Healthy Smith eager to join Red Sox bullpen

Healthy Smith eager to join Red Sox bullpen

BOSTON -- It's taken six weeks, but Red Sox setup man Carson Smith said on Sunday that he finally feels 100 percent healthy.

Smith, who suffered a flexor mass strain in his right elbow on March 21, pitched the second of back-to-back rehab outings on Saturday for Double-A Portland. The right-hander retired all five batters faced in the two games, striking out two and tossing just 21 pitches.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prayer of the Week: Papi HRs, child honored

Prayer of the Week: Papi HRs, child honored

BOSTON -- David Ortiz's go-ahead home run that led to the Red Sox beating the Yankees on Friday night seemed big enough in the scope of a baseball game. But it turned out to have so much more meaning, particularly to a 5-year-old boy in Wyoming named Maverick Schutte.

Before the game, Kevin Millar, who was in town for MLB Network, made his former teammate aware of Maverick, a baseball enthusiast who has a congenital heart defect.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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 rout Yankees behind Porcello, JBJ

Sox rout Yankees behind Porcello, JBJ

BOSTON -- Rick Porcello didn't allow a run for the second straight start while recording his fifth straight victory to open the season, leading the Red Sox to an 8-0 rout over the Yankees.

In top form from the start, Porcello (5-0, 2.76 ERA) held the Yankees to five hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out six.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007.

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

Bradley on an extra-base tear

Center fielder's confidence in batter's box growing

Bradley on an extra-base tear

BOSTON -- A No. 9 hitter who happens to be an extra-base machine? You don't hear that very often. But that is what Jackie Bradley Jr. is right now for the Red Sox.

In Saturday's 8-0 victory over the Yankees, it was Bradley who led the charge for the offense. The center fielder raked a double off the Green Monster, an RBI triple into the gap in right-center and another two-run triple that rolled all the way to the wall in right.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Executing sinker key to Porcello's success

Executing sinker key to Porcello's success

BOSTON -- For Rick Porcello, everything revolves around his sinker. When it's working, positive results follow.

That's been the case so far this season, and it proved true once again against the Yankees on Saturday night, when the Red Sox right-hander allowed just five hits in seven innings on the way to an 8-0 win.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

City of Boston trying to hold on to hero Ortiz

Red Sox legend has become the 21st century version of Babe Ruth for Boston

City of Boston trying to hold on to hero Ortiz

BOSTON -- David Ortiz is having such a good start to what he has designed as his final season that all kinds of stories have been floating around about Big Papi possibly returning next year.

One such tale reached the Yankees clubhouse at Fenway Park. Alex Rodriguez said he'd heard that Ortiz wanted to return and play only home games, just like Roger Clemens. The Rocket retired so many times and in so many different ways it still wouldn't be surprising for him to make another appearance.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Once again, Papi haunts Yankees

Once again, Papi haunts Yankees

BOSTON -- David Ortiz added yet another memorable hit against the Yankees to his resume, hammering a two-run shot over the Green Monster in left-center against Dellin Betances with one out in the eighth to break a tie and lead the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory in the first rivalry showdown this season.

Big Papi jumped on a first-pitch curveball from Betances, and the Red Sox slugger smashed it at an exit speed of 105 mph and a projected distance of 402 feet from home plate, according to Statcast™. Ortiz was 0-for-7 with four strikeouts before his game-turning swing.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007.

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

Papi goes oppy: Monster HR tops Yanks

Papi goes oppy: Monster HR tops Yanks

BOSTON -- David Ortiz's torment of the Yankees only seems like it will go on forever. In reality, the slugger is set to retire at the end of this season.

But that didn't make the Yankees feel any better on Friday night after they fell victim to the man known as Big Papi yet again in the Red Sox's 4-2 victory.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Sitting on splitter, Bradley hits game-tying 2B

Sitting on splitter, Bradley hits game-tying 2B

BOSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr. had been fed a steady diet of splitters in his first two at-bats Friday night against Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, so when the Red Sox center fielder strode to the plate in the seventh inning with New York holding a two-run lead and the tying runs on base, he knew exactly what was coming.

Tanaka threw a first-pitch splitter that Bradley crushed for a double off the Green Monster. The hit tied the game at 2 before a two-run home run by David Ortiz in the eighth gave the Red Sox a dramatic 4-2 win.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB Plus debuts with Yankees-Red Sox

MLB Plus debuts with Yankees-Red Sox

MLB.com introduced a new way to watch baseball Friday with MLB Plus, a data-driven online broadcast featuring Statcast™ and other advanced analysis.

MLB Plus debuted during Friday's matchup between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway Park, which Boston won, 4-2. It will be available as a companion to each MLB Network Showcase game this season, and you can catch the next installment during Saturday's Yankees-Red Sox game at 7:10 p.m. EST.

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

Young Red Sox fan gets A-Rod's homer bat

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Young Red Sox fan gets A-Rod's homer bat

When Mesa, Ariz., native Andy Moss was diagnosed with cancer last year, there was one big item on his bucket list: to take his son, David, to Fenway Park and meet his hero, David Ortiz. Sadly, Andy passed away in late September, but David made sure his dad's wish came true -- he and his sister and mom made the trip to the Red Sox-Yankees game on Friday night.

Boston welcomed Andy to batting practice, where he finally met Big Papi. But the story doesn't end there -- Ortiz passed along Moss' story to Alex Rodriguez, who made sure he said hello before his first at-bat in the second inning. David had one request: "I asked if I could have his bat," he said. "He said, 'If I hit a home run you can have my bat!'" Just a few minutes later, this happened.

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Hernandez recalled; Light optioned to PawSox

Hernandez recalled; Light optioned to PawSox

BOSTON -- Following Friday's 4-2 win over the Yankees, the Red Sox optioned righty Pat Light to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled utility infielder Marco Hernandez.

For the past week, Boston had been going with 13 pitchers and 12 position players due to the recent toll on the bullpen.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Swihart left field experiment off and running

Swihart left field experiment off and running

BOSTON -- Blake Swihart played his first professional game in left field on Thursday night for Triple-A Pawtucket, and the plan is for him to get reps out there roughly twice a week to see if it can be a realistic supplemental position.

"He had one attempt and I think the ball ended up in the lights and he recovered OK," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "But it's just the first game after some [early] work. As we all are, a work in progress."

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Kelly throws off mound, eyes rehab assignment

Kelly throws off mound, eyes rehab assignment

BOSTON -- Red Sox right-hander Joe Kelly is progressing well enough from a right shoulder impingement that he was permitted to throw off the mound on Friday for the first time since April 19, the night he was injured.

"He'll throw long toss on Sunday with another bullpen [session] on Tuesday, and then we'll look at that point to get out on a rehab assignment," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's going to need some innings, obviously."

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Terence Moore

Mookie's choice means a lot to MLB

One of game's most dynamic players could have chosen another path

Mookie's choice means a lot to MLB

Mookie Betts is good. Actually, he's really good. He's the next Ted, Yaz, Jim Rice and Big Papi in terms of making those around New England feel warm and fuzzy about the Red Sox for long stretches. The fact that this promising infielder-turned-outfielder is African-American only adds to why the following is so encouraging for Major League Baseball.

Despite a slew of other possibilities, Betts made baseball his profession. More African-Americans should follow in Betts' cleat steps. Will they?

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Terence Moore is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

MLB Plus: Analytics-driven feed debuts

Yankees-Red Sox games to feature a new type of broadcast

MLB Plus: Analytics-driven feed debuts

On Friday, MLB.com will debut a new way to watch baseball: MLB Plus, a data-driven online broadcast that will feature Statcast™, powered by Amazon Web Services, as well as a variety of other advanced analytics and broadcast enhancements.

It will debut on Friday and Saturday with a pair of Yankees-Red Sox games, both of which begin at 7:10 p.m. ET. You may have some questions about how this will work. We have answers.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

30 years ago, Roger Clemens made history

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30 years ago, Roger Clemens made history

On April 29, 1986, a 23-year-old hurler by the name of Roger Clemens took the mound at Fenway Park and did something nobody had ever done before:

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Buchholz searching for better command

Righty allows 5 runs on 8 hits, 4 walks in 6 1/3 innings Thursday

Buchholz searching for better command

BOSTON -- The type of consistency Clay Buchholz has displayed so far in 2016 has been the frustrating kind. In four of the right-hander's five starts, he has given up five earned runs.

At a point in the season when the Red Sox are trying to get on a roll, Buchholz doesn't want to be the pitcher that stops them. Yet it was Buchholz on the hook for Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Braves that snapped a four-game winning streak for Boston.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

D-backs claim lefty Escobar from Red Sox

Right-hander Buschmann designated for assignment

D-backs claim lefty Escobar from Red Sox

PHOENIX -- The D-backs claimed left-hander Edwin Escobar off waivers from the Red Sox on Friday and optioned him to Triple-A Reno.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Escobar, the D-backs designated right-hander Matt Buschmann for assignment.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hanley's bat, Boston's late rally not enough

Hanley's bat, Boston's late rally not enough

BOSTON -- The Braves put together a steady offense against Clay Buchholz and salvaged the finale of a four-game series with the Red Sox by pulling out a 5-3 victory at Fenway Park on Thursday night. The win snapped an eight-game losing skid for Atlanta.

"We did a lot of good stuff on the whole game -- pitching-wise, offensively," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It's a good baseball game. It really is a good baseball game."

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Braves on Thursday.

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

Bogaerts reflects on 'weird play' vs. Braves

Shortstop doesn't hear 'safe' call at 2nd, tagged out after stepping off bag

Bogaerts reflects on 'weird play' vs. Braves

BOSTON -- It was, as Xander Bogaerts put it, a "weird play." It is one in which he hopes to never be involved again, unless he is the one making the tag next time.

Here was the situation that unfolded in the bottom of the first inning in a game the Red Sox would lose, 5-3, to the Braves:

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Benintendi among top prospect performers Thursday

Pirates prospect continues to impress while Boston outfielder stays hot at the plate

Benintendi among top prospect performers Thursday

With Jameson Taillon's impressive start to the 2016 season, you would never suspect that he hadn't pitched competitively since '13.

The Pirates' No. 4 prospect (No. 51 overall) improved to 2-0 on Thursday, firing seven innings of one-run ball for Triple-A Indianapolis in a win against Norfolk. Taillon scattered five hits and issued two walks in the outing, which was his longest of the season for the Indians.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox finding success in running game

Farrell believes pregame preparation helping Boston rack up stolen bases

Red Sox finding success in running game

BOSTON -- The running Red Sox? That isn't a description you've heard very often over the years for a franchise that has generally favored power over speed.

But manager John Farrell prioritized the running game during the 2013 World Series championship season, and the Red Sox are looking to steal even more in the early stages of this season.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

E-Rod labors in first rehab start

Lefty allows 2 ER on 6 hits in 3 2/3 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket

E-Rod labors in first rehab start

BOSTON -- Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez had a bumpy first start to his Minor League rehab assignment on Thursday night at Syracuse. Pitching for Triple-A Pawtucket, Rodriguez gave up six hits and three runs (two earned) over 3 2/3 innings.

The good thing is that Rodriguez was able to stretch out to 75 pitches, 45 of which were strikes. The Red Sox were hoping Rodriguez would be able to throw that many pitches in five or six innings.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.

Pedroia crushes slam, solo HR in grand win

Pedroia crushes slam, solo HR in grand win

BOSTON -- The red-hot Dustin Pedroia laced two homers, including a grand slam high off of Pesky's Pole in right field, to lead the Red Sox to a 9-4 victory over the Braves on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

Red Sox Sox manager John Farrell thinks Pedroia might have even called the landing spot of the slam in mid-sprint.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Braves on Wednesday.

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

Knuckler in top form, Wright rolls on

Even catcher Hanigan occasionally has tough time with righty's pitches

Knuckler in top form, Wright rolls on

BOSTON -- Steven Wright's knuckleball was as elusive to Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan as it was to the hitters who were flummoxed throughout a dominant, seven-inning performance Wednesday night.

In a 9-4 victory over the Braves, Wright's knuckler fluttered away from bat barrels all night. There were also quite a few occasions when Hanigan's oversized mitt that he uses only to catch Wright wasn't quite big enough.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. 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.