Heady play: Ortiz breaks up DP with helmet

Heady play: Ortiz breaks up DP with helmet

BOSTON -- There are plenty of reasons batters wear helmets on the basepaths, and Friday night's game between the Astros and Red Sox at Fenway Park provided another prime example -- one that also kept a key inning alive for Boston.

In the fifth, Sox slugger David Ortiz found himself advancing to second base after Hanley Ramirez hit a ground ball to third, which was fielded cleanly by Luis Valbuena and thrown to second for the forceout. As Jose Altuve tried to turn the a double play, however, Houston's talented but diminutive second baseman failed to account for one important factor: The prodigious size that earned Ortiz the nickname "Big Papi."

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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.

Nursing foot injury, Swihart placed on DL

Red Sox select reliever Ramirez from Triple-A; Pedroia progressing in rehab

Nursing foot injury, Swihart placed on DL

BOSTON -- With Ryan Hanigan back in the catching mix, the Red Sox were able to get Blake Swihart off his feet and put him on the disabled list prior to Friday's game against the Astros.

Swihart has been dealing with a left foot injury since June 20, when he jarred it in a game against the Royals.

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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 activate Victorino, option Bradley

Red Sox activate Victorino, option Bradley

BOSTON -- Shane Victorino has made his share of returns to the Red Sox the last couple of seasons, and the hope is that this time, he can stay healthy for a prolonged period. The right fielder was activated prior to Friday's game against the Astros, and Jackie Bradley Jr. was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Victorino, who returns from a left calf strain that had sidelined him since May 24, was not in Friday's lineup, but manager John Farrell expects he will start on Saturday.

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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.

Top of the order sets the tone for Red Sox

Betts, Holt and Bogaerts tally 11 of Boston's season-high 19 hits

Top of the order sets the tone for Red Sox

TORONTO -- The Red Sox swung their way to a series victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Thursday night, registering a season-high 19 hits while scoring eight runs in the first inning en route to a 12-6 win.

Mookie Betts, Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts -- the top three batters in the order -- accounted for 11 hits to pace the Boston offense. Alejandro De Aza also delivered a three-hit night as the Red Sox scored double-digit runs for the third time this season.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox ride 8-run first to series win vs. Jays

Red Sox ride 8-run first to series win vs. Jays

TORONTO -- The Red Sox rode a big first inning all the way to a 12-6 victory over the Blue Jays in the series finale at Rogers Centre on Thursday night. Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt each went 4-for-6 at the plate, Mookie Betts and Alejandro De Aza had three hits apiece and Wade Miley posted a five-inning start to help Boston clinch the series.

The first eight Red Sox batters scored as the visitors tallied nine hits in the first inning, driving Toronto starter Matt Boyd from the game before he was able to record an out. David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez cracked back-to-back homers, De Aza tripled and six other Red Sox singled to provide Boston all the offense needed to stave off a four-run second inning and a two-run ninth from the Blue Jays.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.

After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miley grinds through 5 frames to pick up win

Lefty allows seven walks, but offense provides plenty of support

Miley grinds through 5 frames to pick up win

TORONTO -- It wasn't easy, but Wade Miley fought through five innings to earn the victory as the Red Sox topped the Blue Jays, 12-6, in the series finale on Thursday night at Rogers Centre. The left-hander tied a career high with seven walks and allowed a season-high 14 baserunners.

"Wade turned in what I would consider a blue-collar night," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He didn't have much command, anywhere consistent to where he's been, but found a way to make some big pitches."

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox activate Hanigan from 60-day DL

Catcher fractured right hand in May; Aro optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket

Red Sox activate Hanigan from 60-day DL

TORONTO -- The Red Sox activated catcher Ryan Hanigan ahead of Thursday's 12-6 win against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. In a corresponding move, the club optioned reliever Jonathan Aro to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Hanigan had been on the 60-day disabled list since May 3 after he broke his throwing hand on a foul tip.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox sign pair of top int'l free agents

Sources say club agrees with Guaimaro, Muzziotti on bonuses of $300K each

Red Sox sign pair of top int'l free agents

The Red Sox cannot spend more than $300,000 on one player during the current international signing period or the next, yet they still managed to come to terms with two top prospects from Venezuela.

According to industry sources, the Red Sox have agreed to sign teenage outfielder Albert Guaimaro, who is ranked No. 14 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, and outfielder Simon Muzziotti for $300,000 each.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Tough run' continues for Porcello

Red Sox righty laments inability to execute pitches

'Tough run' continues for Porcello

TORONTO -- Rick Porcello saw his winless streak reach eight starts as he lasted only two innings while giving up a season-high three homers in the Red Sox's 11-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday at Rogers Centre.

