Saturday | October 22, 2016
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Red Sox deny Orioles

BOSTON — As Jon Lester’s great start was wasted by sloppy play in the field and at the plate, fans at Fenway Park let the Red Sox know how they felt with a shower of boos.

Then pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera changed the sour mood with one bloop, broken-bat single.

Herrera’s first career walk off hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday gave Boston a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

In Game 2, the Orioles beat the Red Sox 7-4 to gain a split.

“I was ready. I was taking some swings in the cage,” said a smiling Herrera after the Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak with their sixth win in the last at-bat this season. “I was ready for that at-bat.”

After Lester’s masterful eight-inning outing resulted in only a 2-2 tie, closer Koji Uehara (4-2) pitched a perfect ninth before manager John Farrell went to his bench.

Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes legged out a leadoff infield single off reliever T.J. McFarland (1-2). David Ross then bunted Gomes to second before Herrera, hitting for Jackie Bradley Jr., hit a blooper to right that scored a sliding Gomes and snapped Baltimore’s four-game winning streak.

“He broke the bat in half. Mac’s throwing the ball,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We didn’t have many options there. Mac was our best option.”

Stephen Drew hit his first home run since last year’s World Series and Lester gave up two unearned runs, struck out seven and walked none while being denied his 10th win.

“Sometimes, for me, Jonny can get a little rattled. He didn’t today,” Ross said. “He really kept his poise. We didn’t play really good behind him. He kept his poise and was a real mature starter today with great stuff.”

The Orioles’ two runs came on Xander Bogaert’s two-out error in the third inning of a game being made up after Friday’s game was rained out.

Bogaerts was booed then and later when he struck out three times in an 0-for-4 outing that left him hitless in 27 at-bats. A.J. Pierzynski, filling in at DH with David Ortiz away to attend his daughter’s graduation, heard it from the fans with four infield pop outs.

But Lester kept Boston in it as he lowered his ERA to 2.73 in what’s been the best year of his career as the lefty heads into possible free agency in the offseason.

“Judging by today, I don’t think it was much of a distraction,” said Lester, adding that he didn’t believe contract talks would reopen soon. “I think both sides, right now, are happy with not talking right now.”

Baltimore, which entered the day in first place in the AL East, got a good starting pitching performance from Miguel Gonzalez.

The right-hander, who had struggled in his previous three starts since returning from an oblique injury, allowed two runs — one earned — and seven hits, striking out six with two walks in eight innings.

“It’s a good feeling to be able to go a little bit more than what I’ve been going,” Gonzalez said. “Command-wise it was good.”

One of his few mistakes was a first-pitch fastball to Drew that landed in the right field bleachers in the second. Drew, who re-signed with Boston in May, was hitting .136 and hadn’t homered since World Series championship clinching win in Game 6.

“I knew it was going to be a little different, not being in this position before,” Drew said. “I’m not making excuses, it just takes a little time. It’s going to come around.”

In Game 2, Nelson Cruz watched his fifth hit fall into the gap in left-center field and was determined to leg out a triple for the cycle.

Cruz was thrown out, but it was the only thing he did wrong on a night he went a career-best 5 for 5 to help the Orioles beat the Red Sox 7-4 on to earn a split of a day-night doubleheader.

The Red Sox won the opener 3-2 on pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera’s one-out, broken-bat RBI single off T.J. McFarland in the bottom of the ninth.

Nick Hundley added a two-run homer in the second game as Baltimore overcame Boston starter John Lackey’s 11 strikeouts over 5 2-3 innings.

Stephen Drew homered in both games for the Red Sox, who have lost four of five. Drew hadn’t homered since Boston’s World Series clinching Game 6 win in October.


WASHINGTON — Gio Gonzalez pitched eight sparkling innings and Ryan Zimmerman tied a career high with four hits and drove in three runs as the Washington Nationals roughed up the Chicago Cubs without recently traded Jeff Samardzija for a 13-0 victory Saturday.

Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon added three hits and two RBIs for the Nationals on a day the Cubs were forced to start Carlos Villanueva (4-6) following the trade of Samardzija, the scheduled starter, and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics.

Washington posted a season high in runs and hits (19), including eight doubles but no home runs.

Gonzalez (6-4) allowed four hits, while striking out seven and walking one. He’s now thrown 29 consecutive scoreless innings against Chicago and 22 overall.


CINCINNATI — Matt Garza threw a two-hitter for his fourth career shutout, and the Brewers ended their four-game losing streak by beating the Reds.

Aramis Ramirez singled home a run in the first inning off Homer Bailey (8-5), who gave up seven hits through eight innings. Two Brewers were thrown out at the plate.

Garza (6-5) has been one of the Brewers’ best starters lately, going 4-1 in his last seven games. He retired the first 12 batters in order before Brandon Phillips led off the fifth with a single for Cincinnati’s first hit.

He allowed two walks and fanned nine while going the distance for the first time this season.


DETROIT — Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer came within two outs of a complete game, holding the Tigers to six hits.

The Rays broke the game open with three runs in the fifth inning and four in the sixth, and the Tigers never mounted much of a rally against Archer (5-5). The 25-year-old right-hander allowed solo homers to Alex Avila in the seventh and J.D. Martinez in the ninth.

Anibal Sanchez (5-3) took a no-hitter into the fifth, but things unraveled quickly for the Detroit right-hander. He allowed seven runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, with four walks and a strikeout.

Logan Forsythe homered for Tampa Bay.


ST. LOUIS — Pinch-hitter Jeff Baker’s RBI hit with two outs in the ninth inning helped Miami rally to beat the Cardinals.

Casey McGehee fouled off five full-count pitches from Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal (0-4) before getting the tying hit.

Christian Yelich’s three-run homer off Seth Maness in the sixth began Miami’s comeback from a four-run deficit that snapped the Cardinals’ three-game winning streak.

Mike Dunn (6-4) worked a scoreless eighth and Steve Cishek finished for his 19th save in 21 chances.


DENVER — Drew Stubbs hit a two-run homer, Jorge De La Rosa pitched six strong innings before giving way to a shaky bullpen and the Rockies snapped a five-game skid by holding off the Dodgers.

The Rockies are 3-16 since June 16 — with De La Rosa (9-6) accounting for each win. The lefty allowed two runs and three hits, all in the first inning. He then watched the bullpen almost completely unravel.

The Dodgers turned this into a game with a five-run seventh, but Adam Ottavino put the brakes on the rally.


PITTSBURGH — Edinson Volquez allowed one run in seven sharp innings and Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer in the first to lead the Pirates to a victory over the Phillies.

Volquez (7-6) had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded in the second inning.

David Buchanan (4-5) found his stride after the second and kept the Pirates at bay until he was lifted in the sixth. Philadelphia’s starter was charged with three runs and six hits and a walk.



ATLANTA — Andrelton Simmons drove in four runs, Aaron Harang won his third straight start and the Braves beat the Diamondbacks for their season-high ninth straight victory.

Justin Upton added a two-run homer and a third RBI for the Braves, who have won 11 of 12 and are 11 games over .500 for the first time this season.

Harang (8-6) has a 3.00 ERA over his last three starts after allowing nine hits and four runs with one walk and one strikeout in eight innings.

Arizona, which has dropped eight of 12, lost its 53rd game, most in the majors.

Atlanta took a 7-3 lead with a five-run fourth off Mike Bolsinger (1-5).


WHITE SOX 2 (14) CHICAGO — Brad Miller hit an RBI double in the 14th inning, and the Mariners beat the White Sox for their fifth win in the last six games.

Michael Saunders reached on an infield single against Ronald Belisario (3-5) and swiped second before Miller hit a drive into the gap in left-center for a ground-rule double.

Tom Wilhelmsen (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win and Fernando Rodney got three outs for his 25th save in 27 chances.

Logan Morrison and Michael Saunders had three hits apiece for Seattle, which has won 11 of 14 overall. Felix Hernandez pitched eight sharp innings for the Mariners.


MINNEAPOLIS — Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli made a throwing error in the 11th inning that allowed Josh Willingham to score from second base, giving the Twins a victory over New York.

With the bases loaded, Trevor Plouffe hit a dribbler to reliever Matt Thornton (1-1). The left-hander flipped it to Cervelli for the forceout at home.

The victory snapped a seven-game home skid against the Yankees and was just Minnesota’s fourth win against New York in 17 games at Target Field.

Brian Duensing (2-2) pitched around a Carlos Beltran single in the 11th.


SAN DIEGO — Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to give the San Francisco Giants a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

Belt, in his second game back from the disabled list, homered off Dale Thayer (3-3) after Hunter Pence led off with a double. Belt, who missed 50 games with a broken thumb, hit his 10th homer of the season into the right-field stands.

Michael Morse homered leading off the ninth inning against Padres closer Huston Street to tie it 3-3. That broke a streak of 23 consecutive saves for Street, the longest run in the majors.

Sergio Romo (4-3), recently demoted from the closer role, earned the win. Santiago Casilla got the final three outs for his second save in five chances.

San Francisco won for just the sixth time in 24 games and snapped San Diego’s season-high, five-game winning streak. The Giants, who had been shut out in three of their previous five games, scored more than two runs for the third time in 11 games.


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