Red Sox Lineup: J.D. Martinez Sits in What Will Be Zack Godley’s First Start of Season

After pushing across just one run in a 5-1 loss at the hands of the Yankees to snap a two-game winning streak on Friday, the Red Sox will look to bounce back against Masahiro Tanaka and the Bronx Bombers on Saturday night.

Opposing Tanaka for the Sox will be veteran right-hander Zack Godley in what will be his first major-league start since last June.

The 30-year-old initially signed a minor-league deal with Boston late last month after getting cut loose from the Tigers and made his 2020 debut this past Monday, working four scoreless innings of relief against the Mets.

That effort earned Godley a spot in the Sox’ starting rotation, as he’ll be taking over for left-hander Josh Osich this time through. He has never pitched inside Yankee Stadium before, and has only pitched against the Yankees once before in his six-year career, which came as a reliever for the Blue Jays last August.

In what will be their first game of August 2020, here’s how the Red Sox will be lining up behind Godley and against Tanaka to begin things on Saturday.

Among the notable things to point out here, a slumping J.D. Martinez will start this one on the bench in favor of Kevin Pillar. Martinez owns a lifetime 1.226 OPS in 23 career at-bats against Tanaka, but seeing how he is 2-for-23 over his last six games, perhaps Sox manager Ron Roenicke felt it was best to give the slugger a day off.

Mitch Moreland is back starting at first and batting fifth after missing the last two games on account of sore legs that were “just barking from being on them a lot.”

Christian Vazquez, Alex Verdugo, and Jackie Bradley Jr. follow the veteran first baseman, while Tzu-Wei Lin makes his first start of the season at second base and bats ninth.

Among these nine hitters, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts have seen Tanaka the best, as they are a combined 29-for-87 (.333) off the Yankees right-hander with five home runs and 11 RBI between them.

If the Red Sox want to win their fourth game of the season on Saturday, it will be imperative that they score more than the 3.7 runs per game they have averaged since embarking on this seven-game road trip on Tuesday.

First pitch against the Yankees Saturday is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on FOX and WEEI.

Red Sox Go off for Season-High 19 Runs and 23 Hits in Record-Setting Blowout Win over Yankees

After taking two out of three from the Tampa Bay Rays to cap off a six-game road trip on Wednesday, the Red Sox welcomed the American League East-leading New York Yankees into Fenway Park for the first time this season and opened up a four-game weekend series on Thursday with a blowout 19-3 victory over their divisional foes.

Making his 21st start of the season for Boston and third against New York was Rick Porcello, who could only make it through 1/3 of an inning the last time he faced off against the Bronx Bombers back on June 29th in London.

Tossing six full innings this time around, the right-hander yielded just three runs, all earned, on six hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

The first pair of those Yankees runs came across to score in the top half of the second, when following four straight outs to begin his outing, Porcello fell victim to a string of four straight one-out hits from Didi Gregorius, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, which plated Gregorius, and Mike Tauchman, which filled the bases.

An eight pitch punchout of Kyle Higashioka, as well as getting ahead in the count at 0-2 against D.J. LeMahieu meant that Porcello was just one pitch away from escaping the jam, but the New Jersey native lost the Yankees’ leadoff man on ball four, and Voit scored as a result.

Fortunately for Boston, Porcello rebounded by getting the always dangerous Aaron Judge to fly out to Jackie Bradley Jr. in deep center field, and that extinguished the threat.

In total, Porcello needed 47 pitches to get through a strenuous second, but he relatively cruised from there, as he sat down the next six Yankees he faced before serving up a solo shot to Higashioka in the fifth.

Outside of that one blip, Porcello retired the side in order in that fifth inning and worked his way around a two-out double in an otherwise 1-2-3 top of the sixth, where his evening came to an impressive close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 112 (76 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball 34% of the time he was on the mound Thursday, inducing six swings and misses and topping out at 92.6 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Ultimately improving to 9-7 while lowering his ERA on the season down to 5.55, Porcello continues to be the benefactor of a high volume of run support and has thus improved to 4-0 since the start of July. He’ll look to keep that run going in his next time out, which should come against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

In relief of Porcello, rookie left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez came on in the seventh with his team ahead by a sizable margin, and he fanned two in a clean inning.

Colten Brewer did the same while punching out one in the eighth, and Nathan Eovaldi bounced back from a rough debut out of the bullpen on Monday by hurling a scoreless ninth inning to secure the 19-3 win for his club.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who was also Porcello’s opponent when these two clubs met up in London.

Unlike Porcello though, Tanaka did not bounce back from a rough experience across the pond. It was almost the exact opposite of that, really.

Kicking off the scoring right away for Boston in the bottom of the first, a Mookie Betts leadoff single and Rafael Devers walk set up Xander Bogaerts in an early RBI spot.

Bogaerts, after working a 3-1 count in his favor, absolutely demolished a 93 MPH fastball on the inner half of the plate and deposited it 451 feet over the Green Monster. His 22nd home run of the season, this one good for three runs, was also the longest of his career.

A string of three straight hits from Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, and Mitch Moreland sandwiched in between the first two outs of the inning brought Jackie Bradley Jr. to the plate.

Coming into Thursday 0-for-his-last-13, Bradley Jr. broke out of that slump immediately, as he laced a two-run double down the right field line to bring in two runs and move Moreland up to third for Betts yet again.

On the first pitch of his second at-bat against Tanaka already, the reigning MVP cleared the bases with a two-run two-bagger of his own off a 92 MPH sinker. Just like that, the Red Sox were ahead 7-0.

Fast forward to the fourth, with it now a 7-2 contest, and Devers began the charge to re-widen the gap by leading off the inning with his 21st big fly of the year off a first-pitch, 92 MPH heater on the outer half of the plate that was sent 437 feet over everything in left.

A Bogaerts single and one-out walk drawn by Benintendi put a runner in scoring position for the just-inserted Michael Chavis, who replaced Holt after he was ejected by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn for arguing balls and strikes in the third.

Anyway, Chavis took advantage of this opportunity, as he blooped an RBI double just deep enough to left to drive in Bogaerts and advance Benintendi to third.

Moreland extended his side’s lead to 11-2 by ripping a two-run, ground-rule double to right, and that was how Tanaka’s night ended.

Facing off against lefty Stephen Tarpley now, Christian Vazquez picked up where Chavis and Moreland had left off by lacing a two-run double of his own down the left field corner, scoring Moreland and making it a 10-run game at 12-2.

An inning later, four straight knocks from Bogaerts, Martinez, Benintendi, and Chavis to lead off the fifth against Tarpley brought in two more Boston runs, with Benintendi and Chavis picking up their first and second RBI of the contest respectively.

Vazquez brought in run number 15 on a grounder to short that gave Benintendi more than enough time to score from third, and the Red Sox had themselves a 15-3 advantage.

In the sixth, Devers greeted new Yankees reliever Luis Cessa by collecting his second RBI on a double to right that allowed Betts to score all the way from first following a leadoff walk. Devers was caught trying to turn that double into a triple, though.

Finally, in the eighth, with catcher Austin Romine on the mound for New York, Bradley Jr. led things off with a double, and Sandy Leon, in his first and only at-bat of the night, scored him, as well as himself, on his fourth homer of the season. This one marking the second time in the past week that the backstop has taken an opposing position player yard.

Fittingly, the man who got the Red Sox on the board also wrapped up an exciting offensive outpouring, as Bogaerts too took Romine deep to left-center for his second dinger of the day and 23rd of the season to tie his previous career-high.

That put Boston ahead 19-3, and that would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

From The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:

From Red Sox Stats:

Xander Bogaerts’ last 15 games: .419/.478/.790 with six home runs and 17 RBI.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second of this four-game weekend series on Friday night.

Right-hander Andrew Cashner will get the ball for Boston, while left-hander James Paxton will do the same for New York.

In his first two starts with the Red Sox, Cashner is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA over 11 innings pitched.

When he was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles earlier in the month, one of the first things Cashner told the Boston media is that he’s, “looking forward to playing the Yankees.” He’ll have the chance to prove he can handle the American League East’s top team on Friday.

In his career against the Yankees, the 32-year-old is 2-5 with a 3.96 lifetime ERA and .247 batting average against over 10 starts and 61 1/3 innings of work.

Paxton, meanwhile, has not been the same pitcher he was earlier in the year since he was shelved with inflammation in his left knee back in early May.

In 10 starts since his return on May 29th, the 30-year-old has posted a 5.06 ERA and .303 batting average against over his last 48 innings pitched. That includes surrendering seven runs, only four of which were earned, in his last time out against the Colorado Rockies on July 21st.

Paxton has never pitched at Fenway Park before in his career. Against the Red Sox, he owns a lifetime 1.89 ERA over five prior starts and 33 1/3 innings pitched, including an eight-inning shutout back on April 16th of this year at Yankee Stadium.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their second straight win.

 

Rick Porcello Allows Six Runs, Only Records One out as Red Sox Fall to Yankees 17-13 in Historic and Wild London Series Opener

NOTE: The information I would usually include from Baseball Savant was only made available while this game was happening, so that is why it is not presented here. Sorry about that.

After two days off, the Red Sox and New York Yankees finally kicked off the highly anticipated inaugural London Series at Olympic Stadium on Saturday, and the Sox lost the first ever Major League Baseball game played on European soil by a final score of 17-13 to fall 10 games off the pace for first place in the American League East.

Making his 17th start of the season and second against New York was Rick Porcello, who made history Saturday by becoming the first big league pitcher to make a start on the other side of the Atlantic.

Recording just the first out of this one, the right-hander was downright walloped by the Yankees high-octane offense, as he surrendered six runs, all of which were earned, on five hits and one walk to go along with zero strikeouts on the afternoon.

That one out came on a flyout off the bat of Aaron Judge after DJ LeMahieu had reached base to start things off.

Other than that, Porcello followed with a one-out walk of Gary Sanchez before serving up back-to-back-to-back run-scoring doubles to Luke Voit, Didi Gregorious, and Edwin Encarnacion, which put the Yankees up four.

With two outs still to get, Porcello’s outing came to an abrupt close six pitchers later when Aaron Hicks took him deep to right on a 2-2 pitch to give his side a new six-run lead.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 33 (20 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler had Christian Vazquez, not Sandy Leon, behind the plate.

Hit with the no-decision in the shortest start of his big league career, Porcello wraps up a dismal month of June in which he posted a 6.46 ERA over six starts and 30 2/3 innings of work, including that seven-inning shutout performance against the Minnesota Twins on the 17th. He’ll look for improved results in his next time out, which should come against the Detroit Tigers next weekend.

In relief of Porcello, the Red Sox bullpen had their work cut out for them Saturday, as they would wind up responsible for the final 8 2/3 frames of this contest.

Colten Brewer entered with one out and the bases empty in the first, and he walked the first man he faced in Gleyber Torres before retiring the last two hitters of the inning.

Steven Wright, in his second appearance since returning from an 80-game suspension, yielded a pair of Yankees runs on a two-out, two-run homer off the bat of Brett Gardner in the fourth, which gave New York a brand new 8-6 advantage, and that is how the knuckleballer was saddled with his first losing decision of the year.

From there, rookie right-hander Mike Shawaryn got rocked for eight earned runs, six of which came in consecutive order in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Gardner, a bases-clearing double from LeMahieu, and another two-run dinger from Aaron Judge to make it a 14-6 game.

In the fifth, three more Yankees runs crossed the plate on an RBI base knock from Didi Gregorious while Shawaryn was still out there, and a two-run single from the red-hot LeMahieu while the left-handed Josh Taylor, who ended the inning, was on the mound.

At 17-6, it looked like this one was all but over for Boston, but with the efforts of Ryan Brasier, Hector Velazquez, and Marcus Walden combining for four frames of scoreless baseball from the beginning of the sixth up until the middle of the ninth, the Red Sox were nearly able to climb their way back, which is what we’ll get into next.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a formidable opponent in Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who had yet to face Boston this season before Saturday.

Coming to the plate for the first time already down a sizable margin, Rafael Devers got the scoring started for his side by driving in Mookie Betts all the way from first following a leadoff single on a long double to right field. 6-1.

Two walks of JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts later to fill the bases, Christian Vazquez cut into that deficit even further, plating Devers from third on a sacrifice fly to right for the second out of the inning.

Brock Holt cut the initial six-run hole in half with an RBI single to score Bogaerts and move Martinez up to second, and Michael Chavis erased the original deficit entirely by mashing a three-run home run to left center field for his 13th of the season.

That bomb knotted things up at six, but the Yankees pulled away once more, at one point padding an 11-run lead until the Red Sox got on the board again in their half of the sixth.

There, with reliever Nestor Cortes Jr. in for New York, Jackie Bradley Jr. stayed hot by leading the inning off with his ninth big fly of the year, a long solo shot to bring the Sox back to within 10 runs.

Given that large of a deficit in the later stages of this contest, manager Alex Cora went ahead and removed Andrew Benintendi and Devers to begin the seventh, replacing them with Sam Travis and Marco Hernandez respectively while also moving Vazquez to third and putting Sandy Leon in behind the plate.

In that seventh inning, the Boston bats continued to dig with four straight two-out hits against Cortes Jr., the third of which was Chavis’ second two-run dinger of the night to make it a 17-10 game in favor of New York.

A Bradley Jr. single got Cortes out and brought right-hander Tommy Kahnle in, who proceeded to walk Betts and throw a wild pitch in his matchup against Hernandez, which allowed both runners to move into scoring position.

Hernandez took full advantage of that mistake from Kahnle by driving in Bradley Jr. on an RBI infield single, and Betts scored as well on another wild pitch from the Yankees reliever on ball four to Bogaerts. 17-12

Another pitching chane for New York saw Adam Ottavino take over for Kahnle, and Martinez greeted him promptly with an RBI double, allowing Hernandez to score from second and bring the Red Sox back to within grand slam range, or four runs.

Unfortunately, that would wind up being the last Boston run to cross the plate, as Travis popped out to first with runners at second and third to end the seventh, Hernandez grounded out to third with the bases loaded to end the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman faced the minimum three batters in a scoreless ninth, sealing a 17-13 loss for the Red Sox.

Some notes from this loss:

Xander Bogaerts departed in the seventh inning Saturday due to cramping in both of his calfs. He is day-to-day and is hopeful to play Sunday.

Saturday’s nine-inning game lasted four hours and 42 minutes. Both teams combined for 30 runs on 37 hits and 12 walks, all without committing a single error.

DJ LeMahieu recorded the first hit in Europe in Major League Baseball history, while Aaron Hicks recorded the first home run.

Michael Chavis’ last 15 games: .318/.357/.530 with four home runs and 14 RBI.

More from Chavis, courtesy of The Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato:

Rafael Devers’ last 15 games: .443/.460/.754 with three home runs and 10 RBI.

The first Major League Baseball game to ever be played in Europe was a wild one, but at the end of the day, the Red Sox dropped a contest to a divisional opponent and are now 10 games back of the Yankees for first place in the American League East.

With that third straight division title becoming more and more out of reach, how the Red Sox go about the next few weeks leading to the July 31st trade deadline should be worth paying attention to.

Anyway, next up for the Red Sox, it’s the finale of this two-game London Series against the Bronx Bombers on Sunday afternoon.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Boston, and will probably be asked to pitch deep into his 17th start of the year, while fellow southpaw Stephen Tarpley will do the same for New York by serving as their opener.

Neither Rodriguez nor Tarpley have faced the Yankees or Red Sox so far this season.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 10:10 AM EDT on ESPN. Red Sox going for the split before taking off for Toronto.

 

 

RECAP: David Price’s Postseason Struggles Continue as #RedSox Drop Game Two of ALDS to Yankees.

After taking Game One in a 5-4 win over the New Yankees on Friday night, the Red Sox looked to go up two games in this American League Division Series with another victory at Fenway Park on Saturday.

Making his first start of this postseason, David Price looked to expel his October demons with a quality outing last night, but a las, could not a get the job done once again.

Pitching into just the second inning of this one, the left-hander got hit hard for three earned on three hits and two walks all while failing to record a single strikeout.

Similar to a start he made against New York on September 19th in which he served up three home runs, the home run ball was again not Price’s friend yesterday.

Right from the get go, the Tennessee native was greeted by Aaron Judge with one out in the top half of the first, and he made his presence felt by mashing his second home run of the series to put his team up by one early.

An inning later, Gary Sanchez, who hit .667 off of Price over the course of the regular season, hit his first of two long balls on the night to lead off the second.

Following two consecutive two out walks and an Andrew McCutchen RBI single in the same frame, Price’s night would come to a disappointing close with Aaron Judge due up next for the Yankees.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 42 (24 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler threw 12 four-seam fastballs, 12 two-seam fastballs, 10 changeups, and eight cutters. He also topped out at 95.2 MPH with that four-seamer in the second inning.

Dropping to 0-1 yet again, this is but another disappointing addition to Price’s playoff resume.

Since joining the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season, the Vanderbilt alum has tossed 11.2 postseason innings over four games, two of which were starts. In that span, he owns a 6.17 ERA, an 0-2 record, and an .853 OPS against. Over the course of his career, just take a look at this tweet.

To be paid as much as Price is being paid and consistently perform like he did on Saturday is far from ideal.

As for whether or not his number two starter will move to the bullpen, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, ” He’s one of our starters. Just a bad outing [Saturday]. It just so happened it wasn’t his day. He didn’t make pitches. We trust him. He’s bounced back before. We’ll talk to him to make a few adjustments. And we’ll go from there.”

In relief of Price, the majority of the Red Sox bullpen, outside of Eduardo Rodriguez, actually held their own in this one.

Joe Kelly got the first call with two outs in the second and runners on the corners, and he escaped the early jam by getting Aaron Judge to line out to right field.

After two additional scoreless frames from Kelly, it was Ryan Brasier’s turn for the second consecutive night to begin the fourth, and he looked much better in a clean inning compared to how he performed on Friday.

In addition to the solid scoreless inning of relief, Brasier also had his “rivalry” moment by yelling at Gary Sanchez to get back in the batter’s box after stepping away from the plate for the umpteenth time of the at bat.

From that point on, Brandon Workman and Eduardo Rodriguez combined to work a scoreless sixth inning, but this contest would get away from the Red Sox in the top of the seventh, when with one out and runners on first and third, Rodriguez could not sneak a 2-1 fastball over the heart of the plate with Gary Sanchez up to bat, and the Yankees catcher sent it 479 feet over everything in left field.

That big fly, Sanchez’s second of the night, made it a 6-1 game, and New York would not have to look back on their way to a series-evening win.

It’s also worth noting that Heath Hembree, who was added to Boston’s ALDS roster in place of Steven Wright prior to Saturday’s game, was responsible for the final two innings, and despite walking three, did not allow a run to cross the plate.

So, given the circumstances of David Price failing to make it out of the second inning, I would chalk this up as a win for the Red Sox bullpen, outside of the three-run homer Eduardo Rodriguez gave up, of course.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who pitched to a tune of a 6.52 ERA in two starts at Fenway Park this regular season.

Like Friday, runs were hard to come by for Boston, and they could not get anything going until their half of the fourth.

Already trailing by three runs, Xander Bogaerts delivered with one out in the inning by demolishing the first pitch he saw from Tanaka 411 feet to center field for his second career postseason home run. 3-1 New York.

Fast forward to the bottom half of the seventh, now trailing by five runs, and Ian Kinsler came through with the only other RBI knock from a Red Sox hitter on a hard hit RBI double off of Dellin Betances to plate Mitch Moreland all the way from first and make it a 6-2 game which would go on to be the final score.

Unfortunately, Moreland came up grabbing his right hamstring as he was rounding third on the play, and he would have to be replaced by Steve Pearce at first a half inning later.

According to Alex Cora, Sunday’s treatment at Yankee Stadium will determine if Moreland, who was diagnosed with right hamstring tightness, is ready for Game Three, but he will not be removed from the ALDS roster.

After a day off in New York on Sunday, the Red Sox will look to once again go up a game in this tightly contested division series on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.

It was just announced that Nathan Eovaldi, not Rick Porcello, will get the start for Boston on Monday.

Eovaldi, who has yet to pitch in this series, posted a 1.93 ERA over four starts, both with the Tampa Bay Rays and Red Sox, against the Yankees this season.

Opposite Eovaldi will be another right-hander for the Yankees in the form of the flame throwing Luis Severino, who tossed four scoreless innings in his last time out against the Oakland Athletics, which helped lift his club to another American League Wild Card win.

First pitch of the third game of the series is scheduled for 7:40 ET Monday on TBS. Maybe Brock Holt and Rafael Devers will play.

RECAP: Andrew Benintendi Comes up Clutch with Walk-Off Single in Extras as #RedSox Finish off Sweep of Yankees.

In a game that started on Sunday night and ended early Monday morning, it was the Red Sox who came out on top in ten innings of play for their fourth-straight win over the Yankees, opening up a 9.5 game lead atop the American League East.

Started by David Price, who was surprisingly outstanding against a team he owned a 24.92 ERA against in two outings prior to Sunday, the Red Sox managed to fight their way back on a night it looked like they could have settled for taking three out of four from their division rival.

Pitching into the seventh inning of this one, Price surrendered two earned runs, both of which were scored with him out of the game, on four hits, three free passes, and one HBP to go along with five punch outs on the night.

The lefty found himself dealing with traffic on the base paths right away in the first, as he allowed three of the first five hitters to reach, loading the bases with two outs in the frame. Fortunately, a 1-3 put out on a softly hit ground ball from Luke Voit allowed Price to escape unscathed.

Including the Voit ground out, the 32 year-old hurler retired 16 of the next 19 Yankees batters he faced going into the middle of the sixth inning in a 1-0 game in his team’s favor.

At that point, Price’s pitch count had reached 95, and given the fact he had just completed his sixth scoreless frame against a team he has a bad history with, maybe that was a good time for Alex Cora to call it a night for the big left-hander.

Instead he came back out for the seventh, gave up a leadoff single that was followed by a walk to put runners at first and second with no outs, and that was how Price’s fine night would come to a bit of a disappointing end.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 108, the second most he has thrown all season, 85 of which went for strikes, the Tennessee native relied heavily on his changeup Sunday night, as he went to it more than 31% of the time he was on the mound. He also topped out at 94.1 MPH with his two-seam fastball in the third inning. Although nothing has been announced by the team yet, I would expect Price’s next start, which would be his 23rd of the year, to come next weekend in Baltimore.

In relief of Price, Heath Hembree, who has turned into one of the best relievers with runners on base, got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen to try and get out of a seventh inning jam.

Instead, with runners on first and second, Hembree refused to give up a sacrifice bunt to Yankees right fielder Shane Robinson, as he threw up and near his head on three consecutive occasions, which eventually led to a seven pitch walk to load the bases.

From there, New York tacked on all four of their runs in a rather lengthy sequence. Gardner and Austin Romine scored on an E6 committed by Xander Bogaerts to close the book on David Price’s start and Robinson came around to cross the plate on a Giancarlo Stanton single a few minutes later. 3-1 Yankees.

Two batters and one pitching change later, Ryan Brasier, in the game for Boston now, got Gleyber Torres to fly out to center for the second inning, but that allowed Aaron Hicks, who reached base on the E6, to tag up from third and score his team’s fourth and final run of the frame.

Brasier, while escaping the seventh, also tossed a scoreless eighth inning to make way for Tyler Thornburg in the ninth.

Thornburg, who had not gotten any work since July 30th, worked his way around two walks to retire the side and give the Red Sox one last chance in their half of the ninth trailing by three runs.

After a crazy ninth that eventually saw these teams tied up again, Matt Barnes, who was also making his first appearance of August, retired all three Yankees he faced in order to send this thing to the bottom of the tenth, where he would eventually collect his fourth win of the season thanks to the heroics of Andrew Benintendi.

Speaking of Andrew Benintendi, the Red Sox lineup really saved their best for last on Sunday night/Monday morning, because they really could not do anything off of Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka.

Despite pitching less than five innings, Tanaka made just one costly mistake, and that was serving up a solo home run to Mookie Betts in that fifth inning to put the Red Sox on the board. Betts’ 26th long ball of the year traveled 437 feet into the night sky, per Statcast.

Up until this thing reached the ninth inning with their backs against the wall, that home run was the only scoring the Red Sox could manage off the likes of Tanaka, Zach Britton, and Dellin Betances.

With Aroldis Chapman in to close this game out in the ninth with a three-run lead to protect, it was Sandy Leon who got the rally started by drawing a one out walk.

Keep in mind, Chapman hadn’t blown a save since May 4th, yet he always seems to struggle at Fenway Park.

Three walks in the frame, one to Leon, one to Mookie Betts, and one to Steve Pearce, who was replaced by Jackie Bradley Jr., loaded the bases for Boston with two outs and JD Martinez coming to the plate.

On the first pitch he saw from Chapman, the Red Sox’s slugger scorched a 99.1 MPH single into center field to drive in Leon and Betts and cut the Yankees lead to one run.

With Xander Bogaerts at the plate looking to redeem himself for the previous error over at short, a 1-1 85 MPH slider from Chapman resulted in Bogaerts tapping a grounder to third in what appeared to be the final out of the contest.

Instead, a bad throw from Yankees’ third baseman Miguel Andujar over to Greg Bird at first base allowed both Bogaerts to reach first safely and Bradley Jr. to come in to score. Tied game headed into extra innings.

Fortunately for those who had to wake up early in the morning, extras did not take all that long, thanks to old friend Jonathan Holder, who gave up seven earned runs on Thursday, making an appearance out of the Yankees bullpen in the tenth.

It all happened with two outs in the inning, but a Sandy Leon single followed by an intentional walk of Mookie Betts put the go-ahead run for the Red Sox at second base.

Given the difference in speed around the base paths, Leon was replaced by the recently called up Tony Renda to represent the winning run.

Following a brief mound visit, Andrew Benintendi put an end to this marathon game by delivering the clutchest hit of the night, an RBI single to center field to score Renda from second and give the Red Sox the 5-4 win. Sweep completed.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox are 79-34. They are now 9.5 games up on the Yankees in the American League East. Also, the Red Sox have not lost a game against New York since Brian Cashman said this:

Against the Yankees in 2018, the Red Sox are 8-5 in head-to-head matchups, including a 6-1 record at Fenway Park.

In his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform, Tony Renda scored the winning run to complete a four-game sweep over the Yankees. That’s pretty cool.

From @RedSoxStats: Since Price’s meltdown on Sunday Night Baseball he’s made 5 starts, pitching into the 7th 4 times, with a 2.84 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, and 5.3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Andrew Benintendi’s career numbers against the Yankees: 39 G, .293/.355/.493 slash line, 6 HR, 27 RBI.

After enjoying the well-deserved off day on Monday, the Red Sox will open up a three-game series in their last trip to Toronto of the season against the 51-60 Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Chris Sale was schedules to start one of these games, but he has been pushed back. Instead, Drew Pomeranz, Brian Johnson, and Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston in games one, two, and three of this series, and then it’s on to Baltimore for the weekend.

First pitch of the first game north of the border is scheduled for 7:07 PM ET on Tuesday. This team is special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#RedSox Complete Four-Game Sweep of Yankees with Andrew Benintendi’s Walk-Off Single in Extras.

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What a night it was for the 79-34 Boston Red Sox.

Trailing by three runs heading into the bottom half of the ninth, come back to tie at up at four against one of the best closers in all of baseball, and finish it off with an Andrew Benintendi walk-off single in the tenth. David Price was also good.

Full recap of this wild win is coming later in the morning. For now, let’s just enjoy the 9.5 game division lead atop the American League East heading into the off day on Monday.

Best team in baseball and the damage has been done.

RECAP: #RedSox Fall to Yankees Again Thanks to Another Collapse from the Bullpen.

A day after a disappointing loss to the Yankees in the opening game of this series, the Red Sox found themselves in a similar position last night. With the game going in their favor up until the bottom of the eighth, it’s almost inexcusable that they could not come away with the win to even things up at one game at piece. Instead, they’ll look to salvage something from this three-game set later tonight.

Since the news broke that David Price would not be able to make his scheduled start on Wednesday, everyone in the Red Sox rotation moved up a spot. Meaning it would be Rick Porcello on the mound against Masahiro Tanaka. In what was his worst start of the season up to this point, I thought that Porcello was still somewhat effective, as he prevented the Yankees from running away with this one.

The righty out of New Jersey tossed 5.1 innings, surrendered five earned runs on eight hits, three walks, and a HBP, all while fanning just three Yankees. Surprisingly, no one in that menacing lineup managed to go deep off of Porcello. That may not have been the most surprising part of the 2016 Cy Young Award winner’s night though. Nope, that would have to be the three free passes he gave up. In his seven starts prior to this one, Porcello has only walked more than two batters once, and that was back on April 24th in Toronto. In my opinion, those three walks last night were indicative of the fact that Porcello may not have had his best stuff going. After recording the first out of the sixth and giving up a single to Gleyber Torres, the 29-year-old’s night would come to an end with a pitch count of 91, 51 of which went for strikes.

With the Red Sox trailing by one at the time of Porcello’s departure in the sixth, lefty Brian Johnson would be first out of the bullpen. The former Florida Gator came through with two big outs to retire the side, then recorded the first out of the seventh inning as well. Considering this was his first time in a game since the first of May, it was reassuring that Johnson did not show any signs of struggling last night. After getting a fresh lead in the top half of the inning and getting Didi Gregorius to line out to kick off the bottom half, Carson Smith would enter this one and be responsible for ending things in the seventh.

The Texas native needed three batters to record two outs, but no damage was done in the inning, as the Red Sox still had a one run lead to protect going into the bottom of the eighth. That is where things got a bit sticky though, with Matt Barnes on the mound. A leadoff double to Neil Walker certainly did not help, and that was followed by a five pitch walk to Gleyber Torres two batters later. With runners on first and third and just one out in the inning, it was all left up to Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, who had never recorded a five out save in his entire career.

Well, that would not happen last night either, unfortunately. The flame throwing Kimbrel gave up a go-ahead triple to the very first batter he saw in Brett Gardner. That scored the runners from first and third and put the Red Sox down by a run. Even worse, the lead would increase for the Yankees four pitches into the next at bat, as Aaron Judge launched a 97 MPH fastball from Kimbrel into orbit, sending it 429 feet into the night sky.

Judge’s ninth long ball of the season put the Yankees up by three, and that’s all the run support Aroldis Chapman would need a half inning later.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup had a much easier time reaching base last night off of Masahiro Tanaka than they did Tuesday night against Luis Severino. Mitch Moreland got the scoring started in the top half of the second, as he put the Red Sox momentarily on top with his sixth home run of the season. A two-run blast that scored Xander Bogaerts from first as well.

Fast forward all the way to the fifth, Andrew Benintendi got in on the action with a home run of his own. This one a solo shot, mashed 391 feet into the right field bleachers of Yankee Stadium, his second of the season and his sixth career homer in the Bronx.

An inning later,trailing by two, and facing a new pitcher in Chad Green, Eduardo Nunez cut the Red Sox deficit in half with a sacrifice fly to center field. That scored Xander Bogaerts from third after he had ripped a double off of Tanaka to lead off the sixth.

Later in the seventh, still trailing by one, Hanley Ramirez left his mark on this game. It really did not make a difference by the end, but it was huge at the time. After Brock Holt and Mookie Betts both grounded out to start the inning, Andrew Benintendi drew a walk on six pitches. That set up a spot where Hanley Ramirez could go deep for the first time since April 14th and give his team the lead. Well, on the third pitch off his at bat, that’s exactly what Ramirez did.

That 431 foot shot to left put the Red Sox up by one in the seventh. Like I said, it seemed HUGE at the time it was hit, but that warm feeling did not last all that long.

Fast forward another inning, this time up by a run, and the Red Sox had a great chance to tack on some insurance runs. Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez led the inning off against Yankees reliever Chasen Shreve with a walk and a double. That meant with no outs in the inning, the Red Sox had runners in scoring position. Ideal spot to be on, but the bottom half of the lineup could not capitalize on it. Even with two outs and the bases loaded for Andrew Benintendi after an intentional walk to Mookie Betts, nothing. Maybe getting more of a lead going into the ninth would have helped Craig Kimbrel out a little bit more, I don’t know.

Anyway, that did not happen and the Red Sox lost their second game in a row to the hands of the Yankees. It stings, but they have the chance to even the season series up later tonight. At least JD Martinez extended his hitting streak to 10 games, that’s pretty cool. Oh yeah, Eduardo Rodriguez gets the start against veteran lefty CC Sabathia, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM ET. Would be a real shame if someone like Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt against ol’ CC, a real shame.