Despite their torrid start to the 2018 Major League Baseball season, the Boston Red Sox sometimes look like a team with a myriad of holes.
Monday wasn’t one of those days, however.
The Red Sox got solid starting pitching, great work from the bullpen, power from the lineup and stellar defense in an 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. David Price took a liner off his chest early, but he brushed that off to go five innings and pick up the win, while Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez both homered in the Memorial Day victory.
The game also was marked by a pair of great plays in the outfield. One was made by Brock Holt, who was filling in for the injured Mookie Betts, and the other by Jackie Bradley Jr., who you’ll probably see on Monday’s edition of “SportsCenter.”
With the win, the Red Sox improved to 37-17, while the Blue Jays fell to 25-29.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Sox showed why they’re a team capable of beating their opponents in multiple ways — something last year’s squad rarely could say.
ON THE BUMP
— Price had a scary moment in the first inning when Jays shortstop Yangervis Solarte smoked a line drive off his chest. Price recovered and recorded the out, but he was in visible pain.
Red Sox trainers came out to check on Price in the second inning, but the lefty assured them he was OK. Still, without his best stuff, Price settled in and eventually picked up the win after surrendering two runs on four hits in five innings of work. He now is 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA on the season.
— Right-hander Heath Hembree got the ball in the sixth and pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts. His inning wouldn’t have looked nearly as clean, however, if it weren’t for Bradley — but we’ll get to that later.
Hembree came back out for the seventh and surrendered a run on back-to-back triples by Devon Travis and Teoscar Hernandez. After issuing a walk to Gio Urshela, Hembree induced a double play to end the inning.
— Steven Wright pitched the eighth and ninth innings and looked sharp, allowing just one baserunner. The right-handed knuckleballer struck out two batters and needed just 20 pitches to get through two innings.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— After a quiet showing in Sunday’s 7-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves, Boston’s lineup came to the park Monday ready to mash.
Benintendi, who entered the game on fire at the plate, had another huge game at the dish. Batting out of the leadoff spot, the young outfielder had four RBIs and went 3-for-5 with a single, triple and three-run homer. He came up in the eighth with a chance to hit a double for the cycle, but wound up flying out to left field.
Thanks to his recent hot streak, Benintendi now is batting .292 with a .899 OPS to go along with seven homers and 37 RBIs.
— Martinez continued his incredible start to the season by crushing his 17th homer in the fifth inning. The solo blast tied Martinez with Betts and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout for the MLB lead in homers.
The designated hitter finished the game 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk.
— Bradley continued to show signs of life at the plate as he scored Christian Vazquez with an RBI double in the fourth. He also walked and scored two runs.
— Benintendi and Rafael Devers were the only Sox batters to record multiple hits. Devers went 2-for-4 on the afternoon.
— Holt was the only member of the lineup without a hit, though he did walk twice and drive in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. He also made this fine play in right field:
— Monday marked the 32nd time this season the Red Sox scored at least five runs.
TWEET OF THE DAY
We told you Bradley made an incredible play, and we weren’t kidding.
The Red Sox and Jays will meet Tuesday night for the second leg of their three-game series. Rick Porcello isscheduled to get the ball for Boston, while Toronto will counter with Marco Estrada. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images