The 2016 Red Sox left everyone with a bittersweet taste in their mouth. The team sprang free from a two-year stint in the AL East basement and wound up on top of the division, an impressive leap and one that proved to be their only legacy. As important as it was, the club’s flat end to the regular season — losing five out of six, after winning 11 in a row — and then getting swept by the Indians in the Division Series cast a pall over the season. After going 93-69, the Red Sox went cold, but the six-month journey shouldn't be erased by three bad days in the ALDS.
When the Red Sox clinched the American League East crown, it was the second title in John Farrell's four seasons at the helm. But it also represented a return to the playoffs after back-to-back last-place finishes that cost a general manager, Ben Cherington his job and nearly forced Farrell out the door. Fenway Park was once again filled with the buzz that can only be felt during a pennant race. The Red Sox moved all the way up to first place in the American League East, led by a retiring legend and a core of emerging stars.
Even after the Red Sox added ace David Price and closer Craig Kimbrel to the mix in the offseason, plenty were skeptical that the Red Sox would be good enough to win the AL East, let alone reach the playoffs. The Toronto Blue Jays returned most of the team that reached the 2015 AL Championship Series, and the Baltimore Orioles had a solid team, too. When the season began, the Red Sox were given only a 25 percent chance of winning the AL East.
On a roster built by Dave Dombrowski and managed by Dick Farrell, playing time was allocated based on performance, not contract status. It began in spring training, when upstart Travis Shaw beat out $95 million man, Pablo Sandoval, to be the Opening Day third baseman. And it continued through the season, with the designation for assignment of $72.5 million outfield bust Rusney Castillo.
The team showed a powerful finishing kick down the stretch, obliterating anything and anyone in its way in the final month, winning 11 straight, including seven in a row on the road and all against division opponents. The road-heavy second-half schedule that threatened to derail them instead toughened them and served as a springboard.
Playing in the toughest division in baseball, the Red Sox won 93 games, but they lost eight of their last nine. Darlings of the national media, a myth of their own hubris. Young guys like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi and many more, turned in excellent seasons and were a huge part of the reason the Red Sox were able to stay so healthy this season. They brought a ton of energy and aggressiveness that impressed even the longest-tenured veterans. But in the end, their lack of experience also might have cost them in the postseason. Betts, Bogaerts, and Bradley went a collective 6-for-32 (.188) in the ALDS
The Red Sox ended up having the most powerful and prolific offense in baseball behind stellar performances from the young guns, but also from Hanley Ramirez and a 40-year-old David Ortiz. They ran away with the AL East as the division’s only 90-win team with a 93-69 record.
You couldn’t hear enough of how the Red Sox’s rotation behind David Price would be their downfall, and it turned out that the left-hander didn’t even have the best season among the starters. Price led the majors in innings with 230, was one of the best strikeout pitchers in the game and shaved his ERA from 6.75 in May to 3.99 by October, all of which speak to Price’s elite-caliber skill set. But his propensity to allow big innings and a rough outing in the ALDS, only hardened his label as an unreliable October starter.
In his second year with the Red Sox, A.L. Cy Young Award winner, Rick Porcello, developed into a stopper and an ace. He wasn't on anyone's list of candidates when the season started. The sinkerballer blossomed this season, executing with pinpoint control and gaining confidence in his secondary pitches. He was nearly unbeatable (13-1) at Fenway. He led the Majors with 22 wins.
Steven Wright arrived at spring training ready to pitch, performed well, and slid into the rotation in the final week of camp when Eduardo Rodriguez landed on the disabled list. He was fooling batters with his knuckleball almost every time he took the mound, had an All-Star first half. But it was a freak shoulder injury while diving back to a base as a pinch-runner that ended his season and set off a chain reaction in the rotation.
The rotation started off slow, but in the second half, their 3.66 team ERA among the starters was bested only by the Chicago Cubs.
The bullpen was a different story. Robbie Ross had a quietly effective if not overpowering season. At Fenway, he had an OPS of .729 and on the road had a .456 OPS. That pretty much summed up the inconsistency of relievers in general.
With his 31 saves, Craig Kimbrel finished eighth in the league. He had his lights-out moments, and then he had times where he squirmed to find his command.
Koji Uehara’s first half was forgettable, and it looked as if the end had arrived prematurely for him, but he somehow straightened himself out and was lights-out in September.
For the first time since 2003, the Sox had five players with at least 20 home runs (David Ortiz, Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr and Xander Bogaerts). But they didn't live and die by the home run. Instead, the Sox built their offense around on-base percentage and doubles, leading the majors in both categories, and an ultra-aggressive baserunning approach of taking an extra 90 feet whenever possible.
The Red Sox outscored every other team in the majors and it wasn't even close. They scored more than 878 runs, 12 percent better than the AL Central-champion Cleveland Indians, who ranked second in the league with 777 runs.
David Ortiz won the "Hank Aaron Award" for the Most Outstanding Player in the American League, and broke the records for the most home runs (38), RBIs (127), doubles (48), and extra-base hits (87) in a final season. The old home run record was 35 by Dave Kingman. The RBI record was 121 by Shoeless Joe Jackson. The doubles record was 40 by Happy Felsch. The extra-base hits record was 74 by Jackson. Felsch and Jackson had their final seasons at ages 28 and 32, respectively, because they were banned from baseball for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series.
Mookie Betts developed into an AL Most Valuable Player Award candidate in just his second full season. He became the seventh player in history to have 200 hits, 40 doubles, 30 homers and 20 steals and he eclipsed each benchmark with room to spare. Along with Betts, Jackie Bradley and Xander Bogaerts became All-Stars for the first time.
Bogaerts begun on a high note and finished weakly. In his third full season, he took a half-step backwards both at the plate and on defense, where his glove was simply average at best. He did reach the 20-homer barrier for the first time, but his batting eye and discipline began to desert him as the season went on. In June, he was hitting .358 and for the rest of the season, he batted .253. Chasing breaking balls that were low-and-away, proved his undoing, as pitchers started to shy away from throwing him strikes. He had a really bad stretch in August, but he was still able to punish pitchers when they didn’t properly execute their game plan, or when he was able to lay off early and get ahead in the count.
It was hard to ignore all the inconsistencies of Jackie Bradley Jr., who faded offensively over the final two months and was a much better hitter at Fenway than on the road. He did zippo in the playoffs, but it would be foolhardy to overlook the over-arching lesson that 2016 marked the arrival of Bradley as not only an All-Star, but a big-league, all-around talent who could finally shed his “defensive specialist” label.
Andrew Benintendi, was the Sox’ best rookie this season. The left fielder seemed comfortable in his surroundings from the first day, which is impressive considering he was promoted straight from Double-A, and was drafted out of Arkansas in 2015. The catch that he made at Tropicana Field to rob Steven Sousa Jr of a homer on August 22nd was one of the unforgettable moments of the season.
The "Comebacker of the Year" was Hanley Ramirez. After a rough 2015 campaign, Ramirez returned to a new position healthy and with a virtually subversive positive attitude that translated into a big bounce-back season. Hanley batted .286 with 30 home runs and 111 RBIs. He improved just by being more comfortable at first base. In fact, he was a downright good first baseman, committing just four errors and turning in a .996 fielding percentage.
Dustin Pedroia had his finest all-around season since 2011, a refreshing reminder for himself, above everyone else, that he’s still one of the best second basemen in the majors. But he was part of the problem in terms of the lineup’s disappearing act in the ALDS, with two notable tirades against home plate umps’ strike zones that wound up showing he was wrong.
David Ortiz started his final season in the big leagues with a bang. Big Papi smashed a two-run shot off Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer in the ninth inning of the Red Sox’s 6-2 win on opening day. It was a sign of things to come. There were plenty more memorable moments for Big Papi that followed, but that first homer helped set the tone for the rest of them.
The Sox came back from a 7-2 deficit to beat the Blue Jays at Rogers’ Centre, on April 8th. The improbable rally started happened in the sixth inning as Brock Holt, who had an RBI double in the second inning, lining the ball over the fence in right field for his first career grand slam.
The next day, in the seventh inning with the Sox leading, 8-4, Koji Uehara, who had taken to his new role as the setup man quite well, came in and retired the side in order. In all, the bullpen struck out three in three perfect innings as the Red Sox earned an 8-4 win.
At the Fenway home opener on April 11th, The Red Sox used the occasion of their home opener to begin commemorating the final season of David Ortiz. As the sellout crowd cheered, Ortiz threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches along with Boston sports legends Bill Russell, Bobby Orr and Ty Law. Ortiz and Law helped the 82-year-old Russell make his way out to the front of the mound. Then Big Papi was joined on the field by former teammates Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield to announce "Play Ball."
But, in what was a surprise to Ortiz, his 15-year-old daughter Alex performed the National Anthem after the Red Sox and Orioles players were introduced. With tears in his eyes, he came over and hugged her after.
In the game, Craig Kimbrel, came in at the top of the ninth, with the game tied at 6-6. Making his home debut with the Sox, he gave up a three-run homer to Chris Davis and the Orioles won, 9-7.
After losing two to the Orioles, the Sox bullpen came through in the final game on April 13th. Joe Kelly left with a two-run lead, 4-2. Matt Barnes and Tommy Layne combined to get three outs in the sixth, then Layne and Junichi Tazawa put together a 1-2-3 seventh to build a bridge for Koji Uehara's clean eighth. That ultimately set the stage for Kimbrel's dominant ninth, striking out the side en route to his second save of the season in a strong bounce-back performance. All the zeroes the bullpen put together, allowed the Sox to pull out a win, handing the Orioles their first loss in eight games.
Rick Porcello handled the heavy hitting Blue Jays for 6 1/3 innings of a 5-3 victory on April 15th. Porcello (2-0) allowed a second-inning home run to Edwin Encarnacion and that was the only hit for the Jays until Encarnacion, who had all three Toronto hits, cracked a two-run shot in the seventh. He struck out eight and walked one in his first victory at Fenway Park since last September. The bullpen was strong again and David Ortiz actually stole a base.
