Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt rehabbing in Portland this weekend

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Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt rehabbing in Portland this weekend

Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt will be in Portland this weekend as part of their injury rehab assignments.

The duo will be on the Sea Dogs roster for their four-game series vs. Altoona. Joining them at Hadlock Field will be Red Sox reliever Brian Johnson, who is scheduled for a rehab start on Sunday.

Holt originally was placed on the injured list since on April 6 with a scratched cornea and suffered a setback later in the month with a right shoulder impingement. Pedroia went back on the IL in April with soreness in his surgically-repaired left knee.

While the Red Sox could use the infield depth, they're in no rush to get Pedroia or Holt back in the lineup with rookie Michael Chavis raking. The 23-year-old has 10 home runs through the first 29 games of his career.

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Andrew Cashner on his unimpressive Red Sox debut: "I was just more rusty and out of my routine"

Andrew Cashner on his unimpressive Red Sox debut: "I was just more rusty and out of my routine"

Andrew Cashner's Red Sox debut was no thing of beauty.

The burly (6-6, 235), bearded right-hander, acquired in a trade Saturday from the last-place Orioles, had beaten this same Toronto Blue Jays team in his last start for Baltimore on July 6.

Perhaps, he said after the game, that was the problem. 

It had been 10 days between starts because of the All-Star break and he said it threw his routine off.

“I was just more rusty and was out of my routine,” Cashner told reporters in the Fenway Park clubhouse after he went 5-plus innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits, including two home runs that gave up Red Sox leads, in a 10-4 loss. “I’m looking forward to getting back in the routine next week. I felt like they did make an adjustment on me. That’s what good teams do.”

While it may be difficult to categorize the Jays (36-60) as a good team, they did take the newest Sox starter deep at key times. 

After Xander Bogaerts had given the Sox a first-inning lead with his 21st homer, Cashner gave that lead back and more when he allowed a three-run blast by Teoscar Hernandez to center in the second.

After the Sox had rallied to tie it a 4 in the fifth, Justin Smoak led off the sixth with a solo shot over the bullpens in right.

His manager was quick to point out the trend.

"We didn’t keep the ball in the ballpark, and that’s very important," Alex Cora told reporters. "The changeup to Teoscar, he got to it. Then the breaking ball to Smoak after we came back. He made some adjustments, but the changeup wasn’t as effective as before." 

Cashner called the Smoak shot "probably the toughest blow of the game."

"I didn’t think I was very sharp," said the pitcher who went 9-3 with a 3.53 ERA for a 28-win Oriole team (Baltimore has won 11 of his starts). "I didn’t really command my off-speed very well. I didn’t really do a lot of things well, but I felt like I kept us in the game. It wasn’t very good."

The positive for Cashner, the Fenway fans and his new teammates' ability to swing the bats.

"It’s great," he said. "The fans have been great to me so far since I’ve been here. This is a great hitting team. I feel like if you keep the game close you’ve got a chance every night."

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Were Red Sox stealing signs vs. Blue Jays? Shortstop Freddy Galvis thought so and went to absurd lengths to block Mookie Betts

Were Red Sox stealing signs vs. Blue Jays? Shortstop Freddy Galvis thought so and went to absurd lengths to block Mookie Betts

BOSTON -- Freddy Galvis might have a future as an NBA power forward, because when it came time to box out Mookie Betts, he stuck to him like Dennis Rodman.

The Red Sox have a reputation for stealing signs and relaying pitch location to their hitters, and the Blue Jays clearly weren't having it in a 10-4 victory on Tuesday night.

With one out and Betts on second base in the seventh inning, Galvis left shortstop to dance practically on the infield grass directly in front of the Red Sox right fielder until moments before David Phelps pitched. Though it looked like both players shared a laugh, it was also Galvis's serious attempt to keep Betts from relaying signs to J.D. Martinez, who ended up lining out to center.

"You've just got to be very aware of these guys," said Jays catcher Danny Jansen. "That's what they do. That's what their rep is for. You've got to be ready to switch it up and make adjustments every pitch. They're that good at it. They're that good at peeking in and relaying signs. Any way we can obstruct it, we're going to do what we have to do."

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo found the whole exchange amusing and credited Betts for a heads-up response that forced Galvis to retreat.

"That was funny, because honestly, we were thinking he might be doing it, so Freddy was having fun with him," Montoyo said. "Mookie told the umpire, 'Hey, if I go that way, is that obstruction?' And the umpire said yeah, and Freddy said, 'OK, let me move out of the way a little bit.' "

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said he believes perennial Gold Glover Andrelton Simmons is the only other shortstop he can recall actively seeking to block a runner's view to keep him from stealing signs or relaying location. Betts picked the brains of a number of teammates and coaches during the game about Galvis's gambit and whether he could've earned an obstruction call.

"Smart by Mookie," Bogaerts said. "Smart by Mookie."

Stealing signs has been a part of the game practically since Abner Doubleday laid out his first diamond, and there's nothing in the rules that prevents a runner from trying to decode signs with the naked eye and relay them to the hitter. Where teams have gotten into trouble is when they use electronic devices to aid in the thievery, as the Red Sox learned during the Apple Watch fiasco in 2017, when they were caught stealing signs via wireless devices and ultimately fined.

Nothing Betts may have done on Tuesday was illegal, and the gamesmanship didn't end there. After Betts advanced on Martinez's liner, the Toronto TV broadcast caught Andrew Benintendi glancing towards Betts at third before popping out to Galvis to end the frame.

There was nothing Galvis could do to block Betts' view from there, after all.

"Freddy's good at that," Jansen said. "Not just the Red Sox. Whenever he thinks people are [stealing signs], he'll do that and I think that's what a good shortstop does. He's very aware, that's what Freddy is. I love that guy."

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