Nick Pivetta dominates with 6 2/3 no-hit innings, but Red Sox fall to Rays, 1-0, on walk-off wild pitch from Matt Barnes

The Red Sox received one of their best starting pitching performances of the season at Tropicana Field on Thursday night, yet were walked off by the Rays on a wild pitch and wound up losing 1-0.

Pivetta did not allow a single hit while walking two, plunking one, and striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings of work.

The right-hander was locked in from the get-go, as he made a statement by punching out the side in the first and taking a perfect game into the fourth, at which point he walked Brandon Lowe to begin the inning.

Lowe helped out Pivetta, though, as he ran into an inning-ending double play, while Hunter Renfroe contributed to the cause in the fifth by making a fantastic leaping catch on a Ji-Man Choi line out to deep right field.

After working his way around a HBP in the sixth, Pivetta came back out for the seventh with his pitch count rising, recorded the first two outs, but then got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora with a string of left-handed bats due to hit for Tampa Bay.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 100 (58 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 45% of the time he was on the mound Thursday, inducing five swings-and-misses while topping out at 98.6 mph with the pitch.

Ultimately hit with the no-decision while lowering his ERA on the season to 4.00, Pivetta’s next start should come against the Royals back at Fenway Park next Tuesday.

In relief of Pivetta, left-hander Josh Taylor came on to record the final out of the seventh, which he needed just six pitches to do to extend his scoreless appearance to 22 consecutive games.

From there, Darwinzon Hernandez issued a one-out double to Keven Kiermaier in the eighth that saw the Sox’ combined no-hit bid come to an end. But Adam Ottavino was able to get out of the inning unscathed.

Matt Barnes got the call for the ninth in a scoreless contest, and he got the first two outs of the inning relatively easily before yielding a groundball single to old friend Manuel Margot.

Margot stole second and advanced to third on a Christian Vazquez throwing error, which put him in position to score the game-winning run on a wild pitch moments later.

Despite not being charged with an earned run, Barnes did pick up his second loss of the year.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another veteran right-hander in the form of Michael Wacha.

Like Pivetta, Wacha was nearly perfect to begin things on Thursday, as he did not allow his first hit — a bloop single off the bat of Christian Vazquez — until the fifth inning.

Vazquez was able to steal second and even moved up to third on a throwing error, but was left there when Bobby Dalbec struck out to extinguish the threat.

Boston threatened once more with two outs in the sixth, with J.D. Martinez singling and Xander Bogaerts drawing a walk off Rays reliever Drew Rasmussen.

Alas, Rafael Devers grounded out to third, and another scoring opportunity was done away with.

That trend continued in the seventh, with Renfroe leading things off with a hard-hit double, but ultimately being gunned down by Kiermaier at home plate on a Vazquez single.

Vazquez’s time on the base paths in the eighth did not last all that long, as he was picked off at second base by Rays catcher Francisco Mejia. And that would prove to be their last legitimate scoring chance.

All in all, the Red Sox went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base as a team in Thursday’s 1-0 loss.

With the loss, Boston falls to 44-31 on the season while moving to a half game back of Tampa Bay for first place in the American League East. They have dropped their last two series.

Next up, the Sox will fly back to Boston and welcome the Yankees into town for a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park that begins on Friday night.

Left-hander Martin Perez will get the start for Boston in the series opener, while right-hander Domingo German will do the same for New York.

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

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta gets knocked around, gives up 4 homers as Red Sox fall to Blue Jays, 7-2

The Red Sox’ starting rotation has not been particularly sharp as of late, and that recent trend continued in a 7-2 loss at the hands of the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Saturday.

With the defeat, the Sox fall to 39-26 on the season and drop to two full games back of the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East.

Coming into play on Saturday, Boston starters owned a cumulative ERA of 7.99 over the team’s last seven games, the second-highest mark in baseball over that span according to FanGraphs.

Nick Pivetta made his 13th start of the season for the Sox on Saturday, and he only saw that 7.99 starters ERA jump up to 8.36 in the last eight games by surrendering a season-high six runs — all of which were earned — on six hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts over five innings of work.

Four of the six hits Pivetta gave up were home runs, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. crushing a two-run homer off the right-hander in the first inning and Cavan Biggo, Marcus Semien, and Bo Bichette each going deep in the top half of the fifth.

It’s fair to say that Pivetta did get blitzed in his fifth and final frame of work, but he did manage to sit down the last three hitters he faced in order.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 96 (60 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler later fell to 6-2 on the season while inflating his own ERA up to 4.28. His next start should come against the Royals in Kansas City on Friday.

Brennan’s Red Sox debut

In relief of Pivetta, Brandon Brennan got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for what was his team debut in the sixth inning.

Brennan, who was claimed off waivers from the Mariners in May and called up from Triple-A Worcester on Thursday, created a bit of a jam for himself by loading the bases on the first three Blue Jays hitters he faced.

Put in a tough spot immediately, the 29-year-old got Reese McGuire to fan on five pitches before getting Marcus Semien to ground into an inning-ending 5-3 double play with some help from third baseman Rafael Devers.

From there, Brennan maneuvered his way around two more walks en route to tossing two more scoreless innings of relief.

Brandon Workman, meanwhile, served up another solo shot to McGuire in the ninth, which put Toronto up 7-2.

Red Sox’ offensive woes

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar foe in Blue Jays left-hander Steven Matz, who they got to for five runs the last time they saw him in Dunedin, Fla. back on May 20.

This time around, however, Matz proved to be a much tougher opponent, as it took the Sox until the sixth inning to push anything across against the veteran southpaw, though they certainly had their chances.

Christian Vazquez ripped an RBI single off Matz to score Rafael Devers from second with two outs in their half of the sixth, and that would prove to be all the Sox could do against the Blue Jays starter.

In addition to scoring a run, Devers collected his 49th RBI of the season by plating J.D. Martinez on a run-scoring single off Toronto reliever Rafael Dolis in the eighth inning, which cut the Sox’ deficit to four runs at 6-2.

Bobby Dalbec also hit his second triple of the year earlier in the fifth. All in all, though, Boston finished the day having gone 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving seven on base as a team.

A scary moment for Hernandez

Enrique Hernandez was struck in the helmet by a 96 mph fastball from Blue Jays reliever Anthony Castro during his seventh inning at-bat.

The ball glanced off the protective jaw flap of Hernandez’s helmet, and the center fielder was able to remain in the game.

Next up: Perez vs. Ray

Sunday afternoon’s starting pitching matchup between the Red Sox and Blue Jays will feature a pair of veteran left-handers going at it, with Martin Perez getting the ball for Boston and Robbie Ray doing the same for Toronto.

First pitch Sunday, the third game of this four-game set, is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on Sunday.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts leads Red Sox to comeback 6-5 victory over Yankees in extra innings; Boston sweeps New York at Yankee Stadium for first time since 2011

It took 10 innings to complete, but the Red Sox finished off their first sweep of the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in nearly 10 years with a drama-filled 6-5 comeback victory over New York on Sunday.

With the win, their fourth straight and their 21st of the come-from-behind variety this year, Boston improves to 36-23 (20-10 on the road) this season. They remain one game behind the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Verdugo gets the Red Sox on the board first

Matched up against Yankees right-hander Domingo German to start things on Sunday, Alex Verdugo got the scoring started for the Sox by crushing a first-inning solo homer to deep right-center field to give his side the early lead.

Verdugo’s eighth home run of the season, which came on a 91.3 mph fastball down the heart of the plate from German, had an exit velocity of 108.8 mph off the bat and traveled 446 feet into the bleachers.

Richards struggles out of the gate, but eventually settles in and goes five innings

Despite going up right away on the Yankees in this one, the Red Sox found themselves down a run going into the second inning on account of Garrett Richards’ early struggles.

Making his 12th start of the season for Boston, the right-hander yielded three consecutive one-out singles in the first inning to load the bases for Gary Sanchez, who drove in two runs on a hard-hit double to left field.

At that moment, it did not look like things were going to go well for Richards in his first outing at Yankee Stadium since 2018, but he was able to settle in fairly nicely.

The only other run the veteran righty gave up came on an RBI groundout from Aaron Judge in the bottom of the fourth. From there, he was able to escape the jam by getting Gleyber Torres to ground into another forceout before retiring the side in order in the fifth to end his night on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (66 strikes), Richards ended his day having allowed three earned runs on eight hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over five innings of work to raise his ERA on the year to 3.88.

The 33-year-old’s next start should come against the Blue Jays back at Fenway Park on Friday.

Gonzalez comes through in the seventh

With Richards holding the Yankees to three runs, the Sox lineup bounced back in their half of the seventh after German held them in check in his 5 2/3 innings pitched.

Hunter Renfroe led things off by drawing a four-pitch walk off left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge, which set the stage for Marwin Gonzalez, who was already having himself a memorable weekend in the Bronx.

Batting from his preferred right side of the plate, the switch-hitting Gonzalez cranked a game-tying, two-run home run down the left field line on a hanging slider from Luetge that knotting things up at 3-3.

Bogaerts delivers first of two clutch moments in the eighth

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was presumably very pleased with what he saw out of his lineup in the top half of the eighth.

