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Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts had his first big “welcome to the show” experience on Sunday night against the Dodgers and passed the test -- if you want to call it that -- with flying colors.
Playing in front of a national television audience and against the hottest team in baseball, the 20-year-old infielder from Aruba went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI as the Red Sox defeated the host Dodgers 8-1 in Los Angeles. Bogaerts started at shortstop over Stephen Drew and seems likely to garner more and more playing time between third base and short down the stretch. He has a calmness about him -- you could see it through the broadcast on Sunday evening at Dodger Stadium -- and is a must-own right now in fantasy leagues that allow daily roster changes because of what he can do with his bat and legs.
Bogaerts was hitting .297/.388/.477 with 15 home runs, 67 RBI and seven stolen bases in 116 games this year between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket before his sudden August 19 promotion to the major leagues. The kid is going to be a star.
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Kemp Almost Cleared For Rehab
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is already way behind schedule in his recovery from a sprained left ankle, but there is some progress being made behind the scenes.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that Kemp is telling the Dodgers’ training staff that he is “pain-free” and expects to begin a minor league rehab assignment at some point this week. Kemp has been doing cardio work since the Dodgers were in St. Louis on August 8 and he jogged in the outfield during the team’s pregame activities all last week. If he is really as far along as he claims, he should be back in the Los Angeles starting lineup within the next 7-10 days.
This ankle injury -- however unfortunate -- has provided Kemp with ample time to rest his chronically-ailing left shoulder, which may allow him to rediscover his power stroke down the stretch. The 28-year-old was batting just .263/.319/.382 with five homers, 27 RBI and nine stolen bases in 62 games before suffering the ankle sprain.
National League Quick Hits: Veteran right-hander Roy Halladay averaged just 87 mph with his fastball but yielded only two runs in six innings Sunday in his first start since May 5. Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin was shelled for nine runs -- eight earned -- over 5 1/3 innings Sunday against the Phillies … Marco Estrada threw seven shutout innings on Sunday against the Reds and now owns a 1.88 ERA in four starts since returning from the disabled list … Rex Brothers collected his 13th save of the season on Sunday afternoon against the Marlins … Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud hit his first career major league homer Sunday against the Tigers … Bryce Harper slugged his 18th home run of the season Sunday in the Nationals’ loss to the Royals … Carlos Gonzalez (finger) expects to be cleared for batting practice this week … Cubs closer Kevin Gregg blew a save on Sunday against the Padres … Shin-Soo Choo stole two bases Sunday in the Reds’ loss to the Brewers … Andrew Cashner tossed seven scoreless innings Sunday in the Padres’ win over the Cubs … Braves third baseman Chris Johnson is day-to-day with what is being called turf toe … The Phillies are still negotiating with Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez … J.J. Putz (finger) is expected to return from the 15-day disabled list when first eligible on September 8 … Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz is day-to-day with back discomfort … Ryan Vogelsong threw eight scoreless innings to help the Giants down the Pirates on Sunday in San Francisco … Josh Beckett (shoulder) is scheduled to resume a throwing program next week … Brewers closer Jim Henderson tallied his 21st save of 2013 on Sunday against the Reds … Troy Tulowitzki is day-to-day with oblique discomfort.
American League Quick Hits: Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano finished 3-for-5 with a double, a homer and two RBI in Sunday’s defeat of the Rays … Jake Peavy threw a complete game in his fifth start for the Red Sox on Sunday night against the Dodgers … Miguel Cabrera launched his 42nd home run of the season Sunday against the Mets … Yankees closer Mariano Rivera earned his 38th save of 2013 on Sunday against the Rays … A’s starter Sonny Gray was rocked for six runs in just 3 1/3 innings Sunday by the Orioles … Mark Buehrle hurled eight innings of one-run ball Sunday versus the Astros … Indians starter Scott Kazmir threw six innings of one-run ball, fanning eight, in a no-decision Sunday against the Twins … Josh Reddick aggravated his sprained right wrist on Sunday and could be headed back to the disabled list … The Astros will recall Paul Clemens to start Tuesday against the White Sox … Mike Napoli went 2-for-4 with a home run to help the Red Sox beat the Dodgers on Sunday … Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen earned his 23rd save of the season on Sunday against the Astros … Dustin Ackley was 2-for-4 with his second home run of the season in the Mariners’ loss to the Angels on Sunday … Chia-Jen Lo blew a save in ugly fashion Sunday as the Astros fell to the Blue Jays … Royals closer Greg Holland tallied his 35th save in Sunday’s win over the Nationals … Clay Buchholz (shoulder) got hit hard in his rehab debut Sunday with Low-A Lowell … Chris Perez threw a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 21st save of the season Sunday against the Twins … Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and three runs scored in Sunday’s defeat of the A’s.