Orioles starter Alex Cobb earned a win in his first start of the season against the Red Sox at Fenway Park all the way back on July 25th. He came into this game still looking for his second victory and this would be his last chance of the year. Lucky for him, the Orioles brought their bats tonight, erupting for 13 runs on 18 hits. The Birds also committed three errors in the field, but it hardly mattered in this one.
Both halves of the first began with a leadoff runner. But in both cases, it led to nothing. Hanser Alberto didn’t waste any time, hacking at the first pitch out of the hand of Martin Perez and stroking it into left field for a single.
Alberto sure can hit lefties, coming into the game with a .356 batting average against southpaws in 2020. It’s almost enough to make you forget about his cumulative .308 OBP. Almost. The next three O’s batters were retired in order after Alberto’s single.
Cobb led off the bottom of the first with a walk but managed to induce consecutive groundouts after that, the first for a double play and the second to end the inning.
The Birds got on the board in the top of the second, stringing together four hits with a walk sandwiched in there too. Austin Hays started it off with a double down the left field line, followed by a Pat Valaika single and then a Rio Ruiz RBI single. After Ramon Urias walked to load the bases, Cedric Mullins delivered a two-run double.
Alberto came to plate for his second at-bat and nearly cracked the game wide open, but Red Sox left fielder Michael Chavis robbed him with a diving catch coming towards the infield and then hopped up to gun the ball home, nabbing Urias as at the plate as he tried to tag up from third. The next batter, Jose Iglesias, ended the frame with a lineout. 3-0, Orioles.
The Red Sox outfield looked bad in the fourth when a Rio Ruiz double eluded the outstretched glove of Chavis in left and a ground rule RBI double off the bat of Urias twisted up Alex Verdugo as he retreated to the wall in right. Mullins was able to advance Urias to third on a ground ball and Alberto drove him home with a sacrifice fly to base of the Green Monster.
Iglesias capped the inning off with a solo home run to center that landed in the Red Sox bullpen. He looked to be limping a bit as he trotted around the bases. 6-0, Orioles.
Cobb had his first 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth, retiring the side on a groundout and a pair of strikeouts.
Boston decided to swap out pitchers in the fifth when they replaced Perez with reliever Dylan Covey. The Red Sox starter only lasted four innings, giving up nine hits, six runs and one walk with two strikeouts.
Austin Hays showed off his wheels in the fifth when he scored all the way from first base on Rio Ruiz’s third hit of the night, a double off the center field wall. Urias followed with a ground ball single up the middle to drive home Ruiz. 8-0, Orioles.
Things got tense for a brief moment in the bottom of the fifth when Cobb dug himself into a bases loaded hole with no outs. He responded by inducing a ground ball that was used to trade two outs for a run with a 4-6-3 double play. One fly ball to Mullins later, and the Birds were out of the inning with only minimal damage. 8-1, O’s.
In the top of the seventh, Valaika added to Baltimore’s lead with a solo home run — his eighth of the year — just inside the left field foul pole and over the Green Monster.
The O’s added yet another run in the eighth with an RBI single by Ryan Mountcastle, which was preceded by Alberto getting hit by a pitch in a very sensitive area and Bryan Holaday earning a walk.
But the Birds weren’t done there. With shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin pitching for the Red Sox in the ninth, Hays cranked a solo shot, his fourth of the year. With two outs and runners on second and third, Alberto lined a double to left that scored two more runs. 13-1, Orioles.
The twin killing proved to be a crucial tool for Cobb and the Orioles, as Red Sox hitters grounded into four double plays in the game. Cobb’s final pitching line was seven innings, six hits, one run, two walks and four strikeouts. And he was able to record his second win.
Shawn Armstrong and Travis Lakins came out of the bullpen to pitch scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth, respectively.
With the victory tonight, the Orioles evened up the season series against the Red Sox at five wins apiece. The Birds also avoided a sweep and now head to Buffalo to play the Blue Jays in the final series of the 2020 season.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Thursday, September 24th?
This poll is closed
Rio Ruiz (3-for-5, 2 RBI)
Pat Valaika (3-for-5, HR, RBI)
Ramon Urias (2-for-3, BB, 2 RBI)
Alex Cobb, W (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO)
Austin Hays (3-for-5, HR, RBI)
Hanser Alberto (2-for-4, 3 RBI)