Josh Winckowski struggles in major-league debut as Red Sox fall to Orioles, 4-2, and settle for doubleheader split

The Red Sox were unable to complete a doubleheader sweep of the Orioles on Saturday. After taking Game 1 behind a complete game effort from Nathan Eovaldi, Boston fell to Baltimore, 4-2, in the night cap at Fenway Park.

Contrary to the seasoned Eovaldi, Josh Winckowski made his major-league debut for the Sox in Game 2. The rookie right-hander allowed four earned runs on six hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts over just three innings of work.

All three runs Winckowski gave up came in the top of the third. Austin Hays and Anthony Santander both reached base to lead off the inning before Ramon Urias drove in Hays with a two-out RBI single to center field. Rougned Odor followed by crushing a three-run home run 410 feet to right-center, which gave the Orioles an early 4-0 lead.

The third inning would prove to be Winckowski’s last. The 23-year-old wound up throwing 62 pitches (36 strikes) while inducing a total of seven swings-and-misses. He also hovered around 92-97 mph with his fastball.

In relief of Winckowski, Austin Davis received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The left-hander answered the call by retiring the side in order in the fourth.

A half-inning later, the Red Sox lineup finally got something going against an old friend in Orioles starter Denyi Reyes. Trevor Story led things off with a groundball double and scored from second on a one-out RBI single off the bat of Christian Vazquez.

From there, Ryan Brasier, Tyler Danish, Jake Diekman, Matt Barnes, and Phillips Valdez held the O’s at four runs with a scoreless frame each to keep the Sox within striking distance.

Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth, Boston was now matched up against righty reliever Jorge Lopez. Bobby Dalbec, one of the heroes of Game 1, reached on a Jorge Mateo fielding error to lead things off. A Jackie Bradley Jr. single allowed Dalbec to move all the way up to third. Christian Arroyo then drove Dalbec in by beating out a potential double play.

Down to their final out, Enrique Hernandez stepped up to the plate representing the tying run for the Red Sox. He could not complete the comeback, though, as he grounded into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 twin killing.

All told, the Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base as a team. With Saturday night’s loss, Boston is now 22-25 on the season.

Next up: Zimmermann vs. Pivetta

The Red Sox will turn to right-hander Nick Pivetta in Game 4 of this five-game series on Sunday afternoon. The Orioles will counter with left-hander Bruce Zimmermann.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

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

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