After seeing their five-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday, the Red Sox bounced back less than 24 hours later with a 6-5 walk-off win over the Colorado Rockies Wednesday thanks to some late-game heroics from Michael Chavis.
Making his ninth start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered Wednesday unbeaten in his last six outings.
Working his way into the seventh inning of this one, the left-hander was charged for five runs, all earned, on nine hits, one HBP, and one walk to go along with a season-high 10 strikeouts on the night.
Outside of the seventh, it was the top of the fourth that provided Rodriguez with the most trouble, as the Rockies struck for their first two runs on an RBI sac fly from David Dahl and an RBI double from Tony Wolters.
Escaping any more damage in the frame by getting Charlie Blackmon to fly out to right, Rodriguez went on and retired five of the next six hitters he faced before Christian Vazquez ended the sixth by throwing out Ian Desmond at second on a failed stolen base attempt.
Now we get to where things got dicey.
Already with a pitch count of 99 heading into the seventh, the matchups favored Rodriguez with Ryan McMahon, Tony Wolters, and Charile Blackmon, all left-handed hitters, due up for Colorado.
Unfortunately, that plan backfired on Alex Cora and the Sox, as all three Rockies previously mentioned to load the bases without an out yet recorded.
A HBP of Blackmon would be how Rodriguez’s night came to an end, and he would later be hit with three more earned runs.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 106 (73 strikes), the 26-year-old relied on his four-seam fastball 29% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing three swings and misses and topping out at 94.5 MPH with the pitch.
Still unbeaten in his last seven starts dating back to April 12th, Rodriguez will look to extend that streak in his next time out, which should come against the Toronto Blue Jays north of the border.
In relief of Rodriguez, Matt Barnes was thrown right into the fire fresh off a 26-pitch, two inning outing in Tuesday’s loss.
Coming on with the bases juiced and three outs to get in the seventh, the UCONN product allowed all the inherited runners he was dealt to score on a two-run single from Trevor Story and an RBI groundout from Daniel Murphy.
Not how you draw it up, but it was pretty clear that Barnes wasn’t himself given the recent heavy workload.
Following that Murphy groundout, Marcus Walden came on to relieve Barnes and proceeded to sit down the next seven Rockies he faced to take this one into the middle of the ninth.
From there, in what would turn out to be their final frame of work in the 10th, Heath Hembree worked his way around a Nolan Arenado leadoff double and recorded the first two outs before walking Ian Desmond on five pitches.
With one out to get, in came Bradon Workman, who rebounded from a rough performance on Tuesday by striking out the only man he faced in David Dahl to send this one to the bottom half of the inning and earn his third winning decision of the season.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another unfamiliar opponent in Rockies right-hander German Marquez, who, as you may have already guessed, had never faced Boston in his career prior to Wednesday.
Similar to what they did in the series opener, the Sox bats pounced early on a Colorado starter, with Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and JD Martinez all leading off the first with a trio of softly-hit singles and Benintendi coming in to score on the one from Martinez.
That was followed by a run-scoring GIDP off the bat of Mitch Moreland, and the Red Sox had themselves a two-run lead just like that.
Fast forward to the third, and the top of the lineup was back at it again, this time with Benintendi lacing a one-out, opposite field triple off of Marquez and Betts driving him in on an RBI single to center.
Two pitches later, JD Martinez continued his power surge by launching his fourth home run in his last three games, a two-run, 393 foot shot to the Red Sox bullpen to make it a 5-0 game early.
Despite that early lead though, as previously mentioned, the Rockies stormed their way back to the point where this contest went into extra innings.
Facing off against Rockies reliever Chad Bettis to begin the 10th, Xander Bogaerts led things off by lining a leadoff double off the center field wall to put the go-ahead run in scoring position.
Following an intentional free pass of Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis came to the plate with the chance to send everyone home happy, and did just that on the very first pitch he saw, as the rookie grounded a comebacker right back up the middle to plate Bogaerts from second and give his team the 6-5 extra innings victory. First career walk-off knock for Chavis and it could not have come at a better time.
Some notes from this win:
Through five relief appearances this month, Marcus Walden has posted a 0.79 ERA and .129 batting average against over 11.1 innings pitched.
During his current five-game hitting streak, JD Martinez is hitting .400 with four home runs and seven RBI.
Christian Vazquez owns an OPS of 1.148 since the beginning of May.
Rafael Devers’ six-game hitting streak has come to an end.
Next up for the Red Sox, it’s another off day on Thursday before a rematch of last year’s American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros over the weekend.
The Astros will come to Boston winners of eight straight and arguably the best team in the American League at the moment.
For the series opener on Friday, it will be a starting pitching matchup featuring two veteran right-handers, with Gerrit Cole getting the ball for Houston and Rick Porcello doing the same for Boston.
Porcello (3-3, 5.15 ERA) is unbeaten in his five starts and is coming off an outing in which he gave up four runs in 6.2 innings in his last time out against the Baltimore Orioles.
Cole (4-4, 3.38 ERA), meanwhile, owns a lifetime 4.32 ERA against the Red Sox over four career starts, two of which have come at Fenway Park.
First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start another winning streak.