Red Sox’ Enmanuel Valdez takes home International League Player of the Week honors

Red Sox infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez was named the International League Player of the Week for the week of August 29-September 4, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.

In Triple-A Worcester’s last series against the Buffalo Bisons at Polar Park, Valdez appeared in all six games and went 10-for-24 (.417) with four doubles, one triple, two home runs, 10 RBIs, eight runs scored, one stolen base, three walks, and four strikeouts. He finished a single shy of the cycle on Sunday.

Since making his WooSox debut on Aug. 3, Valdez has batted .236/.325/.500 (114 wRC+) to go along with six doubles, one triple, seven homers, 27 runs driven in, 22 runs scored, two stolen bases, 15 walks, and 31 strikeouts over 28 games (127 plate appearances). Among those in the International League who have made at least 120 trips to the plate this season, the left-handed hitter ranks 51st in slugging percentage and 16th in isolated power (.264), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Valdez has seen playing time at three different positions in his time with the WooSox. After starting at second base on Sunday, the 5-foot-9, 191-pounder has logged 213 innings at second, 15 innings at third, and 17 innings in left field.

Valdez, 23, was originally signed by the Astros for $450,000 as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. The Red Sox acquired the San Juan de la Maguana native and fellow prospect Wilyer Abreu from Houston in exchange for catcher Christian Vazquez ahead of last month’s trade deadline.

Now, Valdez is regarded by Baseball America as the 16th-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system. The publication describes him as “a bat-first infielder with a good combination of power and contact.” While there are some defensive concerns, he is “a tough out that grinds out at-bats, can hit for contact and punish mistakes.”

Valdez, who turns 24 in December, can become eligible for this winter’s Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster by the November deadline. Unlike Eddinson Paulino, who has yet to play above Low-A, Valdez seems like more of a lock to be added given his experience and level of production at Triple-A.

“If he were going to get called up tomorrow, I think his ability to play [multiple] positions would be very valuable for a major-league clubhouse and a major-league bench,” Red Sox director of player development Brian Abraham said of Valdez in a recent conversation with The Athletic’s Chad Jennings. “He can play infield. He can play a corner (outfield) spot. And he can run into baseballs with power. So, I think the skillset lends itself really well to being an impactful major-league player. We’ve seen athleticism, and we’ve seen some areas that can be improved upon. I know our Triple-A staff already feel they’ve made some strides ins some of the smaller motor learning skills that he can improve upon while being in the infield, whether that be first-step quickness or the way he moves from left to right. And same thing in the outfield, some of the first step and quickness, I think he’s shown improvement on.”

“But, I think we’ve got a twitchy guy who has power, who drives the baseball, and the better he’s able to have an understanding of the strike zone and what he needs to do to consistently drive the baseball to all fields will allow him to be more impactful,” added Abraham. “But I think in a lot of ways he’s someone who’s incredibly unique, who can do all of those things (that profile well as a utility man) and still be someone who can play one position and play there for a consistent amount of time. I think that’s incredibly valuable these days. As we know, our Major League team has a bunch of those guys, our Triple-A team has a bunch of those guys. Getting yourself in the lineup to make an impact is really important.”

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox prospect Wilyer Abreu homers for first time since being acquired from Astros

Wilyer Abreu hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox organization on Sunday afternoon. It came in the third inning of Double-A Portland’s 4-1 win over the Hartford Yard Goats at Hadlock Field.

Following Sunday’s 1-for-3 performance in which he also drew a walk, Abreu is now batting .205/.341/.288 with three doubles, the one homer, seven RBIs, 11 runs scored, two stolen bases, 16 walks, and 29 strikeouts in 23 games (91 plate appearances) with the Sea Dogs.

While those numbers do not stand out by any means, Abreu appears to be showing some signs of life at the plate lately. In his last five games, for the instance, the left-handed hitting outfielder has gone 4-for-15 (.267) with an on-base percentage of .400 and wRC+ of 136.

On the other side of the ball, Abreu made his fifth start in center field for Portland on Sunday. All together, the 6-foot, 217-pounder has logged 61 innings in center, 71 innings in left, and 56 innings in right since joining the Sea Dogs earlier this month.

The Red Sox acquired Abreu and fellow prospect Enmanuel Valdez from the Astros in exchange for catcher and free-agent-to-be Christian Vazquez on August 1. While Valdez was assigned to Triple-A Worcester out of the gate, Abreu has spent the entirety of his organizational tenure to this point in Portland.

Abreu, 23, originally signed with the Astros for $300,000 as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela in July 27. At the time of the trade, the Maracaibo native was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 21 prospect in Houston’s farm system. He is now ranked by the publication as the No. 22 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Interestingly enough, Abreu was supposed to sign with the Red Sox as a 17-year-old in 2016. He had already established a relationship with assistant general manager Eddie Romero, but Boston was banned from signing international prospects during the 2016-17 period after breaking signing bonus rules the year before.

“I was supposed to sign here with the Red Sox in 2016,” said Abreu, who added that Romero was one of the first people to call him after the trade was made in a recent conversation with MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith.

“I love it,” Abreu said of joining the Red Sox organization. “It’s a new team. A lot of guys who have a good makeup. And I like this city (Portland) because of the weather. I love the weather.”

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Abreu is “an extremely patient hitter with a discerning eye at the plate, leading to high walk totals and some strikeouts due to passivity. Overall it’s high level swing decisions with above-average game power. He has enough bat-to-ball skills to avoid the three-true-outcome label, but his average will fluctuate due to his flyball heavy approach.

“Defensively he can handle centerfield and tests highly on the Astros internal athleticism measurements. He has an unusual build as he’s a bigger bodied player for centerfield, but he has the ability to hit and provide versatility in the outfield.”

Abreu, who does not turn 24 until next June, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter if the Red Sox do not add him to their 40-man roster by the November deadline. It remains to be seen if that will happen. In the meantime, a late-season promotion so that Abreu can join Valdez in Worcester certainly cannot be ruled out.

(Picture of Wilyer Abreu: Christopher Smith/MassLive)

Red Sox infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez off to encouraging start with new organization

Recently-acquired prospect Enmanuel Valdez has gotten his tenure in the Red Sox organization off to a strong start.

In Triple-A Worcester’s 6-5 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Moosic, Pa. on Sunday, Valdez went 1 for 4 with a two-run single while batting third and starting at second base.

Since joining the WooSox earlier this month, the left-handed hitter has batted a stout .297/.372/.649 with one double, four home runs, 15 RBIs, nine runs scored, one stolen base, five walks, and nine strikeouts over 10 games (44 plate appearances). Two of those homers came in the same game this past Friday.

Valdez, 23, was one of two prospects (the other being Wilyer Abreu) the Red Sox acquired from the Astros in the trade that sent veteran catcher Christian Vazquez to Houston on August 1.

Now regarded by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect in Boston’s farm system, Valdez originally signed with the Astros as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. The San Juan de la Maguana native began the 2022 season with Houston’s Double-A affiliate before earning a promotion to Triple-A Sugar Land in early June.

Between the Space Cowboys and WooSox, Valdez has slashed .296/.352/.577 to go along with 26 extra-base hits (14 homers), 47 runs driven in, 35 runs scored, two stolen bases, 16 walks, and 38 strikeouts across 48 games (217 plate appearances) at the Triple-A level.

Defensively, Valdez was initially signed as a shortstop seven years ago but has since proven capable of moving all across the field. Already with the WooSox, the 5-foot-9, 191-pounder has logged 70 innings at second base, nine innings at third base, and eight innings in left field. He also has experience at first base, shortstop, and in right field.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Valdez is “a bat-first infielder with a good combination of power and contact but major defensive questions.” He “has a bat-first second base profile with a lot of offensive skills to believe in.”

Valdez, who turns 24 in December, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter. The Red Sox would need to add him to their 40-man roster by the November deadline if they wish to prevent that from happening.

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez: Rick Cinclair/Telegram & Gazette /USA TODAY NETWORK)

Red Sox explored possibility of acquiring Athletics catcher Sean Murphy before last week’s trade deadline, per report

Before the trade deadline passed last week, the Red Sox reportedly explored the possibility of trading for Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

This past Monday, Speier wrote that the Red Sox discussed “dealing prospects for players who would be under team control for the longer haul.” Murphy was among the players Boston targeted, though they ultimately could not find a match.

Murphy, 27, is under club control with the Athletics through the end of the 2025 campaign and emerged as one of baseball’s top catchers in recent years. Through 101 games this season, the right-handed hitting backstop has batted .242/.316/.424 with 26 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 48 RBIs, 46 runs scored, one stolen base, 33 walks, and 88 strikeouts over 415 plate appearances.

From behind the plate, Murphy has thrown out 13 of a possible 43 base stealers. The 6-foot-3, 228-pounder currently ranks fifth among all big-league catchers in fWAR (3.0), per FanGraphs. He is also well-regarded when it comes to pop time and framing.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the A’s are in the midst of a lengthy rebuild and have traded away key players such as Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Frankie Montas, and Lou Trivino in recent months. The expectation seems to be that Murphy, who turns 28 in October, will be the next big-leaguer moved since Oakland’s top two prospects — Shea Langeliers and Tyler Soderstrom are both catchers.

Cotillo opines that Murphy will draw strong interest from catcher-needy clubs this winter. Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes reported last week that the Guardians were among the several teams interested in Murphy ahead of the trade deadline and could open up talks with the Athletics again this off-season.

That the Red Sox were in the market for a frontline catcher is certainly interesting when you consider that they just traded Christian Vazquez to the Astros for a pair of prospects in Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu.

Even before trading away Vazquez, though, Boston was expected to bolster its catching depth this winter since both Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki are slated to become free-agents. Reese McGuire, who was acquired from the White Sox, is under club control through the 2025 but is more of a backup-type. The same can be said for prospects Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez, who are having solid seasons with Triple-A Worcester but remain unproven at the major-league level.

Murphy, who took home the Gold Glove Award for American League catchers last season, would represent quite the upgrade in that department. At the same time, it would likely take a package of top prospects and/or major-league-ready talent to pry Murphy away from Oakland since the former third-round pick is not eligible for free agency for another three years.

(Picture of Sean Murphy: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Red Sox trade Christian Vázquez to Astros for prospects Enmanuel Valdez, Wilyer Abreu

The Red Sox have traded catcher Christian Vazquez to the Astros for minor-leaguers Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu, the club announced Monday night.

Vazquez, who was with the Red Sox in Houston ahead of their series against the Astros, was informed of the trade while taking batting practice at Minute Maid Park on Monday afternoon. So he only had to walk across the field to join his new team.

Originally selected by Boston in the ninth round of the 2008 amateur draft, Vazquez had been the longest-tenured player in the organization. The native Puerto Rican was in the final year of his contract after having his $7 million club option picked up back in November.

Given that Vazquez was slated to become a free-agent for the first time in his career this winter, the Red Sox elected to deal the 31-year-old backstop to the Astros for a pair of prospects.

Coming into play on Monday, Vazquez was batting a stout .282/.327/.432 with 20 doubles, eight home runs, 42 RBIs, 33 runs scored, one stolen base, 18 walks, and 51 strikeouts over 84 games (318 plate appearances) this season. Among American League catchers who have made at least 100 trips to the plate, the right-handed hitter ranks third in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage, seventh in slugging percentage, and eighth in wRC+ (111), per FanGraphs.

From behind the plate, Vazquez has thrown out 16 of a possible 53 base stealers while putting up five defensive runs saved over 643 1/3 innings. He has also seen some playing time at first and second base.

As for who the Red Sox are getting back in exchange for Vazquez, Valdez was regarded by Baseball America as the Astros’ No. 12 prospect while Abreu was regarded as their No. 21 prospect.

Valdez, 23, originally signed with Houston as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. The left-handed hitter has slashed .327/.410/.606 with with 21 homers, 77 RBIs, 66 runs scored, and five stolen bases over 82 games (378 plate appearances) between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Sugar Land. He has played first base, second base, left field, and right field this year.

Abreu, also 23, signed with Houston as an international free-agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2017. The left-handed hitter has spent the entirety of the 2022 campaign with Corpus Christi, batting .249/.399/.459 with 15 home runs, 54 RBIs, 81 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases across 89 games spanning 411 trips to the plate. He has seen playing time at all three outfield positions.

In the wake of trading Vazquez to Houston, the Red Sox have recalled catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez from Triple-A Worcester. Hernandez will serve as Boston’s No. 2 catcher behind Kevin Plawecki before the newly-acquired Reese McGuire joins the team.

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

Alex Verdugo comes through with game-winning RBI double as Red Sox defeat Guardians, 3-1, to snap 5-game losing streak

Back in their yellow City Connect uniforms, the Red Sox put an end to their five-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Guardians at Fenway Park on Monday night. Boston took the series opener from Cleveland to avoid falling under .500 and improve to 49-48 on the season.