The next night, David Price (2-0) pitched seven innings and muzzled the Blue Jays in a 4-2 win that gave the Sox three straight victories. In the third game of the series, Steven Wright showed his value, allowing two runs over six innings in a 5-3 loss.
The Sox then lost Joe Kelly, who came out the game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning April 19th, with a right shoulder impingement. An impingement is an inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles. Kelly had started three games so far, and put 24 men on base over 8 2/3 innings.
The Sox (7-8) finished their first homestand of the season, winning only 4 of 6 games.
Steven Wright was strong again on April 22nd, pitching into the seventh inning as the Sox started a five-game road trip with a 6-2 victory against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. He allowed one unearned run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He had given the Red Sox 19 1/3 innings in his three starts and allowed only four earned runs.
Hanley Ramirez was also effective, driving in Dustin Pedroia in the first with a sacrifice fly, singled and scored in the third, and singled to lead off the fifth. He was beginning to mature, who ran hard from first to third, tried to steal a base, and had taken playing first base very seriously, someone focused on trying to win. He'd not made an error, saved throws on balls in the dirt, stretched on throws to get the out, and fielded well.
Jackie Bradley's RBI single was the difference as the Red Sox took two of three in the Houston series, winning 7 to 5, to improve to 9-9. Hanley Ramirez and Travis Shaw led off the 12th inning with singles before Brock Holt put down the team's first sacrifice bunt of the season. Then Ryan Hanigan fouled off eight consecutive pitches before drawing a 13-pitch walk to load the bases. Bradley was next and he lined a single to right through a drawn-in infield for to take the lead.
The Sox then won two in Atlanta. In the first game, Craig Kimbrel set down all three batters he faced in the ninth inning, two by strikeout, as the Sox beat the Braves, 1-0, on April 25th.
David Price allowed two runs on six hits and struck out 14, including the final five batters he faced, in the last game at Atlanta. The Sox backed him with 13 hits, nine for extra bases. Travis Shaw drove in a career-high five runs with a home run and a double, in the 11-4 Red Sox slugfest. The Sox (11-9) were only 1/2 game out of first in the AL East.
Both teams came back to play at Fenway and in the first game, Dustin Pedroia sent a fly ball floating down the right-field line in the second inning of the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Braves on April 27th. He watched the ball until it finally ricocheted off the Pesky Pole for a grand slam. It was the highlight of a 3-for-5, two-homer, five-RBI night for Pedroia.
After losing the next game to the Braves, the Sox took three straight from the Yankees. But the highlight of the series was in the very first game on April 29th. David Ortiz hit a dramatic home run in the eighth inning and nobody was more excited than a 6-year-old boy in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Maverick Schutte had undergone more than 30 surgical procedures because of a congenital heart defect and along the way become friendly with Kevin Millar, a longtime supporter of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Before the game, Millar filmed a video with Ortiz to send to Maverick, wishing him well. Ortiz also promised he would hit a home run later that night and Big Papi delivered. On May 11th, the youngster came to Fenway Park and got to meet his hero.
The next night, April 30th, Rick Porcello was untouchable and the offense piled up 13 hits in an 8-0 victory. The 14-10 Red Sox had won six of seven and eight of their last eleven games. Jackie Bradley Jr. was 3 for 3 with two triples, a double, a walk, two runs scored, and three RBIs for the Sox. Mookie Betts was 2 for 5 and drove in three runs. David Ortiz added another home run. Porcello was 5-0 with a 2.76 earned run average. He had gone at least six innings in every start and allowed only two runners beyond first base tonight.
In the final game, with an 8-7 win on May 1st, David Price was able to salvage what would've been another troublesome start at Fenway. He was 2-0 at home, but he'd given up 21 runs in four starts. Christian Vazquez blasted a Dellin Betances pitch onto Lansdowne Street to propel the Sox. It was the second time in three days that the Sox won a game thanks to a homer off of one of the game’s most dominant relievers.
David Ortiz had five home runs and 11 doubles in April. He was the first player, age 40 or older, to have five homers and as many as 10 doubles in any calendar month. Ortiz's 16 extra-base hits were his most before May 1st. And Travis Shaw’s excellent start (.312 BA) rendered Pablo Sandoval’s absence not just irrelevant. But one of the on-going troublesome worries, after the first month, was the inconsistency of Clay Buchholz. Through the first 24 games of the season, the Sox were 0-5 when Buchholz started, and 14-5 otherwise. That was hard to ignore, as was his 6.51 earned run average.
As a team, however, over the first month of the season, the Red Sox had proven capable of taking advantage of their schedule and going on a sustained early-season run. They claimed first place in the AL East with a 15-10 record, 1/2 game ahead of the Orioles.
The Sox headed out to Chicago and on May 4th, Clay Buchholz won for the first time in 2016, lasting seven innings and allowing three hits, two runs, two walks, and striking out six in a 5-2 Red Sox victory over the White Sox.
The Red Sox, increasingly frustrated by the inability of Henry Owens to throw strikes, the next game, ultimately outhit their pitching problems in a 7-3 victory against the White Sox, with a 12-hit attack.
The 17-11 Red Sox had won 10 of 13. Christian Vazquez assumed the primary catching duties, and Blake Swihart was sent to Triple A Pawtucket to catch and start playing left field.
At Yankee Stadium, the Sox lost 2 of 3 and fell back into second place. In an 8-2 loss, David Price couldn't even finish five innings. The Yankees touched Price for six runs on seven hits and three walks. He had a 6.75 ERA and had allowed six or more earned runs in three of his last four starts.
With the Red Sox in need of a win after back-to-back losses in the Bronx, Steven Wright delivered a stellar performance, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out seven in a complete-game 5-1 win on May 8th. The Sox returned home after going .500 in Chicago and New York.
The Sox regained first place on May 9th. Down 4-1 early, an inning later, the they were running relays around the base paths and climbed out of the hole, with a six-run assault as the Sox buried the A’s, 14-7. There were 15 hits and the season-high run total. All but one starter got into the hit column, four players had multi-hit games (including David Ortiz and Travis Shaw, both 3 for 5) nine players crossed the plate, and six players drove in runs. Jackie Bradley went 3 for 5 with six RBIs, including a sixth-inning grand slam (the first of his career). It’s been a pattern for a team that has put together 19 games with at least 10 hits this season and has homered at least once in each of the past ten.
Unfortunately, the Sox lost Brock Holt when he suffered the mild concussion diving for a ground ball. Even though he didn't hit his head when he landed on the ground at the lip of the infield, there was a whiplash effect that left him with neck soreness.
The Sox were using the Green Monster for target practice during a 13-5 rout of the A’s on May 10th. It started when Mookie Betts yanked one into the Monster seats for a leadoff home run in the first. Hanley Ramirez followed three batters later by launching a rocket off the light tower in left-center. He sent the ball sailing an estimated 468 feet. After putting up a 15 hits in the last game, the Sox matched their season high with 16 in this game.
The Sox swept the A's on May 11th. In the final game of the Oakland series, Jackie Bradley (.322 BA) hit two more home runs and drove in six runs as the Red Sox again hammered the Athletics, 13-3. Bradley was 3 for 5 and extended a hitting streak to 17 games. He had homered five times in the last seven games. He was 26 of 64 (.406) in his streak with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, and 24 RBIs. The Sox led the league in scoring and Bradley was second on the team with 28 RBIs, one fewer than David Ortiz. Rick Porcello (6-1) went 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on six hits.
Houston next came to Boston and on May 12th, David Price delivered his best start in a Red Sox uniform. He allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings, punching out 12 and walking one while getting 19 swings-and-misses. Dustin Pedroia detected what he thought was a flaw in his teammate’s delivery, the absence of syncing between the movement of the pitcher’s hands and front leg. Price was receptive, eager for the feedback, and went about the between-starts work of addressing what proved at least to be a correctable issue that yielded almost immediate on-field results. Meanwhile, the Red Sox offense continued their assault in an 11-1 victory over the Astros.
The Sox scored 11 or more runs in four straight games for the first time since 1950. In addition, the Sox became the first team to score at least 11 runs and record at least 14 hits in four consecutive games since the 1930 Philadelphia A's, who were led to a World Series title by Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Cochrane and Al Simmons.
David Ortiz had never hit a homer, triple and double in the same game, but that all changed on May 14th, as he hit a walk-off two-bagger to give the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over the Astros in 11 innings. With Papi's game-winning double, he joined Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as the only players with at least 500 homers and 600 doubles.
But Clay Buchholz struggled again. He allowed five runs, four coming on the grand slam. He had allowed five earned runs in five of his eight starts and has an earned run average of 6.11. As a group, Sox starters had a poor 4.81 ERA, 22nd in the majors and 10th in the American League.
After losing two of three in Kansas City and slipping back into second place, the Sox next came home to face the Indians. On May 21st, Mookie Betts launched a grand slam in the Sox’ 9-1 win. It was an exclamation point on a career day for Betts, who went 3 for 5 with two homers with a career-high five RBIs. But it was just another offensive avalanche for a Red Sox offense that’s been furiously cranking out runs. Betts’ first homer, a solo shot in the fourth inning, barely sneaked over the Monster, but still, it was the third multi-homer game of his career. A double in the third made him the third Sox player this season to pick up three extra-base hits in a single game.
After spending a month on the disabled list with a right shoulder impingement, Joe Kelly returned to the rotation and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. In addition, Blake Swihart came back from Pawtucket and took up residence in front of the Green Monster as the Sox left fielder.
The next day, in a 5-2 win on May 22nd, David Ortiz nearly delivered the first cycle of his career, but his eighth-inning blast into the Triangle ricocheted off the wall and into the Red Sox bullpen for a ground-rule double. Still, his 4-for-4 game with a homer and two doubles added to what had been a mind-boggling start. The win put the Sox (27-17) back into first place.
David Price pitched seven solid innings in the next game against the Rockies on May 24th, where he allowed three runs, while the offense kept churning out runs en route to an 8-3 victory. Jackie Bradley wasted no time in extending his hitting streak to 28 games, jumping on a first-pitch fastball and lining it off the Wall in left for a double in his first plate appearance. He was hitting .412 during the streak with 42 hits.
The Sox picked up their fourth straight win, and the 13th victory in their last 15 games at Fenway in the next game. For the 12th time in their last 14 home games, the Sox put up at least six runs, at least 11 hits, in beating the Rockies, 10-3. Sox starter Steven Wright, who had not gotten more than five runs of support in any of his previous eight starts, went seven innings for the fourth time this season, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits with seven strikeouts. He had to work through the fact that his knuckleball juked so unpredictably it eluded catcher Ryan Hanigan seven times (four on passed balls, three on wild pitches). He'd now struck out six or more batters seven times, tied for third in the AL. After an outing in which he didn't permit a single extra-base hit, opponents now had a .290 slugging percentage against him, third lowest against any AL starter.
The Red Sox retired Wade Boggs’ No. 26 on May 26th. Capping a week awash in memory and nostalgia, saluting the 1986 American League Champions, the Sox paid tribute to their Hall of Fame third baseman.
Boggs was the 10th player to have his number retired by the Sox. In 11 seasons with Boston, Boggs hit .338, second only to Ted Williams’ .344. He ranked in the club’s all-time top five in hits, doubles, walks, and on-base percentage. He won five batting titles and had 200 or more hits in seven consecutive seasons. He scored 100 or more runs in seven straight seasons and was enshrined in Cooperstown in 2005. Boggs was an eight-time All Star with the Sox. Finally, he was given his rightful place on the right-field facade at Fenway and he appreciated it probably more than any of the others.
In the game, Jackie Bradley didn't get a hit, but didn't go down easy. He sent two balls to the warning track, including one in the fifth that pushed center fielder Charlie Blackmon to the wall. His streak ended at 29 games but it moved him past Boggs and into a tie with Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in Sox history. In the streak, Bradley had hit .415 with 9 doubles, 3 triples, 8 home runs, and 30 RBIs.
In Toronto, on May 28th, the Sox lost an 8-4 lead in the eighth inning. Their trustworthy bullpen give up four runs and, of course, David Ortiz rescued them with a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning. But then closer Craig Kimbrel allowed two runs in the bottom of the inning. Twice, the Red Sox were a pitch away from winning and could not finish the game. Toronto won, 10-9.
The next day, in his first appearance since being sent to the bullpen, Clay Buchholz pitched a scoreless 10th inning in a game the Red Sox won, 5-3, and he got the win in 11 innings.
In Baltimore, on May 30th, Steven Wright allowed four hits, walked five, and threw two wild pitches. In the Sox 7-2 win, the Orioles did little beyond scoring two runs on three hits, as Wright struck out seven and got 13 outs on the ground. His knuckleball was unpredictable because catcher, Ryan Hanigan, appeared to be trying to smother it from the start.
On May 31st, Xander Bogaerts’ (.350 BA) steady, consistent barrage of hits over nearly four weeks was overshadowed by Mookie Betts, who clubbed three homers at Camden Yards. On the mound, making his first start of the season after suffering a kneecap injury in spring training, Eduardo Rodriguez stuffed the Orioles, allowing only two runs on six hits over six innings. He fanned three and walked nobody. Sixty one of his 89 pitches were strikes in the Sox’ 6-2 victory.
The Sox (32-20) finished the month of May, going 17-10, with a 3 game lead over the Orioles, in the AL East.
June started with Mookie Betts (14 HRs) homering in his first two at-bats for the second straight night and now had five in the last two games, tying a major league record. He became the third Red Sox player who had ever hit five homers over a two-game stretch. David Ortiz (15 HRs) hit another home run and Chris Young connected twice. Joe Kelly allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings, as the Sox lost to the Orioles, 13-9, and earned a ticket to Pawtucket.
Xander Bogaerts extended the longest active hit streak in the majors to 26 games, where it ended, when the Blue Jays beat the Sox back at Fenway.
Steven Wright put the skids on the Sox three game losing streak, beating the Blue Jays, 6-4 on June 4th. For the 12th time in the last 14 games, the Sox put up at least five runs. Bogaerts went 3 for 4 with a pair of runs. Mookie Betts went 2 for 5 with two RBIs. Travis Shaw snapped a streak of five straight games without an RBI, going 2 for 4 with an RBI single.
For two weeks in left field, Blake Swihart made the transition look seamless. But when a fly ball was hit toward the left field corner in the seventh inning, Swihart chased after it at full speed and appeared to make the grab, crashing into the wall in the process. But he crumpled to the warning track right after, as his left foot jammed into base of the wall, bending at a 45-degree angle. Meanwhile, Ryan Hanigan, who had been dealing with neck soreness for the past two weeks, left the game in the seventh when the issue crept up again. Both players ended up on the DL.
The Sox lost to the Jays the next day, and after having lost 4 of their last 5 games, they slipped back into second place and headed out to San Francisco.
Down by a run after six innings, the Sox tied the game and scored twice in the 10th inning of the first game on June 7th, to beat the San Francisco Giants, 5-3, at AT&T Park. But in the next game, David Price made one more mistake by giving up a home run in the eighth inning, that gave the Giants a 2-1 victory.
In Minnesota, on June 10th, the Twins inviting back some of Ortiz's old friends for a jovial pregame ceremony that included a big jar of peanut butter. Once the game started, the Sox stuck it to the Twins, 8-1. Xander Bogaerts had four hits and drove in four runs in support of Steven Wright (2.09 ERA), who pitched into the eighth inning and allowed one unearned run. Ortiz (.340 BA) was 2 for 5 with a double.
Bogaerts (.358 BA) had four more hits and drove in three runs for the Red Sox the next game. The Red Sox won, 15-4, as Xander had an RBI double in the first inning, a two-run homer in the eighth, and scored four runs. With Brock Holt and Blake Swihart on the disabled list, Chris Young had become the full-time left fielder, going 13 for 35 (.371) with 2 doubles, 5 home runs, and 9 RBIs.
They returned back to Fenway to face the first place Orioles. In the first game, with a runner on first, Manny Machado got a first-pitch fastball from Sox ace David Price and dinged it off the Pesky Pole, en route to a 3-2, Orioles win. The next night, Steven Wright (8-4), who ranked second in the AL in ERA (2.22), allowed three runs over 7 1/3 innings, to lead the Red Sox to a 6-4 victory. But in the last game, on June 16th, Eduardo Rodriguez was hit hard as the Sox lost, 5-1. The Sox had lost 2 of 3 and fell a game behind the O's.
Xander Bogaerts had a major league-leading 96 hits. Through 65 games it was the most by any Red Sox player, in at least the last 100 years, surpassing the prior standard of 95 set by Ted Williams in 1948.
The Sox next took 2 of 3 from the Mariners. After losing the first game on June 17th, Rick Porcello (8-2) led the Red Sox in a 6-2 win the next day. Porcello and three relievers retired 21 of the final 23 batters, holding the Mariners scoreless over the final seven innings. In this game, Hanley Ramirez lined a double into left field to start the eighth inning. Jackie Bradley Jr. then lined to Robinson Cano who made a quick throw trying to double off Ramirez. But the ball deflected off the shortstop's glove and rolled into left field. Ramirez took off for third, watching left fielder Nori Aoki chase down the ball. He rounded the bag with no regard for third base coach Brian Butterfield's stop sign. The throw to the plate was accurate, but the hustling Hanley slid in safely, popped up, and struck a pose to the delight of the fans. He'd been overaggressive on a few occasions, but for the most part his new attitude and hustle, endeared him to the Fenway fans.
On June 19th, David Price (8-4) found himself in another pitchers' duel in the final game of the Mariners series and spun one of his best starts of the season, pushing the Sox to a 2-1 win. Mookie Betts put the Sox ahead with a solo homer to left, his 15th of the season.
When Rusney Castillo was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket not even a week into the season, the question was whether the 28-year-old outfielder, with whom the Red Sox signed to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal, was an expensive bust. The Sox placed him on outright waivers on June 19th.
On June 20th, against Chicago, Steven Wright threw a placid nine innings, allowing one unearned run and came off the field to a loud ovation. That the Red Sox ultimately lost the game, 3-1 in 10 innings to the White Sox, seemed almost unjust. In the second game, Clay Buchholz got a chance to start. His first pitch was taken for a home run. The next pitch was a double off the wall. Before the inning was over, the White Sox scored again. But Buchholz was not the reason the Red Sox ultimately lost, 3-1. The Red Sox were held to six hits. They were hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. In the third game, Koji Uehara couldn't hold a 6-4 lead in the eighth. He gave up a two-run homer and a solo shot that put the Red Sox in scramble mode on their way to an 8-6 loss.
Craig Kimbrel was called upon o shut things down in the final game of the series, on June 23rd. Pitching two full innings for the first time in more than five years, the Red Sox closer got out of a bases-loaded jam with nobody out in the 10th, by striking out two batters, to preserve a 7-7 tie. Xander Bogaerts delivered the winning single in the bottom half to give Boston an 8-7 victory over the White Sox.
Chris Young had dotted the Green Monster with a line drive in the second inning and made a hard turn around first base. But when he hit the bag, he felt something pop. Their third left fielder had joined Blake Swihart and Brock Holt on the DL with a pulled hamstring.
In the month of June, Travis Shaw (.222 BA), Hanley Ramirez (.195 BA) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (.219 BA) stopped hitting. Now without Young, the Sox would be tested. They had lost 3 of 4 games to the White Sox, having lost 7 of their last 10 games. However, they remained only a game behind Baltimore, who was also enduring a losing streak.
Sandy Leon, who was called upon to replace Ryan Hanigan, was 12 of 22 (.545) with four doubles and four RBIs in his first nine games. He had walked four times and struck out only four times.
On the road, in Texas, on June 24th, the Sox were on the verge of a dispiriting loss. But with two outs in the top of the ninth and one strike away from defeat, they instead pulled off the victory of the season, rallying to beat the Rangers, 8-7. The winning run scored on, of all things, a wild pitch.
The Sox lost the next game 10-3 and in the final game of the Texas series, Clay Buchholz started and did not deliver what was needed, as the Sox took a 6-2 loss. The pitchers had allowed 16 runs in the last two games. They had now lost five of seven and dropped consecutive series for the first time since last July.
In Tampa on June 27th, the pitching frustration reached a crescendo after the Sox 13-7 loss. Eduardo Rodriguez allowed five runs in the first, four in the third, and watched his ERA explode to 8.59. He looked lost as he was being chastised on TV by Dustin Pedroia. His poor performance earned him a trip back to Pawtucket.
But it exacerbated a team-wide problem: first-inning runs. The Red Sox had been outscored in the first inning 29-6 in June, and 22-0 since June 12th. The Sox starters had pitched 69 2/3 innings in the first inning and had allowed 50 earned runs, 92 hits, with a 6.46 ERA. Overall, opponents were hitting .316 against them in the first inning, also worst in the majors.
The urgency fell on Rick Porcello, and he delivered, allowing one run over six innings as the Sox beat the Rays, 8-2 on June 28th. Travis Shaw backed him with three hits and five RBIs.
The Red Sox record was 10-15 for the month and they had been three games up in the AL East on May 31st. They headed home 5 1/2 games behind Baltimore, after a 4-0 loss in the final game at Tampa.
On July 1st, in a sloppy 5-4 win against the Angels, Mookie Betts went 3 for 4, giving him a major-league leading 34 multi-hit games this season. Brock Holt, anxious to get back on the field after missing 37 games, made up for lost time, by going 2 for 4 with an RBI double. David Ortiz went 3 for 4 with a solo homer, moving him past Ted Williams, Frank Thomas and Willie McCovey for 19th on baseball's all-time home run list and also giving him 2,000 career hits in a Red Sox uniform.
After a loss the next day, in a 21-2 debacle, John Farrell’s in-game moves were openly beginning to be criticized.
A 10-5 win gave the Sox the bounce-back they were looking for in the third game. A solid spot start from Sean O'Sullivan gave the offense a chance to get back on track. With O'Sullivan keeping the Angels in check, the Sox' offense capitalized. Six players had multi-hit games, led by Hanley Ramirez (3 for 5, two RBIs) and Sandy Leon (2 for 4, three RBIs).
Brock Holt’s two-run homer in the third inning gave the Red Sox the lead and eventually a 12-5 victory against the Texas Rangers on July 4th. Down 4-0 in the first inning, the Sox responded with a season-high 21 hits. Thirteen of the hits were for extra bases, including home runs by Holt, Betts, Pedroia, and Shaw. Sandy Leon hit two doubles left-handed and a single and double right-handed. He was .500 (20 for 40, 1.331 OPS). With Ryan Hanigan coming off the DL, the Sox sent Christian Vazquez back to Pawtucket after the game. The win cut the Orioles' lead in the AL East to two games.
With Red Sox pitching often getting lit up, Dave Dombrowski, on July 5th, hired Brian Bannister to take his head out of his computer for a few hours each day, put on a uniform, and assist pitching coach Carl Willis before games. The Sox pitchers had a 4.48 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. They would go on to have a 3.50 team ERA and 1.18 WHIP with Bannister on the coaching staff. Bannister didn't force analytics on any pitchers. Rather, he simply served as an additional resource, making suggestions based on observations and supported by statistical data. For example, he helped Clay Buchholz correct a significant drop in his release point that had gradually set in over the past few years.
David Ortiz was named to the American League All Star team and would be joined by Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the starting lineup, as voted by the fans. Steven Wright was selected to the pitching staff in voting done by the players and Craig Kimbrel was a selection of AL manager Ned Yost.
Bryce Brentz, who was called up from Triple A Pawtucket to replace Chris Young on the roster, was 10 for 30 in eight games with two doubles, a home run, and six RBIs. He was 2 for 4 and drove in three runs against the Texas Rangers in an 11-6 win on July 6th.
David Price had a long talk with Brian Bannister before the All-Star break and saw his ERA eventually drop from 4.64 to 4.04. It started when he racked up 10 strikeouts and held the Rays to four hits to help the Sox complete a three-game sweep and finish their final homestand of the first half 7-2. The Sox remained two games out of first place.
From July 7-14, Dave Dombrowski made three deals in eight days. He acquired infielder Aaron Hill for bench help. In the bullpen be brought in Brad Ziegler and at the back of the rotation he traded for Drew Pomeranz. He overpaid for Pomeranz, sending touted Single-A pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza to the Padres, but by being so decisive, he also sent a clear message that the Red Sox were going for it in Papi’s final season.
The American League won the All Star Game, 4-2, making it a perfect night for David Ortiz and the rest of the Red Sox players in the game. Jackie Bradley, Ortiz, Bogaerts, and Betts all contributed to the victory, the fourth straight for the American League. Ortiz was 0 for 1 but drew a walk that led to a run. Bradley was 2 or 2. Bogaerts was 1 for 2 with a double and Betts was 1 for 2 with a run scored.
Despite the lack of drama on the field, Ortiz was plenty busy before the game. He brought out the lineup card and also addressed the American League team after player association and MLB personnel asked him to, much as Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter had done during their final All-Star Games.
At the break, the Sox led the American League with an average of 5.63 runs per game. They also had the highest batting average (.292), on-base percentage (.359), and slugging percentage (.474) in the league. Conversely, Sox pitchers were ninth in the league in ERA (4.43) and had allowed six or more earned runs an alarming 23 times. The team was 7-27 when the batters scored fewer than five runs.
During the break, Craig Kimbrel had arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He was supposed to be out 3-6 weeks.
Steven Wright (11-5), who never got into the All Star Game was therefore able to start against the Yankees on July 15th. The Sox beat the Yanks, 5-3. Brad Ziegler, Robbie Ross Jr., and Koji Uehara retired nine of the ten batters they faced to end the game. It was the fifth save for Uehara. The Sox had now won five straight and eight of ten.
The next game, Sandy Leon drove in four more runs, his three-run homer in the sixth inning, sinking the Yankees as the Red Sox won their sixth straight, 5-2. Leon was 27 of 59 (.458) in 20 games with nine doubles, two home runs, and 13 RBIs. Eduardo Rodriguez, pitched seven innings and allowed one run on four hits with two walks and one strikeout in his return since being exiled to Pawtucket. The Sox took 2 of 3 in New York and came home to face the San Francisco Giants.
On July 19th, Rick Porcello stretched his win streak at Fenway with 6 1/3 scoreless innings, holding the Giants to four hits with three strikeouts and two walks. With his 12th win of the season, he improved his record at Fenway to 9-0. The Red Sox were 14-5 when Porcello took the mound, winning each of his last six starts, and were 10-0 in his starts at Fenway. His ERA fell from 3.66 to 3.47, and he had pitched into the sixth inning in all 19 of his starts this season. Koji Uehara came in to relieve him, left the game with a strained right pectoral that sent him to the DL.
The next night, July 20th, Hanley Ramirez hit three home runs, drove in six runs, and made the key defensive play of the game as the Sox beat the Giants, 11-7. Ramirez hit his home runs to right, center, and left, each two-run shots. The Sox had won eight of nine and climbed back into first place, a half-game ahead of Baltimore. At 53-39, they were 14 games over .500 for the first time since the end of 2013 season.
In the first game against the Minnesota Twins, it was just another routine round of batting practice at Fenway Park on an afternoon when David Ortiz tried to break the Pesky Pole. Big Papi hit a ball so hard that it wedged into the metallic screen of the pole and stuck. Players often hit the foul pole during batting practice that is only 302 feet from home plate, but nobody could remember a ball hit so well that it stuck.
In the game, a 13-2 Sox win, Dustin Pedroia was 5 for 5 and scored three runs. It was the fourth five-hit game of his career. Ortiz drove in four runs and belted his 24th home run. But the Sox took steps back, splitting the series with the last place Twins. In the final game of the series, the Sox beat the Twins, 8-7. Rick Porcello improved to 13-2 and 10-0 at Fenway Park.
But the Sox next lost three straight to the Detroit Tigers. They left for the west coast in third place, 2 1/2 games behind Baltimore and one game behind Toronto. They began a stretch of 31 road games in 46 days. The schedule was brutal. But rather than complain, the Red Sox used it to bring them together.
After losing 2 of 3, including a painful loss on a throwing error by Hanley Ramirez, in a game in which David Price pitched splendidly, giving the Angels a 2-1 victory, Rick Porcello (14-2) allowed two runs and then shut the Angels down in the remainder of the next game, retiring 21 of the final 23 batters he faced, including the final 11 in a row, for a 6-2 win.
The starting rotation had improved, but now wasn't getting the type of run support it was getting earlier in the season. They had started to deliver consistency, but the offense had posted the same amount of runs per game that they had permitted.
On July 31st, the Red Sox had lost seven of their last nine games, and were trailing, 3-1, in the ninth inning of the final game at Anaheim. Virtually the entire front office was watching from a suite in the press-box level, contemplating moves that could turn the team around. Dustin Pedroia than smashed a three-run homer against Huston Street. Xander Bogaerts followed with a moon shot to center. The Sox rolled to a 5-3 win and from that point on, played with a different swagger, particularly on the road, for the remainder of the regular season.
Clay Buchholz pitched three scoreless innings in relief. He faced 10 hitters and retired nine of them, throwing only 35 pitches. In 12 relief outings, he had a 3.32 ERA. Opponents had hit .188 against him with no home runs in 69 at-bats.
Mookie Betts was later named American League Player of the Month for July.
The Sox next went up to Seattle and split the series with the Mariners. It was Mookie Betts who delivered on August 1st. His shot to left field, leading off the ninth inning, gave the Red Sox a 2-1 victory in the first game of the series at Safeco Field. Eduardo Rodriguez was dominant, allowing just two base runners through six shutout innings of one-hit ball.
Andrew Benintendi had been called up and was no worse for wear, after going 0 for 2 in his major league debut on August 2nd. He knocked out two singles in his first major league start in left field the next day.
At Dodger Stadium, Steven Wright (13-5, 3.01 ERA) allowed three hits, walked one, and struck out nine for his fourth complete game of the season on August 5th. Sandy Leon caught and did not let a knuckleball get by him, while going 2 for 3 with a home run and four RBIs. Mookie Betts was 3 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs.
Wright was then lost to the team and went on the DL, the result of a pinch-running for David Ortiz in the sixth inning of the last game with the Dodgers, when he dove back to second base on a faked pickoff throw. The Red Sox finished 5-6 on their road trip, losing the last two games to the Dodgers. They returned home 2 1/2 games out of first place with 52 games to play, the same as when they left.
The offense was sputtering. David Ortiz had hit .176 (9 of 51) in his last 14 games. Dustin Pedroia had hit .241 in that span and Jackie Bradley Jr. had hit .230. As a team, the Red Sox had hit .239 in the last 17 games, winning only 6 games. They were 28-30 since June 1st and 11-12 since the All-Star break. After a strong first two months of the season, they had been mediocre since.
To start the homestand, Rick Porcello pitched eight strong innings and Andrew Benintendi had three hits and an RBI as the Red Sox rallied to beat the Yankees, 5-3 on August 9th at Fenway Park. However, the Sox lost the next two games.
Hanley Ramirez had two, three-run homers for six RBIs, David Ortiz added a homer and the Red Sox beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-4, on August 12th at Fenway. Ortiz finished with three hits, including his 1,000th extra-base hit with the Sox. It was the 20th multi-homer game for Ramirez. Sandy Leon and Brock Holt hit home runs and the Red Sox erased a two-run deficit and then held on to beat the Diamondbacks, 6-3, in the next game.
Mookie Betts provided four hits, three homers, eight RBIs on August 14th, while Porcello pitched seven innings of three-hit ball. The 16-2 win, featured 19 hits, and completed a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks. The Red Sox slammed four homers with the other being a Pesky Pole shot by Jackie Bradley Jr. in a seven-run second inning. Dustin Pedroia, who had five hits (four singles and a double), had his fifth career five-hit game, the most in Red Sox history.
Having won three in a row, the Sox then headed out for their second road trip out to the west coast, two games behind first place Toronto and 1 1/2 games behind the Orioles.
The first stop was a make-up game in Cleveland on August 15th. Craig Kimbrel's 20th save secured the first Red Sox win for Drew Pomeranz in a 3-2 win over the Indians. It was his third strong start in a row.
Next it was back to Baltimore, where Mookie Betts hit two more home runs, the second to win the game in the eighth inning, as the Sox beat the Orioles, 5-3. He drove in all five runs and had hit five home runs and 13 RBIs in the last three games. Betts had 28 homers for the team lead, and 89 RBIs. The Sox extended their winning streak to six games on August 17th, with an 8-1 victory against the Orioles. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in four runs with a home run and a double. The game was called after six innings because of a thunderstorm that settled over Camden Yards. At 67-52, the Red Sox were now alone in second place, a game behind the Blue Jays.
For the next game, Clay Buchholz was called upon to replace Steven Wright and make a start in Detroit. He made one of his best starts of the season, allowing one run over six innings. He gave up six hits without a walk and struck out three. However, Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler allowed three in the eighth in a game the Sox went on to lose, 4-3. In the second game, Rick Porcello dominated the Tigers in his return to Comerica Park, as the Red Sox cruised to a 10-2 victory. Porcello (17-3) allowed one earned run over seven innings. In the third game, the Red Sox had a two-run lead when an ill-timed rainstorm settled in before the start of the sixth inning. Drew Pomeranz had only thrown 51 pitches and couldn't return. Craig Kimbrel had his first four-out save of the season, surviving two hard-hit balls, as the Sox won, 3-2.
After losing the final game of the series, the Sox headed down to Tampa. In the first game, Andrew Benintendi launched himself over the wall in pursuit of a sure home run off the bat of Steven Souza Jr. in the eighth inning, as the Red Sox beat the Rays, 6-2. David Price (12-8) allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out eight in one of his best starts of the season. Clay Buchholz continued to perform very well, as a starting pitcher, after beating the Rays, 2-1, in the second game of the series. They had started the trip in third place in the American League East and were tied for first at the end of the series, with Toronto at 71-54.
Back at Fenway, David Price held the Royals to two runs on five hits in six innings on August 27th, striking out seven, to pick up his fourth straight win and up his record to 13-8. Dustin Pedroia led off the game with a single, doubled in the second inning, and singled again in the fifth, extending his consecutive hit streak to 10 at-bats. He was inching toward the MLB record of 12 straight hits. But when he came up in the eighth inning, he grounded to second to start a double play, ending the streak and his night, 4 for 5, with a double and two RBIs. In the third game of the series, David Ortiz hit his 31st homer of the season, a blast that gave him 534 for his career, tying him with Jimmie Foxx for 18th on the all-time list. The Sox lost 2 of 3 to the Royals however, and fell back into second place.
Rick Porcello (18-3, 3.26 ERA was sharp again on August 28th, pitching seven strong innings in a 9-4 victory against the Rays at Fenway Park. He allowed three runs on six hits and struck out seven without a walk. He took his team, who had lost four of five and set them back on course. In 14 starts following a loss this season, he was 9-1 with a 3.50 ERA. The Sox were 10-4 in those games.
Pitching in the eighth inning had become a disaster for the Sox. The relievers leading up to Craig Kimbrel ha failed ever since Koji Uehara out on the DL. Junichi Tazawa, Matt Barnes, and Brad Ziegler had been erratic at best. Fernando Abad had not lived up to the hype since being picked up from the Twins. Clay Buchholz was his latest choice to pitch in the eighth inning on August 30th. He came out of the bullpen with the score tied. And, sure enough, the Sox still hadn't found somebody they can trust with the eighth inning, as he allowed a homer to Evan Longoria to let the Rays beat the Sox, 4-3. The Red Sox had lost seven games in which they led at the start of the eighth inning, tied for third most in the American League. They had a 4.64 ERA in the eighth inning, which was 11th out of 15 AL teams.
Aaron Hill's go-ahead single and Jackie Bradley Jr.'s insurance-run double sent the Sox past the Bay Rays, 8-6, in the final game of the series on August 31st. They had gone 3-3 on the brief homestand and headed back out to the west coast, two games behind the Blue Jays in the AL East.
On the September call-up date, the Sox brought up two prospects. One was third baseman, Yoan Moncada, a 21-year-old sensation who played only two seasons in the. The Red Sox had spent $63 million to sign him. The other was lefthander Robby Scott, a 27-year-old who spent six seasons in the minors.
But Moncada was not in the starting lineup for the Red Sox' 16-2 win over the Athletics on September 2nd. Travis Shaw started at third base and responded the best way he could. He drove in five runs, going 3 for 5, with two doubles and a home run. The five RBIs matched his career high.
The next night, David Ortiz had two doubles and drove in two runs as the Sox thumped the A’s again, 11-2. Rick Porcello went seven strong innings to become the first 19-game winner in the majors this season. Yoan Moncada had his first two major league hits and drove in a run.
The final Oakland game on September 4th, was a heart-breaker. Eduardo Rodriguez lost a no-hitter in the eighth inning when a ball struck him in the foot and went for an infield single. But the real pain was still to come. Four outs from a no-hitter, a walk-off error in the bottom of the ninth inning sent the Sox to a 1-0 loss.
After Drew Pomeranz lost his homecoming game down in San Diego, the Sox took the next two at Petco Park. Clay Buchholz, again filling in admirably for injured All-Star Steven Wright, pitched into the seventh inning in the second game, helping lift the Red Sox to a much-needed 5-1 victory. He allowed one run on eight hits and struck out six without a walk. He had a 2.31 ERA in his last four starts with the Sox winning three of those games. Aided by Buchholz, Red Sox starters were 15-8 with a 3.06 ERA since August 1st.
With the Blue Jays falling to the Yankees, the Sox were tied for first place with 24 games to go, and Orioles a game behind.
Yoan Moncada couldn't hit a curve ball, started striking out, and went down seven times in a row as opposing pitchers bamboozled him. That prompted manager John Farrell to put Travis Shaw back in the lineup and he won't be coming out any time soon. In the last game against the Padres, on September 7th, he homered and drove in three runs as the Sox rolled to a 7-2 victory.
From the series at Angel Stadium, at the end of July, through the series at San Diego, the Red Sox went 21-15 and moved from 2 1/2 games off the pace in the AL East to a one game lead in the AL East, a lead they would not give up for the rest of the season.
The Sox next headed up to Toronto to face off against the second place Jays. The revival of the Red Sox had been fueled by the contributions of the young players, but it was Dustin Pedroia (.329 BA) who made the biggest difference in the first face-off game. He drove in four runs as the Sox embarrassed the Jays, 13-3. He was 3 for 4 with a sacrifice fly and was having one of the best all-around seasons of his career. Hanley Ramirez, had a three-run homer in the seventh inning that essentially finished the game, and Rick Porcello (20-3) became the first Sox pitcher since Josh Beckett in 2007 to win 20 games.
The Sox lost the second game, but in the final game, on September 11th, David Ortiz slammed a three-run homer in the sixth that gave his team the lead in an 11-8 win, to take 2 of 3 from the Jays and up their lead against Toronto, to two games.
The first place Red Sox again showed the full extent of their talent with a 12-2 blowout of the Orioles at Fenway Park on September 12th. The Sox had improved to 20-10 in their last 30 games. The lineup was once again bludgeoning opponents (7.8 runs per game in September), but this time, the effort is being complemented by rotation excellence (2.89 ERA) and even a shutdown bullpen (0.83 ERA). David Price (16-8) did the honors by pitching his career-best seventh straight victory allowing just two runs on two hits, while striking out nine and walking none. His dominant changeup accounted for 13 of his 15 swinging strikes.
After losing the next two games, the Sox cemented their hold on the AL East, by reeling off an incredible 11 straight wins. Against the Yankees, at Fenway Park on September 15th, Hanley Ramirez slugged a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth and gave the Sox a thrilling come-from-behind 7-5 victory against the Yankees. It was the sixth career walk-off hit for Ramirez, who had 25 homers and 100 RBIs. David Ortiz launched a historic homer, the 537th of his career, moving him past Mickey Mantle.
In the next game, on September 16th, a 7-4 win, David Ortiz had a pair of hits, including a double that was the 1,187th extra-base hit of his career. That moved him out of a tie with Frank Robinson and into 11th on baseball's all-time list. In his first start against the Yankees this season, Clay Buchholz (7-10) went six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits.
Xander Bogaerts drove in three runs and scored three runs as the Red Sox came back to beat the Yankees, 6-5 , on September 17th. He was 3 for 4 with two doubles and a home run. The Yanks could not hold a 5-2 lead. The Sox scored four runs and took the lead on, of all things, a wild pitch.
Hanley Ramirez hit two home runs and drove in four runs as the Sox completed a sweep of the Yankees with a 5-4 victory on September 18th. He was 9 of 16 in the series with four home runs and nine RBIs. In 18 games since August 30th, Ramirez had hit .400 with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs. Drew Pomeranz gave up four runs, but the Red Sox bullpen blanked the Yankees for 5 1/3 innings, giving up just four hits. The Sox relievers had a 0.94 ERA this month.
Rick Porcello won his 21st game and was ruthlessly efficient, as the Sox beat the Orioles at Camden Yards, with a 5-2 victory on September 19th. He needed only 89 pitches for a complete game, 65 of them strikes. He allowed four hits and struck out seven without a walk. Mookie Betts also had a two-run homer for the Sox.
Eduardo Rodriguez worked into the seventh inning, as the Sox extended their win streak to six games, with a 5-2 victory against the Orioles on September 20th. He had been a different pitcher since being demoted to the minors in June and returning after the All-Star break. Adding a slider improved his ability to sequence pitches and he had a 3.21 ERA since then. David Ortiz's three-run homer in the seventh inning boosted the Sox to a five-game lead on the Orioles with 11 to play. Mookie Betts was 3 for 5, giving him 201 hits on the season.
Clay Buchholz threw seven strong innings on September 21st, with a 5-1 victory against the Orioles. An ill-timed error and Andrew Benintendi's three-run homer in the sixth inning, gave Buchholz the victory. The Sox had won a season-best seven straight and 15 of 20.
On September 22nd, David Price pitched seven strong innings and Hanley Ramirez hit another home run, as the Sox swept the four games with the Orioles, 5-3. Price (17-8) allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings. He was 8-0 with a 2.86 ERA in his last nine starts, striking out five, walking two, and throwing 72 of 99 pitches for strikes.
On September 23rd, David Ortiz hit a ball that crashed into the catwalk above the stands in right field at Tropicana Field. Ortiz's mammoth home run won the game as the Red Sox beat the Rays, 2-1. It was nine wins in a row and 17 of the last 22. Ortiz now had 37 homers and 124 RBIs, giving him 1,190 extra-base hits, tying Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig for 10th all-time. Brad Ziegler was the closer. He had appeared in 28 games for the Sox and thrown 25 2/3 innings. His earned run average was 1.40.
The Red Sox clinched a playoff berth on September 24th, after beating the Rays, 6-4. Dustin Pedroia's grand slam in the seventh inning that was the difference.
On September 25th, in the 10th inning, Dustin Pedroia was out by 15 feet. The relay throw beat him to the plate and Tampa Bay catcher Luke Maile was waiting with the ball. What followed was a baseball version of Twister. Pedroia slowed down as he approached the plate and elected not to slide. He dodged as Maile dove. Maile swiped and Pedroia skipped. The third attempt at a tag actually worked, but the ball flew out of Maile's glove as he slapped it on Pedroia's left leg. Pedroia jumped on the plate with both hands and umpire Sam Holbrook signaled he was safe. Nearly four seconds lapsed from the time Maile caught the ball. It only seemed like forever for those watching. The result was a 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.
In that game, the Sox pitchers set a team record with 23 strikeouts, including a major league record of 11 in a row. The 23 strikeouts were the most in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004. Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 batters in 5 2/3 innings, while also eliciting a career-high 20 swings and misses. He had a 2.89 ERA with 30 strikeouts and seven walks in 28 innings for the month.
The 11-game winning streak was their longest since 2009 and their longest in September since 1949. The Sox were 19-5 going back to August 31st, with 13 of the victories coming on the road.
In New York, on September 27th, they finally lost a game that would be symbolic of how the rest of the season would unfold for the 2016 edition of the Boston Red Sox. During the game, the scoreboard at Yankee Stadium flashed that the Baltimore Orioles had beaten the Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox had clinched the AL East title. They had a three-run lead at the time, but lost the game, 5-3, on a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira off Joe Kelly. They won, but they lost.
The Sox were the feel-good story of the Boston summer, but it seems that it all went away when they held their division-clinching party in the Bronx after the embarrassing walkoff loss. The loss to the Yankees that night, triggering a losing pattern that carried straight through the playoffs.
The Sox would only win one more game for the rest of the season. After winning 11 straight, the Sox lost three straight to the Yankees and came back to face the Toronto Blue Jays, who were fighting for a wild card berth.
In the first game of the final series of the season, on September 30th, the Blue Jays had broken out to a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning against Rick Porcello. Then, in a four-run seventh inning, Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin fielded a tapper by Dustin Pedroia but threw errantly to first. Pedroia was awarded second base, and at the discretion of the umpires, Andrew Benintendi, who had started the play at second base, was permitted to score and make it a one-run game. Mookie Betts tied it up with an RBI single. It was David Ortiz's turn, and he roped a two-run homer down the line in right, eliciting roars from the Fenway faithful. It was the last time Big Papi would win a game for the Red Sox and the last game the Sox would win in 2016.
After sprinting away from the field in the American League East for most of September, the Red Sox backpedaled through the final week. The 1-5 stumble through the final games cost the Red Sox. They wasted an opportunity to seize home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The team lost their way and an interminable series of heartfelt sendoffs for David Ortiz added to it. They had nothing left when the postseason started in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Indians, aggressive in every aspect of the game, beat the Red Sox, 5-4, in a taut Game #1 of the ALDS. In his biggest start of the season, Rick Porcello couldn’t keep the ball in the park or get through the fifth inning. He lost a 2-1 lead when the Indians hit three home runs in the third inning. He ended up getting pulled after just 4 1/3 innings, for his shortest start of the year.
And David Price saw his postseason run of futility extended in Game #2, chased after 3 1/3 innings, having sunk his team into a 5-0 sinkhole. He threw just 65 pitches and was gone before he could record the second out in the fourth inning, as the Indians embarrassed the Sox, 6-0. The two starters to whom the Red Sox committed a combined $299.5 million, both failed in the first two games.
The final word belonged to former Red Sox manager Terry Francona and the Cleveland Indians. They ushered the Red Sox out of the playoffs at Fenway Park, and Ortiz into retirement, with a 4-3 victory in Game #3, and a three-game sweep of this best-of-five ALDS.
Ortiz’s final at-bat in the majors came when he faced Tribe closer Cody Allen with two out and one man aboard in the bottom of the eighth, with the Sox trailing, 4-2. It was a chance to tie the game with a homer into the bullpen. He walked on four pitches.
With Ortiz clapping at first base and exhorting the crowd to make some noise, Hanley Ramirez stepped to the plate. Papi kept encouraging the crowd to bring the noise and Hanley to bring a hit. Both obliged. Ramirez’s RBI single to left brought the Sox within a run at 4-3, and forced Farrell to remove Ortiz, the potential tying run, for pinch-runner Marco Hernandez. But Bogaerts lined out to second base to end the threat. That game-changing hit never came from Ortiz or anyone on the Sox.
No matter how loud the crowd got in an emotional final two innings, the Red Sox still went silently into the playoff night. The fans chanted for Ortiz to come out of the dugout one last time. He finally materialized, emotionally doffing his cap and tapped his heart.
And so it ended. The Red Sox did little right in the three ALDS games. Rick Porcello and David Price spit the bit in their starts in Cleveland. The big hit the Sox needed, to extend the series never made an appearance. The Sox, who led the majors with 878 runs, scored seven runs in three games and hit .214 in this series. And defensively, the Sox were sloppy, from Jackie Bradley Jr's off-target throws, to Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt failing to turn routine grounder's into double plays, leading to runs.
The 2016 Red Sox went from regular season overachievers to playoff underachievers, from division champs to playoff chumps. No one expected October to end so soon for the Sox. And now Big Papi was gone for good. His farewell celebration was well-deserved but distracting, and in the end it was a bad ending for a good team.
It’s a difficult lesson for exciting young players like Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts. They’ll be back here. It was a terrific baseball summer, but the fall was hard. The sting of the sweep will linger for a few days. But it will eventually give way to the realization that 2016 was a year of baseball revival in Boston.
|04/04/2016||0-0||2nd||-1/2||at Cleveland Indians||pp|
|04/05/2016||1-0||1st||-||at Cleveland Indians||W||6-2||David Price||1-0|
|04/06/2016||1-1||2nd||-1||at Cleveland Indians||L||7-6||Junichi Tazawa||0-1|
|04/07/2016||1-1||2nd||-1 1/2||at Cleveland Indians||pp|
|04/08/2016||2-1||2nd||-1 1/2||at Toronto Blue Jays||W||8-7||Matt Barnes||1-0|
|04/09/2016||3-1||2nd||-1||at Toronto Blue Jays||W||8-4||Rick Porcello||1-0|
|04/10/2016||3-2||2nd||-2||at Toronto Blue Jays||L||3-0||Steven Wright||0-1|
|04/11/2016||3-3||3rd||-3||Baltimore Orioles||L||9-7||Craig Kimbrel||0-1|
|04/12/2016||3-4||3rd||-4||Baltimore Orioles||L||9-5||Clay Buccholz||0-1|
|04/13/2016||4-4||3rd||-3||Baltimore Orioles||W||4-2||Joe Kelly||1-0|
|04/15/2016||5-4||2nd||-2 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||W||5-3||Rick Porcello||2-0|
|04/16/2016||6-4||2nd||-1 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||W||4-2||David Price||2-0|
|04/17/2016||6-5||2nd||-2||Toronto Blue Jays||L||5-3||Steven Wright||0-2|
|04/18/2016||6-6||2nd||-2 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||L||4-3||Koji Uehara||0-1|
|04/19/2016||6-7||3rd||-2 1/2||Tampa Bay Rays||L||3-0||Matt Barnes||1-1|
|04/20/2016||7-7||2nd||-2 1/2||Tampa Bay Rays||W||7-3||Rick Porcello||3-0|
|04/21/2016||7-8||2nd||-3 1/2||Tampa Bay Rays||L||12-8||William Cuevas||0-1|
|04/22/2016||8-8||2nd||-2 1/2||at Houston Astros||W||6-2||Steven Wright||1-2|
|04/23/2016||8-9||2nd||-3 1/2||at Houston Astros||L||8-3||Clay Buchholz||0-2|
|04/24/2016||9-9||2nd||-2 1/2||at Houston Astros||W||7-5||Heath Hembree||1-0|
|04/25/2016||10-9||2nd||-1 1/2||at Atlanta Braves||W||1-0||Rick Porcello||4-0|
|04/26/2016||11-9||2nd||-1/2||at Atlanta Braves||W||11-4||David Price||3-0|
|04/27/2016||12-9||2nd||-1/2||Atlanta Braves||W||9-4||Steven Wright||2-2|
|04/28/2016||12-10||2nd||-1 1/2||Atlanta Braves||L||5-3||Clay Buchholz||0-3|
|04/29/2016||13-10||2nd||-1 1/2||New York Yankees||W||4-2||Koji Uehara||1-1|
|04/30/2016||14-10||2nd||-1/2||New York Yankees||W||8-0||Rick Porcello||5-0|
|05/01/2016||15-10||1st||+1/2||New York Yankees||W||8-7||David Price||4-0|
|05/03/2016||15-11||2nd||-1/2||at Chicago White Sox||L||4-1||Steven Wright||2-3|
|05/04/2016||16-11||1st||+1/2||at Chicago White Sox||W||5-2||Clay Buchholz||1-3|
|05/05/2016||17-11||1st||+1/2||at Chicago White Sox||W||7-3||Matt Barnes||2-1|
|05/06/2016||17-12||1st||-||at New York Yankees||L||3-2||Rick Porcello||5-1|
|05/07/2016||17-13||2nd||-1/2||at New York Yankees||L||8-2||David Price||4-1|
|05/08/2016||18-13||2nd||-1/2||at New York Yankees||W||5-1||Steven Wright||3-3|
|05/09/2016||19-13||1st||-||Oakland Athletics||W||14-7||Clay Buchholz||2-3|
|05/10/2016||20-13||1st||-||Oakland Athletics||W||13-5||Sean O'Sullivan||1-0|
|05/11/2016||21-13||1st||-||Oakland Athletics||W||13-3||Rick Porcello||6-1|
|05/12/2016||22-13||1st||-||Houston Astros||W||11-1||David Price||5-1|
|05/13/2016||22-14||2nd||-1||Houston Astros||L||7-6||Matt Barnes||2-2|
|05/14/2016||23-14||2nd||-1||Houston Astros||W||6-5||Koji Uehara||2-1|
|05/15/2016||24-14||1st||-||Houston Astros||W||10-9||Heath Hembree||2-0|
|05/16/2016||24-14||1st||-||at Kansas City Royals||pp|
|05/17/2016||24-15||1st||-||at Kansas City Royals||L||8-4||Rick Porcello||6-2|
|05/18/2016||24-16||2nd||-1||at Kansas City Royals||L||3-2||Steven Wright||3-4|
|05/20/2016||25-17||2nd||-1||Cleveland Indians||L||4-2||Clay Buchholz||2-4|
|05/21/2016||26-17||2nd||-1||Cleveland Indians||W||9-1||Joe Kelly||2-0|
|05/22/2016||27-17||1st||-||Cleveland Indians||W||5-2||Rick Porcello||7-2|
|05/24/2016||28-17||1st||+1||Colorado Rockies||W||8-3||David Price||7-1|
|05/25/2016||29-17||1st||+2||Colorado Rockies||W||10-3||Steven Wright||4-4|
|05/26/2016||29-18||1st||+2||Colorado Rockies||L||8-2||Clay Buchholz||2-5|
|05/27/2016||29-19||1st||+1||at Toronto Blue Jays||L||7-5||Koji Uehara||2-2|
|05/28/2016||29-20||1st||+1||at Toronto Blue Jays||L||10-9||Craig Kimbrel||0-2|
|05/29/2016||30-20||1st||+1||at Toronto Blue Jays||W||5-3||Clay Buchholz||3-5|
|05/30/2016||31-20||1st||+2||at Baltimore Orioles||W||7-2||Steven Wright||5-4|
|05/31/2016||32-20||1st||+3||at Baltimore Orioles||W||6-2||Eduardo Rodriguez||1-0|
|06/01/2016||32-21||1st||+2||at Baltimore Orioles||L||13-9||Clay Buchholz||3-6|
|06/02/2016||32-22||1st||+1||at Baltimore Orioles||L||12-7||Robbie Ross||0-1|
|06/03/2016||32-23||1st||-||Toronto Blue Jays||L||5-2||David Price||7-2|
|06/04/2016||33-23||1st||+1||Toronto Blue Jays||W||6-4||Steven Wright||6-4|
|06/05/2016||33-24||1st||-||Toronto Blue Jays||L||5-4||Eduardo Rodriguez||1-1|
|06/07/2016||34-24||2nd||-1/2||at San Francisco Giants||W||5-3||Junichi Tazawa||1-1|
|06/08/2016||34-25||2nd||-1 1/2||at San Francisco Giants||L||2-1||David Price||7-3|
|06/10/2016||35-25||2nd||-1||at Minnesota Twins||W||8-1||Steven Wright||7-4|
|06/11/2016||36-25||1st||-||at Minnesota Twins||W||15-4||Heath Hembree||3-0|
|06/12/2016||36-26||1st||-||at Minnesota Twins||L||7-4||Matt Barnes||2-3|
|06/14/2016||36-27||2nd||-1||Baltimore Orioles||L||3-2||David Price||7-4|
|06/15/2016||37-27||1st||-||Baltimore Orioles||W||6-4||Steven Wright||8-4|
|06/16/2016||37-28||2nd||-1||Baltimore Orioles||L||5-1||Eduardo Rodriguez||1-2|
|06/17/2016||37-29||2nd||-1||Seattle Mariners||L||8-4||Roenis Elias||0-1|
|06/18/2016||38-29||2nd||-1||Seattle Mariners||W||6-2||Rick Porcello||8-2|
|06/19/2016||39-29||2nd||-1||Seattle Mariners||W||2-1||David Price||8-4|
|06/20/2016||39-30||2nd||-1||Chicago White Sox||L||3-1||Craig Kimbrel||0-3|
|06/21/2016||39-31||2nd||-1||Chicago White Sox||L||3-1||Clay Buchholz||3-7|
|06/22/2016||39-32||2nd||-1||Chicago White Sox||L||8-6||Koji Uehara||2-3|
|06/23/2016||40-32||2nd||-1 1/2||Chicago White Sox||W||8-7||Craig Kimbrel||1-3|
|06/24/2016||41-32||2nd||-1 1/2||at Texas Rangers||W||8-7||Heath Hembree||4-0|
|06/25/2016||41-33||2nd||-3||at Texas Rangers||L||10-3||Steven Wright||8-5|
|06/26/2016||41-34||2nd||-4||at Texas Rangers||L||6-2||Clay Buchholz||3-8|
|06/27/2016||41-35||2nd||-4 1/2||at Tampa Bay Rays||L||13-7||Eduardo Rodriguez||1-3|
|06/28/2016||42-35||2nd||-4 1/2||at Tampa Bay Rays||W||8-2||Rick Porcello||9-2|
|06/29/2016||42-36||2nd||-5 1/2||at Tampa Bay Rays||L||4-0||David Price||8-5|
|07/01/2016||43-36||2nd||-4||Los Angeles Angels||W||5-4||Steven Wright||9-5|
|07/02/2016||43-37||2nd||-4||Los Angeles Angels||L||21-2||Clay Buchholz||3-9|
|07/03/2016||44-37||2nd||-3||Los Angeles Angels||W||10-5||Sean O'Sullivan||2-0|
|07/04/2016||45-37||2nd||-2||Texas Rangers||W||12-5||Rick Porcello||10-2|
|07/05/2016||45-38||3rd||-3||Texas Rangers||L||7-2||David Price||8-6|
|07/06/2016||46-38||3rd||-3||Texas Rangers||W||11-6||Steven Wright||10-5|
|07/08/2016||47-38||3rd||-2||Tampa Bay Rays||W||6-5||Robbie Ross||1-1|
|07/09/2016||48-38||2nd||-2||Tampa Bay Rays||W||4-1||Rick Porcello||11-2|
|07/10/2016||49-38||2nd||-2||Tampa Bay Rays||W||4-0||David Price||9-6|
|07/11/2016||All Star Game Break|
|07/15/2016||50-38||2nd||-2||at New York Yankees||W||5-3||Steven Wright||11-5|
|07/16/2016||51-38||2nd||-2||at New York Yankees||W||5-2||Eduardo Rodriguez||2-3|
|07/17/2016||51-39||2nd||-2||at New York Yankees||L||3-1||David Price||9-7|
|07/19/2016||52-39||2nd||-1/2||San Francisco Giants||W||4-0||Rick Porcello||12-2|
|07/20/2016||53-39||1st||+1/2||San Francisco Giants||W||11-7||Matt Barnes||3-3|
|07/21/2016||54-39||1st||+1/2||Minnesota Twins||W||13-2||Steven Wright||12-5|
|07/22/2016||54-40||2nd||-1/2||Minnesota Twins||L||2-1||Eduardo Rodriguez||2-4|
|07/23/2016||54-41||2nd||-1 1/2||Minnesota Twins||L||11-9||Tommy Layne||0-1|
|07/24/2016||55-41||2nd||-1 1/2||Minnesota Twins||W||8-7||Rick Porcello||13-2|
|07/25/2016||55-42||2nd||-2 1/2||Detroit Tigers||L||4-2||Drew Pomeranz||8-8|
|07/26/2016||55-43||3rd||-2 1/2||Detroit Tigers||L||9-8||Robbie Ross||1-2|
|07/27/2016||55-44||3rd||-2 1/2||Detroit Tigers||L||4-3||Brad Ziegler||2-4|
|07/28/2016||55-45||3rd||-2 1/2||at Los Angeles Angels||L||2-1||Brad Ziegler||2-5|
|07/29/2016||56-45||3rd||-1 1/2||at Los Angeles Angels||W||6-2||Rick Porcello||14-2|
|07/30/2016||56-46||3rd||-2||at Los Angeles Angels||L||5-2||Drew Pomeranz||8-9|
|07/31/2016||57-46||3rd||-1 1/2||at Los Angeles Angels||W||5-3||Clay Buchholz||4-9|
|08/01/2016||58-46||2nd||-1||at Seattle Mariners||W||2-1||Junichi Tazawa||2-1|
|08/02/2016||58-47||3rd||-2||at Seattle Mariners||L||5-4||Fernando Abad||1-5|
|08/03/2016||58-48||3rd||-3||at Seattle Mariners||L||3-1||Rick Porcello||14-3|
|08/04/2016||59-48||3rd||-2||at Seattle Mariners||W||3-2||Craig Kimbrel||2-3|
|08/05/2016||60-48||3rd||-2||at Los Angeles Dodgers||W||9-0||Steven Wright||13-5|
|08/06/2016||60-49||3rd||-2||at Los Angeles Dodgers||L||3-0||Eduardo Rodriguez||2-5|
|08/07/2016||60-50||3rd||-3||at Los Angeles Dodgers||L||8-5||David Price||9-8|
|08/09/2016||61-50||3rd||-1 1/2||New York Yankees||W||5-3||Rick Porcello||15-3|
|08/10/2016||61-51||3rd||-2 1/2||New York Yankees||L||9-4||Fernando Abad||1-6|
|08/11/2016||61-52||3rd||-3||New York Yankees||L||4-2||Brad Ziegler||2-6|
|08/12/2016||62-52||3rd||-2 1/2||Arizona Diamondbacks||W||9-4||David Price||10-8|
|08/13/2016||63-52||3rd||-2||Arizona Diamondbacks||W||6-3||Robbie Ross||2-2|
|08/14/2016||64-52||3rd||-2||Arizona Diamondbacks||W||16-2||Rick Porcello||16-3|
|08/15/2016||65-52||3rd||-1||at Cleveland Indians||W||3-2||Drew Pomeranz||9-9|
|08/16/2016||66-52||2nd||-1||at Baltimore Orioles||W||5-3||Brad Ziegler||3-6|
|08/17/2016||67-52||2nd||-1||at Baltimore Orioles||W||8-1||David Price||11-8|
|08/18/2016||67-53||2nd||-1 1/2||at Detroit Tigers||L||4-3||Junichi Tazawa||2-2|
|08/19/2016||68-53||2nd||-1/2||at Detroit Tigers||W||10-2||Rick Porcello||17-3|
|08/20/2016||69-53||2nd||-1/2||at Detroit Tigers||W||3-2||Drew Pomeranz||10-9|
|08/21/2016||69-54||2nd||- 1/2||at Detroit Tigers||L||10-5||Henry Owens||0-1|
|08/22/2016||70-54||1st||-||at Tampa Bay Rays||W||6-2||David Price||12-8|
|08/23/2016||71-54||1st||-||at Tampa Bay Rays||W||2-1||Clay Buchholz||5-9|
|08/24/2016||71-55||1st||-||at Tampa Bay Rays||L||4-3||Heath Hembree||4-1|
|08/25/2016||71-56||1st||-||at Tampa Bay Rays||L||2-1||Drew Pomeranz||10-10|
|08/26/2016||71-57||2nd||-1||Kansas City Royals||L||6-3||Steven Wright||13-6|
|08/27/2016||72-57||2nd||-1||Kansas City Royals||W||8-3||David Price||13-8|
|08/28/2016||72-58||2nd||-2||Kansas City Royals||L||10-4||Eduardo Rodriguez||2-6|
|08/29/2016||73-58||2nd||-2||Tampa Bay Rays||W||9-4||Rick Porcello||18-3|
|08/30/2016||73-59||2nd||-2||Tampa Bay Rays||L||4-3||Clay Buchholz||5-10|
|08/31/2016||74-59||2nd||-2||Tampa Bay Rays||W||8-6||Junichi Tazawa||3-2|
|09/02/2016||75-59||2nd||-1||at Oakland Athletics||W||16-2||David Price||14-8|
|09/03/2016||76-59||1st||-||at Oakland Athletics||W||11-2||Rick Porcello||19-3|
|09/04/2016||76-60||2nd||-1||at Oakland Athletics||L||1-0||Craig Kimbrel||2-4|
|09/05/2016||76-61||2nd||-1||at San Diego Padres||L||2-1||Drew Pomeranz||10-11|
|09/06/2016||77-61||1st||-||at San Diego Padres||W||5-1||Clay Buchholz||6-10|
|09/07/2016||78-61||1st||+1||at San Diego Padres||W||7-2||David Price||15-8|
|09/09/2016||79-61||1st||+2||at Toronto Blue Jays||W||13-3||Rick Porcello||20-3|
|09/10/2016||79-62||1st||+1||at Toronto Blue Jays||L||3-2||Eduardo Rodriguez||2-7|
|09/11/2016||80-62||1st||+2||at Toronto Blue Jays||W||11-8||Robbie Ross||3-2|
|09/12/2016||81-62||1st||+2||Baltimore Orioles||W||12-2||David Price||16-8|
|09/13/2016||81-63||1st||+2||Baltimore Orioles||L||6-3||Drew Pomeranz||10-12|
|09/14/2016||81-64||1st||+1||Baltimore Orioles||L||1-0||Rick Porcello||20-4|
|09/15/2016||82-64||1st||+2||New York Yankees||W||7-5||Joe Kelly||3-0|
|09/16/2016||83-64||1st||+2||New York Yankees||W||7-4||Clay Buchholz||7-10|
|09/17/2016||84-64||1st||+3||New York Yankees||W||6-5||Matt Barnes||4-3|
|09/18/2016||85-64||1st||+3||New York Yankees||W||5-4||Robby Scott||1-0|
|09/19/2016||86-64||1st||+4||at Baltimore Orioles||W||5-2||Rick Porcello||21-4|
|09/20/2016||87-64||1st||+4||at Baltimore Orioles||W||5-2||Eduardo Rodriguez||3-7|
|09/21/2016||88-64||1st||+5||at Baltimore Orioles||W||5-1||Clay Buchholz||5-1|
|09/22/2016||89-64||1st||+5 1/2||at Baltimore Orioles||W||5-3||David Price||17-8|
|09/23/2016||90-64||1st||+5 1/2||at Tampa Bay Rays||W||2-1||Drew Pomeranz||11-12|
|09/24/2016||91-64||1st||+5 1/2||at Tampa Bay Rays||W||6-4||Rick Porcello||22-4|
|09/25/2016||92-64||1st||+5 1/2||at Tampa Bay Rays||W||3-2||Joe Kelly||4-0|
|09/27/2016||92-65||1st||+5||at New York Yankees||L||6-4||David Price||17-9|
|09/28/2016||92-66||1st||+5||at New York Yankees||L||5-3||Craig Kimbrel||2-5|
|09/29/2016||92-67||1st||+5||at New York Yankees||L||5-1||Henry Owens||0-2|
|09/30/2016||93-67||1st||+5||Toronto Blue Jays||W||5-3||Brad Ziegler||4-6|
|10/01/2016||93-68||1st||+5||Toronto Blue Jays||L||4-3||Craig Kimbrel||2-6|
|10/02/2016||93-69||1st||+4||Toronto Blue Jays||L||2-1||Brad Ziegler||4-7|
Rick Porcello named A.L. Pitcher of the month for September
The Blue Jays defeat the Orioles in the AL Wild Card game ... The Sox workout at Fenway Park
Brad Ziegler wins the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award ... The Sox workout at Progressive Field
|THE A.L. DIVISIONAL SERIES|
|10/06/2016||0-1||Game #1||at Cleveland Indians||L||5-4||Rick Porcello||0-1|
|10/07/2016||0-2||Game #2||at Cleveland Indians||L||6-0||David Price||0-1|
The Tampa Bay Rays defeat the Cleveland Indians in the American League tie-breaker game
|10/09/2016||0-2||Game #3||Cleveland Indians||pp|
|10/10/2016||0-3||Game #3||Cleveland Indians||L||4-3||Clay Buchholz||0-1|
|2016 RED SOX BATTING & PITCHING|