Kiké Hernández, Connor Wong both homer as Red Sox avoid sweep with 8-2 win over Reds; Chris Sale leaves game with shoulder soreness

Behind a six-run eighth inning, the Red Sox avoided a sweep at the hands of the Reds on Thursday night. Boston salvaged the series and put an end to a three-game losing streak by defeating Cincinnati by a final score of 8-2 at Fenway Park to improve to 29-27 on the season.

Chris Sale, making his 11th start of the year for the Sox, came out firing out of the gate. Facing the Reds for the first time in his career, the veteran left-hander struck out six of the first eight batters he faced over two scoreless innings before running into some trouble in the top of the third.

With one out and the bases empty, Sale surrendered back-to-back doubles to Curt Casali and Kevin Newman, allowing the Reds to open the scoring. Though he managed to strand Newman in the third, Sale once again gave up back-to-back doubles to Spencer Steer and Tyler Stephenson to lead off the fourth.

That sequence of events put runners at second and third for Stuart Fairchild, who flew out to Alex Verdugo in right field. Steer attempted to tag up from third on the play, but he was instead gunned down by Verdugo, who made an accurate throw to home and picked up his fourth outfield assist of the season after the Reds unsuccessfully challenged the call on the field.

With two outs and Nick Senzel at the plate, Sale fell behind in the count at 3-1, which prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora and assistant athletic trainer Masai Takahashi to pay him a visit on the mound. The lefty talked his way into staying in the game, but he then walked Senzel on six pitches and was removed from the contest after being visited by Cora and Takahashi yet again.

Sale, who was later diagnosed with left shoulder soreness, will undergo an MRI on Friday to determine just how severe the issue is. The 34-year-old left the mound on Thursday having allowed one earned run on five hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings of work. He threw 59 pitches (40 strikes) and did not factor into the decision.

Justin Garza took over for Sale out of the Boston bullpen and recorded the final out in the top of the fourth. The Red Sox lineup then got to Reds starter Hunter Greene in the bottom half of the frame after the talented righty had fanned seven of the first 10 Boston hitters he faced.

Rafael Devers led things off by lofting a 348-foot fly ball that center fielder Jose Barrero lost in the lights. Devers, who was credited with a double after moving up to second, then came into the score the tying run on a groundball RBI single off the bat of Justin Turner.

Following three scoreless innings of relief from Garza, Josh Winckowski, and Nick Pivetta, the Red Sox broke the 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh. With new reliever Ian Gibaut in the game for the Reds, Enrique Hernandez crushed a go-ahead, 411-foot solo shot over the Green Monster for his fifth home run of the year.

Hernandez’s 103.5 mph blast gave Boston its first lead of the night at 2-1, but Cincinnati wasted no time in retaliating. Chris Martin, who did not yield a single run in eight May appearances, got the call for the eighth inning and immediately lost the lead by serving up a leadoff double to Newman and a game-tying single to Matt McLain.

Martin avoided any further damage by inducing a 5-4-3 double play and a flyout, paving the way for the Red Sox to get back to work in the latter half of the eighth. After Verdugo drew a leadoff walk off Reds righty Kevin Herget, Devers immediately drove him in by lacing a 106.5 mph go-ahead RBI double into the triangle.

Following a Turner single, the Reds elected to intentionally walk Jarren Duran. Herget then balked with the bases loaded to put the Sox up, 4-2. Hernandez tacked on two more with a two-run single through the right side of the infield before Connor Wong broke it open by depositing a 401-foot two-run homer into the first row of Monster seats.

Wong’s sixth big fly of the season gave the Red Sox a commanding 8-2 lead going into the final frame. Kenley Jansen then slammed the door on the Reds in a non-save opportunity by working his way around a two-out walk in an otherwise clean top of the ninth.

Next up: Rays in for four

After picking up their first home win against a National League Central opponent this season, the Red Sox will next welcome the division rival Rays into town for a four-game weekend series beginning Friday night. The set includes a scheduled day-night doubleheader on Saturday.

In Friday’s series opener, Garrett Whitlock will get the start for Boston opposite fellow right-hander Tyler Glasnow for Tampa Bay. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Connor Wong and Enrique Hernandez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Chris Sale strikes out 10 as Red Sox top Phillies, 5-3, for seventh straight win

The Red Sox kicked off a five-game road trip with a series-opening win over the Phillies on Friday night. Boston defeated Philadelphia by a final score of 5-3 at Citizens Bank Park to extend its winning streak to seven and improve to 20-14 on the season.

With Zack Wheeler starting for the Phillies, the Sox drew first blood in the top of the first inning. Raimel Tapia led off by reaching second base on a 333-foot flyball to left field that was dropped by old friend Kyle Schwarber. He then advanced to third on a Masataka Yoshida groundout and scored the first run of the game on a sharply-hit RBI single off the bat of Rafael Devers.

Two innings later, Tapia and Yoshida led off with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Turner followed by plating Tapia on an RBI groundout. Enrique Hernandez then put Boston up, 3-0, on a two-out single that brought in Yoshida.

Chris Sale, meanwhile, was in the midst of his seventh start of the season for the Red Sox. The left-hander impressed out of the gate by piling up strikeouts over three scoreless frames. The fourth inning was a bit of a different story, however.

Trailing 3-0, Bryce Harper led off with an infield single that Sale could not field cleanly and immediately scored all the way from first on a Nick Castellanos RBI double that rolled down the left field line. J.T. Realmuto followed with an extra-base hit of his own and pushed across Castellanos with a run-scoring triple. Alec Bohm then drove in Realmuto on a single to pull the Phillies back even with the Sox at three runs apiece.

It appeared that Philadelphia may have had Sale on the ropes after Bohm took second base on a wild pitch. But the lefty did not falter and instead stranded Bohm at second by getting Josh Harrison to ground out and both Edmundo Sosa and Dalton Guthrie to punch out. He struck out two more in the bottom of the fifth, paving the way for Boston to break the tie in the sixth.

A leadoff double from Jarren Duran immediately put a runner in scoring position for Hernandez, who lofted a bloop single to center field to put runners at first and third. Triston Casas then brought in the speedy Duran with a 401-foot flyout to deep center. Following a Phillies pitching change, Enmanuel Valdez greeted new reliever Connor Brogdon with an RBI single through the right side of the infield.

Valdez gave the Red Sox a 5-3 lead, which is where the score would remain. Sale ended his night by putting up another zero in the latter half of the sixth. So the 34-year-old southpaw wound up allowing just the three earned runs on seven hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with 10 strikeouts over six quality innings of work. He reached 99 mph with his four-seam fastball, finished with 98 pitches (69 strikes), and induced 17 swings-and-misses en route to picking up his third winning decision of the year.

With Sale’s day done, Richard Bleier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The lefty worked his way around a two-out single in an otherwise clean frame before making way for Chris Martin, who made quick work of the Phillies in the bottom of the eighth.

Taking a 5-3 lead into the ninth, Kenley Jansen made his first appearance since tweaking his back at Fenway Park last Saturday. Jansen made things somewhat interesting by issuing a one-out single and walk to bring the potential winning run to the plate. Like Sale, though, Jansen did not buckle. He instead responded to the challenge by fanning Schwarber and Trea Turner to seal the win and notch the 398th save of his career.

Yoshida extends hitting streak

With his third-inning single, Masataka Yoshida extended his hitting streak to 15 games, which is the longest active streak in the majors.

Game delayed due to medical emergency

In the top of the first inning, the game was delayed for approximately 10 minutes after a fan fell into the visitors’ bullpen. That fan, who was trying to retrieve a ball that was thrown to him, was carted off in a stretcher and taken to a local hospital.

Next up: Kluber vs. Falter

Looking for their eighth straight win, the Red Sox will aim to take this series from the Phillies on Saturday night. Right-hander Corey Kluber will get the start for Boston opposite left-hander Bailey Falter for Philadelphia.

First pitch from Citizens Bank Park is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Chris Sale reaches 97.8 mph, Alex Verdugo and Connor Wong both homer as Red Sox take series from Guardians with 7-1 win

The Red Sox closed out the month of April with a series-clinching win over the Guardians. On a drizzly Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park, Boston defeated Cleveland by a final score of 7-1 to improve to 15-14 on the season.

Starters Chris Sale and Logan Allen traded zeroes through the first four innings of Sunday’s series finale. The Sox then drew first blood in their half of the fifth, when Connor Wong led off with a groundball single.

Jarren Duran followed by blooping a ground-rule double down the left field line to put runners at second and third base. After Enmanuel Valdez struck out on five pitches, Alex Verdugo opened the scoring by plating both Wong and Duran on a a two-run single to left-center field off Allen to put Boston up, 2-0.

Cleveland got one of those runs back in the top of the sixth. After working his way out of a jam by striking out the side in the fifth inning, Sale gave up a leadoff double to Steven Kwan. Seven pitches later, Amed Rosario drove in Kwan with an opposite-field single to cut the deficit in half.

Rosario was able to advance to second on Verdugo’s errant throw home. He then moved up to third on a Jose Ramirez flyout, but Sale left him there by getting both Josh Bell and Oscar Gonzalez to ground out, thus limiting the damage to one run.

It did not take long for the Red Sox to respond. With reliever Nick Sandlin taking over for the Guardians, Christian Arroyo ripped a one-out single in the latter half of the sixth and Wong followed by crushing a 1-2, 91.8 mph fastball on the inner half of the plate 427 feet over the Green Monster for his first home run of the year.

Wong’s two-run blast left his bat at 111.8 mph. It also gave his side a 4-1 lead. Sale, meanwhile, came back out for the seventh and retired the final batter he faced by getting Andres Gimenez to line out to Duran — who made a nice sliding catch — in center field. Having already thrown 98 pitches (71 strikes) to that point in the contest, Sale was given the hook in favor of John Schreiber.

All told, Sale allowed just the one earned run on three hits, no walks, and one hit batsman to go along with five strikeouts over 6 1/3 strong innings of work. The 34-year-old hurler induced 11 swings-and-misses while averaging 94.1 mph and topping out at 97.8 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 59 times. He picked up his second winning decision of the season and lowered his ERA to 6.75.

