The Boston Red Sox have had an up-and-down season thus far, but a successful weekend trip to Houston has the Sox riding high.
Boston took two of three games from the Major League Baseball-best Astros, capped off by a gritty 6-5 win Sunday night at Minute Maid Park.
The Father’s Day victory, especially, showed signs of what the Red Sox are capable of. They received a mediocre performance out of starter David Price, and the bullpen wasn’t as strong as it has been of late. Even Craig Kimbrel veered from his dominant self with a shaky ninth inning.
But thanks to timely hitting and strong defense, Boston overcame its faults to earn one of its most impressive victories of the 2017 season. And not only did the victory earn the Red Sox a series win over the best team in baseball, they now are in a first-place tie with the New York Yankees atop the American League East.
Although you can’t take too much from a mid-June series, Boston has proved that it can compete with the best. In fact, the case could be made that the Red Sox themselves are one of the best teams in the big leagues.
Boston ranks in the top 10 in the MLB in team batting average, on-base percentage and hits, and its pitching staff currently is fifth with a 3.51 ERA. The Red Sox’s 39-30 record won’t take your breath away, but it seems as though it’s only a matter of time before they rip off a long stretch of wins.
The weather is starting to heat up in Boston, and it looks like the Sox are, too.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Astros.
— Dustin Pedroia was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning and exited the game in the ninth. After the game, the Red Sox second baseman was checked out at a local hospital.
— Xander Bogaerts entered Sunday with two home runs on the season, and matched that total with two longballs against the Astros.
“The pitcher left a few pitches over the middle and I put some good swings on it,” Bogaerts said on ESPN. “There’s a short porch at left field, and if it was at Fenway, I probably would have only gotten a double, so it’s good that I got a home run here.”
— Christian Vazquez sealed the Red Sox’s victory by throwing out Derek Fisher trying to steal second base. After the game, Astros manager A.J. Hinch tipped his cap to the Boston catcher.
— The Red Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 games, tied for the best record in baseball in that span.
Thumbnail photo via Shanna Lockwood/USA TODAY Sports Images