Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi has been called upon to step up in a big way for a struggling Boston rotation.
Martín Pérez, fresh off a sub two-inning start Sunday in an eventual 18-4 loss against the Blue Jays, noted how he is confident Eovaldi can help pick him up when the Red Sox take the diamond Monday night against Toronto.
“He’ll come back tomorrow strong. 100 percent,” Pérez said on a postgame video conference when asked about Eovaldi. “He’s just got to come and throw strikes, move the ball because they’ve been hitting a lot. They’ve been swinging at everything.
“He feels good. He’s going to pick us, pick me up. That’s what I told him, ‘Pick me up tomorrow,’ ” Pérez continued. “And he feels good and he’s going to do his job tomorrow.”
The entire Red Sox rotation has had a bad week. Red Sox manager Alex Cora admitted just that after Sunday’s game in which the Blue Jays scored 18 runs on 20 hits with eight home runs. Toronto’s eight home runs marked a record at Fenway Park.
Boston really hasn’t had a strong start since Eovaldi took the mound nine days ago against the New York Yankees. He, too, had one of his worst starts this season against the Houston Astros last week. Obviously, it’s not a great sign, especially considering the Red Sox find themselves in the tail end of a 17-games-in-17-days stretch.
Cora, though, believes it just takes one start to turn it all around.
“Hitting is contagious, pitching is contagious, too,” Cora said on a postgame video conference. “Tomorrow, go out there and compete and have a good start and from there. Build up. But right now, it’s been a tough week for us.”
Red Sox-Blue Jays is set for Monday night with first pitch scheduled at 7:10 p.m. ET. You can watch it live on NESN.