#RedSox Comeback Attempt Falls Short in Sloppy 4-3 Loss to Astros

After experiencing some air travel issues on their way to Houston and arriving much later than expected, the Red Sox opened up another three-game weekend series against the Astros Friday with a frustrating and sloppy 4-3 loss.

Making his 11th start of the season and second straight against Houston in this one was Chris Sale, fresh off a 10-strikeout, five-walk performance in his last time out this past Sunday.

This time around against the ‘Stros, the left-hander made it through six full innings, yielding four runs, only two of which were earned, on three hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

Despite what those numbers may say, Sale did not receive too much help from the defense behind him, with the Sox accounting for three total errors in only the first four innings Friday.

The first came from Steve Pearce at first base, who had the chance to record the final out of the second inning on a simple throw to Chris Sale as he was headed towards the bag on a grounder off the bat of Josh Reddick.

Instead, the ball was hurled way behind Sale and headed towards the backstop, where Sandy Leon had the chance to get the third out yet again with Aledmys Diaz, who was initially at first, rushing towards the plate.

While going for the tag though, it appeared as if Leon went for Diaz’s legs rather than the plate itself, which in turn allowed the runner to swerve his way around Leon’s mitt and score untouched to make it a 1-0 game.

An inning later, Astros center fielder and the eventual star of this contest Jake Marisnick led things off against Sale by blasting his sixth home run of the season, a 336 foot shot into the Crawford Boxes in left field. 2-0.

In the fourth, we were back to the sloppy play with runners on the corners and one out for the aforementioned Marisnick.

On the first pitch he saw from Sale, Marisnick grounded into what looked to be an out-inducing play at short, but Xander Bogaerts instead decided to try and get the out at home and failed miserable with a poor, off-balanced toss to the plate that got past Leon and Robinson Chirinos scored from third anyway.

During that same sequence, Josh Reddick advanced up to third while Marisnick should have been caught dead in a rundown between first and second, but instead retreated back to first safely thanks to a miscommunication between Michael Chavis and Steve Pearce.

Since Reddick was able to move into scoring position, George Springer was able to plate him with a sacrifice fly to left on the very next pitch of the ballgame to put his team ahead 4-0. Why Andrew Benintendi didn’t even attempt to make a throw towards home is beyond me.

Once all the dust settled from that craziness, Sale did settle down a bit from the middle of the fifth inning on by retiring the last six hitters he faced to end his outing on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (56 strikes), the 30-year-old turned to his four-seam fastball 39% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing six swings and misses while topping out at 95.5 MPH with the pitch.

Falling to 1-6 on the season now with his ERA dropping to 4.19, Sale will look for better results in his next time out, which should come in that series back at home against the Cleveland Indians.

In relief of Sale, Marcus Walden put together another impressive performance in the seventh inning of this one by working his way around a leadoff single in an otherswise clean frame, while Heath Hembree had his work cut out for him by walking the bases loaded in the eighth before escaping the jam by striking out Marisnick on four pitches to keep his team’s deficit at two runs.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an old friend and a familiar foe in Astros left-hander Wade Miley, who, like Sale, started in last Sunday’s contest at Fenway Park as well.

Known as a rampant worker, Miley took a perfect game into the fourth inning before surrendering a one-out double to Mookie Betts.

Unable to score there or in the fifth, the Boston bats finally got to the Houston southpaw in the sixth, when Xander Bogaerts opened up the scoring for his team with a 394 foot solo shot over everything in left field.

Fast forward to the eighth, with Miley out and Ryan Pressly in for the Astros, and Jackie Bradley Jr. cut into that lead even more by depositing his third big fly in the last five days to left center to make it a two-run game.

That 433 foot homer actually broke up Pressly’s record-setting run of 40 consecutive scoreless appearances dating back to last season.

And after failing to tack on any more runs off of Pressly, it came down to the top half of the ninth with closer Roberto Osuna on the mound for Houston.

Leading off the inning, it really seemed as though Andrew Benintendi had given his team a shot by belting what would have surely been a double to deep center field, but like I mentioned earlier, the star of this game, Jake Marisnick, came up with a spectacular grab to rob the Red Sox outfielder of extra bases.

Instead of going to his bench with Rafael Devers available to pinch-hit, Sox manager Alex Cora stuck with Eduardo Nunez, who proceeded to fan on six pitches for the second out of the frame.

Down to their final out now, Christian Vazquez came on for Sandy Leon and provided a glimmer of hope by tattooing his seventh home run of the season to cut the Astros lead to one.

Unfortunately for Boston, Jackie Bradley Jr., who of couse had already homered in this one, could not put on a repeat of that at-bat, as he struck out on three straight hittable pitches to retire the side, and thus end the ballgame with a final score of 4-3.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox are now 1-3 against the Astros this season. They have been outscored 17-11 in those four games.

