Aside from a five-run bottom of the fifth which eventually led to the loss in last night’s game, the Red Sox have actually looked pretty good of late. The Red Sox continued their recent run of success today with one of the best all-around wins of the season, crushing the Royals 13-2 en route to a series win.
The story of this game, without question, was the extraordinary number of extra-base hits by the Red Sox. Of Boston’s 16 hits, 13 went for extra bases as the Red Sox knocked 8 doubles, 2 triples, and 3 home runs in a dominant performance by the Red Sox offense.
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It was clear almost from the start of this game that the Red Sox bats were feeling extra powerful. Each of the first four Red Sox runs came on home runs, with solo blasts by Hanley Ramirez in the second, David Ortiz in the fourth, and a two-run shot by Mookie Betts in the fifth giving the Red Sox a 4-0 advantage.
However, it wasn’t until after Betts’ homer that the Red Sox started to deviate from the longball. With two outs in the inning, the Red Sox were able to load the bases after a Dustin Pedroia double and walks to David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez. That’s when Xander Bogaerts came away with the key hit of the game, clearing the bases with a line shot to left-center and promptly turning this game from a comfortable lead into a 7-0 blowout.
From there on, the Red Sox just continued to pile on. After adding five runs in the fifth inning, the Red Sox came through with another rally in the sixth, once again doing the damage with two outs in the inning. After a pair of quick outs to start the frame, Betts drew a walk and quickly came around to score on Brock Holt‘s second double of the game. Holt then scored himself on a double by Dustin Pedroia, who proceeded to round third base and score on a single by Big Papi, extending Boston’s lead to double digits at 10-0.
All the while, Wade Miley had been grinding through a solid, albeit unspectacular, start. Miley was a bit lucky to throw six scoreless innings; he allowed eight baserunners in that time (five hits and three walks) and struck out only two. However, there’s something to be said for gutting out a solid performance despite the absence of one’s best stuff and Miley certainly did that today, lowering his ERA to 4.50 in the process.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the Red Sox got right back to business in the eighth inning, beginning with a leadoff triple by Betts. Betts added that triple to a day which already included a double and a home run, but unfortunately he was unable to come through with a single in his last at bat, finishing just a single short of the cycle. Betts would score on another triple, this time by Holt, who scored himself on an RBI single by Pedroia to give the Red Sox a 12-0 lead.
In the ninth inning, the Red Sox picked up another run when Bogaerts led off the inning with a double (his third of the game) and scored on a two-out single by Sandy Leon. And though the Red Sox did allow a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning on a triple by Lorenzo Cain, it’s hard to argue with the results as they recorded an absolutely dominant 13-2 win today.
- Mookie Betts fell short of the cycle in the most painful way today, notching a double, triple, and home run but failing to pick up a single. Betts has been on a tear of late and is now 18-34 in his last eight games with three home runs in that span. He has shown some flashes of brilliance in his first full season, but none as pronounced as this for the promising 22-year old.
- Brock Holt has also been tearing the cover off the ball recently and that trend continued today as Holt went 3-5 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 doubles, and a triple. In his last eight games, Holt is now hitting an impressive 13-33 in what has been a very strong season for the super utility man.
- Xander Bogaerts, who entered today’s game hitting just .172 over the previous week, turned that around with a huge game today. Bogaerts knocked in three runs with a clutch fifth-inning double and then added two more doubles in a 3-5 day for the youngster.
Miley wasn’t spectacular by any stretch of the imagination but, with six scoreless innings under his belt, it’s hard to argue that he didn’t pitch a great game. Throughout this season, Miley has been incredibly inconsistent, but that’s now two good starts that he’s strung together and here’s to hoping that he’s positioned to go on a run.
Ogando threw a solid seventh inning in today’s win, allowing only a walk while striking out a batter in a scoreless frame. He continues a solid season, lowering his ERA to 3.41 with today’s quality outing.
This was a day of phenomenal offense all around but it’s hard to argue with Betts taking home the game ball here. In one of the best games of his young career, he went 3-5 with 3 runs, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 double, 1 triple, and 1 home run. Betts is on a tear right now and is really showing off the incredible, well-rounded player that he has the potential to be.