BALTIMORE (AP) — Christian Arroyo ended Boston’s long-ball drought with a two-run shot, and Rich Hill combined with four relievers on a five-hitter to help the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 Friday night.
Arroyo hit his first homer of the season in the second inning to provide the Red Sox with all the offense they needed to saddle the Orioles with their fifth straight defeat. It was Boston’s first home run in seven games and only its second in the last 11.
“I don’t think about stuff like that. I just think of quality at-bats,” manager Alex Cora said. “Obviously, we hit a few balls hard today. We’re getting better.”
The Red Sox, a team usually known for its power, came in with only 11 homers — tied for third-fewest in the majors.
“It was good to see the bats come around,” Hill said. “Confidence is building.”
Although Boston could only tack on an unearned run to Arroyo’s drive over the center-field wall, it was enough to back a fine job on the mound by Hill and the Red Sox bullpen.
Hill opened by retiring the first 12 batters he faced. After Austin Hays led off the fifth with an infield hit, Tanner Houck (2-1) came in to pitch three innings of two-hit ball. Houck had been on the restricted list during the team’s trip to Toronto earlier in the week because he has not been vaccinated.
Cora spoke before the game of using Houck to “piggy-back” with Hill, and the strategy worked.
“Tanner did a great job coming in, and also the guys out of the bullpen continued to throw the ball well,” Hill said.
Jake Diekman followed with a perfect eighth and Hansel Robles gave up a leadoff homer in the ninth to Ryan Mountcastle, along with a single by Hays, before getting two outs.
Cora then called upon Matt Strahm, who put the tying run on with a walk before striking out Chris Owings to end the game and earn his first career save.
Baltimore wasted a strong effort by right-hander Kyle Bradish (0-1), who allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits over six innings in his major league debut. Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game, the 25-year-old righty settled down nicely after the Red Sox got four hits in a three-run second inning.
“It was everything I imagined and then some. It was awesome,” Bradish said. “I always get nervous when I start, but today was a little extra. Walking in through the bullpen was when it really hit me.”
Bradish was acquired in the December 2019 in the trade that sent Dylan Bundy to the Los Angeles Angels.
Red Sox: OF Travis Shaw was designated for assignment after going 0 for 19 with no walks. Boston selected the contract of OF Franchy Cordero, who had 24 RBIs in 19 games with Triple-A Worcester. “This is more about Franchy than it is about Travis,” Cora said. “Hopefully he can get some good at-bats and help us win games.” Boston also recalled OF Jaylin Davis.
Orioles: Recalled INF Tyler Nevin from Norfolk.
Hill went through four perfect innings before allowing a hit. Down the road, a pitcher for the University of Maryland went the distance without permitting a runner to reach base.
Ryan Ramsey pitched a perfect game for the Terrapins on Friday night, notching 27 outs in a row against Northwestern in a 13-0 blowout.
Red Sox: Slugger J.D. Martinez (left adductor strain) felt some discomfort during a pregame workout and missed a second straight start. He is expected to return on Saturday.
Orioles: LHP Alexander Wells (0-2, 5.54 ERA) was placed on the injured list with left elbow soreness.
Red Sox: Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.32 ERA) starts Saturday night against Baltimore. The right-hander has not allowed more than two walks in any of his last 23 starts.
Orioles: RHP Spenser Watkins (0-0, 2.77) makes his 14th career start. He’s 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three lifetime appearances against Boston, including one start.
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