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
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.