The Red Sox won in dramatic fashion Monday night, beating the Braves 10-8 after Alex Verdugo launched a three-run, 409-foot go-ahead homer in the eighth to put Boston over Atlanta.
The win was the Red Sox’ 41st of the season, moving them to a record of 41-27. Boston is two games behind Tampa Bay, six games ahead of the Yankees, and 8.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays. The Red Sox got a game closer of the Rays, with the Rays falling to the White Sox 3-0. The Rays also lost Tyler Glasnow to a partial UCL tear, as he was placed on the 10-day IL.
Red Sox jump out in front early:
With runners on the corners and two outs in the top of the first inning, Rafael Devers blasted one over the centerfield wall 435 feet to give the Red Sox the early 3-0 lead.
The Red Sox weren’t done yet though, as the very next at-bat, Hunter Renfroe belted one 444 feet to make it 4-0.
After J.D. Martinez tripled and Xander Bogaerts walked to knock Braves starter Tucker Davidson out of the ballgame after just 2 1/3, Rafael Devers drove in J.D. Martinez with a single afte to make it 5-0. The Red Sox tallied five hits, a walk, and five runs off Davidson, who would head to the Injured List after the game with a forearm strain.
Rodriguez makes it through just four:
Eduardo Rodriguez made it through just four innnings allowing four runs off six hits while walking one, and striking out eight. Three of the runs came in the fourth inning. His season ERA moves to 6.21 on the season.
Rodriguez threw 50 fastballs, 13 changeups, seven cutters, six sliders and four sinkers totalling 80 pitches on the night. His fastball averaged 92.6 MPH, while topping out at 94.2 MPH.
Bogaerts hits 13th of season:
Xander Bogaerts, with one out in the fifth launched a solo home run into the second deck of left field to extend the Red Sox lead to 6-4.
Rafael Devers doubled the very next at-bat, and the third baseman was driven in by Hunter Renfroe to make it 7-4.
Sloppy sixth gives Braves three runs:
After a 1-2-3 fifth from Georgia-Native Garrett Whitlock, who was tossing in front of friends and family, he started ot the sixth by walking Abraham Almonte.
Whitlock wouldn’t get any help from Kike Hernandez, as he misplayed a ball to put two on with nobody out. Guillermo Heredia cashed in one run with an RBI single, and a bad throw by Hunter Renfroe allowed Heredia to advance to second base.
Following a mound visit, Whitlock would walk former Red Sox Pablo Sandoval to load the bases. Ronald Acuña Jr. would be set down on strikes before Darwinzon Hernandez was brought on to pitch.
A passed ball with All-Star caliber first baseman Freddie Freeman at the plate allowed one run to score, and Freddie Freeman drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly.
Just like that, the Braves were right back in it.
Verdugo gives Sox lead:
Following a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh from Hirokazu Sawamura, Christian Vazquez and Bobby Dalbec led off the top of the eighth with back-to-back singles.
Marwin Gonzalez moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt. Kike Hernandez wasn’t able to cash in, as with the infield in a groundball to shortstop Dansby Swanson would hold Christian Vazquez at third.
With two out, and Alex Verdugo facing an 0-2 count, the outfielder bolted one into centerfield 409 feet to put the Sox up 10-7 late. Verdugo rounded first pounding his chest and gesturing back to the dugout.
Barnes notches 15th save:
After Adam Ottavino set Matt Barnes up perfectly for the save, setting the Braves down in order in the eighth, Matt Barnes notched his 15th save of the year.
Barnes did allow a run in the process, but with a three-run cushion entering the inning there was room for error as the closer dialed up Dansby Swanson on strikes to end the ballgame.
Matt Barnes’ season ERA moves to 3.07 on the year.
Garrett Richards will take on the young Ian Anderson Tuesday night as the Red Sox look to take the short, two-game series sweep over the Braves while the Braves look to salvage a stalemate.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:20 PM EST on NESN and ESPN.