BOSTON – The Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles reported to Fenway Park today on a short 13-14 hour turnaround from the first game of their four-game series Friday night. After a challenging 3-8 start to the new Major League Baseball season, the Sox were winners of three of their last four. The victory challenged O’s posed little threat.
Up stepped Chris Davis.
The Orioles first baseman, once a formidable hitter that some, maybe called a “slugger,” was in the batting slump of all time, literally. Davis had not recorded a hit in 54 at bats, dating back to September 14, 2018. In baseball, like craps, you’re either hot or you’re due.
He finally came through in the 1st inning, stroking a two-run single to right field, scoring Trey Mancini and Dwight Smith Jr., staking the Orioles with a 2-0 lead over Sox SP Rick Porcello. Davis broke his slump then proceeded to hit two doubles and knock in a total of four runs on his day to anchor Baltimore’s 9-5 victory over Boston (5-10).
Porcello was on the wrong end of Davis’ newfound fortunes. The Boston righty pitched only four innings, allowing five hits and five walks as he threw 90 pitches with 48 strikes. Porcello let up three earned runs and his relievers fared worse.
After Heath Hembree threw an inning of scoreless baseball, RHP Colten Brewer allowed four earned runs after facing only five batters in the decisive 6th inning of the game as a combination of walks and singles cost the Red Sox mightily.
Boston’s only key contributor in the day was catcher Christian Vazquez who hit a 3-1 pitch into the Green Monster seats of Fenway, spoiling Orioles starter Andrew Cashner’s outing in the 3rd inning. Vazquez also hit a two-run double in the 7th inning and had a career-high four RBI day.
The Red Sox have allowed seven (or more) runs in seven of their 15 games this season, losing all seven. They are (5-3) when allowing six or fewer runs.
Cashner (3-1) earned the victory while Porcello (0-3) took the loss. There was no save situation but Mychal Givens closed down the Sox by tossing 1.2 innings of shut-out baseball, striking out four of the last five Boston batters. The victory snapped a four-game Baltimore losing streak.
NOTES: On Sunday, LHP (0-1, 6.00 ERA) will take the mound for the Sox while LHP John Means (1-1, 2.08 ERA) pitches for Baltimore. … On Monday, Patriots’ Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston’s starter remains a TBA but Baltimore is scheduled to toss RHP Dan Straily (0-1, 19.29 ERA). … Monday’s game has a scheduled first pitch of 11am to coincide with the famed Boston Marathon but, like last year, the ballgame is in jeopardy of a rainout, as the weather forecast is calling for a 100% chance of rain most of the day. … J.D. Martinez remains two home runs shy of hitting 200 for his career. Interestingly, it took him 609 games and 2,229 at-bats to reach his 100th HR (22.3 AB/HR), but he’s hit 98 in his last 328 games. … Martinez (11.58), Joey Gallo (11.65) and Mike Trout (11.75) are the only major leaguers under 12 ABs/HR.