ANDREW BENINTENDI

A TEAM THAT COULDN'T GET THE JOB DONE ...
Benintendi helps produce a win for Chris Sale

June 4, 2017 ...  By the time the first inning was over, Chris Sale had thrown 39 pitches on a muggy day at Camden Yards and allowed three runs. He knew that three of the teamís best relief pitchers, Heath Hembree, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel needed rest and were available only in an emergency. One way or another, he had to settle down and get through six innings.

Sale didnít allow another run and gave the Red Sox those six innings. The result was a 7-3 victory against the Baltimore Orioles that was equal parts scruffy and satisfying for the ace.

The run support Sale needed came from Andrew Benintendi, who was 3 for 4 with two home runs, three RBIs, three runs, a stolen base, and a walk. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in two runs and scored another.

Blaine Boyer, Robby Scott, and Matt Barnes stitched together the final nine outs, leaving the Orioles scoreless after the first.

The first inning took 45 minutes as five runs came in. Mookie Betts started the game with a single off Chris Tillman before Benintendi walked. Xander Bogaerts popped to second, but Mitch Moreland walked to load the bases. Hanley Ramirez popped up to shallow center field. Bradley finally took advantage of the opportunity with a two-run single to right field. But even that ended badly as Moreland took too much of a turn around second and was thrown out going to third.

The bottom of the first inning was a mess for Sale and the defense behind him. One position, anyway. Joey Rickard led off with a double and Manny Machado walked with one out. The Orioles then tried a double steal and Leonís throw to third beat Rickard, who was called out. The ruling was overturned on review because Pablo Sandoval did not get the tag down in time. After Mark Trumbo struck out, Chris Davis dumped an opposite-field single into left to drive in two runs. When Trey Mancini grounded to third base, the inning should have been over. But Sandoval threw to second base and the ball went into right field because Deven Marrero wasnít at the bag.

It was another mistake by Sandoval, who should have gone to first base with the count full, two outs, and the runner on the move. Oddly, no error was charged. Jonathan Schoop doubled to left field and another run scored. Sandovalís misplays caused Sale to throw 23 extra pitches and led to three runs, although all were earned. His defense is a concern the Red Sox will have to address. He is not producing enough runs at the plate to make up for the ones he gives away in the field.

Sale (7-2) did not allow another run and was able to finish six innings in 110 pitches. He gave up six hits and struck out nine with one walk. He has a 4.70 earned run average in his last six games, but the Sox have won five of them.

The Red Sox tied the game in the third inning when Benintendi homered to right field.

The Orioles made a defensive mistake in the sixth inning that cost them two runs. Tillman loaded the bases with one out as Moreland singled, and Bradley and Sandoval walked. Leon struck out, bringing up Marrero. Tillmanís 0-and-2 pitch bounced away and Moreland broke for the plate. But the ball popped right to catcher Francisco Pena and Moreland retreated back to the base. Penaís throw was wide and went down the line. Moreland scored, as did a hustling Bradley.

Benintendiís second home run, also to right field, gave the Sox a 6-3 lead in the seventh inning. He added an RBI single in the ninth.

Benintendi was 2 for 27 in his previous eight games with no extra-base hits. It was pure baseball pleasure, two homers on a beautiful sunny, warm day at Camden Yards. The 22-year-old kid had been in a miserable slump for a long, long time. Over 21 games prior to Sundayís outburst, he was hitting .123 ó 9 for 73. His average had dropped 80 points from .339 to .259.

It was the first time in his brief professional career that Benintendi had slumped this badly. He was being benched of late against tough lefties, something that hadnít happened earlier in the season when he was tearing it up. He was pressing and anxious. There was a lot of first-pitch swinging going on. He was agonizing over every at-bat.

With two homers and an RBI single he raised his average 10 points to .269 with the effort, which also included a walk and a stolen base. Benintendi now has seven homers and eight stolen bases. He hit his first homer to lead off the third against Chris Tillman. He hit one in the seventh against reliever Mike Wright. They were both launched to right field. Heís got a nice swing to begin with, so when he connects it looks even prettier.

 

at Camden Yards (Baltimore) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON RED SOX

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

 

4

8

0

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

 

1

5

2

W-Chris Sale (7-2)
L-Chris Tillman (1-3)
A
ttendance Ė 31,819

2B-Sandoval (Bost), Rickard (Balt),
Schoop (2)(Balt), Machado (2)(Balt)
HR-Benintendi (2)(Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Mookie Betts rf 4 2 1 .264  

 

Adrw Benintendi lf 4 3 3 .269  

 

Xander Bogaerts ss 5 0 2 .330  

 

Mitch Moreland 1b 4 1 1 .263  

 

Hanley Ramirez dh 4 0 0 .253  

 

Jackie Bradley cf 3 1 1 .233  

 

Pablo Sandoval 3b 3 0 1 .234  

 

Josh Rutledge 2b 0 0 0 .246  

 

Sandy Leon c 4 0 0 .224  

 

Deven Marrero 2b/3b 4 0 0 .171  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Chris Sale 6 6 3 1 9  

 

Blaine Boyer 1.2 2 0 0 0  

 

Robby Scott 0.1 0 0 0 1  

 

Matt Barnes 1 1 0 0 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2017 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

New York Yankees 32 22 -

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

31 25 2

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 29 26 3 1/2

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 28 29 5 1/2

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays 29 30 5 1/2