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May 12, 2024 7:03 am

Brayan Bello set to return for Red Sox in series finale vs. Nats

brayan bello

Boston right-hander Brayan Bello will make his return from the 15-day injured list when the host Red Sox and Washington Nationals wrap up a three-game series on Sunday afternoon.

Bello (3-1, 3.04 ERA) hasn’t pitched since April 19, when he picked up a win against the Pittsburgh Pirates after allowing just one hit across six shutout innings. He landed on the IL five days later because of lat tightness.

Sunday will mark Bello’s first career appearance against the Nationals, who, like the Red Sox, will seek a series victory.

After Washington opened the series with a 5-1 victory on Friday night, Boston battled back for a 4-2 win on Saturday. Rafael Devers broke a 2-2 tie by hitting a two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning.

Devers doubled off of Robert Garcia after the Nationals elected to intentionally walk Tyler O’Neill with Romy Gonzalez on second base.

“I thought that was the right matchup,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “It’s a good battle up there. He fouled a couple of good, tough pitches off, and (Devers) just got the best of him (Saturday). But Garcia’s throwing the ball good. He’s our left-handed guy, so we decided to go that route.”

Devers said he couldn’t remember a time when a team intentionally walked a player to pitch to him.

“Those are baseball decisions,” Devers said through an interpreter. “Tyler is a right-handed batter. I’m lefty, so if I’m a manager someday, I might make the same decision.”

The outcome ended Boston’s three-game losing streak, and the Red Sox struggled immensely at the plate with runners in scoring position during the skid. Boston stranded 33 runners during those three setbacks, in which the team was 2-for-29 with runners in scoring position.

“Raffy against anybody — we’ll take that,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “As a manager you gotta kind of like pick your poison, right? They had the righty ready. They’re watching, too. At that point they made the decision to go against Raffy. (Garcia) had him with two strikes. He was one pitch away from getting out of the inning.

“You’re managing that inning, you’re managing the whole game, you’re managing the series, right. Probably the lefty won’t be there (Sunday). They got a lefty going. So there’s a lot of thought process, not only like it’s Raffy Devers. I bet if he has to do it again, he’ll do it again, because I know Dave. There’s a lot of conviction behind it. I understand the reasoning.”

Washington was held to four hits in Saturday’s loss, but two were solo home runs by Joey Meneses and Eddie Rosario.

The Nationals will send left-hander MacKenzie Gore (2-3, 3.44 ERA) to the mound on Sunday.

In his most recent outing, Gore was tagged for six runs (two earned) and six hits in three innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last Sunday. He did not factor into the decision.

Gore’s only career appearance against the Red Sox came last August, when he gave up one hit and no runs in 6 1/3 innings during Washington’s 6-2 victory. Gore struck out seven and walked two but settled for a no-decision.

–Field Level Media

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