Red Sox extend win streak to 5, beat Orioles 6-4 in 10

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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BALTIMORE — Rafael Devers homered and the Boston Red Sox scored twice in the 10th inning on a wild pitch and an RBI single by Christian Vazquez to extend their winning streak to five games with a 6-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.

“It’s a good vibe,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “A lot of people don’t feel like we have any superstars. This is a good baseball team. They did everything right toward the end of the game.”

Baltimore outfielder Trey Mancini hit his first home run since his return from cancer surgery that caused him to miss the 2020 season. It was Mancini’s first homer since Sept. 28, 2019.

“Our dugout exploded when he hit that homer,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It seemed like there was a lot of relief for Trey coming into the dugout after that.”

The Orioles scored twice in the eighth to take a 4-3 lead on a fielder’s choice by Maikel Franco and an RBI single by Freddy Galvis off Adam Ottavino. Boston tied it in the ninth on a fielder’s choice by Bobby Dalbec against Cesar Valdez, who had converted his two previous save chances.

“As soon as I hit it, I was just flying. … I mean, flying for me,” said Dalbec, batting only .095 this year. “I knew that was a big-time run there obviously and I was just trying to leg it out.”

Michael Chavis, recalled from the alternate training site earlier in the day, entered as a pinch-runner in the 10th and scored on a low pitch by Dillon Tate (0-1) that rolled to the backstop. Vazquez added an insurance run with a single off Wade LeBlanc.

Matt Barnes (1-0) struck out two in the ninth and Matt Andriese earned Boston’s first save of the season.

Devers had two RBIs for the Red Sox, who have won five consecutive games for the first time since August 2019. They opened the season with three straight losses.

The Orioles were 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

Boston took a 2-0 lead in the first. Devers hit an RBI single and then got picked off first, but stayed in a rundown long enough to allow Xander Bogaerts to score from second.

Mancini and Anthony Santander responded with back-to-back homers off Garrett Richards in the bottom half.

Devers broke the deadlock with a towering homer to right-center off rookie left-hander Bruce Zimmermann in the sixth.

Zimmermann, a Maryland native who grew up rooting for the Orioles, made his third career start, but it was his first game at Camden Yards with fans in attendance (9,307). Zimmermann allowed three runs and seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk over six innings.

“All in all it was an outpouring of support that a hometown kid can only dream of having at the ballpark behind him,” Zimmermann said. “It was just incredibly special to hear that and to hear the crowd call my name in the first inning when I got announced and everything, it was pretty awesome.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: DH/OF J.D. Martinez has cold symptoms and was placed on the COVID-19 injured list. Martinez underwent testing and the team is awaiting the results. “We do believe he will be back with us (Sunday),” Cora said.

Orioles: OF DJ Stewart (left hamstring) was reinstated from the 10-day IL. He has not played since March 5. “I was worried it was going to be a lot longer,” Stewart said before the game.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Nick Pivetta (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first career start at Camden Yards. He was solid in his season debut, throwing five scoreless innings of two-hit ball in an 11-2 win over the Rays on Monday.

Orioles: RHP Jorge Lopez (0-1) will look to avoid the sweep against Boston. He struggled in his last start, allowing four runs, three hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings in a 7-0 loss to the Yankees.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.