Justin Turner, Triston Casas, and Jarren Duran all homer as Red Sox snap four-game losing streak with 9-4 win over Mariners

The Red Sox put an end to their four-game losing streak with a series-evening victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night. Behind a four-run first inning, Boston defeated Seattle by a final score of 9-4 at Fenway Park to improve to 23-20 on the season.

With one of the most talented pitchers in baseball in Luis Castillo starting for the Mariners, the Sox drew first blood right away in the first inning. After leadoff man Alex Verdugo reached on a fielding error, Masataka Yoshida drove him in all the way from first with a line-drive triple off the center field wall. Justin Turner then gave Boston a 3-0 lead by depositing a 389-foot solo shot over the Green Monster for his fourth home run of the year.

Rafael Devers and Jarren Duran were both retired by Castillo, but Triston Casas extended the inning and his side’s lead by lacing a 373-foot solo homer into the right field seats. Casas’ sixth big fly of the season left his bat at 110.7 mph and provided Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta with a four-run cushion out of the gate.

Pivetta, making his eighth start of the year for Boston, cruised through the first three innings of Tuesday’s contest before running into some trouble in the top of the fourth. After giving up a two-out single to Eugenio Suarez and issuing a five-pitch walk to Cal Raleigh, the right-hander got Teoscar Hernandez to loft a 281-foot fly ball to center field.

Duran attempted to make a head-first diving catch, but he could not come up with the ball cleanly and it instead rolled all the way into the right-center field triangle. As a result, Hernandez plated both Suarez and Raleigh on a two-run triple to cut Seattle’s deficit in half. Moments after Hernandez reached third base safely, Taylor Trammell evened the score by crushing a game-tying, two-run home run to deep right field.

Though the Mariners had just come back to knot things up at four runs apiece, the stalemate did not last particularly long. That being the case because the Verdugo-Yoshida combination struck again in the latter half of the the fifth. The pair hit back-to-back doubles off Castillo to lead off the frame and put the Sox back up by one. Yoshida then advanced to third and scored on a wild pitch before Duran made up for his previous blunder by clubbing a first-pitch slider 417 feet over Boston’s bullpen to make it a three-run game at 7-4.

Castillo’s night came to a close after the fifth. The 30-year-old was charged with a season-high seven runs (five earned) on six hits. Pivetta, meanwhile, came back out for the top of the sixth and retired the final batter he faced in Hernandez.

Finishing with 98 pitches (58 strikes) Pivetta wound up allowing four earned runs on six hits and four walks to go along with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of work. The 30-year-old hurler picked up his third winning decision of the season, though his ERA did rise from 6.23 to 6.30.

In relief of Pivetta, Ryan Sherriff received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Making his club debut, the left-hander sat down all three batters he faced before making way for Josh Winckowski, who scattered two hits over 1 1/2 scoreless frames.

While Sherriff and Winckowski were putting up zeroes, the Sox tacked on a pair of insurance runs with a Duran RBI single in the seventh and a Yoshida run-scoring groundout in the eighth. Justin Garza — who, like Sherriff was making his club debut — then put the finishing touches on a 9-4 win by making quick work of the Mariners in a 1-2-3 ninth.

All told, the Red Sox had 11 hits as a team on Tuesday. Seven of the nine hitters recorded at least one hit while Verdugo (2-for-4), Yoshida (2-for-5), Turner (2-for-5), and Duran (2-for-4) all registered multi-hit games.

Next up: Bello vs. Gonzales in rubber match

The Red Sox will send right-hander Brayan Bello to the mound on Wednesday night as they look to close out the homestand by taking this series from the Mariners, who will counter with left-hander Marco Gonzales.

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

(Picture of Justin Turner: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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Nick Pivetta gets shelled for season-high 7 runs as Red Sox drop opener to Braves, 9-3

The Red Sox suffered their second straight defeat in a series-opening loss to the Braves on Tuesday night. Boston fell to Atlanta by a final score of 9-3 at Truist Park to drop to 21-16 on the season.

Nick Pivetta struggled in his seventh start of the year for the Sox. The right-hander went just four innings, allowing a season-high seven earned runs on eight hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with two strikeouts.

The Braves got to Pivetta right away in the bottom of the first. Following a leadoff single from Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson opened the scoring by crushing a 426-foot two-run home run to deep right field. Pivetta then walked Austin Riley and plunked Sean Murphy before fanning Eddie Rosario.

A wild pitch allowed Riley and Murphy to advance an additional 90 feet. Ozzie Albies then drove in Riley with a run-scoring single through the right side of the infield before Marcell Ozuna gave Atlanta a 4-0 lead with an RBI groundout that brought in Murphy.

An inning later, Murphy singled in Acuna Jr. with two outs to extend the lead to five runs. The Red Sox got one of those runs back in the top of the third. After being held in check by Braves starter Charlie Morton to that point, Alex Verdugo ripped a leadoff double and took third base on a balk. Justin Turner then drove him in on a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to four runs at 5-1.

Pivetta made quick work of the Braves in the bottom half of the frame, but ran into more trouble in the fourth. Orlando Arcia, Acuna Jr., and Olson all reached to fill the bases with no outs. Murphy then broke it open by plating both Arcia and Acuna Jr. on a two-run single to left field that put Atlanta back up, 7-1.

Though Pivetta did retire the final two batters he faced in the fourth, the damage had already been done. The 30-year-old hurler finished with 90 pitches (52 strikes) and induced 11 swings-and-misses. He was charged with the losing decision and his ERA on the season now sits at an unsightly 6.23.

In relief of Pivetta, Brennan Bernardino received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The lefty beaned Michael Harris II to put runners at first and second with no outs and then yielded an RBI ground-rule double to Arcia to give the Braves an 8-1 advantage.

Turner struck again in the sixth, this time taking Morton 389 feet deep to the opposite field for a leadoff home run (his third of the season). That was all the Red Sox could do off Morton, though, as the veteran righty allowed just two runs over six innings on exactly 100 pitches before being lifted for reliever Kirby Yates.

Following a pair of scoreless frames from Ryan Brasier and Zack Littell, Turner laced a one-out double off A.J. Minter in the top of the eighth for the 300th two-base hit of his career. He then moved up to third and scored his side’s third run of the night on a line-drive RBI single off the bat of Enrique Hernandez.

After Littell surrendered an RBI double to Murphy in the bottom of the eighth, the Red Sox went down quietly in the ninth to end it. Masataka Yoshida grounded out for the final out of the game. He went 0-for-5 on the night, meaning his 16-game hitting streak has ended.

As a team, the Red Sox tallied eight hits and went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position while leaving eight runners on base. Verdugo went 3-for-5 with a run scored and Turner went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the way offensively.

Next up: Bello gets the start in finale

The Red Sox will look to salvage a split in the finale of this quick two-game set against the Braves on Wednesday night. Right-hander Brayan Bello is slated to start for Boston while Atlanta will go with a bullpen game after placing projected starter Max Fried on the injured list.

First pitch from Truist Park is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta settles in after shaky start as Red Sox top Blue Jays, 8-3, behind season-high 15 hits

The Red Sox once again rallied to earn a series victory over the Blue Jays on a rainy and chilly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Behind a season-high 15 hits, Boston defeated Toronto by a final score of 8-3 to extend its winning streak to five and improve to 18-14 on the year.

Nick Pivetta, making his fourth start of the season for the Sox, allowed three runs on five hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over six quality innings of work.

Because the wind was blowing in from center field on Wednesday, Pivetta was able to avoid any serious damage in the top of the first despite consistently giving up hard contact. The same cannot be said for the second inning, as Daulton Varsho led it off by taking the right-hander 399 feet deep to right field for his second home run in as many nights.

An inning later, Pivetta served up a towering 450-foot solo shot to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. that cleared the Green Monster and had an exit velocity of 110 mph. Guerrero Jr.’s sixth home run of the season gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead going into the fourth.

That is when the Red Sox finally got on the board. Rafael Devers singled on a 112.5 mph line drive that deflected off Jays starter Alek Manoah and then moved up to second on a throwing error. A wild pitch from Manoah allowed Devers to move up to third before Jarren Duran drove him in with an RBI double. Duran took third after Manoah unsuccessfully tried to pick him off at second base and scored on a game-tying RBI single from Triston Casas that knotted things up at two runs apiece.

In the fifth, Kevin Kiermaier led off with a double and advanced to third on a George Springer flyout. With Bo Bichette at the plate, Pivetta allowed the then-go-ahead run to cross the plate on a controversial balk that drew the ire of both the righty and Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Though Toronto had just re-taken the lead at the midway point, it did not take long for Boston to respond.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Masataka Yoshida reached base on a throwing error committed by Santiago Espinal. Justin Turner followed with a hard-hit double and Duran was hit by a pitch to fill the bases with two outs. For the second time in as many at-bats, Casas delivered with a game-tying single through the left side of the infield that pushed across Yoshida. Fellow rookie Enmanuel Valdez kept the line moving by lacing a grounder that ate up Guerrero Jr. at first base.

Both Turner and Duran came into score as a result of Guerrero Jr.’s blunder, which was initially ruled an error but was later changed to a go-ahead, two-run single for Valdez. Pivetta preserved the Sox’ newfound 5-3 lead by retiring the final three batters he faced in the top of the sixth.

