Inside-the-parker in 10th helps Sox halt Mets

Inside-the-parker in 10th helps Sox halt Mets

NEW YORK -- Jog or sprint, it really didn't matter. Blake Swihart's go-ahead inside-the-park homer off Carlos Torres in the 10th inning appeared to clear the orange marker along the center-field wall at Citi Field. But nobody saw that in real time except Juan Lagares, who watched the ball carom past him while Swihart chugged around the bases as the Red Sox cooled off the red-hot Mets with a 6-4 win on Friday at Citi Field.

Boston barely survived a 12-walk effort from its pitching staff, which twice issued bases-loaded free passes -- the second of which from Junichi Tazawa, who walked four straight in the 10th to make it 6-4. That forced the Red Sox to bring on lefty Craig Breslow to face righty slugger Yoenis Cespedes with the winning run aboard. Cespedes flew out to deep center, ending the Mets' winning streak at seven and spoiling the returns of two stars.

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

Ortiz jump-starts offense with homer No. 493

Ortiz jump-starts offense with homer No. 493

NEW YORK -- David Ortiz continued his push toward home run No. 500 on Friday night at Citi Field, rejuvenating his team's offense in the process.

The Red Sox had been shut out by Matt Harvey for six innings and were down 2-0 when Ortiz dug in to lead off the seventh. On the first pitch he saw from Mets reliever Logan Verrett, Ortiz pummeled a solo shot over the wall in center. It was the first strike back for the Red Sox in a 6-4, 10-inning victory over the Mets.

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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.

Despite discrepancy, Swihart happy with HR

Catcher's go-ahead inside-the-park shot in 10th cleared line at top of fence

Despite discrepancy, Swihart happy with HR

NEW YORK -- Blake Swihart absolutely crushed the ball that turned Friday night's game in favor of the Red Sox. But when you haven't hit a home run in 134 at-bats, you don't assume anything.

With a mad dash around the bases in the top of the 10th inning, Swihart collected his second career homer -- and first inside-the-parker. At least it goes into the books as an inside-the-park home run in a game the Red Sox won over the Mets, 6-4, at Citi Field.

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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.

Dombrowski: Buchholz part of '16 plan if healthy

Dombrowski: Buchholz part of '16 plan if healthy

NEW YORK -- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made it official that Clay Buchholz won't pitch again in 2015. However, Dombrowski sounded very inclined to pick up the righty's option for next season provided the medical staff deems him healthy.

"I think it's really a simple equation in the sense that if you think he's healthy -- and I'm not the one that's capable of making that decision -- that's the doctor's decision," said Dombrowski. "But picking up his option is a very simple thing because he's a good big league pitcher that's really … the option's a good option."

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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.

Tazawa experiences uncharacteristic wildness

Tazawa experiences uncharacteristic wildness

NEW YORK -- Even though the Red Sox hung on for a 6-4 victory over the Mets in 10 innings on Friday night, it was fair to wonder what happened to Junichi Tazawa, who completely lost the strike zone while trying to close out the game.

The righty, who has been entrusted with closing since Koji Uehara (right wrist fracture) went down for the season, walked four straight with two outs in the bottom of the 10th.

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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.

Kelly, deGrom to duel as Sox, Mets continue set

Kelly, deGrom to duel as Sox, Mets continue set

After seeing their seven-game win streak snapped on Friday, Jacob deGrom and the Mets will look to start a new surge on Saturday against the Red Sox, who will counter with Joe Kelly at Citi Field.

deGrom is looking to rebound after one of the poorest starts of his career last time out against Philadelphia. He surrendered seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and walked three in 2 2/3 innings, the shortest outing of his career. It was revealed after the game that he had been dealing with a stomach virus.

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

Talented outfield a good problem for Sox to have

Betts, Bradley, Castillo all in '16 mix; president of baseball ops Dombrowski continuing to take staff inventory

Talented outfield a good problem for Sox to have

NEW YORK -- One key point of evaluation for the Red Sox in the coming days will be to decide how their highly-athletic outfield trio best fits together.

The Red Sox are a rare team that has three outfielders who can play center at an above-average level in Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rusney Castillo. The emergence of those three players has led the team to try transitioning Hanley Ramirez to first base.

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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.

Hanley dealing with nagging shoulder injury

Hanley dealing with nagging shoulder injury

NEW YORK -- As much as the Red Sox would love to see Hanley Ramirez finish strong at the plate, nagging injuries continue to be an impediment toward that quest. Ramirez was supposed to play left field on Friday, but was scratched from the lineup due to a nagging injury in his right shoulder.

Ramirez sprained his left shoulder earlier in the season banging into the Green Monster, and has battled a variety of other ailments. Jackie Bradley Jr. replaced him in the lineup.

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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.

Craig in better spot to rediscover Major League form

Much less pressure for former All-Star at Pawtucket after stats fell off in St. Louis, Boston

Craig in better spot to rediscover Major League form

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- The air is humid and sticky on a Friday afternoon as the PawSox take batting practice at McCoy Stadium, the sweltering sun a reminder that the dog days of August are at their zenith. Nestled among the Major League hopefuls and the Minor League lifers gathered on the field, Allen Craig diligently takes his pregame cuts before walking toward the clubhouse, sweat still rolling off his face.

At 31 years old, Craig does not carry himself with the demeanor of someone who served as a middle-of-the-order bat for the Cardinals, compiling a .315 batting average, 97 RBIs, 29 doubles and 13 home runs on a team that won the National League pennant two years ago. The first baseman/corner outfielder is soft-spoken, unassuming and focused on reclaiming his old self -- the one that hit .300 three years in a row.

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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 returns -- and so does his sinker

Porcello returns -- and so does his sinker

CHICAGO -- In the 24 days that Rick Porcello spent on the disabled list, he prioritized regaining his identity as a pitcher. Most of the success Porcello has had during his career is because of a nasty sinker, and for reasons he now regrets, he got away from his strength.

So, as Porcello returned to the mound on Wednesday night against the White Sox, he was determined to establish the pitch and stay with it. In doing so, Porcello fired seven shutout innings to lead the Red Sox to a 3-0 victory over the White Sox.

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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.

Shaw's homer sends Porcello, Red Sox to victory

Shaw's homer sends Porcello, Red Sox to victory

CHICAGO -- Rick Porcello, making his first start since July 29, threw seven shutout innings and Travis Shaw delivered the decisive two-run homer in the eighth to give the Red Sox a 3-0 victory Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The Red Sox claimed the road series -- after the White Sox had won three of four at Fenway -- with Shaw connecting off of reliever Nate Jones.

"It was a fastball in, I was actually looking in," said Shaw. "They've been pitching me in the whole series. I was looking for something in that I could drive. He left it kind of middle-in, and I was able to put a pretty good swing on it.

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Ian Browne and Scott Merkin are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

17 years ago today, Pedro Martinez wore a Yoda mask

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17 years ago today, Pedro Martinez wore a Yoda mask

There are a lot of holidays we should celebrate in honor of Pedro Martinez. 

Today though, we celebrate something much more important. We honor the day 17 years ago that Pedro Martinez wore a Yoda mask in the dugout. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Scouting profile: Travis Shaw

Scouting profile: Travis Shaw

Background
Travis Shaw comes from a baseball family. His dad Jeff was a former All-Star closer who played for six Major League clubs.

Shaw went to school at Washington High School in Washington Court House, Ohio. He remained in the state to play baseball for the Golden Flashes at Kent State University.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shaw staking his claim at first base

Lefty's two-run shot breaks a scoreless tie in Chicago

Shaw staking his claim at first base

CHICAGO -- For the past two days, Hanley Ramirez has done pregame work at first base, opening up the possibility that he could claim that position for the Red Sox next season and beyond. But Travis Shaw can't worry about that.

All the lefty can do is continue to rake and provide moments like the one Wednesday night, when he crushed a two-run homer down the line in right to break a scoreless tie in the top of the eighth, leading his team to a 3-0 victory.

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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.

Buchholz to be re-evaluated next week

Injured RHP could be running out of time to make a return

Buchholz to be re-evaluated next week

CHICAGO -- Clay Buchholz will be idled from throwing for at least one more week, as the Red Sox plan to re-evaluate him around Sept. 2, which is the six-week mark since his platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) injection.

"We're still gathering a bunch of information, and at that point we'll figure out where we're at," said interim manager Torey Lovullo. "And Clay is going to give us some feedback, and we're going to put together a plan after that six-week period of time."

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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.

Hanley will try transitioning to first base

Struggling in left, could make move before end of year

Hanley will try transitioning to first base

CHICAGO -- The Red Sox will spend the coming days working with Hanley Ramirez on a transition to first base, and the hope is that the slugger can settle into that spot for 2016 and beyond. Ramirez even left open the possibility he could debut at first sometime before the current season ends.

Under the tutelage of infield instructor Brian Butterfield and teammate David Ortiz, Ramirez did some work around the bag at first several hours prior to Tuesday night's game against the White Sox.

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

Bradley puts cannon arm on display

Right fielder uncorks ridiculous throw to nail baserunner

Bradley puts cannon arm on display

CHICAGO -- The batter executes a hit-and-run with a single into right, and the runner advances from first to third. It happens all the time on baseball fields everywhere. That's what the White Sox thought they were doing in the eighth inning on Tuesday night, when Gordon Beckham slapped one through the hole and Carlos Sanchez was off on the pitch in the Red Sox's eventual 5-4 loss.

And that was when Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. yet again reminded everyone why even conventional plays don't work against him.

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

Rough seventh inning sinks Red Sox

Rough seventh inning sinks Red Sox

CHICAGO -- Rookie Trayce Thompson finished a home run short of the cycle and drove in three as the White Sox rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Chicago ended a two-game losing streak and improved to 4-2 on the season against Boston.

Thompson tripled in the second off losing pitcher Wade Miley, singled home a run in the fourth and then delivered a game-winning two-run double off Miley in the seventh. The line shot rolled under Hanley Ramirez's glove in left, but Thompson was credited with both RBIs scoring Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia. The White Sox bullpen finished off the victory, with Zach Duke striking out the side in the eighth and David Robertson closing matters in the ninth with two more strikeouts..

