Rafael Devers Takes Justin Verlander Deep as #RedSox Salvage Another Series Against Astros with 4-1 Victory

For the second straight week, the Red Sox entered Sunday down two games to none in their series against the Houston Astros, and the for the second straight week, the Red Sox came away with a series-closing win. They did that first with a 4-3 victory at Fenway Park on May 19th, and then again with a 4-1 victory at Minute Maid Park on Sunday.

Making his 11th start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, whose spot in the rotation did not come up the last time these two clubs met a week ago.

This time around, the left-hander thoroughly impressed Sunday, tossing six innings of one-run ball on four hits, one walk, and one HBP to go along with five strikeouts on the afternoon.

That lone run came in Rodriguez’s first inning of work, when an Aledyms Diaz leadoff single resulted in Houston getting on the board with a two-out RBI infield single off the bat of Saturday’s hero Carlos Correa to plate Diaz from second.

The thing is, that run could have been prevented had Eduardo Nunez, filling in for Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, made a better throw to the plate andย  if Christian Vazquez didn’t lose the ball on the attempted tag of Diaz.

Other than that one blip though, Rodriguez had a relatively simple time of things in this one, consistently maneuvering his way around the few baseruners he had to deal with while also receiving some help from his defense.

Retiring 11 of the last 12 hitters he faced, the 26-year-old’s fine day came to a close after getting Yuli Gurriel to pop out to second and end the sixth with his team ahead.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (63 strikes), Rodriguez turned to his four-seam fastball 39% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing two swings and misses and getting 13 called strikes with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.4 MPH with it in the fifth inning.

Improving to 5-3 on the year while lowering his ERA down to 5.04, the Venezuela native provided the Red Sox with a start they very much needed after the whole David Price situation the day before. Rodriguez will look for win number six in his next time out, which will come against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium sometime next weekend.

In relief of Rodriguez, Brandon Workman got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen with a two-run lead to protect going into the bottom half of the seventh.

Making his 26th appearance of the season and first of the series, Workman fanned a pair in a 1-2-3 inning before making way for Matt Barnes in the eighth.

Fresh off of getting walked off on on Saturday night, Barnes did allow the tying run to come to the plate with a one out walk of Tony Kemp, but did recover by sitting down the next two hitters he faced to send this one to the ninth.

And in that ninth and final inning, after his team tacked on an extra insurance run in the top half, Marcus Walden shut the door on the Astros to earn his first save of 2019 and lock up the 4-1 win for the Red Sox.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander and future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander for the Astros, who like Rodriguez, did not pitch in the series at Fenway Park.

Going down by one run right away in the first, a Steve Pearce leadoff single later turned into Boston’s first run of the afternoon crossing the plate on a one-out sacrifice fly off the bat of Andrew Benintendi to knot this one at one all.

An inning later, Rafael Devers’ hot streak continued, as the 22-year-old led off the fourth by demolishing his seventh home run of the season 423 feet to dead center field to give his team a lead they would not have to look back from.

In the fifth, the Boston bats capitalized on some sloppy defense from the Astros infield, with Nunez scoring all the way from second thanks to Yuli Gurriel misplaying a grounder from Andrew Benintendi, who reached first safely with one out in the inning.

The Astros committed another error in the same time frame courtesy of Alex Bregman over at third, but the Sox were unable to capitalize there.

And finally, in the ninth, more misjudgements allowed Boston to push another run across, with reliever Framber Valdez letting Jackie Bradley Jr. advance to second after drawing a one-out walk and also advance to third on a ball that got past Robinson Chrinos behind the plate.

That particular sequence of miscues set up Eduardo Nunez in a prime RBI spot, and he took full advantage by driving in his club’s final run of the day on an RBI grounder to second which gave Bradley Jr. more than enough time to score from third and make it a 4-1 contest, which would go on to be Sunday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From Red Sox Stats:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s a quick turn around with a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians set to kick off Monday evening back at Fenway Park.

Coming off a 4-3 road trip, this one home series will be all for the Sox before they head back out on the road again later this week.

Despite their reputation, the Indians are no longer the best team in their division at the moment, as that title currently belongs to the 36-16 Minnesota Twins, while the Tribe sit at an even 26-26.

Right-hander Rick Porcello is set to get the ball for the Red Sox in the series opener, while fellow righty Jefry Rodriguez will do the same for Terry Francona’s Indians.

Over his last seven starts dating back to April 20th, Porcello owns a 2.78 ERA and .196 batting average against over 45.1 innings pitched. The Red Sox are 6-1 in that span.

In 24 career starts against Cleveland, Porcello has posted a lifetime 3.57 ERA over 141 total innings of work.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, has never faced the Red Sox before in his young big league career. The 25-year-old is currently 1-4 with a 4.08 ERA through six starts so far this season.

First pitch Memorial Day Monday is scheduled for a rare 4:05 PM EDT start time on NESN. Red Sox looking to start another winning streak.

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Michael Chavis Comes Through with Game-Winning Home Run in 13th Inning as #RedSox Hold on to Defeat Blue Jays 6-5

After trading blowouts in the first two games of this series, the Red Sox and Blue Jays were matched up in a tightly contested bout on Wednesday, with the Sox needing 13 innings to secure the 6-3 win over Toronto for their 26th of the year.

Making his 10th start of the season for Boston was Rick Porcello, fresh off seven-plus innings of two-run ball in his last time out against the Houston Astros and known for his struggles at Rogers Centre.

Working six full innings in this one, the right-hander limited the Jays to just one run while scattering three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the night.

That one run came in Toronto’s half of the fourth, when rookie phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led the frame off by blasting his fifth home run of the season and first in front of the Rogers Centre crowd to make it a 2-1 game.

Other than that, Porcello retired nine of the next 10 hitters he faced from that point in the fourth until the conclusion of the sixth, where his outing came to a close.

Finishing with a conservative final pitch count of only 80 (54 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his two-seam fastball nearly 28% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday with Sandy Leon behind the plate. He also topped out at 92 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he induced three swings and misses with and threw 19 times.

Hit with the no-decision for the second time this month, Porcello will look for win number four in his next time out, which should come against the Cleveland Indians back home on Monday.

In relief of Porcello, Brandon Workman entered this contest in the middle of the seventh with a two-run lead to protect, got the first two outs of the inning relatively smoothly, and proceeded to run into a buzzsaw.

Freddy Galvis, Brandon Drury, and Billy McKinney all reached to load the bases on Workman, who then allowed the Blue Jays’ deficit to be cut down to one by walking Luke Maile on five pitches.

Somehow though, the righty bounced back by getting Eric Sogard to ground out to second to retire the side and that was that.

From there, after Rafael Devers got that important insurance run back in Boston’s top half of the eighth, Matt Barnes gave it right back in the bottom half on a one-out solo shot from Justin Smoak to make it a one-run game yet again at 4-3.

With the chance to close this one out in the ninth, Marcus Walden, making his 17th appearance of the season, surrendered the then tying-run to cross the plate on a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single off the bat of Danny Jansen. 4-4 headed into extras.

In the 10th, it looked as though the Jays were going to steal a win from the Sox with the bases loaded yet again and only one out in the inning, but with the help of a five-man infiled thanks to Mookie Betts moving in from right, Walden held Toronto to nothing by striking out Freddy Galvis on four pitches and by getting Brandon Drury to fly out to Andrew Benintendi in left for the third and final out of the frame.

Still a 4-4 game headed into the 11th, Ryan Brasier held the Toronto bats in order before Mookie Betts put Boston ahead in the top half of the 12th.

Again with the chance to close this one out, Hembree came up short by serving up a two-out, 401 foot solo homer to noted masher of baseballs Rowdy Tellez to again tie this game at five runs a piece.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, after Michael Chavis delivered the finishing blow to begin the 13th, Hembree rebounded and closed things out with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, picking up the win and securing the slim 6-5 win for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against right-hander Aaron Sanchez for the Blue Jays, a hurler they have seen plenty of times before over the years.

Starting the scoring for Boston in this marathon game was Mitch Moreland, whose two-out RBI single off of Sanchez in the third to plate Jackie Bradley Jr. from third put the Red Sox on the board first.

Just three pitches after that ordeal, Xander Bogaerts struck with another RBI single off Sanchez, this one scoring Mookie Betts all the way from second to give Boston an early two-run advantage.

Fast forward all the way to the seventh, with Daniel Hudson in for Toronto, and a Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff double, followed by back-to-back one out walks drawn by Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts loaded the bases for Mitch Moreland and the middle part of the Sox lineup.

Moreland contributed by collecting his second RBI of the night on a run-scoring groundout to second, but that was all the Boston bats could muster in the frame. 3-1.

An inning later, Rafael Devers’ power-surge continued, as the young infielder launched his third big fly in the last three days, this one a 400 foot, 109.2 MPH opposite field solo dinger off Derek Law to lead off the eighth and make it a 4-2 game.

