By Ian Browne and Todd Karpovich
MLB.com |@IanMBrowne |
BALTIMORE -- Backed by two home runs from Dustin Pedroia and a marvelous pitching performance by Henry Owens, the Red Sox rolled to a 10-1 rout of the Orioles on Wednesday night at Camden Yards, getting the final game of the three-game series.
For Owens, it was arguably the best start of his young career, as he fired 7 2/3 shutout innings, allowing six hits and no walks while striking out four.
"He was dialing up pitches left and right," said interim Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo. "Some of the comments [catcher] Blake [Swihart] was saying as he was coming in from the inning is that he was not missing a spot. You started to hear little things like that and he was just in cruise control and you know that it's going to be a special night for him."
The Red Sox took the lead in the second when David Ortiz launched career homer No. 501, a solo shot to center. After scoring three in the third and five in the fourth, Boston had a commanding 9-0 lead.
It was a tough night for Orioles starter Mike Wright, who went three-plus innings, allowing six hits and six runs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Pedroia's power: Of Pedroia's six career multi-homer games, three have come this season. In this one, Pedroia roped a two-run shot to left-center in the third and a three-run rocket to left-center in the fourth. Though he missed 58 games with a right hamstring injury, Pedroia's 12 homers represent the highest total he's had in a season since 2010.
"I'm just feeling normal," said Pedroia. "That's how I felt before I got hurt. That's the frustrating part, sometimes you get hurt and miss some time. The biggest thing for me is just being out there, feeling good and being able to help us win." More >
Wright can't contain Red Sox: The O's right-hander struggled in his first career start against Boston. The outing could have proved extra costly as he might not get another start this season. Wright allowed homers to Ortiz and Pedroia in the second and third innings, respectively. He then departed after giving up a single to Rusney Castillo and a double to Blake Swihart to open the fourth. He was charged with six runs on six hits with one strikeout and one walk. Wright went 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his first three starts, but has gone winless in the past six outings and his ERA is now at 6.33.
"The home run I gave up to Pedroia was a belt-high slider. I could have hit it out," Wright said. "There was a lot of problems." More >
Marrero provides spark off bench: On a night the Red Sox gave shortstop Xander Bogaerts a rare rest, Deven Marrero took advantage by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Marrero had only 15 career at-bats prior to Wednesday.
"There's only a select few of us that get a chance to go there, so it's pretty cool," said Pedroia. "He played great. He's a great player. Defensively, he knows what he's doing, and his at-bats have been really good. He's picking and choosing when to drive the ball. It was pretty cool to watch."
O's bats silenced: The Orioles could not get much going offensively against Owens, who was making his first career start against them, falling behind 9-0 in the fourth. Baltimore simply could not muster any production to even chip away at that lead. A fielder's choice by Steve Pearce in the the ninth prevented the Orioles from being shut out for the 10th time this season.
"He's a good young pitcher," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about Owens. "I think he was 17-4 last year in the Minor Leagues. He was having a pretty good year in Triple-A [Pawtucket]. We knew he was going to throw about 45 to 50 percent offspeed pitches and he did, and was going to have some challenges commanding the fastball, which he did. We just didn't make a very good adjustment. Left-handed starters up here have to be able to defend themselves against right-handed hitters."
"We're trying to win every game. Nobody here is giving up. That's the way we are going to go about it." -- Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, on his team's performance on Wednesday
In the top of the eighth, Brock Holt hit a tapper toward the mound and came close to beating the throw to first by catcher Steve Clevenger. Lovullo challenged the call, but the call would stand.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Following an off-day on Thursday, the Red Sox will open a three-game series in Toronto against the American League East-leading Blue Jays on Friday night at 7:07 ET. Rick Porcello, who is 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA since coming off the disabled list, will face Marcus Stroman.
Orioles: The Orioles begin their final road trip of the season Thursday night at St. Petersburg with right-hander Chris Tillman taking the mound against the Rays at 7:10 ET. Tillman is looking to snap a four-game losing streak after winning seven consecutive decisions from June 5 through Aug. 17.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.