Should the Red Sox be in the mix for Cody Bellinger?

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported on Friday that free agent outfielder Cody Bellinger has drawn interest from up to 11 teams. Could the Red Sox be among this group? If not, should they be?

Bellinger, 27, was non-tendered by the Dodgers last week after spending six seasons with the club. The former fourth-round draft pick was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $18.1 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility, which would represent a 6.5 percent increase from the $17 million salary he received in 2022.

Rather than give him a raise, the Dodgers elected to make Bellinger a free agent by not tendering him a contract. The left-handed hitter is coming off a disappointing season in which he batted just .210/.265/.389 with 27 doubles, three triples, 19 home runs, 68 RBIs, 70 runs scored, 14 stolen bases, 38 walks, and 150 strikeouts over 144 games (550 plate appearances). His 6.9 percent walk rate and 27.3 percent strikeout rate were the worst of his career.

When he first broke in with the Dodgers as a 21-year-old in 2017, Bellinger quickly established himself as one of the best young players in baseball. He took home National League Rookie of the Year honors in his debut season and was then named league MVP two years later. From 2017-2019, Bellinger slashed .278/.369/.559 with 111 homers and 288 runs driven in across 450 total games.

Bellinger’s production began to fall during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, as he hit .239/.333/.455 with 12 home runs and 30 RBIs over 56 games. During the Dodgers’ run to the World Series that October, Bellinger dislocated his right shoulder in Game 7 of the NLCS against the Braves while celebrating a home run with former teammate and current Red Sox utility man Enrique Hernandez. He was able to play out the rest of the postseason, but underwent arthroscopic surgery that November.

Despite missing some time the following spring, Bellinger made Los Angeles’ 2021 Opening Day roster. But he fractured his left fibula in early April and was sidelined until late May as a result. He also missed time with left hamstring tightness and a left rib fracture. Those injuries played a role in Bellinger posting a career-worst .542 OPS in 95 games. The Dodgers were optimistic that Bellinger would be able to bounce back this season, but that never really happened.

“Obviously, it’s been a unique path for Cody as he’s battled through injuries and worked diligently over the past few years to return to his All-Star-caliber performance,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters (including MLB.com’s Juan Toribio) earlier this month. “However, it hasn’t played out as well as we would’ve hoped or expected, and therefore we had to make a difficult decision of non-tendering.”

While the Dodgers opted to make Bellinger a free agent, Friedman and Co. remain interested in bringing him back at a cheaper price, which could prove to be difficult given the reported number of potential suitors. Heyman lists the Astros, Cubs, and Giants as three of the 11 teams who are in play for Bellinger’s services.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say this is the closing of the chapter of Cody and the Dodgers,” said Friedman. “We still very much believe in the talent of Cody and his competitive makeup, and we have interest in a reunion and will continue talks with Cody and his group. And he gets to discuss this on his end.”

Bellinger, who does not turn 28 until next July, is represented by super-agent Scott Boras. Last weekend, Boras told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that Bellinger has already received a number of multi-year deals, but he wants his client to take a one-year deal so that he can reset his value and hit the open market again next winter.

“I’ve already been offered multi-years,” Boras said. “Most likely, because of his age, we don’t want a multi-year.”

Going back to this month’s GM meetings in Las Vegas, Boras believes that Bellinger’s lack of production over the last two seasons has more to do with the lack of strength in his shoulder as opposed to his level of talent.

“Talents are so hard to find,” Boras said, via The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya. “You just don’t find talents like this. He’s 26, 27 years old. It’s really about getting his strength back so he can repeat his skill level.”

Even with the lackluster numbers at the plate in recent years, Bellinger has still proven to be one of the sport’s better defensive center fielders. This past season, the 6-foot-4, 203-pounder was worth seven outs above average at the position, which ranked 13th in Major League Baseball, per Statcast.

