After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox were back at it against another AL West opponent in the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. Before the game though, Steven Wright was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to left knee inflammation. Wright was the starter for Thursday’s contest against Los Angeles, but it will be Brian Johnson getting the nod in his place.
Speaking of starting pitching, David Price made his 16th start of the season last night and wrapped up his month of June with yet another impressive outing. Going six full innings in this one, the lefty yielded just one earned run on five hits and two walks while fanning seven Angels on the night.
Price got off to a great start by retiring the first seven batters he saw going into the third inning. However, that was where he also struggled the most. In total, the Angels reached base four times off the Tennessee native in the frame, but fortunately for Price, they could only muster one run out of it. That one run came off the bat of old friend Chris Young on a solo homer with one out in the inning.
The Angels threatened again by loading the bases with two outs in the inning, but Price escaped any further damage by getting Albert Pujols to ground out to third to retire the side.
Needing 34 pitches just in the third inning, the Red Sox were only able to get six innings out of Price. He essentially breezed through the next three frames, but with his pitch count at 99 (60 strikes) going into the middle of the sixth, the 32 year-old’s night would come to an end.
In total, Price went to his four-seam fastball 30% of the time on Tuesday and topped out at 94.5 MPH in the third inning.
With another quality start in the books for Price, that marks five straight outings where he has gone at least five innings deep and given up three or fewer runs.
Finishing June with a 2.90 ERA in 31 innings pitched, the Red Sox hurler will look to build on a successful month in his next time out against the New York Yankees this Sunday night on the first of July.
In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen was perfect. Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, and just called up Justin Haley combined to toss three perfect, scoreless innings against the Angels bats to wrap up their teams 53rd win of the season.
On the flip side of things, the Red Sox lineup feasted on Angels pitching once again. If you recall the first series between these two teams back in the middle of April, the Red Sox outscored Los Angeles by an average of eight runs per contest in a three game series. And what do you know, they scored eight more runs than the Angels last night.
Right from the get go, the Red Sox were in control of this game. Before Angels starter John Lamb could even settle into his first career outing at Fenway Park, Mookie Betts took him deep on the first pitch he saw to put his team up early.
An inning later, after Eduardo Nunez and Rafael Devers reached base and advanced to second and third on a Christian Vazquez groundout, Jackie Bradley Jr. built on his three-hit performance on Sunday and drove both runners in on a two RBI double.
After Mookie Betts drew a five pitch walk off of Lamb, Andrew Benintendi came through with his 51st RBI of the season to score Bradley from second.
Two batters later, an intentional walk to Xander Bogaerts loaded the bases up for Mitch Moreland. I’m not sure why the Angels wanted to do this, considering how hot Moreland has been recently, but they did, and Moreland made them pay for it by reaching first and scoring Betts from third on an infield single.
With Lamb now out of the game for the Angels, Jackie Bradley Jr. introduced himself to new pitcher Deck McGuire by collecting his fifth home run of the season on a ball that had a hit probability of 20% in the third.
The bottom half of the fifth and sixth innings of this one saw home runs from two different types of players.
First, Christian Vazquez mashed his third homer of the season in the fifth with an exit velo. of exactly 100 MPH.
And in the sixth, JD Martinez followed suit by ripping his 24th homer of the year into the Red Sox bullpen. Yet another opposite field home run for the league leader in that category.
Finally, to put an exclamation point on a stellar night at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. racked up his fourth RBI of the game on a line drive single to score Blake Swihart from third.
Some notes from this win:
In four games this season, the Red Sox have outscored the Angels by a total score of 36-4. The Red Sox are 4-0 in those games.
From @SoxNotes: David Price has allowed 3 runs or fewer in 9 consecutive starts, his longest such streak since joining the Red Sox.
Over his eight game hitting streak, Mitch Moreland is slashing .419/.471/.677 with eight runs driven in.
Prior to this past Sunday against the Mariners, Jackie Bradley Jr. had eight hits in 63 at bats this month. In his last two games, the Red Sox outfielder has collected six hits.
JD Martinez is one home run away from having the most by a Red Sox player through the month of June in the franchise’s history.
Looking to take the series with another win later tonight, it will be Rick Porcello getting the ball for the Red Sox. He’ll be matched up against Angels lefty Andrew Heaney, who only has one career start against Boston in which he surrendered two runs in seven innings pitched back in 2015. First pitch of the middle game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.