By MyFM's Jake Archer - The Red Sox went into the weekend winners of four straight and they kept that going as they hosted the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. Eduardo Rodriguez took the ball for Boston against the Mariner’s Yovani Gallardo. Rodriguez had another good game as he went six innings, allowing only five hits and no runs while walking three and striking out four. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he kept Seattle down and got out of any jams he got into.
Meanwhile, Gallardo gave up seven of the right Red Sox hits and three runs. He also walked six while striking out five and the M’s made two errors as a team. The Sox were able to manufacture three runs and that was all they would need as the bullpen closed out the win.
On Saturday, Boston would need Brian Johnson to come up from Pawtucket and make his second spot start of the year. Not only did he do that, but he absolutely killed it. Johnson tossed the first complete game of the year for the Sox while giving up five hits, no runs, no walks and striking out eight. It was Johnson’s second big league win this season and he was the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a nine-inning shutout in his Fenway Park debut since Pedro Martinez in 1998.
The lineup scored six runs on nine hits to back Johnson and the Sox won their sixth straight game. They were rolling for the first time this year and were making a charge up the American League East standing. On Sunday, they’d have Rick Porcello take the ball looking for the sweep.
Porcello would struggle again though as he gave up two runs on eleven hits in only 6.1 innings of work. The bullpen would collapse a bit as well as they gave up three runs on five hits. The Red Sox bats went silent and the winning streak was snapped with a 5-0 loss. Now they would turn to David Price, making his return in Chicago on Memorial Day.
Price had not pitched in the big leagues yet this year and was coming off of two bad rehab starts in Triple-A. It felt like an awkward time for him to be coming back, and no one was sure what to expect. I honestly expected it to get ugly. By all accounts though, Price was pretty good. He was on a 90-pitch limit and he threw 88 in five innings while giving up only two hits and three runs. The three runs came on a Melky Cabrera homer in the third after Price walked two men. He was getting squeezed a bit at the plate and was working hard. It was encouraging to see him not unravel and to see him really battle. Moving forward, I’m cautiously optimistic about what Price can do for the Sox.
He actually left with a 4-3 lead but Matt Barnes coughed that up in the seventh inning. The Sox couldn’t do much else with their bats and now have lost two straight. They’ve also lost Dustin Pedroia after he sprained his wrist in a collision with White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu yesterday. They’ll look to Chris Sale to stop the skid tonight as he takes on his former team and White Sox ace Jose Quintana.