J.D. Martinez Crushes Two of Red Sox’ Five Homers in 16-4 Blowout Win over Angels

After shutting out the Los Angeles Angels behind eight dominant innings from Chris Sale on Thursday, the Red Sox picked up their second straight win over the Halos on Friday, as they took the second of the four-game set by a final score of 16-4 to improve to 62-56 on the season.

Making his fourth start of the season for Boston and second since being activated off the injured list this past Saturday was Brian Johnson, now taking the spot of the recently shelved David Price in Boston’s rotation.

Working into the third inning on Friday, the left-hander surrendered three runs, all of which were earned, on two hits and two walks to go along with one strikeout on the night.

All three of those Angels runs came around to score right away in the top half of the first, when with two outs and runners on first and second following a one-out double from Mike Trout and two-out walk drawn by Justin Upton, Albert Pujols unloaded on a 1-2, 77 MPH slider from Johnson and deposited it well over the Green Monster.

That three-run blast put Los Angeles up 3-0, but Johnson should have been out of the first before all that went down. Why? Because ball four on that walk to Upton should have gone for strike three for the final out of the frame. Instead, it wasn’t called a strike by home plate umpire Mark Ripperger, Upton was granted first, and that set up Pujols.

Other than that one major blip though, Johnson recovered nicely enough to sit down six of the next seven hitters he faced after serving up that bomb before getting the hook with Shohei Ohtani on first, two outs in the third, and Upton due up next to hit for the Angels.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 50 (28 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball 42% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing zero swings and misses and topping out at 90.8 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Ultimately hit with the no-decision while bumping his ERA on the season up to 7.32, Johnson’s next start should come against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

In relief of Johnson, Marcus Walden entered the top half of the third with one out still to get and one runner on, and he got that out thanks to Vazquez, who nabbed Ohtani at second on an unsuccessful stolen base attempt.

Walden also came back out for the fourth and fifth innings, where he faced the minimum of six Angeles hitters over two scoreless to eventually earn his seventh winning decision of the year before making way for Nathan Eovaldi in the sixth.

There, the right-hander began his evening by sitting down David Fletcher, Trout, and Ohtani in order on 20 pitches. Not too shabby.

Eovaldi’s second inning of work in the seventh though? Well, it could have gone better, as a leadoff double off the bat of Upton, a one-out HBP of Kole Calhoun, and two straight walks of Luis Rengifo and Brian Johnson brought Los Angeles’ fourth run of the night.

The Texas native did manage to escape any further damage in the seventh by getting Matt Thaiss to ground into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play, but it certainly wasn’t pretty.

Regardless of that, Hector Velazquez and Josh Taylor wrapped things up in a contest the Sox ended up running away with by combining for two perfect innings of relief in the top halves of the eighth and ninth to secure the 16-4 win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Angels right-hander Jaime Barria, who came into the weekend having yielded 17 runs in his last four starts since the All-Star break.

Kicking off the scoring started right away in the bottom half of the first, J.D. Martinez responded to an early three-run deficit by driving in Mookie Betts from second on a two-out, line-drive RBI double. 3-1.

Fast forward all the way to the fourth, and Martinez struck again, this time plating Xander Bogaerts, as well as himself, on a 402-foot, two-run shot off a 3-1, 93 MPH heater down the heart of the plate from Barria to knot things up at three runs apiece.

An inning later, a one-out single off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. would turn out to be the catalyst for another two-run rally in the fifth, as Betts followed suit with his 20th big fly of the year off a 3-2, 87 MPH slider on the inner half of the plate to give the Sox their first lead of the night at 5-3.

In the sixth, Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, and Vazquez all reached to fill the bases with one out for the pinch-hitting Sam Travis, who greeted new Angels reliever Adalberto Mejia by drawing a five-pitch walk, which brought Martinez in from third and made it a 6-3 contest.

Bradley Jr. collected an RBI despite driving in a pair with a grounder that got under the glove of Rengifo. 8-3.

A six-pitch walk of Betts re-loaded the bases for Rafael Devers, and the 23-year-old took full advantage by lacing another two-run single through the right side of the infield, putting his side up 10-3 in the process of going so.

A red-hot Martinez stayed hot in the seventh, mashing his second homer of the night and 27th of the season to lead the inning off against Angels right-hander Trevor Cahill. 11-4.

Benintendi and Vazquez followed that up by both reaching base on a HBP and walk, and Mitch Moreland came through with an RBI double of his own to drive in Benintendi and make it an eight-run game at 12-4.

In the eighth, after taking over for Bogaerts defensively in the top of the inning, Devers took the first pitch he saw from Cahill and led off with not only his 24th dinger of 2019, but also his first career homer as a shortstop.

Four batters later, a wild pitch allowed Martinez to go from second to third after he reached on a throwing error, and Vazquez proved once more that mistakes can be costly, as he plated Martinez with an RBI single to left. 14-4.

And finally, Moreland put the exclamation point on this blowout with his first home run in nearly three months. This particular one, his 14th of the year, was good for two runs as it soared over the Green Monster.

That opposite field blast gave the Red Sox a 16-4 edge, which would go on to be Friday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

J.D. Martinez’s August thus far: .469/.553/.938 with four homers and eight RBI.

The Red Sox are 14-1 this season when scoring 10-plus runs in a game.

The Red Sox are 3-1 in their last four completed games.

With the win on Friday, the Red Sox now sit five games back of the Tampa Bay Rays for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Next up for the Sox, it’s the third of this four-game weekend series on Saturday afternoon.

Right-hander Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston, while left-hander Andrew Heaney will do the same for Los Angeles.

Porcello is coming off his best outing in weeks in his last time out against the Kansas City Royals, as he held the opposition to just one run on four hits over six strong innings of work.

In his career against the Angels, the 30-year-old owns a lifetime 5.56 ERA and .291 batting average against over 18 starts and 103 2/3 total innings pitched.

Heaney, meanwhile, will be making his first start in over three weeks after being sidelined due to inflammation in his left elbow.

In one prior start at Fenway Park back on June 27th of last season, the 28-year-old allowed six runs in less than four innings in an eventual losing effort.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 4:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third straight win.

 

Chris Sale Dominates with 13 Strikeouts over Eight Shutout Innings as Red Sox Blank Angels 3-0

After their series finale against the Kansas City Royals was suspended earlier in the morning, the Red Sox opened up a four-game weekend set against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday with a 3-0 shutout victory to improve to 61-56 on the season.

Making his 24th start of the season for Boston and first against the Angels at Fenway Park was Chris Sale, who came into the week fresh off a frustrating performance in his last time out against the New York Yankees.

Flipping the switch this time around, the left-hander put together a dominating showing, as he yielded just two hits and zero walks to go along with 13 strikeouts over eight scoreless innings.

A two-out double from Shohei Ohtani in the first got the Angels in the hit column early, but Sale stranded the Japanese phenom at second with a four-pitch punchout of Justin Upton before stringing together 15 consecutive outs from the beginning of the second up until the middle of the sixth.

A leadoff single off the bat of Mike Trout in the seventh broke that dominating stretch up, but Sale retaliated yet again by fanning the side in order from there, and that included a 1-2, 98.4 MPH four-seam fastball blown past Albert Pujols to end the top half of the frame.

And in the eighth, the Florida native capped his night off with his 13th and final strikeout, this one coming on two-out, 2-2, 97 MPH heater to fan Wilfredo Tovar and retire the side in order.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 99 (67 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler turned to his four-seamer more than 45% of the time he was on the mound Thursday night, inducing nine swings and misses and topping out at 98.4 MPH with the pitch while Sandy Leon was behind the plate.

Ultimately improving to 6-11 while lowering his ERA on the season down to 4.41, this was vintage Chris Sale in his first start of seven or more innings pitched since June 10th. He’ll look to ride this momentum in his next time out, which should come against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.

In relief of Sale, Brandon Workman entered the ninth with a three-run lead to protect, and he did just that by sitting down Brian Goodwin, David Fletcher, and Trout in order on 16 pitches to notch his seventh save of the year and secure the 3-0 win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Angels left-hander Dillon Peters, a former Miami Marlins prospect who had never faced off against Boston in his young career prior to Thursday.

