|Closing Time: Mookie Betts (2 HRs) once again plays hero as Red Sox beat Orioles||08.16.16 at 10:16 pm ET|
Mookie Betts is not of this earth.
He might not even be of this solar system.
The diminutive leadoff hitter, who wouldn’t even stand out at a charity softball game, continued his all-out assault on American League pitching in a 5-3 victory over the Orioles on Tuesday night.
With the Sox desperate to build momentum for the first time since early July, Betts gave them everything they needed with two more home runs, including the go-ahead two-run shot in the eighth, to account for all of the Red Sox runs in a 5-3 victory over the Orioles that lifted the Red Sox to their fifth straight win and gave them a chance to move into a virtual three-way tie for first place in the American League East.
Betts, who was recently named AL Player of the Month for June, provided yet more evidence that he has been even better in August.
Just two days after setting or matching career-highs with three homers and eight RBIs against the Diamondbacks, Betts kept the good times rolling in Camden Yards, where he has recorded a trio of multi-homer games this season.
“Ah, shoot, I have no idea,” said Betts when asked how he generates enough power to hit 28 homers this season. “Somehow it’s going over the fence. Again, I’m going to continue to say I don’t know why, but I’m just trying to put good swings on it and enjoy it.”
His three-run shot into the left-field seats in the fifth broke a scoreless tie. His two-run blast off of All-Star setup man Brad Brach then won it for the Red Sox in the eighth after it briefly appeared they’d blow not only Betts’ first homer, but a combined no-hitter that lasted until Steve Pearce beat out an infield single to third with two outs in the seventh.
“Freakish. That’s unbelievable. It’s unreal,” Red Sox reliever Robbie Ross Jr. said of Betts. “I got to see some guys like Nelson Cruz and I was here actually when Josh Hamilton had those four home runs. That was sweet. But I’ve never seen anything like this where it was like night and day, boom, boom, boom. He’s going to get it going. It was pretty special. He’s as clutch as you can get. When it’s big games he’s coming out on top.”
|Orioles acquire former Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley from Mariners||08.01.16 at 10:10 am ET|
The Orioles on Sunday night bolstered their rotation for the stretch drive by acquiring former Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley from the Mariners for minor-league lefty Ariel Miranda.
Miley, 29, is 7-8 with a 4.98 ERA in 19 starts. He posted a 3.45 ERA in five July starts, including seven one-hit innings in a 4-1 win over the Cubs on Saturday.
The Red Sox sent Miley to the Mariners this winter for setup man Carson Smith and lefty Roenis Elias. Smith underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery and Elias posted a 15.88 ERA in two appearances with the Red Sox.
The appeal to the Orioles is obvious. They’ve received very little from starters beyond ace Chris Tillman and second man Kevin Gausman. As noted by MLBTradeRumors, Baltimore’s primary third-through-fifth starters own a 5.93 ERA in over 300 innings.
If Miley stays in the 4.00 range, that would represent a substantial improvement.
|Closing Time: Mookie Betts power surge continues with 2 HRs, but Joe Kelly, Red Sox kicked around by Orioles||06.01.16 at 11:06 pm ET|
BALTIMORE — There are some things even the best offense in baseball can’t overcome.
On a night when Mookie Betts once again homered in each of the first two innings, Joe Kelly and the Red Sox pitching staff failed to hold up their end of the bargain in an 13-9 loss to the Orioles.
What looked like it would be another coronation for the Red Sox offense instead turned into a slugfest. The Orioles led 8-7 after three and neither side recorded a 1-2-3 inning until the Sox went down quietly in the fifth.
This one was on Kelly, who didn’t even survive the third inning. He allowed seven hits and seven runs in 2 1/3 innings, blowing a 1-0 lead and a 4-4 tie, and departing moments before the Orioles erased a 7-5 deficit in the third.
A handful of relievers then allowed six more runs and that was that.
It’s a shame the pitching staff couldn’t do its part, because the offense once again went off. Fresh off hitting three homers in Tuesday’s 6-2 win, Betts launched two more in his first two at-bats.
