Rookie revival leads to rout of Rays – ESPN (blog)
BOSTON — Not since the early playing days of Carlton Fisk had a Red Sox team seen so many rookies starting a game as it did Wednesday night.
Back on Sept. 21, 1971, Fisk led the way along with six other rookies to lift Boston to a 6-3 win over the Ted Williams-managed Washington Senators. Thirty-three years later, the likes of Xander Bogaerts and Garin Cecchini were doing the same, leading a septet of rookies into battle against a Tampa Bay Rays team that didn’t even exist back then.
Whether Bogaerts or Cecchini go on to enjoy as successful a career as Fisk did won’t be determined for years to come. For now though, the two are riding high as Cecchini hit his first career home run Wednesday night and Bogaerts collected three RBIs in an 11-3 rout of the Rays that gave the Red Sox their 69th win of the season, tying the total achieved by the disastrous 2012 team managed by Bobby Valentine.
“This is what Red Sox Nation has been following for a lot of years, the young guys,” Cecchini said. “It’s pretty cool getting opportunities and producing.”
“Youth is served, there’s no doubt about it,” manager John Farrell said. “There’s a talented group. We’ve got an opportunity in September to give experience.”
Joining Cecchini and Bogaerts in Wednesday night’s lineup were fellow rookies Mookie Betts, Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo and Christian Vazquez, all enjoying solid nights at the plate to back rookie starter Anthony Ranaudo.
Each of the six reached base multiple times on the night, sparking the Sox to their largest margin of victory since July 21 (a 14-1 win over the Blue Jays). In all, the six went a combined 7-for-20 with eight runs scored and seven RBIs.
Cecchini got things started for …read more