RECAP: Rick Porcello Tosses Seven Shutout Innings, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi Homer, and #RedSox End Road Trip with a 9-2 Win in Minnesota.

Having dropped the first two games of a three game series to the Minnesota Twins, the Red Sox looked to end their ten-game road trip with a win and head back home 6-4 in their last ten.

With Rick Porcello on the mound and making his 16th start of the season, they did what they had to do to clinch a winning trip.

In seven masterful innings, the Red Sox righty held the Twins scoreless while giving up just one hit, one walk, and one HBP. The most high stress situation Porcello ran into came in his first frame of work, when he hit Eduardo Escobar and Logan Morrison ripped a single off of him to put runners on first and second with two outs. After getting Robbie Grossman to groundout to end the inning, the New Jersey native walked another batter in Ryan Lamarre with two outs in the second. From that point on, he sat down the next 16 Twins he faced from the second up until the conclusion of the seventh.

Finishing with five strikeouts on the day, Porcello needed just 97 pitches (65 strikes) to get through seven scoreless frames. Out of those 97 pitches, the 29-year-old hurler utilized his slider the most, as he went to it 25 times on the day. His four-seam fastball, which he threw 24 times, topped out at 93 MPH in the first inning.

In four starts in the month of June, Rick Porcello has actually been quite good. In those four starts, the Cy Young Award winner is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA and .191 BAA in 25.1 innings pitched. He’ll look to build on this successful run as of late in his next outing against the Anaheim Angels early next week.

In relief of Porcello and with a nine run lead to work with going into the bottom half of the eighth inning, Hector Velazquez was responsible for wrapping this thing up. The righty held the Twins scoreless in the eighth, but got beat up a bit for two runs in the ninth. Those runs were meaningless, but after yesterday, Velazquez has given up 10 hits in his last seven appearances. His numbers still look respectable, but I can understand why we really have not seen him in all that many high leverage situations this season. Like I said though, they got the win, their 50th of the season, ensuring a happy flight back to Boston.

On the other side of things, it was looking as if it was going to be another frustrating day for the Red Sox lineup.

Facing off against Twins starter Kyle Gibson, the Red Sox were held scoreless until the fourth inning, when, after Mitch Moreland led things off by drawing a walk and advanced to second on a Brock Holt single, Sandy Leon came through with an RBI single, his second of the series, to drive in Moreland from second and put his team on the board first.

An inning later, Mookie Betts awoke from a little power slump my mashing his 19th home run of the season, a rare opposite field blast hit into the right field seats.

Fast forward to the top of the seventh, with Gibson out of the game now, the Red Sox had the chance to separate themselves by adding on some insurance runs and that’s exactly what they did.

A one out single off the bat of JD Martinez followed by a Mitch Moreland walk led to a two-RBI double from Xander Bogaerts. Having advanced to third base on the throw back to infield, Bogaerts came into score on a Rafael Devers RBI groundout. 5-0.

In the seventh, the Red Sox tacked on another three runs thanks to Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland. For Benintendi, he collected his second hit of the afternoon by blasting a two-run home run, his 13th, 417 feet to right field.

Back to back doubles from JD Martinez and Mitch Moreland after that Benintendi bomb put the eighth run of the day on the board for the Red Sox.

And in the ninth, with an already commanding eight run lead, Jackie Bradley Jr. got in on the action and did something productive at the plate by notching his 18th RBI of the season to score Brock Holt from second and make it a 9-0 game.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox improved to 15-3 in series finales on the season yesterday.

In his last four games started, Mitch Moreland is 6/14 with three RBI and three walks.

Brock Holt is slashing .297/.374/.414 in 44 games this season. Eduardo Nunez is slashing .247/.277/.348 in 64 games this season. I think I know who deserves more playing time at second base.

At 50-26, no team in Major League Baseball has more wins than the Boston Red Sox. Despite all the freaking out this past week, that fact remains true.

Also, shout out to Mookie Betts showing off his scouting report after playing a ball perfectly in the shift.

Heading into the weekend with a three game set against a familiar foe in the Seattle Mariners on deck, the Red Sox will turn to knuckeballer Steven Wright for the series opener. He’ll be matched up against M’s righty Wade LeBlanc, who tossed seven shutout innings against Boston last Saturday in Seattle. In three career starts against the Red Sox , LeBlanc owns a 3.24 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched. Hopefully, with more information on him, the lineup will be able to get off to a quick start and backup what should be another fine night for Steven Wright. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

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RECAP: #RedSox Bullpen Lets One Slip by Them in 7-6 Loss to Mariners.

