BOSTON — Taijuan Walker’s rough second half took a turn into Ugly-ville on Wednesday night as the Red Sox smashed his pitches (when they actually remained in the yard) to all quarters and crevices of Fenway Park.
It was nearly a repeat of what the Mets witnessed from Walker two starts earlier, when there was talk of him tipping pitches against the Yankees and a player whistling from the dugout as a possible signal.
The difference this time was Walker didn’t get to hang around for a redemption tour. He was yanked after just two innings in the Mets’ 10th loss in 13 games, 12-5 to the AL wild-card-leading Red Sox.
The Yankees, who are among the teams battling for a wild-card berth, would have welcomed help from their New York neighbors over the past two games, but the Mets couldn’t be bothered. Actually, they were overmatched.
Over his two innings, Walker allowed six earned runs on six hits (including two homers by Kyle Schwarber) and two walks. It was the third start in his past four in which Walker surrendered at least five earned runs.
At this point it’s almost difficult to remember Walker pitched to a 2.66 ERA in the first half and was selected to the National League All-Star team. Since then, he has pitched to a 7.74 ERA, mostly a testament to the 20 homers he has surrendered since the All-Star break.
Walker’s night imploded in the second inning, when the Red Sox scored four runs, extending their lead to 6-1. Schwarber’s second homer of the game, a three-run blast, was the gut-punch in the inning. The outburst gave Schwarber nine homers in 10 games against the Mets this season (the Red Sox acquired him from the Nationals at the trade deadline).
Enrique Hernandez stroked an RBI double in the inning after Jose Iglesias had walked. The rally started with Hunter Renfroe’s leadoff double.
Schwarber homered in the first inning to give the Red Sox their initial run. J.D. Martinez knocked in another, with a single, after a walk to Xander Bogearts and a Rafael Devers single.
The game turned even uglier for the Mets in the third. Martinez and Alex Verdugo doubled in succession to greet Trevor Williams, extending Boston’s lead to 7-1 before Jose Iglesias hit a Little League home run. Iglesias tripled off Kevin Pillar’s glove in right field and Javier Baez’s relay throw to third was wild, allowing Iglesias to score.
The Red Sox got that lead to 10-1 in the fourth inning after Schwarber hit a bloop double and scored on Devers’ double play grounder.