Tanner Houck remains perfect in save opportunities as Red Sox hold on for 6-5 win over Cardinals

The Red Sox opened their three-game interleague series with the Cardinals on a nerve-racking, but positive note on Friday night. Boston held on for a 6-5 victory over to St. Louis to improve to 3-1 on the homestand and 35-30 on the season as a whole.

Michael Wacha, making his 11th start of the year, was solid against the team he began his professional career with. In his first time facing the Cardinals, the veteran right-hander allowed just one run on six hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of work.

The lone run Wacha surrendered came with no outs in the second inning, as he served up a 403-foot solo shot to Nolan Arenado that left the third baseman’s bat at a blistering 108.6 mph.

From there, though, Wacha limited the damage by retiring 12 of the next 16 batters he faced before giving up a one-out single to Paul Goldschmidt in the top of the sixth that was followed by a four-pitch walk of Arenado. At that point, the righty was given the hook by Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 88 (54 strikes), Wacha relied on his four-seam fastball 36% of the time he was on the mound Friday and topped out at 96.3 mph with the pitch. The 30-year-old hurler also induced six swings-and-misses with his changeup, a pitch he threw 27 times. His ERA on the season now sits at 2.28.

By the time Wacha’s night had ended, the Red Sox lineup had pushed across three runs of their own. Matched up against Wacha’s mentor and former teammate in Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright, Jarren Duran made his impact felt right away with a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first inning.

Duran tripled on a 104.5 mph line drive off the center field wall. He then scored from third base when J.D. Martinez grounded into a run-scoring double play.

Fast forward to the fourth, Martinez led off with a single and immediately advanced to third on a line-drive double off the bat of Xander Bogaerts. Both runners scored when Trevor Story snuck a two-run single through the right side of the infield to give the Sox a 3-1 lead.

Picking things up in the top of the sixth, John Schreiber took over for Wacha and stranded the two runners he inherited by retiring Nolan Gorman and Tyler O’Neil. He then got the first two outs of the seventh before Matt Strahm came on to get the third.

In the bottom half of the frame, Franchy Cordero led off with a double and scored from second on a Jackie Bradley Jr. RBI single. After the pinch-hitting Bobby Dalbec moved Bradley Jr. up to third on a hard-hit double, both runners scored on a two-run single courtesy of Rafael Devers.

Taking a 6-1 lead into the eighth inning, Strahm took care of business there before fellow left-hander Austin Davis was called upon in the top of the ninth. Davis got the first two outs rather easily, then allowed the next three Cardinals he faced to reach base on a double, an RBI triple, and a hit batsman.

That prompted Cora to turn to Tanner Houck, who proceeded to give up back-to-back doubles that plated three more St. Louis runs. With Brendan Donovan representing the tying run, Houck did not falter and instead punched out National League MVP candidate on eight pitches to slam the door on the Cardinals.

Houck is now 3-for-3 in save opportunities as he secured the 6-5 win for the Red Sox.

Next up: Crawford vs. Hudson

The Red Sox will go for another series victory on Saturday by sending right-hander Kutter Crawford to the mound for his second start of the season. The Cardinals will counter with fellow righty Dakota Hudson.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez and Tanner Houck: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox go 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, fail to finish off sweep of Athletics in 4-3 loss

The Red Sox were unable to complete their three-game sweep of the Athletics at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon. Boston instead fell to Oakland by a final score of 4-3 to put its three-game winning streak come to an end and drop to 34-30 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his 12th start of the year for the Sox, allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work.

All three runs the veteran left-hander gave up came in the top half of the third. The Athletics’ rally began when Cristian Pache reached base on a one-out popup to shallow center field that was not caught by a back-tracking Trevor Story. It was ruled a double and was immediately followed by an RBI single off the bat of Chad Pinder that got Oakland on the board first.

A hard-hit double from Ramon Laureano put runners at second and third for Christian Bethancourt, who drove in both on a two-run single to left field. Hill did not falter, though, as he proceeded to sit down 10 of the next 11 batters he faced before yielding a two-out single to Seth Brown in the sixth inning.

That would mark the end of Hill’s afternoon as he got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The 42-year-old southpaw finished with a final pitch count of 82 (61 strikes) and induced eight swings-and-misses with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 30 times.

In relief of Hill, Hirokazu Sawamura received the first call out of the Boston bullpen while inheriting one runner in Brown. A passed ball allowed that runner to advance to second and he proceeded to score from there on an Elvis Andrus line drive that went through the legs of Rafael Devers.

