Red Sox Notes: Boston Splits Doubleheader Against Orioles

The Red Sox still have a chance to win the series

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The Boston Red Sox split Saturday’s doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles, with a 5-3 win in Game 1 and a 4-2 loss in Game 2.

It was mixed results for Boston’s pitching staff. After Friday’s bullpen struggles, Nathan Eovaldi carried the Red Sox in the front-end of the doubleheader, tossing his first career complete game. The right-hander struck out six batters in 108 pitches, and after a history of elbow injuries, the complete game was a significant milestone for the 32-year-old.

“It definitely meant a lot to me, especially with how much we’ve been using the bullpen lately and how much they’ve been throwing,” Eovaldi told reporters, per team-provided audio. “To be able to come in today, especially with the doubleheader, (manager Alex Cora) trusted me to go out there, and to go out there and finish the game, it means a lot to me.”

Eovaldi joins Nick Pivetta as the two Red Sox pitchers to toss a complete game this season, and is only the seventh pitcher to do so in the entire major leagues.

Josh Winckowski made his major league debut in the night cap of the doubleheader. Boston’s No. 12 prospect had a rough welcome to the majors, giving up four runs in his three innings of work, including a third-inning, three-run home run. Despite the less-than-ideal debut, Cora still had praise for the 23-year-old.

“He competed,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We just told him, forget the results. You pitched at Fenway Park. Think about it, when you were a kid, ‘I want to be a big leaguer,’ and he’s a big leaguer now, at this level. Obviously, there’s some work to do, but you can see his stuff. He’s really good… You can see the potential, and he’s a kid we really like.”

Here are more notes from Red Sox-Orioles

— Boston’s struggles within the AL East continue. As NESN’s postgame coverage showed, the Red Sox are 6-13 against division opponents and has a -17 run differential in 19 games.

— The Red Sox bullpen bounced back in Game 2, pitching six shutout innings to give Boston a chance to make a comeback. Six pitchers were used in relief for Winckowski, and they combined for three strikeouts. Phillips Valdez came on for relief in the ninth inning, and it was his first appearance since April 24 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

— Rafael Devers failed to get a hit in Game 2, but he still remains the major league-leader in hits (69) and doubles (19). The third baseman went 4-for-5 (double) and 0-for-4 in the two games Saturday.

— Christian Vázquez batted 3-for-4 (double, RBI) in the night cap of Saturday’s doubleheader. The catcher improved his batting average to .292, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith.

— Alex Verdugo played in both games and batted 1-for-8 overall. The left fielder’s day could have been better. Verdugo hit a fly out in the bottom of the fourth inning in Game 2, but the ball would have been a home run (373 feet) in 22 other ballparks.

— The Red Sox will get a chance to tie the season-series Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET, and full coverage of the game will be on NESN following an hour of pregame coverage.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Winckowski
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