Xander Bogaerts reaches career milestone as Red Sox rack up 20 hits in 13-3 win over Royals

The Red Sox secured a series victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. After getting shut out on Saturday, Boston broke out for 20 hits in a 13-3 win over Kansas City to close out the weekend at Fenway Park.

Matched up against Kris Bubic to kick off Sunday’s series finale, the Sox got off to a quick start offensively. On the heels of back-to-back singles from Tommy Pham and Rafael Devers to lead off the first inning, Xander Bogaerts followed by ripping a game-tying double off the Green Monster to knot the score at 1-1.

An inning later, Enrique Hernandez drew a leadoff walk and immediately advanced to second base on a line-drive single off the bat of Yu Chang. Both runners moved up an additional 90 feet on a successful sacrifice bunt laid down by Reese McGuire. Pham then plated Hernandez from third on a sacrifice fly to center field.

Boston began to pull away in the third on a pair of sacrifice flies from Rob Refsnyder and Christian Arroyo. Hernandez and Chang each drew two-out walks before McGuire scored Hernandez on a groundball single through the right side of the infield.

That sequence of events gave the Red Sox a 5-2 lead going into the fourth. To that point, Nick Pivetta had already allowed two runs — both of which came within the first two innings.

Pivetta, making his 30th start of the season for Boston, managed to keep the Royals off the board in the third and fourth before serving up a solo shot to the dangerous Salvador Perez with one out in the fifth. The right-hander ended his day by retiring two of the final three batters he faced.

So, over five innings of work in total, Pivetta surrendered three earned runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts on 97 pitches (66 strikes). The 29-year-old was able to pick up his 10th win of the season, though his ERA did rise to 4.35.

Shortly after Pivetta had recorded the final out in the top of the fifth, the Red Sox lineup got back to work in the bottom half. Arroyo, McGuire, and Pham each reached to fill the bases with two outs for Devers. Devers, in turn, greeted new Royals reliever Anthony Misiewicz by swatting a two-run single to right field to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

With two outs in the sixth inning, Boston plated four additional runs on back-to-back-to-back-to-back RBI knocks from Hernandez, Chang, McGuire, and Pham. Pham and Devers drove in two more runs in the eighth to give the Red Sox a commanding 13-3 lead.

Out of the Boston bullpen, four relievers combined for four scoreless frames. Kaleb Ort walked and struck out two in the sixth, John Schreiber walked and struck out in the seventh, Matt Strahm struck out the side in the eighth, and Matt Barnes stranded one base runner in the ninth to put the finishing touches on a blowout win.

In terms of offensive production, Pham went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs scored and a walk, Devers went 4-for-6 with three RBIs, Bogaerts went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, J.D. Martinez went 2-for-4 with his 40th double of the season and two runs scored, Hernandez went 2-for-4 with an RBI, two walks, and four runs scored, Chang went 2-for-3 with an RBI, two walks, and one run scored, and McGuire went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

With his first-inning double, Bogaerts collected the 1,400th hit of his big-league career. The 29-year-old shortstop becomes just the fourth player in Red Sox history to reach 1,400 hits before turning 30, joining the likes of Carl Yastrzemski, Bobby Doerr, and Jim Rice.

Next up: On to Cincinnati

The Red Sox will enjoy an off-day on Monday as they prepare to travel to Cincinnati for a quick two-game series against the Reds. Rookie right-hander Brayan Bello is slated to start Tuesday’s opener opposite left-hander Nick Lodolo.

First pitch from Great American Ballpark is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

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

Jeurys Familia’s struggles continue as Red Sox fall to Yankees, 7-6, in 10 innings; Triston Casas hits first homer at Fenway Park

The Red Sox hit three home runs on Tuesday night, but it was not enough to best the first-place Yankees . Boston fell to New York by a final score of 7-6 in 10 innings to drop to 69-73 on the season.

With Gerrit Cole on the mound for the Yankees, the Red Sox drew first blood in their half of the second inning. After Rafael Devers drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third base with two outs, Triston Casas made sure a prime run-scoring opportunity did not go by the wayside.

Casas, facing Cole for the first time in his young career, got ahead in the count at 2-0 before crushing a 97.8 mph fastball 411-feet over the Green Monster for his second home run of the season and his first at Fenway Park. It left his bat at 108.6 mph.

