Matt Barnes takes apparent shot at Chaim Bloom when reflecting on time with Red Sox: ‘That organization represents so much more than who’s currently running it’

Former Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes had the opportunity to watch his old team take on his new team in Grapefruit League action on Tuesday night. The Marlins right-hander decided against it.

Barnes pitched in Miami’s 4-3 win over the Astros on Monday. As such, the righty was not required to in attendance for Tuesday’s tilt against Boston. He instead left Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium for his apartment after lunch, well before the Red Sox defeated the Marlins, 7-2, to remain unbeaten this spring.

It has now been a little over a month since the Red Sox designated Barnes for assignment and subsequently traded him to the Marlins for left-handed reliever Richard Bleier. At that time, the 32-year-old described the decision as “a complete blindside.”

Though four-plus weeks have passed since he was moved, Barnes told Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe that while he holds no grudge against the organization he spent the first 12 years of his professional career with, he does take issue with who is running the club at present.

“I’m not mad and I don’t have any animosity toward the Red Sox organization because that organization represents so much more than who’s currently running it,” Barnes said. “The people at the top were so great to me.”

According to Abraham, Barnes “mentioned being grateful” to Red Sox ownership, general manager Brian O’Halloran, and assistant general managers Eddie Romero and Raquel Ferreira. He did not make any mention of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, however.

Bloom, of course, made the decision to give Barnes a two-year, $18.75 million contract extension in July 2021. At that point in time, Barnes was among the top relievers in the American League and had just been named to his first All-Star Game.

After posting a 2.61 ERA during the first half of the 2021 campaign, though, Barnes struggled to a 6.48 ERA in 22 appearances (16 2/3 innings) down the stretch. He only made Boston’s ALDS roster as an injury replacement that October and was left off the ALCS roster entirely.

Last year, Barnes got off a rough start in which he produced a 7.94 ERA in 20 games before hitting the injured list with right shoulder inflammation in early June. He returned to action two months later and ended his season on a strong note by forging a 1.59 ERA in his final 24 outings. The Red Sox, however, were convinced that those numbers did not reflect Barnes’ true performance.

“They told me I was lucky,” said Barnes. “Unfortunately, a lot of people in this game make decisions based on a spreadsheet.”

This appears to be another indirect shot at Bloom, who explained in January that while he holds Barnes in high regard, the decision to move on from him had more to do with giving other relievers in the organization — especially those who still have minor-league options — an extended look in 2023.

“This was not an easy move. But one that we felt was the right one,” Bloom told reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) on Jan. 24. “It wasn’t anything bad about Matt, who I’m sure is going to continue to have success in his career. It was a reflection of where we thought we were and how we saw the pen coming together and what those other guys have a chance to do for us.”

Cotillo also reported on Tuesday that he was always told Bloom was one of Barnes’ “biggest fans (if not the biggest) in the organization. There was not a lot of surprise when it was Barnes who got the rare in-season extension.”

In trading Barnes to the Marlins, the Red Sox agreed to send Miami $5.5 million in cash considerations as part of the deal. Barnes, who turns 33 in June, can become a free agent for the first time next winter if his $8 million club option for 2024 is not picked up at the end of the year. He told Abraham that he is looking forward to a fresh start with a new team.

“It’s been great here so far. The guys are awesome; the staff is awesome,” Barnes said. “We have some really good talent on this team. I’ve seen that in a few weeks. As weird as it’s been, the adjustment has been pretty good. But it’s hard when you go from knowing everybody to knowing nobody.”

Following Tuesday’s exhibition contest in Jupiter, the Red Sox will not see the Marlins again until they host them in a three-game series from June 27-29. Barnes said he will save being “buddy-buddy” with his former teammates and coaches until he steps into Fenway Park as a visitor for the first time in his big-league career.

“I know I was fortunate to play as long as I did in Boston,” he added. “But I’ve got some good years left in me. We have a lot of talent in this clubhouse and we’re here to win.”

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Red Sox designate relief prospect Franklin German for assignment

The Red Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster after acquiring Richard Bleier from the Marlins for Matt Barnes and cash considerations on Monday. They cleared that spot by designating relief prospect Franklin German for assignment.

German, 25, was regarded by as the No. 22 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking seventh among pitchers in the organization. The Red Sox originally acquired the right-hander from the Yankees alongside veteran reliever Adam Ottavino in January 2021.

After beginning the 2021 minor-league season as a starter with Double-A Portland, German ultimately moved to the Sea Dogs’ bullpen and found success in a relief role. That success carried over to the 2022 campaign, as German earned German a promotion to Triple-A Worcester last May.

In 32 relief appearances with the WooSox, German posted a 2.58 ERA with 46 strikeouts to 16 walks over 38 1/3 innings of work. He pitched to a miniscule 1.54 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .431 OPS against from July 6 through September 14, which resulted in him getting called up by the Red Sox three days later.

German got lit up for four runs while failing to record an out in his big-league debut against the Royals at Fenway Park. He then allowed runs in his next three outings before ending his season with a scoreless appearance against the Blue Jays on October 2. All told, the righty posted an ERA of 18.00 (eight earned runs in four innings) to go along with four strikeouts and four walks.

Despite the rough showing in his first go-around at the big-league level, German was named the 2022 Red Sox Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year after forging a 2.72 ERA and 64:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 43 appearances (49 2/3 innings) between Portland and Worcester. He also compiled a 1.88 ERA (three earned runs in 14 1/3 innings) for the Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League.

The Red Sox will now have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive German, who took part in the club’s rookie development program last week. Given that he does not turn 26 until September and still has three minor-league options, it seems likely that German will draw trade interest from other teams in need of relief help.

Though he lacks major-league experience, German does possess a three-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound hurler hovered around 97.7 mph with his four-seamer last season, per Baseball Savant.

It comes as somewhat of a surprise that German lost his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster given his standing as an intriguing prospect. As noted by’s Chris Cotillo, though, the decision to designate German shows that the Red Sox are high on (and do not want to risk losing) other relievers like Ryan Brasier, Zack Kelly, Wyatt Mills, and Kaleb Ort.

(Picture of Franklin German: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox acquire lefty reliever Richard Bleier from Marlins for Matt Barnes

The Red Sox have acquired left-handed reliever Richard Bleier from the Marlins in exchange for right-hander Matt Barnes and cash considerations, the club announced earlier Monday evening. In order to make room for Bleier on the 40-man roster, righty Franklin German was designated for assignment.

Bleier, who turns 36 in April, comes over to the Red Sox after spending the previous two-plus seasons with the Marlins. The lefty posted a 3.55 ERA and 3.27 FIP with 32 strikeouts to 10 walks in 55 relief appearances (50 2/3 innings pitched) for Miami last year.

A native of Miami Beach, Bleier was college teammates with Chris Sale at Florida Gulf Coast University before being selected by Texas in the sixth round of the 2008 amateur draft. He spent time in the Rangers, Blue Jays, and Nationals organizations before breaking in with the Yankees in 2016. After one season in the Bronx, Bleier was traded to the Orioles in February 2017. He established himself as a solid reliever in parts of three seasons with Baltimore and was traded to Miami in August 2020.

All told, Bleier owns a lifetime 3.06 ERA and 3.49 FIP with 171 strikeouts to 49 walks in 308 career appearances (two starts) spanning 299 2/3 innings of work seasons between the Yankees, Orioles, and Marlins. He has proven to be particularly effective against left-handed hitters in his seven big-league seasons, as evidenced by the fact that lefties have hit just .225/.260/.313 off him in his career. That includes a .676 OPS against in 2022.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Bleier operates with a five-pitch mix that consists of a sinker, a cutter, a slider, a changeup, and a rarely-used four-seam fastball that typically sits between 90-91 mph. Last year, the veteran southpaw ranked in the 94th percentile of all major-league pitchers in walk rate (4.5 percent), the 90th percentile in barrel rate (4.5 percent), and the 77th percentile in chase rate (32.3 percent), per Baseball Savant.

Bleier is under contract for $3.5 million in 2023. He also has a $3.75 million club option for 2024 that comes with a $250,000 buyout, so the Red Sox have control over him for the next two seasons. Boston was in need of a left-handed reliever after trading Darwinzon Hernandez to the Orioles and Josh Taylor to the Royals in recent weeks.

