The Red Sox defeated the Orioles 4-0 Wednesday afternoon, shutting out the Orioles while Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez led a 12-hit attack against Jake Arrieta and the Baltimore bullpen.
Andrew MIller took the mound to start the game, and threw three of the ugliest no-hit innings the game of baseball has ever seen, walking the bases loaded in the second before escaping on a hard-hit double play ball off the bat of backup catcher Craig Tatum. He did, however, record his first strikeout in over nine innings in the first, and--one way or another--held the Orioles scoreless.
Jake Arrieta had done a good job of matching him for the first couple of innings, but found his shutout broken up by Jacoby Ellsbury, who ripped his fourteenth home run of the season over the wall in right field with one out in the third. One inning later, and it was Josh Reddick singling and Carl Crawford doubling him to third to set up Jason Varitek for an RBI groundout that put the Sox up 2-0.
Miller did settle down in the second half of his start, striking out the first two batters of the fourth inning and only allowing a pair of hits and another walk before being pulled with two outs in the sixth inning.
After Matt Albers recorded the final out of the frame, Jacoby Ellsbury provided some deja vu, taking Jake Arrieta deep again to right field, just a bit farther this time. The Sox would threaten another explosive inning in the eighth when they loaded the bases with zero outs, but Carl Crawford was the only one who would manage to push a run accross, drawing a bases loaded walk before a pair of strikeouts and a flyout left the baserunners stranded.
The Sox turned to the three-man gang that's proved so reliable late-in-the-game to close things out, and each one performed admirably. Matt Albers took the seventh, Daniel Bard the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon the ninth, each recording clean 1-2-3 innings to take the rubber game and the series.
Perhaps the best sight, however, came from the bat of Adrian Gonzalez, who picked up four hits, perhaps heralding the end of his recent slump. The Sox will get to see if he can keep it up Friday, when they return home to face the Mariners.