Nick Pivetta, making his 29th start of the year for Boston, was able to keep New York off the board through his first two innings before running into some trouble in the third. Isiah Kiner-Filefa led off with a single. Two batters later, Marwin Gonzalez clubbed a two-run homer of his own into the bleachers to tie things up at two runs apiece.

Aaron Judge followed Gonzalez’s game-tying home run by ripping a one-out single to center field. But he was quicky snuffed out at second base by Reese McGuire. Shortly after throwing out his 15th base stealer of the year, McGuire led off the bottom of the third by clobbering his first homer of the season and his first in a Red Sox uniform.

On a 1-1, 96 mph four-seamer on the inner half of the plate, McGuire laced a 103.3 mph drive 403 feet down the right field line and around Pesky’s Pole to give Boston a 3-2 lead.

That is where the score remained for a while, as Pivetta and Cole traded zeroes up until the sixth inning. Judge broke the scoreless spell up when he led off the top of the sixth by mashing a 383-foot solo shot on the very first pitch he saw to pull the Yankees back even with the Red Sox at 3-3.

Pivetta gave up a single to Giancarlo Stanton and a one-out walk to Josh Donaldson before getting the hook from manager Alex Cora in favor of Ryan Brasier. Brasier officially closed the book on Pivetta’s night by retiring the only two batters he faced.

So, over 5 1/3 innings of work, Pivetta surrendered three earned runs on six hits, two walks, and five strikeouts. The 29-year-old right-hander threw 93 pitches (60 strikes) and induced nine swings-and-misses. He did not factor into Tuesday’s decision, though his ERA did rise from 4.29 to 4.31.

After Brasier ended the top of the sixth, Cole came back out for the bottom half. With one out and the bases empty, Xander Bogaerts got in on the action by depositing a 332-foot solo blast around Pesky’s Pole on a first-pitch fastball down the heart of the plate. Bogaerts’ 14th big fly of the season had an exit velocity of 97.8 mph and put Boston up, 4-3, going into the seventh.

John Schreiber needed just 10 pitches to make quick work of New York. The same cannot be said for Garrett Whitlock, who served up a game-tying home run to Judge in the eighth. Judge’s second homer of the night and 57th of the season knotted things up at 4-4.

Jonathan Loaisiga, Matt Barnes, and Clay Holmes ensured the score remained that way as they each tossed scoreless frames, thus sending this one into extra innings.

In the 10th, with a runner already on second base, Jeurys Familia issued a leadoff walk to the pinch-hitting Aaron Hicks. He then got Gonzalez to ground into a 6-3 double play. After intentionally walking Judge, however, the righty yielded another free pass to Stanton, filling the bases with two outs for Gleyber Torres.

Torres came through in the clutch, as he cleared the gap in right-center field while emptying the bases on a 110 mph three-run double. That gave the Yankees their largest lead of the night at 7-4.

Down to their final three outs and now trailing by three runs, McGuire — the leadoff hitter — reached base after taking a 96 mph sinker from Holmes off his right foot. He was pinch-ran for by Connor Wong as Tommy Pham came to the plate representing the tying run.

Pham struck out for the fourth time. Yankees manager Aaron Boone then pulled Holmes for Wandy Peralta. Alex Verdugo won the lefty-on-lefty matchup by scoring Enrique Hernandez (the automatic runner) from second on a line-drive single to center field. Wong also went from first to third on the play.

Bogaerts failed to drive in Wong, but the rookie backstop scored on a wild pitch while Devers was at the plate. With Verdugo moving up to second, Devers had a chance to tie it on one swing of the bat. He instead struck out swinging on a 2-2, 89 mph slider that was well outside the strike zone.

Regardless, the Red Sox’ rally fell short, and they are now 7-10 in extra-inning games this season. With the loss, Boston dropped to 10 1/2 games back of the Rays for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Bello vs. Cortes in series finale

The Red Sox will look to bounce back against the Yankees as they go for a two-game series split on Wednesday night. Rookie right-hander Brayan Bello will get his first taste of this rivalry as he gets the start for Boston while left-hander Nestor Cortes will take the mound for New York.

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

(Picture of Jeurys Familia: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers crushes grand slam as Red Sox rack up season-high 21 hits in 17-4 romping of Orioles

The Red Sox put an end to their four-game losing streak on Saturday with a commanding win over the Orioles. Boston defeated Baltimore by a final score of 17-4 to even the three-game series and improve to 68-72 on the season.

