Red Sox place Corey Kluber on paternity list, recall Ryan Sherriff from Triple-A Worcester

Before opening a three-game series against the Reds at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, the Red Sox made a pair of roster moves pertaining to their bullpen.

Boston placed right-hander Corey Kluber on the paternity list and recalled left-hander Ryan Sherriff from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced.

Kluber and his wife, Amanda, recently welcomed the birth of their fourth child. The 37-year-old must now remain on the paternity list for at least 24 hours, but no more than 72 hours. In other words, he is eligible to be reinstated on Wednesday at the earliest and by Friday at the latest.

Signed to a one-year, $10 million deal back in January, Kluber was Boston’s Opening Day starter to begin the 2023 season. But the veteran righty struggled to a 6.26 ERA (6.60 FIP) with 34 strikeouts to 18 walks in his first nine starts (41 2/3 innings) for the club.

Taking those difficulties into consideration, Kluber was removed from the starting rotation and demoted to the bullpen last week ahead of Garrett Whitlock’s return from the injured list. He has yet to pitch in relief for the Sox, which is something he has not done in a regular season game since 2013.

Sheriff, meanwhile, is back with the Red Sox for the second time this season after initially having his contract selected from Worcester earlier this month. The 33-year-old southpaw made two appearances on back-to-back days against the Mariners on May 16 and 17, marking his first big-league action since 2021. He tossed a scoreless frame in each of those games and recorded one strikeout.

With the WooSox this year, Sherriff has forged a 2.79 ERA and 3.57 FIP with 21 strikeouts to nine walks over 18 outings spanning 19 1/3 innings of work. He joins Joely Rodriguez as the only other lefty available to manager Alex Cora out of the Red Sox bullpen for the time being.

(Picture of Corey Kluber: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Red Sox move Corey Kluber to bullpen

For the second time in as many weeks, the Red Sox have moved a member of their Opening Day starting rotation to the bullpen.

During his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Gresh and Fauria earlier Wednesday afternoon, Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced that Corey Kluber would be joining Boston’s relief corps ahead of Garrett Whitlock’s return from the injured list this Saturday.

The decision to move Kluber to the bullpen comes two days after Tanner Houck put together his best start of the season in Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Angels in Anaheim. The right-hander allowed just one earned run on three hits, two walks, and one hit batsman to go along with eight strikeouts over six strong innings.

Coming off that solid performance, Houck will now get the start in Sunday’s series finale against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix. That responsibility was initially going to fall to Kluber, who has suddenly become the odd man out in a crowded rotation mix.

“We were waiting for Tanner to see how he felt after his start,” Cora said. “We’re going to make a change. Actually, Tanner is going to start on Sunday and Corey is going to go to the bullpen, starting on Friday.”

Kluber, 37, signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Red Sox back in December that came with an $11 million club option for 2024. The veteran righty impressed in spring training and was named Boston’s Opening Day starter as a result.

Since taking the mound against the Orioles at Fenway Park on March 30, though, Kluber has struggled mightily, posting a dismal 6.26 ERA and 6.59 FIP with 34 strikeouts to 18 walks in his first nine starts (41 2/3 innings) as a member of the Red Sox. He allowed five runs (one earned) over a season-low 2 1/3 innings in this past Sunday’s 7-0 loss to the Padres in San Diego.

A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Kluber has only come out of the bullpen five times over the course of his 13-year big-league career. He did, however, make one relief appearance for the Rays in Game 2 of last October’s American League Wild Card Series against the Guardians.

“Well, we’ve been doing it for the last two or three years  having starters in the bullpen, and some guys we use more aggressively,” said Cora. “Others we’ve got to be patient, and the case with Corey, I think he came out of the bullpen last year in the playoffs, but he hasn’t done it throughout his career. 

“We’ve just got to make sure we give him enough time to be ready and see when we are  going to use him,” Cora added. “Obviously, we want him to get back on track, and back on track is throwing strikes, and this is something that he’s done throughout his career. He hasn’t done it the first month and a half [this] season. The stuff is … very similar to last year, but obviously the control and the command wasn’t there and we just got to make sure we keep making adjustments.”

With Kluber out of the picture for the time being, the Red Sox will now move forward with a five-man starting rotation consisting of Chris Sale, James Paxton, Houck, Whitlock, and Brayan Bello.

“We had that conversation with Corey and [he’s] very professional. He understands,” Cora said. “He signed here to be a starter, but right now he’s struggling and, you know, obviously the kids are throwing the ball well. There’s a lot of off-days coming up. So we decided to make the change.”

Kluber joins Nick Pivetta, Kutter Crawford, and Josh Winckowski as multi-inning options with starting experience available to Cora out of the Boston bullpen. Pivetta, of course, was jettisoned from the rotation last week to accommodate the addition of Paxton.

