Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Red Sox close season with combined two-hitter to beat O's

Field Level Media
02 Oct 2023, 08:19 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports)

Tanner Houck and three relievers combined on a two-hitter and the visiting Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-1 in the teams' regular-season finale on Sunday.

Boston earned a split of the four-game series and finished 78-84 for the second straight season.

Houck (6-10) allowed one hit over six shutout innings. He struck out six and walked three.

It was a somber day for the Red Sox as knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who spent 17 of his 19 seasons with Boston and was part of two World Series champions, passed away at the age of 57.

The Orioles, who have already secured the top playoff seed in the American League, committed three errors and finished the year with a 101-61 mark.

Baltimore reliever Danny Coulombe (5-3) took the loss, allowing two runs -- one earned -- in one inning of work.

The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the third. Enmanuel Valdez opened the inning with an infield single and went to second on Alex Verdugo's one-out single. Valdez stole third and scored when third baseman Jordan Westburg couldn't handle the throw from catcher James McCann. With the infield in, shortstop Gunnar Henderson misplayed a grounder by Rafael Devers and Verdugo scored to make it 2-0.

Henderson walked with one out in the Baltimore sixth. With two outs, Anthony Santander singled for the Orioles' first hit, but Houck retired Ryan Mountcastle to end the inning.

The Red Sox broke it open in the seventh inning against Cionel Perez. Valdez led off with a walk and Rob Refsnyder and Pablo Reyes walked with one out to load the bases. Pinch hitter Reese McGuire's grounder went under Henderson's glove and two runs scored to make it 4-0. With runners on second and third, Trevor Story and Wilyer Abreu hit back-to-back singles to increase the lead to 6-0.

Adley Rutschman singled home McCann in the bottom of the eighth for Baltimore to avert the shutout.

--Field Level Media

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