Red Sox - 001 000 000 - 1 8 1 Orioles - 000 000 000 - 0 2 1Brandon Workman retired the first 13 Orioles and did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. Yet John Farrell pulled him after only 67 pitches with two outs in the seventh. Workman was surprised, and it certainly seemed like a quick hook, but Farrell was perhaps factoring in the fact that Workman (6.1-1-0-1-4, 67) also dealt with two second-inning rain delays totaling one hour and 33 minutes.
It was Boston's first win of the season in a game in which they scored one or two runs. They are now 1-18.
With a well-timed hit or two, the Red Sox could have - and probably should have - scored several runs in the early innings. Coming back from the first delay, Chris Tillman (6-7-1-3-2, 100) could not find the plate. He walked Mike Napoli, allowed a single to A.J. Pierzynski, and walked Grady Sizemore. He would have walked Jonathan Herrera, too, but after a 2-1 count, the Boston shortstop swung at two pitches well out of the strike zone, and struck out, stranding three runners.
Boston scored with two outs in the third. Brock Holt grounded a single to center and then watched from first as Xander Bogaerts popped to short and Dustin Pedroia flied to left. David Ortiz walked on a full count pitch (though all six pitches were clearly balls) before Mike Napoli singled home Holt with a line-drive hit to right field.
The Red Sox squandered a huge scoring opportunity in the fourth. Pierzynski lined a single to center, Sizemore dumped a single to right-center, and Herrera blooped a hit into left, loading the bases with no one out. Holt struck out swinging on a 93-mph fastball and Bogaerts grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. By the end of the fourth inning, the Red Sox had left a total of seven men on base.
Workman's bid for a perfect game died in the fifth when he walked Nelson Cruz (as home plate umpire Brian Gorman's game-long wide strike zone suddenly shrank). Cruz was doubled off first on J.J. Hardy's pop-up to Pedroia. (With the play only a few feet in front of him, it was a mystery what Cruz was thinking.)
Ryan Flaherty lined a clean single to center in the sixth.
With two down in the seventh, Farrell pulled Workman and brought in Andrew Miller to face Chris Davis. The Baltimore slugger was 0-for-7 with 6 strikeouts against Miller before the at-bat, and he fanned yet again.
Junichi Tazawa pitched a perfect eighth, striking out two. In the ninth, Koji Uehara allowed a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Steve Pearce. Flaherty dropped down a bunt, but Uehara grabbed it and fired to second, forcing Pearce. Then Koji struck out Nick Markakis (snapping his 14-game hitting streak) and Manny Machado, both swinging, to end the game.
Holt and Pierzynski each had two hits, and Sizemore reached base three times.
Brandon Workman / Chris Tillman
Holt, LFESPN Stats & Information:
The Red Sox have not been as good offensively this season as they were last season. The 1.2 runs per game drop-off from last year [5.3 to 4.1] is the largest decrease in the majors. ...
Dustin Pedroia's slugging percentage has decreased each of the last five seasons.