Michael Chavis homers in first start of season as Red Sox pounce on Orioles, 11-6, for third straight win

Michael Chavis announced his return to the Red Sox with a bang on Saturday night against the Orioles.

In his first game back with Boston since last September, Chavis — who was recalled from Triple-A Worcester on Friday, crushed a 381-foot two-run home run off Baltimore starter Zac Lowther to give his side a 4-1 lead in the second inning.

The 25-year-old finished the day 1-for-6 at the plate as the Sox topped the O’s by a final score of 11-6 to improve to 21-13 on the season.

All nine members of Boston’s starting lineup either scored or drove in a run on Saturday, Chavis included.

On top of that, Alex Verdugo and Xander Bogaerts both had three-hit nights, while Christian Vazquez and Hunter Renfroe both collected two hits.

Bogaerts homers, shows off defensive prowess

Chavis was not the only Red Sox hitter to go deep on Saturday. Xander Bogaerts also went yard to notch his seventh home run of the season in the seventh inning.

There, after the Sox had gone up 9-2 over the Orioles, the star shortstop put the finishing touches on a commanding win with yet another two-run blast to score J.D. Martinez as well as himself on a 414-foot shot off Tyler Wells.

Per Baseball Savant, Bogaerts’ homer — which gave Boston an 11-2 lead — had an exit velocity of 106.2 mph off the bat.

Not only did Bogaerts impress at the plate, he also made some nifty and somewhat crucial plays with his glove as well. Like in the sixth, when the Orioles had Garrett Richards on the ropes and had already pushed across two runs in the inning.

With one out and runners at first and second, Maikel Franco ripped a 107.9 mph groundball towards Bogaerts.

Fielding the ball to his right while on a knee, the 28-year-old quickly gathered himself, spun, and made a clean throw to second base to start an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

In the seventh, Bogaerts again ended an inning by flashing the leather, this time robbing Cedric Mullins of a base hit by making a leaping grab on a 96 mph lineout.

Richards goes seven innings, picks up win

Richards, Saturday’s starter for the Red Sox, twirled seven solid innings in his seventh start of the season — and third against the Orioles already.

Over those seven innings of work, the veteran right-hander yielded four earned runs on eight hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

He allowed those first two Baltimore runs to cross the plate in the first and second, but then settled down for a decent stretch before allowing two more on three hits and a walk in the sixth.

Despite a taxing sixth inning, Richards did come back out for the seventh and ended his outing on a more positive note by sitting down the final three hitters he faced in order.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (64 strikes), the 32-year-old relied on his four-seam fastball 52% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing two swings-and-misses while topping out at 96.2 mph with the pitch.

Able to improve to 2-2 on the season, Richards’ next start should come against the Athletics back at Fenway Park on Thursday.

Brice shaky, Taylor closes it out

In relief of Richards, Austin Brice got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen at a point in time where his side had a seven-run lead.

Brice worked a scoreless eighth inning, but allowed two runs to score in the ninth before Josh Taylor came on to record the final out of the game on a three-pitch punchout of Trey Mancini.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Kremer

The Red Sox will go for their fourth straight win as well as a series win over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the ball for Boston, and he will be opposed by fellow righty Dean Kremer for Baltimore.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Michael Chavis: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Red Sox lineup: Michael Chavis batting leadoff in first start of season against Orioles

Fresh off getting recalled from Triple-A Worcester on Friday, Michael Chavis will bat leadoff for the Red Sox in his first start of the 2021 season against the Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday.

The Sox called up Chavis, who was on the team’s taxi squad, from the WooSox after placing utilityman Enrique Hernandez on the 10-day injured list due to a right hamstring strain.

Chavis will get the start at second base while hitting out of the leadoff spot for Boston, marking just the fifth time in his big-league career he has done so.

In four previous attempts — all of which came during his rookie season in 2019 — the 25-year-old went a collective 5-for-18 (.278) to go along with two home runs, five RBI, one walk, and four strikeouts over 19 plate appearances. He led off each of those games without a hit and is also a lifetime .202/.276/.356 hitter when leading off an inning, though he has crushed four solo homers when put in that spot.

Up with the Red Sox for the second time this season now, Chavis has a chance to once again prove that he belongs.

The former first-round pick and top prospect had put together an impressive spring, but ultimately lost the competition for Boston’s final bench spot to Christian Arroyo, who unlike Chavis is out of minor-league options.

“He did a good job in spring training early on,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said about Chavis Friday. “I do believe toward the end because of the competition, he started chasing hits and he got out of his approach.”

Since making his major-league debut in April 2019, Chavis has experienced many highs and many lows in his time with the Sox.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Chavis batted 296 with a .389 on-base percentage, .592 slugging percentage, .981 OPS, nine home runs, two doubles, 24 RBI, 14 walks and 30 strikeouts over his first 26 big-league games and 119 plate appearances.

Since then, he has batted a subpar .228 with a .281 on-base percentage, .382 slugging percentage, 14 homers, 13 doubles, three triples, 53 RBI, 25 walks and 147 strikeouts over his last 111 big-league games (427 plate appearances).

“We know what he can do. I saw it in ‘19,” said Cora. “Obviously the league caught up with him. I do believe he did a good job in spring training knowing the boundaries of his swing. And hopefully, when he gets a chance here, he can do it.”

As Chavis prepares to make his first major-league start of the 2021 season against the O’s (15-17) on Saturday, here is how the rest of the Red Sox (20-13) will line up behind him.

Right-hander Garrett Richards will be on the mound for Boston, and he will be opposed by rookie left-hander Zac Lowther for Baltimore.

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

(Picture of Michael Chavis: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers steals base, scores from first as part of win over Orioles; Alex Cora joked that J.D. Martinez was faster than Red Sox third baseman; ‘He took it personally’

Rafael Devers put his speed on full display during the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Orioles on Friday night.

As part of a 1-for-3 day at the plate in which he reached base four times and scored a pair of runs, the third baseman picked up his second stolen base of the season while also doing some things that don’t go down in the box score.

For instance, after reaching first and advancing to second base on a missed catch error committed by O’s starter Matt Harvey in the fourth inning, Devers swiped third base, which would allow him to easily score on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Hunter Renfroe.

Later on in the eighth, Devers again reached base via a fielder’s choice and would come around to score all the way from first on a Christian Vazquez run-scoring double.

Per Baseball Savant, the 24-year-old’s top running speed this season is 27.3 feet per second, which ranks in the 62nd percentile among qualified major-leaguers.

By no means is Devers a speed merchant, but the young infielder has clearly been more aggressive on the base paths so far this year. Why is that the case? Red Sox manager Alex Cora gave his reasoning Friday night.

“I told him the other day that on one of the websites, they had J.D. [Martinez] ranked ahead of him speed-wise, and he took it personally,” Cora said with a chuckle. “He’s a good base runner. He’s a good athlete. He’s fact, actually. Just got to be careful with him, right? He scores from first. He takes his chances as far as stealing bases. He’s in better shape than last year, we know that. He’s a smart base runner. He’ll take his chances.”

Devers was not alone in the stolen base department for Boston on Friday, as Alex Verdugo picked up his third of the year and Vazquez notched his team-leading fourth of the year.

“They see stuff from pitchers and catchers and everything, and they take advantage of that,” Cora said of Devers and Vazquez’s ability to move on the base paths. “We’re very happy with the way we ran the bases today. We were very aggressive. We took advantage of certain situations, and it helped us to win the game.”

Following Friday’s victory over Baltimore, Boston improved to 20-13 on the season to become the first team this year to reach the 20-win mark.

While they do lead the majors in wins at this point in time, the Sox rank 10th among American League clubs in regards to stolen bases, as they have stolen just 15 and have been caught four times in 33 games.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Bobby Dalbec breaks out of slump with 3-run home run as Red Sox open series against Orioles with 6-2 win

Bobby Dalbec came into Friday’s game against the Orioles in the midst of an 0-for-27 slump at the plate having not recorded a hit since April 27.

