Red Sox waste scoring chances, muster just 6 hits in 1-0 shutout loss to Rays

The Red Sox were unable to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rays on Wednesday night. Boston fell to Tampa Bay a final score of 1-0 at Tropicana Field to drop to 67-71 on the season.

Nick Pivetta was anything but crisp in his 28th start of the year for the Sox. While showing no ill effects from the left calf contusion he sustained in his last time out, the right-hander grinded through five innings in which he allowed one run on two hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.

After taking a no-hit bid into the fifth inning, Pivetta surrendered a leadoff double to Francisco Mejia. Mejia then advanced to third on a Ji-Man Choi groundout before Taylor Walls drove him in on a softly-hit infield single.

That would prove to be all the scoring the Rays would need. Pivetta, who threw 101 pitches (54 strikes), faced 20 batters on Wednesday; 12 of them worked the count full. The 29-year-old hurler was charged with his 11th loss of the season, though he did lower his ERA to 4.29.

In relief of Pivetta, John Schreiber, Matt Strahm, and Zack Kelly combined for three scoreless frames out of the bullpen to give the Red Sox one last chance going into the top half of the ninth.

To that point in the contest, a Boston lineup that did not feature Xander Bogaerts or Rafael Devers had already blown its fair share of scoring opportunities.

Enrique Hernandez, for instance, began the game with a leadoff double off Rays starter Jeffrey Springs. He was stranded at second base. Three innings later, Trevor Story reached base via a one-out single off Yonny Chirinos. He moved up to second after J.D. Martinez drew a six-pitch walk but was stranded there after Christian Arroyo and Rob Refsnyder both punched out.

In the fifth, back-to-back singles from Hernandez and Tommy Pham put runners at first and second with two outs for Alex Verdugo, who grounded out to shortstop. Arroyo reached scoring position with a two-out double in the sixth, but Refsnyder followed by striking out for a second time.

Boston’s best chance undoubtedly came in the eighth inning, when Pham singled and Verdugo drew a four-pitch walk to lead things off against Jason Adam. Pham moved up to third base when Story grounded into a fielder’s choice. Story then stole second base, putting the potential tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position.

With only one out in the inning, Adam battled back by getting Martinez to fly out and Arroyo to ground out to extinguish the threat. Pete Fairbanks then fanned two and worked his way around a Triston Casas walk in the ninth to seal a 1-0 defeat for the Red Sox.

All told, Boston went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday and left 10 men on base as a team. Hernandez and Pham accounted for four of their side’s six hits. Story and Arroyo were responsible for the other two.

Wednesday’s loss marks the first time the Red Sox have been shut out since May 30, when the Orioles blanked them, 10-0 at Fenway Park. So they went 87 straight games without getting shut out, which had been the longest active streak in Major League baseball.

The Red Sox are now 4-12 against the Rays and 18-39 against divisional opponents this season. They lost their final nine games at Tropicana Field after first beating Tampa Bay on their own turf on April 22.

Next up: On to Baltimore

The Red Sox will have an off day on Thursday as they travel to Baltimore ahead of a three-game weekend series against the Orioles. Rookie right-hander Brayan Bello is slated to start Friday’s series opener for Boston while fellow righty Austin Voth is lined up to do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch from Camden Yards on Friday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Tommy Pham: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Rich Hill dominates with 11 strikeouts over 7 scoreless innings as Red Sox take series from Rays with 5-1 victory

The Red Sox secured a series victory over the Rays on Saturday afternoon. Boston defeated Tampa Bay by a final score of 5-1 at Fenway Park to improve to 62-65 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his 19th start of the year for the Sox, was just as masterful as he was quick. The veteran left-hander scattered just three hits and one walk to go along with a season-high 11 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings of work.

After taking a perfect game into the third inning, Hill gave up a leadoff infield single to Yu Chang. He proceeded to strand Chang at first base by striking out the side on 16 pitches. The lefty yielded another base hit to Randy Arozarena in the fourth. Arozarena advanced into scoring position with two outs by stealing second base, but Hill stranded him there by retiring Isaac Paredes.

From there, Hill sat down nine of the final 11 Rays hitters he faced. He ended his outing with an emphatic three-pitch strikeout of Chang. Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (71 strikes), the 42-year-old southpaw induced 12 total swings-and-misses. He also picked up his sixth win of the season while lowering his ERA to 4.32.

By the time Hill recorded the final out of the seventh, the Red Sox were already in possession of a 5-0 lead. Four of those runs came right away in the bottom of the first inning, when they sent all nine hitters to the plate against Rays starter (and old friend) Jeffrey Springs.

Tommy Pham set the tone with a leadoff single that left his bat at 103.8 mph. Alex Verdugo followed with a hard-hit double that put runners at second and third for J.D. Martinez. Martinez came through with a two-run single off the Green Monster to get Boston on the board first.

Springs then recorded the first two outs of the inning, but ran into more trouble when Trevor Story reached base on an infield single. After Enrique Hernandez drew a walk to load the bases, Bobby Dalbec delivered with another two-run single to center field.

Fast forward all the way to the fourth inning, and Hernandez got the best of Springs again by cranking a 366-foot leadoff home run over the Green Monster to make it a 5-0 game. Hernandez’s sixth homer of the season left his bat at 104 mph.

As was the case on Friday night, things once again got interesting for Boston in the eighth inning. Jeurys Familia took over for Hill and recorded the first two outs of the frame on 11 pitches. He then gave up three straight hits, including an RBI single from Randy Arozarena.

That sequence of events prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora go back to the bullpen to call upon John Schreiber. Schreiber in turn, got the final out of the eighth and worked his way around a one-out walk in the ninth to lock up the win and notch his fifth save of the year.

With the win, the Red Sox now trail the Blue Jays by seven games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Pivetta goes for sweep

The Red Sox will look to complete a three-game weekend sweep of the Rays on Sunday afternoon. Boston will turn to right-hander Nick Pivetta while Tampa Bay will go with fellow righty Corey Kluber.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Kiké Hernández homers, Michael Wacha tosses 5 2/3 scoreless innings as Red Sox hold on for 4-3 win over Orioles

The Red Sox held on for a one-run over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday afternoon. Boston defeated Baltimore by a final score of 4-3 to improve to 60-61 on the season.

Michael Wacha, making his 15th start of the season for the Sox, kept the O’s off the scoreboard while scattering four hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 strong innings of work.

There were not too many dramatic moments to be had for Wacha, who retired 11 of the first 14 batters he faced leading into the top half of the fifth inning. To that point in the contest, the Boston bats had been held in check by Baltimore starter Kyle Bradish.

Kevin Plawecki reached base via a one-out single. Christian Arroyo followed with a base hit of his own to put runners on the corners for Alex Verdugo, who promptly roped another single to right field to drive in Plawecki.

An inning later, J.D. Martinez led off against Bradish with a sharply-hit single. After Bobby Dalbec struck out for the first out of the sixth, Enrique Hernandez came through by depositing a 373-foot two-run home run down the left field line.

Hernandez’s fifth home run of the season was the first from any Red Sox hitter since last Sunday. It also gave Boston a 3-0 lead. Wacha, meanwhile, continued to impress before giving up a one-out single to Austin Hays and issuing a two-out walk to Anthony Santander in the bottom of the sixth.

At that point, Red Sox manager Alex Cora opted to turn to his bullpen. John Schreiber came on in relief of Wacha and officially closed the book on the righty’s outing by stranding both of the runners he inherited with a three-pitch strikeout of Ryan Mountcastle.

Wacha finished with a final pitch count of 79 (52 strikes), inducing seven total swings-and-misses while mixing a four-seam fastball, changeup, cutter, sinker, and curveball. The 31-year-old hurler improved to 8-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.28. He has yet to allow a run since returning from the injured list on August 14.

