The Boston Red Sox are riding an American League-best winning streak into Friday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics, where they’ll look to earn their eighth straight victory.
While the offense kept the streak alive in Thursday’s 15-1 pounding of the Kansas City Royals, the Red Sox bullpen has been sneakily keeping things going lately.
We took a quick look at that earlier this week, when Boston Sports Info pointed out that a group of relievers — Matt Barnes, Adam Ottavino, Josh Taylor, Garrett Whitlock, Hirokazu Sawamura and Darwinzon Hernandez — had compiled a 1.71 ERA through 63 innings pitched in the month of June.
As the calendars turn to July, Boston owes its recent success to an even wider group of players. Red Sox relievers haven’t allowed a run in their last 16 2/3 innings, and they’ve allowed only one run in their last 25 1/3 innings. That amounts to a 0.36 ERA, with only two extra-base hits allowed (both doubles), in Boston’s last eight games.
It would’ve taken a major collapse — similar to what the New York Yankees went through Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Angels — to turn the Red Sox into losers Thursday, but the first two games of this week’s Royals series were won by a single run. And you have to credit the bullpen for that.