Red Sox’ Garrett Whitlock once again has idol Rick Porcello’s number after losing it in spring training

It appears as though Garrett Whitlock has once again obtained the uniform number he has long yearned for.

Whitlock, who wore No. 72 in his first two seasons with the Red Sox, is now listed as No. 22 on the club’s 40-man roster, per The right-hander initially planned on changing his number after his rookie year, but he gave up the No. 22 after Derek Holland — who signed a minor-league deal with Boston in March — asked for it in spring training.

Holland did not make the Sox’ Opening Day roster out of camp and was granted his release in May. The No. 22 then went unclaimed until veteran outfielder Tommy Pham elected to wear it after being acquired from the Reds in early August.

Pham batted just .234/.298/.374 in 53 games with the Red Sox and became a free agent earlier this month after his mutual option was declined earlier this month. That gave Whitlock the opportunity to re-claim the number and the righty has since taken advantage of it.

Whitlock grew up a fan of longtime big-league starter Rick Porcello, who donned the No. 22 in his five seasons with the Red Sox from 2015-2019. In a conversation with The Athletic’s Chad Jennings last October, Whitlock described Porcello as his “favorite pitcher ever.”

Growing up in Georgia, Whitlock tried to watch as many Tigers and Red Sox games as possible when Porcello was on the mound. He was a sophomore at the University of Alabama at Birmingham when Porcello won the American League Cy Young Award in 2016.

After coming over from the Yankees to the Red Sox in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, Whitlock gained an even greater respect for Porcello as teammates told him about the kind of leader he was during his time in Boston. Those same teammates encouraged Whitlock to switch to the No. 22, but Whitlock would only do so if he received permission from Porcello himself.

“The only way I’m going to change my number is if Porcello tells me, in person, ‘It’s OK for you to be 22,” Whitlock told Jennings. “And the only other number would be 48, because that’s what he was in Detroit. So, those are the only numbers I really care about that I would do. But I don’t want to taint his number. I don’t want to do anything like that, so I would only do it with his permission.”

Porcello, as it turns out, watched Whitlock from afar in 2021 and came away impressed with what he saw from the then-rookie hurler. The 12-year veteran told Jennings he wanted Whitlock to take the No. 22 since “he would do nothing but increase the value” of it.

“That number needs some steady success like he’s doing,” said Porcello. “I would love to see him wear it. He’s his own guy, too. He’s going to have his own success and carve his own path. Whatever he wants, but a number, they’re there to be worn. I hope I’ll get a chance to see him and tell him to wear it.”

While Whitlock and Porcello have yet to meet in-person, Jennings’ article was enough for Whitlock to first make the switch in the spring. It may have taken longer than expected thanks to some unique circumstances, but the 26-year-old will now have the chance to pay homage to his favorite pitcher t0 an even greater extent. He already wore three-quarter sleeves and bent the bill of his cap as a tribute to Porcello.

“Hopefully I can do No. 22 proud by him,” Whitlock told’s Chris Cotillo back in March. “He pitched like a blue-collar guy. He pitched. He didn’t just try to throw hard. He hated walks and I loved that aspect, too. He just wanted to win. Whatever the outcome was or whatever happens, I’m going to grind it out, be a workhorse and get the W and try to put up as many innings I can in a year. I just loved that fact so that’s what I want to aspire to be.”

Whitlock has primarily been used as a reliever through the first two years of his major-league career. He made nine starts from April 23-June 7 this past season and posted a 4.15 ERA with 38 strikeouts to nine walks over 39 innings of work. The Red Sox are now planning on using Whitlock as a full-time starter heading into the 2023 campaign. This has seemingly always been the plan since Whitlock was a rotation prospect in his time with the Yankees organization and was signed to a four-year, $18.75 million contract extension in April that includes significant incentive clauses based on the number of innings he pitches moving forward.

Whitlock’s 2022 season was cut short due to a right hip impingement that ultimately required arthroscopic surgery in September. He told The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey last week that his rehab is going well and he expects to be fully ready for spring training when pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers in February.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox reliever Garrett Whitlock undergoes successful hip surgery

Red Sox reliever Garrett Whitlock has undergone a successful right hip arthroscopy. The procedure was performed by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, the club announced Monday.

Whitlock, who was shut down from throwing last week, has been hampered by hip issues throughout the season. The right-hander spent more than a month on the injured list earlier this summer because of right hip inflammation and had been walking with a noticeable limp during the second half of the year.

While the Red Sox initially tried to manage the issue by carefully limiting Whitlock’s workload, they reached a point where shutting him down and opting for surgery became the best option available as they continued to slide out of contention.

Despite any discomfort he may have felt on the mound, Whitlock still put together a productive season. The 26-year-old hurler posted a 3.45 ERA and 3.30 FIP to go along with 82 strikeouts to 15 walks over 31 appearances (nine starts) spanning 78 1/3 innings of work.

After spending the first few weeks of the 2022 campaign in the bullpen, Whitlock moved to Boston’s starting rotation in late April. The righty produced a 4.15 ERA (3.61 FIP) across 39 innings as a starter before moving back to the bullpen on July 15. As a reliever, he pitched to a 2.75 ERA with 44 strikeouts to just six walks over 39 1/3 frames.

Whitlock, who was originally acquired from the Yankees in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, signed a four-year, $18.75 million contract extension with the Red Sox back in April. That deal includes club options for an additional two years, so Whitlock is under club control through the end of the 2028 season. It also comes with escalators that would increase the value of the contract if he accumulates a significant number of innings as a starter.

Because of that, the Red Sox will have an important decision to make this winter when it comes to determining if Whitlock is better suited to be a starter or a reliever in the long-run. The club does expect Whitlock to be ready for the start of spring training in February.

In the meantime, Whitlock’s spot on the major-league roster has been taken by fellow righty Connor Seabold. If they so choose, the Sox could elect to transfer Whitlock to the 60-day injured list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez comes through with game-winning single as Red Sox come from behind to defeat Royals, 2-1

The Red Sox battled back for a series-opening win over the Royals on Friday night. Boston defeated Kansas City by a final score of 2-1 to improve to 70-74 on the season.

Michael Wacha, making his 20th start of the year for the Sox, pitched well yet again. The veteran right-hander allowed just one run on seven hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts over seven strong innings of work.

That lone Royals run came in the top half of the sixth. After giving up a leadoff triple to M.J. Melendez that got over the head of Enrique Hernandez in center field, Wacha yielded a one-out, opposite field RBI single to Salvador Perez that pushed across the first run of the contest.

Wacha then got Vinnie Pasquantino to ground into an inning-ending 6-5-3 double play. Michael Taylor led off the seventh inning with a single, but Wacha retired the next three batters he faced to end his night on a solid note. The 31-year-old hurler finished with 88 pitches (65 strikes) and induced 10 swings-and-misses. He did not factor into Friday’s decision, though he did lower his ERA to 2.61.

In relief of Wacha, Garrett Whitlock received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The righty worked his way around a two-out single in an otherwise clean inning of work.

To that point in the contest, a Trevor Story-less Red Sox lineup had been held in check by the Royals pitching staff despite having their fair share of scoring opportunities.

In the fifth inning, for instance, Alex Verdugo and Triston Casas each drew a walk off Kansas City starter Jonathan Heasley while Christian Arroyo reached on a groundball single to fill the bases for Hernandez, who grounded into 6-4-3 double play to extinguish the threat.

Two innings later, J.D. Martinez and Casas drew a pair of two-out walks, bringing Arroyo to the plate to face off against Royals reliever Amir Garrett. With the potential tying run at second base, Arroyo fanned on four pitches to send things along to the eighth.

Following Whitlock’s scoreless frame, the Sox finally broke through in the latter half of the eighth. Hernandez led off by drawing a five-pitch walk off Dylan Coleman. Abraham Almonte, who was pinch-hitting for Kevin Plawecki, drew a free pass of his own to put runners at first and second.

