#RedSox Pitching Prospect Durbin Feltman Records Third Consecutive Scoreless Outing for Double-A Portland

While the big league club was in the middle of getting stomped by the New York Yankees in an 8-0 rout Tuesday night, Red Sox pitching prospect Durbin Feltman put together another impressive performance for the Double-A level Portland Sea Dogs.

Facing off against the Reading Fightin Phils, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the 2018 third round pick struck out a pair in a scoreless eighth inning in a 5-2 loss for the Sea Dogs.

Since allowing one run on one hit and two walks in his Double-A debut on April 5th, Feltman has actually retired the last nine hitters he faced dating back to April 7th, lowering his ERA to 2.25 and batting average against to .083 on the Eastern League season.

Ranked as Boston’s 12th best prospect as per MLB.com, the Texas Christian product could very well get a shot in the majors depending on how the rest of the year pans out for the Red Sox.

Feltman even caught the attention of manager Alex Cora earlier this spring.

“He’s a work in progress,” the Red Sox skipper said following a perfect ninth inning from the 21-year-old hurler back on March 21st. “But he’ll be a good one.”

Set to turn 22 on Thursday, Feltman is definitely a prospect you should keep your eye on.

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#RedSox Designate Blake Swihart for Assignment

In a move that seemingly came out of nowhere, the Red Sox have reportedly designated catcher/utility man Blake Swihart for assignment, according to WEEI’s Evan Drellich.

Swihart, 27, just started behind the plate for Boston on Monday, where he went 0-for-2 with a walk. On the 2019 season as a whole, the backstop is slashing .231/.310/.385 with one home run and four RBI over 12 games played.

This transaction comes less than 24 hours after it was revealed that reliever Marcus Walden had been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, so as things stand right now, the Red Sox’ active roster sits at 23.

Among those 23 players remains just one catcher in Christian Vazquez, who actually looked solid in his first big league start at second base on Monday.

So, with that in mind, expect Sandy Leon’s contract to be purchased by the Red Sox in the coming hours.

After being designated for assignment himself and then accepting an assignment to the PawSox in March, Leon, 30, is just 3-for-25 with one walk and six strikeouts in seven minor league games this season.

As for Swihart, it was clear that he never had the full backing from the Red Sox from the start. He’ll likely be claimed by another club very soon given his talent level, and his playing days in Boston will come to a close.

It was a sad saga, really. Once touted as the top catching prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system, to suffering a season-ending ankle injury as a left fielder back in 2016.

Before the start of this season, it looked as though Swihart was finally going to be able to showcase his catching capabilities in a larger role with Leon getting DFA’d. But, just a few weeks after making the club’s Opening Day roster as the second catcher behind Vazquez, the Red Sox have decided to move on.

This transaction will come with plenty of scrutiny, there’s no doubt about that. However, if Leon does make his return to Boston’s 25-man roster, then perhaps he can provide some stability to what has been a trying time for the Red Sox’ pitching staff so far this season.

 

David Price Shines with Seven Scoreless Innings and Xander Bogaerts Drives in All Four Runs as #RedSox Blank Orioles

For the first time this season, the Red Sox will not lose a series, as they defeated the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday by a final score of 4-0 to at least guarantee a series-split with the finale between the two clubs set for Monday.

Starting pitching has been a hot topic in Boston lately, but it looks as though things may be turning for the better more than two weeks into the 2019 campaign.

Eduardo Rodriguez came through with a quality outing against the O’s to start the weekend, and less than 48 hours later, David Price was even better.

Making his third start of the season on Sunday, Price was borderline brilliant, holding Baltimore scoreless while limiting them to just three hits and no walks to go along with seven strikeouts over seven impressive innings of work.

Retiring nine of the first 10 hitters he faced, the left-hander really was not under too much pressure in this one.

There was an instance in the fourth where Joey Rickard led things off for Baltimore by reaching second on a Rafael Devers throwing error, but Christian Vazquez was able to cancel that out by throwing Rickard out at third on a stolen base attempt.

And in the final two frames Price pitched in, the Orioles led each inning off with doubles from Richie Martin and Trey Mancini, and despite having the then tying run in scoring position with no outs, the 33-year-old managed to escape the sixth and seventh without a scratch.

Finishing with an economical final pitch count of 92 (64 strikes), Price relied heavily on his two-seam fastball, throwing the pitch 33 times and inducing five swings and misses with it. He also topped out at 94 MPH with both his two-seam and four-seam fastballs, according to Statcast.

Lowering his ERA from 6.00 to 3.79 in one outing, Price’s next start should come against the Tampa Bay Rays next weekend.

In relief of Price, the recently overworked Red Sox bullpen was only responsible for the final two innings on Sunday, and they capped off the shutout.

Working the eighth, Ryan Brasier danced his way around a one out walk and two out single to strand what would have been the tying run for Baltimore at third base, notching his first hold of the season in the process.

And in the ninth, after his team jumped out to a four-run lead, Matt Barnes also gave up one walk in one base hit while fanning a pair in a scoreless frame, locking down Boston’s third win in the last four days.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles left-hander John Means, whose big league debut came at Fenway Park last September.

Starting a relatively quiet day of scoring on Sunday was Xander Bogaerts, whose fourth inning RBI sacrfice fly to plate Steve Pearce would have been the only run the Red Sox would need to pick up the W in this one.

However, after squandering a couple of scoring opportunities over the middle portion of this contest, Bogaerts was it again in the bottom half of the eighth.

With one out in the inning and Mookie Betts and JD Martinez at first and second, Bogaerts essentially put this game away on one swing of the bat, launching a three-run, 418 foot home run to dead center for his second big fly of the season.

That made it a 4-0 game at the time it was blasted, and that would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

Andrew Benintendi had to depart from this contest after fouling a ball off his right foot in the third inning. He did manage to stay in the game after the blow, and actually laced a double down the left field line, but his day came to a close before the Red Sox took the field in the fourth.

Blake Swihart filled in for Benintendi for the remainder of Sunday’s win. Benintendi was ruled day-to-day with a right foot contusion.

This comes on the same day that Jackie Bradley Jr. was ruled from the Red Sox’ lineup due to flu-like symptoms, so the outfield situation could be pretty interesting Monday depending on the statuses of those two.

The Red Sox are 3-1 in their last four games.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s an early start for Patriots Day Monday.

Right-hander Hector Velazquez is slated to get the start for Boston, while fellow right-hander and former Miami Marlin Dan Straily will do the same for Baltimore.

In his last time starting a game, Velazquez dazzled against the Arizona Diamondbacks out in the desert, twirling three scoreless inning to go along with three strikeouts.

Straily, meanwhile, owns a lifetime 6.00 ERA over two previous starts at Fenway Park.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 11:05 AM EDT, weather permitting.

Happy Marathon Monday, everyone.

Orioles’ Chris Davis Ends Hitless Streak with First Inning Two-Run Single off Rick Porcello

At long last, Chris Davis’ hitless streak for the Baltimore Orioles has come to an end after 54 consecutive at-bats without a base knock dating back to September of last season.

Davis, 33, entered Saturday with four career hits off Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, and capitalized on his first plate appearance of the afternoon, ripping a first inning two-RBI single to drive in Baltimore’s first two runs.

After reaching first base safely, Davis was able to get the ball back for his own keeping.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Davis’ 54 straight hitless at-bats are the most for a position player in the history of Major League Baseball.

Eduardo Rodriguez Impresses, Andrew Benintendi Homers, and Jackie Bradley Jr. Dazzles with Glove as #RedSox Take Opener from Orioles

For the first time this season, the Red Sox have won back-to-back games following a 6-4 victory to open up a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

Entering Friday, Red Sox starting pitchers ranked dead last in all of baseball in terms of ERA as a group (8.79). Eduardo Rodriguez had the chance to improve that mark in his first outing in front of the Fenway faithful since last year, and that he did.

Making his third start of the season overall, Rodriguez put together the best start from any Red Sox starter 14 games into 2019, as he surrendered just two earned runs on three hits and no walks to go along with eight strikeouts on the night.

Retiring the first 14 Orioles hitters he faced in this one, the left-hander’s bid for a perfect game came to an end when Hanser Alberto grounded a two-out single to left in the top half of the fifth.

After a seemingly clean sixth inning, Rodriguez’s evening would come to a close an inning later following a one out double from Trey Mancini and a two out, two-run home run off the bat of Dwight Smith Jr to make it a one-run contest at the time it was hit.

That homer, the third Rodriguez has yielded this season already, may have been on the last pitch the Venezuela native threw, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless, especially when you take the zero walks into consideration.

Working at a quick tempo all night, Rodriguez finished with a final pitch count of 93 (62 strikes). In total, he topped out at 95.7 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 48 times and got eight swinging strikes out of.

It was the first time a Red Sox starter has pitched into the seventh inning this season. Rodriguez’s next start should come against the New York Yankees next week.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen limited the Orioles bats to two runs over the final 3.1 innings of this one.

Matt Barnes, who entered this contest after Rodriguez gave up that two-run homer to Smith, retired the side in the seventh while also recording two strikeouts.

Brandon Workman worked his way around a two out walk and received some tremendous assistance from Jackie Bradley Jr. to keep it a one-run game in the eighth.

And in the ninth, Tyler Thornburg came on for his first relief appearance since Tuesday with a four-run cushion to work with, but trimmed his team’s lead in half after serving up another two-run dinger to Renato Nunez.

Thornburg did manage to record one out before making way for Ryan Brasier, who earned his third save of the season by retiring the final two hitters he faced, including Chris Davis on that third and final out. Davis is now 0-for-his-last-54 at the plate dating back to 2018.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles right-hander David Hess to start this one out on Friday.

It took a little while for them to get going, but once the Red Sox bats began to figure Hess out, the hard contact was consistently there, and that was evident by Andrew Benintendi going deep the first time this season with a third inning solo shot to give his team an early lead.

An inning later, Mitch Moreland got a two-run rally started by lining a leadoff single up the middle for his second hit of the night. He would come around to score on a 106 MPH RBI double courtesy of Xander Bogaerts, who also crossed the plate on another hard-hit RBI knock from Eduardo Nunez. 3-0.

Fast forward all the way to the eighth, after Christian Vazquez had scored Boston’s fourth run on a wild pitch from Orioles reliever Paul Fry in the seventh, and Nunez was back at it again. This time delivering with his second RBI single of the night to plate JD Martinez from third and advance Xander Bogaerts from second.

Bogaerts, with one run scored under his belt already, would also score his team’s sixth and final run of the day thanks to a Jackie Bradley Jr. sacrifice fly. That made it a 6-2 game, which is all the runs the Red Sox would need to pick up the win.

Some notes from this win:

In 10 games, this month, Mitch Moreland is slashing .313/.371/1.152 with four home runs and nine RBI.

Through seven appearances this season, Brandon Workman has given up just one hit and three walks over 6.1 total scoreless innings.

The Red Sox are 2-0 in their last two games and 3-1 in their last four.

Next up for the Red Sox, it will be a starting pitching matchup that features two veteran right-handers in the form of Andrew Cashner for Baltimore and Rick Porcello for Boston.

Cashner, 32, last made a start at Fenway Park when he was the Texas Rangers in 2017. He gave up five runs over five innings in a losing effort in that outing, and comes into Saturday with a 5.28 ERA on the 2019 season so far.

Porcello, meanwhile, has yet to make it to the sixth inning through two forgettable starts this year.

In his career against the Orioles, the 30-year-old hurler is 6-11 with a lifetime 4.62 ERA over a span of 20 starts and 122.1 innings pitched.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third consecutive win.

 

Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers’ Late-Inning Heroics Lift #RedSox to First Home Win of 2019

After dropping their first home game of the 2019 season on Tuesday, the Red Sox bounced back in dramatic fashion on Thursday, as they walked off the Toronto Blue Jays to capture their first victory at Fenway Park this year.

In a contest that took nearly three-and-a-half hours to complete, it was Nathan Eovaldi who got the ball to start things out in this one.

Making his third start of the season, the right-hander managed to work through five full innings despite surrendering five earned runs on six hits, two of which were home runs, and four walks to go along with four strike outs as well.

One thing that helped Eovaldi make it through five innings was the double-play ball, as he only retired four of the first seven Blue Jays hitters he faced with the help of his infield turning a pair of DP’s behind him.

The top half of the third is where things started to take a turn for the worst, however, with Toronto plating all five runs they scored off Eovaldi in a span of a few minutes thanks to a three-run home run from Justin Smoak and a two-run homer from Rowdy Tellez.

After fanning Danny Jansen to end that disaster of an inning though, the 29-year-old hurler induced two more twin killings before his evening came to an end following a scoreless fifth frame.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (51 strikes), Eovaldi threw his four-seam fastball 36 times, topping out at 99.8 MPH while inducing eight swings and misses with the heater.

His next start should come against the Yankees in New York next week.

In relief of Eovaldi, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final four innings of this one, and they relatively held their own.

Heath Hembree and Colten Brewer each struck out a pair in back-to-back shutout innings in the sixth and seventh before Ryan Brasier yielded a solo home run to Freddy Galvis in an otherwise clean eighth frame.

From there, Marcus Walden worked his way around a tight situation where the Blue Jays had runners on second and third with just one out to close the door on them and keep this contest at a one-run game going into Boston’s half of the ninth. He improved to 2-0 on the season thanks to the solid effort.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar foe in Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who entered Thursday with a lifetime 3.79 in nine career outings (six starts) at Fenway Park.

Getting the scoring started for Boston in this one was JD Martinez, whose one out RBI double in the second to plate Mookie Betts would wind up being the catalyst for a three-run inning, with both Rafael Devers and Dustin Pedroia collecting their first RBI of the season as well.

That cut Toronto’s lead to two runs after they had just scored five of their own.

Fast forward to the fifth, and the Red Sox would cut that deficit down to one run thanks to a wild pitch from Sanchez that allowed Xander Bogaerts to easily score from third with Dustin Pedroia at the plate.

Two innings later, Mitch Moreland, who is without a doubt the team’s clutchest player at the moment, came through in the big time again, as his fifth home run of the season, this one coming off Blue Jays reliever Joe Biagini, knotted this contest up at five runs a piece.

After Toronto scored what appeared to be a vital go-ahead run on that aforementioned dinger from Freddy Galvis in the eighth, the Red Sox entered their half of the ninth with three outs to work with and a 3-10 start staring them dead in the face.

With closer Ken Giles, who entered the night 34-for-34 in his last 34 save opportunities, on the mound for Toronto, Mookie Betts put the tying run on base by drawing a one out, six-pitch walk.

Just a few moments after that, Moreland was at it yet again, ripping a 389 foot double to dead center to drive in Betts all the way from first and tie this game up for the second time on the night.

Eduardo Nunez would come on to pinch-run for Moreland, and all of a sudden, the winning run was only 180 feet away.

In a bit of a tough spot, the Blue Jays decided to put JD Martinez on intentionally in hopes of turning a double play, but after Giles fell behind on Xander Bogaerts and walked him, the bases were loaded for Rafael Devers.

Entering the ninth inning with an RBI double under his belt already, Devers had the chance to send his team home with their first win since Sunday, and he did just that by bouncing the game-sealing, run-scoring single over the head of any Blue Jays infielder into shallow right field.

That allowed Nunez to calmly score from third to make it 7-6, which would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

In the Red Sox’ four wins this season, Mitch Moreland is 5-for-14 with two doubles, three home runs, and eight RBI. He is directly responsible for all four of those victories.

Dustin Pedroia has two hits in two games since his return from the injured list on Tuesday. He’s also looked pretty solid at second base.

Next up for the Red Sox, they welcome the 5-8 Baltimore Orioles into town for the first time this season.

Eduardo Rodriguez, who hasn’t pitched since last Thursday in Oakland, will get the ball for Boston, while right-hander David Hess will do the same for Baltimore.

Rodriguez, 26, has walked six batters in a total of eight innings of work in 2019.

Hess, meanwhile, has only made one prior start at Fenway Park in his two-year career, an outing in which he surrendered five earned runs in less than five innings pitched last May.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.

 

 

 

 

 

#RedSox Activate Dustin Pedroia from 10-Day Injured List, Option Tzu-Wei Lin to Triple-A Pawtucket

The Red Sox have activated second baseman Dustin Pedroia from the 10-day injured list ahead of their home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. To make room on the 25-man roster, utility man Tzu-Wei Lin was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in a corresponding move.

The club made the transaction official earlier Tuesday morning.

Pedroia, 35, completed his three-game rehab stint with the Class A Greenville Drive this past Sunday, where he went 3-for-9 with one double, one run scored, and a pair of walks to go along with a handful of defensive plays as well.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday that whether or not Pedroia would be activated for Boston’s home opener would be dependent on how the infielder was feeling Tuesday morning.

Now, with Pedroia being activated from the injured list, it appears that all systems are a go, as the four-time All-Star bats seventh and starts at second for the Red Sox in their 12th game of the 2019 season.

Having only played in a total of three games since the end of the 2017 campaign, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Pedroia is out for vengeance this year in what will be his 14th season in the majors. Whether or not he can stay on the field, though, is also something to pay attention to.

Again, first pitch Tuesday against the Blue Jays is scheduled for 2:05 PM EDT.