Red Sox Lineup: Xander Bogaerts Starts Day on Bench Due to Lower Half Fatigue in Series Finale Against Rays

In the finale of a four-game series against the Rays and a seven-game homestand on Thursday, the Red Sox will be sending rookie left-hander Kyle Hart to the mound for what will be his major-league debut.

Opposing Hart will be right-hander Tyler Glasnow for Tampa Bay. The soon-to-be 27-year-old has gotten off to a slow start this year, posting a 5.56 ERA and 5.27 FIP through his first three starts and 11 1/3 innings pitched of 2020.

In three outings against the Red Sox last year, Glasnow allowed a total of four earned runs over 15 total innings of work. That’s good for a 2.40 ERA and a .648 OPS against, for what it’s worth.

Here’s how the Red Sox will be lining up against Glasnow and behind Hart on Thursday evening:

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the reason Xander Bogaerts is being held out of the lineup is because he “has some fatigue in his lower half” and Sox manager Ron Roenicke “wanted to give him a rest.” The All-Star shortstop is available off the bench, however, and he will be in the lineup against the Yankees on Friday night.

Bogaerts had cooled off at the plate over the past week or so (3-for-his-last-16), so perhaps this bit of rest will come at an opportune time for him.

With Bogaerts out of the lineup to at least begin things on Thursday, Jose Peraza will start at shortstop, while Jonathan Arauz, who has six hits in his last nine at-bats, will slide in over at second.

Also worth pointing out, Kevin Plawecki, who is 7-for-his-first-14 this year, will be catching Hart while Christian Vazquez gets the day off.

Per MLB.com’s game longs, Plawecki caught Hart once during the first version of spring training back on February 28.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI. Red Sox looking to avoid the four-game sweep before hopping on a flight to Newark.

Late Rally for Red Sox Falls Short in Yet Another Loss to Rays at Fenway Park

On a night they found themselves in an eight-run hole and rallied to score five runs of their own in the bottom of the eighth, the Red Sox still could not get past the Rays at Fenway Park on Wednesday night, as they dropped their third straight to their division rivals by a final score of 9-5.

Zack Godley made his third start and fourth overall appearance of the season for Boston in this one and, unlike his last time out on August 8 when he tossed four scoreless innings against the Blue Jays, struggled mightily against another American League East foe.

That being the case because, in just three-plus innings pitched, the right-hander got shelled for eight runs, all of which were earned, on 10 hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts on the night.

The first of those Tampa Bay tallies came right away in the top of the first, when after loading the bases with one out, Godley induced a potential inning-ending grounder off the bat of Joey Wendle.

Michael Chavis fielded the ground ball, but as he prepared to throw the ball for the force out at home, it got wedged in the webbing of the first baseman’s glove and he had to settle for the force out at first while Brandon Lowe scored from third. 1-0.

In the second, Godley was again a victim of some tough luck and hard contact. Lots of hard contact, like when Willy Adames led the frame off by taking the righty deep to the opposite field off an 0-1, 90 mph sinker down the heart of the plate.

Moments later, after recording the first two outs of the inning on back-to-back strikeouts, Godley got the dangerous Austin Meadows to hit a soft pop fly to right field for what probably should have been the final out of the second. Instead, Kevin Pillar had lost sight of the ball as soon as it left Meadows’ bat, and it wound up falling between the right fielder and Jackie Bradley Jr. in center.

As a result of that slight mishap, the Rays were able to extend the inning, and they took full advantage of that when Brandon Lowe laced a two-run blast to the seats in right field off a first-pitch cutter on the inner half of the plate from Godley. 4-0.

Coming back out for the third, the Sox starter served up another hard-hit, two-run shot to Yoshi Tsutsugo to make it a 6-0 game and in the fourth, allowed a seventh run to cross the plate on a Yandy Diaz RBI single before his evening ultimately came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 74 (45 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler relied on his curveball 47% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing seven swings-and-misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 91.3 mph with his cutter, a pitch he threw 28 times.

Hit with his second losing decision of the year while seeing his ERA inflate to 8.16, Godley’s rotation spot could be in jeopardy, but if it’s not, his next start could come against the Yankees next Monday.

In relief of Godley, the recently-recalled Ryan Weber got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen, and after closing the book on Godley’s night by allowing an inherited runner to score in the fourth, the right-hander put together an impressive performance working in a mop-up kind of role up until the top of the ninth.

You see, when the Sox were trailing by eight runs, Weber kept the Rays off the scoreboard over four solid innings of work. However, as soon as his side had stormed back to make it a three-run game in their half of the eighth, the 30-year-old gave up a solo homer to Austin Meadows to lead off the very next inning.

It may not have been a back-breaker seeing how the Red Sox dropped this contest by a final score of 9-5, but it was still less than ideal for sure. At least Weber kept the deficit at four from there, although as previously stated, it didn’t matter all that much in the end.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a former Cy Young Award winner in Rays left-hander Blake Snell, who had only pitched eight total innings through his first three starts of the season while working his way back from an elbow injury.

With Snell’s pitch limit set at 75 for Wednesday’s contest, the Boston bats were in for one heck of a night, and in not in a positive way. That’s for sure.

While the Rays ace was on the bump, Sox hitters managed to reach second base just two times; once on a Michael Chavis stolen base following a two-out single in the second, and again on a J.D. Martinez dropped strike three and Xander Bogaerts single in the fourth.

Other than that, it was nothing but tough sledding against Snell, but things started to turn around for the better in the eighth.

There, four straight hits off reliever Aaron Slegers to lead off the inning resulted in Boston’s first run of the night coming around to score on an RBI single off the bat of the red-hot Jonathan Arauz. 8-1.

Following a brief Tampa Bay mound vist, Martinez wasted no time in introducing himself to Slegers, as he took a first-pitch, 83 mph slider on the inner half and deposited it well over everything in left field for his second dinger and first grand slam of the season.

Despite all that late success, a Rays pitching change that saw nasty right-hander Nick Anderson take over for Slegers impeded any chance of the Red Sox’ rally going any further. In other words, Anderson held things in check in relief of Slegers in the eighth, while fellow righty Pete Fairbanks closed things out with a scoreless ninth inning. And after all was said and done, the Red Sox fell to 6-12 on the season following their third straight loss.

Some notes and observations from this defeat:

From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

From The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

The Red Sox are 1-12 against the Rays in the clubs’ last 13 games at Fenway Park.

Kevin Pillar went 4-for-4 with four singles on Wednesday.

Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts left Wednesday’s game early and Jonathan Arauz picked up another hit and RBI in place of Devers in the eighth inning.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the finale of this four-game series on Thursday evening.

Left-hander Kyle Hart will get the start and in the process will be making his major-league debut for Boston, while Tyler Glasnow will be making his fourth start of the season for Tampa Bay.

Hart spoke at length about what Thursday will mean for him in the most recent episode of MassLive.com’s Fenway Rundown podcast, so I highly suggest listening to that if you want to learn more about the 27-year-old southpaw.

Glasnow, meanwhile, owns a 5.56 ERA and 5.24 FIP through his first 11 1/3 innings pitched of the 2020 campaign. He owns a lifetime 4.05 ERA and .668 OPS against in two career starts at Fenway Park.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI. Red Sox looking to end the homestand on a positive note before hopping on a flight to Newark.

 

Red Sox’ Kyle Hart to Make First Career Major-League Start Against Rays on Thursday

Left-hander Kyle Hart will make his first career major-league start for the Red Sox on Thursday against the Rays, manager Ron Roenicke announced following Tuesday’s 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay.

Hart, 27, is regarded by SoxProspects as the No. 42 prospect in the Sox’ farm system.

Drafted by Boston in the 19th round of the 2016 amateur draft out of the University of Indiana as a fifth-year senior, Hart was added to Boston’s 40-man roster last November and was subsequently assigned to the club’s alternate training site last month where he has gotten some work in during simulated games and live batting practice sessions.

With the PawSox in 2019, the former Hoosier posted a 3.86 ERA and 4.32 FIP over 18 appearances (15 starts) and 100 1/3 innings pitched. He also made nine starts for Double-A Portland before getting promoted to Triple-A last May.

Per his SoxProspects scouting report, Hart’s pitch mix included an 87-90 mph fastball, an 85-86 mph cutter, a 76-79 mph curveball, and a 81-82 mph changeup.

Based off that, it becomes apparent that the southpaw doesn’t necessarily rely on his velocity, but rather his control. Red Sox pitching coach Dave Bush said as much when speaking with reporters via Zoom on Tuesday.

“His command is going to be critical,” said Bush. β€œIt always is for him because the stuff is not going to light up a radar gun. But he’s got multiple pitches. He commands both sides of the plate.”

Over those 100 1/3 innings with Pawtucket in 2019, Hart struck out just over 19% of the hitters he faced and walked just under 9%. Put another way, he fanned 2.22 times the number of hitters he walked last season.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 200 lbs., Hart will be opposite Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow on Thursday afternoon. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI.

 

 

Red Sox Blow Another Late Lead, Get Walked off on by Rays in 11 Innings for Second Straight Night

For the second straight night, the Red Sox fell to the Tampa Bay Rays by a final score of 5-4 in 11 innings on Saturday, this time squandering a one-run lead in the 11th, compared to doing so in the seventh on Friday, to drop back down to 80-74 on the season.

Making his second start of the season for Boston and 15th appearance overall was Travis Lakins, who tossed two perfect innings in his first go at being an opener against the New York Yankees back on September 7th.

Working into the second inning this time around, the right-hander kept the Rays off the scoreboard while yielding one hit and one walk to go along with two strikeouts on the night.

A one-out double from Matt Duffy, followed by Joey Wendle reaching on a fielding error committed by Marco Hernandez in that bottom half of the second put runners at first and second for Tampa Bay.

Lakins was able to get Kevin Kiermaier to ground into a force out for out number two, but Sox manager Alex Cora did not leave him in to face Willy Adames with runners on the corners, instead opting to turn to his bullpen.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 29 (16 strikes), the 25-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball nearly 52% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing one swing and miss and topping out at 95.8 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Obviously not pitching deep enough to factor into the decision while lowering his ERA on the year down to 4.22, Lakins should continue to see some more work out of the ‘pen before seasons end.

In relief of Lakins, left-hander Bobby Poyner inherited a situation in which there were runners at the corners for the Rays with one out to get in the second, and he got that out by fanning Adames on four pitches.

From there, Mike Shawaryn allowed Tampa Bay’s first run of the night to cross the plate in the third on a one-out RBI single off the bat of Travis d’Arnaud and was charged with another when Colten Brewer served up a run-scoring single to the first man he faced in Joey Wendle.

Fortunately for Boston, Wendle’s single got to Mookie Betts in right field rather quickly, and the reigning AL MVP put his arm strength on full display to nab d’Arnaud at home and retire the side.

Ryan Weber sat down the first eight Rays he faced from the middle of the fourth up until Wendle reached on a two-out single in the sixth, making way for Josh Taylor to come in to face the left-handed Kiermaier.

As it turned out though, Taylor did not even have to throw a pitch in the sixth, as Vazquez snuffed out Wendle trying to swipe second base for the third out.

Taylor also came back out for the seventh, but could not sneak a one-out, 1-0, 95 MPH two-seamer past Adamas, who deposited said pitch 462 feet to dead center to make it a 3-1 contest.

Another base hit to follow that mammoth shot up marked the end of Taylor’s evening, so Ryan Brasier wrapped up the seventh by retiring the only two hitters he faced in consecutive order.

Andrew Cashner did the same in the eighth, except with three Rays instead of two and Matt Barnes punched out the side in the ninth to send this one into extra innings knotted at three runs apiece.

In that first extra inning, Brandon Workman did not get off to the best of starts, as he yielded a leadoff walk to Austin Meadows. That would not come back to bite him however. Not with Sandy Leon and Hernandez connecting on a bang-bang play at second to catch Meadows and extinguish the threat.

And in the 11th, moments after his side went up 4-3 on a Mitch Moreland solo blast, Josh Smith began his frame of work by allowing d’Arnaud to reach on a leadoff double moments before giving the game away on a two-run home run off the bat of Nate Lowe.

