Red Sox

First impressions: Sox continue to jump on teams early


First impressions: Sox continue to jump on teams early

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 9-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves:

Ryan Hanigan deserves a medal

It was Hanigan's assignment to catch knuckleballer Steven Wright, which he did to the best of his ability. But for the second straight outing, Wright's knuckler was, as they like to say, "violent.''

Hanigan was charged with four passed balls, five days after he had three catching Wright's last start in Houston.

It can't be fun when the knuckleball is dancing as much as Wright's has been of late.

Steven Wright remained consistent

Wright has made four starts this season. In all four of them, he's pitched at least six innings. In three of them, he's pitched into the seventh. And all four have been quality starts.

Both Eduardo Rodriguez and Joe Kelly are still weeks away from returning to the rotation. Henry Owens will be the first to be replaced, but eventually, the Sox are going to have to make a call on Wright, too. He's making it very difficult to take him out of the rotation.

David Ortiz didn't start the last two games. The layoff didn't hurt him.

Ortiz belted doubles in each of his first three at-bats, driving in two runs in the process.

Ortiz now has 11 doubles in the first 21 games of the season. Over the course of the game, Ortiz passed two Hall of Famers (Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx) and tied another (George Brett) for most career extra-base hits, while also tying Sammy Sosa for 28th place in career RBI with 1,667.

The Sox continue to jump on teams in the first inning

The Sox scored two runs in the first, marking the sixth time in the last seven games that they've scored in the first. In fact, in five of those games, the Red Sox scored multiple runs in the first.

For the season, they've scored twice the number of runs their opponents have -- 28-14. What makes this particularly odd is that they didn't score a first-inning run in any of their first five games.

Dustin Pedroia is using the whole field again

Pedroia is a natural pull hitter, but like most hitters, fares better when he takes advantage of the whole ballpark. He hit a grand slam off the right field foul pole in the second, then homered into the Monster Seats for a solo shot in the eighth.

On Tuesday night in Atlanta, Pedroia had a double into the right field corner, and later, a single to center.

Red Sox trade Marrero to Diambondbacks

Red Sox trade Marrero to Diambondbacks

The Red Sox traded infielder Deven Marrero to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a player to be named or cash. 

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made the announcement on Saturday.

Marrero, 27, was fighting for one of the final roster spots as a bench player, along with utility man Brock Holt.  The first-round pick in 2012 out of Arizona State had spent his entire pro career with the Red Sox organization. He appeared in 109 major league games from 2015-17, making 50 starts at third base, nine at second base, and five at shortstop.

In 2017, the right-handed hitter played in a career-high 71 major league games, batting .211 with four home runs and 27 RBI. 

Early exit for Sale after liner off leg, but he's expected to be OK

Early exit for Sale after liner off leg, but he's expected to be OK

Red Sox ace Chris Sale is expected to be able to make his Opening Day start after he was struck in the left leg by a line drive off the bat of the Houston Astros' J.D. Davis in the first inning on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla., and had to leave his final spring training start. 

After being examined by team medical personnel on the field, Sale walked back to the dugout. He was taken for precautionary X-rays which showed no structural damage.

The Red Sox said Sale sustained a contusion on his left leg.  "I don't see anything lingering from this. It looked a lot worse than it was," Sale told reporters. "It scared the hell out of me,”

Sale is scheduled to be the Red Sox Thursday in the season opener against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.  Manager Alex Cora and Sale said he'd be OK to make the start.