BALTIMORE (AP) – J.D. Martinez homered and drove in three runs to back a dominant pitching performance by Nathan Eovaldi, and the Boston Red Sox broke a four-game skid and bolstered their playoff hopes by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-0 Wednesday night.
Hunter Renfroe also went deep for the Red Sox, who failed to score three runs in any game during their losing streak. Although Boston didn’t completely recover its offensive mojo, the 13-hit attack was more than enough to get past the last-place Orioles.READ MORE: Injuries Reported At Car Crash In South Boston
The Red Sox entered trailing the Yankees by two games for the top AL wild card and holding a half-game edge over Seattle for the second slot. Toronto was also in the mix, one game behind Boston.
Martinez hit his 28th homer in the second inning for a 1-0 lead, and the Red Sox used a broken-bat single and an error to tack on two unearned runs in the sixth.
Eovaldi (11-9) took it from there, limiting Baltimore to four hits and striking out seven over six innings. The right-hander was 0-2 in his previous eight starts, including a loss Friday night in which he yielded seven runs to the Yankees.
Boston had seven hits after five innings with only one run to show for it against rookie Zac Lowther, who yielded 10 runs and 12 hits over his previous two starts against the Red Sox.
Lowther (1-3) was pulled after Rafael Devers cracked his bat on a leadoff single in the sixth. Xander Bogaerts subsequently reached on an error by third baseman Kelvin Gutiérrez before Martinez smacked a two-run double.
Alex Verdugo added a two-run single in the eighth, and Renfroe hit his 30th homer in the ninth.READ MORE: State Workers Face Sunday Deadline To Get COVID Vaccine Or Risk Losing Jobs
CF Cedric Mullins was honored before the game as the 2021 Orioles MVP after receiving every first-place vote from a panel of media that covers the team on a regular basis. Mullins is the first player in Orioles history to have 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season, and he was Baltimore’s lone representative at the All-Star Game. He leads the team in games played, batting average, doubles, triples, stolen bases and runs.
Red Sox: RHP Garrett Whitlock (pectoral strain) played catch before the game. “He feels great,” manager Alex Cora said. “The goal is for him to throw a bullpen Friday and go from there.” … LHP Josh Taylor (lower back strain) remains in Boston and has not yet participated in baseball activities. … RHP Phillips Valdez and INF/OF Danny Santana have been on the COVID-19 list for several weeks, but are working out and have the potential to return. “Anything can happen in two hours or in the upcoming days. You’ve got to get them ready,” Cora said.
Red Sox: Nick Pivetta (9-7, 4.52 ERA) starts the series finale Thursday night. The right-hander is winless in six starts since beating Baltimore on Aug. 13.
Orioles: Rookie LHP Alexander Wells (1-3, 7.61) makes his eighth career start, the second against Boston. He did not factor in the decision after allowing five runs in five innings at Fenway Park on Sept. 18.MORE NEWS: Lawrence Teachers Will Rally Before School In Response To Increased Fighting
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