Former Red Sox relief prospect Durbin Feltman signs minor-league deal with Athletics

Former Red Sox relief prospect Durbin Feltman has signed a minor-league contract with the Oakland Athletics, per the club’s transactions log.

Feltman made his organizational debut for the A’s on Tuesday after being assigned to the Double-A Midland RockHounds. The right-hander allowed one run on one hit, two walks, and two walks in the seventh inning of of a 15-14 walk-off win over the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Feltman became a free agent earlier this month after somewhat surprisingly being released from the Red Sox’ Triple-A roster. The 26-year-old opened the season in Worcester’s bullpen but was the victim of a roster crunch. More specifically, two players (Taylor Broadway outfielder Wilyer Abreu) were set to be activated from the injured list and Kutter Crawford had just been optioned, so the WooSox needed to create an opening and did so by parting ways with Feltman.

“It’s the crappy part of the business of the game, especially early in the season,” WooSox manager Chad Tracy told’s Katie Morrison-O’Day on April 11. “But you come out of spring and the big-league club’s still trying to get healthy and you see on the horizon a lot of guys that are going to get healthy quick.

“I know he went through some tough times last year,” Tracy said of Feltman. “I told him today he kept his head up. He always was here, always working, always trying to get better. We love him, we wish him well and hope he lands on his feet. I think he will.”

It turns out that Tracy was right, but it is still disappointing to see Feltman’s tenure with the Red Sox organization come to an official end. After dominating in his final season at TCU, Feltman was selected by Boston with the 100th overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft. He signed with the club for $559,600 and entered the professional ranks with plenty of hype surrounding him.

At the time he was drafted, some believed that Feltman could be fast-tracked to the major-leagues and contribute out of the Red Sox bullpen within months of going pro. It did not pan out that way, though, as the righty struggled to find success on a consistent basis and was never able to make it past the Triple-A level.

After being named the Red Sox’ Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2021, Feltman spent the entirety of the 2022 campaign with in Worcester. There, he posted a 7.63 ERA and 5.97 FIP with 56 strikeouts to 24 walks over 40 appearances (48 1/3 innings). As previously mentioned, Feltman returned to the WooSox for the start of the 2023 season but appeared in just two games for the affiliate before getting released.

All things considered, Feltman peaked as the No. 9 prospect in Boston’s farm system in April 2019, according to’s rankings history. His decline since then can be attributed to the velocity of his fastball, which topped out at 99 mph in college but sat between just 90-92 mph last year.

Now that he has found a new home, it should be interesting to see if Feltman can resurrect his career and maybe even break in with the rebuilding Athletics at the big-league level. His new pitching coach in Midland is Chris Smith, who, like Feltman, was drafted by the Red Sox.

Regardless of where he goes from here, though, Feltman becomes the latest member of Boston’s 2018 draft class to leave the organization in some capacity in recent months. Most notably, fifth-rounder Thaddeus Ward was taken by the Nationals in last December’s Rule 5 Draft. Additionally, fourth-rounder Kole Cottam was granted his release last month so that he could sign with the Frederick Baseball Club of the independent Atlantic League.

(Picture of Durbin Feltman: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Red Sox explored possibility of acquiring Athletics catcher Sean Murphy before last week’s trade deadline, per report

Before the trade deadline passed last week, the Red Sox reportedly explored the possibility of trading for Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

This past Monday, Speier wrote that the Red Sox discussed “dealing prospects for players who would be under team control for the longer haul.” Murphy was among the players Boston targeted, though they ultimately could not find a match.

Murphy, 27, is under club control with the Athletics through the end of the 2025 campaign and emerged as one of baseball’s top catchers in recent years. Through 101 games this season, the right-handed hitting backstop has batted .242/.316/.424 with 26 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 48 RBIs, 46 runs scored, one stolen base, 33 walks, and 88 strikeouts over 415 plate appearances.

From behind the plate, Murphy has thrown out 13 of a possible 43 base stealers. The 6-foot-3, 228-pounder currently ranks fifth among all big-league catchers in fWAR (3.0), per FanGraphs. He is also well-regarded when it comes to pop time and framing.

As noted by’s Chris Cotillo, the A’s are in the midst of a lengthy rebuild and have traded away key players such as Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Frankie Montas, and Lou Trivino in recent months. The expectation seems to be that Murphy, who turns 28 in October, will be the next big-leaguer moved since Oakland’s top two prospects — Shea Langeliers and Tyler Soderstrom are both catchers.

