Triston Casas’ first career homer not enough as Red Sox drop second straight to Rays, 8-4

The Red Sox’ season-long struggles against the Rays continued on Tuesday night. Boston dropped its second straight to Tampa Bay by a final score of 7-2 to fall to 67-70 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his 21st start of the year for the Sox, could not replicate the same kind of performance he enjoyed the last time he faced the Rays at Fenway Park. This time around, the veteran left-hander got rocked for five runs on nine hits, one walk, and three strikeouts over four innings of work.

Tampa Bay got to Hill before he could even record an out. Yandy Diaz led off the first inning with a hard-hit double and Manuel Margot followed with a line-drive single. With runners on the corners, Randy Arozarena clobbered a 419-foot home run to dead center field to give the Rays a 3-0 lead out of the gate.

Boston responded with two runs in the top of the second. After Rays opener J.T. Chargois yielded a two-out single to Christian Arroyo. That brought Triston Casas to the plate, and the top prospect came through by crushing the first home run of his big-league career.

On a 3-2, 95 mph four-seamer from Chargois that was up and in, Casas deposited a 371-foot two-run blast into the right field seats. The milestone homer left his bat at 96.7 mph.

Hill, meanwhile, ran into more trouble in the third inning as the Rays lineup turned over for the second time. Margot led off with a bunt single and then went from first to third on an Arozarena double. Harold Ramirez followed by plating both runners on a single to left field, though he was thrown out between first and second base. Hill gave up two more hits in the inning, but he did not allow either run to score. He then ended his night by retiring the side in order in the fourth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 64 (46 strikes), Hill managed to induce just eight swings-and-misses. The 42-year-old southpaw was charged with his sixth loss of the season while raising hie ERA to 4.79.

In relief of Hill, Eduard Bazardo received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The hard-throwing righty punched out a pair in a scoreless fifth inning, but served up back-to-back solo shots to Christian Bethancourt and Yu Chang in the sixth. Tyler Danish also surrendered an RBI double to Francisco Mejia in the seventh.

In the eighth, Reese McGuire drew a one-out walk off old friend Jalen Beeks. Moments after McGuire reached first base, Tommy Pham clubbed a 421-foot home run to left-center field. His fifth big fly in a Red Sox uniform had an exit velocity of 106 mph and cut the Rays’ lead to four runs.

Down to their final three outs in the ninth following a scoreless bottom of the eighth from Ryan Brasier, the Sox went down quietly against Jason Adam. Trevor Story struck out, Arroyo popped out into foul territory, and Casas fanned to seal an 8-4 defeat.

With the loss, the Red Sox are now 4-11 against the Rays this season and 18-38 against divisional opponents.

Bogaerts leaves early due to back spasms as multi-hit streak ends

Xander Bogaerts was pulled in the middle of the seventh inning with back spasms. He had grounded into a double play in the top of the sixth and appeared to be in some discomfort while running towards first base. Enrique Hernandez replaced Bogaerts at shortstop while Rob Refsnyder took over in center field.

Prior to being pulled, Bogaerts had gone 0-for-3 with a strikeout. So his nine-game multi-hit streak has come to an end. He will not play on Wednesday.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Springs in finale

The Red Sox will look to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rays on Wednesday night. Despite leaving his last start early because of a left calf contusion, right-hander Nick Pivetta will take the mound for Boston. On the other side, it will be left-hander Jeffrey Springs toeing the rubber for Tampa Bay.

First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)


Red Sox squander plethora of scoring opportunities, fall to Blue Jays, 6-5, in 10 innings

The Red Sox were unable to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays on Thursday night. Boston fell to Toronto by a final score of 6-5 in 10 innings at Fenway Park to drop to 60-65 on the season.

Kutter Crawford, making his 11th start of the year for the Sox, allowed four earned runs on 10 hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings of work.

Two of those four runs came right away in the first inning. After giving up a one-out single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and a two-out walk to Teoscar Hernandez, Crawford surrendered a scalding, 104.7 mph two-run double to Bo Bichette that gave the Jays an early 2-0 lead.

The Red Sox responded with two runs of their own in their half of the second. With Kevin Gausman on the mound for Toronto, Xander Bogaerts and Christian Arroyo led off with back-to-back singles. After Arroyo stole second base and Rob Refsnyder struck out, Reese McGuire got his productive night at the plate started with an RBI single that scored Bogaerts. Bobby Dalbec followed with a single of his own to drive in Arroyo and knot things up at two runs apiece.

In the third, Tommy Pham led off with a single and immediately went from first to home on a 106.7 mph RBI double off the bat of Rafael Devers. That gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 3-2, though it did not last long.

Crawford got the first two outs of the fourth inning with the help of a double play. The rookie right-hander then loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, which brought Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to the plate in a prime spot. Guerrero Jr. proceeded to lift a pop fly into foul territory that could have ended the inning. But Dalbec, the first baseman, failed to make the tough catch, which further prolonged the inning.

Guerrero Jr. took full advantage of Dalbec’s blunder, as the young slugger promptly roped a two-run single to right field to put the Blue Jays back up by a run at 4-3. Again, the Sox responded in the latter half of the fourth. Following a pair of singles from Refsnyder and McGuire that put runners on the corners with no outs, Dalbec drove in Refsnyder on a game-tying sacrifice fly.

Crawford came back out for the fifth and recorded the first two outs of the inning via strikeout. He then gave up a two-out double to Matt Chapman, which prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to hand things over to his bullpen. Crawford finished with a final pitch count of 85 (53 strikes). The 26-year-old hurler induced 11 swings-and-misses while averaging 94.6 mph with his four-seam fastball. His ERA on the season now sits at 5.30.

Matt Strahm was first used in relief of Crawford and officially closed the book on the righty’s night by punching out Raimel Tapia. The lefty then came back out for the sixth and served up a 388-foot solo shot to Danny Jansen that travelled over the Green Monster and put the Blue Jays back up, 5-4.

The Red Sox responded in their half of the sixth. After reaching base and taking second on a two-out throwing error, Dalbec moved up to third on a wild pitch from Blue Jays reliever Trevor Richards. Jarren Duran then plated him from third on an RBI double over the head of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left field.

Duran, however, was stranded at second base, which proved to be the ongoing theme for Boston on Thursday. After Jeurys Familia, who recorded the final two outs of the sixth, struck out the side in the top of the seventh, the Sox had two runners in scoring position with two outs in the bottom half. Franchy Cordero was deployed to pinch-hit for Refsnyder, but he fell victim to Anthony Bass to extinguish the threat and keep things knotted up at 5-5.

Following a scoreless top half of the eighth from Hirokazu Sawamura, McGuire led off the bottom half with his first career triple, which was misplayed by Hernandez in right field. Enrique Hernandez, who came on to run for McGuire, was then stranded at third base, as Adam Cimber punched out Dalbec and Pham and Tim Mayza got Devers got Devers to ground out to first.

More frustration arose in the ninth. After getting another scoreless frame from Matt Barnes, J.D. Martinez led the inning off with a hard-hit single off Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano. Alex Verdugo took over for Martinez and went from first to third on a sharply-hit double from Bogaerts.

With no outs and runners at second and third, the Red Sox were just one hit away from winning this. Toronto elected to intentionally walk Arroyo, which filled the bases for Cordero. Romero, like Bass, fanned Cordero, bringing Hernandez to the plate for the first time. Hernandez proceeded to ground into a back-breaking inning-ending 5-3 double play, sending this one into extras.

John Schreiber allowed the automatic runner at second base — in this case, Cavan Biggio — to advance to third on a Jansen groundout. He then got Springer to hit a soft groundball in the direction of Bogaerts. Bogaerts fielded the ball cleanly, but made an off-balance throw to Kevin Plawecki at home plate.

Biggio beat Plawecki’s tag to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 lead. Romano then picked up where he left off by retiring Dalbec, Duran, and Plawecki, in the bottom half of the 10th to send the Red Sox home losers. All told, they went 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position while leaving 12 runners on base as a team.

With the loss, Boston has extended its losing streak to four straight. It is now 3-13 against Toronto this season and 16-35 against divisional opponents.

