Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's pitching matchup pitted a pair of left handers up against one another in Wei-Yin Chen and Felix Doubront.
The Red Sox scored their first run in the 2nd inning as Chen traded a run for two outs on a RBI double play off the bat of Will Middlebrooks. The Red Sox struck again in the third inning on an RBI bloop single to leftfield that was just out of the diving Nelson Cruz's reach. The Sox scored a third run in the 3rd inning on an RBI single to David Ross. The Orioles cut the lead to one in the bottom of the 4th when Matt Wieters and Delmon Young hit a pair of two-out RBI doubles off the right field wall. Chen was removed with two outs in the 6th after the Red Sox tacked on their fourth and final run on an RBI single up the middle by former Gamecock college world series hero Jackie Bradley, Jr. The Orioles were able to cut the lead to one again in the 6th when Davis scored on a wild pitch. After that, the scoring ceased and former Oriole Koji Uehara closed out the ninth 1-2-3 for the save.
Tonight could have gone much worse for Wei-Yin Chen who was throwing too many hittable fastballs. The Red Sox tagged him for 12 hits over 5.2 innings so I suppose he deserves some damage control credit for not allowing a big inning and keeping the O's within striking distance.
The Red Sox reached base on Chen each inning of work he pitched and most of their lineup looked fairly comfortable at the plate. What Chen did do well was finish off innings once runners got on. He induced two crucial double plays in the 1st and 2nd and struck out David Ross on a changeup with runners on to end the 3rd. He also struck out Jonny Gomes, a nototious lefty masher, with two runners on to end the 4th inning. Chen looked like he might just will himself to a quality start despite the singles galore he was giving up when Bradley Jr. lined in the Sox fourth run with two outs in the 6th. Chen was then removed for Evan Meek.
Final Line: 5.2 IP, 12 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, Loss
Evan Meek came on to get the final out in the 6th and pitched a scoreless 7th inning too. His command was a bit wild again but his stuff was effective.
Zach Britton pitched the final two innings and looked like a bullpen stud in the making again with sharp command to his mid-90's sinker. He pitched two scoreles innings with two strikeouts.
The Orioles struggles to put runs on the board continued tonight. Overall, they hit better as a team then last night's performance but most of the damage came with two outs so it was tough to get a big inning going. Felix Doubront wasn't working with anything special but he limited the walks to just one, something he's had issues with in the past versus the O's, and made good pitches to get out of jams (aside from the 4th).
Their best inning came in the 4th when Chris Davis led off with a moonshot double that banged off the tippy top of the centerfield wall and is probably a homer any other month of the baseball season. After the next two batters recorded outs, Wieters mashed another double off the wall to score Davis and Delmon Young did the same thing to score Wieters from second.
Nick Markakis continues to hit for a high average from the leadoff spot with a 2-for-5 night.
Chris Davis also recorded a multi-hit night, his first of the season, going 2-for-4.
Matt Wieters had the best night of all going 3-for-4 with an RBI double and two singles. The two singles came as a left handed batter, the side he normally struggles from.
The Orioles turned a few nice double plays in the first two innings which bailed Chen out from things getting out of hand early
Nelson Cruz attempted to dive for dying quail off the bat of Ortiz in the third inning that was just out of his reach. I have a feeling David Lough would've made a highlight reel catch on that had he been out in left.
Did anyone else notice Ryan Webb chug a five hour energy before he started warming up in the pen during the 9th inning? Is that a thing?
The Orioles now get to board a 1 a.m. plane to Detroit, get maybe a few good hours of sleep, then wake up to prepare fot a game with the Tigers at 1 p.m.
Rain could be a potential issue in Detroit, however, and I won't complain if tomorrow's game gets pushed back. Miguel Gonzalez and Anibal Sanchez are the scheduled starters.
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