Are the Boston Red Sox back? Because they sure look like they’re back.
For the first time this season, the Red Sox’s record is above .500 thanks to a dominant 14-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday in the series opener of a three-game set at Fenway Park.
Mitch Moreland, Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi all had homers in the victory, with the offense scoring in each of the final six innings. Meanwhile, Eduardo Rodriguez tossed seven scoreless innings, good for the fourth straight strong start from the left-hander.
The Red Sox climbed to 20-19 with the win, while the Mariners fell to 20-21 with the loss.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
On the mound and in the batter’s box, the Red Sox were tremendous all game.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez spun an absolute gem in the win, allowing no runs on five hits with as many strikeouts and one walk over seven innings.
The southpaw pitched 1-2-3 innings in the first and second, then allowed a single in a scoreless third. He let runners reach the corners on two singles in the fourth, but responded by retiring the side in order in the fifth.
Domingo Santana was responsible for Seattle’s only extra-base hit off Rodriguez, smacking a one-out two-bagger in the sixth. However, Rodriguez got the following two hitters out to strand Santana. The lefty allowed a walk and a single in a scoreless seventh to end his night.
— Tyler Thornburg took over in the eighth and got in a little trouble.
Santana hit a one-out triple to right, then came home the next at-bat on an Edwin Encarnación double, making it 10-1 Red Sox. Thornburg buckled down and got the next two batters out to end the inning.
— Ryan Weber allowed a hit in a scoreless ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— A four-run third inning gave the Red Sox a nice cushion early on.
Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the inning with a double, then came home on a two-out single from Mookie Betts. J.D. Martinez kept the inning alive with a single to put runners on the corners, then Moreland brought everyone home with a blast to center field.
— Devers got the fourth inning going in a big way, extending Boston’s lead to 5-0.
After falling behind in the count 1-2, Devers was served an 85-mph changeup over the heart of the plate, and the third baseman launched it into the right field bleachers.
— The Red Sox poured on a pair more runs in the fifth.
Benintendi singled to begin the inning, then came home on a double from Moreland with two outs, making it 6-0. Xander Bogaerts singled the next at-bat to plant runners on the corners, and Moreland proceeded to score on a Devers single.
— A homer by Benintendi in the sixth marked the fourth straight inning the Sox recorded at least a run.
With a 1-1 count and two down, Benintendi pulled a fastball on the inner half into the visiting bullpen, upping the lead to 8-0.
— The Red Sox weren’t done scoring, either.
Steve Pearce took over for Moreland in the seventh and kicked off the inning with a double to the Green Monster. The next hitter, Bogaerts, drilled a double to the wall in right-center, plating Pearce for Boston’s ninth run. After Devers moved Bogaerts to third with a groundout, the shortstop came home on a Michael Chavis groundout, good for the Sox’s 10th run.
— With their lead at nine, the Red Sox added more runs in the eighth.
Boston loaded the bases on two singles and a walk to begin the inning, then a fielding error by J.P. Crawford on a Pearce grounder resulted in Boston taking an 11-1 lead. Bogaerts brought the 12th run in on a force out, and Devers followed that up with a double down the right-field line to clear the bases, making it 14-1.
— Benintendi and Devers each had three hits.
— Moreland and Bogaerts had two hits apiece.
— Betts, Martinez, Pearce, Bradley and Eduardo Nunez had one hit each.
— Chavis and Christian Vazquez went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
A sentiment shared across New England, certainly.
The Red Sox and Mariners will play the middle contest Saturday. Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Felix Hernandez. First pitch from Fenway Park is set for 1:05 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images