Red Sox Wrap: Christian Vazquez Homers Twice, Pitching Produces In Win Vs. Mets

Two days after watching the New York Mets leave Fenway Park with a two-game series sweep, the Boston Red Sox get to leave Citi Field having done the exact same.
And it was an all-hands-on-deck effort for the Red Sox in Thursday night’s 4-2 win.
Christian Vazquez led the offense, which got hot early on. Martin Perez put together a nice start on the mound and relievers Heath Hembree and Matt Barnes escaped some high-pressure innings to keep Boston out front.
The Red Sox moved to 3-4 on the season heading into a three-game series against the New York Yankees, while the Mets dropped to 3-4.
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Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Fun.
Hot offense and strong pitching, the Red Sox looked strong Thursday night.
ON THE BUMP
— Boston got a promising bounce-back start from Martin Perez.
Perez threw 5 2/3 innings allowing just two hits and two runs scored. He recorded five strikeouts with four walks and retired eight of the last nine batters he faced, with the lone exception being an error.

5.2 strong innings from Pérez, who leaves with a 3-2 lead.
— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) July 31, 2020

— The Red Sox were impacted by some self-inflicted miscues with Perez on the mound, though.
Perez started off the third by walking the leadoff batter and hitting the next. Peraza then overthrew first base to allow runners at the corners, before another Perez walk to load the bases. New York’s Jeff O’Neil made the Sox pay with a two-RBI single to left. But Perez got out of the jam with a fly out to Kevin Pillar and crucial strike out.
— Heath Hembree came on in relief for Perez and got out of a crucial jam in the seventh.
Hembree allowed a leadoff single to Robinson Cano while pinch runner Andres Gimenez stole second base to give the Mets a runner in scoring position with nobody out. Hembree, however, earned a strikeout for the first out of the inning and induced a pair of ground balls to shortstop Xander Bogaerts to strand Gimenez.
Hembree finished with 1 1/3 innings of work, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts.

Some big outs from Heath Hembree tonight. Six outs to go.
— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) July 31, 2020

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— Matt Barnes had much of the same in the eighth.
The right-handed UConn product induced a ground ball to first baseman Michael Chavis for the third out of the inning with the bases loaded with the Sox leading 3-2. Barnes hit the first batter of the inning and allowed a single to right field to put runners on the corners with one out. He earned a massive strikeout for his second of the frame before loading the bases by walking Yoenis Cespedes. The ground ball to Chavis got the Sox out of a jam for the second time in as many innings.

Gutsy 37-pitch inning for Barnes, who was repeatedly squeezed by home plate ump Sean Barber. He leaves bases loaded and Sox head to the 9th up by a run.
— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) July 31, 2020

— Brandon Workman came in for the save one night after throwing 30-plus pitches. Thankfully for Red Sox fans, it played out a little bit easier.
Workman induced a ground out to Rafael Devers for the first out of the frame before allowing a single to No. 9 batter Brandon Nimmo. The right-hander struck out leadoff batter Amed Rosario and Pete Alonso to earn back-to-back saves.

Got 'em! pic.twitter.com/P61POqktXq
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 31, 2020

IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— J.D. Martinez smacked a two-out infield single and then went to second base on a throwing error in the first inning. However, with two down in the inning, Bogaerts grounded out to end the threat.
— Vazquez continued to be at another level Thursday night.
The Red Sox catcher belted a pair of home runs in his first two plate appearances, after hitting a solo homer in Wednesday’s win over the Mets.
Vazquez’s first of the game came on a solo shot in the second inning off Steven Matz, giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. He then smashed a two-run homer to left-center field in the fourth inning, which helped the Sox regain a 3-2 lead.
The catcher, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, recorded four hits and six RBIs in the two games at Citi Field. He has four home runs and eight RBIs this season.

Different at-bat, same result. pic.twitter.com/RZkhdStn74
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 31, 2020

Right on cue. pic.twitter.com/iWf3fyHctO
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 30, 2020

— The Red Sox finished with nine hits after recording eight within the first 5 1/3 innings off the starter Matz.
— Michael Chavis got a much-needed, ninth-inning rally going with a base hit to advance Verdugo (walk) to third base. The Sox had the bases loaded with nobody out in the ninth and managed to get one run in (Verdugo) after Peraza was hit by a pitch.
— Alex Verdugo recorded a pair of hits on two infield singles.
CAUGHT STEALING
— The Red Sox hurt themselves in a few ways including one head-scratching play as Peraza got caught trying to steal third base in the third inning. Peraza, who reached on a leadoff single and went to second on a two-out fielder’s choice, registered the final out of the frame with cleanup batter Xander Bogaerts at the plate.
— Vazquez didn’t only have a good day at the plate, but behind it as well. The 29-year-old catcher threw to second base from his knees as New York’s Michael Conforto attempted the theft in the second inning.

– A homer -Throws out runner attempting to steal second– Sees his pitcher struggling with fastball/cutter, so he calls for three straight changeups to retire Conforto-Another homer
Vazquez has singlehandedly taken over this game so far.
— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) July 31, 2020

TWEET OF THE GAME
Not a bad night at the office.

This is the 6th time Christian Vázquez has hit a home run and caught a runner stealing in the same game:
9/25/14 vs. TB6/27/17 vs. MIN4/13/19 vs. BAL4/19/19 at TB7/26/20 vs. BAL7/30/20 at NYM
— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) July 31, 2020

UP NEXT
The Red Sox concluded their four games in four nights against the New York Mets and now will take on the New York Yankees for a three-game, weekend series starting Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET.
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