The Boston Red Sox’s feud with the Baltimore Orioles appeared to have simmered down Sunday. Then the eighth inning happened.
Late in the Red Sox’s eventual 6-2 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards, reliever Matt Barnes threw a pitch dangerously close to the head of Baltimore’s Manny Machado. Machado, of course, drew Boston’s ire Friday for his takeout slide that injured Dustin Pedroia, and Barnes immediately was ejected for what appeared to be a retaliatory act.
Even Pedroia didn’t condone Barnes’ apparent headhunting, apologizing to Machado after the game. But Barnes insisted he didn’t mean to throw at the Orioles star’s head.
Red Sox manager John Farrell backed up his reliever when asked about the incident.
“It’s a dangerous pitch. No one likes to see it,” Farrell told reporters after the game, as aired on NESN. “But if you look at the attack plan of our right-handed pitchers, there’s an area in above the hands that you’re trying to go to. And unfortunately, it does get away from (Barnes) in that spot.”
Farrell was asked a second time about the intent of Barnes’ pitch, and he gave a similar answer.
“Like I said, he’s trying to go up and in,” Farrell said. “And make no mistake: The ball got away from him. So, my comments are what they are.”
Let’s hit a few more notes from Red Sox-Orioles.
— Pedroia is scheduled to undergo an MRI in Boston on Monday on his injured left knee and ankle, Farrell told reporters before Sunday’s game, via ESPN.com.
Yet the Red Sox are hopeful Pedroia, who missed his second consecutive game in Sunday’s 6-2 win, can avoid a trip to the disabled list, as Farrell said the MRI will be taken “just to rule anything out.”
— Pablo Sandoval joined Boston’s walking wounded Sunday, exiting the game after the sixth inning with what the team announced as a sprained right knee.
The Red Sox third baseman is day-to-day, per Farrell.
— Eduardo Rodriguez really likes pitching in Camden Yards.
The left-hander was lights-out Sunday, limiting the Orioles to just one hit over six scoreless innings while striking out seven to pick up the win. Rodriguez now is 3-1 in six career starts at Baltimore and has allowed just five earned runs total over that span. He hasn’t surrendered more than two runs during any road start against the team that traded him to Boston in 2014.
— Mookie Betts also likes hitting in Camden Yards.
The Red Sox outfielder clubbed a three-run homer in the first inning to give him 10 career long balls in Baltimore. Betts’ eight homers at Camden Yards last season were the most ever in a single season by a Boston player in an opposing ballpark.
Thumbnail photo via Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports Images
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