BOSTON (AP) — Nick Pivetta struck out eight in five innings of one-run ball in his Boston debut, Christian Vázquez hit a three-run homer and the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 on Tuesday night.
The teams combined for five errors, there was a misplayed fly ball and a runner picked off third to kill a rally, a performance befitting the AL East’s worst two teams.
Bobby Dalbec drove in a pair of runs and J.D. Martinez had three hits with an RBI for the last-place Red Sox.
Renato Núñez clubbed a towering solo homer for the Orioles that hit halfway up a light stanchion above the Green Monster. Baltimore has lost five of six and was officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Acquired from the Phillies along with a minor league right-hander for relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree on Aug. 21, the 27-year-old Pivetta (1-0) relied mostly on his fastball in the low 90 mph range to dominate the Orioles.
“Honestly, I’m just very grateful for this opportunity,” Pivetta said. “It’s been over a year since I’ve been able to start in the big leagues.”
His previous start start came last season with Philadelphia, on July 17.
“Really nice. We’ve been looking forward to watching him pitch,” Boston manager Ron Roenicke. “Great start for him for us, got the five innings we needed from him and he got a win.”
The righty gave up three singles and walked three after being called up from the club’s alternate training site. Matt Barnes got the final out with the bases loaded for his ninth save.
Keegan Akin (1-2) was roughed up for eight hits and four runs — two earned — in four innings.
“I thought he threw the ball OK,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We just didn’t play very good defense again behind and really hurt him. A couple of routine plays that weren’t made allowed more traffic and caused a big inning there, the long inning.”
Vázquez homered into the Monster seats, making it 8-3 in the sixth after Martinez’s RBI single.
“He threw me three sliders,” Vázquez said. “I was looking for a fastball and he threw it.”
Trailing 1-0, the Red Sox turned two Orioles' errors into a three-run second inning. Vázquez reached on third baseman Rio Ruiz’s throwing error and scored on Dalbec’s RBI double.
Left fielder DJ Stewart came charging in and dropped Alex Verdugo’s fly ball on what would have been the final out for the third run after Chavis' sacrifice fly.
“Every day is an opportunity to get better, and I think we did a pretty good job of that all year,” Stewart said. “Just trying to get better and we know we’re a young team and just trying to grow together and get better. And I think it’s not going to change for these five games whether we’re eliminated or not.”
OOPS! I DID IT AGAIN
LF Chavis had a rough sixth that led two runs. First, he looked like he was positioned well, but realized late that Pedro Severino’s drive was about to sail over his leaping bid for an error. On Ruiz’s fly, he took a bad route, cutting across to left-center before it went over his jump for an RBI double.
MORE FORGETTABLE MOMENTS
Boston’s Jonathan Araúz was picked off third with a runner on first and no outs in the fourth.
Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers booted a grounder, struck out swinging four times and grounded into a DP.
The Red Sox post the updated standings daily on the Monster, and it’s hard not to miss.
“It’s not fun looking out at that scoreboard and seeing us in last place,” Roenicke said.
Orioles: SS José Iglesias missed his second straight game with a bruised left wrist after getting hit by a fastball from Tampa Bay’s Charlie Morton. … Reliever Evan Phillips walked off with an injury. Hyde said: “he had some elbow soreness” and would be checked again Wednesday.
Red Sox: Verdugo returned to the lineup after being sidelined two games with left hamstring soreness. … SS Xander Bogaerts was also back in. He had Sunday off.
Orioles: RHP Dean Kremer (1-0, 1.69 ERA) is slated to go Wednesday night.
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