Game 8: Tampa Bay Rays at Red Sox (April 7, 2018)

Wow, what an explosion of runs today! A chilly Saturday afternoon game started with Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello continuing in 2018 what haunted him in 2017 by giving up early runs, surrendering a 2 RBI double to Brad Miller in the top of the first. This time, the Sox would get those runs back in the bottom of the inning, punctuated by a scorching wall-ball double by Xander Bogaerts to drive in two. By the end of the first, it was 4-2 Red Sox and the rout was on. Xander continued his red-hot game (and season) by crushing a grand slam in the bottom of the second. Porcello settled down and went seven and a third strong innings, striking out seven while giving up just one more run in the eighth. JD Martinez hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox, a solo shot in the seventh, and Rafael Devers added a solo home run that inning too. Marcus Walden got the save and the Red Sox won 10-3. 

Discounting the competition the Sox have faced so far, it was nice to see a blowout win today, and even better were the home runs. The Sox were dead last in home runs in the American League last season (and close to the bottom in the entire league overall), so to see them hit three today bodes well. Hopefully as the weather warms up, the bats get hotter and stay hot. Xander has kept his torrid start going and I'm hoping this is the year he finally puts it all together for an entire season. The pitching has continued to be a strength (apart from the middle relief) and the defense hasn't committed an error yet this season. All in all, this is already feeling like a different Red Sox team from the manager on down and I like it.