The first real bullpen meltdown of the season for the Red Sox proved highly costly Wednesday night as the Sox took a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning and saw it disappear with a grand slam by Brett Gardner, handing the Sox a devastating 5-3 loss, their third in a row.
Brandon Workman loaded the bases with two walks and a single as the Sox brought in Ryan Brasier to face Gardner. Brasier got ahead 0-2, but then threw a fastball over the middle of the plate which Gardner sent into the seats in right, clearing the bases and getting his 100th career homer.
Nathan Eovaldi pitched well over six innings, allowing just one run. The Sox took a 3-1 lead on a solo homer from J.D. Martinez in the first and a two-run shot from Christian Vazquez.
WHO: Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
WHEN: 6:35 p.m.
WHERE: Yankee Stadium
SERIES TO DATE: Yankees won the opener, 8-0.
STARTING PITCHERS: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 8.40) vs. LHP J.A. Happ (0-2, 8.76)
TV/RADIO: NESN/WEEI 93.7 FM
9:13 Assuming Andrew Benintendi is unavailable, otherwise he could have hit for Nunez. The perils of playing with 12 position players.
9:12 Red Sox offense has shown little life after the third -- four singles, but three of them never left the infield.
8:58 First blown save for a Red Sox reliever this year as Ryan Brasier allows a grand slam to Brett Gardner. After getting ahead 0-and-2, Brasier tried to sneak a fastball by Gardner.
8:30 That's likely it for Eovaldi, at 104, pitches. He allowed just three hits and turns in one of the rare quality starts the Sox have gotten from their rotation this season.
8:02 Happ has made quick work of the Sox the last two innings, needing just 15 pitches to record the last six outs
7:57 Terrific play from Steve Pearce, who ranges way to his right to make a diving stop, then feeds Eovaldi nicely at first, saving two runs.
7:44 Hard to think of another major league infielder who drops the ball -- or fails to catch a ball in his glove -- as often as Nunez does. Happened on the feed from Bogaerts and happens often when he takes throws from catchers on stolen base attempts.
7:26 Pedroia dealing with "left knee discomfort'' according to Red Sox
7:04 Dustin Pedroia out of the game, with Eduardo Nunez taking over. That's somewhat ominous, especially given that Nunez (back) is far from healthy.
7:00 Christian Vazquez goes down to get a low fastball from JA Happ and takes it out to right for a two-run shot. That's the third homer of the season from him, giving the Sox some hope that they might get some offense out of the catching spot after all.
6:55 Mitch Moreland snaps an 0-for-13 skid with a sharp line single to RF to lead off the second.
6:42 JD Martinez has been the one consistent force for the Red Sox since Opening Day. He swings at a first-pitch fastball and homers to CF. Martinez has reached base safely in all 19 games. That's also career homer No. 199 for Martinez.
WHAT'S UP: The Red Sox dropped their second straight game Tuesday night and have scored just one run in their last 18 innings...The 12 losses in the first 18 games are the most for a Red Sox team since 1996, which began the 1996 season...J.D. Martinez has reached base safely in each of the first 18 games, with at least one hit in 17 of them...Martinez is only the third Red Sox player in the last 55 years to have a hit in 17 of the first 18 games. The others were Shea Hillenbrand (2001) and Jim Rice (1989)...Brock Holt (scratched cornea) began a rehab stint with Pawtucket Tuesday night and went 0-for-2 while playing shortstop...Mookie Betts is hitless in his last six at-bats and 3-for-24, with his average for the season down to .212...Xander Bogaerts has a modest three-game hitting streak and has reached base 13 times over the last seven games...Steve Pearce is struggling with just one hit in his last 13 at-bats...Dustin Pedroia, who was given a day off Tuesday, returns to the lineup with an 0-for-13 skid...Mitch Morealnd is also 0-for-13, with three strikeouts Tuesday night...Nathan Eovaldi started four times against the Yankees last season, going 1-1 with an ERA of 1.93 while limiting them a .173 batting average...D.J LeMahieu is just 2-for-12 in his career against Eovaldi and Gleyber Torres is just 1-for-8...Aaron Judge is 2-for-7....Pearce has had the most success against Happ, going 11-for-32 with six homers and 16 RBI...Meanwhile, Bogaerts is only 5-for-31 (.161) against the lefthander.
- Utility infielder Eduardo Nunez is dealing with a sore back, which is the reason he was unavailable for Monday's Patriots Day game at Fenway. Nunez played second base Tuesday night in the series opener because the Sox needed to give Dustin Pedroia a day off following three straight days in the lineup, but he's out again for tonight's game.