishing with multi-hit games.

The double snapped an 0-for-10 skid for Craig, who is hitting just .227 (15-for-66) in July after a .235 June (19-for-81). The double on Thursday for Craig, 31, was only his second extra-base hit in his last 18 games.

Carlos Asuaje

Carlos Asuaje

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (36-63): W, 4-3, vs. New Hampshire (Blue Jays)

— Down 3-0 entering the bottom of the ninth, Portland rallied for four runs and won in walkoff fashion at Hadlock Field for the third time in four games this week. After a one-out walk by Reed Gragnani, Aneury Tavarez singled and Manuel Margot (Boston’€™s No. 4 prospect at ripped the first pitch he saw to left-center field, bouncing past a falling defender and rolling all the way to the wall for a two-RBI triple to cut New Hampshire’€™s lead to 3-2.

The next batter, second baseman Carlos Asuaje (Boston’€™s No. 22 prospect at, fought off a 1-2 pitch that looped into left field and past a diving fielder for a double that tied the game at 3-3.

After a pitching change and two walks, shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin ended things on a bases-loaded, two-strike, RBI single to the warning track in center, with Lin then mobbed by his teammates on the infield in celebration.

“I just wanted to calm down and relax, and look for the fastball,” Lin told the Portland Press Herald regarding his final at-bat.

— Lin, 21, had scored the winning run in both Portland walkoff victories earlier this week, scoring on an infield grounder on Monday and via a wild pitch Tuesday after he had hit a leadoff triple. Signed out of Taiwan for a $2 million bonus in the 2011 international signing period, Lin was promoted from High-A Salem on July 16 after hitting .281 in 73 games.

— Asuaje, 23, also tripled earlier in the game and finished the night 2-for-3 with the clutch RBI and the game-winning run scored. Through 21 games in July, Asuaje is hitting .305 (25-for-82) with eight runs and five RBIs. Selected by Boston in the 11th round of the 2013 draft out of Nova Southeastern University, Asuaje was a midseason Eastern League All-Star and last year hit .310 with 15 home runs combined between Salem and Greenville.

— RHP Luis Diaz (1-8, 5.44 ERA) had a no-decision quality start line of: 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO (88 pitches, 52 strikes). It was the fifth straight quality start for the 23-year-old Venezuelan, his sixth in his last seven, as he’€™s dropped his ERA over two points from 7.53 to 5.44 over the past 1 1/2 months.

Mauricio Dubon

Mauricio Dubon

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (50-48): W, 3-1, vs. Wilmington (Royals)

— Shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston’€™s No. 27 prospect at and center fielder Forrestt Allday had RBI singles in the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie, scoring second baseman Yolian Cerse and first baseman Jordan Betts, who had both reached to start the frame.

“I was just trying to put the ball into play after two strikes,” Dubon told the Roanoke Times. “It was a sinker that came in. I just put the ball in play, put that bat down and started running. It’€™s good to be able to help the team win.”

Dubon, 21, is hitting .282 (11-for-39) with a home run and a double over his last 11 games after hitting just .149 over his first 13 games with Salem. Selected by Boston in the 26th round of the 2013 draft out of high school in California, Dubon hit .301 over 58 games this year in Greenville before his promotion on June 26.

— Right fielder Kevin Heller reached base four times, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a a hit by pitch, while also scoring a run and stealing his ninth base of the season. Heller, 25, has reached base in all eight plate appearances in the series with Wilmington so far, with six hits to raise his Salem slash line to .315/.421/.436. Selected by Boston in the 40th round of the 2012 draft out of Amherst College, Heller has spent time with Double-A Portland in each of the past three seasons, hitting just .132 there in 13 games to start 2015 before being demoted back to Salem.

— RHP Ty Buttrey started and pitched a no-decision final line of: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO (89 pitches, 45 strikes). Buttrey (7-3, 3.41 ERA) allowed baserunners in every inning but one, including walking the leadoff batter in the fifth and sixth innings, but pitched out of trouble as he stranded seven runners on base. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, the 6-foot-6 Buttrey had 10 outs via ground balls on Thursday to just two via fly outs.

— RHP Kyle Kraus relieved Buttrey with two aboard in the sixth and stranded two runners in scoring position with help from two strikeouts. Kraus, 25, stayed on and finished four scoreless frames, earning the win (1-0, 0.00 ERA) with six strikeouts to just one walk. Selected by Boston in the seventh round of the 2012 draft out of the University of Portland, Kraus has been back and forth between Salem and Double-A Portland this year, where Kraus’€™ ERA was 4.59 over 15 outings with the Sea Dogs.

Javier Guerra

Javier Guerra

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (50-47): L, 4-3, at Augusta (Giants)

— Shortstop Javier Guerra (Boston’€™s No. 13 prospect at hit his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth that gave Greenville a 3-2 lead. Guerra, 19, has five long balls this month, and his homer total ranks third in the South Atlantic League. Already known for his defensive prowess, Guerra has surged at the plate in July as he’€™s slashed .425/.463/.671 this month with 17 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 17 games.

— Center fielder Bryan Hudson went 3-for-4 with three singles, scoring on a fifth-inning triple by second baseman Deiner Lopez. Hudson, 20, has hit safely in 14 of 17 games played in July and over his first 21 games played in Greenville is slashing .321/.375/.370 with four doubles and five stolen bases. Selected by Boston in the 15th round of the 2013 draft out of high school in Georgia, Hudson hit .304 in 2013 in the Gulf Coast League but struggled at the plate in 2014 with Lowell as he hit .237 over 52 games played.

— RHP Reed Reilly took the loss (4-4, 4.26 ERA), with a final line of: 6 1/3, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO. Six of Reilly’€™s last nine starts have been quality outings, although he was coming off back-to-back rocky ones giving up six and seven earned, respectively, in his last two starts. Reilly, 23, was selected by Boston in the seventh round of the 2014 draft out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he spent three years as the closer. Reilly, who stands 6-foot-4, has transitioned to a starting role in the Boston organization, last year going 0-1 with a 3.89 ERA over 10 starts with Lowell.

Victor Acosta

Victor Acosta

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (17-16): L, 4-2, vs. Tri-City (Astros)

— Second baseman Chad De La Guerra had a bases-loaded double down the left-field line to score both Lowell runs in the first inning, with Luis Alexander Basabe and Tate Matheny crossing the plate to give Lowell a 2-0 lead. It was the ninth double this season for De La Guerra, two shy of the New York-Penn League lead. Selected in the 17th round of this year’€™s draft out of Grand Canyon University in Arizona, De La Guerra has slashed .293/.355/.476 in his first 22 games as a professional with hits in 17 of his last 20 games. De La Guerra was charged with a costly error, his fifth, in the seventh inning that would lead to an unearned run for Tri-City.

— Third baseman Victor Acosta had the only multi-hit game for Lowell, finishing 2-for-4 from the cleanup spot of the batting order to put his season-long average at .274 through 25 games played. Acosta, a 19-year-old 5-foot-11 righty bat from Venezuela, started 2015 with a nine-game hitting streak as he came out of the gate .429 (15-for-35) before cooling off in early July. Over the last eight games Acosta has rebounded again to a .300 average (9-for-30), albeit with all nine hits of the single variety.

— LHP Luis Ramos gave up two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings, allowing six hits while striking out two and walking two. Ramos, 20, retired 10 of 11 batters after allowing two runs, including an RBI triple, in the second. Ramos left with the bases loaded in the sixth after allowing two singles and a walk, with reliever Randy Perez coming on to escape the jam unscathed and keep the game temporarily tied at 2-2. Perez would later get saddled with the loss (0-2, 1.62 ERA) after allowing a single and two walks in the seventh around De La Guera’€™s error, with charged runs scoring on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly.

Gerson Bautista

Gerson Bautista


— RHP Gerson Bautista started and pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just three singles and two walks while striking out three. Bautista, a 6-foot-2 Dominican, retired 11 of the 15 batters he faced via ground outs. It was a bounce-back start for Bautista, who signed for $250,000 in 2013 as an international free agent, as he had allowed seven earned runs over just 2 1/3 innings on July 17. Bautista is 1-2 with a 3.76 ERA over six starts after an excellent 2014 in the Dominican Summer League where he went 2-1 with a 1.03 ERA in 13 games.

— Second baseman Andy Perez reached bases twice, batting from the leadoff spot, as he finished 1-for-2 with a walk to improve his numbers to 6-for-12 in his first three games as a professional. The 22-year-old Perez, an undrafted free agent, stole 35 bases as a senior for Duke University this season, batting .290 with three homers and 14 doubles in his fourth college season.

— DH Jerry Downs had the only extra base hit for the GCL Red Sox, going 1-for-4 with a double from the third spot in the batting order. Selected by Boston in the 15th round of this year’€™s draft, the 21-year-old Downs has slashed .300/.438/.520 in his first 15 games as a professional. A 6-foot-2 lefty bat selected by Boston in the 15th round of this year’€™s draft out of NAIA St. Thomas University, Downs is hitting .379 (11-for-29) over his last eight games with two homers, five doubles and 11 RBIs to go with nine runs scored.

For more, check out the weekly Red Sox Farm Report Podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Roger Clemens insists Hall of Fame ‘doesn’t really make a difference in my life’

Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Nationals at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Cycling: Tour de France, 7 a.m. (NBCSN)


Roger Clemens stopped by the NESN booth during Thursday night’s Red Sox-Astros game in Houston and continued to claim that he played the game the right way despite evidence that he used performance-enhancing drugs, adding he does not need the validation of the Hall of Fame to feel complete.

“Congratulations to the guys that go,” he said of the Hall, which will welcome fellow Sox legend Pedro Martinez this weekend. “It doesn’t really make a difference in my life, not that it would matter.”

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner has never received more than 37.6 percent of votes (75 percent is needed for induction) despite his 354 wins and 4,672 strikeouts for the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros. He said he appreciates those who have written his name on the ballot but claims it’s not a big deal to him.

“It’s not something that I went to, to play — play the game to make the Hall of Fame. It was the furthest thing from my mind. I played the game because I loved to play it,” Clemens said.

“I knew early in my career that once I seized that moment that I could make a little money and take care of my family. Then it started to get to a World Series and playoffs in Boston and the history that came along with it. That’s really it.”

— Another player likely to be kept out of the Hall is Alex Rodriguez, who continues to have a stellar comeback season, helping the first-place Yankees to a 9-3 victory over the Orioles on Thursday for a sweep of their three-game series.

Former Yankees manager Joe Torre credits Rodriguez for turning things around after missing last season while on suspension for his role in the Biogenesis PED scandal.

“I think what’s surprising is Alex,” Torre said from a charity golf tournament in New York on Thursday. “I’m happy for him. Miss a whole year at that age — there was never an issue of his ability to work at it. But with all the physical problems that he’s had and missing a year, it’s been, I think, remarkable how consistent he’s been and his power numbers.”

Torre, now an MLB executive, said Rodriguez called him in January as he reached out to people in baseball trying to mend fences before his comeback. Torre, in his autobiography “The Yankee Years,” was critical of A-Rod, but he says they now are “friendly.”

“I had heard that he was calling some people, so I really wasn’t surprised,” Torre said of their offseason conversation. “Actually, it started out with a text and he asked me if it would be all right to call me. I said, ‘Sure, anytime.’ I’m there for any player who wants to pick my brain over anything and for any team. He had some issues with what he thought I said in the past. I think he just wanted to make sure that all the air was clear. He asked about some advice and I said, ‘Just go play baseball.’ ”

Added Torre: “He paid his debt. He was suspended. He did that. Hopefully he learned something from it. He’s been determined to come back and play the game that he’s loved. I know baseball’s been a huge part of his life. He just craves it. He’s been a force, no question. People in New York love it. That’s what’s important for us. Once people pay their penalty, you can’t root against them. It’s not the right thing to do.”

— Outgoing ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd drew the ire of Blue Jays star Jose Bautista for a disparaging comment he made about Dominican players Thursday.

During his midday show, Cowherd was trying to make a point that baseball is a relatively easy sport to manage. He went on to say:

“The game is too complex? Like, I’ve never bought into that, ‘Baseball is just too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world-class academic abilities A lot of those kids come from rough backgrounds and have not had opportunities academically that other kids from other countries have. Baseball is like any sport, it’s mostly instincts.”

After Cowherd’s comment made it around the web, Bautista, a Dominican native, tweeted: Dear Mr. @ESPN_Colin before i rip you a new one i would like for you to explain what u meant to say about baseball and dominicans, please.

