Red Sox Wrap: Late-Inning Magic Helps Boston Sweep Orioles Out Of Fenway Park

How sweep it is

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Get out your brooms, the Red Sox completed the sweep of the Orioles on Sunday with a 8-6 win at Fenway Park.

Boston moved to 86-65 with the verdict while Baltimore dipped to 47-102.

Check out the full box score here.

ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
The Red Sox bullpen had been pretty solid over their last 35 2/3 innings pitched. The relievers allowed just two earned runs and amassed a 0.50 ERA over the last eight games, according to Red Sox Nation Stats. Things seemed to be trending the same way after Garrett Whitlock threw a scoreless sixth, but Hirokazu Sawamura couldn’t keep it going with three straight walks to load the bases with nobody out before Trey Mancini cleared the bags and allowed the Orioles to take a 6-5 lead.

Sawamura hasn’t looked the same since returning to the Red Sox after a stay on the COVID-19 related injury list. And while he ultimately go out of the inning without any further damage, he is proving he cannot be trusted in high-leverage situations. The Red Sox are in a tight race with the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees for the American League’s two Wild Card spots, and anything can happen in a one-game playoff — just like anything can happen when it comes to the AL’s worst team beating a team in postseason contention — you certainly don’t want to lose a one-game playoff because of walks.

What this means for Sawamura’s chances on the Red Sox’s postseason roster remains to be seen. Of course, Boston needs to get there first, but every game from here on out counts, and each member of the Red Sox needs to prove they deserve a spot on the roster. Even though at the end of the day the Red Sox emerged victorious, the lead never should have been relinquished in the first place.

STARS OF THE GAME
— Nate Eovaldi continued to make a case to be the Wild Card game starting pitcher should the Red Sox get there after the regular season. The right-hander struck out eight over five innings of work. He did allow seven hits and three earned runs, but he kept the walks to a minimum with just one.

It wasn’t an easy start for Eovaldi, but this was his seventh consecutive start of at least five innings. During that stretch he never gave up more than three runs.

— Hunter Renfroe cannot stop coming up clutch for the Red Sox and it’s a beautiful thing.

The outfielder, as he has done so many times this season, drove in the go-ahead run with a wall-ball double after Kiké Hernández doubled in José Igelsisas to tie it at 6-6 in the seventh inning.

— Hernández has looked good ever since recovering from COVID-19 and he continued that trend Sunday with a 2-for-3 day with two runs, a walk and two RBIs. As noted above, he helped tie the game with a clutch double in the seventh.

WAGER WATCH
If you were confident taking the over for Nate Eovaldi’s 7.5 strikeout prop (+135) on DraftKings Sportsbook, a $100 bet would have helped you walk away $135 richer.

ON DECK AT NESN
The Red Sox enjoy an off day Monday before welcoming the New York Mets to Fenway Park for a quick two-game series. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch it live on NESN.

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