A night after brawling, the Red Sox and Orioles played a quiet one Saturday, even after a HBP and warnings getting issued.
The HBP came with two down in the seventh and Boston up 3-0. John Lackey drilled Derrek Lee in the leg with what seemed to be a purpose pitch. Lee, though, is about as much of a professional as there is in the game, and he simply took his base.
While warnings were issued, the rest of the game was incident free, and the Red Sox beat the Orioles for the third straight night, this time by a 4-0 score.
Lackey was pulled one batter after the HBP. He got Mark Reynolds to whiff on a curve, but the ball eluded catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Reynolds reached first on the wild pitch.
Daniel Bard came in from there and retired Nolan Reimold to end the inning. The Red Sox added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh and cruised from there.
The Red Sox will go for the sweep Sunday having outscored the Orioles 24-7 the last three days.
For Lackey, it was easily his best performance since April. Five days after getting shelled for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Blue Jays, he allowed just three hits and struck out seven.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis had three hits apiece for Boston. Youkilis and Josh Reddick had two RBI each to account for all of the runs.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.