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
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.