Martín Pérez allows 3 runs in just 1 1/3 innings as Red Sox get blown out by Tigers, 8-1, in series finale

Any good vibes the Red Sox accumulated while snapping their five-game losing streak on Wednesday night were immediately wiped off the board in Thursday’s series finale against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

The Sox fell to the Tigers by a final score of 8-1, dropping the three-game series in the process of getting hit with their sixth loss in their last seven games.

Martin Perez, making his 21st start of the season for Boston, was hit hard in what was his shortest outing of the year to date.

Managing to record just four outs, the veteran left-hander surrendered three runs — all of which were earned — on five hits, zero walks, and one hit batsman to go along with two strikeouts over his 1 1/3 innings of work.

Right out of the gate, Perez was rudely greeted by Detroit, as he served up a leadoff home run to Robbie Grossman to begin things in the very first inning.

More leadoff trouble did Perez in in the second, with Victor Reyes leading off with a triple and Zack Short following with a sacrifice fly to give his side the early 2-0 lead.

After yielding back-to-back singles to the Tigers’ No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, Perez plunked Grossman on a 90 mph cutter that subsequently ended his day much sooner than expected.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 37 (25 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler raised his ERA on the season to 4.77 in what could very well be one of — if not his last start in a Red Sox uniform for the time being.

In relief of Perez, Phillips Valdez got the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen, and he inherited quite a mess with the bases loaded and two outs to get in the second.

Valdez officially closed the book on Perez’s start by allowing one of those inherited runners to score on a groundout, making it a 3-0 game in favor of Detroit. He did, however, fan Miguel Cabrera to get out of the second inning before tossing two more scoreless frames.

From there, Hansel Robles got roughed up for the first time since being traded to the Red Sox, as he served up a two-run, ground-rule double to Jeimer Candelario in the fifth that was followed by an RBI triple off the bat of Reyes. Both back-breaking hits came with two outs in the inning.

Fellow deadline acquisition Austin Davis did not fare much better over the next two innings, with the lefty issuing a run-scoring base hit to Jonathan Schhop in the sixth as well as an RBI groundout to Reyes in the seventh that put Detroit up 8-0.

Yacksel Rios took over for Davis with two outs in the seventh, and he ended the inning while also striking out one in a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, though it did not make much of a difference in the end.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Tigers rookie left-hander Tarik Skubal, making his first ever start against Boston.

Dealt a 3-0 deficit after just two innings, the Sox really were not able to get much going against Skubal.

They had an early opportunity in their half of the third, with Enrique Hernandez reaching base via a one-out walk and Rafael Devers following with an infield single. Both runners advanced an additional 90 feet on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, but J.D. Martinez was called out on strikes and Xander Bogaerts lined out to extinguish the threat.

All in all, the Boston bats went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position against Skubal and three Detroit relievers, with Alex Verdugo taking responsibility for his side’s lone run of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly that brought in Franchy Cordero from third base.

That cut the Sox’ deficit down to seven runs at 8-1, which would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 64-46 on the season while dropping to 1 1/2 games back of an idle Tampa Bay Rays team for first place in the American League East.

Next up: On to Canada

The Red Sox will board a flight to Toronto as they head north of the border for the first time in nearly two full years for the start of what has the makings to be a pivotal four-game weekend series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Friday night.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for Boston in the opener, and he will be matched up against fellow righty Alek Manoah for Toronto.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN. Red Sox need to turn things around quickly.

(Picture of Martin Perez: Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Red Sox crush 3 homers, punch out season-high 18 batters in 4-1 win over Tigers to snap 5-game skid

After a few stressful days, the Red Sox can breathe a collective sigh of relief as they put their five-game losing streak behind them with a 4-1 victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park on Wednesday night.

Former Tigers All-Star J.D. Martinez gave the Sox an early lead in the middle game of this three-game series, as he crushed a 410 foot solo shot off Detroit starter and former first overall draft pick Casey Mize to lead things off in the top half of the second inning.

Martinez’s 21st home run of the season put Boston up 1-0, and they added more on to that later on in the fifth.

