Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles’ powerful lineup is capable of breaking open a game at any moment, especially in the hitter-friendly confines at Camden Yards.
When they get effective starting pitching, the Orioles are simply going to be a tough team to beat.
Wade Miley allowed one run over seven innings, Mark Trumbo hit the first of four home runs off Eduardo Rodriguez, and Baltimore beat the Boston Red Sox 7-5 on Thursday night.
“You’re going to have to score runs in our division,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
After scuffling through a seven-game losing streak, Baltimore won three of four against American League East rivals. The Thursday contest was the opener of a four-game series.
The Red Sox (29-24) lost for only the third time in 11 games, and they are still a half-game ahead of the Orioles (28-24) in the standings.
Chris Davis and Adam Jones homered for the second straight night. Jonathan Schoop hit a three-run shot in the sixth that gave Baltimore a 7-1 lead.
Miley (2-3) had one of his best outings of the season. He scattered five hits and one walk while striking out three, lowering his ERA to 2.82. He also picked up his first win at Camden Yards in five starts this season.
“Everybody knows what this offense is capable of doing,” Miley said. “It definitely takes a lot of pressure off the pitching staff but we still have to go out and do our jobs. That’s when you get on a roll, when the pitchers are pitching good and we’re swinging the bats like we’re swinging right now. I mean, the opportunity is there.”
Rodriguez (4-2), a former Orioles prospect, took his first loss since April 8. He allowed seven runs on eight hits, both season highs, with six strikeouts and no walks over 5 2/3 innings. Rodriguez slipped in the bullpen warming up before the game. However, he said that did not affect his performance.
“I just missed my pitches,” Rodriguez said. “With those guys, when you miss, that will happen. They make contact and hit homers.”
Christian Vasquez had two hits and two RBIs for the Red Sox. He is batting .348 in 29 games. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-out, three-run homer in the ninth off Donnie Hart to pull Boston to 7-5, but Pablo Sandoval grounded out to end the game.
Baltimore improved to 18-8 at Camden Yards — the best home mark in the American League.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a single in the first inning. Trumbo, who had three hits, followed with a two-run shot to left off Rodriguez.
“I think the pitches we got to hit, we did a good job of putting in play,” Trumbo said. “He got a lot of weak contact, and he mixes up really well. I think the mistakes that we did get, we were in position to do something with them.”
The Red Sox cut the margin to 2-1 on a Vazquez RBI single in the second.
Davis boosted the lead to 3-1 when he led off the fourth with a solo homer to straightaway center. He was the first left-handed batter to hit a home run off Rodriguez since July 16, 2016.
“In this game, it’s always good to have a short memory, and yet go back to executing the quality locations,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “I thought tonight there was a pitch that ended up down and in to Trumbo in the first inning. Those are some things that haven’t been there in the six or seven starts previous.”
NOTES: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (left wrist sprain) has done some cardio and continues to improve. “Some of that swelling is reducing quite a bit, and the range of motion is starting to get there,” manager John Farrell said. … Baltimore C Welington Castillo, on the 10-day disabled list after sustaining a testicular injury Tuesday night on a deflected pitch, will not be able to do any rehab for at least another three or four days. “It’s not an easy conversation other than how you’re feeling,” manager Buck Showalter said. … Red Sox LHP Robbie Ross Jr. (left elbow inflammation) had his option to Triple-A Pawtucket reversed and was placed on the major league DL.
“The Red Sox want to publicly apologize to Adam Jones and the entire Orioles organization for what occurred at Fenway Park Monday night. No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be subjected to any kind of racism at Fenway Park,” it read.
“The Red Sox have zero tolerance for such inexcusable behavior, and our entire organization and our fans are sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few. Such conduct should be reported immediately to Red Sox security, and any spectator behaving in this manner forfeits his/her right to remain in the ballpark, and may be subject to further action. Our review of last night’s events is ongoing,” said Sam Kennedy in the prepared statement.
BALTIMORE — Tempers flared when Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes threw high and inside to the Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado on Sunday. The pitch was perceived as retaliation for Machado’s hard slide Friday night that injured Dustin Pedroia, knocking the Boston second baseman out of the next two games. Even though the ball hit Machado’s bat, Barnes was ejected by plate umpire Andy Fletcher.
Betts and Bogaerts
The incident marred an otherwise uplifting win for Boston.
Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez set the tone with back-to-back homers in the first inning and the Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-2 victory.
“He was trying to take a four-seamer in and above his hands, and the pitch got away from him,” Boston manager John Farrell said about Barnes’ pitch.
“I think any time you see a pitch up around the head, it’s a dangerous pitch. No one likes to see it. If you look at the attack plan of our right-handed pitchers, there’s an area in and above the hands you’re trying to go to. Unfortunately, it does get away from him in that spot.”
