Kyle Schwarber bounces back with clutch 3-run double off bench as Red Sox top Mariners, 8-4

There was a point in time where it looked like a key defensive miscue would once again cost the Red Sox dearly in their matchup against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Tuesday, but they were able to overcome their mistakes this time around.

In what was a close contest for most of the night, Boston used a five-run eighth inning to best Seattle, 8-4, and put an end to their two-game losing streak.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his 29th start of the season for the Sox, put together yet another solid outing, as he has consistently been doing over the past month-plus.

Over five innings of work, Eovaldi surrendered just two runs — only one of which was earned — on five hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts on the night.

After issuing a leadoff single to J.P. Crawford to begin things in the first, the veteran right-hander proceeded to settle into a nice groove, retiring the next nine batters he faced in order going into the top of the fourth.

Things were still scoreless at that point in time, but Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez quickly changed that by clubbing a 414-foot solo shot off Mariners starter Tyler Anderson to give his side an early 1-0 lead on his 28th home run of the season.

That one-run lead did not last long, however, as the M’s answered with two runs of their own in their half of the fourth, though Eovaldi certainly cannot be dealt all the blame.

Following a softly-hit single from Mitch Haniger and an infield single from Kyle Seager, Ty France blooped a 228-foot RBI single to shallow center field that landed in front of Enrique Hernandez and brought in Haniger to tie things up at one run apiece.

Eovaldi then get Abraham Toro to lift a 358-foot fly ball to right field that should have gone for the second out of the inning, but was instead misplayed by Hunter Renfroe when the right fielder quite simply dropped the ball.

Seattle was able to load the bases on Renfroe’s 11th later of the year, and they took advantage of that by jumping out to a 2-1 lead on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jake Fraley.

Still, all things considered, Eovaldi did manage to escape the fourth without giving anything else up, and he ended his day by getting out of another jam in what would turn out to be a scoreless fifth inning as well.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (66 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler did not factor into Tuesday’s decision, though he did lower his ERA on the season down to 3.52.

As soon as Eovaldi’s evening had officially ended, the Red Sox made sure to het the All-Star off the hook, as Seattle-area native Bobby Dalbec greeted new Mariners reliever Anthony Misiewicz by crushing a game-tying, 367-foot solo homer off him with two outs in the sixth.

Dalbec’s 22nd big fly of the season made it a 2-2 game entering the later stages, and while Darwinzon Hernandez (1 2/3 scoreless innings) and Adam Ottavino (1/3 scoreless innings) proved effective out of the Boston bullpen, the bats broke this one open in the eighth.

Following a hard-hit leadoff triple from Xander Bogaerts that prompted the Mariners to turn to Drew Steckenrider out of their bullpen, Rafael Devers drew a hard-fought eight-pitch walk, Martinez advanced Devers into scoring position on a groundout, and then it was in the hands of the bench.

Even after Dalbec homered in his previous at-bat, Red Sox manager Alex Cora opted to have the left-handed hitting Travis Shaw pinch-hit for him, and that move paid off since Shaw loaded the bases on a walk of his own.

Next up was Kyle Schwarber, pinch-hitting for Kevin Plawecki, and coming off one his more forgettable performances in his brief Red Sox career on Monday.

With redemption on his mind, Schwarber promptly unloaded the bases by drilling a 108 mph three-run double to the right-center field gap, allowing all three of Bogaerts, Devers, and Shaw to score to give the Sox their largest lead of the night at 5-2.

Schwarber’s heroics would not mark the end of the line for the Boston rally, though, as Alex Verdugo followed by mashing a two-run home run 348 feet over the left field fence to cap off a five-run inning and put his side ahead 7-2.

From there, Michael Feliz maneuvered his way around a leadoff walk in an otherwise clean bottom of the eighth and Martinez provided some much-needed insurance by ripping an RBI single off former teammate Matt Andriese in the top of the ninth.

Now working with an 8-2 lead, Hirokazu Sawamura was only able to record the first out of the bottom of the ninth while also loading the bases.

Austin Davis, meanwhile, took over for Sawamura, allowed two of the three base runners he inherited to score on a sacrifice fly and base hit, but ultimately closed things out to preserve an 8-4 victory for the Sox.

With the win, not only do the Red Sox snap a two-game skid to improve to 82-65 on the season, but they also move into a virtual three-way tie with the Yankees and Blue Jays for the top American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Houck vs. Gonzales

Right-hander Tanner Houck will get the ball for the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon as they look to secure a series victory over the Mariners, who will counter with left-hander Marco Gonzales.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Kyle Schwarber, Hunter Renfroe commit 2 costly errors as Red Sox fall to Mariners, 5-4

If the Red Sox were looking to make a statement in regards to how they should be viewed as a Wild Card contender on Monday, they certainly came up short of doing that against a team hot on their trail in the Mariners.

Boston fell to Seattle, 5-4, in the opening contest of a three-game series at T-Mobile Park, marking their sixth loss in their last eight games.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 28th start of the season for the Sox, bounced back from a rough outing in his last time out against the Rays by surrendering just two runs — only one of which was earned — on six hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts on the night.

That said, Rodriguez on Monday did not get off to the best starts, as he gave up a double and single to the first two batters he faced (J.P. Crawford and Mitch Haniger) before allowing the Mariners to take an early 1-0 lead on a run-scoring double play from Ty France in the first inning.

The left-hander had to battle his way through the bottom of the second as well, with Abraham Toro drawing a leadoff walk off him and Luis Torrens ripping a hard-hit single to right field as well as advancing up to second base when Hunter Renfroe booted the ball.

