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Red Sox postgame notes: Red Sox off to best start since 2006 as rotation rolls

04.15.13 at 3:57 pm ET
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Courtesy of the Red Sox media relations staff, postgame notes following the Red Sox’ 3-2 walkoff victory over Tampa Bay:

RED SOX NOTES (8-4)

The Red Sox won on a walk-off hit for the 2nd time this season, both in their last 3 games (also 4/13 vs. TB)…It was the club’s 3rd victory in a row, marking their 1st 3-game winning streak since claiming 4 straight, 7/28-31/12.

  • Boston has 8 wins in the club’s 1st 12 games of a season for the 1st time since 2006 (also 8-4)…It matches the club’s best start in 20 seasons since an 8-4 start in 1993.
  • The Red Sox swept the Rays in a series for the 1st time since 5/24-26/10 in TB (3 G), and it was the Sox’ 1st sweep of the Rays at Fenway Park since 9/12-13/09 (3 G).

Red Sox starters now have a 1.99 ERA (16 ER/72.1 IP) with 84 strikeouts in 2013…Today marked the staff’s eighth straight start allowing 2 earned runs or fewer, the most since 9 in a row from 4/16-24/11.

  • Ryan Dempster and Clay Buchholz are the 1st starters in Red Sox history to strike out at least 10 while allowing 2 or fewer hits in consecutive games (Source: Elias)…Also they are the 1st to record 10 or more strikeouts in back-to-back games since Pedro Martinez and Hideo Nomo in 2001 (5/24-25).
  • Sox starters have also now held opponents to 3 runs or fewer in all 12 games this season, extending the longest such streak to begin a campaign in club history (prev., 1st 9 starts of 1916), and the longest by an AL club since the 1990 Brewers (1st 14 starts).

Dempster allowed 2 hits and struck out 10 over 7.0 innings but did not factor in the decision…He walked 2 and surrendered only run on a solo homer by Evan Longoria…He has averaged 13.24 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (25 K/17.0 IP) in his 1st 3 games this season…It was the 15th double-digit strikeout game of his career and 1st since 4/5/12 vs. WAS with CHC.

  • He has fanned at least 7 batters in each of his 1st 3 starts as a member of the Red Sox, the most such consecutive games to begin a season in his career…He joins Curt Schilling (2004) as the only Red Sox pitchers to achieve the feat since Pedro Martinez in 1998 (5 in a row).
  • Dempster has struck out 7 or more batters in 9 of his last 11 starts since 8/31/12 with TEX…In that time he is averaging 11.01 K’s per 9.0 IP (73 K/59.2 IP)…He has whiffed 8 or more batters in a game 5 times since the start of September 2012.
  • Along with 3 hits allowed in his last outing, Dempster has surrendered 3 hits or less in back-to-back starts for 2nd time in his career (also 4/3-9/08 w/ CHC)…It is the 1st time in his career that he has made consecutive starts with 3 hits or less allowed and 8 or more strikeouts.

Koji Uehara tossed 1.0 scoreless inning of relief today, setting a new career high with 17.0 consecutive scoreless frames since 9/1/12 (previous 16.0 from 6/22-7/31/11)…He extended his career-high scoreless-outings streak to 20 games in that time…Uehara has yielded 3 hits and 2 walks (1 IBB) with 24 K’s during the streak.

Mike Napoli drove in the game-winning run with a double in the bottom of the 9th inning…It was his 3rd career walk-off hit (last 7/23/09 vs. MIN w/ LAA)…He leads the Red Sox with 11 RBI, all in his last 9 games.

Jacoby Ellsbury tripled to lead off the game and scored the contest’s 1st run…He has 3 triples in the Red Sox 1st 12 games of the season, the 1st Sox to do so since Jose Offerman in 1999…It was Boston’s 1st lead-off triple since J.D. Drew on 4/18/11 vs. TOR.

Dustin Pedroia walked and scored the game-winning run…He has reached in all 12 games of 2013 and in 22 consecutive contests overall starting on 9/21/12.

RAYS NOTES (4-8)

THE RAYS were swept by the Red Sox for the 1st time since 5/24-26/10 (3 G) and for the 1st time at Fenway Park since 9/12-13/09 (3 G)…They have lost 6 of their last 7 games, being outscored 33-10 in that stretch…The Rays have scored 2 runs or less in 5 straight games, tying their 3rd longest such streak in franchise history and their longest since doing it in a club record 7 straight from 9/7-13/09.

  • The Rays have struck out 25 times in the last 2 games combined, 13 of those coming today…It marked the 1st time they had at least 12 K’s in consecutive games as a team since 7/7-8/12.
  • Evan Longoria hit the Rays 1st road home run of the season and 1st home run overall since Kelly Johnson on 4/6 vs. CLE, snapping the team’s 6-game homerless drought…The homerless streak was the club’s longest since going a team-record 8 games from 8/10-18/07.
  • Ben Zobrist tied the score at 2 with an RBI single in the 9th inning, snapping an 0-for-24 streak by Rays hitters with runners in scoring position.

Jeremy Hellickson struck out a season-high 9 batters over 7.0 innings of 2-run ball…It tied for his 2nd-highest strikeout total in his career (also 10 on 4/6/11 vs. LAA)…He allowed 3 hits, including a home run, with 1 walk.

Evan Longoria has reached base safely in every game this season and has reached in 26 straight dating back to 9/14/12, hitting .323 (30-for-93) with 13 walks in that time after going 1-for-4 today with a homer and both RBI.

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