The Boston Red Sox came through at the plate Sunday, racking up 17 hits while going 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position en route to a 7-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox also struck out just three times, giving them a Major League Baseball-low 68 strikeouts through 12 games. Of course, it helps when one of your hitters hasn’t been rung up since last September.
That’d be right fielder Mookie Betts, who on Sunday extended his strikeout-free streak to 119 consecutive plate appearances. That’s the longest streak by any major league hitter since Juan Pierre (147 plate appearances) pulled it off in 2004, and the longest by any Red Sox player since Denny Doyle (159) did it in 1975.
The 24-year-old hasn’t struck out since his final at-bat against the Baltimore Orioles on September 12 of last season.
Betts always has been an excellent contact hitter and recorded just 80 strikeouts in 730 plate appearances last season. He’s struggled at times early in 2017, but the All-Star outfielder consistently is putting the ball in play, a good sign that he’s on pace for another excellent campaign at the plate.
Let’s hit a few other notes out of Boston’s Easter Sunday win:
— Red Sox manager John Farrell reached a milestone Sunday by earning his 500th career win (500-484) as a Major League Baseball manager. Farrell has 346 career wins with Boston and moved past Eddie Kasko for eighth on the franchise’s all-time wins list with Sunday’s victory.
— David Price continues to progress after throwing a bullpen session Saturday. The Red Sox left-hander, who’s on the disabled list with an elbow strain, will be re-evaluated Monday, per Farrell.
“I will say this past week is a step in the right direction in terms of the overall volume and intensity, so we’ll get a better read (Monday) on what the next steps are going to be,” Farrell said before Sunday’s game, via WEEI.com. “Whether that’s another bullpen, whether that’s BP, that’s all dependent on how he continues to advance.”
— Farrell also provided more good news on the Jackie Bradley Jr. injury front, telling reporters the Red Sox outfielder could rejoin the team as early as Friday.
Bradley, who’s on the 10-day disabled list with a right knee sprain, will play five innings for Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday and a full nine innings Wednesday before being evaluated Thursday during a “work day.”
— Preparations already have begun for the Red Sox’s annual Patriots’ Day matinee matchup at Fenway Park.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images