Mookie joins elite company with 30th HR

Mookie joins elite company with 30th HR

BOSTON -- The emerging power of Mookie Betts allowed the recently-installed cleanup man to reach a special place in Red Sox history on Monday night.

When Betts clubbed his 30th homer run, a towering shot off a sign behind the Monster Seats in the second inning of the Red Sox's 9-4 win vs. the Rays, he became just the third Boston player to reach that number in a season before turning 24 years old.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Porcello's 18th, Mookie's 30th lift Sox

Porcello's 18th, Mookie's 30th lift Sox

BOSTON -- There were roars of "MVP" for Mookie Betts at various points in the Red Sox's 9-4 victory over the Rays on Monday, in which the 23-year-old right fielder clubbed his 30th home run. In the coming weeks, Rick Porcello could start to hear some "Cy Young" chants.

The sinkerballer improved to 18-3 and passed J.A. Happ (who pitches Tuesday for Toronto) as the winningest pitcher in the Major Leagues this season. Over seven innings, Porcello allowed six hits and three runs, walking none and striking out seven. Porcello's home dominance continued, as he became the first Boston pitcher since Dave "Boo" Ferriss in 1946 to start a season 13-0 at Fenway.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

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

Koji could return to 'pen on Labor Day

Koji could return to 'pen on Labor Day

BOSTON -- The Red Sox could have Koji Uehara back in the bullpen by Labor Day, as the reliever responded well to throwing 25 pitches to teammates from the main mound at Fenway Park on Monday.

"He came out of today's work session in good fashion," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It was 25 pitches to hitters with good intensity, both his fastball and his split. He may have mixed in an occasional cutter, but it's been impressive to see how he's handled the volume, and now three times on the mound the intensity to his bullpen [sessions] and the BP."

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pomeranz out to avenge tough-luck loss

Pomeranz out to avenge tough-luck loss

Less than a week ago in St. Petersburg, a quiet Red Sox offense spoiled Drew Pomeranz's impressive outing, underlined by a career-high 11 strikeouts. On Tuesday, the left-hander will try and bring his road success home as Pomeranz faces the Rays in consecutive starts.

With Boston's 9-4 win in Monday night's series opener, the Red Sox remained two games behind the Blue Jays in the American League East while increasing their lead in the AL Wild Card standings to two games over the Orioles.

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

Papi ties Foxx on all-time list with 534 HRs

Ortiz takes Royals' Ventura deep for 31st homer of season

Papi ties Foxx on all-time list with 534 HRs

BOSTON -- Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz continues to pound the baseball in his final Major League season, joining legends as he does it. The slugger roped career homer No. 534 in Sunday night's 10-4 loss to the Royals to tie Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx for 18th on the all-time list.

Big Papi is now two home runs away from tying Mickey Mantle.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox sunk by Royals' big inning at Fenway

Sox sunk by Royals' big inning at Fenway

BOSTON -- The surging Royals, who have thrived on the big stage in recent years, stunned the Red Sox with an eight-run sixth inning that fueled a 10-4 victory on Sunday night at Fenway Park.

The impressive barrage, led by rookie Raul Mondesi's three-run triple that put Kansas City on top for good, gave the defending World Series champions a series victory and their 17th win in the last 21 games.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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

Bullpen woes return as Royals burn Barnes

Red Sox see game slip away during KC's 8-run sixth inning

Bullpen woes return as Royals burn Barnes

BOSTON -- The Red Sox have a few elements that are clicking at an important point of the season, but in a dismal 10-4 loss to the Royals on Sunday night, Boston showed why the bullpen is undoubtedly its Achilles' heel.

The Red Sox were riding a 4-2 lead when Eduardo Rodriguez loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth. Alex Gordon's flyout to left field was Rodriguez's last pitch of the night after 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander was forced to witness the madness that ensued from the dugout.

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

Pedroia leaves Red Sox to attend funeral

Second baseman expected to rejoin club late Monday

Pedroia leaves Red Sox to attend funeral

BOSTON -- The Red Sox will be without red-hot leadoff man Dustin Pedroia for Sunday's rubber match against the Royals, and possibly Monday's opener of a three-game series against the Rays.

