Clay Buchholz is trying to come to grips with his new role. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)BALTIMORE -- This was going to be Clay Buchholz's day, his turn in the starting rotation. Not this time. 



Mookie Betts (50) and Xander Bogaerts (2) are the wonder twins of the Red Sox. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)Here's a lie parents tell their children every day: "I love you all equally."



Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder and home run machine, Mookie Betts, after Mookie's three home run game propels the Red Sox past the Baltimore Orioles 6-2.

[0:01:22] ... bit in rather Chang you noted there of course is still still. Chris Benoit. What about that diving catch because you advocate that the second baseman the center fielder yeah you know I've talked to us the lop for a total on the cover that area you know he had to be side. I hit it right there. Media I think Pete do pretty good job talking to know what I can get to these if well Lou we're what are you gonna do without Jackie Bradley next here tonight but I guess you answered that. She's got the big shoes that they'll I did my best. But Chris Young with a tremendous catch dropping a shot over two run homer yeah of the game changer there I think we we killed ...
[0:03:46] ... hit. Three home runs and a game ever in your life no high school to two of the most. This is this the first time. Well joy at that pokey. There was so much fun for ...




Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder and home run machine, Mookie Betts, after Mookie's three home run game propels the Red Sox past the Baltimore Orioles 6-2.

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BALTIMORE — The praise for Mookie Betts wasn’t hard to find in the Red Sox’ clubhouse after their 6-2 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

That’s what happens when you hit three home runs — all to different parts of the ballpark — while making the defensive play of the game.

BALTIMORE — The praise for Mookie Betts wasn’t hard to find in the Red Sox’ clubhouse after their 6-2 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

That’s what happens when you hit three home runs — all to different parts of the ballpark — while making the defensive play of the game.

But when you manager suggests babies should be named after you, that’s when you know an impression has been left.

“The three home runs speak for themselves, one to each part of the ballpark,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “He makes an outstanding diving catch off of [Baltimore’s Paul] Janish’s ball that looks like it’s destined for a base-hit. Jackie [Bradley Jr.] leaves us today because of the pending birth of his child, and if he has a boy he ought to name him Mookie after tonight’s outing. Just an impressive night by Mookie.”

The three-home run game — which was the first by a member of the Red Sox since Will Middlebrooks did it on April 7, 2013 in Toronto — was just a reminder of the kind of talent the Sox have in Betts.

Betts, who had never hit three home runs in a game before Tuesday night, is hitting .380 with a 1.278 OPS with 17 runs scored over his last 12 games. The three hits raised his batting average to .283, with his 40 RBIs far and away tops among leadoff hitters.

Here was some more of the kind words sent Betts way from the Red Sox clubhouse after their latest win:

Xander Bogaerts: “He’s probably one of the few guys every time I see him hit I think he’s going to hit a home run. It’s just the presence he has in the batter’s box, especially from the right side. I just feel like anything you leave over there he’s going to hit it out. He hit balls to three different parts of the field today which is pretty good. It’s really good, actually.”

David Ortiz: Mookie? Oh, man, I mean, got five tools, man, and he’s smart. He’s smart. It’s all on him, but I really believe that he’s getting to that point to understand where what he needs to do now. He works extremely hard.

“He’s got great hands. He knows about the strike zone real well. He knows the minute that he gets out of it, like we always talk, he can get in trouble. So he tries to stick with the plan. He’s so young, man. It’s so impressive how he handles his business.”

Farrell: “He generates tremendous bat speed and that’s what it boils down to. We’ve seen it so many times and for multiple years he led the organization in extra base hits, slugging and for someone of his stature you wouldn’t expect it just from the eye test. But he’s an explosive athlete and it continues to show up.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

BALTIMORE — Eduardo Rodriguez is back, but what really matters is Mookie Betts never left.

On a night when Rodriguez should’ve been the story, Betts stole the spotlight by blasting three homers for the first time in his career.

