Xander Bogaerts’ Grand Slam Caps off Seven-Run Eighth Inning for #RedSox in 9-2 Win over White Sox

After going off for a season-high 15 runs on Saturday night, the Red Sox followed that up with a seven-run eighth inning on Sunday in a 9-2 rout over the Chicago White Sox to take the series three games to one.

Making his sixth start of the season and coming off his best outing last time out in this one was Rick Porcello.

Well-versed in working at Guaranteed Rate Field, the right-hander surrendered just two earned runs on five hits and no walks to go along with seven strikeouts over six quality innings on the afternoon.

Both of those Chicago runs came on a pair of solo home runs, with the first coming off the bat of Ryan Cordell in the fifth and the second coming from Jose Abreu an inning later.

That Abreu solo shot tied the game at two at the time it was mashed, but Porcello responded in a positive way by sitting down the final two White Sox hitters he faced in the sixth to kill any shot of a multi-run inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 102 (74 strikes), the 30-year-old turned to his four-seam fastball 35% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing six swings and misses and topping out at 93.1 MPH with the pitch.

Unable to pick up the winning decision because of that second home run, Porcello did lower his ERA on the season down 5.11 thanks to his third consecutive quality start dating back to April 25th. He’ll look for his third W of the year in his next time out, which should come against the Seattle Mariners back at Fenway Park next weekend.

In relief of Porcello, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final three innings of this one.

Brandon Workman got the call for the seventh in a tie-game situation, and he worked his way around a leadoff walk to pick up his second winning decision of the season with another scoreless frame of relief.

From there, after the Red Sox jumped out to a seven-run advnatage in their half of the eighth, Marcus Walden shut down the White Sox in their half of the inning before Colten Brewer locked down the 9-2 win with a scoreless, yet erratic ninth.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey, someone who went unbeaten in two appearances (one start, one relief outing) against Boston last season.

Coming off an offensive outpour on Saturday, the Red Sox bats were held in check by Covey through the fifth, managing to push across just two runs on a second inning RBI single from Mitch Moreland and more of the same from JD Martinez in that fifth inning.

They certainly had their chances to score even more off the White Sox starter, but it wasn’t until the eighth where the offense really picked things up, just like what they did in the third inning Saturday.

Entering the frame in a 2-2 contest with flame throwing reliever Kelvin Herrera on the bump for Chicago, a one out single from Rafael Devers, followed by some sloppy fielding from the White Sox that allowed the Red Sox infielder to reach third base safely, would end up being the catalyst for another massive inning.

After a mound visit and a five-pitch walk drawn by Michael Chavis, Moreland came through in the clutch yet again, beating the shift with another RBI single up the middle to drive in Devers from third and give his team a lead they would not have to look back from.

Three batters and one Jackie Bradley Jr. walk to load the bases later, Eduardo Nunez, pinch-hitting for Sandy Leon, knocked in Boston’s fourth run of the afternoon with a little RBI dribbler down the third base line that barely stayed fair. 4-2 and keeping the line moving.

With the lineup turning back over, Chicago turned to left-hander Caleb Frare in relief of Herrera, and he walked the lone hitter he faced in Andrew Benintendi by nearly striking him in the head with a wild pitch. Regardless, Moreland scored and the Red Sox had a 5-2 lead.

That three-run lead would not last long though, as Xander Bogaerts essentially put this game on ice by greeting new White Sox reliever Juan Minaya with his first grand slam and sixth homer of the season.

The Red Sox’ second granny of 2019 belongs to Bogaerts, and it all but sealed a 9-2 win to close out a successful weekend in the Windy City.

Some notes from this win:

In his last five games, Rafael Devers is slashing .364/.400/.591 with one home run and six RBI.

Michael Chavis may not have recorded a hit on Sunday, but he did make this outstanding diving play in shallow right field in the eighth inning.

The Red Sox are 8-3 in their last 11 games.

Unbeaten in their last two series, the Red Sox will head to Baltimore for the first time in 2019 for a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles scheduled to begin on Monday.

31-year-old right hander Josh Smith will get the start for Boston, while lefty John Means will do the same for Baltimore.

Recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on April 26th, Smith closed out Boston’s 6-1 win over the White Sox this past Friday in his only big league appearance so far this season.

Means, meanwhile, owns a lifetime 6.48 ERA over two career outings (one start) and 8.1 innings against the Red Sox.

First pitch of the series opener Monday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their fourth straight win.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone.

 

Advertisements

Nine-Run Third Inning, Michael Chavis’ First Multi-Homer Game Carry #RedSox to 15-2 Blowout Win over White Sox

After bouncing back with a 6-1 win on Friday night, the Red Sox really poured it on against the White Sox on Saturday, pouring on a season-high 15 runs for their second straight victory on the South Side.

Making his seventh start of the season in this one for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who struck out 12 White Sox in his previous start at Guaranteed Rate Field last September.

This time around, the left-hander yielded just one run on six hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over six quality innings of work, eventually earning his third winning decision of the year.

Things started out a bit shaky for Rodriguez in the first, with Chicago plating their first run of the night and all, but after getting out of the inning and escaping a bases loaded jam in the second, it was relatively smooth sailing, and that was mostly thanks to what his lineup did in their half of the third.

Retiring 11 of the last 14 hitters he faced, the 26-year-old finished his evening with a final pitch count of exactly 100, 61 of which went for strikes.

Out of those 100 pitches, Rodriguez turned to his four-seam fastball 30% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing two swings and misses and topping out at 93.2 MPH with the pitch.

Now with quality starts in two of his last three starts, the Venezuela international will look to build on a solid beginning to May in his next time out, which should come against the Seattle Mariners next Friday.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final three innings of Saturday’s contest, and they had quite the comfortable cushion to work with.

Working both the seventh and eighth, Tyler Thornburg allowed just one run on one hit, a solo home run off the bat of Jose Abreu while fanning four.

Hector Velazquez, meanwhile, who started as recently as Wednesday, locked down the 15-2 win for the Sox with a scoreless ninth, and that was that.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an unfamiliar opponent in White Sox left-hander Manny Banuelos to start this one off.

For never facing off against the Red Sox before in his career, Banuelos held his own through the first two-and-two-thirds innings Saturday by sitting down the first eight hitters he faced in order.

Despite the early success though, a Christian Vazquez two out single changed everything, and it all unraveled for the 29-year-old southpaw the second time through the Boston lineup.

Including the base hit from Vazquez, 10 straight Red Sox hitters all reached base off Banuelos and drove in a total of NINE runs in that span.

An Andrew Benintendi single advanced Vazquez into scoring position for Mookie Betts, who plated both runners on two-run RBI double to pull his team ahead 2-1.

Two pitches after that, JD Martinez collected his 17th RBI of the season by pulling a line drive double to left and driving in Betts from second to make it a 3-1 contest.

Following a brief mound visit, Xander Bogaerts and Michael Chavis went back-to-back with one two-run and one solo homer to pad Boston’s lead even further to 6-1.

With the bases once again empty, a Rafael Devers double and Steve Pearce RBI single gave the Red Sox a six-run advantage, which then inflated to eight on another two-runshot, this one coming from Eduardo Nunez in his first game back since being activated from the injured list. 9-1. End run-scoring outburst.

Just like how he started the rally, another Christian Vazquez single would result in the end of the line for Banuelos, who saw a potential no-hitter through three innings turn into an absolute disaster.

From there, the Red Sox struck for four more runs in their half of the fourth.

With reliever Carson Fulmer now in for Chicago, back-to-back leadoff walks drawn by Martinez and Bogaerts presented Chavis with another prime run-scoring opportunity, and the rookie capitalized on it by grounding an RBI single to right field, scoring Martinez and pushing his team’s lead to 10-1.

Rafael Devers would pick up an RBI by reaching on a fielding error following that Chavis single, and Steve Pearce notched his second multi-hit game of the season with another RBI single up the middle to plate Chavis from second. 12-1.

Devers wound up scoring the Red Sox’ 13th run of the night thanks to a throwing error comitted by Jose Abreu on an Eduardo Nunez grounder, and Pearce also scored on two-out RBI double off the bat of Andrew Benintendi in the same frame to make it a 14-1 game.

