Late Home Runs from Marco Hernandez and Rafael Devers Propel Red Sox to 8-6 Extra Innings Win over Orioles to Complete Three-Game Sweep on Father’s Day

In a game that took nearly five hours and an extra inning to complete, the Red Sox came away with their fifth consecutive victory and a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, as they took the series finale by a final tally of 8-6.

Making his first start of the season and first appearance since April 5th for Boston was Brian Johnson, who was just activated from the injured list this past Friday after missing more than 2 months of major league action due to inflammation in his throwing elbow.

Working his way into the fourth inning of this one, the left-hander yielded one earned run on five hits and two walks to go along with a pair of strikeouts on the afternoon.

Despite dealing with a decent amount of traffic on the base paths in such a short span of time, Johnson only gave up that lone Orioles run in their half of the third, when Keon Broxton came around to score on a one-out RBI single from Hanser Alberto.

Other than that, Johnson stranded runners at first and second to end the frame before allowing Anthony Santander and Jonathan Villar to reach with no outs in the fourth, which is the point where his day came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 70 (41 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his curveball more than 37% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing three swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 92.2 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 25 times with Christian Vazquez behind the plate.

Given the current state of the Red Sox’ rotation with Nathan Eovaldi still shelved for the foreseeable future, expect Johnson to make his next start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday if he isn’t used out of the bullpen before then.

In relief of Johnson, Colten Brewer was inserted into this contest with three outs to get in the fourth and runners on first and second.

With the help of Broxton interfering while running out a successful bunt attempt that would have plated the Orioles’ second run, the right-hander managed to escape the jam in the fourth with his team still in front. Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde, however, was ejected for arguing the ruling of that play.

From there, Mike Shawaryn got the first two outs of the fifth while loading the bases on a pair of walks and a single, and left-hander Josh Taylor, just recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, saved him by inducing a grounder off the bat of Villar to retire the side.

Taylor also worked his way around a fielding error in the sixth in an otherwise clean inning to make way for Marcus Walden in the seventh.

Making his 28th appearance out of the ‘pen, Walden sat down three of the four Orioles he faced in his first inning of relief before running into some trouble in the eighth, where Villar led things off by drawing a six-pitch walk and eventually scored courtesy of two swiped bags and a wild pitch.

That knotted things up at two runs a piece at the time, and Travis Lakins proceeded to give that up by serving up a pinch-hit triple to the first man he faced in Stevie Wilkerson before Hanser Alberto drove him in on another RBI base knock. Just like that, the Red Sox were trailing.

Fortunately though, Marco Hernandez pulled them even in the top half of the ninth, while Brandon Workman sent this one into extras with a scoreless bottom half.

And in the 10th, after they pretty much blew this one open to 8-3, Josh Smith nearly gave it all back by giving up a pair of homers, but held on to close out his third game of the season to secure an 8-6 win for Boston.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar and fairly tough opponent in Baltimore left-hander John Means, who entered Sunday having given up just two total runs in two prior starts this season against Boston.

This time around, Means held his own through the first three innings, but the Sox bats finally got to him in the fourth, with Xander Bogaerts getting his team on the board by driving in Rafael Devers all the way from first on a one-out line drive RBI double to left.

Bogaerts nearly scored the Sox’ second run as well, but was hung up to dry when trying to come home on a single from Michael Chavis. Instead of scoring, the young shortstop got caught in the middle of a rundown, all while Chavis advanced into scoring position.

So, with two outs and Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, the red-hot outfielder went ahead and extended his hitting streak to seven games, plating Chavis from second on a run-scoring double to give Boston their first lead of the afternoon.

Fast forward all the way to the ninth, after they had fallen behind by a run yet again, and Marco Hernandez came through in the clutch by blasting a game-tying, 395 foot solo shot to center off new Orioles reliever Mychal Givens. His first homer since May 30th of 2016, which also happened to come off of Givens in Baltimore, to eventually send this contest into extras.

There, in the 10th, Devers broke the stalemate in his first at-bat against Givens, leading off the frame by depositing a 1-0 fastball 458(!) feet to the opposite field for his 11th big fly of the season.

Still in the same inning, a fielding error that allowed Bogaerts to reach safely, a Michael Chavis single, and a walk drawn by Brock Holt off Orioles reliever David Hess filled the bases with Red Sox for Mookie Betts,

Already with two hits of the day, the reigning American League MVP broke this one open with number three, ripping a two-run single to left to plate Bogaerts and Chavis to put his team up by three.

