August 3, 2017

G109: Red Sox 9, White Sox 5

White Sox - 023 000 000 - 5  7  1
Red Sox   - 430 011 00x - 9 15  1 
For the second consecutive game, a Red Sox starter allowed five early runs. This was not as much of a hurdle tonight as it was on Tuesday evening, however. Boston drove White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez from the mound after he had recorded only five outs (1.2-7-7-0-0, 53)\. Rick Porcello (5.1-7-5-2-6, 103) settled down after the third inning and the bullpen was perfect, with five relievers retiring all 11 batters they faced.

Rafael Devers and Mookie Betts hit two-run home runs in the first and second innings, respectively. Andrew Benintendi (3-for-3) was on base five times, with two doubles, a single, a walk, and a hit by pitch. He scored twice, stole a base, and drove in one run, but he was also thrown out twice at third base, once on a grounder to shortstop and then trying to go first to third on a hit. Both instances seemed like foolish gambles. Boston also had a runner thrown out at the plate, as third base coach Brian Butterfield sent Hanley Ramirez into what ended up as the final out in the second inning.

After Porcello retired the White Sox in order in the first, the Red Sox put a hurting on Gonzalez. With one out, Benintendi hit a ground-rule double into the triangle, and scored on Eduardo Nunez's single. Nunez stole second and came home on Ramirez's double to dead center. Devers then hit a high fly to left that landed in the Monster Seats. 4-0.

Chicago cut that lead in half in the second. Porcello walked Yoan Moncada and gave up singles to Nicky Delmonico and Tyler Saladino to put the White Sox on the board. After a wild pitch, a grounder to short scored a second run.

Christian Vazquez singled in the bottom of the second and jogged home when Betts crushed a first-pitch fastball over everything in left. After Benintendi was plunked, he stole second and scored on Ramirez's checked-swing, infield hit to second. Moncada ranged a long way to his left and threw on the run, but Ramirez beat it out by an eyelash. After a pitching change, Devers hit a fly towards the left field corner. Delmonico overran the ball slightly and it fell behind him for an error. Ramirez tried scoring from first and was gunned down.

Boston led 7-2, but Porcello gave up a three-run homer to Delmonico (the first of his career) in the third. It was the 26th home run allowed by Porcello this year, a new career-high. He allowed eight home runs in July, the most in any month of his nine-year career.

But after the third inning, the Red Sox did not allow the White Sox anything. Chicago had only two baserunners over the final six innings. Sanchez led off the fifth with an infield hit and took second on Porcello's throwing error, but the Mushroom got the next three on a grounder to first and two strikeouts. And Tim Anderson doubled off Porcello with one out in the sixth. Manager John Farrell went to the pen: Fernando Abad struck out Omar Narvaez and Heath Hembree got Adam Engel looking. And then Addison Reed, Matt Barnes, and Brandon Workman each threw a perfect inning of relief.

Boston had baserunners in every inning. Mitch Moreland doubled in the fifth and scored on Benintendi's two-out single (which followed an intentional walk to Betts). In the sixth, Xander Bogaerts singled with two outs and scored on Moreland's second double of the night.

Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit (for the fourth time this year) and everyone scored a run except Jackie Bradley. In addition to Benintendi's thre hits, Nunez, Ramirez, Moreland, and Vazquez each had two hits.

Devers Details: Devers became the fourth player in Red Sox history to hit three home runs in his first eight games. (No writer has named the other three guys. Using B-Ref's Play Index, I can find only two: Sam Horn in 1987 (5 HRs) and Mo Vaughn in 1991 (3 HRs)). ... Elias reported that Devers is the first player in modern history (since 1900) with at least 13 hits and three home runs in his first eight games before turning 21. (That's slicing things a bit too thin for my tastes, but there you go.) ... With his four hits on Monday, Devers became the third Red Sox player in the last 105 years to record 10 hits in his first six games, joining Ted Williams (11 hits) and Ted Cox (10 hits).

"I didn't think it would be this good," Devers said after tonight's game.

NESN: Dennis Eckersley returned to the booth tonight. He addressed viewers: "I don't want to bebop around. It's been brutal really because it's a very unfortunate set of circumstances but I think everybody wants to move on. I'm the guy that wants to move on and the fans, I want to say the fans have been great. The support they have given me is incredible but let's move on, the Red Sox are trying to win."

AL East: Cleveland and Corey Kluber (9-3-1-1-11, 106) beat the Yankees 5-1. New York committed three errors in the first inning, dooming Sonny Gray to a loss in his MFY debut. The Yankees dropped 2 GB. The Rays beat the Astros 5-3 and remained 3.5 GB.
Miguel Gonzalez / Rick Porcello
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Nunez, 2B
Ramirez, DH
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF
Former Red Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada returns to Fenway. In eight games with Boston in September 2016, he went 4-for-19 (.211) and was traded to Chicago in the the Chris Sale deal. Since being called up by the White Sox on July 19, Moncada has hit .105/.261/.263 in 12 games. He has missed the last two games because of a right knee contusion.

Sean McAdam (Boston Sports Journal) reports that Red Sox ownership ordered Dave Dombrowski not to deal any of the team's top prospects at the trade deadline. (BSJ is subscription-only, but WEEI has a key paragraph:)
Two teams that dealt with the Red Sox leading up to the deadline got the distinct impression Dombrowski was not in a position to include any of the Red Sox' top prospects in any deals. And, indeed, another industry source confirmed Red Sox' upper management and ownership made it clear to Dombrowski the organization's premier prospects were not to be dealt.
AL East: The Yankees are 1 GB and the Rays are 3.5 GB. ... NYY/CLE and TBR/HOU.


allan said...

Elias note from the other day:
"Chris Sale, who had not allowed a run in any of his previous three starts, was pounded for seven runs, including five over the first two innings, in Boston's 12–10 win over Cleveland. Only one other Red Sox starting pitcher coming off three or more straight scoreless starts had ever given up at least five runs before the start of the third inning. On July 6, 1903, Cy Young, who had thrown complete-game shutouts in his previous four starts, allowed four runs in the first inning and one in the second, but still managed to pitch a complete-game, 8–6 win over the St. Louis Browns in Boston."

Only twice in 105 years!

allan said...

SoSHer Byrdbrain:
"He was on EEI today and flat out denied that ownership told him not to move top prospects. He did say they weren't looking at the type of trades where top prospects would be required. As an example it was mentioned that the only two players on the market that would have require top prospects, Gray and Darvish, were at a position where they considered themselves set and they weren't involved."