Let’s talk about the Red Sox’s turnaround from their rough start to the season.
Boston, as you likely remember, went 0-3 in its first series of the season against the Baltimore Orioles. But the team has done a 180 since then, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
The Red Sox returned to the win column Saturday with a 7-3 win in Game 1 of their three-game set against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. Boston now is 10-1 since being swept by the Orioles.
Saturday’s game against the White Sox was pretty evenly matched through the first 7 1/2 innings before the Red Sox broke things open with four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Marwin Gonzalez got the scoring started with his first home run in a Boston uniform, while a Xander Bogaets ground-rule double drove in two more. (Christian Arroyo was walked in between the two plays.)
A lack of balance between pitching and hitting was one of the Red Sox’s biggest problems in their first series. Outside of its 11-3 loss in the series finale, Boston’s bats were largely silent, especially with runners in scoring position, and left the pitching staff to handle the bulk of the load.
But that was not the case Saturday. And Red Sox manager Alex Cora lauded the team’s well-rounded game.
“It was a team effort,” Cora told reporters during his postgame video press conference. “Nick (Pivetta) struggled with command — it was a grind for him. And after that, JT (Josh Taylor) gave us a big out. It set up Matt (Andriese) to go three innings. He did a good job. Adam (Ottavino) was good. Barnsey (Matt Barnes) there, I mean it was tough there, but we got out (No.) 27.
“Offensively, we’re never out of the game. … We had traffic early on. We didn’t cash it in but we kept putting pressure (on them). Marwin catches up with a fastball up in the zone (and) destroys that ball. But then we add on, which was very important. So another good win, another good team effort. … That’s a good way to start the homestand and this series.”
Naturally, a streak like this will not last forever. But it has shown the Red Sox’s resilience, which could prove to be a pivotal trait for the team down the line.
Here are some more notes from Saturday’s White Sox-Red Sox game:
— Gonzalez gave Boston the spark it needed in the eighth with his solo blast. And that’s exactly what he (and the team) was looking for.
Sending one out of the park, however, was not exactly part of Gonzalez’s plan. But he did not mind.
“I was trying to have a good at-bat and get a good pitch to hit and trying to get on base for my teammates behind me and trying to create a rally. I was lucky enough to get a good pitch. Hitting out of the ballpark, that was unintentional. I was just trying to get on base.”
— Boston did not touch Christian Vazquez, but Cora said “everything is OK with him.”
“He’ll play most likely the second game tomorrow,” he said.
— The Red Sox are the first team in the American League to record 10 wins this season.
— Xander Bogaerts and Enrique Hernandez both had four hits in five at-bats.
— Are you ready for another doubleheader?!
The Red Sox will play back-to-back games Sunday afternoon. Tanner Houck will get the ball for Game 1, which is slated to begin at 1:10 p.m. ET.
A starter for Game 2 has yet to be announced. First pitch is expected for 5:10 p.m. ET.