Rafael Devers

Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports

Red Sox 9, Angels 0: The beatings go on for baseball's hottest team behind Devers, Porcello

John Tomase
April 19, 2018 - 1:28 am

Remember when the Red Sox used to play competitive games? Those were the days.

Baseball's hottest team since the second game of the season, the Red Sox have become its most overwhelming squad over the last week.

They extended the best start in franchise history with a 9-0 victory in Anaheim on Wednesday that ran their record to 15-2 while dealing a second straight whupping on the hosts, who entered the series riding high themselves, but have been made to look like second-class citizens over the last two nights.

One night after slamming a season-high six homers, including three from Mookie Betts, the Red Sox managed half that total, but one of them packed a particular punch. Third baseman Rafael Devers launched the team's fourth grand slam of the year during a five-run third.

That may not sound like much, but it's four more than they managed all of last season, when their bases-loaded futility acted as a microcosm for their offensive struggles as a whole.

Then, the Red Sox put themselves in pitcher's counts by refusing to swing at early fastballs. Now they're taking rips at the first good pitch they see, and the approach is paying dividends, as Devers proved.

"He's huge," J.D. Martinez told NESN. "I feel like he's that piece in the lineup that kind of gets taken for granted. Everyone's kind of just worried about everyone else and what they can do. He's that wild card out there. You never know what he's going to do. The kid's got great ability, great talent. He can hit. He knows he can hit. We all know he can hit. For him to come up big like that today was huge."

It also made a winner of right-hander Rick Porcello, who improved to 4-0 with six shutout innings that lowered his ERA to 1.40. Porcello loaded the bases in the first before escaping damage with a pair of strikeouts. He wouldn't be tested again en route to the team's sixth straight win.

The home runs are coming in bunches now. In addition to Devers' grand slam, J.D. Martinez (4th) and Mitch Moreland (1st) added a solo and two-run shot, respectively. Martinez went 4-for-5 and is now batting .313.

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