In a game of pitching debuts, the Baltimore Orioles came out on top
On Saturday, the Baltimore Orioles took on the Boston Red Sox in game two of this three-game set at Fenway Park in Boston. The game’s starting pitchers were Matt Harvey, making his debut with the Orioles, and Tanner Houck, who was starting just his fourth career game in the Major Leagues.
In his Orioles debut, Matt Harvey came away with decent results despite surrendering 7 hard-hit balls to Red Sox hitters. In 4.2 innings of work, Harvey allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 4 batters with an improved velocity that saw Harvey touch 94.8 MPH during his outing.
Adam Plutko, who the Orioles recently acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Indians, made his Orioles debut on Saturday as well, following Matt Harvey’s exit. Plutko pitched very well in his 2.1 inning stint, allowing just one opposing hitter to reach base while striking out a pair. If Plutko can continue to thrive out of long relief similarly to how he pitched on Saturday, the Orioles may use him in this spot frequently.
In at closer for the second game in a row, Cesar Valdez has emerged as the go-to option in the ninth inning for the Orioles. Although it took him 22 pitches to complete, Valdez worked a scoreless ninth inning on Saturday, allowing two base runners via walk and hit-by-pitch. The save is Valdez’s second of the season, giving him the early lead among American League pitchers, tied with Diego Castillo of the Tampa Bay Rays.
On the hitting end, Cedric Mullins and Pedro Severino both had multi-hit games. It has been that kind of series for Mullins and Severino, as each of them had multi-hit games on Friday as well. Mullins and Severino each carry batting averages of .500 so far this season.
The Orioles’ runs batted in on Saturday were collected by Maikel Franco, Anthony Santander, and Trey Mancini. Franco led the team with 2 RBI to his credit, scoring Rio Ruiz and Austin Hays on an RBI single in the fourth inning.
The Orioles will wrap up this three-game series in Boston on Sunday, looking to sweep the Red Sox for the first time since August 2017. Baltimore’s Spring Training standout, Bruce Zimmermann, will make his season debut as the team’s starting pitcher against Garrett Richards and the Red Sox. First-pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM ET.