Red Sox sign former Reds right-hander José De León to minor-league deal

The Red Sox have signed right-hander Jose De Leon to a minor-league contract, De Leon himself announced on Twitter Thursday.

“Since ‘97, when I started playing baseball, I always dreamed about being a Red Sox,” De Leon wrote Thursday morning. “Today, the dream of that little kid from Isabela, Puerto Rico, becomes reality. So kids, never stop dreaming! We’re back #OnAMission.”

De Leon, who turns 29 on Saturday, was released by the Reds on July 23 after being designated for assignment on July 19.

Across nine appearances (two starts) with Cincinnati this season, the righty posted an 8.35 ERA and 4.53 FIP to go along with 33 strikeouts and 11 walks over 18 1/3 total innings pitched from April 5 through May 4.

Optioned to Triple-A Louisville on May 5, De Leon put up an ERA of 4.63 — but a much more respectable 3.02 FIP — in 12 outings spanning 11 2/3 innings of work with the Bats prior to getting DFA’d.

A native of Isabela, Puerto Rico, the 6-foot-2, 215 pound hurler was originally selected by the Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Southern University. He was traded to the Rays in January 2017 in exchange for Logan Forsythe, missed the entirety of the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery that March, and was later traded to the Reds in November 2019 in exchange for cash considerations and a player to be named later.

Once regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, De Leon made his major-league debut with the Dodgers in September 2016 and has appeared in a grand total of 22 games (six starts) at the big-league level between Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati.

In those 22 outings, De Leon has pitched to the tune of an 8.44 ERA and 5.98 FIP while striking out 27.7% and walking 14.5% of the batters he has faced. He also owns a lifetime 3.35 ERA at the Triple-A level.

Per Baseball Savant, De Leon operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a sinker, changeup, and slider. He has also utilized a four-seam fastball in the past.

While it’s unclear at the moment which affiliate De Leon is report to (likely Triple-A Worcester), one thing is for certain: the right-hander does represent some intriguing pitching depth for a club that is seemingly in need of it at the moment.

On top of that, De Leon played alongside Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran and for Red Sox quality control coach Ramon Vazquez for Criollos de Caguas (Alex Cora’s hometown team) of the Puerto Rican Winter League last winter, so there is certainly some familiarity there.

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 acquire speedy outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. from Rangers and assign him to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have acquired outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. from the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash considerations, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

The reason the Sox were able to make a trade in the wake of the July 30 trade deadline is because of the fact that DeShields is on a minor-league contract and has not been on a major-league roster so far this season.

DeShields, who turns 29 later this month, initially inked a minor-league pact with the Rangers back in early February and opened the 2021 minor-league season with Triple-A Round Rock, where he slashed .263/.392/.368 (99 wRC+) with nine doubles, one triple, five home runs, 18 RBI, 46 runs scored, 16 stolen bases, 50 walks, and 62 strikeouts over 66 games (305 plate appearances) for the Express.

A former first-round pick of the Astros out of Woodward Academy (Ga.) back in 2010, DeShields was selected by Texas in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft and accrued five years of big-league experience with the Rangers prior to being part of a three-player trade with the Indians that saw Corey Kluber briefly head to the Lone Star state in December 2019.

Across just 37 games with Cleveland during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, the speedy right-handed hitter posted a modest .252/.310/.318 slash line (72 wRC+) to go along with three doubles, two triples, seven RBI, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, nine walks, and 29 strikeouts over 120 total trips to the plate.

Known for his speed and defensive abilities, DeShields — who is listed at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds — has been assigned to the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate in Worcester, where he figures to provide some experienced outfield depth for the WooSox alongside the likes of Michael Gettys and Tate Matheny.

As noted by Cotillo, Boston has seen its upper-minors outfield depth take a hit as of late with Jarren Duran being promoted last month and Marcus Wilson being claimed off waivers by the Mariners earlier this week.

That said, it should be fascinating to see if, in addition to providing organizational depth and insurance in the event of an injury, DeShields will garner any sort of big-league consideration with his new club once rosters expand in September. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Delino DeShields: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Red Sox pitching prospect Connor Seabold strikes out 10 over 6 scoreless innings for Triple-A Worcester

Eduardo Rodriguez was not the only pitcher in the Red Sox organization who struck out a season-high 10 batters on Wednesday night.

