Aggressive base running pays off in 4-3 series win against Toronto
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: ( May 12, 2018 – Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America)
While baserunning has been a concern for the Sox, it played a huge role in Sunday’s 4-3 series win against the Blue Jays. Drew Pomeranz grinded out a short outing, Mookie Betts showed off his talent both at the dish and on the field. Boston’s defense came through in order for the bullpen to close out the series.
Pom struggled finding the zone early on. He left his fast ball up and outside the zone, and he couldn’t throw his curve ball for strikes as it dropped out of the zone. He collected five walks, on his way to giving up three earned runs on five hits. Although Pom only threw four innings, he did manage to get six strike outs.
The Sox were able to help out there struggling pitcher with some great defense. In the bottom of the first inning Brock Holt started a double play after diving for a ball up the middle to end the inning. In the bottom of the 4th, Mookie made a diving play in right field that had him finishing face first in the stands. Andrew Benintendi also had a nice play in right field. Benny threw out Yangervis Solarte at home in the 7th inning.
The Red Sox had a huge opportunity to blow the game open. Biagini gave up three walks and a hit, Jackie Bradley Jr. got on base with a walk. Mookie came up next and hit a single into left field, moving JBJ from first to third. After Benny made the first out, Mookie stole second while Martinez was at bat. Martinez drew a walk, loading the bases for Mitch Moreland. After a 10 pitch at bat, Moreland drew a walk, which drove in a run to make the Sox lead, 3-0.
In the top of the 5th, Betts got his second hit of the day and then stole his second base of the day. J.D. knocked in Betts for his third RBI, The score was extended to 4-0.
Pom gave up two runs in the bottom of the 5th. He gave up hits to Josh Donaldson and Anthony Alford. Justin Smoak drove them in and collected two RBIs, making the score 4-2. Pom was then taken out of the game.
Matt Barnes came into the game in the 7th inning, and threw a clean inning. He only gave up two hits, while picking up one strikeout. Heath Hembree entered the game in the 8th inning, and also threw a clean inning. Hembree only allowed one hit while notching two strikeouts. Joe Kelly came in the ninth to shut the door on the series by not allowing a hit and notching a 4-3 win.
In total the Red Sox went 4-5 in their stolen base attempts. Base running has been a concern for the Red Sox as they have run themselves into outs on the base paths before. The bullpen, which has also been under a lot criticism lately, did well in Sunday’s contest.