Just a little over 12 hours after defeating the Orioles in a barn burner of a game on Friday night, the Red Sox were back at it on Saturday afternoon in the first of a two game doubleheader at Camden Yards.
Making his 23rd start of the season, David Price remained on the recent roll he has been on with another superb day on the mound.
Tossing six scoreless frames, the left-hander scattered five hits, four of which were singles, and set a new season-high in strikeouts with exactly 10 on the afternoon. All while not walking a single batter for the sixth time in 2018.
After retiring the side in order in the first, Price did put a runner on in each of the final five innings he pitched in, but an Adam Jones double in the sixth was the closest Baltimore came to crossing the plate while the Tennessee native was working his magic.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 94 (68 strikes), it was a bit surprising to see Price not come back out to at least begin the seventh inning, especially when you consider that the Red Sox bullpen will more than likely be turned to a lot in the second game later tonight.
That did not happen though, and Price’s day came to an end in the sixth. Out of those 94 pitches he threw, the 32-year-old, like Nathan Eovaldi on Friday, relied on his cut-fastball 37% of the time today, which resulted in six swinging strikes and 12 called strikes. He also topped out at 94.1 MPH with his four-seamer in the third inning.
Improving to 12-6 on the season, Price has now surrendered two or fewer earned runs in four consecutive starts, lowering his ERA to 3.75. He will look to build on this recent success in his next time out against the Tampa Bay Rays sometime next weekend.
In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen had themselves a much better time today then they did last night.
Tyler Thornburg, Ryan Brasier, and Matt Barnes combined for three perfect frames with three total punch outs to wrap up their team’s 83rd win of the season in shutout fashion.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup did not explode quite like they did against Dylan Bundy on Friday, but with the help of David Price, they still had a fairly solid day at the plate.
Facing off against Orioles rookie right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis, who has been converted from a reliever to a starter, it took a while for Boston’s bats to get rolling in this one.
By the time the lineup got to their third time around the order though, that is when things started to change for the better.
A leadoff single off the bat of Xander Bogaerts in the fifth, followed by a two-run home run from Eduardo Nunez, put the Red Sox on the board first with a 2-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Jackie Bradley Jr. came through with his first of two solo shots on the afternoon to make it a three run game.
In the sixth, Xander Bogaerts was at it again, as he scored all the way from second on a stolen base and an E5 committed by Renato Nunez with Brock Holt at the plate. 4-0.
Fast forward all the way to the ninth, and Jackie Bradley Jr. capped off his fine day at the plate by launching his 11th big fly of the season to put his team’s fifth and final run on the board.
Only nine total hits for the Red Sox this afternoon, which is something when you consider the 16 knocks they piled up on Friday, but I would be lying if I said I did not have an enjoyable time watching this shutout victory.
Some notes from this win:
Andrew Benintendi extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 1/5 day at the plate today.
Xander Bogaerts’s right hand is looking just fine after a three-hit game today.
Since the beginning of July, Jackie Bradley Jr. has lifted his OPS from .616 all the way up to .691 in his last 31 games played.
With game two a little under two hours away, let’s take a look at tonight’s starting lineup for Boston.
Both Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland are out of the lineup with Rafael Devers starting at third, Eduardo Nunez DHing, and Dan Butler starting behind the plate.
Baltimore’s starter for the night-cap, rookie Yefry Ramirez, has held his own in two previous outings against the Red Sox this season.
Hector Velazquez, who has both started and came out of the bullpen for Boston in his two seasons with the club, will get the starting nod tonight.
First pitch of the second game is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.
Also, this better get you pumped up.