Rafael Devers’ early grand slam lifts Red Sox to 9-4 win over Braves to put an end to 5-game losing streak

The Red Sox rode a six-run second inning to a much-needed win over the Braves on Tuesday night. Boston defeated Atlanta by a final score of 9-4 to snap a five-game losing streak and improve to 11-19 on the season.

Matched up against Braves starter Kyle Wright to begin things on Tuesday, the Sox’ second-inning rally was ignited by a one-out double from Alex Verdugo. Trevor Story followed with a single of his own and Franchy Cordero drew a four-pitch walk to fill the bases for Christian Vazquez.

Vazquez kept the line moving with an RBI single to drive in Verdugo for Boston’s first run of the game. Story then came into score himself when Jackie Bradley Jr. drew a bases-loaded walk as the lineup flipped back over and Enrique Hernandez grounded into a force out at home plate.

Because Hernandez made it to first base safely, the bases remained loaded for Rafael Devers, who took the first pitch he saw from Wright — a 96 mph heater down the heart of the plate — and deposited it 432 feet to right-center field.

Devers’ fifth home run and first grand slam of the season had an exit velocity of over 111 mph. It also gave the Red Sox a commanding 6-0 lead in the early going.

On the other side of things, Garrett Whitlock made his fourth start of the year for Boston in his home state of Georgia. It was truly a grind for the right-hander, who allowed three earned runs on four hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts over just three innings of work.

After getting through the first two innings unscathed, Whitlock gave up all three of his runs in the bottom half of the third. Fellow Georgia native Matt Olson led off with a double and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. A six-pitch walk of Austin Riley put runners on the corners for Marcell Ozuna, who drove in Olson on a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Braves were not done there, though, as Travis d’Arnaud cranked a 401-foot two-run homer to cut the Sox’ lead in half at 6-3 before Whitlock was able to retire the side in his third and final inning. The 25-year-old finished with a final pitch count of 82 (48 strikes) and induced a total of 12 swings-and-misses.

In relief of Whitlock, a clean-shaven Alex Cora first turned to Tyler Danish out of the Boston bullpen beginning in the fourth inning. Danish responded by hurling two scoreless frames to pave the way for Ryan Brasier, who kept Atlanta off the board in the sixth.

Hansel Robles, on the other hand, issued a leadoff walk to Ronald Acuna Jr. in the eighth and allowed Acuna Jr. to score when Ozuna grounded into a force out at second base. Robles faced five batters in the seventh, but only surrendered the one run to make it a 6-4 game going into the seventh-inning stretch.

John Schreiber made quick work of the Braves in the eighth before the Sox tacked on some important insurance runs in their half of the ninth. With old friend Tyler Thornburg on the mound for Atlanta, Devers drew a leadoff walk, J.D. Martinez singled to extend his hitting streak, and Xander Bogaerts singled to once again fill the bases for Verdugo.

Verdugo, in turn, walked on seven pitches to plate Devers. Story followed suit by drilling a 108.6 mph two-run single to left field that brought in both Martinez and Bogaerts to increase Boston’s lead to five runs.

Looking to close things out in the ninth, Schreiber slammed the door on the Braves to secure a 9-4 victory and notch the first save of his big-league career.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox drew a season-high seven walks on Tuesday. They also went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Franchy Cordero went 0-for-0 with three walks on Tuesday, marking his first career three-walk game.

Tyler Danish earned the winning decision to improve to 1-0 in his Red Sox career.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Anderson

The Red Sox will go for the quick two-game sweep of the Braves when they send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound on Wednesday night. Atlanta will counter with fellow righty Ian Anderson.

First pitch from Truist Park is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Trevor Story booed by Red Sox fans after striking out four times against Shohei Ohtani

Baseball can be a humbling sport. One night, you can drive in three runs on two doubles to make it feel as though you are about to come out of a slump. And then, less than 24 hours later, you can strike out four times in the same game and get booed by your home fans.

That is what Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story experienced in Thursday’s 8-0 loss to the Angels at Fenway Park. After going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs on Wednesday night, Story told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) that he thought he was getting his timing back.

“I think it’s very close,” said Story. “It’s hard to say 100% because if it feels 100% for everyone, you’d never get out. But I’m feeling good about myself in the box.”

To follow up one of his best offensive performances of the season to date, Story went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and two runners left on base against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels on Thursday afternoon. His third punchout, which came on an 88 mph slider in the fifth inning, produced some light boos from the Fenway faithful. The fourth one, which came on a 98 mph four-seamer in the seventh, prompted more pronounced jeers from the 29,476 or so spectators on hand.

All told, Story swung-and-missed nine times en route to picking up his first Golden Sombrero as a member of the Red Sox. Following Thursday’s outing, the 29-year-old now finds himself batting a modest .210/.293/.296 with no home runs and nine RBIs through his first 21 games (92 plate appearances) of the 2022 season.

Given the expectations that come with signing a six-year, $140 million contract in free agency, Story has clearly fallen short of them to this point. That the right-handed hitter has yet to hit a home run after establishing himself as one of the top power-hitting infielders in his time with the Rockies is quite indicative of his current struggles.

Of course, Story’s free agency was rather unique due to the nature of the MLB lockout and the shortened spring training that followed. Shortly after signing his deal with the Sox in late March, Story left the team for a few days to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. He only got into five Grapefruit League games before the start of the regular season, then missed three straight games in April due to food poisoning. On top of that, he switched agencies after signing with Boston and has been adjusting to his new role as both a second baseman and leadoff hitter.

Taking all that into consideration, there is valid reasoning behind Story’s early-season difficulties. But, as he told Cotillo himself, the two-time All-Star is not one to make excuses.

“It was kind of a hectic situation that we were going through but that’s life,” Story said. “No one’s going to feel sorry for you or feel bad for you. We’re here playing ball and we’re here to win games.”

As he learned on Thursday, Red Sox fans are not feeling sorry for Story and are instead growing impatient with him as well as the lack of production from the lineup as a whole. It also does not help that the team they are supporting has lost seven of its last 10 games to drop to 10-16 on the season.

Still, given his track record, it would be unwise to judge Story’s six-year deal based on the first month of it alone. On Thursday, Sox manager Alex Cora said that Story’s work ethic “has not changed. J.D. Martinez added that he likes to “measure guys at the end of the year, not after a month” while Rich Hill described Story as “a great teammate” who is “putting in the work and the time.”

In the wake of Thursday’s defeat to the Angels, which marked the Sox’ fifth consecutive series loss, Story, Martinez, Alex Verdugo, and hitting coach Pete Fatse headed straight for the batting cage. According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Story remained there, honing his craft, well after the clubhouse closed to the media.

It remains to be seen if the extra work Story is putting in will pay dividends for he or the Red Sox. One thing is for certain, though: Story needs to perform at a high — or atleast near-to-high — level and he needs to start doing so soon.

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

Red Sox spoil Nathan Eovaldi’s superb start in 2-1 walk-off loss to Orioles

The Red Sox fell to the Orioles by a final score of 2-1 in 10 innings at Camden Yards 0n Saturday night. With the walk-off loss, Boston drops to 9-13 on the season and 3-6 on their current road trip.

Matched up against O’s starter Spenser Watkins to begin things on Saturday, a J.D. Martinez-less Sox lineup got off to a quick start. Trevor Story led off the first inning with a ground-rule double on the very first pitch he saw and later scored on an RBI single off the bat of Xander Bogaerts.

That sequence gave Boston an early 1-0 lead before Nathan Eovaldi could even take the mound. Eovaldi, making his fifth start of the year, allowed just three hits and no walks to go along with a season-high eight strikeouts over seven scoreless innings of work.

The right-hander took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning before yielding a two-out double to Cedric Mullins. He then stranded Mullins in scoring position before putting and leaving two runners on base to get out of a jam in his seventh and final frame.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (67 strikes), Eovaldi threw 38 four-seam fastballs, 21 splitters, 17 curveballs, 15 sliders, and four cutters. The 32-year-old hurler topped out at 98.6 mph with his heater and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.51 but did not factor into Saturday’s decision.

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Barnes received the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen in the bottom of the eighth. Given a one-run lead to protect, Barnes surrendered another two-out double to Mullins that was just out of Alex Verdugo’s reach in left field. The speedy Baltimore outfielder then scored from second on an Anthony Santander RBI single that knotted things up at 1-1 as Barnes was charged with the blown save.

In the ninth, the bottom third of the Red Sox lineup went down quietly against Jorge Lopez before Ryan Brasier did the same to the Orioles in the bottom half of the inning to send things to the 10th.

Even with an automatic runner in scoring position in, an anemic Boston offense failed to push across the potential go-ahead run in Jaylin Davis in their half of the 10th, setting up Baltimore to walk it off in their half of the inning.

With Hirokazu Sawamura on the mound for the Sox and Jorge Mateo at second base for the Orioles, Ryan McKenna was intentionally walked to set up the double play possibility. The next batter, Robinson Chirinos, proceeded to drop down a bunt that Sawamura fielded cleanly. Sawamura opted to get the force out at third base, but he instead threw the ball way over Rafael Devers’ head, which allowed Mateo to easily score the game-winning run.

All told, the Red Sox went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and left 10 runners on base as a team.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Lyles in rubber match

Having finished the month of April four games under .500, the Red Sox will look to flip the calendar and start anew in Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles. To kick off the month of May, right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the ball for Boston and fellow righty Jordan Lyles will do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch from Camden Yards on Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts leads the way with 4 hits as Red Sox snap skid with 7-1 win over Blue Jays

With Alex Cora back in the dugout, the Red Sox put an end to their four-game losing streak on Wednesday with a much-needed win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Boston defeated Toronto by a final score of 7-1 to snap their skid and improve to 8-11 on the season by doing so.

Matched up against Jays starter Ross Stripling to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox got right to work when Xander Bogaerts reached base via a two-out double in the top of the first inning. Rafael Devers followed with a sharply-hit double of his own that scored Bogaerts and made it a 1-0 game in favor of the visitors.

That sequence provided Michael Wacha with an early one-run cushion and he took advantage of it while making his fourth start of the year for the Sox. Over six quality innings of work, the veteran right-hander allowed just one run on four hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

The lone run the Blue Jays got off Wacha came in the third inning following a pair of back-to-back leadoff singles from Tyler Heineman and George Springer. Bo Bichette advanced Heineman to third on a fielder’s choice and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove the catcher in on a fielder’s choice that was nearly an inning-ending double play.

Instead, Wacha gave up the tying run at the time. But the righty rebounded by getting through the rest of the third unscathed, stranding a runner in scoring position in the fourth, and retiring each of the final six batters he faced from the fifth through the end of the sixth to end his outing on a high note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 92 (57 strikes), Wacha ultimately improved to 2-0 while lowering his ERA on the season to 1.77. The 30-year-old hurler threw 42 four-seam fastballs, 26 changeups, 11 curveballs, nine cutters, and four sinkers. He induced eight swings and misses with his changeup and averaged 93.6 mph with his heater.

Shortly before his night came to a close, the Red Sox put Wacha in position to earn the win by pushing across two more runs in their half of the sixth. Greeting new Blue Jays reliever Trent Thornton, Bogaerts led of with a single, moved up to third on a Bogaerts single, and scored on an RBI single off the bat of J.D. Martinez. Devers, meanwhile, scored on an Enrique Hernandez sacrifice fly that gave Boston a 3-1 lead.

In relief of Wacha, Jake Diekman got the first call from Cora for the bottom of the seventh and sandwiched a six-pitch walk of Santiago Espinal in between the first two outs of the inning. Hirokazu Sawamura then came on to face George Springer, who ripped a single to center field to put runners on the corners. To his credit, Sawamura escaped the jam by fanning Bichette on a 96.5 mph four-seamer.

Moments after that happened, Martinez led off the top of the eighth with a blistering 106.2 mph double off Julian Merryweather. Hernandez laced a 105.2 mph double of his own to plate Martinez. A well-executed sacrifice bunt from Jackie Bradley Jr. allowed Hernandez to move up to third and Bobby Dalbec brought him in on a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Red Sox up 5-1.

John Schreiber took over for Sawamura in the bottom half of the eighth and impressed in his 2022 debut by sitting down the side in order on 14 pitches.

The ninth inning was all about insurance for the Sox. Bogaerts drove in Trevor Story with his fourth hit of the night and Rob Refsnyder, who was pinch-hitting for Martinez, drove in Alex Verdugo on his first. That made it a 7-1 game going into the bottom of the ninth for Tyler Danish.

Danish, in turn, wrapped things up with a 1-2-3 frame to lock down the commanding, six-run victory.

Some notes from this win:

From the Red Sox’ J.P. Long:

Next up: Whitlock vs. Manoah in series finale

The Red Sox will go for a series split with the Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon when they send right-hander Garrett Whitlock to the mound for his second career big-league start. Whitlock will be opposed by fellow second-year righty for Toronto.

First pitch from Rogers Centre is scheduled for 3:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Trevor Story makes game-saving play as Red Sox hold on for 4-3 win over Rays

The Red Sox kicked off one of their longest road trips of the season with a series-opening win over the Rays in St. Petersburg on Friday night. Boston barely defeated Tampa Bay by a final score 4-3 at Tropicana Field to improve to 7-7.

Matched up against a familiar foe in Corey Kluber to begin things, the Sox wasted no time in attacking the Rays starter. A pair of first-inning singles from leadoff man Trevor Story and Xander Bogaerts put runners at the corners for Alex Verdugo, who drove in Story on an RBI single back up the middle. Bogaerts himself scored on an RBI groundout from Jackie Bradley Jr.

Given an early 2-0 lead to work with out of the gate, Michael Wacha was rudely greeted to begin his third start of the season. With one out in the bottom of the first, the right-hander served up his first of two solo shots to Rays phenom Wander Franco. This one left Franco’s bat at 109.7 mph and traveled 389 feet into the right field seats to make it a 2-1 game.

The Sox were able to respond, though, and that happened when Rafael Devers led off the third inning with his third home run of the season. On a 1-0, 84 mph cutter from Kluber, Devers clubbed a 380-foot solo shot down the right field line to give his side a 3-1 edge. Bogaerts tacked on another by lacing a 107 mph double and scoring on a one-out RBI single off the bat of Enrique Hernandez. Travis Shaw nearly extended the inning with a three-run home run down the right field line like Devers’, but it was instead deemed a foul ball and Shaw struck out.

With a three-run cushion to operate with now, Wacha received some help from his infield in the bottom of the third. After putting runners on first and second with two outs, Bogaerts robbed Yandy Diaz of an extra-base hit by snatching a 110.7 mph line drive in mid-air to extinguish the threat.

An inning later, Story made a sprawling grab up the middle to rob Manuel Margot of a one-out single. Wacha continued to roll on through the fourth and was one out way from getting through a scoreless fifth. Franco prevented that from happening, though, as he took the righty deep once more to cut Tampa Bay’s deficit to two. Randy Arozarena struck out to end the fifth, which would wind up being Wacha’s final inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 82 (50 strikes), Wacha surrendered just two runs on three hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts in his five innings. The 30-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball and changeup a combined 69% of the time he was on the mound Friday.

In relief of Wacha, Austin Davis received the first call from acting manager Will Venable out of the Boston bullpen in the sixth inning. With some help from Verdugo, who recorded his second outfield assist of the year by gunning down Yandy Diaz at second base, the left-hander faced the minimum on 17 pitches — 10 of which went for strikes. Fellow southpaw Matt Strahm was next up for the eighth and immediately gave up a leadoff single to Margot.

Kevin Kiermaier effectively traded places with Margot while grounding into the first out of the inning. Kiermaier then went from first to third on a Mike Zunino single that was accompanied by a Bogaerts throwing error and scored from third on a Brandon Lowe groundout.

With two outs in the seventh inning of a 4-3 game, Venable went back to the bullpen and brought in Hansel Robles to face off against Franco. Forcing the switch-hitter to hit from the left side of the plate, Robles got Franco to fly out to Verdugo in left to strand the potential tying run at second base.

Robles’ job was not yet done, however, as the hard-throwing right-hander came back out for the eighth. He struck out one and induced a pair of groundouts to send things along to the ninth inning.

Jake Diekman was unable to lock things down in the ninth. The left-hander instead walked the bases loaded while recording the first two outs of the frame to leave things in the hands of Matt Barnes.

Branes was brought in to face Franco and had nowhere to put him. Looking to reclaim his role as Boston’s closer, Barnes got Franco to ground out to Story, though it was no easy play.

After sliding to his left to field the 101 mph grounder, Story quickly got back to his feet and made the throw over to Bobby Dalbec at first base to record the final out. Barnes was credited with his first save of the year as he closes out the 4-3 victory.

Next up: Whitlock set to make first career start

As the Red Sox go for their second straight win over the Rays on Saturday, right-hander Garrett Whitlock will be making his first career big-league start for Boston. Tampa Bay has yet to announce who will be starting for them.

Regardless, first pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez and Trevor Story: Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Red Sox show late life, but come up short in 3-2 loss to Blue Jays

The Red Sox lost more than just their manager to COVID-19 on Thursday. Hours after Alex Cora tested positive for the virus, Boston came up just short and fell to the Blue Jays by a final score of 3-2 at Fenway Park. With the win, Toronto takes the three-game series and drops the Sox to 6-7 on the season.

