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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next up: Wainwright vs. Wacha

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

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

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

Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts doing ‘OK’ after leaving Tuesday’s win early due to left shoulder tightness

Xander Bogaerts was removed in the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ 6-5 win over the Angels on Tuesday night due to what the team described as left shoulder tightness.

As Red Sox Stats pointed out on Twitter, Bogaerts appeared to reach for his left shoulder after he whiffed on a 94 mph slider and struck out against Angels reliever Ryan Tepera in the seventh inning.

Bogaerts was able to remain in the game defensively, but he was pinch-hit for by Franchy Cordero when his spot in the lineup came up again in the ninth. He was then replaced at shortstop a half-inning later by Enrique Hernandez, who slid over from center field and wound up making a great play to end the game in the 10th.

When speaking with reporters following his team’s sixth consecutive victory, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that Bogaerts is doing well and revealed that this issue with Bogaerts’ left shoulder actually stems from when he collided with Alex Verdugo at Fenway Park last month.

“He’s doing OK,” said Cora. “He ran into Dugie in Boston. It’s been kind of on-and-off bothering him. So, we’ll see tomorrow. He’s begging to play. We’ll see how it goes.”

Prior to leaving Tuesday’s contest, Bogaerts had gone 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. The 29-year-old is now batting .320/.388/.481 on the season with six home runs and 26 RBIs over 55 games and 232 trips to the plate.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Christian Vázquez comes through in 10th inning to lift Red Sox to 6-5 win over Angels

It took 10 innings and nearly four hours to accomplish, but the Red Sox won their sixth straight game on Tuesday with a hard-fought, come-from-behind win over the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Boston defeated Los Angeles by a final score of 6-5 in 10 innings to improve to 29-27 on the season and a perfect 5-0 on its current west coast road trip.

Garrett Whitlock, making his ninth start of the season for the Sox, allowed four earned runs on six hits, zero walks, and five strikeouts over just four innings of work. The right-hander served up a two-run home run to Mike Trout in the bottom of the first before giving up another run on a fielder’s choice in the second and a Max Stassi RBI double in the third.

Whitlock ended his night by striking out the side in the bottom half of the fourth. The 25-year-old finished with a final pitch count of 71 (47 strikes). He did not factor into Tuesday’s decision, though he did raise his ERA on the season to 3.51.

While Whitlock may have struggled, the Red Sox lineup certainly backed him up out of the gate. With left-hander Jose Suarez on the mound for the Angels, Trevor Story jump-started a three-run second inning with a leadoff double. Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez then both reached to fill the bases for Christian Arroyo, who drove in Story on a force out. Back-to-back RBI singles from Bobby Dalbec and Enrique Hernandez allowed Verdugo and Arroyo to score and give the Sox their first lead of the night at 3-2.

Picking things up in the middle of the fifth inning, Jake Diekman received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Taking over for Whitlock with his team trailing by a run, Diekman issued a leadoff walk to Luis Rengifo, who advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored from there on a run-scoring double off the bat of Jo Adell.

The veteran lefty managed to limit the damage to just one run, though, and the Sox immediately got that one run back when Dalbec plated Verdugo on an RBI single a half-inning later.

After Hirokazu Sawamura retired the side in order in the sixth, Boston struck once again in the seventh with Rafael Devers ripping a leadoff double and scoring on a 31-foot RBI single from Story that deflected off the leg of Angels reliever Ryan Tepera.

Sawamura also got the first out in the latter half of the seventh before making way for Austin Davis, who worked his way around a two-out walk to keep things tied at five runs apiece.

Tanner Houck was next up, and he ensured this one would head to extra innings by working a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth and stranding a runner at second base in a scoreless ninth.

With Story in scoring position representing the potential go-ahead run, Vazquez came through by lacing a 96 mph RBI single to right field off Jaime Barria. The speedy Story easily scored from second to give the Sox a 6-5 lead.

Matt Strahm was tasked with keeping the score that way in the bottom of the 10th. He fanned both Jared Walsh and Stassi before getting the pinch-hitting Kurt Suzuki to ground out to Hernandez to seal the win and earn the save.

Hernandez, who started in center field on Tuesday, had moved to shortstop in the ninth inning after Xander Bogaerts was removed from the game due to left shoulder tightness.

So, despite leaving 10 runners on base as a team, the Red Sox came away with another one-run win on Tuesday. That five different relievers combined to surrender just one run in six innings was undoubtedly key.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Detmers

The Red Sox will look to extend their winning streak to seven consecutive games when they send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound on Wednesday night. The Angels will counter with left-hander Reid Detmers.

