Red Sox Notes: Yoan Moncada Making Strong Push For Late-Season Promotion

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Jacoby Ellsbury supplied the game-winning home run and Andrew Miller notched the save. Thursday’s loss probably stung a little bit for the Boston Red Sox.

Ellsbury went deep against Eduardo Rodriguez in the seventh inning as the New York Yankees downed the Red Sox 2-1 at Yankee Stadium. New York took two of three from Boston in the Bronx.

The Red Sox limited a red-hot Yankees offense to three runs in the final two games of the series after surrendering 13 in Tuesday?s opener. That?s an encouraging development for Boston, which received strong starts from Rodriguez, Steven Wright and Henry Owens in the series, though the optimism is mitigated by the club’s inability to cash in on scoring chances.

“We’ve got to find a way to generate more runs, and you’d think that would be the case with the guys in our lineup,? Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters after Thursday?s loss.

Let?s run down some notes from Thursday.

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— Rodriguez has had hiccups this season — the whole pitch-tipping fiasco and three big implosions — but the rookie certainly has pitched his way into Boston?s 2016 plans. Thursday?s start was Rodriguez?s first at Yankee Stadium, and while the stakes weren?t exactly high, he still kept his cool.

“I think we’ve seen, multiple times, his ability to, for the most part, keep his emotions under control,” Farrell said. “In general, even when he’s had games in which he’s had rough outings, he’s responded in a positive fashion.?

Rodriguez?s outing was spoiled by the one big mistake to Ellsbury in the seventh inning. He otherwise pitched very well, allowing just two runs on six hits over seven frames.

— CC Sabathia showed a ton of emotion after striking out David Ortiz with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. The lefty pumped his fist and screamed at the top of his lungs while looking toward home plate.

Ortiz didn?t mind. It comes with territory.

“When I go deep, I put on my show, too,? Ortiz told reporters.

— Ortiz has swung the bat much better of late despite an 0-for-4 showing in Thursday?s rubber match. As The Boston Globe?s Peter Abraham points out, a chat with Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols right after the Major League Baseball All-Star break might have helped Ortiz take a step forward.

According to Abraham, Pujols told Ortiz he was late getting his front foot down in his swing, especially against offspeed and breaking pitches.

?Me and Albert, we talk all the time,? Ortiz told Abraham before Thursday?s game. ?He gets a lot of changeups and sliders like I do. Then once you see the fastball, it seems like you?re late.

?That?s when people want to talk about my bat speed. But in my case my problem wasn?t bat speed. My problem was catching up with the other pitches. It?s timing.

?Guys with a good fastball know I can hit a fastball. So they try and get me to chase the other stuff.?

Ortiz recently started a new diet and said he feels great physically.

— Travis Shaw didn?t start any of the three games despite having success on Boston’s most recent homestand. However, he produced a pinch-hit single off Andrew Miller in the ninth inning.

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— Brock Holt sat amid an 0-for-14 stretch. He?s hitting just .211 with four RBIs and a .220 on-base percentage in 60 plate appearances over 14 games since the All-Star break.

— No decision has been made on whether top prospect Yoan Moncada will be promoted from Low-A Greenville before the end of the season, according to Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. High-A Salem seemingly would be the next stop for the 20-year-old Cuban infielder.

Moncada is hitting .287 with five homers, 29 RBIs, 27 stolen bases and an .812 OPS in 59 games.

“He started playing and I think he hit a little speed bump, but over the last 4-6 weeks he’s been a very good player, one of the better players at that level for his age,? Cherington said. ?He’s doing a lot of different things on the field, running the bases.

“We don’t think he’s a finished product by any means. There’s still aspects of his game that can still improve, need to improve, and he needs to play more in the minor leagues. But he’s showing us everything that we thought he could do, at least in glimpses, and we think he can be a real good player moving forward.”

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@BaseballAmerica

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