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Dave Dombrowski backs manager John Farrell

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski (left) shot down a MLB Network report Tuesday about the possible firing of manager John Farrell (right) at week’s end.File/Charles Krupa/AP

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski tersely shot down via a text to the Globe a rumor about John Farrell possibly getting fired, then elaborated on NESN’s pregame show Tuesday before the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers, 11-6, at Fenway Park.

Asked why Farrell was still the right man for the job, Dombrowski pointed to circumstances beyond the manager’s control.

“Well we won a divisional crown last year,’’ Dombrowski said. “He managed very well for us at the time. I think that John, as well as everybody else, is frustrated by our performance and that we haven’t taken off, but we’re not buried either. I mean we’re four games out of first place and we really haven’t been in a flow.


“And when you look at it, it’s like, OK last week we won two great games in St. Louis. Well, I looked at the matchup [last] Thursday, and I’m thinking, ‘Well if [Oakland’s Sonny] Gray throws like he’s capable, I’m not sure what we’re going to get out of [Hector] Velazquez at that particular time.’

“And of course, Velazquez didn’t have a very good outing. Is that John’s fault? I can’t put that on John. Friday night, you have Chris Sale, he threw the ball very well. Well the play that Trevor Plouffe made on Hanley Ramirez, I don’t know if he’s made a play like that all year long. Mookie Betts in the ninth inning gets a line drive right at the third baseman. Well you have a chance to score five or six runs, didn’t happen, no excuses.

“But it’s one of those where I think to pin those things on John Farrell are just not fair. I think we’re in a position where he’s managed well, he’s managed divisional champions. I think we’re in a position, we have a good club. We just need to get in a better flow of things.”


On Monday, MLB Network reporter Ken Rosenthal said, based upon what he’s heard, Farrell could be fired this week — or last the entire season.

Dombrowski is being asked questions about Farrell given the team’s subpar performance. The Red Sox were expected to be an elite team in the American League. While underperforming offensively, the team also has not been the pitching juggernaut that many expected, in part due to the absence of David Price, who was scheduled to be on the mound in Pawtucket Wednesday for what could be his final rehab start.

Price, however, will need to work out some of the mechanical glitches that showed up in his rehab start Friday, during which he was able to go only 65 pitches. It was far short of the 90 pitches the Red Sox had hoped to see from Price.

Dombrowski also might want to give the situation more time because of other ailments, such as third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s knee injury.

Rosenthal pointed to a pair of incidents that seemed to be an affront to Farrell. One was in Baltimore, where Matt Barnes threw behind Manny Machado’s head in response to the Orioles third baseman’s hard, spikes-up slide into Dustin Pedroia at second base. Barnes’s retaliatory bid prompted Pedroia, who was in the dugout, to mouth the words, “It’s not me!” at Machado, who was in the on-deck circle.


Then, Saturday in Oakland, Sox starter Drew Pomeranz had an animated conversation with Farrell about coming out of the game after four innings. Starting pitchers argue with managers all the time about coming out of a game and most of them do it in plain sight of the TV cameras.

This Red Sox ownership has never fired a manager before the end of the season. Grady Little, Terry Francona, and Bobby Valentine were all fired after the season. Of course, Little and Francona had late season and/or postseason meltdowns, which cost them their jobs. Valentine was only in his first season and, despite issues all through the season, the ownership let him play out the campaign.

Farrell is signed through next season.

Travis called upLooking to shake things up offensively, the Red Sox promoted first base prospect Sam Travis from Pawtucket. Farrell said the team will face four lefthanded pitchers over the next four series and Travis likely will face lefties and Mitch Moreland will face righties.

Ramirez has been unable to play first base because of a sore shoulder, save for three innings in Milwaukee, when he reinjured himself.

Velazquez was returned to Pawtucket. He made his major league debut with a start last Thursday in Oakland. He allowed six earned runs over five innings. In five starts with the PawSox this season, he is 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA (5 ER/29 IP).

Farrell said lefty Brian Johnson likely will get the call if the team needs to fill the No. 5 slot in the rotation.

Farrell said the team wanted to return to a “normal bench’’ and that, “we felt like there’s some momentum with Sam,” he said.

Travis, 23 went 5 for 36 (.139) in his first 10 games of the 2017 season for the PawSox, but in the 23 games since April 22 he has hit .344 (31 for 90) with a .909 OPS, 6 doubles, 3 home runs, and 8 walks against only 10 strikeouts.


Travis has hit .358 (93 for 260) against lefthanded pitchers in his professional career, including .414 (12 for 29) with two home runs this season.

Travis was thrilled to get the call from PawSox manager Kevin Boles on Monday night, who informed him he was needed in Boston. “I was about to go to sleep, then when I heard, I was up for a few hours,” Travis said.

Travis said his mother was the first person he told about his promotion.

“She didn’t believe me at first,” he said. “She’s on her way.”

Travis, asked about his season so far, and how he’s responded to knee surgery said, “I think it’s been going pretty well. I’m trying to improve my game and get back out there and recover from my injury,’’ he said. “It’s a long season of ups and downs, but I think it gets better every day.”

Holt seeks answers

Brock Holt will visit Pittsburgh concussion specialist Micky Collins for a checkup. Holt has not been able to put a few days together without recurring symptoms. “I have good days and bad days,” Holt said. “On the good days everything’s fine, but on bad days it’s not good at the plate or in the field. I need to be able to put a few good days together.” Holt’s 20-day rehab stint had expired, so the team had to reinstate him, then wait five days to restart the 20-day rehab clock . . . Sandoval was not in the Pawtucket lineup because he was sick. Sandoval showed up at Fenway Tuesday and was sent home. Sandoval will not be activated on the 25-man roster until he plays two games of nine innings in the field . . . Marco Hernandez will have surgery Friday at Massachusetts General Hospital to deal with the subluxation issues he’s been having in his left shoulder and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.


Wright coming along Steven Wright said he’s come a long way in two weeks after his season-ending surgery to replace cartilage in his left knee. “They basically just gave me new cartilage,” said Wright, who indicated the cartilage was harvested from a cadaver. “It’s crazy. [The doctor] was like, ‘You can walk on it pretty soon; somebody else was walking on it two weeks ago.’ I was like, ‘That’s kind of creepy when you say it that way.’ ”

Alex Speier of the Globe staff contributed to this report.