Garrett Richards’s first start with the Red Sox couldn’t have gone much worse. The veteran right-hander gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks over two-plus innings in Boston’s 11-3 loss to Baltimore last Sunday.
When Richards took the mound against the Orioles again on Saturday, it looked like he and the Sox were about to experience some déjà vu. Richards allowed back-to-back homers in the first inning to Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander, allowing the Orioles to quickly even the score at 2-2.
However, Richards bounced back. He struck out the next batter and got DJ Stewart to pop out to end the inning. After allowing a walk to start the second inning, Richards put down the next three Orioles hitters. He followed that up with a 1-2-3 third inning.
“Tonight, just in the first inning, I got clipped on a couple first pitches,” Richards told reporters after the game. “It’s going to happen but just keep the foot on the gas and keep moving forward and keep making pitches.”
Richards did find himself in some trouble in the fourth, walking two straight Orioles after retiring the first two hitters in the inning. But once again, Richards got himself out of trouble by getting Freddy Galvis to ground out on a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The fifth inning was good for Richards, too. He forced three ground outs in the inning, allowing just one hit in the frame.
Richards’s day was done after the fifth, but the Red Sox had to fight until the 10th inning to knock off the Orioles, 6-4. The win marks their fifth straight, improving them to 5-3 after getting swept by the Orioles to open the season.
Richards, who finished the game allowing just three hits, noticed the difference a week made for the Red Sox.
“We’re trying to win every single game. I don’t think anybody denies that,” Richards said. “The games that we lost early on it wasn’t for a lack of effort, but just simply playing clean baseball, from pitching, to hitting, to being in the field.”
With the Red Sox now winners of their last five games and outscoring their opponents by 23 over that span, Richards and the Sox are feeling good as they look for their second straight series sweep.
“I feel like we got some good momentum, like I said early on, moving forward,” Richards said. “We’re vibing with each other right now. From the first pitch we’re trying to win the game, and it’s great to see. This is a sneaky team. I think people want to talk about other teams a lot, but this team, this team will be there. I promise you that.”
Nick Pivetta will take the mound for the Red Sox on Sunday. In his first start of the season, Pivetta tossed five shutout innings in an 11-2 win for the Red Sox over the Rays.
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