RECAP: Nathan Eovaldi’s Struggles Continue as #RedSox Get Swept for First Time This Season Against Rays.

Having already dropped their first series in over a month with a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night, the Red Sox closed out their season series against a red-hot Rays team at Tropicana Field by getting swept for the first time this season.

Getting the starting nod in this one was a former Ray himself in RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who made 10 starts with the club before being traded to Boston on July 25th.

Since he started his Red Sox career by twirling two consecutive gems against the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees, Eovaldi has been struggling to maintain that same form over the past few weeks, and that was evident once again on Sunday.

Pitching just four innings against his former team, the right-hander surrendered six runs, five of which were earned, on eight hits to go along with zero walks and five strikeouts on the afternoon.

Before he even had the chance to settle in, Tampa Bay had already pushed across their first of nine runs thanks to three straight hits to begin the first.

That set the tone early on, and the Rays found themselves with a two-run advantage going into the second inning.

By the time he retired the side in his fourth, Eovaldi had already faced 21 batters.

Out of those four disastrous frames, the Texas native could only manage one clean inning on Sunday, which came in the second. Tampa Bay sent at least five batters to the plate in the other three.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (65 strikes), Eovaldi relied heavily on both is four-seam and cut fastball this afternoon, as he turned to the two pitches a combined 63% of the time he was on the mound. He also topped out at 99.5 MPH with that four-seamer in the third inning.

Falling to 5-6 with a 4.15 ERA on the season, let’s take a look at how Nathan Eovaldi’s Red Sox tenure has gone just over a month since the trade that sent him to Boston was completed.

First two starts:

2-0, 15 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 0.00 ERA, .143 BAA

Last four starts:

0-2, 17 IP, 35 H, 14 ER, 3 BB, 12 K, 7.41 ERA, .407 BAA

Obviously a sizable discrepancy there.

He’ll look to get back on track in his next time out, which should come against the Chicago White Sox next weekend.

In relief of Eovaldi, the Red Sox bullpen had another tall task ahead of themselves on Sunday with 12 outs to record, and they did not have the best of times.

Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, and Craig Kimbrel combined for three earned runs on four hits, four walks, and seven strikeouts in those four innings of work.

Special shout out to Craig Kimbrel though. For not seeing any in-game action since last Saturday, the Red Sox closer looked solid in a 1-2-3 eighth, fanning all three batters he faced. Four straight scoreless appearances for Kimbrel now too.

On the other side of things, Boston’s lineup was held to one lone run for the second straight day on Sunday.

Facing off against Rays ace Blake Snell, a left-hander, that one run came off the bat of a Mookie Betts sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth that plated Sandy Leon from third.

Other than that, Snell, along with Diego Castillo and Andrew Kittredge out of the Rays bullpen, limited the Red Sox to three total hits and two free passes while inducing nine strikeouts on the day.

Some notes from this 9-1 loss:

This is the first time the Red Sox have been swept since August 25-27th of last season, which also happened to be Players’ Weekend. Meaning, the Red Sox are 0-6 in Players’ Weekend games.

Over their last eight games, in which they are 2-6, the Red Sox have averaged 3.6 runs per game while starters own a 6.47 ERA in that span.

On the flip side of that, the Rays have won eight straight games and are now 70-61 on the season.

Mookie Betts took the first step in getting out of his slump by recording his first base hit since Thursday on a fourth inning single.

Finishing their season series against the Rays with a solid 11-8 record despite the sweep, the Red Sox will turn their attention to another Florida team for a quick two-game set against the 53-79 Miami Marlins, but not before enjoying a much-needed off day on Monday back in Boston.

Starting pitching matchups for that series go as follows:

Tuesday: RHP Jose Urena (4-12, 4.50 ERA) vs. LHP Brian Johnson (4-3, 4.12 ERA)

Wednesday: RHP Trevor Richards (3-7, 4.23 ERA) vs. LHP David Price (14-6, 3.50 ERA)

Going back to April, the Red Sox took both games from the Marlins in Miami.

Johnson, who got the start in the first game of that two-game series, tossed six frames of one-run ball in a winning effort, while Urena, who started for Miami in the second game, tossed seven one-run innings in a no decision.

First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET Tuesday at Fenway Park.

 

 

 

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RECAP: Hector Velazquez Gets Roughed up as #RedSox Open up Players’ Weekend with 10-3 Loss to Rays.

Heading into Players’ Weekend winners of four of their last seven, the Red Sox arrived at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg for their last series of the season against the 67-61 Tampa Bay Rays, who entered Friday on a five-game winning streak.