Pedroia stopped short of saying Barnes’ pitch was intentional. However, he was adamant that he did not want Machado to get hit because of the hard slide.
“I had nothing to do with that,” Pedroia said. “That’s not how you do that man. I’m sorry to him and his team. If you’re going to protect guys, you do it right away. He knows that and both teams know that.”
Barnes also said he did not mean to throw at Machado.
“I would tell Manny I’m sorry,” Barnes said. “I wasn’t trying to go for your head at all. I was trying to make a pitch and it got away from me.”
Mitch Moreland also went deep for the Red Sox, who entered the game with just two home runs in their past six games. Andrew Benintendi had a career-high five hits for Boston (11-8).
Despite the setback, the Orioles (12-5) still have not lost a series this year.
“It’s two good teams competing for something that a lot of teams really want,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “And they have the passion and when things like that get going into it, that’s unfortunate.
“I was really impressed with the courage that our guys showed today because they all, believe me, trust me, wanted to do something about it. Takes a lot more sometimes to do that.”
Red Sox left hander Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1) retired the first nine batters he faced before allowing a walk to Craig Gentry to lead off the fourth.
Rodriguez gave up his only hit in the fifth when Chris Davis managed a single.
Rodriguez finished with seven strikeouts and allowed five walks in six innings, throwing a season-high 108 pitches. He has not allowed more than two runs in any of his five career starts at Camden Yards.
The troubles for Orioles starter Kevin Gausman (1-2) started almost immediately when he allowed a three-run homer to Betts followed by a solo shot by Ramirez.
It was Gausman’s second consecutive rough outing. He gave up eight runs in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds, then allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings Sunday.
Stefan Crichton entered for Baltimore in the sixth and allowed an RBI single to Benintendi that boosted Boston’s lead to 6-0.
After Barnes was ejected in the eighth, Machado responded with an RBI double off Joe Kelly that gave the Orioles their first run. Hyun Soo Kim added an infield single off Fernando Abad in the ninth that cut the margin to 6-2.
“We lost the game today,” Machado said. “That’s all that matters. Who cares about the situation that happened (with Pedroia)? It’s not on us. We did the right thing out there, and we’ve got to continue to do what we’ve got to do out there, continue to do the things that we always have been doing and move on to the next series.”
Craig Kimbrel picked up his seventh save by getting Machado to pop out to end the game, the only batter he faced. Afterward, though, much of the talk centered around the heated series and whether there might be further retaliation when the team meet May 1-4 against Boston.
“You’ve got to do your best to put that aside,” Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said. “I mean, there’s more at stake obviously. We weren’t happy with the way things went today, not only with what happened late in the game but also losing the game.
“I think it’s more important to win the game. You can’t get caught up in that stuff.”
NOTES: Boston 3B Pablo Sandoval left the game in the seventh inning with a right knee sprain. He is listed as day-to-day. … Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (knee, ankle is expected to undergo an MRI exam Monday in Boston. … Baltimore LHP Zach Britton (left forearm strain) is scheduled to play catch from 90 feet Monday. He had an MRI exam Friday that did not reveal any structural damage
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
BALTIMORE – Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox have answered a slow start out of the blocks by running full speed ahead over the last eight contests. Betts collected 15 hits to help Boston claim six wins in that stretch heading into Friday’s opener of a three-game series against the host Baltimore Orioles.
The 24-year-old Betts extended his hit streak to five games with a bases-clearing double in the 10th inning of Thursday afternoon’s 4-1 triumph over Toronto. Fellow outfielder Andrew Benintendi is 10-for-21 during his five-game hitting streak and had one of his three singles against Friday starter Dylan Bundy in Boston’s 8-1 rout of Baltimore on April 11. Jonathan Schoop increased his hitting streak to eight games with a homer in Thursday’s 2-1 victory in 10 innings versus Cincinnati, marking the third time he went deep in a stretch that began with another solo blast against the Red Sox in a 12-5 win on April 12. Baltimore posted a 6-3 mark on its completed road trip and begins a six-game homestand against a Boston club that has won just three of seven away from Fenway Park.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NESN Plus (Boston), MASN2 (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (1-0, 5.23 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Dylan Bundy (2-1, 1.86)
Pomeranz answered a stellar season-opening start versus Baltimore with a difficult one against Tampa Bay on Sunday, allowing five runs on as many hits – including two homers – in 4 1/3 innings of a no-decision. All was not lost for the 28-year-old as he struck out 10 while tossing 103 pitches as he works out the kinks following a forearm injury. Pomeranz owns a 1-2 mark with a 4.97 ERA in five career games (two starts) versus Baltimore, which he limited to just one run on four hits over six innings on April 11, and has kept Schoop hitless in five career at-bats.