The Red Sox already have Hernandez in the fold as the everyday center fielder in 2023, but adding Bellinger to the mix would allow Alex Cora to move Hernandez back to the infield on occasion if necessary. If, for example, Xander Bogaerts were to leave Boston in free agency, Hernandez would provide the Sox with insurance at shortstop. Bellinger also has prior experience at first base and at both corner outfield spots, so he and Hernandez could always share the outfield grass.

As a former early draft pick and top prospect who grew up in the Dodgers organization, Bellinger — in certain respects — represents the kind of player the Red Sox have coveted under chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. If healthy, his potential is through the roof. And he has the versatility to play multiple positions — and one important one in particular — at a high level.

Bellinger’s 19 home runs this season would have ranked second on the 2022 Red Sox. His 14 stolen bases would have led the team. So, if Bloom and Co. are looking to inject more power and speed into their lineup heading into the spring, bringing in Bellinger on a one-year deal makes all the sense in the world.

(Picture of Cody Bellinger: Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox lose Jake Reed on waivers to Dodgers

Three days after designating him for assignment, the Red Sox have lost reliever Jake Reed on waivers to the Dodgers, the club announced earlier Friday afternoon.

Reed, 30, was designated for assignment on Tuesday alongside catcher Caleb Hamilton so that the Red Sox could create space on their 40-man roster for the prospect quintet of Chris Murphy, Brandon Walter, Ceddanne Rafaela, Wilyer Abreu, and David Hamilton. Those five minor-leaguers needed to be added in order to receive protection from next month’s Rule 5 Draft.

Boston originally claimed Reed off waivers from the Orioles on October 13. The right-hander posted a 7.02 ERA and 5.09 FIP with 13 strikeouts to eight walks over 18 relief appearances (16 2/3 innings) for the Mets, Dodgers, and O’s this past season.

A former fifth-round draft pick of the Twins out of the University of Oregon in 2014, Reed first broke in with the Dodgers last July after spending seven years in the Minnesota organization and part of the 2021 campaign with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City.

Since being released by the Angels last June, Reed has been signed and designated by the Dodgers, claimed and designated by the Rays, claimed and designated by the Mets, claimed and designated by the Dodgers, claimed and designated by the Orioles, claimed and designated by the Red Sox, and claimed by the Dodgers again.

Between all those stops, Reed has pitched to a 5.74 ERA and 4.33 FIP with 23 strikeouts to 10 walks in 28 career appearances (one start) and 26 2/3 innings at the big-league level. That includes a 2.70 ERA (3.94 FIP) across 11 total outings (10 innings pitched) with Los Angeles.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, Reed possesses a unique delivery and arm angle while primarily working with a sinker-slider combination that is complimented by a four-seam fastball and changeup. The Arizona native has one minor-league option remaining, so the Dodgers could elect to shuttle Reed between Los Angeles and its Triple-A affiliate next season if he can stick on their 40-man roster this winter.

(Picture of Jake Reed: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Red Sox unveil 2023 schedule: Opening Day is March 30 at Fenway Park

The Red Sox unveiled their schedule for the 2023 regular season on Wednesday afternoon. Unlike past years, the Sox will face off against all 29 other club as part of new, more balanced schedule that was implemented in Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.

Rather than playing divisional opponents 19 times per season, the Red Sox will go up against the Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, and Yankees 13 times per year beginning in 2023. They will also play a total of 46 interleague games against National League clubs, which is up from 20 in 2022.

Opening Day is scheduled for March 30. The Red Sox will open their season with a three-game series against the Orioles at Fenway Park and conclude it with a four-game set against the O’s at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

In between, the Red Sox will be playing the likes of the Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Mets, and Dodgers at home and the likes of the Brewers, Phillies, Padres, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Giants, and Nationals on the road. The Braves are the only National League opponent they will be playing at home and on the road.

Among the highlights here are Boston’s second trip to Wrigley Field (July 14-16) in as many years, its first trip to San Francisco (July 28-30) since 2016, and Mookie Betts’ return to Fenway Park when the Dodgers visit from August 25-27.

The Red Sox will not play the Yankees until June 9, when the two sides open a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees do not visit Fenway Park until June 16-18. The two teams play again in the Bronx from August 18-20 and conclude their season series in Boston from September 11-14.

As far as road trips are concerned, the longest of the season will take place from May 19-28. It includes stops in San Diego, Anaheim, and Phoenix for a trio of three-game series against the Padres, Angels, and Diamdondbacks.

On the heels of the All-Star break in mid-July, the Red Sox will return to Wrigleyville for a three-game weekend set against the Cubs and will then travel to Oakland for three games with the Athletics. After a five-game homestand against the Mets and Braves, they will return to the west coast to visit the Giants in San Francisco and the Mariners in Seattle.

That takes them into early August, when they will begin their longest homestand of the season: a 10-gamer that consists of three games against the Jays, four against the Royals, and three against the Tigers. Following a three-game series against the Nationals in Washington, D.C., the Red Sox embark upon what may be their toughest stretch of the season.

From August 18-30, the Sox will play the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers 13 times in 13 days. It stars with three games in the Bronx followed by four in Houston. Boston will then return home for three against Los Angeles (Betts’ homecoming) and three more against Houston.

September begins with six straight on the road against the Royals and Rays. Following a pair of homestands, the Sox’ regular season will end in Baltimore on Sunday, October 1.

In terms of holidays, the Red Sox will be hosting the Angels on Patriots’ Day (April 17), the Cardinals on Mother’s Day (May 14), the Yankees on Father’s Day (June 18), the Rangers on Independence Day (July 4). They are not scheduled to play on Memorial Day (May 29).

All told, the Red Sox are slated to play 162 regular season games in the span of 185 days beginning next March.

(Picture of Fenway Park: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Shohei Ohtani steals the show yet again as Red Sox fall to Angels, 5-2, to snap 7-game winning streak

The Red Sox saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday night following a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Boston was unable to complete the four-game sweep of Los Angeles, who put an end to a historic 14-game losing streak with its first win since May 24.

Nick Pivetta and two-way star Shohei Ohtani opposed one another on the mound and traded zeroes through the first four innings of Thursday’s contest.

In the top of the fifth, Franchy Cordero drew a leadoff walk and came into score from third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Bobby Dalbec. In the bottom half, Ohtani took things into his own hands by crushing a 394-foot two-run home run that came on a 1-1, 92 mph heater from Pivetta at the top of the zone.

Pivetta continued on, but ran into some trouble in the sixth when he issued back-to-back walks to lead off the inning. That prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to go to his bullpen and pull the right-hander in favor of Hirokazu Sawamura.

Sawamura, in turn, recorded the first two outs of the sixth before serving up a back-breaking, three-run homer to Andrew Velazquez that gave the Angels a commanding 5-1 lead.

Pivetta was charged with four of those five runs. In addition to four earned runs, the 29-year-old gave up six hits and two walks over five-plus innings. He also plunked one batter while striking out a season-high of 11. 67 of the 97 pitches he threw went for strikes.

Ohtani, on the other hand, wound up yielding just one earned run over seven strong innings. The 27-year-old phenom finishes the regular season having allowed just one run in 14 innings of work against the Red Sox.

Once Ohtani came out, the Sox responded when Christian Arroyo led off the eighth inning with a line-drive single off Angels reliever Ryan Tepera. Arroyo proceeded to steal second base and scored from there on a 104.5 mph RBI single from Alex Verdugo.

That made it a 5-2 game, which would go on to be Thursday’s final score after Austin Davis and Hansel Robles each tossed a scoreless frame of relief for Boston and Halos closer Raisel Iglesias retired the side in order in the ninth. The Red Sox as a team went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left a total of six runners on base.

With the loss, Boston falls to 30-28 on the season and 6-1 on the west coast road trip that concludes this weekend.