The second baseman flew out of Boston on Sunday morning to attend funeral services for a family member.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

5 notable facts about Splendid Splinter's life and career

5 notable facts about Splendid Splinter's life and career

Ted Williams had a season for the ages in 1941. But the Hall of Famer also enjoyed a remarkable career -- and life. Here are five highlights from his iconic life you should know about.

1. Military career
Like many ballplayers of his era, Williams was called to service -- first during World War II and again during the Korean War. Yet, unlike many of his MLB comrades, the Splendid Splinter was a casualty of active combat -- losing part of his hearing and surviving many dangerous encounters while flying 39 missions as a captain in the Korean War, according to the Marine Corps Association.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_ This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox yet to decide on Moncada callup

No. 2 prospect in baseball a potential September addition

Red Sox yet to decide on Moncada callup

BOSTON -- There's a possibility the Red Sox will call up top prospect Yoan Moncada when rosters expand in September, but no decision has been made.

The 21-year-old switch-hitter continues to thrive at Double-A Portland, where he is slashing .288/.393/.546 with 10 homers and 26 RBIs in the 42 games since his promotion. He has also transitioned to third base, a position the Red Sox have lacked consistent production at of late.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swihart looks ahead to winter rehab, spring ball

Red Sox catcher/outfielder recovering from ankle surgery

Swihart looks ahead to winter rehab, spring ball

BOSTON -- Blake Swihart was in high spirits as he rolled into the Red Sox clubhouse on a knee scooter before taking a seat at his locker on Sunday. The catcher/left fielder had a successful left ankle surgery on Aug. 15 and is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Sporting a cast on his left leg, Swihart said it's his last day rolling around before switching to a walking boot.

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

Moncada among top prospect performers Sunday

Yankees No. 2 prospect collects first four-hit game for Tampa; No. 7 allows 1 hit in 5 scoreless

Moncada among top prospect performers Sunday

Shortstop Gleyber Torres and left-hander Justus Sheffield, two of the New York Yankees' key prospect acquisitions from the non-waiver Trade Deadline, have made strong impressions as teammates on Class A Advanced Tampa. On Sunday, the duo paced their new club to an 8-2 victory over Brevard County, with Torres leading the offense with four hits and Sheffield tossing five scoreless innings.

Making his fifth start for Tampa after coming over from the Indians along with Clint Frazier (Yankees' No. 1) as part of the Andrew Miller trade, Sheffield, the Yankees' No. 7 prospect, tossed three hitless frames before yielding a knock to begin the fourth. It was the only hit allowed in five innings by the No. 87 overall prospect, who walked three and struck out five while throwing 53 of his 86 pitches for strikes.

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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.

Big Boston bats burst out, overpower KC

Big Boston bats burst out, overpower KC

BOSTON -- The Red Sox, led by the torrid Dustin Pedroia, responded emphatically from a recent hitting funk and snapped a three-game losing streak with an impressive 8-3 victory over the Royals on Saturday night at Fenway Park.

Pedroia went 4-for-5 and is 8-for-9 in the first two games of this homestand. When he grounded into a 4-6-3 double play in his final at-bat, Pedroia's streak of hits in 11 straight at-bats came to an end, putting him just one shy of tying a Major League record.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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

Price turning it on for crunch time

Southpaw wins 4th straight while bringing ERA below 4.00 for 1st time since April

Price turning it on for crunch time

BOSTON -- For just a moment, David Price interrupted Kansas City's hot streak. The left-hander plowed through the Royals' lineup for his fourth straight win and an 8-3 Red Sox victory on Saturday night at Fenway Park.

Price limited the Royals to five hits and two walks while fanning seven, inducing a rubber match Sunday night's finale. After Saturday's win, the southpaw lowered his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since April 5 -- his debut for the Red Sox.

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

Pedroia's AB hit streak ends 1 shy of MLB record

Red Sox second baseman goes 11-for-11 before grounding into double play

Pedroia's AB hit streak ends 1 shy of MLB record

BOSTON -- The streak of excellence by Dustin Pedroia over the last three days was nearly historic, and the Red Sox couldn't help but get a little caught up in the excitement.

When Pedroia stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning of Saturday's 8-3 victory over the Royals, he had belted hits in 11 straight at-bats and reached base in 12 straight plate appearances.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ortiz hit a ball that disappeared in the sky

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Ortiz hit a ball that disappeared in the sky

David Ortiz very well may be magic. Between his penchant for clutch homers, his ability to hit homers powered by selfies or the fact that he's leading the league in OPS at the age of 40, the DH likely has a diploma from the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

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Groome among top prospect performers Saturday

Top Red Sox pitcher impresses in second start; Twins' No. 3 continues hot streak

Groome among top prospect performers Saturday

It hasn't taken Jason Groome long to reward the Red Sox for rolling the dice on him with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2016 Draft.

Making his second professional start on Saturday, Groome, No. 35 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, allowed one earned run and struck out five of the nine hitters he faced in two innings for Boston's Gulf Coast League affiliate in a contest against the Twins'.

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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.

Mookie's 5-hit night a footnote as Sox miss chances

Pedroia adds four hits, but lineup leaves dozen runners on base in defeat

Mookie's 5-hit night a footnote as Sox miss chances

BOSTON -- What should have been an occasion for Mookie Betts to celebrate the first five-hit game of his career was instead another night for the Red Sox to wonder why they are having such difficulty cashing in on scoring opportunities.

A 6-3 loss to the Royals in Friday night's opener of a six-game homestand was maddening in the sense that manager John Farrell's team pounded out 15 hits.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright's rocky return too tall a hurdle for Sox

Wright's rocky return too tall a hurdle for Sox

BOSTON -- The defending World Series-champion Royals look like a team that doesn't want to miss the thrill of another October. Inconsistent for much of the season, Kansas City has played terrific baseball of late, continuing with Friday night's 6-3 victory over the Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

Backed by a five-run first inning that included home runs by Eric Hosmer (three-run drive) and Alex Gordon (two-run shot), the Royals rolled to their 11th win in their last 12 games and 16th in their last 19.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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

No structural damage to Benintendi's left knee

No structural damage to Benintendi's left knee

BOSTON -- Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi underwent a battery of tests from team doctors on his sprained left knee and no structural damage was found, providing more hope that the club's No. 2 prospect will play again this season.

"Yeah, I'm definitely fortunate," said Benintendi. "It looked a lot worse than it actually was, so I feel pretty lucky."

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Adrenaline works against Wright in costly first

KC capitalizes as Red Sox knuckleballer struggles to harness release point

Adrenaline works against Wright in costly first

BOSTON -- Red Sox right-hander Steven Wright was enthusiastic to get back on the mound after spending 17 games on the disabled list. But after Boston's 6-3 loss to Kansas City on Friday night, the knuckleballer was the first to admit that he was too amped up.

In his first start since straining his right shoulder, Wright surrendered five runs on two homers before the Red Sox stepped to the plate. He threw 40 pitches in the first inning alone, walking two batters before giving up a three-run homer over the Green Monster to Eric Hosmer.

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

Red Sox target key relief innings for Buchholz

Manager Farrell envisions righty handling eighth-inning duties occasionally

Red Sox target key relief innings for Buchholz

BOSTON -- The return of Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez from injuries means that Clay Buchholz is going back to the Red Sox's bullpen. But this time, the righty is likely to be used in high-leverage situations.

In recent weeks, the Red Sox have struggled mightily to hold leads in the eighth inning, and Buchholz could get some opportunities to hand the ball to closer Craig Kimbrel.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dubon, Chatham among top prospect performers Friday

Indians' No. 7 outduels Blue Jays' No. 17 in impressive matchup

Dubon, Chatham among top prospect performers Friday

Fans in attendance for Friday's matchup between Class A Lake County and Lansing were treated to a pitchers' duel between starters Triston McKenzie and Ryan Borucki, who combined for 11 scoreless innings and 18 strikeouts. Ultimately, it was McKenzie, the Indians' No. 7 prospect, who recorded the win as the Captains shut out Lansing, 3-0.

Making his fifth start for Lake County, McKenzie surrendered just two hits and a walk over six scoreless innings. He struck out nine, throwing 57 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

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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 drop finale despite sharp Pomeranz

Red Sox drop finale despite sharp Pomeranz

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mikie Mahtook called timeout at second base and looked to the Tropicana Field roof, letting a massive deep breath escape him. His RBI double gave the Rays a one-run lead in the seventh inning. It also snapped a personal 0-for-34 stretch that dated back to Aug. 9.

The lead would hold for the Rays, who went on to defeat Boston, 2-1, on Thursday.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Red Sox on Thursday.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

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

Career-best 11 K's not enough for Pomeranz

Starter on high punchout total: 'Sometimes I like that, sometimes I don't'

Career-best 11 K's not enough for Pomeranz

ST. PETERSBURG -- Drew Pomeranz was at the top of his game through five innings. He had nine strikeouts with no runs allowed by the time the Red Sox gave him a one-run lead in the sixth inning.

But once Pomeranz got the lead, he wasn't able to keep it. Instead, he allowed two runs over the next two innings in a good, but not good enough, 2-1 loss to the Rays on Thursday at Tropicana Field.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox slip up in 11th, but stay in 1st place

Red Sox slip up in 11th, but stay in 1st place

ST. PETERSBURG -- Luke Maile saw reliever Heath Hembree drop the ball at first base in the 11th inning and started his sprint home. And the Rays' backup catcher slid in safely as Sandy Leon couldn't handle the throw at the plate to give Tampa Bay a 4-3, walk-off win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox remain in a tie for first place in the American League East since the Blue Jays lost to the Angels on Wednesday.

"I was just busting my butt trying to get to the bag," Hembree said. "Was just running a little bit too fast. Knew the ball was coming and trying to find the bag, it was just, I just dropped it. ... It's a play I should make 10 out of 10 times."

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Red Sox on Wednesday.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

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

Papi oldest to reach 30 homers in a season

Red Sox DH also records 100 RBIs for 10th time with Red Sox, passing Williams

Papi oldest to reach 30 homers in a season

ST. PETERSBURG -- In the final season of one of the great careers in the history of the Red Sox, David Ortiz has shown that age is but a number. He continued to do so on Wednesday night.

Ortiz rocked the first pitch he saw from Matt Andriese in the first inning of Wednesday's 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Rays for a home run to right-center field, his 30th of the season. And with Dustin Pedroia on second base, he also recorded his 100th RBI of the year to give Boston a 2-0 lead. Ortiz became the oldest player to reach 30 home runs in a season at 40 years, nine months and six days old.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sandoval visits Sox, vows to 'do a better job'

Third baseman appeared in three games this year before undergoing shoulder surgery

Sandoval visits Sox, vows to 'do a better job'

ST. PETERSBURG -- Pablo Sandoval took a break from his season-long rehabilitation from shoulder surgery to check in with the Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Wednesday. The third baseman has been training in Fort Myers, Fla., about 90 minutes from where Boston is playing the Rays.

He would have liked to be with his team for all four games of the series, but he couldn't disrupt his rehab for too long. Sandoval has been working six days a week, trying to regain his mental and physical form ahead of the 2017 season.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Justice: Pujols, Papi HRs signify greatness

Albert moves into 10th on all-time list; Ortiz oldest player to reach 30 blasts

Justice: Pujols, Papi HRs signify greatness

First Albert Pujols, then David Ortiz. Two majestic home runs, two moments to savor and celebrate, eight minutes apart Wednesday night. Two opportunities to be reminded how lucky we've been to watch these guys play baseball. Sometimes, the baseball gods deliver more than we deserve.

We see them now, Ortiz, 40, and Pujols, 36, and are awash in memories of postseason heroics and times when they held their cities -- and their sport -- in the palm of their hands.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.