BOSTON (AP) — Anthony Santander and Renato Núñez each drove in two runs and the Baltimore Orioles held off the Boston Red Sox 7-2 on Saturday to even their season-opening series.
Hanser Alberto finished with three hits. Austin Hays, and José Iglesias added two apiece.
Alex Cobb (1-0) was steady in his first start since April 2019 after missing most of last season with a hip injury that required surgery. After Boston pounded out 17 hits in its 13-2 win on Friday, Cobb mostly kept the Red Sox off balance, allowing just four hits and one run while striking out six in 5 1/3 innings of work.
He took a seat in the sixth after giving up a solo home run to Mitch Moreland.
But Cobb had room for the mistake thanks to the run support from an Orioles lineup that jumped on pitches from Boston starter Martin Pérez early in at-bats to give him a 5-0 cushion. The Red Sox added another run off reliever Paul Fry to pull within 5-2. He was pulled in favor of Miguel Castro, who promptly struck out pinch hitter Xander Bogaerts to end the threat.
Pérez (0-1) lasted just five innings in his Red Sox debut, giving up five runs on six hits and walking two.
Hays and Alberto opened the game with back-to-back hits. Pérez seemed to be working his way out of the jam after striking out José Iglesias and getting Anthony Santander to line out, but Núñez doubled off the Green Monster, scoring Hays and Alberto.
A wild pitch advanced Núñez to third and he made it 3-0 when Rafael Devers mishandled Pedro Severino’s soft grounder to third.
The Red Sox were just 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position, stranding 10 runners on base. Their biggest bright spot was Alex Verdugo, who had three hits in his first start since coming over in the trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Orioles: LHP John Means, who was scratched from his first career opening day start because of shoulder fatigue, expects to return July 30 against Miami. “My arm feels great right now,” Means said Saturday. … Reliever Hunter Harvey (right forearm strain) isn’t close to coming off the 10-day IL. “He’s still in a progression. He’s going to start playing catch here hopefully soon,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts and C Christian Vázquez both got a day off Saturday. Manager Ron Roenicke said both are fine, but that it’s part of a plan to get his starters rest for day games that fall immediately after night games. The goal is to avoid early injuries, he said. Tzu-Wei Lin and Kevin Plawecki started in their place. “Especially this first week – we’ve got 10 in a row,” Roenicke said. “I don’t want anybody playing 10 games in a row right now.” It won’t preclude starters getting used in pinch-hitting situation, as Bogaerts did in the sixth inning Saturday.
Orioles: Left-hander Wade LeBlanc makes his Orioles debut in the series finale Sunday. The 35-year-old previously pitched in Japan and for seven major league teams, including Seattle last season, before signing a minor league deal with Baltimore in January.
Red Sox: Right-hander Ryan Weber made his first opening day roster this season after beginning the last four in Triple-A. In 11 major league starts, he is 1-5 with a 5.96 ERA. He allowed two earned runs over 7 2/3 innings in his only two career appearances against Baltimore last season.