RECAP: Chris Sale Fans Nine and Mookie Betts Hits 16th Homer as #RedSox Pick up Series Opening Win in Tampa Bay.

Coming off a day off on Monday, the Red Sox kicked off another series against the 22-23 Tampa Bay Rays last night. Last time the Red Sox saw Tampa Bay, they took two out of three from them at Fenway Park and despite the low expectations going into this season, the Rays have not been that bad of a team.

Chris Sale made his eleventh start of the season in this one, and he was phenomenal once again on the mound at Tropicana Field. The lefty recorded his fourth start this month of seven or more innings pitched, as he surrendered two runs (one earned) on four hits, two walks, and a HBP while fanning nine Rays on the night. Up to this point in the season, there has been some talk about where the velocity of Sale’s fastballs are at, but that was not a concern last night. Right from the get go, the Florida native had his four-seamer working in his favor. In fact, the fastest pitch Sale threw came in the seventh inning when he reached 99 MPH on his 96th pitch of the game.

There were two costly mistakes that Sale made in his start last night, and they came in the fourth and fifth innings. With a three run lead going into the bottom of the fourth, the Rays put their first run on the board via a solo home run off the bat of their #1 prospect, Willy Adames. An inning later, after Rob Refsnyder led things off with a double and advanced to third on a passed ball with one out, Daniel Robertson scored the runner from third by flying out to left field. After getting out of the fifth with just that one run surrendered, Sale tossed two more scoreless innings and got the first two outs of the eighth before his departure. With his pitch count all the way up at 112 pitches (73 strikes), Sale was met with a standing ovation from the visiting crowd, which was more than likely consisted of mostly Red Sox fans, but it was still nice to see him get that sort of reception in a building he absolutely owns. As a matter of fact, after last night’s outing, Sale now owns a 1.92 ERA in 65.2 innings pitched at Tropicana Field. He’ll look to build on this start in his next time out against the Atlanta Braves this upcoming weekend.

In relief of Sale, Joe Kelly got the call out of the bullpen with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Responsible for one out, Kelly struck out the only batter he faced to pick up his seventh hold of the season.

Next out of the Red Sox bullpen was Craig Kimbrel. Looking to protect a two run lead and record his 14th save this season, getting there certainly was not an easy journey for the Red Sox closer. The Rays reached base three times in the inning, ultimately loading the bases with two outs for outfielder Mallex Smith. Thankfully, Kimbrel got Smith to ground into a force out, and this ballgame was over.

Looking at the numbers, we have not seen the best out of the 29-year-old this month. In nine appearances, Kimbrel has pitched 8.2 innings. Over that span, he has given up four earned runs (three home runs) on six hits and a walk. That’s good for a 4.15 ERA, and I expect those numbers to improve over the next nine games left in May, but I just wanted to point that out.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup got all their scoring done on two swings of the bat. The first came from Mookie Betts in the third inning, and the second came from Rafael Devers in the sixth inning.

Facing off against Rays starter Jake Faria with Jackie Bradley Jr. at first and Sandy Leon at second, Betts mashed his league-leading 16th home run of the season.

That 405 foot shot to left field was good for three, and it marked the third home run for Betts in his last four games.

Fast forward to the sixth, with the lead cut to just one run, Rafael Devers provided a little insurance with his ninth big fly of the season. This one coming off Rays reliever Austin Pruitt.

In the last 10 games he has played in, Devers is only slashing .167/.250/.417 with six hits. Half of those hits have been home runs.

That solo shot gave the Red Sox their fourth and final run of the game, which was good enough to pick up their league-leading 33rd win of the season.

Some notes from this one:

With another base knock last night, Sandy Leon is quietly has a slash line of .400/.478/.600 over the last seven games he has appeared in. With the way Christian Vazquez has disappointed this season, maybe Leon could see an increase in time behind the plate.

For only the fifth time this season, Jackie Bradley Jr. has recorded a base hit in consecutive games after his 2-for-4 performance at the plate on Tuesday.