The pinch-hitting Christian Arroyo led off with a pop-up double that very well should have been caught, advanced to third base on a Verdugo groundout, and then came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Bogaerts that put Boston ahead 4-3 late.

Get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in. That’s what happened there.

Barnes blows second save of season in the ninth

While the likes of Darwinzon Hernandez, Adam Ottavino, and Josh Taylor each tossed a scoreless inning in relief of Garrett Richards, Red Sox closer Matt Barnes ran into some trouble in the bottom half of the ninth.

Working in his third straight game, the right-hander issued a one-out walk to Aaron Judge and proceeded to serve up a game-tying, RBI double to Gleyber Torres.

With this contest now in a 4-4 deadlock, Barnes was able to get out of the inning while stranding the potential winning run at third base, though he was charged with his second blown save of the season.

Bogaerts does it again, this time to seal it

Heading into the top of the 10th, Christian Vazquez — who recorded the final out of the ninth — was placed at second base. Bobby Dalbec followed by drawing a six-pitch walk off Luis Cessa, and both runners advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Christian Arroyo.

Alex Verdugo was unable to do anything in the clutch, as he grounded out to second, but Xander Bogaerts certainly did — again.

On a 2-1, 83 mph slider from Cessa, Bogaerts cleared the bases by drilling a two-run single to center field, scoring both Vazquez and Dalbec in the process of picking up his second and third RBI of the night to make it a 6-4 game in favor of Boston.

Valdez notches first career save to close it out

Having already exhausted the vast majority of his available bullpen options, Alex Cora turned to right-hander Phillips Valdez to close this one out in the bottom of the 10th.

With a two-run lead to protect, Valdez plunked the first hitter he faced, but induced a potentially pivotal double play — the third the Yankees hit into Sunday — before allowing one unearned run to score on a Marwin Gonzalez throwing error.

Valdez was able to rebound though, as he got D.J. LeMahieu to ground out to secure the 6-5 win for the Red Sox and pick up his first career save while doing so.

Some notes from this victory:

From MLB’s Sarah Langs:

From Red Sox Notes:

Next up: Make-up against Marlins to kick off homestand

Monday was originally supposed to be an off-day for the Red Sox, but May 30th’s rainout against the Marlins changed that.

The Sox will instead welcome the Marlins back into Fenway Park on Monday evening to conclude their three-game series that began late last month, with Boston taking the first two from Miami.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston, while fellow righty Pablo Lopez will do the same for Miami.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN. A unique start time for what is sure to be a balmy day in the Fenway-area.

Red Sox will be going for their fifth consecutive win before opening up a three-game set against the Astros on Tuesday.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Lifeless Red Sox drop third straight to Astros, 2-1; Nick Pivetta hit with first loss of season despite striking out 9 over 6 innings

A stagnant Red Sox offense was once again held in check by the Astros at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday night.

Houston starter Framber Valdez gave Boston a chance to get something going immediately in the first inning. The left-hander loaded the bases with two outs and walked in a run by issuing a free pass to Hunter Renfroe.

Bobby Dalbec was presented with the opportunity to do some more damage in his first at-bat of the night, but he grounded out sharply to shortstop to extinguish the threat.

As it would later turn out, that lone run is all the Sox could get off of Valdez, as the southpaw settled in after a rough first inning and strung together six straight scoreless frames to get through seven strong when all was said and done.

The Boston bats did not fare much better against the Astros’ bullpen, with all three of Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts lining out to center field against reliever Ryne Stanek in the top half of the eighth.

In the top half of the ninth, a one-out single from Renfroe and two-out single from Vazquez off Astros closer Ryan Pressly provided the Red Sox with some late life and the chance to at least tie things up at two runs apiece.

Alas, Christian Arroyo hit a broken-bat pop-up to the infield, and 2-1 would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

By dropping their third consecutive contest to the Astros, the Red Sox fall to 32-23 on the season (16-10 on the road), yet still remain two games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Pivetta grinds through first two innings, winds up turning in solid performance

Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta needed 57 pitches to get through the first two innings of his 11th start of the season on Wednesday. Like Valdez, he also put himself in a bases-loaded jam right away in the first, but got out of it having allowed just one run.

From that point, though, the right-hander locked in and put together one of his best outings of the year to this point all things considered.

Over six innings in total, Pivetta yielded two runs — both earned — on three hits and two walks to go along with nine strikeouts on the night.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 111 (72 strikes) to set a new season-high, the 28-year-old was ultimately hit with his first loss of the year — and his first since coming over to the Red Sox from the Phillies last August. His next start should come against the Marlins back at Fenway Park on Monday.

Red Sox bullpen takes over

In relief of Pivetta, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez tossed a perfect seventh inning while Hirokazu Sawamura and Josh Taylor combined to toss a scoreless bottom of the eighth with the help of Christian Vazquez snuffing out Alex Bregman at second base.

Next up: Perez vs. Odorizzi

The Red Sox will send left-hander Martin Perez to the hill on Thursday afternoon as they look to halt this three-game losing streak, avoid a sweep and in turn end an otherwise forgettable series against the Astros on a positive note.

Perez will be opposed by veteran right-hander and his former Twins rotation mate Jake Odorizzi for Houston.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Red Sox commit 2 costly errors, fail to get anything going offensively in 5-1 loss to Astros

The Red Sox were within striking distance of the Astros heading into the bottom of the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night.

Trailing by a run at 2-1, Hirokazu Sawamura came on for Garrett Richards and yielded a leadoff single to Kyle Tucker. A Rafael Devers fielding error on a Chas McCormick groundball put runners at first and second with no outs.

Sawamura proceeded by inducing another grounder off the bat of Myles Straw, one that was hit directly to Xander Bogaerts for what looked to be the start of a huge 6-4-3 double play.

Bogaerts fielded the ball cleanly and made a routine toss to Marwin Gonzalez, who misfired on his throw to first base that got past a sprawling Danny Santana and allowed Tucker to score easily.

A five-pitch walk of Martin Maldonado, a wild pitch, and an intentional walk of Jose Altuve loaded the bases as Red Sox manager Alex Cora made the switch from Sawamura to Garrett Whitlock.

Making his first appearance out of the bullpen in a week, Whitlock issued a free pass to the first man he faced to bring in another run before Yordan Alvarez tapped an infield single off him to plate an additional run and make it a 5-1 game.

What transpired in the seventh inning on Tuesday was what ultimately did the Red Sox in. By falling to Houston by a final score of 5-1, Boston drops back down to 32-22 (16-9) on the season. They remain two games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Richards provides six solid innings

Garrett Richards made his 11th start of the season for the Red Sox and put together yet another strong showing.

Despite dealing with his fair share of traffic on the base paths, the right-hander surrendered just two earned runs on four hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over six innings of work.

The first of the two Astros runs Richards gave up came on a towering solo home run from Jose Altuve right away in the first inning. The second came on a sacrifice fly from Chas McCormick after Richards served up a leadoff double and followed with a four-pitch walk later in the bottom half of the fourth.

Besides that, the 33-year-old hurler was able to retire six of the final seven Astros he faced to get through six full innings.

Despite lowering his ERA on the season down to 3.75, Richards was charged with his fourth loss and is now 4-4. His next start should come against the Yankees in the Bronx on Sunday night.

Red Sox’ offensive woes continue

For the second straight day, the Red Sox lineup was held in check at Minute Maid Park. Boston was once again limited to five hits while managing to push across just one run against Astros rookie starter Luis Garcia.

Hunter Renfroe sparked the lone offensive output of the night with a leadoff double in the fifth, marking his fifth consecutive game with an extra-base hit. Danny Santana advanced Renfroe to third on a single moments later, and it appeared as though the Sox were ready to pounce.

Christian Vazquez failed to advance either runner by popping out to the infield, Marwin Gonzalez plated Renfroe on an RBI groundout, and Enrique Hernandez also popped out to extinguish the threat.

From there, an Alex Verdugo leadoff single and Vazquez two-out single in the seventh went for naught as Garcia made it through seven complete innings for the first time in his young career.

The Astros bullpen took over in relief of Garcia and preserved the one-run effort by tossing a pair of scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Valdez

Wednesday’s starting pitching matchup between the Red Sox and Astros will feature a pair of right-hander and a left-hander, with righty Nick Pivetta getting the ball for Boston and southpaw Framber Valdez doing the same for Houston.

Pivetta will look to play the role as the stopper with the Sox looking to halt a two-game skid and get back in the win column.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.

(Picture of Garrett Richards: Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rafael Devers homers, collects 3 RBI as Red Sox come back to top Braves, 9-5, in rain-filled night at Fenway Park; Nick Pivetta records season-high 9 strikeouts

It took until the wee hours of Thursday morning on account of a 2 hour and 53 minute rain delay, but the Red Sox were able to salvage a series split against the Braves with a 9-5 win at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

With the victory, which took nearly six hours to see through to the end, the Red Sox snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 30-20 (14-13 at home) on the season. They remain a half-game back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Shoutout to Dave Mellor and the rest of the Red Sox grounds crew for their efforts in this one.

Pivetta strikes out nine over six innings

Nick Pivetta made his 10th start of the season for Boston in Wednesday’s series finale, and despite getting hit relatively hard, he did keep his team in the game.

