RECAP: Two RBI Each from Benintendi, Bogaerts, Bradley Jr., and Moreland Lift #RedSox to Eighth Straight Victory.

On a night they were planning to rely heavily on their bullpen due to Brian Johnson hitting the DL on Sunday, the Red Sox looked to take the series against the Texas Rangers for their eighth straight win.

Although he was not expected to pitch very deep into this game, Hector Velazquez made his first start since April 14th on Tuesday night, and despite not being totally in command, he did a solid job to start this one out.

In three frames of work, the righty scattered one run while allowing two hits and two walks to go along with two strikeouts on the night. The only real mistake Velazquez committed came in the second, when Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor smacked a 92 MPH sinker 447 feet to right field to put his team on the board first.

Other than that, Velazquez got out of another jam in the same inning, and went on to work his away around a leadoff walk in a scoreless third. So, overall, not too shabby for the 29 year-old.

Since he was limited in what he could do, Velazquez finished with a pitch count of only 47 (32 strikes) and topped out at 93.6 MPH with his four-seam fastball.

Depending on the status of Steven Wright in this next turn around the Red Sox rotation, it will be interesting to see what the team does this coming Sunday, which would be Velazquez’s, or Wright’s, next scheduled start. But, given the fact it’s the last day before the All-Star break, it would not surprise me if we had another bullpen day on our hands. We’ll have to wait for that announcement.

Anyway, in relief of Velazquez, Jalen Beeks, who was recalled from Pawtucket Tuesday morning, made his first appearance with the Red Sox since his major league debut on June 7th.

In just over two innings of work, Beeks got hit fairly hard, as the Rangers tacked on their final three runs of the night with the Arkansas native on the mound. Despite that, it could have been worse for Beeks, had he not received some serious help from Mookie Betts in the fifth…

…and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the sixth.

With one out in that sixth inning, Brandon Workman came on for Beeks with runners on second and third and a four run lead to work with.

On the fifth pitch he threw, noted slugger Joey Gallo nearly took a 93 MPH fastball from Workman and sent it out of the park. He did it 394 feet, but it was only good for a two-run double off the tallest part of the Monster in left field.

Cutting the lead to just two runs now, Workman recovered by retiring the next two batters he faced on six pitches to end the top half of the sixth.

From that point on, with the aid of an increased lead, the Red Sox bullpen was essentially money from the seventh until the last out of the ninth. Matt Barnes earned his third wining decision of the season thanks to a scoreless seventh, Joe Kelly held down the fort by tossing a scoreless eighth, and for the second straight night, the new guy, Ryan Brasier saw this win through with a scoreless final frame.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against 12-year veteran starter Yovani Gallardo for the Rangers, who entered Tuesday night with an unsightly 8.17 ERA on the season.

Six hits in the third inning is what got the scoring started for Boston, and surely enough, the five-run rally was initiated by back-to-back doubles from the 8-9 hitters in Blake Swihart and Jackie Bradley Jr. to put the first run on the board.

Two batters later, an Andrew Benintendi double to drive in Bradley from second started a string of four straight knocks for the Red Sox 2-5 hitters, including a JD Martinez single to advance Benintendi to third, a Mitch Moreland RBI single, and to cap it off, a 2 RBI triple off the bat of Xander Bogaerts to clear the bases and put Boston up 5-1.

Fast forward to the fifth now, with Gallardo still on the mound for Texas, and Mookie Betts led things off with his 25th double of the season to put a runner in scoring position right away. Following a JD Martinez walk two batters later, Mitch Moreland came through with his second RBI of the night on a sac fly hit far enough to center field to allow Betts to score from third and make it a 6-2 game.

In the next two innings, the Red Sox padded their lead, which did shrink a bit in the top half of the sixth, with a run in each frame.

First, in the bottom of the sixth, with the score at 6-4, it was the 8-9 hitters who showed up for Boston once again, as a two out Blake Swihart single set up Jackie Bradley Jr. with another RBI chance, and he capitalized on it with his second RBI double of the night.

An inning later, Andrew Benintendi padded on to his All-Star hopes by notching his 57th RBI of the season on another double to drive in Mookie Betts from first and wrapping up the scoring at 8-4.

Some notes from this win:

I failed to mention this earlier, but Blake Swihart started at catcher for only the second time this season. Given the fact that Christian Vazquez is out with a broken pinky finger for the forseeable future, Swihart will be getting a decent amount of playing time, and he impressed both behind the plate and with a bat in his hands last night.

The Red Sox are 35 games over .500 at 64-29.

From @SoxNotes: This is the Red Sox’ third win streak of 8+ games this season. It had been 40 years since they had as many as three win streaks of 8+ games in a single season (four in 1978).

In nine games this month, Andrew Benintendi has a 1.179 OPS. Today is the last day to vote for the final All-Star on each roster, so don’t forget to #VoteBenny before 4 PM on Wednesday.

redsox.com/vote

Going for their ninth consecutive victory and third straight sweep on Wednesday, it will be a pitching matchup featuring Bartolo Colon for Texas and Chris Sale for Boston.

At the age of 45, Colon owns a 4.65 ERA in 18 appearances with the Rangers in what is his 21st season in the big leagues.

He’ll be going up none other than Chris Sale, who in his last six starts, is putting up ridiculous numbers for the Red Sox en route to what could be his third straight start for the American League in this year’s All-Star Game.

First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

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RECAP: David Price Shaky Again but #RedSox Prevail in Blowout Win over Royals.

Coming off one of his worst starts in a Red Sox uniform last Sunday against the Yankees, David Price looked to rebound and get back on track against a team that struggles to score runs in the Kansas City Royals.

In what was his 18th start of the season on Saturday night, Price found himself struggling yet again. Only managing to pitch into the fifth inning, the lefty got pounced on for four runs on six hits, one walk, and three HBP.

Price did manage to tie his season-high in strikeouts with nine on the night, but that did not do him any favors against a Royals team that typically find themselves struggling at the plate.

The real kick in the gut, to me anyway, was the last frame Price appeared in the fifth. A half inning after his team stormed back from a 3-0 hole to take a one run lead, what does Price do? Gives up a leadoff single to Whit Merrifield, hits three of the next five batters he faces to set a new team record, gives up what was the tying run initially, and leaves the game with a pitch count of 102 (69 strikes) in the FIFTH inning. Talk about going deep into your start.

A reason for that high pitch count could be the fact that exactly one-third of them resulted in foul balls off the bats of Royals hitters. Regardless of that, these last two starts from Price have to have the Red Sox feeling a bit concerned. Struggling against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium is one thing, but putting up a performance like that against a 25-62 team the night after Chris Sale had his way with them? Not a great look, especially when you consider how he has been pitching since this video dropped following his start against the Angels on June 26th.

Anyway, topping out at 95.3 MPH with his two-seam fastball in the third inning this time around, the Tennessee native will look to regain the prominence he displayed from May 12th to June 26th in his next outing, which should come against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen combined for 5.1 no-hit innings en route to the series-clinching win. Heath Hembree picked up his fourth win of the season by getting out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth and tossing a scoreless sixth. And from the middle of the seventh on, Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, Brandon Workman, and Hector Velazquez wrapped up a game that had somehow turned into a laugher for Boston.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup could not get to Royals starter Brad Keller the way they got to Jason Hammel on Friday night. Instead, it took until the fifth inning for them to finally get on the board, and it all started with a two out rally.

Already trailing by three runs with two outs in the top half of the fifth, the top of the lineup, mainly Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi set the table for the middle part with JD Martinez due up next.

On a 1-2 fastball from Keller, the Red Sox DH ripped a line drive single to left, scoring Betts from second to put his team on the board while also advancing Benintendi to third.

Two batters later and the bases now loaded, Xander Bogaerts delivered with a bases-clearing 3 RBI double hit over the head of Alcides Escobar in center field. That put the Red Sox up by one momentarily as the Royals came back to knot things up at four in their half of the fifth.

In the seventh, the Red Sox tacked on another three runs, with the most important coming on a Mitch Moreland sac fly to score Andrew Benintendi from third for the go-ahead run.

Three batters after that happened, Christian Vazquez came through with what looked to be important insurance runs at the time, as he scored both JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts on a 2 RBI single.

In the eighth inning, Andrew Benintendi, who had walked in all four of his at bats prior to this one against Royals righty Kevin McCarthy, blasted his first home run since June 21st to put the Red Sox up 8-4. Ballgame over, or so I thought.

Instead of easing up on the gas pedal in the ninth, the Red Sox lineup decided to kick it up a notch by plating SEVEN runs. Highlighted by back-to-back RBI doubles from Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, this offensive outpouring all but put the lowly Royals out of their misery, and we got to see Drew Butera, a backup catcher for KC, pitch.

All and all, every member of the Red Sox lineup who had at least one at bat in last night’s contest, 11 total, drove in at least one run, which added up to 15 in nine innings.

Some notes from this win:

Andrew Benintendi did not record an official at bat until the eighth inning on Saturday. In total, his OPS shot up from .856 all the way up to .881 in one game.

JD Martinez, in case you lost count, is up to 74 RBI on the season now.

Combined, Betts, Benintendi, and Martinez went 8/13 with 4 RBI, 4 BB, and 4 K.

Exactly 90 games into the season now, the Red Sox are 61-29. Pretty decent.

Some injury news:

Joe Kelly had to depart with two outs in the eighth due to light-headedness.

Christian Vazquez fractured his right pinky while sliding into second base, so he’ll be placed on the 10-day disabled list today. Expect Blake Swihart to get more opportunities behind the plate backing up Sandy Leon.

On a more positive note, the Red Sox will go for the sweep this afternoon with Rick Porcello on the hill for the series finale. He’ll be matched up against Jakob Junis for Kansas City, who held Boston to two runs over six innings pitched in the only other time he has faced them back on May 1st. First pitch of the final game is scheduled for 2:15 PM ET. Last game before heading home.

 

RECAP: Eduardo Rodriguez Bounces Back with Six Shutout Innings as #RedSox Complete Sweep of Nationals on Independence Day.

After dropping two out of three to the Yankees in New York to start a nine-game road trip, the Red Sox had the opportunity to improve to 4-2 on the trip yesterday thanks to two straight wins over the Washington Nationals in DC.

Making his 17th start of the season and coming off back-to-back poor outings against the Mariners and Yankees, Eduardo Rodriguez toed the rubber for his first time ever at Nationals Park.

In six quality innings pitched, the lefty failed to surrender a single run as he held the Nationals to just three hits and one walk while fanning six on the day. If it weren’t for his spot in the order due up in the top half of the seventh, I’d like to think Rodriguez could have gone even deeper, but considering that the Red Sox were threatening with runners in scoring position, I understand the decision to pinch-hit Andrew Benintendi in that spot.

Regardless, the Venezuela native only needed 84 pitches (54 strikes) to get through those six scoreless innings, and he really dazzled to pick up his 10th winning decision of the season.

Out of those 84 pitches Rodriguez went to his deadly changeup a total of 26 times, which resulted in five swinging strikes, one called strike, and seven balls in play. He also topped out at 95.7 MPH with his four-seam fastball in the fourth inning.

Building off a successful start to the new month, the 25-year-old hurler will look to carry over this new-found momentum in his next start, which should come back at Fenway Park against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen carried on and completed the shutout with three scoreless frames of their own. Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel locked down their teams 59th win of the season, and in doing so, Kimbrel, despite allowing the tying run to come to the plate, notched his 26th save of 2018.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was limited in what they could do yesterday and that was mostly because of a solid performance out of the Nationals bullpen.

