Red Sox 6, Orioles 1
BALTIMORE (AP)—Daniel Cabrera limited the Boston Red Sox to one run before he walked off the mound in the seventh inning with the score tied, leaving the outcome to be decided by a Baltimore bullpen that during the offseason received a $42 million makeover.
On this night, the Orioles didn’t get their money’s worth.
Cabrera (1-2) left after getting two outs and walking two batters. Jamie Walker came in to face Ortiz, who worked the count to 3-2 before plopping an opposite-field single in front of charging left fielder Jay Payton, giving the Red Sox the lead for good.
“He fought off some good pitches, and (Walker) actually made a good pitch on the last one,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. “He just flared one in on us. Not much you can do about that.”
Ortiz is known for his towering home runs, but on this at-bat a single was all the Red Sox needed.
“David’s at bat was tremendous. The deeper he got into the count, it looked like the more dangerous he got,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “He did not crush that ball but it looked like he stayed on it enough to find some outfield grass, and we extended the inning.”
Walker and Bradford are part of a $42 million makeover the Baltimore bullpen received during the offseason. Before facing the Red Sox, the duo had given up two runs in 17 1-3 innings.
“We did a good job against a good bullpen,” Francona said.
“I thought Jamie had a good battle there and Chad didn’t quite have the command he normally does,” Perlozzo said. “They’re not going to pitch great every time they’re out there. That’s just a fact.”
After losing two straight to Toronto by a combined 17-6 score, Boston scored five runs over the final three innings to avoid its first three-game skid of the season. Alex Cora hit his first homer for the Red Sox, who have won 16 of their last 19 games against the Orioles.
Baltimore has lost three straight after winning four in a row.
Schilling (3-1) gave up one run, struck out three and walked two. The 40-year-old right-hander gave up a home run to Miguel Tejada but allowed only one other batter beyond second base.
Schilling may not have the arm strength he possessed in his prime, but he still knows how to change speeds and fool batters.
“I have not pitched like this since 1992. I am not that 96 (mph) guy anymore,” Schilling said. “I can be effective and I can get outs and I can go deep in games and I can finish games just as easily with the stuff I am throwing now. There will be days when I feel better than others.”
He felt very good about helping Boston end its mini-slide.
“This was a good win. We lost two in a row, and when you are in a rotation like this something you do not expect to see are losing streaks,” Schilling said. “Everybody on this team can be a stopper.”
Boston added two runs in the ninth off rookie Jim Johnson. Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly on a drive that center field Corey Patterson caught by leaping to the top of the wall, and Lowell hit an RBI single.
Cora gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with his second homer since August 15, 2005, a drive that landed in the front row of the right-field bleachers.
It was the first home run yielded by Cabrera in five starts this season. He had pitched 57 2-3 innings without surrendering a homer, dating back to Sept. 6.
Cora went 2-for-2 against Cabrera and is 11-for-18 (.611) in his career against the right-hander.
Cabrera walked two in the sixth but got out of trouble by striking out Jason Varitek with a rising 3-2 fastball. The 6-foot-9 pitcher hopped off the mound and pumped his fist before heading to the dugout.
Tejada homered in the bottom half to make it 1-all. It was his home run of the season; the first came on opening day in Minnesota.
Sgt. Mark Ecker II, who lost parts of both his legs while serving in the war in Iraq, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Players from both teams stood and cheered during his introduction. … Orioles 3B Melvin Mora was omitted from the starting lineup for the first time this season, in part because he’s 3-for-25 lifetime against Schilling. … Schilling is 4-0 in his last five starts against Baltimore.