In his first at-bat of the night, Dalbec ripped a one-out single to left field in the top half of the third inning.

An inning later, the 26-year-old then clubbed a 399-foot three-run home run in that same direction off Orioles starter Matt Harvey to give his side a 4-0 lead.

The Red Sox ultimately topped the O’s by a final score of 6-2 at Camden Yards on Friday to improve to 20-13 on the season and become the first team this year to reach the 20-win mark.

Rodriguez goes five innings

Eduardo Rodriguez made his sixth start of the season — and second against Baltimore — for Boston in this one. The left-hander surrendered just one run, though he did scatter seven hits and three walks to go along with a season-low two strikeouts over five innings of work.

The one run Rodriguez gave up in his final frame of work, when he allowed three straight hitters to reach base on a double, walk, and RBI single from Trey Mancini. He did manage to retire the last two Orioles he faced to hold them at one run.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 91 (61 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his changeup 31% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing three swings-and-misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 92.8 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 19 times.

Able to improve to a perfect 5-0 on the season while lowering his ERA to 3.82, Rodriguez’s next start should come against the Athletics back at Fenway Park on Wednesday.

Sawamura’s homer troubles continue

In relief of Rodriguez, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in the middle of the sixth inning.

The right-hander served up a leadoff home run to Ryan Mountcastle to cut Boston’s lead to two runs at 4-2 before sitting down the next three hitters he faced in order.

Sawamura has now allowed at least one homer in two of his last four appearances and has seen his ERA on the season inflate up to 3.77 as a result.

Whitlock bounces back with two scoreless frames

On the flip side of Sawamura’s struggles, Rule 5 pick Garrett Whitlock bounced back from back-to-back poor outings against the Rangers and Tigers by tossing two scoreless innings of relief against the Orioles on Friday.

Renroe takes advantage of O’s sloppy defense, gets Sox on the board in the fourth

Before Dalbec went deep in the fourth, Hunter Renfroe provided Boston with an early 1-0 lead by driving in Rafael Devers from third on an RBI single off Harvey.

Devers had reached base — and advanced to second — in the first place on a missed catch error committed by the Orioles starter. He then stole third base to make it even easier for Renfroe to pick up his 15th RBI of the season.

Vazquez, Gonzalez provide late-inning insurance

With a 4-2 lead already in hand, the Sox tacked on two additional runs on a pair of run-scoring doubles from the likes of Christian Vazquez and Marwin Gonzalez in the eighth and ninth innings to make it a 6-2 contest.

This in turn, allowed Boston to rest closer Matt Barnes another day and deploy Phillips Valdez for the bottom half of the ninth.

Valdez closes it out

Valdez, making his second relied appearance in as many days after not appearing in a game for nearly two weeks, stranded the one hitter he allowed to reach base in an otherwise perfect inning to secure the 6-2 victory for his side.

Rain delay leads to late start

Friday’s game between the Sox and Orioles did not start until 8:43 p.m. eastern time due to a one-hour and 38 minute rain delay. The final out was not recorded until after midnight.

Next up: Richards vs. Lowther

Next up for the Red Sox, they will send right-hander Garrett Richards to the mound Saturday night to face off against left-hander Zac Lowther for Baltimore.

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

(Picture of Bobby Dalbec and Co.: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Red Sox bring back Brandon Workman on minor-league deal: ‘Hopefully he becomes a factor this season,’ Alex Cora says

Over the winter, Red Sox manager Alex Cora attempted to recruit then-free agent reliever Brandon Workman back to the team he began his professional career with.

Cora ultimately came up short in his recruitment pitch, as Workman inked a one-year deal with the Cubs in February.

“My last conversation was Super Bowl Sunday with him,” Cora said. “And it was recruiting, actually, at that time. It didn’t work out.”

Workman was designated for assignment and subsequently released by Chicago last week less than a full month into his tenure there. The right-hander had posted a 6.76 ERA over 10 outings (eight innings pitched).

Upon hitting the open market again, Workman was available for any club to pursue. The Red Sox were one of this interested teams, but Cora did not take part in any recruiting this time around.

