Sox shrug off rain, Athletics, 9-3

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Sox shrug off rain, Athletics, 9-3

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON The Red Sox and As played just seven innings of their hurricane-induced doubleheader before rain delayed play. They resumed play just long enough for the Sox to take a 9-3 win.

Jon Lester earned the victory, improving to 14-6, with a 3.09 ERA. He went six innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He also improved his career record against Oakland to 3-3. The As were one of just two American League teams (with the Twins) against which Lester had a losing record.

The Sox put runs on the board in each of the first five innings, including three runs in the second and third innings. Jason Varitek, who had a two-run homer in the second and an RBI single in the fifth, fell one RBI short of his season high, which he set with four in Toronto on June 11.

David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.

Guillermo Moscoso took the loss for the As, falling to 6-8 with a 3.80 ERA.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jon Lester
Lester went six innings, before a 45-minute rain delay at the start of the seventh inning, the first of two delays before the game was called. He gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts, and one home run to Brandon Allen. It was Lesters third consecutive win. He has given up just three hits in each, while going seven, six, and six innings, respectively. With the win, Lester improved his career record against Oakland to 3-3. The As were one of just two American League teams (with the Twins) against which Lester had a losing record.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jason Varitek
Varitek went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI. In the three-run second inning, he hit his ninth home run of the season, a two-out, two-run shot into the Sox bullpen, scoring Josh Reddick, who had walked. Varitek added an RBI single. His three RBI are one short of his season-high four, which he recorded on June 11 in Toronto.

THE GOAT: Guillermo Moscoso
The As right-hander lasted just four innings, giving up eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and two walks, with no strikeouts, and one home run. He allowed the Sox to score in each of his four innings, including three runs in the second and third. After the As tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the second, Moscoso allowed the Sox three runs in the bottom of the inning, all with two outs, giving his team a whole it couldnt escape. The outing is his shortest of the season.

THE TURNING POINT
With the score tied, 1-1, entering the home half of the second inning, the Sox scored three runs, creating an insurmountable deficit for the As. With two outs, Josh Reddick walked before Jason Variteks ninth home run of the season, into the Sox bullpen. Mike Aviles singled and scored on Jacoby Ellsburys double.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1
The Sox win, combined with a hurricane-induced off-day for the Yankees, the Sox take a 1 -game lead over the Yankees heading into their three-game set beginning Tuesday at Fenway.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
I dont think theres any way we would do anything different in the first game. I mean, if we have a chance to win a game, youre going to see Bard and Pap. I dont care if its snowing. Thats whats going to happen. If were losing well try tono, theres no reason to try to do anything different. If were losing, you try to stay away from the guys you want to pitch when you're winning. -- Terry Francona on his approach to managing a doubleheader with impending weather issues

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays

 

QUOTES:

"Rick has been the model of consistency.'' - John Farrell on starter Rick Porcello

"It means that we have a heck of a team, really. The runs we put up, and I don't think anybody talks about our defense.'' - Porcello, asked about the significance of being baseball's first 18-game winner.

"It's cool to be a part of that, but we're in a race right now and that's way more important.'' - Mookie Betts on the crowd chants of "MVP!" during his at-bat.

 

NOTES

* Hanley Ramirez has nine extra-base hit in the last 15 games.

* Opposing baserunners have stolen only 54 percent of the time when Sandy Leon is behind the plate, the lowest figure for any Red Sox catcher (minimum 20 games) since 1987

* Brock Holt tied a season high with three hits, including two with two outs and runners in scoring position.

* Mookie Betts set a career high with 72 extra-base hits.

* Betts became the third player in franchise history to have a 30-homer season before the age of 24. Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro are the others.

* Betts has five homers and 13 RBI in his last five home games.

* Rick Porcello is just the fifth major league pitcher since 1913 to begin a season 13-0 at home

* Porcello is the third Red Sox pitcher to win 18 of his first 21 decisions after Cy Young (1902) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (2008)

* David Ortiz leads the majors in doubles, slugging percentage and OPS.

 

STARS:

1) Rick Porcello

The righthander became the first 18-game winner in the big leagues and he did it by supplying seven innings for the sixth straight start while improving to 13-0 at home.

2) Mookie Betts

Betts gave the Red Sox an early lead with his 30th homer of the year, becoming the third player in franchise history to reach that milestone before the age of 24.

3) Travis Shaw

Shaw broke out of a month-long slump with a three-hit game, including a double, to go along with two RBI.

 

First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

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First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

First impressions from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays:

 

* Rick Porcello followed form.

Porcello has, throughout the season, struggled some in the early innings before making some adjustments and stabilizing as the game wears on.

So it was Monday night against the Rays.

Coming into the start, Porcello had compiled a 4.15 ERA in the first three innings with a 2.13 ERA in innings four through six.

Sure enough, Porcello allowed four straight hits and two runs in the third inning. After that, he looked like a different pitcher. He did yield a solo run in the fifth when he gave up a leadoff double and two groundouts.

But from the fourth through the seventh, he faced 13 hitters and retired 12 of them, including five by strikeout.

 

* Travis Shaw showed signs of digging out his funk at the plate.

Shaw was 0-for-6 to start the homestand, and since the beginning of August, had compiled an anemic .141/.236/.264 slash line with only four extra-base hits (two doubles, two doubles).

That resulted in Shaw losing playing time to Aaron Hill at third, and being dropped lower in the batting order.

But Monday, Shaw smacked a double to right -- the kind of extra-base power that he almost routinely flashed in the first half -- and later added two singles for a three-hit night.

It marked the first multi-hit game for him since July 26, better than a month ago.

 

* Lo and behold, the Red Sox can collect hits with the bases loaded.

The team's struggles in that department have been well-chronicled. Coming into the night, the Sox were hitting just .211 in such situations, ranking them 14th out of the 15 A.L. teams.

Time after time, the Sox have failed to come through with the bases full, sometimes even with no outs.

But that wasn't the case Monday. Twice, in fact, the Sox had innings with the bases loaded and both times, they scored.

In the second, Brock Holt's single to left scored Chris Young, though Sandy Leon was cut down at the plate when the Sox tried to get two runs out of it.

In the seventh, a sharp single to center by Sandy Leon scored two more.