After slugging their way to a 10-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, the Red Sox finished off the two-game interleague series sweep with a 7-4 win on Wednesday to improve to 72-62 on the season.
Making his 28th start of the season for Boston and second straight in a National League ballpark was Eduardo Rodriguez, who held the San Diego Padres over seven strong innings in his last time out this past Friday.
Tossing five full innings this time around, the left-hander yielded three runs, all of which were earned, on nine hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.
The first of those three Rockies runs came around to score in the bottom half of the fourth, when after 10 of the first 16 hitters he faced, Rodriguez served up a two-out, infield single on a successful bunt attempt laid down by Garret Hampson to drive in Ian Desmond from third.
Another single to follow that out of Peter Lambert in the pitcher’s spot for Colorado filled the bases for Trevor Story, but Rodriguez was able to escape that jam with an inning-ending lineout to second.
In the fifth, back-to-back knocks from Nolan Arenado and Desmond with one out, followed by back-to-back run-scoring knocks from Yonathan Daza and Wolters with two outs brought across two more runs for Colorado to cut their deficit to two at 5-3.
Still with one out to get and runners on first and second to deal with, Rodriguez limited the damage by getting Hampson to ground out to Rafael Devers at third, which would be how his outing came to a close.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 104 (60 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball more than 43% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing four swings and misses and topping out at 95.1 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.
Ultimately improving to 16-5 while raising his ERA on the year slightly up to 3.97, Rodriguez wrapped up his August on a decent note.
In six starts this month, the Venezuela native posted an ERA of 3.41 and batting average against of .284 over 37 innings of work. His first start of September should come against the Minnesota Twins next Wednesday.
In relief of Rodriguez, left-hander Josh Taylor entered the middle of the sixth with a two-run lead to protect, and he did just that by picking off Story at second following a one-out single in an otherwise clean frame.
From there, Marcus Walden allowed one run to cross the plate on an Arenado leadoff double and Ryan McMahon run-scoring groundout to make it a 6-4 contest in the seventh and Matt Barnes walked one and stranded that runner in a scoreless eighth.
That made way for Brandon Workman to come on for his 60th appearance of the season, and he notched his ninth save by punching out the side on 17 pitches to lock down the 7-4 victory.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another rookie right-hander in the form of Peter Lambert for the Rockies, making just the 15th start of his career on Wednesday.
Kicking off the scoring in the top half of the third inning, a one-out Rafael Devers triple brought J.D. Martinez to to the plate with two outs and the chance to strike early.
On the fourth pitch he saw in his second at-bat against Lambert, Martinez deposited a 2-1, 86 MPH curveball down the heart of the plate 434 feet to left field for his 32nd home run of the season to put his team on the board first at 2-0.
Fast forward to the fifth, and it was Devers setting the table once more, this time lacing a one-out single off Lambert for Xander Bogaerts, who took a 1-1, 93 MPH heater on the outer half of the plate and sent it 417 feet to the opposite field for his first of two long balls on the night.
A Martinez single to follow that would result in a pitching change for Colorado, with left-hander Sam Howard taking over for Lambert with Mitch Moreland and Brock Holt due to hit for Boston.
Moreland was able to reach base on a seven-pitch walk to advance Martinez to second, while Holt fanned on six pitches and another move was made, this time with right-hander Jesus Tinoco entering.
Christian Vazquez coldly greeted the new Rockies reliever, ripping a line-drive RBI single to right-center to score Martinez from second and make it a 5-1 contest.
In the seventh, Bogaerts continued on with his power surge, as he led things off against Carlos Estevez with his second homer of the evening to both reach the 30-homer and 100-RBI mark on the season.
And in the ninth, Devers capped off his slump-busting performance at the plate by taking Wes Parsons deep to center on a leadoff, 437-foot bomb for his 28th of 2019.
That solo shot, which resulted in Devers finishing just a double shy of the cycle in this one, gave the Red Sox a 7-4 edge, which would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.
Some notes from this win:
From MLB Stats:
From The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:
From Red Sox Stats, with video taken moments before Rafael Devers tripled in the second inning:
With the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays both falling on Wednesday, the Red Sox now sit five games behind Oakland for the second American League Wild Card spot.
Next up for the Red Sox, it’s another off day on Thursday before beginning another three-game weekend series in southern California on Friday against the Los Angeles Angels.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for Boston in the opener, while left-hander Jose Suarez will do the same for Los Angeles.
Eovaldi has struggled since making his return to the Sox’ starting rotation on August 18th, surrendering seven runs over his last five innings pitched in his last two starts. That’s good for an ERA of 12.60.
Working as a reliever the last time these two clubs faced each other earlier in the month, Eovaldi combined to toss three frames of one-run ball over two separate appearances.
In two career starts at Angel Stadium, the 29-year-old owns a lifetime 6.23 ERA and .395 batting average against over 8 2/3 total innings of work.
Suarez, meanwhile, is a 21-year-old rookie who has posted a 7.89 ERA and .346 batting average against in seven outings (six starts) and 29 2/3 innings since the All-Star break. He has never faced the Red Sox before in his career.
First pitch Friday is scheduled for 10:07 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third straight win.