Porcello won his major league-leading 18th game of the season after leading the Sox to a comfortable 9-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays last night.
"When you look at the standings we're still chasing so there's nothing to be complacent about". You still have to gain ground on Toronto. The Rays are in last place in the AL East but will have a say in how the division shakes out after beginning a stretch of 26 straight games against AL East opponents with Monday's loss. "That's how I kind of view it".
"It's cool to be a part of that, but I've got to know that what we're doing, we're in a [pennant] race right now, and I think that's the way we want to focus", Betts said before slinging a backpack on his shoulders like the college students who will be returning to Boston en masse next week.
Porcello (18-3) became the majors' first 18-game victor and the first Red Sox pitcher in 70 years to open a season 13-0 in Fenway Park, and Mookie Betts hit his 30th homer, a solo shot, and drove in two runs for Boston.
Brock Holt and Travis Shaw each had three hits for Boston. Tampa Bay is 22-29 against the AL East and has dropped three of its last four overall.TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), NESN (Boston) PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Jake Odorizzi (9-5, 3.53 ERA) vs.
Porcello (18-3) allowed three runs and six hits, striking out seven without issuing a walk to become the first Boston pitcher since Dave "Boo" Ferriss finished 13-0 at home in 1946 to start a season by winning his initial 13 decisions in Fenway.
Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia missed the game after a death in the family, but he's expected back Tuesday.
Matt Andriese (6-6) took the loss, giving up a season-high seven runs in four-plus innings. "They probably recognized that from the last outing and I just wasn't as good with the fastball locations".
Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1: Josh Donaldson hit his fourth homer in two days, and Marco Estrada allowed one run and four hits over seven-plus innings.
For the Rays, Logan Forsythe, Nick Franklin, Corey Dickerson and Bobby Wilson had two.
Neither was Red Sox manager John Farrell, who three weeks ago could no longer resist the urge to move such a prolific run producer from the top of the order to the cleanup spot. Longoria seemed to mistime the speed of the liner, raising his glove a bit late. Holt added an RBI double.
The Rays got one back in the fifth, but back-to-back doubles by David Ortiz and Betts plated another run, and Shaw drove in another with a single to push the score to 7-3.
Betts homered over the Green Monster, hitting a billboard with the ball bouncing onto the field.
"We just got beat tonight", said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash, whose team is 55-75, 6-8 against the Red Sox. He became the third hitter (with Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro) to have 30 home runs before he reached the age of 24. It affected the game. "I'm just doing what I can, '" Rick Porcello said with a laugh. We project him to hit three more taters and post an.813 OPS over the remaining course of the season. It features several leaders in ERA since the beginning of July, Porcello ranks ninth in Major League Baseball (9-1, 2.60), David Price 14th (5-3, 2.87) and Drew Pomeranz, who starts for the Sox tonight, 26th (3-3, 3.24).