BALTIMORE, MD — On what many fans were describing as the hottest day of the season (the game time temperature was a muggy 85 degrees), the Boston Red Sox took on the Baltimore Orioles in the final game of a four game set at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Chris Sale was coming off of his worst start of the year earlier in the week and the Orioles were hoping this would continue into today’s game. Even though they started out giving up two runs in the top half of the first, it looked as though they might get their wish as it took Sale 39 pitches to give up three runs and make his way through the bottom of half of the inning.
After the 45 minute first inning, it looked like it could be a long day at Camden Yards but the game picked up rather quickly after that.
In the third inning, the Orioles were still up 3 to 2 until Andrew Benintendi came up. Like Sale, he’s had some struggles recently and was looking for a more productive day at the plate. He got it as he was able to get a hold of a fastball from Chris Tillman and launched it into the bleachers in right to tie the game.
The score would stay that way until the sixth inning when the Red Sox were able to take advantage of a throwing error by Orioles catcher Francisco Pena. While trying to throw out a runner at third, Pena accidentally ended up sending the ball into left field and two runs were able to score on the play.
Then, in the seventh, Benintendi stepped up to the plate and hit another homerun for his first multi-homer game. When you combine this with the RBI single that he had in the ninth, there’s no doubt that the rookie was the offensive star of the game. He attributes his ability to turn it on today after being in a slump to his strong mental state.
“It’s baseball. You’re going to go through those kind of things. I think mentally you just have to stay strong and I think that’s one thing that I can do pretty well is mentally stay there,” said Benintendi said according to Ian Browne of MLB.com.
This wasn’t just a strong appearance on the field for the Red Sox. Boston fans filled up the seats behind the visiting dugout and were scattered throughout other portions of the stadium. On several occasions in the later innings, chants of “Let’s go Red Sox” took over Camden Yards and even the boo birds from Orioles fans weren’t able to drown them out.
The victory for the Red Sox earned them a split in the four game series, which puts them almost even for the season series among these division rivals (the Orioles have won seven of the 13 games the teams have played this year). Just as important, this puts the Red Sox just two games back of the Yankees as they head into New York for a three game series.