Starting the scoring in the bottom half of the second, J.D. Martinez led things off with an opposite field single, and that would turn out to be the catalyst for a two-run inning, as Sam Travis followed that up by taking Peters deep to dead center off a first-pitch, 93 MPH heater right down the heart of the plate.

Travis’ fourth homer of the season, this one good for two runs, had an exit velocity of 107.7 MPH and traveled a projected 443 feet, per Statcast.

Fast forward all the way to the fifth, and Sandy Leon added on to his side’s two-run lead by unloading on a 1-1, 90 MPH four-seamer above the zone from Peters and sending it 389 feet over the Green Monster for his fifth big fly of the year.

That solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fifth put the Red Sox ahead 3-0, which would go on to be Thursday’s final score mostly thanks to the efforts of one Chris Sale.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From Red Sox Stats:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

From The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:

Thursday’s game took two hours and 16 minutes to complete.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second of this four-game weekend series on Friday night.

Left-hander Brian Johnson gets the start for Boston in the place of the now-shelved David Price, while right-hander Jaime Barria will do the same for Los Angeles.

In his first action since being activated off the injured list on August 3rd Johnson allowed three runs over three innings while starting Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Yankees.

In his career against the Angels, the 28-year-old has allowed one run over two appearances (one start) and seven innings pitched. That’s good for an ERA of 1.29.

Barria, meanwhile, has posted an 8.31 ERA and .288 batting average against in four outings (three starts) since the All-Star break.

The 23-year-old out of Panama has made one career start against the Red Sox, one in which he took the loss despite only yielding two runs over 5 1/3 innings of work back on June 28th of last season at Fenway Park.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their second straight win.

Red Sox Place David Price on Injured List with TFCC Cyst on Left Wrist, Recall Hector Velazquez from Triple-A Pawtucket in Corresponding Move

Before opening up a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, the Red Sox announced that left-hander David Price had been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left wrist injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Hector Velazquez was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. The club made the transaction official earlier Thursday.

Per the Sox’ official press release, Price, “underwent an MRI on his left wrist that revealed a TFCC cyst that was treated with a cortisone shot.”

According to Midwest Orthopedics at Rush, a top orthopedic clinic in Chicago, the TFCC, or triangular fibrocartilage complex, is, “a cartilage structure located on the small finger side of the wrist that, cushions and supports the small carpal bones in the wrist.”

Price dealt with a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome last season, where he was scratched from a May 9th start against the New York Yankees but did not miss any time on the IL.

Speaking of the Yankees, this move comes less than four full days after the 33-year-old surrendered a season-worst seven earned runs over 2 2/3 innings this past Sunday in the Bronx.

On the 2019 campaign as a whole, Price owns an ERA of 4.36 and batting average against of .260 over 21 starts and 105 1/3 innings of work. That includes an ERA of 8.59 in five outings since the All-Star break.

As of this moment, there is no timetable for when Price may be able to return.

In Price’s place, right-hander Hector Velazquez was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket a little more than three weeks after being optioned there.

While with the PawSox, the 30-year-old allowed three earned runs on five hits and three walks over six relief appearances and 6 2/3 innings pitched.

With Price’s spot in Boston’s rotation vacated for the time being, expect Velazquez or fellow righty Ryan Weber to fill in beginning on Friday.

Ian Kinsler Set to Bat Sixth in #RedSox Debut.

There you have it. Less than 24 hours after the trade was completed, Ian Kinsler will make his debut with the Red Sox later tonight.

Taking over as the everyday second baseman and batting sixth on Tuesday, Kinsler will wear the number 5.

Among American League second baseman, the 36-year old infielder ranks fourth in terms of fWAR (2.0) and first in Defensive Runs Saved (10).

In his career against the Phillies, Kinsler is slashing .357/.438/.607 with one home run and two RBI in seven games.

At Fenway Park, in 41 career games, he is slashing .260/.306/.441 with seven homers and 26 RBI.

As a corresponding move, the Red Sox optioned Tzu-Wei Lin to Triple A Pawtucket, hence Kinsler taking his number.

The trade deadline is less than 15 minutes away now. It’s looking less likely that the team will be able to land a reliever with guys like Jake Diekman and Brad Ziegler landing with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

#RedSox Land Ian Kinsler in Trade with Los Angeles Angels.

Fresh off a 13 inning 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night, the Red Sox announced that they have acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for two minor league pitching prospects.

Kinsler, 32, was in his first year with Los Angeles after spending the previous four seasons with the Detroit Tigers.

In 91 games this season, the former Texas Ranger is slashing .239/.304/.406 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI. Lately though, Kinsler has been better at the plate, as he owns a season-best .850 OPS in July.

The biggest takeaway, at least for me, is what this deal means for the likes of Dustin Pedroia.

Having not appeared in a game since May 29th and currently on the 10-day disabled list with left knee inflammation, I would go ahead and say the addition of Kinsler most likely means Pedroia will not play again this season.

That being said, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski clearly values Kinsler as a player on and off the field. I mean, he has traded for him two times now.

In exchange for Kinsler, the Angels have acquired minor league relievers Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez. Buttrey, 25, a righty, and Jerez, 26, a lefty, are ranked 19th and 26th amongst Red Sox prospects according to SoxProspects.com

Like Steve Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi, Kinsler is set to hit free agency this winter, so no long-term committment there.

The Red Sox also received $1.8 million in cash considerations.

The trade deadline is just under 16 hours away. Now it’s time to go out and get some help for the bullpen. Exciting times.

 

RECAP: Jackie Bradley Jr. Gets It Done in More Ways Than One as #RedSox Finish off Sweep of Angels.

Before heading to the Bronx for a pivotal three-game weekend series against the Yankees, the Red Sox had some business to take care of against a Los Angeles Angels team they had yet to lose to this season.

With Steven Wright being placed on the disabled list on Tuesday, Alex Cora went with Brian Johnson for the spot start in the knuckleballer’s place last night.

Having already appeared in 22 games for the Red Sox this season, this was just Johnson’s second start. The first came back on April 2nd against the Miami Marlins, where he tossed six innings and only gave up one run on six hits and two walks.

This time around, the lefty hybrid was efficient yet again. In four innings pitched, Johnson held the Halos to just one run while scattering three hits, one walk, and two punchouts. He received some help from his outfield as well with this phenomenal catch from Jackie Bradley Jr. in the first.

The only real mistake the former Florida Gator made came in his final frame of work, when with one out in the fourth, Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons leaned into a 1-0 75 MPH curveball and sent it 375 feet into the Monster seats in left field.

Other than that, it was a solid outing from Johnson. And given the fact he has transitioned into more of a reliever now, it’s understandable why he only pitched into the fourth inning of this one. But with Hector Velazquez, the Red Sox essentially have two guys in their bullpen who are capable of both starting and working in relief.

Speaking of Velazquez, he got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen starting in the top half of the fifth. In the two innings he appeared in, the Mexico native held the Angels to just two baserunners to go along with three K’s. Since his team scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth, Velazquez was able to pick up his sixth winning decision of the season thanks to his efforts.

From that point on, Brandon Workman tossed a scoreless seventh inning for his third straight scoreless appearance. That made way for Joe Kelly in the eighth, and for the second time in as many nights, the Angels made things a little interesting.

After walking Mike Trout to lead off the inning, Kelly gave up back-to-back singles to Justin Upton and Albert Pujols to score Trout from third to make it a 4-2 game and put runners on first and second with still no outs.

With Angels rookie David Fletcher at the plate now, Kelly gave up what looked like what could have been a double to left field. Instead, the Red Sox outfield came through yet again, as Andrew Benintendi made the leaping catch against the wall for the second out of the inning.

Kelly escaped any further damage by getting Luis Valbuena to fly out to center field and end a hellish eighth inning for the Red Sox set up man. Over his last seven appearances, Kelly owns a 7.20 ERA and 2.20 WHIP in five innings pitched.

