Zack Kelly makes Red Sox’ Opening Day roster

The Red Sox have informed reliever Zack Kelly that he has made the club’s Opening Day roster, manager Alex Cora announced earlier Sunday morning.

Kelly, 28, made his major-league debut for Boston last August after posting a 2.72 ERA in 44 appearances (49 2/3 innings) for Triple-A Worcester to begin the 2022 season. With the Red Sox, the right-hander pitched to a 3.95 ERA and 4.28 FIP with 11 strikeouts to four walks over 13 outings spanning 13 2/3 innings of relief.

So far this spring, Kelly has allowed three earned runs on 10 hits, four walks, and seven strikeouts across eight appearances (10 innings). He struck out a pair over two scoreless frames in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.

“You saw yesterday, [he] throws strikes on three different pitches,” Cora told reporters (including’s Christopher Smith). “And we feel very confident with that.”

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Kelly’s three-pitch arsenal consists of a mid-80s slider, a mid-90s four-seam fastball, and a low-80s changeup, per Baseball Savant. He held opponents to a .174 batting average against with his four-seamer last year.

As for how the Red Sox plan on using him this coming season, Cora indicated that Kelly will be paired with fellow righty Josh Winckowski in a multi-inning role out of the bullpen.

“We’ll use him probably [for] multiple innings,” said Cora. “He’ll be kind of one of those guys with Wink that can go two innings. We feel very confident with him.”

This marks the first time in which Kelly has made an Opening Day roster as a big-leaguer. The Virginia native has come a long way since going undrafted out of Division II Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.) and signing with the Athletics for a mere $500 in January 2017.

With Kelly now in the fold, the Red Sox have just one more vacancy in their bullpen to fill before Opening Day against the Orioles on Thursday. It will likely either go to Kaleb Ort, who is already on the 40-man roster but has struggled this spring, Oddanier Mosqueda, or Ryan Sherriff.

(Picture of Zack Kelly: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Red Sox spring training: Chris Sale struggles, Adam Duvall stays hot in 6-2 loss to Orioles

In a game that took a little over two hours to complete, the Red Sox fell to the Orioles by a final score of 6-2 at Ed Smith Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. With the loss, Boston drops to 12-9-4 in Grapefruit League play.

Chris Sale struggled in his third start of the spring for the Sox. After not giving up a single run in his first two outings, the veteran left-hander got shelled for six runs on nine hits and one walk to go along with two strikeouts over five innings of work.

The Orioles got to Sale right away in their half of the first thanks to a pair of solo shots from Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle. An inning later, Adam Frazier and Ryan O’Hearn both reached base with no outs before being driven in on an RBI double from Jorge Mateo and a two-run single from Kyle Stowers. Mountcastle scored Baltimore’s sixth and final run in the third when Frazier grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

Despite these difficulties early on, Sale was at least able to end his day on a solid note by putting up a pair of zeroes in the fourth and fifth innings. The 33-year-old southpaw retired six of the last seven batters he faced to finish with a final pitch count of 70. He will make one more Grapefruit League start before taking on this same Orioles team at Fenway Park on April 1.

Offensively, Boston’s only two runs of the afternoon came in the middle and right after Sale’s outing came to a close. To lead off the fourth inning, Adam Duvall took Baltimore starter Adam Duvall deep to left field for his fourth ome run of the spring. Duvall struck again in the sixth, this time leading off with a hard-hit double off Irvin and then scoring on another double off the bat of Daniel Palka.

That sequence of events trimmed the Orioles’ lead down to four runs at 6-2. From that point, John Schreiber and Zack Kelly, who both pitched in Monday’s loss to the Pirates, combined for two scoreless frames out of the Red Sox bullpen. Oddanier Mosqueda, who is competing with Ryan Sherriff for a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster, followed suit by stranding one runner in an otherwise clean eighth inning.

Down to their final three outs in the ninth, Jorge Alfaro laced a one-out double off O’s reliever Reed Garrett before minor-leaguers Miguel Ugueto and Eddinson Paulino each struck out to put the finishing touches on a 6-2 loss for the Red Sox.

Duvall stays hot

Following a 2-for-3 performance in which he scored his team’s only two runs on Tuesday, Adam Duvall is now batting .278/.386/.667 with four home runs and eight RBIs in 15 games (44 plate appearances) this spring.

In addition to Duvall, Daniel Palka and Niko Goodrum also enjoyed two-hit days at the plate. Goodrum, however, did not have the best of times defensively at shortstop.

Next up: Houck vs. Ryan

The Red Sox will return to Fort Myers on Wednesday to host the Twins in Game 4 of the 2023 Chairman’s Cup. Tanner Houck is slated to get the start for Boston while fellow right-hander Joe Ryan will do the same for Minnesota.

With a two-games-to-one lead already in hand, the Red Sox can take home the Chairman’s Cup with another win on Wednesday evening. First pitch from JetBlue Park is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Adam Duvall: Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Narciso Crook goes deep twice, leads power surge for Red Sox in 11-7 win over Yankees

The Red Sox went deep six times en route to a high-scoring win over the Yankees on Thursday afternoon. In the first of 15 meetings between the two rivals this year, Boston defeated New York by a final score of 11-7 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

With Clarke Schmidt starting for the Yankees, the Red Sox jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in their half of the second inning. After Reese McGuire reached base via a one-out single, Narciso Crook got his side on the board first by crushing a 327-foot two-run home run down the right field line.

Nick Pivetta, who was making his second start of the spring for Boston, had already worked a scoreless first inning. But the right-hander ran into some trouble in the second after issuing a pair of walks to Josh Donaldson and Rafael Ortega. He then gave up a game-tying, two-run single to Jose Trevino.

Having already thrown 33 pitches in the second inning alone, Pivetta was pulled by Red Sox manager Alex Cora with two outs. Ryan Miller, who was acquired from the Yankees in the minor-league phase of December’s Rule 5 Draft, was called upon on to record the final out of the second. Pivetta’s day, however, was not yet over.

After Schmidt stranded one runner in the top of the third, Pivetta came back out for the bottom half of the inning. The 30-year-old hurler surrendered a leadoff single to Aaron Judge but ended his afternoon on a more positive note by fanning Anthony Rizzo on five pitches.

All told, Pivetta allowed two earned runs on three hits and three walks to go along with two strikeouts over two total innings of work. He finished with 57 pitches (34 strikes) and averaged 94.7 mph with his four-seam fastball while inducing four swings-and-misses.

Durbin Feltman took over Pivetta with one out in the third and stranded the lone runner he inherited by inducing a pair of groundouts. He was responsible for the fourth inning as well, but he gave up a one-out double to Oswald Peraza and allowed him to score the then-go-ahead run on two wild pitches while Trevino was at the plate.

Following a scoreless fifth inning from Zack Kelly, though, the Red Sox erupted for six runs in the top of the sixth. Facing off against old friend Tyler Danish, minor-league outfielder Tyler Dearden clubbed a 422-foot solo shot to right-center field to lead things off. After Ceddanne Rafaela reached base with one out, Daniel Palka delivered with a 375-foot homer of his own that put Boston up, 5-3.

Niko Goodrum and McGuire then reached on back-to-back singles before Crook came through with his second big fly of the day. This one left his bat at a blistering 105.3 mph and was deposited 424 feet over the left field wall. The sharply-hit three-run blast gave the Red Sox some breathing room in the form of an 8-3 lead.

Kelly remained in for the bottom of the sixth and retired the final three batters he faced. Eddinson Paulino, who pinch-ran for Enmanuel Valdez the inning prior, led off the seventh inning by launching a 389-foot home run off new Yankees reliever Demarcus Evans. Chase Shugart was next up out of the bullpen after Kelly and also faced the minimum while punching out top prospect Jasson Dominguez in the latter half of the seventh.

After Norwith Gudino put up another zero in the eighth, the Red Sox made sure to make their last at-bats count in the ninth. Christian Koss drew a leadoff walk off Randy Vazquez. Three batters later, Phillip Sikes capped off the scoring by drilling a 395-foot two-run homer that had an exit velocity of 105.7 mph to right field.

