Series Recap: Orioles’ problems further exposed as Red Sox sweep Birds at Fenway

BOSTON — 16 games into the 2018 Major League Baseball regular season, the Baltimore Orioles are off to their worst start since the 2010 season. That year, the Birds went 2-16 through their first 18 games. After getting swept by the American League East-leading Red Sox this weekend, the Birds own a 5-11 record with the worst run differential in the AL (-35).

Game 1 (7-3 BOS): Chris Tillman struggled mightily, again in his third start of the season. Tillman lasted just two innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks. He allowed four runs in the first inning, three coming off a three-run home run by Eduardo Nunez. Mookie Betts hit an RBI double in the second inning. After two consecutive singles in the third inning, Tillman hit Jackie Bradley Jr., and Buck Showalter had seen enough. Tillman got pulled after throwing 57 pitches, 31 for strikes.

Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo picked up the slack for Tillman, pitching two innings of relief and allowing one hit and one walk with three strikeouts. Manny Machado hit a double in the seventh inning that scored two runs.

Game 2 (10-3 BOS): Saturday was supposed to be a positive day for the Orioles, as Alex Cobb made his debut in a Baltimore uniform. However, Saturday was anything but positive for the Birds.

In the hours leading up to Saturday’s game, the Orioles announced that second baseman Jonathan Schoop would be placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique strain. Schoop apparently suffered the injury while taking a swing during Friday’s game. The ensuing roster move was Cobb’s activation.

As a result of Schoop’s injury, the Orioles shifted Tim Beckham over to second base, and started Danny Valencia at third base. With a new team and unfamiliar infield behind him, Cobb got rocked. In the first inning, Andrew Benintendi got the rally started with an RBI double that scored Betts, who had to leave the game after scoring due to a foot contusion. After that, Hanley Ramirez hit his third home run of the season to give Boston the quick 3-0 advantage. In the third inning, J.D. Martinez hit his third homer of the season to extend Boston’s lead to four.

In the fourth inning, things only got worse for Cobb. Benintendi hit a single that scored two runs, and then Ramirez doubled to score Benintendi. It was here that Showalter decided to pull Cobb after 79 pitches, 49 for strikes. His first stat line as an Oriole read 3.2 innings, with eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits and one walk.

Miguel Castro tossed two innings of relief, allowing one earned run on three hits, one walk, and one strikeout. Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning.

Game 3 (3-1 BOS): The Orioles struck out 14 times in what was their fifth game scoring one run or less this season. That lone run came in the first inning on a double by Machado. Two of Baltimore’s three hits on Sunday came in the first inning.

Once again, the Orioles failed to get Dylan Bundy any run support. Bundy dazzled again in his fourth start this season, going 5.2 innings and allowing three runs (one earned) off seven hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. In the fifth inning, Benintendi hit a triple that scored Bradley Jr. A wild pitch would score another Boston run in the sixth inning, with the last run coming on a ground-rule double by Tzu-Wei Lin.

After Bundy’s exit, Richard Bleier threw the final 2.1 innings, allowing three hits with two strikeouts.

Following the conclusion of Sunday’s game, it was announced that Monday’s Patriot Day series finale would be postponed due to inclement weather. The O’s and Red Sox will make up the game on May 17, which will stretch a three-game weekend series to four games at Fenway Park.

Up next: The Orioles now have an off-day on Monday before heading to Detroit to face the Tigers in a three-game series at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers own a 4-9 record so far this season, good for fourth place in the AL Central. The Tigers were supposed to play three games against the Yankees this weekend, but only played one due to weather. That game occurred on Friday, where the Yankees topped the Tigers 8-6.

Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games will begin at 6:40 pm, with the Thursday series finale starting at 1:10 pm.

Image Credit: InfoGlitz

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Orioles prepare for battle with AL East leading Red Sox

In 2017 the Orioles and Red Sox engaged in a season long battle that saw many ugly games and a lot of tension. This weekend, the two AL East teams will meet for the first time in the 2018 season. The only question is, will the tension spill over?

Orioles fans will certainly remember the ongoing antics between the Red Sox pitching staff and Manny Machado after the O’s third baseman injured Dustin Pedroia on a slide into second base early last season. They will also remember the racial slurs that were directed at Adam Jones when the O’s traveled to Boston the following week. There is no question that these were two of the lowest points of 2017 for both teams. Even though the extra circulars faded as the season progressed, the games remained intense and highly entertaining with the Orioles barely taking the season series 10-9.

