Before the start of the 3 game weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays the Boston Red Sox lost a 2 game series against the New York Yankees at Yankee stadium. Game 1 of that series was lost 8-0 as Chris Sale added another loss to his now 0-4 record. Sale pitched 5 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 hits all while striking out 6. Game 2 was more close but the result was the same. The Yankees won 5-3 as the Red Sox waisted a good outing by Nathan Evoldi who pitched 6 innings and only allowed 1 unearned run on 3 hits while also striking out 6 batters. These two games in the Bronx fed worry to some Sox fans. The team had yet to win a series this season and were 8 games out of first in the AL East.
Friday Night was an action packed night of sports in Boston. The Bruins lost game 5 to the Toronto Maple Leaf’s, the Celtics took a commanding 3-0 lead in their series against the Indiana Pacers, and the Sox were playing the 1st game of a 3 game weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Eduardo Rodriguez had an alright day pitching 5.1 innings and giving up 4 runs on 7 hits. It was a bullpen day for the Rays as they used 6 pitchers in total throughout the game. In a tie game at the top of the 8th inning Mookie Betts and Mitch Moreland blasted back-to-back homers to give the sox a 2 run lead. Matt Barnes got through the bottom of the 8th unscathed and Ryan Brasier earned his 4th save of the year in a 6-4 win for Boston.
The Red Sox started the scoring early in game 2 on Saturday. In the 2nd Inning Benintendi hit a grand slam to center field that scored 4 and made the score 5-0. Tampa Bay would chip away at the lead for the rest of the game scoring 1 in the 2nd inning, 1 in the 4th inning, 2 in the 7th inning and eventually tying the game in the bottom of the 8th. The Red Sox wouldn’t leave it tied for long as Benintendi came up big again hitting as sac-fly to right field which scored Jackie Bradley Jr. Rick Porcello had a decent day as he pitched 5.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 5 batters. Brasier got through the bottom of the 9th with his 5th save of the season and 2nd of the series.
Another busy day in Boston Sports had the Celtics sweeping the Pacers in 4 games, the Bruins winning in Toronto and forcing a game 7 back at home and the Red Sox finishing up their series in Tampa Bay. In the final game of the series David Price got the ball and pitched fairly well. Price pitched 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 10 batters. The batting in the game was back and forth as the Rays scored twice in the 2nd, the Red Sox score once in the 4th and then twice 2 innings later in the 6th. The rays tied the game in the 8th. Bats were stagnant for a couple of innings until Christian Vazquez hut a sac-fly to center field scoring Devers in the top of the 11th. Brasier stepped up to the mound in the bottom of the 11th and recorded his 3rd straight save and 6th of the season.
The Sweep of the Rays may be a turning point for both the Red Sox and their star player Mookie Betts. Mookie had a great series against the rays hitting 6 for 12 while also scoring 3 runs including a crucial home run on Friday. All three pitchers that took the mound for the sox this weekend gave them a chance to win the game and the bats capitalized on that opportunity. Entering the weekend the Red Sox were 8 games behind first in the AL East they have cut that the Rays lead to 5 games and the once struggling Red Sox have now found some energy while relying on their stars to win them their first series of the 2019 MLB season.
The Red Sox next chance to win a series will be a 5 game series at Fenway Park against the 10-10 Detroit Tigers.