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'Pen roughed up as Phils snap Sox streak

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

PHILADELPHIA -- As the Red Sox march toward perhaps their best regular season ever, there is still some fine-tuning to be done before the games that matter most.

Perhaps at the top of the list of players the club would like to get right is lefty Drew Pomeranz, who hasn't been able to find a groove all season, and that trend continued in Wednesday's 7-4 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, which snapped Boston's five-game win streak.

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PHILADELPHIA -- As the Red Sox march toward perhaps their best regular season ever, there is still some fine-tuning to be done before the games that matter most.

Perhaps at the top of the list of players the club would like to get right is lefty Drew Pomeranz, who hasn't been able to find a groove all season, and that trend continued in Wednesday's 7-4 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, which snapped Boston's five-game win streak.

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"I wanted to put him in a high-leverage situation with a few switch-hitters and a lefty there to see how he reacted," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "He threw the ball well in Baltimore so we trust the guy. Also, we were very yellow and orange in my card [of available relievers]. It's good to stay away from some guys, but at the same time, wanted to see how he would do in that situation."

Video: BOS@PHI: Bogaerts makes a leaping grab to end the 4th

Pomeranz was demoted to the bullpen a week ago in hopes that the new role could help him get back on track. That was the case in his first two relief outings, but not on Wednesday, when Pomeranz came on for the seventh with his team down just a run and effectively pitched them out of the game, getting hammered for four hits, three runs and a walk in one inning. Pomeranz last worked regularly as a reliever in 2015.

"You have to come in and be ready now [in the bullpen]," Pomeranz said. "As a starter, you can come in and get settled. Guys are more aggressive when you pitch in relief. You have to be ready right then. I had enough time to warm up. I threw a bunch to try to be ready. Couldn't find those putaway pitches."

It has become an all-too-recurring theme for Pomeranz, who has a 6.34 ERA in 14 appearances in a season that has also included two trips to the disabled list.

Video: BOS@PHI: Martinez makes an impressive running grab

"I mean, it's definitely frustrating," Pomeranz said. "I definitely don't feel like the stuff that I have right now is the stuff that I've had the last two years, and at some point, you just have to figure out a way to make it work and stop looking for what's going on this year and just make pitches. That's kind of where I'm at right now."

Before Cora went to Pomeranz, he turned to Joe Kelly for the sixth inning in a tie game. Playing under National League rules, Cora pinch-hit for starter Nathan Eovaldi in the top of the sixth.

Kelly has struggled mightily to be consistent the last couple of months, and the trend continued. He was immediately greeted by a leadoff triple by Wilson Ramos, who had a monster night (3-for-4, two doubles, triple) in his debut with the Phillies to continue his reputation as a Red Sox killer.

Video: BOS@PHI: Ramos triples to lead off bottom of the 6th

Ramos fell behind in the count 0-2, then took a ball and belted the fourth pitch of the at-bat, a 98.5-mph heater from Kelly, to right-center. With one out, pinch-hitter Scott Kingery got the go-ahead run home on a sacrifice fly to right.

Even in defeat, Cora could see the big-picture positives, which he shared with his team in a rare postgame meeting. It was the end of a 7-2 road trip for the 86-36 Red Sox, who are 11-2 this month and lead the Yankees by 10 games in the American League East.

"We'll take 7-2 on the road any road trip during the season. I just talked to them," said Cora. "We went through a tough stretch there. Trade Deadline, the Yankees, Toronto with the turf and [four-game series with doubleheader in] Baltimore, and then come here and to do what we did, that was pretty impressive. I'm very proud of them."

Video: PHI@BOS: Holt gets force from backside off deflection

From across the field, former Red Sox outfielder and current Phillies manager Gabe Kapler clearly saw some of the same traits that led to the only World Series championship of his career in 2004.

"We have a lot of respect for the Red Sox, not just for the men on the field but for their leadership as well," said Kapler.

The Phillies, who trail the Braves by two games in the NL East, played the Red Sox to a tough 2-2 split this season in the home-and-home series.

"Yeah, they have a good team," Cora said. "They can pitch. Stuff-wise they're pretty good. They attack the zone, too. We know about the two starters Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta, they're pretty solid. I think we did a good job tonight against their starter -- it was just a matter that we weren't able to put him away, and that was it."

Video: BOS@PHI: Eovaldi strikes out Williams to notch 5th K

The Red Sox took the early momentum and got a little bit of a gift in the top of the third when Phillies starter Vince Velasquez walked Eovaldi with one out. It was just the sixth career walk for Eovaldi, who came to the plate with a career on-base percentage of .112. Velasquez, who had epic struggles with his command during the inning, then plunked Andrew Benintendi with an 0-2 pitch. Brock Holt followed with an infield tapper that he beat out to load the bases.

Mitch Moreland came through with the big knock of the inning, a double into the gap in left-center that cleared the bases and made it 3-0.

In the fourth, the Phillies rallied back against Eovaldi, thanks in large part to a throwing error by third baseman Rafael Devers to open the inning. Ramos got the Phillies on the board with an RBI double off the top of the wall. After a fielder's choice RBI grounder sliced the lead to a run, Carlos Santana tied it with an RBI single to right.

The game would soon evolve into a battle of the bullpens, and that edge went to Philadelphia.

"We know this team is good. We had a pretty solid road trip despite losing the last game of it, and it doesn't take away from what we've done this year," said Pomeranz. "This is still a pretty good road trip, seven out of nine. We know we're good. It's just one of those things -- stay positive, get another day off and then get back at them this weekend."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Comeback falls short: Big comebacks have been a signature trait of the 2018 Red Sox, and it looked like they might have another one brewing in the eighth. Down 7-3, the Sox had the bases loaded, and MVP candidate Mookie Betts was called on to pinch-hit. Betts got a two-out, infield hit for an RBI to keep the inning alive. Benintendi had a chance to cut into the deficit even more, but he grounded out, and the rally was over.

Video: BOS@PHI: Betts plates Martinez with infield single

SOUND SMART
Though Eovaldi had a clunker in his previous start in Baltimore, he continues to trend in the right direction. In this one, he gave up seven hits but just one earned run in five innings. The hard-throwing righty has given up no more than one earned run in six of his last nine starts, dating back to June 26.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Benintendi got jammed so thoroughly on a 3-2 sinker by Phillies lefty Aaron Loup in the seventh inning on Wednesday night that the ball managed to hit his bat twice. Even more impressive was that Benintendi managed to fist the ball into center field for a single. Loup has a side-arm delivery that can be tough to read for left-handed hitters.

Other players who have hit the ball twice with one swing

First, the pitch hit the inner-middle of Benintendi's bat toward the handle, and then it drifted toward the end of the bat, before rolling into center for a hit.