Following a tight series opening win against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night, the Red Sox were right back at it in another close game against the M’s on Friday. This time though, they did not come out on top.

Making his 15th start of the season last night, Rick Porcello was certainly not the problem in this one. In a total of six innings pitched, the righty surrendered four runs on seven hits and one walk while tying his season-high in strikeouts with nine on the night.

Things certainly could have gone worse for the New Jersey native and that’s how it was looking when he gave up a solo home run to the second batter he faced in Jean Segura in the first inning. The Mariners tacked on another two runs in their half of the second, but Porcello bounced back after that.

From the middle of the third until the conclusion of the sixth, the 29-year-old hurler held Seattle to just one run on three hits and that one walk, which all happened in the bottom half of the fifth.

Going into the sixth inning with a pitch count of 92, I thought for sure that Porcello’s night had come to an end. Instead, he showed another encouraging sign by retiring the Mariners 6-7-8 hitters in order on only eight pitches to retire the side.

Finishing with exactly 100 pitches (70 strikes), Porcello relied mostly on his two-seam fastball last night, as he threw it 31% of the time, compared to just 19% on his four-seamer. Out of those 19 pitches, the righty topped out at 93.1 MPH.

Going into the bottom of the seventh with nine outs to get and a three run lead to protect, the Red Sox bullpen did less of an ideal job in an effort to shut down the Mariners lineup.

In the one inning he appeared in, Heath Hembree gave up a leadoff home run to M’s catcher Mike Zunino to cut the lead to two. And in the eighth, after walking Ryon Healy and giving up a single to Ben Gamel, Matt Barnes gave the game away when old friend Denard Span ripped a two RBI double to right field to plate the tying and go-ahead runs.

For the second time in three appearances, Barnes surrendered two earned runs and because of it, he was charged with both the blown save and loss.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was tasked with going up against one of the better pitchers in the American League in James Paxton for Seattle.

Paxton, a native of Canada, pitched as advertised in his first two innings of work, as he retired seven of the first eight batters he faced on three strikeouts.

Looking as though it was going to be a challenge to get anything on the board, the Red Sox, with some help from some careless defense from the Mariners, turned this game on its head in their half of the third.

With five of the first six batters reaching base in the lineup, an RBI single off the bat of Brock Holt cut the Red Sox deficit to two. Two batters later, after JD Martinez reached on a single to load the bases, Mitch Moreland came through with an unusual two RBI hit that must have crossed up Kyle Seager at third base.

Later ruled a fielding error on Seager’s part, Moreland was no longer credited with any RBI, but it still tied the game.

Amidst all the chaos, Xander Bogaerts followed that up by launching his 11th home run of the season, a 387 foot three-run piece to put the Red Sox in front 6-3.

Unfortunately, despite chasing Paxton out of the game in the third, the Red Sox failed to score from that point on. Credit to the Mariners bullpen there.

They loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Brock Holt lined out to left to end the inning.

With one last shot to score in the ninth and facing off against Mariners closer Edwin Diaz, a JD Martinez single and a Xander Bogaerts walk gave the Red Sox a chance with one out in the inning. That turned into nothing though, as Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez popped out and grounded out to wrap this thing up. Series tied at one game a piece now.

Some notes from this one:

In 15 games against the Red Sox withe the Mariners and Rays this season, Denard Span has an OPS of .990 with two home runs and 10 RBI.

Rafael Devers extended his hitting streak to 10 games last night after a 2/5 day at the plate.

The Seattle Mariners have already won 22 one-run games this season.

Playing on national television later tonight, it will be Steven Wright and his 22.2 scoreless innings streak getting the start for the Red Sox. He will be matched up against Wade LeBlanc, a lefty, for the Mariners. First pitch is scheduled for 8:15 PM ET.

RECAP: #RedSox Head Home with a Series Split as Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland Homer Against Astros Again.

Not gonna lie, after the Red Sox lost their second straight game to the Houston Astros on Friday night, I was not feeling too confident about the rest of the series. With Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton taking th mound for the Astros, I honestly thought the Red Sox were going to head back home on Sunday night having gotten swept by arguably the best team in the American League. Instead of that though, they battled back, and thanks to great performances from David Price and Rick Porcello, they left Houston last night with a series split. Not too shabby.

Yup, Porcello made his 13th start of the season in this one, and he found himself working around a solid amount of baserunners all night.

Things did not get off to the best of starts for the righty, as Astros leadoff hitter George Springer greeted Porcello with a solo home run on the third pitch he saw. After that though, the Astros were held to just two runs in the seven innings Porcello appeared in.

As I previously mentioned, Porcello was dealing with runners on base throughout the night. In fact, the Astros led off every inning other than the fourth by reaching base at least once before the first out was recorded. Despite that fact, the Red Sox starter manevured his way around five hits, two walks, and two HBPs in total to earn his eighth winning decision of the season.

When he made his way to the mound for his seventh inning of work with a pitch count of around 75, I thought Porcello had a chance to toss a complete game. Instead, similar to his last time out against the Blue Jays, the New Jersey native sort of let things fall apart in his final frame of work. In neither of those outings did things get away from the Red Sox, but I just find it interesting how in his last two starts, Porcello has surrendered two runs in the seventh inning, and he was not able to finish the seventh in both of those outings.

Anyway, having gotten himself in a bit of a jam with only one out in the seventh, Matt Barnes came on to replace Porcello in a high-leverage situation. Facing Jose Altuve with runners on first and second, the UCONN product retired the side in a big way by striking out Altuve and getting Carlos Correa to ground into an inning-ending force play at second base.

Coming back out for his second inning of work in the eighth, Barnes needed just 15 pitches to retire the side in order and earn his 14th hold of the season. Definitely a great night for him.

With this game out of reach going into the bottom of the ninth, Heath Hembree worked his way around two walks in a scoreless inning of work to wrap this game and series up while also providing us with this epic shot from ESPN.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup struck first for the second night in a row. Andrew Benintendi got things started with a leadoff double off of Astros righty Charlie Morton, and Mitch Moreland brought him home three batters later on his 10th home run of the season.

441 feet with an exit velocity of 107.3 MPH on that shot.

Fast forward to the fifth, and Andrew Benintendi came through with a one out home run on the first pitch he saw from Morton, which just so happened to be an 88 MPH cutter on the inner half of the plate.

406 feet on that home run from Benintendi, with an exit velo. of 103.3 MPH as well on his ninth big fly of the season.

An inning later, back to back hits from Brock Holt and Blake Swihart with runners on base tacked on another three runs to the Red Sox lead and that would be the end of the night for Charlie Morton. Giving up a whopping six runs, this was his worst start of the season.

Things did not fare better for the Astros when they turned to their bullpen though, as Brock Holt struck once again in the eighth inning off of Collin McHugh on an RBI single.

And finally, pinch-hitting for JD Martinez in the ninth, the recently called up Sam Travis came out of nowhere and lined a two-run single off of Ken Giles to put his team up 9-3, which ended up being the final score.

Some notes from this win:

In the ten games he has appeared in since giving up two runs to the Yankees on May 9th, opponents are hitting .135 off of Matt Barnes in 11 shutout innings.

As of May 11th, Andrew Benintendi’s slash line was sitting at .243/.335/.404. In 21 games since then, he is slashing .388/.457/.763 with 7 HR and 23 RBI.

The Red Sox got beat up a little bit on Sunday night. JD Martinez had to exit with back spasms in the ninth inning, Xander Bogaerts appeared to be limping after scoring from second in the ninth, and Eduardo Nunez took a hard groundball off his face at third. Luckily for them, Monday is an off day for the Red Sox, as they will kick off a three game series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

For that opening game, it will be righty Artie Lewicki on the mound for Detroit, while Steven Wright gets the start for Boston. This doesn’t mean that anyone has lost their spot in the rotation, it just means that all the other starters are getting an additional day of rest. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Tuesday back at Fenway Park.

 

 

 

RECAP: Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon Launch Late Inning Home Runs as #RedSox Take Care of Business Against Blue Jays.

Coming off an impressive 8-3 win on Memorial Day, the Red Sox tacked on another eight runs against the Toronto Blue Jays last night. Having now won their past four series, the 38-17 Red Sox will look to sweep the Jays this afternoon before heading off to Houston.

Going into last night with an ERA of 5.40 in May, Rick Porcello made his 12th start of the season in this one, and he closed his month out in style. The righty nearly made it through seven full innings while surrendering three runs (two earned) on five hits, two walks, and two HBPs while fanning five.

Before pitching into the seventh, the only costly mistake Porcello made came in the top of the fourth, when he served up a one out solo shot to Jays first baseman Justin Smoak. As the game progressed, it looked like that was all Toronto would get off the Red Sox starter, but things got a bit interesting in the seventh.

Already up by four runs, Porcello hit the second batter he faced in the inning, Russell Martin, to put a runner on first with one out. Martin did not take too kindly to that, as that was the second time Porcello got a Blue Jay with a pitch, but the confrontation did not elevate past a few words between the two.

The New Jersey native followed that little adventure up by allowing the next two batters he faced in Kendrys Morales and Devon Travis to reach base via a walk and a single. That loaded the bases up for Luke Maile, but he struck out swinging on five pitches. Now with Curtis Granderson at the plate, who has already done a good deal of damage against the Red Sox this season, Porcello could not get a 2-2 92 MPH fastball past the veteran outfielder, and he drove in two runs on a single to right field.

With his pitch count at 96 (66 strikes), Porcello’s night would come to an end. I’m sure it did not end the way he wanted it to, but after the rough month he had, this outing is certainly encouraging headed into June.

Joe Kelly got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen, and he would be tasked with getting the final out of the inning with runners on second and third. Thankfully, Kelly retired the only batter he faced in the seventh, Kevin Pillar, on a three pitch strikeout. The Red Sox flamethrower would come back out for a second frame of work in the eighth, and despite hitting a batter, got out of the inning unscathed.

Entering the ninth with a five run lead to work with, Hector Velazquez was able to get some work in, but he loaded the bases before recording an out. In a bit of a jam, Alex Cora had to turn to Craig Kimbrel when it didn’t look like he was going to be needed a half inning prior.

Facing the top of the Blue Jays order, Kimbrel struck out the first batter he saw in Kevin Pillar on seven pitches. Down to their last out, Kimbrel got Yangervis Solarte to ground out to third, and Rafael Devers made the throw to Dustin Pedroia for the force out at second. Ballgame over.

On the other side of things, Mitch Moreland got the scoring started for the Red Sox right away in the first inning. He drove in Xander Bogaerts on a hard hit double, then JD Martinez drove in Moreland from second on a double of his own.

Speaking of doubles, Sandy Leon had two of them last night. The first one came with one out in the second inning, and he came across to score two batters later when Andrew Benintendi picked up his 38th RBI of the season on another two-bagger off of Jays starter Marco Estrada.

Fast forward to the fourth, and the bottom of the Red Sox lineup came through again. A single and stolen base from Brock Holt put a runner in scoring position with two outs for Jackie Bradley Jr. On the first pitch he saw from Estrada, Bradley ripped a single to left field, and that allowed Holt to easily score from second.

In the sixth, with new pitcher Joe Biagini on the mound for Toronto, back to back singles from Rafael Devers and Dustin Pedroia, his first hit of the season, put runners on first and third with no outs. After Brock Holt struck out looking, Sandy Leon added on to his big day at the plate by grounding a RBI double past both the pitcher and the second baseman.

An inning later, Xander Bogaerts led things off by mashing his eighth home run of the season. He had 10 all of last year.

Finally, in the eighth, Sandy Leon capped off his incredible night with a two-run missile to the Red Sox bullpen to put this game out of reach.

Having won four of their past five games, Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball this afternoon in the series finale against the Blue Jays. He will be matched up against righty Sam Gaviglio. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET. Mookie Betts should be back in the lineup on Thursday.

RECAP: Porcello K’s Nine, Betts, Benintendi, and Devers All Homer as #RedSox Beat up on Orioles.

On a cold, dreary Saturday night at Fenway Park, the Red Sox were looking to bounce back from a rough loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. Thanks to a solid outing from Rick Porcello and three home runs from the youngest members of the Red Sox lineup, they got that done in convincing fashion.

Yup, Rick Porcello made his tenth start of his 2018 campaign last night, and he put together a solid performance after two straight clunkers coming against the Yankees and Athletics. In six full innings, the righty scattered three runs on six hits while tying a season-high in walks with three and striking out a season-best nine on the night. For Porcello, I thought that he really only made one mistake last night, and that was the two-run home run he gave up in the sixth inning off the bat of Pedro Alvarez. Despite the fact he never faced the minimum three batters in any of the six innings he pitched in, I thought Porcello was deserving of his sixth winning decision of the season in this one. He’ll look to build on the success he had last night next time out, and I’m assuming that will come against the Atlanta Braves next weekend.