Over six innings of work, the right-hander yielded four runs — all of which were earned — on seven hits and two walks to go along with a season-high six strikeouts on the night.

The first two of those four Atlanta runs came right away in the top of the first, as Pivetta walked Freedie Freeman on five pitches which was promptly followed by an RBI triple off the bat of Ozzie Albies.

Albies came into score on a two-out, run-scoring double from Dansby Swanson, and Boston found themselves down 2-0 just like that.

A Guillermo Heredia leadoff double an inning later would result in another Braves run crossing the plate when William Contreras picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly. 3-0 Atlanta.

Pivetta would settle in for a bit from there, with the only hiccup coming when he served up a solo home run to Austin Riley in the top half of the fifth.

Wednesday’s outing marks the second straight start in which Pivetta has allowed four or more runs, but he wrapped things up on a much more positive note by punching out four of the final five hitters he faced — which included striking out the side in his sixth and final frame of work.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 102 (68 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 45% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing seven swings and misses while topping out at 97 mph with the pitch. He also induced eight swings-and-misses with his slider, a pitch he threw 20 times.

Able to improve to a perfect 6-0 on the season despite raising his ERA to 3.86 in what technically goes down as a complete game (the second of his career), Pivetta’s next start should come against the Astros in Houston next Tuesday.

Renfroe homers to get scoring started for Sox

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran left-hander Drew Smyly for the Braves, who came into play Wednesday sporting a 5.11 ERA through his first seven starts of the season.

After finding themselves in an early two-run hole, Hunter Renfroe got things started for the Sox in the second inning when unloaded on a hanging curveball from Smyly and deposited it 377 feet on a line over the Green Monster.

Renfroe’s sixth home run of the season, which made it a 2-1 game in favor of Atlanta, had an exit velocity of 102.4 mph.

Devers’ big fly to dead center ties it

Fast forward to the bottom of the fourth, and the long ball again proved to be Boston’s best friend, as a two-out walk drawn by Xander Bogaerts brought Rafael Devers to the plate, representing the tying run in a 3-1 contest.

On the third pitch he saw from Smyly — yet another hanging curveball — the dangerous left-handed slugger crushed a booming, game-tying two-run shot 434 feet (107. 1 mph off the bat) to deep center field for his team-leading 14th home run of the year.

Four-run rally in sixth proves to be pivotal

The Braves went up by a run on the heels of Devers’ two-run blast to re-take the lead at 4-3, but the Boston bats would not be silenced.

With one out in the bottom half of the sixth, the Sox had Smyly on the ropes with Alex Verdugo and J.D. Martinez each lacing a sharply-hit single to put runners at first and second.

A wild pitch with Bogaerts at the plate allowed Verdugo to advance to third. That miscue would prove to be costly for Atlanta when Bogaerts plated Verdugo on a softly-hit fielder’s choice to third base moments later.

Verdugo — aggressive as ever — was going on contact, and on a headfirst slide he managed to slip under Contreras’ tag at home plate to score and knot things up at four runs apiece.

Devers took responsibility for the go-ahead run by driving in Martinez on an RBI double down the left field line, while Christian Vazquez provided some much-needed insurance by greeting new Braves reliever Luke Jackson with a bases-loaded, opposite field two-run single that scored both Boagaerts and Devers and gave the Red Sox a commanding 7-4 advantage.

Inclement weather results in long delay

As the sixth inning came to a close, the rate at which the rain was falling from the Boston skies picked up. That led to the Red Sox grounds crew rolling out the tarp on the field at a Fenway.

A rain delay began at approximately 9:08 p.m. eastern time. And after a 173-minute standstill, the game resumed shortly after midnight.

Red Sox bullpen closes it out

When the tarp came off the field, it was Josh Taylor who got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for the start of the seventh inning.

The left-handed reliever plunked the first hitter he faced in Ronald Acuna before recording the first two outs. Adam Ottavino was deployed to face the right-handed hitting Riley and got him to pop out to retire the side.

Ottavino also worked a 1-2-3 top of the eighth. The Sox tacked on two more insurance runs on a Danny Santana RBI and Vazquez sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning to give Matt Andriese a five-run lead to operate with.

Andriese, making his first appearance since May 23, got the first out, gave up a towering solo home run to Contreras, and a single to Acuna, which prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to turn to his closer, Matt Barnes, to finish things up in a non-save situation.

Barnes, making his first relief appearance since May 22, induced a game-ending double play from Freeman to secure the 9-5 win for his side.

Next up: An off day on Thursday, then a weekend series against the Marlins

The Red Sox will enjoy their second off day of the week on Thursday before welcoming the Miami Marlins into town for a three-game weekend series that begins Friday night.

