BALTIMORE- Amid the aftermath of the Manny Machado trade and the execution of a trade of closer Zach Britton, the Orioles were able to notch a series split against the AL- East leading Boston Red Sox in Baltimore.
Britton was shipped to the New York Yankees for three prospects during game two on Tuesday night and learned of the trade during a rain delay in the contest. Britton spoke fondly of his time in Baltimore.
Rain played a prominent role in this series with two rain delays in game one of the series and another in game two. Game three was postponed to close out the rain filled set.
Game 1 (5-3 BOS): The series opener followed a familiar pattern for the 2018 Orioles as starter Kevin Gausman, who took the loss to fall to 4-8 on the year, was unable to make it out of the fifth inning and the offense provided no runs until the 8th inning.
Gausman’s trouble started in the second inning when Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland slugged his 12th home run of the season to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. It was the 20th homer allowed by Gausman this season which ranks him in a three way tie for 6th most in the MLB.
Gausman settled down until the fifth inning which proved to be his last. Xander Bogaerts doubled to right to start the frame. After a Brock Holt ground out Gausman issued three straight walks to Rafael Devers, Sandy Leon, and Jackie Bradley Jr. The third of these walks extended the Red Sox lead to 2-0.
After a Mookie Betts strikeout, Andrew Benintendi delivered the knock-out punch for Gausman when he hit a ground rule double scoring Devers and Leon to extend the lead to 4-0. Miguel Castro relieved Gausman and J.D. Martinez reached on an infield single scoring Bradley Jr. and making it a 5-0 deficit. Moreland grounded out to end the innning, but the damage was done.
Red hot Jonathan Schoop got the offense going with a two-run shot in the bottom of the 8th to cut the lead to 5-2. Caleb Joseph cut the lead to two with a one out RBI double in the bottom of the ninth scoring Renato Nunez. Jace Peterson grounded into a double play to end the game giving the Orioles their fourth straight loss.
Game 2 (7-6 BAL): As the trade rumors swirled regarding Britton, the Orioles were able to grind out a 7-6 victory over the Red Sox. Yefry Ramirez got the start for the Orioles and pitched well, going five innings while giving up three earned runs and striking out six. Ramirez did surrender three solo shots to Martinez, Blake Swihart, and Betts.
The Orioles offense received a spark from Schoop again as he delivered a two-run shot to left in the bottom of the third inning to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Tim Beckham continued his own run of strong play as he deposited a two-run shot of his own to left center in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Orioles a 4-3 lead.
Beckham struck again in the bottom of the sixth with a sac fly extending the Orioles lead to 5-3. Schoop and Adam Jones delivered back-to-back RBI singles to push the lead to 7-3.
Orioles pitching was able to stave off the Red Sox until the top of the 8th when Betts led off with a single off Orioles reliever Paul Fry. Mychal Givens took over for Fry after a Benintendi fielder’s choice and was greeted by Martinez’s second homer of the game to cut the lead to 7-5.
With the Britton deal all but official, the Orioles could not turn to the often reliable closer in the ninth. Brad Brach came in and made it interesting giving up an infield single to Bradley Jr. to lead off the ninth. Bradley Jr. finished the play at second base due to a throwing error from Beckham. A Holt ground out moved Bradley Jr. to third and he scored on a Devers infield single to make the lead 7-6.
Brach was able to induce a double play off the bat of Betts to end the game and give the Orioles their 29th victory of the season. Brach picked up his 11th save in the process and Ramirez picked up his first major league win.
The Orioles prepare to host the Tampa Rays for a four-game set in Baltimore starting Thursday evening. Alex Cobb will be on the bump looking for his third win of the season.
Image Credit: NBC Sports