Red Sox Recap: Betts and Porcello lead Sox to 2-0 win


The Red Sox wore their throwback uniforms tonight, celebrating the 1975 AL Championship team, which lost to the Cincinnati Reds in an epic seven game World Series. On the field they were locked in a pitcher’s duel between Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly. Porcello’s shut out pitching and some late power by Mookie Betts led the Red Sox to victory.

Generally in a pitcher’s duel both pitchers have to get out of jams but for Smyly they were scattered through the first five innings as the Red Sox could not get into the hit column, managing just two walks. Twice the Red Sox were retired in order during the first five innings, in which they had just one runner reach second base. Porcello was in trouble throughout his start surrendering eight hits through the first six innings, but no walks. Rays were on base in every inning. Good luck helped Porcello in the fourth inning, with runners on first and second with nobody out, the Rays tried a hit and run. Logan Forsythe hit a liner to centerfielder Betts, who used his skills from his days as an infielder to catch the ball and quickly fire back to second base to nip Evan Longoria for a huge double play. In the fifth, the Rays had two runners on base again but could not get the big hit.

Betts put the Red Sox on the board, and in the hit column, leading off the sixth inning with a home run over the Green Monster to make the score 1-0. One batter later David Ortiz followed with a double and the Red Sox looked to add to their lead. Once again the Red Sox could not get the job done, taking their one run lead into the eighth inning. Betts did it again in the eighth inning, hammering an Ernesto Frieri pitch over the Monster for the first two-homer game of his young career, making the score 2-0.

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That was all the Red Sox needed as new set up man Alexi Ogando‘s perfect eighth inning finished the bridge to Koji Uehara. The Rays went quietly in the ninth inning for the Red Sox to secure their first May victory.

Game Notes

  • Allen Craig reached base twice with a walk and a single, but was thrown out easily at second trying to stretch a ball off the Monster.
  • Betts last two homer game was while was playing for High-A Salem in 2013.
  • Ortiz was robbed of at least extra bases, maybe a home run,  on a leaping catch by Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier in the triangle in deep center field.
  • Porcello has the last two Red Sox wins, picking up the victory on April 29 as well.  He has surrendered just one run in 14 innings over his last two starts, reducing his ERA from 6.48 to 4.38

A-. . Game Ball Rick Porcello. . STARTING PITCHING

Considering the last note mentioned above, one would have to consider him the stopper of the starting staff right now.  He gave up a lot of hits (eight) in seven innings but he didn’t walk any body.  The hits were spaced out well enough the Rays only went zero for five with runners in scoring position.  He had some luck with the double play started by Mookie, but aren’t the Red Sox about due for some good  luck?

. RELIEF PITCHING . A+. . Game Ball Koji Uehara

Both Ogando and Uehara pitched perfect innings so it is not a cut and dried case.  Uehara got the save though, and there was no hard contact against him.  Considering his early season struggles, each outing like this builds his confidence.  If he is needed tomorrow that will be the true test because he has struggled on back to back days this year.

A. . Game Ball Mookie Betts. . OFFENSE

There really isn’t a choice here.  Mookie’s two home runs were the difference in the score.  His quick hands helped make that double play happen that bailed Porcello out his biggest jam of the night.  It was only ironic that Betts (22 years, 210 days) was the youngest Red Sox (according to Sox baseball information manager @ShestaSox) to have a two homer game since

Jim Rice

in the year that was the focus of tonight’s pre-game festivities, 1975 (22 years, 40 days, also on consecutive at-bats at Fenway).