The Boston Red Sox have started rather slowly this season, prompting chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom to express his displeasure when talking with the media earlier this week.
The Red Sox had lost nine in a row at that point; they since have won two straight, the latest a 7-1 victory in Baltimore on Thursday. Boston and the Orioles meet in the second game of the four-game series Friday night.
Speaking before the series finale in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Bloom said of the Red Sox’s worst-in-the-American League start, “It’s extremely disappointing. These are about as bad of results as you can possibly imagine. A lot of things have not gone well. That’s just the fact of the matter. It’s extremely disappointing. We’re all competitive. We all like to win and we hate losing.”
The Red Sox then beat the Phillies 6-3 Wednesday, and they used a solid seven-inning effort from Nathan Eovaldi to shut down the Orioles on Thursday. The right-hander allowed a run on five hits and a walk while striking out six, and two Boston relievers followed with 1-2-3 innings.
“We just had a hard time getting in hitter’s counts,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.
Mitch Moreland sealed Boston’s win with a three-run homer to cap a four-run ninth.
Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said, “That home run was obviously huge, and it allows us to save some guys that we would be pitching to the point where maybe they would have to be down (Friday).”
Xander Bogaerts homered in the third inning and added an RBI single in the ninth.
The Red Sox will use Colten Brewer (0-1, 4.50 ERA) as an opener on Friday. In his lone start this season, he gave up two runs in 2 2/3 innings in an Aug. 14 loss to the New York Yankees.
Brewer has no decisions and a 7.71 ERA in eight career appearances, all in relief, against Baltimore.
John Means (0-1, 10.57 ERA) starts for the Orioles but is not expected to go long since he has dealt with arm fatigue and is just coming back from the death of his father. Jorge Lopez is likely to come in behind him.
Means has a 3-1 career mark vs. the Red Sox with a 4.02 ERA in six games (five starts).
Anthony Santander kept on rolling in Baltimore’s Thursday loss, stretching his hitting streak to 14 games by going 1-for-4. He is batting .355 (22-for-62) with seven homers and 18 RBIs during the streak. Hyde also commented on the improvement of Santander’s defense in right field this season.
Baltimore’s Ramon Urias made his major league debut in the ninth inning Thursday, striking out to end the game. He was called up earlier this week when Jose Iglesias was placed on the 10-day injured list due to lingering quad problems.
For Boston, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez was activated from the injured list on Thursday. He had tested positive for COVID-19 before coming to summer camp and was working out for the past few weeks. Hernandez might see action behind Brewer on Friday.
–Field Level Media