Hernández, Arroyo, Wacha power Red Sox past Orioles 4-3
BALTIMORE (AP) — Kike Hernández hit a two-run homer, Christian Arroyo added a key RBI double in the ninth inning and Michael Wacha pitched scoreless ball into the sixth as the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Saturday.
The teams split the first two games of the series, and the finale will be played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on Sunday
The Orioles slipped to 2 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay in the race for the third and final American League wild-card spot.
“This is a good ball club, the Orioles,” Arroyo said. “Late in the game, against anyone, it’s always good to push in some insurance runs across there. It wound up being huge.”
One day after scoring a season-high 15 runs, Baltimore was held scoreless until the seventh when rookie Kyle Stowers drove in a run on a fielder’s choice and Jorge Mateo scored on a wild pitch by John Schreiber that cut the lead to 3—2.
Boston added an important run in the ninth with Arroyo’s RBI double, completing a 3-for-5 day. Arroyo has nine hits over the last four games.
“Right now, I’ll be calling him ‘Cal Ripken.’ Just keep going, kid,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Arroyo.
Garrett Whitlock allowed a run on a fielder’s choice, but got the final six outs for his fifth save of the season.
“We had a really tough time getting a rally going against him,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Good to see us make a run late, like usual, but we just came out a run short today.”
Wacha (8-1) made his second start since being reinstated from the IL on Aug. 14. He allowed four hits with four strikeouts and one walk over 52/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.28.
“I was just trying to get as deep as I could,” Wacha said. “I know we used some of our bullpen guys out there yesterday in some extended roles. Today, the goal was to stick to our plan, go out and attack these guys and hopefully get them out.”
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on a run-scoring single by Alex Verdugo off Kyle Bradish, who had managed to strand runners on first and third to minimize the damage.
Hernández hit a two-run shot that stayed just inside the foul pole in left field in the sixth inning that extended the lead to 3-0. Hernández has five RBIs in three games since returning from the IL. His last homer came against the Orioles on May 29.
Bradish (1-5) allowed three runs and nine hits with six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.
Red Sox: Tommy Pham was held out of the lineup after leaving Friday’s game with low back tightness. “He might push to play tomorrow. We’ll see how he feels,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. … 1B Eric Hosmer left Saturday’s game with back spasms.
Orioles: OF Cedric Mullins was held out of the lineup with a sore shin after fouling a ball off his leg a night earlier.
Red Sox: RHP Nick Pivetta (9-9, 4.28 ERA) will pitch the finale.
Orioles: RHP Dean Kremer (5-4, 3.58 ERA) is 0-3 with a 9.45 ERA in three career starts against Boston.
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