Red Sox DNA This Season Already Taking Shape After Two Games

'They never gave up'


Apr 2, 2023

It’s only been two games, but it still feels like the 2023 Boston Red Sox have pulled back the mask and revealed a part of their true identity.

Despite starting pitching woes, the Red Sox have proven to be a resilient group in their series against the Baltimore Orioles. And that certainly was the case in Saturday’s 9-8 walk-off win over the O’s at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox erased a six-run deficit — they came within a run of doing the same on Opening Day — with some major assistance from the Orioles. Newcomer Adam Duvall capped it off with a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift Boston to its first win of the season.

“It was a good team win. That’s what I told them,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “I’ve been saying all along, we’re not going to depend on the big guy (Chris Sale) to carry us the whole time. He just has to do his part. Today obviously it was a tough one. But as a team, we’re gonna keep grinding, keep going and keep fighting until the end.”

Sale’s rough showing on the mound made it an uphill climb with the Red Sox trailing, 7-1, after the Orioles completed their at-bats in the top of the third. But Boston’s offense responded in a big way, matching the four-spot the Orioles put up in the frame in the bottom half of the inning.

Duvall and Rafael Devers, who combined for seven hits, led the attack from the heart of the order but the Red Sox also received a two-hit showing from Justin Turner and solo home runs from Alex Verdugo and Kiké Hernández to chip away at the deficit. The Red Sox finished with 11 hits as a team for the second straight game.

“Our offense, what they did tonight was incredible,” Sale told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “They picked us up. They’re the reason we won this game. Obviously, Opening Day didn’t go our way, either, but hell, they did everything they could then, too. Obviously, I got a lot of work to do, but as a whole, taking this game was big time.”

Sale was also appreciative of the effort from Boston’s bullpen and he had every right to be. Zach Kelly, Josh Winckowski, John Schreiber, Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen combined to allow only one run in six innings of relief.

That type of pick-me-up from multiple contributors coupled with the offensive production is a recipe that could help build the foundation of the Red Sox this season.

“Fortunately and unfortunately, the story’s not about me today,” Sale said. “What this team did today — you’re talking about seven runs in three innings. That’s tough. Bullpen carrying the majority of the load. … We all played good except for one guy.”

Sale added: “They never gave up. They grinded every at-bat down a lot. That’s highly respected from everybody in this clubhouse. Again, not an easy hole to climb out of and they deserve it.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale
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