Yes, those Red Sox won again on Wednesday night. Rick Porcello, making his twenty-fourth start of the season, was matched up against Rays righty Jake Odorizzi. Last time Porcello pitched at the Trop, he had his best start of the season, pitching a complete game in a losing effort. He wasn’t this good last night, but he was good enough, getting through six innings before being lifted in the seventh. In those 6+ IP, Porcello allowed only four hits and two earned runs, both home runs, while walking two and striking out seven. The best part of his start, easily, was the immaculate inning he threw in the fifth. Nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts. Along with Craig Kimbrel, Porcello is the second Red Sox pitcher to accomplish this feat this season.
The only real mistakes Porcello made came in the sixth, when both Adeiny Hechavarria and Brad Miller took him deep. After coming out for the seventh and allowing the first two batters to reach, Matt Barnes would be inserted the game. Barnes would finish the inning without allowing a run to score. Brandon Workman pitched a scoreless eighth, and Joe Kelly secured the win with a 1-2-3 ninth. It was nice to see this start out of Porcello considering how much he struggled against the Indians last time out. It looks like he’ll be making his next start against… the Indians. That’s a makeup game, hopefully Porcello can perform better on Monday then he did last Thursday.
Offensively, the bats gave Porcello a decent amount of run support. Andrew Benintendi scored the first run of the game in the third, scoring on a fielding error by Odorizzi on a Mitch Moreland pop out. In the fifth, Mookie Betts drove in Eduardo Nunez with an RBI single, his 70th of the season. A passed ball and a wild pitch allowed two more runs to score, then Sandy Leon drove in two more, Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, on a 2 RBI single. Next time he was up, Leon did it again with another RBI single, this time just scoring Brock Holt. A wild pitch with Eduardo Nunez up allowed Leon to score, and that would be it for the scoring.
The top two guys in the lineup, Eduardo Nunez and Andrew Benintendi, accounted for 55% of the hits, 33% of the runs scored, but 0% of the run production. Despite scoring nine runs, Red Sox hitters were only responsible for three of them, and Sandy Leon drove in two of them.
Another off day today, this one being in New York. First place is not on the line in this three-game weekend series, but you got to think it’s still relatively important against a team like the Yankees. ERod gets the start on Friday, and he’ll be followed by Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale on Sunday Night Baseball.
65 down, ? to go.