What on Earth is happening?
Rich Hill, in his third start of the season, two-hit the Orioles. He again reached double digits in strikeouts, allowing just one walk. Somehow, after not starting for years, he has looked for three starts like one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Maybe even just the best?
The first hit for the Orioles came in their first at bat of the game on a ground ball up the middle from Nolan Reimold. Hill erased him with a double play to end the frame, and their second didn't come for a long time. Hill got pop-ups in the second, struck out the side in the third, and in the fifth allowed his first outfield fly ball since the first.
The sixth inning finally saw the Orioles get on base again, and it was off of Rich Hill, but only on his bad throw. With a man on, Hill very briefly lost control, or at least decided not to risk a second hit from Reimold, walking him on four pitches. The next three went for strikes to Manny Machado, ending the threat.
Finally, in the ninth, the Orioles got their second hit. A leadoff infield single. By then, it was 7-0. Xander Bogaerts had put Boston on the board in the third with a two-out double, scoring Mookie Betts from third, though Dustin Pedroia was thrown out trying to get home from first. The Sox would score a less impressive run in the fifth, with Brock Holt walking, getting to third with two out on some small ball, and then scoring on a wild pitch.
The sixth, though, was where they really broke out. Returning for the sixth, Kevin Gausman lost a hard-fought battle against Dustin Pedroia, walking the second baseman on nine pitches. Xander Bogaerts moved him to second with a swinging bunt of a single, and David Ortiz brought them both in to score on a double just past the glove of right fielder Daniel Alvarez. T.J. McFarland managed to pick up two outs in short order after replacing Gausman, but Holt managed to flip a double into the left field corner, bringing Ortiz in to make it 5-0.
The last two Red Sox runs would wait until the eighth, with David Ortiz and Brock Holt once more the producers at the plate, and Xander Bogaerts somehow once again on base via an infield single. Now leading 7-0, all that was left was for Rich Hill to pitch the ninth. And after that leadoff single, it was easy work for Hill, who struck out Nolan Reimold, got a ground ball from Manny Machado, and finally got Chris Davis to hit a long fly ball towards the bullpens in right, where Mookie Betts leapt at the wall, nearly toppling over, to rob the first baseman of a homer and seal the shutout.