It has come to the point where there is no surprise when the Boston Red Sox score at least eight runs. The offense has been incredible, as they have done so 13 times, leading baseball, including nine in May.
The Red Sox did that once again on Wednesday and beat the Colorado Rockies for the second straight night. Steven Wright picked up his fourth victory of the season while Chad Bettis picked up his third loss in the 2007 World Series rematch.
With the win, the Red Sox are now 29-17, and move 1.5 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles for the lead in the AL East. The Rockies move to 21-24 and are seven games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
Wright continues to begin games slow
Despite an unexpected terrific season, Steven Wright has gotten off to poor starts in most of his appearances in 2016. He has had very rough first innings, but has been known to dial in for the remainder of his starts.
Wright continued that trend once again. Despite striking out the side in the first inning, the Rockies got to work in the second. Carlos Gonzalez singled to open up the inning and was brought to second on a passed ball by Ryan Hanigan and to third from a wild pitch. Mark Reynolds, who was at the plate during the events, grounded out to score Gonzalez. Wright was able to get out of the second inning without any further damage, leaving the score at 1-0.
Wright held the Rockies scoreless in the third, but the Rockies got back to him in nearly identical fashion in the fourth. Carlos Gonzalez singled to open up the inning yet again, and advanced to second base on a passed ball yet again. This time, Reynolds connected with a single, and Gonzalez scored on a wild pitch with Gerardo Parra at the plate, making it 2-0.
Hanigan had a horrendous time catching the knuckleball tonight. It is no easy task but he has shown far better success from other starts handling the business. Hanigan allowed six balls to the backstop in from either a wild pitch or passed ball. He was taken out in the bottom of the fourth due to illness. That is an absurd amount, and will look to improve on that amount his next time catching the knuckleballer. Christian Vazquez entered the game for Hanigan in the fifth, and also allowed a passed ball in the sixth.
Bettis also shut down the Red Sox offense in the first three innings. To begin the third inning, Hanigan originally had a home run but it was reviewed and overturned to a foul ball.
Red Sox offense goes off in middle innings
After Bettis shut the terrific offense in the first three innings, the Red Sox immediately got to the right-hander in the fourth. Xander Bogaerts wasted no time as he lead off the inning with his fifth home run of the season. Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 18 games, and raised his average to .349. His season has been overlooked by the red-hot Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Ortiz but he has quietly been one of the best players in baseball this season.
The inning, however, would continue to be a dreadful one for Bettis. Ortiz would follow with a walk, and Bradley would get his hit for the 29th straight game with one out. The center fielder is now tied for the fourth highest streak in Red Sox history, tying Johnny Damon's 2005 streak.
Travis Shaw followed with an RBI single bringing home Ramirez from second. After Vazquez grounded into a force out for the second out of the inning, Blake Swihart tripled to bring him home. The former-catcher showed off his above average speed to get to third, and it made the score 4-2.
In the fifth inning, the hot offense carried over for the Red Sox. The bases were loaded with one away, as Dustin Pedroia doubled, Ortiz was intentionally walked, and Hanley Ramirez walked, bringing up Bradley. Bradley grounded out but did bring home Pedroia from third, but Travis Shaw did the damage as he doubled to bring home Ortiz and Ramirez. Bettis' night was over after the double, lasting just 4.2 innings surrendering seven hits, seven runs, four walks, and struck out two.
Red Sox close it out
Steven Wright pitched a very solid game, as he departed in the eighth inning after Nolan Arenado opened up the inning with a single. He finished 7+ innings yielding seven hits, three runs, two earned runs, two walks, and struck out seven. Once again, he didn't have the best start, but finished tremendously. Arenado would score in the eighth from a Reynolds RBI single with Tommy Layne on the mound, making the score 7-3 at the time.
However, the Red Sox would bounce back for three more runs in the eighth. Mookie Betts had an RBI single with one away while Ortiz doubled him and Marco Hernandez home with two away, making it 10-3.
Junichi Tazawa would toss a scoreless ninth, leading to the victory.
The Red Sox look for the sweep Thursday, as Jon Gray will take the hill for the Rockies against Clay Buchholz.