Rafael Devers crushes grand slam, solo homer as Red Sox rout Tigers, 14-5

The Red Sox got back to .500 with a series-clinching win over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon. Boston blew out Detroit by a final score of 14-5 at Comerica Park to improve to 4-4 on the season.

Matched up against Tigers starter Joey Wentz out of the gate, the Sox broke out for six runs in their half of the second inning. After loading the bases with two outs, Wentz issued back-to-back bases-loaded walks to the final two batters he would face in Connor Wong and Rob Refsnyder. Wentz was then given the hook in favor of right-hander Garrett Hill.

With a 2-0 lead already in hand, Rafael Devers greeted the new Tigers reliever by crushing a 356-foot opposite-field grand slam. The ball barely cleared the left-field fence as it left Devers’ bat at 102 mph and extended Boston’s lead to 6-0.

An inning later, the Red Sox again took advantage of ball four when Masataka Yoshida drew a leadoff walk off Hill. A red-hot Adam Duvall followed by unloading on a hanging sinker and depositing it 423 feet into the left field seats for his fourth home run of the season already. The two-run blast had an exit velocity of 109.8 mph and put Boston up, 8-0.

That is where the score would remain through 3 1/2 innings. Up until that point in the contest, Red Sox starter Tanner Houck had retired 8 of the first 10 batters he had faced. But the right-hander began to run into some trouble in the latter half of the fourth.

There, Houck yielded a leadoff walk to Riley Greene and a one-out single to Kerry Greene to put runners on the corners. Nick Maton then put the Tigers on the board with an RBI double to right field that plated Greene. Spencer Torkelson followed by driving in Carpenter on a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to six runs at 8-2.

Houck, for his part, got through the rest of the fourth unscathed and then sat down the side in order in the fifth to end his afternoon on a strong note. The 26-year-old hurler wound up allowing just the two earned runs on three hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts over five full innings of work. He threw 74 pitches (45 strikes), induced eight swings-and-misses, and was ultimately credited with the winning decision — his second in as many tries.

With Houck’s day done, Zack Kelly got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Kelly, in turn, stranded two base runners in the sixth and tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh. In between Kelly’s first and second frame of relief, Devers went deep for a second time off Tyler Alexander to make it a 9-2 game in the top of the seventh. Devers’ second big fly of the day and fourth of the season had an exit velocity of 110.3 mph and travelled 395 feet over the right field wall.

In the eighth, Alex Verdugo, Wong, and Refsnyder, tacked on three more runs to the Sox’ advantage with a trio of RBI singles. Following another scoreless inning of relief from Michigan native Kaleb Ort, Raimel Tapia hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run off Tigers second baseman Zack McKinstry in the top of the ninth.

Tapia’s first homer in a Red Sox uniform gave his side a commanding 14-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Brasier surrendered three runs (two earned) on two hits, one walk, and an Enrique Hernandez throwing error before recording the third and final out to secure a 14-5 victory.

Duvall’s dominance continues

With two more RBIs on Saturday, Adam Duvall now has 14 through his first seven games of the season. Those 14 RBIs are the most ever by a player in their first seven games as a member of the Red Sox.

Duvall’s 10 extra-base hits are the most through seven game with Boston, surpassing Jose Offerman’s mark of nine in 1999.

Devers records first multi-homer game of season

By hitting two home runs on Saturday, Rafael Devers registered the 13th multi-homer game of his career. He now moves into a two-way tie with Vern Stephens for the 12th most multi-homer games in Red Sox history.

Next up: Crawford starts as Sox go for sweep

The Red Sox will go for a three-game sweep over the Tigers in Sunday’s series finale. Right-hander Kutter Crawford will take the mound for Boston while veteran left-hander Matthew Boyd will get the ball for Detroit.

First pitch from Comerica Park is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)


Rafael Devers and Adam Duvall both homer as Red Sox snap skid with 6-3 win over Tigers

The three-game losing streak has come to an end. After getting swept by the Pirates at home, the Red Sox opened the road portion of their schedule with a win over the Tigers on Thursday afternoon. Boston defeated Detroit by a final score of 6-3 at Comerica Park to improve to 3-4 on the season.

