Last night, the Red Sox were the ones walloping the Orioles, but the roles reversed on Saturday afternoon. Martin Perez got off on the wrong foot in his Boston debut. The Orioles scored five runs on six hits off of Perez in the first two innings of the game. Martin Perez went on to pitch three scoreless innings after his disastrous start, but Boston's bats could not overcome the early deficit. The Red Sox eventually lost the game 7-2.
While Perez did not have the best outing, Boston fans should not give up on him just yet. He retired the last seven batters he faced, and he could have gotten off to a better start if he threw his fastball more. Perez's next start will likely be against a dangerous Yankees' lineup, so it will not be easy for him to bounce back.
There are some positives to this loss, however. While the box score may not show it, newly acquired Dylan Covey had a great appearance. He threw 17 strikes on 21 pitches in two innings of work. Covey did surrender two runs, but he could have had a scoreless appearance had the BABIP gone his way. Covey almost had a double play that would have ended the inning, and he also surrendered a bloop single that will result in an out more often than not. This should not be Covey's last appearance, and he should get a shot in the starting rotation at some point.
Manager Ron Roenicke made his first mistake in this game. Roenicke decided to not play both Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez, as he wanted to give them a day off early in the season. This decision did not last as Bogaerts came into the game in the sixth inning to pinch hit. At that point, Boston trailed by three with runners on first and second.
Sitting for six innings will not significantly help Bogaerts in the long run. Roenicke should have started Xander if having him pinch hit was a possibility. This could have helped Boston's line-up considering how lefty heavy the top of the order was today. Baltimore kept lefty Richard Bleier in the game in the 7th as Boston had three lefties in their first four hitters. Hitting Bogaerts 3rd or 4th could have prompted a pitching change.
Boston's lineup did not hit as well either, which did not help the cause. Benintendi and Devers are a combined 0-18 with nine strikeouts in the first two games. Both of these guys may be due for a day off to try and set them right. Benintendi and Devers hit well enough in the two exhibition games against Toronto, but they have not found their swing at the start of the regular season.
Boston will look to win the series against Baltimore on Sunday. Ryan Weber will take the mound for the Red Sox, while the Orioles will send out Wade LeBlanc. First pitch is at 1:35 PM and will be broadcasted on NESN.
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