The 2018 Red Sox situated themselves in the franchise record books Monday night.
Boston dispatched the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 at Fenway Park in the series opener of a three-game set, and in doing so set the franchise record for wins in a season at 106.
And beyond how the win cements them in franchise folklore, the Red Sox also secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs with the victory.
Nathan Eovaldi looked sharp in his five innings of work, striking out 10 while allowing just one run. Mookie Betts, meanwhile, hit his 32nd homer of the season in the victory.
With the win, the Red Sox climbed to 106-51, while the Orioles fell to 45-111.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
This team has been fun to watch all season, and now Sox squads after them will be chasing their historic record.
ON THE BUMP
— Eovaldi continued his recent run of success with a solid outing, as he upped his record on the season to 6-7. The hard-throwing righty allowed one run on four hits over five innings, striking out 10 while not giving up a walk.
After allowing a little bit of traffic on the bases in the first two innings, Eovaldi tossed 1-2-3 frames in the third and fourth.
In the fifth, Eovaldi got into his first bit of trouble. The right-hander allowed two singles to begin the frame, with the latter putting runners on the corners. The 28-year-old then uncorked a wild pitch, which allowed a run to score to cut Boston’s advantage to 6-1. Eovaldi buckled down nicely in response, however, striking out the next three batters to end the frame — and ultimately his night — stranding a runner on second.
— Eduardo Rodriguez took over in the sixth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning. He returned for the seventh and allowed a hit in a scoreless frame. The southpaw finished his two innings of work with two strikeouts.
— Joe Kelly got one out in the eighth inning, but was pulled upon loading the bases via a base hit and two walks.
— Ryan Brasier took over with the bases juiced and one out in the eighth and gave up a sacrifice fly to Adam Jones, trimming Boston’s advantage to 6-2. He then picked off Jonathan Villar at first to end the frame. The run Baltimore scored was charged to Kelly.
— Matt Barnes closed the door with a scoreless ninth, allowing one hit.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox got on the board first, going on an offensive tear in the second inning.
Steve Pearce smacked a one-out double down the left-field line to get things going, then scored the next at-bat when Brock Holt drilled a two-bagger of his own off the Green Monster, making it 1-0. Christian Vazquez then plated Holt with a single to double the lead.
With two outs in the frame, Betts blasted a two-run shot to make it 4-0.
— Boston continued to do damage in the fourth.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Betts began the frame with singles, with Andrew Benintendi driving in Bradley with a single to make it 5-0. After J.D. Martinez walked to load the bases, Xander Bogaerts hit a single to left, keeping the bases loaded with no outs and extending the lead to 6-0.
That was as far as the Sox would get, with Rafael Devers grounding into a double play and Pearce flying out.
— Betts, Benintendi and Bogaerts led the Sox with two hits apiece.
— Pearce, Holt, Vazquez and Bradley all had one hit.
— Martinez and Devers went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Nothing better (until October gets here).
The Red Sox and Orioles will meet for the middle contest of their three-game set Tuesday night. Boston will send David Price to the mound, with first pitch from Fenway Park scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images