Red Sox

First Impressions from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

First Impressions from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

First Impressions from the Boston Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

* Steven Wright continues to have problems with the weather.

Recall earlier this season that Wright's worst start of the season came in an outing against Houston, which was played in a non-stop downpour. Unable to properly grip the ball because of the wet conditions, Wright was pounded.

On Tuesday, there wasn't rain in the forecast, but the extreme heat and humidity -- gametime temperature was a steamy 92 degrees -- appeared to have some issues gripping the baseball because of sweat building up on his hand and arm.

Some of the knuckleballs Wright threw were flat with little movement, likely in part because he couldn't "push'' them out of his grip thanks to the slipperiness of the ball.

It's unclear what the Red Sox can do about this going forward, but if Wright has to be so protected against the elements to be successful, then the Sox have a problem.

* The bullpen remains a nightly adventure.

It's never a good thing when your starter can't through the fifth inning. It's even worse when the relievers who are then called upon can't shut the door, either.

Robbie Ross Jr., who has been up-and-down in his effectiveness for much of the year, retired five of the first six hitters he faced.

So far, so good.

But with two out in the seventh and the bases empty, Ross inexplicably lost command. First, he plunked Justin Upton. Then, he allowed a single. Then he issued consecutive walks to the eighth and ninth hitters in the Tigers' lineup, including a bases-loaded free pass to light-hitting Tyler Collins (.184 coming in).

It's that kind of unpredictability that makes it hard to navigate through the opponents batting order in the late innings

 * The drought with the bases loaded ended, but struggles with RISP continue

The Sox got a run-scoring single with the bases full by Dustin Pedroia in the sixth, producing a run, and ending a drought in which the Sox have, time after time, been unable to capitalize with the bases full.

But the situational hitting continues to dog them.

After going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position Monday night, the Sox were only marginally better (3-for-10) on Tuesday.

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam

Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

File photos

Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

In this corner, the challenger out of Scranton, Pa., Joltin' Joe Biden...In the other corner, straight out of Queens, the President of the United States, Dandy Donald J. Trump!

The venue: LeLacheur Park, Lowell, Mass., home of the Red Sox Class-A affiliate, the Lowell Spinners.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's The Slasher at LeLacheur!

After the former Vice-President told a crowd at the University of Miami earlier this week of the current President, "If we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him, President Trump fired back on Twitter Thursday morning. 

The Spinners, the Sox' short-season New York-Penn League affiliate, have offered to host a boxing match between the Republican President and Democratic former Vice President on Aug. 17 by the flagpole at LeLacheur. Former light-welterweight champ and Lowell native Micky Ward has agreed to referee.

No word yet if Trump, who'll be 72 by then, or Biden, 75, have accepted the invitation.

The Spinners' press release announcing the invitation says that if the two do accept, "the boxing match will take place regardless of the weather, no matter how stormy it may get."


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.