Red Sox

First impressions: A return to form for Steven Wright

First impressions: A return to form for Steven Wright

First impressions from the Red Sox' 13-2 win over the Minnesota Twins:


1) This was a return to form for Steven Wright

Wright had been roughed up a bit in each of his previous four starts, having given up at least three earned runs in those.

On Thursday, Wright retired the first 13 hitters he faced and allowed just two runs -- only one of them earned.

By his own admission, Wright had been guilty of throwing too many fastballs -- and throwing them in predictable counts -- over the last few weeks.

Last week in New York, he got back to basics, but in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium, encountered trouble.

There was no such wall he hit Thursday night. He allowed just five baserunners all night and struck out nine, tying a career high.

His consistency remains incredible: he's turned in 14 quality starts in 19 tries and has pitched through the sixth inning in 15 of those.


2) . . . And speaking of consistency, there's David Ortiz. Run-scoring single. Run-scoring single. Two-run homer.

That means that over his last 50 games - just shy of a third of the season -- Ortiz reached base safely in 48 of those and he's knocked in 45 runs.

Put another way, Ortiz has averaged .90 RBI per game over almost the last two months.

Even when he's not hammering balls into the bleachers, swatting them off the Wall, or lodging them in the Pesky Pole, Ortiz still manages to deliver runs.

For the season, he has 79 RBI in 87 games played. And some of those games were late-inning pinch-hitting appearances.

So make it 79 RBI in 81 games started. Remarkable.


3) Talk about table-setters

The top third of the Red Sox lineup was unstoppable.

Combined, Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts were 11-for-14 with nine runs scored, five RBI and five extra-base hits.

Offensively, the Red Sox didn't need the other six hitters in their lineup to beat the Twins.

When the top three in the order are producing like that, there are plenty of RBI opportunities for Ortiz, and trouble for the opposition.

Thanks to the top three, the Red Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, the kind of quick-strike the offense hasn't seemed capable in weeks.


As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.