The Boston Red Sox have earned their fourth straight win and claimed yet another three-game series with their 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday night.
The Red Sox greatly benefitted from the bat of Xander Bogaerts, who recorded two RBIs, and the relief appearance of Darwinzon Hernandez, who got out of a pivotal seventh-inning jam.
And in all, seven Red Sox hits were enough to back a five-plus inning start by Boston right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.
With the victory, the Red Sox improved to 29-18 while the Phillies fell to 22-24.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
This one came down to the wire.
ON THE BUMP
— Eovaldi put together a good start on the mound.
Eovaldi stranded two runners in the first inning, recorded three straight outs after a lead-off walk in the second and retired the side in order in the third. He allowed solo runs in the fourth and sixth, while back-to-back hits in the sixth (including one homer) got the right-hander pulled.
Eovaldi went 5 1/3 innings while allowing two earned runs on five hits. He struck out four batters as 55 of his 85 pitches went for strikes.
— Josh Taylor relieved Eovaldi in the sixth and made quick work of it. Taylor didn’t allow a hit with one strikeout in 2/3 of an inning.
— Phillips Valdez had a lot of trouble in the seventh. The right-hander allowed a lead-off single and walked the second batter he faced. He then loaded the bases with one out after hitting the fourth batter of the inning.
Valdez threw just six of his 14 pitches for strikes before he was pulled. His final stat line — one run on one hit in 1/3 inning — would have been much worse if not for the performance of Hernandez.
— Hernandez delivered in a massive spot with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh.
The left-hander struck out Bryce Harper for the second out of the inning, then hit Rhys Hoskins to allow Rafael Marchan to score. Hernandez, though, came back with his second strikeout against Brad Miller to get out of the bases-loaded jam.
Hernandez exited the game after going 2/3 of an inning and, most importantly, helped the Red Sox maintain a 4-3 lead.
— Adam Ottavino struck out the side in the eighth inning to help the Red Sox maintain their 4-3 lead.
— Matt Barnes was not as dominant as Red Sox fans have grown used to this season, as he labored through the ninth.
Barnes allowed the would-be winning run on base with Harper at the plate following a lead-off single and one-out walk. Harper grounded into a fielder’s choice for the second out of the inning, but the tying run moved to third base. Barnes recorded a strikeout for the final out of the game.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Eovaldi (yes, that Eovaldi) got the offensive rally going in the third inning, and it opened the scoring.
Rafael Devers ripped a RBI double to right field, scoring Eovaldi after the pitcher walked with one out. Bogaerts connected on a sacrifice fly to score Kiké Hernández after the lead-off man also walked. It gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead after three frames.
— Boston added to its lead with back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning.
First, Bogaerts hit a 362-foot solo shot to right field.
Danny Santana blasted a 414-foot homer to center field just two pitches later to give the Red Sox a 4-1 lead.
— Seven different batters — Hernández, Devers, Bogaerts, Santana, Franchy Cordero, Kevin Plawecki and Marwin Gonzalez — finished with one hit each.
— The Red Sox were retired in order in the first, fifth and ninth innings.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Uhh, is this good?
The Red Sox will return to Citizens Bank Park on Sunday for the final contest of the three-game set against the Phillies. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET.