Boston Red Sox

In seven strong innings, Boston Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta struck out 10 batters and allowed just one run as the Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Sunday.

Pivetta continues to pitch at an All-Star level in recent weeks. No aspect of Pivetta’s performance was more important than his seventh and final inning, when he exceeded 100 pitches and struck out the side to hold the Cardinals to one run.

The numbers over Pivetta’s last nine starts are extremely impressive. In that span, he’s 7-1 with a 1.77 ERA, fifth in the majors. He’s also posted a WHIP of 0.84 (fourth) and struck out 61 (second) in as many innings.

While the end product was great, it didn’t start that way for Pivetta. He walked four of his first 10 batters, but adjusted to finish with seven strikeouts in four innings with zero walks.

“I think I’m getting much better,” Pivetta said of making in-game adjustments, per Steve Hewitt of The Boston Herald. “Me and Bushy (pitching coach Dave Bush) talked after the game. I don’t know if I make that adjustment last year, so I just think it’s kind of the work that I put in, kind of the rhythm that I’m in that I’m able to make that adjustment there.”

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 19: Nick Pivetta #37 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after pitching during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park on June 19, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JUNE 19: Nick Pivetta #37 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after pitching during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park on June 19, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Red Sox won the weekend series 2-1 against the Cardinals, now sitting at 36-31 (.537), half a game back from third in the AL East. They host the Detroit Tigers (26-40) for the next three games.

First pitch is Monday night at 7:10 p.m. ET. Josh Winckowski gets the start for Boston.

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.