Fast forward again to the 12th after the Blue Jays had battled their way back, and it seemed as though Mookie Betts had came through with the biggest hit of the night for the Red Sox, a two-out, 423 foot laser to dead center off Joe Biagini. His eighth of the season to put his team ahead 5-4.

A las, Toronto answered back with that Rowdy Tellez homer in their half of the 12th, and we were on to the 13th.

There, with one out and up against Blue Jays reliever Jimmy Cordero for the first time in his big league career, it was rookie Michael Chavis who came through with the late-game heroics.

Down in the count at 1-2, the 23-year-old ripped a 91 MPH cutter from Cordero and wound up sending it 424 feet into the left center field seats for his 10th dinger of the season already.

That put the Red Sox ahead 6-5, and that would go on to be Wednesday’s final score in a contest that took four-and-a-half hours to complete. Fun times!

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s a quick turnaround in the finale of this four-game series on Thursday.

Right-hander Ryan Weber will get the ball in what’s sure to be a bullpen day for Boston, while left-hander Clayton Richard will do the same for Toronto.

Since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on May 6th, Weber, 28, has posted a stout 1.13 ERA over three relief appearances and eight total innings of work this season. He has never pitched at Rogers Centre.

Richard, meanwhile, will be making his 2019 season debut for the Blue Jays after spending the beginning of the year on the injured list due to a stress reaction in his right knee.

In two career outings (one start) against the Red Sox, Richard is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA over a brief six inning sample size.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 12:37 PM EDT on NESN. Last one before heading down to Houston for Memorial Day Weekend.

 

 

Four Home Runs Power #RedSox to 12-2 Win over Blue Jays in David Price’s Return from Injured List

Coming off a 5-3 homestand, the Red Sox opened up a seven-game, two-city road trip on Monday afternoon with a dominating 12-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in their first visit to Rogers Centre of 2019.

Making his seventh start of the season and first since May 2nd was David Price, who spent nearly two weeks on the injured list due to left elbow tendinitis.

Activated from the IL earlier on Monday, the left-hander shook off the rust and looked solid this time around, limiting Toronto to just two unearned runs on three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the day.

Both of those unearned runs came in the bottom half of the second inning, when with two outs and Billy McKinney aboard first, Luke Maile drilled a two-run home run to left center field to put the Blue Jays on the board.

That all could have been prevented though, had it not been for a Michael Chavis fielding error which allowed McKinney to reach base in the first place instead of grounding into the second out of the inning.

Still, Price didn’t allow the homer to phase him, as he went on to toss three more scoreless, no-hit frames from the middle of the third on to the conclusion of the fifth, retiring the final 10 Blue Jays hitters he faced to wrap up his outing.

Finishing with a final conservative pitch count of only 67 (48 strikes), the one-time Blue Jay, with Sandy Leon back from paternity leave and behind the plate for this one, turned to his cutter nearly 30% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing one swing and miss with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.7 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 14 times.

Eventually picking up his second winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA down to 3.29, Price will look for win number three in his next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros next weekend.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen did not allow a single hit over four collective innings of work, with Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Ryan Brasier, and Hector Velazquez combining to sit down 12 of the last 13 Blue Jays he faced.

The only Toronto hitter to reach base over that span was Freddy Galvis, who drew a leadoff walk off of Hembree in the seventh in what was an otherwise shut-the-door kind of performance from the pen to secure the blowout win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson for the Blue Jays.

Now with his 14th big league club since 2003, the Sox bats got to Jackson beginning right away in the first, all with two outs in the inning.

Back-to-back singles from Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts led to the Sox’ first two runs of the day crossing the plate on a Rafael Devers RBI single to score Moreland and an errant throw from Blue Jays cathcer Luke Maile trying to nab Devers stealing second that allowed Bogaerts to score from third with Michael Chavis at the plate. 2-0.

Two innings later, after Toronto had battled back with two runs of their own, Bogaerts was at it again, this time driving in both Mookie Betts and Moreland on a one out, two-run single to left.

Following a Rafael Devers lineout to center, Chavis bounced back from that punchout in the first by scoring Bogaerts and himself on a two-run, 389 foot homer to left field to make it a four-run game. His ninth dinger of the season already.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth, and the bottom of the lineup came through in a run-scoring spot with Steve Pearce drawing a one-out walk and Jackie Bradley Jr. depositing his first big fly of the year off Jays reliever Elvis Luciano, another two-run shot to give his team an 8-2 lead.

