The Boston Red Sox picked up a 9-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles Saturday afternoon, as they extended their lead in the AL Wild Card race.
Nick Pivetta started out his afternoon rough, as the first four Baltimore batters he faced — Cedric Mullins, Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander, Austin Hays — doubled, homered, singled, and walked in order. After a mound visit, however, Pivetta would successfully retire the next three batters to strand two and end the top of the first.
The Red Sox struck back in a hurry in the bottom of the first. Kiké Hernandez led off with a double, and Rafael Devers singled him home to put Boston on the board. Back-to-back base hits from Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez loaded the bases, and Bobby Dalbec came through with a go-ahead, two-run double.
The O’s reset the score in the top of the second, as Austin Wynns blasted a game-tying big fly over the Green Monster.
After serving up two straight hits to lead off the fourth, Pivetta salvaged two outs with a double play. But with a runner on third, he was relieved by Darwinzon Hernandez, who retired Mullins to end the frame.
Hernandez started the fifth, but walked the leadoff batter and gave up a single to Austin Hays which put two on with one out. He was relieved by Tanner Houck, who Boston moved to the bullpen in order to add more relief depth, retired the side successfully.
The Sox regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth, as a pair of hits from Devers (double) and Xander Bogaerts made it 4-3 — which put Houck in line for the win.
In the bottom of the sixth, after Houck hurled a 1-2-3 top half, Hernandez lined a one-out single into left, and Hunter Renfroe plated him with a double. Devers singled to put two on, and Xander Bogaerts would sock a three-run jack over the Monster to put Boston ahead, 8-3. They picked up another run in the seventh on an RBI groundout from Christian Vazquez after back-to-back hits from Kyle Schwarber and Dalbec.
Houck’s final line ended up being 2 2/3 scoreless frames, and it was followed by a pair of scoreless innings from Hansel Robles and Garrett Richards to give Houck his first win of the season.
Wild card race:
For Boston, with the win, it extends their AL Wild Card lead. The Blue Jays won, and now lie at 83-65 and in the second WC spot, compared to Boston’s first place record of 85-65. The Yankees were torched by the Indians, 11-3, and move to 83-66 on the season — behind the Jays.
Trailing the three AL East clubs, are a pair of west coast teams that aren’t out of it just yet — the Mariners (79-68), and the Athletics (80-67). Both of which are playing currently — Seattle is losing 6-1 to the Royals, while Oakland is ahead of the
The Mariners are trying to break the longest postseason drought in sports, which, if they don’t make it this year, would move to 20 consecutive postseason-less years.
(By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)