Betts, Benintendi power Red Sox past Orioles 6-3
BOSTON (AP) Sloppy, rainy and downright lousy weather didn’t cool down the fast start Mookie Betts is off to this season.
Betts is hitting a major-league best .368 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs out of the leadoff spot for the Red Sox.
”It’s incredible. It’s a lot of fun to watch. I don’t know what to say,” winning pitcher Rick Porcello said. ”When he gets his pitch, he’s not missing it. When he doesn’t get his pitch, he’s not missing it.”
Benintendi added a two-run single and Rafael Devers a solo homer for the Red Sox, who won for the third time in four games and improved to 5-1 against Baltimore this season.
But it’s Betts’ torrid start that continues to impress his teammates.
”He’s in a groove right now. But, it’s not like he’s hot-hot,” Benintendi said. ”It feels like he can get hotter.”
Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer for Baltimore, which snapped a 13-game road losing streak a night earlier against Boston.
”Keep them in the park, that’s been a challenge for us in the starting pitching department,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ”It’s pretty obvious.”
Porcello (6-1) gave up three runs in six innings, matching his season high with nine strikeouts while walking three. He rebounded from two straight rough starts when he allowed five runs in each after opening the season by allowing three or fewer in his initial seven.
Craig Kimbrel, the third reliever, got three outs for his 13th save.
Dylan Bundy (2-6) allowed four runs in six innings, walking two and striking out eight.
”I had a good game plan, just got one fastball that leaked out middle and (Betts) was able to take advantage of it,” Bundy said.
Boston snapped a 1-1 tie with three runs in the fifth on the back-to-back homers by Betts and Benintendi. Betts turned on a 90-mph fastball, sending it into the Green Monster seats for his 15th homer after Sandy Leon had a leadoff double.
Four pitches later, Benintendi hit his into Baltimore’s bullpen.
Alvarez’s two-run shot sliced it to 4-3 in the sixth, but Benintendi’s single through a draw-in infield made it 6-3 in the seventh.
Devers’ drive went into the Monster seats.
Orioles: Showalter said reliever Darren O’Day (10-day disabled list, hyperextended right elbow) is ”close” to returning, but outfielder Colby Rasmus (DL, left hip flexor) ”was a little sore from all the action. We had to back a little bit off.”
Red Sox: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (recovering from offseason left knee surgery) went 0 for 3 in a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday and is scheduled to have Sunday off. Manager Alex Cora said he’d like to see him play consecutive games before coming back to the majors.
The Red Sox were last in the AL in homers last season, but entering Saturday they were second in majors with 62.
Bundy gave up three homers. He has allowed three or more in three of his last four starts after giving up just three total in his first six.
The game was played with light-to-steady rain falling most of the night, forcing the grounds crew to bring out bags of a drying agent many times for the mound and infield.
Orioles: Showalter said after the game that RHP David Hess (1-0, 4.50 ERA) would start the series finale Sunday.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-1, 4.68 ERA) is scheduled to start against his former team. He’s 4-5 with a 4.35 ERA against Baltimore in 11 career starts.
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