And finally, in the fifth, Chavis capped off his team’s impressive offensive tear by launching his second big fly of the night, a 438 foot solo shot with an exit velocity registering at 108 MPH off White Sox reliever Josh Osich.

That dinger made it a 15-1 contest at the time it was mashed, and 15-2 would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Through his first 14 big league games, Michael Chavis has hit six home runs and collected 13 RBI. He is currently slashing .354/.466/.771.

The Red Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 ballgames.

Looking to finish off the series win over the White Sox Sunday, it will be right-hander Rick Porcello getting the start for the Red Sox, as he’ll be opposed by fellow righty Dylan Covey.

Coming off his best start of the season in which he tossed eight shutout innings against the Oakland A’s last Tuesday, Porcello brings a lifetime 3.81 ERA over 12 career starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Opposing Porcello, Covey went 2-0 in one start and one relief appearance against the Red Sox last season.

First pitch for the series finale Sunday is scheduled for 2:10 PM EDT on NESN.

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.

 

 

 

Three-Game Winning Streak Comes to an End for #RedSox in 6-4 Walk-Off Loss to White Sox

Coming off a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox kicked off a seven-game, two-city road trip on Thursday night by getting walked off on by the Chicago White Sox in a gut wrenching 6-4 loss on the South Side.

On a night where the conditions looked downright miserable in the Windy City, it was David Price who made his sixth start of the season for the Red Sox in this series opener.

Working the first six innings Thursday, the left-hander surrendered three earned runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

Two of those runs charged to Price came immediately in the bottom half of the first inning, when White Sox backstop James McCann, who caught the lefty 15 times when the two were with Detroit, launched a two out, two-run home run just out of the reach of Jackie Bradley Jr. in center to give his team an early 2-1 lead.

Other than that though, Thursday’s outing went relatively smoothly for Price up until his final inning of work in the sixth.

It could have been worse had it not been for an errant send of Jose Abreu attempting to score all the way from first on a James McCann double that was snuffed out by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts for the second out of the frame, but back-to-back base hits from Yoan Moncada and Jose Rondon did indeed allow McCann to score Chicago’s third run of the contest to knot things up at three runs a piece.

After all that commotion, Price ended his outing by getting Yonder Alonso to ground out to Mitch Moreland to put an end to the sixth, notching his second straight quality start in doing so.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 97 (64 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler turned to his changeup nearly 29% of the time he was on the mound Thursday while inducing five swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 93.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 24 times.

Unable to pick up his second winning decision of the season, Price’s next start should come against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore next week.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen was fairly effective up until things got away from them in the ninth.

But, before that disaster, Brandon Workman and Matt Barnes tossed a scoreless frame each while both of them faced the minimum three hitters and combined for four total strikeouts.

That paved the way for Ryan Brasier to pick up the save with a one-run lead to protect in the ninth, but just about everything that could have gone wrong for the Red Sox did.

The inning started with a five pitch strikeout of Yoan Moncada for the first out. On the very next play, a ground ball off the bat of Jose Rondon should have been good for the second out, but instead the base runner reached first safely thanks to a botched effort from Rafael Devers fielding the ball down the third base line.

Still, even with the tying run reaching first when it was completely avoidable, you can’t put this one all on Devers. The nine errors in 32 games is far from ideal, but Brasier did not exactly come through in an important situation either.

Anyway, a single from Yonder Alonso allowed Rondon to advance to third, meaning the tying run was just 90 feet away from scoring. But, that didn’t really matter though, because Nicky Delmonico ended this game two pitches later by mashing a three-run walkoff dinger over the center field wall to give the White Sox the win.

First losing decision and second blown save of the year for Brasier.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, who was making his first start since April 17th after missing time on the injured list due to a strained left hamstring.

The top of the Boston lineup really brought it in this one, and that was evident right away in the first inning when Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts all reached base with one out to load the bases for arguably the team’s hottest hitter in Rafael Devers.

On the sixth pitch he saw from Giolito in his first at-bat of the night, Devers lined a sacrifice fly with an exit velocity of 98 MPH to left field, plating Betts from third and giving his club an early lead. That was the only run they could come across in their half of the first, and that was essentially the theme of the night: failing to capitalize on multiple-run scoring opportunities.

