Red Sox select Rob Refsnyder from Triple-A Worcester, place Garrett Whitlock on 15-day injured list in slew of roster moves

Before opening a three-game series against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Friday night, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, outfielder Rob Refsnyder had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester. To make room for Refsnyder on both the 26-man and 40-man roster, infielder Jonathan Arauz was designated for assignment.

Secondly, right-hander Garrett Whitlock was placed on the 15-day injured list with right hip inflammation, retroactive to June 9. Fellow righty Phillips Valdez was recalled from Worcester to take Whitlock’s spot on the active roster, the club announced.

Refsnyder joins the Red Sox for the second time this season after previously appearing in three games as a COVID-related substitute in late April. The right-handed hitting 31-year-old went 2-fot-5 at the plate with two doubles, one RBI, and one walk.

With the WooSox this year, Refsnyder has batted .306/.429/.524 with 14 doubles, six home runs, 28 RBIs, 31 runs scored, four stolen bases, 28 walks, and 42 strikeouts over 42 games spanning 182 plate appearances. He will hit leadoff and start in right field against the Mariners on Friday.

Arauz, meanwhile, has lost his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster after appearing in just six games with the big-league club this season. The versatile switch-hitter failed to record a hit in his 10 trips to the plate, though he did drive in and score one run.

Originally acquired from the Astros in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, Arauz could appeal to other teams given the fact that he is still just 23 years old and has two minor-league options remaining. The Red Sox will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or sneak the Panamanian national through waivers.

Turning to the other side of these transactions, Whitlock heads to the injured list after experiencing hip issues in his last start against the Angels on Tuesday. The soon-to-be 26-year-old hurler was slated to get the ball in Sunday’s series finale with the Mariners, but the Red Sox will now have to look elsewhere for a starter.

Since his stint on the 15-day injured list was backdated to June 9, Whitlock would first be eligible to be activated on Friday, June 24. That would line him up to make his return against the Guardians in Cleveland.

With Whitlock sidelined for the time being, the Sox recalled Valdez, who was just sent down to make room on the roster for Hansel Robles on Thursday. Valdez owns a 5.84 ERA and 3.71 FIP in 10 appearances (12 1/3 innings) with Boston this season.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Alex Verdugo and Jackie Bradley Jr. lead the way offensively as Red Sox bounce back with 7-1 win over Reds

The Red Sox ensured their flight to San Francisco would be a happy one as they defeated the Reds, 7-1, at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. With the win, Boston splits its two-game series with Cincinnati while improving to 24-27 on the season.

Matched up against Hunter Greene out of the gate, it took until the fourth inning for the Sox lineup to get to the Reds rookie right-hander. Rafael Devers led off with a wall-ball double and advanced to third base on a J.D. Martinez single. Xander Bogaerts drove in Devers to break the seal while Alex Verdugo followed by lacing a 106.8 mph two-run double to right-center field to score both Martinez and Bogaerts.

Those four consecutive hits gave Boston a 3-0 lead. Jackie Bradley Jr. tacked on one more by plating Verdugo on a two-out RBI single to center field. A four-run fourth inning proved to be beneficial for Garrett Whitlock.

Making his eighth start of the season for the Red Sox, Whitlock allowed just one unearned run on five hits, no walks, and no strikeouts over six innings of work. It was his first time since moving to the starting rotation that he did not strike out a single batter, though he did induce three double plays.

The lone run Whitlock gave up came in his sixth and final inning. There, the right-hander yielded a leadoff single to Aristedes Aquino, who proceeded to steal second base and advance to third on a Christian Vazquez throwing error. Aquino then scored from third on a Nick Senzel groundout, but he limited the damage to one by getting Brandon Drury to fly out to right field to retire the side.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 73 (49 strikes), the 25-year-old hurler lowered his ERA on the season down to 3.02 while earning his first career winning decision as a starting pitcher in the majors.

In relief of Whitlock, fellow righty Tanner Houck received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. He needed all of 12 pitches to sit down the side in order in the seventh before stranding one in a scoreless top of the eighth.

