RECAP: David Price Surrenders Career-High Five Home Runs as Struggles Against Yankees Continue for the #RedSox Starter.

David Price and the New York Yankees. Name a more disastrous duo.

Yes, on a night where the Red Sox could have left the Bronx with a two game lead in the American League East pennant race, David Price came up extremely short.

Known for his struggles at Yankee Stadium since signing with Boston prior to the 2016 season, Price certainly did not do himself any favors yesterday.

Lasting just 3.1 innings, the lefty was walloped for EIGHT earned runs on nine hits, with five of those being home runs, while only recording three strikeouts.

In a 25-pitch first inning, the Yankees reached base four times off of Price, and got four runs out of it. The first of those four came on an Aaron Judge 409 foot blast to center field for the first run of the game. The other three runs came three batters later on one swing of the bat from rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres, who, on a 93 MPH two-seam fastball from Price, belted his 15th long ball of the season 380 feet to right field to put his team up by a bunch early.

An inning later, the Yankees struck again with another homer, this one coming from center fielder Aaron Hicks on a two-run shot, his first of three on the night.

After a surprising scoreless frame in the third, things got ugly for Price in an inning he would not be able to finish.

To truly show how miserable of a night the Vanderbilt alum had, just look at the events that transpired in the bottom half of the fourth.

First batter of the inning, Kyle Higashioka, 0/22 to start his career, takes Price deep to left for his first big league hit and home run on a 1-2 89 MPH cutter. 7-0 Yankees.

Two batters later, Aaron Hicks, career .208 hitter against Price prior to yesterday’s contest, blasts his second homer 373 feet to dead center. 8-0 Yankees and that is what put an end to David Price’s awful outing.

Finishing with a pitch count of only 71 (51 strikes), the 32 year-old hurler topped out at 94.5 MPH with his four-seam fastball in the second inning.

Let’s take a closer look at those struggles Price has had at Yankee Stadium since joining the Red Sox.

5 GS
25 IP
47 H
29 ER
10 HR
10.44 ERA

Image result for not great bob

Nope, it really isn’t! And in all honesty, I have no confidence at all in giving the ball to David Price in a potential ALDS or ALCS game at Yankee Stadium. If that were to be the case later on in October, I’d be interested to see how Alex Cora and the Red Sox would go about not utilizing their $30 million man in a situation he should be able to handle. but clearly can’t.

You also cannot make stuff like this up.

Anyway, last night’s debacle ended a solid run for Price in which he allowed three or fewer runs in nine straight starts. He’ll look to hopefully rebound from this in his next outing against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday. For now, let’s just hope one bad start does not derail the quality season Price has had to this point.

In relief of Price, Justin Haley was first out of the Red Sox bullpen and gave up one run in 2.2 innings of work.

Brandon Workman came through with the best performance of any Red Sox pitcher on Sunday, as he threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

And in the eighth, Hector Velazquez gave up an additional two runs on three hits, including Aaron Hicks’ third homer of the evening, to wrap up what was a dismal evening for Red Sox pitching.

On the other side of things, the Yankees pitching staff had themselves a GREAT night against a team that just scored 11 runs off of them on Saturday.

Let me tell you though, Luis Severino is in a whole other category of pitchers when compared to Sonny Gray. The Yankees ace shut down the Red Sox lineup while pitching into the seventh inning of this one. Over that stretch, Severino surrendered just two hits and three walks while fanning six to improve to 13-2 on his season.

The only run of the night for the Red Sox came in the ninth, when after Sandy Leon reached second on a double and Blake Swihart advanced him to third on a single, Rafael Devers collected his 47th RBI of the year by scoring Leon on a  5-4 force out at second base. All this coming with Aroldis Chapman, who hadn’t appeared in a game in nearly a week, on the mound for New York.

Some notes from this loss:

In a highly anticipated series between two of the best teams in all of baseball, here are the results from all three games.

Friday: BOS 1-8 NYY
Saturday: BOS 11-0 NYY
Sunday: BOS 1-11 NYY

Not much consistency between these two clubs over the weekend, and neither game was close because of it.

Nine games into the season series, the Red Sox own a 4-5 record against New York in 2018. The good news is, seven of the next ten games against the Yankees will be played at Fenway Park, including the last three of the season on the last weekend of September.

Having dropped two of their first three games on a decently long road trip, things will not get easier for the Red Sox when they land in the nation’s capital sometime this morning. In a three-game series against the Washington Nationals kicking off on Monday, the Red Sox will be greeted by one of the best pitchers in the National League in Mad Max, Max Scherzer. He’ll be matched up against an old teammate in Rick Porcello for Boston, and first pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET tonight.

 

 

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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: David Price and Xander Bogaerts Lead #RedSox to 2-1 Win over Mariners.

Coming off a three game sweep in Baltimore, the Red Sox continued their ten game road trip by kicking off a four game set against the first place Seattle Mariners in Seattle last night. Owning two of the three best winning percentages in all the American League entering Thursday, this series has potential to be a postseason preview.

Making his 14th start of the season in this one, David Price put together his best performance since he tossed that complete game against the Orioles back on May 17th.

In seven full innings pitched, the lefty allowed just one run on five hits, zero walks, and a HBP while notching seven strikeouts on the night.

There was really no point last night where Price found himself in too much trouble. The only run he gave up came in the fifth inning, when after Kyle Seager and Ryon Healy both led things off with singles, Guillermo Heredia drove in Seager from third on a sacrifice fly for the first out.

Other than that though, the Tennessee native shut the Mariners down from that point on up until the conclusion of the seventh inning. With the help of some slick defense from Xander Bogaerts, Price got out of the sixth unscathed.

And in his final frame of work, with his pitch count getting up there, it looked as though Price was going to get the hook after giving up another single to Healy with two outs in the seventh. Instead, Alex Cora let him stay in the game after a meeting on the mound, and Price responded by striking out the last batter he faced to retire the side.

Finishing with 106 pitches (73 strikes) on the night, the 32-year-old hurler reached a maximum velocity of 95.5 MPH on his four-seam fastball, which he threw 23% of the time in those seven innings.

In his last seven starts, not only are the Red Sox undefeated, but Price himself has been outstanding. Over his last 44.1 innings pitched in those even outings, the southpaw owns a 2.64 ERA while opponents are hitting a measly .205 off of him. It must have all started with that carpal tunnel scare back in early May, because David Price has been one of the better pitchers in the American League since then.

Back to the game, the Red Sox bullpen would be responsible for the last six Mariners outs with a run lead to protect. As he usually does, Joe Kelly tossed a shutdown eighth inning to pick up his 14th hold of the year, and that set up another save situation for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.

It certainly was not easy, as the first two Mariners in the inning on consecutive walks, but the Red Sox closer bounced back, struck out Kyle Seager for the first out of the inning, and with some help from Xander Bogaerts at short, got out of the jam thanks to an inning-ending double play off the bat of Ryon Healy. 22nd save of the season secured. Fifth straight win for the Red Sox also secured.

On the flip side of things, I gotta start off by tipping my cap to M’s starter Felix Hernandez. A franchise legend in Seattle, King Felix’s best years are definitely behind him, but I would be lying if I said I was not impressed with the performance he put together against the Red Sox last night, 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K’s.

Of all people, Jackie Bradley Jr. got the scoring started for the Red Sox in the top of the second when he drove in Rafael Devers from second on an RBI double to put his team on the board first.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Xander Bogaerts came through with the go-ahead run on a 404 foot solo shot off of Hernandez. Good for his 10th home run of the season on what was a terrific night for the Red Sox shortstop.

Like I said, that solo homer put the Red Sox up by one and they would not have to look back on their way to the series opening win.

Some notes from this W:

From @SoxNotes: Red Sox starters have allowed 2 ER or fewer in 10 of the club’s last 11 games, including each of the last 7.

Another one from @SoxNotes: Xander Bogaerts hit his 10th HR of the season tonight. The Red Sox are the only team with as many as 6 players with 10+ HR (Martinez, Betts, Benintendi, Bogaerts, Devers, Moreland).

Rafael Devers extended his hitting streak to nine games last night. Over that span, Devers is slashing .314/.333/.514 with one home run and four RBI.

The Red Sox are 17-3 in the last 20 games Christian Vazquez has started behind the plate.

