After an encouraging 13-2 win on Opening Day, the Red Sox dropped 2 straight against the Orioles, losing the series.
Their losses were primarily a result of pitching struggles. After Nathan Eovaldi’s strong start on Friday, Martin Perez gave up 5 runs in 5 innings on Saturday as the Sox fell 7-2. Boston’s only runs that day came from a solo shot by Mitch Moreland and a few base hits that followed. Alex Verdugo did go 3 for 4 in his debut, and J.D. Martinez and JBJ also hit well. But it just wasn’t enough as Perez struggled and Orioles veteran starter Alex Cobb looked like his old self, shutting down most of the Sox lineup in the first 5 innings.
The Sox lineup showed more signs of life on Sunday. But the team couldn’t score enough to recover from the struggles of starter Ryan Weber, who gave up 6 runs in 4 innings.
In the 1st inning, Rio Ruiz hit his 2nd homer of the year off of Weber, a 2 run shot that went all the way to the Orioles bullpen. Christian Vazquez responded in the bottom of the 2nd by crushing one over the monster. In the 3rd, it was a Jose Iglesias double that drove in a run for Baltimore. Iglesias went 4 for 5 on the day after giving Red Sox pitchers a hard time throughout the series. In the 4th, Weber gave up a handful of hits and walks. A run was driven in on a sac fly by Austin Hays, and that was followed by a 2 run homer into right by Anthony Santander.
The Sox started to climb their way back into the game in the 5th and 6th. Kevin Pillar hit another solo shot over the monster in the 5th. In the 6th, JBJ started things off with a base hit and advanced to third on a Rafael Devers double. Bogaerts drove in both of them with a single, his only hit of the day. He nearly hit an opposite field homer earlier in the game, but it was just short.
The Red Sox ended up losing Sunday’s game 7-4. They are now 1-2 after the series with Baltimore. Losing a three game series to one of the league’s worst teams at Fenway is not an encouraging sign for the Red Sox. This series will mean more than usual, as this series counts for almost 6 losses in my MLB PACE Standings. But the team will have a chance to rebound in a home and home series against the Mets.
With Eduardo Rodriguez hurt, the Sox plan to use Josh Osich as an opener today at Fenway, while the Mets will start Michael Wacha. Tomorrow at Fenway, both teams will have a starting pitching dilemma as the Mets are without Marcus Stroman and the Sox lack starting pitching depth.
Wednesday and Thursday’s games will take place at Citi Field. Nathan Eovaldi and Jacob deGrom take the mound on Wednesday, followed by Martin Perez and Steven Matz on Thursday. How many games can Boston win against the Mets? Will they be unable to rebound if they struggle in this series? Will the season even continue, as two of today’s games (Yankees-Phillies and Orioles-Marlins) are canceled due to a Marlins COVID outbreak? This next week could be very telling for the fate of the MLB season and the fate of the Red Sox if the season continues.