Rays - 000 000 000 - 0 5 0 Red Sox - 000 300 10x - 4 7 1The Red Sox are so hot ...
They can win with Alex Hassan making his major league debut.
They can win with Garin Cecchini making his major league debut.
They can win with Brock Holt playing first base for the first time in his professional career.
They can win with four rookies in what resembled a Grapefruit League lineup.
They won with Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz going a combined 0-for-9.
They can do all that - and still sweep the Rays, winning their seventh consecutive game* - because they have the masterful, the magnificent, the magnanimous Brock Wyatt Holt, who went 4-for-4 with four doubles, one walk, one run scored, one stolen base, and two RBI. (He also delivered a baby - and reportedly conceived two others - between innings.)
*: Boston tied a major league record for the longest winning streak after a losing streak of 10+ games. The 1942 Pirates and 1989 Tigers also won seven in a row after a 10+ game losing streak.
And they have Jon Lester (7-4-0-1-12, 112), who stymied the Rays lineup. At one point, Lester recorded seven consecutive outs by strikeout (there was a ground-rule double mixed in). He fanned the side in the fourth and fifth innings, and no Rays base runner advanced past second.
Jonny Gomes began the fourth inning with a single. Hassan also singled - his first major league hit. With one out, Jackie Bradley walked, loading the bases. Jonathan Herrera's sac fly scored one run and Holt's double scored two more.
Holt walked against Juan Carlos Oviedo and promptly stole second in the seventh. After Bogaerts struck out, Cecchini doubled off the Wall - his first major league hit and first RBI - to score Boston's fourth run. Ortiz was intentionally walked and after Gomes struck out, Hassan walked to fill the sacks. Sadly, Ross lined out to third.
Edward Mujica and Koji Uehara each pitched an inning of relief for the victors.
The Red Sox have held their opponents to three runs or fewer in six straight games. In the seven-game winning streak, the pitching staff has allowed only 15 runs.
Bonus: The Twins scored six times in the top of the ninth inning and beat the Yankees 7-2.
Erik Bedard / Jon Lester
Holt, 1BAlex Hassan, 26 years old and wearing #68, makes his major league debut this afternoon. He is hitting .217/.318/.303 for Pawtucket.
Today's Xander Bogaerts Factoid: He has reached base 3+ times with at least one extra-base hit in four straight games. Since 2000, the only other Red Sox hitters to do that are Manny Ramirez (2002, 2006) and David Ortiz (2007).
X leads the team in average (.304) and on-base (.398), and is second in slugging (.438) and OPS (.835). ... That .398 OBP is good for third in the AL, behind Jose Bautista (.441) and Shin-Soo Choo (.412).
Alex Speier reports that the Red Sox will call up third base prospect Garin Cecchini from Pawtucket for today's game. Alex Wilson will be optioned back to AAA. ... Cecchini will wear #70.