ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rick Porcello went on to win 22 games and the AL Cy Young Award the last time he started a season 5-0 — like he now has again this year.
“Two years ago was a long time ago now it feels like, so it’s hard to compare,” Porcello said. “We’re doing some things differently than even we did two years ago, so I haven’t really thought about what I was doing then. I know what I’m doing now, and want to keep that going.”
Porcello struck out eight in six innings and allowed only three hits while matching the AL lead with his fifth win, and the Red Sox hit four solo homers off 44-year-old right-hander Bartolo Colon in a 5-1 victory Friday night at Texas.
Rafael Devers, at 21 less than half Colon’s age, homered twice. Mookie Betts‘ MLB-best 13th homer was his fifth in three games, and J.D. Martinez also went deep for the Red Sox.
“It’s cool. I’m just trying to do what I can to win games,” Betts said. “We had some guys swinging the bat today for sure. It’s fun.”
At 23-9, the Red Sox have the best record in the majors.
After winning his first four starts this season, Porcello (5-0) was coming off consecutive no-decisions in which he went at least seven innings both times. The right-hander has won seven consecutive decisions going back to last season.
“Mixing up pitches, location up and down, changeups in, changeups away, cutters, breaking balls, the usual,” manager Alex Cora said.
Nomar Mazara homered in his fourth consecutive game for Texas, a career-best streak for the 23-year-old slugger who has seven homers this season. That was the lone run, and one of only three hits off Porcello. Mazara also had a double.
Colon struck out four without a walk in seven innings with the only runs coming on the four homers. He threw 91 pitches, with only 22 balls while facing 26 batters.
“It’s always going to happen to me because all the players, every team, they know I throw strikes and they want to be aggressive,” Colon said through an interpreter. “I always have to give credit to the hitters because they know that I’m aggressive.”
The portly right-hander, who turns 45 on May 24, has 241 career wins, two short of matching Juan Marichal for the most by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic.
“No three-ball counts. Very efficient with his pitches,” manager Jeff Banister said. “Thought he had a good mix tonight, good movement on the fastball. … Obviously, the four solo shots that we gave up did the damage.”
Martinez led off the second with a towering flyball that ricocheted off the top of the 14-foot wall in left and into the seats. Devers broke a 1-1 tie leading off the fifth, and homered again in the seventh.
Betts put Boston up 3-1 with his leadoff shot in the sixth. He has gone deep in each of the first two games at Texas after his three-homer game Wednesday at Fenway Park against Kansas City. It is the first time he has homered in three consecutive games.
“Mookie, it’s been incredible,” Porcello said. “Definitley glad he’s on our side.”
THREE FOR RICK
The Red Sox have won 26 consecutive games when scoring at least three runs for Porcello, a streak that dates back to 2016. In his last 37 starts receiving that much run support, Porcello is 31-0; the Red Sox are 36-1.
Rangers leadoff hitter Delino DeShields had two hits, extending his hitting streak to a career-best eight games. It’s the longest by a Texas player this season. … Right-handed starters are 1-14 with 7.49 ERA in 25 starts against Boston this season.
Red Sox: INF Brock Holt (left hamstring) will remain with the team through the weekend before a short rehab stint. He has been on the disabled list since April 27.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor, out since April 10 because of a left hamstring, is set to start a rehab assignment Saturday at Double-A Frisco. He will be the DH in his first game for the RoughRiders.
A fresh start for Rangers lefty Cole Hamels (1-4), who had four losses by the end of April for the first time in his career. The Red Sox counter in the third game of the four-game series with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0), who is expected to return from the family medical leave list without missing a start.