Rick Porcello did it all on Monday Night in the Nation’s Capital. He was able to out-pitch two-time Cy Young Award winner and former teammate with the Detroit Tigers, Max Scherzer, and also provided the Boston offense with the game-deciding hit.
With the bases loaded and an 0-2 count, Porcello did the unthinkable as he unloaded an 0-2 96 mph fastball to left-center to clear the bases and put Boston on top 3-0. It was the first career extra base hit of his career for the American League pitcher who came to the plate with a .156 career batting average. Maybe it was those five seasons spent together in Detroit, but Porcello got to Scherzer with the key-hit that lifted the Boston offense to victory by driving the fastball to the outfield and providing the 3 critical RBI’s.
On the hill, Porcello cruised outside of a pair of solo homers allowed to Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy to turn in a quality start with six innings of work on the road against an imposing lineup. Max Scherzer went six innings as well and punched out 9 batters, becoming the first pitcher since Randy Johnson to record more than 1,000 strikeouts in both leagues (11th to record the feat with two different teams).
Mookie Betts provided a critical insurance run with his 21st home run off Brandon Kintzler, because not long after Bryce Harper mashed his 21st to make it a one-run game once more. Boston locked down the 4-3 win on the road against the Nats with Craig Kimbrel recording his 25th save of the season.
Porcello improved to 10-3 on the season with a 3.57 ERA and his 3 RBI’s at the plate made the difference in the narrow victory over the best pitcher in baseball today, Max Scherzer.
The 57-29 first-place Red Sox continue their series with the 42-41 Nats on Tuesday and through the 4th of July for the three-game inter-league series.