Eduardo Rodriguez dominated the early going and then fell victim to the big inning disease that has plagued the early portion of his Red Sox career as Baltimore held on for a 8-6 win against Boston. The Fenway Park afternoon game featured a 12 hit Boston attack that was countered with 14 hits by Baltimore against five Boston pitchers.
Beth Israel Deaconess is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. Does this branding get any volume discounts of players that are being triaged? Prior to the game the Red Sox made a number of roster moves as highlighted by BSI’s Sean Penny as Jackie Bradley, Deven Marrero and Jonathan Aro all took the I-95 shuttle to Boston as Dustin Pedroia was placed on the DL, Joe Kelly sent on the shuttle back to Pawtucket and Erik Kratz was DFA as Blake Swihart was cleared to play.
Rodriguez established his game in the first inning with a 13 pitch two strikeout dismissal of the O’s. The second inning was a 10 pitch and one strikeout effort that barely took the time of a commercial break.
With one out in the second inning the Red Sox got on the scoreboard against O’s starter Miguel Gonzalez. A total solar eclipse is a rare astronomical event and there was a rare baseball event in the inning.
With one out Mike Napoli swung at a first pitch, didn’t strike out and managed a ground rule double to right field. Alas, there was no solar eclipse to match Napoli’s rare event. The suddenly hot Swihart eventually brought in Napoli with a single to center that was preceded by an Alejandro De Aza single. Boston now had a slim 1-0 advantage.
The second time through the lineup can often result in hitters getting a fix on a pitcher and that is exactly what happened to Rodriguez, now 3-2, with a disastrous six run and seven hit fourth inning.
The most notorious offender of Rodriguez’s offerings was Matt Wieters, who launched a two run home run. In second place would be J.J. Hardy who banged out a two run double. The Big Inning now appears to be the downfall of the 22-year-old left-hander as in an earlier start he posted five and four run frames in a loss. After a sac fly brought in a sixth run it also brought manager John Farrell out with his pitching hook to remove Rodriguez who certainly didn’t help his stat line with a botched fielding play. Enter Alexi Ogando.
The Red Sox reacted favorably to the hole that Rodriguez dug by opening the fourth with singles by Pablo Sandoval and Napoli, who both enjoyed a relaxing stroll home on a De Aza home run. The next three went meekly, but the Sox had cut the lead to two runs.
That two run lead dissipated in the sixth inning.
Tommy Layne replaced Ogando and quickly terminated the first two O’s only to be dented by a Steve Pearce (3 hits) double. Layne then tapped the right cheek – not the facial one – of Ryan Flaherty for a HBP. Enter the MLB debut of Aro and enter a run on the scoreboard via a Manny Machado single to left. A short fly ball later and Aro could relax the first game nerves.
The last of the sixth Gonzalez, now 6-4, was removed after allowing four runs on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts. His mates, however, were not finished.
The Red Sox went to their contingent of 22-year-olds to start some noise in the seventh against T.J. McFarland. Mookie Betts singled and Xander Bogaerts placed a doubled near the 379′ marker to get one run in. Bogaerts eventually trotted home on a McFarland wild pitch to cut the four run deficit to two.
Zach Britton came into the game in the ninth to register his 21st save of the season. Boston is now 4-9 against Baltimore.
The Red Sox will venture to the magnificent Tropicana Field for a three game series against the Rays. The Rays will feature right-hander Alex Colome (3-3, 4.50) for Tampa and Rick Porcello (4-8, 5.61) will start for Boston.
Game Notes and incidentals
* The Red Sox BABIP for June is a league best .331.
* Baltimore is second in BABIP (.324) for June.
* Napoli has a 26.2 K%. Ninth in AL.
* Bradley got his first hit of the season and a spectacular throw home to cut down a run.
* The Red Sox have the highest average road attendance in the AL (32, 230).
* Happy Birthday to former Red Sox Dick Drago.
* In ten months Aro has played in the Carolina League, South Atlantic League, EL, IL and now (hopefully) the AL.
* Betts extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
* Brock Holt went hitless in the series.
The first three innings were masterful. VintageSandy Koufax
with 36 pitches and five K’s. Then it became vintage meatball as Rodriguez did not survive the fourth inning. That is where all the damage occurred that created a line of 3.2 innings, seven hits, six runs, no walks and five strikeouts. Rodriguez tossed 67 pitches before being mercifully removed.
Ogando went 1.1 inning of one hit and no run relief. Layne went 0.2 and allowed a run on one hit. The run was the result of newbie Aro giving up a single to Machado. Aro tossed 1.1 innings of four hit and one run ball.Robbie Ross
finished up for Boston. Aro gets a game ball for surviving his first MLB game.
Two hits for De Aza including a three run shot. Swihart had his third multiple hit game in a row. Bradley, who was second in IL in batting (.322), had two hits. RISP: 3-7. LOB was 6.
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