RECAP: David Price Twirls Another Gem as #RedSox Reach 100 Wins for First Time Since 1946.

The last time the Red Sox won 100 games in a single season, there were 16 teams team in Major League Baseball, the Braves played in Boston, the Giants played in New York, and the Dodgers played in Brooklyn.

Obviously, a lot has happened since then, but seeing the baseball team you grew up watching and still watch on a daily basis do something they have not done in over 70 years, that is something else.

How did the Red Sox reach this historic milestone? Well, David Price can take most of the responsibility for that.

Making his 28th start of the season on Wednesday, the left-hander picked up on where he left off in what has been a great second half of the 2018 season with another dominant performance.

Pitching seven scoreless innings in this one, Price scattered just three hits and no walks to go along with seven punch outs on the night.

After sitting down the first 13 batters he faced, the Tennessee native did give up those three hits, all of which were singles, over those final three frames of work, but the furthest base a Blue Jays hitter reached was second following a passed ball.

With his pitch count inching closer and closer to 100 in that seventh inning, Price dramatically ended his night on a positive note by fanning Teoscar Hernandez for the third and final out.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 92 (63 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler turned to his two-seam fastball a total of 33 times on Wednesday. He topped out at 94.5 MPH with that same pitch in the seventh inning.

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More notable, out of the 31 changeups he threw, Price induced a swing and a miss 32% of the time.

Improving to 15-6 with a 3.42 ERA on the season now, the 2012 Cy Young Award winner will look to build on what’s been a superb start to September in his next time out, which should come against the New York Yankees at dreaded Yankee Stadium sometime next week.

In relief of Price, Steven Wright got the call for the top half of the eighth inning with a slim one-run lead to protect.

Despite allowing the first two hitters he faced to reach base, the knuckleballer danced his way around the jam on his way to a scoreless frame.

Craig Kimbrel was next up for the ninth looking to lock down the save, and did just that, although he did walk one and only throw 10 strikes out of 20 total pitches.

Regardless, 39th save of the season for Kimbrel secured, but more importantly, win number 100 of the season for the Red Sox secured as well.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who entered Wednesday with a lifetime 4.35 ERA in eight appearances (five starts) at Fenway Park.

Similar to Price, a former teammate of his, Sanchez also had himself a quality night on the mound.

In fact, the only run that crossed the plate for the Red Sox came in the bottom of the fifth inning, when with two outs, runners at the corners, and Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, a 2-2 wild pitch from Sanchez rolled to the backstop.

 

That allowed Rafael Devers to easily come in from third to score what would end up being the lone run of the entire contest for either side.

The Red Sox were held to just four hits, but they did draw five walks.

Some notes from this 1-0 win: 

In his last nine starts since the All-Star break, David Price is 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA, which is tops among qualified American League starting pitchers. His .188 batting average against over that span is also second best in the AL.

The Red Sox are 8-1 in Price’s last nine starts.

From @SoxNotes: The Red Sox have won 100 games for the 1st time in 72 years, and for the 4th time in franchise history (105 in 1912, 104 in 1946, 101 in 1915).

Alex Cora is the 1st person to lead a team to 100+ wins in his 1st season as an MLB manager since Dusty Baker in 1993 (Giants, 103-59).

Going for win number 101 and the sweep later tonight, it will be Eduardo Rodriguez getting the start for Boston.

Since returning from the 10-day disabled list on September 1st, the young left-hander has surrendered six earned runs over nine total innings pitched, with five of those runs coming in his last time out against the Houston Astros.

In three outings against the Blue Jays this season, Rodriguez has posted a 2.41 ERA over 18.2 innings pitched.

Opposite Rodriguez will be RHP Sam Gaviglio for Toronto, who was only charged with one earned run over 3.1 innings in his last start at Fenway Park on July 14th, a game that Rodriguez also started in and the Red Sox won by a final score of 6-2.

First pitch of the final game against the Blue Jays this season is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET Thursday.

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RECAP: David Price Shines but Bullpen Falls Apart as #RedSox Drop Series Opener to Astros.

Coming off a sweep of the Atlanta Braves this past week and an off day on Thursday, the 97-44 Boston Red Sox returned to Fenway Park to embark on a nine-game homestand, where they were first greeted by the defending World Series champion Houston Astros for a three-game weekend series.

Earlier in late May/early June, these two teams, arguably the two best in the American League, split a four-game set at Minute Maid Park, with the Astros taking the first two and the Red Sox taking the last two.

Getting the start for this series opener, his 27th of the season, was David Price, who last we saw, took a 103 MPH line drive off his left wrist in the third inning of August 29th’s contest against the Marlins.

The left-hander would have to depart from that outing after that occurred, and nine days later, he was back at it against a team he gave up three runs to in six innings of work back on June 2nd.

Pitching into the seventh inning of this one, Price picked up right where he left off prior to that Marlins start with another stellar performance, as he surrendered just two earned runs on two hits and two walks to go along with 10 strikeouts on the night to tie a season-high.

Retiring 14 straight hitters at one point, the Tennessee native had full control of the strike zone on Friday, and he used that to his full advantage by consistently painting the corners, which led to the double-digit punch outs.

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Finishing with a final pitch count of 101 (57 strikes), Price’s night would come to an end after allowing two of the first three hitters he faced in the seventh to reach base, which would ultimately be the Red Sox’s demise.

Out of those 101 pitches, the 33-year-old hurler turned to his two-seam fastball 44% of the time on Friday, and topped out at 94.2 MPH with that same pitch in the second inning.

Unable to pick up a much deserved winning decision at the fault of his bullpen, Price will look to build on what was a strong start to his month of September in his next time out, which should come against the Toronto Blue Jays, a former club of his, sometime next week.

In relief of Price, Alex Cora turned to Ryan Brasier with one out and runners on first and second in the top half of the seventh.

Brasier closed the book on Price’s outing by allowing both of those inherited runners to score as well as another on a pair of RBI doubles from Yuli Gurriel and Tony Kemp.

Just like that, the Red Sox found themselves trailing in a game they appeared to have full control of.

Joe Kelly was next up for the eighth inning after his team had just tied things up in their half of the seventh.

Despite some solid numbers recently, Kelly found himself struggling once again, as he allowed the first three Astros hitters he faced to reach, which loaded the bases without a single out recorded.

A sacrifice fly off the bat of Carlos Correa gave Houston a brand new lead while the runners on base advanced to scoring position.

That was followed by a wild pitch in the next at bat with Tyler White at the plate, which allowed Jose Altuve to cross the plate.

With White Still up at bat, Kelly could not get a 2-2 85 MPH knuckle curveball by the Astros DH, and he laced it into left field to drive in Alex Bregman from third  and give his team a three-run lead.

Finally, just trying to keep the Red Sox within the three runs they trailed by at this point, Tyler Thornburg worked his way around two singled in a scoreless ninth inning of work, not like it mattered that much at that point.

All and all, here is the final pitching line from the Red Sox bullpen on Friday night:

2.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Not great.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole, who, in his only other start against Boston as an American League hurler, pitched seven innings while allowing three runs to score back on June 1st in Houston.

With the regulars back in the Boston lineup, Cole was solid yet again, although Red Sox hitters did make him work quite a bit.

Starting the scoring right away in this one was JD Martinez, whose sacrifice fly in the first inning drove in Mookie Betts from third to give the Red Sox an early advantage.

Fast forward to the fourth, Xander Bogaerts extended that lead a bit by blasting his 20th home run of the season, a 432 foot shot to dead center.

Three innings later, after the Astros had jumped out to a 3-2 lead, JD Martinez answered right back with an RBI single of his own to pull this thing back at even.

That would be the final Red Sox run of the night, however.

Some notes from this 6-3 loss:

In eight starts since the All-Star break, David Price has posted a 1.78 ERA and .196 BAA over 50.2 innings pitched.

I know RBI are not the greatest statistic but JD Martinez already has 117 of them on September 8th.

Over the last 14 days, the Red Sox bullpen owns a 5.40 ERA in 55 total innings pitched. That’s good for the 26th best ERA in baseball over that span.

