The #RedSox, Along with Four Other Teams, Reportedly Have Strong Interest in Acquiring Mariners All-Star Closer Edwin Diaz.

On Tuesday night, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported that the Boston Red Sox were one of five teams interested in acquiring the services of Mariners closer and 2018 American League Reliever of the Year Edwin Diaz.

In his report, Sherman states that outside of Boston, other players for Diaz include the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies.

Given the fact that the Mariners dealt their ace, James Paxton, to the Yankees earlier in the month, it does appear as though Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto’s club is heading towards a retooling period beginning in 2019.

With that in mind, parting ways with the best closer in the American League West in exchange for a haul of prospects makes sense.

At just 24 years old, not only is Diaz coming off an elite season in which he recorded 57 saves and posted a K/9 of 15.2, he also has four more years of team control left before hitting free agency in 2022.

The Red Sox certainly do not have the farm system to produce the prospects the Mariners would be seeking in this potential deal, but if the club’s interest is that strong, there may be a way to get it done, albeit at a hefty price.

“Seattle is willing to consider less if a team takes on [Robinson] Cano, who is 36 and served an 80-game suspension last year for testing positive for a banned substance,” Sherman reports.

An eight-time All-Star, Cano inked a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners prior to the start of the 2014 season, meaning there is still five years and $120 million remaining on his contract.

With the Red Sox 2019 payroll already looking like it’s going to be one of the more expensive in baseball once again, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, or even principal owner John Henry, would be willing to take that much money on, especially when the team still owes second baseman Dustin Pedroia $40 million over the next three years.

Similar to how Dombrowski acquired another elite closer and current free agent in Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres with three-years remaining on his previous contract, landing Diaz for at least his age 25 to 28 seasons would be something.

But, barring a way the Red Sox find a position for Cano to play on a regular basis, I don’t believe the club has the prospects to offer that the Yankees, Phillies, or Braves have in order to get a deal done.

Regardless of that though, Diaz would be a fantastic addition to the end of a bullpen that had their struggles throughout the 2018 season. Winter Meetings begin on December 9th in Las Vegas, so maybe talks will materialize there.

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RECAP: Chris Sale Fans 13 in Seven Shutout Innings as #RedSox Take Series from Mariners.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, a left-handed pitcher tossed a shutout at Fenway Park. Mike Leake did it for the Mariners with eight scoreless innings in a win last night, and Chris Sale did it for the Red Sox with seven scoreless frames this afternoon.

In his 17th start of the season on Sunday, Sale looked as dominant as ever. Coming off a performance against the Twins in which he took a perfect game into the fifth inning last Tuesday, the lefty did not give up his first hit in this one until there were two outs in the third.

Ending his day with a line of 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB Sale never found himself in too much troubles in his ninth career start against the Mariners. After he gave up his first hit of the game to Denard Span in the third inning, the 29-year-old escaped any further stress with a nice pick-off move on Span to retire the side.

An inning later, another two out situation arose when Nelson Cruz ripped a triple off of Sale. Regardless of the fact that Cruz should have been out at third base, the Red Sox hurler rebounded by striking out Ryon Healy on four pitches to escape the jam.

In the sixth, it looked as though the Mariners were about to tack on their first two runs of the day when, after Andrew Romine reached first on a bunt single, Mitch Haniger hit a sharp line drive towards Seattle’s bullpen. Instead of  a home run though, Mookie Betts came up with the clutch inning-ending snag to rob Haniger of what would have been his 17th long ball of the season.

If not this catch, the highlight of the afternoon might just be how Sale ended his day in his final frame of work. It was more than likely the Florida native’s toughest inning, as he allowed two to reach on a single and a walk and needed 19 pitches, but it was all worth it thanks to his last pitch against Mike Zunino.

100.5 MPH(!!!) on that fastball, the fastest pitch recorded by Sale on 93 attempts, 71 of which went for strikes. Going to his four-seamer 44% of the time on Sunday, 20 of the 21 fastest recorded pitches in this game belonged to Sale.

With the Red Sox lineup actually giving the southpaw some run support today, Sale was able to notch his seventh winning decision of the season.

And thanks to two additional scoreless innings from Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes out of the bullpen, the Red Sox recorded their sixth shutout win on the year as well.

On the flip side of things, Mariners starter Marco Gonzales was the one starter the Red Sox did not see in Seattle. With a cumulative .685 OPS against lefties this season, it was going to see how the lineup would stack up the day after getting shutout by another left-handed starter.

