Final, Red Sox 13-2: Drake Britton pitched the ninth inning as well, and he was flawless once again, picking up his second perfect inning of work to put the finishing touches on a 13-2 Red Sox win.
The big story, of course, was the offense, especially Shane Victorino. The outfielder continued his impressive season with arguably his most impressive showing of the year in leading the way with seven RBIs, thanks to a pair of home runs.
The Orioles now find themselves 6 1/2 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East.
End 8th, Red Sox 13-2: Francisco Rodriguez makes his home in Baltimore these days, and he just saw an appearance here in the eighth inning.
K-Rod lived up to his nickname, as he was able to strike out Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli after getting David Ortiz to ground out to begin the inning.
The Red Sox will look to put the finishing touches on this one.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 13-2: Drake Britton has gotten the Red Sox out of some jams this season, but there wasn’t much pressure for him here in the eighth.
Britton just worked a perfect eighth inning getting three groundouts and doing his part to hold the 11-run lead in the process.
That may be a good confidence booster for Britton after he had allowed six runs on 5 1/3 innings in his six appearances since Aug. 6.
End 7th, Red Sox 13-2: We’re through seven innings in this one, and Shane Victorino has seven RBIs.
Brian Matusz looked to have a good inning on the way after getting the first two batters of the inning, but then things got awry. Will Middlebrooks singled, and Jacoby Ellsbury followed that with a double.
Victorino stepped to the plate and flared a base hit down the right field line that dropped in for a two-run double giving Victorino his sixth and seventh RBIs of the night. That’s a new career high for him.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 11-2: Matt Thornton does his job, as the left-hander just got Steve Pearce to hit a weak tapper back to the mound to end the seventh inning.
Top 7th, Red Sox 11-2: Felix Doubront’s night wasn’t particularly difficult, but it is over.
John Farrell just went out to make the change, and Doubront comes out after 6 2/3 solid innings of work to set the tone for a huge homestand. Doubront is responsible for J.J. Hardy at first, as Matt Thornton is coming in to try and get the final out of the inning.
Doubront struck out seven in his 6 2/3 innings, and his only real hiccup came in the second inning where he gave up the two runs but did a nice job of limiting the damage.
End 6th, Red Sox 11-2: For just the second time all night, the Orioles have a 1-2-3 inning.
While the Sox have had themselves a hit parade for much of the night — 11 hits through six innings — David Ortiz remains hitless.
He did have a sacrifice fly, but a strikeout in the sixth has him 0-for-2 on the evening.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 11-2: That was another quick one for Felix Doubront, who is certainly making the most of his run support as of late. He got 12 runs of support his last time out against San Francisco, and he’s cruising right along with the help of 11 runs behind him in this one.
He’s now retired 12 of 13 batters after a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth.
End 5th, Red Sox 11-2: This one was just about over before the bottom of the fifth, but now it’s really not looking good for the Orioles.
The Red Sox are putting a hurting on the Orioles, and that’s thanks in large part to Shane Victorino. The outfielder just blasted his second home run of the night, this one a three-run shot, to push the lead to 11-2.
Victorino’s five RBIs are tied for his most this season; he also drove in five runs on June 21 in a 10-6 win over the Tigers.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 8-2: Felix Doubront is having some issues with Danny Valencia so far. But other than that, he’s been pretty darn good.
Doubront just cruised through the fifth inning, and there’s no doubt that big lead is going to make it easy for him to just throw strikes and not worry about much else. He worked around Valencia’s second single of the game in the fifth, and he easily gets through the fifth with the Sox leading by six.
End 4th, Red Sox 8-2: The Red Sox weren’t done just yet after Buck Showalter went to his bullpen.
Jonny Gomes greeted Miguel Gonzalez with a blast to center that just missed being a grand slam. Boston will take the two-run double, though, and they now lead 8-2 in what is quickly becoming a laugher.
Bottom 4th, Red Sox 6-2: The Red Sox offense has turned things on here in the fourth inning, and it signals an early exit for Wei-Yin Chen.
Mike Napoli hit a home run so far that it might not have landed yet to get the inning going, and things actually got worse after the moonshot from Napoli.
