Red Sox Call up Trevor Kelley from Triple-A Pawtucket, Option Mike Shawaryn in Slew of Roster Moves

UPDATE: Catcher Oscar Hernandez was designated for assignment in order to make room for Kelley on Boston’s 40-man roster. He’ll probably clear waivers.

Before kicking off a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, the Red Sox recalled right-hander Trevor Kelley from Triple-A Pawtucket. In a corresponding move, right-hander Mike Shawaryn was optioned back down to the PawSox, while first baseman/outfielder Sam Travis was returned there after serving as Boston’s 26th man during the London Series over the weekend.

Steve Pearce was also recalled from his rehab assignment after suffering a setback, while Tzu-Wei Lin was activated from the 10-day injured list and optioned to Pawtucket. The club made the transactions official earlier Monday.

Kelley, 25, was drafted by Boston in the 36th round of the 2015 amateur draft out of the University of North Carolina.

Beginning the 2019 season with Triple-A Pawtucket, the Rhode Island native has posted 0.96 ERA and .204 batting average against through 28 appearances and 37 2/3 innings pitched this year.

Since May 16th, Kelley has only allowed one run over his last 16 outings and 21 1/3 frames of work.

Known for his sidearm delivery, Kelley features an 86-88 MPH fastball that tops out at 89 MPH and a 75-77 MPH slider, according to SoxProspects.com

Per FanGraphs, Kelley owns a FIP of 3.69 and an xFIP of 5.82 with the PawSox so far, and has averaged nearly four walks per nine innings this season, meaning he, as Red Sox Stats puts it, “puts men on base, isn’t a strikeout or swing and miss guy, and is an extreme air ball pitcher.”

As mentioned earlier, Mike Shawaryn was optioned to make room for Kelley on Boston’s 25-man roster.

The 24-year-old out of the University of Maryland began his big league career on a high note after being recalled from Pawtucket on May 30th, as he yielded just one earned run on four hits and five walks over his first six appearances and 10 innings pitched.

Over his last two outings though, it’s been a much different story for the right-hander, surrendering 11 runs, all earned, on nine hits and two walks since June 22nd. Eight of those runs came in this past Saturday’s loss to the New York Yankees.

Given that he was used as a reliever in his first stint with the Sox, it will be interesting to see if Shawaryn maintains that role or goes back to being a starter in Pawtucket.

As for the injury-related side of this news, Steve Pearce was supposed to be activated from the injured list for this upcoming series in Toronto, but was instead returned from his rehab assignment after suffering a setback in the rehab process, which was most likely caused by knee pain, a source says.

Pearce, 36, was placed on the 10-day IL with a lower back strain on June 1st and began that now-cancelled rehab assignment on the 14th. The 2018 World Series MVP has not appeared in a game for Boston since May 31st.

Lastly, Tzu-Wei Lin was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after completing a rehab assignment with them that lasted five games.

The 25-year-old utility man has missed considerable time this year due to a left knee sprain suffered back in May against the Chicago White Sox, and is slashing .286/.357/.381 with no home runs and eight RBI through 17 games with the PawSox this season.

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#RedSox Halt Dustin Pedroia’s Rehab Assignment Due to Minor Left Knee Soreness

Nearly two weeks after sending him out on one for the second time this season, the Red Sox have returned second baseman Dustin Pedroia from his rehab assignment with Double-A Portland due to what the club is describing as “minor left knee soreness”, per multiple reports.

Pedroia, 35, was scratched from the Sea Dogs’ lineup against the Trenton Thunder this past Saturday for essentially the same reason.

Placed on the 10-day injured list back on April 19th after appearing in six games for the Red Sox, the veteran infielder was sent out to Portland on May 2nd, where he went 4-for-16 with one run and one RBI over a six-game span.

According to the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, the plan now is for Pedroia to go back out on another assignment following this delay. This works out for the team, because as Abraham notes, 12 of the 20 days available for a rehab assignment had already been used up, so this now gives Pedroia and the Red Sox more time to prepare.

In Pedroia’s place, the Red Sox currently have rookie Michael Chavis and Eduardo Nunez available to man second base when necessary, while Brock Holt and Tzu-Wei Lin, like Pedroia, remain on Boston’s injured list.

The timetable for the California native’s return to the majors is not yet known, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t contribute to the big league club when healthy.

All on Twitter, I see people indirectly urging Pedroia to retire due to these extended knee issues, hoping the remainder of his six-year, $85 million contract could somehow be voided if he did indeed hang them up.

I don’t know where things took a sour turn, I really don’t. But Dustin Pedroia deserved more respect than that. Literally the best second baseman not named Bobby Doerr to ever don a Red Sox uniform.

The bottom line is: show that man some respect.

#RedSox Purchase Contract of Former Phillies Infielder Cody Asche from Sugar Land Skeeters, Assign Him to Triple-A Pawtucket

The Red Sox have signed former Phillies and White Sox utility man Cody Asche to a minor-league contract, according to the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, the independent club Asche was a member of before his contract was purchased Friday.

Asche, 28, has been assigned and will report to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Last playing in the majors with Chicago in 2017, the infielder/outfielder owns a career .234/.293/.376 slash line to go along with 32 home runs and 129 RBI over 390 games dating back to the 2013 season.

Following a 2017 campaign in which he appeared in just 19 games for the White Sox, Asche bounced around a bit between the Royals, Yankees, and Mets’ Triple-A clubs last season before inking a minor-league pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past February.

Released by Los Angeles the very next month, the former fourth round draft pick began his 2019 season with Sugar Land, where he went 5-for-20 with one homer and three runs driven in over six games.

Now, Asche will look to provide the Red Sox with some infield depth they appear to desperately need at the moment with Brock Holt, Dustin Pedroia, and Tzu-Wei Lin all on the injured list at the moment.

Chris Sale Fans 10, Michael Chavis and Rafael Devers Each Homer as #RedSox Bounce Back with 6-1 Win over White Sox

After getting walked off on to open up a seven-game road trip on Thursday night, the Red Sox bounced back in impressive fashion Friday with a 6-0 shutout victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Leading the charge and making his seventh start of the season against his former club in this one was Chris Sale, who entered the weekend looking to avoid his seventh losing decision of the year already.

Working the first six innings Friday, the left-hander turned in a masterful performance, holding the White Sox scoreless on just three hits, two HBPs, and one walk to go along with 10 strikeouts on the night.

With Sandy Leon behind the plate, Sale did not face more than five hitters in any of the six innings he appeared in while retiring 11 of the first 13 hitters he faced before former Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada broke up any chance of a no-hitter with a two out single in the fourth.

That was snuffed out almost immediately though, as the Cuba native was picked off by Leon while trying to steal second for the third and final out of the inning.

Less than a full frame after that, the White Sox were threatening to get on the board with runners on first and second and three outs still get.

Fortunately for the Sox, the southpaw responded in classic Chris Sale fashion by fanning the next three hitters he faced on 12 pitches to put an end to any threat.

Ending his night by working his way around a two out double in the sixth and getting Moncada looking for his 10th and final strikeout of the night, Sale did indeed earn his first winning decision of 2019.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 104 (70 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his slider 37% of the time he was on the mound Friday while inducing three swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 96.5 MPH and averaged 93.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he went to 37 times.

Improving to 1-5 on the year and lowering his ERA by more than one run, Sale will look to keep things rolling in his next time out, which should come against the Batimore Orioles on Wednesday.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen had a relatively comfortable six-run lead to protect heading into the seventh.

Heath Hembree sat down the only three White Sox hitters he faced in order in that seventh inning, Colten Brewer allowed Chicago’s lone run of the night to cross the plate in the eighth, and Josh Smith tossed a scoreless ninth in his Red Sox debut to lock down the 6-1 win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, who like Thursday’s starter Lucas Giolito, was part of the trade that sent outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals prior to the start of the 2017 season.

Only pitching against Boston one previous time before Friday in his young career, the Red Sox bats took advantage and struck right away in the first inning of this one.

As it turns out, all the damage done off Lopez in the first came with two outs in the frame, and it started with a red-hot JD Martinez roping a ground-rule double to right field.

Two batters later, after Xander Bogaerts advanced Martinez to third with an infield single, Rafael Devers came through with his first home run of the season, and it was a doozy.

Registering at 436 feet and 111 MPH off the bat, you could say Devers’ first big fly of the 2019 came at a good time following that costly ninth inning error on Thursday.

Fast forward to the sixth, after Devers led things off by reaching first on a single, Michael Chavis essentially one upped the first home run of the night by tattooing a 459 foot, 110 MPH, two-run dinger of his own to give the Red Sox a five-run advantage.

