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)

Franchy Cordero commits 3 errors as Red Sox blow late lead and fall to Guardians, 7-6, to drop below .500

For the first time since June 4, the Red Sox are under .500. Boston blew a late lead and ultimately fell to the Guardians by a final score of 7-6 on Wednesday night to drop to 49-50 on the season.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his second start since returning from the injured list on July 15, allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits and zero walks to go along with one strikeout over six innings of work.

Three of those five Cleveland runs came in the top half of the second inning. Franmil Reyes led off with a ground-rule double and moved up to third base on an Owen Miller single. Following a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush, Eovaldi got Nolan Jones to chop a groundball in the direction of Franchy Cordero at first base.

Cordero, while running to his right, attempted to corral the ball with his glove but picked it off the ground barehanded. With his momentum carrying him in the opposite direction, he made an awkward throw to Eovaldi, who was covering the first-base bag. Said, throw, however, was nowhere near Eovaldi and instead rolled into the Red Sox dugout. So not only did Reyes score on the play, but Miller advanced to third while Jones reached base safely.

The Guardians took full advantage of Cordero’s fielding and throwing errors, as Austin Hedges plated Miller on an RBI groundout and Straw drove in Jones on a run-scoring double to give his side an early 3-0 advantage.

The Red Sox, matched up against right-hander Cal Quantrill, responded by scoring two runs of their own in the bottom of the second. After Cordero drew a two-out walk, Bobby Dalbec crushed a 410-foot two-run home run over the Green Monster to cut the deficit to one at 3-2.

Eovaldi, meanwhile ran into more trouble in the fourth, when Jones led off with a sharply-hit double and moved up to third on a successful sacrifice bunt laid down by Hedges. Straw fanned on four pitches for the second out, but Steven Kwan and Amed Rosario kept the inning alive by stringing together back-to-back run-scoring hits.

Once more, the Sox kept the pressure on by answering with two runs in the latter half of the fourth. Christian Vazquez reached on a one-out single and then scored all the way from first on an RBI double off the bat of Cordero that neither Kawan or Rosario could handle cleanly. As a result, Cordero advanced up to third base and easily scored on a Dalbec sacrifice fly.

At the very least, Eovaldi was able to settle down a bit from there. The 32-year-old right-hander retired eight of the final nine batters he faced leading into the middle of the sixth inning. Of the 95 pitches he wound up throwing, 67 went for strikes. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.32.

The Cordero-Dalbec combo struck again in the bottom of the sixth. Moments after the former reached base on a force out, the latter followed by clubbing his second home run of the night. Dalbec’s 10th homer of the season left his bat at 107.1 mph and traveled 397 feet to dead center field. It also gave the Red Sox their first lead of the contest at 6-5.

That newfound lead would not last long, though. After John Schreiber worked a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Eovaldi, the righty was called upon again to take the mound in the eighth. He begin the frame by giving up an infield single to Jones, but the Guardians rookie was able to take second base as well thanks to another Cordero throwing error.

Schreiber then surrendered a game-tying RBI double to Straw. An inning later, Tanner Houck served up a go-ahead solo homer to Josh Naylor that put Cleveland back up, 6-5.

Emmanuel Clase came on to close things out in the ninth for the second straight night and did just that by making quick work of Jackie Bradley Jr., Yolmer Sanchez, and Rob Refsnyder.

With the loss, Boston has now dropped seven of its last eight games to fall to a dismal 6-17 in the month of July. It is also 31-41 against teams with winning records and 13-16 in one-run games this season.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Cordero is the first Red Sox first baseman to commit three errors in a single game since Mo Vaughn did so in 1993.

Dalbec, on the other hand, has four hits in his last seven games. Three of those have left the yard.

Next up: Crawford vs. McKenzie

The Red Sox will look to settle for a four-game series split in Thursday’s finale with the Guardians. In a starting pitching matchup featuring a pair of right-handers who went to high school in Florida, Kutter Crawford will get the ball for Boston while Triston McKenzie will do the same for Cleveland.

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

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox collect 15 hits in 8-3 win to finish off sweep of Guardians

The Red Sox wrapped up the first leg of their three-city road trip by finishing off a three-game sweep of the Guardians on Sunday night. Boston defeated Cleveland by a final score of 8-3 at Progressive Field to improve to 19-4 in the month of June and 42-31 on the season.

Matched up against Northeastern University’s own Aaron Civale to begin things on Sunday, the Sox threatened in both the first and second innings before finally getting on the board in the top of the third.

Jarren Duran and Rafael Devers reached base via a pair of hard-hit singles to lead off the inning. With runners on first and second and no outs, J.D. Martinez nearly grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Instead, Guardians second baseman committed a throwing error after getting the force out at second. That allowed Duran to score from third and give his side an early 1-0 lead.

An inning later, Franchy Cordero and Christian Vazquez led the fourth off with back-to-back doubles off Civale and switched places by doing so. Duran then moved Vazquez up to third on a two-base hit of his own while Martinez drove him in on an RBI force out.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Alex Verdugo all reached with two outs against Guardians reliever Sam Hentges to fill the bases for Trevor Story, who plated two on a softly-hit, bloop single to left field that was just out of the reach of a sprawling Ernie Clement.

To that point in the contest, Rich Hill was in the midst of his 14th start of the season for the Red Sox. After working his way into and out of trouble through the first five innings Sunday, the veteran left-hander got tagged for one run in his sixth and final frame on an RBI groundout off the bat of Oscar Gonzalez.

Hill did retire each of the final three batters he faced and wound up allowing just the one run on five hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts over six strong innings of work. The 42-year-old southpaw finished with a final pitch count of 83 (51 strikes) and induced five of his eight swings-and-misses with his curveball, a pitch he threw 38 times. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.09.

Shortly after Hill’s day came to a close, Boston and Cleveland traded runs in the seventh inning. Devers pushed across Vazquez on a 105.8 mph RBI single in the top half, then committed a throwing error in the bottom half that ultimately allowed Ernie Clement to score off Ryan Brasier.

In relief of Brasier, Hansel Robles got the next call out of the Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Making his first appearance since June 18, Robles yielded a leadoff double to Jose Ramirez that was followed by a two-out run-scoring single from Jimenez.

Taking a 6-3 lead into the ninth, the Red Sox proceeded to break it open. A one-out walk drawn by Jackie Bradley Jr. and two-out single from Devers put runners at first and second for Martinez. Martinez scored Bradley Jr. and allowed Devers to advance to third on a 334-foot double off Tanner Tully. Devers then scored from third on a wild pitch that put Boston ahead by five runs at 8-3.

Tanner Houck was used for the third time in this series and closed it out in 1-2-3 fashion to extend Boston’s winning streak to seven consecutive games.

In Sunday’s win, Duran went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored, Devers went 3-for-5 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk, Martinez went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs, one run scored, and one walk, Verdugo went 2-for-3 with three walks, Story went 2-for-6 with a stolen base and the 499th and 500th RBIs of his career, and Vazquez went 2-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored, and a walk.

Next up: On to Toronto

The Red Sox will head north of the border for the second time this season to take on the 40-32 Blue Jays in a three-game series. Connor Seabold, who just recently joined the team in Cleveland, is expected to make his second career start for Boston. Fellow right-hander Kevin Gausman will take the mound for Toronto.

First pitch from Rogers Centre on Monday is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Alex Verdugo comes through with go-ahead 3-run home run as Red Sox top Guardians, 4-2, for seventh straight series win

The Red Sox clinched their seventh straight series victory on Saturday with their second straight win over the Guardians at Progressive Field. Boston defeated Cleveland by a final score of 4-2 to extend its winning streak to six consecutive games and improve to 41-31 on the season.

Josh Winckowski, who was born in nearby Toledo, made his fourth start of the season for the Sox. The rookie right-hander allowed two earned runs on six hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of work.

Both runs Winckowski gave up to Cleveland came in the bottom of the third. There, Steven Kwan led off by drawing a seven-pitch walk and immediately scoring from first on an RBI triple from Amed Rosario. Rosario then scored on a Jose Ramirez sacrifice fly to give his side an early 2-0 lead.

Fast forward to the top of the sixth, and the Red Sox lineup finally got something going against Guardians ace Shane Bieber. Held to just two hits up until that point in the contest, J.D. Martinez came to the plate with two outs and ripped a line-drive single to left field. Xander Bogaerts followed with a hard-hit single of his own to put runners at first and second for Alex Verdugo.

On the third pitch he saw from Bieber, Verdugo deposited a 2-0, 81 mph knuckle-curveball on the inner half of the plate 447 feet into the left field seats to give Boston its first lead of the night at 3-2. Verdugo’s fifth home run of the season was his longest of his career to this point. The ball left his bat at a blistering 108.8 mph.

Winckowski, meanwhile, recorded the first out of the bottom of the sixth before yielding a one-out single to Franmil Reyes. Reyes would prove to be the final batter Winckowski would face as he was relieved by Jakie Diekman.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 77 (52 strikes), Winckowski induced all five of his swings-and-misses with a slider, a pitch he threw 29 times. The 23-year-old hurler also topped out at 96 mph with his sinker, a pitch he threw 36 times. His ERA on the season now sits at 3.60.

In relief of Winckowski, Diekman received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The veteran left-hander stranded the lone runner he inherited by getting the final two outs of the sixth.

The seventh inning was a different story, however, as Diekman allowed two of the four Guardians he faced to reach base to put runners at first and second with two outs. John Schreiber was then summoned to face Rosario, and he won that matchup by fanning the former Met on three straight strikes to retire the side and strand two more base runners.

After the Sox blew multiple scoring chances and Matt Strahm navigated his way around some trouble in the eighth, Jarren Duran provided some insurance in the top of the ninth with an RBI single that plated Bobby Dalbec.

Taking a 4-2 lead into the latter half of the ninth, Tanner Houck made quick work of the Guardians to preserve the win and notch his sixth save of the season.

With the win, the Red Sox move to 18-4 in the month of June and into sole possession of second place in the American League East. Duran went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two stolen bases. Kevin Plawecki went 2-for-4 with a double.

Next up: Hill vs. Civale

The Red Sox will go for the weekend sweep of the Guardians on Sunday afternoon. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will get the start for Boston while former Northeastern University right-hander Aaron Civale will do the same for Cleveland.

First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. eastern time.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Christian Arroyo and Rafael Devers homer, Nick Pivetta allows 2 runs over 7 innings as Red Sox hold on for 6-3 win over Guardians

The Red Sox opened their weekend series against the Guardians by extending their winning streak to five consecutive games. Boston defeated Cleveland by a final score of 6-3 on Friday night to improve to 17-4 in June and 40-31 on the season.

Friday’s starting pitching matchup featured a pair of Canadian-born right-handers going at it, with Nick Pivetta making his 15th start of the year for the Sox and Cal Quantrill making his 13th start of the year for the Guardians.

Both pitchers gave up two runs, but it was Quantrill who blinked first. In the top half of the second, Trevor Story, Franchy Cordero, and Christian Vazquez all reached to fill the bases with two outs for Christian Arroyo. Arroyo, in his first game back from the COVID-19 related injured list, took a 95 mph sinker off his right elbow to drive in Story.

Boston’s early lead did not last long, however, as Pivetta yielded a one-out single to Andres Gimenez a half-inning later. Gimenez proceeded to steal second base with two outs, then scored from second on a hard-hit RBI single off the bat of Myles Straw.

That knotted things up at 1-1. But that, too, was short-lived. To lead things off in the third, Rafael Devers golfed an 0-2, 88 mph cutter from Quantrill and deposited it 411 feet to right field for his 17th home run of the year.

Pivetta nearly ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when he gave up a leadoff single to Amed Rosario. That was quickly negated, though, as Rosario ran past the second base bag on a Josh Naylor groundball and was promptly tagged out by Arroyo. Pivetta did, however, serve up a game-tying solo homer to Gimenez in the fourth.

In the top half of the fifth, Arroyo led off with a single and went from first to third on a line-drive double from Devers. J.D. Martinez then hit a 242-foot flyball in the direction of Guardians right fielder Oscar Gonzalez. Gonzalez caught the ball right before it hit the ground and, while on the run, managed to gun down Arroyo at home as he attempted to tag up from third.

So 2-2 is how the score remained after that inning-ending double play. Pivetta made relative quick work of the Guardians in the fifth and sixth innings before the Sox began to break away in the seventh.

After the pinch-hitting Rob Refsnyder drew a leadoff walk off Bryan Shaw, Arroyo followed by taking the veteran reliever 405 feet deep to left-center field for a go-ahead two-run home run. It was Arroyo’s fourth of the season and it put his side up 4-2. Martinez then reached base on a two-out single and scored all the way from first on an RBI double from Verdugo that made it a 5-2 game.

Pivetta wrapped up his solid night by retiring the final three batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh. The 29-year-old hurler wound up allowing just the two runs on nine hits and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over seven innings of work. He threw 98 pitches (66 strikes) and lowered his ERA on the season to 3.25.

In relief of Pivetta, John Schreiber received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The righty needed just 12 pitched (8 strikes) to retire the side in order in the eighth.

Refsnyder provided some late-game insurance in the top half of the ninth on a run-scoring double off Yohan Ramirez that drove in Story to make it a 6-2 contest.

Tanner Houck took over for Schreiber in the bottom of the ninth and immediately gave up back-to-back singles to Franmil Reyes and Gimenez. Houck then fanned Richie Palacios, but plunked Straw to fill the bases.

An RBI single from Steven Kwan plated Reyes and kept the bases loaded for Rosario, who struck out on a foul tip. That brought the dangerous Jose Ramirez to the plate representing the potential winning run. But Houck got him to ground out to Story and end the game.

It was no simple task, but Houck did just enough to secure a 6-3 victory for the Sox.

Next up: Winckowski vs. Bieber

The Red Sox will look to clinch their seventh consecutive series with another win over the Guardians on Saturday night. Rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski, who was born in nearby Toledo, will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Shane Bieber will do the same for Cleveland.

First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Jason Miller/Getty Images)