Rick Porcello went seven strong innings in the Red Sox' win Tuesday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Rick Porcello goes 7 strong innings, Mookie Betts homers twice in Red Sox win

Ryan Hannable
May 05, 2015 - 5:38 pm
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Call him the stopper. For the second time in as many starts, Rick Porcello followed a Clay Buchholz sub-par outing with a good one. Porcello went seven shutout innings and led the team to a 2-0 win over the Rays Tuesday night. The win snapped a four-game losing streak. Porcello went seven complete innings, not allowing a run, while scattering eight hits (all singles), not walking a batter and striking out six. It was the second straight start he's gone seven full innings. "Seven strong innings He scattered eight hits," manager John Farrell said. "We turned an uncommon double play to get out of a potential jam. The biggest thing was he didn't walk anyone and I thought after the fourth inning, those final three innings, he threw the ball down in the strike zone a little bit more consistently. But on a day where we needed a strong performance he gave it to us." After being no-hit through the first five innings, Mookie Betts led off the sixth inning with a solo home run over everything in left field. He would also homer in his next at-bat, a towering shot landing in the Monster seats to give the Red Sox an insurance run leading off the bottom half of the eighth. He now has five home runs this season. "For what we saw from spring training on, take away the average, his timing at the plate is pretty consistent even though he's had some balls where he's hit hard right at some people," said Farrell. "His hand-eye coordination allows him to get that kind of swing on a first pitch that he sees -- I don't know if he's faced [Ernesto] Frieri before, but he's able to do it in his final at-bat. One heck of an athlete that -- we're seeing some special things in a short glimpse." Rays starter Drew Smyly pitched well in the loss going six innings, allowing one run on two hits, while walking two and striking out six. It was his first loss of the season. In relief of Porcello, Alexi Ugando threw a scoreless eighth and Koji Uehara made his first appearance in a game since last Wednesday to pick up the save. SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Porcello. The Red Sox needed a solid start from their starter and Porcello delivered for the second straight outing. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid. Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox' win: WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Betts now has a four-game hit streak courtesy of his two homers. It was his first career multi-homer game. -- David Ortiz's double in the sixth inning extended his hit streak to eight games. He's hitting .355 in that span. -- Allen Craig singled off the Monster to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, but was thrown out trying to get to second base. It was just his seventh hit of the season. He did make a nice running catch in the left to end the top of the eighth. WHAT WENT WRONG -- The Red Sox offense once again struggled out of the gates, as they didn't record their first hit until Betts' home run in the sixth, and finished with five total hits in the game. -- Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He's now hitting just .074 against left-handers this year.

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