After Schreiber ended things in the top half of the seventh, the Sox lineup got back to work on the other side of the stretch. Verdugo greeted new Guardians reliever Peyton Battenfield by lacing a 107.9 mph leadoff home run 373 feet down the right field line for his fourth big fly of the year. Following back-to-back two-out walks from Rafael Devers and Masataka Yoshida, Arroyo extended Boston’s lead with a two-run double off the rightmost part of the Green Monster.

Both Devers and Yoshida scored on the play to make it a 7-1 contest. Arroyo then made a fantastic leaping grab in the top of the eighth to help out Richard Bleier and rob Kwan of a base hit that had an expected batting average of .810. Bleier got through the rest of the eighth unscathed, paving the way for Brennan Bernardino to come in for the ninth and secure a 7-1 victory with another 1-2-3 inning.

Sunday’s win took two hours and 32 minutes to complete. Verdugo, Arroyo, and Wong accounted for six of Boston’s nine hits and all seven RBIs. Yoshida, Duran, Arroyo, and Valdez all doubled.

Next up: Kluber vs. Berrios in first of four against Jays

Coming off a 15-13 April, the Red Sox will open the month of May by welcoming the Blue Jays into town for the first of a four-game series on Monday night. In the first meeting of the year between the two division rivals, Corey Kluber will get the start for Boston opposite fellow right-hander Jose Berrios for Toronto.

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

(Picture of Chris Sale: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Chris Sale fails to record strikeout as Red Sox blow four-run lead and fall to Orioles, 5-4, in series opener

The Red Sox blew a four-run lead in a series-opening loss to the Orioles on Monday night. Boston fell to Baltimore by a final score of 5-4 at Camden Yards to drop back to .500 at 12-12 on the season.

Matched up against Orioles starter Dean Kremer out of the gate, the Sox opened the scoring in the top of the second inning. With two outs and nobody on, Triston Casas took Kremer 426 feet deep to right-center field for his third home run of the year.

An inning later, Connor Wong drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second base on a Yu Chang groundout, and scored from second on a one-out RBI single off the bat of Alex Verdugo. Rafael Devers then doubled Boston’s lead by crushing a 387-foot two-run home run onto Eutaw Street.

Devers’ American League-leading ninth homer of the season left his bat at a blistering 115 mph and put the Red Sox up, 4-0, going into the middle of the third. To that point in the contest, Chris Sale had faced the minimum through his first two innings of work before running into some legitimate trouble.

Cedric Mullins, who was at the plate when Ramon Urias recorded the final out of the second by getting thrown out by Wong on a failed stolen base attempt, led off the bottom of the third with a line-drive double. After Jorge Mateo lined out, Adam Frazier plated the speedy Mullins on an RBI single for the Orioles’ first run of the night.

Sale escaped any further damage in the third by getting Austin Hays to ground into an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play. But the O’s really got to the left-hander in their half of the fourth. Following back-to-back one-out hits from Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander, Urias made up for his previous blunder by driving in both runners on a ground-rule double to cut the deficit to one. James McCann knotted things up at four runs apiece with another hard-hit single to right field.

In the fifth, Sale gave up a leadoff double to Jorge Mateo, who then scored the go-ahead run on a single from Hays. Sale yielded one more base hit before getting Mountcastle to ground into yet another inning-ending double play to end his night. The 34-year-old southpaw wound up allowing five earned runs on nine hits and one walk over five innings. He failed to strike out a single batter after punching out 11 in his last start.

Of the 83 pitches Sale threw on Monday, 52 went for strikes. He managed to induce just two swings-and-misses while being charged with the loss and seeing his ERA on the season inflate to 8.22.

To lead off the sixth inning, it appeared as though the Red Sox were ready to respond as Justin Turner reached on a line-drive single. A red-hot Masataka Yoshida followed with a single of his own, but Turner was thrown out at third base after unsuccessfully attempting to go from first to third. Yoshida moved into scoring position on the play, but he was stranded there after both Enrique Hernandez and Casas were retired.

Following a scoreless bottom of the sixth from Ryan Brasier, Wong drew a one-out walk off Baltimore reliever Bryan Baker, but he was thrown out at second in an otherwise quiet offensive inning for Boston. Newcomer Brennan Bernardino then took over out of the bullpen and scattered four hits across two shutout frames.

That sequence of events brought the Red Sox down to their final three outs in the top of the ninth. After Yoshida drew a leadoff walk, pinch-runner Raimel Tapia was able to move up to second base on a balk. Orioles reliever Yennier Cano then stranded the potential tying run at second by striking out both Hernandez and Casas before getting Jarren Duran to line out to end it.

All told, Monday’s loss took two hours and 29 minutes to complete. Yoshida accounted for three of Boston’s seven hits and reached base in all four of his plate appearances.

Chang leaves game with wrist injury

While batting with one out in the seventh inning, Yu Chang swung and missed on a 1-1, 83 mph slider from Bryan Baker and left the game with what the Red Sox later described as “left wrist pain.” Christian Arroyo took over for Chang mid-at-bat and struck out.

Fatse, Cora ejected

Red Sox hitting coach Pete Fatse was ejected by home plate umpire Junior Valentine in the top of the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Manager Alex Cora was also ejected by third base umpire Quinn Wolcott at the end of the game, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Next up: Kluber vs. Bradish

The Red Sox will turn to Corey Kluber, who is in desperate need of a strong start, in the middle game of this three-game series on Tuesday. The Orioles will counter with fellow righty Kyle Bradish.

First pitch from Oriole Park at Camden Yards is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Chris Sale strikes out 11, Alex Verdugo comes through with wonky walk-off single to seal comeback as Red Sox defeat Twins, 5-4, in extras

The Red Sox came back to walk off the Twins in wonky fashion on Tuesday night. Boston defeated Minnesota by a final score of 5-4 in 10 innings at Fenway Park to get back to .500 and improve to 9-9 on the season.

With Sonny Gray starting for the Twins, the Sox quickly drew first blood in their half of the first. Alex Verdugo led off with a line-drive double and then came into score the first run of the game on an RBI single from Rafael Devers.

Chris Sale, meanwhile, made his fourth start of the season for Boston. The veteran left-hander looked like his vintage self, as he allowed just one run on three hits, two walks, and two hit batsman to go along with 11 strikeouts over six strong innings of work.

After tossing four scoreless frames out of the gate, Sale ran into some trouble in the fifth. There, a walk, hit-by-pitch, and infield single filled the bases with no outs. Sale then struck out Donovan Solano, but Carlos Correa followed with a run-scoring sacrifice fly to pull the Twins back even with the Red Sox at 1-1.

Sale avoided any further damage and ended his night by stranding former battery mate Christian Vazquez in an otherwise clean sixth inning. The 34-year-old southpaw finished with 94 pitches (63 strikes), inducing 19 swings-and-misses and topping out at 96.1 mph with his four-seam fastball.

With Sale’s day done, Josh Winckowski received the first call out of the bullpen from Red Sox manager Alex Cora in the seventh. Right away, Winckowski was greeted by Max Kepler, who took a 1-0, 85 mph slider on the inner half of the plate and deposited it 385 feet into the visitor’s bullpen to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.

That is where the score would remain as Winckowski held Minnesota at two runs through the middle of the eighth. The latter half of the inning is where things started to get interesting.

Enrique Hernandez led off with a line-drive single off new Twins reliever Griffin Jax. After Triston Casas struck out for a fourth time, the pinch-hitting Reese McGuire reached base on a catcher’s interference. Hernandez was able to go from first to third on the play since the ball was technically live when McGuire grounded to third.

That bizarre sequence put runners on the corners with one out for Jarren Duran, who proceeded to hit a chopper to second baseman Nick Gordon. With his momentum carrying him in that direction, Gordon attempted to throw out Hernandez at home. Gordon’s throw, however, was mishandled by Vazquez at the plate, which allowed Hernandez to score the tying run.

Closers Kenley Jansen and Jhoan Duran exchanged 1-2-3 innings in the ninth, sending this one into extras. In the top of the 10th, John Schreiber plunked Solano and walked Correa to fill the bases with no outs. The Twins then pushed across two runs on a Byron Buxton sacrifice fly and Jose Miranda RBI groundout.

Trailing 4-2 going into the bottom of the 10th, Kutter Crawford (the pitcher) entered the game as the ghost runner at second base for the Red Sox. With a short bench due to Christian Arroyo’s hamstring injury, Cora was forced to use Crawford (who pitched 6 1/3 innings of relief on Monday) as a pinch-runner after making a double switch and burning his designated hitter earlier in the game.

Representing the tying run, Hernandez led off the 10th by striking out, but he reached first safely as a result of a wild pitch on strike three from Jovani Moran. Crawford advanced to the third on the play and Casas followed by drawing a six-pitch walk to fill the bases for McGuire.

McGuire came through with a game-tying, two-run single, plating both Crawford and Hernandez by roping a 188-foot base hit to left field. Duran then re-loaded the bases by ripping a groundball single back up the middle, but Rob Refsnyder followed by grounding into a 5-3 double play.

Down to their final out in the 10th, the game was fittingly in Verdugo’s hands. Verdugo delivered by lifting a 300-foot single down the right field line. Out of the box, Verdugo thought it was foul, but the ball barely landed in fair territory as it bounced off the portion of the right field wall in front of the Pesky Pole.

After a lengthy umpire review, it was determined that the ball did indeed land in fair territory. As a result, Verdugo was credited with the sixth walk-off RBI of his career and the Red Sox went home winners despite going 5-for-20 with runners in scoring position and leaving 13 runners on base as a team.

Next up: Ryan vs. Kluber

The Red Sox will look to secure a series victory over the Twins on Wednesday night. Corey Kluber will get the start for Boston while fellow right-hander Joe Ryan will do the same for Minnesota.

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

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Chris Sale’s struggles continue as Red Sox fall short of comeback in 9-7 loss to Rays

They made it interesting in the late stages on Wednesday night, but the Red Sox could not come back to knock off the unbeaten Rays. Boston fell to Tampa Bay a final score of 9-7 to drop to 5-7 on the season.

Chris Sale, making his third start of the year for the Sox, surrendered six runs (five earned) on seven hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over four innings of work.

The Rays got to Sale right away in the bottom of the first, but the left-hander was not fully responsible for what happened. That being the case because with one out, starting shortstop Bobby Dalbec — a natural corner infielder — mishandled a groundball off the bat of Wander Franco, which allowed Franco to reach base safely.

Franco promptly stole second base off Reese McGuire before Isaac Paredes drew a four-pitch walk off Sale to put runners at first and second. Moments later, Randy Arozarena made the Red Sox pay by clubbing a three-run opposite field home run to give the Rays an early 3-0 lead.

The Red Sox lineup, meanwhile, could do nothing against Rays starter Taj Bradley early on. Bradley, making his major-league debut for Tampa Bay took a no-hit bid into the fourth inning before giving up a leadoff double to Alex Verdugo. Following a Rafael Devers strikeout, Justin Turner pushed across Boston’s first run of the night by plating Verdugo from second on a one-out RBI single to left field.

Sale appeared to have settled in to that point by putting up a pair of zeroes in the second and third, but the lefty ran into more trouble in the latter half of the fourth. There, a Taylor Walls leadoff double and back-to-back singles from Christian Bethancourt and Vidal Brujan filled the bases with no outs. Yandy Diaz drove in Walls with a sacrifice fly before Franco ripped a two-run double into the gap in left-center to make it a 6-1 contest in favor of Tampa Bay.

The fourth inning would prove to be Sale’s last. The 34-year-old finished with 81 pitches (55 stirkes), but he only managed to induce eight swings-and-misses. He was ultimately hit with the losing decision an now owns an ERA of 11.25 through three starts.

With Sale’s day done, the Red Sox went back to chipping away at the deficit in the top of the fifth. Enrique Hernandez broke out of a lengthy 0-for-28 skid by driving in McGuire on a two-out RBI double. Verdugo followed with a run-scoring hit of his own to trim the Rays’ lead down to three runs at 6-3.

Tampa Bay did not back down, however. In the bottom of the fifth, Zack Kelly issued a leadoff walk to Harold Ramirez and surrendered back-to-back RBI hits to Bethancourt (double) and Brujan (single) before coming out of the game with an elbow injury. Boston got one of those runs back in the sixth when Turner scored from third on a Raimel Tapia groundout.

Still trailing by four after Ryan Brasier worked his way around a leadoff single in the bottom half of the sixth, the Red Sox added some intrigue to this one in the seventh. After McGuire singled and Hernandez doubled to put runners at second and third with two outs, the Rays replaced Ryan Thompson with Colin Poche to set up a lefty-on-lefty matchup against Devers.

After fouling off the first pitch he saw, Devers won the battle by crushing a 366-foot three-run blast down the left field line for his first home run of the season. Devers’ homer, which left his bat at 100.8 mph, suddenly brought the Sox back to within one run of the Rays at 8-7.

Unfortunately, that is where the scoring would stop for Boston. After John Schreiber tossed a scoreless seventh inning, Justin Adam made quick work of the three Red Sox hitters he faced in the top half of the eighth before Chris Martin allowed a very important insurance run to score in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly from Arozarena.

Down by two runs heading into the ninth, McGuire reached base yet again with a leadoff single off Pete Fairbanks. Connor Wong, who pinch-ran for McGuire, moved up to second on a Yu Chang sacrifice bunt but did not advance any further as Hernandez flew out and Verdugo grounded out to end it.

Wednesday’s 9-7 loss, which took two hours and 44 minutes to complete, marks the Red Sox’ 12th straight defeat at Tropicana Field. The Rays, on the other hand, are now the first team to start a season 12-0 since the 1987 Brewers.

Next up: Kluber vs. Springs

The Red Sox will look to avoid a sweep while simultaneously handing the Rays their first loss of the year in the finale of this four-game set on Thursday afternoon. Right-hander Corey Kluber is slated to start for Boston while left-hander Jeffrey Springs is expected to do the same for Tampa Bay.

First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers and Adam Duvall both homer as Red Sox snap skid with 6-3 win over Tigers

The three-game losing streak has come to an end. After getting swept by the Pirates at home, the Red Sox opened the road portion of their schedule with a win over the Tigers on Thursday afternoon. Boston defeated Detroit by a final score of 6-3 at Comerica Park to improve to 3-4 on the season.

Chris Sale, making his second start of the year for the Sox, was able to bounce back from a rough 2023 debut last Saturday. The veteran left-hander allowed three runs on four hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts over five innings of work.

It was an interesting start to the day for Sale, who issued back-to-back walks to the first two batters he faced on eight consecutive balls. He then received a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush and promptly struck out the next three Tigers he faced to escape the jam in the top of the first. An inning later, though, Sale issued a one-out walk to Jonathan Schoop and Jake Rogers followed by clubbing a 414-foot two-run home run to left field to give Detroit an early 2-0 lead.

The Red Sox were able to get one of those runs back off Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull in the top of the third. With no outs and runners on the corners following a Christian Arroyo walk and Reese McGuire, Enrique Hernandez drove in Arroyo with an RBI groundout. Detroit quickly responded, however, as Sale gave up three straight two-out singles in the latter half of the frame. Miguel Cabrera pushed the lead back to two runs by plating Spencer Torkelson with his base hit.

Rafael Devers got his productive day at the plate started in the fourth, as he led things off by taking Turnbull 401 feet deep to left-center field for his second home run of the season. The ball left Devers’ bat at a blistering 107.9 mph and cut Boston’s back down to one run at 3-2.

Sale meanwhile, ended his outing on a strong note by retiring six of the last seven batters he faced from the middle of the fourth through the end of the fifth. The 34-year-old southpaw finished with 74 pitches (46 strikes). He averaged 91.5 mph and topped out at 95 mph with his sinker while inducing 10 total swings-and-misses.

With Sale’s day done after five, the Red Sox put the lefty in position to pick up his first win of the season by breaking out for four runs in the sixth. Alex Verdugo got the rally started with a one-out single. Four pitches later, Devers came through with a game-tying, 414-foot RBI double to center field that had an exit velocity of 108.3 mph. Masataka Yoshida kept the inning alive by drawing a two-out walk off Turnbull, which simultaneously ended the righty’s day.

Following a Detroit pitching change that saw Jose Cisnero take over for Turnbull, Adam Duvall greeted the new reliever by crushing a 414-foot three-run shot to left-center field to break the tie. Duvall’s third big fly of the season, which had an exit velocity of 104.2 mph, gave Boston its first lead of the afternoon at 6-3.

From there, the Red Sox bullpen took over. In relief of Sale, Michigan native John Schreiber faced the minimum in the bottom of the sixth before making way for Chris Martin, who stranded one runner in a scoreless seventh inning. Ryan Brasier then danced his way around some trouble in the eighth to pave the way for Kenley Jansen in the ninth.

Jansen made quick work of the Tigers and sat down the side in order to pick up his first save in a Red Sox uniform. All told, Boston needed just two hours and 23 minutes to pick up a series-opening victory in Detroit.

Devers passes Pedroia on all-time homers list

Rafael Devers’ solo shot in the fourth inning was the 141st of his major-league career. The 26-year-old has passed Dustin Pedroia and is now in sole possession of 19th place on the Red Sox’ all-time home run list.

Duvall makes history

With three more RBIs on Thursday, Adam Duvall now has 12 on the season. According to director of baseball communications and media relations J.P. Long, the 12 RBIs are the most ever by a player in their first six games as a member of the Red Sox.

Next up: Off day Friday, Houck starts Saturday with chance to win series

The Red Sox and Tigers will enjoy an off day on Friday before resuming this three-game series on Saturday afternoon. Right-hander Tanner Houck is slated to make his second start of the year for Boston in the middle game opposite left-hander Joey Wentz for Detroit.

First pitch from Comerica Park is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Adam Duvall powers Red Sox to 9-8 win over Orioles with dramatic walk-off home run

Thanks to some late-game heroics from Adam Duvall, the Red Sox pulled off a come-from-behind, walk-off win over the Orioles on Saturday. Boston defeated Baltimore by a final score of 9-8 at Fenway Park to improve to 1-1 on the young season.

As was the case on Opening Day, the Red Sox did not get much out of their starter. Chris Sale, making his first home start since the 2021 ALCS, got shelled for seven earned runs on seven hits, two walks, and one hit batsman to go along with six strikeouts over just three innings of work.

The Orioles got to Sale right out of the gate. After striking out Ramon Urias for the first out of the game, the left-hander gave up a one-out single to Adley Rutschman and then served up a two-run home run to Ryan Mountcastle to open the scoring. Two batters later, Austin Hays extended Baltimore’s lead to three runs with a solo shot to center field.

Sale got through a scoreless second inning despite allowing the first two batters he faced to reach base. With two outs and runners at second and third, Sale got Rutschman to hit a soft groundball to the left side of the infield. Rafael Devers charged at the ball and prevented the runner at third from crossing the plate by making a bare-handed grab and a low throw that was picked by Triston Casas at first base.

Devers’ fine defensive play kept the Orioles at three runs. Duvall then got his productive day at the plate started by lacing a leadoff triple to begin things in the latter half of the second. With Casas at the plate, Duvall scored Boston’s first run on a wild pitch from Baltimore starter Dean Kremer.

Though the deficit was reduced to two, Sale’s struggles continued into the third. The lefty retired Mountcastle for the first out and then allowed the next three batters he faced to reach on two singles and a walk. With one out and the bases full, that runner at third (Anthony Santander) scored when Jorge Mateo grounded into a force out at second base. Mateo then stole second base to put runners at second and third for Cedric Mullins, who promptly crushed a three-run shot over the center field fence.

Sale got through the rest of the third unscathed, but his outing ended there. Finishing with a final pitch count of 74 (43 strikes), the 34-year-old hurler topped out at 97.2 mph with his four-seam fastball and induced 13 swings-and-misses altogether. Six of the seven hits he gave up had exit velocities that exceeded 103 mph.

With Sale’s day done and the Orioles now leading 7-1, the Red Sox responded by putting up a four-spot of their own in the bottom of the third. After Enrique Hernandez drew a leadoff walk, Alex Verdugo drilled a 419-foot two-run home run into the right field bleachers. Justin Turner then reached via a one-out double before Duvall came through with a two-run blast of his own to make it a 7-5 contest going into the fourth.

Zack Kelly received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora in the fifth and surrendered another run on an RBI double off the bat of Santander. Josh Winckowski and John Schreiber then combined for three scoreless frames of relief before the Boston bats struck again in the seventh.

There, Hernandez led off by taking Austin Voth 393 feet deep over the Green Monster for his first home run of the season. Devers then greeted new Orioles reliever Cionel Perez with a hard-hit double before coming into score on a ground-rule double from Duvall to cut the deficit to one at 8-7.

Following two more scoreless innings from Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen, the Red Sox were down to their final three outs and up against O’s closer Felix Bautista. It appeared as though they were going to go down quietly, as Devers struck out and Turner grounded out. Masataka Yoshida then lifted a lazily-hit fly ball to Ryan McKenna to left field for what should have been the third and final out. Bautista thought as much, but McKenna could not make a clean catch as the ball deflected off the heel of his glove.

That gave the Red Sox extra life, and Duvall made the most of the additional opportunity. After taking a 100 mph fastball for ball one, Duvall tore into another 99.7 mph heater from Bautista and barely cleared the Green Monster for his fifth career walk-off hit.

Duvall finished the day going 4-for-5 with a triple, a double, and his first two home runs of the season. The 34-year-old fell a single short of the cycle while driving in five runs and scoring three times out of the five-hole.

Other worthwhile observations:

Kenley Jansen made his Red Sox debut on Saturday. The veteran closer worked his way around a single and a walk in a scoreless ninth inning. He struck out two of the five batters he faced and picked up the winning decision.

The Red Sox allowed five more stolen bases on Saturday and have now allowed 10 through two games this year. The Orioles are the first team in major-league history to open a season by swiping five bags in each of its first two games, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

According to OptaStats on Twitter, Adam Duvall is the first player in big-league history to come to the plate needing a single to complete the cycle and hit a walk-off home run instead.

Next up: Houck’s season debut

The Red Sox will go for their second straight win in the rubber match of this three-game series against the Orioles on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Tanner Houck will get the start for Boston while left-hander Cole Irvin will do the same for Baltimore.

Houck is coming off a miserable spring in which he posted a 9.74 ERA with 25 strikeouts to 12 walks over six starts (20 1/3 innings). Irvin, meanwhile, was acquired by the O’s in a January trade with the Athletics.

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

(Picture of Adam Duvall: Maddlie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Jordan DiValerio on pitching in relief of Chris Sale in Grapefruit League debut: ‘It’s definitely a big deal’

In the ninth inning of Sunday’s 7-2 loss to the Twins at JetBlue Park, Red Sox minor-league pitcher Jordan DiValerio appeared in a Grapefruit League game for the first time in his professional career.

DiValerio struck out the first batter he faced in Kala’i Rosario and then issued a walk to Dalton Kelly. But the right-hander escaped any further damage and held the Twins scoreless by getting Ernie Yake to ground into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play.

“I didn’t know I was going in until the phone rang and they said, ‘DiValerio, you got it.’ I was like, ‘Alright, here we go,'” DiValerio told’s Rob Bradford. “In the locker room, after, was when it hit me. It was a big moment, but you have to play it off as it is just another game.”

Beyond the fact that he got to pitch in a major-league spring training game for the first time, DiValerio also worked in relief of Red Sox starter Chris Sale, who helped recruit him to the organization a little less than three years ago.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020 college baseball season to come to a screeching halt that March, DiValerio was in the midst of his senior season at St. Joseph’s University. The Philadelphia-area native had posted a 2.38 ERA in his first four starts (22 2/3 innings) for the Hawks that spring, but his chances of getting drafted became slim once the 2020 amateur draft was reduced to just five rounds.

As such, DiValerio became an undrafted free agent that June. Because the signing bonus for these players was capped at $20,000, there was not much teams could do to separate themselves in the recruiting process. DiValerio experienced that firsthand, but the Red Sox found a way to stand out by getting Sale involved.

“It was honestly incredible,” DiValerio said in regards to his over-the-phone conversation with Sale. “Just knowing they would have their ace, their No. 1 guy, give me a call, it just meant so much. It showed me they cared and wanted me here.

“I was in my apartment, got a call and they were like, ‘Hey, just letting you know, Chris Sale is going to call you soon,'” DiValerio recalled. “I was like, ‘OK, whatever.’ I thought they were joking around. Then I get this random phone call, pick up and he was like, ‘Hey, Jordan, it’s Chris.’ I was like, ‘Alright.’

“I just talked to him a little bit and he told me how much of a family the Red Sox were,” he continued. “Everybody fits in. It doesn’t matter if you’re a minor-leaguer or a big-leaguer. That’s exactly how I felt going into the dugout [on Sunday]. Everybody was saying, ‘Good job’ and giving me high-fives. Guys I have never talked to before said, ‘Good job!'”

By the time DiValerio got into Sunday’s game, Sale had already pitched five innings, fulfilled his media obligations, and headed home. Still, to share the same box score with Sale was “definitely a big deal” for DiValerio, who has yet to bring up the aforementioned phone call in the few instances he has bumped into the lefty at the Fenway South complex.

“We met a couple of times, but I haven’t brought up the phone call,” DiValerio said with a laugh. “I feel like it’s weird.”

DiValerio, 25, spent the majority of the 2022 season with High-A Greenville, posting a 5.32 ERA — but much more respectable 4.38 xFIP — with 67 strikeouts to 15 walks over 29 relief appearances (67 2/3 innings) for the Drive. Of the 74 pitchers in the South Atlantic League who accrued 60 or more innings last year, DiValerio ranked fifth in walks per nine innings (2.00), fifth in walk rate (5.0 percent), and 11th in swinging-strike rate (15.6 percent), per FanGraphs.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, DiValerio throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of an 89-91 mph that tops out at 94 mph, a 77-79 mph curveball, a 78-80 mph changeup/splitter, and an 82-84 mph slider, according to his scouting report.

DiValerio, who does not turn 26 until October, is projected by to return to Greenville for the start of the 2023 minor-league season. With that being said, it is certainly possible DiValerio earns a promotion to Double-A Portland at some point this year if he continues to make strides with the Drive.

(Picture of Jordan DiValerio: Kelly O’Connor/

Red Sox spring training: Chris Sale goes 5 innings, Rafael Devers homers in 7-2 loss to Twins

The Red Sox will not be taking home the Chairman’s Cup after being bested by the Twins in Sunday’s series finale. Boston fell to Minnesota by a final score of 7-2 at JetBlue Park to drop to 14-12-4 in Grapefruit League play.

Chris Sale, making his fourth and final start of the spring for the Red Sox, allowed two earned runs on five hits, two walks, and one hit batsman to go along with five strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

Both of the runs Sale gave up came on one swing of the bat. After taking a shutout bid into the fourth inning, the veteran left-hander yielded a leadoff single to Kyle Farmer. Two batters later, he served up a two-run home run to Ryan Jeffers that barely cleared the fence in right-center field.

Sale evaded any further damage in the top of the fourth. In the bottom half, Cole Sands took over for Twins starter Sonny Gray, who struck out four over three scoreless, no-hit innings. Rafael Devers promptly greeted the new reliever by crushing a leadoff home run to right field. Devers’ first homer of the spring cut Boston’s deficit in half at 2-1.

Justin Turner followed by drawing a walk and moving up to third base on a one-out double from Adam Duvall. Triston Casas then took ball four himself to load the bases, but Christian Arroyo extinguished the threat by grounding into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play.

Still trailing by one going into the fifth, Sale put runners on the corners with only one out. But he got out of the jam thanks to Reese McGuire gunning down the pinch-running Ernie Yake at second base and Farmer lining out to Bobby Dalbec to end the inning. The 33-year-old southpaw finished with 79 pitches. He will make his next start against the Orioles at Fenway Park on April 1.

Shortly after Sale’s day had come to an end, the Red Sox got the lefty off the hook. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Bobby Dalbec scored the then-tying-run on back-to-back singles from Devers and Turner. A two-out walk drawn by Masataka Yoshida then loaded the bases, but Duvall ended the rally by going down swinging against new Twins reliever Jose Bravo.

Though Boston had fought back to pull even with Minnesota at two runs apiece, that stalemate did not last too long. Kaleb Ort took over for Sale out of the Red Sox bullpen in the sixth and recorded two quick outs before running into some trouble. Ort issued a two-out walk to Michael A. Taylor and followed that up by surrendering a go-ahead, two-run home run to Willi Castro to give the Twins a 4-2 lead.

Richard Bleier had difficulty with the long ball himself as he served up a two-run shot to Hernan Perez with two outs in the seventh. In the eighth, John Schreiber gave up a one-out double to Mark Contreras, who scored from second on an RBI single off the bat of Andrew Betchold. Jordan DiValerio faced the minimum in the ninth by recording one strikeout, issuing one walk, and inducing another 4-6-3 twin killing.

Down to their final three outs, the Red Sox went down quietly in their half of the ninth. Jorge Alfaro popped out while Dalbec and Raimel Tapia both lined out against Connor Sadzeck to put the finishing touches on a 7-2 loss.

By defeating the Red Sox on Sunday, the Twins won the five-game series, 3-2. As such, they will be taking the 2023 Chairman’s Cup trophy back with them to their own complex in Fort Myers.

Other worthwhile observations:

After allowing two runs in the sixth inning of Sunday’s loss, Kaleb Ort now owns a 9.64 ERA (10 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings of relief) through eight appearances this spring. The hard-throwing righty is currently competing for the final spot in Boston’s Opening Day bullpen.

In his four starts this spring, Chris Sale pitched to a 4.80 ERA with 12 strikeouts to just three walks over 15 innings. Opponents hit .288 off him.

Enrique Hernandez was struck in the right wrist by a Sonny Gray pitch in the bottom of the third inning. He remained in the game for two more innings before being replaced at shortstop by Bobby Dalbec. According to the Red Sox, the decision to take Hernandez (who was later diagnosed with a right wrist contusion) out was purely precautionary, meaning he is not expected to miss any time.

Next up: Houck starts

The Red Sox will travel to North Port to take on the Braves in their penultimate game of the spring on Monday afternoon. Tanner Houck will be getting the start for Boston opposite fellow right-hander Jesse Chavez for Atlanta.

First pitch from CoolToday Park is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time. The game will be televised, but only on Bally Sports Southeast.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)