Rich Hill and the Red Sox bullpen make sure a single run is enough in a shutout win over the Orioles

“It was like enjoying a online game virtually,” catcher Connor Wong mentioned. “That was a lot of enjoyable.”

The Sox (69-72) took two of three from the Orioles. They are off Monday then host the Yankees on Tuesday with Nick Pivetta going through Gerrit Cole.

The Orioles have misplaced six of eight to dim their playoff probabilities.

Hill (7-6) had one among his greatest begins of the season. He allowed two hits over 5 innings with three walks and seven strikeouts.

After giving up 5 runs on 9 hits at Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Hill was dialed in.

“We caught with a cutter/fastball combine and sprinkled in some curveballs,” Hill mentioned. “Connor did a nice job in the present day. Having the cutter has been actually useful.”

The lefthander labored out of two jams. Ryan McKenna drew a stroll with two outs in the third inning earlier than Anthony Santander singled.

Hill flipped a curveball to Ryan Mountcastle that produced a fly ball to left area.

In the fifth inning, Rougned Odor was hit by a pitch earlier than Robinson Chirinos labored a stroll. With the prime of the order arising, the crowd of 16,030 perked up.

McKenna fouled out on a bunt try. Hill then struck out Santander swinging at a 90-mile-per-hour fastball and Mountcastle flailing at a 68-mph sidearm slider.

“I attempted to go beneath and upshoot it a little bit,” Hill mentioned. “Any time you possibly can change speeds, fast pitch, sluggish pitch, hesitate and have the ball come out of your hand the means you need to, it is a good day.”

Hill revealed after the sport that he is hoping to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in March subsequent spring.

“I consider he can pitch so long as he needs to,” Sox supervisor Alex Cora mentioned.

Cora talked to USA supervisor Mark DeRosa and strongly endorsed Hill.

“He can open; he can get lefties out; he can provide you 5 strong innings,” Cora mentioned. “I feel it will be nice for Rich to play in that event.”

After a scoreless sixth inning by John Schreiber, Matt Strahm had the seventh. His third pitch hit Odor, who fired his bat into the floor and glared at Strahm.

A balk moved Odor to second. He then stole third with two outs. With Odor dancing down the line, Strahm struck out Santander.

Garrett Whitlock, pitching for the first time since Sept. 3, labored round a two-out stroll to maintain the Orioles in verify.

Matt Barnes had the ninth inning. He retired the aspect in order for his fifth save.

Since coming off the injured checklist on Aug. 4, Barnes has allowed 4 runs over 14 2/3 innings and struck out 15. He has transformed three of 4 save probabilities.

“He had a nice fastball,” Cora mentioned. “The fastball is necessary for him. That’s what he did early in the season final yr, he pounded the strike zone with that fastball. It’s a good one.

“When he can find that, it units every thing up.”

As for the offense, there wasn’t a lot.

Tommy Pham led off the sport with a single to proper area. He stole second, moved to 3rd when Alex Verdugo grounded out, and scored on a sacrifice fly to middle area by Xander Bogaerts, who arrived at the ballpark sporting a Mac Jones jersey.

At least Bogaerts had a productive day.

The Sox did not get one other hit off Orioles starter Kyle Bradish till the seventh inning when Rafael Devers singled with one out. Trevor Story then grounded into a double play.

Bradish (3-6) walked two and struck out three.

Verdugo and Bogaerts had singles off Dillon Tate in the ninth inning. With the Sox in place to pad their lead, Orioles supervisor Brandon Hyde went to lefthander Cionel Pérez.

He struck out Devers swinging at a fastball after falling behind 3 and 0. Christian Arroyo drew a stroll to load the bases for JD Martinez. He popped as much as left area.

It was the third 1-0 victory this season for the Sox. The earlier two had been in June towards the Angels in Anaheim.

Peter Abraham might be reached at Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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