Red Sox

Killer P's: Pomeranz, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-1 rout of Orioles

Killer P's: Pomeranz, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-1 rout of Orioles

BOSTON - After a stint on the disabled list before even throwing a pitch this season, Drew Pomeranz made his season debut a memorable one.

Pomeranz struck out six and allowed just one run in six innings for the Red Sox, who tagged Baltimore for 15 hits while beating the Orioles 8-1 on Tuesday night.

"I felt like I waited forever to get that first start in," said Pomeranz, who opened the season on the DL with a strained left forearm.

"Things clicked in warmups today and I just felt really good out there. I took that to the mound and just tried to hold out there for as long as I could."

Pomeranz exceeded all expectations with the way he threw and how long he stayed out there for the Red Sox. He had a shutout going through six innings and held the Orioles to four hits before getting pulled in the seventh with Boston hanging on to a 2-1 lead.

Pomeranz's teammates delivered some extra offense late to turn the game into a rout, which was fine with Pomeranz as he got his first win in Fenway Park.

"I was letting it fly out there a little bit. I was trying to be aggressive," Pomeranz said. "It didn't matter if I was throwing 90 like I was at the end or 95. It was still coming out how it needed to come out."

Dustin Pedroia drove in four runs, including two on a bases-loaded single in the seventh, and Christian Vazquez capped off a 4-for-4 game with a two-run triple in the eighth.

Boston put together back-to-back three-run innings in the seventh and eighth to blow open what had been a close game.

"I thought we did a great job with the aggressiveness on the basepaths. We bunched a number of hits together late," Boston manager John Farrell aid.

Pablo Sandoval had a sacrifice fly in the second and Pedroia had one in the fifth off Dylan Bundy (1-1), who was also strong through the first six innings. Bundy pitched 6 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits.

Bundy was pulled after walking Sandoval with one out and Boston up only 2-1. The Red Sox caught a break when shortstop J.J. Hardy botched a grounder that could have started a double play and get the Orioles out of the threat.

"It's just one of those nights where a lot of things fell their way," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.

Instead, Chris Young reached and Vazquez followed with a single to load the bases. Pedroia blooped a single just out of Jonathan Schoop's reach in shallow right to drive in two, then Andrew Benintendi added an RBI single to make it 5-1.

"It just turned into ugly baseball after I didn't make that double play," Hardy said.

Chris Davis scored Baltimore's only run, leading off the seventh with a single and scoring later on a fielder's choice.



Pomeranz showed no lingering effects from the strain that delayed his first start of the season. He was good early and got stronger as the game continued.

Adam Jones' one-out double in the sixth was just the third hit for the Orioles and ended a run of 12 straight outs for Pomeranz, who preserved the shutout by getting Manny Machado on a pop out to first and Mark Trumbo's fly ball to right. Jones was the first baserunner for the Orioles since the second inning.

"I thought he settled into a good rhythm," Farrell said. "I'm sure there was quite a bit of adrenaline which would be expected for the first start of a season, but he was able to stay in his delivery very good."



Hardy said Young's grounder appeared to be the start of a routine double play before he bobbled the ball and Boston loaded the bases. He credited reliever Darren O'Day with getting the ground ball the Orioles were looking for to keep the game close.

"When you get the ground ball that you're looking for to end the inning and it doesn't happen, I think it's very deflating," Hardy said. "It just kind of unraveled. It all started with that routine double play."



Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (right shoulder bursitis) pitched two innings in extended spring game Tuesday in Sarasota, Fla. ... Manager Buck Showalter said some of his players are battling through the bug that has been making its way around the majors. "I know we've got a lot of guys that aren't 100 percent with it, but so do a lot of clubs," Showalter said. "So nobody really wants to hear somebody else complain about it. Our guys have done a good job not broadcasting it to the world."

Red Sox: Placed CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (right knee sprain) on the 10-day DL retroactive to April 9. Bradley worked out Tuesday and said he felt great, but will let the knee recover fully before returning to the lineup. "Whenever it's ready. I am not going to rush it. I just want to make sure I am able to make all the same powerful moves I made before with no hesitation." ... SS Xander Bogaerts returned from the bereavement list after missing four games.



Orioles: Send RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (0-0, 10.38 ERA) out for his second start as Baltimore wraps up its two-day visit to Boston.

Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (0-0, 5.40) is coming off a no-decision in his season debut last week in Detroit. Wright allowed four runs and seven hits, striking out four and walking three over 6 2-3 innings Friday against the Tigers.

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

MORE - Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.


Red Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

Red Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

Blake Swihart’s strong spring seems to have the Red Sox more inclined to deal one of their natural utility infielders, such as Brock Holt or Deven Marrero, rather than Swihart, a converted catcher with high upside who's getting a look in other roles.
"Sounds like they’re holding Swihart to open," a rival executive said. "More likely to move a utility guy."
A true utility guy, that is.


The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported Sunday that Marrero has been drawing interest from other teams.

"We do have depth with our middle infielders," Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday. "However, [I] would not get into potential trade discussions."
Swihart, who turns 26 on April 3, is most valuable as a catcher. But he could still be useful in a bench role for the 2018 Red Sox, and a win-now mentality may be the driving force here. (It is possible, as well, that there is nothing available via trade for Swihart that has piqued the Sox’ interest. Marrero or Holt wouldn’t require as much in return.)
The potential drawback is that Swihart won’t grow much if he’s not playing every day -- and in particular, if he's not catching every day. But the Sox may be be at a juncture where they feel his bat is a worthwhile experiment off the bench, at least for this season. They can figure out his future -- and their future at backstop -- later.
"He’s a great athlete," Cora told reporters on Sunday. "We’ve seen it in the batter’s box. It’s not only the results, but the way he’s driving the ball to left field as a left-hander, the quality of at-bats as a right-hander. [On Saturday], as a pinch-hitter, that kid was throwing 99 and he throws a breaking ball and squares a ball up."
Swihart entered Monday with a .283 average in Grapefruit League play, with a .905 OPS and a pair of home runs. But he does not have the infield experience that Marrero or Holt has, and the Red Sox essentially have to carry one of those two to start the year. 
Eduardo Nunez, the temporary replacement for Dustin Pedroia, is coming off a knee injury, and a sure-handed infielder -- Marrero’s glove is particularly good -- is a must. Rafael Devers is still coming into his own at third base. 
Tzu-Wei Lin is available in the minors too, and the Sox could see some redundancy with him, Holt and Marrero. Lin, unlike Marrero, has minor league options remaining. Lin also has some limited outfield experience.
The way the Sox roster looks now, they have two spots available for the three guys: Marrero, Holt and Swihart. Health can change that. Holt, despite being the most veteran of the group, has minor league options remaining, so he theoretically could go to Triple-A to start the season. But if the Sox don't see a role for him on this year's team any way, they'd be wiser trading him, considering he's due to make $2.225 million. It also would be kindest choice for Holt, to let him have an opportunity elsewhere, if one exists.


Swihart has played first base, third base and left field in addition to catching this spring. Perhaps, in time, there will be a way to work Swihart in behind the plate for the Sox. At the least, retaining him would be insurance if Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon do not perform well offensively.
There was a clear personal-catcher system for the Red Sox in 2017. Leon was Chris Sale’s guy, for example. Manager Alex Cora said he is not taking that approach. As an auxiliary effect, moving away from a personal-catcher system might make it easier for Swihart to receive more time behind the plate, if called on.
"Whoever I feel comfortable with that day behind the plate, he'll catch," Cora told reporters in Florida. "Christian already caught him. Sandy's going to catch him today. And then the next turn, Christian's going to catch him. Everybody's going to work with everybody."