Devers hits grand slam as Red Sox rout Orioles 17-4

red sox
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
1 Comment

BALTIMORE — Rafael Devers hit a first-inning grand slam, Kike Hernandez had four hits and the Boston Red Sox slugged their way to a 17-4 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Jordan Lyles (10-10) couldn’t make it out of the fourth in his first start this month, and the Orioles lost for the fifth time in seven games. Baltimore entered four games behind Seattle for the final wild card in the American League.

Christian Arroyo hit a two-run homer in the fifth for the Red Sox, who had already broken the game open by then. Boston snapped a four-game losing streak, and Michael Wacha (11-1) extended his unbeaten run to 11 starts.

Lyles missed his previous turn because he was sick, and this one was bad from the beginning. A walk, a single and a hit batter loaded the bases for Devers, who cleared them with a drive to left-center field. It was his 26th homer of the year and the first of three hits on the night for the star third baseman.

Cedric Mullins went deep for the Orioles in the third, but Boston responded immediately with four more runs in the fourth. Hernandez and Kevin Plawecki hit consecutive doubles to make it 5-1. With two out, Alex Verdugo hit an RBI single and then Xander Bogaerts singled to chase Lyles.

Devers singled off reliever Keegan Akin to make it 7-1, and Trevor Story followed with a run-scoring single of his own.

Lyles allowed eight runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Wacha permitted three runs and six hits in six innings, with five strikeouts and no walks.

Arroyo’s home run made it 10-1. Boston finished with 21 hits, five of which came in a six-run ninth that ended with Orioles outfielder Ryan McKenna on the mound.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: LF Tommy Pham exited in the fourth with a bruised left shin. … Story appeared to be hit by a pitch while swinging at it in the first. It was ruled a strikeout and he remained in the game. … RHP Nathan Eovaldi (shoulder) threw a bullpen before the game.

UP NEXT

Boston LHP Rich Hill (6-6) starts against Kyle Bradish (3-5) on Sunday in the final game of the series.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

atlanta braves
Adam Hagy/Getty Images
1 Comment

ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).