Late Home Runs from Marco Hernandez and Rafael Devers Propel Red Sox to 8-6 Extra Innings Win over Orioles to Complete Three-Game Sweep on Father’s Day

In a game that took nearly five hours and an extra inning to complete, the Red Sox came away with their fifth consecutive victory and a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, as they took the series finale by a final tally of 8-6.

Making his first start of the season and first appearance since April 5th for Boston was Brian Johnson, who was just activated from the injured list this past Friday after missing more than 2 months of major league action due to inflammation in his throwing elbow.

Working his way into the fourth inning of this one, the left-hander yielded one earned run on five hits and two walks to go along with a pair of strikeouts on the afternoon.

Despite dealing with a decent amount of traffic on the base paths in such a short span of time, Johnson only gave up that lone Orioles run in their half of the third, when Keon Broxton came around to score on a one-out RBI single from Hanser Alberto.

Other than that, Johnson stranded runners at first and second to end the frame before allowing Anthony Santander and Jonathan Villar to reach with no outs in the fourth, which is the point where his day came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 70 (41 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his curveball more than 37% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing three swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 92.2 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 25 times with Christian Vazquez behind the plate.

Given the current state of the Red Sox’ rotation with Nathan Eovaldi still shelved for the foreseeable future, expect Johnson to make his next start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday if he isn’t used out of the bullpen before then.

In relief of Johnson, Colten Brewer was inserted into this contest with three outs to get in the fourth and runners on first and second.

With the help of Broxton interfering while running out a successful bunt attempt that would have plated the Orioles’ second run, the right-hander managed to escape the jam in the fourth with his team still in front. Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde, however, was ejected for arguing the ruling of that play.

From there, Mike Shawaryn got the first two outs of the fifth while loading the bases on a pair of walks and a single, and left-hander Josh Taylor, just recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, saved him by inducing a grounder off the bat of Villar to retire the side.

Taylor also worked his way around a fielding error in the sixth in an otherwise clean inning to make way for Marcus Walden in the seventh.

Making his 28th appearance out of the ‘pen, Walden sat down three of the four Orioles he faced in his first inning of relief before running into some trouble in the eighth, where Villar led things off by drawing a six-pitch walk and eventually scored courtesy of two swiped bags and a wild pitch.

That knotted things up at two runs a piece at the time, and Travis Lakins proceeded to give that up by serving up a pinch-hit triple to the first man he faced in Stevie Wilkerson before Hanser Alberto drove him in on another RBI base knock. Just like that, the Red Sox were trailing.

Fortunately though, Marco Hernandez pulled them even in the top half of the ninth, while Brandon Workman sent this one into extras with a scoreless bottom half.

And in the 10th, after they pretty much blew this one open to 8-3, Josh Smith nearly gave it all back by giving up a pair of homers, but held on to close out his third game of the season to secure an 8-6 win for Boston.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar and fairly tough opponent in Baltimore left-hander John Means, who entered Sunday having given up just two total runs in two prior starts this season against Boston.

This time around, Means held his own through the first three innings, but the Sox bats finally got to him in the fourth, with Xander Bogaerts getting his team on the board by driving in Rafael Devers all the way from first on a one-out line drive RBI double to left.

Bogaerts nearly scored the Sox’ second run as well, but was hung up to dry when trying to come home on a single from Michael Chavis. Instead of scoring, the young shortstop got caught in the middle of a rundown, all while Chavis advanced into scoring position.

So, with two outs and Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, the red-hot outfielder went ahead and extended his hitting streak to seven games, plating Chavis from second on a run-scoring double to give Boston their first lead of the afternoon.

Fast forward all the way to the ninth, after they had fallen behind by a run yet again, and Marco Hernandez came through in the clutch by blasting a game-tying, 395 foot solo shot to center off new Orioles reliever Mychal Givens. His first homer since May 30th of 2016, which also happened to come off of Givens in Baltimore, to eventually send this contest into extras.

There, in the 10th, Devers broke the stalemate in his first at-bat against Givens, leading off the frame by depositing a 1-0 fastball 458(!) feet to the opposite field for his 11th big fly of the season.

Still in the same inning, a fielding error that allowed Bogaerts to reach safely, a Michael Chavis single, and a walk drawn by Brock Holt off Orioles reliever David Hess filled the bases with Red Sox for Mookie Betts,

Already with two hits of the day, the reigning American League MVP broke this one open with number three, ripping a two-run single to left to plate Bogaerts and Chavis to put his team up by three.

Christian Vazquez opened up that lead a little further with another two-run double to drive in the two men on ahead of him, and that would later prove to be vital.

That being the case because even though they went up 8-3 on Vazquez’s clutch two-base hit, the Orioles almost staged a rally of their own in their half of the 10th, cutting Boston’s advantage back down to two runs before Sunday’s contest ultimately came to a close with a final score of 8-6.

Some notes from this win:

Andrew Benintendi was originally starting in left field and batting second Sunday, but was scratched due to a sore left quad. That’s why JD Martinez was out in left field.

From Red Sox Stats:

Rafael Devers during his six-game hitting streak: 11-for-27 with one double, one triple, two homers, and five RBI.

Jackie Bradley Jr.’s last seven games: .357/.400/.714 with two stolen bases, two home runs, and six RBI.

For the third time this season, Michael Chavis has recorded multiple hits in three straight games.

The Red Sox swept the Orioles, as expected. Now comes the true test. We’ve seen it before from this team, they dominate an inferior opponent, then proceed to struggle against better teams, such as the Astros, Rays, or Yankees.

This time, it will be a three-game set in Minnesota against the rising 47-23 first place Twins.

Led by ex-Red Sox outfielder and first-year manager Rocco Baldelli, the Twins have taken off in 2019, and entered Sunday leading the American League in runs scored (411), doubles (149), home runs (135), team slugging percentage (.514), and team OPS (.854) among other categories.

For the opener on Monday, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of right-handers, with Rick Porcello getting the ball for Boston and Jose Berrios doing the same for Minnesota.

Porcello is coming off his best start in weeks in his last time out against the Texas Rangers, and brings with him a lifetime 2.96 ERA over 13 career starts and 82 total innings pitched at Target Field.

Berrios, meanwhile, has had himself a solid 2019 thus far. That much is evident bow how the Twins are 11-3 in games he starts.

In three career starts against Boston, the 25-year-old is 0-2 with an ERA of 4.15 over 17.1 total innings of work.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox have plenty to prove as they go for their sixth straight victory.

 

 

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Chris Sale Fans 10 over Six Innings, JD Martinez Homers Again as Red Sox Top Orioles 7-2 for Fourth Straight Win

After mashing six home runs to the tune of a 13-2 victory on Friday, the Red Sox had a bit more difficult time with the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, but still came away with their fourth consecutive victory, topping their divisional foes by a final score of 7-2 to improve to 38-34 on the season.

Making his 15th start of the year for Boston in the middle game of this three-game weekend series was Chris Sale, who already dominated the O’s in his last appearance at Camden Yards back in May.

There was no immaculate inning this time around, but the left-hander still put together a solid effort, yielding two runs, both of which were earned, on six hits and just one walk to go along with exactly 10 strikeouts over six quality frames of work.

Baltimore threatened immediately by reaching base in their first two-at bats of the contest in the first, and it looked like the Red Sox were yet again going to be trailing early on.

Sale did not waiver though, as he retired the side in order from there before sitting down 12 of the next 13 hitters he faced up until the sixth inning.

There, in what was undoubtedly the Florida native’s toughest go of it after his team had just put up three runs, the Orioles started things exactly like they did in the first, with both Hanser Alberto and Trey Mancini reaching on back-to-back singles.

