Red Sox make signing of Jake Diekman official, place James Paxton on 60-day injured list

The Red Sox have officially signed left-hander Jake Diekman to a two-year deal that also includes a team option for 2024, the club announced on Wednesday. In a corresponding move to make room on the 40-man roster, fellow southpaw James Paxton was unsurprisingly placed on the 60-day injured list as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery

Diekman, 35, first agreed to a multi-year contract with the Sox over the weekend and was spotted at the Fenway South Complex with Matt Strahm on Monday. He then passed his physical on Wednesday, leading to his signing becoming official.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Diekman’s deal includes $8 million in guaranteed money. He will earn a base salary of $3.5 million over the next two seasons with the chance to earn an additional $4 million in 2023. If the Red Sox decline his club option, Diekman will net $1 million in the form of a buyout.

A former 30th-round draft choice of the Phillies out of Cloud County Community College in 2007, Diekman has pitched for five different teams over the course of his 10-year big-league career. The Nebraska native became a free agent this winter after spending the last 2 1/2 seasons with the Athletics.

In 67 appearances (third-highest on the team) out of Oakland’s bullpen in 2021, Diekman posted a 3.86 ERA and 4.46 FIP to go along with 83 strikeouts to 34 walks over 60 2/3 innings of work. His splits against left-handed hitters were similar to his splits against right-handed hitters, as he yielded a .716 OPS against the former and a .711 OPS against the latter.

There were 14 left-handed relievers across Major League Baseball who tossed at least 60 innings last year. Among them, Diekman ranked first in strikeouts per nine innings (12.3), first in strikeout rate (31.7%), 11th in walks per nine innings (5.0), 11th in walk rate (13%), ninth in batting average against (.211), 13th in WHIP (1.34), and ninth in xFIP (4.09), per FanGraphs.

Throughout his career, Diekman has primarily been a four-pitch pitcher who operates with a four-seam fastball (averaged 95.3 mph in 2021), a slider, a sinker, and a changeup. Based off the data available on Baseball Savant, the 6-foot-4, 195 pound hurler had one of the top whiff rates (35.1%) in all of baseball last season.

Diekman, who will wear the No. 35 with the Sox, brings plenty of experience to his new team and should prove to be a versatile, high-leverage relief option for manager Alex Cora. He recorded seven of his 14 career saves last year and has otherwise made 479 lifetime appearances between innings seven through nine.

With the additions of Diekman and Strahm, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has bolstered the left side of Boston’s bullpen to complement the likes of Austin Davis, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor.

(Picture of Jake Diekman: Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Red Sox make signings of Rich Hill and James Paxton official

Moments before shocking the baseball world by acquiring Jackie Bradley Jr. and a pair of prospects from the Brewers for Hunter Renfroe, the Red Sox made the signings of Rich Hill and James Paxton official on Wednesday night.

Both veteran left-handers had agreed to one-year deals with the Sox within the last 24 hours, as The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the agreement with Hill and Sportsnet’s Chad Day first reported the agreement with Paxton.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Hill will earn a base salary of $5 million in 2022, though his deal includes up to $3 million in performance bonuses based on number of innings pitched.

Hill, who turns 42 in March, is coming off a solid 2021 campaign in which he posted a 3.86 ERA and 4.34 FIP to go along with 150 strikeouts to 55 walks over 32 appearances (31 starts) spanning 158 2/3 innings of work between the Rays and Mets.

The Milton, Mass. native will be preparing to embark upon his 18th big-league season in 2022 after signing with Boston as a free agent for the seventh time in his career.

“This guy is one of the best competitors in our game,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said of Hill. “It seems like he doesn’t age. Wherever he goes, it seems like he has success. Not only is he a good pitcher, but he’s a tremendous clubhouse presence. To be able to add a veteran like him who has shown the ability to pitch here and shown the ability to pitch in different roles, really to take on whatever is thrown at him.”

Paxton, on the other hand, is more of a unique signing since the Red Sox added the lefty on a one-year, $10 million deal for 2022 that also includes a two-year club option that could take the total value of the contract up to $35 million, per Speier.

More specifically, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports that if the Sox pick up Paxton’s option, he will be guaranteed $26 million in 2023 and 2024 ($13 million in each season). If they decline, he can either exercise a one-year player option for 2023 at $4 million or turn it down and become a free agent himself.

In other words, Paxton’s contract comes with $10 million in guaranteed money (a $6 million base salary in 2022 and the $4 million conditional player option) that can max out at $35 million over three years when taking performance bonuses and escalators into account.

After spending the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Yankees, Paxton re-joined the Mariners in 2021. But he suffered an elbow injury in his first start of the year that would ultimately require season-ending Tommy John surgery in April.

Because Paxton is still recovering from that elbow procedure, the Red Sox do not anticipate that the 33-year-old to return to the mound until some point during the second half of the 2022 campaign.

“He’s not going to be ready for Opening Day, but we do expect to see him at some point during the second half of the season if all goes well, ” said Bloom. “We’re hopeful that when he does come back, he’ll be able to give us a lift. Before injuries really started to impact his career, this guy was one of the better left-handed pitchers in the American League.”

Going back to his first season with New York, Paxton put up a respectable 3.82 ERA and 3.86 ERA with 186 strikeouts to 55 walks across 29 starts and 150 2/3 innings pitched in 2019.

“If he gets back to that, he could provide a huge boost for us in the second half,” Bloom said of Paxton. “We also have the ability, if all goes well this coming year, to control him for a couple years after that. And that was a big part of this deal for us: adding someone who might be able to help us down the stretch this coming year, but then also be a big part of what we’re doing in the years ahead.”

Within the last week, the Red Sox have added three starting pitchers (Hill, Paxton, and Michael Wacha). While the goal of doing this may have something to do with filling the void left by Eduardo Rodriguez, it also allows Boston to bolster its rotation depth going into 2022.

“To add to this group that we have, to have the depth to make sure we’re not putting too much on our young guys, and that we have enough capable major-league pitchers to get through the marathon of a season, it’s huge,” Bloom said.

Indeed it is.

(Picture of James Paxton: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to one-year, $10 million deal with left-hander James Paxton, per report; contract includes two-year club option

The Red Sox are in agreement with free agent left-hander James Paxton on a one-year, $10 million contract for the 2022 season, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The deal, which is pending a physical, includes a two-year club option and was first reported by Sportsnet 650’s Chad Dey.

Per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, the total value of Paxton’s contract could reach $35 million if the Red Sox were to pick up his two-year option for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

Paxton, 33, underwent Tommy John surgery this past April after making just one start for the Mariners in which he allowed one earned run in 1 1/3 innings against the White Sox at T-Mobile Park.

The Canadian-born southpaw was originally selected by Seattle in the fourth round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Kentucky and later made his major-league debut for the Mariners in September 2013.

After spending the first six years of his big-league career with the M’s, however, Paxton was dealt to the Yankees in exchange for three players at the conclusion of the 2018 campaign.

While donning the pinstripes, Paxton enjoyed a solid inaugural season with the Yankees in 2019, posting a 3.82 ERA and 3.86 FIP to go along with 186 strikeouts to 55 walks over 29 starts spanning 150 2/3 innings of work.

The following year was a different story, though, as Paxton managed to make just six starts for New York before his season prematurely came to a close in late August due to a left flexor strain.

Despite signing a one-year deal to return to Seattle in February, the same discomfort Paxton experienced in his left elbow in 2020 clearly carried over into 2021 since it ultimately required season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Having undergone the elbow reconstruction procedure on April 14, Paxton likely won’t be able to return to in-game action until the later stages of the 2022 season at the earliest

Still, perhaps following a similar timeline they used with Chris Sale this year, the Sox elected to take a chance on Paxton. The veteran lefty operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, cutter, curveball, and changeup.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 227 pounds, Paxton — a native of British Columbia — is represented by the Boras Corporation and does not turn 34 until next November.

He also becomes the second significant starting pitching-related addition Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have made via free agency in the last week. Over the weekend, the club announced that they had signed veteran right-hander Michael Wacha to a one-year, $7 million deal for 2022.

Once he passes his physical and his signing is made official, Paxton will bring the size of Boston’s 40-man roster up to 38 players.

(Picture of James Paxton: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Red Sox Lineup: Michael Chavis Starts at First Base as Jose Peraza Returns for Second of Four Against Yankees

After allowing more than eight runs in their fifth consecutive game in yet another loss on Friday, the Red Sox will look to bounce back against the first-place Yankees in the Bronx on Saturday.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will make his fifth start of the season for Boston, while left-hander James Paxton will be making his fourth start for New York.

The Red Sox are 3-1 in Eovaldi’s starts this year, so this outing comes at a perfect time seeing how Boston is currently riding a five-game losing streak in which they have been outscored 52-25.

Paxton, meanwhile, is coming off his best start of the season in his last time out against the Rays on August 9 in which he yielded three runs, fanned 11, and walked only one batter. The 31-year-old surrendered five runs (three earned) on seven hits in just three innings of work in his first start of the year against the Sox on August 2.

Here’s how the Red Sox will be lining up against Paxton and behind Eovaldi to begin things on Saturday night.

With a left-hander on the mound for New York, Kevin Pillar moves to the leadoff spot for the sixth time this season while Michael Chavis takes over for Mitch Moreland at first base.

Also worth noting, Jose Peraza is back starting at second base and batting out of the nine-hole after taking a 105 mph comebacker off his right knee while pitching in the ninth inning of Thursday’s loss to the Rays.

Among these nine hitters, J.D. Martinez and Jackie Bradley Jr. have seen Paxton the best. The former owns a lifetime OPS of 1.415 with two home runs in 17 career at-bats against the Yankees starter, while the latter owns a lifetime OPS of 1.129 in 15 career at-bats against him.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on FOX and WEEI. Red Sox looking for their first victory since Sunday. They are winless in four attempts against the Yankees so far in 2020.

Red Sox Waste Big Offensive Nights From Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers in Soul-Crushing 9-7 Loss to Yankees

In their highest-scoring game since Opening Day, the Red Sox still found a way to lose to the Yankees on Sunday night, as they fell to the Bronx Bombers by a final score of 9-7 and were unable to avoid getting swept by their division rivals.

Utilizing the opener strategy in this one, the Sox first turned to right-hander Austin Brice on Sunday, who was technically making his first career major-league start although he only pitched a scoreless first inning while walking two and striking out the side.

From there, left-hander Matt Hall, who served as an opener for Boston last week, had a tougher time of things from the middle of the second on. That being the case because the 27-year-old served up a three-run blast to Aaron Judge in his first frame of work and back-to-back, two-out RBI doubles to Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela in his second.

Heath Hembree was next up, and after tossing a perfect bottom of the fourth, the veteran righty got taken deep by Luke Voit on a two-out solo shot in the fifth. At the time, Voit’s homer pulled the Yankees back even with the Sox at 6-6.

The Boston offense was able to tack on another run in between Marcus Walden’s two shutout frames of relief in the sixth and seventh, but things took a turn for the worse for the Red Sox bullpen in the bottom of the eighth.

There, Matt Barnes entered with his side up one run at 7-6, got the first two outs of the inning rather easily, and then walked Mike Tauchman, the Yankees’ No. 9 hitter, on five pitches.

As the saying goes, “walks will haunt,” and that walk certainly would come back to haunt Barnes later on.

With New York’s lineup turning back over, Tauchman took off for second base with D.J. LeMahieu at the plate and got to the bag safely. Having to deal with a runner in scoring position now, Barnes couldn’t sneak a 2-2, 96 mph fastball past the Yankees second baseman and instead gave up a game-tying, run-scoring single back up the middle. 7-7.

It would have been one thing if Barnes managed to escape the eighth with the 7-7 stalemate still intact, but the ever-dangerous Judge had other ideas in mind.

Arguably the girthiest No. 2 hitter in baseball, the Yankees slugger took a 2-0, hanging 84 mph curveball from Barnes and deposited it 468(!) feet to the bleachers in left field.

That soul-crushing missile of a two-run home run put the Yanks up 9-7, which would ultimately go on to be Sunday’s final score as Barnes was hit with his first loss and blown save of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another familiar foe in the form of Yankees southpaw James Paxton.

With the Canadian-born Paxton on the hill, the Boston bats actually got on the board in the first inning for the first time all weekend when after J.D. Martinez reached base on a two-out double that could have been caught, Xander Bogaerts crushed his second big fly of the season 386 feet to right-center field to put his side up two early on.

In the third, more damage off Paxton came when Kevin Pillar led things off with a ground-rule double and came around to score moments later on a Rafael Devers RBI base knock to right.

A Martinez strikeout followed by consecutive one-out, run-scoring singles off the bats of Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez brought in two more runs, and the Red Sox had themselves a 5-3 lead just like that.

Fast forward to the fifth, and Bogaerts struck once more, this time taking Yankees reliever Michael King 437 feet to left-center field for his second dinger of the evening. 6-5 Boston.

And in the seventh, it was Devers’ turn to put his pull-side power on display, as he watched King hang a 2-1, hanging changeup on the inner half of the plate and proceeded to send it all the way to the right field bleachers, or more specifically, 427 feet away from home plate.

Devers’ long-awaited first long ball of the new season looked to be the all-important go-ahead hit in this one as it put the Sox up by one run at 7-6. A las, as previously mentioned, the Yankees staged a rather soul-crushing comeback in their half of the eighth, and 9-7 would go on to be your final score. Red Sox get swept.

Some notes and observations from this loss:

The Red Sox are 3-7 through their first 10 games of 2020.

From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

Despite the loss, Rafael Devers had an impressive night on both sides of the ball.

10 games into the season, the Red Sox have one of the worst records in baseball. Not great! It’s not a total surprise, but it’s still not great!

Anyway, the Sox have an off day on Monday before opening up a rare two-game set against the Rays in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and left-hander Martin Perez are slated to start for Boston, while right-hander Charlie Morton and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough are lined up to do the same for Tampa Bay.

This will be the first of two trips to St. Pete for the Sox this season. They won 60% of their games at Tropicana Field in 2019.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI. Enjoy the off day.

Mookie Betts Belts Three Homers, Drives in Five Runs as Red Sox Top Yankees 10-5 for Second Straight Win

After routing the New York Yankees 19-3 to open up a four-game weekend series on Thursday, the Red Sox were back at it again on Friday, this time going off for 10 wins in a 10-5 victory over their divisional foes to improve to 58-47 on the year.

Making his third start for Boston and 20th of the season overall was Andrew Cashner, who came into Friday winless in his first two outings with his new club since being acquired from the Baltimore Orioles earlier in the month.

When he first arrived in Boston two weekends ago, Cashner made it clear that he was excited to be a part of this rivalry, saying that, “the thing I’m looking forward to the most is playing the Yankees.” He stepped up in his first Red Sox-Yankees action Friday.

Working into the seventh inning of this one, the right-hander put together his best performance since the trade, as he allowed three runs, all of which were earned, on 10 hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts on the night.

The first of those three New York tallies came across to score in the top half of the sixth, when after retiring 14 of the first 18 hitters he faced, Cashner yielded three-straight two-out knocks to Edwin Encarnacion, Didi Gregorius, and Luke Voit, which plated Encarnacion from second.

A three-pitch punchout of Gleyber Torres allowed Cashner to escape that jam, but the Texas native ran into a bit more trouble an inning later, where the first three Yankees who came to bat in the seventh all reached base, resulting in Austin Romine driving in a run on RBI single, and D.J. LeMahieu driving in another while grounding into a helpful 6-4-3 double play.

That cut Boston’s lead from eight runs down to six, so Cashner’s evening quickly came to a close following a two-out double from Aaron Judge with Encarnacion looming.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (67 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball nearly 41% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing three swings and misses and topping out at 96.7 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was at the plate.

Finally able to pick up that first win as a Red Sox while slightly lowering his ERA on the season down to 4.18, Cashner will look to maintain this positive trend in his next time out, which should come against another divisional opponent in the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.

In relief of Cashner, Marcus Walden entered the seventh with a runner in scoring position and one out to get in the frame. He got that out rather quickly, punching out Encarnacion looking on seven pitches to retire the side.

From there, left-hander Josh Taylor worked his way around a one-out walk of Luke Voit in the eighth with the help of Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers.

Finally, in the ninth, Heath Hembree failed to record an out in the inning, allowing New York’s fourth run of the night to score on an Austin Romine RBI double, which led to Sox manager Alex Cora having to turn to Brandon Workman in a six-run contest.

Workman promptly loaded the bases on a Judge screamer that went for a fielding error committed by Xander Bogaerts, surrendered another run on a Gregorius sacrifice fly, but ultimately held on by getting Voit to ground into a force out at third to secure the 10-5 win for his club.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Yankees left-hander James Paxton, someone who had never pitched at Fenway Park before Friday.

Perhaps that unfamiliarity played a factor in how the scoring started for Boston, as Mookie Betts coldly greeted Paxton and kicked things off by mashing a 362-foot solo shot to left to lead off the first.

Three batters later, with one out and Rafael Devers at first, J.D. Martinez added on to his team’s early lead with his 21st big fly of the season. This one a 433-foot, two-run bomb over the Monster to put the Red Sox ahead 3-0.

Fast forward to the third, and the dynamic duo of Betts and Martinez struck once more, with the former leading the inning off with his second solo shot of the evening, a 390-foot solo shot at that, and the latter driving in Xander Bogaerts from second on a one-out, RBI triple down the right field line. 5-0.

An inning later, a two-out single off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. brought Betts to the plate with a runner on for the first time, and he got ahead in this particular count against Paxton at 3-1 before absolutely punishing a hanging, 87 MPH cutter down the heart of the plate.

Per Statcast, Betts’ third homer was deposited 376 feet into the Monster seats and had an exit velocity of over 103 MPH. Also was his 18th of the season.

In the sixth, with reliever David Hale in for New York and Michael Chavis on at second, back-to-back two-out RBI doubles from Betts and Devers plated two more runs for Boston, making it a 9-1 game.

And in the seventh, Sam Travis came through with an RBI two-bagger of his own off Hale, scoring Andrew Benintendi from second to put his team up 10-3.

Betts’ last at-bat came with one out in the bottom of the eighth. With the chance to become the first Red Sox player to ever hit four home runs in a single game, all the reigning American League MVP could manage against tough lefty Zack Brittion was a softly-hit grounder to third.

No history made, but still an impressive day at the plate nonetheless, as 10-5 would go on to be Friday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From MLB Stats:

From The Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam:

From NESN’s Guerin Austin:

Red Sox’ top four hitters (Betts, Devers, Bogaerts, Martinez) on Friday: 9-for-18 with four homers, five other extra-base-hits, seven runs scored, and nine runs driven in.

Mookie Betts in July: .395/.465/.709 with five homers and 17 RBI.

Rafael Devers in July: .341/.400/.747 with nine homers and 32(!!!) RBI.

Xander Bogaerts in July: .369/.424/.702 with seven homers and 23 RBI.

J.D. Martinez’s last seven games: .438/.455/.813 with two homers and nine RBI.

The Red Sox have won four of their last five games against the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. At 58-47, this is the first time Boston has been 11 games over .500 all season.

They’ll look to make that 12 games over .500 in the third of this four-game series on Saturday afternoon.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is set to get the start for Boston, while fellow veteran southpaw C.C. Sabathia will do the same for New York.

Since the beginning of the month, Rodriguez is 4-0 in his last four starts, posting a 1.42 ERA and .159 batting average against over 25 1/3 innings pitched.

The 26-year-old’s last start against the Yankees came on international soil, where he gave up two earned runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings of work back on June 30th in London.

In his career against the Bronx Bombers, Rodriguez owns a lifetime 3.86 ERA over 15 appearances (13 starts) and 74 2/3 total frames pitched.

Sabathia, meanwhile, allowed three runs over six innings in a losing effort in his only other start against Boston this season back on June 2nd.

Over 19 prior starts at Fenway Park, the 39-year-old is 7-5 with an ERA of 4.87 and batting average against of .289 in 112 2/3 innings pitched.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 4:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the series win.

 

 

 

The #RedSox, Along with Four Other Teams, Reportedly Have Strong Interest in Acquiring Mariners All-Star Closer Edwin Diaz.

On Tuesday night, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported that the Boston Red Sox were one of five teams interested in acquiring the services of Mariners closer and 2018 American League Reliever of the Year Edwin Diaz.

In his report, Sherman states that outside of Boston, other players for Diaz include the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies.

Given the fact that the Mariners dealt their ace, James Paxton, to the Yankees earlier in the month, it does appear as though Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto’s club is heading towards a retooling period beginning in 2019.

With that in mind, parting ways with the best closer in the American League West in exchange for a haul of prospects makes sense.

At just 24 years old, not only is Diaz coming off an elite season in which he recorded 57 saves and posted a K/9 of 15.2, he also has four more years of team control left before hitting free agency in 2022.

The Red Sox certainly do not have the farm system to produce the prospects the Mariners would be seeking in this potential deal, but if the club’s interest is that strong, there may be a way to get it done, albeit at a hefty price.

“Seattle is willing to consider less if a team takes on [Robinson] Cano, who is 36 and served an 80-game suspension last year for testing positive for a banned substance,” Sherman reports.

An eight-time All-Star, Cano inked a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners prior to the start of the 2014 season, meaning there is still five years and $120 million remaining on his contract.

With the Red Sox 2019 payroll already looking like it’s going to be one of the more expensive in baseball once again, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, or even principal owner John Henry, would be willing to take that much money on, especially when the team still owes second baseman Dustin Pedroia $40 million over the next three years.

Similar to how Dombrowski acquired another elite closer and current free agent in Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres with three-years remaining on his previous contract, landing Diaz for at least his age 25 to 28 seasons would be something.

But, barring a way the Red Sox find a position for Cano to play on a regular basis, I don’t believe the club has the prospects to offer that the Yankees, Phillies, or Braves have in order to get a deal done.

Regardless of that though, Diaz would be a fantastic addition to the end of a bullpen that had their struggles throughout the 2018 season. Winter Meetings begin on December 9th in Las Vegas, so maybe talks will materialize there.

RECAP: #RedSox Bullpen Lets One Slip by Them in 7-6 Loss to Mariners.

Following a tight series opening win against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night, the Red Sox were right back at it in another close game against the M’s on Friday. This time though, they did not come out on top.

Making his 15th start of the season last night, Rick Porcello was certainly not the problem in this one. In a total of six innings pitched, the righty surrendered four runs on seven hits and one walk while tying his season-high in strikeouts with nine on the night.

Things certainly could have gone worse for the New Jersey native and that’s how it was looking when he gave up a solo home run to the second batter he faced in Jean Segura in the first inning. The Mariners tacked on another two runs in their half of the second, but Porcello bounced back after that.

From the middle of the third until the conclusion of the sixth, the 29-year-old hurler held Seattle to just one run on three hits and that one walk, which all happened in the bottom half of the fifth.

Going into the sixth inning with a pitch count of 92, I thought for sure that Porcello’s night had come to an end. Instead, he showed another encouraging sign by retiring the Mariners 6-7-8 hitters in order on only eight pitches to retire the side.

Finishing with exactly 100 pitches (70 strikes), Porcello relied mostly on his two-seam fastball last night, as he threw it 31% of the time, compared to just 19% on his four-seamer. Out of those 19 pitches, the righty topped out at 93.1 MPH.

Going into the bottom of the seventh with nine outs to get and a three run lead to protect, the Red Sox bullpen did less of an ideal job in an effort to shut down the Mariners lineup.

In the one inning he appeared in, Heath Hembree gave up a leadoff home run to M’s catcher Mike Zunino to cut the lead to two. And in the eighth, after walking Ryon Healy and giving up a single to Ben Gamel, Matt Barnes gave the game away when old friend Denard Span ripped a two RBI double to right field to plate the tying and go-ahead runs.

For the second time in three appearances, Barnes surrendered two earned runs and because of it, he was charged with both the blown save and loss.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was tasked with going up against one of the better pitchers in the American League in James Paxton for Seattle.

Paxton, a native of Canada, pitched as advertised in his first two innings of work, as he retired seven of the first eight batters he faced on three strikeouts.

Looking as though it was going to be a challenge to get anything on the board, the Red Sox, with some help from some careless defense from the Mariners, turned this game on its head in their half of the third.

With five of the first six batters reaching base in the lineup, an RBI single off the bat of Brock Holt cut the Red Sox deficit to two. Two batters later, after JD Martinez reached on a single to load the bases, Mitch Moreland came through with an unusual two RBI hit that must have crossed up Kyle Seager at third base.

Later ruled a fielding error on Seager’s part, Moreland was no longer credited with any RBI, but it still tied the game.

Amidst all the chaos, Xander Bogaerts followed that up by launching his 11th home run of the season, a 387 foot three-run piece to put the Red Sox in front 6-3.

Unfortunately, despite chasing Paxton out of the game in the third, the Red Sox failed to score from that point on. Credit to the Mariners bullpen there.

They loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Brock Holt lined out to left to end the inning.

With one last shot to score in the ninth and facing off against Mariners closer Edwin Diaz, a JD Martinez single and a Xander Bogaerts walk gave the Red Sox a chance with one out in the inning. That turned into nothing though, as Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez popped out and grounded out to wrap this thing up. Series tied at one game a piece now.

Some notes from this one:

In 15 games against the Red Sox withe the Mariners and Rays this season, Denard Span has an OPS of .990 with two home runs and 10 RBI.

Rafael Devers extended his hitting streak to 10 games last night after a 2/5 day at the plate.

The Seattle Mariners have already won 22 one-run games this season.

Playing on national television later tonight, it will be Steven Wright and his 22.2 scoreless innings streak getting the start for the Red Sox. He will be matched up against Wade LeBlanc, a lefty, for the Mariners. First pitch is scheduled for 8:15 PM ET.