Boston Red Sox

Rafael Devers can’t stop hitting home runs.

He’s gone yard in four straight games following the Boston Red Sox’s 10-1 win over the Oakland A’s Wednesday. His latest came on a changeup with two outs and a 1-1 count, and soared 387 feet into the visitors bullpen in the bottom of the second after Devers took a swing at it.

“He’s one of the best hitters in the big leagues,” manager Alex Cora said of his third baseman, per Julian McWilliams, The Boston Globe.  “He shows up every day. We’re happy that he’s hitting second for us on a daily basis and playing third base. The way he acted in spring training, we had a feeling that it would be something like this and he’s coming through.”

With Devers up to four consecutive games with home runs, the number to know is eight. Ken Griffey Jr. (1993), Don Mattingly (1987) and Dale Long (1956) are tied for the MLB record having hit a home run in eight straight games in their careers.

In that Red Sox win, Josh Winckowski earned his first career win, pitching five scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and struck out three batters on 79 pitches. His first career win comes in his second start in the majors. The first start wasn’t as successful, as the 23 year-old allowed four earned runs in three innings in a loss against the Baltimore Orioles.

Winckowski was called up after Boston placed both Garret Whitlock and Nathan Eovaldi on the 15-day Injured List. He has nine starts in Worcester, the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate this season. He’s 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in those games.

Boston continues to win in the month of June, where its record is now 11-2. The Red Sox remain in fourth place of the AL East, 1.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays, 3.5 behind the Blue Jays and 12 behind the scorching hot New York Yankees.

On Thursday afternoon Boston finishes it series with the A’s, who hold the league’s worst record at 21-43. After that the St. Louis Cardinals come to Fenway for the weekend.

PHOTOS: Red Sox cruise to 6-1 win over A's at Fenway

Red Sox give injury updates on Chris Sale, two others

  • Sep 1, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 1, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    The Boston Red Sox currently hold a streak of seven consecutive wins, and now receive some promising injury updates regarding its pitching staff. Ace pitcher Chris Sale, along with James Paxton and Josh Taylor are all progressing towards taking the mound coming off injury.

    Pitching is on fire for Boston over this seven-game stretch, allowing a 1.27 ERA in that span. Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta hold down the top of the rotation, and Michael Wacha provides the Red Sox with an unexpected spark. He’s 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA in nine starts and also has the most wins above replacement (WAR) of any Boston pitcher.

    The additions of Sale, Paxton and Taylor could bulk up the rotation and add bullpen depth the Red Sox know they will need to compete with the league’s best.

    Here’s the latest that we know on where each pitcher currently stands:

  • Chris Sale

    Aug 13, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) delivers in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 13, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) delivers in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

    After suffering a stress fracture in his rib cage in February, Sale found himself starting the season on the 60-day IL. From there, a small personal medical issue caused a setback in his rehab process. That staged Chaim Bloom to tell media they were thinking his return would come, “a few weeks beyond” when he’s eligible, which was June 6.

    Sale threw Wednesday after a “stomach bug” held him out of throwing on Tuesday, per Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic. McCaffrey also said that Sale will throw one more bullpen this weekend before throwing to hitters next week.

    If Bloom’s words hold true and Sale doesn’t face any more setbacks, he should find himself in the Red Sox’s rotation in July.

  • James Paxton

    SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning during their game at Safeco Field on September 24, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 24: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning during their game at Safeco Field on September 24, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    Paxton signed a 1 year, $10 million deal with the Red Sox in the offseason. This came after a season where Paxton had a single start before needing Tommy John surgery in April of 2021.

    There was a setback in early May where he experienced “posterior elbow soreness,” Bloom told reporters.

    Boston Manager Alex Cora told media he is “hoping” that Paxton will throw on a mound during his team’s upcoming series in Seattle. Paxton started throwing, but has yet to do so on a pitching mound.

    Due to the minor setback, Paxton’s timeline isn’t as solidified as Sale’s. Paxton told media he wanted to return before the All-Star break, which is July 18-20. That was before his setback, making it difficult to know when he will debut in the Red Sox’s pitching rotation.

  • Josh Taylor

    Jun 23, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Josh Taylor (38) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 23, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Josh Taylor (38) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Just like Sale and Paxton, Taylor had an injury and then a setback to that injury. A back strain that started at the end of the 2021 season is making it for Taylor to find his way back in game action.

    The relief pitcher also has a similar schedule to Sale, as McCaffrey reported that Taylor will throw a bullpen on Friday before facing hitters next week.

    Taylor, nor Bloom or Cora has commented on when they think the 29-year-old righty to return to the bullpen.