Next up: Wacha vs. Chargois

Speaking of divisional opponents, the Red Sox will now welcome the Rays into town for a three-game weekend series. Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha is slated to start for Boston while fellow righty J.T. Chargois is expected to serve as an opener for Tampa Bay.

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

(Picture of Kevin Plawecki: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Trevor Story to begin rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Wednesday

Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Wednesday, manager Alex Cora said before Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

Story has been sidelined since July 12, when he was hit in the right hand by an 89 mph sinker from Rays starter Corey Kluber. After X-rays came back negative, Story was diagnosed with a right hand contusion. The Red Sox were hopeful that he would avoid the injured list but placed him on the 10-day IL four days later.

Nearly two weeks after being placed on the injured list, Story began to swing a bat again. But the right-handed hitter still complained of discomfort and was unable to grip a bat properly. That prompted the Red Sox to send Story to get a second opinion from a hand specialist, who diagnosed the 29-year-old with a small hairline fracture near his right wrist.

Following that diagnosis, Story was shut down from swinging for 10-14 days. He resumed swinging earlier this month and progressed to the point where he was hitting off a tee before joining the Red Sox on their most-recent road trip last week.

While with the club in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, Story hit indoors off a high-velocity pitching machine. On Tuesday afternoon, he told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier that he took batting practice on the field for the first time breaking his wrist.

With the WooSox on the road this week, Story will join the Sea Dogs in Portland for their series against the Hartford Yard Goats. Cora was not sure how many games or at-bats Story would need before being cleared to return to the Red Sox.

Story, who signed a six-year, $140 million deal with Boston in March, was batting .221/.289/.423 with 17 doubles, 15 home runs, 58 RBIs, 49 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, 28 walks, and 105 strikeouts over 81 games (342 plate appearances) at the time of his injury.

Coming into this season, Story had never played second base in his six seasons with the Rockies. Despite that lack of experience, the two-time All-Star currently ranks first among all American League second baseman in Defensive Runs Saved (8) and third in Outs Above Average (9), per FanGraphs.

Taking that into consideration, Cora indicated on Tuesday that once Story is back, “there’s a good chance” Christian Arroyo will slide over to first base after holding down the fort at second during Story’s absence.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Kiké Hernández homers, Michael Wacha tosses 5 2/3 scoreless innings as Red Sox hold on for 4-3 win over Orioles

The Red Sox held on for a one-run over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday afternoon. Boston defeated Baltimore by a final score of 4-3 to improve to 60-61 on the season.

Michael Wacha, making his 15th start of the season for the Sox, kept the O’s off the scoreboard while scattering four hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 strong innings of work.

There were not too many dramatic moments to be had for Wacha, who retired 11 of the first 14 batters he faced leading into the top half of the fifth inning. To that point in the contest, the Boston bats had been held in check by Baltimore starter Kyle Bradish.

Kevin Plawecki reached base via a one-out single. Christian Arroyo followed with a base hit of his own to put runners on the corners for Alex Verdugo, who promptly roped another single to right field to drive in Plawecki.

An inning later, J.D. Martinez led off against Bradish with a sharply-hit single. After Bobby Dalbec struck out for the first out of the sixth, Enrique Hernandez came through by depositing a 373-foot two-run home run down the left field line.

Hernandez’s fifth home run of the season was the first from any Red Sox hitter since last Sunday. It also gave Boston a 3-0 lead. Wacha, meanwhile, continued to impress before giving up a one-out single to Austin Hays and issuing a two-out walk to Anthony Santander in the bottom of the sixth.

At that point, Red Sox manager Alex Cora opted to turn to his bullpen. John Schreiber came on in relief of Wacha and officially closed the book on the righty’s outing by stranding both of the runners he inherited with a three-pitch strikeout of Ryan Mountcastle.

Wacha finished with a final pitch count of 79 (52 strikes), inducing seven total swings-and-misses while mixing a four-seam fastball, changeup, cutter, sinker, and curveball. The 31-year-old hurler improved to 8-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.28. He has yet to allow a run since returning from the injured list on August 14.

Schreiber came back out for the seventh and immediately surrendered a leadoff single to Ramon Urias. Jorge Mateo followed with another single to right field, but Jarren Duran made a poor throw back to the infield and missed the cutoff man, which allowed both runners to advance an additional 90 feet.

With runners at second and third for the Orioles now, the pinch-hitting Kyle Stowers plated Urias on a groundout to second base. Mateo then scored on a two-out wild pitch to trim Boston’s advantage down to one run at 3-2.

After Garrett Whitlock worked his way around a one-out single in a scoreless eighth inning, Duran was able to redeem himself in the ninth by reaching on a one-out bunt single off Bryan Baker. With the hit-and-run on, Duran went from first to third on a Plawecki single. He then scored from third on Arroyo’s third hit of the day — an 86.7 mph double to left field.

Arroyo’s RBI double would prove to be an important moment in this game. That being the case because Whitlock yielded a one-out triple to Mateo in the bottom of the ninth. Mateo scored on another Stowers groundout, but Whitlock held it down by getting Rougned Odor to line out to center field to end it.

Whitlock picked up his fifth save of the season while the Red Sox secured a 4-3 victory. Arroyo led the way offensively with three hits while Verdugo, Martinez, and Plawecki all enjoyed two-hit games.

Next up: 2022 Little League Classic on deck

The Red Sox and Orioles will wrap up this three-game weekend series in Williamsport, Pa. on Sunday night. In the fifth annual MLB Little League Classic, right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Dean Kremer will do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch from Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on ESPN.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Greg Flume/Getty Images)

Christian Arroyo and Alex Verdugo combine for 6 hits as Red Sox get back to .500 with 8-3 victory over Pirates

The Red Sox once again took care of business against the Pirates on Wednesday night. Boston defeated Pittsburgh by a final score of 8-3 to take its third straight series and improve to 59-59 on the season.

Rich Hill made his 18th start of the season for the Sox and turned in a solid outing despite struggling out of the gate. The veteran left-hander allowed two runs on three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts over five innings of work.

Both of those Pirates runs came right away in the bottom of the first, when Hill followed a leadoff single from Kevin Newman by serving up a 416-foot two-run home run to Bryan Reynolds.

That put the Red Sox in an early 2-0 hole, but they quickly responded against opposing starter Roansy Contreras in the top of the second. Alex Verdugo led off with a single and J.D. Martinez followed by drawing a four-pitch walk. After Eric Hosmer flew out, Christian Arroyo stayed hot by ripping a two-run double to right-center field past a sprawling Reynolds. Arroyo’s ninth double of the season drove in both Verdugo and Martinez to knot things up at two runs apiece.

Reese McGuire kept the line moving with a one-out single that put runners on the corners for Enrique Hernandez, who collected his second RBI in as many games by plating Arroyo on a softly-hit single through the right side of the infield. Rafael Devers was intentionally walked with two outs to fill the bases for Xander Bogaerts, who struck out on four pitches to end the inning, but not before Boston had taken its first lead of the night at 3-2.

Hill, meanwhile, settled in nicely by retiring nine straight batters from the middle of the second through the end of the fourth. He gave up a single to Rodolfo Castro in the fifth, but ended his night on a positive note by sitting down the final three Pirates he faced.

Finishing with an efficient pitch count of 57 (43 strikes), Hill induced three swings-and-misses with his four-seamer and three more with his slider. The 42-year-old hurler also picked up his fifth win of the season while lowering his ERA to 4.68.

Moments before Hill had recorded the final out of the fifth inning, the Red Sox tacked on additional run in the top half of the frame. Bogaerts, after reaching base via a one-out single off Contreras, scored all the way from first on an RBI double down the right field line off the bat of Verdugo.

Taking a 4-2 lead into the sixth inning, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Brasier punched out the side on 14 pitches before making way for Hirokazu Sawamura, who faced the minimum in a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

In the eighth, Verdugo led off another inning with a hard-hit single. Back-to-back one-out singles from Hosmer and Arroyo allowed Verdugo to move up to third base. The pinch-hitting Rob Refsnyder drove him in by drawing a bases-loaded walk off Pirates reliever Eric Stout, thus giving the Red Sox a 5-2 lead.

Sawamura picked up where he left off by retiring the side in order in the eighth. The same can be said for Arroyo, who knocked in his third run of the night on a bases-loaded single in the top of the ninth.

Kevin Plawecki, who took over behind the plate for McGuire, made the most of his first and only at-bat of the night by driving in a pair on a softly-hit two-run single to shallow right field.

That sequence of events saw the Red Sox jump out to a commanding 8-2 advantage. It also afforded them the opportunity to have veteran reliever Jeurys Familia make his club debut. Signed to a minor-league deal earlier this month, Familia had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester on Saturday.

So it took four days for Familia to make his first appearance for Boston. The former All-Star closer surrendered hits to three of the first four Pirates he faced, including an RBI single from Ben Gamel.

Familia did not allow the Pirates to get any closer than that, though, as he got Kevin Padlo to ground out before punching out Castro on six pitches to secure an 8-3 victory for the Red Sox.

All told, Verdugo and Arroyo led the way offensively by combining for six hits (two doubles), four RBIs, four runs scored. Verdugo and Martinez combined to draw five walks as well.

Next up: Sox look to break out the brooms

The Red Sox will go for a three-game sweep over the Pirates on Thursday night. They last swept an opponent in a multi-game series on June 26, when they did so against the Guardians.

Rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski will get the ball for Boston after Thursday’s scheduled starter — Nathan Eovaldi — was scratched with a sore trap muscle. Fellow righty J.T. Brubaker is expected to take the mound for Pittsburgh.

First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Red Sox call up Jeter Downs, Phillips Valdez from Triple-A Worcester, place Christian Arroyo, Connor Seabold on injured list

The Red Sox have placed right-hander Connor Seabold on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm extensor strain. They also placed utility man Christian Arroyo on the 10-day injured list with a left groin strain.

To take their place on the roster, right-handed reliever Phillips Valdez and infielder Jeter Downs have been recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced prior to Saturday’s game against the Yankees.

Seabold was removed in the third inning of his most-recent start on Friday night after experiencing arm tightness on a slider he threw. The 26-year-old told reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) after the game that he was not too concerned about it, though he did miss a considerable amount of time with the WooSox last season due to elbow inflammation.

Arroyo, meanwhile, left Friday’s game in the top of the eighth inning due to a tight groin and was replaced in right field by Rob Refsnyder. The 27-year-old previously missed time this season after testing positive for COVID-19 in June.

Per manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox are still awaiting test results on Seabold’s arm. Arroyo’s injury, on the other hand, is not believed to be too serious, but serious enough where he will be sidelined for the next 10 days at minimum.

Seabold and Arroyo become the 11th and 12th players on the injured list for Boston, as they join the likes of Matt Barnes, Tyler Danish, Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill, James Paxton (60-day), Chris Sale (60-day), Josh Taylor (60-day), Michael Wacha, Garrett Whitlock, and Enrique Hernandez.

With Seabold being shelved for the time being, Valdez has been summoned from Worcester for the fourth time already this season. The 30-year-old hurler owns a 5.40 ERA in 11 appearances (13 1/3 innings) at the big-league level in 2022.

As for Downs, this will mark his second stint in the majors this season after he made his highly-anticipated debut at Fenway Park on June 22. Since returning to Worcester the following day, the right-handed hitter has batted a scorching .370/.500/.783 (.231 wRC+) with five home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 14 games (58 plate appearances) for the WooSox.

In addition to homering in each of his last three games, Downs was scratched from Worcester’s lineup on Saturday in anticipation of this move happening. With Rafael Devers dealing with back soreness, it seems likely that Downs could see some playing time against the Yankees this weekend.

As was reported earlier in the day, the Red Sox also announced that righty reliever Kaleb Ort had his contract selected from Worcester while fellow reliever Michael Feliz had been designated for assignment.

Ort, who will wear the No. 61, has taken Feliz’s spot on Boston’s 40-man roster, which is now at full capacity.

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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’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)