Red Sox Sweep the Orioles, continue to hold off Yankees

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts Celebrate at home plate

The New York Yankees have been hot winning 10 out of their last 12 games, including their recent sweep of the Minnesota Twins. However, the Red Sox completed their own sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. Heading into the off-day tomorrow, the AL East lead still stands at three games. With the victory tonight, the magic number to clinch the division is now eight.

GAME 1

Doug Fister was unfortunately, Doug Fister Monday night as he could not get through three innings. These struggles seemed to give the Orioles the game. But a resilient Red Sox lineup stayed hot and clawed back en route to a 10-8, 11 inning victory.

O’s Strike Big Early

After a lead off walk and a single, Johnathon Schoop grounded out to score Tim Beckham. With two men on, Fister was able to record two more ground outs to get out of the inning.

In the 2nd, the Orioles kept rolling courtesy of two Fister walks. After a Chris Davis double, Fister allowed two free passes to load the bases with no outs. Next, Austin Hays doubled to extend the Baltimore lead to 3-0. Later in the inning, Manny Machado hit a sacrifice fly scoring Pedro Alvarez. Fister would keep the score there as it was 4-0.

Two more walks and a single had the bases loaded again with no outs for Baltimore. John Farrell went to the bullpen early. Fister finished going 2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, and 5 BB. Reliever Heath Hembree got out of the jam allowing just one run as the lead was now 5-0.

Here come the Sox

After a lead off double in the fourth from Brock Holt, Mookie Betts singled him home to put the Red Sox on the board. However, that is all they would get for the inning as Orioles starter Dylan Bundy stayed sharp.

After Hembree allowed a 6th run to the O’s, the Red Sox went OFF in the 5th. Jackie Bradley Jr. came to the plate with one out and Vazquez and Devers on the corners. JBJ singled to bring in a run. 6-2. Xander Bogaerts walked to load the bases, and Brock Holt followed with a single to center field to score Devers and JBJ. The hit made it a 6-4 game and forced a Buck Showalter call to the bullpen for Richard Bleier.

Bleier lasted one batter as Andrew Benintendi singled to load the bases for Mookie Betts. With Mychal Givens on the mound, Mookie Betts doubled to deep left to clear the bases and give the Sox a 7-6 lead.

The big 5th inning saw 10 batters and six hits, and of course six runs.

Can’t hold the lead

Due to the tough start by Fister, Farell had to dig deep into his bullpen. Fernando Abad started the bottom of the fifth. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time he pitched in a close game. After recording two outs, Pedro Alvarez struck with a homer to right to tie the game at seven. After a Rafael Devers error put Todd Hays on second, Tim Beckham doubled him home to give Baltimore the lead back, 8-7.

About time

With reliever Donnie Hart on the mound in the seventh, Xander Bogaerts connected with a 424-foot home run to left center. It was his first long ball since August 25th, against the Orioles.

Extra, extra

After the Bogey home run, both bullpens bared down to push the game to extra innings at 8-8. Luckily for Boston, they are 13-3 in extra inning games heading into Monday. In the bottom of the 10th, Pedro Alvarez led off with a single and was pinch run for by Craig Gentry. After a Hays strikeout, Gentry was caught stealing by Sandy Leon. A Beckham groundout pushed the game to the 11th.

In the top of the frame, Sandy Leon stood on second with two outs. Blake Swihart came into run as the third catcher of the night. After a Bogaerts intentional walk, Tzu-Wei Lin worked a walk to load the bases for Andrew Benintendi. After four straight change-ups, Benny got a fastball that he grounded into the outfield just past Schoop. Swihart and Bogaerts scored to give the Sox a 10-8 lead. The rookie with the clutch gene.

Carson Smith was impressive in the bottom of the inning working a 1-2-3 11th and ending the game. His effectiveness come October will be big for this bullpen moving forward.

 

GAME 2

A night after a 18-run, 23-hit game, a pitcher’s duel came to Camden Yards Tuesday night. Drew Pomeranz and Kevin Gausman combined to allow zero runs and just eight hits. The Red Sox would strike once which was all that was needed in a 1-0 victory.

Pomeranz got some help

In the bottom of the 3rd, Johnathan Schoop came up to bat with two outs and Manny Machado on second base. Schoop singled to left, and Machado was sent home, Andrew Benintendi threw a laser to the plate to get the third out and keep the game scoreless.

In the 5th Chris Davis launched a Pomeranz curve ball to center that looked like it would sneak over the wall. However, Jackie Bradley Jr. showed off his glove as he flew into the fence and snagged the ball. He did it so effortlessly, like with the robbery of Aaron Judge. This guy better win the Gold Glove.

Gasuman was a lot better

Pomeranz was pulled after recording one out in the 7th inning. He allowed zero runs on five hits and two walks.

Kevin Gausman had a much more dominant night. The Red Sox did not record a hit until the fifth inning. With his offense cold, Gausman pitched eight full innings allowing just three hits and walking one batter. Unlike the Orioles offense, the Sox posed zero threats to score.

The LONE run

In the top of the 11th, Showalter went with Brad Brach on the mound. With Holt at first, JBJ grounded out into a fielder’s choice. After a Bogaerts ground out, Benintendi and Betts each worked two-out walks. Mitch Moreland came to the plate with the bases loaded. The first Brach pitch to Moreland bounced off Orioles catcher Wellington Castillo’s shin guard. The ball skipped away and JBJ was able to come home and score the game’s lone run.

Matt Barnes came in the bottom of the 11th and shut the door down, stranding a runner on second after a Devers throwing error. The win gave the Red Sox a 15-3 record in extra inning games this season. Somehow, Tony Massarotti does not think that record makes them clutch. Well Tony, we will see next month. Because it’s pretty damn important

Bullpen

The Sox bullpen featuring Carson Smith, Addison Reed, Craig Kimbrel, Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes allowed zero hits. These five, along with the addition of David Price will get most of the work in October, and it is goo to see them in playoff form.

 

GAME 3

The Yankees won early in the day Wednesday, so the pressure was on the Red Sox knowing a loss would shrink their  division lead to two games. The Sox answered the bell, getting to Wade Miley en route to a 9-0 win to sweep the Baltimore Orioles.

Be patient, they will score

Scoring early has been a problem for the Red Sox this season. Usually it takes them one time through the lineup to figure out the opposing pitcher. That was the case tonight against Baltimore’s Wade Miley. After two quick innings, the Sox had the bases loaded in the third. However, Dustin Pedroia lined out to J.J. Hardy who doubled off Sandy Leon to end the inning.

In the fourth, Mookie Betts took a 1-2 curve ball over the wall scoring Benintendi and giving the Sox a 2-0 lead. After a Hanley Ramirez double and a Sam Travis strikeout, Deven Marrero took a fastball over the center field wall for a 2-run shot of his own. 4-0.

Wade Miley came back out for the 5th, but not for long. After back to back one out walks to Betts and Benny, Miley was done. Mike Wright came in to shut it down. That did not happen. The next batter, Hanley Ramirez took a low slider to left field to plate both runners, and extend Boston’s lead to 6-0.

Runs, More Runs

In the top of the 8th, with the bases loaded and two outs, the captain and leader Dustin Pedroia doubled to right to score Sam Travis and Jackie Bradley Jr. The double extended the lead to 8-0 and put the sweep in full effect.

In the top of the 9th, Mookie Betts, aka, the Camden killer, tripled to center. Next, Hanley Ramirez recorded hit third hit of the night with a single to center to make it a 9-0 game. Hanley surely knows what time of year it is as he is ready for October.

Austin Maddox came in to pitch the 9th for the Sox and complete the sweep.

Chris Sale you are ridiculous

The AL Cy Young award winner, yeah you heard it here first. Chris Sale absolutely dazzled. Sale is like the New England Patriots, rarely loses two games in a row. Even though his last outing was not a loss, he did allow four runs vs. the Rays.

Sale struck-out 13 batters and recorded his 300th strikeout of the season in the 8th inning against Ryan Flaherty. He becomes the second Red Sox pitcher EVER to accomplish the feat. The other was Pedro Martinez in 1999 (313), he also won the Cy Young award that season.

Sale earned his 17th win of the season in exciting fashion. He threw 109 pitches and stamina surely did not seem to be an issue. He finished the game going eight innings, allowing just four hits and ZERO walks with hi 13 K’s. Game 1 ALDS, let’s fast forward please.

 

 

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