In a tightly-contested matchup on Mother’s Day afternoon at Camden Yards, the Orioles could not stay ahead of the Red Sox. After several lead changes during the low-scoring affair, Boston emerged victorious by a score of 4-3.
O’s starter Dean Kremer worked a 1-2-3 first that included a pair of strikeouts, and Red Sox starter Nick PIvetta got two quick outs in his half of the first, which included a superb play in the field.
Boston’s right fielder, Hunter Renfroe, robbed Austin Hays of extra bases with a leaping catch against the out-of-town scoreboard in right. With two outs in the first, the Orioles earned back-to-back walks from Trey Mancini and DJ Stewart and capitalized on that opportunity when Ryan Mountcastle hit a RBI single to center on the first pitch he saw. Renfroe nearly misplayed a fly ball from Freddy Galvis, but readjusted to make a shoestring catch to end the inning.
In the top of the second, Rafael Devers evened the score with a solo home run to center off Kremer. Boston was seen celebrating in their dugout afterward by pushing Devers around in some kind of laundry cart.
The Red Sox ran themselves out of the third inning when Marwin Gonzalez got nabbed straying too far off base. With Alex Verdugo at the plate, Pedro Severino blocked a Kremer pitch in the dirt and fired a bullet to Ryan Mountcastle at first, who applied the tag before a sliding Gonzalez could get back to the bag. Curiously, Gonzalez could be seen laughing immediately after the play.
Kremer got the better of Devers in their second matchup, striking out Boston’s third baseman on an elevated fastball to end the top of the fourth and strand a runner on base.
In the bottom of the fourth, Freddy Galvis beat the shift and extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single over the head of Gonzalez in shallow right field.
Flashing his powerful left-handed swing, Cedric Mullins broke the 1-1 tie in the fifth with a solo shot to right. It was Mullins’ sixth home run of the year, and only the second homer surrendered by Pivetta this season.
Kremer’s afternoon came to an end with no outs in the sixth after he allowed back-to-back singles to Gonzalez and Verdugo. Adam Plutko entered to face the always-dangerous J.D. Martinez, and four pitches later, the bases were loaded. Plutko made Xander Bogaerts look silly on a swinging strike three, but then Devers hit a two-run double to right-center that gave Boston a 3-2 lead. The Birds were able to escape the inning without further damage by generating consecutive ground outs to short.
Here is Kremer’s final pitching line: five innings pitched, five hits, three earned runs, one walk, three strikeouts, and one home run allowed. He threw a total of 85 pitches, including 53 strikes.
With one out in the sixth, DJ Stewart worked his second walk of the game and pinch-runner Ryan McKenna was able to advance to second on an errant pickoff throw by Nick Pivetta. The Red Sox starter recovered to strike out Mountcastle on a 95 mph heater up in the zone and retired Galvis on a fly ball to center.
Reliever Paul Fry made a nifty play in the seventh on a drag bunt by Franchy Cordero, leaping off the mound to barehand the ball and flip it to Mountcastle for out No. 1. Then Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki reached base after McKenna committed an error on a high fly ball near the line in right. Gonzalez lined a single to center, and one out later, Fry walked Martinez to load the bases. The inning ended on a screaming line drive that was snared by Rio Ruiz at third.
Left-hander Josh Taylor began the seventh for Boston after starter Nick Pivetta allowed three hits, two runs, three walks, and two strikeouts over six innings.
Taylor promptly walked the first batter he saw, Pedro Severino, on four pitches. But the O’s fell victim to a double play when Gonzalez snagged a line drive off the bat of Ruiz and threw to first base before Severino could get back. Pat Valaika worked a two-out walk, only to be followed by a Mullins strikeout.
The Red Sox padded their lead in the eighth when Hunter Renfroe went deep off of Cole Sulser. The solo shot had an exit velocity of 113 mph and traveled an estimated 453 feet to center.
With Austin Hays on third base and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Mountcastle came through with a RBI double to the gap in left-center. He moved to third on a wild pitch by Adam Ottavino but advanced no further.
Red Sox closer Matt Barnes shut the door in the ninth and earned his eighth save by retiring Severino, Ruiz, and Valaika in order.
With the loss today, Baltimore has a 4-13 record at Camden Yards and has lost the past three games in a row, all to Boston. The Orioles will have to beat the Red Sox tomorrow in order to stave off a four-game series sweep.