Entering the ninth with a two run lead to work with, Craig Kimbrel made his second appearance of this series, and he managed to strike out the side on the way to his 24th save of the season.

On the flip side of things, the Red Sox lineup was held scoreless over the first four innings of this one against Angels righty Jaime Barria.

It wasn’t until fifth when, already trailing by one run, Rafael Devers tied things up at one run a piece by mashing his 13th home run of the season. A 414 foot shot sent to dead center.

An inning later, with Halos reliever Jose Alvarez on the mound and JD Martinez at first after taking the walk, a double off the bat of Mitch Moreland put the Red Sox in an ideal scoring spot.

Oddly enough, Mike Sciosca decided to pitch around Xander Bogaerts and pitch to Brock Holt with the bases loaded. That decision clearly did not pan out the way he wanted it to, because Alvarez walked Holt on seven pitches to drive in the go-ahead run.

In the seventh, Jackie Bradley Jr. decided to top his stellar catch earlier in the first inning by coming through with arguably the clutchest hit of the night.

Facing off against old friend Noe Ramirez with Christian Vazquez at first, Bradley Jr. went down 0-2 on the first two pitches of the at bat. On the very next pitch though, he must have seen something he liked, because he took a 91 MPH two-seam fastball from Ramirez and sent it into the first row of the bleachers in right field on the hardest hit ball of the night, 110.1 MPH.

That two-run blast put the Red Sox up by three runs, and they would not have to look back on their way to win number 55.

Some notes from this W:

From @SoxNotes: The Sox went 6-0 against the Angels this season, marking the first time Boston has ever swept an opponent in a season series of at least 6 games.

From @RedSoxStats: (In this series)

Trout: 2-10 3 BB

JBJ: 5-11 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI

The bottom third of the Red Sox lineup (Devers, Vazquez, Bradley) went 4/9 with two home runs and three RBI last night.

Heading into New York winners of their last four and sole owners of first place in the American League East, the Red Sox will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound for the series opener later tonight. He’ll be matched up against another lefty in CC Sabathia for the Yankees. I don’t need to tell you this series is important, because it 100% is.

Do the Red Sox really belong amongst the elite teams in all of baseball? Well this series is a sure-fire way to find out about that. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.

Also, shout out to Steve Pearce. You can read about him here.

 

RECAP: JD Martinez Makes History as #RedSox Halt Angels Comeback Attempt in 9-6 Win.

In a game that took exactly four hours complete, the Red Sox found themselves alone in first place in the American League East by the end of Wednesday night. It took a while to get there, but at the halfway point of the season in terms of games played, no team in Major League Baseball has more wins than the Red Sox.

Making his 17th start of the season last night, Rick Porcello was certainly not at his best in this one. The righty pitched into the sixth inning for the sixth time in a row, but yielded four runs, all earned, on eight hits and two free passes while striking out five.

Things were going decently smooth for the Red Sox hurler up until his fifth frame of work. With a six run lead to work with, you would figure that Porcello, who is arguably at his best when pitching with a lead, would cruise to his 10th winning decision of the year. Instead, he gave up a solo shot to the first batter he saw in the inning in ex-teammate Ian Kinsler.

That homer gave the Angels just their second run of the series up until that point and cut the Red Sox lead to five runs. An inning later, that lead shrunk some more when, after recording the first out of the inning on three pitches, three straight Angels reached base off of Porcello, with the last one being a three-run jack off the bat of catcher Martin Maldonado. 6-4 game now.

In my mind, this was the turning point of the game. Easy to say I know, but up until that point, it appeared as if the Red Sox had this thing in the bag. They have stomped on the Angels in all of their meetings this season, and it looked like we were headed in that direction once again last night up until that home run.

Porcello’s night would come to an end after he followed up that homer by getting outfielder Michael Hermosillo to ground out to short for the second out of the sixth.

Finishing with 104 pitches (66 strikes), the New Jersey native topped out at 93.4 MPH on his four-seam fastball in the first inning. He’ll miss this upcoming series against the Yankees in New York, but expect Porcello to bounce back in his next time out against the Washington Nationals on Monday.

In relief of Porcello, Heath Hembree got the first call of the Red Sox bullpen. Entering the game with two outs and the bases empty, Hembree retired the only batter he faced on three pitches to end the top half of the sixth.

Joe Kelly was next up for the beginning of the seventh, and he greeted the Angels by allowing four straight batters to reach base after recording the first out of the inning. Two singles from Justin Upton and Albert Pujols put runners on first and third with one out.

Kelly had the opportunity to turn a double play after Luis Valbuena grounded a comebacker right to him, but the Red Sox flamethrower made an awful throw to Xander Bogaerts covering second base, which allowed the ball to roll into the outfield and Justin Upton easily scored from third.

Now with Andrelton Simmons at the plate, who had already collected two hits on the night, Kelly could not sneak a 88 MPH slider by the Angels shortstop, as he drove in Pujols from second on an RBI double to knot this thing up at six runs a piece.

The Red Sox would escape any further damage thanks to two clutch strikeouts to retire the side in the top half of the seventh. The first coming from Kelly against Kole Calhoun for the second out of the inning and the second coming from Matt Barnes against Martin Maldonado for the final out.

Speaking of Barnes, the UCONN product came back out for the eighth inning as well, this time with a two run lead to work with. Unfortunately for him, sandwiched in between the first two outs of the frame were an E5 committed by Rafael Devers and a six pitch walk to Mike Trout.

That put the Angels in an ideal scoring spot, so Alex Cora made the bold decision and turned to his closer in the eighth inning.

In a rare situation, Craig Kimbrel got his night started by loading the bases after throwing a wild pitch and walking Albert Pujols.

The drama ensued into the next at bat with Luis Valbuena at the plate. After getting ahead in the count with a first pitch strike, Kimbrel missed three straight times to move the count to 3-1. Thankfully, the other Red Sox flamethrower rebounded by getting the next call in his favor on what could have been ball four, then got Valbuena swinging on a 98 MPH heater to retire the side.

Coming back out for the ninth, Kimbrel had a much easier go at it, as he retired the side in order to pick up his 23rd save of the season, the first for him since June 14th.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup had their way against another Angels starting pitcher in lefty Andrew Heaney.

Going off for three home runs in the second inning, Eduardo Nunez got the scoring started by blasting his fifth of the season to lead things off.

After Rafael Devers reached first on a single, Sandy Leon drove him in along with himself on his third homer of the year.

Four batters later, with runners on first and third, JD Martinez capped off the home run frenzy by mashing his 25th big fly of the season, making him the first player in Red Sox history to hit as many as 25 home runs before the first of July.

Heading into the third inning with an early six run lead, the bats went quiet for a bit. There was a time in the bottom of the fifth where it looked like another rally was about to take shape when Eduardo Nunez led the inning off on what should have been an infield single.

The original ruling was an out, but after the replay from NESN, it was pretty clear that Albert Pujols missed the tag and the Red Sox challenged it. I don’t know what they saw in Hoboken, but after the review, Nunez was ruled out. So, what’s the point of replay review if the call ends up being wrong AFTER the review? Very confusing.

Anyway, once the Angels stormed back to tie things up in the top of the seventh, the Red Sox lineup responded by tacking on two of their own in the bottom half of the inning.

With two outs, a walk drawn by Eduardo Nunez and back-to back RBI knocks for Rafael Devers and Sandy Leon put some distance between the Red Sox and Angels, and they would not have to look back.

In the ninth, a wild pitch with Mitch Moreland at the plate allowed JD Martinez to score from third after he reached base on a force out. Unfortunately, the Angels pitcher who slid into home trying to get the out, Jake Jewell, took a nasty tumble and landed awkwardly on the right handle. I won’t share the video, but I wish him the best.

On a less somber note, here are some notes from this win:

JD Martinez has already hit more home runs this season (25) than anyone on the Red Sox had in 2017 (Mookie Betts led the team with 24).

The 6-9 hitters in the Red Sox lineup (Nunez, Devers, Leon, and Bradley Jr.) went 7/15 with two home runs and five RBI last night.

With the series already in hand, the Red Sox will look for the sweep later tonight before a huge series against the Yankees this weekend. Brian Johnson gets the start in Boston in place of the injured Steven Wright. It will be his first start since April 2nd when he gave up one run in six innings pitched against the Marlins in Miami. He’ll be matched up against Angels rookie Jaime Barria, who owns a 3.40 ERA in 10 starts this season. First pitch of the finale is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

 

 

RECAP: David Price Tosses Six Quality Innings and #RedSox Lineup Explodes for Four Home Runs in 9-1 Win over Angels.

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.

 

 

RECAP: Another Mookie Betts Leadoff Home Run Helps #RedSox Complete Sweep of Angels.

To be perfectly honest with you, I was expecting this Red Sox-Angels series to be a competitive one. Going into Tuesday, both teams were in the midst of impressive winning streaks, with the Red Sox at four straight and the Angels at seven. I thought the series opener, which featured David Price and Shohei Ohtani, would set the tone for what would be a close three games. Maybe the Red Sox take two out of three in Anaheim, I thought, that would be great. Well, I was completely wrong. Instead of three close games, the Red Sox blew out the Angels three nights in a row. They outscored the Angels 27-3 and never trailed at any point in the series. They entered at 13-2, and they leave at 16-2, marking the best start to a season a team has had since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers.

Eduardo Rodriguez made his third start of the season in this one, and he was fantastic. The lefty tossed six full innings, surrendering two earned runs on three hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts. His day got off to a bit of an odd start, with the home plate umpire having to leave the game after taking a foul ball off his right elbow, but the delay that took place did not appear to have any negative effect on Rodriguez. He recorded his first two K’s of the night by getting Mike Trout and Justin Upton back to back in the first.

The Angels tacked on their first run in the second. A one out walk to Andrelton Simmons lead to third baseman Zack Cozart driving him in on an RBI single two batters later. The only other real mistake Rodriguez made came later on in the fifth. With no outs and old friend Chris Young at the plate, Rodriguez tried to sneak a 94 MPH fastball by the Angels fourth outfielder, but failed, as Young took him deep to left center for his first home run with his new team. That cut the Red Sox lead at the time to one run.

By the time Rodrigurz got through his sixth and final frame, his pitch count was at a solid 104, 65 of which went for strikes. Since his horrid season debut back on the eighth of April, the native of Venezuela has been solid in his two starts, posting a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings pitched to go along with 13 K’s. It looks like he will be making his next start next Wednesday in Toronto.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen nearly tossed a perfect three innings. Heath Hembree and Carson Smith tossed a shutout inning each in the seventh and eighth, and Joe Kelly allowed one hit while striking out two to lock up the three game sweep.

Offensively, Mookie Betts got the scoring started in typical Mookie Betts fashion. On the third pitch he saw from Halos starter Nick Tropeano, Betts blasted his sixth long ball of the season over the wall in left field, putting his team up early.

Later on in the fourth, after a leadoff walk from Hanley Ramirez, JD Martinez stayed hot by ripping a double to left field, scoring Ramirez from first and picking up 15th RBI of the season. Two batters later, Rafael Devers collected his first of two RBIs on the night with a ground ball single to right that allowed Martinez to score from second.

Fast forward to the sixth, and we had Andrew Benintendi FINALLY getting his first home run of the season. On a 2-2 count, Benintendi hammered a 90 MPH fastball from Tropeano way over the wall in right field.

Three batters later, Devers collected that second RBI I mentioned earlier. He drove in JD Martinez, again, from third and put the Red Sox up by three.

After a quiet seventh, Mitch Moreland picked up his seventh RBI of the season with a sac fly that scored Hanley Ramirez from third.

With the game already in hand in the top of the ninth, Andrew Benintendi added on to his impressive night with a 2 RBI double that scored both Brock Holt and Mookie Betts to put them up 8-2.

Some notes from this one:

Mookie Betts hit his second leadoff home run in three days last night.

After a slow start to the season, Andrew Benintendi is now slashing .267/.384/.450 in 16 games. That’s a .834 OPS.

JD Martinez collected three hits last night, which marks his seventh multi-hit game of the season.

With two more RBIs last night, Rafael Devers is now tied for second in the American League in the category with 17, trailing only none other than Jed Lowrie for first place. He has 21.

Speaking of Jed Lowrie, the Red Sox will be taking on his team later tonight. That team being the Oakland Athletics, who despite being 9-10, have one of the best lineups in the AL thus far into the season.

Making his return to the rotation, Drew Pomeranz will be facing off against Athletics righty Kendall Graveman later tonight. First pitch is at 10:05 PM ET, GET PUMPED FOR DWEW.

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RECAP: Rafael Devers Delivers First Career Grand Slam as #RedSox Obliterate Angels Again.

After blowing out the Angels on Tuesday, the sizzling Red Sox essentially did the same thing last night.

Rick Porcello got the start in this middle game, and he, like David Price put together a solid performance against one of the better lineups in the American League. The right hander tossed six shutout innings, scattering six hits and six strikeouts along the way to his fourth win of the season. There were several situations where it looked like the Angels could go for a few runs, but Porcello got out, unscathed, in all of them.

For instance, the Angels loaded the bases with one out in the first after the Red Sox had just picked up their first run of the game. In response to this, Porcello struck out Kole Calhoun and Zack Cozart back to back to end the inning with his team still in the lead.

Later in the third, the Angels were threatening again with runners on first and second with no outs. This time, Porcello responded by retiring the 3-4-5 hitters in order on nine pitches.

When his day ended after getting the last out of the sixth, Porcello finished with 101 pitches on the night, 71 of which went for strikes. His ERA on the year now sits at a solid 1.40.

With three more innings to work with, the Red Sox bullpen continued and finished the shutout. Carson Smith got the call for the seventh, he walked one and struck out one while tossing a scoreless frame. Marcus Walden would be responsible for the eighth, he struck out one while holding the Angels scoreless. And to wrap things up, Craig Kimbrel, who hadn’t made an appearance since April 15th, retired the side in the ninth on 10 pitches, guaranteeing the shutout and the series win.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup followed up their six home run game on Tuesday by tacking on another nine runs last night. Once again, the lineup chased the starter for the Angels out of the game early, as Tyler Skaggs’ day was over in just the fifth inning.

Mitch Moreland got the scoring started in the first. With Hanley Ramirez on second after doubling to center, Moreland drove in him on an RBI single, his first of four on the night.

Later on in the third, the Red Sox got to Skaggs five times to up their lead to six runs. After the top third of the order began the inning by loading the bases, Moreland drove Mookie Betts in from third on a single left field. With the bases still loaded, Rafael Devers built on his solo home run from Tuesday night and mashed a bases clearing grand slam to right field. All of the sudden, the Red Sox were up big for the second straight night.

Fast forward to the seventh, and JD Martinez went deep for his fourth long ball of the season, as he took advantage of a 2-0 count and mashed an 87 MPH slider from Angels reliever Blake Wood and sent it over the right field wall. 7-0.

With the game already in hand in the ninth and JD Martinez at first, Mitch Moreland decided he was not done yet and for the first time this season, Mitchy Four Bags went big fly to right field, giving the Red Sox their eighth and ninth runs of the contest.

Some notes from this one:

Despite not hitting a home run or collecting an RBI, Mookie Betts still recorded two hits last night. His OPS now is currently sitting at a hefty 1.249

Since the Red Sox played their first game at Fenway Park back on April 5th, JD Martinez has put up a slash line of .364/.375/.727 to go along with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 11 games played. That translated to an OPS of 1.102. And I imagine as the weather gets nicer, Martinez will ony get better.

At the beginning of the season, I did not think Mitch Moreland had a defined role with this current team. He started the year on the bench and did not run into regular playing time for a few weeks. Since April 8th though, Moreland has an OBP of .577 and a .818 SLG in 26 plate appearances.

With the series finale later tonight, the Red Sox will be going for their seventh straight win before heading up north to Oakland for the weekend. Eduardo Rodriguez gets the start tonight against Halos righty Nick Tropeano. First pitch is once again at 10:07 PM ET.