Christian Vazquez opened up that lead a little further with another two-run double to drive in the two men on ahead of him, and that would later prove to be vital.

That being the case because even though they went up 8-3 on Vazquez’s clutch two-base hit, the Orioles almost staged a rally of their own in their half of the 10th, cutting Boston’s advantage back down to two runs before Sunday’s contest ultimately came to a close with a final score of 8-6.

Some notes from this win:

Andrew Benintendi was originally starting in left field and batting second Sunday, but was scratched due to a sore left quad. That’s why JD Martinez was out in left field.

From Red Sox Stats:

Rafael Devers during his six-game hitting streak: 11-for-27 with one double, one triple, two homers, and five RBI.

Jackie Bradley Jr.’s last seven games: .357/.400/.714 with two stolen bases, two home runs, and six RBI.

For the third time this season, Michael Chavis has recorded multiple hits in three straight games.

The Red Sox swept the Orioles, as expected. Now comes the true test. We’ve seen it before from this team, they dominate an inferior opponent, then proceed to struggle against better teams, such as the Astros, Rays, or Yankees.

This time, it will be a three-game set in Minnesota against the rising 47-23 first place Twins.

Led by ex-Red Sox outfielder and first-year manager Rocco Baldelli, the Twins have taken off in 2019, and entered Sunday leading the American League in runs scored (411), doubles (149), home runs (135), team slugging percentage (.514), and team OPS (.854) among other categories.

For the opener on Monday, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of right-handers, with Rick Porcello getting the ball for Boston and Jose Berrios doing the same for Minnesota.

Porcello is coming off his best start in weeks in his last time out against the Texas Rangers, and brings with him a lifetime 2.96 ERA over 13 career starts and 82 total innings pitched at Target Field.

Berrios, meanwhile, has had himself a solid 2019 thus far. That much is evident bow how the Twins are 11-3 in games he starts.

In three career starts against Boston, the 25-year-old is 0-2 with an ERA of 4.15 over 17.1 total innings of work.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox have plenty to prove as they go for their sixth straight victory.

 

 

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Chris Sale Fans 10 over Six Innings, JD Martinez Homers Again as Red Sox Top Orioles 7-2 for Fourth Straight Win

After mashing six home runs to the tune of a 13-2 victory on Friday, the Red Sox had a bit more difficult time with the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, but still came away with their fourth consecutive victory, topping their divisional foes by a final score of 7-2 to improve to 38-34 on the season.

Making his 15th start of the year for Boston in the middle game of this three-game weekend series was Chris Sale, who already dominated the O’s in his last appearance at Camden Yards back in May.

There was no immaculate inning this time around, but the left-hander still put together a solid effort, yielding two runs, both of which were earned, on six hits and just one walk to go along with exactly 10 strikeouts over six quality frames of work.

Baltimore threatened immediately by reaching base in their first two-at bats of the contest in the first, and it looked like the Red Sox were yet again going to be trailing early on.

Sale did not waiver though, as he retired the side in order from there before sitting down 12 of the next 13 hitters he faced up until the sixth inning.

There, in what was undoubtedly the Florida native’s toughest go of it after his team had just put up three runs, the Orioles started things exactly like they did in the first, with both Hanser Alberto and Trey Mancini reaching on back-to-back singles.

One mound visit and line out later, the O’s finally got on the board thanks to an RBI double from Renato Nunez to plate Alberto and advance Mancini to third.

Sale’s lone walk in this one filled the bases for Jonathan Villar, who cut the Red Sox’ deficit to one with a sacrifice fly to score Mancini.

Fortunately for Boston, that was all the damage Sale would allow, as he escaped the jam by fanning Keon Broxton with an 83 MPH slider to end the sixth as well as his outing.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 103 (68 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler turned to that aforementioned slider more than 47% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing 10 swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 95.6 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 34 times and got six whiffs on with Sandy Leon behind the plate.

Later improving to 3-7 while lowering his ERA on the season down to 3.49, Sale will look to build on what has been a strong month of June in his next time out, which should come against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.

In relief of Sale, Marcus Walden entered the seventh in a two-run game, and he worked his way around a one-out single in an otherwise clean frame.

Matt Barnes, meanwhile, had a tougher time in the eighth, as he allowed the tying run to get into scoring position with two outs on a single and walk before retiring the side by striking out pinch-hitter Chris Davis with an 85 MPH slider on the inside edge.

And in the ninth, after the Sox had tacked on three additional insurance runs, Brandon Workman locked down the 7-2 win in a scoreless final inning with some help from Michael Chavis at first.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy, who came into Saturday with a 3.02 ERA in his last seven starts.

As those recent impressive numbers indicate, Bundy did his part to hold the Boston bats through their first 2 1/2 times through the batting order.

They had a handful of scoring chances early on, but it wasn’t until Rafael Devers led the top of the sixth off with a hard-hit single where things really started to roll.

Immediately following Devers’ single, Xander Bogaerts came through with his team’s first run of the day by driving in the third baseman on a line drive RBI double to left. Brock Holt essentially did the same two pitches later by plating Bogaerts on a run-scoring single to right field.

A single from Michael Chavis to move Holt into scoring position would be how Bundy’s outing came to a close, and Sandy Leon greeted new O’s reliever Richard Bleier by scoirng Holt, who advanced to third on a Jackie Bradley Jr. ground out, by reaching first on a fielding error committed by Alberto over at third. 3-0.

Fast forward to the seventh, and a red-hot JD Martinez continued on with his power surge by blasting his 16th big fly of the season and fourth in his last three games. Per Statcast, Martinez’s opposite field shot had an exit velocity of 109 MPH off the bat and was deposited 427 feet into the right-center field bleachers.

Finally, in the ninth, with right-hander Miguel Castro on the hill, the Sox once again took advantage of sloppy defensive play from the Orioles, but not before loading the bases with one out for Bogaerts.

On the first pitch he saw from Castro, the Red Sox shortstop lifted a fly ball plenty deep enough to center to drive in Mookie Betts from third.

Just a few moments after that, Holt also collected his second RBI with another run-scoring base knock that allowed Andrew Benintendi to come in from third.

With Chavis at the plate, Holt took off for second and a poor throw from Pedro Severino behind the plate as well as a poor attempt to knock the ball down from Alberto covering the bag gave Devers more than enough time to score from third.

That put the Red Sox ahead 7-2, which would go on to be Saturday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Chris Sale has recorded 10 or more strikeouts in eight of his last 10 starts. In that 10-start span, the left-hander is averaging 14.2 punchouts per nine innings.

JD Martinez’s June so far: 16-for-45 with three doubles, one triple, five home runs and eight RBI.

Rafael Devers during his five-game hitting streak: 9-for-22 with one double, one triple, one home run, and four RBI.

Brock Holt in June: .444/.500/.611 with one double, one triple, one homer, and eight RBI.

Michael Chavis during his five-game hitting streak: 7-for-21 with one double, two home runs, and four RBI.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the series finale of this three-game series on Sunday afternoon.

Left-hander Brian Johnson will make his first start since being activated from the 10-day injured list on Friday. The 28-year-old hasn’t appeared in a game for Boston since April 5th after being shelved with inflammation in his left elbow.

In two prior appearances at Camden Yards, neither of which were starts, Johnson did not surrender a run over 1 2/3 total innings of relief.

For Baltimore, it will be another southpaw taking the mound in the form of John Means, who held the Sox to one run in each of the two starts he has made against them in 2019.

On the season as a whole, the 26-year-old owns a 1.57 ERA through eight games (six starts) at home.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the sweep and their fifth straight win.

JD Martinez Mashes Two of Red Sox’ Six Homers in 13-2 Beatdown of Orioles

After splitting a four-game series with the Texas Rangers to wrap up a 3-5 homestand on Thursday, the Red Sox opened up a three-game weekend set against the Baltimore Orioles in emphatic fashion on Friday, blowing out their divisional foes by a final score of 13-2.

Making his 14th start of the season for Boston in this convincing victory was Eduardo Rodriguez, fresh off a four-run, losing effort in his last time out against the Tampa Bay Rays.

This time around, the left-hander had a much better time of things, as he yielded just one earned run while scattering six hits, one HBP, and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over seven quality innings of work.

That one Baltimore run came right away in the bottom of the first, when with one out, Trey Mancini launched his 15th home run of the season to left field to give his side the early lead.

It looked as though he could have folded from there, but Rodriguez recovered nicely after serving up the solo shot. That much was evident by how he kept the Orioles off the scoreboard.

Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr. did their part defensively as well, with the former making an inning-ending, over the shoulder snag in the fourth, and the latter robbing Pedro Severino of what would have been a one out, two-run home run in the sixth.

Sure, Bradley Jr. was unable to come up with the catch itself, but by being able to bring that ball back into play, both runners were held up at second and third.

