Travis Shaw recorded his first major league extra-base hit and first major league home run in the Red Sox' win over the Rays. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Travis Shaw (5 runs, 4 hits, 2 home runs) paces Red Sox offense in win over Rays

Ryan Hannable
August 01, 2015 - 1:14 pm
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After a sluggish start offensively following the All-Star break, the Red Sox offense has turned a corner. Coming out of the break the Red Sox averaged 1.77 over the first nine games, but since then they have scored at least seven runs in five of their last seven games, including Saturday's 11-7 win over the Rays. It was the Red Sox' third straight win, their first three-game winning streak since their four-game win streak that ended July 8. "Just an outstanding day," manager John Farrell said. "Quality at-bats up and down the lineup. Starts off with Brock [Holt] leading off the game with a base hit and we were able to get on the board early, extend the lead, and enough to hold on." The Red Sox scored early and often against Rays left-hander Matt Moore. They scored a run in the first and exploded for four in the second before adding another in the third to make it a 6-0 game after three innings. Travis Shaw, who was called up Saturday morning, paced the offense, going 4-for-4 with a walk with two home runs, a double and three RBIs -- finishing a triple shy of the cycle. He recorded his first career extra-base hit and then he followed with his first career homer. He also scored five runs, which is the most by a Red Sox player since Aug. 12, 2008. It was his third professional two-homer game, as he had two in the minors. Boston's offensive took advantage of going against Moore, who entered with a 7.61 ERA. Moore lasted just three innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Although the Sox jumped out to a 6-0 lead, the win didn't come easy. Red Sox starter Joe Kelly got off to an excellent start, as after allowing a single to John Jaso to open the game, he retired the next nine batters before falling apart over the next three innings. In the fourth, Kelly allowed the first four batters to reach, but he did settle down to limit the damage to only two runs. Then in the fifth, after allowing four straight batters to reach and two more runs, he retired the final two with runners on first and third to escape. He allowed another run in the sixth, which ultimately ended his day. Kelly finished the game going five-plus innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. Justin Masterson came on in relief and allowed an inherited runner to score and a run of his own to make it a 7-6 game at the time. The Sox added some insurance runs in the sixth as Rusney Castillo drove in two with an RBI single to right and then two more in the eighth on Shaw's second homer of the day. Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox' win: WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Xander Bogaerts went 4-for-5. It's his fifth four-hit game this season, which is the most in all of baseball. -- Ryan Hanigan's single in the second inning extended his hit streak to six games, which is a season high. He has reached base in 17 of 18 home games this season. -- Holt extended his hit streak to five games with his single in the first inning. Over that span he's batting .400. -- Castillo went 3-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt and four RBIs. It was his third career three-hit game. WHAT WENT WRONG -- Kelly has yet to prove he can be a consistent starter in the major leagues. He hasn't gone longer than 5 1/3 innings in any of his last five starts and it seems more and more his stuff would play better as a reliever (shorter stints), as evidenced by the start he got off to in the game. It's the eighth time in 17 starts he's allowed at least five runs. -- Mike Napoli went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts after his game-winning homer Friday night. -- Jean Machi, making his Red Sox debut, allowed a solo homer to Logan Forsythe in the ninth.

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