BOSTON - First Impressions following the Red Sox' 7-3 victory over Tampa Bay.
Each Rick Porcello start this season has been a little better than the prior one.
Porcello gave up four runs in six innings in his first outing, then gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings in his next. Both times, he gave up two homers, resulting in all the runs scored off him.
On Wednesday, he became the second Red Sox starter this season to get through seven full innings, allowing three runs. He also gave up one homer.
Throughout, Porcello relied extensively on his two-seam fastball, keeping the ball down in the strike zone. He also showed some swing-and-miss capability, too, recording a season-high nine strikeouts.
Chris Archer is a terrific young starter - just not against the Red Sox.
Archer was knocked around for six runs on eight hits over just 4 1/3 innings Wednesday. That dropped his career won-loss record against the Red Sox to 1-7 with an ERA of 5.66.
Against every other team, Archer has a career ERA of 3.21. Not sure why the Sox have such success against Archer, but the numbers are tough to dispute.
Something seemed to click with Mookie Betts.
Betts came into the game, slumping, with just six hits in his last 30 at-bats. Moreover, he had just one walk in the first 13 games.
But Betts worked a leadoff walk in the first, drilled a two-run home run off the light tower in left in the second, walked again in the fourth and singled, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored in the sixth.
It marked the first time this season that Betts had reached base four times and perhaps also signaled a breakout of his slump.
The next key will be to show a little more consistency, so that he's not alternating hot streak and slumps.
This April is a lot different for David Ortiz than last April.
Ortiz rapped out two doubles Wednesday, driving in three of the seven runs the Red Sox scored.
That gave Ortiz seven doubles this season in 13 games, only 11 of which he's started. By contrast, it wasn't until May 26 last season that Ortiz collected his seventh double of the season.
He now has 13 RBI. A year ago, he ended April with just 11 RBI and didn't have 13 RBI until May 11.