Three good innings. That's what the Red Sox and their fans got to enjoy today. Eduardo Rodriguez struck out five batters in the process of retiring the first 10 Orioles he faced. It was domination, not unlike his first time facing his former team.
Then came the fourth inning. And Eduardo was every bit as bad as he was good through the first three.
I'm not using that all that loosely, either. Perhaps ten straight Orioles didn't reach against him, but seven did. The first hit was a solid double to left, but the second came on the ground, bouncing in front of the mound where Rodriguez grabbed it and fired too low to first for Mike Napoli to handle. At the time, it cost the Red Sox a run, with Parmelee coming in to score, but seemed likely to cost them little more. Rodriguez had responded to his mistake with an at bat ending in weak contact. Hardly a sign that the end was nigh.
But Matt Wieters immediately followed that up by hitting a two-run shot into the bullpen, and Delmon Young and Chris Davis singled up the middle to put two men on for J.J. Hardy, who scored them both by doubling off the wall in left, with Alejandro De Aza letting the ball get past him on the rebound. Pearce kept the conga line going with a single of his own, and while Ryan Flaherty finally recorded an out, even that managed to bring a run in on a sacrifice fly, ending Rodriguez' day.
The Red Sox had already scored a run by that point, with Mike Napoli finally both putting the ball in play and reaching base as Parmelee and Young collided trying to get under a perfectly placed bloop to right field, then scoring on a Blake Swihart single. In the bottom of the fourth, they got right back in the game with Sandoval and Napoli singling and scoring when Alejandro De Aza responded to Wieters' homer with a three-run shot of his own.
Unfortunately the lead got bigger in the sixth with Jonathan Aro's first major league at bat resulting in an RBI single after a Steve Pearce double against Tommy Layne, and then again in the seventh when he allowed a pair of doubles to Reimold and Davis. The Sox got both of those runs back in the bottom of the seventh when Mookie Betts singled and scored on a double from Xander Bogaerts, who proceeded to score on a wild pitch. But Jackie Bradley Jr. was stranded in the ninth after a leadoff single, making for an unimpressive comeback attempt.