BALTIMORE — Camden Yards has had better moments.
The visitors bullpen during Tuesday night’s contest against the Orioles was a dangerous scene for Red Sox relievers — a scene that went beyond just typical fan banter and heckling. According to Sox reliever Richard Bleier, a fan tossed beer at the Red Sox and another spat on a staff member.
“Completely inappropriate,” Bleier said before Wednesday’s series finale that ended in a 6-2 Sox loss. “I played here and that’s not the fan base I remember. It was something I’ve never seen before.”
Bleier, who played for the Orioles from 2017-20, said the two incidents involved separate individuals, both of whom ran off. When asked if security did anything to stop the individuals, Bleier said there wasn’t much they could have done. The bullpen at Camden Yards is low, so fans are right on top of players.
“It’s unfortunate, for sure,” Bleier said. “Hopefully they’re doing things that prevent this from happening again. It’s definitely not acceptable.
“I’ve been in some rough areas in terms of bullpens where we’re, like, right in the middle of it, and I’ve never had that happen before.”
When reached for comment, an Orioles spokesperson relayed the following statement:
“We have and strictly adhere to a fan code of conduct and our ballpark operations addressed the matter accordingly at last night’s game.”
James Paxton getting closer
The Sox are confident James Paxton (hamstring) is making progress despite another rough outing Tuesday night, when the lefthander pitched just 4⅓ innings and allowed five runs (four earned) in the Worcester Red Sox’ loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“No,” manager Alex Cora said when asked if the team paid much attention to Paxton’s results. “He’s healthy and he’s getting close to his fastball command right now. [The lack of command] is just a lack of repetitions.”
Paxton struck out five but walked four. The report Cora received from Triple A pitching coach Paul Abbott was that Paxton was too quick off the mound. But Paxton’s velocity was solid, reaching 96 miles per hour. Paxton will make what could be his final rehab start Sunday for the WooSox The Sox will then make a decision on what’s next for the lefthander.
Chris Martin nearing return
Chris Martin (shoulder) likely will throw in a rehab assignment Thursday. The Sox are hopeful he will be reinstated from the injured list during this weekend’s series with the Guardians at Fenway. Joely Rodriguez (oblique) is scheduled to throw a live batting practice next week in Fort Myers, Fla. The Sox aren’t quite ready to send him on a rehab assignment … Kenley Jansen is just three saves away from 400. He ranks seventh on the career list, behind Billy Wagner (422). Jansen has yet to allow a run this year in 7⅔ innings and is 6 for 6 in save opportunities … Masataka Yoshida started slow, batting .167 with a homer in his first 13 games. In his last seven, Yoshida has been hot, batting .464/.484/.821 with 13 hits and 10 RBIs. His solo shot off Baltimore’s Tyler Wells in the second inning Wednesday extended his hit streak to seven games. “He’s a cool cat,” Cora said. “He’s super cool with the guys. He wants to be part of this and he enjoys winning. That’s something that we had a conversation in Tampa about.” … Tanner Houck’s outing was his first loss of the season and his first career start at Camden Yards … Kiké Hernández recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the year. He has hit safely in 12 of 15 games since April 12 and is slashing .328/.365/.483 with six doubles, a homer, and five RBIs.