June 11, 2018

G67: Red Sox 2, Orioles 0 (12)

Red Sox - 000 000 000 002 - 2  6  0
Orioles - 000 000 000 000 - 0  5  0
Baltimore reliever Mychal Givens faced two bases-loaded situations in extra innings on Monday. He escaped the jam in the eleventh inning, but there had been two outs. This time, in the twelfth, the mess was entirely of his own making, and there was no one out.

Xander Bogaerts had grounded a single into right, Rafael Devers had lined an opposite-field double to the warning track in left, and Givens had hit Eduardo Nunez in the stomach with a pitch.

Brock Holt fell behind in the count before lofting a fly to center. Adam Jones made the catch and Bogaerts sprinted towards the plate. Jones did not have much of a chance to throw out the runner, but the Orioles infielders let the ball go through anyway - and so Devers and Nunez alertly moved up to second and third. That paid off nicely when Jackie Bradley flied out to left. Devers was able to tag and score Boston's second run.

Manager Alex Cora was clearly saving Craig Kimbrel for a possible save situation. That's why he had Brian Johnson start the ninth and then called on Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. It was a risky and unwise move, but it worked out.

Kimbrel walked Craig Gentry, putting the potential tying run at the plate. But he struck out the next three hitters - Baltimore's 2-3-4 batters. He was particularly cruel to Adam Jones. After throwing four curveballs, all low and away - Jones ignored two and swung helplessly at two - Kimbrel fired a 98 mph fastball for a swinging strike three. Jonathan Schoop and Danny Valencia fared no better. (The final seven Orioles outs were strikeouts.)

Steven Wright has replaced Drew Pomeranz in the rotation - and thrown 13.2 scoreless innings. His line - 6.2-4-0-3-5, 93 - shows seven baserunners, but he allowed more than one Oriole to reach in only two innings: the second and seventh. Opponents this year are 0-for-19 against Wright with runners at second and/or third.

Dylan Bundy (8-3-0-2-7, 104) was more dominating than Wright, throwing only 40 pitches in the first four innings. Bundy allowed only two singles in the first six innings, both of them by Andrew Benintendi.

The Red Sox had only two runners advance past first base in the first ten innings. Xander Bogaerts had walked in the fifth and reached second with two outs. Benintendi walked in the sixth with two outs and stole second.

In the eleventh, Brad Brach retired the first two batters. Then Mookie Betts lined a single down the right field line and took second on a wild pitch. Benintendi walked on four pitches. Givens came in and walked J.D. Martinez on a full-count pitch. With the bases loaded, Moreland took five pitches low and inside - bbbcc - before striking out swinging.

In the twelfth, Givens dug a deep hole - and the Red Sox buried him.

Back in the seventh, the Orioles had a similar situation, loading the bases after two were out. Wright hit Chance Sisco, Jace Peterson was safe on a bunt to third, and Joey Rickard walked. Joe Kelly took over and struck out Jones. He also pitched the eighth, in which a one-out walk was left at first.

Brian Johnson got the first two Orioles in the ninth before walking Peterson. Brandon Workman then struck out pinch-hitter Pedro Alvarez on a nasty 12-6 curveball. In the tenth, Workman gave up a two-out double to Valencia and walked Mark Trumbo, but fanned Trey Mancici. Heath Hembree struck out the side in the eleventh.

Replays of Nunez getting drilled in the gut may have caused viewers to wince, but when manager Alex Cora came out to check on his second baseman, who was sitting in the dirt near home plate, he was soon laughing so hard he had to excuse himself. Nunez stayed in the game.

The Red Sox (45-22) and tied with the Yankees (42-19) for first place. ... The first four innings were played in only 52 minutes; the game lasted 3:45.
NESN: When Bogaerts singled to start the twelfth inning, Jerry Remy said that it was good for the Red Sox to get the "leading lady" on first base. To paraphrase an old adage, every time you watch a game, you might hear something you've never heard before.

Also, could someone please tell Dave O'Brien to stop saying a runner "scampered" home (or to the next base)? I am extremely confident in asserting that no major league baseball player has ever scampered anywhere during a game. I mean, can you imagine Ty Cobb scampering to third on a wild pitch?
Steven Wright / Dylan Bundy
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF
(Mookie up, Sam Travis down.)

The Orioles are 19-45, 24.5 GB, and have lost six of their seven games against Boston this season. Winning two out of three at Camden Yards will feel like a disappointment.

In their last four games, the Red Sox have gone 2-for-37 (.054) with runners at second and/or third. They lost three of those four games.

Matthew Kory has determined the best individual Red Sox seasons at each position. His list includes 18 spots: eight fielders, one DH, five starting pitchers, three relievers, and one manager - but only two of them are from before 1969.

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