RECAP: Andrew Benintendi and JD Martinez Combine for Six RBIs as #RedSox Celebrate Memorial Day with a Win over Blue Jays.

For the first time this season, the Red Sox welcomed the 25-28 Toronto Blue Jays into town for a three-game series on Monday. Having already faced them six times and coming away with four wins, the Red Sox looked to continue their success against the Blue Jays with David Price on the hill today.

Making his 11th start of the season, Price’s day certainly could have been much shorter than it turned out to be. After getting the first two outs of the inning, Jays shortstop Yangervis Solarte lined a comebacker right back to Price with an exit velocity of over 101 MPH. The ball appeared to get Price right in the chest/his left arm, but he was able to pick the ball up and throw to first to record the out.

In the second, there was another concerning moment for the Red Sox when it looked like Price was looking at his pitching hand after walking Kevn Pillar to leadoff the inning. After a brief visit from Alex Cora and a trainer, Price remained in the game, worked around another walk to Russell Martin, and escaped the second without giving up a run.

From that point on, the lefty settled down for a bit. Despite consistently dealing with baserunners in the next three innings he pitched, the Blue Jays could only manage to plate one run in the fourth and another in the fifth. Other than that, I would say it was a solid day for David Price, especially when considering how it started.

The four walks may seem like a bit of an issue, but home plate umpire Jordan Baker’s was far from consistent, so I would not be too concerned about that. Now on a run of four straight starts of giving up two or fewer runs, Price will look to carry this momentum in his next start against the Houston Astros on Saturday. Since May 3rd, when he surrendered seven earned runs against the Texas Rangers, the native of Tennessee has lowered his ERA from 5.78 all the way down to 4.04 in those four starts.

With his pitch count at 95 through five innings, Alex Cora would need to turn to his bullpen early for the second game in a row. Heath Hembree got the first call, and he got some defensive help right away in the sixth from Jackie Bradley Jr.

That Kendrys Morales flyout had a hit probability of 91%, according to Statcast. Instead, JBJ made an insane over the shoulder catch in the deepest part of Fenway Park to prove that, once again, he is the best defensive center fielder in baseball.

Hembree would go on to retire the side in order in the sixth and come back out for the seventh. After giving up two straight triples and one run to leadoff the inning and end his scoreless appearances streak at three, the righty got out of the inning by striking out Giovanny Urshela and getting Yangervis Solarte to ground into an inning-ending 3-6-3 double play.

Next out of the Red Sox bullpen was Steven Wright. In two innings pitched, the knuckleballer held the Blue Jays scoreless on one hit to wrap this thing up. Over his last three appearances, Wright has tossed six consecutive shutout innings while holding opponents to just three hits over that span. In either a starting or relief role, a healthy Steven Wright could prove to be very valuable to this Red Sox pitching staff.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was without Mookie Betts for the second day in a row, but they got JD Martinez back.

Martinez got the scoring started in the first after Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland reached base on back to back singles. With runners on first and third, Martinez grounded into what easily could have been an inning ending double play. Instead, Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak was pulled off the first base bag because of a bad throw from second baseman Devon Travis, and they could only get the force out at second while Bogaerts easily scored from third.

Fast forward to the fourth, and the Red Sox did a majority of the damage in this inning, as they plated five of their eight runs on the day. After Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in two runs of their own, Andrew Benintendi capped things off by unloading on a 87 MPH changeup from Jays starter Aaron Sanchez.

That 346 foot shot to left field from Benintendi, his seventh of the season, put the Red Sox up five, and they would not have to look back in this one.

An inning later, JD Martinez got in on the home run hitting action, as he launched his 17th home run of the season 415 feet over the Green Monster.

In the sixth, Benintendi struck once again. With Jackie Bradley Jr. on first following a walk, the Ohio native ripped a triple off the left field wall to score Bradley all the way from first and move one step closer to completing the cycle.

Needing just a double now, Benintendi got one last chance in the eighth. With one out in the inning, Jays reliever Jake Petricka got Benintendi to fly out to left field. With Russell Martin out there, it looked like the ball had a chance to find some grass, but a las, the Blue Jays catcher, making his first career start in left field, came up with the catch and ended any chance of some history.

Some notes from this win:

Over his last seven games with at least one at bat, Jackie Bradley Jr. has raised his batting average from .161 all the way up to .184 with seven hits over that span. Combine that with the great defensive plays, and JBJ may indeed be turning a corner.

For the second time in three games, Andrew Benintendi fell one hit shy of the cycle. On the 26th, he finished a triple shy of accomplishing the feat. Today, he finished a double shy.

Speaking of Benintendi, according to @RedSoxStats on Twitter, he is now on pace for 40 2B, 10 3B, 21 HR, 110 RBI and 25 SB. After a slow start to the season at the plate for the Red Sox outfielder, these projections are certainly encouraging.


With the series opener in the books, Rick Porcello will be on the mound for the Red Sox in the middle game tomorrow night. He’ll be matched up against Blue Jays righty Marco Estrada, who has given up a total of nine runs in two starts against the Red Sox this season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

 

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RECAP: Chris Sale Surrenders Six Runs as #RedSox Drop Finale to Braves.

Going into this afternoon’s game with the series against the Atlanta Braves already in hand, the Red Sox were looking for their third straight win and their fifth win in six days. Unfortunately, they ran into a good pitcher in Mike Foltynewicz for the Braves.

Chris Sale’s 12th start of the season was certainly not a memorable one. In his only other start against the Braves in his career. when he was with the White Sox, Sale gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits in five innings. Today’s performance certainly resembled that, as the lefty surrendered six earned runs on five hits and three walks in 4.1 innings pitched. Whatever it is about the Atlanta Braves, for some reason they appear to have an edge on an elite pitcher like Chris Sale.

Things got awry for Sale beginning in the second inning. Having pitched a clean first, Braves outfielder Nick Markakis got the ball rolling by drawing a leadoff walk. After Kurt Suzuki singled and Ender Inciarte popped out to third, Sale’s former teammate and catcher in Chicago, Tyler Flowers, launched a three-run shot into the Green Monster seats. That put the Braves up by three early, and they would not have to look back.

Fast forward to the top of the fifth, and another leadoff walk ended up biting Sale. Shortstop Dansby Swanson is the one who drew it this time, and he was able to score a few minutes later when Charlie Culberson ripped a single past Jackie Bradley Jr. in right field. After giving up his third walk of the day to Ronald Acuna Jr, Freddie Freeman, one of the better all around hitters in the National League, drove in both Culberson and Acuna by blasting a two-run double over everyone’s heads in left center field. Another three runs on the board for Atlanta in the inning, and that would be the end of things for Chris Sale on Sunday.

Since he finished with a pitch count of only 91 (59 strikes), perhaps this could be used to the Red Sox advantage when they head to Houston later next week for a four-game weekend series against the Astros. The team has yet to announce the starting pitcher for the Friday game, but if I had to guess, I would say it will be Sale. With the low pitch count from today in mind, I think it would make sense if Alex Cora let Sale go a little deeper into his next start, if he is pitching effectively, of course. When you consider that Drew Pomeranz is pitching on Thursday, and how much the bullpen has had to been used in his starts, the Red Sox could need Sale to get into the seventh or eighth inning before turning to the bullpen in a close game. I know I’m looking to far ahead, but I just thought I would throw it out there.

Anyway, with Sale departing earlier than usual, Brian Johnson received the first call put of the Red Sox bullpen in the fifth. Another lefty, Johnson had himself a decent day in an extended relief role. The Florida native strung together 2.2 scoreless innings while allowing one hit and one walk from the fifth until the end of the top half of the seventh. After a shaky start to his season, Johnson has now gone eight innings in five innings without giving up a single run.

