Brayan Bello improved to 3-1 after pitching six scoreless innings in the Red Sox’s 8-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

The 24-year-old Dominican Republic native gave up one hit and walked two before retiring the final 11 batters he faced. Bello dominated the Pirates.

“I went out there to compete in every inning,” Bello said through Red Sox translator Carlos Villoria Benítez, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “… This is the kind of pitcher I am, and everything went well.”

With a combination of his changeup and sinker, Bello struck out seven batters and forced seven groundouts.

Story continues below advertisement

“As the game went on, I felt stronger,” Bello said. “I felt like in the first inning, I wasn’t myself. I was battling myself. But, after the second inning, I felt very good.

“… I feel like I was able to locate the changeup way better than any of my previous outings. I feel like today was the best that I pitched.”

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said the combinations of pitches kept the Pirate batters off balance.

“Today, the changeup was good, the slider was OK and he used his fastball when he needed to and kept them off balance,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We scored some runs early on, we were able to breathe. He was amazing. He was really good.”

Story continues below advertisement

Of the 96 pitches Bello threw, 40 of them were changeups.

“We’ve been talking about this for two years—usage,” Cora said. “His changeup is a good one. Game planning-wise, he knew what he wanted to do. Velocity was up, too; it was 96 (MPH). He was able to use his changeup a lot but at the same time kept them honest with the fastball.”

Here are more notes from Friday night’s Red Sox-Pirates game:

— Boston improved to 8-3 on the road, outscoring opponents by 33 runs. However, the Red Sox were outscored by 22 runs on the homestand with a 3-7 record.

Story continues below advertisement

— Red Sox starters lead MLB with a 1.72 ERA, according to Red Sox senior manager of media relations and baseball information J.P. Long. In 110 innings pitches, Boston starters have allowed 21 runs, but have not allowed a run in their last 19 innings.

— Triston Casas hit his sixth home run of the season in the first inning. It was the 35th long ball of his career. He also drew a walk for the 100th of his career. He is only the 10th player ever to record at least 35 home runs and 100 walks in their first 180 career games, according to Long. Casas and Ted Williams are the only two Red Sox players to reach that milestone.

— Boston has 28 home runs on the season, tied for the fifth most through 21 games in franchise history, according to Long.

— The Red Sox continue their four-game series with the Pirates on Saturday afternoon. First pitch from PNC Park is slated for 4:05 p.m. ET. You can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, live on NESN.

Story continues below advertisement

Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images