Game 124: Red Sox 6, Rays 2

What a deeply satisfying win.

Top Play (WPA) : With one out in the 4th, Hanley Ramirez walked and Sandy Leon crushed a thundering-single on the ground to set up runners on first and second with Chris Young, fresh of the DL, up for his first at-bat in two months. Young liked the first pitch he saw and roped an RBI double down the left field line (.138). Young’s return to the team couldn’t come at a better time; he gives the team much more reliable outfield depth and frees up Brock Holt. Considering they still have 10 days before their next day off, the timing is perfect.

Bottom Play (WPA): Xander Bogaerts made a poor base running decision in the third inning and was thrown out easily at second base to end the inning (-.055). Dustin Pedroia was on third and Mookie Betts was hitting, so Bogaerts’ misread looked especially bad. But give him credit, making up for that with a two-run homer in the ninth inning was the pragmatic solution. Very savvy.

Key moment: Andrew Benintendi caught a fly ball in in left field during the eighth inning.

So we’re all totally in on Benintendi, right? The catch is just remarkable. There’s really isn’t a point in waxing poetic about it, words do it no justice.

Trend to watch: David Price’s ERA might dip below 4.00 soon! Following up the “complete” game he threw in Baltimore five days ago, Price was sharp again, going eight shutout innings while allowing two hits, walking two and striking out eight.  The velocity wasn’t really there tonight but a game recap is no place for the David Price-and-his-velocity conversation. The team has won each of Price’s last three starts, which is nice too. Don’t look now but the Red Sox might have more than one reliable starter at a time…? So this is how the other half lives.

What’s next: Game two of this four game series. It’ll be Clay Buchholz against Chris Archer. First pitch at 7:10pm.

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