The Boston Red Sox are currently on the hottest streak of any AL East team this season and are showing no signs of slowing down. Rick Porcello earned consecutive victories for the first time this season in what was an 8-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. The right-hander allowed just two runs on four hits over six innings, earning just his sixth win of the season. The win is Boston's eighth in a row, which is their longest streak since winning 11 straight last September. Jake Odorizzi returned from the disabled list on Wednesday for the Rays, but quickly exited after taking a line drive off the foot in the fifth inning. That came off the bat of Eduardo Nunez, as the Red Sox took advantage of the injury to score five runs in the inning against the Rays' bullpen. Odroizzi gave up just two runs, one of which was earned, but was charged with the loss in his first start since July 23rd. Brad Miller and Adeiny Hechevarria both went deep for a Rays' offense that has scored just four runs over the past five games. Boston hangs on to a four-game lead on the New York Yankees, who got an 11-5 win over the Blue Jays on Thursday. The Red Sox will visit the Yankees for a big three-game series beginning on Friday.
Wood Earns 14th Victory, Dodgers Win 80th Game
The Los Angeles Dodgers overcame what has now become a rare loss on Tuesday night, as they turned to one of their more reliable starters on Wednesday. Alex Wood earned his 14th win, as the Dodgers won their 80th game of the year with a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Los Angeles scored twice in the seventh, capped off by a Yasiel Puig RBI single to take Game 2 of the three-game set. The victory makes them just the sixth team since 1913 to reach 80 victories in the first 113 games of the season. D-backs ace Zack Greinke gave up the go-ahead inning after allowing just one run through six. Puig had three hits off the right-hander, while Cody Bellinger added a home run and a double on the night. The rookie scored twice for the Dodgers, who handed Greinke his first loss in 13 home starts this season. The ace fell to 13-5 on the season overall after getting charged with three runs on four hits over 6.2 innings. He struck out eight and walked four in a losing effort. Wood allowed two runs on six hits over six innings for the Dodgers, surrendering a solo shot to Paul Goldschmidt and an RBI single to J.D. Martinez. Josh Fields would then throw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, while Kenley Jansen earned his 29th save in his first appearance since Sunday. The rubber game of this NL West-division series will take place on Thursday night.
Molina's Grand Slam Keeps Cardinals Hot
The St. Louis Cardinals' latest hot stretch has them right back in the thick of the NL Central race, as they earned an exciting 8-5 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. Yadier Molina's grand slam was the difference in the Cardinals fifth straight victory, three of which have come against their in-state rival. Molina went deep to left field in the sixth inning, just one pitch after the game was delayed shortly due to a stray cat on the field. Peter Moylan gave up the long ball after Brandon Maurer started the rally on the mound. The slam was the fifth of his career, as well as his 14th home run of the season. The Royals, meanwhile, are going in the opposite direction with eight losses in the past 10 games. Melky Cabrera's two-run home run gave the Royals the lead before the Cardinals rallied to go ahead for good. Whit Merrifield led the Royals' offense with four hits in the loss. The Cardinals also had to come back from an early 3-0 deficit, which Jose Martinez chipped in early on with his ninth big fly. Matt Bowman got his third win for St. Louis, who had Trevor Rosenthal close things out for his ninth save. The Cardinals now sit just 1.5 games out of first place in the NL Central, and can sweep away the Royals on Thursday night.