Orioles right-hander Yefry Ramirez was certainly respectable in his major league debut. But to beat the Boston Red Sox today he would have needed more help. His offense couldn’t get much going against left-hander Chris Sale and his bullpen let in two of his runs as Boston beat the Orioles 5-1 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles (19-48) have lost seven in a row to tie their season-high for the third time. They have six losing streaks of at least five games and are 1-9 versus Boston and 10-21 at home.
The Red Sox (47-22) swept this three-game series and moved a season-best 25 games over the .500 mark. They are 28-10 versus the AL East and 24-11 on the road.
A bad game and bad year were made worse today in the Red Sox eighth. O’s lefty Richard Bleier threw a pitch and Eduardo Núñez grounded out. Bleier immediately grabbed at his arm and maybe even his elbow, it was hard to tell for certain. He walked off alongside trainer Brian Ebel. As the game ended there was no word yet on exactly what had happened. One of the club’s most reliable relievers, Bleier is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA through 31 games.
Earlier, while using his plus changeup effectively, Ramirez was down just 1-0 heading to the top of the fifth on 80 pitches. But with one out he walked two straight batters and Mike Wright Jr. replaced him. Boston would add three runs to make it 4-0. Xander Bogaerts followed a Wright wild pitch with a sac fly and later Boston got RBI singles from Rafael Devers and Núñez in that inning.
Boston had taken a 1-0 lead in the third on Mookie Betts’ 18th homer. He hit a 3-2 fastball over the outside corner out to right for the lead. His 413-foot homer had a 102 mph exit velocity. Boston’s lead expanded to 5-0 in the seventh when J.D. Martinez hit his 22nd homer on Wright’s 0-2 fastball.
So Ramirez loses his debut. Over 4 1/3 innings he gave up four hits and three runs with two walks and six strikeouts. He threw 97 pitches, 57 for strikes. He got swings and misses on seven of 32 changeups and his four-seam fastball averaged 91.7 mph, topping at 94 mph.
Sale left the game in strange fashion. He took a shutout to the seventh and then walked Mark Trumbo and Craig Gentry to start the inning. It looked like he was being taken out of the game and but first he had a few words for plate ump Brian Knight. He was then ejected by Knight from a game he was already coming out of.
The Orioles scored their only run in that inning. Against Brandon Workman, Trumbo advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Jace Peterson’s sac fly to left to make it 5-1.
Over six innings-plus Sale allowed two hits and one run with four walks and nine strikeouts. He is 6-4 with a 2.75 ERA. This was Sale’s ninth start of the season allowing zero or one earned run.
The Orioles scored just five runs in this series after they scored 11 in getting four straight by Toronto over the weekend. They’ve scored 19 runs the last nine games and 33 in their past 17. They take Thursday off and host Miami over the weekend at Oriole Park.
Ramirez, through interpreter Ramon Alarcon, on how it felt to make his debut: “I felt awesome, excited, happy to be here. It’s been an opportunity that I’ve been waiting on for 12 years. Now, it’s finally here.
“The plan was to go after the hitters, continue to attack the zone, regardless of name or batting order. Try to continue to do the same things I was able to do in Triple-A - stay ahead in the count, always open with the first-pitch strike.”
Ramirez on keeping his emotions and nerves under control: “I definitely felt a little bit nervous when I was told I was opening, especially [with] the Orioles. After the game [started], after a few pitches, after a few innings, I tried to settle down and calm my nerves and just try to concentrate on the same things I was able to do in Triple-A, to try to do it over here.”
Ramirez on seeing his changeup suceed at the major league level: “It gives me a lot of confidence. I’m obviously going to continue to work with it. I feel confident with it right now, but there’s always room for improvement, so continuing to locate it well and over the plate.”
Jace Peterson on Chris Sale: “With his fastball he can locate it to both sides of the plate. He’s throwing 98 and with that slider, he was making good pitches and goes out there and competes. You can’t really look for the slider or else he’ll zip 98 right by you. You have to go in there and stay on the fastball and hope he leaves one over the plate that you can put a good swing on.”
Peterson on being impressed by Ramirez: “I thought he was great. Anytime you get to have your debut and your dream come true, it’s a fun thing. Happy for him and he did everything that they wanted him to do. Think he stuck out six. He threw the ball good and looked like he had good command. For an MLB debut, it went well.”