After a 19-inning loss to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Boston Red Sox needed a strong pitching performance from Rubby De La Rosa in Sunday’s series finale against the Angels and that is exactly what they got. De La Rosa was dominate as his strong pitching performance along with a clutch three-run homer off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes led the Sox to a 3-1 victory.
The young right-hander gave up just one run in seven strong innings and showed just why the team has high hopes for him. It was his first win away from Fenway Park and his second consecutive strong start. It was also Boston’s first series win since a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals July 18-20. The Sox came close to sweeping the Angels in a strong weekend showing.
The 25-year-old De La Rosa was caught up in a pitcher’s duel with Angels’ starter Hector Santiago. The scoreless tie lasted until the eighth inning when Yoenis Cespedes hit his first homerun as a member of the Red Sox off reliever Joe Smith. The three-run blast put the Sox ahead and set De La Rosa up for the victory. De La Rosa’s only hiccup came in the bottom of the eighth. A leadoff home run by Mike Trout ended the outing for De La Rosa in an otherwise dominating and promising pitching performance.
Red Sox manager John Farrell was more impressed with his young pitcher’s poise and his ability to pitch deep into the game. He said after the game, “I think a starter’s mentality is to always go deep. But guys understand the game. They know what we went through last night. And he was able to do that. He was relatively efficient. I don’t think he set out today knowing that, ‘OK, I’m going to look at seven or eight innings to try to get it done all at once.’ He did a heck of a job.”
With the performance, Rubby De La Rosa is making a strong push for landing a key role in the starting rotation in 2015. Catcher Dan Butler, who made his debut with the Sox, said De La Rosa did a good job mixing up his pitches. “He was locating his fastball when he needed to, good use of his fastball, too. He was mixing speeds really well. He was around the plate the whole time, making guys swing when he needed to. He just did a great job.” Hopefully the strong outing will inspire more confidence for De La Rosa and possibly lead to more consistency.