Price, Bogaerts Lead Red Sox Over Orioles Sunday
BY KEN POWTAK
BOSTON (AP) — The big foursome leading Boston’s starting rotation had struggled badly this season.
David Price took care of that with a masterful outing.
Price pitched seven stellar innings with seven strikeouts, Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer and drove in every run, and the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-0 on Sunday.
Price, Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi entered Sunday 0-7 with an 8.43 ERA in 11 starts.
With the starters unable to go deep into games, the Red Sox bullpen has pitched a lot of innings.
“Excellent,” Boston manager Alex Cora said of the performance. “Everybody knew where were pitching-wise today, for him to go seven and give the ball to those last two guys was very important for us.”
Price (1-1) had easily the best outing from that quartet this season, mixing his mid-90s fastball with a sharp changeup and cutter to allow just three hits without issuing a walk.
“I knew the situation,” Price said. “You’ve got to eat up as many innings as possible. I was able to put up zeros today, so that was big for us.”
The teams wrap up their four-game series with Boston’s traditional Patriots’ Day morning game Monday, with first pitch set for 11:05 a.m. The Red Sox are scheduled to play on the holiday for the 60th consecutive year.
Baltimore’s Chris Davis went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts a day after ending his record 0-for-54 stretch.
Ryan Brasier escaped a jam in the eighth, and Matt Barnes worked the ninth, closing out the combined five-hitter.
Bogaerts hit his shot off reliever Josh Lucas into the center field seats in the eighth.
John Means (1-2) gave up a run and four hits in five innings, striking out three and walking one in just his second big league start. He made his first career appearance in Fenway Park last Sept. 26, allowing five runs over 3 1/3 innings. He’s been bouncing between the rotation and bullpen this season.
“I just want that role of being able to do whatever they ask me to do and I come to the field ready to go at all times,” he said. “I do like starting. It’s what I’ve always done. So, yeah, I’m just very comfortable.”
The 25-year-old lefty wiggled out of what could have been a tough fourth when he gave up the run.
Steve Pearce had a leadoff single and advanced to third on J.D. Martinez’s double. Pearce scored on Bogaerts’ fly before Martinez was cut down at the plate on Dustin Pedroia’s grounder. Rafael Devers bounced out to end the inning.
Baltimore pitching coach Doug Brocail, in the third base dugout, was ejected by first base umpire Stu Scheurwater. It was Brocail’s ninth career ejection, six coming as a player.
Orioles: Manager Brandon Hyde said OF Dwight Smith Jr.’s right leg was “a little sore.” Smith was scratched about an hour before the game, prompting the shifting of four spots in the batting order. He flew out to center pinch hitting with two on, ending the eighth.
“In BP, just his leg, his quad was a little tight, and I just thought it was the right thing to do to give him a breather, and he’ll be back in there tomorrow,” Hyde said.
Red Sox: LF Andrew Benintendi left with a bruised right foot after fouling a pitch off it. He originally had the day off but was in the lineup when CF Jackie Bradley Jr. was scratched with the flu. Benintendi said after that he doesn’t see it “being anything super serious.” … Cora inserted Pedroia in the DH slot to avoid playing him consecutive days at second base. Pedroia played just three games last season because of a knee injury.
Shortly after Tiger Woods won the Masters, the Red Sox put a video of his final putt with Survivor’s song ‘Eye of the Tiger’ playing in the background in the middle of the fifth inning.
The crowd cheered.
A message read: “Tiger Woods 2019 Masters Champion.”
“Good job, Tiger.” Price said. “That’s awesome. For him to endure everything he’s been through and get on top and win anther Masters, we’re all pumped for him.”
MASTERING THE O’S
Price improved to 16-5 with a 2.65 ERA in his career against the Orioles, winning his eighth straight start against them.
The Red Sox have beaten Baltimore 21 of the last 25 meetings.
Baltimore RHP Dan Straily (0-1, 19.29 ERA) is slated to face RHP Hector Velázquez (0-0, 2.79) in the series finale Monday.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports