Alex Verdugo comes through with 2 clutch hits to help Red Sox avoid getting swept by Blue Jays in 6-5 win

The Red Sox nearly blew another late lead against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night, but instead held on for a drama-filled, 6-5 win in 10 innings to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of their division rivals.

Nick Pivetta, making his 16th start of the season for Boston, allowed two runs on five hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with five strikeouts over six-plus innings of work.

The Canadian-born right-hander ran into some early trouble when he issued a leadoff walk to Alejandro Kirk to begin things in the bottom of the second. Kirk moved up to second and later scored from there on an RBI single from former Red Sox prospect Santiago Espinal to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.

The Sox quickly responded, however, as Franchy Cordero led off the third with a bunt single off Jays starter Alek Manoah. Cordero proceeded to steal second and advance to third on a throwing error before scoring his side’s first run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Rob Refsnyder.

Pivetta, meanwhile, kept Toronto off the board in the latter half of the third despite putting himself in a jam. The righty gave up a one-out single to Bo Bichette and plunked Kirk in the elbow with a 94 mph fastball. It was not intentional but the Blue Jays dugout, particularly Vladimir Guerrero Jr. still took exception.

After Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo left his dugout to chat with home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn, Guerrero Jr. took to the field as he was jawing back and forth with Pivetta. While there was no exchange of fists, both benches and bullpens cleared to momentarily delay the game.

Once the dust had settled from that skirmish, Pivetta walked the very next batter he faced to fill the bases. That prompted a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush, and it paid dividends as Pivetta fanned Raimel Tapia on four pitches to retire the side.

On the heels of a 1-2-3 fourth inning, Pivetta encountered more leadoff trouble in the fifth when he served up a go-ahead, 413-foot solo shot to George Springer.

Again, though, Toronto’s newfound lead did not last long. With two outs in the sixth, Xander Bogaerts reached base via an infield single. A red-hot Alex Verdugo followed by getting ahead in the count against Manoah at 2-0 and then crushing 95 mph heater 399 feet to right field to put Boston ahead for the first time.

Verdugo’s sixth home run of the season left his bat at 107 mph and gave the Sox a 3-2 lead. Pivetta took that lead into the seventh before issuing a leadoff walk to Cavan Biggio, who proved to be the final Blue Jay he would face.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 109 (72 strikes), Pivetta got eight of his 15 swings-and-misses with his four-seamer, a pitch he threw 56 times and topped out at 95.8 mph with. The 29-year-old did not factor into Wednesday’s decision, though he did lower his ERA on the season to 3.23.

In relief of Pivetta, John Schreiber got the first call out of the Boston bullpen and immediately negated the runner he inherited by getting Springer to ground into a force out at second base. Schreiber then stranded Springer by retiring Bichette and Guerrero Jr. back-to-back.

Still up 3-2 going into the eighth, the Red Sox next turned to Ryan Brasier, who surrendered back-to-back one-out doubles to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Tapia. Tapia drove in the pinch-running Bradley Zimmer with his two-base hit to knot things up at three runs apiece.

After Jordan Romano and Matt Strahm each traded zeroes in the ninth, Jackie Bradley Jr. took second base to begin the 10th inning. Matched up against veteran reliever David Phelps now, Refsnyder and Rafael Devers drew back-to-back walks to fill the bases with no outs for J.D. Martinez.

Martinez, in turn, took a 91 mph cutter off the back, which allowed Bradley Jr. to score from third and keep the bases loaded for Bogaerts, who proceeded to ground into a 3-2-3 double play off newly-inserted reliever Tim Mayza.

Faced with the possibility of only scoring one run in the 10th, Verdugo came through with what would prove to be some much-needed insurance as he ripped a two-run double that split the gap in left field and scored both Devers and Martinez easily.

Verdugo’s second clutch hit of the night gave the Red Sox a rather sizable 6-3 lead going into the bottom half of the 10th. Still without unvaccinated closer Tanner Houck, manager Alex Cora rode with Strahm for a second straight inning.

