Red Sox injuries: Xander Bogaerts scratched from Friday’s lineup due to sore left knee

Xander Bogaerts was scratched from the Red Sox’ starting lineup against the Blue Jays on Friday night due to a sore left knee.

Bogaerts was originally slated to start at shortstop and bat cleanup at Fenway Park for the first of four against Toronto on Friday, but Red Sox manager Alex Cora changed things up about an hour and a half before first pitch.

When speaking with NESN’s Tom Caron pregame, Cora explained that Bogaerts’ left knee was a feeling “a little bit sore” after diving for an Alex Bregman base hit in the third inning of Thursday night’s 12-8 win over the Astros.

The 28-year-old was able to remain in for the rest of the contest and even went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored in Boston’s rollercoaster come-from-behind victory.

The hope now, per Cora, is that Bogaerts will only be out of action for two days before being cleared to return to the Sox lineup on Sunday.

On the 2021 campaign as a whole, the star shortstop comes into play Friday slashing an astute .324/.382/.547 to go along with 11 home runs and 38 RBI over 60 games played.

In Bogaerts’ place, the switch-hitting Marwin Gonzalez will start at shortstop and bat eighth in Friday night’s series opener. Rafael Devers moves up the cleanup spot.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts leads Red Sox to comeback 6-5 victory over Yankees in extra innings; Boston sweeps New York at Yankee Stadium for first time since 2011

It took 10 innings to complete, but the Red Sox finished off their first sweep of the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in nearly 10 years with a drama-filled 6-5 comeback victory over New York on Sunday.

With the win, their fourth straight and their 21st of the come-from-behind variety this year, Boston improves to 36-23 (20-10 on the road) this season. They remain one game behind the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Verdugo gets the Red Sox on the board first

Matched up against Yankees right-hander Domingo German to start things on Sunday, Alex Verdugo got the scoring started for the Sox by crushing a first-inning solo homer to deep right-center field to give his side the early lead.

Verdugo’s eighth home run of the season, which came on a 91.3 mph fastball down the heart of the plate from German, had an exit velocity of 108.8 mph off the bat and traveled 446 feet into the bleachers.

Richards struggles out of the gate, but eventually settles in and goes five innings

Despite going up right away on the Yankees in this one, the Red Sox found themselves down a run going into the second inning on account of Garrett Richards’ early struggles.

Making his 12th start of the season for Boston, the right-hander yielded three consecutive one-out singles in the first inning to load the bases for Gary Sanchez, who drove in two runs on a hard-hit double to left field.

At that moment, it did not look like things were going to go well for Richards in his first outing at Yankee Stadium since 2018, but he was able to settle in fairly nicely.

The only other run the veteran righty gave up came on an RBI groundout from Aaron Judge in the bottom of the fourth. From there, he was able to escape the jam by getting Gleyber Torres to ground into another forceout before retiring the side in order in the fifth to end his night on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (66 strikes), Richards ended his day having allowed three earned runs on eight hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over five innings of work to raise his ERA on the year to 3.88.

The 33-year-old’s next start should come against the Blue Jays back at Fenway Park on Friday.

Gonzalez comes through in the seventh

With Richards holding the Yankees to three runs, the Sox lineup bounced back in their half of the seventh after German held them in check in his 5 2/3 innings pitched.

Hunter Renfroe led things off by drawing a four-pitch walk off left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge, which set the stage for Marwin Gonzalez, who was already having himself a memorable weekend in the Bronx.

Batting from his preferred right side of the plate, the switch-hitting Gonzalez cranked a game-tying, two-run home run down the left field line on a hanging slider from Luetge that knotting things up at 3-3.

Bogaerts delivers first of two clutch moments in the eighth

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was presumably very pleased with what he saw out of his lineup in the top half of the eighth.

The pinch-hitting Christian Arroyo led off with a pop-up double that very well should have been caught, advanced to third base on a Verdugo groundout, and then came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Bogaerts that put Boston ahead 4-3 late.

Get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in. That’s what happened there.

Barnes blows second save of season in the ninth

While the likes of Darwinzon Hernandez, Adam Ottavino, and Josh Taylor each tossed a scoreless inning in relief of Garrett Richards, Red Sox closer Matt Barnes ran into some trouble in the bottom half of the ninth.

Working in his third straight game, the right-hander issued a one-out walk to Aaron Judge and proceeded to serve up a game-tying, RBI double to Gleyber Torres.

With this contest now in a 4-4 deadlock, Barnes was able to get out of the inning while stranding the potential winning run at third base, though he was charged with his second blown save of the season.

Bogaerts does it again, this time to seal it

Heading into the top of the 10th, Christian Vazquez — who recorded the final out of the ninth — was placed at second base. Bobby Dalbec followed by drawing a six-pitch walk off Luis Cessa, and both runners advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Christian Arroyo.

Alex Verdugo was unable to do anything in the clutch, as he grounded out to second, but Xander Bogaerts certainly did — again.

On a 2-1, 83 mph slider from Cessa, Bogaerts cleared the bases by drilling a two-run single to center field, scoring both Vazquez and Dalbec in the process of picking up his second and third RBI of the night to make it a 6-4 game in favor of Boston.

Valdez notches first career save to close it out

Having already exhausted the vast majority of his available bullpen options, Alex Cora turned to right-hander Phillips Valdez to close this one out in the bottom of the 10th.

With a two-run lead to protect, Valdez plunked the first hitter he faced, but induced a potentially pivotal double play — the third the Yankees hit into Sunday — before allowing one unearned run to score on a Marwin Gonzalez throwing error.

Valdez was able to rebound though, as he got D.J. LeMahieu to ground out to secure the 6-5 win for the Red Sox and pick up his first career save while doing so.

Some notes from this victory:

From MLB’s Sarah Langs:

From Red Sox Notes:

Next up: Make-up against Marlins to kick off homestand

Monday was originally supposed to be an off-day for the Red Sox, but May 30th’s rainout against the Marlins changed that.

The Sox will instead welcome the Marlins back into Fenway Park on Monday evening to conclude their three-game series that began late last month, with Boston taking the first two from Miami.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston, while fellow righty Pablo Lopez will do the same for Miami.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN. A unique start time for what is sure to be a balmy day in the Fenway-area.

Red Sox will be going for their fifth consecutive win before opening up a three-game set against the Astros on Tuesday.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers mashes 3-run homer, Marwin Gonzalez enjoys 2-hit night as Red Sox open series against Yankees with 5-2 win

It would appear that Rafael Devers has gotten his fastball back.

After struggling with the heater in Houston this week, Devers got this weekend’s series against the Yankees started with a bang at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.

With two outs and runners at first and second in the top of the first, the 24-year-old greeted Yankees starter Michael King by crushing an 0-2, 96 mph fastball at the top of the zone to deep right field for a three-run home run.

Devers’ team-leading 15th homer of the season traveled 429 feet off the left-handed hitter’s bat and had an exit velocity of 112.4 mph, which would turn out to be the second hardest-hit ball of the night. It also gave the Red Sox an early 3-0 lead.

Gonzalez breaks out of slump with two-hit night

To his credit, King settled in for New York after a rough first inning. The Rhode Island native strung together four consecutive scoreless frames before allowing a one-out single to Xander Bogaerts in the sixth. That resulted in the Yankees turning to left-hander Lucas Luetge.

Hunter Renfroe greeted Luetge by advancing Bogaerts to second on a single, while Hunter Renfroe — who came into Friday’s contest in the midst of a 1-for-24 skid — scored both runners by lacing a two-run double down the left field line.

The Sox went ahead 5-0 on Gonzalez’s first hit since May 22, and the switch-hitter also reached base again on a one-out double later on in the ninth.

Eovaldi tosses six solid innings, but scuffles towards the end

Nathan Eovaldi made his 12th start of the season for the Red Sox on Friday, matched up against one of his former teams at a ballpark he knows quite well.

Over six innings of work, the veteran right-hander yielded two runs — only one of which was earned — on eight hits and zero walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

Both runs Eovaldi surrendered came in his final frame of action, with Aaron Judge getting his side on the board with a two-out solo home run to the short porch and Gio Urshela scoring on a Marwin Gonzalez fielding AND throwing error later in the inning.

For how impressive he was in the beginning, Eovaldi gave up four of his eight hits in the sixth. Still, six quality innings is six quality innings.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 87 (59 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler’s next start should come against the Astros back at Fenway Park on Wednesday.

Strikeouts galore from the Red Sox bullpen

In relief of Eovaldi, right-handed reliever Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for the bottom half of the seventh inning.

Sawamura needed all of 12 pitches to punch out Gary Sanchez, Brett Gardner, and D.J. LeMahieu in order, and he also picked up two more strikeouts in a scoreless bottom of the eighth as well to pave the way for Matt Barnes.

Barnes, making his 24th appearance of the season, dominated to the tune of a three-strikeout inning in which he secured his 13th save of the year while also preserving a 5-2, series-opening victory for the Red Sox.

With the win, their second straight, the Sox improve to 34-23 on the season and move to a game back of the Rays for first place in the American League East

Next up: Rodriguez vs. Taillon

A struggling Eduardo Rodriguez will take the hill for the Red Sox against the Yankees on Saturday night. He will be opposed by right-hander Jameson Taillon.

Rodriguez is coming off the worst month of his career. In six May starts, the left-hander went 1-4 with a 7.28 ERA and .957 OPS against over 29 2/3 innings pitched. The Sox went 1-5 in those six starts.

Saturday will mark Rodriguez’s first outing at Yankee Stadium since August 2, 2019.

Tallion, meanwhile, carries with him a 5.10 ERA through his first 10 starts (47 2/3 innings) in a Yankees uniform. The 29-year-old has only made one prior start against the Red Sox, which came when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates in April 2017.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Red Sox commit 2 costly errors, fail to get anything going offensively in 5-1 loss to Astros

The Red Sox were within striking distance of the Astros heading into the bottom of the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night.

Trailing by a run at 2-1, Hirokazu Sawamura came on for Garrett Richards and yielded a leadoff single to Kyle Tucker. A Rafael Devers fielding error on a Chas McCormick groundball put runners at first and second with no outs.

Sawamura proceeded by inducing another grounder off the bat of Myles Straw, one that was hit directly to Xander Bogaerts for what looked to be the start of a huge 6-4-3 double play.

Bogaerts fielded the ball cleanly and made a routine toss to Marwin Gonzalez, who misfired on his throw to first base that got past a sprawling Danny Santana and allowed Tucker to score easily.

A five-pitch walk of Martin Maldonado, a wild pitch, and an intentional walk of Jose Altuve loaded the bases as Red Sox manager Alex Cora made the switch from Sawamura to Garrett Whitlock.

Making his first appearance out of the bullpen in a week, Whitlock issued a free pass to the first man he faced to bring in another run before Yordan Alvarez tapped an infield single off him to plate an additional run and make it a 5-1 game.

What transpired in the seventh inning on Tuesday was what ultimately did the Red Sox in. By falling to Houston by a final score of 5-1, Boston drops back down to 32-22 (16-9) on the season. They remain two games back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Richards provides six solid innings

Garrett Richards made his 11th start of the season for the Red Sox and put together yet another strong showing.

Despite dealing with his fair share of traffic on the base paths, the right-hander surrendered just two earned runs on four hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over six innings of work.

The first of the two Astros runs Richards gave up came on a towering solo home run from Jose Altuve right away in the first inning. The second came on a sacrifice fly from Chas McCormick after Richards served up a leadoff double and followed with a four-pitch walk later in the bottom half of the fourth.

Besides that, the 33-year-old hurler was able to retire six of the final seven Astros he faced to get through six full innings.

Despite lowering his ERA on the season down to 3.75, Richards was charged with his fourth loss and is now 4-4. His next start should come against the Yankees in the Bronx on Sunday night.

Red Sox’ offensive woes continue

For the second straight day, the Red Sox lineup was held in check at Minute Maid Park. Boston was once again limited to five hits while managing to push across just one run against Astros rookie starter Luis Garcia.

Hunter Renfroe sparked the lone offensive output of the night with a leadoff double in the fifth, marking his fifth consecutive game with an extra-base hit. Danny Santana advanced Renfroe to third on a single moments later, and it appeared as though the Sox were ready to pounce.

Christian Vazquez failed to advance either runner by popping out to the infield, Marwin Gonzalez plated Renfroe on an RBI groundout, and Enrique Hernandez also popped out to extinguish the threat.

From there, an Alex Verdugo leadoff single and Vazquez two-out single in the seventh went for naught as Garcia made it through seven complete innings for the first time in his young career.

The Astros bullpen took over in relief of Garcia and preserved the one-run effort by tossing a pair of scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Valdez

Wednesday’s starting pitching matchup between the Red Sox and Astros will feature a pair of right-hander and a left-hander, with righty Nick Pivetta getting the ball for Boston and southpaw Framber Valdez doing the same for Houston.

Pivetta will look to play the role as the stopper with the Sox looking to halt a two-game skid and get back in the win column.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.

(Picture of Garrett Richards: Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rafael Devers homers, collects 3 RBI as Red Sox come back to top Braves, 9-5, in rain-filled night at Fenway Park; Nick Pivetta records season-high 9 strikeouts

It took until the wee hours of Thursday morning on account of a 2 hour and 53 minute rain delay, but the Red Sox were able to salvage a series split against the Braves with a 9-5 win at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

With the victory, which took nearly six hours to see through to the end, the Red Sox snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 30-20 (14-13 at home) on the season. They remain a half-game back of the Rays for first place in the American League East.

Shoutout to Dave Mellor and the rest of the Red Sox grounds crew for their efforts in this one.

Pivetta strikes out nine over six innings

Nick Pivetta made his 10th start of the season for Boston in Wednesday’s series finale, and despite getting hit relatively hard, he did keep his team in the game.

Over six innings of work, the right-hander yielded four runs — all of which were earned — on seven hits and two walks to go along with a season-high six strikeouts on the night.

The first two of those four Atlanta runs came right away in the top of the first, as Pivetta walked Freedie Freeman on five pitches which was promptly followed by an RBI triple off the bat of Ozzie Albies.

Albies came into score on a two-out, run-scoring double from Dansby Swanson, and Boston found themselves down 2-0 just like that.

A Guillermo Heredia leadoff double an inning later would result in another Braves run crossing the plate when William Contreras picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly. 3-0 Atlanta.

Pivetta would settle in for a bit from there, with the only hiccup coming when he served up a solo home run to Austin Riley in the top half of the fifth.

Wednesday’s outing marks the second straight start in which Pivetta has allowed four or more runs, but he wrapped things up on a much more positive note by punching out four of the final five hitters he faced — which included striking out the side in his sixth and final frame of work.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 102 (68 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 45% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing seven swings and misses while topping out at 97 mph with the pitch. He also induced eight swings-and-misses with his slider, a pitch he threw 20 times.

Able to improve to a perfect 6-0 on the season despite raising his ERA to 3.86 in what technically goes down as a complete game (the second of his career), Pivetta’s next start should come against the Astros in Houston next Tuesday.

Renfroe homers to get scoring started for Sox

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran left-hander Drew Smyly for the Braves, who came into play Wednesday sporting a 5.11 ERA through his first seven starts of the season.

After finding themselves in an early two-run hole, Hunter Renfroe got things started for the Sox in the second inning when unloaded on a hanging curveball from Smyly and deposited it 377 feet on a line over the Green Monster.

Renfroe’s sixth home run of the season, which made it a 2-1 game in favor of Atlanta, had an exit velocity of 102.4 mph.

Devers’ big fly to dead center ties it

Fast forward to the bottom of the fourth, and the long ball again proved to be Boston’s best friend, as a two-out walk drawn by Xander Bogaerts brought Rafael Devers to the plate, representing the tying run in a 3-1 contest.

On the third pitch he saw from Smyly — yet another hanging curveball — the dangerous left-handed slugger crushed a booming, game-tying two-run shot 434 feet (107. 1 mph off the bat) to deep center field for his team-leading 14th home run of the year.

Four-run rally in sixth proves to be pivotal

The Braves went up by a run on the heels of Devers’ two-run blast to re-take the lead at 4-3, but the Boston bats would not be silenced.

With one out in the bottom half of the sixth, the Sox had Smyly on the ropes with Alex Verdugo and J.D. Martinez each lacing a sharply-hit single to put runners at first and second.

A wild pitch with Bogaerts at the plate allowed Verdugo to advance to third. That miscue would prove to be costly for Atlanta when Bogaerts plated Verdugo on a softly-hit fielder’s choice to third base moments later.

Verdugo — aggressive as ever — was going on contact, and on a headfirst slide he managed to slip under Contreras’ tag at home plate to score and knot things up at four runs apiece.

Devers took responsibility for the go-ahead run by driving in Martinez on an RBI double down the left field line, while Christian Vazquez provided some much-needed insurance by greeting new Braves reliever Luke Jackson with a bases-loaded, opposite field two-run single that scored both Boagaerts and Devers and gave the Red Sox a commanding 7-4 advantage.

Inclement weather results in long delay

As the sixth inning came to a close, the rate at which the rain was falling from the Boston skies picked up. That led to the Red Sox grounds crew rolling out the tarp on the field at a Fenway.

A rain delay began at approximately 9:08 p.m. eastern time. And after a 173-minute standstill, the game resumed shortly after midnight.

