Red Sox starter Rick Porcello needed only 89 pitches to get through nine innings to defeat the Orioles 5-2 at Camden Yards on Monday night, helping his team increase its AL East division lead over the O’s to four games. Porcello allowed only five base runners on four hits and a hit batsman while walking none and striking out seven in the effort.
Mookie Betts and David Ortiz backed Porcello as each hit a two-run home run. Dustin Pedroia also helped out with an RBI single. The Orioles’ only two runs came on a Mark Trumbo RBI double in the fourth and an Adam Jones solo homer in the eighth.
Porcello is arguably the favorite for the American League Cy Young Award. After Monday’s performance, he’s 21-4 with a 3.08 ERA and a 174/29 K/BB ratio in 210 2/3 innings. He only trails Masahiro Tanaka (2.97) and Chris Sale (3.03) in ERA. J.A. Happ (3.27 ERA) is the only other starter likely to cross 20 wins. He’ll go for No. 20 on Tuesday against the Mariners.
The Yankees placed Nestor Cortes on the 15-day injured list with a left rotator cuff strain that will sideline the left-hander for at least two starts.
The move is retroactive to Monday and Cortes will be shut down for at least 15 days.
After Tuesday’s game, Cortes said the shoulder has been bothering him between starts and more so after he pitched five innings May 30 in Seattle.
“I took two days off and when I got to LA and threw that first day, I didn’t feel right,” Cortes said Tuesday. “But it was first day coming back from pitching so I knew it was going to be nagging a little bit. So I waited a little bit.
“That second day in LA was when I said something because it felt like I had pitched yesterday. So I wasn’t recovering in time.”
Cortes is 5-2 with a 5.16 ERA in 11 starts and has particularly struggled later in outings. Opponents are hitting .447 when facing him for the third time in a game.
Last year, Cortes was an All-Star and went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA in 28 starts.
Randy Vásquez was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre to take Cortes’ spot in the rotation and will make his second career start in Thursday’s doubleheader. Vásquez made his major league debut May 26 against San Diego when the Yankees needed a starter because Domingo Germán was serving a 10-game suspension for using sticky substances.