One mound visit and line out later, the O’s finally got on the board thanks to an RBI double from Renato Nunez to plate Alberto and advance Mancini to third.

Sale’s lone walk in this one filled the bases for Jonathan Villar, who cut the Red Sox’ deficit to one with a sacrifice fly to score Mancini.

Fortunately for Boston, that was all the damage Sale would allow, as he escaped the jam by fanning Keon Broxton with an 83 MPH slider to end the sixth as well as his outing.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 103 (68 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler turned to that aforementioned slider more than 47% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing 10 swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 95.6 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 34 times and got six whiffs on with Sandy Leon behind the plate.

Later improving to 3-7 while lowering his ERA on the season down to 3.49, Sale will look to build on what has been a strong month of June in his next time out, which should come against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.

In relief of Sale, Marcus Walden entered the seventh in a two-run game, and he worked his way around a one-out single in an otherwise clean frame.

Matt Barnes, meanwhile, had a tougher time in the eighth, as he allowed the tying run to get into scoring position with two outs on a single and walk before retiring the side by striking out pinch-hitter Chris Davis with an 85 MPH slider on the inside edge.

And in the ninth, after the Sox had tacked on three additional insurance runs, Brandon Workman locked down the 7-2 win in a scoreless final inning with some help from Michael Chavis at first.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy, who came into Saturday with a 3.02 ERA in his last seven starts.

As those recent impressive numbers indicate, Bundy did his part to hold the Boston bats through their first 2 1/2 times through the batting order.

They had a handful of scoring chances early on, but it wasn’t until Rafael Devers led the top of the sixth off with a hard-hit single where things really started to roll.

Immediately following Devers’ single, Xander Bogaerts came through with his team’s first run of the day by driving in the third baseman on a line drive RBI double to left. Brock Holt essentially did the same two pitches later by plating Bogaerts on a run-scoring single to right field.

A single from Michael Chavis to move Holt into scoring position would be how Bundy’s outing came to a close, and Sandy Leon greeted new O’s reliever Richard Bleier by scoirng Holt, who advanced to third on a Jackie Bradley Jr. ground out, by reaching first on a fielding error committed by Alberto over at third. 3-0.

Fast forward to the seventh, and a red-hot JD Martinez continued on with his power surge by blasting his 16th big fly of the season and fourth in his last three games. Per Statcast, Martinez’s opposite field shot had an exit velocity of 109 MPH off the bat and was deposited 427 feet into the right-center field bleachers.

Finally, in the ninth, with right-hander Miguel Castro on the hill, the Sox once again took advantage of sloppy defensive play from the Orioles, but not before loading the bases with one out for Bogaerts.

On the first pitch he saw from Castro, the Red Sox shortstop lifted a fly ball plenty deep enough to center to drive in Mookie Betts from third.

Just a few moments after that, Holt also collected his second RBI with another run-scoring base knock that allowed Andrew Benintendi to come in from third.

With Chavis at the plate, Holt took off for second and a poor throw from Pedro Severino behind the plate as well as a poor attempt to knock the ball down from Alberto covering the bag gave Devers more than enough time to score from third.

That put the Red Sox ahead 7-2, which would go on to be Saturday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Chris Sale has recorded 10 or more strikeouts in eight of his last 10 starts. In that 10-start span, the left-hander is averaging 14.2 punchouts per nine innings.

JD Martinez’s June so far: 16-for-45 with three doubles, one triple, five home runs and eight RBI.

Rafael Devers during his five-game hitting streak: 9-for-22 with one double, one triple, one home run, and four RBI.

Brock Holt in June: .444/.500/.611 with one double, one triple, one homer, and eight RBI.

Michael Chavis during his five-game hitting streak: 7-for-21 with one double, two home runs, and four RBI.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the series finale of this three-game series on Sunday afternoon.

Left-hander Brian Johnson will make his first start since being activated from the 10-day injured list on Friday. The 28-year-old hasn’t appeared in a game for Boston since April 5th after being shelved with inflammation in his left elbow.