Since returning from that road trip that ended in Toronto less than two weeks ago, Hanley Ramirez owns a .172 slugging percentage. I won’t bring up the other numbers, which are also ugly, but that is borderline unacceptable for a player who is capable of putting up 30 home runs in any given season. Might be time to get Mitch Moreland more playing time at first base.

On a more positive note, the Red Sox will look to take the second game of this series against the Rays later tonight. Coming off a great start against the Orioles, David Price will be taking the mound against his old team, while it will be Chris Archer going for Tampa Bay. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

Advertisements

RECAP: JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts Both Go Yard as #RedSox Salvage Series Against Oakland with a 6-4 Win.

Entering last night 12-1 in series finales this season, the Red Sox made sure to keep that trend going against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, the team responsible for that one loss.

Chris Sale made his tenth start of the season in this one, and he picked up his fourth win. Although I would not say the lefty was at his best last night, he did hold the A’s to just two runs in five innings pitched. In that stretch, Sale scattered two hits and four walks while striking out nine. That first hit he gave up to came against the very first batter he faced in Marcus Semien, and the second hit just so happened to be a two-run home run off the bat of Semien well, which came in Sale’s fifth and final inning of work.

Other than that blunder, the Florida native held the Athletics in check. The four walks, a season high, were a bit of a surprise, and that caused Sale’s pitch count to be higher than normal. In defense of the 29-year-old, conditions at Fenway Park were not ideal for a starting pitcher on Wednesday. Temperatures in the low 50’s, some light rain throughout the game, maybe that had an effect on the lefty, I don’t know.

Anyway, with his pitch count already at 102 (60 strikes) through five innings of work, Sale’s night would come to an end. To start out the sixth, Matt Barnes got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen. He tossed a scorless frame while giving up one hit and recording two strikeouts.

Next up for the seventh inning was Heath Hembree. Unfortunately, the righty’s scoreless appearance streak came to an end at two games, as he surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced in Matt Joyce. It looked like Mookie Betts may have injured his right ankle while trying to rob the solo shot from going over the right field wall, but he was able to stay in the game until the end.

Once Hembree ended things in the seventh, Joe Kelly got the call for the eighth inning for his 19th appearance of the season. The flame throwing Kelly walked Jed Lowrie on six pitches to kick off the inning, but ended up facing the minimum as he got Matt Chapman to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to retire the side and make way for Craig Kimbrel.

With a three run lead to work with entering the top half of the ninth, the pressure was off Kimbrel, and I think he showed it in the beginning. After giving up a solo home run to Matt Olson to lead off the inning, the Red Sox closer settled down and retired the next three batters he faced on 13 pitches. Although his ERA rose a little bit, Kimbrel was good enough to notch his 12th save of the season last night, still good for second in the American League behind only Edwin Diaz of the Seattle Mariners.

 

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup got things started against A’s starter Trevor Cahill in the first inning last night. Two straight singles from Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi created an ideal RBI situation for Hanley Ramirez. With runners on first and third, Ramirez scored Betts on a ground out to first base. The very next batter, JD Martinez, put his team up by a couple more runs with his 12th long ball of the season.

That 422 foot shot was good for two, and it was the last run the Red Sox would score until the sixth.

Fast forward to that point in the game, with no outs and runners on first and second for Xander Bogaerts. Facing off against A’s righty reliever Ryan Dull, Bogaerts concluded the Red Sox scoring on the night by punishing a 82 MPH slider and sending it 411 feet over the Green Monster, putting the his team up by four at that time.

Gotta love the way he pimps his home runs when he knows they are no doubters. With that three-run bomb, the Red Sox short stop now has five on the season.

Those three runs off the bat of Bogaerts pretty much put this game away for the Red Sox, as they went on to pick up their AL East leading 29th win of the season. Despite that fact, they still trail the Yankees, who have not played in a full game since Sunday, in the standings.

Some notes from this one:

In the first game since it was reported that Blake Swihart’s agent wanted his client to be traded, Swihart did not play at all.

With a two-hit performance last night, Andrew Benintendi has extended his hitting streak to nine games now.

According to Alex Cora, Mookie Betts’ right foot got stuck under the padding on the wall in right field, but, “he’s good.” That’s certainly good news.

Next up for the Red Sox is a make-up game rescheduled from Patriots Day against the Baltimore Orioles tonight. That will be followed up by a three-game weekend series against…the Baltimore Orioles. So, I don’t think it technically counts as a four-game set, but David Price will be getting the ball in the “opener” later tonight. He will be matched up against O’s righty Kevin Gausman. Two SEC Baseball alumnus going at it, first pitch of the make-up game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: Chris Sale Has Career Night, but #RedSox Still Find a Way to Lose to Blue Jays in Extras.

Flashback to April 24th, and you’ll find that the Red Sox were walked off in Toronto in extras in the first game of that series. Why do I bring that up? Well, the same thing essentially happened last night. That’s right, the Red Sox opened up a three game series north of the border on Friday night, and once again, they were walked off by the Blue Jays in extra innings. This one took an inning longer than the first one though, and it did not involve Craig Kimbrel and Curtis Granderson.

How we got there: Chris Sale made his eighth start of the season last night, and as he usually does at the Rogers Centre, pitched a gem. The lefty tossed nine full innings, scattered three runs on six hits, walked none, and tied his career high in strikeouts with 15 on the night. It did not appear as if things were going to go Sale’s way in the beginning of this game, as he gave up the first of those three runs before recording a single out in the first inning. The Red Sox ace was getting hit fairly hard, and after the Blue Jays tacked on another run in the second, pitching coach Dana Levangie went out and had a lengthy conversation with both Sale and Sandy Leon. They must have come to the conclusion that the Blue Jays were stealing signs, because they went with multiple signs for the rest of the night, and Sale looked like a different pitcher.

At one point, the Florida native retired 15 straight Blue Jays before surrendering the game-tying home run to catcher Luke Maile in the seventh inning. Following that blip, Sale pitched two more scoreless innings. In the ninth, it looked like the Blue Jays were about to get the go-ahead run to third on a hard hit ball by Kevin Pillar, but a great throw from Andrew Benintendi to Brock Holt and an almost perfect relay from Holt to Eduardo Nunez got Pillar out at third for the second out of the inning.

After getting the next batter, Kendrys Morales, to ground out to end the frame and send this one to extra innings, Sale’s night would come to an end. Although he tossed nine innings, the 29-year-old did not factor in the decision. He finished the night with a season high 116 pitches, 85 of which went for strikes.

In extras, the Red Sox bullpen was not at their best. Matt Barnes kicked the bottom half of the 10th off by walking the first two batters he faced to put runners on first and second with no outs. How he got out of it I don’t know but he got Josh Donaldson to strike out in a huge spot with two outs in the inning to send things to the eleventh.

An inning later, Carson Smith had the best performance of any Red Sox reliever, as he recorded the first two outs of the inning before giving up a single to Kevin Pillar. That hit would not come back to bite the Texas native though, since he struck out the very next batter he faced on six pitches.

Another inning later, and this game came to an end quickly with Brian Johnson on the mound for the Red Sox. The lefty walked the first batter he saw on four straight balls. Not ideal. The very next pitch he threw was taken 418 feet to right center field by Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile.

As they say in Toronto, the Maile man always delivers, and he sent the Blue Jays home with a series opening win last night. To put it simply, Chris Sale deserved better. Not just from the bullpen, but from the lineup too.

For Brian Johnson, I can’t imagine Friday night’s performance helps his chances of staying up with the Red Sox. In ten games as a reliever, Johnson owns an ERA of 9.00 in 13 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .321 off of the lefty, so it’s difficult to justify keeping someone with those kind of numbers on the active roster.

Anyway, on the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup got the scoring started in the top of the first. Facing off against Blue Jays righty Aaron Sanchez, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi got on base right away in this one to put runners on first and third with no outs. After Benintendi stole second with JD Martinez at the plate, the third member of the Red Sox outfield scored Betts from third and advanced Benintendi from third on an RBI ground out.

Fast forward to the fourth, with the Red Sox trailing by one run, and Xander Bogaerts led the inning off by tying things up once again.

That 426 foot shot to center marked Bogaerts’ fourth of the season. Four batters later, with Brock Holt at first, Sandy Leon drove in a run in one of the most bizarre fashions you’ll see.

Technically ruled a strikeout, Leon was unfortunately not credited with an RBI on that play. What’s even funnier about it is that it was the last run the Red Sox scored all night. At one point, they went more than seven innings without a single hit. I’ll give credit where credit is due when I say the Blue Jays bullpen was stellar in the seven combined innings they tossed last night. They held the Red Sox lineup to essentially nothing once Aaron Sanchez departed in the sixth.

Next up for the Red Sox is a David Price v. Marco Estrada matchup later this afternoon. After all the carpal tunnel drama this past week, it will be interesting to see how Price responds today. Alex Cora had said that if his hand starts bothering him again, they have a plan to get Price out of the game right away and go to the bullpen. First pitch of the middle game of this series is scheduled for 4:07 PM ET. Like I said, should be…interesting.

 

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.

RECAP: JD Martinez Comes Through with Big Fifth Inning Home Run as #RedSox Take Series from Toronto.

A nine game road trip filled with plenty of ups and downs has finally come to an end. The Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 5-4 in their series finale last night, and they finish the trip with a solid 6-3 record.

Chris Sale got the start in this one, and he was matched up against Blue Jays veteran right-hander Marco Estrada. As was the case in his last start in Oakland, I don’t think Sale was at the top of his game last night. The lefty tossed six innings, surrendering three runs on four hits, including two home runs, and two walks while recording a season-low four strikeouts on the night. All three runs the Jays scored off of Sale came across in the first three innings. After that, he settled down a bit and held Toronto to just one walk over the final three innings of his outing. We also got to see a pretty cool moment when it looked like Sale was going to be taken out of the game with two outs in the sixth, but he convinced Alex Cora to keep him in the game. He retired the very next batter, Randal Grichuk, on one pitch following the exchange. Finishing the night with 104 pitches, 71 of which went for strikes, Sale will look to pick up another win next time out against the Kansas City Royals back in Boston.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen had a bit of a challenge ahead of them. Earlier in the day, it was revealed that Joe Kelly’s six-game suspension for that incident with Tyler Austin would be upheld, so the team would be without the flamethrower for a little less than a week.

Anyway, Carson Smith would get the call for the start of the seventh inning, and he looked pretty shaky. In just two-thirds of an inning, the Jays managed to reach base twice off of Smith while scoring once. That made it a one run game, and that would be all for the right-hander out of Texas.

With two outs in the inning and the tying run on second base, Matt Barnes came through with a huge strikeout to retire the side and preserve the lead. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning as well, despite walking two, to pick up his fifth hold of the season and make way for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.

For the second night in a row, Kimbrel was perfect. He needed just 16 pitches to end things in the inning and pick up his seventh save of the season, second best in the American League among closers.

On the other side of things, Andrew Benintendi got the scoring started for the Red Sox in the fourth inning. After Brock Holt doubled with one out to extend his hitting streak to nine games, an issue with his left hamstring led to him exiting the game. Tzu-Wei Lin replaced him and took over as the runner on second.

Two batters later, Benintendi drove Lin in from second on a double of his own, picking up his 14th RBI of the season.

It seemed as if the Red Sox could have gotten more off of Marco Estrada in the third, but Benintendi was picked off sliding back into second base, and that ended the inning.

In the fifth, Rafael Devers tacked on another run on a sacrifice fly that scored Mitch Moreland from third and cut the Blue Jays lead to one run.

Fast forward another inning, and JD Martinez put the exclamation point on this one by taking Estrada deep to left field for a three-run blast.

That ball was hit 365 feet at 102 MPH off the bat, and it put the Red Sox up by two runs, ultimately sealing the win in the end. Those three RBIs now put Martinez at 18 for the season, which is best for seventh in the American League.

With the road trip over and done with, the Red Sox will now be at home for their next six ballgames, those coming against the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals. Xander Bogaerts should be back this weekend after spending a few weeks on the disabled list, which could not come at a better time if Holt’s injury is serious.

Drew Pomeranz will get the series with the Rays kicked off later tonight, as he makes his first Fenway start of the season. First pitch is at 7:10 PM, hopefully the rain will lighten up before then.

 

 

RECAP: Benintendi, Lin, and Moreland Account for Eight Hits as #RedSox Squeak by Orioles in 3-1 Win.

Going for their fifth straight series win, the Boston Red Sox took care of business against the Baltimore Orioles on Jackie Robinson Day. In the third installment of this four-game series, it was a battle of aces at a chilly Fenway Park today. Chris Sale, making his fourth start of the season, was matched up against the best starting pitcher on the Orioles roster, Dylan Bundy.

Although he was effective, Sale’s pitch count limited him to just five innings pitched. In that span, the left hander out of Florida allowed just one run on two hits and two walks while fanning eight. Both hits and that one run came across the plate for the Orioles on a Manny Machado RBI double in the first. After that, Sale was nearly perfect, as he recorded seven of his eight strikeouts over the next four innings he appeared in. With his pitch count already at 93 through five innings, Sale’s day come to an end.

Through his first four starts of the season, I have to say that I respect the approach the Red Sox have had with Chris Sale so far. He has yet to throw more than six innings or 93 pitches in any start. Conserving him, along with the rest of the rotation, could prove to be beneficial later in the season and into the postseason as well.

Anyway, it was Heath Hembree who got the call for the top half of the sixth. While he did give up a leadoff single to Craig Gentry, Hembree settled down by retiring the next six batters he faced in the sixth and later on in the seventh. After that, Matt Barnes, who was doing his best to stay warm, tossed a nearly clean eighth inning, as he walked one and struck out two to make way for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.

The flamethrower got Adam Jones to line out to right for the first out of the inning. Then he proceeded to strike out the next two batters he faced on 13 pitches, ending the game and collecting his fifth save of the season. So far in 2018, Kimbrel has yet to allow a run in seven innings pitched, striking out 10 along the way to go with just four walks.

On the other side of things, Dylan Bundy was able to hold the Red Sox lineup in check for a little while. It wasn’t until the fifth inning when they broke through for their first run of the game. That happened after Jackie Bradley Jr. reached first after grounding into a force out and stole second with Andrew Benintendi at the plate. On a 1-1 count, Benintendi took a 91 MPH fastball from Bundy and ripped it down the right field line for a triple that scored Bradley from second in the process and tied the game at one.

With Bundy still on the mound in the sixth, the Red Sox struck for two more runs. The go-ahead run came across with Rafael Devers at the plate and no outs in the inning. With JD Martinez already at third, a ball that got away from Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph gave Martinez just enough time to score and give the Red Sox a one run lead.

Two batters later, Tzu-Wei Lin drove in Mitch Moreland from third on hard hit ground-rule double to give the Red Sox their third and final run of the day.

Speaking of Lin and Moreland, the both of them put together an impressive day at the plate. Combined, they went 5-for-9 with one RBI hitting in the fourth and ninth spots in the lineup. Andrew Benintendi racked up three hits and an RBI himself.

Not the most effective day at the plate, but that’s understandable given just how poor the conditions were in Boston today.

Unfortunately, there will be no game tomorrow. This tweet just popped up on my timeline and I am now bummed out.

Morning baseball on Patriots Day is hard to beat. I guess we will have to wait until May 17th to see if the Red Sox can finish the sweep.

With that in mind, the next game the Red Sox will play will be in Anaheim to take on the red-hot Angels. David Price will get the start for the opener on Tuesday, and he’ll be facing off against Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani. First pitch is scheduled for 10:07 PM ET.

 

RECAP: In Their First Meeting of the Season, the #RedSox Blew out the New York Yankees.

On a chilly Tuesday night over at Fenway Park, the 8-1 Boston Red Sox hosted the 5-5 New York Yankees for the first matchup between the two this season. On the mound, we had Chris Sale and Luis Severino, the second and third place finishers in the 2017 American League Cy Young race. To be honest, I was expecting a low scoring pitcher’s duel last night, but that’s the opposite of what we got.

In his first Fenway start of 2018, Chris Sale built on the early success he has had so far by keeping the Yankees lineup in check. The southpaw went six innings deep in this one, scattering eight hits and one run to go along with no walks and eight strikeouts. That lone run was just about the only mistake Sale made, as Yankees slugger Aaron Judge made him pay on a 1-0 fastball in the fifth inning, which Judge blasted over the center field wall. But like I said, that’s the only run Sale gave up, which is more than acceptable given the threats in the Yankees lineup. Speaking of that lineup, Sale managed to strike out new Yankee Giancarlo Stanton twice and Gary Sanchez once with this nasty slider:

When he departed after the sixth, Sale was at 87 pitches, 55 of which went for strikes. He probably would have come out for the seventh, but the Red Sox lineup put the game away in the bottom half of the inning by scoring nine times.

Instead of Sale, it was Joe Kelly who got the call for the seventh inning. First off, I dig his new walk in music.

And second, it was great to see Kelly pitch a scoreless inning. He did give up a leadoff single to Shane Robinson, but he also lowered his ERA all the way down to 8.31. Baby steps.

With the game already in hand, Brian Johnson was responsible for the last two innings of work. Making his second career relief appearance, Johnson actually got bloodied up pretty bad.

Pitching wise, he gave up a double and a walk while striking out two over the last two innings, securing his team’s ninth straight win.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup got to Yankees ace Luis Severino early and often. Once again, Mookie Betts led off the bottom of the first inning with a double. Two batters later, Hanley Ramirez drove him in on an RBI single, putting the Red Sox on top by one. In the second, Christian Vazquez led things off with a single. Two batters later, Mookie Betts advances Vazquez to second on a single. With runners on first and second and one out, Andrew Benintendi cleared the bases on his first triple of the season, putting the Red Sox up by three. To wrap things up in the second, Hanley Ramirez knocked in his second run of the night with another single, scoring Benintendi from third and giving the Red Sox their fourth and far from last run of the night.

Fast forward to the fourth, and Hanley Ramirez is still driving in runs. This time, he did it on a sac fly to right field. With Mookie Betts already at third base, that run scored easily.

Remember how the Red Sox exploded for six runs in the eighth inning this past Sunday? Well, they kind of did the same thing last night. Except this time it was earlier in the game and they put up more runs.

With Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle on the mound, Mookie Betts got the sixth started by ripping a double down the left field line. After back to back walks to Benintendi and Ramirez, JD Martinez found himself in an ideal situation. Down 1-2, Martinez took a 94 mile per hour fastball from Kahnle and nearly sent it out of the ballpark. Instead, the ball was slapped off the Green Monster, and two more runs came into score.

Another run and a few batters later, Mookie Betts found himself in nearly the exact same situation. Two outs, bases reloaded, with Chasen Shreve in for Kahnle. The result? Just a grand slam to put the Red Sox up by 13 runs.

Betts would finish with four hits and four RBIs in this one. In fact, the top third of the lineup did not record a single out last night. When the Red Sox have that going for them, I assume it’s going to be very hard to beat them. I mean, they’ve won nine games in a row for a reason.

Next up, David Price takes the hill against Masahiro Tanaka for the middle game later tonight. Price has been stellar so far, so I’ll be interested to see how he handles this Yankees lineup. First pitch is at 7:10 PM.