The Red Sox swept away the Oakland Athletics Wednesday night at Fenway, but that phrase really doesn’t do justice to what happened the last three nights.
More like maxed-out the throttle on a brand new leaf blower, and sent them flying into the woods, left to decompose and rot.
The Red Sox mashed 13 runs and 17 hits in their 13-3 victory over the A’s, and amassed 40 runs and 48 hits for the series as a whole.
Jackie Bradley was once again the offensive star.
The 25-year-old centerfielder went 3-for-5 with with two home runs and 6 RBIs. With his latest act, JBJ now has a 17-game hitting streak, to go along with .322 batting-average, six home runs, and 28 RBIs.
Not like he needed to be, but Rick Porcello was again solid, on a night in which he clearly didn’t have his best stuff. The right-hander went 6 2/3’s innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out five. He’s now 6-1 on the year with a 3.11 ERA.
But the bats were the real story.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 12, 2016
Every member of the lineup had a hit, five of which had multi-hit nights.
Chris Young went 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI, and now sports the world’s most misleading .256 batting-average.
Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez each went 3-for-5, while Mookie Betts went 2-for-6 with two RBIs out of the leadoff spot.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 11, 2016
Dustin Pedroia (1-for-4) also homered for the sox, a fourth inning blast into the front row of the monster seats, that was embarrassingly dropped by a fan for all the world to see, thanks to NESN’s incessant replaying.
With the victory, Boston’s record improved to 21-13, as they remained in a tie with Baltimore for first in the AL East, but opened up a four-game lead on third-place Toronoto.
The Sox will open up a four-game series against the Houston Astros Thursday night at Fenway Park, when they send David Price to the mound opposite reigning Cy Young Award-Winner Dallas Keuchel.
Evidently this is protocol after a Red Sox win pic.twitter.com/OdT0fvPDRL
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) May 12, 2016
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Bradley — Obviously, no one’s going to try and claim that Jackie Bradley is the best overall centerfielder in baseball — not with Mike Trout still running around in Anaheim — but look at these numbers.
Bradley – .322 BA / 6 HR / 28 RBI / .610 SLG / .977 OPS / 8 2B / 4 3B
Trout – .303 BA / 7 HR / 23 RBI / .541 SLG / .931 OPS / 6 2B / 1 3B
Sure, Bradley’s needed a Herculean effort over the last week to post those numbers, but he’s been playing at an All-Star level all season.
Vazquez — The young catcher had three hits and scored three runs, raising his average to .241. His bat can really go silent at times, but he’s shown an encouraging ability to hit the ball to the opposite field, something that should help him level-off into a decent big league hitter.
I think Christian Vazquez needs a sliding lesson https://t.co/Au9MF2Oq2z
— Tyler Sullivan (@TylerSully) May 12, 2016
Young — Young still doesn’t have any home runs, and his thee RBIs to this point are pretty disappointing. Still, a lot of that can be blamed on the bizarre usage — something he signed on for — and it’s encouraging to see him making some hard contact against lefties over the past week.
Chris Young is now doing what the Red Sox signed Chris Young to do.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) May 12, 2016
WHAT WENT WRONG
NESN — Outside of some early scuffles by Porcello, pretty much everything went perfect for the team on Wednesday. But NESN’s constant playback and return to the fan who dropped Pedroia’s home run was nauseating. I understand giving it a couple replays for the sake of a good blooper, but do they really have to send Gary Striewski up there to interview him for five minutes?
KEEP AN EYE ON
Joe Kelly made his second rehab start for Triple-A-Pawtucket Wednesday night, as he continues his comeback from a right-shoulder impingement. The right-hander threw 77 pitches — 48 for strikes — over five innings. He allowed five this and struck out three.
Joe Kelly allowed 1R on 5H in 5IP for Pawtucket; 1BB, 3K. His final two pitches were 97 and 98 mph fastballs to punch out Gary Sanchez.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) May 12, 2016
Additionally, Eduardo Rodriguez is expected to make his fourth — and final — rehab start Friday night.
John Farrell has already shot down the idea of a six-man rotation, so we could be looking at a legitimate in-season competition for the final spot in the coming weeks.