The Boston Red Sox have an Orioles problem. Or, to put a finer point on it, a Machado problem. Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado drove in two runs, including a long homer, and made three brilliant defensive plays at the hot corner, leading Baltimore to a 5-2 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park last night, Baltimore's fourth win in six tries against the Red Sox this season.
The Sox just can't seem to escape Macahado's shadow. First, it was the botched slide he made with spikes up that put Dustin Pedroia on the shelf for a couple of games, then the pitch thrown near his head by Matt Barnes that earned Barnes a four game suspension from the league. Last night was the first meeting between the two clubs since the Dustin dust-up, and while Mookie Betts did get drilled in the leg with a pitch by Dylan Bundy , he just jogged off to first and there were no fireworks beyond some boos from the Fenway Faithful.
And the O's picked up where they left off in getting the better of Boston where it matters, on the scoreboard. Rick Porcello becomes the latest Sox pitcher to throw a very good game, giving up just two runs with seven strikeouts and no walks in six innings, while getting measly run support from an offense that has really sputtered in the start to the season. Porcello is now 1-4 on the season, a record not indicative of how well he's actually pitched, but he lost four games all of last year while picking up the Cy Young. Dylan Bundy kept the Sox bats quiet, pitching shut-out ball into the 8th for the win. Chris Sale pitches for the Sox in game two of the four game series tonight, which would normally be good news except for the fact that in his five starts this season, the Red Sox offense has produced just four runs of support. One other note, knuckleballer Steven Wright was placed on the 10-day disabled list, with Brandon Workman called up from Pawtucket to take his spot.
Given how well the NY Yankees have been playing of late and how terrible the Toronto Blue Jays have been all season, it has to be considered a fairly big upset that the Jays went into Yankee Stadium last night and hung a 7-1 loss on the Bronx Bombers. Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer and Ryan Goins pulled off a rarity, hitting a sac fly that scored two runs, a ball hit so deep to center that when Jacoby Ellsbury caught it, he ran face first into the padded center field wall and staggered, then threw a relay that went over the head of the cut off man, and credit Devon Travis, who was on second at the time, for noting all the chaos and tagging up all the way from second to score on the play. Marco Estrada got the win for the Jays while Luis Severino took the loss for the Yankees.
The banged up NY Mets got a nice bounce back win. One game after getting pummeled 23-5 by the Washington Nationals and losing their ace pitcher to injury, the Mets shook it off and beat the Atlanta Braves 7-5 behind a 3-RBI night including a home run from Michael Conforto and a good start by Robert Gsellman. Jose Reyes also homered for the Mets. Noah Syndergaard, meanwhile, has been placed on the 10-day DL with a partial tear in his right lat muscle.
The biggest injury news, however, is coming out of the National Hockey League playoffs with superstar Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins leaving last night's game three against the Washington Capitals after getting cross-checked in the face by the Caps Matt Niskanen, a former teammate of Crosby's. The hit came just five minutes into the game and Crosby did not return after laying on the ice for several minutes, and if it is as serious as it looked it could mean the end of Crosby's post-season, and with it, the hopes of Penguins fans for a repeat of winning the Stanley Cup. As for the game after Crosby's departure, it was won by Washington 3-2 when defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored the game winner in overtime. Getting to OT was remarkable in itself since the Penguins trailed 2-0 with less than two minutes to go in regulation before Evgeni Malkin and Justin Schultz scored in a 48-second span. But Shattenkirk gave the Caps their first win of the series and they now trail two games to one, while all the talk heading into game four will be about Crosby's status and the bad blood that could come from Niskanen's hit. He said there was no malicious intent and he was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct, but the Penguins questioned about it after the game weren't buying his protestations of it being an accident, and things could get very ugly the rest of the way between two teams that never liked each other much to begin with.
Two blow-outs in round two of the NBA playoffs as Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers easily beat the Toronto Raptors 116-105 behind 35 points from James, who was so at ease he had a little fun jumping over the sideline into the crowd following a foul. A server was passing by with bottles of beer and James grabbed one, pretending to bring it to his lips for a swig before putting it back. You can do that sort of thing when you're the best player on the planet, I guess.
And the Houston Rockets went three point crazy, dropping in 22 from beyond the arc to take game one 126-99 from the San Antonio Spurs.
Finally, after finishing the North Atlantic Conference regular season with a 10-2 record, the Castleton softball team has earned the No. 2 seed in the upcoming NAC Championship Tournament, taking place in Bangor Maine this Friday.