The Boston Red Sox took a tough loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, but at least their rotation is returning to form.
Red Sox manager John Farrell announced after Thursday’s 2-1 loss that Eduardo Rodriguez will make his scheduled start against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday at Fenway Park. Rodriguez’s return to the rotation means Clay Buchholz will go back to the bullpen once again.
Steven Wright also will make his start Friday in his first outing since coming off the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
Buchholz made a strong case to stay in the rotation over the three spot starts he made for Wright, but the move ultimately could work in the Red Sox’s favor. The right-hander should be a solid long reliever in a bullpen that’s put up the sixth-worst ERA in Major League Baseball in August at 4.58 and the second-most losses with five, all of which were blown saves. Plus, his success takes some pressure off Wright and Rodriguez in case they wind up needing to slow down in their returns from their respective injuries.
In any case, it looks as though the rotation isn’t the Red Sox’s biggest problem for the first time in 2016.
Here are some more notes from Thursday’s loss.
— Farrell gave an update on injured left fielder Andrew Benintendi after Thursday’s game, but the skipper didn’t really have much to add. Farrell said the Red Sox’s doctors saw the images of Benintendi’s knee that were taken in Florida but want to give him their own examination in Boston on Friday before drawing any conclusions.
The Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato reported Benintendi was using a knee brace and limping slowly around the clubhouse.
“I think that’s a good sign and the more I walk on it, the better it feels,” Benintendi said, per Mastrodonato. “So I’m going to try to stay as positive as I can.”
— The Red Sox continued to be terrible with three men on base Thursday, scoring only one run during a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the sixth inning. Boston is batting .216 with the bases loaded this season — MLB’s fifth-worst — with a .601 OPS. In 15 one-run losses this season, the Red Sox have loaded the bases in seven of them and failed to score in five of those opportunities.
— Drew Pomeranz tallied a career-high 11 strikeouts Thursday despite the loss. He set his previous career high of 10 this season, too.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Aug 16, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (52) pitches during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports