Thursday night's brutal loss to New York left me with a feeling that this home stand was not going to end well for the Red Sox. They had dropped a series at home to an inferior team, and a much more inferior club, the Arizona Diamondbacks, were about to hit town.
The Sox needed to roll Arizona, and they did just that. They scored 15 runs in the first two wins on Friday and Saturday nights, and did that and some more on Sunday, putting up 16 in game that Zack Greinke started for Arizona.
They got another splendid performance from Rick Porcello, as he went seven innings, allowed just three hits on 80 pitches, and is now tied with J.A. Happ for the MLB lead in wins with 16.
Mookie Betts sat out the last game against New York with a tight quad, and took the collar in his first two games back. But he exploded on Sunday, hitting three home runs (two three-run shots), 8 RBI and 4 runs scored in the rout. It was his second thre-home run game of 2016, and he joined Ted Williams as the only Red Sox players to accomplish that feat, which Ted did in 1957. Dustin Pedroia had his career fifth five-hit game, the first Red Sox player ever to have five five-hit games. (Shocked that Ted never did that.)
After losing two of three to New York, the Sox did what they absolutely had to do against Arizona. I was hoping for 4 of 6 in the home stand before the next road trip started, and got it. The Sox wake up this morning 64-52, 2 games behind Toronto in the AL East. They currently have the lead in the second AL Wild Card position, 1 1/2 games ahead of Detroit.
The Sox hit the road today with a makeup game in Cleveland against the Indians, then head to Baltimore for two, and then on to Detroit for a four-game weekend series with the Tigers, before concluding the trip in St. Pete with four games against the Rays.
This will be the second of the three long summer road trips the Red Sox embark on. They made a number of moves just today, first putting Steven Wright on the DL with that shoulder inflammation he suffered on the bases in LA last weekend. (Why the hell was he used as a pinch-runner to begin with?) He may just miss one start before possibly being back next week against Tampa Bay. Hanley Ramirez will miss three games as he went on the bereavement list. The Sox have recalled infielders Deven Marrero and Marco Hernandez and reliever Heath Hembree from AAA and sent Roenis Elias back to Pawtucket.
Like the last trip, I'm hoping to see the Sox go at least 6-5 on the road swing. The bats came alive this past week, and they need to stay alive on this trip if the Sox want to hang with the Blue Jays and Orioles.