Going for their 98th win this evening, it will be Eduardo Rodriguez getting the ball for Boston in his second start since returning from the disabled list.

In his four-year career, the left-handed Rodriguez has only made two starts against the Astros, both of which have come at Fenway Park.

In those two starts, Rodriguez has surrendered six earned runs in a total of 6.2 innings pitched. That’s a good for a 8.10 ERA.

Opposite Rodriguez for this middle game will be another right-hander in Houston’s Charlie Morton, who the Red Sox got to for six runs in less than six innings back on June 3rd, a game Boston ran away with.

First pitch of the middle game of the series is scheduled for 4:05 PM ET Saturday.

RECAP: David Price Dominates Indians in Eight Scoreless Innings as #RedSox Become First Club to Reach 90 Wins.

Just a handful of hours after ending their three-game losing streak with a 10-4 win on Wednesday night, the Red Sox were back at it Thursday afternoon looking for a series split against a first place Indians team.

Making his 25th start of the season and coming off seven two-run innings in his last time out against the Tampa Bay Rays, David Price entered the day with a lifetime 2.24 ERA in 14 career starts against the Indians. That trend continued this afternoon.

Pitching eight full frames in this one, the left-hander held Cleveland scoreless while scattering just three hits and one HBP to go along with zero walks and seven punch outs on the afternoon.

Starting his outing by retiring 18 of the first 19 batters he faced, the most trouble Price ran into came in the top half of the seventh, when he gave up a pair of singles but escaped without any damage thanks to an inning-ending unassisted double play.

In his final frame of work, the Tennessee native hit the first batter he faced in Brandon Guyer, but ended up facing the minimum thanks to another DP and six pitch strikeout of Roberto Perez to retire the side and end his day on a high note.

 

Finishing with a final pitch count of 101 (68 strikes), Price turned to his two-seam fastball 33 times and topped out at 94.9 MPH with the same pitch in the first inning.

As he later improved to 14-6 with yet another dominant performance, let’s take a look at how the 32-year-old hurler has been performing since the All-Star break.

6 GS, 4-0, 41.1 IP, 29 H, 5 ER, 7 BB, 40 K, 1.09 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, .193 BAA.

Ace-like stuff. Price will look to build on this recent stretch run of dominance in his next time out, which should more than likely come against the Miami Marlins next Wednesday.

In relief of Price, Tyler Thornburg was the lone reliever who got the call out of the Red Sox bullpen for the ninth and final frame. Despite giving up two hits, Thornburg managed to hold on and preserve the shutout to secure his team’s 90th win of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a pitcher they had never seen before in RHP Adam Plutko for Cleveland.

Plutko, a 26-year-old rookie, managed to manuever his away around Boston’s lineup through the first four innings on Thursday, but the fifth is where this game really turned on its head.

Starting with leadoff hits from Sandy Leon, whose double could not be caught by Melky Cabrera in left field, and Jackie Bradley Jr., followed by a one out walk of Andrew Benintendi, the bases were all of a sudden loaded for Blake Swihart, who was not even in the original starting lineup.

On a 2-2 fastball from Plutko, Swihart ripped a double to the wall in right field to plate Leon and Bradley and give the Red Sox a two-run advantage.

After intentionally walking JD Martinez to reload the bases, new Indians pitcher Adam Cimber could not sneak a 2-1 sinker by Xander Bogaerts, as the red-hot shortstop drove in another pair of runs on a two RBI single to left field.

Another intentional walk, this time of Brock Holt, once again reloaded the bases for Eduardo Nunez, who capitalized on a run-scoring opportunity and ripped the THIRD two RBI two-bagger of the inning to score both Martinez and Bogaerts and make it a 6-0 game just like that.

An inning later, JD Martinez wrapped up his team’s scoring by racking up his 109th RBI of the year on a one out single off of Indians reliever Josh Tomlin that drove in Mookie Betts from third. 7-0, which would end up being the final score on Thursday.

In the matter of one day, the Red Sox have turned a three-game losing streak that had everyone panicking into a brand new two-game winning streak. With the split against the Indians today, the team has now not lost a series since the first day of July. That is some impressive stuff.