Less than a week after being on the wrong side of 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay this past Sunday, Hector Velazquez made his sixth start of the season last night and did not have much of anything going for himself.

Pitching into just the third inning of this one, the right-hander ended up getting charged for EIGHT earned runs on nine hits to go along with two walks and four strikeouts.

At one point giving up six straight hits in the second, which led to three Rays runs crossing the plate, what really screwed Velazquez over came an inning later, when with two outs and runners on first and second, Steve Pearce, in the place of Mitch Moreland at first base, could not field a grounder off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier, which led to a single that allowed Ji-Man Choi to score from second.

On what should have been an inning-ending play, the Rays managed to tack on an additional four runs before Velazquez got the early hook in what was all of a sudden an 8-2 game.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 72 (46 strikes), the 29-year-old turned to his sinker the most on Friday, as he threw it a total of 21 times. He also topped out at 92.4 MPH with that same pitch in the second inning.

Falling to 7-2 with a 3.69 ERA on the season now, Velazquez will look to rebound in his next time out, which should come against the Chicago White Sox next weekend, if he remains in the rotation.

In relief of Velazquez, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final five-plus innings of last night’s contest, but thanks to the efforts of Drew Pomeranz, only two other pitchers were used.

Pomeranz, who entered with two outs in the bottom half of the third with a runner on first, surrendered two runs on a two-run home run off the bat of Rays rookie Willy Adames in the fourth in an otherwise solid 4.1 frames of work to end the seventh. Xander Bogaerts came through with some flashy defense as well.

Joe Kelly, making his third relief appearance in the last four days, wrapped up a rather tough night for Red Sox pitching by working his way around two hits and tossing a scoreless eighth.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Rays “opener” Diego Castillo, who pitched in the same role last Sunday and held Boston scoreless in nearly two innings of work.

Pitching into the second once again, the Rays hurler retired five of the seven batters he faced before getting lifted for Jalen Beeks with two outs and runners on first and second.

Beeks, a former Red Sox pitching prospect who was part of the Nathan Eovaldi deal last month, tossed four scoreless frames and picked up the win in his only other appearance against his former team on Sunday.

Although he was not as effective last night, Beeks did manage to pick up the winning decision, his third of the season, while surrendering three runs on seven hits and three walks to go along with four punch outs.

Starting the scoring in the top of the third with three straight two out hits, Xander Bogaerts stayed hot with a two RBI single to plate both Mookie Betts and Steve Pearce.

Those runs appeared to be crucial at the time, as it cut the Red Sox deficit to one, but as I mentioned before, the Rays went off for five runs of their own in their half of the third.

Fast forward to the fifth, and JD Martinez wrapped up his team’s scoring while collecting his league-leading 110th RBI of the season on a one out single to drive in Andrew Benintendi from second to trim the Rays lead down to only seven.

Some notes from this 10-3 loss: 

The Red Sox out hit the Rays 13-12 on Friday, yet got outscored by seven runs. That is mostly due to the fact that none of those 13 hits went for extra bases. Nope, all of them were singles.

In his last 10 games, Xander Bogaerts is slashing .385/.429/.718 with two home runs and 12 RBI.

Since its inception, the Red Sox are 0-4 in Players’ Weekend games. Not great.

Despite the loss, 90-40 is at least satisfying to look at, right?

Looking to get back on the right track later tonight, it will be Rick Porcello getting the start for Boston.

Porcello (15-6, 4.14 ERA) owns a lifetime 2.72 ERA in 14 career starts at Tropicana Field, with the most recent coming on May 24th, an outing in which the right-hander got shelled for six runs (four earned) in less than four innings in an eventual loss.

Opposite Porcello will be rookie left-hander Ryan Yarbrough for Tampa Bay, who has never started against the Red Sox, but does own a 3.00 ERA in four relief appearances against them this season.

First pitch of the second game of the series is scheduled for 6:10 PM ET Saturday.

#RedSox Acquire RHP Nathan Eovaldi from Rays in Exchange for LHP Jalen Beeks.

Less than 24 hours after the New York Yankees acquired star closer Zach Britton in a four-player deal with the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox countered with a trade of their own, as the team acquired Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays for pitching prospect Jalen Beeks.

Similar to Britton, Eovaldi, 28, is set to hit free agency this offseason. In the mean time, he will provide the Red Sox with a hard-throwing right-hander in the starting rotation.

In 10 starts with the Rays this season, Eovaldi owns a 4.26 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 57 innings pitched.

You may recall that back in May, when Eovaldi made his season debut against the Oakland Athletics, he tossed six no-hit scoreless innings in his first start since August 10th, 2016 when he was with the New York Yankees.

According to BrooksBaseball.net, Eovaldi, a native of Houston, Texas, relies heavily on his four-seam fastball, as he goes to it nearly 43% of the time he is on the mound. That four-seamer can also reach anywhere from 97 to 100 MPH.

In exchange for Eovaldi, Jalen Beeks, the sixth best prospect in Boston’s system, per SoxProspects.com, has been traded to the Rays. Beeks, a lefty, made two appearances for the Red Sox this season, one came in a start and the other in relief.

Although the sample size is small, I think it’s fair to say that Beeks, 25, was not going to contribute to this team this season. With the current window the Red Sox have, it’s understandable why they would want to go all in for 2018.

All and all, giving up one pitcher who may or may not help your team in the future for a pitcher who should contribute right away is a no-brainer in my mind. Eovaldi gives the Red Sox a right-handed starting option besides Rick Porcello. With the uncertainties guys like Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Steven Wright have, I’m going to go ahead and say I like this move.

The MLB trade deadline is less than a week away. Some big names like Britton, Brad Hand, and now Eovaldi are already off the market.

Next up for the Red Sox before July 31st hits should be a reliever of some sorts on an expiring contract that will not cost the team what’s left of its farm system. Someone like Addison Reed or Brad Ziegler, who Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox acquired near the deadline the past two seasons would work.

RECAP: David Price Tosses Six Quality Innings as #RedSox Pick up Series Win Against Rays.

Coming off a series opening win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, the Red Sox looked to clinch the series and their fourth straight win with David Price on the mound last night. With Chris Archer getting the start on the other side of the Rays, we were treated to a great pitching matchup between former teammates and close friends.

In his 10th start of the season, fourth against the Rays, David Price was fantastic. Going against his old club, the lefty tossed six innings of one run ball, scattering three hits and three free passes while recording a season high nine strikeouts over that span.

The only costly mistakes the Tennessee native made did not transpire until his last inning of work. After walking leadoff man Denard Span on six pitches, CJ Con took Price deep to center field for what looked like a go-ahead two run home run. Instead, it bounced off the top of the wall and stayed in play. It did allow the speedy Span to score all the way from First, but Price settled down and retired the next three batters he faced in order. That was how the 32-year-old’s night would end. Not a bad way to follow-up a complete game.

Ever since that awful start against the Rangers in Texas, David Price has looked like the David Price of old. He gave up seven earned runs in that outing back on May 3rd, but in three starts since then, the lefty owns a 2.21 ERA in 20.1 innings pitched. The haters and doubters will say that the teams Price has been pitching against aren’t playoff teams, and that may be true, but opponents are hitting a measly .183 against him over his last three starts. Regardless of the opposition, those numbers are impressive. He’ll look to build on this momentum in his next outing, which should come against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Memorial Day.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen shut the Rays down for the second straight night, as Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel combined to toss three perfect innings to go along with four strikeouts. For Kimbrel, last night’s save opportunity went much more smoothly than the one on Tuesday. That was reassuring to see, and he picked up his 15th save of the season to lock up his teams 34th win of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup did not have an answer for the way Rays starter Chris Archer was pitching last night. They had a golden opportunity to tack on their first run of the game in the fifth, after Eduardo Nunez tried to score from first on a two out double off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. Unfortunately, Nunez was tagged out at the plate in a somewhat bizarre sequence.

I mean, you have to slide in that situation, right? Christian Vazquez definitely deserves a fair amount of blame here, but there was no real urgency in Nunez either. Whatever the case, that blunder cost the Red Sox a run, but it did not cost them the game.

An inning later, after the 9-1-2 hitters loaded the bases with no outs, the Red Sox scored their first run of the game when Hanley Ramirez grounded into his second double play of the night. That allowed Christian Vazquez from third, and the Red Sox had their first run of the game and a one run lead.

Fast forward all the way to the ninth, and things are all knotted up at one run a piece. With closer Alex Colome on the mound for the Rays, JD Martinez led the inning off by reaching base on a throwing error committed by shortstop Willy Adames and making it to second in the process.

Now, with the go-ahead run in scoring position, a fairly cooled off and hitless Xander Bogaerts came to the plate looking to put this game away. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, he did just that.

Bogaerts’ 13th double of the season allowed Martinez to easily score from second to put the Red Sox on top.

After Rafael Devers followed that RBI double up with a five pitch walk, Eduardo Nunez’s sacrifice fly to center scored Bogaerts from third to add a little insurance and advanced Devers to third.

Devers would cross the plate on a wild pitch from Colome with Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, and that was the last run the Red Sox scored last night. A nice three run ninth to put this one out of reach for the Rays.

Some notes from this one:

Despite neither of them getting a hit, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi reached base a combined five times on five walks on Wednesday.

Hanley Ramirez is in the middle of a slump right now, as he is slashing .143/.182/.214 in 44 plate appearances over his last 10 games. Like I have been saying, might be time to get Mitch Moreland some more at bats.

Next up for the Red Sox is the series finale with the Rays later tonight. Looking for the sweep and their fifth straight win, Rick Porcello will be matched up against impressive lefty Blake Snell. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: Chris Sale Fans Nine and Mookie Betts Hits 16th Homer as #RedSox Pick up Series Opening Win in Tampa Bay.

Coming off a day off on Monday, the Red Sox kicked off another series against the 22-23 Tampa Bay Rays last night. Last time the Red Sox saw Tampa Bay, they took two out of three from them at Fenway Park and despite the low expectations going into this season, the Rays have not been that bad of a team.

Chris Sale made his eleventh start of the season in this one, and he was phenomenal once again on the mound at Tropicana Field. The lefty recorded his fourth start this month of seven or more innings pitched, as he surrendered two runs (one earned) on four hits, two walks, and a HBP while fanning nine Rays on the night. Up to this point in the season, there has been some talk about where the velocity of Sale’s fastballs are at, but that was not a concern last night. Right from the get go, the Florida native had his four-seamer working in his favor. In fact, the fastest pitch Sale threw came in the seventh inning when he reached 99 MPH on his 96th pitch of the game.

There were two costly mistakes that Sale made in his start last night, and they came in the fourth and fifth innings. With a three run lead going into the bottom of the fourth, the Rays put their first run on the board via a solo home run off the bat of their #1 prospect, Willy Adames. An inning later, after Rob Refsnyder led things off with a double and advanced to third on a passed ball with one out, Daniel Robertson scored the runner from third by flying out to left field. After getting out of the fifth with just that one run surrendered, Sale tossed two more scoreless innings and got the first two outs of the eighth before his departure. With his pitch count all the way up at 112 pitches (73 strikes), Sale was met with a standing ovation from the visiting crowd, which was more than likely consisted of mostly Red Sox fans, but it was still nice to see him get that sort of reception in a building he absolutely owns. As a matter of fact, after last night’s outing, Sale now owns a 1.92 ERA in 65.2 innings pitched at Tropicana Field. He’ll look to build on this start in his next time out against the Atlanta Braves this upcoming weekend.

In relief of Sale, Joe Kelly got the call out of the bullpen with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Responsible for one out, Kelly struck out the only batter he faced to pick up his seventh hold of the season.

Next out of the Red Sox bullpen was Craig Kimbrel. Looking to protect a two run lead and record his 14th save this season, getting there certainly was not an easy journey for the Red Sox closer. The Rays reached base three times in the inning, ultimately loading the bases with two outs for outfielder Mallex Smith. Thankfully, Kimbrel got Smith to ground into a force out, and this ballgame was over.

Looking at the numbers, we have not seen the best out of the 29-year-old this month. In nine appearances, Kimbrel has pitched 8.2 innings. Over that span, he has given up four earned runs (three home runs) on six hits and a walk. That’s good for a 4.15 ERA, and I expect those numbers to improve over the next nine games left in May, but I just wanted to point that out.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup got all their scoring done on two swings of the bat. The first came from Mookie Betts in the third inning, and the second came from Rafael Devers in the sixth inning.

Facing off against Rays starter Jake Faria with Jackie Bradley Jr. at first and Sandy Leon at second, Betts mashed his league-leading 16th home run of the season.

That 405 foot shot to left field was good for three, and it marked the third home run for Betts in his last four games.

Fast forward to the sixth, with the lead cut to just one run, Rafael Devers provided a little insurance with his ninth big fly of the season. This one coming off Rays reliever Austin Pruitt.

In the last 10 games he has played in, Devers is only slashing .167/.250/.417 with six hits. Half of those hits have been home runs.

That solo shot gave the Red Sox their fourth and final run of the game, which was good enough to pick up their league-leading 33rd win of the season.

Some notes from this one:

With another base knock last night, Sandy Leon is quietly has a slash line of .400/.478/.600 over the last seven games he has appeared in. With the way Christian Vazquez has disappointed this season, maybe Leon could see an increase in time behind the plate.

For only the fifth time this season, Jackie Bradley Jr. has recorded a base hit in consecutive games after his 2-for-4 performance at the plate on Tuesday.

Since returning from that road trip that ended in Toronto less than two weeks ago, Hanley Ramirez owns a .172 slugging percentage. I won’t bring up the other numbers, which are also ugly, but that is borderline unacceptable for a player who is capable of putting up 30 home runs in any given season. Might be time to get Mitch Moreland more playing time at first base.

On a more positive note, the Red Sox will look to take the second game of this series against the Rays later tonight. Coming off a great start against the Orioles, David Price will be taking the mound against his old team, while it will be Chris Archer going for Tampa Bay. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: Sandy Leon Drives in Go-Ahead Run in Eighth Inning as #RedSox Salvage Series Against Rays.

After dropping the first two games of this weekend series against the scorching Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox looked like a competent baseball team this afternoon.

Rick Porcello got the start for the Red Sox in this one, and he was looking for his fifth winning decision before we flip the calendars to May. That didn’t happen unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean Porcello had a bad day, because he looked like he has all season so far, that being one of the best pitchers in the American League. The lone righty in the Red Sox rotation tossed 7.2 quality innings and really only made two mistakes. The first being a two-run home run, the first Porcello has given up this season, off the bat of Denard Span in the third, and the second being an RBI single off the bat of Mallex Smith an inning later. Other than that, nothing much to complain about. In those 7.2 innings pitched, the New Jersey native scattered seven hits, including those two previously mentioned, struck out six, and did not allow a single walk. In six starts Porcello has made this season, he has given up three earned runs or less and pitched 5+ innings in all of them.

Finishing with a season high 116 pitches, 82 of which went for strikes, I was a bit surprised to see Alex Cora stick with Porcello for as long as he did, but it worked out. He could have pitched eight full innings if he didn’t give up a two-out single to CJ Cron. With the game tied at the time, that hit put the go-ahead run on base and Cora made the switch to his closer.

In a rare eighth inning appearance, Craig Kimbrel gave up a double that should have been an out to the first batter he saw. With runners on first and third, the Red Sox closer came back and struck Brad Miller out on three pitches to end the inning. After the Red Sox tacked on the go-ahead run in their half of the eighth, Kimbrel would come back out for the save in the ninth. He led the inning off by allowing the first two batters he faced to reach base and the third to move those runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt, but bounced back nicely. With the tying run just 90 feet away, Kimbrel struck out Jesus Sucre and Carlos Gomez back to back on seven pitches to end the game and pick up his first win of the season.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup was held in check for the first five innings of this game. It wasn’t until Andrew Kittredge took the mound for the Rays and Eduardo Nunez led the sixth inning off with an infield single when the scoring finally commenced. After that infield single, Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez both reached base to load things up for JD Martinez. On a 2-1 87 MPH slider from Kittredge, Martinez sneaked a ground ball just past Adeiny Hechavarria and put the Red Sox on the board for two.

That was followed up by a four pitch walk to Mitch Moreland which loaded the bases once again for Rafael Devers. Devers struck out, but Jackie Bradley Jr. drove Hanley Ramirez in from third on a sacrifice fly one batter later. Sandy Leon would reload the bases for the third time in the inning after taking a pitch from Sergio Romo off his foot, but Tzu-Wei Lin would fly out to end the inning. Game tied at three.

A 1-2-3 seventh inning from the top of the lineup made way for JD Martinez to lead off things for the Red Sox in the eighth against Rays closer Alex Colome. To cap off his great day at the plate, Martinez ripped a single to right field for his fourth hit of the game. After Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers recorded outs, Jackie Bradley Jr. drew a five pitch walk to move Martinez into scoring position. That led to Sandy Leon stepping up to the plate in what would be the biggest at bat of the day. In a surprising move, Leon was not pinch hit for. Instead, he drove Martinez in from third on a line drive single to left field.

Leon’s first RBI since April 12th put the Red Sox up by one and essentially gave them their 20th win of the season. It certainly wasn’t easy, but taking the series finale is certainly better than getting swept. The 4-3 win also ends the winning streak the Rays had going on at eight games.

Some notes from this one:

Mookie Betts was held out of the lineup today after straining his right hamstring on Saturday.

With his four-hit and two RBI performance today, JD Martinez now ranks ninth in the AL in hits (32), fifth in RBIs (22), and 10th in OPS (.941). Not too shabby for someone who just wrapped his first full month with a new team.

The Red Sox have won their last 25 games with Rick Porcello on the mound when they give him at least three runs of support. (@SoxNotes)

Next up for the Red Sox is a three-game set against the lowly Kansas City Royals. At 7-20 on the year, the Royals are the worst team in the American League in terms of team ERA and runs scored. With that in mind, a sweep before heading back on the road would be nice. That’s all I”m going to say.

Eduardo Rodriguez gets the nod for the series opener tomorrow. He’ll be facing off against Jason Hammel, who owns a career 4.25 ERA in 55 innings pitched against the Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

RECAP: David Price Struggles as #RedSox Drop Second Straight Game to Rays.

A day after dropping a close game to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, the Red Sox did not look much better on Saturday. Although the game was tied up until the top of the sixth inning, the Rays found a way to run away and hide with this one. And for the second time in less than a week, the Red Sox find themselves in the midst of a losing streak, technically.

David Price made his sixth start of the season this afternoon, and he, like Drew Pomeranz on Friday night, was hurt by the home run ball, but not in the conventional way. In fact, the first two runs the Rays scored in the second inning came on an inside the park home run off the bat of Denard Span.

A bad hop seemed to have fooled Jackie Bradley Jr., and that’s how Span managed to score so easily. It was originally ruled a three-base error, but the scorers changed their mind soon after that.

The Rays tacked on another two runs in the third on a legitimate two run home run. This one coming off Wilson Ramos’ bat to put the Rays up 4-2.

Over the next three innings, Price would be charged with one earned run and one unearned run. The first of those came on a bases loaded walk to Daniel Robertson in the fifth, and the second came after he was already out of the game. After Adeiny Hechavarria led the sixth inning off with a single and David Price was removed after getting the first two outs of the inning, it would be Heath Hembree who got the call to end things in the inning.

Unfortunately, Hembree allowed Hechavarria to score and that closed the book on David Price’s day, The lefty finished with a line of 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R (5 ER), 4 BB, and 5 K’s. That marks two straight sort of uncharacteristic starts for Price, as he gave up nine hits and four runs last Sunday in Oakland. He’ll look to bounce back next week when the Red Sox take on the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

Back to Heath Hembree, after putting together an impressive outing on Friday night, the righty could not do much right on Saturday. The righty allowed four of the five batters he faced to reach base, including a home run off the bat of Carlos Gomez, and could only record one out, that being the final out of the sixth inning. Matt Barnes would take over for him with runners on first and second and no outs in the inning.

Luckily, Barnes had what was the best performance out of a Red Sox pitcher on Saturday, as he retired all three batters he faced to go along with two strikeouts. That made way for Brian Johnson to start things in the eighth inning, and that’s when things really got away from the Red Sox.

In two innings pitched, the lefty surrendered five runs on seven hits, one of those being a three-run home run in the ninth inning. That put the 12th run of the game on the board for the Rays, and that pretty much killed any chances at a comeback. So, all in all, not a great night for the Red Sox pitching staff, as those 12 runs scored against them is a season high.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup could manage just six runs in this one. That may seem like a high enough number to get the win, but I think they could have scored more off Rays starter Yonny Chirinos. It was a back and forth kind of game for the first five innings, but then things fell apart in the sixth.

Xander Bogaerts drove in the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the first. That gave the Red Sox the early lead, but it would be short-lived. Bogaerts would go on to collect another RBI with a single in the third, and Hanley Ramirez would do the same with an RBI single in the fourth. Rafael Devers had the biggest day out of anyone in the Red Sox lineup, as he collected  a team best two RBIs, including a solo home run in the fifth inning, his fourth of the season.

That home run looked like it could be meaningful at the time, but like I said, things fell apart for the Red Sox after they took their at bats in the fifth. Devers would go on to collect another RBI in the ninth. He is now in a tie with JD Martinez for the team lead in RBIs with 20 of them on the season.

So where do the Red Sox go from here, coming off their fifth loss in their last seven games? Well, taking the finale against the Rays today would be great, and then the Kansas City Royals come to town for three games before this homestand ends.

Rick Porcello gets the start later today against Rays righty Matt Andriese. Hopefully Mookie Betts will be alright after he exited yesterday’s game with tightness in his right hamstring. First pitch is at 1:05 PM, if the rain holds up.