In a game that could have been the 1st 4 game slump of the season against Seattle the Boston bats decided to once again show why the Boston Red Sox have the best record in the AL, the highest slugging percentage, and the most runs in the league.
The Red Sox may not be top in the league in HRs but if you just tuned in to watch last night’s game you probably would have thought otherwise. Victorino, Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. (JBJ) all had solo shots while Pedroia and Napoli each put up 2 run shots.
For fans of the Red Sox and I’m sure the team as well last night was a definite breath of fresh air. For those of you that have not been staying up until 12 or 1 in the morning for this west coast swing let me be the first to tell these games have not been fun to watch.
The swing started in LA against the Angels on Friday night for a 3 game set the short travel to Seattle for 4 then finish with 3 against Oakland before breaking for the All-Star game. Red Sox only took 1 of 3 from the Angels with both losses being semi heartbreaking losses, with the first coming in walk off fashion for the Angels in the 11th inning. It appeared as though the Sox had that one in the bag with a 4 run lead in the 9th. Those 4 runs were erased and extra innings ensued and Josh Hamilton finished the comeback with a 2 run knock in the home half of the 11th inning. The second loss was unfortunately rewarded to John Lackey. He pitched a great game with 9 strikeouts and only gave up 2 runs on 5 hits. Even with that superb outing if no offense is put up the game can’t be won. The Red Sox only amassed 5 hits and did not score at all in what became a 3-0 loss.
Onto Seattle where the west coast woes continued. In game 1 of the 4 game series Boston was only able to get to King Felix for 6 hits and 2 runs while Lester gave up 9 hits and 5 runs and was chased out of the game after 5 innings. This offensive machine was not looking like the number 1 ranked scorers in the league, until last night that is.
Tuesday night the Red Sox became the team that they were supposed to be as they put up 11 runs and 16 hits in an 11-8 win in game 2 vs. the Mariners. David Ortiz got the ball rolling in the 2nd inning with a solo homerun. Then in the 3rd inning the Sox continued to add on the runs in the 3rd when Pedroia and Napoli both put up 2 run homeruns. Dustin notched his 3rd RBI of the night in the 4th that scored Nava. JBJ, who had just arrived that afternoon after being recalled from Triple-A on a cross-country flight, added his mark on the game. He hit a go ahead solo homerun which was his 2nd of his young major league career. In the 8th Shane Victorino added an insurance run with his 4th homerun of the season. Jose Iglesias and Brock Holt each added a run on base hits in the 8th as well. When all was said and done the game ended with a score of 11-8 and the Red Sox had shown what made them the number one scoring team in the league. The struggling pitching for the Red Sox did give up 8 runs but the very potent offense was able to overcome it and get the league leading 55th win.
Let’s just hope the bats stay alive and we don’t end up like the 2012 west coast swing and continue with this kind of play and go into the All-Star break on the type of momentum needed and get the rest needed to come back just as strong.