After bouncing back with a 6-1 win on Friday night, the Red Sox really poured it on against the White Sox on Saturday, pouring on a season-high 15 runs for their second straight victory on the South Side.
Making his seventh start of the season in this one for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who struck out 12 White Sox in his previous start at Guaranteed Rate Field last September.
This time around, the left-hander yielded just one run on six hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over six quality innings of work, eventually earning his third winning decision of the year.
Things started out a bit shaky for Rodriguez in the first, with Chicago plating their first run of the night and all, but after getting out of the inning and escaping a bases loaded jam in the second, it was relatively smooth sailing, and that was mostly thanks to what his lineup did in their half of the third.
Retiring 11 of the last 14 hitters he faced, the 26-year-old finished his evening with a final pitch count of exactly 100, 61 of which went for strikes.
Out of those 100 pitches, Rodriguez turned to his four-seam fastball 30% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing two swings and misses and topping out at 93.2 MPH with the pitch.
Now with quality starts in two of his last three starts, the Venezuela international will look to build on a solid beginning to May in his next time out, which should come against the Seattle Mariners next Friday.
In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final three innings of Saturday’s contest, and they had quite the comfortable cushion to work with.
Working both the seventh and eighth, Tyler Thornburg allowed just one run on one hit, a solo home run off the bat of Jose Abreu while fanning four.
Hector Velazquez, meanwhile, who started as recently as Wednesday, locked down the 15-2 win for the Sox with a scoreless ninth, and that was that.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an unfamiliar opponent in White Sox left-hander Manny Banuelos to start this one off.
For never facing off against the Red Sox before in his career, Banuelos held his own through the first two-and-two-thirds innings Saturday by sitting down the first eight hitters he faced in order.
Despite the early success though, a Christian Vazquez two out single changed everything, and it all unraveled for the 29-year-old southpaw the second time through the Boston lineup.
Including the base hit from Vazquez, 10 straight Red Sox hitters all reached base off Banuelos and drove in a total of NINE runs in that span.
An Andrew Benintendi single advanced Vazquez into scoring position for Mookie Betts, who plated both runners on two-run RBI double to pull his team ahead 2-1.
Two pitches after that, JD Martinez collected his 17th RBI of the season by pulling a line drive double to left and driving in Betts from second to make it a 3-1 contest.
Following a brief mound visit, Xander Bogaerts and Michael Chavis went back-to-back with one two-run and one solo homer to pad Boston’s lead even further to 6-1.
With the bases once again empty, a Rafael Devers double and Steve Pearce RBI single gave the Red Sox a six-run advantage, which then inflated to eight on another two-runshot, this one coming from Eduardo Nunez in his first game back since being activated from the injured list. 9-1. End run-scoring outburst.
Just like how he started the rally, another Christian Vazquez single would result in the end of the line for Banuelos, who saw a potential no-hitter through three innings turn into an absolute disaster.
From there, the Red Sox struck for four more runs in their half of the fourth.
With reliever Carson Fulmer now in for Chicago, back-to-back leadoff walks drawn by Martinez and Bogaerts presented Chavis with another prime run-scoring opportunity, and the rookie capitalized on it by grounding an RBI single to right field, scoring Martinez and pushing his team’s lead to 10-1.
Rafael Devers would pick up an RBI by reaching on a fielding error following that Chavis single, and Steve Pearce notched his second multi-hit game of the season with another RBI single up the middle to plate Chavis from second. 12-1.
Devers wound up scoring the Red Sox’ 13th run of the night thanks to a throwing error comitted by Jose Abreu on an Eduardo Nunez grounder, and Pearce also scored on two-out RBI double off the bat of Andrew Benintendi in the same frame to make it a 14-1 game.
And finally, in the fifth, Chavis capped off his team’s impressive offensive tear by launching his second big fly of the night, a 438 foot solo shot with an exit velocity registering at 108 MPH off White Sox reliever Josh Osich.
That dinger made it a 15-1 contest at the time it was mashed, and 15-2 would go on to be the final score in this one.
Some notes from this win:
From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:
Through his first 14 big league games, Michael Chavis has hit six home runs and collected 13 RBI. He is currently slashing .354/.466/.771.
The Red Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 ballgames.
Looking to finish off the series win over the White Sox Sunday, it will be right-hander Rick Porcello getting the start for the Red Sox, as he’ll be opposed by fellow righty Dylan Covey.
Coming off his best start of the season in which he tossed eight shutout innings against the Oakland A’s last Tuesday, Porcello brings a lifetime 3.81 ERA over 12 career starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Opposing Porcello, Covey went 2-0 in one start and one relief appearance against the Red Sox last season.
First pitch for the series finale Sunday is scheduled for 2:10 PM EDT on NESN.