Papi, Holt help Red Sox snap out of offensive funk

Papi, Holt help Red Sox snap out of offensive funk

BALTIMORE -- Even though Brock Holt hit a decisive three-run homer in the eighth inning to give Boston a 7-5 victory over the Orioles on Friday, the utility man credited David Ortiz with helping the Red Sox's offense break out of its recent doldrums.

Ortiz crushed a three-run home run off Miguel Gonzalez in the fifth that gave Boston a 3-2 lead. Prior to that, the Red Sox had scored just one run over the past 16 innings and were 1-for-24 with runners in scoring position.

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Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox power past O's on Holt's go-ahead shot

Red Sox power past O's on Holt's go-ahead shot

BALTIMORE -- Boston used a trio of homers, including an eighth-inning go-ahead three-run blast from Brock Holt, to hand Baltimore its fifth consecutive loss in Friday's 7-5 series-opening win at Camden Yards.

The Red Sox, who also got back-to-back homers from David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez in the fifth, capitalized on O's third baseman Manny Machado's error as Holt went deep off O's righty Darren O'Day.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Farrell happy with emphasis on defense

Farrell happy with emphasis on defense

BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox entered Friday's opener vs. the Orioles having not committed an error in six consecutive games. That marked a vast improvement from the start of last season, when they committed nine errors in the first 10 contests.

While the streak came to an end on Pablo Sandoval's throwing error in the sixth inning, the Red Sox nonetheless flashed some leather in a 7-5 win at Camden Yards.

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Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Masterson, Chen to duel for second time this week

Masterson, Chen to duel for second time this week

Justin Masterson and Wei-Yin Chen will face one another for the second time in less than a week when the Red Sox and Orioles continue their weekend set on Saturday at Camden Yards. Masterson (2-0, 5.74 ERA) picked up the win in their matchup on Monday, allowing one run in five innings. Chen (0-1, 3.07 ERA) was hurt by three errors that led to five unearned runs in the O's 7-1 loss.

Things to know about this game:

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Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Buchholz, Farrell pleased with 10-K outing

Righty delivers first Red Sox six-inning start since last turn

Buchholz, Farrell pleased with 10-K outing

ST. PETERSBURG -- It was easy for the Red Sox to find something positive in Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Rays.

Clay Buchholz came through with a strong pitching performance at a time the Red Sox needed it.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Big Papi, big influence: Sox new and old look up to Ortiz

Veteran's leadership clear as Panda, Hanley settle in with Boston

Big Papi, big influence: Sox new and old look up to Ortiz

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mike Schmidt was already one of the best players in the National League when Pete Rose joined the Phillies in 1979, but Rose kept lecturing Schmidt that he could be even better.

The All-Star third baseman responded by winning three National League MVP Awards, blasting 548 homers and being elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Schmidt is arguably the best third baseman in baseball history.

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Hal Bodley is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Buchholz sharp, but Red Sox fall in ninth

Buchholz sharp, but Red Sox fall in ninth

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay pushed across a run in the ninth on Rene Rivera's walk-off single to claim a 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night at Tropicana Field.

With the win, the Rays claimed the three-game series.

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

Davis confident Boston hitters will heat up soon

After some offense-starved games vs. Rays, hitting coach sees no need for worry

Davis confident Boston hitters will heat up soon

ST. PETERSBURG -- For all the scrutiny the Red Sox have faced for their starting pitching, the vaunted offense has been surprisingly quiet of late.

After a 2-1 loss to the Rays left them at 9-7 for the season, Boston's team batting average is at .230 heading into this weekend's three-game series against the Orioles.

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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.

Farrell looking for more length from starters

Red Sox skipper does not believe the club currently needs a long reliever

Farrell looking for more length from starters

ST. PETERSBURG -- Through the second and third turns through their pitching rotation, Boston starting pitchers completed six innings just twice in 10 games.

Not only are those results undesirable, but if they continue, they could become damaging to the health of the bullpen.

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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.

Red Sox not rushing Victorino back into lineup

Red Sox not rushing Victorino back into lineup

ST. PETERSBURG -- Though Shane Victorino's right hamstring felt better on Thursday, the Red Sox will be careful not to rush the right fielder back into game action.

