In the first two games of the Orioles/Red Sox series, the Orioles proved they could win any way. Tuesday, when the pitching and defense failed, the lumber was there to rescue the day in an 8-6, 10-inning win. Wednesday, the offense was anemic, but pitching and defense bailed the bats out in a 2-1 victory. Thursday, the Orioles proved they can also be quite miserable in every aspect of the game, as the Sox salvaged the series’ final game, 7-0.
Things became very ugly, very early for O’s starter Brian Matusz. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the first, and with 2 outs, Adrian Gonzalez plated a pair of runs with a double down the right field line for a 2-0 lead. In the 2nd, Boston again loaded the bases on a single and a pair of walks. Dustin Pedroia hit a slow bouncer to shortstop JJ Hardy, who flipped to second baseman Robert Andino for the force. Andino’s throw to first, however, got away from him and sailed into the crowd, and 2 more runs scored, making it 4-0, Boston.
Matusz, who’d been so good in his last 4 starts, was pulled after giving up a leadoff hit to Adrian Gonzalez in the 3rd. Gonzalez would later come around to score on a play that featured another Orioles error, this time by Endy Chavez. Matusz’s final line: 5 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits, 5 walks, all in just 2 full innings.
Meanwhile, Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz was in complete control. Buchholz surrendered hits in each of the first 3 innings, and didn’t allow another until the 8th. The Orioles had more than 1 base runner in just 1 inning, the 5th, when Buchholz hit both Mark Reynolds and Ryan Flaherty with pitches. It was Buchholz’s 3rd career shutout, all of them coming against the Orioles (the first, of course, was the no-hitter in his second career start, in 2007).
After a 3-6 roadtrip, the Orioles are back at home this weekend, taking on the Phillies in an interleague matchup. Game 1 of 3 gets underway Friday night at 7:05, with Jake Arrieta facing Joe Blanton.
- The long relief was good. Miguel Gonzalez allowed an inherited runner to score in the 3rd. Otherwise, he threw 4 innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks. Kevin Gregg was effective, too, allowing 1 hit in 1 inning.
- The Orioles remain in first place in the AL East, tied with Tampa Bay.
- Everything else, really.