The Red Sox kicked off a five-game road trip with a series-opening win over the Phillies on Friday night. Boston defeated Philadelphia by a final score of 5-3 at Citizens Bank Park to extend its winning streak to seven and improve to 20-14 on the season.
With Zack Wheeler starting for the Phillies, the Sox drew first blood in the top of the first inning. Raimel Tapia led off by reaching second base on a 333-foot flyball to left field that was dropped by old friend Kyle Schwarber. He then advanced to third on a Masataka Yoshida groundout and scored the first run of the game on a sharply-hit RBI single off the bat of Rafael Devers.
Two innings later, Tapia and Yoshida led off with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Turner followed by plating Tapia on an RBI groundout. Enrique Hernandez then put Boston up, 3-0, on a two-out single that brought in Yoshida.
Chris Sale, meanwhile, was in the midst of his seventh start of the season for the Red Sox. The left-hander impressed out of the gate by piling up strikeouts over three scoreless frames. The fourth inning was a bit of a different story, however.
Trailing 3-0, Bryce Harper led off with an infield single that Sale could not field cleanly and immediately scored all the way from first on a Nick Castellanos RBI double that rolled down the left field line. J.T. Realmuto followed with an extra-base hit of his own and pushed across Castellanos with a run-scoring triple. Alec Bohm then drove in Realmuto on a single to pull the Phillies back even with the Sox at three runs apiece.
It appeared that Philadelphia may have had Sale on the ropes after Bohm took second base on a wild pitch. But the lefty did not falter and instead stranded Bohm at second by getting Josh Harrison to ground out and both Edmundo Sosa and Dalton Guthrie to punch out. He struck out two more in the bottom of the fifth, paving the way for Boston to break the tie in the sixth.
A leadoff double from Jarren Duran immediately put a runner in scoring position for Hernandez, who lofted a bloop single to center field to put runners at first and third. Triston Casas then brought in the speedy Duran with a 401-foot flyout to deep center. Following a Phillies pitching change, Enmanuel Valdez greeted new reliever Connor Brogdon with an RBI single through the right side of the infield.
Valdez gave the Red Sox a 5-3 lead, which is where the score would remain. Sale ended his night by putting up another zero in the latter half of the sixth. So the 34-year-old southpaw wound up allowing just the three earned runs on seven hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with 10 strikeouts over six quality innings of work. He reached 99 mph with his four-seam fastball, finished with 98 pitches (69 strikes), and induced 17 swings-and-misses en route to picking up his third winning decision of the year.
With Sale’s day done, Richard Bleier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The lefty worked his way around a two-out single in an otherwise clean frame before making way for Chris Martin, who made quick work of the Phillies in the bottom of the eighth.
Taking a 5-3 lead into the ninth, Kenley Jansen made his first appearance since tweaking his back at Fenway Park last Saturday. Jansen made things somewhat interesting by issuing a one-out single and walk to bring the potential winning run to the plate. Like Sale, though, Jansen did not buckle. He instead responded to the challenge by fanning Schwarber and Trea Turner to seal the win and notch the 398th save of his career.
Yoshida extends hitting streak
With his third-inning single, Masataka Yoshida extended his hitting streak to 15 games, which is the longest active streak in the majors.
Game delayed due to medical emergency
In the top of the first inning, the game was delayed for approximately 10 minutes after a fan fell into the visitors’ bullpen. That fan, who was trying to retrieve a ball that was thrown to him, was carted off in a stretcher and taken to a local hospital.
Next up: Kluber vs. Falter
Looking for their eighth straight win, the Red Sox will aim to take this series from the Phillies on Saturday night. Right-hander Corey Kluber will get the start for Boston opposite left-hander Bailey Falter for Philadelphia.
First pitch from Citizens Bank Park is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.
(Picture of Chris Sale: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)