In the waning days of the 2020 season, the Boston Red Sox are offering reason to be optimistic about 2021.
A number of things went Boston’s way Thursday afternoon as it earned a 5-3 win over the Miami Marlins in the matinee, grabbing the series win.
Nathan Eovaldi cruised over five scoreless innings, while a Rafael Devers three-run blast highlighted Boston’s offensive contributions.
With the win, the Red Sox climbed to 19-32, while the Marlins fell to 25-23.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The starter was the highlight of this game.
ON THE BUMP
— Eovaldi was simply tremendous in his outing, tossing five scoreless innings. In that stretch, he allowed just two hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Eovaldi tossed 1-2-3 innings in the second and fourth, and the only time he really wandered into trouble was in the fifth. That began with a leadoff double followed by a single to put runners in scoring position with no outs, but he struck out a pair and induced a groundout to end the frame, and his afternoon, unscathed.
The hard-throwing right-hander, making his second start since being activated off the injured list, pumped in multiple fastballs that hit 100 mph on the gun.
— Phillips Valdez took over in the sixth, pitching a scoreless inning while allowing one hit, a leadoff single.
Valdez returned for the seventh, but was pulled after allowing a single and walk to begin the inning.
— Jeffrey Springs replaced Valdez, and immediately allowed an RBI single to Jorge Alfaro that cut Miami’s deficit to 5-1 and put runners on the corners.
The next hitter, Chad Wallach, smacked a double to left-center that plated another run and put runners in scoring position.
Springs then struck out Corey Dickerson and was pulled from the game.
— Ryan Weber took the ball from Springs with runners on second and third and one out, and he mitigated the damage.
Weber got Starling Marte to ground out, which scored a run to make it 5-3, then ended the inning with a strikeout of Jesus Aguilar.
— Ryan Brasier pitched the eighth. He allowed a leadoff single then retired the next three hitters.
— Matt Barnes closed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— It took until the sixth inning, but the Red Sox scored the first runs of the game.
With two outs, the Red Sox loaded the bases via a Devers forceout, Xander Bogaerts single and J.D. Martinez walk. Kevin Plawecki then came through with a hard grounder that got through the infield and went into left, scoring a pair to put the Sox up 2-0.
— An inning later, Devers put things out of reach.
Christian Arroyo and Verdugo hit back-to-back singles, and Devers followed that up with a three-run, 423-foot blast to right-center.
It was the 11th homer of the season for Devers, and it put the Sox up 5-0.
— Verdugo led the Red Sox with three hits.
— Devers and Bogaerts had two hits apiece.
— Plawecki, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Arroyo each had one hit.
— Martinez, Yairo Munoz, Tzu-Wei Lin and Bobby Dalbec all went hitless.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Yet another impressive defensive play by Verdugo.
The Red Sox now get set for their final games against the Yankees this season, a three-game set from Fenway Park that begins Friday.
First pitch for the opener is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Martín Pérez is scheduled to get the ball for Boston, while the Yankees’ starter is to be determined.
Thumbnail photo via Rhona Wise/USA TODAY Sports Images