Not gonna lie, this team has kinda just been okay over the past week. A nice weekend in Houston resulted in two straight series losses to inferior teams. Now, the first place Twins come to town looking to separate themselves from the AL Central. They didn’t get a good start to the series though, as Chris Sale made his sixteenth start of the season, and he looked really good. The American League strike out leader pitched into the seventh inning, only allowing four hits and one run while striking out nine on his way to his tenth victory of 2017. The only real mistake Sale made was a solo home run in the third off the bat of Chris Gimenez, which cut the Red Sox lead in half at the time. Other than that though, nothing to complain about from the ace. It looks like Sale will be making his next start on Saturday in Toronto, where he has already thrown eight shutout innings earlier in April.
Stop me if you have heard this before, but the Red Sox bullpen was great once again last night. Heath Hembree got out of a two on, one out jam in the seventh, Matt Barnes struck out the side in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel notched his twenty-first save of the season. With that save, Kimbrel has now recorded at least one save against all 30 teams in his excellent career.
The bats got things started quickly on Monday, scoring half their runs in the first. Mookie Betts scored on a Xander Bogaerts double play, and for the third straight game, Mitch Moreland hit a home run in his first plate appearance. Those would be the only Red Sox runs until the seventh. The starter for the Twins, Jose Berrios, got off to a rough start, but calmed down after the first and pitched into the seventh. That kid is going to be a stud, by the way. Has to be the best pitcher to start his Major League career with that organization since Johan Santana. He reminds me a lot of the late, great Jose Fernandez as well.
Anyway, Berrios allowed two of the first three batters to reach in th seventh, and he was relieved for Matt Belisle. The first batter he faced, Dustin Pedroia, drove in Sandy Leon on an RBI single. Xander Bogaerts was intentionally walked, and Buddy Boshers came in for Belisle. The first batter he faced, Mitch Moreland, capped off his night by driving in the last run of the game on a sac fly to center.
Pretty solid night on both sides to at least keep that share of first with the Yankees, who are going to beat the White Sox. Also, shout out to Tzu-Wei Lin for recording his first career Major League hit on a bloop single in his first career at-bat.
42 down, ? to go.