Orioles Shut Down by Rich Hill in 3-1 Loss to Red Sox
Anthony Santander and the Baltimore Orioles were shut down by Rich Hill and three relievers in a 3-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night, hurting their chances of rallying in the AL wild-card race.
Robinson Chirinos accounted for Baltimore's only run with his fourth homer in the eighth inning. The Orioles (80-75) lost for the fourth time in five games. They fell 4 1/2 games back of Seattle for the third AL wild card.
Santander went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts one night after he homered from both sides of the plate in Baltimore's 13-9 loss at Fenway Park. The slugger went 8 for 20 with six homers and nine RBIs in his previous four games.
Hill (8-7) struck out nine while pitching six innings of five-hit ball. The 42-year-old left-hander also tossed five scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory at Baltimore on Sept. 11.
"I felt good," Hill said. "The ball came out good. We were really angling the fastball down. One of the keys to success was just being able to drive the baseball downhill today."
Hill became the 21st pitcher in major league history to make at least 25 starts in a season at the age of 42 or older. Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey in 2017 were the last players to accomplish the feat, and Jamie Moyer in 2009 was the last lefty to do it.
"We have a finite amount of time to play this game," Hill said. "A lot of the game is making adjustments. ... I think that's one thing that I've always done is continue to evolve and make adjustments with the game."
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Hill was outstanding.
"Tonight was one of those good ones," Cora said. "We needed that."
Ryan Brasier and Kaleb Ort each got three outs before Matt Barnes handled the ninth for his sixth save. Gunnar Henderson walked with two out, but Barnes fanned pinch-hitter Adley Rutschman to finish the game.
Alex Verdugo homered and drove in two runs in Boston's second straight win. Abraham Almonte also went deep for his first homer of the season.
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts went 0 for 3 with a walk. He ranks third in the American League with a .309 batting average.
Baltimore right-hander Dean Kremer (8-6) allowed three runs and six hits in five-plus innings. Kremer pitched a four-hitter in a 6-0 victory over Houston last week for his first career complete game.
"Dean early didn't have his best command," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. "I thought he got better as the game went on. He kept us in the game."
Verdugo singled in Rafael Devers in the first, and Almonte led off the third with a drive to right for his 24th career homer. Almonte was promoted from the minors on Sept. 7.
Verdugo led off the sixth with his 11th homer of the season.
Orioles: INF Ramón Urias was placed on the 10-day injured list with a sprained right knee. INF Tyler Nevin was brought up from Triple-A Norfolk.
Red Sox: INF/OF Christian Arroyo, who had not played since Sept. 18 because of a non-COVID-19 illness, entered as a defensive replacement at second base in the eighth. Before the game, Cora said he expected Arroyo to play on Thursday. ... Cora said he believes 1B Eric Hosmer could be activated by Monday. Hosmer has been on the injured list since Aug. 21 with low back inflammation. ... RHP Kutter Crawford, on the IL since Sept. 1 with a right shoulder impingement, threw live batting practice. Crawford is not expected to return this season.
ON THE MOVE
Orioles: LHP Keegan Akin and RHP Beau Sulser were recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, and RHPs Joey Krehbiel and Jake Reed were sent down.
The Orioles and Red Sox wrap up their season series on Thursday. Rookie RHP Mike Baumann (1-3, 4.32 ERA) is slated to pitch for Baltimore, and RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 4.15 ERA) takes the mound for Boston.