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Red Sox 5, Phillies 2: Bobby Dalbec can’t stop, won’t stop hitting dingers

He just keeps hitting homers, and tonight’s was huge.

Boston Red Sox v Philadelphia Phillies - Game One Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The Red Sox were looking to recover from a brutal loss in the first game of their doubleheader with an easy win in the nightcap. Of course, that’s not really a thing with this team, so any kind of win will do. That’s what they got. They fell behind early in this game, but the pitching recovered after a tough first inning to go six scoreless after that. Meanwhile, the offense chipped away with all three scoring plays starting with Jackie Bradley Jr. getting on base. The big swing of the night, however, came from Bobby Dalbec, whose two-run homer in the sixth broke a tie. It was his fourth straight game with a dinger. Pretty good for being up for barely a week. The 4-2 win pushed the Red Sox record to 15-29.

After dropping the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader on a gut punch of a walk off, the Red Sox had to turn around after just about 35 minutes for game number two. Obviously it was different pitchers on the mound and some different hitters at the plate, but the Phillies were carrying momentum into this game. As such, the Red Sox were looking for some momentum early on for the nightcap.

That, uh, didn’t quite happen. The offense, with Jonathan Araúz in the leadoff spot, went down without a run in a 13-pitch first inning, bringing out Chris Mazza for the bottom half. The righty, who has looked a bit better than his inflated ERA this year, started things off with a strikeout, but then gave up a base hit. After a very long second out it looked like he may be able to work his way out of this inning with the score still tied, but J.T. Realmuto went against the shift and kept the inning going with a base hit. Now there were runners on the corners, and Mazza threw one in the dirt that got by Deivy Grullón — making his Red Sox debut behind the plate — and the Phillies took an early 1-0 lead. Didi Gregorius, who homered in the afternoon game, doubled that lead with a base hit.

Boston Red Sox v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Two Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

To Mazza’s credit, he did settle down over the next couple innings, striking out the side in a perfect second and then tossing another 1-2-3 inning in the third. Meanwhile, the offense was looking to answer back after Philly took their lead, and Jackie Bradley Jr. got the top of the second going the right way with a leadoff double poked down the right field line. After a couple of outs, Tzu-Wei Lin put up a very impressive at bat and went and got a ball down in the zone to poke a single into left field. That brought Bradley home, and the Red Sox were within one.

It was still a 2-1 game heading into the fourth, and once again it was Bradley getting things started, this time with a one-out single. Again they got to two outs, but a mental lapse from Realmuto led to a passed ball and put Bradley on second for Grullón. He didn’t hit it hard, but his bloop landed inside the line in left field and Bradley easily came around to score, and just like that we were all tied up.

Suddenly, the Red Sox had a little momentum on their side, and Mazza was looking to keep it that way. Unfortunately, he started off the bottom of the fourth with a four-pitch walk to Bryce Harper. A fielder’s choice then swapped out Harper at first base for Realmuto before Mazza threw a wild pitch. Realmuto easily got over to second base, but with the Red Sox in the shift and Rafael Devers half-sleeping way off the third base bag, Realmuto tried to push things. Fortunately, someone got Devers’s attention in time and the Phillies catcher was cut down at third for the second out, and it ended up being a three-batter inning for Mazza.

Things were still tied heading into the bottom of the fifth, and this time Mazza hit the first batter he faced. He’d let another man on base with a one-out single, too, but managed to escape the inning without a run, and we headed to the sixth with things still tied up.

Once again, it was Bradley starting things off on the right foot, this time drawing a lead off walk. That brought Bobby Dalbec to the plate. He had struggled a bit in his first couple at bats, but with the Phillies now into their bullpen, that changes. The slugger got a hanging curveball with the second pitch he saw and he crushed it way out to left field for a two-run shot, and the Red Sox suddenly had themselves a 4-2 lead.

Now, it was up to the bullpen to do what they couldn’t in the first game: Hold a lead. Phillips Valdez got the call for the sixth, and started things off by giving up a leadoff single. He almost followed it up with another base hit, too, but José Peraza bailed him out with a big sliding catch for the first out. Valdez then came back with a pop up and a fly ball, getting out of the inning without a run.

The Red Sox offense were then welcomed by old friend Heath Hembree in the seventh, and they had some success. The former Red Sox righty came on with Xander Bogaerts already on first and got two quick outs. Bradley kept the inning alive with a base hit of his own, though, and then Dalbec knocked in another run with another single to make it 5-2.

Now, it was up to Austin Brice to finish off the win. He got a quick first out, but then issued a four-pitch walk to put on the second batter he faced. The righty then walked another batter and clearly had no control, leading Ron Roenicke to making a change and bringing on Marcus Walden to try and finish things off with two on and one out in a three-run game. Jean Segura was the first batter he’d face and the infielder ripped one, but fortunately it was right at Bradley for the second out. Walden gave up another rocket to Rhys Hoskins, but Lin made the catch at the base of the wall in right field to end the game with a rare Red Sox win.

The Red Sox now have another day off tomorrow before heading down to Tampa Bay to face the division-leading Rays for a four-game set. The first game will be on Thursday at 6:40 PM ET. Boston has not announced their starter while the Rays will start Josh Fleming.


Courtesy of FanGraphs