The Boston Red Sox finally put it all together at Camden Yards on Sunday.
The Red Sox used an excellent outing from Eduardo Rodriguez and an early offensive outburst to cruise to a 6-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the teams’ series finale.
Boston’s victory, which snapped the club’s two-game losing streak and improved it to 11-8 on the season, wasn’t without controversy, as reliever Matt Barnes was ejected in the eighth inning for continuing a feud from Friday involving Manny Machado and Dustin Pedroia.
Here’s how this one went down.
GAME IN A WORD
While Rodriguez did his thing on the mound, the Red Sox’s bats had a home run party, crushing three long balls during a long-awaited offensive outburst.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back jacks in the first inning.
Betts’ three-run homer and Ramirez’s solo blast put the Red Sox in front 4-0 and the Orioles on their heels. Rodriguez and Boston’s bullpen took things from there.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez had occasional control problems but otherwise dominated Baltimore through six stellar innings.
The Red Sox left-hander took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Chris Davis laced a lead-off single. It was the only hit Rodriguez allowed, though, as he blanked his former club while striking out seven batters.
Rodriguez did struggle with command, issuing a season-high five walks and walking the bases loaded in the sixth. But the 24-year-old got Trey Mancini to ground into a force-out to end the Orioles’ threat and preserve his clean outing.
Rodriguez threw 61 of his 108 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to 3.12 on the season.
— Matt Barnes came on in the seventh and allowed one run on one hit over 1 1/3 innings pitched. His appearance ended unceremoniously, though, after the right-handed reliever was ejected for throwing at Machado’s head in the eighth.
— Joe Kelly relieved Barnes with one out in the eighth and allowed his inherited runner to score on Machado’s RBI double. He struck out one in 2/3 innings of work.
— Fernando Abad couldn’t record a clean inning in the ninth, allowing two hits and one run before being pulled with two outs.
— Closer Craig Kimbrel induced a Machado pop-out to end the contest and record his seventh save of the season.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox hammered Orioles starter Kevin Gausman for four runs on four straight hits to start the game.
Betts took Gausman deep for a three-run blast — his 10th career homer at Camden Yards — while Ramirez made good on a promise with a solo shot, his first of the 2017 season.
— Mitch Moreland joined the homer party in the fifth, launching a solo blast to center field, his second of the year.
— Andrew Benintendi smacked an RBI single that scored Xander Bogaerts in the sixth inning to give Boston a 6-0 lead.
Benintendi had a stellar day at the plate, going an incredible 5-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. It was the first five-hit game of his career.
— Betts, Bogaerts and Moreland all contributed to the hit parade with two base-knocks each.
— The top of Boston’s lineup carried the day, with the Red Sox’s No. 1 through No. 5 hitters accounting for all but two of the club’s 14 hits.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Can’t we all just get along?
The Red Sox will enjoy their first off-day in 17 days Monday before beginning a busy week at Fenway Park. They’ll welcome the rival New York Yankees to town for a three-game set beginning Tuesday, with Rick Porcello scheduled to oppose Luis Severino in the 7:10 p.m. ET series opener.
Thumbnail photo via Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports Images