Heading into the All-Star break, Red Sox fans were disappointed with their world champion team and were considering which pieces they were willing to sell off. Not so fast – on Sunday, Boston completed a three game sweep over a solid Kansas City Royals squad. The Sox finished off Kansas City by a final of 6-0 in a complete, all-around effort.
Leading up to Sunday’s game, the talk surrounding Yordano Ventura concerned his incredible fastball which hangs around 96-97 mph and can even top that at times. The Red Sox, however, were not intimidated and jumped all over him from the get-go. Brock Holt and Daniel Nava kicked the first inning off with a single each. Dustin Pedroia then drove in Holt when he hit into a fielders’ choice to give the Red Sox the early 1-0 lead. Nava continued his resurgence when he hit a ground-rule double in the third inning knocking in David Ross and Jackie Bradley. Nava went 2-3 on the day with three RBI and was one of four Red Sox players with two hits (Holt, Victorino and Bradley were the others).
In just his second game back from a multitude of injuries, Shane Victorino looked very good again and led off the fourth inning with a double. After Drew flew out, Ross hit a long home run to left field to give the Sox a 5-0 lead. Bradley and Holt followed up with singles, allowing Nava to drive Bradley in with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-0, and that would be all the scoring Boston would need on the day. In fact, they would only get one more hit for the rest of the game, but that wouldn’t matter with Jon Lester on the mound.
It was more of the same from Lester who clearly isn’t letting all of the contract talk get to him. He dominated the Royals lineup today, pitching eight scoreless innings, giving up four hits and two walks and striking out eight batters on 115 pitches. He improved to 10-7 and now has an ERA of 2.50. This will surely lead to more pressure on the Red Sox front office to start negotiating quickly!
Boston will head to Toronto Monday night for the start of a four game series with the Jays. John Lackey (10-6, 3.79) will look to keep the Red Sox hot streak going when he meets Drew Hutchison (6-8, 4.16). While the Red Sox are 6.5 games out of the AL Wild Card, this upcoming series in Toronto could prove to be a huge one if Boston hopes to make any moves in the AL East.