Red Sox recall reliever Ramirez, option Ross

Red Sox recall reliever Ramirez, option Ross

OAKLAND -- The Red Sox recalled right-hander Noe Ramirez from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, prior to their game against the A's. He takes the roster spot vacated when Boston optioned left-hander Robbie Ross Jr. to Triple-A following its 8-3 loss in Thursday night's series opener.

"Given the number of innings that we had the other night in St. Louis, the number of innings we've been throwing of late, some inconsistencies in performances with some, felt like we needed to make a change," Red Sox manager John Farrell said, referring to Wednesday's 5-4 win in 13 innings in which all eight relievers pitched.

Ramirez has made one appearance for the Red Sox this season, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief on April 8 against the Tigers. He had a 2.53 ERA and two saves in nine outings for Pawtucket. The 27-year-old has a 4.88 ERA in 32 career Major League games, all in relief.

"For Noe, the key is always going to be down in the strike zone," Farrell said. "Let the sink work. He does elevate by design on occasion, but still, felt like we needed to make a change there."

Ross has pitched in eight games for Boston in 2017, recording a 7.00 ERA with nine strikeouts in nine innings. The 27-year-old has a 3.82 ERA in 116 relief appearances for the Red Sox since 2015 after pitching his first three big league seasons for Texas.

Ross gave up a pair of runs to the A's in one inning on Thursday, but Farrell said the move wasn't a reaction to just one poor outing.

"This is more just the overall body of work and the consistency that's needed," Farrell said, adding Ross needs to focus on harnessing his command. "He has shown us to be a consistent performer in the past and a dependable reliever. It's been a challenge for him to get back on track."

With Ross' demotion, it means Thursday spot starter Hector Velazquez will remain with Boston as the team figures out its starting rotation. Farrell and the Red Sox are waiting to see the results of David Price's rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, and Monday's off-day also provides the team with some flexibility.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Red Sox on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.