#RedSox’ David Price Removed from Start Against Astros Due to Flu-Like Symptoms

In his second start since returning from the 10-day injured list last Monday, Red Sox left-hander David Price was removed from Saturday’s contest against the Houston Astros due to flu-like symptoms, per multiple reports.

Just 15 pitches into his outing, the 33-year-old appeared to come up wincing in his first inning matchup against Michael Brantley Saturday.

That, along with a handful of underwhelming fastball velocities from Price, led to Sox manager Alex Cora coming out to the mound without a trainer by his side, and ultimately made the decision to pull his starter for precautionary reasons.

So, unless the club is trying to cover something up, it appears that the Red Sox avoided a major scare with Price. I’m sure more details will become available at the conclusion of Saturday’s game.

 

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Top #RedSox Pitching Prospect Darwinzon Hernandez Racks up Career-High 11 Strikeouts for Double-A Portland

While the the Red Sox were enjoying an off day on Thursday, the club’s top pitching prospect, Darwinzon Hernandez, put together a career night in his start for Double-A Portland.

Making his sixth start of the season for the Sea Dogs, the left-hander surrendered four runs, three of which were earned, on five hits and two walks to go along with a career-best 11 strikeouts over a career-best seven innings of work against the Reading Fightin Phils Thursday.

Outside of a rough third inning in which all four of those initial Reading runs came around to score, Hernandez did not yield a single hit from the first until the start of the middle of the third, and then again from the middle of the fourth until the conclusion of his seventh and final frame.

In that seventh inning, the 23-year-old hurler capped off his outing on a high note by fanning four Fightin Phils thanks to a wild pitch that allowed one hitter to reach first on his own part.

The Sea Dogs eventually dropped this contest by a final score of 8-2, and Hernandez was thus hit with his third losing decision of the year.

Ranked as Boston’s third-best prospect overall, we have already gotten a sneak peek of what Hernandez could bring to the table at the big league level earlier last month, where in the second of a day-night doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, the southpaw scattered four hits and one walk while punching out four over 2.1 innings of relief.

He served as the club’s 26th man for the second game of that doubleheader, and was sent back to Double-A Portland right after.

Through the six starts made with the Sea Dogs in 2019, Hernandez has posted an ERA of 4.10 and a batting average against of .198 in addition to 36 strikeouts and 21 free passes over 26.1 total innings of work.

Out of spring training, the plan was to let the Venezuela native develop as a starting pitcher rather than rush him up in a relief role, both of which he has experience in.

As of now, I would say the Red Sox are sticking to this plan, so don’t expect to see Hernandez up in Boston anytime soon barring any unforeseen circumstances.

David Price Impresses with Six Quality Innings but #RedSox Manage Only One Run in Frustrating Loss to Rays

After rain postponed their initial series opener on Friday, the Red Sox officially welcomed the Tampa Bay Rays into town for the first time Saturday, and unlike last weekend, things did not get off to that great of a start.

Former Ray David Price made his fifth start of the season for Boston in this one, and he delivered yet another quality performance, which probably goes down as one of, if not the only bright spot for the Red Sox Saturday.

Working six full innings, the left-hander yielded two earned runs on four hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the evening.

Given the way things began with Rays leadoff man Yandy Diaz taking Price deep on the second pitch of the game in the first, it certainly looked as though it could have been much worse.

But, despite the home run and the five-pitch walk that followed it, the 33-year-old settled in nicely and retired the next eight Tampa Bay hitters he faced before running into more trouble in the fourth.

There, the top of the Rays order gave Price more fits, with Tommy Pham leading off the inning with a double and Daniel Robertson drawing a walk to put a pair of runners on with still three outs to get.

After needing six pitches to strike out Avisail Garcia, Rays backstop Mike Zunino would be the one to break this one open, as he ripped a line drive RBI double to left field on a 1-2 88 MPH changeup from Price to give his team a 2-0 lead.