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

O'Brien replacing Orsillo in NESN booth

O'Brien replacing Orsillo in NESN booth

CHICAGO -- Dave O'Brien will move from the radio booth to television and take over for Don Orsillo as the new Red Sox play-by-play man for NESN, it was announced prior to the Red Sox's 5-4 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday night.

Orsillo is expected to remain in his post for the remainder of the season and O'Brien will debut for NESN in 2016.

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

Sox managing Rodriguez's workload

Sox managing Rodriguez's workload

CHICAGO -- The Red Sox will utilize Thursday's off-day as a way to get rookie Eduardo Rodriguez some extra rest prior to his next start.

If the Red Sox had stayed on turn, Rodriguez would have pitched on Saturday against the Mets.

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

Castillo breaks loose opposite fellow Cuban

Red Sox slugger taking advantage of regular at-bats

Castillo breaks loose opposite fellow Cuban

CHICAGO -- It has often been speculated that the biggest impetus behind the Red Sox signing Rusney Castillo was that they came in second to the White Sox on another fine Cuban player, Jose Abreu.

Once Abreu quickly turned into a star for the White Sox, the Red Sox cringed at not ponying up a little more money.

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

Rusney's 5 RBIs carry Red Sox in Chicago

Rusney's 5 RBIs carry Red Sox in Chicago

CHICAGO -- Rusney Castillo had three hits and five RBIs and Joe Kelly won his fifth straight start, allowing just two runs over 7 1/3 innings, as the Red Sox claimed a 5-4 victory over the White Sox on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field in the opener of a three-game set. The White Sox won three of four at Fenway Park during the last week of July.

Kelly struck out four and walked one, giving up runs on Jose Abreu's first-inning homer and Melky Cabrera's sixth-inning groundout. Castillo did all of Boston's damage on offense, driving in a career-high five against White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija with a three-run homer in the second and a two-run double in the sixth.

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

Panda makes sprawling catch on tarp

Panda makes sprawling catch on tarp

CHICAGO -- Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval made a nifty play on Monday night in Boston's 5-4 victory over the White Sox, landing belly-first on the tarp and reaching to snag a foul ball off the bat of Adam LaRoche.

As Sandoval ran back into play with the ball still in his hand, he had a broad smile on his face. Sandoval made the snag in the bottom of the second inning with the Red Sox leading, 3-1.

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

Kelly evolving from thrower to pitcher

Right-hander mixing repertoire better to keep hitters off balance

Kelly evolving from thrower to pitcher

CHICAGO -- Though Joe Kelly retired the leadoff man in his first four innings on Monday night against the White Sox, Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis most enjoyed watching the righty in the fifth, after he gave up a leadoff double.

A few weeks back, that extra-base hit would have likely led to a sequence of bad events for Kelly, who was not minimizing the damage.

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

Tazawa to continue getting ninth-inning call

Despite struggles, club sees benefit in righty gaining experience

Tazawa to continue getting ninth-inning call

CHICAGO -- Though Junichi Tazawa has struggled to get the job done as a closer since Koji Uehara went down, Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo will continue to give him the ball in the ninth inning.

Most recently, Tazawa surrendered a 6-4 lead in the ninth inning against the Royals on Sunday.

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

Experience will balance Rodriguez's inconsistency

Refinement of third pitch expected to help rookie work deeper into games

Experience will balance Rodriguez's inconsistency

BOSTON -- On his first night with the Red Sox, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made a phone call to manager John Farrell as he began treatment for Stage 1 lymphoma. In the background of their conversation, Eduardo Rodriguez stood on the mound at Fenway Park, poised, powerful and in control.

The rookie left-hander was on his way to completing eight innings of one-run ball against the Indians -- arguably his most dominant outing as a Major Leaguer -- and quickly caught the eye of Boston's new top baseball executive, whose first order of business this winter will be improving the pitching staff.

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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.

Vazquez to get at-bats in instructional league

Red Sox remain hopeful of catcher's readiness for Opening Day

Vazquez to get at-bats in instructional league

CHICAGO -- The first bad thing that happened to the 2015 Red Sox occurred in Spring Training, when projected starting catcher Christian Vazquez sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and had to have Tommy John surgery. The good news is that Vazquez has progressed nicely during every step of his rehab and he remains on track for 2016 Opening Day.

"I think he will," said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo. "If there's one guy we can bet on, it's Christian. He's really excited and eager to get things moving."

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

Tazawa comes up on wrong end of duel

Closer loses 10-pitch showdown with Moustakas, takes loss

Tazawa comes up on wrong end of duel

BOSTON -- For all of the wacky plays that preceded Red Sox closer Junichi Tazawa's ninth-inning duel with Mike Moustakas, Sunday's series finale at Fenway Park still came down to a classic battle at the plate.

Working with the bases loaded and two outs, Moustakas had worked Tazawa for nine pitches, taking two balls and at one point fouling off five in a row in the game-deciding showdown. As Tazawa's pitch count climbed higher, the right-hander finally relented, as the Royals' third baseman tattooed a two-run double into the right-center-field gap that sunk Boston to an 8-6 defeat.

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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.