The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21.
Our Fake Sox have had quite the weekend in Texas, with five games in four days starting with a doubleheader on Thursday. The two sides split the first four games of the series, leaving it up to a fifth and final game to decide this series as well as the season series between the two clubs. Boston had Matt Hall, who is on short rest, going for this one while Kolby Allard was on the mound for Texas.
The Red Sox got things going early against Allard, with the eventual player of the game J.D. Martinez doing the damage. On a 2-2 count after two quick outs before him, Martinez absolutely unloaded on one from the Rangers southpaw. With a little bit of help from wind blowing out towards center field, the Red Sox slugger smashed one 438 feet to left-center field for a solo homer to put Boston up 1-0 early.
That was the score in the top of the fourth as well when Martinez came up to lead things off. He did the same thing he did last time, this time going more to straightaway left for a second solo shot in as many at bats, this one giving his team a 2-0 lead. After Xander Bogaerts followed that up with a base hit, Michael Chavis decided he liked what he was seeing from Martinez. The third baseman went the other way with one, smashing a two-run shot out to left field and giving the Red Sox a 4-0 lead.
On the other side, Hall was pitching well despite the short rest. He faced the minimum through two innings before getting into a little bit of a trouble in the third when he got two quick outs then hit a batter, gave up a single and hit another batter. With the score just 1-0 still at this point, this was a chance for Texas to grab some real momentum in this game. Instead, Hall got Robinson Chirinos to ground out and left the bases full. Similarly, the Rangers got back-to-back two-out singles in the fourth and then a wild pitch put them both in scoring position. Again, though, Hall walked the tightrope and got a strikeout to end the inning.
The Red Sox offense, meanwhile, really put the game away in the sixth. With the score still 4-0, Boston recorded two quick outs before Mitch Moreland smacked a double and Christian Vázquez brought him home with a base hit. That ended the day for Allard and brought Jackie Bradley Jr. to the plate. The center fielder is heating up again, and he had the finishing blow in this game with a two-run shot out to right field. That gave the Red Sox a 7-0 lead, and they never looked back from there.
As for the pitching, after tossing a 1-2-3 fifth Hall got one more out in the sixth before issuing a walk and having his day come to an end. He didn’t go deep, but that wasn’t expected. All in all, it was an outstanding day for the lefty. Parker Markel and got a quick fly out before picking off Joey Gallo at first to end the inning. Markel would toss a scoreless seventh before recording two outs in the eighth before giving way to Josh Taylor. The lefty did cough up the shutout by immediately giving up a two-run shot to Gallo, but that was all Texas would get. Taylor finished the eighth with a strikeout then faced only three batters in the ninth to finish it off.
With the victory, Boston pushed their record to 27-20, remaining a game back in the division. In more good news, Rafael Devers was given the okay to get back in action after missing about six weeks with a partially torn labrum and was assigned to Pawtucket for a rehab stint. We’ll see how long that one lasts.
It was a busy day around the league, too. Firstly, José Altuve and Asdrúbal Cabrera were the players of the week and Nosh Syndergaard tossed a shutout for the Mets. There were also five trades in baseball. The biggest one was with the Dodgers acquiring Chris Archer from the Pirates for Jordan Sheffield, Yamil Castillo and Jacob Gilliand. The other deals had José Iglesias going from Baltimore to Atlanta, Richard Rodriguez going from the Pirates to the Cubs, and Trevor Rosenthal going from the Royals to the Reds.
Meanwhile, down on the farm, Pawtucket wasted a solid outing from Ryan Weber in a 2-1 loss, Durbin Feltman blew up for five runs in 1 2⁄3 innings in a loss for Portland, Noah Song tossed 7 1⁄3 shutout innings in a win for Salem, and Greenville was held to just five singles in a loss.
With it being Sunday, at the bottom of this post you can find the season stats for all Red Sox players as well as full MLB standings.