Children have their chance to play.
With the Red Sox’s starting rotation still struggling with a litany of injuries, rookies Josh Winckowski and Connor Seabold are expected to shoulder the load for the remainder of this weekend’s Cubs series. Winckowski will make his fifth league start tonight, and while Sunday’s starter hasn’t been officially announced, Seabold is in Chicago with the taxi team and is expected to get the ball.
Winckowski has given the Red Sox a major boost since making his debut earlier this spring. The 24-year-old, originally acquired in trade from Andrew Benintendi, is 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA in his first four starts. He’s been particularly good lately, shaking off a poor start to go at least five innings with two runs or less allowed in each of his last three outings, all wins.
Seabold’s big-league record isn’t quite as solid, but he’s still an intriguing young pitcher. The 26-year-old allowed seven runs in 4.2 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last Monday, but despite that he also generated 21 swings and misses, the most by a Red Sox starter in a game this season. and was dominant at Triple-UN.
The Red Sox also got big league contributions from rookie Kutter Crawford, who is currently in Worcester but has played 10 games and made two starts for Boston, and top pitching prospect Brayan Bello is temptingly close. Bello has posted a 2.81 ERA over 51.1 innings since being called up to Triple-A, and if Rich Hill isn’t able to make his next start due to Friday’s injury, Bello would look like a candidate. to occupy its place for at least one lap of rotation.
Hill says he feels ‘stupid’ for trying to injure his knee
When Rich Hill injured his knee late in the fifth round, he did what many athletes naturally do when something like this happens. He tried to resist and walk through the pain.
It wasn’t a good idea, and he soon found out.
“I feel stupid for being honest with you, stubborn. I’m putting us in a really bad position and unfortunately it’s falling on me,” Hill said. “I thought it was going to be tweaked and launched a bit, but we’ll see what the extent of what happens in the next few days.”
After leaving the game, the Red Sox announced that Hill had sprained his left knee, which Hill said happened on the first pitch with two outs in the fifth. By then, Hill had allowed two runs on two hits in the first 4.2 innings, but from then on he became significantly less efficient. He walked Willson Contreras, allowed a single to Ian Happ, then hit Patrick Wisdom to load the bases, after which Cora pulled him out of play.
Cora said afterwards that they should know more about the extent of the injury soon.
“We’ll know more overnight and tomorrow and we’ll go from there,” he said.
Losing Hill would be another blow to a starting rotation already without Garrett Whitlock and Nathan Eovaldi. Hill is having another quality season at 42 and currently sits at 4-4 with a 4.20 ERA on the season.
The good news is that even though Hill is running out of time, the Red Sox expect to get rotational help in the coming weeks. Whitlock is nearing a potential comeback and Chris Sale is on track to make his season debut at some point before the all-star break.
But even though Hill’s injury is serious enough to keep him out, the veteran said he’s confident he’ll be able to bounce back.
“I just hope for the best, but either way, I’ve been through a lot in this game and I know I can recover from anything and be back at some point,” said Hill.
FINAL: Cubs 6, Red Sox 5
The Red Sox bullpen didn’t have its best day.
Given a two-run lead late in the sixth, Hansel Robles and Jake Diekman combined to allow seven straight base runners and three runs, all with two outs in the inning. The Cubs tied the game on a commanding two-run home run from Christopher Morel off Robles, then charged the bases when Willson Contreras walked, Ian Happ doubled and Patrick Wisdom walked.
Alex Cora called in Diekman, who quickly allowed the go-ahead to score on a wild pitch. The Cubs then walked again to reload the bases before Diekman finally hit Alfonso Rivas to end the threat.
It proved to be all the offense Chicago needed, as the Red Sox failed to mount any offense all the way before Cubs closer David Robertson closed the door on stoppage during of his 700th career appearance. In total, Red Sox pitchers walked 10 batters, which went a long way in allowing the Cubs to win despite going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position while blocking 11 runners.
Duran lets the Sox breathe with an RBI single
Jarren Duran is having fun.
After starting with a home run on the first pitch of the game, Duran added an RBI single in the top of the sixth to give the Red Sox some breathing room.
The ball was thrown into shallow center field just above Andrelton Simmons’ outstretched glove, but with two out Christian Vázquez also tried to score on the play and was easily thrown to the plate by the Los Angeles center fielder. Cubs Rafael Ortega.
Duran is now 2 for 4 with two RBIs on the day. The Red Sox lead 5-3 heading into the sixth.
Cubs pursue Hill, Sox lead 4-3 entering sixth
What seemed like a rout suddenly became much more interesting.
After allowing just one hit in four shutout innings, Rich Hill came back for the bottom of the fifth and things quickly turned sour. He allowed a walk and a triple RBI to open the set and was examined by the coach after suffering what the club later announced was a sprained left knee. He stayed in the game but allowed another run to score on a groundout and then reloaded the bases with a walk, a single and a hit per pitch with two outs.
Alex Cora then called on Tyler Danish to put out the fire, which he eventually did, but not before walking into a run to make it 4-3. Alfonso Rivas ended up saving the endgame on a high fly ball to deep center field, which Jarren Duran picked up to end the threat.
Hill finished the day with 4.2 innings pitched, three hits, three earned runs, four walks, three strikeouts and one hit per pitch. He threw 75 pitches, 43 for strikes.
Duran homers on first pitch, Bradley breaks skid
After sitting out the last three games in Toronto, Jarren Duran wasted no time making his presence felt.
The Red Sox rookie started Friday’s game with a solo home run, leaping on the first pitch of the game for a tape shot to center field. It was the first of many hard-hit balls by the Red Sox on Chicago Cubs starter Adrian Sampson, who was knocked down in the first two innings.
After Duran’s 417-foot shot, Rafael Devers immediately smoked a towering foul ball into right field that cleared the stadium, and after knocking out JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts both singled before Alex Verdugo launches into a double play to end the inning.
Then on top of second Trevor Story reached on a third baseman error, Franchy Cordero singled and Christian Vázquez walked to charge the bases. That brought on Jackie Bradley Jr., who rebounded from his 0-for-26 slump by clearing the goals with a three-point brace to make it 4-0.
Rich Hill, after taking the mound for the bottom of the first, hit the side for a scoreless frame. He gave Ian Happ an ivy-covered wall brace but got Christopher Morel, Willson Contreras and Patrick Wisdom swinging. He walked a man in the second but otherwise remains aimless through two.
VIDEO: Pre-match recording on Friday
Sale will make its next appearance at rehab in Worcester next Wednesday
Chris Sale’s return to the big leagues seems imminent.
On Thursday night, the Red Sox ace made his final appearance in rehab in Portland, pitching four innings while allowing an earned run on four hits while striking out seven. He threw 52 pitches, 36 for strikes , and Red Sox manager Alex Cora said the outing was a big success.
“He felt good, the mechanics were solid, consistent, efficient, he actually felt one more run was good,” Cora said in the visitors’ dugout at Wrigley Field on Friday. “Physically great, good stuff, he felt like his slider was good, he actually praised [Portland catcher Elih] Marrero, he did a good job. Sometimes you go to rehab and you call the pitch that works best, he mixed it up and it was fine.”
Looking ahead, Cora said Sale will kick off a bullpen next Saturday and is in line to start an extra day off Wednesday with the Worcester Red Sox. This could be his last appearance in rehab before returning to the major league club, but Cora said they will first see how things go next week before making any final decisions.
“We will see how it goes. He’s getting close, very close,” Cora said. “We’ll talk about it and go from there, but the way he feels, you can feel it. He’s in a great place.
In other injury news:
Garret Whitlock (inflammation of the right hip) and Nathan Eovaldi (lower back inflammation) are each progressing in their recovery from injury, Alex Cora said on Friday.
Both pitchers, who have both been on the 15-day disabled list since June 9, are due off the mound Saturday, Cora said. Whitlock is currently with the Chicago team while Eovaldi remains at home in Boston.
In addition to the two throwers, the outfielder Kike Hernandez (right hip flexor elongation) also completed 15 swings on Friday, Cora said. left-handed relief pitcher Josh Taylor (back) recently kicked off back-to-back nights with the Portland Sea Dogs on June 28-29, and Cora hasn’t had any updates on what his next step might be, or any updates on Matt Barnes (shoulder).
Red Sox kick off historic streak at Wrigley
This weekend, the Red Sox play their first series at Wrigley Field in a decade this weekend, and only their third series in The Friendly Confines, as they take on the Chicago Cubs for a three-game set. Here’s everything you need to know as the series kicks off Friday afternoon.
How to watch
Friday: NESN, WEEI 93.7 FM, 2:20 p.m. ET
Saturday: FOX, WEEI 93.7 FM, 7:15 p.m. ET
Sunday: NESN, WEEI 93.7 FM, 2:20 p.m. ET
Friday: Rich Hill (4-4, 4.09 ERA) vs. Adrian Sampson (0-0, 1.69 ERA)
Saturday: Josh Winckowski (3-1, 3.60) against Alec Mills (0-1, 9.87)
Sunday: TBD vs. Keegan Thompson (7-3, 3.34)
- Jarren Duran CF
- Raphael Devers 3B
- JD Martinez DH
- Xander Bogaerts SS
- Alex Verdugo LF
- History of Trevor 2B
- Franchy Cordero 1B
- Christian Vazquez C
- Jackie Bradley Jr RF
- Rich Hill P
- Christophe Morel 2B
- Willson Contreras C
- Ian Happ LF
- Patrick Wisdom 3B
- Narciso Croos CF
- Yan Gomes DH
- PJ Higgins 1B
- Nelson Velazquez RF
- Andrelton Simmons SS
- Adrian SampsonP