Photo credit: Kelly O'Connor

Photo credit: Kelly O’Connor

In his fourth career start, Anthony Ranaudo suffered his first major league loss on Wednesday night. Pitching against his favorite childhood team, the New Jersey native allowed six hits in 5.1 innings pitched, while walking 2 and striking out just one. New York opened the scoring in the 2nd inning, when Brian McCann tattooed a Ranaudo fastball over the right field fence for a two-run home run. Three innings later, the Yankees almost put the game out of reach, as they loaded the bases with just one out and the top of the order due up. However, Ranaudo was able to limit the damage to just one run, courtesy of a Jacoby Ellsbury sacrifice fly. An inning later, Brock Holt put Boston on the scoreboard with an RBI double that scored Red Sox newcomer Jamile Weeks for first base. With Ranaudo out of the game after the 6th, New York tacked on 2 more runs to their total against Red Sox reliever Alex Wilson. After retiring the first batter he faced, Wilson surrendered an triple to Jacoby Ellsbury, then allowed an RBI single to Brett Gardner. Later in the inning, Brian McCann dropped a two out, bases loaded single into right field, which scored Jeter from third base. However, Daniel Nava played the hop in right field, and fired a bullet to home plate to cut down Carlos Beltran for the third out. New York went on to win by a final of 5-1 and split the series at two games a piece. Boston will play the rubber match of the three game set on Thursday, before returning to Fenway Park for a brief two-series home stand.

  • In another scenario, Mookie Betts would have already cemented his spot on the 2015 Red Sox, but with Rusney Castillo on the rise, Betts future in Boston is muddied. Since taking over the every day center field duties following Jackie Bradley’s demotion, the 21-year old has batted .315/.413/.556 in 15 games. A middle infielder by trade, Betts has shown that he is capable of adapting to the outfield with consistent play. Of course, Boston could deal the rookie this offseason, but if they’re set on keeping both Castillo & Betts, they may have to exploit his versatility. (Two’s a crowd: Can Red Sox find room for Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo?)
  • When the Red Sox traded Stephen Drew during the traded deadline, and allowed Xander Bogaerts to return to shortstop, Will Middlebrooks was given a new lease on his career in Boston. However, the 25-year old has been unable to take advantage of what could be his last shot to secure the every day role at the hot corner. This season, Middlebrooks has hit well below .200 with an on-base percentage hovering around .250. With Boston having nothing to play for this season, they will continue to give the Texas native opportunities, and have even discussed sending him to winter ball during the offseason. (Will Middlebrooks struggling to lock down third base)
  • If you look at his numbers prior to this season, Allen Craig seems to have been a solid deadline acquisition by the Red Sox. However, since coming to Boston the 30-year old has yet to reflect the stats that he’s amassed over his major league career. In 37 plate appearances, the first baseman has collected just 4 hits — two of which for extra bases — and two RBI. Some of Craig struggles could be attributed to his bum left foot, which hampered him for almost a year to the day. (Craig’s rough season bottoms out)
  • Although recently he hasn’t looked like the Koji Uehara we’ve grown accustom to seeing, the Red Sox opinion on the veteran right-hander hasn’t changed a bit. Uehara, who is set to hit free agency this offseason, has allowed 8 runs in his last 5 outings which has lead some to begin to wonder if the 39-year old is starting to show his age. Boston, on the other hand, still believes in Uehara’s effectiveness and remains interested in retaining the closer. (Koji Uehara will be coveted by Red Sox in 2015 despite recent struggles)
  • If there was any doubt in your mind about Rusney Castillo playing in the MLB this season, allow Ben Cherington to put your mind at ease. The Red Sox General Manager stated that Boston will look to get Castillo a few more reps in the minors, before promoting him to the Red Sox later this month. Currently with the Portland Sea Dogs, the 27-year old played 5 innings on Wednesday and collected a single and a stolen base in 3 trips to the plate. (Ruseny Castillo will play in majors this season)
  • Tweet of the day: Trying to bunt it over the wall wouldn’t even be completely crazy…