Red Sox

First impressions: Orioles 9, Red Sox 7


First impressions: Orioles 9, Red Sox 7

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 9-7 loss to the Orioles Monday in their home opener:

It goes without saying that this wasn't David Price's best outing, though really, most of the trouble was limited to a single inning.

In the third, a fit of wildness (walk, hit-by-pitch) got a big inning started for the Orioles, and the Baltimore lineup has people who will mash mistakes. Case in point: Mark Trumbo, who hammered a fat fastball over the Red Sox bullpen for a three-run homer.

A bigger (short-term) concern: Price hasn't been very efficient in his first two starts. He threw 103 pitches over six innings last week in Cleveland and needed 103 Monday to get through just five.

Maybe it's the lack of regular work in the first week, but Craig Kimbrel paid dearly for a lack of command.

The new Red Sox closer issued two walks -- one to the No. 9 hitter in the Orioles lineup -- and both came around to score when Chris Davis crushed a pitch into the center-field bleachers with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, breaking a 6-6 tie and giving Baltimore the victory.

Homers are going to happen, especially against a team like the Orioles. But a solo homer is far different than a three-run shot in the ninth.

Over the course of his career, Kimbrel has averaged 3.4 walks per nine inning, which is a bit high for a closer.

Matt Barnes had a far better spring, in part because he improved his curveball and seemed to understand that he can't get away with throwing his fastball -- hard as it is -- in fastball counts. Or right over the middle of the plate, for that matter.

He seemed to forget that Monday, allowing two hard-hit doubles to the first two hitters he faced -- J.J. Hardy and Jonathan Schoop -- in surrendering a run and enabling the Orioles to break a 5-5 tie.

In the early going, Hanley Ramirez continues to shine at first base.

He expertly dug a throw out of the dirt in the first inning, saving a poor throw from Xander Bogaerts. Later, he drifted back and made a nice over-the-shoulder catch near the line, then quickly fired the ball to third to prevent Manny Machado from tagging up at second.

Koji Uehara seems to have made the transition from closer to set-up man seamlessly.

Uehara retired the three hitters he faced quickly in the eighth. He's now faced 13 batters this season; he's retired 12 and walked one. Of the 48 pitches he's thrown, 33 have been strikes.

In an effort to get Chris Young involved as the Red Sox face a long stretch of right-handed starters, John Farrell may be overdoing it.

Monday marked the third time in the first six games that Farrell pinch-hit Young for Travis Shaw against a lefty reliever in the middle innings. Young has a double and two strikeouts in those instances.

But in doing so, Farrell has to move Brock Holt from left to third . . . and should he later pinch-hit Pablo Sandoval for Young, back to left again. Further, he ends up with Sandoval at third late in games, who, at this point, may be the third-best defensive third baseman on the roster.

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

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. 



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.

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“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.