Abraham Almonte and Alex Verdugo both homer, Rich Hill fans 9 over 6 scoreless innings as Red Sox defeat Orioles, 3-1

In rather uneventful fashion, the Red Sox won their second straight over the Orioles on Wednesday night. Boston bested Baltimore by a final score of 3-1 to improve to 74-81 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his 25th start of the year, pitched well for the Sox. The veteran left-hander scattered five hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work.

The Red Sox provided Hill with an early lead. After Rafael Devers ripped a one-out ground-rule double off Orioles starter Dean Kremer, Alex Verdugo followed by lacing a run-scoring single to center field to get his side on the board first in the first inning.

Two innings later, Abraham Almonte took the fourth pitch he saw from Kremer and drilled a 421-foot solo shot to right field for his first home run in a Red Sox uniform.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Hill ended his night by retiring the final three batters he faced in order. The 42-year-old southpaw finished with exactly 100 pitches (67 strikes) and induced 15 swings-and-misses. He also picked up his eighth winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA to 4.41.

Shortly after Hill put an end to the top of the sixth, Verdugo led off the bottom half by sneaking a 331-foot liner past Pesky’s Pole for his 11th home run of the season. It left his bat at 102.6 mph and gave Boston a 3-0 lead heading into the seventh.

In relief of Hill, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Brasier needed just 10 pitches to get through a scoreless seventh inning. Kaleb Ort, on the other hand, served up a solo homer to Robinson Chirinos to begin the eighth before settling down and retiring the next three Orioles he faced.

Matt Barnes was responsible for the ninth inning. The righty allowed two runners to reach base but ultimately held on to secure the 3-1 victory while also notching his sixth save of the year.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Baumann in series finale

The Red Sox will look to take this four-game series from the Orioles on Thursday afternoon. Nathan Eovaldi, who last pitched on August 13, will be activated from the injured list to make his penultimate start of the season for Boston. Baltimore will counter with fellow right-hander Michael Baumann.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Kutter Crawford, Ryan Brasier combine to give up 7 runs as Red Sox fall to Twins, 10-5

The Red Sox dropped their second straight to the Twins on Tuesday night. Boston fell to Minnesota by a final score of 10-5 at Target Field despite having a 4-3 lead at one point.

Kutter Crawford, making his 12th start and 21st overall appearance of the season for the Sox, surrendered five runs — four of which were earned — on four hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work.

Three of those runs came within the first two innings. Crawford retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the first before issuing a pair of two-out walks to Max Kepler and Jose Miranda. The rookie right-hander then gave up a two-run double to Nick Gordon that got the Twins on the board first.

An inning later, Jake Cave led off the bottom of the second by taking Crawford 400 feet deep to left-center field for just his third home run of the season. Crawford put together his first scoreless frame of the night in the third and did it again in the fourth.

The Red Sox lineup, meanwhile, finally broke through against Twins starter Chris Archer in their half of the fourth. An Alex Verdugo leadoff single and Xander Bogaerts double put runners at second and third with no outs for Rafael Devers. Devers drove in Verdugo with a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-1 game in favor of Minnesota. J.D. Martinez followed by drawing a six-pitch walk, but Trevor Story grounded into an inning-ending double play to extinguish the threat.

In the fifth, however, the Sox were able to mount a rally. With Enrique Hernandez and Reese McGuire on the corners following a pair of one-out singles, Tommy Pham trimmed Boston’s deficit to one with a run-scoring base hit through the right side of the infield. That knocked Archer out of the game in favor of Caleb Thielbar.

McGuire moved up to third base when Verdugo grounded into a force out at second. With runners at the corners yet again, Bogaerts greeted the new Twins reliever by blooping a 241-foot game-tying single to left field to push across McGuire and move Verdugo to third. Devers then drew a bases-filling walk, prompting another Minnesota pitching change.

Michael Fulmer was dispatched to face Martinez, but he first airmailed a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Verdugo to score the go-ahead run on a feet-first slide. The Red Sox had a chance to add to their newfound 4-3 lead, but Martinez struck out against his former teammate to leave things there.

