Kiké Hernández, Xander Bogaerts both homer as Red Sox top Mets, 6-3, for sixth straight win

Exactly two weeks out from the American League Wild Card game, the Red Sox continued their winning ways against the Mets to kick off their final homestand of the regular season.

Although they fell behind first, Boston fought their way back for a 6-3 victory over New York at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, marking their sixth straight win.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 29th start of the season for the Sox and his very first against the Mets, was sharp early on, but later fell off in what turned out to be another relatively short outing.

Over just 4 1/3 innings of work, Rodriguez allowed two runs — both of which were earned — on five hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

The veteran left-hander took a perfect game into the third inning, as he did not give up his first hit until yielding a two-out single to New York’s No. 9 hitter, Tomas Nido, in the top half of the frame.

While it appeared as though Rodriguez was well on his way to putting together a strong performance, things took a turn for the worse in the fourth when he loaded the bases with no outs before issuing a bases-loaded, run-scoring walk to J.D. Davis to give the Mets their first lead of the night at 1-0.

Michael Conforto followed by grounding another RBI single through the left side of the infield that scored Javier Baez and very well could have pushed across another had Enrique Hernandez not gunned down Pete Alonso at home plate from center field.

Hernandez’s seventh outfield assist of the season proved to halt the Mets’ momentum, as Rodriguez escaped the jam by recording the final two outs of the fourth in consecutive order.

At that point, the Red Sox lineup had struggled to get anything going against Rodriguez’s counterpart in Mets starter Marcus Stroman despite having their fair share of opportunities — particularly in the third inning.

There, with no outs and the bases full, Xander Bogaerts grounded into what was at the time a back-breaking 5-2-3 double play, which was followed by an inning-ending flyout off the bat of Rafael Devers.

Compounded with New York jumping out to a 2-0 lead in their half of the fourth, things were looking rather dire for the Boston bats, but they were able to bounce back in a tremendous way beginning in the bottom of that particular frame.

With two outs in the inning, Bobby Dalbec stayed hot by ripping a 104.5 mph line-drive double off the center field wall. Christian Vazquez followed by lacing another liner, though this one flew over the outstretched glove of a back-pedaling Kevin Pillar, took a bounce off the Green Monster, and brought in Dalbec to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, came back out for the fifth, though he gave up back-to-back hits to Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor that put runners at second and third with only one out.

That led to Red Sox manager Alex Cora giving Rodriguez the hook at that moment, as the 28-year-old ended his day having thrown 92 pitches (55 strikes).

In relief of Rodriguez, Cora first turned to the recently-recalled Ryan Brasier, who inherited a bit of a mess but got out of it by fanning Baez on three straight strikes before getting the dangerous Alonso to ground out to short.

With their lineup flipping over for a third time beginning in the middle of the fifth, the Sox continued to pound Stroman, as Hernandez clubbed a game-tying, 379-foot solo shot over the Green Monster (his 18th home run of the season, Kyle Schwarber drilled a hard-hit double to the left-center field gap, and Bogaerts capped it off with an act of redemption — mashing a 426-foot, two-run moonshot to left field.

Bogaerts’ 23rd homer of the year put the Sox up 4-2, but the star shortstop was not done there, as he — with the bases full and two outs in the sixth — plated two more on a 107 mph two-run double off Brad Hand to make it a 6-2 game in favor of Boston.

From there, after Brasier and left-hander Austin Davis combined to work a scoreless sixth inning, fellow trade deadline acquisition Hansel Robles took over and did the very same in the seventh.

Garrett Richards, on the other hand, served up a towering solo homer to Alonso in an otherwise clean eighth inning. He also got the first out of the ninth before Darwinzon Hernandez slammed the door on the Mets to preserve the 6-3 victory for the Sox, though the lefty did not pick up the save.

With the win, not only do the Red Sox extend their winning streak to six consecutive games, but they also improve to 87-65 on the season by doing so. The Blue Jays and Yankees also won on Tuesday, so the Sox maintain their 1 1/2 game lead over Toronto for the top Wild Card spot in the American League.

Next up: Sale vs. Walker

The Red Sox will hand the ball to ace left-hander Chris Sale as they go for the quick two-game sweep over the Mets on Wednesday night. Sale will be working on regular rest in just his second start back from the COVID-19 related injured list.

The Mets, in turn, will counter with right-hander and 2021 All-Star Taijuan Walker as they look to prevent the sweep from happening.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox break out for 6 runs in 10th inning to run away with 9-4 victory over Mariners in extras

It took nearly four hours to see it through, but the Red Sox were able to cap off their road trip in style with a hard-fought victory over the Mariners in extra innings on Wednesday (Roberto Clemente Day) afternoon.

Boston broke out for six runs in the 10th inning to top Seattle by a final score of 9-4, marking their second straight win and their third in their last five games.

Matched up against Mariners starter Marco Gonzales to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox struck early and often to jump out to an early 3-0 lead.

Right out of the gate, Hunter Renfroe crushed a 414-foot solo shot — his 28th home run of the season — off Gonzales in the top half of the first inning. In the second, Kyle Schwarber drew a one-out walk and Bobby Dalbec followed by drilling a ground-rule double to left-center field, paving the way for Kevin Plawecki to drive in a run on an RBI groundout.

Having moved up to third on that play, Dalbec scored on an RBI double off the bat of a seemingly red-hot Jose Iglesias to put Boston up by three.

To that point, Tanner Houck — making his 12th start of the year — had been cruising along for the Red Sox, taking a no-hitter into the third inning before giving up a one-out single to fellow rookie Jarred Kelenic.

Houck proceeded to yield another single to Tom Murphy that should have put runners at the corners, but instead scored a run and put a runner at second base when Hunter Renfroe attempted to gun down Kelenic at third, though his throw eluded Rafael Devers and wound up going out of play.

Kelenic was able to score as a result of Renfroe’s miscue, while Houck walked J.P. Crawford on four pitches, spiked a wild pitch into the dirt that put runners at second and third. The right-hander did get the second out of the third, but could not end it before serving up a two-run double down the left field line to Kyle Seager.

The momentum had shifted going into the fourth with the Mariners battling back to knot things up at three runs apiece. Houck, however, rebounded by punching out the side in the bottom half of the fourth before falling victim to Kelenic once again in the fifth.

The Mariners outfielder led off the fifth inning with a single back up the middle and proceeded to steal second base to put the potential go-ahead run in scoring position. Houck then fanned Tom Murphy for the first out of the frame, and that is when his day came to a close with the Seattle lineup turning back over.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 71 (45 strikes), the 25-year-old wrapped up his outing having allowed three runs — all earned — on four hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work.

Josh Taylor got the first call out of the bullpen from Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and the left-hander officially closed the book on Houck’s start by stranding the lone runner he inherited while recording the last two outs of the fifth.

Garrett Richards took over for Taylor in the sixth and worked his way around a leadoff single by inducing a 6-5-3 double play and getting a strikeout. The veteran righty was nearly rewarded for his effort a half inning later when a walk from Dalbec and two-out single from Iglesias put runners at the corners.

Alex Verdugo came off the bench to pinch-hit for Enrique Hernandez in that spot against right-handed Mariners reliever Paul Sewald and proceeded to lace a 102 mph line drive to left field.

Verdugo’s screamer, which had an expected batting average of .850, was caught by M’s left fielder Luke Fraley, however, and that kept things tied up at 3-3.

Richards, again, faced the minimum three batters in the seventh with the help of a smooth, inning-ending double play started by Iglesias.

After both Devers and J.D. Martinez reached base with two outs off Sewald in the eighth, Schwarber had an opportunity to replicate his late-game heroics from the night before, but flew out to center field to strand the pair of runners.

In the bottom half of the inning, Austin Davis got the first two outs despite Mitch Haniger reaching base on a throwing error committed by Devers, but Adam Ottavino was able work around that by fanning Ty France on three straight strikes.

With former Rays reliever Diego Castillo entering this game for the Mariners in the ninth, neither Dalbec, Christian Vazquez (pinch-hitting for Plawecki), nor Travis Shaw (pinch-hitting for Iglesias) mounted anything resembling a rally, as they were sat down in order.

Ottavino, having needed just three pitches to finish off the eighth, came back out for the ninth. He got the first two outs of the inning rather easily before plunking the pinch-hitting Jake Bauers in the leg. Bauers then stole second base while Kelenic was at the plate, but Ottavino left him there by fanning the top prospect to send this one to extras.

Before Ottavino came through when it mattered most, Jack Lopez had taken over for Shaw at second base. And since Shaw recorded the final out of the ninth, that meant Lopez started the 10th inning as the runner at second base.

With Erik Swanson now on the mound for Seattle, Boston got an immediate boost when Verdugo sliced a single to shallow left field. Lopez, who advanced up to third on Verdugo’s base hit, proceeded to score from there on a passed ball — giving the Red Sox their first lead since the second inning at 4-3.

A walk drawn by Renfroe and bloop single from Bogaerts filled the bases with one out for Martinez, who greeted new Mariners reliever Justus Sheffield by ripping a 107 mph RBI single to the left side of the infield that deflected off Crawford’s glove and brought in Renfroe from third.

That made it a 5-3 contest, but the Sox were not done there, as Schwarber provided some much-needed insurance by lining a two-run single to right field that plated both Bogaerts and Devers and opened up a 7-3 lead for his side.

Vazquez pushed across two more on a two-run, bases-loaded double down the right field line, thus capping off a six-run inning in which Boston sent 10 batters to the plate to give themselves a commanding 9-3 advantage.

Martin Perez was dispatched in the bottom half of the 10th. The left-hander, making his first appearance since being activated from the COVID-19 related injured list on Tuesday, did just that.

Perez did allow one unearned run, but ultimately slammed the door on the Mariners to preserve a 9-4 victory for the Sox.

With the win, the Red Sox secure their first series victory in Seattle since 2013 to finish off a 3-3 road trip and improve to 83-65 on the season. They also remain tied with the Blue Jays for the top American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Welcoming in the Orioles to kick off the final homestand of 2021

The Red Sox will board a flight to Boston and enjoy a well-deserved off day on Thursday before opening up a three-game weekend series against the lowly Orioles at Fenway Park on Friday night.

Neither team has yet to name a starter for Friday’s series opener, but Boston is expected to activate ace left-hander Chris Sale from the COVID-19 related injured list — meaning that responsibility would fall to him.

Friday’s contest against the O’s will mark the beginning of the Sox’ final (eight-game) homestand of the season. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kyle Schwarber: Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Kyle Schwarber, Hunter Renfroe commit 2 costly errors as Red Sox fall to Mariners, 5-4

If the Red Sox were looking to make a statement in regards to how they should be viewed as a Wild Card contender on Monday, they certainly came up short of doing that against a team hot on their trail in the Mariners.

Boston fell to Seattle, 5-4, in the opening contest of a three-game series at T-Mobile Park, marking their sixth loss in their last eight games.

Eduardo Rodriguez, making his 28th start of the season for the Sox, bounced back from a rough outing in his last time out against the Rays by surrendering just two runs — only one of which was earned — on six hits and one walk to go along with six strikeouts on the night.

That said, Rodriguez on Monday did not get off to the best starts, as he gave up a double and single to the first two batters he faced (J.P. Crawford and Mitch Haniger) before allowing the Mariners to take an early 1-0 lead on a run-scoring double play from Ty France in the first inning.

The left-hander had to battle his way through the bottom of the second as well, with Abraham Toro drawing a leadoff walk off him and Luis Torrens ripping a hard-hit single to right field as well as advancing up to second base when Hunter Renfroe booted the ball.

Tom Murphy then doubled his side’s advantage with an RBI groundout, but Rodriguez was ultimately able to settle in — and he did so while getting some help from the Red Sox lineup.

Mariners starter Logan Gilbert had nearly got through Boston’s batting order for the first time without giving up a hit before No. 9 hitter Jose Iglesias altered those plans.

With one out and the bases empty in the top half of the third, Iglesias clubbed a 386-foot solo shot off Gilbert for his ninth home run of the season and his first in a Red Sox uniform in more than eight years.

Fast forward to the fifth, after Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez each laced a pair of singles to put runners at the corners with one out, Iglesias came through once more, this time by plating Verdugo on a blooper of an RBI single that knotted things up at two runs apiece.

While Iglesias and Co. were grinding away at the plate, Rodriguez was dealing on the mound, as he ended his day by retiring 12 of the final 16 batters he faced following a 32-pitch second inning.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 107 (74 strikes), his second-highest pitch total of the year, the 28-year-old hurler did not factor into the decision on Monday, though he did lower his ERA on the season to 5.00.

In relief of Rodriguez, right-hander Ryan Brasier got the first call from Red Sox manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen, and it appeared he was well on his way to a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

After needing all of five pitches to record the first two outs of the seventh, Brasier induced a relatively-weak grounder off the bat of the pinch-hitting Jake Bauers that was hit in the direction of Kyle Schwarber at first base.

Schwarber, however, misplayed the ball and was charged with a fielding error, thus allowing Bauers to reach first base safely.

The Mariners made the Sox pay dearly for yet another defensive miscue, as Crawford singled to put runners at first and second before Haniger drilled a go-ahead three-run homer 363 feet to left field. Austin Davis had to get the last out of the seventh after his side had suddenly found themselves in a 5-2 hole.

Despite the three-run deficit, the Boston bats did not go away in the eighth, with both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers crushed a pair of back-to-back solo shots off Seattle reliever off Paul Sewald to make it a 5-4 game.

After Kaleb Ort (making his major-league debut) and Josh Taylor combined to toss a scoreless eighth inning, though, Mariners closer Drew Steckenrider slammed the door shut on the Red Sox in the ninth.

Verdugo fanned on a foul tip into the catcher’s mitt, Renfroe was called out on strikes, and Vazquez flew out to center field for the third and final out, as 2-1 would go on to be Monday’s final score in favor of the Mariners.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 81-65 on the season while also relinquishing the top American League Wild Card spot to the red-hot Blue Jays and moving into a virtual tie with the Yankees for the second and final spot.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Anderson

The Red Sox will turn to right-hander Nathan Eovaldi on Tuesday as they look to put an end to this two-game skid. The Mariners will counter with left-hander Tyler Anderson.

First pitch Tuesday night is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Ryan Brasier: Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez remains out of Red Sox lineup due to back tightness; Xander Bogaerts gets day off in series finale against White Sox

The Red Sox will once again be without J.D. Martinez as they go for a series win over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday afternoon.

Martinez, who has been dealing with back tightness throughout the weekend, had been scratched from Boston’s lineup each of the last two days before the same thing essentially happened on Sunday.

As was the case on Friday and Saturday, the veteran slugger went through batting practice earlier Sunday morning before being ruled out for the rubber match of this three-game weekend set.

Following Saturday night’s thrilling 9-8 win over the White Sox, Red Sox manager Alex Cora expressed optimism that Martinez would be back at full strength ahead of Monday’s series opener against the Mariners in Seattle, telling reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) that he rather lose the 34-year-old for three days as opposed to a whole week.

With Martinez out of the lineup, Travis Shaw — the hero of Saturday’s comeback win — will get the start at designated hitter while batting out of the seven-hole.

In addition to being without Martinez, the Sox will also be without shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who will be getting his first day off since returning from the COVID-19 related injured list on Friday.

Veteran infielder Jose Iglesias will start at shortstop in Bogaerts’ place batting ninth behind catcher Kevin Plawecki.

Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up behind right-hander Nick Pivetta, who was just activated from the COVID-19 related injured list, as they go up against White Sox righty Lance Lynn to close out the weekend.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and TBS.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Xander Bogaerts, Darwinzon Hernandez activated; Kaleb Ort selected from Triple-A Worcester; Chris Sale, Jonathan Araúz placed on COVID-19 related injured list

Before opening up a three-game weekend series against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, the Red Sox made an extensive flurry of roster moves.

First off, shortstop Xander Bogaerts was activated from the COVID-19 related injured list, while left-handed reliever Darwinzon Hernandez was reinstated from the 10-day injured list. Right-handed reliever Kaleb Ort also had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester.

Secondly, ace left-hander Chris Sale and infielder Jonathan Arauz were both placed on the COVID-19 related injured list, while lefty reliever Austin Davis was placed on the paternity leave list.

The Red Sox made all of these transactions official earlier Friday night.

Bogaerts will return from the COVID-19 related injured list after initially testing positive for the virus while the Red Sox were taking on the Rays in St. Petersburg on August 31.

The 28-year-old was forced to exit in the second inning of that contest at Tropicana Field on account of that positive test and was immediately placed into a mandatory 10-day quarantine at the team’s hotel.

Since those 10 days are now up, Bogaerts was eligible to be activated on Friday, which winds up being the case. The three-time All-Star will be starting at shortstop and batting cleanup in the first of three against the American League Central-leading White Sox.

Joining Bogaerts on the active roster will be two relievers in the form of Hernandez and Ort.

Hernandez returns to the Boston bullpen after missing slightly more than six weeks of action due to a right oblique strain he sustained in a relief appearance against the Blue Jays back on July 29.

Placed on the 10-day injured list on July 31, the 24-year-old southpaw was sent out on a rehab assignment with Worcester this past Tuesday. He appeared in one game for the WooSox later that same day and worked a scoreless eighth inning in which he walked one and struck out another in a 5-4 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Polar Park.

Ort, on the other hand, is called up to a major-league roster for the first time in his professional career, as he will take the place of Sale on Boston’s 40-man roster for the time being.

