After being shut out in the first half of the doubleheader, Baltimore hung with Boston for most of game two before falling behind late. The Red Sox sent seven pitchers to the mound, while the Orioles employed four pitchers, with a total of six runs scored through the first seven innings tonight until J.D. Martinez broke things open with a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth.
Yefry Ramirez was his usual self tonight, lasting a total of five innings. He has gone five innings in five of his eight starts this year.
After an uneventful first inning and a half, the Orioles got on the board with a run in the bottom of the second. Trey Mancini started things off with a single to left and Chris Davis reached when an errant pitch glanced off his helmet. Renato Nunez pumped a double just over the head of Martinez in left, scoring Mancini and sending Davis to third.
There’s a chance it could’ve been more if Davis, at third base with no outs, had either run home when Cedric Mullins grounded out to second or tagged up when Joey Rickard flied out to foul territory in right. The inning ended with Caleb Joseph grounding out to Rafael Devers at third, who made a nice stop and gunned the ball across the diamond to Steve Pearce, who made an expert stretch to ensure the putout.
Ramirez cruised through the first three innings on 51 pitches for the O’s, allowing one hit and one walk with three strikeouts. Hector Velazquez of the Red Sox was not so lucky. He lasted only 2.2 innings before being removed from the game and it would be the responsibility of Boston’s bullpen to eat up innings.
Brandon Workman, in relief of Velazquez, allowed inherited runner Jace Peterson to score from second on a two out single by Trey Mancini in the bottom of the third, increasing the Orioles’ lead to two. Then Davis and Renato Nunez reached on successive walks and the bases were loaded for rookie Cedric Mullins, who grounded to short to end the inning.
After a Steve Pearce strikeout to start the fourth, a 10 pitch at-bat by Martinez culminated in a solo home run to center field. The Orioles lead was cut in half, 2-1. The Birds ran themselves out of an inning in the bottom half of the fourth when Rickard was picked off first base with two outs and Jonathan Villar at the plate.
The Red Sox made trouble again in the fifth, starting with Eduardo Nunez’s leadoff triple to right center. He came around to score on a sacrifice fly by catcher Dan Butler, tying the game at two. Ramirez then walked the number nine batter Jackie Bradley Jr., who then stole second base before Mookie Betts lined out to Jace Peterson and Brock Holt flied out to right fielder Adam Jones.
Drew Pomeranz pitched two scoreless innings after Workman exited the game, allowing just a hit and a walk on 30 pitches.
On the other hand, Ramirez’s final pitching line was five innings, three hits, two earned runs, two walks, five strikeouts and one home run on 88 pitches.
Cody Carroll replaced Ramirez in the sixth and was all over the strike zone. He walked the first two batters he faced before inducing a ground ball double play, and it looked like the O’s might get out of the inning. But Steve Pearce scored from third on a wild pitch to give Boston a 3-2 lead.
Heath Hembree followed Pomeranz to the mound to pitch the bottom of the sixth and the Orioles responded with a run of their own. Cedric Mullins worked a one out walk but got caught stealing, with Hembree stepping off the pitching rubber and firing to second base to nab Mullins. But Joey Rickard, who was at the plate during the failed steal, launched a solo home run to left field to tie the game at three.
The Red Sox took a 5-3 lead in the eighth when Martinez clubbed a two-run home run off of Mike Wright Jr., who had a final pitching line of two hits, two runs and one walk over 1.2 innings. The Orioles got two runners on base with two down in the bottom half of the eighth, but Peterson struck out to end the threat.
Boston added an insurance run in the ninth off Paul Fry after a Mookie Betts two-out double and a Brock Holt single to center. Mullins’ throw home skipped a few times before catcher Austin Wynns picked it up and fired to second base, nailing Holt to end the inning. 6-3, Red Sox.
Mancini tagged a solo home run to right field with two outs in the ninth against Boston closer Craig Kimbrel. 6-4, Red Sox. But Davis went down on strikes to finish out the game.
Baltimore has now lost the first three games of this series and it will take a win tomorrow afternoon to avoid a four game sweep. Alex Cobb takes the hill for the Orioles and will try to play the role of stopper.