The Orioles allowed 23 hits and 12 runs tonight at Fenway Park. Their starter, gifted an early five-run advantage, failed to complete four innings. Multiple relievers surrendered three runs with the final three coming in the bottom of the ninth. Still, somehow, Baltimore won the ball game.
The offense tallied 14 hits of its own and launched five home runs. James McCann went deep twice, and Aaron Hicks homered in a 3-for-4 effort. Jordan Westburg and Gunnar Henderson added blasts of their own, and the Orioles squeaked out a 13-12 victory against the Red Sox. Baltimore became the first team to win a game when allowing 23 or more hits in a nine-inning game since 1930.
This game put every “a win is a win” cliché to the test. Jack Flaherty disappointed once again, and the bullpen refused to make things easy. Yennier Cano entered the ninth in a non-save situation and still allowed the tying run to reach third base. Still, the game marked a series victory and allowed Baltimore to keep pace in the AL East.
The game kicked off after a 92-minute rain delay. There’s no way of knowing how the late start impacted Baltimore’s starter, but it certainly did not appear to help his cause. Boston jumped out to an early two-run lead in the first with a two-run shot by Justin Turner.
The Orioles offense did its absolute best to make things easy for Flaherty, but the recent trade acquisition failed to deliver. Baltimore entered the bottom of the fourth inning with a 7-2 lead, but Boston nearly evened the score right then and there.
Flaherty walked Wilyer Abreu, and Enmanuel Valdez followed with a double to start the inning. Red Sox catcher Connor Wong quickly drove in Abreu with a single to right, but Valdez wisely stopped at third. Of course, Valdez did not hang at third much longer. Austin Hays made a diving catch for the first out, but Valdez raced home on the sacrifice fly by Alex Verdugo.
With Flaherty clearly laboring, Brandon Hyde did not wait any longer to make a change. The free-agent-to-be received plenty of run support but failed to complete four innings. His final line ready 3.1 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 1 walk and 3 K’s. He needed 82 pitches to record 10 outs. Once again, he failed to make a positive case to be included in the postseason rotation.
Cionel Pérez replaced Flaherty and allowed a singly to Rafael Devers. Pérez generated what could have been an inning-ending double play, but Gunnar Henderson booted the ball at third base. The error allowed another run to score and placed two more runners in scoring position.
Triston Casas trimmed the lead to one with a ground ball to first, but Pérez retired Masataka Yoshida to avoid relinquishing the lead.
Westburg had gotten the Birds on the board with an RBI single in the second. Jorge Mateo and Adley Rutschman both walked to start the third, and Mateo scored the team’s second run on a double by Anthony Santander.
Hicks gave Baltimore their first lead of the game with a three-run homer later in the inning. The Orioles stretched the lead to five in the top of the fourth with an RBI double by Westburg and McCann’s first home run of the game.
The Orioles, to their credit, never let the pitching struggles stunt their offensive momentum. Westburg and McCann extended the lead back to three with back-to-back solo shots in the top of the sixth inning.
The Birds appeared to put Boston away with three more runs in the top of the seventh. Santander and Hicks both singled before Henderson launched the club’s second Earl Weaver special of the game.
The insurance allowed Hyde to use Jacob Webb in the bottom of the seventh. Unfortunately, Webb opened the door once again for the Sox. Webb allowed back-to-back singles to start the frame and Abreu brought them both home with a double to right field.
Danny Coulombe replaced Webb and allowed an RBI single to Devers. The knock trimmed the lead to three, but Ramón Urías delivered some insurance with an RBI-single in the top of the ninth.
Cano picked up a quick first out, but allowed a double to Devers, an infield single to Ceddanne Rafaela, and a walk to Casas to load the bases. Cano got the second out at home on a soft grounder by Yoshida, but Yoshida avoided the game-ending double play by hustling to first.
Trevor Story plated a pair with a double to right field, but Yoshida stopped at third. Abreu followed with a single to left field, but Story did not test Austin Hays in left field. Boston stopped the potential tying run at third base, and Cano finally retired Valdez with a fly ball to left field.
The Orioles waited 92-minutes to barely squeak out a 13-12 win. The game lasted 3 hours and 42 minutes before mercifully coming to an end. The night ended with Baltimore’s 90th win of the season.
The offense carried the club to victory, but Shintaro Fujinami provided the lone bright spot on the mound. Fujinami replaced Coulombe with the tying and go-ahead runs on base. The reliever allowed both runners to easily steal bases, but recorded the second out with a fly ball to right field.
Red Sox fans may have some gripes with the conservative strategy at third, but let’s stay with Fujinami. The reliever generated a grounder to the right side, raced to first base, and somehow kept his foot on the bag when hauling in a wide throw from Westburg. He earned the win with that web gem, and a three-up, three-down seventh inning.
At the end of the day, the Orioles found a way to win the game. Grayson Rodriguez gets the ball tomorrow as the O’s go for the sweep.
Who was the most Birdland player on Saturday, September 9?
This poll is closed
Jordan Westburg (single, double, homer)
James McCann (two homers, 3 RBIs)
Shintaro Fujinami (retired all five batters he faced, preserved lead with web-gem stretch)
Aaron Hicks (3-for-4, walk, three-run homer)