Chris Sale, making his second start of the year for the Sox, was able to bounce back from a rough 2023 debut last Saturday. The veteran left-hander allowed three runs on four hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts over five innings of work.

It was an interesting start to the day for Sale, who issued back-to-back walks to the first two batters he faced on eight consecutive balls. He then received a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush and promptly struck out the next three Tigers he faced to escape the jam in the top of the first. An inning later, though, Sale issued a one-out walk to Jonathan Schoop and Jake Rogers followed by clubbing a 414-foot two-run home run to left field to give Detroit an early 2-0 lead.

The Red Sox were able to get one of those runs back off Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull in the top of the third. With no outs and runners on the corners following a Christian Arroyo walk and Reese McGuire, Enrique Hernandez drove in Arroyo with an RBI groundout. Detroit quickly responded, however, as Sale gave up three straight two-out singles in the latter half of the frame. Miguel Cabrera pushed the lead back to two runs by plating Spencer Torkelson with his base hit.

Rafael Devers got his productive day at the plate started in the fourth, as he led things off by taking Turnbull 401 feet deep to left-center field for his second home run of the season. The ball left Devers’ bat at a blistering 107.9 mph and cut Boston’s back down to one run at 3-2.

Sale meanwhile, ended his outing on a strong note by retiring six of the last seven batters he faced from the middle of the fourth through the end of the fifth. The 34-year-old southpaw finished with 74 pitches (46 strikes). He averaged 91.5 mph and topped out at 95 mph with his sinker while inducing 10 total swings-and-misses.

With Sale’s day done after five, the Red Sox put the lefty in position to pick up his first win of the season by breaking out for four runs in the sixth. Alex Verdugo got the rally started with a one-out single. Four pitches later, Devers came through with a game-tying, 414-foot RBI double to center field that had an exit velocity of 108.3 mph. Masataka Yoshida kept the inning alive by drawing a two-out walk off Turnbull, which simultaneously ended the righty’s day.

Following a Detroit pitching change that saw Jose Cisnero take over for Turnbull, Adam Duvall greeted the new reliever by crushing a 414-foot three-run shot to left-center field to break the tie. Duvall’s third big fly of the season, which had an exit velocity of 104.2 mph, gave Boston its first lead of the afternoon at 6-3.

From there, the Red Sox bullpen took over. In relief of Sale, Michigan native John Schreiber faced the minimum in the bottom of the sixth before making way for Chris Martin, who stranded one runner in a scoreless seventh inning. Ryan Brasier then danced his way around some trouble in the eighth to pave the way for Kenley Jansen in the ninth.

Jansen made quick work of the Tigers and sat down the side in order to pick up his first save in a Red Sox uniform. All told, Boston needed just two hours and 23 minutes to pick up a series-opening victory in Detroit.

Devers passes Pedroia on all-time homers list

Rafael Devers’ solo shot in the fourth inning was the 141st of his major-league career. The 26-year-old has passed Dustin Pedroia and is now in sole possession of 19th place on the Red Sox’ all-time home run list.

Duvall makes history

With three more RBIs on Thursday, Adam Duvall now has 12 on the season. According to director of baseball communications and media relations J.P. Long, the 12 RBIs are the most ever by a player in their first six games as a member of the Red Sox.

Next up: Off day Friday, Houck starts Saturday with chance to win series

The Red Sox and Tigers will enjoy an off day on Friday before resuming this three-game series on Saturday afternoon. Right-hander Tanner Houck is slated to make his second start of the year for Boston in the middle game opposite left-hander Joey Wentz for Detroit.

First pitch from Comerica Park is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Chris Sale hurls two scoreless innings in spring debut as Red Sox roll past Tigers in 7-1 win

Powered by a four-run first inning, the Red Sox continued their winning ways this spring by taking care of business against the Tigers on Monday. Boston defeated Detroit by a final score of 7-1 at JetBlue Park to remain unbeaten and improve to 7-0-3 in Grapefruit League play.

