#RedSox Make History and Clinch Home Field Advantage with 106th Win of Season.

The Boston Red Sox have been in existence since 1901. Never before have they won as many games in a single regular season as they have in 2018 following a 6-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his 20th start of the season in this one, set the tone with quality innings, as he surrendered just one run on four hits and zero walks to go along with 10 strikeouts on the night to tie a career-high.

In relief of Eovaldi, the Red Sox combined to give up just one run over the final four frames against Baltimore in this series opener, including two scoreless from Eduardo Rodriguez and a scoreless ninth from Matt Barnes.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy, and they got to him for four runs, all of which crossed the plate in the bottom half of the second.

Three straight one out hits from Steve Pearce, Brock Holt, and Christian Vazquez put Boston up by two runs early, and Mookie Betts wrapped an already solid offensive inning up by mashing a 351 foot two-run shot over the Green Monster.

With that homer, Betts set a new career high in home runs in a single season with his 32nd of the year.

Fast forward to the fourth, and a pair of RBI singles from Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts gave the Red Sox a commanding 6-0 lead, which is all they would need to make history and clinch home field throughout the postseason at Fenway Park.

Some notes from this 6-2 win:

From @SoxNotes: The Red Sox improve to 106-51, marking a new franchise record for wins in a season. They are the 19th team since 1900 to win as many as 106 games.

The Sox have secured sole possession of MLB’s best record for the 5th time in franchise history (also 1903, 1912, 1915, and 1946).

In the month of September, Nathan Eovaldi has posted a 1.50 ERA in four games (three starts).

Mookie Betts is slashing .368/.457/.763 with three home runs and nine RBI since September 9th.

So, there you have it. Most wins ever in a single regular season in Red Sox history. The road to the World Series now goes through Boston.

First pitch of the middle game of the series is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET Tuesday with David Price on the mound. Weather might be an issue, we’ll see.

 

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RECAP: A Pair of First Career Home Runs from Sam Travis and Tzu-Wei Lin Power #RedSox to 7-5 Win over Indians for 105th Victory of Season.

After clinching  and celebrating their third straight American League East title with an 11-6 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday night, the Red Sox headed to Cleveland looking to make more history in their last road series of the regular season against an Indians team that clinched their division weeks ago.

Making his 26th start of the season in and third since returning from the disabled list on September 11th in this series opener was Chris Sale.

Entering Friday with a lifetime 4.63 ERA in 14 career outings at Progressive Field, the left-hander’s night, although on the short side, went decently well.

Pitching into the fourth inning of this one, Sale held the Indians to two runs on five hits, one of which was a home run, and zero walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

Facing 15 total batters, the Florida native really did not run into any trouble until that bottom half of the fourth, when with one out and the bases empty, newest Indian Josh Donaldson unloaded on a 2-1 95 MPH fastball and pulled it 396 feet into the left field bleachers.

That was followed up by a Yandy Diaz single, and that is how Sale’s night would come to a conclusion, at least on the field of play.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 73 (48 strikes) the most he has thrown since returning from the DL, the 29-year-old turned to his four-seam seam fastball 25 times on the evening, and topped out at 95.7 MPH with that same pitch in the third inning.

Unable to pick up the winning decision due to the length of last night’s start, Sale will take his square 2.00 ERA into his final start of the regular season in his next time out, which will come against the Baltimore Orioles this Wednesday at night at Fenway Park. Expect the ace to ramp it up to somewhere around 85 pitches in that one.

In relief of Sale, Heath Hembree got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen with one out and one on in the fourth, and he officially closed the book on the starter’s night by serving up a two-run homer to Indians catcher Yan Gomes that gave Cleveland a 3-1 advantage.

From the middle of the fifth inning on, Bobby Poyner, Matt Barnes, Drew Pomeranz, Brandon Workman, Hector Velazquez, and Robby Scott combined to toss four innings of two-run ball to set up Craig Kimbrel for the save in the ninth.

Working for the second time in as many days with a two run lead to protect, the Red Sox closer sat down all three batters he faced to notch his 42nd save and secure his team’s 105th win of the season.

All and all, not including Sale, Alex Cora turned to EIGHT total relievers on Friday night. Matt Barnes also made his first appearance out of the bullpen in over two weeks and picked up his sixth win of the year with a scoreless sixth inning of work.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer, who was making his first start since August 11th after fracturing his right fibula.

Before we get into this, I just want you to go ahead and take a look at Friday’s lineup to get an idea of what the expectations were going into this one.

  1. Tzu-Wei Lin, CF
  2. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. JD Martinez, DH
  5. Steve Pearce, 1B
  6. Brock Holt, SS
  7. Blake Swihart, RF
  8. Sam Travis, LF
  9. Sandy Leon, C

As you can see, not exactly what the ALDS lineup is going to look like. It makes sense given the fact most of the everyday guys were a bit hung over from the postgame festivites on Thursday to go along with an early morning flight to Cleveland.

Anyway, Bauer, like Sale, was on a pitch cap, and he only made it into the second inning before getting the hook in favor of Matt Olson, who finished the frame without surrendering a run.

That made way for RHP Shane Bieber to begin the top half of the third, and Sam Travis greeted him right away by launching his first ever big league home run to put Boston on the board first.

Fast forward to the sixth, with Bieber still on the hill for Cleveland, and Rafael Devers stayed hot by mashing a two out solo homer good for his 18th of the season to cut the Indians lead to two.

An inning later, two straight one out hits set up Sam Travis in another prime run scoring opportunity, and he delivered by drilling a two RBI double to right center that plated both Brock Holt and Blake Swihart to tie this contest up at four runs each.

A few moments later, leadoff man Tzu-Wei Lin drove in Travis, who represented the go-ahead run, on a hard hit infield single that deflected off of Bieber’s heel and could not be fielded in time. 5-4 game.

Following a Brandon Phillips single and a pitching change that saw right-hander Neil Ramirez take over for Bieber, Rafael Devers came through once again by lining a run-scoring single to left field that allowed Lin to come in from third and give his team a two-run edge.

After the Indians bounced back with a run of their own in their half of the seventh, Tzu-Wei Lin essentially put this game on ice by demolishing his first career big fly off of Dan Otero with one out in the top of the ninth.

A 396 foot shot to right field that put the Red Sox up 7-5, which would go on to be the final score in their 105th win of the season, in case you missed that the first time.

Some notes from this 7-5 win:

From @SoxNotes: The Red Sox improve to 105-49, tying the franchise’s all-time single-season wins record (105-47 in 1912). Their magic number to clinch MLB’s best record is 1.

In the month of September, Craig Kimbrel is 5/5 in save opportunities over eight relief appearances. He has not allowed a single run to score in that span.

Rafael Devers is 6/16 (.375) in his last four games.

Dating back to September 9th, Brock Holt is slashing .455/.520/.909 with three home runs and eight RBI.

Since being recalled from Triple A Pawtucket on September 1st, Tzu-Wei Lin owns an OPS of 1.200.

Going for a record-setting 106th win later tonight, it will be Rick Porcello getting the starting nod for Boston.

Over the course of his 10-year career, Porcello has pitched at Progressive Field 12 times, where he owns a 2.84 ERA over 73 innings pitched.

Opposite Porcello will be another Indians right-hander in Mike Clevinger, who has seemingly emerged as one of the more underrated hurlers in the American League thanks to a breakout season in which he has posted a 3.06 ERA over a span of 30 starts with Cleveland.

First pitch of the middle game of the series is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET Saturday. Time to make some history.

 

#RedSox Clinch Third Consecutive American League East Title with 11-6 Win over Yankees.

For the first time in their history, the Red Sox are American League East Champs following a 11-6 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday night.

It certainly was not easy, and they were trailing up until the seventh inning, but thanks to the combined efforts of Steven Wright, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and Mookie Betts among others, the Red Sox get the job done for their 104th win of the year.

Wright earned his third winning decision with three scoreless frames of relief from the fifth up until the seventh, Jackie Bradley Jr.’s 13th home run of the season tied this contest up at six runs a piece in the seventh inning,…

…Xander Bogaerts’ sacrifice fly resulted in two Red Sox runs coming around to score on a throwing error committed by Aaron Hicks…

…and Mookie Betts’ three-run homer off of Aroldis Chapman in the top of the eighth essentially sealed this come from behind W.

For Betts, that was his 30th big fly of the season, which is one shy of his career-high of 31.

Other offensive contributions from Boston in this one include RBI singles from JD Martinez and Betts in the first and second, a solo shot off the bat of Brock Holt in the third,…

…and a run-scoring GIDP from Martinez in the fifth that cut the Yankees lead to 6-5. The rest after that is history.

Eduardo Rodriguez struggled in his 23rd start of the season with a career-high seven walks in less than four innings pitched, but Masahiro Tanaka had his fair share of difficulties on the other side as well.

To wrap this division-clinching win up, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel came on in a nonsave opportunity, and he officially closed the door on the Yankees’ division hopes with a scoreless ninth.

Now it’s on to Cleveland for a three-game set against a first place Indians team set to begin Friday night, but before that, in the words of the great Dennis Eckersley, “It’s time to party.”

Yankee Stadium Continues to Haunt David Price.

Entering Wednesday as one of the hottest pitchers in the American League since the All-Star break, all eyes turned to David Price to see how he would fare in a place he has seemingly struggled in since he joined the Red Sox two seasons ago.

Making his second start in the Bronx this season, the left-hander, albeit it was not all on him, had his fair share of difficulties once again to continue this frustrating pattern.

Pitching into the sixth inning of yesterday’s contest, Price surrendered six runs, four of which were earned, on five hits, three of which were home runs, while tying a season-high in walks with four of them on the night. He also struck out just two batters.

To make matters worse, some of this damage could have been avoided if it were not for Eduardo Nunez’s defensive blunder at third base in the second inning.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge appeared to have recorded the final out of the frame on a routine ground ball to third base. Instead of fielding it though, Eduardo Nunez, who was making his first start at third since exiting last Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays with right knee soreness, misplayed the hop and let the ball roll to left field.

That allowed both Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit to come around and score, and instead of escaping the bottom of the third trailing by a lone run, Price and the Red Sox found themselves down by three.

Things would not get easier for the Tennessee native after that mishap though, and that was mostly due to the efforts of Yankees first baseman Luke Voit.

Voit, who had only faced Price three times before Wednesday, ripped dinky home runs in two of the three at bats he had against him.

Miguel Andujar homered off of Price in the first inning as well, meaning that in two starts at Yankee Stadium this season, the 33-year-old has served up EIGHT home runs to Yankees hitters over just 8.2 total innings pitched.

For what its worth, the three home runs last night traveled 340′, 341′ and 343′ respectively. Not exactly moonshots.

And I know we like to complain about the ridiculous dimensions that ballpark has, but it’s still concerning to see one of the better pitchers in the American League struggle so much in one specific place.

Dating back to when he signed with Boston prior tot he 2016 season, Price has made six starts in a Red Sox uniform at Yankee Stadium over a three-season span. In those starts, he has given up 35 runs (33 earned) on 52 hits (13 home runs) and 13 walks to go along with 16 strikeouts over 30.1 innings of work. That’s good for a 9.87 ERA.

Just this season alone, opponents are slashing .342/.400/.976 off the former first round pick when he pitches at Yankee Stadium.

The good thing is Price won’t have to pitch a Yankee Stadium again, at least for the remainder of the regular season.

Falling to 15-7 with his ERA jumping up to 3.53 ERA on the year following a blowout 10-1 loss, Price will look to get back on track in his second to last start of the regular season, which will come against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox will look to clinch the American League East once again later tonight, as they send Eduardo Rodriguez out to take on Masahiro Tanaka and a 93-58 Yankees team.

First pitch of the series finale in the Bronx is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET Thursday.

 

RECAP: Chris Sale Tosses Three Scoreless Innings and Brock Holt Stays Hot as #RedSox Take Series from Mets with 4-3 Win.

After splitting the first two games of this three-game series against the New York Mets over the last two days, the Red Sox looked to head into an off day with their second consecutive series victory and 103rd win of the season on Sunday.

Making his 25th start of the season and second since returning from the disabled list on Tuesday, Chris Sale took the mound at Fenway Park for his second ever appearance against the Mets.

Pitching three full innings in this one as planned, the left-hander held New York scoreless while allowing just one hit and zero walks to go along with a single strikeout on the afternoon.

Facing the minimum nine batters thanks to a caught stealing in the top of the second, Sale needed 42 pitches (27 strikes) to complete the three frames of work.

Out of those 42 pitches, the Florida native threw 20 four-seam fastballs, 11 sliders, seven changeups, and four two-seam fastballs, which resulted in a total of six swinging and eight called strikes.

He also topped out at 96.8 MPH with that four-seamer in the first inning.

Lowering his ERA on the season down to an American League best 1.92 with this solid performance to wrap up the weekend, Sale will look to ramp it up to four innings in his next time out, which will come against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland this upcoming Friday.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final six innings of Sunday’s win, but nothing certainly came easy for them.

Entering this contest first with a fresh three-run lead to protect, Hector Velazquez, who was scratched from his previous start with illness on Friday, tossed a scoreless fourth inning.

