Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
BOSTON – Fans had to wait one extra day, but one of the greatest rivalries in professional sports history resumes Wednesday when the Boston Red Sox host the New York Yankees in the opener of a rain-shortened two-game set and the first of 19 renewals this season. The American League East Division combatants have each won 83 meetings over the last nine regular seasons with the teams alternating series victories over the past six years after splitting 18 encounters in each season from 2008-10.
“It’s always fun,” New York third baseman Chase Headley told reporters after the Yankees (11-7) lost 2-1 in Pittsburgh on Sunday. “There’s always a lot of energy in Boston. Obviously they’re going to be one of the teams we’re fighting all year with, so we’re looking forward to taking a breather (Monday) and getting back after it on (Wednesday).” New York’s Aaron Judge, a 6-7, 282-pound rookie, takes his first swings at Fenway Park’s fabled Green Monster after belting six home runs – some of the tape-measure variety – with 13 RBIs this season as one of the so-called Baby Bombers who have helped the Yankees get off to an encouraging start. Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who underwent an MRI on Monday, got an extra day to rest with Tuesday’s rain out and could make his return from a two-game absence after injuring his knee and ankle Friday, when Baltimore’s Manny Machado went into second base hard on a slide. Boston’s Rick Porcello, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, lost his last two starts and opposes Luis Severino, who struck out 21 over 15 innings in his last two turns.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, YES (New York), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Luis Severino (1-1, 4.05 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (1-2, 5.32)
Severino allowed four runs (three earned) and three hits while striking out 10 over a career-high eight innings of a 4-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox last Tuesday. The 23-year-old Dominican struck out 11 for the first of his two career double-digit strikeout games in seven innings of a 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay on April 13. Severino is 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA in four games (three starts) versus Boston, including 0-2, 7.30 in three appearances (two starts) last season.
Porcello allowed three unearned runs, six hits, one walk and struck out five in seven innings of a 3-0 loss at Toronto on Wednesday. The 28-year-old New Jersey native, who went 22-4 last season, permitted eight runs in 4 1/3 frames of a 10-5 setback versus Tampa Bay on April 14. Porcello is 7-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 starts – 2-1, 2.05 in three turns last season – versus New York but struggles with Jacoby Ellsbury (12-for-31, four home runs).
1. The Red Sox are last in the major leagues with 11 home runs while the Yankees were tied for fifth entering Tuesday’s games with 26.
2. New York 1B Greg Bird (.104, one home run, two RBIs in 48 at-bats) went 0-for-11 in the three-game series with the Pirates and is 1-for-19 in his last six contests.
3. Boston OF Andrew Benintendi (.347, one home run, 11 RBIs) recorded a career-high five hits Sunday and has six multi-hit games in his last 12 contests.
BALTIMORE — Tempers flared when Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes threw high and inside to the Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado on Sunday. The pitch was perceived as retaliation for Machado’s hard slide Friday night that injured Dustin Pedroia, knocking the Boston second baseman out of the next two games. Even though the ball hit Machado’s bat, Barnes was ejected by plate umpire Andy Fletcher.
Betts and Bogaerts
The incident marred an otherwise uplifting win for Boston.
Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez set the tone with back-to-back homers in the first inning and the Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-2 victory.
“He was trying to take a four-seamer in and above his hands, and the pitch got away from him,” Boston manager John Farrell said about Barnes’ pitch.
“I think any time you see a pitch up around the head, it’s a dangerous pitch. No one likes to see it. If you look at the attack plan of our right-handed pitchers, there’s an area in and above the hands you’re trying to go to. Unfortunately, it does get away from him in that spot.”
Pedroia stopped short of saying Barnes’ pitch was intentional. However, he was adamant that he did not want Machado to get hit because of the hard slide.
“I had nothing to do with that,” Pedroia said. “That’s not how you do that man. I’m sorry to him and his team. If you’re going to protect guys, you do it right away. He knows that and both teams know that.”
Barnes also said he did not mean to throw at Machado.
“I would tell Manny I’m sorry,” Barnes said. “I wasn’t trying to go for your head at all. I was trying to make a pitch and it got away from me.”
Mitch Moreland also went deep for the Red Sox, who entered the game with just two home runs in their past six games. Andrew Benintendi had a career-high five hits for Boston (11-8).
Despite the setback, the Orioles (12-5) still have not lost a series this year.
“It’s two good teams competing for something that a lot of teams really want,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “And they have the passion and when things like that get going into it, that’s unfortunate.
“I was really impressed with the courage that our guys showed today because they all, believe me, trust me, wanted to do something about it. Takes a lot more sometimes to do that.”
Red Sox left hander Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1) retired the first nine batters he faced before allowing a walk to Craig Gentry to lead off the fourth.
Rodriguez gave up his only hit in the fifth when Chris Davis managed a single.
Rodriguez finished with seven strikeouts and allowed five walks in six innings, throwing a season-high 108 pitches. He has not allowed more than two runs in any of his five career starts at Camden Yards.
The troubles for Orioles starter Kevin Gausman (1-2) started almost immediately when he allowed a three-run homer to Betts followed by a solo shot by Ramirez.
It was Gausman’s second consecutive rough outing. He gave up eight runs in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds, then allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings Sunday.
Stefan Crichton entered for Baltimore in the sixth and allowed an RBI single to Benintendi that boosted Boston’s lead to 6-0.
After Barnes was ejected in the eighth, Machado responded with an RBI double off Joe Kelly that gave the Orioles their first run. Hyun Soo Kim added an infield single off Fernando Abad in the ninth that cut the margin to 6-2.
“We lost the game today,” Machado said. “That’s all that matters. Who cares about the situation that happened (with Pedroia)? It’s not on us. We did the right thing out there, and we’ve got to continue to do what we’ve got to do out there, continue to do the things that we always have been doing and move on to the next series.”
Craig Kimbrel picked up his seventh save by getting Machado to pop out to end the game, the only batter he faced. Afterward, though, much of the talk centered around the heated series and whether there might be further retaliation when the team meet May 1-4 against Boston.
“You’ve got to do your best to put that aside,” Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said. “I mean, there’s more at stake obviously. We weren’t happy with the way things went today, not only with what happened late in the game but also losing the game.
“I think it’s more important to win the game. You can’t get caught up in that stuff.”
NOTES: Boston 3B Pablo Sandoval left the game in the seventh inning with a right knee sprain. He is listed as day-to-day. … Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (knee, ankle is expected to undergo an MRI exam Monday in Boston. … Baltimore LHP Zach Britton (left forearm strain) is scheduled to play catch from 90 feet Monday. He had an MRI exam Friday that did not reveal any structural damage
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore
BALTIMORE — Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop hit back-to-back homers the first time they faced Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright earlier this season. They pulled the same trick when they saw Wright again Saturday. Mancini and Schoop’s home runs sparked a four-run fourth inning as the Baltimore Orioles gave starter Jayson Aquino his first major league win with a 4-2 victory, extending the team’s winning streak to four games.
The Orioles (12-4) have hit consecutive home runs twice this season — with Mancini and Schoop doing it both times.
“He was a little more on today, I’d say, especially early on,” Mancini said of Wright. “It was very challenging. Luckily, my second at-bat, he just left one up that I put a good swing on.”
The first time it happened, at Fenway Park, it was part of a six-run first inning. Mancini belted a three-run shot that night followed by Schoop’s solo shot.
This time, Mancini tied the game with a two-run homer before Schoop followed and gave Baltimore the lead for good in the fourth.
That power helped Aquino (1-0) in his first major league start. The left-hander gave up two runs on six hits in six innings and needed to escape jams in each of his last three innings.
Still, he made pitches when needed and came away with that first victory.
“I think you saw some of the things that we liked about him,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He doesn’t lack for … I don’t want to say ‘confidence.’ He’s one of those guys who says, ‘Here’s mine and see what you can do with it.’ ”
Aquino, filling in as the No. 5 starter as the Orioles are short because of Chris Tillman being on the disabled list, enjoyed the experience.
“I feel very happy,” Aquino said through a translator. “It’s an incredible feeling what I’m feeling right now. I just tried to make my pitches. I was just following the lead of my catcher (Caleb Joseph).”
Mychal Givens came on after Aquino and threw two perfect innings of relief. Donnie Hart got the first two outs in the ninth before hitting Marco Hernandez, and Darren O’Day closed it and earned his first save as the Orioles used a closer by committee since Zach Britton is on the disabled list, and Brad Brach had pitched three straight nights.
Wright (1-2) took the loss for Boston (10-8), giving up four runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. He blanked the Orioles in the first three innings before everything fell apart in the fourth.
“I felt good at the beginning,” Wright said. “They hit mistakes, and I think that’s what makes them good.
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the third when Jackie Bradley Jr. belted a two-run home run to right. Xander Bogaerts walked with one out, and Bradley followed with his first homer this season.
Adam Jones made it 4-2 with a single that knocked Wright out. The knuckleballer scattered three hits in the first three innings but allowed four runs on six hits in the fourth.
The Red Sox, who came into this series with an American League-best .282 average, were shut out in Friday’s opener. They are 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position in the series.
“There’s been a number of times we’ve expanded the zone,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “We’ve chased some pitches down below the zone. We’ve chased some pitches off (and) away.”
NOTES: LHP Zach Britton is going to see a hand specialist Monday but the Orioles do not expect much trouble from that visit. After that doctor says everything is all right, Britton will start throwing again. … C Caleb Joseph got his first hit and scored his first run this season. The Baltimore backup came into the game 0-for-12 but went 2-for-3. … Boston manager John Farrell said LHP David Price (left elbow strain) felt good Saturday after his first bullpen session Friday. The skipper said they will re-evaluate Sunday and decide when Price throws next. … Farrell said they will also see if 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee/ankle) can play Sunday after he missed Saturday’s game. … The game was delayed 28 minutes at the start because of rain.
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore