Rick Porcello, Dustin Pedroia
and Mookie Betts
ON THIS DATE (August 14, 2016) ... Mookie Betts homers on a fly ball to left-center field. Dustin Pedroia scores … Mookie Betts homers on a fly ball to left field. Dustin Pedroia scores. Brock Holt scores … Mookie Betts homers on a fly ball to left field. Andrew Benintendi scores. Dustin Pedroia scores.
The last time Betts hit three homers was May 31st in Baltimore, and he said he wanted to be more consistent. He seemed to accomplish that by being the Player of the Month in July.
Betts who is now firmly in the middle of the American League MVP race, is on pace for 36 homers, 127 runs, 117 RBIs, and 25 steals. Betts and Rick Porcello are thrusting themselves into the American League MVP and Cy Young conversations.
Both players have had superb seasons, reinforced in a 16-2 Red Sox win over the Diamondbacks before a sold-out crowd of 36,842. Betts provided another snapshot of a great career so far with four hits, three homers and eight RBIs, while Porcello pitched seven innings of three-hit ball. Porcello allowed only a fourth-inning Michael Bourn home run, throwing an economical 80 pitches on a steamy day at Fenway.
Porcello’s best work came in the first inning when Arizona leadoff man Jean Segura singled off the wall. Rookie Andrew Benintendi overshot the cutoff, and Segura moved to second base. Porcello struck out Bourn, got Paul Goldschmidt to tap back to the mound, and struck out Jake Lamb.
Zack Greinke, who signed a six-year, $205 million deal and earns $31 million this season, allowed 10 hits and nine runs, and threw 43 of the worst pitches of his career.
The win, which featured 19 hits, completed a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks. The Red Sox slammed four homers. After Hanley Ramirez stroked his second of three hits, Bradley pulled a ball that clanged off the Pesky Pole. The Sox had a 9-0 lead and Dominic Leone came in for Greinke.
The offensive explosion enabled Porcello to improve to 12-0 at Fenway this year. Porcello is now 16-3 with a 3.30 ERA. The 27-year-old righty is 8-1 with a 2.39 ERA in his last nine starts and is tied with Toronto’s J.A. Happ for the major league lead in wins.
Betts has 26 homers, tied with David Ortiz for the team lead, and 84 RBIs. He teamed well with leadoff man Dustin Pedroia, who had five hits (four singles and a double). It was Pedroia’s fifth career five-hit game, the most in Red Sox history.