These Orioles are giving the Red Sox a tough time.
One day after Baltimore blanked Boston on Opening Day, the Sox delivered a better offensive effort Saturday, but fell 4-2 at Fenway Park.
Sox starter Tanner Houck delivered a solid outing, allowing just two earned runs across five innings, but Boston ended up playing from behind most of the afternoon.
The Red Sox fall to 0-2 with the loss. The Orioles climb to 2-0 with the win.
GAME IN A WORD
On a cold day at Fenway, the Sox bats once again were a little too cold.
ON THE BUMP
— It was a solid showing for Houck, who had a better showing than his respectable pitching line might’ve showed. He finished his five innings of work having allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Houck got through the first three innings without issue, at one point striking out four straight Orioles.
But with two outs in the fourth, he walked Rio Ruiz, who made it to third the next at-bat when Rafael Devers made a throwing error on an Austin Hays infield single. Maikel Franco then cleared the bases with a two-RBI single to put Baltimore up 2-0.
The Orioles would add another in the fifth, as Pedro Severino would hit a leadoff double, then come home on a two-out single from Anthony Santander.
— Austin Brice pitched for the second straight game, tossing a 1-2-3 sixth.
— Darwinzon Hernandez made his season debut in the seventh.
The southpaw gave up a leadoff single to Freddy Galvis, then two batters later a Cedric Mullins base knock put runners on the corners. Trey Mancini brought Galvis home with a sacrifice fly that made it 4-2, but Hernandez then struck out Santander to end the inning.
— Phillips Valdez needed just 10 pitches to get through his clean eighth inning. He returned for the ninth and pitched a 1-2-3 stanza, striking out one.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— It took the Red Sox a few innings to get going offensively, which, of course, came after they were blanked on Opening Day.
In the fourth inning, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts started the inning off with back-to-back singles, with the former coming home on a Marwin Gonzalez sacrifice fly that made it 2-1.
— Some good fortune struck the Red Sox while down a pair in the fifth.
Kevin Plawecki singled to start the inning, then moved to second on an Kiké Hernández walk. With two down and the shift on, Martinez ripped a comebacker that hit Baltimore starter Matt Harvey and caromed into the open space in the shift, allowing the designated hitter to reach safely.
Some heads-up baserunning allowed Plawecki to go from second to home on the play, pulling the Sox within one.
— The Red Sox threatened in the ninth, leading off the inning with Gonzalez getting hit by a pitch and Bobby Dalbec walking. But the next three hitters all got out, ending the game.
— Martinez went 3-for-4, while Gonzalez went 2-for-2.
— Bogaerts and Plawecki had one hit apiece.
— All other Red Sox went hitless.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Which Houck had the more impressive afternoon?
The Red Sox and Orioles will play the finale of their three-game set Sunday. Garrett Richards will be on the mound for Boston, while the O’s starter is to be determined. First pitch from Fenway Park is set for 1:10 p.m. ET, with coverage on NESN beginning at noon.