Heading into the middle game of this series later tonight, Rick Porcello will be getting the start for the Red Sox. He will be matched up against lefty James Paxton for the Mariners, who has already thrown a no-hitter this season back on May 8th in Toronto. We could be in store for another pitchers’ duel here. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM local time.

 

RECAP: JD Martinez’s Two-Run Home Run Powers #RedSox to 4-2 Win over White Sox.

Less than 24 hours after dropping the opening game of this three game series against the lowly Chicago White Sox, the Red Sox were right back out there this afternoon, with JD Martinez in the lineup, which unlike Friday night, proved to be the difference maker.

Before that though, David Price toed the rubber for his 13th start of the season. Coming in on a bit of a roll as of late, Price did not have the best of first innings. In fact, the first three batters he faced all reached base, which led to the first run of the game coming on a Jose Abreu RBI double. Two batters later, the second White Sox run crossed the plate on an RBI groundout off the bat of catcher Kevan Smith. And just like that, the Red Sox found themselves in a hole before even taking their first at bats.

Thankfully, Price settled in once he retired the side in the first by punching out old friend Yoan Moncada on four pitches.

From the start of the second inning to the conclusion of the top half of the sixth, the lefty held the White Sox scoreless while scattering three hits and two walks in five frames of work. In total, the Tennessee native recorded six strikeouts on only 86 pitches (56 strikes) en route to his seventh winning decision of the season.

In relief of Price, three Red Sox relievers tossed a scoreless inning each. Joe Kelly retired the side in order in the seventh, Matt Barnes extended his scoreless appearance streak to 12 in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel, who had not pitched since June 2nd, picked up his 20th save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth with some help from Andrew Benintendi.

 

On the other side of things, the Red Sox actually scored some runs against the White Sox today. Shocking I know.

Facing off against lefty Carlos Rodon, Andrew Benintendi got things started by drawing a six pitch walk. Two batters later, after Xander Bogaerts reached base on a fielding error, JD Martinez made his return to the Red Sox lineup after a one game absence by grounding into what should have been a double play. Instead a bad throw from White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada got away from Jose Abreu and allowed Martinez to reach safely while also scoring Benintendi from second. No RBI for Martinez, but still an impactful at bat to cut the deficit in half early.

An inning later, Jackie Bradley Jr., batting out of the nine-hole, mashed his first home run in nearly two months to knot this thing up at two. 414 feet, 105.7 MPH off the bat.

Fast forward to the fifth, and after Xander Bogaerts led the inning off by reaching first on a fielding error, JD Martinez pretty much put this game away with a go-ahead, two-run shot for his league leading 21st big fly of the season.

Another vintage opposite field blast for Martinez, he sent that 85 MPH changeup from Rodon 391 feet into the Red Sox bullpen to make it a 4-2 game. The Red Sox would not have to look back.

Some notes from this win:

On that home run from Jackie Bradley Jr. in the second inning, it was the outfielders’s first extra-base hit against a left-handed pitcher this season. (@SmittyOnMLB)

Since the start of May, JD Martinez has hit 16 home runs in 35 games. Over that span, he is averaging just over eight at bats per home run.

The Red Sox are undefeated in David Price’s last six starts. In those six outings, Price owns a 2.91 ERA in 37.1 innings pitched.

With the series coming to an end tomorrow afternoon, the White Sox will send young righty Reynaldo Lopez to the hill. He will be matched up against another righty in Rick Porcello for the Red Sox. First pitch of the finale is scheduled for 1:05 PM and both teams will be looking to pick up the series win.

RECAP: Christian Vazquez and Andrew Benintendi Deliver Clutch Home Runs as #RedSox Squeeze by Astros in 5-4 Win.

In a game that took just under four hours to complete, the Red Sox came away with a surprising 5-4 win in a comeback effort against the Houston Astros. Thanks in part to both David Price and Andrew Benintendi, the Red Sox go into the series finale on Sunday night with the chance to head home with a four-game split. With that in mind, let’s get to how we got here…

Making his 12th start of the season on Saturday night, Price put together the best performance a Red Sox starter has had in Houston so far. In six full innings, the lefty scattered three runs on five hits and one walk while fanning seven.

The first three innings of this one were a bit tough for Price, as the Astros tacked on all three runs they scored off the Tennessee native, including a two-run home run off the bat of Alex Bregman, over that stretch. From the fourth inning on though, Price was nails. He held Houston hitless while facing the minimum nine batters to notch his third quality start in his last four starts overall.

Departing with a pitch count of 109 (63 strikes) and his team trailing by one run after six innings, it seemed as if Price would be heading towards his fifth losing decision of the season. Instead, a three run rally in the top of the seventh changed that, and the 32-year-old hurler ended up with the winning decision, his sixth on the year.

In relief of Price, with a two run lead to work with all of a sudden, the Red Sox bullpen held a solid Astros lineup in check over three innings pitched. Heath Hembree was first up and he worked his way around a walk in a scoreless seventh. Joe Kelly was next, and despite getting scored on for the second straight night, did his job by giving Craig Kimbrel a one run lead to protect in the ninth.

The Red Sox closer came on with the 7-8-9 hitters due up for the Astros, and he got pinch hitter JD Davis swinging for the third and final out in this one. Picking up his 19th save of the season, Kimbrel has pulled even with Mariners closer Edwin Diaz for the most saves in the American League.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was faced with a daunting task in going up against Justin Verlander, arguably the best pitcher in the American League right now. In 12 starts prior to the one he made last night, the former Detroit Tiger owned a 1.11 ERA in 81.1 innings pitched, lowest among qualified starters in the American League.

Luckily for the Red Sox, Verlander would be without his usual catcher, Brian McCann, who has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 29th. Instead, Max Stassi was behind the plate for Houston, and despite having caught Verlander before this season, it was clear to see that the two were having some communication issues throughout the night.

Speaking of former Detroit Tigers mentioned earlier, Verlander’s former teammate in JD Martinez put the Red Sox on the board in the first. In his first career at bat against the Astros starter, Martinez saw a 96 MPH fastball he liked and lined it into the opposite field for an RBI single that scored Andrew Benintendi from second.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Martinez struck again with his second RBI knock of the game and his 50th of the season. This one came on a 97 MPH fastball from Verlander, and it was lined to center field for another RBI single that scored Xander Bogaerts from second. Here are both of those hits in one convenient, although shortened, GIF:

That second one drew the Red Sox within one run in what would be Verlander’s final frame of work.

The seventh inning is where things got really crazy.

With Astros reliever Will Harris entering this contest and nonchalantly recording the first two outs on eight pitches, Christian Vazquez came through with his first home run of the season, and it could not have come at a better time.

383 on that shot to left field for Vazquez to tie this thing up at three runs a piece. He knew it was gone the second that ball made contact with his bat. If you thought that home run was impressive, just wait until you see the one hit by Andrew Benintendi later in the inning.

After Jackie Bradley Jr. drew a six pitch walk, Andrew Benintendi stayed hot by mashing his eighth home run of the season to put the Red Sox on top.

417 feet and 105 MPH off the bat of Benintendi on that missile, and it caught Harris and even Benintendi a bit off guard.

Animated GIF

That big fly put the Red Sox up by two runs late, and as I mentioned earlier, they would not have to look back en route to their 40th win of the season, the first team to accomplish the feat so far.

Some notes from this win:

Over his last four starts, David Price owns a 2.77 ERA in 26 innings pitched. He has struck out 28 batters over that stretch as well.

JD Martinez became the first player to reach 50 RBIs this season with two of them last night.

Also, I wanted to include this little nugget about Christian Vazquez, courtesy of @RedSoxStats on Twitter.

Now with the chance to head home with a split, Rick Porcello will man the rubber for the Red Sox in the series finale of this four game set, as he will be matches up against Astros righty Charlie Morton. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 PM ET on ESPN. A bit of an odd time for Sunday Night Baseball, but I’m not complaining.

 

RECAP: Andrew Benintendi and JD Martinez Combine for Six RBIs as #RedSox Celebrate Memorial Day with a Win over Blue Jays.

For the first time this season, the Red Sox welcomed the 25-28 Toronto Blue Jays into town for a three-game series on Monday. Having already faced them six times and coming away with four wins, the Red Sox looked to continue their success against the Blue Jays with David Price on the hill today.

Making his 11th start of the season, Price’s day certainly could have been much shorter than it turned out to be. After getting the first two outs of the inning, Jays shortstop Yangervis Solarte lined a comebacker right back to Price with an exit velocity of over 101 MPH. The ball appeared to get Price right in the chest/his left arm, but he was able to pick the ball up and throw to first to record the out.

In the second, there was another concerning moment for the Red Sox when it looked like Price was looking at his pitching hand after walking Kevn Pillar to leadoff the inning. After a brief visit from Alex Cora and a trainer, Price remained in the game, worked around another walk to Russell Martin, and escaped the second without giving up a run.

From that point on, the lefty settled down for a bit. Despite consistently dealing with baserunners in the next three innings he pitched, the Blue Jays could only manage to plate one run in the fourth and another in the fifth. Other than that, I would say it was a solid day for David Price, especially when considering how it started.

The four walks may seem like a bit of an issue, but home plate umpire Jordan Baker’s was far from consistent, so I would not be too concerned about that. Now on a run of four straight starts of giving up two or fewer runs, Price will look to carry this momentum in his next start against the Houston Astros on Saturday. Since May 3rd, when he surrendered seven earned runs against the Texas Rangers, the native of Tennessee has lowered his ERA from 5.78 all the way down to 4.04 in those four starts.

With his pitch count at 95 through five innings, Alex Cora would need to turn to his bullpen early for the second game in a row. Heath Hembree got the first call, and he got some defensive help right away in the sixth from Jackie Bradley Jr.

That Kendrys Morales flyout had a hit probability of 91%, according to Statcast. Instead, JBJ made an insane over the shoulder catch in the deepest part of Fenway Park to prove that, once again, he is the best defensive center fielder in baseball.

Hembree would go on to retire the side in order in the sixth and come back out for the seventh. After giving up two straight triples and one run to leadoff the inning and end his scoreless appearances streak at three, the righty got out of the inning by striking out Giovanny Urshela and getting Yangervis Solarte to ground into an inning-ending 3-6-3 double play.

Next out of the Red Sox bullpen was Steven Wright. In two innings pitched, the knuckleballer held the Blue Jays scoreless on one hit to wrap this thing up. Over his last three appearances, Wright has tossed six consecutive shutout innings while holding opponents to just three hits over that span. In either a starting or relief role, a healthy Steven Wright could prove to be very valuable to this Red Sox pitching staff.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was without Mookie Betts for the second day in a row, but they got JD Martinez back.

Martinez got the scoring started in the first after Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland reached base on back to back singles. With runners on first and third, Martinez grounded into what easily could have been an inning ending double play. Instead, Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak was pulled off the first base bag because of a bad throw from second baseman Devon Travis, and they could only get the force out at second while Bogaerts easily scored from third.

Fast forward to the fourth, and the Red Sox did a majority of the damage in this inning, as they plated five of their eight runs on the day. After Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in two runs of their own, Andrew Benintendi capped things off by unloading on a 87 MPH changeup from Jays starter Aaron Sanchez.

That 346 foot shot to left field from Benintendi, his seventh of the season, put the Red Sox up five, and they would not have to look back in this one.

An inning later, JD Martinez got in on the home run hitting action, as he launched his 17th home run of the season 415 feet over the Green Monster.

In the sixth, Benintendi struck once again. With Jackie Bradley Jr. on first following a walk, the Ohio native ripped a triple off the left field wall to score Bradley all the way from first and move one step closer to completing the cycle.

Needing just a double now, Benintendi got one last chance in the eighth. With one out in the inning, Jays reliever Jake Petricka got Benintendi to fly out to left field. With Russell Martin out there, it looked like the ball had a chance to find some grass, but a las, the Blue Jays catcher, making his first career start in left field, came up with the catch and ended any chance of some history.

Some notes from this win:

Over his last seven games with at least one at bat, Jackie Bradley Jr. has raised his batting average from .161 all the way up to .184 with seven hits over that span. Combine that with the great defensive plays, and JBJ may indeed be turning a corner.

For the second time in three games, Andrew Benintendi fell one hit shy of the cycle. On the 26th, he finished a triple shy of accomplishing the feat. Today, he finished a double shy.

