Bats can't back solid Buchholz in tough loss

Bats can't back solid Buchholz in tough loss

MINNEAPOLIS -- Strong starting pitching and early offensive bursts have defined the Twins in May as they've shot up in the standings. Tuesday was no different for Minnesota, which used that formula to secure a 2-1 victory over the Red Sox at Target Field.

Following an 81-minute rain delay before the first pitch, three first-inning doubles provided enough offense for Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, who pitched seven innings and gave up just one run for his second consecutive quality start. Closer Glen Perkins came on in the eighth, worked out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam and nailed down a four-out save to secure the series victory.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rusney makes pair of dazzling diving grabs

Red Sox right fielder races to gap in right-center, later robs Suzuki a second time

Rusney makes pair of dazzling diving grabs

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rusney Castillo's re-entry to the Red Sox had been pretty uneventful until the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday night, when the right fielder made a highlight-reel grab.

Playing fairly shallow against Minnesota's Kurt Suzuki, Castillo raced to the gap in right-center to make a sensational diving catch. The ball looked almost as if it was behind Castillo when he reached back and hauled it in. It was the play of the night for Boston in a 2-1 loss to the Twins.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Without best stuff, Buchholz keeps Sox in it

Pitching well of late, Red Sox righty saddled with tough loss as offense sputters

Without best stuff, Buchholz keeps Sox in it

MINNEAPOLIS -- This should have been a night Clay Buchholz could take pride in. Despite having far from his best stuff, the righty limited the Twins to seven hits and two runs over 7 1/3 innings.

Instead, Buchholz shared the frustration of his teammates, who once again lacked firepower in a 2-1 loss to the Twins.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Panda among Sox seeking fans' All-Star votes

Sandoval third at hot corner in balloting; Papi fourth at DH, Pedroia fifth at 2B

Panda among Sox seeking fans' All-Star votes

MINNEAPOLIS -- In his first season with the Red Sox, Pablo Sandoval is trying to become a three-time All-Star.

The first round of balloting for the starters was announced Tuesday, and Sandoval ranked third among American League third basemen. Fans cast their votes using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Slumping Papi hits fifth as Sox juggle lineup

Veteran slugger confident he'll break out soon

Slumping Papi hits fifth as Sox juggle lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- In an effort to get more consistent production from his lineup, Red Sox manager John Farrell continues to try different combinations. The latest was Tuesday's move of David Ortiz to the fifth spot in the batting order, marking the first time the slugger batted anywhere but third or fourth since 2012.

Ortiz, who went 1-for-4 in a 2-1 loss to the Twins, is hitting .222 with six homers and 18 RBIs.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox turn to Porcello after dropping first two to Twins

Sox turn to Porcello after dropping first two to Twins

For the past eight years, the Red Sox have won the season series against the Twins. The last time the teams met, the Twins were swept, scoring just two runs in a three-game series at Fenway Park. But that was last June and with a surging Twins team and a struggling Red Sox roster, that could change this year.

"People would never give us much of a chance against any Boston team, and all of a sudden, I think people probably think we're going to be very competitive against this club," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Monday before the series started.

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Napoli honored for breakout week

Red Sox slugger had been mired in long slump

Napoli honored for breakout week

MINNEAPOLIS -- Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli emerged from one of the most epic slumps of his career to be named the American League's Player of the Week on Tuesday.

"That's what kept me going. I knew I was one swing away, one at-bat away, one pitch away that I can turn things around and feel good in the box," said Napoli. "I've been through a slump before. I kept working, I kept grinding, and I stayed positive through the whole thing. I'm going to do my best to maintain this feeling every day and hopefully be able to contribute and do my part for a while."

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Ian Browne is the Red Sox beat reporter for MLB.com. He has been covering the club since 2002.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kelly roughed up early as Sox fall to Twins

Kelly roughed up early as Sox fall to Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ricky Nolasco picked up career win No. 100 with a season-high 7 2/3 innings, and was backed by a six-run second inning from the Twins in a 7-2 win over the Red Sox on Monday afternoon at Target Field.

Nolasco retired 15 of the final 16 batters he faced, and gave up two runs on six hits, while striking out five and walking none. The right-hander improved to 5-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five starts since missing nearly a month with right elbow inflammation. It helped the Twins improve to a season-high eight games above .500 at 26-18.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After two solid starts, Kelly hits speed bump

Farrell says Red Sox righty will remain in rotation

After two solid starts, Kelly hits speed bump

MINNEAPOLIS -- Two steps forward and one step back? That old adage perfectly describes Red Sox right-hander Joe Kelly's past three starts.

Monday was the step back, and it came in a 7-2 loss to the Twins that erased the good feeling that came from the Red Sox winning their previous two games with two of their best efforts in a while.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Solid in long relief, Barnes saves rest of 'pen

Red Sox righty delivers 3 1/3 scoreless innings after Kelly's rough start

Solid in long relief, Barnes saves rest of 'pen

MINNEAPOLIS -- The idea of moving Matt Barnes to the bullpen had nothing to do with making him a long reliever. But that was the role the hard-throwing righty was thrust into Monday, and he helped preserve the rest of manager John Farrell's relief crew by doing a fine job.

With Joe Kelly knocked out with two outs in the second inning of an eventual 7-2 loss to the Twins, on came Barnes.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Farrell in favor of substance to improve grip

Red Sox manager says Major League ball is slippery, prefers 'tackiness' of ball in Japan

Farrell in favor of substance to improve grip

MINNEAPOLIS -- With Orioles lefty Brian Matusz getting an eight-game suspension for having a foreign substance on his arm, Red Sox manager John Farrell thinks that Major League Baseball should consider authorizing a substance pitchers can use to get a better grip on the ball.

"I would like to see an approved substance that pitchers can use. Because, when we take a manufactured baseball, and rub it with dirt, it's going to create a slippery feeling to it," said Farrell. "The mud residue leaves a film on it that you don't necessarily feel a good, consistent grip -- unless you go to a ball like the one used in Japan where it's got a tacky feel to it.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Napoli supports strong Miley to down Angels

Napoli supports strong Miley to down Angels

BOSTON -- The Red Sox finished a disjointed homestand in sound fashion, riding a strong performance by Wade Miley and yet another big game by Mike Napoli to a 6-1 victory over the Angels in Sunday afternoon's rubber match of a three-game series.

Miley pitched 4 2/3 no-hit innings until a single by C.J. Cron.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Jonathan Mayo

Asuaje on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Top phenom raised average 26 points, drove in eight runs

Asuaje on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

Reports of Byron Buxton's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox place Victorino on 15-day DL

Boston adds Bianchi from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill roster spot

Red Sox place Victorino on 15-day DL

BOSTON -- When Shane Victorino is healthy, he's a spark plug for the Red Sox on offense and is capable of handling Fenway Park's sprawling right field on defense. However, the 34-year-old has rarely been at full strength this season.

Victorino's injury woes continued on Sunday, when Boston placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a left calf strain. He had exited the previous night's game with left calf tightness after aggravating the muscle on a catch at the warning track during the third inning.

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Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Napoli puts exclamation point on homestand

Red Sox slugger adds two-run homer, two-run double to end strong week

Napoli puts exclamation point on homestand

BOSTON -- It goes down as the homestand that Mike Napoli not only got his groove back, but turned into a one-man wrecking crew at the plate.

So it was only fitting that the slugger took a couple of more big swings to cap the week before hopping on a flight to Minneapolis.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedroia, Holt make eye-popping plays

Pedroia, Holt make eye-popping plays

BOSTON -- Earlier this week, the Red Sox were turning routine plays into spectacular mistakes as they committed seven errors in the span of four games. On Sunday, their defense made the spectacular look routine in a 6-1 win over the Angels at Fenway Park.

Chief among Boston's defensive highlights came during the seventh inning, when Dustin Pedroia made a beautiful stop to rob David Freese of a leadoff hit. Freese had clubbed a 2-1 pitch up the middle, but the second baseman dove to trap it in his glove, spun around and launched a throw to first for the out.

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Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Masterful Miley in command for Red Sox

Lefty continues strong May with eight innings of one-run ball vs. Angels

Masterful Miley in command for Red Sox

BOSTON -- For 4 2/3 innings on Sunday, Wade Miley was flawless. And though he lost bids at perfection and a no-hitter in the fifth inning, the left-hander's dominance on the mound never wavered as the Red Sox cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Angels at Fenway Park.

Miley allowed only one run on four hits and a walk over eight exceptional innings. The southpaw retired the first 14 batters he faced -- all on groundouts or flyouts -- before Chris Iannetta drew a five-pitch walk in the fifth. Miley then allowed his first hit in the next at-bat when C.J. Cron knocked a single to left field.

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Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Panda abandons switch-hitting for one at-bat

Red Sox third baseman hits RBI single batting left-handed vs. southpaw

Panda abandons switch-hitting for one at-bat

BOSTON -- Pablo Sandoval's left knee has been hurting. And his right-handed bat has been slumping. So what better time for the Red Sox third baseman to give up switch-hitting for an at-bat than in the eighth inning of Sunday's 6-1 win over the Angels?

Thrust into action after Brock Holt had to leave with soreness in his left forearm, Sandoval surprised everyone by stepping to the plate left-handed against Angels lefty reliever Cesar Ramos.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Masterson (shoulder) making steady progress

Red Sox righty has upped intensity in bullpen, although he's not ready for rehab start

Masterson (shoulder) making steady progress

BOSTON -- Red Sox starter Justin Masterson continues making progress while recovering from the right shoulder tendinitis that sent him to the 15-day disabled list on May 13.

On Sunday, manager John Farrell said the Red Sox have not determined when Masterson could begin his rehab assignment. Farrell hinted that the decision could come soon, but it would appear likely that the right-hander will remain on the DL past May 28, his earliest possible activation date.

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Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Varvaro returned to Red Sox from Cubs

Reliever placed on disabled list with right flexor strain

Varvaro returned to Red Sox from Cubs

BOSTON -- Reliever Anthony Varvaro, designated for assignment by the Red Sox on April 29, was returned to the club on Sunday and placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right flexor strain.

Varvaro will undergo surgery to repair the flexor tendon this week.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Napoli blasts 2 HRs as Red Sox top Angels

Napoli blasts 2 HRs as Red Sox top Angels

BOSTON -- Coming off perhaps their ugliest loss of the season, the Red Sox responded with their most well-rounded game in weeks en route to an 8-3 victory over the Angels on Saturday at Fenway Park.

A two-homer effort by Mike Napoli led the offense, while knuckleballer Steven Wright notched his first career win as a starter. This was the best scoring output for the Red Sox since April 28, when they scored eight times in a loss to the Blue Jays.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Coming off bench, Betts wows again for Sox

Center fielder collects two RBI singles, makes leaping catch at the wall

Coming off bench, Betts wows again for Sox

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell preached the importance of preparation to Mookie Betts before Saturday's 8-3 win over the Angels. And when Shane Victorino left the game with an injury in the third inning, forcing Betts to play on his scheduled day off, that advice seemed more prescient than ever.

"When I have days off, he never says it's just a full day off," Betts said. "You're not starting, but be ready to go at any given time."

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Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Holt dashes around bases on hit-and-run

Red Sox utility man scores from first on single by Swihart

Holt dashes around bases on hit-and-run

BOSTON -- Stuck in a scoring rut that has lasted for most of May, the Red Sox tallied their highest run total since April 28 in Saturday's 8-3 victory over the Angels at Fenway Park. A brilliant bit of baserunning by utility man Brock Holt played a major part in the outburst.

With Holt on first in the eighth inning, Blake Swihart executed a hit-and-run by pushing a low 0-1 changeup through the hole at second. The dribbler slowed in the grass, leaving Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun with a wide swath of ground to cover and causing third-base coach Brian Butterfield to wave Holt home.

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Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cherington believes effort is there for Red Sox

General manager says 'I don't see any lack of accountability'

Cherington believes effort is there for Red Sox

BOSTON -- Through the first 42 games this season, there are few denying the Red Sox's pervasive and persistent woes on offense. Whether the club can recover from the slow start, however, is another matter -- one general manager Ben Cherington discussed at length on Saturday.

Cherington's overarching theme was simple: The struggles of 2015 do not reflect how the Red Sox have approached their issues from an effort standpoint. To point fingers at the character of the clubhouse, he explained, would be issuing false blame.

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Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox add Hembree to 'pen, option Ross

Red Sox add Hembree to 'pen, option Ross

BOSTON -- The Red Sox shuffled their bullpen again on Saturday, recalling right-handed reliever Heath Hembree from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioning lefty Robbie Ross Jr. to the same affiliate. Hembree returns to the big league club after allowing six runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Orioles on April 26, his lone appearance of the season thus far.

The move leaves Boston with five right-handers and two lefties in its bullpen.

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Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox add Rusney, option Bradley

Outfielder goes 1-for-4, misplays fly ball during 2015 debut

Red Sox add Rusney, option Bradley

BOSTON -- The Red Sox, in desperate need of a spark to their struggling offense, summoned Rusney Castillo to Fenway Park for Friday's game against the Angels. The right-handed hitter was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and immediately placed in Boston's lineup in the eighth spot and in right field for the opener of a three-game series.

Though Castillo's impact was minimal in a 12-5 loss to the Angels, the Red Sox think he can play an important role in the coming weeks and years.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.