Red Sox

Porcello allows three more homers as Blue Jays rout Red Sox, 10-4

Porcello allows three more homers as Blue Jays rout Red Sox, 10-4

BOSTON -- Kendrys Morales hit a three-run shot in the first inning.

Jose Bautista connected for a solo home run in the third.

Raffy Lopez chased reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello with a two-run homer in the sixth.

"Six of the seven runs he allowed were on those three swings," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the Toronto Blue Jays beat Boston 10-4 on Monday night, handing Porcello his major league-leading 16th loss.

Steve Pearce had three of Toronto's 14 hits, and J.A. Happ allowed just one earned run in 5 2/3 innings. Toronto carried a 7-4 lead into the ninth and scored three more times, highlighted by Justin Smoak's 37th homer and a run-scoring double from Morales.

"It seems like we've never had enough runs since I've been here. So that was nice," said Lopez, who was playing in Fenway Park for the first time. "It's always nice in any environment to get a home run, but this is pretty awesome."

Boston lost for the fourth time in five games. Its lead in the AL East was trimmed to 2 1/2 games over the New York Yankees, who beat Baltimore in the afternoon.

"Our guys are well aware of where we stand," said Farrell, who revealed that the team had a meeting four days ago. He would not elaborate on what was said.

Eduardo Nunez had two hits and three RBIs for Boston.

FALLING FAST

Less than a year after he was named the AL's top pitcher, Porcello (9-16) picked up a career-worst 16th loss. Since starting the season with a 4-14 record, he had won five of six decisions - including his previous start on Wednesday, when he held Toronto to one run over 6 2/3 innings.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed in my performance tonight," he said, noting his teammates had a long night after losing to the Yankees in New York on Sunday night. "I was probably the only one that was fresh."

Porcello was charged with seven runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

NOT HELPING

Happ (7-10) gave up three runs and six hits. He was charged with an error that led to two runs in the second inning when he threw the ball into center field on a would-be fielder's choice.

TACKING ON

The Blue Jays led 3-0 after one inning and 4-2 after three before they pulled away with a three-run sixth against Porcello.

Ryan Goins singled with one out, Darwin Barney doubled off the Green Monster to score one run and bring pitching coach Carl Willis out to the mound. But on Porcello's first pitch to Lopez - his 100th of the game - the No. 9 hitter homered over the Toronto bullpen to make it 7-2.

"We thought he settled down after that Bautista home run," Farrell said.

BUNTS

The Red Sox had been 10-3 against the Blue Jays this season, including a three-game sweep in Toronto last week. ... The Jays have won just five times in their last 17 games. They had lost seven of nine in Boston. ... Fernando Abad struck out Lopez on a 59 mph changeup to end the eighth inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman is penciled in to pitch Friday night against Detroit, acting manager DeMarlo Hale said. Stroman left his last outing on Saturday when was hit by Mark Trumbo's 107 mph line drive on the right elbow. X-rays were negative.

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia got a "planned day off," Farrell said, and will be back in Tuesday and Wednesday. ... LHP David Price is ready to begin pitching in simulated games. He has been out since July 22 with left elbow inflammation.

UP NEXT

The teams meet again on Tuesday, with Eduardo Rodriguez (4-5) facing Toronto's Marco Estrada (7-8).

Pedroia cleared to start running, progressing well

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Pedroia cleared to start running, progressing well

Dustin Pedroia has been cleared to run following October surgery on his right knee.

“It’s been pretty much what they thought it would be,” Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Thursday. “This is always the time they had told me. So you start running at this point, but that’s just running. So you’re not cutting, you’re not doing all things. We still have two and a half months until opening day. 

“I cant say he would never be ready, but we’re not pushing him for that. I think it’s more important he follows step by step. So you run, then cut, then you pick up the pace. But he’s made very positive strides. But that’s why he’s not going to be there this weekend, with the big crowds and all the treatment he has it’s probably not good for him in case someone would run into him accidentally. But he’s making good strides.”

Pedroia told WEEI this month that he’s eyeing Opening Day. Dombrowski said at Alex Cora’s introductory press conference in November that the Red Sox were targeting May. 

“We think Pedey is going to be back in May at some point right now if you listen to what the doctor has to say," Dombrowski said.

  • Dombrowski expects Mookie Betts and the Sox will wind up at a hearing, as assistant general manager Brian O’Halloran also said. The team made clear that if filing numbers were exchanged, a hearing would follow. That’s called a “file and go” approach, or “file and trial” or “file to go.” The Sox don’t employ the approach universally — they exchanged numbers with Drew Pomeranz before settling last year — but it is the approach they’re taking with Betts. A panel of arbitrators will decide if he makes $10.5 million, as Betts filed for, or $7.5 million, as the Red Sox filed for (barring an unexpected settlement before then).

 

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Return to health may mean a return to form for Bradley

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Return to health may mean a return to form for Bradley

BOSTON -- It’s well known that Xander Bogaerts was playing hurt for much of 2017. All players in a 162-game season work through multiple injuries, nicks, strains and sometimes worse.

But it has probably gone too far under the radar that Jackie Bradley Jr. was not physically himself last season.

MORE - Sox aren't avoiding Martinez because Harper, Machado loom

One of the reasons to believe Bradley can rebound in 2017 — and a reason to advocate keeping a cost-controlled player who is both comfortable in Boston and immensely talented — is renewed health.

Bradley suffered a right knee sprain in April that put him in a brace through May. He sprained his left thumb in August. A baseball source with direct knowledge of Bradley’s situation emphasized his injuries did affect him.

Bradley, like many players, on Thursday did not want to discuss the extent of his health.

“Y’all know I’m never gonna say anything about that. It’s just not who I am,” Bradley told NBC Sports Boston before accepting the Defensive Player of the Year award at the 79th annual Boston baseball writers awards dinner. “But as a player, you just have to deal. You’re injured. But I felt at the time that I could still help the team out. So I was in a brace. I think once I got it off, it actually was feeling pretty good."

It didn’t linger all year, Bradley said.

“It felt pretty good until the thumb happened,” Bradley said. “But it’s one of those things where nobody’s ever really 100 percent. You grind, and you make the best with what’s due.”

Bradley slashed .245/.323/.402 in 2017 with 17 home runs. That's down from a .267/.349/.486 line with 26 home runs in 2016.

One of the things Bradley wants to do more of in 2018 is steal bases. He stole eight last season after a career-high nine the year before. In the minors, he stole 24 bases in one season (2012, between High-A and Double-A).

“I’ve always wanted to run more and I’m glad he’s going to give me the opportunity to be able to do that more often,” Bradley said of new manager Alex Cora. “I’ve always felt like I can run. I feel like I’ve gotten stronger every year. I’ve been pretty successful on the base paths but I guess certain times situations did not dictate it in the past. The red light was something more of a thing they wanted to do with certain people at bat instead of taking the next base.”

Asked if he considered how his health would play into stealing, Bradley noted the reward available.

“I’ve never gotten hurt stealing,” Bradley said. “I’m not saying there’s not a possibility, obviously there’s a possibility. Guys who steal a ton of bags can attest to that. Jacoby [Ellsbury], Billy [Hamilton], stuff like that. There is risk/reward. But, I feel like the reward outweighs the risk in most cases. I just want to be in scoring position. That’s what I want to be in. I want to help.” Bradley acknowledged that he heard about the trade rumors this offseason.

"Yeah that’s one of those things where you do see it,” Bradley said. “You definitely have family members who are constantly talking to you about it. You know, ‘Well, what if this, what if that?’ 

“Well, what if this what if that? What will be, will be. That has always been my mindset. It’s something that I can’t really control. You know, so, I’m just not going to worry about it. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’m perfectly fine. I feel like I’m in a great situation. I feel like I have great teammates. I’m glad to be around them. And like I said, I understand if it did happen, then it’s something that I’ll have to live with.”

Bradley said he and his teammates have not discussed how long they will (or won’t) be together.

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