Red Sox Notes: Steve Pearce Hopes He Has Turned Corner After Slow Start

by abournenesn

May 23, 2019

The Boston Red Sox got off to a really slow start to begin the 2019 season. Breaking news, we know.

Well, Steve Pearce got off to an even worse start at the plate.

Since Boston climbed out of the cellar of the American League, Pearce remained ice cold at the dish, hitting well below .200.

But it appears there now may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Pearce went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs in an 8-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.

The journeyman barreled up three balls, culminating in his 399-foot, line-drive homer in the ninth.

For Pearce, he’s still hitting a measly .171 over 76 at-bats, but he’s hoping that his hard work is starting to pay dividends. The World Series MVP is 6-for-13 over his last four games with four RBIs.

“You know, it just feels good to give quality at-bats and have good results” Pearce said on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I’ve been working hard, grinding, and hopefully, maybe this is the time that I take off.”

Pearce batted .304 against lefties last season, and southpaw Clayton Richard being on the mound for the Jays on Thursday largely was the reason Pearce started and batted fifth. So it has to be rewarding to see the vet follow through.

Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:

— Ryan Weber was a revelation on the mound Thursday.

The righty got the nod for a getaway game that was shaping up to largely be a bullpen effort for the Red Sox. But Weber weaved his way around Toronto’s barrels in a truly impressive performance.

He certainly is not a tradition pitcher in today’s modern game, opting for East-West trickery rather than powering through hitters.

It had also been a while since Weber pulled that big of a workload. The 28-year-old had not made a start in the majors since 2017 with the Seattle Mariners. It was his first win since 2016 and the first time he had thrown more than 90 pitches since 2015, according to The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham.

Through 14 innings, Weber has a 1.29 ERA with 11 strikeouts.

— Jackie Bradley Jr. also has begun to heat up a bit at the dish since a pretty abysmal start.

The outfielder tossed in a 2-for-4 effort on Thursday and has four extra-base hits over his last 17 at-bats.

— Boston had the long ball going against the Blue Jays.

The Red Sox hit 11 home runs over the four-game set.

— The Sox have won four of their last five and are 16-6 over their last 22 contests.

And they have been particularly good on the road of late, winning 11 of their last 14. That’s good news considering the team head to Houston for a three-game set with the Astros, who took two-of-three against the Sox last weekend at Fenway Park.

Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images
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