Tuesday, September 21, 2010

O's top Dice-K, Red Sox

The Orioles scored four runs off of Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Brian Matusz and the bullpen held the Red Sox to just two runs on five hits in a 4-2 O's win. Matusz didn't get the win and only pitched five innings because of a high pitch count -- he walked three and finished with 102 pitches -- but he also struck out four and gave up only one run on three hits. That's not the most effective start, but it worked.

David Hernandez got the win, allowing one run in two innings, and Jim Johnson and Koji Uehara each threw a scoreless inning. Uehara also earned his 10th save.

Nick Markakis and Luke Scott each had two hits and a walk. Both of Markakis's hits were doubles. Brian Roberts had a single and two walks, and Felix Pie, Cesar Izturis, and Josh Bell each singled. Matt Wieters went hitless but did draw a walk.

With the win, the O's pull to 8-8 on the season against the Red Sox, a monumental accomplishment considering how poorly the O's have played against not only the Red Sox in the last few seasons, but also the entire AL East. Here are the O's records against Boston since 2005:

2005: 8-10
2006: 3-15
2007: 6-12
2008: 6-12
2009: 2-16

Sure, the Red Sox are down this year, but they're still 83-67, which would be good enough to compete in most divisions that don't also include the Yankees and the Rays -- and another .500 team, the Blue Jays (currently 75-74).

At 60-90 after last night's win, the O's have 12 games left: two more in Boston, three in Toronto, three in Tampa Bay, and four at home against the Tigers. If the O's can win just three of those, they'll avoid 100 losses, which is pretty impressive considering how awful things were going a couple months ago. By the way, the O's are now 28-17 since Buck Showalter took over.

And for what it's worth, the O's are now just two games back of the Nationals (62-88).

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