BOSTON — Another day, another shutout.
While the Red Sox’s matchup with the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday wasn’t as consistently dominant as Rich Hill’s complete game performance in Friday’s 7-0 win, Boston ran all over the error-prone Orioles. Left-handed reliever Craig Breslow got his first career start in a bullpen day for the Sox, and it wound up being a pretty good one, as he tossed four scoreless innings.
It was Heath Hembree who got the win, though, as the Red Sox scored their first run in the fifth en route to an 8-0 finish.
Let’s take a look at how it unfolded.
GAME IN A WORD
This game was scoreless until the fifth inning, and it looked as though it would be a close one. However, it wound up being a tale of two bullpens. The Red Sox relied on theirs in the designated bullpen day, and they shut out the O’s. But on the other side, Baltimore’s bullpen faltered. Wei-Yin Chen turned in an admirable performance, but the relievers gave up four runs (two earned) and allowed Boston to run away with the game.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado’s error in the seventh brought in two runs.
The Red Sox didn’t get on the board until the fifth inning and still had just a 2-0 lead headed into the seventh. But the error on Xander Bogaerts’ grounder gave Boston some cushion and left the O’s with just two frames to catch up.
ON THE BUMP
— Breslow joked to interim manager Torey Lovullo on Friday that he’d go seven innings in his first career start, but the reliever got the job done in the four innings he did pitch.
Lovullo said Saturday that Breslow would have a 40-pitch limit, but instead the left-hander threw 55 pitches over four scoreless innings, allowing two hits, two walks and striking out two. Breslow’s start lasted longer than 16 Red Sox outings this season.
— Hembree only pitched the fifth inning, and he got himself out of a little bit of a jam. After striking out Jonathan Schoop and getting Gerardo Parra to fly out to left on a hard-hit ball, Hembree allowed a single on a misplayed ball by Mookie Betts and walked Nolan Reimold.
However, Betts redeemed himself and saved Hembree by catching the next fly ball for out No. 3. Hembree finished his inning with one hit, zero runs, one walk and one strikeout.
— Matt Barnes did well in his two innings, allowing zero hits and zero walks while striking out one over the sixth and seventh innings.
— Alexi Ogando came in for the eighth and only lasted 1/3 of an inning. Ogando got Reimold to ground out, but he allowed a J.J. Hardy single and walked Machado before being replaced by Tommy Layne.
Layne got Chris Davis to pop out before being replaced himself for Noe Ramirez, who induced a flyout from Steve Pearce to end the inning.
— Jonathan Aro closed things out for Boston. He allowed a leadoff single to Matt Wieters, but got three quick outs after that to secure the win.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge provided the first two runs for Boston, with Rutledge scoring Holt with an RBI double in the fifth and Holt scoring Rusney Castillo with an RBI single in the sixth.
Holt went 1-for-3 with a walk, while Rutledge went 1-for-4. Rutledge also brought in Castillo on a groundout in the eighth to put the Red Sox up 5-0.
— Bogaerts brought in four runs between the seventh and eighth innings, but they all were on errors by Machado. Bogaerts had to settle for an 0-for-5 night.
— Castillo (2-for-4), Dustin Pedroia (1-for-4) and Swihart (1-for-3) also provided hits for the Red Sox.
— Betts extended his on-base streak to 29 games. The outfielder walked and hit a double and a ground-rule double (which brought in a run) to end the night 2-for-4.
The Red Sox finish their series with the Orioles in a Sunday matinee. Rookie left-hander Henry Owens will throw out the first pitch at 1:35 p.m. as he takes on Ubaldo Jimenez.
Thumbnail photo via Boston Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles.