Red Sox

John Henry points to coaches as notable change: "Who did we bring back?"

John Henry points to coaches as notable change: "Who did we bring back?"

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Change your approach and change your coaches, just not your lineup.

Red Sox owner John Henry on Monday said that the Red Sox have, in fact, changed ahead of 2018 despite adding no new players from the outside to their major league roster.

“From my perspective, people have talked about [how with the roster] we haven’t made a lot of changes in the last year,” Henry said. “In my mind, we’ve made significant changes to address some of the things that were brought up. I do think we had issues last year that … and we’ve addressed those changes.”

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Henry pointed to the coaching staff under Farrell, and the approach at the plate the group fostered. Although Henry did not mention former hitting coach Chili Davis by name, the offense was his charge — and the charge of assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez as well. That duo in 2016 presided over the best offense in baseball before a drop-off in production arrived in 2017, when David Ortiz was gone.

“We’ve made a lot of changes other than just the managers,” Henry said. “You haven’t noticed? I think, who did we bring back? Dana [LeVangie], I think. Anyone else? I’m just saying, from my perspective at least, we’ve made a lot of changes. I think our approach last year was lacking offensively and we had issues that the players have already talked about. I don’t really need to talk about it, but I agree with what’s been said. But I don’t agree that we haven’t really made much in the way of changes. I think these were significant changes.”

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner chimed in at that point attempted to diffuse some of the attention being placed on the notion of approach. 

“It wasn’t just that,” Werner said. “It’s an easy thing to say but health is so important. We had that first game in Houston, and both [Xander] Bogaerts and [Dustin] Pedroia were banged up and [Eduardo] Nunez gets hurt. So, you know, we talked to Alex Cora later about sort of what it was like facing the Red Sox from across the diamond and they were confident that they could beat us because we just weren’t at peak health. I’ll take my chances again this year if our team is healthy.”

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Asked if a change at manager was considered, Henry pointed to how onerous a task that can be in season.

“I think for somewhat obvious reasons,” Henry said. "I mean it’s just, these things happen generally — you can’t make wholesales changes during a season. I mean you can, but, we still won the division. I think if we had been healthy, that would’ve been [inaudible] we could’ve done better in the playoffs. I think as time went on, again it wasn’t just approach. There were other issues — and, there were other issues and I think we’ve addressed those. I think we will address those. They’ve been addressed.”

The mix of players were not one of the elements that needed to be addressed.

"No, I think we have the right team," Henry said. "I thought people don’t like us apparently saying we won the division the last two years but we have the best offense in the American League the year before last. We had significant pitching that was injured last year. I think we are very strong and people are highly underrating this team. If we have the right approach, I think we’ll be very successful.” 

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Henry threw a bone to Farrell in the closing comments of the interview, in response to a question about what Alex Cora brings.

“I know I’ve spoken about things we wanted to change from last year,” Henry said. “Under John Farrell we had tremendous success, he was a great manager for us. But, there came a point where we felt we really needed to change directions and make a change and we did. But he still did a terrific job for us.”

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Red Sox can't solve Leake, lose to Mariners, 7-2

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Red Sox can't solve Leake, lose to Mariners, 7-2

BOSTON -- The toughest moment of Mike Leake's stellar night was missing a chance for a shutout.

Leake pitched eight sparkling innings, Mitch Haniger drove in three runs and the Seattle Mariners snapped a season-high five-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

With closer Edwin Diaz needing some work, Seattle manager Scott Servais had to deliver the bad news to Leake.

"Very tough, very, very hard," Servais said. "I told him: `Mike, 99 percent of the time I wouldn't take you out of this game, but we need to get Eddie out there.'"

Leake (8-4) gave up three singles, struck out five and walked two six days after he allowed five runs and took the loss against the Red Sox at Safeco Field. Diaz gave up two runs in the ninth.

"I wanted it," Leake said. "I was ready, but they wanted to give Diaz work, so there's no fight there."

His last shutout was on Sept. 30, 2015, for San Francisco against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Nelson Cruz had three hits and scored twice a night after hitting two homers and driving in seven runs for Seattle, which went on its skid after beating Boston two straight at home last weekend.

J.D. Martinez had two singles for Boston after going 4 for 5 with five RBIs when the Red Sox collected a season-high 20 hits in a 14-10 victory Friday.

Eduardo Rodriguez (9-2) gave up five runs, four earned, in four innings, snapping his personal six-game win streak. The Red Sox were 13-1 in his starts this season.

"Today was just the command with the pitches, you know what I mean?" he said.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Rodriguez's lack of command with his cutter was the difference from last weekend when he was solid against the Mariners. He said both of Haniger's doubles came off the pitch.

"Those two pitches, compared to last week, last week we attack them away, Eduardo did and tonight he tried to go in and it didn't work," he said.

Playing on a cool, misty night, the Mariners managed to close out the Red Sox after blowing two five-run leads during their slide, including Friday.

Seattle broke it open with three runs in the fourth. Haniger made it 4-0 with a two-out, two-run double off the Green Monster. He scored from second on Kyle Seager's infield hit when Rodriguez slipped covering first and turned late for the plate.

Haniger also had an RBI double in the first.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: SS Jean Segura missed his third straight game with a right forearm infection. "The swelling has gone down quite a bit," Servais said. The plan was for him to hit and field to see where he'd be for Sunday afternoon's game.

Red Sox: Cora said LHP Drew Pomeranz (10-day DL, left biceps tendinitis) felt better after throwing off a mound on Friday. He threw lightly on Saturday and Cora said he "might do another bullpen" on Monday. ... 3B Rafael Devers fouled a ball of his foot and came out after completing his at-bat. "He's OK," Cora said.

SHORT-HANDED SOX

Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts were both out of the lineup.

Cora said Betts was "a little bit under the weather. He had no energy." The All-Star outfielder entered Saturday with a .342 average, second-best in the majors, with 19 homers and 39 RBIs.

Bogaerts left Friday's game after he sprained his left index finger on a headfirst slide to second.

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For the second straight game, both starters had faced the same team in their previous start. Rodriguez earned the win, allowing only two runs in six innings last Sunday in Seattle.

"It does make it a little bit more challenging for the pitcher in my mind," Servais said before the game.

Cora said: "You have to make an adjustment just to make an adjustment."

UP NEXT

Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (7-4, 3.80 ERA) is slated to start the series finale Sunday. He's 6-2 with a 2.88 ERA in his last 11 starts.

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (6-4, 2.74) is set to start. The ace has allowed one or no runs in nine of 17 starts this season and is 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA in his career against Seattle.

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Red Sox call up Lin as protection for Bogaerts' injury

Red Sox call up Lin as protection for Bogaerts' injury

With Xander Bogaerts out tonight - he was called day-to-day by manager Alex Cora - after injuring his left index finger, the Red Sox have called up infielder Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Bogaerts injured the finger sliding into second while stealing the base in the 14-10 victory over the Mariners on Friday night. Left-handed reliever Robby Scott was sent to Pawtucket to make room for Lin.

Lin was hitting .299 for the PawSox after falling as low as .188. He had a 16-game hitting streak that ended June 14.

Scott was called up this week to make his 2018 Red Sox debut. He appeared in one game, he took the loss against the Twins Tuesday night when he walked a batter and hit a batter - who both came around to score - when he started the eighth inning with the score tied at 2. 

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