Taking a commanding 11-3 advantage into the bottom of the ninth, Gudino served up a pair of home runs (including a three-run shot to Dominguez), but he was ultimately able to hang on and secure an 11-7 victory for the Red Sox.

With the win, which took two hours and 47 minutes to complete, Boston improves to 9-0-3 in Grapefruit League play and 11-0-3 in all competitions this spring.

Other worthwhile observations:

Batting out of the nine-hole and starting in left field on Thursday, Dearden went 2-for-3 with his sixth-inning home run. The 24-year-old was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 29th round of the 2017 amateur draft.

McGuire and Crook went a combined 4-for-6 on Thursday with five RBIs and four runs scored between them.

Next up: Kluber starts against Blue Jays

The Red Sox will return to Fort Myers on Friday afternoon to host the Blue Jays at JetBlue Park. Veteran right-hander Corey Kluber will get the start for Boston opposite fellow righty Zach Thompson for Toronto.

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

(Picture of Narciso Crook: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox muster just 5 hits in second straight shutout loss to Blue Jays

The Red Sox were shut out by the Blue Jays for the second straight day on Saturday afternoon. Boston fell to Toronto by a final score of 10-0 at Rogers Centre to drop to 75-83 on the season and 23-49 against divisional opponents.

Brayan Bello wrapped up his rookie season by making his 11th start of the year for the Sox. The right-hander allowed four earned runs on 10 hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts over four innings of work.

The Blue Jays first got to Bello for two runs in their half of the second inning. Teoscar Hernandez and Raimel Tapia led off with back-to-back singles before Bello allowed both runners to advance an additional 90 feet on a wild pitch. Danny Jansen then drove in Hernandez on a softly-hit single to left field. Tapia, who moved up to third base on the play, promptly scored on another wild pitch from Bello.

Jansen struck again in the bottom of the third. With two outs and two runners on, Bello yielded a two-run double to the Blue Jays catcher that brought in both Hernandez and Tapia to make it a 4-0 ballgame in favor of Toronto.

Bello ended his day by escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. The 23-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 87 (52 strikes) and induced eight swings-and-misses. He was charged with his eighth loss of the season as his ERA rose to 4.71.

In relief of Bello, fellow rookie Zack Kelly received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The righty served up a pair of solo homers to Hernandez and Jansen before giving up a run-scoring ground-rule double to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with two outs in the fifth.

From there, Josh Winckowski — who was just called up from Triple-A Worcester — made the first relief appearance of his big-league career. The 24-year-old got through the sixth and seventh innings unscathed before running into some trouble in the eighth.

Gabriel Moreno and Matt Chapman led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Hernandez then plated Moreno on an RBI double to right field. Tapia followed with a run-scoring hit of his own before Jansen fittingly drove in his side’s 10th and final run on a sacrifice fly to right.

The trio of Hernandez, Tapia, and Jansen combined to go 9-for-15 with eight RBIs and seven runs scored for the Blue Jays. The Red Sox, meanwhile, were held to just five hits — all singles — as a team while going 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and leaving six runners on base.

Rafael Devers accounted for two of the four hits the Sox got off Jays starter Ross Stripling, who wound up fanning three across six scoreless frames on Saturday. Four different Toronto relievers preserved the shutout effort by combining for three innings of one-hit ball.

All in all, the Red Sox were outhit, 21-5, in Saturday’s defeat to the Blue Jays. They have been outscored, 19-0, in the first two games of this series and are now 3-15 against Toronto this season with one game between the two teams remaining.

Next up: Wacha vs. Gausman

The Red Sox will wrap up their season series against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. Michael Wacha will get the start for Boston while fellow righty Kevin Gausman will do the same for Toronto.

First pitch from Rogers Centre is scheduled for 1:37 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Cole Burston/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez belts game-winning homer as Red Sox take series from Orioles with 5-3 victory

The Red Sox fell behind early, battled back, and blew a late lead. But they still held on for a series-clinching victory over the Orioles on Thursday afternoon. Boston defeated Baltimore, 5-3, to extend its winning streak to three and improve to 75-81 on the season.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his first start since August 12, pitched well in his return from the injured list. The veteran right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and zero walks to go along with three strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings of work.

Both of those Orioles runs came in the top of the third. Following back-to-back singles from Kyle Stowers and Jorge Mateo to lead off the inning, Stowers scored from third by avoiding Connor Wong’s tag on an Adley Rutschman groundout. Anthony Santander then hit a grounder in the direction of Triston Casas, who booted the ball. The fielding error allowed Mateo to score from third to double his side’s lead at 2-0.

The Sox pulled back even with Baltimore in their half of the fourth. J.D. Martinez reached base on a one-out double off Orioles starter Mike Baumann. Casas then made up for his previous mistake by roping a 330-foot double off the Green Monster that plated Martinez to make it a 2-1 game. Enrique Hernandez followed with a run-scoring single of his own to bring in Casas and knot things up at two runs apiece.

Eovaldi, meanwhile, retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth before getting the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The 32-year-old hurler finished with 72 pitches (51 strikes). He did not factor into the decision, but he did lower his ERA on the season down to 4.05.

In relief of Eovaldi, Eduard Bazardo recorded the final out of the fifth and also sat down the side in order in the top of the sixth. A half-inning later, Boston got to Orioles reliever Cionel Perez.

Alex Verdugo led off with a line-drive single and promptly advanced to second base on a wild pitch. He moved up an additional 90 feet on a Casas single and then raced home when Christian Arroyo grounded out to third base.

With a brand new one-run lead in hand, Matt Strahm almost immediately gave that up in the seventh when Stowers took him 399 feet deep to right-center to tie the score at 3-3.

Following a scoreless top of the eighth from Zack Kelly, though, the Red Sox again responded. With one out and one runner on, Martinez came through with a clutch two-run homer on the very first pitch he saw (a hanging slider on the inner half of the plate) from Dillon Tate.

Martinez’s 14th home run of the season left his bat at 100.1 mph and travelled 392 feet into the Monster Seats to give the Sox a 5-3 lead going into the ninth. There, Kaleb Ort worked his way around a two-out single to notch the first save of his big-league career. Kelly was credited with his first career win as well.

Offensively, Verdugo, Martinez, and Casas accounted for six of Boston’s nine hits. Verdugo went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, Martinez went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Casas went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk.

Next up: Final road trip to Toronto

The Red Sox will now head to Toronto for their final road trip of the season. It comes in the form of a three-game weekend series against the Blue Jays. Native Canadian Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston in Friday’s series opener opposite fellow righty-hander Alek Manoah.

First pitch from Rogers Centre is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox announce winners of 2022 minor-league awards: Niko Kavadas, Brayan Bello, Ceddanne Rafaela all recognized

First baseman Niko Kavadas has been named the Red Sox’ 2022 Minor League Offensive Player of the Year, the club announced Monday.

In 120 games between Low-A Salem, High-A Greenville, and Double-A Portland this season, the left-handed hitting Kavadas batted .280/.443/.547 (170 wRC+) with 25 doubles, one triple, 26 home runs, 86 RBIs, 71 runs scored, one stolen base, 102 walks, and 152 strikeouts over 515 plate appearances.

Among qualified Red Sox minor-leaguers, Kavadas ranks second in home runs, second in RBIs, first in walks, second in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, first in OPS (.990), second in isolated power (.267), and first in wRC+, per FanGraphs.

Kavadas, who turns 24 next month, was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 11th round of last year’s draft out of the University of Notre Dame. He is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 30 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

For a second consecutive season, Brayan Bello has been named the Red Sox’ Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Bello, 23, posted a 2.33 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts) and 85 innings pitched between Portland and Triple-A Worcester before making his major-league debut in early July.

The Dominican-born right-hander has since pitched to a 4.39 ERA and 2.97 FIP in 12 outings (10 starts) spanning 53 1/3 innings of work with Boston. That includes a 1.65 ERA and 2.72 FIP with 27 strikeouts to 10 walks in his last five starts (27 1/3 innings) dating back to the beginning of September. Since Bello surpassed the 50-inning mark on Sunday, he has technically graduated from his prospect status.

Like Bello, the versatile Ceddanne Rafaela was also named the Red Sox’ Minor League Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. The 22-year-old broke out in a big way in 2022 and is now considered a top-100 prospect in all of baseball.

In 116 games between Greenville and Portland this season, Rafaela saw playing time at second base, shortstop, and center field and proved capable of making highlight plays at each position. He was named Baseball America’s 2022 Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year last week.

“I truly believe this: You put him in the big leagues right now, he wins the Gold Glove as an outfielder,” Red Sox infield coordinator Darren Fenster told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier recently. “He’s not there yet as an infielder, but talent-wise and with some more reps and some more polish, he has Gold Glove potential as a shortstop as well. It’s wild the talent that this kid has.”

Speaking of speedy prospects, David Hamilton has been named the Red Sox’ Baserunner of the Year. Acquired from the Brewers in the December trade that sent Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee and Jackie Bradley Jr. to Boston, Hamilton stole 70 bases in 119 games with Portland this season. The 24-year-old’s 70 steals set a new franchise record for Portland and were tied for third most in the minors.

Franklin German, who began the season with Hamilton in Portland, has been named the organization’s Relief Pitcher of the Year. The 25-year-old righty posted a 2.72 ERA and 3.04 FIP with 64 strikeouts to 19 walks over 43 relief appearances (49 2/3 innings) between Portland and Worcester, prompting a big-league call-up earlier this month.

Fellow reliever Zack Kelly was the recipient of the Lou Gorman Award, given annually to “a Red Sox minor-league player who has demonstrated dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the Major League team.” Since being recalled on August 29, Kelly has allowed just three runs over 9 2/3 innings.

Finally, infielder/outfielder Andy Lugo and right-hander Eybersson Polanco have been named the Latin Program Position Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.

Lugo, 18, batted .318/.368/.414 (114 wRC+) while leading the Dominican Summer League Red Sox Blue in total bases (91) and stolen bases (21). Polanco, 19, produced a 1.78 ERA and 2.96 FIP in 12 starts (50 2/3 innings) for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox Red. The right-hander held opponents to a .179 batting average against and did not give up a single home run.

Each of these eight award winners were selected by the Red Sox baseball operations department and minor-league roving instructors. The recipients will be honored during a pre-game ceremony at Fenway Park prior to Monday’s series opener against the Orioles.

(Picture of Niko Kavadas: Kelly O’Connor/

Red Sox activate Zack Kelly from paternity list, option Josh Winckowski to Triple-A Worcester

Before opening a three-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Monday, the Red Sox activated reliever Zack Kelly from the paternity leave list. In a corresponding move, fellow right-hander Josh Winckowski was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced.

Kelly left the Red Sox on Friday to be with his wife, Brittany, at home in South Carolina. The couple welcomed their first child — a son named Kayden — on Saturday. Players can spend up to three days on paternity leave.

Boston originally called up Kelly from Triple-A Worcester last week. The 27-year-old former undrafted free-agent made his major-league debut against the Twins in Minnesota last Monday. He has since since allowed two earned runs on four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts over three relief appearances spanning three innings of work. That is good for an ERA of 6.00, but a much more respectable 2.45 FIP.

Winckowski, meanwhile, started in place of the injured Kutter Crawford in Sunday’s series finale against the Rangers at Fenway Park. The 24-year-old hurler allowed two earned runs on three hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over four innings of work.

Since making his big-league debut in late May, Winckowski has posted a 5.75 ERA and 5.08 FIP to go along with 41 strikeouts to 26 walks over 14 starts spanning 67 1/3 innings. He also owns a 3.83 ERA in 10 starts (47 innings) with the WooSox.

As noted by’s Chris Cotillo, this is the fourth time this season the Red Sox have optioned Winckowski to the minors. They can now only send him down one more time before they would need to expose him to waivers.

(Picture of Zack Kelly: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Kutter Crawford on 15-day injured list with right shoulder impingement

The Red Sox have placed right-hander Kutter Crawford on the 15-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement. In a corresponding move, fellow rookie righty was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Sunday morning.

