Kevin Gausman pretty much did everything he could tonight except cross home plate for himself.
Gausman shut out the Red Sox over eight innings, but the Orioles couldn’t reward him. One night after the teams combined for 18 runs, played for 4 hours, 24 minutes and weren’t done until the 11th inning, they were in a rush to do nothing.
And they still managed to log 11 innings. Just as a brisker pace and with an odd twist.
Brad Brach unleashed a wild pitch with the bases loaded, two outs and Mitch Moreland at the plate, and the Orioles lost to the Red Sox 1-0 before an announced crowd of 21,449 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles have lost 11 of their last 13 games and fell to 73-79 overall, the first time they’ve been six under since July 28.
Brach got a 6-4-3 double play from pinch-hitter Dustin Pedroia to escape the top of the 10th, but an infield hit and two walks filled the bases in the 11th and Brach bounced a splitter past Welington Castillo, who had replaced Caleb Joseph behind the plate.
Left-hander Richard Bleier was warming in the bullpen while pitching coach Roger McDowell visited Brach. The left-handed hitting Moreland took the first pitch and motioned for Jackie Bradley Jr. to come home.
Gausman allowed three hits, walked one batter and struck out seven. He’s given up one run in his last two starts over 15 innings, with two walks and 13 innings, and has registered a 2.26 ERA since July 19.
The splitter was a big pitch for Gausman, but he also carried an upper-90s fastball. Joseph put down the fingers and Gausman set down the Red Sox.
Gausman retired the first 14 batters he faced, his early flirtation with perfection ending in the fifth inning on Devers’ two-out single off the right field fence. Gausman responded by getting a called third strike on Sam Travis, who stared at a 96 mph fastball.
Xander Bogaerts singled up the middle with two outs in the sixth and Andrew Benintendi walked, the first issued by Gausman. Mookie Betts grounded to short and the game remained scoreless.
Gausman needed 12 pitches to retire the Red Sox in order in the seventh, leaving him at 91 and still waiting for a run. Nothing elaborate. Nothing that required a measurement from Statcast. Just break through against someone.
It wouldn’t be Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz, who left after retiring Chris Davis on his 98th pitch for the first out in the bottom of the seventh. Carson Smith, who recorded the save last night in the 11th, struck out the next two batters.
Sam Travis led off the eighth inning with a single and Rajai Davis pinch-ran for him. Brock Holt failed to lay down a bunt and struck out looking at a 95 mph heater and Bradley bounced into a 6-3 double play on Gausman’s 106th pitch.
Darren O’Day escaped a jam in the ninth after Benintendi’s one-out double. Craig Kimbrel hit Jones on the right hand with a 98 mph fastball to start the bottom of the inning, but the next three batters were retired.
Benintendi leads the Red Sox with 10 outfield assists.
Bradley made a sensational running, leaping catch at the right-center field fence to rob Davis of a home run leading off the bottom of the fifth. Rookie Austin Hays followed with a double to left-center field for his seventh hit in his last 14 at-bats after an 0-for-7 start to his major league career, but Joseph struck out and Tim Beckham grounded out.
The Orioles had another chance in the bottom of the sixth when Jones walked with two outs and Mancini reached on an infield hit. Jones stole third base as catcher Christian Vázquez attempted to pick him off second, but Mark Trumbo struck out on a pitch high and outside.
Gausman had four strikeouts through the third inning, going back-to-back with his splitter in the third. He struck out Betts on three pitches to end the fourth - 95 and 96 mph four-seamers and an 86 mph split.
A 12-pitch first inning, with Gausman retiring the side in order, set a nice tone. Gausman had allowed 22 runs in the first for a 6.39 ERA.
What happened in the 11th struck the loudest chord. Without the batter making contact.
Update: An X-ray taken on Jones’ right hand came back clean, according to manager Buck Showalter.
“We just did a precautionary X-ray,” Showalter said. “He looks fine but ... two-strike pitch, you take that ball off the hand and continue to play. Actually, he had a tough at-bat the last at-bat even though they helped us a little bit. They do have to hurry a bit when a guy’s going down the line hard as Adam does.”
Here’s more from Showalter:
On Gausman: “He was outstanding. That’s about as good as it gets against a team operating on all cylinders and giving it their best shot. Kevin was every bit as good. You’d like to get a W out of that, obviously. It was a good outing. A good outing by Darren. Brad had a short seven-pitch inning before. Just that one pitch we couldn’t corral.”
On whether Gausman is doing same thing as last year: “He’s pitched some good games. We talked about it earlier. You look around baseball, fifth in the American League is a 3-something ERA and he and Dylan especially have been pretty solid for us for quite a while. Really speaks volumes of the way they’ve battled through the season and have been there for us every time we need them.”
On offense going cold again: “It’s some of the things we talked about in New York. When you get the combination of not operating on all cylinders offensively and really, really good pitching, those things can happen. But kept hoping we’d scratch one across. The left fielder made a real good throw and couldn’t push that one across.”
On Bradley catch: “It’s a play that speed allows you to make. He gets there in time. I don’t think anybody thought he wasn’t going to make a good bid for it. I hate to say it, it almost looks routine in some ways, for him especially. He makes a lot of great plays on balls in the park and some that might go out. Would it have gone out? I’m not sure. It probably would have.”
On still playing hard: “Of course. That’s never a question for me. It’s a question for each other, but they hold each other to a high standard. That’s not going to be ... they’re very frustrated right now. You can imagine grinding as our guys have since February and not being able to push a run like that across in some of these games when we pitch well. That’s been a challenge for us. I feel for them because I know how much it means to them.”