There, with Mize still on the hill for Detroit, Hunter Renfroe ripped a line-drive double to lead off the inning, while Franchy Cordero struck out and Christian Vazquez flew out for the first two outs.

At that time, the Red Sox had gone 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and it appeared as though they were going to let another scoring opportunity go to waste.

Enrique Hernandez had other plans, however, as he took a 3-2, 87 mph slider down the heart of the plate from Mize and deposited it 426 feet to deep left-center field for his 15th big fly of the year — a two-run blast.

Moments later, Jarren Duran followed with a solo shot of his own, this time taking Mize 355 feet down the left field line for his second big-league homer — and first since July 19.

Hernandez and Duran going back-to-back gave Boston the 4-0 lead over Detroit, and that four-run edge was more than enough for Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez to work with.

Rodriguez, making his 21st start of the season for Boston, put together his best outing since being removed from his July 23 start against the Yankees early due to migraine symptoms.

Over five solid, scoreless innings of work on Wednesday, the left-hander kept the Tigers off the board while scattering just two hits and four walks to go along with a season-high 10 strikeouts on the night.

Right out of the gate, Rodriguez ran into some early trouble in the bottom of the first when he issued a one-out walk to Jonathan Schoop that was followed by a hard-hit single off the bat of Robbie Grossman to put runners on the corners. But Rodriguez escaped the jam by fanning Miguel Cabrera and Eric Haase in consecutive order.

While he did deal with his fair share of traffic the rest of the way, the Venezuelan southpaw did manage to limit the damage in that he did not allow a single run to cross the plate.

The fifth inning presented one final challenge for Rodriguez, as he walked two of the first four hitters he faced in the frame before getting Grossman to punch out to retire the side and end his evening on a positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 99 (64 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler ultimately earned his eighth winning decision of the year while also lowering his ERA to 5.33.

In relief of Rodriguez, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Red Sox bullpen, and he danced his way around a tight spot by recording a pair of potentially game-altering strikeouts.

From there, Josh Taylor got the first two outs of the seventh before serving up a solo home run to Schoop to trim Boston’s lead down to three runs at 4-1.

That — and a six-pitch walk of Grossman — resulted in Adam Ottavino taking over for Taylor, and the veteran righty did his job by getting Cabrera to fly out to end the seventh while also striking out a pair in a scoreless bottom of the eighth.

With a three-run lead to protect going into the ninth, Red Sox closer Matt Barnes, freshly activated from the COVID-19 related injured list, was deposited for his first outing in exactly a week, and he slammed the door on the Tigers to notch his 24th save of the season while also locking down the 4-1 victory for his side.

All in all, five Boston pitchers combined to punch out a season-high 18 Detroit hitters on Wednesday night.

With the win, not only do the Sox snap a brutal five-game skid, but they also improve to 64-45 on the season to remain one game back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: Perez vs. Skubal

The Red Sox will send veteran left-hander Martin Perez to the hill as they go for the series win over the Tigers at Comerica Park on Thursday afternoon.

Detroit will counter with rookie lefty Tarik Skubal, who has yet to face off against Boston since making his major-league debut last August.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Hunter Renfroe and Enrique Hernandez: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Red Sox see losing streak grow to 5 straight games as they drop series opener to Tigers, 4-2

Looking to turn around their fortunes after a winless start to their longest road trip of the season, the Red Sox were unable to get it done in the first of three at Comerica Park in Detroit, as they quietly fell to the Tigers by a final score of 4-2 to mark their fifth consecutive loss.

Matched up against Tigers starter Wily Peralta, the Sox actually jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a J.D. Martinez RBI single in the first and Hunter Renfroe solo homer in the second inning, but were not able to push across anything after that.

Red Sox starter Garrett Richards, meanwhile, was once again underwhelming in allowing three earned runs on five hits, two walks, and five strikeouts over just four-plus innings of work.

After being handed that early two-run cushion to work with, Richards gave one of those runs right back to the Tigers in the bottom half of the second when he served up a solo shot to Miguel Cabrera, marking the 498th career home run for the future Hall of Famer.

Fast forward to the fourth, and Detroit threatened once more, this time loading the bases off Richards without recording an out before Harold Castro drove in the tying run on a sacrifice fly.

To his credit, Richards escaped the fourth without giving anything else up, but the veteran right-hander saw his night come to an end an inning later when he issued a leadoff walk to the Tigers’ No. 9 hitter — Derek Hill — that was followed by a hard-hit RBI double off the bat of Akil Baddoo, thus putting Detroit ahead, 3-2.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 72 (46 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler, who ultimately raised his ERA on the season up to an unsightly 5.21, was given the hook in favor of Hirokazu Sawamura.

Sawamura got out of the fifth with the help of an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, while Hansel Robles punched out the side in a scoreless bottom half of the sixth.

The Tigers, however, tacked on an important insurance run in their half of the seventh right after the Sox had failed to even things up in the top of the inning.

With Yacksel Rios on the mound for Boston, a two-out double from Jonathan Schoop proved to be the catalyst for Detroit as Robbie Grossman followed with a run-scoring single to make it a 4-2 contest.

Austin Davis kept the deficit at two by keeping the Tigers off the board in the eighth, thus giving the Sox a fighting chance in the top half of the ninth with closer Gregory Soto in for Detroit.

Christian Vazquez flew out and a pinch-hitting Bobby Dalbec punched out for the first two outs of the frame, but in a tough left-on-left matchup, Jarren Duran was able to reach base via an infield single to bring the potential tying run to the plate in the form of Rafael Devers.

Devers, however, struck out on five pitches, with the fifth and final pitch from Soto being a nasty 2-2, 101 mph sinker on the outer half of the plate.

All in all, the Sox did record nine hits on Tuesday night, but went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position while leaving nine runners on base as a team.

With the 4-2 loss — their fifth straight, Boston falls to 63-45 on the season, though they remain just one game back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: Rodriguez vs. Mize

The Red Sox will send left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to the hill in the second game of this three-game set on Wednesday as they look to put a halt to this five-game skid.

Rodriguez, in turn, will be opposed by Tigers rookie right-hander and 2018 first overall draft pick Casey Mize.

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

(Picture of Garrett Richards: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Red Sox swept by Rays following 3-2 defeat; Boston extends losing streak to season-high 4 straight games

After Xander Bogaerts essentially described Sunday night’s series finale against the Rays as a must-win, the Red Sox came up short at Tropicana Field and were unable to avoid a three-game series sweep at the hands of their division rivals by a final score of 3-2.

Nick Pivetta, making his 21st start of the season for the Sox, took a perfect game into the third inning after sitting down each of the first eight batters he faced in order.

A two-out walk to the Rays’ No. 9 hitter in the bottom of the third, however, altered the course for Pivetta, as he saw his no-hit bid come to an end moments later by serving up a two-run home run to Brandon Lowe on a 3-2, 85 mph slider that was grooved down the heart of the plate.

Lowe’s blast put Tampa Bay up 2-0, but the Boston bats were able to cut that deficit in half in the top of the fourth. There, when matched up against tough Rays starter Shane McClanahan, ex-Rays outfielder Hunter Renfroe put a charge into his 16th big fly of the year.

Renfroe turned around a 2-2, 97 mph fastball from McClanahan and deposited it 427 feet to deep center field. The solo shot, which had an exit velocity of 104 mph, made it a 2-1 game in favor of the Rays.

The Sox had a chance to do more damage in the inning, with Christian Vazquez ripping a one-out single and Alex Verdugo advancing him into scoring position by drawing a walk, but McClanahan rallied by getting Kevin Plawecki to fly out and Bobby Dalbec to strike out to escape the jam.

Pivetta, meanwhile, got through a scoreless fourth inning unscathed, but ran into more trouble in the fifth when he yielded a leadoff single to rookie phenom Wander Franco.

A wild pitch from the right-hander allowed Franco to move up to second base, and old friend Manuel Margot took full advantage of that miscue by lacing a run-scoring single to right field to bring in Franco and make it a 3-1 contest in favor of his side.

Following that sequence, Pivetta was able to record the first two outs of the fifth, but his night ended then and there when Red Sox manager Alex Cora gave him the hook with the left-handed hitting Lowe due up next for the Rays.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 76 (54 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler wound up surrendering three earned runs on three hits, one walk, and six strikeouts.

In relief of Pivetta, left-hander Josh Taylor was called upon to face Lowe, and he won that particular matchup by getting him to pop out into foul territory to retire the side.

From there, recently-acquired reliever Hansel Robles made his Red Sox debut in the sixth inning, and he maneuvered his way around a leadoff single by inducing a fielder’s choice out and 3-6-3 double play in his lone scoreless frame of work.

The Rays turned to their bullpen starting in the seventh after McClanahan had given them six strong innings, and Verdugo greeted their first reliever of the night — Drew Rasmussen — by lining a scorching 111 mph double down the right field line to lead things off.

Verdugo moved up to third on a Plawecki fly out and scored on a wild pitch while Kiké Hernández, but even after Hernández himself singled and Rafael Devers drew a walk with two outs, a slumping J.D. Martinez was unable to bring in either runner and instead grounded into a force out to leave things at 3-2 in favor of Tampa Bay.

Following two scoreless innings of relief from Garrett Whitlock in which he scattered three total hits thanks to some stellar defense behind him out of the bullpen, the Red Sox were down to their final three outs going into their half of the ninth inning.

With righty reliever Matt Wisler on the mound for the Rays, Plawecki and Jarren Duran (pinch-hitting for Dalbec) grounded out and punched out, respectively. But Hernández provided a spark by reaching base on a two-out single.

The pinch-running Jonathan Arauz took over for Hernández as the base runner at first base, and Devers was able to advance him all the way up to third on another base hit to center field, leaving things in the hands of Martinez.

Very much in need of a hit, Martinez got ahead in the count against Wisler at 3-1, but swung at an outside pitch that likely would have been a ball before putting an 81 mph slider that was down and away in play.

Unfortunately for Martinez, the ball left his bat at just 71 mph and traveled a mere 226 feet before landing in the glove of Margot for the third and final out of the ninth, thus sealing a 3-2 defeat for the Sox.

In the process of getting swept by the Rays on Sunday night, the Red Sox went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position while leaving 10 men on base as a team.

Sunday’s loss also extends Boston’s losing streak to a season-high four consecutive games, dropping them to 63-44 on the year. They now trail Tampa Bay by 1 1/2 games for first place in the American League East after what was undoubtedly a crushing weekend.

That said, the Red Sox will be off on Monday as they prepare to embark upon the next portion of this three-city road trip in Detroit against a surprising 51-57 Tigers team led by Cora’s former colleague in A.J. Hinch.

Boston previously bested Detroit by taking the opening and concluding games of a three-game set at Fenway Park back in early May. The Sox outscored the Tigers, 28-22, in the process of doing so.

This time around, right-hander Garrett Richards will get the ball for Boston in Tuesday’s series opener at Comerica Park. He will be opposed by fellow righty Wily Peralta for Detroit.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN. Red Sox will be looking to snap this four-game skid.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo and Hunter Renfroe: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez gets rocked for 6 runs as lifeless Red Sox get blown out by Blue Jays, 13-1, in series finale

While their division rivals continue to stock up ahead of the trade deadline, the Red Sox — who have yet to make a significant move — were obliterated by the Blue Jays by a final score of 13-1 at Fenway Park on Thursday night.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his first start since leaving his last one early with migraine symptoms, quite simply did not look like himself.

Over just 3 1/3 innings of work, the left-hander surrendered six runs — all of which were earned — on seven hits, four walks, and eight strikeouts.

After striking out the first batter he faced in George Springer, Rodriguez proceeded to load the bases on two hits and a four-pitch walk. Teoscar Hernandez drove in two of those runners on a hard-hit RBI double and Cavan Biggio followed with an RBI single, giving the Jays a 3-0 lead right out of the chute.

Rodriguez’s struggles persisted in the second, as he yielded back-to-back doubles to Reese McGuire and Springer to increase Toronto’s lead even further. The Venezuelan southpaw rallied by striking out the side and tossing a scoreless third inning, but got knocked around once more in the fourth.