The addition of Bleier is just the latest to what figures to be a new-look Red Sox bullpen in 2023. Since the hot stove season began in November, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have signed veterans like Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin and Joely Rodriguez while acquiring Wyatt Mills from Kansas City and trading away Barnes, Hernandez, and Taylor. Bleier and Rodriguez now project as the top two lefty options available out of the bullpen for manager Alex Cora heading into the spring.

In finding a trade partner for Barnes, the Red Sox were able to offload some the 32-year-old’s salary for this coming season. According to’s Chris Cotillo, Boston is sending a little more than $5.5 million to Miami in this deal to cover part of Barnes’ $7.5 million salary for 2023 (and his $2.25 million club option for 2024). For competitive balance tax purposes, the Red Sox will be taking on approximately $9.25 million ($3.75 million for Bleier plus $5.5 million for Barnes), which represents a slight decrease from the $9.375 million Barnes would have cost on his own.

Barnes, who turns 33 in June, briefly held the title as the longest-tenured member of the Red Sox after Xander Bogaerts left for the Padres in free agency last month. He was expected to have an important role in the Red Sox bullpen in 2023 after a strong finish to his 2022 campaign, but he instead lost his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster when the signing of Adam Duvall was made official last Tuesday.

That Barnes was traded comes as somewhat of a surprise, but the former All-Star will now have the chance to bounce back with a new organization. The Red Sox originally selected Barnes with the 19th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft out of the University of Connecticut. He debuted for Boston in 2014 and currently ranks second in franchise history in both career relief appearances and relief strikeouts.

To begin the 2022 season, Barnes struggled to a 7.94 ERA (5.29 FIP) in his first 20 outings. The Red Sox placed him on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation in early June. Upon returning to action in early August, Barnes proceeded to put up a far more encouraging 1.59 ERA (2.80 FIP) with 20 strikeouts to nine walks over 24 outings (22 2/3 innings) to close out the year.

Despite those improved results, some within the Red Sox organization “believe Barnes’ late-season showing was not as impressive as the numbers show,” according to Cotillo. While Barnes was initially expected to be a key part of Boston’s bullpen in 2023, Cotillo reports that the club “plans on prioritizing flexibility when it comes to its bullpen,” meaning younger pitchers with minor-league options — such as Mills or Kaleb Ort — took precedence over Barnes.

Barnes becomes the latest member of the 2022 Red Sox to jettison the organization this winter, joining other mainstays such as Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Nathan Eovaldi, who all signed elsewhere in free agency. With Barnes’ departure, Ryan Brasier, Rafael Devers, and Chris Sale are now the only three players remaining from Boston’s 2018 World Series championship team.

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Red Sox surprisingly designate Matt Barnes for assignment

The Red Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster in order to make the signing of outfielder Adam Duvall on Tuesday. They did so in surprising fashion by designating reliever Matt Barnes for assignment.

Barnes, 33, briefly held the distinction of being the longest tenured member of the Red Sox after Xander Bogaerts left for the Padres in free agency last month. The right-hander was originally selected by Boston with the 19th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft out of the University of Connecticut.

After starting in college and in the minor-leagues, Barnes broke in with the Red Sox as a reliever towards the tail end of the 2014 season. It took the young hurler some time to find his footing at the big-league level, but he established himself as a consistent presence in Boston’s bullpen by leading the team in relief appearances (62) in 2016.

Barnes made 62 or more appearances per season from 2016-2019. During Boston’s run to a World Series title in 2018, the righty yielded just one earned run over 8 1/3 innings of relief that October.

On the heels of the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Barnes got his 2021 campaign off to a scorching start. Through the end of July, he owned a 2.30 ERA with 66 strikeouts to 11 walks with 23 saves in 27 opportunities. By that point in time, he had already played in his first All-Star Game and had signed a two-year, $18.75 million contract extension that included a club option for 2024.

Barnes began to struggle down the stretch, however, as he posted a 9.26 ERA from August 1 through the end of the season and lost the closer’s role. He was also left off Boston’s American League Championship Series roster. Those struggles carried over into 2022 as well. In his first 20 appearances (17 innings) of the season), Barnes got shelled to the tune of a 7.94 ERA with 14 strikeouts and 12 walks.

The Red Sox placed Barnes on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation on June 1. He did not return to the big-league club until early August and proceeded to put up a far more encouraging 1.59 ERA (2.80 FIP) with 20 strikeouts to nine walks over 24 outings (22 2/3 innings) to close out the year.

Despite those improved results, some within the Red Sox organization “believe Barnes’ late-season showing was not as impressive as the numbers show,” according to’s Chris Cotillo. While Barnes was initially expected to have an important role within Boston’s bullpen in 2023, Cotillo reports that the club “plans on prioritizing flexibility when it comes to its bullpen,” meaning pitchers with minor-league options — such as Kaleb Ort or Wyattt Mills — now take precedence over Barnes.

Barnes, who turns 33 in June, currently ranks second in Red Sox history in both career relief appearances and relief strikeouts. Boston will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Barnes, who has the ability to reject an outright assignment since he has already accrued more than five years of major-league service time.

If the Red Sox are unable to find a trade partner for Barnes, they will be on the hook for his $7.5 million salary in 2023 as well as the $2.25 million buyout that is attached to his club option for 2024. If Barnes clears waivers and becomes a free agent, he could be had by another team for only the prorated league minimum.

With Barnes’ anticipated departure, Ryan Brasier, Rafael Devers, and Chris Sale are now the only three players remaining from the Red Sox’ 2018 World Series championship team.

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox make Adam Duvall signing official, designate Matt Barnes for assignment

The Red Sox have officially signed outfielder Adam Duvall to a one-year contract for the 2023 season, the club announced earlier Tuesday evening. In order to make room for Duvall on the 40-man roster, reliever Matt Barnes was designated for assignment.

Duvall initially agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with Boston last week. As was previously reported by Craig Mish of the Miami Herald and Chris Cotillo of, the 34-year-old can earn an additional $3 million in performance bonuses (based on number of plate appearances), meaning he can receive a maximum of $10 million in 2023.

A veteran of nine major-league seasons between the Giants, Reds, Braves, and Marlins, Duvall projects as the Red Sox’ new primary center fielder with Enrique Hernandez moving to the infield in the wake of Trevor Story undergoing right elbow surgery earlier this month. The right-handed hitter batted .213/.276/.401 with 16 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, 39 runs scored, 21 walks, and 101 strikeouts in 86 games (315 plate appearances) for Atlanta last season before being shut down in July with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist that ultimately required surgery.

Duvall was originally selected by the Giants in the 11th round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Louisville. The Kentucky native broke in with San Francisco during the 2014 season and was then traded to Cincinnati the following July. In his first full season with the Reds (2016), Duvall hit 33 home runs and was named to his first All-Star team. He hit 31 more homers in 2017 and was subsequently dealt to the Braves at the 2018 trade deadline.

After 2 1/2 seasons with the Braves, Duvall became a free agent for the first time and signed with the Marlins in February 2021 only to be traded back to Atlanta five months later. Between the two National League East rivals, he slashed .228/.281/.491 with a career-best 38 home runs and league-leading 113 RBIs in 146 games. He also helped the Braves win a World Series title that fall and took home his first Gold Glove Award for his work in right field.

While 2022 was considered a down year for Duvall, the Red Sox have every reason to believe he will bounce back in 2023. It certainly helps that his swing should play at Fenway Park, where he is a lifetime .333 (6-for-18) hitter with four home runs in four career games. Three of those long balls came in the same contest during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Defensively, Duvall has past experience at all three outfield spots. When it comes to center field in particular, though, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder has accrued four defensive runs saved and five outs above average across 593 2/3 career innings at the position. Last year, he ranked in the 88th percentile of all big-league outfielders in outs above average (+5), the 79th percentile in arm strength (averaged 89.1 mph on his throws), the 74th percentile in outfield jump, and the 67th percentile in sprint speed, per Baseball Savant.

Duvall, who does not turn 35 until September, completes a new-look Red Sox outfield mix that already includes Masataka Yoshida, Alex Verdugo, Rob Refsnyder, and Jarren Duran. Hernandez, of course, could man center field on days Duvall sits.

In addition to signing Duvall and designating Barnes for assignment on Tuesday, the Red Sox also acquired infielder Adalberto Mondesi and a player to be named later from the Royals in exchange for lefty reliever Josh Taylor.

(Picture of Adam Duvall: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers collects 3 hits, drives in winning run as Red Sox battle back for 4-3 win over Rays

The Red Sox battled back to earn a series-opening win over the Rays on Monday night. Boston defeated Tampa Bay by a final score of 4-3 to put an end to a three-game losing streak and improve to 76-84 on the season.

Pending free-agent Rich Hill ended his season on a strong note. Making his 26th and final start of the year for the Sox, the veteran left-hander allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over six quality innings of work.

All three of those Rays runs came by way of the long ball. After recording the first two outs of the first, Hill served up a solo shot to Wander Franco to get Tampa Bay on the board first. He proceeded to retire eight of the next nine batters he faced.

With two outs in the fourth, Hill got Harold Ramirez to hit a groundball in the direction of Rafael Devers at third base. Devers fielded the ball cleanly, but he made a poor throw to first base that forced Triston Casas off the bag. Ramirez reached safely as a result and former Boston farmhand Manuel Margot followed by cranking a two-run blast over the Green Monster off a first-pitch cutter from Hill.

Margot’s fourth homer of the season gave the Rays a 3-0 lead through four innings. Hill, for his part, settled back into a groove by sitting down seven of the last eight hitters he faced. The 42-year-old southpaw finished with 80 pitches (60 strikes) and induced 12 swings-and-misses. Though he did not factor into the decision, Hill brought his final ERA on the season down to 4.27.

Moments after Hill ended things in the top of the sixth, the Red Sox lineup finally got going in the bottom half of the inning. After being held in check by Rays starter Tyler Glasnow, Devers led off the sixth with a hard-hit double off Kevin Herget. Devers moved up to third base on a one-out single from Alex Verdugo. Both runners then scored when Christian Arroyo roped a two-run double down the left field line to cut the deficit to one.

Representing the possible tying run, Arroyo advanced to third on a Casas groundout and scored on an RBI double from Hernandez. The bats got back to work after John Schreiber took over for Hill out of the bullpen and faced the minimum in the top of the seventh.

To lead off the bottom half of the inning, Reese McGuire laced a ground-rule double down the right field line. McGuire moved up an additional 90 feet on a Tommy Pham groundout. Devers then came through with a sacrifice fly that was hit deep enough to left field to plate McGuire and give the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 4-3.

From there, Ryan Brasier made quick work of the Rays in the eighth before Matt Barnes avoided disaster in the ninth. After yielding a one-out triple to Franco, Barnes got Ramirez to hit a grounder towards Devers. Franco took off from third in an attempt to score the tying run, but he was instead caught in a rundown and tagged out by Yu Chang, who had come on as a defensive replacement.

Ramirez was able to advance to scoring position on the play, but Barnes got Margot to ground out to second to end it. Barnes was credited with his seventh save of the season while Schreiber picked up the win.

Offensively, Devers led the way by going 3-for-4 with his 42nd double of the year. Hernandez also went 2-for-4 with an RBI. As a team, the Red Sox went 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Springs

The Red Sox will look to secure a series victory on Tuesday by sending right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound for the final time this season. The Rays will counter with an old friend in left-hander Jeffrey Springs.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

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

Abraham Almonte and Alex Verdugo both homer, Rich Hill fans 9 over 6 scoreless innings as Red Sox defeat Orioles, 3-1

In rather uneventful fashion, the Red Sox won their second straight over the Orioles on Wednesday night. Boston bested Baltimore by a final score of 3-1 to improve to 74-81 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his 25th start of the year, pitched well for the Sox. The veteran left-hander scattered five hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work.

The Red Sox provided Hill with an early lead. After Rafael Devers ripped a one-out ground-rule double off Orioles starter Dean Kremer, Alex Verdugo followed by lacing a run-scoring single to center field to get his side on the board first in the first inning.

Two innings later, Abraham Almonte took the fourth pitch he saw from Kremer and drilled a 421-foot solo shot to right field for his first home run in a Red Sox uniform.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Hill ended his night by retiring the final three batters he faced in order. The 42-year-old southpaw finished with exactly 100 pitches (67 strikes) and induced 15 swings-and-misses. He also picked up his eighth winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA to 4.41.

Shortly after Hill put an end to the top of the sixth, Verdugo led off the bottom half by sneaking a 331-foot liner past Pesky’s Pole for his 11th home run of the season. It left his bat at 102.6 mph and gave Boston a 3-0 lead heading into the seventh.

In relief of Hill, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Brasier needed just 10 pitches to get through a scoreless seventh inning. Kaleb Ort, on the other hand, served up a solo homer to Robinson Chirinos to begin the eighth before settling down and retiring the next three Orioles he faced.

Matt Barnes was responsible for the ninth inning. The righty allowed two runners to reach base but ultimately held on to secure the 3-1 victory while also notching his sixth save of the year.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Baumann in series finale

The Red Sox will look to take this four-game series from the Orioles on Thursday afternoon. Nathan Eovaldi, who last pitched on August 13, will be activated from the injured list to make his penultimate start of the season for Boston. Baltimore will counter with fellow right-hander Michael Baumann.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Rich Hill strikes out 7 over 5 scoreless innings as Red Sox take series from Orioles with 1-0 win

After breaking out for a season-high 17 runs on a season-high 21 hits on Saturday, the Red Sox needed just one run on four hits to secure a 1-0 series-clinching victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Sunday.

A 72-minute rain delay did not affect Rich Hill, who made his 22nd start of the year for Boston and scattered two hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with seven strikeouts over five scoreless innings of work.

Hill retired the first five batters he faced before giving up a two-out single to Austin Hays in the bottom of the second. The veteran left-hander then worked his way around having runners on the corners with two outs in the third by getting Ryan Mountcastle to fly out to left field.

After stranding another base runner in the fourth, Hill plunked Rougned Odor and walked Robinson Chirinos to begin the fifth. But he did not falter as he got Ryan McKenna to pop out into foul territory before fanning Anthony Santander and Mountcastle back-to-back to end his day on a positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 77 (45 strikes), Hill ultimately picked up his seventh winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA to 4.56. The 42-year-old hurler has now allowed two or fewer runs to score in three of his last five starts.

It may have helped that the Red Sox had jumped out to an early 1-0 lead before Hill even took the mound on Sunday. Matched up against Baltimore right-hander Kyle Bradish, Tommy Pham led off the game with a line-drive single. He then stole second base, moved up to third on an Alex Verdugo groundout, and scored on a 348-foot sacrifice fly of Xander Bogaerts.

That one run turned out to be all Boston needed, as it recorded just one hit from the second and eighth innings before Verdugo and Bogaerts each singled in the ninth.

While the Sox lineup was unable to provide any sort of insurance, the bullpen held it down in relief of Hill. John Schreiber yielded just one single in a scoreless sixth inning, Matt Strahm put a runner at second with no outs before retiring the next three Orioles he faced in the seventh, Garrett Whitlock worked his way around a two-out walk in an otherwise clean eighth, and Matt Barnes struck out two while retiring the side in order in the ninth.

Barnes notched his fifth save of the season as the Red Sox improved to 7-8 against the O’s and to 69-72 on the 2022 campaign as a whole. With only 21 regular season games remaining, they still trail the Blue Jays by 10 games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Story day-to-day with left heel pain

Trevor Story left the game in the middle of the seventh inning after grounding into a 6-4-3 double play. He was later diagnosed with left heel pain and is considered day-to-day. Christian Arroyo took over for Story at second base and drew a walk in his only plate appearance.

Next up: Back to Boston

The Red Sox will an enjoy an off day on Monday before opening a quick two game series against the Yankees at Fenway Park on Tuesday. Right-hander Nick Pivetta is slated to start the opener for Boston. New York has yet to name a starter.

Regardless, first pitch on Tuesday night is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and TBS.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts crushes grand slam, drives in 5 runs to power Red Sox to 6-5 win over Twins

The Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Twins on Wednesday night. Boston held on for a 6-5 win over Minnesota at Target Field to end a three-game losing streak and improve to 63-68 on the season.

Matched up against Twins rookie starter Joe Ryan to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox drew first blood in their half of the third inning. Following a pair of back-to-back singles from Kevin Plawecki and Tommy Pham, Alex Verdugo reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases with no outs for Xander Bogaerts.

Bogaerts, who walked in his first plate appearance, took a first-pitch strike from Ryan and then unloaded on a hanging slider by lacing it 392 feet over the left field wall for a grand slam. The ball left his bat at a blistering 113 mph (his hardest-hit ball of 2022) and cleared the fence in just 3.6 second. It was also good for his 12th home run of the season and gave the Red Sox an early 4-0 lead.

After Rafael Devers flew out, J.D. Martinez went deep for the 11th time this year by depositing another slider from Ryan 394 feet into the left field bleachers. Martinez’s second big fly in his last four games made it a 5-0 contest in favor of Boston.

To that point, Michael Wacha had yet to allow a run two innings into his 17th start of the season. That changed in the third, as the veteran right-hander recorded two quick outs before giving up a softly-hit single to No. 9 hitter Sandy Leon. Moments later, Luis Arraeez made Wacha pay for extending the inning by cranking a three-run homer to right that trimmed Boston’s lead down to three runs at 5-2.

Fast forward to the sixth, and the Sox got one of those two runs back. Kevin Plawecki greeted new Twins reliever Jovani Moran by roping a leadoff double to right field. After Pham and Verdugo each struck out, Bogaerts came through yet again with an RBI single that would prove to be more important than it seemed at the time.

Wacha, who ended his night by escaping a jam in which Minnesota had runners at second third with only out, wound up yielding just two earned runs on four hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over six strong innings of work. The 31-year-old hurler threw 98 pitches (64 strikes) and induced eight swings-and-misses en route to picking up his 10th winning decision of the year.

In relief of Wacha, Garrett Whitlock received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Whitlock was not as sharp as he usually is, as he began the seventh inning by giving up a leadoff double to Nick Gordon. Gordon advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Arraez. Whitlock’s struggles extended into the eighth inning, as a pair of singles put runners on the corners with two outs for Gordon.

Gordon proceeded to rip a two-run double to right field that he attempted to extend into a triple. But Verdugo tracked the ball and, with his momentum carrying him towards the field, made a nice throw to gun down Gordon at third base and limit the damage to two runs.

Verdugo’s sixth outfield of the season allowed Matt Barnes to take the mound in the ninth with a 6-5 lead to protect. Barnes, in turn, made things interesting by putting the first two batters he faced on base before retiring Arraez and getting Carlos Correa to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play. By doing so, Barnes notched his fourth save of the year while securing a one-run victory.

With the win, the Red Sox finish the month of August with a 12-16 record. Coming into September, they still trail the Blue Jays by eight games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Bogaerts’ third-inning slam was the first from a Red Sox hitter since May 22nd. It was also the sixth of Bogaerts’ career, which moves him into sole possession of first place for most among shortstops in Red Sox history. He was previously in a three-way tie with Nomar Garciaparra and Vern Stephens, who each hit five over the course of their respective careers.

Plawecki, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored out of the nine-hole on Wednesday. He is now 11-for-21 (.524) over his last seven games dating back to Aug. 20.

Next up: Back to Boston

The Red Sox will return home and open a four-game weekend series against the Rangers on Thursday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill, fresh off striking out a season-high of 11 across seven scoreless innings in his last time out, will start the series opener for Boston. On the opposite side of the spectrum, rookie right-hander Glenn Otto will take the mound for Texas.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: David Berding/Getty Images)

Kutter Crawford, Ryan Brasier combine to give up 7 runs as Red Sox fall to Twins, 10-5

The Red Sox dropped their second straight to the Twins on Tuesday night. Boston fell to Minnesota by a final score of 10-5 at Target Field despite having a 4-3 lead at one point.

Kutter Crawford, making his 12th start and 21st overall appearance of the season for the Sox, surrendered five runs — four of which were earned — on four hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work.

Three of those runs came within the first two innings. Crawford retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the first before issuing a pair of two-out walks to Max Kepler and Jose Miranda. The rookie right-hander then gave up a two-run double to Nick Gordon that got the Twins on the board first.

An inning later, Jake Cave led off the bottom of the second by taking Crawford 400 feet deep to left-center field for just his third home run of the season. Crawford put together his first scoreless frame of the night in the third and did it again in the fourth.

The Red Sox lineup, meanwhile, finally broke through against Twins starter Chris Archer in their half of the fourth. An Alex Verdugo leadoff single and Xander Bogaerts double put runners at second and third with no outs for Rafael Devers. Devers drove in Verdugo with a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-1 game in favor of Minnesota. J.D. Martinez followed by drawing a six-pitch walk, but Trevor Story grounded into an inning-ending double play to extinguish the threat.

In the fifth, however, the Sox were able to mount a rally. With Enrique Hernandez and Reese McGuire on the corners following a pair of one-out singles, Tommy Pham trimmed Boston’s deficit to one with a run-scoring base hit through the right side of the infield. That knocked Archer out of the game in favor of Caleb Thielbar.

McGuire moved up to third base when Verdugo grounded into a force out at second. With runners at the corners yet again, Bogaerts greeted the new Twins reliever by blooping a 241-foot game-tying single to left field to push across McGuire and move Verdugo to third. Devers then drew a bases-filling walk, prompting another Minnesota pitching change.

Michael Fulmer was dispatched to face Martinez, but he first airmailed a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Verdugo to score the go-ahead run on a feet-first slide. The Red Sox had a chance to add to their newfound 4-3 lead, but Martinez struck out against his former teammate to leave things there.

Crawford came back out for the fifth and got Luis Arraez to fly out to Pham for the first out of the inning. It appeared as though Crawford was going to get the second out when he got Carlos Correa to lift a 318-foot flyball to Verdugo in right field.

Verdugo failed to make a clean catch, though, as the ball deflected off his glove, allowing Correa to reach first base safely. Correa then issued another walk to Kepler, which is how his night would come to an end as Red Sox manager Alex Cora pulled the righty for Ryan Brasier.

Brasier, in turn, made a sticky situation even worse by plunking the first batter he faced in Jose Miranda to load the bases. Gordon, already in the midst of a productive evening at the plate, took full advantage of the spot he was in by unloading the bases with a 416-foot grand slam over everything in right field.

Gordon’s sixth homer of the season officially closed the book on Crawford, who finished with a final pitch count of 76 (43 strikes). The 26-year-old hurler managed to induce just seven swings-and-misses while raising his ERA on the season to 5.47 (7.58 ERA in August). He was also hit with his sixth losing decision of the year.

Brasier, on the other hand, was tagged for two runs after getting through the rest of the fifth inning unscathed. The recently-turned 35-year-old has now allowed 14 runs (13 earned) to cross the plate in 14 relief appearances (12 innings) this month. That is good for an ERA of 9.75.

Boston’s bullpen struggled continued into the sixth inning, as Jeurys Familia served up a solo shot to Gary Sanchez. The Red Sox got that run back in the top of the seventh, when Verdugo plated Pham all the way from first base on a 410-foot RBI double to right-center field that would have been a home run in 16 of 30 MLB ballparks.

Verdugo’s second hit of the contest brought the Sox back to within three runs of the Twins at 8-5. Bogaerts moved Verdugo up to third base on a groundout, but Devers stranded him there by striking out.

Following a 1-2-3 seventh inning from Zack Kelly in his second big-league appearance, a resurgent Matt Barnes ran into more trouble in the eighth by walking one and giving up three straight hits to Sanchez, Arraez, and Correa. Arreaz and Correa each drove in runs with their singles, which gave the Twins a commanding 10-5 lead going into the ninth.

Down to their final three outs, Hernandez led off with a walk, but McGuire, Pham, and Verdugo went down quietly against Emilio Pagan to seal another defeat.

With the loss, the seventh in their last nine games, the Red Sox drop to 62-68 on the season. The Blue Jays won on Tuesday, so Boston now sits nine games back of Toronto for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Wacha vs. Ryan in series finale

The Red Sox will look to salvage something out of this series with the Twins on Wednesday night. Michael Wacha is slated to start for Boston. Fellow right-hander Joe Ryan is expected to do the same for Minnesota.

First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: David Berding/Getty Images)