Red Sox Notes: Boston Showing More Life In Close Games Down The Stretch

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BOSTON — The Red Sox have 33 come-from-behind wins this season, and three of them have come during this week alone.

Boston beat the New York Yankees 6-5 on Saturday after being down 5-2 entering the fifth inning. The club also earned a walk-off win Thursday against their American League East rivals, and took down the Toronto Blue Jays 11-8 on Sunday after being down by a run entering the sixth.

“I think the last maybe three weeks, things — I think we’ve gelled even further having to go out to the West Coast a couple times,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Saturday’s win. “Lengthy road trips. There was an inner belief among our group that continued to grow. And then you put on top of that these three come-from-behind wins in this past week, those are key games. And not always in the most friendly of situations. Against elite closers, against tough lineups, this team is responding to the challenges we’ve faced.”

The Red Sox have struggled mightily in tight games this season — especially in one-run games, in which they have a 17-22 record — but lately, the team has come together and been more resilient. Before Saturday, Boston hadn’t won a one-run game since Aug. 23 against the Tampa Bay Rays. And even though the Red Sox still aren’t capitalizing on all their offensive opportunities, they really have turned things around in a big way.

The bullpen no longer is giving up games. In fact, the Red Sox’s relievers collectively have a 1.06 ERA in September, which is the best in Major League Baseball. They haven’t allowed a run in 12 of 15 games this month.

The offense was 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position Saturday, but the way the Red Sox chipped away at the Yankees’ lead is what they want to do heading down the stretch. It’s nice to get big hits like Hanley Ramirez’s walk-off homer Thursday, but it’s obviously more ideal to not have a huge deficit in the ninth inning.

Either way, the Red Sox seem to be coming together at the perfect time.

Here are some more notes from Saturday’s game.

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— David Price didn’t have a great start, but he deserves some credit for making it through the sixth inning. The left-hander also still has seven or more strikeouts in each of his last six games and hasn’t walked a batter in 22 innings.

“I think I threw just over 100 (pitches) my last start, so I felt good,” Price said of going deep. “And I think our manager John knew that. And after I gave up the leadoff hit to (Yankees shortstop) Didi (Gregorius in the sixth), him leaving me out there against some guys that I’ve had success against, I definitely appreciate that.”

— In case you didn’t notice after Craig Kimbrel’s four-strikeout save Saturday, the Red Sox’s closer has been great since returning from the disabled list. Kimbrel is 10 for 10 in save opportunities with a 0.63 ERA since Aug. 1.

— Xander Bogaerts had three extra-base hits for the second time in his career, including a two-run homer that brought the Red Sox within one run in the fifth inning. Bogaerts wasn’t 100 percent pleased with his 20th home run, though.

“Too much inside, actually,” the shortstop said of the pitch he hit. “I have no right to be swinging at it. But sometimes you just see it that good — you see it as a good pitch, but it’s definitely a bad pitch, but you swing at it.”

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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