Sawamura got through the rest of the inning unscathed, but the Red Sox found themselves trailing 4-1 heading into their half of the sixth. To that point in the contest, the Boston lineup had been held in check by Oakland right-hander Paul Blackburn despite having a fair share of scoring opportunities.

Jarren Duran led off the first inning with a drag bunt single and advanced to third on a one-out single from J.D. Martinez. Neither runner scored. A pair of singles from Franchy Cordero and Jackie Bradley Jr. put runners on the corners with two outs in the third for Duran, who struck out swinging.

The Sox finally prevailed in the third, as Devers drew a leadoff walk and later scored from third on an RBI groundout off the bat of Xander Bogaerts. They could have gotten more in the frame, but both Alex Verdugo and Story were retired to extinguish the threat.

An inning later, the A’s elected to intentionally walk Devers with two outs, which loaded the bases for Martinez. Martinez, however, softly grounded out to Blackburn himself to end things in the fourth.

Blackburn compiled his first 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, but ran into more trouble in the sixth when he gave up a one-out single to Christian Vazquez. That prompted a pitching change as A.J. Puk was dispatched from the Athletics bullpen. Puk got Bradley Jr. to ground into a force out at second to snuff out the lead runner, then fanned the pinch-hitting Bobby Dalbec on three straight heaters.

After Ryan Brasier made quick work of Oakland in the top of the seventh, Boston had another prime opportunity in the latter half of the frame. Devers was plunked by a pitch and Bogaerts roped a one-out single to put runner at first and second. Matched up against new A’s reliever Zach Jackson, Verdugo flew out to center field and Story punched out on a 3-2, 87 mph slider to end the inning.

Hansel Robles worked his way around a ground-rule double in an otherwise clean eighth inning. In the bottom of the eighth, the pinch-hitting Rob Refsnyder led off with a line-drive single off Sam Moll. Vazquez followed by drawing a walk. Bradley Jr. and Dalbec each recorded outs, but Devers kept the inning alive by reaching on a fielding error committed by A’s third baseman Jonah Bride.

Refsnyder scored on the play. Martinez then greeted new reliever Dany Jimenez by lacing an RBI single back up the middle. It scored Vazquez and very well could have scored the tying run in Devers were it not for the efforts of second baseman Tony Kemp.

Kemp prevented the ball from rolling into center field, which forced Devers — representing the tying run — to hold up at third base. Following a mound visit, Bogaerts grounded into a force out to put an end to the inning with the Red Sox still trailing 4-3.

The score would remain that way after Tyler Danish sat down the side in order in the top half of the ninth. Down to their final three outs in the bottom half, Verdugo, Story, and Refsnyder went down quietly as 4-3 would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

All told, the Red Sox lineup went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 13 runers on base as a team. It was a particularly tough day for Story, who went 0-for-5 with three punchouts and three runners left on base. The second baseman is hitting just .143 (4-for-28) over his last seven games.

Next up: Wainwright vs. Wacha

The Red Sox will look to win another series as they welcome the Cardinals into town for the first time since 2017 on Friday night. In the first of a three-game weekend set, it will be right-hander Michael Wacha getting the start for Boston and fellow righty Adam Wainwright doing the same for St. Louis.

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

(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Trevor Story homers again as Red Sox earn fourth straight series victory with convincing 16-7 win over White Sox

The Red Sox won their fourth straight series on Thursday with a 16-7 victory over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Boston ends its brief three-game road trip by improving to 21-23 on the season.

Matched up against Dallas Keuchel out of the gate, Enrique Hernandez kicked things off with yet another leadoff home run that gave the Sox a 1-0 lead right away in the first inning. A Rafael Devers double and J.D. Martinez single then put runners on the corners for Trevor Story, who got his productive night at the plate started with an RBI single. Alex Verdugo followed with a run-scoring double that plated Martinez and made it a 3-0 game before Chicago even had a chance to step up to the plate.

An inning later, another Devers double and walk drawn by Martinez put two runners on for Story, who proceeded to deposit a Keuchel cutter 363 feet over the left field fence for a three-run blast. Story’s ninth home run of the season, which had an exit velocity of 102.1 mph, put the Red Sox up 6-0 early on.

On the other side of things, Michael Wacha was making his seventh start of the season for Boston. The veteran right-hander retired six of the first seven batters he faced before running into some trouble in the bottom half of the third.

There, three straight singles to lead off the inning filled the bases for Andrew Vaughn, who came through with a three-run double off Wacha that cut the White Sox’ deficit in half.

Wacha got through the rest of the third unscathed and faced the minimum in the fourth. But after Boston got one of those runs back on a Verdugo RBI double in the top of the fifth, he gave up two more when he served up a two-run homer to Vaughn in the latter half. Vaughn would be the last batter Wacha would face.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 88 (58 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler wound up allowing five earned runs on seven hits, no walks, and two strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work. His ERA on the season rose from 1.76 to 2.83.

In relief of Wacha, John Schreiber got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Schreiber ended things in the fifth before retiring the side in order in the sixth.

A half-inning later, the Red Sox pushed across two more runs on a pair of RBI singles from Christian Vazquez and Christian Arroyo. After Tyler Danish put up a zero in the latter half of the seventh, Boston continued its offensive onslaught in a five-run top of the eighth. Verdugo, Vazquez, and Bobby Dalbec each drove in a run on back-to-back-to-back RBI base hits. Vazquez and Dalbec scored themselves when Jackie Bradley Jr. (pinch-hitting for Arroyo) reached base on a fielding error.

Matt Barnes was dispatched for the bottom of the eighth and immediately struck out the first batter he faced in A.J. Pollock. The righty then walked four straight, thus allowing the White Sox to score another run, before being pulled in favor of Hirokazu Sawamura. Only nine of the 27 pitches Barnes threw went for strikes.

Sawamura, meanwhile, allowed one of the runners he inherited to score on a sacrifice fly from Leury Garcia before escaping the jam by fanning Adam Engel on four pitches.

Fast forward to the ninth, Kevin Plaweci, who previously replaced Story, crushed his first home run of the season — a two-run shot — off a position player in Josh Harrison. That it was Plawecki’s first homer of the year is interesting when you consider the fact that he has been the only position player to pitch for the Red Sox to this point.

From there, Austin Davis closed things out with a scoreless frame in the bottom of the ninth to secure a 16-7 blowout win for the Red Sox before they head back home.

All told, the Boston lineup went 10-for-24 with runners in scoring position on Thursday. Devers and Story each had two hits, Martinez and Vazquez had three, and Verdugo went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.

Next up: Back to Boston

The Red Sox will board a flight back to Boston and open up a unique five-game series against the Orioles beginning Friday night. Garrett Whitlock is slated to get the ball in the opener opposite fellow right-hander Kyle Bradish. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on Apple TV+.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox go deep 4 times en route to 16-3 blowout win over White Sox

The Red Sox wasted no time in teeing off against Dylan Cease and the White Sox on Tuesday. A four-run first inning powered Boston to a 16-3 victory over Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field.

By taking the opener of this three-game series, the Sox extend their winning streak to six consecutive games while improving to 20-22 on the season.

On the very first pitch he saw from Cease in the first inning, Enrique Hernandez crushed a leadoff home run 372 feet into Chicago’s bullpen to give Boston an immediate 1-0 lead. Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez followed with a single and walk, which put runners at the corners with two outs when Trevor Story stepped up to the plate.

Fresh off being named the American League Player of the Week, Story picked up where he left off by not letting Cease off the hook and instead depositing a three-run home run 398 feet to left field. Story’s eighth homer of the year put the Red Sox up 4-0.

An inning later, back-to-back hard-hit doubles from Jackie Bradley Jr. and Hernandez to lead things off made it a 5-0 game. Martinez tacked on another by lacing a 105 mph RBI single to left field that increased the advantage to six runs.

In the third, Christian Vazquez followed a one-out Franchy Cordero walk by ripping a single back up the middle that advanced Cordero up to third base. Cordero scored from third when Bradley Jr. beat out a double play by reaching first base safely.

After the White Sox dipped into their bullpen beginning in the fourth inning, Devers greeted new reliever Jose Ruiz by mashing an opposite-field solo blast that left his bat at 106 mph. Devers’ 10th big fly of the season made it an 8-0 ballgame in favor of the Red Sox. Ruiz proceeded to fill the bases with no outs in the fourth before giving up an RBI sacrifice fly to Cordero and run-scoring single to Vazquez.

To that point in the contest, Nick Pivetta had retired each of the first nine batters he faced. The right-hander’s bid for a perfect game came to an end in the bottom of the fourth when he yielded a leadoff double to Tim Anderson. He then served up a two-out, two-run home run to Jose Abreu that saw his shutout bid end as well.

The Red Sox lineup picked up their starter in the top half of the fifth, though. With one out, Martinez and Bogaerts each reached base off Bennett Sousa for Alex Verdugo, who made his first hit of the night count in the form of an RBI single. Story and Cordero kept the line moving with two more run-scoring knocks before Vazquez drove them both in on a 400-foot three-run homer to left field. Vazquez’s second long ball of the season gave Boston a commanding 16-2 lead.

Pivetta, meanwhile, ran into some more trouble in the latter half of the fifth when he gave up a two-out double to Andrew Vaughn that was followed by a run-scoring single off the bat of Tim Anderson to trim Chicago’s deficit to 13 runs at 16-3. Pivetta’s outing came to a close after he stranded a pair of base runners in a scoreless sixth inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 88 (51 strikes), the 29-year-old hurler wound up allowing three earned runs on five hits, two walks, and five strikeouts over six innings of work. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.25 after nine starts.

In relief of Pivetta, Hirokazu Sawamura received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora beginning in the seventh. The righty sat down three of the four he faced before making way in the eighth for Matt Barnes, who, too, put up a zero. And in the ninth, Tyler Danish slammed the door on the White Sox to put the finishing touches on the blowout.

All told, the Sox offense tallied a season-high 16 runs on 19 hits — four of which left the yard — while going 9-for-18 with runners in scoring position. Hernandez, Devers, Story, Verdugo, and Bradley Jr. had two hits apiece, Martinez accounted for four, and Vazquez had three.

Next up: Hill vs. Giolito

The Red Sox will go for their fourth straight win on Wednesday night when they send veteran left-hander Rich Hill to the mound. The White Sox will counter with right-hander Lucas Giolito.

First pitch from Guaranteed Rate Field is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Trevor Story and Rafael Devers: Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Trevor Story named American League Player of the Week after hitting 6 home runs during homestand

In unsurprising news, Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story has been named American League Player of the Week for the week of May 16-22, Major League Baseball announced on Monday.

Story is coming off his best stretch in a Red Sox uniform to date after feasting on two American League West opponents at Fenway Park. In seven games against the Astros and Mariners, the right-handed hitting slugger slashed a blistering .360/.452/1.120 with one double, six home runs, 14 RBIs, 10 runs scored, two stolen bases, five walks, and four strikeouts across 31 trips to the plate. Boston went 6-1 in those contests.

On Monday, Story came through in the clutch by clubbing a game-tying home run off Astros reliever Phil Maton in the seventh inning of an eventual 6-3 win. The 428-foot solo shot was Story’s first Fenway Park homer as a member of the Sox.

Three days later, the 29-year-old went off for three home runs and seven RBIs as part of a 12-6 blowout victory over the Mariners. It marked the second three-homer game of his big-league career and the first time a second baseman had ever crushed three homers and stole a base in the same game. He also hit a grand slam on Friday and went deep again on Sunday to bring his season total up to seven.

To go along with those seven long balls, Story is now batting .226/.310/.438 on the year with 29 RBIs, 21 runs scored, a team-leading five stolen bases, 16 walks, and 45 strikeouts across 36 games spanning 158 plate appearances.

Story, who signed a six-year, $140 million contract with Boston in March, becomes the first Red Sox player to earn American League Player of the Week honors this season. The two-time All-Star accomplished the National League version of the feat four times in his tenure with the Rockies.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Trevor Story stays hot with grand slam as Red Sox extend winning streak to 3 with 7-3 victory over Mariners

The Red Sox continued their winning ways on Friday night with a 7-3 victory over the Mariners at Fenway Park. Boston has now won three straight games for the first time in 2022 to improve to 17-22 on the season.

Matched up against reining American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray out of the gate, the Sox did all of their damage in their half of the third inning.

There, Xander Bogaerts drew a two-out walk to fill the bases for Trevor Story. Coming off a historic three-homer night on Thursday, Story picked up where he left off by unloading the bases with a 378-foot grand slam over the Green Monster.

Story’s sixth home run of the season and fourth in the last 24 hours was caught by former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes in the first row of Monster Seats and gave Boston an early 4-0 lead.

To that point in the contest, Michael Wacha was already through three scoreless frames in his first start since returning from the injured list earlier in the day. All told, the veteran right-hander allowed two earned runs on four hits and three walks to go along with three strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings of work.

Both of those Seattle runs came in the top of the fifth, when Wacha gave up a leadoff double to Eugenio Suarez that was followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Abraham Toro. He then retired two of the next four batters he faced before getting the hook from manager Alex Cora.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 75 (44 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler relied on his changeup 43% of the time he was on the mound Friday and induced six of his eight swings-and-misses with hit. He also sat between 90 and 96 mph with his four-seam fastball.

In relief of Wacha, Austin Davis came on with two runners on and one out to get in the fifth. The left-hander got that out by fanning J.P. Crawford on six pitches, then proceeded to retire the side in order in the sixth as well. Fellow southpaw Jake Diekman followed suit by stranding one runner in an otherwise clean seventh inning to pace the way for John Schreiber in the eighth.

Schreiber, working in yet another high-leverage situation, witnessed a scary moment when he got Crawford to lift a softly-hit, 22-foot flyball to shallow left field. While converging on the ball, a sliding Alex Verdugo took out Bogaerts, who appeared to be in serious pain as he landed on his back.

The ball popped out of Bogaerts’ glove during that sequence, allowing Crawford to reach second base safely while Verdugo was charged with a fielding error. Crawford came into score on an RBI single from Jesse Winker, but Schreiber was able to hold the Mariners to the one run. Bogaerts is now considered day-to-day with left back tightness.

After coming on as a defensive replacement for Christian Arroyo the previous inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. provided some late-game insurance in his lone plate appearance of the night in the bottom of the eighth. After J.D. Martinez and Franchy Cordero (pinch-hitting for Bogaerts) reached base, Bradley Jr. greeted new Mariners reliever Anthony Misiewicz by cranking a three-run homer 359 feet to the opposite field.

Bradley Jr.’s first big fly of the year put the Sox up 7-3. Matt Strahm then slammed the door on the Mariners in the ninth inning to secure his team’s third consecutive win.

Next up: Flexen vs. Whitlock

The Red Sox will go for their third consecutive series win in the third game of this four-game set against the Mariners on Saturday evening. Boston will turn to right-hander Garrett Whitlock while Seattle will roll with fellow righty Chris Flexen.

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

(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Trevor Story crushes 3 home runs, collects 7 RBIs as Red Sox overcome early deficit to defeat Mariners, 12-6

The Red Sox fell behind early, but ultimately prevailed against the Mariners for their second straight win on Thursday night. Boston defeated Seattle by a final score of 12-6 to improve to 16-22 on the season.

Rich Hill made his seventh start of the year for the Sox, but really served as more of an opener. The veteran left-hander allowed four earned runs on six hits and one walk to go along with two strikeouts over just two innings of work.

All four runs Hill surrendered on Thursday came in the top half of the second. He yielded a leadoff double to Eugenio Suarez and one-out single to Abraham Toro before Dylan Moore cranked a three-run home run over the Green Monster. Adam Frazier then reached base via a two-out walk and scored all the way from first on an RBI double off the bat of Ty France. That gave the Mariners a 4-0 lead before Hill was able to get through his second and final inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 56 (35 strikes), the 42-year-old southpaw may not have been able to provide Boston with length, but it had a fresh bullpen to work with following Nick Pivetta’s complete game two-hitter the night prior.

Before the Red Sox bullpen was called into action, the lineup got things going against Mariners rookie starter George Kirby in their half of the second. Alex Verdugo broke out of of a prolonged slump with a leadoff single. Trevor Story followed by crushing a towering two-run home run 402 feet to dead center field to cut the deficit in half at 4-2.

An inning later, Story struck again with a runner on base ahead of him. Following a leadoff single from J.D. Martinez, Story clubbed his second two-run blast of the game — a 403-foot shot down the left field line — to knot things up at four runs apiece.

To that point, Tanner Houck had already received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in relief of Hill and worked a 1-2-3 third inning. The right-hander picked up where he left off in the fourth by retiring nine of the next 11 Mariners he faced while keeping that 4-4 tie intact going into the middle of the sixth.

Seattle was ready to take Kirby out of the game in favor of veteran reliever Sergio Romo, but the rookie had to face at least one batter since he had already taken the mound. That one batter he did face, Verdugo, led the bottom of the sixth off with a sharply-hit double. Romo was then greeted by Story, who managed to plate Verdugo on a single back up the middle that was accompanied by a fielding error. After taking their first lead of the night at 5-4, Story stole third base and scored from third on an RBI double from Jackie Bradley Jr.

John Schreiber took over for Houck following his four impressive frames in the seventh and retired the side in order. In the bottom of the seventh, the Sox padded their lead as Bobby Dalbec, Christian Vazquez, and Bradley Jr. were either walked or hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

The Mariners got one of those runs back in the top of the eighth when Hirokazu Sawamura loaded the bases with one out and Matt Strahm walked one of those runners in before ending the inning.

A half-inning later, Martinez and Bogaerts reached on back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on first and second for Story, who capped off his memorable night by depositing a 358-foot three-run home run into the Monster seats.

Story’s third big fly of the game and fifth of the season gave Boston a commanding 12-5 lead. Ryan Brasier gave one of those runs back on a Julio Rodriguez solo shot in the top of the ninth, but was able to slam the door on Seattle to secure a 12-6 victory.

Some notes from this win:

Trevor Story went 4-for-4 with three homers, seven RBIs, five runs scored, one walk, and one stolen base. It was the second three-home run game of the 29-year-old’s career and undoubtedly his best all-around performance with the Red Sox so far this season.

From MLB Stats, Story is the first second baseman in major-league history to hit three home runs and steal a base in the same game.

J.D. Martinez went 4-for-5 with three runs scored while Alex Verdugo went 3-for-5 with four runs scored.

Rafael Devers also extended his hitting streak to 13 straight games as part of a 1-for-5 night at the plate.

Alex Cora won his 300th game as Red Sox manager on Thursday.

Next up: Ray vs. Wacha

The Red Sox are expected to activate right-hander Michael Wacha from the 15-day injured list and have him start against the Mariners on Friday night opposite reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray.

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

(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Trevor Story and Xander Bogaerts come through with late homers as Red Sox defeat Astros, 6-3

Right before the clock struck midnight on Monday, the Red Sox put the finishing touches on a series-opening win over the Astros at Fenway Park. It took nearly five hours to do so because of the weather, but Boston defeated Houston by a final score of 6-3 to improve to 14-21 on the season.

Matched up against veteran starter Jake Odorizzi to begin things on Monday, the Sox did not register their first hit of the night until the fourth inning, when Enrique Hernandez led off with a line-drive single. J.D. Martinez extended his hitting streak to 17 straight games and advanced Hernandez up to second base before Xander Bogaerts drew a five-pitch walk to fill the bases with one out.

Alex Verdugo followed by lifting a 235-foot fly ball to center field that was just out of the reach of sprawling Chas McCormick and brought in Hernandez from third to give the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead. Martinez was thrown out at third on the play and Trevor Story popped out to end the inning.

To that point in the contest, Garrett Whitlock had gotten through his fifth start of the season without yet giving up a run. The right-hander’s fortunes changed in the fifth, though, as he served up a solo homer to McCormick that pulled the Astros back even with the Sox at 1-1.

Shortly after that happened, Franchy Cordero led off the latter half of the fifth by showing off his power and speed on a 104.3 mph double off the Green Monster. Cordero then moved up to third on a Jackie Bradley Jr. groundout and scored on a pitch that got past Astros catcher Jason Castro.

Odorizzi was able to limit the damage to one run in the fifth, but in the process of getting Hernandez to ground out to first for the final out, suffered a serious injury while running off the mound. He fell to the ground and was ultimately taken off the field. The Astros described Odorizzi’s injury as lower left leg discomfort.

Whitlock came back out in the sixth but immediately gave up a leadoff ground-rule double to Michael Brantley that was followed by a four-pitch walk of Alex Bregman. He was then given the hook by Red Sox manager Alex Cora in favor of Jake Diekman, who walked the first batter he faced before yielding a game-tying sacrifice fly to Yuli Gurriel.

John Schreiber was called upon to finish the inning, and he officially closed the book on Whitlock’s outing by striking out McCormick on eight pitches to keep the 2-2 stalemate intact.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 80 (52 strikes) Whitlock wound up allowing a total of two earned run on three hits, two walks, and one hit batsman to go along with three strikeouts over five-plus innings of work. The 25-year-old’s ERA on the season now sits at 2.43.

As soon as Schreiber recorded the final out of the sixth, the skies above Fenway began to open and the rain started to pour. A rain delay that lasted 98 minutes started and the game did not resume until approximately 10:45 p.m.

Matt Barnes was dispatched for the seventh inning and only saw his struggles continue by giving up a leadoff double to Castro. A sacrifice bunt allowed Castro to advance to third and Jose Altuve drove him in by ripping an RBI single back up the middle. Barnes faced just three batters and was replaced by Matt Strahm, who proved to be far more effective. The left-hander worked his way around a hit batsman by striking out two in the seventh, then worked his way around a two-out double in an otherwise clean eighth inning.

Moments before the eighth inning began, though, Trevor Story came through in the clutch to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Matched up against Astros reliever Phil Maton, Story crushed a solo home run 428 feet over the Green Monster.

Story’s first Fenway Park homer as a member of the Red Sox had an exit velocity of 106.7 mph. It also knotted things back up at three runs a piece. This tie, however, did not last too long.

On the heels of what Strahm did in the top of the eighth, Hernandez led off the bottom half against Hector Neris with a double to left field that was deflected by Bregman. Martinez plated him with the go-ahead double while also putting a runner in scoring position with one out for Bogaerts.

As the fans who remained at Fenway started a “Re-sign Xander!” chant, Bogaerts heard them and delivered with a clutch, two-run blast over the Monster to give Boston a commanding 6-3 advantage. Bogaerts’ third big fly of the year left the shortstop’s bat at 103.7 mph and traveled 397 feet.

With a three-run lead to protect now, Hansel Robles got the call for the ninth inning. He yielded a leadoff single to Mauricio Dubon, but negated it by getting Altuve to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Robles then got Brantley to fly out to left to slam the door on the Astros and pick up his second save of the year.

Next up: Urquidy vs. Eovaldi

The Red Sox will send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound as they go for a series victory on Tuesday night. The Astros will counter with fellow righty Jose Urquidy.

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

(Picture of Trevor Story: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta allows just 1 run over 7 strong innings as Red Sox take series opener from Rangers with 7-1 win

The Red Sox opened the final leg of their road trip with a 7-1 win over the Rangers at Globe Life Field on Friday night. By defeating Texas to kick off the weekend, Boston improved to 12-20 on the season.

Matched up against Rangers starter Dane Dunning to begin things on Friday, the Sox drew first blood in the third inning when Enrique Hernandez drew a two-out walk. A wild pitch allowed Hernandez to advance to second base, and he immediately scored from second on a softly-hit RBI single off the bat of Rafael Devers.

Devers extended his hitting streak to seven consecutive games while giving the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead. Hernandez, on the other hand, picked up where he left off in the bottom of the third by recording all three outs in center field, including a sprawling grab into the right-center gap on a 106.9 mph line drive from Nick Solak that had an expected batting average of .930.

Fast forward to the sixth inning, and J.D. Martinez ignited a three-run rally by extending his hitting streak to 14 straight games with a one-out single to left field. Xander Bogaerts followed with a single of his own to put runners at first and second for Alex Verdugo, who kept the line moving by ripping an RBI double 354 feet to right field.

Verdugo’s 103 mph laser brought in Martinez and advanced Bogaerts to third. Trevor Story, the hometown kid, then pushed across Bogaerts on a sacrifice fly while Verdugo scored on an RBI double off the bat of Franchy Cordero that was sent down the right field line.

Following a pitching change that saw Brett Martin take over for Dunning, Cordero moved up to third on a wild pitch before Vazquez greeted the new Rangers reliever by lacing a run-scoring single to right. Cordero scored on the play and, by doing so, capped off a four-run inning that put the Sox up 5-0.

In the seventh, with old friend Garrett Richards on the mound for Texas, the Boston lineup tacked on two more runs. Devers reached base via a fielder’s choice and moved up to third on a ground-rule double from Martinez. Both Devers and Martinez scored on a two-run single from Bogaerts that gave the Red Sox a commanding 7-0 lead heading into the seventh-inning stretch.

To that point in the contest, Nick Pivetta was squarely in command in what was his seventh start of the season for the Sox. As was the case in his last time out, the right-hander impressed by allowing just one earned run on three hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over seven impressive innings of work.

Pivetta retired 18 of the first 21 batters he faced leading up until the middle of the seventh. The righty surrendered a one-out triple to Kole Calhoun. He then scored from third on a wild pitch while Nathaniel Lowe was at the plate for his side’s first run of the night.

That was Pivetta’s one and only blemish. The 29-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 85 (61 strikes) while lowering his ERA on the year down to 5.08.

In relief of Pivetta, Kutter Crawford received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora beginning in the eighth inning. Crawford, making his first appearance out of the ‘pen in over a week, worked a pair of scoreless frames to close out the 7-1 victory.

