The Boston Red Sox have been dominating most major league teams this season, so it comes as no surprise that they had their way against the worst of the bunch.
Rick Porcello on Monday night allowed six scattered hits over six scoreless innings and Mitch Moreland homered as Boston breezed past the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
Andrew Benintendi drove in two runs for the American League East leaders, who have won 15 of 17 to move 40 games over .500 (71-31) for the first time since 1949.
“The team is playing amazing. It’s pitching, hitting, running bases,” said center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr, who contributed a sensational catch. “Any time you are playing the game the right way and guys are executing, it makes for some wins. That’s what we’ve been able to do.”
Working through rain delays of 43 minutes and 19 minutes, Porcello (12-4) struck out six and walked one in surpassing his win total last year.
It was a nice bounce-back performance by the 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner, who allowed eight runs in two innings against Toronto in his prior outing.
“We’ve built a nice foundation for ourselves so far this season,” the right-hander said. “We still have a lot of baseball to play and we’ve got to keep going. It’s not like we’re winning this division by 15 games. The Yankees are right there.”
The Orioles are not. With a 28-73 record, they are more than 42 games behind Boston.
The Red Sox are 10-1 against Baltimore this season and have won nine straight at Camden Yards.
Since trading shortstop Manny Machado at the All-Star break, the Orioles have lost four in a row. Machado’s cubicle is now occupied by Jonathan Schoop, who homered and doubled in the loss.
“He told them to give me his locker,” Schoop said. “It’s different, but I’m trying to get through it. It’s hard without him.”
After Schoop hit a two-run homer off Brandon Workman in the eighth, Craig Kimbrel gave up an RBI single to Caleb Joseph in the ninth, but earned his 32nd save.
Kevin Gausman (4-8) gave up five runs, three hits and three walks for Baltimore. He came undone during Boston’s four-run fifth, when he issued three straight walks — the last with the bases loaded — and a two-run double to Benintendi.
“I’m sure the rain delays had something to do with it,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s tough on both pitchers, starting and stopping, the time between pitching.”
Moreland made it 1-0 in the second with his 12th home run.
Two rain delays later, the Orioles missed a chance to pull even in the third when Jace Peterson was easily thrown out trying to score from first on a two-out double by Schoop.
In the fourth, with a runner on third and one out, Porcello struck out Chris Davis and Trey Mancini.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7