McAdam: Road trip in rearview, Sox going strong

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McAdam: Road trip in rearview, Sox going strong

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Two and a half weeks ago, the Red Sox were staring into a scheduling abyss: They would rack up tends of thousands of miles, flying from the midwest to the Pacific Northwest, back to Boston (briefly), then back to the midwest and Texas.

The stretch was daunting. But the Red Sox survived, even thrived.

They went 10-7 in those 17 games, including a 9-5 run in the 14 road games. When the stretch began, the Sox led the Yankees by a game. Now that the demanding span of games is over, their lead is exactly the same: A full game over second-place New York.

That included a 6-2 finish in Kansas City and Texas, where the Red Sox had been winless earlier in the season and carried a five-game losing streak into Tuesday.

"We've been playing well," said Dustin Pedroia. "This part was tough and this last (bit of it) says a lot about our team. We came out here, lose the first game then played three great games."

Of the five series' that made up the 17-game segment of the schedule, the Sox won three and lost two. By winning each of the last two series, both on the road, the Sox can now claim eight winning road trips in the last nine and still boast the best road record in either league.

At 50-30, the Red Sox have 32 games remaining over the next 4 12 weeks. Of those 32, 19 are at home, with just 13 remaining away from Fenway.

Of course, the next two days won't feel like much of a reprieve. Following an early Friday morning touchdown in Boston, the Red Sox must play three games in the span of about 25 hours.

Then, they'll have two straight days off, which might interrupt any momentum they've built. But they're also at home for the next 10 days, with the full knowledge that just two road trips remain.

The worst is over.

The one-game lead over the Yankees is hardly secure and there are no guarantees that it will remain intact past next week, when the Yankees visit for three games.

More likely, the division -- for whatever that's worth for bragging rights, home field and a better first-round draw - won't be decided until the final weekend of the season when the Red Sox visit New York.

But for now, the toughest part of the summer is behind them. The test was passed.

"I don't think it's time to take a deep breath," cautioned manager Terry Francona. "But we're hanging in there."

Two and a half long weeks ago, tens of thousands of miles back, that was the goal.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.

 

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, ate 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

David Hastings, Moncada's agent, clarified to CSNNE that this was a one-time thing when Moncada first arrived in the U.S. Moncada had never had Twinkies before, Hastings said, so he was like "a kid in a candy store."

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats — some of the best numbers anywhere.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only indulgence. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

David Hastings reinforced to CSNNE that the message to Moncada was to invest in things that appreciate in value.