Red Sox first team to 30 wins

The Maui News - - SPORTS - By DOUG ALDEN The As­so­ci­ated Press

BOS­TON — One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price hap­pily set­tled for a com­plete game and his strong­est out­ing of the sea­son.

Price struck out eight and held Bal­ti­more to five hits, in­clud­ing two in the ninth when the Ori­oles broke up the shutout be­fore the Bos­ton left­hander fin­ished them off in a 6-2 vic­tory for the Red Sox on Thurs­day.

“He was amaz­ing,” Bos­ton man­ager Alex Cora said. “He was out­stand­ing. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cut­ter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch.”

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xan­der Bo­gaerts home­red with two on dur­ing a four-run fifth, giv­ing Price more than enough cush­ion against the strug­gling Ori­oles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn’t walk a bat­ter while win­ning con­sec­u­tive starts for the first time this sea­son. He cruised through the first eight in­nings be­fore Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a dou­ble, the first Bal­ti­more player to reach sec­ond base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price fin­ished off Bal­ti­more on Jonathan Schoop’s pop-up to cen­ter as the Red Sox im­proved to 4-0 against Bal­ti­more by tak­ing the makeup game that was rained out on Pa­tri­ots’ Day.

“They’re a free-swing­ing team,” said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. “You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three in­nings and give up a bunch of runs.”

Danny Va­len­cia had a pair of hits for the punch­less Ori­oles, who have lost three of four and have the sec­ond­fewest wins in the Amer­i­can League. Va­len­cia nearly had a dou­ble in the fifth, but got thrown out at sec­ond by left fielder Andrew Ben­in­tendi, one of sev­eral strong de­fen­sive plays that helped Price go the dis­tance.

Han­ley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Bos­ton’s dugout in the sec­ond and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

“The de­fen­sive plays that I had to­day, it makes every­thing a lot eas­ier,” Price said.

Kevin Gaus­man (3-3) went 4 2/3 in­nings for Bal­ti­more, al­low­ing six runs and eight hits while strik­ing out six and walk­ing two. He was pulled af­ter Bo­gaerts drove a high fast­ball out to left with two men on dur­ing Bos­ton’s four-run fifth.

“We just got into some sticky sit­u­a­tions where we just had to dig our­selves out of a hole and we just couldn’t,” Susac said. The Ori­oles also weren’t happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gaus­man to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Man­ager Buck Showal­ter agreed with his catcher.

“I’m very bi­ased, but I didn’t think he got a fair shake tonight,” Showal­ter said. “There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way.”

AP photo

The Red Sox’s Jackie Bradley Jr. slides safely into home plate in front of Ori­oles catcher Andrew Susac as Bos­ton de­feated the Ori­oles 6-2 on Thurs­day.

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