Mookie Betts

2019 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Red Sox falling behind in polls

2019 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Red Sox falling behind in polls

The online polls that close Friday suggest there will likely be a scarcity of Boston Red Sox in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game. 

Just designated hitter J.D. Martinez and reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts contend to advance to the next round of voting. The top three vote-getters at each position — and the top nine outfielders — advance to the next phase of the voting process, the Starters Election, which will determine which players start the All-Star Game. Fans will have 28 hours to vote in the Starters Election, which starts at 4 p.m. ET on June 27. 

Martinez leads all designated hitters by a comfortable margin, and despite a down year, Betts is safely in fifth place for outfielders. 

Rafael Devers, whose breakout year has him in the top-10 in runs scored and batting average in the AL, is within reach of surpassing third place Hunter Dozier and entering the top-three vote-getting third basemen.

Xander Bogaerts, who leads the Red Sox and the AL in runs scored, sits in sixth place on the shortstop leaderboard. He trails Cleveland's Francisco Lindor, Chicago's Tim Anderson, New York's Gleyber Torres, Houston's Carlos Correa and Minnesota's Jorge Polanco. 

Bogaerts, Devers and David Price have legitimate shots at gaining entry into All Star Game through the back door, as reserves or pitchers. 

The All-Star Game will be held on July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. To vote, click this link: https://www.mlb.com/all-star/ballot .

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Red Sox-Orioles lineups: Mookie Betts back, Sale on mound at Camden Yards

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File photo

Red Sox-Orioles lineups: Mookie Betts back, Sale on mound at Camden Yards

The Red Sox look to extend their winning streak to four and continue a historic home run pace in the second of their four-game series in Baltimore this afternoon (4:05) with Chris Sale on the mound.

After a six-homer barrage Friday night, the Sox have hit 11 in two games and would need five more today to match the three-game record set against the Yankees nearly 42 years ago to the day when they hit 16 in three games against the Yankees at Fenway Park on June 16-19, 1977.

Another five in a game may seem to be a tall order but Camden Yards' cozy dimensions and an O's pitching staff that has allowed a major-league high 138 in 69 games put it within reach. 

Sandy Leon will catch Sale and Mookie Betts returns to the lineup after a night off Friday. Betts and teammate J.D. Martinez, who hit two homers Friday, are in the top 10 of home runs per at-bat at Camden Yards. Martinez is first, Betts ninth. (h/t @BostonSportsInf)

Sale (2-7, 3.52 ERA), who has bounced back after an 0-6 start, has also dominated the Orioles at home with 1.85 career ERA at Camden Yards, including 0.67 in his past four starts there.

The lineups:

RED SOX 
Mookie Betts, RF
Andrew Benintendi, LF
J.D. Martinez, DH
Rafael Devers, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Brock Holt, 2B
Michael Chavis, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Sandy Leon, C
--
Chris Sale, LHP
 

ORIOLES
Hanser Alberto, 3B
Trey Mancini, 1B
Pedro Severino, C
Renato Nunez, DH
Anthony Santander, RF
Jonathan Villar, 2B
Keon Broxton, CF
Stevie Wilkerson, LF
Richie Martin, SS
--
Dylan Bundy, RHP 

 

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Even their walkoff wins are boring, but Red Sox will take it over the alternative

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Even their walkoff wins are boring, but Red Sox will take it over the alternative

BOSTON -- Leave it to the Red Sox to turn the most exciting moment in baseball -- the walkoff -- into a snoozer.

Not that they're complaining, mind you. A win is a win, and at this point, they'd happily fish a rotting one out of the disposal and put it on the mantel.

On Wednesday, they crawled back to a game over .500 with a 4-3 victory over the Rangers that, per their idiom, as Monty Python might say, wasn't easy or pretty or particularly inspiring.

They blew a 3-2 lead in the eighth on a hit batter, sacrifice bunt/E-2, and sacrifice fly. But this time they didn't fold, loading the bases in the ninth against Rangers reliever Jesse Chavez on a booming double by Christian Vazquez, single by Jackie Bradley Jr., and walk to Michael Chavis before Mookie Betts quite literally walked it off with a base on balls that may not have provided scintillating drama, but at least saw the Red Sox end a skid of five losses in six games.

"We need every win we can get right now," said starter Rick Porcello. "We're trying to create some momentum, get rolling here. Hopefully, we can reel off a couple in a row and get things headed in the right direction again."

Porcello did his part, allowing a pair of first-inning runs and then silencing the Rangers thereafter, departing with two outs in the seventh and a 3-2 lead. He provided a reminder that if the Red Sox could either (a) get Nathan Eovaldi back, or (b) stop sending Triple-A flotsam to the mound every five days in his place, they might be able to ride their starting pitching a little bit, or at least the top three of David Price, Chris Sale, and Porcello.

"Yeah, I mean, this is a game that everybody kind of knew we needed to win and Rick went out there and after that first, he threw the ball really well and gave us a shot to win," said left fielder Andrew Benintendi, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple. "Yeah, this is a big win, so hopefully we can build off of it."

It would be nice to sit here and claim the Red Sox have turned some corner, but this one was a struggle, and many of the issues that have plagued them all season remained glaring. The offense left nine men on base, the bullpen blew another late lead, and the defense failed at a pivotal moment.

Betts' winning play came without the bat leaving his shoulder over the course of five pitches.

"Umm, just got to get a strike," he said. "[Chavez is] the one kind of in trouble there, so you've just got to get a strike. You can kind of be more picky in that situation."

Picky is one thing the Red Sox can't be at the moment. As they try to drag themselves back into playoff contention, they'll take any win they can get.

 

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