Tuesday was a pretty dreadful day at Fenway Park just about any way you cut it up, with a couple of promising exceptions.
The Boston Red Sox were swept in their day-night doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, virtually cutting off all momentum the team gained over their weekend road sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays, falling 7-4 in Game 1 and 4-2 in the nightcap.
While the Red Sox squandered some key chances at the dish in the evening loss, there were some highlights on the mound.
Boston called up top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez from Double-A Portland and reliever Travis Lakin from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, and both pitchers made impressive big-league debuts — especially Hernandez.
The 22-year-old lefty fired 2 1/3 innings in relief and struck out four while allowing no runs on four hits. He displayed the kind of swing-and-miss stuff that has seen him climb the rankings in the Sox’s farm system.
While Alex Cora noted that the lefty will not stay with the big-league club, Hernandez was “fun to watch.”
“You can see the stuff,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He made some good pitches, he’s a guy that, just like Eduardo Rodriguez, in the strike zone, they can get people out because of their stuff and deception and angles.”
Lakins came on in the seventh to relieve Hernandez and got out of a two-on, one-out situation. He surrendered a run in the ninth, but nonetheless was solid in a pinch outing with the Sox pitching staff up against it because of the doubleheader. He tossed 2 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts.
And the pair made a bit of Red Sox history in the process.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Tigers Game 2 on Tuesday:
— Hernandez and Lakins weren’t the only rookies to impress in the loss on Tuesday.
Michael Chavis, after an 0-for-4 performance in the afternoon, was stout at the plate in the back end of the twin bill. The 23-year-old slugger laced his first two hits at Fenway Park, including a 441-foot moonshot that landed on Lansdowne Street.
“Felt like I was floating honestly,” Chavis said on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Just kind of tried not to sprint. I’ve seen a couple videos of guys hitting their first home runs and they sprint because they are so excited. Kind of just tried to act I have hit a home run before and stay calm, well … calm in that kind of moment, but it was special for sure.”
— The Red Sox had several opportunities to take control of the game offensively, but could not pull through in the big moments.
Boston stranded 13 runners in the game and was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They stranded runners in scoring position on five occasions and grounded into a pair of double plays.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images