Matt Harvey began his major league comeback this afternoon at Fenway Park with the Baltimore Orioles. Harvey came to within one o it of getting the win, and in reality only did not because he was lifted before the necessary five innings. Harvey’s line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 1 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K.
This was a pitcher’s duel in the first part of the game. Nobody got on the board until the fourth inning. And in fact, it was the Orioles who got on the board. Maikel Franco‘s two-run single gave the O’s a 2-0 lead.
The important thing to note there is that Franco’s hit came with two runners in scoring position. So it’s a hit with RISP. It also came on the heels of a Boston error and a passed ball. On one hand one might argue that the O’s wouldn’t have netted two runs without Boston’s mistakes. But on the other hand, they’re also holding Boston accountable for said mistakes.
Boston would get a run back in the bottom of the fourth on a sac fly-RBI by Gonzalez, however the O’s weren’t about to get themselves nervous over that. Anthony Santander‘s fifth inning RBI-single brought them back to being two up at 3-1. Boston would battle back in the last of the fifth however with Martinez’s infield RBI-single. That’s the play that eventually chased Harvey from the game. The ball bounced off of Harvey, allowing a run to score – not really much he could have done about it.
The O’s would add an insurance run in the seventh on a sac fly-RBI Trey Mancini. That’s also noteworthy, as for the second straight game the O’s put up an insurance run. And as we get into the season, that makes a difference.
When Harvey was lifted the O’s turned to Adam Plutko, who of course was acquired by trade and added to the final roster in the waning days of spring training. In fact, that trade occurred one week ago today. Plutko pitched 2.1 innings, and got the win on the afternoon.
We also saw Cesar Valdez in the closers role for the first time. And while he put the tying run on base, he closed out the inning, and a second win in as many games for the O’s. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, the Orioles have won their season-opening series in Boston.