Red Sox

BSJ Game Report: Orioles 8, Red Sox 1 – Homestand ends on sour note

(Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

All you need to know, in quickie form, about the Red Sox' 8-1 loss to the Orioles, complete with BSJ analysis and insight:



Velazquez joins the list with control issues: Already in this young season, Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi, known for impeccable control, have seen their walk rates spike at an alarming rate. On Monday, Hector Velazquez joined the club. After not issuing a single walk in his first five appearances, covering 9.2 innings, Velazquez suddenly couldn't find the plate, walking the first batter he faced and four of the first eight batters he faced in his second spot start. Just one of those hitters he walked, but the three walks in the second inning resulted in a 33-pitch second inning, which in turn, limited Velazquez to just three innings of work while the Sox were hoping for at least four, if not five from him. "I think today Hector didn't have his split,'' said Alex Cora. "He had a good fastball, but the split, out of the hand, right away, was a ball. He was off. He's really a two-pitch pitcher. That's what was going on with him.''

Vazquez handles shift to second base: In a surprise move, catcher Christian Vazquez got the start at second base in a makeshift lineup. It was only the second game for him at that spot as a pro -- and first since 2010 -- but Vazquez met the challenge. He started a 4-6-3 double play on the third batter of the game and in the second, made a nice catch of a throw from outfielder Mookie Betts before applying a swipe tag on Renato Nunez for an out at second. His only other chance -- a fairly routine grounder in the fifth -- was also handled without incident. "It was fun, something different,'' said Vazquez. "After the first ground ball, it was cool.'' He had a unique feed on the double play, with an overhand throw to shortstop Xander Bogaerts with his feet planted toward the plate, but it worked. "I didn't want to miss Bogey,'' he said. "I was trying to go under(hand), but that wasn't a good idea.'' Cora praised Vazquez for communicating well with both Bogaerts, the pitchers and others about bunt coverage and defensive alignments.

Holt heads out on rehab assignment: Brock Holt, who has been on the Injured List since April 7 with a scratched cornea incurred the morning of Opening Day, will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket starting Tuesday. Holt has been with the club in the interim, but has been somewhat limited in what he can do as the team waits for his eye to heal. Early in the season, as Holt tried to play through the injury, he had difficulty picking up pitches and recognizing spin. He'll need some time to get his eyes trained for baseball again and to get his timing down, but when he returns, the Red Sox will, presumably, be able to go back to a four-man bench, thus giving Cora more options to help avoid strange lineups like the one he was forced to field Monday.