Red Sox spoil Nathan Eovaldi’s superb start in 2-1 walk-off loss to Orioles

The Red Sox fell to the Orioles by a final score of 2-1 in 10 innings at Camden Yards 0n Saturday night. With the walk-off loss, Boston drops to 9-13 on the season and 3-6 on their current road trip.

Matched up against O’s starter Spenser Watkins to begin things on Saturday, a J.D. Martinez-less Sox lineup got off to a quick start. Trevor Story led off the first inning with a ground-rule double on the very first pitch he saw and later scored on an RBI single off the bat of Xander Bogaerts.

That sequence gave Boston an early 1-0 lead before Nathan Eovaldi could even take the mound. Eovaldi, making his fifth start of the year, allowed just three hits and no walks to go along with a season-high eight strikeouts over seven scoreless innings of work.

The right-hander took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning before yielding a two-out double to Cedric Mullins. He then stranded Mullins in scoring position before putting and leaving two runners on base to get out of a jam in his seventh and final frame.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (67 strikes), Eovaldi threw 38 four-seam fastballs, 21 splitters, 17 curveballs, 15 sliders, and four cutters. The 32-year-old hurler topped out at 98.6 mph with his heater and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.51 but did not factor into Saturday’s decision.

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Barnes received the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen in the bottom of the eighth. Given a one-run lead to protect, Barnes surrendered another two-out double to Mullins that was just out of Alex Verdugo’s reach in left field. The speedy Baltimore outfielder then scored from second on an Anthony Santander RBI single that knotted things up at 1-1 as Barnes was charged with the blown save.

In the ninth, the bottom third of the Red Sox lineup went down quietly against Jorge Lopez before Ryan Brasier did the same to the Orioles in the bottom half of the inning to send things to the 10th.

Even with an automatic runner in scoring position in, an anemic Boston offense failed to push across the potential go-ahead run in Jaylin Davis in their half of the 10th, setting up Baltimore to walk it off in their half of the inning.

With Hirokazu Sawamura on the mound for the Sox and Jorge Mateo at second base for the Orioles, Ryan McKenna was intentionally walked to set up the double play possibility. The next batter, Robinson Chirinos, proceeded to drop down a bunt that Sawamura fielded cleanly. Sawamura opted to get the force out at third base, but he instead threw the ball way over Rafael Devers’ head, which allowed Mateo to easily score the game-winning run.

All told, the Red Sox went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and left 10 runners on base as a team.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Lyles in rubber match

Having finished the month of April four games under .500, the Red Sox will look to flip the calendar and start anew in Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles. To kick off the month of May, right-hander Nick Pivetta will get the ball for Boston and fellow righty Jordan Lyles will do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch from Camden Yards on Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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