Red Sox empty bullpen, use 7 pitchers to shut out Orioles
BOSTON (AP) Craig Breslow had a lot of new thoughts before his first start.
It didn't seem to bother him on the mound.
First-time starter Breslow and six relievers combined on a five-hitter, and the Boston Red Sox beat Baltimore 8-0 Saturday, further denting the Orioles' slim playoff hopes.
''I was pretty nervous,'' he said. ''It was kind of stupid things you never really think of like: Where am I supposed to play catch before going to the bullpen? What do I do during the anthem?''
A day after Boston journeyman Rich Hill blanked Baltimore on a two-hitter, the Red Sox emptied their bullpen.
''You have a `pen day, you know it's going to be a little bit of a challenge,'' Boston's interim manager Torey Lovullo said. ''You're one or two moments away from really digging deep into that bullpen. They all stepped up and did a very good job.''
The Orioles fell 4 1/2 games behind Houston for the AL's second wild-card spot. Third baseman Manny Machado made a pair of two-run errors, both coming on grounders by Xander Bogaerts.
''It's September baseball, where you can pitch that many pitchers,'' Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. ''It doesn't happen in August or whatever, and that's a whole different thing. You've got to be ready for all the things.''
Making his first career start after 522 relief appearances over 10 years, Breslow allowed two hits in four innings. Heath Hembree (2-0) worked one inning for the win.
''I asked some of the other starters: `What time should I get here?''' Breslow said. '''What type of a routine should I go through?' Fortunately, they were willing to share some of their secrets.''
Wei-Yin Chen (10-8) took the loss.
''I kind of lose my calm out there and therefore I lost my command out there,'' Chen said through an interpreter.
Josh Rutledge drove in two runs, and Brock Holt scored twice. Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts each had two hits for Boston.
Machado misplayed grounders in the seventh and eighth when the Red Sox broke open the game with six unearned runs.
Breslow got the Red Sox off to a good start, then Matt Barnes threw two hitless innings. Alexi Ogando, Tommy Layne and Noe Ramirez each got one out and Jonathan Aro worked the ninth.
Boston took the lead in the fifth when Holt walked and Rutledge doubled. Castillo doubled in the sixth and Holt hit an RBI single.
Orioles: CF Adam Jones (back spasms) was not in the lineup for the sixth straight game, but was available off the bench. Jones did run and throw in the outfield before the game.
Red Sox: 3B Pablo Sandoval (pneumonia) missed his sixth straight. Lovullo said after the game that Sandoval will not be going on the road trip, and it's likely his season is over. Sandoval, who last played Sept. 20, was re-evaluated when he got to the park Saturday. ... David Ortiz was rested.
Breslow said he thought he last pitched from the windup in 2005.
''If I was going to go out there, I was going to try to play the part, look the part as much as possible,'' he said.
The Orioles were shut out for the 11th time this season. It's the second time they've been blanked in consecutive games. The others were July 2 and 3.
Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (12-9) is set to go Sunday. He's 2-0 with a 3.57 ERA and 17 strikeouts in his last three starts, but gave up four runs in a no-decision against Boston on Sept. 15.
Red Sox: LHP Henry Owens (3-3) is scheduled to start Boston's home finale. He tossed 7 2-3 scoreless innings in his only other start against Baltimore on Sept. 16.