Cotillo opines that Murphy will draw strong interest from catcher-needy clubs this winter.’s Paul Hoynes reported last week that the Guardians were among the several teams interested in Murphy ahead of the trade deadline and could open up talks with the Athletics again this off-season.

That the Red Sox were in the market for a frontline catcher is certainly interesting when you consider that they just traded Christian Vazquez to the Astros for a pair of prospects in Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu.

Even before trading away Vazquez, though, Boston was expected to bolster its catching depth this winter since both Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki are slated to become free-agents. Reese McGuire, who was acquired from the White Sox, is under club control through the 2025 but is more of a backup-type. The same can be said for prospects Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez, who are having solid seasons with Triple-A Worcester but remain unproven at the major-league level.

Murphy, who took home the Gold Glove Award for American League catchers last season, would represent quite the upgrade in that department. At the same time, it would likely take a package of top prospects and/or major-league-ready talent to pry Murphy away from Oakland since the former third-round pick is not eligible for free agency for another three years.

(Picture of Sean Murphy: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Red Sox go 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, fail to finish off sweep of Athletics in 4-3 loss

The Red Sox were unable to complete their three-game sweep of the Athletics at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon. Boston instead fell to Oakland by a final score of 4-3 to put its three-game winning streak come to an end and drop to 34-30 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his 12th start of the year for the Sox, allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work.

All three runs the veteran left-hander gave up came in the top half of the third. The Athletics’ rally began when Cristian Pache reached base on a one-out popup to shallow center field that was not caught by a back-tracking Trevor Story. It was ruled a double and was immediately followed by an RBI single off the bat of Chad Pinder that got Oakland on the board first.

A hard-hit double from Ramon Laureano put runners at second and third for Christian Bethancourt, who drove in both on a two-run single to left field. Hill did not falter, though, as he proceeded to sit down 10 of the next 11 batters he faced before yielding a two-out single to Seth Brown in the sixth inning.

That would mark the end of Hill’s afternoon as he got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The 42-year-old southpaw finished with a final pitch count of 82 (61 strikes) and induced eight swings-and-misses with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 30 times.

In relief of Hill, Hirokazu Sawamura received the first call out of the Boston bullpen while inheriting one runner in Brown. A passed ball allowed that runner to advance to second and he proceeded to score from there on an Elvis Andrus line drive that went through the legs of Rafael Devers.

Sawamura got through the rest of the inning unscathed, but the Red Sox found themselves trailing 4-1 heading into their half of the sixth. To that point in the contest, the Boston lineup had been held in check by Oakland right-hander Paul Blackburn despite having a fair share of scoring opportunities.

Jarren Duran led off the first inning with a drag bunt single and advanced to third on a one-out single from J.D. Martinez. Neither runner scored. A pair of singles from Franchy Cordero and Jackie Bradley Jr. put runners on the corners with two outs in the third for Duran, who struck out swinging.

The Sox finally prevailed in the third, as Devers drew a leadoff walk and later scored from third on an RBI groundout off the bat of Xander Bogaerts. They could have gotten more in the frame, but both Alex Verdugo and Story were retired to extinguish the threat.

An inning later, the A’s elected to intentionally walk Devers with two outs, which loaded the bases for Martinez. Martinez, however, softly grounded out to Blackburn himself to end things in the fourth.

Blackburn compiled his first 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, but ran into more trouble in the sixth when he gave up a one-out single to Christian Vazquez. That prompted a pitching change as A.J. Puk was dispatched from the Athletics bullpen. Puk got Bradley Jr. to ground into a force out at second to snuff out the lead runner, then fanned the pinch-hitting Bobby Dalbec on three straight heaters.

After Ryan Brasier made quick work of Oakland in the top of the seventh, Boston had another prime opportunity in the latter half of the frame. Devers was plunked by a pitch and Bogaerts roped a one-out single to put runner at first and second. Matched up against new A’s reliever Zach Jackson, Verdugo flew out to center field and Story punched out on a 3-2, 87 mph slider to end the inning.

Hansel Robles worked his way around a ground-rule double in an otherwise clean eighth inning. In the bottom of the eighth, the pinch-hitting Rob Refsnyder led off with a line-drive single off Sam Moll. Vazquez followed by drawing a walk. Bradley Jr. and Dalbec each recorded outs, but Devers kept the inning alive by reaching on a fielding error committed by A’s third baseman Jonah Bride.

Refsnyder scored on the play. Martinez then greeted new reliever Dany Jimenez by lacing an RBI single back up the middle. It scored Vazquez and very well could have scored the tying run in Devers were it not for the efforts of second baseman Tony Kemp.

Kemp prevented the ball from rolling into center field, which forced Devers — representing the tying run — to hold up at third base. Following a mound visit, Bogaerts grounded into a force out to put an end to the inning with the Red Sox still trailing 4-3.

The score would remain that way after Tyler Danish sat down the side in order in the top half of the ninth. Down to their final three outs in the bottom half, Verdugo, Story, and Refsnyder went down quietly as 4-3 would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

All told, the Red Sox lineup went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 13 runers on base as a team. It was a particularly tough day for Story, who went 0-for-5 with three punchouts and three runners left on base. The second baseman is hitting just .143 (4-for-28) over his last seven games.

Next up: Wainwright vs. Wacha

The Red Sox will look to win another series as they welcome the Cardinals into town for the first time since 2017 on Friday night. In the first of a three-game weekend set, it will be right-hander Michael Wacha getting the start for Boston and fellow righty Adam Wainwright doing the same for St. Louis.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers homers in fourth straight game, Josh Winckowski tosses 5 scoreless innings in second career start as Red Sox roll to 10-1 win over Athletics

The Red Sox once again had their way with the Athletics at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. Boston defeated Oakland, 10-1, to take the three-game series and improve to 34-29 on the season.

Early scoring was yet again key for the Sox. Matched up against A’s starter James Kaprielian out of the gate, Alex Verdugo got his productive night at the plate started and got his side on the board first with a bases-loaded RBI groundout in the first inning.

An inning later, Jackie Bradley Jr. reached base via a one-out single and Rafael Devers followed by crushing a 387-foot two-run home run into Oakland’s bullpen. Devers’ 16th home run of the season — and fourth in his last four games — gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.

Xander Bogaerts led off the third inning with a hard-hit double to left field and immediately scored from second on an RBI single off the bat of Verdugo. Jarren Duran, just called up from Triple-A Worcester, led off the fourth by drawing a four-pitch walk before Devers did the same. Duran, after tagging up to third, scored on a Bogaerts sacrifice fly. Devers scored from third on a throwing error committed by Kaprielian.

On the other side of things, Josh Winckowski was in the midst of putting together a solid outing in his second career major-league start. Over five scoreless innings of work, the right-hander yielded just four hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts on the night.

Like Duran, Winckowski was recalled from Worcester on Wednesday afternoon. Despite walking the very first batter of the contest, the 23-year-old was able to work his way around some traffic on the base paths. He faced the minimum in just one of his five frames, but ultimately pitched well enough to earn his first big-league win.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 79 (52 strikes), Winckowski induced seven total swings-and-misses and topped out at 96 mph with his sinker, a pitch he threw 35 times.

In relief of Winckowski, Jake Diekman received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora for the sixth inning and served up a two-out solo shot to the pinch-hitting Matt Davidson. But the Red Sox got that run back and one more when Verdugo cranked a two-run homer of his own in the bottom half of the inning.

Verdugo’s fourth big fly of the year — and first since April 16 — left his bat at a blistering 104.5 mph and traveled 393 feet into the Sox’ bullpen. It also put Boston up by seven runs at 8-1.

After Hirokazu Sawamura and Ryan Brasier combined for two scoreless innings out of the ‘pen, the Red Sox tacked on two more runs in their half of the eighth. Back-to-back one-out doubles from J.D. Martinez and Bogaerts pushed across the first of those two runs. Trevor Story then drove Bogaerts in from second on an RBI single to right field.

Story’s 42nd RBI of the season gave the Sox a commanding 10-1 lead. Tyler Danish closed things out in the ninth to slam the door on the A’s and preserve the victory.

Next up: Hill vs. Blackburn

The Red Sox will go for the three-game and season series sweep of the Athletics on Thursday afternoon. Former A’s left-hander Rich Hill will get the start for Boston and right-hander Paul Blackburn will do the same for Oakland.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Elsa/Getty Images)

Red Sox lose reliever Michael Feliz on waivers to Athletics

Former Red Sox reliever Michael Feliz has been claimed off waivers by the Athletics, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon.

Feliz was initially designated for assignment when the Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for the additions of Matt Barnes and Chris Sale, who were both activated from the COVID-19 related injured list this past Friday.

The 28-year-old right-hander originally signed a minor-league with Boston in late August, shortly after getting released by the Cincinnati Reds, and was promptly assigned to Triple-A Worcester.

In just two appearances for the WooSox, Feliz worked a pair of scoreless innings before having his contract selected by the big-league club on September 6. His Red Sox debut was less than memorable, though, as he served up two home runs in the process of getting roughed up by the Rays at Fenway Park the following day.

Taking that outing into consideration, Feliz wound up allowing a total of two earned runs on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over four appearances spanning 5 1/3 innings of work in his brief stint with the Sox. That’s good for an ERA of 3.38, a FIP of 6.72, and an OPS against of .819.

While he did look considerably better in his final three outings as opposed to his first one, the Dominican native still lost his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster when it was time for the club to add reinforcements (Barnes and Sale) back into the mix.

Assuming he appears in a game for his new squad, the Athletics will become the fourth team Feliz has pitched for this season, as he had also appeared in a total of 16 games between the Pirates and Reds before joining the Red Sox earlier this summer.

(Picture of Michael Feliz: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox blow pair of late 2-run leads, see 8-game winning streak snapped in 7-6 loss to Athletics in 12 innings

The Red Sox began their eight-game winning streak the night after a soul-crushing 1-0 loss to the Rays on June 24.

After stringing together eight consecutive victories from June 25 through July 2, it just so happened that the Sox’ winning ways were abrupted by yet another back-breaking defat at the hands of the Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday night, though this one came in the form of a 7-6 loss in 12 innings.

Garrett Richards made his 17th start of the season for Boston to begin things on Saturday, and he stumbled out of the gate a bit by walking and beaming the first two hitters he faced before yielding a run-scoring triple to Sean Murphy an inning later.

The Red Sox offense was able to pick up Richards, however, and they did so on account of some sloppy defense from the Athletics.

Matched up against Oakland starter Cole Irvin, Xander Bogaerts proved to be the catalyst for a two-run top of the fourth by reaching base on a fielding error committed by second baseman Tony Kemp.

Bogaerts advanced up to second on a hard-hit single from Rafael Devers and was also able to score all the way from there on a throwing error on a failed pickoff move from catcher Sean Murphy.

That same miscue allowed Devers to move up to third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Hunter Renfroe to give Boston their first lead of the night at 2-1.

The Sox and A’s traded blows over the next few innings, with J.D. Martinez ripping an RBI single in the fifth, and Richards serving up a pair of hits to the first two hitters he faced in the sixth, resulting in Frank Schwindel driving in Matt Chapman and Red Sox manager Alex Cora giving the right-hander the hook.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 92 (60 strikes), Richards wound up surrendering two earned runs on five hits, three walks, and just two strikeouts over five-plus innings of work. The 33-year-old hurler did not factor into the decision, though he did lower his ERA on the season to 4.88.

In relief of Richards, Hirokazu Sawamura was inserted into somewhat of a jam in the bottom of the sixth, but he escaped said jam on just 12 pitches.

From there, Kiké Hernández provided what at the time was much-needed insurance in the seventh when he clubbed a solo home run — his 10th of the season — off Irvin to put Boston ahead at 4-2.

The Athletics countered with two runs of their own in the eighth, though, as they took advantage of the fact that the Red Sox were without two of their high-leverage relievers in Garrett Whitlock and Matt Barnes.

Instead, after Josh Taylor tossed a scoreless seventh inning to extend his scoreless appearances streak to 25 straight games, Yacksel Rios got the call for the eighth, and he allowed a run to score while also put the tying run on base on a pair of hits before getting pulled in favor of Darwninzon Hernandez.

Hernandez issued a one-out walk to Kemp, which brought Elvis Andrus to the plate in a prime scoring spot, and he did just that by plating the tying run in Seth Brown on a line-drive single to right field. 4-4.

Boston threatened in their half of the ninth when the pinch-hitting Marwin Gonzalez reached base on a one-out walk off Oakland reliever Lou Trivino, but he — representing the potential go-ahead run — was gunned down at second base by Murphy on a failed stolen base attempt.

With no Barnes, Adam Ottavino was responsible for the ninth. The veteran right-hander did allow the winning run to reach base on a leadoff single from Chapman, but retired the next three A’s he faced in 1-2-3 fashion to strand that all important runner and send this one to extras.

In extras, Danny Santana represented the go-ahead run for the Sox in the 10th since he recorded the final out of ninth. Like Gonzalez, Santana had the chance to create offense with his legs, but he was instead thrown out while trying to swipe third base.

The A’s ran into an out themselves in the 10th, however, as Brandon Workman first put himself in a bases loaded jam before recording the first out of the frame on a poorly-executed bunt from Kemp.

Workman proceeded to get Andrus to line out to Martinez in left field, and the runner at third (Murphy) made a poor decision in taking off for home since he was thrown out at the plate by Martinez, who was doing his best (Kiké) Hernández impression in notching his team’s league-leading 26th outfield assist of the season.

That clutch double play sent this one to the 11th, where the Boston bats went down in order and Workman again maneuvered his way around a sticky situation by inducing two fly outs and a ground out.

Gonzalez made up for his baserunning blunder in his side’s half of the 12th, as he plated Devers from second on a then go-ahead single off A’s reliever and former Red Sox farmhand J.B. Wendelken before scoring himself on another RBI single courtesy of Hernández.

Again, the Red Sox found themselves in possession of a two-run lead at 6-4, but they were unable to hang on to said lead while simultaneously being down to their last available reliever in Matt Andriese.

Andriese failed to record a single out in the bottom half of the 12th, as the veteran righty yielded three straight hits to the likes of Murphy, Brown, and old friend Jed Lowrie to knot things up at six runs apiece.

He then got Kemp to fly out to center field, but despite Hernández’s best efforts, the ball was hit deep enough to bring in Brown from third base and give the A’s a 7-6 come-from-behind win in 12 innings.

Andriese was charged with the loss and blown save while also inflating his ERA on the year to 5.70.

With the crushing loss, the Red Sox see their eight-game winning streak come to an end and fall to 52-32 on the season, though they remain four games up on the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up for the Red Sox, they will send right-hander Nick Pivetta to the mound on Sunday afternoon as they go for the series win over the A’s, who will counter with fellow righty James Kaprielian.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Tony Kemp: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Homers from Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec lift Red Sox to 8-1 series-salvaging victory over Athletics

The Red Sox woke up from an offensive slumber and collected 13 hits to salvage their series against the Athletics with an 8-1 victory at Fenway Park on Thursday night.

Matched up against A’s left-hander Sean Manaea, Michael Chavis set the tone right away for the Sox with a sharply-hit double to lead things off in the first.

J.D. Martinez proceeded to plate Chavis on a one-out RBI single off Manaea, and he, too, came into score when Xander Bogaerts drilled a two-run home run down the left field line to make it a 3-0 game.

Another leadoff single in the second, this one courtesy of Hunter Renfroe, resulted in Boston tacking on another three runs against the Oakland starter with Bobby Dalbec clobbering a two-run shot to dead center field and Bogaerts picking up his third RBI on a two-out, run-scoring base hit.

The bottom of the Red Sox lineup caused more trouble for the A’s in the third when Christian Vazquez, Renfroe, and Dalbec loaded the bases with no outs and Jonathan Arauz pushed across another run by grounding into a double play.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Chavis’ hustle proved to beneficial to the Sox once more when he reached base on a one-out double and came into score on a Matt Chapman throwing error later in the inning.

That gave the Red Sox an 8-0 lead, which is all they would need to pick up the victory and snap a three-game skid to improve to 23-16 on the season.

Richards solid over six innings

On the other side of things, Garrett Richards made his eighth start of the season for Boston on Thursday and continued the impressive run he has been on as of late.

Over six strong innings, the veteran right-hander kept the A’s off the scoreboard while scattering five hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts on the night.

Richards did not face more than four batters in a single frame until the top of the fifth. At that point, he had to dance his way around some traffic on the base paths — and some drama with Mark Canha — in order to keep the shutout intact.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 91 (52 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball 42% of the time he was on the mound Thursday, inducing two swings-and-misses and topping out at 96.5 mph with the pitch.

Able to improve to 3-2 on the season while lowering his ERA down to 3.89, Richards’ next start should come against the Blue Jays down in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Whitlock picks up first career save

In relief of Richards, Garrett Whitlock was the only other hurler the Red Sox needed to turn to on Thursday.

The Rule 5 pick wrapped things up by yielding one run over three innings of work to preserve the 8-1 win for his side and pick up his first career big-league save while doing so.

