Just how interested are Red Sox in free agent left-hander Steven Matz?

Earlier this week, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported that the Red Sox were one of multiple teams interested in free agent left-hander Steven Matz. On Friday, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden added more fuel to that fire.

While answering questions from readers, Bowden hypothesized that if the Red Sox are unable to re-sign fellow lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, they will “pivot to another similar starter,” such as Matz.

Matz, 30, became a free agent earlier this month after spending the entirety of the 2021 season with the Blue Jays. The former second-round draft pick out of Stony Brook, N.Y. spent the first 12 years of his professional career with the Mets, but was dealt to Toronto this past January.

In return for Matz, the Mets acquired three right-handed pitchers including prospect Josh Winckowski, who they later traded to the Red Sox as part of the three-team, seven-player trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals in February.

Regardless of that, Matz made 29 starts for the Jays this season, posting a respectable 3.82 ERA and 3.79 FIP to go along with 144 strikeouts to 43 walks over 150 2/3 innings of work. He missed time in the month of June due to a bout with COVID-19.

Among 17 left-handed starters who accrued at least 150 innings in 2021, Matz ranked seventh in strikeouts per nine innings (8.6), ninth in walks per nine innings (2.6), 10th in strikeout rate (22.3%), eighth and walk rate (6.6%), seventh in FIP, and eighth in xFIP (3.94), per FanGraphs.

According to Baseball Savant, the 6-foot-2, 201 pound southpaw operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a sinker, his fastest and most-used pitch, a changeup, a curveball, and a slider.

The Blue Jays had the chance to extend Matz an $18.4 million qualifying offer, but elected not to do so even after making a multi-year extension offer that the veteran hurler reportedly rejected, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Because he was not extended a qualifying offer, Matz does not have any draft pick compensation attached to him.

For this reason, Matz — a client of Icon Sports Management — should be more appealing to interested clubs such as the Red Sox since they would not have to forfeit a draft pick to the Blue Jays in order to sign him.

On that note, Newsday’s Tim Healey reported from Carlsbad, Calif. this week that Matz, who does not turn 31 until next May, was on hand at the GM meetings to talk with teams. Healey, like Sherman, also listed the Red Sox as one of the teams that ‘are in’ on Matz.

When speaking with reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham) on his way out of the GM meetings on Thursday, Red Sox chief baseball officer would not comment on if he spoke with any players in person, but did say that he felt like progress was made in terms of getting deals done.

(Picture of Steven Matz: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game postponed due to severe weather conditions in the Fenway area

For the second straight week, a Tuesday night game between the Red Sox and Blue Jays has been postponed due to inclement weather.

Last week’s game was postponed on account of thunderstorms in the Buffalo-area, while this week’s game was postponed because of severe weather conditions in the vicinity of Fenway Park.

Tuesday’s rained-out contest will be made up as part of a split, seven-inning doubleheader at Fenway Park on Wednesday, July 28, with the day cap scheduled to begin at 2:10 p.m. eastern time and the night cap taking place at approximately 7:10 p.m. eastern time.

The Red Sox won the first game of their four-game series against the Blue Jays by a final score of 5-4 on Monday night.

Right-hander Garrett Richards was slated to make his 20th start of the season for Boston on Tuesday, while left-hander Robbie Ray was in line to do the same for Toronto.

Instead, those two veteran hurlers will start the first game of Wednesday’s twin bill, with Sox righty Tanner Houck matching up against Jays lefty Steven Matz in the second game.

First pitch of the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader is once again scheduled for 2:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Fenway Park: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game postponed due to thunderstorms in Buffalo area

Tuesday night’s game between the Red Sox and Blue Jays at Sahlen Field in Buffalo has been postponed due to thunderstorms in the Buffalo-area.

After the Sox crushed the Jays, 13-4, on Monday, the two sides were slated to go at it again at approximately 7:07 p.m. eastern time on Tuesday, but inclement weather in Western New York prevented that from happening.

Instead, Tuesday’s postponed contest will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on August 7, with the first game slated to begin at 3:07 p.m. ET and the night cap to follow at 7:07 p.m. ET.

At that time, the Blue Jays — who began the 2021 season playing their home games at their spring training complex in Dunedin, Fla. before making the move to Buffalo last month on account of the COVID-19 pandemic — will be back at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

That being the case because last week, the club received a national interest exemption from the Canadian government to return to their home in Ontario at the end of the month, per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi.

The Red Sox have not played a game north of the border since early September of the 2019 season, so that will certainly be something to look forward to.

In the meantime, Boston’s three-game series against Toronto has been converted into a quick two-game series, so the Sox will have the chance to go for the sweep on Wednesday night.

Right-hander Garrett Richards, who was slated to start for the Red Sox on Tuesday, should be doing the same in Wednesday’s series finale.

Fellow righty Thomas Hatch, meanwhile, was in line to start for the Blue Jays on Tuesday, but it remains to be seen if he will do the same opposite Richards.

Regardless, first pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Sahlen Field: Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

Red Sox pitchers serve up 8 homers in historic blowout 18-4 loss to Blue Jays

The vibes were immaculate at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, those vibes were not of the feel-good variety, and instead reminiscent of what the team endured in 2020.

Sox pitchers — including two position players — combined to give up eight home runs in a blowout 18-4 pounding at the hands of the Blue Jays.

With the defeat, their second straight to Toronto, Boston falls to 39-27 on the season while dropping three full games back of the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East.

A historic day at Fenway

The eight homers Red Sox pitchers surrendered on Sunday are the most the team has ever given up in a single game in franchise history.

Perez gets rocked in another short outing

Martin Perez made his 13th start of the season for Boston on Sunday, fresh off what was his shortest outing of the year in his last time out against the Astros.

This time around, Perez was unable to turn the page, and he instead got bombarded in yet another brief showing on the mound.

Over just 1 1/3 innings of work, the veteran left-hander yielded five runs — all of which were earned — on six hits, one walk, and zero strikeouts on the afternoon.

Three of the six hits Perez gave up to the Jays went over the fence, with Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. crushing a three-run and solo homer in the first, and Marcus Semien going yard with one out in the second, at which point the lefty’s day came to a quick close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 38 (22 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler ultimately fell to 4-4 on the year while inflating his ERA to 4.52. He has allowed a total of 11 runs over his last two starts, but will look to turn things around in his next start against the Royals in Kansas City on Saturday.

Weber takes one for the team

In relief of Perez, Ryan Weber was deployed sooner than he likely expected with just one out in the top of the second.

Just selected from Triple-A Worcester, Weber was called up in the event that the Red Sox would need a long reliever out of the bullpen on Sunday, and that they did.

While he did provide 5 2/3 innings of relief in his 2021 debut, the right-hander was shelled for 11 earned runs on 13 hits and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts.

Nine of the 11 runs Weber surrendered came by way of the home run ball, with Teoscar Hernandez, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggo, and Vladimir Guerror Jr. taking the righy deep over the course of his 95-pitch outing.

Position players get in on the action

Trailing 16-2 going into the eighth inning, Red Sox manager Alex Cora opted to preserve his bullpen and instead turned to Marwin Gonzalez to pitch.

Making his first career appearance as a pitcher, the versatile Gonzalez turned in the only 1-2-3 inning the Sox enjoyed all day by retiring Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, and Riley Adams in order.

Of the 11 pitches Gonzalez needed to get through the scoreless frame, six were strikes. He also showed off a 90 mph cutter in addition to a mid-40s curveball.

Christian Arroyo, meanwhile, got the call for the ninth inning in what was also his big-league debut on the mound. The right-hander served up a two-run home run to Rowdy Tellez, which put Toronto up 18-4.

Another quietish day for the Sox lineup

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup has typically found success this season when scoring four-plus runs. But that was not the case against the Blue Jays on Sunday.

Matched up against Toronto left-hander Robbie Ray, Xander Bogaerts and Enrique Hernandez provided some early offense with a solo home run and two-run double, respectively.

Bobby Dalbec stayed hot by mashing his eighth homer of the season to lead off things in the eighth, but at that point the Sox’ deficit was already too large to mount a comeback.

Next up: Looking to salvage a series split

Right-haner Nathan Eovaldi will take the hill for the Red Sox on Monday night as the club looks to bounce back and settle for a four-game series split with the Blue Jays.

Toronto will send rookie righty Alek Manoah as they look for a series win.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kevin Plawecki and Ryan Weber: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez delivers in clutch as slugger’s 250th career homer lifts Red Sox to 8-7 victory over Blue Jays

The Red Sox will board their late-night flight to Philadelphia having gotten away with what feels like highway robbery following a drama-filled, come-from-behind 8-7 victory over the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla. on Thursday.

Down to their final out in the ninth inning while trailing 7-6, J.D. Martinez crushed a go-ahead two-run home run to deep right-center field off Jays closer Rafael Dolis.

Martinez’s clutch two-run blast — the 250th homer of his major-league career — resulted in the Red Sox going from trailing by a run to leading by a run in what would ultimately go down as an 8-7 triumph.

With the win — which also secured a series victory over Toronto — Boston improves to 27-18 on the season and maintains a one-game lead over the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Early second-inning offense

Matched up against Blue Jays left-hander Steven Matz to begin things on Thursday, the Red Sox lineup got off to another fast start by pushing across a bevy of runs in their half of the second inning, all with two outs, to get out to an early lead.

After Xander Bogaerts struck out and Rafael Devers grounded out, Matz appeared to be on the verge of his second straight 1-2-3 inning. A Christian Vazquez single halted those plans, though, and Hunter Renfroe followed with a two-out single of his own.

Bobby Dalbec’s recent hot stretch continued when he brought in both Vazquez and Renfroe on a 349-foot three-run shot to right field that was good for his fifth home run of the season that also put the Red Sox up 3-2.

Michael Chavis ripped another extra-base hit, a double, and quickly came into score on an RBI single off the bat of Enrique Hernandez. Boston’s leadoff man and Alex Verdugo both scored moments later on a two-run single courtesy of Martinez.

In total, the Sox collected seven straight two-out hits off Matz in the second inning before Bogaerts drew a walk and Devers was called out on strikes.

Pivetta’s tough outing

Having yielded two runs to the Blue Jays in the first inning Thursday night, Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta was gifted a three-run lead as he came back out for his second frame of work.

Things did not get any easier for Pivetta, though, as the right-hander surrendered another run in the second. He did manage to settle in a bit by stringing together two consecutive scoreless innings, but more trouble arose in the fifth when the Jays tacked on two more runs on two hits and a Rafael Devers fielding error — the first of three Red Sox errors on the night.

Pivetta’s outing would come to a close after he recorded the final out of the fifth. The 28-year-old wound up being charged with five runs — four of which were earned — on seven hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts over five innings of work that saw his ERA on the season inflate to 3.59.

Red Sox bullpen takes over

In relief of Pivetta, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for the bottom half of the sixth, and he could only record two outs. But not before giving up two runs — none of which were earned — on three hits, one walk, a fielding error committed by Hunter Renfroe, and a missed catch error committed by Michael Chavis that allowed the Blue Jays to take a 7-5 lead.

From there, Darwinzon Hernandez got the final out of the sixth and first two outs of the seventh inning before Phillips Valdez was dispatched to finish up the bottom of the seventh and toss a scoreless eighth inning, too.

Resilient Red Sox

Trailing by two runs at 7-5 going into the ninth inning, the Red Sox had no choice but to rely on the bottom of their lineup to ignite a late rally.

Dalbec and Chavis answered that call, as they led things off with back-to-back singles off Doilis as the lineup flipped back over.

Verdugo drove in Dalbec on an RBI groundout, which put Martinez in position to be the hero by mashing the game-winning, three-run home run.

The Red Sox now have 17 come-from-behind wins this season

Barnes rebounds and shuts the door on Toronto

Making his first relief appearance since blowing his first save of the season against the Angels on Sunday, Red Sox closer Matt Barnes bounced back by closing things out against the Blue Jays on Thursday.

The flame-throwing right-hander maneuvered his way around a two-out walk of Rowdy Tellez to otherwise punch out the side and preserve the 8-7 win for the Sox in the process of notching his 10th save of the year.

Next up: Perez vs. Nola

The Red Sox will arrive in Philadelphia early Friday morning and open up a three-game series against the 22-22 Phillies later that night at Citizens Bank Park.

Left-hander Martin Perez is slated to get the ball for Boston in the opener, while ace right-hander Aaron Nola is set to do the same for Philadelphia.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN+.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez surrenders five runs on 11 hits as Red Sox fall to Blue Jays, 8-0, in blowout loss

The Red Sox did something on Tuesday night they had not done since the beginning of the season: get shut out.

More than 2 1/2 months after getting blanked by the Orioles back on Opening Day, the Sox were kept off the scoreboard in what would go down as a forgetful 8-0 loss to the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. on Tuesday.

Boston is now 25-18 on the season after dropping their last two contests.

Rodriguez surrenders five runs in five innings

Eduardo Rodriguez made his eighth start of the season for Boston in the first game of a three-game series, and he got rocked for five runs — all of which were earned — on a season-high 11 hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over five taxing innings of work.

Tuesday’s outing was truly a grind for Rodriguez, as the left-hander dealt with more than his fair share of traffic on the base paths by facing four or more hitters in every inning he pitched in.

The Blue Jays first got to Rodriguez with a two-out RBI single off the bat of Danny Jansen in the bottom of the second. A leadoff double from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the fourth would prove to be the catalyst for another productive inning from Toronto, with Marcus Semien driving in a run on a single to right field and fielding error committed by Hunter Renfroe and Bo Bichette plating two more on a two-run double to center field.

Gurriel Jr. struck once more in the fifth, this time getting to Rodriguez with a groundball base hit to right field that plated Teoscar Hernandez from second to make it a 5-0 game.

After sitting down the final two hitters he faced in the fifth inning, Rodriguez’s evening would come to an end. The 28-year-old hurler threw 87 pitches (57 strikes) and managed to induce 13 total swings-and-misses while topping out at 94.1 mph with his four-seam fastball — a pitch he threw 27 times.

Ultimately picking up his second consecutive losing decision to fall to 5-2 on the year, Rodriguez’s ERA on the season now sits at 4.70. His next start should come against the Phillies in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Andriese struggles out of bullpen

In relief of Rodriguez, right-hander Matt Andriese got the first and only call out of the Red Sox bullpen in the middle of the sixth inning.

The good news here is that Andriese was the only relief pitcher the Red Sox needed to use on Tuesday, so the rest of their bullpen should be pretty fresh for the rest of this series against Toronto. The bad news is that Andriese got lit up for three runs on seven hits, one walk, and three strikeouts over three innings pitched.

A two-out walk of Bichette in the sixth would prove to be costly for Andriese, as he proceeded to yield back-to-back singles to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Hernandez with the outfielder driving in the shortstop to give his side a commanding 6-0 lead.

In the eighth, more two-out trouble arose for Andriese when — with a runner on second — he served up a two-run home run to noted slugger Randal Grichuk, which put the Blue Jays up 8-0.

Over his last seven appearances out of Boston’s bullpen, Andriese has allowed 11 earned runs on 20 hits in 9 2/3 innings of relief. That’s good for an ERA of 10.24.

Devers makes nifty play at third base

While Andriese did have a tough go of things on Tuesday, he did receive some defensive help from Rafael Devers to close out the seventh inning.

With two outs and runners at the corners, Semien ripped an 88 mph grounder in Devers’ direction at the hot corner.

Sprawling to his left upon contact, the young third baseman fielded the ball on a hop, quickly spun around, and — from his knees — threw out Semien at first base for the third and final out.

Sox lineup goes down quietly

As previously mentioned, the Red Sox were shut out by the Blue Jays on Tuesday, and that was primarily due to how dominating ace left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu was for Toronto.

The veteran southpaw limited Boston to just four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over seven strong innings.

There were some instances where the Red Sox appeared to be in a position to get to Ryu, but nothing ever came of those opportunities as the Sox offense would finish the night having gone 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position while leaving eight runners on base as a team.

Next up: Richards vs. Stripling

The Red Sox will look to put an end to their current two-game skid back at TD Ballpark on Wednesday night.

Right-hander Garrett Richards will get the ball for Boston in the middle game of this three-game set, while fellow righty Ross Stripling will do the same for Toronto.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:37 p.m. eastern time on NESN+.

(Picture of Eduardo Rodriguez: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Garrett Richards issues 6 walks as Red Sox fall to Blue Jays, 6-3

On a rainy Wednesday night at Fenway Park that caused first pitch of their game to be pushed back by about 31 minutes, the Red Sox fell short of their pursuit of another come-from-behind-victory and were instead beaten by the Blue Jays, 6-3, to drop to 12-7 on the season.

Garrett Richards struggled mightily and battled control issues in his fourth start of the year for Boston in this one.

Over 4 2/3 innings of work, the veteran right-hander yielded four runs — all of which were earned — on four hits, one hit batsman, and a season-high six walks to go along with two strikeouts on the night.

Richards put the first three Blue Jays he faced — Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — on base on a walk, a HBP, and an RBI single off the bat of Guerrero Jr.

He managed to escape the top half of the first having just given up the one run, but more trouble arose for Richards in the second when he surrendered an additional three runs in an inning that included three hits, two walks, a sacrifice fly and run-scoring groundout, and a wild pitch.

After recording the final out of the second, Richards did string together a decent stretch in which he retired eight out of 10 Toronto hitters at one point, but a two-out walk of Marcus Semien in the fifth that put runners on first and second would mark the end of his day.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 92 — only 48 of which were strikes, the 32-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 72% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing just two swings-and-misses while topping out at 95.7 mph with the pitch.

Falling to 0-2 on the year while seeing his ERA inflate to 6.48, Richards will look to bounce back in his next time out, which should come against the Mets in Queens next Tuesday.

In relief of Richards, Hirokazu Sawamura came on with two outs and two runners on in the top half of the fifth, recorded the final out of the frame, then faced the minimum three batters in a scoreless sixth inning.

From there, Phillips Valdez continued his impressive season-opening run by punching out two in a perfect top of the seventh, Austin Brice danced his way around traffic while keeping the Jays off the board in the eighth, and Josh Taylor got rocked for two runs on two hits and three walks in the ninth, which resulted in Toronto going from having a 4-3 lead to a 6-3 lead.

Taylor now owns a 10.80 ERA through his first eight appearances of the season.

On the other side of things, a Red Sox lineup that welcomed back the likes of Alex Verdugo and Rafael Devers was matched up against Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton to begin things on Wednesday.

After falling behind 4-0 early on, Devers got the scoring started for his side in the fourth inning by driving in J.D. Martinez from third on an RBI groundout to short off reliever Tommy Milone.

A double and single from Marwin Gonzalez and Bobby Dalbec to lead off the fifth put the Sox in a prime position to score, and they did so when Enrique Hernandez greeted David Phelps and drilled a one-out, run-scoring double down the left field line that brought in Gonzalez from second.

Now trailing by just two runs with one out and runners in scoring position, Boston appeared ready to turn this game on its head with the meat of their lineup due to hit.

Instead of that happening, though, Verdugo was called out on strikes, Martinez walked to fill the bases, and Xander Bogaerts grounded out to retire the side and thus extinguish the threat.

Bogaerts was able to cut into the deficit by crushing his second home run in as many days in the bottom of the eighth, but three runs is all the Red Sox could manage offensively in what would go down as a 6-3 defeat.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday.

The Red Sox are 11-4 in games not started by Garrett Richards.