First pitch from Angel Stadium is scheduled for 9:38 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers commit costly errors as Red Sox squander late scoring chances in 2-1 loss to Reds

The Red Sox closed out their month of June by nearly getting shut out for the second straight night. They instead fell to the Cincinnati Reds by a final score of 2-1 to kick off a two-game interleague series at Fenway Park on Tuesday.

With the loss, Boston finishes the month having gone 14-14 and comes into June sporting a record of 23-27 on the season.

Michael Wacha, making his eighth start of the year for the Sox, allowed one unearned run on three hits and no walks to go along with three strikeouts over 5 2/3 solid innings of work.

The veteran right-hander retired each of the first 12 batters he faced, taking a bid for a perfect game into the fifth inning before giving up a leadoff double to Joey Votto that nearly left the yard. He then stranded Votto at third base, but ran into additional trouble in the sixth by yielding back-to-back singles to Albert Almora Jr. and Matt Reynolds.

Those two hits put runners at the corners with no outs for Aristedes Aquino, who grounded into a fielder’s choice that resulted in Almora getting tagged out between third and home. After retiring Brandon Drury, Wacha was just one out away from getting through sixth scoreless frames. He got Nick Senzel to hit a groundball to Rafael Devers at third, but Devers’ throw to Franchy Cordero was wide of the mark and allowed Reynolds to score all the way from second to give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead.

At that point, Wacha was given the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora in favor of Austin Davis. The 30-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 72 (53 strikes) and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.43. Davis, meanwhile, got himself in and out of a bases-loaded jam before recording the first two outs of the seventh. He then made way for Tyler Danish, who ended things in the inning and gave up a 398-foot double to Votto in an otherwise clean top half of the eighth.

After Danish got the first out of the ninth, Cora turned to another left-hander in Jake Diekman. Diekman surrendered a one-out single to Mike Moustakas, who was pinch-ran for by Alejo Lopez. Lopez advanced to second on an Almora groundout. Diekman then got Almora to ground out, meaning he was one out away from keeping the Reds at one run.

That did not happen, though, as Diekman was able to get Reynolds to hit a grounder to Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts fielded the ball cleanly, but made a throw that Cordero was unable to come up with at first base. Bogaerts’ throwing error allowed Lopez to score from second to make it a 2-0 game in favor of the Reds.

Going into the latter half of the ninth, the Red Sox lineup had been thoroughly held in check by Cincinnati’s pitching staff. Luis Castillo led the way by striking out 10 over six dominant and scoreless innings.

After yielding a one-out single to Devers in the first, Castillo proceeded to sit down 14 of the next 15 batters he faced. In the bottom of the sixth, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Enrique Hernandez led off the frame by drawing back-to-back walks. Following what would turn out to be a well-timed mound visit, Devers grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and J.D. Martinez fanned on six pitches to extinguish the threat.

Fast forward to the ninth, the Sox were now matched up against Reds reliever Tony Santillan. A Hernandez single and Devers double to lead off the inning put runners at second and third with no outs. Martinez and Bogaerts were unable to push across a run, but Alex Verdugo came through with a two-out RBI single on a 101.7 mph grounder that got the best of Votto.

Devers advanced to third on the play. Santillan, however, rebounded by getting Trevor Story to strike out on three pitches and end the game with a final score of 2-1.

All told, the Red Sox went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base as a team. They are now 2-4 on their seven-game homestand that ends on Wednesday.

Next up: Greene vs. Whitlock

On that note, the Red Sox will wrap up their quick two-game series against the Reds on Wednesday night. Boston will turn to righty Garrett Whitlock in the finale while Cincinnati will roll with rookie right-hander Hunter Greene.

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

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers homers twice as Red Sox erase 5-run deficit and come from behind to beat Mariners, 6-5

The Red Sox once again fell behind early against the Mariners on Saturday but battled their way back at Fenway Park. Boston defeated Seattle by a final score of 6-5 to win their fourth straight game and third consecutive series while improving to 18-22 on the season.

Before the Sox could even take their first at-bats of the afternoon, they already found themselves trailing by four runs. Garrett Whitlock, making his sixth start of the year, allowed the Mariners to score four times in the top half of the first inning.

After getting through a scoreless second inning, the right-hander ran into more trouble in the third by giving up back-to-back two-out hits to Mike Ford and Luis Torrens, which resulted in another Seattle run crossing the plate.

The third would prove to be Whitlock’s final inning of work, as he wound up surrendering a season-high five earned runs on 10 hits, no walks, and three strikeouts on 71 pitches (48 strikes). The 25-year-old’s ERA now sits at 3.58.

To that point in the contest, the Boston lineup had yet to do anything of significance against opposing starter Chris Flexen. That changed in the bottom half of the third though, as Rafael Devers got his productive day at the plate started by crushing a 413-foot solo shot into the bleachers to get his side on the board and make it a 5-1 ballgame.

Fast forward to the fifth, after Tyler Danish had hurled two scoreless frames out of the Sox bullpen, and Devers struck again. Following a leadoff double from Enrique Hernandez, the left-handed slugger took Flexen 386 feet over the Green Monster for his second big fly of the game and ninth of the season.

Devers’ two-run blast, which had an exit velocity of 102.1 mph, cut the deficit down to two runs at 5-3. But the Red Sox were not done there. A J.D. Martinez double and Xander Bogaerts single chased Flexen from the contest and put runners on the corners for Bobby Dalbec, who greeted new Mariners reliever Sergio Romo by lifting an RBI single to center field to drive in Martinez and move Bogaerts up to third. Trevor Story followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Bogaerts to tie things up at five runs apiece.

From there, Jake Diekman punched out the side in the sixth, Hansel Robles worked his way around a two-out double in the seventh, and John Schreiber retired the only three batters he faced in the top of the eighth to keep the 5-5 tie intact.

With one out in the bottom half of the eighth, Franchy Cordero laced a 110.5 mph triple off the Green Monster to put the potential go-ahead run in scoring position for Christian Vazquez, who came through with the game-winning single off Drew Steckenrider that plated Cordero and gave the Sox a 6-5 lead.

Looking to protect that lead, Red Sox manager Alex Cora called upon Matt Barnes to take the mound in the ninth inning. Barnes, in turn, needed just 15 pitches (and a little defensive help from Hernandez) to slam the door shut on the Mariners and notch his second save of the season.

All told, five Boston relievers (Danish, Diekman, Robles, Schreiber, and Barnes) combined to toss six shutout innings in relief of Whitlock on Saturday. The Red Sox lineup, meanwhile, went 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position while putting together their largest comeback win of the season thus far.

Next up: Gilbert vs. Eovaldi in series finale

The Red Sox will look to close out the weekend with a four-game sweep over the Mariners on Sunday afternoon. Veteran right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for Boston opposite fellow righty Logan Gilbert for Seattle.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts considered day-to-day with back discomfort after colliding with Alex Verdugo in left field on Friday

Xander Bogaerts is considered day-to-day after colliding with Alex Verdugo in the eighth inning of the Red Sox’ 7-3 win over the Mariners at Fenway Park on Friday night, manager Alex Cora announced.

“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and go from there,” Cora said while adding that Bogaerts was specifically dealing with lower back discomfort on his left side.

On a 221-foot fly ball lifted to shallow left field off the bat of J.P. Crawford, both Bogaerts and Verdugo converged on the ball, with Bogaerts pedaling backwards and Verdugo charging inward.

Looking to avoid any contact, Verdugo began to slide but wound up taking out Bogaerts, who landed awkwardly on his left side and remained on the ground in visible pain. The ball the two were going after popped out of Bogaerts’ glove, thus allowing Crawford to move up to second base while Verdugo was charged with a fielding error.

After staying on the ground, Bogaerts got back to his feet upon receiving a visit from Cora and a trainer and stayed in the game for the rest of the half-inning. He was, however, pinch-hit for by Franchy Cordero in the latter half and was later replaced at shortstop by Enrique Hernandez as the Red Sox went on to win their third straight game.

Following Friday’s victory, Cora was asked if Verdugo should have called Bogaerts off since the outfielder has priority over the infielder in that particular situation.

“There’s 35,000 people here so it’s not that easy,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo). “Here, lately with the wind, it feels like it’s playing different the last few years. Sam [Kennedy] is going to hate me, but with the buildings and everything that’s going on, it’s a little different out there.”

Before being removed on Friday, Bogaerts had gone 0-for-2 at the plate with one walk, one strikeout, and one run scored. Assuming the 29-year-old is out of Boston’s lineup on Saturday, it will mark his first off day since April 28, though he did pinch-hit in that game against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next up: Flexen vs. Whitlock

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

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

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

Nick Pivetta tosses complete game 2-hitter as Red Sox take series from Astros with 5-1 win

The ball was once again flying out of Fenway Park on Wednesday night as the Red Sox bounced back with a series-clinching win over the Astros. Boston defeated Houston by a final score of 5-1 to improve to 15-22 on the season.

After Nick Pivetta surrendered a leadoff home run to Jose Altuve, the Sox lineup quickly responded by scoring two runs in their half of the first inning. Matched up against Jose Garcia, Rafael Devers ripped a one-out triple down the right field line and scored from third on a J.D. Martinez sacrifice fly that nearly left the yard.

Xander Bogaerts followed by actually leaving the yard, as he crushed a Garcia cutter 358 feet over the Green Monster for his fourth home run of the season. Fast forward to the third, Enrique Hernandez led off by reaching base on a fielding error and scoring all the way from first on a wallball double off the bat of Devers.

An inning later, Trevor Story drew a leadoff walk and moved up to second when Franchy Cordero reached base on an Altuve fielding error. Both runners were driven in on back-to-back run-scoring singles from Christian Vazquez and Hernandez, which gave the Red Sox a commanding 5-1 lead.

Pivetta, meanwhile, had settled in nicely after giving up that leadoff homer to Altuve. In what was his eighth start of the season for Boston, the right-hander retired 18 consecutive batters at one point before yielding a leadoff double to Michael Brantley in the top of the seventh. He stranded Brantley on second and then sat down the side in order in the eighth.

Coming back out for the ninth, Pivetta put the finishing touches on a complete game two-hitter as well as a 5-1 win with yet another scoreless frame. He becomes the first Red Sox starter to record an out in both the eighth and ninth inning of a game this season.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 112 (78 strikes), Pivetta wound up allowing just one earned run on two hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts over eight solid innings of work. It is the second complete game of the 29-year-old’s career.

The Red Sox have now won their last two series. While Martinez saw his hitting streak come to an end, Devers extended his to 12 consecutive games. Pivetta, on the other hand, picked up his first home win of the year while lowering his ERA on the season to 4.22.

Next up: Welcoming in the Mariners

The Red Sox will next welcome the Mariners into town for the start of a four-game weekend series on Thursday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will be getting the start for Boston while rookie right-hander George Kirby will be doing the same for Seattle.

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

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts homers after Red Sox fans call on team to re-sign him: ‘I heard it. If I struck out, it wouldn’t have helped my cause’

After a 98-minute rain delay, the majority of the 29,706 fans on hand for Monday night’s game between the Astros and Red Sox at Fenway Park had already left the premises.

The ones who stuck around, however, made their voices heard. Especially in the eighth inning as Xander Bogaerts stepped up to the plate looking to follow J.D. Martinez’s go-ahead RBI double with a productive hit of his own.

As Bogaerts prepared to face off against Astros reliever Hector Neris, the Red Sox fans still at Fenway began to break out into a “Re-sign Xander! Re-sign Xander!” chant.

On the sixth pitch he saw from Neris, Bogaerts turned on a 94 mph fastball and crushed it 397 feet over the Green Monster to score both Martinez and himself to give the Sox a 6-3 lead. That would go on to be Monday’s final score.

“I heard it,” Bogaerts told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) early Tuesday morning. “If I struck out, it wouldn’t have helped my cause.”

Bogaerts has the ability to opt out of his contract with Boston and become a free-agent this winter. While the 29-year-old has expressed a desire to remain with the organization he began his professional career with for the foreseeable future, the two sides have yet to come to terms on a potential extension.

Despite the distractions contract extension talks can present, Bogaerts has not been phased by them to this point in the season. Following Monday’s clutch performance, the right-handed hitter is now batting .346/.403/.477 with three home runs and 15 RBIs on the year.

“He’s not the first guy in this situation,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Bogaerts. “From my end, he is the shortstop, he plays everyday, he posts and he’s a good player.”

Since debuting with the Red Sox in 2013, Bogaerts has gone from a soft-spoken rookie playing out of position to one of the more respected and admired individuals in the organization. Even while in the midst of his 10th season in the big-leagues, the Aruban still appreciates the support from fans that was on full display Monday night.

“You always feel the love and appreciation around here,” said Bogaerts. “Just coming up through the system and being here for a long time up to this point. It has been fun. A game that (was delayed), you don’t even know how many people are going to be sticking around to see if the game is going to go ahead. I heard it.”

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next up: Urquidy vs. Eovaldi

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

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

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