Left-hander Martin Perez is slated to get the ball for Boston in the series opener, while rookie right-hander Cody Poteet is lined up to do the same for Miami.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez delivers in clutch as slugger’s 250th career homer lifts Red Sox to 8-7 victory over Blue Jays

The Red Sox will board their late-night flight to Philadelphia having gotten away with what feels like highway robbery following a drama-filled, come-from-behind 8-7 victory over the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla. on Thursday.

Down to their final out in the ninth inning while trailing 7-6, J.D. Martinez crushed a go-ahead two-run home run to deep right-center field off Jays closer Rafael Dolis.

Martinez’s clutch two-run blast — the 250th homer of his major-league career — resulted in the Red Sox going from trailing by a run to leading by a run in what would ultimately go down as an 8-7 triumph.

With the win — which also secured a series victory over Toronto — Boston improves to 27-18 on the season and maintains a one-game lead over the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Early second-inning offense

Matched up against Blue Jays left-hander Steven Matz to begin things on Thursday, the Red Sox lineup got off to another fast start by pushing across a bevy of runs in their half of the second inning, all with two outs, to get out to an early lead.

After Xander Bogaerts struck out and Rafael Devers grounded out, Matz appeared to be on the verge of his second straight 1-2-3 inning. A Christian Vazquez single halted those plans, though, and Hunter Renfroe followed with a two-out single of his own.

Bobby Dalbec’s recent hot stretch continued when he brought in both Vazquez and Renfroe on a 349-foot three-run shot to right field that was good for his fifth home run of the season that also put the Red Sox up 3-2.

Michael Chavis ripped another extra-base hit, a double, and quickly came into score on an RBI single off the bat of Enrique Hernandez. Boston’s leadoff man and Alex Verdugo both scored moments later on a two-run single courtesy of Martinez.

In total, the Sox collected seven straight two-out hits off Matz in the second inning before Bogaerts drew a walk and Devers was called out on strikes.

Pivetta’s tough outing

Having yielded two runs to the Blue Jays in the first inning Thursday night, Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta was gifted a three-run lead as he came back out for his second frame of work.

Things did not get any easier for Pivetta, though, as the right-hander surrendered another run in the second. He did manage to settle in a bit by stringing together two consecutive scoreless innings, but more trouble arose in the fifth when the Jays tacked on two more runs on two hits and a Rafael Devers fielding error — the first of three Red Sox errors on the night.

Pivetta’s outing would come to a close after he recorded the final out of the fifth. The 28-year-old wound up being charged with five runs — four of which were earned — on seven hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts over five innings of work that saw his ERA on the season inflate to 3.59.

Red Sox bullpen takes over

In relief of Pivetta, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for the bottom half of the sixth, and he could only record two outs. But not before giving up two runs — none of which were earned — on three hits, one walk, a fielding error committed by Hunter Renfroe, and a missed catch error committed by Michael Chavis that allowed the Blue Jays to take a 7-5 lead.

From there, Darwinzon Hernandez got the final out of the sixth and first two outs of the seventh inning before Phillips Valdez was dispatched to finish up the bottom of the seventh and toss a scoreless eighth inning, too.

Resilient Red Sox

Trailing by two runs at 7-5 going into the ninth inning, the Red Sox had no choice but to rely on the bottom of their lineup to ignite a late rally.

Dalbec and Chavis answered that call, as they led things off with back-to-back singles off Doilis as the lineup flipped back over.

Verdugo drove in Dalbec on an RBI groundout, which put Martinez in position to be the hero by mashing the game-winning, three-run home run.

The Red Sox now have 17 come-from-behind wins this season

Barnes rebounds and shuts the door on Toronto

Making his first relief appearance since blowing his first save of the season against the Angels on Sunday, Red Sox closer Matt Barnes bounced back by closing things out against the Blue Jays on Thursday.

The flame-throwing right-hander maneuvered his way around a two-out walk of Rowdy Tellez to otherwise punch out the side and preserve the 8-7 win for the Sox in the process of notching his 10th save of the year.

Next up: Perez vs. Nola

The Red Sox will arrive in Philadelphia early Friday morning and open up a three-game series against the 22-22 Phillies later that night at Citizens Bank Park.

Left-hander Martin Perez is slated to get the ball for Boston in the opener, while ace right-hander Aaron Nola is set to do the same for Philadelphia.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN+.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Homers from Kik√© Hern√°ndez, Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez, and Christian V√°zquez power Red Sox to 7-3 win over Blue Jays

The Red Sox wasted no time in bouncing back from their second shutout loss of the season on Tuesday by plating five runs on five hits in the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla.

