BOSTON — An uneven first half came to a close on a positive note, as the Red Sox knocked off the White Sox, 6-3, on a rainy night at Fenway Park.
At the season’s halfway point, the Sox sit third in the AL East at 44-37. It’s a far cry from where they want to be, but Alex Cora is doing his best to put a positive spin on it.
“As far as this year, I’ve been saying all along inconsistency,” Cora said before the game. “We have 43 wins, so I don’t know how many teams can say that they’ve been inconsistent and not great and all that and have 43 wins. Not too many teams can say that, so that’s the way we see it.”
Here are five takes from win No. 44:
1. Devers lookslocked it
Rafael Devers got a little luck from the Baseball Gods in his first at-bat. The 22-year-old third baseman popped a ball down the left field line that fellow 22-year-old Eloy Jiménez completely whiffed on. But because the left fielder didn’t touch the ball, it went in the book as an RBI double.
He next two doubles would be far louder.
In the fifth, Devers scalded a ball into the gap, and in the seventh he absolutely smashed another double off the garage door in dead center field.
The last Red Sox player with a three-double game at 22 or younger? Dwight Evans in 1973.
2. Bogey delivers again
After two misplays early in the game, Xander Bogaerts redeemed himself at the plate — and then some.
Bogaerts blasted the go-ahead homer, a two-run shot over the Green Monster in the fifth, his 15th of the season. The Sox can’t ask much more of their shortstop; after signing a six-year extension, he’s on pace for the best year of his career.
3. Quality night for Price
After a back-to-back abbreviated starts, David Price looked strong last night. The starter threw six innings in the rain, allowing three runs, two earned, and elicited a ton of swings and misses. Price struck out nine White Sox and didn’t walk a batter.
One thing to monitor though, his four-seam fastball averaged a tick under 92 MPH again. That’s where it’s been for all of June (91.9 mph), and according to Brooks Baseball, that’s the lowest velocity of any month in his career.
4. Heavy workload for Barnes
After two days off, Cora went back to Matt Barnes, who threw a scoreless seventh.
It was the reliever’s 13th appearance in 25 days, and he’s only had a heavier workload during one month in his career, when he pitched 14 times in May 2017. With two games against the Yankees in London ahead, chances are he at least ties that.
5. Asking a lot of Work, too
Brandon Workman also made his 13th appearance of the month, tasked with locking down the save. He allowed a double — a rarity against him this season — but got the job done in a scoreless ninth inning.
Chris Mason is a Red Sox beat writer for the Eagle-Tribune and CNHI Sports Boston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org him on Twitter at @ByChrisMason