Finishing with 94 pitches (62 strikes), Pivetta induced 14 total swings-and-misses — 11 of which came on his slider. The 30-year-old hurler also earned his second winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA just below five at 4.99

With Pivetta’s night done, the Sox tacked on some insurance as the Jays began to dip into their bullpen in the latter half of the sixth. Connor Wong ripped a leadoff double, moved up to third on a groundout, and scored his side’s sixth run on a 109.6 mph line drive from Yoshida that glanced off Anthony Bass and went for an RBI single.

Following a scoreless top of the seventh from Chris Martin, Yoshida struck again by plating Enrique Hernandez on hard-hit opposite-field double. Hernandez returned the favor an inning later with a run-scoring hit of his own to give Boston a commanding 8-3 advantage heading into the ninth.

Kutter Crawford, who had already put up a zero in the eighth inning, recorded the first out of the ninth but was then forced to come out of the game with a trainer due to tightness in his left hamstring. Ryan Brasier took over for Crawford and got the final two outs of the frame to seal the win.

Yoshida extends hitting streak

With his sixth-inning single, Masataka Yoshida extended his hitting streak to 13 games, which is currently the longest active streak in the majors. Following Wednesday’s 2-for-5 showing, the 29-year-old raised his batting average on the season to .303.

In addition to Yoshida, every other member of the Sox’ starting lineup recorded at least one hit on Wednesday night. Yoshida, Turner, Valdez, and Hernandez each had two hits while Casas led the way by going 3-for-5 with two clutch RBIs.

Next up: Gausman vs. Bello

The Red Sox will go for the sweep of the Blue Jays in the finale of this four-game series on Thursday night. After going 3-16 against Toronto last season, Boston already has the chance to surpass that win total.

Brayan Bello, who dealt with a blister in his last time out, will get the start for the Red Sox. The Jays will counter with fellow right-hander Kevin Gausman.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta has another rough start as Red Sox drop opener to Guardians, 5-2

The Red Sox found themselves in an early hole and could never recover against the Guardians on Friday night. Boston fell to Cleveland by a final score of 5-2 in the opener of this three-game series at Fenway Park to drop back below .500 on the season at 13-14.

Nick Pivetta was unable to find his rhythm in his fifth start of the season for the Sox. The right-hander allowed four earned runs on five hits, two walks, and one hit batsman to go along with five strikeouts over five innings of work.

The Guardians got to Pivetta right away in their half of the first. Steven Kwan led off with a line-drive single and Jose Ramirez capped off a 12-pitch at-bat with a base hit of his own to put runners at the corners with one out. Josh Naylor then opened the scoring by driving in Kwan with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Ramirez advanced to second base on a wild pitch and then scored from second on an RBI double off the bat of Josh Bell to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead out of the gate. An inning later, Pivetta plunked Will Brennan with one out. Brennan then stole second and quickly scored on a Myles Straw RBI single to put the Guardians up, 3-0.

Boston got one of those runs back in the latter half of the second. With ace righty Shane Bieber starting for Cleveland, Triston Casas drew a one-out walk and Jarren Duran followed with a groundball double to put runners at second and third for Enrique Hernandez. Hernandez, in turn, cut into the deficit by plating Casas with a run-scoring single through the left side of the infield.

Hernandez’s base hit put runners on the corners for Reese McGuire, but the catcher grounded into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play to extinguish the threat. Pivetta then put up a zero in the third before running into more trouble in the fourth, when he served up a 346-foot solo shot over the Green Monster to Mike Zunino.

Zunino gave the Guardians a 4-1 lead with his towering blast. Pivetta, for his part, got through the rest of the inning unscathed and retired the final three batters he faced in a scoreless fifth. The 30-year-old hurler finished with exactly 100 pitches (73 strikes). He also induced a game-high 11 swings-and-misses, but was ultimately charged with the loss as his ERA on the season rose to 5.11.

With Pivetta’s night done, the Red Sox continued to try to chip away against Bieber. In the bottom of the fifth, Hernandez led off with a single and Enmanuel Valdez moved him up to third with a double. Alex Verdugo then brought in Hernandez with an RBI groundout, but Masataka Yoshida left Valdez at third base by grounding out to Bieber himself.

Fast forward to the seventh inning, Duran led off with yet another double off Bieber. But Hernandez popped out, McGuire struck out, and Valdez grounded out to leave Duran at second. In the eighth, Yoshida ripped a one-out double off reliever Trevor Stephan and Justin Turner followed with a single to put runners on the corners for Rafael Devers.

Following a mound visit from Guardians pitching coach Carl Willis, though, Stephan responded by fanning Devers on three straight strikes and getting Casas to ground out to squander yet another scoring opportunity for the Red Sox.

Still trailing 4-2 going into the ninth, Kutter Crawford had already tossed three scoreless innings of relief after taking over for Pivetta in the sixth. But with one out and the bases empty in the top half of the frame, Brennan took Crawford 351 deep to right field to make it a 5-2 contest in favor of Cleveland.

Guardians closer Enmanuel Clase came on for the last of the ninth and worked his way around a Duran leadoff ground-rule double by retiring Hernandez, McGuire, and Valdez to end it two hours and 25 minutes.

All told, the Red Sox went just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position on Friday and left seven runners on base as a team. Duran (3-for-4) accounted for three of Boston’s eight hits. His three doubles left his bat at 108.7 mph, 97.1 mph, and 61 mph, respectively. He is now batting .436 (17-39) in his first 11 games this season.

Next up: Plesac vs. Bello

The Red Sox will look to put an end to this two-game skid with a win over the Guardians on Saturday afternoon. Brayan Bello will get the start for Boston in place of the injured Garrett Whitlock. Fellow right-hander Zach Plesac is lined up to do the same for Cleveland.

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

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Alex Verdugo homers again as Red Sox open series against Brewers with 5-3 win

Playing at American Family Field for the first time since 2017, the Red Sox kicked off their road trip with a series-opening win over the Brewers. Boston defeated Milwaukee by a final score of 5-3 on Friday night to get back over .500 and improve to 11-10 on the season.

Matched up against Freddy Peralta out of the gate, the Sox drew first blood against the Brewers in their half of the third inning. Jarren Duran led off with a hard-hit single and advanced to second on a successful sacrifice bunt from Yu Chang. As the lineup flipped over, Alex Verdugo delivered with a 366-foot two-run home run down the right field line.

Verdugo’s third homer of the season — and second in as many days — had an exit velocity of 98.3 mph. It also gave his side an early 2-0 lead as Nick Pivetta was in the midst of his fourth start of the year for Boston.

After stranding one runner, who Reese McGuire helped pick off, in the first and putting up another zero in the second, Pivetta ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third. There, the right-hander gave up a one-out single to Owen Miller, who stole second base and came into score from second on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Christian Yelich.

Milwaukee then leapfrogged Boston in the fourth. With one out in the inning, Pivetta served up a game-tying solo shot to noted Red Sox nemesis Rowdy Tellez. William Contreras followed by making some more hard contact in the form of a line-drive double. Two batters later, Brice Turang provided the Brewers with their first lead of the night by plating Contreras on a groundball single through the right side of the infield.

Despite falling behind, 3-2, the Sox were able to respond in the top of the sixth. Enrique Hernandez and Triston Casas drew back-to-back two-out walks to knock Peralta out of the game. With left-handed reliever Hoby Milner set to take over for the Brewers, Red Sox manager Alex Cora dipped into his bench by having the right-handed hitting Rob Refsnyder pinch-hit for McGuire, a left-handed hitter

Refsnyder made the most of the opportunity, as he greeted Milner by lofting a game-tying single to right field. Hernandez came into score from second to knot things up at three runs apiece. Moments later, Duran broke the tie by driving in Casas on a 100.4 mph liner that could not be handled cleanly by Miller.

As a result, the Red Sox went up, 4-3, going into the latter half of the sixth. Pivetta then recorded the first two outs of the inning before issuing a four-pitch walk to Brian Anderson, which marked the end of his night. The 30-year-old hurler wound up allowing just the three earned runs on seven hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work. He finished with exactly 100 pitches (65 strikes) and induced 12 swings-and-misses before ultimately picking up his first winning decision of the year.

In relief of Pivetta, Josh Winckowcki received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from Cora. The righty stranded the lone runner he inherited in the sixth by getting Turang to fly out to left fielder Masataka Yoshida. A half-inning later, Yoshida provided Boston with an important insurance run by pushing across Justin Turner on a 107.3 mph RBI double off Bryse Wilson.

Yoshida’s clutch two-base hit gave the Red Sox a 5-3 lead at stretch time. Winckowski picked up where he left off by tossing a 1-2-3 seventh inning. The Brewers threatened in the eighth when Tellez drew a two-out walk and Contreras followed with a single to put runners on the corners, but Winckowski did not falter. Instead, he fanned Anderson on a 95.1 mph fastball to escape the jam.

That paved the way for Kenley Jansen to enter in the ninth. The veteran closer made quick work of the Brewers, punching out two and getting Joey Wiemer to pop out into foul territory to notch his fifth save of the season and secure the 5-3 victory.

Next up: Whitlock vs. Miley

Winners of six of their last eight games, the Red Sox will look to take this series from the Brewers on Saturday night. Right-hander Garrett Whitlock is slated to take the mound for Boston while former Sox left-hander Wade Miley is expected to do the same for Milwaukee.

First pitch from American Family Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Yu Chang ends hitless drought with homer, go-ahead single as Red Sox come back to defeat Angels, 9-7

The Red Sox overcame a pair of deficits to pick up their second consecutive win over the Angels on Saturday afternoon. Boston defeated Los Angeles by a final score of 9-7 at Fenway Park to improve to 7-8 on the season.

Nick Pivetta, making his third start of the year for the Sox, was not at his sharpest. The right-hander surrendered six earned runs on five hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with four strikeouts over four-plus innings of work.

Four of those runs came on one swing of the bat in the top of the first. After loading the bases with a pair of two-out walks, Pivetta served up a 385-foot grand slam to Gio Urshela to put the Red Sox in an early 4-0 hole.

Boston quickly responded in the latter half of the first. With Tyler Anderson starting for Los Angeles, Rob Refsnyder reached base on a two-out double to deep center field that was just out of Mike Trout’s reach. That brought Rafael Devers to the plate for the first time, and he came through by clubbing a two-run shot over the Green Monster for his seventh home run of the season already.

Devers’ 410-foot blast cut the deficit in half at 4-2. Two innings later, Justin Turner made it a one-run game by scoring from third when Devers grounded into a 6-3 double play. In the fourth, the Red Sox were able to leapfrog the Angels in somewhat surprising fashion.

Connor Wong ignited the two-out rally by ripping a 100.2 mph double off the Monster. Yu Chang — who was 0-for-17 at the plate to begin the season coming into the fourth inning — followed by taking a 1-0, 88.9 mph fastball from Anderson and depositing it off the DraftKings sign in left field for his first home run in a Red Sox uniform.

Chang’s go-ahead, two-run shot put Boston up, 5-4. After Anderson put Alex Verdugo (single) and Turner (walk on base), Refsnyder added to the lead with an RBI single that drove in Verdugo from second to make it a 6-4 contest going into the fifth.

To that point, it appeared as though Pivetta had settled in by tossing three straight scoreless frames. But the righty ran into more trouble in the top of the fifth by giving up a leadoff double to the vaunted Trout. Shohei Ohtani moved Trout over to third with a single and Anthony Rendon plated him with a base hit of his own.

With his pitch count already at 99 (57 strikes), Pivetta was given the hook by manager Alex Cora in favor of Kaleb Ort out of the bullpen. Ort fanned Hunter Renfroe for the first out before giving up a softly-hit game-tying RBI single to Urshela. He escaped any further damage by retiring the next two batters he faced.

Richard Bleier took over for Ort in the sixth and immediately plunked the first batter he faced in Matt Thaiss. The lefty then got Taylor Ward to ground into a force out at second base. Ward, however, reached base safely and — after advancing to second on a wild pitch — came into score on a two-out RBI single from Ohtani.

The Angels took a 7-6 lead on Ohtani’s second hit of the day and that is where the score would remain after John Schreiber and Ryan Brasier each worked a scoreless inning of relief. The bottom of the eighth is where things got interesting.

Matched up against veteran reliever Ryan Tepera, Enrique Hernandez led off with a groundball single. The pinch-hitting Raimel Tapia then appeared to line out to left for what would have been the first out of the frame, but he was instead awarded first base after home plate umpire Cory Blaser ruled that Tapia’s bat made contact with the glove of Thaiss behind the plate.

Two batters later, catcher’s interference was called again while the pinch-hitting Reese McGuire was at the plate. That unique sequence of events filled the bases with one out for Chang, who delivered yet again with a go-ahead, two-run single through the left side of the infield. Both Hernandez and Tapia scored on the play. Refsnyder provided some added insurance later in the inning by drawing a bases-loaded walk.

Taking a two-run lead into the ninth, Kenley Jansen sealed the 9-7 victory for the Red Sox by recording his second save of the series and his fourth of the season overall.

Next up: Detmers vs. Whitlock

The Red Sox will look to take this four-game series from the Angels with another win on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Garrett Whitlock will get the start for Boston opposite left-hander Reid Detmers for Los Angeles.

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

(Picture of Yu Chang: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Despite strong start from Nick Pivetta, Red Sox squander late scoring opportunity and fall to unbeaten Rays, 1-0

The Red Sox battled in an effort to hand the Rays their first loss of the season on Monday night, but ultimately came up short. Boston fell to Tampa Bay by a final score of 1-0 in the opener of this four-game series at Tropicana Field.

Nick Pivetta put forth a valiant effort in his second start of the season for the Sox. The right-hander scattered just three hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over five scoreless innings of work.

The Rays threatened by putting one runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings, but Pivetta did not falter. With one out and runners at first and second the bottom of the third, center fielder Rob Refsnyder robbed Randy Arozarena of extra bases by making a fantastic sliding grab on the warning track to snag a 99.1 mph line drive.