Crawford came back out for the fifth and got Luis Arraez to fly out to Pham for the first out of the inning. It appeared as though Crawford was going to get the second out when he got Carlos Correa to lift a 318-foot flyball to Verdugo in right field.

Verdugo failed to make a clean catch, though, as the ball deflected off his glove, allowing Correa to reach first base safely. Correa then issued another walk to Kepler, which is how his night would come to an end as Red Sox manager Alex Cora pulled the righty for Ryan Brasier.

Brasier, in turn, made a sticky situation even worse by plunking the first batter he faced in Jose Miranda to load the bases. Gordon, already in the midst of a productive evening at the plate, took full advantage of the spot he was in by unloading the bases with a 416-foot grand slam over everything in right field.

Gordon’s sixth homer of the season officially closed the book on Crawford, who finished with a final pitch count of 76 (43 strikes). The 26-year-old hurler managed to induce just seven swings-and-misses while raising his ERA on the season to 5.47 (7.58 ERA in August). He was also hit with his sixth losing decision of the year.

Brasier, on the other hand, was tagged for two runs after getting through the rest of the fifth inning unscathed. The recently-turned 35-year-old has now allowed 14 runs (13 earned) to cross the plate in 14 relief appearances (12 innings) this month. That is good for an ERA of 9.75.

Boston’s bullpen struggled continued into the sixth inning, as Jeurys Familia served up a solo shot to Gary Sanchez. The Red Sox got that run back in the top of the seventh, when Verdugo plated Pham all the way from first base on a 410-foot RBI double to right-center field that would have been a home run in 16 of 30 MLB ballparks.

Verdugo’s second hit of the contest brought the Sox back to within three runs of the Twins at 8-5. Bogaerts moved Verdugo up to third base on a groundout, but Devers stranded him there by striking out.

Following a 1-2-3 seventh inning from Zack Kelly in his second big-league appearance, a resurgent Matt Barnes ran into more trouble in the eighth by walking one and giving up three straight hits to Sanchez, Arraez, and Correa. Arreaz and Correa each drove in runs with their singles, which gave the Twins a commanding 10-5 lead going into the ninth.

Down to their final three outs, Hernandez led off with a walk, but McGuire, Pham, and Verdugo went down quietly against Emilio Pagan to seal another defeat.

With the loss, the seventh in their last nine games, the Red Sox drop to 62-68 on the season. The Blue Jays won on Tuesday, so Boston now sits nine games back of Toronto for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Wacha vs. Ryan in series finale

The Red Sox will look to salvage something out of this series with the Twins on Wednesday night. Michael Wacha is slated to start for Boston. Fellow right-hander Joe Ryan is expected to do the same for Minnesota.

First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: David Berding/Getty Images)

Red Sox endure more bullpen struggles in 8-4 loss to Braves; Tommy Pham homers in third straight game

The Red Sox were swept by the Braves at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. Boston fell to Atlanta by a final score of 8-4 to extend its losing streak to four and drop to 54-58 on the season.

Nick Pivetta, making his 23rd start of the year for the Sox, allowed three runs on five hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts over six quality innings of work.

All three of those Braves runs came in the top half of the fourth. After giving up a leadoff single to Austin Riley, Pivetta had Eddie Rosario on the ropes with two outs. With the count full, he pinpointed a 93.7 mph four-seam fastball on the outside corner of the lower half of the strike zone.

It should have ended the inning. Home plate umpire Adam Beck instead called it a ball and Rosario took his base. Three pitches later, Pivetta served up a towering, 403-foot three-run shot to Marcell Ozuna on a 91.9 mph four-seamer that was left over the heart of the plate.

Ozuna’s blast over the Green Monster gave Atlanta its first lead of the night at 3-0. Boston countered in its half of the fifth inning when Bobby Dalbec scored from third base while Tommy Pham grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

That was the only run the Red Sox got off Braves starter Kyle Wright. Pivetta, meanwhile, ended his night on a positive note by retiring seven of the final eight batters he faced after giving up that homer to Ozuna.