That homer, coming off a 2-0, 91 MPH heater right down the heart of the plate, put the Rays up 5-4. Another walk-off loss.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against right-hander Tyler Glasnow for Tampa Bay, someone they had not seen in nearly five months going into the weekend.

Unable to get anything going against the Rays starter, Xander Bogaerts kicked off the scoring for Boston in the fourth by greeting new reliever Yonny Chirinos with a leadoff solo shot to get his side on the board and cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

Fast forward all the way to the eighth, now down by two runs, it was the top of the lineup responding once again, this time with Mookie Betts reaching on a one-out single off of Nick Anderson to bring Rafael Devers to the plate for the second time ever against the Rays right-hander.

On the third pitch he saw from Anderson, a 1-1, 96 MPH four-seamer at the top of the zone, Devers made history on one swing of the bat, becoming the first Red Sox third baseman to ever hit more than 30 home runs in a single season with his 31st of the year.

That 421-foot two-run blast pulled the Sox back even with the Rays at 3-3 and ultimately sent this contest into extra innings for the second straight day.

In extras, or the top of the 11th more specifically, just when it looked like Boston was going to have to settle with trying to force this one to the 12th with two outs in the frame, Mitch Moreland came through in the clutch yet again.

The 34-year-old went deep twice on Friday night, and on the first pitch he saw from Diego Castillo on Saturday, Moreland unloaded on an 87 MPH slider that was essentially right down the middle and sent it 430 feet to center for his 18th of the year.

Moreland’s fifth dinger since returning from the injured list in July gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 4-3, and it probably should have won them this game too, but as already mentioned, the Rays put together a rally of their own in their half of the 11th, one that led to Boston getting walked off on by a final score of 5-4.

Some notes from this loss:

From Red Sox Notes:

From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:

From The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the third installment of this four-game set on Sunday afternoon, with right-hander Nathan Eovaldi getting the ball for Boston and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough doing the same for Tampa Bay.

Since the calendar flipped to September, Eovaldi has allowed a total of nine earned runs over his last 13 1/3 innings pitched spanning three starts. That’s good for an ERA of 6.08.

In one prior appearance at Tropicana Field, the place Eovaldi once called home, this season, the 29-year-old surrendered three runs on five hits while only recording two outs back on July 22nd, in his first game back since returning from the injured list.

Yarbrough, meanwhile, has struggled recently for the Rays, posting an ERA of 5.40 and batting average against of .259 over his last five starts and 28 1/3 innings of work.

When facing the Red Sox this season, the 27-year-old is 2-0 with a 4.80 ERA over three total appearances (one start) and 15 innings pitched.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox STILL trying to play spoiler.

 

 

Chris Sale Strikes out Eight over Seven Innings as #RedSox Get Swept by Rays

Exactly one month into the 2019 regular season, the Red Sox have yet to win a series at home following a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, marking their second consecutive defeat to the current leaders of the American League East.

Making his sixth start of the season in this series finale after not pitching in Tampa Bay last weekend was Chris Sale.

Working the first seven innings Sunday for the first time this year, the left-hander surrendered four runs, two of which were earned, on four hits and a season-high three walks to go along with eight strikeouts on the afternoon.

Similar to David Price’s outing the day prior, it was the top of the Rays lineup giving a Red Sox starter a difficult time yet again, this time with Yandy Diaz doubling to lead off the first and Daniel Robertson launching a one out, two-run homer over the Monster two batters later to give Tampa Bay the early advantage.

Entering Sunday, Robertson was just 12-for-71 at the plate to begin the season without a home run.

An inning later, Diaz got to Sale once more in a situation that could have been avoided had Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers fielded a ground ball off the bat of Willy Adames.

Instead, Adames reached safely, as did Guillermo Heredia, who drew a one out walk earlier in the second.

After striking out Christian Arroyo on three straight pitches for the second out of the frame, the Rays leadoff man ripped a line drive triple that had the chance to be caught by Jackie Bradley Jr. in center, but instead landed just out of the outfielder’s reach and two more Rays runs came around to score. 4-0.

Things were not looking all that great from there for the Red Sox, but from the beginning of the third inning on, Sale showed flashes of his 2018 self, retiring 12 of the final 16 hitters he faced to end his day on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final season-high pitch count of 111 (72 strikes), the Florida native topped out at 94.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball while averaging around 92 MPH with the pitch.