Pivetta got through the rest of the third unscathed by getting Wander Franco to ground out. He then proceeded to retire six of the last seven batters he faced from the middle of the fourth through the end of the fifth. The 30-year-old hurler finished with 83 pitches (53 strikes) and induced 14 swings-and-misses while lowering his ERA on the season to 0.90.

In relief of Pivetta, Josh Winckowski got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Winckowski made quick work of the Rays’ 3-4-5 hitters in the sixth and put up another zero in the seventh.

Heading into the eighth still deadlocked in a 0-0 tie, the Red Sox put together their best scoring opportunity of the night. Having already been held in check by Jalen Beeks, Josh Fleming, and Garrett Cleavinger, Alex Verdugo led off the inning by drawing a five-pitch walk off Rays lefty Colin Poche. A pinch-hit single from Bobby Dalbec and two-out walk from Enrique Hernandez loaded the bases for Rafael Devers.

Devers, in turn, fouled off two of the first three pitches he saw before Poche froze him on an 0-2, 93 mph four-seamer down and away to end the inning and extinguish the threat.

Chris Martin, who had yet to give up a run through his first five appearances of the season, was responsible for the latter half of the eighth. He got the first out of the inning before serving up a go-ahead solo home run to Brandon Lowe on a 3-2, 96 mph heater at the top of the zone.

Lowe’s homer, which came on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, had an exit velocity of 107.9 mph and travelled 404 feet into the right field seats. It also put Tampa Bay up, 1-0, going into the ninth. Pete Fairbanks, the first righty the Rays used all night, struck out Justin Turner before getting both Masataka Yoshida and the pinch-hitting Raimel Tapia to ground out to end it.

All told, the Red Sox went just 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base as a team in Monday’s loss. At two hours and six minutes, the game was Boston’s fastest of the season by 26 minutes

With the loss, Boston falls back to .500 at 5-5. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, remains unbeaten and improves to 10-0 to start the year, becoming the first team to accomplish that feat since the 1987 Brewers.

Next up: Whitlock’s 2023 debut on tap

The Red Sox will look to bounce back against the Rays on Tuesday night. Right-hander Garrett Whitlock will come off the injured list and make his season debut for Boston. Tampa Bay will counter with left-hander Shane McClanahan.

In order to activate Whitlock, the Red Sox will need to send someone down to make room on the 26-man roster.

First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN+.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Red Sox held to just 4 hits in 4-1 loss to Pirates

The Red Sox were held to just four hits in their second straight loss to the Pirates on Tuesday night. Boston fell to Pittsburgh by a final score of 4-1 to drop to 2-3 on the young season.

With Roansy Contreras starting for the Pirates, the Red Sox drew first blood in their half of the first inning. Alex Verdugo led off with a 109.9 mph single and went from first to third on a one-out single from Justin Turner. Masataka Yoshida then drove Verdugo in with a softly-hit RBI groundout.

Yoshida gave the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead with his sixth RBI of the year, but the lineup sputtered from there. Nick Pivetta, meanwhile, was on the mound making his 2023 debut for Boston.

Over five innings of work, Pivetta allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks to go along with six strikeouts. The right-hander maneuvered his way around a leadoff walk in the first and recorded the first two outs of the second before running into a bit of trouble.

Pivetta actually should have retired the side in order in the second, as he got Canaan Smith-Njigba to strike out swinging on a 3-2, 79 mph curveball. But catcher Reese McGuire could not come up with the pitch cleanly as it rolled towards the backstop, allowing Smith-Njigba to reach base safely.

The Pirates immediately took advantage of McGuire’s blunder as the very next batter, Ji Hwan Bae, uncorked a two-run blast to left field that barely cleared the Green Monster for the first home run of his big-league career. Neither of those runs were charged to Pivetta.

Bryan Reynolds, fresh off a two-homer performance on Monday, continued to torment the Red Sox in the third inning when he took the first pitch he saw from Pivetta — a hanging 77 mph curveball — and crushed a 388-foot leadoff shot into the Red Sox bullpen. Reynolds’ fourth big fly of the season put Pittsburgh up, 3-1.

Pivetta, for his part, was able to settle down after that by retiring nine of the last 11 batters he faced. The only other hit he gave up came in the fifth on a two-out double off the bat of Reynolds, who he stranded at second to at least end his evening on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 87 (54 strikes), Pivetta topped out 95.5 mph with his four-seam fastball, an offering he threw 52 times. The 30-year-old hurler also induced seven swings-and-misses.

With Pivetta’s day done, Josh Winckowski received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen. The righty pitched well yet again, yielding just one run across three innings of relief. That lone run came in the seventh, when Tyler Heineman reached on a one-out single, stole second base, and scored an important insurance run on an RBI single from Reynolds.

Trailing 4-1 going into the latter half of the seventh, McGuire ripped a two-out double — his second in three innings — but was stranded at second when the pinch-hitting Christian Arroyo struck out looking against Pirates reliever Jose Hernandez. After going down quietly in the eighth, and getting a scoreless top of the ninth from Ryan Brasier, the Red Sox were suddenly down to their final three outs.

Opposed by All-Star closer Will Bednar, Yoshida led off the ninth inning by reaching on a fielding error committed by Pirates first baseman Carlos Santana. But Yoshida was left at first as Adam Duvall popped out, Triston Casas flew out, and Enrique Hernandez struck out to end it.

All told, the Red Sox only recorded three hits after the first inning. They also went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base as a team in their quickest game of the season (two hours and 36 minutes) thus far.

Other worthwhile observations:

Nick Pivetta went five full innings on Tuesday, meaning a Red Sox starter has yet to pitch into the sixth inning through one turn in the rotation.

Through five games, teams are 12-for-12 on steal attempts against the Red Sox. All 12 of those stolen bases have come while Reese McGuire was behind the plate.

Next up: Kluber looks to avoid sweep in series finale

The Red Sox will look to avoid getting swept by the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon. Corey Kluber, who surrendered five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings on Opening Day, will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Mitch Keller will do the same for Pittsburgh.

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

(Picture of Reese McGuire: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Triston Casas crushes two-run walk-off home run to lift Red Sox to 9-8 win over Braves

A walk-off home run from Triston Casas lifted the Red Sox to a come-from behind win over the Braves on Friday night. Boston defeated Atlanta by a final score of 9-8 at JetBlue Park to improve to 14-10-4 in Grapefruit League play.

Nick Pivetta, making his fifth and final start of the spring for the Red Sox, allowed two earned runs on 10 hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts over six quality innings of work.

The Braves first got to Pivetta in the top half of the third. Matt Olson, who reached base on a one-out single, had moved up to third on an Austin Riley walk and Marcell Ozuna groundout. He was then driven in on an RBI single off the bat of Sam Hilliard that also ended the inning since Austin Riley was tagged out at third moments after Olson crossed the plate.

While Atlanta jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, it did not last long. That being the case because in the bottom of the third, Rafael Devers drew a two-out walk off Braves starter Dylan Dodd. That brought up Justin Turner, who promptly crushed a two-run shot into the Red Sox bullpen in right-center field for his first home run of the spring.

Turner’s blast put the Red Sox up, 2-1. But the Braves got to Pivetta again in the fourth when Ozzie Albies led off with a deep fly of his own to knot things back up at two runs apiece. From there, though, the 30-year-old hurler was at least able to settle down a bit as he put up a zero in the fifth and then worked his way around a jam by punching out Ronald Acuna Jr. to do the same in the sixth. He finished with exactly 100 pitches.

Shortly after Pivetta’s night came to a close, the Red Sox jumped on the Braves for three more runs in the latter half of the sixth. Following a leadoff double from Adam Duvall, Christian Arroyo greeted new reliever Ian Mejia with a two-base hit of his own that scored Duvall from second. After Reese McGuire was plunked by Mejia, both he and Arroyo moved up an additional 90 feet on a wild pitch before Rob Refsnynder brought both of them in with a two-run double off the faux Green Monster in left field.

Taking a 5-2 lead into the seventh, Oddanier Mosqueda received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The left-hander experienced some control issues and walked four of the six batters he faced. He issued a bases-loaded, two-out free pass to Sean Murphy before making way for Skylar Arias, who retired the lone batter he faced to get out of the jam.

In the eighth, Chris Martin quickly recorded the first two outs of the frame before encountering some difficulties of his own. After getting the first two outs, Martin yielded back-to-back hits to Joe Dunand and Cade Bunnell, which put runners at second and third for Andrew Moritz. Moritz, in turn, plated Dunand on an infield single before Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. drove in Bunnell on a game-tying RBI single to right field.

Though the Braves had mounted a late rally, the Red Sox wasted no time in responding in their half of the eighth. Back-to-back singles from Arroyo and McGuire put runners on the corners for Enrique Hernandez, who brought in Arroyo with a sacrifice fly off Mejia. Refsnyder then doubled in McGuire to give Boston a brand-new 7-5 lead going into the ninth.

Kenley Jansen had the chance to pick up his first save of the spring. But the veteran closer instead issued a one-out single to Hoy Park before serving up a game-tying two-run home run to Adam Zebrowski moments later. Jansen walked the next batter he faced and then received a visit from Cora and a member of Boston’s training staff.

After a brief discussion, Jansen was taken out of the game and immediately made for the Red Sox clubhouse. He was relieved by Cam Booser, who gave up a single and a walk to fill the bases with one out. Kilpatrick Jr. then brought in the runner from third — Dunand — to five the Braves an 8-7 edge.

Down to their final three outs and trailing by a run, Jarren Duran led things off by ripping an opposite-field double off new reliever Joe Harvey. After Duvall grounded out, Casas took things into his own hands by obliterating a game-winning, two-run homer deep into the Fort Myers night.

Casas’ third home run of the spring ended it while Booser was credited with the winning decision.

Jansen’s departure due to lightheadedness

According to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Kenley Jansen was feeling lightheaded on the mound , which is why he came out of the game in the ninth inning. Cora added that he believes the 35-year-old “should be fine.”

Next up: Kluber makes final start of spring

The Red Sox will travel to St. Petersburg to take on the Rays on Saturday afternoon. Opening Day starter Corey Kluber will get the ball for Boston while fellow righty Yonny Chirinos will do the same for Tampa Bay.

First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN+.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Greg Allen hits grand slam, Brayan Bello fans 3 in spring debut as Red Sox come back to defeat Phillies, 9-5

The Red Sox closed out the weekend by mounting a comeback victory over the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. on Sunday. Boston defeated Philadelphia by a final score of 9-5 at BayCare Ballpark to improve to 12-7-4 in Grapefruit League play.

Nick Pivetta, making his fourth start of the spring for Boston, allowed four earned runs on four hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts over four-plus innings of work. The right-hander ran into trouble right away in the bottom of the first, as he gave up a one-out solo shot to former teammate Rhys Hoskins.

Despite facing an early deficit, though, the Red Sox quickly got that run back in the second. Christian Koss led off the inning by ripping a double to left field. He then moved up to third base on a Ryan Fitzgerald grounder before Nick Sogard plated him with an RBI single off Phillies starter Luis Ortiz.

With things tied back up at one run apiece, Pivetta appeared to settle down by striking out two in a scoreless bottom of the second. But he yielded a leadoff double to Max McDowell in the third and followed that by serving up a two-run home run to Cody Roberts that gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead.

Again, Boston responded in the fourth by trimming that two-run deficit in half. With new reliever Ben Bowden now in the game for the Phillies, Fitzgerald greeted the left-hander by belting a 419-foot leadoff home run to deep right field for his first big fly of the spring.

Pivetta worked his way around a leadoff single in the fourth and came back out for the fifth. But he began the inning by issuing a leadoff walk to McDowell. With his pitch count already sitting at 84 (50 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler was given the hook in favor of minor-league left-hander Brendan Cellucci.

Cellucci, a Philadelphia-area native, allowed the lone runner he inherited to move up to third on a pair of walks, thus loading the bases for the Phillies. Nick Castellanos promptly drove in two of those runners by lacing a wind-aided, two-run double to center field. Cellucci gave up his third free pass of the inning and was relieved by the flame-throwing Luis Guerrero, who topped out at 98.3 mph with his fastball in the process of fanning the only two batters he faced.

Having just seen a one-run deficit increase to three, the Red Sox wasted no time in rallying in the sixth. After Jakob Hernandez filled the bases with only one out in the inning, Greg Allen came through with a go-ahead grand slam that cleared the right-center field fence in just 4.5 seconds. Allen’s first home run of the spring gave Boston its first lead of the afternoon at 6-5.

Given that brand-new one-run lead to protect, Brayan Bello came on for his spring debut in the latter half of the sixth. After being slowed by right forearm tightness last month, the 23-year-old rookie punched out three of the six Phillies batters he faced over two perfect frames of relief. Of the 25 pitches he threw, 18 went for strikes.

Following a 1-2-3 eighth inning from Ryan Brasier, the Red Sox tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth. Blaze Jordan brought in one of those runs with a broken-bat single while Nick Decker drew a bases-loaded walk and Matthew Lugo drove in Stephen Scott with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Rio Gomez, fresh off representing Colombia in the World Baseball Classic, needed just 14 pitches (9 strikes) to strike out the side in the bottom of the ninth and secure a 9-5 win for the Red Sox.

Ravelo exits with knee contusion

During Boston’s ninth-inning rally, minor-leaguer Luis Ravelo suffered a left knee contusion. It happened after Ravelo had reached base on a fielding error and moved up to second on a walk.

On Jordan’s single, part of the first baseman’s shattered bat wound up hitting Ravelo in the knee as he ran towards third. The 19-year-old was immediately removed from the game after a brief visit from Red Sox manager Alex Cora and a member of the team’s training staff.

Next up: Whitlock makes first start of spring

The Red Sox will return to Fort Myers on Monday afternoon to host the Pirates. Garrett Whitlock is slated to make his first start of the spring for Boston while fellow right-hander Luis Ortiz will take the mound for Pittsburgh.

First pitch from JetBlue Park is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Greg Allen: Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)