As these two teams prepare to meet for the first time this season, many wonder if the nonsense of last year will carry over to 2018. I don’t have the answers to that question, but what I do know is that this series will be very important for both teams despite it only being April.

The Red Sox are off to a hot start. They will enter this weekend’s series sitting at the top of the AL East with a 10-2 record. The Orioles, on the other hand, will enter this four game set seeking yet another bounce back performance as they continue to try to get some momentum going in the first month of the season.

It should also be noted that the Orioles are coming off of their only scheduled off day this month while the Red Sox are coming into the weekend fresh off a heated series with the New York Yankees.

On paper this has all the makings of a great series. The Patriots Day festivities will draw a lot of attention on Monday but the first three games should be just as entertaining with a handful of good pitching matchups throughout the series. Sunday’s stands out with both teams top starters, Dylan Bundy and Chris Sale, squaring off.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1: Friday, April 13, 7:10 pm – Chris Tillman (0-2, 8.68 ERA) vs Eduardo Rodriguez (0-0, 7.36 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Saturday, April 14, 1:05 pm – Alex Cobb (2017: 12-10, 3.66 ERA) vs Hector Velazquez (1-0, 3.12 ERA) – MLB Network, MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Sunday, April 15, 1:05 pm – Dylan Bundy (0-1, 1.35 ERA) vs Chris Sale (1-0, 1.06 ERA) – MLB Network, MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 4: Monday, April  16, 11:05 am Andrew Cashner (1-1, 2.50 ERA) vs David Price (1-1, 2.40 ERA) – MLB Network, MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on Red Sox:

  • This weekends series in Boston will conclude with the annual Patriots Day game on Monday. The game will start at 11:05 am to coincide with the Boston Marathon and will mark the seventh meeting between the Orioles and Red Sox on the holiday. Boston holds a 4-2 advantage in those games and have also won 12 of their last 17 games on Patriots Day.
  • The Red Sox have started the 2018 season with more than their fair share of divisional matchups. Facing so many familiar opponents in such a short span of time is difficult for any team but Boston has already won eight of their ten games against other AL East teams.
  • Over the past four seasons Mookie Betts has played 63 games against the Baltimore Orioles. He holds a .278 batting average with 12 home runs and 36 RBI’s in his career against the O’s, making him the top threat every time these teams square off.

Notes on Orioles:

  • Chris Tillman will get the start in game one and will be looking for his first win in quite some time. After signing a one-year deal to return to Baltimore this season, Tillman had a lot to prove if he was going to get another chance at the major league level. So far that process has not gone well for the veteran starter. Tillman has not been credited with a win since May 7 of last year and holds a 7.93 ERA since then.
  • Fans will get their first look at Alex Cobb as an Orioles starter this weekend. The Red Sox are a tough lineup to face in your first start of the year but Cobb has seen some good success at Fenway Park in his six major league seasons. The former Tampa Bay Ray holds a 5-1 record with a 3.15 ERA in seven career starts in Boston. Cobb has also only surrendered one home run in 40 career innings at Fenway.

Image credit: Sports Illustrated

Series Recap: Orioles drop fifth straight series with two extra inning losses to Red Sox

The first two games of this series could not have looked any more different on paper yet they both ended in similar fashion. Monday night’s series opener was a slug fest where both the Red Sox and Orioles flexed their offensive muscles and combined to score 18 runs.

The Orioles were able to find success against Doug Fister and take an early 5-0 lead after the third inning. Usually when the O’s put up this many runs it’s because of the long ball, but this time they scored almost all of their runs on quality at bats alone. Everyone in the lineup did a good job of just getting on base allowing three of the five runs to be scored on either a sacrifice fly or a fielder’s choice.

The Red Sox made their comeback and eventually toke the lead in the fifth inning. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt got it started by picking up a pair of RBI singles that knocked Dylan Bundy out of the game and brought the Red Sox back to within just two runs of the O’s.

Mookie Betts was the biggest difference maker of the inning though. The 24-year-old outfielder doubled to deep left field and brought all three base runners home, putting Boston up 7-6. Betts now has ten games in his four-year career where he has collected at least four RBI’s. Three of those ten have been against the Orioles.

