Less than 24 hours after dropping the opening game of this three game series against the lowly Chicago White Sox, the Red Sox were right back out there this afternoon, with JD Martinez in the lineup, which unlike Friday night, proved to be the difference maker.
Before that though, David Price toed the rubber for his 13th start of the season. Coming in on a bit of a roll as of late, Price did not have the best of first innings. In fact, the first three batters he faced all reached base, which led to the first run of the game coming on a Jose Abreu RBI double. Two batters later, the second White Sox run crossed the plate on an RBI groundout off the bat of catcher Kevan Smith. And just like that, the Red Sox found themselves in a hole before even taking their first at bats.
Thankfully, Price settled in once he retired the side in the first by punching out old friend Yoan Moncada on four pitches.
From the start of the second inning to the conclusion of the top half of the sixth, the lefty held the White Sox scoreless while scattering three hits and two walks in five frames of work. In total, the Tennessee native recorded six strikeouts on only 86 pitches (56 strikes) en route to his seventh winning decision of the season.
In relief of Price, three Red Sox relievers tossed a scoreless inning each. Joe Kelly retired the side in order in the seventh, Matt Barnes extended his scoreless appearance streak to 12 in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel, who had not pitched since June 2nd, picked up his 20th save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth with some help from Andrew Benintendi.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox actually scored some runs against the White Sox today. Shocking I know.
Facing off against lefty Carlos Rodon, Andrew Benintendi got things started by drawing a six pitch walk. Two batters later, after Xander Bogaerts reached base on a fielding error, JD Martinez made his return to the Red Sox lineup after a one game absence by grounding into what should have been a double play. Instead a bad throw from White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada got away from Jose Abreu and allowed Martinez to reach safely while also scoring Benintendi from second. No RBI for Martinez, but still an impactful at bat to cut the deficit in half early.
An inning later, Jackie Bradley Jr., batting out of the nine-hole, mashed his first home run in nearly two months to knot this thing up at two. 414 feet, 105.7 MPH off the bat.
Fast forward to the fifth, and after Xander Bogaerts led the inning off by reaching first on a fielding error, JD Martinez pretty much put this game away with a go-ahead, two-run shot for his league leading 21st big fly of the season.
Another vintage opposite field blast for Martinez, he sent that 85 MPH changeup from Rodon 391 feet into the Red Sox bullpen to make it a 4-2 game. The Red Sox would not have to look back.
Some notes from this win:
On that home run from Jackie Bradley Jr. in the second inning, it was the outfielders’s first extra-base hit against a left-handed pitcher this season. (@SmittyOnMLB)
Since the start of May, JD Martinez has hit 16 home runs in 35 games. Over that span, he is averaging just over eight at bats per home run.
The Red Sox are undefeated in David Price’s last six starts. In those six outings, Price owns a 2.91 ERA in 37.1 innings pitched.
With the series coming to an end tomorrow afternoon, the White Sox will send young righty Reynaldo Lopez to the hill. He will be matched up against another righty in Rick Porcello for the Red Sox. First pitch of the finale is scheduled for 1:05 PM and both teams will be looking to pick up the series win.