As was the case with Tyler Danish on Tuesday, that decision nearly proved to be a disastrous one for the Red Sox. After quickly getting the first two outs of the 10th, Strahm yielded three straight hits to Matt Chapman, Espinal, and Biggio.

Espinal and Biggio — who doubled — both drove in a run with their hits to cut the Sox’ lead down to one at 6-5. Biggio represented the possible tying run at second base.

Strahm was now tasked with facing a dangerous hitter in Springer. The lefty was likely gassed given his workload, but he held on by getting Springer to pop out to Trevor Story to end the game.

So, on a season-high 41 pitches (30 strikes), Strahm prevented the Red Sox from getting swept while earning his third winning decision of the year.

With the win, Boston improves to 43-33 on the season and leaves Toronto a half-game ahead of the Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card standings.

Next up: Heading to Wrigley

The Red Sox will enjoy an off day on Thursday as they arrive in Chicago ahead of a three-game weekend series against the Cubs. This will mark the Sox’ first trip to Wrigley Field in 10 years.

In Friday afternoon’s series opener, veteran left-hander Rich Hill will get the start for Boston. Chicago has yet to officially name a starter.

Regardless of that, first pitch from the Friendly Confines on Friday is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Christian Arroyo and Rafael Devers homer, Nick Pivetta allows 2 runs over 7 innings as Red Sox hold on for 6-3 win over Guardians

The Red Sox opened their weekend series against the Guardians by extending their winning streak to five consecutive games. Boston defeated Cleveland by a final score of 6-3 on Friday night to improve to 17-4 in June and 40-31 on the season.

Friday’s starting pitching matchup featured a pair of Canadian-born right-handers going at it, with Nick Pivetta making his 15th start of the year for the Sox and Cal Quantrill making his 13th start of the year for the Guardians.

Both pitchers gave up two runs, but it was Quantrill who blinked first. In the top half of the second, Trevor Story, Franchy Cordero, and Christian Vazquez all reached to fill the bases with two outs for Christian Arroyo. Arroyo, in his first game back from the COVID-19 related injured list, took a 95 mph sinker off his right elbow to drive in Story.

Boston’s early lead did not last long, however, as Pivetta yielded a one-out single to Andres Gimenez a half-inning later. Gimenez proceeded to steal second base with two outs, then scored from second on a hard-hit RBI single off the bat of Myles Straw.

That knotted things up at 1-1. But that, too, was short-lived. To lead things off in the third, Rafael Devers golfed an 0-2, 88 mph cutter from Quantrill and deposited it 411 feet to right field for his 17th home run of the year.

Pivetta nearly ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when he gave up a leadoff single to Amed Rosario. That was quickly negated, though, as Rosario ran past the second base bag on a Josh Naylor groundball and was promptly tagged out by Arroyo. Pivetta did, however, serve up a game-tying solo homer to Gimenez in the fourth.

In the top half of the fifth, Arroyo led off with a single and went from first to third on a line-drive double from Devers. J.D. Martinez then hit a 242-foot flyball in the direction of Guardians right fielder Oscar Gonzalez. Gonzalez caught the ball right before it hit the ground and, while on the run, managed to gun down Arroyo at home as he attempted to tag up from third.

So 2-2 is how the score remained after that inning-ending double play. Pivetta made relative quick work of the Guardians in the fifth and sixth innings before the Sox began to break away in the seventh.

After the pinch-hitting Rob Refsnyder drew a leadoff walk off Bryan Shaw, Arroyo followed by taking the veteran reliever 405 feet deep to left-center field for a go-ahead two-run home run. It was Arroyo’s fourth of the season and it put his side up 4-2. Martinez then reached base on a two-out single and scored all the way from first on an RBI double from Verdugo that made it a 5-2 game.

