Red Sox’ Chaim Bloom explains why Matt Barnes landed on 15-day injured list

In case you missed it, the Red Sox somewhat surprisingly placed struggling reliever Matt Barnes on the 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation on Wednesday.

Barnes, who turns 32 later this month, has had an abysmal season to date. The right-hander has posted a 7.94 ERA and 5.32 FIP to go along with 14 strikeouts to 12 walks over 20 appearances spanning 17 innings of work.

In his last three outings alone (two of which came in blowouts), Barnes surrendered five runs in less than three innings. He served up a three-run home run to Anthony Santander in the ninth inning Monday’s 10-0 loss to the Orioles at Fenway Park.

According to Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, Barnes first felt his throwing shoulder flare up ahead of that appearance on Memorial Day.

“He came to us with this yesterday,” Bloom told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo). “He said when he was warming up for that last appearance, he felt it, worked through it, and it didn’t bother him during the game. Then, yesterday, his shoulder was bothering him. He tried to play a little light catch and was feeling it.

“We tried to get our arms around it and see how he came in today,” added Bloom. “It’s still bothering him today so the prudent thing to do here is just to back off here and make sure we can calm this down. We’ll go from there and get him built back up.”

While some may question the timing of Barnes’ placement on the injured list, this will give the former All-Star a chance to work on some things without taking up a spot on Boston’s major-league roster.

The Red Sox can activate Barnes from the injured list as soon as June 15 if so choose. At the same time, they could send the righty out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester to give him even more time to reset.

If they were to take that route, Barnes could spend up to 30 days with the WooSox while rehabbing and working with pitching coach Paul Abbott at Polar Park.

In the meantime, the Red Sox currently have Ryan Brasier, Tyler Danish, Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, Tanner Houck, Hirokazu Sawamura, John Schreiber, Matt Strahm, and Phillips Valdez available out of the bullpen.

Like Barnes, fellow righty Hansel Robles (back spasms) is on the 15-day injured list and has been since May 28. He is eligible to return as soon as June 9, at which point the Red Sox will be in Anaheim taking on the Angels.

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

Red Sox activate Matt Strahm from COVID-19 related injured list, place Matt Barnes on 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation

Before wrapping up their two-game interleague series against the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park on Wednesday, the Red Sox activated left-hander Matt Strahm from the COVID-19 related injured list.

In order to make room for Strahm on the active roster, right-hander Matt Barnes was placed on the 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation, the team announced.

Strahm’s stay on the COVID-related IL lasted all of 48 hours after he was placed on it before Monday night’s 10-0 loss to the Orioles. The 30-year-old southpaw has been one of Alex Cora’s most trusted relievers this season, posting a 3.68 ERA and 1.77 FIP with 16 strikeouts to just three walks over 18 appearances spanning 14 2/3 innings of work.

Barnes, meanwhile, is in the midst of his worst season as a big-leaguer. The 31-year-old has posted a dismal 7.94 ERA and 5.32 FIP with 14 strikeouts to 12 walks across 20 outings and 17 innings pitched in 2022.

That Barnes has struggled as much as he has this year can be attributed to the difficulties he also endured during the second half of last season. Since signing a two-year, $18.75 million extension with the Sox in July, the former first-round draft pick has pitched to a 7.01 ERA and 5.49 FIP over his last 34 2/3 innings.

Since Barnes’ stint on the injured list is retroactive to May 31, the hard-throwing righty would be eligible to return to action as soon as June 15, when the Red Sox host the Oakland Athletics in Boston.

On the flip side of that, though, the Sox could elect to send Barnes out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester to have him work on things there with WooSox pitching coach Paul Abbott. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, any rehab assignment can last up to 30 days, ” so the Red Sox can keep Barnes off their roster for a significant amount of time if they so choose.”

Following Wednesday’s transaction, the Red Sox now have Strahm, Ryan Brasier, Tyler Danish, Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, Tanner Houck, Hirokazu Sawamura, John Schreiber, and Phillips Valdez in their active bullpen.

Hansel Robles, who was placed on the 15-day injured list because of back spasms on Saturday, could be activated during Boston’s upcoming west coast road trip, Cora told reporters (including Cotillo) on Tuesday.

(Picture of Matt Strahm: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Trevor Story homers again as Red Sox earn fourth straight series victory with convincing 16-7 win over White Sox

The Red Sox won their fourth straight series on Thursday with a 16-7 victory over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Boston ends its brief three-game road trip by improving to 21-23 on the season.

