Home runs from Kiké Hernández, Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez power Red Sox to 11-4 win over White Sox on Patriots’ Day

After being held in check offensively in both games of a doubleheader sweep on Sunday, the Red Sox bounced back in a tremendous way and came away with a four-game series split with the White Sox on Monday following an 11-4 victory to celebrate Patriots’ Day at Fenway Park in style.

Making his fourth start of the season for Boston in this one was Nathan Eovaldi, who was fresh off a solid performance against the Twins in Minnesota last week.

Working against another American League Central foe in the White Sox this time around, the veteran right-hander had yet another impressive day on Monday.

Over 6 1/3 innings of work, Eovaldi yielded four runs (all earned) on nine hits and zero walks to go along with 10 strikeouts on the afternoon to tie a career-high.

The first two of those Chicago runs scored on extra-base hits from Luis Robert and Adam Eaton in the first and third innings. Eaton was also responsible for his side’s third run when he plated Tim Anderson on a two-out, run-scoring double in the fifth.

Eovaldi managed to keep the White Sox off the board for a little while after that, but after allowing two of the first three hitters he faced to reach base in the top of the seventh, his day came to a close with Eaton due to hit next for Chicago.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 100 (75 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler turned to his vaunted four-seam fastball 41 times on Monday, inducing six swings-and-misses while topping out at 100.3 mph with the pitch.

Able to pick up his third winning decision of the season despite raising his ERA to 3.04, Eovaldi’s next start should come against the Mariners at Fenway Park on Saturday.

In relief of Eovaldi, rookie right-hander Garrett Whitlock got the first — and only — call out of the Red Sox bullpen an inherited a situation where there runners on the corners and still two outs to get in the sixth.

Whitlock, in his first appearance since Wednesday, allowed one of those inherited runners to score on an RBI groundout from Eaton — which closed the book on Eovaldi’s outing — but he avoided any further damage by getting Robert to ground out to retire the side.

From there, the 24-year-old continued to dazzle in his debut season with the Sox by fanning two and sitting down the final six hitters he faced in order to preserve the 11-4 victory for his side.

On the other side of things, a reeling Red Sox lineup was matched up against a tough opponent in White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, who has finished in the top-7 in American League Cy Young voting in each of the last two seasons.

Despite the reputation Giolito carries with him, the 26-year-old struggled mightily in his first outing at Fenway Park in nearly two years.

That being the case because right from the get-go, the Sox put up six runs on seven hits while sending 11 batters to the plate in their half of the first.

Kiké Hernández led things off by crushing his third home run of the season just over the Green Monster to knot things up at 1-1, singles from Alex Verdugo and J.D. Martinez allowed Rafael Devers to drive in a run on a single of his own, and a Christian Vazquez single following a mound visit filled the bases for Marwin Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, one of the heroes of Saturday’s series-opening win, kept the line moving with an RBI single to score Martinez, while Hunter Renfroe drove in Devers on a groundout to third base.

Franchy Cordero followed with a line-drive RBI base hit to left field, which brought in Gonzalez. Just like that, the Red Sox had gone from trailing by a run to leading by five runs at 6-1.

Martinez provided more leadoff power in the bottom of the second, as he clubbed his sixth big fly of the season 398 feet over the Green Monster. 7-1.

A seven-pitch walk to Devers would mark the end of Giolito’s day after just one-plus innings pitched, and Renfroe would drive in the third baseman on a sacrifice fly off new White Sox reliever Zack Burdi. 8-1.

In the third, Verdugo became the third member of the top third of Boston’s starting lineup to go bridge. The 24-year-old took Burdi 417 feet deep to right field for his first Fenway homer of the season.

A one-out single off the bat of Vazquez an inning later would result in another Red Sox run crossing the plate when Cordero ripped a two-out, RBI single off Burdi.

And in the seventh, Martinez put the exclamation point on a 3-for-5 day at the plate by lacing yet another run-scoring base hit off Yermin Merceded — a position player — with two outs in the frame to bring in Hernandez from third.

Martinez’s second RBI knock of the afternoon gave the Red Sox a commanding 11-3 lead, which would go on to be Monday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox are 11-6.