Video: BOS@PHI: Ball hits bat twice on Benintendi's single

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Red Sox thought they had taken the lead on a grounder to second by pinch-hitter Steve Pearce in the sixth. Cesar Hernandez ranged over to make a nice play, but his throw was wide right, and pulled first baseman Justin Bour off the bag and to the ground just after he gloved it. Pearce was ruled safe, and Devers alertly roared all the way around from second to score. But Kapler challenged the play, and it was overturned when the replay showed Bour keeping the tip of his spike on the bag as he caught the ball to end the inning. It wound up being a big play, as the game was pretty much all Phillies from there.

Video: BOS@PHI: Bour keeps toe on first on overturned call

UP NEXT
After an off-day at home on Thursday, the Red Sox open a three-game series against the Rays on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. ET at Fenway Park. Invaluable swingman Brian Johnson will make the start opposite Ryne Stanek. The lefty is 3-1 with a 3.21 ERA in eight starts this season. Second baseman Ian Kinsler is expected to return from the disabled list on Friday. Kinsler suffered a left hamstring strain in his third game after being traded to the Red Sox.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Joe Kelly, Drew Pomeranz

2 = 1? Benintendi hits ball twice for single

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

PHILADELPHIA -- Andrew Benintendi did a double-take after making double contact on the same pitch. Say what?

Benintendi got jammed so thoroughly on a 3-2 sinker by Phillies lefty Aaron Loup in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 7-4 loss to the Phillies that the ball managed to hit his bat twice.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Andrew Benintendi did a double-take after making double contact on the same pitch. Say what?

Benintendi got jammed so thoroughly on a 3-2 sinker by Phillies lefty Aaron Loup in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 7-4 loss to the Phillies that the ball managed to hit his bat twice.

View Full Game Coverage

Tweet from @Cut4: Cut4 presents:How to go from 0-for-2 to 2-for-3 in one swing, starring @asben16. pic.twitter.com/zUYEWw1CrK

Even more impressive was that Benintendi managed to fist the ball into center field for a single.

As Benintendi got to first base, he appeared to mouth to first-base coach Tom Goodwin, "That hit my bat twice."

Benintendi's instincts were correct, as the replay video proved.

Other times players have hit the ball twice with one swing

First, the pitch hit the inner-middle of Benintendi's bat toward the handle, and then it drifted toward the end of the bat, before rolling into center for a hit.

"Yeah, I really didn't even know what was going on," said Benintendi. "I heard it, and I thought my bat hit the catcher's glove. I didn't know. But once I saw it, I knew it must have hit my bat twice."

Has Benintendi ever had a double-contact hit before?

"That's the first time that's happened to me," Benintendi said. "That's crazy."

Unfortunately for Benintendi, he only got credit for one hit in the boxscore.

Video: Twice-struck pitches create truly bizarre hits

Benintendi was quickly erased on the basepaths when Loup induced pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez into a double-play grounder to second.

Lefty reliever Loup has a side-arm delivery that can be tough to read for lefty batters.

"Yeah, he's tough," Benintendi said.

Though Benintendi has been overshadowed by teammates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, he is having a tremendous second full season in the Majors.

In 114 games, the left fielder is slashing .298/.380/.500 with 32 doubles, six triples, 15 homers and 70 RBIs.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Andrew Benintendi

E-Rod starting rehab stint; Kinsler near return

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

PHILADELPHIA -- Eduardo Rodriguez had the rare opportunity on Wednesday to face a four-time All-Star in a four-inning simulated game at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday.

So how did Rodriguez look to Ian Kinsler?

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PHILADELPHIA -- Eduardo Rodriguez had the rare opportunity on Wednesday to face a four-time All-Star in a four-inning simulated game at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday.

So how did Rodriguez look to Ian Kinsler?

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"I've faced him before. He's got good stuff. He looks healthy," said Kinsler. "He's ready to go. The ball was moving around today."

Rodriguez, who suffered a severe sprain of his right ankle on July 14, will start a Minor League rehab assignment on Monday for Double-A Portland.

A realistic timetable would be for the lefty to make 2-3 starts in the Minors to build up his pitch count and return to the Red Sox in late August or early September.

"I was throwing like normal," Rodriguez said. "I was enjoying the competition and telling them [to] try to hit the ball every time and swing and take the pitches you'd take normally, and it was really good. I was throwing all my pitches, and it felt great for all four innings."

Though the Red Sox seem to thrive no matter who is on the disabled list, Rodriguez will be an important addition down the stretch and into the postseason.

Manager Alex Cora made it clear he views Rodriguez as a starter, so he will re-join a thriving rotation that includes Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi.

"Eduardo looks great," Cora said. "Movement of his pitches, right where they have to be. Very aggressive in the strike zone. He was able to repeat his delivery."

Kinsler will also make the Red Sox that much deeper from a position-player standpoint. Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez have been filling in for him. Kinsler will get the majority of the starts at second when he returns, but Cora will be careful with him.

"With Ian, most likely he'll play Friday and Saturday, [get] Sunday off, and then we go from there," said Cora. "But we've got four games against Cleveland. We'll see. We don't want to all of a sudden play 10, 12 games in a row. I think in the beginning he'll play two out of three."

Kinsler is fully confident he is ready to return.

"It's a muscle strain, and it takes 10 days," Kinsler said. "Once you start feeling well, you start pushing the threshold and limit, and then you keep pushing it every day until it feels normal. That's kind of the process. It's the same for any lower body muscle strain, any low-grade strain whatever they call it. You just wait it out."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Ian Kinsler, Eduardo Rodriguez

Two-hit wonders hit the ball twice with 1 swing

In the seventh inning of the Phillies' 7-4 win over the Red Sox in Philadelphia, Boston outfielder Andrew Benintendi hit a single to center field. No big deal, right? That sounds like a pretty normal event in an average baseball game.

This one wasn't normal, though, since Benintendi's bat happened to hit the ball two times on its journey through the infield. 

Can J.D. catch Mookie to claim Triple Crown?

Martinez leads AL in homers, RBIs, trails Betts in batting average
MLB.com @AndrewSimonMLB

In his first season with the Red Sox, J.D. Martinez has slugged his way into contention for a Triple Crown. But one of his teammates may thwart that effort.

Sure, Martinez isn't likely to mind that Mookie Betts leads the American League batting race, with Boston holding the best record in the Majors and pursuing a World Series. But for those hoping to see Martinez pull off one of the most difficult and prestigious statistical feats in baseball, it's a significant obstacle.

In his first season with the Red Sox, J.D. Martinez has slugged his way into contention for a Triple Crown. But one of his teammates may thwart that effort.

Sure, Martinez isn't likely to mind that Mookie Betts leads the American League batting race, with Boston holding the best record in the Majors and pursuing a World Series. But for those hoping to see Martinez pull off one of the most difficult and prestigious statistical feats in baseball, it's a significant obstacle.

So how might that obstacle be overcome?

For the sake of argument, let's assume Martinez maintains his AL leads in home runs (37) and RBIs (104), holding off the likes of Cleveland's Jose Ramirez (36 homers, 89 RBIs) and Oakland's Khris Davis (34 homers, 93 RBIs).

Given that, the second-place Martinez (.333) still would have to pass Betts (.350) for the batting title in order to join Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (2012) as the only Triple Crown winners since Boston's own Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. (He also would have to hold off Houston's Jose Altuve, who is batting .329 but is on the disabled list).

It won't be easy, but Martinez has a believer in Cabrera, who recently gave his former teammate a vote of confidence on Instagram.

Instagram from @mlbcut4: Miggy slid into @mlb DMs to let us know JD is READY to take the triple crown 💪😂

Here is a look at three possible ways it could happen:

Scenario 1: Martinez stays hot enough to pass Betts
Let's say Betts holds steady at .350. What would Martinez have to do in Boston's remaining 41 games to catch him?

Considering their large lead in the both the division and the overall AL standings, it wouldn't be a shock if the Red Sox give their regulars plenty of rest down the stretch. But in the interest of round numbers, let's say Martinez plays in 40 of the team's final 41 games.

Going by his season average of 3.85 at-bats per game -- that obviously excludes walks -- Martinez would accrue 154 additional at-bats, bringing his final tally to 593. That means, to get to .350, he would need to pile up 208 total base hits. This would require 62 more hits the rest of the season, which over 154 at-bats would yield a .403 batting average.

It goes without saying that batting .403 over 40 games is a tough task, but it might not be out of reach for Martinez.

The 30-year-old is at .408 (20-for-49) so far this month. And out of the 14 previous months in which Martinez has played since the start of the 2016 season, he also at least approached the .400 mark in June and August of '16 (both .404), as well as last September (.396).

Video: AL Player of the Week - J.D. Martinez

Scenario 2: Betts slumps enough to fall behind Martinez
Red Sox fans no doubt would prefer the first scenario, but this one would only require Martinez to hold at his .333 average, which is certainly difficult enough.

Again, let's assume Betts plays 40 more games. His average of 3.93 at-bats per game over that stretch would bring his season total to 554, which in turn would require Betts to finish with 184 hits in order to fall below Martinez, at .332. This would mean a 45-for-157 (.287) line down the stretch.

Going by this year's results, that would represent a slump for Betts. The AL MVP Award candidate hit "only" .290 in June but has batted at least .330 in every other month, including a red-hot .438 (21-for-48) so far in August.

Of course, it was just a year ago that Betts batted .264 overall and no higher than .296 in any individual month. And while he clearly has grown as a hitter in 2018, some bad luck on balls in play can put anyone in a relatively cold stretch for a while.

Video: Must C Cycle: Betts homers in the 9th to finish cycle

Scenario 3: They meet in the middle
Splitting the 17-point difference between them, let's say Martinez gets up to .342 by the end of the season, with Betts dropping back a bit to .341.

Using the same method as before, Martinez would need to collect 57 more hits in his final 154 at-bats, for a .370 average. Again, that's a mark Martinez has reached in three months over the past three seasons, including this August. He also is batting .353 (30-for-85) in 22 games since the All-Star break.

Meanwhile, Betts would have to be limited to 50 more hits (.318) over his final 157 ABs in order to drop to .341 overall. That's still lower than Betts' average in all but one month this season, but he also posted a .318 average or better in just two of 12 months from 2016-17.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez

See the Red Sox Players' Weekend nicknames

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Red Sox will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Red Sox will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::

Shop for Players' Weekend gear
2018 Players' Weekend nicknames
Best nickname for every team
All you need to know about Players' Weekend

Red Sox
Matt Barnes: "BARNACLES"
Andrew Benintendi: "BENNY"

"Benny was something my dad's friends called him when he was younger," Benintendi said. "One of my dad's college teammates was my coach when I played as a kid, and he called me 'Benny,' and it just kind of went from there. My friends at Arkansas called me Benny, so I just kept it simple."

Mookie Betts: "MOOKIE"
Xander Bogaerts: "BOGIE"
Jackie Bradley Jr.: "JBJ"
Dan Butler: "BUTLER"
Rafael Devers: "CARITA"

"When we were younger and in the Dominican, we would always give each other nicknames and I was the kid who was always smiling and happy, so they said we would call this kid 'Carita,' which means baby face," Devers said.

Video: Get ready, 2018 Players' Weekend is August 24-26

Nathan Eovaldi: "EVO"
Heath Hembree: "HEATER HERE"
Marco Hernandez: "MARKITO"
Brock Holt: "BROCKSTAR"

"My first roommate in pro ball, Tony Sanchez, wanted me to get a Twitter handle, and I didn't really want one," Holt said. "He made my Twitter and made my handle @Brockstarforlyf, and that's where it started, and it just kind of stuck from there and people call me 'Brock Star.' And it kind of rolls off the tongue nice."

Brian Johnson: "BJ"
Joe Kelly: "JIMMY B"

On a slow day in Spring Training, Kelly dressed up as a fictional TV reporter named Jim Buchanan, and it took on a life of its own. Hence, the nickname on the back of his Players' Weekend jersey.

Ian Kinsler: "BOOTSIE"
Craig Kimbrel: "DIRTY CRAIG"

The way the baseball explodes out of Kimbrel's right hand can look filthy, nasty or "dirty" to opposing hitters. The big, goopy glob on his hat from when he grabs the resin is also extremely dirty.

Sandy Leon: "NOAH"

Leon and his wife had their first child, a son named Noah, last November.

Austin Maddox: "MADD DAWG"
J.D. Martinez: "FLACO"
Mitch Moreland: "2 - BAGS"

When Moreland belted 11 doubles in his first 61 at-bats for the Red Sox last season, the nickname "Mitchie Two Bags" started showing up on social media. Moreland obviously saw those mentions, and he will go with 2-Bags for the second consecutive Players' Weekend.

Eduardo Nunez: "NUNIE"
Steve Pearce: "LATE LIGHTNING"
Dustin Pedroia: "PEDEY"
Drew Pomeranz: "BIG SMOOTH"

"I can't remember if it was David Price or Rick Porcello or maybe a combination of both of the two, but when I got over here, they wanted to give me a nickname and they came up with this one, and it just kind of stuck," Pomeranz said. "Nobody really knew about it outside the team. Everyone knows about it now."

Rick Porcello: "VEINTIDÓS"

Porcello wears No. 22 for the Red Sox and the Spanish-speaking players have called him the Spanish translation of the number for quite some time.

David Price: "SLIM DUNKIN"
Eduardo Rodriguez: "EL GUALO"
Chris Sale: "THE CONDUCTOR"

It was pretty clear why the lanky Sale went with "Stickman" last year. But why "The Conductor" this year?

"Ask Pedey about that," Sale said.

Pedey, of course, is Red Sox second baseman Pedroia, who is away from the team rehabbing from his left knee injury in Arizona. MLB.com tracked down Pedroia for an explanation.

"You're a smart guy," Pedroia said via text. "What does a conductor do? They punch tickets."

And Sale punches out hitters as routinely. Consider the mystery solved.

Carson Smith: "SMITTY"
Blake Swihart: "SWI"
Tyler Thornburg: "THORN"
Christian Vazquez: "COLO"

"That's my Instagram nickname, too," Vazquez said. "They call me that in Puerto Rico in winter ball."

Hector Velazquez: "CABEZON"

The translation from Spanish to English is "big head." Enough said.

Brandon Workman: "WORK"
Steven Wright: "KNUCKSIE"

The best knuckleballer who ever lived was Phil Niekro, and his nickname during his Hall of Fame career was "Knucksie." This is Wright's way of paying tribute.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox

Sox's first pinch HR of year lifts strong Porcello

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

PHILADELPHIA -- Rick Porcello was spinning a gem on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park and had plenty left in the tank. Under typical circumstances, he was coming back out for the eighth.

But with the game being played under National League rules, Red Sox manager Alex Cora did the conventional thing, calling on Brock Holt to pinch-hit for the righty starter with one out in the top of the eighth.

View Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- Rick Porcello was spinning a gem on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park and had plenty left in the tank. Under typical circumstances, he was coming back out for the eighth.

But with the game being played under National League rules, Red Sox manager Alex Cora did the conventional thing, calling on Brock Holt to pinch-hit for the righty starter with one out in the top of the eighth.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: BOS@PHI: Porcello records a season-high 10 K's over 7

And Holt did something that is not conventional for him, absolutely unloading for a solo homer against Phillies righty Tommy Hunter that snapped a tie and sent the Red Sox on their way to a 2-1 victory.

"Pinch-hitting's a tough job to do," said Holt. "You know when your name's called, you just try to be ready. Got a good pitch and was able to put a good swing on it. It's good to get that run there and get Rick the win for how well he pitched."

Tweet from @RedSox: Brockstar treatment! pic.twitter.com/fhKZyJoC7Q

Thanks to Cora's decision paying off, Porcello (15-5, 4.04 ERA) was able to earn a well-deserved win, allowing two hits and a run over seven innings while walking none and striking out a season-high 10 batters.

"I don't know if it was going to be easy [to send Porcello back out for the eighth]," said Cora. "But if we're in the American League, Brock doesn't pinch-hit. We'll take it that way."

And so it goes for the Red Sox. In this season of winning in just about every way possible, Holt added another unique twist by belting just his 16th career homer in 1,704 at-bats, and second as a pinch-hitter. It was the first pinch-hit homer by the Red Sox this season.

Tweet from @RedSox: Can think of at least 86 reasons to be smilin��� 😁 #DirtyWater pic.twitter.com/uQgcIbzvPt

"I just swing," said Holt. "I don't try to hit singles or doubles or homers or whatever. I just swing and try to hit the ball and wherever it goes it goes. I'm thankful that it went out and I was able to score and get us on the board there."

Holt practically came out of his shoes on the first pitch he saw from Hunter -- a 94.1-mph cutter -- and smashed it off the facade of the second deck in right field at an exit velocity of 105.1-mph and a projected distance of 424 feet, according to Statcast™.

"Coming off the bench, he's going to swing at the first pitch," said Hunter. "I probably should have buried it. If you do that, he swings and it probably hits him. But he got it."

With their latest triumph, the 86-35 Sox have won 30 out of 36, 15 out of 17 and 11 out of 12.

Swihart off DL; Kinsler close to returning

"Yeah, and I didn't know we were on that streak until you said it," Holt said. "I think that kind of answers your question. I think the guys in here don't pay attention to things like that. We come to the field expecting win. … We're a confident team and ... we've been able to do that more times than not. We got a special group in here and … everyone's pulling on the same rope and it's a lot of fun to be a part of."

Video: BOS@PHI: Hoskins breaks up perfecto with a HR in 5th

Porcello handled the first 12 batters he faced in routine fashion, but Rhys Hoskins swiftly ended his attempt at a perfect game when he belted a solo homer to left-center to lead off the fifth. The blast by Hoskins tied the game and off-set the solo shot that Sandy Leon hit in the third inning for Boston.

Video: BOS@PHI: Leon crushes a solo homer to right-center

It stayed that way until Holt seized his opportunity in the eighth.

For Porcello, it was his second magnificent performance in his last three starts. On Aug. 3, he fired an 86-pitch, complete-game, one-hitter against the Yankees. Sandwiched in between the two starts was a clunker at Toronto last week.

"Just pitched a lot better," Porcello said. "You saw both games. I was throwing pitches right down the middle and walking guys in Toronto. Today for the most part I was able to stay out of the middle of the plate, not give up any free passes."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Leon pins it down for Kimbrel: The Phillies had the tying run on second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. When Kimbrel struck out Asdrubal Cabrera on a knuckle curve that dove into the dirt, Leon blocked the ball as well as he could but it still got away. The catcher chased it down and fired to first, narrowly getting Cabrera to end the game, allowing Kimbrel to pick up his 36th save.

Video: BOS@PHI: Kimbrel strikes out Cabrera, records save

"That was close," said Leon. "That ball almost went through my legs. Somehow, anyhow, you have to make that play."

SOUND SMART
This is the first time Red Sox starting pitchers have recorded 10-plus strikeouts and zero walks in consecutive team games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Ace Chris Sale had 12 K's and no walks on Sunday in Baltimore.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
What is with Porcello and his suddenly potent bat? For his second straight start in an NL park, Porcello cracked a double. The last one cleared the bases against Nationals ace Max Scherzer. This one was well-struck, and over the head of right fielder Nick Williams, in the top of the third against Nick Pivetta. Porcello motored around first and went into second with an awkward head-first dive.

Video: BOS@PHI: Porcello legs out a double in the 3rd inning

"I don't know how everyone sees the ball come in so well," said Porcello. "I was running and couldn't see anything. It was blurry. I figured the throw was coming in so I better slide. That was it. I saw the replay of it. It didn't look very good. It was more of a crawl into second. I'm not going to dare to rate it. It was pretty bad."

Video: Must C Clutch: Porcello's 3-run double off Scherzer

HE SAID IT
"It was bad, it was really bad. When I saw him just kind of like stopping and jumping, I was like, 'Oh God,' but, I mean, they played probably other positions when they were growing up, so he's a good athlete." -- Cora, on Porcello's dive into second

UP NEXT
Righty Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.74 ERA) will try to rediscover the form he had in his first two starts for the Red Sox after getting shelled (2 2/3 innings, 10 hits, eight runs) last time out at Camden Yards. In Eovaldi's first two starts for Boston, he was unscored on over 15 innings. Eovaldi is 3-4 with a 3.51 ERA in nine career starts against the Phillies, who counter with righty Vince Velasquez (8-9, 3.98 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Brock Holt, Sandy Leon, Rick Porcello

Swihart off DL; Kinsler close to returning

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

PHILADELPHIA -- Not only are the Red Sox in possession of a commanding lead in the American League East, but they are getting healthier.

Backup catcher/utility man Blake Swihart (right hamstring strain) was activated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game. And starting second baseman Ian Kinsler, who had the same injury but to the left hamstring, could return as early as Wednesday.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Not only are the Red Sox in possession of a commanding lead in the American League East, but they are getting healthier.

Backup catcher/utility man Blake Swihart (right hamstring strain) was activated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game. And starting second baseman Ian Kinsler, who had the same injury but to the left hamstring, could return as early as Wednesday.

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"He feels that he's close to being 100 percent, so there might be a chance he might be back tomorrow or Friday," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "We feel very good where he's at. He had good workouts in Lowell and I'm happy he's around us again."

The Red Sox decided not to have Kinsler go on a Minor League rehab assignment. Instead, he will face lefty Eduardo Rodriguez in a simulated game in Philadelphia on Wednesday and the Red Sox will make their decision from there.

To make room for Swihart on the roster, the Red Sox designated catcher Dan Butler for assignment.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

When Kinsler returns, Boston's infield depth will be greatly improved.

"We'll mix it up," said Cora. "Obviously Brock [Holt] can play short, Ian we have to take care of him, too. Same way with [Rafael Devers]. They're coming back from hamstring injuries, so we'll make it work. Brock can play first, too, and he can play the outfield, so we'll be fine. We'll find a way [to keep everyone involved]."

Set to Sale on Sunday

Ace Chris Sale, who returned from the disabled list with a dominant effort in Baltimore (68 pitches, 12 strikeouts, no earned runs in five innings) will make his next start on six days of rest with the Red Sox having two off-days this week. Brian Johnson will open the homestand against the Rays on Friday, followed by David Price on Saturday and Sale on Sunday.

Video: BOS@BAL: Sale fans 12 over 5 frames in return from DL

"I actually found out about the 12 strikeouts when we were on our way to [Philadelphia]," Cora said. "I was like, 'Wow. He struck out 12 on 68 pitches? That's almost impossible.' His fastball was good. His breaking ball was good. He seems effortless again."

Sale's next two starts will both be against the Rays. He will miss the four-game showdown against the Indians at Fenway Park next week.

J.D. gets both games in Philly

Without the designated hitter for this two-game series in Philadelphia, star slugger J.D. Martinez is starting both games in right field. Jackie Bradley Jr. got a rest on Tuesday, with Mookie Betts playing center. On Wednesday, Betts will get a rare break, which comes prior to a team off-day on Thursday.

One of Cora's goals down the stretch is to keep everyone as fresh as possible.

Insights from TLR

One thing Cora has enjoyed in his first season as a manager is the unique opportunity to tap into the insights of Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, who is in his first season as a special advisor to Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. La Russa is around the team the majority of the time. The way Cora looks at it, the more the better.

"We talk a lot," Cora said. "I enjoy having dinner with him. That's pretty cool. He feels a little bit awkward to be in the clubhouse or be at batting practice, and I'm the other way around, man. Like, 'Come down. You won a lot of games.' I think guys enjoy his company, his stories and he's connected to the game."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Dan Butler, Ian Kinsler, Blake Swihart

Squirrel runs around field in Pawtucket

Minor League Baseball fans in Pawtucket thought that they would be getting a fairly standard doubleheader on Tuesday. Little did they know that one squirrel was determined to make it historic by becoming the first animal pinch-hitter.

Sox's best August trade came in 2012

MLB.com

While the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline rightfully garners the lion's share of attention when it comes to each year's trade season, there have been numerous deals struck during the month of August that have been impactful down the stretch and in subsequent years. Here's a look at the best August trade each team has ever made:

ANGELS
Acquired: LF Justin Upton from DET
Gave up: RHP Grayson Long and a player to be named or cash
Date: Aug. 31, 2017
The Angels acquired Upton in the midst of their playoff push last season, giving the club a middle-of-the-order bat to slot behind Mike Trout in their lineup. While the Angels ultimately fell short in the American League Wild Card race, Upton posted an .887 OPS with seven home runs in 27 games before deciding to re-sign with the club on a five-year, $106 million deal during the offseason. 

While the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline rightfully garners the lion's share of attention when it comes to each year's trade season, there have been numerous deals struck during the month of August that have been impactful down the stretch and in subsequent years. Here's a look at the best August trade each team has ever made:

ANGELS
Acquired: LF Justin Upton from DET
Gave up: RHP Grayson Long and a player to be named or cash
Date: Aug. 31, 2017
The Angels acquired Upton in the midst of their playoff push last season, giving the club a middle-of-the-order bat to slot behind Mike Trout in their lineup. While the Angels ultimately fell short in the American League Wild Card race, Upton posted an .887 OPS with seven home runs in 27 games before deciding to re-sign with the club on a five-year, $106 million deal during the offseason. 

ASTROS
Acquired: 3B Jeff Bagwell from BOS
Gave up: RHP Larry Andersen
Date: Aug. 30, 1990
As impactful as the Astros' trade was last year to land Justin Verlander, the club's 1990 trade netted a player who would don an Astros uniform for all 15 years of his Major League career and end up in the Hall of Fame. Bagwell is the greatest slugger in Astros history, winning the 1991 National League Rookie of the Year Award and the 1994 NL Most Valuable Player Award, being named to four All-Star teams and belting 449 career home runs. The first baseman led a resurgence of baseball in Houston in the 1990s and helped take the franchise to new heights in the early 2000s.

Video: Jeff Bagwell reflects on conversation with Andersen

Andersen was a 16-year-veteran who had a 1.95 ERA in 50 appearances on the season for Houston at the time of the trade. With Bagwell, a third baseman at the time, blocked by future Hall of Famer Wade Boggs at the position, Boston made the deal for a reliever who would appear in 15 games with a 1.23 ERA. That winter, Andersen signed as a free agent with the Padres, and pitched for two seasons with San Diego before his final two seasons with the Phillies.

ATHLETICS
Acquired: SS Stephen Drew from ARI
Gave up: INF Sean Jamieson
Date: Aug. 20, 2012
The A's might have outdone themselves this year with the additions of relievers Fernando Rodney and Shawn Kelley, but their 2012 trade for Drew gave them a significant upgrade at shortstop, which was a vital piece at the time. Drew collected 16 RBIs in 39 regular-season games, then came up with four hits in 19 at-bats during the AL Division Series against the Tigers, including an RBI double in a one-run Game 4 victory that sent the series to a winner-take-all affair.

BLUE JAYS
Acquired: 3B/OF Jose Bautista from PIT
Gave up: C Robinson Diaz
Date: Aug. 21, 2008
The Blue Jays weren't expecting big things from Bautista, but they needed a temporary replacement for the injured Scott Rolen and he fit the bill. Toronto had to part only with a fringe prospect to get the deal done, and his versatility at first base, right field and second base kept Bautista on the team even after Rolen returned. Two years later, Bautista made franchise history by hitting 54 home runs in a single season, and he ultimately turned into one of the best players to ever wear the blue and white.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm5: Bautista hammers go-ahead three-run shot

BRAVES
Acquired: RHP John Smoltz from DET
Gave up: RHP Doyle Alexander
Date: Aug. 12, 1987
The Tigers won each of Alexander's 11 remaining regular-season starts and captured the American League East title in 1987; the 36-year-old would pitch two more seasons for Detroit, including an All-Star campaign in '88. Meanwhile, Smoltz was just a year removed from high school ball, but would end up constructing a Hall of Fame career as he helped the Braves win 14 consecutive division crowns and the 1995 World Series. He also won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996, and was an eight-time All Star, becoming one of the most successful postseason pitchers in baseball history with a 2.67 ERA over 41 appearances, and the 1992 NL Championship Series MVP Award. A year earlier, he tossed a six-hit shutout of the Pirates in Game 7 of the NLCS to send Atlanta to its first World Series.