Speaking of extended relief, once Johnson retired the side in the seventh, Hector Velazquez came on in a bit of a mop-up role with the Red Sox trailing by five runs at the point. The native of Mexico was not as effective as he has been of late, as he surrendered one run in the ninth while allowing a total of four Braves to reach base. Not that it mattered, since the Red Sox lineup could barely do anything today.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox were without Mookie Betts and JD Martinez in this one. Martinez because of a scheduled day off, but Betts, who was originally in today’s lineup, was scratched due to “left side tightness.”

Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, who had pitched against the Red Sox before this season, but not started, came out dealing today. For the first five innings, the best the Red Sox could do is draw three walks against the righty from Illinois. It was not until the sixth when Andrew Benintendi lined a one out double off the wall in left field for his teams first hit of the contest.

One batter later, with Xander Bogaerts at the dish, Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies made a dazzling play with his glove to rob Bogaerts of a hit for the second out of the inning.

Luckily though, Benintendi was not stranded at second base, as Mitch Moreland drove him in by ripping a triple down the first base line, his second three bagger of the season.

That RBI triple prevented the shutout, and it was the only run of the day for the Red Sox. With the two biggest threats out of the lineup, offensive performances like today can be frustrating.

Some notes from this one:

Since Hanley Ramirez was DFA’d this past Friday, Mitch Moreland has hit one home run, two triples, one double, and driven in four in three games.

Ronald Acuna Jr. had to leave today’s game with knee and lower back pain in the seventh inning after an awkward occurrence as he was running out an infield single. I won’t post the video, but I sincerely hope he is okay and has a speedy recovery. Never want to see anything like that happen to an athlete, never mind a 20-year-old rookie.


On a more uplifting note, the Red Sox will welcome the Toronto Blue Jays into town for a three game series that begins tomorrow. The Blue Jays had a decent start to their season, but are just 3-7 in their last 10 games. David Price will get the ball for Boston, while it will be righty Aaron Sanchez going for Toronto. Another 1:05 start time, should be a good way to spend some of Memorial Day.

 

RECAP: Four Home Runs Power #RedSox to 6-2 Win over Braves.

After dropping the series finale to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night, the Red Sox looked to rebound against one of the more surprising teams in the National League, the Atlanta Braves, last night back at Fenway Park. With Hanley Ramirez no longer a member of this ball club, it was going to be interesting to see how the rest of the lineup would respond, and they put together a fairly decent all-around performance against Julio Teheran and the Braves bullpen.

Eduardo Rodriguuez made his first career start against the Atlanta Braves on Friday, and he had himself a pretty nice night. The lefty surrendered two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out seven in 5.2 innings pitched. Despite only throwing one 1-2-3 inning in this one, the only costly mistakes made by Rodriguez came in the third. That occurred when Nick Markakis plated the Braves only two runs on a double after Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman each singled. After that, the native of Venezuela settled down and pitched until there were two outs in the top half of the sixth.

With his pitch count north of 100 after walking Braves third baseman Johan Camargo, Rodriguez’s night would come to an end. I thought it was a bit of a quick hook from Alex Cora, but understandable nonetheless, especially given the fact he needed 110 pitches in his last start against the Orioles.

With one out still to get in the sixth, Heath Hembree got the call first out of the Red Sox bullpen, and he retired the only batter he faced in Dansby Swanson on a six pitch strikeout.

Next up out of the bullpen was Joe Kelly for the seventh inning and Matt Barnes for the eighth. They both tossed scoreless frames, and that set up the opportunity for Craig Kimbrel to close this game out in a non-save situation. The Red Sox flamethrower gave up a one out single, but bounced back by retiring the next two Braves he faced on seven pitches to wrap up his teams 35th win of the season.

So, overall, once ERod left this game in the sixth, the Red Sox bullpen combined to toss 3.1 scoreless innings on Friday night. And that now marks six straight contests in which the ‘pen has not surrendered a single run. They entered last night with the sixth best bullpen ERA in baseball, and I’m sure that’s going to go down some more after that stellar performance against one of the best lineups in the National League.

Speaking of lethal lineups, the Red Sox lineup put on a bit of a home run derby against Julio Teheran and the rest of the Braves bullpen on Friday night.

