Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox won again Wednesday night over the Detroit Tigers, and they did most of their damage in one inning.

With runners on first and second, Red Sox center fielder Jarren Duran hit a double to left field, tying the game against the Detroit Tigers at two runs apiece. The next at bat in the bottom of the third inning drove in two more runs. Rob Refsnyder inched his two-run homer just over the green monster, giving Boston a lead it wouldn’t give back.

The four-run third inning proved pivotal for the red-hot Red Sox, who defeated the Tigers 6-2 and have now won their sixth straight series.

Refsnyder – a 31-year-old left fielder that’s on his sixth team in his eighth year – caught fire since being inserted into the lineup earlier this month.

While that home run was his first of the season, his batting average is .409 in the month of June. The sample size is very small, and he’s hitting an unsustainable average this season, but it’s a large improvement when considering his full body of work.

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 22: Rob Refsnyder #30 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a two run home run in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on June 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – JUNE 22: Rob Refsnyder #30 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a two run home run in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on June 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

In the two seasons Refsnyder has totaled over 100 at bats, he averaged .245 and .250. He’s at 27 this season, but the start is promising for a player who isn’t regarded as a consistent starter.

“So many different parts of my career early on, I wasn’t excited or happy with how I was playing,” Refnsyder said, via Julian McWilliams of Boston Globe. “So to come here and get with the staff to work on a couple of new things … player development is a big, big thing.”

Starter Michael Wacha improved to 6-1 Wednesday, allowing two runs in the top of the first and striking out seven. Wacha is also having a career-best season. His ERA (2.34) is the lowest of his career, and his WAR is already at 2.2. His highest single season WAR is 2.9 in 2015, when he started 30 games for the St. Louis Cardinals. He has 12 starts this season.

Boston rides a four-game winning streak, it’s now 39-31 and sits third in the AL East, half a game behind the second-place Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Sox start a nine-game road trip, which starts Friday night at 7:10 against the Cleveland Guardians, who are first in the AL Central at 36-28.

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.