On a rain-soaked Sunday in Baltimore, the Red Sox dropped the finale of their weekend series against the Orioles by a final score of 9-5 at Camden Yards. With the loss, Boston finishes its 10-game road trip having gone 3-7 to fall to 9-14 on the season overall.
Matched up against O’s starter Jordan Lyles to begin things on Sunday, the Sox certainly had their chances early on, though they could not capitalize on them. Trevor Story drew a leadoff walk in the first inning and advanced to third base on a two-out single from J.D. Martinez. He was stranded at third after Franchy Cordero grounded out.
An inning later, Christian Vazquez roped a two-out double off Lyles and could have scored from second when Jaylin Davis followed with a line-drive single to center field. Vazquez, however, turned back towards second even though there were two outs before moving up to third. Story then struck out on three pitches to extinguish the threat.
In the third, a two-out single courtesy of Martinez followed by Cordero drawing a walk and Enrique Hernandez getting plunked loaded the bases for Jackie Bradley Jr., who proceeded to ground out to first for the final out. And in the fourth, a Davis single and Story walk put runners at first and second with one out for Rafael Devers, who grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Sox finally broke through against Lyles in the fifth as Xander Bogaerts laced a hard-hit double to lead off the inning, advanced to third on a Martinez groundout, and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Cordero that gave Boston a 1-0 lead.
To that point in the contest, Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta had been cruising along through his first four innings of work. With some help from Vazquez, who gunned down Cedric Mullins in the second and Anthony Santander on a strike ’em out, throw-em out double play in the fourth, the right-hander retired 10 of the first 13 batters he faced on Sunday.
Pivetta ran into some trouble in the fifth, though, and it began when he issued a leadoff single to Rougned Odor. A line-drive double from Ramon Urias then put runners at second and third for Tyler Nevin, who gave the Orioles their first lead of the afternoon on a two-run single to left field.
Nevin advanced to second on a one-out single from Jorge Mateo, who would turn out to be the last hitter Pivetta would face. Austin Davis came on in relief of Pivetta and allowed one of the runners he inherited to score on a Santander sacrifice fly. Hirokazu Sawamura finished the fifth by getting Austin Hays to fly out to right field.
All told, Pivetta was charged with three earned runs on six hits and no walks to go along with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work. The 29-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 67 (49 strikes) while lowering his ERA on the season to 7.84.
After Vazquez, Davis, and Story went down quietly in the top half of the sixth, Kutter Crawford emerged out of the Boston bullpen for the bottom half and immediately served up a leadoff home run to Odor that put Baltimore up 4-0. Rain then began to fall harder than it had been, resulting in a delay that was over two hours in length.
Once play resumed, Phillips Valdez took over for Crawford and proceeded to hit the first batter he faced in Nevin. Valdez then issued a four-pitch walk to Anthony Bemboon before yielding a two-run double to Mateo, who scored himself on a Santander RBI single. Santander also scored on another RBI base hit courtesy of Ryan Mountcastle to make it a 9-1 game in favor of the Orioles.
Valdez came back out for the seventh and put up a zero before making way for Kevin Plawecki in the eighth. Plawecki, the first Red Sox position player to pitch this season, worked his way around a Ryan McKenna leadoff single by retiring the next three O’s he faced in order.
Down to their final three outs in the ninth, Martinez crushed a 364-foot grand slam off old friend Travis Lakins Sr. Martinez’s second homer of the season cut the Sox’ deficit down to four runs at 9-5, which would go on to be Sunday’s final score.
While Martinez’s slam certainly helps, the Red Sox finished the day having gone 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position while leaving 10 runners on base as a team.
Next up: Bring on the Angels
The Red Sox will travel back to Boston and have the day off on Monday before welcoming the 15-8 Angels into town for a three-game series that begins on Tuesday night.
For Tuesday’s opener, it will be right-hander Michael Wacha getting the ball for Boston. Los Angeles has yet to name a starter.
Regardless, first pitch from Fenway Park on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)