FInishing with a pitch count of 107 (67 strikes), Joe Kelly would take over things for Porcello in the seventh inning. Working with a one run lead, Kelly struck out two in a scoreless frame of work en route to his sixth hold of the season.

Next up out of the Red Sox bullpen, with a three run lead to work with this time, was Matt Barnes. Like Kelly, the UCONN alum also struck out two while tossing a scoreless eighth inning. That made way for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth, and the Red Sox flamethrower retired the side in order to pick up his 13th save of the season. All and all, a great night for the Red Sox bullpen, as they held the Orioles to nothing while tossing four perfect innings.

 

On the other side of things, Rafael Devers got the scoring for the Red Sox started in the fourth inning, as he took O’s starter Dylan Bundy deep for his eighth home run of the season.

That solo shot tied the game at one, but that tie would not hold for very long. An inning later, The Betts-Benintendi connection struck once again. With one out in the bottom half of the fifth and Sandy Leon at second, Mookie Betts came through with a 406 foot shot to left field for his second home run in as many night.

With 15 homers on the season now, no one in baseball has more than Mookie Betts. That coming from the best leadoff hitter in baseball. I can’t quite say Betts is the best player in baseball yet (Mike Trout), but he is certainly the best leadoff hitter this game has.

One batter later, Andrew Benintendi got in on the action with his fourth long ball of the season, this one sent 386 feet into the Orioles bullpen.

That put the Red Sox up 4-1 at the time it was hit, but the Orioles would trim that deficit back to one just an inning later on that Pedro Alvarez home run I mentioned earlier.

Fast forward to the seventh, Andrew Benintendi came up in a big spot once again and he pretty much put this game out of reach. After Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the inning off with back-to-back walks and Mookie Betts moved them up to second and third on a fly out to right field to set up an ideal RBI spot for the Red Sox left fielder.

 

On the eighth pitch of the at bat against Orioles righty Tanner Scott, Benintendi took a 89 MPH slider from Scott and ripped it up the middle for a 2 RBI single. That put the Red Sox up by three and wrapped this one up with two innings to spare.

Some notes from this one:

With two hits last night, Andrew Benintendi has raised his batting average from .239 to .275 over his last 15 games.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is 1 for his last 20 at the plate with three walks and four runs scored. He’s slashing .081/.190/.081 this month, and with one minor league option left on his contract, it may be time to use it on the struggling outfielder.

On a more positive note, the Red Sox will look to take this series from the Baltimore Orioles later this afternoon. Eduardo Rodriguez will be on the mound for Boston, while David Hess will be getting the start for Baltimore. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET, should be a good one.

RECAP: #RedSox Don’t Get No-Hit by Sean Manaea, Still Lose to Athletics by One Run.

These Oakland Athletics, man. 20-21 on the season, 3-1 against the Red Sox. That’s frustrating, even more so after the Red Sox lost by one run to them last night. I guess one early positive to take away from the series opener was that A’s starter Sean Manaea did not throw another-no hitter.

Rick Porcello got the start for the Red Sox in this one, and for the second start in a row, the righty certainly did not have his best performance. In his last start in New York, Porcello surrendered five runs on eight hits and three walks in 5.1 innings pitched. Last night against the Athletics, he surrendered another five runs, this time on nine hits and zero walks in six innings pitched.

Things started to go awry for the New Jersey native in the third inning, when Matt Joyce took him deep to right field for the A’s first run of the game. An inning later, the opposition knocked Porcello around for another three runs on four hits. In his final frame of work, Matt Olson took Porcello deep to center to put his team up by two.

Last night marked the first time this season in which the 29 year-old has given up more than home run in a start. In the four starts he’s made since April 24th, Porcello owns a 5.02 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 25 innings pitched. On the bright side, at least he’s going fairly deep into his starts, as none of the four previous outings mentioned have been shorter than five innings for Porcello. With a pitch count of 108 (69 strikes) through six innings, Porcello’s night would come to a disappointing end. He’ll look to rebound next time out when he goes up against the Baltimore Orioles.

In relief of Porcello, Heath Hembree got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen to start off the seventh inning. For the second day in a row, Hembree somewhat impressed, as he held the Athletics scoreless while holding them to one hit.

