BOSTON -- In seemingly every inning of Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Red Sox, Orioles pitchers found their backs against the wall and managed to wriggle out of it.There was no greater example of that than the sixth, when four pitchers took the Fenway Park mound to try to halt
BOSTON -- In seemingly every inning of Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Red Sox, Orioles pitchers found their backs against the wall and managed to wriggle out of it.
There was no greater example of that than the sixth, when four pitchers took the Fenway Park mound to try to halt a Boston rally.
"Tip my cap to the pitching staff today, they're the ones who got this victory," said Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones (aka "Poppo" for Players Weekend).
Leading, 2-0, entering the frame, Buck Showalter decided to stick with starter Wade Miley, who had thrown 94 pitches through five.
Xander Bogaerts (aka "X") made the most of a seven-pitch at-bat and doubled to chase the O's starter, who had a strong day, allowing just one run.
On came Mychal Givens (aka "Tony"), who immediately retired Rajai Davis (aka "Raj") via strikeout, but Rafael Devers (aka "Carita") followed with a double that scored Bogaerts and cut the lead to 2-1.
A walk to Sandy Leon (aka "Noah") put two Sox runners on, but Givens struck out leadoff man Eduardo Nunez (aka "Nunez") before giving way to a left-hander Richard Bleier, who came on to face left-handed-hitting Andrew Benintendi (aka "Benny").
Four pitches later, the Red Sox had the bases loaded on a walk to Benintendi, and Showalter made another call to the 'pen.
"That's a good lineup over there, no doubt about it," Miley said.
On came the hard-throwing Miguel Castro tasked with trying to retire Mookie Betts, and things got off on the right foot when he ran the count to 0-2.
Then Betts got patient, Castro got a little wild and soon the count was full.
With his sixth pitch, the 22-year-old O's reliever fired a 97-mph fastball that Betts was unable to get around on, and Boston's biggest threat was nullified.
"Our guys executed," Showalter said. "Castro played a big part in it."
"Today, Miley, Givens, Bleier, Castro and then [closer Brad Brach], all those guys came in and did a hell of a job,"Jones said. "We had guys on base and our pitching staff got the ground ball, made the right pitches, struck some guys out."
The Red Sox had runners on base in all but the ninth, and had runners in scoring position in all but the fourth and ninth, but were held to just the one run. Boston was just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 runners. Brach (aka "B-Rad") recorded five outs for his 17h save.
In the weekend sweep, the Orioles allowed just four runs against the AL East leaders and pulled themselves over .500 for the first time since Aug. 7 as they gear up to head home and face fellow AL Wild Card contender Seattle.
"Four runs in three games here, that's hard," Jones said. "That's doing a hell of a job. Starting pitching and defense takes you as far as you go. That's not just our team, that's every other team. Hopefully we just maintain it, and hit the gas pedal at a good time and put ourselves in a good position."
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston and covered the Orioles on Sunday.