Boston Red Sox Game Recap: April 23, 2017 @ Baltimore Orioles

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Boston Red Sox Game Recap

The Boston Red Sox played the final game of their first series at Camden Yards on Sunday afternoon. Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hill for Boston, and the Orioles countered with righty Kevin Gausman. Dustin Pedroia was out of the lineup as the second baseman is still ailing from a hard slide by Manny Machado on Friday night. Marco Hernandez manned the keystone, hitting ninth for the Red Sox.

Gausman was greeted in the top of the first by an opposite-field single by shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who advanced to third base on an Andrew Benintendi base hit through the right side of the infield. Both runners scored on a first-pitch home run that Mookie Betts planted into the left field bleachers. Hanley Ramirez added to the early lead with a solo shot of his own, increasing the Orioles’ early deficit to 4-0. Gausman was able to gather himself and retired Mitch Moreland on a grounder to shortstop before striking out Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez to end the first frame of the afternoon.

After a 12-pitch, perfect bottom of the first, the Red Sox bats got back to work. Hernandez hit a one-out single, but was erased from the basepaths on a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop. A ball hit straight back to the pitcher then onto second baseman Jonathan Schoop led to an infield single for Andrew Benintendi. Things looked to get interesting when Gausman walked Betts on four pitches; however, a two-out rally was not to be, as Ramirez flied out on a well-hit ball to the warning track in center fielder.

Rodriguez and Gausman then exchanged shutout innings until the top of the fifth inning, when the Red Sox first baseman smacked a fly ball to straightaway center over the wall, increasing the Red Sox lead to 5-0.

The Orioles righty was chased from the game in the top of the sixth inning after he issued the rare walk to Pablo Sandoval and then induced a Hernandez fielder’s choice groundout, eliminating Sandoval from the bases. Gausman threw 98 pitches over 5 ⅓ innings, striking out four Red Sox. He allowed eight hits and three walks, giving up five earned runs and increasing his season ERA to 7.50.

Stefan Crichton replaced Gausman and allowed the first two batters he faced to reach, as Bogaerts hit a single to left before advancing to second on a wild pitch. He then scored on an Andrew Benintendi base hit to right field. Benintendi ended the inning, attempting to advance to second base on the play, but the Sox increased their lead to 6-0.

Eduardo Rodriguez lost his control in the bottom of the sixth as he issued three walks, but was able to keep Baltimore off the scoreboard.

The three-walk inning was all John Farrell needed to see as he turned to setup man Matt Barnes to pitch in the seventh inning. Rodriguez tossed six innings of shutout ball despite allowing five walks. The Red Sox lefty only allowed one hit and tallied seven strikeouts.

Barnes threw a scoreless seventh and remained in the game following a shutout inning by the Orioles’ bullpen. The righty retired Hyun-Soo Kim and then threw a ball at Machado’s head  after Jones had reached on a single to left field in obvious retaliation for Machado’s slide into Pedroia’s calf on Friday night The pitch actually hit the Orioles slugger’s bat though, resulting in strike one. The purpose pitch also resulted in Barnes’s expulsion from the game, and did not have Pedroia’s support:

Joe Kelly replaced Barnes, and gave up a Machado double that gave the Orioles their first run of the game. The Red Sox righty was then able to get Mark Trumbo to fly out to right before striking out slugger Chris Davis to end the bottom of the eighth with the score at 6-1 Red Sox.

After the Red Sox were unable to score in the top of the ninth – despite Benintendi stroking his fifth hit of the day and Betts working his second walk and his fifth time on base – lefty Fernando Abad entered the game for the Red Sox. Abad was in the ninth, as he allowed a leadoff double by Welington Castillo. Castillo  moved to third base on a ground ball by J.J. Hardy, following a Jonathan Schoop fly out to center field. Castillo would score on a Kim single. Abad was chased from the game after an Adam Jones single put runners on first and second with two out and a 6-2 score

Red Sox manager John Farrell turned to closer Craig Kimbrel for the 27th out. The right-handed Kimbrel retired Machado on a pop out to second base, securing the Red Sox 6-2 victory and earning the rare one-out save.

The Red Sox head north to Fenway Park for their first series with the rival New York Yankees on Tuesday night. The Yankees will send righty Luis Severino to face off against reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello.


Follow Pete on Twitter @PeterWHodges

Featured image courtesy of Patrick Smith/Getty Images.

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