Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox continued their winning ways in their return to Fenway Park on Monday, and extended their current hot streak to seven straight victories behind a 5-0 shutout win over the Texas Rangers.

The party began with one on and two outs in the first as Steven Pearce clobbered a home run into the Green Monster.

Donning the Red Sox home whites for the first time since the team acquired him from the Blue Jays late last month, Pearce undoubtedly made a strong first impression on the Fenway Faithful, and finished the night 2-for-4 at the dish. In just eight games with the Sox, the 35-year-old Pearce has certainly looked the part of a worthwhile right-swinging addition to the Sox lineup, and is hitting .458 behind an 11-for-24 run that’s featured one home run and five RBIs to date.

Not to be outdone by the night’s end, the Red Sox’ Slugger Supreme, J.D. Martinez, went yard for the MLB-best 28th time this season with two on and no outs in the home half of the eighth inning. A starter in this month’s All-Star Game in Washington, Martinez has started July on fire, with homers in three of his six appearances nine days into the month.

But it all would have been for naught without yet another solid start from Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.

Despite putting forth another grind-it-out effort that failed to see him log at least six innings, Rodriguez remained effective, with just three hits allowed and five strikeouts over his 5.2 innings of work.

“I just care, for him, that he gives us a chance to win,” Cora said after the E-Rod’s 11th victory of the season (the Red Sox are 15-3 overall in his 18 starts this year). “I know wins are wins, but I like the fact that he’s giving us a chance to win.”

With Boston’s win coming with the Yankees splitting their double-header with the Orioles, the Red Sox gained a half game on their lead in the American League East, giving them a 2.5 game cushion over the Bombers.

The Red Sox will look for their eighth win in a row Tuesday night, as Hector Velazquez gets the start opposite the Rangers’ Yovani Gallardo. Alex Cora’s Red Sox have had two prior winning streaks of at least eight games this season.