Alec Asher pitches the Orioles past Boston 3-2

Well, giving right-hander Alec Asher another start turned out to be a pretty good thought by the Orioles.

Asher-Throws-Orange-Sidebar.jpgRebounding from Sunday’s outing, where he allowed six runs over two innings at Houston, Asher pitched the Orioles to a 3-2 win over Boston tonight in front of 33,193 at Camden Yards

Retiring the side in order four times, Asher went 6 1/3 innings allowing three hits and two runs, one of which scored after he left the game. He did not walk a batter and fanned five.

Asher is now 2-3 with an ERA of 3.62. He has allowed five runs over 12 1/3 innings in two starts versus Boston. He threw 95 pitches tonight and 65 were fastballs between 89 and 91 mph. He didn’t need to overpower hitters, but he had solid control and command and held the Boston hitters to three hits over 22 at-bats.

The Orioles moved ahead Boston into second-place at 29-24. They improved to 19-8 at home and to 21-11 in American League East games. They are 7-4 versus the Red Sox, including a 3-1 mark at home. Boston (29-25) had won eight of 10 games coming into this series, before losing the last two nights.

The Orioles got a two-run homer in the first inning last night. And tonight they got two homers in the first inning. In a span of three batters.

Seth Smith led off against 2016 AL Cy Young Winner Rick Porcello and homered to right. Smith hit a 3-2 fastball at 94 mph for his fifth home run. It was his third career leadoff homer and first of this year. It was the Orioles’ second leadoff homer of the year. Joey Rickard hit one on May 8 against the Nationals.

Two batters later Manny Machado hit a blast into the second deck down the left-field line. It was his 11th homer and came off a 3-1 fastball that he crushed 465 feet. According to the Statcast leaderboard, that ties for ninth longest homer of the year in the majors. At 114 mph, it is the second hardest ball Machado has hit and third longest since Statcast began tracking such things in 2015.

The 2-0 lead was cut in half in the Boston third. After Asher had retired the first seven to face him, third baseman Pablo Sandoval hit an opposite field solo homer to left. The O’s added on for a 3-1 lead on Hyun Soo Kim’s RBI double in the fourth. It scored Jonathan Schoop, who had singled. Xander Bogaerts led off the Boston seventh and doubled off Asher. He later scored on Jackie Bradley’s single off Mychal Givens for a 3-2 game.

But the Orioles bullpen closed it out as Darren O’Day pitched a scoreless eighth and Brad Brach a 1-2-3 ninth on 11 pitches for his 11th save.

In the third game of this series on Saturday night at 7:15 p.m., right-hander Dylan Bundy (6-3, 2.89 ERA) faces Red Sox lefty David Price (0-0, 5.40 ERA).

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