May 30, 2016

G51: Red Sox 7, Orioles 2

Red Sox - 101 001 040 - 7 11  0
Orioles - 000 020 000 - 2  4  0
Steven Wright (9-4-2-5-7, 122) pitched his third complete game of the season, allowing base runners in only three of Baltimore's nine innings. Jackie Bradley's solo home run snapped a 2-2 tie in the sixth. In the eighth, David Ortiz led off with a solo shot, and Marco Hernandez put an exclamation point on the afternoon with his first career home run, a three-run job to right-center. Boston is now 2 GA of the Orioles in the AL East.

Some smart baserunning and hustle from Mookie Betts gave the Red Sox their first run. Betts began the game with a single to right. He took off on a 1-1 pitch to Dustin Pedroia, who grounded out to shortstop. Xander Bogaerts squibbed a pitch along the third base line. Baltimore catcher Caleb Joseph threw Bogaerts out at first. Betts took third and noticed that no one was covering the plate, so he dashed for home. Pitcher Tyler Wilson tried to beat Betts to the dish while also grabbing the ball from first, but the throw was off line and Betts scored easily.

Steven Wright struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the second, but Jonathan Schoop reached on an infield single. He took second on a passed ball. Wright walked Nolan Reimold and his first pitch to Ryan Flaherty was wild, putting runners at second and third ("scoring territory", as NESN's Dave O'Brien awkwardly and incorrectly put it). Then Flaherty walked and the bases were loaded for Joseph who was batting .175 and was 0-for-his-last-18. Thankfully, Wright got him on a grounder to first.

Betts singled with one out in the top of the third. He went to third on Pedroia's single and scored on Bogaerts's double down the left field line. That double extended XB's hitting streak to 23 games. (Bogaerts also doubled in the fifth and walked in the seventh.)

Wright set down the Orioles in order in the third and fourth, but ran into trouble in the fifth. Reimold tripled to right center. [At that point, roughly 3 PM, the Memorial Day game was stopped for a "moment of remembrance". This apparently was done in all parks in which a game was being played. Has MLB ever stopped a game in the middle of an inning for a moment of silence? Regardless, a precedent clearly has been set, so expect this type of thing to occur in the future. On Veterans Day, maybe?*] Once play resumed, Flaherty stroked a double to left to put the home team on the board. Joseph singled and Adam Jones's sacrifice fly brought Flaherty home with the tying run.

Jackie Bradley wasted no time in retaking the lead for Boston, hitting a 1-1 pitch to left center that kept carrying and carrying until it cleared the fence. With one out, Blake Swihart tripled, but he was left at third.

David Ortiz had faced lefty Ashur Tolliver with two outs in the seventh, seeing five pitches before Boagerts was caught stealing to end the inning. Ortiz saw five more pitches from Tolliver leading off the eighth. He crushed the 11th pitch he saw to deep right-center for his 14th home run of the season. After Bradley flied to left, Tolliver walked Travis Shaw and gave up a single to Swihart. Right-hander Mychal Givens came in and got Ryan Hanigan to pop to third. With two outs, Hernandez didn't waste his chance, golfing an 0-1 pitch to right-center for three more insurance runs.

Meanwhile, Wright was cruising. He got the last two men in the fifth and retired the side in order in the sixth (with two strikeouts), seventh, and eighth. He walked Mark Trumbo to start the ninth, but a double play erased him and left Wright one out from victory. Reimold walked, but Flaherty grounded to Shaw at first. (Wright's 122 pitches was a career high.)

*: One thing we are told on Memorial Day is to "never forget". "Never forget" that men and women were sent to war, yes ... but also "never forget" the true reasons why they were sent to fight and kill other people. "Never forget" to stifle any questions about those reasons. "Never forget" to ignore the hundreds of thousands of innocent non-Americans killed in war and occupation. "Never forget" to acquiesce to authority. And "never forget" to keep your contrary opinions to yourself.
Steven Wright / Tyler Wilson
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Ortiz, DH
Bradley, CF
Shaw, 1B
Swihart, LF
Hanigan, C
Hernandez, 3B
It's a big four-game showdown at Camden Yards, with a day game this afternoon and games at 7 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
             W   L   PCT   GB    RS   RA   DIFF  EXP W/L
Red Sox     30  20  .600  ---   295  224   + 71   31-19
Orioles     28  20  .583  1.0   214  197   + 17   26-22
Blue Jays   26  26  .500  5.0   217  214   +  3   26-26
Yankees     24  25  .490  5.5   190  209   - 19   22-27
Rays        22  26  .458  7.0   199  195   +  4   24-24
Back on April 11-13, the Orioles won two out of three at Fenway and have stayed at or near the top of the AL East since that series.


allan said...

The Red Sox needed 11 innings to defeat the Blue Jays on Sunday, but it took Xander Bogaerts only six innings to produce a single that extended his hitting streak to 22 games. Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., who hit safely in his first 22 games this month (not to mention his last seven games in April), are the first pair of major-league teammates to each fashion a hitting streak of 22 or more games in one calendar month since August 1922, when George Sisler (26 games) and Ken Williams (23) did so for the St. Louis Browns.

allan said...

I think Wright threw a whiffle ball to Davis. That's the only explanation for the movement on this pitch.