RECAP: Chris Sale Fans 13 in Seven Shutout Innings as #RedSox Take Series from Mariners.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, a left-handed pitcher tossed a shutout at Fenway Park. Mike Leake did it for the Mariners with eight scoreless innings in a win last night, and Chris Sale did it for the Red Sox with seven scoreless frames this afternoon.

In his 17th start of the season on Sunday, Sale looked as dominant as ever. Coming off a performance against the Twins in which he took a perfect game into the fifth inning last Tuesday, the lefty did not give up his first hit in this one until there were two outs in the third.

Ending his day with a line of 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB Sale never found himself in too much troubles in his ninth career start against the Mariners. After he gave up his first hit of the game to Denard Span in the third inning, the 29-year-old escaped any further stress with a nice pick-off move on Span to retire the side.

An inning later, another two out situation arose when Nelson Cruz ripped a triple off of Sale. Regardless of the fact that Cruz should have been out at third base, the Red Sox hurler rebounded by striking out Ryon Healy on four pitches to escape the jam.

In the sixth, it looked as though the Mariners were about to tack on their first two runs of the day when, after Andrew Romine reached first on a bunt single, Mitch Haniger hit a sharp line drive towards Seattle’s bullpen. Instead of  a home run though, Mookie Betts came up with the clutch inning-ending snag to rob Haniger of what would have been his 17th long ball of the season.

If not this catch, the highlight of the afternoon might just be how Sale ended his day in his final frame of work. It was more than likely the Florida native’s toughest inning, as he allowed two to reach on a single and a walk and needed 19 pitches, but it was all worth it thanks to his last pitch against Mike Zunino.

100.5 MPH(!!!) on that fastball, the fastest pitch recorded by Sale on 93 attempts, 71 of which went for strikes. Going to his four-seamer 44% of the time on Sunday, 20 of the 21 fastest recorded pitches in this game belonged to Sale.

With the Red Sox lineup actually giving the southpaw some run support today, Sale was able to notch his seventh winning decision of the season.

And thanks to two additional scoreless innings from Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes out of the bullpen, the Red Sox recorded their sixth shutout win on the year as well.

On the flip side of things, Mariners starter Marco Gonzales was the one starter the Red Sox did not see in Seattle. With a cumulative .685 OPS against lefties this season, it was going to see how the lineup would stack up the day after getting shutout by another left-handed starter.

After being held to one hit over the first four innings, Xander Bogaerts got a three-run rally started in the fifth with a leadoff double. Following that up with a single off the bat of Eduardo Nunez, Rafael Devers put his team on the board first by ripping an RBI double to the right field corner to score Bogaerts from third. Two sacrifice flies from Sandy Leon and Mookie Betts later, and the Red Sox found themselves up by three going into the sixth inning.

In the bottom half of the sixth, Mitch Moreland stayed hot and wrapped up the scoring on the afternoon by mashing his 11th home run of the season, a 415 foot two-run missile hit to dead center field.

That put the Red Sox up by five runs, which is all they would need to pick up their 52nd win of the season.

Some notes from this W:

The Red Sox improved to 2-4 in games started by Chris Sale when he records 10 or more strikeouts. Maddening stuff.

Per @RedSoxStats: Most swing and misses by a Sox starter in the pitch tracking era:
26 of 93 Chris Sale, today
26 of 114 Clay Buchholz, April, 2010
26 of 116 Chris Sale, May 2018

With that home run, Mitch Moreland extended his hitting streak to seven games. Over that stretch, the Red Sox first baseman is 12/27 with seven RBI.

Jackie Bradley Jr. went 3/3 at the plate batting ninth today, his first multi-hit game since June 5th against Detroit.

After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox will welcome the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim into town for a three-game series set to kick off Tuesday night. In a matchup of elite outfielders in Mike Trout and Mookie Betts, I’m fascinated to see how much national attention this series will receive.

For the opener, it will be another starting pitching matchup featuring two lefties. John Lamb will be making his third start of the season for the Angels, and David Price will be making his 16th start of the season against the Red Sox. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET on Tuesday.

 

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RECAP: Mike Leake Tosses Eight Shutout Innings as #RedSox Drop Second Game to Mariners in 7-2 Loss.

