Red Sox

Ramirez's 15th-inning home run lifts Red Sox over Blue Jays, 5-4

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Ramirez's 15th-inning home run lifts Red Sox over Blue Jays, 5-4

BOSTON -- Hanley Ramirez finally ended another long night for the Boston Red Sox, and his teammates found just enough energy to celebrate his walk-off shot.

Ramirez hit a drive out of Fenway Park in the 15th inning, giving the Red Sox a 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in a rain-delayed game that ended at 1:09 a.m. Wednesday.

"This was a gritty win and a very important win," Boston manager John Farrell said.

It was also an exhausting one. After the start was pushed back an hour Tuesday night because of thunderstorms, the Blue Jays and Red Sox played for 4 hours and 59 minutes. The Red Sox rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie it in the seventh, and came back again after Toronto regained the lead with one run in the 11th.

The 4-all tie lasted until Ramirez drove the first pitch of the bottom of the 15th high into the Boston night - or morning - and trotted around the bases for a subdued celebration with his weary teammates at home plate.

The Red Sox haven't gotten a lot of rest lately. They lost in 16 innings to the Yankees on Saturday, then split a day-night doubleheader with New York on Sunday. Boston lost to Toronto 4-3 on Monday night - albeit in just nine innings.

"There's a lot of toll and it's not just the number of innings pitched. It's the hours on the feet by every guy that's manning his position," Farrell said. "They've done an outstanding job to go through this stretch of four days we've just come through."

A few hundred fans stayed until the end, including a solid contingent of Blue Jays' supporters. Sometime around the second seventh-inning stretch in the middle of the 14th, the opposing sides joined together in an anti-Yankees chant.

"It's fun to be part of games like that. Extra innings isn't the fun part, but the way the game played out where both teams could have scored and both teams had their chances, that made the game fun," said Mookie Betts, who hit an RBI single with two outs in the 11th to keep the game going.

Hector Velazquez (2-1), Boston's fifth pitcher, got the win. Mike Bolsinger (0-3) pitched three shutout innings before Ramirez hit his only pitch of the 15th out for his 15th homer of the season.

"It's better that we got the W. It's worth it," Ramirez said. "We came from behind a couple of times. That's a good win."

Dustin Pedroia hit a solo homer in the sixth for Boston and a tying double in the seventh. Chris Young also homered for Boston.

Justin Smoak, Kendrys Morales and Troy Tulowitzki drove in one run apiece with consecutive hits during Toronto's three-run fifth inning, which gave the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead. Ryan Goins put Toronto ahead 4-3 with a sacrifice fly in the 11th.

"Tough one to lose, but they battled," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We had a couple of opportunities. We couldn't capitalize, especially early in the game."

Boston rookie Brian Johnson, called up earlier Tuesday from Triple-A Pawtucket, remained unbeaten thanks to the late rally. Johnson allowed three runs, all earned, and eight hits over six innings with three walks and four strikeouts.

J.A. Happ pitched five-plus innings for Toronto, allowing two runs and eight hits before getting pulled in the sixth.

PEDEY POWER

Pedroia followed up his clutch hits with one of the defensive plays of the game in the eighth. After Toronto opened the inning with back-to-back singles, the Red Sox star second baseman scooped up a grounder, ran down Steve Pearce to tag him and made a quick throw to first to convert the double play.

Ramirez, who played first base for just the third time this season, was happy to share some of the credit in the locker room.

"Pedey can do it all. That's why he is who he is," Ramirez said. "It's unbelievable, but the biggest thing is heart. He's a great, great teammate, a great person, a great guy."

BLUE BULLPEN

Gibbons said the Blue Jays' bullpen was a little beat up after it was all over, but credited Bolsinger for pitching three strong innings when Toronto needed someone to stay out there.

Bolsinger said other than the curveball Ramirez seemed to be expecting in the 15th, he was pleased with his performance.

"I understand my role is to save the bullpen," Bolsinger said. "I enjoy it."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Francisco Liriano (neck stiffness/pain) threw on the field and could start the series finale Thursday afternoon, depending on how he feels. He left in the third inning Saturday because his neck was bothering him.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was a late scratch from the starting lineup and had an MRI on his right hand, which has been bothering him since getting hit by a pitch July 6 against Tampa Bay. Bogaerts came off the bench as a pinch-runner in the 11th.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (1-2, 3.94) has won his last four starts against the Red Sox.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (9-4, 3.75) has won three of his last four starts, getting a no-decision his last time out Friday against the New York Yankees.

 

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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