BOSTON -- Backed by a dominant performance from their bullpen and a solid start by Chris Tillman, the Orioles downed the Red Sox, 4-1, on Saturday at Fenway Park.
A tight game for most of the contest, Chris Davis gave the O's some breathing room when he hammered a two-run homer to left against Robbie Ross Jr. in the ninth. The O's bullpen -- which has struggled early on -- tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Tillman gave up six hits and a run over 5 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out five.
The Red Sox seemed on the verge of tying the game or taking the lead on numerous occasions, but couldn't convert.
"We had our opportunities," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We did a good job of creating those, give credit to some quality pitches thrown by Tillman, by O'Day. They made some key pitches, as did we, through the eight innings of work here today." David Ortiz had a good day for the Red Sox, pounding out three hits, including a double. Brock Holt continues to hit every time he starts, and went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot.
Despite giving up 11 hits, Clay Buchholz kept the Red Sox in it, allowing two runs over six innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Buchholz works out of traffic: After pitching a gem on Opening Day and getting rocked in his second start, Buchholz was somewhere in the middle in this one. The righty walked one and struck out seven, and it was big that he was able to go six innings given the way the Red Sox' bullpen has been taxed of late. Though it wasn't one of the most artistic performances of Buchholz's career, it was a major improvement from his previous start, when he got shelled at Yankee Stadium. More >
"Like I said after that outing, the last thing you want to do is just let them hit the ball around," Buchholz said. "It definitely didn't feel like I gave up 11 hits. It felt like I won a couple of those battles, and balls just ended up falling in."
Brach comes up big: After Tillman exited -- and allowed a run on his own fielding error -- Brad Brach come on with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth inning. Brach got Daniel Nava to ground into a double play to keep the O's in the lead. The righty also stranded a runner on second in the seventh.
"Any time you can come in there and not give up runs, it's great. Especially against these guys, in their park, it's always nice to go up there and put up zeros pretty much," Brach said. More >
Hanley struggles in left: In Saturday's game, Hanley Ramirez looked like someone who hasn't played the outfield before this season. In the fourth, he ran tentatively toward a ball in the corner in left on what wound up being a double for Jimmy Paredes. The Orioles scored twice in that inning. In the fifth, Paredes hit a fairly routine fly ball to left and Ramirez drifted back to the Monster only to have it tick off his glove. The play was ruled a single. That loaded the bases with none out, but Buchholz got out of that jam with no runs scored. It was a tough day for Ramirez at the plate as well, as he went 0-for-4 and hit into a 1-4-3 double play to erase the potential tying run in the bottom of the eighth. More >
Davis goes deep: It was all or nothing for the O's first baseman, who struck out three times, but had a big ninth-inning homer for some late-game cushion. Davis' two-run shot, his second this season, also scored Steve Pearce. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Saturday marked the first game that the Orioles' bullpen did not give up a run. Adam Jones had three more hits for Baltimore to raise his average to .415.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez was moved up with Thursday's off-day, keeping him on regular rest to face the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET.
Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello will try to notch his third straight quality start when he pitches on Sunday against the Orioles in the third of this four-game series at 1:35 p.m. ET.
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