An inning later, after Rafael Devers had just momentarily pulled the Red Sox within one run, Carson Smith, who had been looking better as of late, served up a solo homer to the first person he saw in Khris Davis. He went on to retire the next three batters he faced, but that home run would prove to be crucial for the A’s given what transpired half an inning later.

After JD Martinez had just made it a one run game once again, Brian Johnson would be responsible for holding the Athletics scoreless. Last time we saw Johnson out of the ‘pen, he gave up a game-winning home run to Luke Maile in Toronto. With that in mind, I’m happy to say that Johnson did not allow last night’s game to get further away from the Red Sox than it already was. The lefty did his job by tossing a perfect ninth, giving his team one last chance in the bottom half of the inning.

On the other side of things, A’s starter Sean Manaea was certainly not as sharp as he was last time the Red Sox saw him in Oakland. After going hitless in the first inning, a JD Martinez single in the second finally gave the Red Sox a hit off the lefty this season. With the monkey off their back, three straight singles from the top of the Red Sox lineup in the third inning put the Red Sox on the board. Hanley Ramirez gave them the lead for a brief moment, as he ripped a single to right field to score Andrew Benintendi from second after he had driven in Mookie Betts on a single of his own. Things were looking up for the Red Sox at this point, but that would not be the case half an inning later, and they would be clawing to get back in this game for the rest of the night.

Fast forward to the fifth, Hanley Ramirez was at it again, as he plated the third run of the game for the Red Sox on a fielder’s choice that scored Sandy Leon from third. That cut the A’s lead to only one run, but once again, that wouldn’t last long.

Two innings later and the Red Sox trailing by two, Rafael Devers cut the deficit in half on his seventh long ball of the season.

That 373 foot shot over the Monster, followed by Sandy Leon reaching on a fielding error, put an end to Sean Manaea’s night, and made way for a mediocre Athletics bullpen. Unfortunately, the top of the lineup could not capitalize on that error, as Yusmeiro Petit ended the inning on nine pitches.

In the eighth, now trailing by two runs again, it would be JD Martinez who cut the deficit in half this time with his 11th homer of the season.

That would be the lone hit of the bottom of the eighth though, and after a scoreless top half of ninth from Brian Johnson, it would be up the 8, 9, and 1 hitters to either tie this thing up or send it into extras.

Facing off against Athletics closer Blake Treinen, Rafael Devers led the inning off by grounding out to first base. After Mitch Moreland came on as a pinch hitter for Sandy Leon, he flew out to left for the second out. Down to just Mookie Betts now, I was somewhat expecting a lengthy, dramatic at bat. Instead, Betts grounded out to short on the second pitch he saw from Treinen, thus ending a very frustrating game and ending the Red Sox winning streak at two.

Some notes from this one:

Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, and Sandy Leon were the only Red Sox hitters to reach base more than once last night.

There was only one walk drawn between the two sides in this game.

With his eighth steal of the season last night, Mookie Betts is now in a three-way tie between himself, Mike Trout, and Kevin Pillar for fourth most swiped bags in the American League.

After his 2-for-4 performance at the plate on Monday, JD Martinez has the eighth best OBP (.396) and is tied for the third best SLG (.641) in the AL. He is one of eight players in all of baseball with an OPS north of one (1.037)

Rick Porcello was dealt his first loss of the season in his ninth start (5-1).

Since starting the season 17-2, the Red Sox are 11-11 over their last 22 games.

Next up for the Red Sox is the middle game of this series later tonight. It will be Daniel Mengden on the mound for the A’s, while Eduardo Rodriguez, coming off maybe his best start of the season last time out in New York, will be taking the mound for Boston. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: #RedSox Fall to Yankees Again Thanks to Another Collapse from the Bullpen.

A day after a disappointing loss to the Yankees in the opening game of this series, the Red Sox found themselves in a similar position last night. With the game going in their favor up until the bottom of the eighth, it’s almost inexcusable that they could not come away with the win to even things up at one game at piece. Instead, they’ll look to salvage something from this three-game set later tonight.

Since the news broke that David Price would not be able to make his scheduled start on Wednesday, everyone in the Red Sox rotation moved up a spot. Meaning it would be Rick Porcello on the mound against Masahiro Tanaka. In what was his worst start of the season up to this point, I thought that Porcello was still somewhat effective, as he prevented the Yankees from running away with this one.