How do you follow up a 14 run outpouring on the first game back from a road trip, be getting shutout up until the ninth inning, of course!

That’s right, folks. The Red Sox did not score their first runs of the game until their last at bats of last night’s contest against the Mariners in a situation where they were already down by seven runs. Let’s get into it.

Making his 15th start of the season on Friday night, Eduardo Rodriguez had his worst performance on the mound in nearly two months. Facing off a team he had just pitched against less than a week ago in Seattle, the Mariners got to the lefty for five runs in just four innings.

If you remember in his last time out, Rodriguez limited the M’s to two runs over six frames in a winning effort this past Sunday evening. The Mariners must have made some sound adjustments to their game plan for last night’s game, because they were all over the lefty in this one.

Before he even had the chance to record the first out of the ballgame, Dee Gordon had already crossed the plate thanks to a leadoff single that was followed by a Mitch Haniger RBI double.

Later on in the third, Ryon Healy plated his teams third run of the night when, after Nelson Cruz lined a one out double, the Mariners first baseman reached first base on a Tzu-Wei Lin fielding error which allowed Cruz to score all the way from second.

An inning later is where things really seemed to escape from Rodriguez. In his final frame of work, the Venezuela native allowed five baserunners to reach on three hits and two walks. Those five baserunners plated three more runs for the Mariners, and that pretty much put this game out of reach for the Red Sox.

Falling to 9-2 on the season now, Rodriguez finished with 86 pitches (52 strikes) on the night. Not too efficient in that department, and the theme of the night for the 25-year-old hurler appeared to be his inability to put away batters with two strikes in the count. Topping out at 96 MPH with his four-seamer, ERod will look to rebound from this shaky start in his next time out against the Yankees in New York next weekend.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was tasked with getting through five innings while keeping Seattle within striking distance.

Hector Velazquez got the first call and for the second time in three days allowed two runs to score off of him. He gave up two garbage time runs in Minnesota on Thursday and in a more important situation last night, surrendered another two in three innings of work to make it a 7-0 game by the time he departed in the middle of the seventh.

From that point on, Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree combined for two scoreless frames of work in the eighth and ninth to lower their ERA’s on the season to 1.13 and 3.86 respectively.

On the other side of things, Mariners starter Mike Leake could do no wrong against a Red Sox lineup fresh off one of their better performances of the year. Last time Leake saw them, in that same game Rodriguez pitched in last Sunday, the Red Sox knocked the 30-year old hurler around a bit for five runs in the six innings he pitched. This time though, we saw a much different story.

In eight full innings, Leake limited the Red Sox to a whopping five baserunners. Three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts, this was for sure his best start of the season. With both Mookie Betts (illness) and Xander Bogaerts (finger) out of the lineup, it’s understandable why the lineup struggled, but it’s still a tough pill to swallow to say the least.

In fact, it wasn’t until the ninth when the Red Sox finally got on the board. With closer Edwin Diaz making his first appearance in a week, Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez were able to collect RBI hits off of the Mariners flamethrower to cut the deficit to five runs. That’s all they were able to do though, as this thing finished with a final score of 7-2. For the Mariners, a five-game losing streak came to an end. For the Red Sox, a two game-winning streak also came to an end.

Some other notes from this loss:

Prior to last night’s contest, the Red Sox recalled IF Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple A Pawtucket while also optioning RP Robby Scott down to Pawtucket.

In gamed Eduardo Rodriguez starts this season, the Red Sox are now 13-2.

Mitch Moreland extended his hitting streak to six games last night. Over that stretch, he’s 11-for-23 (.478 AVG) with five RBI, eight runs scored, and two triples.

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts are expected to be back in the lineup today.

With both sided looking for the series win this afternoon, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of lefty’s. For Seattle, Marco Gonzales will be making his first career start against the Red Sox. And for Boston, it will be Chris Sale making the start. Sale, who missed pitching in the four-game series in Seattle, is coming off a start in which he took a perfect game into the fifth inning against the Twins, yet the Red Sox came away with the loss. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET.

Also, here’s a video of Triston Casas (1st round draft pick) taking BP at Fenway prior to yesterday’s game.