JD Martinez went 0-for-3 with a walk in his return to the Red Sox lineup out of the cleanup spot.

Jackie Bradley Jr. has lifted his batting average from .144 to .170 in his last five games played. In other words, he is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this three-game series with David set to start for Boston.

Entering Saturday with an ERA of 3.29 through seven starts this season, Price impressed in his return from the injured list this past Monday in Toronto, limiting the Blue Jays to two runs in five innings of work.

In five career starts at Minute Maid Park, the left-hander is 5-0 with a 4.06 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over a total of five starts and 31 innings pitched.

Opposite Price will be right-hander Brad Peacock for Houston, who owns a lifetime 8.36 ERA in five appearances (four starts) against the Red Sox.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:15 PM EDT on FOX. Red Sox looking to bounce back.

 

 

 

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Ryan Weber Allows One Run over Six Innings and Steve Pearce Homers for First Time This Season as #RedSox Take Series from Blue Jays with 8-2 Victory

After needing 13 innings to top the Blue Jays in a marathon game on Wednesday, the Red Sox needed just nine innings to wrap their four-game set with Toronto up on Thursday, taking the series finale by a final score of 8-2.

Making his first start and fourth overall appearance for Boston was Ryan Weber in what was supposed to be a bullpen day for the Red Sox.

As it turned out though, the right-hander worked the first six innings of this one, yielding just one run while scattering three hits, one HBP, and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the afternoon.

That one run came in the second, when with no outs and runners on first and second, a Freddy Galvis RBI double put Toronto on the board.

It looked as though things really could have taken a turn for the worst there with three straight Blue Jays reaching base to leadoff the inning, but Weber rallied by sitting down the next three hitters he faced to get out of the jam and didn’t have to look back from there.

Retiring 15 of the last 16 hitters he faced, the 28-year-old hurler’s fine outing came to a close with a six-pitch lineout of Rowdy Tellez to end the sixth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (59 strikes), Weber relied heavily on his sinking fastball, turning to the pitch nearly 55% of the time he was on the mound Thursday with Christian Vazquez behind the plate. He also induced three swings and misses and topped out at 90 MPH with the same sinker.

Although his ERA did slightly inflate to 1.29 on the season, Weber did earn his first winning decision in a Red Sox uniform to improve to 1-0 on the year. At this point, it’s not known if the Florida native will remain in Boston’s rotation, but if he does, his next start will likely come sometime next week back at home against the Cleveland Indians.

In relief of Weber, the recently called up Travis Lakins came on for his second career appearance out of the Sox bullpen in the seventh and worked his way around a leadoff double in an otherwise perfect frame of work with the help of the infield behind him.

From there, Ryan Brasier recorded his third consecutive scoreless appearance with a 1-2-3 eighth before Hector Velazquez allowed one run on a Justin Smoak home run in the ninth en route to securing the 8-2 win for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran left-hander Clayton Richard for the Blue Jays, making his first start of 2019 after opening up the season on the injured list.

Opening up the scoring for Boston in this one was the hitter responsible for Wednesday’s win in Michael Chavis, whose third inning RBI groundout to plate Eduardo Nunez from third put the Sox on the board.

That was all they could muster off of Richard, and it wasn’t until the top half of the sixth when the bats really started to get going.

With Sam Gaviglio in for Toronto to start the inning, a leadoff single from Xander Bogaerts followed by back-to-back RBI base knocks off the bats of Rafael Devers and Steve Pearce broke the 1-1 tie and gave Boston the two-run advantage.

An inning later, it was more of the same against Jays reliever Elvis Luciano, this time with Jackie Bradley Jr, Michael Chavis, and Mookie Betts reaching base to leadoff the seventh and the reigning American League MVP collecting his 25th RBI of the year on a line-drive double to score Bradley Jr. from third and make it a 4-1 contest.

In the eighth, an Andrew Benintendi leadoff single would result in another insurance run being pushed across on an RBI single from Eduardo Nunez moments later. 5-1.

And finally, in the ninth, Devers and Pearce capped off fine days at the plate, with the former driving in Bogaerts from second on an RBI infield single, and the latter coming through with his first home run of the season, a two-out, 399 foot two-run shot to left off Toronto reliever Ryan Feierabend.

Pearce’s third knock of the afternoon made it an 8-1 game, and after the Blue Jays tacked on a run of their own in their half of the ninth, 8-2 would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox are four games over .500 (27-23) for the first time this season.

Through 20 games this month, Rafael Devers is slashing .345/.383/.609 with six home runs and 21 runs driven in.

Before Thursday, Ryan Weber hadn’t won a big league game since April 19th, 2016 when he was a member of the Atlanta Braves.

Xander Bogaerts has recorded multiple hits in four of his last five games played.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s off to Houston for another three-game weekend series against the Houston Astros.

The ‘Stros took two out of three from the Sox at Fenway Park last weekend in what was a tightly-contested series outside of a few poor innings.

In the opening game, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of left-handers representing Red Sox present and past, with Chris Sale getting the ball for Boston and Wade Miley doing the same for Houston.

Last time these two southpaws met up this past Sunday, Sale allowed three runs and struck out 10 over 5.1 innings while Miley surrendered three runs, two of which were earned,  in five innings of work. The Red Sox won that game 4-3.

First pitch of the series opener on Friday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.

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.

 

 

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.

Chris Sale Tosses Immaculate Inning, Strikes out 14 and Jackie Bradley Jr. Makes Game-Saving Catch as #RedSox Take Series from Orioles with 2-1 Win in Extras

In a game that took over four hours and 12 innings to complete, the Red Sox ended their seven-game road trip at 5-2 following a tight 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday night.

Making his eighth start of the season for Boston was Chris Sale, who entered Wednesday having surrendered just four earned runs in his last three outings.

Tossing eight full innings in this one, the left-hander put together without a doubt his most dominant performance of the year thus far, yielding only one Orioles run on three hits, two HBPs, and no walks to go along with a season-high 14 strikeouts on the night.

Retiring 17 of the first 19 hitters he faced, Sale had a no-hitter going with one out to get in the sixth before Joey Rickard broke that up with a single to center field.

Perhaps a bit miffed about his no-no going by the wayside, Sale allowed the next hitter he faced to reach as well, with Trey Mancini driving in his team’s lone run on an RBI double to left field.

In typical Chris Sale fashion though, the southpaw continued to amaze in the seventh, striking out the side on nine straight strikes to notch the fifth immaculate inning in Red Sox history.

Ending his night by picking up an additional two punchouts in the eighth, Sale finished with a final pitch count of 108 (80 strikes).

Out of those 108 pitches, the 30-year-old hurler relied mostly on his slider Wednesday, turning to the pitch 46 times and inducing eight swings and misses with it.

He also induced 14 swings and misses and topped out at 96.4 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 42 times.

Unable to pick up the winning decision with this game going 12 innings deep and all, the Red Sox will look for their third straight win with Sale on the mound in the lefty’s next time out, which should come against the Colorado Rockies next week.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen, like Sale, collectively turned in one of their better outings of the season to this point, with Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Ryan Brasier, and Heath Hembree combining to toss four frames of scoreless baseball.

Entering the ninth in a tie game, Barnes worked his way around a tight situation where the potential winning run was 90 feet away from scoring by getting Dwight Smith Jr. to ground out to himself and by striking out Stevie Wilkerson on five pitches to end the threat.

Workman, meanwhile, put together his 10th consecutive scoreless appearance by sitting down the Orioles in 1-2-3 fashion in the 10th before things got interesting in the 11th.

With one out and Ryan Brasier on the mound, Trey Mancini nearly put an end to this one by launching a 401 foot fly ball to left center that would have landed over the fence. The only problem was that the ball was in the range of Jackie Bradley Jr., who scaled said fence and made the catch of the season so far to rob the Orioles slugger of walk-off glory.

And in the 12th, after Andrew Benintendi had put Boston ahead in the top half of the inning, Heath Hembree came on and recorded the first save of his big league career by striking out the side in the bottom half to secure the one-run win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Andrew Cashner for the Orioles and they were limited in what they could do offensively.

Their only two runs of the night came on two separate swings of the bat from the top two guys in that lineup in Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts.

First, Betts put the Sox on the board in the third inning with a two out, 400 foot bomb of a solo shot off Cashner, good for the reigning AL MVP’s seventh of the season.

They did have additional chances to tack on some more runs, that much was indicated by an 0-for-8 performance with runners in scoring position as well leaving 10 men on base, but they fell short of that against Cashner and company up until the 12th inning.

There, with two outs and the bases empty, Benintendi got ahead in the count at 2-1 against O’s reliever Yefry Ramirez and unloaded on a 93 MPH fastball, sending it to the first few rows of seats in right field for his fourth dinger of the year.

That would give the Red Sox the 2-1 lead they so desperately needed, and that would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

For the first time since March 29th, the Red Sox are back at .500 with a record of 19-19. They have won their last three series and are 6-2 in May.

From Red Sox Notes:

According to Statcast, that Trey Mancini would be home run that was robbed by Jackie Bradley Jr. had a 73% chance of being a hit.

The Orioles struck out 22 times on Wednesday and did not draw a single walk.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s an off day on Thursday where some of the team will be heading to the White House while others will be heading back to Boston before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

The M’s took three out of four against the Sox to begin the 2019 season back in March and currently stand at 20-19.

For the series opener, it will be a pitching matchup featuring right-hander Erik Swanson for Seattle and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for Boston.

Rodriguez (3-2, 5.40 ERA) got shellacked for six runs in a losing effort against the Mariners in his first start of the season back on March 30th.

Swanson, meanwhile, has yet to face the Red Sox in what is his first year in the majors.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to begin an eight-game homestand on a high note.

 

JD Martinez’s 200th Career Home Run Sets Tone for #RedSox in 8-5 Win over Orioles

After opening up a three-game series in Baltimore with a disappointing 4-1 loss on Monday, the Red Sox bounced back with an eight-run performance on Tuesday, defeating the Orioles by a final score of 8-5 to take the middle game of the series.

Getting the start in the place of the now shelved David Price in this one was Hector Velazquez, who last started this past Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics.

Working the first three innings Tuesday, the right-hander held Baltimore to two runs, both earned, on three hits and one walk to go along with no strikeouts on the night.

Similar to Josh Smith’s start for Boston in the opener, both of those runs given up by Velazquez came on one swing of the bat for Baltimore, a two out, two-run home run from Rio Ruiz in the first inning, which tied the game at two at the time it was hit.

Other than that mishap, the 30-year-old worked his way around more two out trouble and ended up retiring the final four hitters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 46 (30 strikes), Velazquez relied on his changeup 33% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing one swing and miss with the pitch while topping out at 93.6 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw nine times.

In relief of Velazquez, the Red Sox seemed to stick to the same plan they ran with in last Wednesday’s win over the A’s, with Marcus Walden getting the first call out of the bullpen for some extended work.

Making his 13th appearance of the season, Walden yielded just one run, a fourth inning Hanser Alberto solo shot, on two hits and no hits while also punching out three and receiving some help from his Gold Glove outfielders to improve to 5-0 on the year.

From the middle of the seventh inning on, Brandon Workman continued his impressive run by sitting down the only three hitters he faced in that bottom half of the seventh.

Ryan Brasier, meanwhile, did not have the same success in the eighth, as he allowed the Red Sox’ initial three-run lead to be trimmed down to one thanks to RBI hits from Dwight Smith Jr. and Chris Davis.

Having to come in with the chance to pick up the four out save, Matt Barnes got out of the eighth by striking out Stevie Wilkerson on six pitches before inducing a game-ending 6-4-3 double play an inning later to do just that for his third save of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles right-hander David Hess on Tuesday, and unlike in the series opener, actually pushed across multiple runs against the opposing starting pitcher.

That scoring began right away in the first inning, with JD Martinez notching career home run no. 200 with a one out, two-run opposite field shot to plate both him and Mookie Betts and give the Sox an early 2-0 advantage. His first homer since April 17th.

Fast forward to the fourth, and Xander Bogaerts racked up his third big fly in his last four games with a 425 foot solo homer to dead center. 3-2 Boston.

An inning later, after the Orioles responded with a run of their own in their half of the fourth, Mitch Moreland took that lead right back with a three-run, 406 foot dinger off new Baltimore reliever Branden Kline, scoring Betts, Martinez, and himself to make it a 6-3 contest.

And in the ninth, the Sox bats took advantage of a wild Evan Phillips for Baltimore, who allowed the first three hitters he faced to reach base in the frame before Mookie Betts came to the plate.

With the chance to put this one away, the reigning AL MVP displayed his patience by drawing an eight-pitch bases loaded walk, which of course allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. to stroll in from third and put his team up by two runs.

One pitching change that saw Miguel Castro take over for Baltimore later, and the man who drove in Boston’s first run of the night came through by driving in their last, as a JD Martinez sacrifice fly to left gave Christian Vazquez more than enough time to tag from third and give the Red Sox an 8-5 lead, which would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Mitch Moreland has 23 hits this season. 10 of those, with the tenth coming Tuesday, have been home runs. His slugging percentage currently stands at .542.

From Red Sox Notes:

With another two-hit performance Tuesday, Christian Vazquez is 9-for-his-last-18 since the beginning of May.

I’m not going to post the numbers, but Michael Chavis has cooled off recently.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll go for the series win in the finale of this three-game set on Wednesday.

Fresh off six scoreless innings in a winning effort in his last time out against the White Sox, it will be left-hander Chris Sale getting the ball for Boston.

In 11 career outings (eight starts) at Orioles Park, Sale owns a lifetime 1.97 ERA over 50.1 total innings pitched.

Opposite Sale, it will be veteran right-hander Andrew Cashner for Baltimore, who picked up the win in his last start against the Red Sox back on April 13th.

First pitch of the last game of the seven-game road trip is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT. Red Sox looking to improve to 19-19 and get back to .500.

 

 

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.