In fact, Washington’s starter for this series finale, Erick Fedde, had to leave in the second inning with what was later diagnosed as right shoulder inflammation. That really did not matter though, because the Red Sox failed to plate a run until the top half of the seventh.

Going into the frame with this thing still tied, Rafael Devers got the rally started with a leadoff double off of Nats reliever Ryan Madson. Two batters later, after Devers had moved up to third on a Eduardo Nunez single, Jackie Bradley Jr. came through with the clutch sacrifice fly to finally put the Red Sox on the board.

Two batters later, with Andrew Benintendi pinch-hitting for Eduardo Rodriguez, a wild pitch on ball four from Madson allowed Eduardo Nunez, who had advanced to third on that Bradley sac fly, to easily score and put his team up by two runs.

Fast forward to the ninth, and another Jackie Bradley Jr. RBI, this one coming on a double to score Eduardo Nunez all the way from first, pretty much put this game away from the Red Sox by putting them up 3-0.

One note from this W:

It is July 5th and the Red Sox are 30 games over .500. That is all.

With a trip to Kansas City up next on the schedule, the Red Sox will find themselves enjoying a day off on Thursday before kicking off a three-game weekend series against the lowly Royals on Friday. Chris Sale, who owns a career 3.16 ERA in 16 games at Kauffman Stadium, gets the ball for the opener. He’ll be matched up against veteran righty Jason Hammel for the Royals. First pitch of the first game on Friday is scheduled for 8:15 PM ET.

Also, happy belated Independence Day.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some notes from this W:

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

From @RedSoxStats: (In this series)

Trout: 2-10 3 BB

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

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

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

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

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

 

RECAP: Chris Sale Fans 13 in Seven Shutout Innings as #RedSox Take Series from Mariners.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, a left-handed pitcher tossed a shutout at Fenway Park. Mike Leake did it for the Mariners with eight scoreless innings in a win last night, and Chris Sale did it for the Red Sox with seven scoreless frames this afternoon.

In his 17th start of the season on Sunday, Sale looked as dominant as ever. Coming off a performance against the Twins in which he took a perfect game into the fifth inning last Tuesday, the lefty did not give up his first hit in this one until there were two outs in the third.

Ending his day with a line of 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB Sale never found himself in too much troubles in his ninth career start against the Mariners. After he gave up his first hit of the game to Denard Span in the third inning, the 29-year-old escaped any further stress with a nice pick-off move on Span to retire the side.

An inning later, another two out situation arose when Nelson Cruz ripped a triple off of Sale. Regardless of the fact that Cruz should have been out at third base, the Red Sox hurler rebounded by striking out Ryon Healy on four pitches to escape the jam.

In the sixth, it looked as though the Mariners were about to tack on their first two runs of the day when, after Andrew Romine reached first on a bunt single, Mitch Haniger hit a sharp line drive towards Seattle’s bullpen. Instead of  a home run though, Mookie Betts came up with the clutch inning-ending snag to rob Haniger of what would have been his 17th long ball of the season.

If not this catch, the highlight of the afternoon might just be how Sale ended his day in his final frame of work. It was more than likely the Florida native’s toughest inning, as he allowed two to reach on a single and a walk and needed 19 pitches, but it was all worth it thanks to his last pitch against Mike Zunino.

100.5 MPH(!!!) on that fastball, the fastest pitch recorded by Sale on 93 attempts, 71 of which went for strikes. Going to his four-seamer 44% of the time on Sunday, 20 of the 21 fastest recorded pitches in this game belonged to Sale.

With the Red Sox lineup actually giving the southpaw some run support today, Sale was able to notch his seventh winning decision of the season.

And thanks to two additional scoreless innings from Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes out of the bullpen, the Red Sox recorded their sixth shutout win on the year as well.

