The Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros were just what the Red Sox needed for a productive holiday weekend, so far.
The Sox swept the Jays in three straight games Friday to Sunday, outscoring them 29-6, including a tremendous 15-1 romp in Game 3 of the series. It was Boston’s first three-game sweep of Toronto since 2015 and the first such sweep as a visitor since 2008.
By losing two of three games to the Astros, the Yankees fell three games back to the Red Sox for the American League East division lead.
Firing On All Cylinders
Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz worked 6.0 strong innings, allowing five hits but just one run. Pomeranz walked two and struck out three, improving to 8-4, 3.64 ERA on the season. Boston’s solid bullpen got a well-deserved day off, save for Fernando Abad, whose 3.0 scoreless innings included a walk, but no hits and three strikeouts.
When taken alongside Saturday’s 7-1 Red Sox victory, Sunday’s game marked the first time the Sox had outscored the Jays by 6+ runs in back-to-back games at Toronto since June 11-12, 2011.
Every Red Sox starter had at least one hit on Sunday with multiple hits from Mookie Betts (3-for-6, including his 14th and 15th home run of the season and a stolen base), Deven Marrero (3-for-5), Dustin Pedroia (2-for-4), Hanley Ramirez (2-for-4, including his 12th HR), and rookie Tzu-Wei Lin (2-for-5).
Lin’s day included his second triple making him the first Sox batter with multiple triples within his first eight Major League games since Johnny Pesky in 1942.
Boston’s 21 hits on Sunday matched an all-time club record against Toronto in a 9-inning game. The Sox had 22 hits in a 17-inning affair on October 4, 1980, the first game of a long doubleheader.
Sunday really belonged to Betts, though. His career-high-tying eight RBI were the most by a Red Sox player since Betts himself did drove in eight runs last August 14 against the Diamondbacks. Betts and Nomar Garciaparra are now the only Sox batters since at least 1913 with two games of eight or more RBI.
Betts, an undeniable, incredible talent who is still just 24 years old, is one game from the MLB record for games with eight-plus RBI. When he gets it, he’ll join the rarefied company of Dave Kingman and Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig.
And in a made-for-TV moment, consider this.
Before Betts on Sunday, the only MLB player in the past 105 seasons with multiple home runs, a stolen base, and eight-plus RBI in a game was a White Sox batter named Carl Reynolds, a 13-season player whose career included two years with the Red Sox. Reynold’s remarkable power game came against the Yankees.
And like Betts’ game, Reynolds’ was on July 2nd—to the day, exactly 87 years earlier.