Christian Arroyo and Rafael Devers homer, Nick Pivetta allows 2 runs over 7 innings as Red Sox hold on for 6-3 win over Guardians

The Red Sox opened their weekend series against the Guardians by extending their winning streak to five consecutive games. Boston defeated Cleveland by a final score of 6-3 on Friday night to improve to 17-4 in June and 40-31 on the season.

Friday’s starting pitching matchup featured a pair of Canadian-born right-handers going at it, with Nick Pivetta making his 15th start of the year for the Sox and Cal Quantrill making his 13th start of the year for the Guardians.

Both pitchers gave up two runs, but it was Quantrill who blinked first. In the top half of the second, Trevor Story, Franchy Cordero, and Christian Vazquez all reached to fill the bases with two outs for Christian Arroyo. Arroyo, in his first game back from the COVID-19 related injured list, took a 95 mph sinker off his right elbow to drive in Story.

Boston’s early lead did not last long, however, as Pivetta yielded a one-out single to Andres Gimenez a half-inning later. Gimenez proceeded to steal second base with two outs, then scored from second on a hard-hit RBI single off the bat of Myles Straw.

That knotted things up at 1-1. But that, too, was short-lived. To lead things off in the third, Rafael Devers golfed an 0-2, 88 mph cutter from Quantrill and deposited it 411 feet to right field for his 17th home run of the year.

Pivetta nearly ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when he gave up a leadoff single to Amed Rosario. That was quickly negated, though, as Rosario ran past the second base bag on a Josh Naylor groundball and was promptly tagged out by Arroyo. Pivetta did, however, serve up a game-tying solo homer to Gimenez in the fourth.

In the top half of the fifth, Arroyo led off with a single and went from first to third on a line-drive double from Devers. J.D. Martinez then hit a 242-foot flyball in the direction of Guardians right fielder Oscar Gonzalez. Gonzalez caught the ball right before it hit the ground and, while on the run, managed to gun down Arroyo at home as he attempted to tag up from third.

So 2-2 is how the score remained after that inning-ending double play. Pivetta made relative quick work of the Guardians in the fifth and sixth innings before the Sox began to break away in the seventh.

After the pinch-hitting Rob Refsnyder drew a leadoff walk off Bryan Shaw, Arroyo followed by taking the veteran reliever 405 feet deep to left-center field for a go-ahead two-run home run. It was Arroyo’s fourth of the season and it put his side up 4-2. Martinez then reached base on a two-out single and scored all the way from first on an RBI double from Verdugo that made it a 5-2 game.

Pivetta wrapped up his solid night by retiring the final three batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh. The 29-year-old hurler wound up allowing just the two runs on nine hits and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over seven innings of work. He threw 98 pitches (66 strikes) and lowered his ERA on the season to 3.25.

In relief of Pivetta, John Schreiber received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The righty needed just 12 pitched (8 strikes) to retire the side in order in the eighth.

Refsnyder provided some late-game insurance in the top half of the ninth on a run-scoring double off Yohan Ramirez that drove in Story to make it a 6-2 contest.

Tanner Houck took over for Schreiber in the bottom of the ninth and immediately gave up back-to-back singles to Franmil Reyes and Gimenez. Houck then fanned Richie Palacios, but plunked Straw to fill the bases.

An RBI single from Steven Kwan plated Reyes and kept the bases loaded for Rosario, who struck out on a foul tip. That brought the dangerous Jose Ramirez to the plate representing the potential winning run. But Houck got him to ground out to Story and end the game.

It was no simple task, but Houck did just enough to secure a 6-3 victory for the Sox.

Next up: Winckowski vs. Bieber

The Red Sox will look to clinch their seventh consecutive series with another win over the Guardians on Saturday night. Rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski, who was born in nearby Toledo, will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Shane Bieber will do the same for Cleveland.

First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Red Sox reinstate Christian Arroyo from COVID-19 related injured list

Before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Guardians in Cleveland on Friday night, the Red Sox reinstated utility man Christian Arroyo from the COVID-19 related injured list. A corresponding move was not needed since infielder Jeter Downs was optioned to Triple-A Worcester on Thursday.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, had been sidelined for the last nine days after testing positive for the virus on June 15. The versatile 27-year-old began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts over the course of two games.

With the Red Sox this season, the right-handed hitting Arroyo has batted just .187/.227/.319 with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 17 strikeouts over 34 games (98 plate appearances) while getting playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and in right field.

