BOSTON — Stuck in a nine-game skid, the Boston Red Sox quickly seemed to be heading toward loss No. 10.
Especially after rookie Kyle Hart issued a pair of four-pitch walks, loading the bases for the high-scoring Philadelphia Phillies with no outs in the first inning.
But Hart managed to escape without too much damage and the Red Sox recovered to beat the Phillies 6-3 Wednesday.
“It’s amazing how good a win feels,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said on his 64th birthday. “We did a lot of things right today, and that was really good to see.”
Rafael Devers had a two-run homer and drove in three runs. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in two runs to help Boston avoid its first 10-game losing streak since 2014.
The Red Sox began the day with the AL’s worst record at 6-18.
Hart allowed two runs with four walks and five strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings in an opener role. The 27-year-old gave up seven runs in two innings in his major league debut against Tampa Bay last Thursday.
“There was some improvement,” Hart said. “As a whole, really pleased that we were able to win and that, as poorly as I started, (I) was able to keep us in there and give us a chance.”
Hart ended his postgame interview with a smile, saying, “glad to talk to you guys after a win.”
Austin Brice (1-0) struck out two over 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Boston held an opponent to three or fewer runs for the first time since a 5-3 win over Toronto on Aug. 9.
Philadelphia had won four straight after a 13-6 romp to open the two-game series Tuesday.
“It can be a maddening game to do everything right and not see the results you want,” said first baseman Rhys Hoskins (0 for 2, two walks) after hitting his first homer of the season in Tuesday’s rout.
Phil Gosselin, Didi Gregorius and Hoskins each had an RBI for Philadelphia. Phillies starter Jake Arrieta (1-3) surrendered four runs on five hits while walking four and striking out three over 4 1/3 innings.
“I don’t feel like I did anything well in this start,” Arrieta said. “I felt in the last three there were a lot of things I was able to accomplish. Today I just wasn’t able to throw the ball in the way I expected it.”
Devers tied it at 2 with his homer in the third after Kevin Pillar’s two-out double. Bradley gave Boston a 3-2 lead with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Alex Verdugo doubled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games and scored when Pillar reached on a fielding error by Hoskins at first base.
Neil Walker scored in the seventh as Hoskins reached on a throwing error by shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin.
Devers doubled in the seventh and Bradley doubled in the eighth to make it 6-3. Brandon Workman worked a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
Hart pitched in and out of trouble in the first after allowing Andrew McCutchen’s leadoff double and walking Hoskins and Bryce Harper to load the bases with no outs.
Gosselin hit a one-out RBI single. Gregorius then flied out to center fielder Bradley, who threw out a tagging Hoskins at home plate for an apparent inning-ending double play. The Phillies challenged the tag at the plate and the call was overturned.
“We made them work really hard the first inning and then we weren’t able to do more after that,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “That, to me, was the problem.”
Hart struck out Alex Bohm to end the early rally.
“If you took a snapshot of the line, I’m not super thrilled — obviously with the walks,” Hart said. “I had a horrible first inning, went down, sat in the tunnel and said I’m going to turn this into a five-inning game and give the best (effort) I had.”
Philadelphia entered with a major league-best .268 batting average and led the majors scoring 5.72 runs per games after pounding out a season-best 16 hits and matching a season high for runs on Tuesday.
COAST TO COAST
Boston claimed right-hander Andrew Triggs off waivers from the San Francisco Giants during the game. Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves was designated for assignment. The Red Sox entered with a major league-worst 6.36 team ERA.
Phillies: INF Jean Segura (hamstring) sat for a second straight game after being injured Sunday against the Mets. He is considered day-to-day. … RF Jay Bruce (rest) had the day off after hitting a three-run homer and driving in four runs Tuesday. … Girardi said he expects both Segura and Bruce to play Thursday.
Red Sox: DH J.D. Martinez (dehydration) was not in the lineup after leaving Tuesday’s game in the fifth inning. Roenicke said Martinez will be “good to go” Thursday. … INF Christian Arroyo was reinstated from the injured list. RHP Marcus Walden was optioned to the team’s alternate training site and RHP Mike Shawaryn was designated for assignment.
Phillies: Will play a seven-inning doubleheader Thursday against the Blue Jays in Buffalo after their three-game series in late July was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. RHP Spencer Howard (0-1, 7.88 ERA) will start Game 1 and RHP Vince Velasquez (0-0, 7.88 ERA) will start Game 2.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-2, 5.93 ERA) starts the first of four games in Baltimore on Thursday. He looks to bounce back after allowing a season-high eight runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees on Aug. 15.
By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Associated Press