The Boston Red Sox defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night, improving to 11-5-1 in series play this season behind spectacular pitching from start to finish. Red Sox starting pitching has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of their last nine outings. In those nine games and more than 46 innings pitched, Boston starters have posted a 2.91 ERA.
Garrett Whitlock was the most recent pitcher to put together a dazzling night on the mound for Boston. The 26-year-old right-hander made his first big league appearance since being reinstated from the 15-day injured list due to right elbow ulnar neuritis he suffered against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 22.
On just the ninth pitch in his appearance, Whitlock surrendered a solo bomb to Ketel Marte to give Arizona the 1-0 lead in the first. Whitlock not only settled down, but he sat down the next 12 batters he faced, retiring the side in order in the second, third and fourth innings.
After 92 pitches (58 strikes), Whitlock handed the ball over to Kutter Crawford, who didn’t surrender a single hit to the seven batters he faced. He only came out of the game after he made an astronomical defensive play in the eighth.
A hard-hit grounder from Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Monroe came back up the middle and tagged Crawford on the right ankle and trickled toward first base. Crawford dove for the ball, avoiding Monroe, and tossed the ball to Triston Casas for the out. Crawford threw a few warm-up pitches but ultimately handed the ball over to Chris Martin to get the final two outs of the inning. Martin not only got the outs, he only needed seven pitches, five of which were strikes.
Kenley Jansen, who had two blown saves against the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle of May, retired the side in order, including the final out via punchout.
It doesn’t get much better than that from a staff.
Here are more notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Diamondbacks game:
— The Red Sox came from behind to win for the 15th time this season and improved to 2-16 when scoring less than four runs in a game, 9-20 when opponents score first, 7-8 in one-run games and 5-13 when they don’t hit a home run.
— Reese McGuire secured the game-winning run for the Red Sox when his sacrifice squeeze scored Casas with the bases loaded in the fourth inning.
— The Red Sox look to sweep the series against the Diamondbacks when they play the final game of their nine-game West Coast road trip on Sunday afternoon. First pitch from Chase Field is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET, following an hour of pregame coverage on NESN.