#RedSox Place Hector Velazquez on 10-Day Injured List, Select No. 12 Prospect Mike Shawaryn from Triple-A Pawtucket

Prior to their game against the New York Yankees Thursday night, the Red Sox placed right-hander Hector Velazquez on the 10-day injured list due to a lower back strain.

In a corresponding move, the Sox also added right-hander Mike Shawaryn to their 40-man roster and recalled him from Triple-A Pawtucket. The club made the move official earlier Thursday.

Last working in Wednesday night’s loss to the Indians in an outing where he gave up four earned runs over two innings of relief, Velazquez has provided Boston with depth in both the rotation and bullpen this season.

Through 18 appearances, seven of which have been starts, the 30-year-old has posted a 5.97 ERA and 1.44 WHIP while striking out 32 batters over 34.2 total innings pitched in 2019.

Since there was no real indication that Velazquez was dealing with any back discomfort following Wednesday’s loss, there’s a real chance that this is just another move made by the Red Sox to get another fresh arm up with the big league club.

That fresh arm, of course, would be Mike Shawaryn.

Ranked as Boston’s No. 12 prospect per MLB.com, Shawaryn opened the 2019 season with Triple-A Pawtucket, where he currently owns an ERA of 4.72 over 10 International League Starts. This will be his first major league stint.

Selected by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2016 amateur draft out of the University of Maryland, the 24-year-old New Jersey native has risen up to become the third-highest ranked right-handed pitcher in the club’s farm system.

According to SoxProspects.com, Shawaryn features a 91-93 MPH fastball that can top out at 95 MPH, a 84-87 MPH slider, and a 85-87 MPH changeup.

If he does make his big league debut during this upcoming series against the Yankees, Shawaryn will become the fifth such Red Sox to do so in 2019 behind Darwinzon Hernandez, Travis Lakins, Josh Taylor, and Michael Chavis.

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Ryan Weber Gets Roughed up for Seven Runs, Bullpen Doesn’t Fare Any Better as Frustration Builds for #RedSox in 14-9 Loss to Indians

The Red Sox were three outs away from winning their series against the Indians late Tuesday night. Now, less than 24 hours later, they head to the Bronx for a pivotal four-game set against the division-leading New York Yankees losers of their last two following a 14-9 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday.

Making his second start and fifth overall appearance for Boston in this one was Ryan Weber, who dazzled in rotation debut with six one-run innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last Thursday.

This time around though, the right-hander did not run into the same good fortunes, as he yielded a season-worst seven earned runs on eight hits, two walks, and one HBP to go along with just two strikeouts over four innings of work.

The Indians entered the week with one of the worst run-producing offenses in the American League, but you wouldn’t know that based on how aggressive they were to start this one off.

Beginning right away in the first, the Cleveland lineup jumped on Weber, with Oscar Mercado ripping a one-out single for his team’s first and hit and Carlos Santana tripling on a liner to right center to drive in his team’s first run.

A wild pitch that got past Christian Vazquez with Jason Kipnis at the plate allowed Santana to come in and score from third, and the Indians had themselves a two-run lead before even taking the field.

Things would not get any easier for Weber after escaping the first, not with Kevin Plawecki lining an RBI single to plate Jake Bauers in the second and Bauers and Greg Allen driving in a total of three runs on an RBI single and RBI triple in consecutive order in the third to put the Indians ahead 6-3.

In what would turn out to be his final frame of work in the fourth, Weber nearly retired the side in order, but not before serving up a two-out, solo shot to Santana, which gave Cleveland a four-run edge.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 82 (50 strikes), the 28-year-old turned to his curveball more than 52% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing the only four swings and misses he got all night with the pitch. He also topped out 89.9 MPH with his changeup, a pitch he threw 10 times.

Falling to 1-1 while seeing his ERA on the season inflate to 4.50, it’s unclear whether or not Weber will remain in Boston’s rotation, but assuming he does, his next start would come sometime next week against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City.

In relief of Weber, as the title mentions, the Red Sox bullpen did not fare much better than Wednesday’s starter did.

Josh Taylor, a 26-year-old left hander who was promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier Wednesday, allowed one run on two hits and one punchout in the fifth in what was his major league debut.

