Xander Bogaerts’ Grand Slam Caps off Seven-Run Eighth Inning for #RedSox in 9-2 Win over White Sox

After going off for a season-high 15 runs on Saturday night, the Red Sox followed that up with a seven-run eighth inning on Sunday in a 9-2 rout over the Chicago White Sox to take the series three games to one.

Making his sixth start of the season and coming off his best outing last time out in this one was Rick Porcello.

Well-versed in working at Guaranteed Rate Field, the right-hander surrendered just two earned runs on five hits and no walks to go along with seven strikeouts over six quality innings on the afternoon.

Both of those Chicago runs came on a pair of solo home runs, with the first coming off the bat of Ryan Cordell in the fifth and the second coming from Jose Abreu an inning later.

That Abreu solo shot tied the game at two at the time it was mashed, but Porcello responded in a positive way by sitting down the final two White Sox hitters he faced in the sixth to kill any shot of a multi-run inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 102 (74 strikes), the 30-year-old turned to his four-seam fastball 35% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing six swings and misses and topping out at 93.1 MPH with the pitch.

Unable to pick up the winning decision because of that second home run, Porcello did lower his ERA on the season down 5.11 thanks to his third consecutive quality start dating back to April 25th. He’ll look for his third W of the year in his next time out, which should come against the Seattle Mariners back at Fenway Park next weekend.

In relief of Porcello, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final three innings of this one.

Brandon Workman got the call for the seventh in a tie-game situation, and he worked his way around a leadoff walk to pick up his second winning decision of the season with another scoreless frame of relief.

From there, after the Red Sox jumped out to a seven-run advnatage in their half of the eighth, Marcus Walden shut down the White Sox in their half of the inning before Colten Brewer locked down the 9-2 win with a scoreless, yet erratic ninth.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey, someone who went unbeaten in two appearances (one start, one relief outing) against Boston last season.

Coming off an offensive outpour on Saturday, the Red Sox bats were held in check by Covey through the fifth, managing to push across just two runs on a second inning RBI single from Mitch Moreland and more of the same from JD Martinez in that fifth inning.

They certainly had their chances to score even more off the White Sox starter, but it wasn’t until the eighth where the offense really picked things up, just like what they did in the third inning Saturday.

Entering the frame in a 2-2 contest with flame throwing reliever Kelvin Herrera on the bump for Chicago, a one out single from Rafael Devers, followed by some sloppy fielding from the White Sox that allowed the Red Sox infielder to reach third base safely, would end up being the catalyst for another massive inning.

After a mound visit and a five-pitch walk drawn by Michael Chavis, Moreland came through in the clutch yet again, beating the shift with another RBI single up the middle to drive in Devers from third and give his team a lead they would not have to look back from.

Three batters and one Jackie Bradley Jr. walk to load the bases later, Eduardo Nunez, pinch-hitting for Sandy Leon, knocked in Boston’s fourth run of the afternoon with a little RBI dribbler down the third base line that barely stayed fair. 4-2 and keeping the line moving.

With the lineup turning back over, Chicago turned to left-hander Caleb Frare in relief of Herrera, and he walked the lone hitter he faced in Andrew Benintendi by nearly striking him in the head with a wild pitch. Regardless, Moreland scored and the Red Sox had a 5-2 lead.

That three-run lead would not last long though, as Xander Bogaerts essentially put this game on ice by greeting new White Sox reliever Juan Minaya with his first grand slam and sixth homer of the season.

The Red Sox’ second granny of 2019 belongs to Bogaerts, and it all but sealed a 9-2 win to close out a successful weekend in the Windy City.

Some notes from this win:

In his last five games, Rafael Devers is slashing .364/.400/.591 with one home run and six RBI.

Michael Chavis may not have recorded a hit on Sunday, but he did make this outstanding diving play in shallow right field in the eighth inning.

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

Unbeaten in their last two series, the Red Sox will head to Baltimore for the first time in 2019 for a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles scheduled to begin on Monday.

31-year-old right hander Josh Smith will get the start for Boston, while lefty John Means will do the same for Baltimore.

Recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on April 26th, Smith closed out Boston’s 6-1 win over the White Sox this past Friday in his only big league appearance so far this season.

Means, meanwhile, owns a lifetime 6.48 ERA over two career outings (one start) and 8.1 innings against the Red Sox.

First pitch of the series opener Monday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their fourth straight win.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone.