Rodriguez ended the frame five pitches later with the assistance of JD Martinez, who caught a lineout off the bat of Anthony Santander and made a fine throw towards home to snuff out Mancini trying to tag up from third.

With one more scoreless frame in the seventh, Rodriguez’s impressive night against the club he began his professional career with came to a close.

Finishing with a final season-high pitch count of 114 (73 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball approximately 49% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing nine swings and misses and topping out at 94.2 MPH with the pitch while both Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon were behind the plate.

Improving to 7-4 while lowering his ERA on the season down to 4.67, Rodriguez will look to build on his best start of the month in his next time out, which should come against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen did not face as much pressure as they did the night before, as Travis Lakins entered this contest in the eighth with a comfortable 12-run lead to protect.

Making his second appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday, Lakins needed 13 pitches to retire the only three hitters he faced in order to set up Josh Smith in the ninth.

Fresh off his first career big league save against Texas, Smith did give up one run on three hits before ultimately recording the final out and locking down his team’s third consecutive victory.

On the other side of things, the Mookie Betts-less Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles rookie right-hander Luis Ortiz, who was making just his second career start Friday.

Having never faced off against Ortiz before, Brock Holt got the scoring started for Boston in the second inning with his first home run of the season, this one a 406 foot two-run shot to plate Xander Bogaerts as well as himself and give his side a lead they would not have to look back from.

In the fourth, Christian Vazquez added on to what’s been a career year in terms of power by leading things off with his eighth big fly of 2019 to give the Red Sox a 3-1 advantage.

That was followed by a Jackie Bradley Jr. double and an Orioles pitching change that saw Dan Straily take over for Ortiz, and he was immediately greeted by an RBI single off the bat of Michael Chavis to make it a 4-1 contest.

Two batters later, JD Martinez added another pair of runs to his team’s tally with a 414 foot bomb to left field, his first of two on the evening. 6-1.

Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his recent hot streak in the fifth, taking Straily deep yet again on an 0-2 91 MPH fastball and racking up his seventh big fly of the year, good for two runs.

Still in the fifth, an Eduardo Nunez single put a runner on for Chavis, and he took full advantage of that by depositing a 1-1 hanging slider from Straily 447(!) feet to dead center.

With the bases clear again following an Andrew Benintendi strikeout, Martinez went ahead and demolished his second homer of the night and third since Thursday on a 1-0 fastball right down Broadway. Per Statcast, the 31-year-old slugger’s 15th round tripper of the season had an exit velocity of 105 MPH.

Finally, in the sixth, Benintendi came to the plate with one out and the bases loaded, and he put the exclamation point on this offensive outpouring by golfing a two-run double down the left field line off Baltimore reliever Josh Rogers to drive in Holt from third and Vazquez from second.

That put the Red Sox ahead 13-1, and after the Orioles got another run of their own in the ninth, 13-2 would go on to be Friday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Friday was JD Martinez’s third multi-homer game of 2019. He had three all of last season.

Jackie Bradley Jr. during his five-game hitting streak: 8-for-19 with three doubles, two home runs, and five RBI.

Rafael Devers during his four-game hitting streak: 7-for-17 with one double, one triple, one home run, and four RBI.

Michael Chavis, in his fourth game batting out of the leadoff spot: 2-for-5 with one home run and three RBI.

The Red Sox have won three straight to improve to 37-34 on the season.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this three-game series on Saturday.

Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston, while right-hander Dylan Bundy will do the same for Baltimore.

Last time he pitched at Camden Yards back on May 8th, Sale fanned 14 over eight scoreless frames, including his first immaculate inning of the season in the seventh.

Since the beginning of May, Sale has posted a 1.99 ERA and .153 batting average against over his last eight starts and 54.1 innings pitched, yet the Red Sox are only 4-4 in those games.

Bundy, meanwhile, has had himself a solid 2019 campaign to this point with an ERA of 4.50 through 13 starts, although that number lowers to 3.02 since the beginning of last month.

In 17 outings (13 starts) against Boston, Bundy is 3-7 with an unsightly 5.08 ERA over 78 total innings of work.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 4:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking for their fourth straight win.

 

 

 

 

Red Sox Activate Brian Johnson from Injured List, Option Sam Travis to Triple-A Pawtucket

Before kicking off a three-game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, the Red Sox returned left-hander Brian Johnson from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket and activated him from the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, first baseman/outfielder Sam Travis was optioned to Triple-A. The club made the transaction official earlier Friday.

Last appearing in a game with the Red Sox way back on April 5th, Johnson has been sidelined the past two-plus months due inflammation in his left elbow.

Now in his second full big league season, the 28-year-old owns a 12.71 ERA and .370 batting average against through four relief appearances in 2019.

While rehabbing with both Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson allowed a total of 14 runs (11 earned) on 20 hits and eight walks over six outings (four starts) and 14.2 innings of work.

Those numbers may not look all that promising, but the Florida native did hold the Rochester Red Wings to one run on four hits and two walk to go along with six strikeouts in a four-inning start on June 9th.

With Johnson back in the mix, expect him to get the start against Baltimore on Sunday, as the Sox have yet to announce a starter for that contest.

Sam Travis, meanwhile, was up with Boston for nearly two weeks in his second stint with the big league club so far this season.

The 25-year-old utility man went 2-for-17 with one RBI and a few nice defensive plays this time around, and is currently slashing .167/.167/.167 through eight games played in 2019.

The Red Sox are currently rostering 13 pitchers and 12 position players.

First pitch against the O’s on Friday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN. Here’s how the Sox will be lining up.

Xander Bogaerts Leads Power Surge for Red Sox in 7-6 Comeback Win over Rangers for Series Split

In a game that took well over four hours to complete, the Red Sox stormed all the way back to a four-game split against the Texas Rangers with a 7-6 win on Thursday night to close out a 3-5 homestand.

Making his 12th start of the season for Boston in the series finale was David Price, fresh off six quality one-run innings in his last time out against the Tampa Bay Rays.

This time around though, the left-hander struggled mightily against a team he has a rough history with, as he yielded six runs, all of which were earned, on five hits, two HBPs, and one walk to go along with a pair of strikeouts on the short-lived night.

The issues for Price were present right from the get-go, that much was clear by how he hit the first man he faced in Shin-Soo Choo, and proceeded to walk the next in Delino Deshields, which in turn led to Texas plating their first two runs on an Elvis Andrus RBI single and Hunter Pence RBI double that nearly left the yard, but bounced off the top of the short wall in right field and landed back in play.

Price escaped the first after surrendering another pair of runs on two-out, two RBI double from Logan Forsythe, but more trouble arose an inning later, and it was once again started by beaning Choo with one out on a 1-2 changeup.

A double from Deshields put both runners on base in scoring position for Andrus, who capitalized on a 1-0 changeup from the Tennessee native and grounded another two-run hit through the left side of the infield to make it a 6-0 game. That was how Price’s evening came to a disappointing close, less than an hour after it had began.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 49 (27 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball nearly 37% of the time he was on the mound Thursday, inducing five swings and misses and topping out at 92.3 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez behind the plate.

When asked about his performance, Price simply said, “I sucked. That’s it.” With his ERA jumping up by 8/10 of a run up to 3.52 on the season, he’ll look for better results in his next time out against the Minnesota Twins next Tuesday.

In relief of Price, Sox manager Alex Cora turned to every reliever in his bullpen sans Heath Hembree, who later said he wasn’t available to pitch due to right forearm tightness.

Mike Shawaryn, Colten Brewer, and Travis Lakins, all of whom have been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket in the last few weeks, set the groundwork by working a combined four scoreless, no-hit frames of relief, scattering five walks along the way to set up the more high-leverage arms.

Entering the sixth with the score at 6-6, Marcus Walden bounced back from a two-run outing this past Saturday by working his way around two two-out singles in an otherwise clean frame with some help from Andrew Benintendi.

Another tightrope was walked in the seventh, when, still in a tie game, Brandon Workman walked the bases loaded with two outs, took Deshields to a full count after falling behind 3-0, and came through with a huge punchout on an 82 MPH slider to strand the go-ahead run at third.

In the eighth, after his side had plated what would turn out to be the winning run in their half of the inning, Matt Barnes also bounced back from what has been a subpar month of June so far by fanning the final two Rangers he faced to leave Hunter Pence at second following a one-out double.

And in the ninth, with Heath Hembree unavailable, Josh Smith, yes, Josh Smith came on for his first ever big league save opportunity.

It didn’t look great when he hit the first batter he faced, but the 31-year-old got Rougned Odor to ground into a force out at second to keep the tying run out of scoring position before the Rangers second baseman stole the base anyway, and he also struck out pinch-hitter Nomar Mazara seven pitches later.

With one out still to get, this contest nearly ended on a pick-off move made by Smith on a retreating Odor as he was sliding back to second.

Xander Bogaerts was confident he had the runner on the tag, but second base umpire Angel Hernandez ruled him safe, and that ruling was upheld despite a Red Sox challenge.

The man who was at the plate while that transpired, Choo, was intentionally walked, and Smith succeeded against his next opponent in Deshields, as he got the speedy outfielder to fly out to center, thus securing his first career save and completing the comeback.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Rangers right-hander Adrian Sampson, who hadn’t pitched against the Sox nor at Fenway Park since his rookie year in 2016, when he was with the Seattle Mariners.

Starting the scoring for Boston in this one was JD Martinez in the first inning, mashing his 13th home run of the year on a 418 foot solo shot to center to cut the early deficit to three runs.

An inning later, that deficit would be trimmed down even further to two thanks to back-to-back leadoff singles from Bogaerts and Vazquez and a 403 foor three-run dinger off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr., his sixth of the year.

Fast forward to the fourth, and Michael Chavis came alive and made it a one-run game by depositing his first homer since the 22nd of May into the third row of Monster Seats down the left field line. 6-5.

Rafael Devers joined the home run party in the fifth, tying this wild one up by absolutely crushing an 0-2 hanging slider from Sampson and sending it 443 feet over everything in center field. Per Statcast, the 22-year-old’s 10th big fly of 2019 had an exit velocity of 110 MPH.

Finally, in the seventh, down to their final out of the inning with right-hander Peter Fairbanks in for Texas, Xander Bogaerts gave the Sox their first lead of the night, collecting his 14th home run of the season on an 0-1 slider, one that the budding shortstop mashed 386 feet over the Monster.

That put the Red Sox ahead 7-6 after trailing by as many as five runs, and that would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox had nine hits Thursday. Five were home runs.

Jackie Bradley Jr. in June: .257/.366/.514 with two home runs, three doubles, and seven RBI.

Xander Bogaerts in June: .304/.382/.630 with three doubles, four home runs, and seven RBI.

The Red Sox bullpen Thursday: 7 1/3 innings pitched, four hits, one HBP, eight walks, nine strikeouts, ZERO earned runs.

So, after going down two games in a four-game series, the Red Sox respond by taking the next two for the split. That’s encouraging to see, especially with a three-game weekend series against the lowly Baltimore Orioles set to begin on Friday.

The starters for that series go as follows: Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale, TBD (Could be Brian Johnson).

Meanwhile, for Baltimore, they have yet to announce a starter for either Friday or Sunday. Right-hander Dylan Bundy will be matched up against Sale on Saturday.

The Sox took two out of three from the O’s in their first trip to Baltimore back in May. A sweep this time around seems more ideal.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third straight win.

 

 

 

Red Sox Snap Three-Game Skid, Top Rangers 4-3 on Mookie Betts’ Walk-Off Walk

The Red Sox entered Wednesday losers of their last three and 1-5 on their current eight-game homestand. They had fallen eight games off the pace for first place in the American League East and three games back of the second wild card spot. It’s only June 12th, but I don’t think it’s an understatement to say they needed this 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers, especially after blowing another late lead and bouncing back from it.

Making his 14th start of the season for Boston was Rick Porcello, who came into this one having given up nine earned runs over his last 10 2/3 innings going back to the beginning of the month.

Working his way into the seventh inning this time around, the right-hander limited the Rangers to just two runs, both of which were earned, on five hits and zero walks to go along with six strikeouts on the evening.

Both of those Rangers tallies came right away in the first, when after recording the first two outs of the frame in pretty seamless fashion, three straight hits from Elvis Andrus, Nomar Mazara, and Hunter Pence, who drove in both runners on base with a two-run double, put the Red Sox down a pair early.

From there though, Porcello certainly recovered nicely, stringing together 15 consecutive outs before yielding a two-out double to Andrus in the sixth. Nothing came out of that.

In what would turn out to be his final inning, the New Jersey native was only one pitch away from retiring the side by fanning Rougned Odor on five pitches, but the Rangers second baseman won the battle, ripped a single to center, and that is how Porcello’s outing came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 101 (67 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler relied on his slider nearly 39% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing four swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 93.8 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he turned to 23 times while Christian Vazquez, not Sandy Leon, was behind the plate.

Hit with the no-decision while his ERA on the season dipped down to a nice 4.69, Porcello will look to build on his first quality outing of June in his next time out, which should come against the Minnesota Twins.

In relief of Porcello, Brandon Workman came on with one out to get in the seventh and stranded the inherited runner at first by punching out Ronald Guzman on four pitches.

