By Ian Browne and Brittany Ghiroli
MLB.com |@IanMBrowne |
BOSTON -- A night after they were belted around Fenway Park, the Orioles bounced right back for a crucial 6-3 victory over the Red Sox that got them back into a tie for the top American League Wild Card spot.
The Birds, who rode a three-run blast by J.J. Hardy and a two-run shot from Nolan Reimold en route to a five-run second inning, slimmed their deficit in the AL East to the Red Sox to two games. Jonathan Schoop provided an insurance solo rocket that soared over everything in the ninth.
"We're watching [the out-of-town scoreboard], but at the same time, once you get later in that game, we're just focusing on what we have to do because we know if we do our jobs, we're going to have a chance to win the game," Orioles closer Zach Britton said. "It really doesn't matter what they're doing [around MLB]. We have to win our games and then kind of keep it out of other teams' hands. That's the biggest thing right now. We don't want to rely on other teams. We kind of want to create our own destiny."
It was a satisfying turnaround for Baltimore after a 12-2 loss in the series opener on Monday.
Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy held the Boston bats in check, giving up six hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings to earn the win. It was a tough night for Boston starter Drew Pomeranz, who recorded just six outs and was removed one batter into the third. The lefty gave up four hits and five runs.
"The one thing they're very capable of doing at any point in the lineup is to drive the ball out of the ballpark," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "And then we have an extended inning on our own right, and with the number of pitches thrown by Drew, the time that he sat on the bench, when he started the third inning, it looked like his stuff was backing up a little bit, and felt like we needed to go to the bullpen at that point."
Dustin Pedroia stayed red-hot for the Red Sox from the leadoff spot, producing a single and a double to raise his average to .332. The multihit game for Pedroia was his 14th in his last 17 contests, a stretch that started on Aug. 24.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Britton stays perfect : Britton recorded four outs to notch his 42nd save of the season. Already the AL saves leader, Britton is the only qualified MLB reliever with a 100 percent save percentage. After giving up an eighth-inning single, Britton retired Sandy Leon to end the frame and then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth against the top of Boston's order.
"You run out of things to describe what he's done for us this year and last," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Britton. "To go out there in the ninth inning and go three up, three down, the top of their order, on the road, that's hard to do." More >
Bogaerts bashes one:Xander Bogaerts is heating up again after going through some struggles in July and August. The shortstop clocked a mammoth home run over the Green Monster in left-center, and according to Statcast™, the ball had an exit velocity of 105 mph and was projected to land 429 feet away from home plate. The blast by Bogaerts in the fifth cut Boston's deficit to 5-3. Instead of being pleased about his home run, Bogaerts was annoyed that he struck out in the second inning to end a threat.
"I think it was a changeup, he left it kind of up," Bogaerts said of the homer. "The strikeout I got before with the bases loaded I saw a lot of pitches and he gave me some hittable pitches and I didn't do my job."
O's flip the script: Hardy and Reimold hit towering blasts that helped stake the O's to a lead they never relinquished. Reimold, playing due to an injury to Steve Pearce, stepped in and stepped up in a big way, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
"I've scuffled a lot. I do that sometimes. I go through stretches where it looks like I've never played before," said Reimold, who recorded his first multihit game since July 24. "But it was good to have a good game and help the team and we look forward to tomorrow."
Kelly stays hot: Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly has been a force since his latest recall from Triple-A Pawtucket. In his last five outings, Kelly has worked six innings while allowing three hits and no runs while walking two and striking out nine. Kelly pitched two innings in this one, allowing one hit while walking one and striking out two.
"You love the fact that he's got multi-inning capability," Farrell said. "You're not really concerned right-left with the power he's demonstrating. I think he's doing a very good job in keeping the ball in the lane that he's intending to go, and that's probably the biggest thing with Joe. I think he looks extremely comfortable coming out of the bullpen." More >
"Yeah, we'd be lying if we said we don't look at the [standings] every night and see what the [Blue Jays] did. We control our own destiny and want to win obviously, but tonight when you lose and see the Blue Jays lose, you're kind of in the same spot and looking tomorrow to pick back up." -- Travis Shaw, on the AL East race
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
After struggling to be consistent in July and August, the Red Sox's bullpen has been tremendous in September, leading MLB with a 0.94 ERA this month.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Red-hot right-hander Kevin Gausman takes the mound for Wednesday's series finale against Boston. Gausman took a no-decision Friday when he allowed three runs in six innings at Detroit, snapping a four-start win streak and a scoreless-innings streak of 20 2/3 frames. He has a 1.08 ERA since Aug. 23.
Red Sox:Rick Porcello, fresh off winning his 20th game, will try to stay unbeaten at home when he pitches the 7:10 p.m. ET finale of this three-game series. The righty is 13-0 with a 3.03 ERA in his 14 Fenway starts this season. Porcello faced Baltimore once this season, giving up five runs over six innings on June 2.