Chen loaded the bases and fell behind Dustin Pedroia 3-0, which is a recipe for disaster. Chen got strike one on the 3-0 pitch, but the 3-1 offering was lined into right field for a two-run ground-rule double. The O’s elected to intentionally walk David Ortiz after that, and the free pass was the last batter for Chen.
He’s being replaced by Miguel Gonzalez.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-2: Great stuff out of Felix Doubront here in the fourth inning. After a rough third and the offense bailing him out in the bottom half, Doubront just bounced back in a big way.
He breezed through a 14-pitch inning in the fourth where he set the Orioles down in order. Doubront reared back and blew fastballs by Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters for a pair of strikeouts before he buried a cutter in on J.J. Hardy to force a weak pop-up on the infield.
Doubront is showing much more breaking stuff early in the count during his second time through the order. He continues to pound the zone, though, having thrown 12 first-pitch strikes so far.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-2: Shane Victorino is a professional hitter who knows what to do at the plate. When he’s presented with a 3-1 count, he knows he’s supposed to find a pitch he likes and drive it. He just did that, and the Red Sox are back in front.
Victorino just pulverized a 3-1 fastball from Wei-Yin Chen that just made it over the top of the Green Monster to bring around Will Middlebrooks and give the Sox the 3-2 lead with the two-run blast. It’s Victorino’s 10th home run of the season, his sixth since the All-Star break.
He’s really found some comfort at the plate since essentially becoming a right-handed hitter after ditching hitting from the left side.
Mid 3rd, Orioles 2-1: Felix Doubront breezed through the first two innings of this game, but he just ran into some trouble in the third.
Doubront struggled with the bottom of the Baltimore order, as the O’s put the first three batters of the inning on with a couple of singles and a hit batsmen. Doubront then walked in a run and was looking at a tie game and the bases loaded with still nobody out.
The southpaw, to his credit, did a good job of getting out of the inning with limited damage. Doubront got Manny Machado that gave the O’s the 2-1 lead, and then he retired Chris Davis on a weak pop-up to third before blowing a 92 mph fastball by Adam Jones to get out of the inning.
It could have been much worse, but the Sox now trail 2-1.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Wei-Yin Chen bounced back after giving up a first-inning run to set the Red Sox down in order in the second.
Chen sandwiched strikeouts of Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew around a Jarrod Saltalamacchia flyout to work a perfect second inning.
When it comes to Drew, we talked earlier about how it was at least a little bit curious that he was in the lineup against the left-handed Chen, especially with a couple of right-handers on deck for Wednesday and Thursday. Well, Drew looked incredibly overmatched against Chen before waving at a breaking ball to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Felix Doubront picked up right where he left off in the first inning as he began the second.
Doubront struck out both Adam Jones and Nick Markakis to end the inning before he got in on the hands of Matt Wieters and inducing a weak ground out to first base to end the inning.
Doubront has had a lot of success in the early going with his fastball, and he’s putting it where he wants to right now. That’s allowing him to get ahead in the count and mix in the offspeed stuff, which he has done through the first two innings.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: So far, so good for the Red Sox in their return to Fenway Park.
Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia got things going after a Jacoby Ellsbury strikeout to start the inning. Victorino walked and then Pedroia smoked a double off the Green Monster that set the table for David Ortiz.
The designated hitter looked to just miss an offering from Wei-Yin Chen and hit a lazy flyball to deep center field. The ball was hit deep enough, though, as Victorino tagged and scored from first for the game’s first run.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Felix Doubront just turned in a very sharp first inning.
The Boston left-hander worked a 1-2-3 inning, which included getting Chris Davis to strike out to end the inning. Doubront needed seven pitches to retire Davis, but he eventually blew a 92 mph fastball by the American League’s home run leader.
That’s even more important given the fact Doubront retired both Davis and Machado, two players who have given Doubront fits entering this game.
Doubront needed just 11 pitches to get through the first, despite the seven-pitch at-bat against Davis.
Top 1st, 0-0: The first pitch from Felix Doubront is a ball, and this game is underway.
7 p.m.: We’re just about 10 minutes from first pitch at Fenway Park, which should give you just enough time to make a donation to the Jimmy Fund.
In terms of baseball, much of the Red Sox’ potential success still hinges upon the starting pitching. The two hiccups on the road during the six-game trip out West don’t fall on the starters. The Boston starters posted a 1.17 ERA on the six-game trip having given up just six earned in 46 1/3 innings.
Starters have a 2.76 ERA in their last 12 games, and they currently sit at 3.82 for the season. If you’re looking for the No. 1 reason the club has had such a drastic turnaround this year, that has to be it.
5:15 p.m.: You may have caught the typo earlier in the Orioles lineup. Dave Roberts will not be hitting leadoff and playing second base for Baltimore. That will be Brian Roberts.
I had Dave Roberts on the brain as he was calling into the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon, which reminds me to remind you to give. As of 5 p.m., we’ve raised more than $736,000 for cancer research, which means we’ve still got a long way to go.
We ask that you give what you can, and no donation is too small. You can make a gift by clicking here.
4:15 p.m.: Tuesday night, as mentioned, marks the beginning of a nine-game homestand for the Red Sox. Fans of the club better get used to seeing the hometown team at Fenway as summer fades to fall because the Sox will play 18 of their remaining 30 games at home. That’s good news for a Boston team that has a .635 winning percentage at home this season. If they’re able to play at that clip the rest of the way, that will get them to 88 wins on the year not counting any wins they may pick up on the road.
4 p.m.: This is a minor note given the fact that it’s unlikely there’s much of a major league impact to be felt by this move, but the Red Sox did make a trade today.
Right-hander pitcher Clayton Mortensen was dealt to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for outfielder Quintin Berry. The former Tigers outfielder is hitting just .193 in Triple-A, but he has swiped 28 bases this season.
3:30 p.m.: We have a lineup for the Orioles now as well. Here’s how the O’s will start the series opener.
Of note is the fact that Manny Machado and Chris Davis are in the lineup. That obviously doesn’t surprise anyone, but it’s worth noting that those two have seen really good success against Boston starter Felix Doubront.
Those two are 10-for-20 combined for their careers against Doubront with two home runs and seven RBIs. Nick Markakis is also 4-for-7 against Doubront.
Brian Roberts, 2B
Manny Machado, 3B
Chris Davis, 1B
Adam Jones, CF
Nick Markakis, RF
Matt Wieters, C
J.J. Hardy, SS
Danny Valencia, DH
Steve Pearce, LF
3 p.m.: John Farrell has gone out of his way to try and make it clear that Xander Bogaerts wasn’t going to come in and take the shortstop job from Stephen Drew. Bogaerts was brought in to give the Sox more depth, and that was about it. Apparently the Sox are sticking to that.
With a left-hander on the mound Tuesday night, it might have made sense for Farrell to write Bogaerts’ name on the lineup card. However, the rookie will begin his first home game on the bench.
Stephen Drew will start at shortstop, despite the fact that he’s hitting just .198 against left-handers this season.
Here’s the Red Sox lineup for the opening game of this series.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
12 p.m.: The Red Sox can go a long way in squashing the playoff hopes of one of their division rivals starting Tuesday night in Boston.
The Sox return home from a West Coast road trip Monday night to host the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. The O’s come into Boston having lost eight of their last 14 games, and they begin the day 5 1/2 games back of the Red Sox in the American League East. Baltimore also sits 2 1/2 games back of Tampa Bay and Oakland in the wild card race.
Felix Doubront will get the ball for the Red Sox in the series opener. He’s coming off one of his best starts of the season last time out, as he went eight innings and gave up just one run against an admittedly hapless San Francisco offense. The southpaw has one start against the O’s this season, and it wasn’t a great one. He gave up four runs — three earned — in 4 2/3 innings of work against Blatimore on June 13, a game the Sox eventually lost 5-4 in Baltimore.
Doubront will be opposed by Wei-Yin Chen. The Taiwanese left-hander has had some success against Boston over his young career, going 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA against the Sox.
First pitch from Fenway is slated for 7:10 p.m.