Red Sox set to call up 3B Devers for series vs. Mariners (Jul 24, 2017)

BY AP • July 24, 2017

SEATTLE -- The Boston Red Sox are ready for the Rafael Devers era, and they hoping adding their top prospect will solve their woes at third base.

Devers will be promoted to the major leagues Monday night when Boston opens a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced after Boston's 3-2 to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday that the team would call up its top prospect, Devers, for the Monday game.

The Red Sox have used seven different players at third base this season, and they have combined to hit .227 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs. That includes Pablo Sandoval, who batted .212 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 32 games before being released last week.

Devers was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on July 14. In nine games with the PawSox, the 20-year-old batted .400 with two homers and four RBIs. He also made four errors with Pawtucket.

"He's made some errors, young errors," Dombrowski said. "He has the hands, he has the arm. He's also made some good plays, too. But most of them are really more from a timing perspective, and I guess if you had your ideal scenario, you'd say, 'We'll let him just continue to go out and play third base and continue to play there,' but it's a situation, we're in need here and we think he's ready."

Devers could certainly fill a void in Boston, as the Red Sox have gone 5-6 since the All-Star break while averaging just 3.5 runs per game.

Devers, 20, has hit .311 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket this season. The only question seemed to be whether Devers, who up until 10 days ago was in Double-A, was ready to make the jump to the majors.

"On the field, he's handled it very well," Dombrowski said. "From a mental perspective, our people just continue to say that he continues to handle the challenges that are given to him. Our biggest concern with him has been that if we brought him up and he struggles like a lot of guys do, how would he handle it? Our people feel that he would handle it well at this point, they say that he's ready to tackle that next step."

While Devers is scheduled to join the team Monday, he is unlikely to start against Mariners left-hander James Paxton (9-3, 3.05 ERA). That means the left-handed-hitting Devers likely will get his first start at third base Tuesday against longtime Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.

Paxton is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in four starts this month after posting a 7.20 ERA over five outings in June.

Paxton last pitched Wednesday in Seattle's 4-1 win at Houston, when he allowed one run and six hits in seven innings.

"I just felt really good," Paxton said. "I was throwing the curveball for strikes, moving the fastball around, mixing in some cutters too, a few changeups. Everything was just feeling really good."

Paxton is 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA in two career starts against the Red Sox.

Boston is set to counter with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who is making his second start after missing more than a month due to a right knee injury.

Rodriguez (4-2, 3.66) returned July 17 and allowed three runs and struck out eight while throwing 111 pitches in 5 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I thought with the layoff that Eddie had that was a strong five-plus innings of work here tonight," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He kept us in this ballgame, we make a run to tie it, and unfortunately they push across the difference-maker the following inning."

Rodriguez is 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA in two career starts against Seattle.

The Mariners are 6-4 since the All-Star break, although they just lost three of four games to the New York Yankees, one of the teams they are chasing for an American League wild-card berth. That helped the second-place Yankees pull within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Red Sox in the AL East.

Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia drove in two runs apiece Sunday during the Mariners' 6-4 loss to New York.

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