First impressions from the Red Sox' 11-1 win over the Houston Astros
One start does not an ace fix. But David Price took a big step forward Thursday.
Price had a few hiccups in the first two innings, allowing four hits and a run. But even in the early going, there was more life on his fastball and better finish to most of his pitches.
He occasionally hit 95 mph -- and touched 96 mph once, on a pitch to Carlos Correa -- but mostly was 93-94 with his fastball, a significant upturn from recent starts in which he was more 90-91 mph.
The stuff was better, and undoubtedly Price will get a boost in confidence from this outing.
A bigger test will come Tuesday against Kansas City, a team adept at making contact and putting balls in play.
The Red Sox' lineup has been rolling without much contribution from Mookie Betts. That may be about to change.
After another downward stretch at the plate, Betts is showing signs of breaking out. He homered Tuesday, had a two-hit night with two RBI Wednesday, and Thursday launched a three-run homer in the sixth inning.
It helps, too, that Betts has hit his last two homers off lefty starters -- Sean Manaea Tuesday night and Dallas Keuchel on Thursday -- since he had been stuck in a 0-for-17 slump against lefties before the homer against Oakland.
The Red Sox offensive juggernaut continues to roll on.
On Thursday, for the fourth game on this homestand, the Sox scored double figures in runs and now have 51 runs in the last four games for an average of just under 13 runs runs per contest.
At home, that's six straight games at Fenway in which they've collected a minimum of 14 hits and scored at least eight runs - a franchise record.
The power switch is on, too - with two more homers Thursday night, the Sox have hit 29 in their last 17 games and 14 in their last five games.
They only come out at night.
The Sox are 16-3 in their last 19 road games, which is almost certainly a stat that proves little -- other than the fact that the Sox have been playing a lot of night games of late, while they've been raking at an incredible pace.
Then there's this sobering bit of news: half of their games in the next week (three of the next six) are day games, with two this weekend at home with Houston and a getaway day game Wednesday in Kansas City.