With Jordan Lyles on the mound for the O’s, the Sox did not waste any time in jumping out to an early lead. After Tommy Pham drew a leadoff walk, Alex Verdugo singled, and Xander Bogaerts was plunked by a pitch, the bases were loaded with no outs in the first inning for Rafael Devers.

Devers, who had not homered in his last 21 games, got ahead in the count at 2-0 and promptly cranked a 425-foot grand slam into the Red Sox bullpen in deep left-center field. The 26th home run of the season for Devers had an exit velocity of 104.6 mph and put Boston up, 4-0.

Michael Wacha, making his 19th start of the season for the Sox, already had a four-run lead to work with when he took the mound for the first time on Saturday. The veteran right-hander put together yet another quality outing, allowing three earned runs on six hits and zero walks to go along with five strikeouts over six innings.

The first of those three runs came in the bottom of the third, when Wacha served up a solo shot to Cedric Mullins. The Red Sox lineup, however, responded by putting up another four-spot in their half of the fourth.

After Enrique Hernandez and Kevin Plawecki traded places on back-to-back one-out doubles, Verdugo plated Plawecki on a line-drive single to right field. Verdugo moved up to second base on a Bogaerts single and then scored from there when Devers greeted new Orioles reliever Keegan Akin by ripping a run-scoring base hit to left-center field. Trevor Story capped the four-run inning off with another RBI single that drove in Bogaerts left his bat at 99.6 mph.

An inning later, J.D. Martinez led off with a softly-hit double and was immediately driven in when Christian Arroyo clubbed a two-run homer 396 feet over the left field wall for his sixth big fly of the year.

Wacha, meanwhile, ran into some more trouble in the bottom of the fifth. After Gunnar Henderson reached on a leadoff single and moved up to third on a Ramon Urias double, Wacha yielded a sacrifice fly to Jorge Mateo that scored Henderson. Urias, who advanced to third on the play, came into score on an RBI single from Mullins.

Though he was charged with both of those runs, Wacha stranded Mullins by punching out Adley Rutschman before retiring three of the final four batters he faced in the sixth. The 31-year-old hurler wound up throwing 82 pitches (60 strikes) while inducing a total of swings-and-misses. He picked up his 11th winning decision of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.69.

Following a scoreless seventh inning from Ryan Brasier, Boston tacked on additional run off Baltimore reliever Yennier Cano in the top of the eighth. Abraham Almonte led off with a single, marking his first hit in a Red Sox uniform. Almonte went from first to third on a two-out single from Devers and then came into score on a 100.7 mph base hit from Story.

Taking a sizable 11-3 lead into the latter half of the eighth, Matt Strahm took over for Brasier. The left-hander got the first two outs of the inning and was well on his way to getting his third, but Story misplayed a 197-foot flyball off the bat of the pinch-hitting Ryan McKenna and was charged with a fielding error. McKenna was able to take second as a result, and then scored from second on a Ryan Mountcastle RBI single.

In the top of the ninth, Almonte provided some late scoring with an RBI single that pushed across Hernandez from second base. Connor Wong, who came off the bench to pinch-hit for Devers, followed with an infield single that brought in Plawecki and kept the bases loaded for Story, who drew a four-pitch walk to plate Almonte.

That prompted an Orioles pitching change, as McKenna — the right fielder — took over for Cano. Martinez, Arroyo, and Hernandez kept the line moving by driving in three more runs before Plawecki grounded out to mercifully end the inning. Eduard Bazardo closed it out with a scoreless bottom of the ninth to secure a one-sided 17-4 victory.

All told, the Red Sox went 11-for-17 with runners in scoring position on Saturday while racking up a season-high 17 runs on a season-high 21 hits. Almonte, Verdugo, Story, Martinez, Arroyo, and Plawecki each had two hits. Devers went 3-for-5 with five RBIs and Hernandez went 4-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Pham exits with left shin contusion

Tommy Pham exited Saturday’s game in the middle of the fourth inning because of a left knee shin contusion he sustained in the top of the first. He went 0-for-1 with a walk and run scored prior to getting pulled and is considered day-to-day. In his place, Abraham Almonte went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Next up: Hill vs. Bradish in rubber match

The Red Sox will look to close out a series win over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will start the finale for Boston while right-hander Kyle Bradish will do the same for Baltimore.

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

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Brayan Bello runs into sixth-inning trouble as Red Sox drop opener to Orioles, 3-2

The Red Sox were unable to put end to their three-game losing streak with a series-opening win over the Orioles on Friday night. Boston fell to Baltimore by a final score of 3-2 at Camden Yards to drop to 67-72 on the season.

Matched up against O’s starter Austin Voth to begin things on Friday, the Sox left a runner on base in each of the first two innings before getting on the board in the third.

Connor Wong led off with a hard-hit double and it seemed as though Boston was about to squander another scoring chance after Tommy Pham struck out and Alex Verdugo lined out. But Xander Bogaerts kept the inning alive by cranking a two-run home run 379 over the shallow fence in right field.

Bogaerts’ 13th home run of the season gave the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead. Brayan Bello, meanwhile, was in the midst of his seventh start of the year for Boston.

The rookie right-hander wound up allowing three earned runs on three hits and four walks to go along with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of work, though he pitched better than that line indicates.

Thanks to some poor baserunning decisions from Cedric Mullins, Bello faced the minimum without giving up a run through his first four frames. After walking a pair in a scoreless bottom of the fifth, Bello ran into more substantial trouble in the sixth.

Mullins was at the root of it, as he reached base via a one-out single. Bello then issued back-to-back walks to Adley Rutschman and Anthony Santander to load the bases. That prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to emerge from the visitor’s dugout and give Bello the hook in favor of fellow righty Kaleb Ort.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 87 (49 strikes), Bello induced a total of 17 swings-and-misses while mixing in 30 four-seam fastballs, 22 changeups, 21 sliders, and 14 sinkers. The 23-year-old hurler averaged 96.4 mph with his four-seamer. He was charged with his fifth loss of the season as his ERA rose to 5.79.

Ort officially closed the book on Bello’s night, but not in a good way. He allowed all three runners he inherited to score on a wild pitch and a two-run single off the bat of Gunnar Henderson. Ort got through the rest of the sixth unscathed, though the damage had already been done.

Going from a two-run lead to a one-run deficit, the Sox threatened to score in their half of the seventh. After Verdugo drew a two-out walk and advanced to second base on a Bogaerts single, the potential tying run was just 180 feet away for Rafael Devers. Devers, however, could not come through against Orioles reliever Cionel Perez, as he popped out to shallow left field.

Following a scoreless bottom of the seventh from Zack Kelly, J.D. Martinez reached base in the eighth on a out-single. Rob Refsnyder pinch-ran for Martinez and moved up to second on a Triston Casas groundout. He then advanced to third after Enrique Hernandez reached on a fielding error. But Dillon Tate, who committed the error, got the pinch-hitting Reese McGuire to strike out swinging to strand Refsnyder at third base.

Matt Barnes put up another zero in the eighth to keep the deficit at one going into the ninth. Verdugo got the tying run on base by beating out a one-out infield single. Bogaerts then grounded into a routine 6-4-3 double play to end it.

With the loss, the Red Sox are now 5-8 against the Orioles and 18-40 against divisional opponents on the season. They went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Friday and left 10 runners on base as a team.

Martinez’s milestone

With his second-inning single, J.D. Martinez recorded the 1,500th hit of his big-league career. Martinez, who went 2-for-3 with a walk on Friday, currently ranks 22nd among the active major-league leaders in hits.

Next up: Wacha vs. Lyles

The Red Sox will look to put an end to their four-game losing streak on Saturday. Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha is slated to start for Boston while fellow righty Jordan Lyles is expected to do the same for Orioles.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Red Sox injury updates: Alex Cora provides latest on Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was forced to exit Tuesday’s 8-4 loss to the Rays in the seventh inning due to back spasms, manager Alex Cora said.

Bogaerts went 0-for-3 with a strikeout before leaving Tuesday’s contest at Tropicana Field early. He grounded into a double play in the top of the sixth and appeared to be in visible pain as he was running to first base.

While Bogaerts was able to take the field for the bottom of the sixth, he could not do the same in the seventh after making the team aware of how he was feeling.

“He came in the sixth inning and told us he was locked up,” said Cora. “We’ll stay away from him tomorrow and then we’ll see how he feels for Friday.”

This is not the first time this season Bogaerts has dealt with back spasms. The 29-year-old was also pulled in the seventh inning of an August 23 game against the Blue Jays for the very same reason. He was out of the lineup the following day but returned to action on Aug. 25.

In this case, the Red Sox are once again optimistic that Bogaerts will only need to miss one game. Boston wraps up its three-game set with the Rays on Wednesday before having an off day on Thursday as it travels to Baltimore for a weekend series against the Orioles.

By going hitless on Tuesday, Bogaerts saw his nine-game multi-hit streak come to an end. The right-handed hitter is now batting .315/.382/.466 on the season to go along with 37 doubles, 12 home runs, 63 RBIs, 77 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 48 walks, and 105 strikeouts over 130 games and 547 plate appearances.

Martinez a late scratch

On the topic of back issues, J.D. Martinez was a late scratch from Tuesday’s lineup due to back tightness. Martinez was replaced by Christian Arroyo, who went 1-for-4 with a run scored and strikeout as Boston’s designated hitter.

The veteran slugger has now missed each of the Red Sox’ last three games, but is expected to be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against Tampa Bay.

Dating back to the All-Star break, Martinez is slashing just .205/.277/.303 with seven doubles, two homers, 13 runs driven in, 12 runs scored, 13 walks, and 39 strikeouts across his last 35 games. The 35-year-old is slated to become a free-agent this winter.

Pivetta good to go

Nick Pivetta will get the start for the Red Sox in their final game at Tropicana Field this year. The right-hander was forced to leave his last outing early due to a left knee contusion that came as a result of being hit by a 91.4 mph grounder off the bat of Rangers outfielder Leody Taveras.

Starting opposite of Pivetta will be Rays left-hander Jeffrey Springs. First pitch on Wednesday is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts named American League Player of the Week

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been named the American League Player of the Week for the week of August 29-September 4, Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday.

In seven games against the Twins and Rangers, Bogaerts went 15-for-28 (.536) with five doubles, one home run, nine RBIs, eight runs scored, one stolen base, three walks, and just two strikeouts.

On the 2022 season as a whole, the right-handed hitter is batting a stout .317/.384/.469 to go along with 37 doubles, 12 homers, 63 runs driven in, 77 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 48 walks, and 104 strikeouts over 129 games and 544 plate appearances.

By going 2-for-5 in Monday’s loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field, Bogaerts tied a franchise record with his ninth consecutive multi-hit game. The 29-year-old became just the fourth player in Red Sox history to accomplish that feat and now owns the longest multi-hit streak in Major League Baseball this season.

Among qualified American League shortstops, Bogaerts ranks first in hits (153), first in doubles, first in runs scored, first in batting average, first in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, first in OPS (.853), first in wRC+ (140), and first in fWAR (5.7), per FanGraphs.

On the other side of the ball, Bogaerts is on pace to have one of the better defensive seasons of his major-league career. Coming into play on Tuesday, the native Aruban has posted four Defensive Runs Saved and an Ultimate Zone Rating of 4.0 across 1,089 2/3 innings at shortstop. His four Outs Above Average also rank in the 90th percentile among MLB players, according to Baseball Savant.

Bogaerts last earned AL Player of the Week honors in 2018. He becomes the second member of the Red Sox to receive the honor this season, joining fellow infielder and double-play partner Trevor Story, who won the award back in May.

As he continues to chase his first batting title, it is worth mentioning that Bogaerts — who turns 30 next month — can and most likely will opt out of the final three years and $60 million of the six-year, $120 million extension he signed with Boston in April 2019.

Assuming he hits the open market, Bogaerts would undoubtedly be one of the most sought-after free-agents in baseball this winter. It remains to be seen just how interested the Red Sox are in retaining his services.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)

Alex Verdugo homers and Michael Wacha deals, but Red Sox blow late lead in 4-3 loss to Rays

The Red Sox saw their five-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of the Rays on Monday night. Boston fell to Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field by a final score of 4-3 to drop to 67-69 on the season.

Alex Verdugo got the Sox on the board right away in the first inning. With one out and the bases empty, Verdugo clubbed a 368-foot solo shot to right field off Rays starter Luis Patino for his ninth home run of the year. It left his bat at a blistering 106.5 mph.

Michael Wacha, making his 18th start of the year for Boston, gave that run right back in the latter half of the first. Former Red Sox prospect Manuel Margot led off with a line-drive single. He then went from first to third on a David Peralta base hit and scored on a blooper of an RBI single from Harold Ramirez to tie things up at one run apiece.

That stalemate did not last long, though, as the Red Sox responded with two more runs in the third. With two outs and runners on first and second after Tommy Pham and Verdugo each drew a walk, Rafael Devers and Trevor Story went back-to-back on a pair of run-scoring hits. Devers advanced to third base on Story’s 22nd double of the year, but was stranded there after Triston Casas popped out to end the inning.

