Andrew Benintendi broke out of his slump in a big way Sunday.
The Boston Red Sox star outfielder entered Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles hitting .129 over his last 73 at-bats, but Benintendi had a massive day in the Red Sox’s 7-3 win at Camden Yards.
The 22-year-old went 3-for-4 with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored in support of starter Chris Sale. The Red Sox left-hander didn’t have his dominant stuff, but pitched well enough to earn the win, thanks to Benintendi and the Red Sox’s offense.
The Red Sox improved to 31-25 with the win, while the Orioles fell to 29-26.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The game looked like it would be a slugfest after the teams combined for five runs and six hits in the first frame. But Sale and Orioles starter Chris Tillman settled in and the game became a pitcher’s duel in the middle innings until Boston took the lead for good in the sixth.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Benintendi crushed his second home run of the day to give the Red Sox a three-run lead.
The O’s were unable to get anything going against the Red Sox’s bullpen in the later innings.
ON THE BUMP
— Sale survived a shaky first inning to turn in another quality start. The lefty tossed six innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out nine and only walking one.
Sale only had allowed one hit during the first inning entering Sunday, but the O’s got to the left-hander with two outs in the frame. Chris Davis poked a single into left field to score Joey Rickard and Manny Machado, tying the game at two.
Trey Mancini followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice when Pablo Sandoval’s throw to second got past Deven Marrero, allowing the inning to continue. Jonathan Schoop made the Red Sox pay by ripping an RBI double to left field to give the O’s a one-run lead. Sale labored in the first, tossing 39 pitches and surrendering three runs.
The Red Sox lefty settled down after the first inning as he allowed just three hits over the next five frames.
— Blaine Boyer took the hill to begin the seventh. He allowed two hits in 1 2/3 scoreless innings work.
— Robby Scott struck out Davis to end the eighth inning.
— Matt Barnes pitched a scoreless ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the first inning against Tillman. The O’s right-hander got Hanley Ramirez to fly out to shallow center field for the second out of the inning, but he wouldn’t escape the frame unscathed. Jackie Bradley Jr. laced a single to right to score Mookie Betts and Benintendi, giving Boston an early two-run edge.
— Benintendi tied the game in the third inning with a solo blast to right field.
— The Red Sox broke the tie in the sixth inning thanks to some help from the O’s defense. Boston loaded the bases with two outs and Marrero at the plate. Tillman bounced a pitch in the dirt, prompting catcher Francisco Pena to attempt to pick off Mitch Moreland at third base. The throw, however, tailed on Pena and sailed past Machado into left field, allowing two runs to score.
— Boston’s lead swelled to three in the seventh when Benintendi launched his second home run of the game.
— The Red Sox left fielder picked up his third RBI of the game with a run-scoring single in the ninth inning.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Betts is on a decent pace, to say the least.
The Red Sox will take the diamond Tuesday when they begin a three-game series with the New York Yankees. Drew Pomeranz will get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by New York’s Masahiro Tanaka. First pitch from Yankee Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Patrick McDermott/USA TODAY Sports Images