Game 34: Red Sox at Texas Rangers (May 6, 2018)

After last night's thriller, I was really happy to see the Sox make relatively easy work of this one to win the series against Texas. I was coaching my son's travel baseball team all afternoon (complete with a rain delay of over an hour) so I didn't get to watch anything other than highlights after the game was over. I did keep up with the real-time game updates on my phone, though, sneaking looks between innings. Chris Sale had his most dominant start of the season thus far, fanning twelve batters in seven innings of work and walking only one. He kept Texas scoreless until the seventh when he gave up a single run on a solo homer to Ryan Rua. Meanwhile, by then the Sox had built a six run lead, capped off by Sandy Leon's three-run homer in the sixth inning to push them ahead 5-0. JD Martinez added a solo shot in the seventh to make it 6-0 and apart from the homer to Rua, that would be all the Sox needed to win 6-1 and take three in a row against the Rangers after the debacle in the series opener. 

There was a little bit of a scare, however, as Mookie Betts left the game in the bottom of the second after getting hit in the shoulder by a throw when he was running to second base trying on an Andrew Benintendi grounder in the first.  After the game Alex Cora said Mookie was "OK" and should be back in the lineup for Tuesday's opening game at Yankee Stadium. All of Red Sox Nation can breathe a sigh of relief as it seems to be just a precautionary measure and nothing serious. With how hot Mookie has been all season (but especially the last two weeks), any loss of time would be a big blow to this team. With the day off Monday, though, he should be fine for the big games in New York coming up this week.

The last question I have is if this three game winning streak means the Red Sox are back to normal or if they just beat up on a bad team. I guess we'll know after we see how these next two series against the Yankees and Blue Jays go. While the Yankees have been winning against good competition lately (Houston and the Angels), the Sox have been scuffling against mediocre teams like Texas and Kansas City. I'm hoping that whatever doldrums they've been in since the no-hitter in Oakland have been shaken off and that they can get back to the winning baseball in all three phases of the game that they played for the first few weeks of the season. It looks like we'll start to get our answer in two days...I can't wait! Yankees vs. Red Sox, no matter what time of year, is always great and with the two teams neck-and-neck for the division lead already, as well as the bad blood from the earlier meeting in Boston, this series has the makings of a classic. We'll see how it goes starting on Tuesday!