Despite the strong showing from the lineup out of the gate, Chris Sale was undoubtedly the headliner in Monday’s win. Making his first start of the spring and his first start of any kind since last July, the veteran left-hander scattered two hits and zero walks to go along with two strikeouts over two scoreless innings of work.

Sale began his day by giving up a leadoff single to Matt Vierling to begin things in the top of the first. He then got Riley Greene to ground into a force out at second base before getting Javier Baez to fly out to center field. Greene successfully stole second to put a runner in scoring position with two outs, but Sale stranded him there by fanning Eric Haase.

In the bottom of the first, the first three Red Sox hitters to face Tigers starter Matt Manning all reached to fill the bases with no outs. Adam Duvall then plated his side’s first run on a sacrifice fly to center and Raimel Tapia followed by lacing an RBI ground-rule double into the triangle. Jorge Alfaro capped off the four-run frame by scoring both Niko Kavadas and Tapia on a two-run single that was misplayed by Greene in right.

Taking a 4-0 lead into the second, Sale picked up where he left off by nonchalantly recording the first two outs of the inning. He then gave up a two-out single to Zach Short, but ended the frame himself by getting Nick Maton to ground out to him in front of the pitcher’s mound.

All told, 24 of the 31 pitches Sale threw on Monday went for strikes. The 33-year-old southpaw retired six of the eight batters he faced and reached 95-96 mph with his fastball, according to the JetBlue Park radar gun.

In relief of Sale, Ryan Brasier got the first call out of the Boston bullpen and worked his way around a one-out walk of Vierling in the top of the third. The Red Sox then added to their lead in the latter half of the inning when Tapia took Tigers reliever Brendan White deep to right field for his first home run of the spring.

After Brasier got the first two outs of the fourth, Taylor Broadway took over and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of his own through the middle of the fifth. Zack Kelly saw the shutout bid come to an end when he served up a leadoff homer to Greene in the sixth, but the Red Sox quickly responded by pushing across two more runs.

Niko Goodrum reached base on a two-out single off Mason Englert and promptly scored all the way from first on an RBI double off the bat of Kavadas. Fellow 2021 draftee Tyler McDonough followed that up by driving in Kavadas and simultaneously displaying his speed on a run-scoring triple off the center field wall.

That sequence of events gave the Red Sox a commanding 7-1 lead going into the seventh. Three different relievers kept the score that way as Jake Faria struck out two of the three Tigers he faced, Durbin Feltman maneuvered his way around a two-out walk, in an otherwise clean eighth inning, and Norwith Gudino stranded two runners by punching out the side in the ninth.

Turner’s scare:

Before the Red Sox mounted their four-run rally in the first inning, a scary moment arose while Justin Turner was at the plate for his first at-bat of the afternoon. On the first pitch he saw from Manning, Turner took a fastball to the face and fell down immediately with blood spewing from his mouth.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora and head athletic trainer Brandon Henry immediately tended to Turner, who was conscious and left the field under his own power while holding a towel to his face. The 38-year-old was transported to a local hospital in Fort Myers and was replaced at first base by Kavadas.

Other observations:

Alfaro and Tapia combined to go 5-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored in Monday’s contest, which took two hours and 31 minutes to complete. The two non-roster invitees are hitting .700 (7-for-10) and .412 (7-for-17) this spring, respectively.

Next up: Houck looks to rebound

The Red Sox will travel to North Port to take on the Braves at CoolToday Park on Tuesday evening. Right-hander Tanner Houck is slated to make his second start of the spring for Boston while left-hander Jared Shuster will take the mound for Atlanta.

First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Franchy Cordero and Jarren Duran combine for 5 hits, Josh Winckowski puts together 6 2/3 solid innings as Red Sox top Tigers, 5-2

The Red Sox kicked off the final leg of their homestand with a series-opening win over the Tigers on Monday night. Boston defeated Detroit by a final score of 5-2 to improve to 37-31 on the season and 14-4 in the month of June.

In a pitching matchup that featured two rookie right-handers going at it, it was Josh Winckowski who prevailed over Alex Faedo.

Winckowski, making his third start of the year for the Sox, received some early scoring from his lineup and rode that to a second consecutive strong outing. The young righty allowed just two runs on seven hits and one walk to go along with two strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings of work.