“I didn’t recruit him,” said Cora. “I gave up in the offseason. I wasn’t a good one.”

Workman ultimately chose to reunite with the team that selected him in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Texas, as he signed a minor-league pact with the Sox on Thursday and was assigned to Triple-A Worcester.

In his first stint with the Sox, the 32-year-old proved to be a valuable bullpen arm capable of getting big outs — especially in 2019.

Over 73 appearances that year, Workman put up a dazzling 1.88 ERA and .433 OPS against while recording 104 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings of work.

The following season, Workman made just seven appearances out of the Boston bullpen before getting traded (along with Heath Hembree) to the Phillies in exchange for right-handers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold.

With Philadelphia, Workman struggled immensely to the tune of a 6.92 ERA in the process of blowing three of a possible eight save opportunities from late August through the end of September.

Despite those hardships, the 6-foot-3 righty still netted himself a big-league deal this past offseason, though the struggles he experienced with the Phillies carried over to his brief stint with the Cubs as well.

“He was excellent, right? Those numbers were amazing,” Cora said of Workman’s 2019 campaign earlier Friday. “I texted him a few days ago, just thanking him for giving us a chance. And just get to work. He feels good about it. Obviously it didn’t go well in the second part of the season last year, and it didn’t go well the Cubs. There’s a few things that we recognized with our information department that hopefully we can regain, and he can become a factor.”

One thing the Red Sox will be hoping to regain from Workman is his fastball velocity. The hurler has averaged just 91.5 mph with his four-seamer this season after averaging 92.5 and 92.9 mph with the pitch over the last two years, respectively.

To put that into perspective, opponents hit a measly .134 against Workman’s heater in 2019. They are hitting .556 against it so far this season, per Baseball Savant.

“When his velocity’s a tick up, it helps everything else,” said Cora. “Teams make adjustments. I saw his last one against the Braves and he threw a lot of breaking balls. And he threw some good ones and some bad ones. But I think with him, velocity is very important because the shape of the breaking ball and the spin, it’s usually the same. It’s still a good breaking ball. But if he doesn’t have something else to separate, he becomes a one-pitch pitcher. And like I said, game-planning comes into play. His cutter, too, is part of the equation. We’ve just got to get him back to gain his confidence, too.”

Considering the fact that he turns 33 in August, Workman adding a few more miles per hour to his fastball velocity seems like somewhat of a tall task. That being said, Cora appeared fairly confident that the former closer would be able to do it since he is back in a familiar setting with the Red Sox.

“Sometimes it mechanical. Sometimes it’s just go out there and get repetitions,” said Cora. “I don’t know how it went in spring training as far as his build-up and all that. But that was something we always talk about here — about his velocity… The velocity needs to be at a certain level and if that happens, then the other stuff is good, too. I know he’s happy. There’s a comfort level that hopefully can help him out to regain that confidence. And like I said, hopefully he can become a factor.”

When asked if he viewed the Workman signing as a gamble, Cora responded by saying that it could turn out to be a win-win situation if Workman returns to his old form.

“I don’t see it as a gamble,” he said. “I think it’s as a good opportunity for both of us. For him to get right and for us to have a good pitcher. Like Chaim [Bloom] has been saying since he got here: the deeper the better as far as the roster and the organization. This guy, he’s done it before, he’s done it in this market, and hopefully — like I said — he becomes a factor this season.”

(Picture of Brandon Workman: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Kiké Hernández (hamstring strain) on injured list, recall Michael Chavis from Triple-A Worcester

Ahead of opening up a four-game weekend series against the Orioles in Baltimore on Friday, the Red Sox placed utilityman Kiké Hernández on the 10-day injured list due to a right hamstring strain.

In a corresponding move, infielder Michael Chavis was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Friday.

Hernandez was removed from Thursday’s game against the Tigers due to tightness in his right hamstring.

The 29-year-old led off the bottom of the first inning with a hard-hit double, but then needed to be lifted for pinch-runner Franchy Cordero after advancing to third on a groundout.