In his return to Boston’s lineup on Friday, Arroyo will bat ninth and start at shortstop as Xander Bogaerts has the night off. First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo on second bout with COVID-19, rehab assignment with WooSox, adjusting to the outfield, and more

WORCESTER — With the Red Sox optioning Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester on Thursday, the expectation is that Christian Arroyo will be activated from the COVID-19 related injured list ahead of Friday night’s series opener against the Guardians in Cleveland.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated, has been on the COVID-related IL since June 15 after testing positive for the virus in Boston. He previously tested positive for it last August and spent more than three weeks on the COVID-related IL as a result.

This time around, the 27-year-old utility man says COVID did not hit him as hard. He had one really bad day, but it was being stuck in his house due to virus-related protocols that was more frustrating than anything.

“It’s six days in my house and another week of not doing anything,” Arroyo said at Polar Park on Wednesday. “Not playing, it sucks.”

Arroyo began a rehab assignment with the WooSox on Tuesday. The right-handed hitter got into two games and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts. All three of those punchouts came while he played five innings at shortstop in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Charlotte Knights.

“Obviously, the results I had tonight aren’t necessarily me as a player or what I can do as a player,” said Arroyo. “But the most important thing is that I feel fine, I feel good. I try not to stress too much on the results stuff. Obviously, tonight was a tough night. But that’s baseball. You’re going to have tough nights. It is what it is.”

After dealing with a plethora of injuries — including a left hand contusion, right knee contusion, and left hamstring strain — last season, Arroyo took note of the fact that it took less time for him to get up to speed coming off his second bout with COVID.

“It was a quick turnaround for me this time,” he said. “Last year, I had some physical injuries. Hand, knee, hamstring stuff, which was a little different. It’s a little different protocol. But with the COVID stuff, it’s a lot easier this time around.”

One thing that may have helped Arroyo on his road to recovery is a tea recipe sent to him by Red Sox manager Alex Cora. As Cora, who tested positive for COVID back in April, explained to reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) last week, it’s a family recipe that consists of honey, ginger, onion, and pineapple, among other ingredients.

“It was good, it tasted good,” Arroyo said, smiling. “My wife (Jessica) made it for me and it was solid. So we’ll be using that one again.”

As Arroyo prepares to rejoin the Red Sox, he will once again be returning to his role as one of the club’s most versatile players. Prior to testing positive for COVID, he had appeared in two games at first base, six games at second base, one game at third base, eight games at shortstop, and 15 games in right field.

Arroyo had never played the outfield professionally before the 2022 season began. He has learned how to become an outfielder on the fly with the help of his teammates and bench coach, who is a former big-league outfielder himself.

“It hasn’t been bad, it’s been fine,” Arroyo said of his acclimation to the outfield. “Definitely is an adjustment. It’s a lot tougher of a position than people like Jackie Bradley Jr. make it look. But I’ve obviously got a good staff in the big-leagues. Will (Venable) has helped me out a lot, Jackie’s helped me out a lot, Kiké (Hernández) has helped me out a lot. Even talking to Dugie (Alex Verdugo), it’s been good.”

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester; Christian Arroyo expected to be activated from COVID-19 related injured list on Friday

The Red Sox optioned infielder Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester following Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the Tigers, the team announced Thursday. While no corresponding move has been made yet, utility man Christian Arroyo is expected to join the team in Cleveland for this weekend’s series against the Guardians after spending the last eight days on the COVID-19 related injured list.

Downs spent three days with Boston after getting called up from Worcester for the first time on Monday. While the 23-year-old did not appear in the Sox’ first two games against the Tigers, he did make his highly-anticipated major-league debut in Wednesday’s series finale at Fenway Park.

Batting ninth and starting at third base for the first time in his professional career, Downs went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He put the ball in play once, but it was a 323-foot flyout that died on the warning track in left field.

Defensively, Downs had two groundballs hit his way while playing third base for the first time since his high school. He fielded them both cleanly and picked up two assists by doing so.

“That was the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Downs said of his experience Wednesday night. “I still can’t believe the game is over. It felt so fast. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted to, but oh well. The team got the win, and that’s the most important thing.”

Downs’ first stint in the majors was always expected to be a short one. He will now return to Worcester, where he is batting .180/.297/.397 (86 wRC+) with six doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 21 RBIs, 35 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 25 walks, and 69 strikeouts over 53 games (222 plate appearances) for the WooSox this season.

Arroyo, meanwhile, was initially placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on June 15 after testing positive for the virus. The versatile 27-year-old began a rehab assignment with the WooSox on Tuesday and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in two games.

With the Red Sox this season, Arroyo has batted .187/.227/.319 with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 17 strikeouts over 34 games spanning 98 trips to the plate. He has seen playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and right field.

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo, Josh Taylor begin rehab assignments with Triple-A Worcester

Red Sox reliever Josh Taylor and utility man Christian Arroyo began their rehab assignments with Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday night.