Pitching prospect Connor Seabold, making his just his third start of the year for Triple-A Worcester, dazzled against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees affiliate) at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa.

Over six dominant innings of work, Seabold kept the RailRiders off the scoreboard while yielding just one hit and one walk to go along with those 10 punchouts.

Setting the tone by fanning the first five hitters he faced out of the gate, the right-hander saw his bid for a perfect game end when he issued a two-out walk to Thomas Milone in the bottom of the third, but followed that by taking a no-hitter into the fifth before he gave up a one-out single to veteran catcher Rob Brantly.

Seabold was able to strand Brantly at first by retiring the next two RailRiders who came up to the plate against him, and he put the finishing touches on his stellar night by punching out two more in a scoreless sixth inning.

Of the 85 pitches the 25-year-old hurler threw on Wednesday, 59 — or 69.4% — of them went for strikes. He also induced 20 swings-and-misses, per Red Sox Stats on Twitter.

Seabold, who does not turn 26 until January, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking sixth among pitchers in the organization.

The Southern California native was slated to open the 2021 season in Worcester’s starting rotation, bur was placed on the injured list in early May due to right elbow inflammation.

After missing approximately 2 1/2 months because of that ailment, Seabold began a rehab assignment with the Florida Complex League Red Sox and made two starts with them before being activated off the IL last month.

Including Wednesday night’s strong showing, Seabold has allowed a grand total of 10 runs (seven earned) on 12 hits, five walks, and 16 strikeouts across three starts (14 1/3 innings pitched) with the WooSox. That’s good for an ERA of 4.40, a WHIP of 1.19, and a batting average against of .226.

The Red Sox originally acquired the 6-foot-3, 195 pound righty — as well as fellow pitcher Nick Pivetta — in a trade with the Phillies last August that sent relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to Philadelphia.

Seabold spent the remainder of the summer at the Sox’ alternate training site before being added to the club’s 40-man roster in November in order to be protected from that winter’s Rule 5 Draft.

Since he was added to the 40-man during the offseason, the former third-round draft pick out of Cal State Fullerton seemed prime to serve as topline rotation depth for the Red Sox at the Triple-A level to start the year, but injuries instead altered those plans.

Now that he is back and pitching at a seemingly high level, though, it should be interesting to see if the Sox have any plans to utilize Seabold at the major-league level once rosters expand from 26 to 28 players at the beginning of September.

For now, Seabold — who operates with a 91-93 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, a deceptive 80-82 mph changeup, and an 83-85 mph slider according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report — is in line to make his next start for the WooSox when they take on the Syracuse Mets at Polar Park on Tuesday, August 10.

(Picture of Connor Seabold: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/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 activate Matt Barnes from COVID-19 related injured list, option Jonathan Araúz to Triple-A Worcester

Before taking on the Tigers in the second game of a three-game series at Comerica Park on Wednesday night, the Red Sox reinstated closer Matt Barnes from the COVID-19 related injured list.

In a corresponding move, infielder Jonathan Arauz was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced Wednesday afternoon.

Barnes’ stay on the COVID related injured list winds up being a short one, as the right-handed reliever only missed Tuesday’s contest after his PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test came back negative Tuesday night.

Upon arriving in Detroit earlier this week, Barnes — as well as one other unidentified player — were feeling under the weather and exhibiting symptoms that run consistent with the virus, resulting in the closer having to quarantine at the team hotel.

Barnes, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, must have woke up Wednesday morning in much better spirits, as he will be available to pitch in the middle game of this three-game set against Detroit.

“He’s here, he feels good and he’s available,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Barnes. “If we get the lead, we’ll give him the ball.”

In 43 appearances out of the Boston bullpen so far this season, the first-time All-Star has posted a 2.30 ERA and 2.14 FIP to go along with 66 strikeouts to just 11 walks over 43 innings of work in which he has converted 23 of a possible 27 save opportunities.

Arauz, meanwhile, sees his second big-league stint of the season come to a close as he was sent down to Worcester in order to make room for Barnes on the 26-man roster.

In his most recent stay with the Red Sox, the 23-year-old appeared in three games, going 2-for-6 (.333) at the plate with one walk and two strikeouts over seven trips to the plate while playing second base and serving as a pinch-runner.

As he makes his return to the WooSox, Arauz carries with him a batting line of .224/.315/.355 to go along with four doubles, one triple, six home runs, 27 RBI, 24 runs scored, two stolen bases, 26 walks, and 38 strikeouts over 55 games (213 plate appearances) at the Triple-A level so far this season.

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Is it time for the Red Sox to give Yairo Muñoz another chance?

While the Red Sox were in the process of dropping their fifth straight game in a 4-2 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park on Tuesday night, Yairo Munoz was busy making history for Triple-A Worcester.

With a leadoff single in the fourth inning of the WooSox’ contest against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Moosic, Pa., Munoz extended his hitting streak to 25 consecutive games, tying former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury — who did it in 2007 — for the longest such streak in the history of the club’s Triple-A affiliate.

By adding on a single in the eighth inning of Worcester’s 7-2 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Munoz raised his batting line on the season to a solid .303/.333/.436 to go along with 13 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 28 RBI, 32 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, 12 walks, and 39 strikeouts in 67 games (283 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

Dating back to July 1, when his streak began with a modest 1-for-2 showing against the RailRiders, the right-handed hitting 26-year-old has slashed an impressive .394/.429/.566 (166 wRC+) while clubbing two of his five homers, collecting 12 of his 28 RBI, and scoring exactly half of his 32 runs over his last 25 games.

With an RBI single in the third inning of Wednesday night’s game against the RailRiders, Munoz extended his hitting streak to 26 consecutive games to surpass Ellsbury’s previous mark and make even more Red Sox Triple-A history in the process of doing so.

In the month of July alone, Munoz ranked second among Triple-A East hitters in total hits (36), 12th in extra-base hits (12), seventh in total bases (53), third in doubles (9), 19th in runs scored (16), second in stolen bases (10), second in batting average (.404), eighth in on-base percentage (.442), 14th in slugging percentage (.596), and ninth in OPS (1.038).

While he has been consistently performing at the plate as of late, Munoz — who is listed as an outfielder — has played all over the field for the WooSox, including nine games at first base, 42 games at third base, seven games at shortstop, two games in left field, three games in center field, and two games in right field.

The Red Sox originally signed Munoz to a minor-league contract last March, just weeks after he was somewhat-oddly released by the St. Louis Cardinals earlier that spring.

After the start of the 2020 season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dominican native spent the majority of his summer at Boston’s alternate training site in Pawtucket before having his contract selected in late August.

Making his Red Sox debut the following day, Munoz hit .333/.333/.511 over his first 12 games with the club before a lower back strain prematurely ended his season on September 17.

Despite providing a last-place team with a bit of his spark in his brief time with them, Munoz ultimately lost his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster in December, but somehow cleared waivers and was outrighted to Worcester.

Invited to major-league spring training as a non-roster invitee, the versatile 5-foot-11, 201 pounder appeared in eight Grapefruit League games and collected eight hits in 18 at-bats(.444 batting average), though he did not stand much of a chance of making the Sox’ Opening Day roster with the likes of Christian Arroyo and Michael Chavis ahead of him on the right-handed hitting depth chart.

After opening the 2021 minor-league campaign with the WooSox, Munoz got off to a slow start, posting an underwhelming .581 OPS through his first month with the team.

With this historic 25-game hitting streak, however, Munoz has emerged as someone who could be knocking on the Red Sox door sooner rather than later — if he is not doing so already, that is.

Munoz, who does not turn 27 until January, is a former top prospect of the Athletics, the organization he began his professional career with as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in January 2012.

He is someone that was part of the trade that sent outfielder Stephen Piscotty from St. Louis to Oakland prior to the start of the 2018 season, and — in his time with the Cardinals — proved to handle himself well at the plate while playing all over the field.

Upon getting called up by the Red Sox late last season, Munoz provided a jolt to a club that was in desperate need of one and likely would have continued to do so throughout the month of September had he not gotten injured.

