Red Sox empty bullpen, use 7 pitchers to shut out Orioles
BOSTON (AP) — First-time starter Craig Breslow and six relievers combined on a five-hitter and the Boston Red Sox beat Baltimore 8-0 Saturday, further denting the Orioles’ slim playoff hopes.
A day after Boston journeyman Rich Hill blanked Baltimore on a two-hitter, the Red Sox emptied their bullpen.
The Orioles fell 4 1/2 games behind Houston for the AL’s second wild-card spot. Third baseman Manny Machado made a pair of two-run errors, both coming on grounders by Xander Bogaerts.
Making his first career start after 522 relief appearances over 10 years, Breslow allowed two hits in four innings. Heath Hembree (2-0) worked one inning for the win.
Wei-Yin Chen (10-8) took the loss.
Josh Rutledge drove in two runs and Brock Holt scored twice. Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts each had two hits for Boston.
Machado misplayed grounders in the seventh and eighth when the Red Sox broke open the game with six unearned runs.
Breslow got the Red Sox off to a good start, then Matt Barnes threw two hitless innings. Alexi Ogando, Tommy Layne and Noe Ramirez each got one out and Jonathan Aro worked the ninth.
Boston took the lead in the fifth when Holt walk and Rutledge doubled. Castillo doubled in the sixth and Holt hit an RBI single.
Orioles: CF Adam Jones (back spasms) was not in the lineup for the sixth straight game, but was available off the bench. Jones did run and throw in the outfield before the game.
Red Sox: 3B Pablo Sandoval (pneumonia) missed his sixth straight, but interim manager Torey Lovullo said he appeared to be doing better. Sandoval, who last played Sept. 20, was re-evaluated when he got to the park Saturday. . David Ortiz was rested.
Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (12-9) is set to go Sunday. He’s 2-0 with a 3.57 ERA and 17 strikeouts in his last three starts, but gave up four runs in a no-decision against Boston on September 15.
Red Sox: LHP Henry Owens (3-3) is scheduled to start Boston’s home finale. He tossed 7 2-3 scoreless innings in his only other start against Baltimore on Sept. 16.