Coming into tonight’s game, it looked like the Red Sox had hit a mini skid. Nothing to get overly concerned about, but still, two straight losses. Making his seventeenth start of the season, Drew Pomeranz had the chance to end the skid, and he capitalized on it. The southpaw didn’t dominate the Rays lineup, but he didn’t need to. The only runs he allowed came in the fourth, when he gave up an RBI double to Wilson Ramos and an RBI single to Brad Miller. The Red Sox defense had a pretty significant role in the way Pomeranz’s outing went, as key double plays in the second and fifth kept the Rays off the board. It wasn’t his best stuff, but today’s start lowered his ERA to 3.60, and it is his fourth quality start since that stinker against Detroit on Sunday Night Baseball. The bullpen would be responsible for the final three innings. Heath Hembree had one of his worst appearances of the season, allowing three hits and one run while only recording one out. Matt Barnes ended the seventh with one pitch which turned into a double play, and he pitched a scoreless eighth as well. In a non save opportunity, Craig Kimbrel made his first appearance since the blown save in Texas, and he had a great rebound, striking out the side in order to end the game and get Drew Pomeranz his ninth win of the season. If you told me that Drew Pomeranz would be the second best pitcher in this rotation before the season started, I would have laughed in your face. Truth is, despite all the early struggles, he has been. All the other injuries and the inconsistency of Rick Porcello has put Pomeranz in that spot. I don’t know what Manager John told him after his awful start in Oakland, but whatever it was, it has been effective up to this point in the season.
Besides Christian Vazquez, every one in the lineup reached base at least one time, and even Vazquez drove in a run. The catalyst of this offensive outpour would have to be Dustin Pedroia. After Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi had already driven in two runs, Pedroia takes Jake Odorizzi deep for his third long ball of the season, making it a 4-0 game at that point. I don’t follow the Rays too closely, but I’d say Odorizzi is their best pitcher behind Chris Archer. Compared to what that Faria kid did last night, Odorizzi was awful. He gave up two home runs in the first four innings and walked three straight to give the Red Sox a run and load the bases. Jackie Bradley hit the second home run in the fourth, his twelfth, and he drove in the first run in the fifth on that walk. Vazquez drove in the second run of the inning in the fifth. To wrap things up, Hanley Ramirez went deep for his thirteenth of the season, all part of his three hit night.
I would just like to point out the fact that Andrew Benintendi has 51 RBIs and we’re not even at the break yet. He’s no Judge, but you can’t ignore what Benintendi has done for this team as a rookie. He just turned 23 yesterday, so happy belated Benny.
The big 50 down, ? to go.