The 29-year-old right-hander finished with a final pitch count of 108 (69 strikes) while keeping his ERA on the season at 4.51. He hovered around 93.8 mph with his four-seamer, which was slightly up from his yearly average of 93.3 mph, per Baseball Savant.

In relief of Pivetta, Darwinzon Hernandez got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The left-hander struck out the first Brave he faced in Ozuna, but then gave up a base hit to Michael Harris II that was followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Vaughn Grissom, who was making his major-league debut for Atlanta on Wednesday.

Grissom’s first career homer traveled 412 feet over the Green Monster to give the Braves a 4-1 lead. Hernandez got through the rest of the seventh inning unscathed, but has now allowed 16 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings with the Red Sox this season. That is good for an ERA of 21.60.

In the latter half of the seventh, Dalbec greeted new Braves reliever Dylan Lee with a one-out single. Jaylin Davis, who was pinch-hitting for Jarren Duran, followed with a line-drive base hit of his own to put runners at first and second for Pham, who responded by depositing a 412-foot three-run home run to dead center field.

Pham’s 14th big fly of the season was also his third in his last three games with Boston. It trimmed Atlanta’s lead down to just one run at 5-4 heading into the eighth inning.

Despite his team being in desperate need of a shutdown inning, Ryan Brasier was not up to the task in the eighth. Brasier yielded back-to-back one-out singles to Matt Olson and William Contreras before Rosario ripped an RBI double to left field to plate Olson and Ozuna lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Contreras.

That sequence of events made it a 7-4 contest in favor of the Braves. Austin Davis recorded the final out of the eighth before Kaleb Ort gave up another run-scoring single to Dansby Swanson in the top of the ninth. In the bottom half of the inning, veteran closer Raisel Iglesias made quick work of Dalbec, Davis, and Pham to end the game.

All told, four different Red Sox relievers (Hernandez, Brasier, Davis, and Ort) combined to give up five runs on seven hits over just three innings. Offensively, the Sox went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base as a team.

Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez went a combined 1-for-12 with two strikeouts, both of which belonged to Martinez. Alex Verdugo accounted for his side’s only two walks.

By getting swept by the Braves in this brief two-game interleague series, the Red Sox now find themselves trailing the Orioles and Rays (58-52) by five games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Winckowski vs. Kremer

The Red Sox will next welcome the Orioles into town for a quick, lockout-induced one-game series on Thursday. Josh Winckowski is slated to start for Boston while fellow right-hander Dean Kremer will do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Hansel Robles on injured list, option Hirokazu Sawamura; Ryan Brasier, Phillips Valdez recalled from Triple-A Worcester

In addition to appointing Josh Winckowski as the 27th man for Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles at Fenway Park, the Red Sox made four additional roster moves prior to Game 1.

Most notably, Hansel Robles was placed on the 15-day injured list due to back spasms while Hirokazu Sawamura was optioned to Triple-A Worcester. In a corresponding move, fellow relievers Ryan Brasier and Phillips Valdez were recalled from Worcester.

Robles last pitched in Sunday’s win over the Mariners before experiencing back issues while the Red Sox were in Chicago. Through 16 relief appearances this season, the 31-year-old right-hander has posted a 2.65 ERA and 5.20 FIP with 11 strikeouts to six walks over 17 innings pitched out of the bullpen.

Since his stint on the injured list is retroactive to May 25, the soonest Robles could return to action would be Thursday June 9, when the Sox take on the Angels in Anaheim.

Sawamura, meanwhile, has pitched to the tune of a 3.60 ERA and 3.47 FIP with 13 strikeouts to six walks across 18 appearances (15 innings) so far this season. The Japanese-born righty has been most effective when inheriting runners on the basepaths, but — at the same time — has fallen down Alex Cora’s depth chart.

Because he has pitched three times in the last four days, Boston elected to send Sawamura down to Worcester while adding fresh reinforcements in Brasier and Valdez.

Both Brasier and Valdez opened the 2021 season in the Sox’ bullpen but were optioned to the WooSox at separate points this month. Brasier, who was sent down on May 20, made two scoreless outings for Worcester. Valdez, who was sent down on May 2, produced a 1.17 ERA in six appearances (7 2/3 innings) for the affiliate.

The Red Sox did not need to use their bullpen as Nathan Eovaldi tossed a complete game in the day cap of Saturday’s twin bill. That could change in Game 2 with Winckowski making his first career start at the big-league level.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox officially activate Michael Wacha from injured list, option Ryan Brasier to Triple-A Worcester

Before taking on the Mariners at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Red Sox reinstated right-hander Michael Wacha from the 15-day injured list. In order to make room for Wacha on the major-league roster, fellow righty Ryan Brasier was unsurprisingly optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced.

Wacha returns from the injured list after being placed there on May 8 because of left intercostal irritation. Because his stint on the IL was backdated to May 5, though, the 30-year-old was eligible to be activated as soon as Friday.

As such, Wacha will take the mound against the Mariners to kick off the weekend, marking his first competitive outing since May 3. Through his first five starts of the season, the veteran hurler has posted a 1.38 ERA and 3.91 FIP to go along with 19 strikeouts to 11 walks over 26 innings of work.

Brasier, meanwhile, will head to Worcester after getting his 2022 campaign in Boston off to a rough start. After giving up a home run to Julio Rodriguez in the ninth inning of Thursday’s 12-6 win over Seattle, the 34-year-old reliever has now put up a 6.28 ERA and 6.03 FIP with 16 strikeouts to three walks across his first 18 appearances (13 1/3 innings) of the season.

Since he has one minor-league option remaining, the Red Sox are presumably optimistic that Brasier can find something in Worcester while working with WooSox pitching coach Paul Abbott, as he did last September.

The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams was the first to report that Brasier would be optioned to Worcester to make room on the roster for Wacha.

(Picture of Michael Wacha: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Ryan Brasier to Triple-A Worcester to make room on roster for Michael Wacha, per report

The Red Sox optioned veteran reliever Ryan Brasier to Triple-A Worcester following Thursday night’s 12-6 win over the Mariners at Fenway Park, reports Julian McWilliams of The Boston Globe.

The move to send Brasier down to Worcester allows the Sox to create a spot on their 26-man roster for fellow right-hander Michael Wacha, who is expected to be activated from the 15-day injured list and start against the M’s on Friday night.

Brasier was an obvious candidate to be demoted since he is in his final season with a minor-league option. Thus far in 2022, the 34-year-old hurler has struggled to the tune of a 6.28 ERA with 16 strikeouts to three walks over 18 appearances (14 1/3 innings pitched) out of the Boston bullpen. He gave up his fifth home run of the year to Julio Rodriguez in the ninth inning of Thursday’s victory.

By sending him down to Triple-A, the Red Sox are presumably hopeful that Brasier can work on some things with WooSox pitching coach Paul Abbott. The same sort of thing happened last year as well.

After returning from the 60-day injured list in September, Brasier produced a 10.09 FIP over his first five outings of 2021. Boston then optioned him to Worcester on September 17 and called him back up just four days later. From there, the righty did not allow a single run across his final eight appearances (7 2/3 innings) of the season.

Going back to the start of last September, no Red Sox reliever has made more regular season appearances than Brasier (31), so he is clearly someone manager Alex Cora likes to go to when he is on.

With that being said, perhaps Brasier can once again find something in Worcester and use that to turn his season around for the better.

(Picture of Ryan Brasier: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox fail to complete sweep of Rangers, end road trip with 7-1 loss in Texas

The Red Sox were unable to finish off a three-game sweep of the Rangers to close out the weekend. Boston instead saw their winning streak snapped at two games following a 7-1 loss to Texas at Globe Life Field on Sunday afternoon. Their record is now 13-21.

In what was a bullpen game for the Sox’ pitching staff, Austin Davis served as the opener while also making the first start of his major-league career. The left-hander pitched well, allowing just one walk to go along with two strikeouts over two-plus scoreless and hitless innings of work. 19 of the 35 pitches he threw went for strikes.

