Red Sox Activate David Price from Paternity Leave List, Recall Ryan Weber from Triple-A Pawtucket in Slew of Roster Moves

Before taking on the New York Yankees in the finale of a four-game weekend series on Sunday night, the Red Sox announced that left-hander David Price was activated from the paternity leave list and right-hander Ryan Weber was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

In a trio of corresponding moves, right-handers Colten Brewer and Josh Smith, as well as utility infielder Marco Hernandez, were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. The club announced the transactions earlier Sunday.

Price and his wife, Tiffany, welcomed their second child together on Thursday, one day before the 33-year-old hurler was placed on paternity leave.

Now, Price is back on the active roster and will go up against Yankees southpaw J.A. Happ, who was also activated off paternity leave on Sunday.

In addition to Price re-joining the big league club, right-hander Ryan Weber was recalled from the PawSox two weeks after being optioned there for the second time this season.

Through eight appearances (three starts) with Boston this year, the 28-year-old owns an ERA of 5.25 and batting average against of .297 over 24 total innings pitched.

Right-handers Colten Brewer and Josh Smith were both sent down to Pawtucket one day after both were used a total of three times during Saturday’s doubleheader. Smith’s role will essentially be taken over by Weber, as the Sox may need to eat some innings tonight given how much their bullpen has already been used this weekend.

Finally, Marco Hernandez, the player who was added to the 25-man roster once Price went on paternity leave on Friday, was optioned to Triple-A.

In his second, albeit, brief stint with Boston, Hernandez went 1-for-4 with one run scored, one double, and one walk during Saturday’s doubleheader.

On the 2019 campaign as a whole, Hernandez is slashing .333/.362/.500 with two homers and seven RBI over 29 games played.

With these moves, as well as left-hander Brian Johnson being added to the active roster after serving as Boston’s 26th man on Saturday, the Red Sox’ roster now stands at 25.

First pitch against the Yankees Sunday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN.

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Red Sox Get Swept in Doubleheader, Drop Seventh Straight Overall in 6-4 Loss to Yankees

After dropping the opener of a day-night doubleheader and holding a team meeting in between games on Saturday, the Red Sox were unable to turn things around in the night cap, as they fell to the New York Yankees by a final score of 6-4 to mark their seventh consecutive loss.

Making his eighth overall appearance and third start for Boston this season was Brian Johnson, who came into the weekend having not appeared in a big league game since June 22nd after missing more than a month on the injury list due to a non-baseball related medical issue.

Tossing three full innings in his first start since June 16th, the left-hander surrendered three runs, all of which were earned, on eight hits and zero walks to go along with two strikeouts on the night.

All three of those Yankees runs came in the bottom half of the third, when after scattering four hits over two scoreless frames to begin things, Johnson served up a one-out solo shot to a red-hot Gleyber Torres off a 1-1, 94 MPH at the top of the strike zone.

Back-to-back singles from Aaron Hicks and Gio Urshela brought Cameron Maybin to the plate with runners at first and second, and he emptied the bases by lacing a two-run double to left field. Just like that, the Sox’ two-run lead had turned into a one-run deficit.

A line-out off the bat of Mike Tauchman and a mental lapse made from Maybin allowed Johnson to escape the inning thanks to an unconventional 8-6 double play, but the damage already been done.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 70 (44 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler relied on his slider nearly 36% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing two swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 92 MPH with his four-seamer, a pitch he threw 21 times while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Ultimately hit with the no-decision due to the short outing while raising his ERA on the season up to 6.88, Johnson will more than likely be used in a long-relief/spot start role in the Sox’ pitching staff for the foreseeable future.

In relief of Johnson, Marcus Walden entered the fourth with his side up a run, and he maintained that lead by stranding a runner at first in an otherwise clean frame.

Left-hander Josh Taylor got the call for the sixth, and he too fell victim to Gleyber Torres, as the Yankee All-Star led the inning off by mashing his second solo shot of the night, this one to tie the ballgame up at four runs apiece.

Taylor got out of the fifth and got the first two outs of the sixth before giving up a ground ball single to D.J LeMahieu, which in turn led to Sox manager Alex Cora turning to Matt Barnes.

Barnes stranded LeMahieu by getting Aaron Judge to ground out to short and also came back out for his second inning of work in the seventh.

There, the right-hander proceeded to fill the bases with Yankees on a Torres leadoff double and back-to-back walks of Hicks and Urshela.

A four-pitch punchout of Maybin made it seem as though Barnes was making progress, but a two-run single off the bat of Tuachman on a 2-1, hanging 86 MPH curveball changed all that.

Torres and Urshela scored as a result, and New York had themselves a 6-4 lead.

To make matters worse, Barnes again loaded the bases with a seven-pitch walk of Austin Romine, thus leading to another pitching change.

