Michael Chavis Delivers First Career Walk-Off Hit as #RedSox Split Series with 6-5 Extra Innings Win over Rockies

After seeing their five-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday, the Red Sox bounced back less than 24 hours later with a 6-5 walk-off win over the Colorado Rockies Wednesday thanks to some late-game heroics from Michael Chavis.

Making his ninth start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered Wednesday unbeaten in his last six outings.

Working his way into the seventh inning of this one, the left-hander was charged for five runs, all earned, on nine hits, one HBP,Β  and one walk to go along with a season-high 10 strikeouts on the night.

Outside of the seventh, it was the top of the fourth that provided Rodriguez with the most trouble, as the Rockies struck for their first two runs on an RBI sac fly from David Dahl and an RBI double from Tony Wolters.

Escaping any more damage in the frame by getting Charlie Blackmon to fly out to right, Rodriguez went on and retired five of the next six hitters he faced before Christian Vazquez ended the sixth by throwing out Ian Desmond at second on a failed stolen base attempt.

Now we get to where things got dicey.

Already with a pitch count of 99 heading into the seventh, the matchups favored Rodriguez with Ryan McMahon, Tony Wolters, and Charile Blackmon, all left-handed hitters, due up for Colorado.

Unfortunately, that plan backfired on Alex Cora and the Sox, as all three Rockies previously mentioned to load the bases without an out yet recorded.

A HBP of Blackmon would be how Rodriguez’s night came to an end, and he would later be hit with three more earned runs.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 106 (73 strikes), the 26-year-old relied on his four-seam fastball 29% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing three swings and misses and topping out at 94.5 MPH with the pitch.

Still unbeaten in his last seven starts dating back to April 12th, Rodriguez will look to extend that streak in his next time out, which should come against the Toronto Blue Jays north of the border.

In relief of Rodriguez, Matt Barnes was thrown right into the fire fresh off a 26-pitch, two inning outing in Tuesday’s loss.

Coming on with the bases juiced and three outs to get in the seventh, the UCONN product allowed all the inherited runners he was dealt to score on a two-run single from Trevor Story and an RBI groundout from Daniel Murphy.

Not how you draw it up, but it was pretty clear that Barnes wasn’t himself given the recent heavy workload.

Following that Murphy groundout, Marcus Walden came on to relieve Barnes and proceeded to sit down the next seven Rockies he faced to take this one into the middle of the ninth.

From there, in what would turn out to be their final frame of work in the 10th, Heath Hembree worked his way around a Nolan Arenado leadoff double and recorded the first two outs before walking Ian Desmond on five pitches.

With one out to get, in came Bradon Workman, who rebounded from a rough performance on Tuesday by striking out the only man he faced in David Dahl to send this one to the bottom half of the inning and earn his third winning decision of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another unfamiliar opponent in Rockies right-hander German Marquez, who, as you may have already guessed, had never faced Boston in his career prior to Wednesday.

Similar to what they did in the series opener, the Sox bats pounced early on a Colorado starter, with Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and JD Martinez all leading off the first with a trio of softly-hit singles and Benintendi coming in to score on the one from Martinez.

That was followed by a run-scoring GIDP off the bat of Mitch Moreland, and the Red Sox had themselves a two-run lead just like that.

Fast forward to the third, and the top of the lineup was back at it again, this time with Benintendi lacing a one-out, opposite field triple off of Marquez and Betts driving him in on an RBI single to center.

Two pitches later, JD Martinez continued his power surge by launching his fourth home run in his last three games, a two-run, 393 foot shot to the Red Sox bullpen to make it a 5-0 game early.

Despite that early lead though, as previously mentioned, the Rockies stormed their way back to the point where this contest went into extra innings.

Facing off against Rockies reliever Chad Bettis to begin the 10th, Xander Bogaerts led things off by lining a leadoff double off the center field wall to put the go-ahead run in scoring position.

Following an intentional free pass of Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis came to the plate with the chance to send everyone home happy, and did just that on the very first pitch he saw, as the rookie grounded a comebacker right back up the middle to plate Bogaerts from second and give his team the 6-5 extra innings victory. First career walk-off knock for Chavis and it could not have come at a better time.

Some notes from this win:

Through five relief appearances this month, Marcus Walden has posted a 0.79 ERA and .129 batting average against over 11.1 innings pitched.

During his current five-game hitting streak, JD Martinez is hitting .400 with four home runs and seven RBI.

Christian Vazquez owns an OPS of 1.148 since the beginning of May.

Rafael Devers’ six-game hitting streak has come to an end.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s another off day on Thursday before a rematch of last year’s American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros over the weekend.

The Astros will come to Boston winners of eight straight and arguably the best team in the American League at the moment.

For the series opener on Friday, it will be a starting pitching matchup featuring two veteran right-handers, with Gerrit Cole getting the ball for Houston and Rick Porcello doing the same for Boston.

Porcello (3-3, 5.15 ERA) is unbeaten in his five starts and is coming off an outing in which he gave up four runs in 6.2 innings in his last time out against the Baltimore Orioles.

Cole (4-4, 3.38 ERA), meanwhile, owns a lifetime 4.32 ERA against the Red Sox over four career starts, two of which have come at Fenway Park.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start another winning streak.


Chris Sale’s Historic 17 Strikeout Night Goes for Naught as #RedSox Drop Series Opener to Rockies in Extras

Coming off a three-game sweep over the Seattle Mariners this past weekend, the Red Sox saw their five-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday night following a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies in 11 innings.

Making his ninth start of the season for Boston was Chris Sale, who before Tuesday had never faced off against Colorado as a starter.

Tossing seven full innings in this one, the left-hander had himself quite the historic outing, as he surrendered two earned runs on three hits and no walks to go along with 17 strikeouts on the night to set a new-career high.

Right from the get go, it appeared that Sale was locked in. That much was evident by the way he fanned seven of the first nine hitters he faced.

After sitting down the first 12 Rockies he faced, first baseman Mark Reynolds broke up the perfect game and no-hit bid all at once by lining a ground-rule double down the right field line to lead off the fifth inning.

Nothing came to be of that though, and it wasn’t until Sale’s seventh and final inning until Colorado got on the board, with Trevor Story leading the frame off with a single and perennial All-Star Nolan Arenado following that up by launching a two-run home run over the Green Monster.

That made it a 3-2 contest, but Sale rebounded nicely by punching out the final three hitters he faced in order to end his evening on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 108 (74 strikes), you could tell that the 30-year-old was willing to go back out for the eighth to try and reach the mark of 20 strikeouts, but that was ultimately shut down by Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

Anyway, out of those 108 pitches, Sale relied heavily on his slider, as he turned to the pitch 37% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday and induced 11 swings and misses with it. He also topped out at 95.9 MPH and averaged 93.3 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 36 times with Sandy Leon behind the plate.

Unable to pick up the winning decision in a deserving effort due to what transpired later in this contest, Sale has dropped his ERA considerably over the past few weeks down to 4.24 on the season. He’ll look to lower it even more in his next time out, which should in all likelihood come against the Houston Astros on Sunday.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen saw some mixed, inconsistent results in this one.

Brandon Workman, making his 21st appearance of the year, saw his run of 11 consecutive outings come to an end on Tuesday, as he allowed the Rockies to briefly take the lead in the eighth inning on a two-run home run off the bat of Charlie Blackmon.

From there, Matt Barnes struck out five of the six hitters he faced in two solid frames of relief in the ninth and 10th frames to make way for Ryan Brasier in the 11th, who walked two of the first four hitters he faced before giving up the go-ahead and what would turn out to be winning run on a Mark Reynolds RBI single to score Trevor Story from second base and make it a 5-4 game.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an unfamiliar opponent in Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland, someone only JD Martinez and Eduardo Nunez had faced before given their previous experience in the National League West.

Only able to plate three runs off of Freeland, rookie Michael Chavis stayed hot and kicked the scoring off for Boston by demolishing his seventh big fly of the season already to lead off the second.

According to Statcast, that ball was launched 451 feet down the left field line and had an exit velocity of over 111 MPH. Quite simply, it was crushed.

An inning later, it was the middle of the Sox lineup providing the team with some more pop, with JD Martinez depositing his eighth homer of the year 424 feet over the Monster with one out in the third and Rafael Devers essentially doing the same with his third dinger of 2019, a two-out, 355 foot shot to left field as well.

Those three homers provided the Red Sox with their only runs up until their half of the eighth, when with two outs and Rafael Devers representing the tying run at second, Mitch Moreland came off the bench and delivered in another clutch situation, as he lined a pinch-hit RBI single to center off Rockies reliever Scott Oberg to plate Devers and tie this thing up at four runs a piece.

They had the chance to walk this one off in the ninth with Jackie Bradley Jr. leading the frame off by drawing a walk off Carlos Estevez, but neither of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, nor Martinez could drive him in.

The same can be said for the 10th thanks to a leadoff single from Xander Bogaerts. But again, nothing to show.

And in the 11th, Christian Vazquez provided some hope by reaching base on a two-out single off of Rockies closer Wade Davis, but that hope was cut short when Benintendi ended any chance of a rally by flying out to left, wrapping up the 5-4 loss for the Red Sox.

Some notes from this loss:

From MLB Stats:

From Red Sox Notes:

Red Sox pitchers recorded 24 strikeouts on Tuesday compared to just two walks, both of which belonged to Ryan Brasier.

Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts went a combined 0-for-11 with six punchouts and five men left on base Tuesday. Not ideal, especially for Benintendi, who is now 0-for-his-last-14 dating back to May 11th.

Since April 23rd, Chris Sale has posted a 1.91 ERA and .157 batting average against to go along with 59 strikeouts over his last five starts and 33 innings pitched. The Red Sox are 2-3 in those five games.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the finale of this brief two-game interleague series later Wednesday night before another off day on Thursday.

Right-hander German Marquez will get the ball for Colorado, while lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will do the same for Boston.

Marquez, 24, has never faced the Red Sox before in his career, but does own a 3.43 ERA through nine starts this season.

The same can be said for Rodriguez, who has yet to make a start against the Rockies and owns a lifetime 3.50 ERA over 11 career starts and 64.1 total innings pitched in interleague play.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start a new winning streak.