Tom Murphy then doubled his side’s advantage with an RBI groundout, but Rodriguez was ultimately able to settle in — and he did so while getting some help from the Red Sox lineup.

Mariners starter Logan Gilbert had nearly got through Boston’s batting order for the first time without giving up a hit before No. 9 hitter Jose Iglesias altered those plans.

With one out and the bases empty in the top half of the third, Iglesias clubbed a 386-foot solo shot off Gilbert for his ninth home run of the season and his first in a Red Sox uniform in more than eight years.

Fast forward to the fifth, after Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez each laced a pair of singles to put runners at the corners with one out, Iglesias came through once more, this time by plating Verdugo on a blooper of an RBI single that knotted things up at two runs apiece.

While Iglesias and Co. were grinding away at the plate, Rodriguez was dealing on the mound, as he ended his day by retiring 12 of the final 16 batters he faced following a 32-pitch second inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 107 (74 strikes), his second-highest pitch total of the year, the 28-year-old hurler did not factor into the decision on Monday, though he did lower his ERA on the season to 5.00.

In relief of Rodriguez, right-hander Ryan Brasier got the first call from Red Sox manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen, and it appeared he was well on his way to a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

After needing all of five pitches to record the first two outs of the seventh, Brasier induced a relatively-weak grounder off the bat of the pinch-hitting Jake Bauers that was hit in the direction of Kyle Schwarber at first base.

Schwarber, however, misplayed the ball and was charged with a fielding error, thus allowing Bauers to reach first base safely.

The Mariners made the Sox pay dearly for yet another defensive miscue, as Crawford singled to put runners at first and second before Haniger drilled a go-ahead three-run homer 363 feet to left field. Austin Davis had to get the last out of the seventh after his side had suddenly found themselves in a 5-2 hole.

Despite the three-run deficit, the Boston bats did not go away in the eighth, with both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers crushed a pair of back-to-back solo shots off Seattle reliever off Paul Sewald to make it a 5-4 game.

After Kaleb Ort (making his major-league debut) and Josh Taylor combined to toss a scoreless eighth inning, though, Mariners closer Drew Steckenrider slammed the door shut on the Red Sox in the ninth.

Verdugo fanned on a foul tip into the catcher’s mitt, Renfroe was called out on strikes, and Vazquez flew out to center field for the third and final out, as 2-1 would go on to be Monday’s final score in favor of the Mariners.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 81-65 on the season while also relinquishing the top American League Wild Card spot to the red-hot Blue Jays and moving into a virtual tie with the Yankees for the second and final spot.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Anderson

The Red Sox will turn to right-hander Nathan Eovaldi on Tuesday as they look to put an end to this two-game skid. The Mariners will counter with left-hander Tyler Anderson.

First pitch Tuesday night is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Ryan Brasier: Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Hunter Renfroe comes through with game-winning homer, 2 clutch outfield assists as Red Sox hang on for 2-1 victory over Rays

A pair of former Rays helped the Red Sox snap a three-game losing streak and avoid a sweep at the hands of their division rivals at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

Powered by yet another strong outing from Nathan Eovaldi and Hunter Renfroe showing out on both sides of the ball, Boston was able to hold on to a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay to close out the season series — which the Rays won 11-8 –between the two clubs.

Eovaldi, making his 28th start of the season for Boston, was stellar, as he kept the Rays off the board while scattering just three hits and two walks to go along with eight strikeouts over seven scoreless innings of work.

The veteran right-hander seemed to struggle with his command early on considering that both of his walks came in the top of the third, but he was able to settle in.

Former Red Sox prospect Manuel Margot had made things a bit interesting by ripping a two-out single off Eovaldi in the fourth, but was ultimately gunned down by Renfroe at second base while trying to extend his single into a double — marking the right fielder’s first of two outfield assists on the evening.

From there, Eovaldi sat down nine of the final 10 batters he faced, and his night came to a close once he recorded the last out of the seventh with a pitch count of 98 (65 strikes).

Though the 31-year-old hurler did not factor into the decision on Wednesday, he did lower his ERA on the season to 3.57 while also inducing 20 total swings-and-misses.

In relief of Eovaldi, left-hander Josh Taylor got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from Red Sox manager Alex Cora, but he was only able to get the first two outs of the eighth before issuing a two-out single to Brandon Lowe.

That prompted Cora to turn to Garrett Richards, who walked Wander Franco on five pitches to advance Lowe into scoring position, then surrendered a go-ahead RBI single to Nelson Cruz to put the Sox in a 1-0 hole.

Boston headed into their half of the eighth trailing by one, but that deficit may have seemed more insurmountable at the time on account of the fact that they had been held to just four hits by Rays starter Shane McClanahan and two relievers (Andrew Kittredge and Pete Fairbanks) out of the Tampa Bay bullpen.

Cora, in turn, relied heavily on his bench in the eighth inning, as he had Alex Verdugo hit for Jose Iglesias and Kyle Schwarber hit for Jonathan Arauz at the bottom of the lineup.

Verdugo, matched up against Matt Wisler, ripped a leadoff single to right field. Schwarber, matched up against J.T. Chargois after Wisler left with an apparent injury, reached first base himself on a force out, and thus represented the tying run.

Enrique Hernandez was unable to come through as he lined out to center field, but Renfroe certainly made the most of his opportunity in the spotlight.

On the very first pitch he saw from Chargois, a hanging, 90 mph slider down the heart of the plate, Renfroe clobbered a go-ahead, two-run home run a whopping 415 feet over the Green Monster.

