The Boston Red Sox needed a winning streak like this.
Their slow start was compounded by the fact that the first-seeded Yankees threatened to retire in the AL East, but the Red Sox have now won five straight after beating Seattle. Trevor Story has five home runs in his last four games, including a grand slam over the Green Monster on Friday that was caught by former Boston outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was at the game.
The Red Sox are still three games under .500 and 10 games behind division leader New York, but Boston is only three games away from a wild card and the team’s run difference is in positive territory.
Story’s rise is a welcome sight for the Red Sox. Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and JD Martinez are all hitting well over .300, but Boston hasn’t received many contributions from the rest of its lineup. The pitching team has its share of question marks, too, although Nick Pivetta started that winning streak by throwing a two-hitter against Houston.
The Red Sox still have a long way to go with the Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays ahead of them in the division. New York was defeated by the White Sox in a doubleheader on Sunday, but the Yankees had previously won 22 of 26.
Like Boston, the White Sox tussled earlier this season, but they were on a six-game winning streak earlier this month. Chicago is now within four games of Minnesota in the AL Central.
The Red Sox and White Sox play a three-game series beginning Tuesday night in Chicago.
The St. Louis Cardinals celebrated an easy 18-4 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday. At 18-0, catcher Yadier Molina took the mound and threw the last inning for the Cardinals. Albert Pujols hit two homers to take his career 683.
Pujols, 42, has an OPS of 0.779 this year. He hasn’t finished better in a season since 2016. Expectations were pretty low coming back to play for St. Louis, but he’s shown he still has some strength left — and he’s provided some comical relief with his own pitching performance in a win against San Francisco earlier this year month.
The Cardinals are three games behind first place in the NL Central and they are one of only six National League teams with a track record.
Story is one of five players in the majors with at least seven homers, five steals, 20 runs, and 25 RBIs. Who are the other four?
LINE OF THE WEEK
Story began his most recent home run binge with three of them in Boston’s 12-6 win over Seattle on Thursday night. He had four hits and seven RBIs that game.
COMEBACK OF THE WEEK
The Twins trailed 6-0 to Kansas City before storming back into the game in an eighth inning with five runs. Then, at the top of the ninth, a walk by Jorge Polanco, a double by Max Kepler and a sacrificial fly by Gary Sanchez allowed it to tie. Gio Urshela’s single broke the tie and Minnesota went on to win 7-6.
According to Baseball Savant, the Royals’ winning percentage peaked at 99.5% in the seventh game.
Shohei Ohtani, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and Jazz Chisholm.
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