After Tommy Pham popped out, Rafael Devers drew yet another walk off Scott Barlow to fill the bases. Xander Bogaerts struck out swinging, but Verdugo delivered by taking ball four to drive in the tying run (Hernandez) from third.

On the very next pitch from Barlow, Martinez dealt the finishing blow by ripping a game-winning RBI single through the left side of the infield to plate Almonte and give the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 2-1.

Taking a one-run lead into the ninth, Boston turned to Matt Strahm to close it out. The lefty issued a two-out walk to Michael Massey to put the tying run on base, but followed that up by getting Hunter Dozier to fly out to Hernandez in center.

Strahm picked up his fourth save of the season as the Red Sox put an end to their two-game losing streak. Whitlock earned the winning decision.

Next up: Hill vs. Singer

The Red Sox will go for a series win over the Royals on Saturday afternoon. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill is expected to start for Boston while right-hander Brady Singer is in line to do the same for Kansas City.

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

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Rich Hill strikes out 7 over 5 scoreless innings as Red Sox take series from Orioles with 1-0 win

After breaking out for a season-high 17 runs on a season-high 21 hits on Saturday, the Red Sox needed just one run on four hits to secure a 1-0 series-clinching victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Sunday.

A 72-minute rain delay did not affect Rich Hill, who made his 22nd start of the year for Boston and scattered two hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with seven strikeouts over five scoreless innings of work.

Hill retired the first five batters he faced before giving up a two-out single to Austin Hays in the bottom of the second. The veteran left-hander then worked his way around having runners on the corners with two outs in the third by getting Ryan Mountcastle to fly out to left field.

After stranding another base runner in the fourth, Hill plunked Rougned Odor and walked Robinson Chirinos to begin the fifth. But he did not falter as he got Ryan McKenna to pop out into foul territory before fanning Anthony Santander and Mountcastle back-to-back to end his day on a positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 77 (45 strikes), Hill ultimately picked up his seventh winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA to 4.56. The 42-year-old hurler has now allowed two or fewer runs to score in three of his last five starts.

It may have helped that the Red Sox had jumped out to an early 1-0 lead before Hill even took the mound on Sunday. Matched up against Baltimore right-hander Kyle Bradish, Tommy Pham led off the game with a line-drive single. He then stole second base, moved up to third on an Alex Verdugo groundout, and scored on a 348-foot sacrifice fly of Xander Bogaerts.

That one run turned out to be all Boston needed, as it recorded just one hit from the second and eighth innings before Verdugo and Bogaerts each singled in the ninth.

While the Sox lineup was unable to provide any sort of insurance, the bullpen held it down in relief of Hill. John Schreiber yielded just one single in a scoreless sixth inning, Matt Strahm put a runner at second with no outs before retiring the next three Orioles he faced in the seventh, Garrett Whitlock worked his way around a two-out walk in an otherwise clean eighth, and Matt Barnes struck out two while retiring the side in order in the ninth.

Barnes notched his fifth save of the season as the Red Sox improved to 7-8 against the O’s and to 69-72 on the 2022 campaign as a whole. With only 21 regular season games remaining, they still trail the Blue Jays by 10 games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Story day-to-day with left heel pain

Trevor Story left the game in the middle of the seventh inning after grounding into a 6-4-3 double play. He was later diagnosed with left heel pain and is considered day-to-day. Christian Arroyo took over for Story at second base and drew a walk in his only plate appearance.

Next up: Back to Boston

The Red Sox will an enjoy an off day on Monday before opening a quick two game series against the Yankees at Fenway Park on Tuesday. Right-hander Nick Pivetta is slated to start the opener for Boston. New York has yet to name a starter.

Regardless, first pitch on Tuesday night is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and TBS.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts crushes grand slam, drives in 5 runs to power Red Sox to 6-5 win over Twins

The Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Twins on Wednesday night. Boston held on for a 6-5 win over Minnesota at Target Field to end a three-game losing streak and improve to 63-68 on the season.

Matched up against Twins rookie starter Joe Ryan to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox drew first blood in their half of the third inning. Following a pair of back-to-back singles from Kevin Plawecki and Tommy Pham, Alex Verdugo reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases with no outs for Xander Bogaerts.

Bogaerts, who walked in his first plate appearance, took a first-pitch strike from Ryan and then unloaded on a hanging slider by lacing it 392 feet over the left field wall for a grand slam. The ball left his bat at a blistering 113 mph (his hardest-hit ball of 2022) and cleared the fence in just 3.6 second. It was also good for his 12th home run of the season and gave the Red Sox an early 4-0 lead.

After Rafael Devers flew out, J.D. Martinez went deep for the 11th time this year by depositing another slider from Ryan 394 feet into the left field bleachers. Martinez’s second big fly in his last four games made it a 5-0 contest in favor of Boston.

To that point, Michael Wacha had yet to allow a run two innings into his 17th start of the season. That changed in the third, as the veteran right-hander recorded two quick outs before giving up a softly-hit single to No. 9 hitter Sandy Leon. Moments later, Luis Arraeez made Wacha pay for extending the inning by cranking a three-run homer to right that trimmed Boston’s lead down to three runs at 5-2.

Fast forward to the sixth, and the Sox got one of those two runs back. Kevin Plawecki greeted new Twins reliever Jovani Moran by roping a leadoff double to right field. After Pham and Verdugo each struck out, Bogaerts came through yet again with an RBI single that would prove to be more important than it seemed at the time.

Wacha, who ended his night by escaping a jam in which Minnesota had runners at second third with only out, wound up yielding just two earned runs on four hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over six strong innings of work. The 31-year-old hurler threw 98 pitches (64 strikes) and induced eight swings-and-misses en route to picking up his 10th winning decision of the year.

In relief of Wacha, Garrett Whitlock received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Whitlock was not as sharp as he usually is, as he began the seventh inning by giving up a leadoff double to Nick Gordon. Gordon advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Arraez. Whitlock’s struggles extended into the eighth inning, as a pair of singles put runners on the corners with two outs for Gordon.

Gordon proceeded to rip a two-run double to right field that he attempted to extend into a triple. But Verdugo tracked the ball and, with his momentum carrying him towards the field, made a nice throw to gun down Gordon at third base and limit the damage to two runs.

Verdugo’s sixth outfield of the season allowed Matt Barnes to take the mound in the ninth with a 6-5 lead to protect. Barnes, in turn, made things interesting by putting the first two batters he faced on base before retiring Arraez and getting Carlos Correa to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play. By doing so, Barnes notched his fourth save of the year while securing a one-run victory.

With the win, the Red Sox finish the month of August with a 12-16 record. Coming into September, they still trail the Blue Jays by eight games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Bogaerts’ third-inning slam was the first from a Red Sox hitter since May 22nd. It was also the sixth of Bogaerts’ career, which moves him into sole possession of first place for most among shortstops in Red Sox history. He was previously in a three-way tie with Nomar Garciaparra and Vern Stephens, who each hit five over the course of their respective careers.

Plawecki, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored out of the nine-hole on Wednesday. He is now 11-for-21 (.524) over his last seven games dating back to Aug. 20.

Next up: Back to Boston

The Red Sox will return home and open a four-game weekend series against the Rangers on Thursday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill, fresh off striking out a season-high of 11 across seven scoreless innings in his last time out, will start the series opener for Boston. On the opposite side of the spectrum, rookie right-hander Glenn Otto will take the mound for Texas.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: David Berding/Getty Images)

Kiké Hernández homers, Michael Wacha tosses 5 2/3 scoreless innings as Red Sox hold on for 4-3 win over Orioles

The Red Sox held on for a one-run over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday afternoon. Boston defeated Baltimore by a final score of 4-3 to improve to 60-61 on the season.

Michael Wacha, making his 15th start of the season for the Sox, kept the O’s off the scoreboard while scattering four hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 strong innings of work.

There were not too many dramatic moments to be had for Wacha, who retired 11 of the first 14 batters he faced leading into the top half of the fifth inning. To that point in the contest, the Boston bats had been held in check by Baltimore starter Kyle Bradish.

Kevin Plawecki reached base via a one-out single. Christian Arroyo followed with a base hit of his own to put runners on the corners for Alex Verdugo, who promptly roped another single to right field to drive in Plawecki.

An inning later, J.D. Martinez led off against Bradish with a sharply-hit single. After Bobby Dalbec struck out for the first out of the sixth, Enrique Hernandez came through by depositing a 373-foot two-run home run down the left field line.

Hernandez’s fifth home run of the season was the first from any Red Sox hitter since last Sunday. It also gave Boston a 3-0 lead. Wacha, meanwhile, continued to impress before giving up a one-out single to Austin Hays and issuing a two-out walk to Anthony Santander in the bottom of the sixth.

At that point, Red Sox manager Alex Cora opted to turn to his bullpen. John Schreiber came on in relief of Wacha and officially closed the book on the righty’s outing by stranding both of the runners he inherited with a three-pitch strikeout of Ryan Mountcastle.

Wacha finished with a final pitch count of 79 (52 strikes), inducing seven total swings-and-misses while mixing a four-seam fastball, changeup, cutter, sinker, and curveball. The 31-year-old hurler improved to 8-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.28. He has yet to allow a run since returning from the injured list on August 14.

Schreiber came back out for the seventh and immediately surrendered a leadoff single to Ramon Urias. Jorge Mateo followed with another single to right field, but Jarren Duran made a poor throw back to the infield and missed the cutoff man, which allowed both runners to advance an additional 90 feet.

With runners at second and third for the Orioles now, the pinch-hitting Kyle Stowers plated Urias on a groundout to second base. Mateo then scored on a two-out wild pitch to trim Boston’s advantage down to one run at 3-2.

After Garrett Whitlock worked his way around a one-out single in a scoreless eighth inning, Duran was able to redeem himself in the ninth by reaching on a one-out bunt single off Bryan Baker. With the hit-and-run on, Duran went from first to third on a Plawecki single. He then scored from third on Arroyo’s third hit of the day — an 86.7 mph double to left field.

Arroyo’s RBI double would prove to be an important moment in this game. That being the case because Whitlock yielded a one-out triple to Mateo in the bottom of the ninth. Mateo scored on another Stowers groundout, but Whitlock held it down by getting Rougned Odor to line out to center field to end it.

Whitlock picked up his fifth save of the season while the Red Sox secured a 4-3 victory. Arroyo led the way offensively with three hits while Verdugo, Martinez, and Plawecki all enjoyed two-hit games.

Next up: 2022 Little League Classic on deck

The Red Sox and Orioles will wrap up this three-game weekend series in Williamsport, Pa. on Sunday night. In the fifth annual MLB Little League Classic, right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Dean Kremer will do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch from Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on ESPN.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Greg Flume/Getty Images)

Tommy Pham comes through with walk-off single in 10th inning as Red Sox come back to defeat Yankees, 3-2

The Red Sox walked off the Yankees in 10 innings at Fenway Park on Friday night. Tommy Pham immersed himself into the storied rivalry by lifting Boston to a 3-2 victory over New York.

Well before that, though, Nathan Eovaldi made his 18th start of the season for the Sox. The veteran right-hander grinded through six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts on the night.

The first of those two runs came right away in the top of the first inning. After issuing a one-out walk to Aaron Judge, Eovaldi gave up an RBI double to Anthony Rizzo. Two innings later, Judge took Eovaldi 429 feet over the Green Monster for his 46th home run of the season to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

J.D. Martinez got the Red Sox on the board in the fourth inning by driving in Alex Verdugo, who led off with a double, on a run-scoring single up the middle. That cut the deficit in half, but it was all they could get off Yankees starter Domingo German, who tossed six-one run innings.

Eovaldi, meanwhile, settled in by retiring nine of the final 12 batters he faced from the fourth inning on. He gave up a one-out single to old friend Andrew Benintendi in the sixth, but that was immediately negated when Jose Trevino popped into a force out at second base.

All told, Eovaldi finished with a final pitch count of 108 (70 strikes). The 32-year-old hurler induced a total of 11 swings-and-misses while averaging 94.4 mph with his four-seam fastball. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.15.

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Barnes received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Barnes yielded a one-out single to D.J. LeMahieu and promptly plunked Judge, but he got out of that by punching out Rizzo and Josh Donaldson in back-to-back fashion.

From there, Ryan Brasier retired the side in order in the eighth before Garrett Whitlock did the very same in the ninth to hold the Yankees at two runs. In the latter half of the inning, the Red Sox were down to their final three outs and matched up against All-Star closer Clay Holmes.

Holmes got a slumping Rafael Devers to ground out to short, but then issued back-to-back walks to Xander Bogaerts and Verdugo. Martinez then came through once again by driving in Bogaerts on another RBI single up the middle to knot things up at two runs apiece.

Verdugo, who advanced to third on the play, represented the potential winning run as Yankees manager Aaron Boone pulled Holmes in favor of Wandy Abreu. The lefty fanned Eric Hosmer and then got Christian Arroyo to line out to send the game into extras.

Whitlock came back out for the 10th and stranded runners at second and third while striking out Donaldson and Gleyber Torres. Arroyo, having recorded the final out of the ninth, started the bottom of the 10th inning at second base. Jaylin Davis moved him up to third on a softly-hit groundout.

After Reese McGuire reached base on a bunt single, Pham delivered with the hit of the night: a walk-off single down the left field line off Lou Trivino that scored Arroyo from third. Comeback completed.

With the win, their second straight, the Red Sox improved to 56-58 on the season. They still trail the Orioles by four games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Crawford vs. Montas

The Red Sox will go for their second consecutive series win over an American League East opponent on Saturday night. Rookie right-hander Kutter Crawford will get the start for Boston while former Red Sox pitching prospect Frankie Montas will do the same for New York.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Tommy Pham: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts delivers with go-ahead 3-run home run as Red Sox hold on for 4-2 win over Guardians to salvage series split

The Red Sox salvaged a series split with the Guardians at Fenway Park on Thursday night. Boston defeated Cleveland by a final score of 4-2 to improve to an even 50-50 on the season.

Kutter Crawford, making his sixth start of the season for the Sox, was solid yet again. The rookie right-hander allowed just one earned run on three hits and zero walks to go along with two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work.

The lone run Crawford gave up came in the top half of the fourth. With one out in the inning, Jose Ramirez belted a 413-foot solo shot down the right field line that managed to stay to the left of Pesky’s Pole and in fair territory. The play was reviewed, but the call was upheld and the Guardians had themselves a 1-0 lead.

Besides that one blip, though, Crawford rebounded by retiring seven of the final nine batters he faced. He was pulled with two outs in the fifth inning as the left-handed hitting Josh Naylor was due to hit next for Cleveland.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 69 (49 strikes), Crawford induced a total of eight swings-and-misses while topping out at 95.7 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 23 times. Although the 26-year-old did not factor into Thursday’s decision, he did lower his ERA on the season to 4.15.

In relief of Crawford, Jake Diekman received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The veteran left-hander did what he was called upon to do by getting Naylor to ground out to end the inning.

To that point in the contest, the Red Sox lineup had been completely held in check by Guardians starter Triston McKenzie, who did not give up his first hit until the fourth and took a shutout bid into the sixth.

After Jarren Duran switched places with Jeter Downs while recording the first out of the inning, Alex Verdugo moved the speedster up to second base with a line-drive single. Xander Bogaerts followed by taking a hanging 0-2 slider from McKenzie and crushing it 412 feet over the Green Monster for a go-ahead three-run blast.

Bogaerts’ eighth home run of the season left his bat at 105 mph. It also gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 3-1. Bobby Dalbec provided some insurance in the seventh by plating Franchy Cordero on a 103 mph RBI single to left field.

Following a scoreless seventh inning from Diekman in which he struck out two of the three Guardians he faced, Garrett Whitlock came on with the hopes of recording a six-out save.

Whitlock, working on two days of rest, yielded one run on one hit and one walk in the eighth. As the rain began to fall harder in the ninth, the righty maneuvered his way around a Naylor double to slam the door on the Guardians and pick up his third save of the year.

Next up: Bring on the Brewers

Exactly 100 games into the 2022 season, the Red Sox are a .500 team. They will next welcome the Milwaukee Brewers into town for a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park. The Brewers last visited Fenway in April 2014.

In Friday’s series opener, it will be rookie right-hander Brayan Bello getting the ball for Boston and fellow righty Brandon Woodruff doing the same for Milwaukee.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Alex Verdugo comes through with game-winning RBI double as Red Sox defeat Guardians, 3-1, to snap 5-game losing streak

Back in their yellow City Connect uniforms, the Red Sox put an end to their five-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Guardians at Fenway Park on Monday night. Boston took the series opener from Cleveland to avoid falling under .500 and improve to 49-48 on the season.

Matched up against Guardians starter Zach Plesac to begin things on Monday, the Sox struck first in their half of the third. Jackie Bradley Jr. led the inning off with a 376-foot wallball double off the Green Monster. Yolmer Sanchez followed by immediately plating Bradley Jr. on an RBI single down the left field line.

At that moment, the skies above Fenway Park began to open and a 38-minute rain delay commenced. Plesac remained in the game for Cleveland on the other side of the delay.

Nick Pivetta, on the other hand, made his 20th start of the season for Boston. Having allowed six or more runs in each of previous three outings before the All-Star break, the right-hander bounced back nicely on Monday. He yielded just one run on seven hits, three walks, and six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work.

That lone run came in the top half of the fifth. Myles Straw and Steven Kwan led off with back-to-back singles before Amed Rosario grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that moved Straw up to third base. With only one out to get, Pivetta gave up a game-tying single to Jose Ramirez that left the third baseman’s bat at a measly 58.6 mph.

Still, it was enough to drive in Straw and knot things up at one run apiece. Pivetta, meanwhile got through the fifth and recorded the first two outs of the sixth before allowing the final two batters he faced to reach base on a walk and single.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (62 strikes), Pivetta induced a total of 13 swings-and-misses while topping out at 96.4 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 51 times. The 29-year-old’s ERA on the season now sits at 4.35.

In relief of Pivetta, John Schreiber received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The righty officially closed the book on Pivetta’s night by stranding the two runners he inherited to keep the 1-1 tie intact going into the bottom of the sixth.

That is exactly where the Red Sox broke out for their most productive frame of the contest. Rob Refsnyder drew a leadoff walk off Plesac and broke the stalemate by scoring all the way from first on a go-ahead RBI double off the bat of Alex Verdugo that Steven Kwan struggled with in left field.

Following a Guardians pitching change, Xander Bogaerts greeted new reliever Trevor Stephan by moving Verdugo up to third on a single. Christian Vazquez then provided some insurance by driving in Verdugo on a softly-hit, run-scoring single up the middle.

That sequence events made it a 3-1 game in favor of Boston. From there, Schreiber picked up where he left off by punching out two in a scoreless seventh inning. Garrett Whitlock, who pitched on Sunday, was dispatched for the eighth inning and wound up retiring all six batters he faced to record his second save of the season and secure a 3-1 victory.

Next up: Winckowski returns

The Red Sox are expected to activate Josh Winckowski from the COVID-19 related injured list so that he can start on Tuesday. The rookie right-hander last pitched on July 13, allowing three runs over six innings against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

The Guardians have not yet named a starter. Regardless, first pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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)