The defending World Series-champion Red Sox have been on a roll since snapping their embarrassing losing streak at 10 games Monday in Atlanta.
And the good times continued on Saturday night.
Rubby De La Rosa fanned eight batters and yielded just four hits over seven shutout innings and 25-year-old utility infielder Brock Holt hit his first big league home run as the Red Sox routed the Rays 7-1 in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Fenway Park. It was De La Rosa’s first start in nearly three years, and now he might stay in the rotation for a little while.
According to Evan Snyder of CBS Sports’ Eye on Baseball, twice in major league history has a team that lost 10 consecutive games still managed to advance to the postseason — the 1982 Braves did it, and so did the 1951 Giants.
Boston (26-29) is currently six games back of Toronto in the American League East standings.
The box scores and recaps from Saturday:
Rangers 2, Nationals 10
Twins 1, Yankees 3
Royals 2, Blue Jays 12
Padres 4, White Sox 2
Giants 0, Cardinals 2
Rockies 6, Indians 7
Mets 5, Phillies 4 (14 innings)
Cubs 8, Brewers 0
Orioles 4, Astros 1
Braves 9, Marlins 5
Rays 1, Red Sox 7
Pirates 2, Dodgers 12
Angels 3, Athletics 11
Tigers 2, Mariners 3
Reds 5, Diamondbacks 0
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.