Nunez hits 3-run HR, Red Sox top Orioles 7-3 for 11-2 start
BOSTON (AP) — Eduardo Nunez hit a three-run homer, Eduardo Rodriguez struck out eight over six stingy innings and the Boston Red Sox equaled their best start in 100 years with a 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Rafael Devers went 3 for 5 and scored twice for the Red Sox, who are 11-2 for the first time since 1918. J.D. Martinez had a pair of hits and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly during Boston’s four-run first inning, which put the Red Sox in command on the way to their 11th victory in 12 games.
The Red Sox had already matched their best start over 12 games with a 6-3 win over the Yankees on Thursday night. With this victory, Boston reached 11-2 for just the second time in franchise history, matching the start of 1918 World Series championship team.
Adam Jones hit a sacrifice fly in the first and Manny Machado had a two-run double in the seventh. Chris Tillman (0-3) struggled through the first two-plus innings for Baltimore, which lost for the third time in four games.
Rodriguez (1-0) allowed one run on five hits and two walks. Trey Mancini scored the only run Rodriguez yielded after leading off the game with a single and scoring on Jones’ sacrifice fly. Rodriguez settled down from there, striking out the side in the second and shutting out the Orioles for five straight innings.
Baltimore’s only lead didn’t last long. Mookie Betts reached on a leadoff walk, advanced to third on Mitch Moreland’s one-out single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Martinez. Devers followed with a double, putting two on for Nunez, who drove a 1-1 pitch from Tillman into the seats atop the Green Monster.
Tillman faced three batters in the third before getting pulled with the bases loaded and nobody out. He was charged with six runs, seven hits and two walks. He did not have a strikeout for the second time in three starts.
Tillman was removed after hitting Jackie Bradley Jr. with a pitch. Pedro Araujo’s first pitch got past catcher Caleb Joseph, and Devers raced in for another run to make it 6-0.
Orioles: Recalled LHP Donnie Hart from Triple-A Norfolk. ... DH Mark Trumbo (right quad strain) will resume a rehab assignment next week after a setback in one game with Double-A Bowie on Tuesday night. ... RHP Gabriel Ynoa was getting an MRI on his pitching shoulder.
Red Sox: 1B-DH Hanley Ramirez, who left Thursday’s game with a bruised left wrist after getting hit by a pitch in the first inning against New York, was not in the lineup. ... Manager Alex Cora said LHP David Price, who left in the first inning Wednesday with tingling in his pitching hand, will start Tuesday night when the Red Sox open a three-game series at the Los Angeles Angels.
Orioles: RHP Alex Cobb, who signed as a free agent in March, makes his Orioles debut. Cobb went 10-12 last year with a 3.66 ERA for Tampa Bay in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.
Red Sox: RHP Hector Velazquez (1-0, 3.12) gets his second start after holding Tampa Bay to one run over 5 2/3 innings on April 1.
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