|Red Sox hitters get two cracks at Orioles in split doubleheader|
BALTIMORE -- There is something about playing the Baltimore Orioles that just seems to bring out the best in the Boston Red Sox -- especially at the plate.
The Red Sox now have won 11 of 13 against the Orioles heading into Saturday's split doubleheader at Camden Yards. Boston and Baltimore will play the first game in the afternoon and the second game in the evening.
The Red Sox showed why they are one of baseball's best hitting teams on Friday night. Baltimore took an early 8-3 lead, but Boston then scored 16 of the game's final 20 runs and rolled to a 19-12 victory.
Boston got big three-run homers from Andrew Benintendi plus Xander Bogaerts and a solo shot from Brock Holt, who drove in all three of his runs in the sixth (where the Red Sox scored six times) thanks to the homer and a two-run single.
Even Mookie Betts, who hit for the cycle the night before, couldn't resist. He added a three-run double.
J.D. Martinez got a two-run single and improved his season RBI total to 101, the first player in the majors to get past 100.
On Saturday, David Price (11-6, 3.93 ERA) will start Game 1 for the Red Sox against Baltimore's Jimmy Yacabonis (0-0, 7.15).
Price has pitched well in his last four starts after struggling a bit in the first part of July. He's 2-0 with two no-decisions during that time.
The left-hander is 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA in 26 career game against the Orioles.
Yacabonis has been with the Orioles for a few brief stints this year as Baltimore has been trying to turn him into a starter at Triple-A Norfolk. The hard-throwing -- but sometimes wild -- right-hander will be pitching in his fifth game this year with the Orioles, making his third start.
He has no record but a 6.75 ERA versus the Red Sox in two career relief appearances.
The Red Sox had not decided who would start for Game 2 after the Friday game and the Orioles will go with rookie right-hander Yefry Ramirez (1-4, 5.66). Boston will name a starter after the opener on Saturday.
"I'll tell you after the first game," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said to the media Friday night. "We have no idea, honestly ... stay tuned."
Ramirez has thrown well at times in his first few appearances but struggled in his last few. He has a 1-1 career mark against the Red Sox with a 5.79 ERA.
Much of this came against young Orioles pitchers who are just trying to find their way at the major league level as Baltimore has gone all in on giving their young prospects a look this year while preparing for the future.
The Baltimore rebuilding project/youth movement took another big step on Friday when the team called up center fielder Cedric Mullins from Triple-A Norfolk and moved veteran Adam Jones to right. Jones had been the center fielder for Baltimore since 2008 but has handled the situation gracefully
Mullins made his major-league debut in Friday's loss, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, getting hits on his first two at-bats and really giving the team a lift.
But the Orioles' young pitchers -- especially the relievers -- could not handle Boston's bats, and manager Buck Showalter wants to see more aggression there.
"Guys that are swinging the bat well, you've got to attack them," Showalter told the media after the game. "They're so used to people picking around the zone, and you have to come in with a pitch."