For the second consecutive day, the Red Sox were matched up against one of the top pitchers in the American League. And for the second consecutive day, the Red Sox needed just one inning to get the best of that pitcher.
They did so in the first inning of Monday’s 11-4 win over the White Sox by getting to Lucas Giolito for six runs. They did so in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Blue Jays by getting to Hyun-Jin Ryu for all four of their runs.
Facing off against one of the toughest left-handed pitchers in baseball to kick off a quick two-game series at Fenway Park, the Sox lineup went down quietly the first time through the order, but eventually got to Ryu in their half of the fourth.
There, back-to-back singles off the bats of Christian Arroyo and J.D. Martinez to lead off the frame set the stage for Xander Bogaerts, who — on a 1-2, 91 mph fastball on the inner half of the plate from Ryu — crushed his first home run of the season 408 feet over the Green Monster.
Not only did Bogaerts club his first homer of the year in the fourth inning, but Marwin Gonzalez also collected his first double with one out.
Bobby Dalbec, meanwhile, hit the first triple of his big-league career on a 101.3 mph scorcher that traveled 408 feet to deep center field and brought in Gonzalez from second to make it a 4-1 game.
That would be all the scoring the Sox would need in this one, but it should not be ignored that Arroyo went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored while batting out of the two-hole Tuesday.
Rodriguez shines in return to Fenway
Eduardo Rodriguez made his third start of the season for the Red Sox on Tuesday, marking the first time he had started a game at Fenway Park since the final day of the 2019 season.
In his return to Fenway, the left-hander was impressive as he held the Blue Jays to just two runs on three hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over six-plus innings of work.
Both runs Rodriguez gave up came by way of the long ball, with Bo Bichette taking the southpaw deep to lead off the top half of the fourth and Randal Grichuk doing the very same thing three innings later.
Rodriguez serving up a solo shot to Grichuk would mark the end of his night, but his homecoming of sorts was a triumphant one to say the least.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 90 (62 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 33% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing six swings-and-misses while topping out at 94.8 mph with the pitch.
Able to improve to 3-0 on the young season while lowering his ERA to 3.38, Rodriguez’s next start should come against the Seattle Mariners in the final game of the Sox’ homestand on Sunday.
Andriese, Ottavino, and Barnes close things out
In relief of Rodriguez, Matt Andriese got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for what was essentially a clean top half of the seventh inning. The right-hander retired the only three hitters he faced and capped off his outing by punching out noted Red Sox killer Rowdy Tellez on five pitches.
From there, Adam Ottavino maneuvered his way around a two-out walk and a throwing error committed by Christian Vazquez in an otherwise perfect eighth inning, while Matt Barnes notched his third save of the season and preserved the 4-2 victory for his side by working a scoreless ninth inning.
The Red Sox are now 12-6.
Next up: Richards vs. Thornton
Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the finale of this two-game set against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
Right-hander Garrett Richards will be making his fourth start of the season for Boston, and he will be opposed by fellow right-hander Trent Thornton for Toronto.
First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)