Trailing by two going into their half of the fourth inning, JD Martinez put the Red Sox on the board with his 16th long ball of the season that just cleared the Green Monster.

Two batters later, Xander Bogaerts knotted this thing up at two runs a piece, as he launched his seventh big fly of the season over the Monster as well.

An inning later, Andrew Benintendi drove in the only run for the Red Sox that did not come on a home run, and that came on a sac fly to center field to score Jackie Bradley Jr. from third. Bradley nearly scored on an inside the park homer himself two at bats prior, but he settled for a one out triple on the hardest hit ball of the night (109 MPH off the bat).

Fast forward to the seventh, with two outs in the inning and a brand new pitcher on the mound for the braves in Matt Wisler, Mookie Betts continued his crazy season by retaking the league lead in home runs.

With both Mike Trout and JD Martinez homering last night, it only made sense for Betts to hit one of his own. That one was sent 387 feet to left field, and it left the Red Sox outfielder alone atop the Major League home run leaderboard.

Another inning later, Mitch Moreland got in on the action by mashing his eighth home run of the season off of Wisler, and that pretty much put this game out of reach if it was not already.

443 feet to dead center on that one, which was definitely a reassuring thing to see given the news from earlier Friday morning.

Some notes from this win:

According to @RedSoxStats on Twitter, Craig Kimbrel threw his five fastest pitches of the season last night, as he topped out at 99.1 MPH.

The 3-4-5 hitters in last night’s lineup combined for four hits and three home runs.

With that triple I mentioned earlier, Jackie Bradley Jr. now has hits in four of his past five games.

In his first game as the everyday first baseman, Mitch Moreland went 2-for-4 with a single and a home run. He now owns a 1.029 OPS in 35 games this season.

It was certainly an unusual day for the Red Sox with Hanley Ramirez being designated for assignment, but they responded in a great way with a win last night.

Next up is the middle game of this series later this afternoon, and it will be local boy Sean Newcomb getting the start for the Atlanta Braves. The Massachusetts native has seemingly emerged as the best pitcher in the Braves rotation in just his first full season in the major leagues. For the Red Sox, it will be lefty Drew Pomeranz on the mound it what should be a very critical start. I mean, there was a point last season where it looked as if Pomeranz was going to be moved to the bullpen, but he turned his year around and become the best starting pitcher on that staff not named Chris Sale.

This time around, history is hopefully repeating itself because Pomeranz has not been close to great in the six starts he has made this season. If the struggles continue this afternoon, I can’t imagine he would make his next start. With guys capable of starting like Steven Wright and Hector Velazquez available in the bullpen, why would Pomeranz deserve a spot in the rotation if he continues to stink? We’ll have to wait on that though. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM.

The #RedSox Have Designated Hanley Ramirez for Assignment.

 

In a shocking turn of events, it looks as if Hanley Ramirez’s days in a Red Sox uniform are over. With Dustin Pedroia rejoining the team today after being activated from the disabled list, this was the corresponding move. Not Blake Swihart, the third catcher on this team who rarely plays, but Hanley Ramirez gets DFA’d.

Ramirez got off to a great start this season, as he slashed .330/.400/.474 in March/April. Since the calendars flipped to May though, Ramirez is only slashing .163/.200/.300 in 19 games.

With this happening today, Mitch Moreland will more than likely handle the everyday first baseman duties from here on out.

I’m still a little shook, but I wish Hanley the best wherever he lands after this. Regardless of his performance on the field, which had its ups and downs for sure, he seemed like a great teammate and clubhouse guy. Definitely going to miss him.

 

RECAP: David Price Tosses Six Quality Innings as #RedSox Pick up Series Win Against Rays.

Coming off a series opening win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, the Red Sox looked to clinch the series and their fourth straight win with David Price on the mound last night. With Chris Archer getting the start on the other side of the Rays, we were treated to a great pitching matchup between former teammates and close friends.