The righty out of New Jersey tossed 5.1 innings, surrendered five earned runs on eight hits, three walks, and a HBP, all while fanning just three Yankees. Surprisingly, no one in that menacing lineup managed to go deep off of Porcello. That may not have been the most surprising part of the 2016 Cy Young Award winner’s night though. Nope, that would have to be the three free passes he gave up. In his seven starts prior to this one, Porcello has only walked more than two batters once, and that was back on April 24th in Toronto. In my opinion, those three walks last night were indicative of the fact that Porcello may not have had his best stuff going. After recording the first out of the sixth and giving up a single to Gleyber Torres, the 29-year-old’s night would come to an end with a pitch count of 91, 51 of which went for strikes.

With the Red Sox trailing by one at the time of Porcello’s departure in the sixth, lefty Brian Johnson would be first out of the bullpen. The former Florida Gator came through with two big outs to retire the side, then recorded the first out of the seventh inning as well. Considering this was his first time in a game since the first of May, it was reassuring that Johnson did not show any signs of struggling last night. After getting a fresh lead in the top half of the inning and getting Didi Gregorius to line out to kick off the bottom half, Carson Smith would enter this one and be responsible for ending things in the seventh.

The Texas native needed three batters to record two outs, but no damage was done in the inning, as the Red Sox still had a one run lead to protect going into the bottom of the eighth. That is where things got a bit sticky though, with Matt Barnes on the mound. A leadoff double to Neil Walker certainly did not help, and that was followed by a five pitch walk to Gleyber Torres two batters later. With runners on first and third and just one out in the inning, it was all left up to Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, who had never recorded a five out save in his entire career.

Well, that would not happen last night either, unfortunately. The flame throwing Kimbrel gave up a go-ahead triple to the very first batter he saw in Brett Gardner. That scored the runners from first and third and put the Red Sox down by a run. Even worse, the lead would increase for the Yankees four pitches into the next at bat, as Aaron Judge launched a 97 MPH fastball from Kimbrel into orbit, sending it 429 feet into the night sky.

Judge’s ninth long ball of the season put the Yankees up by three, and that’s all the run support Aroldis Chapman would need a half inning later.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup had a much easier time reaching base last night off of Masahiro Tanaka than they did Tuesday night against Luis Severino. Mitch Moreland got the scoring started in the top half of the second, as he put the Red Sox momentarily on top with his sixth home run of the season. A two-run blast that scored Xander Bogaerts from first as well.

Fast forward all the way to the fifth, Andrew Benintendi got in on the action with a home run of his own. This one a solo shot, mashed 391 feet into the right field bleachers of Yankee Stadium, his second of the season and his sixth career homer in the Bronx.

An inning later,trailing by two, and facing a new pitcher in Chad Green, Eduardo Nunez cut the Red Sox deficit in half with a sacrifice fly to center field. That scored Xander Bogaerts from third after he had ripped a double off of Tanaka to lead off the sixth.

Later in the seventh, still trailing by one, Hanley Ramirez left his mark on this game. It really did not make a difference by the end, but it was huge at the time. After Brock Holt and Mookie Betts both grounded out to start the inning, Andrew Benintendi drew a walk on six pitches. That set up a spot where Hanley Ramirez could go deep for the first time since April 14th and give his team the lead. Well, on the third pitch off his at bat, that’s exactly what Ramirez did.

That 431 foot shot to left put the Red Sox up by one in the seventh. Like I said, it seemed HUGE at the time it was hit, but that warm feeling did not last all that long.

Fast forward another inning, this time up by a run, and the Red Sox had a great chance to tack on some insurance runs. Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez led the inning off against Yankees reliever Chasen Shreve with a walk and a double. That meant with no outs in the inning, the Red Sox had runners in scoring position. Ideal spot to be on, but the bottom half of the lineup could not capitalize on it. Even with two outs and the bases loaded for Andrew Benintendi after an intentional walk to Mookie Betts, nothing. Maybe getting more of a lead going into the ninth would have helped Craig Kimbrel out a little bit more, I don’t know.

Anyway, that did not happen and the Red Sox lost their second game in a row to the hands of the Yankees. It stings, but they have the chance to even the season series up later tonight. At least JD Martinez extended his hitting streak to 10 games, that’s pretty cool. Oh yeah, Eduardo Rodriguez gets the start against veteran lefty CC Sabathia, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM ET. Would be a real shame if someone like Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt against ol’ CC, a real shame.