Tanner Houck, making his third start of the year, allowed two earned runs on three hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts on the afternoon. The right-hander retired six of the first seven batters he faced before running into some trouble in the top of the third.

There, Houck issued a leadoff walk to Gosuke Katoh and one-out single to Raimel Tapia that put runners at first and second base for Bo Bichette, who drove in his side’s first run on an RBI single through the right side of the infield. After advancing to third on that base hit, Tapia himself scored on a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sacrifice fly.

Faced with an early 2-0 deficit, Houck was able to rebound as he stranded Bichette at second base before retiring the side in order in both the fourth and fifth innings to end his day on a positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 71 (47 strikes), Houck turned to his four-seam fastball nearly half of the time he was on the mound Thursday. The 25-year-old hovered around 94-96 mph with the pitch and induced a game-high six swings-and-misses with it.

Houck’s next appearance will come out of the bullpen in St. Petersburg this Sunday, as he is ineligible to pitch in Toronto next week due to his unvaccinated status.

In relief of Houck, Ryan Brasier received the first call from acting manager Will Venable out of the Boston bullpen in the sixth inning. The righty yielded a one-out double to Guerrero Jr. and a two-out walk to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. He then got Matt Chapman to lift a 43-foot popup that was altered by the wind and fell in between Brasier, Christian Vazquez, and Travis Shaw, allowing Guerrero Jr. to score all the way from second.

Austin Davis came on for Brasier and recorded the final out of the sixth while also getting the first two outs of the seventh before issuing a two-out single to Tapia. Hirokazu Sawamura was then called upon to take over Davis, and he escaped any damage by getting Guerrero Jr. to fly out to center field.

Sawamura continued on in the eighth and put up another zero there, while Phillips Valdez did the same to hold the Jays to three runs on the day.

On the other side of things, a J.D. Martinez-less Red Sox lineup was once again held in check by a Blue Jays starter. Jose Berrios had the honor of doing so on Wednesday, and Kevin Gausman picked up where he left off on Thursday.

Facing off against a familiar foe in Gausman, the Sox were held to a pair of singles through four innings. In the fifth, Vazquez attempted to stretch a one-out single off the Green Monster into a double and was instead gunned down by Tapia for the final out of the frame.

Boston threatened again in the sixth when Christian Arroyo advanced to second base on a Trevor Story groundout, but was left stranded there after Devers grounded out to the catcher.

Gausman maneuvered his way around two more base hits in the seventh and made quick work of the bottom third of the Sox’ order in the eighth.

Down to their final three outs in the bottom of the ninth, Story led things off with a hard-hit single that at long last knocked Gausman out of the game. That proved to be the spark Boston needed.

With Jordan Romano now on the mound for Toronto, Devers drew a walk that moved Story into scoring position. Bogaerts scored the Sox’ first run by driving in Story on an RBI double down the left field line.

An Alex Verdugo groundout to the right side of the infield pushed across Devers and advanced Bogaerts — representing the tying run — up to third base. Dalbec then laced a 102.7 mph groundout that Bogaerts could do nothing with.

It was now all up to Jackie Bradley Jr., who got ahead in the count at 3-0 but ultimately grounded out to first base and lost a footrace to Guerrero Jr. for the third and final out.

Just like that, the rally was dead, and the Blue Jays just barely held on for a series-clinching, 3-2 victory.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position on Thursday and left four runners on base as a team. They scored a total of five runs in this series.

Phillips Valdez has yet to allow a run through his first six appearances and eight innings pitched of the 2022 season. He has struck out 10 of the 28 batters he has faced thus far.

In their first homestand of the year, the Red Sox went 3-4 and find themselves back under .500 once again.

Next up: On the road

The Red Sox will now embark upon a 10-game road trips that includes stops in St. Petersburg, Toronto, and Baltimore.

For Friday’s series opener against the Rays at Tropicana Field, it will be right-hander Michael Wacha getting the ball for Boston and fellow righty Corey Kluber doing the same for Tampa Bay.

First pitch from Tropicana Field on Friday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox injury updates: Alex Cora provides latest on J.D. Martinez and Trevor Story

The third inning of Wednesday night’s 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays at Fenway Park was one to forget for the Red Sox.

J.D. Martinez led off the bottom of the inning by lacing a 104.4 mph line-drive double down the left field line off Toronto starter Jose Berrios. It was Martinez’s second hit of the game already, but the veteran slugger could be seen grimacing as he made his way to second base.

That Martinez was in clear discomfort prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora and assistant training manager Masai Takahashi to pay him a visit from the home dugout. It did not take long for the three to decide it would be best for the 34-year-old to be removed from the contest.

And so Christian Arroyo pinch-ran for him while taking over designated hitter duties. Martinez, as it turns out, was later diagnosed with left adductor tightness.

“He’s a little bit sore,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith). “Nothing yet as far as (roster) moves. We should be day-to-day with him. He won’t play tomorrow and we’ll see where he’s at.”

Cora added that Martinez first brought up that he may have been experiencing tightness the other day, but it was nothing to be too concerned about.

“He does such a good job taking care of his body that when he’s a go, he’s a go,” Cora said of Martinez. “It just felt like as soon as he hit that ball, he felt it running. I think it was more about being smart about it. Just come out of the game, take care of it and hopefully it’s something that’s just a couple of days.”

Shortly after Arroyo replaced Martinez, Berrios had already recorded the first two outs of the third inning and was preparing to face Trevor Story for a second time. The Blue Jays right-hander fell behind in the count at 2-1, then unintentionally hit Story in the head with a 93 mph sinker.

Fortunately for Story and the Sox, the ball seemed to get more helmet than anything. After he got back on his feet, the 29-year-old was able to convince Cora and Boston’s training staff to let him stay in the game.

“He’s doing OK,” Cora said. “Pretty scary of course. But he went through all the concussion tests on the field. He was good to go. Right now they are checking on him. Hopefully tomorrow he doesn’t feel too bad and he can go.”

In a separate conversation with The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams, Story said he went through the concussion protocols and will be ready to play in Thursday’s series finale.

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

Red Sox’ Trevor Story unlikely to play in Wednesday’s series finale against Tigers while recovering from illness

Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story is unlikely to play in Wednesday’s series finale against the Tigers, manager Alex Cora said following Tuesday’s 5-3 win at Comerica Park.

Story, who last played against the Yankees on Saturday, has been hampered by a non-COVID illness. The 29-year-old did not travel with the team to Detroit on Sunday night and instead remained in New York for an additional day.

After taking a separate flight to Detroit on Monday, Story was on hand for Tuesday’s contest at Comerica Park. There, in the Red Sox clubhouse, the veteran infielder told The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams that he has been dealing with food poisoning and has been out of action for that very reason.

While the Red Sox are unlikely to play Story on Wednesday as he continues to regain his strength, there is optimism that the two-time All-Star could suit up for Friday afternoon’s home opener against the Twins at Fenway Park.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Story’s tenure with the Red Sox has certainly gotten off to an interesting start. After spending the first six years of his big-league career as a shortstop with the Rockies, Story signed a six-year, $120 million contract with Boston on March 23 to become the team’s everyday second baseman.

Two days after his deal was made official, Story left Red Sox camp to return home to Texas to be with his wife Mallie, for the birth of their first son, Stetson. Upon returning to Fort Myers, Story was only able to appear in five Grapefruit League games prior to Opening Day. Since making his 2022 debut on April 8, the right-handed hitter has gone 1-for-8 with a double, one walk, and one strikeout.

The Red Sox were already planning on easing Story into things this month given the nature of a shortened spring training. With this latest setback, the club is likely to be even more cautious when it comes to managing his workload early on.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo joins the show to preview the 2022 season

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by MassLive.com’s Red Sox beat writer Chris Cotillo to preview the 2022 season.

Chris and I discuss the key moves Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox made this off-season, including the acquisitions of Trevor Story, Jake Diekman, and Matt Strahm via free agency. We also delve into how the Sox’ starting rotation is stacked up to begin the season with Chris Sale on the 60-day injured list due to a broken rib.

Other topics covered include Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts contract extension talks, the makeup of the bullpen with Matt Barnes as the likely closer, the state of Boston’s 40-man roster, injured players (like Sale, James Paxton, and Josh Taylor) who could make an impact when healthy, prospects and other players who could make their Red Sox debuts this year, the importance of Alex Cora, the toughness of the American League East, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

My thanks to Chris for once again taking some time out of his busy schedule to have a fun conversation with yours truly. You can follow Chris on Twitter (@ChrisCotillo) by clicking here and read his work for MassLive.com by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

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

Red Sox crush 3 home runs, top Braves, 10-7, in Trevor Story’s Grapefruit League debut

The Red Sox improved to 8-5 in Grapefruit League play on Wednesday afternoon with a 10-7 victory over the Braves at JetBlue Park.

Using a lineup that is likely to mirror the one they feature on Opening Day, the Sox got things going right away against Braves starter Ian Anderson. Before recording an out in the first inning, Enrique Hernandez drew a leadoff walk and Rafael Devers clubbed a towering two-run homer over the Fenway South Green Monster.

Devers’ fourth home run of the spring jolted Boston to an early 2-0 lead, but they were not done there. Not with Alex Verdugo ripping a two-out double off Anderson, advancing to third to load the bases, and scoring from third when Jackie Bradley Jr. was hit by a pitch to make it a 3-0 game.

An inning later, the top of the Red Sox lineup struck once more when Hernandez led off with an infield single and scored on a one-out RBI single off the bat of J.D. Martinez.

Christian Vazquez added on to his side’s lead in the bottom of the third. Following a leadoff double from Bobby Dalbec, Vazquez crushed a two-run shot to left field off Anderson. The veteran backstop’s first big fly of the spring made it a 6-0 game in favor of Boston.

That sequence provided Sox starter Tanner Houck with a sizable cushion to operate with out of the gate. Making his third start of the Grapefruit League campaign, the right-hander began his day by retiring eight of the first 13 batters he faced heading into the fourth inning.

That is where things began to get a bit shaky for Houck. The 25-year-old yielded back-to-back singles to Ozzie Albies and Eddie Rosario to begin the frame before spiking a wild pitch that allowed both runners to advance an additional 90 feet.

A sacrifice fly from Alex Dickerson brought in Albies from third for the Braves’ first run of the afternoon. Houck then plunked Guillermo Heredia, but escaped any further damage by fanning Dansby Swanson, who would turn out to be the last hitter he would face on Wednesday.

All told, Houck allowed just one earned run on five hits, no walks, and three hit batsman to go along with four strikeouts over four erratic innings of work. He should be in line to make one more start before the regular season begins.

Shortly after Houck recorded the final out in the top half of the fourth, the Boston bats continued to pound Atlanta pitching in the bottom half of the frame.

With reliever Dylan Lee on the mound for the Braves, Jonathan Arauz provided some more leadoff pop by mashing his first home run of the spring. A J.D. Martinez walk and opposite-field double for Franchy Cordero then put runners at second and third for Trevor Story, who came through with a line-drive RBI single to plate Martinez. Cordero himself scored on another RBI base hit courtesy of Bobby Dalbec.

Despite having a commanding 9-1 lead going into the fifth, the Red Sox bullpen struggled a bit in relief of Houck. Kaleb Ort received the first call from manager Alex Cora and proceeded to serve up a solo homer to Travis d’Arnaud and a three-run blast to Adam Duvall while only managing to record two outs.

Ryan Fernandez then came on for Ort and surrendered a solo home run of his own to Dickerson, though he was able to end the inning with Boston still in possession of a three-run lead at 9-6.

It did not take long for the Sox to get one of those runs back, though, as Yolmer Sanchez followed up a scoreless sixth inning from Hirokazu Sawamura by plating the pinch-running Christin Stewart on a sacrifice fly to right field off Allan Winans.

From there, Ryan Brasier got himself in and out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, Matt Barnes gave up one run on two hits and one walk in the eighth, and newcomer Matt Strahm closed things out by stranding a pair of base runners in a shutout ninth inning.

Some notes from this win:

In his Grapefruit League debut, Trevor Story went 1-for-2 with an RBI single, a walk, and a strikeout. The 29-year-old started at second base, batted out of the six-hole, and was pinch-ran for by Yolmer Sanchez in the fourth inning.

Franchy Cordero replaced Alex Verdugo in left field in the third inning. He went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, one RBI, and one strikeout.

Through seven games this spring, Rafael Devers is slashing .389/.400/1.056 with four home runs, eight RBIs, six runs scored, one walk, and six strikeouts over 20 plate appearances.

Next up: Bundy vs. Hill

The Red Sox will take on the Twins at JetBlue Park on Thursday afternoon, with the race for the 2022 Chairman’s Cup currently tied at two games apiece.

Rich Hill is slated to get the start for Boston and Garrett Whitlock will also pitch. Hill will be opposed by right-hander Dylan Bundy for Minnesota.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time. The game will not be televised.

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