While he still traveled with the team to Baltimore in order to receive treatment on his hamstring, Hernandez was left out of the Sox’ starting lineup for Friday’s contest against the Orioles, hinting that an IL stint could be coming.

Through 30 games this season, the versatile right-handed hitter is slashing .239/.298/.425 to go along with four home runs and 10 RBI while primarily batting out of the leadoff spot.

Chavis, meanwhile, also traveled with the Red Sox to Baltimore as part of their taxi squad.

The 25-year-old initially opened the year at the club’s alternate training site in Worcester, but made his 2021 debut against the O’s when J.D. Martinez was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list for one day on April 10.

In his lone appearance of the season to this point, Chavis was used as a pinch-runner and scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning of what would turn out to be a 6-4 win for Boston.

Chavis was returned to the alternate training site shortly thereafter and then made Triple-A Worcester’s Opening Day roster earlier this week. He is off to a 1-for-7 start with the WooSox.

With Chavis added to the major-league mix for the time being, the Red Sox gain yet another versatile option who can play multiple defensive positions.

“Most likely if something happens, probably that’s the route that we’ll take,” Cora said of Chavis during his pregame media availability Friday. “He’s versatile. He can play first, second, third. We can put him in left field. Right-handed bat. So if something happens, most likely it will be Michael.”

(Picture of Kiké Hernández: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Thaddeus Ward, top Red Sox pitching prospect, set to make Double-A debut Friday

For the first time since August 27, 2019, Red Sox pitching prospect Thaddeus Ward will toe the rubber in a minor-league game on Friday.

Ward, 24, will be making his first start of the season for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs as they go up against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats — the Double-A affiliate of the Blue Jays — at Hadlock Field.

The young right-hander is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 10 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking fourth among pitchers behind only Bryan Mata, Jay Groome, and Tanner Houck.

The Red Sox selected Ward, a native of Fort Myers, in the fifth round of the 2018 amateur draft out of the University of Central Florida.

Since then, Ward has been solid at every level he has pitched at, most recently posting a 2.33 ERA, a .203 batting average against, and a 70:32 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 12 starts and 54 innings pitched with High-A Salem in 2019 after earning a promotion from Low-A Greenville in June of that year.

With no minor-league season in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ward was left to work out on his own — with some guidance from the Red Sox — before being invited to the team’s fall instructional league at the Fenway South complex in his hometown.

Despite not having the opportunity to further develop during a traditional minor-league season last year, Ward is confident that he will be able to put his best foot forward in 2021 regardless of the circumstances.

“I think it is going to be difficult for everybody,” Ward told MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith last October. “But at the same time, I do have the confidence that I put in the work. I really committed to making sure I stayed on top of myself, made sure I kept doing what I was supposed to be doing and not let circumstances dictate if I get better or not… I’ve got to be better at the end of the day than when I woke up. That’s how I approached every single day. So hopefully when we get back into the games come spring training, or next season, whatever, hopefully I’ll be ready for it.”

Ward came into spring training this year having received an invitation to big-league camp as a non-roster invitee. He was later reassigned to minor-league camp on March 9.

In four Grapefruit League appearances, the 6-foot-3, 193 pound hurler allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, four walks, and two hit batsmen to go along with four strikeouts in four innings of work.

“First things first, slow down. He doesn’t have to impress people,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Ward back in March. “We know the player. We know the stuff. We love the tempo on the mound. But we need him to be careful. Sometimes you come into spring and you want to open eyes. He doesn’t have to do that. We know what he can do.

“He’s a very likable guy, a great competitor,” added Cora. “He pays attention to details on the mound: slowing down the running game, great tempo. He knows what it takes. And stuff-wise, it’s pretty good. It’s pretty good. So excited to see him compete. I’ve been hearing about him for a few years. It’s to go out there and have a blast. That’s the most important thing.”

As he prepares to make his first career Eastern League start on Friday, Ward — who works with a sinker, cutter, slider, changeup, and curveball — is entering a somewhat pivotal year in his young career considering the fact that he is Rule 5 eligible for the first time come December.

In other words, the Red Sox will need to add Ward to their 40-man roster by November 20 if they want to protect him from this winter’s Rule 5 Draft.

Given Ward’s potential, that is almost certainly a lock to happen at the moment. Still, in what is sure to be an unprecedented season of minor-league baseball, how the righty performs this year will be something worth monitoring nonetheless.

(Picture of Thaddeus Ward: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts at 1,000: Red Sox shortstop becomes 30th player in franchise history to play 1,000 games with Boston

Xander Bogaerts reached a historic milestone on Thursday by playing in his 1,000th career major-league game, all of which have come with the Red Sox.

The star shortstop became the 30th player in franchise history to appear in 1,000 games in a Red Sox uniform, but just the 10th do so before turning 29 years old. He joins the likes of Bobby Doerr, Dwight Evans, Harry Hooper, Rico Petrocelli, Jim Rice, George Scott, Reggie Smith, Tris Speaker and Carl Yastrzemski in accomplishing that feat.

Facing off against the Tigers at Fenway Park, Bogaerts went 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored as part of a wild 12-9 win over Detroit. He is now slashing a gaudy .356/.402/.593 on the season to go along with six home runs and 18 runs driven in.

With Thursday’s performance in his back pocket, the 28-year-old has now collected 1,125 hits for the Sox since making his big-league debut in August 2013. That currently ranks 23rd in team history.

Originally signed out of Aruba as a skinny 16-year-old back in 2009, Bogaerts has come a long way in his 11 years as a member of the Red Sox organization.

“It definitely means a lot,” Bogaerts said when asked what it meant to play his 1,000th game with the Red Sox. “I know I came a long way since the day I signed. Growing up as a kid just trying to learn how to play the game, be successful and get to the big leagues. Now I have quite some time now and quite some amount of games which is pretty impressive from a little kid just trying to get to the big leagues from Aruba. I’m extremely proud of myself and I’m thankful for everyone who helped me, especially my family, for always being there for support throughout the good and the bad.”

As things stand now, Bogaerts is a two-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger award winner who has played in and won two World Series titles with the Red Sox.

That is obviously impressive, but for Bogaerts to be where he is today was no guarantee.

After making a brief cameo in 2013, the then-21-year-old certainly had a somewhat rough time of things during his first full season in the majors in 2014.

Opening the year as Boston’s everyday shortstop, Bogaerts got off to a strong start, slashing .296/.389/.427 with three home runs and 13 RBI through his first 54 games.

Even while Bogaerts was putting up those solid numbers, the Red Sox brought back veteran infielder Stephen Drew after third baseman Will Middlebrooks went down with a broken finger. That was a move that would eventually require Bogaerts to move to third base, much to the chagrin of the lifetime shortstop.

On the night Drew signed with Boston — May 20 — Bogaerts committed two errors at shortstop in a home game against the Blue Jays and heard boos from the Fenway faithful as a result.

As The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier wrote in Homegrown, “the moment crushed Bogaerts and led him to question the organization’s view of him and his future.”

“What am I supposed to think?” Bogaerts asked reporters following that 7-4 loss to Toronto. “How will I know that if we’re 20-30 next year and I’m playing shortstop, they won’t do this again?

“I spent so much time working there and for what?” He added. “If I move now, how am I supposed to get better so that I can stay there?”

Bogaerts would remain at shortstop until Drew was ready to face big-league pitching: June 2, the date he was recalled from Pawtucket.

From that point forward, Bogaerts — despite moving back to short after Drew was traded to the Yankees on July 31 — slashed a dismal .206/.240/.324 for the remainder of the 2014 campaign.

For Bogaerts, looking back at that turbulent time in his career serves as an important reminder for how far he has come since then.

“I started off pretty good winning a World Series my first year. That was nice,” he said Thursday. “But I know my next year after that, I kind of went through a rough stretch. I remember getting booed in 2014, and I was so young. I was like, ‘What the hell are these people booing for me, man? I’m just 21.’

“I’ve learned a lot throughout the years, man,” continued Bogaerts. “I definitely got to give a lot of thanks to my family. It’s been so special to be able to accomplish all these things with everyone in my family that was a huge part of my life, my baseball trajectory. I’m very thankful for them to start with.”

Under manager Alex Cora, Bogaerts has added another dimension to his game. Not only has he been one of the more productive shortstops in baseball over the last four seasons, but he has emerged as a veteran leader as well.

“I do believe he is the most consistent person in the organization,” Cora said of of Bogaerts Thursday. “Off the field. On the field. Physically, what he does in the offseason, the way he takes care of himself during the season. The way he goes about his business. Everything’s about winning for him. He came here in 2013, had a taste, got a ring. That was a special group — a group of grinders: (Mike) Napoli, (Stephen) Drew, (Jonny) Gomes, David (Ortiz), (Dustin) Pedroia. A bunch of grinders. (Shane) Victorino. And he learned right away what it’s all about to play in this market, in this city, in this stadium, for this franchise. He doesn’t take a day for granted. He’s not as vocal or as loud as Dustin… But he’s always ready. He’s always prepared.”

Cora, who hails from Puerto Rico, is aware of how good some of the other shortstops in baseball are, including those from the island like Francisco Lindor, Javy Baez, and Carlos Correa.

“But I’m happy that my shortstop is Xander Bogaerts,” said the Sox skipper. “And hopefully, he can play here for a long, long time.”

As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Bogaerts is under contract through 2025 (vesting option for 2026), though he could opt out of his current deal after the 2022 season.

Since signing a six-year, $120 million extension with Boston at the start of the 2019 season, Bogaerts ranks first among qualified shortstops in hits, first in RBI, second in home runs, second in runs scored, second in OPS, second in wRC+, and second in fWAR, per FanGraphs.

To put it simply, Bogaerts is a quality baseball player on and off the field. And as he prepares to play in his 1,001st game with the Red Sox in Baltimore on Friday, the two-time World Series champion is just thankful to get to the 1,000-game threshold.

“If you asked me if I would have imagined playing 1,000 games, I would have been like, ‘That’s a lot,’ he said. “I definitely will take it. For you to be able to play 1,000 games in an organization, you have to be productive and be a guy who, pretty much, they can rely on. I’m happy with the player I’ve become.”

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Franchy Cordero leads the way with 3 hits as Red Sox battle back to take series from Tigers with wild 12-9 win

It took all of four hours and 13 minutes, but after trading punches back and forth for 8 1/2 innings the Red Sox were able to come away with a series-clinching, 12-9 win over the Tigers at Fenway Park on Thursday.

Winning Thursday’s game was no easy task, as the two sides scored a total of 21 runs, notched a total of 30 hits, and committed a total of six errors while exchanging leads on six separate occasions.

Boston was ultimately able to come away with a drama-filled victory over Detroit, though, and they improved to 19-13 on the season because of it.

Hernandez injured injured in first inning

After leading the bottom of the first off with a hard-hit double off Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull, Enrique Hernandez would have to leave the game due to right hamstring tightness. He was replaced by Franchy Cordero.

Cordero would prove to play a pivotal role in a contest he did not even start. The outfielder came into the day in the midst of an 0-for-25 rut and wound up reaching base four times on an RBI double, a pair of singles, and a fielding error.

Early lead does not suffice

Cordero took over for Hernandez after the utilityman had advanced to third on an Alex Verdugo groundout in the first. J.D. Martinez then drove him in on an RBI single to give the Sox an early 1-0 lead.

Inserted into the leadoff spot, Cordero collected an RBI of his own in the second by plating Kevin Plawecki on an opposite field double to make it a 2-0 contest.

Rafael Devers and Plawecki doubled their side’s run total in the third on a pair of RBI singles, putting the Red Sox up 4-1.

At that point, Nathan Eovaldi — Thursday’s starter — had been rolling, allowing just one run to cross the plate over his first three innings of work.

The top half of the fourth, however, was a different story for the right-hander, as he gave up five hits in an inning that saw the Tigers bring across three runs of their own to knot things up at four runs apiece.

Back-and-forth in the middle innings

Eovaldi’s struggles continued in the fifth, as he yielded back-to-back leadoff singles before getting the hook in favor of Josh Taylor with one out in the inning.

Taylor allowed the lead runner he inherited to score on a wild pitch before allowing the second inherited runner to score on a run-scoring single off the bat of Niko Goodrum.

That gave the Tigers a 6-5 edge, and it closed the book on Eovaldi’s day. The 31-year-old hurler ended up getting tagged for six earned runs on seven hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over just 4 1/3 innings pitched. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.62.

Phillips Valdez allowed Detroit to double their lead in the sixth, but Boston answered back right away with Martinez ripping an RBI single and Devers lacing a two-run single up the middle to make it an 8-7 game.

Again, the Tigers responded by scoring two more runs over the seventh and eighth innings to go up 9-8.

Vazquez comes off the bench and delivers

Down to their final six outs, Devers — representing the tying run — led off the bottom half of the eighth by reaching on a fielding error. He would advance to second with two outs due to a wild pitch.

Plawecki then drew a six-pitch walk to put runners at first and second and was replaced by Christian Arroyo.

With the No. 9 hitter due up next, Christian Vazquez emerged from the Red Sox dugout to pinch-hit for the slumping Bobby Dalbec.

Fresh into the game, Vazquez came through with one of the biggest hits of the day by hitting a game-tying single off Tigers reliever Alex Lange to score Devers and make it a 9-9 contest.

Cordero followed suit by reaching on a fielding error committed by Jeimer Candelario that allowed Arroyo to score from third.

Now with a one-run lead in hand, Alex Verdugo provided some much-needed insurance with a two-run single off Gregory Soto to put the Sox up 12-9.

Ottavino picks up first save of the season

With Matt Barnes unavailable, fellow righty Adam Ottavino got the call for the ninth inning, worked his way around a leadoff walk, and retired the next three hitters he faced in order to preserve the 12-9 win and record his first save of the year.

Next up: On to Baltimore

The Red Sox will travel to Baltimore for a four-game weekend series at Camden Yards that commences on Friday night.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Boston in the opener, and he will be opposed by veteran right-hander Matt Harvey.

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

(Picture of Franchy Cordero and Rafael Devers: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox bring back reliever Brandon Workman on minor-league deal, assign him to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have brought back Brandon Workman on a minor-league deal and have assigned him to Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Thursday.

Workman, who turns 33 in August, spent the first 11 years of his professional career with the Red Sox after being selected in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Texas.

In parts of six seasons with Boston, the right-hander put together his best campaign in 2019 when he emerged as the team’s closer in the process of posting a dazzling 1.88 ERA and 2.46 FIP over 73 relief appearances spanning 71 2/3 innings of work.

Opening the 2020 season with the Sox, Workman — along with fellow reliever Heath Hembree — was dealt to the Phillies in late August in exchange for right-handers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold.

With free agency looming, Workman struggled mightily in Philadelphia, as he put up a dismal 6.92 ERA and 1.146 OPS against while blowing three of a possible eight save opportunities over his final 14 outings (13 innings pitched) of the year.

Despite those struggles, Workman did manage to land a one-year, $1 million major-league deal with the Cubs in February and made the club’s Opening Day roster out of spring training.

Workman’s time in Chicago did not go as planned, however, as the Texas native surrendered  nine runs (six earned) on 12 hits, seven walks, and 11 strikeouts over 10 appearances out of the Cubs bullpen before being designated for assignment a day later.

Ultimately released by the Cubs a day later, Workman’s second go-around on the free-agent market did not last nearly as long as the first.

The Red Sox had been interested in a reunion with the 6-foot-5 hurler over the winter, and they were eventually able to bring him back — albeit on a minor-league pact.

Per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Workman “will join the WooSox in the near future.”

Cotillo also notes that if the the likes of Josh Taylor and Austin Brice continue to struggle out of the Red Sox bullpen, the Sox could look to Workman given the familiarity there.

(Picture of Brandon Workman: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)