In two prior appearances at Camden Yards, neither of which were starts, Johnson did not surrender a run over 1 2/3 total innings of relief.

For Baltimore, it will be another southpaw taking the mound in the form of John Means, who held the Sox to one run in each of the two starts he has made against them in 2019.

On the season as a whole, the 26-year-old owns a 1.57 ERA through eight games (six starts) at home.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for the sweep and their fifth straight win.

JD Martinez Mashes Two of Red Sox’ Six Homers in 13-2 Beatdown of Orioles

After splitting a four-game series with the Texas Rangers to wrap up a 3-5 homestand on Thursday, the Red Sox opened up a three-game weekend set against the Baltimore Orioles in emphatic fashion on Friday, blowing out their divisional foes by a final score of 13-2.

Making his 14th start of the season for Boston in this convincing victory was Eduardo Rodriguez, fresh off a four-run, losing effort in his last time out against the Tampa Bay Rays.

This time around, the left-hander had a much better time of things, as he yielded just one earned run while scattering six hits, one HBP, and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over seven quality innings of work.

That one Baltimore run came right away in the bottom of the first, when with one out, Trey Mancini launched his 15th home run of the season to left field to give his side the early lead.

It looked as though he could have folded from there, but Rodriguez recovered nicely after serving up the solo shot. That much was evident by how he kept the Orioles off the scoreboard.

Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr. did their part defensively as well, with the former making an inning-ending, over the shoulder snag in the fourth, and the latter robbing Pedro Severino of what would have been a one out, two-run home run in the sixth.

Sure, Bradley Jr. was unable to come up with the catch itself, but by being able to bring that ball back into play, both runners were held up at second and third.

Rodriguez ended the frame five pitches later with the assistance of JD Martinez, who caught a lineout off the bat of Anthony Santander and made a fine throw towards home to snuff out Mancini trying to tag up from third.

With one more scoreless frame in the seventh, Rodriguez’s impressive night against the club he began his professional career with came to a close.

Finishing with a final season-high pitch count of 114 (73 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler relied on his four-seam fastball approximately 49% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing nine swings and misses and topping out at 94.2 MPH with the pitch while both Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon were behind the plate.

Improving to 7-4 while lowering his ERA on the season down to 4.67, Rodriguez will look to build on his best start of the month in his next time out, which should come against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen did not face as much pressure as they did the night before, as Travis Lakins entered this contest in the eighth with a comfortable 12-run lead to protect.

Making his second appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday, Lakins needed 13 pitches to retire the only three hitters he faced in order to set up Josh Smith in the ninth.

Fresh off his first career big league save against Texas, Smith did give up one run on three hits before ultimately recording the final out and locking down his team’s third consecutive victory.

On the other side of things, the Mookie Betts-less Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles rookie right-hander Luis Ortiz, who was making just his second career start Friday.

Having never faced off against Ortiz before, Brock Holt got the scoring started for Boston in the second inning with his first home run of the season, this one a 406 foot two-run shot to plate Xander Bogaerts as well as himself and give his side a lead they would not have to look back from.

In the fourth, Christian Vazquez added on to what’s been a career year in terms of power by leading things off with his eighth big fly of 2019 to give the Red Sox a 3-1 advantage.

That was followed by a Jackie Bradley Jr. double and an Orioles pitching change that saw Dan Straily take over for Ortiz, and he was immediately greeted by an RBI single off the bat of Michael Chavis to make it a 4-1 contest.

Two batters later, JD Martinez added another pair of runs to his team’s tally with a 414 foot bomb to left field, his first of two on the evening. 6-1.

Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his recent hot streak in the fifth, taking Straily deep yet again on an 0-2 91 MPH fastball and racking up his seventh big fly of the year, good for two runs.

Still in the fifth, an Eduardo Nunez single put a runner on for Chavis, and he took full advantage of that by depositing a 1-1 hanging slider from Straily 447(!) feet to dead center.

