Rafael Devers Takes Justin Verlander Deep as #RedSox Salvage Another Series Against Astros with 4-1 Victory

For the second straight week, the Red Sox entered Sunday down two games to none in their series against the Houston Astros, and the for the second straight week, the Red Sox came away with a series-closing win. They did that first with a 4-3 victory at Fenway Park on May 19th, and then again with a 4-1 victory at Minute Maid Park on Sunday.

Making his 11th start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, whose spot in the rotation did not come up the last time these two clubs met a week ago.

This time around, the left-hander thoroughly impressed Sunday, tossing six innings of one-run ball on four hits, one walk, and one HBP to go along with five strikeouts on the afternoon.

That lone run came in Rodriguez’s first inning of work, when an Aledyms Diaz leadoff single resulted in Houston getting on the board with a two-out RBI infield single off the bat of Saturday’s hero Carlos Correa to plate Diaz from second.

The thing is, that run could have been prevented had Eduardo Nunez, filling in for Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, made a better throw to the plate andย  if Christian Vazquez didn’t lose the ball on the attempted tag of Diaz.

Other than that one blip though, Rodriguez had a relatively simple time of things in this one, consistently maneuvering his way around the few baseruners he had to deal with while also receiving some help from his defense.

Retiring 11 of the last 12 hitters he faced, the 26-year-old’s fine day came to a close after getting Yuli Gurriel to pop out to second and end the sixth with his team ahead.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (63 strikes), Rodriguez turned to his four-seam fastball 39% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing two swings and misses and getting 13 called strikes with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.4 MPH with it in the fifth inning.

Improving to 5-3 on the year while lowering his ERA down to 5.04, the Venezuela native provided the Red Sox with a start they very much needed after the whole David Price situation the day before. Rodriguez will look for win number six in his next time out, which will come against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium sometime next weekend.

In relief of Rodriguez, Brandon Workman got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen with a two-run lead to protect going into the bottom half of the seventh.

Making his 26th appearance of the season and first of the series, Workman fanned a pair in a 1-2-3 inning before making way for Matt Barnes in the eighth.

Fresh off of getting walked off on on Saturday night, Barnes did allow the tying run to come to the plate with a one out walk of Tony Kemp, but did recover by sitting down the next two hitters he faced to send this one to the ninth.

And in that ninth and final inning, after his team tacked on an extra insurance run in the top half, Marcus Walden shut the door on the Astros to earn his first save of 2019 and lock up the 4-1 win for the Red Sox.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander and future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander for the Astros, who like Rodriguez, did not pitch in the series at Fenway Park.

Going down by one run right away in the first, a Steve Pearce leadoff single later turned into Boston’s first run of the afternoon crossing the plate on a one-out sacrifice fly off the bat of Andrew Benintendi to knot this one at one all.

An inning later, Rafael Devers’ hot streak continued, as the 22-year-old led off the fourth by demolishing his seventh home run of the season 423 feet to dead center field to give his team a lead they would not have to look back from.

In the fifth, the Boston bats capitalized on some sloppy defense from the Astros infield, with Nunez scoring all the way from second thanks to Yuli Gurriel misplaying a grounder from Andrew Benintendi, who reached first safely with one out in the inning.

The Astros committed another error in the same time frame courtesy of Alex Bregman over at third, but the Sox were unable to capitalize there.

And finally, in the ninth, more misjudgements allowed Boston to push another run across, with reliever Framber Valdez letting Jackie Bradley Jr. advance to second after drawing a one-out walk and also advance to third on a ball that got past Robinson Chrinos behind the plate.

That particular sequence of miscues set up Eduardo Nunez in a prime RBI spot, and he took full advantage by driving in his club’s final run of the day on an RBI grounder to second which gave Bradley Jr. more than enough time to score from third and make it a 4-1 contest, which would go on to be Sunday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From Red Sox Stats:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s a quick turn around with a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians set to kick off Monday evening back at Fenway Park.

Coming off a 4-3 road trip, this one home series will be all for the Sox before they head back out on the road again later this week.

Despite their reputation, the Indians are no longer the best team in their division at the moment, as that title currently belongs to the 36-16 Minnesota Twins, while the Tribe sit at an even 26-26.

Right-hander Rick Porcello is set to get the ball for the Red Sox in the series opener, while fellow righty Jefry Rodriguez will do the same for Terry Francona’s Indians.

Over his last seven starts dating back to April 20th, Porcello owns a 2.78 ERA and .196 batting average against over 45.1 innings pitched. The Red Sox are 6-1 in that span.

In 24 career starts against Cleveland, Porcello has posted a lifetime 3.57 ERA over 141 total innings of work.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, has never faced the Red Sox before in his young big league career. The 25-year-old is currently 1-4 with a 4.08 ERA through six starts so far this season.

First pitch Memorial Day Monday is scheduled for a rare 4:05 PM EDT start time on NESN. Red Sox looking to start another winning streak.

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Michael Chavis Comes Through with Game-Winning Home Run in 13th Inning as #RedSox Hold on to Defeat Blue Jays 6-5

After trading blowouts in the first two games of this series, the Red Sox and Blue Jays were matched up in a tightly contested bout on Wednesday, with the Sox needing 13 innings to secure the 6-3 win over Toronto for their 26th of the year.

Making his 10th start of the season for Boston was Rick Porcello, fresh off seven-plus innings of two-run ball in his last time out against the Houston Astros and known for his struggles at Rogers Centre.

Working six full innings in this one, the right-hander limited the Jays to just one run while scattering three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the night.

That one run came in Toronto’s half of the fourth, when rookie phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led the frame off by blasting his fifth home run of the season and first in front of the Rogers Centre crowd to make it a 2-1 game.

Other than that, Porcello retired nine of the next 10 hitters he faced from that point in the fourth until the conclusion of the sixth, where his outing came to a close.

Finishing with a conservative final pitch count of only 80 (54 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his two-seam fastball nearly 28% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday with Sandy Leon behind the plate. He also topped out at 92 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he induced three swings and misses with and threw 19 times.

Hit with the no-decision for the second time this month, Porcello will look for win number four in his next time out, which should come against the Cleveland Indians back home on Monday.

In relief of Porcello, Brandon Workman entered this contest in the middle of the seventh with a two-run lead to protect, got the first two outs of the inning relatively smoothly, and proceeded to run into a buzzsaw.

Freddy Galvis, Brandon Drury, and Billy McKinney all reached to load the bases on Workman, who then allowed the Blue Jays’ deficit to be cut down to one by walking Luke Maile on five pitches.

Somehow though, the righty bounced back by getting Eric Sogard to ground out to second to retire the side and that was that.

From there, after Rafael Devers got that important insurance run back in Boston’s top half of the eighth, Matt Barnes gave it right back in the bottom half on a one-out solo shot from Justin Smoak to make it a one-run game yet again at 4-3.

With the chance to close this one out in the ninth, Marcus Walden, making his 17th appearance of the season, surrendered the then tying-run to cross the plate on a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single off the bat of Danny Jansen. 4-4 headed into extras.

In the 10th, it looked as though the Jays were going to steal a win from the Sox with the bases loaded yet again and only one out in the inning, but with the help of a five-man infiled thanks to Mookie Betts moving in from right, Walden held Toronto to nothing by striking out Freddy Galvis on four pitches and by getting Brandon Drury to fly out to Andrew Benintendi in left for the third and final out of the frame.

Still a 4-4 game headed into the 11th, Ryan Brasier held the Toronto bats in order before Mookie Betts put Boston ahead in the top half of the 12th.

Again with the chance to close this one out, Hembree came up short by serving up a two-out, 401 foot solo homer to noted masher of baseballs Rowdy Tellez to again tie this game at five runs a piece.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, after Michael Chavis delivered the finishing blow to begin the 13th, Hembree rebounded and closed things out with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, picking up the win and securing the slim 6-5 win for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against right-hander Aaron Sanchez for the Blue Jays, a hurler they have seen plenty of times before over the years.

Starting the scoring for Boston in this marathon game was Mitch Moreland, whose two-out RBI single off of Sanchez in the third to plate Jackie Bradley Jr. from third put the Red Sox on the board first.

Just three pitches after that ordeal, Xander Bogaerts struck with another RBI single off Sanchez, this one scoring Mookie Betts all the way from second to give Boston an early two-run advantage.

Fast forward all the way to the seventh, with Daniel Hudson in for Toronto, and a Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff double, followed by back-to-back one out walks drawn by Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts loaded the bases for Mitch Moreland and the middle part of the Sox lineup.

Moreland contributed by collecting his second RBI of the night on a run-scoring groundout to second, but that was all the Boston bats could muster in the frame. 3-1.

An inning later, Rafael Devers’ power-surge continued, as the young infielder launched his third big fly in the last three days, this one a 400 foot, 109.2 MPH opposite field solo dinger off Derek Law to lead off the eighth and make it a 4-2 game.

Fast forward again to the 12th after the Blue Jays had battled their way back, and it seemed as though Mookie Betts had came through with the biggest hit of the night for the Red Sox, a two-out, 423 foot laser to dead center off Joe Biagini. His eighth of the season to put his team ahead 5-4.

A las, Toronto answered back with that Rowdy Tellez homer in their half of the 12th, and we were on to the 13th.

There, with one out and up against Blue Jays reliever Jimmy Cordero for the first time in his big league career, it was rookie Michael Chavis who came through with the late-game heroics.

Down in the count at 1-2, the 23-year-old ripped a 91 MPH cutter from Cordero and wound up sending it 424 feet into the left center field seats for his 10th dinger of the season already.

That put the Red Sox ahead 6-5, and that would go on to be Wednesday’s final score in a contest that took four-and-a-half hours to complete. Fun times!

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s a quick turnaround in the finale of this four-game series on Thursday.

Right-hander Ryan Weber will get the ball in what’s sure to be a bullpen day for Boston, while left-hander Clayton Richard will do the same for Toronto.

Since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on May 6th, Weber, 28, has posted a stout 1.13 ERA over three relief appearances and eight total innings of work this season. He has never pitched at Rogers Centre.

Richard, meanwhile, will be making his 2019 season debut for the Blue Jays after spending the beginning of the year on the injured list due to a stress reaction in his right knee.

In two career outings (one start) against the Red Sox, Richard is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA over a brief six inning sample size.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 12:37 PM EDT on NESN. Last one before heading down to Houston for Memorial Day Weekend.

 

 

Xander Bogaerts Drives in Game-Tying and Game-Winning Runs as #RedSox Salvage Series Against Astros with 4-3 Victory

After dropping three of their last four at home, the Red Sox salvaged their three-game series against the Astros with a tight 4-3 win on Sunday to put an end to Houston’s 10-game winning streak.

Making his 10th start of the season for Boston in this one was Chris Sale, fresh off a career-high 17 strikeouts over seven innings in his last time out against the Colorado Rockies.

Pitching into just the sixth inning Sunday, the left-hander had to grind his way through a tough lineup, as he surrendered three runs on four hits, a season-high five walks, and one HBP to go along with 10 strikeouts the afternoon.

For the fifth time in his last six starts, Sale did reach the double-digit mark for punchouts. That much was encouraging to see. The five walks, tied for the most the southpaw has yielded in a single game, were not. Entering Sunday, Sale had given out only two free passes since the beginning of May.

Two of those walks directly led to Astros runs, with the first coming on a leadoff walk drawn by Yuli Gurriel in the second, who would eventually come around to score from third on a two-out wild pitch with George Springer at the plate.

Judging by where that slider was located, it would appear as though Christian Vazquez, who doesn’t usually catch Sale, was looking for something different and thus got crossed up, which in turn allowed the run to cross the plate.

Able to escape the second without any further damage, walks hurt the Florida native yet again an inning later, with Carlos Correa mashing a one-out, two-run homer to deep center after Alex Bregman, like Gurriel, led the frame off by drawing a seven-pitch free pass.

From that point, Sale settled in a bit by retiring eight of the next nine Houston hitters he faced before running into some more trouble in the sixth.

There, a Gurriel leadoff double, followed by back-to-back one-out walks of Robinson Chirinos and Josh Reddick loaded the bases for the Astros yet again, consequently putting an end to Sale’s outing thanks to a pitch count north of the century mark.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 106 (63 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler relied heavily on his slider, as he turned to the pitch more than 47% of the time he was on the mound Sunday and induced a game-high 10 swings and misses with it. He also topped out at 96.4 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 36 times.

Hit with the no-decision, Sale will look for his second win of the season in his next time out, which will come against these same Astros at Minute Maid Park on Friday.

In relief of Sale, Marcus Walden was thrown into the fire, as he came on for his 16th appearance of the year with two outs to get and the bases full.

Having never faced the Astros before in his career, the right-hander managed to get the only batter he faced in the inning, Jake Marisnick, to ground into an inning-ending 6-3 double play before tossing another scoreless frame with the help of another inning-ending twin killing in the seventh.

After the Red Sox jumped ahead by one run in their half of the seventh, that set up Matt Barnes with the chance to preserve that lead in the eighth, and the versatile righty did just that by sitting down the only three Astros he faced in order to make way for Brandon Workman in the ninth.

In what was the first save opportunity of his career, the 30-year-old worked his way around walking the potential tying run with one out by getting Tony Kemp to line out to Jackie Bradley Jr. to secure the 4-3 win for his team, thus securing career save number one as well.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an old friend in Astros left-hander Wade Miley, who spent the 2015 season with Boston.

Pitching in a venue with some familiarity, the Sox bats jumped early on Miley, with Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts both reaching base and advancing 90 feet to second and third with one out thanks to a wild pitch from the Houston starter.

With runners in scoring position and two outs to work with, JD Martinez drove in Boston’s first run of the afternoon on a simple RBI groundout to short that gave Betts enough time to score from third. 1-0.

Fast forward to the fifth, after the Astros went ahead with a 3-1 lead of their own, the Red Sox erased that deficit very quickly thanks to the top of their lineup, headlined by rookie Michael Chavis making his big league debut in the leadoff spot.

On the very first pitch he saw from Miley with two outs in the inning, Chavis demolished a 88 MPH cutter and sent it 420 feet over the Monster for his eighth big fly of the season to make it a one-run game.

Just a few moments later, Betts put the tying run in scoring position with a line-drive double, and Bogaerts came through with his first of two clutch hits on the day, this time plating Betts from second on a fly ball RBI single that honestly should have been caught. Instead, the ball evaded Yuli Gurriel, Jake Marisnick, and Josh Reddick, and found a nice place to land in shallow right field. 3-3 ballgame.

And in the seventh, it was the Xander Bogaerts show once more with Betts representing the go-ahead run at first and two outs in the inning.

Facing off against Astros reliever Frambler Valdez for the first time ever, the 26-year-old shortstop laced a 1-1 RBI double off the center field wall, scoring Betts all the way from first to make it a 4-3 contest, which would go on to be Sunday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Since April 23rd, Chris Sale has recorded a nice 69 strikeouts over his last 38.1 innings pitched. That’s good for a K/9 of 16.3.

Speaking of nice, Marcus Walden owns an ERA of 0.69 in his last six appearances out of the Red Sox bullpen.

Matt Barnes has not given up a run in his last nine relief outings.

Through 13 games this month, Christian Vazquez is slashing .476/.511/.714 with two home runs and three RBI.

Next up for the Red Sox, they head north of the border for the first time this season to take on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the 19-27 Toronto Blue Jays.

Following Sunday’s win, the club optioned right-handed pitcher Josh Smith and catcher Oscar Hernandez to Triple-A Pawtucket, meaning David Price and Sandy Leon are likely to be activated from the injured list and paternity leave list respectively on Monday.

Price is already slated to get the ball in the first of four against his former team, while right-hander Edwin Jackson, now with his 14th big league club, will start for Toronto.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 1:07 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start another winning streak.

 

 

Michael Chavis Delivers First Career Walk-Off Hit as #RedSox Split Series with 6-5 Extra Innings Win over Rockies

After seeing their five-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday, the Red Sox bounced back less than 24 hours later with a 6-5 walk-off win over the Colorado Rockies Wednesday thanks to some late-game heroics from Michael Chavis.

Making his ninth start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered Wednesday unbeaten in his last six outings.

Working his way into the seventh inning of this one, the left-hander was charged for five runs, all earned, on nine hits, one HBP,ย  and one walk to go along with a season-high 10 strikeouts on the night.

Outside of the seventh, it was the top of the fourth that provided Rodriguez with the most trouble, as the Rockies struck for their first two runs on an RBI sac fly from David Dahl and an RBI double from Tony Wolters.

Escaping any more damage in the frame by getting Charlie Blackmon to fly out to right, Rodriguez went on and retired five of the next six hitters he faced before Christian Vazquez ended the sixth by throwing out Ian Desmond at second on a failed stolen base attempt.

Now we get to where things got dicey.

Already with a pitch count of 99 heading into the seventh, the matchups favored Rodriguez with Ryan McMahon, Tony Wolters, and Charile Blackmon, all left-handed hitters, due up for Colorado.

Unfortunately, that plan backfired on Alex Cora and the Sox, as all three Rockies previously mentioned to load the bases without an out yet recorded.

A HBP of Blackmon would be how Rodriguez’s night came to an end, and he would later be hit with three more earned runs.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 106 (73 strikes), the 26-year-old relied on his four-seam fastball 29% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing three swings and misses and topping out at 94.5 MPH with the pitch.

Still unbeaten in his last seven starts dating back to April 12th, Rodriguez will look to extend that streak in his next time out, which should come against the Toronto Blue Jays north of the border.

In relief of Rodriguez, Matt Barnes was thrown right into the fire fresh off a 26-pitch, two inning outing in Tuesday’s loss.

Coming on with the bases juiced and three outs to get in the seventh, the UCONN product allowed all the inherited runners he was dealt to score on a two-run single from Trevor Story and an RBI groundout from Daniel Murphy.

Not how you draw it up, but it was pretty clear that Barnes wasn’t himself given the recent heavy workload.

Following that Murphy groundout, Marcus Walden came on to relieve Barnes and proceeded to sit down the next seven Rockies he faced to take this one into the middle of the ninth.

From there, in what would turn out to be their final frame of work in the 10th, Heath Hembree worked his way around a Nolan Arenado leadoff double and recorded the first two outs before walking Ian Desmond on five pitches.

With one out to get, in came Bradon Workman, who rebounded from a rough performance on Tuesday by striking out the only man he faced in David Dahl to send this one to the bottom half of the inning and earn his third winning decision of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another unfamiliar opponent in Rockies right-hander German Marquez, who, as you may have already guessed, had never faced Boston in his career prior to Wednesday.

Similar to what they did in the series opener, the Sox bats pounced early on a Colorado starter, with Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and JD Martinez all leading off the first with a trio of softly-hit singles and Benintendi coming in to score on the one from Martinez.

That was followed by a run-scoring GIDP off the bat of Mitch Moreland, and the Red Sox had themselves a two-run lead just like that.

Fast forward to the third, and the top of the lineup was back at it again, this time with Benintendi lacing a one-out, opposite field triple off of Marquez and Betts driving him in on an RBI single to center.

Two pitches later, JD Martinez continued his power surge by launching his fourth home run in his last three games, a two-run, 393 foot shot to the Red Sox bullpen to make it a 5-0 game early.

Despite that early lead though, as previously mentioned, the Rockies stormed their way back to the point where this contest went into extra innings.

Facing off against Rockies reliever Chad Bettis to begin the 10th, Xander Bogaerts led things off by lining a leadoff double off the center field wall to put the go-ahead run in scoring position.

Following an intentional free pass of Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis came to the plate with the chance to send everyone home happy, and did just that on the very first pitch he saw, as the rookie grounded a comebacker right back up the middle to plate Bogaerts from second and give his team the 6-5 extra innings victory. First career walk-off knock for Chavis and it could not have come at a better time.

Some notes from this win:

Through five relief appearances this month, Marcus Walden has posted a 0.79 ERA and .129 batting average against over 11.1 innings pitched.

During his current five-game hitting streak, JD Martinez is hitting .400 with four home runs and seven RBI.

Christian Vazquez owns an OPS of 1.148 since the beginning of May.

Rafael Devers’ six-game hitting streak has come to an end.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s another off day on Thursday before a rematch of last year’s American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros over the weekend.

The Astros will come to Boston winners of eight straight and arguably the best team in the American League at the moment.

For the series opener on Friday, it will be a starting pitching matchup featuring two veteran right-handers, with Gerrit Cole getting the ball for Houston and Rick Porcello doing the same for Boston.

Porcello (3-3, 5.15 ERA) is unbeaten in his five starts and is coming off an outing in which he gave up four runs in 6.2 innings in his last time out against the Baltimore Orioles.

Cole (4-4, 3.38 ERA), meanwhile, owns a lifetime 4.32 ERA against the Red Sox over four career starts, two of which have come at Fenway Park.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start another winning streak.

Chris Sale’s Historic 17 Strikeout Night Goes for Naught as #RedSox Drop Series Opener to Rockies in Extras

Coming off a three-game sweep over the Seattle Mariners this past weekend, the Red Sox saw their five-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday night following a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies in 11 innings.

Making his ninth start of the season for Boston was Chris Sale, who before Tuesday had never faced off against Colorado as a starter.

Tossing seven full innings in this one, the left-hander had himself quite the historic outing, as he surrendered two earned runs on three hits and no walks to go along with 17 strikeouts on the night to set a new-career high.

Right from the get go, it appeared that Sale was locked in. That much was evident by the way he fanned seven of the first nine hitters he faced.

After sitting down the first 12 Rockies he faced, first baseman Mark Reynolds broke up the perfect game and no-hit bid all at once by lining a ground-rule double down the right field line to lead off the fifth inning.

Nothing came to be of that though, and it wasn’t until Sale’s seventh and final inning until Colorado got on the board, with Trevor Story leading the frame off with a single and perennial All-Star Nolan Arenado following that up by launching a two-run home run over the Green Monster.

That made it a 3-2 contest, but Sale rebounded nicely by punching out the final three hitters he faced in order to end his evening on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 108 (74 strikes), you could tell that the 30-year-old was willing to go back out for the eighth to try and reach the mark of 20 strikeouts, but that was ultimately shut down by Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

Anyway, out of those 108 pitches, Sale relied heavily on his slider, as he turned to the pitch 37% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday and induced 11 swings and misses with it. He also topped out at 95.9 MPH and averaged 93.3 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 36 times with Sandy Leon behind the plate.

Unable to pick up the winning decision in a deserving effort due to what transpired later in this contest, Sale has dropped his ERA considerably over the past few weeks down to 4.24 on the season. He’ll look to lower it even more in his next time out, which should in all likelihood come against the Houston Astros on Sunday.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen saw some mixed, inconsistent results in this one.

Brandon Workman, making his 21st appearance of the year, saw his run of 11 consecutive outings come to an end on Tuesday, as he allowed the Rockies to briefly take the lead in the eighth inning on a two-run home run off the bat of Charlie Blackmon.

From there, Matt Barnes struck out five of the six hitters he faced in two solid frames of relief in the ninth and 10th frames to make way for Ryan Brasier in the 11th, who walked two of the first four hitters he faced before giving up the go-ahead and what would turn out to be winning run on a Mark Reynolds RBI single to score Trevor Story from second base and make it a 5-4 game.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an unfamiliar opponent in Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland, someone only JD Martinez and Eduardo Nunez had faced before given their previous experience in the National League West.

Only able to plate three runs off of Freeland, rookie Michael Chavis stayed hot and kicked the scoring off for Boston by demolishing his seventh big fly of the season already to lead off the second.

According to Statcast, that ball was launched 451 feet down the left field line and had an exit velocity of over 111 MPH. Quite simply, it was crushed.

An inning later, it was the middle of the Sox lineup providing the team with some more pop, with JD Martinez depositing his eighth homer of the year 424 feet over the Monster with one out in the third and Rafael Devers essentially doing the same with his third dinger of 2019, a two-out, 355 foot shot to left field as well.

Those three homers provided the Red Sox with their only runs up until their half of the eighth, when with two outs and Rafael Devers representing the tying run at second, Mitch Moreland came off the bench and delivered in another clutch situation, as he lined a pinch-hit RBI single to center off Rockies reliever Scott Oberg to plate Devers and tie this thing up at four runs a piece.

They had the chance to walk this one off in the ninth with Jackie Bradley Jr. leading the frame off by drawing a walk off Carlos Estevez, but neither of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, nor Martinez could drive him in.

The same can be said for the 10th thanks to a leadoff single from Xander Bogaerts. But again, nothing to show.

And in the 11th, Christian Vazquez provided some hope by reaching base on a two-out single off of Rockies closer Wade Davis, but that hope was cut short when Benintendi ended any chance of a rally by flying out to left, wrapping up the 5-4 loss for the Red Sox.

Some notes from this loss:

From MLB Stats:

From Red Sox Notes:

Red Sox pitchers recorded 24 strikeouts on Tuesday compared to just two walks, both of which belonged to Ryan Brasier.

Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts went a combined 0-for-11 with six punchouts and five men left on base Tuesday. Not ideal, especially for Benintendi, who is now 0-for-his-last-14 dating back to May 11th.

Since April 23rd, Chris Sale has posted a 1.91 ERA and .157 batting average against to go along with 59 strikeouts over his last five starts and 33 innings pitched. The Red Sox are 2-3 in those five games.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the finale of this brief two-game interleague series later Wednesday night before another off day on Thursday.

Right-hander German Marquez will get the ball for Colorado, while lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will do the same for Boston.

Marquez, 24, has never faced the Red Sox before in his career, but does own a 3.43 ERA through nine starts this season.

The same can be said for Rodriguez, who has yet to make a start against the Rockies and owns a lifetime 3.50 ERA over 11 career starts and 64.1 total innings pitched in interleague play.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start a new winning streak.

Chris Sale Tosses Immaculate Inning, Strikes out 14 and Jackie Bradley Jr. Makes Game-Saving Catch as #RedSox Take Series from Orioles with 2-1 Win in Extras

In a game that took over four hours and 12 innings to complete, the Red Sox ended their seven-game road trip at 5-2 following a tight 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday night.

Making his eighth start of the season for Boston was Chris Sale, who entered Wednesday having surrendered just four earned runs in his last three outings.

Tossing eight full innings in this one, the left-hander put together without a doubt his most dominant performance of the year thus far, yielding only one Orioles run on three hits, two HBPs, and no walks to go along with a season-high 14 strikeouts on the night.

Retiring 17 of the first 19 hitters he faced, Sale had a no-hitter going with one out to get in the sixth before Joey Rickard broke that up with a single to center field.

Perhaps a bit miffed about his no-no going by the wayside, Sale allowed the next hitter he faced to reach as well, with Trey Mancini driving in his team’s lone run on an RBI double to left field.

In typical Chris Sale fashion though, the southpaw continued to amaze in the seventh, striking out the side on nine straight strikes to notch the fifth immaculate inning in Red Sox history.

Ending his night by picking up an additional two punchouts in the eighth, Sale finished with a final pitch count of 108 (80 strikes).

Out of those 108 pitches, the 30-year-old hurler relied mostly on his slider Wednesday, turning to the pitch 46 times and inducing eight swings and misses with it.

He also induced 14 swings and misses and topped out at 96.4 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 42 times.

Unable to pick up the winning decision with this game going 12 innings deep and all, the Red Sox will look for their third straight win with Sale on the mound in the lefty’s next time out, which should come against the Colorado Rockies next week.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen, like Sale, collectively turned in one of their better outings of the season to this point, with Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Ryan Brasier, and Heath Hembree combining to toss four frames of scoreless baseball.

Entering the ninth in a tie game, Barnes worked his way around a tight situation where the potential winning run was 90 feet away from scoring by getting Dwight Smith Jr. to ground out to himself and by striking out Stevie Wilkerson on five pitches to end the threat.

Workman, meanwhile, put together his 10th consecutive scoreless appearance by sitting down the Orioles in 1-2-3 fashion in the 10th before things got interesting in the 11th.

With one out and Ryan Brasier on the mound, Trey Mancini nearly put an end to this one by launching a 401 foot fly ball to left center that would have landed over the fence. The only problem was that the ball was in the range of Jackie Bradley Jr., who scaled said fence and made the catch of the season so far to rob the Orioles slugger of walk-off glory.

And in the 12th, after Andrew Benintendi had put Boston ahead in the top half of the inning, Heath Hembree came on and recorded the first save of his big league career by striking out the side in the bottom half to secure the one-run win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Andrew Cashner for the Orioles and they were limited in what they could do offensively.

Their only two runs of the night came on two separate swings of the bat from the top two guys in that lineup in Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts.

First, Betts put the Sox on the board in the third inning with a two out, 400 foot bomb of a solo shot off Cashner, good for the reigning AL MVP’s seventh of the season.

They did have additional chances to tack on some more runs, that much was indicated by an 0-for-8 performance with runners in scoring position as well leaving 10 men on base, but they fell short of that against Cashner and company up until the 12th inning.

There, with two outs and the bases empty, Benintendi got ahead in the count at 2-1 against O’s reliever Yefry Ramirez and unloaded on a 93 MPH fastball, sending it to the first few rows of seats in right field for his fourth dinger of the year.

That would give the Red Sox the 2-1 lead they so desperately needed, and that would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

For the first time since March 29th, the Red Sox are back at .500 with a record of 19-19. They have won their last three series and are 6-2 in May.

From Red Sox Notes:

According to Statcast, that Trey Mancini would be home run that was robbed by Jackie Bradley Jr. had a 73% chance of being a hit.

The Orioles struck out 22 times on Wednesday and did not draw a single walk.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s an off day on Thursday where some of the team will be heading to the White House while others will be heading back to Boston before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

The M’s took three out of four against the Sox to begin the 2019 season back in March and currently stand at 20-19.

For the series opener, it will be a pitching matchup featuring right-hander Erik Swanson for Seattle and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for Boston.

Rodriguez (3-2, 5.40 ERA) got shellacked for six runs in a losing effort against the Mariners in his first start of the season back on March 30th.

Swanson, meanwhile, has yet to face the Red Sox in what is his first year in the majors.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to begin an eight-game homestand on a high note.

 

JD Martinez’s 200th Career Home Run Sets Tone for #RedSox in 8-5 Win over Orioles

After opening up a three-game series in Baltimore with a disappointing 4-1 loss on Monday, the Red Sox bounced back with an eight-run performance on Tuesday, defeating the Orioles by a final score of 8-5 to take the middle game of the series.

Getting the start in the place of the now shelved David Price in this one was Hector Velazquez, who last started this past Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics.

Working the first three innings Tuesday, the right-hander held Baltimore to two runs, both earned, on three hits and one walk to go along with no strikeouts on the night.

Similar to Josh Smith’s start for Boston in the opener, both of those runs given up by Velazquez came on one swing of the bat for Baltimore, a two out, two-run home run from Rio Ruiz in the first inning, which tied the game at two at the time it was hit.

Other than that mishap, the 30-year-old worked his way around more two out trouble and ended up retiring the final four hitters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 46 (30 strikes), Velazquez relied on his changeup 33% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing one swing and miss with the pitch while topping out at 93.6 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw nine times.

In relief of Velazquez, the Red Sox seemed to stick to the same plan they ran with in last Wednesday’s win over the A’s, with Marcus Walden getting the first call out of the bullpen for some extended work.

Making his 13th appearance of the season, Walden yielded just one run, a fourth inning Hanser Alberto solo shot, on two hits and no hits while also punching out three and receiving some help from his Gold Glove outfielders to improve to 5-0 on the year.

From the middle of the seventh inning on, Brandon Workman continued his impressive run by sitting down the only three hitters he faced in that bottom half of the seventh.

Ryan Brasier, meanwhile, did not have the same success in the eighth, as he allowed the Red Sox’ initial three-run lead to be trimmed down to one thanks to RBI hits from Dwight Smith Jr. and Chris Davis.

Having to come in with the chance to pick up the four out save, Matt Barnes got out of the eighth by striking out Stevie Wilkerson on six pitches before inducing a game-ending 6-4-3 double play an inning later to do just that for his third save of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles right-hander David Hess on Tuesday, and unlike in the series opener, actually pushed across multiple runs against the opposing starting pitcher.

That scoring began right away in the first inning, with JD Martinez notching career home run no. 200 with a one out, two-run opposite field shot to plate both him and Mookie Betts and give the Sox an early 2-0 advantage. His first homer since April 17th.

Fast forward to the fourth, and Xander Bogaerts racked up his third big fly in his last four games with a 425 foot solo homer to dead center. 3-2 Boston.

An inning later, after the Orioles responded with a run of their own in their half of the fourth, Mitch Moreland took that lead right back with a three-run, 406 foot dinger off new Baltimore reliever Branden Kline, scoring Betts, Martinez, and himself to make it a 6-3 contest.

And in the ninth, the Sox bats took advantage of a wild Evan Phillips for Baltimore, who allowed the first three hitters he faced to reach base in the frame before Mookie Betts came to the plate.

With the chance to put this one away, the reigning AL MVP displayed his patience by drawing an eight-pitch bases loaded walk, which of course allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. to stroll in from third and put his team up by two runs.

One pitching change that saw Miguel Castro take over for Baltimore later, and the man who drove in Boston’s first run of the night came through by driving in their last, as a JD Martinez sacrifice fly to left gave Christian Vazquez more than enough time to tag from third and give the Red Sox an 8-5 lead, which would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Mitch Moreland has 23 hits this season. 10 of those, with the tenth coming Tuesday, have been home runs. His slugging percentage currently stands at .542.

From Red Sox Notes:

With another two-hit performance Tuesday, Christian Vazquez is 9-for-his-last-18 since the beginning of May.

I’m not going to post the numbers, but Michael Chavis has cooled off recently.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll go for the series win in the finale of this three-game set on Wednesday.

Fresh off six scoreless innings in a winning effort in his last time out against the White Sox, it will be left-hander Chris Sale getting the ball for Boston.

In 11 career outings (eight starts) at Orioles Park, Sale owns a lifetime 1.97 ERA over 50.1 total innings pitched.

Opposite Sale, it will be veteran right-hander Andrew Cashner for Baltimore, who picked up the win in his last start against the Red Sox back on April 13th.

First pitch of the last game of the seven-game road trip is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT. Red Sox looking to improve to 19-19 and get back to .500.