#RedSox Game Summary (September 22) Winning by Devers means. The Sox were in trouble after Scooter Gennett’s grand slam off Boston starter Rick Porcello put them in a 4-1 hole in the 1st. Cincinnati starter Sal Romano had given up a single Xander Bogaerts and walked Dustin Pedroia and Andrew Benintendi in the first, loading the bases for Mitch Moreland, whose sac fly scored Bogaerts. But in the bottom of the inning, Porcello struggled, giving up a single to Billy Hamilton, a double to Zack Cozart, and walking Joey Votto, setting up a bases loaded, nobody out situation for Gannett, who took full advantage to give the Reds a daunting lead. Despite his rough start, Porcello remained in the game until the end of the 4th, but left ineligible for the win, despite a 5-4 lead. How did they get that lead? In the 4th, Mookie Betts doubled, Mitch Moreland walked, and Christian Vázquez doubled to score Betts, while Moreland reached 3rd. This was followed by a massive no-doubter by Rafael Devers, to give the Red Sox the lead for good. David Price supplied 2 2/3rds scoreless innings, and Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel finished things off. Boston beat Cincinnati, 5-4 in interleague play, at Great America Ballpark. Record: 89-64. Game 153/9. The Yankees lost to Toronto, so the Sox lead in the AL East is now 4 games, and the magic number is reduced to 6.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 20) And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air. The Red Sox exploded in Baltimore, and, at the same time, the club’s premier pitcher established another milestone. As if released after a period of restraint, Boston’s batters unleashed a relentless battery upon Baltimore’s starter, our old friend Wade Miley, starting in the 4th inning. In that inning, Andrew Benintendi singled, and scored on a home run by Mookie Betts. Then Hanley Ramírez doubled, setting up a second 2 RBI homer by Deven Marrero. In the 5th, after Miley walked Benny and Mookie Betts in succession, he was relieved for Mike Wright, who gave up a 2 RBI double to Hanley for 2 more Boston runs. In the 8th, after Sam Travis singled and Sandy Leon walked on Orioles reliever Tanner Scott, Dustin Pedroia hit a double for 2 more runs. In the 9th, Mookie Betts tripled off O’s reliever Jimmy Yacabonis, and scored on a Ramírez single. All in all, the Sox went 10-for-37 with 5 extra base hits. Hanley went 3-for-5; a very good sign. Orioles Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander also doubled in the game but did not score. Chris Sale pitched 8 shutout innings while giving up 4 hits and no walks. His 13 strikeouts enabled him to become the 2nd pitcher in Red Sox history to strike out 300 in a single season. The other was Pedro Martínez. The Yankees also won, so Boston has maintained a 3 run lead in the AL East. Boston beat Baltimore, 9-0, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Record: 88-64. Game 152/10. The magic number for the division is now 8.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 19) The wild one. A long, tense pitchers’ duel ended somewhat fittingly, with a wild pitch by Baltimore’s Brad Brach that allowed Jackie Bradley, Jr. to score the winning run in the 11th inning. Fitting also, because JBJ’s 5th inning grab of a Chris Davis fly prevented a run that could have handed the game to the Orioles. Drew Pomeranz had a great game for Boston, going 6 1/3rd innings while giving up no runs on 5 hits and 2 walks with 5 punch-outs. The Red Sox bullpen came up big in holding the line into extra innings. Oriole starter Kevin Gausman also had a great start, pitching 8 innings, while giving up no runs on just 3 hits and a walk, while whiffing 7. Boston’s Andrew Benintendi doubled for Boston in this game, as did Manny Machado and Austin Hays for Baltimore. The final run came after Brock Holt singled to lead off the 11th, then switched places with JBJ in a fielder’s choice. Jackie reached 2nd and 3rd on walks to Benny and Mookie Betts, and scored on that wild pitch. Rafael Devers struggled at 3rd in this game, and while he was charged for just one (two base error) in the 11th, he had a key miscue earlier as well, but it was not called an error. Still, he has a strong, accurate throw when he is focused, and will be an outstanding infielder in the long run. So, it’s a rookie issue. Boston beat Baltimore, 1-0, in 11 innings at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Record: 87-64. Game 151/11.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 18) A time to take charge. Some teams might just collapse, faced with a 6-1 deficit in the 5th inning. Some might, after overcoming that deficit, feel defeated when 2 more runs put them in the hole, 8-7. But not these Red Sox. Doug Fister faced a challenge he could not overcome tonight. A control pitcher who makes his living on the corners, he was faced with an umpire, Marty Foster, whose tight strike zone made Fister’s key got-to-have strikes into balls. As a result, he walked 5 and surrendered 4 hits in just 2 innings to put the Sox in a 4 run hole by the 3rd inning. Heath Hembree and Fernando Abad gave up a run apiece to make this game seem nearly unwinnable. In the 1st, Tim Beckham singled, reached 2nd on a Manny Machado single, and scored on a fielder’s choice. In the 2nd, after a Chris Davis double, a pair of Fister walks loaded the bases for Austin Hays, whose double scored 2 more runs. Manny Machado’s sac fly plated another. In the 3rd, after a single and 2 walks loaded the bases, Heath Hembree replaced Fister, and gave up a sac fly for Baltimore’s 5th run. The 4th inning saw Tim Beckham double and after moving to 3rd on a Manny Machado line out, score on an single by Adam Jones. But the Sox did not stand idly by. In the 4th, Brock Holt doubled and scored on a Mookie Betts single to make the score 5-1. After Baltimore’s score in the bottom of the 4th, Boston exploded in the 5th with 6 runs powered by 5 singles (by Christian Vázquez, Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Brock Holt, and Andrew Benintendi) and a Xander Bogaerts walk, followed by a 3 RBI double by Mookie Betts. Boston now led, 7-6, but not for long. In the bottom of the inning, Pedro Alvarez homered off Fernando Abad to tie the score, and after Austin Hays reached on a fielding error by Devers, he scored on a double by Beckham, enabling the Orioles to take the lead. In the 7th, a solo bomb by Bogaerts tied the game at 8, and so we stood into extra innings. Finally, in the 11th, Sandy León was walked by Miguel Castro, who then intentionally walked Bogey, as Blake Swihart came in to pinch run for León. Tzu-Wei Lin walked to load the bases, and Benny Baseball drove in Swihart and Bogaerts. Carson Smith closed out for the save. Vázquez also doubled in the game. A depressing struggle of a game turned into a triumph, because the Sox did not give up. The Yankees beat the Twins, so the Boston lead in the AL East remains at 3. Boston beat Baltimore, 10-8 in 11 innings, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Record: 86-64. Game 150/12.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 17) At least someone came to work. Baseball is a tough game to play, and there are many factors that go into a successful day, so it’s not like I am denigrating the rest the team when I say this, but it is notable when just one guy supplies just about all the offense in a game. That guy, this time, was Jackie Bradley, Jr., who drove in both Boston runs with a 2 run jack in the 6th inning off Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi. He also singled in the game. The only other Boston batter with a hit was Andrew Benintendi. Brock Holt walked, and scored on JBJ’s big fly, and Dustin Pedroia also walked. That was it. The rest of the box score is goose eggs. Odorizzi is not that awesome a pitcher; his ERA is 4.46. For his part, Boston starter Eduardo Rodríguez had what most would consider a decent “quality” start. He went 5 2/3rds innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits and a walk, with 7 punch-outs. The Rays runs came in the 1st, 5th, and 6th. In the 1st, Kevin Kiermaier singled, reached 2nd on a throwing error, and scored on an Evan Longoria single. In the 5th, the Rays loaded the bases on singles by Jesús Sucre, César Puello, and a walk by Peter Bourjos, followed by a RBI single by Evan Longoria. In the 6th, Sucre homered for the winning run. The Sox could muster nothing in response. Fortunately, the Yankees also lost, so the lead remains 3 in the AL East. Tampa Bay beat Boston, 3-2, at Tropicana Field. Record: 85-64. Game 149/13.