Another night, another venue, another opponent, and another loss for the Red Sox on Tuesday. This one came in 13-6 fashion at the hands of the Phillies at Fenway Park, marking the Sox’ ninth consecutive defeat to drop them to 6-18 on the year.
Zack Godley made his fourth start and fifth overall appearance of the season for Boston in this one, and he looked significantly better than he did in his last time out against the Rays on Wednesday.
That being the case because over four innings of work, the right-hander held the Phillies to just one run on four hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with four strikeouts on the night.
Philadelphia’s lone run off Godley came in a laborious top half of the fourth, when with one out in the frame the Sox starter allowed three straight base runners to reach, with the last of those three, Jay Bruce, plating Didi Gregorius on an RBI single to right field.
Fortunately, Godley was able to dance his way around any more trouble, as he retired the final two hitters he faced to end his outing on a somewhat more positive note.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 84, 49 of which were strikes, the 30-year-old hurler turned to his cutter and curveball 83% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing six swings-and-misses with the combination of pitches. He also topped out at 91.1 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he went to just three times.
Hit with the no-decision on account while lowering his ERA on the season to 6.87, Godley likely did enough here to earn himself another start, which would presumably come against the Orioles on Sunday.
In relief of Godley, Phillips Valdez got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen to begin things in the fifth, and he served up a solo homer to Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins in an otherwise clean frame of work.
From there, left-hander Josh Taylor made his second appearance in as many days after getting activated from the COVID-19 related injured list on Monday, and he was only able to record the first two outs of the inning while allowing the Phillies to come back and knot this contest up at four runs apiece.
With that, Heath Hembree was dispatched to get out of the mess Taylor had created, but the right-hander was only able to dig a bigger hole for his side by serving up a 409-foot three-run blast to Bryce Harper and a run-scoring base hit to Gregorius before getting the hook in favor of Colten Brewer.
Brewer did manage to end things in the sixth without yielding anything else, but he did give up a leadoff home run to Phil Gosselin in the seventh, which put the Phillies up 10-4 an inning after they had been trailing 4-2.
Marcus Walden did not fare much better in the eighth, as he could not sneak a two-out, 1-1, 91 mph cutter past Jay Bruce, who deposited that pitch just over the wall in center field for another three-run home run. 13-5.
Ryan Brasier, meanwhile, faced five hitters in the ninth but did not give anything up to keep the deficit for his side at eight runs. It did not make all that much of a difference in the end, but still.
All in all, the Boston bullpen combined to allow 12 earned runs on 12 hits (four home runs), and two walks over five innings pitched on Tuesday. Not exactly what you want.
On the other side of things, a Red Sox lineup absent of Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. was matched up against someone making his first ever start at Fenway Park in the form of Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin.
Getting the scoring right away on Tuesday, Rafael Devers got a nice day at the plate started with a one-out single off Eflin in the first and was almost immediately driven in by Xander Bogaerts moments later. 1-0 Boston.
Fast forward to the third, and the top portion of the Sox lineup struck once more, as Alex Verdugo led things off with a wall-ball double to left, and Devers plated him on an RBI double of his own.
J.D. Martinez proceeded with yet another run-scoring two-base hit, and just like that, the Red Sox had themselves a 3-0 lead.
In the fifth, after the Phillies had tacked on two runs of their own, Bogaerts provided what looked to be important insurance at the time with a sacrifice fly off new reliever Blake Barker that brought in Verdugo from third.
Bogaerts’ second RBI of the night put the Sox up 4-2, but as it would later turn out, that would be the last lead they held on Tuesday as the Philadelphia offense went off the rest of the way.
Mitch Moreland got a run back on a run-scoring single in the seventh, and another on a run-scoring double in the ninth, but it would not be enough as 13-6 would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.
Some notes and observations from this loss:
J.D. Martinez was removed from this game in the fifth inning due to dehydration.
From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:
Michael Chavis struck out five times in his five plate appearances on Tuesday.
Next up for the Red Sox, they will close out this brief two-game interleague series and homestand against the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon.
Left-hander Kyle Hart will make his second start of the season for Boston, while veteran right-hander Jake Arrieta will get the ball for Philadelphia.
Hart, 27, is coming off a rough major-league debut against the Rays at Fenway last Thursday in which he surrendered five earned runs on seven hits and four walks in just two-plus innings pitched in an eventual loss.
The Red Sox are sticking with the rookie southpaw for at least one more start despite that shaky debut though, so perhaps that will give him a boost ahead of his first career interleague outing.
Arrieta, meanwhile, has posted a 4.02 ERA and 3.37 FIP through his first three starts and 15 2/3 innings of the 2020 season.
In six career appearances (five starts) at Fenway Park, the 34-year-old owns a lifetime 4.45 ERA and .755 OPS against over 30 1/3 total innings pitched.
First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN, MLB Network, and WEEI. Red Sox looking to avoid extending their losing streak to double digits.