Nine-Run Third Inning, Michael Chavis’ First Multi-Homer Game Carry #RedSox to 15-2 Blowout Win over White Sox

After bouncing back with a 6-1 win on Friday night, the Red Sox really poured it on against the White Sox on Saturday, pouring on a season-high 15 runs for their second straight victory on the South Side.

Making his seventh start of the season in this one for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who struck out 12 White Sox in his previous start at Guaranteed Rate Field last September.

This time around, the left-hander yielded just one run on six hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over six quality innings of work, eventually earning his third winning decision of the year.

Things started out a bit shaky for Rodriguez in the first, with Chicago plating their first run of the night and all, but after getting out of the inning and escaping a bases loaded jam in the second, it was relatively smooth sailing, and that was mostly thanks to what his lineup did in their half of the third.

Retiring 11 of the last 14 hitters he faced, the 26-year-old finished his evening with a final pitch count of exactly 100, 61 of which went for strikes.

Out of those 100 pitches, Rodriguez turned to his four-seam fastball 30% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing two swings and misses and topping out at 93.2 MPH with the pitch.

Now with quality starts in two of his last three starts, the Venezuela international will look to build on a solid beginning to May in his next time out, which should come against the Seattle Mariners next Friday.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final three innings of Saturday’s contest, and they had quite the comfortable cushion to work with.

Working both the seventh and eighth, Tyler Thornburg allowed just one run on one hit, a solo home run off the bat of Jose Abreu while fanning four.

Hector Velazquez, meanwhile, who started as recently as Wednesday, locked down the 15-2 win for the Sox with a scoreless ninth, and that was that.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an unfamiliar opponent in White Sox left-hander Manny Banuelos to start this one off.

For never facing off against the Red Sox before in his career, Banuelos held his own through the first two-and-two-thirds innings Saturday by sitting down the first eight hitters he faced in order.

Despite the early success though, a Christian Vazquez two out single changed everything, and it all unraveled for the 29-year-old southpaw the second time through the Boston lineup.

Including the base hit from Vazquez, 10 straight Red Sox hitters all reached base off Banuelos and drove in a total of NINE runs in that span.

An Andrew Benintendi single advanced Vazquez into scoring position for Mookie Betts, who plated both runners on two-run RBI double to pull his team ahead 2-1.

Two pitches after that, JD Martinez collected his 17th RBI of the season by pulling a line drive double to left and driving in Betts from second to make it a 3-1 contest.

Following a brief mound visit, Xander Bogaerts and Michael Chavis went back-to-back with one two-run and one solo homer to pad Boston’s lead even further to 6-1.

With the bases once again empty, a Rafael Devers double and Steve Pearce RBI single gave the Red Sox a six-run advantage, which then inflated to eight on another two-runshot, this one coming from Eduardo Nunez in his first game back since being activated from the injured list. 9-1. End run-scoring outburst.

Just like how he started the rally, another Christian Vazquez single would result in the end of the line for Banuelos, who saw a potential no-hitter through three innings turn into an absolute disaster.

From there, the Red Sox struck for four more runs in their half of the fourth.

With reliever Carson Fulmer now in for Chicago, back-to-back leadoff walks drawn by Martinez and Bogaerts presented Chavis with another prime run-scoring opportunity, and the rookie capitalized on it by grounding an RBI single to right field, scoring Martinez and pushing his team’s lead to 10-1.

Rafael Devers would pick up an RBI by reaching on a fielding error following that Chavis single, and Steve Pearce notched his second multi-hit game of the season with another RBI single up the middle to plate Chavis from second. 12-1.

Devers wound up scoring the Red Sox’ 13th run of the night thanks to a throwing error comitted by Jose Abreu on an Eduardo Nunez grounder, and Pearce also scored on two-out RBI double off the bat of Andrew Benintendi in the same frame to make it a 14-1 game.

And finally, in the fifth, Chavis capped off his team’s impressive offensive tear by launching his second big fly of the night, a 438 foot solo shot with an exit velocity registering at 108 MPH off White Sox reliever Josh Osich.

That dinger made it a 15-1 contest at the time it was mashed, and 15-2 would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Through his first 14 big league games, Michael Chavis has hit six home runs and collected 13 RBI. He is currently slashing .354/.466/.771.

The Red Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 ballgames.

Looking to finish off the series win over the White Sox Sunday, it will be right-hander Rick Porcello getting the start for the Red Sox, as he’ll be opposed by fellow righty Dylan Covey.

Coming off his best start of the season in which he tossed eight shutout innings against the Oakland A’s last Tuesday, Porcello brings a lifetime 3.81 ERA over 12 career starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Opposing Porcello, Covey went 2-0 in one start and one relief appearance against the Red Sox last season.

First pitch for the series finale Sunday is scheduled for 2:10 PM EDT on NESN.

Chris Sale Fans 10, Michael Chavis and Rafael Devers Each Homer as #RedSox Bounce Back with 6-1 Win over White Sox

After getting walked off on to open up a seven-game road trip on Thursday night, the Red Sox bounced back in impressive fashion Friday with a 6-0 shutout victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Leading the charge and making his seventh start of the season against his former club in this one was Chris Sale, who entered the weekend looking to avoid his seventh losing decision of the year already.

Working the first six innings Friday, the left-hander turned in a masterful performance, holding the White Sox scoreless on just three hits, two HBPs, and one walk to go along with 10 strikeouts on the night.

With Sandy Leon behind the plate, Sale did not face more than five hitters in any of the six innings he appeared in while retiring 11 of the first 13 hitters he faced before former Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada broke up any chance of a no-hitter with a two out single in the fourth.

That was snuffed out almost immediately though, as the Cuba native was picked off by Leon while trying to steal second for the third and final out of the inning.

Less than a full frame after that, the White Sox were threatening to get on the board with runners on first and second and three outs still get.

Fortunately for the Sox, the southpaw responded in classic Chris Sale fashion by fanning the next three hitters he faced on 12 pitches to put an end to any threat.

Ending his night by working his way around a two out double in the sixth and getting Moncada looking for his 10th and final strikeout of the night, Sale did indeed earn his first winning decision of 2019.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 104 (70 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his slider 37% of the time he was on the mound Friday while inducing three swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 96.5 MPH and averaged 93.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he went to 37 times.

Improving to 1-5 on the year and lowering his ERA by more than one run, Sale will look to keep things rolling in his next time out, which should come against the Batimore Orioles on Wednesday.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen had a relatively comfortable six-run lead to protect heading into the seventh.

Heath Hembree sat down the only three White Sox hitters he faced in order in that seventh inning, Colten Brewer allowed Chicago’s lone run of the night to cross the plate in the eighth, and Josh Smith tossed a scoreless ninth in his Red Sox debut to lock down the 6-1 win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, who like Thursday’s starter Lucas Giolito, was part of the trade that sent outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals prior to the start of the 2017 season.

Only pitching against Boston one previous time before Friday in his young career, the Red Sox bats took advantage and struck right away in the first inning of this one.

As it turns out, all the damage done off Lopez in the first came with two outs in the frame, and it started with a red-hot JD Martinez roping a ground-rule double to right field.

Two batters later, after Xander Bogaerts advanced Martinez to third with an infield single, Rafael Devers came through with his first home run of the season, and it was a doozy.

Registering at 436 feet and 111 MPH off the bat, you could say Devers’ first big fly of the 2019 came at a good time following that costly ninth inning error on Thursday.

Fast forward to the sixth, after Devers led things off by reaching first on a single, Michael Chavis essentially one upped the first home run of the night by tattooing a 459 foot, 110 MPH, two-run dinger of his own to give the Red Sox a five-run advantage.

And still in the sixth, with Lopez out and reliever Jose Ruiz in for Chicago, Mookie Betts put the exclamation point on this one for the Red Sox by drawing a five pitch, bases loaded walk to drive in Mitch Moreland from third and make it a 6-0 game at the time.

The Red Sox did have the chance to add on in the ninth, but were unable to get anything across against second baseman Jose Rondon, who made his first career appearance as a reliever for the White Sox Friday.

Given the fact that Rick Renteria’s team was only trailing by five runs, it was honestly pretty odd to see a position player pitching in that situation. Still, credit to Rondon for holding his own and tossing a scoreless inning to keep his team within striking distance.

Some notes from this 6-1 win:

On a down note, Tzu-Wei Lin had to depart from this contest in the second inning after injuring his left leg while sliding into second on a failed stolen base attempt.

Later diagnosed with a sprained left knee, Lin will be placed on the 10-day injured list and infielder Eduardo Nunez will be activated from the IL in a corresponding move Saturday.

Michael Chavis has hit four home runs in 13 games with the Red Sox so far. The distances of those homers goes as follows: 374 feet, 441 feet, 441 feet, and 459 feet. His slugging percentage currently stands at .619.

