Mitch's Sports Report: Red Sox Lead Over Orioles Down To 1 After 1-0 Loss On 1 Mistake Pitch
Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to other team's pitcher. That's pretty much what it came down to in the Boston Red Sox 1-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles last night in which Orioles starter Kevin Gausman was virtually untouchable, allowing just four hits over eight innings while striking out six and walking one.
Rick Porcello was nearly as good for the Red Sox, also going eight innings and yielding only four hits, the difference being that one of those hits came off a hanging slider that the Orioles' Mark Trumbo blasted out of Fenway Park and somewhere into the upper layers of the stratosphere. That's no knock on Porcello, who lost for the first time at Fenway this season. Trumbo has a thing for the long ball, and it was the forty-second time he's gone yard this season, which leads the majors. The Red Sox hoped for a game-tying homer of their own in the ninth, with David Ortiz, Mookie Betts, and Hanley Ramirez stepping to the plate, all capable of getting a baseball out of Fenway in a hurry, but Baltimore also has a closer named Zach Britton who's as close to perfect as a closer is in the game today and he set the trio down in order for his forty-third save of the season.
So the Orioles take two out of three from the Red Sox and are now just one game behind Boston for the coveted division lead, and may well be licking their chops at the prospect of greeting the Sox back at Camden Yards next week for four more games, as the round robin tournament that has become the A.L. east down the home stretch promises to be one of the most exciting yet nerve-wracking ends to a regular season in history. The Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, and Yankees all have some kind of head to head match up in the final two weeks, they're all within striking distance of each other, and each series could mean a knock out blow for any of them if the brooms come out.
Case in point: The NY Yankees come to Fenway Park for a four-game series against the Red Sox that starts tonight, with the Yankees four games behind Boston for that division lead. The Yanks ran into Clayton Kershaw and the L.A. Dodgers last night in the Bronx, with Kershaw making just his second start since coming off the disabled list and it's pretty safe to say, he's just fine. Manager Dave Roberts had Kershaw on a short leash but over five innings of work he gave up just one hit and no runs as the Dodgers went on to shut out the Yankees 2-0. Justin Turner's RBI double off Dellin Betances in the ninth led to the Dodger's two runs and the victory, as L.A. opens up a five game lead over the slumping San Francisco Giants in the N.L. west.
The Toronto Blue Jays are slumping as well, losing again last night to the last place Tampa Bay Rays, so they remain two games behind the Red Sox for the division lead and now trail the Orioles by a game, while still owning he second wild card spot. Toronto is just 3-7 over their last ten games.
The NY Mets are glad the St. Louis Cardinals didn't gain any ground as those two teams struggle for the second and final wild card berth in the National League. The Cubs shut out the Cards last night and the Mets suffered the same fate against the Washington Nationals, losing 1-0 on a Wilson Ramos home run in the seventh and kept off the scoreboard with seven strong innings from Tanner Roark, who picked up the win for Washington.
In mens' college soccer, the Bryant Bulldogs were decided underdogs hosting the UVM Catamounts in Rhode Island yesterday, but nearly pulled off an upset if not for the dynamic duo striking yet again, this time in double overtime for a 3-2 UVM win. Bryant hadn't won a game in five tries this season, while UVM was 5-1 coming into the contest but the sides were knotted at two goals apiece before Brian Wright threaded a pass to Bernard Yeboah at the edge of the box in double OT for the dramatic on-the-road win. Shane Haley also scored for the Catamounts. Wright and Yeboah now have 36 points on 13 goals and 10 assists between them, as UVM improves to 6-1 and the Bulldogs are still looking for that elusive first win at 0-6.
Elsewhere in the mens' game Worcester shut out Johnson 8-Nil, and the Norwich Cadets lost to Plattsburgh 3-Nil.
In womens' college soccer Middlebury took their home opener, defeating Plattsburgh 4-1. Abigail Blyler had two goals to lead the Panthers offense as Middlebury improves to 2-1 on the season. Elsewhere Plymouth topped Norwich 5-0, and St. Rose shut out St. Michael’s 3-0.
One other local note, hand-cyclist Alicia Dana of Putney, who's in Rio for the Paralymic Games, won a silver medal in her time trial race yesterday. The 47-year old competes today in the road race, and to find out more about Dana's accomplishments and journey to Rio, check out the interview Alex Keefe did recently with Alicia Dana, you can find it on our web site at vpr.net.