The aforementioned early scoring came courtesy of J.D. Martinez right away in the first inning. After Jarren Duran drew a leadoff walk and stole second base, the former Tigers slugger drove in the speedster on an RBI single to give the Red Sox their first lead of the night.

Winckowski, meanwhile, issued a one-out walk to Riley Greene in the top of the second. That came back to bite him after Greene advanced to third on a Jeimer Candelario single and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Spencer Torkelson.

With things now tied up at 1-1, the Boston bats quickly got that run back in the bottom of the third on back-to-back doubles from Duran and Rafael Devers to lead off the inning. In the fourth, Trevor Story led off by reaching on a fielding error and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Christian Vazquez. In the fifth, Franchy Cordero capped off a three-hit night by plating Alex Verdugo and Story on a two-run single to center field.

Leading by four runs now, Winckowski consistently made quick work of Detroit’s lineup before running into some trouble in the seventh. There, Torkelson reached base via a two-out single and scored all the way from first on an RBI double from Jonathan Schoop that cut Boston’s lead down to three runs at 5-2.

Schoop would be the last batter Winckowski would face as he was lifted in favor of Jake Diekman. Of the 92 pitches Winckowski threw on Monday, 59 went for strikes. The 23-year-old induced five of his seven swings-and-misses with his slider and topped out at 95.5 mph with his sinker, a pitch he threw 36 times.

In relief of Winckowski, Diekman received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora and ended things in the seventh with some defensive help from Verdugo. Matt Strahm got the first two outs of the eighth before making way for John Schreiber, who worked his way around a Javy Baez double to keep the Tigers at two runs.

Taking a 5-2 lead into the ninth, Tanner Houck recorded his fifth save in as many opportunities while working on consecutive days for the first time in his major-league career.

All told, four different Red Sox relievers (Diekman, Strahm, Schreiber, and Houck) combined for 2 1/3 scoreless frames. Offensively, Cordero and Duran accounted for five of Boston’s nine hits. Neither Cordero, Duran, or Schreiber were on the club’s Opening Day roster back in April.

Next up: Hill vs. Brieske

The Red Sox will go for yet another series win over the Tigers on Tuesday night. Veteran left-hander will start for Boston while right-hander Beau Brieske will do the same for Detroit.

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

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)

Red Sox close out road trip by holding on to defeat Tigers, 9-7

The Red Sox improved to 3-3 on the young season with a series-clinching 9-7 victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Battling rainy conditions, Nathan Eovaldi made his second start of the year for Boston. The veteran right-hander allowed two earned runs on four hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over five innings of work.

Both runs Eovaldi surrendered on Wednesday came by way of the home run ball, as Jonathan Schoop got the scoring started with a two-out solo shot in the bottom of the first.

Two innings later, the Sox lineup responded. After going down quietly the first time through the order, Enrique Hernandez took old friend Eduardo Rodriguez deep on a solo homer of his own in the top half of the third to tie things back up at 1-1.

Rodriguez, making his first start against his former team after signing a five-year deal with the Tigers over the winter, ran into more trouble in the fourth. Following a leadoff walk from J.D. Martinez and groundball single from Bobby Dalbec, Christian Arroyo advanced both runners into scoring position on a well-executed sacrifice bunt. Alex Verdugo plated Martinez on a sacrifice fly to left field.

With two outs in the frame, Christian Vazquez grounded into what should have been the final out of the inning. Instead, Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario committed a throwing error that allowed Vazquez to reach base safely and keep the inning going.

The Boston bats took full advantage of that Detroit miscue, as Jackie Bradley Jr., Hernandez, and Rafael Devers drove in a total of four runs on back-to-back-to-back hard-hit doubles, which ultimately knocked Rodriguez out of the game. Following a Tigers pitching change, Trevor Story came through with his first RBI in a Red Sox uniform as he plated Devers on a single to cap off a six-run inning.

Eovaldi, meanwhile, worked his way around a one-out single in the fourth before yielding another solo blast to Akil Baddoo in the fifth that cut the Sox’ lead down to five runs at 7-2. He then punched out the final two batters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 101 (72 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 38% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday and averaged 96 mph with the pitch. He also induced five swings-and-misses with his curveball, a pitch he threw 24 times.

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Barnes got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen beginning in the sixth inning. The righty needed just 14 pitches to retire the side in order and he did so while hovering around 93-95 mph with his heater.

After Vazquez and Bradley Jr. provided what would turn out to be some much-needed insurance on a sacrifice fly and RBI single, the Tigers began to mount a rally in their half of the seventh.

With Austin Davis in the game for Boston, Harold Castro led off with a single that was followed by a two-run homer off the bat of Spencer Torkelson. The first home run of Torkelson’s career cut Detroit’s deficit down to five runs at 9-4.

Davis and Kutter Crawford were able to get through the rest of the seventh unscathed, but Crawford encountered some difficulties in the eighth as he issued an RBI single to Eric Haase before loading the bases with no outs.

Jake Diekman was then called upon to take over for Crawford and recorded the first two outs of the inning. But the lefty gave up a two-out, run-scoring single to Victor Reyes before plunking Austin Meadows with the bases loaded as the Tigers made things even more interesting at 9-7.

Hansel Robles was next to get the call from Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and he proceeded to get Schoop to pop out to Story for the final out before coming back out for the ninth and tossing a 1-2-3 inning to earn the save.

Some notes from this win:

Nathan Eovaldi has given up four home runs through his first two starts of the season. It took until June 26 to reach that point last season.

After dealing with food poisoning the last few days, Trevor Story went 2-for-5 with an RBI on Tuesday.

Enrique Hernandez began his season 0-for-17 at the plate. Over the last two days, he has gone 4-for-9 with three doubles, one homer, three RBIs, four runs scored, and two walks.

Next up: Home opener at Fenway

The Red Sox are off Thursday and head back to Boston having won three of their last four games. They will open up a four-game series against the Twins at Fenway Park to kick off Patriots’ Day weekend festivities on Friday, which is also Jackie Robinson Day.

For Friday’s home opener, it will be right-hander Nick Pivetta getting the ball for Boston and fellow righty Joe Ryan doing the same for Minnesota. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers comes through with go-ahead single, Garrett Whitlock dominates in relief as Red Sox battle back to defeat Tigers, 5-3

The Red Sox bounced back from a tough series-opening loss at Comerica Park on Monday by pulling off a come-from-behind victory over the Tigers on Tuesday afternoon.

Boston rallied back from a three-run deficit to defeat Detroit, 5-3, and improve to 2-3 on the young season.

Rich Hill, making his first start of the year for the Sox and first since 2015, allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work.

The veteran left-hander began his day by retiring the first seven batters he faced before things began to unravel a bit in the bottom half of the third. With one out in the frame, Hill gave up a flyball double to Spencer Torkelson that very easily could have been caught by Christian Arroyo in right field.

Torkelson, regarded by many as one of the top prospects in baseball, advanced to third base on a Dustin Garneau single and scored his side’s first run on an RBI groundout from Robbie Grossman.

Arroyo, making just his second career start in right field, was challenged once more when Jonathan Schoop lifted a softly-hit flyball that had an expected batting average of .070.

Rather than catch Schoop’s blooper, Arroyo took an awkward route and the ball landed a few feet in front of him, allowing Garneau to easily score from second to make it a 2-0 game.

Javier Baez, the hero of Monday’s game, proceeded to tack on an additional run on a blistering, 110.8 mph double to left field that plated Schoop all the way from first to give the Tigers an early 3-0 lead.

After eventually getting through the third, Hill rebounded by stranding Akil Baddoo at third base in a scoreless fourth inning. He then recorded the first out of the fifth before issuing a six-pitch walk to Grossman, which is how his outing would come to an end.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 70 (54 strikes), the 42-year-old southpaw relied primarily upon his four-seam fastball and curveball on Tuesday. He averaged 88.2 mph with his heater and induced a total of five swings-and-misses.

In relief of Hill, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call from Red Sox manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen, and he was tasked with facing Schoop. The righty got Schoop to fly out to Rafael Devers in foul territory. Devers then caught the Tigers sleeping, as he made the throw over to Bobby Dalbec to nab Grossman at first base and complete the inning-ending, 5-3 double play.

To that point in the contest, the Sox lineup had mustered just two hits off Tigers starter Tyler Alexander. Things started to change for the better in the sixth, though, as Kevin Plawecki led the inning off with a groundball single.

A sacrifice bunt from Jonathan Arauz moved Plawecki up to second base, and Enrique Hernandez drove the backup catcher in from second on his first hit of the season: a one-out RBI double down the right field line to cut Boston’s deficit down to two runs at 3-1.

Rafael Devers followed suit by lacing a 99 mph single to right field that scored Hernandez from second to pull the Sox back to within one run of the Tigers.

Following a Detroit pitching change that saw Jacob Barnes take over for Alexander, J.D. Martinez stayed hot against his former team by ripping a game-tying double to the right field corner. The Tigers thought Martinez’s clutch hit may have landed in foul territory and challenged the call on the field.

Martinez’s RBI two-base hit was upheld, though, and the Red Sox and Tigers now found themselves deadlocked in a 3-3 stalemate.

After Garrett Whitlock came on for Sawamura and worked his way around a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth and retired the side in order in the seventh, the Boston bats struck once again in their half of the eighth.

Matched up against Tigers reliever Alex Lange, Hernandez drew a leadoff walk and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Devers then in Hernandez on a go-ahead single to center field. Arroyo tacked on an insurance run on an RBI single off Will Vest.

Now in possession of a 5-3 lead, Whitlock continued to dominate out of the ‘pen and shut down the Tigers to preserve the win. In his first outing since inking a four-year extension with the Sox on Sunday, the right-hander fanned two and issued just one walk over four scoreless, no-hit innings to earn his first winning decision of the year.

Some notes from this win:

Through five games this season, Rafael Devers is batting .381 (8-for-21) with two doubles, one home run, four RBIs, four runs scored, one walk, and five strikeouts.

After going 0-for-19 to start the season, Enrique Hernandez went 2-for-4 with two doubles, one RBI, two runs scored, one walk, and one strikeout out of the leadoff spot on Tuesday.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Rodriguez

The Red Sox will go for the series win over the Tigers in the rubber match of this three-game set on Wednesday afternoon. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for Boston and he will be opposed by an old friend in left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for Detroit.

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

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Nic Antaya/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)

Red Sox sign left-hander Derek Holland to minor-league deal for 2022 season

The Red Sox have signed left-hander Derek Holland to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to MLB Trade Rumors’ Steve Adams. It’s likely the deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Holland, 35, was originally selected by the Rangers in the 25th round of the 2006 amateur draft out of Wallace State Community College. The Ohio native debuted for Texas in 2009 and remained there through the end of the 2016 season.

Since then, Holland has bounced around a bit, spending the 2017 season with the White Sox, the 2018 season with the Giants, the 2019 season between the Giants and Cubs, and the 2020 season with the Pirates.

Most recently, Holland made 39 appearances (one start) for the Tigers in 2021. The veteran lefty posted a 5.07 ERA — but more respectable 3.96 FIP — to go along with 51 strikeouts to 20 walks over over 49 2/3 innings pitched with Detroit before becoming a free agent in November.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds, Holland operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a sinker, curveball, four-seam fastball, and changeup. He induced a 37.2% whiff rate with his curveball last year, per Baseball Savant.

With 1,466 big-league innings under his belt, Holland becomes the latest southpaw the Red Sox have added to their bullpen mix, albeit on a minors pact. Boston made their signings of Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm official earlier this week.

(Picture of Derek Holland: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox infielder Jack López signs minor-league deal with Tigers

The Detroit Tigers have signed former Red Sox infielder Jack Lopez to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to Carlos Baerga on Instagram. Per Baerga, the deal also includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Lopez, 29, originally inked a minors pact with the Sox last January after spending the first nine years of his professional career with the Royals and Braves organizations.

A former 2011 16th-round draft pick of Kansas City, Lopez opened the 2021 season with Double-A Portland, though it took him all of a week to earn a promotion to Triple-A Worcester.

With the WooSox, the right-handed hitter batted .274/.345/.386 (99 wRC+) with 14 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 33 RBIs, 29 runs, 15 stolen bases, 19 walks, and 54 strikeouts over 68 games (252 plate appearances) while seeing time at second base, third base, shortstop, center field, and right field.

In July, Lopez stepped away from affiliated ball to represent the United States and help Team USA win a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics. Upon returning from Japan, the versatile infielder quickly found himself on the doorstep of the big-leagues.

While the Red Sox were navigating their way through a COVID-19 outbreak in late August, Lopez had his contract selected from Worcester on the first day of September. He made his major-league debut against the Rays that same night and would go on to hit .154/.214/.308 in seven games across two stints with Boston.

Since he was taken off the Sox’ 40-man roster on Sept. 21 and closed out the year with the WooSox, Lopez was eligible to become a minor-league free agent in November.

The Rio Piedras native returned to his home island this off-season to suit up for Cangrejeros de Santurce of the Puerto Rican Winter League. Playing alongside Christian Vazquez Christian Vazquez at one point, Lopez posted a .540 OPS and stole six bases while appearing in 30 games for Santurce.

Lopez, who is listed at 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, is about to embark upon his age-29 season since he does not turn 30 until December. The Tigers represent the fourth organization Lopez will be a member of dating back to 2011.

At present, Detroit has nine infielders on their 40-man roster, including fellow Puerto Rican national Javier Baez. If Detroit values versatility, it will be interesting to see if Lopez can make a case to make the team’s Opening Day roster once spring training (hopefully) begins.

(Picture of Jack Lopez: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez agrees to five-year, $77 million deal with Tigers, per report

Eduardo Rodriguez’s time with the Red Sox has come to an end, as the left-hander has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $77 million deal with the Tigers. The agreement was first reported by The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen and was later confirmed by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

Per Heyman, Rodriguez’s deal with the Tigers includes a potential opt out after the second year and contains up to an additional $3 million in incentives. It also includes a no-trade clause.

Rodriguez, 28, was originally acquired by the Red Sox from the Orioles in the trade that sent fellow lefty Andrew Miller to Baltimore at the 2014 trade deadline.

After making his big-league debut the following season, Rodriguez established himself as a key cog in Boston’s starting rotation, most notably helping the club win a World Series title in 2018 and then finishing sixth in American League Cy Young voting in 2019.

Last year, the Venezuelan southpaw contracted myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) as a result of a bout with COVID-19, forcing him to miss the entirety of the compressed 2020 campaign.

This past season, Rodriguez returned to form for the most part while also experiencing some ups and downs. In 32 appearances (31 starts), the 6-foot-2, 231 pound hurler posted a 4.74 ERA and 3.32 FIP to go along with 185 strikeouts to 47 walks over 157 2/3 total innings of work.

Despite the relatively high ERA, Rodriguez still proved to be one of the more effective left-handed starters in baseball. Among the 18 lefties who accrued at least 150 innings on the mound this year, he ranked second in strikeout rate (27.4%), third in FIP, and second in xFIP (3.43), per FanGraphs.

From the time he became a free agent earlier this month, the Red Sox had strong interest in bringing Rodriguez back on a multi-year deal for 2022 and beyond. According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the club made several extension offers throughout 2021, but their one mid-season offer “was so far off from Rodriguez’s wishes that talks basically ended immediately.”

Ahead of last week’s GM meetings in Carlsbad, Calif., the Red Sox extended an $18.4 million qualifying offer for the 2022 season and the ISE Baseball client rejected it shortly thereafter.

Because the Sox extended him a qualifying offer, though, Rodriguez’s new club — in this case, the Tigers — now owes Boston compensation in the form of a draft pick.

By joining the Tigers, Rodriguez becomes the first major free agent to come off the board this off-season. He is also the first Red Sox free agent to sign elsewhere, as the likes of José Iglesias, Adam Ottavino, Martín Pérez, Garrett Richards, Hansel Robles, Danny Santana, Kyle Schwarber, and Travis Shaw remain on the open market.

(Picture of Eduardo Rodriguez: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)