Steve Pearce Belts Two Homers, Heath Hembree and Durbin Feltman Make Spring Debuts as #RedSox Halt Losing Streak in 4-4 Draw with Tigers

The Red Sox improved(?) to 6-12-1 in Grapefruit League play on Thursday following a 4-4 draw on the road against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland. The tie officially puts an end to Boston’s seven-game losing streak.

Making his fourth start of the spring in this one was Eduardo Rodriguez.

Working the first five innings, the left-hander surrendered three earned runs on three hits and two walks to go along with eight strikeouts, doubling his spring total in one outing.

All three of those Tigers runs came around to score in the bottom half of the second, highlighted by a pair of run-scoring doubles from Jeimer Candelario and Grayson Greiner off of Rodriguez.

Other than that, the 25-year-old hurler was nearly perfect as he retired nine of the final 10 hitters he faced, which also included a three-strikeout third inning.

In total, Rodriguez faced 20 hitters. Through four starts this spring, the Venezuela native owns a 4.15 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over 13 total innings pitched.

From the top of the sixth inning on, Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Domingo Tapia, and Durbin Feltman combined to toss four frames of one-run ball on two hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts.

For Hembree, Thursday’s action marked his first appearance of the spring. The right-hander fanned the only three hitters he faced in a scoreless seventh inning.

Feltman, meanwhile, also made his 2019 debut in this one. According to MLB Pipeline, he is ranked as the 12th-best prospect in Boston’s farm system

A 2018 third round selection out of Texas Christian, the 21-year-old struck out the first two hitters he faced, walked Gordon Beckham to put the potential go-ahead run on base, then proceeded to pick off Beckham to retire the side in the ninth and thus end the game. Not bad for your first ever Grapefruit League action.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd, who figures to be a significant member of Detroit’s rotation in 2019.

Starting the scoring in the fourth, Steve Pearce got his team on the board by mashing his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot off Boyd to pull Boston to within one run.

After CJ Chatham drove in the then-tying run with an RBI single in the fifth, Pearce was at it again an inning later, as the 2018 World Series MVP took Tigers reliever Victor Alcantara yard for his second long ball of the afternoon.

That made it a 4-3 ballgame at that point in the sixth, which would be all the scoring the Red Sox could muster in what would end up being a 4-4 stalemate.

Some notes from this draw:

Rafael Devers went 2/3 with a run scored on Thursday. In 29 Grapefruit League at-bats, the corner infielder is slashing .448/.448/.690 with one home run and four runs driven in.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Feltman’s fastball was hovering around 94-95 MPH while his slider was sitting at 83 MPH with a “vertical break.”

Speier also noted that free agent closer Craig Kimbrel’s agent David Meter was on hand at Joker Marchant Stadium on Thursday and “briefly crossed” paths with Dave Dombrowksi. Something to monitor there, perhaps.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll head to Tampa to take on the New York Yankees on Friday.

Right-hander Hector Velazquez is slated to start for Boston, while fellow righty Domingo German will do the same for New York.

First pitch at George M. Steinbrenner Field is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT. Boston 25 is the way to go if you will be watching within the Boston market, while NESN will have it covered if you will be watching outside said market.

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David Price Fans Four in Spring Debut as #RedSox Drop Sixth Straight

After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox fell to 6-11 in Grapefruit League play on Tuesday following a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers at JetBlue Park, marking their sixth straight defeat.

Like Rick Porcello did on Sunday, 2018 postseason hero David Price made his 2019 debut in this one, getting the start against one of his former teams.

Working the first three innings, the left-hander surrendered two runs on a pair of hits and walks to go along with four strikeouts in his first in-game action of the spring.

Both of those Detroit runs came in the top of the third, when with two outs and a runner on first, ex-Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer blasted his second home run of the spring to give his new club a two-run advantage.

Other than that one blunder, it was relatively smooth sailing for Price, as he faced three over the minimum nine hitters.

In relief of Price, Matt Barnes, Bobby Poyner, Darwinzon Hernandez, Marcus Walden, Erasmo Ramirez, and Jenrry Mejia combined to give up an additional two runs on three hits, six walks, one HBP, and six strikeouts over the final six frames.

Barnes, who looks poised to be Boston’s closer to start out the 2019 campaign, bounced back from a rough spring debut Saturday and escaped a fourth inning bases loaded jam while holding Detroit scoreless on Tuesday.

Hernandez, meanwhile, had his scoreless appearances streak come to an end in this one, as he allowed Daz Cameron to score on a Kody Eaves two out RBI double in the sixth.

Finally, to close things out, Mejia sat down all but one of the four Detroit hitters he faced in a shutout ninth inning to keep Boston’s deficit at three.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup, which featured the likes of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland, Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Christian Vazquez was held in check yet again.

Matched up against Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris to start things off, Boston was limited to just three runs on the day, which is actually the most they have scored in a game since last Tuesday.

In fact, all three of those runs were plated in the Red Sox’ half of the ninth.

CJ Chatham got the late rally started by drawing a leadoff walk against Tigers reliever Kyle Funkhouser, who then proceeded to hit Sam Travis with a pitch to put runners on first and second.

Mike Miller followed that up by driving in Chatham on an RBI single up the middle, which in turn led to a Detroit pitching change.

With Jose Manuel Fernandez now on the mound for Detroit and one out in the inning, Blake Swihart pulled his club one run closer by lacing an RBI double left to score Travis and advance Miller to third, who would then come around to plate the third run of the frame on a Gorkys Hernandez RBI groundout.

Unfortunately, a Bryce Brentz strikeout would put an end to any potential comeback effort, and 4-3 would be your final score on Tuesday in favor of Detroit.

Some notes from this loss:

When asked about Price’s outing, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, “David looked excellent. Velocity. Command. Presence on the mound.”

When asked about it himself, Price responded with a bit of self-criticism.

“To be honest, that homer is not what bothers me the most,” the southpaw said following his start. “It’s the two two-out walks that I had. Gave up that homer and then went 2-0 on the next hitter and then was able to bounce back and throw quality strikes and get that third out. First time back out there in however many months, I’m okay with it.”

On the field, Dustin Pedroia went 1/2 with a single in his second game back, while Blake Swihart accounted for Boston’s lone extra-base hit on Tuesday with that ninth inning RBI two-bagger.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll host the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park on Wednesday in the fifth installment of the 2019 Chairman’s Cup.

Right-hander Jose Berrios will be getting the ball for Minnesota, while fellow righty Nathan Eovaldi will be making his 2019 debut as well as his first ever Grapefruit League start for Boston.

Looking to put an end to this six-game skid, first pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 1:05 ET at JetBlue. This game will not be televised.

 

RECAP: Another Stellar Outing from Chris Sale Leads #RedSox to 70th Win.

Originally scheduled for 1:10 PM ET, the Sunday series finale between the Red Sox and Tigers did not get underway until about 2:45 in the afternoon. Luckily for us, Chris Sale still put on a show against an opponent he is seen plenty of times over his nine-year career.

In his 21st start of the season on Sunday, Sale, as he has done so often recently, dominated.

Tossing six full innings, the lefty held Detroit scoreless while scattering two hits, hitting one batter, and punching out nine, which is actually his lowest strikeout total since June 13th. Regardless, he still tossed a gem and was rarely put in any stressful situations.

Finishing with 99 pitches (73 strikes), Sale retired the first eight batters he faced in order. It was not until, with two outs in the third, Tigers left fielder Victor Reyes lined a single to left field for his teams first hit of the day.

The only other hit Detroit could come across with the Florida native on the mound came an inning later, when with one out, Nick Castellanos ripped a double to right center field, nearly got tagged out by Xander Bogaerts while heading to second base, but made it just in time to put a runner in scoring position.

Thankfully, Sale recovered by retiring the next two hitters he faced to strand the runner at second, although he did need 17 pitches to do so.

Out of those aforementioned 99 pitches, Sale relied on his four-seam fastball/slider combination approximately 85% of the time in the six innings he appeared in, which resulted in 17 total swinging strikes. The fastest Sale’s four-seamer was clocked in at was 98.6 MPH on his 58th pitch of the game.

Improving to 11-4 on the season now, Sale will look to build on yet another successful outing and win in his next time out, which should come against the Minnesota Twins back at home on Friday.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen had a comfortable nine run lead to work with going into the bottom half of the seventh inning.

Making his first appearance since the All-Star break, Brandon Workman ended the shutout by serving up a solo homer to Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario in the lone frame he appeared in.

Joe Kelly got the call for the eighth inning with the chance to get some of his confidence back. Despite loading the bases, the Tigers failed to score a run off the hard throwing righty, as Jackie Bradley Jr. ran down a deep fly ball off the bat of Candelario for the third and final out to retire the side. Not the prettiest outing from Kelly, as he only threw strikes 48% of the time, but a scoreless one nonetheless.

The bottom half of the ninth was a completely different story for the Red Sox. With Tyler Thornburg pitching less than 24 hours after getting shelled, the righty reliever needed just seven pitches, all of which were strikes, to retire the only three batters he faced to close out the 9-0 win. They mentioned on the broadcast that Thornburg had said he is feeling more and more like himself on the mound, and what he did today certainly helped that cause.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against the second lefty they had seen in three days. Blaine Hardy, 31, has seen time as both a starter and a reliever with the Tigers this season, and had already made a start against Boston back on June 6th, a start in which he gave up five runs in six innings pitched.

That would not be the case on Sunday though, as the Tigers starter only pitched into the fourth inning before getting that hook.

Over those 3+ frames, the Red Sox tacked on their first two runs of the day on back-to-back RBI groundouts from Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez in the second.

Two innings later, leadoff hits from Steve Pearce and Xander Bogaerts, followed by Rafael Devers reaching first on a fielder’s choice meant that the bases were loaded for Eduardo Nunez.

After Hardy was replaced by Tigers reliever Drew VerHagen, Nunez grounded an RBI single that scored Steve Pearce from third. As the ball deflected off the third baseman’s glove however, some confusion was created and Rafael Devers ended up getting tagged out in between second and third.

With one out in the fourth now and runners on the corners, Jackie Bradley Jr. came through with his second hit of the day, a 390 foot three-run opposite field blast hit to left field for his seventh of the season. 6-0 game.

Fast forward to the seventh, and Andrew Benintendi picked up his only hit of the day on a one out, two RBI triple off of Tigers pitcher Daniel Stumpf to score both Sandy Leon and Mookie Betts to make it a 8-0 game.

One pitching change later, JD Martinez drove in Benintendi from third in the process of picking up his 81st RBI of the season on a sac fly to right field. Ninth and final run on the board, and that turned out to be more than enough for the Red Sox to pick up their league leading 70th win of the year.

Some notes from this win:

Over his last five starts, Chris Sale is 5-0 with a 0.23 ERA and 0.55 WHIP in 40 innings pitched. Also important to note:

In 13 games with the Red Sox, Steve Pearce owns an OPS of 1.099.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is slashing .265/.327/.469 with one home run and 12 RBI in 14 games this month.

Improving to 26-6 in series finales on the season, the Red Sox will head to Baltimore to wrap up this quick six-game road trip. Going up against a dismal 28-72 Orioles team, Rick Porcello will get the start for the series opener on Monday.

He’ll be matched up against fellow righty Kevin Gausman for Baltimore, who surrendered six runs on eight hits in his only other start against Boston this season back on May 17th.

First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET on Monday.

RECAP: Jose Iglesias Goes off Against His Former Team as #RedSox Get Shut out in 5-0 Loss to Tigers.

Less than 24 hours after their first win of the second “half” of the season in Detroit on Friday night, the Red Sox were back at it against the Tigers at an early 6:00 PM start time yesterday.

Making his fifth start of the season and second career start against Detroit, Brian Johnson continued to prove he is more than capable of filling in the rotation with yet another solid outing on Tuesday evening.

In his longest appearance since being activated from the disabled list on July 15th, the lefty surrendered just two runs, both unearned, on five hits in five innings pitched.

Over that span, Johnson did not walk a single batter while tying his season-high in strikeouts with five on the night.

The only real mistake Johnson made came in the bottom half of the second inning, when with runners on first and second, old friend Jose Iglesias ripped a two-run double down the left field line to put his team on the board, which is all they would need to pick up the eventual win.

Other than that though, it certainly could have been worse for Johnson, but with the help of Mookie Betts making this catch to rob Leonys Martin of a home run in the third…

…the Florida native managed to hold the Tigers scoreless over the last three innings he pitched while retiring nine of the last 12 batters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 77 (53 strikes), Johnson went to his four-seam fastball 35 times and topped out at 91 MPH with it in the fourth inning. It has yet to be announced by the team yet, but I would expect the 27 year-old hurler to make his next start against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday back at Fenway Park.

In relief of Johnson, Tyler Thornburg got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen to begin the bottom half of the sixth inning, and he was not at the top of the game.

Walking the leadoff hitter is never a good sign, but that’s exactly what Thornburg did to kick off his lone frame of work. After a Victor Martinez single put runners on first and third with still no outs, Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario tacked on an insurance run for his team with a sac fly to left field, making it a 3-0 game now.

Two batters later, old friend Jose Iglesias struck again, as he essentially put this game out of reach by blasting a two-run homer, his third of the season, into the Tigers bullpen to put his team up by five runs. All of this coming off of Thornburg, who now owns a 10.38 ERA in five appearances with the Red Sox.

From that point on, Ryan Brasier and Hector Velazquez combined to toss two scoreless innings to wrap this thing up and at least give the Red Sox some sort of chance in the ninth, although that did not come to fruition.

On the other side of things, following a one run effort against the Tigers on Friday, the Red Sox lineup was held completely scoreless in nine tries last night.

Facing off against veteran starter Mike Fiers for Detroit, Boston did collect their fair share of hits and walks, but could not capitalize on any scoring opportunity.

With JD Martinez out of the lineup on Saturday, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi were responsible for half of the teams eight hits.

As I mentioned, the scoring chances were there for the Red Sox, like how two runners reached base each inning from the fifth until the seventh, but a las, nothing came of it.

Scattering seven hits and three free passes over 6.1 innings pitched, Fiers was definitely far from the toughest opponent the Red Sox have faced this season, yet they could not plate a single run off of him or the Tigers bullpen in a frustrating effort.

Some notes from this one:

Rafael Devers made his return from the 10-day disabled list and batted sixth last night. He went 1/4 with two strikeouts to go along with an E5 on a throwing error in the second inning.

100 games into the season, the Red Sox still have a nice 69-31 record, meaning they have won exactly 69% of their games thus far in 2018.

In five outings as a starter, Brian Johnson owns a 2.22 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched. The Red Sox are 4-1 when he starts.

With a 1/3 night at the plate, Blake Swihart extended his hitting streak to six games. In those six games, he’s slashing .438/.471/.563 with one RBI.

The Red Sox have scored one run in 18 innings since returning from the break, not great.

Looking for win number 70 this afternoon, it will be Chris Sale making his first start since he tossed a scoreless inning for the American League in this year’s All-Star Game. With a career 3.05 ERA against the Tigers, the lefty will be matched up against fellow southpaw Blaine Hardy for Detroit, who has surrendered six runs in 7.2 career innings pitched against the Red Sox.

JD Martinez is back in the lineup, DHing, and batting third today while Mitch Moreland sits in favor of Steve Pearce at first base. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 1:10 PM ET as the Red Sox go for their fifth straight series win.

 

RECAP: David Price Has Nice Start in Return from All-Star Break as #RedSox Win 69th Game of Season.

After enjoying a brief four days off while All-Star festivities were taking place in Washington D.C., the Red Sox were back at it on Friday night to take on a below average Tigers team in Detroit, Michigan.

As a unit, Boston was essentially firing on all units heading into the break, as they entered last night winners of six of their last seven games, so it was going to be interesting to see how they would respond after nearly a week of no baseball.

Making his 20th start of the season and coming off an outing in which he held the Toronto Blue Jays to three runs in nearly seven innings back on July 12th, David Price was once again matched up against a former team of his on Friday.

For Price, it really was a tale of two halves in this start. Through the first three innings, the lefty was perfect. Nine up, nine down, with the ninth out coming on this fantastic catch from JD Martinez in right field.

Couldn’t ask for much better there, but things got shaky for Price when the Tigers lineup got their second look at him starting in the fourth.

Back-to-back leadoff singles from Tigers infielders Niko Goodrum and Jeimer Candelario followed by an infield single off the bat of Nick Castellanos that deflected off of Price’s glove put the Tennessee native in his first jam of the night.

With the bases loaded for Detroit, Price managed to get out of the stressful situation by retiring the next three batters he faced, but it came at a cost.

Yes, as Andrew Benintendi caught a fly ball off the bat of John Hicks for the first out of the frame, an awry throw back into the infield to prevent the runner on third from tagging up created some confusion.

While it appeared Candelario was caught in a rundown between second and third, Brock Holt ended up being the recipient of a cleat to the right knee, as Candelario got him with his spike as he was sliding back into second with Holt covering the bag.

Replaced by Tzu-Wei Lin, Holt was later diagnosed with a right knee contusion, so it does not look like the Red Sox utility man will miss any significant time.

Anyway, Price somehow managed to escape that inning without getting seriously roughed up by a team that struggles to score runs, and went on to retire seven of the last 10 batters he faced.

After getting the first out of the seventh and hitting Leonys Martin with a pitch, the 32 year-old hurler was replaced in favor of Heath Hembree.

Finishing with 96 pitches (65 strikes) on the night, Price relied on his cutter the most, as he went to it approximately 32% of the time on Friday while also topping out at 94.4 MPH with it in the fifth inning.

At 11-6 on the season now, Price will look to build on what was no doubt his best start of July in his next time out, which should come against the Baltimore Orioles next Wednesday.

In relief of Price, the aforementioned Heath Hembree was inserted into this game with a runner on first and one out in the bottom half of the seventh. He needed just seven pitches to strike out the only two batters he faced to send this thing to the eighth.

Seemingly taking the main set up man role from Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes got the call for the eighth inning, and like he has done so much as of late, shut the door on the opposition.

It certainly was not an easy task, as the UCONN product struck out the first two batters he faced, but could only get one actual out due to two wild pitches on both strike threes.

Despite that, Barnes escaped the inning without surrendering a run and with the help of perhaps his best curveball of the season, picked up his 20th hold.

Finally, in the ninth, after not appearing in his seventh All-Star Game this past Tuesday, Craig Kimbrel came in, allowed the tying run to reach base with one out, retired the next two batters he faced, and picked up his 31st save of the season to ensure the 1-0 win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup could not do much against a mediocre Tigers pitching staff, but luckily, they did not need to.

Facing off against lefty Matthew Boyd for Detroit, who in his only other start against Boston this season surrendered two earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched back on June 7th, the Red Sox could only manage one run on the entire night.

That lone run came in the top of the first, when with one out and runners on first and second, Steve Pearce came through with a line drive RBI double to left field, scoring Andrew Benintendi from second and making it a 1-0 game.

Other than that, the team certainly had other opportunities to tack some insurance runs on the board, like in the sixth and seventh innings, but could only strand runners in scoring position in what turned out to be a very tight win.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox have a nice 69-30 record and own a 5.5 game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East.

The Red Sox are 11-2 in David Price’s last 13 starts. Over that span, Price owns a 3.72 ERA and .239 BAA in 77.1 innings pitched.

Since joining the Red Sox on June 29th, Steve Pearce is slashing .433/.500/.700 with one home run and six RBI in 11 games played.

In his last 10 appearances, Matt Barnes has surrendered just one run in 10.1 innings pitched while holding opponents to a .419 OPS.

With game number 100 on deck, it will be a starting pitching matchup featuring Brian Johnson for the Red Sox and Mike Fiers for the Tigers. Fiers, a righty, has faced Boston three times in his career and owns a 2.76 ERA in those appearances.

Since rejoining the rotation on June 28th, Johnson has been a stable option in three starts. The lefty owns a 3.38 ERA over that stretch, and the Red Sox are undefeated in those three games.

First pitch of the middle game is scheduled for 6:10 PM ET.

RECAP: Jalen Beeks Struggles in Big League Debut as #RedSox Can’t Complete Sweep of Tigers.

On Tuesday, the Red Sox announced that pitching prospect Jalen Beeks would make his major league debut against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. Beeks, 24, has been in the Red Sox organization since he was drafted in the 12th round of the 2014 draft. In 10 starts this season with Triple A Pawtucket, Beeks owns a 2.56 in 56.1 innings pitched. He was named the organizations minor league pitcher of the year last season and there was plenty of hype going into his first start with the Red Sox last night.

With Blake Swihart catching him, the rookie out of Arkansas introduced himself by striking out the first batter he faced in JaCoby Jones on five pitches. After that, five of the next seven batters Beeks faced reached base. A Nick Castellanos single, a Miguel Cabrera walk, a Jeimer Candelario RBI double, a John Hicks two RBI single, a Leonys Martin two run home run, and all of a sudden, the Tigers were up by five runs early. Not the best way to kick off your MLB career, but Beeks did settle down a bit.

From the second to the fourth, the lefty held the Tigers to just one run on three hits and two walks. The fourth and final inning of Beeks’ night was certainly the most impressive, as he retired Castellanos, Cabrera, and Victor Martinez in order to conclude his debut.

Finishing with four strikeouts and 88 total pitches (57 strikes), the former Razorback’s fastball topped out at 93 MPH in the first inning. Not known for his velocity, command was going to be a key part of Beeks’ night, but he left a few pitches over the plate and that came back to hurt him.

Despite the early struggles, the last three innings of Beeks’ debut were certainly encouraging. He will be sent back down to Pawtucket today, but I would not be surprised if we were to see the 24-year-old hurler make a spot start again this season.

In relief of Beeks, Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez did a decent enough job of keeping the Red Sox within striking distance over the last five innings.

Johnson surrendered just one run on three hits while fanning five in four innings of work and Velazquez struck out two in a scoreless ninth.

On the other side of things, Alex Cora went with a different looking lineup against Matt Boyd and the Detroit Tigers last night. For instance, Sam Travis was starting left, JD Martinez in right, Christian Vazquez at DH, and the most shocking, Blake Swihart starting behind the plate. WOW.

As he has done so often recently, Andrew Benintendi mashed his fourth home run in five games to lead things off in the first. 402 feet, 107 MPH off the bat.

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Tigers starter Matt Boyd held the lineup in check last night. They had a golden opportunity to cut into Detroit’s lead after loading the bases with two outs in the second, but Benintendi grounded into an inning ending double play.

From that point on, Boyd surrendered one more run in the fifth on a Xander Bogaerts RBI groundout that scored Blake Swihart from third before departing with one out in the bottom of the seventh.

Against the Tigers bullpen, things did not fare much better for the Red Sox as they did against Boyd. Former Red Sox reliever Alex Wilson got out of the seventh unscathed, Joe Jiminez loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but escaped by striking out Sam Travis and Rafael Devers back to back, and Tigers closer Shane Greene wrapped things up by tossing a scoreless ninth to prevent the sweep.

Some notes from this one:

In this series against Detroit, Andrew Benintendi went 5/15 with 2 HR and 3 RBI in the leadoff spot.

JD Martinez exited this game in the eighth inning with back tightness that has been bothering him since the series in Houston. Despite that discomfort, Martinez expects to be back in the lineup later tonight.

Having taken two out of three from the Tigers, the Red Sox welcome another American League Central foe in the Chicago White Sox for a three game weekend set. At 20-40 on the season, they will be sending righty Dylan Covey (2.82 ERA in 22.1 IP) to the mound for the opener. He will be matched up against Chris Sale (3.00 ERA in 81 IP). Having given up 10 earned runs in his last two starts, Sale will have the opportunity to pick things back up again against one of the worst offensive teams in the American League.

First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

RECAP: Christian Vazquez Finishes Triple Shy of Cycle as #RedSox Pick up 7-1 Win over Tigers.

Coming off a night in which they shutout the Detroit Tigers in the series opener on Tuesday, the Red Sox carried that over by holding Detroit to just one run on seven hits last night.

Making his 12th start of the season on Wednesday, the Red Sox improved to 11-1 whenever Rodriguez takes the mound. In 5.2 innings of one run ball, the lefty scattered five hits and one walk while striking out five to pick up his seventh winning decision on the year.

There were not many high stress situations for Rodriguez in this one. Pitch count was a bit of an issue, as it has been in his previous starts, but he was still effective pitching into the sixth inning. The only run he surrendered came in the top of the second on back to back two out hits from the Tigers 7-8 hitters. Other than that, solid night for the 25-year-old hurler, just wish he could pitch deeper into games.

Heading into the sixth, Rodriguez had the chance to complete the inning. A las, with two outs in the inning and a runner at first, the native of Venezuela could not retire Leonys Martin, and that single concluded his night.

Finishing with 107 pitches, Heath Hembree took over for Rodriguez with runners on first and second and one out in the inning. Despite walking the first batter he saw in JaCoby Jones on four pitches to load the bases, Hembree recovered by retiring the only other batter he faced in Jose Iglesias on two pitches to get out of the sixth.

Speaking of bases loaded situations for the Tigers, Matt Barnes did the same thing after recording the first two outs of the seventh. The righty needed 36 pitches in total, but he was able to get out of the jam by retiring Tigers catcher James McCann on seven pitches, thus extending his scoreless inning streak to 12.

From the conclusion of the seventh inning on, the Red Sox bullpen had a much better time of things. Brandon Workman and Bobby Poyner combined to toss two scoreless innings on the way to a convincing 7-1 win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup feasted on Tigers pitching for the second straight night. They put up six runs in the opener and they put up seven on Wednesday.

Facing off against career reliever turned starter in Blaine Hardy for Detroit, the Red Sox were held scoreless in the first two innings.

Going into the bottom of third trailing by one, Rafael Devers led things off by reaching first on an infield single that easily could have been an out if not for a misplay from Miguel Cabrera. That was followed by an RBI double from Christian Vazquez and this thing was tied.

After Jackie Bradley Jr. reached first on a HBP to put runners on first and third, Andrew Benintendi drove both of them in on his 16th double of the season.

Xander Bogaerts then drove Benintendi in on an RBI double of his own and that put the Red Sox up 4-1 after three.

Fast forward to the fifth, with Hardy still on the mound for the Tigers, and Andrew Benintendi built on his great night at the plate by launching his 10th home run of the year. 5-1.

Two innings later, Christian Vazquez greeted new Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer by mashing his second home run in five days on the first pitch he saw in the at bat.

372 feet with a 95 MPH exit velo. on that solo shot that put the Red Sox up 6-1 in the seventh.

And in the ninth, making the most of his opportunities, recently called up Sam Travis knocked in his teams seventh and final run of the night on a one out RBI single. In five at bats since being recalled from Triple A Pawtucket on June 2nd, Travis has driven in three runs.

Some other notes from this win:

In his last three starts now, Eduardo Rodriguez has pitched at least into the sixth inning while giving up two or fewer runs. His ERA on the season now sits at 3.88.

Andrew Benintendi has hit three home runs this month. In April, he only hit one. Benintendi now ranks 7th in the American League with a .922 OPS.

After going 3-for-4 at the plate last night, Xander Bogaerts owns a .476 OBP in the month of June.

With two hits last night, Rafael Devers recorded his first multi-hit game since May 28th against the Blue Jays.

Christian Vazquez needed just a triple to complete the cycle last night. He is 4/10 over his last three games and owns a 1.100 OPS this month.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was hit by a pitch twice last night, once in the third and once in the eighth, with two different pitchers on the mound for the Tigers.

Having already picked up the series win, the Red Sox will look to rookie hurler Jalen Beeks for the sweep later tonight. Beeks, a lefty, will be making his Major League debut, and he will be matched up against Tigers lefty Matthew Boyd. Bobby Poyner will be optioned to Pawtucket in a corresponding roster move. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM. Should be an entertaining one. Happy Jalen Beeks Day.