Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (Aug. 8, 2018 – Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America)
The Boston Red Sox offense features two of the best hitters in baseball in J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts. They also feature All-Star caliber players in Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, and several more. So it’s only natural that catcher Sandy Leon and utility pinch-hitter Brock Holt scored the only two runs of the game. Backed by a dominant Rick Porcello start, the Red Sox picked up another victory.
Sandy Leon, Brock Holt the Unheralded Heroes for the Boston Red Sox
The scoring began in the top of the third when Sandy Leon stepped to the plate. Philadelphia Phillies starter Nick Pivetta left a pitch low and inside, and Sandy made him pay. The Sox catcher launched a bomb over the right field fence to make it a 1-0 ballgame. One batter later, Rick Porcello hit his second double of the season. Unfortunately, the top of the order couldn’t bring the Sox starter home.
All was quiet for the Red Sox offense until Brock Holt came in to pinch hit for Porcello. Choosing Holt was a fantastic decision, as the lefty launched possibly the deepest ball of his career over the right-field fence and almost into the second deck. This solo shot gave the Sox a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth.
Aside from his offensive heroics, Rick Porcello pitched an absolute gem on the mound. The righty bounced back in a big way today, pitching seven innings of one-run ball. He allowed just two hits while striking out 10 without allowing a walk. Most impressively, he did it in just 90 pitches. He almost certainly would have gone deeper into the game had the Sox not had to pinch hit for him.
The bullpen took it from there, and the unit did not disappoint. Heath Hembree took the eighth inning, retiring all three batters he faced. After a scoreless top of the ninth, Craig Kimbrel closed the door to earn yet another save. With the win, the Red Sox improve to 86-35 on the season. Their magic number to clinch the AL East is now 33.