A half-inning later, Bradley Jr. provided some late insurance with a bases-clearing, three-run triple off Jeff Hoffman. Bradley Jr.’s first triple of the season gave the Sox a comfortable 7-1 lead. John Schreiber closed things out in the ninth with some defensive help from Trevor Story to secure a six-run victory.

All told, three different Red Sox pitchers (Whitlock, Houck, Schreiber) struck out just one of the 31 batters they collectively faced on Wednesday.

Next up: On to Oakland

The Red Sox will now board an overnight flight to San Francisco before enjoying an off day in the Bay Area on Thursday and opening a three-game weekend series against the 20-33 Athletics on Friday. It marks the start of a 10-game west coast road trip for the Sox.

Boston will turn to right-hander Nathan Eovaldi in the opener while Oakland will roll with fellow righty James Kaprielian. First pitch from Oakland Coliseum is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox fail to complete sweep of Rangers, end road trip with 7-1 loss in Texas

The Red Sox were unable to finish off a three-game sweep of the Rangers to close out the weekend. Boston instead saw their winning streak snapped at two games following a 7-1 loss to Texas at Globe Life Field on Sunday afternoon. Their record is now 13-21.

In what was a bullpen game for the Sox’ pitching staff, Austin Davis served as the opener while also making the first start of his major-league career. The left-hander pitched well, allowing just one walk to go along with two strikeouts over two-plus scoreless and hitless innings of work. 19 of the 35 pitches he threw went for strikes.

Davis’ day came to an end after issuing a leadoff walk to Nathaniel Lowe in the bottom of the third. He was replaced by Tanner Houck, who took a combined no-hit bid into the fifth inning.

Shortly before Houck took the mound for the bottom half of the fifth, the Boston lineup finally got something going against old friend Martin Perez in their half of the fifth. With two outs in the inning, Enrique Hernandez singled and immediately came into score on a 110.6 mph RBI double off the bat of Rafael Devers.

That gave the Red Sox their first lead of the day at 1-0. Houck, however, gave that run right back when he served up a leadoff homer to Kole Calhoun a half-inning later, which knotted things back up at 1-1.

After Houck got through the rest of the fifth, manager Alex Cora next turned to fellow righty Ryan Brasier out of the Boston bullpen. Brasier, in turn, got hit hard. He gave up a one-out double to Marcus Semien that was followed by a five-pitch walk of Corey Seager. Jonah Heim fanned for the second out, but Adolis Garcia demolished a three-run home run 413 feet to right-center field.

Calhoun followed in Garcia’s footsteps by going deep again moments later. His second big fly of the afternoon put the Rangers up 5-1. Tyler Danish took over for Brasier in the seventh and surrendered another homer to Adolis Garcia. This one was good for two runs and gave Texas a commanding 7-1 lead.

Besides what they did in the fifth inning, the Red Sox bats were held in check by Perez and three relievers out of the Rangers’ bullpen. After exploding for 10 runs on Saturday, Boston went a measly 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Sunday while leaving nine runners on base as a team.

If there are any positives to take away from Sunday’s performance, it’s that Devers extended his hitting streak to eight consecutive games with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate. J.D. Martinez, on the other hand, went 1-for-4 with a single to extend his hitting streak to 16 straight games.

Next up: Back to Boston

The Red Sox will head back to Boston and kick off a seven-game homestand by first welcoming the Astros into town for the first of three on Monday night. Boston will give right-hander Garrett Whitlock the ball in the series opener while Houston will roll with fellow righty Jake Odorizzi.

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

(Picture of Kole Calhoun: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers’ early grand slam lifts Red Sox to 9-4 win over Braves to put an end to 5-game losing streak

The Red Sox rode a six-run second inning to a much-needed win over the Braves on Tuesday night. Boston defeated Atlanta by a final score of 9-4 to snap a five-game losing streak and improve to 11-19 on the season.

Matched up against Braves starter Kyle Wright to begin things on Tuesday, the Sox’ second-inning rally was ignited by a one-out double from Alex Verdugo. Trevor Story followed with a single of his own and Franchy Cordero drew a four-pitch walk to fill the bases for Christian Vazquez.

