Going into today with the series against the Orioles in hand, the Red Sox looked to Chris Sale to complete the three game sweep before heading out to Seattle for the second leg of this road trip.
Making his 15th start of the season, Sale built on the success from his last time out against the White Sox and had his way with another American League basement team on Wednesday. Pitching into the seventh inning of this one, the lanky lefty held the Orioles to just one run on two hits, four walks, and a HBP while recording nine strikeouts.
To be frank, I thought Sale’s day was over once he retired the side in the sixth and had a pitch count of 96. Instead, he came back out to start the seventh, walked the first two batters he faced, and then was given the hook. Questionable decision to say the least, and although it did not cost them the game, it ruined Sale’s shot at a six inning, shutout performance when Mark Trumbo came around to score later on in the seventh. Nonetheless, Sale’s outing was good enough to earn him his sixth winning decision of the season.
Anyway, finishing with 109 pitches (69 strikes) on the day, Sale got the hook in favor of Brandon Workman. Having dealt with a pretty inconsistent strike zone from home plate umpire Brian Knight, the Florida native had some things to say on his way towards the Red Sox dugout, which led to a meaningless ejection.
In relief of Sale, Brandon Workman allowed an inherited runner to score in an otherwise solid seventh inning. For the last two frames, Justin Haley, whose contract was purchased from Triple A Pawtucket, this past friday, shutout the Orioles while scattering two hits and a walk en route to locking down his teams 47th win of the season.
On the other side of things, it was another multi-homer game for the Red Sox lineup, this time featuring Mookie Betts and JD Martinez.
Facing off against a pitcher making his big league debut for Baltimore in Yefry Ramirez and playing in his second game since being activated from the disabled list on Monday, Betts put the Red Sox on the board first by mashing his 18th home run of the season in the third inning.
After Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Eduardo Nunez drove in a combind four runs while chasing Ramirez out of the game in the fifth, it was JD Martinez’s time to mash in the seventh.
With Mike Wright on the mound for the Orioles, Martinez saw a 0-2 fastball he liked and sent it just over the wall in right field for his 22nd big fly of the season.
That sneaky home run put the fifth and final run on the board for the Red Sox, and that is all they would need to pick up the win.
Some notes from this one:
According to Statcast, Chris Sale was responsible for the 27 fastest pitches thrown in today’s contest. Ranging from 97 to 99.1 MPH, the Red Sox hurler definitely had his fastball working in his favor.
Going 1/4 at the plate today, Rafael Devers has extended his hitting streak to eight games now.
According to FanGraphs, 55% of the home runs JD Martinez has hit his season have been hit to the opposite field. On the flip side of that, Mookie Betts has pulled 94% of the home runs he has hit this season.
With the first portion of this road trip over and done with, the Red Sox head west to take on a red-hot first place Seattle Mariners team, fresh off a sweep of a divisional foe themselves. David Price will get the ball in the opener tomorrow and he’ll be matched up against King Felix, Felix Hernandez for the Mariners. The Red Sox are undefeated in Price’s last six starts, so hoping for good things there. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM local time on Thursday.