BOSTON — It’s not easy being a pitcher, especially against the Red Sox. Jake Odorizzi knew that already, having made 17 starts against Boston already in his career.
But that didn’t make the fourth inning any easier on Saturday.
Odorizzi allowed a double to Rafael Devers, a triple to Jackie Bradley Jr. and a double to Mookie Betts, turning Minnesota’s 4-1 lead into a 4-4 tie that eventually ended in a 10-4 loss at Fenway Park. And while a walk to Eduardo Nunez in there didn’t help, either, Odorizzi said he has no second-guesses about Bradley’s and Betts’ at-bats.
“The pitch to Jackie is the pitch I wanted to throw, a split on the outside corner,” Odorizzi said after falling to 4-7 on the season. “You don’t really want to get behind him and walk him and face Mookie with the bases loaded. It was a good pitch and he put a good swing on it.”
Odorizzi had used the same pitch, three of them in fact, on Bradley’s previous at-bat, and got a strike out. “He swung over all of them. I thought that was the right pitch, the way he’s been going,” Odorizzi said. “Might have been a little more up.”
Bradley bounced the ball off the center field wall, scoring two runs. Then Betts smoked a split-finger down the left field line, and the Twins’ lead was gone.
“The pitch to Mookie, it was on the opposite side, the far side. He just hooked it down the line,” Odorizzi said. “There’s not really much you can do about it. But the pitch, I’m happy with.”
Miguel Sano struck out three times in four trips on Saturday, his return after six weeks away from the team. It wasn’t what he was hoping to show, and it dropped his batting average below .200 again, but fill-in manager Derek Shelton said it wasn’t an entirely bad night.
“You definitely see stuff that’s encouraging with him,” Shelton said of Sano, who has struck out in 36 of the 38 games he has played this season. “You can’t expect him to step right back in and every night is going to be a laser show. I definitely think there were good signs.”