After being held to one hit over the first four innings, Xander Bogaerts got a three-run rally started in the fifth with a leadoff double. Following that up with a single off the bat of Eduardo Nunez, Rafael Devers put his team on the board first by ripping an RBI double to the right field corner to score Bogaerts from third. Two sacrifice flies from Sandy Leon and Mookie Betts later, and the Red Sox found themselves up by three going into the sixth inning.

In the bottom half of the sixth, Mitch Moreland stayed hot and wrapped up the scoring on the afternoon by mashing his 11th home run of the season, a 415 foot two-run missile hit to dead center field.

That put the Red Sox up by five runs, which is all they would need to pick up their 52nd win of the season.

Some notes from this W:

The Red Sox improved to 2-4 in games started by Chris Sale when he records 10 or more strikeouts. Maddening stuff.

Per @RedSoxStats: Most swing and misses by a Sox starter in the pitch tracking era:
26 of 93 Chris Sale, today
26 of 114 Clay Buchholz, April, 2010
26 of 116 Chris Sale, May 2018

With that home run, Mitch Moreland extended his hitting streak to seven games. Over that stretch, the Red Sox first baseman is 12/27 with seven RBI.

Jackie Bradley Jr. went 3/3 at the plate batting ninth today, his first multi-hit game since June 5th against Detroit.

After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox will welcome the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim into town for a three-game series set to kick off Tuesday night. In a matchup of elite outfielders in Mike Trout and Mookie Betts, I’m fascinated to see how much national attention this series will receive.

For the opener, it will be another starting pitching matchup featuring two lefties. John Lamb will be making his third start of the season for the Angels, and David Price will be making his 16th start of the season against the Red Sox. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET on Tuesday.

 

RECAP: Mike Leake Tosses Eight Shutout Innings as #RedSox Drop Second Game to Mariners in 7-2 Loss.

How do you follow up a 14 run outpouring on the first game back from a road trip, be getting shutout up until the ninth inning, of course!

That’s right, folks. The Red Sox did not score their first runs of the game until their last at bats of last night’s contest against the Mariners in a situation where they were already down by seven runs. Let’s get into it.

Making his 15th start of the season on Friday night, Eduardo Rodriguez had his worst performance on the mound in nearly two months. Facing off a team he had just pitched against less than a week ago in Seattle, the Mariners got to the lefty for five runs in just four innings.

If you remember in his last time out, Rodriguez limited the M’s to two runs over six frames in a winning effort this past Sunday evening. The Mariners must have made some sound adjustments to their game plan for last night’s game, because they were all over the lefty in this one.

Before he even had the chance to record the first out of the ballgame, Dee Gordon had already crossed the plate thanks to a leadoff single that was followed by a Mitch Haniger RBI double.

Later on in the third, Ryon Healy plated his teams third run of the night when, after Nelson Cruz lined a one out double, the Mariners first baseman reached first base on a Tzu-Wei Lin fielding error which allowed Cruz to score all the way from second.

An inning later is where things really seemed to escape from Rodriguez. In his final frame of work, the Venezuela native allowed five baserunners to reach on three hits and two walks. Those five baserunners plated three more runs for the Mariners, and that pretty much put this game out of reach for the Red Sox.

Falling to 9-2 on the season now, Rodriguez finished with 86 pitches (52 strikes) on the night. Not too efficient in that department, and the theme of the night for the 25-year-old hurler appeared to be his inability to put away batters with two strikes in the count. Topping out at 96 MPH with his four-seamer, ERod will look to rebound from this shaky start in his next time out against the Yankees in New York next weekend.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was tasked with getting through five innings while keeping Seattle within striking distance.

Hector Velazquez got the first call and for the second time in three days allowed two runs to score off of him. He gave up two garbage time runs in Minnesota on Thursday and in a more important situation last night, surrendered another two in three innings of work to make it a 7-0 game by the time he departed in the middle of the seventh.

From that point on, Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree combined for two scoreless frames of work in the eighth and ninth to lower their ERA’s on the season to 1.13 and 3.86 respectively.

On the other side of things, Mariners starter Mike Leake could do no wrong against a Red Sox lineup fresh off one of their better performances of the year. Last time Leake saw them, in that same game Rodriguez pitched in last Sunday, the Red Sox knocked the 30-year old hurler around a bit for five runs in the six innings he pitched. This time though, we saw a much different story.

In eight full innings, Leake limited the Red Sox to a whopping five baserunners. Three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts, this was for sure his best start of the season. With both Mookie Betts (illness) and Xander Bogaerts (finger) out of the lineup, it’s understandable why the lineup struggled, but it’s still a tough pill to swallow to say the least.