The Rays would threaten again thanks to a Kevin Kiermaier RBI single moments later, loading the bases with just one out in the inning, but Price pulled through and kept them off the board by striking out Guillermo Heredia and getting Willy Adames to ground into an inning-ending force out at third base. Damage limited.

From the top of the fifth on, the Tennessee native ended his outing on a more positive note, sitting down five of the final six hitters he opposed to lower his ERA down to 3.60 on the season.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (57 strikes), Price turned to his changeup 32% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing nine swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.5 MPH with his four-seam fastball.

The recipient of the bad luck losing decision to fall to 1-2 on the year, Price’s next start should come against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field sometime next week.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen was nearly perfect over the final three innings on Saturday to keep the Rays within striking distance. Brandon Workman recorded the first two outs of the seventh before walking two straight and making way for Marcus Walden, who retired the side in the inning while also getting the first two outs of the eighth.

Similar to Walden, Colten Brewer came to relieve Walden with one runner on and one out to get. He did just that, but did not come back out for another frame of work in the ninth.

That inning belonged to Matt Barnes, who needed just nine pitches to sit down the only three hitters he faced to keep it a one-run contest.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar foe in Rays right-hander Charlie Morton, who they got to for five runs last Saturday. This time around, it was a different story for both sides.

With JD Martinez a late scratch due to back spasms, the Red Sox were held to just one or fewer runs for the sixth time already this season.

Morton held them to just two hits while also walking four and hitting another over the first six innings of this one, but the Boston bats could not take advantage of any early run scoring opportunities.

It wasn’t until the eighth when the Sox finally got on the board, and that came when Mookie Betts led the inning off against new Rays reliever Diego Castillo with his fifth home run of the season. A 406 foot shot to center field to make it a 2-1 game.

Five batters and two outs later, with Jose Alvarado now pitching for Tampa Bay and the bases now loaded for Boston, Jackie Bradley Jr. came to the plate with the chance to be a hero.

Entering Saturday with a lifetime .300 batting average against Alvarado in 10 career at-bat’s, Bradley Jr. got the count in his favor twice at both 2-1 and 3-2, but came up swinging and missing on a 92 MPH cutter low and away to end the inning and any chance at a rally.

An inning later, a Christian Vazquez leadoff single off righty Emilio Pagan gave a brief glimmer of hope with the tying run on base and the top of the Red Sox lineup due up, but a las, Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and Mitch Moreland all went down in order, capping off another disappointing defeat for the defending World Series champions.

Some notes from this loss:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Since being activated from the injured list on April 4th, Steve Pearce is slashing .114/.184/143 with no home runs and one RBI so far this season.

Jackie Bradley Jr., meanwhile, currently has an OPS of .399.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to bounce back in the final game of this series on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow is slated to get the start for Tampa Bay, while Chris Sale will do the same for Boston.

Last time out on Easter, Glasnow limited the Red Sox to two runs in 5.1 innings pitched in a game the Rays would eventually drop.

Sale, on the other hand, has yet to receive the winning decision in any of his first five starts of the year. Even stranger, Red Sox are 0-5 in those games started by their ace.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT on NESN.

#RedSox Explode for Seven-Run Eighth Inning in 11-4 Win over Tigers

After getting swept in a day-night doubleheader to open up a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, the Red Sox bounced back in style on Wednesday, exploding for a season-high 11 runs en route to a blowout victory over Detroit at Fenway Park.

Making his fifth start of the season in this one was Eduardo Rodriguez, fresh off a so-so outing against the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend.

The left-hander improved to 2-2 following a dominating performance Wednesday, as he surrendered just one earned run on two hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

Retiring 13 of the 15 Tigers hitters he faced, Rodriguez did not give up his first hit of this ballgame until just about the midway point with one out in the fifth inning.

Following two more punchouts in that frame, the 26-year-old ran into a bit more trouble in the sixth with Detroit plating their first run of the night on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Niko Goodrum.

Other than that though, Rodriguez capped off his second straight quality home start by getting Brandon Dixon to pop out to first and that was that.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 90 (54 strikes), the Venezuela native relied on his four-seam fastball 52% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday while also topping out at 94.9 MPH with the same pitch. His next start should come against the Oakland Athletics sometime next week.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen relatively held their own over the final three innings of this one.

Brandon Workman fanned three and walked one in an impressive seventh, Matt Barnes made his first relief appearance since Sunday and worked his way around a self-imposed bases loaded jam with the Tigers only trailing by three runs at the time, and Tyler Thornburg got lit up for three runs on two hits and two walks in the ninth to secure the 11-4 win for Boston.

Thornburg has an ERA of 7.59 through 10 appearances and 10.2 innings pitched so far this season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Tigers right-hander Tyson Ross for the third installation of this four-game set.

Only pitching inside Fenway Park twice before prior to Wednesday, the Red Sox got to Ross starting in their half of the second.

With JD Martinez leading things off with a single, Rafael Devers drove in Boston’s first run of the evening on a hard-hit RBI single to score Martinez.

One caught stealing, one Michael Chavis walk, and one Jackie Bradley Jr. single later, the Red Sox, as they have been known to do, executed the hit-and-run perfectly with Christian Vazquez.

Note how the second baseman Gordon Beckham went to cover the bag with Chavis taking off, but was unable to recover quickly enought to field the Vazquez RBI single that rolled into shallow right. 2-0 Red Sox.

Fast forward to the fifth, and it was the top of the lineup this time responsible for the damage, with Andrew Benintendi being the catalyst of another two-run inning by drawing a one out walk from Ross.

On the very next pitch the Tigers hurler twirled after walking Boston’s leadoff man, Mookie Betts drilled an RBI double off the wall in left field to score Benintendi all the way from first and make it a three-run game.

After another walk, this one drawn by Mitch Moreland, the Red Sox made Ross pay dearly again, this time with JD Martinez collecting his third hit of the night on a run-scoring base knock to plate Betts and give his current team a 4-0 advantage against his old one.

Later in the eighth, after the Tigers had answered with a run of their own and threatened to score more, the Red Sox bats essentially put this game to bed against what can best be described as a supbar ‘pen for Detroit.

In total, Boston sent 12 hitters to the plate in the inning, while the Tigers turned to three different pitchers.

Facing off against reliever Jose Manuel Fernandez, a Michael Chavis HBP would get the ball rolling for a seven-run frame.

Chavis would come in to score on another RBI single from Vazquez, and Vazquez too would come around and make it a 6-1 contest on an Andrew Benintendi RBI double.

Following an intentional walk of Mookie Betts and an unintentional walk of Mitch Moreland, the Tigers made the change for Drew VerHagen out of their bullpen.

Oddly enough, VerHagen struck out the first hitter he faced in JD Martinez on three consecutive strikes for the second out of the inning.

I say oddly enough, because following that K, 12 of the next 13 pitches thrown by VerHagen went for balls, meaning three more Boston runs were plated on bases-loaded walks drawn from Bogaerts, Devers, and Chavis. 9-1.

After Detroit’s final pitching change of the night, Jackie Bradley Jr. put an exclamation point on this one by scoring two more Red Sox runs on a two-run single for his second knock of the night. And just like that it was 11-1, which was more than enough for the Red Sox to bounce back with a commanding win at home.

Some notes from this win:

From the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

In 25 games so far this season, JD Martinez is slashing .344/.430/.538 with four home runs and 12 RBI. He has hits in 23 of those games, including three on Wednesday.

From Red Sox Notes:

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll be looking to split this four-game set with the Tigers later Thursday night.

Former Tiger and current Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello is slated to make his fifth start of the season for Boston, while right-hander Jordan Zimmermann is scheduled to make his sixth start for Detroit.

First pitch of the series finale Thursday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.

 

 

 

#RedSox Recall No. 17 Prospect Travis Lakins From Triple-A Pawtucket, Option Bobby Poyner

In addition to adding top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez to the active roster, the Red Sox also announced Tuesday that they have recalled right-handed pitching prospect Travis Lakins from Triple-A Pawtucket to the club’s 25-man roster. In a corresponding move, left-hander Bobby Poyner was optioned to the PawSox following Tuesday’s Game 1 loss at the hands of the Detroit Tigers.

The team made the following statement regarding the aforementioned transactions.

Lakins, 24, is ranked as Boston’s 17th-best overall prospect and seventh-best pitching prospect, according to MLB.com

Originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 amateur draft out of Ohio State, Lakins has posted a 3.38 ERA and .281 batting average against over six appearances and eight innings of work with the PawSox so far this season.

So, all of a sudden, the Red Sox have three of their top 20 prospects on their temporary 26-man roster in Michael Chavis, Hernandez, and Lakins.

Hernandez, of course, will be optioned back to Double-A Portland later Tuesday night, while both Chavis and Lakins will remain with the big league club for the time being.

 

David Price Strikes out 10 and Mitch Moreland Homers as #RedSox Finish off Sweep of Rays in Extras

After winning their first series of the season Saturday, the Red Sox went ahead and capped off their first series sweep of the year with a 4-3 extra innings win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Easter Sunday.

Getting the start against his former club in this one was David Price, fresh off his best start of the season in his last time out against the Baltimore Orioles.

In what was his fourth outing of the year, the left-hander surrendered two runs, both earned, on five hits and two walks to go along with a season-high 10 strikeouts over five impressive innings of work on the afternoon.

Other than two walks allowed in the first, the only real trouble Price ran into came in Tampa Bay’s half of the third, when back-to-back singles to leadoff the frame resulted in the two first two runs of the day crossing the plate on a two-out, two-run double off the bat of Daniel Robertson.

Retiring seven of the last nine hitters he faced after that mishap, Price capped off his outing in style by recording his 10th and final punch out to put away the Rays in the fifth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of exactly 100 (64 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball a game-high 35 times on Saturday, inducing five swings and misses and topping out at 94.4 MPH with the pitch.

Unable to pick up his second winning decision of the season, Price’s next start should come against this same Rays club next weekend at Fenway Park.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final six of this 11 inning contest.

Brandon Workman and Colten Brewer, making his first appearance since Patriots’ Day, each worked a scoreless frame over the sixth and seventh to make way for Matt Barnes in the eighth with Boston up by a run.

Barnes, working for the third consecutive day, did just about exactly what he did on Saturday. That being, serve up the then game-tying home run to Tommy Pham, walk the next batter he faced, then strike out the final two Rays hitters he faced to at least keep the tie in tact.

From there, Marcus Walden impressed yet again, sitting down six of the seven hitters he faced while fanning two in a pair of scoreless innings. He also received some assistance from Rafael Devers over at third.

After the Red Sox jumped out to a 3-2 lead in their half of the 11th, Ryan Brasier, like Barnes, also came on to pitch for the third consecutive day and notched his sixth save of the season thanks to a 1-2-3 inning to finish off the sweep.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against former Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Tyler Glasnow for Tampa Bay, and he had it going on early.

Facing off against the Red Sox for just the second time in his young career, the 25-year-old Glasnow allowed just one run over his first five innings of work, and that came courtesy of a Mitch Moreland solo homer to lead off the fourth. Moreland’s seventh big fly of the season with no back problems present.

Fast forward to the sixth, with Glasnow seemingly in cruise control, and a one out single off the bat of Mookie Betts would surprisingly spell the end for the righty’s fine performance with a pitch count of just 76.

Maybe it was because Moreland was due up next for Boston, but a questionable decision from Kevin Cash and the Rays nonetheless.

Going with the lefty in Adam Kolarek out of the bullpen, Alex Cora countered that move by pinch-hitting Steve Pearce for Moreland.

Pearce, who also came in for Moreland due to back spasms on Saturday, drew a five pitch walk, which in turn resulted in another pitching change for Tampa Bay.

With Chaz Roe now in this contest, JD Martinez did the same as Pearce, drawing another five pitch walk to fill the bases for Xander Bogaerts.

Following a brief mound visit, Bogaerts’ eyes must have lit up on the first pitch he saw from Roe, as he ripped a 92 MPH fastball to right center, driving in Betts and giving his team a short-lived one-run advantage.

After being held quiet over the next four innings, a Rafael Devers leadoff single in the 11th eventually got the Boston bats going again with left=handed reliever Jose Alvarado on the mound for Tampa Bay for the second straight day.

That Devers walk, followed up by Michael Chavis drawing a five-pitch walk, set the stage for Jackie Bradley Jr. in a crucial spot.

Having been held hitless up to that point, the Red Sox outfielder perhaps came through with the most important plate appearance of the afternoon without even reaching base by dropping a beautifully executed sacrifice bunt down the third base line, advancing Devers and Chavis into scoring position with one out.

Christian Vazquez, already having himself a pretty solid weekend, was due up next for Boston, and he too came up clutch without reaching base, as he belted a 375 foot sac fly to center field, deep enough to drive in the go-ahead run in the form of Devers from third and give the Red Sox a 6-5 lead, which would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

In his first career big league start, Red Sox top prospect Michael Chavis went 0-for-4 with one walk while playing second base.

JD Martinez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a first inning single on Sunday.

Before this weekend, Rays reliever Jose Alvarado had yet to yield a run in his first 10 appearances of the season. He has now given up the game-winning run in two straight outings.

The Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins all won on Sunday. A clean Boston sweep.

Next up for the Red Sox, they head back to Boston to kick off a 10-game homestand at Fenway Park beginning on Monday, starting with a four-game set against the Detroit Tigers.

Left-hander Chris Sale is slated to make his second home start for Boston, while fellow southpaw Matthew Boyd will do the same for Detroit.

In his career against the Tigers, Sale owns a 2.94 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 32 games (22 starts) and 168.1 total innings pitched.

Boyd, meanwhile, has only made one previous career start at Fenway Park, an outing in which he allowed two runs in 6.1 innings pitched last season.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for four straight wins.

 

 

 

Andrew Benintendi Launches First Career Grand Slam as #RedSox Top Rays for First Series Win of 2019

It took nearly four weeks, but for the first time this season, the Red Sox have won a series following a narrow 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday night. This is also the first time this season that the team has won two consecutive road games.

Making his fourth start of the season at a place he usually finds success in for this one was Rick Porcello.

Entering the day with a lifetime 2.86 ERA at Tropicana Field, the right-hander took the first steps in turning around what has been an ugly start to his walk year, as he held Tampa Bay to just two runs on six hits, one walk, and one HBP to go along with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.

That lone free pass, as well as two double plays being turned, may serve as a few important indicators that Porcello is on the road to improvement.

Working with a lead from the second inning on, one of the six hits given up by the 30-year-old hurler traveled 413 feet off the bat of Avisail Garcia in the bottom half of the second to plate the Rays’ first run of the evening on a solo home run.

Later in the fourth, a pair of triples from Ji-Man Choi and Brandon Lowe in that order gave Tampa Bay their second run and make it a 5-2 game.

Retiring six of the next nine hitters he faced after that, Porcello’s night would come to a close following a two out single from Lowe in the sixth. With Avisail Garcia, with one home run under his best already, due up next for the Rays, Alex Cora made the switch for Heath Hembree out of the Red Sox bullpen.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 91 (60 strikes), Porcello turned to his two-seam fastball nearly 40% of the time he was on the mound on Saturday while also topping out at 93.6 MPH with his four-seamer.

Still without a winning decision on the season despite better results, Porcello’s next start should come against the Detroit Tigers, his former club, sometime next week.

In relief of Porcello, Hembree entered with one out to get in the sixth and did just that before surrendering a leadoff triple to the speedy Kevin Kiermaier in the seventh.

After recording the first out of the inning, Hembree made way for the recently called up Bobby Poyner, who walked the first man he faced in Rays pinch-hitter Guillermo Heredia and gave up a two-run triple to the next hitter he faced in Austin Meadows.

That cut Boston’s lead down to one run and in came Marcus Walden.

Recently called up himself, Walden had himself another impressive showing, fanning the only two Rays hitters he faced to send this contest to the eighth with his team still in the lead.

In that eighth inning, Matt Barnes, working two days in a row, allowed Tampa Bay to come all the way back from an initial five run deficit by serving up a leadoff, then game-tying homer to Yandy Diaz.

Presumably upset at himself, Barnes retired the next three hitters faced all via the punch out.

Thanks to a mini rally from the Red Sox bats in their half of the ninth, Ryan Brasier had the opportunity to come on for the save with a one run lead to protect and Christian Vazquez now behind the dish after Sandy Leon was pinch hit for.

Like Barnes, Brasier was also in his second straight game, and it showed, as he allowed the go-ahead run to reach base on a leadoff single from Robertson and a two out knock from Tommy Pham.

With Willy Adames at the plate for Tampa Bay with the chance to be a hero, Christian Vazquez made the play of the game, picking off Pham with a rocket of a throw to Steve Pearce covering first. And that’s how this 6-5 win came to a close.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against ex-Astros right-hander Charlie Morton for Tampa Bay, who had only made four career starts against Boston prior to Saturday.

Able to get the scoring started right away in the second, a JD Martinez leadoff single and a pair of walks drawn by Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. filled the bases for the Red Sox with just one out in the inning.

Following a mound visit and a Tzu-Wei Lin strikeout, Sandy Leon, in his second game back with the big league club, was able to drive in the Red Sox’ first run of the night by taking a 86 MPH cutter from Morton off his foot. That made it a 1-0 game and reloaded the bases for the top of the order.

Capitalizing on that miscue from Morton right away, Andrew Benintendi swung at the very first pitch he saw in his second at bat against the Rays hurler and wound up blasting his first career grand slam to unload the bases.

That put the Red Sox up 5-0 early on, but they were kept quiet over the next few hours, unable to score again until the ninth.

Going into that final frame having given away that aforementioned five-run advantage, Jackie Bradley Jr. of all people would begin things by ripping a leadoff single to right field off Rays reliever Jose Alvarado and representing the go-ahead run.

After another Tzu-Wei Lin punch out, the nine spot was due up next for the Red Sox, and instead of Sandy Leon, in came top prospect Michael Chavis to make his major league debut in a decently crucial spot against the left-handed Alvarado.

Called up by the Red Sox on Friday, Chavis took advantage of the unfamiliar matchup and laced a 1-2 double over the head of Kevin Kiermaier in center field, advancing Bradley Jr. to third in the process of picking up the first hit of his young career.

According to Statcast, that two-bagger from Chavis had an exit velocity of 109 MPH and traveled a distance of 401 feet. Not bad for your first AB in the bigs.

chavis.jpg

With the lineup turning over and the go-ahead run now just 90 feet away, Benintendi came through with another huge plate appearance, this time driving in Bradley Jr. on a sacrifice fly to left to collect his fifth and final RBI of the night. That put the Red Sox up 6-5, which would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

Mitch Moreland, who started at first, departed from this game in the third inning due to back spasms. According to Moreland himself though, he should be able to play Sunday.

From @SoxNotes, regarding JD Martinez’s 10-game hitting streak:

From the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, regarding Chavis’ ninth inning double:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, quoting Alex Cora talking about Chavis:

Already with their first series win of 2019 in hand, the Red Sox will for the sweep over the Rays on Easter Sunday.

Left-hander David Price will get the start against his former club, while former Pirates hurler Tyler Glasnow is slated to take the mound on the opposite side.

Michael Chavis is also due to make his first career big league start in this series finale, although it is not clear where he will be playing.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 2:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the sweep.