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Red Sox 10, Rockies 6: Jackie Bradley Jr.’s moonshot leads way in slugfest

One win down, one to go out in Colorado.

Boston Red Sox v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Red Sox were in Coors Field going up against a rookie right-handed pitcher making his major-league debut, which meant there was a very good chance the offense was going to show off a bit in this game. That’s exactly what happened, with the Sox hitting three homers over the first half of this game — including one from Jackie Bradley Jr. that travelled almost 500 feet — and dropping ten runs all together. Throw in a solid start from Rick Porcello and another good showing from the bullpen (minus Josh Smith) and you have yourself an Red Sox win.

Coors is known for offense, something that even fans of the AL East are well aware of. The narrative around the park is probably overdone at this point — the number of hits allowed at Coors is more jarring these days than the power numbers — but the altitude is also undeniable. The ball travels differently here, not to mention the effect on pitches. Teams with power are going to thrive, and the Red Sox showed off some of their muscles early on against Rico Garcia.

The Rockies righty making the start in this game was celebrating his major-league debut after German Márquez was paced on the injured list Monday. It is a tall task to come up and make your first start against the defending champs, who even in a disappointing season has an intimidating offense. They didn’t waste too much time flexing their muscles, either.

The Red Sox got on the board right away in this game, though this wasn’t from the long ball. Instead, Rafael Devers drew a one-out walk, and after he moved up to second on a ground out J.D. Martinez poked a little bloop single into right field. That was enough to get Devers home, and the Red Sox had a 1-0 lead after one.

In the second, we started to see some of that power. Jackie Bradley Jr. was the second batter to the plate for the Red Sox in that inning, and he got a first-pitch, 90 mph fastball right over the middle of the plate. The man did not miss it, sending it way out to right-center field for a third deck dinger. Statcast had it at 478 feet, the longest Red Sox homer since 2015 when Statcast started measuring this.

After they sent only three batters to the plate in the third, they got right back to work in the fourth. There, Brock Holt started things off with a base hit, bringing Christian Vázquez to the plate. He got a first-pitch curveball that stayed too high up on the inner-half and he sent it out over the wall for a two-run shot. Just like that, it was 4-0 Sox. They’d come right back in the fifth and add a couple more, one on a solo shot from Xander Bogaerts and another on an RBI double from Holt. After four trips to the plate they had six runs on the board.

The offense performing well at Coors against a pitcher making his major-league debut is not terribly surprising. However, there was no telling what the night could bring for Rick Porcello on the other side of things. While he had been pitching better coming into this game, the effects of Coors would effect him just like the offense reaped the benefits. Add in the talent at the top of the Rockies order, and there was potential for a long night for Porcello.

The first at bat in the bottom of the first did not ease those concerns, either, as Charlie Blackmon ripped a double to lead things off for Colorado. Porcello, to his credit, did not let that snowball. He got three straight outs to strand the runner in scoring position, then settled in from there. The righty came back with a perfect second with two strikeouts before working around a two-out single in another scoreless inning in the third.

Porcello did experience a bit of trouble in the fourth with the middle of the order coming up for a second time. All-world third baseman Nolan Arenado led things off with a base hit, but he was quickly doubled up when Porcello nailed a comebacker at him on the mound. That was big, because Ryan McMahon followed that up with a double, but he’d be stranded at second as well.

Entering the bottom of the fifth, things were going extremely smoothly on both sides with the Red Sox holding a comfortable six-run lead. The Rockies started to fight back here, though, with Porcello starting to really crack for the first time on the night. Tony Wolters got things started with a one-out single before Yonathan Diaz came through with a base hit of his own. After Blackmon knocked a run in with a third straight single — and his third hit of the game — Arenado would eventually knock another one in with a two-out double. Suddenly, the Rockies were within four with two runners in scoring position and Daniel Murphy coming to the plate. Porcello got the big out he was looking for, getting Murphy to ground out and end the inning along with the starter’s evening.

After Darwizon Hernandez came out of the ‘pen for a scoreless bottom of the sixth, the Red Sox opened the floodgates in the seventh. They would send eight batters to the plate in a rally that began with a Devers single, and by the time the dust had settled it was suddely a 10-2 lead for the Red Sox.

Now, it was a matter of just playing out the string of this game. Ryan Brasier had the seventh and he allowed a base hit but nothing more in a scoreless inning of work. Josh Smith came on for the eighth, and he did allow a couple more runs on a two-run shot from Sam Hilliard in his major-league debut.

Smith came back out for the ninth, and he’d allow two more runs on a two-run shot from Arenado. Suddenly, it was a four-run game. Now, Josh Taylor had to come in and finish things off. He did allow a base hit to the first batter he faced but then came back with two outs to finish the game and give the Red Sox a win.

The Red Sox are in Colorado for one more and will try to grab a little two-game sweep on Wednesday. Boston will have Eduardo Rodriguez on the hill to take on Peter Lambert. First pitch is scheduled for 8:40 PM ET.