Game 2 was the polar opposite of Game 1.
Boston couldn’t complete the sweep in the nightcap of the Red Sox’s doubleheader against the Orioles, as Baltimore pounded the Sox 10-3 at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.
Chris Sale gave up three runs on four hits in his final start before Game 1 of the American League Division Series. Although his velocity wasn’t what it had been all season, the southpaw still collected eight strikeouts and issued just one walk over 4 2/3 innings of work.
The two teams were knotted at three until the seventh inning when the O’s jumped on Boston’s bullpen for seven runs in the last three frames to take the series finale.
With the loss, the Red Sox slipped to 107-52, while the Orioles improved to 46-112.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
It’s been a topic of conversation all month, and the Red Sox’s bullpen (seven runs allowed in 4 1/3 innings) did nothing to quiet their critics Wednesday night.
ON THE BUMP
— Sale ran into some trouble early on when he hit Cedric Mullins to open the game. Two batters later, Trey Mancini smacked a triple to right to plate Mullins. Sale then hit Adam Jones before surrendering a sacrifice fly to Renato Nunez to make it 2-0.
The southpaw settled down after that, throwing a 1-2-3 second and third inning.
Sale’s night came to a close in the fifth inning. Caleb Joseph led off the frame with a single to right and moved to second when Boston’s ace issued a two-out walk to Mancini. Jones followed by clubbing an RBI double to left to break the 2-2 tie and send Sale to the showers.
— Eduardo Rodriguez took over for Sale and got Nunez to fly out to end Baltimore’s threat in the fifth.
The lefty came back out for the sixth and struck out the side.
— Matt Barnes entered in the seventh and had a rough night. Joseph doubled to open the inning and moved to third on a wild pitch. After getting Mullins to strike out, Barnes walked Jonathan Villar. After Villar stole second, Mancini roped a two-run single to center to make it 5-3. Jones and Nunez followed with back-to-back singles to increase Baltimore’s lead to three and end the night for Barnes.
— Hector Velazquez got the final two outs of the seventh to keep the deficit at three.
— Ryan Brasier got the ball for the eighth, and looked as if he was going to give up a base hit to Joseph, but Jackie Bradley Jr. flashed the leather to keep him off the base paths.
— Craig Kimbrel led the ninth off by surrendering a walk to Villar. The O’s shortstop stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice fly before scoring on a wild pitch to make it 7-3.
The hard-throwing righty hit Jones and gave up back-to-back walks to load the bases, prompting manager Alex Cora to come and get him.
— Robby Scott inherited a one-out, bases-loaded mess and gave up a ground-rule double to John Andreoli to make it 9-3. Steve Wilkerson capped the O’s onslaught with an RBI single to increase their lead to 10-3.
All four runs in the ninth charged to Kimbrel.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Boston got a run back in the first when Bradley and Brock Holt led off with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Rafael Devers walked to load the bases with one out. After Blake Swihart struck out, Brandon Phillips hit a ground ball to short but Villar booted it, allowing Bradley to score.
— In the fourth, Sam Travis singled before Tzu-Wei Lin roped a triple to right to tie the game at two.
— Down by one, Devers led the fifth inning off with a double and later scored on a Swihart single to make it 3-3.
— Bradley, Holt, Devers, Swihart, Travis and Lin accounted for Boston’s six hits.
— Steve Pearce, Phillips and Christian Vazquez went hitless.
TWEET OF THE GAME
It’s hard to get anything past the Brockstar.
The Red Sox will enjoy an off-day Thursday before welcoming the New York Yankees to Fenway Park for the final regular-season series. Rick Porcello will take the mound for Boston with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images