RECAP: The #RedSox Opened up a Six-Game Homestand on Friday by Unloading 14 Runs Against the Mariners.

Coming off a long road trip in which they averaged 4.2 runs scored per game, the Red Sox opened up a three-game weekend series against the Seattle Mariners in eventful fashion last night. The weirdest part of this game was that Steven Wright had his worst start of the season and they still found a way to win.

Having just gotten swept by the Yankees in New York, the Mariners came into Boston looking to get off to a quick start offensively. And with Steven Wright on the mound making his fourth start of the season on Friday, they did just that.

Yup, the knuckleballer, who in his last time out against the Mariners this past Saturday tossed seven one run innings in a losing effort, got rocked for the first time this season. Right from the get go, the Mariners were on top of Wright and his knuckleball, as they pounced for four runs in the first on two home runs, two in the second, and four again in the fourth with another home run mixed in there before the righty departed with two outs in the inning.

In those 4.2 frames of work, Wright got hit ten times for TEN earned runs. For the Mariners, Nelson Cruz was the main enforcer here. Old friend Denard Span was once again a bit of a headache, but by the time this thing reached the middle of the fourth inning, Cruz had already driven in SEVEN of his teams 10 runs, six of which came on two moon shots off of Wright.

The life of a knuckleballer, huh? One start you look like a magician, the next you look like absolute trash. Steven Wright’s ERA inflated from 1.23 all the way up to 3.38 after this stinker of a start, but he would not be pinned with the losing decision.

Nope, thanks to 5.2 scoreless frames of relief from the Red Sox bullpen and an explosion of runs from the lineup, the California native did not factor into the decision. Finishing with 59 pitches on the evening, Wright went to his knuckler 54 times and only got 4 swings and missed out of it. He’ll look to rebound next time out against the LA Angels on Thursday.

As I just mentioned, the Red Sox bullpen was nails last night. Starting in the top half of the fifth with two outs and a five run deficit, Brian Johnson, Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel combined to toss over five shutdown innings while holding the Mariners to four hits and one walk.

For Barnes, this was his second straight scoreless appearance since giving up two runs in Seattle last Friday night. He struck out the side in the seventh. And for Kimbrel, who had not made an appearance since June 14th, he struck out one while tossing a scoreless ninth inning to wrap this crazy game up.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup went off for the second day in a row. They tallied nine runs in Minnesota on Thursday, and they added on that by plating 14 runs on 20 hits last night. Eight players finished the game with at least one run driven in. Let’s get to it.

Already trailing by four runs in the bottom of the first, the Red Sox made the most of their first at bats in this one.

Facing off against a pitcher who had just shut them out less than a week ago in M’s righty Wade LeBlanc, the top of the lineup got things started right away by recording four straight hits. Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi set the table by hitting back to back singles, and JD Martinez and Mitch Moreland followed that up with a pair of RBI knocks to make it a 4-2 game.

Two batters later, a Brock Holt RBI single, a Rafael Devers RBI groundout, and a Christian Vazquez RBI double plated another three runs, and just like that, the Red Sox were up by a run going into the second inning.

Fast forward all the way to the fifth, after the Mariners had gone up big again, Devers came through by cutting the Red Sox deficit to four with another RBI, this one coming on a single to score Mitch Moreland from third, making it a 10-6 ballgame.

An inning later is where things got really interesting. Similar to Thursday, when the Red Sox scored seven of their nine runs over the last three innings in Minnesota, they struck for eight runs in their last three innings with at bats on Friday as well.

Starting in the sixth, with LeBlanc now out of the contest and Mariners reliever Nick Vincent in, a two out walk of Andrew Benintendi led to another pitching change. So with James Pazos in the game now and Benintendi over at first, JD Martinez ended his homerless streak of at bats at 30 by mashing a 427 foot two-run shot to dead center. His 23rd big fly of the season.

The third run of the inning came around to score when Xander Bogaerts drove in Mitch Moreland on another RBI single to make it a one run game going into the seventh.

Trailing by one run now, two singles from Rafael Devers and a Mookie Betts walk loaded the bases for Andrew Benintendi. With Juan Nicasio on the mound for the Mariners, Benintendi ripped his second hit of the day, a single, to score Devers from third to tie the game and reload the bases for JD Martinez. With three hits on the day already, the Red Sox slugger collected his fourth and fifth RBI of the night by grounding a single up the middle to score Swihart and Betts. 12-10.