Video: 1991 NLCS Gm7: Smoltz shuts the door, Braves to WS

BREWERS
Acquired: RHP Don Sutton from HOU
Gave up: Players to be named and cash (OF Kevin Bass and pitchers Frank DiPino and Mike Madden)
Date: Aug. 30, 1982
Bass went on to have a solid 14-year career but the deal was worth it to land Sutton, the future Hall of Famer who represented the final piece of the finest team in Brewers history. Sutton's shining moment for Milwaukee was the '82 regular-season finale in Baltimore, when he allowed two runs in eight innings of a must-win game opposite Orioles ace Jim Palmer. It clinched the American League East and moved the Brewers a step closer to their only World Series appearance to date.

CARDINALS
Acquired: OF Larry Walker from COL
Gave up: RHP Jason Burch, LHP Luis Martinez and LHP Chris Narveson
Date: Aug. 6, 2004
In the penultimate year of Walker's career, he accepted a trade to the Cardinals and then helped the club reach the World Series. After hitting .280/.393/.560 with 11 homers in 44 regular-season games, Walker hit six homers and slugged .707 in his second postseason appearance.

CUBS
Acquired: 1B Randall Simon from PIT
Gave up: OF Ray Sadler
Date: Aug. 17, 2003
The Cubs had made a blockbuster deal at the non-waiver Trade Deadline to get Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton from the Pirates, then added Simon, who batted .282 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in 33 games. Simon provided the spark and the Cubs went 24-16 after he joined the team to win the NL Central. Simon would go on to hit .333 (8-for-24) with three doubles and a homer in the postseason.

D-BACKS
Acquired: RHP Livan Hernandez and cash from WAS
Gave up: LHP Matt Chico; RHP Garrett Mock
Date: Aug. 7, 2006
While Hernandez didn't pitch the D-backs to the postseason in 2006, he did stick around to be a valuable contributor and staff leader the following year when the D-backs won the NL West and swept the Cubs in the NLDS before losing to the Rockies in the NLCS.

DODGERS
Acquired: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RHP Josh Beckett, OF Carl Crawford, INF Nick Punto and cash from BOS
Gave up: INF Ivan De Jesus, 1B James Loney, RHP Allen Webster, RHP Rubby De La Rosa and OF Jerry Sands
Date: Aug. 25, 2012
The word "blockbuster" is overused, but it should be defined by this nine-player trade. Guggenheim's new Dodgers ownership made a credibility statement that the tight-fisted ways of the McCourt era were over. The Dodgers never won a World Series because of it, but the veterans helped the club compete while buying time for young talent to mature. None of the prospects dealt away panned out, but Boston won a World Series anyway and dumped $262 million in salary.

GIANTS
Acquired: RHP Rick Reuschel from PIT
Gave up: RHPs Jeff Robinson and Scott Medvin
Date: Aug. 21, 1987
Reuschel stabilized the Giants' starting rotation, going 5-3 down the stretch to help San Francisco win the NL West for the first time since 1971. "Big Daddy" also finished 36-19 in the next two seasons and was the staff ace when the Giants reached the World Series in 1989.

INDIANS
Acquired: SP Mike Clevinger from LAA
Gave up: RP Vinnie Pestano
Date: Aug. 7, 2014
The Angels wanted a reliever for the stretch run, so they added Pestano and dealt Clevinger (a prospect with mechanical flaws and in the early stages of a Tommy John surgery comeback). Clevinger was a project, but he went to work with the Indians, rebuilt his delivery, broke into the Majors in '16 and is now fixture in one of baseball's best rotations. Pestano hasn't pitched in the Majors since '15, and Clevinger has a 3.59 ERA in 67 career appearances for Cleveland (54 starts).

Video: CLE@BAL: Clevinger dominates O's with two-hit shutout

MARINERS
Acquired: LF Vince Coleman from KC
Gave up: RHP Jim Converse
Date: Aug. 15, 1995
The Mariners immediately inserted the veteran speedster as their leadoff hitter for the final month and a half of their magical 1995 season, and he provided a huge spark. When Coleman was acquired by general manager Woody Woodward, Seattle was 51-50 and 12 1/2 games back in the AL West. It wound up winning the division and earning the first playoff berth in franchise history as the 33-year-old posted a .290/.335/.395 line with 16 stolen bases and 27 runs in 40 games.

MARLINS
Acquired: 1B/OF Jeff Conine from BAL
Gave up: RHP Denny Bautista, RHP Don Levinski
Date: Aug. 31, 2003
Pursuing the lone NL Wild Card spot at the time, the Marlins acquired Conine minutes before the midnight waiver deadline, with the deal completed while the veteran was on the Orioles' team plane. The Marlins were desperate for an established veteran the day after All-Star Mike Lowell broke his left hand. Conine hit five home runs and drove in 15 runs in September, and made an impact in the playoffs during the Marlins' World Series championship season.

Video: 2003 NLCS Gm5: Jeff Conine hits a solo home run

METS
Acquired: 2B Jeff Kent and a player to be named (OF Ryan Thompson) from TOR
Gave up: RHP David Cone
Date: Aug. 27, 1992
With the Mets well out of NL East contention and Cone set to become a free agent after the season, the team shipped him to the Blue Jays for Kent -- then just 24 years old. Although Kent would not develop into a National League MVP until after the Mets parted ways with him, he hit 67 of his 377 career homers over parts of five seasons in New York. Cone, meanwhile, went on to post a 2.55 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) down the stretch for Toronto, helping the franchise win its first World Series title with a 3.22 ERA in four postseason starts.

NATIONALS
Acquired: Catcher Kurt Suzuki and cash considerations from OAK
Gave up: catcher David Freitas
Date: Aug. 3, 2012
On their way to their first postseason berth in club history, the Nats made the upgrade behind the dish for a veteran behind the plate. Suzuki would go on to bat .267/.321/.404 in 43 games with Washington down the stretch and served as the starting catcher in the postseason before he struggled at the start of the 2013 season and was traded back to Oakland.

ORIOLES
Acquired: OF Tito Landrum from STL
Gave up: Landrum was the player to be named from a deal made on June 14, 1983, in which the Orioles sent Floyd Rayford to St. Louis.
Date: Aug. 31, 1983
Landrum hit the game-winning home run for the Orioles in the final game of the 1983 ALCS in Chicago. He was such an unlikely hero that teammate John Lowenstein joked that he was not sure of Landrum's first name.

PADRES
Acquired: Brian Giles from PIT
Gave up: Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and LHP Cory Stewart
Date: Aug. 26, 2003
On the whole, this trade turned out pretty even. But there's no denying Giles' impact on the back-to-back NL West champion Padres teams in 2005 and '06. In parts of seven seasons with San Diego, Giles batted .279/.380/.435 with 83 homers. Bay would go on to have an 11-year MLB career over which he hit 222 homers, including 139 for Pittsburgh. Still, the trade helped San Diego get to the postseason in back-to-back years, and was worth the price.

PHILLIES
Acquired: RHP Jamie Moyer from SEA
Gave up: RHP Andrew Baldwin and RHP Andy Barb
Date: Aug. 19, 2006
The Phillies held a fire sale before July 31, 2006, trading Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, David Bell and Rheal Cormier, and designating Ryan Franklin for assignment. But afterward, the Phillies started to play well and acquired Moyer for an unexpected postseason run. They fell short in 2006, but Moyer helped the Phillies win the NL East in 2007 and the World Series in 2008.

PIRATES
Acquired: OF Jason Bay, LHP Oliver Perez and LHP Cory Stewart from SD
Gave up: OF Brian Giles
Date: Aug. 26, 2003
The deal worked out well for both sides, as Giles continued to produce in San Diego and finished ninth in NL MVP voting in 2005. But Bay was worth the price, winning the 2004 NL Rookie of the Year Award before earning two All-Star nods with Pittsburgh. Perez was also dominant in 2004 (12-10, 2.98 ERA, 239 strikeouts), and he's still pitching in the Majors as a reliever. 

Video: CHC@PIT: Bay records eight RBIs including grand slam

RANGERS
Acquired: RHP John Burkett from FLA
Gave up: RHP Rick Helling and RHP Ryan Dempster
Date: Aug. 8, 1996
This is the trade that put the Rangers over the top on their way to the first division title in franchise history. Burkett, reinforcing the rotation, threw a shutout against the Blue Jays in his first start and his biggest victory came on Sept. 21. The Rangers had lost five in a row and nine of 10 as their lead was down to one game. But Burkett pitched the Rangers to a 7-1 victory over the Angels in Anaheim to stop their skid for one of the biggest regular-season wins in franchise history. Dempster and Helling -- both prospects at the time -- went on to distinguished careers, but the price was worth it for Texas.

RAYS
Acquired: RHP Chad Bradford from BAL
Gave up: Cash
Date: Aug. 7, 2008
Bradford arrived to give the Rays a different look to their bullpen. The submariner of "Moneyball" fame appeared in 21 games and pitched to a 1.42 ERA. He made seven postseason appearances for the Rays, logging a 1.13 ERA in eight innings.

RED SOX
Acquired: INF Ivan DeJesus, 1B James Loney, RHP Allen Webster, RHP Rubby De La Rosa, and OF/1B Jerry Sands from LAD
Gave up: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RHP Josh Beckett, OF Carl Crawford, INF Nick Punto.and cash
Date: Aug. 25, 2012
On paper, the Red Sox gave up three former All-Stars and received little in return. In reality, the club shed more than $250 million in guaranteed salary for players who were no longer performing at their prime levels. This trade is widely credited as one of the reasons for the Sox winning the World Series in 2013. General manager Ben Cherington used the newfound payroll flexibility to re-tool with free agents Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Koji Uehara, Ryan Dempster and David Ross. Those players fit perfectly on the field and in the clubhouse.

REDS
Acquired: 1B/manager Pete Rose from MON
Gave up: INF Tom Lawless
Date: Aug. 16, 1984
In a stunning move, the Reds brought back a hometown favorite in Rose to take on the rare role of player-manager. The deal immediately energized the Cincinnati fan base after losing seasons from 1982-84. Not only did Rose the player break Ty Cobb's all-time hits record in 1985 to great fanfare, Rose the manager was at the helm for a contender that had four straight second-place finishes from 1985-88. That helped create the foundation for the 1990 World Series title season.

ROCKIES
Acquired:RHP Jose Contreras from CWS
Gave up: Minor League RHP Brandon Hynick
Date: Aug. 31, 2009
Contreras went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in seven games, including two starts, and was one of two key veteran August pickups. The Rockies also picked up Jason Giambi, who had been released earlier in the month by the Athletics. Giambi hit .292 in 19 games as he and Contreras helped push the Rockies into the postseason as the NL Wild Card team.

ROYALS
Acquired: OF Josh Willingham from MIN
Gave up: Right-hander Jason Adam
Date: Aug. 11, 2014
It wasn't a blockbuster deal, but Willingham will be forever in Royals lore. He singled (his last big league hit) to spark a ninth-inning rally in the 2014 AL Wild Card game that tied the score. The Royals went on to win the game, the first off 11 straight playoff wins that year, and eventually advance to Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.

TIGERS
Acquired: OF Delmon Young from MIN
Gave up: LHP Cole Nelson, RHP Lester Oliveros
Date: Aug. 15, 2011
Young homered three times in the Tigers' 2011 ALDS win over the Yankees, then hit two more in the ALCS vs. Texas. A year later, he was named MVP of the ALCS after going 6-for-17 with two homers and six RBIs. He went 5-for-14 with a solo homer in the 2012 World Series against the Giants.

TWINS
Acquired: RHP Bert Blyleven from CLE
Gave up: INF Jay Bell, LHP Curt Wardle, OF Jim Weaver and a player to be named (RHP Rich Yett on Sept. 18, 1985)
Date: Aug. 1, 1985
The Twins reacquired future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven in an August trade, as he had previously pitched in Minnesota from 1970-76. Blyleven made 120 starts with the Twins after the trade, including helping the franchise to its first World Series title in 1987. Bell went on to a solid 18-year career, but the Twins had Greg Gagne entrenched at shortstop at the time of the trade.

WHITE SOX
Acquired: 1B Ted Kluszewski from PIT
Gave up: Minor League IF Robert Sagers and RF/1B Harry Simpson
Date: Aug. 25, 1959
Nearing the end of his career, Kluszewski hit .297 with two home runs and 10 RBIs over 112 plate appearances and 31 games in the regular season for the AL champs. But the Big Klu hit .391 with three homers and 10 RBIs during a six-game World Series loss to the Dodgers.

YANKEES
Acquired: 3B Charlie Hayes from PIT
Gave up: RHP Chris Corn
Date: Aug. 30, 1996
Hayes rejoined the Yankees just in time for the birth of a dynasty, batting .284 in 20 games for his new team to supplement a fatigued Wade Boggs' production at the hot corner. Hayes was on the field to secure the final out of the World Series, a foul pop behind third base off the bat of the Braves' Mark Lemke. Corn never advanced past Double-A.

Video: WS1996 Gm6: Sterling, Kay call Yanks World Series win

Houck spins a gem for Salem

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

While there were many strong offensive performances across the Minor Leagues, no hitter stuffed the box score quite like No. 34 overall prospect Carter Kieboom did as he powered Double-A Harrisburg in a rout of Erie, 15-3.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

While there were many strong offensive performances across the Minor Leagues, no hitter stuffed the box score quite like No. 34 overall prospect Carter Kieboom did as he powered Double-A Harrisburg in a rout of Erie, 15-3.