Cowherd is headed to Fox Sports when his contract with ESPN expires later this year. He discussed his departure during Wednesday’s show, crediting ESPN for taking a chance on him in 2003 and calling his stint with the company “the best 10 years of my life.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 24, 2004, Jason Varitek fought with Alex Rodriguez as the Red Sox and Yankees played an intense game at Fenway Park. The Red Sox got the last laugh when which player hit a three-run home run off Mariano Rivera for an 11-10 Red Sox victory?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The results haven’t been nearly good enough. We’re responsible for that and we have to get better quickly.” — Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, during a Thursday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan, on the team’s struggles

STAT OF THE DAY: 8 — Consecutive losses by the Red Sox, a season high, following Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Astros on Jose Altuve’s walkoff home run in the ninth inning

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez makes a diving stop behind second base and throws the ball with his glove to get the out against the Indians.

A’s right fielder Josh Reddick races into foul territory to make a diving catch against the Blue Jays.

A Japanese high school baseball player puts on a show in the batter’s box with a series of creative and artistic movements.

Spurs guard Tony Parker gets up close with a tiger during an appearance on a French game show.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Former Extreme drummer Paul Geary was born on this day in 1961.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Despite Deflategate, Tom Brady tops NFLPA top 50 player sales list

Tom Brady can still move a lot of products. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Despite Deflategate, the image of Tom Brady can still move a lot of products. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Tom Brady may be under fire for his role in Deflategate, but his image is still one of the hottest-selling commodities in the NFL.

According to the National Football League Players Association, Brady ranks No. 1 on the NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales List for the most recent quarter. The list, which is based on total sale of all officially licensed NFL merchandise from March 1 through May 31, had Brady on top, leading Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Seattle signal-caller Russell Wilson, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Denver’s Peyton Manning, all of whom round out the Top 5.

The list is based on overall sales of all licensed products from online and traditional retail outlets as reported by more than 80 NFLPA licensees such as Nike, VF Imagewear, Fanatics, Outerstuff, Fathead, McFarlane Toys, Oyo Sports, Bleacher Creatures, FBF Originals, Forever Collectibles, FanPrint and Photo File.

Licensed product categories include men’s, women’s and youth game jerseys and t-shirts, player murals, figurines, matted and framed photos, bobbleheads, drinkware, socks, jewelry, electronic device accessories, among others. According to the report, Brady outsold all players in Oyo Sports mini-figures, Forever Collectibles bobbleheads (followed by teammate Rob Gronkowski), Fatheads and Lids custom player headwear.

Gronkowski (No. 14) and Julian Edelman (No. 35) were the only other Patriots to appear in the Top 50.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Closing Time: Jose Altuve’s walk-off homer stretches Red Sox losing streak to 8 games

Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve

HOUSTON — There was seemingly no other way to punctuate this road trip.

Seven games. Seven losses. Outscored 39-13. Eight-game losing streak. Twelve games out of first-place. Twelve games under .500.

The latest loss? It came courtesy a walk-off, solo homer from Jose Altuve in the ninth inning against Craig Breslow, giving the Astros a 5-4 win over the Red Sox Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.

Altuve’s blast just cleared the left field fence (coming in Breslow’s second inning of work), and spoiled the Sox’ eighth-inning comeback, which had been led by Mike Napoli.

The Red Sox first baseman notched three hits, including a solo home run and a line-drive RBI double in the eighth that tied the game at 4-4. The last hit — coming with two outs — plated Hanley Ramirez, who had followed David Ortiz‘ leadoff homer with a single and stolen base.

In the end, however, the latest defeat came courtesy an overall bullpen melt-down, with the combination of Alexi Ogando and Junichi Tazawa proving unable to protect another gem from Wade Miley. The pair of relievers allowed three, seventh-inning runs to the Astros, blowing the win for the starter.

The Astros’ initial go-ahead run of the game came on Marwin Gonzalez’ double over the head of center fielder Mookie Betts off of Tazawa, scoring Altuve with the Astros’ third score. It followed up Colby Rasmus’ pinch-hit homer against Ogando to lead off the inning.

Tazawa would surrender a third run in the inning when Evan Gattis ripped a single up the middle, scoring Carlos Correa two give the hosts a two-run lead.

Miley once again prove to be a tough-luck starter. The lefty followed up his seven-inning, one-hit gem in Anaheim with another standout start, going six innings, giving up just one run.