Mookie Betts celebrates one of his three homers with catcher Christian Vazquez on Tuesday. (Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports)

Mookie Betts celebrates one of his three homers with catcher Christian Vazquez on Tuesday. (Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports)

BALTIMORE — Eduardo Rodriguez is back, but what really matters is Mookie Betts never left.

On a night when Rodriguez should’ve been the story, Betts stole the spotlight by blasting three homers for the first time in his career.

That gave Rodriguez all the offense he’d need in a 6-2 victory over the Orioles in his first start of the season, three months after suffering a spring training knee injury.

Rodriguez went six solid innings, allowing six hits and two runs. He struck out three and walked none, featuring a fastball that sat in the 91-93 mph range and a changeup that kept the Orioles off balance.

He got all the offense he’d need from Betts, who led off the game with his 10th homer of the year, and then followed with a three-run shot in the second and the first opposite-field blast of his career in the seventh.

All of that power gave Rodriguez some breathing room in his first start since last season. He entered the game with some concerns over the stability of his right knee, as well as his velocity. On the first count, he certainly looked comfortable while pitching with a brace on his right knee. On the latter count, he spent the first inning at 92 mph, the second at 93, and the rest in the low-90s. That’s down from the 94-95 he averaged last year, but he compensated by commanding his changeup.

He was helped not just by Betts’ blasts, but by some outstanding defense from fill-in center fielder Chris Young, who caught one ball against the fence before robbing Manny Machado of a two-run homer with a leaping catch reaching over the wall in the third.

The Red Sox got more good news in the seventh when Xander Bogaerts blooped a single to left to extend his hitting streak to 24 games.

Closing Time note

The last Red Sox batters to lead off a game with back-to-back homers were Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia in on July 27, 2011 vs. the Royals.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— The Red Sox removed Clay Buchholz from the rotation to give Rodriguez a shot at solidifying a spot, and he delivered solid results in his first outing. As he builds arm strength and his knee heals, the hope is that he’ll regain some of his lost velocity. It’s worth noting that after a solid start, Rodriguez allowed increasingly harder contact as the Orioles hitters locked in.

— Betts is now on pace for 37 homers after his three blasts, which moved him into a tie for ninth in the American League. He also added a diving catch to end the seventh.

— With Jackie Bradley Jr. out on paternity leave and unlikely to rejoin the team until this weekend’s homestand, Young made his presence felt defensively, robbing Machado of his 13th homer of the season and keeping Rodriguez’s lead intact.

— With his seventh homer in his 50th game, Pedroia matched his output in 135 games in 2014. He hit 12 homers last year.

— Bogaerts didn’t hit it hard, but in extending his hitting streak to 24, he moved within five of Bradley’s MLB-best 29-gamer, which ended last week.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— The Red Sox failed to KO Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, who allowed five runs in the first two innings and nearly got knocked out in the third before recovering to retire 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.

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Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford and John Tomase

BALTIMORE — He waited a while this time, but Xander Bogaerts managed to keep his hitting streak rolling Tuesday night.

The Red Sox shortstop blooped a single into left field during his fourth at-bat, with Baltimore reliever Dylan Bundy on the mound. It marked the 24th straight game Bogaerts has notched at least one hit.

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

BALTIMORE — He waited a while this time, but Xander Bogaerts managed to keep his hitting streak rolling Tuesday night.

The Red Sox shortstop blooped a single into left field during his fourth at-bat, with Baltimore reliever Dylan Bundy on the mound. It marked the 24th straight game Bogaerts has notched at least one hit.

The righty hitter slapped his hands together as the ball fell in front of Baltimore left fielder Nolan Reimold, with the hit putting Bogaerts’ American League-leading batting average at .352.

Bogaerts went hitless against Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, grounding out to second base in his first at-bat, grounding out to shortstop his second time up, and getting called on strikes in at-bat No. 3.

Coming into the game, Bogaerts had hit .402 with a 1.068 OPS since the streak began on May 6.

At the time of the Bogaerts hit, the Red Sox carried a 6-2 lead over the Orioles thanks in large part to Mookie Betts’ three home runs.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford