The Red Sox played their first of 19 games against the Baltimore Orioles this Friday night, which is something the team could use. After starting 4-9, it is a relief for them to see a team that they went 16-3 against last season. Red Sox starting pitcher, Eduardo Rodriguez, certainly felt more comfortable against last season’s cellar dwellers. He started out by retiring the first 14 Orioles he faced. Rodriguez ended up allowing just three baserunners, but his performance was slightly tainted by a seventh-inning home run. He was on his way to seven innings of shutout ball, but gave up a two-run home run to Dwight Smith Jr. with two outs in the inning. His final line was 6.2 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K’s. And, one last thing of note:
Rodriguez has 21 swings/misses tonight. He had 18 in his first two outings combined.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) April 13, 2019
— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) April 13, 2019
Offensively, the Red Sox were able to take advantage of David Hess’ mistakes. In the third inning, Andrew Benintendi took a changeup the other way and hit his first home run since August 31st, 2018. Then in the fourth, Xander Bogaerts hit a wall-ball double to left-center and drove in Mitch Moreland all the way from first. Bogaerts was driven in soon after by Eduardo Nuñez on a wall-ball single.
After Eduardo Rodriguez surrendered his home run to make it 3-2, the Red Sox were able to answer back. They put one on the board through an Evan Philips wild pitch, which scored Christian Vazquez. Brandon Workman was able to work a scoreless eighth inning, thanks to an amazing Jackie Bradley Jr. grab.
(J)ackie (B)eing (J)ackie pic.twitter.com/rW1GJKBg5s
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 13, 2019
Boston was able to extend their lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the eighth thanks to an Eduardo Nuñez RBI infield single, and Jackie Bradley Jr. sacrifice fly. Tyler Thornburg came in to start the ninth. He would walk a batter, allow a home run, and get a lineout. Alex Cora then went to Ryan Brasier for the last two outs and the save. Brasier got his two batters out, ending the game by extending Chris Davis’ infamous 54-at-bat hitless streak.
This gave the Red Sox likely their most comfortable win of the season. They never trailed, and were able to answer back when the Orioles scored. Hopefully for the Red Sox, a game like this can be a tone-setter.