Red Sox Wrap: James Paxton Brilliant In Boston’s Loss Vs. Cardinals

The bullpen let Paxton down


May 12, 2023

The Boston Red Sox opened their three-game interleague series with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night with an 8-6 loss at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox fell to 22-17 on the season, while the Cardinals improved to 14-25.

Check out the full box score here.

The Red Sox bullpen played spoiler in James Paxton’s Red Sox debut.

The southpaw made his first Major League appearance since April 6, 2021, and exceeded expectations by allowing just two runs on four hits over five innings. The 34-year-old veteran threw 58-of-87 pitches for strikes, striking out nine.

Paxton was in line for the win when he exited the game following the fifth, but Josh Winckowski uncharacteristically gave up three runs on four hits in the two-thirds inning he pitched allowing the Cardinals to take the 5-4 lead.

Boston was poised to make their 15th comeback when they regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth. With Kenley Jansen coming in for the save opportunity, the dugout was undoubtedly confident given the closer just secured his 400th career save on Wednesday night.

The St. Louis batters had other plans, tagging Jansen for three runs on three hits and the loss.

— Enmanuel Valdez launched his second home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Red Sox the lead. Valdez finished the night going 1-for-4 at the plate. The second baseman is up to a .311/.340/.511 line in 14 games this season.

— Lars Nootbaar knocked in two runs with a single and a double for the Cardinals. The right fielder went 2-for-3 at the plate driving in the tying run in the top of the ninth. Nootbaar would score the go-ahead run when Nolan Gorman homered off Jansen to give St. Louis the 8-6 lead.

— Rafael Devers was Rafael Devers. The third baseman connected for his 10th double of the season in the bottom of the eighth inning to knot the game at 5. Devers had been held hitless before the extra-base hit and finished the night 1-for-4 at the plate.

In his Red Sox debut, Paxton was given +1400 odds by FanDuel Sportsbook to record 9-plus strikeouts. Paxton did in fact punch out nine of the 20 batters he faced in five innings pitched. Bettors that waged $100 would net a $1500 payout.

The Red Sox continue their three-game series with the Cardinals at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon with Chris Sale expected to make the start for Boston. First pitch for the interleague play is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET and you can watch the game, along with an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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