In the series opener against Boston, Baltimore snapped their three game losing streak with a 4-1 victory. Zach Britton got his fourth win of the season while Kevin Gregg recorded his third save. Clay Buchholz was handed the loss.
The Orioles took an early lead in the second inning. Luke Scott singled up the middle and moved to third on a Mark Reynolds double. Matt Wieters—remaining perfect with runners in scoring position—brought Scott in when he got an infield single. The Red Sox had not allowed a run in 20 innings until tonight.
Baltimore added another run in the third inning. With the bases loaded, Adam Jones benefited from his earlier 11-pitch at-bat, getting a sacrifice fly off the struggling Buchholz.
The Red Sox got one back in the fourth after Dustin Pedroia lead off the inning with a single. He got to second on a ground out by Adrian Gonzalez and then stole third base—the first stolen base against Britton. Kevin Youkilis hit a sacrifice fly to score Pedroia.
Jones got his second RBI of the night on another sac fly in the fifth inning, scoring Derrek Lee, who singled and moved around to third on a single by Vladimir Guerrero and a fielder’s choice by Scott.
Taking the three run, lead in the seventh, the Orioles got a run off a sac fly for the third time in the game when Reynolds hit a fly ball to center field to score Guerrero. Wieters’ had his perfection with runners in scoring position snapped when he grounded out to first with runners on second and third to end the inning.
Britton, who has not gone less than six innings in any of his starts, gave up one run on five hits over six innings of work tonight. He recorded two walks and two strikeouts with 59 of his 94 pitches for strikes. Britton worked his way out of trouble, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth.
Jim Johnson took the mound in the seventh to retire the side in order on eight pitches. He stayed on in the eighth, giving up a double to Gonzalez to lead off the inning before sitting down the next three. Kevin Gregg came on to throw the ninth inning, sitting the Sox down in order to get the save.
Buchholz went for 6.2 innings, surrendering four runs on 12 hits—a career high for the Orioles against the Boston righty. Hideki Okajima came out of the pen to go ¬¬0.1 innings, retiring his one batter faced. Matt Albers took the mound in the eighth, going scoreless and facing four batters.
Brian Roberts extended his hit streak to 12 games with a single in the sixth inning. Four Orioles had a multi-hit game tonight—Lee, Guerrero, Scott, and Wieters—and the Birds were not retired in order by Boston pitchers on the night. Every starter in the lineup for the Orioles reached base in some fashion.
Tomorrow’s middle game will have Jeremy Guthrie (1-3) face Josh Beckett (2-1).