Loading the bases once again with one out, Rodriguez issued a bases-loaded free pass to Marcus Semien, marking the unofficial end his outing since he was still responsible for three runners on base.

Phillips Valdez got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in relief of Rodriguez, and he allowed one of the runners he inherited to score on an RBI forceout from Bo Bichette to officially close the book on Rodriguez’s night.

Of the 92 pitches Rodriguez threw, 57 went for strikes and 18 went for swings-and-misses. The 28-year-old hurler ultimately suffered his sixth loss of the year while seeing his ERA on the season rise to an unsightly 5.60.

Valdez, meanwhile, got through the rest of the fourth inning unscathed, but walked a pair in the top of the fifth before serving up a monstrous 436-foot three-run home run over the Green Monster to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., which put the Blue Jays up 9-0.

Four more Toronto runs were pushed across off Sox reliever Brandon Workman, who allowed three Jays to cross the plate on four hits in the seventh before yielding an additional tally on two hits in the seventh.

In that very same seventh inning, a sleepy, Rafael Devers-less Red Sox lineup scored their first run of the evening after being held solemnly in check by Jays starter Hyun Jin Ryu, who hurled six innings of scoreless baseball in his third start of the season against Boston.

Christian Vazquez ripped a one-out double off Blue Jays reliever Taylor Saucedo to begin things in the seventh and Bobby Dalbec followed by driving the backstop in on a run-scoring two-base hit of his own.

That sequence made it a 13-1 contest in favor of Toronto, and the Boston bullpen was able to hold them there as Darwinzon Hernandez twirled a scoreless eighth inning and backup catcher Kevin Plawecki — making his sixth career appearance on the mound — did the same in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

That said, the Red Sox still fell to the Blue Jays by a final score of 13-1 on Thursday night as they have to settle for a four-game series split to close out a 5-3 homestand.

With the loss, the Sox also drop to 63-41 on the season, meaning their lead over the Rays for first place in the American League East shrinks to 1 1/2 games.

Renfroe, Verdugo make fantastic catches in back-to-back innings

While the Red Sox did not muster much offensively in their series finale against the Blue Jays, their two starting corner infielders made spectacular catches in the fourth and fifth innings of Thursday night’s contest.

Right fielder Hunter Renfroe robbed Randal Grichuk of a potential 328-foot grand slam off Phillips Valdez to end things in the fourth, while left fielder Alex Verdugo prevented Cavan Biggio from extending his at-bat in the fifth by reaching over the left field wall in foul territory to make an impressive snag.

Dalbec becomes tallest shortstop in Red Sox history

Bobby Dalbec, who started at third base on Thursday, took over for Xander Bogaerts at shortstop in the seventh inning and became the tallest player (6-foot-4) to play at that particular position for the Red Sox.

Next up: Huge weekend at the Trop

The Red Sox will board a flight for Tampa, Fla. Thursday night as they prepare to embark upon their longest road trip of the season (10 games) that includes stops in Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Toronto — yes, Toronto.

To kick the road trip off, the Sox and Rays will go at it in the first game of a three-game weekend series at Tropicana Field on Friday night.

Left-hander Martin Perez is slated to start for Boston in the opener, while fellow southpaw Josh Fleming is expected to do the same for Tampa Bay.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Alex Cora and Eduardo Rodriguez: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Jarren Duran’s blazing speed lifts Red Sox to 4-1 victory over Blue Jays to salvage doubleheader split

After being limited to just one run in a 4-1 loss in Game 1 of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Fenway Park, the Red Sox flipped the script on the Blue Jays by taking the seven-inning night cap by a final score of 4-1, therefore splitting the twin bill with their division rivals.

Matched up against another left-hander in Jays starter Steven Matz, the Sox — like they did earlier in the afternoon — got the scoring started right away in the bottom half of the first inning.

Enrique Hernandez led things off with a hard-hit double off Matz and Rafael Devers followed by ripping an RBI single to drive him in, but was thrown out at second base after trying to extend his run-scorning single into a double.