Some notes from this win:

Moments before doubling in the sixth inning, Alex Verdugo took a foul ball off his right foot. The outfielder was obviously able to remain in the game, but was pinch-hit for by Bobby Dalbec in the top of the seventh. He was later diagnosed with a right foot contusion.

The Red Sox are now 10-5 when scoring four or more runs this season. They went 5-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Friday.

Enrique Hernandez reached base four times out of the leadoff spot with one hit, two walks, and one pitch off his left shoulder.

Next up: Hill vs. Otto

The Red Sox will go for the series victory over the Rangers on Saturday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill is expected to come off the COVID-19 related injured list and take the mound for Boston while Texas will turn to right-hander Glenn Otto.

First pitch from Globe Life Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN+.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Trevor Story’s first home run of season goes for naught as Red Sox blow another lead and get walked off on by Braves in 5-3 loss

The Red Sox had to settle for a series split with the Braves on Wednesday night after getting walked off on in the ninth inning. Boston fell to Atlanta by a final score of 5-3 in what was their fifth walk-off loss of the season. Their record is now 11-20.

Matched up against Braves starter Ian Anderson out of the gate, the Sox got off to a quick start beginning in their half of the second inning. Following a one-out double off the bat of Alex Verdugo, Trevor Story came through with his highly-anticipated first home run of the season.

Story took a 1-1, 88 mph changeup that was down and in and proceeded to crush it 422 feet to dead center field. The second baseman’s first homer in a Red Sox uniform left his bat at 105.8 mph and give his team an early 2-0 lead.

An inning later, Rafael Devers kept the top of the third alive with a hard-hit double to right field. He immediately scored from second base on a J.D. Martinez RBI single that increased Boston’s advantage to 3-0.

Nathan Eovaldi, meanwhile, was in the midst of his seventh start of the season for the Sox. The right-hander wound up allowing three runs on six hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings of work.

After getting through the first two innings rather smoothly, Eovaldi ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third when he gave up his first hit of the night — a one-out single to Orlando Arcia. On his very next pitch, Eovaldi was taken 415 feet deep to left field by Travis Demeritte.

Demeritte’s two-run blast cut Atlanta’s deficit down to one run at 3-2. Dansby Swanson then drew a seven-pitch walk off Eovaldi, stole second base, and scored from second on a blistering, game-tying 106.5 mph RBI double from Georgia native Matt Olson.

Eovaldi did manage to strand Olson in scoring position, though, and then retired 10 of the next 12 batters he faced before yielding a one-out single to Arcia in the seventh, which is how is outing would come to a close. Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (68 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler induced a total of 18 swings-and-misses while topping out at 99.1 mph with his vaunted four-seam fastball.

Shortly before Eovaldi’s night ended, a Red Sox lineup that had been held in check by Anderson since the third inning had a real chance to break out in the sixth. Martinez led off with a single and Verdugo put runners on first and second with a one-out walk. Following an Atlanta pitching change that saw old friend Collin McHugh take over for Anderson, Franchy Cordero loaded the bases for Kevin Plawecki by drawing a two-out walk.

Plawecki worked a 3-2 count against McHugh and was prepared to take the bases-loaded walk by taking an 89.3 mph cutter that was well below the strike zone. Rather than call ball four, however, home plate umpire Adam Beck rung Plawecki up. Plawecki spiked his helmet and was understandably furious, as was Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Both were ejected from the game and Christian Vazquez took over behind home plate.

Picking it back up with one out in the bottom of the seventh, acting manager Will Venable gave Eovaldi the hook in favor of Matt Strahm, who struck out both Demeritte and Dansby Swanson to end the seventh before recording the first out of the eighth as well. John Schreiber then took over for Strahm and got through the rest of the frame unscathed.

Ryan Brasier was responsible for sending this one into extras as he got the call for the ninth. He gave up a leadoff single to Ozzie Albies, got the first out of the inning, but then served up a game-winning, walk-off homer to Arcia.

Arcia’s two-run shot sent the Braves home happy with a 5-3 win. It sent the Red Sox back on the road with a sour taste in their mouths.

Next up: Off day with Rangers on deck

The Red Sox will enjoy their second off day of the week on Thursday before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Rangers in Arlington on Friday night.

Boston will send right-hander Nick Pivetta to the mound on Friday. Texas has yet to name a starter.

First pitch from Globe Life Field is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Cora: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)