Kiké Hernández, Xander Bogaerts both homer as Red Sox top Mets, 6-3, for sixth straight win

Exactly two weeks out from the American League Wild Card game, the Red Sox continued their winning ways against the Mets to kick off their final homestand of the regular season.

Although they fell behind first, Boston fought their way back for a 6-3 victory over New York at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, marking their sixth straight win.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 29th start of the season for the Sox and his very first against the Mets, was sharp early on, but later fell off in what turned out to be another relatively short outing.

Over just 4 1/3 innings of work, Rodriguez allowed two runs — both of which were earned — on five hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

The veteran left-hander took a perfect game into the third inning, as he did not give up his first hit until yielding a two-out single to New York’s No. 9 hitter, Tomas Nido, in the top half of the frame.

While it appeared as though Rodriguez was well on his way to putting together a strong performance, things took a turn for the worse in the fourth when he loaded the bases with no outs before issuing a bases-loaded, run-scoring walk to J.D. Davis to give the Mets their first lead of the night at 1-0.

Michael Conforto followed by grounding another RBI single through the left side of the infield that scored Javier Baez and very well could have pushed across another had Enrique Hernandez not gunned down Pete Alonso at home plate from center field.

Hernandez’s seventh outfield assist of the season proved to halt the Mets’ momentum, as Rodriguez escaped the jam by recording the final two outs of the fourth in consecutive order.

At that point, the Red Sox lineup had struggled to get anything going against Rodriguez’s counterpart in Mets starter Marcus Stroman despite having their fair share of opportunities — particularly in the third inning.

There, with no outs and the bases full, Xander Bogaerts grounded into what was at the time a back-breaking 5-2-3 double play, which was followed by an inning-ending flyout off the bat of Rafael Devers.

Compounded with New York jumping out to a 2-0 lead in their half of the fourth, things were looking rather dire for the Boston bats, but they were able to bounce back in a tremendous way beginning in the bottom of that particular frame.

With two outs in the inning, Bobby Dalbec stayed hot by ripping a 104.5 mph line-drive double off the center field wall. Christian Vazquez followed by lacing another liner, though this one flew over the outstretched glove of a back-pedaling Kevin Pillar, took a bounce off the Green Monster, and brought in Dalbec to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, came back out for the fifth, though he gave up back-to-back hits to Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor that put runners at second and third with only one out.

That led to Red Sox manager Alex Cora giving Rodriguez the hook at that moment, as the 28-year-old ended his day having thrown 92 pitches (55 strikes).

In relief of Rodriguez, Cora first turned to the recently-recalled Ryan Brasier, who inherited a bit of a mess but got out of it by fanning Baez on three straight strikes before getting the dangerous Alonso to ground out to short.

With their lineup flipping over for a third time beginning in the middle of the fifth, the Sox continued to pound Stroman, as Hernandez clubbed a game-tying, 379-foot solo shot over the Green Monster (his 18th home run of the season, Kyle Schwarber drilled a hard-hit double to the left-center field gap, and Bogaerts capped it off with an act of redemption — mashing a 426-foot, two-run moonshot to left field.

Bogaerts’ 23rd homer of the year put the Sox up 4-2, but the star shortstop was not done there, as he — with the bases full and two outs in the sixth — plated two more on a 107 mph two-run double off Brad Hand to make it a 6-2 game in favor of Boston.

From there, after Brasier and left-hander Austin Davis combined to work a scoreless sixth inning, fellow trade deadline acquisition Hansel Robles took over and did the very same in the seventh.

Garrett Richards, on the other hand, served up a towering solo homer to Alonso in an otherwise clean eighth inning. He also got the first out of the ninth before Darwinzon Hernandez slammed the door on the Mets to preserve the 6-3 victory for the Sox, though the lefty did not pick up the save.

With the win, not only do the Red Sox extend their winning streak to six consecutive games, but they also improve to 87-65 on the season by doing so. The Blue Jays and Yankees also won on Tuesday, so the Sox maintain their 1 1/2 game lead over Toronto for the top Wild Card spot in the American League.

Next up: Sale vs. Walker

The Red Sox will hand the ball to ace left-hander Chris Sale as they go for the quick two-game sweep over the Mets on Wednesday night. Sale will be working on regular rest in just his second start back from the COVID-19 related injured list.

The Mets, in turn, will counter with right-hander and 2021 All-Star Taijuan Walker as they look to prevent the sweep from happening.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Hirokazu Sawamura, Austin Davis activated; Brad Peacock, Stephen Gonsalves returned to Triple-A Worcester

Before opening up a pivotal three-game series against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Monday, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, right-handed reliever Hirokazu Sawamura was activated from the COVID-19 related injured list, while left-handed reliever Austin Davis was activated from the paternity leave list.