On the flip side of things, Mariners starter Marco Gonzales was the one starter the Red Sox did not see in Seattle. With a cumulative .685 OPS against lefties this season, it was going to see how the lineup would stack up the day after getting shutout by another left-handed starter.

After being held to one hit over the first four innings, Xander Bogaerts got a three-run rally started in the fifth with a leadoff double. Following that up with a single off the bat of Eduardo Nunez, Rafael Devers put his team on the board first by ripping an RBI double to the right field corner to score Bogaerts from third. Two sacrifice flies from Sandy Leon and Mookie Betts later, and the Red Sox found themselves up by three going into the sixth inning.

In the bottom half of the sixth, Mitch Moreland stayed hot and wrapped up the scoring on the afternoon by mashing his 11th home run of the season, a 415 foot two-run missile hit to dead center field.

That put the Red Sox up by five runs, which is all they would need to pick up their 52nd win of the season.

Some notes from this W:

The Red Sox improved to 2-4 in games started by Chris Sale when he records 10 or more strikeouts. Maddening stuff.

Per @RedSoxStats: Most swing and misses by a Sox starter in the pitch tracking era:
26 of 93 Chris Sale, today
26 of 114 Clay Buchholz, April, 2010
26 of 116 Chris Sale, May 2018

With that home run, Mitch Moreland extended his hitting streak to seven games. Over that stretch, the Red Sox first baseman is 12/27 with seven RBI.

Jackie Bradley Jr. went 3/3 at the plate batting ninth today, his first multi-hit game since June 5th against Detroit.

After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox will welcome the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim into town for a three-game series set to kick off Tuesday night. In a matchup of elite outfielders in Mike Trout and Mookie Betts, I’m fascinated to see how much national attention this series will receive.

For the opener, it will be another starting pitching matchup featuring two lefties. John Lamb will be making his third start of the season for the Angels, and David Price will be making his 16th start of the season against the Red Sox. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET on Tuesday.

 

RECAP: The #RedSox Opened up a Six-Game Homestand on Friday by Unloading 14 Runs Against the Mariners.

Coming off a long road trip in which they averaged 4.2 runs scored per game, the Red Sox opened up a three-game weekend series against the Seattle Mariners in eventful fashion last night. The weirdest part of this game was that Steven Wright had his worst start of the season and they still found a way to win.

Having just gotten swept by the Yankees in New York, the Mariners came into Boston looking to get off to a quick start offensively. And with Steven Wright on the mound making his fourth start of the season on Friday, they did just that.

Yup, the knuckleballer, who in his last time out against the Mariners this past Saturday tossed seven one run innings in a losing effort, got rocked for the first time this season. Right from the get go, the Mariners were on top of Wright and his knuckleball, as they pounced for four runs in the first on two home runs, two in the second, and four again in the fourth with another home run mixed in there before the righty departed with two outs in the inning.

In those 4.2 frames of work, Wright got hit ten times for TEN earned runs. For the Mariners, Nelson Cruz was the main enforcer here. Old friend Denard Span was once again a bit of a headache, but by the time this thing reached the middle of the fourth inning, Cruz had already driven in SEVEN of his teams 10 runs, six of which came on two moon shots off of Wright.

The life of a knuckleballer, huh? One start you look like a magician, the next you look like absolute trash. Steven Wright’s ERA inflated from 1.23 all the way up to 3.38 after this stinker of a start, but he would not be pinned with the losing decision.

Nope, thanks to 5.2 scoreless frames of relief from the Red Sox bullpen and an explosion of runs from the lineup, the California native did not factor into the decision. Finishing with 59 pitches on the evening, Wright went to his knuckler 54 times and only got 4 swings and missed out of it. He’ll look to rebound next time out against the LA Angels on Thursday.

As I just mentioned, the Red Sox bullpen was nails last night. Starting in the top half of the fifth with two outs and a five run deficit, Brian Johnson, Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel combined to toss over five shutdown innings while holding the Mariners to four hits and one walk.