Next up: On to Seattle

The Red Sox will now travel north for a three-game series against the Mariners in Seattle. Veteran lefty Rich Hill will get the start for Boston on Friday night while fellow southpaw Marco Gonzalez will do the same for Seattle.

First pitch from T-Mobile Park is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Shohei Ohtani: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Bobby Dalbec’s RBI double lifts Red Sox to another 1-0 win over Angels

For the second time in three games, the Red Sox squeaked out a 1-0 win over the Angels in Anaheim on Wednesday night.

They did not get a complete game from their starting pitcher this time around, but they still held on to win their seventh straight game and improve to 30-27 on the season.

The game’s lone run came in the sixth inning. Up until that point in the contest, the Rafael Devers-less Red Sox lineup had been held in check by Angels pitching despite squandering a number of scoring opportunities.

With two outs in the sixth, though, Alex Verdugo drew an eight-pitch walk off Halos reliever Jimmy Herget. Three pitches later, Verdugo scored all the way from first when Bobby Dalbec laced a 93 mph double down the left field line.

Dalbec then attempted to score from second on a Kevin Plawecki single, but was thrown out at home plate. Still, the damage had already been done.

In the middle of the sixth, Red Sox manager Alex Cora elected to turn to his bullpen after getting five scoreless innings from Nathan Eovaldi. While Eovaldi scattered six hits without walking a batter and struck out five in his 12th start of the season, the right-hander’s velocity was noticeably down.

Of the 84 pitches (56 strikes) Eovaldi threw, 32 were fastballs. He averaged 94 mph with the pitch, down from the 96.7 mph he averaged with it coming into play on Wednesday. The 32-year-old also induced seven swings-and-misses with his splitter, a pitch he threw 24 times in the process of lowering his ERA on the season to 3.16.

In relief of Eovaldi, Tyler Danish received the first call from Cora out of the Boston bullpen. With a brand new 1-0 lead to work with, Danish tossed a scoreless frame in the bottom of the sixth before plunking the first batter he faced in the seventh.

That prompted Cora to call upon Jake Diekman, who got the pinch-hitting Max Stassi to ground into a 6-4-3 double play that was capped with a nice scoop at first base by Christian Vazquez, who was making his first start of the year at the position.

Diekman then fanned the dangerous Shohei Ohtani to retire the side in the seventh and make way for John Schreiber in the eighth. Schreiber, in turn, got the next four outs before Cora pulled him in favor of Matt Strahm.

Tasked with recording the final two outs of the ballgame, Strahm did just that on five pitches to earn the save and seal the win.

According to MLB.com’s Ian Browne, this is the first time the Red Sox have won two games in the same series by a final score of 1-0 since July 18 and 19 of 2006 against the Royals.

Browne also notes that Eovaldi was dealing with a tight right hip on Wednesday, which likely led to the dip in velocity.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Ohtani in series finale

The Red Sox will look to keep their perfect west coast road trip going by completing a four-game sweep over the Angels on Thursday night. Boston will turn to right-hander Nick Pivetta while Los Angeles will roll with fellow righty Shohei Ohtani.

First pitch from Angel Stadium is scheduled for 9:38 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez and Bobby Dalbec: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Christian Vázquez comes through in 10th inning to lift Red Sox to 6-5 win over Angels

It took 10 innings and nearly four hours to accomplish, but the Red Sox won their sixth straight game on Tuesday with a hard-fought, come-from-behind win over the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Boston defeated Los Angeles by a final score of 6-5 in 10 innings to improve to 29-27 on the season and a perfect 5-0 on its current west coast road trip.

Garrett Whitlock, making his ninth start of the season for the Sox, allowed four earned runs on six hits, zero walks, and five strikeouts over just four innings of work. The right-hander served up a two-run home run to Mike Trout in the bottom of the first before giving up another run on a fielder’s choice in the second and a Max Stassi RBI double in the third.

Whitlock ended his night by striking out the side in the bottom half of the fourth. The 25-year-old finished with a final pitch count of 71 (47 strikes). He did not factor into Tuesday’s decision, though he did raise his ERA on the season to 3.51.

While Whitlock may have struggled, the Red Sox lineup certainly backed him up out of the gate. With left-hander Jose Suarez on the mound for the Angels, Trevor Story jump-started a three-run second inning with a leadoff double. Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez then both reached to fill the bases for Christian Arroyo, who drove in Story on a force out. Back-to-back RBI singles from Bobby Dalbec and Enrique Hernandez allowed Verdugo and Arroyo to score and give the Sox their first lead of the night at 3-2.

Picking things up in the middle of the fifth inning, Jake Diekman received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Taking over for Whitlock with his team trailing by a run, Diekman issued a leadoff walk to Luis Rengifo, who advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored from there on a run-scoring double off the bat of Jo Adell.

The veteran lefty managed to limit the damage to just one run, though, and the Sox immediately got that one run back when Dalbec plated Verdugo on an RBI single a half-inning later.

After Hirokazu Sawamura retired the side in order in the sixth, Boston struck once again in the seventh with Rafael Devers ripping a leadoff double and scoring on a 31-foot RBI single from Story that deflected off the leg of Angels reliever Ryan Tepera.

Sawamura also got the first out in the latter half of the seventh before making way for Austin Davis, who worked his way around a two-out walk to keep things tied at five runs apiece.

Tanner Houck was next up, and he ensured this one would head to extra innings by working a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth and stranding a runner at second base in a scoreless ninth.

With Story in scoring position representing the potential go-ahead run, Vazquez came through by lacing a 96 mph RBI single to right field off Jaime Barria. The speedy Story easily scored from second to give the Sox a 6-5 lead.

Matt Strahm was tasked with keeping the score that way in the bottom of the 10th. He fanned both Jared Walsh and Stassi before getting the pinch-hitting Kurt Suzuki to ground out to Hernandez to seal the win and earn the save.

Hernandez, who started in center field on Tuesday, had moved to shortstop in the ninth inning after Xander Bogaerts was removed from the game due to left shoulder tightness.

So, despite leaving 10 runners on base as a team, the Red Sox came away with another one-run win on Tuesday. That five different relievers combined to surrender just one run in six innings was undoubtedly key.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Detmers

The Red Sox will look to extend their winning streak to seven consecutive games when they send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound on Wednesday night. The Angels will counter with left-hander Reid Detmers.

First pitch from Angel Stadium is scheduled for 9:38 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Red Sox held in check by Shohei Ohtani in 8-0 shutout loss to Angels

The Red Sox lost their series against the Angels at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon. Boston fell to Los Angeles by a final score of 8-0 in Thursday’s series finale, thus dropping to 10-16 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his fifth start of the year for the Sox, allowed just one hit and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over a season-high five scoreless innings of work. The veteran left-hander took a perfect game into the fourth before issuing a leadoff walk to Taylor Ward. He then lost his bid for a no-hitter when Shohei Ohtani lifted a one-out single 389 feet single to deep center field that Jackie Bradley Jr. lost in the sun.

With runners on the corners, Hill did not falter and instead fanned Anthony Rendon on five pitches before getting Jared Walsh to pop out to Kevin Plawecki behind home plate. He ended his day by retiring the final three batters he faced in the fifth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 68 (40 strikes) Hill induced three swings-and-misses each with his four-seam fastball, curveball, and slider while the velocity of his pitches ranged from 66.9 to 89.8 mph. The 42-year-old did not factor into Thursday’s decision, though he did lower his ERA on the season to 2.86.

In relief of Hill, Red Sox manager Alex Cora first used Tanner Houck to piggyback off the starter. Houck, in turn, struck out the side in the sixth before running into some trouble in the seventh. After walking Rendon with one out, the right-hander served up a go-ahead two-run home run to Walsh that traveled 344 feet down the right field line and hooked inside the Pesky Pole. It also put Boston in a 2-0 hole going into the seventh-inning stretch.

To that point in the contest, an Enrique Hernandez-less Boston lineup had been held in check by Ohtani, who was making his first career start as a pitcher at Fenway Park on Thursday. The Sox certainly had their chances, though. In the bottom of the third, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts hit back-to-back two-out singles but were stranded there by J.D. Martinez, who struck out swinging.

Two innings later, Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a hard-hit double off Ohtani to put a runner in scoring position with no outs. He, too, was left stranded there, as was Martinez in the sixth after he reached base via a one-out double and advanced to third base on an Alex Verdugo groundout.

Ohtani capped off his strong outing by giving up another hit to Bradley Jr. with one out in the seventh, but once again left him on base by getting Plawecki to fly out before punching out Trevor Story for a fourth time.

Houck, meanwhile, came back out for the eighth and allowed the first three Angels he faced to reach on a single, hit by pitch, and single off the Green Monster. With the bases loaded and the infield in, David Fletcher ripped an RBI single to left field to plate a run and keep the line moving. Ohtani did the very same by smoking a 103.7 mph run-scoring single off the left field wall himself. Rendon knocked Houck out of the game with an RBI groundout that gave the Angels a commanding 5-0 lead.

Kutter Crawford, making his first appearance since Sunday, took over for Houck and allowed both of the runners he inherited to score on a two-run single from Walsh before getting out of the inning. The Red Sox went down in order in their half of the eighth before Crawford gave up a solo homer to Brandon Marsh in the ninth.

Down to their final three outs and trailing by a whopping eight runs, Verdugo, Franchy Cordero, and Bobby Dalbec were all retired by Max Meyers to put the finishing touches on an 8-0 shutout loss for Boston. Sox hitters went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base as a team.

Next up: Welcoming in the White Sox

The Red Sox will kick off the final leg of this six-game homestand by welcoming in the White Sox for a three-game series that begins on Friday night. Boston will roll with right-hander Nathan Eovaldi in the opener while Chicago will turn to fellow righty Vince Velasquez.

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

(Picture of Shohei Ohtani: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox blow late lead, fall to Angels, 10-5, in 10 innings as bullpen melts down

The Red Sox were one out away from securing a series win over the Angels at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. They instead suffered one of their worst losses of the season to date. Boston fell to Los Angeles by a final score of 10-5 in 10 innings to drop to 10-15 on the year.

Matched up against Angels rookie starter Reid Detmers to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox got on the board first in their half of the third inning. Bobby Dalbec and Christian Arroyo led off by drawing back-to-back walks and, as the lineup turned over, Trevor Story drove both of them in on a two-run double down the left field line.

On the other side of things, Garrett Whitlock was once again impressive in his third start and sixth overall appearance of the season for the Sox. The right-hander allowed just two earned runs on two hits and no walks to go along with nine strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

Both runs Whitlock surrendered came in the top half of the fifth. After giving up a one-out double to Jared Walsh, which broke up the bid for a perfect game, and fanning the next batter he faced, the righty served up a game-tying, two-run home run to Max Stassi before recording the final out of the inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 78 (50 strikes), Whitlock turned to his sinker 50% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday and induced 11 swings-and-misses with the pitch. The 25-year-old hurler also saw his ERA on the season rise to 1.25.

Shortly after Whitlock’s night came to a close, the Red Sox quickly responded in their half of the fifth. Arroyo took first base after getting plunked by a Detmers curveball and scored all the way from first when Story lifted another RBI double off the Green Monster to put his side up by a run at 3-2.

In relief of Whitlock, Austin Davis got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora beginning in the top of the sixth. The left-hander punched out each of the first three batters he faced in relatively easy fashion, but surrendered a booming solo shot to Anthony Rendon in the seventh that knotted things back up at three runs apiece.

After Matt Strahm retired the side in order on three groundouts in the eighth, Xander Bogaerts came through with what appeared to be the hit of the night a half-inning later. With veteran reliever Aaron Loup pitching for Los Angeles, Bogaerts crushed a 397-foot home run of his own that cleared the Green Monster. Bogaerts’ second big fly of 2022 left the shortstop’s bat at a scalding 109.3 mph and put the Red Sox ahead 4-3 heading into the ninth.

Needing just three more outs, Hansel Robles was sent in to go for the save. Robles got the first two outs of the inning, but did so while walking the Halos’ boppers in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Cora then went to Jake Diekman to face the left-handed hitting Walsh.

Walsh, in turn, delivered in the clutch for his side by scoring Trout on an RBI single past a diving Story into right field. Diekman proceeded to walk Kurt Suzuki, which put the potential go-ahead run (Ohtani) just 90 feet away from scoring. He escaped any further damage by getting Stassi to fly out to deep center field.

With the chance to walk if off against Angels reliever Ryan Tepera, Christian Vazquez reached base by drawing a one-out walk but was then thrown out at second as part of an inning-ending strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play that occured on a questionable strike three call with Dalbec at the plate.

Regardless, with this contest now headed into extra innings, it was Matt Barnes who was dispatched for the top of the 10th. Barnes, making his first appearance since Saturday, got the first two outs on eight pitches, but — with the automatic runner already at second — then yielded a back-breaking, two-run home run to Walsh that gave the Angels a 6-4 lead.

The Angels only added on from there, as Barnes allowed two more runners to reach base before getting the hook in favor of Hirokazu Sawamura, who gave up a run-scoring single to Rendon as well as three-run homer to Taylor Ward.

That sequence gave Los Angeles a commanding 10-4 advantage. Boston countered with one run of their own on a Jackie Bradley Jr. single in the bottom of the inning, but it was too little, too late as 10-5 would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base as a team on Wednesday. They are now 0-3 in games started by Garrett Whitlock and 0-5 in extra-inning games this season. They have also blown a league-leading four saves in the ninth inning of games or later.

Six Red Sox relievers (Davis, Strahm, Robles, Diekman, Barnes, and Sawamura) combined to allow eight runs (seven earned) on six hits (three home runs), four walks, and four strikeouts over five innings pitched.

Next up: Ohtani vs. Hill in finale

The Red Sox will send veteran left-hander Rich Hill to the mound as they still have a chance to salvage a series victory on Thursday afternoon. The Angels will counter with right-hander Shohei Ohtani, who will be making his first-ever start as a pitcher at Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Taylor Ward: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez both homer, Michael Wacha tosses 5 2/3 scoreless innings as Red Sox open homestand with 4-0 victory over Angels

Coming off a brutal 3-7 road trip and an off day on Monday, the Red Sox opened their first homestand of May with a much-needed win over the Angels at Fenway Park. Boston defeated Los Angeles by a final score of 2-0 on Tuesday to improve to 10-14 on the season.

Michael Wacha, making his fifth start of the year for the Sox, impressed by scattering just three hits and two walks to go along with two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work. The veteran right-hander took a perfect game into the third before issuing a pair of two-out walks to Andrew Velazquez and Taylor Ward. He got out of that jam by fanning the dangerous Mike Trout on six pitches.

In the fourth, a leadoff single off the bat of Shohei Ohtani broke up Wacha’s no-hit bid, but the righty did not falter as he got Anthony Rendon to ground into a 5-4-3 double play and Jared Walsh to pop out to Rafael Devers in foul territory.

Moments after making the inning-ending catch, Devers led off the bottom of the fourth by taking Angels starter Noah Syndergaard 437 feet deep to dead center field for his fourth home run of the season. The solo blast left Devers’ bat at a blistering 110.7 mph and gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 1-0.

Xander Bogaerts followed by drawing a seven-pitch walk off Syndergaard, advancing to second base on a J.D. Martinez single, and to third on an Alex Verdugo groundout. He then scored on another groundout from Enrique Hernandez that doubled Boston’s advantage.

Given a two-run lead to work with now, Wacha picked up where he left off by inducing another double play in the fifth and recording the first two outs of the sixth. He gave up a two-out single to Trout, who advanced to second on a Devers throwing error and proved to be the last batter Wacha would face.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 60 (42 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler threw 21 four-seam fastballs, 15 changeups, nine cutters, eight sinkers, and seven curveballs. He also lowered his ERA on the season down to 1.38 while improving to 3-0 on the year.

In relief of Wacha, Jake Diekman got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora to face Ohtani, who he got to line out to Verdugo in left to retire the side. The lefty came back out for the seventh and maneuvered his way around a leadoff walk in an otherwise clean frame.

A half-inning later, Story nearly hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox, but instead settled for a sacrifice fly off Syndergaard that brought in Franchy Cordero to make it a 3-0 game in favor of the Sox.

After Ryan Brasier struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect top of the eighth, Martinez mashed his second home run in as many games as he took Halos reliever Elvis Peguro 402 feet over the Green Monster for his third big fly of the season.

Martinez’s 107 mph laser put Boston up 4-0 heading into the ninth. There, Hirokazu Sawamura — with some defensive help from Bogaerts and Bobby Dalbec — slammed the door on Los Angeles to secure the shutout victory.

Next up: Detmers vs. Whitlock

As planned, right-hander Garrett Whitlock will make his third start of the year for the Red Sox as they go for a series win over the Angels on Wednesday night. The Angels will counter with rookie left-hander Reid Detmers.

First pitch from Fenway Park — weather permitting — is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox claim right-hander Kyle Tyler off waivers from Angels, designate infielder Hudson Potts for assignment

The Red Sox have claimed right-hander Kyle Tyler off waivers from the Angels, the club announced on Tuesday. In order to make room for Tyler on the 40-man roster, infielder Hudson Potts was designated for assignment.

Tyler, 25, made his major-league debut with Los Angeles last September after originally being selected by the Halos in the 20th round of the 2018 amateur draft out of the University of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma native posted a 2.92 ERA and 5.20 FIP to go along with six strikeouts and six walks over five appearances (12 1/3 innings pitched) out of the Halos’ bullpen.

Before getting called up for the final few weeks of the 2021 campaign, Tyler had spent the entirety of the year between the Double-A and Triple-A levels, producing a 3.66 ERA and 3.69 FIP with 92 strikeouts and 25 walks across 20 outings (14 starts) spanning 86 total innings of work.

At the midway point of the 2021 season, Tyler was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 28 prospect in the Angels’ farm system. The 6-foot, 185 pound hurler operates with a four-pitch mix that includes a four-seam fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup, per Baseball Savant.

Boston was able to claim Tyler off waivers when he was designated for assignment by Los Angeles this past Saturday so that they could accommodate the addition of free-agent reliever Ryan Tepera.

Tyler, who does not turn 26 until December, has minor-league options remaining and has already been assigned to Triple-A Worcester. He should be joining the Red Sox at major-league camp soon and has the chance to provide his new club with versatile pitching depth as both a starter and reliever.

Potts, meanwhile, was one of two prospects (the other being outfielder Jeisson Rosario) the Red Sox acquired from the Padres in the trade that sent veteran first baseman Mitch Moreland to San Diego in August 2020.

After being added to Boston’s 40-man roster that November, Potts missed the first month of the 2021 minor-league season due to an oblique injury. As a result, the right-handed hitting 23-year-old was limited to just 78 games with Double-A Portland and struggled to the tune of a .217/.264/.399 slash line with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs over 307 plate appearances.

A former first-round pick of the Padres in 2016, Potts entered the 2022 season ranked by SoxProspects.com as the No. 53 prospect in the system. By taking him off their 40-man roster, the Red Sox now have the next seven days to either trade, waive, or release Potts.

If Potts goes unclaimed and clears waivers, he would remain with Boston as a non-40-man roster player. Since the Sox’ 40-man roster is still at full capacity, they will need to clear another spot before making the signing of Trevor Story official.

(Picture of Kyle Tyler: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)