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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some notes from this one:

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

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

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

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

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RECAP: Porcello K’s Nine, Betts, Benintendi, and Devers All Homer as #RedSox Beat up on Orioles.

On a cold, dreary Saturday night at Fenway Park, the Red Sox were looking to bounce back from a rough loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. Thanks to a solid outing from Rick Porcello and three home runs from the youngest members of the Red Sox lineup, they got that done in convincing fashion.

Yup, Rick Porcello made his tenth start of his 2018 campaign last night, and he put together a solid performance after two straight clunkers coming against the Yankees and Athletics. In six full innings, the righty scattered three runs on six hits while tying a season-high in walks with three and striking out a season-best nine on the night. For Porcello, I thought that he really only made one mistake last night, and that was the two-run home run he gave up in the sixth inning off the bat of Pedro Alvarez. Despite the fact he never faced the minimum three batters in any of the six innings he pitched in, I thought Porcello was deserving of his sixth winning decision of the season in this one. He’ll look to build on the success he had last night next time out, and I’m assuming that will come against the Atlanta Braves next weekend.

FInishing with a pitch count of 107 (67 strikes), Joe Kelly would take over things for Porcello in the seventh inning. Working with a one run lead, Kelly struck out two in a scoreless frame of work en route to his sixth hold of the season.

Next up out of the Red Sox bullpen, with a three run lead to work with this time, was Matt Barnes. Like Kelly, the UCONN alum also struck out two while tossing a scoreless eighth inning. That made way for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth, and the Red Sox flamethrower retired the side in order to pick up his 13th save of the season. All and all, a great night for the Red Sox bullpen, as they held the Orioles to nothing while tossing four perfect innings.

 

On the other side of things, Rafael Devers got the scoring for the Red Sox started in the fourth inning, as he took O’s starter Dylan Bundy deep for his eighth home run of the season.

That solo shot tied the game at one, but that tie would not hold for very long. An inning later, The Betts-Benintendi connection struck once again. With one out in the bottom half of the fifth and Sandy Leon at second, Mookie Betts came through with a 406 foot shot to left field for his second home run in as many night.

With 15 homers on the season now, no one in baseball has more than Mookie Betts. That coming from the best leadoff hitter in baseball. I can’t quite say Betts is the best player in baseball yet (Mike Trout), but he is certainly the best leadoff hitter this game has.

One batter later, Andrew Benintendi got in on the action with his fourth long ball of the season, this one sent 386 feet into the Orioles bullpen.

That put the Red Sox up 4-1 at the time it was hit, but the Orioles would trim that deficit back to one just an inning later on that Pedro Alvarez home run I mentioned earlier.

Fast forward to the seventh, Andrew Benintendi came up in a big spot once again and he pretty much put this game out of reach. After Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the inning off with back-to-back walks and Mookie Betts moved them up to second and third on a fly out to right field to set up an ideal RBI spot for the Red Sox left fielder.

 

On the eighth pitch of the at bat against Orioles righty Tanner Scott, Benintendi took a 89 MPH slider from Scott and ripped it up the middle for a 2 RBI single. That put the Red Sox up by three and wrapped this one up with two innings to spare.

Some notes from this one:

With two hits last night, Andrew Benintendi has raised his batting average from .239 to .275 over his last 15 games.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is 1 for his last 20 at the plate with three walks and four runs scored. He’s slashing .081/.190/.081 this month, and with one minor league option left on his contract, it may be time to use it on the struggling outfielder.

On a more positive note, the Red Sox will look to take this series from the Baltimore Orioles later this afternoon. Eduardo Rodriguez will be on the mound for Boston, while David Hess will be getting the start for Baltimore. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET, should be a good one.

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz Gets Rocked as #RedSox Can’t Complete Comeback Against Orioles.

Just a quick recap of last night’s game:

Going into last night, Drew Pomeranz had made five starts for the Red Sox since being activated from the 10-day disabled list back on April 20th. In those five starts, he owned a 5.47 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched. He had not been particularly bad in any of those starts, but he has not been great either. How would he fare against one of the worst teams in the American League? Not great.

In his sixth start of the season, Pomeranz got rocked by the Baltimore Orioles. Right from the start, when he walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, you could pretty much tell it wouldn’t be his night. The Orioles got to the lefty for one run in the first, then tacked on another four runs in the fourth, Pomeranz’s final inning of work. What was even worse was the pitch count, as he needed 81 pitches to get through those four innings.

In relief of Pomeranz, Steven Wright made his second appearance of the season since being activated from the disabled list. He pitched into the ninth inning of this one, while surrendering two runs on three hits and two walks. Heath Hembree came on with two outs in the ninth, and retired the only batter he faced with a strikeout.

Offensively, the Red Sox out-hit the Orioles 13-10, but could not outscore them. Mookie Betts had another great night at the plate, as he launched his 14th homer of the season to put his team on the board in the third.

Two innings later, Betts came through again with an RBI double to score Eduardo Nunez, then Andrew Benintendi scored him from second on an RBI single of his own.

Fast forward to the eighth, and the Red Sox had their best scoring opportunity of the night. Trailing by three runs, Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Nunez, Brock Holt, and Mitch Moreland all reached base to score a run and load the bases for Mookie Betts with two outs in the inning.

Facing off against O’s righty Brad Brach, Betts came to the plate looking for his fourth hit of the night, but he popped out to first to end the inning and kill the Red Sox rally. The Orioles would tack on an insurance run in the ninth and that would be that.

Up next for the Red Sox is a Dylan Bundy vs. Rick Porcello matchup later tonight. Porcello’s ERA has inflated from 2.14 to 3.28 over his last two starts, so I’m sure he would like to reverse that trend today, if they can get the game in. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET, weather permitting.

Again, sorry this is shorter than usual. Next one should be back to normal.

RECAP: David Price Tosses Complete Game, JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts Both Homer as #RedSox Become First Team to Reach 30 Wins.

After their game back on Patriots Day was postponed due to rain, the Red Sox welcomed the Baltimore Orioles into town for a make-up of that game followed by a previously scheduled three-game weekend series. Entering last night at 13-29, the Orioles have been one of the worst teams in the American League up to this point in the season, and they showed why on Thursday.

Coming off a so-so start last time out in Toronto, David Price made his ninth start of the season in this one, and he had himself quite the night. The lefty ended up going a full nine innings for his third complete game in a Red Sox uniform. Over that stretch, Price held the Orioles to just two runs on five hits while fanning nine, a new season high, and gave up zero walks on the night. What was even more impressive out of this outing for Price, in my mind, was his pitch count. The Tennessee native needed just 95 pitches to get through all nine innings. A good reason behind that is the fact that 73% of those 95 pitches went for strikes, and Price found himself in a grand total of two three-ball counts all night.

He was moving right along on Thursday, and he really only made one costly mistake, which came off the bat of Manny Machado in the ninth. The Orioles shortstop took Price deep to left field with two outs in the inning for his league-leading 14th home run of the season. That ended the shutout and got the Red Sox bullpen going a little bit, but Price ended his night on a positive note two pitches later, as he got Jonathan Schoop to pop out for the third and final out of the game.

Since it came against the lowly Baltimore Orioles, I’m sure Price’s doubters will still be persistent, but it’s hard not to be impressed with what he did last night. Right from the get go, the 32-year-old seemed to be in control of this one, and it probably helped that he had a lead to work with from the second inning on. Without a doubt his best start of the season, Price picked up his fourth win in the process while lowering his ERA from 4.89 to 4.38.

To put what Price did on Thursday night in perspective, think about this: Prior to his start tonight, Price has made two starts this month. In those two starts, he has pitched a TOTAL of nine innings while surrendering nine earned runs. Just last night, Price pitched nine innings and only gave up two earned runs. That’s a sure sign of improvement, and he’ll look to build on this success next time out against the Tampa Bay Rays sometime next week in their upcoming series against them.

On the other side of things, the 4-5 hitters in the Red Sox lineup came through big for the second night in a row. That’s right, JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts went yard AGAIN on Thursday, and they were both pretty impressive home runs.

Facing off against O’s righty Kevin Gausman, Mookie Betts led the bottom half of the first off with a single, his first of three hits on the night. Three batters and two outs later, JD Martinez launched his second home run in as many nights to put his team up by two early.

That 431 foot shot to dead center field marked the 13th of the season for Martinez, as he now pulls even with Mookie Betts for the team lead in long balls.

Fast forward to the fifth, Andrew Benintendi kicked a four-run inning off by driving in Jackie Bradley Jr. from third on a sacrifice fly to right field. Three batters later, with Hanley Ramirez at second and Mookie Betts at third, Xander Bogaerts mashed a three-run homer to left field, very similar to the one he hit on Wednesday.

His sixth home run of the season, which was sent 383 feet over the Green Monster, was good for three and gave the Red Sox their sixth and final run of the night. Before Bogaerts even had the chance to touch home on his blast, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was already making his way to the mound to take Gausman out of the game. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that before.

Speaking of things I have never seen before, the Red Sox stole five bases off of Gausman last night, and all of them were uncontested. For some reason, the Orioles starter didn’t seem too interested in holding runners on once they reached first base, and the Red Sox took advantage of that. Mookie Betts even came away with three swiped bags on the night, a season high for him.

Another note from this one:

JD Martinez had to leave this game in the seventh inning because of a stomach illness. Shouldn’t be anything too serious. His replacement, Blake Swihart, grounded out in his only at bat of the game.

So, the Red Sox have technically sweeped the Orioles in that four-game series back in April. Next up is another series against Baltimore, and it will be Alex Cobb v. Drew Pomeranz on Friday. For Pomeranz, his last start against the Blue Jays in Toronto was a rough one and I’m sure he doesn’t want a repeat of that. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Some notes from this one:

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

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

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

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

RECAP: #RedSox Don’t Get No-Hit by Sean Manaea, Still Lose to Athletics by One Run.

These Oakland Athletics, man. 20-21 on the season, 3-1 against the Red Sox. That’s frustrating, even more so after the Red Sox lost by one run to them last night. I guess one early positive to take away from the series opener was that A’s starter Sean Manaea did not throw another-no hitter.

Rick Porcello got the start for the Red Sox in this one, and for the second start in a row, the righty certainly did not have his best performance. In his last start in New York, Porcello surrendered five runs on eight hits and three walks in 5.1 innings pitched. Last night against the Athletics, he surrendered another five runs, this time on nine hits and zero walks in six innings pitched.

Things started to go awry for the New Jersey native in the third inning, when Matt Joyce took him deep to right field for the A’s first run of the game. An inning later, the opposition knocked Porcello around for another three runs on four hits. In his final frame of work, Matt Olson took Porcello deep to center to put his team up by two.

Last night marked the first time this season in which the 29 year-old has given up more than home run in a start. In the four starts he’s made since April 24th, Porcello owns a 5.02 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 25 innings pitched. On the bright side, at least he’s going fairly deep into his starts, as none of the four previous outings mentioned have been shorter than five innings for Porcello. With a pitch count of 108 (69 strikes) through six innings, Porcello’s night would come to a disappointing end. He’ll look to rebound next time out when he goes up against the Baltimore Orioles.

In relief of Porcello, Heath Hembree got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen to start off the seventh inning. For the second day in a row, Hembree somewhat impressed, as he held the Athletics scoreless while holding them to one hit.

An inning later, after Rafael Devers had just momentarily pulled the Red Sox within one run, Carson Smith, who had been looking better as of late, served up a solo homer to the first person he saw in Khris Davis. He went on to retire the next three batters he faced, but that home run would prove to be crucial for the A’s given what transpired half an inning later.

After JD Martinez had just made it a one run game once again, Brian Johnson would be responsible for holding the Athletics scoreless. Last time we saw Johnson out of the ‘pen, he gave up a game-winning home run to Luke Maile in Toronto. With that in mind, I’m happy to say that Johnson did not allow last night’s game to get further away from the Red Sox than it already was. The lefty did his job by tossing a perfect ninth, giving his team one last chance in the bottom half of the inning.

On the other side of things, A’s starter Sean Manaea was certainly not as sharp as he was last time the Red Sox saw him in Oakland. After going hitless in the first inning, a JD Martinez single in the second finally gave the Red Sox a hit off the lefty this season. With the monkey off their back, three straight singles from the top of the Red Sox lineup in the third inning put the Red Sox on the board. Hanley Ramirez gave them the lead for a brief moment, as he ripped a single to right field to score Andrew Benintendi from second after he had driven in Mookie Betts on a single of his own. Things were looking up for the Red Sox at this point, but that would not be the case half an inning later, and they would be clawing to get back in this game for the rest of the night.

Fast forward to the fifth, Hanley Ramirez was at it again, as he plated the third run of the game for the Red Sox on a fielder’s choice that scored Sandy Leon from third. That cut the A’s lead to only one run, but once again, that wouldn’t last long.

Two innings later and the Red Sox trailing by two, Rafael Devers cut the deficit in half on his seventh long ball of the season.

That 373 foot shot over the Monster, followed by Sandy Leon reaching on a fielding error, put an end to Sean Manaea’s night, and made way for a mediocre Athletics bullpen. Unfortunately, the top of the lineup could not capitalize on that error, as Yusmeiro Petit ended the inning on nine pitches.

In the eighth, now trailing by two runs again, it would be JD Martinez who cut the deficit in half this time with his 11th homer of the season.

That would be the lone hit of the bottom of the eighth though, and after a scoreless top half of ninth from Brian Johnson, it would be up the 8, 9, and 1 hitters to either tie this thing up or send it into extras.

Facing off against Athletics closer Blake Treinen, Rafael Devers led the inning off by grounding out to first base. After Mitch Moreland came on as a pinch hitter for Sandy Leon, he flew out to left for the second out. Down to just Mookie Betts now, I was somewhat expecting a lengthy, dramatic at bat. Instead, Betts grounded out to short on the second pitch he saw from Treinen, thus ending a very frustrating game and ending the Red Sox winning streak at two.

Some notes from this one:

Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, and Sandy Leon were the only Red Sox hitters to reach base more than once last night.

There was only one walk drawn between the two sides in this game.

With his eighth steal of the season last night, Mookie Betts is now in a three-way tie between himself, Mike Trout, and Kevin Pillar for fourth most swiped bags in the American League.

After his 2-for-4 performance at the plate on Monday, JD Martinez has the eighth best OBP (.396) and is tied for the third best SLG (.641) in the AL. He is one of eight players in all of baseball with an OPS north of one (1.037)

Rick Porcello was dealt his first loss of the season in his ninth start (5-1).

Since starting the season 17-2, the Red Sox are 11-11 over their last 22 games.

Next up for the Red Sox is the middle game of this series later tonight. It will be Daniel Mengden on the mound for the A’s, while Eduardo Rodriguez, coming off maybe his best start of the season last time out in New York, will be taking the mound for Boston. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: JD Martinez Homers as #RedSox Hold on to Take Series from Blue Jays.

With a ten game road trip coming to a close for the Red Sox today, a victory today would ensure both a series win in Toronto and a winning road trip as well.

Drew Pomeranz got the start for the Red Sox in this one, and he was matched up against Blue Jays righty Joe Biagini. It’s safe to say this matchup was not exactly a pitcher’s duel, because neither starter could make it through the fifth inning.  Despite what the numbers may say, Pomeranz struggled in his fifth start of the season today. Right from the get go, the lefty looked a bit out of sorts. That being said, the Blue Jays did not score their first run of the game until the fifth inning. Up until that point, despite not surrendering any runs, Pomeranz had just one clean inning over the first four. Walks were also an issue for the Tennessee native, as he allowed a season-high five free passes on Sunday.

Like I said though, despite all the baserunners Pomeranz had to deal with early on, he somehow did not give up any runs until his fifth and final frame of work. With some help from Mookie Betts, Pomeranz got out of a fourth inning jam in style. If that ball off the bat of Richard Urena dropped in front of Betts, it more than likely would have plated a run.

The Blue Jays rally was started by the top of their lineup, as three straight hits plated their first two runs of the game. With his pitch count up at 103 already, Pomeranz’s day would come to an end before he could even record an out in the fifth. Since he could not make it through five innings, Pomeranz did not factor into the decision later on. The final line for Pomeranz looks like this: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, and 6 K’s. After the performance he put on in the Bronx last week, the 29-year-old hurler did not have the same type of stuff going for him this time out. He’ll look to rebound in his next start against the Baltimore Orioles next weekend.

Anyway, with no outs in the bottom of the fifth and runners on first and second, Hector Velazquez would get the call first out of the Red Sox bullpen. Inheriting somewhat of a mess, Velazquez did a solid job holding the Blue Jays to just one run while also getting Kendrys Morales to ground into an inning ending double play. The righty also came back out for the sixth inning, and he tossed another scoreless frame to lower his ERA all the way down to 2.10.

After that, the Red Sox bullpen continued to hold the Blue Jays scoreless for the rest of the game. Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, and Joe Kelly combined for three scoreless frames to go along with three strikeouts to wrap this one up. For Hembree, a reassuring performance given the road trip he has had up to this point. And for Kelly, with Craig Kimbrel not available, a shut down ninth inning helped the Red Sox flamethrower notch his second save of the season today.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup had plenty of scoring opportunities against Joe Biagini and the Blue Jays bullpen today. JD Martinez got things started right away in the first, as he launched his 10th home run of the season 386 feet to right field.

Another vintage opposite field home run for Martinez. According to FanGraphs, 60% of the homers the Miami native has hit this year have gone over the wall in right field. That put the Red Sox up by two runs early, and they would have a golden opportunity to tack on some more two innings later.

With Joe Biagini on the mound, Jackie Bradley Jr. led the third off by drawing an eight pitch walk. A single from Mookie Betts moved Bradley up to third. After Andrew Benintendi flew out and JD Martinez reached first on a walk, the bases were loaded for Mitch Moreland. Despite not getting a hit, Moreland had himself  a great at bat against Biagini, as he drew an RBI walk on the tenth pitch of the AB. On the broadcast, they said that Moreland was at the plate for approximately six minutes, so it was a hard-earned RBI to say the least. Unfortunately, that’s all the scoring the Red Sox would do in the third since Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play in the next at bat.

Fast forward to the fifth, and JD Martinez added on to his great day at the plate with an RBI single to right field. His second hit of the game scored Mookie Betts from third and put the Red Sox up by four runs at the time.

Three innings later, Xander Bogaerts drove in his only run of the game on an RBI groundout. That scored Andrew Benintendi from third after he led the inning off with a walk. For the Red Sox, that run marked their fifth and final run of the day, which was nice, since it provided the bullpen with some insurance late in the game.

Some notes from this one:

After going hitless last night, JD Martinez got back on the board with two hits today. With another three RBI performance, Martinez now has 33 of them on the season, good for fifth in the American League.

Entering today 2 for his last 27 in May, Jackie Bradley Jr. got a hit in his fourth and final at bat today. Maybe now he will have the confidence to heat up for a bit, we’ll see.

With the 5-3 win on Sunday, the Red Sox are now 12-1 in series finales this season. As they head back to Boston, the Oakland Athletics will be first up on a seven game home stand. The two sides kick off a three game set tomorrow night, and it will be Sean Manaea on the mound for the A’s, who, in case you forgot, tossed a no-hitter the last time he saw the Red Sox in Oakland. Looking to keep his perfect season going, Rick Porcello will be taking the mound for the Red Sox. The Athletics are definitely one of the more interesting teams in the American League, so this week should be…interesting. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET on Monday.