John Means pitched well, but the offense failed to show up as the Baltimore Orioles fell to the Boston Red Sox.
John Means wasn’t in the mood to partake in games the Boston Red Sox were playing with him. The Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher went five innings against the defending World Series champions, allowing just one run in a 4-0 loss.
With the loss, the Baltimore Orioles fell to 6-10 on the season. They also tied the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies after allowing a home run for the 16th consecutive game to start the season. It didn’t come until the bottom of the eighth inning, but a three-run shot put by Xander Bogaerts put an exclamation point on the ballgame and continued a depressing run by this pitching staff.
Means worked effectively in the first inning against the Red Sox, producing two swinging strikeouts to lead things off. His first was a 92 mph fastball way up in the zone to get Andrew Benintendi swinging and finishing the inning by getting Steve Pearce to go down fishing on a changeup.
He found himself in a jam to start the second inning, hitting J.D. Martinez with a pitch, followed by a Xander Bogaerts base hit to put runners on the corners with no outs. Luckily for Means, Martinez decided against testing the arm of Joey Rickard in right field by not tagging on a flyball out. The next at-bat resulted in a double play off the bat of Eduardo Nunez and a big relief for Means.
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It wasn’t the only bad decision Martinez made on the basepaths in this game. After Boston took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning off a sac-fly from Bogaerts, Martinez was caught in a rundown after running on a Dustin Pedroia weak groundball to Means.
The lefty finished his second start of the season with an easy fifth inning, ending his day with a 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K pitching line. He lowered his ERA to 1.98 after five appearances this season. It’s not all doom and gloom with this Baltimore Orioles pitching staff. Six innings would have been better, obviously, but with rain in the forecast for Monday morning’s game against the Red Sox, the pen should get a welcomed day off before beginning their series against the American League East-leading Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, the O’s offense struggled against David Price on Sunday afternoon. A single from Renato Nunez and a double by Richie Martin were the only hits put up by the offense through the first six innings.
They threatened in the seventh, thanks to a leadoff double from Trey Mancini. That would be as far as Mancini would get after Nunez, Hanser Alberto, and Jesus Sucre all failed to advance the hot-hitting outfielder/first baseman/designated hitter. In all, the Orioles produced just five hits on the afternoon.
Price threw seven innings of shutout ball, giving up three hits, walking none, and striking out seven. Of his 92 pitches, 18 resulted in a swing and miss from O’s hitters.