Pivetta wrapped up his solid night by retiring the final three batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh. The 29-year-old hurler wound up allowing just the two runs on nine hits and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over seven innings of work. He threw 98 pitches (66 strikes) and lowered his ERA on the season to 3.25.

In relief of Pivetta, John Schreiber received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The righty needed just 12 pitched (8 strikes) to retire the side in order in the eighth.

Refsnyder provided some late-game insurance in the top half of the ninth on a run-scoring double off Yohan Ramirez that drove in Story to make it a 6-2 contest.

Tanner Houck took over for Schreiber in the bottom of the ninth and immediately gave up back-to-back singles to Franmil Reyes and Gimenez. Houck then fanned Richie Palacios, but plunked Straw to fill the bases.

An RBI single from Steven Kwan plated Reyes and kept the bases loaded for Rosario, who struck out on a foul tip. That brought the dangerous Jose Ramirez to the plate representing the potential winning run. But Houck got him to ground out to Story and end the game.

It was no simple task, but Houck did just enough to secure a 6-3 victory for the Sox.

Next up: Winckowski vs. Bieber

The Red Sox will look to clinch their seventh consecutive series with another win over the Guardians on Saturday night. Rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski, who was born in nearby Toledo, will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Shane Bieber will do the same for Cleveland.

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

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta strikes out 10, Trevor Story and Christian Vázquez both homer as Red Sox take series from Cardinals with 6-4 win

The Red Sox won the rubber match of their three-game series against the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. Boston yet again held on for a 6-4 victory over St. Louis at Fenway Park to improve to 36-31 on the season and 13-4 in the month of June.

Nick Pivetta, making his 14th start of the year for the Sox, dazzled by limiting the Cards to one run on four hits and four walks to go along with 10 strikeouts over seven strong innings of work.

All four walks Pivetta gave up came within the first three innings of Sunday’s contest. The one run came on a two-out RBI single from Harrison Bader in the top of the fourth.

From there, though, Pivetta stranded Bader at third base by getting Ivan Herrera to strike out on six pitches. The right-hander then retired eight of the final 10 batters he faced and emphatically ended his outing by punching out the side in the top of the seventh.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 108 (65 strikes), Pivetta wound up throwing 60 four-seam fastballs, 35 knuckle-curveballs, and 13 sliders. The 29-year-old induced eight of his 12 swings-and-misses with the four-seamer while averaging 93.3 mph and topping out at 95.1 mph with the pitch.

Following Sunday’s performance, Pivetta now owns a 1.77 ERA in his last nine starts dating back to May 7. The Red Sox are 7-2 in those games.

By the time Pivetta’s afternoon had come to an end, the Sox lineup had already compiled a 2-1 lead over the Cardinals and rookie starter Andre Pallante. Trevor Story got Boston on the board first in the bottom half of the second inning.

With two outs and the bases empty, Story crushed his 10th home run of the season and first since May 26 on a 3-1, 95 mph heater down the heart of the plate from Pallante. The ball left his bat at 104.4 mph and traveled 397 feet to right field.

Three innings later, Alex Verdugo led off the bottom of the fifth with a groundball single to center field. A wild pitch allowed Verdugo to move up to second base, and Jackie Bradley Jr. proceeded to drive him in on a two-out RBI single through the right side of the infield.

Bradley Jr., who is now batting .313/.353/.479 in 31 games at Fenway Park this season, put the Red Sox up 2-1 with his 22nd RBI of the year.

Shortly after Pivetta recorded the final out in the top of the seventh, Christian Vazquez led off the bottom half of the frame with a line-drive double before advancing to third on a Bradley Jr. groundout. Rob Refsnyder then plated Vazquez on a run-scoring base hit off Genesis Cabrera that made it a 3-1 game in favor of Boston.

In relief of Pivetta, John Schreiber struck out the only three batters he faced in a perfect eighth inning. In the latter half of the frame, Vazquez struck again after Verdugo and Story both reached base with one out.