Matched up against veteran starter Ross Stripling, a leadoff single from Kiké Hernández to begin things on Wednesday night proved to be the catalyst for an offensive outpouring.

Alex Verdugo followed by obliterating a hanging slider 391 feet to right field for his sixth home run of the season — a two-run shot — to give the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.

J.D. Martinez made it a 3-0 game moments later when he mashed his 11th homer of the year to go back-to-back with Verdugo, while Christian Vazquez and Bobby Dalbec knocked in two more runs on an RBI groundout and RBI double, respectively.

With Garrett Richards leading the way on the other side of things, the Red Sox rode a productive first inning all the way to a 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays to snap a two-game skid and improve to 26-18 (13-6 on the road) on the season.

Hernandez finishes triple shy of cycle

Kik√© Hern√°ndez’s leadoff single in the first not only proved to be the start of a solid day at the plate for the Red Sox as a team, but for Hernandez himself as well.

The 29-year-old homered off his former Dodger teammate in Stripling to lead off the top half of the second inning and later ripped a two-out double in the fourth for his third hit of the night.

Having already completed three-quarters of the cycle in his first three at-bats Wednesday, Hernandez was unable to see it through until the end as he flew out in the sixth and struck out swinging in the eighth. Still, a three-hit day is a three-hit day.

Richards improves to 4-2, lowers ERA to 3.72

Before even taking the mound at TD Ballpark for the first time on Wednesday night, Red Sox starter Garrett Richards was gifted a five-run cushion to work with.

The right-hander got off to a shaky start by walking the first man he faced and serving up a hard-hit RBI double to Vladimir Guerrero Jr before issuing yet another free pass, which led to pitching coach Dave Bush coming out for a mound visit.

That mound visit certainly proved to be beneficial for Richards, as he settled in nicely from that point on by stringing together five consecutive scoreless frames of work.

After punching out the first two hitters he faced in the seventh, Richards yielded a single to Reese McGuire, which would mark the end of his night.

Garrett Whitlock came on in relief of the righty and allowed the runner he inherited to score on a two-run home run off the bat of Marcus Semien.

That two-run blast closed the book on Richards’ outing, who wound up being charged with two earned runs on seven hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 total innings pitched.

Though inconsistent with his command at times, Richards proved to be effective enough to pick up his fourth winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA to 3.72.

Of the 99 pitches (64 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler threw on Wednesday, 64 were four-seam fastballs, 18 were curveballs, and 17 were sliders. His next start should come against the Braves back at Fenway Park next Tuesday.

Vazquez homers for first time since April 7

After seeing his team’s five-run lead shrink to a three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, Christian Vazquez got one of those runs back by crushing his third home run of the season a half inning later.

Whitlock, Ottavino, and Taylor close it out

As previously mentioned, Garrett Whitlock was deployed in relief of Richards and immediately served up a two-run shot to Marcus Semien before getting Bo Bichette to ground out to retire the side in the seventh.

From there, Adam Ottavino maneuvered his way around a one-out single in an otherwise perfect eighth inning, while left-hander Josh Taylor preserved the 7-3 win for his side by working a scoreless bottom half of the ninth.

Cordero’s exit velocity

While the likes of Kiké Hernández, Alex Verdugo, and J.D. Martinez stole the show offensively, Franchy Cordero also had a strong day at the plate, though the results may not show it.

Returning to the Red Sox lineup for the first time since Saturday, Cordero went 1-for-4 while batting out of the nine-hole.

Of the four balls Cordero put in play on Wednesday, two –a first-inning lineout and sixth-inning double — had exit velocities of 109 and 115.2 mph. His double was the hardest-hit ball of the night.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Matz

The Red Sox will go for a series win over the Blue Jays before getting on a plane to Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston, while left-hander Steven Matz will do the same for Toronto.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:37 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

Picture of Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Garrett Whitlock on COVID-19 related injured list (side effects from vaccination), recall Colten Brewer from Triple-A Worcester

Before taking on the Angels in the second game of a three-game series at Fenway Park Saturday afternoon, the Red Sox placed right-hander Garrett Whitlock on the COVID-19 related injured list due to side effects from vaccination.

In a corresponding move, fellow right-hander Colten Brewer was called up from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Saturday.

As was the case with Nick Pivetta earlier this week, Whitlock was feeling under the weather after receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, hence the move to put him on the IL.

“Whitlock is under the weather for the same reasons as Nick,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said earlier Saturday. “He got his second shot. So we’re going to put him on the COVID IL, and most likely it’s going to be Brewer who is going to be with us.”

Whitlock can be activated at any time since the COVID-19 related injured list does not require a minimum stint.

