Monday, 18 June, 2018

Boston Red Sox: Rick Porcello delivers immaculate performance in Tampa

Alex Rodriguez in his final game at Fenway Park last Alex Rodriguez in his final game at Fenway Park last
Vera Richards | 11 August, 2017, 01:07

At just 82 pitches, the fewest he's thrown since being pulled after a seven-inning stint in a blowout win against Atlanta a year ago, Porcello got the hook.

Porcello has looked like the 2016 Cy Young version of himself in a decent amount of his starts. His face tightened and he said nothing as Farrell took the ball out of his hands with two on and nobody out in the seventh inning, but the Red Sox bullpen has been too good to not call upon in situations like this one. The Boston Red Sox starting pitcher has had a rollercoaster year, and that was exactly how his start against the Tampa Bay Rays went.

WASHINGTON - Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit his career-high and major league-leading 38th homer of the season and drove in three runs.

Yadier Molina cracked a grand slam in the sixth inning - one pitch after a cat ran on the field and delayed the game - to lift St. Louis to its fifth straight victory. Mookie Betts started the rally with an RBI single scoring Eduardo Nunez.

The Rays did not play well behind him, making two official errors while making routine plays look hard.

The Nationals hammered the Marlins, 10-1 behind Ryan Zimmerman, who was 4-for-4 with two home runs, five RBIs and four runs scored. That gives him the most games with 10+ strikeouts by a Red Sox pitcher in a season since Pedro Martinez in 2000.

Porcello had a strong night, changing eye levels with high fastballs and bending breaking balls. Catcher Wilson Ramos fouled off the first two pitches he saw then whiffed on the third. He pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a win at Houston last Wednesday.

Boston has now won eight straight games and improve to 65-49 on the season. "We scored a bunch of runs, I was able to fill up the zone, get some quick outs and get us back in the dugout". "The pitching has been great so really all we've got to do is start getting the bats alive again". "We have guys who can do everything, guys with a ton of experience and guys who are relatively new to relieving".

Dustin Pedroia, who returned to the lineup as the designated hitter after a stint on the disabled list with left knee inflammation, scored Boston's first run on a fielder's choice in the fourth.

But the pitching was the star of this show, and it's not often that can be said when a starter lasts just 82 pitches.

"We seem to be firing on all cylinders", Porcello said.

There have already been three immaculate innings this month, thrown by Porcello, the Rays' Jose Alvarado (August 4), and the Yankees' Dellin Betances (August 2).

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