The Boston Red Sox got a terrific pitching performance to return to the win column as they hung on in the ninth inning to defeat the Baltimore Orioles, 3-1, on Friday night at Camden Yards.
With the win, the Red Sox’s record now stands at 9-12, while the Orioles, who have lost five in a row, sink to 6-14.
Check out the full box score here:
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
Using pitchers Rich Hill and Tanner Houck as a tandem might be the way to continue to do things going forward. Boston manager Alex Cora elected to have Houck piggyback off of Hill’s start and the contrasting styles from the two hurlers proved to be effective.
Hill’s slow-breaking curveballs and fastball that tops out in the high 80s kept Baltimore at-bay for four innings before Houck came in from the bullpen and ramped up the velocity to go along with his wipeout slider. Houck pitched three innings in relief and struck out four. The duo combined to only surrender three hits.
Houck, who hadn’t pitched in five days, wasn’t particularly sharp — he walked three batters — but came through in high-leverage situations. In the bottom of the seventh, Houck got into trouble as the Orioles loaded the bases with two outs by throwing three straight wicked sliders to pinch-hitter Rougned Odor. He struck out Odor to end the threat.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Hill had clearly his best outing of the season for the Sox. Hill retired the first 12 batters he faced and allowed only one hit, an infield single to Austin Hays to start the fourth inning. But that was the end of Hill’s night as Cora had a quick hook. The 42-year-old Hill finished with four strikeouts and showed supreme control by throwing 35 of his 50 pitches for strikes with zero walks.
— Christian Arroyo highlighted the offensive production by belting a pitch from Baltimore starting pitcher Kyle Bradish, who made his MLB debut, over the left-center field wall in the second inning. The two-run shot from Arroyo was much needed as the Red Sox hadn’t hit a round-tripper in their previous six games. For Arroyo, it was his first homer of the season.
— Rafael Devers was the only player in Boston’s lineup with two hits. He doubled in the third and singled in the ninth.
The oddsmakers certainly weren’t expecting Arroyo to hit a home run in this one. Arroyo had longshot odds to go yard at +1100, according to Draftkings Sportsbook. If bettors showed the foresight of placing a $100 bet on Arroyo to smack a homer, it would have netted them a huge total pay out of $1,200.
ON DECK AT NESN
The Red Sox continue their three-game series with the Orioles on Saturday with first pitch from Camden Yards scheduled to take place at 7:05 p.m. ET. You can catch the game and an hour of pregame coverage on NESN.