The Red Sox originally selected Ort from the Yankees in the minor-league phase of last winter’s Rule 5 Draft — shortly after they picked up Garrett Whitlock from New York as well.

A former undrafted free agent who initially signed with the Diamondbacks in 2016 but joined the Yankees organization a year later, the 29-year-old righty has emerged as the bona fide closer for the WooSox this season.

In 40 appearances out of Worcester’s bullpen, Ort has posted a respectable 3.12 ERA and 3.56 FIP to go along with 59 strikeouts to 20 walks over 43 1/3 total innings of work. He also leads the WooSox with 18 saves on the year.

As previously mentioned, the Sox were able to call up Ort, who will wear the No. 85, without having to remove someone from their 40-man roster because of Sale being placed on the COVID-19 related injured list.

It was revealed earlier Friday that the ace left-hander had tested positive for the virus, and would subsequently be forced to miss his next scheduled start on Sunday as a result.

In testing positive for COVID-19, Sale becomes the 10th Red Sox player to do so since August 27 while also becoming the 12th player the club has had to place on the COVID IL since that date.

Boston’s starting rotation for this weekend’s series with Chicago initially had Tanner Houck starting the opener, Nick Pivetta starting the middle game, and Sale starting the finale.

Pivetta, who has been on the COVID IL since September 5 since he, too, tested positive, could be able to take Sale’s spot and start on Sunday.

Saturday’s contest, meanwhile, will likely fall to right-handed pitching prospect Connor Seabold, who — like Ort — traveled with the Sox to Chicago as part of the team’s taxi squad.

In addition to Sale, the Red Sox also placed Arauz on the COVID-19 related injured list, meaning the 23-year-old has now become the 13th player Boston has had to place on the COVID IL since their initial outbreak began in Cleveland two weeks ago.

Per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the reason for Arauz being placed on the COVID IL is a precautionary one, as the Panamanian-born infielder has been exhibiting virus-like symptoms, but has tested negative “multiple times.”

Along with Sale and Arauz, the Red Sox will also be without Davis for the time being since he is headed out on paternity leave, though the timing of his absence is in sync with the return of Hernandez.

Put another way, as Boston temporarily loses one left-handed bullpen option, they get another back in the Venezuelan southpaw.

Following Friday’s series of moves, the Red Sox’ major-league roster is at full capacity (26 players), while their 40-man roster currently sits at approximately 39 players.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Xander Bogaerts, Yairo Muñoz placed on COVID-19 related injured list; Jack López, John Schreiber selected from Triple-A Worcester; Ryan Brasier, Danny Santana activated from injured list

In the midst of navigating through a COVID-19 outbreak that has affected at least 11 members of the organization this past week, the Red Sox made yet another flurry of roster moves before they take on the Rays at Tropicana Field on Wednesday night.

First off, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and infielder/outfielder Yairo Munoz were placed on the COVID-19 related injured lists after both recently tested positive for the virus.

Secondly, infielder Jack Lopez and right-hander John Schreiber were both selected from Triple-A Worcester to take Bogaerts and Munoz’s spots on the major-league roster.

Finally, with rosters expanding from 26 to 28 players on Wednesday, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was reinstated from the 60-day injured list, while infielder/outfielder Danny Santana was activated from the 10-day injured list.

The Red Sox made all of these transactions official earlier Wednesday evening.

There is plenty to digest here, so let’s start with the two players who are headed to the COVID-19 related injured list.

Bogaerts had tested positive for the virus on Tuesday and was pulled in the second inning of the Red Sox’ game against the Rays as a result. Munoz, meanwhile, tested positive on Wednesday morning.

The pair of infielders become the seventh and eighth Sox players to be placed on the COVID IL since Friday, as they join the likes of Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Martin Perez, Matt Barnes, Josh Taylor, and Hirokazu Sawamura.

Of those eight, Hernandez, Arroyo, Perez, Barnes, Sawamura, Bogaerts, and Munoz — as well as quality control coach Ramon Vazquez and strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose — have all tested positive.

Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin, on the other hand, are away from the team and in quarantine since they were identified as close contacts.

With Bogaerts and Munoz both forced out of action for the foreseeable future on account of their positive tests, the Red Sox were able to add two players to their major-league roster without making any sort of corresponding moves . Those two players, of course, are Lopez and Schreiber.

Lopez, 28, originally inked a minor-league deal with Boston back in January. He began the 2021 season at Double-A Portland but later earned a promotion to Worcester on May 11.

