The Boston Red Sox followed their 1976 season-opening win at Baltimore with a 5-3 opening week that put them in a tie for first place in the AL East with the hated New York Yankees.
The best news so far for Boston may be the bullpen, highlighted by lefty Tom House and his two saves in two perfect opportunities since taking over the closer role for the injured Jim Willoughby. As a whole, the Red Sox pen leads the American League with an 0.87 ERA. Don Aase has one appearance in his new relief role, and he earned a win in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Luis Tiant built on his nine-shutout-inning performance in a season–opening no-decision with a complete-game win in his second start. That makes two starts and a 1-0 record with a 1.00 ERA over 18 innings.
Rick Wise also has a complete-game win to his credit, shutting out the Orioles 6-0 in the third game of the year. In support of the the three-hit gem, Carlton Fisk delivered two RBI in a 3-for-4 afternoon.
Opening day at Fenway Park was a disappointment as Jim Fuller delivered the big hit for the Cleveland Indians in a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox, blasting a three-run home run off of Reggie Cleveland in the seventh.
The week ended with Jim Rice crushing a three-run homer to cap a six-run seventh inning as the Red Sox came back to beat the White Sox 7-6. The new-look back end of the bullpen saw Aase get his first Major League win and House notch his second save as the Red Sox won their third consecutive game.
Hmmm. Maybe the Red Sox shouldn’t look into the availability of the Athletics’ Rollie Fingers.
Down on the farm, highly regarded rookie Wade Boggs seems to be having some difficulty in his first minor league season.