A day after a frustrating series opening loss, the Red Sox looked much more like a first place team against the Rangers last night. In a matchup between two different types of pitchers, it was Rick Porcello who came out on top against 44-year-old Bartolo Colon.
Porcello managed to go six strong in this one, as he gave up just one run while scattering three hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts. The funny thing is, the righty only had two 1-2-3 innings. For the other four, he was dealing with at least one baserunner, and he really only made one mistake last night. That being a solo home run off the bat of Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara in the fourth inning. In Porcello’s defense, Mazara has been red-hot lately, as that homer marked the fourth straight game he has put one over the fence for the Rangers. Other than that though, the native of New Jersey had himself another stellar night. He lowered his ERA from 2.33 to 2.14 and improved to a perfect 5-0 on the season. The Red Sox are now 6-1 in games Porcello starts, and I think it’s safe to say that he has solidified himself as the #2 starter this season.
With Porcello’s pitch count at 96 (61 strikes) through six innings, the Red Sox bullpen would be responsible for the last nine outs of the game while protecting a two run lead at the time. In those three innings, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and Bobby Poyner were nearly perfect. Kelly tossed a scoreless seventh while striking out one, Barnes tossed a scoreless eighth while striking out two, and Bobby Poyner, making his first appearance since April 11th, tossed a scoreless ninth while allowing one hit and striking out one. All and all, a much better night for the bullpen compared to Thursday.
Offensively, the Red Sox lineup scored four of their five runs on solo home runs last night. JD Martinez got things started in the second, as he put the Red Sox on the board with a 370 foot blast to left field off of Bartolo Colon, his seventh big fly of the season.
Fast forward to the top of the fifth, with the game tied at one run a piece, Rafael Devers led things off by mashing his first of two home runs on the night 427 feet to right field. That put the Red Sox up by one and they would not have to look back.
An inning later, Mookie Betts homered in his third straight game, this time catapulting a 86 MPH two-seamer from Colon and sending it 398 feet to the seats in left field.
Four batters and an inning later, Devers collected his second home run of the night off of Colon yet again. This one was hit 415 feet and marked the second multi-home run game of the young third baseman’s career. He joins the likes of Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro as the only Red Sox players with more than one multi-homer game before turning 22-years-old (@SoxNotes). Here are both of his home runs from last night in one convenient video.
Hanley Ramirez would go on to tack on another run on an RBI double in the eighth, his 18th of the season. That scored Sandy Leon from all the way from first and gave the Red Sox their fifth and final run of this game.
With the series now even at a game each, it will be Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound for the Red Sox later tonight. He’ll be matched up against Rangers lefty Cole Hamels. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET.