It’s increasingly difficult to find the right words for a superlative run like this.
On Thursday the Red Sox continued their torrid pace with a fourth straight game to feature 11+ runs for just the second time in franchise history.
The Sox, in an 11-1 drubbing of the Astros, collected a season-high fifth consecutive win and in so doing, accomplished something never before seen in the long history of Fenway Park: a sixth straight home game to feature 8+ runs and 12+ hits.
David Price, of whom so much has been written regarding his less-than-stellar start to the season, put some fears to rest with a dominant 6.2-inning performance, allowing just one run on 6 hits with one walk and 12 strikeouts. Perhaps most importantly to his critics, he amped up his average fastball velocity to a season-high 93.1 MPH.
Once again, however, it was the Sox potent offense that was impossible to ignore with every starter collecting at least one hit in the game.
Boston took the early lead Thursday, putting five runs on the board by the end of the third inning. The Sox now have 91 early runs scored over the first innings of a game this season, a full 20 more than the nearest competitor Texas Rangers.
Boston has now collected 19 games with double digit hits. No other club has more than 16 such games. In all, there would be 14 Red Sox hits Thursday, including multi-hit performances from Xander Bogaerts (his 14th), Hanley Ramirez (11th) and Jackie Bradley, Jr. (8th).
Bradley extended his career-high hitting streak to 18 games, the longest active streak in the Major Leagues and tied with Eric Hosmer‘s longest hitting streak of the young season. Bradley is a remarkable 28-for-68 (.412) over his hitting streak with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, 25 RBI, and a 1.290 OPS. Among MLB players with at least 20 at-bats this season, Bradley is second only to the Padres Jon Jay for batting average with runners in scoring position.
With a home run from Bogaerts in the first inning and another from Mookie Betts in the sixth, the Red Sox have now gone deep in 13 consecutive games for the first time since September 18, 2007 to March 26, 2008 (also 13 games). The last time the club homered in 13-in-a-row in the same season was May 24 to June 6, 2000. The club record for consecutive games with a HR since 1913 is 19 games in 1996.
David Ortiz, 1-for-4 Thursday with a double, tied Dwight Evans for the third most extra-base hits ever at Fenway; they both have had 520. The double also pushed Big Papi past Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle for 45th on the MLB All-Time Total Bases List. Ortiz now has 4,512 career total bases.
Thursday’s was Ortiz’ 954th career game at Fenway, tying him with Bobby Doerr for 5th most in the ballpark’s history.