Red Sox Complete 6-5 Comeback Win over White Sox on Marco Hernandez’s Walk-Off Infield Single

After dropping two out of three to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend, the Red Sox kicked off the second leg of their homestand with a walk-off 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox Monday, marking their second straight victory by way of the walk-off.

Making his 16th start of the season for Boston in the series opener was Eduardo Rodriguez, fresh off consecutive outings of seven or more innings for the first time since 2015.

Working his way into the seventh inning of this one but not completing it, the left-hander surrendered five runs, all of which were earned, on six hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts on the night.

The first four of those Chicago runs came on a pair of homers and an RBI single, all off the bats of Cuban-born players.

Yoan Moncada, a former top prospect of the Red Sox, got the scoring started for his side with a two-out, two-run missile just over the Green Monster in left field for his 13th of 2019 and first ever at Fenway Park.

Rodriguez settled in a bit by retiring 11 of the next 13 White Sox he faced after serving up that bomb, but ran into more two-out trouble in the sixth, when with the bases empty, slugging first baseman Jose Abreu launched his 18th big fly to break up a 2-2 stalemate.

An inning later, with a runner on second and one out, the decision was made for Rodriguez to intentionally put Moncada on base in order to get to Yonder Alonso, who entered the new week sporting a .178 batting average.

Unfortunately for Boston, that decision proved to not work in their favor, as Alonso ripped a single through the right side of the infield, plating the runner, Eloy Jimenez, to make it a 4-3 contest and advance Moncada up to third. That was how Rodriguez’s evening came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 99 (64 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler turned to his changeup more than 39% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing seven swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 95.2 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 33 times while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Hit with the no-decision while his ERA on the season inflated to 4.87, Rodriguez will look to end his month of June on a positive note in his next time out, which should come against the New York Yankees in London.

In relief of Rodriguez, Marcus Walden was inserted and officially closed the book on the starter’s outing by allowing Moncada to score on a Yolmer Sanchez RBI single, which put the White Sox up 5-3.

Colten Brewer got the call for the eighth, and he sat down two of the first three he faced before filling the count against veteran outfielder Jon Jay.

There, in that moment, Sox manager Alex Cora made the call for the left-handed Josh Taylor out of the bullpen.

Taylor’s first pitch to Jay was a ball, meaning the walk was charged to Brewer, but the southpaw rallied by getting out of the inning and also recording the first two outs of the ninth.

A two-out walk of Leury Garcia made way for Brandon Workman, who punched out the only hitter he faced in Tim Anderson on a nasty 81 MPH knuckle curve to send this one to the bottom of the ninth and later pick up his seventh win of the year.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, someone they got to for three runs in five innings the last time these two sides opposed each other back on May 2nd.

This time around, it was Jackie Bradley Jr. who got the scoring started for the Sox on Monday, as the red-hot outfielder mashed his eighth homer of the season, a booming 418-foot, 107.4 MPH off the bat solo shot, off Giolito to make it a one-run contest early on.

Fast forward to the fifth, and Eduardo Nunez came through with his first of two game-tying hits on the night, this one a one-out opposite field RBI single to drive in Michael Chavis from second. 2-2.

An inning later, Giolito ran into some trouble himself by loading the bases on a one-out walk of Rafael Devers, a line drive double from Xander Bogaerts, and an intentional walk of Bradley Jr. to get to Chavis.

Down to his last few pitches, the White Sox ace again lacked control, as he walked the rookie on five pitches, and that allowed Devers to make his way towards home to tie this one up at three runs each.

In the seventh, after falling behind by another two runs, Mookie Betts cut that deficit in half very quickly by taking Chicago reliever Aaron Bummer deep on the very first pitch he saw from the left-hander to lead off the frame. His 13th of the season made it 5-4.

Another inning later, Marco Hernandez came on to pinch-run for Vazquez at first and moved up to second on a wild pitch from right-hander Kelvin Herrera.

With two outs in the inning and the tying run 180 feet away from home, it was Eduardo Nunez’s time to shine once more, and he did just that by sneaking another RBI single past the outstretched Moncada at third, giving Hernandez enough time to score and pull even with the White Sox at 5-5.

And finally, in the ninth, the White Sox and lefty reliever Jace Fry intentionally loaded the bases with two outs for Hernandez, and he made them pay dearly with an infield single grounded just deep enough that Tim Anderson had to rush in order to make a throw over to first.

The throw was not handled cleanly by Abreu, however, while Hernandez was ruled safe and Andrew Benintendi coasted into home to give the Red Sox another walk-off win, this one finishing with a final score of 6-5.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Stats:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

Jackie Bradley Jr.’s last 30 games: .303/.415/.606 with six home runs and 17 RBI. He has raised his OPS from .491 to .713 in that span.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle and second of this three-game set on Tuesday night.

Left-hander David Price is set to get the ball for Boston, while right-hander Carson Fulmer will serve as the opener for Chicago. Two Vanderbilt alums going at it.

Only throwing 73 pitches over five innings in his last time out against the Minnesota Twins, it will be interesting to see how Cora manages Price’s workload on Tuesday.

In 16 career starts against the White Sox, the 33-year-old has posted a 3.45 ERA over 109 2/3 total innings of work.

Fulmer, meanwhile, was once drafted by the Sox in the 15th round of the 2012 amateur draft before he honored his commitment to Vanderbilt.

In two prior relief outings against Boston, the 25-year-old has allowed five runs (three earned) on two hits and five walks in a span of just one whole inning. He has never made an appearance at Fenway Park.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the series win.

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Red Sox Bounce Back, Break out for Nine Runs to Take Competitive Series from Twins

After dropping a 17-inning marathon game earlier in the morning, the Red Sox bounced right back Wednesday night, topping the Twins 9-4 in nine innings to both take the three-game series from Minnesota and cap off a solid 5-1 six-game road trip.

Making his 14th start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered Wednesday fresh off seven quality one-run innings in his last time out against the Baltimore Orioles.

This time around, against a much more superior opponent, the left-hander once again worked seven full frames, as he surrendered four runs, all of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks to go along with nine strikeouts on the night.

From the jump, it looked as though Rodriguez was not going to go too deep into this one. That much was evident with how three straight Twins reached in the first and scored their first run on an Eddie Rosario RBI single.

It could have been worse though, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not snuffed out CJ Cron trying to go from first to home on a Nelson Cruz double in the previous at-bat.

Walks became an issue for Rodriguez in the third, when with two outs and Cruz and Sano on base following a pair of free passes, Luis Arraez plated Cruz from second on another RBI single to make it a 3-2 contest.

An inning later, and it was the home run ball that bit the Venezuela native, with both Willians Astudillo and Max Kepler teaming up for two solo shots to put their team ahead 4-3.

Fortunately for Boston, Rodriguez flipped a switch and settled in a bit from the middle of the fifth on, as he sat down nine of the final 10 Twins he faced to end his outing on a much more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 111 (72 strikes), the 26-year-old relied on his two-seam fastball more than 34% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing four swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 95.4 MPH with his four-seamer, a pitch he threw 31 times with Sandy Leon behind the plate.

Ultimately improving to 8-4 while slightly raising his ERA on the season to 4.71, Rodriguez continues to be the benefactor of run support from his lineup. His next start should come against the Chicago White Sox sometime next week.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was not as heavily taxed as they were on Tuesday, with just two relievers, Matt Barnes and Marcus Walden, combining for two scoreless frames of relief to wrap up this 9-4 victory.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson, owner of a career 2.68 ERA in six prior starts against Boston.

Through 13 starts on the season coming into Wednesday, Gibson was averaging just two walks per nine innings, but that was not the case in this particular contest as he gave out a season-high five free passes.

Kicking off the scoring for the Sox was Brock Holt, who came to the plate for the first time in the second inning with Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers at first and second and no outs.

On the third pitch he saw from Gibson, a 95 MPH fastball on the bottom half of the strike zone, Holt grounded an RBI single back up the middle to get his team on the board.

Michael Chavis followed that up with an RBI knock of his own to drive in Bogaerts, and Mookie Betts also came through with a run-scoring single to drive in Holt. Just like that, the Red Sox were up 3-1.

Fast forward to the fifth, after Minnesota responded and took a one-run lead of their own, the Boston bats answered with another three-run rally, which was started by JD Martinez drawing a leadoff walk off Gibson.

Two batters later, Bogaerts stayed hot by plating Martinez from second and advancing Devers to third on an RBI line-drive double to left to knot things up at four runs each.

The stalemate would not last long, however, not with Eduardo Nunez pinch-running for Devers at third and Holt scoring him on an RBI sacrifice fly deep enough to center to make it a 5-4 game.

Another run-scoring single from Chavis, the last hitter Gibson faced, allowed Bogaerts to come in from third after that sac fly, and the Red Sox had themselves a brand new two-run advantage they would not have to look back from.

That being the case because in the top half of the eighth, with Harvard alum Scott Poppen on the mound for Minnesota, back-to-back RBI knocks off the bats of Andrew Benintendi and Martinez allowed the Sox to double up the Twins at 8-4.

And finally, still in the eighth, Holt essentially put this one to bed by drawing a four-pitch, bases loaded walk off Poppen to score Martinez from third and give his team the 9-4 led, which would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Rafael Devers has been ruled day-to-day with right hamstring tightness. He probably won’t play Friday, per Sox manager Alex Cora.

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

The Red Sox with runners in scoring position on Wednesday: 7-for-14

Michael Chavis during his nine-game hitting streak: 13-for-41 (.317) with one double, two home runs, and six RBI.

So, the Red Sox went into enemy territory against the team with the best record in the American League and came out with a series win, with the one loss coming in that 17-inning debacle on Tuesday.

Prior to this series, the negativity towards this Red Sox team was based around the idea that they could not beat other competitive clubs. Given what just went down this week, that narrative may be going by the wayside soon enough.

Next up for the Sox, it’s a well-deserved day off on Thursday before a six-game homestand begins back at Fenway Park on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Left-hander Chris Sale is set to get the ball for Boston in the opener of that three-game weekend set, while rookie right-hander Trent Thornton will do the same for Toronto.

Since the start of June, Sale has allowed a total of two earned runs in his last 22 innings of work to go along with 32 punchouts in that same span.

In his career against the Jays, the 31-year-old has posted a lifetime 2.67 ERA over 16 appearances (13 starts) and 91 innings pitched.

Thornton, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive outing in his last time out against the high-octane Houston Astros, as he held the class of the American League West scoreless over 6 2/3 impressive innings while also fanning seven in the process.

Making his first Opening Day roster with Toronto back in March, the 25-year-old has never faced the Red Sox nor pitched at Fenway Park.

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

Red Sox’ Winning Streak Snapped in 17-Inning Marathon Loss to Twins

In their longest game of the season in terms of both innings and time, the Red Sox saw their six-game winning streak come to an end on early Wednesday morning, as they fell to the Minnesota Twins by a final score of 4-3 after 17 marathon innings.

Making his 13th start of the season for Boston in the middle game of this series was David Price, who like Rick Porcello before him, entered Tuesday with a solid history when working at Target Field.

Tossing five full innings this time around, the left-hander yielded just one earned run on four hits and no walks to go along with a pair of strikeouts on the night.

That one run came out in Minnesota’s half of the fourth, when back-to-back two-out knocks from Eddie Rosario and CJ Cron got the home side on the board immediately after the Red Sox had done so themselves.

Other than that, Price sat down three of the last four hitters he faced in the fifth, and that would be how his outing came to a somewhat abrupt end.

Finishing with a final pitch count of just 73 (49 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball nearly 44% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing two swings and misses and topping out at 93.9 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Hit with the no-decision while his ERA on the season lowered to 3.39, there should be no injury concerns involved with Price going forward. Per Sox manager Alex Cora, “[Tuesday] was one of those that we felt like I was going to take care of him. He threw the ball well but as you guys know, he’s a guy that we really have to take care of.” Price’s next start should come against the Chicago White Sox next week.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen was put to the test similarly enough to the way they were this past Sunday in Baltimore.

Mike Shawaryn got a long night started for the ‘pen by putting men on the corners on the first two hitters he faced, but with the help of Christian Vazqez, did not allow either to score before loading the bases with two outs and again escaping a jam by fanning Miguel Sano on three straight strikes.

Ryan Brasier came on in the seventh moments after Rafael Devers had given Boston a 2-1 lead, and he too received some assistance from his defense, with Jackie Bradley Jr. doing his best Spider-Man impression to rob Jorge Polanco of extra bases and retire the side.

In the eighth, Brandon Workman was charged with his third blown save of the season after walking the leadoff man in Mitch Garver and allowing him to tie things up at two on an RBI single from Max Kepler.

2-2 is where this one stood for quite a while, as Matt Barnes, Josh Taylor, and Colten Brewer combined for four scoreless frames from the ninth until the 12th before making way for Hector Velazquez in the bottom of the 13th.

There, after his side had taken a one-run advantage in the top half of the inning, the right-hander gave that back right away by serving up a leadoff solo shot to Kepler, once again knoting things up at three runs each.

Velazquez did settle in after that mishap though, as he pushed his way through the 16th, but had to be removed after coming out for the 17th after being unable to continue.

And in that 17th, two days after he made his first start of the year in Baltimore, Brian Johnson allowed two of the first three Twins he faced to reach, although before doubling, Eddie Rosario’s right foot very well could have been out of the batter’s box while trying to lay down a bunt.

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Nothing came of it, however, and Rosario’s double would prove to be costly, as Johnson intentionally walked CJ Cron to load the bases, and Kepler ended things by ripping the game-winning RBI single down the right field line.

In total, Boston used eight pitchers on Tuesday/Wednesday not named David Price. Marcus Walden was not available.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a fairly familiar opponent in Twins right-hander Michael Pineda, who missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery.

Like Price, Pineda only limited his opposition to one lone run, and that came courtesy of a Mookie Betts leadoff walk and a Rafael Devers two-out RBI single in the fourth to put the Sox on the board.

Fast forward to the seventh, with Pineda out and new reliever Ryne Harper in for Minnesota, Devers struck again, this time launching his 12th home run of the season, a 374 foot leadoff shot to give his team the 2-1 advantage.

As mentioned before though, that advantage did not last all that long, and this contest headed into extras, where the Sox had plenty of chances to tack on some runs, but could only come away with one.

That one, a 380 foot solo shot off the bat of Mookie Betts to lead off the 13th inning against Mike Morin, probably should have been enough to send Boston home with a win. But, Hector Velazquez buckled in the latter half of the frame, and the Red Sox were unable to score again.

The offensive struggles were especially evident in the 17th, where Andrew Benintendi reached third with no outs on a leadoff single, a stolen base, and Minnesota throwing error.

The middle part of the lineup, JD Martinez, Devers, and Xander Bogaerts, all had their shot to drive Benintendi in, but came up short, and the Twins capitalized on that inability by walking things off a half inning later in a marathon game that ended in a 4-3 final.

Some notes from this loss:

Red Sox with runners in scoring position Tuesday/Wednesday: 1-for-13. They left 14 men on base.

JD Martinez on Tuesday/Wednesday: 0-for-8 with five strikeouts.

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

With that, the Red Sox’ six-game winning streak has come to an end.

For the finale of this three-game series, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a left and right-handed pitcher, with Eduardo Rodriguez getting the ball for Boston and Kyle Gibson doing the same for Minnesota.

Coming off one of his better starts of the year in his last time out against the Orioles where he surrendered just one run over seven quality innings of work, Rodriguez brings with him a lifetime 5.91 ERA over two prior starts and 10 2/3 total innings pitched at Target Field.

Gibson, meanwhile, is also fresh off a dominant outing, as he held the Kansas City Royals scoreless on just two hits in an eight-inning win last Friday.

In his career against the Sox, the 31-year-old is 2-3 with a 2.68 ERA over six starts and 40 1/3 innings of work.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the series win.

 

JD Martinez Mashes Two of Red Sox’ Six Homers in 13-2 Beatdown of Orioles

After splitting a four-game series with the Texas Rangers to wrap up a 3-5 homestand on Thursday, the Red Sox opened up a three-game weekend set against the Baltimore Orioles in emphatic fashion on Friday, blowing out their divisional foes by a final score of 13-2.

Making his 14th start of the season for Boston in this convincing victory was Eduardo Rodriguez, fresh off a four-run, losing effort in his last time out against the Tampa Bay Rays.

This time around, the left-hander had a much better time of things, as he yielded just one earned run while scattering six hits, one HBP, and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over seven quality innings of work.

That one Baltimore run came right away in the bottom of the first, when with one out, Trey Mancini launched his 15th home run of the season to left field to give his side the early lead.

It looked as though he could have folded from there, but Rodriguez recovered nicely after serving up the solo shot. That much was evident by how he kept the Orioles off the scoreboard.

Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr. did their part defensively as well, with the former making an inning-ending, over the shoulder snag in the fourth, and the latter robbing Pedro Severino of what would have been a one out, two-run home run in the sixth.

Sure, Bradley Jr. was unable to come up with the catch itself, but by being able to bring that ball back into play, both runners were held up at second and third.

Rodriguez ended the frame five pitches later with the assistance of JD Martinez, who caught a lineout off the bat of Anthony Santander and made a fine throw towards home to snuff out Mancini trying to tag up from third.

With one more scoreless frame in the seventh, Rodriguez’s impressive night against the club he began his professional career with came to a close.

Finishing with a final season-high pitch count of 114 (73 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball approximately 49% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing nine swings and misses and topping out at 94.2 MPH with the pitch while both Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon were behind the plate.

Improving to 7-4 while lowering his ERA on the season down to 4.67, Rodriguez will look to build on his best start of the month in his next time out, which should come against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen did not face as much pressure as they did the night before, as Travis Lakins entered this contest in the eighth with a comfortable 12-run lead to protect.

Making his second appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday, Lakins needed 13 pitches to retire the only three hitters he faced in order to set up Josh Smith in the ninth.

Fresh off his first career big league save against Texas, Smith did give up one run on three hits before ultimately recording the final out and locking down his team’s third consecutive victory.

On the other side of things, the Mookie Betts-less Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles rookie right-hander Luis Ortiz, who was making just his second career start Friday.

Having never faced off against Ortiz before, Brock Holt got the scoring started for Boston in the second inning with his first home run of the season, this one a 406 foot two-run shot to plate Xander Bogaerts as well as himself and give his side a lead they would not have to look back from.

In the fourth, Christian Vazquez added on to what’s been a career year in terms of power by leading things off with his eighth big fly of 2019 to give the Red Sox a 3-1 advantage.

That was followed by a Jackie Bradley Jr. double and an Orioles pitching change that saw Dan Straily take over for Ortiz, and he was immediately greeted by an RBI single off the bat of Michael Chavis to make it a 4-1 contest.

Two batters later, JD Martinez added another pair of runs to his team’s tally with a 414 foot bomb to left field, his first of two on the evening. 6-1.

Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his recent hot streak in the fifth, taking Straily deep yet again on an 0-2 91 MPH fastball and racking up his seventh big fly of the year, good for two runs.

Still in the fifth, an Eduardo Nunez single put a runner on for Chavis, and he took full advantage of that by depositing a 1-1 hanging slider from Straily 447(!) feet to dead center.

With the bases clear again following an Andrew Benintendi strikeout, Martinez went ahead and demolished his second homer of the night and third since Thursday on a 1-0 fastball right down Broadway. Per Statcast, the 31-year-old slugger’s 15th round tripper of the season had an exit velocity of 105 MPH.

Finally, in the sixth, Benintendi came to the plate with one out and the bases loaded, and he put the exclamation point on this offensive outpouring by golfing a two-run double down the left field line off Baltimore reliever Josh Rogers to drive in Holt from third and Vazquez from second.

That put the Red Sox ahead 13-1, and after the Orioles got another run of their own in the ninth, 13-2 would go on to be Friday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Friday was JD Martinez’s third multi-homer game of 2019. He had three all of last season.

Jackie Bradley Jr. during his five-game hitting streak: 8-for-19 with three doubles, two home runs, and five RBI.

Rafael Devers during his four-game hitting streak: 7-for-17 with one double, one triple, one home run, and four RBI.

Michael Chavis, in his fourth game batting out of the leadoff spot: 2-for-5 with one home run and three RBI.

The Red Sox have won three straight to improve to 37-34 on the season.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this three-game series on Saturday.

Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston, while right-hander Dylan Bundy will do the same for Baltimore.

Last time he pitched at Camden Yards back on May 8th, Sale fanned 14 over eight scoreless frames, including his first immaculate inning of the season in the seventh.

Since the beginning of May, Sale has posted a 1.99 ERA and .153 batting average against over his last eight starts and 54.1 innings pitched, yet the Red Sox are only 4-4 in those games.

Bundy, meanwhile, has had himself a solid 2019 campaign to this point with an ERA of 4.50 through 13 starts, although that number lowers to 3.02 since the beginning of last month.

In 17 outings (13 starts) against Boston, Bundy is 3-7 with an unsightly 5.08 ERA over 78 total innings of work.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 4:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking for their fourth straight win.

 

 

 

 

Red Sox Give up Four Home Runs, Go 1-For-13 with Runners in Scoring Position in 6-1 Loss to Rays

After coming away with a split in a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, the Red Sox were not able to split their four-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, as they fell to their divisional foes by a final score of 6-1 for their third defeat in as many days.

Making his 13th start of the season for Boston to close out the weekend was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered Sunday having never won any of his previous seven outings against the Rays.

Pitching his way into the sixth inning of this one, the left-hander surrendered four runs, all of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the afternoon.

Right from the jump, it appeared that Tampa Bay had Rodriguez all figured out, with the first four hitters they sent to the plate all reaching safely sans Tommy Pham trying to extend a wall-ball single into a double and getting snuffed out by Sam Travis.

Still, an RBI knock from Brandon Lowe and a sacrifice fly from Travis d’Arnaud two hitters later gave the Rays an early two-run advantage before the Red Sox had even taken their first at-bats.

In the second, more was tacked on to that lead, with Guillermo Heredia mashing a one-out, 433 foot shot off Rodriguez on a 2-1 86 MPH cutter to make it a 3-0 game.

Fortunately for Boston though, the Venezuela native settled in for a bit, retiring 11 of the next 12 Rays he faced up until the beginning of the sixth.

There, the home run ball bit Rodriguez yet again, this time with Brandon Lowe leading things off with his first of two home-runs on the day. This one, coming off a first-pitch 92 MPH fastball, was deposited a whopping 455 feet into the center field bleachers to put Tampa Bay ahead 4-1.

Allowing two of the last four hitters he faced to reach on a pair of free passes, Rodriguez’s outing came to an end with an eight-pich walk of Christian Arroyo.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 101 (62 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler relied on his cut and two-seam fastball a combined 55% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing four total swings and misses with the combination of pitches. He also topped out at 94.3 MPH with his four-seamer, a pitch he threw 18 times with Sandy Leon behind the plate.

Falling to 6-4 with his ERA on the season jumping up to 5.00 on the dot, Rodriguez’s career struggles against the Rays continue. He’ll look to put this particular outing behind him in his next time out, which should come against the Baltimore Orioles this Friday.

In relief of Rodriguez, Heath Hembree came on with runners at first and second and one out to get in the sixth, and he filled the bases by plunking Heredia with a 94 MPH fastball before fanning pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi on five pitches to escape the jam and keep it at a three-run game.

From there, Marcus Walden managed to only record one out to start out the seventh, as he served up a pair of solo shots, one being a leadoff piece from Yandy Diaz, and the other being a 435 foot missile off the bat of Lowe, that gave the Rays a 6-1 advantage.

Colten Brewer was able to clean up the mess Walden left behind in that seventh inning while also tossing a scoreless eighth.

Ryan Brasier, meanwhile, did the same by working his way around a one-out double in an otherwise clean ninth to keep his team within the five runs they trailed by.

On the other side of things, the right-handed Red Sox lineup was matched up against ace left-hander Blake Snell for the Rays, who held Boston to a total of three runs over the four starts he made against them during his Cy Young Award-winning campaign in 2018.

And as those numbers from last year indicate, it was more of the same from Snell on Sunday.

The lone run the Sox got off him came in their half of the second, when with one out and Sam Travis and Jackie Bradley Jr. at the corners following back-to-back leadoff singles, Marco Hernandez stayed hot in his second start since returning from the injured list by driving in Travis with a line-drive RBI single to left field.

The opportunities to tack on more than one run were present throughout, but the ability to capitalize on said scoring chances was not. That much is evident by how the team went 1-for-13 (.008) with runners in scoring position and left a total of nine men on base. Not ideal, really.

Key run-scoring chances that came up empty include Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez being stranded in scoring position in the first after getting there with no outs, Xander Bogaerts leading off the sixth by reaching second on a fielding error and not scoring, Sandy Leon and Hernandez occupying first and second with one out in the seventh and being stranded there, and Bogaerts reaching first on a five-pitch leadoff walk against Oliver Drake in the eighth and not scoring either.

Fittingly enough, when the Red Sox were down to their out in the ninth with Leon 90 feet away from home after he got on with a one-out single, Mookie Betts struck out looking on a 1-2 95 MPH fastball from Rays lefty Adam Kolarek, and that was how this 6-1 loss came to a close.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox’ 7-9 hitters on Sunday (Bradley Jr., Leon, Hernandez): 6-for-12, one double, one RBI, two strikeouts.

The Red Sox’ 1-3 hitters on Sunday (Betts, Vazquez, Bogaerts): 1-for-11, two walks, four strikeouts.

Marco Hernandez’s return to the majors so far: 4-for-9, two doubles, three RBI.

Michael Chavis in June: .182/.229/.273, zero home runs, three RBI, 17 strikeouts.

So, including the five runs they scored in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Red Sox pushed across a total of nine runs against the Rays in four games over the weekend. They lost three out of four of those.

Next up for the Sox, they’ll continue their eight-game homestand by welcoming the 34-30 Texas Rangers into Fenway Park for the first and only time this regular season on Monday.

For the opener in what looks to be a fascinating four-game set, it will be a pitching matchup featuring two of the better left-handers in the American League this year in Texas’ Mike Minor and Boston’s Chris Sale.

In his second of a three-year pact with the Rangers, Minor has surpised many in 2019, as he’ll come into the week with a 2.55 ERA through his first 13 starts this year.

Over five prior outings (three starts) at Fenway Park, the 31-year-old is 0-3 with a lifetime ERA of 4.19 in 19.1 total innings pitched.

Opposite Minor, Sale is coming off his best start of the season in his last time out against the Kansas City Royals, fanning 12 and tossing an immaculate eighth inning in his first complete game shutout as a member of the Red Sox.

In 14 career games (10 starts) against the Rangers, the Florida native is 7-2 with a 2.28 ERA over 73.1 total innings of work.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT. Red Sox looking to start something.

Eduardo Nunez’s Eighth Inning Pinch-Hit, Three-Run Home Run Powers Red Sox to 8-3 Win over Royals in Eduardo Rodriguez’s 100th Career Start

After salvaging their series against the New York Yankees on Sunday and enjoying an off day on Monday, the Red Sox headed down to Kansas City, Mo., where they took the first of three from a struggling Royals team by a final score of 8-3 Tuesday.

Making his 12th start of the season, his first since May 26th due to that rainout in the Bronx last week, and 100th of his career for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered Tuesday with just one prior outing at Kauffman Stadium under his belt going back to 2015.

Pitching into the sixth inning of this one, the left-hander yielded just two runs, both of which were earned, on six hits and zero walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

Both of those Kansas City runs came in their half of the second, when with one out and Alex Gordon at second following a leadoff double, Cheslor Cuthbert hammered an 0-1 cutter from Rodriguez and sent it 390 feet to the Red Sox bullpen to give his team the early two-run advantage.

Other than that one blip though, Rodriguez retired five of the next six hitters he faced before a pair of double of double plays helped him get through the fourth and fifth.

In what would turn out to be his final frame of work in the sixth, Rodriguez managed to record the first two outs of the inning on a pair of punchouts while also giving up a one-out single to the speedy Adalberto Mondesi, who swiped second shortly after reaching base.

So, with a runner in scoring position in what was a one-run game at the time, Sox manager Alex Cora decided to turn to his bullpen with the right-handed Jorge Soler due up next for Kansas City.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (60 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball more than 33% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing six swings and misses and topping out at 94.4 MPH with the pitch. He also got eight called strikes on said fastball with Christian Vazquez behind the plate.

Ultimately earning his sixth winning decision while lowering his ERA on the season down to 4.88, Rodriguez, visibly frustrated after getting the hook in this one, will look for win number seven in his next time out, which should come against the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend.

In relief of Rodriguez, as previously mentioned, Heath Hembree came on with one runner on second and one out to get in the sixth, and he did his job by getting Soler to fly out to right-center to retire the side.

From there, Marcus Walden worked his way around a one-out walk in a scoreless seventh, Brandon Workman sat down the only three hitters he faced in a shutout eighth, and Ryan Brasier allowed one seemingly meaningless run on one hit in the ninth to lock down the 8-3 win for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Royals right-hander Glenn Sparkman, who came into Tuesday night with a career 33.75 ERA against Boston, albeit a small sample size.

Facing off against Sparkman for the first time ever as a starter, it took the Sox bats a little while to get going. Sure, the hard contact was certainly there, but the results did not come until the sixth.

There, already in a two-run hole, Mookie Betts would turn out to be the catalyst for a three-run inning with a leadoff double.

Following an Andrew Benintendi fly out and a pitching change that saw right-hander Scott Barlow take over for Sparkman, JD Martinez finally got his team on the board, as he launched what looked to be a two-run home run to the opposite field.

Instead, the ball landed on the inner half of the top part of the wall, and fell back in play, going for an RBI triple that plated Betts from second.

After a six-pitch walk drawn by Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts came through with an RBI sacrifice fly deep enough to right field to score Martinez from third and tie this contest up at two runs a piece.

That stalemate would not last long though, not with Brock Holt extending his hitting streak to six games with an RBI double off of Barlow to drive in Devers all the way from first and give the Red Sox their first lead of the night.

Fast forward to the eighth, with runners on the corners and one out in the inning, Eduardo Nunez came on to pinch-hit for Holt with the left-handed Jake Diekman in for the Royals.

On the fourth pitch he saw from Diekman, in very similar fashion to Game 1 of last year’s World Series, Nunez unloaded on an 85 MPH slider on the outer edge of the plate and deposited it 410 feet into the seats in left field.

That blast, Nunez’s second of the year, opened up a 6-2 lead for Boston, and a two-run double off the bat of Devers that nearly got out of the ballpark in the ninth cushioned that lead even further in what would turn out to be an 8-3 win for the Red Sox.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Stats:

Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to seven games Tuesday. Over that span, he  has lifted his batting average from .284 to .304 and his OPS from .870 to .928.

Over his last six games since returning from the injured list, Brock Holt is 8-for-20 with two doubles and four RBI.

Eduardo Nunez is 3-for-6 as a pinch hitter this season.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this three-game set on Wednesday night. Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston, while right-hander Jakob Junis will do the same for Kansas City.

At 1-7 on the season thus far, 2019 has definitely been a bit of an oddity for Sale. In 17 previous appearances (11 starts) at Kauffman Stadium, the Sox ace is 6-5 with a lifetime 3.05 ERA over 88.2 total innings pitched.

Opposite Sale, Junis, 26, currently owns a 5.35 ERA through 12 starts this season. The Royals are 5-7 in those games.

In one previous matchup against the Red Sox back in 2018, Junis allowed two runs over six innings while being hit with the no-decision in a game Kansas City won.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 8:15 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third consecutive victory.

Rafael Devers Takes Justin Verlander Deep as #RedSox Salvage Another Series Against Astros with 4-1 Victory

For the second straight week, the Red Sox entered Sunday down two games to none in their series against the Houston Astros, and the for the second straight week, the Red Sox came away with a series-closing win. They did that first with a 4-3 victory at Fenway Park on May 19th, and then again with a 4-1 victory at Minute Maid Park on Sunday.

Making his 11th start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, whose spot in the rotation did not come up the last time these two clubs met a week ago.

This time around, the left-hander thoroughly impressed Sunday, tossing six innings of one-run ball on four hits, one walk, and one HBP to go along with five strikeouts on the afternoon.

That lone run came in Rodriguez’s first inning of work, when an Aledyms Diaz leadoff single resulted in Houston getting on the board with a two-out RBI infield single off the bat of Saturday’s hero Carlos Correa to plate Diaz from second.

The thing is, that run could have been prevented had Eduardo Nunez, filling in for Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, made a better throw to the plate and  if Christian Vazquez didn’t lose the ball on the attempted tag of Diaz.

Other than that one blip though, Rodriguez had a relatively simple time of things in this one, consistently maneuvering his way around the few baseruners he had to deal with while also receiving some help from his defense.

Retiring 11 of the last 12 hitters he faced, the 26-year-old’s fine day came to a close after getting Yuli Gurriel to pop out to second and end the sixth with his team ahead.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (63 strikes), Rodriguez turned to his four-seam fastball 39% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing two swings and misses and getting 13 called strikes with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.4 MPH with it in the fifth inning.

Improving to 5-3 on the year while lowering his ERA down to 5.04, the Venezuela native provided the Red Sox with a start they very much needed after the whole David Price situation the day before. Rodriguez will look for win number six in his next time out, which will come against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium sometime next weekend.

In relief of Rodriguez, Brandon Workman got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen with a two-run lead to protect going into the bottom half of the seventh.

Making his 26th appearance of the season and first of the series, Workman fanned a pair in a 1-2-3 inning before making way for Matt Barnes in the eighth.

Fresh off of getting walked off on on Saturday night, Barnes did allow the tying run to come to the plate with a one out walk of Tony Kemp, but did recover by sitting down the next two hitters he faced to send this one to the ninth.

And in that ninth and final inning, after his team tacked on an extra insurance run in the top half, Marcus Walden shut the door on the Astros to earn his first save of 2019 and lock up the 4-1 win for the Red Sox.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander and future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander for the Astros, who like Rodriguez, did not pitch in the series at Fenway Park.

Going down by one run right away in the first, a Steve Pearce leadoff single later turned into Boston’s first run of the afternoon crossing the plate on a one-out sacrifice fly off the bat of Andrew Benintendi to knot this one at one all.

An inning later, Rafael Devers’ hot streak continued, as the 22-year-old led off the fourth by demolishing his seventh home run of the season 423 feet to dead center field to give his team a lead they would not have to look back from.

In the fifth, the Boston bats capitalized on some sloppy defense from the Astros infield, with Nunez scoring all the way from second thanks to Yuli Gurriel misplaying a grounder from Andrew Benintendi, who reached first safely with one out in the inning.

The Astros committed another error in the same time frame courtesy of Alex Bregman over at third, but the Sox were unable to capitalize there.

And finally, in the ninth, more misjudgements allowed Boston to push another run across, with reliever Framber Valdez letting Jackie Bradley Jr. advance to second after drawing a one-out walk and also advance to third on a ball that got past Robinson Chrinos behind the plate.

That particular sequence of miscues set up Eduardo Nunez in a prime RBI spot, and he took full advantage by driving in his club’s final run of the day on an RBI grounder to second which gave Bradley Jr. more than enough time to score from third and make it a 4-1 contest, which would go on to be Sunday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From Red Sox Stats:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s a quick turn around with a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians set to kick off Monday evening back at Fenway Park.

Coming off a 4-3 road trip, this one home series will be all for the Sox before they head back out on the road again later this week.

Despite their reputation, the Indians are no longer the best team in their division at the moment, as that title currently belongs to the 36-16 Minnesota Twins, while the Tribe sit at an even 26-26.

Right-hander Rick Porcello is set to get the ball for the Red Sox in the series opener, while fellow righty Jefry Rodriguez will do the same for Terry Francona’s Indians.

Over his last seven starts dating back to April 20th, Porcello owns a 2.78 ERA and .196 batting average against over 45.1 innings pitched. The Red Sox are 6-1 in that span.

In 24 career starts against Cleveland, Porcello has posted a lifetime 3.57 ERA over 141 total innings of work.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, has never faced the Red Sox before in his young big league career. The 25-year-old is currently 1-4 with a 4.08 ERA through six starts so far this season.

First pitch Memorial Day Monday is scheduled for a rare 4:05 PM EDT start time on NESN. Red Sox looking to start another winning streak.