Red Sox-Blue Jays Notes: Mookie Betts Collects First Career Walk-Off RBI In Win

by NESN Staff

April 27, 2015

BOSTON — Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts played the role of hero in Monday night’s 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays with a walk-off single in the ninth inning.

Betts said he was looking for a fastball in his last at-bat with runners on second and third against hard-throwing Blue Jays reliever Miguel Castro.

“He throws 100 (mph), so I figured I had to get ready for that,” Betts said. “I got a decent pitch to hit.”

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Betts went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and a walk. It was his first three-hit game and fourth multi-hit performance of the season.

“You see the looseness in his hands, and when he generates that rhythm, the bat speed is there,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

“He did miss a couple fastballs middle of the plate. The one thing we’re seeing in the early going here is that after a tough day, he’s able to put it behind him. Even after getting thrown out (trying to steal) in the first inning, which (Jays catcher Russell) Martin makes a great throw on, he’s able to put it behind him and put in quality at-bats.”

After a marvelous performance on Opening Day in which he went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored, Betts has batted just .171 with three extra base hits in the last 19 games. That said, the 22-year-old outfielder is batting .313 (5-for-16) over the last four games.

If Betts is able to heat up, the Red Sox offense will become even more dangerous because his speed on the basepaths creates problems for the opponent.

— Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval left the game in the fourth inning with neck soreness after hitting his head on the infield grass following a diving catch on a bunt attempt.

“On the diving bunt play, there was a little bit kind of a whiplash-type of movement, injury-type thing,” Farrell said. “He started to tighten up as the game went along. We’re hopeful he’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

— Red Sox starters have not pitched through the seventh inning many times this season, and it’s made the bullpen work extra hard. Here’s a look at the last 10 games (two turns through the rotation).

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None of the five starters have emerged as a true ace through 20 games, but it’s important to note that a full month of the season hasn’t even been played. Farrell was asked before Monday’s game about the initial evaluation period for starters.

?To me, you?re probably into that six or eight starts, gives you somewhat of a snapshot of certainly where you?ve been, but maybe where you?re going,” Farrell said.

“Hopefully by that time you?re north of 40 innings, for a given starter if you?re in that eight-start period. That?s roughly 20 percent of the season, so it?s starting to give you a little bit of a gauge on where things are.”

— Alexi Ogando pitched two innings of scoreless relief out of the Red Sox bullpen. He’s pitched 6 2/3 straight scoreless innings dating back to April 14.

“It’s the role he’s had his entire career,” Farrell said. “He’s got very good stuff, strikeout capability, typically a very good strike thrower. He came in with the bases loaded in Tampa as well. He’s a dependable guy, and when we’re able to afford him proper rest, it’s usually well-above average stuff.”

— Farrell provided an update on Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo (right shoulder injury) before Monday’s game.

“He had full BP (Monday),” Farrell said. “He?s targeted to DH on Wednesday with Pawtucket. That?s his first game action.”

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

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