Red Sox Get Glimpse Into Future In Win Over NL’s ‘Best Team’

'Casas with a big homer. Duran was amazing'


May 10, 2023

It isn’t often that the words “playoff feel” are used to describe a mid-May game, but it was appropriate for the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves matchup Wednesday night at Truist Park.

The Red Sox came away with a 5-2 victory, as Kenley Jansen locked down his 400th career save to become just the seventh player in the history of Major League Baseball to reach the milestone. The night was emblematic of something different, however. Yes, Jansen’s accomplishment was one that only a veteran could reach, but Boston’s win had everything to do with its young stars.

It began with a great start for Brayan Bello, who went six innings and allowed just two runs on six hits, recording five strikeouts and walking just one. That paved the way for Josh Winckowski, who completed another inning of scoreless work to bump his ERA down to 1.50 on the season. In the late innings with the Red Sox holding onto a one-run lead, it was Boston’s young bats who gave Jansen some breathing room. Jarren Duran, who finished 2-for-3 on the night with a stolen base, doubled to lead off the ninth inning to set Triston Casas up for a monstrous blast into the right-field seats.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora made sure to give acknowledgement to his youngsters postgame.

“The kid (Bello) was great,” Cora said, per NESN’s postgame coverage. “At the end, (Eddie) Rosario gets a hit and (Connor) Wong made a great play to throw him out at second. They scored two (runs) through six innings. We used everybody. … Casas with a big homer. Duran was amazing.”

While the night undoubtedly belonged to Jansen, it was a great example of Bello’s potential to become a real contributor for a team looking more like a wild-card contender as each day passes by.

“The stuff was really good. It was really good,” Cora said on Bello postgame. “The velocity was up, the changeup was playing, the slider was good. That’s a great lineup — with all due respect to everyone in the National League, that’s the best team in the National League. From top to bottom (the lineup) is relentless and their pitching staff is really good. … They’re really good.”

The Red Sox youngsters had a pretty solid night. Not bad for four guys all 26-years old or under.

Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images
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