Some other notes from this win:

Mitch Moreland, who was originally the starting first baseman in this contest, had to depart in the first inning after suffering a left knee contusion while sliding for a foul ball near the Red Sox dugout.

On a more positive note, to go along with those David Price numbers up above, the Red Sox are 8-0 in Price’s last eight starts and are 19-6 overall.

Xander Bogaerts has recorded at least one hit in eight of his last 10 games. Over that span, he is slashing .316/.366/.658 with two home runs and 10 RBI.

Over their last four games, Red Sox pitching held Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez to five total hits in 33 combined at bats. Only two of those hits went for extra bases.

Finishing the brief homestand with a 4-3 record, the Red Sox head south for a quick three-game weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Starters for the three-game set are as followed: Hector Velazquez, Rick Porcello, Nathan Eovaldi. The Rays have yet to announce their starters.

Head to head, Boston has had the advantage against Tampa Bay this season, as they own a 11-5 record against them going into their final matchup of 2018.

First pitch of the first game of Players’ Weekend is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET Friday.

RECAP: David Price Fans 10, Tosses Gem as Jackie Bradley Jr. Homers Twice and #RedSox Blank Orioles in First Game of Doubleheader.

Just a little over 12 hours after defeating the Orioles in a barn burner of a game on Friday night, the Red Sox were back at it on Saturday afternoon in the first of a two game doubleheader at Camden Yards.

Making his 23rd start of the season, David Price remained on the recent roll he has been on with another superb day on the mound.

Tossing six scoreless frames, the left-hander scattered five hits, four of which were singles, and set a new season-high in strikeouts with exactly 10 on the afternoon. All while not walking a single batter for the sixth time in 2018.

After retiring the side in order in the first, Price did put a runner on in each of the final five innings he pitched in, but an Adam Jones double in the sixth was the closest Baltimore came to crossing the plate while the Tennessee native was working his magic.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 94 (68 strikes), it was a bit surprising to see Price not come back out to at least begin the seventh inning, especially when you consider that the Red Sox bullpen will more than likely be turned to a lot in the second game later tonight.

That did not happen though, and Price’s day came to an end in the sixth. Out of those 94 pitches he threw, the 32-year-old, like Nathan Eovaldi on Friday, relied on his cut-fastball  37% of the time today, which resulted in six swinging strikes and 12 called strikes. He also topped out at 94.1 MPH with his four-seamer in the third inning.

Improving to 12-6 on the season, Price has now surrendered two or fewer earned runs in four consecutive starts, lowering his ERA to 3.75. He will look to build on this recent success in his next time out against the Tampa Bay Rays sometime next weekend.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen had themselves a much better time today then they did last night.

Tyler Thornburg, Ryan Brasier, and Matt Barnes combined for three perfect frames with three total punch outs to wrap up their team’s 83rd win of the season in shutout fashion.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup did not explode quite like they did against Dylan Bundy on Friday, but with the help of David Price, they still had a fairly solid day at the plate.

Facing off against Orioles rookie right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis, who has been converted from a reliever to a starter, it took a while for Boston’s bats to get rolling in this one.

By the time the lineup got to their third time around the order though, that is when things started to change for the better.

A leadoff single off the bat of Xander Bogaerts in the fifth, followed by a two-run home run from Eduardo Nunez, put the Red Sox on the board first with a 2-0 lead.

A few minutes later, Jackie Bradley Jr. came through with his first of two solo shots on the afternoon to make it a three run game.

In the sixth, Xander Bogaerts was at it again, as he scored all the way from second on a stolen base and an E5 committed by Renato Nunez with Brock Holt at the plate. 4-0.

Fast forward all the way to the ninth, and Jackie Bradley Jr. capped off his fine day at the plate by launching his 11th big fly of the season to put his team’s fifth and final run on the board.

Only nine total hits for the Red Sox this afternoon, which is something when you consider the 16 knocks they piled up on Friday, but I would be lying if I said I did not have an enjoyable time watching this shutout victory.

Some notes from this win:

Andrew Benintendi extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 1/5 day at the plate today.

Xander Bogaerts’s right hand is looking just fine after a three-hit game today.

Since the beginning of July, Jackie Bradley Jr. has lifted his OPS from .616 all the way up to .691 in his last 31 games played.

With game two a little under two hours away, let’s take a look at tonight’s starting lineup for Boston.

Both Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland are out of the lineup with Rafael Devers starting at third, Eduardo Nunez DHing, and Dan Butler starting behind the plate.

Baltimore’s starter for the night-cap, rookie Yefry Ramirez, has held his own in two previous outings against the Red Sox this season.

Hector Velazquez, who has both started and came out of the bullpen for Boston in his two seasons with the club, will get the starting nod tonight.

First pitch of the second game is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.

Also, this better get you pumped up.

RECAP: Andrew Benintendi Comes up Clutch with Walk-Off Single in Extras as #RedSox Finish off Sweep of Yankees.

In a game that started on Sunday night and ended early Monday morning, it was the Red Sox who came out on top in ten innings of play for their fourth-straight win over the Yankees, opening up a 9.5 game lead atop the American League East.

Started by David Price, who was surprisingly outstanding against a team he owned a 24.92 ERA against in two outings prior to Sunday, the Red Sox managed to fight their way back on a night it looked like they could have settled for taking three out of four from their division rival.

Pitching into the seventh inning of this one, Price surrendered two earned runs, both of which were scored with him out of the game, on four hits, three free passes, and one HBP to go along with five punch outs on the night.

The lefty found himself dealing with traffic on the base paths right away in the first, as he allowed three of the first five hitters to reach, loading the bases with two outs in the frame. Fortunately, a 1-3 put out on a softly hit ground ball from Luke Voit allowed Price to escape unscathed.

Including the Voit ground out, the 32 year-old hurler retired 16 of the next 19 Yankees batters he faced going into the middle of the sixth inning in a 1-0 game in his team’s favor.

At that point, Price’s pitch count had reached 95, and given the fact he had just completed his sixth scoreless frame against a team he has a bad history with, maybe that was a good time for Alex Cora to call it a night for the big left-hander.

Instead he came back out for the seventh, gave up a leadoff single that was followed by a walk to put runners at first and second with no outs, and that was how Price’s fine night would come to a bit of a disappointing end.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 108, the second most he has thrown all season, 85 of which went for strikes, the Tennessee native relied heavily on his changeup Sunday night, as he went to it more than 31% of the time he was on the mound. He also topped out at 94.1 MPH with his two-seam fastball in the third inning. Although nothing has been announced by the team yet, I would expect Price’s next start, which would be his 23rd of the year, to come next weekend in Baltimore.

In relief of Price, Heath Hembree, who has turned into one of the best relievers with runners on base, got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen to try and get out of a seventh inning jam.

Instead, with runners on first and second, Hembree refused to give up a sacrifice bunt to Yankees right fielder Shane Robinson, as he threw up and near his head on three consecutive occasions, which eventually led to a seven pitch walk to load the bases.

From there, New York tacked on all four of their runs in a rather lengthy sequence. Gardner and Austin Romine scored on an E6 committed by Xander Bogaerts to close the book on David Price’s start and Robinson came around to cross the plate on a Giancarlo Stanton single a few minutes later. 3-1 Yankees.

Two batters and one pitching change later, Ryan Brasier, in the game for Boston now, got Gleyber Torres to fly out to center for the second inning, but that allowed Aaron Hicks, who reached base on the E6, to tag up from third and score his team’s fourth and final run of the frame.

Brasier, while escaping the seventh, also tossed a scoreless eighth inning to make way for Tyler Thornburg in the ninth.

Thornburg, who had not gotten any work since July 30th, worked his way around two walks to retire the side and give the Red Sox one last chance in their half of the ninth trailing by three runs.

After a crazy ninth that eventually saw these teams tied up again, Matt Barnes, who was also making his first appearance of August, retired all three Yankees he faced in order to send this thing to the bottom of the tenth, where he would eventually collect his fourth win of the season thanks to the heroics of Andrew Benintendi.

Speaking of Andrew Benintendi, the Red Sox lineup really saved their best for last on Sunday night/Monday morning, because they really could not do anything off of Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka.

