Orioles, Chen beat Red Sox 5-2
BALTIMORE (AP) If the Orioles choose to open a campaign to get Adam Jones a fifth Gold Glove, they will almost certainly break out film of his most recent performance against the Boston Red Sox.
Jones threw out a runner from center field and made two exceptional catches, part of a solid defensive effort that carried Baltimore to a 5-2 victory Wednesday night.
In the second inning, the Red Sox had two runners thrown out trying to stretch hits and Jones concluded the display with a fine running grab in right center.
Jones showed his fielding prowess again in the fifth, racing to his left to track down a liner by Mookie Betts before making a diving catch at full extension.
''It can be a real momentum swing against another team when you center some balls up and they stay in the park and you still get outs,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles won the AL East last year with solid pitching, timely hitting and an air-tight defense. The third facet of that formula is no less significant than the first two.
''We have been one of the top defensive teams in baseball the last few years, so it's of the utmost importance,'' Jones said.
J.J. Hardy had two RBIs for the Orioles, who will attempt to complete a three-game sweep on Thursday night. Baltimore is 6-3 against Boston this season, 4-1 at home.
Wei-Yin Chen (2-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in five-plus innings. The left-hander had only one win in his 11 previous starts despite carrying a solid 3.18 ERA.
In this one, the Baltimore defense gave him all the backing he needed.
''I can only say that it wasn't one of my best days,'' Chen said through an interpreter. ''My teammates played fantastic defense behind me, like Jonesy's plays.''
Darren O'Day struck out four during two perfect innings to earn his second save.
Dustin Pedroia had two hits and scored twice for the last-place Red Sox, who have lost nine of their last 10 road games. David Ortiz did not play, mostly because of his .114 batting average against left-handed pitchers.
Boston got its runs in the third and sixth innings. On each occasion, the Orioles answered in the bottom half.
''They did a great job defensively to cut down a couple of guys at second base,'' manager John Farrell said, ''but still, any time we mounted a little bit of an offensive threat, they bounced back.''
Rick Porcello (4-6) gave up five runs and 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings in losing his fourth straight start. In three appearances against Baltimore this year, he's 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA.
The tone of the game was set in the second inning. Xander Bogaerts hit a liner off the wall that Jones snagged with his bare hand before throwing out the runner at second base. Pablo Sandoval followed with a single to left and was thrown out at second by Travis Snider. Jones then made a nice running catch of a liner by Betts.
In the Baltimore half, pull-hitter Chris Davis beat the shift with a bunt down the third-base line. Hardy followed with an RBI double and scored on a single by Ryan Flaherty.
After Brock Holt got Boston to 2-1 with an RBI double in the third, Jones responded with a run-scoring single in the bottom half.
Pedroia doubled and scored in the sixth before Baltimore used an RBI single by Snider and a sacrifice fly by Hardy to chase Porcello.
''To me the entire game came down to the sixth inning,'' Porcello said. ''We got a run to cut (the deficit) down to one, then I couldn't put up a zero.''
Red Sox: Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to six games. He has now hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, batting .444 during that stretch.
Orioles: Manny Machado has hits in 34 of his last 45 games. He has had an on-base percentage of .349 and a slugging percentage of .508 over that span.
Red Sox: RHP Justin Masterson (shoulder tendinitis) allowed one run and two hits over six innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Orioles: RHP Miguel Gonzalez appears headed to the DL with a right groin strain.
Red Sox: LHP Wade Miley starts Thursday night in the series finale. He's 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA in two career starts against Baltimore.
Orioles: Chris Tillman takes the mound as Baltimore seeks its first series sweep of the season.