RECAP: Mike Leake Tosses Eight Shutout Innings as #RedSox Drop Second Game to Mariners in 7-2 Loss.

How do you follow up a 14 run outpouring on the first game back from a road trip, be getting shutout up until the ninth inning, of course!

That’s right, folks. The Red Sox did not score their first runs of the game until their last at bats of last night’s contest against the Mariners in a situation where they were already down by seven runs. Let’s get into it.

Making his 15th start of the season on Friday night, Eduardo Rodriguez had his worst performance on the mound in nearly two months. Facing off a team he had just pitched against less than a week ago in Seattle, the Mariners got to the lefty for five runs in just four innings.

If you remember in his last time out, Rodriguez limited the M’s to two runs over six frames in a winning effort this past Sunday evening. The Mariners must have made some sound adjustments to their game plan for last night’s game, because they were all over the lefty in this one.

Before he even had the chance to record the first out of the ballgame, Dee Gordon had already crossed the plate thanks to a leadoff single that was followed by a Mitch Haniger RBI double.

Later on in the third, Ryon Healy plated his teams third run of the night when, after Nelson Cruz lined a one out double, the Mariners first baseman reached first base on a Tzu-Wei Lin fielding error which allowed Cruz to score all the way from second.

An inning later is where things really seemed to escape from Rodriguez. In his final frame of work, the Venezuela native allowed five baserunners to reach on three hits and two walks. Those five baserunners plated three more runs for the Mariners, and that pretty much put this game out of reach for the Red Sox.

Falling to 9-2 on the season now, Rodriguez finished with 86 pitches (52 strikes) on the night. Not too efficient in that department, and the theme of the night for the 25-year-old hurler appeared to be his inability to put away batters with two strikes in the count. Topping out at 96 MPH with his four-seamer, ERod will look to rebound from this shaky start in his next time out against the Yankees in New York next weekend.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was tasked with getting through five innings while keeping Seattle within striking distance.

Hector Velazquez got the first call and for the second time in three days allowed two runs to score off of him. He gave up two garbage time runs in Minnesota on Thursday and in a more important situation last night, surrendered another two in three innings of work to make it a 7-0 game by the time he departed in the middle of the seventh.

From that point on, Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree combined for two scoreless frames of work in the eighth and ninth to lower their ERA’s on the season to 1.13 and 3.86 respectively.

On the other side of things, Mariners starter Mike Leake could do no wrong against a Red Sox lineup fresh off one of their better performances of the year. Last time Leake saw them, in that same game Rodriguez pitched in last Sunday, the Red Sox knocked the 30-year old hurler around a bit for five runs in the six innings he pitched. This time though, we saw a much different story.

In eight full innings, Leake limited the Red Sox to a whopping five baserunners. Three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts, this was for sure his best start of the season. With both Mookie Betts (illness) and Xander Bogaerts (finger) out of the lineup, it’s understandable why the lineup struggled, but it’s still a tough pill to swallow to say the least.

In fact, it wasn’t until the ninth when the Red Sox finally got on the board. With closer Edwin Diaz making his first appearance in a week, Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez were able to collect RBI hits off of the Mariners flamethrower to cut the deficit to five runs. That’s all they were able to do though, as this thing finished with a final score of 7-2. For the Mariners, a five-game losing streak came to an end. For the Red Sox, a two game-winning streak also came to an end.

Some other notes from this loss:

Prior to last night’s contest, the Red Sox recalled IF Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple A Pawtucket while also optioning RP Robby Scott down to Pawtucket.

In gamed Eduardo Rodriguez starts this season, the Red Sox are now 13-2.

Mitch Moreland extended his hitting streak to six games last night. Over that stretch, he’s 11-for-23 (.478 AVG) with five RBI, eight runs scored, and two triples.

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts are expected to be back in the lineup today.

With both sided looking for the series win this afternoon, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of lefty’s. For Seattle, Marco Gonzales will be making his first career start against the Red Sox. And for Boston, it will be Chris Sale making the start. Sale, who missed pitching in the four-game series in Seattle, is coming off a start in which he took a perfect game into the fifth inning against the Twins, yet the Red Sox came away with the loss. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET.

Also, here’s a video of Triston Casas (1st round draft pick) taking BP at Fenway prior to yesterday’s game.

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RECAP: Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Xander Bogaerts Homer as #RedSox End Series in Seattle with a 9-3 Win.

Entering Sunday having lost their last two games against the Mariners, the Red Sox looked to even the series up before heading to Minnesota for the final leg of their road trip that starts on Tuesday.

Coming off a quality outing in his last time out against the Orioles, Eduardo Rodriguez  put together yet another solid performance on the mound yesterday afternoon. In six full innings pitched, the first time he’s gone that deep this month, the lefty surrendered two runs on six hits and one walk while notching nine strikeouts on the day.

Rodriguez’s first three innings went fairly smoothly, as he scattered two hits and that one walk while recording the first nine outs quietly, but the fourth and the fifth were a different story.

With notable slugger Nelson Cruz in for his second at bat of the day to lead off the fourth, the native of Venezuela served up a 3-2, 89 MPH two-seam fastball to the Mariners DH, and he took it 442(!) feet to left to put his team on the board. His first career hit off of Rodriguez in eight tries.

An inning later, three straight singles from the 8-9-1 hitters in the Mariners lineup loaded the bases with no outs for Jean Segura. A run came around to score when Segura grounded into a force out at second, but that was all Rodriguez gave up in an 18 pitch inning.

With his pitch count at 96 going into the bottom half of the seventh, Alex Cora must have wanted to get the most out of Rodriguez, because he came back out and proceeded to retire the side in order to end his day on a more positive note.

Now finishing with a grand total of 113 pitches (70 strikes), the 25-year-old hurler topped out at 95.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball, which he threw 29% of the time. Later improving to 9-1 on the season, Rodriguez will look to continue this successful run he’s been on as of late in his next time out, which should come against the Mariners once again back at home next weekend.

Needing nine more outs to clinch the series-split, the Red Sox bullpen, with an initial three-run lead to work with entering the bottom of the seventh, took care of business against a pesky Mariners lineup.

Bouncing back from a blown save on Friday night, Matt Barnes tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning on 13 pitches. Making his fourth appearance of the road trip in the eighth, Brandon Workman could only record the first two outs of the inning while the Mariners plated a run. Hector Velazquez would be inserted into a bit of a jam, end the inning, and wrap this thing up by pitching a scoreless final frame with a pure display of athleticism on the final out. 49th win of the season secured.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup rebounded from getting shutout on Saturday night in a big way.

In the third, after Leake had retired the first two batters he faced, two singles from Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts and a JD Martinez walk loaded the bases for Mitch Moreland.

Entering yesterday’s contest 1-for-his-last-18, the first baseman broke out of that slump by ripping a two-run single to center field to put the Red Sox on top early.

Having just seen his 10-game hitting streak come to an end the day before, Rafael Devers followed up that Moreland RBI knock by mashing his 11th home run of the season to right field.

408 feet with an exit velocity of 106 MPH on that one for Devers, in the place where he hit his first career homer as well.

Fast forward to the seventh and the Red Sox bats struck again, this time for three runs on two home runs.

Leading off the inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. took M’s reliever Chasen Bradford yard for his fourth big fly of the season.

And three batters later, after Andrew Benintendi singled before him, Xander Bogaerts stayed hot by launching his third home run in his last four games to pretty much put this thing out of reach. 436 feet, 109 MPH exit velo. on the shortstop’s 12th long ball of the season.

One note from this win:

From @SoxNotes: The Red Sox improve to 13-1 in Eduardo Rodriguez’s starts this season. Rodriguez is 9-1 with a 3.59 ERA, including 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his last 6 starts.

With an off day today in Minnesota, the Red Sox will look to take advantage of below-average Twins team starting tomorrow. The last time Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello were lined up to pitch in the same series, the Red Sox dropped two out of three to the White Sox. This time though, they’ll be looking for different results against another AL Central team. Chris Sale gets the ball in the series opener, as does Jose Berrios for the Twins, with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 PM ET on Tuesday.

 

 

 

RECAP: Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers Homer as #RedSox Pick up Series Win in Baltimore.

After taking 12 innings to take the series opener from the Orioles on Monday, the Red Sox had themselves an ugly win against Baltimore that took nearly four hours to complete last night.

Making his 13th start of the season on Tuesday, Eduardo Rodriguez had himself a busy night against the team he began his professional career with. Pitching into the sixth inning of this one, the lefty surrendered two runs on eight hits and two walks while fanning four.

Right from the beginning, it did not appear that things  were going to go smoothly for the Venezuelan hurler. In fact, Joey Rickard greeted Rodriguez by launching a 395 foot home run to lead things off in the bottom of the first.

From that point on, Rodriguez did not have one clean frame of work, as the Orioles reached base at least once in every inning the 25-year-old pitched in. Luckily though, they did not do too great of a job of capitalizing on those opportunities, since, outside of that leadoff home run, Rodriguez gave up just one run in the third inning before departing with two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the sixth.

Finishing with 109 pitches (67 strikes), Rodriguez’s night came to an end after giving up a single to Craig Genrty. That made way for Hector Velazquez, who hadn’t pitched since last Friday, to take over things in the sixth.

Needing one out to get out of the inning, Velazquez struck out catcher Austin Wynns to retire the side. Coming back out for the seventh, the Mexico native did not have nearly the same amount of luck, as he loaded the bases for the Orioles in between recording the first two outs. And for the second night in a row, we got Joe Kelly coming into a high stress situation with the bases loaded.

Unlike Monday, Kelly did not need a strikeout to get out of the bases loaded jam. Instead, he got Jonathan Schoop to softly ground a comebacker to himself and made the toss to home for the inning-ending force out.

In the eighth, Matt Barnes was the recipient of some bad luck when, after he walked the first guy he saw in Mark Trumbo, Craig Gentry, Graig Gentry reached base on what looked like a routine groundout set up for a double play. Instead, Rafael Devers, who had been playing great defense at third lately, misplayed it and everyone was safe.

Thankfully, the UCONN alum bounced back and retired the next three batters he faced in order, with some help from JD Martinez, to get out of yet another jam.

Entering the ninth with a four run lead, it was a bit surprising to see Craig Kimbrel, who pitched on Monday, enter the game in a nonsave situation. As he usually does, the Red Sox closer did not look all that comfortable pitching in a game that was not close at the time, and he gave up two runs on one hit and two walks to make things interesting before striking out Pedro Alvarez to lock up the series win. It was the first time since May 26th against the Braves that Kimbrel had been roughed up in an outing.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup got to Orioles starter David Hess early for the second time this season. They scored five runs off of him in 4.2 innings pitched last month, and they got to him for another five runs in just 3.1 innings on Tuesday night.

Rafael Devers got the scoring started in the top of the second when, after Xander Bogaerts drew a walk to leadoff the inning, the young third baseman mashed his 10th big fly of the season 396 feet to right field to put his team in front early. On that home run, Devers became the fifth member of the Red Sox to reach double-digit home runs this year.

An inning later, Andrew Benintendi joined in on the action by launching his 12th homer of the season 402 feet to center field.

In the fourth, after Hess loaded the bases with one out in the inning, Benintendi came through again by drawing a five pitch walk to pick up his 46th RBI of the season.

That led to an Orioles pitching change, and righty Miguel Castro took things over with the bases still loaded. With JD Martinez at the plate, a balk allowed everyone to move up and another run was on the board. Castro then reloaded the bases for Mitch Moreland, but he grounded into an inning ending double play to end the threat.

To wrap up the scoring, Christian Vazquez knocked in Xander Bogaerts on an RBI single in the fifth, and the Orioles bullpen shut them down from that point until the middle of the ninth inning. In total, the Red Sox reached base 19 times last night, but they still got outhit 9-11 by the Orioles. I hate to say it, but I think this game may have gone in a different direction if the Orioles were not one of, if not, the worst team in the American League.

Some notes from this win:

Forgot to mention this earlier, but the Red Sox are now 12-1 in Eduardo Rodriguez’s starts this season.

Despite the shiny 1.93 ERA, Hector Velazquez does own a 1.44 WHIP this season. He gets hit a decent amount, but he is definitely the benefactor of some good luck.

In the seven game hitting streak he is currently riding, Rafael Devers is slashing .296/.321/.519.

At his current pace, Andrew Benintendi is projected to finish this season with 31 HR and 117 RBI.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was the only member of the Red Sox lineup who failed to reach base last night.

On a more positive note, the Red Sox will look to close out this series with a sweep in a few hours. Chris Sale will be taking the mound for his 15th start and he will be matched up against righty Yefry Ramirez, who will be making his major league debut for the Orioles. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 PM. Last one before heading out to Seattle.

RECAP: Christian Vazquez Finishes Triple Shy of Cycle as #RedSox Pick up 7-1 Win over Tigers.

Coming off a night in which they shutout the Detroit Tigers in the series opener on Tuesday, the Red Sox carried that over by holding Detroit to just one run on seven hits last night.

Making his 12th start of the season on Wednesday, the Red Sox improved to 11-1 whenever Rodriguez takes the mound. In 5.2 innings of one run ball, the lefty scattered five hits and one walk while striking out five to pick up his seventh winning decision on the year.

There were not many high stress situations for Rodriguez in this one. Pitch count was a bit of an issue, as it has been in his previous starts, but he was still effective pitching into the sixth inning. The only run he surrendered came in the top of the second on back to back two out hits from the Tigers 7-8 hitters. Other than that, solid night for the 25-year-old hurler, just wish he could pitch deeper into games.

Heading into the sixth, Rodriguez had the chance to complete the inning. A las, with two outs in the inning and a runner at first, the native of Venezuela could not retire Leonys Martin, and that single concluded his night.

Finishing with 107 pitches, Heath Hembree took over for Rodriguez with runners on first and second and one out in the inning. Despite walking the first batter he saw in JaCoby Jones on four pitches to load the bases, Hembree recovered by retiring the only other batter he faced in Jose Iglesias on two pitches to get out of the sixth.

Speaking of bases loaded situations for the Tigers, Matt Barnes did the same thing after recording the first two outs of the seventh. The righty needed 36 pitches in total, but he was able to get out of the jam by retiring Tigers catcher James McCann on seven pitches, thus extending his scoreless inning streak to 12.

From the conclusion of the seventh inning on, the Red Sox bullpen had a much better time of things. Brandon Workman and Bobby Poyner combined to toss two scoreless innings on the way to a convincing 7-1 win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup feasted on Tigers pitching for the second straight night. They put up six runs in the opener and they put up seven on Wednesday.

Facing off against career reliever turned starter in Blaine Hardy for Detroit, the Red Sox were held scoreless in the first two innings.

Going into the bottom of third trailing by one, Rafael Devers led things off by reaching first on an infield single that easily could have been an out if not for a misplay from Miguel Cabrera. That was followed by an RBI double from Christian Vazquez and this thing was tied.

After Jackie Bradley Jr. reached first on a HBP to put runners on first and third, Andrew Benintendi drove both of them in on his 16th double of the season.

Xander Bogaerts then drove Benintendi in on an RBI double of his own and that put the Red Sox up 4-1 after three.

Fast forward to the fifth, with Hardy still on the mound for the Tigers, and Andrew Benintendi built on his great night at the plate by launching his 10th home run of the year. 5-1.

Two innings later, Christian Vazquez greeted new Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer by mashing his second home run in five days on the first pitch he saw in the at bat.

372 feet with a 95 MPH exit velo. on that solo shot that put the Red Sox up 6-1 in the seventh.

And in the ninth, making the most of his opportunities, recently called up Sam Travis knocked in his teams seventh and final run of the night on a one out RBI single. In five at bats since being recalled from Triple A Pawtucket on June 2nd, Travis has driven in three runs.

Some other notes from this win:

In his last three starts now, Eduardo Rodriguez has pitched at least into the sixth inning while giving up two or fewer runs. His ERA on the season now sits at 3.88.

Andrew Benintendi has hit three home runs this month. In April, he only hit one. Benintendi now ranks 7th in the American League with a .922 OPS.

After going 3-for-4 at the plate last night, Xander Bogaerts owns a .476 OBP in the month of June.

With two hits last night, Rafael Devers recorded his first multi-hit game since May 28th against the Blue Jays.

Christian Vazquez needed just a triple to complete the cycle last night. He is 4/10 over his last three games and owns a 1.100 OPS this month.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was hit by a pitch twice last night, once in the third and once in the eighth, with two different pitchers on the mound for the Tigers.

Having already picked up the series win, the Red Sox will look to rookie hurler Jalen Beeks for the sweep later tonight. Beeks, a lefty, will be making his Major League debut, and he will be matched up against Tigers lefty Matthew Boyd. Bobby Poyner will be optioned to Pawtucket in a corresponding roster move. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM. Should be an entertaining one. Happy Jalen Beeks Day.

RECAP: Eduardo Rodriguez Takes a Perfect Game into Fifth Inning as #RedSox End Homestand with a Win over Blue Jays.

In his 11th start of the season on Wednesday, Eduardo Rodriguez took a perfect game into the fifth inning against the Blue Jays. It was not until Kendrys Morales reached on a one out single when the no-no came to an end. But still, a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play with Devon Travis at the plate and Morales caught stealing got Rodriguez out of the inning while still facing the minimum 15 batters through five.

With a two run lead heading into the sixth, the lefty retired the first two batters he faced in order before walking Giovanny Ursehela on eight pitches. Things got even worse for Rodriguez in the next at bat, as Blue Jays right fielder Teoscar Hernandez took the native of Venezuela deep down the left field line to knot this thing up at two. In a matter of minutes, it went from cruise control to tie game.

Rodriguez would retire the side by getting Kevin Pillar to strike out swinging. After giving up a single to Justin Smoak in between getting the first two outs of the seventh, the 25-year-old’s day would come to an end with Devon Travis, a righty, coming to the plate. Finishing with exactly 100 pitches (70 strikes), Rodriguez capped off the month of May with one of his better starts of the season. He will look to build on this momentum in his next start, which should come against the Detroit Tigers next week.

In relief of the Red Sox starter, Matt Barnes would come on for his first appearance in five days. Needing just one out to get out the seventh, Devon Travis reached on a fielding error committed by Blake Swihart at first base, but Barnes got Curtis Granderson to fly out to center two pitches later to end the inning.

The UCONN product would come back out for another frame of work in the eighth, and he retired the 8-9-1 hitters for Toronto in order on 10 pitches.

Similar to Tuesday night, the ninth inning did not have to be a stressful one for the Red Sox, given the fact they had a four run lead, but it did. Lefty Brian Johnson got the call for the final frame, but he failed to record an out while surrendering back to back singles to Kevin Pillar and Yangervis Solarte. With the tying run in the on deck circle now, Alex Cora made the switch to his closer, Craig Kimbrel, to get out of another jam.

The Red Sox flamethrower walked the first batter he faced in Justin Smoak to load the bases, then served up a two-run double to Kendrys Morales to cut the Blue Jays deficit in half with still no outs in the inning. Luckily though, Kimbrel settled down and sat down the next three batters he faced in the 7-8-9 hitters for Toronto to pick up his 18th save of the season. “Another happy landing”, as Obi-Wan Kenobi would probably say if he were a Red Sox fan, but at least with the additional work, Kimbrel now only trails Mariners closer Edwin Diaz for the most saves in the American League with 19.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup failed to score eight runs for the third straight game. Instead, they only scored six, wow.

Blake Swihart got the ball rolling in the third when he led things off with a hard hit single off of Blue Jays starter Sam Gaviglio. Two batters later, with Swihart now at second, Jackie Bradley Jr. stayed hot by ripping an RBI double to left field. That allowed Swihart to score from second and the Red Sox were up 1-0.

They easily could have scored more in the third, but Andrew Benintendi was caught stealing second after he singled, and Jackie Bradley Jr. was tagged out by catcher Luke Maile trying to score from third on a wild pitch with Xander Bogaerts at the plate. Talk about squandering some scoring opportunities.

Fast forward to the fifth, with Gaviglio still on the mound for Toronto, and Eduardo Nunez led the inning off by mashing his first home run since the first of May to put the Red Sox up by two.

An inning later, after the Blue Jays had come back to tie it up with a home run of their own, JD Martinez got in on the long ball action as well.

434 feet on that home run. 434! Martinez tied Mike Trout for the league lead in home runs with 18 thanks to that go-ahead rocket over the Green Monster.

In the eighth, Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt tacked on another pair of runs for the Red Sox, which turned out to actually be fairly important since they only won by two runs. Nunez got his on a one out RBI double that scored Xander Bogaerts from second, and Holt got his on an RBI single that probably would have been an out if the Blue Jays infield were positioned normally. That put the Red Sox up 6-2, and despite some worries in the ninth, they would not have to look back.

Some notes from this win:

Over his last 10 games, Eduardo Nunez has quietly raised his batting average from .233 to .249, his OBP from .256 to .265, and his SLG from .353 to .381.

Over his last 10 games, Jackie Bradley Jr. is slashing .345/.406/.552 with 10 hits in 29 at bats.

With one home run and two RBIs today, JD Martinez now leads the league in runs driven in with 47 of them on the season.


All and all, the Red Sox outscored the Blue Jays 22-10 in this three game series. All three starting pitchers, Price, Porcello, and Rodriguez all looked decent on the mound as well.

Headed into a four game series against the Houston Astros in Houston that starts tomorrow, this weekend is going to be big. Drew Pomeranz kicks things off, as he will be matched up against Astros righty Lance McCullers Jr. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET. Mookie Betts should be back in the lineup.

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.

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.