Red Sox decline Garrett Richards’ club option for 2022, per report

The Red Sox have declined Garrett Richards’ club option for the 2022 season, thus making the right-hander a free agent, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Richards, 33, originally signed a one-year, $8.5 million deal with Boston back in February that included a $10 million team option for a potential second year in 2022.

Like Martin Perez, who also had his club option declined on Sunday, Richards opened the 2021 campaign in the Sox’ starting rotation. The veteran righty posted a 5.22 ERA and 5.15 FIP to go along with 87 strikeouts and 48 walks over 22 starts spanning 110 1/3 innings of work before being demoted to the bullpen on August 11.

As a reliever, Richards improved while working in shorter bursts, putting up a more impressive 3.42 ERA and 2.90 FIP with 28 punchouts to 12 walks in 18 appearances (26 1/3 innings pitched) out of the Boston bullpen.

In the postseason, Richards was named to the Sox’ Wild Card Game roster and American League Division Series rosters. He tossed one-third of an inning in Game 1 against the Rays on October 7 before suffering a left hamstring strain that forced him to come off the club’s ALDS roster and be replaced by Matt Barnes.

With the Red Sox declining his option, Richards — who turns 34 in May — will once again be hitting the open market. He will, however, be receiving $1.5 million in the form of a buyout.

By electing to not pick up the options on either of Perez’s or Richards’ contracts, the Sox now have one more option-related decision to make before 5 p.m. eastern time on Sunday with catcher Christian Vazquez and his $7 million team option for 2022 hanging in the balance.

On top of that, Boston must also decide if they will be extending an $18.4 million qualifying offer to any player who is eligible for one, such as free agent left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez or veteran slugger J.D. Martinez if he opts out of the final year of his contract.

(Picture of Garrett Richards: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox decline Martín Pérez’s club option for 2022, per report

The Red Sox have declined Martin Perez’s club option for the 2022 season, thus making the left-hander a free agent, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Perez, 30, initially re-signed with Boston on a one-year, $4.5 million deal for the 2021 season back in February, and that contract included a $6 million team option for 2022.

After opening the year, his second with the Sox, as the team’s fifth starter, Perez struggled to the tune of a 4.77 ERA and 4.91 FIP to go along with 85 strikeouts to 33 walks over 22 starts spanning exactly 100 innings of work.

In early August, the Red Sox moved Perez to their bullpen, where the Venezuelan southpaw posted a 4.50 ERA and 4.17 FIP with 12 strikeouts and three walks in 14 appearances (14 innings pitched) as a reliever. He also missed time late in the summer due to a bout with COVID-19.

During Boston’s postseason run last month, Perez was left off the club’s Wild Card Game roster against the Yankees, but was included on both the American League Division and Championship Series rosters. He was not used against the Rays, but did appear in four games against the Astros.

With the Red Sox declining his option, Perez — who turns 31 in April — will now hit the open market for the fourth consecutive off-season. It remains to be seen if Boston will entertain a reunion with the lefty, which is what they wound up doing last winter.

Last week, it was revealed earlier that the Perez had recently changed agencies, making the switch from OL Sports Group to Octagon.

Additionally, the Red Sox now owe Perez $500,000 in the form of a buyout and have more decisions to make by 5 p.m. eastern time on Sunday. Both right-hander Garrett Richards ($10 million) and catcher Christian Vazquez ($7 million) have club options for 2022 that either need to be picked up or declined.

On top of that, Boston must also decide to extend an $18.4 million qualifying offer to any player who is eligible for one, such as free agent left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez or veteran slugger J.D. Martinez if he opts out of the final year of his contract.

(Picture of Martin Perez: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Martín Pérez switches agencies with Red Sox expected to decline left-hander’s club option for 2022

Red Sox left-hander Martin Perez has switched agencies at a time where he could be headed towards free agency, per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Perez, previously represented by Miami-based OL Baseball Group, recently made the switch to Octagon. The agency actually announced the move last month on Instagram.

The Red Sox have until this coming Sunday at 5 p.m. eastern time to decide whether they will accept or decline the $6 million club option attached to the one-year, $4.5 million deal they signed Perez to back in February.

This past season, his second with Boston, proved to be a turbulent one for Perez. After opening the year as the team’s fifth starter, the 30-year-old southpaw posted a 4.77 ERA and 4.91 FIP to go along with 85 strikeouts to 33 walks over 22 starts spanning 100 innings of work.

Since he was averaging fewer than five innings per start while proving to be ineffective throughout the months of June and July, Perez was moved to the Red Sox bullpen full-time beginning on August 6.

As a reliever, Perez was primarily used by manager Alex Cora in low-leverage situations. Still, the Venezuelan hurler put up a 4.50 ERA and 4.17 FIP with 12 strikeouts and three walks in 14 innings pitched out of the bullpen to close out the season. He also missed time from Aug. 30 until September 14 on account of testing positive for COVID-19.

In the postseason, Perez was left off Boston’s roster for the Wild Card Game against the Yankees, but made both the American League Division Series and Championship Series rosters.

While Perez did not appear in the Sox’ four-game triumph of the Rays, he was used on four separate occasions against the Astros, allowing a total of five runs — four of which were earned — on six hits, four walks, and zero strikeouts over three total innings of work. That’s good for an ERA of 12.00.

All told, it seems unlikely that the Red Sox will pick up Perez’s team option for next season, which is exactly what they did around this same time last year as well.

Instead, if they do indeed allow the lefty to hit the open marker for the fourth consecutive off-season, Boston will then owe Perez $500,000 in the form of a buyout.

Again, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have until Sunday to make up their mind on this. The same can be said for right-hander Garrett Richards ($10 million) and catcher Christian Vazquez ($7 million), who also have club options that need to be decided on by the end of the weekend.

(Picture of Martin Perez: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Martín Pérez from COVID-19 related injured list, return Kaleb Ort to Triple-A Worcester

As expected, the Red Sox have reinstated left-hander Martin Perez from the COVID-19 related injured list. In a corresponding move, right-hander Kaleb Ort was returned to Triple-A Worcester, the team announced earlier Tuesday evening.

Perez had been held out of action for a little more than two weeks after initially testing positive for COVID-19 while the Sox were in Tampa Bay on August 30. He became the third player on the team to test positive for the virus dating back to Aug. 27 and nine more have returned positive results since then.

After quarantining for 10 days, Perez was cleared to return to action and was sent out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester over the weekend. The 30-year-old southpaw made one appearance for the WooSox on Sunday, tossing a scoreless seventh inning in a 3-1 victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Polar Park.

Prior to going on the COVID IL, Perez had made nine appearances as a reliever after being removed from Boston’s starting rotation and inserted into the bullpen in early August.

In those nine outings, the Venezuelan-born lefty posted a 6.43 ERA and .908 OPS against to go along with seven strikeouts to two walks over seven innings of work.

With the addition of Perez, the Red Sox now have eight players on the COVID IL. They are also back at full strength from the left side of the bullpen as Austin Davis, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor are all active.

Ort, meanwhile, initially had his contract selected from Worcester when Davis was placed on the paternity leave list and both infielder Jonathan Arauz and left-hander Chris Sale were placed on the COVID-19 related injured list this past Friday.

Though Ort was not called upon during this past weekend’s series against the White Sox, he did make his major-league debut in Seattle on Monday night. The 29-year-old righty was deployed in the eighth inning of a 5-4 game the Red Sox were losing and put two of the first three batters he faced on base via a leadoff single and one-out walk.

Only six of the 12 pitches Ort threw went for strikes, and he was relieved by Taylor, who escaped the jam he inherited by retiring the only two Mariners he faced in order.

While he was returned to the WooSox on Tuesday, it seems likely that Ort would remain on Boston’s taxi squad for the remainder of their road trip that concludes on Wednesday afternoon.

(Picture of Martin Perez: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Martín Pérez, Matt Barnes placed on COVID-19 related injured list, Phillips Valdez recalled from Triple-A Worcester, Raynel Espinal selected to 40-man

Before opening a pivotal four-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Monday night, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, relievers Martin Perez and Matt Barnes were both placed on the COVID-19 related injured list.

Secondly, right-handed reliever Phillips Valdez was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, while fellow righty Raynel Espinal had his contract selected from Worcester, the club announced earlier Monday evening.

Perez and Barnes become the the third and fourth Red Sox players to head to the COVID-related injured list within the last three days, as they join the likes of infielder/outfielder Enrique Hernandez and infielder Christian Arroyo, who tested positive on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose also tested positive on Sunday.

Perez, who opened the 2021 season in Boston’s starting rotation but was demoted to the bullpen earlier this month, tested positive for the virus on Monday, Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith).

“We found out not too long ago,” Cora said. “So we’re going through the process, through protocol, close contact, people getting tested and everything else.”

On that note, MLB.com’s Ian Browne reports that Barnes has indeed tested positive for COVID-19, meaning he will be forced into a mandatory quarantine and miss the next 10 days despite being vaccinated against the virus.

Regardless of his vaccination status, though, the All-Star closer will head to the COVID-related IL for a second time this season after spending one day there earlier this month.

With both Perez and Barnes out of action for the time being, the Sox have added two right-handed hurlers from Worcester in the form of Valdez and Espinal.

Valdez, 29, is back up with Boston for the third time this year after he was most recently sent down to the WooSox on August 12.

Espinal, meanwhile, was able to be added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster without a corresponding move being made since players on the COVID-related injured list do not count against the 40-man.

Originally acquired from the Yankees in the minor-league phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, the 29-year-old out of the Dominican Republic has had a solid season for himself as a member of Worcester’s starting rotation.

In 18 appearances (16 starts) with the WooSox so far this year, Espinal has posted a 3.74 ERA and 4.09 FIP to go along with 89 strikeouts to 36 walks over 91 1/3 total innings of work.

Per his SoxProspects.com scouting report, Espinal — who is up at the major-league level for the first time in his professional career — operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 91-93 mph fastball, an 83-86 mph slider, an 82-84 mph changeup, and a 77-79 mph curveball.

In addition to Espinal, who will wear the No. 80, and Valdez being added to the big-league roster, the Red Sox seem likely to activate recently-acquired right-hander Brad Peacock on Tuesday. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox move struggling Garrett Richards to bullpen with Chris Sale’s return on the horizon

The Red Sox have removed right-hander Garrett Richards from their starting rotation and have moved him to the bullpen, manager Alex Cora announced Wednesday.

Richards, who would have in been line to start on Saturday, will be available out of the bullpen in Tuesday night’s contest against the Rays at Fenway Park.

Saturday’s game against the Orioles, of course, will be started by none other than ace left-hander Chris Sale, who will be making his 2021 debut for the Sox.

In his latest start against the Blue Jays in Toronto this past Sunday, the veteran right-hander surrendered four runs — three of which were earned — on six hits and one walk to go along with two strikeouts over five innings of work, bringing his ERA on the season up to 5.22 over 22 starts (110 1/3 innings pitched).

Richards, 33, originally signed a one-year, $10 million deal with Boston in February after spending the previous two seasons with the Padres. He got lit up for six runs over just two innings in his Red Sox debut in early April, but settled in nicely for a spell after that.

From April 10 through June 11 — a stretch of more than two months, the Oklahoma native put up a respectable 3.42 ERA with 59 strikeouts and 32 walks across 12 starts spanning 68 1/3 innings of work.

Things took a turn for the worst for Richards in mid-June, however, and it came right around the same time Major League Baseball began enforcing stricter policies in regards to pitchers using foreign substances (“sticky stuff”) to enhance their grip on the baseball.

Including an outing against the Braves on June 16 in which he allowed six runs (four earned) in just four innings, Richards has posted an unsightly 7.55 ERA and 1.056 OPS against over his last seven starts and 31 innings pitched, with that start against the Blue Jays over the weekend being the latest instance of his prolonged summer struggles.

Because of these struggles, the Red Sox obviously felt it was time to make a change and opted to move a member of their Opening Day starting rotation to the bullpen for a second time in less than a week as Richards joins the likes of left-hander Martin Perez, whose spot has essentially been handed over to Tanner Houck.

Like Perez, though, Richards does have major-league experience working as a reliever, and Cora believes both hurlers can benefit from the move to the ‘pen while also serving key roles for Boston’s pitching staff moving forward.

Prior to joining the Red Sox over the winter, Richards — who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds — made 59 total relief appearances over the course of 10 big-league seasons with the Angels and Padres.

Most recently, the former Oklahoma Sooner was used out of the bullpen by San Diego for the home stretch of the truncated 2020 campaign, as it was his first “full” season back since undergoing Tommy John surgery in July 2018 while he was still with the Angels.

In four appearances out of the Padres’ ‘pen last September, Richards pitched to the tune of a 1.80 ERA while holding opposing batters to a .167/.211/.389 slash line against over five total innings of work.

While it’s no sure thing Richards will find success as he transitions to a relief role with the Red Sox on account of the difficulties he has already endured this season, one would have to assume that his fastball and curveball, both of which possess elite spin rates, will play better out of the bullpen than they did the starting rotation. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Garrett Richards: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Red Sox remove Martín Pérez from starting rotation; Tanner Houck expected to take left-hander’s spot

The Red Sox have removed left-hander Martin Perez from their starting rotation and moved him to the bullpen, manager Alex Cora announced Friday.

Perez recorded just four outs while surrendering three runs in his latest start against the Tigers in Detroit on Thursday, hence the move to demote him to the bullpen.

Including Thursday’s outing, the 30-year-old has posted an ERA of 4.77 and FIP of 4.90 with 85 strikeouts and 33 walks over 22 starts spanning exactly 100 innings of work this season.

After tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 3, Perez has struggled mightily since then, pitching to the tune of a 7.13 ERA and 1.073 OPS against in his last 11 starts and 41 2/3 innings pitched.

As The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier pointed out on Thursday, Perez has made nine starts of four innings or fewer so far this year, which is the most in the American League and tied for the most in all of Major League Baseball.

While Perez may have made his final start for the Red Sox this season, Cora still believes the veteran southpaw can provide value out of the bullpen, especially with fellow lefty Darwinzon Hernandez being sidelined with a right oblique strain at the moment.

“Obviously with Darwinzon (Hernandez) being down, having that third lefty (in the bullpen) is something I’ve been telling Chaim (Bloom) will be good, especially against a few teams in this division now,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) prior to Friday’s game against the Blue Jays. “Obviously New York is not as right-handed as they were early. Tampa, the Yankees and obviously we’re going to play some teams that have a lot of switch-hitters. So I do believe somehow, someway, he’s going to help us out of the bullpen.”

With Perez, who owns a lifetime 4.60 ERA in 16 career relief appearances (31 1/3 innings pitched) heading to the Boston bullpen, Tanner Houck will likely be taking the lefty’s spot in the Sox’ starting rotation.

Houck, who threw a simulated game in Detroit on Monday, will start the night cap of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Over six appearances (four starts) for the Red Sox this season, the 25-year-old right-hander has produced a 2.45 ERA and 1.71 FIP to go along with 30 strikeouts and just five walks in 22 1/3 innings of work.

In addition to Houck essentially re-joining Boston’s starting rotation this weekend, Chris Sale’s return is on the horizon as the ace left-hander prepares to make what should be his final rehab start with Triple-A Worcester on Saturday.

That being said, one has to wonder if Garrett Richards’ spot in the rotation could be in jeopardy as well if Cora and Co. want to roll with five starters (Sale, Houck, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Eduardo Rodriguez) relatively soon.

(Picture of Martin Perez: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Martín Pérez allows 3 runs in just 1 1/3 innings as Red Sox get blown out by Tigers, 8-1, in series finale

Any good vibes the Red Sox accumulated while snapping their five-game losing streak on Wednesday night were immediately wiped off the board in Thursday’s series finale against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

The Sox fell to the Tigers by a final score of 8-1, dropping the three-game series in the process of getting hit with their sixth loss in their last seven games.

Martin Perez, making his 21st start of the season for Boston, was hit hard in what was his shortest outing of the year to date.

Managing to record just four outs, the veteran left-hander surrendered three runs — all of which were earned — on five hits, zero walks, and one hit batsman to go along with two strikeouts over his 1 1/3 innings of work.

Right out of the gate, Perez was rudely greeted by Detroit, as he served up a leadoff home run to Robbie Grossman to begin things in the very first inning.

More leadoff trouble did Perez in in the second, with Victor Reyes leading off with a triple and Zack Short following with a sacrifice fly to give his side the early 2-0 lead.

After yielding back-to-back singles to the Tigers’ No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, Perez plunked Grossman on a 90 mph cutter that subsequently ended his day much sooner than expected.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 37 (25 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler raised his ERA on the season to 4.77 in what could very well be one of — if not his last start in a Red Sox uniform for the time being.

In relief of Perez, Phillips Valdez got the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen, and he inherited quite a mess with the bases loaded and two outs to get in the second.

Valdez officially closed the book on Perez’s start by allowing one of those inherited runners to score on a groundout, making it a 3-0 game in favor of Detroit. He did, however, fan Miguel Cabrera to get out of the second inning before tossing two more scoreless frames.

From there, Hansel Robles got roughed up for the first time since being traded to the Red Sox, as he served up a two-run, ground-rule double to Jeimer Candelario in the fifth that was followed by an RBI triple off the bat of Reyes. Both back-breaking hits came with two outs in the inning.

Fellow deadline acquisition Austin Davis did not fare much better over the next two innings, with the lefty issuing a run-scoring base hit to Jonathan Schhop in the sixth as well as an RBI groundout to Reyes in the seventh that put Detroit up 8-0.

Yacksel Rios took over for Davis with two outs in the seventh, and he ended the inning while also striking out one in a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, though it did not make much of a difference in the end.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Tigers rookie left-hander Tarik Skubal, making his first ever start against Boston.

Dealt a 3-0 deficit after just two innings, the Sox really were not able to get much going against Skubal.

They had an early opportunity in their half of the third, with Enrique Hernandez reaching base via a one-out walk and Rafael Devers following with an infield single. Both runners advanced an additional 90 feet on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, but J.D. Martinez was called out on strikes and Xander Bogaerts lined out to extinguish the threat.

All in all, the Boston bats went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position against Skubal and three Detroit relievers, with Alex Verdugo taking responsibility for his side’s lone run of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly that brought in Franchy Cordero from third base.

That cut the Sox’ deficit down to seven runs at 8-1, which would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 64-46 on the season while dropping to 1 1/2 games back of an idle Tampa Bay Rays team for first place in the American League East.

Next up: On to Canada

The Red Sox will board a flight to Toronto as they head north of the border for the first time in nearly two full years for the start of what has the makings to be a pivotal four-game weekend series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Friday night.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for Boston in the opener, and he will be matched up against fellow righty Alek Manoah for Toronto.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN. Red Sox need to turn things around quickly.

(Picture of Martin Perez: Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Martín Pérez gives up 3 homers as Red Sox fall to Rays, 7-3, in first game after trade deadline

Hours after seeing the trade deadline come and go without acquiring a starting pitcher, the Red Sox were rocked by the Rays by a final score of 7-3 at Tropicana Field on Friday night.

Martin Perez, making his 21st start of the season for the Sox, was shelled for six runs — all of which were earned — on seven hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts over four innings of work.

The one walk proved to be what did Perez in out of the gate, as he issued a two-out free pass to Austin Meadows before serving up a two-run home run to Yandy Diaz in the first inning, giving Tampa Bay an early 2-0 lead.

More two-out trouble arose for Perez in the bottom half of the third, with the veteran left-hander nearly maneuvering his way around a one-out single to Nelson Cruz, but instead gave up a two-out base hit to Diaz, which was followed by a two-run double off the bat of rookie phenom Wander Franco.

The Boston bats, matched up against Rays starter Josh Fleming, battled back in the fourth, as Xander Bogaerts led things off with a groundball single and came into score his side’s first run of the night following a Hunter Renfroe walk and Christian Vazquez RBI single.

Vazquez, however, was thrown out as second base as he attempted to extend his single into a double, though Bobby Dalbec was able to drive in Renfroe to cut the Sox’ deficit in half at 4-2.

Despite cutting into the Rays’ lead, Perez fell victim to the long ball once more in the bottom of the fourth, as he served up a pair of solo homers to Mike Zunino and Randy Arozarena before recording the final out of the inning in what had become a 6-2 game.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 72 (45 strikes), the 30-year-old southpaw was ultimately hit with his seventh loss of the year while seeing his ERA on the season inflate to 4.56.

Another run-scoring double courtesy of Renfroe off Fleming pulled Boston back to within three runs in their half of the fifth, but Red Sox reliever Yacksel Rios gave that run right back by giving up a one-out triple to Franco that was followed by a wild pitch that allowed Franco to easily score and make it a 7-3 contest in favor of Tampa Bay.

From there, Rios tossed a scoreless sixth inning, Hirokazu Sawamura stranded a pair of runners in the seventh in his return from the injured list, and Josh Taylor twirled a shutout bottom of the eighth to hold the Rays at seven runs.

That said, the Sox offense was not able to get anything going against the Rays bullpen, and 7-3 would go on to be Friday’s final score.

With the loss, their second straight, the Red Sox fall to 63-42 on the season while their lead over the Rays for first place in the American League East decreased to just 1/2 a game.

Some additional notes from Friday night:

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Yarbrough

The Red Sox will turn to right-hander Nathan Eovaldi as they look to halt their two-game losing streak in the middle game of this pivotal three-game weekend series.

The Rays will counter with left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, who has allowed 14 runs (11 earned) over seven innings of work spanning two outings (one start) against the Sox this season.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Martin Perez: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Red Sox storm back with 5-run 8th inning to take series from Yankees in dramatic 5-4 victory

After figuratively getting their hearts ripped out in a 4-3 loss on Saturday, it appeared as though the Red Sox were well on their way to dropping their second straight to the Yankees at Fenway Park on Sunday.

Yankees starter Domingo German absolutely dominated the Sox lineup through the first seven innings of Sunday’s contest, as he failed to yield a single hit while only allowing a pair of base runners on a walk and passed ball on a strikeout.

In addition to not being able to get anything done offensively, Boston found themselves in a four-run hole through the first 7 1/2 innings in their series finale against New York.

Red Sox starter Martin Perez had pitched well enough opposite German, giving up three runs on six hits, two walks, and six strikeouts over six solid innings of work thanks to a pair of double plays.

In relief of Perez, however, Yacksel Rios came on in the seventh and struggled mightily with his control, as he walked two batters and plunked another to load the bases before Josh Taylor was deployed and got through the rest of the innins unscathed.

Brandon Workman, meanwhile, saw the Yankees’ three-run lead increase to four in the eighth by serving up a leadoff triple to Gary Sanchez that was followed by an RBI single off the bat of Gleyber Torres.

So, there the Red Sox were, trailing by four runs with just nine more outs to work with against an opposing pitcher they had yet to record a hit off of.

Somehow, someway, Boston’s fortunes changed in their half of the eighth, as Alex Verdugo led things off with a hard-hit double to right field that saw German’s no-hit bid end and his day subsequently come to a close.

Matched up against Yankees reliever Jonathan Loaisiga now, Hunter Renfroe put an end to New York’s attempt at a shutout, as he laced another line-drive double that brought in Verdugo from second to make it a 4-1 game.

Christian Vazquez kept the line moving, plating Renfroe on an RBI single to right field and moving into scoring position on another base hit courtesy of Franchy Cordero.

Following a brief mound visit as the Boston lineup flipped back over, Kiké Hernández got ahead in the count against Loaisiga at 2-0 and took full advantage of that by ripping a run-scoring double down the left field line that drove in Vazquez, cutting the deficit down to one run at 4-3.

With the Yankees opting to go with left-hander Zack Britton out of the bullpen in place of Loaisiga, Red Sox manager Alex Cora countered by pinch-hitting Kevin Plawecki for the left-handed hitting Jarren Duran.

Plawecki answered the call accordingly, scoring Cordero from third on a game-tying RBI groundout that also advanced Hernández up to third base, though he did not stay there long.

Yes, with a sacrifice fly hit just deep enough to right field, Xander Bogaerts was able to drive in a sliding Hernández from third to give his side their first lead of the afternoon at 5-4.

Given the fact that there was now a one-run lead to protect, Matt Barnes got the call for the ninth inning and promptly slammed the door on the Yankees to seal the comeback 5-4 victory for the Red Sox as well as his 21st save of the season.

With the win, their 32nd of the come-from-behind variety, the Red Sox secured a series victory and the season series with the Yankees to improve to 61-39 on the season. They also regained a one-game lead over the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: Bring on the Blue Jays

The Red Sox will next welcome the Blue Jays into town for a four-game series that begins on Monday night.

Canadian-born right-hander Nick Pivetta is slated to get the ball for Boston in the opener, while Toronto has yet to name a starter.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.

(Picture of Kiké Hernández and Rafael Devers: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)