And with Allen Craig, Daniel Nava and Brock Holt all available off the bench, there's no reason to.

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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.

Staked to early lead, Sox fall to Rays

Staked to early lead, Sox fall to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- A home run from an unlikely source and a four-run rally led the Rays to a 7-5 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.

With the score tied at 5 in the seventh, Asdrubal Cabrera scored the go-ahead run when Desmond Jennings grounded into a double play. Jake Elmore, who had two home runs in 120 career at-bats, then gave Tampa Bay an insurance run with a solo shot off Edward Mujica.

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

Ortiz reaches two milestones with 469th homer

Ortiz reaches two milestones with 469th homer

ST. PETERSBURG -- With one powerful swing in the sixth inning of Wednesday's game against the Rays, David Ortiz passed Chipper Jones and moved into 32nd place on the all-time homer list and vaulted ahead of Joe DiMaggio into 46th on the RBI list.

But after a 7-5 loss to the Rays, Ortiz was not in a reflective mood.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Mayo uses Owens' changeup to create uber pitching prospect

Taking one tool from five Minor Leaguers, MLB Pipeline creates the ultimate hurler

Mayo uses Owens' changeup to create uber pitching prospect

Last week, the world was introduced to Carlex O'Galldor, the uber prospect created at MLBPipeline.com by taking the best individual tools from five prospects on Prospect Watch.

Now it's time to head back to the prospecting lab and create the ultimate pitching prospect. The concept is similar to last week's, but with pitches: Taking the best pitch, plus control, from five up-and-coming arms.

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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.

Cruising early, Kelly comes unglued in sixth

Cruising early, Kelly comes unglued in sixth

ST. PETERSBURG -- Joe Kelly was cruising. So were the Red Sox. So what exactly happened to turn a four-run lead for the visitors into a 7-5 loss to the Rays on Wednesday night?

"I didn't get ahead of the hitters," said Kelly. "I fell behind with my fastball, which was pretty good for me tonight, and that sixth inning, I tried to get too fine with it and fell behind hitters and had to throw it down the middle from then [on]. They put good swings on balls and got some good hits."

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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.

Williams, Yaz, Ortiz, Pedro leading Sox Franchise Four voting

Williams, Yaz, Ortiz, Pedro leading Sox Franchise Four voting

ST. PETERSBURG -- Voting is underway to determine the four most impactful players in the history of all 30 MLB franchises, and the current leaders for the Red Sox are three Hall of Famers and a present-day icon.

Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez lead the voting for Boston.

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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.

Unearned run enough to give Miley first win

Unearned run enough to give Miley first win

ST. PETERSBURG -- An unearned run proved to be the difference Tuesday night as the Red Sox took a 1-0 win at Tropicana Field, handing the Rays their fourth consecutive loss.

"Tough one, obviously, tonight," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "You don't like to lose one 1-0 on a ball that gets away."

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

Ogando proving to be bullpen bargain

Right-hander escapes jam in sixth to help preserve Miley's first win

Ogando proving to be bullpen bargain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Bases loaded. Two outs. A one-run lead. That was the situation Alexi Ogando inherited on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, and the hard-throwing righty never blinked, helping the Red Sox preserve a 1-0 win over the Rays.

Instead, he demonstrated why Boston acquired him as a free agent as a classic buy-low ($1.5 million) transaction.

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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.

Holt plays key role with sparkling defense

Utility man makes two fielding gems at shortstop to key win over Rays

Holt plays key role with sparkling defense

ST. PETERSBURG -- Starting for the fourth straight day, and at a fourth position over that span, Brock Holt again made a big contribution in Boston's 1-0 win over the Rays on Tuesday.

This time, Holt was at shortstop, and it was his defense that stood out.

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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.

Mookie's aggressiveness valuable in narrow victory

Takeout slide on potential DP leads to only run on Tuesday

Mookie's aggressiveness valuable in narrow victory

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mookie Betts has been known to make a highlight-reel play or two. But he's not afraid to get down and dirty either.

In Tuesday's 1-0 win over the Rays, Betts helped create the only run of the night when he barreled into second baseman Ryan Brett on a takeout slide.

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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.