The Orioles got the lead right back in the bottom half of the fifth when Pedro Alvarez launched a solo homer and Tim Beckham followed with a RBI double. However, with an 8-7 lead the Orioles still couldn’t hold on and Donnie Hart ended up surrendering a game tying homer to Xander Bogaerts.

The game would remain tied until the 11th inning. Facing Miguel Castro, the Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs, bringing Andrew Benintendi to the plate. Benintendi was able to sneak a grounder just past the reach of a diving Jonathan Schoop to score the eventual game winning runs.

After the disappointing loss on Monday the Orioles were just looking to improve their pitching and try to force a rubber match. Even though the pitching definitely improved, the result was still a loss as the O’s came up just short.

Kevin Gausman was excellent in his eight innings of work, allowing just three hits and striking out seven. Drew Pomeranz got the start for Boston and gave up five hits through 6.1 innings. The Red Sox may have needed to tap into their bullpen earlier than the O’s but their relievers were even more effective. Five relief pitchers entered the game for Boston and none of them allowed a hit or walk.

Once again the Red Sox spoiled the Orioles evening by picking up a go ahead run in the top of the eleventh. Brad Brach was entering his second inning of relief and just like Monday’s game, the Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs. Instead of a clutch base hit, the Red Sox were gifted a run when Brach threw a wild pitch.

The O’s certainly had their chances to score on Tuesday. In the third inning Manny Machado picked up a two out double but was cut down at the plate while trying to score. Chris Davis also came close to breaking the shutout in the fifth inning. Davis sent a ball to deep center field that was definitely on its way out but Jackie Bradley Jr. made an amazing leaping grab to prevent another potential O’s run.

After dropping their fifth straight series the Orioles couldn’t get anything going in Wednesdays series finale. The Red Sox struck first in the fourth inning with a pair of two-run homers by Deven Marrero and the Oriole Killer, Mookie Betts.

Hanley Ramirez added two more runs in the fifth with a double to give Boston a 6-0 lead. This hit also drove Wade Miley out of the game after just 4.1 innings of work. Miley now holds a 10.06 ERA in four starts this month.

The O’s offense was nowhere to be found through the first six innings. It looked like they were finally going to get something going in the seventh when Trey Mancini led off with a double but Chris Sale was able to strike out the side and escape the slight jam.

The Red Sox picked up two more runs in the eighth off of Tanner Scott, who was making his MLB debut. Despite clocking in at 100 mph on a few pitches, Scott couldn’t put the Boston batters away. The 23-year-old allowed four base runners and two runs before escaping the inning.

Chris Sale remained in the game for the eighth and proceeded to pick up his 13th strikeout of the game and 300th of the season. Sale becomes the second Red Sox pitcher to accomplish this milestone after Pedro Martinez racked up 313 in 1999.

This was just one of many highlights for the Red Sox as they picked up a 9-0 win and a sweep over their division rivals. The heated matchups between these teams feel like a distant memory at this point as the Orioles failed to play with any ambition and let another team walk over them on their way to the postseason.

The Orioles will play four games against the Rays this weekend for their last home series of the season. As the final week of their 2017 campaign nears, the O’s are also staring at their first losing season since 2011. Baltimore is seven games under .500 with just nine left to play.

Image Credit: Associated Press

Series Preview: Orioles begin last homestand of season with tangle against Red Sox

BALTIMORE — No need to sugarcoat it, the Orioles’ chances of making the playoffs seem dead. Over their last 10 games, the O’s played 2-8 baseball, and are 5-11 in the month of September.

Over the weekend, the Orioles lost three of four to the Yankees, who seem destined to take the first Wild Card spot in the American League. The Yankees outscored the Orioles 34-16 over the weekend. They did not mathematically eliminate the O’s from playoff contention, but now the Orioles almost need to win out and hope that the other teams in the hunt slip.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, come into Monday’s series hoping to claim the #3 seed in the AL. Over the weekend, Boston took two of three from Tampa at the Trop. The Red Sox are in a nine-game road trip that will conclude with a weekend Cincinnati after this meeting with the Orioles.

Last Meeting: From Aug. 25-27 at Fenway Park, the Orioles swept the Red Sox, limiting them to four runs. That sweep included a shutout for Baltimore, and got them back to .500. The sweep turned into a seven-game win streak for the Orioles that also included a sweep of the Mariners at Camden Yards.

Season Series: The Orioles already won the season series against the Red Sox, as they currently hold a 10-6 record against Boston. Even if Boston swept Baltimore in this series, that would put it at a 10-9 mark in Baltimore’s favor. At Camden Yards this season against Boston, the Orioles possess a record of 4-3.

Standings Update: AL East Standings (as of Sept. 17)

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Playoff Picture: If the season ended today, the Cleveland Indians (93-57) would own the #1 seed in the AL, with the Houston Astros (91-58) at #2 and the Red Sox at #3. In the Wild Card matchup, the Minnesota Twins (78-71) would travel to New York for a one-game playoff with the Yankees. The Angels (76-73) represent the only team in the AL hunt that holds a record above .500. 5.5 games now separate the Orioles from a Wild Card spot.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Monday, Sept. 18, 7:05 pm – Doug Fister (5-8, 4.40 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.09 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7:05 pm – Drew Pomeranz (16-5, 3.28 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (11-10, 4.83 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Wednesday, Sept. 20, 7:05 pm – Chris Sale (16-7, 2.86 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (8-13, 5.32 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Red Sox:

  • Sale’s ERA at Camden Yards this season clocks in at 4.50, his third-highest ERA in any MLB ballpark this season.
  • Sale leads MLB in strikeouts with 287. Cory Kluber ranks second with 252.
  • After hitting eight home runs in Baltimore last season, Mookie Betts only did it once so far in 2017. His average at Camden Yards this season is .179.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Jonathan Schoop‘s 104 RBI puts him at second place in the AL behind Nelson Cruz‘s 110 RBI. In the MLB rankings, Schoop’s mark puts him in seventh place. Nolan Arenado of the Rockies leads the majors with 125.
  • Miley leads all of MLB with 84 earned runs to his credit. Derek Holland rings in second at that department with 75.
  • In 16 September games so far this month, opponents limited Baltimore to three runs or less 11 times.

Up Next: The Orioles remain at Camden Yards for their final home series of the season, a four-game weekend matchup wth the Rays. The night games Thursday through Saturday begin at 7:05 pm, and the game on Sunday afternoon starts at 1:35 pm.

Image Credit: Camden Chat

Series Recap: Orioles revive playoff hopes with sweep against Boston

BOSTON — The Orioles did not shine on their west coast trip, and, despite returning to Camden Yards, they still have not looked like a strong playoff contender. This weekend’s series against the Red Sox changed that. For the first time since 2014, the Orioles completed a three-game sweep at Fenway Park.

On Friday, the Orioles played as close to a perfect game as they could get. The Offense lit up the scoreboard with 16 runs, and the pitching staff was efficient while protecting the lead.

Every Orioles starter posted at least one hit and scored at least one run in the dominate win, but there were standout performances. Jonathan Schoop lead the way by going 4/5 at the plate and coming around to score three runs. Trey Mancini generated the most runs by posting three hits and driving in four runs.

It’s easy to focus on the extremely potent offense, but the pitching staff was just as effective in the win. Jeremy Hellickson tossed a strong seven innings to pick up his second win as an Oriole. The 30-year-old starter threw while allowing all three Red Sox runs, but only two were earned. Richard Bleier and Mike Wright each pitched an inning of relief and collectively gave up two hits.

When playing a team like the Red Sox there is usually no room for error. However, the Red Sox essentially gifted Friday’s game to the O’s by playing careless and sloppy defense. Boston was credited with five errors that allowed the Orioles to easily run up the score.

Five pitchers were used by the Red Sox in Friday’s game, including first baseman Mitch Moreland. Surprisingly, Moreland displayed one of the best pitching performances for Boston on Friday. The first baseman surrendered just two hits and even struck out Caleb Joseph in his inning of work.

The Orioles offense went right back to work in the second game, this time shutting out the Red Sox 7-0. Going up against Eduardo Rodriguez, the O’s posted five runs in the fifth thanks to a pair of RBI singles and a three-run homer by Tim Beckham. By the end of the inning, Rodriguez was well over fifty pitches and the Red Sox were in danger of blowing up their bullpen again.

Rodriguez fought his way through 6.2 innings, but the damage had already been done. The Red Sox were held scoreless while the O’s added two more runs in the late innings on a solo homer by Schoop and an RBI double by Craig Gentry.

Kevin Gausman was excellent in his start. The 26-year-old pitcher worked his way through 7.2 innings, lowering his ERA to 4.98. The start marks Gausman’s second longest of the year and earns him his tenth win.

Sunday’s series finale was the closest of the series but the Orioles found away to edge past the Red Sox once again. Doug Fister took the mound for Boston and gave them some much-needed stability after Fridays blowout. Fister pitched through seven innings and surrendered just two runs. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, this was still too many as the offense only managed one run.

Wade Miley continued the Orioles stretch of quality starts by giving up just the one run through five innings of work. Mychal Givens, Bleier, Miguel Castro, and Brad Brach combined to finish the final four innings. Surprisingly, Buck Showalter opted to keep Brach in the game for a five out save despite only holding a one run lead.

Zach Britton has not pitched since Wednesday when he snapped his lengthy save streak.

The Orioles offense came in the first inning when Adam Jones and Mancini both picked up an RBI double. The Red Sox lone run of the afternoon was also scored via double.

This three-game sweep has certainly rejuvenated the O’s chances moving forward. They will remain at home at the beginning of next week to host the Mariners. Seattle is currently sitting one game ahead of the O’s in the standings which should make for another exciting series.

Image Credit: Associated Press

Series Preview: Before returning to OPACY, Orioles make pit stop in Boston

BOSTON — Winning the first game of a series, only to lose immediately after, seems to haunt the Orioles lately. Fortunately, the Orioles found a way to take two of three from a bad Oakland team and win their first series in almost a month.

The Orioles did not make it easy on themselves, playing 12 innings in a rubber match against the A’s, but the series win boosts momentum. With the division-leading Red Sox waiting for them in Boston, Baltimore needs that momentum heading into the weekend.

Last Meeting: Over two months separate the last meeting between the Orioles and Red Sox. From June 1-4, the two teams split a four-game series at Camden Yards. The Orioles emerged victorious in the first two games. Boston won the final two contests.

In game one, four Orioles – Mark Trumbo, Jonathan Schoop, Adam Jones, and Chris Davis  – recorded home runs in a 7-5 Orioles win. In game two, Manny Machado and Seth Smith homered in the first inning en route to a 3-2 Baltimore victory.

In the two wins, Wade Miley and Alec Asher turned in solid starts. Both pitchers made it to the seventh inning, and Miley completed it. Dylan Bundy and Chris Tillman did not look that impressive in their two starts in the second half of the series.

When this weekend series concluded, the Orioles sported a record three games over .500 (29-26). That was good enough for a third place mark in the American League East. At this time, then Yankees led the division by two games, with Boston on their tails.

Season Series vs. Red Sox: The Orioles lead the season series against the Red Sox, 7-6. At Fenway Park this season, the Orioles are 2-3.

Standings Update: As of Aug. 24, the Red Sox (73-53) lead the AL East by 4.5 games, with the Yankees (68-57) in second place. The Orioles (62-66) sit in fourth place, with the Rays (62-55) in third and the Blue Jays (60-66) in last place.

Elsewhere in the AL, the Cleveland Indians (69-56) sit up top in the central, and the Houston Astros (77-49) own the best record in the AL and therefore lead the west.

Wild Card Picture: Also as of Aug. 24, the Yankees and the Twins (65-61) hold the two Wild Card slots in the AL. With the Royals (64-61), Angels (65-62), Mariners (65-63) and the Rangers (63-63) all ahead of them, 3.5 games separate the Orioles from a Wild Card spot.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1Friday, Aug. 25, 7:10 pm – Jeremy Hellickson (7-7, 5.00 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (8-14, 4.48 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2Saturday, Aug. 26, 4:05 pm – Kevin Gausman (9-9, 5.25 ERA) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 4.01 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3Sunday, Aug. 27, 1:35 pm – TBD vs. Doug Fister (3-6, 4.78 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Closer Zach Britton, who blew his first save in 60 appearances on Wednesday against Oakland, underwent an MRI on his left knee on Thursday. According to Rich Dubroff of PressBoxOnline.com, the MRI showed no structural damage to Britton’s knee.
  • Machado has hit six home runs against the Red Sox in 13 games. Earlier in the season, tensions simmered between Machado and the Red Sox. Machado probably tried to swing for the fences every at-bat, but that statistic is impressive nevertheless.

Notes on the Red Sox:

  • After being selected off waivers by Boston on June 23 from the Angels, Fister is 3-6 with a 4.78 ERA in eight starts. Fister, a journeyman, is 4-2 with a 4.47 ERA in eight starts against Baltimore.
  • Mookie Betts killed the Orioles last season, slamming nine home runs in 19 games. So far this season, in five games, Betts has tallied one long ball against the O’s.

Up Next: The Orioles return home for a 10-game homestand at Camden Yards. The Mariners come to Baltimore for three games, the Blue Jays follow for a four-game set, and the Yankees conclude the homestand over three games.

Image Credit: Boston Herald 

 

Series Recap: Orioles split series against Red Sox, remain in third place

Going into the week of May 29 the Orioles were facing two crucial and extremely taxing series’ against AL East opponents. They had lost seven games in a row and were looking lost in every facet of the game.

Had you told O’s fans that the Birds would go 4-3 this week, many would have called you crazy but taken that hypothetical scenario in a heartbeat. That outcome became a reality after the Orioles took care of business against the Yankees and kept rolling into the first two games of the Red Sox series. Two disappointing loses capped off the week but the O’s still walked away with a solid rebound week.

In game one the Orioles offense picked up where it left off from the Yankees series. Four home runs from four different players pushed the Birds past the Red Sox 7-5.  Mark Trumbo and Jonathan Schoop launched multi-run homers while Adam Jones and Chris Davis added solo shots.

Wade Miley took the mound and pitched seven innings of work, giving up just one run. With a 7-1 lead going into the eighth inning, Buck Showalter opted to bring Mike Wright into the game instead of the usual late inning relievers. Wright worked his way through the eighth with ease, prompting Showalter to keep him in for the ninth as well. Wright surrendered a few hits and one run before being replaced by Donnie Hart with just one out to go.

Hart put some unnecessary nerves in the hearts of O’s fans when he gave up a three run homer to Jackie Bradley Jr., but he followed by getting Pablo Sandoval to ground into the final out of the game.

Game two was much closer from start to finish. A leadoff home run from Seth Smith was followed by a monster homer from Manny Machado. The third baseman tore into a pitch from Rick Porcello and hit the second deck in left field, approximately 465 feet away from home plate.

Alec Asher turned in a great bounce back outing after struggling against the Astros last week. Through 6.1 innings Asher gave up two runs on three hits but notched five strikeouts as well. Mychal Givens, Darren O’Day, and Brad Brach combined to close out the final innings and hold the 3-2 lead for the win.

Saturday nights game marked the Orioles first time facing David Price in a Red Sox uniform. Considering Price has gone 12-5 with a 2.81 ERA in 25 starts against the O’s, many were expecting less offensive production than the first two games. Those predictions proved to be true as Price stifled the Orioles for seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits.

Dylan Bundy didn’t quite go as deep as some might have hoped but he was able to keep the Red Sox lineup at bay for a potential comeback. When he exited the game, the Orioles were down 2-0.

Manny Machado cut the deficit to one with a solo home run in the seventh inning. The homer marked Machado’s 12th of the year and sixth against the Red Sox.  Going into the eighth Buck Showalter opted to send Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound.  The move was confusing and went about as well as you would expect. Jimenez gave up two runs before finally finishing the inning.

Donnie Hart pitched the ninth and gave up a run of his own, pushing the deficit to four runs.  The O’s managed to get one run off of closer, Craig Kimbrel but would ultimately fall to Boston 5-2.

Had this been a three game series, the O’s would have walked away with another series win against a division opponent. However, there was still one game to play and the Red Sox had a chance to split the series. It didn’t help that Boston would be sending Chris Sale to the mound while the O’s prayed that Chris Tillman would rebound from his last two abysmal starts.

In unexpected fashion, Chris Sale struggled through the first inning. The Orioles lineup did a good job of getting Sale’s pitch count up to just under 40 while scoring three runs. Although, the bad inning couldn’t be fully attributed to Sale. Sandoval made two key mistakes that allowed the inning to be extended.

Chris Tillman didn’t look much better in the early innings.  The Orioles starter gave up three runs of his own through the first two innings but quickly settled in to retire the next nine batters in order.  Tillman ran into trouble once again int he sixth.  With the bases loaded Francisco Pena had an opportunity to catch Bradley Jr. slipping but threw it away instead. Two runs scored and the Red Sox took a 5-3 lead. They would hold this lead and go onto win 7-3.

The Orioles are off tomorrow as they prepare to host the Pirates in a two game series on Tuesday and Wednesday. Another off day was originally scheduled for Thursday but that day will be used to make up the rained out game against the Nationals from last month.