In what’s already been a miserable start to the season for the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday’s Red Sox win had to be one of the toughest for their fans to bear.
It’s not easy to do what the Orioles managed to do. Through nine innings, Baltimore belted 13 hits but scored no runs as the Red Sox shutout the birds, 5-0. It was Boston’s third shutout victory of the season (also against the Rays on March 30 and the Angels on April 18).
In Orioles club history they had never before had 12 or more hits in a nine inning game and came away losers. Once, in a marathon 15-inning affair at Cleveland on May 14, 1961, Baltimore had managed 13 hits but lost 0-1 to the Tribe in Game 1 of a doubleheader.
Indeed, before Sunday, no major league team had been held scoreless on 12 or more hits in almost a decade, the last being the Dodgers against the Phillies in a 5-0 shutout on August 25, 2008.
In the long history of Fenway Park, which opened in 1912, Sunday’s was just the third time that fans witnessed 13 or more hits but not a single run scored. The other two instances were by the Sox themselves over 100 years ago: a 0-0 tie, despite 14 Boston hits, against the St. Louis Browns on July 14, 1916 and a 0-1 loss to the Washington Senators despite 15 hometown hits on July 3, 1913.
12 Singles, 1 Double, 0 Runs
The Orioles’ offensive output was notable, too, in that 12 of their 13 hits were singles, a streak broken by Jace Peterson‘s double to lead off the top of the ninth inning. Never before at Fenway Park has a team failed to score despite 13 hits and one or fewer extra-base hits. The last major league team to do that anywhere was the Rockies, facing the Nationals, in a 8-0 loss on August 13, 2005. Colorado similarly had 13 hits in that game and one double.
Eduardo Rodríguez, who gave up nine of the Orioles hits, became the first Red Sox starter since Paul Bird on September 22, 2009 to limit that many hits to just singles. E-Rod is the first Boston starter since Mike Boddicker to do all of that without allowing any runs (July 25, 1989), and the first since Bruce Hurst to likewise allow no walks (September 8, 1986).
Sunday’s win included more home runs from Boston’s newest slugger, J.D. Martinez. The two roundtrippers, his 14th and 15th of the season, ties him with Mookie Betts for the major league lead. It’s the first time in franchise history two Red Sox have hit 15 or more homers through the club’s first 50 games of a season.