With the bases clear again following an Andrew Benintendi strikeout, Martinez went ahead and demolished his second homer of the night and third since Thursday on a 1-0 fastball right down Broadway. Per Statcast, the 31-year-old slugger’s 15th round tripper of the season had an exit velocity of 105 MPH.

Finally, in the sixth, Benintendi came to the plate with one out and the bases loaded, and he put the exclamation point on this offensive outpouring by golfing a two-run double down the left field line off Baltimore reliever Josh Rogers to drive in Holt from third and Vazquez from second.

That put the Red Sox ahead 13-1, and after the Orioles got another run of their own in the ninth, 13-2 would go on to be Friday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Friday was JD Martinez’s third multi-homer game of 2019. He had three all of last season.

Jackie Bradley Jr. during his five-game hitting streak: 8-for-19 with three doubles, two home runs, and five RBI.

Rafael Devers during his four-game hitting streak: 7-for-17 with one double, one triple, one home run, and four RBI.

Michael Chavis, in his fourth game batting out of the leadoff spot: 2-for-5 with one home run and three RBI.

The Red Sox have won three straight to improve to 37-34 on the season.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this three-game series on Saturday.

Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston, while right-hander Dylan Bundy will do the same for Baltimore.

Last time he pitched at Camden Yards back on May 8th, Sale fanned 14 over eight scoreless frames, including his first immaculate inning of the season in the seventh.

Since the beginning of May, Sale has posted a 1.99 ERA and .153 batting average against over his last eight starts and 54.1 innings pitched, yet the Red Sox are only 4-4 in those games.

Bundy, meanwhile, has had himself a solid 2019 campaign to this point with an ERA of 4.50 through 13 starts, although that number lowers to 3.02 since the beginning of last month.

In 17 outings (13 starts) against Boston, Bundy is 3-7 with an unsightly 5.08 ERA over 78 total innings of work.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 4:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking for their fourth straight win.

 

 

 

 

Red Sox Activate Brian Johnson from Injured List, Option Sam Travis to Triple-A Pawtucket

Before kicking off a three-game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, the Red Sox returned left-hander Brian Johnson from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket and activated him from the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, first baseman/outfielder Sam Travis was optioned to Triple-A. The club made the transaction official earlier Friday.

Last appearing in a game with the Red Sox way back on April 5th, Johnson has been sidelined the past two-plus months due inflammation in his left elbow.

Now in his second full big league season, the 28-year-old owns a 12.71 ERA and .370 batting average against through four relief appearances in 2019.

While rehabbing with both Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson allowed a total of 14 runs (11 earned) on 20 hits and eight walks over six outings (four starts) and 14.2 innings of work.

Those numbers may not look all that promising, but the Florida native did hold the Rochester Red Wings to one run on four hits and two walk to go along with six strikeouts in a four-inning start on June 9th.

With Johnson back in the mix, expect him to get the start against Baltimore on Sunday, as the Sox have yet to announce a starter for that contest.

Sam Travis, meanwhile, was up with Boston for nearly two weeks in his second stint with the big league club so far this season.

The 25-year-old utility man went 2-for-17 with one RBI and a few nice defensive plays this time around, and is currently slashing .167/.167/.167 through eight games played in 2019.

The Red Sox are currently rostering 13 pitchers and 12 position players.

First pitch against the O’s on Friday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN. Here’s how the Sox will be lining up.

Chris Sale Tosses Immaculate Inning, Strikes out 14 and Jackie Bradley Jr. Makes Game-Saving Catch as #RedSox Take Series from Orioles with 2-1 Win in Extras

In a game that took over four hours and 12 innings to complete, the Red Sox ended their seven-game road trip at 5-2 following a tight 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday night.

Making his eighth start of the season for Boston was Chris Sale, who entered Wednesday having surrendered just four earned runs in his last three outings.

