Bogaerts finding stride in big way this season

Shortstop has shown improvement in nearly every aspect of his game

Bogaerts finding stride in big way this season

BOSTON -- As Red Sox third-base coach Brian Butterfield stood at the clubhouse entrance, he attempted to answer a question that sounded simple enough on the surface: What parts of Xander Bogaerts' game have improved the most?

As it turned out, highlighting just one or two areas proved impossible for Butterfield. The 22-year-old shortstop has taken giant steps forward in almost every aspect of his play this season, and the transformation had his infield instructor offering lavish praise.

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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.

Outfield experiment takes first step

Castillo gets first taste of playing in front of Green Monster

Outfield experiment takes first step

BOSTON -- The experimentation of outfield alignments officially began on Wednesday at Fenway Park, when Rusney Castillo made his debut in left field and handled the few chances he got in a 13-8 loss to the Yankees.

The Red Sox are comfortable in knowing that Castillo, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. should be their outfield trio going forward, perhaps for a few years. They've seen plenty to support that notion in recent weeks.

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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 chip away, but rally falls short

Sox chip away, but rally falls short

BOSTON -- The Yankees hit five home runs in support of Masahiro Tanaka, then weathered a late rally to wrap up a successful road trip with a 13-8 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday at Fenway Park.

Greg Bird, John Ryan Murphy and Carlos Beltran homered as part of an eight-run second inning off left-hander Henry Owens, who lasted just 1 2/3 frames while giving up six hits and seven runs. Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius later homered, as the bottom four hitters in New York's lineup went deep in the contest.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. 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.

Fans get to sleep over, take BP at Fenway Park

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Fans get to sleep over, take BP at Fenway Park

Fenway Park has seen a lot over its 103 years in Boston -- from World Series titles to legendary players to a giant ski ramp. But on Wednesday, the old ballpark added something new to its resume: a sleepover. Thanks to Airbnb's "Win a Night at the Home of the Boston Red Sox" contest, two of the luckiest people in New England got to turn the home of Yaz and Teddy Ballgame into their own personal treehouse for a night, complete with some pretty great views from the Green Monster.

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Buchholz cleared to resume throwing

If all goes well, could pitch one frame before season ends

Buchholz cleared to resume throwing

BOSTON -- Earlier this week, Clay Buchholz at last got clearance to resume throwing, and he progressed to 75 feet on Wednesday, making 24 throws.

"He's reported that he's feeling very, very good," said interim manager Torey Lovullo. "We're obviously monitoring that. He's really encouraged by where he's at and how he's feeling."

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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.

Coming off red-hot August, Kelly faces Phillies

Coming off red-hot August, Kelly faces Phillies

After a spectacular August, in which he went 6-0 with a 2.68 ERA, Red Sox right-hander Joe Kelly looks to continue his dominance in Friday's series opener against the Phillies, who will counter with left-hander Adam Morgan.

Relying on his high-90s fastball during the first few months of the season, Kelly's ability to mix in his offspeed pitches has been a huge contributor to his success.

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

Porcello fans 13, trending upward

In two starts off DL, righty has allowed just one earned run

Porcello fans 13, trending upward

BOSTON -- As his two-seamer darted from corner to corner, Rick Porcello registered a career-high 13 strikeouts on Tuesday night at Fenway Park. Though it came in a 3-1 loss to the Yankees, the development was quite encouraging to the Red Sox in the big picture.

They've invested enough money in Porcello from 2016-19 ($82.5 million) to hope deeply that this season (6-12, 5.21 ERA) was an aberration.

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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.

Aggressive steal backfires on Sox

Betts slips off bag, claims he was pushed by Headley

Aggressive steal backfires on Sox

BOSTON -- As Mookie Betts sat in the dirt, his feet resting on third base, the look of disbelief on the Red Sox center fielder's face conveyed everything video replay could not.

What began for the Red Sox as an aggressive endeavor on the bases ended with a tough call that largely shaped Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park. Betts, who found himself dashing toward third in the eighth inning on an attempted double steal, was called out by third-base umpire Vic Carapazza after his foot wobbled off the bag on a hard slide.

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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.

Offense can't back up Porcello's strong start

Offense can't back up Porcello's strong start

BOSTON -- Stephen Drew drove in two runs, Brett Gardner added some insurance with a late homer and the Yankees spoiled Rick Porcello's 13-strikeout performance with a 3-1 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday at Fenway Park.

Porcello scattered five hits and one earned run over eight innings, but he was ticketed for the loss by two big hits, Drew's two-run double in the fifth inning and Gardner's two-out solo shot in the eighth.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. 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.

Hanley will go to first when he returns

Hanley will go to first when he returns

BOSTON -- When Hanley Ramirez returns from his most recent injury (sore right shoulder), he will report directly to first base, interim manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday.

The experiment of moving Ramirez to left field appears to be officially over, as Lovullo said he won't play out there again in 2015.

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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.

Craig resurfaces as September callup

Craig resurfaces as September callup

BOSTON -- More than three months after Allen Craig was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, he finally returned to the Red Sox on Tuesday as a September callup.

A top run producer for the Cardinals from 2011-13, Craig struggled mightily last season as he got over a left foot injury and had trouble adapting to a utility role earlier this season with Boston.

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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.

Travis among prospects heading to AFL

Travis among prospects heading to AFL

BOSTON -- Six Red Sox prospects will represent the organization in the 2015 Arizona Fall League as members of the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Boston's squad of Minor Leaguers includes three players from Double-A Portland (first baseman Sam Travis, second baseman Carlos Asuaje and right-hander Kyle Martin) and three more from Class A Advanced Salem (infielder Tzu-Wei Lin and righties Chandler Shepherd and Aaron Wilkerson).

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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.

Spieth: Fenway 'greatest ballpark' in world

Spieth: Fenway 'greatest ballpark' in world

BOSTON -- The Red Sox rang in their first game of September with a star golfer recalling his pitching days and a soulful take on the national anthem before their game against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

The Tuesday night pregame ceremony featured 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth tossing out the ceremonial first pitch, as well as a duet performance by former Tower Of Power lead singer Ellis Hall and Berklee College of Music graduate Shea Rose.

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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.

Bradley's cannon nails Bird at home

Outfielder's play carries over to plate with three-hit night

Bradley's cannon nails Bird at home

BOSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr. not only makes standout plays on a near daily basis for the Red Sox, but his offense has turned into a significant plus.

Last year, Bradley made plenty of tremendous plays like the one he turned in Monday night's 4-3 win over the Yankees to nail a runner at the plate and get the Red Sox out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam. But too often, said great play would be accompanied by an 0-for-4 performance at the plate.

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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.

Papi goes deep, five homers from 500

Papi goes deep, five homers from 500

BOSTON -- David Ortiz's race to 500 homers keeps churning forward, and the Red Sox slugger is so close that Fenway Park already sports a banner above the Green Monster tracking his career home runs.

In the fourth inning of Monday night's 4-3 win over the Yankees, Ortiz changed his display from 494 to 495 when he smacked an outside 1-1 changeup from Ivan Nova off the padded wall atop the Monster. The blast gave Ortiz 29 on the season and nine in the month of August.

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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.

Machi thwarts rally as Sox upend Yanks

Machi thwarts rally as Sox upend Yanks

BOSTON -- David Ortiz hit his 495th career home run, Jackie Bradley Jr. showed off his bat and his arm, and the Red Sox withstood a ninth-inning threat to celebrate a 4-3 victory over the Yankees on Monday at Fenway Park.

The Yankees remained 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays in the American League East chase despite piecing together a frantic rally against Red Sox closer Jean Machi, who allowed a leadoff single and walked three batters in the ninth to force home a run.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. 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.

De Aza sent to Giants for Minor Leaguer

De Aza sent to Giants for Minor Leaguer

BOSTON -- After a few weeks of speculation, the Red Sox were able to find Alejandro De Aza a new home after all.

Following a 4-3 win over the Yankees, the Red Sox sent De Aza and cash considerations to the Giants just ahead of the August waiver Trade Deadline. In exchange, the team received lefty reliever Luis Ysla, who was San Francisco's No. 27-ranked prospect and will be assigned to Class A Advanced Salem.

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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.

Right shoulder latest malady to plague Hanley

Right shoulder latest malady to plague Hanley

BOSTON -- Though Hanley Ramirez's right shoulder ailment -- the one that had him out of the lineup again on Monday night -- didn't become public knowledge until a few days ago, it has bothered him for several weeks.

And it perhaps explains why Ramirez has had such limited production since the All-Star break, a span in which he's hit .183 with no homers, seven RBIs and a .449 OPS.

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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.

Fans take part in Ice Bucket Challenge

Fans take part in Ice Bucket Challenge

BOSTON -- As he sat on an overturned bucket, Rob Daigle knew what was coming. Hanley Ramirez had a bucket of icy water in his hands, and it was about to end up all over him.

So when Ramirez decided to douse both himself and Daigle, laughing as the water dripped off his dreads, the 50-year-old Newburyport, Mass., resident was caught off guard.

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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.

Papi passes Gehrig, McGriff with HR No. 494

Red Sox slugger moves into sole possession of 27th place on all-time list

Papi passes Gehrig, McGriff with HR No. 494

NEW YORK -- David Ortiz is hardly just padding his numbers as he closes in on home run No. 500. At the age of 39, he continues to take tremendous cuts at the offerings of the best young pitchers in the game.

Take, for example, the top of the sixth inning of Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Mets at Citi Field, where the slugger clocked home run No. 494 to move past the legendary Lou Gehrig, as well as Fred McGriff, for sole possession of 27th place on the all-time list.

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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.

Miley goes behind the back to snare grounder

Miley goes behind the back to snare grounder

NEW YORK -- Red Sox lefty Wade Miley helped his cause in the fifth inning of Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Mets when he made a nifty behind-the-back snag on a ground ball by David Wright.

With a runner at first and two outs, Wright spun one back up the middle and Miley deftly wrapped his glove around to his left side and snared it, firing to first for the out.

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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.

Red Sox fall short in back-and-forth tilt with Mets

Red Sox fall short in back-and-forth tilt with Mets

NEW YORK -- Their brief stumble earlier this weekend squarely in the past, the Mets resumed their march toward a playoff bid with a 5-4 win Sunday over the Red Sox at Citi Field. Michael Cuddyer drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh for a Mets team that took the final game of the three-game series after dropping the first two.

"This was a big game for us," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We've been flat the last couple nights. To come out today and get tremendous crowd support again, fan support, it was a good win for us."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, 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.

Machi replaces Tazawa as Red Sox's closer

Japanese righty will return to being primary setup man

Machi replaces Tazawa as Red Sox's closer

NEW YORK -- Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo informed Junichi Tazawa on Sunday morning that he will no longer pitch the ninth inning and will instead resume being the primary setup man, a job he has excelled at for the last three seasons.

Tazawa was thrust into the closer's role after Koji Uehara fractured his right wrist on Aug. 7, converting three of six save opportunities while posting an 8.31 ERA.

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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.

Lovullo expects Hanley to play 1B this season

Lovullo expects Hanley to play 1B this season

NEW YORK -- Though a right shoulder injury has kept Hanley Ramirez out of the lineup the last three days, interim manager Torey Lovullo expects the slugger will have enough time to appear in a game at first base before the season is out.

Ramirez had two workouts at first base earlier this week, and then came down with the sore shoulder on Friday.

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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 authoring quite the in-season turnaround

After struggling early, Red Sox righty has won six straight starts with a 2.68 ERA

Kelly authoring quite the in-season turnaround

NEW YORK -- Here is how drastically things have changed for Joe Kelly in the last month.

At one point on Saturday, David Ortiz, the most prominent player on the Red Sox, sidled up to Kelly and said, "You've got me super excited for next year."

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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.

Panda lays out to make pivotal run-saving play

Red Sox third baseman working hard to be consistent on defense

Panda lays out to make pivotal run-saving play

NEW YORK -- A bullet from Wilmer Flores threatened to veer too far to Pablo Sandoval's left in the seventh inning on Saturday afternoon, and if it did, the Mets were going to have all kinds of momentum while cutting the Red Sox's lead to a single run.

But Sandoval sprawled to the dirt of the infield at Citi Field, quickly rose up and fired across the diamond for one of the most crucial outs of a 3-1 victory over the Mets, stranding a runner at third.

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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 outduels deGrom as Red Sox clip Mets

Kelly outduels deGrom as Red Sox clip Mets

NEW YORK -- The Mets had all the ingredients in place for a picture-perfect Saturday at Citi Field: a sellout crowd, a sun-splashed afternoon and a dominant Jacob deGrom on the mound. But it was Joe Kelly and the Red Sox who scored an opportunistic 3-1 victory, sending the Mets to their fifth consecutive home loss. With the Nationals beating the Marlins, the Mets' lead in the National League East was cut to 5 1/2 games.

Pablo Sandoval cracked a tiebreaking RBI double in the sixth, Mookie Betts homered and Kelly reeled off his sixth consecutive victory, dropping his ERA below 5.00 for the first time since April. He pitched into the eighth, finishing August a perfect 6-0 with a 2.68 ERA.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, 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.

Papi doubles off bench, intends to play Sunday

Hanley out with sore right shoulder; Hanigan scratched with sore right calf

Papi doubles off bench, intends to play Sunday

NEW YORK -- Mark it down as one of the shortest work days in David Ortiz's career. The slugger stepped up as a pinch-hitter in the top of the ninth inning in Saturday's 3-1 win over the Mets and smoked a double off the fence in center on the first pitch he saw from Bartolo Colon. He was then removed for pinch-runner Rusney Castillo.

Ortiz didn't start on Saturday after leaving Friday's game with some left heel tightness. He felt the heel a little on the double.

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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.