Colten Brewer was inserted into a game for the second time in the same day, and he sat down the only two hitters he faced in order to leave the bases loaded.

Finally, Brandon Workman maneuvered his way around a Judge leadoff single in a scoreless bottom of the eighth to keep the deficit at two runs.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was first matched up against right-hander Chad Green in what was a bullpen game for the Yankees.

Starting the scoring with one out in the top half of the third, after Green had already been placed by Nestor Cortes Jr., Rafael Devers got his team on the board first by scoring Marco Hernandez, as well as himself, on his 22nd homer of the season.

That booming, 433-foot two-run blast put Boston ahead 2-0, but a three-run rally from New York in their half of the same inning turned that two-run lead into a one-run hole.

Fast forward to the fourth, a leadoff walk from Sam Travis and double from Christian Vazquez against new Yankees reliever Chance Adams put the Red Sox in a prime run-scoring spot.

Michael Chavis and Marco Hernandez were unable to do anything off Adams, but fortunately for Boston, Mookie Betts came through with a two-out, two-run single, plating Vazquez and Travis from second and third to make it a 4-3 contest.

The Yankees’ pen held the Sox in check from there though, as Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman combined to toss four shutout frames from the beginning of the sixth until the end of the ninth.

That’s not to say that Boston did not have any chances to score off those three, because they did.

Like in the sixth, when after falling behind by a run, Sam Travis reached second on a leadoff single and stolen base. Christian Vazquez and Brock Holt both had their shot to drive the runner in, but came up short before Marco Hernandez reached on an eight-pitch walk.

Again, Betts came to the plate with the chance to re-take the lead and instead flew out to center.

In the seventh, a two-out walk drawn by J.D. Martinez off of Kahnle presented Andrew Benintendi with the chance to drive in a run. He struck out on five pitches.

What transpired an inning later was clearly their best scoring chance, as Devers came to the plate with two outs and runners at first and second following a Betts walk.

Having faced the Yankees left-hander four times before Saturday, the 23-year-old took the first two pitches he saw for strikes and opted to take a hack at a third-pitch, 83 MPH sinker in the dirt to retire the side.

And in the ninth, another Martinez free pass, this one with one out, brought the tying run to the plate on two separate occasions against Chapman.

Neither Benintendi, who picked up the Golden Somberero with his fourth strikeout, or Travis, who also fanned, could deliver in the clutch though, and the Red Sox dropped this one by a final score of 6-4 as Chapman notched his 29th save of 2019.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Saturday night. They left 11 men on base as a team.

From Red Sox Notes:

From The Eagle-Tribune’s Chris Mason:

With their losing streak growing to seven games on Saturday, the Red Sox now stand 13 1/2 games back of the Yankees for first place in the American League East and 5 1/2 games back of the Tampa Bay Rays for the second American League Wild Card spot.

It’s been seven full days since the Red Sox last won a game. That’s hard to believe given how it seemed like this turn was about to turn a corner last weekend against these same Yankees.

For the series finale, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of left-handers both making their return from paternity leave, as David Price will get the ball for Boston, while J.A. Happ will do the same for New York.

Since the All-Star break, Price has experienced quite the regression, posting a 6.52 ERA and .301 batting average against over his last four starts and 19 1/3 innings pitched.

The 33-year-old’s only other start at Yankee Stadium so far this season also came on Sunday Night Baseball back on June 2nd, when he held the opposition to just two runs over 6 1/3 quality innings en route to a much-needed win.

Happ, meanwhile, has also struggled since returning from the All-Star break, as he owns an ERA of 5.95 in his last four starts dating back to July 13th.

In two starts against Boston this year, Happ is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA and .220 batting average against over 11 1/3 total innings of work. The Yankees are 2-0 in those games.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on ESPN. Red Sox looking to get back in the win column and avoid the four-game sweep.

 

 

 

Chris Sale Gets Lit up for Eight Runs in Shortest Start Since Opening Day as Red Sox Fall to Yankees in First Game of Doubleheader

After being limited to two runs on three hits on Friday, the Red Sox were held in check by the New York Yankees yet again on Saturday, as they dropped the first of a day-night doubleheader to extend their losing streak to six.

Making his 23rd start of the season and fourth against New York for Boston was Chris Sale, who came into the weekend fresh off surrendering five runs in less than six innings in his last time out against this same Yankees squad this past Sunday.

The losing streak for the Sox began that night, and it increased to six in this one, as the left-hander got lit up for a season-high eight runs, all of which were earned, on nine hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings of work.

The first of those eight Yankees tallies came right away in the bottom half of the first, with D.J. LeMahieu leading things off by blasting his 16th home run of the season, a 389-foot solo shot that got his side on the board first.

Sale did settle in a bit from there, retiring eight of the next 10 hitters he faced following that homer before running in to a great deal of trouble in the bottom of the fourth.

There, an Edwin Encarnacion leadoff single, as well as one-out and two-out singles from Gio Urshela and Kyle Higashioka, filled the bases for Breyvic Valera, who drove in the runner from third on an RBI single to right to break the 1-1 tie.

Now, there had been instances of Sale getting squeezed by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook, so when Sox manager Alex Cora came out to talk to his starter directly, he also exchanged some words with Estabrook on his way back to the visitor’s dugout, which resulted in him getting ejected from this game.

Once the dust had settled from that, Brett Gardner picked up where Valera had left off by lacing a two-run single up the middle. 4-1.

LeMahieu added on to that, taking Sale deep once more off a 2-1, 89 MPH changeup on the outer half of the zone that he snuck just over the right field wall for a three-run homer. 7-1.

An Aaron Judge ground-rule double would be how Sale’s afternoon came to a frustrating close, but it should not have even happened, as the pitch before the double clearly should have been called strike three, but it was called a ball by Estabrook instead.

Following said double and receiving the hook from bench coach Ron Roenicke, Sale let some of his frustration out on Estabrook as he was headed back to the Sox’ dugout, and he too was ejected as a result.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 76 (52 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his slider more than 39% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing four swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 96.2 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he went to 20 times while Sandy Leon was behind the plate.

Ultimately falling to 5-11 while inflating his ERA on the season up to 4.68, Sale’s struggles against the Yankees continue. His next start should come against the Los Angeles Angels back at Fenway Park on Thursday.

In relief of Sale, Colten Brewer entered the fourth with one runner on second and one out to get, and he allowed that runner to score on an RBI base hit from Encarnacion to close the book on Sale’s outing before escaping the inning.

Josh Smith, just recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, took over in the fifth, and he took over by yielding one run on an Encarnacion RBI single in the sixth in an otherwise four solid innings of mop up duty.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Yankees right-hander Domingo German, who also opposed Sale last Sunday.

Starting the scoring in the top of the second, a red-hot Andrew Benintendi led off the inning by mashing his 12th big fly of the season, this one coming off a 3-2, hanging curveball from German that was sent a booming 436 feet to right-center field.

That knotted things up at one run apiece, but German did not buckle, and the only run the Boston bats got off him came in the fifth, when Jackie Bradley Jr. led the frame off with his 12th homer of 2019.

A 344-foot solo shot for Bradley Jr. off a first-pitch, 85 MPH changeup from German made it an 8-2 contest in favor of New York.

As it turns out though, the Sox did not get a single hit the rest of the way, as German and right-hander Jonathan Holder combined to sit down the last 15 Red Sox who came to the plate in order. And that is how 9-2 went on to be the final score in Game 1 on Saturday.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position on Saturday. They left three men on base as a team.

Andrew Benintendi’s last seven games: .500/.516/1.067 with four homers and nine RBI.

From MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

From Red Sox Stats:

From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:

Left-hander Brian Johnson will get the start for Boston in the second installment of this doubleheader, while right-hander Chad Green will do the same for New York.

Johnson had been out since June 29th with a non-baseball related medical issue before being activated off the injured  list earlier Saturday.

Through seven appearances (two starts) with the Sox this season, the 28-year-old owns an ERA of 6.43 and batting average against of .349 over 14 total innings pitched.

Green, meanwhile, has posted a a 5.06 ERA and .303 batting average against over 36 outings (eight starts) and 42 2/3 innings of work.

Neither starter is expected to pitch deep into his game, I would assume.

First pitch Saturday night is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to put a stop to this skid.

Xander Bogaerts’ Two-Homer Night Goes for Naught as Red Sox Get Swept by Rays to Extend Losing Streak to Four

The Red Sox were swept in a three-game series at Fenway Park for the first time this season on Thursday, as they fell to the Tampa Bay Rays by a final score of 9-4 to mark their fourth consecutive loss overall.

Making his fourth start of the season for Boston was Andrew Cashner, who came into this series’ finale fresh off his best outing in a Red Sox uniform in his last time out against the New York Yankees.

Working into the sixth inning this time around, the right-hander yielded a season-worst seven runs, all of which were earned, on seven hits and a season-high five walks to go along with one lone strikeout on the night.

The first of those Tampa Bay tallies came right away in the top half of the first, when with two outs and a runner at third following a Ji-Man Choi leadoff double, Matt Duffy reached first safely on an infield single, narrowly beating out the throw from Cashner to drive in Choi for the early lead.

In the second, Cashner put himself in a tough spot by allowing the first three Rays he faced in the frame to reach base on a pair of walks and an Eric Sogard single, which in turn resulted in three more Tampa Bay runs crossing the plate on a Choi bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch with Tommy Pham at the plate, and an RBI double off the bat of Pham that very well could have gone for two had it not been for Andrew Benintendi and Michael Chavis completing a nice relay to nab Choi at the plate.

To Cashner’s credit, he did settle in a bit by sitting down eight of the next 10 Rays hitters who came to the plate from the start of the third up until the sixth, but that is the point where things really started to fall apart.

That being the case because two-straight hits from Jesus Aguilar and Eric Sogard, as well as a four-pitch walk drawn by Mike Zuninno filled the bases for Tampa Bay once more, and Willy Adames nearly bailed Cashner out by grounding out to Xander Bogaerts at short, but since Bogaerts had to play the ball on the hop, only one out was recorded at second and Aguilar scored from third.

So, instead of escaping another tight spot with the help of an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play, Cashner’s disappointing evening came to a close with still one out to get in the sixth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 110 (64 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler relied on his changeup nearly 41% of the time he was on the mound Thursday, inducing five swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 96.5 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 44 times while Sandy Leon was behind the plate.

Since being acquired from the Baltimore Orioles, Cashner has taken the loss in three of his four outings with Boston. Over that span, he has allowed 19 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings of work. That’s good for an ERA of 7.93, which is not ideal.

His next start should come against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.

In relief of Cashner, Darwinzon Hernandez entered with runners on the corners and still one out to get in the sixth, and he allowed two more Rays runs to cross the plate on a wild pitch and a RBI double from Pham to officially close the book on Cashner’s night before retiring the side with a five-pitch punchout of Austin Meadows.

From there, Colten Brewer tossed a scoreless seventh before serving up a leadoff homer to Zunino in an otherwise clean eighth, while Heath Hembree did the same by serving up a leadoff solo shot to Meadows in the ninth.

Meadows’ 17th home run of the season put Boston in a 9-4 hole, or a hole they could not dig out of, in other words.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against rookie left-hander Brendan McKay for the Rays, someone ranked as Tampa Bay’s top pitching prospect who had never pitched at Fenway Park before Thursday.

Perhaps taking advantage of that unfamiliarity, Xander Bogaerts came to the plate with his team down by one run early and got that one-run lead right back by mashing a one-out, two-run homer 383 feet over the Green Monster to score Mookie Betts, as well as himself, to make it a 2-1 contest.

Fast forward all the way to the fifth, and Bogaerts struck again, this time taking McKay deep off a two-out, 2-0, 94 MPH for his 25th big fly of the year. A new career-high for the 26-year-old.

Bogaerts’ second blast of the evening cut Tampa Bay’s lead to just one run at 4-3, but a three-run rally of their own a half-inning later essentially put this one out of reach.

Still, that did not stop Mookie Betts, as the reigning AL MVP came through with a rare opposite field homer off of Rays reliever Oliver Drake with one out in the seventh.

Betts’ 19th of 2019 trimmed Boston’s deficit back down to three runs at 7-4, but as already mentioned, the Rays plated a run of their own in the eighth and ninth innings, and 9-4 would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

Some notes from this loss:

There were three instances on Thursday where Andrew Benintendi led an inning off with a double. He did not score in any of those situations.

The Red Sox went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Thursday. They left seven men on base as team.

The Red Sox have been outscored 32-20 during their four-game losing streak.

Andrew Benintendi’s last seven games: .516/.545/1.000 with three homers and nine RBI. He has multiple hits in five of those games.

From Red Sox Notes:

From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

Having dropped four straight, the Red Sox now sit 10 1/2 games back of the Yankees for first place in the American League East and 3 1/2 games back of the Rays for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s a four-game, three-day series against those Yankees in the Bronx over the weekend.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is set to get the ball for Boston, while fellow southpaw James Paxton will do the same for New York.

Both of these starters will be facing the same opponent on Friday as they did in their last time out.

Rodriguez picked up his 13th win of the year this past Saturday by holding the Yankees to three runs over 5 2/3 strong innings.

Paxton, on the other hand, got shellacked for seven runs on nine hits, four of which were homers, in a 10-5 loss this past Friday.

In his career at Yankee Stadium, Rodriguez owns a lifetime 3.74 ERA and .240 batting average against over eight career starts and 45 2/3 total innings pitched.

Paxton’s first start as a Yankee against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium came back on April 16th, where he tossed eight shutout innings en route to the 8-0 win for New York.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to play with some urgency and put a stop to this skid.

 

David Price Can’t Make It Through Five Innings as Red Sox Falter with Runners in Scoring Position in 6-5 Loss to Rays

After taking three out of four from the New York Yankees over the weekend and an off day on Monday, the Red Sox dropped their second straight on Tuesday, as they opened a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays with a 6-5 loss to fall back to 59-59 on the season.

Making his 19th start of the season for Boston and fifth against Tampa Bay was David Price, who came into Tuesday fresh off allowing three runs over six quality innings in his last time out against this same Rays club.

Working into just the fifth inning this time around, the left-hander surrendered four runs, all of which were earned, on nine hits and two walks to go along with nine strikeouts on the night.

The first of those four Rays tallies came in the top half of the third, when with two outs and a runner at second following a one-out double from Matt Duffy, Austin Meadows drove him in by ripping a 1-1, 92 MPH two-seam fastball from Price to right field for an RBI triple.

In the fifth, with his team up by two runs, the Tennessee native gave that lead up by first grooving a first-pitch, 90 MPH two-seamer to Travis d’Arnaud, who led the frame off by depositing said pitch 453 feet over everything in left field.

Just seven pitches and one out later, Avisail Garcia punished another first pitch from Price, this one a hanging, 89 MPH cutter that was sent 394 feet over the Red Sox bullpen.

That knotted things up at 3-3, and Price’s evening came to a close quickly thereafter with the last two Rays he faced both reaching with one out.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 94 (61 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler relied on his four-seamer more than 34% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing four swings and misses and topping out at 94.7 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Ultimately hit with the no-decision while his ERA on the year jumped up to 3.86, Price’s July probably did not end the way he planned. In his final three outings of the month, the southpaw yielded 13 earned runs over 14 1/3 innings pitched. That’s good for an ERA of 8.16.

He’ll look to right the ship in his next time out, which should come against the Yankees on Sunday.

In relief of Price, Marcus Walden entered the fifth with runners at second and third and two outs to get, and he allowed that runner to score from third on an RBI groundout off the bat of newest Ray Eric Sogard before getting out of the inning.

From there, Walden came into the sixth with Boston now up 5-4, and got the first two outs before walking d’Arnaud on five pitches, which in turn led to Sox manager Alex Cora going with the left-handed Josh Taylor against the left-handed Meadows.

Unfortunately, that move did not pan out as expected, as Meadows ripped a single to right to advance d’Arnaud to second with still one out to get.

So, Colten Brewer got the next call, and he saw his side’s lead disappear by serving up a two-run double off the Green Monster to Garcia.

d’Arnuad and Meadows came around to score as a result of the crushing two-bagger, and that gave Tampa Bay a one-run lead at 6-5.

Darwinzon Hernandez, Nathan Eovaldi, and Matt Barnes combined to toss three scoreless innings of relief to keep the deficit at one, but the damage had already been done.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a fairly familiar foe in Rays right-hander Charlie Morton, who opposed Price the last time these two clubs met this past Wednesday.

Getting the scoring started right away in the first, Mitch Moreland came through with two outs and the bases loaded by lacing a two-run single off Morton to right field for an early 2-0 lead.

Fast forward to the third, and the middle part of the order delivered once more, this time with a red-hot Andrew Benintendi plating Rafael Devers from third on a one-out, RBI single that just got through the right side of the infield. 3-1.

In the fifth, after Tampa Bay had claimed a one-run lead of their own in their half of the fifth, Benintendi got that right back in the bottom half, and the way it happened was pretty spectacular.

That being the case because, with Devers at first and two outs in the inning, Rays manager Kevin Cash wanted to turn to lefty reliever Adam Kolarek with the left-handed Benintendi due up next to hit for Boston.

Morton, with a pitch count of 85, was clearly displeased with his manager’s decision as they argued in the visitor’s dugout.

While that was happening though, Benintendi didn’t waste any time and crushed his 11th homer of the season off the first pitch he saw from Kolarek, an 88 MPH sinker over the heart of the plate.

The Red Sox went up 5-4 on that 358-foot blast, but failed to score again the rest of the night.

Sure, they had their chances, like with runners at first and second in the bottom of the seventh.

Again, Cash turned to left-hander Colin Poche with Benintendi due up, and it paid off in that instance.

Or in the eighth, when Devers came to the plate with the bases loaded, two outs, his team trailing by one run and the bases loaded.

Up against righty Emilio Pagan, the young infielder swung for the fences on a 1-0, 97 MPH heater, came up empty-handed, and eventually flew out to left on the sixth pitch of the at-bat.

Finally, in the ninth, back-to-back two-out singles from Benintendi and Sam Travis off Pagan gave the Sox one more shot in the form of Christian Vazquez.

Having faced Pagan three times before Tuesday, Vazquez worked the count in his favor at 2-1, but could only come away with a pop fly to the warning track in left off an 86 MPH sinker.

That was good for the final out of the ninth, and that is how this one ended with a final score of 6-5.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday. They left 11 men on base as team.

From Red Sox Notes:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:

From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:

Over his last seven games, Andrew Benintendi is slashing: .500/.531/.900 with three home runs and 11 RBI.

Since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on July 15th, Sam Travis is slashing .360/.407/.720 with two homers and five RBI.

Well, that was the final game before the 4 PM EDT trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon. As things stand right now, the Red Sox sit 1 1/2 games back of the Rays for second place in the American League East and 1 1/2 games back of the second American League Wild Card spot.

Despite dropping their last two games, I still think it’s safe to say that the Sox will be buyers at the deadline. Whether that means major or moderate upgrades are coming has yet to be determined, but it will probably be more moderate ones.

Tuesday night’s loss also proved that this Red Sox bullpen could definitely use some reinforcements. It’s up to president of baseball operations of Dave Dombrowski whether to go for the premium relievers such as Edwin Diaz or Shane Greene, or the cheaper options such as Andrew Chafin or Daniel Hudson.

Anyway, the Red Sox will be hosting the Rays Wednesday night regardless.

Right-hander Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston, while fellow righty Andrew Kittredge will open for Tampa Bay before left-hander Ryan Yarbrough takes over.

Porcello recently ended a stretch of four straight outings with four or more runs given up in his last time out against the Yankees, where he allowed just three runs over six quality innings of work.

In two starts against the Rays this season, the New Jersey native has surrendered a total of six runs over 11 2/3 innings of work. The Red Sox are 1-1 in those games.

Yarbrough, meanwhile, has both started and been used after the opener for Tampa Bay this year.

Through 12 appearances as a “reliever,” the 27-year-old is 7-1 with an ERA of 3.64 and batting average against of .218 over 47 innings pitched.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to halt a two-game skid.

Chris Sale Struggles, Surrenders Six Runs as Red Sox Fail to Finish off Sweep of Yankees

After guaranteeing a series win with a 9-5 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday, the Red Sox were unable to finish off the four-game sweep in prime time, as they fell to their divisional foes Sunday by a final score of 9-6 to drop back down to 59-48 on the season.

Making his 22nd start of the season and third against New York for Boston was Chris Sale, who came into Sunday with back-to-back outings of at least six innings pitched and two or fewer runs allowed under his belt.

Struggling out of the gate and working into the sixth inning this time around, the left-hander surrendered six runs, all of which were earned, on five hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

The first pair of those Yankees tallies came around to score in the top half of the third, when following seven straight outs to begin things on Sunday, Sale walked Cameron Maybin on five pitches before serving up a first-pitch, two-run home run to Austin Romine off a hanging, 87 MPH changeup.

It was more of the same for Sale an inning later, with Luke Voit drawing a one-out walk on six pitches and Didi Gregorius unloading on a 1-1, 81 MPH slider for another two-run blast and a four-run lead.

An important punchout of Voit to end the fifth with runners stranded on the corners in a two-run contest went for naught in the sixth, as Gregorius led things off by drawing a walk and Gio Urshela drove him in two batters later on a line-drive RBI double back up the middle.

That put the Yankees ahead 5-2, and that would be how Sale’s underwhelming evening ended.

Finishing with a final pitch count of exactly 100 (56 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 36% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing just one swing and miss and topping out at 97.7 MPH with the pitch while Sandy Leon was behind the plate. It’s also worth noting that the Yankees averaged exit velocities of 97.3 MPH and 94.9 MPH off of Sale’s heater and slider, the two pitches he threw the most in this one.

Eventually falling to 5-10 while inflating his ERA up to 4.26 on the season, Sale certainly did not have a July to remember. In five starts this month, the Florida native went 2-3 with 5.86 ERA and .250 batting average against over 27 2/3 innings pitched.

Things won’t get any easier for Sale either, as his next start should also come against these same Yankees sometime on Saturday.

In relief of Sale, Colten Brewer entered with two outs to get and a runner at second, and he allowed that runner to score on a Maybin RBI single to officially close the book on Sale’s outing before picking off Maybin at first, as well as getting Romine to ground out to third, to retire the side.

From there, Darwinzon Hernandez got the call for the seventh, and all hell broke loose when with the bases loaded and one out in the frame, Jackie Bradley Jr. came up with the second one of the inning on a fly ball off the bat of Gregorius.

With the chance to potentially double up Voit at first, Bradley Jr. followed Xander Bogaerts’ instruction and made the throw over to first. The only problem was that no one was covering the bag, which in turn resulted in a wild throw and two unearned Yankees runs crossing the plate to make it an 8-3 game.

More sloppy play came back to bite the Sox with two outs in the eighth, when a Marcus Walden wild pitch with Aaron Hicks at the plate allowed Cameron Maybin to easily score from third after he reached on a one-out double. 9-4.

Finally, Heath Hembree was responsible for the ninth, and he put together one of his best outings since being activated off the injured list on July 4th by sitting down the only three hitters he faced in order to keep his club’s deficit at five runs.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Yankees right-hander Domingo German, who proved to be a formidable opponent, as he put together the best start of any New York starter in this series.

Falling behind by four runs early, a red-hot Andrew Benintendi got the scoring started for Boston in the bottom half of the fourth by driving in Xander Bogaerts, as well as himself, on his 10th home run of the season and second in as many days. This one a 415-foot, two-run no doubter that cut the Yankees’ lead in half at 4-2.

Fast forward to the sixth, trailing 6-2 now, and Rafael Devers and Bogaerts led things off with a walk and a double to put runners in scoring position with no outs for J.D. Martinez.

The best Martinez could do was plate Devers from third on an RBI groundout to short, and that was all the Sox could manage in the inning with Benintendi and Brock Holt coming up short against new Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle.

An inning later, Jackie Bradley Jr. reached base on a one-out single, bringing the pinch-hitting Christian Vazquez up in the place of Sandy Leon.

Up against right-hander Adam Ottavino, Vazquez moved Bradley Jr. up to third while reaching first safely himself.

Mookie Betts cut New York’s advantage back down to four runs with another sacrifice fly to drive in Bradley Jr., but once again, that’s all the run-scoring the Red Sox could muster with Bogaerts stranding Devers and Vazquez at second and third on an inning-ending fly out.

In the eighth, a Martinez leadoff walk, a Benintendi single, and a one-out walk drawn by the pinch-hitting Sam Travis against the left-handed Zack Brittion presented another opportunity for Boston.

Unfortunately though, Bradley Jr. fanned on six pitches and Vazquez grounded into a force out at second, thus extinguishing another threat.

Benintendi made things a bit interesting in the ninth by lacing a two-out, two-run double against Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman to make it a 9-6 contest, but the rally fell short, and 9-6 went on to be Sunday’s final score.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. They left nine men on base as a team.

From Red Sox Notes:

All three hitters Chris Sale walked on Sunday scored in the same inning they drew said walks in, if that makes sense.

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

Andrew Benintendi’s last seven games: .484/.500/.903 with three home runs and nine RBI. Potential American League Player of the Week candidate?

So, with an off day on Monday, the Red Sox wrap up the first half of 14 straight games against the Tampa Bay Rays and Yankees with a 5-2 record. As things stand right now, they currently sit one game back of the Oakland Athletics for the second American League Wild Card spot.

It didn’t end all that pretty, but taking three out of four from the best team in the division proved that the Red Sox can still make something out of this season. They should be buyers at the trade deadline, not sellers.

The Rays come into Fenway Park next, with a three-game series set to begin on Tuesday night.

Left-hander David Price is set to get the ball for Boston, while veteran right-hander Charlie Morton will do the same for Tampa Bay. The same pitching matchup when these two teams last faced off this past Wednesday.

In that contest, Price took the loss despite yielding just three runs over six quality innings, while Morton dominated by punching out 11 and giving up two runs over seven strong innings.

In his career at Fenway Park, the 35-year-old Morton is 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA and .213 batting average against over three starts and 16 1/3 innings of work.

Price, meanwhile, now owns a lifetime 3.23 ERA against the club he started his career with over 18 appearances (17 starts) and 108 2/3 innings pitched.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.

Red Sox Go off for Season-High 19 Runs and 23 Hits in Record-Setting Blowout Win over Yankees

After taking two out of three from the Tampa Bay Rays to cap off a six-game road trip on Wednesday, the Red Sox welcomed the American League East-leading New York Yankees into Fenway Park for the first time this season and opened up a four-game weekend series on Thursday with a blowout 19-3 victory over their divisional foes.

Making his 21st start of the season for Boston and third against New York was Rick Porcello, who could only make it through 1/3 of an inning the last time he faced off against the Bronx Bombers back on June 29th in London.

Tossing six full innings this time around, the right-hander yielded just three runs, all earned, on six hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

The first pair of those Yankees runs came across to score in the top half of the second, when following four straight outs to begin his outing, Porcello fell victim to a string of four straight one-out hits from Didi Gregorius, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, which plated Gregorius, and Mike Tauchman, which filled the bases.

An eight pitch punchout of Kyle Higashioka, as well as getting ahead in the count at 0-2 against D.J. LeMahieu meant that Porcello was just one pitch away from escaping the jam, but the New Jersey native lost the Yankees’ leadoff man on ball four, and Voit scored as a result.

Fortunately for Boston, Porcello rebounded by getting the always dangerous Aaron Judge to fly out to Jackie Bradley Jr. in deep center field, and that extinguished the threat.

In total, Porcello needed 47 pitches to get through a strenuous second, but he relatively cruised from there, as he sat down the next six Yankees he faced before serving up a solo shot to Higashioka in the fifth.

Outside of that one blip, Porcello retired the side in order in that fifth inning and worked his way around a two-out double in an otherwise 1-2-3 top of the sixth, where his evening came to an impressive close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 112 (76 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball 34% of the time he was on the mound Thursday, inducing six swings and misses and topping out at 92.6 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Ultimately improving to 9-7 while lowering his ERA on the season down to 5.55, Porcello continues to be the benefactor of a high volume of run support and has thus improved to 4-0 since the start of July. He’ll look to keep that run going in his next time out, which should come against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

In relief of Porcello, rookie left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez came on in the seventh with his team ahead by a sizable margin, and he fanned two in a clean inning.

Colten Brewer did the same while punching out one in the eighth, and Nathan Eovaldi bounced back from a rough debut out of the bullpen on Monday by hurling a scoreless ninth inning to secure the 19-3 win for his club.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who was also Porcello’s opponent when these two clubs met up in London.

Unlike Porcello though, Tanaka did not bounce back from a rough experience across the pond. It was almost the exact opposite of that, really.

Kicking off the scoring right away for Boston in the bottom of the first, a Mookie Betts leadoff single and Rafael Devers walk set up Xander Bogaerts in an early RBI spot.

Bogaerts, after working a 3-1 count in his favor, absolutely demolished a 93 MPH fastball on the inner half of the plate and deposited it 451 feet over the Green Monster. His 22nd home run of the season, this one good for three runs, was also the longest of his career.

A string of three straight hits from Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, and Mitch Moreland sandwiched in between the first two outs of the inning brought Jackie Bradley Jr. to the plate.

Coming into Thursday 0-for-his-last-13, Bradley Jr. broke out of that slump immediately, as he laced a two-run double down the right field line to bring in two runs and move Moreland up to third for Betts yet again.

On the first pitch of his second at-bat against Tanaka already, the reigning MVP cleared the bases with a two-run two-bagger of his own off a 92 MPH sinker. Just like that, the Red Sox were ahead 7-0.

Fast forward to the fourth, with it now a 7-2 contest, and Devers began the charge to re-widen the gap by leading off the inning with his 21st big fly of the year off a first-pitch, 92 MPH heater on the outer half of the plate that was sent 437 feet over everything in left.

A Bogaerts single and one-out walk drawn by Benintendi put a runner in scoring position for the just-inserted Michael Chavis, who replaced Holt after he was ejected by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn for arguing balls and strikes in the third.

Anyway, Chavis took advantage of this opportunity, as he blooped an RBI double just deep enough to left to drive in Bogaerts and advance Benintendi to third.

Moreland extended his side’s lead to 11-2 by ripping a two-run, ground-rule double to right, and that was how Tanaka’s night ended.

Facing off against lefty Stephen Tarpley now, Christian Vazquez picked up where Chavis and Moreland had left off by lacing a two-run double of his own down the left field corner, scoring Moreland and making it a 10-run game at 12-2.

An inning later, four straight knocks from Bogaerts, Martinez, Benintendi, and Chavis to lead off the fifth against Tarpley brought in two more Boston runs, with Benintendi and Chavis picking up their first and second RBI of the contest respectively.

Vazquez brought in run number 15 on a grounder to short that gave Benintendi more than enough time to score from third, and the Red Sox had themselves a 15-3 advantage.

In the sixth, Devers greeted new Yankees reliever Luis Cessa by collecting his second RBI on a double to right that allowed Betts to score all the way from first following a leadoff walk. Devers was caught trying to turn that double into a triple, though.

Finally, in the eighth, with catcher Austin Romine on the mound for New York, Bradley Jr. led things off with a double, and Sandy Leon, in his first and only at-bat of the night, scored him, as well as himself, on his fourth homer of the season. This one marking the second time in the past week that the backstop has taken an opposing position player yard.

Fittingly, the man who got the Red Sox on the board also wrapped up an exciting offensive outpouring, as Bogaerts too took Romine deep to left-center for his second dinger of the day and 23rd of the season to tie his previous career-high.

That put Boston ahead 19-3, and that would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

From The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:

From Red Sox Stats:

Xander Bogaerts’ last 15 games: .419/.478/.790 with six home runs and 17 RBI.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second of this four-game weekend series on Friday night.

Right-hander Andrew Cashner will get the ball for Boston, while left-hander James Paxton will do the same for New York.

In his first two starts with the Red Sox, Cashner is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA over 11 innings pitched.

When he was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles earlier in the month, one of the first things Cashner told the Boston media is that he’s, “looking forward to playing the Yankees.” He’ll have the chance to prove he can handle the American League East’s top team on Friday.

In his career against the Yankees, the 32-year-old is 2-5 with a 3.96 lifetime ERA and .247 batting average against over 10 starts and 61 1/3 innings of work.

Paxton, meanwhile, has not been the same pitcher he was earlier in the year since he was shelved with inflammation in his left knee back in early May.

In 10 starts since his return on May 29th, the 30-year-old has posted a 5.06 ERA and .303 batting average against over his last 48 innings pitched. That includes surrendering seven runs, only four of which were earned, in his last time out against the Colorado Rockies on July 21st.

Paxton has never pitched at Fenway Park before in his career. Against the Red Sox, he owns a lifetime 1.89 ERA over five prior starts and 33 1/3 innings pitched, including an eight-inning shutout back on April 16th of this year at Yankee Stadium.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their second straight win.