Renfroe’s 27th homer of the year gave his side their first lead of the night at 2-1, and it was one in which Hansel Robles was tasked with protecting in the ninth inning.

Robles swiftly fanned Ji-Man Choi and Margot for the first two outs of the frame, but then gave up a 311-foot fly ball to Joey Wendle that was headed for the gap in right-center field.

Danny Santana, who had shifted from left field to center field, made a diving attempt at the ball but came up short, leaving things in the hands of Renfroe.

Renfroe, backing up Santana on the play, quickly chased down the ball, gathered himself and threw out Wendle at third base on one hop as he attempted to extend a double into a triple.

Having notched his 16th outfield assist of the season at just the right time, Renfroe locked down the 2-1 victory for the Sox, while Robles picked up his 12th save of the year as well.

With the win, not only do the Red Sox break out of a three-game skid and improve to 80-62 on the season, but they also leapfrog the Yankees for the first American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Six-game road trip on deck

The Red Sox will enjoy an off day on Thursday as they depart for Chicago for the start of a six-game road trip and the start of a three-game weekend series against the American League Central-leading White Sox that begins on Friday night.

Right-hander Tanner Houck is slated to get the ball for Boston in Friday’s series opener, while Chicago has yet to name a starter for the contest.

First pitch from Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kyle Schwarber and Hunter Renfroe: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox mash 4 homers, hold on to 8-5 victory over Indians for third straight win

It was no simple task, but the Red Sox kicked off Labor Day weekend in style with a series-opening, 8-5 victory over the Indians at Fenway Park on Friday night to extend their winning streak to three consecutive games.

Matched up against Indians starter Cal Quantrill to begin things on Friday, the Sox received an immediate boost from leadoff man Kyle Schwarber, who crushed a 428-foot solo shot to dead center field on just the second pitch he saw in the bottom half of the first inning.

Schwarber’s 29th home run of the season, which left his bat at 106.8 mph, gave Boston an early 1-0 lead.

Kevin Plawecki doubled his side’s advantage an inning later, as he, too, took Quantrill deep by drilling a 390-foot solo homer over the Green Monster to make it a 2-0 contest.

Those two home runs took some off the pressure off Nathan Eovaldi out of the gate, and that proved to be quite beneficial.

Eovaldi, making his 27th start of the season for Boston, was — for the most part — exceptional on Friday night, allowing a total of three runs on six hits and two walks to go along with nine strikeouts over 6 1/3 solid innings of work.

The veteran right-hander began his evening by retiring nine of the first 11 Indians he faced, but saw his shutout bid come to an end when he served up a leadoff home run to the dangerous Jose Ramirez in the top of the fourth.

The Red Sox offense, however, returned the favor in the bottom half of the fourth, as Jonathan Arauz clubbed his second big fly of the year — both of which have come against the Indians — to right field off a Quantrill sinker, thus allowing his side to maintain its two-run lead.

After giving up the home run to Ramirez, Eovaldi responded by putting together another impressive run in which he strung together two more scoreless frames, but ran into some trouble with one out in the seventh.

At that point, Eovaldi had given up a one-out single to Bobby Bradley which was promptly followed by a game-tying, two-run blast off the bat of Austin Hedges moments later.

Having seen a 3-1 lead become a 3-3 stalemate, Eovaldi’s night came to a close after he yielded another base hit to Andres Gimenez, which led to him getting the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (66 strikes), the 31-year-old did raise his ERA on the season to 3.73, though he did not factor into Friday’s decision.

In relief of Eovaldi, Adam Ottavino got the first call out of the Boston bullpen, and — after allowing Jimenez to steal second base — he stranded the lone runner he inherited by punching out Myles Straw and Amed Rosario back-to-back to end the inning.

While the Sox did lose hold of their lead over the Indians momentarily, they quickly got it back in their half of the seventh, and it all started when the pinch-hitting Travis Shaw drew a leadoff walk off Quantrill.

Arauz followed by lacing double to center field that put runners at second and third base with no outs for Schwarber, who greeted new Indians reliever Trevor Stephan by ripping a two-run double to the right-center field gap.

With an exit velocity of nearly 109 mph, Schwarber’s second run-scoring hit of the night put the Red Sox back in front at 5-3.

Stephan did manage to get the first two outs of the frame by punching out Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez, but Cleveland opted to intentionally walk the left-handed Alex Verdugo so that their right-handed reliever could face Hunter Renfroe.

The right-handed hitting Renfroe made the Tribe pay dearly for that decision, as he worked a nine-pitch at-bat and — on the ninth and final pitch he saw — deposited a 2-2, 84 mph slider on the outer half of the plate a nice 369 feet over everything in left field.

Renfroe’s 26th homer of the year gave the Sox a commanding 8-3 lead going into the eighth, and it gave Ryan Brasier a comfortable cushion to work with as well.

Brasier, making his 2021 debut on Friday after dealing with a plethora of injuries, got the first two outs of the eighth inning rather quickly, but allowed the next three batters he faced to reach base, with the third and final one — Bradley — lifting an RBI single to left field to cut Boston’s lead down to four runs.

That set the stage for rookie sensation Garrett Whitlock to come on in an attempt to get the final out of the eighth, and he did just that by getting Hedges to fly out to right field.

Coming back out for the ninth, Whitlock did surrender a run that made things even more interesting, but ultimately slammed the door on the Indians with two clutch strikeouts to notch his second save of the year while also securing an 8-5 victory for the Sox.

