Red Sox climbing out of early hole with much-needed streak

May 22, 2022, 11:49 AM | Updated: 11:51 pm
Boston Red Sox's Trevor Story celebrates his grand slam against the Seattle Mariners during the thi...

Boston Red Sox's Trevor Story celebrates his grand slam against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, May 20, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Boston Red Sox needed a winning streak like this.

Their slow start was exacerbated by the fact that the first-place Yankees were threatening to pull away in the AL East, but the Red Sox have now won five in a row after sweeping Seattle. Trevor Story has five homers in the last four games, including a grand slam over the Green Monster on Friday that was caught by former Boston outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was at the game.

The Red Sox are still three games under .500 and 10 games behind division-leading New York, but Boston is only three games out of a wild card, and the team’s run differential is in positive territory.

Story’s surge is a welcome sight for the Red Sox. Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez are all hitting well over .300, but Boston hasn’t gotten many contributions from the rest of its lineup. The pitching staff has its share of question marks as well, although Nick Pivetta started this winning streak by throwing a two-hitter against Houston.

The Red Sox still have a lot of work to do, with the Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays ahead of them in the division. New York was swept in a doubleheader by the White Sox on Sunday, but the Yankees had won 22 of 26 prior to that.

Like Boston, the White Sox were scuffling earlier this season, but they went on a six-game winning streak earlier this month. Chicago is now within four games of Minnesota in the AL Central.

The Red Sox and White Sox play a three-game series in Chicago starting Tuesday night.

VETERANS

The St. Louis Cardinals enjoyed an easy 18-4 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday. With the score 18-0, catcher Yadier Molina took the mound and pitched the final inning for the Cardinals. Albert Pujols hit two home runs to bring his career total to 683.

The 42-year-old Pujols has an OPS of .779 this year. He hasn’t finished better than that in a season since 2016. Expectations were pretty low when he went back to play for St. Louis again, but he has shown he still has some power left — and he provided some comic relief with his own pitching appearance in a win over San Francisco earlier this month.

The Cardinals are three games out of first place in the NL Central, and they’re one of only six National League teams with a winning record.

TRIVIA TIME

Story is one of five players in the majors with at least seven homers, five steals, 20 runs and 25 RBIs. Who are the other four?

LINE OF THE WEEK

Story began his recent home run binge with three of them in Boston’s 12-6 victory over Seattle on Thursday night. He had four hits and seven RBIs in that game.

COMEBACK OF THE WEEK

The Twins were down 6-0 to Kansas City before storming back into the game with a five-run eighth inning. Then in the top of the ninth, a walk by Jorge Polanco, a double by Max Kepler and a sacrifice fly by Gary Sanchez enabled them to tie it. Gio Urshela’s single broke the tie, and Minnesota went on to a 7-6 win.

Acccording to Baseball Savant, the Royals’ win probability peaked at 99.5% in the seventh.

TRIVIA ANSWER

Shohei Ohtani, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and Jazz Chisholm.

___

Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) dunks over Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul during the first h...
Associated Press

Murray scores 21 points, Hawks roll past Suns 132-100

PHOENIX (AP) — Trae Young rose up for a 3-pointer in the second half that left his hands way too hard, hurtling toward the basket before slamming off the backboard and through the hoop. Atlanta’s star guard shrugged and ran back down the court with a sheepish grin. Things were going the Hawks way Wednesday […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, left, guards Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, right, during ...
Associated Press

Markkanen, Conley power Jazz to 131-128 win over Raptors

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 28 points and 13 rebounds and Mike Conley added a three-point play and two clutch free throws in the closing minutes to lift the Utah Jazz to a 131-128 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. “Taking my time, having a little more patience, not just […]
1 day ago
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) looks to pass while defended by Minnesota Timberwolv...
Associated Press

Russell, Edwards help Timberwolves beat Warriors in OT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — D’Angelo Russell scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Anthony Edwards took over in overtime after Russell fouled out and the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the Golden State Warriors 119-114 on Wednesday night. Russell fouled out after two quick whistles in the first minute of overtime. That set the stage […]
1 day ago
Boston Bruins' Pavel Zacha (not shown) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs' goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35)...
Associated Press

Pavel Zacha scores twice as Bruins beat Maple Leafs 5-2

TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs feel like they can keep up with the NHL-leading Boston Bruins. They just need to do it for three consecutive periods. Pavel Zacha scored twice in the third as Boston surged past the Maple Leafs 5-2 on Wednesday. After a scoreless first period, Toronto trailed 2-1 at the […]
1 day ago
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots as Houston Rockets center Alperen Se...
Associated Press

Gordon, rookie Eason help Rockets defeat Thunder 112-106

HOUSTON (AP) — Eric Gordon had a season-high 25 points and rookie Tari Eason added career-high 20 to lead the Houston Rockets to a 112-106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. The Rockets (13-38), who have the worst record in the Western Conference, have won three of their last five games after […]
1 day ago
Florida guard Will Richard celebrates with fans after the second half of an NCAA college basketball...
Associated Press

Florida upends No. 2 Tennessee 67-54 behind Colin Castleton

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Colin Castleton is accustomed to being double-teamed every time he touches the ball, so he was pleasantly surprised — maybe even downright stunned — when Tennessee opted to guard him with a single defender in the second half. “I’ve got to take advantage of that,” Castleton said. He did. Castleton scored […]
1 day ago
Red Sox climbing out of early hole with much-needed streak