Porcello masters O’s as Betts and Ortiz homer
Last week, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello allowed a run against the Orioles at Fenway Park and left a loser. Monday night at Camden Yards, with the same arsenal that has made him a leading contender for the American League Cy Young Award, Porcello never even flirted with another loss.
Home runs by right fielder Mookie Betts and designated hitter David Ortiz — both longtime Orioles scourges — and Porcello’s mastery helped the Red Sox to a 5-2 win that dropped the Orioles four games behind the division leaders with 12 games to play.
“He threw the ball well,” third baseman Manny Machado said. “He found the strike zone, got us out, made the outs, and their defense played a hell of a defense today, so youhavetotipyourcapoff, you know? They out-beat us today. He did what he had to do. He went out there and threw strikes.”
Betts’ two-run home run off Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, his eighth of the season at Camden Yards, set the game in motion toward the visitors. Bundy was forced to work for every out.
After an RBI single by second baseman Dustin Pedroia in the fifth inning, the home run by Ortiz sealed a miserable day for Bundy.
He threw a career-high 99 pitches but allowed five runs for the third time in five starts as his ERA jumped to 4.13.
Porcello had no such troubles, with the first run off him coming after he hit Machado in the shoulder with two outs in the fourth inning. Machado scored on a line-drive double off the rightfield wall by designated hitter Mark Trumbo. Center fielder Adam Jones’ 28th home run of the season, with two outs in the eighth inning, was the last bit of consolation for the Orioles.
Singles by left fielder Hyun Soo Kim and second baseman Jonathan Schoop were the Orioles’ only other hits. Nothing to see here: After Machado was hit, he and Porcello exchanged words on his way up the first-base line. Boston’s dugout was also heated after Tyler Wilson hit Ortiz in the seventh inning. Manager Buck Showalter and Machado both downplayed the exchange after the game.
“There’s an initial reaction,” Showalter said. “Manny understands, but it’s not que sera sera, you’re happy about everything. Got on with the game. [Umpire Tim Timmons] did what he felt like he needed to do. Just like Tyler wasn’t throwing at anybody. I understand where they were coming from.” Can’t drown it out: As is often the case when Boston comes to town, Red Sox fans were well represented in the announced crowd of 18,456. They frequently cheered for the visitors, both as a team and for Ortiz in particular. The home fans tried to muffle those cheers at times but were often drowned out. Defense never rests: Wilson recorded four outs in long relief Monday, three in spectacular fashion. With two on and two outs in the seventh inning, Kim tracked down a line drive and smashed into the left-field wall making the catch.
An inning later, Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez was running from first base on the pitch, but Schoop fielded a ground ball right at him and tossed to shortstop J.J. Hardy in one snap motion for the first half of an improbable double play. Bullpen battles: The Orioles cobbled together four scoreless, threehit innings of relief. Showalter used left-hander Brian Duensing and Wilson for four outs apiece, then let left-hander Jayson Aquino face three batters before righthander Vance Worley came in to induce an inning-ending double play in the ninth on the second pitch he threw.
“Real good job out of the bullpen by some young players,” Showalter said. “We just didn’t mount a whole lot or gave us much room to free-wheel at all.”
Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. steals second base in the second inning Monday night while Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy leaps out of the way.