RECAP: David Price Has Nice Start in Return from All-Star Break as #RedSox Win 69th Game of Season.

After enjoying a brief four days off while All-Star festivities were taking place in Washington D.C., the Red Sox were back at it on Friday night to take on a below average Tigers team in Detroit, Michigan.

As a unit, Boston was essentially firing on all units heading into the break, as they entered last night winners of six of their last seven games, so it was going to be interesting to see how they would respond after nearly a week of no baseball.

Making his 20th start of the season and coming off an outing in which he held the Toronto Blue Jays to three runs in nearly seven innings back on July 12th, David Price was once again matched up against a former team of his on Friday.

For Price, it really was a tale of two halves in this start. Through the first three innings, the lefty was perfect. Nine up, nine down, with the ninth out coming on this fantastic catch from JD Martinez in right field.

Couldn’t ask for much better there, but things got shaky for Price when the Tigers lineup got their second look at him starting in the fourth.

Back-to-back leadoff singles from Tigers infielders Niko Goodrum and Jeimer Candelario followed by an infield single off the bat of Nick Castellanos that deflected off of Price’s glove put the Tennessee native in his first jam of the night.

With the bases loaded for Detroit, Price managed to get out of the stressful situation by retiring the next three batters he faced, but it came at a cost.

Yes, as Andrew Benintendi caught a fly ball off the bat of John Hicks for the first out of the frame, an awry throw back into the infield to prevent the runner on third from tagging up created some confusion.

While it appeared Candelario was caught in a rundown between second and third, Brock Holt ended up being the recipient of a cleat to the right knee, as Candelario got him with his spike as he was sliding back into second with Holt covering the bag.

Replaced by Tzu-Wei Lin, Holt was later diagnosed with a right knee contusion, so it does not look like the Red Sox utility man will miss any significant time.

Anyway, Price somehow managed to escape that inning without getting seriously roughed up by a team that struggles to score runs, and went on to retire seven of the last 10 batters he faced.

After getting the first out of the seventh and hitting Leonys Martin with a pitch, the 32 year-old hurler was replaced in favor of Heath Hembree.

Finishing with 96 pitches (65 strikes) on the night, Price relied on his cutter the most, as he went to it approximately 32% of the time on Friday while also topping out at 94.4 MPH with it in the fifth inning.

At 11-6 on the season now, Price will look to build on what was no doubt his best start of July in his next time out, which should come against the Baltimore Orioles next Wednesday.

In relief of Price, the aforementioned Heath Hembree was inserted into this game with a runner on first and one out in the bottom half of the seventh. He needed just seven pitches to strike out the only two batters he faced to send this thing to the eighth.

Seemingly taking the main set up man role from Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes got the call for the eighth inning, and like he has done so much as of late, shut the door on the opposition.

It certainly was not an easy task, as the UCONN product struck out the first two batters he faced, but could only get one actual out due to two wild pitches on both strike threes.

Despite that, Barnes escaped the inning without surrendering a run and with the help of perhaps his best curveball of the season, picked up his 20th hold.

Finally, in the ninth, after not appearing in his seventh All-Star Game this past Tuesday, Craig Kimbrel came in, allowed the tying run to reach base with one out, retired the next two batters he faced, and picked up his 31st save of the season to ensure the 1-0 win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup could not do much against a mediocre Tigers pitching staff, but luckily, they did not need to.

Facing off against lefty Matthew Boyd for Detroit, who in his only other start against Boston this season surrendered two earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched back on June 7th, the Red Sox could only manage one run on the entire night.

That lone run came in the top of the first, when with one out and runners on first and second, Steve Pearce came through with a line drive RBI double to left field, scoring Andrew Benintendi from second and making it a 1-0 game.

Other than that, the team certainly had other opportunities to tack some insurance runs on the board, like in the sixth and seventh innings, but could only strand runners in scoring position in what turned out to be a very tight win.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox have a nice 69-30 record and own a 5.5 game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East.

The Red Sox are 11-2 in David Price’s last 13 starts. Over that span, Price owns a 3.72 ERA and .239 BAA in 77.1 innings pitched.

Since joining the Red Sox on June 29th, Steve Pearce is slashing .433/.500/.700 with one home run and six RBI in 11 games played.

In his last 10 appearances, Matt Barnes has surrendered just one run in 10.1 innings pitched while holding opponents to a .419 OPS.