Red Sox bullpen closes it out

When the tarp came off the field, it was Josh Taylor who got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for the start of the seventh inning.

The left-handed reliever plunked the first hitter he faced in Ronald Acuna before recording the first two outs. Adam Ottavino was deployed to face the right-handed hitting Riley and got him to pop out to retire the side.

Ottavino also worked a 1-2-3 top of the eighth. The Sox tacked on two more insurance runs on a Danny Santana RBI and Vazquez sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning to give Matt Andriese a five-run lead to operate with.

Andriese, making his first appearance since May 23, got the first out, gave up a towering solo home run to Contreras, and a single to Acuna, which prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to turn to his closer, Matt Barnes, to finish things up in a non-save situation.

Barnes, making his first relief appearance since May 22, induced a game-ending double play from Freeman to secure the 9-5 win for his side.

Next up: An off day on Thursday, then a weekend series against the Marlins

The Red Sox will enjoy their second off day of the week on Thursday before welcoming the Miami Marlins into town for a three-game weekend series that begins Friday night.

Left-hander Martin Perez is slated to get the ball for Boston in the series opener, while rookie right-hander Cody Poteet is lined up to do the same for Miami.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Alex Verdugo celebrates 25th birthday by breaking out of slump, crushing home run as Red Sox blank Angels, 9-0

Alex Verdugo celebrated his birthday in style at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon.

Coming into the day in the midst of a chilly 2-for-24 slump, the newly-turned 25-year-old set the tone for the Red Sox by taking Angels starter Dylan Bundy deep to right field for his fifth home run of the season right away in the first inning.

Verdugo’s solo blast put Boston up by a run early on in what would turn out to be a commanding 9-0 victory over Los Angeles.

With the win — their third straight, the Sox improved to 25-16 on the season and 13-11 at Fenway Park.

Dalbec, Cordero collect two doubles each

As was the case on Friday night, the bottom of the Red Sox lineup continued its recent run of success thanks to the efforts of Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero on Saturday.

Dalbec added on the Sox’ early lead by plating two more runs in the bottom half of the fourth, driving in Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers on a sharply-hit double off the base of the Green Monster.

Franchy Cordero followed with a hard-hit double of his own that had an exit velocity of 110 mph and brought in Dalbec from second to make it a 4-0 game.

Fast forward to the sixth, and the Dalbec-Cordero combination struck again. This time with the former leading off the inning with his second two-base hit of the day and the latter scoring him on his second two-base hit of the day as well.

In total, Dalbec — who now has multiple hits in two of his last three games — and Cordero combined to go 4-for-8 on Saturday with four doubles, two runs scored, and four RBI.

Bogaerts, Devers homer

Boston’s No. 8 and No. 9 hitters were not the only dynamic duo the Red Sox rode to a blowout win on Saturday, as the No. 4 and No. 5 hitters enjoyed productive days at the plate as well.

Bogaerts took advantage of Verdugo and J.D. Martinez reaching base with no outs in the fifth by clubbing a monstrous 446-foot three-run shot over everything in left field to give his team a 7-0 lead.

Devers, meanwhile, wrapped up the scoring for his side and put the finishing touches on this one when he crushed his team-leading 10th home run of the season to right-center field in the seventh.

The 24-year-old’s 408-foot big fly put the Red Sox up 9-0, which would go on to be Saturday’s final score.

Perez picks up first win of season

Backed by an offensive outpouring, Martin Perez had plenty of run support on his way to tossing six solid innings in his eighth start of the season.

Over those six frames, the left-hander kept the Angels off the scoreboard while scattering three hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts on the afternoon.

For how shaky of a first inning Perez had by issuing two walks to the first three hitters he faced, he settled in nicely and wound up retiring 14 of the final 18 Angels who came to the plate against him.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 97 (60 strikes) while getting through six full innings for the first time this season, the 30-year-old hurler threw 31 cutters, 24 sinkers, 21 changeups, 11 curveballs, and 10 four-seam fastballs. He topped out at 95.1 mph with his heater.

Able to pick up his long-awaited first win of the season in addition to lowering his ERA to 3.40, Perez’s next start should come against the Phillies in Philadelphia next Friday.

Red Sox bullpen preserves the shutout

In relief of Perez, the three three relievers the Red Sox turned to were able to see the club’s second shutout of the season through to its completion.

