BOSTON — Hey now, Travis Shaw.
Shaw, who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket before Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, had a huge day filling in for third baseman Pablo Sandoval. The 25-year-old drilled the first two home runs of his major league career as the Red Sox rolled to an 11-7 win.
The Red Sox have won three in a row on the heels of three straight losses to the Chicago White Sox.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox could just pack it in this season. Instead, they are playing with energy — manager John Farrell noted the energy in the ballpark Friday night — and they look like a team with nothing to lose.
Boston’s offense produced 16 hits. The Red Sox scored in six of the eight innings in which they batted. The attack was highlighted by a four-run second inning against Rays starter Matt Moore, though Shaw’s monster afternoon was the biggest storyline.
Can the Red Sox ride the sudden wave of momentum? Who knows? Just enjoy it while you can.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The Red Sox scored two runs in the sixth inning to open a 9-6 lead.
The Rays scored six runs — two in each frame — between the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, turning a cakewalk into a dogfight. The Red Sox, who led 6-0 at one point, clung to a 7-6 advantage in the sixth. The Rays had just left the potential tying run in scoring position and would have tied the game if not for a caught stealing moments before Brandon Guyer delivered an RBI double to slice into the Red Sox’s lead.
The Red Sox, to their credit, seized momentum right back in the bottom of the sixth. David Ortiz and Shaw each walked against Steve Geltz and advanced a station on a wild pitch. Rusney Castillo knocked them in with a two-run single into right field. Shaw capped it with a nifty slide at the plate.
ON THE BUMP
— Joe Kelly isn’t doing himself any favors as far as holding down a spot in the Red Sox’s rotation.
Kelly, who was unimpressive in two starts since returning from Triple-A Pawtucket, allowed five earned runs on nine hits over five-plus innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Kelly found a rhythm in the first three innings. It came to a screeching halt in the fourth with the Red Sox leading 6-0. The right-hander surrendered two runs on three singles and a walk before recording an out.
The Rays chipped away again in the fifth inning. Kelly gave up three singles and hit a batter as Tampa Bay cut Boston’s lead to 6-4.
Kelly was removed in the sixth inning after Asdrubal Cabrera hit a ground-rule double and Kevin Kiermaier produced an RBI single to supply Tampa Bay’s fifth run.
— Justin Masterson replaced Kelly in the sixth inning. He allowed a run.
Masterson uncorked a wild pitch and walked a batter, setting up runners at first and second for Guyer, who pinch-hit for an injured Steven Souza Jr. The Red Sox recorded a big out when catcher Ryan Hanigan gunned down Kiermaier at third base on a stolen-base attempt — a play that was reviewed and upheld — but Guyer smoked a double that cut Boston’s lead to 7-6.
— Craig Breslow entered after the Red Sox increased their lead to 9-6 and worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning. He also recorded the first two outs in the eighth inning.
— Jean Machi recorded the final four outs, though he surrendered a solo homer to Logan Forsythe in the ninth inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Shaw took advantage of his opportunity by having a HUGE game. He reached base five times and scored five runs. He homered twice, marking the first two home runs of his major league career.
Shaw doubled in the second, homered in the third, singled in the fifth, walked in the sixth and homered again in the eighth.
For an afternoon, Shaw looked like the greatest player who ever lived.
— Xander Bogaerts had a big game, too. He raised his average to .319 with a four-hit effort.
Bogaerts connected on a two-run double in the second inning and an RBI single in the fifth inning. The double to right field nearly left the yard. It would have been Bogaerts’ first home run since June 15.
— Castillo elevated his game a day after an oh-for. He went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.
— Mike Napoli, who played the role of hero Friday night, was the only hitter in the Red Sox’s starting lineup who didn’t reach base. He went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Travis Shaw. Stud.
Travis Shaw: 1st player this season to hit 1st career HR in multi-HR game Last to do so: Jose Abreu, 4/8/14 (2 HR) http://t.co/wtLf66CVgG—
ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 01, 2015
The Red Sox will host the Rays for one more game, have an off-day Monday and then travel to New York for three games against the first-place Yankees starting Tuesday.
Wade Miley will start for Boston in Sunday’s series finale against Tampa Bay. The Rays will counter with Jake Odorizzi.
Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images