With game number 100 on deck, it will be a starting pitching matchup featuring Brian Johnson for the Red Sox and Mike Fiers for the Tigers. Fiers, a righty, has faced Boston three times in his career and owns a 2.76 ERA in those appearances.

Since rejoining the rotation on June 28th, Johnson has been a stable option in three starts. The lefty owns a 3.38 ERA over that stretch, and the Red Sox are undefeated in those three games.

First pitch of the middle game is scheduled for 6:10 PM ET.

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RECAP: Steve Pearce Hits First Homer in a Red Sox Uniform, JD Martinez Blasts 28th Home Run, and #RedSox Win Seventh Straight.

Coming off a road trip in which they went 7-2, the Red Sox returned to Fenway Park last night to take on the Texas Rangers, who currently sit in last place in the American League West.

Looking for his team’s seventh straight win, Eduardo Rodriguez took the mound for his 18th start of the season on Monday.

Pitching into the sixth inning of this one, the lefty held the Rangers scoreless while scattering three hits and three walks while recording five strikeouts in exactly 5.2 frames.

With another shutout performance, although it certainly was not his best, Rodriguez has now extended his scoreless innings streak to 13.2 going back to the final two innings of his start against the Yankees.

In his full two starts since then, both in July, the Venezuela native has a pitching line that looks like this: 2-0, 11.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 11 K.

It would be nice if he could consistently pitch deeper into games, but at this point, I think it’s time to accept that is not going to happen as frequently as the Red Sox would like. But when you toss back-to-back shutouts, it becomes less of an issue.

Finishing with a final high pitch count of 105 (68 strikes), Rodriguez departed from last night’s contest in the sixth after recording the first two outs of the inning and allowing two straight Rangers to reach. Out of those 105 pitches, the 25 year-old hurler went to his four-seam fastball 47% of the time, topping out at 95.5 MPH with it in the fourth inning. He’ll look to carry over this recent success in his last start before the All-Star Break, which should come against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen saw the shutout through to its completion. Heath Hembree got out of the jam in the sixth, Brandon Workman gave up a leadoff triple in the seventh but did not allow that potential run to cross the plate, Joe Kelly struck out two in the eighth, and making his Red Sox debut, Ryan Brasier tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to wrap up his new team’s 63rd win of the season. Brasier, who had not pitched in the majors since 2013, was actually responsible for eight of the 12 fastest thrown pitches all night, according to Statcast.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup needed just two swings of the bat to take care of Texas on Monday night.

The first came in the bottom half of the first inning. In his first at bat in a Red Sox uniform at Fenway Park, Steve Pearce took Rangers starter Mike Minor deep to left on a 3-2 fastball right down broadway. His fifth big fly of the season, a two-run shot, was also his first since being acquired by Boston on June 28th.

Fast forward all the way to the eighth now, with Jesse Chavez on the mound for the Rangers, and JD Martinez essentially put this game out of reach.

Following two singles from Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi to leadoff the inning, Chavez tried to sneak a 2-2 fastball on the inner half of the plate and paid for it dearly, as Martinez scorched his 28th big fly of the season 374 feet into the Monster seats, making it a 5-0 game.

Some notes from this win:

The top four hitters in the Red Sox lineup last night, Betts, Benintendi, Martinez, and Pearce, went a combined 8/16 with five RBI and five runs scored. Other than that, Sandy Leon was the only other hitter to reach base.

Speaking of Andrew Benintendi, you should be voting for him right now. If I can’t convince you, maybe Brock Holt can.

redsox.com/vote

Looking for the series win along with their eighth straight win, Hector Velazquez gets the ball for the Red Sox tonight. Making his first start since April 14th against the Orioles, he’ll be matched up against fellow Mexico native Yovani Gallardo for Texas. First pitch of the middle game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: #RedSox Held to One Run by CC Sabathia as Yankees Win Big in Series Opener.

Entering Friday with sole possession of first place in the American League East, the Red Sox had a big task at hand in the form of a three game weekend series against the New York Yankees. While splitting the season series thus far at 3-3, this particular series, although relatively early in the year, could prove to be quite meaningful for the division race later in September.

Making his 16th start of the season on Friday night, Eduardo Rodriguez was not as effective as he was in his only other appearance against the Yankees this season. In that start, back on May 10th, New York was held scoreless in the five innings the lefty pitched in.