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 16) Staying in front. The Red Sox maintained their thin lead over the Rays (gained in the 2nd inning on a solo homer by Mookie Betts off Rays starter Alex Cobb) for several innings, thanks to the skillful work of starter Rick Porcello. In ultimately winning this game, they also maintain their thin 3 game lead over the surging New York Yankees. Boston picked up 2 more runs in the 6th inning when Christian Vázquez singled and exchanged places with Andrew Benintendi in a fielder’s choice, Benny then reached 2nd on a balk by Cobb, and stole 3rd, scoring on a Betts single. Betts advanced to 2nd when Mitch Moreland walked, and scored on a Rafael Devers double. Porcello kept the Rays off the scoreboard through 7 with an economical use of pitches, but faltered in the 8th, allowing a double to Adeiny Hechavarria, who reached 3rd when Vázquez allowed a passed ball as Brad Miller walked. Addison Reed came on with 1 out and runners at the corners. When, after putting Kevin Kiermaier out on a force at first, Moreland threw the ball away (it hit the back of Miller), Hechavarria scored what would prove to be Tampa Bay’s only run. Because of the error, the run was unearned. Reed finished off the inning, and Craig Kimbrel closed out without incident. Moreland also doubled in the game, as did the Rays’ Evan Longoria. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 3-1, at Tropicana Field. Record: 85-63. Game 148/14.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 15) Wake-up call. it may have taken 15 innings, but the Red Sox got a clear message: time to turn it on. Chris Sale had a disappointing start, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits and an unusual 3 walks over just 5 2/3rds innings, with 9 punch-outs. Kevin Kiermaier was a major force for Tampa Bay, notably contributing 2 hits in 6 at-bats, including a home run, but 2 critical and amazingly athletic catches in the outfield. The Sox opened the scoring in the 1st when Xander Bogaerts was hit by Tampa Bay starter Matt Andriese, advanced to 2nd on a fielder’s choice, and score on a single by Andrew Benintendi. The Rays matched that run when Kiermaier singled and scored on an Evan Longoria single. In the 4th, Mitch Moreland’s solo bomb put the Sox ahead, 2-1, but that lead was short lived. After Sale walked Trevor Plouffe, Wilson Ramos hit a 2 run jack to put Tampa Bay ahead. In the 6th, Adeiny Hechavarria homered, to end Sale’s night. The Rays picked up another run on a solo blast by Wilson Ramos in the 8th off Matt Barnes, to make the score 5-2, Rays. But in the 9th, Boston mounted a heroic comeback, when Mitch Moreland walked, reached 2nd on a wild pitch by Tampa Bay reliever Alex Colome, and scored on a fielding error by Danny Espinosa. Rafael Devers, who reached on that error, got to 2nd on a Christian Vázquez single, and scored on a Sandy León single. Rajai Davis, who pinch-ran for León, scored on a Bogaerts single to tie the score. On we went to extra innings. In the 14th, Mookie Betts singled, reached 2nd on a Moreland single, and scored on a single by Rafael Devers. Kiermaier homered for Tampa Bay in the bottom of the inning to re-tie the score. In the 15th, the Sox blew the game open, as Jackie Bradley, Jr. walked, reached 2nd on a Bogaerts single, and scored on an error when Dustin Pedroia reached on a fielding error by Rays 2nd baseman Brad Miller. Andrew Benintendi drove in Bogaerts. Another Rays error allowed Devers to reach base, and Benintendi to score. Deven Marrero’s double drove in 2 more runs. Marrero scored on a Bogaerts single, to establish an insurmountable 7 run lead. Marrero and Betts also doubled in the game, as did the Rays’ Peter Bourjos. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 13-6 in 15 innings, at Tropicana Field. Record: 84-63. Game 147/15.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 14) Benny Ball. Andrew Benintendi had an outstanding game today, going 3-for-4 with a double to drive in 3 runs and score one himself, as the Sox took this one away from the A’s in the late innings. Drew Pomeranz started for the Red Sox, going 6 innings while giving up 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks and whiffing 5. The one run came in the 5th inning when Matt Chapman walked, reached 3rd on a Mark Canha double, and scored on a sac fly by Josh Phegley. Christian Vazquez answered that score with a solo bomb off Oakland starter Daniel Gossett. The A’s got another in the 8th when Ryan Healy homered off Joe Kelly. But the Sox attack was relentless. In the 6th, Dustin Pedroia and Benny Baseball hit back-to-back doubles to plate one run, and end Gossett’s day. Mitch Moreland hit the 3rd Boston double of the inning off reliever Ryan Dull to drive in the 3rd Red Sox run. In the 7th, Rafael Devers doubled off Sam Moll and reached 3rd on a fielder’s choice. That play resulted in an error by Matt Chapman that allowed the batter, Brock Holt, to reach 2nd. On came Stantiago Casilla, who hit Xander Bogaerts to load the bases for Pedey, whose sac fly scored one run. Then a line drive single off the bat of Benintendi plated 2 more. Way to bounce back, boys. Boston beat Oakland, 6-2, at Fenway Park. Record: 83-63. Game 146/16.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 13) Fister fizzle. Everyone is entitled to an off day now and then, but what a time to have one, against the third worst team in the American League. Oakland jumped all over Red Sox starter Doug Fister in the very first inning, when Marcus Semien led off with a single, and scored on a triple by our old friend, Jed Lowrie. After a RBI single by Khris Davis scored Lowrie, Matt Olson knocked a 2 run jack to right. Doug gave up another 2 runs in the 3rd when Matt Joyce singled and scored on a Lowrie double, and Lowrie scored on a fielder’s choice. Fister was done after 4. The A’s added one more for good measure in the 6th, when Fernando Abad hit Matt Olson, who was exchanged for Chad Pinder in a fielder’s choice. Pinder scored on a Bruce Maxwell double off Heath Hembree. Meanwhile, the Sox looked fairly anemic against the less than impressive Jharel Cotton (8-10, with a 5.81 ERA and 1.48 WHIP; not so good). They got one in the first when Dustin Pedroia singled, reached 3rd on an Andrew Benintendi double, and scored on a fielder’s choice. In the 3rd, Xander Bogaerts singled, and Benny Baseball drove him in with a double. They picked up one more in the 5th on a solo bomb by Jackie Bradley, Jr. Mitch Moreland also doubled in the game, but did not score. The boys had better step it up, because the Yankees seem determined to make noise this year, having beaten Tampa Bay 3-2 to cut their deficit to 3 games. Oakland beat Boston, 7-3, at Fenway Park. Record: 82-63. Game 145/17.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 12) Mookie magic. Mookie Betts was a wrecking ball for the Red Sox, hitting 2 home runs and a triple to power the Red Sox past Oakland in the first game of this 3 game series. The Sox needed this laugher, to overcome some recent struggles and provide power for the final season push. Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vázquez, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. also doubled in the game. Oakland opened the scoring against Sox starter Eduardo Rodríguez in the first inning, with a walk to Chad Pinder followed by a RBI double by our old friend Jed Lowrie. But that was it for the A’s; the rest of the story was all Red Sox. In the 2nd, 5 consecutive singles off Oakland starter Sean Manama, followed by Mookie’s triple, generated 5 runs; more than what they needed to win. Mookie Betts’s 2 run bomb in the 4th added to the lead, In the 5th, a Bogaerts single, followed by back-to-back doubles by Vázquez and JBJ provided 2 more runs, and in the 6th, a Chris Young single was followed by a 2 RBI bomb by Mookie put the icing on the cake. Eduardo Rodríguez finished with 1 run over 6 innings on 1 hit and 4 walks, while whiffing 9; one of his better starts this year. Brandon Workman, Carson Smith, and Austin Maddox finished off the A’s. Boston beat Oakland, 11-1, at Fenway Park. Record: 82-62. Game 144/18. The Yankees lost to Tampa Bay, 2-1, so Boston now enjoys a 4 game lead in the AL East.