The Boston Red Sox scored the same amount of runs Friday as they did Thursday against the Texas Rangers.
The difference? Boston came away with the win.
The Red Sox strung together four solo home runs in the 5-1 victory. Paired with a solid outing from Rick Porcello which featuring eight strikeouts, five runs was plenty to secure their 23rd win of 2018.
Porcello has been a pivotal part to Boston’s success this season, and Mookie Betts had high praise for the pitcher after the game.
“He’s been doing great keeping them off the board,” Betts said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We can’t ask for any more than what he’s doing.”
On top of Porcello’s eight strikeouts, relievers Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Bobby Poyner combined for three of their own on the night. Each of the 11 strikeouts came by way of the swing-and-miss, and Porcello had a simple explanation for the meaning behind it: “It means we’re doing a good job throwing pitches.”
Along with the strong pitching for the Sox, the offense had a solid night at the dish, plating five runs for the third straight game. A big part of that was Rafael Devers, who went 3-for-4 with two home runs. J.D. Martinez and Betts chipped in with solo shots of their own, while Hanley Ramirez doubled in the fifth run for Boston.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Rangers:
— This is the fourth time in seven starts that Porcello has allowed one or fewer earned runs. The righty’s ERA now sits at 2.14. So, what’s the difference between this year and last?
“I think it has to do with him,” Sox skipper Alex Cora said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “(He’s) not as predictable as last year. The mix wasn’t there (last year), he wasn’t able to pitch down in the zone.”
Cora said he had conversations with his pitcher throughout the winter pertaining to consistency in the strike zone. The conversation seemed to help, considering Porcello now has 46 strikeouts this season with just five walks. “He’s done a great job for us,” Cora said. “A lot of strikeouts today. He had to work for it.”
— With his home run Friday, Betts racked up his 70th as the teams’ leadoff hitter.
He now is the owner of the most leadoff home runs in Red Sox history, passing Dom DiMaggio.
— Devers became just the fourth Red Sox player with more than one multi-home run game before turning 22-years-old.
He joins the elite company of Tony Conigliaro, who had four, and Ted Williams, who had three.
— Eduardo Rodriguez is expected get the start for the Sox on Saturday. The lefty was placed on the family medical leave list Wednesday and rejoined the team Friday.