The Nationals' No. 2 prospect had a huge night at the plate, hitting a pair of home runs, a triple and a double to finish 4-for-5 and a single short of the cycle. He scored a career-high five runs in the contest and drove in another four.

Kieboom hit both of his home runs off of Tigers No. 4 prospect Alex Faedo, as the 20-year-old shortstop took Faedo -- Detroit's 2017 first-round pick -- deep in the first and fourth innings. The multi-homer performance was Kieboom's first this season and the second of his career. Kieboom's leadoff triple in the third inning -- his first triple of the season -- also came against Faedo.

Kieboom's second home run of the night

Chasing the cycle after hitting a pair of homers and a triple in his first three at-bats, Kieboom walked on four pitches to lead off the sixth inning but added a two-run double in the following frame. In his final trip to the plate, the 2016 first-round pick flew out to right field.

Kieboom is hitting .269/.327/.425 with five home runs, 12 doubles and 15 RBIs in 46 games since his promotion to the Double-A level on June 21.

Overall, he's produced a robust .285/.361/.464 line with 16 homers, 26 doubles and 61 RBIs in 107 games between Harrisburg and Class A Advanced Potomac.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Tuesday

No. 7 overall prospect Forrest Whitley (Astros' No. 1) tossed two scoreless innings for Double-A Corpus Christi in his return from the disabled list. He threw 35 pitches (17 strikes) in the outing, posting two strikeouts and walks apiece. The 20-year-old right-hander had been sidelined for over a month after he left his July 5 start with left oblique discomfort.

Whitley strikes out last batter he faces

• No. 10 overall prospect Royce Lewis (Twins' No. 1) and Alex Kirilloff (Twins' No. 2, No. 30 overall) each collected two hits including a solo homer and scored two runs for Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Both players finished 2-for-5, with Lewis also hitting a triple in the contest. Lewis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft, is hitting .316/.379/.495 with 13 homers, 28 steals and 81 runs scored in his first full season, while Kirilloff sports a .347/.389/.581 line with 17 homers, 39 doubles and 93 RBIs.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

• No. 11 overall prospect MacKenzie Gore (Padres' No. 2) tossed six innings of one-run ball for Class A Fort Wayne en route to his second career win. The 19-year-old lefty scattered six hits, struck out five and did not issue a walk as he matched the longest outing of his career. Gore has pitched to a 4.11 ERA with 70 strikeouts and 16 walks over 57 innings (15 starts) in his first full season. Esteury Ruiz (Padres' No. 17) paced the TinCaps at the plate by going 3-for-4 with an RBI. The 19-year-old second baseman stole a base, his 40th in 50 attempts this season.

• No. 37 overall prospect Keibert Ruiz (Dodgers' No. 2) recorded his third two-homer game of the season, but it wasn't enough to keep Double-A Tulsa from falling to Corpus Christi, 10-6. The 20-year-old switch-hitter hit both homers from the left side of the plate, as he connected on a solo homer in the fourth inning followed by a three-run shot in his next trip to the plate. He finished 2-for-5 at the plate, marking his fourth straight game with multiple hits.

Keibert Ruiz goes yard for second time

• No. 66 overall prospect Matthew Liberatore (Rays' No. 5) spun his second consecutive scoreless start in the GCL. The 2018 first-round pick struggled with control as he walked four, but he also struck out four as he gave up just two hits in 4 2/3 innings. Liberatore hasn't given up a run in back-to-back starts (9 2/3 innings) and hasn't allowed an earned run in any of his past four outings, a span of 16 2/3 innings.

Blue Jays No. 29 prospect Rowdy Tellez blasted two of the six home runs hit by Triple-A Buffalo in a 14-5 win over Charlotte. Both homers were tape-measure shots, as Tellez connected on a two-run homer in the third inning and then added a solo shot in the eighth. He also doubled in the contest to finish 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs. Tellez's second two-homer performance of the season pushed the 23-year-old first baseman's season total to 13 homers through 100 games, during which he's slashed .274/.343/.444.

Watch: Tellez launches 2nd homer

Dodgers No. 24 prospect Cristian Santana set a career high with six RBIs, four of which came on a walk-off grand slam that led Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga over Lake Elsinore, 13-9. He also collected three singles and scored three runs in the contest, finishing 4-for-6. The 21-year-old is hitting .255 on the season, with 21 home runs and 95 RBIs in 113 games.

Mets No. 24 prospect Simeon Woods Richardson worked three strong frames as he extended his career-opening streak without allowing an earned run to 11 1/3 innings for the Mets' Rookie-level Gulf Coast League squad. The 2018 second-round pick yielded three hits and struck out four in the outing. Through five appearances, the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder sports a 15-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio with a .209 opponents' average.

Padres No. 23 prospect Hudson Potts connected on a solo home run in the first inning that gave Double-A San Antonio an early lead over Springfield. It was the first Double-A homer for the 19-year-old third baseman, who finished 2-for-5 in his fourth game with the Missions. A first-round pick in 2016, Potts was promoted to the Texas League after he slashed .281/.350/.498 with 17 homers, 35 doubles and 58 RBIs over 106 games at Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore.

Watch: Potts launches 1st Double-A homer

• One day removed from garnering MLB Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week honors, Rangers No. 8 prospect Joe Palumbo picked up his first win of the season behind 5 1/3 scoreless innings for Class A Advanced Down East. He allowed two hits, walked three and struck out nine while throwing 49 of 85 pitches for strikes. The 23-year-old left-hander has fanned 20 batters in 10 1/3 frames over his past two starts -- both scoreless outings.

Red Sox No. 5 prospect Tanner Houck turned in one of his better starts of the season to earn the win for Class A Advanced Salem. The 2017 first-rounder allowed one earned run on four hits (including a solo homer) and struck out seven over seven innings. Houck owns a 3.13 ERA with 70 strikeouts over 63 1/3 innings (11 starts) in the second half after posting a 5.50 ERA and compiling as many strikeouts as walks (41) over his first 55 2/3 frames (12 starts).

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Inbox: Can Red Sox add another reliever?

Beat reporter Ian Browne answers fans' questions
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

The Red Sox's bullpen scares me. Is there any chance they will be able to pick up an effective relief pitcher for the stretch run?
-- Jeff T., Delmar, N.Y.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has a little more than two weeks left to find another reliever who can slip through waivers. Given the record the Red Sox have, every other American League team can place a waiver claim before Boston has a chance. This makes it difficult, but not impossible. It is probably more realistic for the Red Sox to shore up the bullpen they have, and adding a starter or two to that mix come playoff time could help also.

The Red Sox's bullpen scares me. Is there any chance they will be able to pick up an effective relief pitcher for the stretch run?
-- Jeff T., Delmar, N.Y.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has a little more than two weeks left to find another reliever who can slip through waivers. Given the record the Red Sox have, every other American League team can place a waiver claim before Boston has a chance. This m