Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Red Sox look to ignite offense again vs. Diamondbacks

Field Level Media
27 May 2023, 21:40 GMT+10

The Boston Red Sox were outscored 20-4 during a four-game losing streak in which hits were hard to come by.

The Red Sox, however, ended their hitting slump with 14 hits in the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

Boston will look for more production when the teams meet again Saturday night in Phoenix.

Boston was blanked twice during the four-game skid and had just 21 total hits. However, on Friday, five players had at least two hits and Enrique Hernandez hit a two-run homer as the Red Sox posted a 7-2 victory over Arizona.

Triston Casas and Alex Verdugo each had three hits and one RBI, Connor Wong had two hits, two runs and one RBI, and Raimel Tapia and Justin Turner each had two hits and one RBI for Boston. Casas also scored twice.

It was a much different story for Boston hitters on Friday than in the previous four games -- a shutout loss against the San Diego Padres and four runs in three setbacks against the Los Angeles Angels.

"That was a great bounce-back for us," Wong said after Friday's game. "Tough series there in Anaheim. It was really good for us as an offense to get back out there and do our thing."

The Red Sox hope to have slugger Rafael Devers back in the lineup Saturday after he sat out the opener due to left-calf tightness.

The Diamondbacks have lost two straight games after winning four in a row and nine of 11.

Arizona's Ketel Marte had an eighth-inning single to stretch his career-long streak of reaching base to 25 games. Lourdes Gurriel delivered an RBI triple to run his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest active streak in the majors.

But the Diamondbacks were just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Friday.

Arizona right-hander Zach Davies (0-0, 5.79 ERA) will be on the mound for the first time since injuring his left oblique on April 8 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Davies pitched 9 1/3 innings in two starts before going on the injured list.

Davies was deemed ready to return to the rotation after allowing three hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab stint for Double-A Amarillo last Saturday.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo is happy to see the 30-year-old ready to go. Davies will be activated before the game to make his first career start against Boston.

"You can't force the body to heal any quicker than it's going to, so the injury in his midsection was going to take time, but there were other things that he could do that would shorten the gap of his return," Lovullo said. "Keeping your lower half engaged, keeping your shoulder healthy and strong. So when he stepped back into the arena of competition, he was lights out."

Red Sox right-hander Garrett Whitlock (1-2, 6.19) also will return from an extended absence to start on Saturday.

Whitlock, 26, has missed nearly five weeks with a forearm injury. He told reporters Friday that he was fortunate the diagnosis occurred when it did.

"I think we definitely got in front of something before it got worse," Whitlock said. "I wasn't thrilled that I had to take time away, but it's probably best in the long run. Now I'm back, and I'm just trying to stay with the team for the rest of the year."

Whitlock allowed four homers in 16 innings over three starts before going on the injured list. He has yet to face the Diamondbacks.

--Field Level Media

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