The eighth inning for Workman though, well, that was a different story, and it started by him plunking Choo with one out in the inning.

A successful sacrifice bunt off the bat of the speedy Delino Deshields Jr. that was misplayed by Christian Vazquez on a poor throw to first put runners in scoring position for Texas.

A sacrifice fly from Andrus two pitches later allowed Choo to score from third, and this contest was knotted up at three runs a piece.

Fortunately for Boston, unlike some recent nights have gone, Workman escaped the eighth with the tie still intact, and that would turn out to be the last run surrendered by a Red Sox pitcher.

That being the case because Matt Barnes maneuvered his way around a two-out walk in an otherwise clean ninth to set up the walk-off shortly thereafter.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a fairly familiar opponent in Rangers right-hander Lance Lynn, who came into Wednesday with a solid track record in three prior appearances at Fenway Park.

Staring the scoring for Boston following a two-run first for Texas was Rafael Devers, whose two-out RBI single plated Andrew Benintendi from second to cut that deficit in half immediately.

Fast forward to the third, a leadoff walk drawn by Jackie Bradley Jr. almost went in vain before Andrew Benintendi drove him in with his second of three extra base hits on the day, this one a two-out RBI triple to pull his team even with the Rangers at two runs each.

In the fifth, it was more of the same from Benintendi, as the Sox outfielder worked some more two-out magic and drilled an RBI single on the first pitch he saw from Lynn, an 80 MPH curveball on the lower half of the strike zone, to advance Michael Chavis from first all the way to home to pull ahead of the Rangers by one run at 3-2.

And in the ninth, after Texas plated their third run in their half of the eighth, it was down to the bottom of the Sox order against right-hander Jesse Chavez.

Christian Vazquez kicked off the late push by lacing a leadoff ground-rule double into Boston’s bullpen, and he was subbed out for the quicker Marco Hernandez as a pinch-runner.

One Bradley Jr. bloop single to move Hernandez up to third and Michael Chavis walk later, Mookie Betts came to the plate with the chance to send his side home victorious with the winning run just 90 feet away.

With nine previous meetings against Chavez under his belt, Betts hardly had to do anything in this particular at-bat, taking four straight balls following a first pitch foul to draw the walk and plate Hernandez from third.

Red Sox walk it off in anticlimactic fashion and snap their three-game skid with a 4-3 win.

Some notes from this win:

Andrew Benintendi in June: .333/.378/.571 with five doubles, one triple, one home run, and five RBI.

JD Martinez struck out four times Wednesday, the first time he’s done that in a game since the 2015 season.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the finale of this four-game series Thursday night before the team embarks on a two-city, six-game road trip.

Left-hander David Price will get the ball for Boston in the fourth and final contest, while right-hander Adrian Sampson will do the same for Texas.

Both starters have been stellar for their respective clubs recently, with Price posting a 1.13 ERA over his last five starts and Sampson posting an ERA of 1.99 over that same span, including a complete game four-hitter in his last time out against the Oakland Athletics.

In 15 career starts against the Rangers, Price is 4-6 with a 5.63 ERA over 84.2 total innings pitched.

Sampson, meanwhile, has not faced the Red Sox since he made his big league debut with the Seattle Mariners back on June 18th, 2016, where he allowed four runs in less than five innings in a losing effort at Fenway Park.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the split.

Go Bruins.

 

 

 

Darwinzon Hernandez Struggles in First Start, Alex Cora and Andrew Benintendi Get Tossed as Red Sox Fall Back to .500 in 9-5 Loss to Rangers

After blowing a late lead to open up a four-game series against the Texas Rangers on Monday, the Red Sox fell behind early Tuesday and could never really recover, as they dropped their third straight contest to fall back to .500 on the season in a 9-5 loss.

Making his first career start and second appearance for Boston was top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez, who was recalled from Double-A Pawtucket earlier Tuesday.

Last working as a reliever in his first stint with the club back in April, the left-hander surrendered four runs, three of which were earned, on three hits and five walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

Despite fanning 77% of the nine hitters he faced, control remained Hernandez’s biggest issue in this one, as it has been in his time with the Sea Dogs.

From the jump, the Venezuela native dazzled, punching out the side in the first while also leading off the second with his fourth K.

The trouble began with a one-out, seven-pitch walk of Hunter Pence, which was followed with a four-pitch walk of Asdrubal Cabrera to give the Rangers their first two baserunners.

Two pitches later, Rougned Odor drove in his team’s first run by ripping an RBI ground-rule double over Mookie Betts’ head in right field, which came at the benefit of the Red Sox with Cabrera being held up at third.

In the third, the free pass bit Hernandez yet again, this time with three of the first five Rangers hitters to come to the plate in the inning reaching base by way of the BB, loading the bases for Cabrera.

After falling behind 3-0 and battling back to fill the count, Cabrera ultimately won his second battle against the young southpaw, as he made it a 3-1 contest with a two-run single to center.

Hernandez would fan Odor for his seventh and final strikeout, and proceeded to allow the first two Rangers he faced to reach in the fourth with the help of a Rafael Devers fielding error before getting the hook from Sox manager Alex Cora.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 86 (42 strikes), the 22-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball nearly 76% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing seven swings and misses while also topping out at 97.7 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

It’s never been a question about Hernandez’s stuff, that is certainly there. It’s the control that’s the issue, and for whatever reason, he just folded after recording the first out of the second inning.

Can’t say for sure that Hernandez will make another start, but if he does, it will most likely come against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

In relief of Hernandez, Colten Brewer came on in that fourth inning, yielded a six-pitch walk to the first man he saw to fill the bases, and officially closed the book on Hernandez’s first big league start by giving up a sacrifice fly to Danny Santana to make it a 4-3 game.

From there, after Brewer escaped the fourth with back-to-back punchouts, Bobby Poyner came on for his first appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, and he, at the very least, ate some innings.

To put it bluntly, the left-hander entered with his team trailing by one run, and left with them down by six, with those last two runs coming on a two-run inside-the-park home run off the bat of Hunter Pence that was just out of Brock Holt’s reach in the top half of the sixth.

And finally, Mike Shawaryn continued to impress out of the bullpen by fanning four Rangers in two perfect frames of relief to wrap up what was another underwhelming night from Red Sox pitching.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Rangers right-hander Ariel Jurado, who had never pitched against Boston nor at Fenway Park before Tuesday.

Already down a run by the middle of the second, Xander Bogaerts answered back and got his side on the board by blasting his 13th home run of the season, this one a 422 foot shot over the Green Monster.

An inning later and trailing by a pair this time, Rafael Devers erased that deficit quickly, following by back-to-back two-out walks with a two-run triple off Jurado to break out of an 0-for-20 slump. He was stranded at third.

Fast forward to the bottom of the fifth, and some drama arose when Andrew Benintendi had a few choice words for home plate umpire Angel Hernandez following a groundout to short.

The thing was, Hernandez couldn’t hear Benintendi’s words, but first base umpire Vic Carapazza could, and without giving a warning, ejected the Red Sox outfielder as he was heading back towards his dugout.

That led to even more pandemonium, and ultimately resulted in Cora’s ejection and more colorful language from Benintendi.

Once all was settled, the Sox still trailed by three runs going into the sixth, and that deficit did not shrink.

A Michael Chavis leadoff double in the seventh off new Rangers reliever Jose LeClerc, followed by an RBI two-bagger from JD Martinez two outs later gave Boston their fourth run of the night.

And in the ninth, Mookie Betts swung at the very first pitch he saw from right-hander Chris Martin, and came away with his 11th dinger of the year, although it didn’t make much of a difference in what would go down as a 9-5 loss for the Red Sox.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox are 34-34 on the season and 5-6 in June.

Mike Shawaryn is averaging 16.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

JD Martinez’s last two games since returning from back spasms: 4-for-7, two doubles, one run scored, one RBI.

Andrew Benintendi on his ejection:

Alex Cora on his:

Brock Holt, who was in right field because of the Benintendi ejection, on what happened on the inside-the-park homer:

It was a bizarre night, really. Both managers got ejected, the Red Sox didn’t use one pitcher who appeared in a big league game before the start of the 2018 season, and Mookie Betts had himself a rough time of things in center field.

Next up for the Sox, it’s the third game of this four-game set, which was moved up three hours from its original start time because of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Right-hander Rick Porcello, will be getting the ball for Boston, while fellow righty Lance Lynn will be doing the same for Texas.

In his career against the Rangers, Porcello (4-6, 4.86 ERA) owns a lifetime 5.16 ERA over 12 prior starts and 68 total innings pitched.

Lynn (7-4, 4.39 ERA), meanwhile, has posted a career 2.40 ERA in three previous appearances (two starts) and 15 innings of work at Fenway Park.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 4:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox need to wake up.