Orioles-Red Sox has had enough drama to rival a Shakespeare play. Last night, Boston fans directed racial slurs at O’s outfielder Adam Jones. Before that, the two sides squabbled because third baseman Manny Machado slid hard into second baseman Dustin Pedroia, causing an injury. Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes threw a fastball at Machado’s head two days later, earning him an immediate ejection and later a four-game suspension.
The drama continued on Tuesday night as the two clubs began the second game of a four-game series in Boston. The Fenway faithful gave Jones a standing ovation as he stepped to the plate for his first at-bat, and starter Chris Sale stepped off the mound to allow Jones the moment. Watch:
The good will was immediately erased. After Sale struck out Jones, the lefty threw his first pitch to Machado behind his knees. Sale might have been retaliating not just for Machado’s slide into Pedroia, but because O’s starter Dylan Bundy hit Mookie Betts with a pitch on Monday. It didn’t appear to be intentional.
Despite this, home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn issued warnings to both teams. And despite the rest of the game going off without much drama, Machado was incensed about it after the game:
This is far from over, methinks. The clubs meet again tomorrow night at 7:10PM.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.