Red Sox

BSJ Game Report: Red Sox 8, Orioles 3 – Pivetta makes the most of a long-awaited start

All you need to know, in quickie form, about the Red Sox' 8-3 win over the Orioles, complete with BSJ analysis and insight:



Pivetta's debut impressive: Making his first start against major league hitters in more than a year, Nick Pivetta gave the Red Sox a strong outing, allowing just one run over five innings with eight strikeouts. Pivetta had been at the team's alternate training site to work on his pitch mix and some issues with his delivery, and after misfiring with his fastball command in the early going (two walks in the first inning), Pivetta showed what it was that attracted the Red Sox to him. "Being able to go out there with a solid mix of four pitches, which I showcased pretty well tonight, that's what we've been working on," he said. Early on, he had some difficulty spotting his curveball, so he went to the slider and got seven swings-and-misses on it. "They were chasing the slider,'' said catcher Christian Vazquez, "so we kept using it.'' Pivetta will go again Sunday in the final game of the season in Atlanta, but even two starts in the final week of the season can be important and leave an impression on the organization. "I think it's huge,'' he said. "I'm being given two opportunities to showcase myself and do the best I possibly can, so I'm looking forward to every opportunity I have.''

Martinez starting to swing it: When J.D. Martinez homered in his final at-bat Sunday, it seemed fairly meaningless. The Red Sox were comfortably ahead in the eighth inning when Martinez, who was 0-for-4 in his first four trips, homered to left. But perhaps something clicked for Martinez in that at-bat. On Tuesday night, he lashed three straight doubles -- two to left and one to right -- and every one of them was hit hard. Hitting coach Tim Hyers noted over the weekend that Martinez has been unable to align his lower half, making his swing too long at times, and in his first two plate appearances, Martinez seemed out of sync at times. But in the last three at-bats, it seemed like he had figured some things out, with quicker approaches to fastballs. Most encouraging that was perhaps the hardest-hit ball of the night was the double to right-center, where Martinez has, over the years, done so much of his damage.

Hernandez shows life in fastball: Darwinzon Hernandez spent a few weeks on the IL with a strained SC joint after his first few appearances this season showed that his fastball velocity was down considerably from last year. Hernandez has been