Two very different teams took the field Thursday at Fenway Park — one that should be vying for a pennant well into the fall and another that looked like it should be coached by Billy Bob Thornton in a bad mid-2000s film.
The Boston Red Sox welcomed the lowly Baltimore Orioles to America’s Most Beloved Ballpark and handled the cellar-dwelling birds 6-2.
J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts each smashed home runs and David Price twirled a gem, as Boston dismantled Buck Showalter’s motley crew in the series opener.
With the win, the Red Sox improved to 30-14, while the Orioles fall to 13-30.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Orioles showed why they are one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball, as the Red Sox dealt them their 30th loss of the year.
ON THE BUMP
— Price seems to have found his groove after his bout with carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Red Sox left-hander breezed through a toothless Orioles lineup time after time Thursday night, surrendering two runs on five hits while striking out eight in a complete game. Price was one strike away from the shutout but Manny Machado launched a two-run home run in the ninth inning to make it 6-2.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Martinez got the Sox on the board by launching a two-run home run to straightaway center field in the first inning.
Martinez went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs before exiting the game with a stomach issue.
— The Sox tacked on four more runs in the fifth inning to knock O’s starter Kevin Gausman out of the game. Jackie Bradley Jr. walked to open the inning and stole second. He moved to third on a Mookie Betts single and scored on an Andrew Benintendi sacrifice fly.
Hanley Ramirez followed with an infield single and Bogaerts sent Gausman to the showers two batters later by blasting a three-run home run to make it 6-0.
— Boston loaded the bases in the sixth but Ramirez popped out to end the inning.
— Betts went 3-for-3.
— Bogaerts went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
— Ramirez went 2-for-4.
— Sandy Leon recorded two singles.
— Brock Holt, Rafael Devers, Blake Swihart, Bradley, and Benintendi all went hitless.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Starting to come together, Pepper.
The Red Sox and Orioles will resume their four-game series Friday at Fenway Park. Drew Pomeranz is scheduled to start for Boston and will be opposed by Alex Cobb. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images