Nick Pivetta allows just 1 run over 7 strong innings as Red Sox take series opener from Rangers with 7-1 win

The Red Sox opened the final leg of their road trip with a 7-1 win over the Rangers at Globe Life Field on Friday night. By defeating Texas to kick off the weekend, Boston improved to 12-20 on the season.

Matched up against Rangers starter Dane Dunning to begin things on Friday, the Sox drew first blood in the third inning when Enrique Hernandez drew a two-out walk. A wild pitch allowed Hernandez to advance to second base, and he immediately scored from second on a softly-hit RBI single off the bat of Rafael Devers.

Devers extended his hitting streak to seven consecutive games while giving the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead. Hernandez, on the other hand, picked up where he left off in the bottom of the third by recording all three outs in center field, including a sprawling grab into the right-center gap on a 106.9 mph line drive from Nick Solak that had an expected batting average of .930.

Fast forward to the sixth inning, and J.D. Martinez ignited a three-run rally by extending his hitting streak to 14 straight games with a one-out single to left field. Xander Bogaerts followed with a single of his own to put runners at first and second for Alex Verdugo, who kept the line moving by ripping an RBI double 354 feet to right field.

Verdugo’s 103 mph laser brought in Martinez and advanced Bogaerts to third. Trevor Story, the hometown kid, then pushed across Bogaerts on a sacrifice fly while Verdugo scored on an RBI double off the bat of Franchy Cordero that was sent down the right field line.

Following a pitching change that saw Brett Martin take over for Dunning, Cordero moved up to third on a wild pitch before Vazquez greeted the new Rangers reliever by lacing a run-scoring single to right. Cordero scored on the play and, by doing so, capped off a four-run inning that put the Sox up 5-0.

In the seventh, with old friend Garrett Richards on the mound for Texas, the Boston lineup tacked on two more runs. Devers reached base via a fielder’s choice and moved up to third on a ground-rule double from Martinez. Both Devers and Martinez scored on a two-run single from Bogaerts that gave the Red Sox a commanding 7-0 lead heading into the seventh-inning stretch.

To that point in the contest, Nick Pivetta was squarely in command in what was his seventh start of the season for the Sox. As was the case in his last time out, the right-hander impressed by allowing just one earned run on three hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over seven impressive innings of work.

Pivetta retired 18 of the first 21 batters he faced leading up until the middle of the seventh. The righty surrendered a one-out triple to Kole Calhoun. He then scored from third on a wild pitch while Nathaniel Lowe was at the plate for his side’s first run of the night.

That was Pivetta’s one and only blemish. The 29-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 85 (61 strikes) while lowering his ERA on the year down to 5.08.

In relief of Pivetta, Kutter Crawford received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora beginning in the eighth inning. Crawford, making his first appearance out of the ‘pen in over a week, worked a pair of scoreless frames to close out the 7-1 victory.

Some notes from this win:

Moments before doubling in the sixth inning, Alex Verdugo took a foul ball off his right foot. The outfielder was obviously able to remain in the game, but was pinch-hit for by Bobby Dalbec in the top of the seventh. He was later diagnosed with a right foot contusion.

The Red Sox are now 10-5 when scoring four or more runs this season. They went 5-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Friday.

Enrique Hernandez reached base four times out of the leadoff spot with one hit, two walks, and one pitch off his left shoulder.

Next up: Hill vs. Otto

The Red Sox will go for the series victory over the Rangers on Saturday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill is expected to come off the COVID-19 related injured list and take the mound for Boston while Texas will turn to right-hander Glenn Otto.

First pitch from Globe Life Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN+.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Red Sox lineup: Christian Arroyo returns, J.D. Martinez starting at DH for Friday matchup against Rangers

After being used as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Rangers, Christian Arroyo is back in the Red Sox’ lineup for Friday’s contest at Globe Life Field.

The 25-year-old had been held out of Boston’s starting lineup since Tuesday after taking a 93.8 mph fastball off his left hand during an at-bat in the first inning of Sunday’s 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Mariners at Fenway Park.

Arroyo was able to remain in that game until its conclusion, but he needed to have X-rays done immediately after. Those X-rays came back negative, which allowed the infielder to avoid a stint on the injured list.

Following three straight days off from Monday-Wednesday, Arroyo pinch-hit for J.D. Martinez with two outs in the top half of the eighth inning on Thursday.

Martinez was removed due to what the Red Sox described as “migraine-like symptoms,” and manager Alex Cora further explained what that meant during his postgame media availability.

“It’s a migraine,” Cora said. “He felt his neck, and started getting some headaches, whatever. Hopefully, it’s something that is nothing too serious, right? And he can be back on Saturday.”

At that time, it seemed unlikely that Martinez would be in the Sox’ starting lineup on Friday, but he is indeed back, starting at designated hitter and batting out of the three-hole.

Arroyo, meanwhile, is starting at second base and leading off for the fourth time this season. Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up behind him:

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will be getting the ball for Boston, and he will be opposed by fellow righty Kohei Arihara for Texas.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: David Berding/Getty Images)

Red Sox manage just three hits off Kyle Gibson; Hirokazau Sawamura gets taken deep twice in 4-1 loss to Rangers

The Red Sox did not arrive in Arlington until about 2:30 a.m. local time on Thursday morning, just hours ahead of their series-opening matchup against the Rangers at Globe Life Field.

In said contest, the Sox bats could manage all of one run on three hits as they saw their three-game winning streak come to an end following a 4-1 loss to Texas.

Rafael Devers was responsible for that lone Red Sox run. The 24-year-old plated Alex Verdugo from second on a two-out RBI double off Rangers starter Kyle Gibson in the top half of the sixth.

Devers’ 20th RBI of the year knotted things up at one run apiece. But outside of that, Gibson proved to be a tough opponent in this one. The veteran right-hander worked his way around three hits and three walks while limiting Boston to one run over six innings of work.

Perez puts together solid outing

Opposing Gibson was a former teammate of his in the form of Martin Perez for Boston.

Coming off back-to-back outings in which he pitched just 3 2/3 innings, the left-hander put together his best start of the season on Thursday.

Over 5 2/3 innings, Perez yielded two runs — only one of which was earned on zero walks and one hit batsman to go along with a season-high seven strikeouts on the night.

Fielding errors prove costly

In Perez’s fourth inning of work, the Rangers’ Joey Gallo laced a one-out double to the opposite field.

Alex Verdugo tracked down the ball in the left field corner, appeared to bobble it for a moment, and then made a casual throw back to the infield.

Verdugo’s throw was a casual one at best, and it wound up eluding the cutoff man in Devers and rolled to the other side of the infield, allowing Gallo to advance to third.

The Rangers took full advantage of the Red Sox’ sloppiness, as Adolis Garcia plated Gallo on a sacrifice fly to deep center field to give his side an early 1-0 lead.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Xander Bogaerts failed to come up with a groundball off the bat of Garcia, which allowed the Rangers outfielder to reach base safely with one out in the inning.

Perez’s outing came to an end after he retired Nate Lowe for the second out of the inning, leading to Hirokazu Sawamura coming on with one out to get in the sixth.

Sawamura wound up serving up a two-run home run to the very first man he faced in Nate Lowe, and the Red Sox suddenly found themselves down by two runs at 3-1.

In the seventh inning, Sawamura got taken deep once again, this time by Isiah-Kiner Falefa to raise his ERA on the year to 3.18.

Hernandez strikes out the side

In relief of Sawamura, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez needed all of 13 pitches to punch out Texas’ 3-4-5 hitters in order in a scoreless bottom half of the eighth.

Martinez dealing with migraine

J.D. Martinez left Thursday’s game in the eighth inning due to migraine-like symptoms. He was pinch-hit for by Christian Arroyo. It sounds like the Red Sox will be staying away from Martinez on Friday.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Arihara

Friday’s pitching matchup between the 16-10 Red Sox and 11-15 Rangers will feature a pair of right-handers, with Nathan Eovaldi getting the ball for Boston and Kohei Arihara doing the same for Texas.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Hirokazu Sawamura: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)