Vazquez kept the line moving with an RBI single to drive in Verdugo for Boston’s first run of the game. Story then came into score himself when Jackie Bradley Jr. drew a bases-loaded walk as the lineup flipped back over and Enrique Hernandez grounded into a force out at home plate.

Because Hernandez made it to first base safely, the bases remained loaded for Rafael Devers, who took the first pitch he saw from Wright — a 96 mph heater down the heart of the plate — and deposited it 432 feet to right-center field.

Devers’ fifth home run and first grand slam of the season had an exit velocity of over 111 mph. It also gave the Red Sox a commanding 6-0 lead in the early going.

On the other side of things, Garrett Whitlock made his fourth start of the year for Boston in his home state of Georgia. It was truly a grind for the right-hander, who allowed three earned runs on four hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts over just three innings of work.

After getting through the first two innings unscathed, Whitlock gave up all three of his runs in the bottom half of the third. Fellow Georgia native Matt Olson led off with a double and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. A six-pitch walk of Austin Riley put runners on the corners for Marcell Ozuna, who drove in Olson on a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Braves were not done there, though, as Travis d’Arnaud cranked a 401-foot two-run homer to cut the Sox’ lead in half at 6-3 before Whitlock was able to retire the side in his third and final inning. The 25-year-old finished with a final pitch count of 82 (48 strikes) and induced a total of 12 swings-and-misses.

In relief of Whitlock, a clean-shaven Alex Cora first turned to Tyler Danish out of the Boston bullpen beginning in the fourth inning. Danish responded by hurling two scoreless frames to pave the way for Ryan Brasier, who kept Atlanta off the board in the sixth.

Hansel Robles, on the other hand, issued a leadoff walk to Ronald Acuna Jr. in the eighth and allowed Acuna Jr. to score when Ozuna grounded into a force out at second base. Robles faced five batters in the seventh, but only surrendered the one run to make it a 6-4 game going into the seventh-inning stretch.

John Schreiber made quick work of the Braves in the eighth before the Sox tacked on some important insurance runs in their half of the ninth. With old friend Tyler Thornburg on the mound for Atlanta, Devers drew a leadoff walk, J.D. Martinez singled to extend his hitting streak, and Xander Bogaerts singled to once again fill the bases for Verdugo.

Verdugo, in turn, walked on seven pitches to plate Devers. Story followed suit by drilling a 108.6 mph two-run single to left field that brought in both Martinez and Bogaerts to increase Boston’s lead to five runs.

Looking to close things out in the ninth, Schreiber slammed the door on the Braves to secure a 9-4 victory and notch the first save of his big-league career.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox drew a season-high seven walks on Tuesday. They also went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Franchy Cordero went 0-for-0 with three walks on Tuesday, marking his first career three-walk game.

Tyler Danish earned the winning decision to improve to 1-0 in his Red Sox career.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Anderson

The Red Sox will go for the quick two-game sweep of the Braves when they send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound on Wednesday night. Atlanta will counter with fellow righty Ian Anderson.

First pitch from Truist Park is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Red Sox blow late lead, fall to Angels, 10-5, in 10 innings as bullpen melts down

The Red Sox were one out away from securing a series win over the Angels at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. They instead suffered one of their worst losses of the season to date. Boston fell to Los Angeles by a final score of 10-5 in 10 innings to drop to 10-15 on the year.

Matched up against Angels rookie starter Reid Detmers to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox got on the board first in their half of the third inning. Bobby Dalbec and Christian Arroyo led off by drawing back-to-back walks and, as the lineup turned over, Trevor Story drove both of them in on a two-run double down the left field line.

On the other side of things, Garrett Whitlock was once again impressive in his third start and sixth overall appearance of the season for the Sox. The right-hander allowed just two earned runs on two hits and no walks to go along with nine strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

Both runs Whitlock surrendered came in the top half of the fifth. After giving up a one-out double to Jared Walsh, which broke up the bid for a perfect game, and fanning the next batter he faced, the righty served up a game-tying, two-run home run to Max Stassi before recording the final out of the inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 78 (50 strikes), Whitlock turned to his sinker 50% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday and induced 11 swings-and-misses with the pitch. The 25-year-old hurler also saw his ERA on the season rise to 1.25.