Another inning later, a Mitch Moreland leadoff two-bagger resulted in two more Red Sox runs coming across thanks to another RBI base knock from Devers and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Pearce to score Devers from third and make it a 10-2 contest.

And in the ninth, just for good measure, Bogaerts and Devers capped off their fine days at the plate by going back-to-back with solo jacks off Toronto reliever Ryan Tepera to leadoff the inning.

Per Statcast, Bogaerts’ eighth of the season registered at 417 feet and 104.1 MPH off the bat, which is pretty incredible when you see the way the shortstop swung at that 1-1 face-high changeup.

Devers’ fourth of the year, meanwhile, was hit even further and harder, registering in at a whopping 445 feet and 114.4 MPH off the bat. In other words, crushed.

Anyway, those two solo home runs put the Red Sox ahead 12-2, which would go on to be Monday’s final score in the first of four between these two clubs.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From Red Sox Stats:

The Red Sox’ 3-6 hitters on Monday (Moreland, Bogaerts, Devers, Chavis):

11-for-20, three home runs, nine runs scored, and eight RBI.

Through 27 games this month, Rafael Devers owns a .562 slugging percentage.

The Red Sox are 8-3 in their last 11 games.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second game of this series against the Blue Jays.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Boston in what will be his 10th start of the season, while right-hander Marcus Stroman will do the same for Toronto.

Despite giving up five runs in his last time out against the Colorado Rockies, Rodriguez still owns an ERA of 2.84 through three starts this month. As a matter of fact, the Red Sox are 7-0 in the southpaw’s last seven outings.

In four career outings (three starts) at Rogers Centre, Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA over 19.2 total innings pitched.

Stroman, meanwhile, got off to a scorching hot start to the 2019 season, but has since cooled off. That much is evident by the fact that the Blue Jays are 0-4 in the Duke University product’s last four starts.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third straight win.

Xander Bogaerts Drives in Game-Tying and Game-Winning Runs as #RedSox Salvage Series Against Astros with 4-3 Victory

After dropping three of their last four at home, the Red Sox salvaged their three-game series against the Astros with a tight 4-3 win on Sunday to put an end to Houston’s 10-game winning streak.

Making his 10th start of the season for Boston in this one was Chris Sale, fresh off a career-high 17 strikeouts over seven innings in his last time out against the Colorado Rockies.

Pitching into just the sixth inning Sunday, the left-hander had to grind his way through a tough lineup, as he surrendered three runs on four hits, a season-high five walks, and one HBP to go along with 10 strikeouts the afternoon.

For the fifth time in his last six starts, Sale did reach the double-digit mark for punchouts. That much was encouraging to see. The five walks, tied for the most the southpaw has yielded in a single game, were not. Entering Sunday, Sale had given out only two free passes since the beginning of May.

Two of those walks directly led to Astros runs, with the first coming on a leadoff walk drawn by Yuli Gurriel in the second, who would eventually come around to score from third on a two-out wild pitch with George Springer at the plate.

Judging by where that slider was located, it would appear as though Christian Vazquez, who doesn’t usually catch Sale, was looking for something different and thus got crossed up, which in turn allowed the run to cross the plate.

Able to escape the second without any further damage, walks hurt the Florida native yet again an inning later, with Carlos Correa mashing a one-out, two-run homer to deep center after Alex Bregman, like Gurriel, led the frame off by drawing a seven-pitch free pass.

From that point, Sale settled in a bit by retiring eight of the next nine Houston hitters he faced before running into some more trouble in the sixth.

There, a Gurriel leadoff double, followed by back-to-back one-out walks of Robinson Chirinos and Josh Reddick loaded the bases for the Astros yet again, consequently putting an end to Sale’s outing thanks to a pitch count north of the century mark.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 106 (63 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler relied heavily on his slider, as he turned to the pitch more than 47% of the time he was on the mound Sunday and induced a game-high 10 swings and misses with it. He also topped out at 96.4 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 36 times.

Hit with the no-decision, Sale will look for his second win of the season in his next time out, which will come against these same Astros at Minute Maid Park on Friday.

In relief of Sale, Marcus Walden was thrown into the fire, as he came on for his 16th appearance of the year with two outs to get and the bases full.

Having never faced the Astros before in his career, the right-hander managed to get the only batter he faced in the inning, Jake Marisnick, to ground into an inning-ending 6-3 double play before tossing another scoreless frame with the help of another inning-ending twin killing in the seventh.

