Red Sox

First impressions of the Red Sox’ 4-1 win over the Rays


First impressions of the Red Sox’ 4-1 win over the Rays

BOSTON -- First impressions of the Boston Red Sox’ 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays:

No Red Sox pitcher is safe in the first inning.

It doesn’t matter who’s out on the mound and what team they’re playing. Red Sox pitching just can’t get the job done in the initial frame.

Thankfully Rick Porcello was able to put out the fire before things got out of hand.

Rick Porcello continues to get the job done.

After scuffling through the first frame, the righty did pretty much everything well. He handled rough innings. He had quick ones, too.

Porcello only struck out five batters, but once again he didn’t allow for a free pass.

And with Craig Kimbrel being moved to the disabled list prior to the game, Porcello’s seven-inning out becomes all the more important -- giving almost everyone in the pen a day of rest heading into the final game before the All-Star break.

He even gave himself a little break, only throwing 94 pitches in the outing.

This is what Boston needs to do every time against Tampa Bay.

Easier said than done, but it’s clear the Rays are the worst team in the division.

The fact that the Red Sox have struggled against this team quite a bit this year is unacceptable.

David Price needs to gain some momentum heading into the break, and his old team is the perfect one to do it against.

Matt Moore has not developed as he was originally projected.

The left-hander was expected to be a top of the rotation threat when he first emerged into the big leagues. But ever since elbow surgery in 2014, the lefty hasn’t been where he used to be.

He still has a lively fastball, touching 95 mph throughout the game. And even though only two of his runs were earned in his six innings, Moore missed out on opportunities to execute and keep his team in a more favorable position.

Matt Barnes is the set-up man for the time being.

With Brad Ziegler not available yet, and the righty expected to close with Koji Uehara, it looks like Barnes is expected to serve in the set-up role for Boston.

The UConn alum was serving as the reliever to enter with men on base for the Red Sox, so now John Farrell has to decide who will fill those shoes.

Sandy Leon is the opposite of snake-bitten.

While most players go through slumps where they can’t find holes, Leon has done nothing but that -- and nothing seems to be changing that.

Whether he hits it hard or soft -- with his two hits Saturday serving as proof -- Boston’s catcher keeps finding a way hit his way on base.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar


As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.