Red Sox show 'fight' with win on Sale Day

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MLB.com 01 September, 2021 - 11:37pm 12 views

It wasn’t easy, but how could the Red Sox expect it to be after the way things have gone lately?

The bottom line is that they did what they set out to do, getting a key RBI single by rookie Jarren Duran with two outs in the top of the ninth to take the lead en route to a satisfying, 3-2 victory on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.

Box score

“That was big,” said Sale. “There’s no doubt we’ve had some gut punches over the last week, week and a half. Even before then. To know that we’ve still got some fight left in us, we’ve got some kick. No one here has given up. Our attitude and effort is staying the same no matter who’s in this clubhouse or who’s not, and that’s the most important thing. We’re still in a position that most other guys would love to be in, and we know that, and we’ve got to keep rolling with it.”

To Sale’s point, the 76-59 Red Sox are in possession of the second American League Wild Card spot by two games over the A’s, and trail the Yankees by two games for the first slot.

With 27 games left, Boston is determined to punch a ticket to October somehow, someway, even with eight players currently on the COVID-19 related injured list.

With team leader Xander Bogaerts out indefinitely after a positive COVID test, others are going to have to step up.

On Wednesday, Christian Vázquez did just that. Though he hasn’t had the season he expected offensively to this point, he played a big game on Wednesday, belting three hits, including a game-tying homer with one out in the top of the seventh.

Vázquez was even bigger with the glove, corralling a short-hop throw by Rafael Devers and slapping the tag on Joey Wendle in the seventh.

In the eighth, the Rays again tried to score on the contact play with one out and a runner on third, and Vázquez was in position again, this time pulling in a throw from second baseman Jack López, the 28-year-old Minor League veteran who was making his Major League debut.

“Obviously he's a proud individual,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora of Vázquez. “He's been with this team for a while. He understands that he needs to step up his game.”

With four middle infielders among the players currently shut down due to COVID-19, Cora installed a double-play combination nobody would have predicted for the pennant race with López at second and Jonathan Araúz at short.

The unlikely pairing turned a couple of big double plays for Sale.

Garrett Whitlock (1.52 ERA) pitched two clutch innings in relief of Sale to earn the win.

“I mean, he’s been one of the best relievers in baseball,” said Sale. “You’re talking about a guy that, it’s pretty unbelievable honestly, his story. His path to the big leagues. Having Tommy John. Not pitching past Double-A. Now, he’s got to be a lock for Rookie of the Year. The guy’s been absolutely nails for us.”

If not for the offense pushing a key run across in the top of the ninth, Whitlock’s latest strong outing might have gone for naught.

Rafael Devers started the rally with a single to right. With one out, Alex Verdugo hustled his way to an infield single on a chopper. Duran got ahead in the count 2-0, and ultimately got enough of a 2-1 slider from Rays reliever Pete Fairbanks to get into right field. Devers roared in from second, making it narrowly without a slide.

For Duran, who is hitting .215 in his first 107 Major League at-bats, little has come easy so far. If he can start getting on base and utilizing those fast legs, the Red Sox could have a different dimension heading into crunch time.

“I was just thinking about the team the whole at-bat,” said Duran. “This one’s for the team, I have to do something for the boys. I haven’t been doing much for the team, so I was just trying to step up in a big moment for them.”

The early moments of the game belonged to Sale. Though not overpowering like he was in his last start, the ace pitched well for the fourth consecutive outing in his return from Tommy John surgery, holding the Rays to six hits and two runs while pitching six innings for the first time this season.

If ever the Red Sox needed Sale’s competitive spirit, it is now.

“Tight ballgame the entire way, and we did what we had to do, and we found a way to scratch and claw through there and come up big. Our bullpen was nails,” Sale said. “Our offense did what they had to do in some big situations when we really needed it. That’s what you love to see. We’ve been kicked. We’ve been punched. To see us fight like that and win a game the way we just won that game, that’s a momentum boost.”

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Rays To Recall David Robertson

MLB Trade Rumors 02 September, 2021 - 01:10am

The Rays are planning to recall veteran reliever David Robertson to the big league roster before tomorrow evening’s game against the Red Sox, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Active rosters expand from 26 to 28 players tomorrow, so no corresponding move is necessary.

It’ll be Robertson’s first big league action since April 2019. The veteran righty suffered a UCL tear that spring, eventually requiring a Tommy John surgery that wiped out both the rest of that season and his entire 2020 campaign. Robertson tossed a couple showcases over the offseason but ultimately didn’t sign over the winter.

