After being held in check offensively in both games of a doubleheader sweep on Sunday, the Red Sox bounced back in a tremendous way and came away with a four-game series split with the White Sox on Monday following an 11-4 victory to celebrate Patriots’ Day at Fenway Park in style.
Making his fourth start of the season for Boston in this one was Nathan Eovaldi, who was fresh off a solid performance against the Twins in Minnesota last week.
Working against another American League Central foe in the White Sox this time around, the veteran right-hander had yet another impressive day on Monday.
Over 6 1/3 innings of work, Eovaldi yielded four runs (all earned) on nine hits and zero walks to go along with 10 strikeouts on the afternoon to tie a career-high.
The first two of those Chicago runs scored on extra-base hits from Luis Robert and Adam Eaton in the first and third innings. Eaton was also responsible for his side’s third run when he plated Tim Anderson on a two-out, run-scoring double in the fifth.
Eovaldi managed to keep the White Sox off the board for a little while after that, but after allowing two of the first three hitters he faced to reach base in the top of the seventh, his day came to a close with Eaton due to hit next for Chicago.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 100 (75 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler turned to his vaunted four-seam fastball 41 times on Monday, inducing six swings-and-misses while topping out at 100.3 mph with the pitch.
Able to pick up his third winning decision of the season despite raising his ERA to 3.04, Eovaldi’s next start should come against the Mariners at Fenway Park on Saturday.
In relief of Eovaldi, rookie right-hander Garrett Whitlock got the first — and only — call out of the Red Sox bullpen an inherited a situation where there runners on the corners and still two outs to get in the sixth.
Whitlock, in his first appearance since Wednesday, allowed one of those inherited runners to score on an RBI groundout from Eaton — which closed the book on Eovaldi’s outing — but he avoided any further damage by getting Robert to ground out to retire the side.
From there, the 24-year-old continued to dazzle in his debut season with the Sox by fanning two and sitting down the final six hitters he faced in order to preserve the 11-4 victory for his side.
On the other side of things, a reeling Red Sox lineup was matched up against a tough opponent in White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, who has finished in the top-7 in American League Cy Young voting in each of the last two seasons.
Despite the reputation Giolito carries with him, the 26-year-old struggled mightily in his first outing at Fenway Park in nearly two years.
That being the case because right from the get-go, the Sox put up six runs on seven hits while sending 11 batters to the plate in their half of the first.
Kiké Hernández led things off by crushing his third home run of the season just over the Green Monster to knot things up at 1-1, singles from Alex Verdugo and J.D. Martinez allowed Rafael Devers to drive in a run on a single of his own, and a Christian Vazquez single following a mound visit filled the bases for Marwin Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, one of the heroes of Saturday’s series-opening win, kept the line moving with an RBI single to score Martinez, while Hunter Renfroe drove in Devers on a groundout to third base.
Franchy Cordero followed with a line-drive RBI base hit to left field, which brought in Gonzalez. Just like that, the Red Sox had gone from trailing by a run to leading by five runs at 6-1.
Martinez provided more leadoff power in the bottom of the second, as he clubbed his sixth big fly of the season 398 feet over the Green Monster. 7-1.
A seven-pitch walk to Devers would mark the end of Giolito’s day after just one-plus innings pitched, and Renfroe would drive in the third baseman on a sacrifice fly off new White Sox reliever Zack Burdi. 8-1.
In the third, Verdugo became the third member of the top third of Boston’s starting lineup to go bridge. The 24-year-old took Burdi 417 feet deep to right field for his first Fenway homer of the season.
A one-out single off the bat of Vazquez an inning later would result in another Red Sox run crossing the plate when Cordero ripped a two-out, RBI single off Burdi.
And in the seventh, Martinez put the exclamation point on a 3-for-5 day at the plate by lacing yet another run-scoring base hit off Yermin Merceded — a position player — with two outs in the frame to bring in Hernandez from third.
Martinez’s second RBI knock of the afternoon gave the Red Sox a commanding 11-3 lead, which would go on to be Monday’s final score.
Some notes from this win:
The Red Sox are 11-6.
From Red Sox Notes:
Next up for the Red Sox, they will welcome the 7-9 Toronto Blue Jays into town for a brief, two-game series beginning Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s series opener at Fenway will feature an exclusively left-handed starting pitching matchup, with Eduardo Rodriguez getting the starting nod for Boston and veteran southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu doing the same for Toronto.
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)