Taylor, serving as an opener for the WooSox in their contest against the Charlotte Knights, tossed a scoreless first inning and needed just seven pitches (five strikes) to do so.

The left-hander retired the only three batters he faced by getting Mark Payton to line out to center, a rehabbing Eloy Jimenez to ground out to short, and Carlos Perez to ground out to third. He was relieved by top pitching prospect Brayan Bello.

Taylor has spent the entirety of the season on the injured list because of a lower back strain that first started bothering him last September. He was initially sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment back in April, but suffered a setback and was shut down for weeks as a result.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off an exceptional 2021 campaign in which he posted a 3.40 ERA and 2.83 FIP with 60 strikeouts to 23 walks over 61 relief appearances spanning 47 2/3 innings of work.

Since the Red Sox transferred Taylor from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list on May 12, he does not currently count against Boston’s 40-man roster.

The same can be said for Arroyo, who was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on June 15 after testing positive for the virus. The 27-year-old served as Worcester’s designated hitter and went 0-fo-3 with a ground out, pop out, and fly out out of the leadoff spot before being pinch-hit for by Ronaldo Hernandez in the seventh inning.

Arroyo last suited up for the Red Sox on June 12 and is currently batting .187/.227/.319 with three home runs and 10 RBIs on the season. He will play the field for Worcester on Wednesday and could be activated for Friday’s series opener against the Guardians in Cleveland.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo tests positive for COVID-19

Red Sox utility man Christian Arroyo has tested positive for COVID-19 and has therefore been placed on the COVID-19 related injured list, manager Alex Cora announced prior to Wednesday’s game against the Athletics.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated against the virus, was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup shortly before first pitch due to illness. He was replaced by Franchy Cordero and was subsequently entered into COVID protocols.

Since Arroyo has indeed tested positive for COVID-19 and is not just exhibiting symptoms, it is unlikely that he will be able to return to the Red Sox within the next few days.

Instead, the 27-year-old could be sidelined for the next 10 days, though there is a chance he comes back before then if he registers two consecutive COVID-19 tests (taken at least 24 hours apart) and does not exhibit any virus-like symptoms.

In 34 games with Boston this season, the right-handed hitting Arroyo has slashed .187/.227/.319 with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 17 strikeouts over 98 plate appearances. He has seen playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and right field.

With Arroyo on the COVID injured list, the Red Sox have recalled outfielder Jarren Duran from Triple-A Worcester. The speedy Duran will bat leadoff and start in center field on Wednesday. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox call up Jarren Duran from Triple-A Worcester, place Christian Arroyo on COVID-19 related injured list

The Red Sox are going to call up outfielder Jarren Duran from Triple-A Worcester before Wednesday’s game against the Athletics at Fenway Park, according to The Boston Globe’s Speier. The move has since been made official, the team announced.

Duran will take the roster spot of utility man Christian Arroyo, who was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup because of illness and is expected to be placed on the COVID-19 related injured list. Arroyo, who is vaccinated, tested positive for the virus, Red Sox manager Alex Cora revealed during his weekly hit on WEEI.

This will mark Duran’s third stint with the Red Sox this season. The speedy 25-year-old previously filled in for Enrique Hernandez, who spent one day on the COVID-19 related injured list back in May, and Jackie Bradley Jr., who missed Boston’s series in Oakland earlier this month while on paternity leave.

In three games with the big-league club, Duran has gone 4-for-13 (.308) at the plate with one triple, two runs scored, and five strikeouts while seeing time in both center and right field. With the WooSox this season, the left-handed hitter is batting .305/.379/.531 (140 wRC+) with 12 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 28 RBIs, 34 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 20 walks, and 48 strikeouts over 43 games spanning 198 plate appearances. He hit his sixth homer of the year at Polar Park on Tuesday.

By swapping Arroyo for Duran, the Red Sox now have five outfielders available to them in Duran, Bradley Jr., Franchy Cordero, Rob Refsnyder, and Alex Verdugo. Hernandez, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right hip flexor strain on June 8, remains sidelined for the time being.

In addition to Duran, Boston is also promoting right-hander Josh Winckowski from Worcester to make his second career major-league start against Oakland on Wednesday night. The club will presumably make room for Winckowski by optioning another pitcher to Triple-A.

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Christian Arroyo scratched from Red Sox lineup due to illness; Franchy Cordero starting in his place

Christian Arroyo was originally batting ninth and starting in right field for the Red Sox in their series opener against the Athletics at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.

But shortly before first pitch, it was Franchy Cordero who ran out to take Arroyo’s spot in the field and in Boston’s lineup. In the bottom of the first inning, it was revealed that Arroyo was a late scratch because of illness, the team announced.

Following Tuesday’s 6-1 win over the Athletics, Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier) that Arroyo felt ill before the game and is currently going through COVID-19 protocols.

Coming into play on Tuesday, Arroyo was batting .187/.227/.319 with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 17 strikeouts over 34 games (98 plate appearances) this season.

The versatile 27-year-old has also made appearances at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and right field. More information regarding his status will likely become available on Wednesday.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez scratched from Red Sox lineup as veteran slugger continues to deal with adductor tightness

J.D. Martinez was originally slated to return to the Red Sox lineup for Saturday’s contest against the Orioles at Camden Yards. The veteran slugger was in line to start at designated hitter and bat cleanup for Boston.

A little more than three hours before first pitch, however, it was revealed that Martinez was scratched from the Sox’ lineup as left fielder Alex Verdugo moved up to the four-hole and Christian Arroyo was inserted as the team’s new designated hitter.

Coming into Saturday night, Martinez had missed six of Boston’s last nine games while dealing with left adductor tightness that first became an issue around April 20. The Red Sox are just 3-6 during that stretch.

While he will not be starting on Saturday, Martinez will be available to pinch-hit off the bench and will likely start on Sunday, per manager Alex Cora.

Martinez, 34, is in the midst of the final year of the five-year, $110 million contract he originally signed with the Sox in February 2018. Through 15 games this season, the right-handed hitter is batting .278 (15-for-54)/.344/.481 with eight doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, five walks, and 16 strikeouts over 61 plate appearances.

Arroyo, on the other hand, hit his first home run of the season on Friday and is currently batting .205 (8-for-39)/.220/.282 to go along with RBIs, three runs scored, one stolen base, one walk, and nine strikeouts over his first 14 games (42 plate appearances) of 2022. Saturday will mark the second consecutive day and third time overall in which the 26-year-old has been used as a designated hitter so far this season.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Christian Arroyo homers, Rich Hill takes perfect game into fifth inning as Red Sox hold on for 3-1 win over Orioles

The Red Sox kicked off the final leg of their road trip with a 3-1 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Friday night. With the win, Boston improved to 9-12 on the season.

Matched up against Kyle Bradish, who was making the first start of his big-league career for the O’s, to begin things on Friday, the Sox got on the board first in their half of the second inning.

Enrique Hernandez led off the top of the second with a single to shallow center field. After Franchy Cordero flew out, Christian Arroyo followed by clubbing a 408-foot two-run homer into Baltimore’s bullpen.

Arroyo’s first home run of the season gave Boston an early 2-0 lead. It was also the first home run hit by a Red Sox batter since Rafael Devers went deep off Corey Kluber in St. Petersburg last Friday.

Jackie Bradley Jr. kept the rally going by reaching base on an infield single. He then scored all the way from first when Christian Vazquez ripped a single to right field that got past Trey Mancini and rolled all the way to the wall. Vazquez was easily thrown out at third, but the damage had already been done.

Rich Hill, making his fourth start of the year for the Sox, took full advantage of the three-run cushion he was given. The veteran left-hander allowed just one hit and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over four-plus innings of work.

After retiring each of the first 12 batters he faced, Hill took a perfect game bid into the fifth inning but yielded a leadoff single to Austin Hays, which is how his night would come to an end. Finishing with a final pitch count of 50 (35 strikes), the 42-year-old southpaw threw 24 curveballs, 20 four-seamers, four sliders, and two changeups while lowering his ERA on the season to 3.71.

In relief of Hill, Tanner Houck got the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the bullpen. Houck, fresh off being activated from the injured list, stranded the lone base runner he inherited in the fifth despite allowing one hit and one walk in the inning. The right-hander sat down the side in order in the sixth but ran into additional trouble in the seventh when he loaded the bases with two outs.

Houck did not falter, though, as he punched out the pinch-hitting Rougned on three straight strikes to escape the jam and hand things over to Jake Diekman in the eighth. Diekman, in turn, needed 17 pitches to toss a scoreless frame.

Hansel Robles was dispatched for the ninth and immediately served up a solo home run to Ryan Mountcastle that was followed by a line-drive single off the bat of Hays.

With the tying run at the plate, Robles issued a balk that allowed Hays to advance to second. He then got Ramon Urias to fly out and Tyler Nevin to line out to right for the first two outs.

Cora went back into the bullpen and gave Robles the hook in favor of Matt Strahm, who walked Anthony Santander on five pitches to put the tying run on base with runners at first and second. The lefty, however, did not give in as he fanned the pinch-hitting Chris Owings to slam the door on Baltimore and earn the first save of his major-league career.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Watkins

The Red Sox will go for the series win over the Orioles by sending right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound on Saturday night. Fellow righty Spenser Watkins will get the ball for Baltimore.

First pitch from Camden Yards is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)