Two batters later, with Eduardo Nunez in the game pinch-hitting for Xander Bogaerts, two straight wild pitches from new pitcher Nick Rumbelow allowed Andrew Benintendi to score from third and allowed JD Martinez to advance from second to third.

To cap off a wild night of scoring, Eduardo Nunez collected his 17th RBI of the season by lining a single to center field to drive in Martinez for his teams 14th run of the night. That’s all the support the bullpen would need to secure win number 51.

Some notes from this W:

14 runs tied a season-high for the Red Sox. The only time they have scored as many runs this season came back on April 10th against the Yankees. The 20 hits did mark a new season-high.

Xander Bogaerts had to leave this game in the seventh inning after spraining his left index finger on an awkward slide into second base on a swiped bag in the sixth. He will not be in the lineup tonight.

After only hitting one home run and driving in one run on the road trip, JD Martinez came through with FIVE RBI on four hits last night.

Everyone in the Red Sox lineup, including Eduardo Nunez, reached base at least once. In total, the Red Sox went 20/43 with one home run and 13 RBI last night.

Looking to pick up the series win later tonight, it will be Eduardo Rodriguez making the start for Boston. He’ll be matched up against Mariners righty Mike Leake in the same pitching matchup we saw this past Sunday. The Red Sox had their way with Leake in that one, and they’ll look to do the same on Saturday. Going for his team-leading 10th winning decision of the season, Rodriguez owns a career 2.66 ERA in four starts against Seattle. With that in mind, first pitch of the middle game is scheduled for 7:15 PM ET on FOX.

 

 

RECAP: Rick Porcello Tosses Seven Shutout Innings, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi Homer, and #RedSox End Road Trip with a 9-2 Win in Minnesota.

Having dropped the first two games of a three game series to the Minnesota Twins, the Red Sox looked to end their ten-game road trip with a win and head back home 6-4 in their last ten.

With Rick Porcello on the mound and making his 16th start of the season, they did what they had to do to clinch a winning trip.

In seven masterful innings, the Red Sox righty held the Twins scoreless while giving up just one hit, one walk, and one HBP. The most high stress situation Porcello ran into came in his first frame of work, when he hit Eduardo Escobar and Logan Morrison ripped a single off of him to put runners on first and second with two outs. After getting Robbie Grossman to groundout to end the inning, the New Jersey native walked another batter in Ryan Lamarre with two outs in the second. From that point on, he sat down the next 16 Twins he faced from the second up until the conclusion of the seventh.

Finishing with five strikeouts on the day, Porcello needed just 97 pitches (65 strikes) to get through seven scoreless frames. Out of those 97 pitches, the 29-year-old hurler utilized his slider the most, as he went to it 25 times on the day. His four-seam fastball, which he threw 24 times, topped out at 93 MPH in the first inning.

In four starts in the month of June, Rick Porcello has actually been quite good. In those four starts, the Cy Young Award winner is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA and .191 BAA in 25.1 innings pitched. He’ll look to build on this successful run as of late in his next outing against the Anaheim Angels early next week.

In relief of Porcello and with a nine run lead to work with going into the bottom half of the eighth inning, Hector Velazquez was responsible for wrapping this thing up. The righty held the Twins scoreless in the eighth, but got beat up a bit for two runs in the ninth. Those runs were meaningless, but after yesterday, Velazquez has given up 10 hits in his last seven appearances. His numbers still look respectable, but I can understand why we really have not seen him in all that many high leverage situations this season. Like I said though, they got the win, their 50th of the season, ensuring a happy flight back to Boston.

On the other side of things, it was looking as if it was going to be another frustrating day for the Red Sox lineup.

Facing off against Twins starter Kyle Gibson, the Red Sox were held scoreless until the fourth inning, when, after Mitch Moreland led things off by drawing a walk and advanced to second on a Brock Holt single, Sandy Leon came through with an RBI single, his second of the series, to drive in Moreland from second and put his team on the board first.

An inning later, Mookie Betts awoke from a little power slump my mashing his 19th home run of the season, a rare opposite field blast hit into the right field seats.

Fast forward to the top of the seventh, with Gibson out of the game now, the Red Sox had the chance to separate themselves by adding on some insurance runs and that’s exactly what they did.

A one out single off the bat of JD Martinez followed by a Mitch Moreland walk led to a two-RBI double from Xander Bogaerts. Having advanced to third base on the throw back to infield, Bogaerts came into score on a Rafael Devers RBI groundout. 5-0.

In the seventh, the Red Sox tacked on another three runs thanks to Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland. For Benintendi, he collected his second hit of the afternoon by blasting a two-run home run, his 13th, 417 feet to right field.

Back to back doubles from JD Martinez and Mitch Moreland after that Benintendi bomb put the eighth run of the day on the board for the Red Sox.

And in the ninth, with an already commanding eight run lead, Jackie Bradley Jr. got in on the action and did something productive at the plate by notching his 18th RBI of the season to score Brock Holt from second and make it a 9-0 game.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox improved to 15-3 in series finales on the season yesterday.

In his last four games started, Mitch Moreland is 6/14 with three RBI and three walks.

Brock Holt is slashing .297/.374/.414 in 44 games this season. Eduardo Nunez is slashing .247/.277/.348 in 64 games this season. I think I know who deserves more playing time at second base.

At 50-26, no team in Major League Baseball has more wins than the Boston Red Sox. Despite all the freaking out this past week, that fact remains true.

Also, shout out to Mookie Betts showing off his scouting report after playing a ball perfectly in the shift.

Heading into the weekend with a three game set against a familiar foe in the Seattle Mariners on deck, the Red Sox will turn to knuckeballer Steven Wright for the series opener. He’ll be matched up against M’s righty Wade LeBlanc, who tossed seven shutout innings against Boston last Saturday in Seattle. In three career starts against the Red Sox , LeBlanc owns a 3.24 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched. Hopefully, with more information on him, the lineup will be able to get off to a quick start and backup what should be another fine night for Steven Wright. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: Disastrous Eighth Inning Leads to 6-2 Loss for #RedSox.

After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox were back at it for a three-game series Minneapolis before heading back home for the weekend. In a series opener they most definitely should have won, it was the bullpen that let the team down once again.

Making his 16th start of the season last night and coming off a nine strikeout game in Baltimore last Wednesday, Chris Sale looked like the dominant ace he is in this one. Taking the mound against a familiar foe in the Minnesota Twins, the Red Sox ace took a perfect game into the fifth inning yesterday. It was not until, with two outs in the inning, Twins shortstop Ehire Adrianza reached first on a dinky little single for his teams first hit of the ballgame.

That ended any shot at a perfect game and the Twins did come around to score twice in the sixth, but Sale still put together a solid night for himself. After giving up that pair of runs in the sixth, the lefty ended his start on a more positive note by retiring the side in order in his final frame of work.

Finishing with a total of 105 pitches (78 strikes), here’s what Sale’s final pitching line looked like: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, and 11 strikeouts. Once again, the Florida native had his four-seam fastball working, as he threw it 39 times and topped out at 98.9 MPH in the sixth inning. A performance 100% deserving of a win, but with his lineup only giving one run of support, Sale got hit with the no decision.

With the contest now tied at two runs a piece heading into the bottom of the eighth, Alex Cora turned to a pitcher who had yet to make an appearance for Boston this season in left-hander Robby Scott.

Scott, who was recalled from Pawtucket earlier in the day, had a rough go of it during spring training, which is part of the reason he did not make the Opening Day roster. In 24 games with the PawSox this season, the lefty owns a 1.48 ERA and 1.87 BAA in 24.1 innings pitched, so I can see why the Red Sox would want to give him a look.

Unfortunately, the lefty was inserted into a high leverage situation, and crumbled. Leading the eighth inning of by walking the number nine man in the Twins order, Scott proceeded to hit Joe Mauer to put runners on first and second with no outs. He did manage to get the first out of the inning, but he quickly got the hook in favor of Joe Kelly.

A questionable move by Alex Cora to say the least. The Twins lineup isn’t setting the world on fire, but with Joe Kelly available, putting Scott in that situation with the game tied is a bit of a head scratcher. According to Cora, “”If we had the lead in the eighth, he (Kelly) was coming in. He was the one coming in. But tied or down one, it was going to be Robby.”

Matchups wise, I guess it made sense using a lefty with two of the first three batters due up for the Twins being left-handed hitters, but it backfired. Kelly came in any way, allowed both inherited runners to score and gave up two runs of his own to put the Red Sox out of reach for a potential comeback.

We did get something out of this bullpen debacle though, and that was the hardest thrown ball from an outfielder this season. Yup, Jackie Bradley Jr., mere minutes after making a costly fielding error in center field, cut down Robbie Grossman at home on what would have been a sacrifice flyout.

That’s what makes Bradley such a frustrating player to watch. At all times, he is capable of making plays like that, yet on the other side of the ball, he’s a below average major league hitter. Have to imagine this play would be talked about more if it came in a more meaningful situation.

So anyway, Hector Velazquez acted as the saving grace of the Red Sox bullpen and, with the help of that JBJ missile, needed only five pitches to send this one to the ninth inning.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup did not fare well against Twins starter Jose Berrios last night. They had plenty of opportunities (23 runners left on base total), but could only muster one run off of the Minnesota ace and that came on Rafael Devers 12th home run of the season in the sixth.

Fast forward to the eighth with the Red Sox trailing by one and Twins reliever Zach Duke on the hill, and Devers came around to cross the plate again on a Sandy Leon RBI single.

That RBI knock tied the game at two going into the bottom half of the eighth, but as you already know, that tie did not last long.

With the series opener out of the way, the Red Sox will look to David Price to even this thing up. Over his last seven starts, not only are the Red Sox undefeated, but the lefty owns a 2.64 ERA in 44.1 IP as well. He’ll be matched up against Twins righty Lance Lynn, who is currently in the midst of his worst season after spending the first six years of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. First pitch of the middle game is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT.

RECAP: Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Xander Bogaerts Homer as #RedSox End Series in Seattle with a 9-3 Win.

Entering Sunday having lost their last two games against the Mariners, the Red Sox looked to even the series up before heading to Minnesota for the final leg of their road trip that starts on Tuesday.

Coming off a quality outing in his last time out against the Orioles, Eduardo Rodriguez  put together yet another solid performance on the mound yesterday afternoon. In six full innings pitched, the first time he’s gone that deep this month, the lefty surrendered two runs on six hits and one walk while notching nine strikeouts on the day.

Rodriguez’s first three innings went fairly smoothly, as he scattered two hits and that one walk while recording the first nine outs quietly, but the fourth and the fifth were a different story.

With notable slugger Nelson Cruz in for his second at bat of the day to lead off the fourth, the native of Venezuela served up a 3-2, 89 MPH two-seam fastball to the Mariners DH, and he took it 442(!) feet to left to put his team on the board. His first career hit off of Rodriguez in eight tries.

An inning later, three straight singles from the 8-9-1 hitters in the Mariners lineup loaded the bases with no outs for Jean Segura. A run came around to score when Segura grounded into a force out at second, but that was all Rodriguez gave up in an 18 pitch inning.

With his pitch count at 96 going into the bottom half of the seventh, Alex Cora must have wanted to get the most out of Rodriguez, because he came back out and proceeded to retire the side in order to end his day on a more positive note.

Now finishing with a grand total of 113 pitches (70 strikes), the 25-year-old hurler topped out at 95.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball, which he threw 29% of the time. Later improving to 9-1 on the season, Rodriguez will look to continue this successful run he’s been on as of late in his next time out, which should come against the Mariners once again back at home next weekend.

Needing nine more outs to clinch the series-split, the Red Sox bullpen, with an initial three-run lead to work with entering the bottom of the seventh, took care of business against a pesky Mariners lineup.

Bouncing back from a blown save on Friday night, Matt Barnes tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning on 13 pitches. Making his fourth appearance of the road trip in the eighth, Brandon Workman could only record the first two outs of the inning while the Mariners plated a run. Hector Velazquez would be inserted into a bit of a jam, end the inning, and wrap this thing up by pitching a scoreless final frame with a pure display of athleticism on the final out. 49th win of the season secured.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup rebounded from getting shutout on Saturday night in a big way.