The right-hander has lost his past seven decisions and hasn't pitched more than 6 1/3 innings in any of his previous five outings. With Wednesday's loss, he fell to 4-9 with a 6.08 ERA.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Porcello roughed up in blowout loss

Porcello roughed up in blowout loss

TORONTO -- Justin Smoak hit a pair of home runs while Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson also went deep as the Blue Jays offense rolled all over Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello during an 11-2 victory on a special Canada Day matinee affair Wednesday at Rogers Centre.

Toronto didn't waste any time putting this game away as the club scored five in the first inning and two in the second off Porcello. Encarnacion opened the scoring with a three-run shot, Smoak made it 5-0 with a two-run homer later in the first and Bautista added a two-run shot of his own in the second. Jose Reyes, who scored on the Encarnacion, Bautista and Donaldson homers, went 4-for-5 and scored four runs overall.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hanley triples in return from hand injury

Hanigan rejoins Red Sox, but not activated yet

Hanley triples in return from hand injury

TORONTO -- Hanley Ramirez was back in the Red Sox's lineup in Wednesday's 11-2 loss to the Blue Jays for the first time since he took a line drive off the left hand while running the bases last Wednesday. He had been coping with swelling associated with the hand bruise, which delayed his return, but he was good to go for the Canada Day matinee at Rogers Centre.

"Good batting practice [Tuesday]," Boston manager John Farrell said before Wednesday's game. "He still feels it a bit in that hand when he does swing, but he's good enough to go."

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Papi extends HR mark at Rogers Centre

Hits No. 38 at ballpark, No. 57 against Blue Jays

Papi extends HR mark at Rogers Centre

TORONTO -- David Oritz has always been able to knock the ball out of the park at Rogers Centre. He was at it again Tuesday night as he swatted a solo shot in a 4-3 Red Sox victory over the Blue Jays.

"Just gotta keep on swinging," Ortiz said.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox hold off Toronto for third straight win

Red Sox hold off Toronto for third straight win

TORONTO -- David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered while left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez tossed six strong innings in Boston's 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

Boston did all of its damage against Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of each of his previous two starts. That type of dominance was nowhere to be seen against Boston as he walked four in the first inning and allowed four runs -- two earned -- on three hits over 2 1/3 innings.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodriguez tips outcome in his favor in Toronto

Lefty worked between starts to avoid signaling pitches

Rodriguez tips outcome in his favor in Toronto

TORONTO -- Eduardo Rodriguez had a lot of work to do between his last start and his outing against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

The Red Sox left-hander was on the wrong end of an ugly loss against the Orioles last week, lasting only 3 2/3 innings for his shortest outing of the season. To make matters worse, he was tipping his pitches to the point where almost everyone, including his teammates and coaches, noticed it.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox strike deal with 1st-rounder Benintendi

Sox strike deal with 1st-rounder Benintendi

The Red Sox have signed their first-round Draft pick, Andrew Benintendi, the club announced Tuesday night.

Benintendi and the Red Sox agreed on a signing bonus of $3,590,400, which was the full slot value for the No. 7 overall pick.

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

Clay dominates north of the border

Clay dominates north of the border

TORONTO -- Clay Buchholz doesn't have a grand theory to explain his career success pitching at Rogers Centre, but he's willing to take a stab at it.

"I like the mound here," Buchholz said after he picked up his 10th career win in Toronto, pitching eight innings to lead the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory over the Blue Jays. "I've said it before. I'm just comfortable on it."

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Defense makes statement vs. dangerous Jays

Defense makes statement vs. dangerous Jays

TORONTO -- Supporting a stellar outing from starter Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox got it done with the glove to stifle a normally potent Blue Jays offense in a 3-1 victory at Roger Centre on Monday night. There were running catches, double plays and one particularly odd rundown that proved crucial as Boston took the series opener.

Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin attempted to break a scoreless tie in the second inning when he rounded third and headed for home on a Kevin Pillar double. Martin tried to retreat to the bag after seeing the stop sign from third-base coach Luis Rivera, but the decision proved costly. Alejandro De Aza fired the ball to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who relayed it to Pablo Sandoval, who tagged Martin down the third-base line to end the inning, allowing the Red Sox to escape unscathed.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Buchholz clips Blue Jays' wings in opener

Buchholz clips Blue Jays' wings in opener

TORONTO -- Clay Buchholz continued his streak of success at Rogers Centre, delivering his team-best 11th quality start of the season to lead the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory over the Blue Jays in Monday's series opener.

