Game 30: Kansas City Royals at Red Sox (May 2, 2018)

Today we have that rare unicorn in the sports world, a midweek day game. The final game of this series right smack in the middle of my workday meant that I had to listen to it instead of watching, but that was fine with me. There's always been a certain charm in listening to baseball on the radio and while I enjoy listening to all of the sports, none are as good on the radio as baseball. 

The Red Sox started Drew Pomeranz and given his struggles the first two starts he had this season, I intended to keep a close eye on how he pitched. Once again, he did not look good at all, giving up three runs by the end of the third inning all the while being hit hard by Kansas City. He actually went six innings which for him is a huge feat, but he only struck out three and walked two while giving up those three earned runs. Down 3-0 heading into the fourth inning, the Sox tied it up quickly with who else but Mookie Betts getting it started when he clubbed a solo home run. After Andrew Benintendi popped up and Hanley Ramirez walked, JD Martinez blasted a two-run shot over the Green Monster to tie the game at three. Mookie hit another solo shot his next time at bat in the fifth to give the Sox a one-run lead. What more can you say about this guy? I'll tell you because in the bottom of the seventh, he hit a moonshot to dead centerfield for his third home run of the game...the second time he's done that this season! With that, he broke Ted Williams' franchise record for most three home run games in Red Sox history. He is red hot and finished the game with eleven home runs so far this season. My only complaint is that since he's hitting out of the leadoff spot, most of his homers have been solo shots (as all three were in this game). Can you imagine how many more RBI he'd have if he were hitting a little lower in the order?

His third dinger gave the Sox a 5-3 lead heading into the eighth, but once again the bullpen proceeded to quickly give that back when Matt Barnes gave up a solo home run to Cheslor Cuthbert to make it 5-4. There was a little controversy when the next batter, John Jay, stepped on the plate while trying to lay down a bunt and was hit by the pitch. Instead of correctly ruling him out, the umpires ruled him hit by the pitch and awarded him first base. Luckily, Barnes struck out the next batter so it didn't amount to anything. Another bizarre incident came with one out in the ninth when Craig Kimbrel struck Lucas Duda out swinging, upon which he was subsequently hit by the pitch on his foot. It was initially ruled a dropped third strike before Sandy Leon told the ump the ball hit Duda's foot after the swing. Upon replay, he was ruled out...that's not a play you see too often! Kimbrel struck out all three batters he faced to secure the save and help the Sox escape with two of three and the series.

With the ten game road trip starting tomorrow, it was good to get this win and some positive momentum heading into the next series, especially given how ugly the loss the previous night was. Four games against the Rangers are next and with as poorly as Texas is playing, it would be a really nice opportunity to pick up some easy wins and boost their record before the showdown in the Bronx next week.