Christian Arroyo’s Performance With Red Sox This Year Left Chaim Bloom ‘Hungry for More’ in 2021

Going into the 2020 season, Christian Arroyo likely wasn’t on the Red Sox’ radar.

The 25-year-old infielder opened the year with the Indians and managed to appear in just one game as a defensive replacement before getting designated for assignment on August 6.

A week later, Arroyo was claimed off waivers by Boston. All the while, the club’s brass was watching another former top prospect struggle at the major-league level in the form of Jose Peraza.

Peraza, who inked a one-year deal with the Sox last December after getting non-tendered by the Reds coming off a disappointing 2019 campaign, was viewed as a potential solution to Boston’s lingering second base problem.

The 26-year-old Venezuelan got off to a hot start with his new club by racking up seven hits in his first five games of the year, but eventually cooled off to the point where he was eventually optioned to the alternate training site for the remainder of the season on September 9.

Peraza’s demotion came a day after the Red Sox selected Arroyo’s contract from Pawtucket, thus promoting him to the major-league roster for the first time on September 8.

With more at-bats to be had now that his fellow second baseman had been sent down, Arroyo showed glimpses of his potential and reminded everyone why the Giants took him with the 25th overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft.

In 14 games with the Red Sox, the Tampa native slashed .240/.296/.440 with three home runs and eight RBI over 54 plate appearances, which came with him primarily playing second and batting out of the nine-hole.

Those numbers certainly are not off the charts, and Arroyo would probably be one of the first people to tell you that. But again, the ex-Rays infielder had his moments, and those moments left Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom very impressed with someone he was already familiar with.

“I knew he was a fundamentally sound player,” Bloom said of Arroyo’s potential when speaking with The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams earlier this week. “I knew he had versatility and ability. At the plate, I saw him drive pitches that I’ve never seen him drive before. That was impressive to see. He had a very confident approach at the plate.”

With all the uncertainties surrounding what the Red Sox will do at second base this offseason, Arroyo could emerge as a favorite to land the starting gig next spring. That possibility comes given the notion that Peraza will presumably get non-tendered, Dustin Pedroia will lose his 40-man roster spot, and top prospect Jeter Downs will begin the year in Triple-A.

All that being said, Bloom anticipates Arroyo will get more of a chance to show what he’s capable of once position players report to Fenway South this coming February.

“We were able to give him an opportunity down the stretch but if you look at it in the grand scheme it was not a long [opportunity],” Bloom added. “But it’s still a small sample. Certainly, what he did made you hungry for more.”

Arroyo, who turns 26 in May, is under team control with the Red Sox through the end of the 2024 season.

Red Sox Outfielder Andrew Benintendi ‘Available’ in Trade Talks, per Report

With exactly one week to go until the trade deadline, the Red Sox have reportedly made injured outfielder Andrew Benintendi available in trade talks, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Per Rosenthal, the subject of Benintendi being on the trading block came up when discussing what the Indians’ plans are in regards to right-handers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac.

Earlier this month, both Clevinger and Plesac broke the Indians’ COVID-19 protocols when the pair of hurlers broke curfew and didn’t stay in the team hotel after a game against the White Sox in Chicago.

The two were subsequently optioned to Cleveland’s alternate training site on August 14, and one or the other could be dealt before August 31 seeing how their teammates may not accept them back due to a lack of accountability on their part.

That being said, Rosenthal notes that the Indians “trading one of them for a power-hitting outfielder would be a logical step for a team that ranks last in the majors in OPS from its outfielders.”

This is where Benintendi comes into the picture. Not necessarily because he is a power-hitting outfielder, but rather, like Clevinger, the 26-year-old outfielder has amassed three-plus years of service time and is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

Despite that common link, Benintendi is currently on the 10-day injured list due to a strained rib cage that will likely sideline him well into September. Even before that, the former first-round pick had struggled at the plate to begin the year, going 4-for-his-first-39 (.103) with one RBI and four runs scored through 14 games played.

Clevinger, on the other hand, posted a 3.24 ERA and .802 OPS against over his first three starts and 16 2/3 innings pitched this season before getting demoted.

As Rosenthal notes, Clevinger was originally slated to make $4.1 million this season, and that figure will only go up in the 29-year-old’s final two years of arbitration eligibility. For a frugal team such as the Indians, they may want to get out from under Clevinger’s contract before it becomes too much of a burden.

Benintendi, meanwhile, is on a much more cost-controlled deal after inking a two-year, $10 million extension back in February that buys out his first two years of arbitration eligibility.

If you want to boil this all down, it basically comes down to the notion that the Indians are a team in need of outfield help, while the Red Sox, who currently boast the second-worst starters’ ERA in baseball (6.04), are in need of starting pitching help.

As noted by Rosenthal, this sort of scenario “demonstrate[s] the challenge of finding the right fit” in trade talks going forward.

If Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is aggressive and active enough, though, Benintendi, and a plethora of other Sox players, could be moved between now and the end of the month. It likely all depends on the return that Boston would be getting back.

Red Sox Infielder Christian Arroyo Clears Waivers, Gets Outrighted To Pawtucket

Three days after getting designated for assignment, Red Sox infielder Christian Arroyo has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Pawtucket.

With this move made, Arroyo remains in the Sox’ 60-man player pool and will likely report to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket within the coming days.

The 25-year-old was originally claimed off waivers by Boston from the Indians on August 13 and was subsequently placed on the 10-day COVID-19 related injured list three days later. The reason behind that was not because of a positive test, but rather due to the actual intake process.

Despite being activated from the IL on August 19, though, Arroyo was designated for assignment on August 20 in order for the Sox to make room on their 40-man roster for left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez, who had been on the COVID-19 related injured list himself.

Upon designating Arroyo, a former first-round pick of the Giants in 2013, it appeared that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co.’s intentions were to sneak the Florida native through waivers, which they were of course able to accomplish on Sunday.

Prior to joining the Red Sox, Arroyo had appeared in 71 games with the Giants, Raysn and Indians since making his big-league debut with San Francisco in April 2017.

In those 71 games, the former top prospect slashed .215/.280/.342 with six home runs and 27 RBI over 251 plate appearances.

While in Pawtucket, Arroyo will presumably see time all around the infield seeing how he has major-league experience at second base, third base, and shortstop.

As for when we could see Arroyo in Boston, he would have to be added back to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster in order for that to happen.

Red Sox Claim Former Top Prospect Christian Arroyo off Waivers From Indians

The Red Sox have claimed infielder Christian Arroyo off waivers from the Cleveland Indians, the club announced Thursday afternoon.

Arroyo, 25, has been added to the club’s 60-man player pool and must be added to the active roster seeing how he is out of minor-league options.

A former first-round pick of the Giants back in 2013, Arroyo was most recently with the Indians up until last week, when he was designated for assignment on August 6.

Through his first 71 games in the majors dating back to 2017, Arroyo hasn’t exactly lived up to his former top-prospect status. He posted a .548 OPS over 135 plate appearances in his rookie year with San Francisco before getting dealt to the Rays that December. As a matter of fact, the Florida native was part of the trade that saw three-time All-Star Evan Longoria head out west.

Given the fact he spent 1 1/2 years within the Rays’ organization, Arroyo likely formed some type of relationship with then-Rays executive vice president, now-Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, hence the move being made by Boston to claim him on Thursday.

In those 1 1/2 seasons with the Rays, Arroyo slashed a collective .243/.322/.388 with three home runs and 13 RBI over 36 games total games prior to getting traded to Cleveland last July.

Arroyo missed a significant amount of time in 2019 due to right forearm tendinitis and was only able to appear in one game as a defensive replacement with Cleveland this season.

Speaking of his defense, Arroyo is capable of playing all around the infield, so he comes with plenty of versatility, which is always a plus.

With the addition of Arroyo, the Red Sox’ 60-man player pool is now at full capacity.

Red Sox Agree to Major-League Deal With Catcher Kevin Plawecki

In their first move of the new decade and new year, the Red Sox have reportedly agreed to a one-year, major-league deal with free-agent catcher Kevin Plawecki, per Robert Murray and The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Plawecki, who turns 29 in February, slashed .222/.287/.342 with three home runs and 17 RBI over 59 games with the Cleveland Indians this past season.

The former Met was non-tendered by Cleveland on December 2nd, the same day the club acquired catcher Sandy Leon from Boston in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Adenys Bautista.

Because the Red Sox’ 40-man roster was already at full capacity prior to this signing, expect an additional roster move to be made once this deal becomes official.

Since it is a major-league contract that Plawecki signed, it would appear that the 2012 first-round pick out of Purdue University is locked in to become Christian Vazquez’s backup this coming season.

The addition of Plawecki also stays consistent with chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. continuing to make low risk, high reward kind of signings, like with Martin Perez and Jose Peraza.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the deal is for one year and is worth $900,000. Plawecki is also eligible for arbitration.

Rafael Devers Is Your American League Player of the Week

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers has been named American League Player of the Week for August 12th through the 18th.

The 22-year-old put together quite the week at the plate against the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles, slashing .593/.633/1.185 with 10 extra-base hits, three of which being home runs, and 11 RBI over his last six games.

That stretch included a run of eight straight hits that began with a six-hit, four-double performance in Cleveland on Tuesday, marking the first time since at least 1908 that a major leaguer had achieved that feat, and extended into Wednesday.

Against the Orioles on Sunday, Devers became the first big leaguer this season to surpass the century mark in RBI with a two-run homer, his 27th, in the seventh inning of a 13-7 victory.

On the 2019 campaign as a whole, Devers leads American League third baseman in games played (123), runs scored (103), runs driven in (101), slugging percentage (.575), and is tied with Houston’s Alex Bregman atop the fWAR leaderboards (5.5).

2019 has certainly been a breakout year for Devers to say the least. In what is only his second full season in the majors, the breakout star appears to be a lock to finish in the top three for American League Most Valuable Player voting in the fall.

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.

 

 

 

#RedSox Bullpen Implodes, Blows Three-Run Lead in Crushing 7-5 Loss to Indians

In a game that took over five hours to complete from start to finish due to a not so nice 69-minute rain delay, the Red Sox blew their chance to pick up their third straight win Tuesday night thanks to a ninth inning implosion courtesy of their bullpen.

Before said implosion though, David Price was actually solid, as he usually he is against the Indians, on a night where the conditions certainly were not in his favor.

Making his ninth start of the season for Boston three days after flu-like symptoms cut his outing short in Houston, the left-hander held the Tribe scoreless over six quality innings of work, scattering just three hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts in what should have been his third win of the year.

When this contest went into a delay in the middle of the second, it was unclear whether or not the Sox would be able to get Price back, given the fact they were probably going to take a more cautious approach anyway.

But, since the rain stoppage was brief, the 33-year-old was good to go and dazzled from the beginning of the third up until the middle of the sixth.

Never facing more than four hitters in a single inning, Price also received some help from his middle infield to rob Greg Allen of a hit in the third.

Capping off his night by sitting down eight of the last 10 Indians he faced, Price finished this one with a final pitch count of 96, 63 of which went for strikes.

Out of those 96 pitches, the Tennessee native turned to his two-seam fastball nearly 39% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday while inducing two swings and misses with it. He also topped out at 93.8 MPH with his four-seamer, a pitch he threw 13 times with Christian Vazquez behind the plate.

Lowering his ERA on the year down to 2.83 while also receiving the tough luck no-decision, Price will look for win number three in his next time out, which should come against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, a venue the lefty has not found much success at.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen held it together enough up until the start of the ninth, with Brandon Workman tossing a scoreless seventh,…

…Marcus Walden having one of his worst outings of the season by allowing two runs to score in the eighth on a two-RBI double from Francisco Lindor, and Matt Barnes cleaning up Walden’s mess to get his team out of the top half of the eighth with a one-run lead still intact.

That was all fine and good, and even more so with them tacking on a pair of insurance runs in their half of the eighth to make it a 5-2 contest, but then Ryan Brasier came on for the save, and it all went downhill from there.

Entering Tuesday with four straight shutout appearances under his belt, Brasier got his 25th appearance of the season started by serving up a leadoff home run to Indians catcher Roberto Perez. Not ideal, but it was only one run.

Well, an eight-pitch walk of Jake Bauers all of a sudden brought the tying run to the plate for Cleveland, and Greg Allen, not known for his power, took full advantage by ripping an 0-1 fastball from Brasier and sending it 394 feet into the right field seats. Just like that, this one was tied.

Allen would be the last hitter Brasier faced Tuesday, meaning the right-hander did not retire any of the three Indians he matched up against. Not great.

So, with the bases empty and three outs still to get, in came Travis Lakins for just the third big league appearance of his young career, and boy, did he have some control issues.

A HBP, followed by a seven-pitch walk of Lindor, a huge play made by Steve Pearce to nab the lead runner at third on a bunt attempt off the bat of Oscar Mercado, and another four-pitch walk of Carlos Santana meant that the bases were full of Indians with only one out recorded.

With no one warming in the Boston bullpen, this one fell on Lakins, and he delivered the crushing blow to the very next hitter he faced in Jordan Luplow, who, on a 2-1 cutter, laced a two-run double just out of the reach of a twisting Mookie Betts in right field that allowed Lindor and Mercado to come in and score to put the Indians ahead for the first time all night.

Lakins would be able to escape without yielding another run, but the damage was already done in an inning the Sox entered with a three-run lead and left trailing by two.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a young right-hander making his big league debut for Cleveland in Zach Plesac.

For never facing Boston before in his career, or let alone toeing a major league rubber before Tuesday, the 24-year-old rookie held his own in this one, limiting the Sox to one lone run in his 5 1/3 innings of work.

That lone run came in the sixth, when after Rafael Devers collected his first career triple to force Plesac out of this contest…

…Xander Bogaerts drove him in on a one-out RBI single off new Indians reliever AJ Cole to put his team on the board first.

Staying in the sixth, JD Martinez advanced Bogaerts to third on his second double of the night, and Brock Holt plated both runners by reaching first on a two-out fielding error committed by Indians second baseman Mike Freeman. 3-0.

Fast forward to the eighth, after Cleveland trimmed their deficit down to one run, a pair of RBI base knocks from Michael Chavis and Steve Pearce, Chavis’ a single and Pearce’s a double, off right-hander Nick Wittgren provided the Red Sox with that looked to be much-needed insurance to put them up 5-2.

But, after the Indians staged their comeback with a five-run rally in the ninth, 7-5 would go on to be Tuesday’s final score. Just a crushing blow, really. Without a doubt the worst loss of the season thus far.

Some notes from this loss:

According to FanGraphs, the Red Sox had a 96.2% chance of winning this game going into the ninth inning. 96.2%!

From Red Sox Notes:

Rafael Devers during his nine-game hitting streak: .415/.429/.829 with four home runs and nine RBI.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the finale of this three-game series against the Indians before heading out on another seven-game road trip.

Right-hander Ryan Weber, fresh off six quality one-run innings in his first start of the season against the Blue Jays last Thursday, will get the ball for Boston, while fellow righty Shane Bieber (3-2. 3.11 ERA) will do the same for Cleveland.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 6:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the series win.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECAP: A Pair of First Career Home Runs from Sam Travis and Tzu-Wei Lin Power #RedSox to 7-5 Win over Indians for 105th Victory of Season.

After clinching  and celebrating their third straight American League East title with an 11-6 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday night, the Red Sox headed to Cleveland looking to make more history in their last road series of the regular season against an Indians team that clinched their division weeks ago.

Making his 26th start of the season in and third since returning from the disabled list on September 11th in this series opener was Chris Sale.

Entering Friday with a lifetime 4.63 ERA in 14 career outings at Progressive Field, the left-hander’s night, although on the short side, went decently well.

Pitching into the fourth inning of this one, Sale held the Indians to two runs on five hits, one of which was a home run, and zero walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

Facing 15 total batters, the Florida native really did not run into any trouble until that bottom half of the fourth, when with one out and the bases empty, newest Indian Josh Donaldson unloaded on a 2-1 95 MPH fastball and pulled it 396 feet into the left field bleachers.

That was followed up by a Yandy Diaz single, and that is how Sale’s night would come to a conclusion, at least on the field of play.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 73 (48 strikes) the most he has thrown since returning from the DL, the 29-year-old turned to his four-seam seam fastball 25 times on the evening, and topped out at 95.7 MPH with that same pitch in the third inning.

Unable to pick up the winning decision due to the length of last night’s start, Sale will take his square 2.00 ERA into his final start of the regular season in his next time out, which will come against the Baltimore Orioles this Wednesday at night at Fenway Park. Expect the ace to ramp it up to somewhere around 85 pitches in that one.

In relief of Sale, Heath Hembree got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen with one out and one on in the fourth, and he officially closed the book on the starter’s night by serving up a two-run homer to Indians catcher Yan Gomes that gave Cleveland a 3-1 advantage.

From the middle of the fifth inning on, Bobby Poyner, Matt Barnes, Drew Pomeranz, Brandon Workman, Hector Velazquez, and Robby Scott combined to toss four innings of two-run ball to set up Craig Kimbrel for the save in the ninth.

Working for the second time in as many days with a two run lead to protect, the Red Sox closer sat down all three batters he faced to notch his 42nd save and secure his team’s 105th win of the season.

All and all, not including Sale, Alex Cora turned to EIGHT total relievers on Friday night. Matt Barnes also made his first appearance out of the bullpen in over two weeks and picked up his sixth win of the year with a scoreless sixth inning of work.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer, who was making his first start since August 11th after fracturing his right fibula.

Before we get into this, I just want you to go ahead and take a look at Friday’s lineup to get an idea of what the expectations were going into this one.

  1. Tzu-Wei Lin, CF
  2. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. JD Martinez, DH
  5. Steve Pearce, 1B
  6. Brock Holt, SS
  7. Blake Swihart, RF
  8. Sam Travis, LF
  9. Sandy Leon, C

As you can see, not exactly what the ALDS lineup is going to look like. It makes sense given the fact most of the everyday guys were a bit hung over from the postgame festivites on Thursday to go along with an early morning flight to Cleveland.

Anyway, Bauer, like Sale, was on a pitch cap, and he only made it into the second inning before getting the hook in favor of Matt Olson, who finished the frame without surrendering a run.

That made way for RHP Shane Bieber to begin the top half of the third, and Sam Travis greeted him right away by launching his first ever big league home run to put Boston on the board first.

Fast forward to the sixth, with Bieber still on the hill for Cleveland, and Rafael Devers stayed hot by mashing a two out solo homer good for his 18th of the season to cut the Indians lead to two.

An inning later, two straight one out hits set up Sam Travis in another prime run scoring opportunity, and he delivered by drilling a two RBI double to right center that plated both Brock Holt and Blake Swihart to tie this contest up at four runs each.

A few moments later, leadoff man Tzu-Wei Lin drove in Travis, who represented the go-ahead run, on a hard hit infield single that deflected off of Bieber’s heel and could not be fielded in time. 5-4 game.

Following a Brandon Phillips single and a pitching change that saw right-hander Neil Ramirez take over for Bieber, Rafael Devers came through once again by lining a run-scoring single to left field that allowed Lin to come in from third and give his team a two-run edge.

After the Indians bounced back with a run of their own in their half of the seventh, Tzu-Wei Lin essentially put this game on ice by demolishing his first career big fly off of Dan Otero with one out in the top of the ninth.

A 396 foot shot to right field that put the Red Sox up 7-5, which would go on to be the final score in their 105th win of the season, in case you missed that the first time.

Some notes from this 7-5 win:

From @SoxNotes: The Red Sox improve to 105-49, tying the franchise’s all-time single-season wins record (105-47 in 1912). Their magic number to clinch MLB’s best record is 1.

In the month of September, Craig Kimbrel is 5/5 in save opportunities over eight relief appearances. He has not allowed a single run to score in that span.

Rafael Devers is 6/16 (.375) in his last four games.

Dating back to September 9th, Brock Holt is slashing .455/.520/.909 with three home runs and eight RBI.

Since being recalled from Triple A Pawtucket on September 1st, Tzu-Wei Lin owns an OPS of 1.200.

Going for a record-setting 106th win later tonight, it will be Rick Porcello getting the starting nod for Boston.

Over the course of his 10-year career, Porcello has pitched at Progressive Field 12 times, where he owns a 2.84 ERA over 73 innings pitched.

Opposite Porcello will be another Indians right-hander in Mike Clevinger, who has seemingly emerged as one of the more underrated hurlers in the American League thanks to a breakout season in which he has posted a 3.06 ERA over a span of 30 starts with Cleveland.

First pitch of the middle game of the series is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET Saturday. Time to make some history.