The Red Sox came into today’s game riding high off of a 4-3 comeback win last night. The offense got going immediately and it looked like some momentum was building, briefly. Eovaldi gave both runs right back in the bottom of the second, then the pitching duel started. Both starters settled in but Quantrill stood out. Despite leaving 18 runners on base, the Red Sox were able to steal a win in extras and take their third series win in a row. Martinez delivered a three-run home run in the tenth to take the lead. More late game heroics in Cleveland.
The Red Sox got the bats going early, as Kyle Schwarber hit a home run in the second at-bat of the game. Cal Quantrill left a 94 MPH fastball low and outside, Schwarber wasted no time putting it over the center field wall. J.D. Martinez immediately followed with a single. Xander Bogaerts continued the hit parade with a double down the left field corner but was thrown out attempting to stretch the hit into a triple. The Red Sox wasted no time getting thrown out on the bases as is customary this season. Martinez did score on the play making it 2-0 good guys early.
Nathan Eovaldi came out strong in the bottom of the first, putting the top of Cleveland's lineup down in order.
After a quick inning from Cal Quantrill, Franmil Reyes led off the bottom of the second inning by demolishing a 87 MPH slider just below the zone to cut the lead in half. Bradley Zimmer followed the home run with a double of his own and Eovaldi was in trouble early. Bobby Bradley continued to do damage, with a weak flare over the second base bag. Zimmer would score easily and tie the game 2-2. Eovaldi looked to be heading back on track, getting a quick flyout, followed by his second strikeout of the game. However, with two outs Andrés Giménez would take a high fastball and crush it down the left field line for a double. With runners on second and third, Eovaldi put away Myles Straw with a 3-2 slider to retire the side and escape the jam.
Quantrill continued to look sharp in the top of the third, striking out Jonathan Araúz and Jarren Duran back to back. He ended the inning on a weak ground ball hit by Schwarber. Eovaldi responded by striking out the side in the bottom of the third. Feeble swings by Amed Rosario, José Ramírez and Franmil Reyes would help Eovaldi get through the heart of the lineup.
A fourth inning walk by Rafael Devers would break up a streak of nine consecutive outs recorded by Quantrill, but the Sox would once again go down quietly. Bradley would hit his second single of the day off of Eovaldi in the fourth but Cleveland was not able to put a runner in scoring position as the pitching duel continued. Seven strikeouts through four for Eovaldi.
The top of the fifth started with a pop-up from Christian Vázquez that would hit Rosario’s glove but was not caught. It was ruled a single. Once again the Red Sox were not able to get anything going despite the leadoff base runner. Cleveland would go down in order to end the fifth.
Martinez would hit a one out single in the sixth, but the Red Sox would squander another opportunity to get a rally going. Quantrill dominated through six after a shaky first inning.
Reyes was able to run Eovaldi out of the game with one out in the sixth by roping a double into the gap. Eovaldi left a slider over the middle and Reyes did not miss. Josh Taylor (1-0, 3.48 ERA) started his relief appearance by allowing a walk to Zimmer. The southpaw would rebound with a three pitch strikeout of Bradley followed by a pop-up by catcher Austin Hedges to Bogaerts.
Alex Verdugo led off the seventh with a single up the middle to put Quantrill on his heels. Vázquez worked a seven-pitch walk and the Red Sox finally started to look alive. Travis Shaw sacrifice bunted to move the runners to second and third. With one out, Araúz would come to the plate trying to be the hero once again. Unfortunately, lightning would not strike twice as Araúz popped out to second base. Duran flew out to left field as Quantrill stranded another pair of runners to cap a masterful performance by the 26-year-old righty.
Oscar Mercado pinch hit for Daniel Johnson to lead off the seventh and hit a weak ground ball for an infield single off of new reliever Hirokazu Sawamura (4-1, 3.15 ERA). The Japanese product walked Giménez to put two runners on. Straw attempted to bunt but popped it up and Sawamura was there to make the play. Rosario hit a comebacker to Sawamura and he was able to field his position once again. Alex Cora elected to intentionally walk star infielder José Ramírez to load the bases for Reyes. Cora’s decision worked as Sawamura was able to strikeout Reyes with a full count on a high splitter.
Cleveland finally turned to the bullpen in the eighth, as Brian Shaw (5-6, 3.41 ERA) entered the game. Shaw allowed a leadoff single to Schwarber that rolled all the way to the right field wall but was played nicely by Zimmer. After warning track shots from Martinez and Bogaerts, Devers would step to the plate. Devers drove a cutter into right field for a single. Schwarber was on the move with two outs and was able to get to third base. Alex Verdugo was not able to take advantage, striking out on a foul tip caught by the catcher.
Cora turned to Austin Davis (0-1, 4.35 ERA) to hold the tie in the bottom of the eighth. As expected, a Red Sox reliever came into the game and immediately walked his first batter — in this case Zimmer. Bradley grounded out, but Zimmer advanced to second. Davis was able to force a ground out from Hedges after working out of a 3-0 count. That was all we saw from Davis as Cora turned to the Red Sox new stopper, Garrett Richards (6-7, 4.86 ERA). Mercado flied out to right field to end the inning.
Cleveland turned to flame-throwing righty Emmanuel Clase (3-5, 1.49 ERA) to keep the game tied at two. Vázquez jumped on the first pitch for a double down the left field line. Shaw lined out on a bullet to first, and Duran grounded out to end the inning. The Red Sox stranded 16 runners on base through eight.
Alex Cora turned his superstar rookie Garrett Whitlock (5-2, 1.59 ERA). Once again, Whitlock got the job done, allowing a single to Straw and striking out two swinging.
Extra innings were set up quite favorably for the Red Sox. Nick Wittgren (2-6, 4.22 ERA), would pitch in the tenth against Schwarber. The fasted player on the team, Jarren Duran started at second base. Schwarber came through with a single to advance Duran to third with nobody out. Martinez stepped up to the plate with a chance to take the lead. With a 2-1 count, Wittgren threw a cutter below middle in, and Martinez took it for a ride. After stranding 16 consecutive runners, Martinez hit a three-run homer to take a 5-2 lead.
Surprisingly, Cora sent out Martín Pérez (7-8, 4.89 ERA) to close out the game with a three-run lead. Predictably, Pérez was unable to get the job done. With a runner on second, Pérez walked Reyes to start his outing. The left-hander followed that up by plunking Zimmer to load the bases and put the Red Sox lead in jeopardy. He finished his brief appearance by striking out Bradley. Adam Ottavino (3-3, 3.51 ERA) came in with the game on the line and delivered. Ottavino faced Hedges to start and put him away with a 95 MPH fastball. Mercado was able drive a ball up the middle to bring in Ramírez from third to make it 5-3 Red Sox with two outs. Giménez came to the plate with the game on the line. With the bases juiced, Giménez grounded out to Araúz to seal the game.
The Red Sox will look to sweep Cleveland at Progressive Field tomorrow at 1:10 PM. Boston’s Tanner Houck (0-3, 3.43 ERA) will face off against Eli Morgan (2-6, 5.98 ERA) for Cleveland.