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 and  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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#RedSox Comeback Attempt Falls Short in Sloppy 4-3 Loss to Astros

After experiencing some air travel issues on their way to Houston and arriving much later than expected, the Red Sox opened up another three-game weekend series against the Astros Friday with a frustrating and sloppy 4-3 loss.

Making his 11th start of the season and second straight against Houston in this one was Chris Sale, fresh off a 10-strikeout, five-walk performance in his last time out this past Sunday.

This time around against the ‘Stros, the left-hander made it through six full innings, yielding four runs, only two of which were earned, on three hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

Despite what those numbers may say, Sale did not receive too much help from the defense behind him, with the Sox accounting for three total errors in only the first four innings Friday.

The first came from Steve Pearce at first base, who had the chance to record the final out of the second inning on a simple throw to Chris Sale as he was headed towards the bag on a grounder off the bat of Josh Reddick.

Instead, the ball was hurled way behind Sale and headed towards the backstop, where Sandy Leon had the chance to get the third out yet again with Aledmys Diaz, who was initially at first, rushing towards the plate.

While going for the tag though, it appeared as if Leon went for Diaz’s legs rather than the plate itself, which in turn allowed the runner to swerve his way around Leon’s mitt and score untouched to make it a 1-0 game.

An inning later, Astros center fielder and the eventual star of this contest Jake Marisnick led things off against Sale by blasting his sixth home run of the season, a 336 foot shot into the Crawford Boxes in left field. 2-0.

In the fourth, we were back to the sloppy play with runners on the corners and one out for the aforementioned Marisnick.

On the first pitch he saw from Sale, Marisnick grounded into what looked to be an out-inducing play at short, but Xander Bogaerts instead decided to try and get the out at home and failed miserable with a poor, off-balanced toss to the plate that got past Leon and Robinson Chirinos scored from third anyway.

During that same sequence, Josh Reddick advanced up to third while Marisnick should have been caught dead in a rundown between first and second, but instead retreated back to first safely thanks to a miscommunication between Michael Chavis and Steve Pearce.

Since Reddick was able to move into scoring position, George Springer was able to plate him with a sacrifice fly to left on the very next pitch of the ballgame to put his team ahead 4-0. Why Andrew Benintendi didn’t even attempt to make a throw towards home is beyond me.

Once all the dust settled from that craziness, Sale did settle down a bit from the middle of the fifth inning on by retiring the last six hitters he faced to end his outing on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (56 strikes), the 30-year-old turned to his four-seam fastball 39% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing six swings and misses while topping out at 95.5 MPH with the pitch.

Falling to 1-6 on the season now with his ERA dropping to 4.19, Sale will look for better results in his next time out, which should come in that series back at home against the Cleveland Indians.

In relief of Sale, Marcus Walden put together another impressive performance in the seventh inning of this one by working his way around a leadoff single in an otherswise clean frame, while Heath Hembree had his work cut out for him by walking the bases loaded in the eighth before escaping the jam by striking out Marisnick on four pitches to keep his team’s deficit at two runs.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an old friend and a familiar foe in Astros left-hander Wade Miley, who, like Sale, started in last Sunday’s contest at Fenway Park as well.

Known as a rampant worker, Miley took a perfect game into the fourth inning before surrendering a one-out double to Mookie Betts.

Unable to score there or in the fifth, the Boston bats finally got to the Houston southpaw in the sixth, when Xander Bogaerts opened up the scoring for his team with a 394 foot solo shot over everything in left field.

Fast forward to the eighth, with Miley out and Ryan Pressly in for the Astros, and Jackie Bradley Jr. cut into that lead even more by depositing his third big fly in the last five days to left center to make it a two-run game.

That 433 foot homer actually broke up Pressly’s record-setting run of 40 consecutive scoreless appearances dating back to last season.

And after failing to tack on any more runs off of Pressly, it came down to the top half of the ninth with closer Roberto Osuna on the mound for Houston.

Leading off the inning, it really seemed as though Andrew Benintendi had given his team a shot by belting what would have surely been a double to deep center field, but like I mentioned earlier, the star of this game, Jake Marisnick, came up with a spectacular grab to rob the Red Sox outfielder of extra bases.

Instead of going to his bench with Rafael Devers available to pinch-hit, Sox manager Alex Cora stuck with Eduardo Nunez, who proceeded to fan on six pitches for the second out of the frame.

Down to their final out now, Christian Vazquez came on for Sandy Leon and provided a glimmer of hope by tattooing his seventh home run of the season to cut the Astros lead to one.

Unfortunately for Boston, Jackie Bradley Jr., who of couse had already homered in this one, could not put on a repeat of that at-bat, as he struck out on three straight hittable pitches to retire the side, and thus end the ballgame with a final score of 4-3.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox are now 1-3 against the Astros this season. They have been outscored 17-11 in those four games.

JD Martinez went 0-for-3 with a walk in his return to the Red Sox lineup out of the cleanup spot.

Jackie Bradley Jr. has lifted his batting average from .144 to .170 in his last five games played. In other words, he is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this three-game series with David set to start for Boston.

Entering Saturday with an ERA of 3.29 through seven starts this season, Price impressed in his return from the injured list this past Monday in Toronto, limiting the Blue Jays to two runs in five innings of work.

In five career starts at Minute Maid Park, the left-hander is 5-0 with a 4.06 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over a total of five starts and 31 innings pitched.

Opposite Price will be right-hander Brad Peacock for Houston, who owns a lifetime 8.36 ERA in five appearances (four starts) against the Red Sox.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:15 PM EDT on FOX. Red Sox looking to bounce back.

 

 

 

JD Martinez Returns to #RedSox Lineup in Houston, Bats Cleanup Against Former Club in Series Opener

Following a four-game absence in which he dealt with an illness as well as back tightness up in Toronto, slugger JD Martinez is back in the Red Sox’ lineup for their series opener against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park Friday night.

The 31-year-old will bat cleanup and serve as the designated hitter for Boston against Astros left-hander and old friend Wade Miley.

Now in his second season with the Sox, Martinez was originally drafted by the ‘Stros out of Nova Southeastern University in the 20th round of the 2009 amateur draft before being released by the club before the start of the 2014 season.

Since then, the Florida native has become one of the more feared hitters in all of baseball and is currently sporting a .308 batting average to go along with nine home runs and 29 RBI through 44 games this year.

As for the rest of the Red Sox lineup, Michael Chavis will remain in the leadoff spot, and he will be followed by Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Martinez, Steve Pearce, Andrew Benintendi Eduardo Nunez, Sandy Leon, and Jackie Bradley Jr. with Chris Sale on the hill.

The red-hot Rafael Devers will begin the night on the bench against the opposing southpaw on the mound for Houston, his first day off of the season. Same goes for Mitch Moreland.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.

Ryan Weber Allows One Run over Six Innings and Steve Pearce Homers for First Time This Season as #RedSox Take Series from Blue Jays with 8-2 Victory

After needing 13 innings to top the Blue Jays in a marathon game on Wednesday, the Red Sox needed just nine innings to wrap their four-game set with Toronto up on Thursday, taking the series finale by a final score of 8-2.

Making his first start and fourth overall appearance for Boston was Ryan Weber in what was supposed to be a bullpen day for the Red Sox.

As it turned out though, the right-hander worked the first six innings of this one, yielding just one run while scattering three hits, one HBP, and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the afternoon.

That one run came in the second, when with no outs and runners on first and second, a Freddy Galvis RBI double put Toronto on the board.

It looked as though things really could have taken a turn for the worst there with three straight Blue Jays reaching base to leadoff the inning, but Weber rallied by sitting down the next three hitters he faced to get out of the jam and didn’t have to look back from there.

Retiring 15 of the last 16 hitters he faced, the 28-year-old hurler’s fine outing came to a close with a six-pitch lineout of Rowdy Tellez to end the sixth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (59 strikes), Weber relied heavily on his sinking fastball, turning to the pitch nearly 55% of the time he was on the mound Thursday with Christian Vazquez behind the plate. He also induced three swings and misses and topped out at 90 MPH with the same sinker.

Although his ERA did slightly inflate to 1.29 on the season, Weber did earn his first winning decision in a Red Sox uniform to improve to 1-0 on the year. At this point, it’s not known if the Florida native will remain in Boston’s rotation, but if he does, his next start will likely come sometime next week back at home against the Cleveland Indians.

In relief of Weber, the recently called up Travis Lakins came on for his second career appearance out of the Sox bullpen in the seventh and worked his way around a leadoff double in an otherwise perfect frame of work with the help of the infield behind him.

From there, Ryan Brasier recorded his third consecutive scoreless appearance with a 1-2-3 eighth before Hector Velazquez allowed one run on a Justin Smoak home run in the ninth en route to securing the 8-2 win for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran left-hander Clayton Richard for the Blue Jays, making his first start of 2019 after opening up the season on the injured list.

Opening up the scoring for Boston in this one was the hitter responsible for Wednesday’s win in Michael Chavis, whose third inning RBI groundout to plate Eduardo Nunez from third put the Sox on the board.

That was all they could muster off of Richard, and it wasn’t until the top half of the sixth when the bats really started to get going.

With Sam Gaviglio in for Toronto to start the inning, a leadoff single from Xander Bogaerts followed by back-to-back RBI base knocks off the bats of Rafael Devers and Steve Pearce broke the 1-1 tie and gave Boston the two-run advantage.

An inning later, it was more of the same against Jays reliever Elvis Luciano, this time with Jackie Bradley Jr, Michael Chavis, and Mookie Betts reaching base to leadoff the seventh and the reigning American League MVP collecting his 25th RBI of the year on a line-drive double to score Bradley Jr. from third and make it a 4-1 contest.

In the eighth, an Andrew Benintendi leadoff single would result in another insurance run being pushed across on an RBI single from Eduardo Nunez moments later. 5-1.

And finally, in the ninth, Devers and Pearce capped off fine days at the plate, with the former driving in Bogaerts from second on an RBI infield single, and the latter coming through with his first home run of the season, a two-out, 399 foot two-run shot to left off Toronto reliever Ryan Feierabend.

Pearce’s third knock of the afternoon made it an 8-1 game, and after the Blue Jays tacked on a run of their own in their half of the ninth, 8-2 would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox are four games over .500 (27-23) for the first time this season.

Through 20 games this month, Rafael Devers is slashing .345/.383/.609 with six home runs and 21 runs driven in.

Before Thursday, Ryan Weber hadn’t won a big league game since April 19th, 2016 when he was a member of the Atlanta Braves.

Xander Bogaerts has recorded multiple hits in four of his last five games played.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s off to Houston for another three-game weekend series against the Houston Astros.

The ‘Stros took two out of three from the Sox at Fenway Park last weekend in what was a tightly-contested series outside of a few poor innings.

In the opening game, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of left-handers representing Red Sox present and past, with Chris Sale getting the ball for Boston and Wade Miley doing the same for Houston.

Last time these two southpaws met up this past Sunday, Sale allowed three runs and struck out 10 over 5.1 innings while Miley surrendered three runs, two of which were earned,  in five innings of work. The Red Sox won that game 4-3.

First pitch of the series opener on Friday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.

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.

 

 

Four Home Runs Power #RedSox to 12-2 Win over Blue Jays in David Price’s Return from Injured List

Coming off a 5-3 homestand, the Red Sox opened up a seven-game, two-city road trip on Monday afternoon with a dominating 12-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in their first visit to Rogers Centre of 2019.

Making his seventh start of the season and first since May 2nd was David Price, who spent nearly two weeks on the injured list due to left elbow tendinitis.

Activated from the IL earlier on Monday, the left-hander shook off the rust and looked solid this time around, limiting Toronto to just two unearned runs on three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the day.

Both of those unearned runs came in the bottom half of the second inning, when with two outs and Billy McKinney aboard first, Luke Maile drilled a two-run home run to left center field to put the Blue Jays on the board.

That all could have been prevented though, had it not been for a Michael Chavis fielding error which allowed McKinney to reach base in the first place instead of grounding into the second out of the inning.

Still, Price didn’t allow the homer to phase him, as he went on to toss three more scoreless, no-hit frames from the middle of the third on to the conclusion of the fifth, retiring the final 10 Blue Jays hitters he faced to wrap up his outing.

Finishing with a final conservative pitch count of only 67 (48 strikes), the one-time Blue Jay, with Sandy Leon back from paternity leave and behind the plate for this one, turned to his cutter nearly 30% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing one swing and miss with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.7 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 14 times.

Eventually picking up his second winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA down to 3.29, Price will look for win number three in his next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros next weekend.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen did not allow a single hit over four collective innings of work, with Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Ryan Brasier, and Hector Velazquez combining to sit down 12 of the last 13 Blue Jays he faced.

The only Toronto hitter to reach base over that span was Freddy Galvis, who drew a leadoff walk off of Hembree in the seventh in what was an otherwise shut-the-door kind of performance from the pen to secure the blowout win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson for the Blue Jays.

Now with his 14th big league club since 2003, the Sox bats got to Jackson beginning right away in the first, all with two outs in the inning.

Back-to-back singles from Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts led to the Sox’ first two runs of the day crossing the plate on a Rafael Devers RBI single to score Moreland and an errant throw from Blue Jays cathcer Luke Maile trying to nab Devers stealing second that allowed Bogaerts to score from third with Michael Chavis at the plate. 2-0.

Two innings later, after Toronto had battled back with two runs of their own, Bogaerts was at it again, this time driving in both Mookie Betts and Moreland on a one out, two-run single to left.

Following a Rafael Devers lineout to center, Chavis bounced back from that punchout in the first by scoring Bogaerts and himself on a two-run, 389 foot homer to left field to make it a four-run game. His ninth dinger of the season already.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth, and the bottom of the lineup came through in a run-scoring spot with Steve Pearce drawing a one-out walk and Jackie Bradley Jr. depositing his first big fly of the year off Jays reliever Elvis Luciano, another two-run shot to give his team an 8-2 lead.

Another inning later, a Mitch Moreland leadoff two-bagger resulted in two more Red Sox runs coming across thanks to another RBI base knock from Devers and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Pearce to score Devers from third and make it a 10-2 contest.

And in the ninth, just for good measure, Bogaerts and Devers capped off their fine days at the plate by going back-to-back with solo jacks off Toronto reliever Ryan Tepera to leadoff the inning.

Per Statcast, Bogaerts’ eighth of the season registered at 417 feet and 104.1 MPH off the bat, which is pretty incredible when you see the way the shortstop swung at that 1-1 face-high changeup.

Devers’ fourth of the year, meanwhile, was hit even further and harder, registering in at a whopping 445 feet and 114.4 MPH off the bat. In other words, crushed.

Anyway, those two solo home runs put the Red Sox ahead 12-2, which would go on to be Monday’s final score in the first of four between these two clubs.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From Red Sox Stats:

The Red Sox’ 3-6 hitters on Monday (Moreland, Bogaerts, Devers, Chavis):

11-for-20, three home runs, nine runs scored, and eight RBI.

Through 27 games this month, Rafael Devers owns a .562 slugging percentage.

The Red Sox are 8-3 in their last 11 games.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second game of this series against the Blue Jays.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Boston in what will be his 10th start of the season, while right-hander Marcus Stroman will do the same for Toronto.

Despite giving up five runs in his last time out against the Colorado Rockies, Rodriguez still owns an ERA of 2.84 through three starts this month. As a matter of fact, the Red Sox are 7-0 in the southpaw’s last seven outings.

In four career outings (three starts) at Rogers Centre, Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA over 19.2 total innings pitched.

Stroman, meanwhile, got off to a scorching hot start to the 2019 season, but has since cooled off. That much is evident by the fact that the Blue Jays are 0-4 in the Duke University product’s last four starts.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third straight win.

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.