What a relief: Sox bullpen looking good

What a relief: Sox bullpen looking good
June 18, 2014, 1:00 pm
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BOSTON - As good as the Red Sox rotation has been this season, its bullpen has been just as good, if not better.

Sox relievers haven't given up a run in either of the last two games against the Twins, both wins by one run.

On Monday, Andrew Miller, Burke Badenhop, and Koji Uehara combined for two innings of shutout ball in a 1-0 win. On Thursday, it was Badenhop, Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, and Edward Mujica who went 2.2 innings to seal the deal for Boston, 2-1.

Boston's 2.77 relief ERA is 2nd best in the AL behind Seattle (2.67). The Sox' six blown saves are tied with Minnesota for the fewest in the AL.

"Each guy that's come has pitched with seemingly his back against the wall and very little margin of error," Farrell said. "I know a lot is being made of four consecutive one-run games, but when you look at their body of work throughout the course of the season it's been very consistent. They've done a great job of maintaining their work routine and making sure that they've been durable. They've bounced back from frequent use. They've been great as far as their communication when they do need a day down. And then there's been others to step in like last night, when we're staying away from Koji [Uehara] and Andrew [Miller]."

Koji Uehara has converted all 15 saves this season, and going back to last year, 31 in the regular season. That's the longest active streak in MLB and the 2nd longest in Sox history behind Tom Gordon's AL-record 54 straight from April 19, 1998 - May 31, 1999.

Uehara has retired the last 15 batters he's faced and has not allowed a run in his last 21.0 innings. His 0.57 ERA leads AL relievers.

Badenhop is having a magnificent run himself. He's pitched a career-best 16.0-inning scoreless streak and has gone 30.1 consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. According to Elias, it's the 3rd-longest streak without an earned run as a reliever in Red Sox history.

"We've been able to match up," Farrell said, "we've been able to get a key ground ball and being able to use their skills in certain spots whether it's [Burke] Badenhop's ability to get a double play or Andrew Miller coming in and getting a key strikeout. And Koji's been Koji."