Bundy sandwiched brilliant performances versus Toronto around a solid one against Boston, but sustained his lone loss despite a strong performance versus the Red Sox on April 11. The 24-year-old ran into trouble in the seventh of that contest, with one of the two runs driven in by Dustin Pedroia’s infield single charged to him to finish off his three-run performance. Bundy was moved up a day in order to pitch on normal rest, with manager Buck Showalter shuffling left-hander Jayson Aquino to the mound for his major-league debut on Saturday.
1. Boston CF Jackie Bradley Jr., who belted a homer with Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday, is expected to be activated and in the starting lineup after being sidelined with a strained right knee.
2. Orioles 1B Trey Mancini launched two of his team’s five homers against the Red Sox in the last meeting and is 8-for-20 with eight RBIs and five runs scored in his last seven games.
3. Pedroia, who is just 2-for-16 in his last four contests, went 3-for-8 with four RBIs in the first two games versus the Orioles.
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Mass
Where: Fenway Park, Boston
Toronto 5, Baltimore 2
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Umpires: Home – Gary Cederstrom, 1B – Ted Barrett, 2B – Eric Cooper, 3B – Bill Welke
TORONTO — (Wire Service Report) – Edwin Encarnacion is not ready to walk away from the Toronto Blue Jays yet, but he was only too happy to walk off.
The Toronto Blue Jays first baseman, who can become a free agent in the offseason, blasted the first pitch he saw from Ubaldo Jimenez in the bottom of the 11th inning Tuesday night to left field for a three-run homer and a 5-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the American League wild-card game.
The Blue Jays will open the American League Division Series on Thursday against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
“I had a good feeling all through the game even,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “It’s a close ballgame. If they win that game, they deserve it, too. It was such a well-played game on both sides. could have gone either way. … Eddie came through for us.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter never went to his closer, Zach Britton, in the game.
“He was fine,” Showalter said, admitting he considered using Britton who had a 0.54 ERA during the season “Yeah, I considered a lot of things during the course of the game. But our guys did a good job getting us to that point. We just couldn’t finish it off. Yeah, he was available.”
Britton said, “It’s frustrating to have to sit. I was good to go. But Ubie (Jimenez) has had success here.”
Showalter added, “There’s so many things going on. You can use Zach Britton in the seventh, the eighth and not have anybody to pitch the last inning. So there’s a lot of risk taken every inning, every pitch. You take that one when you get in this format.”
Baltimore left-hander Brian Duensing struck out Ezequiel Carrera to open the bottom of the 11th. Duensing was then replaced by the right-hander, Jimenez (0-1), who gave up singles to Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson that put runners at the corners.
Encarnacion then ended the game with the first-pitch home run.
“I was looking for a fastball and trying to get the barrel on it,” Encarnacion said. “Get a little bit in front because the infield was playing in. And I actually got it.”
Jose Bautista also homered for Toronto, a solo shot in the second against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman.
Tillman allowed four hits, one walk and two runs and struck out four in 4 1/3 innings.
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna pitched a perfect top of the ninth before Donaldson led off the bottom of the inning with a double to left against Brad Brach.
Encarnacion was walked intentionally. Bautista struck out. Darren O’Day replaced Brach, and Russell Martin grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Osuna retired Chris Davis on a fly ball to right to open the 10th before leaving with what Gibbons said was tightness in his shoulder.
“It wasn’t a big deal,” Gibbons said. “The smart thing was just get him out of there.”
Left-hander Francisco Liriano (1-0) took over from Osuna and retired the final two batters of the 10th and also worked a perfect 11th for the win.
After Stroman retired the first six batters, Bautista led off the bottom of the second with his fifth career postseason home run, drilling a 3-1 fastball to left field. It gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
Adam Jones led off the fourth with a single to right to give the Orioles their first baserunner. Jones took second when Hyun Soo Kim grounded out to first, but he had to hold at second when center fielder Kevin Pillar made a diving catch on Manny Machado’s drive into the gap in right center.
Trumbo put the Orioles into a 2-1 lead when he homered to left on a first-pitch fastball.
Tillman retired eight consecutive batters after the home run before walking Bautista with two outs in the fourth. Martin grounded out to second to end the inning.
Michael Saunders doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Pillar followed with a double to right that Michael Bourn just missed tracking down. Saunders had to make sure the ball dropped, and as a result, he only made third.
Carrera tied the game 2-2 with a single to center. Mychal Givens replaced Tillman with runners at the corners and one out. Givens’ first pitch resulted in a 5-4-3 double play grounder from Devon Travis.
“There was no tomorrow,” Carrera said. “So we knew we needed to win this game. It was something pretty special.”
NOTES: The Orioles appeared in the American League wild-card game for the second time. They defeated the Texas Rangers in 2012. It was the first appearance in the wild-card game for the Blue Jays. … Toronto led the American League in regular-season attendance, averaging 41,878 for a total of 3,392,099 — the fifth-highest total in franchise history and the seventh-highest average. … Toronto RHP Aaron Sanchez led the AL in earned-run average at 3.00, and the Blue Jays became the first team in major league history to lead the league in starters’ innings without a complete game. … Orioles LHP Zach Britton finished the regular season 47-for-47 in save opportunities. His 0.54 ERA (four earned runs in 67 innings) was the lowest in major league history among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched — but he never got into the wild-card game.
TORONTO — (Wire Service Report) – The Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays are familiar foes. As American League East rivals, they played 19 times this season, with the Blue Jays winning 10 of them. The slim advantage is the reason the American League wild-card game is being played Tuesday at Rogers Centre after Toronto and Baltimore finished in a tie in the standings at 89-73.
“We know everything about them, they know everything about us,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “You’re playing a team from your division, there’s no secrets. It really comes down to who executes better, or who gets the big hit or whatnot.”
The teams met just last week at Rogers Centre with the Orioles winning two of the three games to force a tie for the first wild-card spot. The tie could not be resolved on the weekend as Baltimore won two of three against the Yankees in New York while the Blue Jays won two of three from the Red Sox in Boston.
Chris Tillman (16-6, 3.77 ERA) will start for Baltimore against Toronto’s Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.
“We had probably three options,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, “and Chris was one of those good options.”
Showalter said that in a one-game playoff, the other candidates to start also could play a big role in the game as relievers.
“These games usually have a lot go on in them,” Showalter said. “So everybody gets a chance to play a big part in it if it’s a competitive game.”
Stroman has not won since Aug. 14. He took the loss against the Orioles on Thursday when he allowed four runs, nine hits and two walks while striking out three in seven-plus innings.
Despite going 0-5 in six September starts, Stroman had a respectable 3.41 ERA in those outings. Stroman was chosen over left-hander Francisco Liriano, who struck out 10 in 6 1/3 scoreless innings Wednesday in a no-decision against Tillman.
“It wasn’t easy,” Gibbons said. “I think Stro’s the perfect guy. Big game. We’ve seen him do it before. He did that a couple of times for us last year. He’ll throw strikes.”
Liriano will be available from the bullpen, as will right-hander Marco Estrada.
Tillman went 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in four starts against Toronto this year, posting a 2.38 ERA in two starts at Rogers Centre. Last Wednesday, he gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits in 5 2/3 innings during a no-decision. He walked three and struck out two.
“I know what they’re going to do, they knew what I’m going to do,” Tillman said. “The same goes the other way with Stro. We’ve seen him plenty. He’s seen us plenty. So I don’t think there are any secrets here. I think it’ll be the same kind of game that you always see.”
Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who defeated the Blue Jays on Thursday, and righty Dylan Bundy were the two other candidates to start and will be available from the bullpen.
Jimenez, who has a 2.45 ERA in his past seven starts, pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings Thursday in Toronto.
In 24 career starts against the Blue Jays, Tillman is 5-10 with a 5.44 ERA, and he is 2-6 with a 7.01 ERA in 13 starts in Toronto. Last season, Tillman was 0-4 with a 11.72 ERA in four starts vs. the Jays.
Stroman is 2-3 with a 5.07 ERA in seven career games (six starts) against the Orioles. He is 1-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts against Baltimore this season.
“There are no pitches you can take off,” Stroman said of the Orioles’ lineup. “Each pitch you have has to be executed. You make a mistake, and they make you pay. So that’s the mentality going into it.”
Stroman was 1-3 with a 7.76 ERA in five starts in June, then made adjustments.
“I definitely had an up-and-down year and battled a lot of adversity,” Stroman said. “I think I’ve done a pretty decent job at making adjustments throughout the year that were key for me and able to pay off down the stretch. I’m at a point now where I feel great, mechanics feel great, body feels great. I’m actually feeling at my strongest now. So I’m excited.”
The Blue Jays had the scoring advantage over the Orioles head-to-head this season, 97-81, and they went 6-4 vs. Baltimore at home. Toronto also had a 29-28 edge in home runs.
The winner goes to Texas to play the AL West champion Rangers in a best-of-five Division Series beginning Thursday.
The Blue Jays won their two regular-season games in October after going 11-16 in September. They have averaged an AL-worst 3.69 runs per game in their 29 games in September-October. Because both teams did not clinch their wild-card spots until the final game of the season, the term “battle-tested” is being uttered by each side.
“It wasn’t easy, but you know, maybe this is a better way to head into the playoffs — battle-tested,” Gibbons said.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said the same about his own team: “This team is battle-tested. We’re ready for whatever gets thrown at us.”