RECAP: Chris Sale K’s 12 as #RedSox Pick up Series Win Against Rangers.

Going into the series finale in Texas today, I was very much looking forward to the pitching matchup in this one. On one side, we had Chris Sale going for the Red Sox, and on the other, Doug Fister got the start for the Rangers. Both were teammates in Boston for the majority of last season and both work at a diligent and refreshing pace.

Between the two, it was Sale who had the better day on the mound, as the lefty tossed seven full innings of one run ball. Over that span, Sale scattered one run on four hits to go along with one walk, two HBP’s and a season-high 12 strikeouts. The Florida native set the tone right away with three strikeouts in the first to kick off his eighth start of 2018. After that, the only costly mistake Sale made came in his final frame of work, when he surrendered a leadoff home run to Ryan Rua in the seventh. Other than that, it was a phenomenal day for Sale. He had his full arsenal working, including his slider, which he was having issues with earlier in the season. At 3-1, it’s a shame Sale will miss the upcoming series in New York. Expect his next start to come Friday or Saturday in Toronto.

In relief of Sale, and with a five run lead to work with, the Red Sox bullpen was nearly perfect yet again. Matt Barnes got the call for the eighth inning, he needed just nine pitches to retire the Rangers side in order. Next up was Carson Smith, and he would be responsible for the last three innings of this one. He allowed a single with one out, but struck out the next two batters he faced to wrap things up for the Red Sox in Arlington.

On the other side of things, Mitch Moreland got the scoring started for the Red Sox early. A Mookie Betts leadoff single in the first would later lead to a run when Moreland took a 82 MPH changeup from Rangers starter Doug Fister and ripped it into the left field corner. That would score Betts from second, but the Red Sox outfielder would have to leave the game an inning later due to a right shoulder contusion.

Two innings later, after JD Martinez doubled to left field with one out, Xander Bogaerts drove in the second run of the day by sending another ground ball to left field that scored Martinez from second. Fister would settle down a little bit after that, but the bottom half of the Red Sox lineup got to the veteran righty in the sixth.

With two outs in the inning, Eduardo Nunez got the rally started on a simple single to left field. After Jackie Bradley Jr. took a 89 MPH fastball off his elbow to put runners on first and second, Sandy Leon came through with the first home run from a Red Sox catcher this season.

That 398 foot, three-run shot put the Red Sox up 5-0. JD Martinez would homer for the eighth time this season an inning later to put his team up by six runs, and that’s all the scoring they would need to pick up this series-clinching win.

Some notes from this one:

With 12 K’s on the day, Chris Sale is now fourth in baseball with 63 strikeouts on the season, trailing only Max Scherzer, Gerritt Cole, and Justin Verlander.

In 32 games played this season, JD Martinez has recorded multiple hits in 15 of them. He is in the midst ofย  a nine-game hitting streak after a two hit performance at the plate today.

Going into their first series of the season at Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox and Yankees will own the best two records in the American League. With a one-game lead in the division, this series isn’t pivotal for the Red Sox and their season, but it does carry some importance. Drew Pomeranz will be first up on Tuesday, and he’ll be matched up against Yankees ace Luis Severino, who is coming off his first career complete game shutout. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET on Tuesday.ย Should be a fun week.

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RECAP: Craig Kimbrel Picks up 300th Career Save as #RedSox Win Tight One in Texas.

After dropping the first game of this series in a blowout, the Red Sox have rebounded quite nicely with two straight wins.

Eduardo Rodriguez got the start in this one, and he did not have the best of nights. In six innings pitched, the lefty only gave up four hits, but three of those were home runs. One of those being an absolute shot off the bat of Joey Gallo in the second inning. That ball was hit 466 feet.

Other than those three home runs, Rodriguez gave up one hit, a single off the bat of Robinson Chirinos in the fifth inning. He also walked two and fanned 10, so maybe this start would have gone much better for the native of Venezuela if he wasn’t pitching at Globe Life Park last night. Rodriguez finished with 107 pitches, 67 of which went for strikes, and he’ll look to rebound next time out against either the Yankees or Blue Jays, it hasn’t been announced yet.

Anyway, with the Red Sox tied up with the Rangers going into the bottom half of the seventh inning, it would be Heath Hembree getting the call to take over for Rodriguez. The righty kicked things off by striking out all three batters he faced in the inning on 14 pitches. Pretty good start, but the eighth inning was a different story for Hembree. He could only record one out while loading the bases on two hits and an intentional walk. After that walk to Nomar Mazara, it would be Joe Kelly who was given the responsibility to get out of the inning with the tie still intact.

Facing off against Joey Gallo, who had already homered twice up to that point, Kelly met fire with fire by striking out the Rangers slugger on five pitches. Next up for the Rangers was Jurickson Profar, and that had to be one of the more dramatic at bats of the season. It took Kelly all of 11 pitches, but he got Profar looking on a 98 MPH fastball to end the inning with the bases loaded.

After the Red Sox lineup tacked on the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, it would be none other than Craig Kimbrel for the bottom half of the inning, as he was looking to collect the 300th save of his career.

The flamethrower needed just 11 pitches and two strikeouts to retire the side in the ninth. Thus locking up the win for the Red Sox while also becoming the youngest reliever to reach 300 career saves and the fastest do so as well.

Offensively, it was a slow start for the Red Sox lineup, but it paid off in the end. Trailing by one run going into the fifth inning, Andrew Benintendi put the Red Sox on the board with an RBI single that ricocheted off the second base bag and scored Christian Vazquez from third.

An inning later, after the Rangers had gone up by three runs, Mitch Moreland pulled the Red Sox a little bit closer in a ballpark he is very familiar with. On a 1-1 fastball from Rangers starter Cole Hamels, Moreland, making his first start of the series, launched a 368 foot two-run shot that barely got over the wall in right field to pull the Red Sox within one run.

Another inning later, in the seventh, and once again after the Rangers had gone up by two runs, Mookie Betts was the catalyst of a two run inning, as he drew a walk with one out. With Andrew Benintendi at the plate and a new pitcher on the mound for the Rangers, Benintendi blooped a double into shallow left field to send Betts to third, or so we thought. Instead, Mookie took advantage of a lackluster reaction from Jurickson Profar and managed to score all the way from first base. Amazing awareness on display right there.

Two batters later, JD Martinez drove in Benintendi from third on an RBI single of his own to pull the Red Sox and Rangers even at five runs a piece.

Fast forward to the ninth, and it would be Andrew Benintendi coming through yet again, as he nearly took a one out 82 MPH curveball from Keone Kela and sent it over the wall in right field. Instead, the ball ricocheted off the wall and Benintendi had to settle for a triple, his third and final hit of the night. One batter later, Hanley Ramirez drove in Benintendi on a sacrifice fly to center field. That gave the Red Sox a one run lead ans all but locked up the win with Craig Kimbrel picking up his ninth save of the season a half inning later.

Some notes from this one:

After his three hit game last night, Andrew Benintendi has raised his batting average to .254 on the season. In four games played this month, Benintendi has either recorded three hits, which he has done twice, or gone hitless, which he has also done twice.

With a leadoff single in the sixth, his first of two hits on the night, JD Martinez extended his hitting streak to seven games. Over that span, the 30-year-old Martinez is slashing .483/.516/.724 with two home runs and six runs driven in.

And to wrap it up, here’s this great nugget from @SoxNotes:

 

Next up for the Red Sox is the fourth and final game of this series later today. Chris Sale gets the ball against old friend Doug Fister, who owns a 2.88 ERA in five starts with the Rangers. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 PM ET. Happy Sale Day.

RECAP: #RedSox Homer Four Times as Rick Porcello Cruises to Fifth Winning Decision of Season.

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.

RECAP: David Price Exits in Fourth Inning as #RedSox Drop Stinker to Rangers 11-5.

Not the best way to open up a road trip right there. Not at all. Yup, the Red Sox pretty much got blown out by a last place team in Texas last night. It’s not the best of looks, but there are three more games left in the series, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet.

David Price got the start in this one, and as he has for the majority of his career, struggled against the Rangers at Globe Life Park. Going into last night’s outing, the lefty owned a career 6.53 ERA in eight starts at the Rangers home ballpark. That trend would continue on Thursday, as Price got lit up for seven earned runs in less than four innings pitched. Over that span, the Rangers got to the Tennessee native for six hits, four walks, and a HBP. It started with two runs in the second, which could have been worse if not for JD Martinez chasing down this flyball he had no business catching.

Price allowed another two runs to cross the plate in the third while facing six batters. But both of those innings did not compare to just how ugly the fourth was. After the Red Sox lineup had just pulled themselves within one run a half inning prior, the Rangers went off for six runs of their own.

Leading off the inning by allowing three of the first four batters he faced to reach base and plate a run, Price loaded the bases by surrendering a single to Delino DeShields. Striking out the next batter he faced, Shin-Soo Choo, on five pitches meant that there was only one more out for Price to get. Unfortunately, he walked the last batter he faced to tack on another run, and his day was done.

For whatever reason, David Price has not looked like the same guy since he gave up that eighth inning home run to Khris Davis in Oakland a couple of weekends ago. In two starts since then, the southpaw has pitched just 9.1 total innings and given up 15 runs in that stretch.

Anyway, Hector Velazquez was inserted into this game with two outs in the fourth inning, and after a wild pitch got by Christian Vazquez, the Rangers’ Nomar Mazara launched a three-run shot to right field. That put the Rangers up by seven runs and all but locked up the win.

With one out in the bottom half of the fifth, Marcus Walden came on to replace Velazquez with runners on first and third. The 29-year-old rookie would go on to have the best night of any Red Sox pitcher, as he tossed 3.2 innings of one run ball, that run being unearned, and striking out four. After the game, he was optioned back to Triple A Pawtucket to make room on the roster for reliever Bobby Poyner.

Despite the not-so-great performance from the Red Sox pitching staff last night, the defensive performance from the left side of infield has to shoulder some of that responsibility as well. Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts combined for three errors on Thursday, one fielding and two throwing. Over their past three games, the Red Sox have committed a whopping seven errors. That accounts for over 46% of their season total, which is 15. I suppose this could have been expected though, given the fact Eduardo Nunez and Rafael Devers play the infield almost everyday. With Dustin Pedroia hopefully making his return to the big league club later in the month, these defensive numbers could stabilize a little bit. They still rank fifth in the AL in Fielding Percentage, so maybe I’m just overreacting to a few bad games.

Offensively, Mookie Betts built from the great day he had on Wednesday by mashing his 12th home run of the season to lead off the third inning.

At that moment, I thought we had another comeback on our hands. It looked that way at first, with Christian Vazquez and Betts driving in a pair of runs in the fifth to make it a one-run game, but things got out of hand after that.

Later in the eighth, not that it had an impact on this game, but Betts drove in his third and fourth RBIs of the night by ripping a two out double to left field.

As we enter today’s action, the 25-year-old outfielder now leads the American League in home runs (12), batting average (.370), slugging percentage (.850), and OPS (1.299). We’re just over a month into the season, but Mookie is definitely looking like a legit MVP candidate right now. He may very well be the best leadoff hitter in all of baseball.

Next up for the Red Sox is an enticing pitching matchup later tonight. It will be the 4-0 Rick Porcello squaring off the ageless wonder, Bartolo Colon. And maybe, just maybe, Blake Swihart will start behind the dish tonight. *crosses fingers*

First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET.

RECAP: Mookie Betts Homers Three Times as #RedSox Take Series from Royals with 5-4 Win.

Just over 12 hours after a disappointing extra innings loss at the hands of the Kansas City Royals, the Red Sox took the field early today for the third and final game of this series, as they head out for Texas later tonight.

Drew Pomeranz got the start in this one, and he did not get off to the best of starts. The lefty allowed three runs on four hits and one walk over the first two frames. It was not looking great in the beginning, but a baserunning mishap committed by the Royals Jorge Soler that led to an inning-ending double play certainly helped Pomeranz. After he got out of the second inning, responsible for all three runs the Royals had scored up to that point, the Tennessee native settled down and surrendered just four hits and allowed one walk over the next four innings he pitched. Pomeranz would end his day with three strikeouts to go along with 89 total pitches, 55 of which went for strikes. He’ll look to build on this start next week in New York.

In relief of Pomeranz and with a two run lead to preserve, Joe Kelly made his first appearance in his first game back from suspension. He struck out two while tossing a scoreless frame in the seventh. Matt Barnes got the call for the eighth, and after recording the first two outs of the inning, gave up a solo shot to Chelsor Cuthbert and hit Jon Jay with a pitch. Barnes would get out of the inning by striking out Alcides Escobar on four pitches, but the Red Sox lead had been reduced to just one run.

With the one run lead entering the ninth, that made way for Craig Kimbrel, who was coming off his first blown save of the season last night. Watching what happened last night with Kimbrel on the mound was honestly pretty shocking, quite simply because of the fact it rarely happens. How would he respond in a similar situation a day later? Well, he looked the Craig Kimbrel we know and love because he struck out all three batters he faced on 17 pitches, recording his eighth save of the season, and the 299th of his career.

Offensively, the Red Sox needed just four swings of the bat to lock up this win, and all four of those swings went for home runs. Mookie Betts made history today by becoming the first player in Red Sox history to record four three home run games in his career. He got the scoring for the Red Sox started in the fourth inning. Facing Danny Duffy for the second time to leadoff the inning, Betts ripped a 1-1 84 MPH changeup and sent it over the Monster to make it a one-run game.

Three batters later, JD Martinez tied things up on a home run swing of his own. He took Duffy deep on another 1-1 changeup and sent it to almost the exact same spot Betts did. That evened things up in this one at two runs a piece.

An inning later, Betts did it again against Duffy. This time, he took a 0-2 slider and pulled it a little more to the left. That put the Red Sox up by one.

Fast forward to the seventh, and Betts put the exclamation point on his day by blasting his third home run of the game. This one off of Duffy yet again, on a 1-2 93 MPH fastball. Here’s all three in one video for your convenience.

Today’s performance at the plate puts the 25-year-old outfielder in rarefied air. With those three home runs, Betts has now passed Ted Williams for most three home run games in team history. Keep in mind that this was his first day back in the starting lineup since this past Saturday.

According to manager Alex Cora, Betts is going to be the Red Sox leadoff hitter from here on out, so maybe more of these games can be expected. As I’m writing this, he now leads the majors in home runs with 11 and an OPS of 1.1274. He’s the MVP of this team, no doubt about it.

The other guy who hit a home run for the Red Sox today, JD Martinez, is also having a pretty nice season so far. He is eighth baseball in terms of RBIs with 24 of them on the season. He also has the 13th best OPS in the majors with it currently sitting at .985 after today’s game.

Next up for the Red Sox is another lengthy road trip when it feels like they just came back from one. Anyway, this road trip kicks off tomorrow night in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers own 12-20 record up to this point in the season and have given up the second most runs in the majors with 173 runs scored against them.

David Price gets the ball in the series opener. He’ll be facing off against veteran righty Mike Minor of the Rangers. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET.

RECAP: Xander Bogaerts’ Grand Slam Propels #RedSox to Best April in Franchise History.

Less than 24 hours after wrapping up a frustrating series against the Tampa Bay Rays in winning fashion, the Red Sox welcomed the lowly Kansas City Royals to town for a three game set. Entering yesterday at 7-20, the Royals have been quite simply the worst team in the American League one month into the season. They sent veteran righty Jason Hammel to the mound for the opener, and Eduardo Rodriguez got the nod for the Red Sox.

If you were expecting a pitcher’s duel, that is about the polar opposite of what went down last night. The rainy weather for sure played a part, but neither pitcher put their best performance together on Monday. Hammel gave up eight earned runs in less than five innings pitched, and Rodriguez allowed five earned runs in just four innings pitched.

More on ERod, I was discouraged by two different things that happened in his start last night. The first being the fact he gave up three runs on two, hits, three walks, and a HBP in the first inning alone. And the second being the fact that he gave up another two runs in the top of the fourth after the lineup had just given him a three-run lead a half inning earlier. Like I said earlier, weather was definitely an issue in this game, and I’m sure that had a negative impact on Rodriguez’s night. I just don’t think it’s a great look when Hector Velazquez outpitches you in a relief role. Rodriguez would finish his outing with 88 pitches, 53 of which went for strikes. The lefty will look to rebound next time out when he faces off against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

Speaking of Velazquez, the big righty looked great in two innings of relief work last night. Working with a two and three run lead in each inning, the Mexico native surrendered just one hit while fanning three over that span. That made way for Carson Smith to start the seventh, and he struck out two while allowing one hit in a scoreless frame of work to lower his ERA from 5.87 to 5.19 and pick up his third hold of the season.

Last up out of the Red Sox bullpen was Brian Johnson. After giving up five runs to the Rays this past Saturday, the lefty looked much better in the two innings he pitched last night. He still allowed the Royals to score, but held them to one run on two hits while striking out two en route to picking up this historic win.

Offensively, Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts powered the Red Sox lineup. Together, they combined for as many RBIs (6) as the Royals had runs. Moreland got the scoring started in the second, when he launched his third home run of the season over the wall in right field.

An inning later, after Moreland drew a bases loaded walk to tack on another run, Xander Bogaerts went big fly for his third home run of the season.

That slam marks the sixth and final grand slam the Red Sox hit in April, the most any team has hit before May 1st since the 1996 Montreal Expos.

The Red Sox lineup would go on to score five more runs in this one, but none of them were as sexy as the first five. Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, and Eduardo Nunez each drove in a run of their own, and Devers scored the 10th and final run of the night on a fielding error in the seventh.

Batters 2-5 did most of the damage for the Red Sox last night, as they accounted for 10 of the 13 hits the team had. Hanley Ramirez, JD Martinez, Mitch Moreland, and Xander Bogaerts went a combined 10/18 with seven RBIs and two walks. After that performance, the Red Sox trail only the New York Yankees for most runs scored in the majors.

Looking to clinch this series with a win later tonight, it will be Chris Sale getting the ball for the Red Sox. He’ll be facing off against Royals righty Jakob Junis, who has never faced the Red Sox in his young career. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

RECAP: Sandy Leon Drives in Go-Ahead Run in Eighth Inning as #RedSox Salvage Series Against Rays.

After dropping the first two games of this weekend series against the scorching Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox looked like a competent baseball team this afternoon.

Rick Porcello got the start for the Red Sox in this one, and he was looking for his fifth winning decision before we flip the calendars to May. That didn’t happen unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean Porcello had a bad day, because he looked like he has all season so far, that being one of the best pitchers in the American League. The lone righty in the Red Sox rotation tossed 7.2 quality innings and really only made two mistakes. The first being a two-run home run, the first Porcello has given up this season, off the bat of Denard Span in the third, and the second being an RBI single off the bat of Mallex Smith an inning later. Other than that, nothing much to complain about. In those 7.2 innings pitched, the New Jersey native scattered seven hits, including those two previously mentioned, struck out six, and did not allow a single walk. In six starts Porcello has made this season, he has given up three earned runs or less and pitched 5+ innings in all of them.

Finishing with a season high 116 pitches, 82 of which went for strikes, I was a bit surprised to see Alex Cora stick with Porcello for as long as he did, but it worked out. He could have pitched eight full innings if he didn’t give up a two-out single to CJ Cron. With the game tied at the time, that hit put the go-ahead run on base and Cora made the switch to his closer.

In a rare eighth inning appearance, Craig Kimbrel gave up a double that should have been an out to the first batter he saw. With runners on first and third, the Red Sox closer came back and struck Brad Miller out on three pitches to end the inning. After the Red Sox tacked on the go-ahead run in their half of the eighth, Kimbrel would come back out for the save in the ninth. He led the inning off by allowing the first two batters he faced to reach base and the third to move those runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt, but bounced back nicely. With the tying run just 90 feet away, Kimbrel struck out Jesus Sucre and Carlos Gomez back to back on seven pitches to end the game and pick up his first win of the season.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup was held in check for the first five innings of this game. It wasn’t until Andrew Kittredge took the mound for the Rays and Eduardo Nunez led the sixth inning off with an infield single when the scoring finally commenced. After that infield single, Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez both reached base to load things up for JD Martinez. On a 2-1 87 MPH slider from Kittredge, Martinez sneaked a ground ball just past Adeiny Hechavarria and put the Red Sox on the board for two.

That was followed up by a four pitch walk to Mitch Moreland which loaded the bases once again for Rafael Devers. Devers struck out, but Jackie Bradley Jr. drove Hanley Ramirez in from third on a sacrifice fly one batter later. Sandy Leon would reload the bases for the third time in the inning after taking a pitch from Sergio Romo off his foot, but Tzu-Wei Lin would fly out to end the inning. Game tied at three.

A 1-2-3 seventh inning from the top of the lineup made way for JD Martinez to lead off things for the Red Sox in the eighth against Rays closer Alex Colome. To cap off his great day at the plate, Martinez ripped a single to right field for his fourth hit of the game. After Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers recorded outs, Jackie Bradley Jr. drew a five pitch walk to move Martinez into scoring position. That led to Sandy Leon stepping up to the plate in what would be the biggest at bat of the day. In a surprising move, Leon was not pinch hit for. Instead, he drove Martinez in from third on a line drive single to left field.

Leon’s first RBI since April 12th put the Red Sox up by one and essentially gave them their 20th win of the season. It certainly wasn’t easy, but taking the series finale is certainly better than getting swept. The 4-3 win also ends the winning streak the Rays had going on at eight games.

Some notes from this one:

Mookie Betts was held out of the lineup today after straining his right hamstring on Saturday.

With his four-hit and two RBI performance today, JD Martinez now ranks ninth in the AL in hits (32), fifth in RBIs (22), and 10th in OPS (.941). Not too shabby for someone who just wrapped his first full month with a new team.

The Red Sox have won their last 25 games with Rick Porcello on the mound when they give him at least three runs of support. (@SoxNotes)

Next up for the Red Sox is a three-game set against the lowly Kansas City Royals. At 7-20 on the year, the Royals are the worst team in the American League in terms of team ERA and runs scored. With that in mind, a sweep before heading back on the road would be nice. That’s all I”m going to say.

Eduardo Rodriguez gets the nod for the series opener tomorrow. He’ll be facing off against Jason Hammel, who owns a career 4.25 ERA in 55 innings pitched against the Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.