As things currently stand, the Red Sox have hit a ball coming out of the All-Star break, as they are 8-8 dating back to July 16 and have averaged a measly 4.25 runs per game over that stretch.

Given what he did in his brief time with the Red Sox last year and what he has done with the WooSox to date, Munoz’s speed on the base paths and ability to move around the infield and outfield could jumpstart a Red Sox team that is in the midst of a season-high five-game losing streak.

“One thing about Yairo, he brings energy on a daily basis,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Wednesday. “He has that bat-to-ball skill regardless of where the ball is, you know? It can be way up there or way down there and he’ll find barrel. We’re very pleased with what he’s doing. Not only because of the results, but because he’s doing the things he’s supposed to do — playing hard and doing the things that winning players do.”

Of course, the Sox would need to add Munoz back to the 40-man roster to get him back in the mix, and that would require a corresponding move that would see someone lose their 40-man spot.

That said, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have not shied away from shuffling around the 40-man roster if it meant potentially improving the club.

Most recently, Boston designated outfield prospect Marcus Wilson for assignment in order to add trade deadline acquisition Hansel Robles to the 40-man roster and, before that, designated Austin Brice for assignment in order to call up top outfield prospect Jarren Duran from Worcester.

Taking all that into consideration, perhaps the Sox would prefer to wait until rosters expand to September to give someone such as Munoz, who does have one minor-league option year remaining, another shot at the major-league level.

“This is a guy that has experience at the big-league level,” said Cora. “I saw him from afar last year and what he did last year here — as far as running the bases, being versatile, and finding ways to get on base — it was interesting. Obviously, we pay attention to everything that is going on and we’re very pleased with the way he’s going about it.”

Though Cora has been impressed with what he has seen from and read on Munoz, that does not necessarily mean he is on the verge of getting called up to the big-league squad, as previously stated.

“I’m not saying he’s on the radar or he’s not, but we are aware of what’s going on with him,” Cora said. “And every report we get is a positive one.”

(Picture of Yairo Munoz: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox release schedule for 2022 season

The Red Sox, in accordance with Major League Baseball, released their schedule for the 2022 regular season on Wednesday afternoon.

Similar to this year, the Sox will kick off the 2022 campaign with a six-game homestand against the Rays and Orioles at Fenway Park. Opening Day will take place on Thursday, March 31 with a built-in off day scheduled for that Friday in the event that the home opener is rained out.

Following that six-game homestand, Boston will hit the road for the first time for a six-game road trip that includes stops in the Bronx and Detroit. The Sox will partake in the Yankees’ home opener at Yankee Stadium, which takes place on Thursday, April 7.

After a planned off day on April 14, the Sox will head back to Fenway Park for a seven-game homestand that consists of four-game weekend series against Rocco Baldelli’s Minnesota Twins on Patriots’ Day weekend followed by a three-game set that will give the club their first look at the Toronto Blue Jays from April 19-21.

Boston will close out the month of April and begin the month of May on the road, as they will be facing off against three of their four American League East rivals in the Rays, Jays, Orioles nine times in a nine-day span (April 22-May 1).

A brief six-game homestand against the Angels and White Sox in early May will be followed by another road trip that consists of a two-game interleague series against the Braves in Atlanta as well as a three-game weekend set against the Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

The Sox will return home on May 16 for the start of a three-game series against the Astros that takes place before a four-game weekend series with the Mariners.

A quick flight to Chicago for a three-game set against the White Sox from May 24-26 sees the Red Sox return to Fenway Park for another six-game homestand that features a four-game series against the Orioles and a two-game interleague series against the Cincinnati Reds.

That takes us into June, and as soon as the Sox are done playing the Reds on June 1, they will board a flight to the West Coast for the start of their longest road trip of the season — a three-city, 10-game venture that includes stops in Oakland, Anaheim, and Seattle.

The Athletics will greet the Sox once they return from their lengthy road trip on June 14 for the start of a three-game series at Fenway Park. That will be followed by a three-game weekend set against the St. Louis Cardinals and three more against the Tigers.

From there, the club will head out for a Great Lakes-centered road trips for series against the newly-minted Cleveland Guardians (June 24-26), the Blue Jays (June 27-29), and the Cubs (July 1-3), which will mark the Red Sox’ first visit to Wrigley Field since 2012.

The Red Sox will then celebrate Independence Day back at Fenway Park as they open up a three-game series against the Rays that will be followed by a four-game weekend series against the Yankees to close out the unofficial first half of the season.

That takes us into the All-Star break, as MLB’s 92nd Midsummer Classic will take place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 19.

When the Red Sox re-convene for the second half of the season, they will get to enjoy their longest homestand of the year against the Blue Jays, Guardians, and Milwaukee Brewers from July 22 through July 31.

The three-game weekend series against the Brewers should take us into the trade deadline, and it will be followed by a seven-game road trip with stops in Houston and Kansas City out of the gate in early August.

The remainder of August includes five games against the Braves and Yankees at Fenway Park, a two-city six-game road trip against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Orioles, six more games against the Jays and Rays back at Fenway, and a three-game set against the Twins at Target Field to close out the month.

September, meanwhile, begins with a four-game set with the Rangers at Fenway that will be proceeded by a six-game roadie featuring three against the Rays and three against the Orioles.

The Sox will welcome the Yankees into town for a final time in a brief two-game series from August 13-14, which will be followed by their penultimate home series of the year against the Royals.

Boston’s final mult-city road trip of the 2022 campaign will consist of six games in six days against the Reds at Great American Ballpark and the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

A three-game series against the Orioles at Fenway Park will mark the Red Sox’ final home series of 2022, while the club will close out the year with another three-game set against the Jays at Rogers Centre that begins on Friday, September 30 and ends on Sunday, October 2.

Per a team release, “game times for the 2022 season, as well as the 2022 Spring Training schedule, will be finalized and announced at a later date. All dates included in the attached schedule are subject to change.”

Assuming everything goes according to plan next year, though, the Red Sox are slated to play 162 games against 20 different clubs in a span of 186 days beginning on March 31 and ending on October 2.

(Picture of Fenway Park: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox closer Matt Barnes tests negative for COVID-19, could be activated for Wednesday’s game against Tigers

After a scare earlier in the afternoon, Red Sox closer Matt Barnes tested negative for COVID-19 Tuesday night, manager Alex Cora announced.

Barnes, who was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list prior to Tuesday’s series opener against the Tigers in Detroit, had been feeling under the weather earlier in the day and — along with one other unnamed player — was also exhibiting symptoms that run consistent with the virus.

As a result, the right-handed reliever, who is vaccinated, was forced to quarantine at the team hotel, but he could now be activated off the COVID IL as soon as Wednesday depending on how he is feeling in the morning.

“He tested negative,” Cora said of Barnes following Boston’s 4-2 loss to Detroit. “We’ll check him throughout the night, how he feels and all that. But he did test negative, so hopefully everything goes well tonight and he’ll be with us tomorrow.”

Cora acknowledged that Barnes will likely have to take one more PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test on Wednesday morning before being cleared to return to action.

“That’s the goal. Everything went well today,” Cora said on the possibility of having Barnes available for Wednesday’s contest against the Tigers at Comerica Park. “We’ll see how feels tonight, how he feels in the morning. Probably one more test or something like that. But as of now, that’s the goal.”

Barnes, who is currently in the midst of a career year that netted him his first-ever All-Star selection and a lucrative contract extension last month, had not appeared in a game for the Red Sox since Game 2 of last Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park before being placed on the COVID IL on Tuesday.

This is not the first time Barnes has dealt with COVID-related issues either, as the 31-year-old tested positive for the virus back in March but was cleared to return to the team after missing just two days because of subsequent test results.

When Boston placed Barnes on the COVID IL on Tuesday, they reinstated utility man Marwin Gonzalez from the 10-day injured list as a corresponding move, thus giving them 13 pitchers and 13 position players on their 26-man major-league roster.

Assuming Barnes is activated ahead of Wednesday’s matchup against the Tigers, it seems likely that infielder Jonathan Arauz would be optioned to Triple-A Worcester in order for the Red Sox to go back to carrying 14 pitchers and 12 position players. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Adam Glanzman/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)