Baltimore has lost 107 games this year but took two of three in this series against Boston — welcome news for the Yankees, Blue Jays and Mariners. The Red Sox fell into a tie with Seattle for the American League’s second wild card. Boston trailed the Yankees by 1 1/2 games and led the Blue Jays by half a game, pending the conclusion of New York’s game at Toronto.
Kiké Hernandez homered on the first pitch of the game for the Red Sox, but not much went right for them after that. Mountcastle put Baltimore up 3-1 with his 33rd home run of the season, and the Orioles added three more runs in the sixth.
Boston’s Nick Pivetta (9-8) struck out the side in the first, but he ultimately allowed three runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out eight with two walks.
Alexander Wells (2-3) allowed a run and three hits in six innings after entering the game with a 7.61 ERA.
This wasn’t as bad as 2011, when the Red Sox allowed two runs in the ninth inning at Baltimore and were eliminated on the final night of the regular season. That collapse ended manager Terry Francona’s tenure in Boston.
A decade later, the Orioles were a thorn in Boston’s side again, but the Red Sox still have time to recover when they finish the regular season with a series at Washington.
Boston pitchers threw four wild pitches in this game. Two of them came in the sixth, when the Red Sox also made an error. Tyler Nevin gave the Orioles a 5-1 lead with a two-run single, and Pat Valaika followed with a sacrifice fly.
Red Sox: Boston is in an odd spot at second base. Christian Arroyo was reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list over a week ago, but José Iglesias has hit .339 in 20 games for Boston and continues to play. The Red Sox signed Iglesias in early September, so he can’t play for them in the postseason if they make it. Manager Alex Cora said Arroyo, who has played only twice since his return, is doing what he can to stay sharp. “Hopefully we have to make that decision, let’s put it that way, reg? Who’s going to play second in the playoffs?” Cora said.
Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (11-8) starts Friday night in the opener of the series at Washington. Josh Rogers (2-1) takes the mound for the Nationals.
Orioles: Baltimore finishes against another playoff contender at Toronto. The Orioles haven’t announced a starter yet for Friday night’s game against Steven Matz (13-7) of the Blue Jays.