Drew Pomeranz was next up, and after retiring all three batters he faced in the fifth, surrendered the first two Mets runs of the day in the sixth while recording the first two outs of the inning.

Heath Hembree cleaned up Pomeranz’s mess in that top half of the sixth, but failed to record an out in the seventh by walking one and hitting another.

Joe Kelly, like Hembree, did manage to clean up a bit of a sticky situation in his 69th relief appearance of the year, but not before allowing one of the inherited runners to score on a two out Amed Rosario RBI single.

From that point on, Brandon Workman worked a scoreless eighth inning to keep this thing tied at three runs a piece, and after his team jumped out to a 4-3 advantage in their half of the eighth, Steven Wright came in and picked up his first career save with a clean ninth.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against arguably the best pitcher in the National League in the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, who entered Sunday with a miniscule 1.71 ERA over 29 starts this season.

After failing to reach base once through the first two-plus innings of this one, it was Rafael Devers who got a huge bottom of the third started by ripping a one out single back up the middle to center field.

One Christian Vazquez single later that allowed Devers to advance all the way to third thanks to a little hit-and-run action, Mookie Betts drove in the first run of the afternoon with a 380 foot sacrifice fly to center field that plated Devers and made it a 1-0 game.

With one out and one runner on, the red-hot Brock Holt came to the plate, batting in the two-hole for a change, and came through with yet another game-changing hit, a two-run home run sent 402 feet to the Red Sox bullpen.

For Holt, just his fifth big fly of the season, and for deGrom, just the 10th homer he has given up all season.

A las, that was all the Red Sox could get off of New York’s ace, and it was not until the eighth when they would get on the scoreboard again.

Tied at 3-3 now, Andrew Benintendi came to the plate with one out, Tzu-Wei Lin at third following a leadoff double, and Seth Lugo on the hill for the Mets.

On the second pitch he saw from Lugo, Benintendi al but sealed the deal in this one with an RBI sac fly to center that was more than good enough to plate Lin from third for what would end up being the game-winning run.

Some notes from this 4-3 win: 

Injury-related: Mookie Betts had to leave this game in the sixth inning with left side soreness after making an awkward throw home in right field, but he should be good to DH in New York on Tuesday, per Alex Cora.

Through 150 games, the Red Sox have a winning percentage of .687.

Brock Holt is hitting .400 with two home runs and seven RBI in his last five games.

Chris Sale has not surrendered an earned run in his last 25 innings pitched, which dates back to July 11th.

The magic number for the Red Sox to clinch their third consecutive American League East title now stands at two games, meaning they could be crowned division champs at Yankee Stadium for the second time in the last three seasons.

All that is needed for that to happen is one win in the team’s next three games against the Yankees, which will take place after an off day on Monday.

Starting pitching matchups for that upcoming series go as follows:

9/18: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-7 4.22 ERA) vs. LHP JA Happ (16-6 3.75 ERA)

9/19: LHP David Price (15-6 3.42 ERA) vs. RHP Luis Severino (17-8 3.46 ERA)

9/20: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (13-4 3.53 ERA) vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka (12-5 3.47 ERA)

The Yankees have lost six of their last ten games.

First pitch of the series opener in the Bronx is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET Tuesday, weather permitting.

 

RECAP: Brock Holt Comes Through with Another Huge Pinch Hit as #RedSox Even Things up with Mets in 5-3 Win.

After looking lifeless in a series opening 8-0 loss to Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets on Friday night, the Red Sox looked to get back on track with Rick Porcello on the mound this afternoon.

Making his 31st start of the season on Saturday and coming off an outing in which he gave up four earned runs in less than six innings against the Houston Astros this past Sunday, Porcello had himself a solid day against the team he grew up a fan of.

Pitching five full innings in this one, the right-hander surrendered three earned runs on just two hits, one walk, and one HBP to go along with five strikeouts on the evening.

As it so happens, those three runs given up by Porcello came on one swing of the bat from New York, when with one out and runners on first and second, Brandon Nimmo ripped a three-run homer to the Red Sox bullpen that put the Mets up 3-1 in the fourth.

Fortunately, the New Jersey native remained composed, buckled down, and sat down the final four hitters he faced to end his outing on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 88, Porcello may not have gone the six innings Red Sox manager Alex Cora had planned for, but he did throw strikes 70% of the time on Saturday.

chart (4).png

Out of those 88 pitches, the 29-year-old turned to his slider a total of 36 times, which resulted in six swinging strikes and four called strikes. He also topped out at 93.4 MPH with his four-seam fastball in the second inning.

Improving to 17-7 thanks in part to the four-run rally his team put together in their half of the fifth inning, Porcello will take his 4.30 ERA and impressive record into his next time out, which should come against the Cleveland Indians sometime next weekend.

In relief of Porcello, the Red Sox bullpen bounced back from an all-around awful performance last night by combining for four shutout frames today.

Bobby Poyner, Steven Wright, and Ryan Brasier all picked up holds from the top of the sixth to the middle of the eighth while Craig Kimbrel recorded his 41st save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Mets rookie right-hander Corey Oswalt, who entered Saturday with a 6.62 ERA in 15 appearances (10 starts) with New York this season.

Starting the scoring right away in the first inning for Boston was Xander Bogaerts, whose one out RBI single plated Mookie Betts from third and put his team up early.

Fast forward to the fifth though, after the Mets had jumped out to a two run advantage of their own, and it was Steve Pearce who got a huge inning for the Red Sox started by grounding a two out single back up the middle.

One Ian Kinsler single and Mets mound visit later, it appeared as though Jackie Bradley Jr. had come through with the biggest hit of the game up to that point, a three-run home run off of Paul Sewald that would have put his team up 4-3.

Instead, after a rather lengthy umpire review, the home run was instead ruled a two RBI double, which did not and still does not make too much sense.

Nonetheless, with this game now tied, an intentional walk of Rafael Devers and a pitching change that saw RHP Drew Smith take over for Sewald set up Brock Holt in another pinch-hitting spot, as he came to the plate in the place of the struggling Sandy Leon.

On the first pitch he saw from Smith, Holt drilled a two-run double 406 feet to left center field like the pinch-hitting specialist he is.

That was good enough to drive in both Bradley Jr. and Devers, and just like that, the Red Sox had a brand new 5-3 lead. A lead they would not have to look back from en route to their 102nd win of the season.

Some notes from this 5-3 win:

From @RedSox: As a PH this season, Brock Holt is 5/13 (.385) with two doubles, one triple, two home runs, and seven RBI.

In his last 30 games, Xander Bogaerts is slashing .324/.377/.532 with four home runs and 22 RBI. His 94 RBI on the season are a career high.

In six relief appearances this month, Craig Kimbrel is 4/4 in save opportunities. He has not given up a run nor a hit in those six appearances.

Going for the series win and win number 103 tomorrow afternoon, it will be a starting pitching matchup that features two frontrunners for the Cy Young in their respective leagues.

For New York, RHP Jacob deGrom will bring a National League leading 1.71 ERA into his first ever start at Fenway Park.

In one previous start against the Red Sox, which took place in 2015, deGrom held Boston to two runs on four hits and two walks over six innings at Citi Field.

Opposite deGrom will be Chris Sale for the Red Sox, who also leads his league in ERA at 1.96.

Per Alex Cora, Sale is expected to ramp it up to three innings of work tomorrow, then the bullpen will take it from there.

And in case you haven’t seen it yet, deGrom took Sale deep while the two were in college back in 2010. Not like it matters much in an American League ballpark though.

First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET Sunday.

RECAP: Xander Bogaerts Scores Winning Run on Fielding Error as #RedSox Finish off Sweep of Blue Jays.

Following a historic Wednesday night in which they saw their win total reach 100 for the first time since 1946, the Red Sox went into Thursday looking to complete the series sweep in their last game against the Toronto Blue Jays this season.

Making his 22nd start of the year on Thursday, Eduardo Rodriguez looked much better than he did in his last time out against the Houston Astros, an outing in which he surrendered five earned runs in less than four innings.

Pitching six full frames in this one, the left-hander allowed just one Toronto run to cross the plate while scattering five hits and zero walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

That lone run came in the top half of the third inning, when with two outs and a runner at second, Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak grounded an RBI single up the middle to drive in Lourdes Gurriel.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, Rodriguez bounced back after that by retiring 10 of the final 11 hitters he faced, including a four pitch strikeout of Randal Grichuk with two outs in the sixth, to wrap up his evening on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final efficient pitch count of 78 (52 strikes), the Venezuela native, who was caught by Christian Vazquez once again, had a more solid pitch mix than he did this past Saturday.

chart (3).png

Out of those 78 pitches, Rodriguez threw 17 changeups, 16 two-seam fastballs, 16 sliders, 16 four-seam fastballs, and 13 cutters, which resulted in a total of nine swinging strikes and 17 called strikes.

He also topped out at 93.9 MPH with both the two and four-seamer in the third and fifth innings.

Unable to pick up a well-deserved winning decision despite leaving with his team ahead, Rodriguez did manage to lower his ERA on the season down to 3.53 in his third start since returning from the disabled list.

He’ll look to build on this solid outing in his next time out, which should come against the New York Yankees sometime next week.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final three innings of Thursday night’s contest with a two run lead to protect.

Ryan Brasier was first up for the seventh inning, and he retired the only three hitters he faced in order. That was fine, but what happened in the eighth was not.

Bobby Poyner, who has seemingly been paving his way for a spot on any postseason roster with his performance as of late, made one mistake pitch to Lourdes Gurriel, who hit his eighth home run of the season to make it just a one-run game.

The left-hander did manage to record the first two outs of the frame along with that homer, and Joe Kelly was next up after him.

Kelly, who had already surrendered runs in two appearances this month alone, could not record the inning-ending out.

Instead, he loaded the bases on one walk, one single, and one HBP before allowing the tying run to cross the plate on another HBP.

Out of the 15 pitches Kelly threw on Thursday, only FIVE of them went for strikes.

Brandon Workman would have to enter this one with two outs and a Blue Jay on every base, but he was able to escape the jam by fanning Billy McKinney on three straight strikes.

After the Red Sox retook the lead at 4-3 in their half of the eighth inning, it was Craig Kimbrel’s time to shut the door on Toronto for the final time in 2018.

Making his second appearance in as many days, the flame throwing closer needed just eight pitches to retire the side in order, earning his 40th save of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Blue Jays right-hander Sam Gaviglio, who only allowed one run in 3.1 innings pitched in his last start against Boston on July 14th.

For the second consecutive night, the bats were not all there, but they really didn’t need to be thanks to a pair of home runs.

That first homer came in the bottom of the second, when JD Martinez took a swing at a 2-2 83 MPH slider on the outer half of the plate and sent it 397 feet into the Red Sox bullpen.

Home run number 41 for Martinez had an exit velocity of 105.5 MPH.

An inning later, a Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff double would later result in the team’s second run of the night after Ian Kinsler drove him in on a one out sacrifice fly to left field.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth now, and Rafael Devers, who entered the game as a pinch runner for Eduardo Nunez in the fourth, absolutely crushed his 17th big fly of the season off of Mark Leiter.

According to Statcast, that ball was hit 394 feet and had an exit velocity of over 109 MPH.

In all honesty, that probably should have been the final nail in the coffin for the Blue Jays, but they pulled their way back into this thing, for a few minutes anyway.

Moments after Toronto evened this contest up at three runs a piece in the top half of the eighth inning, Xander Bogaerts responded right away by ripping a one out double off of Danny Barnes to put the go-ahead run in scoring position.

After a successful attempt of stealing third base, Bogaerts would come into score on what appeared to be a routine pop fly off the bat of Blake Swihart.

Instead, Jays second baseman Yangervis Solarte had trouble locating the ball during its descent, and it ended up clanking off his glove and dropping to the ground.

No RBI credited to Swihart there, but it was still good enough to get the job done.

For the second straight night, the game-wining run for Boston has been scored without recoding an RBI.

Some notes from this 4-3 win:

From @SoxNotes: The Red Sox (101-46) have won each of their last 4 games. They have a 10.5-game lead over the Yankees, tied for their largest of the season. This is only the 2nd season in which they have been as many as 55 games above .500 (also 1912).

In 10 games this month, Jackie Bradley Jr. owns a .915 OPS.

JD Martinez and Khris Davis of the Oakland Athletics are currently tied in the league lead for home runs with 41 a piece.

The Red Sox finish their season series against the Toronto Blue Jays with a 15-4 record. Their magic number to clinch the American League East is down to six games.

Eduardo Nunez is day-to-day with soreness in his right knee.

Winners of four straight, the Red Sox welcome the New York Mets into town for the first time since 2009 for a three-game weekend series.

Getting the start in the series opener for each side will be RHP Hector Velazquez for Boston and RHP Noah Syndergaard for New York.

In one career start against the Red Sox, which came back in 2015, Syndergaard surrendered four earned runs on six hits and one walk in 6.2 innings pitched. He did not factor into the decision.

Velazquez, on the other hand, has never faced the Mets in his career, but he does own a 4.26 ERA over seven appearances (one start) in interleague play this season.

UPDATE: Velazquez is out, RHP William Cuevas is in.

First pitch of the first game of the series is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET Friday.