BALTIMORE (AP) — Cedric Mullins raced around the bases for a bizarre bloop triple, Trey Mancini hit a go-ahead solo homer and the Baltimore Orioles four-hit the Boston Red Sox for a 4-1 victory Monday night.
The Orioles had dropped their first six games at Camden Yards this season against the Red Sox and avoided a four-game sweep. It was the first time the home team won in 10 games between the teams this season.
“To salvage a series like this, it’s not exactly easy to do when you’re down 3-0 in a series,” Mancini said. “They’ve been playing great baseball over there. That’s a fantastic team they have. To win the fourth one and go into a two-game series tomorrow feels good and shows the resolve this team has.”
Boston still has the best record (22-14) and the best road record (12-5) in baseball.
Mullins’ heads-up baserunning helped the O’s add an insurance run in the eighth. He hit a high popup into shallow left field leading off, finding an open spot against Boston’s shifted infield defense. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts raced over from near second base and deflected the ball twice before it fell.
Mullins alertly sprinted all the way to third, diving under catcher Christian Vázquez’s tag.
“It was a fluke play,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “Everybody reacted the right way. … A good heads-up play by their guy.”
Two batters later, Mancini’s sharp single against Boston’s drawn-in infield made it 3-1, and Freddy Galvis’ sacrifice fly later in the inning supplied the Orioles’ final run.
Baltimore’s bullpen combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings, retiring all 10 batters it faced. Tanner Scott (2-2) struck out his only hitter to complete the sixth, Travis Lakins Sr. and Paul Fry both completed perfect innings, and César Valdez worked the ninth for his eighth save.
“We pitched so well tonight,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Mancini put the Orioles ahead 2-1 with a blast to center off reliever Matt Andriese (1-2) to lead off the sixth.
Orioles starter Jorge López went a season-high 5 2/3 innings, scattering four hits while striking out five and maintaining control except for a brief sequence in the fourth after yielding J.D. Martinez’s one-out single. Over the course of three pitches, Martinez moved up a base on a hit batsman, a wild pitch and Rafael Devers’ sacrifice fly to tie it at 1.
López gave up a leadoff double in the fifth, but with Scott warming, he retired the next three batters and then pitched into the sixth for the first time this season.
“I’ve been battling the last couple games,” López said. “Getting out of that inning gives me a little more confidence to keep pushing.”
Ryan Mountcastle lined his third homer down the left-field line off Boston’s Martin Pérez, who otherwise navigated five innings with little difficulty. He allowed four hits and one run and struck out four.
Mountcastle added a single, giving him consecutive multi-hit games for the first time this season. He has five multi-hit games in his last 10 outings after recording two in his first 25 games in 2021.
Red Sox: RHP Ryan Brasier (left calf strain) threw a 20-25 pitch bullpen Saturday, but Cora said he is not close to joining a minor league team for a rehabilitation assignment.
Orioles: Hyde said OF DJ Stewart (left hamstring strain) reported reduced soreness Monday. Stewart left in the sixth inning Sunday. ... Baltimore recalled LHP Keegan Akin from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned LHP Zac Lowther to Norfolk. Lowther is 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA in two games with the Orioles.
SEE YOU (MUCH) LATER
After playing each other 10 times in less than six weeks, the AL East rivals won’t meet again until Aug. 13-15 in Boston. The Red Sox’s last trip to Camden Yards isn’t until Sept. 28-30, the final week of the season.
Baltimore LHP John Means was named the American League’s player of the week after no-hitting Seattle on Wednesday. Means is the first Orioles pitcher to earn the honor since Arthur Rhodes in August 1994.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 4.62 ERA), whose 52 consecutive homerless innings is the longest active streak in the majors, draws the start as Boston begins a three-game series at Fenway Park against Oakland.
Orioles: Means (4-0, 1.37) makes his first since his no-hitter as Baltimore begins a two-game set against the New York Mets at Citi Field.