Photo: Jesse Johnson / USA TODAY Sports
From worst to first. The 2012 Red Sox, last in the A.L. East, to the 2013 Red Sox, World Series Champs. Now it applies to the 2021 Sox, going from last in the East for the first three games, and now, they are leading the division, by multiple games. Here is a dive into their 9 game winning streak!
Game One, Apr. 5 - Red Sox, 11 - Rays, 2
Sheesh! Boston was struggling to get anything going in their opening series, vs. the Orioles, but they erupted for 11 runs against the defending A.L. champions, the Rays. Alex Verdugo went 2-4, with 2 RBI’s, and got his first hit of the year. Xander Bogaerts had a little league home run, with a couple of errors, and J.D. Martinez hit a three run homer, as well.
Game Two, Apr. 6, Red Sox, 6 - Rays 5
Walk-off! This game was a classic. Down 3-1 in the 8th inning, the Sox tied the game in the 9th, on a Christian Vazquez bomb. After giving up one run in the 11th, Boston matched the score, at 4. The Rays fought back, though, scoring once in the 12th inning, and the Red Sox scored 2 runs, on J.D.’s RBI double. Martin Perez held his own, vs. Tyler Glasnow, and the bullpen was ok, as well.
Photo: Boston Herald
Game Three, Apr. 7 - Red Sox, 9 - Rays, 2
In the series finale, the Sox slaughtered the Rays, and swept Tampa. Boagerts led the way, going 3-3, and Christian Vazquez went 2-4, with three RBI’s, and a dinger. Nasty Nate Eovaldi went 7 of three-hit, one-run ball, along with seven K’s.
Game Four, Apr. 8 - Red Sox, 7 - Orioles, 3
It was off, to “Fenway South”, where the Red Sox looked to avenge their opening series sweep, and boy they did just that. It was ace Eduardo Rodriguez’s first start since 2019, and he delivered 5 innings of three-run ball, accompanied with seven strikeouts. Raffy Devers had two hits in three at bats, and hit his first home run of the year. Martinez had a double, and at this point, he was starting to heat up. Rule-V draft pick, Garrett Whitlock, pitch two scoreless late in the game.
Game Five, Apr. 10 - Red Sox, 6 - Orioles, 4
Another good extra-innings game. Garrett Richards had a decent start, tossing 5 innings, with three hits, and two runs, and four K’s. J.D. Martinez was out, as he was on the COVID list, but the offense didn’t miss a beat, getting 10 hits, and drawing four walks. Devers hit his second big fly of the season, and Matt Barnes pitched a scoreless 9th.
Photo: Julio Cortez / Associated Press
Game Six, Apr. 11 - Red Sox, 14 - Orioles, 9
With Just Dingers Martinez back in the order, the Sox slugged away, with J.D. hitting three of them, along with two from Devers, and one from Alex Verdugo. Bogaerts went 3-5, with a run scored, along with nice defense. Nick Pivetta was sloppy, but effective, allowing four runs in 6 innings, along with seven K’s.
Photo: Julio Cortez / Associated Press
Game Seven, Apr. 13 - Red Sox, 4 - Twins, 2
The top of the order was dormant, with Martinez going 0-4, but the bottom trio of Hunter Renfroe, Christian Arroyo, and Bobby Dalbec went a combined 5-10, with 3 RBI’s and 3 runs scored. Renfroe hit his first Red Sox homer, and Devers also hit a dinger. Dalbec had two doubles, as well. On the mound, though not overpowering, Martin Perez was good, pitching 5 innings, and allowing only two runs. The rest of the bullpen shut down the powerful Minnesota offense, and Barnes got his first save of the season.
Game Eight (One of DH), Apr. 14 - Red Sox, 3 - Twins, 2 (7 innings)
Facing my Cy Young pick, Kenta Maeda, the Sox were able to pull off the victory in game one of the doubleheader. Verdugo went 2-4, and Eovaldi was sharp for 5 innings, but the best inning was the 7th. Barnes got into some trouble, and Verdugo saved the game with this amazing catch:
Game Nine (Two of DH), Apr. 14 - Red Sox, 7 - Twins, 1 (7 innings)
Twins ace Jose Berrios had the potent Boston offense in check for most of the game, but in the 5th he got into a big jam, and the Red Sox were able to bust the game open, scoring 6 runs. After saving game one, just 30 minutes earlier, Dugie went 3-4, with two runs scored, a homer, and three ribbies. E-Rod went 5 again, and allowed only one run.
Photo: Andy Clayton-King / Associated Press
The Sox did lose game four of the Twins series, but as of the writing of this blog, they are 9-4, and atop the A.L. East. They will play another excellent A.L. Central team, in the Chicago White Sox, in a four-game set, with a doubleheader on Sunday. #WorstToFirst
Photo: Screenshot from Google