BOSTON -- Nathan Eovaldi was back on the bump for the Red Sox on Thursday, returning from the IL in what could be one of his final starts with Boston.
Eovaldi, who had been sidelined for over six weeks with a shoulder injury, was activated on Thursday and made his 19th start of the season in Boston's matinee at Fenway Park against the Baltimore Orioles. The righty was on a pitch count so he was only out there for 4.2 innings, allowing two runs (only one earned) off five hits.
He struck out three and did not walk a batter in his return. Eovaldi had his usual command and threw 51 of his 72 pitches for strikes.
He fanned Jorge Mateo to start the fifth inning, and then departed with two outs after getting Cedric Mullins to pop out to third. He left with the game tied 2-2, so he will not factor into the decision.
But Eovaldi lowered his season ERA to 4.05 with Thursday's outing. He's set to make one more start during Boston's final series of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays.
As a soon-to-be free agent -- and with the Red Sox eliminated from postseason contention -- Eovaldi could have opted to sit out the end of the season. But he wanted to get back on the mound a few more times in the big leagues, and it was not lost on Red Sox fans. Eovaldi was given a nice ovation when he left the mound on Thursday.
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