Red Sox

Pomeranz, Pedroia lead Red Sox past Blue Jays, 5-1

Pomeranz, Pedroia lead Red Sox past Blue Jays, 5-1

BOSTON -- When Drew Pomeranz has been on the mound this season, it's usually meant good things for the Boston Red Sox.

Pomeranz pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning, Dustin Pedroia drove in three and the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 on Wednesday night.

Pomeranz (10-4) allowed an unearned run over 6 2/3 innings to win his fourth straight decision and continues to be among Boston's most dependable arms. He hasn't lost since June 11, and the Red Sox are 9-3 in his past 12 starts. His ERA over the stretch is 2.62, dropping it from 5.29 to 3.51 for the season.

"I feel really good with all my pitches on both sides of the plate, which is something I really haven't had before," Pomeranz said.

Pedroia and Deven Marrero each had two-run singles with two outs in the second inning to provide all the offense the Red Sox needed. Pedroia has six RBIs in the series, which concludes Thursday.

Pomeranz said being healthy has been a factor in his run of quality starts. He acknowledged he felt good, but not great in spring training as he struggled with his mechanics. Since then, he's found a rhythm.

Aaron Sanchez (1-3) gave up five runs, six hits and five walks in four innings. It ended his four-game winning streak against Boston. Pitching in just his third game off the disabled list for a blister issue on his middle finger, the same problem contributed to his early exit Wednesday.

"It's one of those things," Sanchez said. "You take a step forward, you think you're past it and you're right back to step one."

A baserunning error early in the second almost derailed Boston's big inning. Chris Young led off with a double, and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a single. After Bradley stole second, Christian Vazquez hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Justin Smoak. He stepped on the bag for the out, and then caught Young hung up between third and home.

Young was tagged out after a brief rundown for the double play, but Brock Holt walked to keep the inning alive.

STREAK ENDS

While Pedroia was hot at the plate, his streak of 114 games without a fielding error ended when he tried to backhand a groundball by Darwin Barney in the fifth inning. The streak was a club record for a second baseman. His last error was Aug. 9, 2016 at Detroit.

SLUMP NO MORE

Before his single to lead off the third inning, Miguel Montero had been 0 for 15 with Toronto since coming over in a July 3 trade from Chicago.

BEATING THE HEAT

Red Sox manager John Farrell said he plans to combat a recent run of hot days and long games the same way he handled a similar stretch a year ago.

It starts with limiting the pregame workload and sun exposure, which included bypassing outdoor batting practice Wednesday. The Red Sox may even restrict player access to the clubhouse during the hottest part of the day.

"We went through that last year. I thought it paid dividends, the 2-4 weeks following that stint," Farrell said. "And that's about to take place again."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Michael Bolsinger was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to the game with left knee inflammation. Bolsinger allowed one hit - a walk-off homer in the 15th inning - in 3 1/3 innings in Toronto's 5-4 loss Tuesday. RHP Cesar Valdez was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. ... RHP Joe Smith (right shoulder) was expected to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday, but will instead need one more rehab start in the minors. The plan is for him to meet the team for its series in Cleveland, which begins on Friday.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts (right hand) took pregame ground balls and Farrell is hopeful he can be back in the lineup Thursday. He was a late scratch Tuesday and had an MRI on the hand, which has bothered him since he was hit by a pitch July 6.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano (5-5, 6.04 ERA) will make his 16th start of the season. He lasted just two innings in his last outing on July 15 at Detroit, giving up five runs.

Red Sox: RHP Doug Fister (0-3, 6.75) appeared in relief last week in Boston's 4-1, 16-inning loss to the Yankees. He took the loss after allowing three runs over 2 2/3 innings.

Drellich: These Red Sox can do no wrong

Drellich: These Red Sox can do no wrong

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- We’re not firing on all cylinders yet. The scary thing is, we’re not even playing our best. Just wait until we really get going.

You’ve heard these phrases and their variants before. They’re typically worthless.

RED SOX 9, ANGELS 0

Someone is always performing poorly. Always. That’s life in a sport where the best teams lose 40 percent of the time, where the best hitters fail 7 times out of 10, and all the other cliches.

What may be most remarkable about the Red Sox’ 15-2 run is that for an extended time, we are seeing a baseball team actually bump up against its ceiling. They have four grand slams. There are two major- league teams that have only three wins.

They are actually playing their best.

“It’s very rare,” Alex Cora said Wednesday night, after becoming the first rookie manager in history to begin his career with 15 wins in 17 games. “There’s always something that is not going with the others. But right now, defense, pitching and offense -- base running too. You know, we were aggressive today  [when Eduardo Nunez was thrown out trying to stretch a double] but we’ll take that one. We’re doing better. We’re doing a lot better. And I don’t know, man. It’s just, it’s just fun to watch.

“I know how good they are. But it’s just something about them, they make you feel confident. You show up every day to work, I enjoy it, I’m having a blast with them. Not only in the dugout, but in the clubhouse. It’s fun. It’s fun to be around them. It’s a good group, and we’re growing together, we’re learning together and you know, we’re going to keep getting better."

“All systems go” rarely has more validity as a description for a baseball team than it does the Red Sox at present.

MORE DRELLICH

“I’ve been fortunate to be on some good teams and I’m sure I have [had similar stretches], but not, I don’t think, to this extent, where we’re playing good defense, we’re throwing the ball so well,” said Mitch Moreland, who homered Wednesday night in a 9-0 win over the Angels. “We’re coming up with big hits. Everybody in the clubhouse has done something to help the team win. It might just be because it’s fresh on my mind, but it stands out as good a ball as I think I’ve been a part of in the big leagues.”

Imagine how good a team can be if everyone is healthy and performing well. (By the way, the Sox are missing Xander Bogaerts.) But the best 17-game start in the 118-year history of a franchise has been inclusive of virtually everyone. Even Blake Swihart is getting some at-bats in these blowouts. 

Perhaps the bullpen feels a little left out lately, because the Sox are romping. These are thoroughly dominating performances, led by starting pitching. Rick Porcello -- who we may now more often mention won a Cy Young award two years ago -- has one walk in four starts. He’s 4-0 with a 1.40 ERA.

Rafael Devers, meanwhile, is the youngest Sox player to hit a grand slam since Tony Conigliaro in 1965.

Things will change. They’ll get ugly at some point. For now, though, there’s no waiting to see what a team looks like when everything is actually working. 

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Red Sox continue rolling with 9-0 rout of Angels

Red Sox continue rolling with 9-0 rout of Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Everything is going right for the Boston Red Sox, and it has propelled them to the best start in the franchise's long history.

Rafael Devers hit his first career grand slam, Rick Porcello threw six scoreless innings and the Red Sox improved to 15-1 since losing on opening day with a 9-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

Mitch Moreland had four RBI, including a two-run homer in the ninth, and J.D Martinez hit a solo shot in the seventh to help the Red Sox to their sixth consecutive win.

The Red Sox are the fifth team since the American League was established in 1901 to post at least 14 wins in their first 17 games.

"We've had a pretty good run at it here, pretty much the whole season so far," Moreland said. "It seems like one through nine, everybody is kind of stepping up. Obviously, been throwing the ball really well on the mound. Just playing a real complete game, a clean game right now."

Devers hit a home run for the second game in a row, putting his third of the season off the wall in right field just over the yellow line to make it 6-0 after Moreland singled to score Mookie Betts.

After getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, Porcello (4-0) cruised to his league-leading fourth win. He gave up six hits and struck out six without issuing a walk.

The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first. Hanley Ramirez doubled to center, with the ball landing just past a leaping Mike Trout, and Moreland drove him in with a single to right.

"Our offense is really setting the tone right now and doing an incredible job. I mean, they are doing a great job of getting on their starter early," Porcello said. "The runs they are putting up, we're just going out there and attacking the strike zone and get outs and chew up as much of the game as possible."

Tyler Skaggs (2-1) gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings for the Angels, who have lost two straight following a seven-game winning streak.

The Angels have been outscored 19-1 through the first two games of the series.

"You're going to run into some waves like this where it just doesn't seem like you're putting things together, but we're a much better offensive team than in the last couple of years," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts (ankle) took ground balls during batting practice, but manager Alex Cora said "there's no rush" to bring him back. . RHP Steven Wright (knee) will start at Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. . LHP Bobby Poyner (hamstring) will be sent out on a rehab assignment soon, with weather likely determining where he will go.

Angels: Shohei Ohtani is expected to make his next start after being limited to two innings Tuesday because of a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. Ohtani will be available to hit against the Red Sox on Thursday. . RHP JC Ramirez underwent surgery to repair a torn UCL on Tuesday.

CALIFORNIA SUN

The Red Sox have not been good in the Pacific Time Zone, posting a .438 win percentage (89-114) when playing on the West Coast over the previous 16 seasons. After not winning a series at the Angels, Oakland or Seattle last season, they already have one under their belt.

AT HOME ON THE ROAD

Devers extended his road hitting streak to 12 games dating back to Sept. 18, 2017, and it was his fourth homer in that span. He has a hit in 19 of his last 21 road games going back to last season.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-0, 3.72) gave up one run in six innings against Baltimore on Friday. Rodriguez's only career start at Angel Stadium was a brief one, giving up seven runs in 1 2/3 innings in 2015.

Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano (1-0, 0.00) held Kansas City scoreless in 6 2/3 innings to get the win Thursday. Tropeano has never faced the Red Sox.

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