In the third, after Leake had retired the first two batters he faced, two singles from Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts and a JD Martinez walk loaded the bases for Mitch Moreland.

Entering yesterday’s contest 1-for-his-last-18, the first baseman broke out of that slump by ripping a two-run single to center field to put the Red Sox on top early.

Having just seen his 10-game hitting streak come to an end the day before, Rafael Devers followed up that Moreland RBI knock by mashing his 11th home run of the season to right field.

408 feet with an exit velocity of 106 MPH on that one for Devers, in the place where he hit his first career homer as well.

Fast forward to the seventh and the Red Sox bats struck again, this time for three runs on two home runs.

Leading off the inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. took M’s reliever Chasen Bradford yard for his fourth big fly of the season.

And three batters later, after Andrew Benintendi singled before him, Xander Bogaerts stayed hot by launching his third home run in his last four games to pretty much put this thing out of reach. 436 feet, 109 MPH exit velo. on the shortstop’s 12th long ball of the season.

One note from this win:

From @SoxNotes: The Red Sox improve to 13-1 in Eduardo Rodriguez’s starts this season. Rodriguez is 9-1 with a 3.59 ERA, including 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his last 6 starts.

With an off day today in Minnesota, the Red Sox will look to take advantage of below-average Twins team starting tomorrow. The last time Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello were lined up to pitch in the same series, the Red Sox dropped two out of three to the White Sox. This time though, they’ll be looking for different results against another AL Central team. Chris Sale gets the ball in the series opener, as does Jose Berrios for the Twins, with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 PM ET on Tuesday.

 

 

 

RECAP: Wade LeBlanc and Mariners Bullpen Combine to Toss a Shutout as #RedSox Drop Second Straight in Seattle.

In a game that took under two-and-a-half hours to complete, the Red Sox found themselves getting shutout for the second time in their last nine games.

Making his third start and ninth appearance of the season on Saturday evening, Steven Wright stayed dominant in another quality seven innings of work. In those seven innings, the righty allowed just one run on five hits and two walks while fanning four Mariners.

The only real trouble Wright ran into came in the third, when Seattle scored their only run of the game. That happened when, after Dee Gordon and Mitch Haniger both reached on singles off of Wright, Nelson Cruz drove in Gordon on a two out RBI single to left field. With that run coming across, the knuckleballer’s scoreless innings streak came too an and at an impressive 24.2 innings pitched, the second longest such streak this season (Daniel Mengden, Oakland Athletics, 25 IP).

Other than that, Wright did not find himself in too many stressful spots, and his performance was certainly worthy of a win. Unfortunately, his lineup did nothing to pick him up.

Finishing with 106 pitches (68 strikes) on the day, the California native relied on his knuckleball a whopping 84% of the time. With his next start expected to take place against the Mariners again next Friday, look for Wright to continue this outstanding run he has been on.

In relief of Wright, Alex Cora need to turn to just one pitcher in the eighth inning, and that pitcher was Brandon Workman. Having not appeared in a game since this past Wednesday, Workman gave up a one out double to Jean Segura in an otherwise shutdown inning of work. You figure only one run in eight innings would be good enough for the win, but a las, it was not.

On the other side of things, Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc, a guy who has pitched for seven different teams in 10 big league seasons, had himself the outing of his life yesterday.

Mookie Betts led things off in the first by ripping a single to left field. From that point on, LeBlanc proceeded to retire the next 22 batters he faced. It was not until Eduardo Nunez singled with two outs in the top half of the eighth when the Red Sox finally had another baserunner. That would end LeBlanc’s stellar day, and he did it all with an efficient pitch count of 98 pitches (73 strikes).

Old friend Alex Colome would come in to get the last out of the eighth by getting Mitch Moreland to pop out and Mariners closer Edwin Diaz recorded his second save in less than 24 hours by striking out the side in the ninth.

Heading into the series finale this afternoon in a 2-1 hole, the Red Sox will look to Eduardo Rodriguez for the split. He’ll be matched up against Mariners righty Mike Leake. Not only does a win ensure a series split with one of the hotter teams in the American League, it also ensures a 5-2 start to the road trip heading into an off day on Monday. First pitch of the fourth game is schedules for 4:10 PM ET.