The 24-year-old last worked in a game against the Athletics on Thursday, so it’s unlikely he would have been available for Saturday’s contest anyway.

Through 10 appearances in what is his rookie season, Whitlock has been thoroughly impressive. Over 20 1/3 total innings pitched, the Rule 5 pick has yielded five runs (four earned) on 17 hits and three walks to go along with 21 strikeouts. That’s good for an ERA of 1.77. Opponents are slashing .227/.266/.347 off him.

Brewer, meanwhile, opened the 2021 minor-league season with Triple-A Worcester and has made just one appearance out of the WooSox’ bullpen thus far.

Originally acquired in a trade with the Padres in November 2018, the 28-year-old hurler has compiled a 4.59 ERA, a 5.14 FIP, and a 77:48 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 69 total appearances (four starts) and 80 1/3 innings pitched in parts of two seasons with the Red Sox.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Hunter Renfroe, Bobby Dalbec each crush 2-run homers as Red Sox come back to top Angels, 4-3

Going into the 2021 season, the Red Sox were aware of the power potential the bottom third of their lineup had, particularly from the right side of the plate.

In yet another come from behind 4-3 victory over the Angels at Fenway Park on Friday, the Sox showed just how dangerous their No. 7, 8, or 9 hitters can be on any given night.

Matched up against right-handed starter Griffin Canning for the first of three against Los Angeles, Hunter Renfroe got Boston on the board first crushing a two-run home run 430 feet to dead center field for his fifth homer of the season.

Renfroe’s blast, which had an exit velocity of 108.6 mph off the bat, put the Red Sox up 2-0 early on.

Between then and the next time the Sox got anything going offensively, Boston starter Nick Pivetta put together another quality showing in what was his eighth start of the season.

Over six-plus innings of work, the right-hander yielded just two runs on four hits and a season-low zero walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

The first of those two runs Pivetta gave up came off the bat of Shohei Ohtani in the top of the sixth, when the two-way phenom took the righty deep to left field for a solo blast to make it a 2-1 game.

After recording the final out of the sixth, Pivetta came back out for the seventh, but served up a leadoff double to Anthony Rendon that would see his evening come to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 92 (68 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 54% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing seven swings-and-misses while topping out at 97. 4 mph with the pitch.

Able to lower his ERA on the season to 3.16 despite being hit with the no-decision due to what transpired in the seventh inning, Pivetta’s next start should come against the Blue Jays in Dunedin on Thursday.

In relief of Pivetta, Red Sox manager Alex Cora turned to Matt Andriese, who allowed Jared Walsh to reach base on a single before surrendering a one-out, two-run double to old friend Jose Igleseias.

The Angels went up 3-2 on Iglesias’ two-run knock, thus closing the book on Pivetta’s outing.

Dalbec homers for second straight night

Now trailing by a run heading into their half of the seventh, the Red Sox were put in a spot where they needed some offense relatively quickly.

With left-handed reliever Tony Watson on the mound for Los Angeles, Boston seemingly took advantage of a simple matchup when the right-handed hitting Renfroe laced a one-out single to bring the right-handed hitting Bobby Dalbec to the plate.

Having already picked up his first career stolen base earlier, Dalbec did something he had yet to do this season: hit a home run two nights in a row.

On the fourth pitch he saw from Watson, an 84 mph changeup on the inner half of the plate, the 25-year-old slugger clubbed a 419-foot two-run shot over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.

Dalbec, who has raked against lefties this season, received a curtain call from the Fenway faithful upon rounding the bases and returning to the Red Sox dugout.

Ottavino and Barnes close it out

With a brand-new one-run lead to protect, Adam Ottavino came on for the top of the eighth, matched up against the heart of the Angels’ order in David Fletcher, Ohtani, and the vaunted Mike Trout.

On just 18 pitches, Ottavino got through the inning with relative ease as he stucked out a pair on his way to retiring the side in 1-2-3 fashion.

That paved the way for Red Sox closer Matt Barnes to get the call for the ninth, and the flame-throwing right-hander was even more dominant considering the fact that he punched out the only three hitters he faced on 11 pitches (10 strikes) to preserve the 4-3 victory and notch his ninth save of the season.

With the win, the Red Sox improve to 24-16 on the season and 12-11 at Fenway Park.

Next up: Bundy vs. Perez

The Red Sox will look to secure a series victory over the struggling Angels on Saturday afternoon.

Left-hander Martin Perez will get the ball for Boston in the middle game, and he will be opposed by right-hander Dylan Bundy for Los Angeles.

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

(Picture of Bobby Dalbec: Billie Weiss/Boston/Red Sox/Getty Images)