Mark Trumbo hit his major league-leading 42nd home run, Kevin Gausman outpitched Rick Porcello over eight innings and the Baltimore Orioles pulled within a game of AL East-leading Boston with a 1-0 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night.
Baltimore took two of three in the series to pull a game ahead of slumping Toronto for the top AL wild card. The Blue Jays lost at home to Tampa Bay 8-1 earlier Wednesday.
Zach Britton closed for his 43rd save and Baltimore became the first team to beat Porcello in Boston this season.
Gausman (8-10) and Porcello (20-4) had nearly identical line scores over eight innings, each striking out six and allowing just four hits, except Porcello allowed Trumbo’s leadoff shot in the second inning.
Porcello was 13-0 in home starts with one no decision entering the game.
Trumbo belted the first pitch of the second inning out to left, easily clearing the Green Monster for his career-high 100th RBI.
This was Gausman’s fourth scoreless outing in his past five starts and matched the longest start of his career. He threw 120 pitches and lowered his ERA to 3.43.
Boston had a scare later in the second when J.J. Hardy hit a hard grounder up the middle and the ball bounced off Porcello’s calf to third baseman Travis Shaw. Hardy ran out the single while Porcello limped around the mound. The game was delayed briefly to allow Porcello a few warm-ups before continuing.
Orioles: OF Steve Pearce was in New York on Wednesday, when he received a platelet-rich plasma injection the Orioles hope will speed up his recovery from a sore right elbow. “We’ll let it run its course and see if he’s going to be available to us at some point,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.
Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (right shoulder strain) is expected to start throwing next week in Fort Myers, Florida. Manager John Farrell said the knuckleballer will need to gradually regain some arm strength and his return during the regular season is uncertain. “I don’t want to rule it out, but at this point it’s going to become a little bit more challenging with each passing day,” Farrell said.
Orioles: RHP Yovani Gallardo (5-7, 5.44 ERA) starts as the Orioles are back at home for a four-game series against last-place Tampa Bay. LHP Blake Snell (5-8, 3.62) starts for the Rays.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (2-7, 4.70) gets the start Thursday as Boston opens a four-game series against the New York Yankees. RHP Masahiro Tanaka (13-4, 3.04) is up in the visiting Yankees’ rotation.
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