In fact, it wasn’t until the ninth when the Red Sox finally got on the board. With closer Edwin Diaz making his first appearance in a week, Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez were able to collect RBI hits off of the Mariners flamethrower to cut the deficit to five runs. That’s all they were able to do though, as this thing finished with a final score of 7-2. For the Mariners, a five-game losing streak came to an end. For the Red Sox, a two game-winning streak also came to an end.

Some other notes from this loss:

Prior to last night’s contest, the Red Sox recalled IF Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple A Pawtucket while also optioning RP Robby Scott down to Pawtucket.

In gamed Eduardo Rodriguez starts this season, the Red Sox are now 13-2.

Mitch Moreland extended his hitting streak to six games last night. Over that stretch, he’s 11-for-23 (.478 AVG) with five RBI, eight runs scored, and two triples.

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts are expected to be back in the lineup today.

With both sided looking for the series win this afternoon, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of lefty’s. For Seattle, Marco Gonzales will be making his first career start against the Red Sox. And for Boston, it will be Chris Sale making the start. Sale, who missed pitching in the four-game series in Seattle, is coming off a start in which he took a perfect game into the fifth inning against the Twins, yet the Red Sox came away with the loss. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET.

Also, here’s a video of Triston Casas (1st round draft pick) taking BP at Fenway prior to yesterday’s game.

RECAP: The #RedSox Opened up a Six-Game Homestand on Friday by Unloading 14 Runs Against the Mariners.

Coming off a long road trip in which they averaged 4.2 runs scored per game, the Red Sox opened up a three-game weekend series against the Seattle Mariners in eventful fashion last night. The weirdest part of this game was that Steven Wright had his worst start of the season and they still found a way to win.

Having just gotten swept by the Yankees in New York, the Mariners came into Boston looking to get off to a quick start offensively. And with Steven Wright on the mound making his fourth start of the season on Friday, they did just that.

Yup, the knuckleballer, who in his last time out against the Mariners this past Saturday tossed seven one run innings in a losing effort, got rocked for the first time this season. Right from the get go, the Mariners were on top of Wright and his knuckleball, as they pounced for four runs in the first on two home runs, two in the second, and four again in the fourth with another home run mixed in there before the righty departed with two outs in the inning.

In those 4.2 frames of work, Wright got hit ten times for TEN earned runs. For the Mariners, Nelson Cruz was the main enforcer here. Old friend Denard Span was once again a bit of a headache, but by the time this thing reached the middle of the fourth inning, Cruz had already driven in SEVEN of his teams 10 runs, six of which came on two moon shots off of Wright.

The life of a knuckleballer, huh? One start you look like a magician, the next you look like absolute trash. Steven Wright’s ERA inflated from 1.23 all the way up to 3.38 after this stinker of a start, but he would not be pinned with the losing decision.

Nope, thanks to 5.2 scoreless frames of relief from the Red Sox bullpen and an explosion of runs from the lineup, the California native did not factor into the decision. Finishing with 59 pitches on the evening, Wright went to his knuckler 54 times and only got 4 swings and missed out of it. He’ll look to rebound next time out against the LA Angels on Thursday.

As I just mentioned, the Red Sox bullpen was nails last night. Starting in the top half of the fifth with two outs and a five run deficit, Brian Johnson, Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel combined to toss over five shutdown innings while holding the Mariners to four hits and one walk.

For Barnes, this was his second straight scoreless appearance since giving up two runs in Seattle last Friday night. He struck out the side in the seventh. And for Kimbrel, who had not made an appearance since June 14th, he struck out one while tossing a scoreless ninth inning to wrap this crazy game up.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup went off for the second day in a row. They tallied nine runs in Minnesota on Thursday, and they added on that by plating 14 runs on 20 hits last night. Eight players finished the game with at least one run driven in. Let’s get to it.

Already trailing by four runs in the bottom of the first, the Red Sox made the most of their first at bats in this one.

Facing off against a pitcher who had just shut them out less than a week ago in M’s righty Wade LeBlanc, the top of the lineup got things started right away by recording four straight hits. Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi set the table by hitting back to back singles, and JD Martinez and Mitch Moreland followed that up with a pair of RBI knocks to make it a 4-2 game.

Two batters later, a Brock Holt RBI single, a Rafael Devers RBI groundout, and a Christian Vazquez RBI double plated another three runs, and just like that, the Red Sox were up by a run going into the second inning.

Fast forward all the way to the fifth, after the Mariners had gone up big again, Devers came through by cutting the Red Sox deficit to four with another RBI, this one coming on a single to score Mitch Moreland from third, making it a 10-6 ballgame.

An inning later is where things got really interesting. Similar to Thursday, when the Red Sox scored seven of their nine runs over the last three innings in Minnesota, they struck for eight runs in their last three innings with at bats on Friday as well.

Starting in the sixth, with LeBlanc now out of the contest and Mariners reliever Nick Vincent in, a two out walk of Andrew Benintendi led to another pitching change. So with James Pazos in the game now and Benintendi over at first, JD Martinez ended his homerless streak of at bats at 30 by mashing a 427 foot two-run shot to dead center. His 23rd big fly of the season.

The third run of the inning came around to score when Xander Bogaerts drove in Mitch Moreland on another RBI single to make it a one run game going into the seventh.

Trailing by one run now, two singles from Rafael Devers and a Mookie Betts walk loaded the bases for Andrew Benintendi. With Juan Nicasio on the mound for the Mariners, Benintendi ripped his second hit of the day, a single, to score Devers from third to tie the game and reload the bases for JD Martinez. With three hits on the day already, the Red Sox slugger collected his fourth and fifth RBI of the night by grounding a single up the middle to score Swihart and Betts. 12-10.

Two batters later, with Eduardo Nunez in the game pinch-hitting for Xander Bogaerts, two straight wild pitches from new pitcher Nick Rumbelow allowed Andrew Benintendi to score from third and allowed JD Martinez to advance from second to third.

To cap off a wild night of scoring, Eduardo Nunez collected his 17th RBI of the season by lining a single to center field to drive in Martinez for his teams 14th run of the night. That’s all the support the bullpen would need to secure win number 51.

Some notes from this W:

14 runs tied a season-high for the Red Sox. The only time they have scored as many runs this season came back on April 10th against the Yankees. The 20 hits did mark a new season-high.

Xander Bogaerts had to leave this game in the seventh inning after spraining his left index finger on an awkward slide into second base on a swiped bag in the sixth. He will not be in the lineup tonight.

After only hitting one home run and driving in one run on the road trip, JD Martinez came through with FIVE RBI on four hits last night.

Everyone in the Red Sox lineup, including Eduardo Nunez, reached base at least once. In total, the Red Sox went 20/43 with one home run and 13 RBI last night.

Looking to pick up the series win later tonight, it will be Eduardo Rodriguez making the start for Boston. He’ll be matched up against Mariners righty Mike Leake in the same pitching matchup we saw this past Sunday. The Red Sox had their way with Leake in that one, and they’ll look to do the same on Saturday. Going for his team-leading 10th winning decision of the season, Rodriguez owns a career 2.66 ERA in four starts against Seattle. With that in mind, first pitch of the middle game is scheduled for 7:15 PM ET on FOX.

 

 

RECAP: Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Xander Bogaerts Homer as #RedSox End Series in Seattle with a 9-3 Win.

Entering Sunday having lost their last two games against the Mariners, the Red Sox looked to even the series up before heading to Minnesota for the final leg of their road trip that starts on Tuesday.

Coming off a quality outing in his last time out against the Orioles, Eduardo Rodriguez  put together yet another solid performance on the mound yesterday afternoon. In six full innings pitched, the first time he’s gone that deep this month, the lefty surrendered two runs on six hits and one walk while notching nine strikeouts on the day.

Rodriguez’s first three innings went fairly smoothly, as he scattered two hits and that one walk while recording the first nine outs quietly, but the fourth and the fifth were a different story.

With notable slugger Nelson Cruz in for his second at bat of the day to lead off the fourth, the native of Venezuela served up a 3-2, 89 MPH two-seam fastball to the Mariners DH, and he took it 442(!) feet to left to put his team on the board. His first career hit off of Rodriguez in eight tries.

An inning later, three straight singles from the 8-9-1 hitters in the Mariners lineup loaded the bases with no outs for Jean Segura. A run came around to score when Segura grounded into a force out at second, but that was all Rodriguez gave up in an 18 pitch inning.

With his pitch count at 96 going into the bottom half of the seventh, Alex Cora must have wanted to get the most out of Rodriguez, because he came back out and proceeded to retire the side in order to end his day on a more positive note.

Now finishing with a grand total of 113 pitches (70 strikes), the 25-year-old hurler topped out at 95.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball, which he threw 29% of the time. Later improving to 9-1 on the season, Rodriguez will look to continue this successful run he’s been on as of late in his next time out, which should come against the Mariners once again back at home next weekend.

Needing nine more outs to clinch the series-split, the Red Sox bullpen, with an initial three-run lead to work with entering the bottom of the seventh, took care of business against a pesky Mariners lineup.

Bouncing back from a blown save on Friday night, Matt Barnes tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning on 13 pitches. Making his fourth appearance of the road trip in the eighth, Brandon Workman could only record the first two outs of the inning while the Mariners plated a run. Hector Velazquez would be inserted into a bit of a jam, end the inning, and wrap this thing up by pitching a scoreless final frame with a pure display of athleticism on the final out. 49th win of the season secured.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup rebounded from getting shutout on Saturday night in a big way.

In the third, after Leake had retired the first two batters he faced, two singles from Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts and a JD Martinez walk loaded the bases for Mitch Moreland.

Entering yesterday’s contest 1-for-his-last-18, the first baseman broke out of that slump by ripping a two-run single to center field to put the Red Sox on top early.

Having just seen his 10-game hitting streak come to an end the day before, Rafael Devers followed up that Moreland RBI knock by mashing his 11th home run of the season to right field.

408 feet with an exit velocity of 106 MPH on that one for Devers, in the place where he hit his first career homer as well.

Fast forward to the seventh and the Red Sox bats struck again, this time for three runs on two home runs.

Leading off the inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. took M’s reliever Chasen Bradford yard for his fourth big fly of the season.

And three batters later, after Andrew Benintendi singled before him, Xander Bogaerts stayed hot by launching his third home run in his last four games to pretty much put this thing out of reach. 436 feet, 109 MPH exit velo. on the shortstop’s 12th long ball of the season.

One note from this win:

From @SoxNotes: The Red Sox improve to 13-1 in Eduardo Rodriguez’s starts this season. Rodriguez is 9-1 with a 3.59 ERA, including 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his last 6 starts.

With an off day today in Minnesota, the Red Sox will look to take advantage of below-average Twins team starting tomorrow. The last time Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello were lined up to pitch in the same series, the Red Sox dropped two out of three to the White Sox. This time though, they’ll be looking for different results against another AL Central team. Chris Sale gets the ball in the series opener, as does Jose Berrios for the Twins, with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 PM ET on Tuesday.

 

 

 

RECAP: Wade LeBlanc and Mariners Bullpen Combine to Toss a Shutout as #RedSox Drop Second Straight in Seattle.

In a game that took under two-and-a-half hours to complete, the Red Sox found themselves getting shutout for the second time in their last nine games.

Making his third start and ninth appearance of the season on Saturday evening, Steven Wright stayed dominant in another quality seven innings of work. In those seven innings, the righty allowed just one run on five hits and two walks while fanning four Mariners.

The only real trouble Wright ran into came in the third, when Seattle scored their only run of the game. That happened when, after Dee Gordon and Mitch Haniger both reached on singles off of Wright, Nelson Cruz drove in Gordon on a two out RBI single to left field. With that run coming across, the knuckleballer’s scoreless innings streak came too an and at an impressive 24.2 innings pitched, the second longest such streak this season (Daniel Mengden, Oakland Athletics, 25 IP).

Other than that, Wright did not find himself in too many stressful spots, and his performance was certainly worthy of a win. Unfortunately, his lineup did nothing to pick him up.

Finishing with 106 pitches (68 strikes) on the day, the California native relied on his knuckleball a whopping 84% of the time. With his next start expected to take place against the Mariners again next Friday, look for Wright to continue this outstanding run he has been on.

In relief of Wright, Alex Cora need to turn to just one pitcher in the eighth inning, and that pitcher was Brandon Workman. Having not appeared in a game since this past Wednesday, Workman gave up a one out double to Jean Segura in an otherwise shutdown inning of work. You figure only one run in eight innings would be good enough for the win, but a las, it was not.

On the other side of things, Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc, a guy who has pitched for seven different teams in 10 big league seasons, had himself the outing of his life yesterday.

Mookie Betts led things off in the first by ripping a single to left field. From that point on, LeBlanc proceeded to retire the next 22 batters he faced. It was not until Eduardo Nunez singled with two outs in the top half of the eighth when the Red Sox finally had another baserunner. That would end LeBlanc’s stellar day, and he did it all with an efficient pitch count of 98 pitches (73 strikes).

