BOSTON (AP) — Kyle Schwarber scored twice in his debut for Boston and his new teammates delivered three home runs to lift the Red Sox over the slumping Baltimore Orioles 8-1 Friday night.
Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec and Hunter Renfroe each homered for the Red Sox, who are trying to snap out of a funk that knocked them five games back in the AL East.
Nick Pivetta (9-5) struck out eight in six innings, and the Red Sox offense rebounded after the club lost two of three against division leader Tampa Bay. Garrett Richards pitched the final three innings and was credited with his first save since 2013.
Richie Martin homered for Baltimore, which lost its ninth straight.
The Red Sox picked up Schwarber in a trade with Washington the night before the deadline but had to wait two weeks before a right hamstring strain was healed enough for him to play for the first time since July 2. He was batting .253 with 25 home runs for the Nationals.
Schwarber was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester on Thursday night, but the game was rained out. The Red Sox activated him anyway for Friday, hoping his bat could help lift the club from a 3-11 slide.
Boston manager Alex Cora has been saying since the Red Sox made the trade that they liked Schwarber’s patience at the plate and ability to draw walks as much as his power.
Fans livened up when Schwarber stepped to the plate for his first at-bat in the second inning after Renfroe led off with a single. Spenser Watkins walked him on six pitches and Schwarber scored on Dalbec’s two-run double during a four-run rally. Schwarber walked again in the third, scoring on Jarren Duran’s double to right and giving Boston a 5-1 lead.
Schwarber also flew out to right in the fifth and struck out in the seventh. He was 0 for 2 as the DH in the six-spot, but his presence might’ve helped spark the bottom of the lineup. Kevin Plawecki, Duran and Dalbec each had at least two hits and Dalbec drove in three, adding a sixth-inning homer.
Renfroe jumped on an 0-1 changeup in the seventh and drove the ball over the Green Monster for his 20th homer.
Bogaerts hit his 18th homer in the fourth, bouncing a towering fly off the top of the Monster just above the yellow line. Umpires reviewed the play and quickly upheld the call, giving Boston a 6-1 lead.
Pivetta held Baltimore to one run on three hits over six innings. The only run came on Martin’s leadoff homer in the third, which he hooked just inside Pesky’s Pole.
Watkins (2-4) pitched four innings, allowing six runs — all earned — on seven hits with three walks and one strikeout. The bulk of the damage came in the second, when Boston struck for four runs on four hits and a walk while sending eight batters to the plate.
Orioles: Rookie IF Ramón Urias was out of the lineup for a second straight day. Urias, who left Wednesday night’s loss to Detroit with soreness in his right leg, which manager Brandon Hyde said the Orioles wanted to give another day of rest. “He’s just day-to-day right now. Just sore,” Hyde said.
Red Sox: OF Alex Verdugo returned from paternity leave after missing four games and started in left. … Schwarber will likely remain at DH for the first week but could start playing defense again next weekend. … Designated INF/OF Marwin Gonzalez for assignment and sent RHP Eduard Bazardo to Florida Complex League (FCL) on a rehab assignment.
Orioles: RHP Jorge López (3-12, 5.75) is making his third career start against the Red Sox. He was 0-1 in the first two against Boston with an ERA of 8.62 in 15 2-3 innings.
Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale is scheduled to make his long-awaited return from Tommy John surgery with his first start in just over two years. Sale, a seven-time All-Star, last pitched Aug. 13, 2019 and had surgery on his left elbow the following spring. In five combined rehab outings this year between the Red Sox rookie-level affiliate, Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester, Sale pitched 20 innings, striking out 35 and allowing three runs.