Welcoming the Baltimore Orioles into town for the first time this season, the Red Sox got things going quickly on Friday night with the help of a couple of guys named Eduardo.
Looking to rebound from his disappointing season debut last Sunday against the Rays, Eduardo Rodriguez got the start in this one, and rebound he did. In six innings pitched, the lefty allowed just one run, scattered five hits, walked two, and fanned eight. The Orioles got to ERod early for a run in the first, but he settled down after that. Some highlights from Rodriguez’s start include striking out the side in the second inning and getting some assistance from Mookie Betts on an Adam Jones leadoff single that turned into the first out in the top of the fourth.
Rodriguez ended his night by dramatically striking out Chris Davis on a full count with runners on first and second in the sixth. Regardless of Davis getting on base or not in that situation, that would have been the last batter Rodriguez faced, so that was an important moment for him to strike him out and end the inning on his own. The 25-year-old out of Venezuela finished with 104 pitches, 64 of which went for strikes. He’ll make his next start Wednesday in Anaheim.
In relief of Rodriguez, Heath Hembree got the call for the seventh, and he was far from great. The righty surrendered two runs on three hits before ending the inning, allowing the Orioles to kind of creep back into things and stay within striking distance.
After that though, the bullpen was fine. Joe Kelly made his first appearance since the Tyler Austin fight on Wednesday, and he got a warm welcome from the fans for what he did that night. He pitched a clean eighth, and Matt Barnes gave up one hit while tossing a scoreless ninth to wrap up his team’s eleventh win of the season.
Offensively, the Red Sox lineup tacked on six of their seven runs over the first three innings Friday night. A four run first began with a Mookie Betts leadoff walk, and he scored from third two batters later thanks to a JD Martinez sacrifice fly. One batter later, with runners on second and third, Eduardo Nunez took a 1-1 fastball from Chris Tillman and ripped it over the Green Monster for his second home run of the season. 4-1.
Later in the second inning, Tzu-Wei Lin hit his first career double and Mookie Betts collected his tenth RBI of the season by driving in Lin from second on a double of his own. 5-1.
In the third, the Red Sox scored their seventh run on a passed ball that scored Rafael Devers from third. They loaded the bases twice in the inning, but could only manage one run.
Fast forward to the sixth, and the Red Sox scored their seventh and final run of the game on a wild pitch with Eduardo Nunez at the plate that scored Mitch Moreland from third.
Since dropping that middle game the Yankees, the Red Sox have responded by winning their last two games and outscoring opponents 13-6 over that span. Hector Velazquez will look to continue that trend later this afternoon as he faces off against familiar face Alex Cobb. First pitch is at 1:05 PM.