Crawford was originally slated to start Sunday’s series finale against the Rangers at Fenway Park. He was instead scratched after experiencing shoulder soreness. The 26-year-old’s stint on the injured list is backdated to September 1, so he will first be eligible to return when the Red Sox open a three-game weekend series with the Royals on Sept. 16.

When speaking with reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) prior to Sunday’s 5-2 win over Texas, Red Sox manager Alex Cora expressed optimism that Crawford would only require the minimum 15 dats on the injured list.

Crawford, who last pitched in Minnesota on Tuesday, has posted a 5.47 ERA and 4.35 FIP with 77 strikeouts to 29 walks over 21 appearances (12 starts) spanning 77 1/3 innings of work for Boston this season. While there have been some impressive stretches, he has gotten tagged for 18 runs (17 earned) in his last three starts (12 2/3 innings) dating back to August 19. That is good for an ERA of 12.08.

With Crawford sidelined for the time being, Winckowski took his spot in the starting rotation on Sunday. The 24-year-old allowed two runs on three hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over four innings of work.

Both of those runs came right away in the top of the first, but Winckowski settled down and tossed three consecutive scoreless frames to end his day on a more positive note. He finished with a final pitch count of 82 (47 strikes) and lowered his ERA to 5.75, though he did not factor into the decision.

As it turns out, Winckowski’s latest big-league stint may be short-lived. As Cotillo reports, the Red Sox will need to clear a roster spot for reliever Zack Kelly, who was placed on the paternity leave list on Friday.

Kelly and his wife, Brittany, have since welcomed their first child. The 27-year-old is expected to re-join the Red Sox in St. Petersburg on Monday ahead of their upcoming series against the Rays.

That being said, it appears as though Winckowski will be optioned back to Worcester when Kelly is activated from the paternity leave list at some point on Monday. The Red Sox have three off days within the next two weeks, so they should be able to operate with a four-man starting rotation for the time being.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Zack Kelly on paternity leave list, recall Tyler Danish from Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have placed reliever Zack Kelly on the paternity leave list. In a corresponding move, fellow right-hander Tyler Danish was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced prior to Friday’s contest against the Rangers at Fenway Park.

Kelly and his wife, Brittany, are expecting the birth of their first child any day. The 27-year-old flew home to be with her in South Carolina and can spend up to three days on the paternity leave list. He told The Eagle-Tribune’s Mac Cerullo he expects to rejoin the Red Sox in Tampa Bay this coming Monday.

Boston selected Kelly’s contract from Triple-A Worcester earlier this week. The former undrafted free-agent out of Division II Newberry College made his major-league debut against the Twins in Minnesota this past Monday and has since allowed two earned runs on four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts over three relief appearances spanning three innings of work. That is good for a 6.00 ERA, but a much more respectable 2.46.

Danish, on the other hand, returns to the Red Sox after originally being placed on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm strain in early July. His rehab was halted due to a bout with COVID-19, but he was finally activated and optioned to Triple-A Worcester on August 28.

The 27-year-old hurler made just one appearance for the WooSox on Tuesday, surrendering four runs on five hits in a single inning. With the Red Sox this season, Danish — who actually turns 28 later this month — has posted a 4.02 ERA and 4.75 FIP with 25 strikeouts to eight walks across 26 relief outings (31 1/3 innings) between April 20 and July 6. Both of those figures represent a career-high for the former second-round pick.

(Picture of Zack Kelly: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)

Kutter Crawford, Ryan Brasier combine to give up 7 runs as Red Sox fall to Twins, 10-5

The Red Sox dropped their second straight to the Twins on Tuesday night. Boston fell to Minnesota by a final score of 10-5 at Target Field despite having a 4-3 lead at one point.

Kutter Crawford, making his 12th start and 21st overall appearance of the season for the Sox, surrendered five runs — four of which were earned — on four hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work.

Three of those runs came within the first two innings. Crawford retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the first before issuing a pair of two-out walks to Max Kepler and Jose Miranda. The rookie right-hander then gave up a two-run double to Nick Gordon that got the Twins on the board first.

An inning later, Jake Cave led off the bottom of the second by taking Crawford 400 feet deep to left-center field for just his third home run of the season. Crawford put together his first scoreless frame of the night in the third and did it again in the fourth.

The Red Sox lineup, meanwhile, finally broke through against Twins starter Chris Archer in their half of the fourth. An Alex Verdugo leadoff single and Xander Bogaerts double put runners at second and third with no outs for Rafael Devers. Devers drove in Verdugo with a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-1 game in favor of Minnesota. J.D. Martinez followed by drawing a six-pitch walk, but Trevor Story grounded into an inning-ending double play to extinguish the threat.

In the fifth, however, the Sox were able to mount a rally. With Enrique Hernandez and Reese McGuire on the corners following a pair of one-out singles, Tommy Pham trimmed Boston’s deficit to one with a run-scoring base hit through the right side of the infield. That knocked Archer out of the game in favor of Caleb Thielbar.

McGuire moved up to third base when Verdugo grounded into a force out at second. With runners at the corners yet again, Bogaerts greeted the new Twins reliever by blooping a 241-foot game-tying single to left field to push across McGuire and move Verdugo to third. Devers then drew a bases-filling walk, prompting another Minnesota pitching change.

Michael Fulmer was dispatched to face Martinez, but he first airmailed a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Verdugo to score the go-ahead run on a feet-first slide. The Red Sox had a chance to add to their newfound 4-3 lead, but Martinez struck out against his former teammate to leave things there.

Crawford came back out for the fifth and got Luis Arraez to fly out to Pham for the first out of the inning. It appeared as though Crawford was going to get the second out when he got Carlos Correa to lift a 318-foot flyball to Verdugo in right field.

Verdugo failed to make a clean catch, though, as the ball deflected off his glove, allowing Correa to reach first base safely. Correa then issued another walk to Kepler, which is how his night would come to an end as Red Sox manager Alex Cora pulled the righty for Ryan Brasier.

Brasier, in turn, made a sticky situation even worse by plunking the first batter he faced in Jose Miranda to load the bases. Gordon, already in the midst of a productive evening at the plate, took full advantage of the spot he was in by unloading the bases with a 416-foot grand slam over everything in right field.

Gordon’s sixth homer of the season officially closed the book on Crawford, who finished with a final pitch count of 76 (43 strikes). The 26-year-old hurler managed to induce just seven swings-and-misses while raising his ERA on the season to 5.47 (7.58 ERA in August). He was also hit with his sixth losing decision of the year.

Brasier, on the other hand, was tagged for two runs after getting through the rest of the fifth inning unscathed. The recently-turned 35-year-old has now allowed 14 runs (13 earned) to cross the plate in 14 relief appearances (12 innings) this month. That is good for an ERA of 9.75.

Boston’s bullpen struggled continued into the sixth inning, as Jeurys Familia served up a solo shot to Gary Sanchez. The Red Sox got that run back in the top of the seventh, when Verdugo plated Pham all the way from first base on a 410-foot RBI double to right-center field that would have been a home run in 16 of 30 MLB ballparks.

Verdugo’s second hit of the contest brought the Sox back to within three runs of the Twins at 8-5. Bogaerts moved Verdugo up to third base on a groundout, but Devers stranded him there by striking out.

Following a 1-2-3 seventh inning from Zack Kelly in his second big-league appearance, a resurgent Matt Barnes ran into more trouble in the eighth by walking one and giving up three straight hits to Sanchez, Arraez, and Correa. Arreaz and Correa each drove in runs with their singles, which gave the Twins a commanding 10-5 lead going into the ninth.

Down to their final three outs, Hernandez led off with a walk, but McGuire, Pham, and Verdugo went down quietly against Emilio Pagan to seal another defeat.

With the loss, the seventh in their last nine games, the Red Sox drop to 62-68 on the season. The Blue Jays won on Tuesday, so Boston now sits nine games back of Toronto for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Wacha vs. Ryan in series finale

The Red Sox will look to salvage something out of this series with the Twins on Wednesday night. Michael Wacha is slated to start for Boston. Fellow right-hander Joe Ryan is expected to do the same for Minnesota.

First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: David Berding/Getty Images)