Shortly after Whitlock’s night came to a close, the Red Sox quickly responded in their half of the fifth. Arroyo took first base after getting plunked by a Detmers curveball and scored all the way from first when Story lifted another RBI double off the Green Monster to put his side up by a run at 3-2.

In relief of Whitlock, Austin Davis got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora beginning in the top of the sixth. The left-hander punched out each of the first three batters he faced in relatively easy fashion, but surrendered a booming solo shot to Anthony Rendon in the seventh that knotted things back up at three runs apiece.

After Matt Strahm retired the side in order on three groundouts in the eighth, Xander Bogaerts came through with what appeared to be the hit of the night a half-inning later. With veteran reliever Aaron Loup pitching for Los Angeles, Bogaerts crushed a 397-foot home run of his own that cleared the Green Monster. Bogaerts’ second big fly of 2022 left the shortstop’s bat at a scalding 109.3 mph and put the Red Sox ahead 4-3 heading into the ninth.

Needing just three more outs, Hansel Robles was sent in to go for the save. Robles got the first two outs of the inning, but did so while walking the Halos’ boppers in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Cora then went to Jake Diekman to face the left-handed hitting Walsh.

Walsh, in turn, delivered in the clutch for his side by scoring Trout on an RBI single past a diving Story into right field. Diekman proceeded to walk Kurt Suzuki, which put the potential go-ahead run (Ohtani) just 90 feet away from scoring. He escaped any further damage by getting Stassi to fly out to deep center field.

With the chance to walk if off against Angels reliever Ryan Tepera, Christian Vazquez reached base by drawing a one-out walk but was then thrown out at second as part of an inning-ending strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play that occured on a questionable strike three call with Dalbec at the plate.

Regardless, with this contest now headed into extra innings, it was Matt Barnes who was dispatched for the top of the 10th. Barnes, making his first appearance since Saturday, got the first two outs on eight pitches, but — with the automatic runner already at second — then yielded a back-breaking, two-run home run to Walsh that gave the Angels a 6-4 lead.

The Angels only added on from there, as Barnes allowed two more runners to reach base before getting the hook in favor of Hirokazu Sawamura, who gave up a run-scoring single to Rendon as well as three-run homer to Taylor Ward.

That sequence gave Los Angeles a commanding 10-4 advantage. Boston countered with one run of their own on a Jackie Bradley Jr. single in the bottom of the inning, but it was too little, too late as 10-5 would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base as a team on Wednesday. They are now 0-3 in games started by Garrett Whitlock and 0-5 in extra-inning games this season. They have also blown a league-leading four saves in the ninth inning of games or later.

Six Red Sox relievers (Davis, Strahm, Robles, Diekman, Barnes, and Sawamura) combined to allow eight runs (seven earned) on six hits (three home runs), four walks, and four strikeouts over five innings pitched.

Next up: Ohtani vs. Hill in finale

The Red Sox will send veteran left-hander Rich Hill to the mound as they still have a chance to salvage a series victory on Thursday afternoon. The Angels will counter with right-hander Shohei Ohtani, who will be making his first-ever start as a pitcher at Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Taylor Ward: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez both homer, Michael Wacha tosses 5 2/3 scoreless innings as Red Sox open homestand with 4-0 victory over Angels

Coming off a brutal 3-7 road trip and an off day on Monday, the Red Sox opened their first homestand of May with a much-needed win over the Angels at Fenway Park. Boston defeated Los Angeles by a final score of 2-0 on Tuesday to improve to 10-14 on the season.

Michael Wacha, making his fifth start of the year for the Sox, impressed by scattering just three hits and two walks to go along with two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work. The veteran right-hander took a perfect game into the third before issuing a pair of two-out walks to Andrew Velazquez and Taylor Ward. He got out of that jam by fanning the dangerous Mike Trout on six pitches.

In the fourth, a leadoff single off the bat of Shohei Ohtani broke up Wacha’s no-hit bid, but the righty did not falter as he got Anthony Rendon to ground into a 5-4-3 double play and Jared Walsh to pop out to Rafael Devers in foul territory.

Moments after making the inning-ending catch, Devers led off the bottom of the fourth by taking Angels starter Noah Syndergaard 437 feet deep to dead center field for his fourth home run of the season. The solo blast left Devers’ bat at a blistering 110.7 mph and gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 1-0.

Xander Bogaerts followed by drawing a seven-pitch walk off Syndergaard, advancing to second base on a J.D. Martinez single, and to third on an Alex Verdugo groundout. He then scored on another groundout from Enrique Hernandez that doubled Boston’s advantage.

Given a two-run lead to work with now, Wacha picked up where he left off by inducing another double play in the fifth and recording the first two outs of the sixth. He gave up a two-out single to Trout, who advanced to second on a Devers throwing error and proved to be the last batter Wacha would face.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 60 (42 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler threw 21 four-seam fastballs, 15 changeups, nine cutters, eight sinkers, and seven curveballs. He also lowered his ERA on the season down to 1.38 while improving to 3-0 on the year.

In relief of Wacha, Jake Diekman got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora to face Ohtani, who he got to line out to Verdugo in left to retire the side. The lefty came back out for the seventh and maneuvered his way around a leadoff walk in an otherwise clean frame.

A half-inning later, Story nearly hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox, but instead settled for a sacrifice fly off Syndergaard that brought in Franchy Cordero to make it a 3-0 game in favor of the Sox.

After Ryan Brasier struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect top of the eighth, Martinez mashed his second home run in as many games as he took Halos reliever Elvis Peguro 402 feet over the Green Monster for his third big fly of the season.

Martinez’s 107 mph laser put Boston up 4-0 heading into the ninth. There, Hirokazu Sawamura — with some defensive help from Bogaerts and Bobby Dalbec — slammed the door on Los Angeles to secure the shutout victory.

Next up: Detmers vs. Whitlock

As planned, right-hander Garrett Whitlock will make his third start of the year for the Red Sox as they go for a series win over the Angels on Wednesday night. The Angels will counter with rookie left-hander Reid Detmers.

First pitch from Fenway Park — weather permitting — is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Garrett Whitlock to make third start of season for Red Sox against Angels on Wednesday

Garrett Whitlock will make his third start of the season for the Red Sox in Wednesday night’s game against the Angels at Fenway Park, manager Alex Cora said Saturday.

After opening the year in Boston’s bullpen as a multi-inning reliever, Whitlock moved into the starting rotation on April 23 and has made two starts against the Rays and Blue Jays on the road. Over 16 2/3 total innings of work, the right-hander has posted a miniscule 0.54 ERA and 2.20 FIP to go along with four walks and 20 strikeouts.

While Whitlock will remain in the Sox’ rotation for the time being, Cora would not commit to the 25-year-old as a starter beyond Wednesday since the club has three off days within the next two weeks.

“Let’s see how it goes,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo). “We’ve got the off day on Monday. Obviously, we’ve got another off day a week from Monday. He’ll start on Wednesday and then we’ll keep making decisions.”

Cora also indicated that Whitlock’s pitch count on Wednesday will surpass the career-high of 61 he threw in Toronto this past Thursday. In his first time out as a starter in St. Petersburg last Saturday, the righty needed just 48 pitches (33 strikes) to toss four scoreless, one-hit innings.

With Whitlock sticking as a starter for now, Tanner Houck is expected to remain in the bullpen. Houck began the season as a member of Boston’s starting rotation but his last two appearances have come in relief after missing the team’s four-game series in Toronto on account of not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Between the two, the Sox can mix and match with Houck and Whitlock if they so choose when it comes to their respective roles. Also, as noted by Cotillo, the impending returns of left-handers James Paxton and Chris Sale at some point this summer will further shake up the club’s rotation mix in the coming months.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Joshua Bessex/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox muster just 3 hits off Alek Manoah in 1-0 loss to Blue Jays

The Red Sox had an opportunity to salvage a series split against the Blue Jays but, much like their lineup, were unable to take advantage of it. Boston fell to Toronto by a final score of 1-0 at Rogers Centre to lose the four-game series and drop to 8-12 on the season.

Garrett Whitlock, making his second start and sixth overall appearance of the year for the Sox, was not as sharp as he was in his last time out but was still effective nonetheless. The right-hander allowed just one unearned run on four hits and two walks to go along with two strikeouts over three innings of work.

The lone run the Jays scored off Whitlock came as a result of a Christian Arroyo fielding error in the bottom of the third inning. Lourdes Gurriel reached base on Arroyo’s miscue, advanced to second base on a walk drawn by Raimel Tapia, and scored from second on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Alejandro Kirk.

Kirk’s run-scoring base hit gave Toronto an early 1-0 lead and was the precursor to Whitlock’s day ending once he recorded the final out of the third. Of the 61 pitches the 25-year-old hurler threw on Thursday, 41 went for strikes. He threw 37 sinkers, 17 sliders, and seven changeups.

In relief of Whitlock, Austin Davis received the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen in the middle of the fourth. The left-hander notched the first two outs of the frame and issued one walk before making way for John Schreiber, who ended things in the fourth while also working his way around a two-out double in an otherwise clean fifth inning.

Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes followed with a scoreless frame each in the sixth and seventh, while Hansel Robles sat down the side in order in the eighth.

To that point in the contest, a Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez-less Red Sox lineup had already squandered multiple scoring chances against Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah.

It took until the fifth inning for a Boston batter to get into scoring position when Arroyo reached base via a one-out single and immediately stole second. He was, however, stranded there after Bobby Dalbec and Travis Shaw both struck out swinging to extinguish the threat.

Fast forward to the seventh, and Enrique Hernandez led the inning off with his eighth double of the season. With Manoah seemingly on the ropes, Bradley Jr. advanced Hernandez to third on a softly-hit groundout, but neither Arroyo nor Dalbec could drive him in.

Down to their final three outs in the ninth with Jordan Romano on the mound for Toronto, Alex Verdugo grounded out to second, and Rafael Devers laced a 100.3 mph single back up the middle to put the tying run on base for Hernandez, who hit the ball hard himself but right into Gurriel’s glove in right field. Bradley Jr., on the other hand, struck out on four pitches to seal the 1-0 defeat for Boston.

All told, Red Sox hitters went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base as a team en route to losing three out of four to the Blue Jays north of the border.

Next up: On to Baltimore

The Red Sox will now conclude their lengthy road trip with a three-game weekend series in Baltimore that begins on Friday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will get the start for Boston in the opener and will be piggybacked by Tanner Houck. The Orioles have yet to announce who will be starting for them opposite Hill.

Regardless, first pitch from Camden Yards on Friday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alek Manoah: Joshua Bessex/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts leads the way with 4 hits as Red Sox snap skid with 7-1 win over Blue Jays

With Alex Cora back in the dugout, the Red Sox put an end to their four-game losing streak on Wednesday with a much-needed win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Boston defeated Toronto by a final score of 7-1 to snap their skid and improve to 8-11 on the season by doing so.

Matched up against Jays starter Ross Stripling to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox got right to work when Xander Bogaerts reached base via a two-out double in the top of the first inning. Rafael Devers followed with a sharply-hit double of his own that scored Bogaerts and made it a 1-0 game in favor of the visitors.

That sequence provided Michael Wacha with an early one-run cushion and he took advantage of it while making his fourth start of the year for the Sox. Over six quality innings of work, the veteran right-hander allowed just one run on four hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

The lone run the Blue Jays got off Wacha came in the third inning following a pair of back-to-back leadoff singles from Tyler Heineman and George Springer. Bo Bichette advanced Heineman to third on a fielder’s choice and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove the catcher in on a fielder’s choice that was nearly an inning-ending double play.

Instead, Wacha gave up the tying run at the time. But the righty rebounded by getting through the rest of the third unscathed, stranding a runner in scoring position in the fourth, and retiring each of the final six batters he faced from the fifth through the end of the sixth to end his outing on a high note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 92 (57 strikes), Wacha ultimately improved to 2-0 while lowering his ERA on the season to 1.77. The 30-year-old hurler threw 42 four-seam fastballs, 26 changeups, 11 curveballs, nine cutters, and four sinkers. He induced eight swings and misses with his changeup and averaged 93.6 mph with his heater.

Shortly before his night came to a close, the Red Sox put Wacha in position to earn the win by pushing across two more runs in their half of the sixth. Greeting new Blue Jays reliever Trent Thornton, Bogaerts led of with a single, moved up to third on a Bogaerts single, and scored on an RBI single off the bat of J.D. Martinez. Devers, meanwhile, scored on an Enrique Hernandez sacrifice fly that gave Boston a 3-1 lead.

In relief of Wacha, Jake Diekman got the first call from Cora for the bottom of the seventh and sandwiched a six-pitch walk of Santiago Espinal in between the first two outs of the inning. Hirokazu Sawamura then came on to face George Springer, who ripped a single to center field to put runners on the corners. To his credit, Sawamura escaped the jam by fanning Bichette on a 96.5 mph four-seamer.

Moments after that happened, Martinez led off the top of the eighth with a blistering 106.2 mph double off Julian Merryweather. Hernandez laced a 105.2 mph double of his own to plate Martinez. A well-executed sacrifice bunt from Jackie Bradley Jr. allowed Hernandez to move up to third and Bobby Dalbec brought him in on a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Red Sox up 5-1.

John Schreiber took over for Sawamura in the bottom half of the eighth and impressed in his 2022 debut by sitting down the side in order on 14 pitches.

The ninth inning was all about insurance for the Sox. Bogaerts drove in Trevor Story with his fourth hit of the night and Rob Refsnyder, who was pinch-hitting for Martinez, drove in Alex Verdugo on his first. That made it a 7-1 game going into the bottom of the ninth for Tyler Danish.

Danish, in turn, wrapped things up with a 1-2-3 frame to lock down the commanding, six-run victory.

Some notes from this win:

From the Red Sox’ J.P. Long:

Next up: Whitlock vs. Manoah in series finale

The Red Sox will go for a series split with the Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon when they send right-hander Garrett Whitlock to the mound for his second career big-league start. Whitlock will be opposed by fellow second-year righty for Toronto.

First pitch from Rogers Centre is scheduled for 3:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Garrett Whitlock to start for Red Sox in Thursday’s series finale against Blue Jays

Garrett Whitlock will start for the Red Sox in Thursday’s series finale against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, the team announced earlier Monday evening.

The Sox are without one of their starters for this four-game set in Toronto after placing Tanner Houck on the restricted list due to his unvaccinated status. Houck was in line to start on Thursday, but is not eligible to travel to Canada on account of the country’s rules for entry.

Because of this, a spot in Boston’s rotation opened up and it unsurprisingly goes to Whitlock, who will follow Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, and Michael Wacha by taking the mound on Thursday.

Whitlock was absolutely dominant in the first start of his big-league career against the Rays on Saturday. Working on three days rest, the right-hander allowed just one hit and no walks to go along with seven strikeouts across four scoreless innings at Tropicana Field. 33 of the 48 pitches he threw went for strikes.

Although the Red Sox have primarily used Whitlock as a reliever since acquiring him from the Yankees in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, it is quite apparent that the club views the 25-year-old hurler as a starter in the long-term.

The four-year, $18.75 million contract extension Whitlock signed with Boston earlier this month includes escalators based on the number of innings he pitches in the future. It can also max out at $44.5 million over six years beginning in 2023.

Including Saturday’s start, Whitlock has posted a miniscule 0.66 ERA and 1.84 FIP with 18 strikeouts to two walks through his first five appearances (13 2/3 innings pitched) of the season. Last year, the righty made one appearance in Toronto on August 7 and struck out three over two scoreless frames of relief.

Considering that he will be pitching on a conventional four days rest come Thursday afternoon, it should be interesting to see how deep the Red Sox allow Whitlock to pitch into the game if he is as effective as he was over the weekend.

On the other side of things, Alek Manoah — who also made his major-league debut last season — is slated to oppose Whitlock and make his fourth start of 2022 for the Blue Jays.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)