The Boston Red Sox needed contributions from everyone if they were going to come back and beat the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.
After a shaky outing from starter Doug Fister, the Red Sox found themselves in an early five-run hole at Camden Yards. But thanks to timely hitting and a strong performance from the bullpen, Boston rallied to notch a 10-8 win in 11 innings over its American League East rival.
The Sox’s stars delivered when they needed it most. Mookie Betts smoked a three-RBI double in the fifth, Xander Bogaerts blasted a game-tying solo homer in the seventh and Andrew Benintendi delivered the go-ahead runs with a two-RBI single in the 11th. And while all three players, obviously, factored into the big win, Boston’s unsung heroes also deserve a load of credit.
Brandon Workman was stellar in relief, tossing 1 1/3 scoreless innings to keep the game close. Addison Reed managed to battle through a shaky eighth inning in which he allowed two runners to reach base. And Carson Smith, who the team has been trying to ease back into action, pitched a perfect 11th inning to lock down the comeback win.
After the game, Red Sox manager John Farrell praised his team’s bullpen for a great performance against a tough Orioles lineup.
“The bullpen was outstanding,” Farrell said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “From Joe Kelly, to Robby Scott. The inning that Addison Reed pitched, after a leadoff guy gets to second base, that’s the determination and the competitiveness inside of him. And then we get a couple outs on the bases with Sandy (Leon) gunning down (Craig) Gentry which was a key out. Great to see Carson Smith throw the baseball like he did (Monday night). Power stuff, great late action.”
Outside of the stellar relief pitching, Boston also received a number of great at-bats from role players, including Tzu-Wei Lin. With two outs and two runners on in the 11th, the 23-year-old drew an eight-pitch walk to load the bases. After the game, Benintendi acknowledged just how critical Lin’s at-bat was.
“Lin, that’s probably the biggest at-bat of the night,” Benintendi said. “He put together a good at-bat against a guy that’s throwing close to 100 with good offspeed. It’s a team win, everyone did their part and it’s a good win.”
The Red Sox surely will take a win any way they can get one, but a victory in which everyone up and down the roster played a part has to feel good as playoff baseball looms.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Orioles.
— Dustin Pedroia was forced to leave the game in the fourth inning after fouling a ball off of his face. After the game, Farrell provided an update on the veteran second baseman.
“He’s sore,” Farrell said. “He was bleeding pretty good, and that got him flush right square in the nose. By the end of the game, he was back in the dugout. We’ll see where he’s at when he comes in tomorrow.”
— The Red Sox now are 14-3 in extra-innings games this season.
— Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Orioles were eliminated from the AL East with Boston’s win.
— The Red Sox’s magic number to win the division is 10, while its magic number to clinch a playoff berth is five.
Thumbnail photo via Patrick McDermott/USA TODAY Sports Images