The Boston Red Sox have turned things around pretty quickly the past few days.
Earlier this week, Boston was in the throes of a nine-game losing streak. The Red Sox then took the final game of their set with the visiting Philadelphia Phillies, and they have won the first two of their weekend series against the host Baltimore Orioles.
The Red Sox rolled to an 8-5 victory over Baltimore on Friday and have a chance to win the four-game series when the teams meet Saturday at Camden Yards.
Boston wants to turn around its slow start. Could the Red Sox be on their way?
“Why not just go out there and continue to have fun and put up wins together and see where this takes us,” said Xander Bogaerts, who opened the scoring with a solo homer Friday. “It’s never too late, bro. It’s never too late.”
The Red Sox made a move late in Friday’s game, dealing closer Brandon Workman and setup man Heath Hembree to the Phillies for right-hander Nick Pivetta and minor league righty Connor Seabold.
Both newly acquired pitchers were then sent to the team’s alternate training site in Pawtucket, R.I. Matt Barnes stepped in as the apparent closer and pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of the season.
The Orioles made a move Friday that had been expected for a while. They put slumping first baseman Chris Davis on the 10-day injured list due to left patellar tendinitis and recalled infielder/outfielder Ryan Mountcastle from the alternate training site in Bowie, Md.
Mountcastle made his major league debut Friday as a left fielder — the position he has worked on most recently in the minors — and went 0-for-2 with two walks. He scored on Chance Sisco’s homer in the eighth inning.
“It’s good for him to get his feet wet (at this level),” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.
Since Austin Hays went on the 10-day injured list Aug. 15 due to a rib fracture, the Baltimore outfield has taken on a bit of a different look. Mountcastle is in left field with Cedric Mullins in center and Anthony Santander in right.
“We’re young, we’re inexperienced, but it’s fun to see talented guys out there,” Hyde said.
Santander finished 1-for-5 on Friday to stretch his hitting streak to 16 games.
Mullins has really come on. He was batting .077 through Aug. 15, but his average has quickly risen to .324 after he collected three hits in the Friday loss. Mullins is riding a 10-for-21 streak (.476) that has given the Orioles a lift, especially with Jose Iglesias (quad) also on the IL.
What’s really been a weapon for Mullins is his ability to bunt. A switch hitter who often is up from the left side, Mullins has done a good job of dropping unplayable bunts down the third base line. He also homered from the right side Friday, his first extra-base hit of the year.
On Saturday, Alex Cobb (1-2, 3.76 ERA) starts for the Orioles. He has been the team’s most consistent starter this season, though his latest outing was his worst — five runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings during a Monday loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. In his career, Cobb is 8-6 with a 3.73 ERA in 18 starts vs. the Red Sox.
Boston counters with Martin Perez (2-3, 4.07 ERA). The left-hander has a 4-5 career record and a 5.19 ERA in 10 starts against the Orioles.
–Field Level Media