Seems like a change of scenery was just what the doctor for the Red Sox, who were desperately seeking a win. Behind a four-run sixth and a brilliant start from Nick Pivetta, the Red Sox cleansed the bitter taste of their brutal, walk-off loss to the Braves by pummeling the Rangers on Friday night. I think the fact that eight of ten Red Sox hitters to see an at bat reached base tells you much of what you need to know — this was a pretty thorough beat down.
But if you want some further illustration, the Red Sox owned seven of the hardest-hit balls of the evening and eclipsed 100 miles per hour on their exit velocity five times. They outhit the Rangers 10-4 because in between instances of drubbing Texas pitching, Pivetta and Kutter Crawford induced weak out after weak out.
The Sox won 7-1 to improve to 12-20 and here’s how they did it.
After a quiet first two innings, the third inning marked the beginning of the Enrique Hernandez Show at Globe Life Field.
He got the scoring chance started that broke the ice in the third inning. he led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch from Rangers starter Dane Dunning. Then Devers drove him in with a clutch hit — imagine that! He poked a 90 mph sinker the other way into left field and Hernandez did the rest, scoring easily from second.
Then Hernandez made a spectacular diving catch while ranging to his left in center field in the next half inning.
Meanwhile, Pivetta was nails. He made it through four having thrown just 40 pitches, 28 of them for strikes and gave up just one hit. Through six, he was at 73 pitches, two hits and still no runs. Pivetta’s night ended after seven innings and he exited having not allowed an earned run. The Rangers managed just four base runners against him — three hits and a walk.
The Sox rewarded him with some insurance — four runs of it in the sixth. Consecutive, one-out singles from J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogearts started the rally. Alex Verdugo knocked Martinez home with double and the next batter, Trevor Story hit a sacrifice fly to bring Bogearts home. An RBI double from Franchy Cordero was the final nail in the coffin for Dunning, but it didn’t stop the bleeding — Christian Vazquez doubled too to drive in the fifth Red Sox run of the game.
In the seventh, they added on to their lead. With Devers on first and one away, Martinez doubled, putting runners on second and third. Bogaerts then singled off of Old Friend Garrett Richards, scoring Martinez and Devers to make it 7-0, Sox.
The Rangers struck back with one run in the seventh by way of a triple from Calhoun and a wild pitch from Pivetta, but that was all the damage he allowed.
After Pivetta was done, Kutter Crawford took over and surrendered two hits, but for the most part, pitched six uneventful outs to secure the win.
Alex Verdugo had to exit the game after suffering a foot contusion, but that was really the only bad news the Red Sox had to endure.
For at least a night, they finally looked like the team everyone expected them to be. Nick Pivetta may not throw seven innings of two-hit ball every five days but you will win a lot of games hitting as the Sox did on Friday. It was a painless, complete and dare I even say “fun” victory for the Red Sox, who are now in a good position to secure their first since mid-April. They can do just that in game two of this three-game set tomorrow night.