The tale of two series within a series.
Game 1 – The Plague commit 4 errors in the 2nd inning. Add an Andrelton Simmons 2-run homer, his first, and the Speakers lead 5-0. They tack on 3 in the 3rd on 3 RBI singles to reduce Erasmo Ramirez and the rout is on. The Speakers score 5 additional times to give David Price a 13-0 victory and the Speakers’ first shutout of the season.
W – Price (3-2, CG ShO); L – Ramirez
Game 2 – The Speakers continue their barrage against Kyle Gibson. Carlos Gonzalez hits a 1st inning 2-run home run (3). Kyle Schwarber connects in the 3rd for 2 more (2). Manny Machado puts the game away in the 8th with a grand slam (7), after 2 walks and an Anthony Rizzo HBP. The Speakers roll to a 9-2 win.
W – Chris Archer (2-1 CG); L – Gibson
Game 3 – And so begins the second series within a series. Scott Kazmir outduels Matt Harvey as each team collects just 3 hits. The only run scores with two outs in the bottom of the 7th. Mike Moustakas bloops a (9) single to score Michael Brantley who had doubled. The Speakers get two on with one out in the 9th, but Yoenis Cespedes grounds into a 6-4-3 DP to end the game.
W – Kazmir (CG ShO); L – Harvey (3-3)
Game 4 – The Speakers return the favor in the 2nd when Kolten Wong bloops a (9) single with two outs to score Carlos Gonzalez who had walked against Marco Estrada. Again, The Plague strike in the 7th: AJ Pierzynski (7) singles with two away. Billy Hamilton pinch runs and steals both 2nd and 3rd. Who’s up? Moustakas. This game, with Joe Blanton one out away from advancing, the Speakers go to the pen. Jeurys Familia surrenders an 8 single to knot the score at 1-1. With two outs in the 11th, Cespedes doubles and Kris Bryant strokes a 2-run HR (2) to give the Speakers a 3-1 lead. The Plague peck away at 3 Speaker relievers for (9) single, pop to short, (0) single, double-steal, walk (2 x ball 2), and Brantley’s bases loaded, walkoff double, 4-3.
W – Jonathon Papelbon; L – Jeremy Jeffress (0-1)
The Plague catchers snuff out 3 runners in the series. Familia (20*) has given up 11 hits, 5 walks and 2 wild pitches in 9.2 IP leading to a surprising 4.66 ERA this year. Jeurys has not prevented a single BB, hit or HR in 9 games. Schwarber now has 6 hits and 5 RBIs. Machado leads the Speakers with 7 HRs and 22 RBIs.