The back-and-forth continues, Red Sox knot the game at 4-4 in the eighth

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The Red Sox were responsible for the fourth lead-change of the night as they knotted Game 3 up at four apiece with a two-run rally in the bottom of the eighth against the exalted Cardinal bullpen. Carlos Martinez put the first two batters he faced on base, allowing a lead-off single to Jacoby Ellsbury, then hitting Shane Victorino in the thigh with a slider. Dustin Pedroia advanced both runners with a weak grounder to shortstop Pete Kozma. With a base open, Martinez intentionally walked David Ortiz before manager Mike Matheny removed him from the game.

The flamethrowing Trevor Rosenthal entered the game with the bases loaded and one out, a tall task for anyone, even those that can hit 100 MPH. Nava slugged a line drive into the ground just in front of Kolten Wong, who just entered the game as a defensive substitute, who played the ball on a hop and fired to shortstop Kozma to attempt the double play. Kozma’s toss to first was a second too late, so Ellsbury scored to cut the score to 4-3. Xander Bogaerts followed up with a high chopper up the middle which Kozma couldn’t corral. Victorino scored the tying run. Saltalamacchia grounded out to end the inning.

Will the Cardinals summon up their black magic to pull off a last-ditch victory at home? Will the beard power of the Red Sox push them through a tough game on the road? Buckle up, folks.

Mitch Moreland signs one-year, $3 million deal with Red Sox

Mitch Moreland
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First baseman Mitch Moreland is back with the Red Sox. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the veteran has inked a one-year, $3 million to remain in Boston. The contract calls for a $2.5 million salary for 2020 and includes a 2021 club option worth $3 million with a $500,000 buyout.

Moreland has spent the past three seasons with the Red Sox. Last year, he hit .252/.328/.507 with 19 home runs and 58 RBI over 335 plate appearances. He mostly faced right-handed pitching, platooning at first base with Michael Chavis, Sam Travis, and Steve Pearce.

Moreland will once again platoon at first base with Chavis. Chavis also played second and third base last year, so he could find time at those positions when Moreland is in the starting lineup.