BOSTON -- The toll of playing 58 innings in a four-day stretch between Saturday and Tuesday led the Red Sox to make a couple of roster additions Wednesday, as right-handers Kyle Martin and Ben Taylor were recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket as bullpen reinforcements.
For Martin, ranked No. 18 among Red Sox prospects by MLBPipeline.com, this is his first trip to the Majors.
"Very excited," Martin said. "A dream come true. Found out this morning. Called my wife and my parents. It's been a dream."
To make room for Martin and Taylor, the Red Sox optioned left-hander Christopher Johnson and right-hander Hector Velazquez to Pawtucket. Both those pitchers were keys to a 5-4, 15-inning victory Tuesday. Johnson turned in a quality start, giving up three runs in six innings, and Velazquez fired four shutout innings for the win.
"We need the arms right now, particularly the way we've adjusted the rotation to take into account the innings over the weekend," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Martin's capable of 40 to 50 pitches. Taylor is likely at one to one-plus type of endurance."
Farrell is taking other measures besides roster moves to keep his team fresh during this unusually grueling schedule, which will include a six-game trip to the West Coast to play the Angels and Mariners starting Friday.
"Yeah, you curtail the early work. As we went through a year ago, we're about to begin a two- to three-week period where we basically just shut the clubhouse until a certain time in the afternoon, not even allowing them to come in," said Farrell. "We went through that last year, I thought it paid dividends for the two to four weeks following that stint. And that's about to take place again."
• Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game Wednesday as he deals with soreness stemming from getting hit on the right hand by a pitch at Tropicana Field on July 6. An MRI taken on Tuesday showed no structural damage. The Red Sox hope Bogaerts, who pinch-ran Tuesday, can start Thursday afternoon's game.
"I came back and I thought I was going to be pain-free," said Bogaerts. "I thought I was going to be brand new again. But I still had some stuff in there. It's pretty frustrating. The day I came back [from the All-Star break], somebody at the airport shook my hand and shook it a little hard. I'm like, 'Darn, that's still in there.' It's pretty annoying. But hopefully we'll find a way."
• At a time the Red Sox need reinforcements in the bullpen, Joe Kelly and Carson Smith will be with the team on the West Coast as they ramp up in their comebacks. It's too early to know if Kelly will be able to be activated the first day he is eligible Saturday as he recovers from a left hamstring strain. Smith will face hitters in a simulated game setting and could be close to going on a Minor League rehab assignment. The side-winder underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2016.