Rick Porcello simply hasn’t had it of late, but thanks to the Red Sox’s potent offense, the right-hander hasn’t suffered a loss since June 23.
Porcello turned in another forgettable outing Saturday night, allowing six runs on 11 hits over five laborious innings against the Baltimore Orioles. The 2016 American League Cy Young Award winner still managed to pick up his eighth win of the season, however, as the Red Sox posted a season-high 17 runs in a blowout victory at Camden Yards.
It seems impossible to own a 3-1 record over a five-start stretch in which you’ve collected a 10.57 era. But it’s reality for Porcello, who’s receiving average run support of 7.16 per game this season. Dealing with personal struggles while relishing team wins can be a tough balancing act, but Porcello is trying to take it all in stride.
“It’s been a grind. I know I gotta be better. I’m more than frustrated inside,” Porcello said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “I promise you I’m doing everything physically, mentally to get it right. Just gotta keep grinding. Trust me, I want the results more than anybody. They’re just not coming right now. Continue to look at things and what adjustments I can make to change things up. Other than that, keep rolling forward and try and stay positive and don’t bring our guys down because the way our offense is playing, it’s pretty incredible to watch. Try and be the best teammate I can and take care of my stuff and clean it up.
“Look, we’re trying to get wins. That’s the bottom line. You want the statistics, you want the nice, clean line next to it. But, you know, as long we got a W at the end of the night, all is well.”
Given Chris Sale’s and Eduardo Rodriguez’s lack of consistency this season coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Andrew Cashner, the Red Sox will need Porcello to be sharp down the stretch if they want to enter the playoff picture. The veteran righty clearly is moving forward with the right mindset, now it’s up to him to produce.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Orioles game:
— Michael Chavis exited the contest prior to the fifth inning due to back spasms. The rookie will not play in Sunday’s series finale, but manager Alex Cora doesn’t sound very concerned about Chavis’ health moving forward.
“Chavis is OK. His back got tight a little bit, so he’ll come tomorrow, get some treatment early,” Cora said. “He’s not playing tomorrow. We’re playing Marco (Hernandez) at second and Brock (Holt) at first. But he should be fine.”
— Mookie Betts extended his hit streak to 12 games in emphatic fashion, going 3-for-6 with a two-run home run and a double. Betts owns a .451 average over the course of his streak with nine extra-base hits, 11 runs scored and 10 RBIs.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. clubbed two of Boston’s five home runs on the night, both three-run shots. The Red Sox would have taken a win any way they could get it coming off Friday’s debacle, but JBJ understands the importance vaulting back in the win column via an offensive onslaught.
“It’s a bounce-back win,” Bradley said. “We needed it. We needed a game like this. They beat us pretty bad yesterday, so it was good for us to respond.”
— With Chavis’ injury and blowout-prompted tactical changes, the middle contest turned into a positional carousel for Holt, who managed to make Red Sox history.
— Sunday will be the Red Sox’s final game in Baltimore in 2019. As fate would have it, Boston will give the ball to ex-Oriole Cashner, who will make his second start in a Red Sox uniform.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images