After dropping two out of three to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend, the Red Sox kicked off the second leg of their homestand with a walk-off 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox Monday, marking their second straight victory by way of the walk-off.
Making his 16th start of the season for Boston in the series opener was Eduardo Rodriguez, fresh off consecutive outings of seven or more innings for the first time since 2015.
Working his way into the seventh inning of this one but not completing it, the left-hander surrendered five runs, all of which were earned, on six hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts on the night.
The first four of those Chicago runs came on a pair of homers and an RBI single, all off the bats of Cuban-born players.
Yoan Moncada, a former top prospect of the Red Sox, got the scoring started for his side with a two-out, two-run missile just over the Green Monster in left field for his 13th of 2019 and first ever at Fenway Park.
Rodriguez settled in a bit by retiring 11 of the next 13 White Sox he faced after serving up that bomb, but ran into more two-out trouble in the sixth, when with the bases empty, slugging first baseman Jose Abreu launched his 18th big fly to break up a 2-2 stalemate.
An inning later, with a runner on second and one out, the decision was made for Rodriguez to intentionally put Moncada on base in order to get to Yonder Alonso, who entered the new week sporting a .178 batting average.
Unfortunately for Boston, that decision proved to not work in their favor, as Alonso ripped a single through the right side of the infield, plating the runner, Eloy Jimenez, to make it a 4-3 contest and advance Moncada up to third. That was how Rodriguez’s evening came to a close.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 99 (64 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler turned to his changeup more than 39% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing seven swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 95.2 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 33 times while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.
Hit with the no-decision while his ERA on the season inflated to 4.87, Rodriguez will look to end his month of June on a positive note in his next time out, which should come against the New York Yankees in London.
In relief of Rodriguez, Marcus Walden was inserted and officially closed the book on the starter’s outing by allowing Moncada to score on a Yolmer Sanchez RBI single, which put the White Sox up 5-3.
Colten Brewer got the call for the eighth, and he sat down two of the first three he faced before filling the count against veteran outfielder Jon Jay.
There, in that moment, Sox manager Alex Cora made the call for the left-handed Josh Taylor out of the bullpen.
Taylor’s first pitch to Jay was a ball, meaning the walk was charged to Brewer, but the southpaw rallied by getting out of the inning and also recording the first two outs of the ninth.
A two-out walk of Leury Garcia made way for Brandon Workman, who punched out the only hitter he faced in Tim Anderson on a nasty 81 MPH knuckle curve to send this one to the bottom of the ninth and later pick up his seventh win of the year.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, someone they got to for three runs in five innings the last time these two sides opposed each other back on May 2nd.
This time around, it was Jackie Bradley Jr. who got the scoring started for the Sox on Monday, as the red-hot outfielder mashed his eighth homer of the season, a booming 418-foot, 107.4 MPH off the bat solo shot, off Giolito to make it a one-run contest early on.
Fast forward to the fifth, and Eduardo Nunez came through with his first of two game-tying hits on the night, this one a one-out opposite field RBI single to drive in Michael Chavis from second. 2-2.
An inning later, Giolito ran into some trouble himself by loading the bases on a one-out walk of Rafael Devers, a line drive double from Xander Bogaerts, and an intentional walk of Bradley Jr. to get to Chavis.
Down to his last few pitches, the White Sox ace again lacked control, as he walked the rookie on five pitches, and that allowed Devers to make his way towards home to tie this one up at three runs each.
In the seventh, after falling behind by another two runs, Mookie Betts cut that deficit in half very quickly by taking Chicago reliever Aaron Bummer deep on the very first pitch he saw from the left-hander to lead off the frame. His 13th of the season made it 5-4.
Another inning later, Marco Hernandez came on to pinch-run for Vazquez at first and moved up to second on a wild pitch from right-hander Kelvin Herrera.
With two outs in the inning and the tying run 180 feet away from home, it was Eduardo Nunez’s time to shine once more, and he did just that by sneaking another RBI single past the outstretched Moncada at third, giving Hernandez enough time to score and pull even with the White Sox at 5-5.
And finally, in the ninth, the White Sox and lefty reliever Jace Fry intentionally loaded the bases with two outs for Hernandez, and he made them pay dearly with an infield single grounded just deep enough that Tim Anderson had to rush in order to make a throw over to first.
The throw was not handled cleanly by Abreu, however, while Hernandez was ruled safe and Andrew Benintendi coasted into home to give the Red Sox another walk-off win, this one finishing with a final score of 6-5.
Some notes from this win:
From Red Sox Stats:
From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:
Jackie Bradley Jr.’s last 30 games: .303/.415/.606 with six home runs and 17 RBI. He has raised his OPS from .491 to .713 in that span.
Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle and second of this three-game set on Tuesday night.
Left-hander David Price is set to get the ball for Boston, while right-hander Carson Fulmer will serve as the opener for Chicago. Two Vanderbilt alums going at it.
Only throwing 73 pitches over five innings in his last time out against the Minnesota Twins, it will be interesting to see how Cora manages Price’s workload on Tuesday.
In 16 career starts against the White Sox, the 33-year-old has posted a 3.45 ERA over 109 2/3 total innings of work.
Fulmer, meanwhile, was once drafted by the Sox in the 15th round of the 2012 amateur draft before he honored his commitment to Vanderbilt.
In two prior relief outings against Boston, the 25-year-old has allowed five runs (three earned) on two hits and five walks in a span of just one whole inning. He has never made an appearance at Fenway Park.
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the series win.