Despite dealing with their collective fair share of traffic on the base paths, Phillps Valdez, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Austin Brice combined to toss three scoreless frames to secure the 9-0 victory for the Red Sox.

Next up: Going for the sweep

The Red Sox will go for the series sweep over the struggling 16-22 Angels and their fourth consecutive win overall back at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for Boston in the series finale, and he will be opposed by left-hander Jose Quintana for Los Angeles.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Homers from Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec lift Red Sox to 8-1 series-salvaging victory over Athletics

The Red Sox woke up from an offensive slumber and collected 13 hits to salvage their series against the Athletics with an 8-1 victory at Fenway Park on Thursday night.

Matched up against A’s left-hander Sean Manaea, Michael Chavis set the tone right away for the Sox with a sharply-hit double to lead things off in the first.

J.D. Martinez proceeded to plate Chavis on a one-out RBI single off Manaea, and he, too, came into score when Xander Bogaerts drilled a two-run home run down the left field line to make it a 3-0 game.

Another leadoff single in the second, this one courtesy of Hunter Renfroe, resulted in Boston tacking on another three runs against the Oakland starter with Bobby Dalbec clobbering a two-run shot to dead center field and Bogaerts picking up his third RBI on a two-out, run-scoring base hit.

The bottom of the Red Sox lineup caused more trouble for the A’s in the third when Christian Vazquez, Renfroe, and Dalbec loaded the bases with no outs and Jonathan Arauz pushed across another run by grounding into a double play.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Chavis’ hustle proved to beneficial to the Sox once more when he reached base on a one-out double and came into score on a Matt Chapman throwing error later in the inning.

That gave the Red Sox an 8-0 lead, which is all they would need to pick up the victory and snap a three-game skid to improve to 23-16 on the season.

Richards solid over six innings

On the other side of things, Garrett Richards made his eighth start of the season for Boston on Thursday and continued the impressive run he has been on as of late.

Over six strong innings, the veteran right-hander kept the A’s off the scoreboard while scattering five hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts on the night.

Richards did not face more than four batters in a single frame until the top of the fifth. At that point, he had to dance his way around some traffic on the base paths — and some drama with Mark Canha — in order to keep the shutout intact.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 91 (52 strikes), the 32-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball 42% of the time he was on the mound Thursday, inducing two swings-and-misses and topping out at 96.5 mph with the pitch.

Able to improve to 3-2 on the season while lowering his ERA down to 3.89, Richards’ next start should come against the Blue Jays down in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Whitlock picks up first career save

In relief of Richards, Garrett Whitlock was the only other hurler the Red Sox needed to turn to on Thursday.

The Rule 5 pick wrapped things up by yielding one run over three innings of work to preserve the 8-1 win for his side and pick up his first career big-league save while doing so.

Renfroe starts relay, notches another outfield assist

While Whitlock was in the process of recording his first save of the season on Thursday, he received some defensive help from Renfroe and Arauz in the top half of the seventh.

With two outs in the inning and A’s catcher on first base after getting plunked by a pitch, Canha laced a line-drive to right field that rolled all the way to the bullpen wall before being fielded by Renfroe.

Renfroe hit his cutoff man in Arauz, who fired a laser to Vazquez in order to nab Murphy at home to retire the side.

Next up: Welcoming in the Angels

The Red Sox will open up the second leg of this six-game homestand with the first of three against the 16-20 Angels on Friday night.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta is slated to get the start for Boston in the series opener after he was activated from the COVID-19 related injured list on Thursday, and he will be opposed by fellow righty Griffin Canning.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Red Sox lineup: Michael Chavis leading off, Jonathan Araúz making first start of season in series finale against Athletics

As the Red Sox look to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Athletics at Fenway Park on Thursday night, manager Alex Cora has shaken things up a bit with left-hander Sean Manaea getting the start for Oakland.

Of the nine hitters in Boston’s starting lineup for Thursday’s contest, six hit from the right side of the plate and one is a switch-hitter.

Michael Chavis will lead things off for the Sox while getting the start at second, and he will be followed by Alex Verdugo — who will be making his 20th start of the season in center field — and J.D. Martinez — who will be making just his sixth start of the season in left field.

With Martinez starting in the outfield, Xander Bogaerts will get half a day off as he will serve as Boston’s designated hitter while batting cleanup.

Rafael Devers, Christian Vazquez, and Hunter Renfroe comprise the 5-6-7 portion of the Red Sox lineup, while Bobby Dalbec and Jonathan Arauz round things out.

