Another day, another loss. This one was at least of a different variety as the Red Sox pitching was actually mostly fine. Chris Mazza did give up four runs in three innings, but he was a little better than that. Then, led by Ryan Weber, the bullpen tossed five scoreless frames. These are the games the Red Sox are supposed to win, but the offense failed to get that message. They were totally hapless against JA Happ (I hate myself more for that sentence than you hate me, I promise), managing a solo homer from Kevin Pillar and a late rally, but one that was not enough. In the end, it’s just another loss to make it seven in a row.
As the Red Sox continue to churn through their roster for something mildly resembling a major-league quality starting pitcher, Chris Mazza was the latest name on the list. The righty was making his first career start on Sunday, though he did have a nice long relief outing in Yankee Stadium just a couple weeks ago. He was actually kind of solid in this one, though that says more about what this team has been getting than him. Either way, the results just weren’t what you’re looking for.
After getting a quick first out in the first, he gave up a couple of base hits to put two on with one out. Mazza did come back with a huge strikeout against Gleyber Torres, but he couldn’t get out of the inning. Mike Ford didn’t square this one up, but his bloop out to left field fell in and gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
The second inning would go similarly, and include a classic 2020 Red Sox bad break. Mazza started this one off with a walk, but did get a couple of outs after, bringing Aaron Hicks to the plate with two down and a man on second. It looked like Mazza was going to get out of it on a relatively weak ground ball down the first base line. Michael Chavis had it all lined up, but it kicked up off the bag and over the glove of Chavis into right field. Because of pure bad luck, the inning-ending ground ball turned to an RBI double.
Mazza had one more inning left in him, and once again he put a runner on with a base hit. This time, the Yankees got a big swing to put some runs on the board. It was Ford once again, and he got a 2-0 fastball up above the zone. He was ready for it and put it up over the right field fence for a two-run homer, doubling the Yankees run total on the day up to four.
On the other end, the Red Sox had a chance to score some runs going up against JA Happ in this one, but they just weren’t getting anything going at the plate. They got the leadoff man on with a walk in the first, but quickly followed that up with a double play, setting the tone for the night. Other than that, pretty much the only thing they got against Happ was courtesy of Kevin Pillar. In the third, he jumped all over a 1-1 slider for his second homer of the year.
Starting with the fourth, Ryan Weber came on in a 4-1 game, looking for a second straight impressive long relief outing. He got off to a nice start with a perfect fourth, and he worked around an infield single for another three-batter inning in the fifth thanks to an inning-ending double play. After the offense stranded two in the sixth, Weber had another scoreless inning in the bottom of the inning.
The offense had themselves another chance in the top half of the seventh, with Alex Verdugo getting things started with a one-out double. Mitch Moreland then came on as a pinch hitter and drew a walk to put two on with one out for Kevin Plawecki. He popped out, leaving it up to Jonathan Araúz. He also could not come through, lining out to left field to leave the runners and keep it a 4-1 game.
Weber’s night ended after the sixth, with Ryan Brasier coming in for the bottom of the seventh. He had a little bit of trouble with a couple of walks, but then appeared to get out of it with a ground ball to Araúz. Playing in the shift, he couldn’t make the play coming in, loading the bases with the error. Fortunately, Brasier got a strikeout against Gary Sánchez to end the inning.
That was, of course, followed up by a 1-2-3 inning from the offense. The bottom of the eighth belonged to the struggling Marcus Walden, and to his credit he came through with a perfect frame.
With one more chance left in the ninth, the offense did show some signs of life with a Christian Vázquez double. A couple batters later, José Peraza came up as a pinch hitter and hit a slow chopper down the first base line. Zack Britton snagged it and tried to apply the tag on Peraza, but the latter knocked it out of the glove, getting into first safely and bringing Vázquez home. That brought Plawecki up to the plate representing the tying run, but he couldn’t keep things going. He struck out swinging to end the game with a 4-2 Yankees win.
The Red Sox will be looking to avoid making it eight straight losses and a second straight sweep on Monday. They’ll have Martín Pérez on the mound while the Yankees have Jordan Montgomery. First pitch is set for 7:00 PM ET.