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
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.