Tossing eight full innings in this one, the left-hander put together without a doubt his most dominant performance of the year thus far, yielding only one Orioles run on three hits, two HBPs, and no walks to go along with a season-high 14 strikeouts on the night.

Retiring 17 of the first 19 hitters he faced, Sale had a no-hitter going with one out to get in the sixth before Joey Rickard broke that up with a single to center field.

Perhaps a bit miffed about his no-no going by the wayside, Sale allowed the next hitter he faced to reach as well, with Trey Mancini driving in his team’s lone run on an RBI double to left field.

In typical Chris Sale fashion though, the southpaw continued to amaze in the seventh, striking out the side on nine straight strikes to notch the fifth immaculate inning in Red Sox history.

Ending his night by picking up an additional two punchouts in the eighth, Sale finished with a final pitch count of 108 (80 strikes).

Out of those 108 pitches, the 30-year-old hurler relied mostly on his slider Wednesday, turning to the pitch 46 times and inducing eight swings and misses with it.

He also induced 14 swings and misses and topped out at 96.4 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 42 times.

Unable to pick up the winning decision with this game going 12 innings deep and all, the Red Sox will look for their third straight win with Sale on the mound in the lefty’s next time out, which should come against the Colorado Rockies next week.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen, like Sale, collectively turned in one of their better outings of the season to this point, with Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Ryan Brasier, and Heath Hembree combining to toss four frames of scoreless baseball.

Entering the ninth in a tie game, Barnes worked his way around a tight situation where the potential winning run was 90 feet away from scoring by getting Dwight Smith Jr. to ground out to himself and by striking out Stevie Wilkerson on five pitches to end the threat.

Workman, meanwhile, put together his 10th consecutive scoreless appearance by sitting down the Orioles in 1-2-3 fashion in the 10th before things got interesting in the 11th.

With one out and Ryan Brasier on the mound, Trey Mancini nearly put an end to this one by launching a 401 foot fly ball to left center that would have landed over the fence. The only problem was that the ball was in the range of Jackie Bradley Jr., who scaled said fence and made the catch of the season so far to rob the Orioles slugger of walk-off glory.

And in the 12th, after Andrew Benintendi had put Boston ahead in the top half of the inning, Heath Hembree came on and recorded the first save of his big league career by striking out the side in the bottom half to secure the one-run win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Andrew Cashner for the Orioles and they were limited in what they could do offensively.

Their only two runs of the night came on two separate swings of the bat from the top two guys in that lineup in Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts.

First, Betts put the Sox on the board in the third inning with a two out, 400 foot bomb of a solo shot off Cashner, good for the reigning AL MVP’s seventh of the season.

They did have additional chances to tack on some more runs, that much was indicated by an 0-for-8 performance with runners in scoring position as well leaving 10 men on base, but they fell short of that against Cashner and company up until the 12th inning.

There, with two outs and the bases empty, Benintendi got ahead in the count at 2-1 against O’s reliever Yefry Ramirez and unloaded on a 93 MPH fastball, sending it to the first few rows of seats in right field for his fourth dinger of the year.

That would give the Red Sox the 2-1 lead they so desperately needed, and that would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

For the first time since March 29th, the Red Sox are back at .500 with a record of 19-19. They have won their last three series and are 6-2 in May.

From Red Sox Notes:

According to Statcast, that Trey Mancini would be home run that was robbed by Jackie Bradley Jr. had a 73% chance of being a hit.

The Orioles struck out 22 times on Wednesday and did not draw a single walk.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s an off day on Thursday where some of the team will be heading to the White House while others will be heading back to Boston before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

The M’s took three out of four against the Sox to begin the 2019 season back in March and currently stand at 20-19.

For the series opener, it will be a pitching matchup featuring right-hander Erik Swanson for Seattle and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for Boston.

Rodriguez (3-2, 5.40 ERA) got shellacked for six runs in a losing effort against the Mariners in his first start of the season back on March 30th.

Swanson, meanwhile, has yet to face the Red Sox in what is his first year in the majors.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to begin an eight-game homestand on a high note.

 

JD Martinez’s 200th Career Home Run Sets Tone for #RedSox in 8-5 Win over Orioles

After opening up a three-game series in Baltimore with a disappointing 4-1 loss on Monday, the Red Sox bounced back with an eight-run performance on Tuesday, defeating the Orioles by a final score of 8-5 to take the middle game of the series.

Getting the start in the place of the now shelved David Price in this one was Hector Velazquez, who last started this past Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics.

Working the first three innings Tuesday, the right-hander held Baltimore to two runs, both earned, on three hits and one walk to go along with no strikeouts on the night.

Similar to Josh Smith’s start for Boston in the opener, both of those runs given up by Velazquez came on one swing of the bat for Baltimore, a two out, two-run home run from Rio Ruiz in the first inning, which tied the game at two at the time it was hit.

Other than that mishap, the 30-year-old worked his way around more two out trouble and ended up retiring the final four hitters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 46 (30 strikes), Velazquez relied on his changeup 33% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing one swing and miss with the pitch while topping out at 93.6 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw nine times.

In relief of Velazquez, the Red Sox seemed to stick to the same plan they ran with in last Wednesday’s win over the A’s, with Marcus Walden getting the first call out of the bullpen for some extended work.

Making his 13th appearance of the season, Walden yielded just one run, a fourth inning Hanser Alberto solo shot, on two hits and no hits while also punching out three and receiving some help from his Gold Glove outfielders to improve to 5-0 on the year.

From the middle of the seventh inning on, Brandon Workman continued his impressive run by sitting down the only three hitters he faced in that bottom half of the seventh.

Ryan Brasier, meanwhile, did not have the same success in the eighth, as he allowed the Red Sox’ initial three-run lead to be trimmed down to one thanks to RBI hits from Dwight Smith Jr. and Chris Davis.

Having to come in with the chance to pick up the four out save, Matt Barnes got out of the eighth by striking out Stevie Wilkerson on six pitches before inducing a game-ending 6-4-3 double play an inning later to do just that for his third save of the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Orioles right-hander David Hess on Tuesday, and unlike in the series opener, actually pushed across multiple runs against the opposing starting pitcher.

That scoring began right away in the first inning, with JD Martinez notching career home run no. 200 with a one out, two-run opposite field shot to plate both him and Mookie Betts and give the Sox an early 2-0 advantage. His first homer since April 17th.

Fast forward to the fourth, and Xander Bogaerts racked up his third big fly in his last four games with a 425 foot solo homer to dead center. 3-2 Boston.

An inning later, after the Orioles responded with a run of their own in their half of the fourth, Mitch Moreland took that lead right back with a three-run, 406 foot dinger off new Baltimore reliever Branden Kline, scoring Betts, Martinez, and himself to make it a 6-3 contest.

And in the ninth, the Sox bats took advantage of a wild Evan Phillips for Baltimore, who allowed the first three hitters he faced to reach base in the frame before Mookie Betts came to the plate.

With the chance to put this one away, the reigning AL MVP displayed his patience by drawing an eight-pitch bases loaded walk, which of course allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. to stroll in from third and put his team up by two runs.

One pitching change that saw Miguel Castro take over for Baltimore later, and the man who drove in Boston’s first run of the night came through by driving in their last, as a JD Martinez sacrifice fly to left gave Christian Vazquez more than enough time to tag from third and give the Red Sox an 8-5 lead, which would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Mitch Moreland has 23 hits this season. 10 of those, with the tenth coming Tuesday, have been home runs. His slugging percentage currently stands at .542.

From Red Sox Notes:

With another two-hit performance Tuesday, Christian Vazquez is 9-for-his-last-18 since the beginning of May.

I’m not going to post the numbers, but Michael Chavis has cooled off recently.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll go for the series win in the finale of this three-game set on Wednesday.

