The Red Sox kept their winning streak alive over the weekend after sweeping a three game set against the Tampa Bay Rays. To kick off the series, the two division rivals nearly came to blows after David Price hit David Ortiz in the first inning and Mike Carp in the fourth inning. Red Sox youngster Brandon Workman battled Price hard and, along with some help from the Boston pen, kept the score knotted at 2. In extra frames, A.J. Pierzynski drilled a walk-off RBI triple to right center that scored Jonny Gomes. In game 2 on Saturday, Rubby De La Rosa made an impression in his first major league start; tossing 7 shutout innings and striking out 8. Meanwhile Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley collected their first home runs of the season, en route to a 7-1 win. In the series finale, Jon Lester continued to make his case for a big pay day as the free agent to be posted 7 scoreless innings, while striking out 12 and walking 1. Garin Cecchini and Alex Hassan made their major league debuts, Brock Holt collected 4 doubles, and the Red Sox won by a final of 4-0.
- Perhaps the most successful strategy that the Red Sox have practiced in the amateur draft has been selecting damaged goods. Prospects like Jackie Bradley, Henry Owens, and Garin Cecchini, just to name a few, all watched their draft stocks fall due to injury. But the Red Sox still took a chance on their talent, and now the team boasts one of the best farm systems in the league. (In MLB Draft, injuries work in Sox’ favor)
- There’s no denying that Clay Buchholz has been awful this season, but in hindsight his struggles aren’t all that foreign to the Red Sox. Like his fellow rotation mate John Lackey before the 2013 season, Buchholz has struggled to pitch with the same conviction that made him a reliable starter. (Comparing Clay Buchholz’s struggles to Lester’s and Lackey’s)
- After rooming together since the beginning of the season, Alex Hassan and Garin Cecchini had gone over their ideal MLB debut with each other before. On Sunday, both had their major league dreams become a reality as Hassan and Cecchini collected their first MLB hits, and helped the Red Sox win 4-0. (Roommates in Pawtucket: Alex Hassan, Garin Cecchini bonded over major league dream, accomplished together in Red Sox win)
- Nothing says “streaky team” quite like a 7 game winning streak, directly following a 10 game losing streak. After playing awful baseball through the middle of May, the Red Sox enter June on a red hot streak and look like a completely different team. In some regards the influx of young players is to credit, but overall these are the same hapless Red Sox from a week ago. (What a difference a win streak makes)
- With Brock Holt exceeding expectations in every facet of the game recently, the Red Sox would be fools to take him out of the line-up. But with the return of Stephen Drew nearly upon us, and the subsequent shifting of Xander Bogaerts from shortstop to third base, the team is trying to accommodate for native middle infielder. (Brock Holt providing a valuable piece to Red Sox, will see time at first base and outfield)
- Tweet of the weekend: You know that it’s been a hostile weekend when 72 MPH mistakes are riling the crowd up.
Carp gets hit by a 72 mph curveball. Crowd incensed, but that's not a purpose pitch.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) May 31, 2014