Martin Perez concluded another trip through the Boston Red Sox starting rotation on Tuesday.
Perez, the No. 5 starter, gave up just two runs through five innings. It was the second time this season the left-hander went five innings with three or less runs allowed.
Perez’s outing Tuesday perhaps further depicts how the 7-3 Red Sox, at least through the early part of the season, seem to have a rotation they can rely on. That, especially coming off a down 2020 campaign in which their starting rotation was among the biggest downfalls, is a cause for optimism.
“It’s very important because offensively we believe we are pretty solid,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after Boston’s 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday afternoon. “We can score runs against the people we’re facing. Yeah, there’s going to be weekends like the one against Baltimore at home, but overall, over 162 games, we have a good offense.
“It’s just about giving us a chance to get the offense going. The bullpen, you saw what happened today, they did an outstanding job,” Cora added. “We still know we have to keep getting better. We still have to work. But it’s a good feeling when you beat a team like that. That’s a good baseball team.”
Boston’s current No. 1 starter Nathan Eovaldi has a team-best 1.46 ERA through his first two starts. He bounced back from a 1-0 loss in the season opener (five innings, four hits) to go seven innings with one run allowed in a win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Eduardo Rodriguez went five innings with four hits and three runs allowed in his first start (and win) since missing the 2020 season.
Garrett Richards, Boston’s No. 3 starter, had far from his best day in his first start this season, but bounced back to go five innings with three hits and two runs allowed over the weekend. Nick Pivetta had an impressive first outing against the Rays (five innings, two hits), and pitched well enough to win in his second start while allowing seven hits and four runs through six innings to the Orioles. He has a 3.27 ERA.
Perez has allowed nine hits through 10 innings with eight strikeouts and five earned runs. Only one time this season has a starter failed to go five-plus innings.
“I think the key is because we got a good mentality. We?re working together and we stay together,” Perez said on a postgame conference call. “Like I said before, we don’t have big names here but this is what we got and we’re just doing our job. It doesn’t matter who’s pitching, we just got to go out there and throw the pitch where we want it and at the end of the night, just win the game. But I think the key is that we’re working together.”
It also gives the Red Sox staff plenty of confidence when the offense is putting up six, seven, nine, 11 and 14 runs in a game.
“We’re having a great time hitting and I know we can score runs any inning,” Perez said. “Just trying to get out a quick inning and give my team a chance to hit the ball and score some runs.”
The Red Sox, winners of the last seven, look to keep that complement going as they face the Twins in a doubleheader Wednesday.