Fast forward to the third, and Andrew Benintendi led things off against Giolito by tattooing his third big fly of the season to the left field seats. A 376 foot shot momentarily tied the game at two momentarily.

After Betts and Martinez followed that up with their second hits of the contest to put runners on first and third, Devers collected his second RBI by grounding out to second, which allowed Betts to score and make it a 3-2 game in favor of the away side.

From that point on though, the Boston bats were unable to get to the White Sox starter again and only managed one more run, which came on a JD Martinez force out to drive in Benintendi from third in the seventh.

That did put the Red Sox ahead 4-3, and they had the chance to add on what would have been some important insurance in the ninth, but ultimately came up short in a 6-4 defeat.

Some notes from this loss:

From r/baseball:

The Red Sox 1, 2, and 3 hitters Thursday night: 8-13 2BB, 2 RBI, 1 HR, 1 K. The Red Sox 4-9 hitters tonight: 0-20 2 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K

From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:

Also from Smith:

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to start a new winning streak in the second of this four-game set later Friday night.

Ex-White Sox star Chris Sale will get the start for Boston, still looking for his first winning decision of the season.

On the other side, right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, who was included in the same trade with Giolito that sent outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington, will get the start for Chicago.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.

 

Chicago White Sox and RHP Kelvin Herrera Agree to Two-Year Contract.

The Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement with free agent reliever Kelvin Herrera on a two-year, $18 million contract, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The deal also includes a vesting option for a potential third year, and per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, that could take the value of this contract northward of $27 million.

Herrera, 29, opened the 2018 season with the Kansas City Royals, where he posted a miniscule 1.05 ERA over a span of 25 relief appearances before being dealt to the Washington Nationals in June.

There, the right-hander had a much more difficult time of things, as his ERA skyrocketed up to 4.34 over a span of just 21 appearances with the Nats.

Injuries were also an issue for Herrera this past season, as he was placed on the 10-day disabled list on two separate occasions in August.

The first occurrence, an impingement of the right rotator cuff on August 8th, saw the Dominican Republic native shelved for nearly two weeks before being activated on August 21st.

Less than a week after that, Herrera was once again placed on the disabled list due to a tear in the lisfranc ligament of his left foot. That saw his season ultimately come to an early conclusion.

Prior to all this injury-related news going down, the Red Sox were reportedly interested in acquiring the services of the flame throwing Herrera at the non-waiver trade deadline on the last day of July.

President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that he had a deal in place for a reliever on that Monday leading up to the deadline, but things fell through because, “[The Nationals] thought they were going to move somebody, and then decided to change their mind. It was a discussion for a reliever. It was one of the few guys we put in that position that we thought would be an upgrade for us.”

With that in mind, it made sense that the Red Sox would be interested in potentially bringing in Herrera as a free agent to stabilize the back-end of their bullpen with the return of Craig Kimbrel still a question mark.

However, the fact that Herrera is coming off a lingering foot injury and still received a hefty chunk of change from the White Sox might mean that the Red Sox were never going to seriously head in this direction.

RECAP: Brian Johnson Struggles as #RedSox Drop Series Finale to White Sox in 8-0 Loss.

On a humid afternoon in Chicago where the White Sox honored legendary commentator Ken “The Hawk” Harrleson with a touching pregame ceremony, the Red Sox, a former team of Harrelson’s during his playing career, looked absolutely lifeless this afternoon.

Let’s get into where things went wrong.

Making his 12th start of the season on Sunday was Brian Johnson, who before today, had never faced the White Sox nor pitched at Guaranteed Rate Field in his three-year career.

Right from the get go, it was clear Chicago had the left-hander’s number, because they came out swinging early and they were making hard contact.

Only able to pitch into the second inning of this one, Johnson surrendered four runs, all earned, on seven hits and one walk to go along with two punch outs on the afternoon.

A pair of runs in the first on a Tim Anderson solo home run and Kevan Smith RBI single another pair of runs in the second on a two RBI double off the bat of Matt Davidson. That is how the White Sox collected all four runs off of Johnson, and his day would come to an end after giving up that Davidson two-bagger.

Facing 12 total batters, the Florida native could barely manage to record four outs before he got the hook with one out and a runner on second in favor of Bobby Poyner.

Finishing with a final low pitch count of 38 (28 strikes), Johnson relied on his four-seam fastball 50% of the time and topped out at 90.3 MPH with that same pitch in the first inning.

Falling to 4-4 with a 4.36 ERA on the season now, the 27-year-old will look to rebound from an awry start to September in his next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros next weekend.

In relief of Johnson, the Red Sox bullpen had a daunting talk on their hands in completing nearly seven innings to close this one out.

Three September call-ups, Bobby Poyner, William Cuevas, and Robby Scott combined for five-and-two-thirds innings of work, and they gave up three earned runs on six hits, which essentially put this game out of reach for the Red Sox.

Oddly enough, White Sox outfielder Daniel Palka ended up hitting a solo home run off of Cuevas in the fourth after it looked like he initially homered earlier in the same at bat, but it was ruled foul.

Despite the results, Scott, who was inserted into this contest after Cuevas had to exit due to a heat-related illness, was the only Boston hurler to not surrender a run, so credit to him for that I guess.

Hector Velazquez was last up, and he allowed one run to cross the plate on two hits in the bottom half of the eighth. He has now given up runs in six of his last seven outings dating back to the beginning of August, although three of those were starts.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar opponent in Chicago’s James Shields.

Having already faced Boston 28 previous times over his 13-year career between the Rays, Royals, Padres, and now the White Sox, Shields had himself a solid day with six scoreless frames on Sunday.

Only managing four hits and two walks off the veteran right-hander, things did not get much better once the White Sox bullpen took over in the seventh, as Boston’s lineup could scrape together just one hit in the final three frames against the likes of Caleb Frare, Juan Minaya, and Hector Santiago.

One note from this 8-0 loss: 

80% of the Red Sox’s hits on Sunday came from Xander Bogaerts and JD Martinez. Blake Swihart was responsible for the other one. None of the five hits went for extra bases.

All and all, the White Sox were tough opponent for the Red Sox this year, as they came away with the season-series win at 4-3.

Leaving the Windy City with a series-split under their belts, Boston will head south to Atlanta where they will be taking on a first place Atlanta Braves team.

Getting the start in the series opener tomorrow afternoon will be Nathan Eovaldi, who is able to pitch on such short rest because of that weather-shortened outing on Friday.

In 13 career starts against the Braves, Eovaldi has posted a solid 2.82 ERA and .235 BAA over 83 innings pitched.

Opposite Eovaldi will be rookie right-hander Touki Toussaint for Atlanta, who tossed six one-run innings against the Miami Marlins in his only other big league start back on August 13th.

First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET.

RECAP: Eduardo Rodriguez Dominates with 12 Strikeouts in First Start Back from DL as #RedSox Cruise to 6-1 Win over White Sox.

On a day where rosters expand all across Major League Baseball, the Red Sox welcomed a total of eight players from both Triple A Pawtucket and the 10-day disabled list to increase their roster size up to 33.

Yes, Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright, and Christian Vazquez were all activated from the disabled list on Saturday, while Sam Travis, Tzu-Wei Lin, Robby Scott, Bobby Poyner, and William Cuevas were all recalled from the PawSox.

Getting the starting nod in last night’s contest was none other than Rodriguez himself, and his battery mate for his first big league in-game action in exactly seven weeks was none other than Christian Vazquez, who caught E-Rod in one of his rehab starts in Portland.

In what was his 20th start of the season, the left-hander looked as though he had not missed a beat on Saturday, as he tossed nearly six innings of one run ball while scattering three hits and one walk to go along with a season-high 12 strikeouts.

For never pitching against the White Sox on the road before, Rodriguez began his night by fanning 11 of the first 12 hitters he faced while taking a perfect game into the fifth inning.

After giving up a leadoff single to Matt Davidson and a seven pitch walk to Ryan LaMarre in an otherwise clean fifth, the 25-year old’s evening would come to an end an inning later when Nicky Delmonico ripped a two out RBI double to score Adam Engel from first for Chicago’s lone run.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 90 (60 strikes), Rodriguez would depart from this one with two outs and a runner on second.

Out of those 90 pitches, the Venezuela native turned to his four-seam fastball 44% of the time he was on the mound on Saturday. He topped out at 96.1 MPH with that same pitch in the second inning.

Improving to 12-3 and lowering his ERA on the season down to 3.34, Rodriguez’s scoreless innings streak did ultimately come to an end at 24.2, but regardless of that, Alex Cora and the Red Sox have to be encouraged with what they saw from their young lefty in his first meaningful start in over a month.

He’ll look to build on this dominant performance in his next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros next weekend.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final 10 outs last night, and Ryan Brasier, Matt Barnes, and Joe Kelly dealt with the White Sox bats in decently short order to secure their team’s 94th win of the year.

For Barnes, a nice bounce back after surrendering seven earned runs in his previous four appearances.

And for the Red Sox pitching staff as a whole, well, they faced 32 total batters on Saturday and struck out 18 of them. Not bad.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against arguably the best starting pitcher the White Sox have to offer in Carlos Rodon.

A left-hander like Rodriguez, Rodon made his 2018 debut against Boston on June 9th, where he surrendered four runs (two earned) over six innings in a losing effort.

Unlike Friday night, when they were held to one run, the Red Sox were able to score multiple runs last night, and it started with a solo home run off the bat of Eduardo Nunez in the fifth.

An absolute line drive of a long ball, Nunez’s 10th of the season had a launch angle of 19 degrees.

Three batters later, Jackie Bradley Jr. took the first pitch he saw from Rodon, a 84 MPH, slider, and sent it 402 feet to right field to make it a 2-0 game.

Fast forward to the seventh, an inning that has treated the Red Sox quite nicely these past few days, and Christian Vazquez led things off by drawing an eight pitch walk.

After a Jackie Bradley Jr. fly out, Mookie Betts was able to advance Vazquez all the way to third on his 39th double of the year.

With runners in scoring position, Andrew Benintendi appeared to ground into a 1-3 put out for the second out of the frame, but an ugly throw from Carlos Rodon that got over the first baseman’s head allowed Vazquez to easily score from third to make it a 3-1 game.

Just a few moments after that all went down, Steve Pearce put an end to Rodon’s night by ripping a one out single to left field to plate Mookie Betts and advance Benintendi to third.

Following a pitching change that saw rookie Ryan Burr take over for Rodon, JD Martinez tacked on another insurance run and added on to his league-leading RBI count by singling to center and scoring Benintendi from third. Martinez now has 115 RBI on the season.

Finally, in the eighth, just for fun, Ian Kinsler went ahead and launched his first home run in a Red Sox uniform on a rocket sent to the White Sox bullpen. 6-1.

Some notes from this 6-1 win: 

The Red Sox won their 94th game of the 2018 season on Saturday night. That is more than they had in both 2016 and 2017 and there are still 25 games left.

Over his last 10 appearances, Joe Kelly has posted a 0.93 ERA in 9.2 innings of work.

In his last five games, Ian Kinsler is batting .474 with one home run and three RBI.

With hits in eight of his last 10 games, Mookie Betts owns a 1.061 OPS with two homers and six runs driven in since August 22nd.

JD Martinez has 9 RBI in his last 10 games. Like I mentioned above, his 115 RBI on the year is the most in all of baseball.

Going for the series win later this afternoon, it will be Brian Johnson getting the start for the Red Sox in the Windy City finale.

Now, Johnson has neither pitched at Gauranteed Rate Field nor against the White Sox in his three-year career, but he did post a 5.27 ERA in six appearances (five starts) over 27.1 innings pitched in August.

Opposite Johnson will be veteran right-hander James Shields for Chicago, who owns a 4.54 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 29 games, 28 of which are starts, in what is his 13th year in the big leagues.

Known mostly for his time with the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals, “Big Game James” has faced off against the Red Sox 28 times in his career, and is 9-14 with a 4.40 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in those starts.

First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 2:10 PM ET.