The Orioles don’t lead the majors in outfield assists by accident.
Need further proof? Rewind to the top of the second inning.
They collected two more assists after back-to-back singles by Xander Bogaerts and Pablo Sandoval. Center fielder Adam Jones fired to shortstop J.J. Hardy, who applied the tag on Bogaerts, and left fielder Travis Snider fired to second baseman Ryan Flaherty, who applied the tag on Sandoval.
Bogaerts was ruled safe, but manager Buck Showalter won the challenge. Umpires overturned the call in a swift 25 seconds.
Jones made a tremendous throw, and Showalter doesn’t call Hardy the best tagger he’s ever seen for nothing.
The Orioles have 20 outfield assists this season, including five from Jones and four from Snider. Delmon Young leads the club and is tied for first in the majors with eight. David Lough has one.
Former Oriole Alejandro De Aza, now with the Red Sox, had two before the trade.
I don’t recall seeing two outfield assists in the same inning, though I’m sure it’s happened.
The Orioles weren’t done putting on a defensive display. Jones made a leaping catch on the run in right-center field to rob Mookie Betts and end the second inning.
Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen threw 16 pitches in the second to raise his total to 35. The Orioles spared him more work.
No runs, two hits, nobody left on base.
Red Sox starter Rick Porcello struck out the side in the first, but Chris Davis led off the second with a bunt single to the left side. Delmon Young hit into a force play, but he scored with two outs on Hardy’s double to left-center field.
Hardy scored on Ryan Flaherty’s bloop single into left field, and the Orioles grabbed a 2-0 lead.
Hardy is 9-for-21 lifetime against Porcello. Flaherty is 4-for-8.
Update: Dustin Pedroia singled with two outs in the third and scored on Brock Holt’s double.
Chen has allowed five hits and thrown 56 pitches in three innings.
The Orioles got the run back in the bottom half of the inning on Manny Machado’s leadoff double and a one-out single by Jones.
Update II: Chen is charged with two runs and seven hits in five-plus innings, with one walk and five strikeouts. He was removed after 91 pitches, including 61 strikes.
Tommy Hunter entered with runners on the corners and no outs. He struck out Hanley Ramirez and appeared to induce a double play grounder from Mike Napoli, but Ryan Flaherty’s relay throw bounced past Davis.
Orioles 3, Red Sox 2.
Update III: The Orioles scored twice in the bottom of the sixth and drove Porcello from the game.
Davis, Young and Snider sturng together singles to begin the inning and Hardy lifted a sacrifice fly to right field for his first multi-RBI games since Sept. 4, 2014 vs. the Reds.
Orioles 5, Red Sox 2.
Update IV: The Orioles won for the fifth time in their last six games, defeating the Red Sox 5-2 before 22,201 at Camden Yards.
Tommy Hunter and Darren O’Day each tossed two perfect innings. O’Day struck out the side in the ninth and earned his second save.
Wei-Yin Chen won for the first time since May 9 in the Bronx and registered his first win at home since Sept. 15, 2014.
The Orioles (28-30) are within two games of .500 for the first time since May 30.