April 12, 2019

G14: Red Sox 6, Orioles 4

Orioles - 000 000 202 - 4  4  0
Red Sox - 001 200 12x - 6 11  1
"The Red Sox ... [need] Eduardo Rodriguez to step up and pitch well for at least six innings." (Me, 3:27 PM)
Done and done. Rodriguez retired the first 14 batters (on only 62 pitches) and took a shutout into the seventh inning. He was sharp from the start, showing a fastball at 95 and striking out two men in the first inning. He got the first four outs on a mere 13 pitches. Rodriguez went to a three-ball count only twice while facing 23 batters (6.2-3-2-0-8, 93). He was burned for a two-run dong down by the Pesky Pole, but his teammates quickly grabbed some insurance runs, so it wasn't a big deal.

The Red Sox got on the board thanks to an opposite-field home run from Andrew Benintendi. In the fourth, they got two run-scoring hits from Xander Bogaerts and Eduardo Nunez. And then they capitalized on two wild pitches in the seventh inning and used two infield hits and a sacrifice bunt to score twice in the eighth.

Boston (5-9) has won consecutive games for the first time this season. This game was also the second time the team took a lead into the ninth inning (the first time was last Sunday, a 1-0 win in Arizona).

Benintendi's first dong of the year sailed into the Monster Seats in the fourth off David Hess (5.2-6-3-0-3, 81). After Jackie Bradley made a nice running catch on a sinking liner for the first out of the top of the fourth, Rodriguez fanned the next two batters: Joey Rickard and Trey Mancini, the same two guys he punched out in the first.

Mitch Moreland began the fourth by whacking a 3-0 pitch into center for a single. (He doubled to deep right-center in his first at-bat.) J.D. Martinez flied out to deep left, but Xander Bogaerts doubled Moreland home and Bogaerts scored with two down on Nunez's long single off the wall.

Hanser Alberto dispelled thoughts of an EdRo perfect game by grounding a single into left with two outs in the fifth. Cedric Mullins reached base with one down in the sixth when Bogaerts lost his grip on a routine grounder, but Rodriguez quickly got a double play to end the inning.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Mancini lined a pitch to right-center. Mookie Betts ran to his right and jumped up. It's a catch we've watched Betts make many times - not a can of corn, certainly, but also one that never seems particularly challenging. This time, though, the ball glanced off the top of Mookie's glove and rolled to the bullpen wall for a double. Rodriguez came back to strike out Renato Nunez, but Dwight Smith smacked a 1-2 pitch down the line for a two-run homer. I hated that Rodriguez's pitching line was marred more than I was worried about what was now a 3-2 game. Matt Barnes struck out Alberto, but he reached on a wild pitch. So Barnes struck out Jesus Sucre.

The Red Sox made it 4-2 in the bottom of the inning when both Christian Vazquez and Benintendi singled with two outs. Between the hits, Paul Fry threw a wild pitch that put Vazquez on second. The throw in from right field on Benintendi's hit went to the plate, but Vazquez held at third, so Benintendi smartly advanced to second. Evan Phillips came in and he also threw a wild pitch on a 2-1 count to Betts. Vazquez scored. Betts ended up walking and stealing second before Moreland struck out.

Brandon Workman struck out the first two batters in the eighth, but Jonathan Villar worked a full-count walk. Rickard crushed Workman's first pitch to deep center. Bradley raced back, running 84 feet at top speed to the track and snaring the ball at the apex of his game-saving leap against the wall's padding.

Martinez was 0-for-3 despite hitting the ball hard three times, when he finally had a line drive fail to find a glove in the eighth, doubling to left. Bogaerts tapped an 0-2 pitch on the grass towards third. Rio Ruiz, who had just taken over at third at the start of the inning, ran in and bounced a throw to first that Mancini could not scoop. Martinez, despite being in "scoring position", stayed at second.

Rafael Devers bunted to the third base side of the mound. Phillips bobbled it but was still able to throw out Devers, as the runners now stood at second and third. Nunez took a strike and Sucre fired to third, nearly picking off Martinez. Ruiz motioned to his dugout to challenge the call, but the Orioles decided against it. Nunez chopped the next pitch towards third. Phillips also grabbed this one on his backhand, spinning and making a desperation throw to first. Nunez beat the ball to the bag and JDM scored. Bradley flied to left, scoring Bogaerts.

Flush with a four-run lead, manager Alex Cora sent Tyler Thornburg out for the ninth. Thornburg walked Mancini and gave up a home run to Nunez that sailed completely out of Fenway, travelling an estimated 450 feet through the drizzle. Thornburg got an out when Smith tried to check his swing and poked a soft liner to shortstop.

Cora popped out of the dugout and Ryan Basier trotted in. Alberto bunted back to the mound and Brasier tossed him out. Chris Davis pinch-hit for Sucre, lining a full-count pitch towards right that Nunez, playing well over towards the right field line, had no trouble catching. So Davis's hitless streaks are now 62 plate appearances and 54 at-bats.

Scoreboard watching before mid-April? Of course. ... The Rays got a scare when the Blue Jays, down 8-0, scored six runs in the sixth and one run in the seventh. Tampa Bay added three runs back in the ninth and won 11-7. The Yankees blew a 4-1 lead, losing to the White Sox 9-6 in a game called by rain in the seventh inning.

The Red Sox are now only 0.5 GB the second-place Yankees, who put their 12th player on the IL (Gary Sanchez) and sent Dellin Betances for an MRI.

David Hess / Eduardo Rodriguez
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Moreland, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Núñez, 2B
Bradley, CF
Vázquez, C
The Red Sox must build on last night's come-from-behind victory and one excellent way would be for Eduardo Rodriguez to step up and pitch well for at least six innings. After giving up eight hits, six runs, and three walks in 4.1 innings to the Mariners, Rodriguez fared a little worse in his next (and last) start, allowing the same eight hits, six runs, and three walks, but recording two fewer outs, lasting only 3.2 innings. His ERA is 12.38.

Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis went 0-for-3 on Thursday, extending both of his unprecedented streaks of hitless plate appearances and hitless at-bats. Davis doubled in the second inning back on September 14, 2018 - 61 plate appearances and 53 at-bats ago. Davis is 0-for-32 this season.


allan said...

Gary Maniloaf is the 12th MFY on the IL this season!

GK said...

Gary Maniloaf !
So many new faces on their team, dont care for them much, dont follow them. I thought that was a real name. I guess not!

allan said...

It's a classic from the Post from last July!

GK said...

I missed the NY Post headline. Google search for "Gary Maniloaf" goes straight to Gary Sanchez!

allan said...

And then click on images - lots of JoS images!