ONE LAST RUN FOR A RED SOX LEGEND -
FROM SEASON CHAMPS TO PLAYOFF CHUMPS
David Price and the Sox
batters club the Orioles

September 12, 2016 ... The first place Red Sox again showed the full extent of their talent with a 12-2 blowout of the Orioles at Fenway Park. With 19 games remaining, the Sox own a two-game advantage over the Blue Jays with a three-game divide having opened between them and the Orioles.

The Sox have now won five of their last six games while improving to 20-10 in their last 30. To a greater extent than perhaps any other point this year, their lineup is once again bludgeoning opponents (7.8 runs per game in September), but this time, the effort is being complemented by rotation excellence (2.89 ERA) and even a shutdown bullpen (0.83 ERA).

David Price (16-8) did the honors by reeling off his career-best seventh straight victory with eight innings in which he allowed just two runs on two hits (solo homers by Orioles mashers Chris Davis and Manny Machado) while striking out nine and walking none. His dominant changeup accounted for 13 of his 15 swinging strikes against a fastball-hunting Orioles team.

In his last six starts, Price has lived up to his ace billing. He has six straight starts of at least six innings and two or fewer runs, posting a 1.93 ERA with 43 strikeouts and seven walks in that time.

Price’s dominance was exceeded by that of his lineup, which dispatched Orioles starter Wade Miley (8-13) after just 1innings. The team crossed the plate four times before making a single out in the first inning, with Dustin Pedroia (hitting .447 as the leadoff hitter), Xander Bogaerts, and David Ortiz loading the bases with three straight singles, aided by some Orioles defensive fumbling.

MVP candidate Mookie Betts seized the opportunity, drilling a 3-1 slider from Miley over the glove of left fielder Steve Pearce for a two-run double. The two-bagger was Betts’s 40th of the year, establishing him and Ortiz as the second set of Sox teammates with 30 homers, 40 doubles, and 100 RBIs in the same season. The other such instance came when Ortiz collaborated with Manny Ramirez in 2004.

One batter later, Hanley Ramirez served a soft single to left to drive in Ortiz with a third run. Yet even with the Red Sox offense humming at high gear, Betts, who was initially held at third, wasn’t satisfied. He observed Pearce’s despondent lob back into the infield, and exploded to the plate, ahead of shortstop J.J. Hardy’s relay. That opportunism is becoming a hallmark of Betts, part of the five-tool impact that has made him a leading contender for postseason awards.

CHRIS YOUNG

The Sox continued to pile on, their lineup amassing 16 hits. Outfielder Chris Young led the way with a 4-for-4 performance that included a homer and two doubles. Since his return from two months on the sideline with a hamstring tear, Young is hitting .333 with a 1.151 OPS in 15 games.

Young was joined by Pedroia, Bogaerts, Ortiz, Ramirez, and Sandy Leon in collective multiple hits. Young, Ramirez, and Ortiz all homered, with the DH’s sixth-inning launch representing both his 33d this season and the 536th of his career, tying him with Mickey Mantle for 17th on baseball’s all-time list.

A curtain call proved his final gesture of the night. Ortiz was replaced in the seventh by pinch hitter Yoan Moncada, who struck out swinging on a changeup from lefty Brian Duensing for his ninth straight strikeout, perhaps the only false note of the night for the Sox. No matter. This is a learning moment for Moncada, who is getting a front-row view to a contending team whose potential is crystallizing.

As September rolls forward, a team that is now 7-3 this month appears to be setting its goals considerably higher, with each victory against AL East rivals making those pursuits seem ever more attainable.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

2

2

1

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

5

1

1

1

1

1

2

0

x

 

 

12

16

1

 

 

W-David Price (16-8)
L-Wade Miley (8-13)
Attendance - 37,551

2B-Betts (Bost), Young (2)(Bost)

HR-Ramirez (Bost), Young (Bost), Ortiz (Bost),
Davis (Balt), Machado (Balt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dustin Pedroia 2b 4 1 2 .330  

 

Deven Marrero 2b/ss 0 0 0 .100  

 

Xander Bogaerts ss 5 2 2 .300  

 

Marco Hernandez 2b 0 0 0 .311  

 

David Ortiz dh 3 2 2 .318  

 

Yoan Moncada ph/dh 1 0 0 .211  

 

Mookie Betts rf 5 1 1 .313  

 

Hanley Ramirez 1b 3 1 2 .287  

 

Travis Shaw 1b 1 0 0 .250  

 

Aaron Hill 3b 5 2 1 .264  

 

Chris Young lf 4 3 4 .290  

 

Sandy Leon c 3 0 2 .356  

 

Christian Vazquez c 0 0 0 .226  

 

Jackie Bradley Jr cf 3 0 0 .272  

 

    IP H ER BB SO  

 

David Price 8 2 2 0 9  

 

Junichi Tazawa 1 0 0 1 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2016 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

81

62

-

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

79 64 2

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

78 65 3

 

 

New York Yankees

76 67 5

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays

60 83 21