For Barnes, this was his second straight scoreless appearance since giving up two runs in Seattle last Friday night. He struck out the side in the seventh. And for Kimbrel, who had not made an appearance since June 14th, he struck out one while tossing a scoreless ninth inning to wrap this crazy game up.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup went off for the second day in a row. They tallied nine runs in Minnesota on Thursday, and they added on that by plating 14 runs on 20 hits last night. Eight players finished the game with at least one run driven in. Let’s get to it.

Already trailing by four runs in the bottom of the first, the Red Sox made the most of their first at bats in this one.

Facing off against a pitcher who had just shut them out less than a week ago in M’s righty Wade LeBlanc, the top of the lineup got things started right away by recording four straight hits. Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi set the table by hitting back to back singles, and JD Martinez and Mitch Moreland followed that up with a pair of RBI knocks to make it a 4-2 game.

Two batters later, a Brock Holt RBI single, a Rafael Devers RBI groundout, and a Christian Vazquez RBI double plated another three runs, and just like that, the Red Sox were up by a run going into the second inning.

Fast forward all the way to the fifth, after the Mariners had gone up big again, Devers came through by cutting the Red Sox deficit to four with another RBI, this one coming on a single to score Mitch Moreland from third, making it a 10-6 ballgame.

An inning later is where things got really interesting. Similar to Thursday, when the Red Sox scored seven of their nine runs over the last three innings in Minnesota, they struck for eight runs in their last three innings with at bats on Friday as well.

Starting in the sixth, with LeBlanc now out of the contest and Mariners reliever Nick Vincent in, a two out walk of Andrew Benintendi led to another pitching change. So with James Pazos in the game now and Benintendi over at first, JD Martinez ended his homerless streak of at bats at 30 by mashing a 427 foot two-run shot to dead center. His 23rd big fly of the season.

The third run of the inning came around to score when Xander Bogaerts drove in Mitch Moreland on another RBI single to make it a one run game going into the seventh.

Trailing by one run now, two singles from Rafael Devers and a Mookie Betts walk loaded the bases for Andrew Benintendi. With Juan Nicasio on the mound for the Mariners, Benintendi ripped his second hit of the day, a single, to score Devers from third to tie the game and reload the bases for JD Martinez. With three hits on the day already, the Red Sox slugger collected his fourth and fifth RBI of the night by grounding a single up the middle to score Swihart and Betts. 12-10.

Two batters later, with Eduardo Nunez in the game pinch-hitting for Xander Bogaerts, two straight wild pitches from new pitcher Nick Rumbelow allowed Andrew Benintendi to score from third and allowed JD Martinez to advance from second to third.

To cap off a wild night of scoring, Eduardo Nunez collected his 17th RBI of the season by lining a single to center field to drive in Martinez for his teams 14th run of the night. That’s all the support the bullpen would need to secure win number 51.

Some notes from this W:

14 runs tied a season-high for the Red Sox. The only time they have scored as many runs this season came back on April 10th against the Yankees. The 20 hits did mark a new season-high.

Xander Bogaerts had to leave this game in the seventh inning after spraining his left index finger on an awkward slide into second base on a swiped bag in the sixth. He will not be in the lineup tonight.

After only hitting one home run and driving in one run on the road trip, JD Martinez came through with FIVE RBI on four hits last night.

Everyone in the Red Sox lineup, including Eduardo Nunez, reached base at least once. In total, the Red Sox went 20/43 with one home run and 13 RBI last night.

Looking to pick up the series win later tonight, it will be Eduardo Rodriguez making the start for Boston. He’ll be matched up against Mariners righty Mike Leake in the same pitching matchup we saw this past Sunday. The Red Sox had their way with Leake in that one, and they’ll look to do the same on Saturday. Going for his team-leading 10th winning decision of the season, Rodriguez owns a career 2.66 ERA in four starts against Seattle. With that in mind, first pitch of the middle game is scheduled for 7:15 PM ET on FOX.

 

 

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.