BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox and Orioles spent most of the day on Monday saying there was no lingering bad blood between the two teams.
And for five innings of their series opener at Fenway Park, the two teams were on their best behavior. There was not hint of any contention between them stemming from Manny Machado’s late slide that spiked Dustin Pedroia 11 days prior, or the high pitch Matt Barnes threw Machado’s way a few days after.
But with Baltimore up by a pair of runs in the sixth inning, a fastball from Orioles started Dylan Bundy found the left hip of Mookie Betts, who has been a thorn in Baltimore’s side throughout his brief Major League career.
Betts took his base, and nothing else was made of it. No warnings were issued by home plate umpire Greg Gibson. There was no shouting from either dugout.
If the Orioles were going to take aim at anyone, Betts is the likely target, with 11 homers in 50 career games against the O’s. But Betts and the Red Sox didn’t seem eager to fan any flames after the 5-2 loss.
“You’d have to ask [Bundy],” Betts said in the Boston locker room. “It is what it is. He hit me and I just took my base.”
The timing of the plunk certainly seemed like it was a fastball that got away from Bundy, who issued four walks on the night. Up just two runs, why would he put a runner on with Hanley Ramirez (one of Boston’s hottest bats at the moment) on deck? Baltimore manager Buck Showalter, who has never shied away from sharing his dislike for the Red Sox, chalked it up to Bundy’s erratic command throughout the evening. Bundy himself said it was unintentional.
Even if it was intentional, the Orioles did it the right way. They didn’t go headhunting on Betts, hitting him in the hip.
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Boston starter Rick Porcello, who suffered his third loss of the season after receiving no run support from his offense, said it best: The Sox have to just move on and get ready to beat the Orioles on Tuesday night.
“I have no comment on that. I can’t tell you what they’re thinking or trying to do there,” Porcello said. “What was the count? 2-1? Who knows? I don’t know. Thankfully Mookie is all right, and we’ll kick their [backsides] tomorrow.”