NEW YORK (AP) — Garrett Richards reworked his delivery last weekend with one thought in mind.
“More north and south,” he said.
The Red Sox right-hander is going in the right direction now.
Richards finally found the strike zone and punched out 10, Bobby Dalbec hit his first homer of the season and Boston beat the New York Mets 2-1 Tuesday night.
Richards (1-2) allowed a run and seven hits over seven innings, issuing no free passes one start after walking six. He trimmed his ERA from 6.48 to 4.94 thanks to a tip from pitching coach Dave Bush, who suggested he ditch his full windup to eliminate side-to-side movement.
“It’s super simple as far as my delivery goes,” the 32-year-old Richards said. “And it helps me stay in the zone.”
Boston improved to an AL East-leading 15-9, including a major league-most 12 comeback victories.
Jeff McNeil put New York up 1-0 with a homer in the second, but Dalbec tied it with a shot to right-center leading off the third. Rafael Devers put Boston ahead with an RBI single in the sixth, scoring Kiké Hernández after his leadoff double.
Matt Barnes fanned Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis during a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save. Alonso struck out four times.
Barnes quick-pitched Alonso for strike two, apparently upsetting the slugger. Alonso stared down Boston’s closer after fouling off the pitch, then failed to check his swing on a breaking ball for strike three.
David Peterson (1-3) permitted two runs in six innings for the Mets. The left-hander induced 12 groundouts and struck out three while giving up four hits and two walks.
“He had three pitches going on for him today and his command was solid,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said.
THE GUY WE ENVISIONED
Richards signed a $10 million, one-year free…