After shellacking the Mariners 15-1 on Friday night, the Red Sox came back out Saturday afternoon and trampled their way to a 22-10 win. Outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. went 5-for-6 with three doubles, two home runs, five runs scored, and seven RBI. He’s the first player in Red Sox history with five extra-base hits in a game, per Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Bradley is the first player with five extra-base hits in a game since Josh Hamilton in 2012. Kelly Shoppach and Shawn Green are the only other players to have accomplished the feat in this millennium.
Seven Red Sox hitters knocked in multiple runs. Six Red Sox hitters had at least three hits. And who started for the Mariners? 2014 AL Cy Young Award runner-up Felix Hernandez. He lasted only 2 1/3 innings, allowing 10 runs on 12 hits (including three home runs) and a walk with two strikeouts. It’s the fourth time this season he has allowed seven-plus runs and he now carries a 3.65 ERA.
Friday and Saturday’s showings add up to 37 runs. It’s particularly poignant since manager John Farrell announced prior to Friday’s game that he has stage 1 lymphoma.
In lighter news, Saturday’s win breaks the “Good Will Hunting Curse”. The Red Sox had been 0-14 on the birthday of Ben Affleck, who wrote and acted in the film set in Boston, since it was released in 1997.
The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.
Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.
They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.
The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.