Ortiz gets 1 game for contact with ump, will appeal suspension

Ortiz gets 1 game for contact with ump, will appeal suspension

ST. PETERSBURG -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz decided to appeal a one-game suspension and undisclosed fine from Major League Baseball, enabling him to start Tuesday night's game against Rays right-hander Chris Archer.

Ortiz received the discipline for making contact with umpire John Tumpane during the fifth inning of Sunday's game against the Orioles at Fenway Park.

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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.

Red Sox mark special Marathon Monday at Fenway

Red Sox mark special Marathon Monday at Fenway

BOSTON -- Even with cloudy skies and rain overhead, the Red Sox were still able to produce a fitting tribute on Monday for Patriots' Day.

Before the Red Sox took the field against the Orioles for their traditional 11:05 a.m. ET start time, Boston police officer Stephen McNulty belted a stirring rendition of the national anthem. Four-time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers then threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @qlr5001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Masterson leads Sox over O's at rainy Fenway

Masterson leads Sox over O's at rainy Fenway

BOSTON -- Fueled by a four-run inning and solid pitching from Justin Masterson, the Red Sox ousted the Orioles in a 7-1 Patriots' Day victory in a rain-shortened game at Fenway Park.

Masterson gave his bullpen some much-needed rest, spinning five innings of one-run baseball in a contest that was called due to inclement weather in the seventh inning. The lanky sinkerballer recorded six strikeouts and benefited from a particularly effective slider as Boston earned a split in the four-game series.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Effective slider helps Masterson slow Orioles

Effective slider helps Masterson slow Orioles

BOSTON -- As an icy rain began to fall on Fenway Park on Monday, Justin Masterson worked quickly through the fifth inning, firing fastballs and spinning sliders while the weather around him worsened.

"I was just thinking, 'Lets get out of the top half [of the fifth],' because I wanted to get to the bottom half so we can keep going," Masterson said. "We had scored so many runs that my take was, rain aside, I was just out there trying to pitch -- 'OK, lets make this quick because we're up 5-1 at the time. Lets make this quick so we can get some guys out, but also compete.'"

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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.

Hanley OK after exiting finale due to illness

Hanley OK after exiting finale due to illness

BOSTON -- The Red Sox removed Hanley Ramirez from the game in the third inning of Monday's series finale with the Orioles due to illness. However, the team considers the issue to be nothing serious and expects the outfielder will play in Tuesday's series opener against the Rays.

"There was just the onset of some illness," manager John Farrell said. "Some lightheadedness. He was examined by the doctors here when he came out of the game. [He] stayed off his feet. I don't anticipate him missing tomorrow, but he was unable to go for the remainder of today."

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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.

Ortiz responds to Palmer's critical tweet

Ortiz responds to Palmer's critical tweet

BOSTON -- On the same day he tied Joe DiMaggio on baseball's all-time RBI list, David Ortiz did something else he is well known for: speaking candidly when given a platform.

Ortiz was ejected from Sunday's loss to the Orioles after disputing a check-swing call by third-base umpire Jerry Meals. He then threw his bat to the ground and tossed his helmet as he trudged back into the clubhouse.

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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.

Boston bullpen logging heavy early workload

Boston bullpen logging heavy early workload

BOSTON -- For the fifth time in the past seven games, the Red Sox pulled their starter before the end of the sixth inning on Sunday. Righty Rick Porcello, who allowed all eight runs in his five-plus innings, came out of the game at 102 pitches after throwing only 58 of them for strikes in an 8-3 loss to the Orioles.

This combination of short starts and extended appearances from the bullpen has developed into an early trend for the Red Sox. Entering Monday, the club's relievers had combined to pitch 49 2/3 innings -- 13 2/3 of which came during a 19-inning marathon at Yankee Stadium -- which was tied with the Yankees for second most in the Majors.

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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.

Porcello vows to make 'necessary adjustments'

Porcello vows to make 'necessary adjustments'

BOSTON -- Rick Porcello's body language said it all. The Red Sox right-hander sat in the corner of the clubhouse after Sunday's 8-3 loss at the hands of the Orioles, staring off into space with a dejected look on his face.

He'd just given up eight runs on 12 hits over five-plus innings of work for his second loss of the season, as his ERA ballooned to 6.63.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @qlr5001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.