Red Sox

Quotes, notes and stars: 'Koji's our closer'

Quotes, notes and stars: 'Koji's our closer'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Boston Red Sox’ 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays:


* “Koji’s our closer. And days he’s not going to be available we’ve got Brad [Ziegler] to turn to.” John Farrell said following Saturday’s 4-1 win.

* “His action to his sinker seemed to get better throughout the course of the day. He’s been so comfortable here at home and it showed up her again today with quality work. ” Farrell said on Rick Porcello in his start.

* “It’s been a tough first half for [the bullpen]. They’ve done a lot of work and a lot of guys have been pitching back-to-back days or three out of four. And anytime you can get a breather it’s huge -- especially for the second half because we need all those guys to be fresh . . . Those guys are at their best when they have enough rest and things like that, so any time you can pitch deep into a game and give them a breather it’s huge.” Rick Porcello said on going seven innings in the win, giving the bullpen some rest.

* “It’s something I’ve kind of been battling since April last year . . . Sometimes I’ve been able to fight through it. But it’s kind of been a process where after I throw it’s pretty sore and just kind of work on getting it back to game-ready by day five. This last one was kind of tough . . . Hopefully we can move all the way past it and not have it effect any more outings.” Sean O’Sullivan on being placed on the disable list with left knee tendonitis following Saturday’s game -- opening up a spot on the roster for Ziegler.


* The Red Sox improve to 48-38 and are now tied with the Blue Jays for second in the AL East after winning five of their last six games. Boston is also 6-2 on the current homestand.

* Xander Bogaerts’ go-ahead home run was his 10th long ball of 2016, his fifth that has given Boston the lead. He has also reached base safely for the 20th-straight game.

* Rick Porcello improved to 8-0 in nine start at Fenway this season -- leading the AL in home wins. Porcello, Chris Tillman and Stephen Strasburg are the only MLB starters that haven’t lost a game in their first nine starts at home this season. He also recorded his 900th strikeout of his career, the 11th most among AL pitchers since 2009

* Sandy Leon recorded his sixth multi-hit game of the season, his fourth at Fenway this season. Leon is 11-for-22 against lefties this year with four doubles and five RBI. He also registered his sixth caught stealing, and is not 6-for-16 (38 percent) at throwing out runners.


1) Rick Porcello

Porcello was efficient and held the Rays to one run in seven innings with the bullpen in more of a flux than usual.

2) Xander Bogaerts

In addition to his 0-2 two-run homerun to tie the game in the fourth inning, Bogaerts also made a run -- and momentum -- saving play on a ball that nearly bounced up and took his face off with Nick Franklin in scoring position.

3) Sandy Leon

In addition to scoring the go-ahead run in the fifth off of Dustin Pedroia’s RBI-single, Leon had another great day at the plate, finishing 2-for-4.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar

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. 



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.

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“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.