August 8, 2017

G113: Red Sox 2, Rays 0

Red Sox - 000 100 001 - 2 12  1
Rays    - 000 000 000 - 0  2  0
When nearly half the hitters in your lineup each have as many or more hits than the opposing team, you're probably doing quite well.

Eduardo Nunez and Xander Bogaerts each had three hits and Jackie Bradley and Andrew Benintendi had two apiece. And the Rays managed only two singles off Chris Sale (8-2-0-1-13, 113) and Craig Kimbrel (1-0-0-0-3, 15). The Red Sox have won seven games in a row, a season-high.

Sale, on a mission to show that his last start (seven runs in five innings; "I was flat-out embarrassed last time") was an aberration, retired the first 10 batters and did not allow a hit until the fifth inning. He struck out every batter in the Rays' starting lineup at least once. Only one opposing runner got as far as second base all night.
1st:   K   K  31          12 pitches
2nd:  F8   K  F7           8 pitches
3rd:  31   K  P6          16 pitches
4th:   K  E5  F8   K       9 pitches
5th:   K  1B  F9  13      22 pitches
6th:  F7  1B   K   K      22 pitches
7th:  BB  FC   K   K      12 pitches
8th:  P9   K   K          11 pitches
And Kimbrel:
9th:   K   K   K          15 pitches
[NESN reported that Sale threw 113 pitches, but he threw 112. This type of mistake is not uncommon for NESN. It happens a couple times each week. I don't really understand how that's possible.]

Nunez began the game with a double into the right field corner, but the next three hitters could not get the ball out of the infield and he was stranded at third.

In the fourth, the Red Sox tried very hard not to score, but they somehow pushed a run across anyway. Dustin Pedroia walked and Benintendi singled to center. Mookie Betts grounded to shortstop and avoided a double play by beating the relay to first, giving Boston runners at first and second with one out. Rafael Devers grounded back to the mound. Austin Pruitt's throw to second was to the left field side of the bag and there was no relay to first, as Pedroia scored. Xander Bogaerts singled but Mitch Moreland struck out. (Moreland also struck out to end the sixth with runners at second and third.)

Benintendi singled and stole second with one out in the eighth, but Betts struck out and Devers grounded to second. In the ninth, Bogaerts chopped a single up the middle. Moreland lined a single to right and Bogaerts went to third. After Sandy Leon struck out, Jackie Bradley singled to center, giving Boston its second run.

AL East: Josh Donaldson hit two two-run homers as the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 4-2. ... New York is 4 GB and Tampa Bay is 6.5 GB.
Chris Sale / Austin Pruitt
Nunez, 2B
Pedroia, DH
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
NESN Warning: Wade Boggs will be working in the booth for the two games against the Rays.

Over his career, Chris Sale has struck out 5.07 batters for every walk, which is the best ratio in major league history. Tommy Bond is second on the all-time list at 5.04. Bond threw his last pitch in 1884. During that decade, a pitcher needed to throw anywhere from six to nine balls for a walk, instead of the current four.

The Red Sox have had three six-game winning streaks this year: May 21-27, June 29-July 4, and July 31-August 6. They will try to win their seventh in a row tonight.

The Red Sox were off yesterday and are off on Thursday. They are also off next Thursday. Then they play 24 games in 25 days.

AL East: The Yankees are 3 GB and the Rays are 5.5 GB. ... NYY/TOR. (Pitchers have adjusted to Aaron Judge, who is hitting only .182 and slugging .377 since the All-Star break.)

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