Red Sox Notes: Boston Shows Fight, But Had No Answer For Orioles’ Bats

The Orioles hit five home runs

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August 20

Through the first five innings in Friday’s series opener for the Boston Red Sox against Baltimore, it felt like the Orioles hit nearly everything thrown their way.

That’s really not too far off as Baltimore put together an offensive showcase that even impressed Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

The Orioles collected 18 hits, five of which were home runs, to score 15 runs — all of which came in the first five frames — and earn a critical 15-10 win over the Red Sox at Camden Yards.

“They kept going. They didn’t stop. They were relentless,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We did the same thing. But we got to take a look at it, where we pitched and what they did. They hit everything: fastballs, cutters, breaking balls. You call it, you name it. We call it, they hit it. They’re a really good club and they have some good hitters over there. They do a lot of good things offensively and tonight was a great night for them.”

The heart of Baltimore’s lineup did the most damage. Adley Rutschman, Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle — the two through four hitters in the Orioles lineup — combined to go 8-for-15 with nine RBIs.

Despite the offensive onslaught from the Orioles, the Red Sox, who actually recorded one more hit than Baltimore, fought back in the top of the fifth by scoring five runs.

But the Red Sox offense had very little left in the tank after that while the Orioles geared up again to answer Boston by scoring five times in the bottom half of the fifth.

“We fought,” Cora told reporters. “We put up a good fight. We kept fighting. But obviously, they were amazing today offensively.”

Here are more notes from Friday’s Red Sox-Orioles game:

— Cora and Xander Bogaerts both exited the game early after the duo got tossed following a called third strike on the Red Sox shortstop in the bottom of the fourth. Bogaerts slammed his bat down in disgust over the call before exchanging words with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor, who then immediately tossed Bogaerts. Cora ran out from the dugout and gave Tichenor an earful before getting ejected as well. Following the contest, Cora still didn’t agree with the call.

“It was a ball. At the end of the day it was ball,” Cora told reporters. “I’m going to get fined, whatever. But it was a ball.”

— Tommy Pham also left the game early, but due to low back tightness in the bottom of the fifth. Cora’s update on Pham after the game was limited to “we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

— Since the beginning of July, Kutter Crawford has been one of the best starting pitchers for the Red Sox, but he was far from that against the Orioles. The 26-year-old right-hander had his worst showing in the big leagues, surrendering nine runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings.

“Felt the stuff was pretty good, but the execution wasn’t there,” Crawford told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “Left too many balls over the middle of the plate and they put good swings on them.”

— Matt Strahm, who was activated off the injured list prior to the contest, made his first appearance since taking a liner off his wrist on July 12. Strahm didn’t allow a run or a hit while striking out two in an inning of work. His only blemish was he hit a batter.

— The two teams combined for 37 hits and Rafael Devers didn’t have a single one of them. He finished 0-for-5 with a run scored.

— The Red Sox continue their three-game series with the Orioles on Saturday. First pitch from Camden Yards is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, plus an hour of postgame coverage, with NESN 360.

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