This simulation is courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21
After limping to just one win in their season-opening four-game set in Toronto, our Fake Sox are following that up with a much-needed three-game series in Baltimore to face the Orioles, who are still looking for their first win of the season. Boston took the first game on Monday, and on Tuesday they have Eduardo Rodriguez making his second start of the year while Baltimore counters with Tyler Herron.
Things went obnoxiously poorly for Boston’s offense early on against Herron, as they were being very aggressive and getting nothing for it. The Orioles righty got through two perfect innings to start things off on just 16 pitches. Rodriguez, meanwhile, didn’t waste much time getting into trouble as he gave up a double to Austin Hays, the second batter he’d face. Fortunately, the southpaw came right back with two strikeouts to end the inning then issued just a two-out walk in the second.
So, the score was still knotted up at zeroes heading into the top of the third with Boston still looking for their first baserunner. Mitch Moreland flew out on the first pitch, but then things turned around quickly. Kevin Plawecki, getting his first start of the season, lined a base hit the other way for a one-out single, bringing José Peraza to the plate. The second baseman had been a singles machine in Toronto, and he did a little more than that this time. Peraza smoked his first homer of the season out to left field, and just like that it was a 2-0 lead.
After Rodriguez came through with an easy 1-2-3 bottom half of the third, Boston’s offense kept it going. J.D. Martinez led this inning off and he gapped a line drive out to right-center field for a leadoff double, bringing Rafael Devers to the plate. The third baseman had a hit in each of the first five games, and he kept that streak going here with his first homer of the year. The two-run shot went out to right-center field, doubling Boston’s lead to give them a four-run cushion. They could have had a chance at more when Moreland and Plawecki had back-to-back two-out singles in front of Peraza, but Moreland got greedy and was thrown out trying to get to third. Our Fake Sox have had some poor baserunning decisions early in this season.
Baltimore did get to Rodriguez a little bit in the bottom half of the fourth, though, with Trey Mancini leading things off by drawing ball four. After reaching to start the frame, he’d get to third on a one-out single and then Anthony Santander hit a fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly, cutting the Red Sox lead down to three.
Boston would get another run a couple innings later when Xander Bogaerts led off the sixth with a solo homer, his first of the year, and now it was just up to the pitching to hold up the lead. They did just that. Or, more specifically, Rodriguez did just that. The lefty cruised after that fourth, allowing just one runner in the fifth on a Devers throwing error and then working around two baserunners in the sixth. He’d come back after that with quick 1-2-3 frames in the seventh and eighth, and Boston trusted their ace to come back out for the ninth to try and finish the complete game.
It was still 5-1 at that point so there was a bit of a cushion, and Rodriguez did get a ground out to start things off. Santander then came through with a base hit through the middle, though, and that was it for the lefty. Rodriguez was strong through 8 1⁄3 innings, though, and Trevor Hildenberger came in to try and finish it off. The righty did just that, though his first out was very deep to left field, and our Fake Sox evened up their record at 3-3 with the win. They’ll look for a sweep Wednesday afternoon in Baltimore.