Red Sox shuffle rotation
MINNEAPOLIS — For the first time this season, the Red Sox have changed the order in their rotation. Jake Peavy was moved up into the third spot and started Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins. Felix Doubront was dropped back and will start Wednesday night.
Manager John Farrell said the Sox preferred getting another righthander, Peavy, against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park this weekend.
Peavy was hit hard in an 8-6 loss to the Twins. Although he did not factor in the decision, he allowed six runs in 4⅓ innings.
The Tigers, who are stocked with righthanded hitters, are hitting .274 with a .737 OPS against righthanded pitchers. Against lefthanded pitchers, they are hitting .293 with an .809 OPS.
“We had the off-days to work with and we just wanted another righthander lined up against Detroit when we get off this road trip,” Farrell said Tuesday.
“Given the way their lineup stacks up, what they’ve done against lefthanded starting pitching and, more than anything, the flexibility [of] the schedule gives us a chance to match up a little bit better.”
Peavy faced the Tigers once in the regular season in 2013, allowing four runs on four hits over seven innings July 25. That was his final start for the White Sox before he was traded to the Red Sox.
Peavy also started Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers and lasted only three innings, giving up seven runs on five hits and three walks over three innings.
Doubront faced the Tigers once last season and allowed three runs (two earned) over five innings June 23. Doubront was not in the postseason rotation but pitched twice in relief against Detroit in the ALCS and threw 2⅓ scoreless innings, giving up one hit.
The Red Sox have Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Peavy lined up for the Tigers. Detroit is expected to pitch Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, and Anibal Sanchez.
The matchup between Lester (4-4, 2.75 earned run average) and Scherzer (5-1, 2.04) features the two pitchers tied for the most strikeouts in the American League with 66. Both also are pending free agents.
Star coaches picked
Farrell and his coaching staff will be back at Target Field in July for the All-Star Game.
He let slip that he asked Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and Indians manager Terry Francona to join his staff for the game.
Francona is one of Farrell’s best friends in the game. Farrell was Francona’s pitching coach from 2007-10 when both were with the Red Sox.
Gardenhire, as the manager in the host city, was an obvious choice.
“Out of respect to him and the city, and the organization, I think it’s a natural fit,” Farrell said.
Rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts entered the game 4 of 32 (.125) with runners in scoring position and 8 of 49 (.163) with men on base.
With the bases empty, he was 23 of 74 (.311).
“There’s been times where he’s maybe put some added pressure on himself, particularly when men have been on base, where he’s been not as patient in taking the same trusting approach as when he’s at the plate with the bases empty,” Farrell said.
“We’ve talked about it before with young guys, continuing to provide opportunities so that they learn and grow through them. I think that’s where we are with Xander.”
Bogaerts hit seventh Tuesday night with the Red Sox moving A.J. Pierzynski up to sixth. Bogaerts went 1 for 4 with a triple. Pierzynski went 0 for 4.
Farrell said the pressure Bogaerts puts on himself in clutch situations leads to physical mistakes. Hitting coaches Greg Colbrunn and Victor Rodriguez have worked with Bogaerts on the issue, as have some teammates.
Busy day off
The Red Sox were off Monday and the players were scattered.
Lackey, who beat the Rangers in Texas Sunday, stayed in the Dallas area to spend time with family and friends.
Peavy hosted Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, David Ross, and Shane Victorino at Southern Falls, the plantation Peavy owns in Semmes, Ala.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Dustin Pedroia, and Will Middlebrooks went to the Mall of America. They played arcade games and rode the rollercoaster.
Farrell said he took some time to take stock of the team and spent time on the telephone with general manager Ben Cherington and assistant general manager Mike Hazen. But he also watched the Bruins-Canadiens game and the Cubs-Cardinals game.
Middlebrooks, who missed Sunday’s game with a sore right hand, was back in the lineup and went 0 for 4 . . . Ross rolled an ankle during batting practice but was available . . . The Red Sox are waiting to hear from Major League Baseball on the appeal of the scoring decision in Texas on Friday night that denied David Ortiz a hit in the seventh inning . . . WEEI’s Joe Castiglione missed his second game attending to a family matter. He is expected to rejoin the team Friday in Boston. Dave O’Brien was joined by Rob Bradford of WEEI.com . . . It was 51 degrees at first pitch, 31 degrees colder than Sunday’s game at Texas.