Red Sox

Jackie Bradley Jr. won't join Red Sox for White House visit

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Jackie Bradley Jr. won't join Red Sox for White House visit

Jackie Bradley Jr. has made his decision.

The center fielder told The Boston Globe on Wednesday he will not be joining the Red Sox on their White House visit in May. 

“I don’t get into politics, but I won’t be going,’’ Bradley said.

Bradley is the third Red Sox player to declare they would not attend, following Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers. Eduardo Rodriguez has said he is unlikely to make the trip, and manager Alex Cora remains undecided.

This would have been Bradley's fourth White House visit. The University of South Carolina alum visited with his teammates after winning the 2010 and 2011 College World Series, and then of course with Boston after winning the World Series in 2013.

The Red Sox postponed their White House visit from Feb. 15 to May 9 due to the government shutdown.

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Red Sox Lineup: Chavis leads off; Benintendi, Moreland sit vs. LHP

Red Sox Lineup: Chavis leads off; Benintendi, Moreland sit vs. LHP

The Boston Red Sox are taking on the Houston Astros in the final game of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon. And for the contest, the Red Sox lineup looks a bit different than normal.

Facing lefthanded pitcher, and former Red Sox, Wade Miley, Boston is giving Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland the day off. As a result, J.D. Martinez will play left field while Jackie Bradley Jr. gets a chance to play center, despite the unfavorable matchup against Miley. In Martinez's place at DH, Eduardo Nunez will once again start and bat eighth.

The biggest wrinkle in the lineup is that the Sox are batting Michael Chavis lead-off. Chavis has had a hot start to his major league career, batting .281 with 7 homers, and he will get a chance to get on base in front of Mookie Betts. It also means that the Red Sox will start off their day with six consecutive righthanded batters, clearly a strategic move against Miley, who has allowed a .248 batting average to righties compared to a .186 mark against lefties.

The other major note in the lineup is that hot-hitting catcher Christian Vazquez will bat fifth. Vazquez has already set a career-high in homers with six and has stepped up his game since Blake Swihart was DFA'd. If he keeps hitting well, he will continue to hold down a middle-of-the-order spot. 

On the mound for the Red Sox will be Chris Sale. After a rough start to the season, Sale is coming off a 17 strikeout game, and he will be looking to repeat his success against one of the league's best all-around lineups.

Here's a look at the lineups for both sides ahead of today's game. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

BOSTON RED SOX (23-22)
Michael Chavis 2B
Mookie Betts RF
J.D. Martinez LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Christian Vazquez C
Steve Pearce 1B
Rafael Devers 3B
Eduardo Nunez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
--
Chris Sale LHP (1-5, 4.24 ERA)

HOUSTON ASTROS (31-15)
George Springer RF
Alex Bregman 3B
Michael Brantley DH
Carlos Correa SS
Yuli Gurriel 2B
Tyler White 1B
Robinson Chirinos C
Josh Reddick LF
Jake Marisnick CF
--
Wade Miley LHP (4-2, 3.51 ERA)

Swihart DFA challenged Vazquez, and he's delivering>>>

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Hector Velazquez logs shortest Red Sox start in over 15 years

Hector Velazquez logs shortest Red Sox start in over 15 years

Hector Velazquez had a rough outing last night for the Boston Red Sox. In his seventh start of the season, Velazquez had what was far and away his worst outing of the year.

In the start, Velazquez only lasted 1/3 of an inning, allowing five runs and causing the Sox to fall behind early in their 7-3 loss.

"I felt fine. [The Astros] hit a triple, I made a couple mistakes, and I tried to battle through it but I couldn’t," said Velazquez through a translator after the outing.

“It looked from the get-go that (Velazquez) didn’t have it,” said Alex Cora, per Chris Mason of The Eagle-Tribune.

Though Velazquez felt fine during the outing, he definitely didn't "have it." In fact, he logged the shortest outing by a Red Sox starter in more than 15 years.

Per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, Velazquez is the first Red Sox starter to last just 1/3 of an inning since John Burkett in 2003.

Needless to say, that's not company that Velazquez would like to be keeping, but in his previous two starts, he performed well, allowing a total of four runs over eight innings pitched. Chalk up his poor outing on Saturday to playing one of the best hitting teams in baseball.

Velazquez may need to continue to serve as a spot starter moving forward, but the Red Sox rotation is getting a boost on Monday. David Price will be returning to the starting rotation for a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Velazquez will likely continue to start with Nathan Eovaldi on the IL, but he may alternate starts duties with other pitchers. Josh Smith, who already made a start this season, stands out as one possibility.

Swihart DFA challenged Vazquez, and he's delivering>>>

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