Speaking of Benintendi, according to @RedSoxStats on Twitter, he is now on pace for 40 2B, 10 3B, 21 HR, 110 RBI and 25 SB. After a slow start to the season at the plate for the Red Sox outfielder, these projections are certainly encouraging.


With the series opener in the books, Rick Porcello will be on the mound for the Red Sox in the middle game tomorrow night. He’ll be matched up against Blue Jays righty Marco Estrada, who has given up a total of nine runs in two starts against the Red Sox this season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

 

RECAP: David Price Tosses Six Quality Innings as #RedSox Pick up Series Win Against Rays.

Coming off a series opening win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, the Red Sox looked to clinch the series and their fourth straight win with David Price on the mound last night. With Chris Archer getting the start on the other side of the Rays, we were treated to a great pitching matchup between former teammates and close friends.

In his 10th start of the season, fourth against the Rays, David Price was fantastic. Going against his old club, the lefty tossed six innings of one run ball, scattering three hits and three free passes while recording a season high nine strikeouts over that span.

The only costly mistakes the Tennessee native made did not transpire until his last inning of work. After walking leadoff man Denard Span on six pitches, CJ Con took Price deep to center field for what looked like a go-ahead two run home run. Instead, it bounced off the top of the wall and stayed in play. It did allow the speedy Span to score all the way from First, but Price settled down and retired the next three batters he faced in order. That was how the 32-year-old’s night would end. Not a bad way to follow-up a complete game.

Ever since that awful start against the Rangers in Texas, David Price has looked like the David Price of old. He gave up seven earned runs in that outing back on May 3rd, but in three starts since then, the lefty owns a 2.21 ERA in 20.1 innings pitched. The haters and doubters will say that the teams Price has been pitching against aren’t playoff teams, and that may be true, but opponents are hitting a measly .183 against him over his last three starts. Regardless of the opposition, those numbers are impressive. He’ll look to build on this momentum in his next outing, which should come against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Memorial Day.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen shut the Rays down for the second straight night, as Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel combined to toss three perfect innings to go along with four strikeouts. For Kimbrel, last night’s save opportunity went much more smoothly than the one on Tuesday. That was reassuring to see, and he picked up his 15th save of the season to lock up his teams 34th win of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup did not have an answer for the way Rays starter Chris Archer was pitching last night. They had a golden opportunity to tack on their first run of the game in the fifth, after Eduardo Nunez tried to score from first on a two out double off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. Unfortunately, Nunez was tagged out at the plate in a somewhat bizarre sequence.

I mean, you have to slide in that situation, right? Christian Vazquez definitely deserves a fair amount of blame here, but there was no real urgency in Nunez either. Whatever the case, that blunder cost the Red Sox a run, but it did not cost them the game.

An inning later, after the 9-1-2 hitters loaded the bases with no outs, the Red Sox scored their first run of the game when Hanley Ramirez grounded into his second double play of the night. That allowed Christian Vazquez from third, and the Red Sox had their first run of the game and a one run lead.

Fast forward all the way to the ninth, and things are all knotted up at one run a piece. With closer Alex Colome on the mound for the Rays, JD Martinez led the inning off by reaching base on a throwing error committed by shortstop Willy Adames and making it to second in the process.

Now, with the go-ahead run in scoring position, a fairly cooled off and hitless Xander Bogaerts came to the plate looking to put this game away. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, he did just that.

Bogaerts’ 13th double of the season allowed Martinez to easily score from second to put the Red Sox on top.

After Rafael Devers followed that RBI double up with a five pitch walk, Eduardo Nunez’s sacrifice fly to center scored Bogaerts from third to add a little insurance and advanced Devers to third.

Devers would cross the plate on a wild pitch from Colome with Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, and that was the last run the Red Sox scored last night. A nice three run ninth to put this one out of reach for the Rays.

Some notes from this one:

Despite neither of them getting a hit, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi reached base a combined five times on five walks on Wednesday.

Hanley Ramirez is in the middle of a slump right now, as he is slashing .143/.182/.214 in 44 plate appearances over his last 10 games. Like I have been saying, might be time to get Mitch Moreland some more at bats.

Next up for the Red Sox is the series finale with the Rays later tonight. Looking for the sweep and their fifth straight win, Rick Porcello will be matched up against impressive lefty Blake Snell. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.