Red Sox double up on Brewers, salvage finale with 7-2 win
BOSTON (AP) — J.D. Martinez thought about the possibility Sunday could be his final game for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
“I’m not, like blind,” “he said. ”I know what’s going on.”
Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vázquez had RBI doubles that helped slumping Boston to a 7-2 win on Sunday over the Milwaukee Brewers. All three could be in their final season with the Red Sox, who have just four wins in 17 games as Tuesday’s trade deadline approaches.
“I’ve been in this situation before. No point in stressing out about it,” Martinez said.
Martinez and Vázquez are eligible for free agency and Bogaerts can opt out of his contract.
“Memories,” Martinez said of what it meant to be wearing a Red Sox hat with a “B” on the front. “A first-class organization. I look at it and I think about winning”
Vázquez has played his entire career in Boston’s organization.
“We’re still here,” he said. “We can control what we can control. We’re here fighting together. … We’ll see what happens the next couple of days. We’re still here with this uniform and I hope we can stay here.”
Boston, which had a season-high eight doubles, was 3-7 on a season-long homestand and 8-19 in July.
Ex Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster for the second straight day and went 4 for 4 for NL Central-leading Milwaukee, which lost for only the second time in nine games since the All-Star break.
“We had a chance to expand the lead,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s two-out-of-three and move onto the next series.”
Josh Winckowski (4-5) allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings, becoming Boston’s first starter to win in 30 games — the majors’ longest streak since the Mariners went 33 games in 1979.
Trailing 2-0, Boston struck with five unearned runs in the fifth against Aaron Ashby (2-9) on consecutive two-out RBI doubles by Bogaerts, Martinez, Vázquez and Alex Verdugo. Bogaerts drove in two runs with a drive down the left-field line. Verdugo’s hit was off Hoby Milner.
The inning was extended because second baseman Kolten Wong dropped shortstop Willy Adames’ throw on an attempted force play.
“It’s a tough catch, it’s a player on the run making a 50-foot throw and it’s just kind at your ankles,” Counsell said. “Tough play, hope to make it.”
The Red Sox added two more runs in the sixth when Jackie Bradley Jr. had an RBI double and scored on Jaylin Davis’ single.
Renfroe hit his 19th homer. He hit 31 last year in his only season with Boston and was dealt to the Brewers in November.
KEEPING IT REAL
Despite his team’s struggles, Red Sox manager Alex Cora feels he’s fortunate to be back in baseball after being suspended for the 2020 season for his part in the Astros’ 2017 cheating scandal while he was their bench coach.
“I was in a deeper hole two years ago and I promised myself if I get back to the business, I was going enjoy it until somebody says you’ve got to go home,” he said before the game. “I put myself in that situation in 2020, got suspended for what we did in 2017 and paid the price. I’m lucky enough that this organization gave me a chance to come back and I’m going to enjoy every day.”
Cora shifted his batting order, moving Davis to the leadoff spot and Bogaerts to the 2-hole in front of Martinez, with Vázquez cleanup.
Brewers: 3B Luis Urías got hit on the back of the left hand by a 92.9 mph pitch from Winckowski but he stayed in.
Red Sox: Reliever Garrett Whitlock got hit off the back of the right leg on a grounder from Urías but remained in after throwing a few warmups. … Cora said that All-Star 3B Rafael Devers (injured list, right hamstring) is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday.
Brewers: Open a three-game series at Pittsburgh on Tuesday when RHP Corbin Burnes (8-4, 2.31 ERA) is slated to start.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-3, 4.43) is scheduled to start for Boston on Monday when it begins a three-game series at Houston. RHP Luis Garcia (8-6, 3.81) is set for the Astros.
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