Bogaerts Propels Sox Past Twins
Boston Red Sox 15, Minnesota Twins 4
WP: Heath Hembree (3–0)
LP: Kyle Gibson (0–4)
It’s Xander Bogaerts’ world and we’re all just living in it. As if a four-hit, four-RBI night last night wasn’t enough, Bogaerts followed up his memorable preformance with another four-hit outing today.
It started in the first inning when the 23 year old Aruban blasted a double to left. The speedy Mookie Betts was off on the 3–2 pitch and scored all the way from first. Two batters later, Bogey scored on a three-run home run crushed by Jackie Bradley Jr. The “Killer B’s” stung early again.
But Xander wasn’t done there. After singling in his third at-bat, David Ortiz stepped up to the plate. As usual the Twins’ defense shifted to the right side of the infield despite the runner on first. Big mistake.
Ortiz hit a hard ground ball to Minnesota’s Brian Dozier who bobbled it, but recovered and fired to second base. With no fielders on the left side of the infield, Bogaerts opted not to slide into second and instead rounded second and headed to third. Bogaerts beat the throw to second by two-steps and slide into third without the Twins even attempting to throw him out. Bogaerts put the Sox up 5–4 when the next batter Hanley Ramirez hit a sac fly.
…But Xander wasn’t done there. After Dustin Pedroia reached second base on an error in the eighth, Bogaerts got a fastball middle-in (just like last night) and hit a bomb to left-center field (just like last night). Bogaerts did a stellar job impersonating himself from the night before. He singled in the ninth to complete his four-hit night for the second time in as many games.
The Red Sox posted a season high fifteen runs at Target Field this afternoon. Following up a sixteen hit night yesterday, the Sox recorded fifteen hits today. Every Red Sox starter (besides Pedroia who lost his sixteen game hit streak) either walked or recorded a hit.
Sandy Leon made his first start of the season and was very efficient at the plate. Going an impressive 4 for 4, Leon used all parts of the field to keep his batting average at 1.000 for the season (he’s only 5 for 5 but did any of us expect this!?!). It will be interesting to see if manager John Farrell decides to give the 27 year old catcher more playing time due to the slumping Christian Vazquez. Vazquez has as many hits in the month of June (4) as Leon did today alone.
Speaking of slumping, both Travis Shaw (5 for 37 this month) and Hanley Ramirez failed to record a hit today. The corners of the infield who were regarded as studs last month are slowing spiraling downward and must turn things around if the Sox want to continue to win games this summer.
Eduardo Rodriguez pitched bad tonight. It’s that simple. Only pitching four and two-thirds innings, Rodriguez allowed four runs, six hits, (and maybe most concerning) four walks this afternoon against a BAD Twins lineup. Rodriguez needs to step it up if he plans on sticking around in the Boston rotation.
In the four and a third innings the bullpen pitched, they allowed a single Twins hit. Farrell used Hembree, Ross, Tazawa, Uehara, and Buchholz to shut down the Twins after pulling his starter. The bullpen has been very impressive the last few games after being crucified the previous week.
The Baltimore Orioles lost today causing a first place tie between the Red Sox and Orioles for the AL East lead. Tomorrow Rick Porcello will try and hl;p the Red Sox gain separation in the AL East when he takes the hill at 1:10 CT.
Fun Fact of the Day:
Sandy Leon is the only Red Sox player to hit safely in his first five plate appearances to start a season.