Mountcastle homers, Wells was dealing as O’s take series

Well, this was somewhat unexpected. An Orioles team with the worst rotation ERA in baseball facing the Boston Red Sox. When this series began, Boston led the majors in doubles and extra-base hits, were second in slugging, third in OPS and fourth with 5.15 runs per game.

They had posted wins over the Orioles this year by scores of 14-9, 11-6, 8-1 and 16-2.

And then they got shut down pretty well by three O’s rookie left-handers.

First it was Bruce Zimmermann going four innings Tuesday. Then Zac Lowther went five innings last night. And tonight Alexander Wells went six frames.

The Orioles picked up a win in their 2021 home finale and won a series against an American League East team for just the third time this year with tonight’s 6-2 win over the Red Sox in front of 13,012 at Oriole Park.

They took two of three from a Boston team that had just been swept by the Yankees and is trying to desperately hang onto an AL playoff spot in a wild wild card race. They did this versus a Boston team that was 12-1 in its previous 13 games this year versus the Orioles when this series began.

Zimmermann allowed two hits and one run and Lowther gave up eight hits and two runs (one earned).

Wells-Alexander-Throwing-White-Sidebar.jpgTonight, Wells provided the Orioles with just their second quality start in the last 17 games. Over six innings, he gave up just three hits and one run with two walks and strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches, 52 for strikes, and is now 2-3 with an ERA of 6.75.

According to Statcast, Wells’ four-seam fastball tonight averaged just 85.8 mph and topped out at 87.7 mph.

Orioles starting pitchers have gotten on a roll at the end of the year. Over the last 10 games, the starters have an ERA of 1.96. Over 46 innings, they have allowed 40 hits and 10 earned runs with 10 walks to 40 strikeouts.

The Orioles are now 52-107 with three games to play at Toronto beginning tomorrow night. They finished their 81-game home schedule going 27-54. They finished with a 6-13 record against Boston, going 3-7 at home.

Ryan Mountcastle’s three-run homer in the third inning off right-hander Nick Pivetta gave the O’s the early 3-1 lead. It was No. 33 for Mountcastle on a first-pitch fastball. He has homered six times this year against Boston, his second-most versus any opponent, topped by his seven against Toronto. Mountcastle leads major league rookies in homers and has hit 19 in 58 games in the second half.

Mountcastle is now third on the O’s single-season RBIs list by a rookie:

98 - Jim Gentile, 1960
93 - Cal Ripken Jr., 1982
89 - Ryan Mountcastle, 2021
88 - Eddie Murray, 1977
86 - Ron Hansen, 1960

His 33 homers are tied for ninth-most by a rookie in AL history with José Canseco (Oakland, 1986) and Jimmie Hall (Minnesota, 1963). No. 8 on the list with 34 is Walt Dropo of Boston in 1950.

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