Matched up against Guardians starter Zach Plesac to begin things on Monday, the Sox struck first in their half of the third. Jackie Bradley Jr. led the inning off with a 376-foot wallball double off the Green Monster. Yolmer Sanchez followed by immediately plating Bradley Jr. on an RBI single down the left field line.

At that moment, the skies above Fenway Park began to open and a 38-minute rain delay commenced. Plesac remained in the game for Cleveland on the other side of the delay.

Nick Pivetta, on the other hand, made his 20th start of the season for Boston. Having allowed six or more runs in each of previous three outings before the All-Star break, the right-hander bounced back nicely on Monday. He yielded just one run on seven hits, three walks, and six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work.

That lone run came in the top half of the fifth. Myles Straw and Steven Kwan led off with back-to-back singles before Amed Rosario grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that moved Straw up to third base. With only one out to get, Pivetta gave up a game-tying single to Jose Ramirez that left the third baseman’s bat at a measly 58.6 mph.

Still, it was enough to drive in Straw and knot things up at one run apiece. Pivetta, meanwhile got through the fifth and recorded the first two outs of the sixth before allowing the final two batters he faced to reach base on a walk and single.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (62 strikes), Pivetta induced a total of 13 swings-and-misses while topping out at 96.4 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 51 times. The 29-year-old’s ERA on the season now sits at 4.35.

In relief of Pivetta, John Schreiber received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The righty officially closed the book on Pivetta’s night by stranding the two runners he inherited to keep the 1-1 tie intact going into the bottom of the sixth.

That is exactly where the Red Sox broke out for their most productive frame of the contest. Rob Refsnyder drew a leadoff walk off Plesac and broke the stalemate by scoring all the way from first on a go-ahead RBI double off the bat of Alex Verdugo that Steven Kwan struggled with in left field.

Following a Guardians pitching change, Xander Bogaerts greeted new reliever Trevor Stephan by moving Verdugo up to third on a single. Christian Vazquez then provided some insurance by driving in Verdugo on a softly-hit, run-scoring single up the middle.

That sequence events made it a 3-1 game in favor of Boston. From there, Schreiber picked up where he left off by punching out two in a scoreless seventh inning. Garrett Whitlock, who pitched on Sunday, was dispatched for the eighth inning and wound up retiring all six batters he faced to record his second save of the season and secure a 3-1 victory.

Next up: Winckowski returns

The Red Sox are expected to activate Josh Winckowski from the COVID-19 related injured list so that he can start on Tuesday. The rookie right-hander last pitched on July 13, allowing three runs over six innings against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

The Guardians have not yet named a starter. Regardless, first pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

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

Red Sox get embarrassed by Blue Jays in lopsided 28-5 loss

The Red Sox were embarrassed by the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Friday night. In its first game back from the All-Star break, Boston fell to Toronto by a final score of 28-5 to drop to 48-46 on the season.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his 14th start of the year, surrendered nine earned runs on eight hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts over just 2 2/3 innings of work.

After striking out the very first batter he faced, Eovaldi ran into early trouble when he gave up a one-out double to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who moved up to third base and then scored on an RBI groundout off the bat of Bo Bichette. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. led off the second inning with a single, which was followed by a 421-foot two-run home run from Matt Chapman.

Taking a 3-0 lead into the third, the Blue Jays proceeded to go off for seven runs. Eovaldi loaded the bases with one out before yielding a two-run single to Gurriel Jr. Former Red Sox prospect Santiago Espinal followed with a run-scoring single of his own before No. 9 hitter Danny Jansen drew a four-pitch walk to fill the bases yet again with two outs.

Eovaldi’s night wound end there as Toronto’s lineup flipped back over. The 32-year-old finished with a final pitch count of 63 (42 strikes) but was only able to induce seven total swings-and-misses. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.30.

In relief of Eovaldi, Austin Davis received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Raimel Tapia greeted the left-hander by lifting a 384-foot fly ball to center field that Jarren Duran lost in the twilight. As a result of Duran’s miscue, Tapia cleared the bases and crossed home plate himself for a rare inside-the-park grand slam.

That made it a 10-0 game in favor of Toronto. It tacked on four more runs in the fourth when Davis served up a solo shot to Tesocar Hernandez and a three-run blast to Jansen. Boston was able to get three of those runs back in its half of the fourth, as Christian Vazquez took Kevin Gausman deep before Jackie Bradley Jr. clubbed a two-run homer off the Blue Jays starter.

Things only got worse from there, however. Kaleb Ort recorded the first two outs of the fifth, and then the Jays went off for 11 runs. Eight of those were charged to Ort, including one in which Matt Chapman hit a 38-foot pop-up that fell between Ort, Kevin Plawecki, and Rafael Devers. Darwinzon Hernandez came on for Ort and gave up five runs of his own — four of which were earned.

In the bottom of the sixth, Vazquez went deep for a second time to cut the deficit down to 23 runs at 27-4. Rob Refsnyder tattooed a 405-foot solo shot off Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Beasley in the seventh for his fourth big fly of the year.

After Jake Diekman and Hirokazu Sawamura each tossed scoreless frames of relief in the seventh and eighth innings, Yolmer Sanchez — a position player — was called upon for the ninth.

Sanchez, making his second career relief appearance, allowed one run on three hits. He threw 15 pitches (10 strikes) ranging from 40.5 mph to 82.8 mph, per Baseball Savant.

All told, seven different Red Sox pitchers combined to give up 28 runs (27 earned) on 29 hits. The 28 runs are the most the Blue Jays have ever scored in a single game and the most the Red Sox have ever given up in a single game. The Sox’ run differential coming into play on Friday was plus-18. It is now minus-5.

In addition to falling to 48-46 on the season, Boston also falls to 12-27 against divisional opponents and 5-13 in the month of July.

Next up: Manoah vs. Crawford

The Red Sox will look to put an end to a three-game losing streak that dates back to last weekend and bounce back against the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon. Kutter Crawford is slated to get the start for Boston while fellow right-hander Alek Manoah is in line to do the same for Toronto.

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

(Picture of Green Monster scoreboard: Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

Franchy Cordero, Christian Vázquez, and J.D. Martinez all homer as Red Sox beat Yankees, 11-6, to earn series split

The Red Sox wrapped up their weekend on a solid note by coming from behind for a second night in a row to ultimately beat and earn a series split the Yankees. After Alex Verdugo walked it off in 10 innings on Saturday, Boston rallied from multiple four-run deficits to defeat the Yankees by a final score of 11-6 at Fenway Park on Sunday.

Nick Pivetta, making his 18th start of the season, was unfortunately the primary reason why the Sox fell behind early on Sunday night. In just 3 1/3 innings of work, the right-hander got rocked for six runs on eight hits, and two walks, to go along with five strikeouts.

All six of those Yankees runs came within the first three innings. In the first, Pivetta served up a blistering two-run home run to Giancarlo Stanton. In the second, he gave up a pair of run-scoring hits to Jose Trevino and Isiah Kiner-Filefa. And in the third, he surrendered another two-run blast to Matt Carpenter.

Franchy Cordero had just crushed a two-run homer of his own in the bottom of the second off Yankees starter Jameson Taillon to briefly cut the Red Sox’ deficit in half, but Carpenter took things into his own hands to give New York a 6-2 lead.

Taillon, however, fell victim to the long ball again in the latter half of the third inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Christian Vazquez clobbered a 380-foot solo shot over the Green Monster to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Pivetta, meanwhile, came back out for the fourth but gave up base hits to two of the final three batters he faced before getting the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The 29-year-old wound up throwing 90 pitches (59 strikes) in the process of raising his ERA on the season to 4.08.

Kaleb Ort took over for Pivetta with two outs to get in the fourth inning. Making his first-ever appearance at Fenway Park, Ort retired the dangerous duo of Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo before getting through a scoreless fifth with the help of an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play.

To lead off the bottom of the fifth, Jackie Bradley Jr. reached base on a line-drive single. He then moved up to second on a Bobby Dalbec groundout and to third on a Jarren Duran groundout before being driven in by Vazquez. Following a Yankees mound visit, J.D. Martinez proceeded to tie things up by clubbing another two-run homer 392 feet into the Red Sox bullpen in right field.

Martinez’s ninth big fly of the season — and his first at Fenway Park since June 14 — knotted things up at six runs apiece going into the sixth. There, former Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman loaded the bases with no outs. Boston was only able to get one run out of it, though, as the pinch-hitting Jeter Downs plated Trevor Story on fly ball that was dropped by D.J. LeMahieu to give the Red Sox their first lead of the night.

After Hirokazu Sawamura tossed a pair of scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh (and Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected for arguing balls and strikes), the Sox struck again in their half of the seventh when Martinez reached base on a Kiner-Filefa throwing error. Like Chapman, Miguel Castro proceeded to load the bases with no outs. Following another mound visit, Story cleared said bases on a 402-foot three-run double that nearly left the yard.

It may not have been a grand slam, but it still plated three. Story then scored from second when Cordero greeted new Yankees reliever Albert Abreu by dropping a sacrifice bunt. Abreu fielded the ball cleanly, but he made an errant throw to first base that deflected off Rizzo and allowed Story to score on a heads-up play.

Taking a commanding 11-6 advantage into the late innings, Matt Strahm stranded one runner in the eighth while Ryan Brasier faced the minimum in the ninth. Downs, for his part, had taken over at third base after pinch-hitting for Duran earlier in the contest. The rookie infielder made a superb barehanded play while charging towards the ball to rob Kiner-Filefa of a potential infield single with an absolute dart to first base . He then showed off his hops to start the game-ending 5-4-3 double play.

With the win, the Red Sox improve to 47-39 on the season and to 11-20 against divisional opponents. This is the first time in tries this year that the Sox have not lost a series to an American League East rival.

Next up: Happy flight to St. Petersburg

It will be a quick turnaround for the Red Sox as they will board a flight to St. Petersburg before opening a four-game series against the reeling Rays on Tuesday night.

In the series opener, rookie right-hander Brayan Bello will be making his second start for Boston while Tampa Bay will roll fellow righty Matt Wisler. First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 7: 10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Trevor Story shines on both sides of the ball as Red Sox secure 6th straight series win with 5-4 victory over Tigers

The Red Sox won their sixth consecutive series on Tuesday night with another victory over the Tigers. Boston bested Detroit by a final score of 5-3 at Fenway Park to improve to 38-31 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his 13th start of the season for the Sox, allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over five innings of work.

The first of those three runs came right away in the top of the first, as Hill gave up a one-out triple to Javy Baez that was followed by an RBI single off the bat of Miguel Cabrera.

Despite falling behind early, the Red Sox lineup quickly responded in their half of the first while opposed by another rookie right-hander in Tigers starter Beau Brieske. Jarren Duran led off with a single, went from first to third on a Rafael Devers base hit, and scored from third on a J.D. Martinez sacrifice fly that knotted things up at one run apiece.

In the third, Baez struck again by cranking a solo shot off Hill to give his side a 2-1 lead. Just an inning later, though, Boston again responded when Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo reached base on a pair of one-out singles. Trevor Story followed by unloading on a 1-1, 85 mph slider from Brieske and sending it 387 feet over the Green Monster for a go-ahead three-run home run.

Story’s 11th big fly of the season left his bat at a sizzling 105.5 mph. It also gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 4-2. Hill, meanwhile, yielded one more run on two hits and one walk in the fifth. He ended his outing by fanning Tigers rookie Riley Greene.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 90 (57 strikes), Hill induced six of his 12 swings-and-misses with his curveball, a pitch he threw 31 times. The 42-year-old southpaw’s ERA on the season now sits at 4.50.

In relief of Hill, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The right-hander faced the minimum in the sixth by getting Jonathan Schoop to ground into an inning-ending, 1-4-3 double play. In the seventh, he retired the first two batters on eight pitches before Story robbed Baez of a base hit by making a fantastic leaping grab for the final out of the frame.

Following a Tigers pitching change that saw Andrew Chafin take over for Jason Foley in the bottom of the seventh, Christian Vazquez greeted the new reliever by clubbing a leadoff home run on the very first pitch he saw.

Vazquez took a 90 mph sinker down the heart of the plate from Chafin and deposited it 364 feet over the Green Monster. Vazquez’s fourth home run of the season provided the Sox with some much-needed insurance and gave them a 5-3 lead.

From there, Tyler Danish worked his way around some traffic in a scoreless eighth inning before making way for Matt Strahm in the ninth. Strahm immediately served up a solo homer to Schoop that cut Boston’s lead down to one run at 5-4.

Strahm managed to get the first two outs of the ninth inning. Michigan native John Schreiber was then called upon to face Baez. Schreiber gave up a single to Baez that put the potential tying run on base, but he kept him there by getting Miguel Cabrera to ground out to end the game.

For Schreiber, who was pitching for the third straight day and the fourth time in five days, Tuesday’s performance allowed him to notch his second save of the season.

Next up: Wacha vs. Skubal in finale

The Red Sox will close out their homestand by going for a three-game sweep of the Tigers on Wednesday night. Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha will get the start for Boston while left-hander Tarik Skubal will do the same for Detroit. Top prospect Jeter Downs is also expected to make his major-league debut.

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

(Picture of Trevor Story: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta strikes out 10, Trevor Story and Christian Vázquez both homer as Red Sox take series from Cardinals with 6-4 win

The Red Sox won the rubber match of their three-game series against the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. Boston yet again held on for a 6-4 victory over St. Louis at Fenway Park to improve to 36-31 on the season and 13-4 in the month of June.

Nick Pivetta, making his 14th start of the year for the Sox, dazzled by limiting the Cards to one run on four hits and four walks to go along with 10 strikeouts over seven strong innings of work.

All four walks Pivetta gave up came within the first three innings of Sunday’s contest. The one run came on a two-out RBI single from Harrison Bader in the top of the fourth.

From there, though, Pivetta stranded Bader at third base by getting Ivan Herrera to strike out on six pitches. The right-hander then retired eight of the final 10 batters he faced and emphatically ended his outing by punching out the side in the top of the seventh.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 108 (65 strikes), Pivetta wound up throwing 60 four-seam fastballs, 35 knuckle-curveballs, and 13 sliders. The 29-year-old induced eight of his 12 swings-and-misses with the four-seamer while averaging 93.3 mph and topping out at 95.1 mph with the pitch.

Following Sunday’s performance, Pivetta now owns a 1.77 ERA in his last nine starts dating back to May 7. The Red Sox are 7-2 in those games.

By the time Pivetta’s afternoon had come to an end, the Sox lineup had already compiled a 2-1 lead over the Cardinals and rookie starter Andre Pallante. Trevor Story got Boston on the board first in the bottom half of the second inning.

With two outs and the bases empty, Story crushed his 10th home run of the season and first since May 26 on a 3-1, 95 mph heater down the heart of the plate from Pallante. The ball left his bat at 104.4 mph and traveled 397 feet to right field.

Three innings later, Alex Verdugo led off the bottom of the fifth with a groundball single to center field. A wild pitch allowed Verdugo to move up to second base, and Jackie Bradley Jr. proceeded to drive him in on a two-out RBI single through the right side of the infield.

Bradley Jr., who is now batting .313/.353/.479 in 31 games at Fenway Park this season, put the Red Sox up 2-1 with his 22nd RBI of the year.

Shortly after Pivetta recorded the final out in the top of the seventh, Christian Vazquez led off the bottom half of the frame with a line-drive double before advancing to third on a Bradley Jr. groundout. Rob Refsnyder then plated Vazquez on a run-scoring base hit off Genesis Cabrera that made it a 3-1 game in favor of Boston.

In relief of Pivetta, John Schreiber struck out the only three batters he faced in a perfect eighth inning. In the latter half of the frame, Vazquez struck again after Verdugo and Story both reached base with one out.

On a 2-1, 94.3 mph sinker from Drew VerHagen that was down in and, Vazquez clobbered a three-run home run 407 feet over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox a commanding 6-1 advantage.

Vazquez’s third big fly of the season would prove to be important given the trouble Tyler Danish ran into in the ninth. Danish allowed two runners to reach base while recording the first two outs of the inning. Rather than slam the door on the Cardinals, though, the righty served up a 114.4 mph, three-run blast to Juan Yepez that cut Boston’s lead down to two runs at 6-4.

Not taking any chances, Red Sox manager Alex Cora gave Danish the hook in favor of Tanner Houck, who gave up a single but rebounded by fanning Brendan Donovan on eight pitches to pick up his fourth save of the season in as many opportunities.

Next up: The Tigers come to town

The Red Sox will kick off the final leg of their homestand by welcoming the 26-40 Tigers into town for a three-game set. Monday’s series opener will feature a pair of rookie right-handers going at it as Josh Winckowski will start for Boston and Alex Faedo will do the same for Detroit.

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

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)