Red Sox take game 2 from Oakland behind Porcello and the long ball
(Image via Christopher Evans/Boston Herald)
On Tuesday night against the Oakland Athletics, Rick Porcello pitched the best start of any Red Sox pitcher on the season. Porcello shut out the A’s in 8 dominant innings of work, as the Boston offense relied on the long ball.
Porcello dominates as Sandy Leon could be the key to recent success
The Athletics were only able to get two hits off of Porcello on the night. His control was excellent, something that he had struggled with early on in the season. The A’s barely made contact; 78 of Porcello’s 114 pitches were strikes. He kept the A’s off balance all night with his patented two-seamer, along with a good slider. He racked up 8 K’s over his 8 innings of work.
His may season started off rocky, but his last three starts have been much better. His ERA over his last three starts is a 2.29. He has struck out 18 batter in those last three starts in 19.2 innings of work. In his first three starts, his ERA was up to 11.12 with a BAbip of .463. What caused the turnaround? Sandy Leon has caught these last three games, including last night’s gem. Maybe the Blake Swihart sacrifice was good after all (it wasn’t, we miss you Blake).
Mookie and the offense are heating up
The Red Sox provided runs for their starter early. Mookie Betts has finally become Mookie Betts once again. He launched a solo home run in the bottom of the first to give the Sox the early advantage. Time for more game splits: on April 17th against the Yankees, Mookie’s slash line dropped to an abysmal .200/.305/.371. In the 11 games since then, he’s hitting .452/.540/.786. Mookie is all the way back.
The Red Sox continued the scoring the second, as Leon – whose fingerprints were all over the game – drove in another run with an RBI single. Then, in the fourth, Mitch Moreland went deep to center for a 2-run shot that put the Sox up 4-0. With the way Porcello was working, the score would have been fine there. However, Rafael Devers was feeling left out of the party, so he drove one in with an RBI double.
The A’s were able to get back one run in the top of the ninth, but it was way too little, too late as the Sox would go on to take game 2 of the series, 5-1.