Cruz has five hits as Orioles earn split 7-4 over Boston

Cruz has five hits as Orioles earn split 7-4 over Boston
July 6, 2014, 12:00 am
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(Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON – After a long Saturday at Fenway Park, Orioles manager Buck Showalter reflected on his team’s comeback to win the second game of a split doubleheader.

“It’s something they’ve been doing, really for three years,” Showalter said.

Some of the Orioles heroes haven’t been around the entire three seasons. In the second game, there was Nelson Cruz with a career high five hits and an airtight bullpen that rescued a shaky Ubaldo Jimenez.

The Orioles struck for four runs in the sixth, enabling them to earn a split with the Boston Red Sox winning 7-4 before 36,468.

Cruz had two singles, a double and his 27th home run before he was thrown out at third in the eighth in an attempt at the cycle.

Jimenez walked six batters in 3 2/3 innings and allowed all four Boston runs.

Brad Brach, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day and Zach Britton combined to allow just one hit to Boston (39-48) in 5 1/3 innings. They retired the final 15 batters in succession. Britton got his 13th save.

“That was a really awesome job,” Jimenez said.

Brach (3-0) picked up his third win in his last six games. In 109 games with San Diego, Brach had a total of three wins.

Jimenez had a rocky fourth when he allowed four runs on five hits including Stephen Drew’s second home run of the doubleheader.

Showalter was blunt in his assessment of the struggling Jimenez.

"Not very good. He was fortunate to give up the few runs that he did. I think that's because he was wildly effective. It's just inconsistent. It's tough to hit him because you go up there trying to be selective and he throws three pitches on the black. And then he gets out of sync again. It's frustrating because the stuff is there. We were fortunate that we stayed engaged in the game with that many walks,” Showalter said.

Chris Davis struck out six straight times in the doubleheader, and in his first two at-bats of the second game, in the first and third innings, stranded runners at second and third.

In his first game after serving a five-game suspension, Manny Machado singled with one out in the fourth and Nick Hundley hit a two-run home run off John Lackey to give the Orioles (47-40) a 2-0 lead.

Lackey (9-6) struck out 11 in 5 1/3 innings, and denounced Cruz after the game.

"I'm not even going to comment on him. I've got nothing to say about him. There's things I would like to say but I'm not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff,” Lackey said.

Cruz entertained at least his own dugout in the eighth when his drive to right was over the head of Daniel Nava. He sped around second and tried for his first triple since July 1, 2011.

“As soon as I saw it went over his head, I was like, ‘I got to take a shot,’ see what happens,” Cruz said.

He was out easily.

“If you can't enjoy that and take it the way you need, you're taking yourself way too seriously. I'm glad they didn't hit the first cutoff guy. At least it was close,” Showalter said. “He had a great night. Gosh, he had a great night.”

The Orioles scored four runs in the sixth to take a 7-4 lead on RBI singles by Steve Pearce, Cruz, an error by Nava and an infield out by J.J. Hardy.

Jonathan Herrera’s ninth inning single scored Jonny Gomes with the winning run as the Red Sox defeated the Orioles 3-2 in the first game before 35,714.

In the ninth, Gomes led off with a single off T.J. McFarland (1-2). David Ross bunted him to second, and Herrera, hitting for Jackie Bradley, Jr. singled to center on a 1-0 count. Gomes easily beat Jones’ throw for the winning run.

“Little things didn’t go our way,” Miguel Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez tied a career high by pitching eight innings. He allowed two unearned runs.

Koji Uehara (4-2) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

Boston scored twice in the second on Drew’s home run and an error at first base by Pearce.

The Orioles tied the score on when Delmon Young and Caleb Joseph scored on Xander Bogaerts’ error.

“We were fortunate to be in it. They gave us a couple runs,” Showalter said.

Jon Lester allowed five hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking none.

NOTES: Bud Norris threw a two inning simulated game shortly after the first game. Norris will start either Tuesday or Wednesday. He’s been on the disabled list with a strained right groin.

-Kevin Gausman (3-2. 3.86) faces Jake Peavy (1-7, 4.82) on Sunday.

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