Things didn’t look great for the Red Sox on Friday night. The Sox had just dropped their second consecutive game to the Orioles, who seemed to be hitting their stride after a rough May. Luckily for the Red Sox, David Price and Chris Sale were there to salvage the series. Price pitched eight quality innings Saturday, and Sale pitched six solid innings on Sunday. There probably weren’t many people who thought Sale could go six after the first inning he had, but here we are talking about. The southpaw allowed three runs in the first, although I don’t completely blame him for all those runs. With one out in the inning and runners on first and second, the Orioles decided to try a double-steal, and it looked as if Sandy Leon picked off Joey Rickard at third. However, a challenge from Buck Showalter would show that Rickard’s hand touched the bag before Pablo Sandoval tagged him, resulting in runners on second and third with only one out. This play just says everything you need to know about Pablo Sandoval’s tenure as a member of the Red Sox thus far, just about worthless in every aspect of the game. If Deven Marrero was at third, that’s an out and that’s a fact. Instead Chris Sale gives up a double to Chris Davis, which allowed those runners to score. The Orioles would score their last run of the game in the first, when Jonathan Schoop drove in Davis on an RBI double. Sale really grinded his way to another quality start, only allowing three hits over the next five innings while striking out nine total. The Red Sox bullpen held their own on Sunday, as Blaine Boyer, Robby Scott, and Matt Barnes combined to pitch three innings while giving up three hits, zero runs, and striking out two. I saw a stat saying that Sale has like a 4.30 ERA over his past three starts, but I’m not worried about that, no Red Sox fan should.
The Red Sox offense recorded nine hits for the second day in a row Sunday afternoon. Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to break out of his early struggles, as he drove in two runs on a single in the first. Andrew Benintendi had his best game as a Major Leaguer, reaching base four times, including two home runs and a single, which drove in a total of three runs. With those two bombs from Benintendi, not only was it the first multi-home run game of his career, yesterday’s game could be the first step to getting Benintendi out of this slump. The other two runs the Red Sox scored came on a fielding error in the sixth, when Francisco Pena, the catcher, overthrew Manny Machado, and that allowed Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley to score.
To me, it feels weird to say this, but, if the Red Sox sweep the Yankees this week, they could have sole possession of first place going into next weekend’s series against the Tigers. No game today, FWIW, off-day.
31 down, ? to go.