BOSTON — Henry Owens had been one of the Red Sox’s top pitching prospects going into the 2015 season, but when he joined the big-league club, there was one obvious problem: He struggled when pitching at Fenway Park.
However, Owens seemed to right the ship Sunday, tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The left-hander completed the shutout sweep of the O’s and gave the Fenway crowd a stellar home finale.
âDefinitely something to look at and look at it as being special, end with a win at home,â Owens said. âRich (Hill) set the tone the first time out, and the bullpen did a great job yesterday, and I knew they were anxious to hit, so I just want to get ahead of some guys and get some quick outs.â
The 23-year-old rookie corrected problems he had all season, too. He walked just one batter, struck out five and was able to make in-game adjustments whenever he made mistakes.
âHeâs just attacking guys,â catcher Blake Swihart said of Owens. âHeâs got a four-pitch arsenal, and heâs just going after guys and getting outs.â
Owens said he feels a lot more comfortable, and that was obvious Sunday. In fact, the young lefty received a standing ovation as he walked off the mound.
âIt was great,â Owens said.Â âIt was awesome to be a part of, awesome to experience, and I couldnât be happier with the result today and a team win.â
Here are some more notes from Sunday’s win.
— The Red SoxÂ posted three straight shutouts for the first time since 2004, when they did it to the New York Yankees in one game and the Tampa Bay Rays in two. They hadn’t swept a three-game seriesÂ in that fashion since 1958, and the last time they completed three straight shutouts at Fenway was in 1987.
— Sunday’s win was Boston’s 14th in its last 22 games, and the team is now 31-22 since July 30. Their startersÂ also have posted a 2.83 ERA in 37 outings since Aug 18.
— Clay Buchholz threw a bullpen Sunday, and although all reports are that he’s feeling good, the right-hander probably won’t see any more game action in 2015.
âEverybodyâs wondering if heâs going to pitch in a game,â Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said before Sunday’s contest. âItâs very doubtful thatâll happen. This is more a way to see — a way for Clay to see that he feels good, he feels strong, heâs on line with his target, all those little pitching things, pitching checkpoints he wants to cover.â
— Mookie Betts’ on-base streak came to an end Sunday after 29 games. The outfielder technically reached in the fifth inning, but it was on a fielding error.
Thumbnail photo viaÂ Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images