ARLINGTON -- It had been theorized quite often by some that Rick Porcello would never again duplicate the magical season he had two years ago, one that ended with the right-hander winning the American League Cy Young Award.How about this, though? Maybe Porcello has an even better season in him.The
ARLINGTON -- It had been theorized quite often by some that Rick Porcello would never again duplicate the magical season he had two years ago, one that ended with the right-hander winning the American League Cy Young Award.
How about this, though? Maybe Porcello has an even better season in him.
The righty continued his magnificent start in 2018 by dominating the Rangers and leading the Red Sox to a 5-1 victory Friday night at Globe Life Park.
"Two years ago is a long time ago now, it feels like, so it's hard to compare," Porcello said. "I think we're doing some things differently than we even did two years ago. So I haven't really thought about what I was doing then. I know what I'm doing now, and I want to keep that going."
In six innings, Porcello (5-0, 2.14 ERA) looked surgical, allowing three hits and a run while walking one and striking out eight.
"Changeups in, changeups away, breaking balls … the usual," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "That was cool."
Offensively, the Red Sox were powerful, smashing four solo homers against ageless Rangers righty Bartolo Colon, two of them coming from Rafael Devers.
Boston's 21-year-old third baseman was five months old when Colon made his Major League debut in 1997.
"Yeah, to be honest, he was something of a phenom in the [Dominican Republic] and a superstar in my eyes," said Devers. "I was more happy just to face him. The home run was good, but I got more enjoyment just facing him, just because he's recognized pretty highly in the DR."
Mookie Betts continued his power surge by belting No. 13 to extend his Major League lead. J.D. Martinez also went deep to put the Red Sox on the board to open the second. Three of the four homers against Colon led off the inning.
As for Porcello, he had more than enough support the way he was pitching. Rangers slugger Nomar Mazara had the only significant hit, a solo homer in the fourth.
"He's got pretty good stuff. A cutter, a slider, a two-seam and a slow curveball, so when he's able to move those pitches like that, it's pretty tough to hit a homer against him," said Mazara, who went deep for the fourth straight game.
The way both pitchers commanded the strike zone made for a quick game, which took only two hours and 36 minutes to play.
"Colon was working quick and the game was flowing well, so it's definitely a little bit easier to get into a rhythm when the innings are turning over like that," said Porcello.
With the well-rounded win, the Red Sox have the best record in baseball at 23-9.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mookie makes more history: It has been a history-making week for Betts, who passed Ted Williams on Wednesday to claim the club record for three-homer games in a career with four. When Betts belted his homer off Colon in the sixth, it marked the 70th homer in his career while batting first in Boston's batting order, passing Dom DiMaggio for the team record. It was the third straight game Betts has homered.
"I don't think I've seen a player do so many things so well. I mean, he's the best right fielder, one of the best baserunners," said Porcello. "He hits for average, he hits for power, he doesn't strike out. What more could you ask for in a ballplayer?"
The homer tear Betts has been on is semi-ridiculous. He has seven homers in his last eight games and 11 in his last 14. In Boston's 17 road games, Betts has gone deep nine times.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Though Andrew Benintendi has yet to get hot at the plate, he continues to play tremendous defense in left field. In the sixth, he raced in to make a tremendous diving catch of a ball off the bat of Jurickson Profar.
HE SAID IT
"I know!" -- Devers, when reminded by a reporter he was just a baby when Colon made his Major League debut
Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0, 4.78 ERA) returns from the family medical leave list to start Saturday night's game against the Rangers. Rodriguez turned in three consecutive strong starts before a mishap his last time out, giving up five hits, five runs and three walks in four innings against the Royals. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET, and veteran lefty Cole Hamels is set to start for Texas.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.