Old friend Alex Colome would come in to get the last out of the eighth by getting Mitch Moreland to pop out and Mariners closer Edwin Diaz recorded his second save in less than 24 hours by striking out the side in the ninth.

Heading into the series finale this afternoon in a 2-1 hole, the Red Sox will look to Eduardo Rodriguez for the split. He’ll be matched up against Mariners righty Mike Leake. Not only does a win ensure a series split with one of the hotter teams in the American League, it also ensures a 5-2 start to the road trip heading into an off day on Monday. First pitch of the fourth game is schedules for 4:10 PM ET.

 

RECAP: David Price and Xander Bogaerts Lead #RedSox to 2-1 Win over Mariners.

Coming off a three game sweep in Baltimore, the Red Sox continued their ten game road trip by kicking off a four game set against the first place Seattle Mariners in Seattle last night. Owning two of the three best winning percentages in all the American League entering Thursday, this series has potential to be a postseason preview.

Making his 14th start of the season in this one, David Price put together his best performance since he tossed that complete game against the Orioles back on May 17th.

In seven full innings pitched, the lefty allowed just one run on five hits, zero walks, and a HBP while notching seven strikeouts on the night.

There was really no point last night where Price found himself in too much trouble. The only run he gave up came in the fifth inning, when after Kyle Seager and Ryon Healy both led things off with singles, Guillermo Heredia drove in Seager from third on a sacrifice fly for the first out.

Other than that though, the Tennessee native shut the Mariners down from that point on up until the conclusion of the seventh inning. With the help of some slick defense from Xander Bogaerts, Price got out of the sixth unscathed.

And in his final frame of work, with his pitch count getting up there, it looked as though Price was going to get the hook after giving up another single to Healy with two outs in the seventh. Instead, Alex Cora let him stay in the game after a meeting on the mound, and Price responded by striking out the last batter he faced to retire the side.

Finishing with 106 pitches (73 strikes) on the night, the 32-year-old hurler reached a maximum velocity of 95.5 MPH on his four-seam fastball, which he threw 23% of the time in those seven innings.

In his last seven starts, not only are the Red Sox undefeated, but Price himself has been outstanding. Over his last 44.1 innings pitched in those even outings, the southpaw owns a 2.64 ERA while opponents are hitting a measly .205 off of him. It must have all started with that carpal tunnel scare back in early May, because David Price has been one of the better pitchers in the American League since then.

Back to the game, the Red Sox bullpen would be responsible for the last six Mariners outs with a run lead to protect. As he usually does, Joe Kelly tossed a shutdown eighth inning to pick up his 14th hold of the year, and that set up another save situation for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.

It certainly was not easy, as the first two Mariners in the inning on consecutive walks, but the Red Sox closer bounced back, struck out Kyle Seager for the first out of the inning, and with some help from Xander Bogaerts at short, got out of the jam thanks to an inning-ending double play off the bat of Ryon Healy. 22nd save of the season secured. Fifth straight win for the Red Sox also secured.

On the flip side of things, I gotta start off by tipping my cap to M’s starter Felix Hernandez. A franchise legend in Seattle, King Felix’s best years are definitely behind him, but I would be lying if I said I was not impressed with the performance he put together against the Red Sox last night, 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K’s.

Of all people, Jackie Bradley Jr. got the scoring started for the Red Sox in the top of the second when he drove in Rafael Devers from second on an RBI double to put his team on the board first.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Xander Bogaerts came through with the go-ahead run on a 404 foot solo shot off of Hernandez. Good for his 10th home run of the season on what was a terrific night for the Red Sox shortstop.

Like I said, that solo homer put the Red Sox up by one and they would not have to look back on their way to the series opening win.

Some notes from this W:

From @SoxNotes: Red Sox starters have allowed 2 ER or fewer in 10 of the club’s last 11 games, including each of the last 7.

Another one from @SoxNotes: Xander Bogaerts hit his 10th HR of the season tonight. The Red Sox are the only team with as many as 6 players with 10+ HR (Martinez, Betts, Benintendi, Bogaerts, Devers, Moreland).

Rafael Devers extended his hitting streak to nine games last night. Over that span, Devers is slashing .314/.333/.514 with one home run and four RBI.

The Red Sox are 17-3 in the last 20 games Christian Vazquez has started behind the plate.

Heading into the middle game of this series later tonight, Rick Porcello will be getting the start for the Red Sox. He will be matched up against lefty James Paxton for the Mariners, who has already thrown a no-hitter this season back on May 8th in Toronto. We could be in store for another pitchers’ duel here. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM local time.