Six-run barrage helps O's hold on at Fenway
BOSTON -- The Orioles got offense from nearly their entire lineup on Thursday afternoon and held on for an 8-6 victory over the Red Sox in the rubber match of a three-game series. Eight of Baltimore's nine starters had at least one hit.
"We're playing well right now and we have to keep doing that, especially in the division," said catcher Matt Wieters, who hit a two-run homer during a six-run fourth. "And I think the big thing is to continue to play our game and win games that we should win and try to come back in some games that we get behind in."
Eduardo Rodriguez, a former Baltimore farmhand, had a tough day for the Red Sox. Over 3 2/3 innings, the lefty was tagged for seven hits and six runs, all of which came in the fourth.
"Once he got in the stretch, balls seemed to find the center of the plate a little bit," said Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis. "We'll get to work on that in the next side session, work from the stretch and find out if there's anything more to it than that."
Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez did what he needed to with a big lead, holding the Red Sox to eight hits and four runs over five-plus innings in his first start back from the disabled list.
Playing without Dustin Pedroia (placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring before the game) and Hanley Ramirez (left hand contusion), the Red Sox generated their share of offense. Xander Bogaerts, Mike Napoli, Alejandro De Aza, Blake Swihart and Jackie Bradley Jr. each collected a pair of hits.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gonzalez wins in return: Activated before the game, Gonzalez was far from dominant, but he didn't issue a walk. De Aza's three-run homer was the big blow against the righty in his 88-pitch outing.
"Miguel, his first time out, he hung a breaking ball to Alejandro," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "He kept us engaged. He's capable of better. It's a good start back for him. He feels good physically; that's the good news." More >
E-Rod again succumbs to big inning: Just like in his last start at Fenway Park, Rodriguez could not limit the damage during a rally.The Orioles tagged him for six runs in the game-changing top of the fourth. Rodriguez gave up seven straight hits, including Wieters' homer.
"He's cruising along -- he retires the first 10 of the game," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He was dominant. A number of swing-and-miss [pitches], and then he gets in the stretch, they make a little bit of an adjustment. He wasn't commanding the baseball when he got to the stretch and fell behind in some counts." More >
Bradley returns, makes great throw: It didn't take long for Bradley to make an impact play upon his return to the Red Sox. In the top of the ninth, he made a strong throw to the plate to cut down David Lough, who had tagged up and was trying to score on a fly ball by Steve Pearce. Bradley was called up to help fill in for Ramirez, who is day to day.
Statcast™ recorded Bradley's throw at 95.4 mph and Lough's top speed to the plate at 19.77 mph. Bradley's throw traveled 249.37 feet to Swihart, the catcher.
"Great play," Farrell said. "His defense has always spoken for itself. More than anything, he gets a ground-ball base hit to maybe take a deep breath a little bit, and then, against one of the better relievers in baseball [in Zach Britton], he gets a fastball to the pull side for a base hit. Hopefully, this is a chance for him to jump-start some confidence and feel as though he belongs." More >
O's bats break out: Baltimore had seven extra-base hits, three of which came in the big fourth. Pearce, who entered the day batting .206, went 3-for-5 with two doubles, while J.J. Hardy and Wieters each drove in a pair of runs on a 14-hit afternoon.
"Little by little, we have our moments. We're now taking a couple of steps forward and maybe one back. ... We'll see what tomorrow brings and how good the pitchers are. That's usually what dictates it." -- Showalter, on his team being in a groove over the past 20 games
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Baltimore has won 15 of its last 20 games overall and has lost just once in its past 12 series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox are 2-8-1 in series against American League East opponents this season.
Orioles: Baltimore will travel back home to host the Indians for a three-game series starting on Friday night at 7:05 ET. Wei-Yin Chen will be making his first start since being optioned to Class A Advanced Frederick and will face Tribe righty Corey Kluber.
Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello, who hasn't pitched particularly well of late, draws the start on Friday night in the opener of Boston's seven-game road trip. Righty Alex Colome will start for the Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
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