Dalbec returns to the lineup and gets the start at first base after sitting out the first two games of this series. The 25-year-old slugger comes into play Thursday sporting a .188/.241/.317 slash line to go along with just two home runs and 11 RBI over 30 games (108 plate appearances).

Arauz, meanwhile, will make his first start of the 2021 campaign in place of Bogaerts at shortstop after being recalled from Triple-A Worcester on Sunday.

The 22-year-old infielder made his season debut and came on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the A’s. He struck out swinging in his lone plate appearances.

Originally selected by Boston in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, the switch-hitting Arauz spent the entirety of the truncated 2020 season with the Red Sox and slashed .250/.325/.319 with one homer and nine RBI over 25 games while playing every infield position besides first base.

“In spring training, he was a little bit erratic defensively,” Cora said of Arauz prior to Thursday’s game. “But he’s a cool customer. I saw him play a lot last year. He put some good swings in spring training. And we’re tying to keep our shortstop off his feet today. He’s been playing a lot. He DH’s today. You got Monday off, so you got to take advantage of situations like this.

“We got J.D. [Martinez] playing left field,” added Cora. “He doesn’t care — he loves playing the outfield. So it’s a good opportunity against a lefty to try to take care of some players and be ready for not only for today, because I think we have a good lineup going, but also for the upcoming days.”

During their current three-game losing streak, the Red Sox lineup has been limited to a total of four runs on 13 hits over their last 27 offensive innings.

They will look to buck that trend and salvage this series against the A’s with right-hander Garrett Richards getting the start for Boston opposite Manaea.

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

(Picture of Jonathan Arauz: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox muster just 5 hits as offensive struggles continue in 4-1 loss to Athletics

The Red Sox have been mired in offensive struggles as of late, and those struggles continued in a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Athletics at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

Facing off against rookie right-hander James Kaprielian, who was making his first career start, the Sox had a chance to pile on some runs right away in their half of the first.

With Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Verdugo reaching base on a double and walk, J.D. Martinez proceeded to rip a line drive to right-center field that appeared well hit enough to drive in Gonzalez from second.

Boston instead decided to play things conservatively, as Gonzalez was held up at third, which would prove to be costly considering the fact the only run they brought across in the inning came on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Christian Vazquez.

In the fifth, the Red Sox again had Kapreielian on the ropes, this time with Gonzalez and Verdugo at first and third with no outs.

Martinez proceeded to ground into a fielder’s choice in which Gonzalez was caught in a rundown between third and home before both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers struck out to end the inning.

Fast forward to the eighth, the Sox found themselves in another position where they were threatening to score runs in a game they were trailing by three at 4-1.

There, Bogaerts drew a one-out walk off A’s reliever Lou Trivino and advanced all the way to third on a sharply-hit double off the bat of Devers.

With the tying run at the plate, Vazquez grounded out sharply to second base and upon receiving the throw from old friend Jed Lowrie, Athletics first baseman gunned down Bogaerts as he was trying to score from third for an inning-ending double play.

All in all, the Sox went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base as a team.

Rodriguez fans 9 over 6 innings, suffers first loss of season

While the Red Sox lineup was struggling to push anything across the A’s on Wednesday, Eduardo Rodriguez made his eighth start of the season for Boston in this one.

The left-hander yielded four runs — all of which were earned — on seven hits and one walk to go along with a season-high nine strikeouts over six innings of work.

After allowing back-to-back two-out hits in the top of the second to give up his first run of the night, Rodriguez settled down for a bit before running into more trouble in the fifth.

A leadoff single from Mitch Moreland followed by a double from Elvis Andrus put the Sox starter in a tough spot, and one that allowed Lowrie to pick up an RBI and advance a runner to third on an run-scoring groundout.

With one more out to get, Rodriguez made a costly mistake in that he balked and by doing so allowed Andrus to score from third and make it a 3-1 game. He then served up a leadoff solo shot to Olson in the sixth before retiring the final three hitters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 99 (63 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 43% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing four swings-and-misses and topping out at 94 mph with the pitch.

Later hit with his first loss of the season, Rodriguez’s next start should come against the Blue Jays in Dunedin next Tuesday.

Hunter Renfroe picks up jaw-dropping outfield assist

Rodriguez very well could have surrendered more than four runs on Wednesday were it not for the efforts for his right fielder Hunter Renfroe.

On a scalding line drive to dead center off the bat of Matt Chapman in the top of the second, Renfroe — while backing up Alex Verdugo — fielded the ball off the wall and made a blistering, 92 mph throw from right-center field to nab Chapman at third after he attempted to turn a one-out double into a triple.

Renfroe’s one-hop throw reached third baseman Rafael Devers in a matter of seconds, and it was good for the second out of the inning.

Red Sox bullpen combines to toss three scoreless frames

In relief of Rodriguez, the recently called-up Eduard Bazardo came on for what was his Fenway Park debut.

Just recalled from Triple-A Worcester in place of Nick Pivetta, who was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list earlier Wednesday, Bazardo sat down six of the seven Athletics he faced.

The righty reliever needed 28 pitches to get through the seventh and eighth innings while picking up a pair of strikeouts.

From there, Austin Brice put together a nice bounce back performance by working a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

Next up: Manaea vs. Richards

After dropping their third straight to fall to 22-16 on the season, the Red Sox will look to salvage this three-game series against the A’s during Thursday night’s finale.

Right-hander Garrett Richards will toe the rubber for Boston, and he will be opposed by left-hander Sean Manaea for Oakland.

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

(Picture of Marwin Gonzalez: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox held in check once again in 3-2 series-opening loss to Athletics

For the second straight night, the Red Sox were held to just four hits in a 3-2 loss at the hands of the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.

Despite the offensive struggles, the Sox still found themselves in a position where they could steal a win from the first-place A’s in the bottom of the ninth inning.

There, Oakland reliever Jake Diekman walked two of the first three hitters he faced to put the tying and winning runs on base in Alex Verdugo and Xander Bogaerts.

Both Verdugo and Bogaerts advanced into scoring position when Rafael Devers grounded into a force out for the second out of the frame, leaving the potential tying run just 90 feet away from scoring.

With the game in his hands, Christian Vazquez undramatically popped out to A’s first baseman Matt Olson in foul territory to strand Verdugo and Verdugo where they were and end things at 3-2.

With the loss (their second straight), the Sox fall to 22-15 on the season.

Sox bats held in check by Bassitt

The primary reason the Red Sox offense really could not get anything going on Tuesday was because of Athletics starter Chris Bassitt.

Coming into the day with a 3.70 ERA on the season, the veteran right-hander recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts while limiting Boston to just two runs on three hits in seven innings.

Interestingly enough, the Sox drew first blood in this one when after reaching base on a one-out single in the bottom of the first, Verdugo advanced to second and again to third on a pair of Bassitt wild pitches, which allowed the outfielder to easily score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of J.D. Martinez.

Eovaldi bounces back with solid outing

Given an early one-run lead to work with, Nathan Eovaldi rebounded nicely in his eighth start of the season for the Red Sox on Tuesday.

Over six innings of work, the right-hander allowed just one run on two hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts on the night.

The lone run he gave up came in the fourth when Olson got his side on the board with a one-out RBI single.

Besides that, though, Eovaldi did manage to retire seven of the final eight hitters he faced to lower his ERA on the season to 4.20.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 102 (65 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 49% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing just one swing-and-miss while topping out at 99.3 mph with the pitch.

Later hit with the no-decision, Eovaldi’s next start should come against the Angels on Sunday.

Hernandez’s struggles at Fenway continue

In relief of Eovaldi, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in the seventh inning of a 1-1 game.

Matched up against Oakland’s 4-5-6 hitters, Hernandez surrendered a leadoff walk to Olson before serving up a go-ahead, run-scoring single to Matt Chapman.

Adam Ottavino would have to come in to finish the seventh, but he allowed an inherited runner to score on an RBI single of his own to make it a 3-1 contest.

From there, Hirokazu Sawamura wrapped things up by tossing two scoreless frames of relief to hold the Athletics at three runs.

Devers hits ninth homer

After falling behind by two runs in the top of the seventh, Devers brought the Sox back to within one by crushing his ninth home run of the season — a 353-foot solo shot off Bassitt — to cut Boston’s deficit to 3-2, which would ultimately go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

Next up: Kaprielian vs. Rodriguez

The Red Sox will look to snap their two-game skid against the Athletics on Wednesday night back at Fenway.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will be making the start for Boston, and he will be opposed by rookie right-hander James Kaprielian for Oakland.

Kaprielian, 27, will be making his first career major-league start after debuting out of the bullpen with the A’s last season. The former Yankees prospect is probably best known for being part of the 2017 trade that sent right-hander Sonny Gray to New York.

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

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)