First impressions of the Red Sox' 10-2 win the Tigers in Detroit:
The offense left nothing to chance.
After a heartbreaking loss Thursday, David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. made sure to jump out to a big lead right away with home runs in the first inning.
It didn’t matter that they were facing Michael Fulmer, who held the Red Sox to three runs over 7 2/3 innings at Fenway Park and entered Friday with a 2.25 ERA.
The six-run effort against a top-flight starter reinforces the notion that the Red Sox could’ve made the bullpen a non-factor Thursday -- had they gotten normal rest.
Nothing fazes Rick Porcello.
Boston’s most reliable starter was dominant in his return to Comerica Park.
Leading up to Friday’s start, Porcello (17-3, 3.22 ERA) said it was weird for him to pitch in his old home stadium, but he clearly ignored that once he took the mound.
He was 3-for-3 in shutdown innings and only had issues with J.D. Martinez.
Although he walked two batters for the first time since July 19, Porcello was still efficient with his pitch count and kept up his quickened pace -- helping the offense maintain the momentum they gained in the first inning.
Add Hanley Ramirez to the list of hot hitters.
He may not be at the same level as Mookie Betts or Sandy Leon right now, but Ramirez has been another strong bat for Boston in August.
He’s 15-for-45 (.333) this month with 15 RBI in 13 games. He also has five doubles and three home runs in August.
With Xander Bogaerts in a drought and Ramirez now serving as protection for the red-hot Betts, the Red Sox’ first baseman picked the perfect time to catch fire.
Heath Hembree took advantage of his audition in his return.
The righty made his first appearance for Boston since July 23 and did fine -- against a few lefties, too. He faced several subs, but he didn’t mess up.
John Farrell expressed that Hembree wasn’t a confident pitcher when he was demoted -- so Friday night’s appearance is a good start to the rebuilding process.
If Hembree can become that middle-long reliever he was before his breakdown in July, the Red Sox can use Matt Barnes in the set-up role he’s best suited for and not look to Junichi Tazawa often -- if at all.
Fernando Abad may have done well, too, but he has a much bigger hill to climb.
After Abad's last outing, Farrell expressed said the lefty would need to earn his way back into high leverage situations.
These are the kind of outings he’ll continue to pitch in. While Hembree’s outing is a good step in the right direction, Abad’s was only a tiny step.
It’s going to take quite a few outings like this for Abad to pitch in impactful scenarios.