Wacha, meanwhile, settled in and spun three consecutive scoreless frames before running into some trouble in the fifth. After reaching base on a leadoff single, Jose Siri scored all the way from first on a 358-foot double off the bat of Randy Arozarena.

Franchy Cordero had been tracking that fly ball in left field, but he went down awkwardly after colliding with and getting his right cleat caught in the wall’s padding. Cordero remained on the ground in visible pain before manager Alex Cora and team trainers came out to check on him. Unable to put any weight on his right foot, Cordero was carted off and replaced in left field by Rob Refsnyder. He was later diagnosed with a right ankle sprain and will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

With Siri scoring on Arozarena’s double, Tampa Bay had cut the deficit down to one run at 3-2. But Wacha did not buckle and wound up retiring the final five batters he faced through the end of the sixth. The veteran right-hander gave up just the two runs on seven hits, zero walks, and seven strikeouts over six quality innings of work.

While Wacha did not factor into Monday’s decision, he did reach a personal milestone. By punching out Taylor Walls to end the sixth, the 31-year-old recorded the 1,000th strikeout of his major-league career.

In relief of Wacha, Jeurys Familia received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from Cora. With the likes of Garrett Whitlock and John Schreiber unavailable after a busy weekend, Familia struggled in a high-leverage spot in the seventh.

After a questionable hit-by-pitch of the pinch-hitting Vidal Brujan, who stole second base and moved up to third on a groundout, Familia surrendered a game-tying double to Margot. He was then pulled in favor of Zack Kelly, who got the second out of the inning but could not escape before allowing the go-ahead run to score on a Peralta RBI double down the right field line.

Kelly bounced back by tossing a 1-2-3 eighth inning, giving the Red Sox a chance to tie it in the ninth. With two outs and Verdugo at second base representing the tying run, Xander Bogaerts got ahead in the count at 2-0 before striking out looking on a 99 mph heater at the bottom of the zone.

Despite coming up short there, Bogaerts made history by going 2-for-5, thus extending his multi-game hitting streak to nine consecutive games. He becomes the fourth player in Red Sox history to accomplish the feat, joining the likes of Kevin Youkilis (2009), Jim Rice (1978), and Roy Johnson (1934).

All told, the Red Sox went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base as a team. With Monday’s loss, they are now 4-10 against the Rays this season and 18-37 against divisional opponents.

Next up: Hill vs. Rasmussen

The Red Sox will look to bounce back against the Rays on Tuesday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will get the start for Boston while right-hander Drew Rasmussen will do the same for Tampa Bay.

First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts and Trevor Story lead the way as Red Sox finish off sweep of Rangers with 5-2 win; Triston Casas records first career hit in debut

The Red Sox completed their four-game sweep of the Rangers on Sunday afternoon. Boston defeated Texas by a final score of 5-2 at Fenway Park to extend its winning streak to five and improve to 67-68 on the season.

Josh Winckowski, starting in place of the injured Kutter Crawford, allowed two earned runs on three hits and three walks to go along with three strikeouts over four innings of work.

Both of those Rangers runs came right away in the top half of the first, as Winckowski began his day by issuing a four-pitch walk to Marcus Semien. The rookie right-hander then gave up a one-out single to Nathaniel Lowe, which put runners on the corners for Adolis Garcia, who ripped a run-scoring ground-rule double down the right field line. Jonah Heim followed by driving in Lowe with a groundout to give his side a 2-0 lead right out of the gate.

Despite that early deficit, the Red Sox lineup quickly responded in their half of the first. Matched up against Rangers righty Dane Dunning, Tommy Pham and Alex Verdugo both reached base on a pair of hard-hit singles before Xander Bogaerts came through with a ground-rule double of his own to cut Texas’ lead in half.

After Rafael Devers popped out into foul territory, Trevor Story took aim at the National Car Rental sign above the Green Monster for a 382-foot three-run blast. Story’s 16th home run of the season was accompanied by a bat flip and had an exit velocity of 101.9 mph. It also gave Boston its first lead of the day at 4-2.

An inning later, Connor Wong drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second base when Pham was hit by a pitch, and moved up to third on a Verdugo flyout. Bogaerts then drove him in with a sharply-hit opposite field single.

Winckowski, who had already retired the side in order in the top of the second, continued to settle into his outing by tossing two more scoreless innings. The 24-year-old hurler threw 82 pitches (47 strikes) and induced nine swings-and-misses while lowering his ERA on the season to 5.75.

In relief of Winckowski, Kaleb Ort received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Ort worked his way around a walk in the fifth and recorded the first two outs of the sixth before Wong threw out Leody Taveras at second base to end the inning.

Jeurys Familia and Matt Strahm each faced the minimum in the seventh and eighth, paving the way for John Schreiber to come on in the ninth. Schreiber, in turn, notched his second save in as many days by punching out two in a 1-2-3 inning. As a result, Ort was credited with the first winning decision of his big-league career.

Speaking of firsts, Triston Casas made his highly anticipated major-league debut on Sunday. The 22-year-old recorded his first career hit on an infield single in the fifth inning as part of a 1-for-4 day at the plate. He made solid contact on three separate occasions and provided stout defense at first base.

Story, meanwhile, provided some stellar defense of his own in the sixth inning. Playing in shallow right field as part of the shift, Story left his feet and made a fantastic leaping grab to rob Heim of a 107.7 mph line-drive single. On the other side of the ball, the 29-year-old finished a triple shy of the cycle and is now batting .464 (13-for-28) over his last seven games since returning from the injured list on August 27.

To the right of Story, Bogaerts went 3 for 4 with a double, two RBIs, and one run scored. He has now compiled eight straight multi-hit games to raise his batting average to an American League-leading .317.

Next up: On to St. Petersburg

Even on the heels of their first series sweep since late June, the Red Sox still trail the Blue Jays by 7 1/2 games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot. They will look to make up more ground in that race as they open a three-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg on Monday.

Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha is slated to get the start for Boston in the series opener. Tampa Bay has yet to name a starter.

First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

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

Brayan Bello tosses 6 scoreless innings to earn first major-league win as Red Sox defeat Rangers, 5-3

The Red Sox extended their winning streak to four straight on Saturday afternoon by taking their third straight from the Rangers. Boston held on for a 5-3 victory over Texas at Fenway Park to move within two games of .500 by improving to 66-68 on the season.

Brayan Bello got the start for the Sox and wound up putting together the best outing of his young career so far. The rookie right-hander scattered just three hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work.

Boston provided Bello with an early lead, which certainly didn’t hurt. After Xander Bogaerts reached base with two outs in the bottom of the first, Rafael Devers drove him in with a 337-foot RBI double to left field off Rangers starter Dennis Santana.

Bello continued to roll by keeping Texas off the board through the middle of the fifth. In the bottom half of the frame, Enrique Hernandez and Alex Verdugo each drew a pair of walks off reliever Brock Burke. Burke then balked, allowing both runners to advance an additional 90 feet. With only one out and two runners in scoring position, Bogaerts ripped a chopper to the left side of the infield.

Hernandez took off as soon as contact was made. Rangers shortstop Corey Seager attempted to gun down his former teammate at home plate. But his throw was mishandled by catcher Meibrys Viloria, allowing Hernandez to score on a missed catching error. Verdugo also moved up to third on the play, then scored the second run of the inning when Devers beat out a potential inning-ending double play.

Taking a 3-0 lead into the sixth, Bello ended his day by retiring the final three batters he faced. The 23-year-old hurler threw 88 pitches (60 strikes) and induced nine swings-and-misses en route to picking up his first big-league win.

In relief of Bello, Red Sox manager Alex Cora first turned to Garrett Whitlock out of the bullpen. Whitlock responded by stranding one base runner in an otherwise clean top half of the seventh. A half-inning later, Boston yet again took advantage of sloppy defense from Texas.

Bogaerts reached via a one-out single off Koehi Arihara. Devers followed with a single of his own, but Bogaerts was able to go from first to third on an Adolis Garcia fielding error. He then scored from third on a J.D. Martinez grounder that was misplayed by third baseman Ezequiel Duran. Trevor Story promptly drove in Devers on an opposite field double, making it a 5-0 contest in favor of the Sox.

Whitlock came back out for the eighth and surrendered hits to three of the first four batters he faced, including a two-run home run from Marcus Semien and a solo blast off the bat of Nathaniel Lowe. Those two big swings cut Boston’s lead from five runs down to two.

Looking to protect that lead in the ninth, Matt Barnes loaded the bases while only managing to record the first out of the inning. That prompted Cora to pull Barnes in favor of John Schreiber, who fanned Semien on three pitches before getting Seager to ground out to end it. As a result, Schreiber notched his fifth save of the year.

Next up: Going for the sweep

The Red Sox will go for a four-game sweep over the Rangers on Sunday afternoon. Kutter Crawford was originally supposed to start the series finale for Boston, but has since been scratched due to a sore shoulder. Fellow righty Josh Winckowski, who is currently on the taxi squad, is a likely candidate to start in his place. For Texas, it will be right-hander Dane Dunning taking the mound.

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

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts crushes grand slam, drives in 5 runs to power Red Sox to 6-5 win over Twins

The Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Twins on Wednesday night. Boston held on for a 6-5 win over Minnesota at Target Field to end a three-game losing streak and improve to 63-68 on the season.

Matched up against Twins rookie starter Joe Ryan to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox drew first blood in their half of the third inning. Following a pair of back-to-back singles from Kevin Plawecki and Tommy Pham, Alex Verdugo reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases with no outs for Xander Bogaerts.

Bogaerts, who walked in his first plate appearance, took a first-pitch strike from Ryan and then unloaded on a hanging slider by lacing it 392 feet over the left field wall for a grand slam. The ball left his bat at a blistering 113 mph (his hardest-hit ball of 2022) and cleared the fence in just 3.6 second. It was also good for his 12th home run of the season and gave the Red Sox an early 4-0 lead.

After Rafael Devers flew out, J.D. Martinez went deep for the 11th time this year by depositing another slider from Ryan 394 feet into the left field bleachers. Martinez’s second big fly in his last four games made it a 5-0 contest in favor of Boston.

To that point, Michael Wacha had yet to allow a run two innings into his 17th start of the season. That changed in the third, as the veteran right-hander recorded two quick outs before giving up a softly-hit single to No. 9 hitter Sandy Leon. Moments later, Luis Arraeez made Wacha pay for extending the inning by cranking a three-run homer to right that trimmed Boston’s lead down to three runs at 5-2.

Fast forward to the sixth, and the Sox got one of those two runs back. Kevin Plawecki greeted new Twins reliever Jovani Moran by roping a leadoff double to right field. After Pham and Verdugo each struck out, Bogaerts came through yet again with an RBI single that would prove to be more important than it seemed at the time.

Wacha, who ended his night by escaping a jam in which Minnesota had runners at second third with only out, wound up yielding just two earned runs on four hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over six strong innings of work. The 31-year-old hurler threw 98 pitches (64 strikes) and induced eight swings-and-misses en route to picking up his 10th winning decision of the year.

In relief of Wacha, Garrett Whitlock received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Whitlock was not as sharp as he usually is, as he began the seventh inning by giving up a leadoff double to Nick Gordon. Gordon advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Arraez. Whitlock’s struggles extended into the eighth inning, as a pair of singles put runners on the corners with two outs for Gordon.

Gordon proceeded to rip a two-run double to right field that he attempted to extend into a triple. But Verdugo tracked the ball and, with his momentum carrying him towards the field, made a nice throw to gun down Gordon at third base and limit the damage to two runs.

Verdugo’s sixth outfield of the season allowed Matt Barnes to take the mound in the ninth with a 6-5 lead to protect. Barnes, in turn, made things interesting by putting the first two batters he faced on base before retiring Arraez and getting Carlos Correa to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play. By doing so, Barnes notched his fourth save of the year while securing a one-run victory.

With the win, the Red Sox finish the month of August with a 12-16 record. Coming into September, they still trail the Blue Jays by eight games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Bogaerts’ third-inning slam was the first from a Red Sox hitter since May 22nd. It was also the sixth of Bogaerts’ career, which moves him into sole possession of first place for most among shortstops in Red Sox history. He was previously in a three-way tie with Nomar Garciaparra and Vern Stephens, who each hit five over the course of their respective careers.

Plawecki, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored out of the nine-hole on Wednesday. He is now 11-for-21 (.524) over his last seven games dating back to Aug. 20.

Next up: Back to Boston

The Red Sox will return home and open a four-game weekend series against the Rangers on Thursday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill, fresh off striking out a season-high of 11 across seven scoreless innings in his last time out, will start the series opener for Boston. On the opposite side of the spectrum, rookie right-hander Glenn Otto will take the mound for Texas.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: David Berding/Getty Images)