Kiké Hernández, Xander Bogaerts both homer as Red Sox top Mets, 6-3, for sixth straight win

Exactly two weeks out from the American League Wild Card game, the Red Sox continued their winning ways against the Mets to kick off their final homestand of the regular season.

Although they fell behind first, Boston fought their way back for a 6-3 victory over New York at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, marking their sixth straight win.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 29th start of the season for the Sox and his very first against the Mets, was sharp early on, but later fell off in what turned out to be another relatively short outing.

Over just 4 1/3 innings of work, Rodriguez allowed two runs — both of which were earned — on five hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

The veteran left-hander took a perfect game into the third inning, as he did not give up his first hit until yielding a two-out single to New York’s No. 9 hitter, Tomas Nido, in the top half of the frame.

While it appeared as though Rodriguez was well on his way to putting together a strong performance, things took a turn for the worse in the fourth when he loaded the bases with no outs before issuing a bases-loaded, run-scoring walk to J.D. Davis to give the Mets their first lead of the night at 1-0.

Michael Conforto followed by grounding another RBI single through the left side of the infield that scored Javier Baez and very well could have pushed across another had Enrique Hernandez not gunned down Pete Alonso at home plate from center field.

Hernandez’s seventh outfield assist of the season proved to halt the Mets’ momentum, as Rodriguez escaped the jam by recording the final two outs of the fourth in consecutive order.

At that point, the Red Sox lineup had struggled to get anything going against Rodriguez’s counterpart in Mets starter Marcus Stroman despite having their fair share of opportunities — particularly in the third inning.

There, with no outs and the bases full, Xander Bogaerts grounded into what was at the time a back-breaking 5-2-3 double play, which was followed by an inning-ending flyout off the bat of Rafael Devers.

Compounded with New York jumping out to a 2-0 lead in their half of the fourth, things were looking rather dire for the Boston bats, but they were able to bounce back in a tremendous way beginning in the bottom of that particular frame.

With two outs in the inning, Bobby Dalbec stayed hot by ripping a 104.5 mph line-drive double off the center field wall. Christian Vazquez followed by lacing another liner, though this one flew over the outstretched glove of a back-pedaling Kevin Pillar, took a bounce off the Green Monster, and brought in Dalbec to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, came back out for the fifth, though he gave up back-to-back hits to Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor that put runners at second and third with only one out.

That led to Red Sox manager Alex Cora giving Rodriguez the hook at that moment, as the 28-year-old ended his day having thrown 92 pitches (55 strikes).

In relief of Rodriguez, Cora first turned to the recently-recalled Ryan Brasier, who inherited a bit of a mess but got out of it by fanning Baez on three straight strikes before getting the dangerous Alonso to ground out to short.

With their lineup flipping over for a third time beginning in the middle of the fifth, the Sox continued to pound Stroman, as Hernandez clubbed a game-tying, 379-foot solo shot over the Green Monster (his 18th home run of the season, Kyle Schwarber drilled a hard-hit double to the left-center field gap, and Bogaerts capped it off with an act of redemption — mashing a 426-foot, two-run moonshot to left field.

Bogaerts’ 23rd homer of the year put the Sox up 4-2, but the star shortstop was not done there, as he — with the bases full and two outs in the sixth — plated two more on a 107 mph two-run double off Brad Hand to make it a 6-2 game in favor of Boston.

From there, after Brasier and left-hander Austin Davis combined to work a scoreless sixth inning, fellow trade deadline acquisition Hansel Robles took over and did the very same in the seventh.

Garrett Richards, on the other hand, served up a towering solo homer to Alonso in an otherwise clean eighth inning. He also got the first out of the ninth before Darwinzon Hernandez slammed the door on the Mets to preserve the 6-3 victory for the Sox, though the lefty did not pick up the save.

With the win, not only do the Red Sox extend their winning streak to six consecutive games, but they also improve to 87-65 on the season by doing so. The Blue Jays and Yankees also won on Tuesday, so the Sox maintain their 1 1/2 game lead over Toronto for the top Wild Card spot in the American League.

Next up: Sale vs. Walker

The Red Sox will hand the ball to ace left-hander Chris Sale as they go for the quick two-game sweep over the Mets on Wednesday night. Sale will be working on regular rest in just his second start back from the COVID-19 related injured list.

The Mets, in turn, will counter with right-hander and 2021 All-Star Taijuan Walker as they look to prevent the sweep from happening.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Kyle Schwarber, Hunter Renfroe commit 2 costly errors as Red Sox fall to Mariners, 5-4

If the Red Sox were looking to make a statement in regards to how they should be viewed as a Wild Card contender on Monday, they certainly came up short of doing that against a team hot on their trail in the Mariners.

Boston fell to Seattle, 5-4, in the opening contest of a three-game series at T-Mobile Park, marking their sixth loss in their last eight games.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 28th start of the season for the Sox, bounced back from a rough outing in his last time out against the Rays by surrendering just two runs — only one of which was earned — on six hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts on the night.

That said, Rodriguez on Monday did not get off to the best starts, as he gave up a double and single to the first two batters he faced (J.P. Crawford and Mitch Haniger) before allowing the Mariners to take an early 1-0 lead on a run-scoring double play from Ty France in the first inning.

The left-hander had to battle his way through the bottom of the second as well, with Abraham Toro drawing a leadoff walk off him and Luis Torrens ripping a hard-hit single to right field as well as advancing up to second base when Hunter Renfroe booted the ball.

