After scoring just eight runs in the past five games, the Orioles had a rare offensive outburst on Thursday night, dominating the Boston Red Sox, 13-1, at Fenway Park.
The win was the Orioles’ fourth in their past 16 game and gives them a 24-33 record with three game left to be played against the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo this weekend. The Orioles lead Boston by two games for fourth place in the American League East.
Starter Alex Cobb was outstanding, yielding just one run in seven innings, and Austin Hays, Rio Ruiz, Ramón Urias and Pat Valaika each had three hits to pace the offense. Hays, Ruiz and Valaika scored three runs apiece.
The Orioles, who had 11 hits in two lopsided losses to the Red Sox, had 18 hits, one shy of their season high.
“I thought we really swung the bats well,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “But we also hit so many other balls hard. I was really impressed with the amount of good at-bats we had tonight, the amount of hard contact. It was nice to see. It had been a while. Good to see some guys having good nights in the stats line.”
Cobb won his first start of the season on July 25th at Fenway and hadn’t won since. He scattered six hits in his final start of 2020. Cobb’s seven-inning start equals the longest for the Orioles this season. Jorge López threw seven in a 14-1 win over Atlanta on September 14th.
In his previous three starts, the Orioles scored just one run for Cobb.
“It really does change everything in the way you’re able to go out and attack,” Cobb said. “It puts them on their heels.”
The Orioles scored three in the second on an RBI single by Ruiz that scored Hays and a double by Mullins that drove in Valaika and Ruiz.
In the fourth, Urias’ double scored Ruiz, and Urias came in on Hanser Alberto’s sacrifice fly. José Iglesias, who returned to the lineup as the designated hitter after missing three games because of a bruised left wrist, hit his second home run of the season and the Orioles led, 6-0.
The six runs were scored against Boston starter Martin Pérez, who left after four.
Ruiz wasn’t surprised by the Orioles’ outburst.
“We’ve run up against some freaking horses, man,” Ruiz said. “With the Rays, and coming up here and facing Eovaldi out of the gate, we know what we’re capable of. We don’t like to make excuses, but the AL East is no joke. AL East pitching is no joke.”
Ruiz’s double scored Hays in the fifth, and Ruiz scored on a single by Urias.
Urias had the first two RBIs of his major league career, and he made two errors on one play in the seventh.
Valaika hit his eighth home run in the seventh for a 9-1 lead. ‘
Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI single in the eighth put the Orioles ahead, 10-1.
Boston utilityman Tzu-Wei Lin allowed three runs in the ninth on Hays’ fourth home run and Alberto’s two-run double.
Shawn Armstrong threw a scoreless eighth in his first appearance since August 22nd. He’d been on the injured list because of a sore back.
Cobb’s season: Cobb, who walked two and struck out four, ends the season 2-5 with a 4.30 ERA.
“Coming off the [hip and knee] surgery last year, my goal was to get back to feeling normal this year,” Cobb said.
“There were some ups and downs on that path, but I finally found it, probably some point last game, the direction I needed to be in. I was able to carry it into this game, so I have something concrete to build off in the offseason and work on and come into the season next year strong.”
Valaika on 2020: In his first season with the Orioles, Valaika has played 51 games, tying him with Alberto and Ruiz for the club lead.
“This is probably the most I’ve played, consistently, which has been nice,” Valaika said. “It’s been a grueling year with what we have to go through.”
Valiaka said he misses the fans and many of the things he’s taken for granted about being a major league player.
“I think when we go back to playing in front of fans, it’s going to be a little different,” Valaika said. “I think we’ve gotten used to the quiet.
“Just little things, being able to show up to the field a lot earlier, being able to go to dinner, getting away from the field, little things that we’ve done this year that have been necessary to get the season in. I think we’re grinding through it, and next year we can hopefully get back to normal.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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