O's score on wild pitch, blank Red Sox
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles pushed across one run in the seventh inning on a Matt Barnes wild pitch, and that's all they needed in a 1-0 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday night in the series opener at Camden Yards.
Boston threatened to score in the eighth after putting runners on first and second with no outs, but Matt Wieters stalled the rally with a gutsy play to throw out Dustin Pedroia at third base on a Rusney Castillo sacrifice bunt attempt. Zach Britton took the mound for the final two outs of the inning, and the rest of the game, as he shut down the Red Sox for a five-out save, his 16th save of the season.
"It's a situation where we are down a lefty in the bullpen, so I figured just be ready for any situation," said Britton of his performance.
The game remained scoreless until the seventh, as Boston rookie lefty Eduardo Rodriguez went six innings, allowing three hits and three walks while recording seven strikeouts. Barnes took the loss, and Baltimore reliever Chaz Roe picked up his first win to give the Orioles four victories in their past five contests.
"We are trying to get on a roll, win some games and get out of the dungeon, so to speak, in the standings a little bit," Britton said. "We are playing good ball right now. Offense is scoring just enough runs and we are pitching the way we are capable of pitching, so those are good things."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ramirez sidelined as offense scuffles: Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez, who has been one of the team's hottest hitters, fouled a ball off his left knee in the third against Gonzalez and eventually left the game with a contusion. Without Ramirez, the offense stalled as Boston was held scoreless by four O's pitchers. It was the fifth time the Red Sox were shut out, stranding nine runners.
"X-rays were negative," Boston manager John Farrell said. "He's got a contusion on the inside of that left knee. He's a little sore, but nothing structurally." More >
Gonzalez exits game in fifth: Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez left with one out in the fifth inning with a right groin strain. Following a Pedroia groundout to shortstop, Gonzalez met with Buck Showalter and Orioles trainer Richie Bancells before walking back to the dugout. The right-hander pitched 4 1/3 innings while giving up four hits and two walks and notching one strikeout.
"I just felt some discomfort and I really thought I could keep going, but in the fifth inning, I just didn't feel quite right," Gonzalez said. More >
Rodriguez dominates, 'pen stumbles: In his first appearance in Baltimore since being traded for reliever Andrew Miller last season, Rodriguez shined against his former organization. The left-hander, who was making just his third career start, pitched his way out of several jams.
"He was outstanding once again," Farrell said. "We've talked a lot about his poise. We've talked a lot about his stuff, but clearly in the middle innings, his competitive spirit really came through with some big pitches...Through three starts, we're looking at a pretty special young man."
Orioles grab lead in seventh: All it took was one run for the Orioles. Steve Pearce hit a leadoff double off the right-field wall, and J.J. Hardy advanced his teammate to third with a single up the middle. Pearce then scored on Barnes' wild pitch. Baltimore could have grabbed another run, as Ryan Flaherty produced a sacrifice bunt to advance Hardy to third, but Manny Machado and Delmon Young couldn't convert.
"You live a little bit vicariously through your kids now as they're fortunate enough to blaze a path that you traveled." -- Farrell, on the team drafting outfielder Tate Matheny, son of Cardinals manager Mike Matheny
"He really got everybody's attention in the spring as a backup on road trips, the way he approached it. Some of the guys figure out what's going on. He's kind of at that stage of his career. You've heard me talk about those 28-, 32-year-old guys. He's been on both sides of the mountain. He knows when something's green and not green. He boarded every bus we took it seemed like and got everybody's attention." -- Showalter, on Roe
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Britton has not allowed a run over his past 10 appearances (10 2/3 innings) and has converted 12 consecutive saves, which is the second longest stretch of his career behind only his career high of 18 in a row, set July 19-Sept. 4, 2014 .
There were three replays, two of which came approximately 10 minutes apart. The first was on a Nolan Reimold infield single on a grounder between third base and shortstop in the sixth. The Orioles left fielder was deemed safe on the close play, but after a two-minute, nine-second review, the call was overturned.
On a similar play in the seventh, Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts was called safe on a ground ball to short. The call was later overturned with a two-minute, two-second review the second time around.
The final replay came in the eighth when to Orioles challenged a hit-by-pitch call on Pedroia to lead off the inning. Pedroia was hit with an up and in pitch from reliever Roe, and the call stood after a 35-second review.
Red Sox: Rick Porcello (4-5, 5.01 ERA) is in the midst of a three-game losing streak and must face the Orioles -- a team he has traditionally struggled to beat -- on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. In 11 career starts against Baltimore, Porcello is 3-6 with a 5.21 ERA. That trend has carried over to this season, as the right-hander is 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in two games.
Orioles: Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will take the mound for the Orioles in Game 2 against the Red Sox at 7:05 p.m. ET. Despite having a 3.18 ERA and going six or more innings in eight of his 11 starts, Chen is 1-4 and has yet to win at home this season.
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