Rafael Devers, meanwhile, has hits in eight of the last nine games he has played in. He is currently slashing .298/.382/.395 with 15 walks, one home run and 13 RBI this season.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the third game of this four-game weekend set on Saturday.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is set to get the ball for Boston, while fellow southpaw Banuelos will do the same for Chicago.

Last time out at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 1st of last season, Rodriguez dazzled with 12 strikeouts and just one earned run allowed on three hits and one walk over 5.2 innings of work. The Red Sox won that game over the White Sox by a final score of 6-1.

On the other side of this lefty-on-lefty matchup, Banuelos, 29, has never pitched against the Red Sox before.

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




Three-Game Winning Streak Comes to an End for #RedSox in 6-4 Walk-Off Loss to White Sox

Coming off a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox kicked off a seven-game, two-city road trip on Thursday night by getting walked off on by the Chicago White Sox in a gut wrenching 6-4 loss on the South Side.

On a night where the conditions looked downright miserable in the Windy City, it was David Price who made his sixth start of the season for the Red Sox in this series opener.

Working the first six innings Thursday, the left-hander surrendered three earned runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

Two of those runs charged to Price came immediately in the bottom half of the first inning, when White Sox backstop James McCann, who caught the lefty 15 times when the two were with Detroit, launched a two out, two-run home run just out of the reach of Jackie Bradley Jr. in center to give his team an early 2-1 lead.

Other than that though, Thursday’s outing went relatively smoothly for Price up until his final inning of work in the sixth.

It could have been worse had it not been for an errant send of Jose Abreu attempting to score all the way from first on a James McCann double that was snuffed out by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts for the second out of the frame, but back-to-back base hits from Yoan Moncada and Jose Rondon did indeed allow McCann to score Chicago’s third run of the contest to knot things up at three runs a piece.

After all that commotion, Price ended his outing by getting Yonder Alonso to ground out to Mitch Moreland to put an end to the sixth, notching his second straight quality start in doing so.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 97 (64 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler turned to his changeup nearly 29% of the time he was on the mound Thursday while inducing five swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 93.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 24 times.

Unable to pick up his second winning decision of the season, Price’s next start should come against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore next week.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen was fairly effective up until things got away from them in the ninth.

But, before that disaster, Brandon Workman and Matt Barnes tossed a scoreless frame each while both of them faced the minimum three hitters and combined for four total strikeouts.

That paved the way for Ryan Brasier to pick up the save with a one-run lead to protect in the ninth, but just about everything that could have gone wrong for the Red Sox did.

The inning started with a five pitch strikeout of Yoan Moncada for the first out. On the very next play, a ground ball off the bat of Jose Rondon should have been good for the second out, but instead the base runner reached first safely thanks to a botched effort from Rafael Devers fielding the ball down the third base line.

Still, even with the tying run reaching first when it was completely avoidable, you can’t put this one all on Devers. The nine errors in 32 games is far from ideal, but Brasier did not exactly come through in an important situation either.

Anyway, a single from Yonder Alonso allowed Rondon to advance to third, meaning the tying run was just 90 feet away from scoring. But, that didn’t really matter though, because Nicky Delmonico ended this game two pitches later by mashing a three-run walkoff dinger over the center field wall to give the White Sox the win.

First losing decision and second blown save of the year for Brasier.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, who was making his first start since April 17th after missing time on the injured list due to a strained left hamstring.

The top of the Boston lineup really brought it in this one, and that was evident right away in the first inning when Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts all reached base with one out to load the bases for arguably the team’s hottest hitter in Rafael Devers.

On the sixth pitch he saw from Giolito in his first at-bat of the night, Devers lined a sacrifice fly with an exit velocity of 98 MPH to left field, plating Betts from third and giving his club an early lead. That was the only run they could come across in their half of the first, and that was essentially the theme of the night: failing to capitalize on multiple-run scoring opportunities.

Fast forward to the third, and Andrew Benintendi led things off against Giolito by tattooing his third big fly of the season to the left field seats. A 376 foot shot momentarily tied the game at two momentarily.

After Betts and Martinez followed that up with their second hits of the contest to put runners on first and third, Devers collected his second RBI by grounding out to second, which allowed Betts to score and make it a 3-2 game in favor of the away side.

From that point on though, the Boston bats were unable to get to the White Sox starter again and only managed one more run, which came on a JD Martinez force out to drive in Benintendi from third in the seventh.

That did put the Red Sox ahead 4-3, and they had the chance to add on what would have been some important insurance in the ninth, but ultimately came up short in a 6-4 defeat.

Some notes from this loss:

From r/baseball:

The Red Sox 1, 2, and 3 hitters Thursday night: 8-13 2BB, 2 RBI, 1 HR, 1 K. The Red Sox 4-9 hitters tonight: 0-20 2 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K

From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:

Also from Smith:

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to start a new winning streak in the second of this four-game set later Friday night.

Ex-White Sox star Chris Sale will get the start for Boston, still looking for his first winning decision of the season.

On the other side, right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, who was included in the same trade with Giolito that sent outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington, will get the start for Chicago.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.


Blake Swihart Homers and Sam Travis Blasts Grand Slam as #RedSox Fall to Cubs in Spring Finale

The Red Sox wrapped up their spring on Tuesday afternoon with a 14-7 loss at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, meaning they failed to pick up a win in their brief two-game exhibition series in Mesa, Az. before heading north to Seattle for the real thing.

David Price, who we have not seen much of in the past few weeks, made just his second start of the spring in this one.

Pitching into the fourth inning, the left-hander surrendered five runs on six hits and two walks to go along with a pair of strikeouts on the day.

Retiring seven of the first eight hitters he faced, it looked as though things were going swimmingly for Price up until the bottom half of the third, when four straight Cubs hitters reached base, which in turn resulted in their first two runs crossing the plate.

An inning later, a two out solo home run off the bat of Kyle Schwarber would ultimately spell the end to Price’s day, as he would depart from this one following another run of three straight Cubs hits, capped off by an Addison Russell RBI double.

Facing 18 batters in total, Price’s next and first start of the regular season will come against the Oakland Athletics on Monday, April 1st.

From the middle of the bottom half of the fourth on, Trevor Kelley, Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, Adam Lau, Tyler Thornburg, Colten Brewer, Ryan Weber, and Durbin Feltman combined to give up a whopping 11 runs (10 earned) on nine hits, four walks, two HBPs, and seven punch outs over the final 4.1 frames.

Not great numbers, obviously. Hembree, Workman, and Lau were responsible for eight of those runs in a monster fifth inning for Chicago.

On a more positive note, Weber tossed a scoreless seventh inning, so there’s that.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Cubs right-hander Carl Edwards Jr., who typically pitches in a relief role, to start things off on Tuesday.

After failing to put anything on the board in their first two trips to the plate, Blake Swihart kicked off the scoring for Boston with a one out solo home run in the third inning off Massachusetts native Tim Collins, his first of the spring.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth, and Sam Travis got his impressive day at the plate started by belting a line drive RBI double to left that allowed Eduardo Nunez to score all the way from first.

And later on in the eighth, after the first four Red Sox hitters had reached base to lead the inning off, including a Tate Matheny RBI single, Travis capped off his spring in exciting fashion, mashing a bases-clearing grand slam off Cubs reliever Ian Clarkin.

Granted, it ended up not making that huge a difference in the final score, but what a way for the 25-year-old Travis to head into his first ever big league Opening Day. Hard not to be excited for him.

Anyway, the Red Sox would go on to drop this one by a final score of 14-7 to put the finishing touches on what turned out to be a 12-17-1 spring.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s Opening Day as well as opening weekend in Seattle. Here are the starting pitchers Alex Cora is going with for the first series of the 2019 season.

Game 1: LHP Chris Sale vs. LHP Marco Gonzales (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Nathan Eovaldi vs. LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 1.93 ERA)
Game 3: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez vs. RHP Mike Leake
Game 4: RHP Rick Porcello vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc

First pitch Opening Day (March 28th) is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on ESPN.

It’s almost that time.

Rick Porcello Avoids Major Scare as #RedSox Fall to Cubs in Mesa

After wrapping up the Grapefruit League portion of their spring on Saturday, the Red Sox made the trek out to Arizona to take on the Chicago Cubs in a pair of exhibition games before kicking off the regular season up in Seattle later this week.

Facing the Cubs for the first time since 2017, Rick Porcello got the start for Boston on Monday.

Working the first four innings, the right-hander surrendered two runs on four hits, zero walks, and one HBP to go along with three strikeouts on the evening.

More importantly, Porcello avoided a serious scare in the second, when Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras ripped a comebacker that wound up glancing off the hurler’s head and landing all the way in shallow right field.

Fortunately and maybe even surprisingly, Porcello was all smiles afterwards and remained in the game to finish his outing. According to the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, “all concussion tests were negative.”

Back to the game, one of the two runs given up by Porcello came on a third inning leadoff home run off the bat of Cubs starter Cole Hamels.

The other came later in the third on an Anthony Rizzo RBI double.

After fanning the final two hitters he faced in the fourth with a pitch count of 53, the New Jersey native headed out to the Red Sox bullpen to get some additional work in and officially cap off his spring.

If I were to guess, I would say we see Porcello make his 2019 regular season debut in Seattle this Saturday.

From the top of the fifth inning on, Eduardo Rodrigez, Hector Velazquez, Matt Barnes, and Ryan Brasier combined to allow one run on two hits, three walks, one HBP, and six strikeouts over the final four in this one.

Rodriguez impressed in a rare relief appearance Monday, punching out the dangerous Cubs trio of Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber while feauturing a nasty changeup in two scoreless frames.

Barnes and Brasier, meanwhile, together tossed a perfect eighth inning, with each recording one strikeout.

On the other side of things, as I had previously mentioned, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Cubs left-hander Cole Hamels to start things out.

Kicking off the scoring for Boston was Andrew Benintendi, who carried over the success he had in Florida spring training with a one out solo shot off Hamels in the top half of the third.

That would put the Red Sox on the board and give them an early lead, but they were not able to do much offensively for the rest of night.

One golden scoring opportunity came in the seventh, after Xander Bogaerts had already plated a run on an Eduardo Nunez RBI single to tie things up at two runs a piece.

With the bases full following a one out Jackie Bradley Jr. RBI single, Blake Swihart, fresh off making Boston’s Opening Day roster, came to the plate with the chance to put his team ahead with some clutch hitting.

A las, the 26-year-old backstop got on top of one from Cubs reliever Randy Rosario and grounded into an inning-ending 5-3 double play, thus killing the rally.

After the Cubs re-took the lead with a run of their own in the seventh, the Red Sox would go on to drop this one by a final score of 3-2 in Arizona.

One note from this loss:

Unrelated to the game, but it was just announced that first baseman Steve Pearce will be opening up the 2019 season on the injured list, presumably due to issues with his left calf. More on that Tuesday.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll face the Cubs once again in the last game before they all start to matter on March 28th.

Left-hander David Price will be getting the ball for Boston, while right-hander Kyle Hendricks will be doing the same for Chicago.

First pitch at Sloan Park is scheduled for 3:05 PM EDT Tuesday.

Chicago White Sox and RHP Kelvin Herrera Agree to Two-Year Contract.

The Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement with free agent reliever Kelvin Herrera on a two-year, $18 million contract, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The deal also includes a vesting option for a potential third year, and per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, that could take the value of this contract northward of $27 million.

Herrera, 29, opened the 2018 season with the Kansas City Royals, where he posted a miniscule 1.05 ERA over a span of 25 relief appearances before being dealt to the Washington Nationals in June.

There, the right-hander had a much more difficult time of things, as his ERA skyrocketed up to 4.34 over a span of just 21 appearances with the Nats.

Injuries were also an issue for Herrera this past season, as he was placed on the 10-day disabled list on two separate occasions in August.

The first occurrence, an impingement of the right rotator cuff on August 8th, saw the Dominican Republic native shelved for nearly two weeks before being activated on August 21st.

Less than a week after that, Herrera was once again placed on the disabled list due to a tear in the lisfranc ligament of his left foot. That saw his season ultimately come to an early conclusion.

Prior to all this injury-related news going down, the Red Sox were reportedly interested in acquiring the services of the flame throwing Herrera at the non-waiver trade deadline on the last day of July.

President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that he had a deal in place for a reliever on that Monday leading up to the deadline, but things fell through because, “[The Nationals] thought they were going to move somebody, and then decided to change their mind. It was a discussion for a reliever. It was one of the few guys we put in that position that we thought would be an upgrade for us.”

With that in mind, it made sense that the Red Sox would be interested in potentially bringing in Herrera as a free agent to stabilize the back-end of their bullpen with the return of Craig Kimbrel still a question mark.

However, the fact that Herrera is coming off a lingering foot injury and still received a hefty chunk of change from the White Sox might mean that the Red Sox were never going to seriously head in this direction.