In the second, Alex Verdugo and Kevin Plawecki reached base via back-to-back singles to lead off the frame, while Bobby Dalbec advanced both runners 90 feet on a groundout and Jarren Duran got a productive night at the plate started with a sacrifice fly to right field that brought in Verdugo.

That early offense gave Red Sox starter Tanner Houck a two-run cushion to work with, and he did just that by impressing in his fourth start (sixth appearance) of the season on Wednesday.

Over four solid innings of work, Houck yielded just one earned run while scattering all of two hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

The right-hander began his outing by retiring nine of the first 10 hitters he faced, as he took a no-hit bid into the fourth inning before issuing a leadoff double to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

A passed ball from Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki allowed Guerrero Jr. to advance up to third, and the Blue Jays took full advantage of that when Bo Bichette ripped a line-drive single to left field to bring in his side’s first run and cut Boston’s lead down to one run at 2-1.

Houck proceeded to fan Teoscar Hernandez and get Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to line out out to end the inning — as well as his night — while stranding Bichette in scoring position.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 75 (50 strikes), the 25-year-old hurler did not factor into the decision, though he did lower his ERA on the season down to 2.45.

Heading into the second half of this contest with a 2-1 lead to protect, the Boston bats struck once more in the fourth inning, and Plawecki proved to be the catalyst with a leadoff single.

After Dalbec struck out, Duran put his elite speed on full display when he took the fifth pitch he saw from Matz — a 1-2, 77 mph curveball down the heart of the plate — and sent it 359 feet towards the triangle in the right-center field gap.

Blue Jays center fielder George Springer bobbled the ball while trying to corral it, which in turn allowed a hustling Duran to score on the play, though it was ruled a triple and fielding error on the part of Springer.

Still, Duran’s Little League home run gave the Red Sox a 4-1 lead.

Garrett Whitlock took over for Houck in the fifth and tossed two scoreless innings, paving the way for Matt Barnes to come on for the seventh and shut the door on the Jays to notch his 23rd save of the season and secure the 4-1 victory for the Sox.

With the win, the Red Sox improve to 63-40 and are 8-4 since the All-Star break.

Devers removed with tight quad

Rafael Devers was taken out of this game in the sixth inning after tightening his quad while running his bases on a double in the fourth. He was replaced at third base by Bobby Dalbec (Michael Chavis took over at first) and will not play on Thursday — which was already planned.

Next up: Ryu vs. Rodriguez

The Red Sox will go for the series victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night, with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez getting the ball for Boston and fellow southpaw Hyun Jin Ryu doing the same for Toronto.

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

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Garrett Richards’ struggles continue as Red Sox go 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position in 4-1 loss to Blue Jays in Game 1 of doubleheader

The Red Sox certainly had their chances to take the first game of their doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Wednesday afternoon, but struggled mightily to capitalize on those opportunities

After Tuesday night’s contest was postponed on account of inclement weather, Boston fell to Toronto by a final score of 4-1 in the seven-inning day cap of Wednesday’s twin bill.

Matched up against Jays starter Robbie Ray, the Sox got to the veteran lefty right away in the first inning, with Enrique Hernandez drawing a leadoff walk, Rafael Devers advancing him to third base on a single, and J.D. Martinez driving him in on an RBI groundout.

Garrett Richards, making his 20th start of the season for Boston, allowed Toronto to tie things back up at one run apiece to begin things in the second, but the Red Sox had a golden opportunity to re-take the lead in their half of the frame.

With Alex Verdugo, Kevin Plawecki, and Bobby Dalbec loading the bases with two hits and a walk, it appeared as though the Boston bats had Ray on the ropes. However, Michael Chavis and Hernandez both stuck out without advancing a runner, while Devers flew out sharply to center field, marking the first of several scoring chances the Sox squandered.

Richards, meanwhile, rebounded from allowing a run in the second by tossing a scoreless top of the third, but then got rocked for two runs in the fourth — when he served up a two-run home run to Randal Grichuk — and one run in the fifth when he served up a leadoff homer to George Spriner, putting his side in a 4-1 deficit.

That, as well as a hard-hit single off the bat of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., would prove to be how Richards’ day would end, as the veteran right-hander was pulled by Red Sox manager Alex Cora after surrendering four earned runs on eight hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over just four-plus innings of work.

In relief of Richards, Yacksel Rios got the first call out of the Boston bullpen, and he stranded Guerrero Jr. by retiring the first three batters he faced.

The Red Sox once again found themselves in a prime run-scoring spot in their half of the fifth, as Hunter Renfroe came to the plate with one out representing the tying run after Devers and Martinez both reached base.

Renfroe, however, fell victim to a seven-pitch swinging strikeout, while Christian Vazquez flew out to right field to extinguish the threat.

Rios continued with another scoreless frame in the top of the sixth, but Ray countered by holding the Sox in check in the sixth.

Brandon Workman also kept Toronto off the scoreboard in the seventh and final inning to keep Boston within three runs. That said, a pinch-hitting Jarren Duran struck out and Hernandez and Devers both flew out against Blue Jays reliever Justin Romano to seal a sleepy 4-1 defeat for the Sox.

All in all, the Red Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base as a team.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 62-40 on the season. They will look to bounce back in the night cap of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Right-hander Tanner Houck is slated to get the ball for Boston, while veteran left-hander Steven Matz will do the same for Toronto.

First pitch of Game 2 is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Garrett Richards: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Alex Verdugo’s clutch two-run homer lifts Red Sox to 5-4 comeback victory over Blue Jays

Alex Verdugo certainly made his first home run since June 15 count on a hazy Monday night at Fenway Park.

With the Red Sox trailing the Blue Jays, 4-3, in the late stages of the eighth inning, Verdugo came to the plate representing the potential go-ahead run with one out and a runner on first in the form of Hunter Renfroe.

Matched up against Jays reliever Trevor Richards, the left-handed hitter got ahead in the count at 3-1 before taking the fifth pitch he saw — an 85 mph changeup over the outer half of the plate — and depositing it 414 feet over everything in right field.

Verdugo’s 10th homer of the season, which left his bat with an exit velocity of 101.1 mph, was quite a dramatic one, as it allowed Boston to pick up a 5-4 win over Toronto, marking the club’s 33rd comeback victory of the year.

Before Verdugo’s late-game heroics, it was Nick Pivetta who made his 20th start of the season for the Sox on Monday.

As has been the case since right before the All-Star break, Pivetta certainly was not at his best in this one. Over 4 2/3 innings of work, the right-hander surrendered four runs — all of which were earned on six hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts on the night.

Pivetta was gifted an early two-run lead, as Verdugo and Michael Chavis got the Sox on the board first with an RBI single and RBI groundout off Blue Jays starter Thomas Hatch in the bottom of the second, but he gave up that lead by issuing back-to-back run-scoring base hits to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien a half inning later.

Rafael Devers pushed Boston back in front by a run by crushing his 27th big fly of the year — a 392-foot solo shot — off Hatch in the third, and Pivetta nearly got through five innings before running into some two-out trouble.

After giving up a leadoff ground-rule double to George Springer in the fifth, Pivetta responded by recording the first two outs of the inning rather quickly.

Just one out away from stranding a runner in scoring position, Pivetta served up a two-run homer to Bo Bichette on a 1-1, 89 mph changeup on the inner half of the plate that he sent over the Green Monster to put his side up a run at 4-3.

That would turn out be how Pivetta’s night came to a close, as Red Sox manager Alex Cora quickly exited the dugout to give him the hook. The 28-year-old finished with a final pitch count of 92 (59 strikes) in the process of raising his ERA on the season to 4.51.

In relief of Pivetta, Phillips Valdez got the first call out of the Boston bullpen and picked up where he left off on Friday by getting through the fifth, tossing a 1-2-3 sixth, and stranding a pair in a scoreless seventh inning to keep the deficit at just one run.

From there, Adam Ottavino maneuvered his way around a one-out double in an otherwise clean eighth inning, setting up the Red Sox lineup to strike in their half of the frame.

By drawing a one-out walk off Richards, Renfroe broke up a string of nine straight Red Sox hitters to be retired by Blue Jays relievers, and Verdugo followed by delivering in the clutch with his two-run, go-ahead homer.

