Boston’s first series win in weeks has turned into their first series sweep in weeks, and it wasn’t the least bit close either.
This game was more-or-less done before the third began, largely thanks to the efforts of Mookie Betts. Once upon a time, Betts was seen as a doubles hitter. Then maybe a guy who could hit a few homers in the vein of Dustin Pedroia. Today, he started the scoring for the Red Sox with a two-run shot in the bottom of the first that had fans in the back rows of the Monster seats turning to watch it. Then, in the second, with Zack Greinke having opened the inning by allowing four straight hits before Brock Holt hit into a fielder’s choice, Betts came up with a 4-0 lead and a chance to put the game away.
He did so. This time, he didn’t quit it quite as hard, forcing the refs to go to the tape when the ball ended up in the hands of a fan in the front row of the Monster seats, but sure enough, it was a three-run shot, and a 7-0 lead.
Greinke would stay in to allow two more runs, with Jackie Bradley Jr. showing the benefits of his day off by going fishing for a low curve and planted it off the Pesky Pole to make it nine runs on Greinke’s resume.
There were more runs to come, but that was just so much gratuitous violence against Adam Loewen, with Betts cleaning out an inside fastball for his third homer of the night off the Triple-A sign over the Monster. Betts notched an extra single, while Pedroia picked up five hits on the day, and Hanley picked up three in four tries.
All this kind of masked Rick Porcello’s contributions to the game, but they were not insignificant. In what was supposed to be something of a pitcher’s duel, Porcello very clearly came out on top. After surrendering a leadoff single to Jean Segura, he recorded nine straight outs before Michael Bourn connected for a solo shot into the right field box seats in the fourth.
Unfazed, Porcello recovered from his own error to get through the fourth on the next three batters, then allowed only one additional single in getting the Red Sox through the end of the seventh. It was another impressively clean night of work from the man who is proving more than worth the contract that seemed such a weight just a year ago.
Not a bad weekend’s work from the Red Sox. The first time that’s been true in quite a while. They’ll have the chance to show that’s more about them being good than the Diamondbacks being bad against the Indians and Orioles.