BOSTON – (Staff Report) – Doubles anyone?
The Boston Red Sox turned Fenway Park into their own version of Wimbledon and the game of choice was doubles, as in two base hits not volleys. Boston recorded six doubles on the night, three coming in the club’s break-out, five-run 3rd inning. Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts added a triple in the 3rd, as well, to knock in two of the five runs in the game-deciding inning.
It provided Boston the foundation for an 8-4 victory.
Earlier in the 3rd, C Blake Swihart and CF Jackie Bradley Jr. started the double brigade with all the extra base hits going to deep center field off Texas starter Yovani Gallardo. Bradley notched two doubles on the evening and recorded two RBI. It all resulted in Boston’s eighth straight win.
The Red Sox have won 13 of their last 15 games and are 15-3 over their last 18 games. Overall, Boston is (64-29) which is best in the majors.
The Texas Rangers struck first on the evening when Rougned Odor clobbered a solo home run in the 2nd inning, hitting the first pitch from Velazquez well down the tunnel in right field, soaring straight over the 380-foot mark and landing approximately 447-feet from home plate. Seattle’s Nelson Cruz has the longest HR at Fenway this season, a 465-foot blast on June 22nd.
Velazquez went only 3.0 innings before he was removed for reliever Jalen Beeks who was called up earlier in the day. Velazquez threw 49 pitches (32 strikes) and allowed two hits, one earned run with two walks and 2 Ks. He pitched out of the stretch in his brief starting appearance.
Texas made it interesting in the 6th inning when left-fielder Joey Gallo hit a two-run double of his own to make the score 6-4. Boston countered when Bradley and Andrew Benintendi each doubled-in runs in the 6th and 7th innings which closed out the scoring.
Boston used six pitchers on the night. Reliever Matt Barnes looked particularly sharp, striking out the side in the 7th, and was credited with the win. Texas starter Yovani Gallardo (3-1) took the loss.
GAME NOTES: In the third and final game of this series, the Red Sox will throw ace LHP Chris Sale and Texas will roll-out RHP Bartolo “Big Sexy” Colon, a fan favorite wherever he pitches … This is only the 3rd time in Boston Red Sox history (118 years) the club has won as many as 63 of their first 93 games, having also done so in 1946 (65-25-2) and 1912 (63-29). … The Sox are the 10th team in MLB Expansion Era (1961-present) to win 63+ of their first 92 games. Each of the previous 9 went on to win 100+ games, and 7 of the 9 played in the World Series.