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Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that starting pitcher Chris Sale's (elbow) next rehab start for Triple-A Worcester this Saturday will not be his last minor league rehab start. Sale struck out nine more hitters in 3 2/3 innings in his latest rehab start for Double-A Portland on Sunday. The left-hander allowed two runs on six hits while throwing 46 of his 64 pitches for strikes. Boston is making sure that Sale is fully stretched out and healthy before he makes his season debut after returning from Tommy John surgery. The 32-year-old southpaw has looked great so far during his rehab assignment and must be picked up off the waiver wire if he's still out there. Sale might have some ups and downs when he returns to the big league rotation, but his upside could be a difference-maker down the stretch.
Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is not in the starting lineup for Monday's series opener with the Blue Jays. This looks to just be a night off for the star shortstop, who is slashing .309/.371/.520 with 15 homers, five steals, 53 RBI and 59 runs scored in 93 games this season. With Bogaerts out, Kike Hernandez is getting the start at shortstop and will bat leadoff against Toronto.
Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Matt Barnes locked down his 21st save of the year Sunday, allowing just one hit in one inning of work against the New York Yankees. Barnes hasn't allowed an earned run in 11 of his last 12 appearances and is very solidly among the elite fantasy closers. His job seems quite safe heading to the trade deadline, with only Craig Kimbrel a possible threat. It seems unlikely the Red Sox would shift his role, as Barnes has been outstanding with a 2.41 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, and 65 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Martin Perez had a solid outing Sunday, throwing six innings and allowing three runs on six hits and two walks against the New York Yankees. He struck out six batters, and yielded one home run. It's Perez's first quality start since June 3. Perez hasn't had many blowup performances, but he also hasn't gone deep enough into games to make an impact for fantasy managers. With his 4.18 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and 80 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings, Perez is best left on the waiver wire for most matchups.
Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Adam Ottavino didn't have his best night Saturday, yielding two runs on three hits and no walks in just a third of an inning of work to give up the lead in a 4-3 defeat against the New York Yankees He was saddled with his third loss and fourth blown save of the season. Ottavino was a bit unlucky in this one, as two of the hits against him were bloopers that fell in in the shallow outfield. It all looks the same in the box score, and Ottavino's ERA and WHIP both rose to 3.35 and 1.36. He remains a solid piece in holds leagues, with potential for more as an insurance policy for closer Matt Barnes.