In a night in which All-Star starter Steven Wright struggled, many would not have been surprised if the Red Sox faltered and dropped this game. However, the Red Sox offense was able to steal this win for them once again. Many did not expect Steven Wright to falter last night, but he was bound to have a hiccup sooner or later. Wright was able to last six innings, but he did relinquish nine hits to the tune of six runs (five earned), while striking out seven. The Red Sox better not hope that Wright continues this downward spiral, as he has been the one reliable starter in the rotation this season, but has also not pitched great in his past three starts.
Once Steven Wright left the game, the bullpen was again able to lock things down, as they pitched a total of three innings without relinquishing a run. In those three innings, the bullpen allowed one hit, while also striking out six batters. The highlight of the bullpen's night was Craig Kimbrel, who had blown a close game the night before. While Kimbrel did allow two walks, he also struck out two batters and finished the game without allowing a run. This was extremely important for Kimbrel's confidence, as he has had issues in non-save situations all season.
Offensively, the Red Sox were rolling, as they roughed Martin Perez up for nine hits and 11 runs in four innings of work. This is especially important because the Red Sox have struggled against left handers all season and Perez has pitched very well as of late. David Ortiz launched his 20th home run in the first inning, and now has 15 seasons of hitting at least 20 home runs. Without going through everyone that had a good night (because everyone did), Bryce Brentz notched a career-high three RBIs and looks to be turning into a good major league outfielder. Again, the question I ask myself is if the Red Sox can continue mashing their way to the playoffs. Nonetheless, this was a good win against a great team.
Next up, the Red Sox will take on the Rays tomorrow in their final series before the All-Star break.