When it was announced that Chris Sale would be matched up against Jose Quintana Tuesday night, fans and analysts everywhere were expecting a pitcher’s duel. Well, that’s about the opposite of went down. Sale got off to a rough start for his standards, giving up a hit and a walk in the first inning. Despite all the base runners, Sale still managed to get all three outs via strikeout. The second inning was even worse for Sale, as he gave up three runs on four hits, and he still got two more strikeouts. After allowing another run in the third, Sale came back out for the fourth. With two outs and a runner on first, Todd Frazier came up for his third AB of the game. Before the game, Frazier talked to the media about he wanted to take his former teammate deep, and that’s exactly what he did, pulling the White Sox within one run. Sale’s day would end after pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. His worst start with the Red Sox for sure, but I was expecting Sale to be off considering the fact he was playing his first team. Heath Hembree was responsible for the sixth and seventh, and he had a nice bounce back outing, not allowing a hit in either inning. Blaine Boyer struggled in this third appearance out of the Red Sox bullpen, surrendering one run on four hits while only getting through two-thirds of the eighth. With two outs in the eighth, Craig Kimbrel got the call and would have to end the game by getting four outs. Kimbrel recorded his fourteenth save of the season, collecting two strikeouts on the way to the win.
Like I said, with Jose Quintana on the mound for the White Sox, nobody was expecting the Red Sox to score runs at the rate they did last night. After a scoreless first, the Red Sox bats picked things up, crossing the plate seven times over the next two innings. Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts hit back to back jacks in the second, and Marrero went deep again in the fourth, scoring Chris Young and Sam Travis along with him. Three more runs came across in the fifth, all coming on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s sixth home run of the season. Two more home runs would be hit by the Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts hit one in the eighth, and Mitch Moreland hit a two-run home run in the ninth to cap off an incredible offensive night. In total, Red Sox hitters hit six home runs, and more than half the lineup went yard Tuesday night. Deven Marrero and Sam Travis easily had their best games at the Major League Level, with Marrero going deep twice and Travis getting three hits, including two doubles.
After a bit of a lull offensively, it looks like these bats are about to breakout again. Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon were the only hitters who failed to get a hit, and both still reached base via a HBP and a walk. Chris Sale stunk last night, he said that himself, but I’m not too worried. With Pablo Sandoval returning from the DL, the infield could get a bit crowded. I like Josh Rutledge, but I don’t think he’s an everyday player. I would expect Marrero to move over to second until Dustin Pedroia returns from his injury. Drew Pomeranz takes the hill today, that could go many different ways.
28 down, ? to go.