Red Sox

Betts, Bradley go deep to lift Red Sox over Cardinals, 6-3


Betts, Bradley go deep to lift Red Sox over Cardinals, 6-3

ST. LOUIS -- Mookie Betts hasn't felt great about his performances lately, even if the results for the Boston Red Sox right fielder look just fine.

Betts homered and drove in two runs to back six quality innings by Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Tuesday night in the opener of a two-game interleague series.

"I feel OK," Betts said. "I had a good first at-bat and then not really another good one after that. So I'm just trying to put it all together."

Betts went 1-for-5 and is batting .371 (13-for-35) with five homers and five doubles over his last eight games. He won AL player of the week Monday, but still says he is searching for better rhythm.

"I just feel like I'm not really consistent yet," Betts said. "I have a good game and then a couple bad ones. That's part of the game. It's going to take a while."

Jackie Bradley Jr. had two of Boston's six hits, including a home run, and Rodriguez (2-1) allowed three runs and five hits. Rodriguez walked two, struck out five and threw a season-high 110 pitches.

"Overall he was solid," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We played a strong game, I think, in every phase here tonight. Particularly some very good defensive plays."

St. Louis made three errors and lost for just the second time in 10 games. Lance Lynn (4-2) gave up four runs, two earned, and three hits in six innings, striking out four and walking one.

"I gave up two early with the homers and the team fought back and gave me a lead and I gave it away," Lynn said. "They gave me a chance to win and I didn't get it done."

Betts began the game with his seventh homer and 10th career leadoff shot, tying Jacoby Ellsbury for the franchise record. Bradley added a solo homer in the second for a 2-0 lead.

Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances.

In the third inning, St. Louis' Dexter Fowler smacked an RBI double off the left field wall, and Tommy Pham and Matt Carpenter followed with sacrifice flies.

The Red Sox scored twice in the fifth after a leadoff walk and an error. Bradley scored on an RBI groundout by Betts. Deven Marrero, who reached on an error by Jedd Gyorko, scored on Dustin Pedroia's single to center to make it 4-3.

Boston scored twice in the eighth, on Christian Vazquez's sac fly and then a dropped fly ball by Pham that was the third Cardinals error.


Farrell said right-hander Hector Velazquez will be called up from Triple-A to start Thursday at Oakland. Velazquez, whose contract was purchased from the Mexican League in February, is 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in five starts at Pawtucket.


Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz, who left his start Sunday because of tightness in his left triceps, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday. ... INF Pablo Sandoval (knee sprain) could begin a rehab assignment Friday. ... LHP David Price (left elbow strain) will make a rehab start for Pawtucket on Friday.

Cardinals: General manager John Mozeliak said INF Jhonny Peralta (upper respiratory) could be activated Friday and RF Stephen Piscotty (right hamstring) sometime over the weekend. ... LHP Tyler Lyons (right intercostal strain) is expected to make one more rehab start. ... RHP John Gant (groin) has been activated from the DL and optioned to Triple-A Memphis.


Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (2-5, 4.01) is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three road starts this season.

Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake (4-2, 1.94) is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Cubs in which he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings.

Red Sox moves leave Poyner as likely lefty in pen

Red Sox moves leave Poyner as likely lefty in pen

The Red Sox optioned three players, including lefties Robby Scott and Roenis Elias to Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, leaving rookie Bobby Poyner as the leading candidate to make the team as a lefty reliever.

Infielder Tzu-Wei Lin was also sent to Pawtucket and catcher Dan Butler, infielder Iván De Jesús Jr., and outfielders Rusney Castillo and Aneury Tavárez were re-assigned to minor league camp.

Poyner, 25, dominated at Double-A Portland last season. The 14th-round pick from the University of Florida in 2015 held opponents to a .142 batting average with a .094 ERA in 27 appearances for the Sea Dogs. Poyner has an 0.96 ERA with eight strikeouts in 9 1/3 spring training innings. 

Red Sox manager Alex Corea told reporters in Florida on Saturday that left-handers Drew Pomeranz (left forearm) and Eduardo Rodriguez (offseason knee surgery) will begin the season on the disabled list, leaving Hector Velazquez, Justin Haley or Marcus Walden to make the team as the fifth starter. 

A few decisions remain with the opener approaching Thursday at Tampa Bay, including whether Blake Swihart, Brock Holt or Deven Marrero will make team as bench players. 



Vazquez gets 3-year extension from Red Sox

Vazquez gets 3-year extension from Red Sox

The Red Sox and catcher Christian Vazquez have agreed to a three-year contract extension that runs through 2021 with a team option for 2022, the team announced Saturday.

Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported the contract details:

Vazquez, hitting .323 this spring with two homers, appeared in a career-high 99 games (85 starts) last season and hit .290 with five homers and 32 RBI. Vazquez also threw out 42 percent of attempted base stealers in 2017, the highest rate since 1987. 

Vazquez split time with Sandy Leon (85 games) behind the plate last season. The Red Sox will carry three catchers on the Opening Day roster if Blake Swihart, who can also play the outfield, makes team.