Matched up against Dallas Keuchel out of the gate, Enrique Hernandez kicked things off with yet another leadoff home run that gave the Sox a 1-0 lead right away in the first inning. A Rafael Devers double and J.D. Martinez single then put runners on the corners for Trevor Story, who got his productive night at the plate started with an RBI single. Alex Verdugo followed with a run-scoring double that plated Martinez and made it a 3-0 game before Chicago even had a chance to step up to the plate.

An inning later, another Devers double and walk drawn by Martinez put two runners on for Story, who proceeded to deposit a Keuchel cutter 363 feet over the left field fence for a three-run blast. Story’s ninth home run of the season, which had an exit velocity of 102.1 mph, put the Red Sox up 6-0 early on.

On the other side of things, Michael Wacha was making his seventh start of the season for Boston. The veteran right-hander retired six of the first seven batters he faced before running into some trouble in the bottom half of the third.

There, three straight singles to lead off the inning filled the bases for Andrew Vaughn, who came through with a three-run double off Wacha that cut the White Sox’ deficit in half.

Wacha got through the rest of the third unscathed and faced the minimum in the fourth. But after Boston got one of those runs back on a Verdugo RBI double in the top of the fifth, he gave up two more when he served up a two-run homer to Vaughn in the latter half. Vaughn would be the last batter Wacha would face.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 88 (58 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler wound up allowing five earned runs on seven hits, no walks, and two strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work. His ERA on the season rose from 1.76 to 2.83.

In relief of Wacha, John Schreiber got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Schreiber ended things in the fifth before retiring the side in order in the sixth.

A half-inning later, the Red Sox pushed across two more runs on a pair of RBI singles from Christian Vazquez and Christian Arroyo. After Tyler Danish put up a zero in the latter half of the seventh, Boston continued its offensive onslaught in a five-run top of the eighth. Verdugo, Vazquez, and Bobby Dalbec each drove in a run on back-to-back-to-back RBI base hits. Vazquez and Dalbec scored themselves when Jackie Bradley Jr. (pinch-hitting for Arroyo) reached base on a fielding error.

Matt Barnes was dispatched for the bottom of the eighth and immediately struck out the first batter he faced in A.J. Pollock. The righty then walked four straight, thus allowing the White Sox to score another run, before being pulled in favor of Hirokazu Sawamura. Only nine of the 27 pitches Barnes threw went for strikes.

Sawamura, meanwhile, allowed one of the runners he inherited to score on a sacrifice fly from Leury Garcia before escaping the jam by fanning Adam Engel on four pitches.

Fast forward to the ninth, Kevin Plaweci, who previously replaced Story, crushed his first home run of the season — a two-run shot — off a position player in Josh Harrison. That it was Plawecki’s first homer of the year is interesting when you consider the fact that he has been the only position player to pitch for the Red Sox to this point.

From there, Austin Davis closed things out with a scoreless frame in the bottom of the ninth to secure a 16-7 blowout win for the Red Sox before they head back home.

All told, the Boston lineup went 10-for-24 with runners in scoring position on Thursday. Devers and Story each had two hits, Martinez and Vazquez had three, and Verdugo went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.

Next up: Back to Boston

The Red Sox will board a flight back to Boston and open up a unique five-game series against the Orioles beginning Friday night. Garrett Whitlock is slated to get the ball in the opener opposite fellow right-hander Kyle Bradish. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on Apple TV+.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rafael Devers homers twice as Red Sox erase 5-run deficit and come from behind to beat Mariners, 6-5

The Red Sox once again fell behind early against the Mariners on Saturday but battled their way back at Fenway Park. Boston defeated Seattle by a final score of 6-5 to win their fourth straight game and third consecutive series while improving to 18-22 on the season.

Before the Sox could even take their first at-bats of the afternoon, they already found themselves trailing by four runs. Garrett Whitlock, making his sixth start of the year, allowed the Mariners to score four times in the top half of the first inning.

After getting through a scoreless second inning, the right-hander ran into more trouble in the third by giving up back-to-back two-out hits to Mike Ford and Luis Torrens, which resulted in another Seattle run crossing the plate.

The third would prove to be Whitlock’s final inning of work, as he wound up surrendering a season-high five earned runs on 10 hits, no walks, and three strikeouts on 71 pitches (48 strikes). The 25-year-old’s ERA now sits at 3.58.

To that point in the contest, the Boston lineup had yet to do anything of significance against opposing starter Chris Flexen. That changed in the bottom half of the third though, as Rafael Devers got his productive day at the plate started by crushing a 413-foot solo shot into the bleachers to get his side on the board and make it a 5-1 ballgame.

Fast forward to the fifth, after Tyler Danish had hurled two scoreless frames out of the Sox bullpen, and Devers struck again. Following a leadoff double from Enrique Hernandez, the left-handed slugger took Flexen 386 feet over the Green Monster for his second big fly of the game and ninth of the season.

Devers’ two-run blast, which had an exit velocity of 102.1 mph, cut the deficit down to two runs at 5-3. But the Red Sox were not done there. A J.D. Martinez double and Xander Bogaerts single chased Flexen from the contest and put runners on the corners for Bobby Dalbec, who greeted new Mariners reliever Sergio Romo by lifting an RBI single to center field to drive in Martinez and move Bogaerts up to third. Trevor Story followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Bogaerts to tie things up at five runs apiece.

From there, Jake Diekman punched out the side in the sixth, Hansel Robles worked his way around a two-out double in the seventh, and John Schreiber retired the only three batters he faced in the top of the eighth to keep the 5-5 tie intact.

With one out in the bottom half of the eighth, Franchy Cordero laced a 110.5 mph triple off the Green Monster to put the potential go-ahead run in scoring position for Christian Vazquez, who came through with the game-winning single off Drew Steckenrider that plated Cordero and gave the Sox a 6-5 lead.

Looking to protect that lead, Red Sox manager Alex Cora called upon Matt Barnes to take the mound in the ninth inning. Barnes, in turn, needed just 15 pitches (and a little defensive help from Hernandez) to slam the door shut on the Mariners and notch his second save of the season.

All told, five Boston relievers (Danish, Diekman, Robles, Schreiber, and Barnes) combined to toss six shutout innings in relief of Whitlock on Saturday. The Red Sox lineup, meanwhile, went 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position while putting together their largest comeback win of the season thus far.

Next up: Gilbert vs. Eovaldi in series finale

The Red Sox will look to close out the weekend with a four-game sweep over the Mariners on Sunday afternoon. Veteran right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for Boston opposite fellow righty Logan Gilbert for Seattle.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Hansel Robles blows save as Red Sox lose late lead and fall to White Sox, 3-1, in 10 innings to drop to 10-18 on season

The Red Sox lost their sixth consecutive series on Saturday following a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the White Sox in 10 innings at Fenway Park. By dropping their third straight game, Boston has fallen to 10-18 on the season as they remain in the basement of the American League East.

Nick Pivetta impressed for the Sox in his sixth start of the year. The right-hander kept the White Sox off the scoreboard while scattering five hits, no walks, and one hit batsman to go along with a season-high eight strikeouts over six innings of work.

After giving up a leadoff single to Tim Anderson to begin his day in the first, Pivetta stranded the dangerous shortstop on three separate occasions. He got through the first inning unscathed, retired the side in order in the second, left two runners on — including Anderson — in the third and fifth innings, then sat down three of the final four batters he faced in the sixth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 91 (62 strikes), Pivetta turned to his four-seam fastball 58% of the time he was on the mound Saturday and induced seven swings-and-misses with the pitch while topping out at 94.3 mph with it. The 29-year-old hurler also lowered his ERA on the season to 6.08.

Shortly before his night ended, the Red Sox put Pivetta in a position to pick up the win by finally getting to White Sox starter Dylan Cease in their half of the fifth. Franchy Cordero reached base via a one-out single, advanced to second base on a Trevor Story walk, and scored from second on an RBI double off the bat of Rafael Devers.

Story moved up to third on the play, but could not score from there as Xander Bogaerts grounded out and J.D. Martinez struck out to kill any shot of an extended rally.

In relief of Pivetta, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for the seventh inning and worked his way around a two-out single and stolen base from Leury Garcia. John Schreiber recorded the first two outs of the eighth before allowing two straight White Sox to reach base on a single and fielding error committed by Story. Matt Strahm came on and got the final out of the inning.

Protecting a one-run lead heading into the ninth, Hansel Robles was called upon for the save. Instead of closing things out, though, Robles issued a leadoff walk to Jake Burger that was immediately followed by a line-drive double from Adam Engel. Garcia knocked in the tying run on a sacrifice fly as Robles was charged with his second blown save of the season.

Now trying to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez created some one-out magic with a single and double that put the potential winning run at third base. Bobby Dalbec failed to come through as he fanned on four pitches. Story then swung at the first pitch he saw from Reynaldo Lopez and popped out to shallow right field to leave Bradley Jr. where he was standing.

With this one headed into extras, Matt Barnes was responsible for the top of the 10th with the automatic runner (A.J. Pollock) already at second base. Barnes was promptly greeted by Jose Abreu, who drove in Pollock by drilling a 107.7 mph RBI double to center field. Luis Robert followed with a hard-hit single of his own that plated Abreu and made it a 3-1 game in favor of the White Sox. Barnes through the rest of the 10th, but the damage had already been done.

Down to their final three outs and matched up against White Sox closer Liam Hendriks yet again, Devers, Bogaerts, and Martinez all grounded out to seal a 3-1 defeat for the Red Sox.

Frustrations boiling over

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was ejected for the first time this season in the third inning of Saturday’s loss. He was thrown out by home plate umpire Carlos Torres for arguing a called strike three against Story.

The Red Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and left 10 runners on base as a team. On the other side of things, the Boston bullpen staff blew their ninth save in 14 opportunities so far this season.

All told, the Red Sox are now 0-6 in extra-inning games this season.

Next up: Keuchel vs. Wacha

The Red Sox will look to avoid the three-game sweep against the White Sox on Sunday morning. Boston will roll with right-hander Michael Wacha in the finale while Chicago will turn to left-hander Dallas Keuchel.

First pitch from Fenway Park on Sunday is scheduled for 11:35 a.m. eastern time on NBC and Peacock.

(Picture of Alex Cora: Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Nathan Eovaldi grinds through 5 innings, but Red Sox held to just 6 hits in 4-2 loss to White Sox

The Red Sox saw their losing streak grow to three consecutive games on Friday following a 3-1 to the White Sox at Fenway Park. Boston drops to 10-17 on the season and now find themselves squarely in the basement of the American League East.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his sixth start of the year, surrendered three earned runs on six hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts over five innings of work. It was truly a grind for the right-hander, who saw all three runs scored off him come in the third inning.

After giving up back-to-back singles that put runners on the corners with no outs, Jose Abreu lifted a sacrifice fly off Eovaldi that brought in Tim Anderson from third base to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. The very next batter, Luis Robert, crushed a two-run home run 389 feet over the Green Monster to make it a 3-0 game.

Eovaldi escaped the third while evading any further damage, but had done so while seeing his pitch count rise to 72. He then worked his way around a leadoff single in the fourth before retiring six of the final seven White Sox hitters he faced through the middle of the fifth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 101 (65 strikes), Eovaldi turned to his four-seam fastball 45% of the time he was on the mound Friday. The 32-year-old hurler induced four swings-and-misses with the pitch and hovered around 93 to 99 mph with the pitch. His ERA on the season now sits at 2.94.

To that point in the contest, a Red Sox lineup that featured Jarren Duran for the first time this year had been stymied by White Sox starter Vince Velasquez. In the bottom of the fifth, though, Alex Verdugo broke out of an 0-for-12 skid with a leadoff double and scored from second on an RBI double off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley Jr.’s eight double of the season got the Sox on the board to cut the deficit to 3-1. A Kevin Plawecki groundout allowed Bradley Jr. to advance to third and Duran getting plunked by a pitch put runners on the corners for Trevor Story. Story, in turn, was rung up by first base umpire Carlos Torres on a questionable check swing call that nonetheless extinguished the threat.

In relief of Eovaldi, Austin Davis got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The left-hander recorded the first two outs of the sixth before making way for the recently called-up John Schreiber, who ended things in the sixth and also sat down the side in 1-2-3 fashion in the seventh.

Ryan Brasier, on the other hand, was responsible for the eighth inning and immediately gave up a leadoff single to Adam Engel. Engel promptly stole second base, moved up to third on a lineout, and scored an important insurance run on a Reese McGuire sacrifice fly to give his side the 4-1 advantage.

To lead off the bottom of the eighth, Duran was able to put his elite speed on display by tripling on an 80.4 mph fly ball to right field that got past Adam Engel. The speedster then came into score on a Story RBI groundout that brought the Red Sox back to within two runs of the White Sox at 4-2.

Rafael Devers followed with a groundball single that brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Xander Bogaerts, who fanned on five pitches and thus left it up to J.D. Martinez. Previously 0-for-3 on the night, Martinez beat out an infield single to third base to keep the inning alive for Verdugo, who softly grounded out to Kendall Graveman.

Matt Barnes took the mound for the top of the ninth and managed to work his way around a leadoff walk of of A.J. Pollock when Bradley Jr. gunned down Barnes at home plate to complete a well-executed 9-1 double play. Barnes then struck out Robert on five pitches to hold the White Sox at four runs.

Down to their final three outs in the ninth and matched up against vaunted White Sox closer Liam Hendriks, Franchy Cordero came off the bench for the Red Sox in place of Bobby Dalbec and struck out looking. Shortly thereafter, Bradley Jr. fanned himself before Christian Vazquez, who was pinch-hitting for Plawecki, drew a walk to once again bring the tying run to the plate as the lineup flipped back over.

With a chance to come through in the clutch, Duran got ahead in the count at 2-0 but struck out swinging to seal another Red Sox defeat. Durant went 1-for-4 with one run scored and one strikeout in his 2022 debut.

As a team on Friday, Boston went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left a total of eight runners on base.

Next up: Cease vs. Pivetta

The Red Sox will send right-hander Nick Pivetta to the mound in the middle game of this three-game series on Saturday afternoon. The White Sox will counter with fellow righty Dylan Cease.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox blow late lead, fall to Angels, 10-5, in 10 innings as bullpen melts down

The Red Sox were one out away from securing a series win over the Angels at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. They instead suffered one of their worst losses of the season to date. Boston fell to Los Angeles by a final score of 10-5 in 10 innings to drop to 10-15 on the year.

Matched up against Angels rookie starter Reid Detmers to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox got on the board first in their half of the third inning. Bobby Dalbec and Christian Arroyo led off by drawing back-to-back walks and, as the lineup turned over, Trevor Story drove both of them in on a two-run double down the left field line.

On the other side of things, Garrett Whitlock was once again impressive in his third start and sixth overall appearance of the season for the Sox. The right-hander allowed just two earned runs on two hits and no walks to go along with nine strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

Both runs Whitlock surrendered came in the top half of the fifth. After giving up a one-out double to Jared Walsh, which broke up the bid for a perfect game, and fanning the next batter he faced, the righty served up a game-tying, two-run home run to Max Stassi before recording the final out of the inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 78 (50 strikes), Whitlock turned to his sinker 50% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday and induced 11 swings-and-misses with the pitch. The 25-year-old hurler also saw his ERA on the season rise to 1.25.

Shortly after Whitlock’s night came to a close, the Red Sox quickly responded in their half of the fifth. Arroyo took first base after getting plunked by a Detmers curveball and scored all the way from first when Story lifted another RBI double off the Green Monster to put his side up by a run at 3-2.

In relief of Whitlock, Austin Davis got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora beginning in the top of the sixth. The left-hander punched out each of the first three batters he faced in relatively easy fashion, but surrendered a booming solo shot to Anthony Rendon in the seventh that knotted things back up at three runs apiece.

After Matt Strahm retired the side in order on three groundouts in the eighth, Xander Bogaerts came through with what appeared to be the hit of the night a half-inning later. With veteran reliever Aaron Loup pitching for Los Angeles, Bogaerts crushed a 397-foot home run of his own that cleared the Green Monster. Bogaerts’ second big fly of 2022 left the shortstop’s bat at a scalding 109.3 mph and put the Red Sox ahead 4-3 heading into the ninth.

Needing just three more outs, Hansel Robles was sent in to go for the save. Robles got the first two outs of the inning, but did so while walking the Halos’ boppers in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Cora then went to Jake Diekman to face the left-handed hitting Walsh.

Walsh, in turn, delivered in the clutch for his side by scoring Trout on an RBI single past a diving Story into right field. Diekman proceeded to walk Kurt Suzuki, which put the potential go-ahead run (Ohtani) just 90 feet away from scoring. He escaped any further damage by getting Stassi to fly out to deep center field.

With the chance to walk if off against Angels reliever Ryan Tepera, Christian Vazquez reached base by drawing a one-out walk but was then thrown out at second as part of an inning-ending strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play that occured on a questionable strike three call with Dalbec at the plate.

Regardless, with this contest now headed into extra innings, it was Matt Barnes who was dispatched for the top of the 10th. Barnes, making his first appearance since Saturday, got the first two outs on eight pitches, but — with the automatic runner already at second — then yielded a back-breaking, two-run home run to Walsh that gave the Angels a 6-4 lead.

The Angels only added on from there, as Barnes allowed two more runners to reach base before getting the hook in favor of Hirokazu Sawamura, who gave up a run-scoring single to Rendon as well as three-run homer to Taylor Ward.

That sequence gave Los Angeles a commanding 10-4 advantage. Boston countered with one run of their own on a Jackie Bradley Jr. single in the bottom of the inning, but it was too little, too late as 10-5 would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base as a team on Wednesday. They are now 0-3 in games started by Garrett Whitlock and 0-5 in extra-inning games this season. They have also blown a league-leading four saves in the ninth inning of games or later.

Six Red Sox relievers (Davis, Strahm, Robles, Diekman, Barnes, and Sawamura) combined to allow eight runs (seven earned) on six hits (three home runs), four walks, and four strikeouts over five innings pitched.

Next up: Ohtani vs. Hill in finale

The Red Sox will send veteran left-hander Rich Hill to the mound as they still have a chance to salvage a series victory on Thursday afternoon. The Angels will counter with right-hander Shohei Ohtani, who will be making his first-ever start as a pitcher at Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Taylor Ward: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox spoil Nathan Eovaldi’s superb start in 2-1 walk-off loss to Orioles

The Red Sox fell to the Orioles by a final score of 2-1 in 10 innings at Camden Yards 0n Saturday night. With the walk-off loss, Boston drops to 9-13 on the season and 3-6 on their current road trip.

Matched up against O’s starter Spenser Watkins to begin things on Saturday, a J.D. Martinez-less Sox lineup got off to a quick start. Trevor Story led off the first inning with a ground-rule double on the very first pitch he saw and later scored on an RBI single off the bat of Xander Bogaerts.

That sequence gave Boston an early 1-0 lead before Nathan Eovaldi could even take the mound. Eovaldi, making his fifth start of the year, allowed just three hits and no walks to go along with a season-high eight strikeouts over seven scoreless innings of work.

The right-hander took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning before yielding a two-out double to Cedric Mullins. He then stranded Mullins in scoring position before putting and leaving two runners on base to get out of a jam in his seventh and final frame.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (67 strikes), Eovaldi threw 38 four-seam fastballs, 21 splitters, 17 curveballs, 15 sliders, and four cutters. The 32-year-old hurler topped out at 98.6 mph with his heater and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.51 but did not factor into Saturday’s decision.

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Barnes received the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen in the bottom of the eighth. Given a one-run lead to protect, Barnes surrendered another two-out double to Mullins that was just out of Alex Verdugo’s reach in left field. The speedy Baltimore outfielder then scored from second on an Anthony Santander RBI single that knotted things up at 1-1 as Barnes was charged with the blown save.

In the ninth, the bottom third of the Red Sox lineup went down quietly against Jorge Lopez before Ryan Brasier did the same to the Orioles in the bottom half of the inning to send things to the 10th.

Even with an automatic runner in scoring position in, an anemic Boston offense failed to push across the potential go-ahead run in Jaylin Davis in their half of the 10th, setting up Baltimore to walk it off in their half of the inning.

With Hirokazu Sawamura on the mound for the Sox and Jorge Mateo at second base for the Orioles, Ryan McKenna was intentionally walked to set up the double play possibility. The next batter, Robinson Chirinos, proceeded to drop down a bunt that Sawamura fielded cleanly. Sawamura opted to get the force out at third base, but he instead threw the ball way over Rafael Devers’ head, which allowed Mateo to easily score the game-winning run.

All told, the Red Sox went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and left 10 runners on base as a team.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Lyles in rubber match

Having finished the month of April four games under .500, the Red Sox will look to flip the calendar and start anew in Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles. To kick off the month of May, right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the ball for Boston and fellow righty Jordan Lyles will do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch from Camden Yards on Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

3-run eighth inning not enough as Red Sox fall to Twins, 8-4, in home opener at Fenway Park

The Red Sox opened the home slate of their 2022 schedule with an 8-4 loss at the hands of the Twins at Fenway Park on Friday afternoon. Boston’s two-game winning streak has come to an end and they have fallen to 3-4 on the young season.

Nick Pivetta, making his second start of the year for the Sox, lasted just two innings and allowed four runs (all earned) on five hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. The right-hander ran into trouble right out of the gate when Alex Verdugo lost a ball off the bat of Byron Buxton in the sun that would go down as a leadoff double.

Luis Arraez drove in the first run of the day on a line-drive RBI single, and Minnesota was on the board without yet recording an out in the top of the first. An inning later, Pivetta gave up three additional runs by serving up a two-run home run to Twins slugger Miguel Sano and RBI double to Arraez that put Boston in an early 4-0 hole.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 54 (32 strikes), Pivetta threw his four-seam fastball 44% of the time he was on the mound Friday. The 29-year-old hurler averaged 92.5 mph with the pitch, down 2.3 mph from where he was sitting with it last week.

Shortly after Pivetta’s day came to a close, the Red Sox lineup got something going against Twins rookie starter Joe Ryan. With one out and the bases empty in the bottom of the second, Alex Verdugo launched a 410-foot solo shot to the right field bleachers on the very first pitch he saw: a 94 mph heater down the heart of the plate.

Verdugo’s second homer of the season left the outfielder’s bat at 109.6 mph and trimmed the Sox’ deficit down to three runs at 4-1 heading into the third. Phillips Valdez got the first call out of the Boston bullpen in relief of Pivetta and turned in a quality outing by fanning four of the eight batters he faced over two scoreless frames of work.

In the fifth, Hirokazu Sawamura came on for Valdez and immediately issued a leadoff walk to Carlos Correa. Jorge Polanco followed by ripping a ground-rule double to right field to put runners at second and third with no outs. Former Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez plated both runs on a two-run single that got past a sprawling Xander Bogaerts.

Now trailing 6-1, Sawamura managed to get through the rest of the fifth and faced the minimum in the sixth after Christian Vazquez gunned down Arraez (who reached base via a two-out walk) at second base to end the inning.

Ryan Brasier was next up for the seventh, and he needed 18 pitches to punch out the side. Austin Davis stranded one runner in an otherwise clean eighth inning.

Offensively, the Red Sox were limited in what they could do against Ryan on Friday. After Verdugo homered in the second, Boston failed to push across another run.

Their best chance to score off Ryan came in the bottom of the fourth, when Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez reached base on a pair of singles to put runners at the corners with one out. Verdugo, however, grounded into an inning-ending double play.

In the fifth, Trevor Stroy notched his first hit at home as a member of the Red Sox and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a bunt single of his own that put runners at first and second with one out. Once more, though, Vazquez flew out and leadoff man Enrique Hernandez flew out to extinguish the threat.

After Ryan completed his six innings of one-run ball, the Boston got back on track against Minnesota’s bullpen. Jhoan Duran, equipped with a 101-102 mph fastball, made quick work of Verdugo, Story, and Bobby Dalbec in the seventh, but yielded a leadoff double to Bradley Jr. to begin the eighth.

Vazquez was unable to advance Bradley Jr., but Hernandez did by lacing an RBI double down the left field line to plate Bradley Jr. and make it a 6-2 game. Devers made things more interesting by golfing a 1-1, down-and-in fastball that wasn’t even a strike 363 feet to right field.

Devers’ two-run shot — his second big fly of the season — had an exit velocity of over 103 mph and pulled the Red Sox to within two runs of the Twins at 6-4. Duran got through the rest of the eighth by punching out Bogaerts and Martinez.

After pushing across three runs to make it a two-run game, Matt Barnes struggled with is command of the strike zone in the ninth. The veteran reliever issued two straight one-out walks before surrendering a back-breaking RBI single to Max Kepler.

Barnes then plunked Sanchez in the wrist to load the bases before Trevor Larnach scored Polanco from third on a softly-hit groundout to first base. That increased the Twins’ lead to four runs at 8-4.

Down to their final three outs and now trailing by four in their half of the ninth, the Sox went down quietly against Emilio Pagan. Verdugo flew out and Story and Dalbec both struck out to kill any shot of a rally.

Some notes from this loss on Jackie Robinson Day:

Six different Red Sox pitchers (Pivetta, Valdez, Sawamura, Brasier, Davis, and Barnes) combined to walk eight and plunk two Twins batters on Friday.

The Red Sox went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position on Friday and left three runners on base as a team.

Next up: Gray vs. Houck

The Red Sox, wearing their Boston Marathon-inspired City Connect uniforms, will look to even this four-game series at 1-1 on Saturday afternoon. Tanner Houck is slated to get the ball for Boston and he will be opposed by fellow right-hander Sonny Gray for Minnesota.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox muster just 4 hits, Ryan Brasier gives up game-winning home run to Javier Báez as Boston drops opener to Tigers, 3-1

The Red Sox are 1-3 to start the young season following a series-opening, 3-1 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park on Monday night.

Michael Wacha, making his 2022 debut for Boston, allowed just one run on two hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work in his first start of the year.

The lone run Wacha gave up came right away in the first inning, as the veteran right-hander loaded the bases with one out before yielding a sacrifice fly to Miguel Cabrera that gave Detroit an early 1-0 lead.

Wacha was able to settle down after that, though. He did so by retiring nine batters in a row at one point before issuing a leadoff walk to Tucker Barnhart in the fifth.

Barnhart would be the second-to-last Tiger Wacha would face, as he proceeded to punch out Akil Badoo on seven pitches for the first out of the frame and then made way for Matt Strahm out of the Boston bullpen.

All told, the 30-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 72 (45 strikes) on Monday. The majority of those pitches were either four-seam fastballs or changeups, as Wacha hovered around 92.8 mph with his heater and induced a game-high seven whiffs with his change.

Moments before Wacha’s outing came to a close, a Trevor Story-less Red Sox lineup still found themselves trailing in a 1-0 game and at the whim of Tigers starter Matt Manning.

Manning, also making his first start of 2022, begin his evening by sitting down each of the first 12 Boston batters he faced. The young righty took a perfect game into the fifth inning before serving up a leadoff solo shot to former Tigers slugger J.D. Martinez.

Martinez’s first home run of the season left his bat at a scorching 110.2 mph and travelled 413 feet to left center field. It also provided the Sox with their first hit of the night and pulled them back even with Detroit at 1-1.

In relief of Wacha, Strahm continued to impress by fanning the only two batters he faced in the fifth. That paved the way for Matt Barnes to make his 2022 debut in the sixth after missing his team’s first three games due to back tightness.

Barnes, as it turns out, needed all 10 pitches (eight strikes) to get through a scoreless sixth inning in which he stranded Miguel Cabrera at second base. The 31-year-old sat at 94 mph with his four-seamer while topping out at 95.3 mph with the pitch.

While things were going swimmingly for the Red Sox bullpen up until that point, their fortunes began to change in the eighth. After tossing a scoreless frame in the seventh, Austin Davis was sent back out for the eighth to face the left-handed hitting Austin Meadows.

Davis immediately gave up a leadoff single to Meadows, prompting Sox manager Alex Cora to go back to his bullpen and call upon Ryan Brasier.

With Meadows representing the potential go-ahead run, Brasier came on to face newest Tigers star Javier Baez. Baez then took a neck-high, 2-2 fastball from Brasier and deposited it 396 feet into the left field seats.

Baez’s first home run as a Tiger was a two-run blast that gave his team a 3-1 lead. Brasier was unable to finish the eighth as that responsibility instead fell to Phillips Valdez.

In the ninth, with Gregory Soto on the mound for Detroit, Rafael Devers made things a bit interesting by ripping a one-out double to left field. After Xander Bogaerts flew out, Martinez nearly came through with his second big fly of the night.

Instead of clearing the right field fence and tying things up, Martinez’s 102 mph line drive off Soto fell 334 feet into the glove of Robbie Grossman to seal a 3-1 defeat for the Red Sox.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox lineup tallied a total of four hits, went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position, and left three men on base as a team on Monday.

In three relief appearances this season, Matt Strahm has struck out three of the eight batters he has faced.

Through their first four games, the Red Sox have been outscored by their opponents, 16-12.

Next up: Hill vs. Alexander

Tuesday’s pitching matchup will feature a pair of left-handers going at it. Rich Hill will make his season debut and first start since 2015 for the Red Sox while Tyler Alexander will get the ball for the Tigers.

First pitch Tuesday afternoon is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Cora and Ryan Brasier: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)