Davis’ day came to an end after issuing a leadoff walk to Nathaniel Lowe in the bottom of the third. He was replaced by Tanner Houck, who took a combined no-hit bid into the fifth inning.

Shortly before Houck took the mound for the bottom half of the fifth, the Boston lineup finally got something going against old friend Martin Perez in their half of the fifth. With two outs in the inning, Enrique Hernandez singled and immediately came into score on a 110.6 mph RBI double off the bat of Rafael Devers.

That gave the Red Sox their first lead of the day at 1-0. Houck, however, gave that run right back when he served up a leadoff homer to Kole Calhoun a half-inning later, which knotted things back up at 1-1.

After Houck got through the rest of the fifth, manager Alex Cora next turned to fellow righty Ryan Brasier out of the Boston bullpen. Brasier, in turn, got hit hard. He gave up a one-out double to Marcus Semien that was followed by a five-pitch walk of Corey Seager. Jonah Heim fanned for the second out, but Adolis Garcia demolished a three-run home run 413 feet to right-center field.

Calhoun followed in Garcia’s footsteps by going deep again moments later. His second big fly of the afternoon put the Rangers up 5-1. Tyler Danish took over for Brasier in the seventh and surrendered another homer to Adolis Garcia. This one was good for two runs and gave Texas a commanding 7-1 lead.

Besides what they did in the fifth inning, the Red Sox bats were held in check by Perez and three relievers out of the Rangers’ bullpen. After exploding for 10 runs on Saturday, Boston went a measly 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Sunday while leaving nine runners on base as a team.

If there are any positives to take away from Sunday’s performance, it’s that Devers extended his hitting streak to eight consecutive games with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate. J.D. Martinez, on the other hand, went 1-for-4 with a single to extend his hitting streak to 16 straight games.

Next up: Back to Boston

The Red Sox will head back to Boston and kick off a seven-game homestand by first welcoming the Astros into town for the first of three on Monday night. Boston will give right-hander Garrett Whitlock the ball in the series opener while Houston will roll with fellow righty Jake Odorizzi.

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

(Picture of Kole Calhoun: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Trevor Story’s first home run of season goes for naught as Red Sox blow another lead and get walked off on by Braves in 5-3 loss

The Red Sox had to settle for a series split with the Braves on Wednesday night after getting walked off on in the ninth inning. Boston fell to Atlanta by a final score of 5-3 in what was their fifth walk-off loss of the season. Their record is now 11-20.

Matched up against Braves starter Ian Anderson out of the gate, the Sox got off to a quick start beginning in their half of the second inning. Following a one-out double off the bat of Alex Verdugo, Trevor Story came through with his highly-anticipated first home run of the season.

Story took a 1-1, 88 mph changeup that was down and in and proceeded to crush it 422 feet to dead center field. The second baseman’s first homer in a Red Sox uniform left his bat at 105.8 mph and give his team an early 2-0 lead.

An inning later, Rafael Devers kept the top of the third alive with a hard-hit double to right field. He immediately scored from second base on a J.D. Martinez RBI single that increased Boston’s advantage to 3-0.

Nathan Eovaldi, meanwhile, was in the midst of his seventh start of the season for the Sox. The right-hander wound up allowing three runs on six hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings of work.

After getting through the first two innings rather smoothly, Eovaldi ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third when he gave up his first hit of the night — a one-out single to Orlando Arcia. On his very next pitch, Eovaldi was taken 415 feet deep to left field by Travis Demeritte.

Demeritte’s two-run blast cut Atlanta’s deficit down to one run at 3-2. Dansby Swanson then drew a seven-pitch walk off Eovaldi, stole second base, and scored from second on a blistering, game-tying 106.5 mph RBI double from Georgia native Matt Olson.

Eovaldi did manage to strand Olson in scoring position, though, and then retired 10 of the next 12 batters he faced before yielding a one-out single to Arcia in the seventh, which is how is outing would come to a close. Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (68 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler induced a total of 18 swings-and-misses while topping out at 99.1 mph with his vaunted four-seam fastball.

Shortly before Eovaldi’s night ended, a Red Sox lineup that had been held in check by Anderson since the third inning had a real chance to break out in the sixth. Martinez led off with a single and Verdugo put runners on first and second with a one-out walk. Following an Atlanta pitching change that saw old friend Collin McHugh take over for Anderson, Franchy Cordero loaded the bases for Kevin Plawecki by drawing a two-out walk.

Plawecki worked a 3-2 count against McHugh and was prepared to take the bases-loaded walk by taking an 89.3 mph cutter that was well below the strike zone. Rather than call ball four, however, home plate umpire Adam Beck rung Plawecki up. Plawecki spiked his helmet and was understandably furious, as was Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Both were ejected from the game and Christian Vazquez took over behind home plate.

Picking it back up with one out in the bottom of the seventh, acting manager Will Venable gave Eovaldi the hook in favor of Matt Strahm, who struck out both Demeritte and Dansby Swanson to end the seventh before recording the first out of the eighth as well. John Schreiber then took over for Strahm and got through the rest of the frame unscathed.

Ryan Brasier was responsible for sending this one into extras as he got the call for the ninth. He gave up a leadoff single to Ozzie Albies, got the first out of the inning, but then served up a game-winning, walk-off homer to Arcia.

Arcia’s two-run shot sent the Braves home happy with a 5-3 win. It sent the Red Sox back on the road with a sour taste in their mouths.

Next up: Off day with Rangers on deck

The Red Sox will enjoy their second off day of the week on Thursday before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Rangers in Arlington on Friday night.

Boston will send right-hander Nick Pivetta to the mound on Friday. Texas has yet to name a starter.

First pitch from Globe Life Field is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Cora: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Red Sox spoil Nathan Eovaldi’s superb start in 2-1 walk-off loss to Orioles

The Red Sox fell to the Orioles by a final score of 2-1 in 10 innings at Camden Yards 0n Saturday night. With the walk-off loss, Boston drops to 9-13 on the season and 3-6 on their current road trip.

Matched up against O’s starter Spenser Watkins to begin things on Saturday, a J.D. Martinez-less Sox lineup got off to a quick start. Trevor Story led off the first inning with a ground-rule double on the very first pitch he saw and later scored on an RBI single off the bat of Xander Bogaerts.

That sequence gave Boston an early 1-0 lead before Nathan Eovaldi could even take the mound. Eovaldi, making his fifth start of the year, allowed just three hits and no walks to go along with a season-high eight strikeouts over seven scoreless innings of work.

The right-hander took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning before yielding a two-out double to Cedric Mullins. He then stranded Mullins in scoring position before putting and leaving two runners on base to get out of a jam in his seventh and final frame.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (67 strikes), Eovaldi threw 38 four-seam fastballs, 21 splitters, 17 curveballs, 15 sliders, and four cutters. The 32-year-old hurler topped out at 98.6 mph with his heater and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.51 but did not factor into Saturday’s decision.

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Barnes received the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen in the bottom of the eighth. Given a one-run lead to protect, Barnes surrendered another two-out double to Mullins that was just out of Alex Verdugo’s reach in left field. The speedy Baltimore outfielder then scored from second on an Anthony Santander RBI single that knotted things up at 1-1 as Barnes was charged with the blown save.

In the ninth, the bottom third of the Red Sox lineup went down quietly against Jorge Lopez before Ryan Brasier did the same to the Orioles in the bottom half of the inning to send things to the 10th.

Even with an automatic runner in scoring position in, an anemic Boston offense failed to push across the potential go-ahead run in Jaylin Davis in their half of the 10th, setting up Baltimore to walk it off in their half of the inning.

With Hirokazu Sawamura on the mound for the Sox and Jorge Mateo at second base for the Orioles, Ryan McKenna was intentionally walked to set up the double play possibility. The next batter, Robinson Chirinos, proceeded to drop down a bunt that Sawamura fielded cleanly. Sawamura opted to get the force out at third base, but he instead threw the ball way over Rafael Devers’ head, which allowed Mateo to easily score the game-winning run.

All told, the Red Sox went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and left 10 runners on base as a team.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Lyles in rubber match

Having finished the month of April four games under .500, the Red Sox will look to flip the calendar and start anew in Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles. To kick off the month of May, right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the ball for Boston and fellow righty Jordan Lyles will do the same for Baltimore.

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

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Red Sox muster just 4 hits, Ryan Brasier gives up game-winning home run to Javier Báez as Boston drops opener to Tigers, 3-1

The Red Sox are 1-3 to start the young season following a series-opening, 3-1 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park on Monday night.

Michael Wacha, making his 2022 debut for Boston, allowed just one run on two hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work in his first start of the year.

The lone run Wacha gave up came right away in the first inning, as the veteran right-hander loaded the bases with one out before yielding a sacrifice fly to Miguel Cabrera that gave Detroit an early 1-0 lead.

Wacha was able to settle down after that, though. He did so by retiring nine batters in a row at one point before issuing a leadoff walk to Tucker Barnhart in the fifth.

Barnhart would be the second-to-last Tiger Wacha would face, as he proceeded to punch out Akil Badoo on seven pitches for the first out of the frame and then made way for Matt Strahm out of the Boston bullpen.

All told, the 30-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 72 (45 strikes) on Monday. The majority of those pitches were either four-seam fastballs or changeups, as Wacha hovered around 92.8 mph with his heater and induced a game-high seven whiffs with his change.

Moments before Wacha’s outing came to a close, a Trevor Story-less Red Sox lineup still found themselves trailing in a 1-0 game and at the whim of Tigers starter Matt Manning.

Manning, also making his first start of 2022, begin his evening by sitting down each of the first 12 Boston batters he faced. The young righty took a perfect game into the fifth inning before serving up a leadoff solo shot to former Tigers slugger J.D. Martinez.

Martinez’s first home run of the season left his bat at a scorching 110.2 mph and travelled 413 feet to left center field. It also provided the Sox with their first hit of the night and pulled them back even with Detroit at 1-1.

In relief of Wacha, Strahm continued to impress by fanning the only two batters he faced in the fifth. That paved the way for Matt Barnes to make his 2022 debut in the sixth after missing his team’s first three games due to back tightness.

Barnes, as it turns out, needed all 10 pitches (eight strikes) to get through a scoreless sixth inning in which he stranded Miguel Cabrera at second base. The 31-year-old sat at 94 mph with his four-seamer while topping out at 95.3 mph with the pitch.

While things were going swimmingly for the Red Sox bullpen up until that point, their fortunes began to change in the eighth. After tossing a scoreless frame in the seventh, Austin Davis was sent back out for the eighth to face the left-handed hitting Austin Meadows.

Davis immediately gave up a leadoff single to Meadows, prompting Sox manager Alex Cora to go back to his bullpen and call upon Ryan Brasier.

With Meadows representing the potential go-ahead run, Brasier came on to face newest Tigers star Javier Baez. Baez then took a neck-high, 2-2 fastball from Brasier and deposited it 396 feet into the left field seats.

Baez’s first home run as a Tiger was a two-run blast that gave his team a 3-1 lead. Brasier was unable to finish the eighth as that responsibility instead fell to Phillips Valdez.

In the ninth, with Gregory Soto on the mound for Detroit, Rafael Devers made things a bit interesting by ripping a one-out double to left field. After Xander Bogaerts flew out, Martinez nearly came through with his second big fly of the night.

Instead of clearing the right field fence and tying things up, Martinez’s 102 mph line drive off Soto fell 334 feet into the glove of Robbie Grossman to seal a 3-1 defeat for the Red Sox.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox lineup tallied a total of four hits, went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position, and left three men on base as a team on Monday.

In three relief appearances this season, Matt Strahm has struck out three of the eight batters he has faced.

Through their first four games, the Red Sox have been outscored by their opponents, 16-12.

Next up: Hill vs. Alexander

Tuesday’s pitching matchup will feature a pair of left-handers going at it. Rich Hill will make his season debut and first start since 2015 for the Red Sox while Tyler Alexander will get the ball for the Tigers.

First pitch Tuesday afternoon is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Cora and Ryan Brasier: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)