With the win, the Red Sox improve to 78-59 on the season as their lead over the Athletics for the second American League Wild Card spot increases to three games.

Brasier’s 2021 debut

Of the 21 pitchers Brasier threw in his season debut on Friday, 11 went for strikes. The right-hander turned to his four-seam fastball 71% of the time he was on the mound in the eighth inning and averaged 94.4 mph with the pitch.

Lopez’s first major-league hit

Since making his big-league debut earlier this week, infielder Jack Lopez had been hitless in eight plate appearances leading into Friday. The 28-year-old rookie came through in the second inning, though, as he picked up his first career hit — a 370-foot double — with two outs in the frame.

A first for Devers at second

After Shaw pinch-hit for Lopez to lead off the seventh inning, Danny Santana was inserted as a pinch-runner once Shaw reached base upon drawing a six-pitch walk.

As a result of that substitution, Santana took over for Bobby Dalbec at first base and Dalbec slid over to third base, leading Devers to fill in for Lopez at second base.

That being said, Friday night marked Devers’ professional debut at second base, as he had never played the position at the minor- or major-league level beforehand.

Next up: Houck vs. Morgan

The Red Sox will turn to right-hander Tanner Houck as they go for the series win over the Indians on Saturday afternoon.

The Indians, meanwhile, will hand the ball to fellow rookie righty Eli Morgan as they look to prevent that from happening.

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

(Picture of Kyle Schwarber, Alex Verdugo, and Hunter Renfroe: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox commit season-high 5 errors in ugly 10-1 loss to Rangers

On a day where the two teams ahead of them and the one team directly behind them in the American League East standings all won their respective games, a sloppy Red Sox team came out absolutely flat in a blowout 10-1 loss at the hands of the Rangers at Fenway Park on Saturday night.

After Chris Sale guided them to their 70th win of the season on Friday, Eduardo Rodriguez was unable to get the job done for the Sox in the middle game of this three-game weekend series.

In what was his 24th start of the year for Boston, Rodriguez allowed five runs — all of which were earned — on eight hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts over just 3 2/3 innings of work.

Following a scoreless top half of the first, Rodriguez ran into some trouble in the top of the second when he issued a leadoff double to Nathaniel Lowe that was followed by a seven-pitch walk of Yohel Pozo.

Nick Solak plated one of those two runners by drilling an RBI single through a vacant right side of the infield, and after Andy Ibanez and Jose Trevino flew out, old friend Brock Holt drove in the other on an RBI single back up the middle.

Alex Verdugo had the opportunity to gun down that runner — Pozo — at home plate, but Christian Vazquez appeared to lose his balance while going for the tag and that allowed Pozo to cross home safely on a feet-first slide.

The Sox went down 2-0 on Vazquez’s miscue, but had the opportunity to get something back in their half of the second when J.D. Martinez ripped a one-out single off Rangers starter Jordan Lyles.

Martinez promptly moved up to second base on a two-out walk drawn by Hunter Renfroe and attempted to score on a single to right field off the bat of Vazquez, but was instead thrown out at home by rookie sensation Adolis Garcia for the final out of the inning.

Despite blowing that chance, Boston did get on the board in the bottom of the third, with Enrique Hernandez following up a Bobby Dalbec leadoff double by lacing an RBI single to right field to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

Rafael Devers nearly came through with the Sox’ third straight hit to lead off the third when he tattooed a 105.3 mph line drive to dead center field.

Rather than come up with extra-bases, though, Devers instead flew out to D.J. Peters, as the Rangers center fielder made an incredible leaping grab at the base of the center field wall before doubling up Hernandez on a rocket of a throw back to first base.

That sequence of defensive brilliance killed Boston’s rally before it really even happened, and the Texas offense built off that momentum by getting to Rodriguez for good in the fourth.

There, with two outs and a runner at second, Holt hit a comebacker back in the direction of Rodriguez, but it was one that deflected off the veteran left-hander’s left field, rolled softly into shallow right field, and allowed Ibanez to score from second.

Holt, meanwhile, moved all the way up to third base on a throwing error committed by Hernandez, and he, too, scored on an RBI double from Isiah Kiner-Filefa that marked the end of the line for Rodriguez in what had become a 4-1 game.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 68 (47 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler ultimately fell to 9-7 on the season while seeing his ERA on the season rise to 5.19 after one of the runners he left on came into score.

In relief of Rodriguez, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen, and he officially closed the book on the lefty’s night by allowing that aforementioned inherited runner — Kiner-Filefa — to cross the plate on an RBI single from Garcia as well as a throwing error by Xander Bogaerts.

From there, Garrett Richards yielded another run back-to-back one-out doubles in the fifth, Hansel Robles tossed a scoreless sixth inning, Adam Ottavino did the same in the seventh inning, Martin Perez got shelled for four more runs in the eighth, although only two of those runs were earned on account of a pair of errors committed by Devers and Renfroe.

Austin Davis, on the other hand, kept the Rangers off the board in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, though by then it was too little, too late.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was unable to really get anything going against Lyles after pushing across a run in the third inning.

That lone run would prove to be the only offense of the night for the home side, as Lyles and two Rangers relievers combined to hurl nine innings of one-run ball while the Red Sox — despite going 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position — left five men on base as a team.

Speaking of the No. 5, the Sox committed as many errors on Saturday night as they recorded hits (5), so that is certainly not encouraging coming from a team with postseason aspirations.

