The Boston Red Sox sweep the three game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The first game was a close one that ended in the 11th inning. But the other two the Red Sox won with a combined score of 22-2, including a 15-1 trashing Sunday afternoon.
The Red Sox now stand three games in front of the rival New York Yankees atop the AL East. The Red Sox have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, including 6-1 in their last seven.
They are also a season-high 12 games over .500, a good mark for a team that struggled early, and is looking to play more consistent baseball into and out of the all star break.
The Yankees on the other hand, have stumbled recently, going 4-6 in their last 10 games.
The Red Sox hitting their stride recently is mainly due to players finally hitting their peak potential. Whether those players can continue to play up to their ability will remain to be seen.
Starting pitcher, Drew Pomeranz, is a great example. Since manager John Farrell confronted Pomeranz in the dugout on May 20th against the Oakland Athletics, Pomeranz has been on a tear.
Since that dugout incident, Pomeranz has gone 5-1 with 46 IP, along with a 2.54 ERA while accumulating 47 strikeouts and issuing only 11 free passes. Pomeranz has always had the ability to pitch well, not 2.54 ERA well, but certainly better than the 4.59 ERA he posted in 13 starts last year after being acquired by Boston.
Another player who has been performing exceptionally well is center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. I have been a huge critic of Bradley, particularly his streaky hitting habits.
Expecting him to keep up the slash line of .353/.431/1.009 he posted in June is unrealistic, but Bradley certainly has the ability to provide the Red Sox more than what he provided down the stretch last year.
Manager John Farrell finally made the right decision in making starting pitcher turned relief pitcher, Joe Kelly, the eighth inning man. Matt Barnes did a decent job with the job early on, but his eight pitch, eight ball outing in Kansas City proved to be the final straw for him.
Kelly has been lights out since he was placed in the bullpen, posting a 1.05 ERA in 51.1 IP dating back to last year.
Kelly and Kimbrel as the eighth and ninth inning pitchers gives the Red Sox a huge advantage if they are carrying a lead into the eighth inning.
The Red Sox head to Texas for a three game series against the Rangers. Boston will send out Rick Porcello (4-10, 5.06), while the Rangers counter with the left hander Martin Perez (4-6, 4.70).
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