J.D. Martinez

The Baseball Show Podcast: Red Sox-Yankees brawl, new hitting approach, David Price's problems

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The Baseball Show Podcast: Red Sox-Yankees brawl, new hitting approach, David Price's problems

0:54 - Evan Drellich and Lou Merloni discuss what the number 1 reason is why the Red Sox are off to a red-hot start and talk about the new offensive approach from the hitters.

4:54 - Drellich and Merloni recap the brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees that took place at Fenway Park over the week and, if and when the Yankees will retaliate.

9:20 - The guys talk about how JD Martinez started showing what he can do on this 9-game homestand and what happened with David Price’s handed in the cold, and if that is something that could affect him in the future.

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Red Sox off to best start in 118-year history; beat Orioles, 10-3

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Red Sox off to best start in 118-year history; beat Orioles, 10-3

BOSTON -- Red Sox rookie manager Alex Cora cracked a smile when asked how he felt when he learned it was the best start in team history.

"I just heard it for the first time," Cora said after Boston beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-3 on Saturday to get to 12-2.

In 118 years, the Red Sox had never reached 10 games over .500 that soon. Only once - in 1918 - had Boston started 11-2.

"I've been saying it for a while - we've been playing good baseball for a while, regardless of spring training," Cora said. "We're playing clean and fast and pitching. We're proud of what they're doing."

Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs, Andrew Benintendi had a two-run single and an RBI double, and J.D. Martinez homered for the Red Sox.

"Our offense is doing what it's doing, and our pitching and our defense is consistent. We're dangerous," Benintendi said.

Alex Cobb (0-1) was roughed up in his Orioles debut, giving up eight runs - seven earned - in 3 2/3 innings. He signed a $57-million, 4-year deal as a free agent on March 21 after spending all 11 years of his professional career in Tampa Bay's organization.

"Just a little rusty," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Physically, he's in good shape. He's only going to get better. Tough conditions and a really good-hitting club swinging the bat well right now."

Pedro Alvarez had a two-run homer for Baltimore, which has lost four of five.

Cobb felt he was ready and gave credit to Boston's hitters.

"We did all we could do," he said. "There is no replicating this. This is the best team in the world hitting right now, and you're never going to get ready for that."

Hector Velazquez (2-0) gave up two runs in five innings. Marcus Walden pitched the final three innings for his first big-league save.

The Red Sox started fast as they've done frequently this season. They scored three in the first before making an out.

Mookie Betts opened with a walk and raced around to score on Benintendi's double off the Green Monster, sliding ahead of a relay throw.

Ramirez then followed with his homer into the Monster seats, making it 3-0.

Martinez homered into Baltimore's bullpen in the third.

Boston broke it open and chased Cobb with four more, making it 8-0 in the fourth. Benintendi hit his two-run single. Ramirez added an RBI double and scored on shortstop Manny Machando's throwing error - his second of the game.

"We're doing everything right and having fun," Ramirez said.


Orioles: 2B Jonathan Schoop was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. Showalter said it happened on his last at-bat in Friday's loss. "If you look at it, it was a little awkward," he said. ... Showalter also said OF Colby Rasmus (strained left hip flexor) likely won't be ready to come off the DL when he's eligible this week.

Red Sox: Betts bruised his left foot in a collision with catcher Chance Sisco's left shin guard when he scored in the first. He came out a few innings later. The team said X-rays were negative, but Cora said Betts will likely have Sunday off. ... Cora also said LHP Drew Pomeranz, recovering from a strained left forearm flexor since spring training, felt good after his second rehab start on Friday and could return to the rotation Thursday or Friday.


Ramirez was back in the lineup after missing Friday's game with a bruised right wrist from getting hit by a pitch a night earlier.

"He actually beat me to the ballpark. That's a good sign," Cora joked.


Jackie Bradley Jr. usually is Boston's center fielder. When Betts got hurt, he moved to right and made a headlong diving grab on Adam Jones' liner.

"Just saw it was pretty low and the only way I was going to catch it was if I left my feet," he said.


The Red Sox have scored six or more runs in six straight games.

"We've got a lot of sluggers in that lineup," Cora said.


Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (0-1, 1.35 ERA) is set to pitch Sunday. He's given up just three earned runs in his first three starts, but Baltimore has scored only five total on the days he's pitched.

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (1-0, 1.06) looks to continue to his strong start, having allowed only two runs in 17 innings.


Bogaerts' grand slam, 6 RBI power Red Sox

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Bogaerts' grand slam, 6 RBI power Red Sox

BOSTON -- Xander Bogaerts kept up his powerful start that's helped the Boston Red Sox get off on a fast run.

On Saturday, a few more bats in the lineup joined in, too.

Bogaerts hit the first grand slam by a Boston player since the end of the 2016 season and drove in a career-best six runs to carry the Red Sox to a 10-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays for their seventh straight victory.


"He's been an unbelievable hitter every year," winning pitcher Rick Porcello said. "Now he's doing it with power. He's a big threat at the plate. He always had that ability."

In addition to his slam, Bogaerts drove in two runs with his seventh double in eight games.

J.D. Martinez hit his first home run since signing a $110 million, five-year contract during spring training as a free agent. Rafael Devers also connected.

This is just the second time in franchise history that the Red Sox have lost their season opener and won the next seven. The other came in 1904 when Boston captured the AL pennant.

"We've been on and off. We know we're a good offensive team," new manager Alex Cora said.

"We can do that often. We feel we have a good offensive team. It's just a matter of time," he said.

The Rays have lost seven straight and are off to their worst start ever after rallying for a win at home over the Red Sox on opening day.

"Nobody's happy we're 1-7," manager Kevin Cash said.

Tampa Bay infielder Daniel Robertson pitched a perfect eighth with a two flyouts and a popup, throwing seven strikes in 11 pitches.

Porcello (2-0) gave up three runs and six hits, striking out seven without allowing a walk over 7 1/3 innings. He retired 20 of 21 batters - and 17 in a row - after giving up two runs in the first.

Bogaerts' two-run double helped erase a 2-0 deficit during a four-run first. In the second, his second career slam completely left Fenway Park over the Green Monster and came after Jake Faria (0-1) walked the bases full to make it 8-2.

"I really don't think he wanted to throw me an offspeed (pitch) right there," Bogaerts said. "I think the cold may have bothered him a little. I think he was a little bit erratic."

Faria gave up a career-high eight runs while getting just five outs. He only threw 34 strikes in 73 pitches.

"It's frustrating, it's embarrassing," he said. "I'm in the big leagues and I can't throw strikes to anybody."


Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier was out of the lineup because he was sick.

Red Sox: Cora said LHP Drew Pomeranz (strained left forearm flexor) was going to make a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday and is planned to go five or six innings. Cora also said that it's "most likely" that he'd return to the rotation if things went well.


The Red Sox have won 22 straight games when they give Porcello three or more runs. In his last 33 starts when they've scored three-plus, he's 28-0 with a 3.26 ERA.


The last slam by a Red Sox player was by Dustin Pedroia on Sept. 24, 2016, on the road against the Rays when Porcello picked up his last victory of his AL Cy Young Award-winning 22-4 season.

Also, Boston's starters had held opponents to one or no runs in the first seven games before the Rays scored twice on Brad Miller's double in the first.


With morning temperatures in the upper 30s, most of Boston's players that took BP on the field wore winter hats or had hooded sweatshirts over their heads.

Pitchers that got their throwing in were bundled up in right field. OF Andrew Benintendi and a few other starters decided to hit inside instead.

The Rays didn't hit on the field.


Rays: With another bullpen game scheduled Sunday, Cash said they should be fine after using three relievers on Saturday, but he didn't name a starter.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez is set to make his 2018 debut. He's been on the disabled list since March 26th recovering from offseason right knee surgery.