Alex Cobb may not have been on top of his game tonight, but he was effective nonetheless. He scattered 10 hits over six plus innings, allowing at least one baserunner in every frame that he pitched. Yet he was still able to register a quality start.
In the bottom of the first inning, Mookie Betts got doubled off second base after a leadoff double. Jonathan Schoop corralled a squib shot in shallow right-center and fired the ball in to Manny Machado at second base, just a split second ahead of a sliding Betts.
One night after stealing five bags against Kevin Gausman, the Red Sox tested the Orioles early in this one. But in this case, Andrew Susac threw out Xander Bogaerts on a one-hop strike for the second out of the second inning.
In the bottom of the third, Mookie Betts hit a solo home run into the seats above the Green Monster. Score tied 1-1. Scenes like this seem to be commonplace, seeing as Betts has had a great deal of success against the Orioles in his career. From 2015-2017, Betts has batted .280/.362/.500 against Baltimore with 11 home runs and 35 RBI in 218 at-bats.
In the top of the fourth, Adam Jones singled in two runs with the bases loaded, scoring Chris Davis and Danny Valencia. With runners on second and third, Manny Machado singled off the Green Monster to score Jones and Mancini. 5-1, Orioles.
Machado would finish the night 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI, bringing his season slash line to .347/.423/.671. He is showing no signs of slowing down.
Drew Pomeranz, on the other hand, did not have a good game, continuing his poor start to the 2018 season. He only lasted 4 innings, throwing a total of 81 pitches (48 strikes). He gave up seven hits, five runs (four earned), three walks and two strikeouts. By the end of the game, his ERA stood at an unsightly 5.97.
Cobb ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fifth, allowing a pair of runs to bring the Red Sox a bit closer, 5-3. But he was able to get a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning and minimize the damage.
Cobb’s final pitching line on the night looked like this: 6.1 innings, 10 hits, three earned runs, one walk, three strikeouts and one home run on 93 pitches (63 strikes). He lowered his ERA from 7.06 to 6.56 on the year.
The Orioles added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning on a solo home run by Jonathan Schoop. He crushed a knuckle ball that didn’t knuckle into the seats atop the Green Monster for his fourth long ball of the year. 6-3, Orioles.
Mychal Givens came into the game with one out in the seventh and a runner on second base. He got Mookie Betts on a groundball to third, walked Andrew Benintendi on four pitches and got Hanley Ramirez on a flyout to right to end the inning.
After Givens struck out J.D. Martinez to start the eighth inning, Bogaerts reached second base on an error by Trey Mancini on a fly ball near the line in left. With Richard Bleier pitching, Bogaerts would come around to score on Eduardo Nunez’s double to left and the Red Sox inched closer, 6-4.
Brad Brach come on with runners on the corners and two outs. He walked the first batter he saw, Mitch Moreland, to load the bases after an eight pitch at-bat. He then proceeded to induce a pop-up to first base from Mookie Betts to end the threat. Boy, does Brach sure make it interesting when he comes into the game.
The Orioles tacked on another insurance run in the top of ninth, supplying some much needed breathing room on a stressful night. Jonathan Schoop walked with two outs and Mark Trumbo drove him in on a double to right-center field. Schoop showed a lot of hustle making the trip home all the way from first.
On the night, Schoop was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, one RBI and two walks. Schoop’s importance to this team cannot be downplayed. They have shown big improvements on offense and defense since he returned form the disabled list.
After securing the last out of the eighth inning, Brach stayed in the game for the save opportunity the following inning. But the ninth inning was not free of drama. Things started out well enough, with a groundout and a flyout by Benintendi and Ramirez, respectively. But then Martinez elicited a mild scare with a double down the right field line, bringing up Bogaerts. But the drama would end there, as Bogaerts grounded out to end the game.
Crisis averted. Road losing streak ended. The Orioles bats came back to life after a few dormant days, and the pitching was good enough to earn the victory. They will look to keep this momentum going in the game tomorrow night when Dylan Bundy faces Rick Porcello.
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