Updated: Aug 1
Boston Red Sox (2-4) vs. New York Mets (3-3)
Red Sox: Martin Perez
Mets: Steven Matz
Red Sox batting lineup:
1. Jose Peraza
2. Kevin Pillar
3. J.D. Martinez
4. Xander Bogaerts
5. Christian Vazquez
6. Alex Verdugo
7. Michael Chavis
8. Andrew Benintendi
9. Jonathan Arauz
Everything went according to plan for the Red Sox last night. Five and two thirds innings from Martin Perez, and one and a third from Heath Hembree. Then Matt Barnes in the eighth, and Brandon Workman to close things out in the ninth.
It was by no means a clean, easy win, but it was an important one for the Red Sox. It is early in the year, but it almost felt like a must win game, especially going into a series with the New York Yankees. When the Sox get a good start from anyone beyond Nathan Eovaldi, and use their top bullpen arms, they must come away with wins, and that's what they did.
Martin Perez really struggled in his first game, but he settled in last night. He allowed just two hits (both to Jeff McNeil), although he did walk four batters. Both of the runs he gave up came in the third inning when he walked two batters and plunked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases.
Perez is not a power pitcher, so he has to find his spots to be successful. For the most part, he did that last night. He did throw a lot of balls, but that's better than grooving pitches right down the middle like he did in his debut.
Hembree pitched in his fourth game of the year, and has yet to give up a run so far. Matt Barnes keeps his WHIP at two, but pitched a scoreless eighth. Brandon Workman has the exact same WHIP, and pitched a scoreless ninth. Both players have now pitched two days in a row, so might need an off day early in the upcoming Yankees series.
Once again, it was not the top of the Red Sox lineup leading them to victory last night. Jose Peraza, Kevin Pillar, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts went a combined 3 for 17, with a walk and a hit by pitch.
Pillar had his first hitless day of the year. Want to cool down a Red Sox batter? Just move them up in the lineup.
Christian Vazquez was the star last night, hitting two home runs, and knocking in three of the four Red Sox RBI. He also gunned down Michael Conforto trying to steal second from his knees.
Vazquez is now tied for the MLB lead in home runs with Teoscar Hernandez of the Toronto Blue Jays with four long balls on the year. He is also tied for fourth in the league with eight RBI. Through it all, he has continued to play stellar defense at the plate. He has been by far the Red Sox best player through seven games.
Alex Verdugo had two hits, but they were both infield singles, so that how you wish. Michael Chavis also reached first twice with two singles.
Next game: @ New York Yankees (4-1)