BOSTON – While the Yankees havent played an entire game since Sunday, the Boston Red Sox have managed to play their way out of and then back into a first-place tie with New York in American League East.
The Yankees were off Monday, then played a game suspended in the sixth inning before getting rained out on Wednesday heading into Thursdays scheduled off day.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox, tied with their rivals at the start of the week, lost two games to Oakland, then beat the Athletics and Baltimore Orioles to pull right back into a tie for the division lead.
With Thursdays game being a makeup of an April rainout, the Red Sox (30-14) will send Drew Pomeranz to the mound for the original series start against the Orioles, and he will face winless Alex Cobb Friday night.
Thursday, David Price came within a strike out his first shutout in three years, and the Sox defeated the Orioles for the fourth time in as many tries this season. Home runs by J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts, the latter with his second three-run homer in as many nights, and Prices five-hitter keyed a 6-2 win over the last-place Orioles.
The Red Sox stole three bases on Kevin Gausman Thursday, one without a throw from catcher Andrew Susac and the other two with Gausman throwing to first after the runners took off. Boston also played very well in the field.
“Probably one of the best games weve played all season,” said Boston manager Alex Cora.
Said Price, who raised his record to 4-4 and beat Baltimore for a fifth straight start: “The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier.”
Pomeranz, 1-1 with a 5.47 ERA in five starts since coming off the disabled list, allowed three runs on five hits and five walks while striking out six in just four innings at Toronto last weekend — his second straight no-decision.
In his previous two starts combined, the left-hander had allowed five runs in 12 innings, going six innings each time out.
He is 2-3 with a 3.34 ERA in eight games, including five starts, lifetime against Baltimore. In the five starts, he is 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA.
He faces Cobb, one of those late-signing free agents who didnt get much of a spring training — and the results have shown just that. He comes into this start 0-5 with a 7.06 ERA in six starts, with one of those losses coming last month at Fenway Park, a place that had been kind to him before that.
Before that April 14 loss, when he gave up seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings, he had been 5-1 at Fenway.
Overall, he is 6-5 with a 4.02 ERA in 15 career starts against the Red Sox.
The Orioles have lost three of their last four games to drop to 13-30. They tied a club record with their 13th straight road loss Thursday night and have won just three road games in 2018 — all at Yankee Stadium in one series.
Gausman, who dropped to 3-3 with Thursdays loss, was upset with home plate umpire Tony Randazzo.
“Its frustrating, but its part of the game,” Gausman said. “Price had to deal with it, too, Im sure. Its frustrating, especially when you make a perfect pitch and feel like youre maybe getting cheated a little bit.”
Said Orioles manager Buck Showalter: “Kevins got a bubblegum card, too. Those pitches, Im very biased, but I didnt think he got a fair shake tonight.”
Christian Vazquez is 8-for-11 (.727), Martinez, who left Thursdays game with an upset stomach (Cora expects him to play Friday) is 6-for-10 (.600) with a homer and three RBIs and Hanley Ramirez is 5-for-14 (.357) with a homer and three RBIs lifetime against Cobb. But Jackie Bradley Jr. is 3-for-15 (.200) and Andrew Benintendi 4-for-18 (.222) against him.