THE FIRST (AND SECOND) PITCH
Is there a hotter team in baseball than the Red Sox?
After their impressive revenge series sweep against the Orioles, the Sox came into Minnesota and took care of business.
Boston swept both legs of a day night double header winning game one 3-2 before taking the nightcap 7-1.
The win was the Red Sox 9th straight and if they win on Thursday would mark their third consecutive series sweep since being swept by the Orioles on opening weekend at Fenway Park.
3 UP 3 DOWN (From Both Games)
Alex Verdugo: Who else? The sox outfielder made the game saving catch in style at the end of the game 1. He came through with a hit with the bases loaded with two outs in the second game. He launched his second homer of the year. Great day to be Verdugo.
ALEX VERDUGO IS NOT DONE YET pic.twitter.com/UJDG0OMJkz
— NESN (@NESN) April 14, 2021
Christian Arroyo: Arroyo came up big for the Sox in game one, driving in what would be the game winning run. Good to see production out of the leadoff spot.
Xander Bogaerts: Not a huge day for Xander, but he had two doubles in the first game. In the second, he went 1-3 with a walk. He’s gotten his average up to .371 on the year after starting 1-12.
J.D. Martinez: He had to cool off eventually. J.D. lost his streak of games with an extra base hit, and took an 0 for in both games.
Matt Barnes: Barnes continues to be one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. Barnes notched his second save of the season in game 1, striking out 2 batters and walking one. He’ll definitely be be buying Verdugo a beer after that run saving catch in left. Barnes has struck out 14 and is yet to allow a hit on the season in 7 innings of work spanning 6 appearances.
Twins’ Starters: Both Kenta Maeda and José Berríos had tough games. Maeda failed to get out of the 5th allowing all 3 Sox runs on 7 hits. His biggest gaffe though came on a throwing error in the second inning which allowed a run to score and hekoed extend the frame. The Sox ended up scoring all 3 of their runs that inning, only one earned.
Berríos was cruising through the first four innings of game two but completely came undone in the 5th. The 26-year-old allowed four of the first five batters to reach and walked in a run with the bases loaded before getting yanked. Tyler Duffey came in to replace him, struck out the first man he faced, but eventually allowed all three inherited runners to score. Berrios final line four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five in 4.1 innings pitched.
In game one, it has to be Verdugo’s catch. Shaded of Andrew Benintendi in in 2018 ALC vs Houston.
Game two? Surprise! It’s Verdugo again! His clutch single in the 5th helped the offense breakout in what ended up being a 6 run frame.
Alex Verdugo just did the 2018 Benintendi walk-off catch 👀 pic.twitter.com/hvYp3X0iIg
— The Baseball Newsletter (@bbletter) April 14, 2021
CLEARING THE BASES:
- Alex Cora won his 200th (and 201st) game as the Red Sox manager. He is the third manager in Sox history to do it in 335 games or less.
- After tomorrow’s series finale the Red Sox return to Boston for a 10-game home stand. It is their longest of the season.
- The Sox are the first team since the 1991 Seattle Mariners to win more than 7 games after losing the first 3.