With the 10-1 defeat, the Red Sox fall to 70-55 on the season and drop to 6 1/2 games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East, though they remain 1/2 game back of the Athletics for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Allard

For how poorly they played on Saturday, the Red Sox still have the chance to go for the series win over the last-place Rangers on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for Boston in Sunday’s series finale, while left-hander Kolby Allard will do the same for Texas.

First pitch Sunday (weather permitting) is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox can’t avoid doubleheader sweep as bats go down quietly in 2-0 loss to Yankees in Game 2 of twin bill

After coming up short in their comeback attempt earlier in the day, the Red Sox were once again held in check by the Yankees on Tuesday night, as they dropped the seven-inning nightcap of their doubleheader against their division rivals by a final score of 2-0 at Yankee Stadium.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his 24th start of the season for the Sox, did his part in keeping this one close, though it turned out to be not enough in the end.

Over five solid innings of work, Eovaldi allowed just two runs — both of which were earned — on seven hits and six walks to go along with six strikeouts on the night against his former team.

Both runs the veteran right-hander surrendered came by way of the home run ball, and they both proved to be very costly considering the fact that the Boston bats were kept quiet by New York pitching.

After tossing a scoreless first inning and recording the first two outs of the bottom of the second, Eovaldi served up a solo shot to Luke Voit on a first-pitch, 98 mph fastball on the outer half of the plate.

Following a third inning in which he kept the Yankees off the board despite putting two runners on, Eovaldi ran into some more trouble to begin things in the fourth, this time yielding a booming 441-foot solo homer to Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton’s 19th home run of the season, which came off an 0-2, 80 mph curveball at the bottom of the strike zone, gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

In the moments after getting taken deep a second time, Eovaldi again dealt with traffic on the base paths, but managed to escape the fourth inning and strike out one while stranding a runner in the fifth to end his outing on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 83 (57 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler was ultimately hit with his eighth loss of the season while lowering his ERA on the year down to 3.91.

In relief of Eovaldi, left-hander Martin Perez got the first call out of the Boston bullpen in the sixth and got the first two outs of the inning before issuing a two-out single to Tyler Wade that resulted in Hirokazu Sawamura coming on.

Sawamura recorded the final out of the frame by getting Kyle Higashioka to fly out to right field, thus keeping his side’s deficit at two runs.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a rookie starter in the form of Yankees right-hander Luis Gil.

Gil, facing off against the Sox for the first time in his young career, was effective in what was just his third start of the 2021 season.

The Boston bats certainly had their chances to get to Gil throughout his 4 2/3 innings of work, but were simply unable to do so.

For instance, with no outs in the top of the second inning, the Sox had two runners — J.D. Martinez and Kyle Schwarber — on base following a single and walk, but neither Kevil Plawecki, Jarren Duran, or Travis Shaw made any progress from there since all three struck out to retire the side.

An inning later, Alex Verdugo drew a one-out walk off Gil and promptly took second base on a passed ball, but was left stranded at third base after a Xander Bogaerts ground out and Rafael Devers line out.

Fast forward to the fifth, and Duran led the frame off with a softly-hit single before advancing all the way to third on a one-out base hit off the bat of Enrique Hernandez.

Verdugo then proceeded to lift a fly ball 272 feet that was ultimately caught by Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo, but the speedy Duran opted to remain at third base as opposed to darting towards home plate.

That decision looked like it was going to pay off when Bogaerts drew a four-pitch walk to fill the bases and knock Gil out of this contest, but Yankees reliever Wandy Peralta won the forthcoming left-on-left matchup by getting Devers to hit into an inning-ending force out.

The top of the sixth presented another scoring opportunity when Plawecki reached base with one out and Hunter Renfroe ripped a pinch-hit single to put runners on the corners with two outs.

Bobby Dalbec (who was pinch-hitting for Shaw), however, grounded out to Peralta by lacing a liner that just so happened to deflect off the left-hander, which allowed him to get the out at first base to retire the side.

And in the seventh, recently-named Yankees closer Chad Green retired Boston’s Nos. 1, 2, 3 hitters (Hernandez, Verdugo, Bogaerts) in consecutive order to seal the 2-0 shutout victory for his side and the 2-0 shutout defeat for the Sox.

All in all, Boston hitters went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position while leaving nine runners on base as a team on Tuesday night.

With the loss, not only did the Red Sox manage to get swept by the Yankees in Tuesday’s doubleheader, but they also fell to 69-53 on the season as well as third place in the American League East going off percentage points.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Heaney

The Red Sox will send right-hander Nick Pivetta to the mound as they look to salvage this three-game series with a win in the finale on Wednesday night.

The Yankees will counter with left-hander Andrew Heaney, who they acquired in a trade with the Angels ahead of last month’s trade deadline.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Red Sox break out for season-highs in runs and hits in 20-8 thrashing of Rays; Nathan Eovaldi allows just 1 run over 7 strong innings

After falling victim to some mild heartbreak recently, the Red Sox let out their frustrations in a 20-8 romping of the Rays at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

Matched up against Rays starter Josh Fleming to begin things on Wednesday, the top third of the Sox lineup set the tone right out of the gate, with Enrique Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, and Xander Bogaerts each doubling off the left-hander to give their side an early 2-0 lead.

J.D. Martinez followed suit and got his exceptional night at the plate started with an RBI single that brought in Bogaerts and made it a 3-0 contest after just one inning.

In the second, it was the bottom and top of the Boston lineup that got the job done against Fleming, as Bobby Dalbec drew a one-out walk, advanced up to third on a two-out double from Hernandez, and both runners scored on another two-run double off the bat of Renfroe. 5-0.

Despite going down relatively quietly in the third, the Boston bats matched that five-run total in their half of the fourth inning alone. Hernandez led off with a single, moved up to single on a walk drawn by Renfroe, and crossed the plate on a Rafael Devers run-scoring single.

Fleming proceeded to intentionally walk Martinez to fill the bases with one out, but followed that up by unintentionally walking Kevin Plawecki to bring in yet another run. Marwin Gonzalez and Dalbec each lifted softly-hit singles to shallow right field to push across three additional runs, thus giving the Sox a commanding 10-0 lead.

An inning later, with reliever Dietrich Enns in for the Rays, the Red Sox padded that lead even further on an RBI single from Martinez that was followed by a three-run triple off the bat of Dalbec, making it a 14-0 contest.

With that sizable of a cushion to work with, Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi was easily able to find a groove in what was his 23rd start of the season.

Over seven dominating innings of work against his former team, Eovaldi allowed just one earned run while scattering just three hits and one walk to go along with 10 strikeouts to tie a season-high in that category.

After retiring 16 of the first 18 batters he faced Wednesday, the lone run the veteran right-hander surrendered came when he served up a solo home run to Brandon Lowe with one out in the top of the sixth.

That cut the Sox’ deficit down to 13 runs at 14-1, but Eovaldi was able to recover nicely by sitting down five of the final six Rays hitters he faced going into the middle of the seventh — the point in which his evening came to a masterful close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 97 (69 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler ultimately earned his 10th winning decision of the year while lowering his ERA down to 3.92.

In relief of Eovaldi, Yacksel Rios got the first call out of the Sox bullpen and retired the side in order in the eighth.

From there, the Boston offense took advantage of the fact that the Rays had a position player — catcher Francisco Mejia — pitching for them in the bottom half of the inning.

After Dalbec was plunked by a 40 mph curveball, Jarren Duran put runners on the corners with a single of his own.

Renfroe plated Dalbec with yet another RBI base hit, and Bogaerts brought in both Renfroe and Duran on a three-run blast (his 17th home run of the season) that left his bat at 105.5 mph and traveled 428 feet to center field.

That made it an 18-1 game, but the Sox were not done there, as the pinch-hitting Connor Wong collected an RBI of his own on his first career big-league triple and scored his side’s 20th and final run on a base knock from Gonzalez.

Despite being in possession of a 20-1 lead going into the ninth and final frame, Red Sox reliever Phillips Valdez made things somewhat interesting by getting rocked for seven runs on five hits in what was a low-leverage spot.

Still, even after serving up a pair of RBI singles to Wander Franco and Joey Wendle, a grand slam to Brett Phillips, and a solo home run to Mike Zunino, Valdez was ultimately able to hold on and secure a 20-8 victory for his side.

With the win, the Red Sox snap a two-game skid to improve to 66-50 on the season while also moving four games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Some notes from this victory:

From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:

From Red Sox Notes:

Next up: Houck vs. Rasmussen

The Red Sox will recall right-hander Tanner Houck from Triple-A Worcester and have him start the rubber match of this three-game series against the Rays on Thursday afternoon, manager Alex Cora said. A corresponding move will need to be made in order to add Houck to the major-league roster.

The Rays, meanwhile, will go with righty Drew Rasmussen in what looks to be a bullpen day for manager Kevin Cash’s club.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Despite solid start from Eduardo Rodriguez and home runs from Rafael Devers and Hunter Renfroe, Red Sox blow late lead against Rays in disheartening 8-4 defeat

Lately, it seems as though the Red Sox have struggled to get out of their own way, and that was once again the case at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.

Opening up a pivotal three-game series against the American League East-leading Rays, the reeling Sox failed to make a statement and fell to their division rivals in yet another soul-crushing 8-4 defeat.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 22nd start of the season for Boston, provided his side with what they needed out of the gate by putting together a solid outing on the mound.

Over 5 1/3 quality innings of work, the left-hander surrendered just two earned runs on four hits and one walk to go along with eight strikeouts — marking the fourth time in his last five starts in which he struck out at least eight batters.

After Rafael Devers lifted the Sox to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning by crushing his 28th home run of the year — a 390-foot solo shot that left his bat at 114 mph — to right field off Rays starter Luis Patino, Rodriguez followed suit by serving up a solo homer of his own to Brandon Lowe in the top half of the third.

That knotted things up at one run apiece, but the Boston bats struck again in their half of the fourth when Xander Bogaerts led things off with a single and later moved up to second on a two-out walk drawn by Kevin Plawecki.

Making Patino pay for issuing a walk with two outs, Hunter Renfroe punished a 2-2, 96 mph heater down the heart of the plate by depositing it 420 feet to dead center field for a towering three-run home run.

Renfroe’s 19th big fly of the season gave Rodriguez a 4-1 lead to work with, and he put together a scoreless fifth inning before running into a bit of trouble in the sixth.

There, a leadoff double ultimately did Rodriguez in, as he then issued a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz and an RBI single to rookie sensation Wander Franco, which in turn put runners at first and second and subsequently marked the end of the road for the southpaw as he got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 82 (60 strikes), the 28-year-old did not factor into Tuesday’s decision, though he did lower his ERA on the season to 5.24.

In relief of Rodriguez, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Boston bullpen, and he escaped the top of sixth inning by sitting down the only two hitters he faced in consecutive order.

From there, Garrett Whitlock took over in the seventh, brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate by giving up back-to-back one-out hits, and then served up a game-tying two-run double to the pinch-hitting Ji-Man Choi.

Tampa Bay pulled themselves even with Boston at that moment, but the Sox nearly countered in their half of the seventh when matched up against right-handed reliever Andrew Kittredge.

With two outs in the frame, Jarren Duran put his speed on full display by reaching first base on an infield single and going from first to third on another single off the bat of Bogaerts. But Devers flew out to center field for the final out of the inning, thus stranding the potential go-ahead run in scoring position.

In the eighth, the combined efforts of Whitlock and lefty Josh Taylor were enough to keep the Rays off the scoreboard despite them loading the bases.

Again, the Red Sox offense showed some semblance of life in their half of the inning when Kevin Plawecki reached base via a one-out single. But both Renfroe and Christian Vazquez went down swinging against Kittredge to keep this one tied at 4-4 going into the ninth.

Red Sox closer Matt Barnes, despite being used three times in two days over the weekend in Toronto, was called upon for the ninth and was tasked with keeping that 4-4 stalemate intact.

Instead, Barnes’ August struggles continued, as he loaded the bases with two outs before yielding a bases-clearing, three-run single to Francisco Mejia that was aided by a Renfroe fielding error.

Regardless, the Sox went down 7-4 on that sequence, and fell behind by one more when Martin Perez allowed one of the runners he inherited from Barnes to score on another RBI single.

That put the Sox in an 8-4 hole, and Franchy Cordero, Enrique Hernandez went down in order in the bottom of the ninth to mark Boston’s 10th defeat in its last 12 games.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 65-50 on the season and now sit five games behind the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Fleming

The Red Sox will send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the hill in the middle game of this three-game set on Wednesday as they look to right the ship.

The Rays will counter with left-hander Josh Fleming.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Nathan Eovaldi, Red Sox melt down in 9-run fifth inning, fall to Blue Jays, 12-4; Boston drops to 1-7 in last 8 games

At one point Friday night, the Red Sox had a 2-0 lead over the Blue Jays in their first game at Rogers Centre in nearly two years.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his 22nd start of the season for the Sox, got off to a strong start in the opener of this four-game weekend series by retiring 12 of the first 15 batters he faced over four impressive, scoreless innings.

The Boston lineup, meanwhile, was matched up against rookie starter Alek Manoah for Toronto. After managing just one hit the first time through the order, Alex Verdugo led off the top side of the fourth with a line-drive double.

Verdugo advanced to third on a J.D. Martinez groundout and scored from third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Xander Bogaerts to give the Sox the first lead of the night.

An inning later, Marwin Gonzalez reached base via a one-out infield single, moved up to second on a walk drawn by Christian Vazquez, and came in to score from second on a two-out RBI single courtesy of Enrique Hernandez.

Another free pass to Verdugo loaded the bases for the slumping — but still threatening J.D. Martinez, but Manoah managed to escape the jam by getting the All-Star slugger to weakly pop out to first base.

At that point, exactly halfway through the nine-inning contest, the Red Sox found themselves in possession of a 2-0 lead with a dealing Eovaldi seemingly on his way to a quality inning.

Instead, the bottom fell out for Eovaldi — and the Sox — in the latter half of the fifth, resulting in this game completely turning on its head.

There, back-to-back-to-back doubles from Toronto’s 7, 8, 9 hitters (Alejandro Kirk, Randal Grichuk, and Breyvic Valera) brought in their first two runs of the night to knot things up at 2-2, though they were not done there.

Eovaldi got George Springer to fly out, intentionally walked Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to set up a double play, and struck out Marcus Semien on three pitches for the second out. But the veteran right-hander was unable to finish the job, as he served up an RBI single to Bo Bichette, a two-run double to Teoscar Hernandez, and a two-run home run down the left field line to Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Just like that, on the back of three straight run-scoring hits with two outs, the Blue Jays jumped out to a 7-2 lead and that subsequently marked the end of the line for Eovaldi as he got the quick hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 86 (57 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler wound up surrendering a season-high seven runs — all of which were earned — on eight hits, two walks, and four strikeouts over just 4 2/3 of work.

In relief of Eovaldi, newcomer Hansel Robles got the first call out of the Boston bullpen, although he certainly did not stop the bleeding. After issuing a single to Kirk, the righty plunked Grichuk on the elbow with a 96 mph fastball, sparking some drama as the Blue Jays dugout took exception to the beaning.

Though nothing came of Robles’ extra-curriculars sans both dugouts receiving warnings from home plate umpire Jim Wolf, the Jays tacked on two more runs with a 2-RBI double off the bat of Springer, thus capping off a nine-run bottom of the fifth for Toronto.

From there, Hunter Renfroe clobbered a two-run home run off Blue Jays reliever Ryan Borucki to cut the deficit to five runs at 9-4 in the top of the sixth, but the right fielder’s 18th big fly of the season did not make much of a difference in the end.

That being the case because after Austin Davis allowed one run to cross the plate in the bottom half of the sixth, Renfroe popped out with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the seventh.

Martin Perez — on the same day he was demoted to the Red Sox bullpen and just one day after his start against the Tigers — took over for Davis and yielded one additional run on two hits in the seventh.

And in the eighth, Jonathan Arauz became the fourth position player to pitch for the Red Sox this season, and he also allowed one more run to score to make it a 12-4 contest in favor of the Blue Jays, which would go on to be Friday’s final score.

Of the 12 pitches (eight strikes) Arauz threw, four were identified by sliders and three were identified as curveballs. He topped out at 43.7 mph.

Anyway, with the loss, the Red Sox have now dropped seven of their last eight games and have fallen to 64-47 on the season as a result. They are now 2 1/2 games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: Doubleheader on-deck

The Sox and Jays will play two at Rogers Centre on Saturday, with Game 1 scheduled to begin at 3:07 p.m. eastern time and Game 2 to follow at 7:07 p.m. ET.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta is slated to face off against left-hander Robbie Ray in the day cap, while righty Tanner Houck will square off against fellow right-hander Jose Berrios in the night cap.

Both games will be broadcast on NESN.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Cole Burston/Getty Images)

Adam Ottavino blows save against former team as Red Sox waste Nathan Eovaldi’s gem, drop heartbreaker to Yankees, 4-3

The Red Sox appeared to be well on their way to a series-clinching victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park on Saturday evening, until the eighth inning happened.

Nathan Eovaldi had allowed just one earned run over 7 2/3 innings of work and handed things over to the bullpen with the Red Sox up 3-1 and needing just one more out to get through the top of the eighth.

Adam Ottavino came on in relief of Eovaldi, inheriting a situation in which New York had one runner on first base with the middle portion of their lineup due to hit.

The former Yankees reliever gave up a ground-rule double to Giancarlo Stanton that left the slugger’s bat at just 70.3 mph, but put runners at second and third for Rougned Odor, who cleared the bases on another two-base hit that knotted things up at three runs apiece.

Gleyber Torres followed by driving in Odor on a go-ahead RBI single, and just like that, the Red Sox found themselves trailing for the first time all day at 4-3.

Ottavino wound up getting charged with the loss and blown save, as the Sox fell to the Yankees in gut-wrenching fashion by a final score of 4-3.

Eovaldi’s strong start goes for naught

Eovaldi, making his 20th start of the season for Boston, was in cruise control through most of his outing on Saturday.

With the benefit of some early run support, the veteran right-hander put up seven consecutive scoreless frames to begin his day, never facing more than four Yankees in a single inning while retiring 20 of the first 25 batters he faced.

The eighth inning presented a different challenge for Eovaldi, though, as he served up a leadoff double to Estevan Florial and later let that runner score by giving up a two-out RBI single to Brett Gardner, which would be how his outing came to an end.

In came Ottavino after Eovaldi got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and the righty allowed the lone runner he inherited to score before yielding two more runs of his own on three straight two-out hits that was capped off by Torres’ game-winning single.

As a result of how the top of the eighth inning ended for Boston, Eovaldi wound up surrendering two earned runs on seven hits, zero walks, and eight strikeouts over his 7 2/3 innings pitched. Of the 100 pitches the 31-year-old hurler threw, 82 — or 82% of them — went for strikes.

Red Sox offense gets on the board early, then sputters

Opposite Eovaldi to begin things in Saturday’s contest was fellow Houston-area native Jameson Taillon for New York.

Matched up against Taillon for a third time this season, the Sox scored early and often off of the right-hander.

Before the first out of the first inning could even be recorded, Kiké Hernández led off by lacing a hard-hit triple off the Green Monster. Upon reaching third base via a head-first slide, Hernández was able to score on an errant throw to third from Odor, giving the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead.

Kevin Plawecki doubled that advantage in the bottom of the second, as he drove in J.D. Martinez on an RBI double that left the backstop’s bat at an impressive 105.7 mph.

In the third, Jarren Duran’s elite speed on the base paths proved to be an effective weapon, with him reaching first and advancing to second on a ground ball that eluded Odor at second base and made its way to the outfield.

After advancing to third on a Xander Bogaerts groundout, Duran scored easily on a sacrifice fly from Rafael Devers, earning Devers his team-leading 80th RBI of the season to put the Sox up 3-0.

While it seemed like the Boston bats had Taillon’s number, the New York starter was able to settle in to the point where he held the opposition in check to the tune of seven quality innings of work in which only one of the three runs he gave up was earned.

Sox threaten late, but to no avail

Moments after the Red Sox saw the last of Taillon Saturday, the Yankees put together a four-run rally in their half of the eighth and essentially turned this game on its head in the process of doing so.

Finding themselves down by one all of the sudden, Boston threatened with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, as back-to-back singles from Bogaerts and Devers put runners at the corners for Martinez.

Martinez, matched up against Yankees reliever Jonathan Loaisiga, proceeded to rip a 90.3 mph line drive to right field, but it was one that was caught by Greg Allen to retire the side.

In the ninth, with struggling closer Aroldis Chapam on the mound for New York, the Sox nearly manufactured another late two-out rally, with Hunter Renfroe — pinch-hitting for Franchy Cordero — drew a two-out walk and Christian Vazquez — pinch-hitting for Michael Chavis — followed with a ground-rule double.

That dramatic sequence put the potential tying run at third base and the potential winning run at second base with two outs for Hernández, but he fell victim to a five-pitch strikeout that sealed a dispiriting 4-3 defeat for the Sox.

With the loss, the Red Sox see their four-game winning streak come to an end as they drop to 60-39 on the season.

The Rays, meanwhile, topped the Indians by a final score of 8-2 in their game on Saturday, meaning Tampa Bay and Boston will be tied atop of the American League East standings going into Sunday’s action.

Next up: Game No. 100

The Red Sox will play their 100th game of the 2021 season on Sunday afternoon as they go for the series victory over the Yankees.

Left-hander Martin Perez is slated to get the ball for Boston in the weekend finale, while right-hander Domingo German is lined up to do the same for New York.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and TBS.

(Picture of Adam Ottavino: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)