Martín Pérez tosses 5 solid innings, but Red Sox are limited to just 4 hits in 4-1 loss to Orioles

After taking the first three games of their four-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore, the Red Sox were unable to come away with the series sweep following a 4-1 loss at Camden Yards on Monday.

Martin Perez made his seventh start of the season for Boston and was impressive, allowing just one run on four hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over five innings of work.

The one run Perez gave up came on a leadoff home run off the bat of Ryan Mountcastle to begin things in the second inning.

Outside of that, Perez held the O’s in check and retired nine of the last 11 hitters he faced going into the end of the fifth.

At that point, the 30-year-old had thrown just 74 pitches (53 strikes) through five one-run innings. But with the middle of Baltimore’s lineup — including Mountcastle — due to hit in the sixth, Red Sox manager Alex Cora decided to pull Perez, who lowered his ERA on the season to 4.01, in favor of right-hander Matt Andriese.

That decision would prove to haunt Cora almost immediately, as Andriese served up a solo homer to the very first hitter he saw in Trey Mancini, whose seventh big fly of the season gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead.

In the eighth, Andriese induced a pop fly off the bat of Cedric Mullins, but because the Red Sox were playing in a shift and had third baseman Rafael Devers playing in in the event of a bunt, that pop fly wound up going for a 70.7 mph, 161-foot triple that Xander Bogaerts was unable to come up with cleanly.

Mullins came into score on an RBI single from Mancini, and the Orioles tacked on yet another run to their lead on a sacrifice fly to make it a 4-1 game.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar foe in Orioles right-hander Jorge Lopez, someone they got to for seven runs on eight hits last month.

This time around, however, Lopez proved to be a much tougher opponent considering he held Boston to one run — a Devers sacrifice fly — over five innings on Monday.

The Sox had the chance to add to their run total in Lopez’s final frame of work when Hunter Renfroe blistered a leadoff double to the opposite field in the top half of the fifth.

A slumping Franchy Cordero was able to advance Renfroe 90 feet on a groundout, but neither Bobby Dalbec nor Marwin Gonzalez could do anything from there as they both went down swinging to end the inning and strand the runner at third.

All in all, the Red Sox collected just four hits as a team on Monday and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position while leaving four runners on base.

Boston is now 6-1 at Camden Yards this season as their four-game winning streak was snapped.

Next up: Welcoming in the A’s

The 22-14 Red Sox will head back to Boston and welcome the 21-15 first-place Athletics into town for the first of a three-game series at Fenway Park Tuesday night.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for Boston in the opener, and he will be opposed by fellow righty Chris Bassitt for Oakland.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Martin Perez: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Danny Santana to continue rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday, Alex Cora says

Danny Santana will take the next step in his rehab assignment this week, Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced before Monday’s game against the Orioles in Baltimore.

Per Cora, Santana will continue his rehab with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Worcester after beginning the 2021 minor-league season with High-A Greenville.

“Danny is in Worcester now,” Cora said during his pregame media availability. “He’s doing protocol, the intake… He’s supposed to play Tuesday in Worcester.”

The WooSox will host the Syracuse Mets in their home opener at Polar Park on Tuesday afternoon. Santana is expected to be in Worcester’s starting lineup.

In three games with Greenville this past week, the 30-year-old went 4-for-10 with one double, one home run, and two RBI over 12 plate appearances. He played second base, shortstop, and centerfield in that brief stretch.

Santana originally signed a minor-league deal with the Sox back in March but missed an extended period of time in spring training due to a right foot infection that required a stay in the hospital. He also underwent an ulnar collateral ligament repair and augmentation procedure last September.

Before signing with Boston, the switch-hitter had spent the previous two seasons with the Texas Rangers, where he played every defensive position besides pitcher and catcher.

In 2019, he clubbed 28 home runs, collected 81 RBI, and stole 21 bases en route to being named the Rangers’ Player of the Year.

After being limited to just 15 games last year due to multiple stints on the injured list, Santana was non-tendered by Texas in November, which made him available for the Red Sox to sign in the first place.

The expectation seems to be that once Santana is fully ready to go, he will be added to the Sox’ major-league roster, which would also require him to be added to the cub’s 40-man roster.

Until then, how Santana performs with Worcester should be something to monitor these next few days/weeks.

As an added bonus, the WooSox’ home opener on Tuesday will be broadcast on NESN. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. eastern time.

(Picture of Danny Santana: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Kutter Crawford tosses four scoreless innings for Double-A Portland in first start back from Tommy John surgery

On Saturday, Red Sox pitching prospect Kutter Crawford made his first start of the minor-league season for Double-A Portland.

Not only was it Crawford’s first start since August 24, 2019 with the 2020 minor-league season being cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it was also his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2019.

Matched up against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Blue Jays, at Hadlock Field over the weekend, the right-hander turned in a solid outing in his 2021 debut.

Over four innings of work, Crawford kept the Fisher Cats off the scoreboard while scattering just three hits and no walks to go along with five strikeouts on the afternoon. He retired 12 of the 15 hitters he faced in the process of throwing 54 pitches, 40 of which were strikes.

Crawford, who turned 25 last month, was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 16th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of Florida Gulf Coast University, the same school Chris Sale attended.

Signing with Boston for $125,000, the Florida native rose through the ranks and came into the 2019 season ranked as the Sox’ No. 22 prospect according to Baseball America.

Crawford opened the 2019 campaign with High-A Salem and posted a 3.39 ERA and a 77:30 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 14 starts and 69 innings of work to earn Carolina League All-Star honors.

Promoted to Portland on June 20, Crawford provided six quality innings in two of his first three Double-A starts. But after lasting just 2 2/3 innings in his fourth start on July 12, he was placed on the injured list.

From that point forward, Crawford would be sidelined for a month before making one start in his return from the IL in August before once again getting shelved for the remainder of the season.

As he explained to MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith in February, Crawford had been experiencing elbow issues throughout the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was able to pitch through it for a quite a while, but the discomfort got to a point in 2019 where he couldn’t throw every five days.

That led to an MRI on the hurler’s right elbow, which revealed a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament that would require Tommy John surgery.

Crawford had the procedure done by Dr. James Andrews on October 29. About nine months later, he began experiencing elbow pain again while getting back into his throwing program and would have to have bone spurs removed from his right elbow as a result.

Since then, Crawford has obviously been able to get back on track to the point where he was ready for the start of the minor-league season. His pitch arsenal still consists of a fastball, cutter, curveball, and changeup.

“One of my main focuses with the rehab throwing was to shorten my arm action a little bit,” Crawford told Smith. “I had this little hitch in 2019. I don’t really know how it developed. I didn’t have it in college. But I started having this little hitch. And that was really one of my main focuses: getting rid of that hitch and also trying to shorten my arm path just to make it more efficient so it can work a little bit easier.” 

With that new arm action in tow, Crawford will look to re-establish himself as a legitimate pitching prospect that caught people’s attention in 2018 and 2019.

The 6-foot-1, 192 pound hurler out of Okeechobee, Fla. can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this December. The Red Sox would need to add him to their 40-man roster by November 20 in order to prevent that from happening.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: Jill Brady/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Rafael Devers and Hunter Renfroe power Red Sox to 4-3 win over Orioles

Rafael Devers enjoys swinging the bat at Camden Yards in Baltimore. That’s really no secret, and Devers showed why on Sunday afternoon.

After his side fell behind a run in the bottom of the first, Devers launched a 423-foot solo shot with an exit velocity of 110.7 mph off the bat to dead center field against right-hander Dean Kremer to knot things up at 1-1.

Later on in the sixth, Devers came through once again, this time coming up with the bases loaded and driving in a pair on another hard-hit (106.7 mph exit velocity), go-ahead two-run double to right-center field.

Devers accounted for three of the four runs the Red Sox scored against the Orioles that saw them improve to 22-13 on the season following a 4-3 victory on Mother’s Day.

Renfroe’s hot May continues

The only other Red Sox hitter who contributed to the cause offensively in this one was Hunter Renfroe.

The slugging outfielder provided what would turn out to be some much-needed insurance in the top half of the eighth by crushing a booming solo home run off Cole Sulser to give Boston a 4-2 lead.

Renfroe’s fourth home run of the season traveled 453 feet off his bat and had an exit velocity of over 113 mph, making it the second hardest-hit ball by a Red Sox this season.

He also made an impressive leaping catch to rob Cedric Mullins of extra bases in the bottom of the first inning.

Through eight games this month, the 29-year-old is hitting .314 (11-for-35) with three homers, nine RBI, and seven runs scored.

Pivetta allows two runs over six solid innings

Nick Pivetta made his seventh start of the season for Boston on Sunday. The right-hander allowed two runs — both of which were earned — on three hits and three walks to go along with two strikeouts over six innings of work.

The first of those Orioles runs came right away in the bottom of the first, which proved to be somewhat of a grind for Pivetta considering the fact that the needed 30 pitches to get through the inning.

He walked back-to-back hitters with two outs in the first before yielding an RBI single to Ryan Mountcastle.

In the fifth, more two-out trouble arose for Pivetta, this time serving up a 384-foot solo blast to Mullins which at the time gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead.

Pivetta did manage to retire four of the last five Orioles he faced, though, and his day came to an end once as he recorded the final out of the sixth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 103 (72 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 49% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing three swings-and-misses while topping out at 97 mph with the pitch.

Able to improve to a perfect 5-0 on the season and lower his ERA to 3.19, Pivetta’s next start should come against the Angels back at Fenway Park on Friday.

Bullpen closes it out

In relief of Pivetta, left-hander Josh Taylor got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in the middle of the seventh inning.

Taylor walked the first man he faced, but erased that by getting Rio Ruiz to line into a 4-3 double play. He then walked another batter before fanning Mullins on five pitches to retire the side.

From there, Adam Ottavino plunked the first batter he faced in the eighth and allowed said batter to score on an RBI double off the bat of Mountcastle, which cut Boston’s lead to one run at 4-3.

That led to Matt Barnes coming out for the ninth, and the Red Sox closer needed all of nine pitches to work a 1-2-3 inning and notch his eighth save of the season to preserve the 4-3 win.

Next up: Perez vs. Lopez

The Red Sox will go four the four-game sweep over the Orioles and their fifth consecutive win overall on Monday night.

Left-hander Martin Perez will get the ball for Boston, and he will be opposed by right-hander Jorge Lopez for Baltimore.

Boson got to Lopez for seven runs (two home runs) in just four innings the last time they faced him on April 11.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Christian Arroyo (left hand contusion) on injured list, recall Jonathan Araúz from Triple-A Worcester

Before taking on the Orioles on Sunday, the Red Sox placed infielder Christian Arroyo on the 10-day injured list due to a left hand contusion, retroactive to May 7.

In a corresponding move, infielder Jonathan Arauz was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Sunday.

Arroyo had been out of the Sox’ lineup since Wednesday after getting hit in the left hand by a pitch in the sixth inning of a 6-5 loss to the Tigers.

The 25-year-old remained in the game to take his base, but was removed after the seventh inning and was later diagnosed with a left hand contusion. X-rays on his injured hand came back negative.

While he was out of the lineup, Arroyo had been available to pinch-run and come in as a defensive replacement, as was the case in Thursday’s 12-9 win over Detroit.

The only thing that had hindered Arroyo was his ability to swing a bat, and that ultimately led to him being placed on the injured list before Sunday’s game against Baltimore.

“He’s going to try to swing today,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said in regards to Arroyo’s status earlier Sunday morning. “He tried yesterday, was a little bit sore.”

Wednesday was not the first time this season, or in his career, that Arroyo has been hit in the hand by a pitch.

On April 25 against the Mariners, the right-handed hitter was drilled in the left hand by a 94 mph fastball from Drew Steckenrider that would force him to miss two games.

Going back to 2017 when he was still a top prospect in the Giants system, Arroyo missed the final two months of the minor-league season after sustaining a fractured left hand on a hit-by-pitch.

Because of that history, the Red Sox will likely be cautious in monitoring how Arroyo comes back from this latest contusion.

Through 23 games this season, the Florida native is slashing .275/.333/.377 with seven doubles and five RBI over 76 plate appearances.

Since the start of his stint on the IL was backdated to May 7, the earliest Arroyo can be activated is May 17.

Arauz, meanwhile, was recently added to the Sox’ taxi squad for their trip to Baltimore in the event that Arroyo would need to be placed on the injured list.

The 22-year-old initially opened the year at the alternate training site and later Triple-A Worcester, where he had gotten off to a 3-for-15 start at the plate prior to getting called up on Sunday.

Originally selected by the Red Sox in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, Arauz compiled a .250/.325/.319 slash line to go along with one home run and nine RBI over 25 games last year in what was his rookie season.

In Arauz, the Red Sox add yet another versatile infielder to the mix who has shown flashes defensively and can hit from both sides of the plate.

“Infielder. Switch-hitter. Good baseball player,” said Cora.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox shut down right-hander Tanner Houck due to sore flexor muscle

The Red Sox have shut down right-hander Tanner Houck due to a sore flexor muscle, manager Alex Cora announced Sunday morning.

Per Cora, Houck first felt discomfort during his last start for Triple-A Worcester, which was also the WooSox’ first game of the season in Trenton on May 4.

Houck lasted just three innings in his first start for Worcester this past Tuesday, allowing three runs on eight hits, no walks, and four strikeouts on 69 pitches (45 strikes).

The 24-year-old came in the following day experiencing soreness in his flexor muscle, which resulted in him being shut down.

“We’re not overly concerned,” Cora said. “This happened in his last start. The next day, he came in sore. He’s actually feeling better right now. But of course, we’re going to shut him down.”

Houck, who turns 25 next month, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 3 pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system.

The former first-round draft pick made his major-league debut for the Sox last September and has posted a 1.98 ERA over six outings (five starts) since then.

This year alone, Houck has allowed seven runs (five earned) on 14 hits, one walk, and 12 strikeouts in three appearances (two starts) spanning 10 1/3 total innings of work.

While the Red Sox do not seem too concerned about Houck’s status moving forward, the fact that he has been shut down now means that the club is without their top two rotation depth options at the minor-league level for the time being.

That being the case because in addition to Houck being shut down, fellow right-handed pitching prospect Connor Seabold was placed on the injured list last Monday with right elbow inflammation.

The Sox did not seem too worried that Seabold would miss a significant amount of time, either, but his absence becomes more significant since Houck has been sidelined as well.

On top of those two, Bryan Mata, the organization’s top pitching prospect, underwent Tommy John surgery last month. So it goes without saying that Boston’s starting rotation depth has taken somewhat of a hit these past few weeks.

Still, as previously mentioned, the Red Sox seem optimistic that in Houck’s case, the righty will not be shut down for long.

“There’s no timetable, but this is something that we feel is going to be short-term,” said Cora. “It’s not something that we are overly concerned, but that’s where we’re at right now.”

(Picture of Tanner Houck: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Michael Chavis homers in first start of season as Red Sox pounce on Orioles, 11-6, for third straight win

Michael Chavis announced his return to the Red Sox with a bang on Saturday night against the Orioles.

In his first game back with Boston since last September, Chavis — who was recalled from Triple-A Worcester on Friday, crushed a 381-foot two-run home run off Baltimore starter Zac Lowther to give his side a 4-1 lead in the second inning.

The 25-year-old finished the day 1-for-6 at the plate as the Sox topped the O’s by a final score of 11-6 to improve to 21-13 on the season.

All nine members of Boston’s starting lineup either scored or drove in a run on Saturday, Chavis included.

On top of that, Alex Verdugo and Xander Bogaerts both had three-hit nights, while Christian Vazquez and Hunter Renfroe both collected two hits.

Bogaerts homers, shows off defensive prowess

Chavis was not the only Red Sox hitter to go deep on Saturday. Xander Bogaerts also went yard to notch his seventh home run of the season in the seventh inning.

There, after the Sox had gone up 9-2 over the Orioles, the star shortstop put the finishing touches on a commanding win with yet another two-run blast to score J.D. Martinez as well as himself on a 414-foot shot off Tyler Wells.

Per Baseball Savant, Bogaerts’ homer — which gave Boston an 11-2 lead — had an exit velocity of 106.2 mph off the bat.

Not only did Bogaerts impress at the plate, he also made some nifty and somewhat crucial plays with his glove as well. Like in the sixth, when the Orioles had Garrett Richards on the ropes and had already pushed across two runs in the inning.

With one out and runners at first and second, Maikel Franco ripped a 107.9 mph groundball towards Bogaerts.

Fielding the ball to his right while on a knee, the 28-year-old quickly gathered himself, spun, and made a clean throw to second base to start an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

In the seventh, Bogaerts again ended an inning by flashing the leather, this time robbing Cedric Mullins of a base hit by making a leaping grab on a 96 mph lineout.

Richards goes seven innings, picks up win

Richards, Saturday’s starter for the Red Sox, twirled seven solid innings in his seventh start of the season — and third against the Orioles already.

Over those seven innings of work, the veteran right-hander yielded four earned runs on eight hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts on the night.

He allowed those first two Baltimore runs to cross the plate in the first and second, but then settled down for a decent stretch before allowing two more on three hits and a walk in the sixth.

Despite a taxing sixth inning, Richards did come back out for the seventh and ended his outing on a more positive note by sitting down the final three hitters he faced in order.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (64 strikes), the 32-year-old relied on his four-seam fastball 52% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing two swings-and-misses while topping out at 96.2 mph with the pitch.

Able to improve to 2-2 on the season, Richards’ next start should come against the Athletics back at Fenway Park on Thursday.

Brice shaky, Taylor closes it out

In relief of Richards, Austin Brice got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen at a point in time where his side had a seven-run lead.

Brice worked a scoreless eighth inning, but allowed two runs to score in the ninth before Josh Taylor came on to record the final out of the game on a three-pitch punchout of Trey Mancini.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Kremer

The Red Sox will go for their fourth straight win as well as a series win over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the ball for Boston, and he will be opposed by fellow righty Dean Kremer for Baltimore.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Michael Chavis: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Red Sox lineup: Michael Chavis batting leadoff in first start of season against Orioles

Fresh off getting recalled from Triple-A Worcester on Friday, Michael Chavis will bat leadoff for the Red Sox in his first start of the 2021 season against the Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday.

The Sox called up Chavis, who was on the team’s taxi squad, from the WooSox after placing utilityman Enrique Hernandez on the 10-day injured list due to a right hamstring strain.

Chavis will get the start at second base while hitting out of the leadoff spot for Boston, marking just the fifth time in his big-league career he has done so.

In four previous attempts — all of which came during his rookie season in 2019 — the 25-year-old went a collective 5-for-18 (.278) to go along with two home runs, five RBI, one walk, and four strikeouts over 19 plate appearances. He led off each of those games without a hit and is also a lifetime .202/.276/.356 hitter when leading off an inning, though he has crushed four solo homers when put in that spot.

Up with the Red Sox for the second time this season now, Chavis has a chance to once again prove that he belongs.

The former first-round pick and top prospect had put together an impressive spring, but ultimately lost the competition for Boston’s final bench spot to Christian Arroyo, who unlike Chavis is out of minor-league options.

“He did a good job in spring training early on,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said about Chavis Friday. “I do believe toward the end because of the competition, he started chasing hits and he got out of his approach.”

Since making his major-league debut in April 2019, Chavis has experienced many highs and many lows in his time with the Sox.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Chavis batted 296 with a .389 on-base percentage, .592 slugging percentage, .981 OPS, nine home runs, two doubles, 24 RBI, 14 walks and 30 strikeouts over his first 26 big-league games and 119 plate appearances.

Since then, he has batted a subpar .228 with a .281 on-base percentage, .382 slugging percentage, 14 homers, 13 doubles, three triples, 53 RBI, 25 walks and 147 strikeouts over his last 111 big-league games (427 plate appearances).

“We know what he can do. I saw it in ‘19,” said Cora. “Obviously the league caught up with him. I do believe he did a good job in spring training knowing the boundaries of his swing. And hopefully, when he gets a chance here, he can do it.”

As Chavis prepares to make his first major-league start of the 2021 season against the O’s (15-17) on Saturday, here is how the rest of the Red Sox (20-13) will line up behind him.

Right-hander Garrett Richards will be on the mound for Boston, and he will be opposed by rookie left-hander Zac Lowther for Baltimore.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Michael Chavis: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers steals base, scores from first as part of win over Orioles; Alex Cora joked that J.D. Martinez was faster than Red Sox third baseman; ‘He took it personally’

Rafael Devers put his speed on full display during the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Orioles on Friday night.

As part of a 1-for-3 day at the plate in which he reached base four times and scored a pair of runs, the third baseman picked up his second stolen base of the season while also doing some things that don’t go down in the box score.

For instance, after reaching first and advancing to second base on a missed catch error committed by O’s starter Matt Harvey in the fourth inning, Devers swiped third base, which would allow him to easily score on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Hunter Renfroe.

Later on in the eighth, Devers again reached base via a fielder’s choice and would come around to score all the way from first on a Christian Vazquez run-scoring double.

Per Baseball Savant, the 24-year-old’s top running speed this season is 27.3 feet per second, which ranks in the 62nd percentile among qualified major-leaguers.

By no means is Devers a speed merchant, but the young infielder has clearly been more aggressive on the base paths so far this year. Why is that the case? Red Sox manager Alex Cora gave his reasoning Friday night.

“I told him the other day that on one of the websites, they had J.D. [Martinez] ranked ahead of him speed-wise, and he took it personally,” Cora said with a chuckle. “He’s a good base runner. He’s a good athlete. He’s fact, actually. Just got to be careful with him, right? He scores from first. He takes his chances as far as stealing bases. He’s in better shape than last year, we know that. He’s a smart base runner. He’ll take his chances.”

Devers was not alone in the stolen base department for Boston on Friday, as Alex Verdugo picked up his third of the year and Vazquez notched his team-leading fourth of the year.

“They see stuff from pitchers and catchers and everything, and they take advantage of that,” Cora said of Devers and Vazquez’s ability to move on the base paths. “We’re very happy with the way we ran the bases today. We were very aggressive. We took advantage of certain situations, and it helped us to win the game.”

Following Friday’s victory over Baltimore, Boston improved to 20-13 on the season to become the first team this year to reach the 20-win mark.

While they do lead the majors in wins at this point in time, the Sox rank 10th among American League clubs in regards to stolen bases, as they have stolen just 15 and have been caught four times in 33 games.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Bobby Dalbec breaks out of slump with 3-run home run as Red Sox open series against Orioles with 6-2 win

Bobby Dalbec came into Friday’s game against the Orioles in the midst of an 0-for-27 slump at the plate having not recorded a hit since April 27.

In his first at-bat of the night, Dalbec ripped a one-out single to left field in the top half of the third inning.

An inning later, the 26-year-old then clubbed a 399-foot three-run home run in that same direction off Orioles starter Matt Harvey to give his side a 4-0 lead.

The Red Sox ultimately topped the O’s by a final score of 6-2 at Camden Yards on Friday to improve to 20-13 on the season and become the first team this year to reach the 20-win mark.

Rodriguez goes five innings

Eduardo Rodriguez made his sixth start of the season — and second against Baltimore — for Boston in this one. The left-hander surrendered just one run, though he did scatter seven hits and three walks to go along with a season-low two strikeouts over five innings of work.

The one run Rodriguez gave up in his final frame of work, when he allowed three straight hitters to reach base on a double, walk, and RBI single from Trey Mancini. He did manage to retire the last two Orioles he faced to hold them at one run.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 91 (61 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his changeup 31% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing three swings-and-misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 92.8 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 19 times.

Able to improve to a perfect 5-0 on the season while lowering his ERA to 3.82, Rodriguez’s next start should come against the Athletics back at Fenway Park on Wednesday.

Sawamura’s homer troubles continue

In relief of Rodriguez, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in the middle of the sixth inning.

The right-hander served up a leadoff home run to Ryan Mountcastle to cut Boston’s lead to two runs at 4-2 before sitting down the next three hitters he faced in order.

Sawamura has now allowed at least one homer in two of his last four appearances and has seen his ERA on the season inflate up to 3.77 as a result.

Whitlock bounces back with two scoreless frames

On the flip side of Sawamura’s struggles, Rule 5 pick Garrett Whitlock bounced back from back-to-back poor outings against the Rangers and Tigers by tossing two scoreless innings of relief against the Orioles on Friday.

Renroe takes advantage of O’s sloppy defense, gets Sox on the board in the fourth

Before Dalbec went deep in the fourth, Hunter Renfroe provided Boston with an early 1-0 lead by driving in Rafael Devers from third on an RBI single off Harvey.

Devers had reached base — and advanced to second — in the first place on a missed catch error committed by the Orioles starter. He then stole third base to make it even easier for Renfroe to pick up his 15th RBI of the season.

Vazquez, Gonzalez provide late-inning insurance

With a 4-2 lead already in hand, the Sox tacked on two additional runs on a pair of run-scoring doubles from the likes of Christian Vazquez and Marwin Gonzalez in the eighth and ninth innings to make it a 6-2 contest.

This in turn, allowed Boston to rest closer Matt Barnes another day and deploy Phillips Valdez for the bottom half of the ninth.

Valdez closes it out

Valdez, making his second relied appearance in as many days after not appearing in a game for nearly two weeks, stranded the one hitter he allowed to reach base in an otherwise perfect inning to secure the 6-2 victory for his side.

Rain delay leads to late start

Friday’s game between the Sox and Orioles did not start until 8:43 p.m. eastern time due to a one-hour and 38 minute rain delay. The final out was not recorded until after midnight.

Next up: Richards vs. Lowther

Next up for the Red Sox, they will send right-hander Garrett Richards to the mound Saturday night to face off against left-hander Zac Lowther for Baltimore.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Bobby Dalbec and Co.: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)