After the Red Sox jumped ahead by one run in their half of the seventh, that set up Matt Barnes with the chance to preserve that lead in the eighth, and the versatile righty did just that by sitting down the only three Astros he faced in order to make way for Brandon Workman in the ninth.

In what was the first save opportunity of his career, the 30-year-old worked his way around walking the potential tying run with one out by getting Tony Kemp to line out to Jackie Bradley Jr. to secure the 4-3 win for his team, thus securing career save number one as well.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an old friend in Astros left-hander Wade Miley, who spent the 2015 season with Boston.

Pitching in a venue with some familiarity, the Sox bats jumped early on Miley, with Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts both reaching base and advancing 90 feet to second and third with one out thanks to a wild pitch from the Houston starter.

With runners in scoring position and two outs to work with, JD Martinez drove in Boston’s first run of the afternoon on a simple RBI groundout to short that gave Betts enough time to score from third. 1-0.

Fast forward to the fifth, after the Astros went ahead with a 3-1 lead of their own, the Red Sox erased that deficit very quickly thanks to the top of their lineup, headlined by rookie Michael Chavis making his big league debut in the leadoff spot.

On the very first pitch he saw from Miley with two outs in the inning, Chavis demolished a 88 MPH cutter and sent it 420 feet over the Monster for his eighth big fly of the season to make it a one-run game.

Just a few moments later, Betts put the tying run in scoring position with a line-drive double, and Bogaerts came through with his first of two clutch hits on the day, this time plating Betts from second on a fly ball RBI single that honestly should have been caught. Instead, the ball evaded Yuli Gurriel, Jake Marisnick, and Josh Reddick, and found a nice place to land in shallow right field. 3-3 ballgame.

And in the seventh, it was the Xander Bogaerts show once more with Betts representing the go-ahead run at first and two outs in the inning.

Facing off against Astros reliever Frambler Valdez for the first time ever, the 26-year-old shortstop laced a 1-1 RBI double off the center field wall, scoring Betts all the way from first to make it a 4-3 contest, which would go on to be Sunday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Since April 23rd, Chris Sale has recorded a nice 69 strikeouts over his last 38.1 innings pitched. That’s good for a K/9 of 16.3.

Speaking of nice, Marcus Walden owns an ERA of 0.69 in his last six appearances out of the Red Sox bullpen.

Matt Barnes has not given up a run in his last nine relief outings.

Through 13 games this month, Christian Vazquez is slashing .476/.511/.714 with two home runs and three RBI.

Next up for the Red Sox, they head north of the border for the first time this season to take on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the 19-27 Toronto Blue Jays.

Following Sunday’s win, the club optioned right-handed pitcher Josh Smith and catcher Oscar Hernandez to Triple-A Pawtucket, meaning David Price and Sandy Leon are likely to be activated from the injured list and paternity leave list respectively on Monday.

Price is already slated to get the ball in the first of four against his former team, while right-hander Edwin Jackson, now with his 14th big league club, will start for Toronto.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 1:07 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start another winning streak.

 

 

Michael Chavis Delivers First Career Walk-Off Hit as #RedSox Split Series with 6-5 Extra Innings Win over Rockies

After seeing their five-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday, the Red Sox bounced back less than 24 hours later with a 6-5 walk-off win over the Colorado Rockies Wednesday thanks to some late-game heroics from Michael Chavis.

Making his ninth start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered Wednesday unbeaten in his last six outings.

Working his way into the seventh inning of this one, the left-hander was charged for five runs, all earned, on nine hits, one HBP,ย  and one walk to go along with a season-high 10 strikeouts on the night.

Outside of the seventh, it was the top of the fourth that provided Rodriguez with the most trouble, as the Rockies struck for their first two runs on an RBI sac fly from David Dahl and an RBI double from Tony Wolters.

Escaping any more damage in the frame by getting Charlie Blackmon to fly out to right, Rodriguez went on and retired five of the next six hitters he faced before Christian Vazquez ended the sixth by throwing out Ian Desmond at second on a failed stolen base attempt.

Now we get to where things got dicey.

Already with a pitch count of 99 heading into the seventh, the matchups favored Rodriguez with Ryan McMahon, Tony Wolters, and Charile Blackmon, all left-handed hitters, due up for Colorado.

Unfortunately, that plan backfired on Alex Cora and the Sox, as all three Rockies previously mentioned to load the bases without an out yet recorded.

A HBP of Blackmon would be how Rodriguez’s night came to an end, and he would later be hit with three more earned runs.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 106 (73 strikes), the 26-year-old relied on his four-seam fastball 29% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing three swings and misses and topping out at 94.5 MPH with the pitch.

Still unbeaten in his last seven starts dating back to April 12th, Rodriguez will look to extend that streak in his next time out, which should come against the Toronto Blue Jays north of the border.

In relief of Rodriguez, Matt Barnes was thrown right into the fire fresh off a 26-pitch, two inning outing in Tuesday’s loss.

Coming on with the bases juiced and three outs to get in the seventh, the UCONN product allowed all the inherited runners he was dealt to score on a two-run single from Trevor Story and an RBI groundout from Daniel Murphy.

Not how you draw it up, but it was pretty clear that Barnes wasn’t himself given the recent heavy workload.

Following that Murphy groundout, Marcus Walden came on to relieve Barnes and proceeded to sit down the next seven Rockies he faced to take this one into the middle of the ninth.

From there, in what would turn out to be their final frame of work in the 10th, Heath Hembree worked his way around a Nolan Arenado leadoff double and recorded the first two outs before walking Ian Desmond on five pitches.

With one out to get, in came Bradon Workman, who rebounded from a rough performance on Tuesday by striking out the only man he faced in David Dahl to send this one to the bottom half of the inning and earn his third winning decision of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another unfamiliar opponent in Rockies right-hander German Marquez, who, as you may have already guessed, had never faced Boston in his career prior to Wednesday.

Similar to what they did in the series opener, the Sox bats pounced early on a Colorado starter, with Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and JD Martinez all leading off the first with a trio of softly-hit singles and Benintendi coming in to score on the one from Martinez.

That was followed by a run-scoring GIDP off the bat of Mitch Moreland, and the Red Sox had themselves a two-run lead just like that.

Fast forward to the third, and the top of the lineup was back at it again, this time with Benintendi lacing a one-out, opposite field triple off of Marquez and Betts driving him in on an RBI single to center.

Two pitches later, JD Martinez continued his power surge by launching his fourth home run in his last three games, a two-run, 393 foot shot to the Red Sox bullpen to make it a 5-0 game early.

Despite that early lead though, as previously mentioned, the Rockies stormed their way back to the point where this contest went into extra innings.

Facing off against Rockies reliever Chad Bettis to begin the 10th, Xander Bogaerts led things off by lining a leadoff double off the center field wall to put the go-ahead run in scoring position.

Following an intentional free pass of Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis came to the plate with the chance to send everyone home happy, and did just that on the very first pitch he saw, as the rookie grounded a comebacker right back up the middle to plate Bogaerts from second and give his team the 6-5 extra innings victory. First career walk-off knock for Chavis and it could not have come at a better time.

Some notes from this win:

Through five relief appearances this month, Marcus Walden has posted a 0.79 ERA and .129 batting average against over 11.1 innings pitched.

During his current five-game hitting streak, JD Martinez is hitting .400 with four home runs and seven RBI.

Christian Vazquez owns an OPS of 1.148 since the beginning of May.

Rafael Devers’ six-game hitting streak has come to an end.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s another off day on Thursday before a rematch of last year’s American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros over the weekend.

The Astros will come to Boston winners of eight straight and arguably the best team in the American League at the moment.

For the series opener on Friday, it will be a starting pitching matchup featuring two veteran right-handers, with Gerrit Cole getting the ball for Houston and Rick Porcello doing the same for Boston.

Porcello (3-3, 5.15 ERA) is unbeaten in his five starts and is coming off an outing in which he gave up four runs in 6.2 innings in his last time out against the Baltimore Orioles.

Cole (4-4, 3.38 ERA), meanwhile, owns a lifetime 4.32 ERA against the Red Sox over four career starts, two of which have come at Fenway Park.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start another winning streak.

Chris Sale’s Historic 17 Strikeout Night Goes for Naught as #RedSox Drop Series Opener to Rockies in Extras

Coming off a three-game sweep over the Seattle Mariners this past weekend, the Red Sox saw their five-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday night following a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies in 11 innings.

Making his ninth start of the season for Boston was Chris Sale, who before Tuesday had never faced off against Colorado as a starter.

Tossing seven full innings in this one, the left-hander had himself quite the historic outing, as he surrendered two earned runs on three hits and no walks to go along with 17 strikeouts on the night to set a new-career high.

Right from the get go, it appeared that Sale was locked in. That much was evident by the way he fanned seven of the first nine hitters he faced.

After sitting down the first 12 Rockies he faced, first baseman Mark Reynolds broke up the perfect game and no-hit bid all at once by lining a ground-rule double down the right field line to lead off the fifth inning.

Nothing came to be of that though, and it wasn’t until Sale’s seventh and final inning until Colorado got on the board, with Trevor Story leading the frame off with a single and perennial All-Star Nolan Arenado following that up by launching a two-run home run over the Green Monster.

That made it a 3-2 contest, but Sale rebounded nicely by punching out the final three hitters he faced in order to end his evening on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 108 (74 strikes), you could tell that the 30-year-old was willing to go back out for the eighth to try and reach the mark of 20 strikeouts, but that was ultimately shut down by Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

Anyway, out of those 108 pitches, Sale relied heavily on his slider, as he turned to the pitch 37% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday and induced 11 swings and misses with it. He also topped out at 95.9 MPH and averaged 93.3 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 36 times with Sandy Leon behind the plate.

Unable to pick up the winning decision in a deserving effort due to what transpired later in this contest, Sale has dropped his ERA considerably over the past few weeks down to 4.24 on the season. He’ll look to lower it even more in his next time out, which should in all likelihood come against the Houston Astros on Sunday.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen saw some mixed, inconsistent results in this one.

Brandon Workman, making his 21st appearance of the year, saw his run of 11 consecutive outings come to an end on Tuesday, as he allowed the Rockies to briefly take the lead in the eighth inning on a two-run home run off the bat of Charlie Blackmon.

From there, Matt Barnes struck out five of the six hitters he faced in two solid frames of relief in the ninth and 10th frames to make way for Ryan Brasier in the 11th, who walked two of the first four hitters he faced before giving up the go-ahead and what would turn out to be winning run on a Mark Reynolds RBI single to score Trevor Story from second base and make it a 5-4 game.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an unfamiliar opponent in Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland, someone only JD Martinez and Eduardo Nunez had faced before given their previous experience in the National League West.

Only able to plate three runs off of Freeland, rookie Michael Chavis stayed hot and kicked the scoring off for Boston by demolishing his seventh big fly of the season already to lead off the second.

According to Statcast, that ball was launched 451 feet down the left field line and had an exit velocity of over 111 MPH. Quite simply, it was crushed.

An inning later, it was the middle of the Sox lineup providing the team with some more pop, with JD Martinez depositing his eighth homer of the year 424 feet over the Monster with one out in the third and Rafael Devers essentially doing the same with his third dinger of 2019, a two-out, 355 foot shot to left field as well.

Those three homers provided the Red Sox with their only runs up until their half of the eighth, when with two outs and Rafael Devers representing the tying run at second, Mitch Moreland came off the bench and delivered in another clutch situation, as he lined a pinch-hit RBI single to center off Rockies reliever Scott Oberg to plate Devers and tie this thing up at four runs a piece.

They had the chance to walk this one off in the ninth with Jackie Bradley Jr. leading the frame off by drawing a walk off Carlos Estevez, but neither of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, nor Martinez could drive him in.

The same can be said for the 10th thanks to a leadoff single from Xander Bogaerts. But again, nothing to show.

And in the 11th, Christian Vazquez provided some hope by reaching base on a two-out single off of Rockies closer Wade Davis, but that hope was cut short when Benintendi ended any chance of a rally by flying out to left, wrapping up the 5-4 loss for the Red Sox.

Some notes from this loss:

From MLB Stats:

From Red Sox Notes:

Red Sox pitchers recorded 24 strikeouts on Tuesday compared to just two walks, both of which belonged to Ryan Brasier.

Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts went a combined 0-for-11 with six punchouts and five men left on base Tuesday. Not ideal, especially for Benintendi, who is now 0-for-his-last-14 dating back to May 11th.

Since April 23rd, Chris Sale has posted a 1.91 ERA and .157 batting average against to go along with 59 strikeouts over his last five starts and 33 innings pitched. The Red Sox are 2-3 in those five games.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the finale of this brief two-game interleague series later Wednesday night before another off day on Thursday.

Right-hander German Marquez will get the ball for Colorado, while lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will do the same for Boston.

Marquez, 24, has never faced the Red Sox before in his career, but does own a 3.43 ERA through nine starts this season.

The same can be said for Rodriguez, who has yet to make a start against the Rockies and owns a lifetime 3.50 ERA over 11 career starts and 64.1 total innings pitched in interleague play.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start a new winning streak.

Eight-Run Third Inning Lifts #RedSox to 9-5 Win over Mariners for Fourth Consecutive Victory

After finally getting over the .500 hump on Friday, the Red Sox took their fourth straight contest on Saturday afternoon, improving to 21-19 with a 9-5 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Making his eighth start of the season for Boston in this one was Rick Porcello, who entred Saturday unbeaten in his last four outings.

Pitching into the seventh inning on Saturday, Porcello extended that run, as he surrendered four runs, all earned, on five hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts on the day.

All four of those Mariners runs and all five of those hits came around to score in the first, with Porcello getting downright bombarded, really.

Back-to-back RBI doubles from Dan Vogelbach and Domingo Santana, followed by a two-run shot off the bat of veteran slugger Jay Bruce put Porcello in a fairly deep hole early, but the righty turned things around.

In fact, from the beginning of the second all the way to the two out point in the top half of the seventh, Porcello did not yield a single hit, as he retired 17 of the final 19 Seattle hitters he faced.

A two out walk of Shed Long in that seventh inning would wind up being how the New Jersey native’s up and down afternoon came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 107 (76 strikes), Porcello relied on his four-seam fastball 38% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, as he induced six swings and misses and topped out at 92.5 MPH with the pitch.

Improving to 3-3 on the year, Porcello will look to extend his unbeaten run in his next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park next weekend.

In relief of Porcello, Brandon Workman came on with a five-run lead to protect and one out to get with a runner on in the seventh.

Making his 20th appearance of the season, the righty worked his way around walking the first hitter he faced by getting JP Crawford to ground out to first and retire the side.

From there, Ryan Brasier needed just 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 eighth frame of work before Colten Brewer served up a solo home run to Omar Narvaez in the ninth in an otherwise clean inning, thus securing the 9-5 win for his club.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Felix Hernandez for Seattle, and for the second time in less than 24 hours, a Mariners starting pitcher was charged with seven runs.

The scoring for Boston opened in the second, when already faced with an early four-run deficit, Mitch Moreland put the Red Sox on the board with his 12th home run of the year and second of the series, a 384 foot solo shot to right field. 4-1 Mariners.

Just an inning later, as they seem to be making a habit of doing lately, the Sox bats broke out for eight runs, and it all started with Mookie Betts drawing a one out walk off of Hernandez.

Following consecutive singles from JD Martinez and Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers chipped in with RBI base hits of their own, driving in the first three hitters to reach base in the third to tie this thing up at four runs a piece.

That tie would not last long, however. Not with Michael Chavis drawing another walk to reload the bases and end the day for Hernandez after only recording seven outs.

Enter ex-Red Sox lefty Reonis Elias for Seattle, who was greeted immediately by a Jackie Bradley Jr. RBI single up the middle to plate Bogaerts and Devers and put the Red Sox ahead for the first time.

A few moments after that commotion, Sandy Leon, manning the ninth spot in Boston’s lineup, essentially delivered the finishing blow in this one, taking Elias deep over the Monster for a three-run dinger.

Leon’s first big fly of the season, registering at a nice 369 feet and 95.5 MPH off the bat, put the Sox ahead 9-4, and they would not have to look back in this eventual four-run victory.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox drew 11 walks on Saturday, with each starter one through nine accounting for at least one. According to @RedSoxStats on Twitter, that’s the first time that’s happened in the majors since 2010.

Felix Hernandez became the sixth-youngest and 36th overall pitcher in major league history to record 2,500 career strikeouts.

With another three-hit performance on Saturday, Rafael Devers has lifted his on-base percentage up to .402, currently second best on the team behind only Mookie Betts.

12 of Mitch Moreland’s 27 hits this season have gone for home runs. His slugging percentage currently stands at .566 on the year.

The Red Sox are 15-6 in their last 21 games.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to complete the three-game sweep of the Mariners on Mother’s Day.

Hector Velazquez will be getting the ball for Boston, as announced by Sox manager Alex Cora postgame Saturday.

As a starter this season, the Mexico native owns a 4.40 ERA over five outings and 14.1 innings of work.

Opposite Velazquez will be Mariners lefty Marco Gonzales, who surrendered four runs over six innings in a winning effort against the Red Sox back on Opening Day.

First pitch Sunday afternoon is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT on NESN. Both clubs will be donning pink caps and pink ribbons on their uniforms to support the fight against breast cancer.