From Red Sox Notes:

Next up for the Red Sox, they will welcome the 7-9 Toronto Blue Jays into town for a brief, two-game series beginning Tuesday night.

Tuesday’s series opener at Fenway will feature an exclusively left-handed starting pitching matchup, with Eduardo Rodriguez getting the starting nod for Boston and veteran southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu doing the same for Toronto.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox Complete 6-5 Comeback Win over White Sox on Marco Hernandez’s Walk-Off Infield Single

After dropping two out of three to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend, the Red Sox kicked off the second leg of their homestand with a walk-off 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox Monday, marking their second straight victory by way of the walk-off.

Making his 16th start of the season for Boston in the series opener was Eduardo Rodriguez, fresh off consecutive outings of seven or more innings for the first time since 2015.

Working his way into the seventh inning of this one but not completing it, the left-hander surrendered five runs, all of which were earned, on six hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts on the night.

The first four of those Chicago runs came on a pair of homers and an RBI single, all off the bats of Cuban-born players.

Yoan Moncada, a former top prospect of the Red Sox, got the scoring started for his side with a two-out, two-run missile just over the Green Monster in left field for his 13th of 2019 and first ever at Fenway Park.

Rodriguez settled in a bit by retiring 11 of the next 13 White Sox he faced after serving up that bomb, but ran into more two-out trouble in the sixth, when with the bases empty, slugging first baseman Jose Abreu launched his 18th big fly to break up a 2-2 stalemate.

An inning later, with a runner on second and one out, the decision was made for Rodriguez to intentionally put Moncada on base in order to get to Yonder Alonso, who entered the new week sporting a .178 batting average.

Unfortunately for Boston, that decision proved to not work in their favor, as Alonso ripped a single through the right side of the infield, plating the runner, Eloy Jimenez, to make it a 4-3 contest and advance Moncada up to third. That was how Rodriguez’s evening came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 99 (64 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler turned to his changeup more than 39% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing seven swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 95.2 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 33 times while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Hit with the no-decision while his ERA on the season inflated to 4.87, Rodriguez will look to end his month of June on a positive note in his next time out, which should come against the New York Yankees in London.

In relief of Rodriguez, Marcus Walden was inserted and officially closed the book on the starter’s outing by allowing Moncada to score on a Yolmer Sanchez RBI single, which put the White Sox up 5-3.

Colten Brewer got the call for the eighth, and he sat down two of the first three he faced before filling the count against veteran outfielder Jon Jay.

There, in that moment, Sox manager Alex Cora made the call for the left-handed Josh Taylor out of the bullpen.

Taylor’s first pitch to Jay was a ball, meaning the walk was charged to Brewer, but the southpaw rallied by getting out of the inning and also recording the first two outs of the ninth.

A two-out walk of Leury Garcia made way for Brandon Workman, who punched out the only hitter he faced in Tim Anderson on a nasty 81 MPH knuckle curve to send this one to the bottom of the ninth and later pick up his seventh win of the year.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, someone they got to for three runs in five innings the last time these two sides opposed each other back on May 2nd.

This time around, it was Jackie Bradley Jr. who got the scoring started for the Sox on Monday, as the red-hot outfielder mashed his eighth homer of the season, a booming 418-foot, 107.4 MPH off the bat solo shot, off Giolito to make it a one-run contest early on.

Fast forward to the fifth, and Eduardo Nunez came through with his first of two game-tying hits on the night, this one a one-out opposite field RBI single to drive in Michael Chavis from second. 2-2.

An inning later, Giolito ran into some trouble himself by loading the bases on a one-out walk of Rafael Devers, a line drive double from Xander Bogaerts, and an intentional walk of Bradley Jr. to get to Chavis.

Down to his last few pitches, the White Sox ace again lacked control, as he walked the rookie on five pitches, and that allowed Devers to make his way towards home to tie this one up at three runs each.

In the seventh, after falling behind by another two runs, Mookie Betts cut that deficit in half very quickly by taking Chicago reliever Aaron Bummer deep on the very first pitch he saw from the left-hander to lead off the frame. His 13th of the season made it 5-4.

Another inning later, Marco Hernandez came on to pinch-run for Vazquez at first and moved up to second on a wild pitch from right-hander Kelvin Herrera.

With two outs in the inning and the tying run 180 feet away from home, it was Eduardo Nunez’s time to shine once more, and he did just that by sneaking another RBI single past the outstretched Moncada at third, giving Hernandez enough time to score and pull even with the White Sox at 5-5.

And finally, in the ninth, the White Sox and lefty reliever Jace Fry intentionally loaded the bases with two outs for Hernandez, and he made them pay dearly with an infield single grounded just deep enough that Tim Anderson had to rush in order to make a throw over to first.

The throw was not handled cleanly by Abreu, however, while Hernandez was ruled safe and Andrew Benintendi coasted into home to give the Red Sox another walk-off win, this one finishing with a final score of 6-5.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Stats:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

Jackie Bradley Jr.’s last 30 games: .303/.415/.606 with six home runs and 17 RBI. He has raised his OPS from .491 to .713 in that span.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle and second of this three-game set on Tuesday night.

Left-hander David Price is set to get the ball for Boston, while right-hander Carson Fulmer will serve as the opener for Chicago. Two Vanderbilt alums going at it.

Only throwing 73 pitches over five innings in his last time out against the Minnesota Twins, it will be interesting to see how Cora manages Price’s workload on Tuesday.

In 16 career starts against the White Sox, the 33-year-old has posted a 3.45 ERA over 109 2/3 total innings of work.

Fulmer, meanwhile, was once drafted by the Sox in the 15th round of the 2012 amateur draft before he honored his commitment to Vanderbilt.

In two prior relief outings against Boston, the 25-year-old has allowed five runs (three earned) on two hits and five walks in a span of just one whole inning. He has never made an appearance at Fenway Park.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the series win.

Three-Game Winning Streak Comes to an End for #RedSox in 6-4 Walk-Off Loss to White Sox

Coming off a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox kicked off a seven-game, two-city road trip on Thursday night by getting walked off on by the Chicago White Sox in a gut wrenching 6-4 loss on the South Side.

On a night where the conditions looked downright miserable in the Windy City, it was David Price who made his sixth start of the season for the Red Sox in this series opener.

Working the first six innings Thursday, the left-hander surrendered three earned runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

Two of those runs charged to Price came immediately in the bottom half of the first inning, when White Sox backstop James McCann, who caught the lefty 15 times when the two were with Detroit, launched a two out, two-run home run just out of the reach of Jackie Bradley Jr. in center to give his team an early 2-1 lead.

Other than that though, Thursday’s outing went relatively smoothly for Price up until his final inning of work in the sixth.

It could have been worse had it not been for an errant send of Jose Abreu attempting to score all the way from first on a James McCann double that was snuffed out by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts for the second out of the frame, but back-to-back base hits from Yoan Moncada and Jose Rondon did indeed allow McCann to score Chicago’s third run of the contest to knot things up at three runs a piece.

After all that commotion, Price ended his outing by getting Yonder Alonso to ground out to Mitch Moreland to put an end to the sixth, notching his second straight quality start in doing so.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 97 (64 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler turned to his changeup nearly 29% of the time he was on the mound Thursday while inducing five swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 93.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 24 times.

Unable to pick up his second winning decision of the season, Price’s next start should come against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore next week.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen was fairly effective up until things got away from them in the ninth.

But, before that disaster, Brandon Workman and Matt Barnes tossed a scoreless frame each while both of them faced the minimum three hitters and combined for four total strikeouts.

That paved the way for Ryan Brasier to pick up the save with a one-run lead to protect in the ninth, but just about everything that could have gone wrong for the Red Sox did.

The inning started with a five pitch strikeout of Yoan Moncada for the first out. On the very next play, a ground ball off the bat of Jose Rondon should have been good for the second out, but instead the base runner reached first safely thanks to a botched effort from Rafael Devers fielding the ball down the third base line.

Still, even with the tying run reaching first when it was completely avoidable, you can’t put this one all on Devers. The nine errors in 32 games is far from ideal, but Brasier did not exactly come through in an important situation either.

Anyway, a single from Yonder Alonso allowed Rondon to advance to third, meaning the tying run was just 90 feet away from scoring. But, that didn’t really matter though, because Nicky Delmonico ended this game two pitches later by mashing a three-run walkoff dinger over the center field wall to give the White Sox the win.

First losing decision and second blown save of the year for Brasier.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, who was making his first start since April 17th after missing time on the injured list due to a strained left hamstring.

The top of the Boston lineup really brought it in this one, and that was evident right away in the first inning when Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts all reached base with one out to load the bases for arguably the team’s hottest hitter in Rafael Devers.

On the sixth pitch he saw from Giolito in his first at-bat of the night, Devers lined a sacrifice fly with an exit velocity of 98 MPH to left field, plating Betts from third and giving his club an early lead. That was the only run they could come across in their half of the first, and that was essentially the theme of the night: failing to capitalize on multiple-run scoring opportunities.

Fast forward to the third, and Andrew Benintendi led things off against Giolito by tattooing his third big fly of the season to the left field seats. A 376 foot shot momentarily tied the game at two momentarily.

After Betts and Martinez followed that up with their second hits of the contest to put runners on first and third, Devers collected his second RBI by grounding out to second, which allowed Betts to score and make it a 3-2 game in favor of the away side.

From that point on though, the Boston bats were unable to get to the White Sox starter again and only managed one more run, which came on a JD Martinez force out to drive in Benintendi from third in the seventh.

That did put the Red Sox ahead 4-3, and they had the chance to add on what would have been some important insurance in the ninth, but ultimately came up short in a 6-4 defeat.

Some notes from this loss:

From r/baseball:

The Red Sox 1, 2, and 3 hitters Thursday night: 8-13 2BB, 2 RBI, 1 HR, 1 K. The Red Sox 4-9 hitters tonight: 0-20 2 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K

From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:

Also from Smith:

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to start a new winning streak in the second of this four-game set later Friday night.

Ex-White Sox star Chris Sale will get the start for Boston, still looking for his first winning decision of the season.

On the other side, right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, who was included in the same trade with Giolito that sent outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington, will get the start for Chicago.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.

 

RECAP: Mookie Betts Leads Comeback Effort as #RedSox Take Opener from White Sox in Third Straight Win.

After exploding for 14 runs to complete the two-game sweep of the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night, the Red Sox headed to the Windy City to embark on yet another road trip.

Getting the start in the series opener was Rick Porcello, who has faced the  53-80 White Sox plenty of times over his 10-year career, and entered Thursday with a 3.57 ERA in 11 career starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.

In what was his 28th start of 2018, the right-hander wrapped up his month of August with another shaky outing.

Pitching into the sixth inning of this one, Porcello surrendered four earned runs on eight hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

All four of those White Sox runs crossed the plate within the first two frames of this one, as an Avisail Garcia two-run home run and Matt Davidson RBI single in the first followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Garcia to score Yolmer Sanchez in the second gave Chicago an early three-run advantage.

Fortunately, Porcello settled down a bit, and despite still dealing with a solid amount of traffic on the base paths, held the White Sox scoreless over the final three-plus frames he pitched in.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (63 strikes), the New Jersey native saved his best for last by retiring the side in order in the fifth, which probably should have been his final frame of work.

Instead, he came back out for the bottom half of the sixth, walked Matt Davidson on eight pitches, the last three of which were all balls, and that is how is night would come to a conclusion. Given the fact the Red Sox were still trailing at this point in the contest, I probably would have started the sixth with Brandon Workman. That’s just me though.

Out of those 95 pitches, the 29-year-old relied heavily on his two-seam fastball, as he threw it 39% of the time he was on the mound on Thursday. He also topped out at 93.6 MPH with his other fastball, the four-seamer, in the second inning.

Unable to pick up the winning decision while his ERA jumped up to 4.27 on the season, let’s go ahead and look back at Rick Porcello’s August:

6 GS, 2-3, 5.11 ERA, 37 IP, 29 H, 21 ER, 8 HR, 9 BB, 45 K.

Those numbers include two starts against the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies in which Porcello combined to give up two earned runs over 16 innings pitched. He’ll look to get back on a more consistent track in his next time out, which should come against the Atlanta Braves next week.

In relief of Porcello, the Red Sox bullpen held the White Sox in order in four scoreless frames of work.

Yup, Brandon Workman, Joe Kelly, Ryan Brasier, who picked up the win, and Heath Hembree combined to give up just two hits while fanning five en route to their team’s 92nd win of the season.

Shoutout to Xander Bogaerts for some great defense over at shortstop as well.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against young White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, who had never faced Boston in his three-year career between Washington and Chicago before Thursday.

A former 2012 first round draft pick who was part of the trade that sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals, Giolito, 24, has not been outstanding in any means in his first full season as a big league hurler, but he impressed last night.

Holding the Red Sox hitless through four scoreless innings, it was not until Ian Kinsler singled with two outs in the fifth when the potential no-hitter came to an end.

Still, Giolito remained in the game up until the point when he walked Brock Holt with one out in the seventh. That is how his night would end and that is where things really started to turn around quickly for Boston.

With one out, one runner on, and Jeanmar Gomez now on the mound for the White Sox, an Ian Kinsler put runners on the corners for Blake Swihart, pinch-hitting for Sandy Leon.

In a similar role on Wednesday, Swihart came through with a big pinch hit, and he did the same last night, as he drove in Holt from third on an RBI to right center field. 4-1.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was up next, and he cut into the White Sox lead some more by driving in Kinsler from third on a sacrifice fly to center field. 4-2.

Back to the top of the order now came Mookie Betts, who had only faced Gomez three times in his career prior to Thursday, yet came away with arguably the clutchest hit of the contest.

On a 1-1 92 MPH slider, Betts launched his 29th home run of the season 373 feet to the left field seats to knot things up at four runs a piece.

Fast forward to the ninth, still in a 4-4 game, with one out and runners on first and second, Jackie Bradley Jr. played hero, as his RBI single off of White Sox reliever Thyago Vieria plated to the go-ahead run in the form of Ian Kinsler, but that was just the beginning.

In fact, three more runs would come around to score in the top half of the ninth, one on an Andrew Benintendi RBI single to add on some extra insurance, and the next two coming courtesy of JD Martinez, who put this game on ice with his 39th big fly of the season.

Some notes from this 9-4 win: 

During the seventh inning of their last two games, the Red Sox have scored 15 total runs.

Over his last four games, Mookie Betts is batting .583 with two home runs and six RBI. So much for that slump.

In only 127 games this season, JD Martinez has hit 39 home runs and driven in 114 runs. We’re not even in September yet.

Ian Kinsler recorded his second three-hit game in a Red Sox uniform on Thursday. He is also batting .583 in his last three games.

Blake Swihart is slashing .304/.333/.391 with six RBI in his last 10 games. Probably time for him to start getting more regular playing time behind the plate.

Joe Kelly has now gone seven straight relief appearances without giving up a run.

Looking to guarantee a series split later tonight, it will be Nathan Eovaldi getting the ball for the Red Sox.

Over his last four starts, Eovaldi owns a 7.41 ERA in only 17 innings pitched. That is not great, but with some help from Pedro Martinez, it would not be surprising if Eovaldi bounced back with a solid outing against a team he has not seen much of over his career.

Opposite Eovaldi will be rookie right-hander Michael Kopech for the White Sox, who was once part of the Red Sox organization himself.

Traded to Chicago along with current second baseman Yoan Moncada among others for Chris Sale back in December 2016, Kopech was recently called up on August 21st.

Ranked as the White Sox’s best pitching prospect, the former 2014 first round draft pick owns a 1.13 ERA in eight innings pitched over his first two career starts, the first of which was shortened due to rain.

Known for the speed of his four-seam fastball, a pitch he throws nearly 70% of the time, according to Statcast, this Red Sox lineup will undoubtedly be the toughest opponent Kopech has faced in his very young career.

I, for one, am very excited to see how it goes down.

First pitch of the second game of the series is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET.