Unlike airline points, runs don’t carry over.
If they did, the Orioles could’ve used a few Saturday. After exploding for 15 runs in a series opening win Friday, the O’s bats went quiet in a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox in front of 34,939 on Saturday.
As has too often been the case recently, the offense waited too long to get going, failing to score off of Michael Wacha in the starter’s 5 ⅔ innings of work for Boston. A seventh-inning rally netted the Orioles just two runs, not enough to overcome what was then a 3-0 deficit.
"We had a tough time getting a rally going against (Wacha)," said manager Brandon Hyde after the game. "Good to see us make a run late like usual but just came up a run short today."
Baserunners were hard to come by for the Orioles, who collected just one walk and went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
Little fault can be heaped upon the shoulders of Baltimore starter Kyle Bradish, who allowed nine hits but only three runs.
The 25-year-old fell just one out short of picking up a quality start, but his 5 ⅔ innings were the most he had amassed in a start since he tossed seven innings on May 10 in St. Louis. He lived in and around the strike zone, collecting six strikeouts and walking none.
"He pitched into the sixth, three runs," said Hyde. "That’s a tough offense to go three times though. But he kept us in the game. We just didn’t have enough offense today."
But the righty struggled to find his putaway pitch, registering just four swings-and-misses all game. Bradish’s inability to produce whiffs finally hurt him in the fifth inning, when three consecutive hits put the Red Sox on the board.
"I was around the zone all day," said Bradish after the game. "They made a few adjustments so I was still working though those. Just have to figure out some location with my breaking balls from the other side of the rubber."
After getting Kevin Plawecki down in the count 0-2, Bradish left a letters-high fastball low enough for the catcher to smack a base hit into right. Christian Arroyo advanced Plawecki to third on a single of his own before Alex Verdugo jumped on Bradish’s first pitch. His line drive bounced in front of right fielder Santander, and Boston grabbed a 1-0 lead.
The Red Sox’s veteran lineup eventually solved the rookie. J.D. Martinez led off the sixth with a sharp liner to left, and after Bradish struck out Bobby Dalbec swinging, Enrique Hernádez mashed a two-run shot over the angled wall just right of the foul pole in left field. It was Hernandez’s fifth homer of the year and the 15th surrendered by Bradish in his 15 starts.
"Made one bad pitch," said Bradish. "Tried to go up and in with a fastball and left it over the middle and he took advantage of it."
A day after crushing five homers, the Orioles utilized some small ball to push across their only two runs of the game in the seventh.
Back-to-back singles by Ramón Urías and Jorge Mateo put the Orioles in business, and they got a nice loan from Sox right fielder Jarren Duran, whose throwing error gave them two in scoring position.
In came pinch hitter Kyle Stowers, who rolled over on an 0-2 pitch for a groundout to second base. But it was enough to score Urias from third, and two batters later, Mateo scooted home on a wild pitch from John Schreiber. Boston’s lead was now just 3-2.
But the Red Sox received some cushion from Arroyo, whose RBI double in the ninth put the game out of reach.
Mateo made some noise with a one-out triple in the final frame. Stowers picked up his second RBI of the game with another groundout to shortstop, but it was too little, too late.
Hyde’s team will send Dean Kremer to the mound for the series finale tomorrow in the Little League Classic in Williamsport. Kremer is coming off perhaps his best start of the season, when he went seven strong innings in Toronto on Aug. 16.