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WATCH: Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox shut down visiting Orioles

Sportsnaut
Sportsnaut
 2021-09-18

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Bobby Dalbec homered to back an efficient Chris Sale in his return from COVID-19, and the Boston Red Sox thumped the visiting Baltimore Orioles 7-1 in the opener of a three-game series Friday.

Hunter Renfroe blew the contest open with a three-game double in the sixth inning as the Red Sox (84-65) won their third straight. Boston holds a half-game lead over the New York Yankees for the American League’s top wild card, with the Toronto Blue Jays a game back after a loss Friday.

Austin Hays hit a solo shot for the Orioles (47-100), who sealed their third 100-loss season in the last four years.

Sale (4-0) was activated from the COVID-19 injured list earlier in the day to make his first start since Sept. 6. His fastball noticeably a few ticks slower than usual, the left-hander had to get crafty on the mound.

After surrendering Hays’ blast to lead off the second, Sale retired 11 straight batters — eight on groundouts. He finished five innings allowing the one run on two hits and no walks with one strikeout.

Boston quickly seized a 2-1 lead with a Jose Iglesias RBI double and an Enrique Hernandez sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second.

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Dalbec’s homer to kick off the fourth was his 23rd of the season. The rookie has gone deep 13 times in 50 games since the All-Star break.

After a J.D. Martinez RBI double in the fifth made it 4-1, two singles and a walk set the table for Renfroe’s bases-clearing two-bagger an inning later.

Reliever Matt Barnes also returned from the COVID-19 injured list for the Red Sox and worked around a walk and a single in the eighth.

Alex Verdugo finished with three hits and two runs scored, and Christian Vazquez added two hits.

Orioles starter Keegan Akin (2-10) took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks over four-plus innings.

–Field Level Media

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