Instead, Robertson was among the handful of longtime big leaguers to join the U.S. National team for this year’s Summer Olympics. He showed well enough there to land a major league contract with Tampa Bay, although he agreed to a temporary assignment to Triple-A Durham to build up arm strength. Robertson has been stellar with the Bulls, tossing six scoreless innings with twelve strikeouts and a lone walk issued.

While it has been almost three years since Robertson was healthy, he was one of the league’s most durable and productive relievers for much of his tenures with the Yankees and White Sox. The 36-year-old owns a 2.90 ERA over 663 2/3 big league innings, and he tossed 60+ innings with a sub-4.00 ERA in every season from 2010-18.

Anything resembling that level of production would be key for a Rays’ bullpen that has dealt with myriad health issues this season.  While Robertson will step in as an option for manager Kevin Cash, it seems Tampa Bay can’t count on immediate contributions from either Ryan Thompson or Oliver Drake.

Thompson, who has been out since June 30 with shoulder inflammation, continues to feel soreness and isn’t expected to begin throwing any time soon, manager Kevin Cash told Topkin. Drake, meanwhile, isn’t expected to pitch this season, according to Cash. Drake has been plagued by a flexor strain since last October; he was expected to begin a rehab assignment in July but apparently suffered some form of setback. Both players are already on the 60-day injured list.

No one knows if Robertson can actually pitch, but he’ll show the Rays how to split up those playoff shares.

In “fairness,” perhaps the Rays won’t vote him any shares!

Ugh, I remember him pitching for the White Sox. Just awful. Worst closer in recent memory since Bob Howry for the Sox. Or Ronald Bellasario…

Why did I do this to myself…

I must say…..he was outstanding in Philly too. A real bargain.

Christ I wish he was in any way healthy through that deal. But alas….

Since you mentioned Jesus Christ, please ensure you say a prayer for David Robertson.

ERA+ of 115 117 and 161 with tons of strikeouts and few homers in his time with the white Sox.. what exactly did you not like?

He was pretty decent for the Sox…

Even worse trade with the Yankees. No viable return.

Gave up on Tito Polo too soon. He’s raking in the Mexican League.

Yankees do excellent job of making there prospects out to be the next big thing. Then when they get traded you never hear about them again.

@Lee Mazzilli, How do they accomplish that? Do they lobby (i.e. $’s) Baseball America, Fangraphs, MLB.com, etc to gratuitously over-rank? Or maybe they convince every other front office to disregard any scouting report that’s not yankee-centric?

They didn’t have to do anything but be located in the largest media market in the world. They get more coverage than any other team. Coverage of prospects is always thru rose colored glasses.

But it’s the fans that consume that media. It’s unlikely that other franchises are relying on market driven media to form there opinions on industry talent. And I’d be surprised if Baseball America utilized Yankee blogs and the New York Post to develop their rankings.

Why are the Rays fans misled that their players don’t come back from their injuries as documented! There must be 10 of them already and most were expected back in early July! No medical team is that ignorant! Since other teams are doing this, It has to be investigated and stopped.. Glad a new CBA agreement is this year to possibly correct this and we can see our players play ball.

I read that twice and still do not know what I am “misled” about. Assuming you can lead me in the right direction?

Love this guy. Houdini in high socks. He also has a high socks foundation for kids rays fans!! I know he was a Yankee but he’s a great dude

I wish the man well. He’s had a frustrating last couple years with injuries.

Could be an impact addition to the Rays pen if he’s healthy, which he appears to be. He’ll help the Rays if he’s 90% of what he was his last year with the Yankees.

Your dead to me Houdini. Don’t ever come back for any Old Timers Day games.

A bit surprised the Yankees didn’t take a shot at him. They know him better than any organization.

Probably a numbers game as much as anything with the Yankees. Their pen is packed, and they have guys like Ridings and Gil to call up, but limited spots.

It must suck to constantly fail year in and year out with one of the largest payrolls and marquee players in the game.

The guy is horrible. Must have a great agent. Himself

If he still has that 12/6 curveball, he’ll help. The Rays aren’t expected him to be their closer, just another different look from the pen.

You’re likely correct on him not being the closer, but with the Rays, I wouldn’t bet against any one person not being the closer!

As a baseball fan, I always like to see players make comebacks post surgery and after many thought they were finished. The Phils unfortunately picked up Robertson just as years of use caused his elbow to give out. Be curious to see what he has left. He’s only 5’10”, but at one point it was reported he had the longest stride when delivering to the plate, which caused his fastball to play up.

MLB Trade Rumors is not affiliated with Major League Baseball, MLB or MLB.com

POSTGAME REACTION: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox 8/31/21

Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun 02 September, 2021 - 01:10am

Muñoz latest Red Sox player to test positive

ESPN 01 September, 2021 - 03:42pm

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla -- Boston infielder Yairo Munoz has become the latest Red Sox player to test positive for COVID-19 as the virus surge impacting the team remains unrelenting.

Eight Boston players and two coaches have either had a positive test or have been identified as close contacts since Friday.

"It's gut-wrenching," Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said before the team's 3-2 win against division-leading Tampa Bay on Wednesday. "How else can you react? Every single one has been. It's really hard. This goes beyond baseball."

Bloom said the majority of the players who've tested positive have been vaccinated.

"Overall we're optimistic that everybody's going pull through here without long-term concerns, but obviously we don't know that for sure until everybody is through it,'' Bloom said. "The levels of the symptoms have varied."

When asked if he is frustrated that there are unvaccinated players on the Boston roster, Bloom said he wished everyone in the organization was vaccinated.

"And for that matter everybody, period, who's eligible,'' Bloom said. "I'm a strong proponent of vaccinations, and so is our organization.''

Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts was pulled in the second inning of Tuesday night's 8-5 loss to the Rays because of a positive test.

"He's doing good,'' Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He's at the hotel. No symptoms.''

It was announced before the game that reliever Hirokazu Sawamura had tested positive.

Red Sox left-hander Martín Pérez and right-hander Matt Barnes were added to the COVID-19 injured list on Monday. Also, reliever Josh Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin were identified as close contacts and quality control coach Ramón Vázquez tested positive.

Infielders Kiké Hernández and Christian Arroyo were placed on COVID-19 IL last Friday.

"Kiké feels great, Christian is doing better,'' Cora said.

Boston has returned to some pandemic protocols from last year, including holding pregame meetings on the field.

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Boagerts removed from game due to positive COVID test

USA TODAY 31 August, 2021 - 08:09pm

Three-time All-Star Xander Bogaerts becomes the sixth Boston Red Sox player to test positive for COVID-19 in the past week.

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Sports Seriously: Bob Nightengale discusses MLB's plans for an expanded postseason field that could start as early as next season. USA TODAY

The Boston Red Sox, in the midst of a team-wide COVID-19 outbreak, had another player test positive Tuesday, as All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts was removed from the middle of the team's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Bogaerts delivered an RBI single in the top of the first inning, but was unexpectedly pulled from the game in the bottom of the second inning. 

He becomes the sixth player - and eighth member of the team - to test positive for COVID-19 in recent days. Utilityman Enrique Hernandez, infielder Christian Arroyo and pitchers Martin Perez, Matt Barnes and Hirokazu Sawamura, along with two coaches have already been sidelined because of the virus. Reliever Josh Taylor has also been placed on the COVID-19 IL after he was identified as a close contact of a positive case.

Bogaerts, a three-time All-Star raised his season average to .298 with his RBI single on Tuesday. He has 20 home runs, 70 RBI and 77 runs scored in 124 games this season. 

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Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Boagerts removed from game due to positive COVID test

ESPN 31 August, 2021 - 08:09pm

Three-time All-Star Xander Bogaerts becomes the sixth Boston Red Sox player to test positive for COVID-19 in the past week.

A link has been sent to your friend's email address.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

Sports Seriously: Bob Nightengale discusses MLB's plans for an expanded postseason field that could start as early as next season. USA TODAY

The Boston Red Sox, in the midst of a team-wide COVID-19 outbreak, had another player test positive Tuesday, as All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts was removed from the middle of the team's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Bogaerts delivered an RBI single in the top of the first inning, but was unexpectedly pulled from the game in the bottom of the second inning. 

He becomes the sixth player - and eighth member of the team - to test positive for COVID-19 in recent days. Utilityman Enrique Hernandez, infielder Christian Arroyo and pitchers Martin Perez, Matt Barnes and Hirokazu Sawamura, along with two coaches have already been sidelined because of the virus. Reliever Josh Taylor has also been placed on the COVID-19 IL after he was identified as a close contact of a positive case.

Bogaerts, a three-time All-Star raised his season average to .298 with his RBI single on Tuesday. He has 20 home runs, 70 RBI and 77 runs scored in 124 games this season. 

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, improve our site and analyze our traffic. We may share information about your use of our site with our advertising, social and analytics providers. By clicking “Accept All Cookies” you agree to the use of these cookies as further described in our Privacy Policy

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