Secondly, right-hander Brad Peacock and left-hander Stephen Gonsalves were both returned to Triple-A Worcester to make room for Sawamura and Davis on the major-league roster.

The Red Sox made these transactions official earlier Monday night. They also reinstated righty Eduard Bazardo from the 60-day injured list and optioned him to Worcester.

Sawamura rejoins the Sox after initially testing positive for COVID-19 while the club was in Tampa Bay in the final days of August. At that time, he was the fifth player on the team to return positive results since their outbreak began in Cleveland on Aug. 27.

Upon his quarantine period coming to an end, the 33-year-old — who is vaccinated against coronavirus — traveled with the Red Sox to Chicago for their weekend series against the White Sox and even threw a bullpen session at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday.

On Monday, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo tweeted that Boston would be making Sawamura available to reporters ahead of the series opener against Seattle, indicating that he would indeed be activated.

In his first season with the Red Sox, Sawamura has posted a 3.09 ERA and 5.35 FIP to go along with 54 strikeouts to 29 walks over 50 relief appearances spanning 46 2/3 innings of work. The Japanese hurler last pitched in a game on August 28, as he did not require a rehab assignment.

Davis, on the other hand, returns to the Red Sox bullpen after being placed on paternity leave over the weekend.

Acquired from the Pirates in exchange for Michael Chavis ahead of the July 30 trade deadline, the 28-year-old southpaw has put up a 4.61 ERA, but much more respectable 3.38 FIP, with 14 strikeouts to six walks in 14 outings (13 2/3 innings pitched) since making his Boston debut on July 31.

In activating Davis, the Sox gain yet another left-handed bullpen option alongside the likes of Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, and Martin Perez, who is expected to be reinstated from the COVID IL himself on Tuesday.

With Sawamura and Davis back in the fold, the Red Sox returned another pair of hurlers to Worcester in the form of Peacock and Gonsalves.

Peacock had just been sent back to the WooSox on Saturday when Connor Seabold was called up to make his major-league debut, but remained on Boston’s taxi squad before having his contract selected once again on Sunday after Phillips Valdez was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on account of a positive test.

That being said, it’s safe to assume that the 33-year-old righty will remain with the Red Sox in Seattle as part of the taxi squad in the event that they need to add another pitcher for the final leg of this road trip.

Gonsalves, meanwhile, had his contract selected from Worcester on August 31 — when both Taylor and Sawamura were added to the COVID-related IL.

The 27-year-old lefty made his Red Sox debut that very same day and appeared in three games for the club, allowing a total of two earned runs on two hits, two walks, one hit batsman, and four strikeouts over 4 1/3 total innings in that stretch.

(Picture of Hirokazu Sawamura: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Xander Bogaerts, Darwinzon Hernandez activated; Kaleb Ort selected from Triple-A Worcester; Chris Sale, Jonathan Araúz placed on COVID-19 related injured list

Before opening up a three-game weekend series against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, the Red Sox made an extensive flurry of roster moves.

First off, shortstop Xander Bogaerts was activated from the COVID-19 related injured list, while left-handed reliever Darwinzon Hernandez was reinstated from the 10-day injured list. Right-handed reliever Kaleb Ort also had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester.

Secondly, ace left-hander Chris Sale and infielder Jonathan Arauz were both placed on the COVID-19 related injured list, while lefty reliever Austin Davis was placed on the paternity leave list.

The Red Sox made all of these transactions official earlier Friday night.

Bogaerts will return from the COVID-19 related injured list after initially testing positive for the virus while the Red Sox were taking on the Rays in St. Petersburg on August 31.

The 28-year-old was forced to exit in the second inning of that contest at Tropicana Field on account of that positive test and was immediately placed into a mandatory 10-day quarantine at the team’s hotel.

Since those 10 days are now up, Bogaerts was eligible to be activated on Friday, which winds up being the case. The three-time All-Star will be starting at shortstop and batting cleanup in the first of three against the American League Central-leading White Sox.

Joining Bogaerts on the active roster will be two relievers in the form of Hernandez and Ort.

Hernandez returns to the Boston bullpen after missing slightly more than six weeks of action due to a right oblique strain he sustained in a relief appearance against the Blue Jays back on July 29.

Placed on the 10-day injured list on July 31, the 24-year-old southpaw was sent out on a rehab assignment with Worcester this past Tuesday. He appeared in one game for the WooSox later that same day and worked a scoreless eighth inning in which he walked one and struck out another in a 5-4 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Polar Park.

