While most of New England was fast asleep, the Red Sox were finally waking up.
In the first game of a brief two-game set in San Francisco, the Sox outlasted the Giants 5-3 in 10 innings.
A pinch-hit ground out by David Ortiz knotted the score 3-3 in the seventh. The tying run was made possible when Young made an outstanding move to avoid the tag between first and second to stay out of the double play. The score remained tied until the tenth when Xander Bogaerts blooped a two-run single to center field, scoring Mookie Betts and Marco Hernandez.
West Coast baseball?
Don’t worry, X gon’ give you a good night’s sleep.https://t.co/xDTj6yu8d6
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) June 8, 2016
It was a great at-bat by Bogaerts, but the highlight of the inning was a bunt-single down the third base-line by Betts that, at the time, loaded the bases with no outs.
Losers of seven of their last eleven games, the Sox desperately needed a solid outing from Rick Porcello, and the right-hander delivered your standard Porecello performance.
He surrendered three runs on five hits (one homer) over six innings, while walking one and striking out six. The 27-year-old’s ERA currently sits at 4.04 for the season.
My mother always said nothing good happened after midnight. A bunt, a 2-run single, a double steal… It's all been good tonight. #RedSox
— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) June 8, 2016
The Red Sox initially jumped out to a 2-0 lead, thanks to an RBI double from the suddenly hot Young in the second inning, and an RBI single from Bogaerts in the third.
San Fran’s Jarrett Parker took Porcello deep in the home-half of the third inning, and the Giants tacked on two more in the fourth.
To Porcello’s credit, the fourth inning could’ve been far worse. The Giants twice brought batters to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs, but were only able to score on a walk and a double-play.
Despite the great start to the year, Rick Porcello's ERA is back to 4.00, which is right near his career 4.03 mark.
— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) June 3, 2016
The Giants were held at-bay (no pun intended) thanks to a dominant Boston Bullpen that was responsible for four shutout innings to close out the game.
With the victory, the Sox’ record improved to 34-24, as they remain a half-game behind Baltimore for first place in the AL East.
Boston will wrap up the series Wednesday night when they send so-so David Price to the mound opposite San Francisco’s ace Madison Bumgarner.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 8, 2016
Bullpen — The ‘Pen’s been up-and-down recently, but it was in top form Tuesday night. Robbie Ross Jr., Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and Craig Kimbrel combined to throw four innings of no-run ball, allowing just two hits and no walks. Tazawa earned the win (1-1), and Kimbrel picked up his 14th save of the season. It’s no secret that the sox need another arm to take the pressure off some of their older arms, but Tuesday was a reminder of just how good this bullpen can be at times.
Craig Kimbrel has converted 17/18 career save opportunities (and each of his last 17, in fact) in extra innings.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) June 8, 2016
Betts / Bogaerts — Both finished 2-for-5, with Bogaerts knocking in three runs. But it was their contributions when it mattered most that stood out. Betts’ bunt in the tenth was perfect. With runners on first and second, he dropped one down the third base-line that Matt Duffy had to swallow. After Pedroia grounded out, Bogaerts got down 1-2 against Giants’ closer Santiago Casilla, but battled back before knocking in the winning runs.
Travis Shaw — We all knew this was coming. I still think Travis Shaw is going to have a good season. Not All-Star level, but a good season. But Tuesday’s 0-for-5 effort saw Shaw’s average drop to .277, as he’s currently mired in a 9-for-50 drought. Shaw has never really had a prolonged slump since being called up last summer, so it’ll be interesting to see how he’s able to adjust going forward.
Hanley Ramirez — Hanley’s 0-for-4 also dropped his average to .277, as the men on the corners have really had a tough time lately. Ramirez was batting just .194 with a .495 OPS in the previous 17 games leading up to Tuesday’s game. Fans have shown patience and leniency with Ramirez, thanks to his improved attitude and defense, but the man was brought here to hit.
I'd be mad if I was a Giants fan and they were walking a very lost Hanley Ramirez to pitch to the AL Player of the Month.
— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) June 8, 2016
KEEP AN EYE ON
Chris Young went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a walk, an avoided tag, and a great catch in left field. Since May 10, Young is hitting .386 with a 1.222 OPS, including a .290 BA and 1.099 OPS against righthanders.
Ok Chris Young https://t.co/btFfZ7uQeT
— Sox Lunch (@Soxlunch) June 8, 2016
This is worth noting because with Brock Holt out with a concussion, Blake Swihart out for the foreseeable future with an ankle injury, and Rusney Castillo perpetually irrelevant, Young has been given the chance to make the left field job his own, and he’s thriving.
He was brought on to be a super-platoon outfielder, but he may end up getting the bulk of the left-field at-bats by the time the All-Star break rolls around.