Red Sox

First impressions: Uehara controls eighth as Red Sox beat Orioles, 5-2


First impressions: Uehara controls eighth as Red Sox beat Orioles, 5-2

BALTIMORE -- First Impressions from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the Orioles:

* Mookie Betts isn't the only Red Sox hitter who likes to hit at Camden Yards.

Betts hit eight homers in his first seven games here this season, including three multi-homer games.

But David Ortiz is pretty accomplished here, too. He hit a three-run homer in the seventh to break the game open, turning a 2-1 Red Sox lead to a 5-1 edge.

The homer -- which didn't seem to be a no-doubter upon impact -- carried and carried its way into the first few rows of center field bleachers.

That represented Ortiz's sixth homer in his last nine games here and his 11th in his last 17.

Since 2015, Ortiz has hit 16 homers in 35 games at Camden Yards.

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* Koji Uehara has the eighth inning on lockdown again.

Pitching against his former team, Uehara was given the responsibility of pitching the eighth inning, charged with facing the Orioles' three most dangerous hitters - Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo.

Per usual, Uehara attacked the strike zone with a vengeance, getting weak contact from Davisd (flyout to left) and Machado (popup to short) before getting Trumbo to swing at strike three.

Uehara worked Trumbo expertly, mixing in diving split-fingers with elevated four-seamers.

He also needed just 12 pitches to record the three outs, making him a model of efficiency.

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* Marco Hernandez didn't have the best seventh inning.

Hernandez was filling in for Dustin Pedroia at second and had a rough time at the position.

Pedro Schoop led off by hitting a ball into the left field corner, with the ball caroming directly to outfielder Chris Young, who fired to second. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts moved out to the outfield for the cutoff and the Sox would have had Schoop out at second had Hernandez been at second to take the throw. But he wasn't there -- he had drifted out to shallow outfield grass, out of position.

Next came a hard line drive to third from Matt Wieters, which was caught by third baseman Travis Shaw. Shaw had a play at second on Schoop, who had wandered off the bag. But again, Hernandez wasn't in position to cover and take the throw.

Finally, pinch-hitter Hyun Soo Kim hit a slow roller just to the right of second base, but Hernandez, who was shifted toward first a bit, couldn't get to the ball as it roller into center for a base hit.

Granted, Hernandez doesn't have a lot of experience at second. But this was hardly his finest hour.

Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

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Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has returned to Fort Myers after spending the past three weeks in Boston, where his infant daughter Lydia has undergone multiple heart surgeries at Boston Children's Hospital.

On Monday, an emotional Kimbrel spoke to reporters in Florida, including The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman, about the ordeal after throwing a batting practice session.  

"We’ll be in and out of Boston Children’s Hospital the rest of her life but for this stay, hopefully, a couple more weeks," Kimbrel said. “She’s in the recovery process but life-threatening wise, she’s in a good place that I can be down here." 

Kimbrel said he and his wife Ashley "can't say enough about how amazing Boston Children's Hospital has been." 

"There's no denying it's been the toughest thing we've ever been through," Kimbrel said.  

"In the last week, her recovery has been unbelievable and she's showing great signs and we're very blessed and we want to thank the Red Sox and Alex [Cora] for understanding they've been through this and working with us," Kimbrel said. 

He said Lydia, born in November, will need another surgery when she's around 3 or 4 years old to help ensure normal development. 

"It's been tough, I can say that. We're definitely, me and my wife, we've had each other and we've had our family, we've had a great support. Everyone is sending out prayers that have definitely been heard. Now, I'm back down here. The other day I threw a live BP up at Babson [College in Wellesley, Mass.], and me and her got to talking and seeing where Lydia is, and how she's progressed, she's in a good, comfortable place for me to be down here. If she wasn't, I wouldn't be here.

"My family comes first and then baseball comes. I have to thank the Red Sox for letting me be there with my family and then helping me continue to prepare while I was at home. Stepping away for a few hours was definitely a release. It did help to get in the weight room. It did help to throw the ball. But that's not going to take away the emotions we went through in the hospital."

Kimbrel said he and his wife talked about how fortunate they were to be in Boston and its world-class healthcare facilities. 

"We believe that everything in life happens for a reason, even if we don't understand it at the time," he said. "There's a lesson to be learned and something to be shared through every step you go through in life. As difficult as this is, and I know it will take time, hopefully, this experience and everything we've been through, we can share that with others, try to impact someone else's life. Because I know for a fact my daughter's going to be able to do that one day."



Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

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Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”