Recap of memorable Red Sox year: Lead grows in July
This week we'll take 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 now we move to July.
The Red Sox got white hot in July, winning 19 of the 25 games they played. Boston was able to extend their lead over New York to five games with a balanced offensive attack led by Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and JD Martinez.
RECORD: 19-6 (75-34 overall)
POSITION IN A.L. EAST ON JULY 31: First
LEAD: Five games over Yankees
PICTURED: Andrew Benintendi homers during Boston's 15-4 drubbing of the Kansas City Royals on July 7. (USA Today Sports Photo)
Boston sprinted into the All-Star Game, going 13-2 before the mid-season break. The streak included sweeps of the Washington Nationals, Kansas City Royals, and Texas Rangers. Pictured: Rafael Devers slides home safely against the Nationals on July 4. The Red Sox would take the victory on Independence Day, 3-0. (USA Today Sports Photo)
GRAND SLAMS GALORE
Boston caught the grand slam fever in the first half of 2018. The Sox hit nine slams before the All-Star Break, just five shy of the MLB record for a full season. Those nine slams were more than the Boston had in the previous three seasons combined. Pictured: Mookie Betts showers Xander Bogaerts after Bogaerts hit a walk-off grand slam against the Blue Jays on July 14. Betts himself had an epic slam after a 13-pitch at-bat on July 12. (USA Today Sports Photo).
The Red Sox had five members on the AL All-Star team: Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Mitch Moreland, Chris Sale, and Craig Kimbrel. Betts and Martinez started in the field while Sale got the nod on the mound. Sale (pictured, USA Today Sports Images) went one inning and struck out one without allowing a run.
CY FOR SALE?
Chris Sale had been dominant all season, but July was a whole different level. Sale allowed just one run in his four starts, going 3-0 on the month with 43 strikeouts in 25 innings. He concluded the month with a start on July 27 (pictured, USA Today Sports Photo) in which he went six innings, allowed no runs, and struck out 10. The win was the last in a run of nine starts going back to June 8 during which Sale allowed a total of five runs.
EOVALDI ON BOARD
Boston made a move on July 25, acquiring right-handed flame thrower Nathan Eovaldi for young lefty Jalen Beeks. Eovaldi, a former Yankee, missed all of 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Eovaldi was impressive in his first start on July 29 (pictured, USA Today Sports Photo), throwing seven scoreless innings and striking out five Twins, using just 82 pitches to do so.