Colten Brewer, also recalled from Pawtucker on Wednesday, surrendered a pair of Cleveland runs on a two-RBI double off the bat of Jose Ramirez in the sixth.

Hector Velazquez came on in the seventh with his team trailing by an in-range four runs, and by the time he retired the side in the eighth, that deficit had doubled thanks to an RBI single from Lindor and three-RBI double from Santana, both of which were hit in the seventh.

So, actually, Velazquez  was one of the only two Red Sox pitchers all night to hold the Indians scoreless over an inning, with that inning being the eighth.

That other pitcher? Heath Hembree. Arguably the best reliever used by Sox manager Alex Cora, or at least the one with the most big league experience, maneuvered his way around two singles in an otherwise clean ninth inning to close out what was a miserable night for Boston on the mound.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against right-hander Shane Bieber for Cleveland, who entered Wednesday with just one career start at Fenway Park under his belt.

Falling behind by two runs before even reaching the midway point of the first inning, Mookie Betts got the scoring started for Boston right away in their half of the first, tattooing a one-out, 407 foot solo home run off of Bieber over the Monster to cut his team’s early deficit in half. Betts’ ninth of the season.

In the second, after falling behind by two runs once again, a pair of RBI doubles from Brock Holt and Andrew Benintendi, with Holt’s coming with no outs and Benintendi’s coming with two, pulled the Red Sox back even with the Tribe at three runs a piece.

That tie would not last long though, as Cleveland pushed across three additional runs in their half of the third as well as one more in the fourth to make it a 7-3 game.

Staying in that fourth inning, the Sox bats answered back with three runs of their own, all coming with two outs on a solo jack off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr., his fourth, and a two-run johnson off the bat of Benintendi, his sixth that also scored Christian Vazquez and trimmed Cleveland’s lead down to one run.

A 7-6 contest heading into the middle innings, the Indians eventually pulled away from the Red Sox by plating a total of seven runs through the middle of the seventh, and they would not have to look back.

In the eighth, facing off against Indians reliever AJ Cole, Xander Bogaerts attempted to breathe some life into a potential comeback attempt by blasting his 10th big fly of the year, a two-run shot to score himself as well as JD Martinez.

Two batters and one Jackie Bradley Jr. double later, Vazquez continued to make things somewhat interesting by driving in the man from second on his 20th run driven in of the season to cut Cleveland’s advantage to five runs.

And finally in the ninth, after Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, and Bogaerts loaded the bases with one out in the inning, the Red Sox bats could muster no more against Indians closer Brad Hand, with Eduardo Nunez pinch-hitting for Holt and popping out to third, and Michael Chavis grounding into a game-inning forceout at third base to wrap this one up at 14-9.

Some notes from this loss:

From Red Sox Stats:

Rafael Devers extended his hitting streak to nine games with a ninth inning single Wednesday.

Since the start of their last road trip, Jackie Bradley Jr. has raised his batting average from .144 to .185 in his last 10 games played. Wednesday marked his first three-hit game of the season, too.

Xander Bogaerts in May: .317/.405/.564. six home runs, 21 RBI in 24 games played.

The Red Sox are 2-4 in their last six games and currently sit 7.5 games back of first place in the American League East behind the New York Yankees, the team they will be playing next.

Last time the two rivals met up, the Yankees took both games at Yankee Stadium in their only matchup of 2019 thus far.

It’s only May 30th as this is being typed, but these next four-games could tip the scales in the race for the division crown. To say this weekend is important would be an understatement. Hostile territory. A whole lot on the line. This is when Red Sox-Yankees baseball thrives.

Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston in the opener, while fellow southpaw JA Happ will do the same for New York.

Sale (1-6, 4.19 ERA), also pitched in that first series in New York, where he surrendered four runs over five innings in a losing effort back on April 16th.

Since then, the Florida native has posted a 2.44 ERA and .158 batting average against over his last seven starts, although the Red Sox are only 3-4 in those games.

Happ, meanwhile is currently in the middle of his first full season with the Yankees, where he is 4-3 with a 5.09 ERA through 11 starts thus far.

Like Sale, Happ also worked in that two-game series back in April, an outing in which he allowed three runs over 6.1 innings in a contest New York eventually came away with.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to make up some ground in the division.

 

 

 

JD Martinez Goes Yard Twice, Sandy Leon Once as #RedSox Open Series Against Indians with 12-5 Win

After salvaging their series against the Houston Astros on Sunday to cap off a 4-3 road trip, the Red Sox opened up a quick three-game series at Fenway Park with the Cleveland Indians on Monday before hitting the road yet again, topping the Tribe by a final score of 12-5 to celebrate Memorial Day.

Making his 11th start of the season for Boston was Rick Porcello, fresh off six one-run innings in his last time out against the Blue Jays.

Pitching into the seventh inning this time around, the right-hander surrendered five runs, three of which were earned, on eight hits, three walks, and one HBP to go along with four strikeouts on the evening.

From the jump, it looked as though Porcello’s outing would be short-lived, as he allowed four of the first five hitters he faced to reach base, granted a fielding error committed by Xander Bogaerts on an Oscar Mercado hard-hit grounder permitted that to happen.

A one-out RBI single from Jason Kipnis, followed by Jake Bauers taking a 76 MPH curveball off his foot and Roberto Perez scoring Mercado from third on an RBI 6-4 forceout, put the Indians ahead by two early.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, Porcello bounced back from there, only allowing one more Cleveland run to cross the plate on another RBI groundout from Bauers in the third leading into his final frame of work in the seventh. He also received some defensive help with a pair of potential run-preventing web gems from Mookie Betts and Brock Holt in the fifth.

There, in the seventh, after sitting down five of the last six batters he had faced, it was the top half of the Indians lineup that gave the New Jersey native more trouble, with Mercado leading the inning off with a sharp groundball single and Kipnis advancing him to third on a one-out double.

One mound visit and a five-pitch strikeout of Bauers later, Porcello was just one out away from getting out of another jam.

A las, Perez struck again by driving in Mercado once more to make it a 10-4 contest, and that is how Porcello’s day would come to a conclusion.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 110 (73 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 36% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing three swings and misses and topping out at 92.9 MPH with the pitch.

Eventually earning his fourth winning decision while also lowering his ERA on the season down to 4.41, Porcello will look for win number five in his next time out, which will come against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium sometime this upcoming weekend.

In relief of Porcello, Heath Hembree came on with men on first and third and allowed one of those inherited runners to score on an RBI double off the bat of Mike Freeman, officially closing the book on Porcello’s outing, before retiring the side by getting Greg Allen to fly out to Jackie Bradley Jr. in center.

From there, Ryan Brasier sat down the only three hitters he faced in order in a clean eighth inning of work, while Hector Velazquez closed the door on the Tribe with a scoreless ninth to wrap up a lopsided 12-5 victory for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against right-hander Jefry Rodriguez for the Indians, who before Monday, had never pitched against Boston before in his young career.

After going down by three runs early, it was the top of the lineup that got the scoring started for Boston in their half of the third, with Andrew Benintendi drawing a two-out walk off of Rodriguez and Mookie Betts scoring him from second on an RBI single that resulted in the reigning AL MVP advancing all the way to third thanks to a defensive miscue from Mercado out in right field.

Because of the two-base error that let him move up without any trouble, a wild pitch from Rodriguez with Rafael Devers at the plate allowed Betts to come in and score from third. Just like that, it was a one-run game.

An inning later, a string of three straight one-out singles, capped off by an RBI knock from Brock Holt in his return from the 10-day injured list, plated Xander Bogaerts from third and tied this contest at three runs a piece.

In the fifth, it was more of the same, with Mookie Betts singling and reaching second on a balk to leadoff the frame and Rafael Devers driving him in on a line drive RBI double to center to put his team ahead and extend his hitting-streak to eight games.

Another double, this one coming from Xander Bogaerts, allowed Devers to come in from second and make it a 5-3 game.

Following an intentional walk of Michael Chavis and a pitching change that saw veteran left-hander Oliver Perez take over for Rodriguez, Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his run of recent success at the plate by ripping another RBI double, this one hit to center field to score Bogaerts and give the Sox a three-run advantage.

That three-run edge would be doubled moments later though, as Sandy Leon came through with a three-run big fly on a 3-2 slider from Perez to put his team ahead 9-3. Both of Leon’s home runs this season have gone for three runs and both have been hit over the Green Monster.

In the sixth, with right-hander Dan Otero in for Cleveland, JD Martinez broke out of a recent offensive slump my mashing his first of two home runs on the day, with this one getting some help from Oscar Mercado out in right field to put the Red Sox ahead 10-3.

Fast forward to the seventh, Bradley Jr. collected his second RBI of the evening on his second double, with this one coming off rookie Josh Smith to plate Brock Holt from first. 11-5.

And in the eighth, Martinez put the exclamation point on this blowout win by taking Indians right-hander Adam Cimber deep to left field for his second dinger of the day and 11th of the season, a 387 foot shot over the Monster to give the Red Sox the 12-5 advantage, which would go on to be Monday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

Over the course of his eight-game hitting streak, Rafael Devers is slashing .417/.432/.833 with four home runs and nine RBI.

In his last eight games, Jackie Bradley Jr. is batting .290 to go along with an OPS of 1.081 while also hitting three home runs and collecting six RBI over that span.

Brock Holt in his first big league game since April 5th: 1-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.

Andrew Benintendi was the only Red Sox not to record a base hit on Monday, but he did reach base twice on a pair of walks.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this series Tuesday night.

David Price, after departing from his last start against the Astros on Saturday due to flu-like symptoms, is set to get the ball for Boston, while rookie right-hander Zach Plesac will do the same for Cleveland in his major league debut.

Price only threw 15 pitches in Houston over the weekend, and by the way he was talking to reporters, it seems as though he was willing to tough it out, although Sox manager Alex Cora did not feel the same way.

So, after only two full days of rest, it will be the left-hander making his ninth start of the season.

In his career against the Indians, Price is 11-2 with a lifetime 2.06 ERA over 15 starts and 100.1 total innings pitched.

Plesac, meanwhile, has posted a minuscule 1.91 ERA over nine starts between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this season. He was recalled from Triple-A Tuesday.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN, weather permitting. Red Sox going for their third straight win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Weber Allows One Run over Six Innings and Steve Pearce Homers for First Time This Season as #RedSox Take Series from Blue Jays with 8-2 Victory

After needing 13 innings to top the Blue Jays in a marathon game on Wednesday, the Red Sox needed just nine innings to wrap their four-game set with Toronto up on Thursday, taking the series finale by a final score of 8-2.

Making his first start and fourth overall appearance for Boston was Ryan Weber in what was supposed to be a bullpen day for the Red Sox.

As it turned out though, the right-hander worked the first six innings of this one, yielding just one run while scattering three hits, one HBP, and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the afternoon.

That one run came in the second, when with no outs and runners on first and second, a Freddy Galvis RBI double put Toronto on the board.

It looked as though things really could have taken a turn for the worst there with three straight Blue Jays reaching base to leadoff the inning, but Weber rallied by sitting down the next three hitters he faced to get out of the jam and didn’t have to look back from there.

Retiring 15 of the last 16 hitters he faced, the 28-year-old hurler’s fine outing came to a close with a six-pitch lineout of Rowdy Tellez to end the sixth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (59 strikes), Weber relied heavily on his sinking fastball, turning to the pitch nearly 55% of the time he was on the mound Thursday with Christian Vazquez behind the plate. He also induced three swings and misses and topped out at 90 MPH with the same sinker.

Although his ERA did slightly inflate to 1.29 on the season, Weber did earn his first winning decision in a Red Sox uniform to improve to 1-0 on the year. At this point, it’s not known if the Florida native will remain in Boston’s rotation, but if he does, his next start will likely come sometime next week back at home against the Cleveland Indians.

In relief of Weber, the recently called up Travis Lakins came on for his second career appearance out of the Sox bullpen in the seventh and worked his way around a leadoff double in an otherwise perfect frame of work with the help of the infield behind him.

From there, Ryan Brasier recorded his third consecutive scoreless appearance with a 1-2-3 eighth before Hector Velazquez allowed one run on a Justin Smoak home run in the ninth en route to securing the 8-2 win for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran left-hander Clayton Richard for the Blue Jays, making his first start of 2019 after opening up the season on the injured list.

Opening up the scoring for Boston in this one was the hitter responsible for Wednesday’s win in Michael Chavis, whose third inning RBI groundout to plate Eduardo Nunez from third put the Sox on the board.

That was all they could muster off of Richard, and it wasn’t until the top half of the sixth when the bats really started to get going.

With Sam Gaviglio in for Toronto to start the inning, a leadoff single from Xander Bogaerts followed by back-to-back RBI base knocks off the bats of Rafael Devers and Steve Pearce broke the 1-1 tie and gave Boston the two-run advantage.

An inning later, it was more of the same against Jays reliever Elvis Luciano, this time with Jackie Bradley Jr, Michael Chavis, and Mookie Betts reaching base to leadoff the seventh and the reigning American League MVP collecting his 25th RBI of the year on a line-drive double to score Bradley Jr. from third and make it a 4-1 contest.

In the eighth, an Andrew Benintendi leadoff single would result in another insurance run being pushed across on an RBI single from Eduardo Nunez moments later. 5-1.

And finally, in the ninth, Devers and Pearce capped off fine days at the plate, with the former driving in Bogaerts from second on an RBI infield single, and the latter coming through with his first home run of the season, a two-out, 399 foot two-run shot to left off Toronto reliever Ryan Feierabend.

Pearce’s third knock of the afternoon made it an 8-1 game, and after the Blue Jays tacked on a run of their own in their half of the ninth, 8-2 would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox are four games over .500 (27-23) for the first time this season.

Through 20 games this month, Rafael Devers is slashing .345/.383/.609 with six home runs and 21 runs driven in.

Before Thursday, Ryan Weber hadn’t won a big league game since April 19th, 2016 when he was a member of the Atlanta Braves.

Xander Bogaerts has recorded multiple hits in four of his last five games played.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s off to Houston for another three-game weekend series against the Houston Astros.

The ‘Stros took two out of three from the Sox at Fenway Park last weekend in what was a tightly-contested series outside of a few poor innings.

In the opening game, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of left-handers representing Red Sox present and past, with Chris Sale getting the ball for Boston and Wade Miley doing the same for Houston.

Last time these two southpaws met up this past Sunday, Sale allowed three runs and struck out 10 over 5.1 innings while Miley surrendered three runs, two of which were earned,  in five innings of work. The Red Sox won that game 4-3.

First pitch of the series opener on Friday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.

Four Home Runs Power #RedSox to 12-2 Win over Blue Jays in David Price’s Return from Injured List

Coming off a 5-3 homestand, the Red Sox opened up a seven-game, two-city road trip on Monday afternoon with a dominating 12-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in their first visit to Rogers Centre of 2019.

Making his seventh start of the season and first since May 2nd was David Price, who spent nearly two weeks on the injured list due to left elbow tendinitis.

Activated from the IL earlier on Monday, the left-hander shook off the rust and looked solid this time around, limiting Toronto to just two unearned runs on three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the day.

Both of those unearned runs came in the bottom half of the second inning, when with two outs and Billy McKinney aboard first, Luke Maile drilled a two-run home run to left center field to put the Blue Jays on the board.

That all could have been prevented though, had it not been for a Michael Chavis fielding error which allowed McKinney to reach base in the first place instead of grounding into the second out of the inning.

Still, Price didn’t allow the homer to phase him, as he went on to toss three more scoreless, no-hit frames from the middle of the third on to the conclusion of the fifth, retiring the final 10 Blue Jays hitters he faced to wrap up his outing.

Finishing with a final conservative pitch count of only 67 (48 strikes), the one-time Blue Jay, with Sandy Leon back from paternity leave and behind the plate for this one, turned to his cutter nearly 30% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing one swing and miss with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.7 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 14 times.

Eventually picking up his second winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA down to 3.29, Price will look for win number three in his next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros next weekend.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen did not allow a single hit over four collective innings of work, with Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Ryan Brasier, and Hector Velazquez combining to sit down 12 of the last 13 Blue Jays he faced.

The only Toronto hitter to reach base over that span was Freddy Galvis, who drew a leadoff walk off of Hembree in the seventh in what was an otherwise shut-the-door kind of performance from the pen to secure the blowout win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson for the Blue Jays.

Now with his 14th big league club since 2003, the Sox bats got to Jackson beginning right away in the first, all with two outs in the inning.

Back-to-back singles from Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts led to the Sox’ first two runs of the day crossing the plate on a Rafael Devers RBI single to score Moreland and an errant throw from Blue Jays cathcer Luke Maile trying to nab Devers stealing second that allowed Bogaerts to score from third with Michael Chavis at the plate. 2-0.

Two innings later, after Toronto had battled back with two runs of their own, Bogaerts was at it again, this time driving in both Mookie Betts and Moreland on a one out, two-run single to left.

Following a Rafael Devers lineout to center, Chavis bounced back from that punchout in the first by scoring Bogaerts and himself on a two-run, 389 foot homer to left field to make it a four-run game. His ninth dinger of the season already.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth, and the bottom of the lineup came through in a run-scoring spot with Steve Pearce drawing a one-out walk and Jackie Bradley Jr. depositing his first big fly of the year off Jays reliever Elvis Luciano, another two-run shot to give his team an 8-2 lead.

Another inning later, a Mitch Moreland leadoff two-bagger resulted in two more Red Sox runs coming across thanks to another RBI base knock from Devers and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Pearce to score Devers from third and make it a 10-2 contest.

And in the ninth, just for good measure, Bogaerts and Devers capped off their fine days at the plate by going back-to-back with solo jacks off Toronto reliever Ryan Tepera to leadoff the inning.

Per Statcast, Bogaerts’ eighth of the season registered at 417 feet and 104.1 MPH off the bat, which is pretty incredible when you see the way the shortstop swung at that 1-1 face-high changeup.

Devers’ fourth of the year, meanwhile, was hit even further and harder, registering in at a whopping 445 feet and 114.4 MPH off the bat. In other words, crushed.

Anyway, those two solo home runs put the Red Sox ahead 12-2, which would go on to be Monday’s final score in the first of four between these two clubs.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From Red Sox Stats:

The Red Sox’ 3-6 hitters on Monday (Moreland, Bogaerts, Devers, Chavis):

11-for-20, three home runs, nine runs scored, and eight RBI.

Through 27 games this month, Rafael Devers owns a .562 slugging percentage.

The Red Sox are 8-3 in their last 11 games.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second game of this series against the Blue Jays.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Boston in what will be his 10th start of the season, while right-hander Marcus Stroman will do the same for Toronto.

Despite giving up five runs in his last time out against the Colorado Rockies, Rodriguez still owns an ERA of 2.84 through three starts this month. As a matter of fact, the Red Sox are 7-0 in the southpaw’s last seven outings.

In four career outings (three starts) at Rogers Centre, Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA over 19.2 total innings pitched.

Stroman, meanwhile, got off to a scorching hot start to the 2019 season, but has since cooled off. That much is evident by the fact that the Blue Jays are 0-4 in the Duke University product’s last four starts.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third straight win.

JD Martinez Goes Yard Twice, Michael Chavis Drives in Five Runs as #RedSox Finish off Sweep of Mariners for Fifth Straight Win

Don’t look now, but the Red Sox have won 11 of their last 13 games, as they extended their current winning streak to five on Sunday afternoon with an 11-2 Mother’s Day triumph over the Seattle Mariners to finish off the weekend sweep.

On what was more of a bullpen day for the Sox, it was Hector Velazquez making his sixth start of the season for Boston in this one.

Pitching in mostly unfavorable conditions at Fenway Park, the right-hander twirled five solid innings of work, limiting the M’s to just two runs on two hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts on the day.

Right from the get go, it did not look as though Velazquez was going to go too deep into his outing, as Seattle led things off in the first by having runners on second and third without an out yet recorded.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, the Mexico native held the opposition to one run in the frame on an Edwin Encarnacion sacrifice fly before really settling in.

Retiring 10 of the next 11 he faced following that Encarnacion at-bat, Velazquez did not run into any more trouble up until the start of the fifth inning, when Omar Narvaez launched a leadoff homer to right field for Seattle’s second run of the afternoon.

Still, Velazquez showed the ability to bounce back by again sitting down the M’s 7-8-9 hitters in order to retire the side in the fifth and end his outing on a more positive note by being eligible for the winning decision, which he did eventually pick up.

Finishing with a final economical pitch count of 63 (37 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler relied on his sinker 30% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing zero swings and misses and getting three called strikes with the pitch. He also topped out at 92.6 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he turned to 13 times with Christian Vazquez behind the plate.

Finally able to pick up that first W and improve to 1-2 on the year while lowering his ERA down to 3.95, the whereabouts on Velazquez’s next start are not yet known. I would expect him to make his next appearance out of the bullpen, though.

In relief of Velazquez, as has been the case regularly, Marcus Walden received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen to begin the sixth inning.

Making his 14th appearance out of the ‘pen this season, the right-hander continued to impress with two more scoreless innings of relief on Sunday in addition to just one hit given up and three punch outs.

That made way for Josh Smith, who worked his way around a single and a fielding error in the eighth before shutting things down with a clean ninth to secure the 11-2 win for his club.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar foe in Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales, who picked up the win against the Sox in his second start of the year back on March 28th.

This time around, the Boston bats had a much better time of figuring out the Seattle southpaw, and the scoring got kicked off right away in the first inning.

Already trailing by a run, JD Martinez erased that deficit very quickly with a two out, 384 foot solo shot off of Gonzales to put the Red Sox on the board.

Three batters later, after Xander Bogaerts reached on a five-pitch walk and Rafael Devers advanced him to third on a line drive single, Michael Chavis broke out of an 0-for-19 slump by driving in Bogaerts on an RBI line drive single that should have been caught by Mariners rookie second baseman Shed Long.

That was followed up by another defensive miscue on Seattle’s behalf, with Rafael Devers coming in from third on a passed ball with Christian Vazquez at the plate. And just like that, the Red Sox had themselves a 3-1 lead.

An inning later, more two trouble for the Mariners led to more scoring for the Red Sox, this time with Andrew Benintendi scoring all the way from first on a Mookie Betts pop up that again should have been caught by right fielder Jay Bruce. Instead, Bruce never really had control of the ball, dropped it, and in came Benintendi on the fielding error. 4-1.

Fast forward to the fifth, and Chavis was set up in a prime RBI spot again thanks to Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers reaching base with two outs against Mariners reliever Parker Markel.

With both runners in scoring position, the Red Sox rookie infielder snuck a single through the right side of the infield, plating Bogaerts and Devers to give his team the 6-2 advantage.

Two innings later, three straight walks drawn by Betts, Martinez, and Bogaerts off righty Dan Altavilla put the Red Sox in a spot to put this one out of reach, and they did just that with a run-scoring groundout off the bat of Devers and a two-run single from Chavis to make it a 9-2 game.

For Chavis, those two runs marked his fourth and fifth RBI of the day, setting a new-career high for a single game. Quite a way to break out of an offensive slump.

And in the eighth, just like how he started this one off, JD Martinez put the exclamation point on his team’s fifth straight win by depositing his second big fly of the afternoon over the Green Monster to plate both Mookie Betts as well as himself.

That put the Red Sox ahead 11-2, which would go on to be the final score in this series finale. Sweep completed.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox are 16-6 in their last 22 games.

With yet another three-hit performance on Sunday, Rafael Devers is slashing .426/.462/.638 with two home runs and 13 RBI over 11 games this month.

Two from Red Sox Notes:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s an off day on Monday before welcoming the Colorado Rockies into town for a quick, two-game interleague series on Tuesday.

The first of those two will feature a starting pitching matchup between left-hander Kyle Freeland for Colorado and fellow southpaw Chris Sale for Boston.

Coming off eight innings of one run ball in his last time out against the Baltimore Orioles, Sale has posted a 1.73 ERA, .165 batting average against, and 14.54 K/9 over his last four starts. The Red Sox are unbeaten in the lefty’s last two outings.

Freeland, meanwhile, has never pitched at Fenway Park, nor against the Red Sox, as this is just his third season in the majors.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.

 

JD Martinez’s 200th Career Home Run Sets Tone for #RedSox in 8-5 Win over Orioles

After opening up a three-game series in Baltimore with a disappointing 4-1 loss on Monday, the Red Sox bounced back with an eight-run performance on Tuesday, defeating the Orioles by a final score of 8-5 to take the middle game of the series.

Getting the start in the place of the now shelved David Price in this one was Hector Velazquez, who last started this past Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics.

Working the first three innings Tuesday, the right-hander held Baltimore to two runs, both earned, on three hits and one walk to go along with no strikeouts on the night.

Similar to Josh Smith’s start for Boston in the opener, both of those runs given up by Velazquez came on one swing of the bat for Baltimore, a two out, two-run home run from Rio Ruiz in the first inning, which tied the game at two at the time it was hit.

Other than that mishap, the 30-year-old worked his way around more two out trouble and ended up retiring the final four hitters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 46 (30 strikes), Velazquez relied on his changeup 33% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing one swing and miss with the pitch while topping out at 93.6 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw nine times.

In relief of Velazquez, the Red Sox seemed to stick to the same plan they ran with in last Wednesday’s win over the A’s, with Marcus Walden getting the first call out of the bullpen for some extended work.

Making his 13th appearance of the season, Walden yielded just one run, a fourth inning Hanser Alberto solo shot, on two hits and no hits while also punching out three and receiving some help from his Gold Glove outfielders to improve to 5-0 on the year.

From the middle of the seventh inning on, Brandon Workman continued his impressive run by sitting down the only three hitters he faced in that bottom half of the seventh.

Ryan Brasier, meanwhile, did not have the same success in the eighth, as he allowed the Red Sox’ initial three-run lead to be trimmed down to one thanks to RBI hits from Dwight Smith Jr. and Chris Davis.

Having to come in with the chance to pick up the four out save, Matt Barnes got out of the eighth by striking out Stevie Wilkerson on six pitches before inducing a game-ending 6-4-3 double play an inning later to do just that for his third save of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles right-hander David Hess on Tuesday, and unlike in the series opener, actually pushed across multiple runs against the opposing starting pitcher.

That scoring began right away in the first inning, with JD Martinez notching career home run no. 200 with a one out, two-run opposite field shot to plate both him and Mookie Betts and give the Sox an early 2-0 advantage. His first homer since April 17th.

Fast forward to the fourth, and Xander Bogaerts racked up his third big fly in his last four games with a 425 foot solo homer to dead center. 3-2 Boston.

An inning later, after the Orioles responded with a run of their own in their half of the fourth, Mitch Moreland took that lead right back with a three-run, 406 foot dinger off new Baltimore reliever Branden Kline, scoring Betts, Martinez, and himself to make it a 6-3 contest.

And in the ninth, the Sox bats took advantage of a wild Evan Phillips for Baltimore, who allowed the first three hitters he faced to reach base in the frame before Mookie Betts came to the plate.

With the chance to put this one away, the reigning AL MVP displayed his patience by drawing an eight-pitch bases loaded walk, which of course allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. to stroll in from third and put his team up by two runs.

One pitching change that saw Miguel Castro take over for Baltimore later, and the man who drove in Boston’s first run of the night came through by driving in their last, as a JD Martinez sacrifice fly to left gave Christian Vazquez more than enough time to tag from third and give the Red Sox an 8-5 lead, which would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Mitch Moreland has 23 hits this season. 10 of those, with the tenth coming Tuesday, have been home runs. His slugging percentage currently stands at .542.

From Red Sox Notes:

With another two-hit performance Tuesday, Christian Vazquez is 9-for-his-last-18 since the beginning of May.

I’m not going to post the numbers, but Michael Chavis has cooled off recently.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll go for the series win in the finale of this three-game set on Wednesday.

Fresh off six scoreless innings in a winning effort in his last time out against the White Sox, it will be left-hander Chris Sale getting the ball for Boston.

In 11 career outings (eight starts) at Orioles Park, Sale owns a lifetime 1.97 ERA over 50.1 total innings pitched.

Opposite Sale, it will be veteran right-hander Andrew Cashner for Baltimore, who picked up the win in his last start against the Red Sox back on April 13th.

First pitch of the last game of the seven-game road trip is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT. Red Sox looking to improve to 19-19 and get back to .500.