The Cardinals had a pregame ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1967 team that defeated the Red Sox in the World Series.
Chris Young waited a long time for his opportunity Wednesday night and made the most of it.
And the Sox won these two games against a Cardinals team that entered 8-2 in its past 10 games and in first place in the NL Central. Bradley scored on an RBI groundout by Betts. I still have my fingers crossed that he'll figure it out, but at this point, I cringe every time Matheny brings in Cecil only down by a run or two, fearful it will become a three or more run deficit as it did tonight - albeit, not entirely Cecil's fault. Getting their offense to consistently produce and getting better starting pitching could propel the Red Sox into more contention towards the top of the standings.
OK, big picture here, folks.
Mitch Moreland had a two-out bloop ground rule double, which was followed by an intentional walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. Rodriguez walked 2, struck out 5 and threw a season-high 110 pitches.
Of all the Red Sox's "Killer B's", only Bradley has truly struggled with the bat this season (.182 avg.,.299 SLG), but it a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder who should come around at the plate. With a talented team at the major league level that has some holes to fill before they are truly a contender, Dombrowski should push his chips to the middle of the table and I believe he will.
The Red Sox seemed out of the game most of the way, as it was 4-0 from the second inning all the way until the seventh when they scored two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth to tie the game at four. It was his second homer in two days.
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Any guesses who those belong to? They came into the game ranked last in the American League with 31 homers. Already this season, Betts is hitting.296 with a.526 SLG and a.901 OPS. He ended up smacking 30 for the year and tends to hit some truly majestic shots. But you've got to think the Red Sox hitters will pick up the pace sooner than later.
Red Sox: RHP Hector Velazquez will make his major league debut Thursday night in Oakland to open a four-game series.
Reigning Cy Young Award victor Rick Porcello (2-5, 4.01 ERA) is off to a disappointing start, but he's still managed to whiff 52 hitters in 49.1 innings, suggesting better results are on the horizon. The Red Sox added their final run when Tommy Pham dropped a fly ball in left near the stands, the third error of the game by the Cardinals. Porcello is 2-5, with a 4.01 ERA. You try and stay ready. Pomeranz is 3-3 with a 5.29 ERA in seven starts this season.
Since serving up a game-tying home run to the Blue Jays' Kendrys Morales on April 20, Kimbrel has been completely unhittable. Heath Hembree handled the 10th inning and Fernando Abad took over in the 11th, throwing two innings until the Sox scored a run.
Kimbrel racked up another save and another strikeout in Tuesday's 6-3 win over St. Louis, which raised Boston's record to 20-18 and moving them off that ugly mark of "19-18".
The performance of the bullpen is encouraging considering it has been asked to do a lot not only with the absence of Smith and Thornburg, but having to log a lot of innings with the issues the No. 4 and 5 starters in the rotation have had. Unless of course they do it sooner.