The Boston Red Sox got their weekend started exactly the way they had to.
With little to no wiggle room in the American League wild card race, Boston kicked off a three-game set against the last-place Baltimore Orioles with a decisive 9-1 victory Friday night at Fenway Park.
Rick Porcello, who has been anything but consistent, put forth one of his better efforts while Boston bats stayed hot and got on O’s starter Aaron Brooks. Porcello picked up his 11th win of the season.
The Red Sox moved to 65-59 with the win while the Orioles now are 39-83 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Not too much to complain about in this one.
ON THE BUMP
— Porcello got the start he needed, going six innings while allowing just one run over four hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
It’s been an incredibly rocky season for the righty, but he was rather efficient on Friday, keeping the ball in the ballpark and finding a good amount of success with his offspeed pitches against the O’s.
He retired eight straight after allowing a leadoff single in the first, but a Trey Mancini double made it 1-1 in the third. He canceled out a walk in the sixth with an inning-ending double play to end his evening. He finished with 84 pitches.
— Josh Taylor tossed a 1-2-3 seventh.
— Travis Lakins allowed a hit and a walk, but escaped to throw a scoreless eighth and returned to close things out in the ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Boston was on the board in a flash.
Mookie Betts led things off in the first with a double and was singled home by Rafael Devers for an early 1-0 lead.
— After a one-out double from J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland clubbed back-to-back triples give the Sox a 3-1 lead in the fourth.
— The Sox busted things open a bit in the sixth thanks to a clutch decision by Alex Cora.
Benintendi singled to put runners on first and second, leading to a Christian Vazquez sacrifice bunt. Sam Travis then was intentionally walked by lefty reliever Richard Bleier. Cora opted pull lefty Marco Hernandez for Chris Owings, who laced a two-run double down the left field line to make it 5-1.
Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a sac fly to make it 6-1.
— Martinez picked up another RBI in the seventh on a sacrifice fly, then Andrew Benintendi followed with an RBI double to make it 8-1.
— Betts added more insurance with a solo shot in the ninth.
— Benintendi finished 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Devers was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Betts also had two hits.
TWEET OF THE DAY
We stan, as well.
The Sox will continue their three-game stand against the Orioles on Saturday. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. Eduardo Rodriguez (13–5, 4.31 ERA) is slated to take on RHP Asher Wojciechowski (2–5, 4.84 ERA).