Jones leads O's to blank Red Sox in opener

Jones leads O's to blank Red Sox in opener

BALTIMORE -- Fresh off their first back-to-back series wins since July, the Orioles kept on rolling in Monday's 2-0 series-opening win over the Red Sox.

"We never want to be complacent," Orioles reliever Brian Matusz said of a Baltimore team that has won five of its past six games. "Obviously, we want to win ballgames. There's still plenty of season left, and we're still in this thing. We want to continue to win ballgames, take it day by day and stay positive and keep winning."

O's righty Kevin Gausman held Boston to two hits over six innings, and Baltimore made a first-inning fielding error by second baseman Josh Rutledge hold up against former farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez.

Rodriguez lasted 5 1/3 innings and struck out a career-high nine. He has allowed just six earned runs over his last five starts. Adam Jones, who reached in the first on Rutledge's error -- to score Nolan Reimold -- doubled in an insurance run in the seventh.

"I'm just happy that we won. I could care less about my statistics as long as we're winning," Gausman said of his first 'W' since Aug. 1. "That's what it's about right now -- winning ballgames -- and I think we are playing pretty good baseball."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
E-Rod strong against former team: Rodriguez took the loss on a night he was trying to earn his 10th win, but he pitched a solid game against the Orioles, the team that developed him. Rodriguez has been tremendous in his past five starts, going 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA.

Rodriguez's nine strikeouts

"He's gonna be great," said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. "He's a kid that works really hard to keep on learning about pitching. I think he has a great future. He has explosive stuff. He has learned pretty much how to locate pitches better. I think that'll help him out a lot in the long run." More >

Boston bats finally shut down: Coming out of the All-Star break, the Red Sox were shut out in successive games by the Angels. However, Monday marked the first time Boston was held to zero runs since then. The Red Sox had gone 51 games without putting up a goose egg. Mookie Betts went 0-for-3 as his 18-game hitting streak came to an end.

"We've been swinging the bats really well," said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo. "We haven't been shut out in over 50 games, and sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due, and Gausman was outstanding. He was aggressive with his fastball. He threw his split finger behind in the count. He made pitches when he had to. We had our chances. We had some opportunities to score big runs, we just didn't get that big hit to allow us to get back in the game."

Matusz gets it done: Summoned with men on first and second in the top of the eighth, Matusz got a pair of big outs in Ortiz and Travis Shaw. Matusz retired Ortiz on a lineout and got Shaw to ground out to keep Boston off the scoreboard and get righty Darren O'Day out of the jam.

Matusz escapes jam in the 8th

"Obviously, Papi is one of the best hitters in the game, so in a situation like that, especially with guys on base, it doesn't matter who it is," Matusz said. "You want to make quality pitches, but with Ortiz right there, obviously wanted to be safe, get the ball down in the zone, and fortunately I was able to. Fastball was away off the plate, Ortiz was right on top of the dish, and fortunately I was able to get it off the end of the bat, and Jonesy was there, so it worked out."

Gausman goes six strong: The O's righty, despite a high pitch count early, was able to get through six solid innings. Gausman walked four and struck out seven, throwing 109 pitches in the win.

Gausman's scoreless start

"They were pretty patient tonight, which normally they aren't. But I was kind of all over the place at some points in the game, close pitches that ended up being balls. Walked some guys, who ended up getting on base," Gausman said. "The biggest thing was throwing secondary pitches in big spots."

QUOTABLE
"They made him work. When guys have good stuff, as a hitter you make a living out of swinging at stuff that appears as something you can put in play firmly. And the guys with the better stuff are going to have higher pitch counts, for the most part, until they kind of figure things out. But I thought Kevin, he pitched as much as threw today. He had a lot of things at his disposal. He had a changeup and the split and spun a few balls, had a little more depth on it." -- O's manager Buck Showalter, on Gausman

WHAT'S NEXT
Red Sox: Red-hot righty Joe Kelly tries to win his ninth straight start in Tuesday night's 7:05 p.m. ET contest against the Orioles. The last Boston pitcher to win nine consecutive starts was Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez in 1999. Kelly won his only previous career start at Camden Yards, allowing two runs over seven innings.

Orioles: Baltimore will send righty Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound. Jimenez is coming off one of his best second-half starts, as he pitched seven strong innings against New York.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.