Tom Murphy then doubled his side’s advantage with an RBI groundout, but Rodriguez was ultimately able to settle in — and he did so while getting some help from the Red Sox lineup.

Mariners starter Logan Gilbert had nearly got through Boston’s batting order for the first time without giving up a hit before No. 9 hitter Jose Iglesias altered those plans.

With one out and the bases empty in the top half of the third, Iglesias clubbed a 386-foot solo shot off Gilbert for his ninth home run of the season and his first in a Red Sox uniform in more than eight years.

Fast forward to the fifth, after Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez each laced a pair of singles to put runners at the corners with one out, Iglesias came through once more, this time by plating Verdugo on a blooper of an RBI single that knotted things up at two runs apiece.

While Iglesias and Co. were grinding away at the plate, Rodriguez was dealing on the mound, as he ended his day by retiring 12 of the final 16 batters he faced following a 32-pitch second inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 107 (74 strikes), his second-highest pitch total of the year, the 28-year-old hurler did not factor into the decision on Monday, though he did lower his ERA on the season to 5.00.

In relief of Rodriguez, right-hander Ryan Brasier got the first call from Red Sox manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen, and it appeared he was well on his way to a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

After needing all of five pitches to record the first two outs of the seventh, Brasier induced a relatively-weak grounder off the bat of the pinch-hitting Jake Bauers that was hit in the direction of Kyle Schwarber at first base.

Schwarber, however, misplayed the ball and was charged with a fielding error, thus allowing Bauers to reach first base safely.

The Mariners made the Sox pay dearly for yet another defensive miscue, as Crawford singled to put runners at first and second before Haniger drilled a go-ahead three-run homer 363 feet to left field. Austin Davis had to get the last out of the seventh after his side had suddenly found themselves in a 5-2 hole.

Despite the three-run deficit, the Boston bats did not go away in the eighth, with both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers crushed a pair of back-to-back solo shots off Seattle reliever off Paul Sewald to make it a 5-4 game.

After Kaleb Ort (making his major-league debut) and Josh Taylor combined to toss a scoreless eighth inning, though, Mariners closer Drew Steckenrider slammed the door shut on the Red Sox in the ninth.

Verdugo fanned on a foul tip into the catcher’s mitt, Renfroe was called out on strikes, and Vazquez flew out to center field for the third and final out, as 2-1 would go on to be Monday’s final score in favor of the Mariners.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 81-65 on the season while also relinquishing the top American League Wild Card spot to the red-hot Blue Jays and moving into a virtual tie with the Yankees for the second and final spot.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Anderson

The Red Sox will turn to right-hander Nathan Eovaldi on Tuesday as they look to put an end to this two-game skid. The Mariners will counter with left-hander Tyler Anderson.

First pitch Tuesday night is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Ryan Brasier: Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta impresses in first start back from bout with COVID-19, but Red Sox drop series finale to White Sox, 2-1, as Garrett Whitlock gives up walk-off home run

Nick Pivetta dazzled in his return to the mound on Sunday, but it was not enough to lift the Red Sox to a series-clinching victory over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Boston was limited to just four hits and were walked off on by Chicago, 2-1, marking the third straight one-run game between the two clubs and the Sox’ fifth loss in their last seven games.

Pivetta, making his first start since August 30 after being activated from the COVID-19 related injured list on Sunday, appeared to take advantage of the time he had off by putting together his best outing in more than two months.

Over 5 1/3 strong innings of work, the right-hander allowed just one unearned run on three hits and zero walks to go along with five strikeouts on the afternoon.

While he did deal with some traffic on the base paths early on, Pivetta did at one point retire 11 straight batters leading into the middle of the sixth of what was still a scoreless contest.

Chicago’s No. 8 hitter, Cesar Hernandez, led off the inning by reaching base on an Enrique Hernandez throwing error and promptly advanced into scoring position on a successful sacrifice bunt from Seby Zavala.

Luis Robert did not waste any time in scoring Hernandez from third, as the White Sox leadoff man ripped an RBI single to left field to push across the first run of the day.

That sequence marked the end of the line for Pivetta, who got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The 28-year-old hurler finished his outing having thrown 79 pitches (59 strikes) while lowering his ERA on the season to 4.49.

In relief of Pivetta, Adam Ottavino got the first call out of the Boston bullpen, and despite intentionally walking Jose Abreu, he escaped the sixth while stranding the lone runner he inherited.

From there, Darwinzon Hernandez maneuvered his way around a leadoff walk in a scoreless seventh inning before Hansel Robles also walked one in an otherwise clean bottom of the eighth.

To that point, the Red Sox lineup had been held entirety in check by Chicago’s pitching staff, though they did have their opportunities.

After White Sox starter held the Sox to just two singles over five nearly-perfect innings on the hill, Jose Iglesias — who had one of those hits — led off the top of the sixth by drilling a leadoff single off lefty reliever Garrett Crochet.

Representing the potential go-ahead run in an 0-0 game, Iglesias attempted to move up to second when Hernandez lifted a 390-foot fly ball to deep center field, but was instead gunned down at second base by Robert for an 8-4 double play.

The White Sox quickly made the Red Sox pay for that base running blunder with Robert’s go-ahead single off Pivetta, while the Boston bats were unable to get anything else going against Crochet or Jose Ruiz, who recorded the final out of the seventh before tossing a 1-2-3 top of the eighth as well.

Down to their final three outs in the ninth, the Red Sox were matched up against a familiar opponent in former closer Kimbrel, on for the third time in three days going back to Friday night.

Hernandez got the ninth inning started with a bang by lacing a 105.4 mph leadoff double off Kimbrel, and while Kyle Schwarber struck out, both Hunter Renfroe and Rafael Devers drew a pair of walks to load the bases for Alex Verdugo.

Verdugo, as he has done throughout the season, plated Hernandez on a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in the tying run, but Bobby Dalbec punched out on four pitches to get Kimbrel off the hook in what had become a 1-1 game.

Looking to send this one into extras for a second straight day, Garrett Whitlock quickly got the first two outs of the bottom of the ninth by fanning both Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal.

Whitlock proceeded to get ahead in the count against the next batter he faced in Leury Garcia and was just one more strike away from punching out the side.

On an 0-2, 97.7 mph fastball down the heart of the plate, however, Whitlock served up a 430-foot walk-off home run to Garcia to give the White Sox a 2-1 win while also being hit with his fourth loss of the year.

With the 2-1 defeat, the Red Sox fall to 81-64 on the season and move into a virtual tie with the Blue Jaus for the top American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: On to Seattle

The Red Sox will board a flight from Chicago to Seattle and open up a pivotal three-game series against the Mariners — who are also in the thick of the American League Wild Card race — at T-Mobile Park on Monday night.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is slated to get the ball for Boston in the series opener, while rookie right-hander Logan Gilbert is in line to do the same for Seattle.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Bobby Dalbec homers twice, but Red Sox unable to recover from early pitching woes in 12-7 loss to Rays

If the Red Sox were looking to bounce back and get back on track coming one of their more humiliating losses of the season on Monday, they may have just about done the exact opposite of that against the Rays at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.

Boston fell to Tampa Bay, 12-7, marking their third consecutive loss coming off a four-game winning streak that now seems long forgotten.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 27th start of the season for the Sox, was unable to carry over any momentum from his last time out against the Rays last week, which he described as his “best start” of the year.

That being the case because Rodriguez surrendered six runs — all of which were earned — on eight hits and zero walks to go along with three strikeouts over just 3 2/3 innings of work.

The left-hander began his nigh on a positive note by retiring the side in order in the first, but ran into trouble an inning later when he yielded a one-out double to Jordan Luplow that Alex Verdugo was unable to come up with in left field.

Former Red Sox prospect Manuel Margot followed with a double of his own, as he swapped places with Luplow to give the Rays an early 1-0 lead.

A groundball single from Joey Wendle put runners at the corners for Mike Zunino, who got his productive evening at the plate started by ripping a two-run triple to right field that nearly landed in foul territory, but instead landed just short of the fence by Pesky’s pole, hit the chalk, and proceeded to roll away from Hunter Renfroe.

Renfroe, thinking the ball was foul, did not react immediately, allowing both Margot and Wendle to score while Zunino collected just his second triple of the year, though he was promptly picked off by Christian Vazquez before Kevin Kiermaier struck out to end the inning.

The Red Sox lineup, matched up against Rays starter Drew Rasmussen, got one of those three runs back in their half of the second, but could have easily gotten more.

Following a leadoff single from Rafael Devers and 113.2 mph double from Renfroe that put runners at second and third with no outs, Alex Verdugo punched out on three straight strikes. Vazquez was able to plate Devers on a run-scoring groundout, but newcomer Jose Iglesias flew out to right field to extinguish the threat.

The Rays’ bats took advantage of the Sox’ inability to capitalize with runners in scoring position by striking for two more runs in the third, as Randy Arozarena led off with a double and the ever-dangerous Nelson Cruz crushed a two-run home run 410 feet into the Red Sox bullpen off a hanging cutter from Rodriguez.

After giving up that bomb, Rodriguez managed to record just three more outs before serving up a 407-foot solo shot to Zunino with one out in the fourth. That essentially marked the end of the line for the lefty, as he got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora after recording the second out of the inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 68 (44 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler averaged just 92.6 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 24 times and only got two swings-and-misses on. He also saw his ERA on the season rise to 5.15 while getting hit with eighth loss of the year.

In relief of Rodriguez, Michael Feliz got the first call from Cora out of the Boston bullpen for what was his Red Sox debut.

Feliz, just selected from Triple-A Worcester earlier in the day, ended the fourth inning rather easily, but yielded a pair of solo homers (one to Cruz, one to Zunino) in the fifth and sixth innings to increase his side’s deficit to seven runs at 8-1.

Brad Peacock, making his first appearance since last Tuesday, did not fare much better than Feliz. The veteran right-hander got shelled for four runs in the top of the seventh, yielding a two-run double to Cruz and two-run home run to Luplow that allowed the Rays to jump out to a commanding 12-1 advantage.

Peacock did manage to put together the first scoreless inning of any Red Sox pitcher since the top of the first in the eighth, though, and the offense responded in the bottom half of the frame.

There, Kyle Schwarber laced a leadoff single off Tampa Bay reliever David Hess, while Bobby Dalbec and Danny Santana — both of whom came on as defensive replacements in the top half of the eighth — clubbed back-to-back home runs to cut into the deficit.

A pair of two-out singles off the bats of Vazquez and Iglesias put runners at first and second for Jonathan Arauz, who drove in Vazquez on an RBI single to center field, putting the Sox behind by just seven runs at 12-5.

After Peacock put up another zero in the top of the ninth, Dalbec brought in Schwarber on yet another two-run blast — this one being his 20th of the season to make it a 12-7 contest.

Alas, even after making things a bit more interesting, the Sox were unable to push across anything else, as 12-7 would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

With the loss, the Red Sox extend their losing streak to three consecutive games while also falling to 79-62 on the season. They do, however, remain just a 1/2 game back of the Yankees for the top American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Eovaldi looks to stave off sweep

The Red Sox will send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound Wednesday night as they look to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rays, who will counter with rookie left-hander Shane McClanahan in the series (and season series) finale.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kyle Schwarber and Bobby Dalbec: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox squander 6-run lead, commit 4 errors in 11-10 loss to Rays in extras

Despite holding leads of 7-1, 8-6, and 9-7 on Monday afternoon, the Red Sox were unable to keep the Rays at bay and ultimately fell to their division rivals by a final score of 11-10 in 10 innings at Fenway Park.

Chris Sale, making his fifth start of the season for the Sox, did not factor into Monday’s decision, though Boston did lose a game he started for the first time this year.

Over just 3 2/3 innings of work, Sale surrendered five runs — only one of which was earned — on 10 hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts on the afternoon.

The veteran left-hander began his day by fanning Randy Arozarena on three straight strikes, but then issued a 394-foot triple to rookie sensation Wander Franco.

Franco quickly came into score on an RBI single off the bat of Nelson Cruz to give the Rays their first lead of the contest at 1-0.

Sale did manage to get out of the top of the first by escaping a bases-loaded jam, and the Red Sox lineup responded by getting to Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough for an equalizing run on a run-scoring single from J.D. Martinez.

Pushing across one run in their half of the first was not the only damage the Boston bats did while Yarbrough was on the mound, as they plated six additional runs off the left-hander an inning later.

On an RBI single from Taylor Motter, an RBI double from Hunter Renfroe, an RBI single from Rafael Devers, a two-run double from Bobby Dalbec, and a sacrifice fly from Alex Verdugo, the Sox took a commanding 7-1 lead and appeared as though they would be well on their way to a series-opening win.

At that point, Sale had seemingly settled in by putting up a zero in the second and third innings while also recording the first two outs of the fourth rather quickly.

The division-leading Rays, however, did not go down quietly, as Taylor Walls ignited a two-out rally by reaching base via softly-hit, two-foot infield single. Arozarena and Franco followed with singles of their own, loading the bases for the ever-dangerous Cruz.

Sale got Cruz to lift a 370-foot fly ball to center field that had an expected batting average of just .270. Verdugo, the center fielder, was in position to make the inning-ending catch, but instead battled with the sun and was unable to make a clean snag, resulting in the ball rolling towards right field.

On Verdugo’s fielding error, Cruz managed to unload the bases while also advancing all the way up to third base. He then scored from third when Motter, the second baseman, overthrew Devers.

Tampa Bay’s little-league grand slam allowed them to trim Boston’s advantage down to two runs at 7-5 while also getting Sale out of this contest after just 86 pitched (65 strikes).

In relief of Sale, right-hander Garrett Richards closed out the fourth inning, tossed a 1-2-3 top of the fifth, and surrendered one run on three singles in the sixth, with Jordan Luplow making it a 7-6 game on his RBI base hit.

The Sox answered back in their half of the sixth, though, with Motter ripping a leadoff triple off Rays reliever J.T. Chargois and Renfroe plating him on a hard-hit RBI single through the left side of the infield.

Boston’s newfound two-run lead did not last long, with Arozarena driving in Mike Zunino in the seventh while Adam Ottavino was on the mound.

Jonathan Arauz quickly got that run back by clubbing a 416-foot solo shot off J.P. Feyereisen a half inning later, but Ottavino — for the second appearance in a row — served up a leadoff home run to Cruz to begin things in the eighth.

The Rays completed their comeback in the ninth, with Austin Meadows drilling an inside-the-park homer off Garrett Whitlock.

Meadows had scorched a 393-foot line drive to center field to lead off the inning, but it was one Verdugo could not come up cleanly with while leaping in the direction of the wall.

Neither Martinez nor Renfroe backed up Verdugo as the ball caromed away, resulting in recently-signed shortstop Jose Iglesias to hustle out from the infield to make the play himself.

Iglesias, however, bobbled the ball while attempting to corral it, and that allowed the speedy Meadows to complete his trek around the base paths to tie things up at nine runs apiece.

Whitlock did manage to get through the rest of the frame unscathed to keep the 9-9 stalemate intact, and the pinch-hitting Travis Shaw led things off against former Red Sox hurler Collin McHugh in the bottom of the ninth by lacing a leadoff ground-rule double.

The Rays intentionally walked Verdugo and the Sox had Franchy Cordero run in place of Shaw, but Christian Vazquez was not able to advance the lead runner when his botched bunt attempt wound up getting caught by Zunino in foul territory.

Arauz followed by grounding into an inning-ending 5-6-3 double play, meaning the Red Sox had squandered yet another scoring opportunity as this one headed into extras.

Whitlock, back out for the 10th, gave up back-to-back RBI singles to Cruz and the pinch-hitting Brandon Lowe, thus putting his side in a two-run hole while giving the Rays their first lead of the first inning at 11-9.

Down to their last chance in the bottom of the 10th, Iglesias promptly drove in Arauz from second base and later advanced to second himself when Renfroe reached base on a fielding error.

Devers proceeded to draw a two-out walk against McHugh, meaning the potential tying run was just 90 feet away from scoring while the potential winning run was 180 feet away.

In that spot, Red Sox manager Alex Cora opted to have Kevin Plawecki hit for Cordero, but the veteran backstop could only dribble a softly-hit, inning-ending groundout to shortstop that secured a hard-fought 11-10 win for the visitors and a disappointing 11-10 defeat for the home side.

In a game that took 4 hours and 54 minutes to complete, the Red Sox committed four errors, went 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position, and left 12 runners on base as a team in the process of falling to 79-61 on the season.

Next up: Rodriguez vs. Rasmussen

The Red Sox will send left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to the hill on Tuesday night as they look to halt this latest skid. The Rays will counter with right-hander Drew Rasmussen.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez twirls 6 scoreless frames, Bobby Dalbec stays hot with 2-RBI night as Red Sox earn series split by blanking Rays, 4-0

For everything they went through over the last week in regards to placing eight players on the COVID-19 related injured list, the Red Sox were able to cap off a hellish seven game-road trip with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field on Thursday.

Matched up against a tough opponent in Rays starter Shane McClanahan, the shorthanded Sox jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on Tuesday right out of the gate.

Bobby Dalbec, having just earned American League Rookie of the Month honors for what he did in August, got his month of September off to a solid start by driving in Hunter Renfroe on a two-out, sharply-hit RBI single in the top half of the first inning.

Renfroe, on the other hand, delivered with a two-out RBI base hit of his own an inning later, as he plated Danny Santana from second base on a line-drive single to left field, thus giving his side an early two-run advantage.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 26th start of the season for Boston, took that two-run lead and essentially ran away with it in yet another strong outing.

Over six-plus scoreless innings of work, Rodriguez kept Tampa Bay off the scoreboard while scattering just four hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts on the night.

After taking a perfect game into the third inning, the left-hander managed to face the minimum of 12 batters through his first four frames.

In the fifth, the Red Sox lineup tacked on two more runs of McClanahan, and No. 9 hitter Jonathan Arauz got the mini-rally started by drawing an 11-pitch leadoff walk.

That impressive display of patience and plate discipline flipped the lineup back over, as Kyle Schwarber moved Arauz up to second on another hard-hit single. J.D. Martinez drove Arauz in on a sharply-hit RBI single of his own, while a red-hot Dalbec made it a 4-0 contest by pushing across Schwarber on a run-scoring base knock to center field.

With that brand-new four-run cushion to work with, Rodriguez continued to dominate, stranding a pair of base runners in the fifth and sixth innings, though he did run into some trouble in the seventh.

There, after issuing a leadoff walk to rookie sensation Wander Franco that was followed by a Yandy Diaz single, Rodriguez was put in his first true jam of the night, and he got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora as a result.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 94 (56 strikes), the 28-year-old southpaw turned to his four-seam fastball 46% of the time he was on the mound Thursday, inducing nine swings-and-misses while topping out at 95.6 mph with the pitch. He also later improved to 11-7 on the season and lowered his ERA to 4.88 in the process of doing so.

In relief of Rodriguez, Garrett Richards got the first — and only — call out of the Boston bullpen, and he continued to show how effective he can be as a reliever.

Inheriting a bit of a mess with three outs still to get in the seventh, Richards proceeded to retire the first three Rays he faced (two by way of the strikeout) to officially close the book on Rodriguez’s night before tossing two more shutout innings to pick up his second save of the season and secure a 4-0 victory for the Red Sox.

Since moving to the bullpen on August 13, Richards has allowed a total of one earned run over 13 1/3 innings of relief. That’s good for an ERA of 0.68.

With the win, the Sox were able to salvage a split in their four-game series with the Rays while also improving to 77-59 on the season. They picked up 1/2 a game on an idle Yankees team for the first American League Wild Card spot in addition to maintaining a two-game lead over the Athletics for the second Wild Card spot.

Next up: Welcoming in the Indians

The Red Sox will happily board a flight to Boston and open up a three-game weekend series against the Indians that begins at Fenway Park on Friday night.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is slated to get the ball for Boston in the series opener, while fellow righty Cal Quantrill is expected to do the same for Cleveland.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Eduardo Rodriguez: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Red Sox commit season-high 5 errors in ugly 10-1 loss to Rangers

On a day where the two teams ahead of them and the one team directly behind them in the American League East standings all won their respective games, a sloppy Red Sox team came out absolutely flat in a blowout 10-1 loss at the hands of the Rangers at Fenway Park on Saturday night.

After Chris Sale guided them to their 70th win of the season on Friday, Eduardo Rodriguez was unable to get the job done for the Sox in the middle game of this three-game weekend series.

In what was his 24th start of the year for Boston, Rodriguez allowed five runs — all of which were earned — on eight hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts over just 3 2/3 innings of work.

Following a scoreless top half of the first, Rodriguez ran into some trouble in the top of the second when he issued a leadoff double to Nathaniel Lowe that was followed by a seven-pitch walk of Yohel Pozo.

Nick Solak plated one of those two runners by drilling an RBI single through a vacant right side of the infield, and after Andy Ibanez and Jose Trevino flew out, old friend Brock Holt drove in the other on an RBI single back up the middle.

Alex Verdugo had the opportunity to gun down that runner — Pozo — at home plate, but Christian Vazquez appeared to lose his balance while going for the tag and that allowed Pozo to cross home safely on a feet-first slide.

The Sox went down 2-0 on Vazquez’s miscue, but had the opportunity to get something back in their half of the second when J.D. Martinez ripped a one-out single off Rangers starter Jordan Lyles.

Martinez promptly moved up to second base on a two-out walk drawn by Hunter Renfroe and attempted to score on a single to right field off the bat of Vazquez, but was instead thrown out at home by rookie sensation Adolis Garcia for the final out of the inning.

Despite blowing that chance, Boston did get on the board in the bottom of the third, with Enrique Hernandez following up a Bobby Dalbec leadoff double by lacing an RBI single to right field to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

Rafael Devers nearly came through with the Sox’ third straight hit to lead off the third when he tattooed a 105.3 mph line drive to dead center field.

Rather than come up with extra-bases, though, Devers instead flew out to D.J. Peters, as the Rangers center fielder made an incredible leaping grab at the base of the center field wall before doubling up Hernandez on a rocket of a throw back to first base.

That sequence of defensive brilliance killed Boston’s rally before it really even happened, and the Texas offense built off that momentum by getting to Rodriguez for good in the fourth.

There, with two outs and a runner at second, Holt hit a comebacker back in the direction of Rodriguez, but it was one that deflected off the veteran left-hander’s left field, rolled softly into shallow right field, and allowed Ibanez to score from second.

Holt, meanwhile, moved all the way up to third base on a throwing error committed by Hernandez, and he, too, scored on an RBI double from Isiah Kiner-Filefa that marked the end of the line for Rodriguez in what had become a 4-1 game.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 68 (47 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler ultimately fell to 9-7 on the season while seeing his ERA on the season rise to 5.19 after one of the runners he left on came into score.

In relief of Rodriguez, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen, and he officially closed the book on the lefty’s night by allowing that aforementioned inherited runner — Kiner-Filefa — to cross the plate on an RBI single from Garcia as well as a throwing error by Xander Bogaerts.

From there, Garrett Richards yielded another run back-to-back one-out doubles in the fifth, Hansel Robles tossed a scoreless sixth inning, Adam Ottavino did the same in the seventh inning, Martin Perez got shelled for four more runs in the eighth, although only two of those runs were earned on account of a pair of errors committed by Devers and Renfroe.

Austin Davis, on the other hand, kept the Rangers off the board in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, though by then it was too little, too late.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was unable to really get anything going against Lyles after pushing across a run in the third inning.

That lone run would prove to be the only offense of the night for the home side, as Lyles and two Rangers relievers combined to hurl nine innings of one-run ball while the Red Sox — despite going 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position — left five men on base as a team.

Speaking of the No. 5, the Sox committed as many errors on Saturday night as they recorded hits (5), so that is certainly not encouraging coming from a team with postseason aspirations.

With the 10-1 defeat, the Red Sox fall to 70-55 on the season and drop to 6 1/2 games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East, though they remain 1/2 game back of the Athletics for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Allard

For how poorly they played on Saturday, the Red Sox still have the chance to go for the series win over the last-place Rangers on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for Boston in Sunday’s series finale, while left-hander Kolby Allard will do the same for Texas.

First pitch Sunday (weather permitting) is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez homers in second straight game as Red Sox finish off sweep of Orioles with 6-2 win; Kyle Schwarber records first 2 hits with Boston

The Red Sox capped off one of the more memorable weekends of the 2021 season by finishing off a three-game sweep of the Orioles with a 6-2 victory at Fenway on Park on Sunday.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 23rd start of the year for the Sox, put together yet another solid outing, as he has done since the calendars flipped to August.

Over six innings of work against his former team, the left-hander surrendered just one unearned run while scattering three hits and three walks to go along with six strikeouts on the afternoon.

The lone Rodriguez gave up came right away in the top half of the first after he issued a one-out walk to Austin Hays that was followed by a Trey Mancini single.

Anthony Santander ripped a single to left field of his own that should have just loaded the bases, but a poor throw from J.D. Martinez allowed Hays to score all the way from second to give his side the early 1-0 lead.

Martinez’s throwing error also put a runner at third base, but Rodriguez was able to escape the jam by recording back-to-back punchouts.

Despite falling behind by a run before even taking their first at-bats, the Sox lineup was undeterred, as they were matched up against Orioles starter Keegan Akin, who came into play Sunday the owner of a 8.23 ERA on the season.

With that favorable matchup in mind, Martinez did not waste any time in making up for his defensive miscue, as he came to the plate for the first time with two outs in the first and two runners on.

On the fourth pitch he saw from Akin, a 2-1, 86 mph slider on the outer half of the plate, Martinez clobbered a three-run home run 396 feet over the Green Monster and off the National Car Rental sign to give Boston their first lead of the day at 3-1.

While Martinez’s 23rd homer of the season looked like it would set the tone for another explosive day from the Red Sox offense, they actually did not get on the board again until their half of the sixth.

Between the time the Sox scored their first and last runs of the afternoon, Rodriguez was in the midst of stringing together five consecutive scoreless frames after he got pushed around a bit in the top half of the first.

From the beginning of the second inning through the middle of the sixth, the point in which his outing came to a close, Rodriguez retired 14 of the final 17 Orioles hitters he faced to end his day on an extremely encouraging note.

Though he certainly would have liked to have pitched beyond the sixth inning, the 28-year-old hurler did finish with a final pitch count of 83 — 55 of which were strikes.

In completing six quality frames, Rodriguez was able to pick up his ninth winning decision of the year while also lowering his ERA on the season down to 4.97.

Moments after Rodriguez’s outing had concluded, the Sox lineup picked things up again in their half of the sixth inning.

There, with old friend Fernando Abad on the mound for Baltimore, Kyle Schwarber made his impact felt by leading things off with a line-drive double to deep right field, marking his first hit in a Red Sox uniform and his first of two doubles on the day.

Back-to-back one-out walks drawn by Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez filled the bases for leadoff man Enrique Hernandez, who greeted new Orioles reliever Tanner Scott by lacing an RBI single that deflected off the leg of third base umpire Will Little and brought in Schwarber while also keeping the bases loaded.

Hunter Renfroe took advantage of that by drawing a bases-loaded walk to record an RBI while bringing in Verdugo from third, and Xander Bogaerts followed by beating out a double play on a ground ball that plated Vazquez, thus giving the Sox a commanding 6-1 lead.

From the top of the seventh inning on, the Red Sox bullpen took over in relief of Rodriguez, with Adam Ottavino getting the first call to action.

Making his first appearance out of the bullpen in exactly one week, Ottavino was clearly rusty, as he plunked the first batter he faced in Pedro Severino before throwing two wild pitches that allowed Severino to move all the way up to third base.

A one-out walk of Maikel Franco put runners at the corners for Jorge Mateo, who promptly laced a 105 mph off Ottavino’s left shoulder that scored Severino and would ultimately force the veteran righty to exit, as he was later diagnosed with a left shoulder contusion.

Garrett Whitlock, who was already warming up in the Boston bullpen, was forced to enter sooner than he may have expected, but he kept Baltimore at bay by stranding Mateo at first in the seventh and striking out the side in order in the eighth to hold the opposition at two runs.

That paved the way for Matt Barnes to enter in the ninth in a non-save situation, and despite allowing two of the five batters he faced to reach base, the Red Sox closer was able to shut the door on the Orioles to preserve the 6-2 victory for his side.

With the win, not only do the Sox finish off their first series sweep of at least three games since early July, but they also improve to 69-51 on the season and move to 3 games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: On to the Bronx

The Red Sox will board a flight to Newark Sunday evening and enjoy a well-deserved off day in New York on Monday before opening up a three-game, two-day series against the Yankees in a split doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon.

Right-handers Nathan Eovaldi and Tanner Houck are slated to start for Boston in Tuesday’s twin bill at Yankee Stadium, though the order in which the two will pitch has not yet been determined.

The Yankees, meanwhile, will go with right-hander Luis Gil for Game 1 and left-hander Jordan Montgomery for Game 2.

First pitch of the day cap on Tuesday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network, while the night cap will begin at approximately 7:05 p.m. ET and also be broadcasted on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Rafael Devers: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Despite solid start from Eduardo Rodriguez and home runs from Rafael Devers and Hunter Renfroe, Red Sox blow late lead against Rays in disheartening 8-4 defeat

Lately, it seems as though the Red Sox have struggled to get out of their own way, and that was once again the case at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.

Opening up a pivotal three-game series against the American League East-leading Rays, the reeling Sox failed to make a statement and fell to their division rivals in yet another soul-crushing 8-4 defeat.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 22nd start of the season for Boston, provided his side with what they needed out of the gate by putting together a solid outing on the mound.

Over 5 1/3 quality innings of work, the left-hander surrendered just two earned runs on four hits and one walk to go along with eight strikeouts — marking the fourth time in his last five starts in which he struck out at least eight batters.

After Rafael Devers lifted the Sox to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning by crushing his 28th home run of the year — a 390-foot solo shot that left his bat at 114 mph — to right field off Rays starter Luis Patino, Rodriguez followed suit by serving up a solo homer of his own to Brandon Lowe in the top half of the third.

That knotted things up at one run apiece, but the Boston bats struck again in their half of the fourth when Xander Bogaerts led things off with a single and later moved up to second on a two-out walk drawn by Kevin Plawecki.

Making Patino pay for issuing a walk with two outs, Hunter Renfroe punished a 2-2, 96 mph heater down the heart of the plate by depositing it 420 feet to dead center field for a towering three-run home run.

Renfroe’s 19th big fly of the season gave Rodriguez a 4-1 lead to work with, and he put together a scoreless fifth inning before running into a bit of trouble in the sixth.

There, a leadoff double ultimately did Rodriguez in, as he then issued a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz and an RBI single to rookie sensation Wander Franco, which in turn put runners at first and second and subsequently marked the end of the road for the southpaw as he got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 82 (60 strikes), the 28-year-old did not factor into Tuesday’s decision, though he did lower his ERA on the season to 5.24.

In relief of Rodriguez, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Boston bullpen, and he escaped the top of sixth inning by sitting down the only two hitters he faced in consecutive order.

From there, Garrett Whitlock took over in the seventh, brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate by giving up back-to-back one-out hits, and then served up a game-tying two-run double to the pinch-hitting Ji-Man Choi.

Tampa Bay pulled themselves even with Boston at that moment, but the Sox nearly countered in their half of the seventh when matched up against right-handed reliever Andrew Kittredge.

With two outs in the frame, Jarren Duran put his speed on full display by reaching first base on an infield single and going from first to third on another single off the bat of Bogaerts. But Devers flew out to center field for the final out of the inning, thus stranding the potential go-ahead run in scoring position.

In the eighth, the combined efforts of Whitlock and lefty Josh Taylor were enough to keep the Rays off the scoreboard despite them loading the bases.

Again, the Red Sox offense showed some semblance of life in their half of the inning when Kevin Plawecki reached base via a one-out single. But both Renfroe and Christian Vazquez went down swinging against Kittredge to keep this one tied at 4-4 going into the ninth.

Red Sox closer Matt Barnes, despite being used three times in two days over the weekend in Toronto, was called upon for the ninth and was tasked with keeping that 4-4 stalemate intact.

Instead, Barnes’ August struggles continued, as he loaded the bases with two outs before yielding a bases-clearing, three-run single to Francisco Mejia that was aided by a Renfroe fielding error.

Regardless, the Sox went down 7-4 on that sequence, and fell behind by one more when Martin Perez allowed one of the runners he inherited from Barnes to score on another RBI single.

That put the Sox in an 8-4 hole, and Franchy Cordero, Enrique Hernandez went down in order in the bottom of the ninth to mark Boston’s 10th defeat in its last 12 games.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 65-50 on the season and now sit five games behind the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Fleming

The Red Sox will send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the hill in the middle game of this three-game set on Wednesday as they look to right the ship.

The Rays will counter with left-hander Josh Fleming.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox crush 3 homers, punch out season-high 18 batters in 4-1 win over Tigers to snap 5-game skid

After a few stressful days, the Red Sox can breathe a collective sigh of relief as they put their five-game losing streak behind them with a 4-1 victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park on Wednesday night.

Former Tigers All-Star J.D. Martinez gave the Sox an early lead in the middle game of this three-game series, as he crushed a 410 foot solo shot off Detroit starter and former first overall draft pick Casey Mize to lead things off in the top half of the second inning.

Martinez’s 21st home run of the season put Boston up 1-0, and they added more on to that later on in the fifth.

There, with Mize still on the hill for Detroit, Hunter Renfroe ripped a line-drive double to lead off the inning, while Franchy Cordero struck out and Christian Vazquez flew out for the first two outs.

At that time, the Red Sox had gone 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and it appeared as though they were going to let another scoring opportunity go to waste.

Enrique Hernandez had other plans, however, as he took a 3-2, 87 mph slider down the heart of the plate from Mize and deposited it 426 feet to deep left-center field for his 15th big fly of the year — a two-run blast.

Moments later, Jarren Duran followed with a solo shot of his own, this time taking Mize 355 feet down the left field line for his second big-league homer — and first since July 19.

Hernandez and Duran going back-to-back gave Boston the 4-0 lead over Detroit, and that four-run edge was more than enough for Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez to work with.

Rodriguez, making his 21st start of the season for Boston, put together his best outing since being removed from his July 23 start against the Yankees early due to migraine symptoms.

Over five solid, scoreless innings of work on Wednesday, the left-hander kept the Tigers off the board while scattering just two hits and four walks to go along with a season-high 10 strikeouts on the night.

Right out of the gate, Rodriguez ran into some early trouble in the bottom of the first when he issued a one-out walk to Jonathan Schoop that was followed by a hard-hit single off the bat of Robbie Grossman to put runners on the corners. But Rodriguez escaped the jam by fanning Miguel Cabrera and Eric Haase in consecutive order.

While he did deal with his fair share of traffic the rest of the way, the Venezuelan southpaw did manage to limit the damage in that he did not allow a single run to cross the plate.

The fifth inning presented one final challenge for Rodriguez, as he walked two of the first four hitters he faced in the frame before getting Grossman to punch out to retire the side and end his evening on a positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 99 (64 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler ultimately earned his eighth winning decision of the year while also lowering his ERA to 5.33.

In relief of Rodriguez, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Red Sox bullpen, and he danced his way around a tight spot by recording a pair of potentially game-altering strikeouts.

From there, Josh Taylor got the first two outs of the seventh before serving up a solo home run to Schoop to trim Boston’s lead down to three runs at 4-1.

That — and a six-pitch walk of Grossman — resulted in Adam Ottavino taking over for Taylor, and the veteran righty did his job by getting Cabrera to fly out to end the seventh while also striking out a pair in a scoreless bottom of the eighth.

With a three-run lead to protect going into the ninth, Red Sox closer Matt Barnes, freshly activated from the COVID-19 related injured list, was deposited for his first outing in exactly a week, and he slammed the door on the Tigers to notch his 24th save of the season while also locking down the 4-1 victory for his side.

All in all, five Boston pitchers combined to punch out a season-high 18 Detroit hitters on Wednesday night.

With the win, not only do the Sox snap a brutal five-game skid, but they also improve to 64-45 on the season to remain one game back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: Perez vs. Skubal

The Red Sox will send veteran left-hander Martin Perez to the hill as they go for the series win over the Tigers at Comerica Park on Thursday afternoon.

Detroit will counter with rookie lefty Tarik Skubal, who has yet to face off against Boston since making his major-league debut last August.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Hunter Renfroe and Enrique Hernandez: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)