In his 10th start of the season, fourth against the Rays, David Price was fantastic. Going against his old club, the lefty tossed six innings of one run ball, scattering three hits and three free passes while recording a season high nine strikeouts over that span.

The only costly mistakes the Tennessee native made did not transpire until his last inning of work. After walking leadoff man Denard Span on six pitches, CJ Con took Price deep to center field for what looked like a go-ahead two run home run. Instead, it bounced off the top of the wall and stayed in play. It did allow the speedy Span to score all the way from First, but Price settled down and retired the next three batters he faced in order. That was how the 32-year-old’s night would end. Not a bad way to follow-up a complete game.

Ever since that awful start against the Rangers in Texas, David Price has looked like the David Price of old. He gave up seven earned runs in that outing back on May 3rd, but in three starts since then, the lefty owns a 2.21 ERA in 20.1 innings pitched. The haters and doubters will say that the teams Price has been pitching against aren’t playoff teams, and that may be true, but opponents are hitting a measly .183 against him over his last three starts. Regardless of the opposition, those numbers are impressive. He’ll look to build on this momentum in his next outing, which should come against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Memorial Day.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen shut the Rays down for the second straight night, as Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel combined to toss three perfect innings to go along with four strikeouts. For Kimbrel, last night’s save opportunity went much more smoothly than the one on Tuesday. That was reassuring to see, and he picked up his 15th save of the season to lock up his teams 34th win of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup did not have an answer for the way Rays starter Chris Archer was pitching last night. They had a golden opportunity to tack on their first run of the game in the fifth, after Eduardo Nunez tried to score from first on a two out double off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. Unfortunately, Nunez was tagged out at the plate in a somewhat bizarre sequence.

I mean, you have to slide in that situation, right? Christian Vazquez definitely deserves a fair amount of blame here, but there was no real urgency in Nunez either. Whatever the case, that blunder cost the Red Sox a run, but it did not cost them the game.

An inning later, after the 9-1-2 hitters loaded the bases with no outs, the Red Sox scored their first run of the game when Hanley Ramirez grounded into his second double play of the night. That allowed Christian Vazquez from third, and the Red Sox had their first run of the game and a one run lead.

Fast forward all the way to the ninth, and things are all knotted up at one run a piece. With closer Alex Colome on the mound for the Rays, JD Martinez led the inning off by reaching base on a throwing error committed by shortstop Willy Adames and making it to second in the process.

Now, with the go-ahead run in scoring position, a fairly cooled off and hitless Xander Bogaerts came to the plate looking to put this game away. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, he did just that.

Bogaerts’ 13th double of the season allowed Martinez to easily score from second to put the Red Sox on top.

After Rafael Devers followed that RBI double up with a five pitch walk, Eduardo Nunez’s sacrifice fly to center scored Bogaerts from third to add a little insurance and advanced Devers to third.

Devers would cross the plate on a wild pitch from Colome with Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, and that was the last run the Red Sox scored last night. A nice three run ninth to put this one out of reach for the Rays.

Some notes from this one:

Despite neither of them getting a hit, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi reached base a combined five times on five walks on Wednesday.

Hanley Ramirez is in the middle of a slump right now, as he is slashing .143/.182/.214 in 44 plate appearances over his last 10 games. Like I have been saying, might be time to get Mitch Moreland some more at bats.

Next up for the Red Sox is the series finale with the Rays later tonight. Looking for the sweep and their fifth straight win, Rick Porcello will be matched up against impressive lefty Blake Snell. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: Chris Sale Fans Nine and Mookie Betts Hits 16th Homer as #RedSox Pick up Series Opening Win in Tampa Bay.

Coming off a day off on Monday, the Red Sox kicked off another series against the 22-23 Tampa Bay Rays last night. Last time the Red Sox saw Tampa Bay, they took two out of three from them at Fenway Park and despite the low expectations going into this season, the Rays have not been that bad of a team.

Chris Sale made his eleventh start of the season in this one, and he was phenomenal once again on the mound at Tropicana Field. The lefty recorded his fourth start this month of seven or more innings pitched, as he surrendered two runs (one earned) on four hits, two walks, and a HBP while fanning nine Rays on the night. Up to this point in the season, there has been some talk about where the velocity of Sale’s fastballs are at, but that was not a concern last night. Right from the get go, the Florida native had his four-seamer working in his favor. In fact, the fastest pitch Sale threw came in the seventh inning when he reached 99 MPH on his 96th pitch of the game.

There were two costly mistakes that Sale made in his start last night, and they came in the fourth and fifth innings. With a three run lead going into the bottom of the fourth, the Rays put their first run on the board via a solo home run off the bat of their #1 prospect, Willy Adames. An inning later, after Rob Refsnyder led things off with a double and advanced to third on a passed ball with one out, Daniel Robertson scored the runner from third by flying out to left field. After getting out of the fifth with just that one run surrendered, Sale tossed two more scoreless innings and got the first two outs of the eighth before his departure. With his pitch count all the way up at 112 pitches (73 strikes), Sale was met with a standing ovation from the visiting crowd, which was more than likely consisted of mostly Red Sox fans, but it was still nice to see him get that sort of reception in a building he absolutely owns. As a matter of fact, after last night’s outing, Sale now owns a 1.92 ERA in 65.2 innings pitched at Tropicana Field. He’ll look to build on this start in his next time out against the Atlanta Braves this upcoming weekend.

In relief of Sale, Joe Kelly got the call out of the bullpen with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Responsible for one out, Kelly struck out the only batter he faced to pick up his seventh hold of the season.

Next out of the Red Sox bullpen was Craig Kimbrel. Looking to protect a two run lead and record his 14th save this season, getting there certainly was not an easy journey for the Red Sox closer. The Rays reached base three times in the inning, ultimately loading the bases with two outs for outfielder Mallex Smith. Thankfully, Kimbrel got Smith to ground into a force out, and this ballgame was over.

Looking at the numbers, we have not seen the best out of the 29-year-old this month. In nine appearances, Kimbrel has pitched 8.2 innings. Over that span, he has given up four earned runs (three home runs) on six hits and a walk. That’s good for a 4.15 ERA, and I expect those numbers to improve over the next nine games left in May, but I just wanted to point that out.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup got all their scoring done on two swings of the bat. The first came from Mookie Betts in the third inning, and the second came from Rafael Devers in the sixth inning.

Facing off against Rays starter Jake Faria with Jackie Bradley Jr. at first and Sandy Leon at second, Betts mashed his league-leading 16th home run of the season.

That 405 foot shot to left field was good for three, and it marked the third home run for Betts in his last four games.

Fast forward to the sixth, with the lead cut to just one run, Rafael Devers provided a little insurance with his ninth big fly of the season. This one coming off Rays reliever Austin Pruitt.

In the last 10 games he has played in, Devers is only slashing .167/.250/.417 with six hits. Half of those hits have been home runs.

That solo shot gave the Red Sox their fourth and final run of the game, which was good enough to pick up their league-leading 33rd win of the season.

Some notes from this one:

With another base knock last night, Sandy Leon is quietly has a slash line of .400/.478/.600 over the last seven games he has appeared in. With the way Christian Vazquez has disappointed this season, maybe Leon could see an increase in time behind the plate.

For only the fifth time this season, Jackie Bradley Jr. has recorded a base hit in consecutive games after his 2-for-4 performance at the plate on Tuesday.

Since returning from that road trip that ended in Toronto less than two weeks ago, Hanley Ramirez owns a .172 slugging percentage. I won’t bring up the other numbers, which are also ugly, but that is borderline unacceptable for a player who is capable of putting up 30 home runs in any given season. Might be time to get Mitch Moreland more playing time at first base.

On a more positive note, the Red Sox will look to take the second game of this series against the Rays later tonight. Coming off a great start against the Orioles, David Price will be taking the mound against his old team, while it will be Chris Archer going for Tampa Bay. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

RECAP: JD Martinez Homers Twice, Andrew Benintendi Once as #RedSox Wrap up Series Against Orioles with a 5-0 Win.

Less than 24 hours after defeating the Orioles in convincing fashion on Saturday night, the Red Sox took care of business against those orioles once again on Sunday. They are now 5-1 against them this season.

Coming off a so-so outing last time out against the Athletics, Eduardo Rodriguez made his ninth start of the season in this one, and he had himself a solid day on the mound. In 5.2 innings pitched, the lefty scattered nine hits, zero walks, and seven strikeouts while holding the Orioles scoreless over that span. Like Rick Porcello last night, Rodriguez had to deal with base runners all day, and that definitely hurt his pitch count. Despite shutting the Orioles out, he never faced the minimum in the first five innings.

In the sixth, the Venezuela native was one pitch away from ending his start on a positive note. With two outs in the inning, runners on first and second, and Craig Gentry at the plate, Rodriguez had the count in his favor at 1-2. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, Gentry took a 90 MPH cutter and lined a single to right field. That loaded the bases for the Orioles and ended the day for Rodriguez, as he was up to 110 pitches (74 strikes). Like I said earlier, not a bad start for the 25-year-old against his former team, but certainly not his best earlier. He’ll look to build on this in his next turn through the rotation, which should come against the Atlanta Braves next weekend.

With the bases loaded in the sixth and one more out to get, Heath Hembree got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in a high leverage spot. Fortunately, Hembree got the first batter he faced, Trey Mancini, to pop out to right field on the second pitch of the at bat, thus killing any chance at an Orioles rally,

Hembree would come back out for another inning of work in the seventh, and he retired the side despite giving up a one out single to Manny Machado. That made way for rookie reliever Bobby Poyner in the eighth, and he tossed a scoreless frame in his first appearance out of the Red Sox bullpen since May 15th. Speaking of Red Sox relievers who had not made an appearance in a game since May 15th, lefty Brian Johnson got the call for the ninth to wrap this one up. He worked his way around a leadoff double and retired the next three batters he faced in order to notch his team’s 32nd win of the season. At the end of the day, the Orioles had at least one runner on base in all nine innings they hit in, yet they could not bring across a single run. That’s a sign of a pretty bad team right there.

On the other side of things, JD Martinez got the scoring started for the Red Sox on his first of two home runs on the day.

That was the first ever pitch Martinez saw from Orioles starter David Hess, and he sent it 324 feet to right field right past the Pesky Pole.

Fast forward to the fifth, the Red Sox lineup went off for four runs on six hits to put this game away early. Coming off a two home run performance on Saturday, Andrew Benintendi launched another big fly, his fifth of the season now.

On that 92 MPH slider from Hess, Benintendi sent it 394 feet towards the Orioles bullpen for the second night in a row. That homer was good for two, as it also scored Jackie Bradley Jr. from second after he led the inning off with a double.

Following a double from Mitch Moreland, JD Martinez recorded his second and final hit of the day, and it was another home run for the Miami native.

He sent that 91 MPH fastball from Hess 443 feet to dead center for his teams sixth and final run of the day. Thanks to some solid pitching, the lineup did not need to do anymore scoring after that.

Some notes from this one:

With his two home runs today, JD Martinez has tied his teammate, Mookie Betts, for the league lead in home runs with 15 on the season. It was the eighth multi-homer game of Martinez’s career as well. He’s been so good as of late, he was telling Manny Machado where the Orioles should put their outfielders.

Andrew Benintendi has hit 60% of his home runs this season in his last six games. Over that span, the outfielder is slashing .478/.519/.913.

Jackie Bradley Jr. reached base twice today! That has not happened since last week, when he reached base twice against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox will be back at it against the surging Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. The Rays, who have won six of their past seven games, have certainly been a surprise in the American League this far, especially when you consider they got off to a 1-8 start to begin their season. They will be sending righty Jake Faria to the mound for the series opener on Tuesday, while Chris Sale will be getting the ball for the Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET. For now, let’s enjoy this picture.

No words. Just jorts.