Given a one-run lead to protect all of the sudden, Red Sox closer Matt Barnes was deployed for the ninth and slammed the door on the Jays to notch his 22nd second save of the season as well as a 5-4 victory for his side.

With the win, the Sox improve to 62-39 on the year while also moving to 1 1/2 games up on the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: Ray vs. Richards

Tuesday’s starting pitching matchup between the Blue Jays and Red Sox will feature a pair of veteran hurlers going at it, with left-hander Robbie Ray toeing the rubber for Toronto and right-hander Garrett Richards will be doing the same for Boston.

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

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox storm back with 5-run 8th inning to take series from Yankees in dramatic 5-4 victory

After figuratively getting their hearts ripped out in a 4-3 loss on Saturday, it appeared as though the Red Sox were well on their way to dropping their second straight to the Yankees at Fenway Park on Sunday.

Yankees starter Domingo German absolutely dominated the Sox lineup through the first seven innings of Sunday’s contest, as he failed to yield a single hit while only allowing a pair of base runners on a walk and passed ball on a strikeout.

In addition to not being able to get anything done offensively, Boston found themselves in a four-run hole through the first 7 1/2 innings in their series finale against New York.

Red Sox starter Martin Perez had pitched well enough opposite German, giving up three runs on six hits, two walks, and six strikeouts over six solid innings of work thanks to a pair of double plays.

In relief of Perez, however, Yacksel Rios came on in the seventh and struggled mightily with his control, as he walked two batters and plunked another to load the bases before Josh Taylor was deployed and got through the rest of the innins unscathed.

Brandon Workman, meanwhile, saw the Yankees’ three-run lead increase to four in the eighth by serving up a leadoff triple to Gary Sanchez that was followed by an RBI single off the bat of Gleyber Torres.

So, there the Red Sox were, trailing by four runs with just nine more outs to work with against an opposing pitcher they had yet to record a hit off of.

Somehow, someway, Boston’s fortunes changed in their half of the eighth, as Alex Verdugo led things off with a hard-hit double to right field that saw German’s no-hit bid end and his day subsequently come to a close.

Matched up against Yankees reliever Jonathan Loaisiga now, Hunter Renfroe put an end to New York’s attempt at a shutout, as he laced another line-drive double that brought in Verdugo from second to make it a 4-1 game.

Christian Vazquez kept the line moving, plating Renfroe on an RBI single to right field and moving into scoring position on another base hit courtesy of Franchy Cordero.

Following a brief mound visit as the Boston lineup flipped back over, Kiké Hernández got ahead in the count against Loaisiga at 2-0 and took full advantage of that by ripping a run-scoring double down the left field line that drove in Vazquez, cutting the deficit down to one run at 4-3.

With the Yankees opting to go with left-hander Zack Britton out of the bullpen in place of Loaisiga, Red Sox manager Alex Cora countered by pinch-hitting Kevin Plawecki for the left-handed hitting Jarren Duran.

Plawecki answered the call accordingly, scoring Cordero from third on a game-tying RBI groundout that also advanced Hernández up to third base, though he did not stay there long.

Yes, with a sacrifice fly hit just deep enough to right field, Xander Bogaerts was able to drive in a sliding Hernández from third to give his side their first lead of the afternoon at 5-4.

Given the fact that there was now a one-run lead to protect, Matt Barnes got the call for the ninth inning and promptly slammed the door on the Yankees to seal the comeback 5-4 victory for the Red Sox as well as his 21st save of the season.

With the win, their 32nd of the come-from-behind variety, the Red Sox secured a series victory and the season series with the Yankees to improve to 61-39 on the season. They also regained a one-game lead over the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Next up: Bring on the Blue Jays

The Red Sox will next welcome the Blue Jays into town for a four-game series that begins on Monday night.

Canadian-born right-hander Nick Pivetta is slated to get the ball for Boston in the opener, while Toronto has yet to name a starter.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.

(Picture of Kiké Hernández and Rafael Devers: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eovaldi’s strong start goes for naught

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

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

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

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

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

Red Sox offense gets on the board early, then sputters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sox threaten late, but to no avail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next up: Game No. 100

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

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

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

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