In 58 games (219 plate appearances) with the WooSox, the Puerto Rican-born right-handed hitter has slashed .260/.321/.378 (87 wRC+) with 12 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 30 RBI, 24 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 15 walks, and 50 strikeouts while seeing time at second base, third base, shortstop, and center field.

On top of that, Lopez earned himself a silver medal while playing for Team USA in this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. The 5-foot-10, 160 pounder will start at second base and bat eighth in his major-league debut on Wednesday.

Schreiber, meanwhile, was claimed off waivers from the Tigers back in February, but last his spot on the Sox’ 40-man roster when he was designated for assignment shortly before Opening Day.

The 27-year-old righty did clear waivers, however, and was subsequently outrighted to Worcester in early April before opening the 2021 campaign in the affiliate’s bullpen.

Across 28 appearances (eight starts) with the WooSox, Schreiber has pitched well, putting up a 3.10 ERA and 3.73 xFIP to go along with 57 strikeouts to 21 walks in 58 innings of work this year.

While Lopez and Schreiber will take the place of Bogaerts and Munoz on Boston’s major-league roster, the club was also able to add two more players with rosters expanding to 28 players on Wednesday.

With that, Brasier was activated from the 60-day injured list while Santana was activated from the 10-day injured list.

Brasier, who recently turned 34, had missed the entirety of the 2021 season up to this point due to a multitude of injuries, including a left calf strain and concussion.

Santana, on the other hand, has dealt with his fair share of injuries this year, as he has missed extended periods of time on two separate occasions due to a left groin and left quad strain.

Following Wednesday’s series of moves, the Red Sox now have a full 28 players (15 pitchers, 13 position players) on their major-league roster and 38 active players on their 40-man roster.

(Picture of Jack Lopez: Yuichi Masuda/Getty Images)

Yairo Muñoz becomes latest Red Sox player to test positive for COVID-19

Red Sox infielder Yairo Munoz has tested positive for COVID-19, manager Alex Cora said during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Merloni and Fauria program earlier Wednesday afternoon.

Munoz, who was selected from Triple-A Worcester on Friday, tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning, per Cora.

The versatile 26-year-old has appeared in five games for the Red Sox since being called up from Worcester, most recently being used as a defensive replacement at second base in Tuesday night’s 8-5 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.

After starting that game on the bench, Munoz was dispatched in the middle of the second inning when — after getting test results back — Cora was forced to pull Xander Bogaerts, as it was later revealed that the star shortstop tested positive for COVID-19.

Because of that, Jonathan Arauz, Tuesday’s starting second baseman for Boston, shifted over to shortstop while Munoz took over at second base for the remainder of the contest.

Within the next few hours, both Bogaerts and Munoz will become the seventh and eighth players the Red Sox have had to place on the COVID-19 related injured list since Friday. They will join the likes of Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Martin Perez, Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura, and Josh Taylor.

Hernandez and Arroyo both tested positive for the virus in Cleveland and remain in quarantine there, while Perez, Barnes, and Sawamura all tested positive for the virus in St. Petersburg and are quarantining at the team hotel.

On top of that, quality control coach Ramon Vazquez and strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose have tested positive as well, while Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin have been identified as close contacts and are also in quarantine.

As is the case for all players who test positive for COVID-19, Munoz will have to remain away from the Red Sox for the next 10 days at the very least.

(Picture of Yairo Munoz: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox rally comes up short in 8-5 loss to Rays as team’s COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow

The road trip from hell rolled on for the Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night.

In addition to having two more players — Hirokazu Sawamura and Xander Bogaerts — testing positive for COVID-19, the Sox committed two errors and fell to the Rays by a final score of 8-5, marking their third consecutive loss.

Matched up against Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough to begin things on Tuesday, Bogaerts actually got the Red Sox on the board first, as he followed up a two-out double from J.D. Martinez by ripping an RBI single to right field to give his side an early 1-0 lead.

Bogaerts was, however, removed from this contest in the middle of the second inning after his latest test came back positive, and it all started to go downhill for Boston from there.

That being the case because Brad Peacock, who was just acquired from the Indians on Mondy, got somewhat roughed up for five runs — all of which were earned — on two hits, two walks, one hit batsman, and zero strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings of work in his first start with the Red Sox.

After needing just seven pitches to get through a scoreless bottom of the first, Peacock served up a solo home run to Randy Arozarena with one out in the second inning, thus allowing the Rays to even things up at one run apiece.

The veteran right-hander did manage to get out of the second, but ran into some more trouble in the bottom half of the third when he issued a leadoff walk to Kevin Kiermaier and plunked Francisco Mejia.

A mental mistake and poor throw from Alex Verdugo on a fly ball to center field off the bat of Brandon Lowe allowed both of those runners to advance an additional 90 feet, and Peacock promptly loaded the bases with one out by walking Nelson Cruz.

Rookie sensation Wander Franco broke the 1-1 stalemate and brought in two of those runners on a hard-hit single to right field that was corralled by Hunter Renfroe, but Renfroe’s throw back to the infield got past Bobby Dalbec, which subsequently allowed both Kiermaier and Mejia to score as opposed to just Kiermaier. Dalbec was charged with a fielding error as the Rays went up on the Sox, 3-1.

Franco’s go-ahead hit also marked the end of the line for Peacock, who got the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora while leaving runners at second and third base with one out in the third. The 33-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 48 — 25 of which were strikes.

In relief of Peacock, left-hander Stephen Gonsalves, just selected from Triple-A Worcester, officially closed the book on Peackock’s night by allowing both runners he inherited to score on a wild pitch and Austin Meadows RBI single.

Gonsalves then plunked Arozarena to put runners at first and second, and Yandy Diaz took full advantage of that by blooping a softly-hit, 73.7 mph two-run double in between Yairo Munoz and Renfroe in right field.

Kiermaier proceeded to strike out on a foul tip to end the inning, but the damage had already been down since the Red Sox suddenly found themselves in a 7-1 hole.

To his credit, Gonsalves — in what was his first major-league outing in nearly three years — tossed two additional scoreless frames to keep the deficit at six runs through the end of the fifth.

Kyle Schwarber trimmed that deficit to five runs at 7-2 by crushing his 28th homer of the season off Yarbrough to lead off the top of the sixth, but Tampa Bay responded by getting that (unearned) run back off Phillips Valdez on an HBP, Dalbec fielding error, and sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the frame.

Valdez managed to keep the Rays off the scoreboard in the seventh and eighth innings, while Rafael Devers pushed across another run as he collected his 97th RBI of the year in the top half of the eighth.

Devers’ run-scoring single made it an 8-3 game in the eighth. In the ninth, after Schwarber and Martinez made things interesting with a pair of run-scoring singles, it came down to Devers.

Matched up against Rays closer Andrew Kittredge, Devers came up to the plate representing the tying run with two outs and runners at first and second. He fanned on four pitches to cut the rally short as 8-5 would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 75-59 on the season while dropping 10 full games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East. Boston began the month of August trailing Tampa Bay by just 1/2 a game for the top spot in the division.

Tuesday’s defeat also wraps up a disappointing August in which the Sox went 12-16, marking the first time this season they finished a month with a losing record.

Next up: Sale vs. Rasmussen to begin September

The Red Sox will turn to ace left-hander Chris Sale on Wednesday night as they look to put an end to this three-game skid and start the month of September on a positive note. Rosters on Wednesday will expand from 26 players to 28 players for the remainder of the season.

Wednesday will mark Sale’s fourth start of the season since returning from Tommy John surgery on August 14. It also represents his toughest test thus far considering the opponent he will be going up against.

The Rays, meanwhile, will send right-hander Drew Rasmussen to the hill as they go for yet another series victory over their division rivals.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Cora: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts tests positive for COVID-19

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has tested positive for COVID-19, the club announced during Tuesday night’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Bogaerts, who started Tuesday’s contest at shortstop while batting cleanup, was initially removed in the middle of the second inning after ripping an RBI single that gave the Sox an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the first.

As he went out to go to his defensive position for the bottom half of the second, however, Bogaerts was pulled, as he was waved back into the Red Sox dugout by manager Alex Cora.

The 28-year-old All-Star was replaced at shortstop by starting second baseman Jonathan Arauz, while Yairo Munoz — who was on the bench to start things out on Tuesday — took over for Arauz at second base.

By testing positive for COVID-19, Bogaerts joins the likes of Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Matt Barnes, Martin Perez and Hirokazu Sawamura as Red Sox players who have come down with the virus since Friday.

In addition to those six testing positive, quality control coach Ramon Vazquez and strength and conditioning coach have also tested positive for COVID-19, while left-hander Josh Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin have been identified as close contacts and are also in a mandatory quarantine.

Because Bogaerts most recently tested positive for COVID-19, he will have to stay away from the Red Sox for a minimum of 10 days.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Red Sox muster just 6 hits in quiet 6-1 loss to Rays

After taking a steady amount of blows off the field leading up to the start of an important four-game series against their division rivals, the Red Sox were knocked down by the red-hot Rays at Tropicana Field on Monday night.

In the wake of adding two more players — relievers Martin Perez and Matt Barnes — to the COVID-19 related injured list, the Sox mustered all of six hits as they fell to Tampa Bay by a final score of 6-1 to kick off the week.

Nick Pivetta, making his 26th start of the season for the Sox on Monday, was forced into a struggle right away when he served up a leadoff home run to Brandon Lowe on his very first pitch of the contest in the bottom of the first inning.

That homer proved to set the tone for what would be a grind of a night for Pivetta, as the right-hander allowed a total of four runs (all earned) on six hits and five walks to go along with six strikeouts over five-plus innings of work.

After falling behind early, though, the Red Sox lineup was able to answer back with a home run of their own in their half of the second. While matched up against Rays starter Luis Patino, Bobby Dalbec stayed hot by scorching a 397-foot solo shot to deep left field that left his bat at over 114 mph.

Dalbec’s 18th homer of the season — and seventh in his last 15 games — pulled Boston back even with Tampa Bay at one run apiece, but the Rays bats prevailed off Pivetta in the third and never had to look back as a result.

Following a leadoff walk of Lowe to begin things in the third inning and a wild pitch that allowed Lowe to advance to second base, Pivetta issued a two-out, run-scoring single to Austin Meadows, thus giving the Rays a brand-new, 2-1 lead.

In the fourth, Pivetta ran into some two-out trouble once again, this time giving up a hard-hit double to Kevin Kiermaier, but following that up by getting Mike Zunino to strike out on a slider in the dirt.

Zunino was, however, able to reach first base safely since said slider eluded Christian Vazquez behind the plate, and the inning continued. This, in turn, led to Lowe hitting an RBI infield single over the head of Dalbec that pushed across Kiermaier to make it a 3-1 game.

Pivetta did manage to work his way around a two-out double and intentional walk in the fifth and came back out for the sixth, but was unable to record an out after surrendering a leadoff single to Kiermaier that was followed by a walk of Zunino.

That sequence led to Pivetta getting the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora, but the righty’s night was not officially done yet since he left a pair of runners on base for newly-inserted reliever Hansel Robles out of the Boston bullpen.

Robles proceeded to load the bases by issuing a walk of his own, then got Nelson Cruz to hit a soft grounder to Rafael Devers at third, but it was one in which Devers bobbled, which allowed Kiermaier to score from third to give his side a 4-1 edge.

With that, Pivetta’s night was done. The 28-year-old hurler finished his evening having thrown 108 pitches — 66 of which were strikes. He was also hit with his seventh loss of the season while raising his ERA on the year to 4.67.

Robles, to his credit, did manage to retire the next three battters — Wander Franco, Meadows, Yandy Diaz — in order to strand the bases loaded and keep the deficit at three runs.

That being said, the Red Sox offense could not do much against Patino, nor the Rays’ bullpen.

After Patino came out with two outs and a runner on in the sixth, J.P. Feyereisen came on, got Dalbec to fly out to right field to end the inning, then struck out a pair in a scoreless top half of the seventh.

Raynel Espinal, who was selected from Triple-A Worcester earlier in the day, made his major-league debut for the Sox in the bottom of the seventh. The 29-year-old rookie looked sharp in his first inning of work, a 1-2-3 frame at that, but surrendered a two-out, two-run single to Franco in the eighth that gave the Rays a commanding 6-1 lead.

On the other side of things, Pete Fairbanks punched out Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez in order in the top half of the eighth, while Adam Conley induced a game-ending double play off the bat of Vazquez that sealed a disappointing 6-1 defeat for the Sox.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 75-58 on the season and are now nine games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East with 29 games remaining in the regular season. They do, however, remain two games ahead of the Athletics for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: TBD vs. Yarbrough

The Red Sox have yet to name a starter for the second game of this four-game series against the Rays on Tuesday, though it seems likely they could go with veteran right-hander Brad Peacock — who they acquired from the Indians in exchange for cash considerations on Monday.

The Rays, on the other hand, will turn to left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, who has allowed a total of 19 runs (16 earned) in three outings (two starts) spanning 12 innings of work against the Red Sox so far this season. That’s good for an ERA of 12.00.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)