Recap of memorable Red Sox year: In command in August
We're taking a month-by-month look at the Sox: Their record, where they stood in the standings at the end of the month, and the highlights. We've already looked at March/April, May, June, and July. Today we will look at August.
The Red Sox kept on keeping on as the summer began to wind down in August. They won two out of every three games they played, while the Yankees scuffled. By the end of the month, Boston had blown the doors open in the AL East.
RECORD: 18-9 (93-43 overall)
POSITION IN AL EAST ON August 31: First
LEAD: 7 1/2 games over Yankees
PICTURED: Brock Holt makes a diving throw (pictured, USA Today Sports Photo) against the Rays on August 18. Holt got the runner at first and later knocked in a run in Boston's 5-2 win over Tampa. The Sox would take two of three in the series.
Boston got off to a great start in August, sweeping the Yankees in a four-game set at Fenway Park on August 2-5. The sweep extended Boston's AL East lead to 9 1/2 games, the largest it had been to that point in the season. The series was capped by an Andrew Benintendi walk-off single (pictured, USA Today Sports Photo) in the tenth inning of a 5-4 victory.
TRIPLE CROWN BID
There have been only 10 players in MLB history to complete the batting Triple Crown by leading the MLB in home runs, runs batted in, and batting average. Sox slugger JD Martinez made a push to be the 11th in August. At the end of the month, he led all of baseball in RBI (114), was tied with Oakland's Khris Davis for the lead in home runs (39), and was second only to Mookie Betts in average (.333). He also led the Sox in August with a .373 AVG, 7 HR, and 25 RBI. He homered twice against the Orioles on August 11 (the second is pictured, USA Today Sports Photo), the second time this season he had a two-homer night against the O's.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
David Price did his very best in August to turn his most zealous Boston haters into his biggest fans. He was outstanding -- in five starts, he went 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA and 33 K in 30 IP. His crown jewel came on August 23, when he received a standing ovation (pictured, USA Today Sports Photo) after throwing eight scoreless innings, allowing only three hits, and striking out seven. After this start, Price led all AL pitchers with a 1.09 ERA post-All-Star break.
The bullpen was a little shaky for Boston in the second half, but Ryan Brasier emerged as a late inning weapon for manager Alex Cora. Braiser went 1-0 in 12 innings with 12 strikeouts, an eye-popping 0.58 WHIP, and three holds. Cora used Brasier in increasingly high leverage situations as the month went on, culminating August 30 when he registered the win throwing a scoreless inning and lowering his ERA to 1.23 in the process. (USA Today Sports Photo)