BALTIMORE—The Orioles’ bats had been extremely quiet on Saturday night. In seven innings, they had just three hits against Boston Red Sox starter Nate Eovaldi, but thanks to terrific relief pitching and a little bit of luck, they broke their five-game losing streak with a 2-1 win before an announced crowd of 19,827 at Camden Yards.
With the score tied at 1 in the 10th, Jorge Mateo was the automatic runner at second. Pinch-hitter Ryan McKenna was intentionally walked, and Robinson Chironos bunted to Boston pitcher Hirokazu Sawamura, who threw the ball into left field, allowing Mateo to score.
The Orioles have scored two or fewer runs in four of their seven wins (7-14).
The first batter Oriole starter Spenser Watkins faced, Trevor Story, doubled and scored, but that was the extent of Boston’s offense. Story went to third on Rafael Dever’s grounder and scored on Xander Bogaerts’ single.
Watkins allowed five hits in 4 2/3 innings. Félix Bautista, Bryan Baker, Joey Krehbiel, Cionel Pérez, Dillon Tate and Jorge López combined to allow just two hits in 5 1/3 innings.
“Incredible job by our bullpen to give our lineup a chance to put up a run,” Walkins said. “That’s all it needed, just one. To give our lineup a chance, and then our boys do what they do. It was great to see … They’re nasty. They’re absolutely nasty. To watch them do it, and Jorge come in and close the door, it’s fun to watch.”
“They’ve been great all year,” manager Brandon Hyde said of his bullpen. “Just a gutsy performance by our pitching staff.”
López (2-1) pitched the ninth and 10th. In the 10th, automatic runner Jaylin Davis started at second, and López struck out Story, retired Devers on a grounder to short, walked Bogaerts and retired Alex Verdugo on a grounder to second.
“That’s one of the best top of the orders in the game,” Hyde said. “If that game stayed tied, he was begging me to go out for the next inning.”
López hadn’t pitched in five days, then faced one batter on Friday night, and was excellent against Boston (10-13).
“You saw a great team win today,” López said. “Just concentrating and focus on pitch-by-pitch. That’s helped me a lot through the whole season, so far.”
Hyde had Travis Lakins warming if the game went to the 11th. He didn’t have Trey Mancini, who was unavailable because he hurt his ribs when he hit the right-field wall after making a catch in Friday’s game.
The Orioles had one baserunner in the first five innings. Austin Hays led off the second with a grounder to short that Bogaerts booted for an error.
Eovaldi retired the next 14 batters until Cedric Mullins doubled with two outs in the sixth.
In the seventh, Ryan Mountcastle and Hays began the inning with singles. Rougned Odor flied to center, Ramón Urías flied to right, and after the runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch by Eovaldi, Tyler Nevin struck out.
Eovaldi allowed three hits in seven innings, struck out eight without walking a batter.
The Orioles tied it once Eovaldi left the game in the eighth. With two outs, Mullins doubled, and Anthony Santander drove him home on a single to center against Matt Barnes.
“We haven’t had a ton of success against these guys and just trying to scratch out a run somehow,” Hyde said. “Fortunately, we took advantage of a mistake in the last inning.”
Note: Jordan Lyles (1-2, 5.40) and Nick Pivetta (0-3, 8.27) are Sunday’s scheduled starters. Game time is 1:05 p.m.
Minor league update: Designated hitter Adley Rutschman had four hits, two of them doubles, as High-A Aberdeen beat Jersey Shore, 6-4. Second baseman Connor Norby hit a two-run home run, his fifth. Carlos Tavera (1-0) allowed three runs on three hits, striking out six and walking two in five innings.
Cody Sedlock (2-1) allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits in four innings as Triple-A Norfolk lost to Gwinnett, 5-0. The Tides had six hits.
Leftfielder Shayne Fontana had three hits in Double-A Bowie’s 3-1 loss to Richmond.
Conor Grady allowed six runs, five earned, on eight hits in four innings as Single-A Delmarva lost to Augusta, 8-2.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB