Game 4 Recap: Hector Velazquez holds off Rays to get the win for the Sox

The Red Sox were able to hold off the Rays and win their third straight game, putting them at the top of the AL East

The Red Sox, as a group, have yet to impress me, but I wasn’t really expecting them to. But certain aspects of this team’s game have been amazing so far-one of those being their starting pitching. I wasn’t sure coming into today if Hector Velazquez would be able to do what Sale, Price, and Porcello were able to do in their first starts of the season, but Hector was able to continue the tremendous starting pitching in today’s win.

The offense hasn’t been so hot to start off the season. I didn’t expect everyone in the lineup to be red hot as soon as the season started, so I’m not really surprised or worried about the offense right now. One thing that frustrated me today was the amount of guys in scoring position that we left stranded.

Hector Velazquez impressed me today.  He started the game off retiring the side in the first inning.  In the second inning, the Red Sox righty gave up a home run.  It looked like maybe the Rays would score once more after singling twice in the inning.  Velazquez was able to escape the jam and get out of the inning only allowing one run.

Velazquez pitched fantastic the rest of the game.  His fastball was working very well today, and he used it a lot.  Velazquez continued into the sixth inning until he was pulled after getting two outs.  He ended the game only allowing one run and striking five batters out.  Heck of an outing out of Hector.  I wasn’t expecting this good of an outing out of him, but I am glad that he could continue the great starting pitching of this team.

In the fifth inning, the Red Sox were able to get the run back with an RBI single by J.D. Martinez.  This was his first RBI in a Red Sox uniform so that is nice to see.  The next inning, Rafael Devers was able to drive in another run to put the Sox up 2-1.  Devers has hit really well this opening series when the team has needed him.  Let’s hope he can keep this up.

Marcus Walden made his major league debut when he got the call to go in during the sixth inning with a runner on first and second with two outs.  He gave up a hit that could have been a run for the Rays, but they held a runner at third to make the bases loaded.  Walden then was able to get a flyout on the next batter.  The rookie came back out for the seventh and pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

The left-handed Bobby Poyner started the eighth inning for the Sox.  Poyner only had to throw one pitch to get the out that Alex Cora wanted.  Cora then turned to Barnes to finish the inning.  Barnes was able to hold off the Rays and finish the inning.

Joe Kelly came in to close for the team in the ninth.  This is when I was a little nervous.  After Kelly blew the game on Opening Day, it is safe to say that I don’t have the most confidence in him.  Kelly was able to get the first two outs pretty easily but then gave up two hits to put runners on.  Kelly then was able to strike out Denard Span on a 3-2 count to give him his first career save.

After losing the first game of the series, the Red Sox were able to win the next three to take the series from the Rays.  Here’s an updated look at the AL East standings:

It is always good to see the Red Sox at the top of the standings, and let’s hope they will remain at the top for the majority of the season.

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The Red Sox will be back in action tomorrow night against the Miami Marlins at 7:10 PM ET.  Brian Johnson is scheduled to make his first start of the season and looks to continue the terrific starting pitching that the Red Sox have shown in the first four games of the season.

Final Score: Red Sox 2, Rays 1

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About Gabe Faulkner

Red Sox die-hard. Founder of Sox Sphere. Follow me on Twitter @SoxSphereGabe.
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