PHILADELPHIA — The Boston Red Sox avoided a losing streak Thursday.
The Red Sox, who suffered a 4-2 loss Wednesday after an impressive Opening Day victory, jumped back into the win column by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2 in the series finale at Citizens Bank Park.
Boston’s bats heated back up in the win, as the offense produced 11 hits against David Buchanan and Co. All six of the Red Sox’s runs were scored with two outs in the third inning.
The Red Sox now travel to the Bronx for a three-game series against the New York Yankees. Let’s run down some additional notes from Thursday before shifting gears.
— Justin Masterson was solid in his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform since July 29, 2009.
“I feel pretty comfortable right now with a victory,” Masterson said smiling. “But no, it’s great. I thought (the series) was just a neat testament of our team that we have right now.”
— Masterson didn’t leave his talent on the mound. He also carried it into the batter’s box, where he delivered two hits, including an RBI single in the third inning.
“I can’t,” said Masterson, who declared Wednesday he couldn’t hit anymore. “You get lucky. You get lucky out there and hit one up the middle, put one down the line. That’s not skill. That’s just luck.”
Masterson’s multihit game was the first of his career. He became the first Red Sox pitcher to drive in a run since John Lackey on June 29, 2011, and he’s just the second Boston hurler since 1973 — joining Josh Beckett (May 20, 2006) — to record two or more hits at the plate and drive in a run.
Masterson became the first Red Sox pitcher to record two hits of his own and surrender no more than three hits on the mound in a game since Ray Culp accomplished the feat May 30, 1972.
“He hit in college, so he helped his cause with a couple of base hits,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “I don’t think he’ll be pinch-hitting, but we’ll see when we get in the National League again.”
— Is there anything goofier than when pitchers do this?
Understandable, I guess. But still goofy.
— Xander Bogaerts still was working out the kinks when Boston broke camp. He took a big step forward Thursday by reaching base five times in a breakout effort.
— The bullpen was a very underrated aspect of the Red Sox’s season-opening series in Philly.
Craig Breslow, Tommy Layne and Edward Mujica combined for three scoreless innings Thursday. The ‘pen hasn’t allowed a single earned run over seven innings of work thus far.
— The Red Sox can be pleased with their starting pitching to this point.
Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello and Masterson allowed five earned runs combined over 19 innings (2.37 ERA).
— Dustin Pedroia is 0-for-7 with three strikeouts since his two-homer effort on Opening Day.
— David Ortiz doesn’t play first base often, but he’s actually not too shabby over there when he dusts off the mitt. Ortiz made a couple of nice plays Thursday.
— Pablo Sandoval doesn’t mess around with his throws across the diamond. He nearly rifled a ball through the webbing of Ortiz’s glove on a ground ball to third base.
— Joe Kelly likely will start Saturday’s game in New York, according to Farrell.
The original plan called for Steven Wright to start the contest, but the Red Sox were pleased enough with Kelly’s bullpen session Wednesday that he’s expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list.
— Catcher Sandy Leon is expected to make his Red Sox debut Friday with Wade Miley on the mound.
— Jacob Dahlstrand (six innings) and Joe Gunkel (one third of an inning) combined for a rain-shortened no-hitter in Single-A Salem’s season opener.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Getaukbookie