MLB Team Report - Boston Red Sox - INSIDE PITCH


TORONTO -- Junichi Tazawa has been a reliable reliever for the Boston Red Sox.

Manager John Farrell leans on the right-hander heavily, along with closer Koji Uehara.

Tazawa made his 63rd appearance on Wednesday, and when he allowed a three-run homer to pinch-hitter Danny Valencia it was not a big surprise.

The reason is that it came against the Toronto Blue Jays, who went on to win Wednesday's game 5-2.

Tazawa has allowed 20 home runs in his major league career and eight have been hit by the Blue Jays.

Over the past two seasons, the Blue Jays are batting .403 (25-for-62) against Tazawa with four doubles and two triples to go with the home runs. He has allowed 13 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings.

"I think they picked up something that we felt like we corrected, probably two and a half months ago," manager John Farrell said. "Tonight was a matter of a ball that ran back to the inner third of the plate against Valencia, rather than staying down and away from him."

Tazawa was asked if he had been tipping pitches against Toronto.

"I think that was the fact in the past," Tazawa said. "That was mentioned in the past when I had some meetings with my coaches, but I think I've already eradicated that."

He said he has made adjustments against the Blue Jays.

"I'm using my breaking balls a little bit more, slide stepping," he said. "Those are the things that I'm trying to incorporate. I think I've been doing a better job. Today, obviously, I didn't pitch as well, but I think I'm making some improvements."

Tazawa also allowed a double to center fielder Kevin Pillar, called up from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. He was charged with two runs (one earned) in his inning.

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MLB Team Report - Boston Red Sox - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 58-75

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Red Sox (TBA) at Rays (RHP Chris Archer, 8-6, 3.09 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Anthony Ranaudo, who was named the Most Valuable Pitcher in the Triple-A International League on Tuesday, is a possible candidate to start the opener of a four-game series at Tampa Bay against the Rays on Friday. RHP Brandon Workman was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after a rough outing on Sunday, but the Red Sox have yet to fill his spot in the rotation. Ranaudo, 24, who is 6-foot-7, also was named most-valuable pitcher in the Double-A Eastern League last season. He leads the International League with 14 wins and batting average against at .223, ranks second with a 2.61 ERA and third with a 1.20 WHIP (1.20). Ranaudo has made two starts for the Red Sox this season, winning both and allowing six runs on 12 hits over 12 innings for a 4.50 ERA.

--DH David Ortiz (bruised right foot) returned to the starting lineup for the series finale against the Blue Jays on Wednesday. He missed the two previous games after fouling a ball off his foot Sunday. He was 2-for-4 in the 5-2 loss to Toronto and has reached base in 13 straight games.

--RHP Junichi Tazawa gave up a three-run homer to pinch-hitter INF Danny Valencia in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 5-2 loss at Toronto. It was the 20th homer he has allowed in his career, eight of them against the Blue Jays. I think they picked up something that we felt like we corrected, probably two and a half months ago," manager John Farrell said. "Tonight was a matter of a ball that ran back to the inner third of the plate against Valencia, rather than staying down and away from him."

--RHP Heath Hembree was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday and recalled LHP Edwin Escobar. Hembree allowed three hits and three earned runs in the 11th inning of the Red Sox's 11-7 victory over the Blue Jays on Tuesday. After playing two consecutive extra-innings games, the Red Sox needed a fresh bullpen arm. In three games with the Red Sox, Hembree is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA, allowing six hits and three runs in six innings.

--LHP Edwin Escobar made his major league debut in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays, pitching a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Escobar was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and RHP Heath Hembree was returned on option to Pawtucket. "(Escobar) is here for bullpen depth," manager John Farrell said. He was acquired with Hembree in the deal that sent RHP Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants. The 22-year-old split his time this season between Pawtucket and Triple-A Fresno of the Pacific Coast League. Escobar was 3-8 with a 5.11 ERA in 20 starts with Fresno and 0-2 with a 4.28 ERA in five starts with Pawtucket.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "(Tazawa) didn't have his best stuff tonight. This is a team that hits him well, historically. If I had an explanation, we'd find an answer." -- Red Sox C David Ross on RHP Junichi Tazawa after a loss to Toronto on Wednesday.

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MLB Team Report - Boston Red Sox - ROSTER REPORT


MEDICAL WATCH:

--SS Xander Bogaerts (concussion) went on the seven-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 23.

--RF Shane Victorino (lower back tightness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 31. He underwent season-ending surgery Aug. 5 to repair two bulging disks. He is expected back in time for spring training next season.

ROTATION:

RHP Clay Buchholz

RHP Joe Kelly

RHP Rubby De La Rosa

RHP Allen Webster

BULLPEN:

RHP Koji Uehara (closer)

RHP Junichi Tazawa

RHP Edward Mujica

LHP Craig Breslow

RHP Burke Badenhop

RHP Tommy Layne

RHP Alex Wilson

LHP Edwin Escobar

CATCHERS:

David Ross

Christian Vazquez

INFIELDERS:

1B Mike Napoli

2B Dustin Pedroia

SS Brock Holt

3B Will Middlebrooks

DH David Ortiz

INF Kelly Johnson

INF Carlos Rivero

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Yoenis Cespedes

CF Mookie Betts

RF Allen Craig

OF Daniel Nava