Vazquez homers twice to lead Red Sox past Mets
NEW YORK — Christian Vazquez hit two more homers and Martin Perez gave Boston’s patchwork rotation a much-needed lift Thursday night, leading the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the New York Mets.
Perez (1-1) overcame four walks and some shaky defense behind him, allowing only two hits while striking out five in 5 2/3 innings for his first win with the Red Sox. The lefthander signed a $6.5 million, one-year contract as a free agent in December.
Vazquez connected twice off Steven Matz (0-1), including a two-run shot on an 0-and-2 pitch in the fourth that put the Red Sox ahead 3-2 and left a frustrated Matz shaking his head.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth and added an insurance run when Edwin Diaz hit Jose Peraza with a pitch.
Heath Hembree worked out of trouble in the seventh, and Matt Barnes did the same in the eighth for the Red Sox.
Brandon Workman, on the mound for the third consecutive day after throwing 30 pitches Wednesday, got three outs for his second save — both in the last two nights.
Workman struck out slugger Pete Alonso with a runner on second base to end a game that took 3 hours, 49 minutes.
The Mets, who went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position Wednesday, stranded nine overall this time.
The Red Sox have won two in a row following a four-game skid. They split four consecutive games against the Mets, with the road team winning each one.
Vazquez hit a leadoff shot to left field in the second inning. His only other multihomer game in the majors came last September at Philadelphia. He joined Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk (1973) as the only Red Sox catchers to hit four home runs in the first seven games of a season.
Vazquez also launched a tying home run in the seventh inning Wednesday night and a two-run single in the eighth that helped Boston rally for a 6-5 victory.
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Jeff McNeil laced a two-run single off Perez in the third inning Thursday to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.
After winning two games at Citi Field in Queens, the Red Sox remain in New York but head up to the Bronx for the opener of a three-game series Friday night at Yankee Stadium. It will be the first meeting between the longtime rivals during this tenuous season shortened by the coronavirus. Ryan Weber (0-1) pitches for Boston against lefthander Jordan Montgomery.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez still isn’t close to being able to return from a heart condition he developed as a symptom of COVID-19. Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said Rodriguez hasn’t been cleared to start pitching again, and when he does it will take him time to get back into game shape. ... 3B Rafael Devers and 1B Mitch Moreland were rested against the lefthander. Devers pinch hit in the ninth and struck out with the bases loaded against Diaz before remaining in the game and making a tough play at third base for the first out of the bottom half.
Mets: RHP Marcus Stroman (torn calf muscle) is scheduled to face hitters Friday. ... Infielder Jed Lowrie got a second opinion on his troublesome left knee. He has looseness in a ligament, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. Lowrie has hardly been able to play for New York since signing a $20 million, two-year contract before last season.