Orioles righty Dylan Bundy either missed badly, or did a better job of placing a retaliation pitch than Matt Barnes.
Mookie Betts was hit in the front hip by a Bundy fastball in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday night at Fenway Park, opening the door to further drama between the Red Sox and O's. Monday was the first of a four-game set.
In a four-pitch at-bat, Bundy missed badly inside on the second pitch before hitting Betts on the fourth pitch, a 94.5 mph fastball.
The score was only 2-0 Orioles, a close game where retaliation in the heart of the Sox order isn’t ideal for the Orioles’ chances of winning. There was one out and no one on and the Sox, cold at the plate on a cold night behind Rick Porcello, had just two hits.
Bundy had walked four batters to that point, adding to the possibility he just lost his handle on the pitch. But either way, intent might not matter for the Sox. The bottom line is the Orioles hit the Sox’ best player, and the question is whether the Sox see that as something that now demands another tit-for-tat episode.
Bundy has not hit anyone else this season in 38 innings pitched up until that at-bat. He hit six batters in 109 2/3 innings last year.
Players for both teams before the game said Manny Machado's spiking of Dustin Pedroia and Barnes' subsequently terrible attempt at retaliation was in the past. (LINK:http://www.csnne.com/boston-red-sox/orioles-britton-red-sox-dustup-i-think-we-turned-page-and-we-moved)
New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third.
Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.
In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three.
Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies.
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.