Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 1, Orioles 0

June, 10, 2014
Jun 10
11:21
PM ET


BALTIMORE -- The luxury hotel in which the Red Sox are staying here is loaded with cutting-edge bells and whistles, providing the best in 21st-century comfort. The kind even a country boy from Texas could quickly become accustomed to, if given the chance.

Pitching before a crowd of 24,184 and a special audience of one -- general manager Ben Cherington -- Sox rookie Brandon Workman made a compelling case that he belongs here. While the man he is replacing in the Sox rotation, Felix Doubront, was making a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket, Workman held the Baltimore Orioles to one hit in 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

The result: The Sox squeezed out a 1-0 win over the Orioles, the first time this season they’ve won a game in which they’ve scored three or fewer runs. They were 0-18 until Tuesday night.

The deciding run: Mike Napoli flared a two-out, two-strike single to right field in the third to score Brock Holt, who had singled and taken second on a two-out walk issued by Chris Tillman to David Ortiz. The Sox twice had the bases loaded and failed to score, and managed just one hit, a pinch single by Jonny Gomes in the eighth, after the fourth inning, but that was enough for the win.

Love’s labours won: Workman did not allow a baserunner until Nelson Cruz drew a two-out walk in the fifth. He faced the minimum 15 batters through five because Cruz wandered off first and was doubled off on a popup to second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

The Orioles' first hit came with two out in the sixth, Ryan Flaherty, the No. 9 batter in the Baltimore order, hitting a first-pitch breaking ball into center for a single. Nick Markakis rolled out to first to end the inning.

Workman retired Manny Machado on a pop to short and Adam Jones on a grounder to third to start the seventh, but was lifted by manager John Farrell even though he had thrown only 67 pitches.

Why the quick hook?: It was dictated by two factors: Rain delays of 15 minutes and 78 minutes, both in the first two innings, had prolonged the night for Workman. That was one. The other was Farrell could not ignore the percentages favoring the admittance of Andrew Miller to the proceedings to face Orioles slugger Chris Davis. Miller had punched out Davis six times in seven previous encounters. He made it seven out of eight when Davis went down swinging on a wicked slider.

What a relief: Miller was just the start of some fancy work by the Sox bullpen. Junichi Tazawa struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth, and Koji Uehara, despite giving up a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Steve Pearce, recorded his 13th save. Uehara helped himself by pouncing off the mound to record a force out at second on a bunt, then struck out Markakis and Machado to end it.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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