Boston, MA– In the eleven-game road trip that the Boston Red Sox endured at the beginning of this 2019 MLB season, they played three series (against the Seattle Mariners, the Oakland Athletics, and the Arizona Diamondbacks) and only won one game in each of them. It was tough to get any sort of momentum going as the Red Sox would take one step forward and three steps back, following this pattern all the way to the league's worst run differential and last place in the American League East.
Now, though, thanks to a potential big momentum shift in a come from behind, walk-off, 7-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at home and a date with one of the league's historically worst teams ever, the Red Sox are finally starting to find their footing.
On Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles, Boston finally held onto a lead they developed from the outset of the game. They went up 3-0 by the end of the fourth inning, thanks to Andrew Benintendi's first home run of the season and RBI hits by Xander Bogaerts and Eduardo Nunez to score Red Sox MVP Mitch Moreland and Bogaerts, respectively. The Orioles brought the game close a couple times, but the Red Sox never lost their lead and won 6-4 after the team played small ball to plate their last three runs. Christian Vazquez scored on a wild pitch, J.D. Martinez scored on an infield single from Nunez, and Bogaerts scored thanks to a sacrifice fly by Jackie Bradley, Jr. to make the game 6-4 by the end.
It was also Bradley's glove that helped keep the Red Sox in the driver's seat of the game. A diving catch that was later followed up by a wall-climbing catch in center field took away some potentially big hits for the Orioles. Also making an impressive defensive effort was Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound, who pulled off what was arguably the best start by a Boston pitcher all season as he went 6.2 innings and allowed just two runs to go with his eight strikeouts.
It was a big win for the Red Sox that puts them at 5-9 on the season now, and shockingly, in third place in the AL East with just a half game back of the New York Yankees in second. They are six games back, however, of the runaway first place Tampa Bay Rays. The chipping away process continues today against the Orioles once more!