(Picture of Corey Kluber: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers collects 3 hits as Red Sox defeat Phillies, 7-4, for eighth straight win

The Red Sox rode a five-run fourth inning to a series-clinching victory over the Phillies on Saturday night. Boston defeated Philadelphia by a final score of 7-4 at Citizens Bank Park to extend its winning streak to eight and improve to 21-14 on the season.

Corey Kluber made his seventh start of the year for the Sox. The veteran right-hander allowed three earned runs on seven hits, zero walks, and one hit batsman to go along with just one strikeout over five innings of work.

The Phillies got to Kluber in the bottom of the second. Kluber plunked leadoff man Bryson Stott, who advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Alec Bohm then opened the scoring by driving in Stott on a softly-hit RBI single to center field.

In addition to falling behind early, the Red Sox also struggled to get anything going against Phillies starter Bailey Falter. The left-hander retired the first nine Boston hitters he faced and took a perfect game into the fourth inning. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, Falter’s success did not carry over the second time through the order.

Rob Refsnyder broke up the no-hit bid with a leadoff single that was immediately followed by an Alex Verdugo double. Justin Turner then drew a four-pitch walk to fill the bases for Rafael Devers, who delivered by lacing a 106.4 mph two-run double to left-center field to bring in both Refsnyder and Verdugo.

After Enrique Hernandez and Jarren Duran were retired for the first two outs of the inning, Christian Arroyo kept the rally alive with a two-run single. Reese McGuire then gave the Red Sox a 5-1 lead by plating Arroyo with a run-scoring base hit of his own that knocked Falter out of the game.

Kluber quicky recorded the first two outs in the bottom of the fourth before giving up three straight two-out singles. Edmundo Sosa plated Bohm with his base hit — which came on the 11th pitch of his at-bat — to cut the deficit to three runs at 5-2. An inning later, Kluber served up a 396-foot solo shot to Bryce Harper.

Harper’s first home run of the season made it a two-run contest, but Kluber was at least able to limit the damage by getting through the rest of the fifth unscathed. The 37-year-old finsished with 91 pitches (60 strikes) and induced nine swings-and-misses. He also earned his second winning decision of the year while lowering his ERA to 6.29.

With Kluber’s night done, the Red Sox lineup went back to work in the top of the sixth. Following a one-out double from Arroyo and two-out walk from McGuire, Refsnyder drove in both runners with a two-run double off Phillies reliever Connor Brogdon to give his side a 7-3 edge.

Out of the Boston bullpen, John Schreiber worked his way around a leadoff walk in an otherwise clean sixth inning before making way for Brennan Bernardino, who yielded a 399-foot solo homer to Trea Turner in the seventh. Bernardino ended things in the seventh and recorded the first out of the eighth. Josh Winckowski ended the inning to pave the way for Kenley Jansen in the ninth.

Jansen, closing out a game for the second night in a row, gave up a leadoff single to Sosa. The veteran closer then got Kyle Schwarber to strike out, Turner to fly out, and Harper to ground out to seal the 7-4 win and notch the 499th save of his career.

Refsnyder, Devers lead the way

In his first start since May 2, Rob Refsnyder went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs, and one run scored out of the leadoff spot on Saturday. Christian Arroyo also registered a multi-hit game while Rafael Devers led the team with three hits.

Next up: Houck gets the start as Sox go for sweep

The Red Sox will go for a three-game sweep of the Phillies on Sunday afternoon. Tanner Houck is slated to start for Boston opposite fellow right-hander Taijuan Walker for Philadelphia.

First pitch from Citizens Bank Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Alex Verdugo continues to come through in the clutch, delivers with walk-off home run as Red Sox top Blue Jays, 6-5

The Red Sox squandered another late lead in Monday’s series opener against the Blue Jays, but it was not enough to hold them down. Thanks to some more late-game heroics from Alex Verdugo, Boston defeated Toronto by a final score of 6-5 at Fenway Park to improve to 16-14 on the season.

With Jose Berrios starting for the Jays, the Sox drew first blood in their half of the first inning. Verdugo led off with a hard-hit double and immediately scored from second on another two-base hit from Masataka Yoshida. Justin Turner followed by plating Yoshida on an opposite-field RBI single to give his side a 2-0 lead right out of the gate.

It did not take long for Toronto to respond, though. As Corey Kluber made his sixth start of the season for Boston, Danny Jansen and Kevin Kiermaier drew a pair of walks to put runners at first and second with two outs in the top of the second. Bo Bichette then got his productive night at the plate started by crushing a 312-foot three-run home run over the Green Monster to put the Blue Jays up, 3-2.

While it appeared as though Kluber was about to have another rough go of it, he was able to settle in a bit after getting through the first. The veteran right-hander allowed just the three earned runs on five hits and four walks to go along with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work.

After putting up zeroes from the top of the third through the middle of the fifth, Kluber came back out for the sixth and recorded the first out of the inning before issuing a five-pitch walk to Jansen. Having already thrown a season-high 104 pitches (59 strikes) to that point in the contest, the 37-year-old was given the hook in favor of Brennan Bernardino.

Bernardino ended things in the top of the sixth by retiring the only two batters he faced. Moments later, Jarren Duran led off the bottom of the sixth by taking Berrios 434 feet to dead center for his second home run of the year. The ball left Duran’s bat at a blistering 109.1 mph and pulled Boston back even with Toronto at three runs apiece.

The stalemate did not last long, however. After Triston Casas drew a one-out walk off Berrios, Enmanuel Valdez followed by launching a go-ahead, two-run shot 427 feet into the center field bleachers for the first home run of his big-league career. Valdez’s 106 mph blast gave the Red Sox a 5-3 lead going into the seventh.

Chris Martin, making his first relief appearance since April 12 after being activated from the injured list on Sunday, took over for Bernardino and worked his way around a bases-loaded jam by getting the pinch-hitting Alejandro Kirk to ground out to himself for the final out of the inning.

Josh Winckowski came on for the eighth and got the first out by getting Jansen to ground out to Enrique Hernandez at short. Hernandez, who made a fantastic diving grab and throw from his knees in the left field grass to nab Jansen, them made two costly throwing errors.

Following a Cavan Biggio double, Hernandez fielded a grounder from Kiermaier but made a poor throw to Casas at first. Biggio scored as a result to cut Toronto’s deficit to one. Kiermaier moved up 90 feet on a Bichette single (his fifth hit of the night) to put runners at first and second for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Guerrero Jr. roped another grounder in the direction of Hernandez, who hustled over to second to get the force out but airmailed his throw to first in an attempt to finish off the double play. The ball sailed well over Casas’ head and landed in the Red Sox dugout. As a result, Kiermaier was able to score from second to tie the score at 5-5.

Winckowski, who was only charged with one of those two runs, got through the rest of the eighth unscathed and then retired the side in order in the top of the ninth. Jordan Romano took over for Nate Pearson out of the Blue Jays bullpen in the following half-inning, but he was not on the mound for long.

On the third pitch he saw from Romano to lead things off, Verdugo came through in the clutch yet again by lacing a 385-foot line-drive to right-center field that barely cleared the bullpen fence and lifted the Red Sox to a 6-5 walk-off victory.

Verdugo’s fifth home run was good for his third walk-off hit of the year and his second in Boston’s last three games. He finished the night going 2-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored. On the flip side, Winckowski was credited with the winning decision.

Next up: Kikuchi vs. Houck

Winners of three straight and now at two games over .500 for the first time this season, the Red Sox will look to take the first two games of this four-game set from the Blue Jays on Tuesday night. Right-hander Tanner Houck will get the start for Boston while left-hander Yusei Kikuchi is expected to do the same for Toronto.

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

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Jarren Duran belts grand slam, Corey Kluber delivers with strong start as Red Sox hold on for 8-6 win over Orioles

The Red Sox blew a four-run lead in a series-opening loss to the Orioles on Monday. They made sure not to repeat the same mistakes in the middle game of this three-game series on Tuesday night.

Powered by Jarren Duran’s first grand slam and Corey Kluber’s first quality start in a Red Sox uniform, Boston defeated Baltimore by a final score of 8-6 at Camden Yards to get back over .500 at 13-12 on the season.

With Kyle Bradish starting for the O’s, the Sox drew first blood in their half of the second inning. Triston Casas drew a one-out walk and went from first to third base on a Duran double. Christian Arroyo then opened the scoring by plating Casas with an opposite-field RBI single. McGuire followed with an opposite-field single of his own to push across Duran. Rafael Devers capped off the three-run frame by scoring Arroyo on a sacrifice fly.

Boston continued to add to its lead in the top of the third. Three consecutive singles from Masataka Yoshida, Enrique Hernandez, and Casas to lead off the inning filled the bases for Duran. Duran, in turn, promptly unloaded the bases by crushing a 2-2, 86.8 mph slider from Bradish 409 feet over the center field wall for his first career grand slam.

Duran’s slam, which left his bat at 107.8 mph, put the Red Sox up, 7-0, as Kluber was in the midst of a much-needed quality outing. The veteran right-hander came into the evening with an 8.50 ERA through his first four starts of the year, but he rebounded in a nice way on Tuesday.

Over six strong innings of work, Kluber allowed just one earned run on five hits and zero walks to go along with three strikeouts on the night. He tossed four scoreless innings out of the gate before serving up a two-out solo shot to Jorge Mateo in the bottom of the fifth.

After giving up that homer to Mateo, though, Kluber retired four of the final five batters he faced through the middle of the sixth. The 37-year-old finished with 80 pitches (55 strikes) and induced five swings-and-misses on his way to lowering his ERA to 6.75 and picking up his first winning decision of 2023.

Following a scoreless seventh inning from Josh Winckowski, the Red Sox got that run back when Duran scored on a McGuire groundout in the top of the eighth. A half-inning later, Winckowski put up another zero to bring Boston to within three outs of a blowout win.

Taking a commanding 8-1 lead going into the latter half of the ninth, Kaleb Ort came on and immediately gave up a leadoff home run to Gunnar Henderson. Ramon Urias and Terrin Vavra then reached on a pair of singles before Enmanuel Valdez committed a missed catch error that should have gone for the second out of the inning.

Instead, the bases were now loaded for Cedric Mullins, who made things even more interesting by depositing a 366-feet grand slam over the left field wall to cut the defecit to two runs at 8-6. That sequence of events forced Red Sox manager Alex Cora to turn to closer Kenley Jansen, who sat down the only two batters he faced to secure the win and notch the 39th save of his career.

All told, Tuesday’s victory took two hours and 44 minutes to complete. Yoshida stayed hot by going 2 for 4 with a walk and run scored. Duran, meanwhile finished a triple shy of the cycle, by going 3 for 4 with three runs and four RBIs.

Arroyo leaves with hamstring injury

Starting second baseman Christian Arroyo was removed from the game in the middle of the fifth inning due to precautionary reasons related to right hamstring tightness. He was replaced by Enmanuel Valdez, who was recalled from Triple-A Worcester earlier Tuesday afternoon and singled in his lone plate appearance.

Arroyo has been dealing with a nagging right hamstring in recent weeks, and so the Red Sox likely wanted to get the 27-year-old off his feet at a point in time where the game felt rather one-sided. He is considered day-to-day and could be back in the lineup on Wednesday.

Next up: Houck vs. Wells in rubber match

The Red Sox will go for their fourth straight series win in Wednesday’s finale against the Orioles. Tanner Houck, fresh off a career-high seven innings of work in his last time out, will get the start for Boston. Baltimore will counter with fellow righty Tyler Wells.

First pitch from Oriole Park at Camden Yards is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Corey Kluber’s struggles continue as Red Sox fall to Twins, 10-4; Enmanuel Valdez records 2 hits in debut

The Red Sox fell behind early and could not recover against the Twins on Wednesday night. Boston fell to Minnesota by a final score of 10-4 at Fenway Park to drop back to under .500 on the season at 9-10.

Corey Kluber, making his fourth start of the year for the Sox, was unable to reverse his early-season struggles. Instead, the veteran right-hander got shelled for seven runs (all earned) on six hits, two walks, and two hit batsman to go along with four strikeouts over five innings of work.

The Twins got to Kluber right away in the top of the first. After Max Kepler drew a leadoff walk and Byron Buxton ripped a one-out double, Trevor Larnach drove in the first run of the game by plating Kepler on an RBI groundout. Moments later, Edouard Julien gave Minnesota a 3-0 lead out of the gate by clubbing a 418-foot two-run home run into the right field bleachers.

Kluber managed to get through a scoreless second inning but ran into more trouble in the third. After walking Larnach and plunking Julien to put runners at first and second with one out, the righty gave up an RBI single to Jose Miranda. Joey Gallo followed by unloading on a hanging, 2-2 curveball and sending it 417 feet to deep right field.

Gallo’s three-run blast put the Twins up, 7-0, heading into the bottom of the third. The Red Sox then got one of those runs back when Raimel Tapia scored Triston Casas from third base on an RBI groundout off opposing starter Joe Ryan.

Kluber, for his part, retired the side in order in the fourth and stranded two runners in a scoreless fifth inning. Still, it was a discouraging outing for the 36-year-old, who finished with 103 pitches (65 strikes) and is now 0-4 with an ERA of 8.50 to begin his tenure in Boston.

With Kluber’s day over, the Red Sox lineup struck again in the latter half of the fifth. Jarren Duran led off with a hustle double, moved up to third on an Enmanuel Valdez single, and then scored his side’s second run as Alex Verdugo grounded into a 3-6-1 double play.

Trailing 7-2 going into the sixth, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Brasier sandwiched a Max Kepler double in between the first two outs of the inning before issuing a six-pitch walk to Buxton. He then served up a 423-foot three-run home run to Larnach that gave the Twins a commanding 10-2 advantage.

Enrique Hernandez took Ryan 371 feet over the Green Monster with two outs in the bottom sixth for his third home run of the season and the 100th of his career. After Richard Bleier and Kaleb Ort combined for three scoreless innings of relief, the Red Sox made things somewhat interesting in the ninth.

Hernandez, Reese McGuire, and Casas all reached to fill the bases with no outs. Duran then plated Hernandez from third with a sacrifice fly to make it a 10-4 game. But Twins reliever Brent Headrick got Valdez to line out and Verdugo to fly out to kill any chances of a comeback.

All told, the Red Sox went just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base as a team in Wednesday’s 10-4 loss, which took two hours and 37 minutes to complete.

Valdez has two hits, fielding error in debut

Second baseman Enmanuel Valdez made his major-league debut on Wednesday night after getting called up from Triple-A Worcester earlier in the afternoon. The 24-year-old began his day by singling to the opposite field in each of his first two plate appearances. He then struck out swinging in the seventh and lined out in the ninth to finish 2-for-4 with two left on base.

Defensively, Valdez committed the game’s only error. With two outs and one runner on in the top of the fifth, Valdez could not come up with a 201-foot flyball off the bat of Joey Gallo that landed between him and Alex Verdugo in the right field glass. He was charged with a fielding error as a result.

Hernandez’s 100th career home run

By taking Joe Ryan deep into the Monster seats in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s loss, Enrique Hernandez notched the 100th home run of his big-league career. The solo shot left his bat at 101.4 mph and travelled 371 feet at a launch angle of 30 degrees.

Next up: Maeda vs. Houck to close out homestand

The Red Sox will once again look to secure a series victory over the Twins on Thursday afternoon before embarking on a two-city, six-game road trip. Tanner Houck is slated to start for Boston opposite fellow right-hander Kenta Maeda.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Corey Kluber: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox overpowered, swept by Rays as 7-run inning leads to 9-3 loss

Despite all the struggles they endured this week, the Red Sox had a chance to secure a winning road trip with a victory over the Rays on Thursday. Boston instead fell to Tampa Bay by a final score of 9-3 and were swept in four games as a result.

With the loss, their 13th straight at Tropicana Field, the Red Sox drop to 5-8 on the season. The unbeaten Rays, meanwhile, improve to a perfect 13-0, matching the 1982 Braves and 1987 Brewers for the best start to a season in major-league history.

Thursday’s series finale actually started in positive fashion for Boston. With old friend Jeffrey Springs starting for Tampa Bay, Rob Refsnyder gave the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead in the first inning by taking the lefty 409 feet deep to left field for his first home run of the year.

The Rays quickly responded, though, as Yandy Diaz crushed a leadoff home run off Red Sox starter Corey Kluber to begin things in the bottom of the first. Kluber would settle in, however, and Boston got back on the board in the top of the fourth.

After Springs was forced to exit with ulnar neuritis, Justin Turner greeted new Rays reliever Garrett Cleavinger by ripping a leadoff double to left field. Turner stole third base and then came into score on an Enrique Hernandez force out to put the Red Sox up 2-1. An inning later, Turner struck again, this time plating Christian Arroyo on an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game heading into the bottom of the fifth.

That is where things began to unravel for Boston. Kluber, who retired each of the last nine batters he had faced, yielded a leadoff double to Harold Ramirez. After issuing a one-out walk to Josh Lowe to put runners on the corners, Kluber gave up an RBI single to Francisco Mejia to cut the lead to one run at 3-2.

With two outs, Red Sox manager Alex Cora opted to pull Kluber for left-hander Richard Bleier. Bleier, in turn, allowed the then-game-tying run to cross the plate on an RBI single from Brandon Lowe that was just out of the reach of Arroyo. Randy Arozarena then gave the Rays their first lead of the afternoon with a groundball single of his own.

After plunking Wander Franco to fill the bases, the pinch-hitting Manuel Margot laid down a perfectly-executed bunt off Bleier to push across Lowe. Ramirez then broke it open with a bases-clearing, three-run double down the left field line to cap off a seven-run fifth inning and give the Rays a commanding 8-3 edge.

Kluber was charged with three of those seven runs. All together, the veteran right-hander surrendered four earned runs on four hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings of work. He was hit with the losing decision and is now 0-3 with a 6.92 ERA through three starts.

Bleier, on the other hand, was charged with the other four runs that crossed the plate in the fifth. Kutter Crawford, who was just recalled from Triple-A Worcester, took over the lefty and served up a solo homer to Brandon Lowe in the seventh. Besides that one blemish, the righty was effective in his three frames of relief.

Offensively, the Red Sox did not have a response for the Rays bullpen after the fifth inning. They went 1-2-3 against Kevin Kelly in the sixth, stranded a runner at scoring position in a hitless seventh inning, and then went down quietly against Braden Bristo in the eighth and ninth. In total, Boston had just four hits as a team while going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Casas’ 14-pitch walk

With one out and one runner on in the fourth inning, Triston Casas fouled off seven consecutive pitches in the process of working a 14-pitch walk off Rays reliever Garrett Cleavinger. Upon taking ball four, Casas flipped his bat and let out an emphatic yell towards the Red Sox dugout.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, the last at-bat by a Red Sox hitter that lasted longer than 14 pitches came on April 25, 2012, when Adrian Gonzalez had a 15-pitch groundout against Liam Hendriks, who was then starting for the Twins.

Next up: Sandoval vs. Houck in first of four against Angels

On the heels of a 3-4 road trip, the Red Sox will head home and open a four-game weekend series against the Angels on Friday night. Right-hander Tanner Houck is slated to get the ball for Boston in the opener while left-hander Patrick Sandoval is expected to do the same for Los Angeles.

First pitch from Fenway Park on Friday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time. The game will be broadcasted exclusively on Apple TV+.

(Picture of Corey Kluber: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Red Sox get swept by Pirates after losing, 4-1, in series finale

The Red Sox were unable to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon. In sloppy fashion, Boston dropped its third straight to Pittsburgh at Fenway Park to fall to 2-4 on the season.

Corey Kluber, making his second start of the year for the Sox, was able to bounce back from a poor 2023 debut on Opening Day. Despite dealing with chilly conditions yet again, the veteran right-hander held the Pirates to just one run on three hits and one walk to go along with two strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

After working his way around a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first, Kluber settled in nicely by retiring the side in order in both the second and third innings. The lone run he surrendered came in the fourth, when Carlos Santana led off by clubbing a 340-foot solo shot down the right field line to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

Again, though, Kluber did not falter. He sat down the next six batters he faced after giving up that homer to Santana to get through five one-run frames. Despite the fact that Kluber had only thrown 67 pitches (44 strikes) to that point, Red Sox manager Alex Cora made the somewhat surprising decision to pull the 36-year-old hurler in favor of John Schreiber in the sixth. That is where things began to unravel for Boston.

Schreiber yielded two quick hits to Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen to put runners at second and third with no outs. Ke’Bryan Hayes then played Reynolds from third on a bunt single to double Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-0. An inning later, Kaleb Ort entered the game and gave up a leadoff double to Jason Delay. Delay then advanced to third when first baseman Triston Casas attempted to make a heads-up play by unsuccessfully throwing him out on a grounder off the bat of Oneil Cruz.

With one out and runners on the corners, Reynolds drove in Delay with a sacrifice fly to left field. Masataka Yoshida attempted to gun down Delay at home plate, but made an errant throw that allowed Cruz to move up to third as well. Two batters later, Santana plated Cruz with an RBI double down the right field line to make it a 4-0 contest in favor of the Pirates.

Trailing by four runs going into the latter half of the seventh, the Red Sox were finally able to get to Pirates starter Mitch Keller. After being held to just one hit through the first six innings, Casas ripped a two-out double to bring Christian Arroyo at the plate. Arroyo then pushed across Casas on an RBI single through the middle of the infield to cut the deficit to three.

Arroyo stole second base and advanced to third on a Raimel Tapia single. Cora then dipped into his bench by having Reese McGuire pinch-hit for Connor Wong. McGuire, representing the potential tying run, very nearly flipped the game on its head by lofting a deep fly ball towards the Pesky Pole in right field. The moonshot was initially called a three-run home run, but was later ruled foul following a video review. McGuire then went down looking at a 96 mph fastball from Keller, who extinguished the threat with his 107th and final pitch.

Richard Bleier and Zack Kelly combined for two scoreless innings of relief heading into the bottom of the ninth. Justin Turner led off with a single, but that was immediately snuffed out when Yoshida grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Casas then popped out on the first pitch he saw from Duane Underwood Jr. to end it.

All told, the Red Sox were held to just five hits in Wednesday’s loss, which took all of two hours and 32 minutes to complete. They also allowed two more stolen bases by way of a double steal in the ninth inning, meaning teams are now 14-for-14 on steal attempts against them through six games.

Next up: Sale starts first road game in Detroit

On the heels of a 2-4 homestand to begin the season, the Red Sox will now embark on a two-city, seven-game road trip that includes stops in Detroit and Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox will open a three-game series against the Tigers on Thursday afternoon. Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston opposite right-hander Spencer Turnbull in Detroit’s home opener.

First pitch from Comerica Park is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network. The two sides are then off on Friday and will resume the series on Saturday.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox rally late, but come up short in 10-9 loss to Orioles on Opening Day

The Red Sox mounted a late rally, but it was not enough to get past the Orioles on Thursday afternoon. Boston fell to Baltimore by a final score of 10-9 on Opening Day at Fenway Park.

Corey Kluber’s first start of the season did not go as planned. Making his Red Sox debut, the veteran right-hander surrendered five earned runs on six hits and four walks to go along with four strikeouts over just 3 1/3 innings of work.

The Orioles got to Kluber right away in their half of the first. After striking out leadoff man Cedric Mullins, Kluber served up a 402-foot solo shot to Adley Rutschman to give Baltimore an early 1-0 lead. He walked two batters in the inning as well, but escaped without giving anything else up.

Despite falling behind right out of the gate, the Red Sox regrouped rather quickly in the latter half of the first. With Kyle Gibson starting for the Orioles, Alex Verdugo led things off by lacing a 369-foot triple off the Green Monster. He scored the then-tying run moments later on an RBI groundout off the bat of Rafael Devers.

It then appeared as though Kluber was about to settle in, as he retired the side in order in the second and worked his way around two hits in the third. But the righty ran into more trouble in the fourth by first issuing a leadoff walk to Gunnar Henderson. Two pitches later, Kluber gave up a towering two-run home run to Ramon Urias that put Baltimore up, 3-1.

Kluber allowed three of the next four batters he faced to reach base. At that point, he was given the hook in favor of rookie Zack Kelly. Kelly, inheriting a bases-loaded jam, allowed two of the three runners he inherited to score on a wild pitch and bases-loaded walk of Ryan Mountcastle, thus closing the book on Kluber’s outing.

The 36-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 80 (48 strikes). He averaged 87.7 mph with his sinker — his most frequently-used pitch — and induced six swings-and-misses in total. The four walks are the most he has given up in a single start since last Opening Day, when he was a member of the Rays.

After watching the Orioles put up a four-spot in the top half of the fourth, Devers led off the bottom half with a hard-hit ground-rule double to right field. He moved up to third on a Justin Turner groundout and remained there after Masataka Yoshida was hit by a pitch. With one out and runners on the corners, Adam Duvall laced a blistering 108.6 mph single off Gibson that allowed Devers to score from third, making it a 5-2 game. Triston Casas followed by drawing a four-pitch walk to load the bases for Christian Arroyo. Arroyo, however, grounded into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play to extinguish the threat.

Ryan Brasier took over for Kelly in the fifth and recorded the first two outs of the frame by inducing a twin killing of his own. He then issued a seven-pitch walk to Adam Frazier, who promptly stole second base and scored from there on a Jorge Mateo single. Mateo swiped second and took third while Mullins was in the process of drawing a walk. After Mullins stole second to put a pair of runners in scoring position, Rutschman came through with a two-run single to left field that gave the Orioles a commanding 8-2 lead.

The Red Sox managed to cut into that deficit in the sixth. Devers and Turner hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning and knock Gibson out of the game. Yoshida then greeted new O’s reliever Keegan Akin by driving in Devers on a single through the right side of the infield for both his first hit and RBI as a major-leaguer. Turner, who went from first to third on the play, scored the second run of the inning on an RBI groundout from Casas.

Kaleb Ort, who put up a zero in the top of the sixth, came back out for the seventh. This time around, however, Ort gave up a leadoff double to Frazier, who quickly moved up to third on a successful sacrifice bunt laid down by Mateo. Mullins then plated Frazier with an RBI single before Rutschman followed suit with a run-scoring hit of his own.

Rutschman’s single was hit to Yoshida in left field. Yoshida made a quick throw towards home in an attempt to gun down Mullins at the plate. But Devers, the third baseman, elected to cut the throw off in order to snuff out Rutschman — who was trying to extend his single into a double — at second. Although Devers did get Rutschman out, the Orioles still increased their lead to six runs at 10-4.

Josh Winckowski kept the deficit at six runs in the top of the eighth by maneuvering his way around a leadoff double and Enrique Hernandez throwing error, paving the way for the Boston lineup to have its most productive inning of the afternoon.

With Bryan Baker on the mound for Baltimore, three straight hitters (Turner, Yoshida, and Duvall) all reached base after Devers struck out on a pitch clock violation for the first out. Casas then drove in Turner with a sacrifice fly before Arroyo ripped a two-run double over the head of left fielder Anthony Santander.

That sequence of events cut the Orioles’ lead down to three runs at 10-7. And it remained that way after Chris Martin tossed a scoreless ninth inning. Down to their final three outs now, the pinch-hitting Raimel Tapia drew a leadoff walk off Baltimore closer Felix Bautista. A hard-hit single from Verdugo that was accompanied by a fielding error put runners at second and third with no outs.

Devers struck out for the second time, but Turner delivered with an infield single that scored Tapia from third. It then appeared as though Yoshida was about to ground into a game-ending double play, but a poor throw to first allowed Yoshida to reach base safely while Verdugo crossed the plate for Boston’s ninth run.

Yoshida was able to advance to second as well, which put the tying run in scoring position for Duvall. Duvall, however, went down swinging on three straight strikes to end it there.

With Thursday’s loss, Red Sox manager Alex Cora falls to 0-5 all-time on Opening Day. The nine walks issued by Boston pitchers tied an Opening Day franchise record. It also happened in 1926 against the Orioles and in 1966 against the Yankees.

Yoshida’s MLB debut

After signing a five-year, $90 million contract with the Red Sox in December, Masataka Yoshida made his highly-anticipated big-league debut on Thursday. The 29-year-old out of Japan went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored out of the cleanup spot. He was also credited with an outfield assist when Adley Rutschman was thrown out at second base in the seventh inning.

Casas’ first Opening Day start

Triston Casas became the youngest first baseman to start on Opening Day for the Red Sox since George Scott in 1967. The left-handed hitting 23-year-old went 0-for-2 with a walk, a strikeout, and two RBIs.

Next up: First Sale Day of the season

At 0-1, the Red Sox will have Friday off before returning to action against the Orioles on Saturday. In the middle game of this three-game series, left-hander Chris Sale is slated to take the mound for Boston while right-hander Dean Kremer is expected to do the same for Baltimore.

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

(Picture of Corey Kluber: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Corey Kluber tosses 4 innings in final tune-up before Opening Day as Red Sox fall to Rays, 4-2

The Red Sox were held to just four hits in a loss to the Rays on Saturday afternoon. Boston fell to Tampa Bay by a final score of 4-2 at Tropicana Field to drop to 14-11-4 in Grapefruit League play.

More important than the offensive numbers was Corey Kluber making his final start of the spring for the Sox. The veteran right-hander allowed three earned runs on four hits and two walks to go along with one strikeout over four innings of work.

The Rays got to Kluber right away in the top of the first, with Tristan Gray belting a one-out solo shot 379 feet down the right field line to give Tampa Bay an early 1-0 lead.

Three innings later, the Red Sox responded with a big fly of their own. After Ceddanne Rafaela led off the top of the fourth with an infield single, Enmanuel Valdez followed by crushing a 396-foot two-run home run to right field off Rays starter Yonny Chirinos. Valdez’s second homer of the spring had an exit velocity of 101.1 mph and put Boston up, 2-1.

Kluber had settled down to that point but ran into more trouble in the latter half of the fourth. There, he allowed two of the first four batters he faced to reach base, which put runners at second and third with two outs for Taylor Walls. Walls, in turn, came through with a two-run double that landed in front of right fielder Wilyer Abreu and scored both Harold Ramirez and Christian Bethancourt.

With the Rays retaking the lead at 3-2, Kluber stranded Walls at second base by getting the final batter he would face in Jose Siri to line out to left field. All told, the 36-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 62 (38 strikes). He induced nine total swings-and-misses and averaged 85.6 mph with his cutter (his most-frequently used pitch), per Baseball Savant.

Kluber finishes the spring having posted a 3.24 ERA with 15 strikeouts to seven walks over five starts (16 2/3 innings). The two-time Cy Young Award winner will next take the mound when the Red Sox host the Orioles on Opening Day (March 30) at Fenway Park.

In relief of Kluber, Zack Kelly received the first call out of the Boston bullpen in the middle of the fifth. The righty fanned a pair over two scoreless frames before making way for Durbin Feltman, who issued a leadoff walk to Siri to begin things in the seventh.

The quick-footed Siri put his speed on full display by stealing second base and moving up to third on a wild pitch while Feltman was busy recording the first two outs of the inning. With runners on the corners and the pinch-hitting Daniel Robertson at the plate, Feltman was caught napping as Siri took off for home and scored rather easily thanks to a poor throw back to the plate.

Siri’s successful steal of home extended the Rays’ lead to two runs at 4-2. After Feltman worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning, the Red Sox were suddenly down to their final three outs. With Pete Fairbanks on the mound for Tampa Bay, Stephen Scott, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Narciso Crook all went down quietly to end it.

Other worthwhile observations:

Top prospect Marcelo Mayer replaced David Hamilton at shortstop in the sixth inning. The 20-year-old made his only trip to the plate in the eighth and ripped a single off old friend Heath Hembree before stealing his first base of the spring.

Niko Kavadas, another prospect who made the trip to St. Petersburg, accounted for Boston’s only double in the top of the fifth inning. Enmanuel Valdez was the only other member of the starting lineup to register an extra-base hit in Saturday’s contest, which took all of two hours and six minutes to complete.

Next up: Chairman’s Cup finale

The Red Sox will wrap up the final weekend of the Grapefruit League campaign by hosting the Twins in Fort Myers on Sunday afternoon. Since the two sides split the first four games of the series, Sunday’s bout will determine who takes home the 2023 Chairman’s Cup.

Boston will be sending left-hander Chris Sale to the hill while Minnesota will roll with right-hander Sonny Gray. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Corey Kluber: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)