Last night though, although he did pitch deeper into the game, Rodriguez got rocked for five runs on seven hits and two walks while only recording two strikeouts.

Things began to go awry for the Venezuela native starting in the bottom half of the second inning, when Yankees rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres ripped a hard-hit triple to lead off the frame.

That was followed by an RBI single off the bat of another Yankees rookie in Miguel Andujar, and just like that, the Yankees had a one run lead which they would not have to look back from.

After tossing a scoreless third, the fourth inning is where Rodriguez struggled the most. In fact, the southpaw needed 30 pitches to get through the frame in which he surrendered four runs, highlighted by back-to-back homers from Andujar and then Greg Bird.

From that point on, Rodriguez did hold the Yankees scoreless while retiring six of the seven batters he faced to end an otherwise disappointing night.

Over his last two outings, the 25-year-old hurler’s ERA has inflated from 3.59 after his start in Seattle, all the way up to 4.11 after his performance on Friday. He’ll look to get back on the winning side in his next time out, which is more than likely to come against the Washington Nationals on Independence Day.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox only turned to one relief pitcher in this one, and that was Justin Haley. Given the fact they were already trailing by four runs by the time Haley entered in the seventh inning, it makes sense that Alex Cora would want to save the rest of his bullpen for the remaining two games of this series.

In the two innings he pitched in, Haley got hit decently hard. First, Aaron Judge, a college teammate of Haley’s, blasted a two-run home run for his 21st of the season in the seventh. And in the eighth, Greg Bird struck once again for his second homer of the night to essentially put this game out of reach if it was not already at 8-1.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was limited to just one run thanks to Yankees starter CC Sabathia.

In his only other start against Boston this season on May 10th, Sabathia surrendered four runs on nine hits in a rain-shortened four innings of work. That was not the case last night.

Nope, the 18 year veteran lefty gave up one run in the fifth inning, which is all the damage the Red Sox could do in this one.

That run came on an Andrew Benintendi RBI double to score Mookie Betts from second, in case you were interested. Other than that, guys like JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers were all held without a single hit.

On the bright side things, newly acquired Steve Pearce made his Red Sox debut at first base last night, and in his very first at bat with his new team, ripped a leadoff double on the first pitch he saw from Sabathia in the second inning.

The former Blue Jay also collected his second hit of the night later on in the fourth, so recording a multi-hit game in your first game with a new team is not too shabby, I guess.

Heading into tonight’s contest now in a deadlock atop the AL East, Chris Sale will be given the responsibility of trying to lead the Red Sox to just their second win at Yankee Stadium this year. He’ll be matched up against Yankees righty Sonny Gray, who in his only other start against the Red Sox this season, gave up six earned runs in just three innings pitched back on April 12th.

First pitch of the middle game is scheduled for 7:15 PM ET on FOX. Time to even this series up.

#RedSox Acquire 1B/OF Steve Pearce from Blue Jays.

Following their 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night, the Red Sox announced that the team had acquired 12-year veteran Steve Pearce from the Toronto Blue Jays.

In exchange for the long time outfielder and first baseman, Boston will be sending 23 year-old prospect Santiago Espinal back to Toronto. Espinal, a shortstop who had been with the organization since he was drafted in the 10th round of the 2016 amateur draft, owned a .313/.363/.477 slash line in 65 games with High A Salem this season.

Pearce is a player well familiarized with the American League East, as he has appeared in 481 total games with the Orioles, Rays, Yankees, and most recently, the Blue Jays.

With a career .840 OPS against left-handed pitching, expect Pearce to slide into a utility role with the Red Sox. Capable of playing both first base and corner outfield, I would not be surprised if Blake Swihart’s role with the big league club becomes even more suppressed. A corresponding roster move will have to be made prior to tomorrow’s night game in New York, so could Swihart be the one to go?

Regardless of that, this is the first trade the Red Sox and Blue Jays have made with one another since Boston acquired John Farrell from Toronto in exchange for Mike Aviles following the 2012 season.

During his impromptu presser tonight, Dave Dombrowski said he expects Pearce to join the team tomorrow in New York.

One things for sure, when it comes to Pearce’s uniform number with the Red Sox, I can confidently report that he will not be assigned #28. Recap of tonight’s win coming tomorrow morning/early afternoon.