On a 2-1, 94.3 mph sinker from Drew VerHagen that was down in and, Vazquez clobbered a three-run home run 407 feet over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox a commanding 6-1 advantage.

Vazquez’s third big fly of the season would prove to be important given the trouble Tyler Danish ran into in the ninth. Danish allowed two runners to reach base while recording the first two outs of the inning. Rather than slam the door on the Cardinals, though, the righty served up a 114.4 mph, three-run blast to Juan Yepez that cut Boston’s lead down to two runs at 6-4.

Not taking any chances, Red Sox manager Alex Cora gave Danish the hook in favor of Tanner Houck, who gave up a single but rebounded by fanning Brendan Donovan on eight pitches to pick up his fourth save of the season in as many opportunities.

Next up: The Tigers come to town

The Red Sox will kick off the final leg of their homestand by welcoming the 26-40 Tigers into town for a three-game set. Monday’s series opener will feature a pair of rookie right-handers going at it as Josh Winckowski will start for Boston and Alex Faedo will do the same for Detroit.

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

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Hansel Robles and Hirokazu Sawamura combine to give up 6 runs in sixth inning as Red Sox fall to Cardinals, 11-2

The Red Sox fell to the Cardinals by a final score of 11-2 at Fenway Park on Saturday night. With the loss, Boston drops to 35-31 on the season.

Kutter Crawford, making his second start of the season for the Sox, did not pitch as effectively as he did in his last time out against the Mariners. This time around, the rookie right-hander surrendered four runs on six hits and no walks to go along with three strikeouts over four innings of work.

Two of the six hits Crawford gave up were home runs. With two outs and a runner on in the top of the first, Nolan Arenado crushed a two-run shot 382 feet over the Green Monster to give St. Louis an early 2-0 lead.

In the second, Tyler O’Neill led off with a groundball single and scored all the way from first base on a line-drive double to right field off the bat of Dylan Carlson.

Already trailing by three runs going into the bottom of the second, Xander Bogaerts provided a spark with a leadoff single of his own off Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson. Franchy Cordero then drew a one-out walk to put runners at first and second for Bobby Dalbec, who drove in Bogaerts and moved Cordero up to third on an RBI single. With runners on the corners and the chance to cut further into the deficit, Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Crawford and Hudson each traded zeroes in the third inning, but Crawford ran into more trouble in the fourth when he served up a booming 440-foot leadoff homer to Nolan Gorman. The ball left Gorman’s bat at 106.7 mph and gave St. Louis a 4-1 lead.

The fourth inning would prove to be Crawford’s last frame. The 26-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 85 (53 strikes) and topped out at 96.1 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 37 times. His ERA on the season now sits at 6.41.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Red Sox lineup took advantage of Hudson’s apparent lack of command, but only got one run out of it. Trevor Story singled and Dalbec and Bradley Jr. drew a pair of two-out walks to fill the bases for Kevin Plawecki, who took ball four himself to plate Story. As the lineup flipped back over, though, Jarren Duran extinguished the threat by grounding out to Arenado.

With Boston’s bullpen taking over for Crawford beginning in the fifth, it was Ryan Brasier who got the first call from manager Alex Cora. Brasier made relative quick work of the St. Louis bats in a scoreless inning of relief. The same cannot be said for Hansel Robles in the sixth.

After fanning Gorman on five pitches for the first out of the frame, Robles proceeded to give up a first-pitch, 410-foot solo shot to O’Neill to put the Cardinals up 5-2. Robles’ troubles did not end there, as the righty loaded the bases on one single and two walks before getting pulled for Hirokazu Sawamura.

Robles, for what it’s worth, averaged 94 mph with his four-seamer on Saturday. He came into the night averaging 96 mph with his most-frequently used pitch. Sawamura, meanwhile, inherited a bases-loaded jam and immediately gave up a two-run single to Tommy Edman. Paul Goldschmidt tacked on an additional two runs and Arenado capped off the six-run sixth inning with another RBI single.

