Jackie Bradley Jr.

Three homers and Eduardo Rodriguez power Red Sox past Mariners, 9-3

Three homers and Eduardo Rodriguez power Red Sox past Mariners, 9-3

SEATTLE -- Boston's offense showed why it is one of the best in baseball.

Rafael DeversJackie Bradley Jr., and Xander Bogaerts all homered and the Boston Red Sox routed the Seattle Mariners 9-3 on Sunday.

"Today we did an outstanding job finishing the game and we got the W," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "We are a good team. We know how to play the game and we turn the page really quick."

Devers' 11th homer of the season capped a five-run, two-out rally in the third against Seattle starter Mike Leake (7-4).

"They were making it tough today," Leake said. "They weren't giving me any breaks today."

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Andrew Benintendi and Bogaerts began Boston's rally with a pair of singles. J.D. Martinez drew a nine pitch walk to load the bases before Mitch Moreland drove in two with a single to centerfield, his first hit of the series, and Devers followed with a blast off the Hit It Here Cafe in right field to give Boston a 5-0 lead.

"Anytime you can put up a five spot in the inning, you are happy with it," Moreland said. "That was a good inning for us."

The Red Sox pulled away in the seventh against right-handed reliever Chasen Bradford, who gave up three runs and two homers while getting two outs.

Bradley Jr. sent Bradford's first pitch over the centerfield wall for his fourth home run this season. Benintendi hit his third single of the game with one out before Bogaerts put Boston ahead 8-2 with a shot into the bullpen in left centerfield, his 12th of the season and fourth of the series.

Facing left-hander Roenis Elias in the eighth, Benintendi extended Boston's lead to 9-2 with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Red Sox have hit three or more home runs 10 times this season, and are 36-7 when scoring five or more runs.

EVAN DRELLICH

Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez picked up his sixth straight win in as many starts, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out nine. Rodriguez (9-1) has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his starts during his winning streak, and the Red Sox are 13-1 in Rodriguez's starts this season.

"It was really good," Rodriguez said of his start. "All of my pitches were working. It was really great."

The Mariners loaded the bases with no outs for the heart of their order against Rodriguez in the fifth, but managed just one run. Jean Segura cut Seattle's deficit to 5-2 with a fielder's choice, but Seattle's rally was cut short following back-to-back fly outs from Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz.

"He had to work for it that fifth inning but he limited the damage," Cora said. ". He did a good job. Good fastball. He was more aggressive in the strike zone."

Cruz hit his 17th home run of the season in the fourth, sending a 3-2 fastball from Martinez 442 feet in to the upper deck in left field to trim Seattle's deficit to 5-1. Cruz has homered five times in his last nine games.

In the eighth, Ryon Healy doubled down the left field line, scoring Cruz to make it 9-3.

The Red Sox improved to 18-5 in series finales, and have won five straight day games on the road.

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TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHP Nick Vincent (groin) is scheduled to make a rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma on Monday, then make a rehab appearance with Double-A Arkansas on Wednesday before joining the Mariners during their three game series in Boston beginning Friday.

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Red SoxChris Sale (6-4, 2.75 ERA) takes the mound as the Red Sox continue their road trip against the Twins on Tuesday. Sale has allowed just one run in each of his last two starts and has nine starts this season allowing one or fewer earned runs.

Mariners: Marco Gonzales (7-3, 3.42) goes for his sixth win in as many starts when the Mariners begin a 10-game road trip against the Yankees on Tuesday. Gonzalez has allowed just six earned runs in his last six starts combined.

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Red Sox finally break through in 12th to beat Orioles, 2-0

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AP Photo

Red Sox finally break through in 12th to beat Orioles, 2-0

BALTIMORE -- Seems the best-hitting team in the big leagues can win with pitching and defense, too.

Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. each delivered a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning, and the Boston Red Sox limited the Baltimore Orioles to five hits in a 2-0 victory Monday night.

Though the Red Sox lead the majors in runs and batting average, they managed only four hits through 11 scoreless innings in this one.

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"Sometimes we're going to go through stuff like this, throughout the season," manager Alex Cora said. "But the pitching did outstanding, we played great defense and we ended up winning."

Steven Wright and five relievers combined for Boston's fifth shutout of the year.

The Red Sox have scored only 10 runs in their last five games, but perceive that to be nothing more than a mini-slump.

"We're getting guys on, we're just not getting that hit with guys in scoring position," Holt said. "That'll turn."

Xander Bogaerts led off the 12th with a single against Mychal Givens (0-3), and the Red Sox loaded the bases before Holt broke the scoreless deadlock with a fly to center. Bradley followed with a fly ball to score Rafael Devers, who had doubled.

Heath Hembree (3-1) struck out the side in the 11th and Craig Kimbrel got three outs for his 21st save.

"It was a very well-pitched game by everybody that was on the mound today, from the starter all the way through Craig," said Brandon Workman, who contributed 1 1/3 innings of one-hit relief. "Everybody threw the ball well. Put up 12 zeros. That's hard to do at any level of baseball."

It was the fifth straight loss for the Orioles, who have been shut out seven times this season. Baltimore left 13 on base and went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

"We had plenty of opportunities," manager Buck Showalter said. "We just couldn't get that hit that's been eluding us for it seems like quite a while."

Orioles starter Dylan Bundy gave up three hits over eight innings. He struck out seven, walked two and did not permit a runner to reach third base.

It was his fourth scoreless outing of the season, the second in a row. Last week, the right-hander blanked the Mets on three hits in seven innings.

Wright was going up against an offense that ranked last in the AL in runs and was missing ailing slugger Manny Machado. The knuckleballer allowed four hits over 6 2/3 innings. In the seventh, after Baltimore used two walks and an infield hit to load the bases with two outs, Joe Kelly entered and struck out Adam Jones with a 97 mph fastball.

Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts was reinstated from the disabled list before the game and went 1 for 5 in the leadoff spot. Betts, who came in with a major league-leading .359 batting average, missed 14 games with an abdominal strain.

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TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (knee), limited to 13 plate appearances this season, worked out in the Camden Yards training room but has not yet resumed baseball activities. Cora offered no timetable for the return of the four-time All-Star. ... LHP Drew Pomeranz (biceps) threw Sunday, but woke up with a stiff neck Monday that could perhaps delay his return from the DL. ... RHP Tyler Thornburg (shoulder) "felt great" after pitching one scoreless inning for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, Cora said. Thornburg will next pitch for Pawtucket on Thursday.

Orioles: All-Star closer Zach Britton was activated from the disabled list, six months after undergoing surgery on his torn right Achilles tendon. ... Machado sat out with an illness that has been making its way around the Baltimore clubhouse. "I could tell he was starting to get it yesterday," said Showalter, who has been battling the same malady. ... With the return of Britton, Baltimore placed RHP Pedro Araujo on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain and transferred OF Colby Rasmus to the 60-day DL.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (7-1, 3.68 ERA) started his professional career in the Orioles organization, and now he's won a career-high four straight starts heading into Tuesday night's game against his former team.

Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.98 ERA) attempts to break a run of three successive losses. Baltimore scored only one run in each of those games.

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Alex Cora's lineup plans may be changing for Mitch Moreland

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Alex Cora's lineup plans may be changing for Mitch Moreland

NEW YORK — Alex Cora has noted the pre-planned nature of his lineups. His Red Sox players typically know at least a couple days in advance when they’re scheduled to play.

It seems, in the case of the struggling Jackie Bradley Jr., that Cora may be taking a different tack, a reactive approach. It was only a matter of time before Cora would need to do so with some player or another. 

Bradley was out of the lineup on Wednesday, with Mitch Moreland playing first base and J.D. Martinez sliding into the outfield.

“We’ll see,” Cora said when asked if Bradley would play Thursday. “We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

Moreland homered in his first trip up Wednesday against the Yankees, adding an exclamation point to the puzzling choice not to use Moreland off the bench on Tuesday in place of Bradley or Christian Vazquez. Bradley’s hitting .173 with a .264 on-base percentage.

“He's not using his hands,” Cora said Wednesday. “When we talk about good hitters, they look hitter-ish. They start, you've got rhythm going. It seems like he doesn't have any rhythm. To get pitches in the strike zone at this level, 97 [mph], 98, you've got to get your hands going and he's not doing that.

“It seems like he's on time. But he's not, it seems like it. … I saw some video from two years ago, that's when he had that long hitting streak, there was a different stance. There were more — he looked hitterish. His hands were moving. So, hopefully we can get him there, get him in a good spot and then after that everything can go from there."

Sometimes, when a player is struggling, it is said that that the only way to improve is to play through the struggles. Sometimes, players are said to need breaks. How does Cora know what’s best in the case of Bradley, or anyone else who may go through a lengthy slump?

"I'm learning now. Obviously, this is my first time doing this,” Cora said. “But I do feel it gets to the point that you have to take a step back before you go forward. I'm not saying this is the time… it's very important that today for him, if he wants to go to the cage and take 500 swings, go ahead. If you want to go to the video and sit down and just watch video, that'll be great. Use the day for your advantage. Don't use it just to sit down at your locker and wonder what's going on.”

Moreland, meanwhile, made a couple great plays in the field Wednesday. But he's developed into an all-around threat, rather than the defense-minded first baseman he was once known to be.

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