The Baltimore Orioles hope to have their closer back when they face the visiting Boston Red Sox on Saturday.
On Friday night, Felix Bautista was unavailable and Dillon Tate worked the final 1 1/3 innings for his fourth save in the Orioles’ come-from-behind, 3-2 win in the second contest of a three-game series.
Bautista, who is 4-3 with a 1.62 ERA and 12 saves in 60 games this season, hasn’t pitched since picking up a six-out save against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.
“After that last outing he just had a little bit of arm fatigue and we just wanted to give him a few days,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “The guy’s had so many appearances and on top of the leader board in innings pitched and appearances out of the bullpen, so very, very normal. … Hoping he’s available (Saturday).”
Boston will send right-hander Michael Wacha (10-1, 2.58 ERA) against right-hander Jordan Lyles (10-9, 4.25) on Saturday.
Wacha hasn’t lost since May 31, winning seven straight decisions and allowing three or fewer earned runs in seven of nine starts. The last time out, he took a no-decision despite allowing two earned runs on seven hits over six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. Wacha struck out seven, including career strikeout No. 1,000.
“Overall, (Wacha was) really good,” manager Alex Cora said. “This guy, every five days is just a solid start. He gives you a chance to win. I know he got his 1,000th strikeout — he earned it. He threw the ball extremely well.”
Wacha tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a win against the Orioles on Aug. 20. For his career, he is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in seven starts vs. Baltimore.
Lyles is expected to return after being scratched from Monday’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays due to a stomach virus.
“I’m hoping,” Hyde said Friday. “He’s feeling better every day, so I’m hoping he’s able to start (Saturday).”
Lyles defeated the Cleveland Guardians in his most start on Aug. 31, pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings while giving up four hits.
He is 2-1 with a 5.66 ERA in seven career starts against the Red Sox. They got to him for four runs on nine hits in four innings of a no-decision on Aug. 19.
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead Friday on Xander Bogaerts’ homer in the third, but the Orioles rallied for three in the sixth, with Gunnar Henderson’s single driving in the tying and go-ahead runs. Baltimore relievers combined for five scoreless innings.
“This club has a lot of fight,” Tate said. “Guys are ready to go when their name is called. It’s just good to get this win.”
Boston rookie starter Brayan Bello (1-5) shut down the Orioles early but ended up allowing three runs on three hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings. Two of the free passes came in the decisive sixth.
“His stuff was really good, but at the same time he’s learning,” Cora said. “We didn’t throw strikes there in that inning, and we paid the price.”
After seeing his nine-game hitting streak snapped Thursday against the Rays, Bogaerts started another, picking up three hits. He is hitting .482 (14-for-29) in September with a homer and five RBIs.
J.D. Martinez had two hits for Boston, including career No. 1,500.
–Field Level Media