From there, Austin Davis tossed three one-run innings of relief while setting a new career high in pitches thrown in a game with 54.

Down to their final three outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Sox went down quietly to seal an 11-2 defeat and their fourth loss in the month of June.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Pallante in rubber match

The Red Sox will look to close out the weekend with a series win over the Cardinals on Father’s Day. Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston and will be opposed by fellow right-hander Andre Pallante for St. Louis.

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

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez both homer as Red Sox cruise to 6-1 win over Athletics

The Red Sox returned home to Fenway Park for the first time in nearly two weeks on Tuesday and continued their winning ways with a series-opening win over the Athletics.

Boston defeated Oakland by a final score of 6-1 in a tidy two hours and 43 minutes to take the season series from the A’s and improve to 33-29 on the year.

Matched up against rookie left-hander Jared Koenig to begin things on Tuesday, Xander Bogaerts kicked off the scoring with a first-inning broken-bat RBI single to right field.

An inning later, Rob Refsnyder delivered with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly that scored Christian Vazquez from third base. In the bottom of the third, J.D. Martinez clubbed his eighth home run of the season and his third in his last four games.

Rafael Devers’ doubled Boston’s advantage in the fourth. With runners on first and second and no outs in the inning, Devers took an 0-1, 88 mph sinker on the inner half of the plate from Koenig and crushed it 439 feet into the right field bleachers.

Devers’ team-leading 15th big fly of the year — a three-run blast that left his bat at a blistering 107.3 mph — gave the Sox a commanding 6-0 lead at the end of the four.

To that point in the contest, Nick Pivetta had been cruising right along in his 13th start of the season for Boston. The right-hander took a no-hit bid into the fourth inning before giving up a leadoff single to Tony Kemp. He then took a shutout bid into the eighth inning before yielding a leadoff home run to Stephen Vogt.

Pivetta did not let that rattle him, though, as he proceeded to retire the next (and final) three batters he faced to end his night on a solid note. Finishing with a final pitch count of 100 (67 strikes), the 29-year-old hurler wound up allowing just the one run on three hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over eight strong innings of work.

Of the 100 pitches Pivetta threw, 55 were four-seam fastballs. He induced a game-high seven swings-and-misses with the pitch while topping out at 96.2 mph with it. He also lowered his ERA on the season down to 3.50.

In relief of Pivetta, Phillips Valdez received the first and only call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The righty allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base, but closed it out from there to secure the 6-1 victory.

Next up: Kaprielian vs. Winckowski

The Red Sox will call up rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski to start the second game of this three-game set on Wednesday. The Athletics, on the other hand, will turn to fellow righty James Kaprielian.

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

(Picture of J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers: Elsa/Getty Images)

Red Sox host Texas A&M commit Stanley Tucker for pre-draft workout in San Diego

The Red Sox held a pre-draft workout at the University of San Diego’s Fowler Park over the weekend and junior college prospect Stanley Tucker was among those in attendance, per his Twitter account.

Tucker, 20, is currently committed to transfer and play Division I college baseball at Texas A&M University. This past season with New Mexico Junior College, the right-handed hitting infielder batted .407/.487/.785 with 20 doubles, five triples, 17 home runs, 90 RBIs, 82 runs scored, 37 stolen bases, 34 walks, and 36 strikeouts over 58 games (262 plate appearances) en route to being named a 2022 NJCAA First Team All-American.

A native of Richmond, Texas, Tucker is not regarded by industry publications such as Baseball America or MLB Pipeline as one of the top prospects in this year’s draft class. That being said, Baseball America noted back in December that at 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds, Tucker “is a little undersized but has plus speed and makes consistent hard contact.”

Defensively, Tucker is listed an an infielder who has plenty of experience up the middle, but he played some center field this year as well. He also pitched in high school, so his arm strength could be considered a plus tool depending on what evaluators have seen.