His second homer came just moments after Orioles starter Mike Wright threw a pitch over his head, earning warnings for both dugouts. Betts got the best possible revenge by ripping a changeup into the left field seats for his 14th homer of the season.
That briefly tied him with David Ortiz for the team lead, but Ortiz ripped a mammoth homer to right in the third. And sandwiched in there, Chris Young crushed a two-run homer as part of a five-homer night for the Red Sox.
|Closing Time: Mookie Betts blasts 3 homers, backing Eduardo Rodriguez’s return in Red Sox win over Orioles||05.31.16 at 9:55 pm ET|
BALTIMORE — Eduardo Rodriguez is back, but what really matters is Mookie Betts never left.
On a night when Rodriguez should’ve been the story, Betts stole the spotlight by blasting three homers for the first time in his career.
Those shots gave Rodriguez all the offense he’d need in a 6-2 victory over the Orioles in his first start of the season, three months after suffering a spring training knee injury.
Rodriguez went six solid innings, allowing six hits and two runs. He struck out three and walked none, featuring a fastball that sat in the 91-93 mph range and a changeup that kept the Orioles off balance.
“It’s good,” Rodriguez said. “It was just like the first time on the mound. It was just like, don’t force it too much and just try to locate the heater and that’s it.”
He got all the offense he’d need from Betts, who led off the game with his 10th homer of the year, and then followed with a three-run shot in the second and the first opposite-field blast of his career in the seventh, leading manager John Farrell to suggest “Mookie” as a good name for Jackie Bradley’s Jr. soon-t0-be-born child.
All of that power gave Rodriguez some breathing room in his first start since last season. He entered the game with some concerns over the stability of his right knee, as well as his velocity. On the first count, he certainly looked comfortable while pitching with a brace on his right knee. On the latter count, he spent the first inning at 92 mph, the second at 93, and the rest in the low-90s. That’s down from the 94-95 he averaged last year, but he compensated by commanding his changeup.
|Wednesday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Ubaldo Jimenez||04.13.16 at 9:01 am ET|
Red Sox right-hander Joe Kelly will look to rebound Wednesday night against the Orioles after a rough first start of the season. He will face off against Orioles righty Ubaldo Jimenez, who will attempt to keep his team perfect through eight games.
Kelly’s initial outing against the Blue Jays on Friday was both disastrous and short-lived. He lasted just three innings, giving up seven runs on six hits, including a grand slam off the bat of Josh Donaldson. He walked three and struck out four while throwing 80 pitches. The Red Sox rallied offensively and wound up winning the game, 8-7, thanks to some late-game heroics.
“Obviously I didn’t perform the way I wanted to perform, but that was a really really fun win for the team. Pretty incredible to see,” Kelly said after the game. “I’m obviously going up against another good pitcher. Our guys battled back. We tried to do it the game before, but it was pretty fun to watch, the bullpen came in and did a great job, the defense played great, guys hit the ball extremely well. … That was pretty fun to watch, he thought it was going to be a double, he told me, and it ended up going out of the ballpark. To see a team win like that, and obviously I didn’t pitch like I’m capable of, to come together and pick me up when I wasn’t at my best was pretty fun to watch. And easily a game like that last year we would have lost but guys picking each other up and playing great baseball like that, I obviously didn’t perform well and I didn’t like anything about what I did, but watching from in here and watching from the video room, it was definitely fun to be a part of that and see that.”
In five career starts against the Orioles, Kelly is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA, 20 strikeouts and 11 walks.
|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Mike Wright||04.12.16 at 7:36 am ET|
Clay Buchholz will make his second start of the season on Tuesday at Fenway Park. He is set to square off against young Orioles righty Mike Wright.
In his first start of the season last Wednesday, Buchholz was hit hard by the Indians. He lasted only four-plus innings, allowing five earned runs (four in the first frame) on six hits. He struck out four and walked three in a game the Red Sox would go on to lose 7-6.
“I think most of it was fastball location,” Buchholz said after the game. “I threw some really good offspeed pitches for first pitches and they had some good takes. With a team that you think is going to go out there swinging early, you try to get them to mis-hit some balls with the changeups and curveballs early in the count. The pitches that I threw where I wanted to that were balls, you usually get a lot of swings and misses or weak contact off, they didn’t offer at them. It left me behind in the count for the most part and having to throw strikes with the fastball when you’re not commanding it all that well. That’s how it goes.”
In 18 career starts against the Orioles, Buchholz is 10-5 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.359 WHIP, recording 85 strikeouts and 46 walks.
Wright will be making his 2016 debut Tuesday, after the game he was scheduled to start on Saturday was postponed due to bad weather. He got his first taste of major league hitting last season, making nine starts and going 3-5 with a 6.04 ERA and a 1.567 WHIP, recording 26 strikeouts and 18 walks. He started out by going 2-0 with 1.40 ERA, including a stretch of 14 1/3 scoreless innings, but went 0-5 with a 10.88 ERA over his last six starts (he also made three relief appearances).
He now has a spot in the crowded and unclear back end of the Orioles rotation, which still is being sorted out. Wright had to earn his place with the pitching staff throughout spring training.
“Usually, the guys that are working on stuff, they have a spot,” Wright said after a solid spring training outing. “I don’t have a guaranteed spot, so to get the results is huge, because even though you’re doing your part — you’re making your pitches — if you’re giving up runs, it doesn’t look good to put you on the roster. To get the results is good for confidence and it makes me feel better going home tonight.”
Wright lost his only career start against the Red Sox, allowing six runs on six hits and one walk and striking out one in a 10-1 loss on Sept. 16 at Camden Yards. He lasted just three innings during the outing.
|Monday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: David Price vs. Yovani Gallardo||04.11.16 at 9:10 am ET|
Red Sox ace David Price will look to move to 2-0 on the young season in Monday’s home opener at Fenway Park. He is set to face off against Orioles righty Yovani Gallardo.
Price started off his Red Sox career on the right foot last Tuesday, throwing six strong innings against the Indians on a cold day in Cleveland. He finished with two earned runs on five hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts. Outside of a rocky fourth inning, it was smooth sailing from the get-go.
“We had our ace out there, showing up, doing his job, holding the other offense down. That’s him,” Sox slugger David Ortiz said after the win. “That’s what Price always brings to the table. That’s why we got him this offseason. Happy to watch him do what he does out there. That’s what we always see from him.”
Price will be eager to face an Orioles team that he has enjoyed much success against in his career. In 19 starts vs. Baltimore he has a record of 8-4 with an ERA of 2.65 and 120 strikeouts.
Gallardo, signed to a three-year, $35 million deal as a free agent in the offseason, got off to a solid start with his new team as well, getting a win after allowing just two hits and one earned run over five innings of work in Wednesday’s 4-2 victory over the Twins. He walked three and struck out four.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter credited Gallardo with finding a way to win on a night when he didn’t have his best command.
“He’s a guy who’s going to add and subtract. I think he’s a guy who’s kind of evolved and knows who he is and who he isn’t,” Showalter said. “A guy who keeps you in the ball game and gives you a chance to win it if you catch it and score some runs. On a given night, he’s carrying a little extra stuff, get a little deeper in the game. He’s a pitcher and he doesn’t give in in counts and knows when to pitch backward.”
After spending his first eight big league seasons with the Brewers, Gallardo played the 2015 season with the Rangers. The 30-year-old from Mexico finished with a record of 13-11, a career-best 3.42 ERA and 121 strikeouts.
In four career starts against the Red Sox, Gallardo is 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA and 14 strikeouts.
|Red Sox send LHP Andrew Miller to Orioles for LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, stockpile potential rotation members and trade chips||07.31.14 at 3:26 pm ET|
Rodriguez, 21, is viewed as perhaps the Orioles’ fourth-best pitching prospect, behind largely untouchable young starters Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey. The 21-year-old out of Venezuela was rated by Baseball America as the No. 65 overall prospect in the game and the No. 3 Orioles prospect entering the year. He struggled this year in Double-A Bowie, going 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA with 7.5 strikeouts and 3.2 walks per nine innings in 82 2/3 frames, but Baseball America described the 6-foot-2 southpaw as a pitcher who sits at 92-93 mph and can touch 95 mph with a slider and changeup that give him a back-end starter projection.
He contributes to the Sox’ massive stockpiling of young starting pitching prospects in the upper minors and big leagues. The Sox now have:
Rubby De La Rosa (majors)
Allen Webster (majors)
Brandon Workman (majors)
Anthony Ranaudo (Triple-A, but likely to be called up by Friday)
Matt Barnes (Triple-A)
Steven Wright (Triple-A)
Eduardo Escobar (Triple-A)
Henry Owens (top pitching prospect, now in Double-A)
Brian Johnson (Double-A)
Eduardo Rodriguez (Double-A) Read the rest of this entry »
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Kevin Gausman||07.06.14 at 12:39 pm ET|
The 2014 season has been a miserable campaign for Peavy (1-7, 4.82 ERA), who is winless in his last 12 starts.
While Peavy may not have pitched his way to win since April 25, his subpar record is not a direct result of his performance on the mound.
Of Peavy’s 17 starts this year, the Red Sox have been shut out in three of them, while scoring two runs or fewer in 13 games in which he’s pitched.
Peavy turned in one of his finer performances this year in his last start Monday against the Cubs, allowing five hits and two earned runs over six innings while striking out seven.
However, in what has been a recurring theme this year, the opposing pitcher was even better, as Chicago’s Jake Arrieta carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning en route to a 2-0 Chicago win.
“You just go out and try to give your team the best chance that you can give them on that night to win,” Peavy said after the game. “And I’ve got to do a better job of that. It’s going to change. This isn’t going to keep happening. I promise you, I’ve got my head down and working. It’ll change. There’s going to be games where we score five, six, seven runs on the day I start. I’m not going to believe that this is how it’s going to be for the next 16 or 17 starts.”
Peavy took the loss in his last outing against Baltimore on June 9, surrendering four earned runs over seven innings while striking out seven. In five career starts against the Orioles, Peavy is 2-1 with a 4.41 ERA.
|Friday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Jon Lester vs. Miguel Gonzalez||07.04.14 at 9:50 am ET|
Lester (9-7, 2.92 ERA) was dominant in his last outing against the Yankees on Saturday, allowing an unearned run over eight innings while striking out six. Lester, who faced off against New York ace Masahiro Tanaka in a pitchers’ duel that lived up to the hype, earned the win in Boston’s 2-1 victory.
“I knew yesterday that Tanaka was pitching,” Lester said after the game. “I try not to pay attention to that. I’ve got to worry about how I’m going to go out and execute my game. Obviously, if you have a chance to hit, that’s a little bit of a different story. But I can’t worry about who I’m facing or anything like that. You’ve got to go out and worry about the nine guys who are in the lineup, not anything like that.”
Pitching in the last year of his contract with the Red Sox, Lester has posted a 2.92 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a 3.97 K/BB ration – all career bests for the 30-year-old lefty.
Lester last faced off against the Orioles on March 31 during the 2014 season opener, holding Baltimore to two runs over seven innings while striking out eight. In 26 career starts against the Orioles, Lester is 15-4 with a 2.92 ERA.
Gonzalez (4-5, 4.56 ERA) struggled in his last start Sunday against the Rays, allowing eights hits and three earned runs while walking four over 4 2/3 innings.
Gonzalez, who recorded four quality starts in a row before being placed on the disabled list June 6 with strained right oblique, has yet to regain his form since his return. Over his last three starts, Gonzalez has given up 25 hits and 10 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings.
“It’s a little frustrating,” Gonzalez said after the game. “It’s frustrating to come back and not able to have that success. But it’s a grind. The first half, we’ve got to keep working and hopefully finish strong.”
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