Schreiber came back out for the seventh and immediately surrendered a leadoff single to Ramon Urias. Jorge Mateo followed with another single to right field, but Jarren Duran made a poor throw back to the infield and missed the cutoff man, which allowed both runners to advance an additional 90 feet.

With runners at second and third for the Orioles now, the pinch-hitting Kyle Stowers plated Urias on a groundout to second base. Mateo then scored on a two-out wild pitch to trim Boston’s advantage down to one run at 3-2.

After Garrett Whitlock worked his way around a one-out single in a scoreless eighth inning, Duran was able to redeem himself in the ninth by reaching on a one-out bunt single off Bryan Baker. With the hit-and-run on, Duran went from first to third on a Plawecki single. He then scored from third on Arroyo’s third hit of the day — an 86.7 mph double to left field.

Arroyo’s RBI double would prove to be an important moment in this game. That being the case because Whitlock yielded a one-out triple to Mateo in the bottom of the ninth. Mateo scored on another Stowers groundout, but Whitlock held it down by getting Rougned Odor to line out to center field to end it.

Whitlock picked up his fifth save of the season while the Red Sox secured a 4-3 victory. Arroyo led the way offensively with three hits while Verdugo, Martinez, and Plawecki all enjoyed two-hit games.

Next up: 2022 Little League Classic on deck

The Red Sox and Orioles will wrap up this three-game weekend series in Williamsport, Pa. on Sunday night. In the fifth annual MLB Little League Classic, right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Dean Kremer will do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch from Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on ESPN.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Greg Flume/Getty Images)

Christian Arroyo and Alex Verdugo combine for 6 hits as Red Sox get back to .500 with 8-3 victory over Pirates

The Red Sox once again took care of business against the Pirates on Wednesday night. Boston defeated Pittsburgh by a final score of 8-3 to take its third straight series and improve to 59-59 on the season.

Rich Hill made his 18th start of the season for the Sox and turned in a solid outing despite struggling out of the gate. The veteran left-hander allowed two runs on three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts over five innings of work.

Both of those Pirates runs came right away in the bottom of the first, when Hill followed a leadoff single from Kevin Newman by serving up a 416-foot two-run home run to Bryan Reynolds.

That put the Red Sox in an early 2-0 hole, but they quickly responded against opposing starter Roansy Contreras in the top of the second. Alex Verdugo led off with a single and J.D. Martinez followed by drawing a four-pitch walk. After Eric Hosmer flew out, Christian Arroyo stayed hot by ripping a two-run double to right-center field past a sprawling Reynolds. Arroyo’s ninth double of the season drove in both Verdugo and Martinez to knot things up at two runs apiece.

Reese McGuire kept the line moving with a one-out single that put runners on the corners for Enrique Hernandez, who collected his second RBI in as many games by plating Arroyo on a softly-hit single through the right side of the infield. Rafael Devers was intentionally walked with two outs to fill the bases for Xander Bogaerts, who struck out on four pitches to end the inning, but not before Boston had taken its first lead of the night at 3-2.

Hill, meanwhile, settled in nicely by retiring nine straight batters from the middle of the second through the end of the fourth. He gave up a single to Rodolfo Castro in the fifth, but ended his night on a positive note by sitting down the final three Pirates he faced.

Finishing with an efficient pitch count of 57 (43 strikes), Hill induced three swings-and-misses with his four-seamer and three more with his slider. The 42-year-old hurler also picked up his fifth win of the season while lowering his ERA to 4.68.

Moments before Hill had recorded the final out of the fifth inning, the Red Sox tacked on additional run in the top half of the frame. Bogaerts, after reaching base via a one-out single off Contreras, scored all the way from first on an RBI double down the right field line off the bat of Verdugo.

Taking a 4-2 lead into the sixth inning, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Brasier punched out the side on 14 pitches before making way for Hirokazu Sawamura, who faced the minimum in a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

In the eighth, Verdugo led off another inning with a hard-hit single. Back-to-back one-out singles from Hosmer and Arroyo allowed Verdugo to move up to third base. The pinch-hitting Rob Refsnyder drove him in by drawing a bases-loaded walk off Pirates reliever Eric Stout, thus giving the Red Sox a 5-2 lead.

Sawamura picked up where he left off by retiring the side in order in the eighth. The same can be said for Arroyo, who knocked in his third run of the night on a bases-loaded single in the top of the ninth.

Kevin Plawecki, who took over behind the plate for McGuire, made the most of his first and only at-bat of the night by driving in a pair on a softly-hit two-run single to shallow right field.

That sequence of events saw the Red Sox jump out to a commanding 8-2 advantage. It also afforded them the opportunity to have veteran reliever Jeurys Familia make his club debut. Signed to a minor-league deal earlier this month, Familia had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester on Saturday.

So it took four days for Familia to make his first appearance for Boston. The former All-Star closer surrendered hits to three of the first four Pirates he faced, including an RBI single from Ben Gamel.

Familia did not allow the Pirates to get any closer than that, though, as he got Kevin Padlo to ground out before punching out Castro on six pitches to secure an 8-3 victory for the Red Sox.

All told, Verdugo and Arroyo led the way offensively by combining for six hits (two doubles), four RBIs, four runs scored. Verdugo and Martinez combined to draw five walks as well.

Next up: Sox look to break out the brooms

The Red Sox will go for a three-game sweep over the Pirates on Thursday night. They last swept an opponent in a multi-game series on June 26, when they did so against the Guardians.

Rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski will get the ball for Boston after Thursday’s scheduled starter — Nathan Eovaldi — was scratched with a sore trap muscle. Fellow righty J.T. Brubaker is expected to take the mound for Pittsburgh.

First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Kiké Hernández, Rob Refsnyder from injured list; Yolmer Sánchez designated for assignment

Before opening up a three-game series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the Red Sox reinstated outfielder Rob Refsnyder from the 10-day injured list and utilityman Enrique Hernandez from the 60-day injured list.

In order to make room for Refsnyder on the major-league roster, fellow outfielder Jaylin Davis was optioned to Triple-A Worcester on Sunday night. In order to make room for Hernandez on both the 26- and 40-man rosters, veteran infielder Yolmer Sanchez was designated for assignment, the club announced.

Refsnyder returns to the Red Sox nearly three weeks after being placed on the injured list because of a right knee sprain on July 30. The 31-year-old began a rehab assignment with Double-A Portland this past Saturday and went 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs, three RBIs, four runs scored, and three walks while appearing in two games (both in right field) with the Sea Dogs.

Originally signed to a minor-league deal back in December, Refsnyder has been a pleasant surprise for Boston this season. After serving as a COVID-related substitute in late April, the right-handed hitter had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester in early June. Across those two stints, he has slashed .309/.385/.500 with six doubles, four homers, 12 RBIs, 16 runs scored, 10 walks, and 23 strikeouts over 34 games (109 plate appearances) at the big-league level.

Hernandez, on the other hand, had been sidelined for much longer while recovering from a right hip flexor strain he originally sustained in Anaheim on June 7. The versatile 30-year-old was sent out on a rehab assignment with the WooSox exactly one month after being placed on the 10-day injured list, but that was short-lived.

The Red Sox were forced to pull Hernandez from his rehab assignment after just one game. They subsequently sent him to visit a hip specialist in New York, where he received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection to speed up the healing process. He was transferred to the 60-day injured list on July 23.

From that point forward, Hernandez resumed baseball activities earlier this month and, like Refsnyder, rehabbed in Portland last week, going 3-for-12 with two doubles, two RBIs, one walk, and four strikeouts in four games.

In addition to the hip strain, Hernandez revealed to reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham) in Pittsburgh that he also dealt with a core injury that led to a hematoma developing in one of his abdominal muscles. As a result, he had 16 cubic centimeters of blood drained out through a needle in his back.

That procedure left Hernandez feeling as though “a switch turned off” on the entire right side of his body, hence the lengthy stint on the injured list that lasted more than two months.

Hernandez will bat seventh and start at shortstop for the first time this season in his return to Boston’s lineup on Tuesday night. The right-handed hitter is currently batting .209/.273/.340 with 16 doubles, four homers, 24 RBIs, 27 runs scored, 18 walks, and 38 strikeouts over 51 games (238 plate appearances) to this point in the year.

With Hernandez back in the fold, the Red Sox needed to create an opening on both their major-league and 40-man rosters. They did so by designating Sanchez for assignment.

Sanchez, 30, signed a minor-league deal with Boston in February. Like Refsnyder, the former Gold Glove Award winner made his Red Sox debut as a COVID-related substitute in June. He then had his contract selected from Worcester last month shortly after fellow infielder Trevor Story was placed on the injured list with a right hand contusion.

Primarily serving as infield depth, Sanchez has appeared in a total of 14 games for Boston this season. In those contests, the switch-hitting Venezuelan batted .108 (4-for-37) with two RBIs, one run, five walks, and 13 punchouts while seeing all of his playing time at second base.

The Red Sox will have the next seven days to either release or waive Sanchez, who has accrued enough big-league service time to refuse an outright assignment to the minors if he were to clear waivers.

Following Tuesday’s series of moves, Boston’s 26-man and 40-man rosters are back at full capacity.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Jaylin Davis to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox optioned outfielder Jaylin Davis to Triple-A Worcester following Sunday night’s 3-0 win over the Yankees, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon.

Davis, 28, has batted .333/.407/.375 with one double, two RBIs, four runs scored, three walks, and 11 strikeouts over 12 games (27 plate appearances) this season while seeing playing time at all three outfield positions.

Boston originally claimed Davis off waivers from the San Francisco Giants in late April. It designated him for assignment on May 14, but the Appalachian State product cleared waivers and was subsequently outrighted to Worcester. He had his contract selected on July 23 and has been on the the club’s 40-man roster since then.

With the WooSox this year, the right-handed hitting Davis has slashed .236/.335/.462 to go along with nine doubles, two triples, five homers, 15 runs driven in, 28 runs scored, one stolen base, 26 walks, and 68 strikeouts across 56 games spanning 221 trips to the plate.

By optioning Davis, the Red Sox have created an opening on their 26-man roster. That vacancy will likely be filled by fellow outfielder Rob Refsnyder, who is expected to be activated from the 10-day injured list in Pittsburgh on Tuesday after missing the last two-plus weeks with a right knee sprain.

The same can be said for Enrique Hernandez, who has been sidelined with a right hip flexor strain since early June. The only difference between Refsnyder and Hernandez is that the latter was transferred to the 60-day injured list in late July, meaning he does not currently occupy a spot on Boston’s 40-man roster.

So the Red Sox will need to clear a spot on both their 26- and 40-man roster for Hernandez before opening a three-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park on Tuesday. They could accomplish this by designating someone like Yolmer Sanchez for assignment, though that remains to be seen.

(Picture of Jaylin Davis: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Kiké Hernández on 10-day injured list due to right hip flexor strain, recall Jonathan Araúz from Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox placed centerfielder Enrique Hernandez on the 10-day injured list because of a right hip flexor strain, Alex Cora announced before Wednesday’s game against the Angels.

In Hernandez’s place, infielder Jonathan Arauz has been recalled from Triple-A Worcester. Arauz, who was with the WooSox in Buffalo, was able to join the Red Sox ahead of first pitch at Angel Stadium on Wednesday night and will be available off the bench.

Cora indicated to reporters (including The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey) that Hernandez had been playing through his injury in recent weeks, but the team believes some down time would be more beneficial.

With the Red Sox this season, Hernandez has batted just .209/.273/.340 with 16 doubles, four home runs, 24 RBIs, 27 runs scored, 18 walks, and 38 strikeouts over 51 games spanning 238 plate appearances. The versatile 30-year-old has seen the majority of his playing time come in center field, though he has also made three appearances at shortstop.

Arauz, meanwhile, will join Boston for the second time this year after making the club’s Opening Day roster out of spring training. Occupying a bench role, the switch-hitting 23-year-old went 0-for-7 at the plate with one RBI and one run across five games before being placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on April 19.

Less than two weeks later, Arauz was sent out on a rehab assignment with Worcester and was officially optioned there on May 12. The native Panamanian has slashed .185/.242/.239 with five doubles, three RBIs, 11 runs scored, one stolen base, seven walks, and 13 strikeouts in 24 games (99 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

As noted by McCaffrey, the Red Sox went with Arauz in this scenario because they want an extra infielder on their roster for now as Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Trevor Story will all be getting days off this week . Boston could, however, swap Arauz for outfielder Jarren Duran ahead of this weekend’s series against the Mariners in Seattle or when it opens a three-game series against the Athletics back at Fenway Park next Tuesday.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some notes from this win:

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

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

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

Next up: Hill vs. Otto

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

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

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

Red Sox’ Rich Hill, Jason Varitek test positive for COVID-19

Red Sox left-hander Rich Hill and game planning coordinator/catching coach Jason Varitek have both tested positive for COVID-19, manager Alex Cora revealed before Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the White Sox at Fenway Park.

Hill was originally placed on the COVID-19 related injured list alongside Enrique Hernandez on Friday. Both players were exhibiting symptoms at that time but had yet to test positive for the virus.

Since then, Hernandez has been cleared to return to action. Hill, on the other hand, will need to register two negative tests or reach an appropriate CT (cycle threshold) value on-back-to-back days before he is eligible to return.

John Schreiber, who was called up in place of Hill on Friday, remains on Boston’s major-league roster. Garrett Whitlock, meanwhile, will take the veteran left-hander’s spot in the Sox’ starting rotation for Tuesday’s contest against the Braves in Atlanta.

As for Varitek, who tested positive a few days ago, Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) earlier Saturday that the former catcher was “feeling better.”

This should not come as a surprise, but both Hill and Varitek will remain away from the team until they are cleared to return.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Kiké Hernández from COVID-19 related injured list, option Jarren Duran to Triple-A Worcester

Before losing to the White Sox on Saturday night, the Red Sox announced that they had activated center fielder Enrique Hernandez from the COVID-19 related injured list. In a corresponding move, outfielder Jarren Duran was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

The Red Sox initially placed Hernandez on the COVID IL on Friday after the 30-year-old had been feeling under the weather the previous day, which left him out of Boston’s lineup for their series finale against the Angels at Fenway Park.

At that time, Hernandez had yet to test positive for COVID-19 despite exhibiting virus-like symptoms. That must have remained the case through Friday and into Saturday since he was able to make his return to the lineup on Saturday afternoon.

Starting in center field and batting sixth, Hernandez went 0-for-4 with one strikeout in Boston’s 3-1 loss to Chicago. The right-handed hitter is now slashing a meager .182/.252/.293 with eight doubles, one home run, 12 RBIs, 12 runs scored, nine walks, and 23 strikeouts over 25 games (111 plate appearances) this season.

Duran, on the other hand, made his 2022 debut in place of Hernandez on Friday night. The 25-year-old reached base two times via a triple and HBP while also striking out once in five trips to the plate.

Though Duran’s first big-league stint of the season was a short one, it would not be surprising if he made his way back up to the Red Sox later in the year, especially if the team remains uncompetitive. Before being promoted on Friday, the speedy left-handed hitter had batted .397/.478/.638 with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, 11 RBIs, 15 runs scored, seven stolen bases, nine walks, and 13 strikeouts across 15 games (67 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)