Coming off of three consecutive losses, it seemed like the top spot in the American League East could have been slipping from the Boston Red Sox as the Yankees and Blue Jays were on their tail. Last night, the Sox prevailed in dominant fashion over the other team with the league’s best record, the Oakland Athletics.
Boston came into the week ranked first in the power rankings and also became the first team to reach 20 wins giving them the best record. With losses during the wrap-up game at Camden Yards to the O’s along with the first two at home to the A’s, the Red Sox knew they had to bounce back.
The Sox, with the image of a beautiful skyline at Fenway Park, opened up the ball game aggressive at the plate and on the bases as fan-favorite who was called back up a week ago, Michael Chavis stretched what looked like a long single into a sliding double. This was the start of a three-run first inning that was led off the bat of red-hot Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez.
Bogaerts has been absolutely scorching from the plate. He’s batting .348 to go with 49 hits, 23 runs batted in, 22 runs scored, an OPS of 1.009 and eight home runs. Where does that rank amongst shortstops? First in average, first in hits, second in RBI’s, sixth in runs, third in homers. Last night, X was three for three with a home run, double and a walk with three RBI’s.
Here’s something interesting I found on Twitter.
“I do believe he’s the most consistent person in this organization,” Manager Alex Cora said last week. “Everything is about winning for him.”
As for Martinez, he’s been looking a whole lot like the player that the Red Sox had for the 2018 World Series season. Martinez is batting .340 (sixth) with 10 homers (fourth), 33 RBI’s (first) and 48 hits (second). He also is second in the league in runs with 32, fifth in slugging at .624 and fifth in OPS at 1.044. Martinez and Bogaerts make the Red Sox the only team in baseball with multiple qualifying batters with a 1.000+ OPS.
The second inning came and Boston kept their foot on the gas as Hunter Renfroe’s ball in the gap took an unfortunate short-bounce off the monster holding him to a long single just before Bobby Dalbec came up to hit a shot to deep center increasing the early lead to 5-0.
The lead loomed to six in the second after Martinez reached on an error with two outs leading to a Bogaerts RBI-double.
In the blink of an eye, the bases were loaded the following inning forcing Oakland to make a pitching change early, but their offense was never there to provide a spark as the Red Sox won 8-1 over the Athletics.
Veteran RHP Garrett Richards earned his third win in his last four starts allowing no runs, only five hits through six while striking out four. Richards, in the lone season of his deal with the Red Sox worth $10M, is now 3-2 in eight outings with an ERA of 3.89, a WHIP of 1.44 and 38 K’s in 41 innings.
Nick Pivetta is on the mound tonight with a hot 5-0 start, 35 K’s and an ERA just above three. Boston is first in hits, slugging and runs. They’re fifth in OBP, second in average, RBI’s and 11th in home runs. The Red Sox begin the series series against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway up on Toronto by a game and a half winning six of their last 10.
Feature Image: ABC6.
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