Renfroe starts relay, notches another outfield assist

While Whitlock was in the process of recording his first save of the season on Thursday, he received some defensive help from Renfroe and Arauz in the top half of the seventh.

With two outs in the inning and A’s catcher on first base after getting plunked by a pitch, Canha laced a line-drive to right field that rolled all the way to the bullpen wall before being fielded by Renfroe.

Renfroe hit his cutoff man in Arauz, who fired a laser to Vazquez in order to nab Murphy at home to retire the side.

Next up: Welcoming in the Angels

The Red Sox will open up the second leg of this six-game homestand with the first of three against the 16-20 Angels on Friday night.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta is slated to get the start for Boston in the series opener after he was activated from the COVID-19 related injured list on Thursday, and he will be opposed by fellow righty Griffin Canning.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Red Sox lineup: Michael Chavis leading off, Jonathan Araúz making first start of season in series finale against Athletics

As the Red Sox look to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Athletics at Fenway Park on Thursday night, manager Alex Cora has shaken things up a bit with left-hander Sean Manaea getting the start for Oakland.

Of the nine hitters in Boston’s starting lineup for Thursday’s contest, six hit from the right side of the plate and one is a switch-hitter.

Michael Chavis will lead things off for the Sox while getting the start at second, and he will be followed by Alex Verdugo — who will be making his 20th start of the season in center field — and J.D. Martinez — who will be making just his sixth start of the season in left field.

With Martinez starting in the outfield, Xander Bogaerts will get half a day off as he will serve as Boston’s designated hitter while batting cleanup.

Rafael Devers, Christian Vazquez, and Hunter Renfroe comprise the 5-6-7 portion of the Red Sox lineup, while Bobby Dalbec and Jonathan Arauz round things out.

Dalbec returns to the lineup and gets the start at first base after sitting out the first two games of this series. The 25-year-old slugger comes into play Thursday sporting a .188/.241/.317 slash line to go along with just two home runs and 11 RBI over 30 games (108 plate appearances).

Arauz, meanwhile, will make his first start of the 2021 campaign in place of Bogaerts at shortstop after being recalled from Triple-A Worcester on Sunday.

The 22-year-old infielder made his season debut and came on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the A’s. He struck out swinging in his lone plate appearances.

Originally selected by Boston in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, the switch-hitting Arauz spent the entirety of the truncated 2020 season with the Red Sox and slashed .250/.325/.319 with one homer and nine RBI over 25 games while playing every infield position besides first base.

“In spring training, he was a little bit erratic defensively,” Cora said of Arauz prior to Thursday’s game. “But he’s a cool customer. I saw him play a lot last year. He put some good swings in spring training. And we’re tying to keep our shortstop off his feet today. He’s been playing a lot. He DH’s today. You got Monday off, so you got to take advantage of situations like this.

“We got J.D. [Martinez] playing left field,” added Cora. “He doesn’t care — he loves playing the outfield. So it’s a good opportunity against a lefty to try to take care of some players and be ready for not only for today, because I think we have a good lineup going, but also for the upcoming days.”

During their current three-game losing streak, the Red Sox lineup has been limited to a total of four runs on 13 hits over their last 27 offensive innings.

They will look to buck that trend and salvage this series against the A’s with right-hander Garrett Richards getting the start for Boston opposite Manaea.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Jonathan Arauz: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Nick Pivetta from COVID-19 related injured list, option Eduard Bazardo to Triple-A Worcester

Before wrapping up their three-game series against the Athletics on Thursday night, the Red Sox reinstated right-hander Nick Pivetta from the COVID-19 related injured list.

In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever Eduard Bazardo was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Thursday.

Pivetta was originally placed on the COVID-related IL on Wednesday due to side effects from the second COVID-19 vaccination, so his stay on the injured list turned out to be a short one.

“As you guys know, this is kind of like how people react to the shot,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Pivetta before Thursday’s game. “And he’s feeling better. He’s feeling better. So the hope, obviously, is for him to start tomorrow.”

Through seven starts this season, Pivetta has proven to be one of Boston’s most consistent starters, posting a 3.19 ERA and 3.78 FIP to go along with 35 strikeouts over his first 36 2/3 innings pitched.

As Cora said, the 28-year-old is slated to make his eighth start of the year against the Angels at Fenway Park on Friday night, and that now appears to be official.

Bazardo, meanwhile, heads back down to Triple-A Worcester less than 24 hours after being called up for his second major-league stint of the season.

After making his big-league debut in Minnesota last month, the 25-year-old hurler made his Fenway Park debut in Wednesday’s game against the A’s.

Working the seventh and eighth innings of an eventual 4-1 loss for Boston, Bazardo tossed two scoreless frames of relief while striking out a pair in the process of retiring six of the seven hitters he faced.

Bazardo, who does not turn 26 until September, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 27 prospect in the Sox’ farm system.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox muster just 5 hits as offensive struggles continue in 4-1 loss to Athletics

The Red Sox have been mired in offensive struggles as of late, and those struggles continued in a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Athletics at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

Facing off against rookie right-hander James Kaprielian, who was making his first career start, the Sox had a chance to pile on some runs right away in their half of the first.

With Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Verdugo reaching base on a double and walk, J.D. Martinez proceeded to rip a line drive to right-center field that appeared well hit enough to drive in Gonzalez from second.

Boston instead decided to play things conservatively, as Gonzalez was held up at third, which would prove to be costly considering the fact the only run they brought across in the inning came on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Christian Vazquez.

In the fifth, the Red Sox again had Kapreielian on the ropes, this time with Gonzalez and Verdugo at first and third with no outs.

Martinez proceeded to ground into a fielder’s choice in which Gonzalez was caught in a rundown between third and home before both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers struck out to end the inning.

Fast forward to the eighth, the Sox found themselves in another position where they were threatening to score runs in a game they were trailing by three at 4-1.

There, Bogaerts drew a one-out walk off A’s reliever Lou Trivino and advanced all the way to third on a sharply-hit double off the bat of Devers.

With the tying run at the plate, Vazquez grounded out sharply to second base and upon receiving the throw from old friend Jed Lowrie, Athletics first baseman gunned down Bogaerts as he was trying to score from third for an inning-ending double play.

All in all, the Sox went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base as a team.

Rodriguez fans 9 over 6 innings, suffers first loss of season

While the Red Sox lineup was struggling to push anything across the A’s on Wednesday, Eduardo Rodriguez made his eighth start of the season for Boston in this one.

The left-hander yielded four runs — all of which were earned — on seven hits and one walk to go along with a season-high nine strikeouts over six innings of work.

After allowing back-to-back two-out hits in the top of the second to give up his first run of the night, Rodriguez settled down for a bit before running into more trouble in the fifth.

A leadoff single from Mitch Moreland followed by a double from Elvis Andrus put the Sox starter in a tough spot, and one that allowed Lowrie to pick up an RBI and advance a runner to third on an run-scoring groundout.

With one more out to get, Rodriguez made a costly mistake in that he balked and by doing so allowed Andrus to score from third and make it a 3-1 game. He then served up a leadoff solo shot to Olson in the sixth before retiring the final three hitters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 99 (63 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 43% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing four swings-and-misses and topping out at 94 mph with the pitch.

Later hit with his first loss of the season, Rodriguez’s next start should come against the Blue Jays in Dunedin next Tuesday.

Hunter Renfroe picks up jaw-dropping outfield assist

Rodriguez very well could have surrendered more than four runs on Wednesday were it not for the efforts for his right fielder Hunter Renfroe.

On a scalding line drive to dead center off the bat of Matt Chapman in the top of the second, Renfroe — while backing up Alex Verdugo — fielded the ball off the wall and made a blistering, 92 mph throw from right-center field to nab Chapman at third after he attempted to turn a one-out double into a triple.

Renfroe’s one-hop throw reached third baseman Rafael Devers in a matter of seconds, and it was good for the second out of the inning.

Red Sox bullpen combines to toss three scoreless frames

In relief of Rodriguez, the recently called-up Eduard Bazardo came on for what was his Fenway Park debut.

Just recalled from Triple-A Worcester in place of Nick Pivetta, who was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list earlier Wednesday, Bazardo sat down six of the seven Athletics he faced.

The righty reliever needed 28 pitches to get through the seventh and eighth innings while picking up a pair of strikeouts.

From there, Austin Brice put together a nice bounce back performance by working a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

Next up: Manaea vs. Richards

After dropping their third straight to fall to 22-16 on the season, the Red Sox will look to salvage this three-game series against the A’s during Thursday night’s finale.

Right-hander Garrett Richards will toe the rubber for Boston, and he will be opposed by left-hander Sean Manaea for Oakland.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Marwin Gonzalez: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)