The right-hander improved to 10-3 lifetime in Toronto as he lasted eight innings while allowing one earned run on five hits without walking a batter. Buchholz pitched the normally dangerous Blue Jays tough for most of the night, and he benefitted from some timely defence when needed. Alejandro De Aza ran down a key fly ball to end the sixth inning, and Pablo Sandoval started a big double play to get Boston out of the seventh after Buchholz allowed a one-out single to Chris Colabello. Koji Uehara came on to pitch a perfect ninth to record his 17th save.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox hit three HRs to back Masterson

Sox hit three HRs to back Masterson

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Red Sox used three home runs and a solid start from Justin Masterson to earn a 5-3 win over the Rays in Sunday afternoon's rubber game at Tropicana Field.

Pablo Sandoval and Alejandro De Aza hit solo home runs off Rays starter Chris Archer in the second and David Ortiz added a two-run homer in the fourth. Archer allowed five earned runs, the most he's given up since May 7 against the Rangers.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Papi continues to have Archer's number

Slugger hits one of Red Sox's three HRs, lauds Rays ace

Papi continues to have Archer's number

ST. PETERSBURG -- David Ortiz has nothing but high praise for Rays starter Chris Archer and the stuff he possesses.

"I saw [the success he's having now] coming," Ortiz said after the Red Sox's 5-3 victory Sunday at Tropicana Field. "When he first came up, I saw his release and the explosion coming out of his ball and I knew he was going to become a star in this game."

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Back in rotation, Masterson stifles Rays

Red Sox righty allows one unearned run in five innings

Back in rotation, Masterson stifles Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- It had been such a long time since Justin Masterson took the mound for the Red Sox that he could not remember when it happened.

Making his first appearance for the Red Sox since May 12 after a stint on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, Masterson looked sharp, tossing five innings of one-run ball while striking out six en route to his third victory in the Red Sox's 5-3 win over the Rays on Sunday.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In debut, Marrero makes sparkling play

Playing second base, Red Sox's No. 9 prospect saves run in tight game with diving stop

In debut, Marrero makes sparkling play

ST. PETERSBURG -- For days, Deven Marrero sat on the Red Sox's bench, eagerly awaiting the moment he got to step onto the diamond.

The rookie infielder was selected to Boston's roster Thursday to add infield depth after Dustin Pedroia landed on the disabled list, but had yet to make his Major League debut. That was until Mike Napoli was ejected during the Red Sox's 5-3 victory over the Rays on Sunday.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Napoli ejected after arguing strike three

Red Sox slugger drops bat, leading to home-plate umpire giving him the hook

Napoli ejected after arguing strike three

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mike Napoli had made his disapproval known on a called third strike in the second inning of the Red Sox's 5-3 victory over the Rays on Sunday, but he had no plans of escalating it any further.

With a full count, the Red Sox first baseman watched what he thought was a slider break off the plate and dropped his bat so he could begin trotting to first. Instead, home-plate umpire Tripp Gibson rung him up and Napoli said a few words before making his way back to the dugout.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De Aza homers as Sox's offense struggles

De Aza homers as Sox's offense struggles

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays belted three homers and got a stellar start from rookie Matt Andriese to snap a two-game losing streak in a 4-1 win over the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

Andriese retired 18 of the 19 batters he faced over six scoreless innings to pick up the win. The right-hander was backed up by the bullpen effort of Jake McGee, Kevin Jepsen and Brad Boxberger, who combined to pitch the final three innings.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miley fans 8, takes loss despite quality start

Miley fans 8, takes loss despite quality start

ST. PETERSBURG -- If Wade Miley could have one pitch back, it would be the one that ultimately cost him his seventh loss Saturday in the Red Sox 4-1 defeat to the Rays.

The left-hander was not as untouchable as opposing starter Matt Andriese was, but nonetheless, he went toe-to-toe with him as both opened up the ballgame with four scoreless innings.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Barnes surrenders two homers in return to 'pen

Barnes surrenders two homers in return to 'pen

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Barnes' Saturday began in transit to an airport that would transport him from the New England area to St. Petersburg so he could suit up and be ready if the Red Sox needed him.

Several hours later, Barnes was up and throwing for the Red Sox, entering in an eventual 4-1 loss to the Rays with one away in the seventh inning. Over his 1 2/3 innings of work, he allowed two solo home runs while striking out four.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox need extras, but knock off first-place Rays

Sox need extras, but knock off first-place Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Second baseman Brock Holt delivered a clutch single in the 10th inning to give the Red Sox a 4-3 win over the Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field.

"It's always hard to come in here and win," Holt said. "I feel like every time we come here, the Rays play us tough. It's something about being here that if were up a couple, they're always going to end up scoring a couple to tie us or take the lead or do something, so to come out on top in the first one is big."

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.