Red Sox set to host Orioles ready to launch
The Boston Red Sox will look to build on the momentum of a key walk-off win when they welcome the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a four-game series Friday night.
The Red Sox will hand the ball to left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (0-2, 12.38 ERA) seeking their first winning streak of the season. Baltimore counters with righty David Hess (1-1, 2.70 ERA).
Boston scored two in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday to win 7-6 in a game where they trailed 5-0 in the third inning. Mitch Moreland knotted the score with an RBI double before Rafael Devers gave the Red Sox (4-9) their first home win with a bases-loaded single.
"There's still a lot more results to get," Moreland said. "It's a good win for us. We have to continue to fight. We're trying to win games, and teams are coming in, they know who they're playing. We've got to turn it around and fight and be ready to go every day."
Moreland had homered in the seventh - his fourth blast in his last five games - to make it 5-5, but Blue Jays shortstop Freddy Galvis hit a solo home run in the eighth to force the Red Sox to rally once more. Boston was put in that position early as yet another starting pitcher got roughed up.
Nathan Eovaldi, re-signed to a four-year, $68 million contract during the offseason, bumped his ERA up to 8.40 through three starts after allowing five runs on six hits and four walks in five innings. As a group, Boston's starters remain winless (0-8), with a league-worst 8.79 cumulative ERA.
"We know we're gonna pitch, but as far as stopping playing and all that, we never do that," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "Do we have to clean up a few things? Of course. We know it. But it's good to win a game and move forward."
Also looking to recover from a disappointing starting pitcher performance are the Orioles, who saw Dylan Bundy give up six runs, including a career-high-tying four homers allowed, between innings four through six in an 8-5 home loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday afternoon. Baltimore (5-8) has dropped three straight and seven of eight after winning four of its first five games.
A microcosm of the Orioles' struggles of late has been first baseman Chris Davis, who is in the midst of a record 53 at-bat hitless skid. Davis put good wood on the ball in his first plate appearance Thursday, but it ultimately settled into the glove of Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano for a lineout.
"It is what it is," said Davis. "The more I try to go out there and do, or the more I try to shoulder this all by myself, the harder it gets. I have to trust the process, I have to trust the work I'm putting in. At some point it's going to turn around."
The Orioles scored four runs in the seventh and put two runners on in the eighth to make it interesting against the Athletics but couldn't complete the comeback.
Friday marks the first of 19 meetings between the Red Sox and Orioles this season, and the four-game set will end with the annual early-morning Marathon Monday game to coincide with the Boston Marathon. First pitch for the contest is 11:05 a.m. ET. Red Sox ace Chris Sale was set to pitch that game but will instead be pushed back to Tuesday against the New York Yankees for extra rest.
-Field Level Media
Updated April 12, 2019