And still in the sixth, with Lopez out and reliever Jose Ruiz in for Chicago, Mookie Betts put the exclamation point on this one for the Red Sox by drawing a five pitch, bases loaded walk to drive in Mitch Moreland from third and make it a 6-0 game at the time.

The Red Sox did have the chance to add on in the ninth, but were unable to get anything across against second baseman Jose Rondon, who made his first career appearance as a reliever for the White Sox Friday.

Given the fact that Rick Renteria’s team was only trailing by five runs, it was honestly pretty odd to see a position player pitching in that situation. Still, credit to Rondon for holding his own and tossing a scoreless inning to keep his team within striking distance.

Some notes from this 6-1 win:

On a down note, Tzu-Wei Lin had to depart from this contest in the second inning after injuring his left leg while sliding into second on a failed stolen base attempt.

Later diagnosed with a sprained left knee, Lin will be placed on the 10-day injured list and infielder Eduardo Nunez will be activated from the IL in a corresponding move Saturday.

Michael Chavis has hit four home runs in 13 games with the Red Sox so far. The distances of those homers goes as follows: 374 feet, 441 feet, 441 feet, and 459 feet. His slugging percentage currently stands at .619.

Rafael Devers, meanwhile, has hits in eight of the last nine games he has played in. He is currently slashing .298/.382/.395 with 15 walks, one home run and 13 RBI this season.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the third game of this four-game weekend set on Saturday.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is set to get the ball for Boston, while fellow southpaw Banuelos will do the same for Chicago.

Last time out at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 1st of last season, Rodriguez dazzled with 12 strikeouts and just one earned run allowed on three hits and one walk over 5.2 innings of work. The Red Sox won that game over the White Sox by a final score of 6-1.

On the other side of this lefty-on-lefty matchup, Banuelos, 29, has never pitched against the Red Sox before.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to start a new winning streak.

 

 

 

Mitch Moreland and Christian Vazquez Homer as #RedSox Open up May by Completing Sweep of Athletics

After finishing off a forgettable April by clinching their first home series win of 2019 on Tuesday, the Red Sox went ahead and kicked off the new month by completing their three-game sweep over the Oakland Athletics with a 7-3 victory on Wednesday afternoon.

Making his fourth start and ninth overall appearance in this on was Hector Velazquez, who served more as the opener Wednesday after working out of the bullpen as recently as Monday.

Working just the first two innings, the right-hander surrendered one run on two hits, no walks, and one HBP to go along with three strikeouts on the day.

That one Oakland run came around to score on a two out RBI single off the bat of Ramon Laureano in the second, and that would wind up being the second to last hitter Velazquez faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 43 (28 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler topped out at 92.9 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw just 9% of the time he was on the mound in this brief outing.

In relief of Velazquez, Marcus Walden was really the star of the show from the third inning on, as he ended up tossing three scoreless frames while also fanning three and allowing one of the 10 hitters he faced to reach base in that span.

An effort certainly worthy of the winning decision, which is exactly what the right-hander got for the fourth time this season. His ERA now stands at a miniscule 1.65 through 11 appearances so far.

From the beginning of the sixth inning on, the Red Sox bullpen was essentially nails sans another rough ninth for Tyler Thornburg.

Brandon Workman struck out one in a clean sixth, Colten Brewer worked his way around a two out single from Chad Pinder in a shutout seventh, and Heath Hembree retired the only three hitters he faced in order in the eighth.

Entering the final frame with another sizable lead to protect, Thornburg nearly made something out of nothing for the second time in less than 24 hours by allowing the Athletics to trim their deficit down to four with run-scoring doubles from Khris Davis and Pinder.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, the ex-Brewer was able to hold his own enough to get the aforementioned Laureano to ground out to Tzu-Wei Lin for the third and final out, wrapping up the 7-3 win as well as the three-game sweep.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another familiar opponent in Athletics right-hander Mike Fiers, who held Boston scoreless over six innings in his last start against them in early April. But, like I have mentioned before during this series, things were different this time around.

Kicking off the scoring in the second, Mitch Moreland got a productive day at the plate started by driving in Rafael Devers from third on a sacrifice fly to left field.

None of that would have been possible, however, had not it been for this crazy hop the ball took off the second base bag on a Michael Chavis single one at-bat prior, which allowed Devers to advance to third in the first place.

Fast forward to the fourth, Moreland struck again by continuing his run of dominating A’s pitching and launching his team-leading ninth home run over the Monster for his second dinger of the series. 399 feet and 103 MPH off the bat, per Statcast.

In the fifth, a Tzu-Wei Lin leadoff double would later result in Boston’s fifth run of the afternoon crossing the plate on another sac fly from Mookie Betts for his 16th RBI of the season. 3-1.

An inning later, with JB Wendelken now in for Oakland, back-to-back two out, bases loaded singles from Lin and Andrew Benintendi drove in three more Red Sox runs, with Lin accounting for one and Benintendi for two, to make it a 6-1 contest.

And in the eighth, Christian Vazquez put the finishing touches on this one by greeting new A’s reliever Ryan Dull with a 372 foot moonshot to left on the very first pitch of the inning for his fifth big fly of the year already.

That gave Boston a 7-1 advantage, and after a mini rally from the A’s in their half of the ninth, 7-3 would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Somehow, some way, the Red Sox won the season series against the A’s 4-3.

Playing in six of those games, Mitch Moreland slashed .313/.400/.750 with two home runs and six RBI.

Since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on April 19th, Marcus Walden owns a 0.00 ERA and a .111 batting average against over his last six appearances.

The Red Sox are 8-4 in their last 12 games.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox on the South Side in the first stop of a two-city road trip.

Left-hander David Price is set to get the ball in the opener for Boston, while right-hander Lucas Giolito will do the same for Chicago.

In his career at Guaranteed Rate Field, Price owns a lifetime 4.41 ERA over eight starts.

Giolito, meanwhile, has only started against the Red Sox once before in his young career. An outing last August in which he allowed one run over 6.1 innings in a losing effort.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their fourth straight win.

 

 

#RedSox Come Back from Early Four-Run Deficit in Series Opening Win over Athletics

After getting swept by the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, the Red Sox bounced back in the opener of the last series of their homestand with a 9-4 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.

Making his sixth start of the season for Boston in this one was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered the week with two consecutive quality outings at Fenway Park under his belt.

This time around though, things it did not go as well for the left-hander, as he surrendered four earned runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts while pitching into the fifth inning of this one.

Right from the jump, it was pretty clear that the A’s had the advantage over Rodriguez in their second time seeing him already this season.

The first inning wasn’t all that bad, but when the lefty began his second frame of work by walking back-to-back hitters, both of whom were down in an 0-2 hole, that is where it got a bit ugly.

Plating four runs on two straight one out RBI singles from Jurickson Profar and Josh Phegley, as well as a two out run-scoring double off the bat of Matt Chapman to give the A’s the early advantage, it seemed as though Rodriguez’s night would be short-lived.

However, the 26-year-old did rebound after that second inning by retiring the next six batters he faced in order before running into more trouble in the fifth.

There, a Marcus Semien leadoff single was canceled out thanks in part to Rodriguez and rookie Michael Chavis, who was making his first career big league start at first base, on a pickoff attempt that ended with Tzu-Wei Lin getting the runner at second.

Following a Matt Chapman ground out moments after that successful pickoff attempt, Rodriguez was just one out away from getting through give full innings with his team in the lead, meaning he had the chance to earn his third winning decision of the year.

Instead, back-to-back two out singles from Stephen Piscotty and Khris Davis prevented that from happening, and the Venezuela native’s night came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 97 (63 strikes), Rodriguez relied on his four-seam fastball 42% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing three swings and misses and topping out at 95 MPH with the pitch. His next start should come against the Chicago White Sox this coming weekend.

In relief of Rodriguez, Heath Hembree was released into the fire right away with one out to get, a two run lead to protect, and runners on first and second.

Known for his ability to succeed with inherited runners on for parts of the 2018 season, Hembree did just that this time around by getting Chad Pinder to ground into an inning-ending force out at second base.

From the beginning of the sixth inning on, Colten Brewer, Brandon Workman, Ryan Brasier, Hector Velazquez, and Matt Barnes combined to work the final four innings of this contest without yielding a single run.

Brewer faced the minimum three hitters despite a walk in a scoreless sixth, Workman walked the first two hitters he faced in the seventh and struck out the final two before making way for Brasier, who fanned Khris Davis to end the inning and also tossed a 1-2-3 eighth.

With the Red Sox up by a comfortable five runs, Hector Velazquez came on to begin the ninth, but inevitably allowed three of the first four hitters he faced to reach base to load the bases for the Athletics.

Needing to get outs quickly all of a sudden, Alex Cora turned to Matt Barnes to get out of the jam, and the right-hander needed just two pitches to pick up the final two outs and secure his second save of the year.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against right-hander and former Boston international signee Frankie Montas for the A’s.

Having never pitched inside Fenway Park before in his young career, the Red Sox eventually got to Montas starting in their half of the third, after grounding into a pair of double-plays in their first two attempts at the plate.

Kicking off the scoring for Boston was Christian Vazquez, whose one out walk wound wind up being the catalyst for a six-run inning.

It all could have been avoided, really. Jurickson Profar could have made a quality throw over to Marcus Semien covering second on a grounder off the bat of Tzu-Wei Lin to both nab Vazquez and make the throw over at first to turn the DP, but Profar instead threw the ball into the dirt, meaning everyone was safe for the top of the Boston lineup.

Again, a dribbler from Andrew Benintendi could have resulted in another out for Oakland, but it turned out that Montas actually missed the bag with his left foot on the attempted put out, which in turn loaded the bases for Mookie Betts.

On a 2-2 heater from Montas, the reigning AL MVP lined an RBI single to right, plating Vazquez from third and putting the Red Sox on the board.

One batter later, after missing the weekend series against the Rays due to back spasms, JD Martinez made his presence felt by driving in Lin from third on another RBI single to make it a 4-2 game and keep the line moving.

That base knock was followed by a two-run double to center off the bat of Xander Bogaerts to tie this contest up, which only lasted briefly because Michael Chavis gave the Sox a 6-4 lead two batters later on a two out, two-run single of his own. And just like that, six runs had come around to score in an inning Boston sent 10 hitters to the plate. All six of those runs were unearned, by the way.

Fast forward to the fifth, after a Rafael Devers one out double, and Chavis was at it again, this time collecting his third RBI of the night on a pop fly single to right field to simultaneously score Devers and put an end to Montas’ outing.

Two innings later, Jackie Bradley Jr. broke out of a 3-for-19 skid with a one out RBI single off old friend Fernando Rodney to drive in Devers yet again, who led the seventh off by drawing a walk and stealing second base.

And in the eighth, JD Martinez put the exclamation point on this one by plating Boston’s ninth and final run of the night on an RBI sac fly, scoring Andrew Benintendi from third and giving his team a 9-4 lead, which would go on to be Monday’s final score.

Some notes from this one:

In his last seven games (six starts), Rafael Devers is slashing .409/.500/.500 with four RBI. The power has not been there yet, but the run the third-year infielder has been on at the plate has been exciting to see.

Including a three-hit performance Monday, Mookie Betts is slashing .423/.521/.692 with one home run and six RBI in his last seven games.

Through his first nine career big league games, Michael Chavis is sporting a .643 slugging percentage. Minimum 25 plate appearances, that is currently the 10th best SLG in the American League.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this three-game set against the A’s.

Right-hander Aaron Brooks is set to get the ball for Oakland, while fellow righty Rick Porcello will do the same for Boston.

Looking for just their second series win of the year, first pitch Tuesday is schedlued for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.

 

Andrew Benintendi Launches First Career Grand Slam as #RedSox Top Rays for First Series Win of 2019

It took nearly four weeks, but for the first time this season, the Red Sox have won a series following a narrow 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday night. This is also the first time this season that the team has won two consecutive road games.

Making his fourth start of the season at a place he usually finds success in for this one was Rick Porcello.

Entering the day with a lifetime 2.86 ERA at Tropicana Field, the right-hander took the first steps in turning around what has been an ugly start to his walk year, as he held Tampa Bay to just two runs on six hits, one walk, and one HBP to go along with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.

That lone free pass, as well as two double plays being turned, may serve as a few important indicators that Porcello is on the road to improvement.

Working with a lead from the second inning on, one of the six hits given up by the 30-year-old hurler traveled 413 feet off the bat of Avisail Garcia in the bottom half of the second to plate the Rays’ first run of the evening on a solo home run.

Later in the fourth, a pair of triples from Ji-Man Choi and Brandon Lowe in that order gave Tampa Bay their second run and make it a 5-2 game.

Retiring six of the next nine hitters he faced after that, Porcello’s night would come to a close following a two out single from Lowe in the sixth. With Avisail Garcia, with one home run under his best already, due up next for the Rays, Alex Cora made the switch for Heath Hembree out of the Red Sox bullpen.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 91 (60 strikes), Porcello turned to his two-seam fastball nearly 40% of the time he was on the mound on Saturday while also topping out at 93.6 MPH with his four-seamer.

Still without a winning decision on the season despite better results, Porcello’s next start should come against the Detroit Tigers, his former club, sometime next week.

In relief of Porcello, Hembree entered with one out to get in the sixth and did just that before surrendering a leadoff triple to the speedy Kevin Kiermaier in the seventh.

After recording the first out of the inning, Hembree made way for the recently called up Bobby Poyner, who walked the first man he faced in Rays pinch-hitter Guillermo Heredia and gave up a two-run triple to the next hitter he faced in Austin Meadows.

That cut Boston’s lead down to one run and in came Marcus Walden.

Recently called up himself, Walden had himself another impressive showing, fanning the only two Rays hitters he faced to send this contest to the eighth with his team still in the lead.

In that eighth inning, Matt Barnes, working two days in a row, allowed Tampa Bay to come all the way back from an initial five run deficit by serving up a leadoff, then game-tying homer to Yandy Diaz.

Presumably upset at himself, Barnes retired the next three hitters faced all via the punch out.

Thanks to a mini rally from the Red Sox bats in their half of the ninth, Ryan Brasier had the opportunity to come on for the save with a one run lead to protect and Christian Vazquez now behind the dish after Sandy Leon was pinch hit for.

Like Barnes, Brasier was also in his second straight game, and it showed, as he allowed the go-ahead run to reach base on a leadoff single from Robertson and a two out knock from Tommy Pham.

With Willy Adames at the plate for Tampa Bay with the chance to be a hero, Christian Vazquez made the play of the game, picking off Pham with a rocket of a throw to Steve Pearce covering first. And that’s how this 6-5 win came to a close.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against ex-Astros right-hander Charlie Morton for Tampa Bay, who had only made four career starts against Boston prior to Saturday.

Able to get the scoring started right away in the second, a JD Martinez leadoff single and a pair of walks drawn by Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. filled the bases for the Red Sox with just one out in the inning.

Following a mound visit and a Tzu-Wei Lin strikeout, Sandy Leon, in his second game back with the big league club, was able to drive in the Red Sox’ first run of the night by taking a 86 MPH cutter from Morton off his foot. That made it a 1-0 game and reloaded the bases for the top of the order.

Capitalizing on that miscue from Morton right away, Andrew Benintendi swung at the very first pitch he saw in his second at bat against the Rays hurler and wound up blasting his first career grand slam to unload the bases.

That put the Red Sox up 5-0 early on, but they were kept quiet over the next few hours, unable to score again until the ninth.

Going into that final frame having given away that aforementioned five-run advantage, Jackie Bradley Jr. of all people would begin things by ripping a leadoff single to right field off Rays reliever Jose Alvarado and representing the go-ahead run.

After another Tzu-Wei Lin punch out, the nine spot was due up next for the Red Sox, and instead of Sandy Leon, in came top prospect Michael Chavis to make his major league debut in a decently crucial spot against the left-handed Alvarado.

Called up by the Red Sox on Friday, Chavis took advantage of the unfamiliar matchup and laced a 1-2 double over the head of Kevin Kiermaier in center field, advancing Bradley Jr. to third in the process of picking up the first hit of his young career.

According to Statcast, that two-bagger from Chavis had an exit velocity of 109 MPH and traveled a distance of 401 feet. Not bad for your first AB in the bigs.

chavis.jpg

With the lineup turning over and the go-ahead run now just 90 feet away, Benintendi came through with another huge plate appearance, this time driving in Bradley Jr. on a sacrifice fly to left to collect his fifth and final RBI of the night. That put the Red Sox up 6-5, which would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

Mitch Moreland, who started at first, departed from this game in the third inning due to back spasms. According to Moreland himself though, he should be able to play Sunday.

From @SoxNotes, regarding JD Martinez’s 10-game hitting streak:

From the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, regarding Chavis’ ninth inning double:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, quoting Alex Cora talking about Chavis:

Already with their first series win of 2019 in hand, the Red Sox will for the sweep over the Rays on Easter Sunday.

Left-hander David Price will get the start against his former club, while former Pirates hurler Tyler Glasnow is slated to take the mound on the opposite side.

Michael Chavis is also due to make his first career big league start in this series finale, although it is not clear where he will be playing.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 2:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the sweep.