Records Entering Series: BAL (5-8, 4th in AL East), BOS (10-2, 1st in AL East)
Boston rode some more phenomenal starting pitching and a continuation of potent and timely offense to a sweep of the shortened series.
The bullpen righted the ship to allow just 2 runs in 11 IP, and the bats came through to score 20 runs over the 3-game set. Starters Eduardo Rodriguez, Hector Velazquez and Chris Sale allowed 4 runs combined in their respective performances, as the rotation continues to look like the most formidable unit in all of baseball.
Boston travels to the West Coast for 3 games each against the Angles and Athletics, and will attempt to extend their best start to a season in franchise history.
Game 1: BAL-3, BOS-7
(Photo credit: ESPN)
Baltimore opened the game with a run in the 1st frame on a sacrifice fly by Jones, but Boston immediately responded with 4 of their own in the bottom half. Betts led off with a walk and was advanced to 2nd on a Benintendi fielder’s choice. He was moved to 3rd by a Moreland single and scored on a Martinez sac fly to center. Devers hit a double in the next at-bat, leaving men on 1st and 3rd for Nunez, who promptly homered to left, making it 4-1 Red Sox after 1.
Mookie Betts added another in the 2nd by driving in Lin with a double, who had doubled one batter prior. Boston made it 6-1 in the 3rd after Devers and Nunez led off with singles each, JBJ was awarded 1st after being hit by a pitch, and Devers scored from 3rd on a passed ball.
After 2 scoreless innings, Benintendi led off the 6th with a walk, but was forced out at 2nd on a Moreland ground ball, then Martinez hit a ground rule double to right, putting men on 2nd and 3rd. Moreland then scored from 3rd on a wild pitch, making it 7-1. Baltimore got back 2 in the 7th with a Machado double, but the scoring ended there, and the Red Sox took home the 7-3 win.
Eduardo Rodriguez followed up his sub-par 1st start with a solid outing in this one. He went 6 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits while fanning 8. He threw 64 of his 104 pitches for strikes and looked in control throughout.
Other notable performances include Martinez (2 hits, 1 RBI), Nunez (2 hits, 1 HR, 3 RBI), Lin (2 hits, 1 run) and Devers (3 hits, 2 runs).
Game 2: BAL-3, BOS-10
(Photo credit: ESPN)
Boston got off to a fast start again in game 2. Betts led off the 1st with a walk and scored on a Benintendi double to deep center. Ramirez followed with his 3rd home run of the year, making it 3-0 Sox.
They added 1 in the 3rd with a solo shot from Martinez, and 4 more in the 4th. Leon and Lin both singled and were advanced to 2nd and 3rd off of a Swihart ground out. Benintendi drove both home with a single and then scored himself from a Ramirez double. Ramirez scored in the next at-bat on a throwing error by Machado, and it was 8-0 Boston exiting the frame.
Baltimore got 2 quick ones back in the 5th on an Alvarez 2-run home run, but Boston added a run in the 6th when Martinez singled home Swihart, who doubled to lead off. They got another one in the 7th when Holt reached on an infield single, then advanced to 2nd on an error and was driven home by a Swihart single.
The Orioles notched a consolation run in the 9th, and it ended 10-3 Boston.
Hector Velazquez pitched well on the day, going 5 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 6 K’s. Marcus Walden earned the save with 3 innings of solid work, allowing 1 run in 3 hits while striking out 3.
Other notable performances include Holt and Lin (2 hits each), Swihart (2 hits, 1 RBI), Martinez (3 hits, 2 RBI), and Benintendi and Ramirez (2 hits, 3 RBI each).
Note: Betts left the game in the 1st after a collision with the catcher at home. He was diagnosed with a shin contusion, is listed as day-to-day, and is expected to miss minimal time.
Game 3: BAL-1, BOS-3
(Photo credit: ESPN)
Baltimore gained an early run off starter Chris Sale in the 1st when Machado doubled home Mancini. The teams took that score line to the bottom of the 5th, where Boston tied it up. JBJ grounded into a fielder’s choice then stole 2nd and was driven home by a Benintendi triple to right.
Boston took the lead in the next frame with 2 more runs. Martinez reached on an error to lead off, then Moreland doubled, moving Martinez to 3rd, who scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat. Then Holt moved Moreland to 3rd with a single and Lin hit a ground rule double to right, scoring Moreland and making it 3-1 in favor of the Red Sox.
Heath Hembree got the win with 2 IP, and Matt Barnes got a hold and Craig Kimbrel earned the save with 1 IP each, all scoreless.
Chris Sale was a little off to begin the game, struggling a bit with his location in the 1st, but finished with a nice outing, going 5 innings of 1-run ball, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks with 8 K’s.
Other notable performances include Benintendi and Moreland (3 hits each), and Lin (2 hits).
Game 4: Postponed
-The starting pitching continues to roll early on with 3 more solid outings. We’re looking like arguably the best rotation in the league right now.
-The bullpen recovered somewhat from their recent woes, looking mostly good in all 3 games.
-The injury bug continues to bite, this time taking Mookie Betts. As mentioned above, his injury appears to be minor, and he shouldn’t miss too much time.
-The offense is in high gear right now. They scored 20 runs in this series and have tallied 48 in their last 6 games.
-Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez have both broken out of their early season slumps, recording 5 hits with 4 RBI and 5 hits with 3 RBI, respectively, vs. Baltimore.
-Tzu Wei Lin has come in for the injured Xander Bogaerts and performed very well. He’s 6-12 with an RBI and 2 runs scored in 5 games since being called up. The infield depth of this organization is ridiculous.
-The Patriot’s Day game was postponed due to expected inclement weather and will be rescheduled for a later date.
-The Sox are off to their beat start in the 118-year history of the franchise. At 13-2, they hold the best record in all of the MLB. They rank 2nd in the MLB in runs per game and 3rd in ERA.