Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (June 20, 2018 – Source: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images North America)
After a frustrating two games against the Minnesota Twins, the Boston Red Sox bounced back in a big way in Thursday afternoon’s game. Rick Porcello put together another great start, but the offense was clearly the story. After scoring just three runs in the first two games of the series, the Red Sox exploded for nine today. The finally explosive offense and great pitching meant the Boston Red Sox avoided a sweep.
Dominant Hitting, Pitching Allow Red Sox to Avoid Sweep
The Red Sox boast one of the strongest tops of the orders in baseball, and they were on their game tonight. The top five hitters in the order hit a combined 11-24, including three doubles and two home runs. Mookie Betts probably had the best game of everybody, going 3-6 while hitting a 381-foot homer.
While the top of the order had a great day, the bottom of the order also made some solid contributions. Brock Holt went 2-5 with a double, while Sandy Leon went 2-2 while driving in the game’s first run. The Red Sox never had trouble getting on base earlier in the series, but they had trouble bringing runs home, thanks in large part to struggles with the bottom of the order.
When the bottom of the order performs, this is the result. Despite not scoring the first time through the order, the Red Sox went on to win 9-2, and at one point led 9-0. Seven different batters drove in runs, and it was one of the most complete performances by the offense this week.
For as good as the offense was, Rick Porcello was even better. The righty went seven full innings, striking out five and walking just one batter, all in under 100 pitches. This dominant performance lowered his ERA to 3.44 on the season. Outside of the Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox may have the best starting rotation in all of baseball.
Hector Velazquez closed out the game, pitching the final two frames and allowing two meaningless runs. The win brought the Red Sox to 50-26 on the season, making the Sox the first team to win 50 games. Things get more difficult tomorrow, as the Red Sox face off against the Seattle Mariners and lefty Wade LeBlanc.