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
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.