The Boston Red Sox haven’t had the best time in Milwaukee, but Eduardo Rodriguez and Mookie Betts ensured they left Miller Park on a high note Thursday.
Rodriguez pitched six solid innings and Betts hit a well-timed, three-run home run in the ninth inning to lift Boston to a 4-1 win over the Brewers in the teams’ series finale.
The win gave the Red Sox a 3-3 split over their six-game road trip and improved the club’s record to 18-16.
Here’s how this one went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox squandered several scoring opportunities in this one, but Betts’ clutch homer helped Boston salvage a much-needed win in the series finale.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Betts crushed a three-run shot into the left field seats in the ninth inning.
The 24-year-old’s bomb gave the Sox a late 4-1 lead and helped end a frustrating scoring drought for the offense.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez delivered another stellar outing, but got an early hook thanks to the quirks of playing in a National League ballpark.
The 24-year-old left-hander allowed one run on just three hits over six strong innings, at one point retiring 13 straight Brewers batters and facing the minimum 12 hitters through the first four frames. Rodriguez’s only blemish came in the sixth, when he allowed a lead-off single to Manny Pina and a two-out, RBI double to Jonathan Villar that tied the score at 1-1.
Manager John Farrell pinch-hit Chris Young for Rodriguez in the top of the seventh, ending the pitcher’s day after just 87 pitches. Rodriguez struck out five and walked none while lowering his ERA to 2.80 but left with a no-decision.
— Joe Kelly struck out a batter and allowed a double to old friend Travis Shaw in a scoreless eighth frame.
— Matt Barnes faced two batters in the eighth, inducing a groundout and issuing a walk.
— Closer Craig Kimbrel entered with one out in the eighth and once again was dominant. He allowed an infield single but struck out the other five batters he faced over 1 2/3 innings of work to earn himself a win.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Boston pushed across a run in the first inning when Betts scored from third on an error by Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar.
— Xander Bogaerts left his fingerprints all over this game. The Red Sox shortstop went 2-for-5 to extend his season-high hitting streak to 14 games, and his grounder muffed by Aguilar in the first inning scored Betts. Bogaerts also stole two bases.
— Boston had a golden opportunity to break a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning, putting runners on second and third with no outs and loading the bases with one out. But Jackie Bradley Jr. and Josh Rutledge both went down swinging to end the scoring threat.
— The Red Sox didn’t provide Rodriguez with much help, tallying just four hits over the first six innings while stranding six runners in that span.
— Betts made sure those squandered chances didn’t matter, though, drilling his fifth homer of the season in the ninth off Brewers closer Neftali Perez.
Betts stuffed the stat sheet in this one, tallying a double, home run, two runs scored, three RBIs and two walks.
TWEET OF THE DAY
This Betts fellow is a pretty good hitter.
The Red Sox return home Friday to kick off a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays. Right-hander Rick Porcello is scheduled to start Friday night’s 7:10 p.m. ET series opener at Fenway Park.
Thumbnail photo via Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports Images