The Red Sox are 6-6 at Fenway Park and 6-1 away from Fenway Park.

After winning nine in a row from April 5-14, the Red Sox are 3-4 in their last seven games.

The Red Sox — after settling for a series-split against the Jays — will welcome the Mariners into town for a four-game weekend series that begins Thursday night.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta will be getting the ball for Boston, and he will be opposed by fellow righty Justin Dunn for Seattle.

Dunn, a former first-round pick of the Mets back in 2016, spent three years at Boston College from 2014-2016.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Garrett Richards: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts hits first home run of season, Eduardo RodrĂ­guez punches out 6 in return to Fenway Park as Red Sox top Blue Jays, 4-2

For the second consecutive day, the Red Sox were matched up against one of the top pitchers in the American League. And for the second consecutive day, the Red Sox needed just one inning to get the best of that pitcher.

They did so in the first inning of Monday’s 11-4 win over the White Sox by getting to Lucas Giolito for six runs. They did so in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Blue Jays by getting to Hyun-Jin Ryu for all four of their runs.

Facing off against one of the toughest left-handed pitchers in baseball to kick off a quick two-game series at Fenway Park, the Sox lineup went down quietly the first time through the order, but eventually got to Ryu in their half of the fourth.

There, back-to-back singles off the bats of Christian Arroyo and J.D. Martinez to lead off the frame set the stage for Xander Bogaerts, who — on a 1-2, 91 mph fastball on the inner half of the plate from Ryu — crushed his first home run of the season 408 feet over the Green Monster.

Not only did Bogaerts club his first homer of the year in the fourth inning, but Marwin Gonzalez also collected his first double with one out.

Bobby Dalbec, meanwhile, hit the first triple of his big-league career on a 101.3 mph scorcher that traveled 408 feet to deep center field and brought in Gonzalez from second to make it a 4-1 game.

That would be all the scoring the Sox would need in this one, but it should not be ignored that Arroyo went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored while batting out of the two-hole Tuesday.

Rodriguez shines in return to Fenway

Eduardo Rodriguez made his third start of the season for the Red Sox on Tuesday, marking the first time he had started a game at Fenway Park since the final day of the 2019 season.

In his return to Fenway, the left-hander was impressive as he held the Blue Jays to just two runs on three hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over six-plus innings of work.

Both runs Rodriguez gave up came by way of the long ball, with Bo Bichette taking the southpaw deep to lead off the top half of the fourth and Randal Grichuk doing the very same thing three innings later.

Rodriguez serving up a solo shot to Grichuk would mark the end of his night, but his homecoming of sorts was a triumphant one to say the least.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 90 (62 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 33% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing six swings-and-misses while topping out at 94.8 mph with the pitch.

Able to improve to 3-0 on the young season while lowering his ERA to 3.38, Rodriguez’s next start should come against the Seattle Mariners in the final game of the Sox’ homestand on Sunday.

Andriese, Ottavino, and Barnes close things out

In relief of Rodriguez, Matt Andriese got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for what was essentially a clean top half of the seventh inning. The right-hander retired the only three hitters he faced and capped off his outing by punching out noted Red Sox killer Rowdy Tellez on five pitches.

From there, Adam Ottavino maneuvered his way around a two-out walk and a throwing error committed by Christian Vazquez in an otherwise perfect eighth inning, while Matt Barnes notched his third save of the season and preserved the 4-2 victory for his side by working a scoreless ninth inning.

The Red Sox are now 12-6.

Next up: Richards vs. Thornton

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the finale of this two-game set against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Right-hander Garrett Richards will be making his fourth start of the season for Boston, and he will be opposed by fellow right-hander Trent Thornton for Toronto.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Home runs from KikĂ© Hernández, Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez power Red Sox to 11-4 win over White Sox on Patriots’ Day

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)

Red Sox pitching prospect Josh Winckowski wraps up solid spring with 3 strong innings of work against Twins

In what was undoubtedly be his last start of the spring, Red Sox pitching prospect Josh Winckowski impressed against the Twins at JetBlue Park on Sunday afternoon.

Making his first start of the Grapefruit League campaign, the 22-year-old right-hander held Minnesota’s lineup — which included the likes of Josh Donaldson, Nelson Cruz, and Byron Buxton — to one earned run on two hits and one walk to go along with one strikeout over three solid innings of work.

That lone Twins tally came on an RBI groundout off the bat of Donaldson in the top half of the third after Willians Astudillo led off the frame with a double and advanced to third on a flyout.

Other than that, Winckowski wrapped up his day by getting Cruz to ground out to short to retire the side in the third.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 51, 33 of which went for strikes, the Ohio native finishes his first spring with the Sox having posted a 3.68 ERA and .154 batting average against over five total appearances spanning 7 1/3 innings pitched.

Boston acquired Winckowski — as well as outfielder Franchy Cordero and two players to be named later — in the three-team trade with the Mets and Royals that saw outfielder Andrew Benintendi land in Kansas City last month.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds, Winckowski was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the 15th round of the 2016 amateur draft out of Estero (Fla.) High School.

He signed with Toronto for $125,000 later that summer and proceeded to put up a 3.35 ERA over 54 appearances (50 starts) and 263 innings of work between rookie-league, Low-A, Class-A, and High-A over the next 3 1/2 seasons.

By that time, Winckowski had emerged as an intriguing prospect within the Jays’ minor-league pipeline, and even after not seeing any in-game at action at all (besides Toronto’s fall instructional league) on account of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he was one of three pitchers the Blue Jays traded to the Mets in January in exchange for left-hander Steven Matz.

Emerging as New York’s 26th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline in the wake of that trade, Winckowski’s time with the Mets did not last all that long.

As previously mentioned, he, again, was traded — this time to the Red Sox — on February 10, prompting him to jokingly change his Instagram bio to ‘I guess Red Sox.’

Given that he grew up and still resides in the Fort Myers-area, Winckowski going from the Mets to the Sox meant being within closer proximity to his new team’s spring training complex, which led to him captioning his Instagram post reacting to the trade with: ‘Spring training drive won’t be too bad.’

(For what it’s worth, his Instagram bio now reads: ‘Crazy few weeks but I’m pumped to be a Sox.’)

Winckowski arrived at the Red Sox’ Fenway South complex last month as one of 30 initial non-roster invitees at big-league camp. He was ultimately reassigned to the minor-leagues on March 9, but not before leaving a positive first impression on some of his new teammates, like fellow right-hander Matt Barnes.

“I was standing right next to him as he was warming up,” Barnes said about Winckowski following his scoreless outing against the Braves on March 7. “The ball was coming out good. Obviously he had a really good inning. Commanded the ball in the zone. Got ahead of guys, attacked hitters. It looks like he’s got firm, good stuff. It looks like the ball jumps out of his hand — really heavy fastball. That’s what it looks like to me. Obviously I’m not on the other end of it. But watching him from behind in the bullpen warming up and obviously the results speak for themselves in the game today, it looks like he’s got really good stuff.”

Winckowski, who does not turn 23 until June 28, is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as Boston’s No. 33 prospect, ranking 17th among pitchers in the organization.

FanGraphs‘ Eric Longenhagen wrote this about Winckowski back in January, “Winckowski has a chance to pop in 2021 because he was pitching hurt in 2019 and still got guys out. He looked rusty during instructs but was also up to 97 and added a new splitter to an already decent slider.”

Equipped with a fastball, slider, changeup, and slider in total, Winckowski is projected to begin the 2021 minor-league season with Double-A Portland, though he could earn a promotion to Triple-A Worcester later in the year depending on how he progresses.

The 2021 campaign could prove to be a pivotal one for Winckowski, as he becomes eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career later on this winter.

The Red Sox will need to add the righty to their 40-man roster on or before November 20 of this year if they do not want to risk losing him to another club in the December draft.

(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Billie Weiss/MLB Photos via Getty Images)