BOSTON SPORTS WAVE

Houck’s Effort Not Enough; Devers Costly Error Propels Orioles Past Red Sox 4-2

The Red Sox fell to the Orioles 4-2 Saturday, with Tanner Houck’s great effort on the mound not being enough as poor fielding and hitting helped the Orioles past the Red Sox Saturday.

We’ve gotten used to pitching being the problem, but the past two days both costly errors and the inability to score has been the reason the Red Sox are 0-2 to start the season.

Saturday started out with a pitchers duel, similar to Friday. The Orioles veteran Matt Harvey had a surprisingly strong start, after going 0-3 with an ERA of 11.74 last year with Kansas City. Tanner Houck had a strong start as well, after having a strong start to his career late last year. He posted a 0.53 ERA in 17 innings.

Both held the opposing team scoreless after 3. The Orioles would crack the scoreboard first though as with two outs and a runner on 2nd in the top of the 4th, Rafael Devers would sail a ball very far over the head of Marwin Gonzalez who was covering 2nd base.

That would put runners on the corners, and a pitch that Plawecki blatantly missed when trying to catch it moved the runner on 1st base to 2nd base. A base hit up the middle from Maikel Franco then would drive in both runners, making it a 2-0 ballgame. Houck would be credited with just one of the runs though. If Rafael Devers would have made the throw, those two runs would have been avoided.

Houck would finish off the top half of the 4th, and the Red Sox would score the first run of the year in the bottom half of the 4th with a sac fly from Marwin Gonzalez, that would drive in JD Martinez. Bobby Dalbec would be the following batter, and he would strand Xander Bogaerts at 3rd base with a K to end the 4th.

In the 5th, the Orioles would pick up another run as Xander Bogaerts bobbled a grounder with two outs, and the throw was not in time. That would score the speedy Cedric Mullins to make it 3-1 O’s.

The Red Sox however would pick up another run though in the 5th, as with runners on 1st and 2nd JD Martinez hit a line drive straight at Harvey, which would bounce off Harvey and end up in between the 1st baseman and 2nd baseman. An Oriole defender wasn’t able to get to it in time before Kevin Plawecki came around to score, to make it 3-2.

Harvey would be taken out of the game, ending the day with 4.2 IP and 2 ER. Houck would also be removed after 5 innings of work, ending the day with 5 IP, as Austin Brice would come in to pitch a scoreless 6th for Boston, and for Baltimore Adam Plutko would come in to pitch a scoreless 6th.

Darwinzon Hernandez would allow a run off of two hits in the 7th, to make it 4-2 O’s. Plutko would remain in the ballgame for the 7th, and pitch a scoreless 7th.

Phillips Valdez of the Red Sox and Dillon Tate of the Orioles would both come in to pitch  scoreless half innings in the 8th as well.

Valdez would pitch another scoreless frame in the 9th, and the Red Sox would blow a 2 on and nobody out opportunity, as Cesar Valdez would shut the door for his second straight save.

Adam Plutko would be credited with the win after pitching 2.1 scoreless innings allowing just one hit. Houck would get the loss, ending the day with 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 R, 6 hits and 8 K’s.

Five players went 0-for-4 for the Red Sox, including Alex Verdugo, Kike Hernandez, Rafael Devers, Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero. JD Martinez had a strong 3-for-4 day.

The Red Sox take on the Orioles Sunday at 1:10 PM EST. Garrett Richards gets the nod for Boston. The Red Sox look to avoid the series sweep in Boston.

Happy Easter to those who celebrate it.

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