Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale wins again and rookie Andrew Benintendi hits two home runs against Baltimore to win 7 – 3
There are no questions that Chris Sale is the best pitcher on the Red Sox this season. The same guy leads the team in wins, ERA, and strike outs. If you lead the team in the triple crown categories of pitching you’re the best on the team. Chris Sale has now improved his record to 7 – 1 over his last 10 games. He should have won at least one of the games in which he recorded a no decision.
Sale has been as automatic as ever but over his last 3 – 4 starts, he hasn’t been lights out sale in sense of getting 10+ strike outs and keeping hitters to two earned runs or less. His ERA has risen from 2.19 all the way to 2.89. He’s allowed three earned runs twice sandwiched in between a game in which he allowed five earned. What’s changed?
Sale has gotten hit hard in two straight games before the third inning. Against his former team, Sale gave up three runs in 2nd, one run in the 3rd, and two runs in the 4th combining for six runs, five earned in just four innings of work. We can give him a slight break because it was his former team. These guys are going to know what makes him tick and they’re going to know just how he works his hitters.
Tonight was a different story. Perhaps it was bad luck but it wasn’t good after the 1st inning as the Orioles tagged Sale for three runs. After the 1st however, Sale allowed just three hits over five innings while striking out six. Maybe it was just shaking off the rust from facing his former team. After that inning, he was lights out.
Sale should be back to normal as he gets to face the Tigers in Detroit in his next start. He wasn’t the only one making fans excited in Baltimore today, Andrew Benintendi blew up today and hopefully is getting out of his slump. Benintendi crushed two solo home runs to deep right field today and added an RBI single and a walk along with a stolen base. He was an absolute nightmare for the O’s in their matchup.
Benintendi had as many hits tonight as he’s collected over his last nine games in which he went 3/30. The Red Sox rookie was slashing .100/0/2 over his last nine games. Nothing seemed to be going right. After making April his, opposing pitchers made May theirs. The difference between months wasn’t even close as AB put up a .333/3/14 line in April and followed that up with a .204/2/13 line the followed month.
June so far has him at a .308/2/3 line which obviously will change given that there’s been only four games played. He’s matched his home run total in all of May on June 4th. Benintendi was getting the luck of facing Mike Wright who served up the wrong pitch. Wright has now given up five earned runs on five hits in four innings of work against the Sox in two games pitched.
While it’s small sample for the Sox, and the first two games in June weren’t the best the last two games give the boys from Beantown something to build upon. April was the month that most of the guys got hot especially towards the end. Hopefully they can carry this momentum going into a three game series with the Yankees in the Bronx.
Photo Credit – Gail Burton – AP Photo