July 12, 2015 / 9:52 PM / 4 years ago

Boston Red Sox - PlayerWatch

RHP Dalier Hinojosa was designated for assignment to make room for LHP Brian Johnson.

LHP Brian Johnson got the call many Red Sox fans were waiting for. The promising young left-hander was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to take the place of the injured Buchholz and will be available out of the bullpen Sunday. After the All-Star break, Johnson might figure into the Red Sox starting rotation — a possibility Farrell hinted at. “We’re still working through the alignment, but obviously Brian becomes a candidate to be one of the five guys we come out of the break,” Farrell said. Johnson was 8-6 with a 2.73 ERA in Triple-A.

LHP Brian Johnson got the call many Red Sox fans were waiting for. The promising young left-hander was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to take the place of the injured Buchholz and will be available out of the bullpen Sunday. After the All-Star break, Johnson might figure into the Red Sox starting rotation — a possibility manager John Farrell hinted at. “We’re still working through the alignment, but obviously Brian becomes a candidate to be one of the five guys we come out of the break,” Farrell said. Johnson was 8-6 with a 2.73 ERA in Triple-A.

LHP Eduardo Rodriguez did pretty well for himself in his debut outing against the Yankees. The rookie left-hander improved to 5-2 after giving up two runs — both solo homers — on five hits and a walk while striking out two in his 6 1/3 innings. At 22 years and 95 days old, Rodriguez is the youngest Red Sox starter to beat the Yankees since LHP Ken Brett in 1970. “He was powerful,” manager John Farrell said. “He had three quality pitches going here tonight. He didn’t fear the strike zone after a couple of balls getting squared up.”

3B Hanley Ramirez is a big reason the Red Sox are where they are — for better or worse. For every misplayed ball off the wall or base-running blunder, Ramirez shows that he can be such a special player when he steps to the plate. HIs two-run homer in the fourth inning ignited the Boston offense and propelled the Red Sox past the Yankees. Ramirez (2-for-4) hit his 19th home run of the season and drove in his team-leading 44th and 45th RBIs on the 1-0 fastball he sent to right center to give them a 3-1 lead. “As far as the first half goes, he gets off to a quick start, goes through a little bit of a slide, but he’s been a key offensive contributor,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

B Dustin Pedroia (right hamstring) likely won’t play in the Red Sox’s first-half finale against the Yankees on Sunday. The team seems set to shut him down heading into the All-Star break. Pedroia has resumed baseball activity and it appears like the second baseman will be ready when Boston opens the stretch run of the season next week in Anaheim. “He’s feeling good with the increase of intensity,” manager John Farrell said. “ ... We don’t want a setback here, so there’s the balance of one day versus the remainder of the season.”

OF Alejandro De Aza has given the Red Sox the spark they so desperately needed. The versatile De Aza has played like a man fighting for his job — which was the case when the Red Sox claimed him after the Baltimore Orioles designated him for assignment. De Aza has come up with some timely hits and hustles hard, just as he did when he stole a base and took third on a throwing error before scoring Boston’s first run Saturday. “More than anything, he plays full tilt,” Farrell said. “He’s an aggressive player. He understands the game. You can move him around in the outfield. ... He’s come in and given us a lift and certainly given us a spark.”

RHP Clay Buchholz dodged a major bullet, as his MRI did not show any elbow ligament damage. The Red Sox ace left Friday’s game in the fourth inning with right elbow tightness and landed on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his right elbow. “We’ll get a better idea of it throughout the weekend here how long the initial shutdown period would be,” manager John Farrell said. Buchholz is 7-7 with a 3.26 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 18 starts in 2015.

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