Miley, who struck out five while allowing four hits and one walk, lowered his ERA to 4.33. The only run he surrendered came in the first inning when the lefty allowed a homer to his second batter of the night, Marwin Gonzalez.


– Ogando has seemingly hit a pretty big wall, not only allowing at least one hit for his sixth straight outing, but giving up a run now in four of his last five appearances. The Rasmus homer was just the second the righty has surrendered against a lefty hitter this season.

– Tazawa had a rough series, following up his one-inning stint in which he allowed a run on two hits, Tuesday, with Thursday’s stinker. This one saw the righty being charged with one run while allowing three hits and recording just a single out.

– The Red Sox finished up the seven-game road trip scoring just 13 runs. In the same span, the team the Sox are about to face, the Tigers, have plated 35. The Sox also went 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position, making them 9-for-47 in such spots for the trip.


Napoli might be turning a corner, pounding his first home run since June 17 in the second inning. The solo blast off of Houston starter Lance McCullers gave the Sox a 2-1 advantage. Napoli also doubled into the left field corner on his second at-bat before adding his second double of the night in the eighth. The three-hit night was the first baseman’s second of the season, not having claimed one since April 25.

– Ramirez played one of his better games in the field, ranging to his left in the third inning on a Marwin Gonzalez line-drive, and then sprinting in to snag Chris Carter‘s sinking liner in the sixth inning.

– The Red Sox did come out of the gate scoring first (which had led them to a 31-12 record when doing so), plating the game’s first run on Ortiz’ two-out double in the first inning. The fly ball off the left field wall scored Mookie Betts, who had led off the game with a double of his own, down the left field line.

– Ryan Hanigan executed a key caught stealing in the fifth inning, nailing Jose Altuve at third after the Houston second baseman tried to take advantage of a Miley pitch bouncing out in front of the plate. It marked the inning’s second out, helping preserve the visitors’ one-run lead.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

NFLPA spokesman: ‘We’re all anxious’ to hear how Roger Goodell will rule in Tom Brady’s appeal

As the days tick down toward the start of training camp next week, the National Football League Players Association is like everyone else in that it is simply looking for some sort of clarity around what’€™s going to happen to Tom Brady.

Thursday marked the one-month anniversary of Brady’€™s appeal hearing with commissioner Roger Goodell in New York, and while Patriots’€™ training camp is set to commence next week in Foxboro, there’€™s no sense yet regarding the status of Brady, who still faces a four-game ban for his alleged role in Deflategate.

NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah, who indicated that the sort of settlement talks that have apparently gone on with Brady are “part of the normal course of how we do business”€ in order to avoid an extended court fight, said Thursday that “we’€™re all anxious”€ for a decision from the commissioner.

“œI know we’€™re all anxious for some sort of a decision here as training camps open up next week,” Atallah told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “As far as the specifics of who offered a settlement, was a settlement offered, I wish I could provide more. The only thing I can say is, we’€™re looking forward to getting some closure on this sometime soon.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Patriots unveil schedule for first four days of training camp

The Patriots have unveiled the practice schedule for the first four days of training camp:

Thurs., July 30
Practice 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Fan Zone open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Fri., July 31
Practice 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Fan Zone open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Sat., Aug. 1
Practice 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Fan Zone open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Sun., Aug. 2
Practice 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Fan Zone open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

For more Patriots news, check out

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Clay Buchholz plans to be back on mound in 5-6 weeks

HOUSTON — Late Wednesday afternoon word came down that Clay Buchholz’ trip to Dr. James Andrews revealed the same findings of the Red Sox medical personnel, a strained flexor muscle in his right elbow. The only change came with Buchholz’ decision to undergo a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection.

Thursday Buchholz revealed what the timeline might look like for his return, in regards to throwing off a mound.

“I think the total amount of time is probably going to be five to six weeks,” he said. “I’€™m going to be back whenever I can. This is sort of frustrating. Yeah, whenever I’€™m able to go. He gave me the steps to follow, and that’€™s what I’€™m going to do, and that’€™s what I went to him.”

Buchholz, who said that he should be able to start throwing a baseball again in a couple of weeks, reiterated his enthusiasm with the visit to Pensacola.

“It was basically re-affirming what we know,” the pitcher said. “The one thing that came out of it that I was thinking a little differently about is the catch that I was playing. It probably wasn’€™t the right thing to do, in his mind. Yeah, that’€™s the reason for the PRP, because the time I’€™m going to be down, it’€™s not going to extend that time at all. Being that I don’€™t have any tears and it wasn’€™t a surgical issue, he said that I’€™d probably be in the upper 80 percent for this PRP stuff to either help or form a stronger muscle rather than just taking rest.”

Now that Buchholz’ recovery time has some sort of guideline, the conversation slowly turns to the pitcher’s future.

The 30-year-old is in the last guaranteed year of his contract, with the Red Sox holding a $13 million team option for 2016, and another one for ’17 at $13.5 million.

“I definitely want to pitch again [this season],” Buchholz said. “I don’€™t care how many starts. I need to ‘€¦ that’€™s why I’€™m here. This is actually a big year for me too.”

Regarding his contract status, he added, “I’€™m going to be throwing somewhere. Baseball is baseball. I’€™ve definitely been here my whole career. I don’€™t really want to go anywhere. When it comes to the time where somebody’€™s got to make a decision, the decision doesn’€™t always match the same way you feel. It is what it is. That’€™s the business side. I’€™ve said it a hundred times. It happens to a lot of guys. It’€™s very rare for a guy to stay in one spot his whole career. If it does happen, it happens.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Patriots re-sign rookie WR Zach D’Orazio

Zach D'Orazio (11) celebrates a touchdown while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 14, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Zach D’Orazio (11) celebrates a touchdown while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 14, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — The Patriots have brought back rookie wide receiver Zach D’Orazio.

The team announced Thursday they have re-signed the rookie free agent out of Akron.

D’€™Orazio, 24, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Akron on May 26, 2015 and released on June 11.

The 6-foot-2, 212-pounder, was a two-year starter at Akron, appearing in 28 games at wide receiver and finished his career with 119 receptions for 1,422 yards and five touchdowns.

D’€™Orazio began his college career as a quarterback before switching to wide receiver in 2012.

There is some similarity in stature and style to another Patriots player who played his college ball in the Mid-American Conference.

The Patriots scouted Julian Edelman, who played collegiately at Kent State before being drafted in 2009.

Like Edelman, D’Orazio had success as a quarterback before making the shift to receiver. At 6-foot-2, D’Orazio stands some four inches taller than Edelman.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Damien Woody, Doug Brzezinski tabbed for Boston College Hall of Fame

Damien Woody (63) salutes the Boston College fans following a victory in 1998. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Damien Woody (63) salutes the Boston College fans following a victory in 1998. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Former Boston College football players Doug Brzezinski and Damien Woody are two of the eight former student-athletes who will be inducted into the BC Varsity Club Hall of Fame this fall.

The honorees will be inducted in a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 9 at Conte Forum. They will also be recognized at halftime of the Eagles’ football game against Wake Forest on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Woody continued a rich tradition of NFL-caliber offensive linemen from Boston College. A native of Beverdam, Virginia, Woody redshirted his first year and earned the starting position in the middle of the O-line in 1996. He was the main cog in the offensive line for four seasons. He earned All-Big East second team and helped three different running back register a combined seven 100–yard rushing games.

In 1997, he was All-Big East second-team honoree as the BC offense accumulated 4,527 yards. In 1998, he started all 11 games and helped Cloud rush for over 100 yards in 10 of 11 games. Woody was the 17th overall selection by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He is currently an NFL analyst for ESPN.

Brzezsinki started 46 games on the offensive line for the Eagles. A native of Livonia, Mich., Brzezinski was a two-time All-Big East first-team honoree. As a senior, Brzezinski served as a team captain and earned the Thomas F. Scanlon Award as the team’s top scholar-athlete.

He was a member of a line which helped the offense accumulate 4,527 total yards and aided the 1998 All-American running back Mike Cloud to rush for 1,726 yards, third most in the country. BC’s offensive line tradition continued as Brzezinski was drafted in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He played in 73 games in the NFL.

Along with Brzezinski, a 1998 graduate, and Woody, a 1999 graduate, are Chris Georgules `95 (track and field), Mary Guarino `00 (women’s soccer), Paul Keegan `96 (men’s soccer), Mike Mottau `00 (men’s ice hockey), Alissa Murphy Richardson `00 (women’s basketball) and Kelly McManus Souza `02 (women’s ice hockey).

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia