Red Sox Notes: Boston Looking To Reset After Rough Road Trip

The Red Sox have played poorly against the AL East

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May 1

An off day, Fenway Park and an opponent outside the American League East are all welcomed sights for the Boston Red Sox.

Boston capped a 10-game road trip Sunday with a 9-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards and finished the stretch 3-7. The Red Sox haven’t played well against their AL East counterparts, either, this season. Boston, who just played 13 straight games against divisional foes, hasn’t won any of its five series against members of the AL East.

The Red Sox now look to regroup, as after playing 17 games in as many days, the team will get a sorely needed day off before hosting the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game set.

“(It’s) a tough road trip,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “You have to be genuine and transparent with them. They know it. There’s no rah-rah speeches here. Everybody knows our record, everybody knows what we went through. Like I’ve been saying it’s not that far from turning it around. … At the end of the day you get paid to win games and we haven’t done that so far this season.”

Getting away from the diamond might just be the right antidote at the moment for the struggling Sox, who slipped to 9-14 and are only a half game ahead of the bottom dwelling Orioles in the AL East.

“I think the off day is going to be really important,” Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta said, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “Guys just kind of reset, get back with their families, get away from baseball and come back recharged for the Angels. I think that’s just what we have to do. All teams go through stretches like this.”

The Red Sox still haven’t broken out of their offensive slump yet, even though Boston scored four runs in the ninth inning. Stranding runners on base was the issue Sunday as the Red Sox produced 11 hits but left 10 runners on base, including six in scoring position.

Getting the offense going could cure a lot of the Red Sox’s woes and get Boston back on track in the month of May.

“They need CPR, the bats,” Red Sox catcher Christian Vázquez said, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “We need to figure it out quick. We have a great team and everybody knows that the Red Sox are dangerous when they get hot.”

Here are some more notes from Red Sox-Orioles:

— J.D. Martinez had missed seven of the previous 10 games due to adductor tightness before making his return to lineup Sunday. Martinez went 3-for-5 in the loss, with one of those hits being an opposite field grand slam coming in the ninth inning.

— Nick Pivetta, who has struggled early this season, didn’t surrender a run through the first four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth. Pivetta allowed three straight hits to begin the stanza as Boston’s 1-0 lead evaporated.

Pivetta pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up six hits, three runs while striking out five. Pivetta is now 0-4 on the year with a 7.84 earned run average.

“I felt good,” Pivetta said. “It just came down to three hits: single, single, double and that’s pretty much how it went. Wasn’t able to make those pitches late. It’s unfortunate, but just have to keep going through.”

— Base stealers should certainly take notice of Vázquez’s arm strength. Vázquez threw out two more runners in the loss, including the speedy Cedric Mullins. Vázquez leads the MLB with six runners caught stealing and has thrown out half the runners attempting to steal on him this season, according to Red Sox senior manager of media relations and baseball information J.P. Long.

It wasn’t a blemish free game for Vázquez, though. On second base with two outs in the top of the second, Vázquez didn’t run on contact on a single by Jaylin Davis to center and due to the Vázquez retreating back to the bag at first, he didn’t score on the play.

“I thought there was one out,” Vázquez said. “So, I got back. That’s on me.”

— The Red Sox turned to catcher Kevin Plawecki to pitch in the ninth inning. Plawecki pitched a scoreless frame and was used with Boston trailing, 9-1, at the time. The Sox also endured a long rain delay, which led Cora to put Plawecki in an unusual position for him.

— Boston reportedly made a roster move following the contest, sending Phillips Valdez and Jaylin Davis down to Triple-A Worcester, per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo.

Boston Red Sox Relief Pitcher Phillips Valdez
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