Ort, on the other hand, is called up to a major-league roster for the first time in his professional career, as he will take the place of Sale on Boston’s 40-man roster for the time being.

The Red Sox originally selected Ort from the Yankees in the minor-league phase of last winter’s Rule 5 Draft — shortly after they picked up Garrett Whitlock from New York as well.

A former undrafted free agent who initially signed with the Diamondbacks in 2016 but joined the Yankees organization a year later, the 29-year-old righty has emerged as the bona fide closer for the WooSox this season.

In 40 appearances out of Worcester’s bullpen, Ort has posted a respectable 3.12 ERA and 3.56 FIP to go along with 59 strikeouts to 20 walks over 43 1/3 total innings of work. He also leads the WooSox with 18 saves on the year.

As previously mentioned, the Sox were able to call up Ort, who will wear the No. 85, without having to remove someone from their 40-man roster because of Sale being placed on the COVID-19 related injured list.

It was revealed earlier Friday that the ace left-hander had tested positive for the virus, and would subsequently be forced to miss his next scheduled start on Sunday as a result.

In testing positive for COVID-19, Sale becomes the 10th Red Sox player to do so since August 27 while also becoming the 12th player the club has had to place on the COVID IL since that date.

Boston’s starting rotation for this weekend’s series with Chicago initially had Tanner Houck starting the opener, Nick Pivetta starting the middle game, and Sale starting the finale.

Pivetta, who has been on the COVID IL since September 5 since he, too, tested positive, could be able to take Sale’s spot and start on Sunday.

Saturday’s contest, meanwhile, will likely fall to right-handed pitching prospect Connor Seabold, who — like Ort — traveled with the Sox to Chicago as part of the team’s taxi squad.

In addition to Sale, the Red Sox also placed Arauz on the COVID-19 related injured list, meaning the 23-year-old has now become the 13th player Boston has had to place on the COVID IL since their initial outbreak began in Cleveland two weeks ago.

Per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the reason for Arauz being placed on the COVID IL is a precautionary one, as the Panamanian-born infielder has been exhibiting virus-like symptoms, but has tested negative “multiple times.”

Along with Sale and Arauz, the Red Sox will also be without Davis for the time being since he is headed out on paternity leave, though the timing of his absence is in sync with the return of Hernandez.

Put another way, as Boston temporarily loses one left-handed bullpen option, they get another back in the Venezuelan southpaw.

Following Friday’s series of moves, the Red Sox’ major-league roster is at full capacity (26 players), while their 40-man roster currently sits at approximately 39 players.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Red Sox commit season-high 5 errors in ugly 10-1 loss to Rangers

On a day where the two teams ahead of them and the one team directly behind them in the American League East standings all won their respective games, a sloppy Red Sox team came out absolutely flat in a blowout 10-1 loss at the hands of the Rangers at Fenway Park on Saturday night.

After Chris Sale guided them to their 70th win of the season on Friday, Eduardo Rodriguez was unable to get the job done for the Sox in the middle game of this three-game weekend series.

In what was his 24th start of the year for Boston, Rodriguez allowed five runs — all of which were earned — on eight hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts over just 3 2/3 innings of work.

Following a scoreless top half of the first, Rodriguez ran into some trouble in the top of the second when he issued a leadoff double to Nathaniel Lowe that was followed by a seven-pitch walk of Yohel Pozo.

Nick Solak plated one of those two runners by drilling an RBI single through a vacant right side of the infield, and after Andy Ibanez and Jose Trevino flew out, old friend Brock Holt drove in the other on an RBI single back up the middle.

Alex Verdugo had the opportunity to gun down that runner — Pozo — at home plate, but Christian Vazquez appeared to lose his balance while going for the tag and that allowed Pozo to cross home safely on a feet-first slide.

The Sox went down 2-0 on Vazquez’s miscue, but had the opportunity to get something back in their half of the second when J.D. Martinez ripped a one-out single off Rangers starter Jordan Lyles.

Martinez promptly moved up to second base on a two-out walk drawn by Hunter Renfroe and attempted to score on a single to right field off the bat of Vazquez, but was instead thrown out at home by rookie sensation Adolis Garcia for the final out of the inning.

Despite blowing that chance, Boston did get on the board in the bottom of the third, with Enrique Hernandez following up a Bobby Dalbec leadoff double by lacing an RBI single to right field to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

Rafael Devers nearly came through with the Sox’ third straight hit to lead off the third when he tattooed a 105.3 mph line drive to dead center field.

Rather than come up with extra-bases, though, Devers instead flew out to D.J. Peters, as the Rangers center fielder made an incredible leaping grab at the base of the center field wall before doubling up Hernandez on a rocket of a throw back to first base.

That sequence of defensive brilliance killed Boston’s rally before it really even happened, and the Texas offense built off that momentum by getting to Rodriguez for good in the fourth.

There, with two outs and a runner at second, Holt hit a comebacker back in the direction of Rodriguez, but it was one that deflected off the veteran left-hander’s left field, rolled softly into shallow right field, and allowed Ibanez to score from second.

Holt, meanwhile, moved all the way up to third base on a throwing error committed by Hernandez, and he, too, scored on an RBI double from Isiah Kiner-Filefa that marked the end of the line for Rodriguez in what had become a 4-1 game.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 68 (47 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler ultimately fell to 9-7 on the season while seeing his ERA on the season rise to 5.19 after one of the runners he left on came into score.

In relief of Rodriguez, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen, and he officially closed the book on the lefty’s night by allowing that aforementioned inherited runner — Kiner-Filefa — to cross the plate on an RBI single from Garcia as well as a throwing error by Xander Bogaerts.

From there, Garrett Richards yielded another run back-to-back one-out doubles in the fifth, Hansel Robles tossed a scoreless sixth inning, Adam Ottavino did the same in the seventh inning, Martin Perez got shelled for four more runs in the eighth, although only two of those runs were earned on account of a pair of errors committed by Devers and Renfroe.

Austin Davis, on the other hand, kept the Rangers off the board in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, though by then it was too little, too late.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was unable to really get anything going against Lyles after pushing across a run in the third inning.

That lone run would prove to be the only offense of the night for the home side, as Lyles and two Rangers relievers combined to hurl nine innings of one-run ball while the Red Sox — despite going 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position — left five men on base as a team.

Speaking of the No. 5, the Sox committed as many errors on Saturday night as they recorded hits (5), so that is certainly not encouraging coming from a team with postseason aspirations.

With the 10-1 defeat, the Red Sox fall to 70-55 on the season and drop to 6 1/2 games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East, though they remain 1/2 game back of the Athletics for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Allard

For how poorly they played on Saturday, the Red Sox still have the chance to go for the series win over the last-place Rangers on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for Boston in Sunday’s series finale, while left-hander Kolby Allard will do the same for Texas.

First pitch Sunday (weather permitting) is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox acquire left-handed reliever Austin Davis from Pirates in exchange for Michael Chavis

The Red Sox have acquired left-handed reliever Austin Davis from the Pirates in exchange for infielder/outfielder Michael Chavis, the club announced Friday afternoon.

Davis, 28, posted a 5.59 ERA and 4.59 xFIP to go along with 11 strikeouts and five walks over 10 relief appearances spanning 9 2/3 innings of work across three big-league stints with the Pirates this season.

The 6-foot-4 lefty began the 2021 campaign on the 60-day injured list after suffering a left elbow sprain during the offseason that prevented him from appearing in any spring training games.

Originally selected by the Phillies in the 12th round of the 2014 amateur draft out of California State University, Davis — a California native — began his major-league career with Philadelphia in 2018 before being designated for assignment and getting dealt to Pittsburgh last August.

Per Baseball Savant, Davis operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup, though he only threw one pitch this season while with the Pirates.

In addition to providing the Red Sox with another left-handed option out of the bullpen, Davis also comes with multiple years of control, as he does not become eligible for salary arbitration until 2023 and could remain with the club through 2025 before hitting free agency.

On top of that, Davis does have one minor-league option remaining, though it appears he will be added to the Sox’ active roster out of the gate.

Chavis, meanwhile, sees his tenure with the Red Sox come to a rather disappointing close after being selected by the club in the first round of the 2014 amateur draft.

Once regarded as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system, Chavis made his major-league debut for the Sox in April 2019 and made his impact felt right away by clubbing 18 home runs and collecting 58 RBI through his first 95 games as a big-leaguer.

Since then, however, it has been somewhat of a struggle for the soon-to-be 26-year-old right-handed hitter. This season alone, he has hit just .190/.207/.342 with all of two homers and six RBI over 31 games (82 plate appearances) while being shuttled back-and-forth between Boston and Triple-A Worcester.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, perhaps a change of scenery is best for Chavis, as he should run into more playing time with former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington — who was with the club when Chavis was drafted in 2014 — running the show in Pittsburgh.

(Picture of Austin Davis: Adam Hunger/Getty Images)