Fresh off six scoreless innings in a winning effort in his last time out against the White Sox, it will be left-hander Chris Sale getting the ball for Boston.

In 11 career outings (eight starts) at Orioles Park, Sale owns a lifetime 1.97 ERA over 50.1 total innings pitched.

Opposite Sale, it will be veteran right-hander Andrew Cashner for Baltimore, who picked up the win in his last start against the Red Sox back on April 13th.

First pitch of the last game of the seven-game road trip is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT. Red Sox looking to improve to 19-19 and get back to .500.

 

 

#RedSox Come out Flat in 4-1 Series-Opening Loss to Orioles

Coming off a successful weekend in Chicago, the Red Sox headed to Baltimore with the chance to improve their record to over .500 by the time they got back to Fenway Park this Friday, but instead took a few steps back in a frustrating 4-1 loss at the hands of the last place Orioles on Monday.

Making his first start and second appearance for the Red Sox in this one was Josh Smith, who last worked out of the bullpen in the club’s 6-1 win over the White Sox this past Friday.

Signed as a minor league free agent in January, the 31-year-old right-hander surrendered four runs, all earned, on five hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts over the first 3.1 innings Monday.

All four of those Baltimore runs came on one swing of the bat, when, after loading the bases with the first three hitters he faced in the second and striking out the next two, Smith served up a bases-clearing grand slam to Orioles second baseman Jonathan Villar.

He nearly escaped the jam, but that granny would wind up being all the offense the O’s would need in this one.

After sitting down the next four Orioles in a row, Smith’s night would come to an end after allowing two of the first three hitters he faced to reach in the fourth, making way for Heath Hembree.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 70 (42 strikes), Smith relied on his four-seam fastball 33% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing three swings and misses and topping out at 92 MPH with the pitch.

In relief of Smith, as previously mentioned, Heath Hembree came on with runners on first and second and two outs to get.

Last working on Saturday, Hembree needed just four pitches to retire the side and lower his ERA on the year down to 3.86.

From the middle of the fifth inning on, Ryan Weber, who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket Monday in correspondence with David Price being placed on the 10-day injured list, throughoughly impressed in his Red Sox debut.

Like Smith, Weber, 28, signed a minor league pact with Boston back in December and made five starts with the PawSox, where he posted a 5.04 ERA over 25 innings pitched.

Last appearing in the majors with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018, the right-hander held the Orioles scoreless in four innings of relief, yielding just three hits and one HBP as well as four punch outs on the night.

The Orioles had two real opportunities to pad their lead off Weber, once with a runner on third and one out in the seventh, and once with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth right after Steve Pearce robbed them of a run by nabbing Renato Nunez trying to score from third on a grounder off the bat of Stevie Wilkerson. They came up empty on both occasions though, sealing the solid debut for the newest member of Boston’s pitching staff.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was held in check by Orioles left-hander John Means and company, and that couldn’t be highlighted more by the fact that Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, JD Martinez, Michael Chavis, and Rafael Devers went a combined 0-for-19 with five strikeouts Monday. Not great.

The only two Red Sox to collect hits in this one were Christian Vazquez and Eduardo Nunez, whose fifth inning sacrifice fly to plate Vazquez from third provided Boston with their only run of the night.

No one even drew a walk.

Some notes from this 4-1 loss:

In two starts against the Red Sox this season, Means is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA over 12 total innings pitched.

Over his last 10 games (nine starts), Christian Vazquez is slashing .387.472/.516 with one home run and three RBI.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to rebound in the middle game of this three-game series Tuesday night.

Right-hander Hector Velazquez will be getting the start for Boston in the place of David Price, while right-hander David Hess will do the same for Baltimore.

In three career appearances (one start) at Orioles Park, Velazquez owns a lifetime 3.00 ERA over six total innings.

Hess, meanwhile, is 0-3 in three career starts against the Red Sox, so at least they have that going for them.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN.