Boston Red Sox

By Matt McCarthy,

The Red Sox earned their first series win of 2019, beating the Rays 6-5 Saturday night in St. Petersburg.

Here are four takeaways from the win:

1. Finally, a big inning:

The Red Sox made a habit of big innings in 2018, but have struggled to put up crooked numbers in 2019. That changed on Saturday when Andrew Benintendi helped the Red Sox finally do some damage:

The five-run inning was made possible by Charlie Morton’s poor command. The righty walked two, including Jackie Bradley Jr., and hit Sandy Leon with two men out to bring up Benintendi with the bases loaded.

It was the first career grand slam for Benintendi.

2. Rick Porcello finally pitched well:

The sinkerballer entered Saturday night with an 0-3 record and an 11.12 ERA, but turned in what was easily his strongest outing of 2019 with 5 2/3 innings of solid baseball. The righty struck out five and allowed six hits.

3. Walden delivers out of ‘pen:

Marcus Walden, just up from Pawtucket, picked up two huge strikeouts in the seventh inning to strand the tying run at third. Walden bailed out Bobby Poyner, who had just given up a two-run triple to cut Boston’s lead to 5-4.

4. Chavis contributes with first hit

With the game tied 5-5 in the ninth, Michael Chavis came up for his first career at-bat.

He delivered in a big way:

Benintendi would follow that double up with a sacrifice fly, driving in the go-ahead run from third.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.