Red Sox

Betts stepping out of shadow of his Killer B teammates

Betts stepping out of shadow of his Killer B teammates

BALTIMORE -- As part of the Killer B's in the Red Sox lineup, Mookie Betts hasn't had two months like the ones enjoyed by his other two 'B'-named teammates. 

Jackie Bradley Jr. has supplied a surprising amount of power and recently enjoyed a 29-game hitting streak. He's a deserving All-Star pick.

Xander Bogaerts, meanwhile, is among the league leaders in batting average, runs scored, doubles and on-base percentage while playing a superb shortstop. He's currently riding a 24-game hitting streak and he, too, is All-Star worthy.

By comparison, Betts falls short statistically -- until, that is, you start looking a little closer. After his three-homer, five-RBI night Tuesday in the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Orioles, Betts is second on the team in runs-batted in, and leads the majors in RBI from the No. 1 spot in the batting order. He leads both leagues, meanwhile, in runs scored.

Just shy of the one-third mark of the season, Betts is on pace to hit more than 36 homers and knock in better than 120 runs while scoring 150 runs.

Betts himself acknowledged Tuesday night by his inconsistency. He's flashed hot and cold at times. But if the last few days are an indication of what he might be ready to accomplish at the plate, it will be interesting to see where those offensive numbers wind up.

His blend of quick-twitch athleticism and lightning-quick bat speed marks him as a potential five-tool star, with the ability to hit for big-time power while being a threat on the bases.

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.