In terms of pitch variety, Sale relied heavily on his slider with Christian Vazquez catching him Sunday. According to Baseball Savant, he threw 52 sliders compared to 36 four-seamers while inducing six swings and misses with the heater.

Now sporting an 0-5 record on the season, Sale will look for his first win in his next time out, which should come against his former club in the Chicago White Sox next weekend.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen had the responsibility of keeping their team within striking distance over the final two innings of this one.

Marcus Walden got the call for the eighth, and he sat down the only three Rays hitters he faced in order while working in relief for the second straight day.

Heath Hembree, meanwhile, was responsible for the ninth, and he would wind up being charged with an unearned run due to Michael Chavis’ first real defensive miscue at second base.

This happened following an Avisail Garcia leadoff double, a Mike Zunino strikeout, and an intentional walking of Kevin Kiermaier.

With a potential double play in play, Guillermo Heredia grounded into a force out at second recorded by Chavis on a ball that was fielded by Xander Bogaerts at short.

However, when attempting to make the throw over to first, Chavis aired one out way over the head of Mitch Moreland, which allowed Garcia to easily score from second and make it a three-run game.

The Red Sox’ top prospect was charged with his first career fielding error as a result.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another familiar opponent in Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow, who allowed two earned runs in less than six innings in his last start against Boston on Easter.

Similar to that last outing, the former Pittsburgh Pirates hurler was dominant yet again to start this one off, holding Boston scoreless over the first five innings while sitting down 14 of the first 17 hitters he faced in this one.

It wasn’t until their half of the sixth when the Red Sox finally got on the board, and that came on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mitch Moreland to drive in Christian Vazquez, who led the inning off with a single, from third and make it a 4-1 contest.

In the eighth, the aforementioned Michael Chavis continued on with his power surge by mashing his third home run of the season, a one out, 441 foot shot to dead center off Glasnow to cut the Rays’ deficit down to two.

The Red Sox threatened again in the inning thanks to a Jackie Bradley Jr. two out double that put an end to Glasnow’s day, but were unable to score again.

The same can be said for the eighth and ninth as well, with Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo tossing a scoreless frame each to finish off the sweep for the Rays and another disappointing afternoon for the 2019 Red Sox.

Some notes from this 5-2 loss:

From FOX’s Mike Monaco, on the last seven home runs Michael Chavis has hit at Triple-A Pawtucket and the major league level:

From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:

From the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato:

It’s been tough. the Red Sox currently stand at 11-17 and after this weekend are eight games back in the loss column for first place in the American League East.

Just when you think this team is about to go on a nice run and win a few games, they roll over and play like they been these past two days.

There are still 134 games remaining in the regular season. Still time to figure things out, but it doesn’t get any easier with the pesky Oakland Athletics coming into town for a three-game series to wrap up this homestand.

Losers of their last three after getting swept by the Blue Jays in Toronto over the weekend, the A’s took three out of four from Boston the last time these two clubs met earlier this month.

For the series opener, it will be a pitching matchup featuring right-hander Frankie Montas for Oakland and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for the Red Sox.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.

David Price Strikes out 10 and Mitch Moreland Homers as #RedSox Finish off Sweep of Rays in Extras

After winning their first series of the season Saturday, the Red Sox went ahead and capped off their first series sweep of the year with a 4-3 extra innings win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Easter Sunday.

Getting the start against his former club in this one was David Price, fresh off his best start of the season in his last time out against the Baltimore Orioles.

In what was his fourth outing of the year, the left-hander surrendered two runs, both earned, on five hits and two walks to go along with a season-high 10 strikeouts over five impressive innings of work on the afternoon.

Other than two walks allowed in the first, the only real trouble Price ran into came in Tampa Bay’s half of the third, when back-to-back singles to leadoff the frame resulted in the two first two runs of the day crossing the plate on a two-out, two-run double off the bat of Daniel Robertson.

Retiring seven of the last nine hitters he faced after that mishap, Price capped off his outing in style by recording his 10th and final punch out to put away the Rays in the fifth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of exactly 100 (64 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball a game-high 35 times on Saturday, inducing five swings and misses and topping out at 94.4 MPH with the pitch.

Unable to pick up his second winning decision of the season, Price’s next start should come against this same Rays club next weekend at Fenway Park.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final six of this 11 inning contest.

Brandon Workman and Colten Brewer, making his first appearance since Patriots’ Day, each worked a scoreless frame over the sixth and seventh to make way for Matt Barnes in the eighth with Boston up by a run.

Barnes, working for the third consecutive day, did just about exactly what he did on Saturday. That being, serve up the then game-tying home run to Tommy Pham, walk the next batter he faced, then strike out the final two Rays hitters he faced to at least keep the tie in tact.

From there, Marcus Walden impressed yet again, sitting down six of the seven hitters he faced while fanning two in a pair of scoreless innings. He also received some assistance from Rafael Devers over at third.

After the Red Sox jumped out to a 3-2 lead in their half of the 11th, Ryan Brasier, like Barnes, also came on to pitch for the third consecutive day and notched his sixth save of the season thanks to a 1-2-3 inning to finish off the sweep.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against former Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Tyler Glasnow for Tampa Bay, and he had it going on early.

Facing off against the Red Sox for just the second time in his young career, the 25-year-old Glasnow allowed just one run over his first five innings of work, and that came courtesy of a Mitch Moreland solo homer to lead off the fourth. Moreland’s seventh big fly of the season with no back problems present.

Fast forward to the sixth, with Glasnow seemingly in cruise control, and a one out single off the bat of Mookie Betts would surprisingly spell the end for the righty’s fine performance with a pitch count of just 76.

Maybe it was because Moreland was due up next for Boston, but a questionable decision from Kevin Cash and the Rays nonetheless.

Going with the lefty in Adam Kolarek out of the bullpen, Alex Cora countered that move by pinch-hitting Steve Pearce for Moreland.

Pearce, who also came in for Moreland due to back spasms on Saturday, drew a five pitch walk, which in turn resulted in another pitching change for Tampa Bay.

With Chaz Roe now in this contest, JD Martinez did the same as Pearce, drawing another five pitch walk to fill the bases for Xander Bogaerts.

Following a brief mound visit, Bogaerts’ eyes must have lit up on the first pitch he saw from Roe, as he ripped a 92 MPH fastball to right center, driving in Betts and giving his team a short-lived one-run advantage.

After being held quiet over the next four innings, a Rafael Devers leadoff single in the 11th eventually got the Boston bats going again with left=handed reliever Jose Alvarado on the mound for Tampa Bay for the second straight day.

That Devers walk, followed up by Michael Chavis drawing a five-pitch walk, set the stage for Jackie Bradley Jr. in a crucial spot.

Having been held hitless up to that point, the Red Sox outfielder perhaps came through with the most important plate appearance of the afternoon without even reaching base by dropping a beautifully executed sacrifice bunt down the third base line, advancing Devers and Chavis into scoring position with one out.

Christian Vazquez, already having himself a pretty solid weekend, was due up next for Boston, and he too came up clutch without reaching base, as he belted a 375 foot sac fly to center field, deep enough to drive in the go-ahead run in the form of Devers from third and give the Red Sox a 6-5 lead, which would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

In his first career big league start, Red Sox top prospect Michael Chavis went 0-for-4 with one walk while playing second base.

JD Martinez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a first inning single on Sunday.

Before this weekend, Rays reliever Jose Alvarado had yet to yield a run in his first 10 appearances of the season. He has now given up the game-winning run in two straight outings.

The Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins all won on Sunday. A clean Boston sweep.

Next up for the Red Sox, they head back to Boston to kick off a 10-game homestand at Fenway Park beginning on Monday, starting with a four-game set against the Detroit Tigers.

Left-hander Chris Sale is slated to make his second home start for Boston, while fellow southpaw Matthew Boyd will do the same for Detroit.

In his career against the Tigers, Sale owns a 2.94 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 32 games (22 starts) and 168.1 total innings pitched.

Boyd, meanwhile, has only made one previous career start at Fenway Park, an outing in which he allowed two runs in 6.1 innings pitched last season.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for four straight wins.