Win ends best road trip of sea­son

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Ed­uardo A. Encina eencina@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­dieInTheYard BOX SCORE

BOS­TON — One of the quirks of this year’s Ori­oles team is how poorly it has played away from Cam­den Yards. But now, with the reg­u­lar sea­son down to its fi­nal weeks, the Ori­oles re­turned home Wed­nes­day night af­ter hav­ing their best road trip of the sea­son.

Yes, it took un­til mid-Septem­ber for the Ori­oles to win three se­ries on the same trip, but that’s what they’ve done over the past nine games. Their 1-0 win over the Bos­ton Red Sox on Wed­nes­day night at Fen­way Park fin­ished a trip in which they also took two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers.

“It’s an outstanding road trip, no mat­ter where you are in the sea­son or in the stand­ings,” des­ig­nated hit­ter Mark Trumbo said. “It’s fairly well ac­cepted that you try and split on the road if you can. ... To win two out of three in each city is tremen­dous, and it’s ex­actly what you need at this point in the year.”

The win was an­chored by eight score­less in­nings from righthander Kevin Gaus­man (8-10), who out­pitched Cy Young Award con­tender Rick Por­cello (20-4).

Gaus­man al­lowed just four hits — all sin­gles — in match­ing his long­est out­ing of the year.

The game’s only run scored on Trumbo’s ma­jor league-lead­ing 42nd homer of the sea­son in the sec­ond in­ning. Por­cello al­lowed just four hits in eight in­nings and re­tired 19 of the last 20 bat­ters he faced af­ter J.J. Hardy’s two-out sin­gle in the sec­ond in­ning. Mark Trumbo rounds first af­ter hit­ting his ma­jor league-lead­ing 42nd home run in the sec­ond in­ning.

Se­ries wins over two fel­low play­off con­tenders — the Tigers and Red Sox — al­lowed the Ori­oles to re­turn home in a much bet­ter po­si­tion than when they left.

They are just one game back of the di­vi­sion-lead­ing Red Sox in the Amer­i­can League East. They own the first AL wild card by a game over the Toronto Blue Jays and by two over the Tigers.

The Ori­oles (80-65) re­turn to Bal­ti­more for an 11-game home­s­tand, their long­est this sea­son, start­ing tonight against the Rays.

“Seemed like we’ve been gone for a cou­ple years,” Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “We’re all look­ing for­ward to get­ting back to some sup­port­ive peo­ple. We’ve been in some pretty hos­tile ar­eas.”

Even af­ter win­ning six of nine on this trip, the Ori­oles would have to win all six of their re­main­ing road games — they end the reg­u­lar sea­son with three-game se­ries in Toronto and New York — to fin­ish the reg­u­lar sea­son above .500 on the road. Trumbo with a mon­ster homer: Af­ter the Ori­oles hit three homers in Tues­day’s win, a stiff wind blow­ing in kept the ball inside Fen­way Park on Wed­nes­day. But Trumbo con­nected on a first-pitch cut­ter, send­ing it well over the Green Mon­ster in left field.

“I got him pretty early in the game,” Trumbo said. “Not a ton of breath­ing room for Kevin, but maybe just enough.”

Trumbo’s blast was his third in nine games this sea­son at Fen­way Park, tied for his most in any op­pos­ing ball­park this sea­son. Brit­ton shuts door: One day af­ter a four-out save with a 16-pitch out­ing Tues­day, Ori­oles closer Zach Brit­ton con­verted his 43rd straight save op­por­tu­nity, re­main­ing per­fect for the sea­son with a score­less ninth in­ning.

Brit­ton had to nav­i­gate through the heart of the Bos­ton bat­ting or­der, re­tir­ing David Or­tiz on a grounder to first, get­ting Mookie Betts on a fly­out to left and strik­ing out Han­ley Ramirez swing­ing.

“Zach, re­ally the last cou­ple years, has re­ally been ridicu­lous,” Gaus­man said. “You look at how much his ball moves with the ve­loc­ity he throws it, it’s spe­cial. He does some­thing that no­body else in the game can do, and from the left side. So ob­vi­ously, you see Han­ley’s last at-bat, he threw some re­ally good pitches and kind of got his num­ber on that last at-bat.”

CHARLES KRUPA/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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