Despite pitching less than five innings, Tanaka made just one costly mistake, and that was serving up a solo home run to Mookie Betts in that fifth inning to put the Red Sox on the board. Betts’ 26th long ball of the year traveled 437 feet into the night sky, per Statcast.

Up until this thing reached the ninth inning with their backs against the wall, that home run was the only scoring the Red Sox could manage off the likes of Tanaka, Zach Britton, and Dellin Betances.

With Aroldis Chapman in to close this game out in the ninth with a three-run lead to protect, it was Sandy Leon who got the rally started by drawing a one out walk.

Keep in mind, Chapman hadn’t blown a save since May 4th, yet he always seems to struggle at Fenway Park.

Three walks in the frame, one to Leon, one to Mookie Betts, and one to Steve Pearce, who was replaced by Jackie Bradley Jr., loaded the bases for Boston with two outs and JD Martinez coming to the plate.

On the first pitch he saw from Chapman, the Red Sox’s slugger scorched a 99.1 MPH single into center field to drive in Leon and Betts and cut the Yankees lead to one run.

With Xander Bogaerts at the plate looking to redeem himself for the previous error over at short, a 1-1 85 MPH slider from Chapman resulted in Bogaerts tapping a grounder to third in what appeared to be the final out of the contest.

Instead, a bad throw from Yankees’ third baseman Miguel Andujar over to Greg Bird at first base allowed both Bogaerts to reach first safely and Bradley Jr. to come in to score. Tied game headed into extra innings.

Fortunately for those who had to wake up early in the morning, extras did not take all that long, thanks to old friend Jonathan Holder, who gave up seven earned runs on Thursday, making an appearance out of the Yankees bullpen in the tenth.

It all happened with two outs in the inning, but a Sandy Leon single followed by an intentional walk of Mookie Betts put the go-ahead run for the Red Sox at second base.

Given the difference in speed around the base paths, Leon was replaced by the recently called up Tony Renda to represent the winning run.

Following a brief mound visit, Andrew Benintendi put an end to this marathon game by delivering the clutchest hit of the night, an RBI single to center field to score Renda from second and give the Red Sox the 5-4 win. Sweep completed.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox are 79-34. They are now 9.5 games up on the Yankees in the American League East. Also, the Red Sox have not lost a game against New York since Brian Cashman said this:

Against the Yankees in 2018, the Red Sox are 8-5 in head-to-head matchups, including a 6-1 record at Fenway Park.

In his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform, Tony Renda scored the winning run to complete a four-game sweep over the Yankees. That’s pretty cool.

From @RedSoxStats: Since Price’s meltdown on Sunday Night Baseball he’s made 5 starts, pitching into the 7th 4 times, with a 2.84 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, and 5.3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Andrew Benintendi’s career numbers against the Yankees: 39 G, .293/.355/.493 slash line, 6 HR, 27 RBI.

After enjoying the well-deserved off day on Monday, the Red Sox will open up a three-game series in their last trip to Toronto of the season against the 51-60 Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Chris Sale was schedules to start one of these games, but he has been pushed back. Instead, Drew Pomeranz, Brian Johnson, and Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston in games one, two, and three of this series, and then it’s on to Baltimore for the weekend.

First pitch of the first game north of the border is scheduled for 7:07 PM ET on Tuesday. This team is special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#RedSox Complete Four-Game Sweep of Yankees with Andrew Benintendi’s Walk-Off Single in Extras.

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What a night it was for the 79-34 Boston Red Sox.

Trailing by three runs heading into the bottom half of the ninth, come back to tie at up at four against one of the best closers in all of baseball, and finish it off with an Andrew Benintendi walk-off single in the tenth. David Price was also good.

Full recap of this wild win is coming later in the morning. For now, let’s just enjoy the 9.5 game division lead atop the American League East heading into the off day on Monday.

Best team in baseball and the damage has been done.

RECAP: Blake Swihart Walks It off for #RedSox in Extra Innings Win over Phillies.

Playing in their first interleague series since sweeping the Washington Nationals earlier this month, the Red Sox came into the week fresh off three straight wins and a quick two-game set against a first place Philadelphia Phillies team next up on the schedule.

David Price, who has big game experience pitching against the Phils during his rookie year in the 2008 World Series, made his 21st start of the season last night and extended what has been a near-dominant run for Red Sox starters.

In a full eight innings pitched, the lefty held Philadelphia to just one run while scattering eight and hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

Things did not appear as though they were going to go as smoothly as they did for Price early on, as he surrendered five hits and that one run within the first three innings. But, with the help of some careless Phillies base running…

the Tennessee native settled down with a stretch of nine straight retired batters from the top of the third all the way to the sixth.

After escaping two more respective jams and stranding multiple runners on base in the sixth and eighth innings of this one, Price’s night would come to an end with his pitch count reaching 97.

Out of those 97 pitches (66 strikes), the 32 year-old hurler relied on his cut fastball the most on Monday, as he went to it nearly 31% of the time while also topping out at 93.3 MPH with his two-seamer in the third inning.

Unable to pick up the win due to this game going 13 innings, Price will look to carry over this recent success into August, where he is slated to make his next start against the New York Yankees this upcoming Sunday. *gulps*

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen did a fantastic job of limiting what the Phillies could do at the plate, and that prevented them from scoring the go-ahead run at any time last night.

Tossing a combined five scoreless frames, Tyler Thornburg, Ryan Brasier, Heath Hembree, Joe Kelly, and finally Hector Velazquez, who picked up the win to improve to 7-0 on the season, were all part in a fine effort in the eventual 75th win of the year for the Red Sox.

My biggest takeaways here were how Thornburg continued to impress, as his scoreless appearance streak now stands at six, and how Joe Kelly worked his way around a two out walk in the twelfth to avoid any damage. Hembree was also solid.

On the other side of things, I have to start off by tipping my cap to Phillies starter Aaron Nola. Similar to what Tyler Gibson did on Thursday night for the Twins, Nola mostly had his away against a dangerous Boston lineup.

Had it not been for a Jackie Bradley Jr. single and an Eduardo Nunez RBI triple that should have been caught in center field in the bottom of the fifth, Nola more than likely would have held the Red Sox scoreless in the eight frames he pitched in. He’s that good.

Anyway, we’ll pick this thing up in the 13th inning, when with one out, Eduardo Nunez at second, and Philadelphia reliever Luis Garcia on the mound, Blake Swihart had the chance to send everyone home happy.

Stepping up to the plate for the second time that night after pinch-hitting for Sandy Leon in the tenth, Swihart swung at the first pitch he saw from Garcia, a 99 MPH fastball right over the heart of the plate, and launched a scorching 106 MPH ground-rule double into the Red Sox bullpen, driving in Nunez from second and ensuring his team’s second walk-off win in the last four days with the 2-1 victory.

Some notes from this win:

From @SoxNotes: Including tonight, Red Sox starting pitchers have a 1.41 ERA in their last 12 games. According to , that is the club’s lowest starting pitcher ERA over any 12-game span since 1933 (1.31 from 7/20-8/3).

Extending his hitting streak to 10 games with that walk-off double, Blake Swihart is slashing .429/.484/.679 over that span with one home run and three RBI.

In his last five games, Eduardo Nunez owns an OPS of 1.213.

At 75-33, the Red Sox are 42 games over .500. Absurd.

Going for the quick two-game sweep later tonight, it will be Drew Pomeranz getting the start for the Red Sox. He’ll be matched up against fairly new Phillie Jake Arrieta.

Known for his time spent with the Chicago Cubs, Arrieta owns a 3.45 ERA in 20 starts in his first year in Philadelphia.

Last season, when the Cubs were at Fenway in April, this same pitching matchup took hold for a game on April 28th. I remember because I was there.

Surprisingly, Pomeranz outpitched Arrieta in what turned out to be a close 5-4 win for the Red Sox.

Regardless of that, first pitch of the second and final game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET tonight. Could be Pomeranz’s last start for a while if he continues to struggle.

Also, the Red Sox traded for Ian Kinsler last night. You can read about him here. The trade deadline is at 4 PM ET today.