The Boston Red Sox finished up a 10-game road trip with two straight wins against the New York Yankees Saturday and Sunday. After going 2-6 through the first eight games, the Red Sox won a road series for the first time in the month to end the month of June. The Red Sox now are home for 10 games, starting with the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
The Red Sox are six games out of the AL East and the second Wild Card spot with a 38-44 record through the first 82 games. With a lot of contests against the AL East to start the month of July, the Red Sox need to play well to really get back into the playoff hunt or else 2014 will be a year in which the team sells at the trading deadline at the end of July.
Betts gets the call
The Red Sox decided enough is enough by calling up prospect Mookie Betts on Saturday. In a responding move, the team had to option stating pitcher Rubby De La Rosa to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Betts has been playing a lot of the outfield since moving up to Pawtucket about a month ago and he got his first start at the major league level on Sunday. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk, run scored and was caught stealing second. He also made an attempt to dive and catch a ball that went all the way to the wall for an easy triple for
The 21-year-old has been scorching the ball in the minors with a combined .345 average with eight home runs and 48 RBI through 77 games in both Portland and Pawtucket. He had 33 extra-base hits while just striking out 33 times as well. The 51 walks and 29 stolen bases is a good sign as well. He has speed and patience at the plate, which the Red Sox need and want with a productive bat in the lineup on a more consistent basis.
Expect Betts to make a majority of his starts in right with Shane Victorino recently being shut down in his rehab assignment.
Red Sox offense comes alive in the Bronx
Not only did the Red Sox offense score eight times on Sunday in an 8-5 win over the Yankees, but the team was also 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position after starting the series 0-for-9 in the same situations.
The Red Sox showed some flashes of 2013 with eight walks and David Ortiz crushed a three-run shot to put the Red Sox up 4-0 in the third inning. The walks were a great sign and should be a reason why the Red Sox start to get hotter as the summer
months warm up.
The Red Sox were an AL worst with 2.9 runs a games in June, and the eight runs on Sunday did not really help much to boost that average. The offensive numbers are down for a Red Sox team that was the best in the majors in 2013. If the team hopes to be anywhere near the playoffs at the end of this season, then the offense needs to start producing with men on base, specifically with runners in scoring position.
The Red Sox start this week with a three-game set at Fenway Park against the Chicago Cubs. After that they welcome the Baltimore Orioles to down with the top of the rotation set to start that series.
Prediction: 5-1; the Red Sox have to take advantage of a Cubs team that fails to score runs on a consistent basis as well as working the count in every at-bat. The Cubs have one of the worst records on the road at 15-26 and a three-game sweep could be in the cards. As for the Orioles, with the No.1 and No. 2 taking the mound for the Red Sox, the team needs to notch a couple wins to keep the win streak going.