Franchy Cordero set to make first career major-league start at first base in Sunday’s series finale against Yankees

Are you ready? Because Franchy Cordero is making his first career major-league start at first base for the Red Sox in Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Cordero, who was recalled from Triple-A Worcester on Thursday, went 0-for-1 with two walks in his return to the Boston lineup in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to New York while starting in right field and batting eighth in Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s lineup.

The 26-year-old will get the start at first base while batting ninth to close out the weekend for the Sox in the club’s 100th game of the season.

In his time with Worcester, Cordero did see the majority of his playing time come in the outfield, but he did make six starts at first base and did not commit a single error in the 33 innings he played at the position.

One of five players the Red Sox acquired as part of the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals, the 6-foot-3, 226 pound left-handed hitter was originally signed by the Padres as a shortstop coming out of the Dominican in November 2011.

He played in 165 games at shortstop at the minor-league level as well as one at third base, but has been used strictly as an outfielder since making his big-league debut for San Diego in May 2017.

As he prepares to make his first-ever start at first base at the major-league level, Cordero will be going up against an opposing starting pitcher he has never faced before in the form of Yankees right-hander Domingo German.

Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up ahead of Cordero and behind left-hander Martin Perez on Sunday, who will be making his 20th start of the season for Boston.

First pitch between the 51-46 Yankees and 60-39 Red Sox is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and TBS, weather permitting.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Danny Santana on injured list with left groin strain, recall Franchy Cordero from Triple-A Worcester

Before opening up a four-game weekend series against the Yankees at Fenway Park on Thursday night, the Red Sox placed utility man Danny Santana on the 10-day injured list due to a left groin strain.

In a corresponding move, first baseman/outfielder Franchy Cordero will be recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Thursday evening.

Santana returns to the injured list just three days after coming off it on Monday following a near two-week absence that came as a result of a left quadriceps strain sustained in Anaheim earlier this month.

In just his second game back from that quad strain, Santana, who started in left field, strained his groin while chasing after a fly ball in the seventh inning of the Red Sox’ 7-4 win over the Blue Jays in Buffalo on Wednesday night. He was immediately removed from the game, replaced in left field by Alex Verdugo, and later diagnosed with a tight left groin.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora seemed pretty certain that the versatile 30-year-old wound wind up on the IL as a result of him straining his groin, and that is what ends up happening.

Through 33 games with Boston this season, the switch-hitting Santana is batting .171/.230/.324 with two doubles, one triple, four home runs, 13 RBI, 11 runs scored, three stolen bases, seven walks, and 27 strikeouts over 113 trips to the plate. He has also played first base, left field, and center field.

At the moment, it’s unclear if Santana will require more than the minimum 10 days on the injured list, though the Dominican native could be activated as soon as Sunday, August 1 if that is the case.

Cordero, meanwhile, returns to the Red Sox nearly two full months after he was demoted to Worcester in late May.

One of five players Boston acquired as part of the February trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals, Cordero got off to a miserable start with the Sox in which he posted a .179/.228/.274 slash line to go along with just one home run and nine RBI over 34 games.

At the time he was sent down on May 27, the 26-year-old was viewed strictly as an outfielder, but he has since added another dimension to his game by working out at first base with the WooSox.

Of the 44 games he has played in a WooSox uniform, Cordero has patrolled first base six times and has yet to commit an error at the new position.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Cordero originally signed with the San Diego Padres out of the Dominican Republic as a shortstop back in November 2011. He made 164 starts at shortstop and one start at third base during his minor-league career, but has spent the entirety of his big-league career to this point in the outfield.

Offensively, Cordero got off to a torrid start upon getting optioned to Worcester, as he posted an impressive 1.129 OPS from the end of May through the end of June before running into a bit of a wall this month.

Following an 0-for-4 showing against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Wednesday, the left-handed hitter is now sporting a .224/.297/.328 slash line in the month of July.

That being said, in the absence of Santana, Marwin Gonzalez, and Christian Arroyo — all of whom are on the injured list, Cordero can provide the Red Sox with a boost from the left side of the plate.

Not only that, but the 6-foot-3, 232 pounder could also platoon with Bobby Dalbec at first base when he’s not playing the outfield.

Regardless of that, though, Cordero is not in the Sox’ starting lineup for Thursday’s series opener against the Yankees with left-hander Jordan Montgomery starting for New York.

Right-hander Tanner Houck will get the start for Boston opposite Montgomery.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Danny Santana likely to be placed on injured list after experiencing left groin tightness on Wednesday

Just two days after he was activated from the injured list, it appears as though Danny Santana could be headed back to the IL once again.

In the seventh inning of the Red Sox’ 7-4 win over the Blue Jays in Buffalo on Wednesday night, Santana — starting in left field — suffered a left groin injury while chasing after a line drive off the bat of Danny Jansen that saw him take a spill in the Sahlen Field outfield.

Replaced in left field by Alex Verdugo, Santana was later diagnosed with left groin tightness. His status as of now remains up on the air, though it certainly seems likely that he could be placed on the IL as soon as Thursday.

“It seems that way,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said about Santana. “We’ll see. It’s the left groin. He felt it. I was just talking to him. We’ll know more tomorrow but it doesn’t seem too promising.”

The 30-year-old utility man had just came off the injured list on Monday after missing nearly two weeks with a left quadriceps strain that he sustained in Anaheim on July 6.

Assuming Santana is placed on the injured list ahead of Thursday’s series opener against the Yankees at Fenway Park, Franchy Cordero seems like a suitable option to replace the switch-hitter on Boston’s major-league roster.

Not only is Marwin Gonzalez still on the IL recovering from a right hamstring strain, but Cordero was pinch-hit for in the ninth inning of Triple-A Worcester’s 7-4 victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Wednesday night.

Cordero, one of the five players the Red Sox acquired as part of the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals in February, opened the 2021 season in Boston’s outfield, but got off to a miserable start in which he slashed .179/.228/.274 with just one home run and nine RBI over his first 34 games.

Those struggles led to the 26-year-old getting demoted to Worcester on May 27, and he got off to a torrid start with the WooSox by clubbing six homers, 10 doubles, and one triple, collecting 24 RBI, and scoring 22 runs while posting an OPS of 1.129 in 28 games between May 27 and June 30.

Since the calendar flipped to July, however, Cordero has cooled off significantly, as an 0-for-4 showing on Wednesday dropped his slash line on the month down to a chilly .224/.297/.328.

That being said, Cordero — who has appeared in 31 games at left field for the Red Sox this season — has been getting some work in at first base while at Worcester.

Including Wednesday’s contest against the IronPigs, the 6-foot-3, 232 pounder has made six appearances at first base for the WooSox and has yet to commit an error at that position.

Cordero, who turns 27 in September, originally signed with the San Diego Padres as a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic back in 2011.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, “he made 164 starts at shortstop and one start at third base during his minor-league career,” but has spent the entirety of his big-league career at left, center, and right field.

With that in mind, the Red Sox would be getting a more versatile version of Cordero, one who could platoon with Bobby Dalbec at first base (with Santana, Gonzalez, and Christian Arroyo all sidelined), while also playing some outfield when necessary.

That remains all speculation, however, as we will have to wait and see if the Red Sox do indeed call up Cordero from Worcester on Thursday if Santana requires another stint on the injured list.

(Picture of Danny Santana: Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Franchy Cordero finding success with regular playing time at Triple-A Worcester: ‘We’re glad he’s been able to take advantage of it so far,’ Chaim Bloom says

While he was up with the Red Sox for the first nine weeks of the major-league season, one thing that hindered Franchy Cordero was his ability to find regular playing time. in the outfield.

Cordero did play in 34 of Boston’s first 48 games, but he only accrued 102 plate appearances while doing so. He also started just four of the club’s last 11 games prior to getting optioned to Triple-A Worcester on May 27.

In his first 34 games with the Sox, the 26-year-old outfielder struggled to the tune of a .179/.228/.274 slash line to go along with just one home run, six doubles, nine RBI, nine runs scored, six walks, and 37 strikeouts. It took until May 23 for him to hit his first homer.

Those difficulties at the big-league level surely played a role in Cordero being sent down by the Red Sox, but the club also took action in order to get the left-handed hitter more consistent at-bats in Worcester.

“It was getting hard to get him at-bats and, although he’s important for us in the present, he’s very important for us in the future,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained to reporters last month. “He hasn’t played a lot the last few years. For him to go down there and get at-bats — consistent at-bats — and keep improving on swing decisions and controlling the strike zone, it’s very important.”

Cordero, one of five players the Red Sox acquired in the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals back in February, does not have much major-league experience for someone his age.

Originally signed by the Padres out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, the former top prospect has dealt with his fair share of injuries over the years and as a result played in just 95 games between San Diego and Kansas City from 2017-2020.

Not only that, but Cordero had just 121 career games under his belt at the Triple-A level prior to getting dealt to the Sox over the winter.

With those factors in mind, the Red Sox obviously felt it would be best for Cordero to reset with the WooSox, and that decision has payed off thus far.

Following a 2-for-4 showing against the Rochester Red Wings in which he hit two doubles and drove in two runs at Polar Park on Sunday afternoon, Cordero is now slashing a sizzling .378/.410/.838 with four home runs, three doubles, one triple, nine RBI, seven runs scored, two walks, and 10 strikeouts through his first nine games with the WooSox. He has primarily been batting out of the three-hole for Worcester.

“[I’m] working on everything I need to be working on consistently and keeping that mindset, bringing it down here and putting everything together and making sure it works,” Cordero told MassLive.com’s Katie Morrison on Friday. “[I’m] keeping that consistency and making sure that the results are the way I want them to be.”

Seeing how he has seemingly found his groove with Worcester, it’s safe to assume Cordero has caught the attention of those who played a role in his acquisition — as well as his demotion, including Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.

“He has displayed some of the incredible talent that he has that for various reasons he just wasn’t able to get to consistently in the time he was up here with us ,”Bloom said of Cordero earlier Sunday afternoon. “As frustrating as it is to live that with him when he was struggling up in the big-leagues, it also speaks to the value of making sure that we’re turning over every rock developmentally to get him right.

“He’s young enough and talented enough that we owe it to him — we owe it to ourselves — to do everything we can to get him on a good track,” added Bloom. “He has power that can change a game. He’s a good athlete. He can run. He can defend. All the pieces are there. We just have to help him get to a place where he’s got a chance to play enough at the big-league level for him to produce. And getting him regular at-bats right now is the best way we can do that, and we’re glad he’s been able to take advantage of it so far.”

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox could be nearing decision on which 2 players to be named later they will be acquiring from Royals to complete Andrew Benintendi trade; player to be named later from Mets due June 4, per report

UPDATE: According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the Red Sox “are due to acquire the remaining three players to be named later” in the near future, while “the player from the Mets — assumed to be the best player of the three — is due by Friday,” June 4.

The Red Sox could soon decide on the two players to be named later they will be acquiring from the Royals as part of the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City, according to The Kansas City’s Star Lynn Worthy.

Per Worthy, the Sox could very well make their decision within the next week or two.

Boston originally dealt Benintendi to the Royals back in February in exchange for outfielder Franchy Cordero, outfield prospect Khalil Lee, and two players to be named later. They then traded Lee to the Mets in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Josh Winckowski and another player to be named later.

According to @RedSoxStats on Twitter, the two players the Sox receive from the Royals will likely be of the “lower-level” variety in regards to prospect rankings, while the player they get from the Mets “is likely to be a higher quality prospect.”

Of the five players Boston will eventually get back in this three-team swap, they have gotten mixed results from the two who have already joined the organization.

Cordero, who made the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster out of spring training, hit a disappointing .179/.228/.274 with just one home run, six doubles, nine RBI, six walks, and 37 strikeouts in 34 games before being demoted to Triple-A Worcester on May 26.

Since being sent down, though, Cordero has shown some signs of life. The 26-year-old has gone 5-for-12 with a pair of homers and three RBI in his first three games with the WooSox.

Winckowski, meanwhile, has been one of the organization’s most impressive pitching prospects to this point in the minor-league season.

Through his first five starts with Double-A Portland, the 22-year-old hurler has posted a miniscule 1.33 ERA and 0.89 WHIP to go along with a 26:9 strikeout-to-walk-ratio over 27 innings of work thus far.

His latest start was unquestionably his best, as he twirled seven scoreless frames of one-hit baseball against the Hartford Yard Goats on Saturday en route to picking up his second win of the season for the Sea Dogs.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Winckowski operates with a fastball, slider, changeup and splitter.

“There’s a good foundation there,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters (including Smith) when speaking about Winckowski last month. “The changeup shows a lot of promise. It’s a pretty hard changeup right now but you can still have success with that. It’s more of a power change. And that pitch is going to evolve but I think his other stuff will evolve, too. And he’s going to learn different ways to use it as he goes.”

(Picture of Andrew Benintendi: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

Red Sox recall Colten Brewer from Triple-A Worcester

Before opening a three-game weekend series against the Marlins at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Red Sox recalled right-hander Colten Brewer from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced earlier Friday evening.

The move to recall Brewer comes a day after outfielder Franchy Cordero was optioned to the WooSox, which means Boston now has 14 pitchers and 12 position players on their major-league roster. They briefly had 13 pitchers and 13 position players upon activating veteran utility man Danny Santana last weekend.

Brewer, 28, has spent the last two seasons with the Red Sox after being acquired in a trade with the Padres in November 2018.

In 69 appearances out of the Boston bullpen since then, the righty reliever has posted a 4.59 ERA and 5.14 FIP over 80 1/3 total innings pitched. He most recently struggled to the tune of a 5.61 ERA over 11 outings (four starts) and 25 2/3 innings of work in 2020.

After failing to make the Sox’ Opening Day roster out of spring training this year, Brewer began the 2021 season in Worcester, where he has allowed a total of four earned runs over four innings in two separate stints with the WooSox.

As one of two healthy relievers in Worcester who are currently on Boston’s 40-man roster, Brewer got the call up to the Sox as opposed to fellow righty Brandon Brennan, who was claimed off waivers from the Mariners earlier this month.

Brewer last got in a game for the WooSox on May 25, so one would have to assume he will be available to pitch if needed at any point during Friday’s contest against the Marlins.

(Picture of Colten Brewer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox demote struggling outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox optioned outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester following Wednesday’s 9-5 win over the Braves, the team announced earlier Thursday afternoon.

Cordero, one of five players the Red Sox acquired as part of the trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals back in February, has gotten his Red Sox career off to a slow start.

Through 34 games played with Boston this season, the 26-year-old is slashing a measly .179/.228/.274 with just one home run, nine RBI, six walks, and 37 strikeouts over 102 plate appearances thus far.

With the emergence of the versatile, switch-hitting Danny Santana, Cordero began to see his playing time decrease prior to his demotion. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the left-handed hitter has only started four of his club’s last 11 games.

With that in mind, it would appear that the Red Sox would like Cordero to get more regular at-bats with the WooSox, who are currently taking on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa.

For his minor-league career, the Dominican native owns a lifetime .305/.357/.567 slash line to go along with 21 homers and 73 RBI in 115 games at the Triple-A level, so perhaps some time in Worcester will do him good.

In Cordero’s place, the Red Sox will need to make a corresponding roster move and call someone up from the minors to get back to a 26-man major-league roster.

It’s unlikely that top outfield prospect Jarren Duran — who is currently playing for Team USA in an Olympic qualifying event in Florida — will take Cordero’s place on the active roster, per Cotillo.

Instead, Cotillo suggests that the Sox will likely call up a reliever ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Marlins at Fenway Park.

More specifically, one of Brandon Brennan or Colten Brewer — both of whom are on Boston’s 40-man roster — appear to be the most likely to get promoted since that would allow the Red Sox to go back to carrying 14 pitchers and 12 position players. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Homers from Kiké Hernández, Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez, and Christian Vázquez power Red Sox to 7-3 win over Blue Jays

The Red Sox wasted no time in bouncing back from their second shutout loss of the season on Tuesday by plating five runs on five hits in the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla.

Matched up against veteran starter Ross Stripling, a leadoff single from Kiké Hernández to begin things on Wednesday night proved to be the catalyst for an offensive outpouring.

Alex Verdugo followed by obliterating a hanging slider 391 feet to right field for his sixth home run of the season — a two-run shot — to give the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.

J.D. Martinez made it a 3-0 game moments later when he mashed his 11th homer of the year to go back-to-back with Verdugo, while Christian Vazquez and Bobby Dalbec knocked in two more runs on an RBI groundout and RBI double, respectively.

With Garrett Richards leading the way on the other side of things, the Red Sox rode a productive first inning all the way to a 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays to snap a two-game skid and improve to 26-18 (13-6 on the road) on the season.

Hernandez finishes triple shy of cycle

Kiké Hernández’s leadoff single in the first not only proved to be the start of a solid day at the plate for the Red Sox as a team, but for Hernandez himself as well.

The 29-year-old homered off his former Dodger teammate in Stripling to lead off the top half of the second inning and later ripped a two-out double in the fourth for his third hit of the night.

Having already completed three-quarters of the cycle in his first three at-bats Wednesday, Hernandez was unable to see it through until the end as he flew out in the sixth and struck out swinging in the eighth. Still, a three-hit day is a three-hit day.

Richards improves to 4-2, lowers ERA to 3.72

Before even taking the mound at TD Ballpark for the first time on Wednesday night, Red Sox starter Garrett Richards was gifted a five-run cushion to work with.

The right-hander got off to a shaky start by walking the first man he faced and serving up a hard-hit RBI double to Vladimir Guerrero Jr before issuing yet another free pass, which led to pitching coach Dave Bush coming out for a mound visit.

That mound visit certainly proved to be beneficial for Richards, as he settled in nicely from that point on by stringing together five consecutive scoreless frames of work.

After punching out the first two hitters he faced in the seventh, Richards yielded a single to Reese McGuire, which would mark the end of his night.

Garrett Whitlock came on in relief of the righty and allowed the runner he inherited to score on a two-run home run off the bat of Marcus Semien.

That two-run blast closed the book on Richards’ outing, who wound up being charged with two earned runs on seven hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 total innings pitched.

Though inconsistent with his command at times, Richards proved to be effective enough to pick up his fourth winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA to 3.72.

Of the 99 pitches (64 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler threw on Wednesday, 64 were four-seam fastballs, 18 were curveballs, and 17 were sliders. His next start should come against the Braves back at Fenway Park next Tuesday.

Vazquez homers for first time since April 7

After seeing his team’s five-run lead shrink to a three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, Christian Vazquez got one of those runs back by crushing his third home run of the season a half inning later.

Whitlock, Ottavino, and Taylor close it out

As previously mentioned, Garrett Whitlock was deployed in relief of Richards and immediately served up a two-run shot to Marcus Semien before getting Bo Bichette to ground out to retire the side in the seventh.

From there, Adam Ottavino maneuvered his way around a one-out single in an otherwise perfect eighth inning, while left-hander Josh Taylor preserved the 7-3 win for his side by working a scoreless bottom half of the ninth.

Cordero’s exit velocity

While the likes of Kiké Hernández, Alex Verdugo, and J.D. Martinez stole the show offensively, Franchy Cordero also had a strong day at the plate, though the results may not show it.

Returning to the Red Sox lineup for the first time since Saturday, Cordero went 1-for-4 while batting out of the nine-hole.

Of the four balls Cordero put in play on Wednesday, two –a first-inning lineout and sixth-inning double — had exit velocities of 109 and 115.2 mph. His double was the hardest-hit ball of the night.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Matz

The Red Sox will go for a series win over the Blue Jays before getting on a plane to Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston, while left-hander Steven Matz will do the same for Toronto.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:37 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

Picture of Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

As he continues to light it up in Worcester, Danny Santana could be on verge of getting called up by Red Sox

It would appear that Danny Santana is inching closer and closer to making his Red Sox debut.

Santana, who has been rehabbing with Triple-A Worcester since May 12, hit a home run and finished a triple shy of the cycle as part of a 3-for-4 day at the plate against the Buffalo Bisons at Polar Park on Tuesday night.

Since joining the WooSox last week, the 30-year-old utility man has slashed .438/.526/.875 with one double, two homers, four RBI, and four runs scored over four games played. This comes after he batted .400 (4-for-10) in three rehab games with High-A Greenville earlier this month.

In the seven games Santana has played in between Greenville and Worcester, the Dominican native has seen time at first base (most recently), second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and center field.

“Danny is the ultimate pro,” WooSox manager Billy McMillon said of Santana following Tuesday’s 9-4 win over Buffalo. “He goes about his business the right way. I think one of the things I’m happy about is some of the younger guys have looked and seen his routine and goes about his business, and I don’t think you can ask for much more than that.”

The Red Sox originally signed Santana to a minor-league contract in early March, a few months after the versatile veteran was non-tendered by the Rangers.

With Texas the previous two seasons, the switch-hitter enjoyed great success in 2019, clubbing 28 home runs, collecting 81 RBI, and stealing 21 bases over 130 games in the process of being named the Rangers’ Player of the Year for his efforts.

The 2020 campaign was a different story for Santana, though, as he was limited to just 15 games before suffering a season-ending right elbow injury in late August that would require a modified version of Tommy John surgery the following month.

Shortly after being let go by the Rangers in December, Santana joined the Sox on a minor-league pact in March “that included a prorated $1.75 million big-league salary,” per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Less than two weeks after signing with Boston, however, Santana sustained a right foot infection during spring training that not only landed him in the hospital, but also resulted in him and the Red Sox agreeing to push back the opt-out date in his contract from April 30 until the middle of May.

Now that he has reached the point where he is back to playing regularly, Santana could be on the verge of getting called up to the Red Sox sooner rather than later.

“I think he’s getting more and more ready to go to potentially help the big club,” said McMillon. “I think he’s just got to get some time under his belt. He missed spring training so in a way this is his build-up for the season. He’s done everything. He’s made good plays in the field, he’s stolen a bag, he’s hit from both sides of the plate. I think he’s just getting himself ready for that call.”

On Monday, Speier wrote that, as the Red Sox prepare for a three-game weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park (where National League rules apply), they could be getting ready to deploy Santana for the first time given his value as a switch-hitter who can play multiple defensive positions.

When speaking with reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., Red Sox manager Alex Cora added on to this speculation by indicating that Santana was close to joining the big-league club.

“He didn’t play Sunday, he didn’t play yesterday. He’s playing today,” Cora said. “He feels good. He’s swinging the bat well. We’ve been using him all over the place. Where he’s at right now physically and baseball-wise, he’s in a good spot.”

Because Santana is not currently on the Sox’ 40-man roster, there will be some hurdles to cross to ensure that the 5-foot-11, 203 pounder can be added to Boston’s major-league squad when the time is right.

As of this moment, the Red Sox are currently carrying 14 pitchers and 12 position players on their 26-man active roster, so they would need to clear a spot in order to accommodate Santana.

From there, it seems likely that one of Michael Chavis or Franchy Cordero would be optioned down to Worcester once Santana is ready to be added to the 26-man roster.

All that being said, we will just have to wait and see what the Red Sox do in the coming days if they are indeed preparing to make some roster moves.

(Picture of Danny Santana: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Alex Verdugo celebrates 25th birthday by breaking out of slump, crushing home run as Red Sox blank Angels, 9-0

Alex Verdugo celebrated his birthday in style at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon.

Coming into the day in the midst of a chilly 2-for-24 slump, the newly-turned 25-year-old set the tone for the Red Sox by taking Angels starter Dylan Bundy deep to right field for his fifth home run of the season right away in the first inning.

Verdugo’s solo blast put Boston up by a run early on in what would turn out to be a commanding 9-0 victory over Los Angeles.

With the win — their third straight, the Sox improved to 25-16 on the season and 13-11 at Fenway Park.

Dalbec, Cordero collect two doubles each

As was the case on Friday night, the bottom of the Red Sox lineup continued its recent run of success thanks to the efforts of Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero on Saturday.

Dalbec added on the Sox’ early lead by plating two more runs in the bottom half of the fourth, driving in Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers on a sharply-hit double off the base of the Green Monster.

Franchy Cordero followed with a hard-hit double of his own that had an exit velocity of 110 mph and brought in Dalbec from second to make it a 4-0 game.

Fast forward to the sixth, and the Dalbec-Cordero combination struck again. This time with the former leading off the inning with his second two-base hit of the day and the latter scoring him on his second two-base hit of the day as well.

In total, Dalbec — who now has multiple hits in two of his last three games — and Cordero combined to go 4-for-8 on Saturday with four doubles, two runs scored, and four RBI.

Bogaerts, Devers homer

Boston’s No. 8 and No. 9 hitters were not the only dynamic duo the Red Sox rode to a blowout win on Saturday, as the No. 4 and No. 5 hitters enjoyed productive days at the plate as well.

Bogaerts took advantage of Verdugo and J.D. Martinez reaching base with no outs in the fifth by clubbing a monstrous 446-foot three-run shot over everything in left field to give his team a 7-0 lead.

Devers, meanwhile, wrapped up the scoring for his side and put the finishing touches on this one when he crushed his team-leading 10th home run of the season to right-center field in the seventh.

The 24-year-old’s 408-foot big fly put the Red Sox up 9-0, which would go on to be Saturday’s final score.

Perez picks up first win of season

Backed by an offensive outpouring, Martin Perez had plenty of run support on his way to tossing six solid innings in his eighth start of the season.

Over those six frames, the left-hander kept the Angels off the scoreboard while scattering three hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts on the afternoon.

For how shaky of a first inning Perez had by issuing two walks to the first three hitters he faced, he settled in nicely and wound up retiring 14 of the final 18 Angels who came to the plate against him.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 97 (60 strikes) while getting through six full innings for the first time this season, the 30-year-old hurler threw 31 cutters, 24 sinkers, 21 changeups, 11 curveballs, and 10 four-seam fastballs. He topped out at 95.1 mph with his heater.

Able to pick up his long-awaited first win of the season in addition to lowering his ERA to 3.40, Perez’s next start should come against the Phillies in Philadelphia next Friday.

Red Sox bullpen preserves the shutout

In relief of Perez, the three three relievers the Red Sox turned to were able to see the club’s second shutout of the season through to its completion.

Despite dealing with their collective fair share of traffic on the base paths, Phillps Valdez, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Austin Brice combined to toss three scoreless frames to secure the 9-0 victory for the Red Sox.

Next up: Going for the sweep

The Red Sox will go for the series sweep over the struggling 16-22 Angels and their fourth consecutive win overall back at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for Boston in the series finale, and he will be opposed by left-hander Jose Quintana for Los Angeles.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)