Red Sox

Paxton, Seager pace Mariners past Red Sox, 4-0


Paxton, Seager pace Mariners past Red Sox, 4-0

SEATTLE -- James Paxton added a dominant night to what has become a dominant month.

Paxton allowed four singles over seven innings to win his fifth consecutive start in July and Kyle Seager homered to pace the Seattle Mariners to a 4-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.

"Heck of an effort by Pax tonight," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "He is on a nice roll right now and we're the beneficiary of it. It's been fun to watch. Getting all of his pitches over. His stuff was electric tonight."

Paxton (10-3) retired the first 13 hitters before Jackie Bradley Jr.'s single to center with one out in the fifth. The left-hander, who worked out of trouble in the sixth and seventh innings, matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and walked none. Paxton has allowed six earned runs in 33 1/3 innings and not given up a home run in five starts this month.

"My arm just felt really good today. Had the big fastball and it was just coming out easy today," said Paxton, who missed almost all of May with a forearm strain. "I wasn't thinking about going out there and throwing 98, 99, that was just what was coming out today."

Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3) allowed four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two in his second start since coming off the disabled list.

"I missed my pitches," Rodriguez said. "Fastball to Seager, he makes good contact and hits a homer. That's how it is when you miss a spot."

Seager started a three-run second with his 14th home run, lining a 2-1 pitch over the wall in straightaway center to open the inning. With one out, Ben Gamel tripled into the right-field corner. Gamel scored on Guillermo Heredia's fielder's choice chopper to first, beating the throw home with a head-first slide. Heredia scored from first on Jean Segura's double into the right-center gap.

"I had a lane to slide in and I felt like I could sneak my hand in there, so I just went for it," said Gamel, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games and raised his average to .323.

Seattle added a run in the fourth when Gamel singled, Segura was hit by a pitch and Danny Valencia doubled.

In the sixth, Brock Holt reached with one out on a throwing error by first baseman Valencia. Mookie Betts singled Holt to second, but Paxton struck out Andrew Benintendi and Dustin Pedroia.

Hanley Ramirez and Bradley opened the seventh with consecutive singles, but Paxton struck out Chris Young and enticed Deven Marrero into a double-play grounder to short.

"On a night where we got to swing our way out of it, we get a couple of opportunities in the sixth and seventh, and the strikeout was a big weapon certainly for Paxton tonight," Boston manager John Farrell said. "First and second one out, couple of key strikeouts to (Benintendi) and (Pedroia). And then we come right back in the seventh inning, we think we are in a pretty good spot first and third nobody out, and unable to string any base hits together."

Paxton is scheduled to get another start before the end of the month.

"I think it's five wins in the month of July. He's got a chance to get one more," Servais said. "It's hard to win six games in a month. I don't know if it's ever been done by a Mariner before, but hopefully we'll see it."


Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was scratched with an illness, although it was not related to the hand injury he suffered last week. Marrero started.

Mariners: CF Jarrod Dyson was out again with a toe injury sustained when he crashed into the wall Sunday. He is day-to-day.


Boston called up top prospect Rafael Devers from Triple-A Pawtucket. The 20-year-old Devers began the season at Double-A Portland, hitting .300 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs in 77 games. He played just nine games at Portland, hitting .400 with two homers. ... RHP Kyle Martin was optioned to Pawtucket. ... LHP Robbie Ross Jr. (left elbow inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day DL.


Seattle signed veteran INF Danny Espinosa, who was released last week by the Los Angeles Angels. Espinosa hit .209 with a career-high 24 homers in 2016 with Washington, but hit just .162 in 77 games with the Angels. He will be used in a utility role. ... RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (right shoulder inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day DL.


Segura was hit in the foot by a pitch with two outs in the fourth. The Red Sox challenged, but the call on the field was upheld after a review of 1 minute, 10 second.


Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (10-4, 3.51) has won four consecutive decisions over his last five starts, posting a 2.12 ERA over that span. Devers is expected to debut at 3B.

Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.88) is 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA in six starts since coming off the DL (right shoulder inflammation). He is 5-2 in nine starts vs. Boston at Safeco Field.

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.

MORE - Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

“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.


Red Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

Red Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

Blake Swihart’s strong spring seems to have the Red Sox more inclined to deal one of their natural utility infielders, such as Brock Holt or Deven Marrero, rather than Swihart, a converted catcher with high upside who's getting a look in other roles.
"Sounds like they’re holding Swihart to open," a rival executive said. "More likely to move a utility guy."
A true utility guy, that is.


The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported Sunday that Marrero has been drawing interest from other teams.

"We do have depth with our middle infielders," Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday. "However, [I] would not get into potential trade discussions."
Swihart, who turns 26 on April 3, is most valuable as a catcher. But he could still be useful in a bench role for the 2018 Red Sox, and a win-now mentality may be the driving force here. (It is possible, as well, that there is nothing available via trade for Swihart that has piqued the Sox’ interest. Marrero or Holt wouldn’t require as much in return.)
The potential drawback is that Swihart won’t grow much if he’s not playing every day -- and in particular, if he's not catching every day. But the Sox may be be at a juncture where they feel his bat is a worthwhile experiment off the bench, at least for this season. They can figure out his future -- and their future at backstop -- later.
"He’s a great athlete," Cora told reporters on Sunday. "We’ve seen it in the batter’s box. It’s not only the results, but the way he’s driving the ball to left field as a left-hander, the quality of at-bats as a right-hander. [On Saturday], as a pinch-hitter, that kid was throwing 99 and he throws a breaking ball and squares a ball up."
Swihart entered Monday with a .283 average in Grapefruit League play, with a .905 OPS and a pair of home runs. But he does not have the infield experience that Marrero or Holt has, and the Red Sox essentially have to carry one of those two to start the year. 
Eduardo Nunez, the temporary replacement for Dustin Pedroia, is coming off a knee injury, and a sure-handed infielder -- Marrero’s glove is particularly good -- is a must. Rafael Devers is still coming into his own at third base. 
Tzu-Wei Lin is available in the minors too, and the Sox could see some redundancy with him, Holt and Marrero. Lin, unlike Marrero, has minor league options remaining. Lin also has some limited outfield experience.
The way the Sox roster looks now, they have two spots available for the three guys: Marrero, Holt and Swihart. Health can change that. Holt, despite being the most veteran of the group, has minor league options remaining, so he theoretically could go to Triple-A to start the season. But if the Sox don't see a role for him on this year's team any way, they'd be wiser trading him, considering he's due to make $2.225 million. It also would be kindest choice for Holt, to let him have an opportunity elsewhere, if one exists.


Swihart has played first base, third base and left field in addition to catching this spring. Perhaps, in time, there will be a way to work Swihart in behind the plate for the Sox. At the least, retaining him would be insurance if Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon do not perform well offensively.
There was a clear personal-catcher system for the Red Sox in 2017. Leon was Chris Sale’s guy, for example. Manager Alex Cora said he is not taking that approach. As an auxiliary effect, moving away from a personal-catcher system might make it easier for Swihart to receive more time behind the plate, if called on.
"Whoever I feel comfortable with that day behind the plate, he'll catch," Cora told reporters in Florida. "Christian already caught him. Sandy's going to catch him today. And then the next turn, Christian's going to catch him. Everybody's going to work with everybody."