For the eighteenth time this season and second-consecutive night, the Boston Red Sox went into extra innings and would score the game-winning run in the eleventh inning to seal a 1-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
It was all about the pitching tonight as O’s starting pitcher Kevin Gausman and Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz pitched well all night — with neither pitcher allowing a run.
Gausman had a perfect game going into the fifth inning, retiring the first 14 batters he faced, but third baseman Rafael Devers doubled off the scoreboard to break up the bid for perfection.
The Orioles looked as if they were going to score in the fifth inning when first baseman Chris Davis hit a rocket to center field – but Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. flashed the leather — and continued his bid for a Gold Glove Award — making a leaping catch to rob Davis of a home run and keep the game at a scoreless tie.
With one out in the top of the ninth inning and still no score, left fielder Andrew Benintendi roped a double down the right field line to put himself into scoring position – but was ultimately wasted after Bradley and first baseman Mitch Moreland flied out for the final two outs of the inning.
Boston threatened again in the top half of the 11th inning against O’s pitcher Brad Brach when the Sox loaded the bases with first baseman Mitch Moreland in the batter’s box.
Brach threw a wild pitch that allowed Bradley to score from third and the Sox would take a 1-0 lead before winning by the same score – but not before Baltimore tried to rally.
After getting two quick outs, relief pitcher Matt Barnes looked as if he was going to retire the side in order, but Devers threw away a routine throw to first base and allowed center fielder Adam Jones to get into scoring position.
Barnes would make the final out of the game on a ground ball that was hit back to him to end the Orioles threat and secure the 1-0 win.
Pomeranz took the no-decision tonight as he pitched into the seventh inning throwing 98 pitches, giving up zero runs and striking out five batters.
With the win, Boston improved to 87-64 while Baltimore falls to 73-79.
Magic number to clinch the American League East: 9
Magic number to clinch a playoff berth: 3
Game MVP: Jackie Bradley Jr.: After robbing Davis of what would have been the game-winning home run in the fifth inning, the center fielder scored the winning run for Boston on a wild pitch.
Honorable mention: Drew Pomeranz: this was the lefty’s fourth scoreless start through his last seven outings.
Fun fact: The Red Sox have won an extra-inning game without scoring an RBI twice in the history of the team (1917 and 1918).
What’s on deck: Boston will play their final game against Baltimore until 2018. Chris Sale (16-7, 2.86 ERA) will take the mound to oppose former Sox pitcher Wade Miley (8-13, 5.32 ERA).
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.