In last year’s 20-round amateur draft, the Red Sox selected two junior college products in Reedley College infielder B.J. Vela and Chipola College right-hander Luis Guerrero, who were taken in the the 16th and 17th round, respectively. Boston also signed Western Oklahoma State College righty Jhonny Felix as an undrafted free agent.

The Red Sox do have a connection to Stanley’s alma mater in Nick Pivetta, who is currently the only active major-leaguer who played for the Thunderbirds. The 29-year-old hurler was originally selected by the Nationals in the fourth round of the 2013 draft out of New Mexico Junior College.

(Picture of Stanley Tucker via his Instagram)

Shohei Ohtani steals the show yet again as Red Sox fall to Angels, 5-2, to snap 7-game winning streak

The Red Sox saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday night following a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Boston was unable to complete the four-game sweep of Los Angeles, who put an end to a historic 14-game losing streak with its first win since May 24.

Nick Pivetta and two-way star Shohei Ohtani opposed one another on the mound and traded zeroes through the first four innings of Thursday’s contest.

In the top of the fifth, Franchy Cordero drew a leadoff walk and came into score from third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Bobby Dalbec. In the bottom half, Ohtani took things into his own hands by crushing a 394-foot two-run home run that came on a 1-1, 92 mph heater from Pivetta at the top of the zone.

Pivetta continued on, but ran into some trouble in the sixth when he issued back-to-back walks to lead off the inning. That prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to go to his bullpen and pull the right-hander in favor of Hirokazu Sawamura.

Sawamura, in turn, recorded the first two outs of the sixth before serving up a back-breaking, three-run homer to Andrew Velazquez that gave the Angels a commanding 5-1 lead.

Pivetta was charged with four of those five runs. In addition to four earned runs, the 29-year-old gave up six hits and two walks over five-plus innings. He also plunked one batter while striking out a season-high of 11. 67 of the 97 pitches he threw went for strikes.

Ohtani, on the other hand, wound up yielding just one earned run over seven strong innings. The 27-year-old phenom finishes the regular season having allowed just one run in 14 innings of work against the Red Sox.

Once Ohtani came out, the Sox responded when Christian Arroyo led off the eighth inning with a line-drive single off Angels reliever Ryan Tepera. Arroyo proceeded to steal second base and scored from there on a 104.5 mph RBI single from Alex Verdugo.

That made it a 5-2 game, which would go on to be Thursday’s final score after Austin Davis and Hansel Robles each tossed a scoreless frame of relief for Boston and Halos closer Raisel Iglesias retired the side in order in the ninth. The Red Sox as a team went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left a total of six runners on base.

With the loss, Boston falls to 30-28 on the season and 6-1 on the west coast road trip that concludes this weekend.

Next up: On to Seattle

The Red Sox will now travel north for a three-game series against the Mariners in Seattle. Veteran lefty Rich Hill will get the start for Boston on Friday night while fellow southpaw Marco Gonzalez will do the same for Seattle.

First pitch from T-Mobile Park is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Shohei Ohtani: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox go deep 5 times en route to 12-2 blowout win over Orioles; Bobby Dalbec, Franchy Cordero among those who homered

The Red Sox hit five home runs en route to a convincing 12-2 victory over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon. Bobby Dalbec, Franchy Cordero, Rafael Devers, Christian Arroyo, and Enrique Hernandez all went deep as Boston improved to 23-25 on the season at Fenway Park.

Matched up against Orioles left-hander Bruce Zimmermann out of the gate, the Sox kicked off the scoring in their half of the second inning. Christian Vazquez reached base via a one-out double and Dalbec followed by crushing his second homer in as many days. After Arroyo recorded the second out, Cordero proceeded to crank a 448-foot solo shot to dead center field to give his side an early 3-0 lead.

An inning later, Devers joined in on the action with a leadoff home run that was deposited 434 feet into the right field bleachers. In the fourth, Arroyo and Hernandez contributed to the cause with their third and fourth home runs of the season, respectively.

To that point in the contest, Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta had yet to allow a run through his first four innings. In what was his 10th start of the year for Boston, the right-hander wound up yielding just one run on five hits, three walks, and five strikeouts over six solid innings of work.

That lone Baltimore run off of Pivetta came in the top of the fifth, when Cedric Mullins hit a two-out double and Trey Mancini drove him in on an RBI single to right field that was nearly caught by a sliding Arroyo.

Boston got that run right back, however, as Vazquez scored Xander Bogaerts all the way from first on an RBI double that was laced down the right field line.

Pivetta, meanwhile, ended his day by retiring three of the final four batters he faced in the sixth. The 29-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 106 (64 strikes) while lowering his ERA on the season down to 3.95.

In relief of Pivetta, Tanner Houck got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The hard-throwing righty needed just 14 pitches (11 strikes) to face the minimum over two scoreless frames with the help of two double plays.

The bottom of the eighth was all about insurance for the Sox. Cordero capped off his productive day at the plate with a two-run double, J.D. Martinez drew a bases-loaded walk, and Bogaerts delivered with a two-run double of his own off Marcos Diplan.

Those five runs put Boston up, 12-1, going into the ninth. Phillips Valdez gave one of those runs back but otherwise slammed the door on the Orioles to secure a 12-2 win.

Next up: Hill vs. Wells in series finale

The Red Sox will look to earn their fifth straight series victory in Monday’s finale against the Orioles. Boston will give the ball to veteran left-hander Rich Hill while Baltimore will roll with right-hander Tyler Wells.

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

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox go deep 4 times en route to 16-3 blowout win over White Sox

The Red Sox wasted no time in teeing off against Dylan Cease and the White Sox on Tuesday. A four-run first inning powered Boston to a 16-3 victory over Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field.

By taking the opener of this three-game series, the Sox extend their winning streak to six consecutive games while improving to 20-22 on the season.

On the very first pitch he saw from Cease in the first inning, Enrique Hernandez crushed a leadoff home run 372 feet into Chicago’s bullpen to give Boston an immediate 1-0 lead. Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez followed with a single and walk, which put runners at the corners with two outs when Trevor Story stepped up to the plate.

Fresh off being named the American League Player of the Week, Story picked up where he left off by not letting Cease off the hook and instead depositing a three-run home run 398 feet to left field. Story’s eighth homer of the year put the Red Sox up 4-0.

An inning later, back-to-back hard-hit doubles from Jackie Bradley Jr. and Hernandez to lead things off made it a 5-0 game. Martinez tacked on another by lacing a 105 mph RBI single to left field that increased the advantage to six runs.

In the third, Christian Vazquez followed a one-out Franchy Cordero walk by ripping a single back up the middle that advanced Cordero up to third base. Cordero scored from third when Bradley Jr. beat out a double play by reaching first base safely.

After the White Sox dipped into their bullpen beginning in the fourth inning, Devers greeted new reliever Jose Ruiz by mashing an opposite-field solo blast that left his bat at 106 mph. Devers’ 10th big fly of the season made it an 8-0 ballgame in favor of the Red Sox. Ruiz proceeded to fill the bases with no outs in the fourth before giving up an RBI sacrifice fly to Cordero and run-scoring single to Vazquez.

To that point in the contest, Nick Pivetta had retired each of the first nine batters he faced. The right-hander’s bid for a perfect game came to an end in the bottom of the fourth when he yielded a leadoff double to Tim Anderson. He then served up a two-out, two-run home run to Jose Abreu that saw his shutout bid end as well.

The Red Sox lineup picked up their starter in the top half of the fifth, though. With one out, Martinez and Bogaerts each reached base off Bennett Sousa for Alex Verdugo, who made his first hit of the night count in the form of an RBI single. Story and Cordero kept the line moving with two more run-scoring knocks before Vazquez drove them both in on a 400-foot three-run homer to left field. Vazquez’s second long ball of the season gave Boston a commanding 16-2 lead.

Pivetta, meanwhile, ran into some more trouble in the latter half of the fifth when he gave up a two-out double to Andrew Vaughn that was followed by a run-scoring single off the bat of Tim Anderson to trim Chicago’s deficit to 13 runs at 16-3. Pivetta’s outing came to a close after he stranded a pair of base runners in a scoreless sixth inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 88 (51 strikes), the 29-year-old hurler wound up allowing three earned runs on five hits, two walks, and five strikeouts over six innings of work. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.25 after nine starts.

In relief of Pivetta, Hirokazu Sawamura received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora beginning in the seventh. The righty sat down three of the four he faced before making way in the eighth for Matt Barnes, who, too, put up a zero. And in the ninth, Tyler Danish slammed the door on the White Sox to put the finishing touches on the blowout.

All told, the Sox offense tallied a season-high 16 runs on 19 hits — four of which left the yard — while going 9-for-18 with runners in scoring position. Hernandez, Devers, Story, Verdugo, and Bradley Jr. had two hits apiece, Martinez accounted for four, and Vazquez had three.

Next up: Hill vs. Giolito

The Red Sox will go for their fourth straight win on Wednesday night when they send veteran left-hander Rich Hill to the mound. The White Sox will counter with right-hander Lucas Giolito.

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

(Picture of Trevor Story and Rafael Devers: Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta tosses complete game 2-hitter as Red Sox take series from Astros with 5-1 win

The ball was once again flying out of Fenway Park on Wednesday night as the Red Sox bounced back with a series-clinching win over the Astros. Boston defeated Houston by a final score of 5-1 to improve to 15-22 on the season.

After Nick Pivetta surrendered a leadoff home run to Jose Altuve, the Sox lineup quickly responded by scoring two runs in their half of the first inning. Matched up against Jose Garcia, Rafael Devers ripped a one-out triple down the right field line and scored from third on a J.D. Martinez sacrifice fly that nearly left the yard.

Xander Bogaerts followed by actually leaving the yard, as he crushed a Garcia cutter 358 feet over the Green Monster for his fourth home run of the season. Fast forward to the third, Enrique Hernandez led off by reaching base on a fielding error and scoring all the way from first on a wallball double off the bat of Devers.

An inning later, Trevor Story drew a leadoff walk and moved up to second when Franchy Cordero reached base on an Altuve fielding error. Both runners were driven in on back-to-back run-scoring singles from Christian Vazquez and Hernandez, which gave the Red Sox a commanding 5-1 lead.

Pivetta, meanwhile, had settled in nicely after giving up that leadoff homer to Altuve. In what was his eighth start of the season for Boston, the right-hander retired 18 consecutive batters at one point before yielding a leadoff double to Michael Brantley in the top of the seventh. He stranded Brantley on second and then sat down the side in order in the eighth.

Coming back out for the ninth, Pivetta put the finishing touches on a complete game two-hitter as well as a 5-1 win with yet another scoreless frame. He becomes the first Red Sox starter to record an out in both the eighth and ninth inning of a game this season.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 112 (78 strikes), Pivetta wound up allowing just one earned run on two hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts over eight solid innings of work. It is the second complete game of the 29-year-old’s career.

The Red Sox have now won their last two series. While Martinez saw his hitting streak come to an end, Devers extended his to 12 consecutive games. Pivetta, on the other hand, picked up his first home win of the year while lowering his ERA on the season to 4.22.

Next up: Welcoming in the Mariners

The Red Sox will next welcome the Mariners into town for the start of a four-game weekend series on Thursday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will be getting the start for Boston while rookie right-hander George Kirby will be doing the same for Seattle.

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

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)