After getting swept in a day-night doubleheader to open up a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, the Red Sox bounced back in style on Wednesday, exploding for a season-high 11 runs en route to a blowout victory over Detroit at Fenway Park.
Making his fifth start of the season in this one was Eduardo Rodriguez, fresh off a so-so outing against the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend.
The left-hander improved to 2-2 following a dominating performance Wednesday, as he surrendered just one earned run on two hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.
Retiring 13 of the 15 Tigers hitters he faced, Rodriguez did not give up his first hit of this ballgame until just about the midway point with one out in the fifth inning.
Following two more punchouts in that frame, the 26-year-old ran into a bit more trouble in the sixth with Detroit plating their first run of the night on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Niko Goodrum.
Other than that though, Rodriguez capped off his second straight quality home start by getting Brandon Dixon to pop out to first and that was that.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 90 (54 strikes), the Venezuela native relied on his four-seam fastball 52% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday while also topping out at 94.9 MPH with the same pitch. His next start should come against the Oakland Athletics sometime next week.
In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen relatively held their own over the final three innings of this one.
Brandon Workman fanned three and walked one in an impressive seventh, Matt Barnes made his first relief appearance since Sunday and worked his way around a self-imposed bases loaded jam with the Tigers only trailing by three runs at the time, and Tyler Thornburg got lit up for three runs on two hits and two walks in the ninth to secure the 11-4 win for Boston.
Thornburg has an ERA of 7.59 through 10 appearances and 10.2 innings pitched so far this season.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Tigers right-hander Tyson Ross for the third installation of this four-game set.
Only pitching inside Fenway Park twice before prior to Wednesday, the Red Sox got to Ross starting in their half of the second.
With JD Martinez leading things off with a single, Rafael Devers drove in Boston’s first run of the evening on a hard-hit RBI single to score Martinez.
One caught stealing, one Michael Chavis walk, and one Jackie Bradley Jr. single later, the Red Sox, as they have been known to do, executed the hit-and-run perfectly with Christian Vazquez.
Note how the second baseman Gordon Beckham went to cover the bag with Chavis taking off, but was unable to recover quickly enought to field the Vazquez RBI single that rolled into shallow right. 2-0 Red Sox.
Fast forward to the fifth, and it was the top of the lineup this time responsible for the damage, with Andrew Benintendi being the catalyst of another two-run inning by drawing a one out walk from Ross.
On the very next pitch the Tigers hurler twirled after walking Boston’s leadoff man, Mookie Betts drilled an RBI double off the wall in left field to score Benintendi all the way from first and make it a three-run game.
After another walk, this one drawn by Mitch Moreland, the Red Sox made Ross pay dearly again, this time with JD Martinez collecting his third hit of the night on a run-scoring base knock to plate Betts and give his current team a 4-0 advantage against his old one.
Later in the eighth, after the Tigers had answered with a run of their own and threatened to score more, the Red Sox bats essentially put this game to bed against what can best be described as a supbar ‘pen for Detroit.
In total, Boston sent 12 hitters to the plate in the inning, while the Tigers turned to three different pitchers.
Facing off against reliever Jose Manuel Fernandez, a Michael Chavis HBP would get the ball rolling for a seven-run frame.
Chavis would come in to score on another RBI single from Vazquez, and Vazquez too would come around and make it a 6-1 contest on an Andrew Benintendi RBI double.
Following an intentional walk of Mookie Betts and an unintentional walk of Mitch Moreland, the Tigers made the change for Drew VerHagen out of their bullpen.
Oddly enough, VerHagen struck out the first hitter he faced in JD Martinez on three consecutive strikes for the second out of the inning.
I say oddly enough, because following that K, 12 of the next 13 pitches thrown by VerHagen went for balls, meaning three more Boston runs were plated on bases-loaded walks drawn from Bogaerts, Devers, and Chavis. 9-1.
After Detroit’s final pitching change of the night, Jackie Bradley Jr. put an exclamation point on this one by scoring two more Red Sox runs on a two-run single for his second knock of the night. And just like that it was 11-1, which was more than enough for the Red Sox to bounce back with a commanding win at home.
Some notes from this win:
From the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:
In 25 games so far this season, JD Martinez is slashing .344/.430/.538 with four home runs and 12 RBI. He has hits in 23 of those games, including three on Wednesday.
From Red Sox Notes:
Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll be looking to split this four-game set with the Tigers later Thursday night.
Former Tiger and current Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello is slated to make his fifth start of the season for Boston, while right-hander Jordan Zimmermann is scheduled to make his sixth start for Detroit.
First pitch of the series finale Thursday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.